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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  January 2, 2015 12:42pm-1:45pm EST

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on c-span2. and with the new congress you'll have the best access on the c-span networks with the most extensive coverage anywhere. track the gop as it leads on capitol hill and have your say as events unfold on tv, radio and the web. for 17 years, the unabomber mailed homemade bombs that targets airliners, universities and killing 23 and injuries 24 others. a panel of former fbi agents and co-author of the book "unabomber" talked about the investigation and explained how the fbi changed its methods to capture suspect ted kaczynski. this talk was sponsored by the museum. it's about an hour.
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good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. my name is craig floyd. i'm the chairman and ceo of national officers memorial fund. i want to welcome you all here today to the museum's witness to history, investigating the unabomber, the tenth in our series of witness events. generously sponsored by our friends from target, who join us here in the front row, as well as in partnership today with the museum, our host. i'll turn things over to john maynard in just a moment from the museum for moderation of today's event. i want to thank you all for coming. today is a glorious day outside. the fact you would want to spend an hour or two here with us that's extra special. and i thank you for taking the time to join us. i think you're in for just a fascinating discussion here in just a moment. i[i also want to thank our friends from c-span who tend to cover many of these witness to history events. they're with us once again
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today. they'll be sharing this on air over the coming weeks. for those of you who may not be familiar with the national law enforcement officers memorial fund, our organization, a little background. we remember formed in 1984 by congressman mary biage a former new york city police officer and police legend. he is actually the author of the legislation to establish the national law enforcement memorial, our first major initiative. we dedicated that memorial in 1991. it sits just a couple of blocks from here and-n judiciary scare the 400 block of e street northwest washington. on the walls of that memorial are the names of 20,267 federal state, local tribal and territorial law enforcement professionals who have given their lives in the line of duty. our latest initiative is to establish a national law enforcement museum. we've been working on this now
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since 2000 when congress authorized our organization to build the first ever national law enforcement museum. we've been working on it ever since. that museum will open in just a few years from now in a place again, called judiciary square, right across the street from the national memorial. but in many ways our museum already exists. we've collected 17,000 artifacts. fascinating artifacts of law enforcement history that will help us tell that story. and we've also produced a number of educational and public programming events of which witness to history is part of that. this afternoon is certainly a good example. we bring together law enforcement professionals, experts, who were involved in some of the most famous criminal cases in american history. and today we bring together a group of experts who work so diligently and for so long on
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the unabomber investigation. one of the longest manhunts in american law enforcement history. and i want to just thank once again our friends from target for sponsoring today's event and all of our witness to history events. i now would like to turn our program over to john maynard, who will moderate today's program. john, please join us here. >> thank you craig. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. and those of you watching on c-span. welcome to the museum's night studio and welcome to the museum, the unabomber's cabin. for nearly two decades beginning in 1978 an i will loses ive criminal sent homemade bombs that targeted universities, airlines and computer stores, killing three people and injuring 23 others. the fbi branded him the unabomber and despite an investigation that spanned eight states and involved about 500 agents the fbi was flummoxed.
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35,000-word manifesto written by the unabomber whose real name was ted kaczynski, proved a turning event and brought an end of reign. before the manifesto the investigation was hampered by bureaucracy, institutional pride, professional jealousies and some egos. today we talk to three fbi agents to bring fi naturalty to the case by cutting through the cumbersome procedures of the investigation and breaking free of bureaucratic restraint. their new book "unabomber: how the fbi broke its own rules to capture ted kaczynski" details the investigation into the unabomber how these three worked in the agency. jim freeman to my left was the special agent in charge of the multiagency unabomb investigation. he began his career as a special agent with the fbi in 1964 with
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assignments in oklahoma city, los angeles and miami. and in 1993 assigned a special agent in charge of the san francisco division. following the unabomber investigation he returned from the fbi in 1996, retired from the fbi in 1996, and he joined charles schwab. just recently retired as senior vp of global security. max knoll ultimately became special agent supervisor of expand task force and ultimately concentrating on monday upon. he served as an fbi agent for 30 years and worked on numerous high-profile investigations including the weather underground, the pattie hearst kidnapping and the disappearance of jimmy hoffa. he rye tireetired from the fbi in 1999. terry turchie between 1994 and 1998 on an operational level. following the unabomber case he became inspector and led the task force in the hunt for olympic bomber eric rudolph.
