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tv   Crimes of the Century  CNN  May 8, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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the bagpipes, i just break down. i'll take this to my grave. the bagpipes, i just break down. -- captions by vitac -- he was a brilliant mathematician who hated society. >> he was extremely smart, but socially awkward. >> he started fantasizing about killing people. >> the unabomber left his angry mark of death. >> he orchestrated a vicious bombing spree that killed three, maimed four, and injured 19 others. >> in all sixteen bombs, their locations all over the united states. >> i began to think i may not make it. >> his base of operations was crude. >> the cabin was a bomb factory. >> his devices were hideously lethal. >> matches, pieces of wood, nails. >> that's an antipersonnel device. that's used to maim or kill.
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>> for almost two decades, he skillfully evaded identification and capture. >> we had literally hundreds and hundreds of suspects. >> he dropped out of sight for six years. >> people thought he was dead. >> he was obsessed about leaving fingerprint evidence. >> nobody has ever seen anybody like theodore kaczynski. >> "the hunt for the unabomber." next. ♪ a simple sketch was almost all investigators had to go on. the facial features were distinct, but the head was cloaked by a hood.
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and the eyes obscured by aviator sunglasses. for more than 17 years, he operated without restraint. in all that time no one knew who he was or how exactly he chose his targets. even his victims remained in the dark until he struck. >> i had never heard of the unabomber before i was injured. i learned about the existence of the unabomber two days after i came home from the hospital. >> february 20th, 1987. an unseasonably warm and sunny day in salt lake city. police and emergency personnel respond to a report of an explosion outside cam's computer services. owner gary wright had arrived at his office at 10:25 a.m. >> when i pulled into the parking lot, i noticed there was a piece of wood over to the right-hand side near my secretary's car. two two-by-fours that appeared to be nailed together. i thought, well, it's just a piece of scrap lumber. it's got nails sticking out of it. i should probably throw it away.
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somebody will step on it. it will get run over. but as i bent down to pick it up, there was a slight click and instantly i could feel this huge pressure in my chest. like almost a crushing pressure. and i heard what sounded like a fighter jet going over. at that point i didn't know that it had been a bomb. what i honestly thought was someone had shot me with a shotgun. i began to think, i may not make it. >> the explosion has severed nerves in wright's left arm and impaled more than 200 pieces of shrapnel in his body. investigators quickly determined that gary wright has just become the latest victim of the unabomber, a shadowy figure that has been engaged in a campaign of terror across the country for nine years. >> the case we called unabomb actually began in may of 1978
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and continued until the last bomb was delivered in the u.s. mail in april of 1995. and during that time, the unabomber placed or mailed 16 devices. >> the first device explodes at northwestern university just north of chicago. disguised as an ordinary package, the bomb inflicts minor injuries on a university police officer. a year later northwestern is hit a second time. when another package detonates on campus, graduate student john g. harris sustains cuts on his arms and burns around his eyes. then on november 15th, 1979, a bomb is placed in the cargo hold of american airlines flight 444 heading from chicago to washington, d.c. in mid-flight it sets off a smoldering fire. 12 passengers suffer smoke inhalation. >> the pilots were able to land the plane at dulles shortly before they said to us later it
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probably would have burned through the hydraulics and dropped the plane out of the sky. >> authorities now begin to suspect the bombings are linked. all doubt is removed seven months later. a suspicious package arrives at the home of percy wood, the president of united airlines. the subsequent explosion inflicts cuts and burns over large portions of wood's body. >> now, come 1980, we know we have a serial bomber. and so the fbi started working as a joint task force with atf and because we had bombs in the mail, with the postal inspection service. >> the task force dubs the investigation unabomb. >> unabomb, university and airline bombings because the first four bombs were affiliated with university locations or with airlines. >> from the beginning, the investigation is hampered by a lack of evidence. the unabomber's devices are relatively crude, making it difficult to trace them back to
