FBI Interview of Susan Mosser
FD-302 (Rev. 3-10-82)
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Date of transcription 3/23/95
Investigation on 1/31 and 2/1/95 in North Caldwell, NJ
by SA KATHLEEN M. PUCKETT & PI TONY MULJAT
Date dictated 3/23/95
SUSAN REILLY MOSSER was interviewed on January 31 and February 1, 1995, at her residence in North Caldwell, New Jersey, and provided the following information:
SUSAN was the second wife of THOMAS JOSEPH MOSSER, and was married to him at the time of his death on December 10, 1994, from injuries sustained after detonation of an explosive device which had been mailed to his home, apparently by the UNABOM subject. She provided the following information concerning her husband, with whom she had lived continuously since their marriage on November 10, 1980:
MOSSER, born in New Jersey on 2/9/44, graduated from Seaton Hall Preparatory School (high school) in South Orange, New Jersey, and from St. Bonaventure's in upstate New York in 1964 with a degree in Journalism. His father, THOMAS FRANKLIN MOSSER, was a milkman, and his mother, ANNETTE WINNIFRED PASCAL MOSSER, worked in the administrative office of Runnel's Hospital in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Both parents are now deceased. The family home was 10 Cedar Terrace, Scotch Plains, New Jersey. MOSSER was the oldest of four siblings: MALLORY BUTLER (Nee MOSSER), DAVID and JAMES KEVIN MOSSER. MALLORY, a volunteer librarian, is married to a carpenter and lives in Martha's Vineyard, Mass; DAVID is a scientist and a Professor at Temple University in Pennsylvania, specializing in disease research. KEVIN is a telephone company repairman who has lived in Florida for approximately 15 years, and is known there as "JIM."
MOSSER worked odd jobs at delicatessens and floral shops during his college years. He worked as a summer camp counselor for several seasons. He was on the school newspaper staff and in the Drama Club, and received several Student Senate awards. He was listed in Who's Who Among College Students, American Universities and Colleges, 1964-65. MOSSER expressed a continuing interest in St Bonaventure's for the rest of his life, and hired several graduates of the college at Burson Marstellar (BM) after he had become successful there. One of these was JOAN LICURSAI (unsure of spelling), who is still a BM employee. His best friend and roomate at St Bonaventure's was HOWARD MULHOLLAND, whose father financed part of MOSSER's education. SUSAN advised that a Catholic Priest from the Franciscan Order, Father JAMES O'DONNELL, represented St. Bonaventure's at MOSSER'S funeral, and embarrassed the family by interjecting the college and its financial needs into the service in a manner which she considered inappropriate, since O'DONNELL did not appear to have been at all acquainted with MOSSER personally.
To the best of SUSAN's knowledge, MOSSER never attended graduate school, or obtained any advanced degrees.
MOSSER served in the U.S. Navy for approximately four years, and was honorably discharged in December, 1971 as a Lieutenant, Junior Grade. His service number was 1655, 699800. He served as an Admiral's Aide, and also as Publicity Officer on a ship in Vietnam. SUSAN was not aware that MOSSER had any significant differences or difficulties with anyone during this period, and he did receive several military service awards which are in SUSAN's possession. MOSSER's military records reflect that he was considered to have great potential for a career as a military officer.
During his military service MOSSER met a fellow Naval officer named BRUCE YARBOROUGH, who is currently a Special Agent assigned to the Las Vegas office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). YARBOROUGH contacted SUSAN shortly after MOSSER'S death to express his sympathy, and has sent a letter, a videotape and photos of himself and MOSSER when they were in the Navy. SUSAN last spoke to YARBOROUGH by telephone prior to Christmas, 1994; he did not attend MOSSER's funeral.
During his college years in upstate New York, MOSSER met SHARON BRENNAN (now SHARON BIRNBAUM, residing in Randolph, New Jersey), whom he married on 3/19/70, prior to his discharge from the Navy. They separated in December, 1977, and divorced on 10/20/80. SHARON retained custody of their two children, ABIGAIL KATHERINE MOSSER ("ABBY"), born 3/24/73, and THOMAS FRANKLIN MOSSER, II ("TIMMY"), born 5/30/75. MOSSER continued contact with and support of his older children, who are currently both in college: ABBY at Ryder University in Lawrenceville, NJ, and TIMMY at the University of Maryland Business School, College Park, Maryland.
In 1991, ABBY had a boyfriend she began dating in high school named RICH HAYES who was convicted and served one year in jail for burglary in Morris County, NJ. ABBY, who drove HAYES to the house which HAYES burglarized, was found to be an accessory to the crime, and sentenced to community service. SUSAN noted that paperwork on the legal process which ensued, and which MOSSER took part in by securing an attorney on ABBY's behalf, is included among the papers of MOSSER's she has at the residence. SUSAN described HAYES as "a thorn in TOM's side" for some years; she said he had finished high school while in jail for the burglary, and had been involved with drugs for some time. She believed he was diagnosed as autistic, and remembered that he had set fire to his locker in high school. SUSAN described HAYES as slightly built, with reddish blond hair, and as having several noticeable tattoos. The last she knew, ABBY had stopped dating HAYES in Fall, 1994. ABBY told SUSAN after MOSSER's death that HAYES wanted to attend the funeral, but that she (ABBY) had dissuaded him.
