FBI Interview of Sherri Wood a Lincoln Librarian
Date of Transcription: April 2, 1996
SHERRI WOOD, date of birth (DOB) - (address omitted), was interviewed in the office of Head Librarian DEBORAH SCHLESINGER, Lewis and Clark County Library, (address omitted), Helena, Montana. WOOD was interviewed in the presence of Head Librarian SCHLESINGER. After being apprised of the identity of the interviewing Agent and Postal Inspector (PI) and of the nature of the interview, WOOD provided the following information:
WOOD stated she became the Librarian at the Lincoln, Montana, branch of Lewis and Clark Library in November of 1984.
WOOD advised that TED KACZYNSKI came into the Lincoln library about four to five years after WOOD began her employment there. WOOD described KACZYNSKI as being a "little hermit-type guy." WOOD advised that she has seen KACZYNSKI at least once per month over the period of time that she has been acquainted with him. WOOD advised that KACZYNSKI is an extremely polite individual who is always courteous and who requests books, many of which WOOD could not pronounce the titles.
WOOD stated that in January of 1992, the Lincoln library opened their new addition. WOOD explained that the library had been being remodeled for some period of time and expanded. WOOD advised that sometime near the end of 1991, KACZYNSKI began volunteering at the library assisting the library in moving books to accommodate the remodeling and expansion project. KACZYNSKI would help by unpacking boxes of books and re-shelving them and generally moving items of equipment from one spot to another.
WOOD adviscd that KACZYNSKI has never "scared" any of the library employees. As a matter of fact, WOOD advised that her assistant, MARY SPERLING, likes KACZYNSKI. WOOD advised that if MARY SPERLING can like KACZYNSKI, anyone should be able to like KACZYNSKI. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI is as "inoffensive" a person as anyone could be.
WOOD advised that when KACZYNSKI first began coming to the Lincoln library, he was very closed-mouthed and did not talk about himself or his background; however, through the years, she and other members of the library staff have been able to develop a relationship with KACZYNSKI to the point that KACZYNSKI has talked to them about his family and background. WOOD advised that one prior employee of the Lincoln library, LUCILLE SULLIVAN, developed a close relationship with KACZYNSKI and that KACZYNSKI really opened up to her. SULLIVAN volunteered at the library for two to three years. SULLIVAN, according to WOOD, has resided in Hamilton, Montana, a suburb of Missoula, for the last nine to ten years.
WOOD advised that over the years, she has been able to determine that KACZYNSKI appears to be very proud of his family and Polish background. WOOD advised that she believes that KACZYNSKI comes from a big family in Chicago or Detroit and that he has several brothers and sisters. WOOD described KACZYNSKI's family as being a very traditional family, possibly Catholic, and it is always with fondness when he talks of memories and reminisces about his family. WOOD stated that there appears to be a "dark side" with regard to KACZYNSKI's growing up in the city. She stated that he appears to have "street smarts" from his experience in growing up in a big city.
WOOD advised that there appears to be a whole section about KACZYNSKI's life that he will not talk about. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI talks about his life up until the time he was about 18 or 19 years old. After that, there appears to be a period in his life that he does not discuss. wood stated that KACZYNSKI talks about his life more recently in Montana but that there appears to be a huge period in his life that he does not talk about. WOOD stated that even though KACZYNSKI appears to be a well-educated man, KACZYNSKI has never spoken with her or any of her staff members about his education. WOOD stated she assumes that KACZYNSKI has a college degree; however, he has never spoken to her about what he did after college prior to his coming to Lincoln, Montana.
WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI talks about his life more recently in Montana but that there appears to be a huge period in his life that he does not talk about. WOOD observed that she and other members of her staff have speculated over the years that KACZYNSKI is probably a Vietnam veteran who has come to the mountains seeking refuge. WOOD observed that in her experience, many Vietnam veterans do not like to talk about their war experience. WOOD recalled KACZYNSKI telling her at some time in the past that he had worked at a car dealership and at a grocery store. WOOD also believed that as a boy, KACZYNSKI had a paper route.
WOOD advised that even though she normally sees KACZYNSKI approximately once per month over the last several years at the library, recently she has been "kind of concerned" about him because she has not seen KACZYNSKI all winter. WOOD went on to say that during the last couple of times that KACZYNSKI has been at the Lincoln library, he has not appeared to be as friendly as in the past. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI's strange behavior started last summer. WOOD advised that she did not believe that KACZYNSKI was "mad at us," but that he seemed to "have something else on his mind."
WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI was interested in "heavy subjects," such as socialism, branches of socialism, Russian history and Czars, Spanish and Mexican revolutionaries. KACZYNSKI, according to WOOD, has an "astounding vocabulary" and at times WOOD has difficulty in understanding what KACZYNSKI is talking about.
KACZYNSKI also demonstrated an interest in Mexico and South America and, according to WOOD, KACZYNSKI liked to read books written by obscure writers of which she had never heard. WOOD stated that many of the books requested by KACZYNSKI were written in Spanish or Latin. WOOD said that as a general example, KACZYNSKI liked books about other people's theories. WOOD also observed that KACZYNSKI had an interest in psychology.
WOOD described the methods by which KACZYNSKI or anyone else in Lincoln could request books from the public library. WOOD stated that sometimes KACZYNSKI would give WOOD a list of books to request from the Helena library. For each title, KACZYNSKI would cite the title, author, publication date, and whether it was written in English or Spanish. These lists were always neatly printed or written long-hand by KACZYNSKI. As WOOD received the request from KACZYNSKI, she would check the computer at the Lincoln library to see where the book might be available within the Five-State Library Federation. WOOD advised she has never known KACZYNSKI to have a job while in Lincoln, Montana, and she assumes that he gets some type of check through the mail which supports his lifestyle. WOOD stated she has always thought he was a Vietnam veteran simply because of his lifestyle.
The five states included in the Library Federation included Montana, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Idaho and parts of Canada and Utah. It was possible to search outside the five-state area. WOOD noted that a lot of KACZYNSKI's searches were very intensive. Some searches required WOOD to send letters to other libraries outside this five-state area. Included in these searches were periodicals as well as books. WOOD speculated that she has kept some of these letters of request for approximately the last two to three years and volunteered to look for them at the Lincoln library.
WOOD advised that at other times, she would just bring KACZYNSKI's list to the Lewis and Clark Library and research the books for availability there. She would then return these books to Lincoln for KACZYNSKI.
Approximately once per month, WOOD comes to Helena to rotate books between the Lincoln and Helena libraries. WOOD explained that as she has learned about her patrons, she learned what type of books they like to read. Some library patrons prefer mysteries while others prefer books on war. WOOD advised that she attempts to rotate books back to the Lincoln library that she knows her patrons will be interested in reading.
WOOD stated that some of the research she completed for KACZYNSKI included getting addresses for letters KACZYNSKI was writing to magazines and newspapers. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI had many "causes" for which he wrote letters highlighting social injustices. WOOD stated that one such cause involved a Mexican friend of KACZYNSKI's who had some problems in California. WOOD believed this friend had been injured and was not receiving any form of compensation or assistance. KACZYNSKI organized a letter-writing campaign on behalf of this Mexican individual.
WOOD stated that some of the addresses she researched for KACZYNSKI included a newspaper from back east, a newspaper in Colorado and one or two newspapers in California. WOOD did not recall KACZYNSKI requesting any newspaper articles, only newspaper addresses.
SSA NOEL displayed a list of 24 books and periodicals prepared by SA CANDICE L. DELONG which were items sent to the Lincoln library through the Inter-Library Loan Program. WOOD reviewed the list and stated that she believed that KACZYNSKI had been the individual for whom the following books had been requested:
Theory and Applications Society Survival of the Adversary Culture;
Social Criticism and Political...
WOOD stated that she believed the following books and/or periodicals were also requested on behalf of KACZYNSKI although she stated she could not be absolutely certain. WOOD based her belief on the fact that KACZYNSKI often read and requested books pertaining to sociology and psychology. WOOD also advised she could not recall requesting these books for anyone else. Those books and periodicals are:
Sanity, Insanity and Common Sense;
WOOD stated that the book entitled, "Surface Self Diffusion of Metals," was in fact requested by a young boy who was trying to learn how to make knives. She stated that upon receipt of this book, the young boy came to her and told her that he could not understand the book.
WOOD was asked about specific magazines and books. She advised as follows with regard to the specific book and/or magazine:
Scientific American -
The Lincoln library has lots of people reading Scientific American. The magazine is maintained at the Lincoln library and WOOD stated she believed KACZYNSKI read this magazine.
