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Deadline

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Chris Muermann, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Thanks to Bob for the link to the Counterspy pilot, which looks very interesting, and to Randall for the detailed review and screencaps of Film Chest's Deadline release. Really looking forward to checking this little seen gem out in the not so distant future!
     
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  2. Message #22 of 37 Nov 28, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    I think you will really like Deadline, Jeff. I'm already very impressed by the quality of this show, a very serious, high minded and inspirational show of import in 1959 and more so now in the age of situational ethics and rampant bias...episode two, State Scandal, features Paul Stewart himself as a real life Chicago Daily News reporter who must choose between his journalistic ethics and his long standing friendship with an Illinois State Treasury official who he has found to be embezzling State funds...the Treasurer is played by good 'ol Frank Overton (12 O'clock High, among many shows)...these days, many corrupt types receive zero scrutiny by their friends and fellow partisans in the wretched, know nothing, historically illiterate, new age "media"...failed actors, ex beauty queens and failed rock stars playing "journalists" on TV...people on both ends of the political spectrum could say this with justification these days...I will say no more, as HTF wisely rules, such discussions only lead to fire and fury with no good outcome...for what it's worth, we have the very same problems in Canada, and if I was an American, I would describe myself as a capitol C Conservative in the old William F. Buckley mold...

    Now, to quote myself from over in the "is the B+W TV on DVD era slowly coming to an end" thread...I wrote this about the intended premiere episode, The Victor Reisel Story (original airdate Sept. 17, 1959 in NYC, but as Deadline was syndicated, and as Bert Greene informed us from his 1959 Dallas/Fort Worth TV Guide, some stations started running it in the summer of 1959), I wondered if this NYC filmed show might actually film on the street locations where this huge news story of 1956 actually played out in real life...
    Well, well. well...that is indeed the case, as this extraordinary show did film at the actual crime scene! As witnessed by these screen caps I took from the Victor Reisel episode on the new Filmchest DVD set...

    Fulton St. Dockyards Markets, Manhattan...
    Deadline 7.JPG
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    A very young and lovely Diane Ladd, a brilliant actress then and now...this episode has such a genuine and authentic feel...
    Deadline 35.JPG
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    Logan Field and Larry Haines...
    Deadline 13.JPG

    Hutton's Restaurant, the studios of Radio station WMCA above...where NY Daily Mirror columnist Victor Riesel (Larry Haines in a strong performance, among this very able cast) does his radio show interview with a suspended and blacklisted Teamster played by Logan Field...in a bid to expose Genovese Mob intimidation in taking over the union executive...
    Deadline 14.JPG
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    The actual site of the Mob ordered acid attack on Riesel, which took place on the night of April 5 1956...Lindy's Restaurant and the Mark Hellinger Theater...51 St. at Broadway...
    Deadline 19.JPG
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    The real Victor Riesel was permanently blinded by this acid attack, but resumed his anti-corruption crusade, learning Braille and still typing out his nationally syndicated column for many years to come...he was a widely recognized celebrity journalist...at about the very same time this episode of Deadline first aired, he appeared on a Mike Wallace Interview on CBS (November 9, 1959)...he also appeared on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person (Oct. 10, 1958), and the Ben Hecht Show (Jan. 6, 1960)...many of his media appearances outside of his own radio show (and soon to be TV show in the '60s) were in regard to witness testimony and proceedings of the Senate Sub Committee hearings about organized crime and labor union subversion by the mob...a Senate Sub Committee on which a young Massachusetts Senator named John F. Kennedy sat as a member, alongside his Congressional staff lawyer, advisor, and younger brother Bobby Kennedy...both launching their political careers while drawing a bead on their number one target of Mob corruption in the Teamsters Union...Jimmy Hoffa...played by the great Al Pacino in the new Netflix Martin Scorcese movie The Irishman...the sensational and disfiguring acid attack on Victor Riesel, which was a huge story in 1956, led to the establishment of that Senate Sub Committee in 1957...Victor Riesel himself testifying before the hearings and meeting frequently with JFK and Bobby Kennedy...the six degrees of separation in a butterfly effect tearing down Jimmy Hoffa (disappearing without a trace in 1975), the Genovese/Profaci mob, Joey Gallo, Albert Anastasia dying in a hail of bullets while sitting in a barber's chair, Sam Giancana, the Bonnano mob, Meyer Lansky...the famous Appalachia Summit which ended in a NY State Police raid leading to disastrous consequences for the mob's Havana Casino gambling project and the rise of Castro... and leading to an enduring scandal about mob organized voter fraud in Chicago precincts of the 1960 Federal election...where the dead themselves rose from their graves to vote in Sam Giancana's Chicago of the big Boss Mayor Daily Machine...

