Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, was a boy genius who attended Yale University and became a professor at UC Berkeley.
He suffered a breakdown and developed a schizoid personality disorder, living in isolation in a primitive cabin in Montana where he developed his own anti-technology and anti-government philosophy and his violent, anarchistic theories. He was captured in 1995, pleaded guilty to the acts of homeland terrorism and was sentenced to eight life terms without parole.
What does Unabomber mean? The word 'Unabomber' derived from the title UNABOM (from "UNiversity & Airline BOMber") that the FBI used to refer to the case. The code word 'Unabomber' was coined by the media to describe the unknown anarchist and murderer.
What did the Unabomber do? The Unabomber committed sixteen mail bomb attacks on universities and airlines during his reign of terror that resulted in three fatalities
How long was the Unabomber at large? The elusive figure known at the Unabomber operated for nearly 18 years (1978 to 1995) before he was captured.
The Unabomber Sketch: The Unabomber sketch was drawn by Forensic artist Jeanne Boylan from the description made by a woman in Utah who had caught a fleeting glimpse of the Unabomer in 1987.
Who was the Unabomber? The identity of the American anarchist known as the Unabomber was Ted Kaczynski, a Harvard graduate who became a UC Berkeley professor with a PhD in mathematics.
Facts about The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynsk
For nearly eighteen years, 1978 to 1995, from the identity of the terrorist known as the Unabomber was unknown. During this time the Unabomber mailed, or hand-delivered, a series of increasingly sophisticated bombs that killed three people and injured 23 more.
His targets were people working on technical advancements who were affiliated with universities and airlines.
Before the true identity of the Unabomber was known, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) used the title "UNABOM" (UNiversity & Airline BOMber) to refer to his case, which resulted in the media calling him the Unabomber.
After nearly an eighteen year reign of terror the Unabomber was arrested on April 3, 1996. His his identity was revealed as that of Ted Kaczynski (born May 22, 1942), a former UC Berkeley professor who had been living a survivalist lifestyle as a recluse in a one-room cabin in Lincoln, Montana since 1971.
Ted Kaczynski was born in Chicago, Illinois to a Polish American couple, Wanda and Theodore Kaczynski. He had a younger brother called David Kaczynski who was born October 3, 1949.
Ted Kaczynski, pushed by his parents to achieve academic success, became a child prodigy, a boy genius. At the age of 16, in 1958, he entered Harvard University where he studied mathematics.
Ted Kaczynski graduated from Harvard in 1962 and went on to gain a PhD in math at the University of Michigan. In 1967 began to teach at the University of California, Berkeley but suffered an emotional breakdown and abruptly resigned just two years later.
The behavior of Ted Kaczynski has been described as displaying a "solitary,'' or loner style that developed into a schizoid personality disorder. His personality described as unsociable, suspicious, arrogant, guarded, apprehensive, argumentative and uncompromising. He always saw the worst in others, never trusted anyone and firmly believed that he was always right.
In 1971 Ted Kaczynski adopted a solitary lifestyle, living in a small, primitive cabin in Lincoln, Montana. He spent his time hunting and reading and began to develop his own anti-technology and anti-government philosophy.
In 1978 he returned to civilization for four months, working in a foam-cutting factory with his brother David, a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University. Ted Kaczynski was fired from the after allegedly harassing co-worker with whom he had a brief, unsuccessful relationship.
Feeling inadequate and rejected Ted Kaczynski returned to his solitary lifestyle in Lincoln, Montana. The first Unabomber bombing, occurred on May 26, 1978.
May 26, 1978: The bomb was first sent to the University of Illinois at Chicago but was returned to an address at Northwestern University in Evanston. The mail bomb detonated when Northwestern campus police officer Terry Marker opened it, suffering minor injuries.
May 9, 1979: A pipe bomb was placed in a room at Northwestern University. A Northwestern graduate student, John Harris, picked up the bomb, and it exploded inflicting minor cuts and burns.
At this stage there was no apparent connections between the bombings which were treated as separate cases and not the work of a single bomber.
November 15, 1979: A bomb, disguised as a parcel mailed from Chicago, caught fire in a mailbag aboard a Boeing 727 on American Airlines Flight 444, Chicago to Washington, D.C. Twelve passengers were treated for smoke inhalation. The fire forced an emergency landing at Dulles Airport, near Washington.
In late 1979, an FBI-led task force that included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and U.S. Postal Inspection Service was formed to investigate the “UNABOM” case.
June 10, 1980: United Airlines President, Percy A. Wood, suffered cuts and burns after detonating a bomb in package, disguised as a book, at Lake Forest, Illinois. A week before the incident Percy Wood had received a letter, signed "Enoch W. Fisher" informing him that he would soon be receiving a book of social significance. The initials "FC" were found etched on a piece of pipe from the bomb.
Similarities between the first four bombs showed that a homemade "initiator" was used in each device, that the soldering work was clumsily-done and that all of the wood used in the devices was of low quality.
October 8, 1981: A student and maintenance worker found a pipe bomb in a university computer mainframe room at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City. The device was defused and no one was injured. The bomb also contained another reference to "FC".
May 5, 1982: A parcel addressed to Professor Patrick Fischer, the head of the computer science department at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee exploded, injuring his secretary, Janet Smith.
July 2, 1982: Engineering Professor, Diogenes J. Angelako, picked up what he believed was a can, left in a common room in the computer science building at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Angelakos was seriously injured by the pipe-bomb explosion. The bomb was marked "FC".
