Indiana Jones Booby Trap Leads To Conviction In Wild Case

A man booby trapped his house with a boulder, just like in Indiana Jones, injuring an officer in the process.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Parents worry about kids copying bad behavior from movies but what about senior citizens? That’s exactly what happened when Gregory Lee Rodvelt rigged his home with a booby trap inspired by Indiana Jones. As NBC News reports, Rodvelt, after finding out he lost his house in a lawsuit, set a hot tub on its side and rigged it to roll down a hill, crushing anyone who came through his front gate.

The Oregon native described his homemade deathtrap by comparing it to the giant boulder that rolls toward Indiana Jones at the beginning of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Along with the Raiders-inspired trap, Rodvelt also set up a tire-flattening strip of nail-filled wood and various tripwires along his property. The real-life Wile E. Coyote also blocked the front gate with a booby-trapped van, meaning to activate the Indy trap, one would first have to survive the van trap resulting in a kind of boobytrap-ception if you will.

The boobytraps were discovered following Rodvelt’s arrest for the unlawful possession of explosives in 2017. Bomb specialists with the FBI and Oregon State Police were called to investigate Rodvelt’s former property and found the aforementioned minivan sitting in their path. The authorities were able to disarm the traps hooked up to the minivan and proceeded to enter through the gate when they saw the Indiana Jones-inspired hot tub boobytrap.

Rodvelt explained to FBI agents that he had rigged the hot tub deathtrap with fishing lines and tripwires so that anyone entering through the gate would trigger it. Luckily no one was hurt by the makeshift hot tub boulder. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the case for another more sinister trap Rodvelt had set up inside his former house.

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Law enforcement officers used an “explosive charge” to breach the boobytrapped home and found a nasty surprise waiting for them. Inside the house sat a wheelchair that Rodvelt had rigged with a decidedly un-Indiana Jones-like “homemade shotgun device.” When accidentally bumped, the wheelchair trap was triggered, causing the jury-rigged shotgun to fire a .410 caliber shell, hitting one of the FBI agents below the knees.

Luckily the agent survived the attack.

A federal jury recently found Rodvelt guilty of assaulting a federal officer and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The 71-year-old has yet to be sentenced, but prosecutors say he faces up to 20 years in prison for the offense. A defense attorney for Rodvelt called the maximum sentence “unrealistic” but wouldn’t comment on the matter further.

While Gregory Lee Rodvelt might think his booby traps resemble those faced by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movie series, Rodvelt’s premeditated planning and the destructive scope of his traps resemble the Saw franchise more than anything. Series antagonist Jigsaw’s murderous Rube Goldberg inventions seem to fit Rodvelt’s MO perfectly. Then again, one could also compare Rodvelts to a real-life Kevin McCallister…

Somebody get Macaulay Culkin on the phone; we just came up with the perfect idea for a really dark Home Alone reboot!