22 Facts About Sam Melville


Sam Melville pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to bombing the Federal Office Building in lower Manhattan, as well as to assaulting a marshal in a failed escape attempt.


Sam Melville was born to Dorothy and William Grossman in 1934 in New York City.


Sam Melville lost sight in one eye at a young age because of a flying cinder.


Sam Melville claimed to have had a rough childhood because of his mother's series of alcoholic and abusive boyfriends.


Sam Melville left home and moved to Buffalo as a teenager, making his living as a bowling alley pinsetter.


Sam Melville later met his father, who had come to Western New York to look for him.


Sam Melville's father convinced him to move back to New York City, finish his high school education and pursue his passion for singing.


Back in New York, Sam Melville completed high school, studied singing, found employment as a draftsman, married and started a family.


Sam Melville enjoyed his job but hated the company he worked for.


When he was ordered to work on a project for Chase Manhattan Bank designing new offices in the then apartheid based Union of South Africa, Sam Melville became outraged and quit his job.


Sam Melville survived on odd jobs, including working for The National Guardian, a leftist weekly newspaper published in New York City.


Sam Melville joined various groups in opposition to the Vietnam War, became familiar with social issues, and met many radical activists.


Sam Melville became interested in the story of George Metesky, who had terrorized the city with 37 bombings of theaters, terminals, libraries and offices between 1940 and 1956 and was then in a state mental hospital.


Sam Melville began writing "George Metesky Was Here" on buildings around the city.


Sam Melville was responsible for, or connected to, at least the following bombings, all of them in 1969.


Sam Melville had met and become romantically involved with Jane Alpert, a recent graduate from Swarthmore College, while she was enrolled in a graduate program in journalism at Columbia University.


In New York City, Sam Melville had been working with a well known radical activist group known as "The Crazies".


On March 7,1970, Sam Melville overpowered an unarmed marshal at the Federal Courthouse and tried to escape.


Sam Melville was recaptured by an armed marshal on a landing two floors below.


Sam Melville was eventually transferred to Attica Prison, in Western New York.


Sam Melville was among the committee of inmates who helped organize inmates' demands and keep order during the Attica Prison Riot in September 1971.


The law enforcement officer who shot Sam Melville claimed he had done so because Sam Melville was armed with explosives, but investigators and prosecutors could find no evidence to support this claim and lawyers for surviving prisoners maintained that he was "murdered in cold blood with his hands in the air in surrender".