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Teamwork in the UNABOMB case by Jerry Webb

 By Jerry W. Webb (1982-2004) 

 

The FBI almost all of us know can be summed up in a quote by Vala Afshar who is the author of the book The Pursuit of Social Business: “We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other.”

I had the good fortune to spend a part of my career on a case where teamwork was absolutely essential to the success of the case. That would be the 18-year-long investigation involving 16 bombing incidents, which took the lives of three people. Without the teamwork involving the FBI, ATF, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service of the UNABOM Task Force (UTF), bomb number 17 would have been placed in a U.S. mailbox and sent to another innocent victim.

The fact that it did not make it to a mailbox was because on April 3, 1996, the campaign of terror conducted by Theodore John Kaczynski was brought to an end by a team of dedicated professionals who descended on a lonely cabin in an isolated corner of Montana.

How they got there is quite a story. The truth of it deserves to be told. The truth is a fascinating story of teamwork in action. Anything less than the truth is an insult to all who were touched by the case, investigators and victims alike. The truth should not be obscured by a bunch of nonsense.

I would like to say a little about that teamwork which led to the case being brought to a logical conclusion. I have no intention of reinventing the wheel and talking about the whole case. That would take a book to explain. And, in fact, several books have been written about everything which went into the case. An excellent one was the one written by Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jim Freeman, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Terry Turchie, and Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Max Noel titled UNABOMBER.

But this is a different piece. I would like to just talk a little about what I saw from my single cog on a huge machine, hump-street-Agent perspective. I want to mention as many people and events as my 21- year-old memory of the case will allow me to conjure up.

We were encouraged to work with a partner as a team on all of our steps. Much of the time I worked with Joyce Seymour of ATF who was great. I covered a bunch of leads with Pat Turtle of our office, I also formed close bonds with Mike Grady of ATF and Paul Wilhelmus of the Postal Inspection Service, both just fantastic guys.

We were lucky on our squad to have John Conway on board with us. John was one of the original San Francisco UNABOM members and saw the case through to the finish line. John’s time working UNABOM was measured in decades, not in a few months. His vision throughout was that the case would one day be solved.

He never agreed with those in FBIHQ who encouraged him to close the case during the six-year lull in the bombings, which began in 1987 when the subject was seen placing one of the devices. Many in Headquarters were of the opinion that the subject had died or was incarcerated on other charges.

John would have none of that, the case was going to remain open and the case was going to be solved.

At the height of the task force operation in San Francisco, there were around 50 federal investigators assigned to three separate squads -- some from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) and some Postal Inspectors. ATF ASAC Mark Logan and Assistant Inspector in Charge Don Davis of the Postal Inspection Service played large roles and sat in on the strategy sessions with the general UTF meetings held on a regular basis, as well as the upper level management meetings.

However, the majority of the task force investigative positions were held by Special Agents of the FBI. The Agents were assisted by around 25 analysts, who were permanently assigned to the task force. In addition to the permanently assigned analysts, beginning in the early summer of 1995 over 50 more were constantly rotated into San Francisco on a TDY basis for around-the-clock analytical projects.

The task force was physically located at the San Francisco FBI Office in the federal building on Golden Gate Avenue. It was the perfect location to conduct an investigation into the most prolific serial bomber in the country’s history.

The mailroom, where all of the packages were received and opened, was on the 13th floor, adjacent to the office of the SAC and all of the ASACs. The working Agents were all located one floor down, where they would have been shielded from any potential bomb blast. Perfect.

That describes the task force in the San Francisco Division. Leads were covered throughout the country where other UNABOM-related events had occurred. Task forces had been formed in Sacramento, Salt Lake, and Chicago, and they continued to play a major role. It would not surprise me if well over several hundred investigators played a significant role in the case -- all with one thought in mind. “Let’s get this thing solved.”

A good place to start the story of the teamwork that put it all together would be the decision made in 1995 to publish the “Unabomber Manifesto.”

That was quite a demanding year for the FBI: 1) we had the horrible bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, another example of a huge team effort devoted to solving the case; 2) the UNABOM murder of Gilbert Murray in Sacramento; and 3) we had the demand by the Unabomber that his 35,000-word manifesto be published in a major newspaper with the promise that he would “desist from terrorism” if this happened.

 

Paul Wilhelmus, Dave Weber, Mike Grady, and Jerry Webb


Terry Turchie and Jim Freeman


John Steiner and Jerry Webb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The decision to publish was not an easy one. I remember the debate. “We can’t give in to terrorism.” This was a compelling argument against the publication. The ultimate decision as to what to do was made by SAC Jim Freeman and UTF ASAC Terry Turchie. As they did throughout UNABOM for every decision, large and small, they listened to the opinions of the entire UTF during the meetings we had on a regular basis.

They did the same with this decision. Ultimately, this proved to be the defining moment which led to the solution of the case. Jim and Terry then met with several members of the task force senior management staff for the decision. Those participating were SSAs Max Noel, Joel Moss, and Penny Harper; SA Kathy Puckett (a San Francisco-based Agent with a psychology background), and SSA Jim Fitzgerald, who spent a few months TDY time with the task force from the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Don Davis and Tony Muljat of the Postal Inspection Service and Mark Logan of the BATF were also part of that meeting.

It was an overwhelming consensus opinion of the Agents as a group and the senior staff that publishing the manifesto would be a tactical investigative decision which could lead to somebody’s recognizing the writing and being able to identify just who the Unabomber was.

It was Jim Freeman who traveled to Washington with Terry and Kathy to meet with Director Freeh and recommend publishing. Nobody else. It was the Director and the three task force members who met with Attorney General Reno and presented their case. Nobody else. It was that group who met with the very reluctant editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post who did not care to be seen as aiding in law enforcement and successfully persuaded them to publish the manifesto. It took three meetings. but an agreement to publish was finally reached.

The agreement was to have the manifesto published in the Washington Post with the New York Times sharing in the cost. That was a tactical decision suggested by the FBI as the Post was only sold at four locations in San Francisco. Following publication on September 20, 1995, we set up and conducted surveillance on all locations, hoping the Unabomber could not resist getting a copy of his manifesto printed in a major paper. It was a good plan, of course Ted Kazcynski was huddled away in his hovel in Montana on the day of publication.

But the surveillance did at least provide one positive result. It validated one individual’s belief that he was under constant FBI surveillance. We tried to identify everyone who bought a copy of the paper. Our plan was to at least get a license plate number or an address of every customer.

Stu Daly started following an individual who roughly resembled the composite drawing of the person seen leaving the device in 1987. Of course, “scruffy middle-aged white male” was pretty much the description of everyone on foot in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco, where one of the newsstands was located.

Stu followed him on foot to where the guy got on a BART train to Daly City. That was followed by a 45-minute bus ride to Pacifica and another foot surveillance to an apartment house where Stu was able to get the guy’s name off of the mailbox. 

And wouldn’t you just know it, the guy was associated with one of the San Francisco-area fringe radical groups. There was enough information in our records to pretty much eliminate him as a serious UNABOM suspect, but Stu decided after talking with our command post to conduct an interview.

 

That interview validated everything the guy ever believed about how the FBI was watching him. He is probably still sitting in his window 21 years later taking down license plate numbers of cars he believes are following him. Glad we could give the guy a purpose to his life.

And even though the surveillance did not develop any serious leads, the decision to publish was what led to the successful resolution of the case.

Publication of the manifesto led to thousands of calls to the UTF hotline. Many of those calls made the connections to Chicago and Salt Lake City that the task force was hoping to see. It was just the type of investigative activity Jim and Terry were hoping to generate when they first discussed a pro-active approach to solving the case during their first strategy sessions in April of 1994.

