Statements made during Ted Kaczynski's Sentencing
Court Clerk: You may remain seated. Court is again in session.
Calling Criminal Case S-96-259, United States versus Theodore Kaczynski.
Judge Burrell: Please, state your appearance for the record.
Robert Cleary: For the Government, Robert Cleary, Steven Lapham, Steven Freccero, Douglas Wilson, Bernard Hubley. And Mr. Freccero will be speaking on behalf of the government today.
Judge Burrell: Thank you.
Judy Clarke: Judy Clarke and Quin Denvir with Mr. Kaczynski. He's present in court, Your Honor.
Judge Burrell: Thank you.
Judge Burrell: Does counsel for defendant wish to speak on defendant's behalf before I pronounce sentence?
Judy Clarke: No, Your Honor.
Judge Burrell: Does the defendant wish to make a statement before I pronounce sentence?
Ted Kaczynski: Yes, Your Honor.
Your Honor, may I come to the podium?
Judge Burrell: You may.
Ted Kaczynski: My statement will be very brief.
A few days ago the government filed a sentencing memorandum, the purpose of which was clearly political. By discrediting me personally, they hope to discredit the ideas expressed by the Unabomber. In reality, the government has discredited itself. The sentencing memorandum contains false statements, distorted statements and statements that mislead by omitting important facts.
At a later time I expect to respond at length to the sentencing memorandum and also the many other falsehoods that have been propagated about me.
Meanwhile, I only ask that people reserve their judgment about me and about the Unabom case until all the facts have been made public.
Judge Burrell: Does the government wish to make a statement before I pronounce sentence?
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, the United States stands by the statements it made in its sentencing memorandum, and we would submit it based on that.
Judge Burrell: Any victim wishing to make a statement or to present any information in relation to sentence may come forward through the prosecution following the procedure I explained earlier.
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, Susan Mosser, the wife of Thomas Mosser who was murdered in December of 1994.
Judge Burrell: Miss Mosser, can you pull the microphone -- Maybe counsel can help her pull the microphone closer to her.
When you are ready, you may make whatever statement you want, ma'am.
Susan Mosser: Can I put it on this side because my pages will be turning that way.
Nails. Razor blades. Wire. Pipe. Batteries. Everyday household items. Pack them together, explode them with the force of a bullet from a rifle, and you have a bomb. Hold it in your hand while it is exploding, as my husband Tom did, and you have unbearable pain.
Not the unbearable pain the defense lamented Kaczynski would feel should he be portrayed as mentally ill, Your Honor, but the excruciating pain of a hundred nails, cut up razor blades and metal fragments perforating your heart, shearing off your fingers, burning your skin, fracturing your skull, and driving shrapnel into your brain.
December 10th, 1994, was the day my husband felt unbearable pain. It was supposed to be the day my family picked out a Christmas tree. The day we celebrated Tom's latest promotion. Instead it was the day my husband was murdered, the day I had to tell the children "Daddy, is dead." It was unbearable pain for me to say it, and it was unbearable pain for them to hear it. Their ages were 21, 19, 13 and 15-months-old.
December 10th was a Saturday, but the story begins with the day before when a package was delivered to our home. It was addressed to my husband. I put it with the other mail on the table in the foyer.
Tom was due back from a week-long business trip later that day. He came back tired, but he was happy to be home with us. That evening, my daughter Kim, 13-years-old, had some friends over. They laughed and played around the piano just feet from a bomb disguised as a package.
They left, and we went to bed. One of Kim's friends stayed over. The next morning the baby and I were the first ones up. Tom got up and had breakfast. He read books to Kelly and played in her toy castle. Our plan that day was to go buy a Christmas tree.
Still in his bathrobe, Tom went to the foyer, looked at the mail, and brought one of the packages back in the kitchen where Kelly and I were standing. He put it on the counter, and as he reached for a knife to open it, Kelly, just on a whim, bolted out of the room. I followed unsure where she was headed. I helped her down the step into the living room. She wanted to have a tea party.
As we started having it, a thunderous noise resounded throughout the house. It had originated in the kitchen. Stunned, I scooped Kelly up and put her near the front door. A white mist was pouring from the kitchen doorway. I raced through it to find out what happened.
The dust settled slowly revealing the kitchen counter, but Tom wasn't standing there. When the mist settled to the floor, a horrifying image emerged. My husband's body, face up on the floor, his stomach slashed open, his face was partially blacked and distorted. Blood. Horror. There was no time to take it all in. I knew he needed help.
Fearing the kids would come into the kitchen, I yelled for them to get out of the house. I dialed 911 and screamed "I need an ambulance." I headed over to Tom, grabbing some towels and the baby's blanket she'd dropped on the floor earlier in the morning.
I knelt down. He was moaning very softly. I wasn't sure what I could touch or where I could touch. The fingers on his right hand were dangling just by skin. They had been cut through the bone.
I did what I could, and I held his left hand. I told him help is coming, that he would be okay, and that I loved him.
Within two minutes the police arrived. One went to Tom, the other asked me what happened. I started telling him, but became hysterical, my mouth saying, "Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God." As I looked at Tom, my brain was telling me to shut up, but I couldn't. The officer told me to get a grip on myself, and that was the slap in my face I needed. I could function again.
Thinking we would be going to the hospital, I finally dialed for someone to stay with the kids. That done, I headed back for Tom. I was told I had to get out of the house on my way over to see him, but I wanted to stay with him.
