The Unabomber Pages
Injured: In blast on July 2, 1982, at the University of California, Berkeley.
Synopsis: Angelakos, an electrical engineering professor, was injured when he grabbed a booby-trapped package left in a coffee room in Cory Hall. The blast mangled his right hand, but he avoided more serious injury when a gasoline can attached to the pipe bomb failed to explode. Following extensive surgery, he learned to write again, but powder burns served as a reminder of the bombing.
Disaster strikes twice: Also present at the May 15, 1985, blast at Berkeley. He tied a makeshift tourniquet around the arm of bombing victim John Hauser moments after the explosion.
On the Unabomber: "I would like to ask the guy ... if he believes in making changes for the good, why would he be hurting people? That's the only thing I'd like to know," Angelakos said after Kaczynski's 1996 arrest.
Born: Chicago, 1919.
Died: In his Berkeley home on June 7, 1997, at the age of 77 after battling prostate cancer for more than six years.
Education: Received degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Harvard.
Career: Worked briefly at Notre Dame before he went to Berkeley in 1951, becoming director of the Electronics Research Laboratory in 1964. He retired as director in 1984, but continued to work with the lab until three weeks before his death.
Awards: Received the school's highest award, the Berkeley Citation.
Accomplishments: Considered a pioneer in the field of microwaves, antennas and electromagnetic waves, as well as an advocate for students.
Impressions: "He was very much a people person, encouraging faculty and students to interact with one another," Andrew Neureuther, whom Angelakos enticed to Berkeley as an electronic engineering professor in 1966, told The Associated Press after his death.
Family: His wife, Helen, died of cancer in 1982, and his son, Demetri, of sickle cell anemia and thalassemia in 1979. He is survived by a daughter, Erica Angelakos of Seattle.
Buckley Crist Jr.
Targeted: On May 26, 1978, at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
Synopsis: A woman walking through a parking lot at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle campus found a package lying on the pavement. The parcel, which had $10 in uncanceled stamps pasted on it, was addressed to E.J. Smith, an electrical engineering professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. The return address was that of Crist, a materials engineering professor at Northwestern's Technological Institute.
The package was returned to Crist, who could not recall sending it. Neither did his secretary, so Crist called campus security. Northwestern police officer Terry Marker opened the parcel, which exploded and injured him slightly. Neither Crist nor Smith knew why they might be targeted.
Education: Earned bachelor's from Williams College and Ph.D. from Duke University.
Present job: Professor of materials science and engineering and chemical engineering at Northwestern.
Reflections: "If you've been involved in something like this, you really want to know why," Crist told the Chicago Tribune after Kaczynski's 1996 arrest
Dr. Charles Epstein
Injured: In blast on June 22, 1993, in Tiburon.
Synopsis: Epstein, a world-renowned geneticist at the University of California, San Francisco, was injured when he opened a bomb in a padded brown envelope mailed to his home. He lost several fingers on his right hand, and suffered a broken arm and severe abdominal injuries. The blast blew out the windows of the house. The injuries required five hours of surgery. The return address on the package was that of James Hill, chairman of the chemistry department at California State University, Sacramento.
Early theory: Not sure initially if the blast was the work of the Unabomber, FBI investigators also questioned whether the bombings of Epstein and Yale professor David Gelernter could be the work of someone influenced by the hit movie, "Jurassic Park," which portrayed in a negative light two genetics researchers, one from Yale and the other from San Francisco. The film characters helped develop a theme park featuring extinct dinosaurs brought to life through gene-cloning procedures.
Impressions: "Everyone seems to indicate Dr. Epstein is a fine, upstanding gentleman, well-regarded and well-liked not only by his neighbors but by his associates and employees at the hospital at the university," John Covert, acting head of the FBI's San Francisco office, said shortly after the bombing.
Career: Professor of pediatrics and chief of the division of medical genetics at the University of California, San Francisco.
