David Kaczynski's Third FBI Interview
Date of Transcription: February 28, 1996
During the period 2/24 - 25/96, DAVID KACZYNSKI was interviewed and provided the following information concerning his brother, THEODORE KACZYNSKI, also known as Ted:
David (Dave) has shared many of Ted's beliefs regarding nature and the evils of technology. Dave continues to admire many things about Ted, and characterizes Ted as "brilliant," while referring to himself as "smart." Nonetheless, Dave has long been troubled by Ted's behavior, particularly by Ted's extreme antagonism to their parents. Ted has behaved in an "attacking" manner to his parents, writing them hostile letters in which he accused them of "ruining his life." He quoted one of the letters which Ted sent to his parents as including the sentence, "I can't wait until you die so I can spit on your corpse."
Dave characterized Ted's hostility toward his parents as essentially lifelong. He described an incident at the dinner table when Ted was 12 or 13, after the family had moved to Evergreen Park in Chicago. Their mother, Wanda, was carrying a dish of hot food from the oven to the table, when Ted stood and drew her chair out for her in an apparently gentlemanly manner. When Wanda smiled and began sitting down, Ted jerked the chair out from under her and she fell to the floor, while the dish fell onto the table. Wanda "began screaming" at Ted, while Ted stood and laughed at her. Their father sternly ordered Ted to go up to his room (in the attic), which Ted did, still laughing. Dave noted that incidents like this were never followed by discussion or apology, but were simply not mentioned again after everyone "simmered. down."
Ted's inability to make friends or establish any ongoing relationships is also a lifelong characteristic of his. Since he had not thought Ted was much interested in relationships with women, Dave was surprised when Ted told him he had advertised in.the paper for female companionship during Ted's time at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) in 1968 - 69. Dave believes Ted continued to be unsuccessful in his quest
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… austerity in his personal habits and rigid control of his appetites. Dave knows of no occasion when Ted drank alcohol, or even coffee or tea, since Ted deplores the consumption of substances which have mind-altering qualities. Ted has never smoked as far as Dave is aware; Dave noted that he, himself has smoked cigarettes, a pipe, and chewed tobacco, as well as drunk alcohol in moderation.
Because of Ted's abstemious habits, Dave was not surprised when he saw how Ted was living in his cabin in Montana in 1986. The cabin was constructed of wood, and consisted of one room, approximately 10 feet by 12 feet. The foundation was poured "sackrete" pillars; the roof was tarpapered, with a pipe from the wood stove venting from the top. The wood stove, from which issued a great deal of wood smoke and ash, stood in the center of the room. (DAVE recalled that letters he received from Ted often had a distinct, smoky odor.) The floor was wood, although Ted indicated he planned to tile it so he could sweep the ashes from the fire out more efficiently. There was a small platform bed, a small table and chair, and a storage loft; all of these items were made out of wood by Ted himself. There was no electricity or running water in the cabin; Ted used candles with metal reflectors for light, and obtained water either from the nearby creek or, in winter, from melted snow. There were no sanitary facilities, and Ted relieved himself outside unless it was too cold to leave the cabin. On those occasions Ted used newspapers to contain his feces, which he then burned in the fire of the stove. The exterior of the cabin was painted with a redwood stain. Dave noted that an unusual feature of the cabin was its lack of eaves. This fault in design he attributed to Ted'S inexperience at the time he built the cabin, since eaves are important in a northern location with a great deal of snow, such as Montana.
Ted's everyday clothing was dirty and threadbare; Ted told Dave he never washed his everyday clothes, but kept a few things in better condition so that he could wear them "to town." Ted washed his hands and face using a water bucket. Despite the conditions Ted did not have noticeable body odor, and his hands appeared cared for, without ragged or dirty fingernails. His fingers are somewhat long; Dave said that Ted resembles their mother, Wanda1 while Dave takes after their father, Ted Sr., (now deceased). Ted kept his hair short and, when he wore a beard, kept it trimmed. Dave noted that the last time he actually observed Ted was during Dave's 1986 visit.
Ted showed Dave a root cellar he had built near the cabin, across the creek. Although it was a tight squeeze, both he and Ted were able to step down into the cellar, using a small ladder. It was not deep enough to stand up in. Dave thought the cellar was "beautifully finished," lined with wood, and noted that it contained parsnips and potatoes which Ted had grown himself. Dave said that he had the fleeting but frightening feeling that Ted was going to close the hatch to the root cellar while Dave was still inside, but he controlled his unease and they left the root cellar without incident.
Ted's cabin was stocked with a small amount of staples, such as flour, sugar and oil. He hunted for squirrels, and supplemented his diet with wild plants and the parsnips and potatoes he grew in the summer. Ted had a kind of spiritual feeling for the land which Dave also shares; when he killed a squirrel Ted would say, "Thank you, Grandfather Squirrel." Ted also told Dave that he never hunted squirrels within a mile radius of his cabin, since he regarded the nearby squirrels as neighbors.
Dave noted that despite Wanda's concerns that certain actions she and her husband took during Ted's childhood must have been at least partly responsible for Ted's lifelong problems and isolation, Wanda is defensive of her own actions in general, and sees herself as having unfairly carried the main burdens of both her family of origin and her own family. Dave characterized his mother as "often difficult herself," and said she would be difficult to approach in connection with this investigation. He requested that in the event such contact with Wanda is necessary, he be contacted first, and facilitate the approach.
Dave made the following comments regarding elements of the UNABOM Manifesto which he strongly associated with Ted:
He was struck upon his initial reading of the document with the "feel" and tone of it, as well as the many familiar, anti-technology themes which have characterized his brother's statements and writings for many years. One example of this was the phrase "cool-headed logician," (mentioned in FD-302 of the writer dated 2/21/96, reporting results of interview with Dave on 2/18/96). A further example of what struck Dave as Ted's wording was in the few sentences of a paragraph near the beginning of the (later identified by the writer as Paragraph 17) These sentences "leapt out" at him1 because they expressed Ted's long-held position on the role of art in human life. This definitively marked the UNABOM Manifesto as Ted's in Dave's mind, because Dave and Ted had a running argument for years on the subject, with Dave holding the position that art was a transcendent phenomenon which could glorify and enhance human experience. Ted, on the other hand, always argued that art was dominated by feeling, which eliminated rational control and purposeful activity in favor of "the sensations of the moment." Dave noted that as he read the paragraph concerning art, LINDA, who was with him, commented that his (DAVE's) face had suddenly "gone white," and they both attributed this as due to the shock of recognition which Dave experienced upon reading that paragraph.
Dave then discussed at length an on-going "discussion and debate -- a dialectic, in fact," which he and Ted began in approximately 1978 concerning the nature of reality in the universe. They debated around a "core argument" for years, the essence of which concerned Ted's belief that scientists had a truer picture of the universe than artists did, because of their reliance on the "Verifiability Criterion." Ted defined this criterion as holding that a "fact" was valid only insofar as it could be proven "true or false." Dave, on the other hand, believes that reality is not necessarily "black and white," but includes many "mystical unknowables" which are a part of human experience not easily quantifiable, or even identifiable. Dave includes "Art" as part of this type of experience. Dave emphasized that Ted has long been committed to rationality as a guiding principle, and noted that a particular characteristic of Ted's debating style was that he placed special emphasis on making his arguments compelling. In doing this, Ted characteristically stressed that since his ideas were based on a "rational ideal," any action in support of them was justifiable. Dave expressed sadness in commenting that this type of justification would enable Ted to feel fully justified and even visionary in killing people to accomplish his "rational objectives."