Paramedics were working on him. I didn't want to be in their way, but I wanted Tom to know I was there. I knelt down next to him remembering something about a pulse point behind the knee. I felt for it behind his left leg. There was a pounding sensation. I realized it was my own heart.
A fireman said he smelled gas then, and again asked me out of the house -- ordered me out of the house. I stood up from where I was next to Tom and smelled it too. Out the window I could see firemen on alert, hoses pointed at the kitchen, ready to douse it should it blow.
I knew then that I had no choice. I had to leave. If the kitchen exploded, my children would have no one, no father, no mother. But first I needed a few things for the baby. I grabbed the diaper bag, some formula, and headed for the cabinet where the baby bottles were. The force of the bomb had blown the bottles out of the cabinet. They were on the floor in a pile of glass and debris. I left them there.
The bottles themselves were plastic so they weren't broken, but I figured I might have time to tell someone to wash them out before they gave the bottle to Kelly.
In the street there was organized chaos. Fire trucks, cars, ambulances everywhere. Fire hoses crisscrossed my lawn and driveway. People were scurrying every which way. I was told a medivac chopper was on its way. It would land at the baseball field and take Tom to a trauma center. I was so relieved. There was hope.
But moments later it seemed like someone had pulled a plug out of the whole thing. Everything came to a screeching halt. It just didn't feel right. My eyes went to the front door of my house. "Bring him out," I was yelling inside me. The door opened, but a stretcher didn't come out. A firemen came out. He walked in slow motion down the steps and to the driveway. He was not anxious to get to his destination, Your Honor. I realized his destination was me.
Before he had a chance to say it, I did. "He's dead, isn't he," I said. The fireman shook his head yes. "I'm sorry," he said. "He didn't make it."
I went totally ballistic. All these hands were coming at me. I just wanted to run. They calmed me down, and I knew then I had to extend this unbearable pain to my children.
They were safely inside my neighbor's house and they knew very little about what was going on. Kim had been told that Tom had cut his hand. She called her older sister Abbey to let her know, and told her that Tom and I were going to the hospital.
Abbey, concerned that Kim and Kelly might be frightened, came over. She had to walk down our barricaded street on foot. Abbey was not at all prepared for what she would see.
When I saw her, I went over and pulled her into the car they put me in. "Daddy's dead," I said. "It was a bomb. I'm so sorry honey." "No. No. No. Not my daddy," she cried as I held her in my arms and we cried together.
After absorbing the shock, her first words were concern for Kim. And I told her that Kim didn't know yet. I wanted to give the youngest ones a few more minutes of peace before I changed their lives forever.
Someone said that Kim was starting to ask questions. I knew my time had run out. We headed for the neighbor's door. Someone opened it for us. Inside I could hear the sounds of my children playing and laughing. How can I do this to them, I thought, destroy their world. Nothing will ever be the same.
The minute we walked in, Kim knew something was wrong. The priest, the fireman, Abbey, me. We told her Tom had been hurt. "Fix him," she yelled. I told her he couldn't be fixed. It was a bomb. He was dead.
She screamed and cried and flailed around and then dropped on the floor. I went down with her, Kelly in my other arm. I held them both, my brokenhearted children. They were inconsolable. Kelly didn't understand what I was saying what had happened, but she knew whatever it was, it was terrible.
Kim started to hyperventilate. We got her up. Kelly was screaming so loudly I had to take her out of the room. There was no calming her down. Her blanket might have helped, but that was back in the house soaked with Tom's blood.
My stepson, Timmy, learned of the news of his father over the phone. He had a five hour drive. A friend drove him home, and Timmy cried the whole way.
The afternoon was spent answering questions, explaining what happened, describing the package, describing Tom, getting phone numbers.
We thought it was a corporate conspiracy at first. Teams of experts flew up from Washington to review the evidence. FBI, ATF, local law enforcement. The bomb squad searched ever inch of my home for more bombs and found a package which upon x-ray looked suspicious. They warned me that they would have to detonate it. When they did, it lifted me right off the ground.
We spent the early morning hours waiting for the evidence to be collected. They named the murderer. It was the Unabomber.
I was anxious for Tom to have last rights. At 5:00 a.m. on Sunday we were finally able to get back into our house with a priest. Tom was in a body bag on a gurney near the piano. We were allowed into the foyer. We said the prayers, touched the bag and like zombies headed back to our neighbor's house.
When we got back to the house, I sat in the kitchen, my head on the table. My sister said I let a wail out of my body that sounded like it came from my soul. I started to cry and I don't know when I stopped.
It was the worst day of my life, Your Honor. Not only the beginning of this nightmare that is the Unabomber. My children are bleeding from their souls. Sometimes it's only a pin prick, sometimes it's a hemorrhage. To lose your father this way is unfathomable. And even after three and a half years we are still processing the horror. If it is processed all at once, you would go jump off a bridge.
Every holiday has pain. Every Father's Day, every birthday, every graduation, every reward, every everything. We try to be strong, but every time Kaczynski perpetrates some new evil, it's another stab in our souls.
My children began their life sentence without their father three and a half years ago. For the baby, it's a 70 year sentence. For Abbey, Tim and Kim, maybe 50 years. Kaczynski will do less than that.
He has ravished my children, but will suffer less for it. For while the past is troubling me, the future troubles me too, Your Honor. Even in a jail, a serial killer wants to kill. And Kaczynski will use his manipulating mind to try and figure out how, if he hasn't already done that.
