Meet Ted Kaczynski: The criminal genius “Unabomber”

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It is ironic that history’s “bad” characters are the most admired. This could happen because they were intellectual stars, who achieved extraordinary feats with their ability of reasoning, alertness and their cunning. Theodore Kaczynski was an American philosopher and mathematician who became famous by sending bomb letters.


These explosive letters were motivated by his analysis of modern technological society. On this topic, he also wrote an important work entitled: “Industrial society and its future”. He signed under the same pseudonym of Freedom Club. This work would be decisive; later on, it’ll be explained why.

Early years

In his doctoral thesis – called “Boundary Functions” – Kaczynski was able to solve in a single year an exercise that even his mathematics teacher hadn’t approached. This provoked the astonishment and admiration of many. One of his teachers said once about Ted that “It’s not enough to say that he was clever.” Thanks to this work, Ted won the award for the best mathematics thesis of the year. This would be only a sample of what he could achieve with his brain.


Right image – psychologytoday

After his graduation from Harvard University, he began working as an assistant professor at the University of Berkeley, but at age 27 he resigned and moved to a remote cabin, where he had neither water nor electricity. From there, something changed or simply the time had come to show the world its true intentions.


The “Unabomber” killed 3 people and injured 20. His letters impregnated the American collective mind with terror until one day, Ted sent a letter with a manifesto – Industrial society and its future – to the New York Times, in which he called a revolution before the modern industrialized society, saying that the Industrial Revolution had been a disaster for humanity, using philosophical, scientific and psychological arguments. Ted told the press in the letter that he would stop his shipments of bombs if they published the letter.

Image by highered.nbclearn


After four months, two American newspapers published the manifesto. Then, his brother David Kazcysnki informed the police that the Unabomber was possibly his brother. He recognized a key phrase in the manifesto Theodore had shared with him long time ago.

image by thestar

Ted was captured and sentenced to life imprisonment on 1994. Authorities forced him to pay for his victims and survivors the amount of $232,000. After 2 years FBI agents claimed they found the original manifesto in his cabin. Nevertheless, his ideas about the industry’s pernicious path, remain latent and may be a reality for the years to come.

The Unabomber Manifesto. Published 19 th of September 1995


Feature Image – RickRaven’sBeak

Giannis Sore

Giannis Sore

Giannis is an IT enginner from Athens.
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