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FBI Finds Likely Manifesto Copy in Suspect's Cabin

Terrorism: Search of Kaczynski's items turns up what appears to be original Unabomber manuscript. Agents also find third typewriter, tie it to evidence from blast scenes.

April 13, 1996|RONALD J. OSTROW and RICHARD C. PADDOCK | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

WASHINGTON — FBI agents have found what appears to be the original copy of the Unabomber manifesto in the Montana cabin of suspect Theodore J. Kaczynski. The FBI crime laboratory has also tentatively linked a typewriter found in the cabin to evidence from several bomb scenes, federal sources confirmed Friday.

Investigators found the manuscript several days ago, but word of the discovery did not leak out until Friday. The manuscript and the typewriter comparison appear to be the "something big" that government sources had said earlier this week that they had found and that had given them great confidence that Kaczynski could be charged as the serial bomber who has carried on a campaign of terror for 17 years.

Last June and July, the Unabomber mailed carbon copies of the 62-page, single-spaced manifesto to the New York Times, Washington Post, Penthouse magazine and Tom Tyler, a UC Berkeley psychology professor. Tyler appears to have received his copy as something of an afterthought by the bomber. His only known connection to the case is that he had been quoted in a Bay Area newspaper commenting on the behavior of the serial killer.

The manuscript found in the cabin appears to have been the original of that carbon set, a source familiar with the investigation said.

Laboratory analysis of the typewriter--the last of three manual machines found in the former Berkeley math professor's cabin during the search--preliminarily tied it to typed material recovered from bomb scenes as well as to the 35,000-word manifesto and to a letter sent to the New York Times demanding that the manifesto be published, the sources said.

The typed materials recovered from at least five bomb scenes included address labels, the sourcessaid.

Discovery of the evidence, confirmed by federal investigators, was first publicly disclosed by U.S. News & World Report in a summary released Friday of a story for the magazine's Monday issue.

Before Kaczynski emerged as a suspect, investigators had said that the Unabomber, in keeping with his anti-technology philosophy, had typed out the 35,000-word manifesto on a manual typewriter using carbon paper to make his copies. His typographical errors, authorities noted, were not corrected in the carbon copies.

The copy sent to Tyler apparently came from the bottom of the stack and was barely legible in places. In a letter to Tyler accompanying the document, the Unabomber had apologized for the poor quality.

"We apologize for sending you such a poor carbon copy of our manuscript," he wrote. "We can't make copies at a public copy machine because people would get suspicious if they saw us handling our copies with gloves."

The Unabomber referred to himself using plural pronouns and the name Freedom Club, implying that more than one person was involved in the bombings, but authorities have consistently discounted that, saying that the bomber acted alone.

When he sent out his manifesto, the Unabomber promised not to mail or place any more lethal bombs if either of the two newspapers printed the document. The newspapers jointly published the document in September in the Washington Post.

But when federal agents searched Kaczynski's mountain cabin, they found a completed bomb ready to be mailed along with the copy of the manuscript.

Federal investigators are nearing the end of a painstaking search of Kaczynski's 10-by-12-foot home near Lincoln, Mont. As FBI criminologists analyze material taken from the cabin, comparing it to evidence recovered from the scenes of the 16 explosions linked to the Unabomber, other law enforcement officials have been tracing Kaczynski's biography, trying to determine his whereabouts during the years of the Unabomber campaign.

As part of that exploration, investigators have looked at a 1978 episode in which Kaczynski's younger brother, David, fired him from a job at a Chicago-area factory where the brothers and their father worked. The firing appears to have taken place after an incident in which Theodore Kaczynski began harassing a female co-worker who seems to have rebuffed his overtures. The Unabomber's series of attacks began in 1978, but the first of the bombings appears to have taken place before the firing.

Meanwhile, officials at Berkeley confirmed that members of the university's bioengineering program were told Wednesday that the name of their group and of faculty members had been found on lists discovered in the cabin. As previously reported, the FBI has also alerted three Northwest timber industry officials that their names were found in the cabin.

Investigators have said that they are uncertain what significance to attach to these lists and do not have firm evidence that the papers were lists of potential victims. But government officials warned both the industry officials and the academics to take care in opening parcels on the off chance that a bomb might already have been mailed.

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