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in 1999 he was named deputy assistant in the new counterterrorism division of the fbi and traveled extensively overseas to investigate international terrorism in the middle east and in the former soviet union. i should also note in the book, jim writes that terry is the only fbi agent he knows who got into a fight with a russian spy. when he wrestled a kgb agent to the ground on a brooklyn subway platform in 1986. so, please welcome our panel. if you're treating today's conversation, please use the museum's handle which is @museum and national law enforcement handle which is @nleomf. jim, let's start with you. all three of you are listed as co-authors but the book is told from your perspective. tell us how the book came together and what was your main objective for the book. >> well thank you for your kind
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comments, introducing the three of us. i want to point out we represent dozens of fbi agents and atf agents and officers of the u.s. postal inspection service, who all made a made -- worked together for the task force the last three years. you might imagine how many individuals and how much work went into such a project. the book came about in a very similar way to how the investigation came about those last two years. when i had volunteered -- i was the only volunteer ever for the unabomb task force after 16 years of inability to find him. i volunteered because i was in san francisco, and that's where the task force had been set up. so i wanted to take a shot at catching ted kaczynski. the investigation required that i look for a team that would
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bring together a strategic plan. and terry was where i went. he was in the san francisco office. he was a supervisor of national intelligence matters in the palo alto agency. i decided i wanted a different i wanted to shake it up. after 16 years what else could i do but shake it up? in the fbi there's that time -- a wall between the national intelligence service and criminal investigative service for various reasons. i wanted to take advantage of the synergy of that in preparing a strategic plan and executing it. the book came together the same way. it was a matter of the three of us represent a unique perspective in the way the case was managed. we wrote it in that manner. we didn't want to write a book that stood on its own as our own
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creation. we wanted to just do a definitive description of the investigation, which was very complex and had over the years had not been appropriately described in any of the books that had been written about the unabomb case or mostly centered on ted kaczynski. can he wrote the book to center on the investigation. >> terry and max, i will ask you both, tell us about your reaction when you were asked to join this newly formed task force. >> i was stunned. i was very happy in palo alto. any of you familiar with california know that's a nice place to be. we had an office across from stanford. i was settled for the rest of my career, at least i thought until jim had this bizarre idea that he was going to solve the un unabomb. i got a call one day. he said, i have a couple questions to ask you. how do you feel about coming up
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to the city and taking over the unabomb task force? jim is putting together a different structure and is interested in you doing that. my response was to laugh and say, that's funny, but thanks for the offer, but no thanks. so there was a pause. he said, i'm actually not joking. and then i didn't know what to say. everybody tried to stay away from the corridor in the san francisco office where they had signs that said unabomb. no one wanted to go near there. i said, i think i would need a lot of time to close up everything down here and get up there. and he said, how much time do you need? i said proibbably i need a month. he said, how about a couple of hour hours? nothing went right until i met jim in the office and realized he was very very serious and maybe we had a chance to do things differently. >> max, tell us about your enrollment? >> i was already on the task
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force. i saw jim's taking over the task force and reconfiguring it and bringing terry in as an opportunity to leave the task force and go back to what i did best. and i submitted a memorandum to jim to that effect saying, please, let me go back and do what i was doing before, which was organized crime and asian organized crime work. unfortunately, terry and jim had other ideas. terry convinced me that i needed to stay. he went in and saw jim. jim said, i know he wants off but he's not going. so i stayed. >> jim, for maybe some of our younger visitors, give us a brief overview of the unabomber. what were some of his targets and some of his motives as we later learned? that's what made it difficult to identify a suspect was because the unabomber became very clear early on had to be a lone wolf. he was not talking to anyone, or
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else something would have come to light in less than 16 17 years. his early targets were against university professors, graduate students, bombs sent through the mail to specific professors as well as bombs placed in the corridor outside of computer room university of utah. that was repeated in other locations as well university of california at berkeley. then there was -- early on, i think his third bombing was against american airlines flight, a mailed bomb was placed on there with a rigged altimeter that was a barometer was used and rigged to be an altimeter to explode at a certain altitude. it did detonate. it did ignite a fire but it didn't explode. it saved the lives of all the people on that plane. even so, the pilot recognized
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that smoke was coming into the cabin and he did an emergency landing saving people's lives. airline and universities were the early targets. so the fbi has a propensity for acronyms. it became unabomb and it was a moniker that stuck. >> i will ask you again, jim, for both max and terry when did you realize that this was a case you would have to adjust the normal protocol and the subtitle of the week is how the fbi broke its own rules. go through some of those rules. >> well we actually had a meeting in jim's office. one of the first things it he wanted was a strategy. he wasn't very clear on exactly what he wanted but he knew he wanted it to be out of the box and really something we hadn't tried before. really made the impression that
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we want to solve this case. we're not just doing this for some process or to kind of baby-sit here until someone else comes along. we're all here in san francisco and we're going to stay here until we do this. i went away. i talked to max. max and i had a number of meetings over the next week and met with just about everybody that was on the task force. and talked to them about what they thought our lacking -- some of our failings were as far as what we had overlooked before and how we might do this in a different way. it became apparent that we needed a different organization and structure and then we needed things that come with that. so at the end of a week i gave jim a paper. it said, here is what i think we should do based upon everybody i talked to and their input. number one we had kind of a morale issue. a lot of people did want to get off the task force. they had worked hard. they had been there a long time. they were tired. to try to deal with that, it was kind of simple. i recommended to jim that we have people choose a partner.
