Ted Kaczynski Papers, 1996-2014 (majority within 1996-2005)
Using These Materials
- The papers are open to research. Interview tapes and transcript from Theresa Kintz requires written permission for access. Please contact Special Collections to be put in contact with interviewer....
- Kaczynski, Theodore John, 1942-
- Contains mostly photocopies of materials created since Kaczynski's arrest in 1996, including correspondence, writings, legal documents, and prison documents. Material created prior to his arrest are photocopies obtained from the FBI which were to be used as evidence in his trial. Additional materials are expected to be added at a later date.
48 Linear Feet (96 manuscript boxes and 1 oversize box)
VHS tapes in box 78 are too fragile and unavailable until digitization Film negatives in box 85 Photographs in boxes 85, 86, and 87
- The majority of materials are in English, with some Spanish
- Julie Herrada and Lisa Klopfer, December 1999; Sarah Keen, July 2002; Laura Barrett, July 2003; Will Lovick, June 2006-2010, Rosemary Pal, 2012-2015, Ève Bourbeau-Allard, 2016-2017. Encoded by Jackson Huang using ArchivesSpace and Excel EAD template, 2018.
- Scope and Content:
The Kaczynski Papers date from his imprisonment in 1996. Any materials from before 1996 are copies created, primarily by the FBI, for use as evidence in Kaczynski's case. At the present time, the collection of Kaczynski's correspondence is by no means complete. The Labadie Collection expects to receive important additional series of Kaczynski's correspondence at some future time. Kaczynski affirms that he does not sort out any hateful letters, but that in fact he received only a handful of such letters. The collection is divided into eight series: Correspondence, Legal, Prison, Publications, Writings of Ted Kaczynski, Clipping and Articles, Audiovisual and FBI Files. At the end of the finding aid some of these sections are continued as new material has been received over the years. Documents have been added to the Legal, Prison, Publications, Clippings and Articles, FBI Files and Correspondence in this order and begins in Box 88. The Correspondence series takes up the bulk of the collection. It consists of correspondence written to and by Kaczynski since his arrest in April 1996. The Labadie Collection has prearranged with Kaczynski that the identity of all but a small number of his correspondents be protected as far as possible. For this reason, the correspondence series is only available to the public in photocopied form, with names and addresses marked out. In some folders, correspondents personal information was deleted but in a later date the files were opened and the names were left intact in sections. The originals are sealed until January 1, 2050. The Labadie Collection has arranged the material by correspondent. In order to preserve anonymity, each correspondent has been assigned a number, and each number has been allotted a separate folder. For those correspondents prolific enough to fill more than one folder, additional folders have been designated with decimals. Within the folders the materials are arranged chronologically. Folders with red flags or tabs indicate a response letter from Kaczynski. Researchers should note that not every item in the Correspondence Series has been photocopied. The following types of items remain in the original collection but have not been made available as copies: envelopes and cards that do not have any messages on them; résumés and other documents that reveal too much personal information to block out; revealing photographs; and gifts such as phone cards or pencils. In some cases the correspondence from a particular individual was deemed so repetitive that only samples were photocopied. At the request of Kaczynski, some correspondents' identities have not been hidden; these names are provided in the box list. The Correspondence Series contains a small number of artifacts, mainly gifts such as stamps, stickers, pens and dried flowers sent to him by correspondents. These are in the folders with the original letters. Most have not been photocopied. Some printed materials are included in the correspondence, but most (including all books and pamphlets) have been moved to the Publications Series. Several correspondents sent materials to Kaczynski that, according to prison rules, he is not allowed to have, such as stamps, envelopes, etc. In those cases, the writer received a form letter from the prison indicating that the materials were not delivered to Kaczynski. Some of these letters are in the respective correspondents' folders, and the rest are in folder #0419. Some folders include carbon copies or drafts of responses by Kaczynski. In addition, Kaczynski's handwriting may be found on some of the correspondence in the form of log numbers or occasional notes or comments on the envelope or letter. The vast majority of the letters in this series were mailed unsolicited to Kaczynski by people he did not know. Perhaps significant to students of American Culture, these letters are overwhelmingly supportive of Kaczynski, if not his cause. Many assert belief in his innocence and express sympathy for his incarceration. A large number of the letters are from women seeking a romantic bond with him. Other letters are evangelical, while some are from autograph hunters or individuals attracted by notoriety. Some writers are concerned with the rights of the mentally ill, or appear to be suffering from mental illness. Mixed in among these correspondents are a few individuals who knew Kaczynski before his arrest, or who engage in serious communication about his case, his publications, environmentalism or his views on technology. A few letters were sent from other countries, but the bulk of them were sent from within the United States. The Legal series is divided into four sub-series. Copies of documents consist of items copied, primarily by the FBI for the court case. The documents consist of photocopies by his