What happened next is just what the task force team hoped would happen. David Kaczynski was one of the thousands of people to read the manifesto and was convinced it was written by his brother Ted. David contacted an attorney, Anthony Biscigle, and explained that he had an early 23-page essay written in 1971 by his brother and it was eerily similar to the manifesto. Attorney Biscigle contacted SA Mike Harrison, whom he was acquainted with and explained he was in possession of a document which may be related to the UNABOM case. Mike referred Biscigle to SA Molly Flynn of the Washington Field Office (WFO) who was working many of the WFO UNABOM leads.

Molly was the first member of the FBI to read the essay and was immediately struck by how similar it was to the manifesto. It was a feeling soon to be shared by all other task force members who would read the essay. She first sent the essay to the FBI lab to be compared with the typing of the manifesto. It was not a match.

She felt the similarities in writing were so close she was not willing to let it go as she felt the Unabomber might have access to more than one typewriter. She contacted the UNABOM Task Force and spoke with Joel Moss. After listening to her passionate plea for a few minutes, Joel asked her to fax him the essay and stood by the machine ready to read it as soon as it came in. After reading the essay, Joel called Kathy Puckett and the two decided to call Terry, with Joel saying he had to see him as soon as possible.

Terry had a lunch planned that afternoon with Jim Freeman, but sensing the urgency in Joel’s voice and considering the close friendship the two had from years of working on the same squad, Terry agreed to cancel his lunch date with Freeman and meet with Joel and Kathy. Terry could sense something pretty darn important may be developing (understatement of the UNABOM universe) and called Max Noel to have him come along also.

They met just down the street from the office and Terry read the essay for the first time. He was astounded. It sounded just like the UNABOM manifesto. Words, themes, phrases, they all seemed to be a mini version of the manifesto. That would turn out to be the same feeling shared by anyone who had read the manifesto. They began working on a strategy on how to follow-up in a logical and methodical process with the next steps. Part of their planning was to decide when to put Jim Freeman in the loop as they knew as soon as he saw it, the big ship UNABOM would be churning full speed ahead in one direction.

Just as they were discussing their plans, Jim walked in and after spotting them, mentioned to Terry, “So is this why you stood me up?” Terry and Joel were trying to figure out just when was the last time they saw Jim at that location as the SAC walked away.

Terry left the essay on Freeman’s desk that afternoon and when Jim read the essay, he called Terry into his office and by the late evening and the next morning, the UTF ship made a major turn in course. Everything else stopped and a new strategy focusing on one subject was put in place, not just in San Francisco, but across the country.

Of course at that point we only knew the essay had been provided by a so far unknown individual, who believed it was written by his brother. There were just enough clues in the essay and from statements by Bisciglie to identify the brother’s name was Ted. He was born in Chicago, had at least attended Harvard, his field of study was mathematics, and he either obtained or at least studied for a PhD at Michigan.

That was enough information for SA Greg Stejskal at the Ann Arbor RA and his contact at the University of Michigan Police Department to review university records and come up with the name Ted Kaczynski. An absolutely fantastic piece of investigative work. 

Within a few days, the UTF was able to confirm through the massive database assembled for the case that Kaczynski was the likely suspect and within a day or so of that, Attorney Bisciglie confirmed the name of Ted Kaczynski as being the person who had written the 1971 essay. He also provided further background information explaining Ted’s background and the fact that he lived in a small cabin on Stemple Pass Road just outside of Lincoln, MT.

Within the next several weeks, everyone on the task force, Agents and analysts alike, was given the essay to study. It was much more than a majority opinion, YES, this is the guy. We all had read the manifesto. Then we all read the early Ted essay. The skills needed to compare the two documents were simply the ability to read English and apply common sense. Nothing further was required.

Of course now all we needed was evidence to put the case together. Just having the name Ted Kaczynski did not magically transport him to a federal prison.

Jim Fitzgerald had earlier spent a few months with the task force on a TDY basis from Quantico. Once we determined Ted Kazcynski was our subject, he was brought back from Quantico to assist in the final few months of the investigation.

The Montana phase of the investigation started taking place.

Dave Weber was one of the first Agents sent to Montana. Dave was a Montana native and a former Marine. He was a perfect choice to be one of our first Agents in Montana.

