By in Random

Unabomber Revisited

On this day, January 22, 1998, Ted Kaczynski was in a court of law and entered a plea of guilty to all the charges brought against him by the United States government. The only reason he did so was to avoid the death penalty. What did he do that led to this plea 17 years ago? Maybe you may be more familiar with him if I called him the "Unabomber".

This genius of a mathematical man was born on May 22, 1942. What happened in the 56 years from then to his day in court? In short, he grew up known as a child prodigy and was actually accepted into Harvard University at the age of 16 years old. After earning a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan, he went on to become an assistant professor of math at University of California Berkley. That was in 1967 and he was only 25 years old. Yet, his brilliance did not translate into success as a professor and he resigned in 1969 due to stress and nerves brought on by teaching.

After a short stay at his parents’ home in Illinois, he built a cabin in Montana, worked briefly with his father and brother at a foam-rubber factory until fired by his brother and wanted to live a secluded life of self-sufficiency. As that was not working out, he happened on a favorite wild spot of his during a walk and saw it had been destroyed and replaced with a road. And according to Wikipedia, …”He soon came to the conclusion that more violent methods would be the only solution to what he saw as the problem of industrial civilization. He says that he lost faith in the idea of reform and saw violent collapse as the only way to bring down the techno-industrial system.”

This led to his sick and demented behavior of mailing or personally delivering 16 homemade bombs from 1978 to 1995 which accounted for 3 deaths and 23 more injuries to innocent people. He eventually received four consecutive life sentences and is now at the Colorado "Supermax" facility, where he will spend the rest of his life. What a waste of a fine mind that could have helped in untold positive ways.


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