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No Protection: The Long Ordeal of Cyndi Steele


"We are not going to be providing you with any protection," the federal marshal told Cyndi Steele after she and her son had been ushered into a room in the Kootenai County Courthouse in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This was not what Cyndi expected to be told. After all, she recently recalled in a telephone interview, "I had just learned that I had been driving around with a bomb on my car."

That bomb, which had been discovered during an oil change, had been attached to her car by a local handyman named Larry Fairfax, whom Cyndi and her husband Edgar had employed to do some work on their ranch in Sagle, Idaho.

Fairfax, the man who admitted to planting that bomb, served less than a year in federal prison for "possession of an unregistered firearm" and "manufacturing a firearm."  He was granted early release to a halfway house in Coeur d'Alene, a facility "that was nicer than most hotels I've visited," Cyndi wryly observes. He is now living less than two miles away from his victim, who was not granted a restraining order "because I was not in a domestic relationship with him," she reports.

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