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their maker. >> there wasn't a lot of evidence left. and the evidence that we could identify, matches and pieces of wood, nails, were the kinds of things you could buy at any hardware store. >> we started calling him early the junkyard bomber, because in fact he would make these bombs from scratch. he didn't go buy components and pieces of metal and that type of thing. he went out to piles of old abandoned cars, to carve off chrome to use in his bomb construction. he used scraps of wood. >> everything you find at a bomb scene, everybody single piece of evidence is critical because, for one, you have to decide how the device functioned. and in finding out how the device functioned, you look if there's a circuitry involved. where in most of his devices, he created the circuitry. and it was not through a timer like many bombers use. he actually took the time to
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create the mechanism to create the circuits. and that made it really difficult for investigators. >> he built his own switches for the bombs from hickory. and when he bought batteries, he would peel off the covers of the batteries so we wouldn't be able to go back and trace where those batteries might have been purchased. >> there was no evidence that would lend itself to take us to a particular manufacturer, vendor, sales documents, a person's name on a purchase order. there wasn't anything like that connected with the devices. >> but as the attacks continued, the bombs became more sophisticated. and more lethal. may 1982. a pipe bomb mailed to the head of the computer department at vanderbilt university in nashville explodes when it's opened by a secretary. she sustains severe burns to her hands and shrapnel wounds to her
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body. two months later at the university of california berkeley, a package explodes when engineering professor diogenes angelikos picks it up. he too suffers severe burns and shrapnel wounds. >> usually in bombings or any kind of serial bombing, you can look at what they call victimology and you try to determine perhaps people or businesses or something that all of the victims had in common with the suspect or the person who's doing the bombings in this case. with unabomb, none of these people, none of the victims over the years had any connections. >> did they go to the same universities? did they have difficulty with one person and was there a commonality between all the victims? and that was very difficult, because we had literally hundreds and hundreds of suspects. >> there are no incidents for almost two years. then on may 15th, 1985, engineering student and aspiring
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astronaut john e. hauser is nearly killed when he picks up a parcel left in a computer room on the uc berkeley campus. >> like that. and exploded. blew my arm off to the side like this, and the first thing i thought was, why did they do that? >> six months later, a package mailed to the home of a university of michigan psychology professor explodes when research assistant nicklaus suino opens it. the professor sustains burns and shrapnel wounds. he suffers some hearing loss. one month later on december 11th, 1985, the unabomber claims his first fatality with his 11th bomb. computer rental store owner hugh scrutton is killed when he picks up what appears to be a piece of scrap wood. metal shrapnel penetrates his
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heart and tears off his right hand. this bomb contains a clue that had become known as the unabomber's signature. a metal plate stamped with the letters fc. >> fc became one of the standard ways for us to tie in one bombing with another. and over the years, became one of the giveaways that this was a unabomb device. >> but the fc signature shed no light on the identity of the unabomber or even if he was only one person. >> throughout the investigation, one of the main questions was is this a lone actor or is there a group involved? there wasn't clear evidence one way or the other for quite a while. >> finally on february 20th, 1987, investigators got their first break with the gary wright bombing. >> one of my employees had actually seen a person place this device outside in the parking lot about 25 minutes prior to when i arrived.
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he stared at her, emotionless, and once he was done pulling the device out of the bag and setting it there, simply got up and walked away. >> the result of this employee's description was this now famous composite sketch of the suspect, a white male wearing aviator sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt. >> this was the first time anybody knew what the unabomber looked like. for all these years prior to that, nobody knew. >> but another nine years would pass before the unabomber was actually identified. and the truth would be stranger than anyone ever imagined. well, a mortgage shouldn't be a problem, your credit is in pretty good shape. >>pretty good? i know i have a 798 fico score, thanks to the tools and help on kaboom... well, i just have a few other questions. >>chuck, the only other question you need to ask is,
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after nine years and 12 attacks, the fbi finally had a physical description of the mystery man known as the unabomber. but the psychological profiles were mixed. one said he was a young college student, possibly still a teenager. another had him as a
