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Ted Kaczynski, the ‘Unabomber,’ has died in prison, almost three decades after his reign of terror

Ted Kaczynski was famous for all the wrong reasons and served almost a third of his life in prison for it.

Photo by Stephen J. Dubner/Getty Images

Ted Kaczynski died earlier today from causes that have yet to be made public. According to reports from a number of outlets, he was found unresponsive in his cell at the Federal Medical Center, Butner, North Carolina, where he was transported on December 14, 2021, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and given less than a year to live.

While everyone who was alive in the 90s remembers the name, Ted Kaczynski. However, that was long before modern social media, and younger generations may have never heard his name until today as news of his death trends.

Famously referred to by the FBI as “Unabomber,” NPR reports that Kaczynski was serving four life sentences and 30 years for a “campaign of terror” he first unleashed on universities and airlines. He eventually stepped up his threat to include newspapers and scientists. His downfall came when he promised to stop his bombings if The Washington Post and The New York Times both published his manifesto, “Industrial Society and Its Future.”

A Harvard graduate, he would eventually be diagnosed by a prison doctor as a paranoid schizophrenic. The doctor, Sally Johnson wrote in her official report, “The central themes involve his belief that he is being maligned and harassed by family members and modern society.”

Long before his diagnosis, his declining mental state caused him to pursue the bombing campaign that started in 1978 and lasted until 1995. In all, he was responsible for the deaths of three people while injuring 23 others. Even though his manifesto spelled out what he thought was wrong in society, he wrote in 1971, “I certainly don’t claim to be an altruist or to be acting for the ‘good’ (whatever that is) of the human race. I act merely from a desire for revenge.”

His brother David and David’s wife recognized the tone of Kaczynski’s manifesto as soon as they saw it published in the paper. They alerted the FBI and Unabomber was found housed up in a small shack near Lincoln, Montana. After investigating the small cabin, law enforcement had all the evidence they needed from the journals they confiscated as well as the ingredients for making bombs and the two bombs that were already made.

Michael Allen
About the author

Michael Allen

Michael Allen is the author of 'The Deeper Dark' and 'A River in the Ocean,' both available on Amazon. At this time, 'The Deeper Dark' is also available on Apple Books. Currently under contract to write a full-length feature spy drama for producer/director Anton Jokikunnas.