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- 202 Bruce Joshua Miller d The Mad Bomber Guy I D uring the week of January 21, 1990, I received a letter from George Peter Metesky, serial pipe bomber, injured utility worker, devout Catholic, paranoiac, Marine veteran, inventor, and compulsive letter writer, who had been arrested at his home in the Brooklyn section of Waterbury, Connecticut, on January 21, 1957. Metesky had sustained a lung injury on September 5, 1931, while working at the Hell Gate generating station at 134th Street and Locust Avenue in the Bronx. The station’s parent company, Consolidated Gas, the forerunner of Consolidated Edison, had, in a common practice at the time, paid him benefits from an employee-supported fund until the statute of limitations for filing a workmen’s compensation claim had expired, leaving him unemployable, sick, embittered, and angry. He put his energy and considerable technical skill into waging a terrorism campaign against his former employer, perfecting small explosive devices in his garage. The text of the letter was handwritten in neat blue script on a yellow legal sheet, and the printed return address label carried the logo of the National Rifle Association: Bruce Miller January 20 – 1990 Chicago, Ill. Dear Sir: I have neither desire nor intent to assent to any of the suggestions outlined in your letter post-marked January 9th 1990. For the past 7–8 years I have turned down requests even from friends offering monetary benefits. 1989 was a “banner year.” I am 86 years old—still drive a car and work cross-word puzzles. When walking alone I use a cane for “balance.” Such are the facts in this case. George P. Metesky the mad bomber guy - 203 I read the letter quickly, my excitement fading as I realized the aged former bomber had no interest whatsoever in speaking with me. I had written him a rather fawning letter asking for “an hour or two” of his time. Metesky had to know I had been trying to reach him for about nine months, because the previous April, lacking his home address, I had written to one of his nieces inquiring about Uncle George, aided in that action by Father Shea, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Water­ bury, where Metesky had been a parishioner after his release from detention in 1973. “George was very faithful to his church attendance, faithful to mass and to the sacraments,” Father Shea told me during my visit to his church in April 1989. “He came to church every Sunday. I never brought up the subject of his arrest or anything like that, because I didn’t feel it was my place to do that.” Father Shea never broached the topic of Metesky’s past, yet he volunteered to call Metesky’s niece in my behalf, to ask if she had received my letter. She told him that her uncle had moved, and that she would pass along the letter. I suspect that she did. Detectives inspect the garage were Metesky made his bombs and check the Daimler he bought in 1934. Journal-American photo courtesy of photography collection, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. bruce joshua miller - 204 When I received no answer from George, I wrote to his niece two more times in May and once again in August. When I returned to Waterbury for a second research trip in October 1989, at city hall I searched the bound books that contained an alphabetical listing of vehicle owners. Within minutes, I had found it! George Metesky lived at 1229 Winsted Road, Unit #30, in Torrington, a town less than twenty miles north of Waterbury. On the back of a pink “While You Were Out” message slip, from a pad I happened to have in hand, I eagerly wrote the address and license plate information of the Cadillac registered to George P. Metesky: 83 CAD NV5888. He had always liked high-end cars, driving his Daimler to White Plains to send hate mail or down to New York to plant his bombs. So, thanks to the state of Connecticut, I was finally able to send my unwelcome letter to the correct address. The envelope of Metesky’s reply was addressed to me in block printing, all caps, a muted version of the notorious handwriting that distinguished his many anonymous threatening notes and letters, like the one postmarked March 1, 1956, and mailed to the city desk of the New York Herald Tribune: “where ever a wire runs–gas...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780873519335
Related ISBN
9780873519229
MARC Record
OCLC
875446979
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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