Mad Bomber

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A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite

In One of the Most Unusual Ransom Schemes in Nevada history, A Mad Bomber Held an Entire Casino Captive with One Devilishly Mysterious Machine

In the early morning hours of Aug. 26, 1980, three men wheeled what looked like a piece of office equipment into the second floor offices of the 11-story Harvey?s Resort Hotel at Stateline, Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

An employee of Harvey?s Wagon Wheel Casino in Lake Tahoe, discovered the two stacked metallic grey boxes on the casino?s second floor. Unbeknownst to the employee, the boxes had just been delivered to the building by two men posing as delivery guys for IBM.

The ?machine? ? as the men sometimes called it ? was actually a homemade bomb filled with 907 pounds of explosives.
The bomb, designed with a dizzying array of triggering devices, could never be rendered safe, the bombers said in a letter they left behind that morning. The only thing authorities would be able to do is find out how to move it out of the casino to a safe place in the desert, where it could be detonated without destroying any buildings or killing any people.
But the only way to get that information, the bombers said, was to pay them $3 million in unmarked $100 bills. Harvey?s had 24 hours to act. ?Any deviation from these conditions will leave your casino in shambles,? the bombers warned.
For the next three days, the normally bustling casino district of Lake Tahoe was shut down as bomb experts from around the country tried to disable the device and authorities tried to meet the extortionists? demands. The bomb squad would later say that they had never seen a homemade bomb so complex and so powerful, and to this day it remains the most bewildering improvised explosive device the FBI has ever encountered.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Corbis Images. 21 January 1957. "Mad Bomber" George Metesky Smiling in Jail. Bomber Behind Bars---Happy Terrorist.--Obviously enjoying the white light of publicity, George Metesky grins happily from behind the bars of Waterbury jail after his arrest as the "Mad Bomber" who had terrorized the New York area for more than 16 years with his planted homemade bombs.

Photo: Corbis Images. 21 January 1957.?”Mad Bomber” George Metesky Smiling in Jail.?Bomber Behind Bars—Happy Terrorist.–Obviously enjoying the white light of publicity, George Metesky grins happily from behind the bars of Waterbury jail after his arrest as the “Mad Bomber” who had terrorized the New York area for more than 16 years with his planted homemade bombs.

Mad Bomber Arrested!

Serial killers must continuously kill simply because they are addicted to the feeling they get through the process. They?re rationalizing every aspect of their behaviour so they don?t see any good reason to stop doing what they?re doing. That?s when the headache for investigators comes into the game ? how to get even a smallest idea of who the killer may be?

This kind of problem solver is criminal profiling, also known as psychological profiling. The origins of criminal profiling date back to the Middle Ages, where the inquisitors were trying to profile heretics. In 19th century, the potential of profiling was realized by Hans Gross, Alphonse Bertillon, Jacob Fries, Cesare Lombroso, but their researches were generally considered to be prejudiced.

Psychiatrist Dr. James A. Brussel is credited to be an author of the first systematic profile within a criminal investigation, while chasing a person, best known as ?Mad Bomber?, responsible for a series of indiscriminate bombings spanning 16 years in New York.

On November 16, 1940, an unexploded bomb was found on a window ledge of the Consolidated Edison building in Manhattan. It was wrapped in a very neatly hand-written note that read,

CON EDISON CROOKS-THIS IS FOR YOU.

The police were baffled; surely whoever delivered the bomb would know that the note would be destroyed if the bomb detonated. Was the bomb meant to not go off? Was the person stupid …or was he just sending a message?

No discernible fingerprints were found on the device and a brief search of company records brought no leads, so the police treated the case as an isolated incident by a crackpot, possibly someone who had a grievance with “Con-Ed,” the huge company that proved New York City with all its gas and electric power.

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