The Unabomber: The World Was His Target Practice

Donna R. Gore, LadyJustice

David Kaczynski, brother of Ted is an enigma… He is soft spoken, dignified and a man who carries the weight of an anguished heart that will never heal… David is also considered the traitor… He is “the one” who turned in his brother “The Unabomber” to the authorities all those years ago based on Ted’s writings.  David and his wife Linda saw Ted’s “Manifesto” published in the Washington Post, and noticed an eerie similarity in thought and language pattern using his personal correspondence as a comparison.

And yet, David is also a staunch supporter of crime victims, as a former presenter and attendee for several years at the Melanie Ilene Rieger Memorial Conference against Violence, held annually in Connecticut.   David Kaczynski is also a victim in his own right…  However, many crime victims cringe and often are uncomfortable in his presence, as some feel he “hasn’t earned his stripes” in the club of true crime victimization… Guilt by association, this writer guesses… Some detest him for his brother’s actions – a 17 year hunt and murder-maiming spree, until Ted was finally arrested in 1996.  Ted avoided the death penalty after the U.S. Justice Department was convinced by his family and others, that his delusions, (commensurate with paranoid schizophrenia) occurred prior to his violent behaviorsDonna R. Gore, LadyJustice

David subsequently became a vocal advocate for options to New York’s heretofore ineffective death penalty by starting the non-profit, “New Yorker’s for Alternatives to the Death Penalty” (NYADP); Currently the organization focuses on promoting community initiatives with lots of outreach to many sectors involved in the criminal justice spectrum, promoting restorative justice (an approach using dialogue, accountability and responsibility by offending parties to victims, in order to facilitate healing) and violence prevention.  

According to Sam Rieger, Melanie’s father, this may be David’s final appearance at the 2012 Conference, ( as he is retiring and moving to another state.

What about Ted’s Victims?

The 17 year manhunt was distilled within two worthy journalistic accounts by the Washington Post and the New York Times in April 1996. Additional Resource:

The victims of the Unabomber as a group are varied…and at best, have very little connection to each other occupationally or culturally.  The ultimate irony is that Ted Kaczynski had no personal knowledge or relationship whatsoever with any of his victims!  The “perceived injustices” and disdain for all people and things relating to research, technology, computer science, engineering and affluence seemed to be the only thread tying any of them together.

Ted admits in his warped writings that “When we were young and comparatively restless, we were much more careless in selecting targets than we are now.”  At other times, he regrets the fate of some of his victims – as inThe idea was to kill a lot of business people who we assumed would constitute the majority of passengers.  But of course, some passengers would likely have been innocent people – maybe kids or some working stiff going to see his sick grandmother.  We’re glad now that that attempt failed.”  When mentioning a secretary who was injured, he wrote, “We certainly regret that.”

 It seemed as if The Washington Post journalists likened his behavior to a “cat and mouse game” – competing for attention in the national spotlight over the Oklahoma City bombing earlier in 1995.  Kaczynski freely admitted to the murder of one victim, Thomas Mosser.    “We blew up Thomas Mosser last December because he was a Burston-Marstellar executive (Reportedly, one if the largest PR firms in the U.S.)  Ted went on, “… this means that its business is the development of techniques for manipulating people’s attitudes.”

After the Oklahoma City bombing of the Federal Building, it was Ted’s desire to always be in the forefront.  His comments were those of a sick braggart.  “We took a couple of years off to do some experimenting.  We now know how to make pipe bombs powerful enough.  Some bombings were successful, some were not.”  [LJ- What’s this “we” terminology?  It was a singular mission all the way… Only in Ted’s delusional mind was it ever “we.”]

A List of Victims:

  • Percy Woods –  Age 76 – President of United Airlines;  (Wounded)
  • Patrick Fischer- Head of the Computer Science Department  at Vanderbilt University  (Was on vacation)  His secretary opened the wooden box with the pipe bomb (Wounded);
  • Diogenes Angelokos- an electrical engineer at University of California- Berkley.  Pipe bomb encountered in the faculty lounge (Wounded);
  • Gilbert Murray – Lobbyist and  President of the California Forestry Association in Sacramento (Died);
  • Thomas Mosser- New Jersey Advertising Executive; Pipe bomb exploded in kitchen (Died);
  • John Hauser – a graduate engineering student at the University of California- Berkley and an Air Force pilot. Bomb caused three severed fingers and artery in his right arm; (Severely Wounded) This bomb was much more powerful in that ammonium nitrate was used as main ingredient.  Hauser walked into the computer lab, saw a wooden box on top of some notebooks. Colleague used a tie as a tourniquet and saved his life… but not his Air Force career;
  • James V. McConnell – a University of Michigan psychology professor and author who was “rich, flamboyant, irreverent and controversial.” His behavior modification theories scared people like Kaczynski.  McConnell espoused the theory that “people could be molded simply by deciding what they should be and then their behavior was manipulated by others.” McConnell conducted his research with flatworms and even appeared on the Steve Allen show.  (Kaczynski happened to be a graduate student at Ann Arbor in the Mathematics Department when this was happening).  McConnell achieved greater fame with his “Understanding Human Behavior” textbook, with widespread use in over 700 campuses, from which he received royalties of $250,000 per year. (Aftermath – Mild hearing loss but  McConnell stated, “I wandered around the house scared, angry and frustrated – Died in 1990)
  • Nicklaus Suino,  Age 25, Assistant to McConnell “wrestled with package” to open it (Wounded – shrapnel and powder burns);
  • Hugh C. Scrutton, Age 32; Bomb was disguised as debris outside his Sacramento computer store. Scrutton was a summer math student the same year Kaczynski began teaching there in 1967. (Died);
  • Tom Tyler- A social psychology professor at Berkley. Tyler “nearly sealed his fate” when he publically made objectionable comments re Ted Kaczynski and the Oklahoma City bombers.  Tyler stated they had, “Exaggerated feelings that the government was out to get them. The letter asks Tyler to read his document, which he had sent to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and three other media outlets (see September 19, 1995). Tyler responds that he welcomes Kaczynski’s suggestion that revolution “need not be violent or sudden,” says that Kaczynski is not alone in feeling discontented with today’s society, and that “it is wrong to simply say that people who are dissatisfied are in some way non-rational.” However, Tyler disagrees with his argument that industrial-technological society cannot be reformed. (Appears to have been unharmed);
  • Dr. Charles Epstein, a geneticist from Tiburon, California at the University of California, opens a package mailed to his home and brought inside by his daughter Joanna. The package, a wooden box, contains a bomb. The explosion blows off several of Epstein’s fingers, breaks his arm, and causes a number of abdominal injuries. (Severely Wounded) (Epstein is known as a researcher who has helped identify a gene that may contribute to Down’s Syndrome).



A Curious Thing or Two…

1) “Wood”- Ted Kaczynski was strangely preoccupied with wood.  As reported by the Washington Post, he “painstakingly carved wooden pieces” to construct his bombs and wooden containers. Percy A. Wood, President of United Airlines sustained serious injuries and had the “right/wrong name.”  Another “wood connection” was the fact that Ted killed Gilbert Murray, the Lobbyist/President of the California Forestry Association.

[LJ- What did Ted have against wood?  It is a natural resource, “made by nature,” and not related to technology per se.]

A Careless Academician”

2) For all off his theories, experimentation, practice runs and planning, Ted Kaczynski was very careless. News accounts reveal that he used outdated University directories, newsletters and other publications.  Ted would also purposefully use other people’s addresses as “sender”.  He used cancelled stamps.  One mailing was sent to the University of Chicago, but addressed to a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, hundreds of miles away. The fake return address was “from a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Ultimately, it was returned to the sender and disarmed after notifying the police.    Another incident occurred in which a bomb package was addressed to a predecessor at the California Forestry Association.

To Ladyjustice, it appears that accuracy didn’t count with Ted.  It’s as if the world was just target practice…and with few exceptions…. anyone he killed was just fine!

When the final count was taken, Ted’s “master plan” included at least 16 attempts, 3 murders and 23 serious injuries!

The Book:   “Unabomber: The Secret Life of Ted Kaczynski;” Author- Christopher Waits                                                     

Ladyjustice read this book in the late 1990’s and was fascinated. Chris Wait was Kaczynski’s Montana neighbor who befriended the reclusive killer.  Waits, in fact, aided and abetted Kaczynski’s murderous goals without realizing what he was doing. The book contains many true life descriptions of survivalist life in the Northern Rockies, is informative, intriguing and includes undisputed proof re Ted’s journal entries, thoughts  and photos of their 25 year journey as neighbors.  One of the saddest realizations is that Chris Waits was Kaczynski’s only true friend for 25 years. Link:



  1. […] David Kaczynski is also a victim in his own right…  However, many crime victims cringe and often are uncomfortable in his presence, as some feel he “hasn’t earned his stripes” in the club of true crime victimization… Guilt by association, this writer guesses… Some detest him for his brother’s actions – a 17 year hunt and murder-maiming spree, until Ted was finally arrested in 1996.  Ted avoided the death penalty after the U.S. Justice Department was convinced by his family and others, that his delusions, (commensurate with paranoid schizophrenia) occurred prior to his violent behaviors.  The Unabomber: The World Was His Target Practice […]

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