The Unabomber

Theodore John Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, is a mathematician and domestic terrorist who launched a deadly bombing campaign via the mail in the United States from 1978 until 1995. Kaczynski was born on May 22, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois. He received a scholarship to Harvard University at the age of 16. He had a lot of success in the classroom, but he had a hard time making friends outside of school, so he quit his tenure-track job at Berkeley in 1969.

Kaczynski, while living in seclusion, wrote his manifesto “Industrial Society and Its Future,” in which he outlined his extreme beliefs against technology and industrialization. In 1978, he began his murderous campaign of mailing bombs to people in the IT industry and educational institutions.

For almost twenty years, the Unabomber evaded authorities by leaving behind only cryptic letters and scant evidence. The Washington Post and the New York Times published his manifesto at his request, leading to his capture in 1995. Kaczynski’s arrest on April 3, 1996, at his remote cabin in Montana was made possible by the fact that his brother recognized the writing style and offered critical information to the FBI.

Kaczynski entered a guilty plea on all charges in January 1998 and was sentenced to several consecutive life terms without the possibility of release. Three individuals were killed and 23 were hurt as a result of his violent actions. Criminal psychology, domestic terrorism, and the social effects of radical anti-technology ideology are all topics that can be learned from the Unabomber case.

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