He is diabolical, evil, cunning. A murderer. He has no cause except his own, and that is to kill anyone.
Please, Your Honor, make this sentence bullet proof, bomb proof, if you will. Don't let Kaczynski murder justice the way he has murdered others. Please keep this creature out of society forever, in every possible way. Make this sentence as permanent for him as he has made our sentences permanent.
His so-called causes are a smokescreen for his only objective, to kill anything that is alive. Lock him so far down that when he does die, he'll be closer to hell. That's where the devil belongs.
Just one more thing, Your Honor, that I would like to say and that is this:
God, thank you for letting us see this day. It is hopefully the beginning of the end. Bless everyone who has worked on this case. Bless everyone who has ever been touched by this case. Bless everyone who has ever prayed for any of us. But most of all, God, bless our children, keep their world safe from people like this.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Judge Burrell: You're welcome.
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, Dr. Lois Epstein, the wife of Dr. Charles Epstein, who was injured in June of 1993.
Lois Epstein: I have thought long and hard about what I should say to you, Ted Kaczynski, as you are the person who sent a bomb to my home in an attempt to murder Dr. Charles Epstein, a gentle and brilliant man, a man who has never done you a moment of harm, but has done the world a lot of good. A man who has been my husband for the past 42 years and the father of our four children and the grandfather of our three children.
I speak to you today as his wife, as a mother, and a grandmother. I am also a Harvard University educated physician's scientist. And as such, have spent decades of my life doing experiments in my cancer research laboratory and hours of my life taking care of children who are ill in a clinic setting.
Let me remind you that the construction of the bomb you sent to my husband was described in your notebooks of horror and terror as Experiment Number 225. Let me remind you that in your callous, contemptuous, quasi-scientific method you described the results of that experiment as "adequate but no more than adequate."
I am so incredibly thankful that because of my husband's resilience, determination and courage, and because of the support and love of our family, and literally thousands of friends, colleagues and even strangers, that he has recovered from the physical effects of your bomb.
I am also incredibly grateful that our, as then 18-year-old daughter, who brought the package with the bomb into our home, decided not to open it, left the house, and so never saw what happened to her father when the bomb actually exploded in his hands.
My thoughts result not only from the difficult experiences which my husband, our family, and I endured during his long recovery, but also from the profound impact on us of the tragedies endured by the other victims of your crimes and their families.
That you have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of appeal or parole is, in my opinion, almost too kind a sentence for a man who has been successful in murdering three human beings and seriously injuring an additional 22.
The Bible speaks in Leviticus 24 of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Our tradition of Judaism rejects the literal meaning of these words in favor of a more metaphoric interpretation. Thus, to me this concept of justice, when thought about in a symbolic way, seems to be very appropriate for you.
Therefore, as you serve out your life imprisonment and your life sentence in prison, I wish the following for you in the hope that you eventually truly understand the seriousness and consequences of your crimes and how your victims and their families have suffered.
Given that your victims were blinded by your bombs, may your eyes be blinded by being deprived of the light of the moon, the stars, the sun and the beauty of nature for the rest of your life;
Given that your victims lost their hearing because of your bombs, may your ears become deaf as your eardrums implode from the stony silence of your surroundings for the rest of your life;
Given that your victims were maimed by your bombs, may your fingers, your hands, your arms, your legs and your body be shattered by the violence and hatred you wrought against others, the violence and hatred which have already mangled and distorted your mind;
Given that your victims were killed by your bombs, may your own eventual death occur as you have lived, in a solitary manner, without compassion or love.
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, I would introduce to the Court Dr. Charles Epstein.
Charles Epstein: As far as I know, I am the only person in modern times who was targeted for death just for being a geneticist. It's nearly five years since you, Theodore Kaczynski, attempted to kill me because I am, according to one of your letters, a genetic engineer.
I do not know what your understanding of the term "genetic engineering" is, but I personally think that I might better be described as a physician and scientist who has spent his whole professional life trying to help patients and families who are confronted with a host of difficult, often tragic problems and choices.
True, my tools are genetic ones, but while they're used in the service of people who need help should mark me for death is beyond my understanding. Perhaps it was not so much for what I did myself, but for what you thought I stood for. The use of science, genetics in my case, to try to improve the lot of mankind.
Well, I must admit that is exactly what I stand for. In your distorted view of history and the world, if we are to believe any of what you wrote in your manifesto, the use of science to improve the human condition is merely a deception aimed at ultimately enslaving and controlling society. Rather, it would appear that you would prefer mankind to exist in some blissful state devoid of science and technology.
Well, I can tell you there is nothing blissful about the things I deal with on a day-to-day basis; birth defects, mental retardation, degenerative brain disease and so much more.
What right then do you have hiding in your shack in a forest to try to prevent me and my kind from trying to relieve the suffering of those who are afflicted by attempting to kill me and to intimidate the others?
No right at all. You have no right at all.
And even had you succeeded in killing me, it would not have advanced your cause one iota, your political agenda. To the extent that you really were trying to make some sort of statement about the potential problems engendered by science and technology, your murderous approach doomed you to failure, and fail you did. And no matter how much you sit in prison and write, fail you will.
Greek tragedies are characterized by hubris and nemesis. We both learned this at Harvard, I'm sure. Hubris, sometimes defined as an overweening pride, you have plenty enough of that, and assuredly your nemesis has come. But there is no Greek tragedy at work here because the tragic figure was always someone with nobility of character. And that is what made his ultimate fall tragic.
