The Unabomber | In the Woods | 2American Scandal
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- 8 Dec 2020
Ted Kaczynski falls in love. But soon, he's shocked by some news—and retreats into the wilderness in Montana. It's there that he pushes forward with a deadly bombing campaign.Listen ad-free on Wondery+ hereSupport us by supporting our sponsors! Policy Genius - Don’t go into 2021 without life insurance. Go to policygenius.com and get started. You could save 50% or more by comparing quotes and start the new year with one less thing to worry about.
A listener note, this episode contains violent imagery and may not be suitable for younger audiences. It's a late afternoon in the summer of 1969 in a forest in northern Canada. The shadows have grown long and the evening animals have begun their chattering. But everything goes quiet as a pair of boots crunch on the forest floor. David Kazinsky hikes forward along the path, then stops and gazes across the dense forest. It feels serene, perfectly still. David bends down and picks up a pine cone.
Then there's a crunch of another pair of boots and David looks over his shoulder. His brother Ted is approaching and as usual, he's got a scowl on his face. David doesn't understand it. For days now, the two brothers have been on a road trip. They've been hiking in forests, and David feels refreshed and full of life. But Ted's been full of nothing but complaints. They took this trip so Ted could find some land which he planned to buy.
He said he wanted something remote, but he keeps finding something wrong with every parcel. First, there were the power lines which reminded him of technology. Then he heard the drone of an airplane and got angry again. It seems like he just can't be satisfied. David can tell that for Ted, this has become a larger problem. Increasingly, he's grown resentful toward any reminder of human society. That's why he quit his job at Berkeley. And that's why he keeps lecturing David, telling him how to live his life.
But today, David has made a decision. He knows that he's only a college student and far younger than Ted. But still, he's going to try and change Ted's mind. He's going to convince him somehow to give up his extreme views. As usual, though, David knows he'll have to wait until Ted is done lecturing. You know, mom and dad, they've been corrupted. They believe in all the usual trappings of family, a house, things, things, more, things.
They'd never have the courage to do what I'm going to do. And that's fight and land and live free, maybe here, maybe Montana. But you should think about it. Don't be like them, Ted. The Woods nature, it's all pretty. But seriously, how are you going to make a living selling mom? Always worrying about money. Yeah, but you have to eat. I'll find a way. You're just going to be alone. I don't know if I could live without women.
Ted stops and squints at David right away. David knows he has said something he shouldn't have. Ted is twenty seven, but he still has almost no experience with dating. David knows it's a sore subject. Sorry, what I meant to say was that are you dating someone? Well, there is someone named Linda, but I've never been able to tell her how I feel and now she's dating someone else. David can feel Ted's eyes staring at him.
David, are you a virgin? Yeah, I am. Me too. The brothers stare at the ground silently when a moment later, Ted starts laughing and then David laughs too. You can feel the tension beginning to break. You know what, David? Forget women have our backs. We need to watch out for each other soon. You're going to graduate college. You should join me. We can live off the land. I'll build two cabins.
Yeah, we got to talk about this. Going on a road trip. That's fine and all. But you've got to get serious. You can't just live out in the wilderness and just be all on your own. Well, that's what I'm saying. It would be the two of us. We wouldn't be alone. Now, you're not hearing me. You don't have to be like mom and dad, but you can't live like an animal. Just get a job you can put up with.
Buy some land here, Montana, wherever you go there on vacation, just like everyone else does. Vacation. I am not everyone else. I don't want to be like everyone else. I'm done with this conversation. Ted takes off down the wooded path. David watches him, he feels deflated because he knows Ted is right. Ted doesn't fit in and never has. At that moment. David remembers something that happened when they were kids. Their dad caught a wild rabbit and the other kids from around the block gathered around to take a look.
