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Peggy Ann Bradnick (born 1949) was 17 years old when she was kidnapped by ex-convict and ex-mental patient, William Diller Hollenbaugh a.k.a. "The Mountain Man", "The Bicycle Man", and "Bicycle Pete," near Shade Gap, Pennsylvaniamarker in May 1966. She was held captive by him for seven days, before being rescued by state troopers and other lawmen at a farm in Burnt Cabins, PA. Her ordeal made national headlines.

Prelude

Peggy Ann was the oldest of 6 siblings. At the time she was kidnapped, she had a brother Jim, 16; a sister, Mary Louise, 11; twin brother and sister, Donnie and Debbie, 9; and a sister, Carol Jean, 8. Her parents were Eugene and Mildred Bradnick.

They lived in Shade Gap, Pennsylvania; a small villiage in Huntingdon County. Peggy Ann attended Southern Huntingdon County High School.

Kidnapping

On Wednesday, May 11, 1966, as Peggy Ann was walking home from her school bus stop with her 5 siblings, they were intercepted by a man wearing goggles that looked like a mask and carrying a shotgun. He grabbed Peggy Ann and dragged her into the woods.

Leaving Mary Louise to tend to the younger kids, Jim Bradnick ran home and told his father, who was home frying chicken for dinner, while their mother was on a housecleaning job. Eugene Bradnick ran to try to find Peggy Ann; when he could not, he went into town to notify the police.

Stopping in a clearing in the woods, the Mountain Man took off his goggles and stowed them in a haversack he was carrying. He then took out a cheek-filler made from two wooden discs wired together. Peggy Ann was so startled she blurted out, "I think I know who you are," and identified him as the Bicycle Man. The Mountain Man then removed a second jacket and second pair of pants he had on and ordered Peggy Ann to wear them over her dress, saying, "That red dress sticks out like a sore thumb."

He took Peggy Ann under the Pennsylvania Turnpike through a culvert and was out of the search area. But then he was worried about his dogs, so he took her back north of the turnpike. He fetched a chain, chained her to a tree, and attempted to get his dogs but was not successful at that time. He took Peggy Ann to a cave that he had dug into the mountain, got a couple of cans of food and shared them with her. A couple of days later, he was able to fetch his dogs.

On Monday, May 16, he forced Peggy Ann to accompany him as he burglarized a house. He found a .32 automatic in the house and became really excited.

On Tuesday, May 17, FBI agent Terry Ray Anderson spotted one of the Mountain Man's dogs and called to it. The Mountain Man (William Diller Hollenbaugh) opened fire, killing Anderson. He then shot two tracking dogs, killing one. Some of the other searchers spotted Peggy Ann so they knew she was still alive. They disappeared into the forest before the searchers could reach them.

That evening, after being unable to escape the search area by going under a bridge near Fort Littleton, the Mountain Man came to a hunting lodge with a car parked there, in Burnt Cabins. The lodge had an outside washhouse. The Mountain Man had Peggy Ann hide with him in the shower of the washhouse. Shortly after dawn, Cambria County Deputy Sheriff Francis Sharpe came out to use the washhouse. The Mountain Man shot and wounded Sharpe. He then forced Sharpe to drive him and Peggy Ann toward the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The car was stopped by a closed cattle gate. Rain had been falling that morning, sometimes heavily. The Mountain Man ordered Sharpe to open the gate. Sharpe called out to officers near the gate that the Mountain Man was in the car. The Mountain Man began firing and the final gun battle began. Perhaps due to the rain reduced visibility, the Mountain Man was able to take Peggy Ann down to US 522 and a farm owned by Luther Rubeck.

Hunt

A massive manhunt (the largest conducted in Pennsylvania up to that time) of over one thousand federal, state and local law officers, National Guardsmen, and civilian volunteers scoured the hills surrounding Shade Gap for any sign of Peggy Annand her abductor.

Rescue

At the Rubeck farm, searchers converged on the Mountain Man and Peggy Ann. Police officers and 15 year old Larry Rubeck fired at the Mountain Man. Shot in the neck, Hollenbaugh fell dead. Peggy Ann ran toward a couple of the searchers; her ordeal was over.

At first it was thought that Larry Rubeck had killed the Mountain Man. That was reported in newspapers published that afternoon, Wednesday, May 18, 1966, and the following morning. Later it was determined that State Trooper, Grant H. Mixell, fired the fatal shot.

Peggy Ann was taken to the Fulton County Medical Center and reunited with her family. She had no serious injuries. She had not been sexually assaulted. Her feet were badly blistered and she was dehydrated. She gave an interview with the media a couple of days later. She left the Medical Center on Wednesday, June 1.

Aftermath

The incident was detailed in the true crime book Deadly Pursuit by Robert V. Cox. ISBN 0811704815

Peggy Ann Bradnick told her story to the Saturday Evening Post which published it in their July 16, 1966 edition.

On Holy Thursday, March 23, 1967, Peggy Ann was married to Darrell Logan. They lived in Lewistown, PA. They had a daughter, Alicia. They moved to Indiana shortly thereafter. Darrell Logan died in 1980. Peggy Ann was later remarried to Albert Jackson in 1984. They moved back to Pennsylvania in 1990 and are now living in southern Huntingdon County. Both of Peggy Ann's parents have died: Her father on Wednesday, December 23, 1987; her mother on Friday, March 19, 2004. Her daughter, now Alicia Stiltner, had a son, Peggy Ann's grandson. His name is Brian and he is in the United States Army. On Thursday, October 16, 2008, Peggy Ann Bradnick Jackson made her first major public appearance at the Fulton County Historical Society's Fulton Fall Folk Festival.

Media coverage

  • Simpson, Adrian "Peggy to Describe 7 Days As Captive" and "The Sniper Tried The Door--And Then Bullets Flew.." Hagerstown Morning Herald, 19 May 1966
  • [531809]


An NBC movie of the week, titled "Cry in the Wild: The Taking of Peggy Ann," was produced about the kidnapping and first shown on Monday, May 6, 1991[531810], with Megan Follows playing the part of Peggy Ann Bradnick, David Morse as Hollenbaugh aka "the Mountain Man," and "Bicycle Pete.", David Soul as Agent Anderson, and Taylor Fry as Carol Jean Bradnick.

External links

YouTube "Eight Days at Sha-de Gap" Russ Edwards (1967)


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