Unabomber News History

Copyright 1994 Southam Inc.

The Gazette (Montreal)

December 13, 1994, Tuesday, FINAL EDITION


LENGTH: 566 words

HEADLINE: Killing gives Madison Ave. the jitters




Every holiday package suddenly seemed a threat yesterday - two days after the Unabomber blew up a Madison Avenue ad executive with a letter bomb. As investigators nationwide redoubled their search for the elusive serial bomber who often hits in clusters and then disappears, postal workers handled packages gingerly and their bosses were peppered with phone calls from nervous metropolitan-area 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 cops. The package turned out to be harmless.

At the Manhattan offices of Mosser's firm, Young & Rubicam, long- time 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," said company spokesman Richard McGowan.

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," said police spokesman John Miller.

Nassau County, N.Y., police got a scare yesterday when a panicky advertising executive showed up at their Mineola headquarters and announced he had a suspicious package in the trunk of his car.

"It was nothing," said a cop after the package was carefully placed outside the headquarters and scanned.

"But it scared the advertising executive."

Postal workers were told to keep an eye out for suspicious or foul- smelling packages. And workers at a postal office in Meriden, Conn., called in the bomb squad when they came across a package making "funny ticking noises."

It turned out to be a telephone answering machine.

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

"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 didn't want his agency named.

"People are horrified and a little afraid. I know I'm a little nervous that something we put out there for a communication, especially the pro bono work because it's always politically sensitive or even something that's been done in the past, will be targeted. Anyone in authority feels they are open for retribution. It hits a little too close to home."

Another said: "I think executives are shocked and stunned, but I don't know that they are concerned for their own safety, I don't think anyone can imagine that it could happen to you."

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

"We are taking extra security measures, but as you can understand, we don't want to discuss them," said J. Walter Thompson spokeswoman Dorothy Marcus.

"There is increased security to make sure agencies aren't exposing themselves, even though there's no rational reason why it's linked to the ad industry," said Gary Levin, a reporter at Advertising Age, an industry trade publication.