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i know when you watch tv everybody works with a partner. that's not necessarily the way it is in real life. so we had a meeting. we told everybody whether it's an fbi and atf agent or postal inspector and atf agent, have people get together, choose a partner. and you will be with this person for a long long time. that way when you have a down day, probably your partner will have an up day. you guys will be more creative working together like this. that was the biggest thing we did to make a difference in the internal mechanism of how things would operate. then all the more complicated things made several suggestions. we needed to have a media component built into the strategy to use the media to get to the public. eventually, we would have things and a specific message to tell the public. we needed a significant analytical capability that was integrated into the investigation that up until that time we just didn't have. third, we needed to deal with the issue of profiling.
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again, you probably watched shows like "criminal minds" and that type of thing. it doesn't happen in real life like on tv or in a couple of hour movie. so we needed to look differently there. we chose different people to work with us on the profiling. we will get into that in a while. those are the essence of what i passed along to jim that was really the sum total of what many of the agents and analysts we had had told me during the interviews. >> you mentioned the media. it's a natural question for me to ask, but as we were discussing earlier, the fbi does play it close to the vest when it comes to media. what was the advantage in this case for you to shift the strategy to be more media friendly? >> we knew right away that we needed to have a consistent message to take to the public. we also had to have a consistent spokesperson. so we decided to recommend to
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jim that he be our spokesperson. not fbi headquarters, not all the others that had a hand in it but jim because jim would always be sitting with us and would have the latest information that we were going to be getting coming from the reinvestigations that max was very much involved in. we wanted to give a consistent message to the public. over time what we ended up doing, long before even we got the manifesto in 1995 was we started go being to the public with one message, and that was when you think about the unabomber, think about chicago between 1978 and 1980 then think about salt lake city, because between 1980 and about 1982 or '83, that seemed to be the focus of where there was a connection for the unabomber. and then after that time frame, from 1985 and on, think of the san francisco bay area. put those three things together and then eventually -- i'm going to defer to max to talk about the composite. that became a significant part
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of the message. chicago, salt lake and the san francisco bay area and the composite. by 1995 we got the manifesto. when all those pieces came together, we went back out to the public through jim with the message. we really, i think got what we were looking for. i will go back to that composite. it's a fascinating story of the investigation as well. >> i will jump in before you address that. the compose it is the iconic picture of the man in the hooded sweatshirt, the aviator sunglasses. >> early on in the investigation, you do a lot of monotonous tasks. reviewing the file we didn't have a lot of leads. reviewing file and trying to determine if there were things that hadn't been done in the past. i was reviewing the file with regard to utah related bombings. there was a bombing in 1987 at a computer company in salt lake city. it was the only time the individual known as the
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unabomber was ever seen. he was seen by an employee very close. she was within three feet of him, looking at him out the window as he placed a bomb beside her left front tire of her car. she was interviewed afterwards by a police artist, an artist they brought in to do a composite. she did the composite. when i reviewed the file, it was something unusual. there were five different composites by that same artist in that same witness on five different days. it was just unusual for me to see that. why? so i found this particular witness, tammy and asked her why. tammy said, he wasn't capturing what i was trying to tell him. he kept getting the shape of the face wrong and some other things. she was very adamant. i said tammy how can you be so adamant about that? she said well, i just reviewed my notes. and i said what notes?
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there's no notes in the file from you. she said, well, i woman dered why they never came back and got notes from me. they instructed me to write down everything and nobody every came back. she brought me her notes. she was very consistent with what she said. jim had just finished a case supervising as the sac a kidnapping case in san francisco, the kidnapping of a young woman. she was snatched out of her bedroom at a slumber party taken, raped and killed. they used a forensic artist to do the artist concept of the person who killed -- kidnap and killed her. it eventually led to the identification of a guy named richard alan davis. richard alan davis, if you took his mugshot and you put the drawing side by side they were exact. i'm not being negative. but most police artists'
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concepts have been you talk to a witness and you give them a book full of noses and a book full of types of faces and ears and they plug all the things to the. i refer to those as mr. potato head drawings. they captured the features of a person but not really the person. jeanie was an artist first. she was a tremendous artist. she could interview a person and draw a real life like picture of who the person was describing. so jim said, find her. get jeanie and see if we can do this. we did. we took her to utah. tammy interviewed with jeanie for something like four hours to get a composite. everyone thinks the life of an fbi agent is very interesting and they do exciting things. during that four-hour period of time, i got the privilege of playing with tammy's 3-year-old on the living room floor and watching "lion king" on tv.
