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Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:19 pm
by fredg
"Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone" by Robert Graysmith, which appeared in USA Today on November 11, 1997. I was able to find a copy of the article at The Memory Hole website, and am reposting here for interested readers and for archival purposes.

>>> Saying that Ted Kaczynski wasn't the only person behind the Unabomber mail-bomb campaign is the height of paranoid lunacy, right? Everybody knows that the reclusive former professor belongs in the heavily-populated pantheon of lone nuts.

Well, not everybody. In November 1997, as the trial of Ted Kaczynski was in its preparatory stages, true crime writer Robert Graysmith examined some of the huge flaws in the theory that Kaczynski was the sole perpetrator. Graysmith has investigated several cases and is best known for his classic work on the Zodiac Killer, titled simply Zodiac. His article on the Unabomber case was published in USA Today, the country's most mainstream, most widely read newspaper. Obviously, suggesting that Kaczynski acted in concert with at least one other person was not yet considered off limits.

At the end of his article, Graysmith optimistically states that the upcoming trial will get to the bottom of things. This was never to be. Judge Garland Ellis Burrell Jr. denied Kaczynski's requests to represent himself at trial, and on 22 January 1998 Kaczynski pled guilty. All of the crucial problems which Graysmith highlighted in his article--all the impossibilities and inconsistencies--were instantly forgotten as the government and media pretended that Kaczynski's guilty plea closed the book on the 18-year string of mail-bombings.

Maybe the Unabomber Wasn't Alone
Robert Graysmith
USA TODAY, 11 Nov 1997

When FBI agents swarmed into Ted Kaczynski's Montana cabin on April 3, 1996, they unearthed "a mother lode of evidence" that he was the Unabomber. The case seemed open and shut.

But as jury selection opens up Wednesday, serious questions about the government's case remain.

The FBI logged 720 items of evidence from the cabin. Agents searched that cabin so thoroughly they cataloged lint and dust. But what may be more important is what they did not find.

The cabin had no electricity, no lights, no power of any kind. Yet the suspected terrorist bomber, the subject of the longest search in FBI history, had built sophisticated bombs, cutting, welding and drilling metal pieces to do so. Where were the tools?

In the cabin FBI agents ferreted out a blue and red wooden-handled manual drill, seven wood drill bits, one drill base and a welding mask.

It's highly unlikely that those tools alone could have built the Unabomber's weapons.

-- There was no power drill, though the Unabomber's pipe bombs had precisely drilled fittings to secure the metal end caps that sealed the explosive inside.

-- There also was no electric welding set (and no gas tank or acetylene torch for a gas welding set). But beading and a change in the pearl-like grain of metal on the finished welded end plates of the bombs suggest high temperatures had been reached, such as the 6,300-degree heat from an oxyacetylene welding torch.

The fire pit in Kaczynski's garden might have generated high temperatures, but it seems unlikely he could have done any detailed welding work in such a place.

Each of the Unabomber's devices, with the exception of the first two, showed over-soldering. There was solder in that cabin, but no soldering iron.

Penciled numbers on the bomb pieces show that the devices were assembled and reassembled many times before being finished. Could he read those marks in the cabin's very dim light?

Kaczynski could have worked outside, either to assemble the bombs or work the metal in the fire pit, but agents had the suspect and the cabin under surveillance for two months before his arrest. Surely they would have seem him at this. Yet when they seized the cabin, they found a live bomb wrapped and ready to mail. Where had that come from?

Was there a hidden lab? And, if so, whose was it?

Kaczynski was a poor man. In an 18-year crime spree he spent only a few thousand dollars. Outfitting his own machine shop or bomb lab was surely beyond his means.

Had the accused secretly gained access to welding equipment in Lincoln or Helena, test-detonated his devices in the remote Scapegoat Wilderness and gathered components from the many junk piles owned by his neighbors? And if there was a lab or machine shop belonging to someone else, did he know Kaczynski was using it?

Until we know where and how the Unabomber made his bombs, the possibility of an accomplice cannot be ruled out.

There are other hints that there may be an accomplice. The Unabomber used the Park Hotel in Helena, Mont., as a halfway house, staying there before he left the state and when he returned. For every bombing, we can fix a stay at the Park hotel before and after.

