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The Unabomber | Hard Evidence | 4

The Unabomber | Hard Evidence | 4

Tue, 22 Dec 2020 10:00

The FBI gets closer to the Unabomber. But a leak to the media threatens the case. And soon, agents are forced to take action.

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A listener note, this episode contains references to suicide and may not be suitable for younger audiences. It's late at night in mid March 1996. Several miles outside Lincoln, Montana, two men creep through a forest. Their boots crunch on the snow and leaves, and their breath rises in clouds. One of the men stops and squints at the trees ahead. A man's name is Max Noll, and even though he's dressed in camouflage, he's not looking for deer. He and the other man are FBI agents, and right now they're searching for something else. Tripwires, booby traps, anything that could lead to an explosion. Noll scans the forest. It's nearly pitch black. Their only help is the pale moonlight that breaks through the trees. Still, from what he can see, nothing stands out. So Noll turns to the other agent and the two exchange nods. They continue creeping through the snow. Soon they stop next to a tall pine tree. From here, Noll can see a small wooden structure about a hundred yards away. He exhales deeply. The cabin belongs to Ted Kaczynski, the man they suspect to be the unibomber. Noll quickly scans the tall tree. Then he turns to his partner and gives a thumbs up. This is where they'll set up the microphone and motion sensor. These tools will give them unparalleled access to Kaczynski, and that's something they need right now. Because for the past week, the FBI hasn't made enough progress. They've been spying on Kaczynski, but they've been staying far away, and the trees of the forest have interfered with their sightlines. Now they need to get closer, and they need to gather more hard evidence. After 17 long years of hunting the unibomber, they're not about to let him get away now. This equipment could be their best option to gather proof that Kaczynski is a mass murderer. Noll looks up at the swaying tree and swallows hard. Before setting out, he and his partner played rock paper scissors. Noll lost. And so now he grabs the lowest branches and starts to climb. He then reaches out and his partner tries to hand him the high powered microphone. Noll stretches as far as he can, but his fingertips can't quite grasp it. Noll shoots the agent a look. That toss it up away. Come on, he'll be fine. I'm not going to toss the mic. It's too delicate. Fine. Let me climb down a bit. But as Noll descends, his foot lands on a wet branch. He slips and comes crashing down with a loud thud. Several animals scurry through the brush as the noise echoes through the hills. Noll stares at his partner. Any movement? No, I haven't seen anything. Oh, good. I think so. Just keep going. Watch out for that first branch, though. But the agent stops at the sound of a metal click. It's a lock being undone. And then a second later, the door of the cabin rattles open. Noll doesn't hesitate. He grabs the agent by the arm and pulls him behind the tree trunk. The two agents stand completely still. But Noll knows he needs to act fast. So he slowly takes out his night vision binoculars. He holds them up to his eyes and peers around the edge of the tree trunk. The world is now shaded of bright green, just as he feared. There's a man right in his field of vision. It's Kaczynski, and he's walking toward their hiding spot. Noll's chest tightens up. And his hand instinctively reaches for his pistol. He hopes to God he won't have to use it. But now all he can do is wait and react as necessary. But then Kaczynski stops. He bends down and picks something up. And he grabs something else. And all at once, Noll realizes what Kaczynski is doing. He's gathering firewood. Kaczynski grabs another log and finally returns to his cabin and locks up. Noll turns to his partner and breathes a huge sigh of relief. Oh God, all right. Let's do this. And let's get out of here. And this time, you're climbing that tree. The agent smiles and nods. And then he grabs a limb. But as the agent climbed up the trunk, Noll suddenly feels himself shivering. The night has gotten cold and late. They need to finish this job and get out of the woods as fast as possible. Because while they were safe this time, Noll knows it was... Lots of people don't know it. But autumn is an ideal time to plant. Shorter days and cooler nights create ideal conditions for the plants to get established. If you're looking to spruce up your home, proven winners color choice shrubs has an amazing selection of flowering shrubs and evergreens for planting and gardens and landscapes. With around 320 different proprietary varieties, including classics, limelight, hydrangea and little Henry sweet spire, all of their shrubs are trialed and tested for 8 to 10 