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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book Chapter: MANHUNT FOR CHRISTOPHER C. MOHR: SEPTEMBER 1971

FBI photo
- Chapter Opening: Manhunt for Christopher C. Mohr: September 1971 -

This chapter covers when the manhunt for the bomber actually began.  No spoilers here, the bomber's real does not appear until a later chapter.  The chapter continues to reveal more details of what the bomber was doing, where he was living, and various deceptions used.  "Mohr" was one of his aliases, and the actual person the bomber stole this identity from is revealed.

A
s it turns out, the manhunt actually began four months earlier, on the morning of September 7, 1971.  A bomb planted in safe deposit box #1508, in the San Francisco Bank of America branch at MarketNew Montgomery, blew up around 12:35 AM. The box was rented to Christopher C. Mohr, 560 West Arlington Place, Chicago, Illinois.  From all accounts, it appears that the FBI kept news of the explosion quiet.  There was nary a peep in the press about the explosion until after they were alerted on January 7 to the existence of that already exploded bomb, and eight more, through the hand written notes mailed to them. 
The Bank of America box was rented in January 1971 for a yearly fee of $7.  The last visit to that box was by Mr. Mohr, recorded as July 16, 1971.  Incidentally, that was the same date someone visited all three of the safety deposit boxes he rented in Chicago, Illinois.  One of the signature cards of that date for a Chicago bank is in the Documents section, and it is signed Christopher C. Mohr. 
After the bomb at Bank of America exploded, fingerprints were recovered on documents related to the box, as well as on remnants of the bomb.  On the bank documents, Mr. Mohr described himself as a 25-year-old writer from Los Angeles.  As it turns out, this became part of the charges in his indictment.  Lying to bankers in an FDIC insured bank is a felony, even if you are paying for one of the few services that the FDIC has nothing to do with,[1] renting a safety deposit box. 
FBI agents questioned the building manager at 560 West Arlington Place, the address Mohr gave eight of the nine banks.  The exception: He gave a non-existent “500 W. Arlington Place” address to the Continental Illinois National Bank.  Dan Madori, president of the American Management and Maintenance Corporation,[2] told the FBI, the IRS, and the press that “Mohr” only lived there (560 W. Arlington) for a few days in December 1970.  Mohr described himself to Madori as a physicist from Boston, Massachusetts, and the building manager said Mohr had impeccable references and that he was working with a good company. 
Mohr moved in some furniture and introduced another young man, presented as a student who would be Mohr’s part-time roommate.[3] Both men were described as being in their 20s, although Mohr was over 30 at the time.
[1] http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/information/fdiciorn.html Accessed July 17, 2013
[2] “Suspect sought for 6 months,” Chicago Daily News, p. 10, January 7, 1972
[3] “Who’s Mystery Man Mohr?,” San Francisco Examiner, p. 5, January 7, 1972
 Note: The footnotes here begin at 1, but the footnotes in the book do not reset by chapter.  They continue sequentially until the end.

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