Ex-suburban man found guilty of 2006 bombing of Hinsdale train station


A federal jury convicted a man Monday for bombing a Hinsdale train station in 2006.

Thomas J. Zajac, 70, formerly of Oakbrook Terrace and Downers Grove, was convicted of attempting to destroy property with an explosive device, possessing an unregistered destructive device, and willfully making a threat through the mail to kill or injure a person with an explosive device.

Authorities say that on Sept. 1, 2006, Zajac placed a pipe bomb in a trash can at the downtown Hinsdale Metra station around 6:53 a.m. It exploded, frightening commuters. Nobody was injured.

About a month later, Zajac sent an anonymous letter to Hinsdale police, saying the police had “(expletive) with” the wrong person and that the writer had “fired a warning shot” the previous month.

The letter indicated that police actions would “likely eventually lead to the death” of at least one person in Hinsdale. It also said the writer wanted to see whether the department was “bright enough or possess(ed) the character to stop this death.”

At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Zajac felt disrespected when Hinsdale police arrested a relative in 2005.

Zajac faces a sentence of five to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 13.

He is in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

Zajac was convicted in federal court in 2010 of bombing a library in Salt Lake City. Authorities said he did that because he was angry Salt Lake City police had arrested his son in 2004. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison.