National Museum of Crime and Punishment Opens Unabomber Exhibit

The National Museum of Crime and Punishment has unveiled the Unabomber exhibit featuring items secured in a June 2011 government auction of Ted Kaczynski’s personal belongings. The exhibit features three lots from the auction; a hand bowed wooden saw, a Hanson 1509 scale, passport photos, and several other tools. The Unabomber exhibit is within the CSI/Forensic section of the museum and focuses on linguistic analysis, which is what ultimately led to Ted Kaczynski’s capture.

“This exhibit gives the public the opportunity to see how law enforcement solves crimes, the techniques they use, and how they work with other resources within the community,” explains Janine Vaccarello, COO of the museum. “I hope that after our guests view it, they have a better appreciation of not just law enforcement, but also the victims.”

The investigation into the Unabomber spanned nearly 20 years, with his series of increasingly sophisticated bombs killing 3 people and injuring almost two dozen others. Kaczynski’s ultimate capture came after the FBI, The New York Times and The Washington Post came together in agreement that Ted’s manifesto be published. In the September 19, 1995 issue, The Washington Post printed the now famous 35,000 word essay claiming to explain his motives and views of the ills of modern society. In February 1996 the FBI received a tip from a man named David Kaczynski, who saw similarities in the manifesto with the writings and philosophy of his older brother Ted. A linguistic analysis examined previous writings by Ted Kaczynski and determined that he was the author of the manifesto, ultimately leading to his arrest.

At the unveiling, Michael P. Kortan, Assistant Director, Office of Public Affairs for the FBI, explained “it was an unprecedented action to publish the manifesto decided upon by the FBI, New York Times, and Washington Post. “We felt there was some information out there about the Unabomber, but involving the public brought in thousands of calls and ultimately cemented in his brother’s mind that Ted Kaczynski was in fact the Unabomber.”

The Unabomber exhibit opened today and will remain a permanent exhibit within the museum. For more information about the exhibit, visit

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