Both your words and actions have shown us that this is not what is at work in your case. But there has been tragedy enough associated with your actions, real life tragedy involving families who do -- who do possess the nobility of character that you lack. Tragedy visited upon them for no fault of their own. Wives whose husbands were murdered, children who lost their fathers, relatives and friends who lost their loved ones. These are tragedies that will last a lifetime.
And for those who have survived your murderous attempts, there has been, to be sure, pain and disfigurement, but that is really the least of it. There is the knowledge of the terrible effects that your actions have had upon their wives and children and friends and loved ones. There is the fearful knowledge that you are so indiscriminate and callous in how you attempted to kill them, that you did not care whom you placed at risk.
On most any other evening than June 22nd, 1993, my daughter, who brought in your bomb from the mailbox, and my wife, would have been standing next to me as I opened my mail.
Your defense lawyers would have us believe that you did not really know what you were doing, or if you did, that you couldn't stop yourself from doing it.
Having sat in this courtroom during the several sessions in which you very nicely managed to throw the proceedings into an uproar, and having read and heard, as we all, what you wrote with your own hand, I reject the notion that your mental state, whatever label's put on it, somehow justifies or excuses or even explains what you did.
In fact, I feel that such an assertion does an enormous disservice to the thousands of people with psychiatric illnesses who manage to conform to the norms of society.
However, the repeated assertion of mental illness did have one effect which has a severe impact on those whom you attacked and on their families. By some convoluted form of logic, you were portrayed as the victim, the victim of a system of justice thirsting for your blood, of prosecutors who would see a deranged man put to death.
What a message. Theodore Kaczynski the victim.
And what of Gil Murray and Hugh Scrutton and Thomas Mosser, all of whom were destroyed, literally demolished by your bombs? What of their wives and children who forever will be alone? What of all the rest of us?
Somehow all were forgotten in the clamor for a plea bargain that didn't even exist. In the end, you took a plea bargain. In the end you showed that you would rather save your own neck than even take the risk of dying for ideas for which you killed or attempted to kill, or at least you said you killed.
But we're beyond all of that now. The truth is out. You did everything you were accused of and more, and you did it in cold blood. Despite all of the attempts to suppress the evidence, even to the bitter end, the story is out. And the whole world knows just who and what Theodore Kaczynski is.
So as I'm frequently asked when we leave the courtroom today, will justice have been served?
I do not really know how to answer that questions -- that question. With crimes as egregious as yours, carried out as they were without any sense of remorse or compassion, I'm not sure that there can ever really be true justice. And for those who are dead and those whom they leave behind, no punishment can repair their losses.
I'm afraid, therefore, that we have to settle for an imperfect justice, one that will put a stop to your reign of terror, that will give you the rest of your life to consider the evil of your actions, and that will permit your victims to go on with their lives as best they can.
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, Dr. David Gelernter could not attend today. He did ask if I would read to the Court a statement on his behalf.
Judge Burrell: Permission is granted.
Steven Freccero: The statement says:
"I'm grateful to the FBI and the prosecutors and will always remember them and be inspired by their dedication. They did their job, but we failed to do ours, we, the American people, and our legal system in this court.
When an evil man destroys what is priceless out of the lowest, cheapest, ugliest motives, to get attention, be famous, be a star, and does it in the most cowardly conceivable way, the only decent response is unqualified revulsion.
We ought to have said your cowardness and evil shame every human being. We ought to have said it right out with absolute clarity, with no waffling and no equivocation. To make this unequivocal declaration, we ought to have condemned the murderer to death.
Imposing a death sentence isn't easy. It never was. And for us today it is especially difficult. Murdering people with bombs is easy, but doing the right and decent thing is usually hard.
We ought to have done it anyway, ought to have screwed up our courage and resolution and done it for the good of the country and out of our duty to the three murdered men. We were called upon to speak up loud and clear on the topic of terrorists and murder, but we failed to do it. We took the easy way out.
But we've decided to let him live, so let him be our living symbol of cowardice and evil. He gives us a chance to look cowardice and evil in the face, forces us to grasp what is almost ungraspable, that a man exists who has dedicated his life to creating misery, who prides himself on being in the same line of work as plague and cancer, creator of suffering, of widows and orphans and pain and death.
Looking at him reminds us that there is nothing easier than creating misery. There is no trick to it. Looking at him reminds us that nothing is easier than to injure or kill a man if you are cowardly enough to hide while you do it. He reminds us that killing is cheap and easy. It's no achievement to create orphans, no big deal to create widows. They are easily created.
I hope we always remember the men he murdered and the misery he caused and the happiness he took away. Evil will always exist, but we ought to take this occasion to reaffirm that we will never accept it. We will always fight it.
I'm grateful to the man's brother for his heroic decency. I'm especially grateful to the FBI and the prosecutors for their devotion, integrity and moral seriousness, and for attempting to do what was right. And I hope we go on fighting this man and the cowardice, misery and evil he stands for. And God willing, that we beat them somehow in the end."
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, I would introduce Gary Wright who was injured in Salt Lake City in February of 1987.
Gary Wright: Your Honor, People of the Court, and Fellow Victims, good morning. It's good to see you.
