Ted Kaczynski murdered three people and injured 23 in 16 explosions with mail bombs, evading police for nearly 20 years. He was convicted in 1998 and sent to prison without the possibility of parole.
He was held at Federal Medical Center Butner, the North Carolina federal prison. He killed himself, sources say.
Wall Street Journal
Kaczynski, once a gifted mathematician who attended Harvard as a young man, became one of America’s most wanted domestic terrorists. He lived apart from society in a cabin in the woods of Montana, where he developed his own extreme views about the perceived ills of the industrialized world.
From 1978 until 1995, he targeted academics, scientists, lobbyists, and people in the tech industry who, in his mind, were helping the industrial-scientific complex deprive individual citizens of their freedom. His bomb attacks killed three people and injured 23 more.
Raised in a working-class suburb of Evergreen Park, Ill., Kaczynski was a child prodigy. He went to Harvard at 16 to study mathematics and philosophy. He graduated at the top of his class before moving on to the University of Michigan, where he earned his Ph.D.
By 25, he was an assistant mathematics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, according to a memoir published in 2016 by his younger brother, David Kaczynski.
In 1969, Ted Kaczynski opted to leave Berkeley and soon after cut all ties with his parents. His younger brother gave him money to buy some land in Montana in 1971, where Kaczynski built a primitive cabin and, as far as his family knew, lived without any companions or employment. In 1990, his father, diagnosed with a terminal cancer, died by suicide.
In 1995, the Unabomber wrote to the NY Times and offered to stop sending mail bombs if they posted his manifesto. They did, along with The Washington Post. His brother David, a social worker, recognized his brother’s voice and began communicating with the Federal police, with his wife’s encouragement. Others who knew the professor also helped. Ted was arrested months later, in April 1996.
He was probably crazy, but he knew what he was doing.
In an archival interview with WAMC’s President Emeritus Alan Chartock, David Kaczynski remembered realizing that his brother wrote the manifesto.
“I recall waking up some mornings and thinking that I knew, one way or the other. I mean, one morning, I would wake up and say to myself, ‘You know, this can’t be, you know, there are 280 million people in our country; what are the chances that Ted could be the guilty party here? Very small. I’m projecting my fears. I’ve been worried about my brother.’ Another morning, I would wake up and say, ‘David, the truth is staring you in the face, and you’re in denial about it; it must be him. Who else could it be?’ And typically, I would wake up, in those first few seconds of awakening, thinking, ‘Man, that was a bad, bad dream,’ only to realize a few moments later that it was no dream.”
You can listen to the entire interview here.