Accomplishments: Editor of the American Journal of Human Genetics; located a gene that may contribute to Down's syndrome; has won many awards for his research.
On the Unabomber: "For the longest time I couldn't feel anything for him," Epstein said after Kaczynski's plea bargain. "I don't feel anger per se. I looked at him in court, and I came to the decision this is a profoundly evil person. He is really the essence of evil."
"The bottom line is," he said, "he's a coward. He himself, who was willing to sentence other people to death, was afraid to die himself. He wasn't willing to die for his ideas. He was willing for me to die for them."
On the Unabomber manifesto: Epstein wrote in a guest editorial for Genetic Engineering News that the Unabomber's sentiments were not out of line with much that has been said or written by "less disturbed minds." He added that if all of the criticisms about genetics and its potential applications were at the level of the Unabomber's manifesto and similar types of writing, "I would be concerned but would not be deeply troubled."
Patrick C. Fischer
Targeted: On May 5, 1982, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
Synopsis: Fischer, head of the computer science department at Vanderbilt, was giving a series of lectures in Puerto Rico when his secretary, Janet Smith, opened a parcel addressed to the professor.
The package, a wooden box containing a pipe bomb, bore a return address from an engineering professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. It was sent to Pennsylvania State University, where Fischer had taught prior to moving to Nashville, and forwarded to Vanderbilt. Smith suffered cuts to her chest, arms and hands.
Present job: Professor of computer science at Vanderbilt.
Education: Earned bachelor's in mathematics at University of Michigan in 1957; master's in actuarial science, University of Michigan, 1958; Ph.D. in mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1962.
Career: Held positions at Harvard, Cornell, the University of Waterloo and Penn State before becoming a Vanderbilt professor in 1980; also served as computer science chair at Vanderbilt for 15 years.
Experience: Founder of the ACM Special Interest Group for Algorithms and Computability Theory; also served on the Association for Computing Machinery; holds positions on the editorial boards of the Journal of Computer and System Sciences, and Computer Languages.
Research: In theoretical computer science until 1972 and primarily in database theory since then.
Kaczynski connection: Both men studied mathematics in Cambridge, Mass., in the early 1960s. Fischer, then a graduate student at MIT, took a course at Harvard in 1962, the same year Kaczynski got his math degree from the university.
"It's conceivable that we took a course together but I don't know for sure," Fischer told the Chicago Tribune after Kaczynski's 1996 arrest. "We could have overlapped as students. I don't remember the name or the face."
Injured: In blast on June 24, 1993, at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Synopsis: A bomb injured Gelernter, a computer scientist, when he opened a package mailed to his office. The return address was that of Mary Jane Lee, a computer science professor at California State University, Sacramento. Gelernter suffered serious wounds to the abdomen and chest, and lost part of his right hand, vision in his left eye and the hearing in one ear.
Education: Earned bachelor's at Yale in 1976; received Ph.D. from The State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1982.
Career: Joined staff at Yale in 1982; now a professor of computer science.
Research interests: Parallel programming, software ensembles and artificial intelligence.
Achievements: Best known for developing, along with Yale's Nicholas Carriero, a computer programming language called "Linda"; received a Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1986.
Author: Of "Mirror Worlds" and "1939: The Lost World of the Fair," a look at the 1939 World's Fair and the passionate feelings it still evokes in those who were there; the autobiographical "Drawing Life: Surviving the Unabomber" was recently released. Also co-wrote several textbooks.
On the Unabomber: "I couldn't care less what the man's views on technology are or what message he intended to deliver; the message I got was that in any society, no matter how rich, just and free, you can rely on there being a certain number of evil cowards. I thank him for passing it along, but I knew that anyway." — a reflection by Gelernter in Time magazine after Kaczynski's arrest.
Other thoughts: "The bright side, so to speak, of grave injury, discomfort and nearness to death is that you emerge with a clear fix on what the heart treasures. Mostly I didn't learn anything new but had the satisfaction of having my hunches confirmed. I emerged knowing that, as I had always suspected, the time I spend with my wife and boys is all that matters in the end." — also from Time magazine, April 15, 1996.
