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After Avoiding Authorities for 19 years, Unabomber Caught and Found Dead

By: Olivia Ho

Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, made and deployed bombs because of his hatred for modern technology.

Kaczynski used easy access materials like hand carved switches to make the bombs. He often did unpredictable things, like feeding false information and taking the skin of the batteries he used, to hide any proof that would point to him making the death machines.

Although he did a lot to try to cover his tracks, he was caught in 1996 because of his words.

It all started on May 22, 1942, when Theodore John Kaczynski was born. His parents saw him as a genius. He skipped two grades with barely any effort and was accepted into Harvard with a scholarship.

Kaczynski’s math teacher said he was the smartest student she ever saw. He had published papers on respected Journals. Joel H. Shapiro, a former classmate said, “It was as if he could write poetry while the rest of us were struggling to learn grammar.

In 1985, the Unabomber set off his first bomb randomly killing Hugh Scrutton, owner of a computer store in Sacramento. Then in 1994, Thomas Mosser, an advertising executive with no connection to Kaczynski, was killed after accidently opening one of Unabomber’s bombs that was randomly mailed to his house.

In 1979, Kaczynski placed a bomb on one of American Airline’s planes, but it failed to explode. However, it ejected smoke causing an emergency landing. Twelve passengers suffered from smoke inhalation.

All the Unabomber’s victims were related to modern technology -- like American Airline’s planes and computer store owner, Hugh Scrutton.

Kaczynski sent a letter to the New York Times and forced them to publish it by saying that he would stop killing people if they did. Kaczynski wanted the public to remember that he was still there, and to voice his opinions about modern US society and technology.

Because Kaczynski often sent letters to his brother, David, David was able to see the similarities between the letters he had received and the manifesto in the New York Times. For example, Kaczynski’s had often used the phrase “You can’t eat your cake and have it too” in letters to David, which was disturbingly similar to the phrasing in the NYT: “You can’t eat your cake and have it too."

David reported this to FBI agents, and, on April 3, 1996, FBI agents surrounded Kaczynski’s cabin. Within a few seconds, the Unabomber was finally captured.

Through his time at jail, Kaczynski donated his mail and turned down most interviews. He surprisingly accepted an interview with Stephen J. Dubner, from Time Magazine. Stephen J. Dubner told Kaczynski that some people thought of him as a hero, but Kaczynski just said, “A lot of these people are just irrational.”

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