    Contemporary newspaper stories about the Victor Riesel attack...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The real Victor Riesel with his Braille typewriter...
    [​IMG]

    Testifying in Washington D.C. to the Senate Sub Committee hearings in 1957...
    [​IMG]

    Victor Riesel (L) with Bobby Kennedy at the hearings...Senator Everett Dirksen (?) on the right...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To my American friends here on HTF...Happy Thanksgiving!

    (Canadian Thanksgiving was October 14 this year, we're weird that way, ha, ha)...
     
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  3. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Fascinating stuff, Randall! And I second your hearty happy Thanksgiving wishes to all Stateside HTFers. Just another day in the week here in Japan, but I'm eating a nice turkey dinner in spirit, at any rate.
     
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  4. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Agreed.

    Gary “Happy Thanksgiving to everyone” O.
     
  5. Lecagr

    Lecagr Second Unit

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    "Deadline" sounds interesting but I'm concerned about possible compression issues if there are 13 episodes crammed on to each disc. Don't want to have these discs maybe freezing up/pausing in my DVD player so not sure if I want to purchase this.
     
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  6. Darby67

    Darby67 Screenwriter

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    I have Deadline sitting in my Amazon cart and I have to say the reviews in here are really making me want to finally pull the trigger....

    Since I'm planning on purchasing both seasons of Public Defender from Twilight Time via their Super Holiday Sale (https://www.twilighttimemovies.com/sale/?utm_source=Twilight+Time&utm_campaign=4ebcedae76-December_Pre-Orders_2017_12_04_COPY_04&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_937b186f7b-4ebcedae76-188383721&goal=0_937b186f7b-4ebcedae76-188383721&mc_cid=4ebcedae76&mc_eid=9dfa7c4076), Deadline seems like it would make a great companion purchase. Twilight Time's sale runs from 11/27 through 12/31.
     
  7. Lecagr

    Lecagr Second Unit

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    I'll probably pass on Deadline but I'm interested in season 1 of Ben Casey although I'm not in a big hurry to order it, maybe I'll order it sometime after the new year. I recently purchased complete series DVD of Medical Center and Mannix so I have plenty to watch for awhile.
     
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  8. Message #28 of 37 Dec 8, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    I've really been enjoying this lost treasure, Deadline. What an earnest, interesting and compelling show it is! And what a terrific bargain from Filmchest, as with their great release of Decoy...among others, I jumped ahead to watch episode 33, To Move a Mountain (April 28 1960), because it features two of my favorite guys...Frank Sutton (Gomer Pyle USMC, of course!) and Steve Franken (Dobie Gillis, Mr. Novak)...this episode was directed by Paul Stewart (he directed 4 of this series episodes, acted in another 11, and of course introduces and narrates all 39)...this episode also afforded some substantial and rarely seen roles for Asian American actresses...Eileen Nakamura and Arabella Hong...and they both submit genuine and compelling performances...I can only find this single credit for Eileen Nakamura on IMDB...Arabella Hong has only another two credits on IMDB...both entries may not offer a complete picture of their appearances on filmed shows, but their obvious talent as actresses, and the fact this was a NYC produced show, leads me to suspect that both were accomplished Broadway stage players...Frank Sutton, who is also great in this, must have savored this opportunity to play a character far removed from the threatening toughs he usually played in those early days...it might be forgotten now, but Gomer Pyle being such a huge hit, and propelling him to TV stardom, was a very big departure from his earlier dramatic roles...

    Frank Sutton plays real life Newark Star-Ledger reporter John McDowell, who upon reading a newswire teletype, struggles to recover an old wartime memory of his service in WW2 Burma...a memory of his near fatal wounds in desperate combat, and the healing kindness of two Burmese nurses who saved his life...