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white-collar professional living with his mother. the reality was very, very different. the unabomber was, in fact, a brilliant middle-aged mathematician who had abandoned a promising academic career to live like a hermit in this cabin in the montana wilderness. his name was ted kaczynski. >> he was extremely smart, but socially awkward. in retrospect, we would have to consider a diagnosis such as asperger's syndrome where he had a hard time reading clues of other people's emotions. >> theodore "ted" kaczynski was born on may 22, 1942, to a working-class family in chicago, illinois. the older of two brothers, he excelled academically. in the fifth grade tests indicated that his iq was 167, genius level. >> as he was so smart, he
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skipped two grades, which then made him even more socially awkward, because now he was with students two years older than him. >> in high school the shy young genius set his sights on the best. harvard university. >> he was only 16 when he went to harvard. he came from a very modest background. and in harvard, that's a snobby kind of environment. and he was also socially maladjusted, so it was a disaster for him. >> at harvard, kaczynski was one of 22 student volunteers, picked to take part in a personality study of gifted undergraduates. what the participants didn't know was that the study was allegedly part of a secret program funded by the cia and military intelligence. >> what they did was essentially interview these kids and put them up against someone who ridiculed them mercilessly. now this is something that if you do that to someone who is not socially confident anyway,
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it's going to be very at the least very difficult to deal with. >> some experts later surmised that the harvard experiments may have played a role in kaczynski's emotional problems. >> i think they took advantage of a young, very vulnerable person as a subject. they really treated him badly. i mean, they really played games with their mind. >> kaczynski graduated from harvard in 1962. he enrolled at the university of michigan at ann arbor where he earned his ph.d. in mathematics at age 24. in 1967 he became an assistant professor at the university of california berkeley teaching undergrad courses in calculus and geometry. he was the youngest professor ever hired by the university. but kaczynski was not popular with his students. >> he didn't get very good ratings as a teacher in berkeley. he was very uninvolved with his students. rather contemptuous of them and
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their minuscule intellects compared with his own. >> during this time, kaczynski was growing increasingly disillusioned with contemporary society. >> this was somebody who was deeply disturbed. and if you can't deal with society as it is or people as they are, how are you going to deal with a society that's changing? >> it was when he was at ann arbor that he started fantasizing about killing people who were tools of the industrial society. but by the time he went to berkeley, he was already determining that he was going to work for a couple of years, save up money, then go move out to the woods and drop out of society altogether. >> in 1969, kaczynski abruptly resigned his teaching position. he later bought land in a rural area near lincoln, montana and hand-built a new home. this 10 by 12-foot cabin without electricity or running water. he soon realized, however, that even in the wilderness he could
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not avoid society. >> it would furiate him when he would be out in his wilderness area and people would come through on snowmobiles. it would infuriate him that these planes would fly over where he was. he would actually take his .22 and try to shoot at a plane at about 40,000 feet because it's like he couldn't get away from society and technical things like that. and so i think all those things are what drove him to kind of retaliate against society which wouldn't leave him alone. >> mr. kaczynski was alienated from society, and once he made up his mind to start killing people, he used all his intelligence to do it. >> kaczynski started his bombing campaign in 1978. his first devices were somewhat crude and ineffectual. over the years, he perfected his techniques. kaczynski kept meticulous notes
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and apparently followed his own exploits through newspaper accounts, producing a chilling record of a man obsessed by killing. in reference to the primitive bomb left on campus at northwestern university, he wrote "i hoped that a student would pick it up and would blow his hands off or get killed." after his second bomb caused minor injuries, he complained, "i had hoped that the victim would be blinded or have his hands blown off or be otherwise maimed. i wish i knew how to get hold of some dynamite." >> as you go through some of the writings he had written over the years, he makes it very clear that my ambition is to kill a scientist, a businessman. i'd even like to kill a government official or a communist. >> he complained again after the 1982 bomb that injured the secretary at vanderbilt. "no indication that she was permanently disabled. frustrating that i can't seem to make a lethal bomb."