years to ensure they outperform anything else on the market. Look for proven winners color choice shrubs in the distinctive white containers at your local garden center. Learn more and find a local retailer at proven winners color choice dot com slash wonder that's proven winners color choice dot com slash wonder. If you're into true crime, the generation why podcast is essential listening. We started this podcast over 10 years ago to dissect some of the craziest and most notable murders, crimes and conspiracy theories together. And we'd love for you to join us. Follow the generation why podcast on Amazon music or wherever you listen to podcasts. It's only a matter of luck Ted Kaczynski could be armed very deadly. If he is the Unimonder, I have this entire forest rigged with explosives. No one knows they have to figure out the truth one way or the other because if no one has to lead another midnight mission, it might not be so lucky next time. From Wondry, I'm Lindy Graham and this is American scan. In September of 1995, the Washington Post published a 35,000 word manifesto which railed against developments in science and technology. It was written by the Unibomber, a criminal who'd led a bombing campaign across the country. A month after its publication, David Kaczynski read the manifesto. He found undeniable similarities to the writings of his estranged brother Ted and when David alerted the FBI, the agency believed they'd finally found their man. But to make an arrest, the FBI needed proof that Ted Kaczynski was indeed the man behind the attacks. And on top of that challenge, information leaks would soon force the government to act before it was ready. This is episode 4. Hard evidence. It's late March 1996. Max Nol sits in a bar in Lincoln, Montana. Neon light from a beer sign illuminates Nol's jowly face as he watches a group of locals arrive. One by one, the hand over their guns to the bartender. In exchange, he gives the bottles a bud light. The man then head to a booth and the bartender winks at Nol. Nol chuckles and the bartender asks if he wants another whiskey. Nol nods because the truth is he needs the drink. He'd assumed the FBI would quickly nail Ted Kaczynski now that they had the microphones outside his cabin. Maybe he'd test and explosive and provide the evidence that bureau needed. But instead, Kaczynski has barely left his shack. Meanwhile, Nol has spent a dozen freezing nights in an unheated cabin nearby. He's been watching and waiting and it's been miserable. Nol can only hope this case will soon come to a close and he can return to Balmysan Francisco. Nol's thoughts are interrupted when he hears a car door slam in the parking lot. He glances through a dirty window and spots a white Ford Bronco. Walking away from it is the one person he doesn't want to see right now. His boss, Terry Turchy. Turchy is a good man and he has a passion for the case. But Nol knows the second Turchy sees him, the tool will get into yet another argument. Turchy enters the bar and takes off his puffy tan jacket. It's an outfit that marks him as an outsider in rural Montana. Turchy then spots Nol and grabs a seat next to him. He points to Nol's glass and tells the bartender he'll have the same. Then he smiles and asks Nol how he's doing. Nol isn't in the mood for small talk. He's lost his patience and wants to wrap up this case. So in a gruff voice he asks Turchy whether he's finally overruled Kathy Puckett. Turchy takes a sip of whiskey and stares into the distance. This has been an ongoing fight. Puckett is an agent who's in contact with David Kaczynski, the bomber's brother. For Nol it's simple. They should use David and bring him to Montana. He could get in contact with Ted and through David, the FBI could get the hard evidence they need. But Puckett refuses. She says they have to protect David's anonymity and Turchy Nol's boss keeps backing her up. It makes Nol furious. They have the unibomber in their sights. They should be using every asset possible. But Turchy shakes his head and says he's not here to discuss Puckett or the brother David. They've got bigger concerns. Someone at headquarters has talked to CBS. It was a leak and a bad one. Someone told a reporter that the FBI was just about to make an arrest. And now CBS wants to run with the story. Nol pounced the table and the bartender shoots him a look. He can't believe it. A CBS exposes their operation. Kaczynski will destroy every bit of evidence inside his cabin. The FBI has put 17 years into this case. He can't believe it could all fall apart just because someone in DC wanted to feel like they were at the center of the action. But Turchy lays a hand on his shoulder and tells him to relax. The FBI director himself has chatted with Dan rather. CBS has agreed to stay quiet for now. Nol takes the sip of whiskey and with his teeth clenched he asks what for now means. Turchy pauses. He says he doesn't know