On Saturday, Ted Kaczynski, the notorious terrorist also known as the Unabomber, who was responsible for a 17-year trail of death and damage, died. He was 81 years old. According to a spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons who spoke to The Associated Press, Kaczynski died at a Butner Federal Prison Medical Center, located in Butner, North Carolina. According to the spokesman, he was found unconscious in his cell at around eight a.m. and was later pronounced dead. No information regarding the cause of death was provided.
Since 1998, Kaczynski had been serving a life sentence at ADX Florence, a federal supermax facility in Colorado widely considered the most secure prison in the United States. This was before his move to North Carolina, where he is currently serving his sentence. In 2021, in order for him to undergo medical treatment, he was moved out of ADX Florence and sent somewhere. Kaczynski was a mathematical child prodigy growing up and eventually earned degrees from Harvard University for his undergraduate work and the University of Michigan for his doctoral work. Kaczynski was born in Chicago.
However, in 1978 he began sending a series of bombs through the mail as part of a terrorist plot against the development of technologies. According to the FBI’s Unabomber database page, between the years 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski “mailed or hand-delivered a series of increasingly sophisticated bombs that killed three Americans and injured nearly two dozen others”. According to the Associated Press (AP), his activities “changed the way Americans ship packages and board planes, going so far as to virtually halt air travel on the West Coast in July 1995.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched a massive manhunt for the Unabomber, but they were unable to locate him for many years. In an effort to bring Kaczynski out of hiding, The New York Times and The Washington Post promised to publish the 35,000-page manifesto Kaczynski had written and titled “Industrial Society and Its Future.” In 1996, FBI agents found Kaczynski, who had been hiding in a log cabin in Lincoln, Montana. Instead of allowing his lawyers to use an insanity plea, he instead decided to plead guilty to the charge of murder.