David’s Discovery: “It was Like Opening a Window on a Tortured Soul”

photo by Kay Jensen

In time we forget our
Need to devour
All the stories of tortured souls

Crawl into your arms
Become the night forever
Coiled and close, the moment froze
Deform to form a star
Here on earth together
I got time to share and a well used stare

This smile isn’t pure
Certain or sure
Cold precision was never there

© Kay Arne Jensen

There is a “place” known as purgatory, said to be a place of purging. In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the state after death in which the soul destined for heaven is purified. Since only the perfect can enjoy the vision of God (inferred from Mat. 12.36; Rev. 21.17), and some die in grace who have still unpunished or unrepented minor sins on their conscience, they must be purged of such sins.

The duration of time and the nature of the state of purgatory are not defined; the suffering is different in kind from that of hell, for the soul in purgatory knows that his punishment is temporary. The ancient Jews prayed for the dead (2 Mac. 12.43–46), and the Christians continued the practice, holding the concomitant belief in a middle state between life and heaven.

That is the stance that one wonders about with the Kaczynski brothers….  Ted is a paranoid schizophrenic, mass murderer who is housed in a Federal penitentiary in Colorado.  Ladyjustice asks the question as an academic exercise, is David Kaczynski, as the brother who turned him in for the greater good of humanity, in a state of purgatory?  Is he a wounded hero?  Is he just an ordinary man trying to find his way in life with divided loyalties?  Such are the questions and circumstances that try men’s souls. 

Ladyjustice and Delilah had the honor and opportunity to discuss such matters thoughtfully with David….  Sixteen years after Ted’s arrest in 1996.  Please join us on this journey…. You will learn much and be amazed at how this family’s aftermath is reason for hope and continued change within the many “systems” that dictate the fate of human life. A summary of the hour interview follows.

To Listen to the Interview with David Kaczynski:    CLICK HERE

  • Ø Praise for the Melaine Ilene Rieger Conference…
  • Ø Thoughts on the death penalty in general …. “If my brother is doing this, we can’t allow more people to be hurt.”
  • Ø Putting the pieces together to turn Ted in….. Betrayal by the Justice System;
  • Ø Delilah and David discussing  David’s family being thrust into the media spotlight; 
  • Ø The Unabomber and the “Unasnitch”
  • Ø Family Support-  Mom and Wife;
  • Ø The Manifesto publication was the beginning of David’s involvement;
  • Ø Mistakes of Law Enforcement;
  • Ø One solitary FBI Agent – Molly Flynn… Calling the 800 # and  following her intuition;
  • Ø “I felt like a victim….” Wife Linda said, “You’re not a Real Victim”
  • Ø Corresponding and meeting with victim’s families- mixed feelings;
  • Ø Blaming the family…;
  • Ø Three people killed and a couple dozen injured… 
  • Ø Murderabilia Auction – A noble gesture  of restitution to victims in 2011;
  • Ø Should be a wake up call in examining how we help victims- spending billions of dollars on the retribution side and little for victims;
  • Ø Susan Herman’s book “Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime”;
  • Ø How to make it more equal – Adversarial systems…..
  • Ø Restorative justice- Part of the solution…   including in his non-profit New Yorker’s for Alternatives to the Death Penalty…  very successful;
  • Ø Questions re Ted: Mental Health status now? Recognition of his crimes;  Has he gotten help etc?
  • Ø Lack of Communication with Ted- “In two prisons;”   Lack of Communication, Lack of acknowledgement;
  • Ø Legal System and non-compliance with Medication- Alternatives?
  • Ø Penal institutions as mental institutions – May be as high as 26% having a severe mental illness;
  • Ø Connecting offenders with treatment versus  punishment by itself;
  • Ø How should those who commit violent crimes with severe mental health issues be dealt with?    Public safety considerations;
  • Ø Guilty /innocent…. Not recognizing the many shades of gray;
  • Ø Discussion of wrongful convictions  –  DNA
  • Ø “My respect for human beings has gone up,  but my and trust for systems has decreased ;”
  • Ø  Proving delusions before the bombings…..  Ted- “I’m not crazy”- Four Experts;
  • Ø Suicide attempt; Mental Competence & the diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia;
  • Ø Those executed with severe mental illness – the hard facts
  • Ø Mental Illness is not a” Get out of death row free card”
  • Ø Noncompliance, scary affect, Firing attorneys… contribute to the plight of offenders….
  • Ø  The myth that the mentally ill defendant doesn’t stand trial, They are  found not guilty…    ***A huge gulf between the  legal definition of sanity     versus the medical definition mental illness;
  • Ø A vast majority of those who are seriously  mentally ill are often found competent/sane to stand trial and even defend themselves… to be found guilty and executed;
  • Ø How to bridge that gap? A great project for the future….  Dealing with the adversarial system and inexact science of psychology;  A legal standard born in the 19th Century;
  • Ø Childhood relationships with Ted and the start of schizophrenia (Unknown at the time);
  • Ø A really  good big brother and an “off the charts”  genius;
  • Ø A shattering realization …  unexplained hostility;
  • Ø Ted’s journey  and changing behaviors;
  • Ø The evils of technology, accusations against parents….
  • Ø How do we get Ted back?
  • Ø A timeline – The late 1970’s  “in the family”;
  • Ø Dating a woman; rejection and escalation of mental illness;
  • Ø Intense pain, returning to Montana   and the start of the bombings;
  • Ø Covering up initial bombings;
  • Ø After the trial reading 40,000 pages of Ted’s diaries; “Opening a window on a tortured soul…”
  • Ø If only…with  treatment and help Ted could have accomplished great things;
  • Ø Would you have done anything differently?   Finding another live bomb under the bed upon arrest- a turning point.
  • Ø “I wish I was more attuned to my brother’s mental illness”
  • Ø Public education and the stigma and defensiveness that is created in families…..
  • Ø );http://www.nyadp.org/.… and a quarterly journal a national “think tank” for violence prevention….    Welcoming other writers, contributors….
  • Ø Hope of future communication with Ted?   Learning to have no expectations…..   “Anything is possible.  Where there’s life there’s hope.” 
  • Ø A promise to David’s mother….



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