how long CBS will hold off. It might not be long. Either way they can't afford to wait on the raid. They need to gather a team in Montana right away. Nol nods. He knows Turchy is right. They need to act fast. This might be their only chance to catch the enabomer. So Nol rises and pushes his glass forward. He tells Turchy the next few days are going to be interesting. But when the dust settles, they're going to have their man. Later that evening, Ted Kaczynski leans over a wooden table inside his cabin. He grabs a solid block of aluminum and using a metal file he begins turning the aluminum into powder. Before long Kaczynski's arms ache and he starts feeling dizzy. He can't remember the last time he ate a meal, but he has to keep working. Because this powder will allow him to make his deadliest bomb yet. He snorts as he remembers the deal he cut with the Washington Post. He promised to stop making bombs as long as they published his manifesto. And they agreed and he can't believe they fell for it. He's not going to stop his bombing now. Not when the whole country is talking about his cause. Finally, people are waking up to the evils of technology. Kaczynski knows he's become a guru, a prophet, someone who will lead the masses to a revolution. But Kaczynski feels himself growing more wobbly. He sets down the file and wipes his forehead. It's time to take a break. So he washes his hands in a basin of cold, dirty water. Then he dries them on his black pants. He notices then that his pants are drooping from his emaciated frame. They look like loose, filthy rags with huge holes in them. Kaczynski grunts. He knows he has to eat around. He's going to starve. But as he rummages through his shouts, he sees there's almost nothing left. Just a few powdered goods in some oatmeal. And he's saving that oatmeal for tomorrow. Kaczynski doesn't know what to do. The materials for this bomb cost more than he expected. And once again, he ended up using his food money. His head begins to spin. But then Kaczynski realizes he has only one option. He has to keep building this bomb. He'll deal with food later. What he's doing now is too important. He can't get distracted by something like hunger. So Kaczynski grabs the aluminum block and begins filing it again. The pile is silvery powder grows. And so does his smile. Because he already has his next target planned. There's an aerospace company in Dallas. And when they get this package, they'll be hit with a major surprise. A week later, Terry Turchey stands in a hotel room in Helena, Montana. He looks down at the twin beds which are piled high with papers. These are documents related to the Unibomor case. And they're the key to constructing an airtight warrant for Ted Kaczynski's arrest. Turchey has been pouring over these papers all night and refuses to take a rest. Because he knows he needs to move fast. He needs to convince a federal judge to issue a warrant for Kaczynski's arrest. And he needs it now. CBS is growing impatient and reporters from ABC and CNN are on to the story too. The FBI pleaded with reporters and managed to buy itself just another 24 hours. But by tomorrow night, they're all going to run their story, telling the whole world that an arrest could be imminent. And if they do, the case will fall apart. The door of Turchey's hotel room opens in a man with gray hair and a cup of coffee enters. He's a US attorney and all night he and Turchey have been arguing over these papers. It's clear they have almost zero physical evidence linking Kaczynski to the Unibomor. So they're developing a new strategy. They're basing everything on language and showing similarities between Kaczynski's letters and the manifesto. Turchey grabs a report and tells the US attorney it's time to take action. The evidence is solid. The FBI even has his top linguists working on this. But the attorney says he isn't convinced. He worries the judge won't buy it. I need to keep working. Turchey collapses into a chair exhausted and exasperated. He tells the attorney that this is the best they have. There's no time for new angles. Dozens of FBI agents have already streamed into Montana. They've rented every SUV within 200 miles. And they're all waiting on Turchey to secure a warrant. US attorney hesitates tapping his thumb against his chest. Turchey knows the attorney's fears aren't without cause. This is far from iron clad evidence. But finally the US attorney agrees. It's time to move forward. Turchey nods and races over to a fax machine. He loads in the affidavit and dials the FBI number in DC. Then he hits send. As the papers pass through the machine with a mechanical whir, Turchey exhales in relief. He hopes that soon the FBI gives a green light to move forward. And after that, Turchey will only have to make his case to one more person. It's just past dawn on April 3, 1996. Terry Turchey paces back and forth inside a hallway in a federal courthouse