Title: Woman linked to Kaczynski speaks up
Topic: news stories
Date: April 18, 1996
Source: sfgate.com

A Chicago woman whose never-ignited romance with Theodore Kaczynski may have led to his firing, said Thursday she and the Unabom suspect never talked about technology, the environment or much of anything else in their brief relationship.

"I didn't have anything in common with him socially," said Ellen Tarmichael, who broke off with him after one dinner date and one apple pie-baking. She then became the target of dirty limericks and other harassment in the foam rubber factory where she, Kaczynski and his brother, David, all worked in 1978.

"Further speculation that my limited involvement with Ted Kaczynski somehow resulted in the acts of terrorism attributed to him would be grossly unfair," Tarmichael said, denying the relationship ever got to a romantic stage.

The first Unabom incident occurred a month before she ever met Kaczynski, she added.

Tarmichael, appearing at a Chicago press conference with her lawyer, said she had not heard from or seen Kaczynski since his firing - by his brother - an event that some have speculated may have started the 18-year series of serial bombings by the so-called anti-technology, pro-environment Unabomber.

So far, although a grand jury in Great Falls, Mont., was expected to hear evidence against him, Kaczynski has not been charged in any of the cases involving the Unabomber, who is blamed for three deaths and 23 injuries from package bombs in nine states since 1978.

A Justice Department official in Washington, D.C., said the grand jury, convened Wednesday, had not discussed Kaczynski and declined to say if or when it would.

Tarmichael and lawyer Enrico Mirabelli said she was forced into the press conference because she had been hounded by the media since her relationship with the suspect was revealed.

"I didn't invite this invasion of my privacy," the terse and nervous Tarmichael said. "I feel this (media harassment) is very unjust. I had nothing to say. And now you've heard nothing to say."

Mirabelli added that it "seems to be prevailing theory that if you hide from the press, you have something to hide," and said that was absolutely not true. He said his client - who said she had received offers of $10,000 and

"maybe $13,000" to tell her story - wanted to show she had nothing to add.

Not much to say

The half-hour press conference with Tarmichael, who answered most questions in monosyllables and took Mirabelli's advice not to answer others, tended to prove their point.

"He was intelligent, quiet, that's about all I can say," Tarmichael said of Kaczynski, saying she couldn't remember what they had talked about at dinner 18 years ago.

She also said Kaczynski, who is being held in Helena, Mont., on a single charge of possessing explosive material, showed little reaction when his brother dismissed him.

"He asked if his brother had the right to fire him," she said.

Tarmichael added she knew or remembered little of the Kaczynski's relationship with the brother whose suspicions led to the federal raid on Kaczynski's mountain cabin and his arrest two weeks ago. "I really didn't see them interact that much," she said.

Asked what kind of employee Ted Kaczynski had been - he was involved in cutting foam rubber forms - Tarmichael, who was one of his supervisors, said simply, "He was an acceptable employee until that last day."

Meanwhile, another person who knew the 53-year-old former UC-Berkeley math professor also remembered little of Kaczynski except that he was intelligent and quiet.

CCSF professor

William McInerny, a longtime chemistry professor at City College and high school classmate of Kaczynski, said that the FBI told him Wednesday that his name was found in the suspected Unabomber's Montana cabin.

"They said I was on the list," McInerny said Thursday.

"It was not a hit list or anything like that but they wanted me to know and use a little sensitivity in receiving packages because there was a chance there might be something still in the mails."

He said agents would not tell him where his name was found or any other details.

McInerny said he had had no contact with Kaczynski since they were in a high school physics class together in Evergreen Park, Ill.

"I was somewhat amazed that he would remember me, but you can imagine my amazement when I saw his picture in the paper a couple weeks ago," McInerny said.

He remembered Kaczynski as "clean-cut, a relatively nice kid, very, very quiet. He was not particularly sociable but not wholly withdrawn either. We thought of him as what he was supposed to be, absolutely brilliant.

"Most of us knew who he was because his reputation went before him. Even as a sophomore, he was the most outstanding student ever to come out of our school. We knew he would end up with an important faculty position at some prestigious university like Harvard."

Two weeks after FBI agents raided Kaczynski's remote shack outside Lincoln, in the Montana Rockies, agents across the nation are issuing similar warnings to dozens of university professors, timber industry lobbyists and others to be wary of their mail.

At first, federal law enforcement sources said the names were culled from documents, handwritten notes and other papers in Kaczynski's cabin.

More recently, they have backed away from that assertion. Now, they refuse to say where the names come from, whether there was a list or whether the names represent potential targets.

Only McInerny's name appears to reach all the way back to Evergreen Park High.