Hunting the Unabomber: The FBI, Ted Kaczynski, and the Capture of America's Most Notorious Domestic Terrorist

Hunting the Unabomber: The FBI, Ted Kaczynski, and the Capture of America's Most Notorious Domestic Terrorist

Hunting the Unabomber: The FBI, Ted Kaczynski, and the Capture of America's Most Notorious Domestic Terrorist

Hunting the Unabomber: The FBI, Ted Kaczynski, and the Capture of America's Most Notorious Domestic Terrorist


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The spellbinding account of the most complex and captivating manhunt in American history. "A true-crime masterpiece." — Booklist (starred review)

On April 3, 1996, a team of FBI agents closed in on an isolated cabin in remote Montana, marking the end of the longest and most expensive investigation in FBI history. The cabin's lone inhabitant was a former mathematics prodigy and professor who had abandoned society decades earlier. Few people knew his name, Theodore Kaczynski, but everyone knew the mayhem and death associated with his nickname: the Unabomber.

For two decades, Kaczynski had masterminded a campaign of random terror, killing and maiming innocent people through bombs sent in untraceable packages. The FBI task force charged with finding the perpetrator of these horrifying crimes grew to 150 people, yet his identity remained a maddening mystery. Then, in 1995, a "manifesto" from the Unabomber was published in the New York Times and Washington Post, resulting in a cascade of tips—including the one that cracked the case.

Hunting the Unabomber includes:

  • Exclusive interviews with key law enforcement agents who attempted to track down Kaczynski, correcting the history distorted by earlier films and streaming series
  • Never-before-told stories of inter-agency law enforcement conflicts that changed the course of the investigation
  • An in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at why the hunt for the Unabomber was almost shut down by the FBI

New York Times bestselling author and former federal prosecutor Lis Wiehl meticulously reconstructs the white-knuckle, tension-filled hunt to identify and capture the mysterious killer. This is a can’t-miss, true crime thriller of the years-long battle of wits between the FBI and the brilliant-but-criminally insane Ted Kaczynski.

"A powerful dual narrative of the unfolding investigation and the life story of Ted Kaczynski...The action progresses with drama and nail-biting intensity, the conclusion foregone yet nonetheless compelling. A true-crime masterpiece." — Booklist (starred review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718092122
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/28/2020
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Lis Wiehl is the former legal analyst for Fox News and the OReilly Factor and has appeared regularly on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and the Imus morning shows. The former cohost of WOR radio's WOR Tonight with Joe Concha and Lis Wiehl, she has served as legal analyst and reporter for NBC News and NPR's All Things Considered, as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's office, and as a tenured professor of law at the University of Washington. She appears frequently on CNN as a legal analyst.

Lisa Pulitzer is a former correspondent to the New York Times and author/coauthor of numerous nonfiction titles, including eight New York Times bestsellers.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Part I

Chapter 1 It's UNABOM 3

Chapter 2 FC Strikes Again 13

Chapter 3 A Serial Bomber? 23

Chapter 4 Major Case Conference 35

Chapter 5 Moving West 47

Chapter 6 No Perfect Crime 51

Part II

Chapter 7 Only a Matter of Time 57

Chapter 8 Ted 65

Chapter 9 Failure to Connect 75

Chapter 10 Becoming the Unabomber 87

Part III

Chapter 11 The Elusive Motive 97

Chapter 12 Green Light 101

Chapter 13 UNABOM Task Force 109

Part IV

Chapter 14 The Big Picture 117

Chapter 15 Setting Precedents 129

Chapter 16 "What is UNABOM?" 137

Part V

Chapter 17 A New Direction 149

Chapter 18 Three-Part Plan 157

Chapter 19 Refocusing the Inquiry 165

Chapter 20 Lines of Inquiry 175

Chapter 21 "Go Guy" 193

Part VI

Chapter 22 Profiling a Killer 207

Chapter 23 "Warning" 215

Chapter 24 To Publish or Not to Publish 225

Chapter 25 55,000 Leads and Counting 235

Chapter 26 A Break in the Case 247

Chapter 27 Getting Close 255

Chapter 28 The UNABOM Typewriter 269

Chapter 29 "I am not mentally ill." 277

Epilogue 283

Afterword 285

Acknowledgments 289

Sources and Methodology 293

Timeline and Key Players 299

Index 305

About the Author 317

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