Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Kaczynski: The Unabomber

A Trio for Ted

Janet Reno, US Attorney General (AP)
Janet Reno, US Attorney
General (AP)

Attorney General Janet Reno stated this new amalgamation of three agencies — the FBI, Treasury Department (ATF) and the US Postal Service — would cooperate in an attempt to solve the case. Until then, many investigators constantly complained that the three groups were so intent on getting credit for solving the crimes, they withheld information from each other.

It was obvious that territorial attitudes had impeded progress from the beginning. Now, the group was headquartered in San Francisco, where all departments were ordered to share information and work side by side. But they would have little new information to process for almost a year and a half.

Thomas J. Mosser (AP)
Thomas J. Mosser (AP)

On December 10th 1994, advertising executive Thomas Mosser flipped through mail that had arrived during a business trip. There was a parcel addressed to him, naming his previous employer, Burson-Marsteller — a public relations subsidiary of Young & Rubicam ad agency, which he now managed as executive V.P. Significantly, an environmental publication had inaccurately connected him with the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster. The article had wrongly identified Mosser as a spin-doctor hired to reinstate a positive Exxon image.

In spite of the incorrect spelling of his previous employer's name, Mosser opened the meticulously wrapped parcel. Immediately a violent explosion rocked the house and Mosser's life was over. His head was all but severed from his body, his hand barely connected with his fingers, and his abdominal wounds were mammoth.

The bomb itself had been more vicious than any before — packed with razor blades, metal and nails it was designed to lacerate and pierce Thomas Mosser beyond recognition.

His wife, Susan described the blast saying,

"...a thunderous noise resounded throughout the house... a white mist was pouring from the kitchen doorway... 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 blackened and distorted. Blood. Horror... I dialed 911 and screamed 'I need an ambulance!'"

"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.'"

The FC logo lay amongst the rubble and again a hand carved wooden box held the deadly payload. Predictably, the return address was a fake.

There was one more tragedy to be played out — and Kaczynski's deadliest bomb ever would set it in motion.

Gilbert Murray (AP)
Gilbert Murray (AP)

On April 24th 1995, California Forestry Association President Gilbert Murray went to examine a package addressed to his predecessor — William Dennison. A year earlier, Dennison had appointed Murray to succeed him.

Murray assumed the parcel was business-related, and its sender — Closet Dimensions, Oakland, California — was using out-of-date records.

One staffer noted it was "...heavy — must be a bomb!" The quip referred to the recent Oklahoma City bombing.

As Gilbert Murray opened the parcel, all hell broke loose. Office furniture was reduced to rubble as bomb fragments punched holes into walls. Murray died swiftly and horribly. His face disintegrated as mangled body parts were hurled around the room.

"We blew up Thomas Mosser because he was a Burston-Marsteller executive... Burston-Marsteller is about the biggest organization in the public relations fields. This means that its business is the development of techniques for manipulating people's attitudes — The Unabomber."

 

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