The mail bombs were becoming more powerful and sophisticated with each attack and the FBI investigators were beginning to build a profile of the serial 'Unabomber'. The components used in the devices were all hand made and it was therefore impossible to trace their source. A period of nearly three years elapsed before the next 'Unabomber' mail bomb attack in 1985.
May 15, 1985: A graduate student, John E. Hauser, picked up a package in the computer science lab at the University of California, Berkeley. John E. Hauser triggered an explosion that caused him to lose four fingers from his right hand. The device was more sophisticated than the previous devices. The Unabomber used metal caps on the pipe bomb, as opposed to the less destructive wooden caps used in previous devices.
June 13, 1985: A suspicious package mailed to Boeing Aircraft Company, Auburn, Washington was opened but did not explode and was safely disarmed.
November 15, 1985: Research assistant Nicklaus Suino suffered burns and shrapnel wounds when he opened a package bomb at the home of professor James V. McConnell a biologist and animal psychologist, at Ann Arbor, Michigan. The professor suffered a hearing loss as a result of the bomb explosion.
December 11, 1985: The Unabomber claimed his first fatality. Hugh C. Scrutton was killed when he tried to remove what looked to be a road hazard, but was actually a bomb, in the car park behind his computer rental shop in Sacramento, California.
February 20, 1987: Gary Wright the owner of CAAMS Inc, Salt Lake City, Utah spotted the device in his parking place at the rear entrance of his computer shop. Gary Wright got out of his car and kicked the device which exploded, severing a nerve in his arm.
A secretary witnessed the February 20. She saw a man with a hooded sweatshirt and aviator sunglasses leave the bag at the CAAMS Inc. car park. A sketch of the Unabomber was drawn by Forensic artist Jeanne Boylan from the description of the eyewitness.
The description and sketch of the Unabomber was put into circulation and the Unabomber, knowing he had been seen at CAAMS Inc., took a six year break from his deadly activities. Investigations into the identity of the bomber grew cold until 1993 when he started again.
June 22, 1993: A mail bomb injured Dr. Charles Epstein, a geneticist at the University of California, when he opened a package mailed to his home in Tiburon, California.
June 24, 1993: Two days later, Professor David Gelerntner, a computer scientist at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut received a similar package at his office. He was injured and disfigured in the explosion when he opened the mail package.
Both of the packages had been mailed on June 18, 1993 from Sacramento, California. The Unabomber had advanced his bomb building process and had produced more compact and lethal bombs than he had produced in the 1970's and 1980's.
December 10, 1994: The Unabomber claimed his second fatality. Advertising executive Thomas Mosser was killed in a bomb explosion when he opened a package posted to his home in North Caldwell, New Jersey.
The Unabomber later claimed that Thomas Mosser was targeted for his public relations firm's work for Exxon Corp., the company whose tanker caused the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
April 24, 1995: The Unabomber claimed his third and final fatality. Gilbert B. Murray, the president of the California Forestry Association, was killed when a parcel bomb exploded at the Association's office in Sacramento, California. The mail bomb had been addressed to Mr. Murray's predecessor, William Dennison.
On June 28, 1995 the New York Times and the Washington Post received letters from a person, claiming to be from an anarchist group called Freedom Club "FC." The letters were mailed from Sacramento just before the explosions that injured Dr. Charles Epstein and David Gelernter. The letters included a code number to ensure that any future communication from the FC group could be verified as genuine.
The letters promised to stop the mail bomb attacks and killings if a national newspaper would publish the FC manuscript against industrial society, "Industrial Society and Its Future" which became known as the "Unabomber Manifesto",
On September 19, 1995 the Washington Post and the New York Times published the 35,000-word manifesto as an eight-page supplement, which derided the corrupt industrial-technological society, raging that the industrial revolution has been a “disaster for the human race” and called for a "revolution against technology".
In the "Unabomber Manifesto" the following phrase was included:
"As for the negative consequences of eliminating industrial society - well, you can’t eat your cake and have it too
The publication of the "Unabomber Manifesto" led to the downfall of the Unabomber and the discovery of his true identity as Ted Kaczynski.
David Kaczynski saw the "Unabomber Manifesto" in his morning paper and recognized the writing style and phrasing. The Unabomber had made the "correct" use of the idiomatic phrase "You can't eat your cake and have it, too," instead of the usual form, which is "You can't have your cake and eat it, too."
The correct phrasing of "You can't eat your cake and have it, too" was a family habit picked up from their mother and this, together with his bizarre lifestyle and extreme views, convinced David that the Unabomber was his brother Ted Kaczynski.
David Kaczynski reluctantly informed the FBI of his suspicions and provided old family letters demonstrating Ted Kaczynski’s writing style. The FBI passed the information to their Behavioral Analysis Unit and forensic linguistics experts to compare the "Unabomber Manifesto" to other pieces of writing Ted Kaczynski had given to his family.
This FBI information convinced a judge to submit a search warrant. On April 3, 1996, Ted Kaczynski was arrested by the FBI at his cabin deep in the woods of Lincoln, Montana. His cabin contained one completed bomb, bomb parts, and about 40,000 pages of his journals and diaries, in which he described his crimes in detail.
In January 1998, Ted Kaczynski attempted suicide as he prepared to go on trial. He refused to allow his lawyers to use any type of insanity defense and pleaded guilty to 13 bomb related charges.
Ted Kaczynski was found guilty and sentenced to eight life sentences without the possibility of parole.
For a time Ted Kaczynski shared a cell block that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row" with Ramzi Yousef, the 1993 World Trade Center bomber and Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols the Oklahoma City Bombers.
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