The images below come from the FBI file of legendary Chicago columnist, Mike Royko (Part 2 of 2, p.33 - 36). Other versions were published in the New York Times, January 8, 1972 and other newspapers, however the accompanying transcription below is by me (all spelling of the note writer, the book version retains his annoying punctuation too):
|Prototype Bombs In Symbolic Banks, January 1972|
Prototype Bombs In Symbolic Banks
During July 1971 nine unusual prototype bombs were planted in different banks across the country. These bombs were placed in safety deposit boxes in the vaults of the banks listed below. Enclosed is one key to one of these boxes.
* [Key No. 305637 to Box No. 47440 in First National Bank of Chicago, attached with clear tape]
New York City
1. First National City Bank - 107 William St.
Box No. 6160, Key No. ____
2. Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. - 40 Wall St.
Box No. 215, Key No. 59
3. Marine Midland Grace Trust Co. of N.Y. - 140 Broadway
Box No. 1716, Key No. 372
* 4. Continental Illinois National Bank - 231 S. LaSalle St.
Box No. E-396 Key No. E-396.
5. The First National Bank of Chicago - 1 First National Plaza
Box No. 47440 Key No. 305637
6. The Northern Trust Company - 50 S. La Salle St.
Box No. 7936 Key No. 2002
7. Bank of America - Market - New Montgomery
Box No. 1508 Key No. R537
8. Crocker-Citizens National Bank - 1 Montgomery St.
Box No. 2511 Key No. ____
9. Wells Fargo Bank - Market – Montgomery
Box No. 3114 Key No. 3114
What makes these demonstration time bombs unusual are the long-range tuners in them. Clock timers used in time bombs typically have a cycle of 12 hours and can therefore only be set up to 12 hours in advance. The timers used in this demonstration bombing have a cycle of 7 months or 217 days. With such a functioning timer a bomb can be planted up to seven months in advance of the intended time of detonation.
The principle is simple. Calendar clocks and watches have seven-day weeks and 31-day months. Any given day and date combination represents itself only once every 217 days. Let say that day be any given day and date (e.g., Sunday the 31st), then the time piece “day” and “date” of any future day can easily be calculated. Every time the target “day” comes up on the time piece, one switch is closed for 24 hours. The same happens to another switch when the target “date” comes up. Only when the target “day” and “date” come up together are both switches closed at the same time, completing the detonation circuit.
The prototype timers were made of low quality cordless electric clocks. In future bombings, they will be highly reliable, nearly silent electronic watches. Similarly, the slow-burning powder
placed in these safety deposit boxes would, instead, be compact plastic explosive.
Kidnapping people and demanding property (or money) in exchange for their lives exemplifies the anti-Life property value of our sick and brutal society. The Movement in Amerika would do better to kidnap property and offer it in exchange for the freedom of our people.
How would one kidnap a Luxury hotel, a corporate office building or a superhighway and demand the release of political prisoners as ransome? Simple again. A seve month time bomb could easily be embedded in the structure of a building under construction (e.g., the new FBI building in Washington) [Ed. not sure who underlined that] or under the roadway of a highway not yet paved over. In 3 or 4 months continued construction would make the device virtually undetectable. The authorities and the public would then be told who is to be freed in exchange for the exact location of the device. They would also be told how much time remained on the timer. In case the authorities should claim to not beLieve that the threat is real, then planting two devices and telling the media where one of them is Located would cure the misconception.
Of course, the power structure could refuse to meet our demands. They would then have the option of sitting around for months waiting for some portion of one of their empty toys to blow up. Who wiLL want to vacation in that hotel, meet in that boardroom, or drive on that super highway for the next few months?
FREE ALL POLITICAL
Remember George Jackson And Sam Melville.
Below is the list of news people and organizations who received the notes by the time of the indictment, image from the indictment:
Walter Jacobson, the WMAQ-TV (Chicago NBC affiliate, channel 5) news anchor I watched broadcast the news in January, 1972. He was at WMAQ for only about two years.
David Brinkley, NBC Network News anchor.
Nicholas Von Hoffman, Washington Post. I have been trying to contact him about this story.
Paul Jacobs, KQED TV (PBS affiliate, San Francisco channel 9)
Tim Finley, San Francisco Chronicle. He was featured in the January 17, 1972 issue of Time as a letter recipient.
Ron Dorfman, Chicago Journalism Review, now on the board of In These Times. I am trying to contact Mr. Dorfman about this project.
Additionally, Dave McQueen of KSAN News, San Francisco was mentioned as having received a note from the bomber.
Not mentioned in the indictment, but mentioned in several wire service articles, the Weather Underground connected Berkeley Tribe, received a letter too. As reported by the Associated Press and the New York Times, they sent a transcript to KPFA-FM, a favorite station of the Weather Underground.