BEAVER DAM (WKOW) — Tuesday marks one year since a Beaver Dam man blew up his apartment, killing himself and displacing dozens of people who lived there.
Benjamin Morrow, a 28-year-old chemist, made triacetone triperoxide or “Mother of Satan” bombs, the kind terrorists use. The chemicals exploded in his apartment.
The contaminated building on Knaup Drive was burned down days later to prevent further explosions. Investigators determined it was the only way to make the area safe again after the initial explosion, because of the dangerous chemicals found inside.
Search warrants show police discovered masks “white supremacist materials” and guns in Morrow’s destroyed apartment.
Investigators closed the case because there were no other suspects or ongoing threats.
Beaver Dam police shared some of their drone video and photos with 27 News, one year after the explosion.
The department also released police reports that detail the investigation.
The documents include interviews with Morrow’s coworkers at Richelieu Foods in Beaver Dam. They said he never provided a reason why he was fired from his previous job as a chemist.
Morrow’s supervisor told investigators he was concerned about Morrow before the explosion because of the way he smelled when he came into work.
“…Ben would come to work smelling like moth balls, and as a chemist [the supervisor] felt this was significant for law enforcement to be aware of. [The supervisor] explained that he knows moth balls contain a chemical called napthene, which he knows to be explosive.”
One coworker told police they witnessed Morrow looking up guns, ammunition and chemicals online. The coworker said it made them feel uncomfortable: “I was worried he was going to do something.”
The coworker also said they were concerned about comments Morrow made about a school shooting in Florida. The employee joked to Morrow that he better not do that at their workplace. Morrow responded, “Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to get out of here.”
People who lived in the apartment building that blew up told investigators they regularly saw Morrow making multiple trips to the dumpsters and a neighbor below his apartment unit said Morrow was always making pounding noises on the floor.