By Allen Kane, Former Director, National Postal Museum

Deadly Packages

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Handcuffs used during arrest of Unabomber Theodore J. Kaczynski

I was in operations in the Postal Service during a part of the time that Ted Kaczynski was mounting his campaign of mail bomb terrorism. From 1978 to 1996, Kaczynski used the mail to deliver nine of his 16 known bombs. We cooperated with the FBI in looking for packages that fell within a certain criteria from specific geographical locations during that period.

Postal inspectors and other law enforcement agencies created the Unabom Task Force (a combination of the words “university” and “airline bomber”) to down the bomber. The press created the name Unabomber from that original task force designation.

In 1995, while still on the loose, and through anonymous letters, the Unabomber demanded the publication of what became known as the “Unabomber Manifesto” in exchange for an end to the violence. The New York Times and Washington Post published the diatribe against technological advancement on September 19, 1995. David Kaczynski recognized his brother Ted’s writing style and notified authorities.

Members of the Unabom Task Force placed these cuffs on Kaczynski when they captured him in a shack near Lincoln, Montana, on April 3, 1996.