Max Noel had been on emergency leave in his home state of Nebraska with his aging parents who were having health issues. Despite that fact and a raging Midwestern blizzard, he made his way to Montana to set up a covert off site location in Helena and supervise the Montana investigation.

Once in Helena, Max met up with Tom McDaniel the Senior Resident Agent (SRA) of the Helena Resident Agency (RA) to discuss operational plans. Tom suggested a local resident who could be trusted and he was brought into the confidence of the task force.

Tom had a working relationship with Jerry Burns who was a U.S. Forest Service Park Ranger who knew everyone in the area and was the ultimate professional. Tom assured Max Jerry could be trusted and he was brought into the fold of the UNABOM team. Jerry’s supervisor, a former FBI Agent, approved of his work with our team without asking any questions as to the specific role. He pledged the full assistance of the Forest Service and both Jerry and his agency played a huge role in the weeks leading to the service of the search warrant.

Butch Gehring was a local resident, who lived on the property next to Kaczynski. In fact, Butch’s father had sold Ted the 1.4 acres located on Stemple Pass Road just outside of Lincoln, on which he built his cabin. Jerry assured Max that Butch could be trusted and he became a key member of our team. His cooperation became absolutely crucial to the success of the mission.

Max also inquired which of the local Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs) could be the most trusted and reliable. Once again we hit the jackpot. Bernie Hubley was a former Agent and Max arranged to meet him at a local bar to explain the reason for our presence and what we would be asking him to assist with. I wish I could have seen the look on his face when Max explained the UNABOM suspect lived in his area and we would be submitting a search warrant for his approval. Max stated Bernie managed to not entirely fall off of his bar stool when he received the news.

One of our issues was we did not have reliable radio communication in the Lincoln area. Jerry Burns put Dave in contact with the Forest Service technical employees. They devised a plan to have San Francisco Radio Maintenance Technicians (RMTs) Bill Hagel and Rick Ethridge accompany Dave and their tech guys to a local mountain peak. They traveled by snowmobile to modify one of their solar powered radio repeaters to accept our frequencies.

It worked great. Of course, coming back down off the mountain, Bill lost control of his machine and was lucky that it hit a tree. The luck came from the fact that Bill was thrown clear and did not go over the side of a cliff with the snowmobile. The death toll of the Unabomber would have to remain at three.

Another investigative step was to get a good description of the cabin and a photograph for the search warrant.

Several high tech procedures were used to get the photo from a high altitude, one of them being an extremely high altitude. Both of those efforts ended up in providing an excellent photograph of snow-covered trees.

Jerry Burns explained that Montana Fish and Game was constantly monitoring the local elk herd from low-flying single-engine aircraft and a pass over Ted’s cabin would not be out of the ordinary.

This falls into the keep it simple strategy of almost everything. A Bureau pilot flew Dave Weber over the cabin and Dave simply leaned out of the window with a Nikon camera with a 200 mm lens. That photo was perfect.

We set up in the area with a plan to conduct surveillance on Ted if he left the area as we were not about to allow him to place a device in a mailbox and for it to get to a destination.

Jim Huggins and Phil Lowell were dispatched to Missoula.

Dan Atchison and Chuck Pardee were sent to Salt Lake City.

John Gray and Candace DeLong set up in Lincoln.

I took up residence in a more modern cabin than Ted’s, a couple of hundred yards down the draw from his. That cabin had electricity and I just carried in bottled water and supplemented that with melted snow. The water was all I needed for coffee and the noodle dish Top Ramen. I never had to resort to coyote stew with mixed vegetables (inside joke for all who have read the Kaczynski diary).

Other facilities were available outside behind a tree. The day I set up in the cabin reminded me of my days growing up in Nebraska, with temperatures ten below zero. It did have a wood-burning stove that saw at least a cord of wood go through it in the next three weeks.

As we got closer to the day, a search warrant was becoming inevitable. SA Chuck Der was assigned to move in with me. That gave us two sets of eyes. We were not going to let him slip away with a duffel bag full of bombs.

