GEORGE METESKY: NEW YORK's MAD BOMBER
During this time, the bomber stepped up his attacks and wrote more letters. He also called Dr. Brussel directly a feat of cleverness in and of itself since the doctor's number was unlisted. The conversation went as follows.
"Is this Dr. Brussel, the psychiatrist?"
"Yes, this is Dr. Brussel."
"This is F.P. speaking. Keep out of this or you'll be sorry."
The bomber hung up before the call could be traced. Privately, Dr. Brussel was pleased. He felt it was only a matter of time before the bomber's arrogance got the better of him.
Meanwhile, Con Edison assigned several of its administrative staff members to go through its vast "troublesome" employee files searching for anyone who fit the profile. The job was a complex one since, as its name suggests, Con Edison had been created by the merging of several small utility companies in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The post-merger records were neat and well-kept, but the pre-merger records were an incomplete mish-mash of various filing styles. According to Brussel's profile, the middle-aged Bomber could well have been an employee of one of the smaller companies.
As a clerk named Alice Kelly shuffled through the stacks of files, she came upon a file for a George Metesky of Waterbury, Connecticut. He'd worked for United Electric & Power Company. He fit the profile, so Kelly took a closer look. Metesky had suffered an on site accident at the plant where he worked. He blamed his subsequent tuberculosis on that accident a claim that could not be proven. After his disability claim was denied, Metesky had written several angry letters to the company one promising revenge for the firm's "dastardly deeds."
She excitedly brought the file to her superior.
"I think maybe," she said as she handed over the file.
Meanwhile, the bomber continued to angrily taunt the media and the police. In a response to an open letter in the Journal-American, the bomber gave the details (including dates and places) of the accident that had injured him. In doing so, he made the kind of arrogant slip-up that Dr. Brussel had predicted he would. The bomber assumed the records of his accident and claims were long lost in the files of the utility giant he hated. He didn't know that Alice Kelly had found his file or that the police would soon discover the places and dates in the Metesky file matched the ones he'd given to the newspaper.