I have waited for over eleven years for this moment. In all that time I've wondered what I would say, and I tried to prepare myself for the barrage of emotions that would overcome me when I was finally able to look in the eyes of the man who tried to kill me, when at last I could try to place some closure on an event that so dramatically changed my life and the lives of the people I love.
My name is Gary Wright. I'm the eleventh victim of the Unabomber, who is now known as Theodore Kaczynski.
As you look at me today, you do not see the physical wounds that were inflicted as a result of razor sharp pieces of metal and debris that were moving over 20 thousand feet per second.
You do not see the trauma, the nerve damage, lacerations, or physical restrictions that were inflicted.
And unless you are recipient of one of Mr. Kaczynski's devices, you will never comprehend the hardships of learning to live with permanent physical impairment and the emotional pain associated with these types of injuries.
The bomb that I picked up was a carefully disguised handmade weapon of death and destruction that Mr. Kaczynski personally placed at my business with a single intent, to kill whoever happened to be passing by with enough curiosity to stop and pick up an object that through its very nature seemed out of place.
The physical injuries that I received were spread across my entire body and are consistent with what you would expect to occur when a bomb explodes.
I required three separate surgeries to try and reconstruct nerves and to move tendons in my left arm and hand. I had extensive plastic surgery to my face. And hundreds of metal and wood fragments were moved from areas throughout my body. To this day, I still remove pieces of shrapnel that continue to rise from below the surface of the skin.
Some of the life-long side effects caused by my injuries are I have no feeling in the lower left half of my left arm and hand, and permanent nerve and muscle damage prevents lateral motion in my fingers.
I cannot feel areas of my lower lip, and I have an extremely painful and constant condition called thoracic outlet syndrome, which is leakage of the electrical impulses from your nerves and the surrounding muscle tissue.
For a moment I would like you to set aside the physical injuries and concentrate on an even greater injustice, the emotional and psychological damage that was caused by the terroristic actions of Mr. Kaczynski.
Imagine what it is like to constantly wonder what would make a person want to kill you; go to work one day, bend down to pick up a piece of debris, and suddenly think you have been shot; to look down at injuries that shock you beyond belief and wonder what has happened and why; to continually search your memory for any small indiscretion or act that could trigger this kind of anger; to be overwhelmed with the feelings of rage and the heartache of knowing that you will never again be the same as were you before.
I lost my innocence to this man, and I fight daily to find the carefree happiness of a child that was so unjustly taken from me.
While I do have a faith, he stole my ability to fully trust the people around me, perhaps to make me a little less tolerant and a lot more cynical. When he delivered his reign of terror, Ted inserted his insolence and unhappiness directly into my life and the lives of the people who are dearest to me.
Unless you have lived through an incident of this type, you have no idea of the stress that is placed on a relationship, any relationship, be that brother to sister, father to daughter, or above all, husband and wife.
The injured person may be concerned with the fact that they have a little less pain today or that a bodily part functions a fraction better than last week, while the loved one is worried about whether they are safe and wonders if this can and will happen again.
Communication is severely tested as the constant barrage of the media and the necessity to work with the appropriate agencies begins to wear on you.
You can become lonely and short-tempered because there is no way any of us can ever truly understand the very different emotions that each person is feeling. Years later you may begin to realize that you have lived distinctly different experiences.
There are many types of victims present in the courtroom today. Webster's Dictionary defines a victim as "Someone or something killed, destroyed, sacrificed, et cetera. One who suffers some loss."
With this definition in mind, I want you to realize that there are countless people who are directly and indirectly affected by Ted's actions. Victims like my wife and children, the children of Thomas Mosser, the dreams of John Hauser, David Gelernter and all the others. The entire country, which was held captive wondering when and where he would strike again.
And finally, there is another set of victims, the people who are so often forgotten or dismissed altogether. These are the family members of the accused. People like the Kaczynskis, who have endured a living hell, and are no less victims than the rest of us.
Realize Mr. Kaczynski has affected hundreds of thousands of people in one way or another, the most directly affected by his actions being the immediate families of the victims who received his deadly devices.
As for all of the victims in this case, I hope and pray that they will be able to find comfort and continually seek ways that will allow them to heal.
Ted, maybe you did accomplish something. Through your brutality you captured the attention of an entire nation. You spread fear and mayhem into the hearts of innocent people for a cause that only you understand. In any terroristic act, how do you effectively determine the extent of the sacrifice that is necessary in order to satisfy your cause.
Was there going to be three people, thirty people, 3000 people or more?
At what point would it have been to put an exclamation point on the statement you were trying to make?
Ted, I do not hate you. I learned to forgive and heal a long time ago. And it's because of this ability that I have found a way to go on and not become kindling to your cause.
I would like to publicly thank David Kaczynski, his wife Linda, and his mother for their extraordinary act of courage, and for the way they presented and handled themselves through the entire length of this ordeal.
Without their honesty, integrity and ability to do what was right, Ted would still be in a position to kill or maim additional innocent victims. They have been model citizens. When you see them, shake their hand and say thank you. My prayers and the prayers of my family will always be with them.
Your Honor, I ask you to do what is in accordance with the law of this land to ensure that Mr. Kaczynski will never be in a position to do harm to himself or others again, and ensure that a message is sent to all who desire to practice terrorism or hate crimes in any form that they will not be tolerated.
Make sure that you set a precedence that will provide relief for the victims, all of the victims, not just those of us who have been physically injured, but all who have been unjustly wronged.
