YEAR IN REVIEW: Chicken Man blows up house, self

Andrew Wordes remembered



ROSWELL, Ga. – Rather than be evicted, Roswell’s “Chicken Man,” Andrew Wordes, took extreme measures March 26, 2012 when he blew up his own house with himself inside.

Witnesses said at about 12:45 p.m., Fulton County Marshals came to the Alpine Drive home to evict Wordes. Wordes allegedly told everyone to get back before an explosion rocked the home.

Witness Lee Hollingsworth said at about 1 p.m., he heard an explosion within the home that blew the roof “a foot into the air and all the windows blew out.”

“It was very scary,” said another witness, Maggie Bean. “Andrew asked if everyone was away from the house and then said something to the effect of ‘it ain’t going to be pretty.’”

Bean said she saw a large puff of smoke come from the garage before flames erupted, engulfing the front of the home. Wordes was found inside, dead from the explosion.

An outspoken gun and property rights advocate, Wordes was also known by local schoolchildren for visiting classrooms to teach about farm animals and to give away chicks. He loved his birds, giving each a name.

“He was a chain-smoking, wiry, Jewish, used-car salesman,” said former neighbor Sheree Crowe. “Andy’s heart was huge. We believed he could do anything. Do you need a ride to work? Call Andy. Kids late to school? Call Andy. He was not the Chicken Man to me, he was a friend.”

Wordes’ brother, Jim, said he had a habit of both endearing himself to strangers and alienating himself to the same people. He was stubborn and often would not take no for an answer, living largely by his own rules. Wordes died “exactly how he wanted to go,” Jim said.

He first gained notoriety in 2009 fighting city ordinances that would not allow him to continue raising chickens, turkeys and other fowl on his property. Represented by former Gov. Roy Barnes, Wordes – since dubbed the “Chicken Man” – won the right to keep his more than 100 birds.

That was not the end of his troubles. A lengthy trail of legal problems culminated over the next year when Wordes was to be forcibly evicted from his home.

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