    My screen caps from To Move a Mountain...
    Deadline 38.JPG

    Paul Stewart's introduction is wonderful..."this is Newark New Jersey...half a world away from the hills of Burma...but as close as a memory..."
    Deadline 39.JPG
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    The names on the teletype jog a long forgotten memory of John McDowell's WW2 service in the famed US Army unit, Merrill's Marauders...May 1944, the desperate siege of Myitkyina airfield...when he was near death from his battle wounds...having lost hope for body and soul...and being healed on both counts by these two Burmese nurses at the regimental field hospital...
    Deadline 44.JPG
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    John McDowell, having remembered these angels of mercy in having saved his life, is shocked to learn that both ladies are, just by pure chance, living in Newark and facing deportation back to Burma...where they will likely be imprisoned or even executed! He is stirred to action...filing his first story recounting his own story in a bid to save these girls from deportation...
    Deadline 52.JPG

    The student nurses, despondent and fearful, are resigned to their fate...Mya (Eileen Nakamura) turns on the gas in their apartment in a suicide attempt...stopped short by the fortunate return of her room mate Khin (Arabella Hong...)
    Deadline 36.JPG
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    McDowell searches down the last address for the girls...who he hasn't seen in 10 years...wondering if they will remember him, just one wounded soldier among many from the great battle of Myitkyina...
    Deadline 54.JPG
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    McDowell is astounded but gratified to discover that the nurses were indeed honored by the US Army for their volunteer service as nurses...both being awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service under fire...
    Deadline 59.JPG
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    McDowell tells the girls he is going to write more stories, advocating for them and against their deportation order...he is going to war on their behalf...and these Bronze Stars are among his ammunition! He's going to take it to the US Congress if need be...This has got to be among Frank Sutton's best moments in his career...
    He's on fire in this one...the whole cast is very good...
    Deadline 57.JPG

    This true story continued in my next post...
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    To Move a Mountain, episode 33, directed by Paul Stewart cont'd...

    Like some other episodes of Deadline, this true story was first presented as an episode of The Big Story in season 6 of that series, aired on Sept. 24, 1954...this well executed and compelling story hits all the right notes for me...with it's fine cast, genuine and convincing...

    Newark Star-Ledger reporter John McDowell campaigns all the way to congress in a bid to prevent the deportation of two Burmese nurses who healed his wounds and saved his life...

    Frank Sutton as the reporter and war veteran of the battle of Myitkyina on the Burma front of WW2...one of the famed Merrill's Marauders whose unexpected victory in seizing the Japanese airfield in May 1944 astounded British supreme commander Lord Louis Mountbatten, delighted American general "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell and resulted in a bloody 3 month siege as the Japanese army counter-attacked...Eileen Nakamura as one of his life saving angels...
    Deadline 51.JPG

    McDowell meets with real life New Jersey congressman Peter Rodino...Rodino is played by Sam Gray...Rodino, who was a US Army veteran of WW2 himself, co-sponsors a bill with House speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas to overturn the nurses deportation order...the bill passes unanimously in the house of representatives...with the bill now in the Senate, the pressure is on to pass the bill into law in an eleventh hour bid ahead of the Senate's deadline for recess...
    Deadline 60.JPG

    McDowell phones every Senator's office that he can to marshall support for the bill...he meets with the Senate whip, who is sympathetic but doubtful of forcing a vote before recess until the next session...too late, as the nurses are due to be deported!
    Deadline 61.JPG

    The nurses are hopeful, but stoic...Khin (Arabella Hong L.,) Mya (Eileen Nakamura)...
    Deadline 62.JPG

    The senate leadership, inspired by the obvious virtue in helping the nurses, hurries the bill through readings and procedures to a vote call from the podium...as the last act before recess...McDowell, Rodino and the nurses look on from the Senate gallery in hope that the bill will be enacted...stopping their deportation and saving their lives...
    Deadline 63.JPG
    Deadline 64.JPG

    The vote is again unanimous! A rare example of bi-partisan unanimity in the US Congress...good 'ol President Eisenhower signs it into law...and the Bronze Star Burmese nurses are on the road to their US citizenship...
    Deadline 66.JPG

    Paul Stewart, an exulted member of Orson Wells Mercury Playhouse theater, proves to have a deft hand in directing this worthy effort...
    Deadline 67.JPG
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    It must have helped that retired general Frank Merrill himself rendered support in Congress on behalf of the nurses...the astounding feat of Merrill's Marauders in capturing the Myitkyina airfield after a daring and exhausting march of 80 miles through the highland jungle of Burma remains to this day a legend of special forces history...a proud battle honor of the US Rangers...of the original 3000 men that comprised Merrill's force, only 1400 remained to be finally evacuated after the 3 month siege of the enemy counterattack...