Omni Magazine is not very requested at the Lincoln library and WOOD has no recollection of this magazine being requested by KACZYNSKI.
Violence in America -
WOOD stated that she remembered this book having been requested by someone in the past. WOOD could not say for sure but said that it was possible KACZYNSKI had been the requester of this particular book.
True Believer, by ERIC HOFER
WOOD stated that she remembers someone having requested this book at the Lincoln library and that it sounds like something that KACZYNSKI would request; however, WOOD could not remember specifically for whom she requested the book.
The Ancient Engineer, by L. SPRAGUE DECAMP
WOOD recalled having requested this book for KACZYNSKI. Additionally, WOOD recalled ordering "tons of stuff" on L. SPRAGUE DECAMP for KACZYNSKI. WOOD stated that she believed she requested the assistance of CAROL KOPEC of the Inter-Library Loan Program in Helena with regard to KACZYNSKI's request involving L. SPRAGUE DECAMP. WOOD believed that the Ancient Engineer book which she obtained for KACZYNSKI was the hardback version although WOOD stated that it could have been the paperback version.
WOOD advised that she had never ordered Advertising Age for anyone, to include KACZYNSKI, at the Lincoln library.
WOOD stated that she did do some inter-library loan requests for KACZYNSKI involving journals and books but not newspapers. WOOD stated that she did not do any requests on behalf of KACZYNSKI for the periodical, Canadian Dimensions.
WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI would travel to Missoula, Montana, about every two to three months via bus. While in Missoula, KACZYNSKI would rent an automobile. WOOD assumed that while KACZYNSKI was in Missoula, he would do research there for possible sources of books. WOOD explained that it was not uncommon for Lincoln library patrons to find books at other libraries and then ask WOOD to order the books for them. In this way, WOOD explained, the patrons would not incur any retrieval costs levied by other libraries.
WOOD commented that KACZYNSKI would usually check in at the Lincoln library prior to taking these trips to Missoula. WOOD likened this to KACZYNSKI asking permission from her to go. WOOD stated that she did not believe that KACZYNSKI was ever gone for more than a week on any of these trips. WOOD stated that she was very surprised to learn that KACZYNSKI could drive a car. She believed up until KACZYNSKI told her about renting cars in Missoula that KACZYNSKI was "anti-car" because of the pollution problem. WOOD noted that KACZYNSKI seemed to be real "anti-stuff" but could not be more specific about what she meant by "anti-stuff."
WOOD stated that she learned about KACZYNSKI's renting cars in Missoula from conversations she had with KACZYNSKI. WOOD stated she was also surprised to hear that KACZYNSKI was driving an automobile because she had never seen him drive in Lincoln.
WOOD went on to say that KACZYNSKI told her he takes the bus to Missoula where he rents a car and goes grocery shopping. KACZYNSKI told her he buys groceries in Missoula and then drives them in the rental car back to Lincoln, where he unloads them at his cabin. WOOD stated KACZYNSKI then drives back to Missoula where he returns the rental car and takes the bus back to Lincoln. Prior to this time, WOOD advised that she and LUCILLE SULLIVAN believed that KACZYNSKI had been bringing his groceries back to Lincoln, Montana, on the bus. According to WOOD, SULLIVAN had asked KACZYNSKI to explain how he got his groceries back and that KACZYNSKI had related the above to them. WOOD suggested that because of KACZYNSKI's lifestyle and apparent lack of income, it is possible that he rents a vehicle at a "rent-a-wreck" type place in Missoula.
WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI "hops on a bus and goes and visits a lot more than anyone thought." WOOD recalled KACZYNSKI telling her about these bus trips. WOOD observed that about two or three years ago, KACZYNSKI was very excited about taking a trip "back home." WOOD went on to say she believed that in the last two to three years, KACZYNSKI has gone back to the Chicago or Detroit area on a couple of occasions. Additionally, WOOD stated KACZYNSKI went "down" to see his Mexican friend at least once in the past two to three years. WOOD believed this Mexican friend's situation really bothered KACZYNSKI. WOOD believes KACZYNSKI visited this friend in either California or Colorado.