in Helena, Montana. Pale lights streams into the courthouse and Turchey stops to rub his eyes. He's exhausted, but he can't lose focus. Any minute, Judge Charles Lovell will emerge and inform Turchey whether he's approved a warrant for Ted Kaczynski's arrest. The wait has been agonizing. Because every minute this drags out, the media is getting closer to Kaczynski. And if they blow the FBI's cover, Turchey's career will be over. Turchey sits down and closes his eyes. He's not going to sleep. He can't. He just wants to rest and think a moment. A minute later, a door opens. Turchey starnels and finds Judge Lovell standing in the doorway. Oh, your honor, I'm sorry. Promise I wasn't sleeping. The federal courthouse has got a real cozy feeling, doesn't it? Even if it's not exactly a Mary on hotel, your honor. When you've been up all night, even a wooden bench feels like a feather top mattress. I bet. I'm sure you've had a rough night. Why don't you come on in? Turchey rises and enters the judge's chambers. The two take a seat. I'd like to go over this line by line. Of course, although time is of the essence. I'm well aware. But that doesn't change anything about our obligation to be fair and thorough. Of course, your honor. Now, to be clear, you have no physical evidence linking Theodore Kaczynski to the crimes of the Unibond. Turchey grimaces and shifts uncomfortably in a seat. No, sir. No. But the language in his letters is very similar to the manifesto. We find it persuasive. Then explain this one here about consisted. Well, most people say consisted of. As in, this breakfast consisted of ham and eggs. But Kaczynski always writes consisted in. And so does the Unibond. Well, I sometimes say consisted in. Does that make me the Unibond? Well, your honor, obviously. No, but... Or this point here, the Unibond uses the term, chicks. Right. Yeah. Only men of a certain age call women chicks. Men who are Kaczynski's age. Which is also my age, Mr. Turchey. These are awfully shaky arguments for invading a man's home and potentially ruining his life. Well, your honor, look at these British spellings. Analyze with an S or license with two C's. That's very unusual for an American. And they appear in both Kaczynski's letters and the manifesto. Love will pauses and taps his finger against the desk. That's true. Or the phrase about cake. Almost every normal person says you can't have your cake and eat it too. But if you actually think about it, that's backwards. What you can't do is eat your cake and then have it. I'm not sure I'm following. What phrase does Kaczynski use? The second one. The logical one. Like a mathematician would. And so does the Unibond. Love will's eyes narrow as he reads the warrant. And he picks up the copies of Kaczynski's letters. A minute passes. For Turchey, the way to excruciating. The whole case hinges on this single decision. If the judge doesn't buy his argument, Kaczynski could walk away and continue his campaign of murder. Finally, Love will look up. I think there's probable cause here. You do. I do. However, I'm only granting a search warrant on the cabin, not on a rest warrant. But sir, if we look through the cabin and don't find anything, then you'll have to let him go. I'm sorry, but civil liberties still mean something around here. Turchey knows he has no choice but to accept the judge's decision. It's better than nothing though. So he thanks judge level and rises to leave. But as he approaches the door, the judge speaks up again. You really think this is the Unibond? Your honor, I do. Then go get him. Yes, sir. Turchey steps outside the chambers. In the hallway, he looks out a courthouse window. The sun has risen and the sky is now blue. The morning is quickly grown late. Turchey knows he can't waste another minute. So he grabs his walkie talking in radio as Max Nol in Lincoln. Turchey tells him that the judge made a decision. They have a warrant. It's time to move. If you're into true crime, the Generation Y podcast is essential listening. We started this podcast over 10 years ago to dissect some of the craziest and most notable murders, crimes and conspiracy theories together. And we'd love for you to join us. Generation Y is one of the longest running true crime podcasts out there. And we are still at it, unraveling a new case every week. We break down infamous cases like the evil genius bank robbery and lesser known cases like the case of Kimberly Rico. Did she actually kill her husband after they took part in a murder mystery game? We cover every angle breaking down theories, diving deep into forensic evidence and interviewing those close to the case. And with over 450 episodes, there's a little something for every true crime listener. Follow the Generation Y podcast on Amazon Music or every listen to podcasts. Or you can listen ad free by joining Wundery Plus in the Wundery app. It's late morning on April 3, 1996. Max Nol creeps