The Gift Box Bomber

gift box

Some people are just plain evil. And with Travis Tate, known as the Gift Box Bomber, you could see it in his eyes.

On June 2, 1960, nine days after the birth of his daughter, Tate mailed an explosive jewelry box to his then ex-wife who was living in the Inglewood neighborhood of Nashville.  When she opened the package, the blast blew off her hands and left her blinded.  Miraculously, the newborn was unharmed but Mrs. Tate’s two children from a previous marriage were seriously injured.

June 11, 1960 Kansas City Times:

“Tate told authorities he rigged the bomb because he was tired of hearing people ask when ’“Frances” was coming home. The couple is divorced. “I guess 1 just went crazy,* Kerkeles quoted Tate as saying. Butler said the break came after a restaurant cook told sheriff’s investigators that he saw Tate in a restaurant 25 miles south of Nashville at 2:30 a. m. June 2. Tate had maintained that he did not leave his home near Fayetteville until 3 a. m. on the day of the bombing.”

Strangely, his name changes by source; either known as Willie Levoy Tate or Travis Tate, but the story remains the same.  He was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

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