But when Ted saw it, he began to shriek and demanded that his dad let the rabbit go. Ted was almost hyperventilating and everyone stared at him like it was a freak that day. David learned an important lesson. He would always be the younger brother, but he'd also have to take care of Ted no matter what happened. And now, as Ted rounds the corner, David hopes and prays that it's not too late and he can still help Ted get his life on the right track.
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Hey everyone, it's MSNBC. Chris Hayes on my podcast. Why is this happening? I talk with uniquely qualified guests about the issues. I don't always have time to cover in-depth on my TV show All in Everything From America's opioid crisis to How Creativity Can Flourish Amidst a Pandemic. Stay tuned for a special preview at the end of this episode and search for why is this happening wherever you're listening right now to subscribe to the series.
From thundery, I'm Lindsey Graham, and this is Americans Can. In the late 1960s, a man named Ted Kazinsky set out to change America, Kazinsky had endured a lonely childhood and as a student at Harvard, he suffered in an abusive psychological experiment. He was left with a hatred of technology and vowed to kill those responsible for it. As Kazinsky resolve hardened, he began a bombing campaign that would grow deadly. Soon, the FBI found itself in a desperate race to locate the man they called the Unabomber before he found his next victim.
This is episode two in the woods. It's May 25th, 1978, Ted Kaczynski puts on a pair of sunglasses, he grabs the hood of a sweatshirt and pulls it over his head as he begins walking through campus at the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. Kazinsky scan's the campus looking for the science building. And every time he passes a student, he searches their faces trying to see if they're watching him or whether they've noticed the package that he's carrying so cautiously.
Kaczynski knows he's being paranoid. From the outside, it looks like just a harmless paper wrapped package. But inside is a carved wooden box packed with gunpowder and match heads. If anyone opens it, the device is rigged to explode. Kazinski tries to fight down a rising sense of panic he never intended to be here carrying a bomb in broad daylight. This wasn't the plan at all. His original plan was simple. First, he'd build a pipe bomb and he'd mail it anonymously to a prominent science professor.
The minute the professor opened it, Kazinsky would have his first casualty in his war against modern society. And everything seemed to be on track until he stepped up to a mailbox this morning. He tried to shovel the parcel into it, but he was too big. The package wouldn't fit. He began to sweat and he realized that he had only one option he'd have to plant the bomb himself. Now Kazinsky is walking through campus like a lost freshman looking for the science building.
He shouldn't even be in Chicago. He should be back in Montana, where he recently finished building a cabin. But he needed some extra cash. And so he returned to the city to work. Kazinsky feels himself sweating under the hot sun, but finally he locates the science building. His heart begins to beat faster and his mouth goes dry. And then he realizes this is too big a risk. He's crazy. He can't bring a package inside the building.
But nearby is a parking lot, and all at once, Kazinsky comes up with a new plan. He begins walking toward the lot. Anyone parked here will be a professor or science student. If they find the package, they might mail it like a Good Samaritan, or they'll try and open it themselves. Either way, it's going to end up in the hands of a scientist and a scientist will get hurt, which is exactly the plan. Brezinski is trying to change the world to stop the development of technology.
Bombing may be violent, but he's certain it's the only way to create change. Kazinsky hurries over and squashed between a hatchback and a rusted Chevy. He pretends to tie his shoes, then he carefully sets the package down. Soon he pops up again and walks away empty handed. It isn't until he's left the campus far behind. The Ted Kazinsky allows himself to break into a smile. After years of thinking and planning and feeling very afraid, he's finally taking a stand.
Two months later, Ted Kaczynski flips through a newspaper, he's growing more frantic and irritated because it looks like once again, there's no news of his bomb. Finally, he reaches the back page and crumples up.
The paper needs to go for a walk, clear his head.
Kazinsky looks out of the street, is in a suburb of Chicago where his parents now live. Right now, he's living with them and he hates it. Nearby is an ice cream parlor filled with happy families. A car full of teenagers drives past blaring music. Kazinsky clenches his teeth. This isn't how life was supposed to look. And this isn't how his plan was supposed to turn out. Kazinsky begins walking down the street, he passes a gas station when suddenly he hears someone calling his name, he looks back there at the gas station.