again through the woods near Ted Kaczynski's cabin. The wind shakes the pine trees and sleet has slipped the forest floor. But Nol hardly notices the weather because he and the other FBI agents are laser focused looking for booby traps. Nol scans the trees. He knows dozens of SWAT team agents are moving through the forest on all sides. He hopes these agents won't be necessary. He desperately wants to avoid a shootout, but it's reassuring to know he has the backup. At last, Nol and his team are within 50 yards of the cabin. Nol stops and glances left, then he locks eyes with a local forest ranger who's joined the team and who's crucial for the raid. A ranger knows Kaczynski and the two have spent time talking. The ranger believes that Kaczynski trusts him. So he agreed to work with the FBI to exploit that trust. Together, Nol and the ranger are going to put on a little performance. The goal is to trick Ted Kaczynski and then neutralize him. Nol knows this could be a disaster. It could also be a stroke of genius. Either way, they're now about to see if this ruse will actually work. The ranger gives a quick nod. He and Nol are both ready. The ranger then takes on an angry tone just as they practiced. Right here. This, sir. This is the property line not over there. Nol raises his voice. What? That's not what they said at the surveyor's office. Well, the surveyors don't know what they're talking about. The surveyors don't know what they're talking about. Son, have you lost your mind? Look at this map. Look at the property line. You don't believe me? Well, I can ask the guy who lives here. He can show us. That's fine by me. Nol and the ranger start walking toward the cabin. They pass what looks like a garden plot and then a stone fire pit. Nol's heart starts to pound. This all looks innocent, but he knows he can't be sure. One fall step could cause a massive explosion. Finally, they reach the cabin door. The ranger gives it a hard knock. Ted, Ted, are you in there? Can you come out here and show this gentleman where the property line is? There's the sound of movement inside and then a voice calls out from behind the door. I'm busy. It's all clearly marked. Ted, we're having an issue. It'll only take a minute. There's a pause. And then Nol here's a deadbolt being turned. The door opens a crack. Ted Kuzinski emerges in the doorway with a messy pile of brown hair and a salt and pepper beard. His cheeks are gone. Nol's adrenaline starts coursing through his body. After all this time, he's finally faced to face with the unibomber. Kuzinski's eyes dart left and right, but then he seems to calm down as he looks at the ranger. All right, let me grab my coat. Kuzinski withdraws back into the cabin. And then what comes next happens very fast. The ranger grabs Kuzinski by the arm. Nol panics. Kuzinski is paranoid. That was a bad move. This could quickly escalate. And Nol is certain it's now or never. So he whips out a pistol and shoves it in Kuzinski's face. Ted, we need to talk. Before he can fight back, Nol yanks him out of the doorway. Kuzinski cries out, but he's weak and frail. And Nol has no trouble marching him away through the woods. There's another cabin not far off. He'll bring Kuzinski there and see if he can get him talking. In the meantime, Patrick Webb and the FBI will swoop in and search Kuzinski's cabin. As they walk through the woods, Nol glances at the wooden shack. It's imperative the web finds something in that cabin. Some real evidence showing Kuzinski is the unibomber. Otherwise, this case will fall apart. 20 minutes later, Patrick Webb stands in the doorway of Ted Kuzinski's cabin. Webb is a bomb expert and an FBI agent. And he's been working this case since 1982. It's been 14 long years. Now, as he breathes in the musty air, he can't believe they could finally close the case. Webb steps inside the cabin. His eyes adjust to the dim light filtering through the small windows. As he scans the room, his fingers twitch. Somewhere in this space is evidence that will put away the unibomber. He's certain of it. But Webb moves slowly and forces himself not to touch anything. Any item could be wired to explode. So instead, he simply walks around the cabin, taking note of Kuzinski's belongings. He starts with a tour of the bookshelf. It's an impressive collection and includes books by Orwell, Twain, Dickens. There are books on nuclear energy and birds. Webb can tell that the unibomber has a wide variety of interests. Webb moves on and as he breathes in, he notices that the cabin has the sour smell of an unwashed body. Still, the space has been kept tidy. The snowshoes, mittens, a frying pan, they're all neatly arranged. So is a bottle of antidepressants. That surprises Webb. In his manifesto, the unibomber had railed against psychologists. And for a moment, Webb wonders whether they've got the wrong guy. Maybe this is just another dead end. Everything seems innocent