The Unabomber Made Lincoln, Montana Infamous. Now He’s Dead at 81
"Domestic terrorism" is in the news a lot in recent years and for good reason; the United States Accountability Office reports a whopping 357% increase in domestic terrorism investigations between 2010 and 2021. Sometimes these domestic terrorists are lone-gunmen or bombers, others are more organized groups. The FBI defines domestic terrorism as:
Domestic terrorism involves acts of violence that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, committed by individuals or groups without any foreign direction, and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, or influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
Long before the Proud Boys and Antifa were capturing headlines, there was Ted Kaczynski. A.K.A., the Unabomber.
He hid for years in a shack near Lincoln, MT.
Gen Z and Millenials may not be familiar with the story of Ted Kaczynski. In the mid-90s he made front-page news nationwide when the Most Wanted Man in America was captured in his rustic 10X14 cabin (FBI photo at the top of this story). It was little more than a shack, covered with tar paper and minimal improvements.
He claimed he was not insane.
Authorities honed in on the Unabomber after he forced the Washington Post and New York Times to publish his rambling, 35,000-word manifesto, recounts the Associated Press. Ted's brother recognized the writing style and alerted the FBI.
After his capture, Kaczynski's attorneys attempted to portray their client as legally insane, which allegedly infuriated Ted. He was eventually convicted of killing three people, although he was responsible for sending many threats over 17 years of terror, injuring 23 people. At one point, officials had a dedicated team of 150 full-time investigators searching for Ted, recounts the FBI.
From a cabin in Montana to his new digs in Colorado.
Kaczynski was sentenced to four life sentences plus 30 years and began his stint at the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado in 1998. KDVR, Denver wrote that some of the most high-profile criminals come to Florence, including Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the notorious Mexican drug lord.
Theodore "Ted" Kaczynski died at a prison medical facility in North Carolina on Saturday, June 10th, according to the AP when he was found unresponsive in his cell. He was 81. The cabin is currently at an FBI museum, but the Montana Historical Society is reportedly interested in bringing the structure back to Lincoln, MT.
Update 6/12 - AP is reporting Kaczynski died by suicide.