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Monday, 4 May, 1998, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Unabomber gets life
Theodore Kaczynski
Kaczynski: "By discrediting me personally, they hope to discredit my political ideas"
A man who was once America's most wanted criminal, Theodore Kaczynski known as the Unabomber, has been sentenced to four terms of life in prison without parole for his 17-year bombing spree which left three people dead and many injured.

Mr Kaczynski said at the start of a hearing in a federal court in Sacramento that the government's case against him was "clearly political". He admitted no guilt or remorse.

The 55-year old former maths professor said the government has misrepresented him as a vengeful loner and that the sentencing memo contained "false" and "misleading" statements.

"By discrediting me personally, they hope to discredit my political ideas," he said.

He asked people to reserve their judgment about him and the Unabomber case until he has a chance to respond.

Victims speak out

Several of his victims and relatives of those who died were present in the hearing. Some of them made statements about the devastation his actions wrought on their lives.

Gilbert P Murray: one of three victims killed by letter bombs
Gilbert P Murray: one of three victims killed by letter bombs
Susan Mosser, the wife of a New Jersey advertising executive killed by a package bomb, pleaded the judge to be as harsh as possible in sentencing Mr Kaczynski.

"Make this sentence bulletproof - bombproof, if you will. Don't let him murder justice the way he murdered my husband," Mrs Mosser said. "Lock him so far down that when he dies he will be closer to hell."

Mr Kaczynski evaded the death penalty after a plea bargaining deal agreed in January. A prison psychiatrist found he was a paranoid schizophrenic.

Despite the diagnosis of mental illness, Kaczynski initially battled against his lawyers who wanted him to plead not guilty due to insanity.

He eventually pleaded guilty but tried to commit suicide in January in his jail cell.

Reign of terror

Kaczynski was dubbed the Unabomber because some of his targets were 'UN'iversities and 'A'irlines.

He claimed to be campaigning against technology but entries from his diaries and journals revealed different motives for his deadly bombings. He wrote: "My motive for doing what I am going to do is simply personal revenge.

The remote shack in Montana where Kaczynski lived
Kaczynski lived in this remote shack in Montana
"It may help ... improve the chances of stopping technology before it is too late," he added.

In 1982, he even recorded his anger when a bomb intended for a computer expert went off instead in the hands of a secretary.

"Newspaper said bomb drove fragments of wood into her flesh. But no indication that she was permanently disabled. Frustrating that I can't seem to make a lethal bomb."

One diary entry spoke of Kaczynski's reaction when he visited a psychiatrist at the University of Michigan in 1966 to discuss the possibility of a sex change operation.

He wrote: "Why not really kill that psychiatrist and anyone else whom I hate."

Brother tipped off FBI

It was Kaczynski's own words which eventually led to his arrest. In 1995 the Unabomber said he would stop his killing rampage if the New York Times and the Washington Post published his 67-page anti-technology manifesto.

When the article appeared his younger brother David recognised similarities with some of his earlier works and tipped off the FBI.

Kaczynski was eventually arrested in April 1996 in the shack where he lived outside the small mining town of Lincoln in Montana.

His family fought against the death sentence on the grounds that he was mentally ill.

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