Madman in the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber

Madman in the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber

by Jamie Gehring
Madman in the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber

Madman in the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber

by Jamie Gehring


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A haunting account of the sixteen years when a young Jamie Gehring and her family lived closer than anyone to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber 

As a child in Lincoln, Montana, Jamie Gehring and her family shared their land, their home, and their dinner table with a hermit with a penchant for murder. But they had no idea that the odd recluse living in the adjacent cabin was anything more than a disheveled man who brought young Jamie painted rocks as gifts. Ted was simply Ted, and erratic behavior, surprise visits, and chilling events while she was riding horses or helping her dad at his sawmill were dismissed because he was “just the odd hermit.” In fact, he was much more—Ted eluded the FBI for seventeen years while mailing explosives to strangers, earning the infamous title of Unabomber.

In Gehring’s investigative quest twenty-five years later to reclaim a piece of her childhood and to answer the questions, why, how, she recalls what were once innocent memories and odd circumstances that become less puzzling in hindsight. 

The innocence of her youth robbed, Gehring needed to reconcile her lived experience with the evil that hid in plain sight. In this book, through years of research probing Ted’s personal history, his writings, his secret coded crime journals, her own correspondence with him in his Supermax prison cell, plus interviews with others close to Kaczynski, Gehring unearths the complexity, mystery, and tragedy of her childhood with the madman in the woods. And she discovers a shocking revelation―she and her family were in Kaczynski’s crosshairs. 

A work of intricately braided research, journalism, and personal memories, this book is a chilling response to the question: Do you really know your neighbor?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635768169
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 04/19/2022
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 319,121
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jamie Gehring is a Montana native who grew up sharing a backyard with Ted Kaczynski, the man widely known as the Unabomber. She was featured in Netflix’s Unabomber: In His Own Words where she discussed her family’s role in Ted’s capture.

Her narrative nonfiction debut, Madman in the Woods: Life Next Door to the Unabomber has been covered in publications such as Elle, New York Post, Slate, A & E True Crime, Oxygen True Crime, 5280, and in podcasts including The Last Podcast on the Left, True Crime Garage, Once Upon a Crime, LA Not So Confidential, Mind Over Murder, and True Murder.  

She recently was shortlisted for the CrimeCon True Crime Awards for “Best New True Crime Author.” Other accolades include a 2022 PenCraft Book Award for literary excellence in Nonfiction/Memoir, a 2022 Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book award for Notable Indie, and first place winner of the Firebird Book Awards in Memoir/Nonfiction. 

Jamie holds a BA in visual communications and spent the first half of her career in finance. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, three children, and two cats.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part 1 First Impressions of a Serial Killer

1 1984 3

2 The Sale 10

3 A New Friendship 18

4 In Search Of… 25

5 Neighbor 29

6 Born To 43

7 Time to Buy a Watch 54

8 A Day at the Mill 61

9 Junkyard Bomber 65

Part 2 The Signs

10 Happy 73

11 D. B. Cooper 84

12 The Meadow 91

13 Not Street Legal 97

14 A Ghost in the Woods 106

15 Evil in the Gulch 112

16 Couldn't Be Ted 119

17 A Funding Proposition 145

18 Sabotage. Sawmill Sanding. 152

19 Pretty Little Boxes 163

20 Home Alone with Ted 168

21 In the Crosshairs 171

Part 3 The Moment Everything Changed

22 Bad Guys and Other Childhood Memories 179

23 Ted's Woods 185

24 Manifesto-Pride Goeth Before the Fall 208

25 Then They Arrived: Meeting the FBI 217

26 One Step Closer 222

27 A Favor 225

28 The Capture 231

29 Breaking News 246

30 The Aftermath 254

31 Grief Is a Space in Between 260

Epilogue. The End 267

Acknowledgments 273

List of Ted Kaczynski's Crimes 275

A Note on Sources 276

Sources Cited 278

About the Author 280

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