America’s most prolific bomber has been found dead in a prison cell, according to a Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesperson. Ted Kaczynski, a convicted terrorist known as the Unabomber, had gone nearly 20 years without being captured until his arrest in 1996. He was seen unresponsive in his cell and was then transported to a local hospital where he was announced dead on arrival. Ted was aged 81.
The Unabomber was previously in a maximum-security facility in Colorado but was moved to a federal medical center in North Carolina in 2021 due to his poor health.
Between 1978 and 1995, Ted reportedly placed about 16 bombs that killed three people and injured two dozen others. In 1995, he had specifically urged that newspapers publish a long manuscript he had written or else the killings would continue. At the time, the Washington Post and New York Times published the 35000-word manuscript at the recommendation of the U.S. Attorney General and the director of the FBI.
Thanks to the suspicion of his brother and sister-in-law Linda Patrik, Tad may never have been caught. Patrik was the first to identify Tad as the Unabomber after reading through his writing. In her interview with “20/20 on ID Presents: Homicide” in 2016, recounted what led to her suspicion, including how she recognized familiar-sounding ideas in the manuscript from letters her husband David received from his brother.
“I’d thought about the families that were bombed. There was one in which the package arrived to the man’s home and his little 2-year-old daughter was there. She was almost in the room when he opened the package. Luckily, she left, and his wife left. And then he died,” Patrik said. “And there were others. And so, I spent those days thinking about those people.” She and her husband contacted the FBI on April 3, 1995, and a 9-man SWAT team captured Tad in his cabin in Montana.
The FBI at the time said a live bomb and bomb components were found at Tad’s home, including 40000 handwritten journal pages that included bomb-making experiments and descriptions of Unabomber crimes. Tad’s brother David also said in the interview, “When she said, ‘Well, I think maybe your brother’s the Unabomber,’ I thought, ‘Well, this is not anything to worry about. Ted’s never been violent. I’ve never seen him violent. I couldn’t imagine that he would do what the Unabomber had done.”
Following his arrest, Tad went on trial in Sacramento and the key issue at the time was not his guilt but his sanity and if he would be spared the death penalty. In 1998, he eventually pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for life in prison without parole. According to the FBI, Tad, who attended Harvard at 16 years old and earned a Ph.D. in math at the University of Michigan, had also threatened to blow up airliners.
Authorities said Tad grew up in Chicago, where his first bomb exploded and he also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where two devices were left. Salt Lake City, where he had lived was also a target. The name Unabomber was inspired by the case name UNABOM, which is derived from the University and Airline Bombing targets, according to the FBI. However, the prosecution of Tad had been supervised by the now Attorney General Merrick Garland when he was a senior Justice Department official.
Tad was certainly brilliant. He skipped two grades to attend Harvard at age 16 and had published papers in prestigious mathematics journals. His explosives were carefully tested and came in meticulously handcrafted wooden boxes sanded to remove possible fingerprints. Later bombs bore the signature “FC” for “Freedom Club.” On the other hand, Tad had hated the idea of being viewed as mentally ill and when his lawyers attempted to present an insanity defense, he tried to fire them and when that failed, he tried hanging himself with his underwear.
- Meet Deborah Sarah Baker, The Model Turned Bodybuilding Champion
- Where To Watch Young Sheldon (TV Series) Online, Season 7 Release Date & Everything Else
- Where To Watch All Yellowstone Season 5? Everything About Part 2, & More
- Meet The Stunning Instagram Model And Golf Influencer, Bri Teresi
- Who Is Gabriella Ellyse? From Being A Dentist To Becoming A Social Media Star