He sees a short woman with wavy brown hair and glasses. Her name is Alan and she's a manager at the foam rubber factory where Kazinsky has been working and saving up money. He barely knows her and now she's waving him over Kazinsky fields on guard. He approaches Alan and greets her with a cold. Hello, but Alan smiles at Kazinsky. Though he can't explain it, he suddenly feels more at ease as he needs her car. He notices a bumper sticker in Spanish.
He asks Alan if she can speak the language. She says, May we? Kazinsky frowns. He corrects her, says that's that's actually French. But Alan rolls her eyes and smiles. Now, Kazinsky understands it was a joke. He can't help himself. He starts to chuckle to and without realizing it, he begins to feel even more at ease. Soon, the two begin a real conversation. Ellen talks about her recent trip to Mexico and the fascinating architecture she saw there.
Kazinsky is surprised. Ellen always seemed superficial and bubbly, but now she's talking about culture, history ideas. Kazinsky looks at the ground and admits he's always wanted to learn Spanish. Ellen gives his shoulder a nudge and says she'd be happy to teach him as long as he doesn't mind. A little French now and then, Kazinsky suddenly tongue tied. He stands completely frozen. And before he can stammer out another word, Helen invites him over to her sister's house.
She says they're playing cards and could use a fourth. Kazinsky looks away for a moment. He remembers his bomb and his frustrations and all the work he still has ahead of him. He can't take time to play cards, so he shakes his head and tells Alan he's busy, but she's persistent and says it'll be boring at her sister's place without him. She gestures to her car's passenger seat, tells him to hop in. He hesitates. No one's ever treated him like this seems off and strange.
But then something inside him shifts against his better judgment, and Kazansky takes a deep breath and gets into the car.
A month later, Ted Kaczynski hovers over a fresh baked apple pie, he looks up and sees Alan smiling. The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg fills the air and the kitchen is warm. Alan hands Kazinski a fork and with a grin, she says it's time to eat. Kazinsky thinks the fork into the pie. And as he looks up at Ellen, he can't help but Bime. She's standing at the counter of his parents kitchen, her brown hair curling from the heat.
Kazinsky wants to wrap her in a hug and never let go. He shakes his head. He can't believe how quickly his life is flipped upside down. They've only been dating for a month and he still doesn't know Ellen that well. But tonight he thinks he needs to tell her something important. He's in love with her. Kazinski takes a warm bite of pie, and he tells Ellen that he forgives her for using too much sugar. She frowns, seems like another moment of their playful arguing.
And so Kazinsky smiles again as he eats the pie. It's been a perfect day, maybe the first perfect day of his life. That afternoon, he and Ellen went apple picking in the local orchard. He gave her a lecture on the different varieties of apples, and at one point, while reaching for a bright green apple, their hands touched. It was electric, and that's when Ellen kissed him. Felt strange at first. Ellen stuck her tongue in his mouth.
When he asked what she was doing, she pulled away. But she kept saying it was OK, that she was fine as he takes another bite of pie. Because since he can't stop thinking about the kiss or about Ellen, she's so free and easy going. And this last month, he hasn't thought about his bombs once. Soon they finished the pie and Ellen says she better get going. Kazinsky walks her out to her car and decides that he's going to kiss her again and tell her that he loves her.
They reach Ellen's car and his breath quickens. He leans in, but then Ellen puts a hand on his chest and steps back. She says they need to talk. She's been thinking about the two of them, and she's not sure they have much in common. Buzinski blinks rapidly. He says he's confused, but Allen responds by saying that's exactly her point. Kazinsky doesn't understand people. She says she's sorry, but she doesn't think they should go out anymore.
Kazinsky watch. As stunned as Ellen gets in her car and drives away, suddenly he feels like he's right back in high school. With all the same pain and humiliation, Kazinski feels his chest swell with rage. The dark question forms in his mind. He wonders if Ellen has been plotting this from the start. Maybe she thought he would be funny to get his hopes up and then get rid of him. That's the only possible explanation because he snarls.