until Webb reaches the last few shells. There he finds batteries, copper tubing, and blocks of aluminum. These are all materials used to make bombs. Webb frowns. He knows you can't convict somebody just for owning batteries and copper tubes. So Webb decides to kneel down and look under the bed. It's dark, but he can see a small package. It's neatly wrapped in brown parcel paper like so many of the unibomber's weapons. Webb's breath catches, and slowly, carefully, he rises to his feet. He knows he can't risk moving that package. It's too dangerous. But he has to do something they can't hold Kaczynski forever. So Webb rises and continues searching through the cabin. He prays he can find something definitive before it's too late. At the same time that Webb is searching the cabin, Max Nol stands across from Kaczynski in a nearby cabin. His hand rests on his pistol, but he doubts he'll have to use it. Kaczynski looks frail and malnourished. He has the energy of a wild animal that's been left to starve in the wilderness. Nol hopes that somehow he can get through to this strange man. And he hopes that Kaczynski will just admit his crimes. Nol starts in by asking Kaczynski about bomb making and the manifesto. He mentions the people who've died in the bombing attacks, but Kaczynski doesn't take the bait. Instead, he asks to see a warrant. Nol sighs and hands him the document. But as Kaczynski reads it, he starts picking it apart. He points out that according to this warrant, his cabin windows face east, but they face west. He says it's a faulty document and looks up shaking his head and disbelief. As he's talking, Nol studies Kaczynski. The man smells unwashed and his clothes are disintegrating on his body. He's missing a tooth and even has chunks of dirt in his eyelashes. How in the world does someone get dirt in their eyelashes? The man Nol is looking at bears almost no resemblance to the man who taught at UC Berkeley so long ago. Nol recently looked at those old pictures and he was reminded that Kaczynski was handsome back then. Sharp and suits and ties. Now, the only similarities he can spot are those piercing eyes. Thinking about Berkeley gives Nol an idea though. He asks Kaczynski about math and says he wants to know more about his PhD dissertation. But Kaczynski shoots him a look of pure contempt. He asks Nol how much math he studied. Nol says he's no idiot. He got up to calculus. Kaczynski rolls his eyes and says Nol couldn't possibly understand what he studied. It's not even worth explaining. Nol realizes they're not getting anywhere, at least not yet. So it's time for a break. He pulls out a snickers bar from his jacket. He's about to unwrap it when he sees Kaczynski eyeing at Hungary. Nol pauses. Maybe food will get him talking. So he tosses the snickers bar to Kaczynski. Kaczynski is a bit stunned. Staring at the snickers in his lap, he picks it up and bites into it right through the wrapper. He chews loudly and then pulls the slimy wrapper out of his mouth and sets it on the table. At that moment, Nol realizes that despite Kaczynski's calm demeanor, this man is completely insane. He's not going to say anything useful. So Nol glances out the window and looks for any sign of progress at Kaczynski's cabin. He's hoping it doesn't take Patrick Webb long. They're running out of time and they need to lock up this case right now. Otherwise, they'll have to release this man, man, and potential killer back out into the world. An hour later, Patrick Webb steps out of Ted Kaczynski's cabin. In one hand, he's holding a box of oatmeal and the other a two way radio. Webb lifts up the radio and calls Terry Turchy. He's waiting in his Ford Bronco just half a mile away. Turchy's voice crackles over the radio and he demands to know if Webb has any news. Webb grins. He's decided he's not going to spoil the surprise. So he just tells Turchy that he better come down to the cabin. Turchy barks back into the radio and demands to know what's going on. Did Webb find evidence? But Webb just tells him to hurry. He'll understand when he gets here. Turchy gruffly says fine and then the signal cuts. Webb stands in the wooded front yard waiting. He runs a hand through his white hair and closes his eyes. For more than a decade, he's given his whole life to this case. He's given up nights and weekends and outings with friends. He's sacrificed sleep and time with his wife. All to reach this moment. A few minutes later, there's a rustling in the bushes and Terry Turchy emerges from the woods. His eyes are puffy and red and he approaches Webb with a scowl. He says he's tired and he doesn't have time for games. Turchy demands to know what did Webb find. Webb then reaches out his hand and offers Turchy the box of oatmeal. Turchy stares at it and then he looks up and asks what the hell this is. Webb reaches over and cracks open the lid. Turchy peers inside. Webb explains that inside this