Brother of Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski: How I Dealt With His Guilt

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When Ted Kaczynski said he was too busy to come visit his younger brother in 1986, Dave Kaczynski was puzzled. How could his older brother be all that busy, living a hermit’s life, without a steady job, in a small cabin in the Montana wilderness?

A decade or so later, Dave Kaczynski learned why. His brother, who may suffer from schizophrenia, was the so-called Unabomber, busy constructing homemade bombs that he used to attack individuals, even strangers, often in academic communities, throughout the country. Authorities pursued him as a suspect after Dave Kaczynski saw frightening parallels between his brother’s writing style and the manifestos the then-unknown Unabomber made public. He contacted authorities, pointing them to Ted Kaczynski. Today, due to this action, the two brothers, once close, are estranged, recounts the Chicago Tribune.

But, unexpectedly, Dave Kaczynski is has now found a friend who is as close as a brother among Ted Kaczynski’s surviving victims, the Tribune writes in a lengthy Sunday newspaper article about the case. He and Gary Wright met after Dave Kaczynski sought forgiveness for his brother’s wrongdoing after Ted Kaczynski’s federal guilty plea in 1996 to avoid the death penalty. Dave Kaczynski and Wright lobby together against the death penalty and regularly speak at public events. They are writing a book together. They also have a friendship entirely apart from the issues and concerns that the case still creates for both of them.

At a recent conference about such killings, discussion centered on whether those who commit them are motivated by evil.

“Ted was not evil through and through,” Dave Kaczynski said. “He was someone, at the very least, who loved his little brother.”

Additional coverage:

CNN (1998): “Kaczynski admits he is Unabomber, sentenced to life without parole”

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