He knows Ellen will be back at work on Monday and he can make her suffer, too. A few days later, David Kazinsky stands at the bathroom sink, slowly washing his hands. He pauses and stares at himself in the mirror and he listens to the hum of the machines and soars coming from outside the bathroom. Right now, David's in no hurry to return to the floor of this factory in Chicago, especially not with everything that's happened this week.
David reaches for a towel, and that's when he spotted a piece of paper taped to the wall. David mutters, leans in. Once he's close enough, he can see the handwriting in his stomach clenches. It's something from Ted again. For the past few days, Ted has been writing obscene poems about his ex-girlfriend, Ellen. He then posted the poems around the factory. These dirty poems could get him fired. But David is Ted's supervisor, and he told Ted in no uncertain terms that he needed to stop posting them inside the bathroom.
David rips the latest poem off the wall. He reads it again, then stops imageries nasty. Apparently, this is Ted's answer to his order. It's direct defiance. David March is out of the bathroom holding a poem. It's time to confront his brother. Put an end to this. David steps out into the gravel parking lot and finds Ted at the picnic table. David marches up and shoves the paper in Ted's face. Teja smirks and takes a bite out of his apple.
Ted, I told you, you need to stop. What do you think? The latest one I don't know is my best. Ted, this is unacceptable. I know. I agree. My rhymes aren't precise. Ted, listen to me, this could get you fired, it could get me fired, but David, who's the one who's going to fire me? David clenches his jaw looks away. Come on, David, you're not going to do anything.
You always protect me. You need to stop or what?
What are you going to do? You know what I could do and what I should do. But you've never had the strength, have you? I'll tell you what. I'm going to go home and I'm going to write another poem better than all the idiots on the factory floor are going to love it.
I'm telling you, Ted, don't do this. I'll see you tomorrow, little brother. Ted rises from the table and starts walking away, and David shuts his eyes and says the words he's tried his best to avoid saying, Ted, Ted, going to recommend your termination immediately. For a moment, Ted looked shocked, then his eyes narrow and his feelings aside, his apple. Go ahead. You know, we go back to Montana while you're stuck in this pathetic job.
Then Ted pauses, suddenly looking wounded. You know, we promise to stick together. You just broke that promise. Then he turns and disappears down the block. David sighs and kicks up the gravel. It's been a miserable day. He knows that as a supervisor, he's right to fire Ted. You can't act like that on the job and get away with it. David was left with no choice, but he also can't help feel that Ted is right to.
He should have stood by his brother. Suddenly, David feels an urge to run as fast as he can to stop Ted, tell him that he loves him and that everything's going to be OK, because David knows that even though he can't condone Ted's behavior, they do need to stick together. He has to find some way to repair this relationship. American scandal is sponsored by policy genius. I've been shopping for a new dishwasher. Ours is showing its age a little bit.
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The noise keeps waking him till he finally realizes what it is. Dripping water. He groans and fumbles with a flashlight in the dark. He hits the switch. And sure enough, there's water dripping steadily from a growing crack in the ceiling. Kazinsky points the beam around his small cabin. It's just 10 by 12 feet. Rows of books and packages of food lined the shelves, but all of it seems to be ruined. From the rain dripping into the cabin, Kazinsky leaps out of bed and begins sifting through soggy boxes of oatmeal and books with swollen pages.
He's furious, slamming a heavy book down on the shelf, and he leans against the cold wall, trying to figure out what to do next. Two months ago, Ted Kaczynski saved up enough money and left Chicago. He promised himself he'd never go back there to work, no matter how badly he needed the money. He was done with people, done with society. But looking around his cabin, he can tell there's no way around it. Repairing these leaks is going to cost money.