box of oatmeal are homemade detonators for bombs. They're exactly like the ones the unibomber used. By the time Turchy glances up again, Webb can feel tears filling his eyes. He says that this is the guy. This is the guy. After 17 years, they've found him. Now it's time to arrest the unibomber and bring him to justice. It's early evening on April 3, 1996. David Kaczynski sits in his apartment, staring at a TV. His eyes are burning and his jaw hangs open. Right now, everything feels twisted and confusing. He turns and looks at his wife, Linda, and his mother, Wanda. Normally, there is a source of comfort when he feels troubled like this. But at the moment, they too look shell shocked. Because on TV is an image of Ted. It's grainy footage, but it shows him being marched away by FBI agents. He looks filthy and emaciated, like a feral dog. Picture zooms in on Ted's face and suddenly Wanda begins to weep. David doesn't know what to do. He wishes he could comfort her and somehow fix this situation. But he knows he can't. And even worse, he knows he was responsible for this. He himself went to the FBI. He turned in his own brother. All the while, he was living in a state of denial. He thought it couldn't be true. Ted couldn't be the unibomber. But now, here's Ted on National TV. The news anchors keep calling Ted a terrorist. They keep repeating the family name, Kazinsky. The doorbell rings. Wanda looks at David. Should we answer it? No, Mom. It's probably some nosy neighbor who saw the news. But it rings again and again. Wanda rises and moves toward the front door. Mom, please just ignore it. David, what if someone has some news? No one has any news, I promise. We all just need to try and get our heads clear. Come back. I'll deal with whoever it is. Wanda returns to the couch and David walks over to the window. He peels back the curtain and looks out. What he sees, Lisa, startled. What is it? It's nothing, Mom. It's fine. But David knows it's not fine. There are at least 20 reporters outside, standing in front of big satellite trucks. David hears the creek of the couch and turns to see Wanda and Linda approaching. He knows he can't stop them, so he steps aside. Wanda presses her face against the window. Why are they all here? Mom, I don't know. We should all just sit back down. David knew the media would track him down eventually. But he has no idea how they got here so quickly and why there are so many of them. But a moment later, he gets an answer. Dan, rather, comes on CBS News and announces that Unabomber has been turned in by his own brother. David suddenly feels himself collapsing inward. He FBI promised to keep his role secret. They promised, how could they betray him like this? Soon Ted will find out, and the truth will kill him. A moment later, the phone rings. David stalks over in a rage and picks it up. Watch, who is it? David? David is Kathy Puckett from the FBI. And what the hell do you want? I want to apologize. I'm so, so sorry. I cannot explain how the truth got out. Damn it, I only asked for one thing. One thing. You couldn't do it. You're done with you. David slams down the phone and falls back against the wall. He shuts his eyes and tries to steady his breath. But then he hears a tapping on the window. He opens his eyes and sees a camera lens staring right at him. The cameraman is tapping to get his attention. David runs over and closes the drapes. He then turns to his mom in Linda. He knows they need to get away. They need to get far from this circus of reporters and cameras. But David isn't sure where they can go. The whole world now knows the name Kazinsky. And even though Ted's the one heading to jail, David isn't sure he or his wife or his mother will ever be free again. It's January 8th, 1998 and nearly two years later. Ted Kazinsky wipes his nose and crouches into a dark corner of a concrete cell. He's in a federal jail in Sacramento, California. It's nothing more than a small box with a cot and a toilet. Kazinsky sniffles and feels a tear dripping from his eye. He mutters to himself and then in a rage he pounds his fist against the wall. He knows he failed. He failed again. It's around 2 a.m. and Kazinsky's trial would begin later this morning. But a couple of hours ago he made up his mind. He wasn't going to see the inside of a courthouse ever again. He decided to be brave, take matters into his own hands, just like his father, Turk. He waited for the garch to pass by and he pulled off his underwear. Then he looped it around a pipe, arranging it like a noose. Finally, this nightmare would end. His pain would be gone. It's a pain that he'd felt for weeks. It all began when his lawyer told him something shocking. They were preparing for a pretrial hearing and the lawyer explained that it was Ted's own brother. David, who had turned him into the FBI. At first, Ted refused to believe it. He knew that David loved him. He couldn't imagine such