And having Chuck with me allowed me to display my vast knowledge of outdoor lore to him. We did not spend every night in the cabin and had motel rooms in town as we were pretty confident he would only leave during the daylight hours and the only transportation available were two daily stops on the Trailways Bus Line.

Walking in one morning, Chuck noticed a pile of hair and bones about 20 yards from our front door. I explained that pile used to be a deer, but had been the breakfast of a mountain lion…but not to worry, now that our scent was in the area, the lion would come nowhere near us in the cabin.

It’s a shame the lion wasn’t listening to my lecture. As we were leaving that evening, the only sign of the carcass was a set of bloody drag marks in the snow where the lion approached to within 20 yards of us to complete his breakfast.

I have never been convinced that a Bureau handgun would have offered much protection if a 200-pound mountain lion dropped out of a tree and onto our backs, but Chuck is still probably doing 360-degree pivots in his living room with his pistol extended.

Kathy Puckett was assigned to the task force because of her psychology degree and contacts with the BAU. In my opinion, her greatest contribution to the task force came from good old-fashioned police work -- interviewing skills. She struck up a real rapport with Ted’s mother Wanda and was able to obtain a stack of earlier letters and documents, which helped establish a time line of Ted’s activities.

Prior to her interviewing Wanda Kaczynski, Kathy traveled with Lee Stark (who was the Case Agent of the Kaczynski file) and Jim Willson (obvious nickname Double L) to Washington to meet with David Kaczynski and his wife Linda. David was cautious in his initial talks with the investigators, but gradually began to respond to the veteran Agents and their obvious sympathy for his position.

He became so comfortable, he pointed out to the Agents several phrases he always knew as unique to his brother -- “cool headed logician” and “you can’t eat your cake and have it too” instead of the more common the phrase “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” that most of us would recognize. Those remarks were a defining moment in drawing a nexus between Ted Kaczynski and the Unabomber Manifesto.

David agreed to travel to a remote area of Texas with Kathy and Lee, where he had a cabin and another stack of Ted letters, which were additional items for the probable cause of the search warrant. Kathy was so successful in gaining the confidence of David and his wife Linda, that they formed a bond which carries on until this day.

And just to make it clear, there were several real heroes of the UNABOM investigation -- David, Linda, and Wanda Kaczynski. I just cannot imagine the range of emotions that family must have gone through. There is not a doubt in my mind that because of their courage, peoples’ lives were saved.

During this whole period of time, Terry Turchie was shuttling between Montana and San Francisco, visiting other offices and engaging in constant meetings to gather every piece of information he’d need as probable cause for a search warrant affidavit. San Francisco legal advisors Don Whaley, John Lohse and Gordon MacDonald, as well as AUSA Steve Freccero, formed a team which helped Terry put the over 100-page affidavit together. They combed through every word, comma, sentence, and fact, to make sure it was correct.

Somehow I believe he managed to complete the affidavit and maintain his sanity. That said, the closest I saw him come to losing his Mister Rogers persona and becoming the Incredible Hulk was during this period of intense stress (just suggest to him somebody else had written that affidavit). None of us from the task force would need any reminder as to who was the real ‘driving force behind the UNABOM investigation.’ Terry’s commitment to getting that affidavit done before any possible leak to the media, which could have sunk the whole investigation, was all of the evidence you would need. It was because of Terry and his dedication and perseverance that the affidavit was completed.

UNABOM was most definitely a team, but every team needs their quarterback. We had ours.

But of course that inevitable leak came.

The San Francisco Office was contacted by Lowell Bergman of CBS News, who indicated he was aware that the FBI had zeroed in on a UNABOM suspect in Montana.

A few days later, the other shoe fell, Dan Rather of CBS news contacted Director Freeh and advised that CBS had learned that the FBI had centered in on a suspect and they were planning on filming the search and the arrest from their helicopter and wanted Director Freeh to give a live interview. This was just what we feared might happen.

