The threatening letters arrived throughout 2006 and 2007 at two of Beacon Hill's most popular restaurants. They came with photos of gun-toting men and taunting messages for the owner of both eateries, a successful businesswoman who was born in Iran, came to the United States decades ago, and is an American citizen.
A photograph of an Israeli soldier brandishing a machine gun was tucked inside one letter, while another contained an image of actor Dustin Hoffman, lifted from the 1976 movie thriller "Marathon Man," pointing a gun directly at the viewer.
"See you at the Taj!" the writer taunted in a letter sent last June, two days before the owner was to present food from her two eateries at Taste of Beacon Hill, a local restaurant fair hosted by the Taj Boston Hotel.
After months of investigation, the FBI announced yesterday that agents had arrested 65-year-old real estate broker Earl F. McBride Jr., who lives in a Bowdoin Street boarding house just a few blocks from the restaurants.