Today is March 29, a date that commemorates one of history's more unusual reigns of terror. New York City's Mad Bomber resurfaced on March 29, 1951, after an almost decade-long hiatus patriotically declared in observance of America's involvement in World War II. It isn't your average sociopath who commences whatever twisted mission he has set out for himself, then decides to recognize the greater societal good, publicly announces a truce, and actually follows through.
George Metesky was "mad" in both of the senses that we commonly ascribe to that word — demonstrably nuts, but also deeply motivated by a sense of righteous anger. His first bomb was deployed in 1940, left at the historic skyscaper home of Consolidated Edison with a note that read, "CON EDISON CROOKS — THIS IS FOR YOU." A former Con Edison employee, Metesky had been injured in an industrial accident nine years earlier and eventually cut loose after 26 weeks of sick pay.
Metesky scattered a handful of bombs around the city in 1941 before declaring his wartime break. After resuming activities in 1951, Metesky continued to target public and highly visible locales until private detectives finally tracked him down and police arrested him at his home in 1957. Over the course of legal proceedings against him, Metesky admitted to having placed 32 bombs and was eventually indicted on 47 charges, including attempted murder and maliciously endangering life.
After being declared a paranoid schizophrenic and found legally insane, Metesky was committed to the Matteawan Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Beacon, N.Y. Suffering the effects of advanced tuberculosis (for which he blamed Con Edison), Metesky was expected die within weeks of being imprisoned. Instead he was treated, recovered, and became a model inmate. After being released in 1973, he returned home and lived another 20 years before dying at age 90 in 1994.
It's a weird story, the sort of true crime saga that feels like it was invented, almost blow-by-blow, to be the backstory for a comic book villain — minus the whole "made full recovery from inciting mishap, served lengthy criminal sentence, and died after two decades of undisturbed home life" bit. Truth really is stranger than fiction. What's not strange is the idea of a worker being forced out of his or her accustomed career by an industrial accident. That sort of thing happens all the time.
Whether you've been injured by a blast of hot gasses from a backfiring boiler, or something less complicated and melodramatic, information technology (IT) is a great place for career switchers to turn. Instead of attempting to become a B-list Batman goon, why not try out a few of the IT training and certification courses that we offer here at TestOut Continuing Education? There are no innocent victims, you'll never go to prison, and the skills you master will have you back at work in no time.
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