Manifesto Unabomber
Personal effects of the Unabomber at auction / Image: xomalcerto/Flickr/CC BY-SA

The U.S. Marshals Service has put some of the personal belongings of Theodore John “Ted” Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, up for auction. The online auction began Wednesday and will continue through June 2.  The proceeds will go to some of the victims of Kaczynski’s nearly 20-year-long mail bombing spree.

Unibomber’s diverse personal effects

About 60 lots of items that were seized from Kaczynski’s one-room cabin in the Montana wilderness during his capture on April 3, 1996 will be sold at the auction.  These items include his trademark hooded sweatshirt and dark glasses.  Other items include personal documents, such as driver’s licenses, birth certificate, deeds, hand-written letters, checks and academic transcripts.  Also for sale are photos, tools, watches, books, clothing and bows and arrows which Kaczynski used for hunting for game.  Additional on the block is the typewriter he used to write his Industrial Society and its Future, also known as the Unabomber Manifesto.  Nearly 20,000 pages of that document, in both hand-written and typed versions, will also be auctioned.

The catalog, photos and descriptions of all the auction items are available at the GSA auction website.

A domestic terrorist

Kaczynski was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1942 and was considered a mathematical prodigy.  He was accepted to Harvard at age 16, and he received an undergraduate degree. Later he earned a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. Kaczinsky became increasingly frustrated with a society he saw as becoming rapidly technological. In 1971, Kaczynski moved to a remote one-room cabin in the Montana wilderness in an attempt to become self-sufficient. From 1978 to 1995 he sent 16 homemade mail bombs to various targets, including universities and airlines (earning him the name “Unabomber” — i.e., UNiversity and Airline bomber).  His bombs were responsible for killing three people and injuring 23 others.  The subject of a nationwide FBI manhunt, Kaczynski was eventually turned in by his brother and his sister-in-law and captured in 1996.  Now, at the age of 69, Kaczynski is serving a life sentence without chance of parole at the “supermax” prison in Florence, Colo.

Technology turned against him

“We will use the technology that Kaczynski railed against in his various manifestos to sell artifacts of his life,” said U.S. Marshal Albert Nájera in a statement to the press.

Value uncertain

The value of the items and how much they will bring in is uncertain.  “This is an unusual type of case,” Marshals spokeswoman Lynzey Donohue said today. “It’s really difficult to put a value on these items because of the intrinsic value they have based on his notoriety.”

Sources

NY Daily News:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/05/18/2011-05-18_unabomber_ted_kaczynskis_belongings_hit_auction_block_sweatshirt_glasses_typewri.html

CNN: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-12/justice/us.unabomber.auction_1_auction-plan-unabomber-ted-kaczynski-auction-website?_s=PM:CRIME

The Sacramento Bee: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/05/13/3623703/unabomber-kaczynskis-personal.html

GSA Auctions: http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/gsaauctions/

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