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finally after the attack that killed computer rental store owner hugh scrutton, kaczynski wrote "in triumph, excellent. humane way to eliminate somebody. he probably never felt a thing." , you order it. choose 3 of 9 dishes for just $15.99. like baked lobster alfredo. brown butter shrimp scampi. and soy-ginger salmon. hey, this is my plate. get yours while you still can. [sfx: bell] but the more you learn about insurancyour coverage,bout it. the more gaps you may find. [burke] like how you thought you were covered for this... [man] it's a profound statement. [burke] but you're not even covered for this... [man] it's a profound statement. [burke] or how you may be covered for this... [burke] but not for something like this... [burke] talk to farmers and see what gaps could be hiding in your coverage. [sfx: yeti noise] ♪ we are farmers bum - pa - dum, bum - bum - bum - bum ♪
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for nine years, the unabomber had evaded capture, outwitting law enforcement by using low tech methods and staying off the grid. but after he was spotted in the salt lake city parking lot in 1987, he seemed to vanish. >> it's been a year since the unabomber left his angry mark of death. >> after he committed that bombing and that composite was circulated in 1987, he dropped out of sight for six years. >> he could have been incarcerated. he could have had health issues. but you also have to realize it was the first time ever since 1978 he had ever been seen placing a device. so it could have been because he was fearful that he would be caught. >> the unabomber from 1987 to 1993 did nothing. people thought he was dead. but what he was doing, he was really learning how to build better bombs. >> wasn't until june of 1993 that the unabomber surfaced
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again sending a letter to "the new york times" saying we're the terrorist group fc, we have more to say and we'll get back in touch with you later. >> "fc" apparently stood for freedom club. theodore kaczynski's assertion that it was a terrorist group was another misdirection. fc would now take responsibility for a renewed wave of attacks. that same month the unabomber finally struck again. >> package bomb blew as dr. charles epstein opened his mail at his home late tuesday. >> charles epstein was a renowned geneticist from the university of california, san francisco. >> epstein is recovering from four hours of surgery to his hands, arm, and face. >> news of the bombing hit hard for previous victim gary wright. >> i came home from work, the news was on, and he was back. it unglued me. it was just devastating. >> two days later and 3,000
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miles away, another bomb arrived at the office of david gelernter a computer science professor at yale university. >> i just heard a very loud explosion and then we heard a man screaming. >> gelernter survived. but was seriously injured. >> why would anyone want to blow up a professor who specializes in the languages used to program computers? >> the unabomber was back in action, and investigators were no closer to finding him than they'd been when he started 15 years earlier. >> the unabomber, he was obsessed with ensuring that he threw us off the trail forensically. so he would do a number of things. the return addresses on the unabomb devices were real names of real people at real addresses of, say, their home or place of business. others were a location that actually existed, but actually a phony address. there was no such business at that particular address.
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and still others were meant to mock the fbi. for example, on one of the letters the unabomber sent, the address was 9th and pennsylvania avenue northwest in washington, d.c. which, of course, is the address of the j. edgar hoover fbi building. in one of his letters he said the fbi is a joke, the fbi will not be catching us any time soon. >> the fbi, of course, had no idea about the unabomber's identity or whereabouts. and ted kaczynski took great pains to make sure he didn't leave a single clue. >> he would take files and he would file everything down after he built something so that he could ensure that he was getting rid of fingerprints. he was obsessed about leaving fingerprint evidence. >> kaczynski also planted false clues to throw investigators off the trail. >> he went to a bathroom at the
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bus station in missoula, montana, and he actually took hairs off the floor of the restroom. and then in subsequent bombs, he would take those hairs and put them in between layers of tape. and the whole idea was when the subsequent bombs exploded at a crime scene, we would think that hair might have something to do with the unabomber. when he was out on a run to collect information or to collect components for his bombs, he would make sure he had a disguise. he put cotton up his nose so his nostrils would look bigger. he had a fake mustache he had worn. >> for another 18 months, everything was quiet. then on december 10th, 1994, the unabomber claimed his second fatality. >> the latest victim was advertising executive thomas mosser. in all, 16 bombs in 17 years at locations all over the united states. >> thomas moser was killed by a
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mail bomb sent to his home in north caldwell, new jersey. as it turned out, moser had been targeted because kaczynski mistakenly believed he had helped exxon clean up its public image after the exxon valdez oil spill. just over three months later, the unabomber's reign of terror was suddenly overshadowed by a much more destructive blast. >> on the morning of april 19th we all get the call there's been a terrible bombing in oklahoma city. the world really focused on this at this point because everybody's going to be asking is this the unabomber. and we gave our best assessment then that we didn't think it was. because these are different personalities. these are different types of bombings. one is specific targeted, the other is a mass murder. >> any thought the unabomber was responsible for oklahoma city was quickly erased when timothy mcveigh was arrested two days after the blast. ted kaczynski, it seems, had his own agenda and his own timetable. >> when the oklahoma city bombing was happening, theodore kaczynski was already on a bus on his way to deliver the
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package for sending to his next victim. >> on april 24th, just five days after oklahoma city, a mail bomb killed gilbert murray. president of the california forestry association. a timber industry lobbying group. in an earlier incarnation the group had been targeted by radical environmentalists. >> the bomb that was sent to the forestry association was actually sent to his predecessor, a man named william denison. but he had retired and mr. murray had replaced him. the unabomber was very proud of himself. it didn't matter that his bomb had killed the wrong man. they were engaged in the same kind of work, which was anti-environment in his opinion. and so it was okay. >> i'd been to a number of bomb scenes over my career, and the last one in sacramento was probably one of the more horrific. the shrapnel is usually what maims or kills the victim.