SUSAN and MOSSER met in early 1977, shortly after SUSAN joined the subsidiary of Burson Marstellar where MOSSER worked. She began as an office employee and became MOSSER's secretary; shortly thereafter she was promoted to "Account Secretary." MOSSER and his wife had separated, and SUSAN was unhappily married to PETER M. FEDYCK when she met MOSSER. She left her husband in 1978 and began a relationship with MOSSER, who was legally separated from SHARON. SUSAN filed for separation in June, 1979, and was divorced from FEDYCK, with whom she had no children, on 12/11/79. SUSAN and MOSSER were married on 11/10/80. They had two children, KIMBERLY ANNETTE MOSSER, born 3/23/81, and KELLY CECILIA MOSSER, born 8/13/93. SUSAN noted that she was not given a middle name by her parents, and said she sometimes used her confirmation name, "Bernadette," or the initial "B" as a middle name until she was married for the first time. She now uses her maiden name, REILLY, as a middle name.
Prior to the marriage, and after her relationship with MOSSER became serious, SUSAN left the firm and got a job with a smaller public relations agency. Within two years she became Vice President there, but left in January, 1981, before the birth of her daughter, KIMBERLY. She believes that this firm is now called "SCATCHI & SCATCHI."
SUSAN characterized MOSSER as having always been "a leader type." She referred the interviewing agents to Burson Marstellar (BM) and Young and Rubicam (Y & R) records concerning the exact dates of his employment with them, but noted that MOSSER was featured as a "leading light" in the Public Relations Industry for years. She described his position at BM and, later, at Y & R as "Keeper of the Brand," defining that as meaning that the company looked to MOSSER to publicly represent them in their best light. MOSSER was frequently featured on local (New York/New Jersey) television programming as a spokesman for the company, and was listed under the "People to Watch" column in a 1986 issue of FORTUNE magazine due to his achievements with BM. The persons who would know specifically about the schedules he kept concerning meetings and travel were his secretaries: CLAIRE ZAMMIT, now GIAMUSSO; HANNAH GERKE; MYRNA RODINI; NANCY CARTER AND KAREN SCIVOLI.
Although he traveled very frequently on business, MOSSER was very fearful of flying. For years he drank heavily before he got on a plane, and for four or five years he took the prescription anti-anxiety medication (anxiolytic) "Ativan" (Lorazepam), prior to air travel. SUSAN characterized MOSSER as "crabby for days" before a plane trip, and remembered that on one occasion, the date and location of which she was unable to recall, MOSSER yelled loudly at an airline representative at a ticket counter during a segment of a family vacation trip, calling considerable attention to himself. This fear of flying was so debilitating for MOSSER that sometime during the mid-1980s JIM DOWLING, a BM associate, got the company to pay for MOSSER's attendance at a class run by an airline company which was entitled something like ""How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying." The class was given over a period of several days, and SUSAN thought she remembered that it had been presented by American Airlines. She noted again that one of MOSSER's former secretaries might remember more of the specifics concerning this, and believed it would also be accounted for in the BM financial records.
SUSAN has kept no records of family trips, although she believes the above-named secretaries may have recorded MOSSER's travels on his business calendars. She traveled with MOSSER to San Francisco on two occasions that she could remember: once during the 1984 Olympics, and once during part of one of his business trips, at which time they had dinner at Julius' Castle, overlooking the city. She also joined MOSSER during a business trip he made to Chicago in the summer of 1994, and she and the children traveled to Florida on October 4, 1994, where MOSSER was playing in the Disney Golf Tournament.
SUSAN characterized the travel histories of other members of MOSSER's family as unremarkable except for that of SUSAN'S brother, WILLIAM J. REILLY ("BILL"), who is a high school teacher in Great Neck, New York. REILLY is one of a group of high school teachers who are sponsored by Reader's Digest magazine in presenting a week of instruction to teachers at various locations around the U.S. on methods of teaching Social Studies and History. REILLY is married to JEANNE SEAGRAVES; their daughter ELLEN will graduate from Harvard University in 1995, and their son MARK graduated from Cornell approximately four years ago. REILLY'S phone numbers are: work: (516) 773- 1519; home: (516) 466-6329.
MOSSER's brother DAVID, a scientist and professor at Temple University, also travels occasionally, in conjunction with his work in disease research. Destinations for this travel have included London and locations in South America. SUSAN believes that DAVID has also applied for and received grants for his research, and speculated that MOSSER might have "vouched" for his brother concerning such grants by providing letters or some other sort of support. She believes that DAVID'S research has and perhaps still does include experiments with animals, although she could not specify what research was conducted. SUSAN advised that DAVID is often difficult to reach for days at a time, and attributed this to his being "somewhat the absent-minded professor." His phone number, to which an answering machine is linked, is (215) 922-4784.
