Man found dead with pipe bombs in his Chicago condo was MIT graduate, former day trader

The man found dead with pipe bombs in his apartment was an MIT graduate, a former day trader

A wellbeing check in Streeterville on Tuesday turned into a death investigation after 30-year-old Theodore Hilk was found dead.

A feel-good check-in on Tuesday Streeterville became a death investigation after 30-year-old Theodore Hilk was found dead.

Additionally, What was found in Hilk’s condo on Wednesday? triggered fear and questions.

“It’s not something that anyone should have in their apartment,” said UIC’s esteemed Professor Luke Hanley.


Initially, investigators thought they had stumbled upon a meth lab. However, according to sources, it turned out to be material used to make bombs for three different types of bombs. Two active pipe bombs were apparently kept in his refrigerator.

The Chicago Fire Department says they discovered azide, a substance used as a detonator.

“They can be used commercially, for example in certain types of explosives, such as construction work or the like,” said Hanley. “But the most important legitimate use is to set off a larger explosive.”

Two floors of the building have been evacuated and Professor of Chemistry Scott Denmark says it was necessary.

“The lead azide itself, of course, in sufficient quantities, could cause a significant bang and explosion and easily remove rooms and furniture and people,” said Denmark.

Hilk worked last Chicago in 2015 at Headlands Technologies as a day trader. He is from Kansas and received a perfect ACT score in 2007. According to MIT, he graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering, as well as mathematics.

What is not yet known is how he got his hands on the materials to make bombs and why.

“It should be a black market,” said Denmark.

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