There is only one exception. The registration records do not show any stay at the Park Hotel bracketing the bombing that killed Hugh Scrutton, one of the murders for which Kaczynski is about to go on trial.

Moreover, a bank deposit slip, apparently on a Helena bank for one of his three accounts, dated Dec. 11, 1985, places the former mathematics professor in Montana while the bomb that killed Scrutton was being placed in Sacramento.

FBI agent Terry Turchie wrote in his detailed affidavit that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms "has been unable to determine as yet whether this posting date accurately indicates that Theodore Kaczynski personally made a deposit on that day." If that loophole stays open, it is a big one. It would have taken the accused 25-1/2 hours by bus, which is how he always traveled, to get to Sacramento to place that bomb.

Of course, with the trial and Kaczynski's detailed diaries, we will eventually know the answer to these and other inconsistencies.

I can hardly wait.

Copyright 1997 Gannett Company, Inc.

Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:38 am
by akwilks
Of course the trial never happened.

I have yet to hear an explanation as to how TK made a bank deposit in MT and set a bomb in UT at the same time.

There may be a logical explanation. But that and the tools needed to make the bombs does make you at least consider a small chance that he may have had an associate or confederate assisting him.

As for the Z case, I think Z was one person, though a possible witness to the body dumping of Judith Hakari saw a bearded man much like TK with at least one other clean shaven man.

Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:58 pm
by AweShucks
If the deposit was placed in an overnight drop box it may very well not have gotten processed that exact day. I use to use them on occasion and remember some of my deposits took almost 2 days to post. Not to mention if it was dropped on a Friday it probably wouldn't post til Monday. Things were slower back then. There is also towns in Montana that I have been to where gas stations are closed on Sunday to this day. Laid back is a way of life there things take time.

Graysmith is in the business for money. Bringing up questions and publicity mean a paycheck for him.

Ted moved to Montana and lived in the mountains to be alone yet decided to recruit a trusted accomplice for his bombing campaign? Simply ridiculous...........

Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:51 pm
by akwilks
I don't say it is highly likely, but I don't dismiss it 100% either.

Ted mostly was a lone wolf, as you point out.

The bank slip could be a mix up, but I think they said he made the deposit in person.

Ted did have some contact with radicals in the Earth First and anarchist movements. And we have the oddity of a man seen with the bearded man dumping the body of Hakari.

I am 95% sure Z acted alone and Ted K acted alone, but these things - which probably have innocent explanations - cause me to keep a little bit of an open mind.

Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:03 pm
by AweShucks
Ted didn't have the social capacity to maintain a close and trusted friend. That's about the end of it. All probably innocent occurrences as you mention.

Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:36 pm
by akwilks
Yes probably true. I agree with you, Ted was a lone wolf and it is hard to imagine him trusting anyone to be even a lower level confederate unless he was 100% convinced of their bona fide hatred for the system (i.e., he knew they had done crimes and thus could be trusted) OR it was someone close to his brother...

The bank slip thing must have been a mix up...yet the FBI could never seem to explain it.

I have not focused on the issue because there are other investigative and research priorities, and I think it 95% likely - or better - that both Zodiac and the Unabomber acted alone. Yet I would like to have the matters explained just to erase all doubt.

Others think Zodiac was a "team" or connected to larger conspiratial plots, like the Manson Family, Satanic groups or local drug and crime groups. Interesting theories, but I see no solid evidence of any of that at all.

My focus has been on "who did these crimes", and the overwhelming bulk of the evidence points to one man, not a team.

Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:20 pm
by DarlaJones
This seemed the most appropriate discussion to put this in because, I believe that this physical evidence from the EAR/ONS/GSK investigation looks very much like the notebooks and writings of Ted Kaczynski. So, Ted could have a accomplice, the Original Night Stalker. I started investigating TK when two different POI's for ONS had ties to Montana. One in Billings, MT and one in Missoula. When I realized that the Unabomber was from Montana, I started looking at him as an ONS accomplice. What I found was that the ONS map looks very similar to the neighborhood where TK's parents lived. There are other reasons to think that he was an accomplice to ONS, as well. Which I will post in this thread.

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Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:22 pm
by DarlaJones
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Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:31 pm
by DarlaJones
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Re: Maybe the Unabomber wasn't alone [USA Today article]

PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:32 pm
by DarlaJones
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