David Kaczynski

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David Kaczynski (born October 3, 1949) is the younger brother of the "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski.[1] His memoir, Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family, [2] details David's relationship with his brother and parents and the difficult decision that David and his wife faced when they came to suspect that Ted was the Unabomber.


After the anonymous Unabomber demanded in 1995 that his manifesto, "Industrial Society and Its Future," be published in a major newspaper as a condition for ceasing his mail-bomb campaign, the New York Times and the Washington Post both published the manifesto, hoping somebody would recognize the writing style of the author.[3]

David's wife, Linda Patrik, first suspected Theodore and urged David to read the manifesto when it was published. David recognized Ted's writing style, and the experienced criminal defense lawyer the couple hired notified authorities. On April 3, 1996, police arrested Ted Kaczynski in his rural cabin in Lincoln, Montana. David had received assurance from the FBI that his identity as the informant would be kept secret, but his name was leaked to the media. In addition, he sought a guarantee from federal prosecutors that Ted would receive appropriate psychiatric evaluation and treatment. The Justice Department's subsequent active pursuit of the death penalty for Ted and Attorney General Janet Reno's initial refusal to accept a plea bargain in exchange for a life sentence was seen by David and other Kaczynski family members as a betrayal. Such a plea bargain was eventually reached, and Ted was sentenced to serve life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. David has said in broadcast interviews since his brother's arrest that notifying federal authorities of his brother's possible involvement in the Unabomber case was a painful decision, but he felt morally compelled to do it in order to save lives that might have been taken had the bombings continued.[4]

David Kaczynski received a $1 million reward posted by the FBI for the Unabomber's capture. The reward was funded by a Congressional appropriation for the Department of Justice and was, at the time, one of the largest rewards issued in a domestic case. David told the Associated Press that he planned to distribute the majority of the reward monies to the bombing victims and their families, adding that this "might help us resolve our grief over what happened."[5]

Prior to turning his brother in to authorities, David worked as an assistant director of the Equinox shelter for runaway and homeless youth in Albany, NY, where he counseled and advocated for troubled, neglected and abused youth. His brother's confrontation with the death penalty later motivated David to become an anti-death penalty activist. In 2001, David was named executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty (as of 2008, New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty). While the mission of NYADP originally focused only on ending the death penalty, under David's guidance, in 2008, it broadened its mission to address the unmet needs of all those affected by violence, including victims and their families. In 2012, David was appointed executive director of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Woodstock, NY.[citation needed]

David is a graduate of Columbia University. He is also a practising Buddhist and is a vegetarian.[6] In 2009 he published an essay about his relationship with his brother Ted, from childhood to adulthood, which appeared in a collection of essays.[7]


  1. ^ AOL News
  2. ^ https://www.dukeupress.edu/every-last-tie?viewby=subject&categoryid=29&sort=newest
  3. ^ New York Times
  4. ^ Interview on WXXI (AM), Rochester, NY, March 13, 2002.
  5. ^ Seligmann, Jean; Endt, Friso; Sigesmund, B. J. (August 31, 1998). "A million reasons to grieve". Newsweek. Vol. 132 no. 9. p. 61. eISSN 0028-9604.   – via EBSCO's Academic Search Complete (subscription required)
  6. ^ Matthew Purdy (August 5, 2001). "Our Towns; Crime, Punishment and the Brothers K.". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  7. ^ Andrew Blauner, ed. (2009-04-20). Brothers: 26 Stories of Love & Rivalry. Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-470-39129-4. 

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