Follow-up: In 1995, the Unabomber mailed a letter to Gelernter mocking him as a "techno-nerd" and jeering him for opening the explosive package two years before. The letter, mailed from Oakland on the same date as three other letters and a package bomb that killed timber lobbyist Gilbert B. Murray, criticized Gelernter for writing in his 1991 book, "Mirror Worlds," that the advance of computerization was "inevitable."
On Kaczynski: "I don't think the guy is deranged," he said during an interview on the "Today" show. "I haven't seen a shred of evidence to suggest that he isn't telling the truth when he tells us he's absolutely sane, cogent, that he's proud of being a cowardly terrorist killer."
On the outcome: "We have a death penalty in this country to use in the case of vicious, terrorist killers," he said. "I think if we don't have it in us to use the death penalty in these cases, it's a tragedy for the American people."
John G. Harris
Injured: In blast on May 9, 1979, at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Synopsis: A disguised explosive device left in a common area in the university's Technological Institute slightly injured Harris when he attempted to open the cigar box and it exploded. The graduate researcher suffered cuts on his arms and burns around his eyes.
The force of the blast blew his eyeglasses off his face and singed his eyebrows and lashes. Harris and several other graduate students had been researching ground motion of strong earthquakes at the time.
Reflections: "From my perspective, it was a random event, nothing different than being hit by a car," Harris told the Evanston Review in 1996. "I think the big impact has been all the interest from the press."
Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Education: Earned bachelor's in electrical engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; master's in applied physics from Stanford University; and Ph.D. in mathematics from Northwestern University in 1979.
Present job: Professor of theoretical and applied mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
John E. Hauser
Injured: In blast on May 15, 1985, at the University of California, Berkeley.
Synopsis: Hauser, an Air Force pilot, engineering student and aspiring astronaut, was severely injured when a bomb left in a computer room in Cory Hall exploded. He lost partial vision in his left eye and four fingers from his right hand, and major nerves in his forearm were severed. The force of the blast pitched his Air Force Academy ring into a wall so hard its lettering left a legible impression.
Professor Diogenes Angelakos, a previous victim of the Unabomber, happened to be across the hall at the time of the bombing. Angelakos made a tourniquet for Hauser's arm out of a colleague's tie.
Before the blast, Hauser had not been to the computer lab in weeks. He noticed a three-ring binder attached to a small box by a rubber band sitting on a table. He checked the items for identification to make sure a friend had not left them behind, an act which set off the bomb.
An element of luck: "I was standing at the table and there was a chair between me and the bomb. I think that caught a lot of the blast. It could easily have killed me, given the force of the explosion," Hauser said months after the bombing.
Education: Earned bachelor's at the U.S. Air Force Academy, master's and Ph.D. at UC Berkeley.
Present job: Engineering professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
On capital punishment: "I don't have a functional right hand any longer," Hauser said after learning that the death penalty would be sought for Kaczynski. "I have constant pain. But what good would it do to seek revenge or to be bitter? If someone said I had to make a decision today, I would come in against the death penalty, but I believe in the system, in which we consider all the facts before we come to some kind of decision."
On Kaczynski's plea bargain: "It could have been a very long and drawn-out ordeal. And I think the result might not have been so different with a jury of citizens," Hauser said.
James V. McConnell
Targeted: On Nov. 15, 1985, in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Synopsis: A bomb disguised as a manuscript sent to the home of McConnell, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, exploded when his research assistant, Nicklaus Suino, opened it. The parcel spewed lead fishing sinkers causing shrapnel wounds and powder burns on Suino's chest and arms. McConnell, who was about eight feet from the blast, suffered hearing loss.
Born: Oct. 26, 1925, in Okmulgee, Okla.
Died: April 9, 1990, of a heart attack.
