Table of Contents
Early and school life
Theodore (Ted) John Kaczynski alias the Unibomber is an American who is a genius in mathematics, a social critic, and a bomber. He was also known as the Unabomber and was born in 1942 in Chicago, Illinois. His parents are Polish Americans named Theodore Richard Kaczynski and Wanda Dombek. He attended elementary school in Chicago, and junior high at Elementary park central school. He skipped sixth grade due to his bright nature continued to excel at Evergreen Park community High School where he had an obsession for mathematics. He skipped eleventh grade and completed school at age 15 and at age 16 (1958), he was admitted to study in Harvard University where he continued to excel in mathematic, but later was subjected to a psychological test by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which was stressful. Moreover, he was anti social in his childhood.
After graduating in 1962, he furthered his studies at University of Michigan where he got a PhD in mathematics after specializing in a geometric function theory. He began lecturing universities in 1967 where he became an assistant professor of mathematics at University of California and was the youngest professor to teach at the university. He became incompetent due to his anti social nature and students complained a lot whereby he ended up resigning at 26 years of age in 1969.
Ted went to live with his parents in Lombard Illinois in 1971 and after two years went to Lincoln, Montana where he lived remotely. He continued to receive money from his family which he invested in land and funded his bombings. He aimed at living in seclusion and autonomously. Because of industrialization and developments he was not able to live the life he wanted and thus he started performing acts of eco-tage or sabotage.
His first mail bombing was found at Northwestern University and was directed to Professor Buckley Crist in 1978. This was a return package and on the opening of the package it blew off. No links of the bomb were made to Kaczynski during this bombing. The bomb was manufactured by a metal and smokeless powder. Later in the same year, he sent another bomb to an airline. In 1979 he set up another bomb in the American Airlines flight 444 which made the pilot to make an emergency landing and some travelers were treated for inhaling the smoke. This made the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) start the investigation.
This was the start of the name Unibomber since he targeted universities and airlines. Initially, the suspect was referred to as the Junkyard Bomber due to the material used in the manufacture of the mail bombs. John Douglas, the chief agent in 1980 working and other FBI agents in the Behavioral Sciences Unit gave a psychological profile of the Unibomber which describes him as man of intelligence and connected to academics.
It was refined later to include a neo-Luddite with a degree in hard sciences, which was discarded in 1993 to give way to those using physical evidence recovered at the bomb fragments. He was described as a blue-collar airplane mechanic. A reward of $1 million was set for any information leading to the arrest with a hotline number being 1-800-701. The UNABOM Task Force was set up to collect information available (Blumenthal & Kleinfield, 1994).
He was responsible for sixteen bombs at different universities and airplanes at different dates and time. The bombs occurred on “May 25th 1978, May 9 1979, November 15th 1979, 10th June 1980, 8th October 1981, 5th May 1982, 2nd July 1982, 15th May 1985, 13th June 1985, 15th November 1985, 11th December 1985, 20th February 1987, 22nd June 1993, 24th June 1993, 10th December 1994, and 24th April 1995” (Shogren, 1993).
The most fatal bombing was that on December 11, 1985 which was directed to Gary Wright computer stores owner in Sacramento, California. The second fatal was that in December 10, 1994 directed to Thomas Mosser, advertising executive in North Caldwell, New Jersey. The third fatality was directed to Gilbert Murray, a timber industry lobbyist in Sacramento California.
In 1995 he sent a letter to the New York Times claiming to be targeting scientists and engineers, particularly those who had and used computers and genetics technology. He also sent mails to many people including his former victims in which he clearly stated his goals and demanded that a paper of 35,000 referred to as the “Industrial Society and Its Future” (which later came to be known as the "Unibomber Manifesto") printed verbatim by a renowned newspaper or journal. He declared to continue with the attacks until it was printed.
His manifesto explained his actions as a fight against industrialization and the evils that it brings. It had many chapters which included; the psychology of modern leftism, feelings of inferiority, over-socialization, the power process, surrogate activities, autonomy, sources of social problems, disruption of the power process in modern society, how some people adjust, the motives of scientists, the nature of freedom, industrial technological society cannot be reformed, restriction of freedom is unavoidable in industrial society, the bad parts of technology cannot be separated from the good parts, revolution is easier than reform, human race at crossroads, human suffering strategy, two kinds of technology, and the dangers of leftism among others.
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His arrest and sentence
Theodore was arrested on 3rd April 1996 in Lincoln Montana where he was unkempt and had a live bomb and an original manuscript of the Unibomber manifesto. This operation was documented as the most expensive search for the FBI. His lawyers have tried to state that Ted was insane (mentally unsound) but he rejected the plea and he was found mentally sound to stand trial. Ted pleaded guilty to 13 federal bombings offenses on January 22, 1998 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He is serving his life imprisonment and cannot be allowed parole as prisoner number 04475-046. He is in ADX Florence, a federal maximum administrative maximum prison in Colorado, where he is not afraid of loosing his mind. He has been involved in writing.