And now he'll have to go back to the city once again. Suddenly, Kazinski remembers something else as his heart starts racing, the rain could have damaged his bomb supplies to Kazinsky, drops to his knees and begins tearing open cardboard boxes. He spent months stockpiling batteries and gunpowder ingredients. He's made all his purchases slowly to avoid suspicion. If his supplies are wet, he'll be set back months. He finishes checking the boxes. He leans back in relief.
All the supplies are still dry. And just then the rain finally stops. He rises and opens his front door, inhaling the smell of fresh pine trees. He knows that this is where he belongs. Far from cars and gas stations and malls, far from conformists like Alan who are destroying the world, Kazinsky takes a deep breath and feels a sense of purpose he hasn't felt in years. That's when he makes up his mind. Somehow he'll fix up the cabin.
It's time to restart his campaign against industrial society. He hasn't succeeded in hurting anyone yet, but he knows that if he just buckles down, he can make more lethal bombs and his enemies won't be so lucky next time. Three years later, it's a bright summer morning at the University of California, Berkeley, Diogenes Angelakos walks into his office in the computer science building. He sets down his heavy briefcase and grabs his mug. And Zelikow's is a professor of electrical engineering.
He has a full day of research ahead of him. But first things first, needs to grab some coffee from the breakroom. As Angelakos enters, he twists open the Venetian blinds and then he turns toward the coffee maker. But there's something odd sitting in front of the coffee machine, the size of a typewriter case that's wrapped in tape. Gauges and wires stick out of the sides and on top, it's a green wooden handle and Jellico scratches his chin.
The building has been under construction, so he wonders if one of the construction workers left this device here.
Then he sees a typewritten note attached to the top saying, whew, it works. I told you it would. Angelakos frowns, has no idea who this is addressed to. It's all very odd, but he has to get to work and for that he needs his coffee so he decides to move the device aside. As soon as he lifts the handle, there's a loud burst, Angelakos goes flying backward, crashes into a table and lands in a heap on the floor.
After that, everything sounds muffled. Angelakos lies on the ground, his vision going in and out, and the smell of gasoline burns his eyes and nostrils. Angelakos calls out for help. I can barely hear his own voice. He tries to raise himself off the floor, but collapses. And that's when he starts to feel the pain he peers down and where his hand should be in all his years as a mangled, bloody mess. And Zelikow's looks up and there's a student standing over him and even through his damaged inner drums, he can hear her scream in horror.
It's May 1985, three years later, Ted Kaczynski walks through the bus station in Lincoln, Montana. Today, he's wearing all black and has a laundry sack hanging over his shoulder.
He hears an engine coming, roaring to life, and then it begins to rumble. That must be his bus warming up.
Kazansky knows he doesn't have much time. And so with a quick glance around, he ducked into the men's bathroom. Kazinsky checked under the stalls. He's all alone. And then he steps into the far stall and reaches into the laundry bag. He tosses aside a pile of clothes and begins searching for the parts to his latest bomb. He has to check again. He's afraid that he's missing a critical piece and he'll need it once he steps off this bus and begins making his way to Berkeley because he has another surprise in store for the computer science department.
Brzezinski's hand trembles and he feels around for the bomb components. It's a six mile bike ride back to his cabin if he has to go back. There's no question he'll miss the bus. But a moment later, his hand closes on the cold metal of a pipe. Kazinsky closes his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief. It's all there. Kazinsky starts shoving everything back into the laundry sack. As he does. He feels lightheaded. He hasn't been eating much lately.
The cost of bomb supplies is cutting into his food budget, and so are all the disguises he had to buy jackets, shoes and hair dye. He even buys wads of bubblegum. He stuffs into his cheeks to make his face look different. All of these expenses add up. Kazinsky hoist the bag and exits the stall sink is filthy, but he splashes water on his face and that's when he notices someone's hair on the sink. Normally this would disgust him, but today he sees them differently.