Director Freeh convinced CBS to give us 24 hours and we moved into warp speed to execute the search warrant.

Our first plan was once we had the search warrant approved, we would simply wait for Ted to take a bicycle trip into town and detain him on the road where he would be away from his bomb factory.

The news leak made that plan obsolete and we were forced to somehow get him out of his cabin without anyone getting hurt or killed.

Dozens more personnel were moved to the Lincoln area, including the entire San Francisco SWAT team.

SAC Freeman and senior SWAT team leader John Steiner moved into the cabin, where Chuck and I were staying early on the morning of April 3rd.

Timing became so crucial because of the news leak. We were setting up in the single-digit temperature as Terry was meeting with Montana Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles C. Lovell to get the warrant approved and signed. Judge Lovell, after reading the affidavit, had Terry swear to the facts and told him to go serve the warrant.

Former Agent and AUSA Bernie Hubley had been briefed several weeks earlier and was a crucial member of our team. He was with Terry constantly by that point.

SWAT Commander Tom LaFreniere already had his team deployed around the cabin, and I believe to the credit of the management and leadership abilities of SAC Freeman, he set an inner perimeter of Agents who had been working the case on the task force.

Those Agents were ATF Agents Mike Grady and Joyce Seymour, Postal Inspector Paul Wilhelmus, and FBI Agents John Gray, Candace DeLong, Chuck Der, and me.

All we were waiting for was word that the warrant had been signed. It finally came and we were in place and ready to go.

The approach to the cabin was made with a ruse to get Ted out of the cabin so that he would have no suspicion of what was happening. This was done so that no one, including Ted, would get hurt. That was the main concern of the Kaczynski family when they came forward. We felt an obligation to them, and to the oath of our office, to execute the warrant in the safest way possible for all concerned.

Forest Ranger Jerry Burns, Max Noel, and Tom McDaniel made the approach to the cabin. Butch Gehring helped with the plan of how to approach the cabin as he was familiar with Ted and his habits. Butch advised that he had recently sold the mining rights on some of his property and Ted was extremely angry about that. Apparently he did not like to be disturbed as he sat in the woods and figured out ways to kill total strangers.

The ruse to get him out of the cabin played on Ted’s paranoid obsession for privacy and worked perfectly. Starting from around 25 yards before they got to the cabin (common practice when approaching isolated weirdos in Montana) Jerry began hollering “Hello in the cabin” and stated he was there with representatives from a mining company and they wanted to check Ted’s property lines so they would not intrude onto his land. Ted opened the door and stuck his head out. Tom recalls his face was covered in so much soot and dirt that he looked like a dead man who just happened to be still on his feet. Ted saw them standing there with a bunch of maps, which had been provided to them by Butch and they told him they were with a mining company and would be bringing in a bunch of heavy equipment and wanted to check his property lines.

I am sure the thought of a bunch of heavy machinery rolling past his cabin was the last thing he wanted to hear. He turned and started to go back into the cabin.

Rather than let him back in the cabin, Jerry grabbed him by the arm and pulled him out the door. Tom grabbed the other arm and placed him in a hammerlock and they began struggling to get handcuffs on him. The struggle continued for a few seconds until Max stuck his pistol in his face and announced in the same level of voice we were used to hearing in the squad bay, “FBI, WE HAVE A WARRANT TO SEARCH YOUR PROPERTY.” I was about 20 yards to the rear of the cabin and it sounded like Max was right next to me.

As soon as he heard the word FBI, Tom explained the fight seemed to go out of him and he felt just like a balloon being deflated. It does not take a degree in psychology to imagine he just realized the life he knew was over and he probably wished the guys were really from a mining company and would be rolling a fleet of trucks right by his cabin and digging a large open pit mine just outside of his front door.

It turned out to be a pretty good move in getting him out of the cabin. It moved him away from the two loaded rifles and a completed and ready-to-mail bomb device.

