the unabomber

A timeline of Ted Kaczynski’s life and crimes:


May 22, 1942: Ted Kaczynski born.

October 3, 1949: David Kaczynski born.

1952: In 5th grade a test determined Ted’s IQ was 167, this let him skip the 6th and 11th grade.

1957: At age 15 Ted graduated high school.

1958: At age 16 Ted started college at Harvard. He entered a multi-year psychological study that is thought to have had a negative impact on him.

1962: He attended University of Michigan for his PhD.

1967-1969: At age 26, he became the youngest Assistant Professor hired by University of California, Berkley.

1973: Ted moved to an isolated cabin in Lincoln, Montana (with no electricity or running water). The development of land nearby that affected his ability to live in complete isolation is thought to have triggered his first plan of “attack,” as this is when he started targeting “societal progress.”

1978-1995: Ted killed 3 people and injured 23 others with his homemade bombs.

Ted Kaczynski Work BenchSeptember 1995: The Unabomber manifesto was printed in The Washington Post and The New York Times. Due to the writing style, David became suspicious that it was his brother (Ted) and went to authorities. David gave the FBI $1 million reward money to the families of victims (minus his expenses from helping with the case).

April 1996: Ted was indicted.

January 7, 1998: Ted attempted to hang himself.

January 22, 1998: He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. He is in the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado (this is also where Robert Hanssen and Terry Nichols are incarcerated).

A Guide to Follow All True Crime Upcoming Projects on TV

(Updated on July 31, 2017)

Manhunt: Unabomber

Format: Scripted limited series.

Summary: This show focuses on the use of a new way of profiling that the FBI used to catch the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, who is played by Paul Bettany. Sam Worthington plays FBI agent Jim Fitzgerald and Jane Lynch plays Attorney General Janet Reno. See the trailer here.

Premieres: August 1 2017, in Discovery Channel.

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Types of Motives for serial Killers

  • Visionary- These serial killers suffer breaks from reality sometimes thinking a god or devil is compelling them to kill .David Berkowitz, “The Son of Sam” Killer is an example of this.
  • Mission Oriented- These killers believe their acts are helping to rid the world of something evil or unwanted. Some see themselves as curing society. A killer example of this would be Ted Kacynski, the unabomber. 
  • Hedonistic- This killer seeks a thrill or a rush from killing. Killing for them is like a drug it sends them on a high they never want to come down from. There are three sub types of hedonistic killers; “comfort”, “thrill” , and “lust”
  • Lust- These are the most common type of serial killers. Killers that are motivated by sex and fulfilling their fantasy. It doesn’t matter if they body is living or not all that matter is that they get to relive their fantasy over and over again. Serial Killer Ted Bundy would be an example of this type of killer.
  • Power/ control- These killers kill in order to feel a sense of power or control they don;t have in their everyday lives. The act of taking someone’s life gives them that control they crave. Ted Bundy is also an example of this as he traveled the United States looking for women to control. 
  • Media-  Media killers are driven by publicity. They thrive on other knowing what they have done and seeing everyone’s reactions to their heinous deeds. They seek attention for their deeds and will continue to kill until that need for attention is fulfilled. The BTK killer is a killer who sought media attention for his crimes. 
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Ted Kaczynski at a family gathering circa 1965

Ted is pictured with his relatives in the family’s Evergreen Park backyard, in his early 20s. In the first picture he can be seen on the left, standing next to his brother Dave - who in later years was responsible for informing the police about Ted, eventually leading to his arrest as The Unabomber. In the second picture he can be seen in the background. The women present in the pictures are his grandmother Helen Kaczynski (left), cousin Kathy Kaczynski (middle) and aunt Josephine Manney (right).

A letter from Theodore Kaczynski to one of his victims, Yale computer science professor David Gelernter.


Dr. Gelernter:

People with advanced degrees aren’t as smart as they think they are. If you’d had any brains you would have realized that there are a lot of people out there who resent bitterly the way techno-nerds like you are changing the world and you wouldn’t have been dumb enough to open an unexpected package from an unknown source.

In the epilog of your book, “Mirror Worlds,” you tried to justify your research by claiming that the developments you describe are inevitable, and that any college person can learn enough about computers to compete in a computer-dominated world. Apparently, people without a college degree don’t count. In any case, being informed about computers won’t enable anyone to prevent invasion of privacy (through computers), genetic engineering (to which computers make an important contribution), environmental degradation through excessive economic growth (computers make an important contribution to economic growth) and so forth.

As for the inevitability argument, if the developments you describe are inevitable, they are not inevitable in the way that old age and bad weather are inevitable. They are inevitable only because techno-nerds like you make them inevitable. If there were no computer scientists there would be no progress in computer science. If you claim you are justified in pursuing your research because the developments involved are inevitable, then you may as well say that theft is inevitable, therefore we shouldn’t blame thieves.

But we do not believe that progress and growth are inevitable.

We’ll have more to say about that later.

FC

P.S. Warren Hoge of the New York Times can confirm that this letter does come from FC.


FBI Profiler Says Linguistic Work Was Pivotal In Capture Of Unabomber

On May 25, 1978, a package exploded at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., injuring a security guard. It was the first of a series of 16 bombings that would occur over the next 17 years, killing three people and injuring many others. The suspect in the case, a shadowy figure who frequently used the U.S. mail to send his homemade explosives, became known as the “Unabomber.”

FBI criminal profiler James R. Fitzgerald began working on the case in July 1995. He remembers the Unabomber as a “criminal mastermind” who went to extraordinary lengths to erase any trace of physical evidence within his explosives.

FBI labs revealed, for instance, that the bomber ripped the skins off batteries to make them untraceable. He also avoided commercial glue and instead made his own epoxy by melting down deer hooves. “And, of course, no fingerprints, no DNA — nothing like that,” Fitzgerald says.

But Fitzgerald and his colleagues did have one important source of evidence: In the 1990s, the Unabomber began sending letters about his crimes to the media and some of his victims. In 1995, he sent a sprawling, 35,000-word “manifesto” to The New York Times and The Washington Post, in which he explained why he believed technology to be evil and how society should disband the technological system and live in agrarian tribes.

Fitzgerald says the Unabomber’s writings were a “pivotal factor” in cracking the case. He and his colleagues used them to help pinpoint the age and geographic origin of their suspect — evidence that helped lead to the April 6, 1996, arrest of Ted Kaczynski, an ideologically-motivated hermit living in a cabin in Montana.

Kaczynski pleaded guilty to the bombings in 1998 and is now serving a life sentence in prison. Fitzgerlad, now retired, is the central character in a new scripted mini-series on The Discovery Channel called Manhunt: Unabomber, starring actors Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany.

Photo: Kaczynski’s manifesto