ON THIS DAY    3 April      Graphics version >>   BBC News >>
Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
1996: 'Unabomber' suspect arrested

AUDIO : Ted Kaczynski aka the 'Unabomber' arrested

Police in the United States have arrested a man they believe to be the notorious "Unabomber" who has killed three people and maimed 23 others.

The suspect, named as Theodore Kaczynski, was arrested in Montana on Wednesday.

Attacks attributed to the Unabomber stretch back 18 years and span the US.

The first parcel bomb was sent in May 1978 and the last - which killed California Forestry Association president Gilbert Murray - was in April last year.

Theodore Kaczynski, 53, formerly taught mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley.

He is a graduate of Harvard University and received a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

Federal agents had long thought the Unabomber would have an academic background.

Promising career

The Unabomber tag came from a combination of the first letters of many of the targets - universities and airlines.

He was thought to be motivated by hatred of the capitalist system and technological advances.

Mr Kaczynski gave up his promising academic career in the early 1970s and moved to a tiny, primitive shack in a remote area on the edge of the Lolo National Forest in Montana.

A neighbour, Dick Lundberg, said he was considered to be a recluse.

"He kept to himself, never bothered anyone. He never did say anything bad about anybody. We thought he was all right," Mr Lundberg said.

A tip-off from members of Theodore Kaczynski's own family is said to have led to his arrest.

At the family home in Chicago they discovered notes by Mr Kaczynski which were strikingly similar to the Unabomber's "manifesto" published by the Washington Post and New York Times newspapers last year.

The family members - believed to be Mr Kaczynski's mother and brother - handed the notes over to the FBI.

They also allowed their house to be searched during which more evidence is said to have been found.

In Context
In May 1998 Theodore Kaczynski was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

During his trial Kaczynski said the government's case against him was "political" and admitted no guilt or remorse.

Despite a diagnosis of mental illness, he initially resisted using it in his defence.

Kaczynski avoided the death penalty after a plea bargain deal but later tried to commit suicide.

His younger brother David, who had first contacted the police, received a $1m reward.

He said he would use the money to help the Unabomber's victims.


Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
^^ Back to top |