lawyers from FBI files. The FBI files are photocopies of documents found in Kaczynski's Montana cabin such as journals and tax documents he stored in his cabin. There are two codes on some of the documents; documents starting with a K number are encoded by the FBI and documents with a numerical code are Bates numbering used by Kaczynski's lawyers. Legal Communication contains copies of documents, notes, and letters Kaczynski sent to his lawyers and their staff and attorney work products. Legal Documents contains court documents and drafts of briefs. This sub-series does not include correspondence with his lawyers but may include correspondence to judicial officials relating to his case and court documents. Also included are Kaczynski's Sacramento County and Helena County jail records. Legal Notes and Research is comprised of research Kaczynski did for his court case. In some documents Kaczynski has written notes on an assortment of files with relevant information for his case. The Prison series contains prison forms such as CopOuts, law library request forms, appeals to prison regulations, and notes and research on a variety of issues. All the files were generated during Kaczynski's incarceration. The Publications series contains articles collected and often notated by Kaczynski, copies of four published works, and one unpublished manuscript. The four published works are Chistes, ensayos, rimas de Miami edited by Joaquin Delgado, Montana Dreaming, a play in two acts by Alex Gross, The Secret Life of Ted Kaczynski by Chris Waits and Dave Shors, and The United States of America v. Theodore Kaczynski by Michael Mello with corrections by TK. alt.fan.unabomber by Ross Getman is an unpublished manuscript. Material is also included on Chris Waits' book The Secret Life of Ted Kaczynski. Waits was a resident of Lincoln, Montana who wrote a book about Ted Kaczynski that Kaczynski claims was a hoax and largely fabricated. The Writings of Ted Kaczynski are all documents written by Kaczynski. Documents include musical compositions, Kaczynski's manuscript for his article, Ship of Fools, and several versions of his manuscript, Truth versus Lies, along with items relating to its expected publication. The edited version of Truth versus Lies was edited heavily by Beau Friedlander, publisher and editor-in-chief at Context Books. The Original version contains markings by Friedlander and his employees because it was a copy of the original that Kaczynski had sent to them; otherwise it is as Kaczynski originally wrote it with a few reparations of errors made in the transfer of the manuscript from Friedlander to him. These reparations include the addition of several missing pages as well as incomplete pages where text was blocked out. The missing pages were as follows: 78-132, 135-143, 168, 214, 266, and 293. The first folder of the Original version also contains an errata sheet prepared by Kaczynski for the manuscript. A couple of articles are included which Kaczynski wrote under the pseudonym Apios Tuberosa. More of his writings will be added as they are accessioned. The sub-series Refutation documents contain materials collected and organized by Kaczynski for the writing of his manuscript, Truth v. Lies. Clippings and Articles are an assortment of clippings and articles cut out from newspapers, magazines and newsletters. The clippings and articles fall into three categories. One is about Kaczynski's life such as his arrest, his trial and his family history. Second are technology, science and wildlife articles of interest to Kaczynski. Third are clippings collected by Kaczynski while he was living in Lincoln, Montana and found in his cabin. Except for the clippings found in his cabin, many of these articles were mailed to Kaczynski while in jail by his fans and correspondents. The Audiovisual series contains cassette tapes, which have been converted to CD, and VHS tapes, which are currently restricted until they can be converted to a more stable format. Audio recordings include an interview by journalist Theresa Kintz in 1999, which was published in Anarchy: a Journal of Desire Armed and the UK edition of Green Anarchist. The interviews require written permission from Kintz for access. The Henry A. Murray Psychology Study materials are from a psychology study Kaczynski participated in while a student at Harvard. The VHS tapes are television recordings of movies made about Kaczynski's life from the USA and Lifetime television networks and recorded by some of his fans. Last are the VHS tapes recorded by the FBI and used in his legal case. The recordings are of Kaczynski's cabin, items found in the cabin and the surrounding area in Lincoln, Montana. The FBI Files series consists of photocopies of documents found in Kaczynski's cabin in Montana by the FBI in 1996. The documents are in the original order the FBI photocopied his journals and documents, but some pages are missing and closed to the public. The pages are mainly from his journals written in English, Spanish, and a numeric code. The earliest entry is dated 1969 until February 1996. This includes all of his journals, maps, identification documents, math equations, correspondence and other miscellaneous documents. Each document was photocopied by the FBI and assigned a number that starts with the letter K. These documents can also be found in the Legal series which includes not only FBI numbers on each page but some pages include Bates numbering from Kaczynski's defense team. The FBI photographs sub-series are photographs taken by FBI agents after Kaczynski's arrest and were housed in photograph albums. The photographs have been taken out of the albums, but the original order of the photographs kept intact in folders. Photographs are mainly of Kaczynski's cabin, the land surrounding the cabin and downtown Lincoln, Montana. Other photos include photographs of bombs, other weapons and bomb making materials found in his cabin. The photographs were used in Kaczynski's legal case.
