Ellen Tarmichael’s news conference after the Unabomber’s arrest
Flanked by two attorneys, Tarmichael read a statement at a news conference to “dispel misinformation” in the media about her relationship with the man suspected in the bombings that have killed three people and wounded 23 since 1978.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Tarmichael ... answered most questions in monosyllables and took Mirabelli’s advice not to answer others ...
“He was intelligent, quiet, that’s about all I can say,” Tarmichael said of Kaczynski ... “He was an acceptable employee until that last day.”
Ellen: Ted asked me to have dinner with him and I accepted, approximately 2 weeks later we went to pick apples and then returned to his parents home where we baked an apple pie. It was on that occasion that I informed Ted that I did not wish to see him further on a social basis because I felt we didn’t have much in common.
Ellen: It should be noted that the first mailbomb attributed to the Unabomber exploded almost a month before I ever met Ted Kaczynski. I have not spoken to, nor seen Ted for almost 18 years, since August 23rd 1978.
Photo from the event
Appendix: Interesting reality left unreported on
From July 17, 1978, Ted recorded his day-to-day processing of his infatuation with Ellen, who was a higher-up at work. This journal includes a disturbing entry where he says that after being rejected by her, he planned to mutilate her face with a knife. He claimed to have sent letters to Ellen that he also showed his brother and both his parents. The letters included such statements as “I intended physical violence of a serious nature”, but sadly there was no effective intervention made in Ted’s life to set him on a better path and so he went on to kill 3 people and seriously injure many more.
July 17, 1978: For 2 or 3 weeks I have been working at Foam Cutting Engineers, where my father and brother work (my father got me the job there). The shop superior is a 30-year old woman named Ellen Tarmichael.
She has a beautiful face but a very mediocre figure (too much fat on her ass and thighs). Nevertheless she is very attractive because she has charm; her personality, so far as it is exhibited to the world at large, is very attractive, she is apparently very intelligent, and probably quite competent. The result was that I got infatuated — an unfortuante weakness to which I am occasionally subject.
I am now cured of the infatuation; but the story is interesting and possibly is not yet finished....
July 29. Yesterday I took Ellen Tarmichael to an expensive restaurant for supper. She then invited me to her apartment, where, she hastened to add, we would not be alone....
Aug 23. Despite the negative conclusions about Ellen that I reached, as stated above I couldn’t help thinking about her constantly, especially since I was exposed to her charms every day at work, and especially since she seamed quite friendly to me....
There is only one way left to wipe out this shame, and that is with blood. Tommorrow I am going to get that bitch and mutilate her face.
Aug 26. (Sat.) Last Thursday morning I drove to the plant and parked in the lot, waiting for Ellen. When she arrived, I ran over to her car, said I wanted to speak to her briefly, and told her to move over so I could get out of the rain. This she did slowly and grudgingly, and I got into the drivers seat. I carried with me a knife concealed in a paper bag. I began by saying that she had intentionally humiliated me on Sunday. In the brief discussion that followed, she said that the reason she had been so cold on Sunday was that it “just struck her” at the beginning of the date that there was nothing between us no future in anything between us, because we had nothing in common. She also said that the first 2 times she went out with me she did so because she “really thought there might be something in it; friendship, or …” I had then, and still have, grave doubts about the truth of this last statement, because she has often seemed insincere in the past, and because the statement is contradicted by things she said earlier. Nevertheless, the statement cooled my anger, because if true, it would mean she was not just using me as a toy. So that was the end of that.
All I feel now about the whole thing is a kind of wistful melancholy about the whole affair, brought on by the thought of what a woman with some of Ellen’s best qualities might have meant to me, if she’d been sincere, and if we’d had some common aspirations. I sent Ellen a long letter explaining everything from my point of view.