At 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 6, 1978, packages of dynamite exploded at Paxton Plaza at 157 Paxton St. in Harrisburg, destroying the building.
According to a story in The Evening News on Oct. 9, “Two bombs exploded shortly after midnight and destroyed the interior of the modern, one-story office building occupied by a number of firms. The blast blew at least one hole in the building, blew the doors off and sent shattered glass and other debris into a nearby parking lot.”
An Army bomb squad detonated a third bomb around noon on Friday, Oct. 8, because it could not be disarmed safely. Four other bombs were defused.
An agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said cleaning fluid and kerosene had been doused on the walls, carpet, desks and filing cabinets.
The seven bombs had been wired together to a six-volt battery and a traveler’s alarm clock and stretched across the front wall of the office building, according to The Evening News. The dynamite had been stolen from the New Jersey Zinc Co. in May 1973.
In August of 1980, a federal grand jury indicted the owner of the building, Hap A. Seiders, 27. Seiders paid former Pagan motorcycle gang members $6,000 to destroy the building so he could collect the insurance money.
At the time he was charged, Seiders was serving a 10-year term in federal prison for mail fraud and selling counterfeit coins.
Seiders hired Franklin Kiefer, 41, of Kunkeltown, Monroe County, former president of the Pagans motorcycle club, to commit the bombings. Seiders was introduced to Kiefer by Joseph Snisky, a partner in his mail-order coin business, who also was convicted for selling counterfeit coins. Snisky was sentenced to three years in prison.
Snisky was found not guilty at trial of participating in the bombing.
Former Pagan Robert L. Wanger pleaded guilty to conspiring with Kiefer. Kiefer, who testified at the trial of Snisky, said he only collected half of the fee because he was “embarrassed” by the sloppy bombing.
“I was embarrassed in the poorness of how the job was handled.”
Wagner testified that he only took the job because Kiefer was too busy distributing pornography to do the job.
Wagner’s wife, Jeanne K. McGee, was charged with giving false statements to the grand jury.
Also charged in the case was Seiders’ attorney, Richard Friedman, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud by submitting insurance claims.
In October 1980 Seiders pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy and one count of being an accomplice in the bombing. In return for the guilty plea, the U.S. attorney dropped the other counts against him in the bombing and recommended Seiders be sentenced to 40 months in jail, beginning at the conclusion of his first mail fraud sentence.