Ted Kaczynski, Also Known as the ‘Unabomber,’ Commits Suicide in Prison Cell – He was 81 Years Old

Ted Kaczynski, better known as the ‘Unabomber,’ committed suicide this weekend – roughly 27 years after his capture. He was found unresponsive in his prison cell at Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday (June 10), according to several Associated Press sources. 

Emergency responders were quick to the scene and ended up reviving Kaczynski with CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital later that day. He was 81 at the time of his death – having celebrated his birthday just a few weeks ago (May 22). Medical records confirm he was suffering from late-stage cancer. 

For those who are too young to remember, Kaczynski terrorized the United States for 17 years between 1978 and 1995. He would construct homemade bombs and either hand-deliver them or send them through the mail to various targets across the country – ultimately killing 7 and injuring another 23 people.

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Ted Kaczynski grew up a prodigy – excelling in school and gaining a strong interest in mathematics. He skipped the 11th grade and graduated high school at just 15 years old before being accepted into Harvard University that same year. He entered Harvard in 1958 at just 16 years old and graduated four years later.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Harvard, Kaczynski enrolled at the University of Michigan and earned his Master’s (1964) and Doctoral (1967) degrees in mathematics. He would go on to begin his career as a mathemetician, but things would take a turn for the worse in 1971. 

In 1971, he moved to Lincoln, Montana and proceeded to live a primitive lifestyle in a remote cabin he had built himself – he was without running water and electricity. Over the next few years, he began engaging in odd behavior and was dedicated to bringing about the ‘collapse of the modern social order.’

He executed his first bombing in May 1978 and executed 16 more bombings over the next 17 years – two of which were defused before detonating. The FBI was searching for him for nearly two decades, resulting in what many refer to as the ‘nation’s longest, costliest manhunt.’ He was captured in his cabin in 1996.

17 Bombs, 17 Years of Terror at the Hands of Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski primarily targeted universities, academics, and airlines with his homemade bombs, which is where he earned the ‘Unabomber’ moniker. The FBI used the code name ‘UNABOM’ when describing his case, which was an abbreviation of ‘UNiversity and Airline BOMbing’ – just like that, a villain was born.

Since a lot of you weren’t alive when he carried out his attacks, let’s take a quick look at all 17 of his attacks between 1978 and 1995: 

  • May 25, 1978 – Terry Marker, a Northwestern University police officer, suffered minor cuts and burns.
  • May 9, 1979 – John Harris, a graduate student at Northwestern University, suffered minor cuts and burns. 
  • November 15, 1979 – twelve passengers aboard American Airlines Flight 444 suffered non-lethal smoke inhalation.
  • June 10, 1980 – Percy Wood, the President of United Airlines, suffered severe cuts and burns over body and face. 
  • October 8, 1981 – bomb was defused before detonating at the University of Utah.
  • May 5, 1982 – Janet Smith, a secretary at Vanderbilt University, suffered severe burns to hands and had shrapnel wounds over body.
  • July 2, 1982 – Diogenes Angelakos, an engineering professor at the University of California, suffered severe burns and had shrapnel wounds over face and hand.
  • May 15, 1985 – John Hauser, a graduate student at the University of California, suffered the loss of four fingers, a severed artery in the arm, and partial vision loss. 
  • June 13, 1985 – bomb was defused before detonating at The Boeing Company in Auburn.
  • November 15, 1985 – James V. McConnell, a psychology professor, and Nicklaus Suino, a research assistant, suffered injuries at the University of Michigan. 
  • December 11, 1985 – Hugh Scrutton, a computer store owner, died in Sacramento.
  • February 20, 1987 – Gary Wright, a computer store owner, suffered severe nerve damage to his arm in Salt Lake City. 
  • June 22, 1993 – Charles Epstein, a geneticist, suffered damage to his eardrums, partial hearing loss, and lost three fingers in Tiburon, CA. 
  • June 24, 1993 – David Gelernter, a computer science professor at Yale University, suffered severe burns, had shrapnel wounds, lost use of right hand, and had damage to right eye. 
  • December 10, 1994 – Thomas J. Mosser, an advertising executive at Burson-Marsteller, died in North Caldwell, NJ. 
  • April 24, 1995 – Gilbert Brent Murray, a timber industry lobbyist, died in Sacramento, CA. 
Ted Kaczynski, Also Known as the ‘Unabomber,’ Commits Suicide in Prison Cell – He was 81 Years Old | Ted Kaczynski, better known as the ‘Unabomber,’ committed suicide in his prison cell on Saturday (June 10) – roughly 27 years after his capture.

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Ted Kaczynski was charged with 10 counts of transportation, mailing, and use of bombs, and three counts of first-degree murder in 1998. He was sentenced to 8 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. He previously attempted to kill himself with a pair of underwear in 1998 – while awaiting trial.

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