Essay: Toasting Mr. Goetz

Rarely, apart from assassinations of the famous, has the act of a single anonymous person caused such a stir. Mild-mannered Bernhard Goetz gets on a New York City subway. Four young toughs surround him, asking first for a match, next a cigarette, then $5. He pulls a gun, shoots them all, two in the back. He runs away, then nine days later turns himself in. The town goes wild for him. Dubbed the subway vigilante, he is the talk, the toast, of every radio call-in show from Miami to San Diego. The outpouring of popular support becomes a story in itself....

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