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most of the cases, nails, staples, and screws were used. that's an antipersonnel device. that's used to maim or kill. >> when you go to those crime scenes or when you see the devastation that was left behind and then you read about what he says and how he felt about those bombs, it's really chilling. it's chilling that someone can think like that, behave like that, and do that kind of thing. >> by now, the unabomber had been at large for almost 17 years. >> we talk about lone actors a lot, how difficult they are to catch. the unabomber was the lone wolf in the most classic sense. >> socially, he defined himself as a social cripple. but technologically, ironically because he was so anti-technology, he absolutely had utmost confidence in his ability to keep from blowing himself up. nobody has seen anybody like theodore kaczynski.
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by the time the unabomber
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claims his third fatality, his bombs have become more effective. and investigators still have no idea who is responsible. but with the death of gilbert murray of the california forestry association, the case suddenly takes a surprising turn. >> within days, the unabomber sent letters to several people and claimed credit for the murray bombing and started talking about the notion that the terrorist group fc is going to send out a manifesto. and wants "the new york times" or "the washington post" to publish that manifesto. and if in fact they do, the terrorist group fc will desist from committing terrorist acts. >> two months later, the unabomber sends a 35,000-word manuscript to "the new york times," "the washington post," and bob guccione at "penthouse" magazine among others. "titled industrial society and its future," the essay becomes known as the uniabomber manifesto. >> there were many people who thought the unabomber manifesto was a red herring. i had a couple of agents come to my office and say we're wasting too much time on the unabomber manifesto.
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we need to stick with forensics. we need to stick with known facts. >> most people in the fbi never even read the manifesto. the popular opinion was that it was nonsense, it was just scribbling. >> the media and the fbi are faced with a dilemma. publishing the manifesto could be seen as giving in to terrorist demands. >> the last thing we wanted to do is set a precedent that we would be blackmailed into publishing terrorist manifestos. because every terrorist could come out of the woodwork and decide, this is nice. we'll try this too. >> attorney general janet reno called us to a meeting. and essentially what we said to her was the reason you should publish this is somebody out there has seen these words before and they're going to recognize him by his words. >> "the washington post" publishes the manifesto on september 19th, 1995. >> after the publication of the unabomber manifesto, we received almost 55,000 calls. we had wives turning in their husbands.
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we had girlfriends turning in their boyfriends. we had all kinds of people submitting written samples of people's work. >> among the thousands of people who believed they recognized the style of the writer is linda patrick, the wife of ted kaczynski's brother, david. >> david kaczynski's wife was on sabbatical in paris and saw excerpts from the manifesto. she recognized his phrasing because david had showed her letters from ted and told her about ted's preoccupations. >> i think it's partly that the voice in the manifesto is a chicago voice. phrases or just the grammar, perhaps. >> the kaczynski brothers have been estranged for several years. when david reads the manifesto, he must confront a sobering realization. >> david recognized in the manifesto echoes of his
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brother's wording. david said the one thing that really struck him was seeing the term "cool-headed logicians." he said that's directly out of ted's mouth. there was a strain of ted's philosophy in every paragraph. so it was becoming impossible for them to not push it further. >> through a lawyer, david kaczynski contacts the fbi. he submits a copy of an essay ted had written in 1971 to compare to the manifesto. >> it was very clear to me by the third paragraph, when the hair on the back of my neck stood up, that what i was reading, which was a 1971 essay, was identical in many ways to the manifesto. the biggest problem for david was he was afraid that if the government came to suspect ted kaczynski on their own, they would storm the cabin and ted would be killed in the encounter. he wanted to prevent more violence. he didn't want anybody else to die. >> david's information leads authorities to ted's montana
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cabin, which is put under surveillance. the fbi proceeds with caution to ensure that any evidence they obtain is admissible in court. but they're also in a race against time. >> now there was some real urgency, because we knew this is the primary time over the years the unabomber would hit the road and started mailing devices. we were very concerned while we were trying to put all this together, he could get out, get on a bus, and go and deliver another bomb. >> then just as the task force is putting its plan in place, word leaks out and kicks the operation into overdrive. >> dan rather called louis freeh, the director of the fbi, and said we have information about who your unabomb suspect is. it's a guy in montana in a cabin. and louis said wait, give us 24 hours. >> cbs news told the fbi director we had planned on going to the air tonight with this information. they said we could hold off unless the competition finds out. >> with the clock ticking, the authorities close in on
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kaczynski, and when the news breaks, it's on the fbi's terms. >> a few hours ago u.s. law enforcement agents took into custody a montana man suspected of being the mysterious unabomber. get ahead of the curve with t-mobile. and get your hands on the new samsung galaxy s6 edge all for just zero down, now nothing is holding you back. get it today. at t-mobile.