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the artist concept that resulted was a great artist concept. if you have the opportunity to look at the two different concepts, it's just remarkable after seven years what tammy could describe and what jeanie could draw and if you take ted kaczynski's university of california official photograph and put it beside it you see exactly the jaw line and the jutting chin that she described. that was a unique thing. we did it in black and white. we didn't want people focusing on yellow hair. because we were afraid he might be wearing a wig and so forth. what we found out later he was. he was wearing a yellow wig and he was supporting that yellow wig by planting yellow hairs in bombing to throw us off track when he didn't have blonde hair. there were all kinds of interesting things throughout the case like that. >> terry you mentioned the manifesto. i want to get to that. give us a sense in the final
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years of the pressure you felt to catch this guy. i was reminded reading the book, 1993 was the oklahoma city bombing. first question perhaps to the whitehouse or the high levels was that the unabomber. talk about just the pressures that you felt. >> one of the saddest things that happens is when you were assembled and you think you have a great plan and someone else gets killed. that happened in 1995. it happened to us in 1994. while all of this was coming together and while we thought we were making a difference. you can see the moral of people just kind of start to dip. you go home every night, max and i commuted. we commuted from the east bay over to san francisco. while everybody else chose their partner, we kind of became partners. we kept each other's moral up. on those moments and those days, of course, people back here,
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because it's their job, the phones are ringing off the hook media has its own spin. the families and the victims of the families are on the phone or they want to talk to you. you do. we went and sat down with people. what do you say? i remember the epsteins. dr. charles epstein was a unabomb victim in 1993. i remember john conway the first case agent for unabomb, took me out to meet the epsteins. we sat in the living room. the apprehension of going in there. they were one of the first families i met when i started doing this. we sat down and it was not at all what i expected. i think from that point on, this is what really got us through the days. they sat there and they were more worried about me and whether i or not i was getting enough sleep than they were about what had happened to him. as max and i and jim dealt with the families and the victims over the years, they were all
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that way. in the darkest days when you would expect that they will be upset, they would be sitting down with you and saying, you got to make sure you stay focused and stay rested and know that we have confidence in you. it's hard to convey how you feel. but i will tell you i know how i think everybody feels today that's looking at the world and is responsible for being on the front front lines of counterterrorism. you worry and work long hours and it's difficult to put it down. we used to say -- i know they still say that -- if you are a baseball player and you bat bat .500 you are about the greatest in the world. the fbi and the cia, we cannot afford to bat .500 and we can't afford to bat .900. because one out of 100 getting through can be not just a tragedy but perhaps going forward could literally affect the sovereignty of our country.
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that's how serious the problem of terrorism became. that's how we took this when we spent the days together. >> june of 1995 the unabomber sent out his manifesto. it did not just go out to the "new york times" and "washington post" but also "scientific american" and "penthouse." i did not know that. tell us your reactions when you learned about the manifesto. did you realize this was going to be a major break, or was this going to lead to more complications? >> for me it was a major break. back up a little bit. i was concerned about the unabomber, the difficulty to catch any criminal that's not communicating, it makes it very difficult. once they start communicating you have opportunity for lead material to develop. the unabomber had been quiet for almost seven years up until he started bombing again in 1993. and then in '94 it continued. he started writing letters. i felt, that's good.
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he wrote a letter to the "new york times," an editor to begin with. and then leading up to suddenly he comes forward, gushing 35000 word manifesto. i thought, alleluia this is the right direction. he also attached to that an extortion demand, a threat to the newspapers. he preceded -- followed that, actually, very closely with i'm going to blow up -- he was claiming to have a terrorist group behind him which we didn't believe. we're going to blow up an airliner if you don't public the manifesto. then a few days later he came with another letter, i was just kidding about that. which we didn't think was funny. when that manifesto came, of course, we read it intensely and looking for any clues. we had experts that we sent copies to people that were lynn
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quiz tick experts. i would like you to address how we brought that a conclusion to where we made use of the manifesto to bring the public attention to it. >> sure. when we got the manifesto in all 35,000 words there were a number of people on the task force who thought it would be a great project to go back to and try to source what time did this person -- what time frame was this person educated in who wrote this? what could we tell about phrasing? what could we tell about the four books that were referenced in the manifesto? all of these things. that took us on this journey to a number of college campuses. i will take you back to 1985. one of the things that happened in 1985 in november was that a professor in michigan, university of michigan got a bomb in the mail. his name was mcconnell -- professor mcconnell. it was a bomb that was actually built into a three-ring binder.
