From November 1940 to January 1957, George Metesky, a disgruntled former ConEd employee known as the Mad Bomber, terrorized the New York City by planting explosives at major venues like Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, and Macy’s.
In November 1940, the Mad Bomber began his spree.
A pipe bomb was discovered by an employee of ConEd at their power plant on 64th street in Manhattan with a note that read, in all capital letters, “Con Edison Crooks – This Is For You.” The note was signed “F.P.”
Michael Cannell, author of “Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, The Mad Bomber and the Invention of Criminal Profiling,” told Inside Edition Digital that the two letters, “F.P.,” stood for “Fair Play.”
Grand Central Oyster Bar
The famous Grand Central Station Oyster Bar, as seen today, was the site of a handful of bombings by the Mad Bomber during his reign of terror.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station in the 1950s. It was the site of where three bombs were found and was the site of George Metesky aka the Mad Bomber and his first successful explosion in March 1951.
Grand Central Station
Like it was during the days of Metesky's reign of terror, Grand Central Station continues to be a popular tourist attraction as well as one of the busiest train stations in America.
A bomb exploded inside the Capitol Theater in Midtown in 1953, thankfully no one was injured.
Venues in Midtown Manhattan like movie theaters were a popular place for the Mad Bomber to plant his explosives because they were so heavily populated with both tourists and locals.
The subway system was a target of the terrorist.
The world-famous Radio City Music Hall was the sight of three bombs but it also gave authorities one of their biggest clues, as a pen knife was left behind during one of the blasts.
During one of the bombings, the bomber was stopped by an unknowing usher who apologized for the chaos.
Authorities made their presence felt in Times Square to try and avoid a catastrophe, but places like the Capitol and Paramount Theaters were still hit by the bomber.
The world's largest department store, Macy's, was struck by the Mad Bomber in 1955.
Twice in 1955, the "Mad Bomber" attacked New York's Penn Station during rush hour, sending the notoriously busy train station into a frenzy.
In 1952, the Mad Bomber attacked the Loews Theater on Lexington Ave. in Midtown twice. Two bombs were detonated each time.
In March 1954, one of the terrorist's bombs went off in the bathroom of Grand Central Station. No one was injured.
After Penn Station was hit in 1956, the FBI joined the hunt to find the Mad Bomber.
New York Public Library and the Bomb Squad
The NYPD's Bomb Squad outside the New York Public Library in December 1956 after an explosive device was found inside the building.
Looking For Clues
Police dust for fingerprints inside the New York Public Library after a bomb was found inside the New York Public Library before Christmas in 1956.
Brooklyn's Paramount Theater was the sight of his last explosion in December 1956.
Bomb Squad at Paramount Theater
A bomb was found unexploded inside the Paramount Theater in Midtown. Two bomb squad members of the NYPD carried the explosive device to deposit it in a specialized truck on Dec. 30, 1956.
Members of NYPD haul off an unexploded bomb by the Mad Bomber.
New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was also a favorite target of the "Mad Bomber," with two bombs being found there including his final one in December 1956.
After the bomb was found at the New York Public Library in December 1956, the media applied more pressure on authorities to solve the case.
Mad Bomber Handwriting
NYPD evidence of Mad Bomber handwriting after notes were left at many of the crimes scenes.
Grand Central Bomb
Police check out the aftermath a bomb left in locker in Grand Central Terminal exploded in May 1953.
The NYPD offered a reward for information leading to the capture of "The Mad Bomber."
A six-inch long pipe, covered with a white sock, was found in the passageway leading to the shuttle from Grand Central Station to Times Square just before New Year's Eve 1956. The bomb later turned out to be a hoax made by a copy cat. Police arrested the person responsible.
Dr. James A Brussel
As authorities tried all of their old techniques to catch the Mad Bomber, Captain Howard Finney’s sought out the help of psychiatrist Dr. James A. Brussel.
Alice Kelly and the File
While authorities consulted with Brussel, a ConEd employee named Alice Kelly had been reading the newspapers and saw the information exchanged between the “Mad Bomber” and the New York Journal-American newspaper and went looking through the files of past employees of her company.
In doing so, Kelly came across the file of a man named George Metesky who lived in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Kelly became a city-wide hero for helping lead police to their first person of interest in 16 years. She refused the monetary award issued by the NYPD.
A handwritten letter written by "F.P.," who would later be identified as George Metesky, to the New York Journal-American newspaper, which would help police track him down inside his Connecticut home days later.
Letter to Journal American
A published letter written by "F.P." aka the Mad Bomber aka George Metesky to the New York Journal-American newspaper. The letter would be published in the paper which would later help police track him down inside his Connecticut home days later.
Metestky's residence in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he lived with his two sisters.
Police Search Bomber's Garage
Police search Metesky's workbench inside his garage and found a bevy of bomb-making tools and supplies.
The son of Lithuanian immigrants, George Metesky was born in 1903 and was reportedly a loner for all of his life. He was close with his mother, who died when he was young, but he and his father reportedly had a tumultuous relationship.
NYPD officers bring Metesky to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
Metesky smiled for the press as he was booked by authorities in Connecticut before being brought to New York City in January 1957.
Cops and Bomber
George Metesky in a police van en route to Bellevue Hospital from felony court after Judge Leibowitz ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Metesky's booking photo by police.
Mad Bomber Makes Headlines
New Yorkers could breathe a sigh of relief that the man known as the Mad Bomber was caught.
The arrest of 54-year-old George Metesky, and a photo of him smiling after being caught, made the cover of every newspaper.
Bomber Behind Bars
Metesky continued to smile for the cameras wherever he could, including in a jail cell before he went to Brooklyn Felony Court for his arraignment.
“Those images of him beaming at the cameras and walking into the old downtown police headquarters as if he's walking on the red carpet at the Academy Awards are really striking, because he seems just completely bats*** crazy. He is.” Michael Cannell, author of "Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling," told Inside Edition Digital.
“I think that his logic was he was waging a crusade for the forces of good. His bombing spree was a godly pursuit. There was a sort of religious aspect to it. He believed that he was engaged in this godly battle for the forces of good. And so, it would've made sense to him that the world recognized his role in this righteous battle," he said.
Enjoying the Attention
Metesky was sent to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan for psychiatric evaluation and psychiatrists ruled him insane and unfit to stand trial. Doctors said he was an incurable paranoid schizophrenic with a strong impulse to martyrdom, according to The New York Times.
Media Mad for Bomber
Members of the press tried to get any sort of soundbite or interview from Metesky when he was busted.
Police remove bomb-making evidence from Metesky's Connecticut home.
Judge Samuel Leibowitz
Judge Samuel Leibowitz leaves Kings County Hospital prison ward after hold a hearing on George Metesky in January 1957.
Leaving Mental Health Hospital
Metesky waves to cameras as he leaves Bellevue following his evaluation.
The pocket knife used by "The Mad Bomber" to slash seats inside theaters is filed into evidence by the NYPD.
Metesky smiles for the cameras on his way to court.
Tools and Parts
Tools and bomb parts from George Metesky's workshop.
Metesky celebrates as he learns his case is not going to trial. However, he is sentenced to a mental health facility.
Police hold up an unexploded pipe bomb used by the Mad Bomber.
Confiscated bomb parts from Metesky's home are on display at police headquarters following his arrest.
Empire State Building
Metesky claimed that he planted a bomb inside the Empire State Building that never went off and was never found.
After spending 18 years in various mental health facilities in New York State, Metesky was freed in December 1973. He died in 1994 at age of 90.