They're a reminder of physical evidence. Kazinsky has been very careful with all of his bonds. He strips the cases off batteries to remove the serial numbers. He soaks every component in soybean oil and salt water to remove fingerprints. And yet he still has a nagging feeling that it's not enough. According to the newspapers, the FBI has now linked all his bombs together. He worries that the feds could be closing in, but maybe he can do something more.
He could plant evidence, create a misdirect, and all it would take is a few stray hairs.
Kazinsky won't use these hairs. He can't risk drawing the FBI into Lincoln, Montana, but he'll be traveling across the country.
There won't be any shortage of hairs and bus stops along the way. Kazinsky smiles. Life is about to get much harder for the FBI. It's May 15th, 1985, Patrick Webb hurries through the campus of UC Berkeley. The wind blows through a grove of eucalyptus trees and all at once Web experiences an uncanny feeling of deja vu. He approaches the computer science building. Here is the wail of sirens. Police tape flutters in the breeze. And although it's been three years, the news is the same.
There was another bombing inside this building. Webb works for the FBI and he's been called in once again to figure out who was responsible for this attack. Webb is one of the country's foremost experts on terrorist bombings. And yet as he makes his way through this academic building, he can't help but feel like an outsider. Truth is, Webb failed out of college on his first attempt. Even 20 years later, he feels a nagging desire to prove that he's actually smart enough to be at the FBI.
Being on the Unabomber case for three fruitless years hasn't helped, but he hopes that today he can begin to put an end to this losing streak. Webb enters the building, and as he approaches the computer lab, he can smell burnt plastic and hair, he steps into the room and gets a full view of the destruction. The floor is littered with fragments. There are scraps of black plastic in what looks like part of a file box. From what Webb can tell, this is a completely different bomb than the last time.
But there are also the familiar bits of rubber bands, melted batteries and pieces of pipe. Webb runs a hand through his hair, which has started to turn gray. There's no doubt in his mind this is the Unabomber work. Just then, another FBI agent appears in the doorway. Webb straightens up and shoots him a glance. So who's the victim? Graduate student, Air Force captain. Actually, he lost several fingers. But I live, right, yeah, yeah, he got lucky, though, he was saved by some professor, a guy named Diogenes Webbs, eyes widen.
Diogenes Angelakos. Yeah, you know, yeah, he almost got blown up by the last bomb here. So he saved this Air Force guy. How's that? Yeah, the old man snapped into it, pulled his tie off, wrapped around the Air Force kids fingers and stopped the bleeding. Well, any clues? The agent shakes his head and flips through a notepad. Now, no fingerprints, no serial numbers. We got nothing. You all haven't tracked down a single shred of evidence?
No, nothing. What have you been doing all this time? Apparently twiddling their thumbs, waiting for you to come save the day. I don't know if I'm going to save the day. We've got eight eight bombs now. Not a single fingerprint. Why would he risk coming back here? I'll get why Berkely? Why the computer science department lab surveys the room taking in the details. He knows the FBI behavioral team has pieced together a psychological profile of the Unabomber.
It's supposed to be cutting edge. And the conclusion is that the Unabomber is a blue collar type, someone with little education. But Webb doesn't buy it. The Unabomber has mostly been targeting university campuses. He seems awfully familiar with Berkeley's campus. Webb turns to the other agent. I think I want us to interview every single faculty member in this building, ask about disgruntled professors and former students, and come to think of it, we should also interview all the current students.
That's going to be hundreds of them who will do hundreds of interviews. We'll also need to pull all the records for any parking tickets issued in the past week to it. For the previous bombing, too, we're looking for any suspicious vehicles. Anything suspicious at all? Well, jeez. At all. Yeah. One more thing. Get rid of the sarcasm now. Go. The agent leaves and Webb turns back to the bomb scene, he knows he'll take another all nighter to catalog this evidence somewhere in this mess.
