Zip gun bomber

A map of the Zip Gun Bombings

Real Name: Unknown
Aliases: Zip Gun Bomber
Wanted For: Murder, Attempted Murder, Terrorism
Missing Since: 1996


Details: Starting in 1982, an unidentified figure named by the press as the "Zip-Gun Bomber" began terrorizing New York City with packages mailed to unsuspecting recipients set to shoot off bullets in three different directions. The first victim was 54 year old high school guidance counselor Joan Kipp, who on May 7, 1982 was preparing to leave the state with her husband for Mother's Day when she got a cookbook in the mail that she thought was a mother's day gift; when she opened it, she was shot by a gun in the cookbook. She was rushed to a local hospital, but died hours later. It would be a decade before the killer woud strike again. He sent four more 'bombs' that were set off between 1993 and 1996. On October 15, 1993, retired New York City sanitation worker Anthony Lenza and his wife were on vacation in Pennsylvania, and when their children came that day they brought their mail. One package had a medallion in it, and when opened, Anthony and two of his family members were shot, but none of them were killed. On April 5, 1994, 75 year old Brooklyn resident Alice Caswell was shot and injured by a bomb that was in a medallion box that was similar to the one used in the Lenza attack. The box was addressed to her brother, Richard McGarrell. On June 27, 1995, Queens, New York resident Stephanie Gaffney was eight months pregnant and was talking on the phone when she looked in the mail and found a package that appeared to look legitimate along with a book inside, but when she opened the book she was struck by shrapnel from three bullets. Although her unborn child was not hit, it was shocked and doctors induced labor. Stephanie later gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Stephanie believes that the only reason she survived was because she held the book at an angle away from her. On June 20, 1996, 77 year old Brooklyn retired real estate agent Richard Basile opened a parcel with a video cassette in it that exploded, though no one was injured, but it did shatter the Basile's window. Police have not been able to determine if the attacks are random, or if they were specifically chosen by the perpetrator.
Extra Notes: This segment first ran on the January 3, 1997 episode.
Results: Wanted. No packages have been sent since 1996, and police have several suspects in the case, including Joan's husband, Harold, and her son, Craig, and a man named Steven Wavra, who had apparently handled devices similar to the bombs, and knew Joan Kipp. However, to this day no one has been arrested.

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