The Unabomber letters: A Yahoo News special report

From his prison cell, Ted Kaczynski — the “Unabomber” who terrified the nation in the 1980s and early 1990s — has carried on a remarkable correspondence with thousands of people all over the world. As the 20th anniversary of his arrest approaches, Yahoo News is publishing a series of articles based on his letters and other writings, housed in an archive at the University of Michigan. They shed unprecedented light on the mind of Kaczynski — genius, madman and murderer.

Inside the Unabomber
Inside the Unabomber
Letters from a serial killer: Inside the Unabomber archive

On Sept. 11, 2001, Kaczynski awoke around dawn inside the 12x7 foot cell where he spends 23 hours a day on the most secure wing of the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colo., home to some of the most dangerous criminals in the country. Read more

 

 
For the love of a brother

That desire to escape into the wild was something David had shared with his brother, Ted. Though Ted is seven years older, he and David were once as close as only brothers can be. Thirty years ago, the Kaczynskis, both Ivy League graduates, each quit their jobs and retreated into the wilderness. Read more

 

 
Falling in love with the Unabomber

Joy Richards had something she needed to confess. Sitting in her pastor’s office in Upland, Calif., Richards, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, wanted to make things right with God. That meant being honest about a secret she’d been keeping from those closest to her out of fear they might reject her. Read more

 

 
 
Defending the indefensible

Long before defending Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, lawyer Judy Clarke had an equally notorious client: Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. And her strategy in both cases was similar: Faced with overwhelming evidence that they were guilty of horrific crimes, she searched for details and insights into their lives that might lead jurors to see them as just human enough to spare them from death.  Read more

 

The Unabomber takes on the Internet

They had wanted to engage with a “deep thinker.” But when a thick envelope showed up one October morning six years ago bearing the return address of the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colo., professor Maureen Kendrick Murphy and her students at Huntingdon College were at first too scared to pick it up, much less open it. Read more

 

The Unabomber’s not-so-lonely prison life
The Unabomber’s not-so-lonely prison life
The Unabomber’s not-so-lonely prison life

But housed in neighboring cells on the same secluded wing at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, Colo., Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, struck up an odd friendship with two other notorious terrorists of the 1990s: Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Ramzi Yousef, who planted a bomb in the World Trade Center in 1993. Read more

 

 
 
The Unabomber’s media strategy

From his prison cell, Ted Kaczynski continues to have many declared enemies: modern technology, his family, his former attorneys and a long list of former pen pals he believes have wronged him in one way or another. But in recent years, a great deal of the Kaczynski’s rage has been directed at the media, which he believes has gotten the story totally wrong about his early life and how he came to be the Unabomber. Read more

 

 
 
Slideshow: Ted Kaczynski

Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, is locked up in a maximum-security federal prison in Florence, Colo., for killing three people and injuring 23 during a nationwide bombing spree between 1978 and 1995. He was caught in 1996 when his brother recognized his idiosyncratic writings and tipped off authorities. View photos

 

Video of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski

Did you know that the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski has never seen the Internet? Watch Video

You've seen the famous sketch and heard the name, but who exactly is the Unabomber? Watch Video

 

 

 

The series:


Monday, January 25 - A tale of two brothers >>

Tuesday, January 26 - The Unabomber’s ‘Lady Love’ >>

Wednesday, January 27 - Kaczynski and his lawyers  >>

Thursday, January 28 - The Unabomber: Lost in cyberspace >>

Friday, January 29 - Life behind bars >>

Saturday, January 30 - Unabomber's media strategy >>