The First of Sixteen Bombs


Eco-Terrorist Begins Terror Campaign

On May 24, 1978, a package was found at the University of Chicago with a return address for Professor Buckley Crist of Northwestern University.  Crist was given the package and, realizing that he had never sent such an item, he wisely called the campus police.   

Officer Terry Marker responded and, not so wisely, opened the suspicious package.  It exploded in his face causing minor cuts and burns. 

Although it was not known at the time, this was the first device sent by the infamous Unabomber.  The Unabomber would go on to send 15 more bombs, killing three people in his 17-year campaign of terror. 

On September 19, 1995, the Washington Post and New York Times published a manifesto that had been sent to them months earlier by the Unabomber.  His bombing campaign was intended to protect the wilderness and hasten the collapse of industrial society. He is considered by some to be an eco-terrorist. His early targets were UNiversities and Airlines, which the FBI acronymized to UNABOM, hence his moniker.

The Unabomber mailed the manifesto to several news outlets and in June of 1995 had declared that he would stop the bombings if the 35,000-word document titled, “Industrial Society and Its Future” was published. The media had been sitting on the manifesto at the request of the FBI who were attempting to determine if anything in the document could be used to track the killer. Shortly after its publication, David Kaczynski notified the FBI that he suspected his brother may be the bomber. In April 1996 Ted Kaczynski was identified as the Unabomber and arrested. To avoid the death penalty, he pled guilty and was sentenced to eight life sentences in prison. Kaczynski continues to write from his maximum-security prison cell to this day. He writes about the dangers of industrialization and several of his lengthy manuscripts have been published.

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