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, William Dennison of the California Forestry Association, he was the individual to whom the bomb was addressed that killed Gil Murray in April of 1995.
Judge Burrell: Okay.
William Dennison: Your Honor and People of the Court, I would like to make a short statement and then a combined statement for CFA staff, if I may, please?
Judge Burrell: Permission granted.
William Dennison: I might add, I've lost any composure I thought I might have had coming into this based on what I heard from the witness just previously, and I thank you for what you said. I agree with everything that you have said.
At the same time, I have watched you, Ted Kaczynski. You're not remorseful. And for that I'm sorry. I'm sorry for you. And I'm sorry for the other victims that you've shown no remorse.
You deserve a greater punishment than you are going to be given. To be put into a ten foot by twelve room without visitors is no punishment for you. That was your chosen lifestyle. The greatest punishment that you could have, and that I would wish for you personally, is to be put away and never heard or seen again ever.
This statement is made on behalf of myself, William M. Dennison, past President of California Forestry Association and the CFA, California Forestry Association, staff who worked for Gil Murray at the time of his death.
Your Honor, we appreciate the opportunity to be before the court today. Our presentation is not intended to influence the sentencing decision, but rather to emphasize an important part of the case that first became evident in the guilty plea.
We come before you as a means of presenting our views and concerns to the court and to others who may be able to assist in minimizing future terrorism because we believe that there is a tie between Kaczynski's last two bombings and those actions of existing eco-terrorists which threaten families, businesses, communities and even threaten our nation.
We submit to you that although Kaczynski's early actions to maim and kill may have been attributed to his anti-technology philosophy, he ended his era of terrorism as an eco-terrorist by murdering Gil Murray and Thomas Mosser.
Since April of 1995, when CFA President, husband, father, brother, and friend Gilbert Murray was murdered, we have been searching for answers to such questions as why would someone send a bomb to our office? Since the package was addressed to me, my questions were even more personal. But why would someone send a bomb into an office where anyone or everyone could be killed?
Those who are surviving victims, their families and the families of those three who were killed by Ted Kaczynski may never know why we were the chosen target. His diaries have displayed Kaczynski's desire to kill a scientist, to kill a computer expert, a government official, and to kill a business big shot.
He had written in one of his journals that "Revenge attempts have been gobbling up much of my time, impeding other work." "But, I must succeed, I must get revenge," he said. He had to get revenge against someone. He had to find someone to blame for his belief that the industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. He bemoaned the fact that science had greatly increased the life expectancy, that life had been rendered "unfulfilling" and that the result has been, and I quote, "severe damage on the natural world." This theme closely parallels that of eco-terrorists.
His solution was not to conduct a political revolution to overthrow the government, but the total disruption of, quote, ". . . the economic and technological basis of the present society." This is also the main thrust of eco-terrorism.
In his book, Eco-terrorism - The Violent Agenda To Save Nature, Ron Arnold states, and I quote, "My point is always the same. This is not to blame radical environmentalists as a whole for the Unabomber. This is to show that the apocalyptic beliefs shared by the Unabomber and radical environmentalists can be used to justify desperate acts by anyone -- the preaching of hate for industrial civilization is an incitement to violence."
Ron Arnold goes on to say, and I quote again, "This is to declare that radical environmentalists have a First Amendment right to their extreme rhetoric, no matter how reprehensible, no matter who may use it to kill or maim or coerce or intimidate."
"But the public has a similar right," he says, "to scrutinize every word they say for its influence on criminal behavior." "And a right to prosecute every desperate act that flows from their extreme rhetoric and apocalyptic beliefs."
We add today that law enforcement agencies have the obligation also to scrutinize every word of these groups and to prosecute every desperate act that flows from their extreme rhetoric as well.
I believe that my name on Kaczynski's experimental bomb Number 245 was symbolic. The bomb was meant for anyone and everyone who believes in free enterprise and technological progress.
Ted Kaczynski, thankfully, will be locked up and away for the rest of his years on this earth. However, even though he may be totally responsible for the bombs and killings, there are reasons to believe he was influenced by radical environmental organizations. Kaczynski's boasting to Earth First of the maiming of individuals and the killing of Gil Murray is an example, and I quote what he said to them:
"This is a message from FC. The FBI calls us Unabom. We are the people who recently assassinated the president of the California Forestry Association."
Prior to that, following the killing of Thomas Mosser, he wrote to Earth First again and said:
"As for the Mosser bombing . . . our attention was called to Burson-Marsteller by an article that appeared in Earth First."
It's now known that the evidence found by the government -- was found by the government that Ted Kaczynski attempted to communicate with radical environmental groups to use them in support of his murderous activities. The following evidence was presented by the prosecution, and from that I quote:
"Furthermore, during the search of the defendant's cabin, the government found a letter written to Earth First!ers. Its title was 'Suggestions for Earth First!ers from FC.'"
Brent Smith, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama states on page 27 and 129 in his 1994 book Terrorism In America, and I quote:
"Environmental extremism may become common fixture in American Terrorism during the next decade." "Until law enforcement agencies develop the necessary information to combat this type of terrorism, environmental terrorists may contribute a unique brand of violent extremism well into the 21st century."
We know that Ted Kaczynski killed three men and injured 23 others. I can tell you, Kaczynski, that you maimed the hearts and souls of many others. If that was your intent, you accomplished that. And again, I'm sorry for you.