    I couldn't find John McDowell's full bio, or his obituary...but I did find a magazine article he wrote in 1945 as a sergeant, that detailed his experience in caring for his pack mule while on the punishing march through the jungle...Merrill's Marauders utilized over 300 mules and 600+ Australian water horses as pack animals...carrying their gear, ammunition and heavy weapons...and carrying out the wounded to the 20th US Army field hospital where McDowell's life was saved by those Burmese nurses in real life...there's a scene where the nurse Mya asks McDowell, "how did you get here?"...he says "I volunteered" (all the Marauders were volunteers)...then McDowell asks her, "how did you get here?"...and the answer is the same...

    The nurses were from the oppressed minority Kachin tribe of the Burmese highlands...their men fought alongside the Marauders, as did a regiment of the Chinese National Army of Chiang Kai-Shek...but the victory itself was due to the valor and suffering of the Marauders, and it shocked not just the enemy, but the allied high command in Calcutta...Lord Mountbatten, who wasn't even aware of the operation, as it was jealously guarded in secrecy by US general Stillwell, took the credit anyway...he never thought the victory was possible in the first place...

    If the congressman's name is somewhat familiar, there is a reason...people our age might remember Peter W. Rodino as the chairman of the house judicial committee during the Watergate hearings of 1973...
     
  10. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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    Randall, your postings today reminded me I haven't ordered Deadline yet, so I rectified that a few minutes ago. This looks interesting and at a extremely reasonable price of $11.99 on Amazon.
     
  11. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Fascinating background as usual, Randall! Can't wait to get my Deadline set, either later this month or early next. This will be one of the first episodes I'll watch.
     
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  12. Message #32 of 37 Dec 9, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
    Lecagr

    Lecagr Second Unit

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    Just too bad that they had to cram the 39 episodes on to 3 discs, 13 episodes on each disc is way too many. I believe the same thing was done with Decoy, those 39 episodes are crammed on to 3 discs also. If Deadline and Decoy were 5 disc sets with 8 episodes each on 4 discs and 7 episodes on the 5th disc, I'd be more inclined to make the purchase. Cramming too many episodes on the discs can result in compression issues and playback problems. I took a chance and bought the complete series DVD of SWAT, but the cheapo company Mill Creek made it a 6 disc set and crammed too many episodes on the discs, and now I'm having problems with episodes pausing and freezing up in my DVD player which is why I'm choosing to pass on Decoy and Deadline.
     
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  13. Tom.W

    Tom.W Stunt Coordinator

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    I just watched the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Tragic Trophy" the other day and who pops up but Paul Stewart. I wouldn't have noticed him if not for his part as the commentator on Deadline. Interesting seeing him play a Hollywood big shot in contrast to Deadline. Usually character actors were pigeon-holed as either bad or good guys back in those days.
     
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  14. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Which is why I thought that the way it was done on Have Gun, Will Travel for the first and second gos of that one was quite sensible-- 7 apiece on three of the discs, and 6 apiece for the other three (albeit it wasn't done 7-7-7-6-6-6).
     
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  15. Lecagr

    Lecagr Second Unit

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    Splitting 39 half hour shows on to five discs is acceptable, but I agree six discs is even better. 7, 6, 7, 6, 7, 6. :)
     
  16. Message #36 of 37 Jan 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Deadline episode 24, The Mad Bomber D: Larry Doheny, Starring Paul Stewart, John Kellog, Bill Zuckert.