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there was a letter with it. this is my thesis statement on the history of science. i would like you to take a look at this and maybe tell me what you think. sponsor my thesis. of course, when professor mcconnell and his assistant opened up the binder, it was actually a bomb that went off. we were really fascinated in 1994 a couple of postal inspectors were fascinated by and proposed a project to focus in on this history of science what does it mean. we had done a lot of work on that. gone to a lot of university campuses and talked to a lot of professors. by the time the manifesto came, a lot of the information that came from knowing all the professors enabled us to go back to them and drill down and try to bring more details together about the books that were referenced in the manifesto the language and how it might relate to the history of science, which was our first clue from this guy when he wrote that letter. we spent months really trying to
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get to know and understanding and reading the manifesto. by the time we had someone step forward that could help us bring it together, we had kind of been on trails. we were able to go back and pull a lot of pieces together. >> there was debate about whether or not to publicsh the manifesto. "the washington post" did. tell us about how -- i believe there was a meeting that you can maybe describe where at first you said no, don't publish it. but then changed your mind quickly. tell us about how -- about that meeting. >> there was a meeting at the task force in san francisco. the knee jerk reaction was, the national policy against doing business with a terrorist. we have an extortion demand. we should keep that in mind. we will recommend to the director of the fbi that they should not public. it took an hour to turn that
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decision around. the task force members to say we should look at this from a law enforcement perspective and let washington deal with national issue policies. if it will move the investigation forward and give us the opportunity to make an arrest in this case, doesn't that outweigh a national policy broad national policy? so we changed the task force members -- changed the recommendation to me and terry and i went back to -- came back here to washington and we went across the street to janet reno the attorney general at the time, and she agreed. the next day when -- i was amazed but busy people made themselves available and we had the publishers of the "new york times" and "washington post" at a meeting along with the editorial staff, which was very interesting. terry, do you want to comment? >> it was funny. we're sitting on opposite sides
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of the table. we thought the tension would have to do with talking about unabomb and publication. it really came down to the -- i mentioned that we have this scenario where we think if you published it one of the things we would do is sur veil newsstands in san francisco and other cities because our profilers tell us that perhaps the unabomber will try to show up at a newsstand and get a trophy copy of the paper. i'm telling the story. they are listening. finally -- i said, we really think that if the post or the times published this, we would set up on newsstands. we found in san francisco there's only a couple of places where the same day "washington post" is actually published -- i mean sold. we think that would be the perfect way, because "the new york times" is everywhere, the perfect way to publish it in the post and we can kind of stand up on those two places.
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there was quiet. and then someone -- i don't remember actually if it was from the post or the times but i have my thoughts, said by the way, who sells more papers in san francisco, the post or the times? i had no answer. i didn't know what i should do. go ahead tell them. i said, actually, we all kind of laugh because "the washington post" sells nothing in san francisco. he then said, well i wouldn't have been surprised at that. who reads the post washington? so we had a good moment there. ultimately, they shared the cost of publication. on september 19, "the washington post" published in a special insert the unabomb manifesto. we then implemented our plan. again, max and i were going home one night, had it all ready, we had people coming in early the next morning to set up on the newsstands.
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we figured that we needed so many agents to watch about four or five locations because we really didn't figure we would have over 100 -- maybe 150 people show up. at 3:00 in the morning we got a call before we ever started the commute. they told us we have got lines around the block at these places. we have hundreds of people waiting to buy "the post." we needed more agents. that's what we had to do. >> it turned out to be -- we got the help of the media by publishing it and then i did numerous press conferences talking about remember what we know about the unabomber. we know the geographical areas he worked in. urging the public to come forward. there was a million dollar reward that existed for a few years. and a 1-800 telephone line that people were calling in their potential suspects, people --
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exwives reporting their husbands. 52 or 54 brothers reported third brothers were the unabomber. of course, we were just looking for the one tip that would be the one that made good. that is what happened. >> that's exactly where i was going to lead to. tell us about the tip. >> max you want to talk about that? >> i want to talk about zeroing in on him, too. >> we got a call from an attorney who was brokering -- trying to broker a deal with us about a client that he had. he was a washington, d.c. attorney. it just -- things don't happen like they appear to have happened. this attorney had a good working relationship with an fbi agent here in washington, d.c. he was no longer here. he was in south carolina. he contacted him in south carolina. he in turn said i'm not there, i will give you an agent in d.c. to contact. he did. this young lady met with him and
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got a 20-page or 21-page document to read. it was typed on an antique typewriter. we had one forensic piece of evidence that we were always searching for. it was an antique smith corona 1925 to '30 typewriter. that's the one thing that connected all of the cases together over the years. molly got it took it to the -- our laboratory. they examined it and said it's not that typewriter. they sent it back to molly. molly was a good agent. she knew how massive this case was. this case was not the normal case. you ask about the unabomb file, it was 59,000 volumes of information. that translates over to 11,800,000 pages of documents. she knew that. she called out to another
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supervisor and told him she had this document. she was sending it but she didn't want it to get lost in the stuff coming in. she said pay attention to it. even though the typewriter isn't the same the ideas here are the exact to the ideas in the manifesto. so joel got it and read it and got excited. he took it to terry and to our psychologist on the task force and they got excited. terry and jim were going to lunch. they took it to terry. terry said oh my god, we need to talk about this. he canceled his meeting with jim. gave him some lame excuse and we went to lunch together with that document. as we were having lunch and reading the document, who walks in but jim? he looked at terry and said -- so anyway, everyone got excited about it.
