This weekend, buffs: An excellent docudrama on the infamous Unabomber case, now available for streaming.
If you don’t know the case… you should, as it’s become emblematic of many tropes in our society: Luddite life, the elitism of academia, the desperate search for privacy… and political violence.
The original case was a decades-long whodunit, with package bombs arriving at the workplaces of seemingly disparate victims around the country. It was the FBI’s longest, most expensive case to that point, dragging on from 1978 to 1995. So the Discovery Channel chose to kick off its Manhunt series with Manhunt: Unabomber, a highly detailed look at the decades-long investigation into the mysterious perp, Ted Kaczynski.
Kaczynski ultimately killed a number of people and injured many more (we’re avoiding spoilers here…). Suffice to say the break in the case involved some very difficult decisions, by both DOJ, The New York Times… and a very unlikely, very conflicted, hero.
The series runs eight episodes and stars Sam Worthington as FBI agent James Fitzgerald, a former cop and current FBI agent who recently completed criminal profiler training and has been assigned to the UNABOM task force.
The Ops Desk crew has, among us, investigated literally dozens of bomb-related cases, and served on numerous task forces — and we can attest to the investigative steps and some of the politics of the case (every case has them. Anyone who tells you otherwise…). The show does what a series does best — provides good insight into not only the facts, but also the internal conflicts that occur in any long-term investigation, particularly one as high profile as the Unabomber.
Kaczynski has emerged in recent years as something of a hero to many too young to recall the fear and mayhem he unleashed. Watch this series to find out just how wrong he was, and how wrong they are.
The show is compelling throughout. It’s available on Netflix or for purchase on Amazon Prime for $14.99.
And for more on the Unabomber and his manifesto, check our website’s Today In History section.
Meantime: Enjoy your weekend! And we’ll see you Monday morning.