WOOD stated that approximately two years ago, in either the spring of 1994 or the spring of 1995, KACZYNSKI was coming into the Lincoln library every day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday afternoons. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI's presence at the library seemed to intimidate other library patrons. WOOD recalled KACZYNSKI's daily trips interfered with Lincoln students wanting to do their spring reports. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI continued this daily use of the library through the fall of that year. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI's every day visits to the library "irritated" her. WOOD advised that KACZYNSKI would go to the reference table at the back of the library and cover the table with newspaper "stuff" and books that KACZYNSKI took from his backpack. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI's reference materials would cover the entire table, making it difficult for anyone else to use this area. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI would read material he brought, as well as material from the library shelves. She notes he also did a lot of writing.
WOOD explained that over the last 12 years, the Inter-Library Loan Program has grown from a small to a large part of her job. WOOD stated there were books that were not available for loaning, even if they were available at other libraries. Types of books not available to be loaned were books out of print, newly released books or reference books.
WOOD recalled doing some research in Whose Who for someone approximately two to three years ago. WOOD recalled that CAROL KOPEC at the Helena Lewis and Clark Library assisted her with this request. WOOD recalled faxing the request to KOPEC who in turn mailed the information back to WOOD at the Lincoln library. WOOD could not remember if this request had been on behalf of KACZYNSKI.
Anoher reference book available at the Lincoln library, according to WOOD, was the Blue Book of Colleges. This book consisted of four or five volumes and contained material with regard to colleges, entrance requirements, faculty, professors and classes needed for particular degrees. WOOD guessed that the most recent edition at the Lincoln library was 1994. WOOD advised that older editions were destroyed when they were replaced by the newer versions. WOOD advised that this book is available in the Lincoln library, Reference Section, which is the area in which KACZYNSKI always sits when he is at the library.
WOOD stated that another reference book that KACZYNSKI uses a lot when he comes to the Lincoln library is the three volumes of Standard and Poor's Register (S & P). WOOD stated that she had done a lot of work for KACZYNSKI in the past in this reference book and that she had instructed KACZYNSKI on how to use all three volumes. WOOD stated that the Lincoln library is about one year behind with regard to S & P issues. WOOD stated that now that KACZYNSKI knows how to use the S & P, she takes him to the back of the library where the reference materials are located and leaves him alone while he does his research.
WOOD advised that KACZYNSKI has looked for telephone numbers of companies and corporations "back east." WOOD advised that she helped him locate a couple of such telephone numbers in one of the S & P volumes. WOOD stated she referred KACZYNSKI to larger libraries such as Missoula in order to find additional numbers in which he was interested.
WOOD advised that on occasion, the Lincoln library discards old books, magazines and newspapers. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI does occasionally take some of this throwaway material home. WOOD recalled KACZYNSKI recently took a book that she was prepared to throw away concerning ballistics and how fast bullets travel. Later, WOOD wished she had this book back because a Lincoln student had come in doing research on ballistics and could have used this book.
WOOD advised that in the past, the Lincoln library had the following newspapers:
The Helena Independent Record
The Missoula Missoulian
The Great Falls newspaper
WOOD advised that she had let KACZYNSKI take old issues of all of these newspapers. WOOD also recalled giving KACZYNSKI old issues of the National Geographic.
WOOD went on to say that one time in the past, she had obtained the address of the San Francisco Chronicle for someone. However, she could not specifically say that she had done this on behalf of KACZYNSKI. WOOD did say it was possible that KACZYNSKI had made the request. WOOD recalled that the address she had gotten for the individual requesting it had been just the general address of the newspaper. WOOD advised that she had never requested articles from any San Francisco newspaper on behalf of KACZYNSKI.
WOOD stated that discarded items from the Lincoln library are taken to the Lincoln dump which is located two miles east of Lincoln just off of Highway 200. WOOD observed she had taken the library's old Olivia electric typewriter to the dump and discarded it there. The library now has a new IBM typewriter. WOOD advised KACZYNSKI had never used the old typewriter nor had he ever requested to use the new typewriter. WOOD observed that all of the lists that she had ever received from KACZYNSKI were either neatly printed or written "real nicely" in long-hand.
KACZYNSKI had never requested WOOD to do any errands for him while she was on any of her trips to Helena, Montana. Specifically, WOOD stated she had never done any banking for KACZYNSKI in Helena or anywhere else. She stated jKACZYNSKI had never asked her to mail any letters for him or to pick up any mail for him from the post office.
