Journal reveals details of Unabomber acts Entries are described in federal court filing

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- In a chilling compendium of journal entries disclosed yesterday, confessed Unabomber Theodore J. Kaczynski pronounced that a fatal attack on one victim was "excellent," mused on killing a "scientist" or "big businessman," and in workmanlike lab notes recorded how he had taped razor blades and nails to a pipe bomb to increase its destructiveness.

Overall, more than 100 new excerpts from Kaczynski's diaries and journals were detailed in a government court filing yesterday. The excerpts, taken by authorities from his mountain shack after Kaczynski's arrest in April 1996, provide a penetrating insight into his fearfully isolated world in what amounts to an autobiographical account of the Unabomber crimes.


The serial terrorist's attacks, which began in 1978, killed three people and injured 22 others. A search of his cabin in Montana turned up a cache of journals and other evidence against him. Kaczynski pleaded guilty Jan. 22 to 13 Unabomb offenses, including the bombings that killed three people and maimed two others.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Kaczynski accepted a life sentence in prison while federal prosecutors agreed they would drop their demands that he be put to death for his crimes.


A formal sentencing hearing, when some victims and family members are expected to testify, is scheduled for Monday in federal court in Sacramento.

The highly incriminating entries made public yesterday are far different from the earlier, more generalized writings released by the government. In coldly candid detail, Kaczynski discussed his motives, techniques and planning for specific bombings.

Federal prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell for permission to file yesterday's sentencing memorandum to demonstrate the credibility, breadth and persuasiveness of evidence the government would have presented had the case gone to trial. In the memorandum, the prosecutors recounted, in sometimes gruesome detail, accounts of the effects of the fatal bombs on their victims.

Throughout the court proceedings leading up to his plea bargain, Kaczynski's lawyers tried to emphasize his disturbed mental state -- even as the defendant himself fought furiously against using an insanity defense.

Prosecutors, though, offered yesterday a highly selective batch of journal entries to highlight their view that he was a calculating killer who methodically prepared the deadly bombs, gloated over news accounts of their detonations and took pains to avoid getting caught.

In a journal passage dated sometime between the autumn of 1977 and early 1978 when the bombing campaign was just beginning and Kaczynski was still an amateur bomb-builder, he wrote to himself: "I emphasize that my motivation is personal revenge. I don't pretend any kind of philosophical or moralistic justification. My ambition is to kill a scientist, big businessman, government official, or the like. I would also like to kill a communist."

Kaczynski wrote in 1980 that the bombings made him feel less angry. "Since committing these crimes reported elsewhere in my notes I fell better. I am still plenty angry, you understand, but the difference is that I am now able to strike back, to a degree."

Pub Date: 4/29/98