Crime - Sacto 911

Was anyone arrested for rigging bomb that injured East Sacramento man in 1970s?

Q: Sometime in 1970 there was an explosion at a home on H Street in East Sacramento. One man was seriously injured. It was determined to be a bomb that was placed there, but I do not remember any outcome of what happened in the case.

Jeff, Sacramento

A: Otto J. Luethje, a 66-year-old insurance agent, was injured Feb. 9, 1971, when he walked out of his home in the 3900 block of H Street into a tautly stretched fishing line connected to a homemade bomb.

The bomb exploded, hurling chunks of metal as far as 200 feet, according to accounts in The Sacramento Bee. Luethje’s legs were badly mangled and had to be amputated below the knees.

Police said the bomb apparently was set in the ground just in front of Luethje’s front porch. They said it appeared that Luethje tripped a triggering string, which was stretched from the bomb across the porch, then fastened to a tree.

The explosion tore a hole in the yard, and fragments of the bomb ripped through the top and side of a car.

The case was never solved. Luethje died in 1985.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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