ON THIS DATE in 1966, fifteen-year-old Larry Rubeck was credited with shooting a kidnapper named William Diller Hollenbaugh, known as Bicycle Pete, after a week-long manhunt in Pennsylvania. Hollenbaugh had kidnapped seventeen-year-old Peggy Ann Bradnick, sparking a chase that involved the National Guard as well as the police and the FBI.
After nearly a week of pursuit, 800 men had closed in on the kidnapper and his victim. According to one account, Hollenbaugh had dragged the young woman onto the porch of a farmhouse when Rubeck fired his shotgun, dropping the kidnapper with one shot. “I’m a hunter,” Rubeck told reporters. “I’ve killed animals, but I just don’t know how I feel about this.”
Bradnick had not been sexually assaulted and was physically unharmed. Hollenbaugh had previously spent 13 years in a state hospital for the criminally insane. Newspaper reports initially credited Rubeck with the shooting, but later it was said that a state trooper fired the fatal shot.