Inside The Mind Of A Madman: New Report Exposes Unabomber's Deep Despair Before Prison Suicide

By Tommy Wilson | Saturday, 20 April 2024 01:00 AM
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Image Credit : Daily Mail/John Smith

Ted Kaczynski, infamously known as the Unabomber, was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2021, a mere two years before his suicide in prison, as revealed by a recent report.

Kaczynski, who was 81 at the time of his death in June 2023, had his cancer type and severity unknown to law enforcement officials.

The report, procured by NBC News through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), sheds light on Kaczynski's mental state during his final days. It notes that he was "depressed and sent for psychiatric evaluation" prior to his death.

Kaczynski's reign of terror spanned 17 years, beginning in 1978 and ending with his capture in 1996. His bombing campaign claimed the lives of three individuals and injured 23 others. His victims were predominantly civilians, including academics, scientists, and business professionals.

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In a 35,000-word manifesto, Kaczynski articulated his wish to see the modern world collapse. He contended that society empowers “politicians, corporation executives and remote, anonymous technicians and bureaucrats” to control “the life-and-death issues of one’s existence". He believed these perceived injustices justified his bombings, asserting that the attacks presented “our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression".

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Kaczynski, a former mathematics professor, spent considerable time in a rudimentary cabin in Montana, where he constructed bombs and mailed them to his victims. During his trial, expert psychologists suggested that his writings could be symptomatic of schizophrenia, laying the groundwork for a potential insanity defense, as reported by the New York Times.

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Kaczynski pleaded guilty, receiving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. In return for his plea, federal prosecutors refrained from pursuing the death penalty.

Following over two decades of incarceration and roughly two years post his cancer diagnosis, Kaczynski committed suicide in his cell at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina attributed Kaczynski's death to hanging, with a shoelace used to obstruct his airflow.

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Whether Kaczynski's reported depression had instigated a suicide watch remains unclear. The Federal Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the case citing "safety and security reasons," as per NBC News. However, it confirmed adherence to a protocol for preserving and documenting evidence for subsequent investigations and maintaining guidelines and training for suicide prevention at its facilities.

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The autopsy report also disclosed that Kaczynski's cancer had advanced to stage 4 and that he was battling depression during his last month. “At around midnight on June 10, 2023, he was found to have hung himself from a handicap rail in his room with shoelaces,” the report states. “He was initially pulseless, and resuscitation was initiated.”

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The report also indicated that Kaczynski was not on any medication and had not expressed suicidal thoughts prior to the incident. “The decedent was not on any prescription medications and had no prior suicidal ideations or attempts,” the report affirmed. “Federal Law Enforcement had no concern for foul play.”

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