an unthinkable betrayal. But Ted later confirmed it. His own brother had ratted him out. Ted tried to pretend that it didn't hurt. But then he spotted David at the pretrial hearings, sitting alongside their mother. That's when the pain truly set in. Because it wasn't just David who betrayed him. And mother Wanda has been trying for years to hurt Ted. She's mocked him. mocked him for not having friends. mocked him by sending him to Harvard just so she could feel important. Ted thought he had already learned this lesson. But it was another reminder. Trust nobody. That's one reason why he wanted to end his life. The other reason is that his lawyers wanted him to plead not guilty by reason of insanity. But he's not insane. It's the rest of the world that's crazy. So Kaczynski decided there was only one way out of this nightmare. Only one way to make himself a martyr and memorialize himself in history. He's going to hang himself. But when he tried the elastic on the underwear broke and he came crashing to the ground. Now as he crouches in the dark corner Kaczynski can't help but weep with the most crushing feeling of grief and failure. He sobs his head banging against the concrete wall. He was betrayed by everyone he's ever known. His mother, his brother, the whole world. Kaczynski wipes his eyes with his palm and sits back as his breath steadies. Slowly he feels himself calming down. His nose is stopped running. And in his sudden bursts of clarity he realizes he can't let them win. Not after all they've done to him. He has to keep fighting. He must prove that he's sane that his ideas are true. He has to stay alive even if it means spending the rest of his life in this concrete box. Kaczynski looks around his small dark jail cell. It's maybe ten feet by twelve. The same size as his cabin. Kaczynski wipes his nose on his shirt and then rises off the floor. He makes a decision that's final. He will not plead insanity. It's better to be a caged felon than someone who the world dismisses as insane. A felon who can still lead a revolution. In January of 1998, Ted Kaczynski was declared competent to stand trial. Facing the death penalty he accepted a plea bargain, impleted guilty to three counts of murder. He also pleaded to ten federal counts related to his bombing campaign using US mail. He's currently in a Supermax prison in Colorado, serving eight consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. To this day he remains unrepentant and convinced that his philosophy is correct. David Kaczynski still lives with his wife Linda in New York. After his brother's trial, David became a vocal critic of the death penalty. He's given hundreds of talks on capital punishment, especially as it relates to those suffering from mental illness. Ted Kaczynski called for a revolution, one that would fundamentally change the modern world. He believed that science and technology were corrosive forces and he tried to halt their progress. Yet that revolution never came. Instead, with the rise of the internet, the modern world has become even more dependent on technology. But that doesn't mean Kaczynski's arguments have been forgotten. Years after it's publishing, his manifesto has attracted a broad new following. His ideas have received praise from a diverse coalition, including mainstream political commentators, journalists and environmentalists. They echo Kaczynski's arguments about the costs of technological development and the negative side effects that technology has on modern life. And outside the mainstream, the manifesto has also found support among radical political groups, including those who reject society entirely. But while many writers and thinkers see Kaczynski's fears as prophetic, they're careful to separate his quest for social change from his use of violence. As the victims of the Univomor know all too well, political violence comes with a terrible price. Next, on American scandal, we speak with John H. Richardson, a journalist and author. We'll talk about how Ted Kaczynski has gained a new following, decades after his capture. And Richardson will discuss his own correspondences with Kaczynski. From one degree, this is episode four of the Univomor for American scandal. A quick note about our reenactments. In most cases, we can't know exactly what it said. But all our dramatizations are based on historical research. If you'd like to learn more about Ted Kaczynski in the Univomor case, we recommend the books Harvard and the Univomor by Austin Chase, every last time by David Kaczynski, and hunting the Univomor by Lee's Wheel. American scandal is hosted, edited and executed produced by me, Lindsay Graham for Airship, audio editing by Molly Bach, sound design by Derek Barons. This episode is written by Sam Kean, edited by Christina Malzberg. Our senior producer is Gabe Riven. Execute a producer's our Stephanie Gens, Jenny Lauer Beckman and her nonlopus for Wonderland.