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april 2nd, 1996. while the unabomb task force scrambles to obtain a search warrant on ted kaczynsky's cabin, dozens of agents descend upon lincoln, montana. >> between noon on april 2nd and midnight on april 2nd, we flew
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about 150 people from san francisco into montana on the last two flights out and got everybody in position. we'd show some members of our s.w.a.t. team to do work in the mountains to cut off any places where kaczynski might run. >> we were worried there would be nothing in the cabin and therefore no evidence and we would be back at square one. >> by the next morning, the arrest team is ready to move in. with the help of a local forestry agent, kaczynski is lured from his cabin and taken into custody without incident. after 16 attacks, 26 victims, and almost 18 years, the hunt for the unabomber is finally over. >> theodore kaczynski never expected any law enforcement would get anywhere near his cabin in montana. and it's a good thing he didn't, because he would have booby-trapped that thing and blown it sky high. >> investigators carefully begin to search the cabin. >> the cabin smelled inside. he had a bathroom that he
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literally had to dig into the floor of the cabin. there was no running water. there was no electricity. theodore kaczynski himself smelled terribly and probably hadn't taken a shower for a long, long time. in fact, probably not since his last bombing run because there was no place to take a shower. this was not your lake tahoe chalet. >> inside the tiny 10-by-12 foot structure lies a treasure trove of evidence. >> the cabin was a bomb factory. there were all kinds of containers. and in those containers he had essentially hand-made bomb components. in one container he had extra switches, those hickory switches, some of which we found at crime scenes. he had containers that had formulas on them. we came to find out later, these were mixtures of where he had experimented. and there were a number of notebooks. those notebooks contained what came to be over 30,000 pages of handwritten notes. because all of those years he
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had spent in the cabin, he had been keeping journals. he had been keeping copious notes of everything he'd done and all of his bomb experiments. but he threw us a curve. because when we went to go through those notes, several hundred pages of them were written in a mathematical code. when we sent all this back to the fbi lab, they said this mathematical code is probably more complicated than anything we've seen since the height of the cold war from the kgb itself. >> during the search of his cabin, investigators discover that kaczynski had no intention of stopping his campaign of terror. >> they found a live device underneath his bunk. it turned out that he, as we had surmised, was not going to honor his promise not to send any more bombs. this thing was ready to go. all it needed was the address and the postage and it would have been gone.
