Title: Kaczynski angered atop Red Mountain
Author: Jason Mohr
Topic: news stories
Date: 04/04/2006
Source: <mtstandard.com>

In 1974, Ted Kaczynski hiked to the top of Red Mountain, which towers more than 9,000 feet outside of Lincoln. It was, Kaczynski wrote, the “highest altitude I’ve ever been at.”

Once on the summit, though, he made a discovery that upset the former math professor and future Unabomber.

“Was disappointed to find a jar up there with pieces of paper in it with the signature and inane comments of various people who’ve hiked up there in the last year or so,” Kaczynski wrote in a previously unpublished journal entry, a transcript of which was viewed by an Independent Record reporter. “I took all of the pieces of paper to use as kindling, except one, on which I wrote, ‘— you all.’ I signed it ‘Jesus Christ.’”

Some Lincoln residents remember Kaczynski as the articulate, disheveled man who repeatedly earned $5 in contests to find the most errors in the local newspaper. It was more than two decades after he moved to Lincoln that they learned the hermit was the man responsible for three murders.

Chris Waits was an unsuspecting neighbor of the Unabomber for 25 years.

Waits’ home is situated at the outlet of McClellan Creek, one mile from Kaczynski’s small cabin. The headwaters of this stream lie in thousands of acres of roadless lands, a haunt Kaczynski preferred and sometimes hid in.

Waits saw the recluse occasionally — giving him rides to town, fixing his bike, offering advice — but can’t call him a friend. Still, shortly after Kaczynski’s 1996 arrest, Waits and IR editor Dave Shors wrote a book, “Unabomber: The Secret Life of Ted Kacynski,” about the “neighborhood” Waits and Kaczynski shared, which lies 7 miles south of Lincoln in the thickly wooded mountains.

Waits said he was duped by Kaczynski.

“My biggest question when he was arrested was ‘How did I miss it?’” he said.

Much of Waits’ knowledge about his former neighbor came in the form of Kaczynski’s prolific writings that federal investigators shared with Waits. They reveal a man Waits calls a “one-man cult.”

“He’s god and he worships himself,” he said.

His journals recount Kaczynski’s survivalist tactics and misdeeds. In addition to crimes he admitted to as the Unabomber, Kaczynski wrote in his journals that he was responsible for many previously unexplained “monkey wrenching” incidents in the area — torching heavy equipment, trashing cabins, stringing up wire to “clothesline” unsuspecting motorcycle riders, and stealing bits of wire and other bombmaking materials.

The journals also reveal Kaczynski’s sexual frustrations and personal troubles. A transcribed copy of Kacynski’s “autobiography,” shows that the former academic was lonely.

“Ted lacked what every human needs — human contact,” Waits said. “It’s the desire to communicate with another human.”

Many who lived near Kaczynski are dead or have moved away. Others didn’t want to talk to reporters.

The new owner of the Kaczynski property — Joy Richards of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. — told a reporter years ago that she wanted to preserve his place. Once a brief resident of the Lincoln area after Kaczynski’s arrest, Richards did not respond to questions from the IR.

Kaczynski’s cabin is gone from the site, confiscated by law enforcement, and the only remnant is a chain-link fence, erected a decade ago to preserve any potential evidence and to preclude any memorabilia seekers.

While Kaczynski and other Lincolnites have exchanged letters, he and Waits aren’t talking.

Kaczynski didn’t respond to repeated requests for interviews by the IR. But in his sentencing hearing nearly eight years ago, Kaczynski said he would right the record to correct the “many falsehoods that have been propagated about me.”

In a 1999 letter to the IR, Kaczynski said he had only a “nodding acquaintance” with Waits, and disparaged his book.

It’s been 10 years since he left the neighborhood. New people have moved in. Others have built summer homes.

Waits said he believes Kaczynski is right where he belongs — in prison.

“It’s just incredible he didn’t do more damage around here,” he said.