    This episode is based on the real life bombing terror campaign of "the mad bomber", George Metesky, who plagued Manhattan and Brooklyn from 1940 to 1957 with 32 bombings or attempted bombings that injured 15 people, several seriously, with multiple incidents at Grand Central and Penn stations, Radio City Music Hall, NY Public Library among other sites targeted during his reign of terror...the case featured systematic law enforcement "profiling" used for the first time by the NYC Police and F.B.I. in an extended effort to determine a suspect...but the culprit was only arrested as a result of the intercession of one of NYC's flagship daily newspapers with an activist publisher, the Hearst New York Journal-American and real life publisher Seymour Berkson (played by series host Paul Stewart)...NYC was again terrorized by the bombings during the Christmas season of 1956...there are some atmospheric street scenes of NYC hustle and bustle...my screen caps from the Filmchest set...
    Deadline 90.JPG
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    On December 2 1956, the bomber targeted the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn...he planted a pipe bomb under a seat during a screening attended by 1500 people, injuring six, one seriously...here, the theater is shown only a few months later...Jeff Chandler's The Tattered Dress opened March 14, 1957, Forrest Tucker's The Quiet Gun in January...in the ornate marble and brass lobby, you see a poster for the coming attraction, Fear Strikes Out, the baseball bio-pic of Jimmy Piersall, and starring Karl Malden and Anthony Perkins, which opened the following week of March 20, 1957...I love period detail like this! As you can see, the Filmchest transfers are first rate, sourced from what appears to be 35mm film in VG state...no details are lost in the darkened confines of the theater lobby...
    Deadline 72.JPG
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    NYPD headquarters...
    Deadline 78.JPG

    The New York Journal-American building...
    Deadline 79.JPG

    Publisher Seymour Berkson is incensed at yet another bombing, in a string of unsolved attacks going back 16 years, despite the bomber being in near continuous contact with police via his threatening letters mailed to them...up to this point, the NYPD and FBI have compiled a conjectured profile based on his letters, and the forensic examination of the few unexploded bombs they have defused...a middle aged Germanic immigrant with a grudge against the NYC area utility, Con-Edison...Publisher Berkson wonders if they should address an "open letter" to the Mad Bomber on his newspaper's front page, pleading with him to turn himself in...
    Deadline 81.JPG

    Bill Zuckert and John Kellogg as senior executive editors...
    Deadline 82.JPG

    The unknown bomber is seen taking his package into the NY Public Library...where he placed his bomb on the afternoon of Christmas Eve 1956...only by pure chance, the bomb was discovered by a library patron and defused by the bomb squad...
    Deadline 86.JPG

    Berkson is now determined to place his open letter to the bomber on his front page in the next edition on December 26...he forges ahead despite the discouragement of police commissioner Kennedy...
    Deadline 87.JPG
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    The Times Square theaters are among the feared future targets of the bomber...this site is now where the Ford Center for performing arts (the new Lyric theater) is today...
    Deadline 91.JPG

    And the bomber responds with a letter to the Journal-American! A discordant rant with more clues to his identity that is turned over to the NYPD and FBI for analysis...
    Deadline 92.JPG

    NYPD Commissioner Kennedy confers with publisher Berkson and his editorial staff, as to their next move...will the unknown bomber surrender himself and stop his 16 year reign of terror?
    Deadline 93.JPG

    Having now composed another open letter for the front page, the press room waits for the order to run it...
    Deadline 94.JPG

    Continued next post...
     
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  17. Message #37 of 37 Jan 6, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Deadline episode 24, The Mad Bomber continued...

    New York Journal-American publisher Seymour Berkson (series host Paul Stewart) gives his press room the order to run another open letter to the Mad Bomber on his newspaper's front page just before New Year's Eve 1956... in a bid to get the unknown bomber to turn himself in and bring an end to his 16 year reign of terror over New York City...
    Deadline 96.JPG
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    Newly disclosed details offered by the bomber himself in his latest letter to the Journal-American, and the hard work of a Con-Edison employee in researching past grievances (from 1931!) leads the police and FBI to mild mannered George Metesky and his bomb making factory...Metesky is strangely elated at being finally arrested...John Cecil Holm plays the Mad Bomber Metesky...
    Deadline 98.JPG

    Paul Stewart in his closing narrative...praising New York Journal-American publisher Seymour Berkson for his novel initiative in contacting the bomber via his front page, instrumental to ending Metesky's serial bombings that terrorized NYC for 16 years...
    Deadline 99.JPG
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    The real George Metesky as seen with arresting policemen on January 21 1957...his strange elation at finally being stopped evident in his broad smile...Metesky was never tried for his criminal acts, being declared legally insane and confined to a mental institution...but he was eventually released and died of natural causes in 1994...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    The New York Journal-American, a great newspaper with a storied past in the ultra competitive NYC daily news grind, nevertheless ceased publication in 1966...

    I wonder if the "Unabomber" Ted Kacynski got his idea for demanding that the NY Times publish his manifesto in 1996 from the earlier and much publicized Mad Bomber of NYC case?
     
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