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our task force, you have to understand, relates to a question you asked before, we had come off of a very compelling suspect that jim had determined could not possibly be the unabomber. the members a lot believed that it was. they had worked hard long exhausting hours. we said, man we need to give them a break before we start on this again. so we do a little reconnaissance, jerry does and talks to jim's setting. jim is gone for the afternoon. he won't be back. terry said, perfect. i can't withhold it from him. i will take it in and lay it on his desk with a little yellow flynn on it and say we need to talk about this monday morning. terry and i go downstairs in the cafeteria and have coffee and relax. we hadn't been there 15 minutes and this is a day of the pager and his pager is going off like crazy with the signal number in there that the boss wants to see you. guess what? he didn't go home.
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he came back. the minute he read it he got excited. we went back up and terry talked to him and jim said, this is the man. this is the unabomber. we are turning the ship and -- we had 2,417 suspects. he was very perceptive. >> this document was -- 1973 that it was written? >> 1971. >> it was a treatise that ted kaczynski had written and given to his brother and his brother had kept that. when you read the pages from that many years before and compared it to reading of the manifesto, i came to a conclusion the same person wrote it. others did as well. you can't take that to the bank. that does not get you a federal search warrant or a federal warrant. a lot more work to be done. but the gut feeling was there. we started a study and started developing common phrases as
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well as thoughts common to both documents. as well as the letters that were being written by the unabomber. known writings of the unabombers versus the suspect writings of ted kaczynski. and comparing it to a time line. we knew the unabomber had been in sacramento at a certain date when he dropped a package in the mailbox. or mailed a letter from here and it's postmarked from there. david kaczynski saved the outside envelopes which gave us dates where the unabomber had to be in these cities at this time. we had this unabomb time line. and we had a ted kaczynski time line. they started to jive very well. we never found a conflict between the two. >> once we got the document from the attorney, he didn't tell us who his client was, but jim instituted an investigation all over the country. agents were sent back to interface with him and meet with his client and to broker the
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deal. then in turn david kaczynski and his wife agreed to meet with agents and talk. they in turn agreed to take the agents to chicago and talk with the mother and get letters and documents over the years and other investigation was going on. i was fortunate or unfortunate enough to be sent a short time later by these guys to montana in february to head the investigation there. while they were in the warmth and comfort of northern california. anyway, so there was a lot of things going on. the parts that were going on all over the country and being pulled together. >> i want to make sure that we get the audience into the conversation. we have a staffer there with a microphone. if you have a question raise your hand. she will come to you. go over there. the first row. before -- i want to jump forward. once you identified ted kaczynski and knew where he was,
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there was another race against the clock against the media which was cbs. tell us about what they had and the negotiations with them about not releasing it. >> that was an interesting time. because we were under very serious time constraints. once we had focused in or terry and i had come to the conclusion that ted kaczynski is a suspect is our man, there's a lot of work to be done. an investigation is two stages. one, you identify the perpetrator. two, you put together the evidence that can stand up in court and prove it. when we looked at ted kaczynski and max looked at him at first -- saw him first in montana, here is this hermit living in a cabin that had no running water nor electricity, no means of heating other than a
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stove. but yet our laboratories told us he puts components in the bombs where he melts aluminum. he has to have a kiln of many sort some sort. we found out he was doing it in the stove. there was many aspects about looking at ted kaczynski that didn't fit. how did this man travel in all these places and carry bombs and place them when all he had for transportation was a bicycle? in the winter, he is snowed in. then to see him with his clothes falling off of him and a hermit that how did this man target university professors and heads of corporations? it didn't fit in. not every one of our staff really believed that ted was a viable suspect. max was a holedout until we searched the cabin. >> i wondered if you felt that
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the manifesto was released as sort of a feeling from ted kaczynski he was in competition with the terrorist who bombed the trade center and mcveigh who had blown up oklahoma city federal building? >> we thought that might be the case. terry, you in particular looked into that. >> one of the first calls we made was to our profiler after the mcveigh bombing of the oklahoma city federal building. she pointed out very quickly to us that this was something done by somebody who wants to be a mass killer as opposed to the un box bomber who kills from afar. those distinctions didn't seem to be something we could make a final conclusion on were enough to convince people these are separate bombings. in fact kaczynski put his plan in motion as mcveigh was putting his plan in motion. it was coincidental. that's an important question. if you think back to after 9/11
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and the terrible tragedy of the twin towers, it was a week later that up and down the east coast you had the anthrax attacks. there was a huge outcry and people that wanted specific actions to take place. which would have unleashed a lot of significant weapons and issues. because they thought the anthrax was connected to 9/11 was all connected to hussein in iraq. it turns out we found other reasons to go into iraq. these are the things that go on. if you look at the history of terrorism, you can see coincidences. i give you one more example. ooh receive was thinking of putting bombs on 11 airplanes about the same time that kaczynski was threatening to put a bomb on an airplane out of lax. the world is a resignificant complicated and yet aplace you have to tread in caution when you deal with terrorism. >> kaczynski was on a bus to