SUSAN added that at MOSSER'S funeral, she and DAVID discussed their recollection that MOSSER had been talking during 1994 about retiring and becoming a teacher, and had spoken to DAVID about working at a college. SUSAN wondered idly which college he had been thinking of, whereupon DAVID firmly said, "Duke." SUSAN now believes that MOSSER may have selected Duke University for geographic reasons; she had wanted to stay in the New Jersey area, while MOSSER had wanted to live in Florida. North Carolina would, she thought, have been a happy compromise for both of them. In pursuit of this goal, SUSAN believes that MOSSER may have approached Duke University, or other colleges, and may have sent them a copy of his resume.
The only other family travel that SUSAN could recall concerns the family of MOSSER's first wife, SHARON BIRNBAUM, which includes her two children by MOSSER, as well as two with her current husband, LES BIRNBAUM. SHARON'S brother-in-law, FNU BIRNBAUM, is an actor who married the actress SHARI BELAFONTE one or two years ago, and the family has made several trips to the Los Angeles area to visit the couple.
MOSSER's interests outside of work generally revolved around gambling and golf. SUSAN characterized him as an enthusiastic golfer, and said that his memberships in the Glen Ridge Country Club (1983-1994) and the Upper Montclair Country Club (dates unrecalled by SUSAN) were obtained primarily for the golf privileges. He was also a member of the Jupiter Hills Country Club in Florida, since he owned a house there for some time, and his brother KEVIN lives nearby (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida). SUSAN described MOSSER's favorite leisure pastime, however, as gambling. She displayed MOSSER's membership cards for Caesar's Casino (# 410513), and for Trump Casino (#31264), both in Atlantic City, and said that until the birth of their last child, KELLY, he traveled at least twice a year to Las Vegas, Nevada to gamble. SUSAN often accompanied him on these trips, which tapered off due to increased family and business responsibilities.
SUSAN described MOSSER as a perfectionist at work, and as very focused and determined to excell in his field. She said that everyone, including MOSSER himself, viewed his business persona as "perfect," due to his years of training and depth of knowledge. He was not a perfectionist outside of work, however, and had a much more relaxed and lackadasical attitude about life and activities outside of work. He was not exceptionally gregarious, and did not usually seek out others during weekends or after work except when it related to golf. SUSAN said he did not like to be alone, but it often seemed enough for him to know someone was in the house with him while he flipped through the television channels. He only read novels while traveling, and these tended to be thrillers and spy fiction. She attributed much of this type of activity to the fact that his main energies were spent at work, and he spent his spare time in very idle, non-involving pursuits on a day to day basis, except for the time spent golfing or gambling. He had a friend named DARRYL SALERNO who late in 1994 set up a new Gateway computer for him, but he (MOSSER) did not seem very interested in using it for anything beyond playing a computerized Blackjack game. His daughter KIMBERLY often had to show him how to turn the computer on and access the "Windows" application; he had considerable difficulty with and never really learned how to access his office e-mail via his computer modem. He did not have access to the Internet from his home computer, and SUSAN never knew that he was much interested in the computer at all, except as a mildly diverting novelty.
SUSAN noted that DARRYL SALERNO, who had worked for MOSSER at Burson Marstellar, had seemed very depressed and unhappy at the company, and had quit within the past year. He had subsequently gotten involved with the company "Nu-Skin," and had "hounded" MOSSER to become a Nu-Skin distributor. SUSAN advised MOSSER against doing so, and MOSSER eventually told SALERNO he did not want to become involved in Nu-Skin to that extent. SUSAN noted that it was often difficult for MOSSER to say "no" to his friends, and he seemed to have strong loyalties even out of proportion to the nature of the relationship. This often extended to MOSSER's involvement in very risky or even foolish financial ventures on behalf of a friend, or even someone he didn't know who was connected to a friend or family member. For example, a former college friend of MOSSER's brother DAVID wanted to open a "disco" in North Carolina. MOSSER gave this man, whom SUSAN identified as RON HOWARD of (now defunct) "Far East Enterprises," $30,000.00, and even put up his (and SUSAN's) house in Glen Ridge, New Jersey as collateral. When the venture collapsed, MOSSER lost the money and SUSAN complained angrily about his risking their home. She said he seemed unconcerned, as he often did about money, in general. He would often call his brother KEVIN on his car phone and play what SUSAN called "Russian Roulette on the stock market," and in 1986 or 87 he lost $20,000.00 of money SUSAN and her siblings had inherited in the stock market. SUSAN noted that it was "all gambling" to him, and said that he carried large amounts of cash with him rather than relying on credit cards, because he seemed more comfortable with cash and it was "probably more fun." SUSAN said she often showed her exasperation with this attitude, which she considered irresponsible, but MOSSER maintained his habits about money, nevertheless. She said MOSSER's longtime accountant, BURT GOLDSTEIN, would have more specifics on his financial dealings, …
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A Victimology protocol concerning this interview is being completed and will be entered into the UNABOM database, for comparison with protocols on other UNABOM victims. It should be noted that several pages of the protocol were left with SUSAN at her request for her to complete; these pages have not yet been received, but will be made the subject of an addtional FD-302 if necessary, and will be included in the Victimology protocol concerning MOSSER.