The capture of Ted Kaczynski was a miracle that may not have happened except for the publication of Kaczynski's manifesto and the subsequent intervention of his brother. We are thankful and appreciative to David Kaczynski.
However, the FBI and this court must not turn their backs on the facts that still exist. There are groups today who still espouse the beliefs of Ted Kaczynski.
As an example, David Barbarash and Darren Thurston were charged in March 1988 in Vancouver, British Columbia, of 27 counts of mailing an explosive or object with intent to do bodily harm. While in an Edmonton jail waiting a hearing on an earlier conviction of vandalizing a university animal laboratory, Barbarash wrote articles for the Earth First! Journal. In one he urged fellow eco-terrorists, and I quote: "Be tribal. Go for the jugular."
We don't know how many others like Barbarash and Thurston have adopted Kaczynski's views. It's crucial, though, that the public understand how these views can lead to crimes, such as those of Barbarash and Thurston. Therefore, we believe that it is essential that all the materials found in Kaczynski's cabin be made public.
We believe this is important, Your Honor, that understanding the connection between his philosophy and his activities may help many thousands of others guard against similar crimes that may be directed at them.
Therefore, I respectfully urge the court, Your Honor, to open all the Kaczynski materials, including the decoded journals, to public scrutiny in the expectation that valuable public safety information may be obtained and used to save many lives. Academician analysts will certainly be able to draw a more accurate picture of the mind of a killer and the connections to eco-terrorism if the original materials are in their hands.
In closing, Your Honor, I again wish to thank the court, the prosecution, the FBI, for the part each has played in bringing closure to this case which has had an ever lasting impact on our lives and that of many, many others.
There is an overriding need for continued vigilance also against crimes committed by those other than Ted Kaczynski, and we thank you.
Steven Freccero: Your Honor, Nicklaus Suino, who was injured in November of 1985.
Nicklaus Suino: Thank you for this opportunity, Your Honor.
Judge Burrell: You're welcome.
Nicklaus Suino: My name is Nicklaus Suino, and I was in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1985. I opened a package that was addressed to Dr. James McConnell. Dr. McConnell passed away a few years ago, otherwise I expect he would be here.
Following up all these great people is going to be difficult, but I'm going to say a few things about my own injuries and then urge you to take a course of action that may be difficult.
Among the select group of people in this room, those who have opened explosives sent by Mr. Kaczynski, I was relatively lucky. Others have lost fingers, limbs or even lives, while I received only minor injuries.
On my left arm and my belly I was cut in many small places. I was bruised and burned. I have since healed.
Because of the loud sound of the explosion inside the house, I lost my hearing almost totally that day. I had some degree of difficulty hearing for about three months, with odd sounds and vibrations in my ears from time to time until my hearing returned to normal.
The single most unpleasant part of the whole experience for me was having my eyes washed out at the hospital. I was told that I had gun powder and paper particles in my eyes, and they needed to be cleaned out.
A nurse washed them out with saline. The process consisted of me lying on my back with my head resting over the edge of the hospital sink. A long plastic tube ran down from a bag of saline solution which was suspended from a hook above me.
The nurse held the eyelids of one eye open with one hand while she ran the saline down into my eye with the other. And an entire bag of saline was used in each eye. That was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have ever experienced.
But my emotional injuries have taken a little longer to heal. Of course I developed a fear of opening packages. Strongest triggers of that fear were packages that were roughly the same size, shape and color as the one from the Unabomber. But any package made me nervous.
I would never have opened a package that was unexpected, and even today, I won't open a package unless I know who it is from.
Loud noises and camera flashes bothered me for a couple of years after the incident, but that reaction gradually faded.
I am probably no more shocked by loud noises than I was before opening Mr. Kaczynski's device.
The long-term effects of opening a package bomb have been noticeable. Believe me, I wouldn't attempt to compare my own situation with that of those victims who were severely injured. I know I'm much better off.
Still it was probably the first time in my life I realized I could die at any time. Of course, I knew it intellectually before that, but to really feel it emotionally at age 25 is quite a shock.
I'm less trusting now, especially of strangers. My opinion about people now is there are some out there who really aren't good people, who will hurt you if they are given the chance.
Maybe that's realistic, not suspicious. But I didn't come around to that view until I was forced to by being one victim of a terrorist attack.
Theodore John Kaczynski has admitted on paper to being the Unabomber. In his plea agreement with the U.S. Government, he admitted to each incident. Some of his spots and plans are contained in the settlement documents. There is no doubt in my mind that he's the man who sent the package I opened in 1985.
He will pay society for his crimes by spending the rest of his life in jail. Some people have asked me if I hoped for the death penalty. My answer is this: If there was ever a model candidate for the death penalty, Mr. Kaczynski is that candidate. He committed multiple, ruthless crimes. He showed cowardice, cunning and disregard for human life. I would have shed not a single tear had he been executed.
However, the most important goal for me in seeing him prosecuted was to ensure that he is unable to send his dangerous packages to anyone else. That goal has been accomplished.
I'm sure those who have lost a loved one or lost significant use of their bodies have stronger feelings than I do. For myself, considering this matter from a personal viewpoint, I don't wish him dead.
I'm not really sure if he understands the nature and gravity of his crimes, or relates them to his punishment in the way you or I would do. And truthfully, wishing somebody dead, however evil they may be, is not an easy thing.
In fact, I feel sorry for him. Imagine being as isolated from the rest of the human race as he is. What could go so wrong it would make a person lash out randomly sending explosives to people he's never met.
