Unabomber News History

Copyright 1994 The Atlanta Constitution

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

December 13, 1994


LENGTH: 552 words

HEADLINE: Holiday boxes look scary after fatal mail bombing Police, post offices flooded with calls

BYLINE: By Al Baker and Corky Siemaszko NEW YORK DAILY NEWS


New York - Every holiday package suddenly seemed a threat Monday, two days after a letter bomb believed to have been sent by the "Unabomber" blew up a Madison Avenue ad executive.

As investigators nationwide redoubled their search for the elusive serial bomber, who often hits with clusters of packages and then disappears, postal workers handled packages gingerly and their bosses were peppered with telephone calls from nervous corporations looking to improve their security.

A United Parcel Service worker who tried to deliver a package to the North Caldwell, N.J., mansion where Thomas Mosser died Saturday was intercepted by police. The package turned out to be harmless.

At the Manhattan offices of Mosser's firm, Young & Rubicam, longtime employees were asked to present photo IDs and newly arrived packages were X-rayed.

"We have no reason to believe the attack was related to anything Tom Mosser did or to the company or to any of our clients," company spokesman Richard McGowan said.

Jittery callers kept the New York Police Department bomb squad busy. Three suspicious packages were found in Manhattan. They turned out to be a fruitcake, a box of chocolate and a calendar.

"People are aware that this guy has struck before by sending out more than one package at a time, and we've asked them to be aware of that," police spokesman John Miller said.

Madison Avenue, which usually relaxes with client parties and gift- giving during the holiday season, was shaken to its core Monday.

"Everyone is hoping it's just a random act and not a premeditated one in terms of going after any particular person for any reason," said Paul Cappelli, a New York adman who has his own shop but didn't want it named.

Several ad agencies, including J. Walter Thompson and Bates, said they had stepped up security measures but declined to be specific.

Others, such as McCann-Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather and Jerry & Ketchum, declined comment.

The FBI reportedly has put together two mockups of "Unabomber" bombs, and investigators have a fairly clear picture of how meticulously the bomber puts his deadly packages together.

But as the search for the bomber went into high gear and a $ 1 million reward for information about the bomber was once again dangled before the public, there were no breaks in sight - and investigators were waiting for another bomb to arrive somewhere.

"He is very good at what he does, unfortunately," said FBI agent Barry Mawn. "And the bomb blows up a lot of evidence. We don't have a lot to go on."

Earlier, investigators said the bomber was based either in California or Salt Lake City. But they also seem certain that the bomber reads The New York Times and has targeted victims whose promotions or research findings have been announced in the newspaper's business pages.

A letter to the newspaper last year, believed to be from the bomber, was signed "FC" and identified as an anarchist group.

There also is a description from an eyewitness believed to have spotted the bomber in Salt Lake City in 1987. And the task force chasing the bomber has compiled psychological profiles that describe him as a white man in his 30s or 40s with a high school education.

He takes great pride in building bombs, investigators said. But the motive for his acts remains a mystery.