Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ronald (Ron) Kaufman: Just the Facts

Disclaimer (October 28, 2013): This article was written not long after I finally tracked down news articles about this bombing plot and perpetrator. I have been looking for details about this for decades, and the miracle of Google finally came through.

However, the articles from 1972 were riddled with errors and inaccuracies, that I was not able to refute until recently (October, 2013). Now armed with more information, including court documents, I can say that any relation between Ron Kaufman and the Weathermen was coincidental. I have no doubt that their members and he crossed paths in the New Left of the day, but it does not look like he was an actual “member” at any time.

My book length project blog for this is the Time Bomber Book blog, which I update when I can as I work on the manuscript.
The complicated basics of confessed bank bomber Ronald Kaufman

Date of Birth: 5 February 1938
Place of Birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Raised: Bayside, WI
Parents: George Kaufman (Russian immigrant; President, Cream City Glass Company 2803 S. 13th Street, Milwaukee, died 1969); Sonia (Cogan) Kaufman
Uncle: Allergist Dr. Leo Cogan
Education: 1955, Riverside High School
1961, Bachelor's Psychology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1962 Master's Psychology, Stanford
1966 PhD, Stanford
Christopher Charles Mohr (alias used to rent safety-deposit boxes)
Christopher Curtis Mohr (alias used to rent safety-deposit boxes)
James Edward Jensen (born May 20, 1946 at Kentfield, Marin County, Mo, alias for second Army enlistment)
Charles E. Owens (Identity he used with the SDS)
Thomas Roy Gifford (Name he married Martha Leicester with and was using while living in San Francisco up until capture)

Nicknames: Abbie's Jewish Mama/Momma; Captain Gentle

Military Service: US Army 1956-1958, SP-4, Anti-Aircraft Missile Fire Controlman (under his given name)
US Army 1971, PVT, Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training (Ft. Polk, LA) under the alias James Edward Jensen (Enlisted 10 AUG 1971 in St. Louis, MO, failed to report to Ft. Jackson, SC 8 JAN 1972)

As James Edward Jensen
Civilian Employment:
1967/1968, Research Project Associate as a field worker to study stress on the aged, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago
1974 - 1984, Maintenance Supervisor in an unnamed nursing/convalescent home, Los Angeles, CA
1984 - 1986 (when captured), Building Manager, The World Affairs Council, San Francisco, CA

3035 N. Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee, WI (boyhood home)
560 West Arlington Place, Chicago, IL Address used under Mohr aliases for safety deposit boxes, Decemnber 1970. Passed himself off as a Physicist from Boston.  Building manager Dan Madori said Mohr's references were impeccable.  "Mohr" introduced a part-time roommate to Madori as a Southern Illinois U., Carbondale student, turned out to be a UI Chicago Circle Campus student.  Madori refused to identify the roommate further in any interviews.
From the Washington Post, 16 Jan, 1972, p. A3 - The Alumni Records Office at the University of Wisconsin confirmed last week that Charles J. Mohr, of New York City, was an undergraduate there at the same time as Kaufman in the late 1950s. But Mohr died on April 17, 1960, of injuries suffered in the ring during'an NCAA collegiate boxing tournament.
Also, there was a real writer named Charles Mohr who died in 1989.  Kaufman listed "writer" as the occupation of his Mohr identity when renting safety-deposit boxes.
1314 Poe Street, Berkeley, CA (Forwarding address, 1971)

Spouse: Married in California under the Gifford alias in Jan or Feb 1985 to Martha Leicester (Kaufman never revealed to her his true identity, or that he was a fugitive).

A social security number for the Gifford identity was issued in 1970.  The real Thomas Roy Gifford died in 1945, at the age of 13 months.

Social Security Numbers: 398-XX-XXXX (the FBI broadcasted that in the 1970s, the San Francisco Chronicle repeated it, but I will not.).
389-34-8220 issued between 1953 and 1954 in Wisconsin
398-XX-XXXX issued between 1953 and 1954 in Wisconsin
398-34-3220 issued between 1954 and 1955 in Wisconsin
572-58-1398 issued in California
572-98-4495 issued in California

Social Work: 1964, Participated Freedom Summer voter registration drives in Mississippi

Hobbies: Students for a Democratic Society conventions1966 (Clear Lake, IA), 1967, 1968 (Ann Arbor, MI), 1970 (Chicago); Housed Abbie Hoffman during the 1968 Democratic National Convention; Purchased and supplied bull horn for Yippies at 1968 Democratic National Convention; Urged Yippies to get communicate with "Greasers" (New Left synonym for "umpmen" from lumpen-proletariat"); Talked Hoffman out of doing things too outlandish; Attended a 1960s Pentagon protest; Built time bombs and placed them in banks.

Bank Bombing: 12:45 AM 7 September 1971, Safety-deposit box #1508 Bank of America, corner of Market and Montgomery, San Francisco, CA. (premature explosion) That box was rented 16 January, 1971 and the other two in San Francisco listed below were also rented that month.  Final visit to the BoA box was July 16, 1971, the same day he visited a Chicago bank box.

Additional Time Bombs Planted: Safety-deposit box #2511 Crocker-Citizens National Bank, 1 Montgomery, SF, CA
Safety-deposit box #3114 Wells-Fargo National Bank, 44 Montgomery, SF, CA

(Chicago boxes rented December, 1970 while an SDS convention was held in that city)
Continental Illinois National Bank, Chicago, IL
First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Northern Trust Co., Chicago, IL

(New York boxes were rented January, 1971, same as San Francisco boxes)
First National City Bank, New York, NY
Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., New York, NY
Marine Midland Bank, New York, NY

Lawyers: John Philipsborn and Leonard Weineglass.
Ronald Kaufman Wanted Poster (buy an original at FBImostwanted.US)
Captured: 15 July 1986, a police officer aquatinted with Martha Leicester recognized Kaufman from the April 1986 edition of the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (online archives only go back to the 1990s).  At a 17 July 1986 hearing, it was revealed by his lawyer John Philipsborn that Kaufman had been "testing the waters" for a surrender for three years.

Plea Bargain: 28 April 1987, plead guilty in exchange for a nine year prison sentence.

Sentencing: July, 1987 sentenced to nine years in prison.

Released:  16 April 1991, prisoner number 80927-011

Mentions in media since release:
1995(?), ROUGH DRAFT

ISSUE #1 03 (41 5) 665-0351 APRIL 1 995 
Cacophony Comments 
The search for... hummm... supreme truth continues. Luther Blissitt (link by me) has announced his April 1st plan to place blocks of dry ice wrapped up in wet newspapers on a Bay Area Rapid Transit train just before it enters the Trans-Bay tube. 
Not to be outdone, Ronald Kaufman has implanted a soft hardware device which is wired to go off in July. 
For those with plans for poetic terrorism on a global scale, the Nuclear Winter issue of The Blab contains detailed instructions on how to construct a nuclear bomb which is small enough to fit into the trunk of a Japanese car. To get a copy this informative and humor-filled publication, send $1 cash to The Blab, 3073 Rio Bonita St, Indialantic, FL 32903.
(additional info as I discover it)

Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

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