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>> a federal grand jury indicts kaczynski on multiple counts of illegally transporting, mailing and using bombs. the government will also seek the death penalty for the murders of hugh scrutton, thomas mosser, and gilbert murray. faced with overwhelming evidence tying him to the unabomber crimes, kaczynski's court-appointed lawyers attempt to enter an insanity plea to save him from execution. kaczynski adamantly objects. >> he distrusts any mental health professionals. he thinks they're mind control. and he's very proud of his rational reasoning ability. and the idea that he was affected in any way by any kind of mental illness would go to the heart of who he was. >> mr. kaczynski had a very, very strong belief that he did not want to be labeled mentally ill. number one, he did not believe he was mentally ill. and number two, he did not want to taint his philosophical view where he was trying to influence the public as being discarded as
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the ravings of a madman. he would prefer the death penalty rather than being labeled mentally ill. >> as his trial date approaches, kaczynski tries to get his court appointed lawyers dismissed. >> the judge said no, i will not let you have different attorneys. because it would take at least three months for new attorneys to get up to speed. we've already impaneled the jury, we brought witnesses in from around the country, we brought victims in. so then kaczynski said in that case i'll defend myself, pro se. and i don't need three months to get up to speed. and at that point the judge said, no, i won't allow it. kaczynski that night attempted to hang himself in his jail cell with his underpants. >> the suicide attempt, along with other factors, prompts the judge to order an examination by forensic psychiatrist sally johnson. dr. johnson diagnoses kaczynski as suffering from paranoid
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schizophrenia, but declares him competent to stand trial. >> the defense experts and sally johnson, who was neutral, who has no axe to grind, concluded that he actually was psychotic. and her diagnosis of him being psychotic caused the government to be willing to allow him to plead guilty and to take the death penalty off the table. >> he had two choices. either took the plea bargain. or we went ahead with the trial and we felt we were required to and were going to present evidence of mental condition. the idea of that was so devastating to him that he'd rather plead guilty. >> in january 1998, kaczynski agrees to a plea agreement. under which he pleads guilty and is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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on january 22nd, 1998, theodore kaczynski, aka the unabomber, is sentenced to life in prison without parole. during his sentencing hearing, some of his victims are allowed to address him directly. >> i didn't see any contrition or any sort of guilt on his face.
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i only saw shock when i told him that i forgave him. and that was the point i knew that i had him. >> designated a domestic terrorist by the fbi, ted kaczynski is currently incarcerated at the supermax facility in fremont county, colorado. >> in some ways he probably does a lot better there in that extremely structured environment than he ever did when he was living up in the wilderness in montana. and he always had problems dealing with other people. the fact he's isolated there probably isn't as difficult for him as it would be for a lot of other people. >> kaczynski's cabin was seized as evidence and removed from the property. it is now on display at the newseum in washington, d.c. on august 10, 2006, judge garland burrell jr. ordered that the personal items confiscated from the cabin be sold at auction and that the proceeds go to the bombing victims.
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the auction raised over $232,000. ted kaczynski's brother david received the $1 million reward for the unabomber's capture. after paying his legal expenses, he donated the rest of the reward money to the families of his brother's victims. >> he said i know i could have had my brother's blood on my hands through an execution, but i couldn't have had innocent people's blood on my hands. >> after the trial gary wright and david developed a close friendship. they have appeared together at numerous speaking engagements. >> we speak on social justice issues, we speak on healing and forgiveness and stuff like that. people are always saying, wow, that's such an unlikely friendship. >> david kaczynski no longer speaks publicly about his brother's crimes. he is currently the executive director of a tibetan monastery in upstate new york. three people were killed outright by kaczynski's bombs. 23 other people were injured.
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some severely maimed. but investigators never discovered a definitive pattern to the unabomber's victims. >> you never really fully come to terms with understanding why he would do this, why he would pick such random victims in some respects and, you know, do the things he did. you and i would never think that way. >> ted kaczynski, like timothy mcveigh, was a game changer with respect to terrorism. if we go to a federal office building or we get our mail, these are places where we expect safety. and, indeed, the postal service changed their methods for accepting and transporting packages and mail due to ted kaczynski. >> chief among the changes in postal security is the requirement that packages weighing more than 13 ounces be mailed in person at a post office, rather than being placed
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in a mailbox. but beyond the security measures, the biggest impact of kaczynski's campaign of terror has been on the victims. in the years since the bombings, at least four have died of natural causes. but others still bear the scars, both physical and emotional. >> you will never be the same. you accept it. you will never have closure. there is no such a word as closure. closure does not exist. life is different. now you get to choose what you're going to do with it. you can be bitter. you can be angry. or you can be happy. those are your choices. >> while some of ted kaczynski's victims have managed to move on, it seems that kaczynski himself never will. >> ted kaczynski has absolutely no feelings of remorse or sympathy or regret or anything for any of his victims. they were all soldiers of the
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technological society as far as he was concerned. he had a higher purpose, and they were immaterial to him. >> blood coming out! blood coming out of her nose and her mouth! it was an unprecedented wave of terror that struck in and around our nation's capital. >> you had 911. this is one year later. >> over 23 days, ten people are targeted for death. >> there was always just a single shot. >> montgomery county. >> someone has been shot on our back lot. >> he's bleeding real bad. >> the victims are diverse. >> women, men, young, old, black, white. >> the motive is unknown.


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