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He's flipping through pages, searching for news about his second bomb at Berkeley. Once again, he can't find a single article about it. He flips past ads for cosmetics and TVs and then he groans. Seems like he's not getting through to anyone, but finally he sees it. A short item buried inside the San Francisco Examiner. The piece says that a bomb exploded inside the UC Berkeley computer lab. There was one victim, an Air Force captain, who aspire to be an astronaut.
He lost several fingers and now he'll never reach his dreams. Kozinski says the paper down.
This is exactly the kind of person he wanted to hurt, a military goon who's tied up with the whole technological system.
He couldn't have asked for a better victim, but to his amazement, Brzezinski's chest tightens and all he feels is pity he ruined this man's life.
It's a stunning feeling, but soon it transforms into rage. Kazinsky doesn't know what's wrong with himself. He then grabs the newspaper and hurls it into the stove. Kazinsky takes a few deep breaths.
Then he grabs his journal off the shelf and searches for a pen that works. He started the journal to document his crusade against technology. He knows that if he's ever caught, people will consider him insane. He needs something to show the entire world that his actions were moral and rational. His journal is also a place he uses to work out his feelings. And so Kazinski begins writing about his internal arguments, his thoughts about violence and the need to change the world.
He interrogates himself about the costs of his actions, the people he's hurting and the benefits of his bombing campaign. He leans back, his hand aching from all the writing. After he finishes this long entry, he closes the journal, feeling clearheaded again. He knows now that there's absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. He's fighting for the future of humankind. Violence is wholly justified. Kazinsky sets aside the journal and steps out his front door, he gazes into the woods where birds are fluttering about, he knows that he doesn't just need to toughen up.
Kazinsky needs to take his campaign further. Maiming people won't change anything. It won't bring an end to the industrial world to finish the job he started. Kazinsky needs to kill. It's late December 1985, Ted Kaczynski walks into the town library in Lincoln, Montana. He shakes the snow off his jacket and warms his hands as he looks around the small building.
The library looks like an old log cabin filled with thousands of books.
It's one of the few things Kazinsky likes about Lincoln. But today he isn't here to browse for books. He just returned from his latest mission in Sacramento, California, and he needs to check the papers for news Kazinsky spots. The librarian sitting at the front desk, he'll admit that he actually enjoys talking with her. And now, as she notices Kazinski, she looks up and smiles. Ted, spend some time. You look thin, but it's nice to see you.
You as well. But you must be here for these. I've got all your newspapers right here. Remind me, Ted, you worked at Berkley, right? That's why you didn't hear your what? What's in the paper? There was another bombing. Kazinsky suddenly feels a surge of excitement. That means his device worked anyway. They're saying this latest one is connected to the bombings at Berkeley. So I thought of you working there. Thank God you're not in California anymore.
This last bomb, he said it actually killed someone, a man who owned a computer store. Kazinsky feels his excitement growing and more powerful. He wants to pump his fist to leap up laughing. He knows he has to contain himself. So he died. Yeah. So sad. Well, not really. What sad. Sad. Those people pushing computers on everyone. They're making everything worse for everyone else. They're better off without them. The librarians expression changes.
How can you say something like that? Because it's true. One day there won't even be books in libraries. Even if that's true, it doesn't mean that he deserved to die. Kazinsky wants to correct her to remind her that objectively the man was making the world a worse place. But he knows he can't afford to sound suspicious. But I suppose you're right.
He is a poor guy. Well, I just hope they catch the guy who did it. Says the police are offering twenty five thousand dollars for his capture. Ted raises an eyebrow. 25000 is pretty flattering. What someone would have to catch them first. And between his disguises and the false clues he's been planting, he knows there's just no way. Kazinski grabs the newspapers and sticks them in his backpack. He then exits into the cold winter air, Kazinsky feels proud of himself.
Killing the computer store owner was a good start, but he knows there's much more work to do. He wants to lead a revolution and bring down the whole technological system. But to do that, he needs to do more than just terrorize people. Kazinsky gets on his bicycle and begins pedaling toward home. He thinks about the journal he's been keeping. He knows that bombs are powerful, but so too are words and now somehow need to get his words in front of as many people as possible.
