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Unibomber Essay, Research Paper

Masterful Madman For eighteen years the allusive unabomber terrorized many innocent, intellectual people. This time of horror was finally put to rest when Ted Kaczynski was proclaimed the unabomber. Although many lives were affected through his man-made chaos, Kaczynski is thought of by many as being an intriguing, well-educated individual. The unabomber’s insane madness, prolonged manhunt, and satisfying trial is over after eighteen years of horror. On May 22, 1942, Theodore Kaczynski was born in the Chicago outskirts. He was born to his mother Wanda Kaczynski and father Theodore R. Kaczynski. He was brought up reading scientific magazines and learning how to live outdoors. Kaczynski showed great skills in math and in making small explosives. He skipped two years of high school and graduated in 1958 from Evergreen Park High School. Kaczynski next went to Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard he went on to the University of Michigan. He then taught math at the University of California at Berkley, but he quit after two years with no explanation. He and his brother David bought land in Montana, where he later built his cabin (”Major Events in Life” 1). For the next 17 years Kaczynski lived in a 10 by 12-foot plywood cabin. The shack was without electricity, telephone, and plumbing. The small cabin, hiding behind deep woodlands, would be hard for a visitor to find. This is said to be where Kaczynski built his bombs (”Battling Technology” 1). His nearest neighbor was at least a quarter-mile away from his home. Kaczynski ate by growing vegetables and hunting rabbits. He lived on about 200 to 300 dollars a year. FBI Agent Donald Sachtleben entered the cabin to arrest Kaczynski. “I observed chemicals from which a destructive device could be readily assembled,” Sachteben expressed in an arrest warrant. Sachteben came across several different chemical substances. He also found a binder of papers that contained sketches for bombs (”Battling Technology” 2). Kaczynski’s cabin no longer stands in Montana. The FBI took it apart and took it away to the trial site (3). Theodore Kaczyski constructed and discharged seventeen bombs that killed three and injured 23. The first bomb was set off at Northwestern University on May 25, 1978. It was addressed to a professor in Troy, N.Y. A woman walking through a parking lot found the package on the ground and sent it back to the return address, which was listed as Professor Buckley Crist at the Northwestern University. Crist knew he didn’t send it, so he called for a safety officer. The package exploded as the officer opened it. It caused only minor injuries to the officer. That bombing was the start of one of the nation’s most deadly mysteries (Possley 1). The first bomb that caused a death occurred in Sacramento, California on December 11, 1985. A bomb was disguised as a “road hazard” and found by Mr. Hugh Scrutton. He was killed when he picked up this device that was found outside near the rear entrance to his computer rental store. The blast caused mental shrapnel to tear through his chest and rip into his heart (”Unabomber: Targets to Date” 2). Another bomb was triggered on December 10, 1994 killing Mr. Thomas Mossar at his home in New Jersey. Mossar was a New York City advertising executive. The package was addressed to him and mailed from San Francisco (3). The 18-year search for Theodore Kaczynski was the most expensive manhunt ever. It cost over $50 million. Trying to leave no trace, the unabomber didn’t lick the stamps he used, left no fingerprints, and used very generic objects in making his bombs (”Investigation” 1). After his first killing the law enforcement agency put out a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the unabomber. In February 1987, a woman saw a man in a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses outside a computer store where later a bomb went off. This was the first spotting ever of the unabomber. After the appearance, the unabomber disappeared for six years. He then resumed his bombings again in 1993. In October 1993, the government put out a $1 million reward and a hotline for people to call if they had any information (2). The unabomber later sent a letter to The New York Times telling them that he would stop killing if they would publish his 35,000-word manifesto. It was published on September 19, 1995. Many agents then sent out copies of the manifesto to college professors to try to have someone recognize the writings (3). Soon after the publication, David Kaczynski began to notice similarities in the profile of the unabomber and his brother, Theodore Kaczynski. David then contacted the FBI through his attorney. Theodore Kaczynski was arrested on April 3, 1996 for having bomb ingredients in possession (4). His cabin was surrounded and Kaczynski was forced to come out; he was then taken into custody (Howe 1). The FBI searched his cabin and found many bomb components, detonators, tools, typewriters, notebooks, maps, and more (”Items Seized” 1).

After being indicted on ten counts for four bombings Theodore Kaczynski was sent to Sacramento, California to await trial (Deutsch A5). Many people say the cell was a step up in Kaczynski’s living environment (”Investigation” 8,9). On June 25, 1996 Kaczynski pleaded not guilty. The government decided to go for the death penalty. Jury selection then began. The trial was set to begin on January 5, 1998 (Investigation 9). Opening statements were postponed three times due to Kaczynski’s actions. They included, originally, wanting to fire his lawyers, trying to commit suicide, and agreeing to undergo mental competency testing to see if he could represent himself (”Investigation” 9,10). Judge Garland Burrell blamed the hold-ups completely on Kaczynski (”Kaczynski Admits” 3). After Dr. Sally Johnson found Kaczynski to be a paranoid schizophrenic, plea bargain talks started (”Investigation” 10). The trial ended on January 22, 1998, when Theodore J. Kaczynski admitted and pleaded guilty to being the unabomber. In return Kaczynski receives a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole (”Kaczynski Admits” 2). The plea bargain covers all other charges against Kaczynski from all other indictments that could be brought against him from the other bombings attributed to the unabomber in the past 16 years. Kaczynski was guaranteed that he would not be executed, but any of his future earnings will pay restitution to the families of his victims (”Kaczynski Admits” 2). Theodore Kaczynski was finally found and apprehended after eighteen years of terror. This ended a long and tragic time in history where people had to become more aware of their surroundings. The mysterious unabomber kept everyone guessing until the end. The unabomber’s crazed turmoil, child-like treasure hunt, and appropriate trial has ended.

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