NEW YORK: Death at the Fair

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A holiday crowd filled the grounds of the New York World's Fair. It was the Fourth of July. The hum of many noises was punctuated by bursts of fireworks. Josephine Chmiel, candy-counter girl at the Polish Building, curiously watched a cluster of men, some of whom were uniformed police, standing in the roadway. One of them stooped over. As he straightened up again, a stupendous sound struck Josephine like a blow. The cluster of men vanished.

Three of them lay huddled on the grass. Two others were crawling blindly away; one of them, hands to face, tried to get up off his knees, staggered and fell. A maple tree near by was stripped of leaves. An iron fence beyond was twisted awry.

That afternoon, William Strachan, an electrician, had stepped into the room which held the ventilating apparatus, on the second floor of the British Pavilion, for a casual inspection, had noticed on the floor a small, buff-colored bag. Remembering that he had seen it there the day before, he bent over it. It was ticking. Detectives William Federer and Fred Morelock were summoned, and Morelock carried the bag through the British Pavilion, through crowds of sightseers, outside, around the Italian Pavilion, to a deserted spot near the Polish Building, where he set it down.

Bomb squad Detectives Joseph Lynch and Ferdinand Socha arrived. Lynch cut a hole in one corner of the buff-colored bag. Several sticks of dynamite were exposed. The tick-tick-tick continued. Lynch stepped back, remarked: "It looks like the real goods." At that instant the bomb went off.

Instantly killed, horribly mangled were Lynch and his partner Socha.

A telephone operator at the British Pavilion, Mrs. Marjorie Rosser, reported that early in the week a man had phoned, and in a muffled voice said: "Get everybody out before the box explodes." A careful search for a bomb had been made then. The night after the explosion, Mrs. Rosser's husband, answering the telephone at their home, heard a man's muffled voice say: "I'll kill you." Before the startled Rosser could answer, the line went dead.

At week's end only clues were those sifted from the earth, picked out of victims' flesh: a clock's cogwheel, bomb fragments, strands of fine upholsterer's hair which had been used to pad the dynamite sticks.