Categories: Schenectady County
The typewriter on which the Unabomber composed his manifesto and the manifesto itself are among personal items U.S. Marshals are selling through an online auction.
Ted Kaczynski’s personal effects were ordered sold by U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell to pay off a $15 million restitution order. “He ordered the auction of the items so the proceeds would go to the victims,” said U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Lynzey Donahue.
Kaczynski sent letter bombs to victims over a 17-year period between 1978 and 1995, killing three people and injuring about two dozen others. A former college math professor, Kaczynski wrote manifestos railing against technology and lived in a shack in the Montana woods with no electricity for 25 years. He was arrested in 1995 after his brother David tipped off FBI officials about suspicions regarding his brother.
Ted Kaczynski was sentenced in 1998 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
About 60 lots of property are available for sale through the auction, which began Wednesday and will run through June 2. The General Services Administration is conducting the sale, which is available online at www.gsaauctions.gov. Photographs of items can be seen at www.flickr.com/photos/usmarshals/.
Among items for sale are the infamous hooded sweat shirt and sunglasses the Unabomber was depicted wearing in artist sketches. There are also personal items such as driver’s licenses, birth certificates, deeds, checks, academic transcripts, photographs and his handwritten codes, tools, clothing, watches and several hundred books; and more than 20,000 pages of written documents, including the original handwritten and typewritten versions of the “Unabom Manifesto.”
Kaczynski’s brother, David, of Schenectady, said in a phone interview Wednesday it is a worthy goal to benefit the victims, but the way the auction is being done is wrong.
“The government is pandering to a market that sort of makes celebrities of murderers and that I think is profoundly troubling,” he said.
These sorts of items are referred to as “murderabilia” and its only value is through people’s fascination with violence, according to Kaczynski. “It’s simply a sensational connection to high-profile crimes.”
If any good can come of this situation, Kaczynski said, he hopes it will wake people up to understand that more needs to be done for victims of violence.
“We should not wait 13 years to help the victims and their surviving family members,” he said.
The auction brings back painful memories. “My brother did horrible things to people as a result of serious mental illness,” he said. “I kind of lost him. He’s not the person I once knew.”
Kaczynski is the executive director for New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, which he helped form after his brother was arrested and potentially faced the death penalty.
He said he is pleased with the efforts in the community to turn against violence.
He is a supporter of the SNUG anti-violence program in Albany, which puts people on the streets to quell disputes without resorting to violence. He also credited the work of Albany’s new Police Chief Steve Krokoff in implementing community policing and obtaining grant funding so the criminal justice and mental health systems in Albany County can work more closely together to get people necessary treatment.
“Make sure that sick people are sent to hospitals and not to jail,” he said.