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sacramento when oklahoma city occurred. it was a popular theory but he had no knowledge of oklahoma city. >> you misunderstood my question. did you did you feel he was in competition in that he felt he wasn't being noticed lieblg other like others receiving media coverage? >> we did feel that way even going back to 1993 and first world trade center bombing. we did feel that way. >> but he didn't know about oklahoma city. that wasn't competition. he was already setting his own plan in motion. >> a second question right there. >> in a case like this with all the bombings how many bombings did it take before they connected that they were all from the same bomber? how often -- is 100% of your work when you are on the task force that work or do you do anything else? >> no. once it was formed, we were 100%. we had anywhere from 40 fbi agents and similar amounts of
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atf agents and postal inspectors working together full-time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, very few nights, very few vacations, long days and so forth. the other part of the question? >> how many bombings before you realized it was connected? >> law enforcement in the late '70s didn't know about the existence of a serial bomber until the fourth bombing. they concluded about the third bombing. if you follow this case at all, you know that in some of his early bombs, the unabomber started putting metal tags that were stamped with letters f.c. in it. the reason he did that was because law enforcement wasn't connecting the bombs that he had left. he wanted credit. rather than depend upon law enforcement to connect them, he started putting his calling card in there so we would know. so he would get credit for what he was doing.
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>> i'm a retired customs agents. worked with the fbi in south florida. you have an amazing organization and investigative capability. i would like to ask a question related to mentions of sovereignty and national policy takes precedent over law enforcement investigative priorities. we have a recurring theme in american history of the lone bomber lone assassin. in this case you did an amazing job and it was a lone bomber. lee harvey oswald, lone assassin. osama bin laden, sole person. world trade center 7 which wasn't been discussed in the media, discussed in seven seconds in new york city. the third tower that collapsed that day. how did bin laden do that? are you confident that there weren't explosive devices used in seven as well as the other towers? also, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the warren commission, e. howard hunt, former cia watergate convict
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confessed to being part of the plot and identified other cia personnel as involved in the kennedy assassination before he died in 2007. media won't report it. final question then, would you believe lee harvey oswald was the lone shooter? >> we will stop it there. if you want to take that. >> you asked a lot. i think you kind of put your fingers on a lot of cases where many people have many questions. i would not even pretend to try and answer or give some sort of comfort to any particular position. i think that i read the warren commission report. i felt good about it. it looked like they covered a lot. there are people that don't think that. i think everybody who is interested in this and interested in terrorism should go back and look at some of the things that you mentioned and look at the cases you mentioned. they can make up their mind.
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i think that bottom line for us as far as things like the world trade center, we have an indict ment on a number of people because of the world train center. we have indictments in the coal bombing and embassy bombings. the reason i think them up and they are important you can read those and see interconnection between the chashs scharacters that led to 9/11. we can go all day, but that's what i would suggest. certainly appreciate your assessment of things. >> as the mike gets to a question up there i want to get back to the unabomber. tell us about the first moment -- you were the first of the three of you to see him. once you were surrounding the cabin, what was the lure to get him out? >> first of all, i saw him a month before we actually took him into custody. i developed a good source of information who owned the property around him. we were trying to get a physical description of the cabin for the search warrant affidavit or
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arrest warrant affidavit. we had to be specific of what it looked like, where it was located. don't go to a court and say i want a search warrant or arrest warrant of this cabin in montana. that was one of the jobs that jim task me to do. i walked up along with his neighbor -- one of his neighbors up a skid road that brought lumber trees out of the forest above him. as we were about 40 yards away from the cabin outs in the clearing he stuck his head out. my first response was my31$ñ god, is that what we have been looking for all these years? he was a wild looking person. he had on an orange knit cap. you conjure up an image of who you think you are looking for over the years. we're listening as jim said to all these people telling us about power tools and all of this stuff. here is a guy living in this little cabin which downstairs
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here that just amazed me. with that perspective in mind when jim made the decision that we had to take him out of the cabin, another job that he had given me was to develop an arrest plan for safety getting ted kaczynski out of that cabin. one thing that we promised his family was that we would arrest him humanely if they cooperated with us. we wouldn't have a ruby ridge or waco standoff in which he would be killed. so we had to develop a plan. in my estimation, the plan was pretty simple. he had to come out some time. all the time i was up there, he wasn't coming out. he was staying in close proximity to the cabin. the plan had been to wait for him to come out and go to town to get provisions, supplies or what have you. as he pedalled his bike into town on a gravel road, we would zoom in and pounce on him and take him into custody. well, we couldn't do that because of the demands of some
