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Suicide Followed Christmas Bombing

Wed., Jan. 8, 1997

A Christmas Eve bombing that injured a 10-year-old girl and a suicide five days later were the final acts of an unemployed salesman who nursed a 5-year-old vendetta over losing a highly paid job, investigators said Tuesday.

Law enforcement officials said the salesman, Christopher P. Gilson, 58, aimed his rage not at the man who had dismissed him, but at the man’s twin brother and his family - one of many perplexing aspects of the case. Five days after the bomb detonated, Gilson killed himself with a shotgun, an incident that was at first thought to be a hunting accident but that has since been ruled a suicide.

Gilson placed the bomb in the mailbox of Jude Reardon, 41, of Clifton Park, investigators said. The wrapper was addressed to “Mr. Jude Reardon and family,” but it was his daughter, Jordan, who opened the package. After the explosion, she spent six days at Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla.

Law enforcement officials said Gilson had received about $100,000 a year as a salesman at GE Consulting Services in Colonie, just outside Albany, where John C. Reardon, Jude Reardon’s twin brother, was his supervisor. They said that John Reardon dismissed Gilson in 1991. Officials said Gilson had not had steady work since then.

“There was some kind of vindictiveness in the heart, the body, the mind, the soul, of Mr. Gilson,” Capt. Jeffrey Hines of the state police said.

The method of his revenge, if indeed it was revenge, remains a puzzle, and investigators admitted that they do not expect ever to fully understand Gilson’s motives.

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