Education: Earned bachelor's in psychology from Louisiana State University in 1947; served in U.S. Naval Reserve 1944-46; received master's and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Early work: Worked as a disc jockey and waiter while attending LSU.
Professional career: Started work in the psychology department at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1956; promoted to full professor in 1963; retired two years before his death.
Honors: Awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award by the American Psychological Foundation in 1976.
Reflections: "I would like to spend half an hour with him in a dark alley," Suino said of the bomber in 1995.
"To me, what this man is doing is every bit as abhorrent as the bombing in Oklahoma City," he added. "There is simply no justification for taking lives based on your personal views."
Possible connection: Unabomber suspect Ted Kaczynski attended graduate school at the University of Michigan.
Follow-up: Suino sued Kaczynski in August 1996 seeking at least $10,000 in damages for burns, hearing loss and emotional anguish resulting from the bombing.
Thomas J. Mosser
Killed: In blast on Dec. 10, 1994, in North Caldwell, N.J. He was 50.
Synopsis: A package bomb mailed to the home of Mosser, a New York City advertising executive, exploded when he opened it in the kitchen of his suburban New Jersey home. The package carried a San Francisco postmark and return address and was similar in size to two videocassettes stacked together.
The blast, at about 11 a.m., nearly decapitated Mosser, dressed at the time in his bathrobe, and carved a two-foot-wide crater in the kitchen counter. He had planned to take his wife and children Christmas tree shopping that day.
Motive: Letter written later by the Unabomber claimed Mosser was a target because he had worked for a public relations firm which had represented Exxon. In 1989, an Exxon tanker spilled oil in Alaska's Prince William Sound.
Early work: Mosser was a former journalist and had served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.
Career: Worked 25 years for Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm; promoted to general manager and executive vice president of Young & Rubicam, one of the world's largest advertising firms, shortly before his death.
Impressions: "If you were a friend of Tom's, you were a friend for life," close friend and colleague James Dowling told Time magazine shortly after Mosser's death.
Family: Mosser's wife, Susan, and daughters Kim, then 13, and Kelly, then 15 months, were home at the time of the explosion but were not injured. He also had another daughter and a son.
On Kaczynski's plea bargain: "Nothing will bring closure. Nothing will end the pain," Susan Mosser said in an interview with the The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger.
Gilbert B. Murray
Killed: In blast on April 24, 1995, in Sacramento. He was 47.
Synopsis: A bomb mailed to the lobbying offices of the private California Forestry Association exploded when it was opened by Murray, the association's president. The package was addressed to Bill Dennison, the predecessor who retired in April 1994 after having handpicked Murray as his replacement.
The office receptionist typically opens the mail but gave the package to Murray because it was too difficult for her to unwrap. The force of the explosion was so great that it pushed the nails partly out of the walls in other offices located in the same building.
A pregnant assistant who had brought Murray the scissors used to open the package had just left his office and was heading down to the hallway to her own office when the explosion occurred. The return address was Closet Dimensions, a custom furniture company in Oakland. The explosion occurred just five days after the Oklahoma City bombing.
Education: Forestry degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Career: Survived two tours in Vietnam. Worked for Collins Pine Co. in Chester, Calif., as a summer student before landing a full-time job there as a professional forester. In 1982, he was named chief forester of the company. Left in 1987 to join the California Forestry Association staff as vice president for private timber. He became president in 1994.
Impressions: "He was a soft-spoken cordial person, always looking for common ground on issues," Mark Pawlicki, a business associate, said of Murray shortly after his death.
"My father was the greatest man I ever met," Murray's son, Wilson, said at his father's funeral. "He loved my mom, my brother and me more than life itself. He was always there for us. We always came first ... I can only hope I can be half the man he was."
Tributes: Friends and colleagues from the timber industry placed a sandstone boulder with a bronze plaque at the edge of a meadow near Chester. Murray's sister, Barbara, staged a 10-day fast after her brother's death to help her contain her rage. Veteran postal inspector Tony Muljat, a long-time member of the Unabom task force, chose April 24, 1996 — the one-year anniversary of Murray's slaying — as his retirement as a tribute to the slain timber lobbyist.
