Bomber's Away

Just over a decade after he conspired to build a bomb that was apparently intended to kill his father but instead killed one Boston police officer and maimed another, Thomas A. Shay is about to be freed from prison — and plans to return to Boston.

The bomb was planted under Thomas L. Shay's Buick in Roslindale in 1991, allegedly to kill him so the younger Shay could then claim the insurance money. When it fell off in the driveway, bomb-squad officers Jeremiah Hurley and Francis Foley were called in and were examining the device when it detonated, killing Hurley and taking Foley's left eye and injuring his legs and right arm.

Shay, now 30, was sentenced to 15 years and has been serving time at Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institution in upstate New York. But in a retrial, he received a 12-year term, which ends September 1. His former lawyer, Jefferson Boone, says Shay must return to Boston to fulfill the terms of his probation.

“At the time [of the trial] you think that it's years away,” says Hurley's widow, Cynthia, who is also now president of Massachusetts Concerns of Police Survivors. “Definitely he didn't get what he deserved, but September 1 is coming whether you like it or not.”

“I wish he had gotten more time,” acknowledges Foley, who is now retired. “But I'm not going to sit around and worry because of him.”

Alfred Trenkler, 46, who actually built the bomb, is serving life in prison.