David Kaczynski, Brother Of Unabomber Theodore, “Ted,” Kaczyinski, Speaks About The Boston Marathon Bombings On WIBX First News
David Kaczynski, brother of convicted Unabomber Theodore, “Ted,” John Kaczyinski, tells WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning that people who have information about suspected terrorists must step forward, especially in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings.
David Kaczynski famously turned in his brother to law enforcement authorities after his wife, Linda, saw Theodore Kaczynski’s manifesto published in the media. The New York Times and The Washington Post published the manifesto, authorities hoping that someone in the public would recognize the writing style. The 35,000-word manifesto was sent to both newspapers in June 1995 by someone identifying himself as “FC.”
After reading FC’s manifesto Linda Kaczynski thought she did indeed recognize the style, and told her husband. Together they contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and so began a series of events that changed the Kaczynski family forever.
When they first realized that the manifesto could have been written by his brother, David says many things went through his mind. He says he was really struggling with two issues. First he did not know if it was his brother, although he said that “the voice” sounded like his brother’s. Ted, he says, had mental problems and he did not want to cause him more trouble. But, David says, if the Unabomber was his brother, he believed he had a moral obligation to stop him from killing innocent people. He said that at first he was dismissive of Linda’s thoughts but the more he thought about it, the more it seemed plausible.
He characterized the process of revelation as “painful.” He and Linda contacted an attorney because they “did not want the train to leave the station without an engineer.” He said that theirs was one of thousands of calls that the FBI had received with tips and they were told that someone would get back to them.
Not long afterward his mother had gotten ill and he said that, while going through papers, he located a letter written by his brother Ted to their mother. He said the letter had the same tone and some of the same language in the manifesto and he called the FBI again.
His mom later said, “David, you saved your brother.” She added that he would have been killed had David not turned him in to police. He says that realization and understanding that by turning in a friend or a family member wanted for committing a serious crime you are literally saving them.
The experience has strengthened his feelings about the death penalty. He says he was always opposed to it. It became a personal issue when his brother, after being found guilty, was facing execution. David says that understands that there may be times when violence is needed, for example during war or when it is the only way to save innocent lives, but says it is not the case when a convicted felon is in custody. When someone is behind bars there is no need to put him or her to death.
There are financial reasons behind his stance as well. He says his brother’s death penalty trial cost about eight million dollars. That money, he says, could have gone toward law enforcement or used “to make communities stronger.” Our efforts and energies should be used to help each other, he added.
David says that he and Linda had a chance to do the right thing. By doing the right thing they escaped the stigma of the consequences of some of the things that Ted did. The whole family relationship changed. ”You never get over something like this…Our lives are changed forever.”
When Ted Kaczynski was arrested another live bomb was found under his bed, at which point any doubt that that he was indeed the Unabomber was lifted.
He says that the FBI knew that the Unabomber was just one person but that did not become public information for ten years. Ultimately it was when they asked for the public’s help that the information came forward.
He thinks about the September 11, 2001 attacks and says that law enforcement really needs to look at those events. He says he understands that authorities receive so many tips they are literally inundated with information, and it simply takes time to sift through all of the tips. He says that time seems unnecessarily prolonged. That processing time, however unwelcome, is a necessary part of any investigation.
As to whether family members and friends have advance “feelings” about whether someone is capable of committing heinous crimes, as in the case of the Boston Marathon bombings, he says that sometimes there is that foreknowledge, but often no way to know for certain. He says people must develop a “higher sense of loyalty” to themselves to take responsibility for larger acts of violence.
He now speaks at schools on the subject of violence. He says that “no snitching” codes are now interpreted as mandates to not cooperate with authorities. That, he says, is a “betrayal of our humanity.”
He reiterates if you see something, say something.
His brother Ted Kaczynski’s anti-technology terror campaign lasted about seventeen years from 1978 to 1995. During that time he sent at least sixteen bombs to people, killing three and injuring more than twenty. Ted promised to “desist from terrorism” if the New York Times and Washington Post published his manifesto. They ultimately did at the urging of the United States Department of Justice. The tag “UNABOM,” for “University and Airline Bomber,” was used by the FBI during the investigation and the moniker “Unabomber” stuck. David and Linda Kaczynski’s tip led to Ted’s arrest. Theodore Kaczynski, an honor student and Harvard graduate, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility, called “ADX,” or the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”
Here is the full interview from WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning: