A recent auction sold off various items belonging to Ted Kaczynski, the man known as the “Unabomber.” Kaczynski, a mathematical genius, eventually became an eco-terrorist and killed several people with bombs sent to victims by mail. More than $200,000 was raised by selling Kaczynski’s belongings and artifacts.
Hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses sell for $20,000
Artifact hunters recently paid $20,025 for a hooded sweatshirt and a pair of sunglasses, and neither items were from a designer label, according to the Washington Post. To top it off, the auction was held online. The hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses in question belonged to the notorious “Unabomber,” serial murderer Ted Kaczynski. Kaczynski, after beginning a career as a brilliant mathematician, eventually became one of The United States’ worst domestic terrorists. He sent 16 bombs via mail, killing three and injuring 23 from 1978 until 1995. The online auction was the result of a court order obtained by the U.S. Marshals service, who wanted to auction off some of Kaczynski’s belongings to pay some restitution to his victims and victims’ families. The auction raised $232,246, according to CNN, and was administrated by the General Services Administration.
Typewriter goes for $22,000
The Smith Corona typewriter that Kaczynski used to type the document now known as the “Unabomber Manifesto” fetched $22,003. The hand-typed original copy of the manifesto sold for $20,053. Kaczynski’s journals, the highest grossing individual lot in the auction, went for $40,676. Reactions among Kaczynski’s victims and family members were mixed. Some were in favor of receiving some sort of recompense, and others just wanted to forget about the the events. David Kaczynski, Ted’s brother and the man who tipped off the FBI about Ted in 1995, wrote on his blog that the government was cynically selling items to “murderabilia” enthusiasts, collectors fascinated with items used in or connected to murders and serial killers. However, he acknowledged the cause was “entirely worthy” and that “I hope (the auction) raises a ton of money.” However, he lamented that the victims themselves received little support from the government after taxpayers had to cover the $8 million costs of the 17-year manhunt.
Murderabilia has a thriving number of enthusiasts, and common items connected with a high-profile case can fetch high prices. The coat rack Ryan Jenkins used to hang himself was put up for auction recently for $1,750, according to the Toronto Sun. Jenkins was implicated in the death of his model ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, and took his life on the run from authorities. The website murderauction.com is one of the largest auction sites for such memorabilia. A few listings from the site include artwork from Charles Manson and John Wayne Gacy and a signed letter written by Jeffrey Dahmer. None of those lots is listed for less than $1,000.
A walk through Kaczynski’s mind
Washington Post: http://wapo.st/mhfw6H
David Kaczynski’s blog: http://blog.timesunion.com/kaczynski/423/423/
Toronto Sun: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/05/13/suicide-coat-rack-on-auction-block
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