About a year later, Patrick Webb is at work in the FBI building in San Francisco to bland government office full of metal file cabinets, buzzing fluorescent lights and bulky fax machines like the one Webb is ready to pound with his fist, Webers staring at the base machine and glaring at its blinking red light. He's pushed every button. He tore off the front panel and checked for paper jams. But still, all he's getting is this blinking red light website.
He's a bomb expert who works for the FBI. And right now he only needs one single fax, something that could help him track down the Unabomber before he kills again, something that could put an end to the seemingly endless investigation. Webb has been on the case for five years now and has been full of nothing but frustration, the FBI still has zero good leads. They did manage to collect hair samples at one site. It was a rare mistake for the Unabomber.
Still, it got them nowhere. But yesterday, finally, they got a real lead. Another bomb went off in Salt Lake City and this time someone saw the Unabomber. A woman working in a computer store noticed someone creeping around the parking lot. She thought the guy was letting air out of people's tires, but then she saw him pull something out of a laundry bag. She asked her boss to check it out. And when he did, the object blew up in his face.
The man survived. And once the woman pull yourself together, she gave a description to a sketch artist. The Utah FBI office said they'd faxed the sketch right over. Now Webb is standing by the fax machine waiting for the sketch to print out. A minute later, a junior agent walks over. She squats down and takes a look at the machine. And then she says she knows what the problem is. Webb rubs his eyes as the agent walks over to a cabinet and unwraps a fresh toner cartridge.
Webb watches in disbelief. Can't be this simple. But then the agent snaps the toner into place and a second later, the machine springs to life. Webb massages his temples and can't help but laugh. A long queue of pages begins spitting out of the machine. Webb tosses them aside, searching for that one crucial page. And soon it comes through. Webb stares at the eyewitness sketch of the Unabomber shows a man with a thin mustache and dark aviator sunglasses.
He wears a hooded sweatshirt and his gaze is leveled right at the viewer. It's just a drawing. Webb gets a chill looking at it. He then turns to the other agent and tells her to call up every magazine in the country Time, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Playboy, all of them. Webb tells the agent to make sure they have a copy of the sketch so they can run it. The agent is taken aback. She asks if he really wants this thing running in Playboy.
Webb nods and says they need every eyeball they can get on it. He tells the agent to get going, then watches her scurry off. Webb takes another look at this hand drawn sketch. He can feel it getting closer. For years, he's been visiting a crime scene after crime scene. He spent uncountable hours collecting evidence and reading reports about death and destruction. But finally, he has a breakthrough. Webb knows he's going to catch the Unabomber. And when he does, this reign of terror will finally come to a close.
Next on American Scandal, a fight erupts between Ted Kaczynski and his brother, David. And when tragedy strikes, the Kaczynski family begins to break apart from wondering. This is episode two of the Unabomber for American Scandal. If you like our show, please give us a five star rating and leave a review and be sure to tell your friends subscribe on Apple podcast Spotify or wherever you're listening right now. Join one replacing the one you have to listen to episodes one week early and add free.
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And a quick note about our reenactments. In most cases, we can't know exactly what was said, but all our dramatisations are based on historical research. If you'd like to learn more about the Unabomber, we recommend the books at Harvard and the Unabomber by Allston Chase every last time by David Kaczynski. And Hunting the Unabomber by lease. We'll American Scandal is hosted, edited an executive produced by me, Lindsey Graham for Airship Audio Editing by Molly BOQ Sound Design by Derek Barrence.
This episode is written by Sam Kean, edited by Christina Mauls Berger. Our senior producer is Gabe Revett. Executive producers are Stephanie Jans, Jenny Lour Beckman and Hernan Lopez for wondering what. Diana McGinn, Brenda, wait, who? That's what Diana called the queen. This season, we're bringing you an encore series about the royal family just in time for the return of the crown.
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