April 9, 1996 in Nation/World

Kaczynski Brothers Traveled Very Different Paths One Came Back To Mainstream To Act On His Beliefs; The Other Kept To Himself In Montana

From Wire Reports

They shared so much - a feeling of oneness with nature, inherited from their shy father, and a sense that average people were being stomped down by the wealthy, inherited from their political-minded mother.

After finishing their Ivy League educations, during which both were known as loners, Theodore and David Kaczynski each bought a wilderness cabin - Theodore in Montana, David in Texas.

By the time they were in their early 40s, their solitary tendencies and survivalist lifestyles were written into their weathered faces and long, stringy beards.

And yet, as the events of the past week increasingly make clear, the Kaczynski brothers traveled the same path for only a while before taking off in very different directions.

David, who moved out of his cabin at age 41 to marry his high-school sweetheart and take up residence in Schenectady, N.Y., returned to the mainstream. He acted on his political passions by working at a charity for runaway youths.

At the same time David was aiding the downtrodden, Theodore, federal agents believe, was mailing bombs to their perceived oppressors - corporate executives and scientists.

Earlier this year, tormented by suspicions, David Kaczynski contacted authorities, telling them he suspected that the older brother he had looked up to since childhood was the Unabomber, responsible for 16 bombing attacks and three deaths.

To some, the Kaczynski brothers represent the polar legacies of the social movements of the ‘60s. David, the poet and advocate for the homeless, emblemizes the urge to salve society’s wounds; Theodore stands for the nihilistic anger that now, three decades later, is fueling a fresh wave of antiestablishment violence.

Law-enforcement sources emphasize that they still know little about the extent of the brothers’ contact with each other over the past 18 years.

Both David and his mother, Wanda Kaczynski, gave money to Theodore, who was living off the land in Montana and had no income. David helped him purchase plane tickets to cities that were near the sites of two Unabomber attacks. David also co-signed the loan on Theodore’s cabin, back in 1971.

“The relationship between the brothers obviously has to be explored,” said one source close to the investigation. “It’s too early to tell anything.”

But it is clear that David, whatever his past knowledge of his brother’s activities, provided the impetus for the FBI to close in on Theodore’s mountain shack. Working through an intermediary, lawyer Anthony Bisceglie, David Kaczynski expressed anguish over his brother and tried to persuade authorities not to seek the death penalty, sources said.

Bisceglie said that neither he nor David knew when they first went to the FBI that a $1 million reward was being offered for any tip that led to the Unabomber’s capture. “Money was absolutely not involved,” he said. “David’s sincere desire was to make sure no further lives were lost.”

The younger brother conducted his own investigation for several months before going to the FBI after growing suspicious that his sibling was the elusive killer, a lawyer for the family said Monday.

In what has been described as an anguished move, David sought the assistance of a Chicago private investigator and longtime family friend who, along with a former FBI behavioral science expert, analyzed the writings, personality and travel habits of Theodore.

Bisceglie was brought onto the case at David’s request as evidence mounted against his brother. The lawyer eventually contacted authorities and gave them the first viable suspect since the Unabomber began his brand of terror nearly 18 years ago.

“This is a very loving family,” explained Bisceglie. “I think David wanted very much to believe that his brother was not involved, I think he still would like to believe that … I think he is somewhat in shock, The family is going through a grieving process.”

Since Theodore’s arrest, his family has remained in seclusion. David and his wife, philosophy professor Linda Patrik, and his mother have been holed up at home.

Last week, they broke off contact with the FBI, sources said, but had already turned over writings found in the family home in Lombard, Ill. The documents are reportedly similar to the 35,000-word anti-industry manifesto of the Unabomber.

It was in the nearby suburb of Evergreen Park, Ill., that Theodore and David were raised. Their father worked in a sausage factory. In a letter to a local newspaper, he lauded the New Deal for aiding the lives of working men like himself.

But people who knew the family well, including relatives, described Wanda Kaczynski as the more political parent. A staunch liberal, she often couched her arguments in class terms. In 1990, she complained in a newspaper letter that the government was denying health care to “millions of children” to cater to “the wealthy.”

The parents encouraged their children to be self-sufficient. The father taught his boys to live off the land and control their own destinies. Stricken with cancer in 1990, he killed himself.

Though seven years apart in age, the brothers were close. Sandy-haired David was, in childhood, a miniature replica of Theodore. Russell Mosny, Theodore’s high-school classmate, remembered that David would trail his older brother like a shadow, especially when the elder would experiment with his telescope or chemistry set. David, Mosny said, “was always in the background, you know, like any little brother.”

Theodore studied math at Harvard; David studied English at Columbia. But after earning their degrees - Ted later earned a doctorate in mathematics - both dropped out of society.

David moved into a cabin in rural Texas that, like his brother’s shack in Montana, lacked running water and electricity. But while Theodore turned his cabin into a veritable laboratory - where agents believe he made bombs - David concentrated on writing and meditation.

For more than two decades after graduating from Evergreen Community High School, he continued to write to Linda Patrik. Neighbors said it was his love for her that brought him back from Texas.

The two were married in 1991 in a Buddhist ceremony. Neighbors describe them as a quiet, likable couple, who share academic interests and like to sit in their garden. They maintain the Texas cabin as a getaway spot. The New York Times reported that David Kaczynski recently joked to neighbors that “civilization was closing in on him,” because a new road was being built near his Texas cabin.

Psychologists say that contacts with other people are crucial in curbing people’s extremist tendencies - including the anarchist attitudes that sometimes attach to people who live in isolation. Marriage and religion brought David Kaczynski the kind of contacts that his brother shunned.

xxxx Mounting evidence Evidence against Theodore Kaczynski includes: Names of some of the Unabomber’s victims in documents seized during a search of the cabin. Agents have established that Kaczynski, traveling by bus, visited Sacramento, Calif., about the time of at least one Unabomber attack there. A typewriter in the cabin appears to match that used to type the Unabomber’s manifesto and letters. Handmade boxes in cabin similar to those sent by Unabomber. A live bomb and bomb-making materials were found in his cabin. Materials found in the Kaczynski family home similar to those in the Unabomber’s explosives.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email