Ted Kaczynski terrorized America with a 17-year-long bombing campaign which he conducted primarily while living off the grid in a small cabin in Lincoln, Montana.
He killed three people and injured 23 over the course of 1978 and 1995. During that time, he mailed and hand-delivered 17 bomb devices, mostly targeting university professors and scientists as well as airline officials to make a statement about modern technology. He felt that technology was a system that humanity could not control, that it was something that would become increasingly harmful to both people and the environment. He wanted a revolution to halt technology's progess before it caused what he believed to be irreversible damage.
Therefore, he targeted primarily people with connections to technology. He sent bombs to computer store owners, airline officials, geneticists, professors and other academics. He even managed to get bomb onto a passenger plane with the hopes it would blow the entire aircraft.
Kaczynski continued to create bomb after bomb while evading arrest for nearly two decades –– while being known only as the Unabomber, a named derived from his FBI case file. He did so as he lived alone as a mostly self-sufficient recluse in the woods. While soaking in the wilderness that surrounded him, he spent most of his days writing. He wrote about the trials and tribulations of creating bombs and his personal feelings to each of his bombing attacks, albeit in code. He also, as Netflix’s new docu-series “Unabomber - In His Own Words” detailed, documented his hatred of his neighbors.
His writing habit ultimately led to his capture. The FBI received his scathing 35,000 word manifesto “Industrial Society and Its Future”, which explored his anger over technology, in 1995. He said if it was published, he'd halt his bombing campaign. After much debate, the FBI pushed for its publication and Kaczynski was fingered after his brother recognized the writing style.
He was a arrested in 1996 and charged with ten counts of illegally transporting, mailing, and using bombs, and three counts of murder. He took a plea deal in 1998 and got a life sentence (rather than facing the death penalty) in exchange for pleading guilty to all charges.
So, what is the Unabomber doing now?
Kaczynski is currently at ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado serving his eight life sentences. It's the only current supermax prison in the United States and it is designed to hold the nation's most dangerous criminals. A supermax provides an even higher level of custody than a maximum security prison. It holds multiple Al-Qaeda terrorists as well as notorious domestic terrorists like Eric Rudolph, who bombed the 1996 Summer Olympics, and Terry Nichols, a co-conspirator of the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.
During the early part of his incarceration, he befriended another famous bomber. He became chums with Timothy McVeigh, who perpetrated the Oklahoma City Bombing. They remained friends until McVeigh was executed, Yahoo! News reported.
Elizabeth Trojian, one of the filmmakers behind the new docu-series “Unabomber - In His Own Words” told Oxygen.com that Kaczynski is forced to spend 23 hours a day in his cell by himself. Inmates are allowed on hour a day outside in a yard “but the yard is basically a cage.” Other inmates are outside too, but in their own “cages” so there is “no physical connection but they can see each other and speak to each other for about an hour a day,” Trojian said.
However, it does not appear that Kaczynski rejects that socialization at this point in his life.
“He doesn’t come out of his cell anymore,” Lis Wiehl notes in her upcoming book "Hunting The Unabomber." "He used to come out for an hour a day.”
She described his cell as “a 10' by 12' room which is about the dimensions of his cabin in Montana.”
Despite the close quarters, some say the infamous bomber seems fine. Perhaps his cabin life and the isolation that came with it adequately prepared him for prison.
Elliott Halpern, the other filmmaker behind the upcoming docu-series, told Oxygen.com that a lawyer who had started a human rights application to improve the living conditions of this this prison once said that if you didn’t go into the Supermax with a sick mind, you certainly could get there pretty quickly. However, he said that Kaczynski “was one of the few if not the only inmates there who had, even after 20 years, presence of mind.”
Halpern said Kaczynski is “very disciplined in how he deals with his isolation and incarceration, in terms of setting tasks for himself everyday and writing everyday.”
He spends much of his time writing letters to people.
Wiehl added that in addition to writing letters, he spends a lot of time writing legal briefs.
The filmmakers have also corresponded with Kaczynski and Halpern said that his letters indicate a strong intellect.
“The letters are very coherent and articulate and suggest that he is very busy,” he added.
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