On this day in 1966, FBI Agent Terry R. Anderson was shot and killed while searching for a kidnapped teen, Peggy Ann. He was shot in rugged mountain terrain near Shade Gap, Pennsylvania. The victim was rescued and her captor was killed.
The story of Peggy Ann Bradnick’s kidnapping in 1966 is a harrowing tale that unfolded in the rural town of Shade Gap, Pennsylvania. Shade Gap is in Huntingdon County, which is along the North Western Franklin County border. On May 11, 1966, Peggy Ann, who was then just seventeen, was kidnapped while walking home from school with her siblings. The kidnapper was a local eccentric named William Diller Hollenbaugh, more commonly known as “Bicycle Pete.”
William Diller Hollenbaugh, known locally as “Bicycle Pete,” was a strange and often feared figure in the community. Born in 1926, Hollenbaugh had lived in the Shade Gap, Pennsylvania area for most of his life.
He had a troubled history marked by frequent run-ins with the law. As a young man, he had been in and out of prison multiple times for minor offenses like burglary and disorderly conduct. At one point, he spent nearly a decade incarcerated at the Pennsylvania State Penitentiary.
However, it was after his release from prison that Hollenbaugh’s life took a turn toward the more unusual. He became a recluse, living on the fringes of society, and started to develop his wilderness survival skills. He built a primitive shack deep in the woods of Shade Gap and lived there in seclusion.
Abduction and Pursuit
Upon snatching Peggy Ann, Hollenbaugh quickly fled into the deep woods of the surrounding area. He held her captive for seven days in a makeshift camp, navigating the rugged terrain with surprising agility and knowledge. Hollenbaugh was well-versed in wilderness survival and managed to elude the law enforcement agencies that were quickly mobilized to find him.
The search for Peggy Ann was extensive and involved local police, state troopers, and the FBI. The manhunt involved hundreds of law enforcement officers and volunteers. The situation escalated when Hollenbaugh shot and killed an FBI agent, Terry Anderson, who had stumbled upon his hideout during the search.
Despite being hunted, Hollenbaugh managed to move undetected in the vast forest, which greatly hindered law enforcement efforts. They faced significant challenges due to the difficult terrain, his knowledge of the area, and his survival skills. Yet, they remained relentless in their pursuit.
Intense manhunt comes to an end
Finally, on the evening of May 18, 1966, Hollenbaugh was cornered by law enforcement in an abandoned farmhouse near the town of Burnt Cabins. In the ensuing gunfight, Hollenbaugh was fatally shot by State Trooper Grant H. Mixell. Peggy Ann was rescued, ending her week-long nightmare. The ordeal had a profound impact on the small town of Shade Gap and was remembered as one of the most intense manhunts in Pennsylvania history.