The Mad Bomber places his first bomb at the Con-Ed power plant in Manhattan.
November 16, 1940: George Metesky a/k/a the “Mad Bomber” places his first bomb at the Consolidated Edison power plant in Manhattan NY. The bomb was placed in a toolbox and left on a window sill of the power plant. It was a brass pipe bomb filled with gunpowder and an ignition switch. The device was discovered before it exploded and contained a hand written note stating:
“CON EDISON CROOKS – THIS IS FOR YOU.“
The note caused law enforcement to speculate that the bomb may have been an intentional dud because had it exploded the note would have been destroyed. However a year later, another bomb with the same characterizes was found in the street five blocks away from the Con Ed headquarters at 4 Irving Place.
Shortly after the U.S. entered World War II the NYC police received a letter from Metesky stating:
“I WILL MAKE NO MORE BOMB UNITS FOR THE DURATION OF THE WAR – MY PATRIOTIC FEELINGS HAVE MADE ME DECIDE THIS – LATER I WILL BRING THE CON EDISON TO JUSTICE – THEY WILL PAY FOR THEIR DASTARDLY DEEDS… F.P.“
In 1951 the bombs resumed, as Metesky placed bombs in theaters, terminals, libraries, and offices. The explosive devices were left in phone booths, storage lockers, and restrooms in public buildings. Including: Grand Central Station, the New York Public Library, Penn Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Radio City Music Hall, the RCA Building, and the Subway. Metesky was angry about a workplace injury he suffered and in all he planted 33 bombs of which 22 exploded injuring 15 people. January 21, 1957 Metesky was captured after law enforcement successfully connected his letters to the press with his workers compensation matter.
Metesky confessed to placing 32 bombs and he was indicted on 47 charges of: attempted murder, damaging a building by explosion, maliciously endangering life, and violation of New York State’s Sullivan Law by carrying concealed weapons, the bombs.
After a psychiatric evaluation, Judge Samuel S. Liebowitz declared that Metesky was “hopeless and incurable both mentally and physically” and found him legally insane and incompetent to stand trial. Metesky was committed without a trial to the Matteawan Hospital for the Criminally Insane at Beacon, NY where he remained until 1973 when he was released to return home and continue mental health therapy.