How lonely he must have been then, and how lonely he must be now having no friends, living with a hatred for society so deep that he is driven to kill.
Imagine being so despicable that your own brother feels morally bound to turn you in to the police. Imagine living in the squalor this man lived in in his little cabin in the woods.
He has nobody and nothing now except his writing, which is fairly well tailored, but empty of any real meaning, human emotion or warmth.
He has actually become the very thing he once seemed to fear. Not a victim of progress, but an empty machine, devoid of conscience, like the specter of scientific progress itself.
Truly Mr. Kaczynski writes not about us, not about the world, but about himself. He must be in a living hell already so the fact that the justice system didn't send him there early bothers me not at all.
Finally, this is what I have to say to my friends in this room and everybody listening all over the world.
I would like to say to you that revenge is an illusion. It's an empty feeling, a dark flame that gross and consumes you. And it can replace all that is good and worthy within you. When you finally hold it in your hand, you hold nothing but the sorrowful event that caused you to be angry in the first place. The time you lose chasing your own anger can never be replaced.
Please, don't let yourself become a victim. Life is a struggle. But in order to excel, in order to go on, you have to do more than merely play the hand you're dealt. You have to strive to make the most out of every day.
Put revenge behind you and embrace the good richness of life. When evil rears its head, immerse yourself in the joy of living. If you are a carpenter, build. If you are a fisherman, fish. If are you a parent, raise your children.
Our role here is not to dwell on evil, but to strive toward becoming better people. The keys to enlightenment are found in every day living. Mastery of the little things brings knowledge, then wisdom, and then finally joy.
There is no time for us to go on hating Mr. Kaczynski. Don't join him in that prison cell. Set him down. Leave him in there to live out his days in whatever fashion he can.
You and I, we have more important things to do. When we leave here today, we can go out of here and live.
Thank you, Your Honor.
Judge Burrell: You're welcome.
The Judge's Sentencing
Judge Burrell: Is the question of sentencing submitted for my determination?
Quin Denvir: Yes, Your Honor.
Steven Freccero: Yes, Your Honor.
Judge Burrell: It is the judgment of the Court that the defendant, Theodore John Kaczynski, shall be imprisoned for crimes he committed and which were charged in Sacramento Criminal Action Number S-96-259, hereinafter referred to as the Sacramento Action, and in New Jersey Criminal Action, now in this district, as Criminal Action Number S-98-21, hereinafter referred to as the New Jersey Action.
The defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the United States or her authorized representative for imprisonment on Count One of the Sacramento Action for a maximum prison term of life under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code Section 4205(a).
Further, pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, the defendant is also hereby committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for the service of four additional life terms on Counts Eight and Nine of the Sacramento Action and Counts One and Two of the New Jersey Action. These four life sentences shall run concurrently with each other and with the life term imposed for Count One of the Sacramento Action.
In addition, the defendant is committed to four 20-year prison terms on Counts Two, Three, Five and Six of the Sacramento Action. These 20-year sentences shall be served concurrently with each other and with the life sentences imposed to this point.
Moreover, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code Section 924(c), the defendant is sentenced to one 30-year prison term on Count Four of the Sacramento Action, which shall be served consecutively to all sentences previously imposed. The defendant is additionally sentenced to three consecutive life prison terms on Counts Seven and Ten of the Sacramento Action, and Count Three of the New Jersey Action.
Therefore, the defendant is sentenced to a total term of imprisonment for life, plus -- excuse me -- plus 30 years to run consecutively, and three life terms to run consecutively with all other sentences and with each other.
The defendant shall pay a special assessment of $650. I find the defendant is without the ability to pay a fine in addition to the restitution that will be required, therefore the requirement to pay a fine is waived.
Pursuant to Title 18, United States Code Section 3681, and in accordance with the Plea Agreement, it is ordered that the defendant shall forfeit all or any part of proceeds received or to be received by him, or a transferee of his, from a contract relating to a depiction of his crimes in a movie, book, newspaper, magazine, radio or television production, or live entertainment of any kind, of an expression of his thoughts, opinions, or emotions regarding such crimes. The person with whom the defendant may contract shall pay to the Attorney General of the United States any proceeds due the defendant under such contract.
Pursuant to the recommendation of the Probation Office on page 52 of the Guideline Presentence Report, defendant is hereby ordered to pay restitution owed to the listed victims in the amount of fifteen million and twenty-six thousand dollars.
... In light of that statutory provision and in the event such a statement could assist the Bureau of Prisons in discharging its oversight functions and placement decision it may have already made, I make the following statement:
Many victims and their family members suffered overwhelming losses at the hands of the defendant's bombing activities. The defendant committed unspeakable and monstrous crimes for which he shows utterly no remorse. Therefore, I believe if he had the opportunity, he would use his resourcefullness to repeat such acts. His crimes were vicious acts of terrorism that wreaked havoc and brought grief into the lives of many innocent people, tragically ending the lives of three and permanently scarring the lives of many others. Because of the callous nature of his crimes, the defendant presents a grave danger to society and should be incarcerated in a prison facility where he can be closely monitored to prevent any future acts of violence or intimidation. Undoubtedly, he deserves the life sentence imposed.
Therefore, the defendant is remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal for the purpose of his ultimate delivery to the Bureau of Prisons, the entity that will decide where he shall serve the sentence imposed.