How the Case Against Ted Kaczynski, the ‘Unabomber,' Unfolded

The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, killed three people and injured 23 others with his homemade bombs.

How the Case Against Ted Kaczynski, the ‘Unabomber,' Unfolded

Three people who are familiar with the situation say that Ted Kaczynski committed suicide at a federal jail in Butner, N.C. on Saturday. He was 81. He was 81.

The key facts about his life and attacks, as well as the manhunt which led to his capture.

Who was Ted Kaczynski?

Theodore J. Kaczynski, a domestic terrorist, was responsible for the deaths of three people in 1978 and 23 other injuries between 1995. He planted or sent homemade bombs to universities and various locations such as people's houses. In 1996, federal authorities arrested Theodore J. Kaczynski. He pleaded guilty two years later to the bombings, and was sentenced for life without parole.

He claimed that his violent campaign aimed to collapse the modern social order.


It was years before Sept. 11 that many Americans were afraid to open mail or board planes.

In 1996, Mr. Kaczynski's life was revealed. Born in Chicago to working class parents in 1942, he studied at Harvard before teaching mathematics at the University of California in Berkeley. In 1971, Mr. Kaczynski built a shack in rural Montana where he lived with no electricity or running water. He also destroyed hunting camps, burned logging equipment, and destroyed mining machinery.

In the remote shack, Mr. Kaczynski also built over a dozen bombs. He devised a plan to terrorize people he believed were advancing technology.

Who were his targets?

During the years-long terror campaign of Mr. Kaczynski, he sent and delivered over a dozen bombs throughout the United States. Investigators found smoldering metal wire, lengths of pipe and explosive chemicals in the shack.

At first, the victims of Mr. Kaczynski appeared to be random: many were academics. A few of the victims were corporate executives. Janet Smith was one of them. She opened the wrong package on May 5, 1982. She spent three week in hospital after suffering lacerations, powder burns and other injuries on her chest and arms.

Diogenes J. Angelakos was in his U.C. laboratory two months later. He picked up a construction tool he thought was misplaced in Berkeley. The pipe bomb exploded and ripped through his hand, sending shrapnel into his face.

David Gelernter was another victim of Mr. Kaczynski in June 1993 when he opened the package he thought contained a doctoral dissertation. He suffered severe injuries, requiring multiple surgeries and eventually losing the use of his hand.

The Manhunt for the Unabomber

The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation in 1979 into the bombings that they called the "UNABOM" case. The acronym was for 'UNiversity and Airline BOMbings'. Over 150 investigators spent many years tracking the victims' lives, recovering bomb parts and searching for forensic clues.

Investigators are confident the Unabomber was raised in Chicago, and lived in Salt Lake City, San Francisco and other areas. However, they have struggled to determine the gender of the bomber.

An anonymous letter was sent in 1995 to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

The letter claimed that the terrorist group FC was responsible for the UNABOM serial bombings and promised to "permanently cease from terrorist activities" if the newspapers agreed to publish the manifesto. It contained more than 29,000.

What was in the Manifesto?

After consulting the F.B.I. in 1995, the newspapers published the entire writing. Federal authorities said that they hoped readers would help them identify the author.

The document condemned industrialization. It said it caused 'widespread mental suffering', and that environmental damage and alienation were so severe that the modern society should be destroyed. The document called for a'revolution against the industrial system'


How was the Unabomber caught?

David Kaczynski approached the authorities shortly after the publication of the letter. David Kaczynski, the brother of Mr. Kaczynski, approached the authorities shortly after the writing was published. He recognized the language used in the letter and thought his brother could be the Unabomber. They arrested Kaczynski at his Montana shack, where they discovered 40,000 pages of handwritten journals that contained information about bomb-making experiments as well as descriptions of his crimes.

In Sacramento, Mr. Kaczynski entered a guilty plea in January 1998 as part of an agreement that would ensure he wouldn't get the death penalty. He was sentenced later that year to four life terms plus 30 years of prison. He spent most of his sentence in the United States Penitentiary's Administrative Maximum Facility near Florence, Colo. with the 1993 World Trade Center bombings mastermind Ramzi Yoursef, and 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussioui.

A poor health condition forced Mr. Kaczynski to be moved in 2021 to a federal hospital in Butner, N.C. He was found dead on Saturday in his cell.