Family: Lived in Roseville with his wife, Connie; and sons Wil and Gilbert, who were 18 and 16 when their father died.
Follow-up: Just hours before the one-year anniversary of Murray's death, his widow and son, Wil, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Theodore Kaczynski. The suit included unnamed and an unspecified number of other defendants listed only as "Does." The Murrays filed the suit themselves without a lawyer.
On Kaczynski's plea bargain: "While his killer's life continues, my husband and the father of my sons is gone forever," Murray's widow, Connie, said.
Hugh Campbell Scrutton
Killed: In blast on Dec. 11, 1985, in Sacramento. He was 38.
Synopsis: Scrutton left his computer rental store at Century Plaza shopping center for lunch at about noon, when he stopped to pick up what he apparently thought to be litter. The bomb exploded, sending shrapnel as far as 150 feet. Scrutton took the full force of the blast in his chest. Metal shrapnel penetrated his heart and tore off his right hand.
Born: Sept. 13, 1947, in Sacramento.
Education: Graduated from the University of California, Davis. Traveled through Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan and India.
Career: Owner of RenTech Computer Rentals in Sacramento.
Impressions: Old UC Davis roommate and friend John Lawyer described Scrutton in 1996 as someone who lived for new experiences. An inheritance allowed him to travel and devote time to crafting pottery. And given more time, he also would have been a successful businessman, he said.
"What I've thought a thousand times is Hugh was a guy who traveled all over the world," Lawyer reflected. "And he gets killed in his own back yard."
Possible connection: May have studied math at U.C. Berkeley while Unabomber suspect Ted Kaczynski taught there, though Scrutton did not attend Kacynski's classes.
Capital punishment: "I've been waiting for this," said Bessie Dudley, Scrutton's mother, after the announcement that the death penalty would be sought for Theodore Kaczynski. "He took my son from me. The sad part is that he didn't even know him. He didn't know any of these people, and he didn't think about them at all."
A change of heart: "As long as he will be put in prison and never get out, what's the difference? I'm very accepting of what happened because you can't change it ... So why be angry?" Bessie Dudley said in an interview with KCRA news after Kaczynski's plea bargain.
Percy A. Wood
Injured: In blast on June 10, 1980, in Lake Forest, Ill.
Synopsis: Wood, president of United Airlines, suffered injuries to his hands, face and thighs when he opened a bomb disguised as a book. The package, postmarked Chicago, was mailed to his home. Weeks before, he had received a letter telling him that he would be receiving a book that all business executives should read. The book: "Ice Brothers," by Sloan Wilson.
Wood spent several weeks in a hospital and underwent plastic surgery to regain the use of his hand.
Career: Joined United in 1941; named president of the airline in 1978, taking over the post from Richard J. Ferris, who was named chairman of the board. Retired in 1983 and moved to Florida.
Reflections: "I've thought about it a lot, but I still don't know why it happened," Wood told the Chicago Tribune after Kaczynski's arrest in 1996. "I've never heard the guy's name. I never saw him before."
Possible connection: Wood was on the Bay Area Pollution Control Advisory Board when Unabomber suspect Ted Kaczynski taught at U.C. Berkeley.
Family: Wood's wife was vacationing in California at the time of the blast. The couple's children were grown and no longer living at home.
Injured: In blast on Feb. 20, 1987, at CAAM's Inc., Salt Lake City.
Synopsis: A bomb inside a couple of nail-studded boards in a canvas bag and disguised as a road hazard exploded in the parking lot of a computer sales and service company, maiming Wright, the store's co-owner.
The blast yielded the first major break in the Unabom case. A secretary who had been looking out a window at the parking lot told investigators that she had seen a slight man wearing sunglasses and a hooded sweatshirt place the bag on the ground moments before the explosion.
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