- Biographical / Historical:
Theodore J. Kaczynski was arrested by the FBI on April 1996 at his cabin near Lincoln, Montana. He was accused of killing three people and injuring 22 in 16 separate bombings between 1978 and 1995. Even before Kaczynski was identified as a suspect, the FBI labeled the case "Unabomb" because the first targets were linked to universities (UNabomb) or airlines (unAbomb). The attacks usually took the form of bombs mailed to specific people, but in some cases they were left in strategic places. Killed in the attacks were Hugh C. Scrutton in Sacramento, CA (Dec. 11, 1985); Thomas Mosser in New Jersey (Dec. 10, 1994); and Gilbert P. Murray in Sacramento, CA (April 24, 1995). Kaczynski, born in Chicago in 1942, skipped two grades in school and entered Harvard in 1958 at age 16. He graduated in 1962 and then continued his studies at the University of Michigan from 1962 to 1967. In that period he earned a master's degree and doctorate in mathematics. He was a teaching fellow from 1962-1965. In 1967 he took a faculty position at the University of California at Berkeley but resigned abruptly in 1969. In the subsequent decade, Kaczynski moved to Montana, and then held jobs in Illinois. He later returned to Montana, which became his home base throughout the 1980s and until his arrest in 1996. In 1998, after a lengthy pre-trial period, Kaczynski pleaded guilty to all counts. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. In the spring of 1999 Kaczynski filed a habeas petition pro se with the Federal District Court in Sacramento to set aside his guilty plea. He argued that his defense attorneys deceived him in an effort to avoid the death penalty, and that the judge's ruling against his request to represent himself was in error. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals considered this appeal of his petition under 28 U.S.C. §2255 and denied it. Kaczynski then appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, but these appeals were also denied. He no longer is able to appeal his conviction. Kaczynski is not known to have been active with any anarchist groups. His alleged activities, however, have been the topic of discussion and debate among contemporary anarchists the world over. In his correspondence and writings, Kaczynski has expressed his views on technology, corporate power, the political left and science. His writings include a parable titled "Ship of Fools" (originally published by OFF! Magazine of SUNY Binghamton) and the book manuscript submitted to Context Books, titled Truth Versus Lies. That manuscript was pulled from the publication process in November 1999 after a disagreement with editor Beau Friedlander concerning liability and revisions. The Unabomber Manifesto, attributed to Kaczynski, and first published in the Washington Post on September 19, 1995, is the broadest public statement currently available. In it, the "industrial-technological system" is described as depriving people of dignity and autonomy. The Manifesto suggests strategies to destabilize society, reject technology and promote nature. It has since been published in many formats, including, ironically, electronic. It has also been translated into several languages.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Using These Materials
The papers are open to research.
Interview tapes and transcript from Theresa Kintz requires written permission for access. Please contact Special Collections to be put in contact with interviewer.
VHS tapes are restricted until they can be digitized.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright has not been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s).
- PREFERRED CITATION:
[item], Folder, Box, Ted Kaczynski papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Library).