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people in the media who threatened to take it to a program that in the near future -- we didn't know if he had capability of monitoring the program. we found out he had a radio in there, a battery operated radio. it was to develop a plan to get him out of the cabin safely. in developing this source, we discussed that possibility. i was quite confident that we could trick him into coming out of the cabin without him knowing who we were and why we were there. if he got close enough to one of the three of us that approached the cabin we would grab him. we used a ruse. we went up three of us. a four-service police officer in full police uniform who patrolled the area who kaczynski knew and who knew kaczynski, my partner, our senior residents agent, who looks like a could
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you buoycowboy and myself. we let the police officer do all the talking. when you go on someone's private property in the mountains in particular, you just -- you are trespassing. you don't walk on their property without permission. jerry started hailing him as we left the trail and went on his property. there was no response from in the cabin. the plan had been for jerry to do the talking because they knew one another. he would introduce us as people from a mining company who the surrounding property owner had leased the mining exploratory rights for the coming summer to that company. he had told ted kaczynski that he had done that in december and ted was not happy. but he had ensured ted that he would see to it that this mining company stayed off of ted's property when they came up. of course, he didn't know that the reason ted kaczynski didn't want people around was he was experimenting with bombs and
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explosives and so forth. as we got up to the cabin he opened the door and jerry the police officer said, hi mr. kaczynski, i'm here with the men from the mining company. we need to see where your corner posts are so they will ensure the employees don't trespass on your land this summer when they come up here. he said, my corner posts are marked. jerry said they are under snow. we could go out and dig around, but we thought it would be easier if you help us. he said, okay. he took one step toward jerry. and jerry is a sizable guy. that was his big mistake. jerry grabbed him. it was not very dramatic. he started wrestling and fighting. big tom mcdaniel wrapped him up and they struggled and i got to walk around and had the privilege that every fbi agent enjoys which was taking my
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credentials out and saying mr. kaczynski, fbi. he looked at my weapon staring him at the nose and he complied. it was not dramatic. it was very easy and simple. it went like we planned it, thank god. >> we have time for one more question. >> i was wondering if you could comment more on the manifesto itself. i haven't read the full document. my understanding of it is that it focuses on the socialization and political theories and psychology behind it. i was wondering what was i guess the importance of the manifesto to ted kaczynski and how it relates to the bombing itself? >> it was a philosophy of -- against technology. it wasn't -- the philosophy itself was not unique to ted kaczynski kaczynski. but the way he expressed it was unique. that's what helped us out in the
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investigation and made it recognizable. >> it was called industrial society and its future. it was like a return to living with little technology. ted kaczynski, a lot of people asked, ted was anger revenge motivated. we did huge studies on trying to connect victims in this. what was the common i'llty? there was no commonality. he selected victims who were representational of things he didn't like. he didn't like university professors. he didn't like graduate students. he didn't like airlines. he didn't like computers in the technology. he didn't like psychologists. he went on -- i called him the equal opportunity hater. he hated anything and everything that wasn't him. he would act on it. we took 22,000 pages of journals out of his cabin. we knew why he did what he did. there's no question about it. he wrote it down. he says very specifically, i have a lot of hate in me. i'm doing this for no particular
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purpose other than revenge and anger. >> we actually inserted in the -- in our book in each chapter has a quotation of ted's own words describing his motivations and his reaction to people that he had killed or people that he didn't kill, or the bomb malfunctioned. he expressed regret that he didn't kill them. i think it adds an interesting flavor to our description of the investigation. >> this was actually the -- his passion, these words. when we had him as a suspect and had him arrested, we went back and found he had written editorials to the chicago tribune. had we been able to go back and thought about checking papers and been lucky to find some of these, it looked like the manifesto. he had been having these thoughts and he had this grand vision of the way life should be for many years.
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>> you need to understand, ted kaczynski had an iq of 170. he graduated from high school and went to harvard when he was 16 years old. he went to the university of michigan and got his ph.d. in math mathematics in two years. we know that when he was at michigan, he wrote that he had -- he was dedicating his life to going to the wilderness after he graduated and accumulate enough money to do this, going to the wilderness and beginning his campaign of terror ichl and killing people he didn't like. this wasn't something that just occurred spontaneously. he had been forming this idea for many many years. >> we have run out of time. we invite you to our second floor dining room where you can ask further questions. there's going to be light refreshments there. you are welcome. most importantly, we will be selling copies of the book "unabomber, how the fbi broke
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its own rules." the gentlemen will sign copies and take other questions. thank you for joining us here today. [ applause ]
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