A former Aspen local, James Blanning, 72, literally stole New Years Eve from the town of Aspen, its guests and businesses He delivered crude gasoline bombs to two downtown banks Wednesday, promising a "horrible price in blood." He later drove out of the community, parked his car, and shot himself to death, according to news reports.
Aspen finally was able to celebrate Thursday night, but the Aspen Daily News reports millions of dollars were lost on what would normally have been one of the most lucrative days and nights of the year in the glamorous ski town in the Rockies.
Before leaving town, Blanning reportedly stopped at the Aspen Times office to deliver a handwritten note that railed against President Bush and a former top adviser, Karl Rove.
A fireworks show canceled during the emergency went off Thursday night and revelers reportedly took the delay in stride. But many questions remain.
A great deal was riding on Wednesday night for local businesses, already hit by a slow off-season. It was a New Year's Eve few people who were in Aspen will ever forget. One more reason to forget 2008.