Ted was moved to another cabin the task force had rented, and was where the only interview ever conducted by law enforcement took place. That interview was conducted by Max and Postal Inspector Paul Wilhelmus. Ted invoked his right to remain silent and would not talk about “The Case.” He did talk about general subjects and those of us who made up the inner perimeter took turns sitting with him.

I am a hunter and I had noticed a bunch of deer hides and elk antlers scattered around the property. I commented that it must be nice to have such a ready supply of food available. So here we have a guy being investigated for multiple murders and his reply to that was that he did not shoot deer, as he did not have a hunting license. He may or may not have been concerned about the murder charges, but he sure as hell was not going to cop to a fish and game violation.

Soon, the search was starting to take place. Pat Webb, Frank Doyle, and Don Sachtleben, of the San Francisco Office, who had bomb training and previous time on UNABOM, were the lead investigators in the search. Immediately they located bomb-making materials.

The next decision was how to proceed as we had a search warrant for the cabin, but we did not have an arrest warrant for Ted. An entire chapter of the book written by Freeman, Turchie, and Noel is devoted to the three-ring circus which took place that evening during conversations with the DOJ.

For this article, all I can say is thank God for AUSA Bernie Hubley of the District of Montana. He authorized Don Sachtleban to file a complaint, charging Ted with one count of possessing bomb-making materials. Probably a better idea than many others which were being discussed in a frank and blunt manner way above my pay grade. You can see some of those ideas in the book UNABOMBER.

The search went on for days. It was the finest example of cooperation and teamwork I have ever seen. For that week or so, nothing else mattered, nobody’s ego, no need to rest. In fact, I doubt if most of us slept more than a couple of hours over a period of several days.

The local newspaper ran a picture of me leaning against a truck with my head in my hand and the caption, “FBI Agent appears bored.” I encountered one of their reporters several days later at an establishment that served food and cold liquid material in a glass. I pointed out a more accurate caption would have been, “FBI Agent asleep on his feet.” At least he bought me a beer.

However, I did find time to complete one action which was related to Ted’s letter to the press that the FBI would never catch him because “The FBI is a joke.” I couldn’t help myself and I carved FBI into an aspen tree right outside of his door. No, Ted, the FBI is not a joke. I wonder if it is still there?

None of that mattered. It was just: “let us get the job done.” And the search uncovered an absolute mountain of evidence. All of the bomb-making materials the lab would be able to link as unique to the UNABOM events, and in addition Ted Kaczynski kept detailed diagrams of each device previously sent. That is called a confession.

The coup de grace was found at the bottom of an ammo tin. The typewriter used to type the manifesto, the original copy of the manifesto, and a gray-hooded sweatshirt just like the one seen by the witnesses who spotted him leaving the device in 1987.

It was enough evidence to convince the O.J. Simpson jury of his guilt.

While all of that was going on, I seem to recall for at least a week, we maintained an airtight perimeter 24 hours a day. I remember SWAT teams coming in from at least two large offices to assist and to ensure all evidence and personal property were safe and secured.

One incident still sticks in my mind as a pretty good example of teamwork and cooperation. While we were maintaining around-the-clock security on the site, one night Chuck Der and I were the senior guys on one of the midnight shifts. I recall guys were checking in with us. One two-person car was occupied by two fairly new Agents, Rob Rolfsen and Shelagh Sayers.

I knew Rob had been sick, but was not aware just how sick he was. But on a case like this, FBI Agents do not shirk off their duties. I think it was the second time Shelagh drove by and I was standing out by the car when I noticed there was nobody in the front seat with her. I noticed Rob curled up in the back with a blanket and pillow from his motel room. I am pretty sure he also had a teddy bear.

Probably running a fever of over a hundred and something. Shelagh saw me looking at the back seat and I do not recall her exact words but they went something like this. “Don’t worry, we got this covered.”

That, my good friends, is called working together as a team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaczynski "Mansion"

 

 

Lookout command post

 

Average Montana Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast of Champions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"FBI"

 

 
Not the view from Florence Supermax

 

 

 Tom McDaniel, Ted Kaczynski, Max Noel (Not Ted's cabin)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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