We assume that only these modern times have brought us violence and disaster. However, on March 29, 1951, a homemade type device was set off at Grand Central Station in New York City. It surprised commuters but luckily no one was injured. Now my parents went through WW II and finally made their way to the New World arriving in New York in 1951. If they had known that they could possibly be faced with more bombs they might have thought twice about settling in the city. I mean once you have gone through a war you certainly want to settle down to a quiet and normal life. Since my dad arrived in New York to take up the job of editor at “Laiks” or “Time” a Latvian newspaper I am sure he was aware of these happenings.
That is what drew my attention to this story. In the next few months after the first bomb went off, five more bombs were discovered at landmarks around New York among them the public library. By this time everyone knew that these acts of terrorism were the work of the Mad Bomber. What is even more amazing is that this was not the first time this bomber had struck. His very first bombing was on November 16, 1940, when he placed a pipe bomb in the Edison building along with a note that said it was for the crooks at Con Edison. More bombs came along in 1941 each one more powerful than the last. He left a note saying he would not make any more bombs during the war years.
Now wasn’t that considerate of him? I mean this guy had some real problems and definitely a few screws loose. The war ended and it was the return of the Mad Bomber. First Grand Central then in 1954 a bomb went off at Radio City Music Hall and in 1955 it was Macy’s, the RCA Building and the Staten Island Ferry. He was finally tracked down by an investigation team that worked for Con Ed. What they discovered was that the Mad Bomber was a dissatisfied employee named George Peter Metesky since his accident in 1931. He was angry that Con Ed wouldn’t pay disability payments. They found him living with his sisters in Connecticut and in April 1957 he was locked up in a mental institution. He was finally released in 1973. Despite all he had done he was blessed with a long life returning to Connecticut and died there in 1994 at the age of 90.