Last week marked the fortieth anniversary of one of the worst terrorist attacks in American history. The bombing of New York’s LaGuardia Airport on December 29, 1975 killed eleven innocents and maimed 74 more, many of them gravely. Few noticed the anniversary, however, perhaps because this appalling crime has never been solved and it remains a cold case.
The horrifying scene garnered plenty of attention at the time. The bomb, equivalent to 25 sticks of dynamite, was placed in a coin-operated locker in the baggage claim area of the central terminal. When it detonated just after 6:30 pm, the explosion shredded a wall of lockers, creating a wave of shrapnel that scythed down everyone in its path. Bodies were shattered, limbs were severed. TV cameras captured the gruesome scene. Blood, mixed with thousands of gallons of water pumped by firemen, spilled all over the terminal and into the taxi stands outside.
The bodies of the eleven dead were mangled, some unrecognizable, while many of the dozens of injured were close to death. This was the bloodiest terrorist attack in the United States in decades, and New York City would see nothing like it again until 9/11. In truth, LaGuardia got lucky since the TWA baggage area was relatively empty around dinner time. Detonation a few hours earlier, when it was teeming with travelers, would have killed many more.
Read the rest at the New York Observer …