CRIME: The Man from Peyton Place

The quiet, tree-lined town of Gilmanton, N.H. enjoyed a fleeting notoriety when Townswoman Grace Metalious renamed it Peyton Place. Behind Gilmanton's doors, Novelist Metalious found fictional murderers, abortionists and deviates. But somehow she overlooked Richard Pavlick, 73, a slight, white-haired postal clerk and onetime mental patient, whose only aberration seemed to be writing angry letters to newspapers and to public figures. One day last month Richard Pavlick decided to do something worthy of inclusion in Peyton Place: he made up his mind to kill a President-elect.

He took ten sticks of dynamite,...

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