Theodore Kaczynski looks around as the US Marshals prepare to bring him down the steps of the Federal Courthouse to a waiting vehicle on June 21, 1996, in Helena, MT. Earlier this month, he was transferred from a Supermax prison to a medical facility. (Elaine Thompson, Associated Press)
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DENVER – The man known as “Unabomber” has been transferred to a federal prison medical facility in North Carolina after spending the past two decades in a Supermax federal prison in Colorado for a series of bombings targeting scientists.
Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski, 79, was transferred Dec. 14 to the US Bureau of Prison’s FMC Butner Medical Center in eastern North Carolina, according to office spokesperson Donald Murphy. Murphy declined to disclose details of Kaczynski’s state of health or the reason for his transfer.
Kaczynski serves life without parole after his arrest in 1996 at the primitive cabin he lived in in western Montana. He pleaded guilty to 16 explosions that killed three people and injured 23 others in various parts of the country between 1978 and 1995.
Federal Medical Center Butner in Granville County, North Carolina, just northeast of Durham, provides inmate medical services including oncology, surgery, neurodiagnosis and dialysis, according to the Bureau of Prisons . She opened an advanced care unit and a palliative care unit in 2010.
Butner has 771 inmates, according to the prison office, and has hosted notable offenders, including John Hinckley Jr., who was assessed there after shooting President Ronald Reagan and Bernard madoff, the infamous architect of a massive Ponzi scheme who died at the North Carolina facility earlier in 2021.
In November, the former Oklahoma zookeeper known as Exotic “Tiger King” Joe was transferred to the facility after a cancer diagnosis, his lawyer said. Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, had been convicted of trying to hire someone to kill an animal rights activist and for breaking federal wildlife laws.
The deadly homemade bombs Avenger Kaczynski mailed – including an altitude-triggered explosion that went off as expected on an American Airlines flight – changed the way Americans sent packages and boarded planes.
A threat in 1995 to detonate a plane from Los Angeles before the end of the July 4 weekend plunged air travel and mail delivery into chaos. The Unabomber later claimed it was a “farce”.
The Harvard-trained mathematician had spoken out against the effects of advanced technology and led authorities in the nation’s longest and costliest manhunt. The FBI nicknamed it the Unabomber because its first targets seemed to be universities and airlines.
In September 1995, the Washington Post, in conjunction with the New York Times, published its anti-technology manifesto, “Industrial Society and Its Future.” The manifesto was printed at the request of federal authorities, after the suicide bomber said he would renounce terrorism if a national publication published his treaty.
The treaty led his brother David and David’s wife Linda Patrik to recognize his writings and turn him over to the FBI.
In April 1996, authorities found Kaczynski outside of Lincoln, MT, in a 10 x 14 foot (3 x 4 meter) plywood and tar paper cabin where he had lived since the 1970s. filled with newspapers, coded diary, explosive ingredients and two completed bombs.
Kaczynski hated the idea of being considered mentally ill and during his trial he attempted to fire his lawyers as they wanted to mount a defense against insanity. He ultimately pleaded guilty rather than having his lawyers proceed.
In his personal diaries published at the trial by the government at the request of the families of the victims, Kaczynski described his motive as “mere personal revenge”.
“I often had fantasies of killing the kind of people I hated – that is, government officials, police officers, computer scientists, the rowdy type of college students who left their beer cans in the room. ‘arboretum, etc., etc., etc., “he wrote.
Kaczynski killed Hugh Scrutton, owner of a computer rental store, publicity manager Thomas Mosser and lumber industry lobbyist Gilbert Murray. California geneticist Charles Epstein and Yale University computer expert David Gelernter were maimed by bombs two days apart in June 1993.
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