WOOD described KACZYNSKI as someone who liked to be alone. She stated KACZYNSKI was not rude to people and he could be real caring, but you had to know him. WOOD commented that KACZYNSKI had a very good relationship with her oldest son, DANNY, who is 13 years old. WOOD stated that DANNY was very comfortable around KACZYNSKI. KACZYNSKI was always concerned about DANNY's well-being, problems and about how DANNY felt about things. WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI would also discuss computers and other contemporary topics with her son. WOOD's general impression of KACZYNSKI's feelings about computers was "they were not were they were cracked up to be."
WOOD advised she noted that KACZYNSKI could carry on great conversations and that KACZYNSKI did not seem to have anything against people who had televisions, telephones and radios but KACZYNSKI just felt these articles were not important to him.
WOOD stated about three years ago, she helped KACZYNSKI find addresses for Montana United States Senator BAUCUS, U. S. Congressman PAT WILLIAMS and former U. S. Congressman CONRAD BURNS. WOOD stated she believed KACZYNSKI wrote each of these governmental officials some type of letter.
WOOD stated that KACZYNSKI does not appear to have anyone else in Lincoln to talk to other than the staff at the Lincoln library. WOOD observed that the Lincoln library appeared to be the only place in town that offered KACZYNSKI friendship.
WOOD advised that KACZYNSKI never mentioned to her about taking any trips to Helena. WOOD stated she does not believe that KACZYNSKI has ever been at the Helena Lewis and Clark branch of the library. WOOD advised that to the best of her knowledge, the only other library that she knows KACZYNSKI to have gone to is the public library in Missoula.
WOOD described KACZYNSKI as looking like a hermit and always wearing dirty jeans that "looked like they could stand up in a corner." WOOD advised that when KACZYNSKI comes to the Lincoln Public Library, he dresses in jeans and a flannel shirt and wears an old down-filled jacket. WOOD advised that KACZYNSKI's beard and hair did not appear to be clean and that he had some teeth missing. She stated that KACZYNSKI "smelled" and bothered other patrons with his odor and appearance. WOOD said that it was not uncommon for the staff to spray a deodorizer after KACZYNSKI leaves the library. WOOD also stated that after KACZYNSKI returns books to the library, it is necessary for the staff to clean the books of smudge prints that KACZYNSKI leaves on the books. WOOD observed that she did not want her library patrons to have to check out books that were dirty.
WOOD advised KACZYNSKI always has a "great big humongous backpack" full of stuff when he comes to the library. WOOD described this backpack as being canvas in color on a big metal frame with lots of pockets. WOOD also stated that KACZYNSKI generally wears "logging boots" on his visits to the Lincoln library.
WOOD went on to say that KACZYNSKI always rides to the library on an old bicycle. WOOD observed that in the winter, KACZYNSKI puts chains on the bicycle and comes to the library in all kinds of inclement weather. WOOD observed that KACZYNSKI has come to the library on occasion when it was 40 below outside.
The following list of names was read to WOOD in an effort to determine if any of them were familiar to WOOD:
THOMAS TYLER - WOOD stated that this name was not familiar to her.
BOON LONG HOE - WOOD said that BOON may sound familiar but the LONG HOE portion of the name is not familiar to her.
JOHN T. MINOR - May be familiar to WOOD. WOOD believed possibly MINOR was the author of a journal article.
MANFRED MORARI - WOOD advised this name was not familiar.
GILBERT T. MURRAY - WOOD advised this name was not familiar.
WILLIAM DENNISON - WOOD advised that this name is familiar to her but she did not recall why.
CHARLES EPSTEIN - WOOD advised that this name is familiar to her but she does not recall why.
DAVID GELERTNER - WOOD advised this name is not familiar to her.
THOMAS MOSSER - WOOD advised this name is familiar but cannot recall why.
BOB GUCCIONE - WOOD advised that this name is familiar but cannot recall why.
MIRROR WORLDS - WOOD advised she believes this book was available at the library once but cannot remember for whom she requested the book.
WOOD was shown a copy of a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena Iissued to the Lewis and Clark Public Library, Helena, Montana, for records of THEODORE J. KACZYNSKI, as well as a court order forbidding disclosure of the service of Grand Jury Subpoena and notification of individuals named in the subpoena. WOOD stated that she would honor the confidentiality of the interview.