The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, has been found dead in his prison cell at the age of 81, according to federal officials. Kaczynski was known for his notorious mail-bombing spree, which took place between 1978 and 1995 and resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to 23 others. After nearly two decades on the run, he was captured in Montana and later pleaded guilty to his crimes.
Kaczynski’s imprisonment began in 1996 when he received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His body was discovered by prison guards at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, on Saturday morning. The cause of his death remains unknown at this time.
Throughout his three decades behind bars, Kaczynski had been held in various prisons across the United States, including the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. However, due to declining health, he was transferred to the Federal Medical Center in December 2021.
Kaczynski’s reign of terror left a lasting impact on the American public. His series of bombings caused permanent injuries to some victims and prompted changes in the way letters were handled and screened. His crimes came to light when he forced major newspapers to publish his manifesto, which criticized modern society and technology, claiming they led to alienation and powerlessness.
The publication of Kaczynski’s manifesto played a crucial role in his eventual capture. Recognizing the writing style, Kaczynski’s brother and sister-in-law alerted the FBI, leading to his arrest in 1996. Authorities found him in a small cabin in Montana filled with journals, explosives, and completed bombs.
While Kaczynski’s manifesto was seen as having political undertones, he maintained that his actions were driven by a desire for revenge rather than a grand ideological purpose. His criminal activities began after being fired from his family’s business and retreating to a solitary life in the Montana wilderness.
During his trial, the victims’ families shared their devastating experiences, recounting the moments after the attacks and the lasting impact on their lives. Kaczynski’s high intelligence, as evidenced by his exceptional IQ and educational background, was a subject of interest, but he was also diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
In interviews, Kaczynski expressed a belief in his own sanity and rejected the notion of being mentally ill. Despite the psychiatric diagnosis, he insisted that he was fully aware of his actions. In prison, he even attempted to take his own life when his legal team attempted to introduce an insanity plea.
Ted Kaczynski’s crimes and the nationwide manhunt that ensued captivated America for decades. While his death brings an end to his life and reign of terror, the impact of his actions will continue to be remembered.