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Family In Unabomber Case Becamse Suspicious Last Summer

April 8, 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A lawyer used by the brother of Theodore Kaczynski to contact the FBI said today that David Kaczynski’s suspicions were first raised last summer by accounts of locations where the Unabomber struck or may have lived.

``The coincidence of locations triggered the suspicions,″ Tony Bisceglie told a news conference, saying David Kaczynski compared the Unabomber’s communications with writings that had been published or put in letters by Theodore Kacynzki.

``There were similarities in ideology, phraseology and the spelling of certain words,″ Bisceglie said. That led David to call Bisceglie about contacting the FBI.

David, who has not seen Theodore in six years, then compared postmarks on personal letters from him with locations associated with the Unabomber. ``We could not find a postmark that would rule out his being the Unabomber,″ Bisceglie said.

``There was a nagging feeling that their brother Ted had some connections to those locations, but it was dismissed,″ he said.

He said neither he nor David was aware of a $1 million reward when they contacted the FBI. ``Money was absolutely not involved,″ the lawyer said.

Bisceglie said today that the Kaczynski family has gone through ``a great deal of anguish″ over the decision to report Theodore Kaczynski.

But the lawyer also said that no member of the family had asked federal authorities for assurances they would not seek the death penalty for the 53-year-old former mathematics professor.

``I have never seen so many unnamed federal officials in my life,″ Bisceglie said. ``I did see a report that suggested that I proposed as a condition of disclosure″ that there be no death penalty.

``That discussion did not take place,″ the lawyer said. ``I think there is a concern for Ted’s welfare, as expressed by the family. But I neither demanded nor was rebuffed on that issue and I think you understand that that is something that we would have no control over under any event.″

Asked whether the family had any idea why Theodore Kaczynski had retreated from society, Bisceglie said, ``I don’t know. They don’t know. And we may never know.″

Bisceglie said Theodore’s family has provided him financial support over the years but he denied a broadcast report that David had bought airline tickets for Theodore.

Bisceglie opened the news conference with this statement which he said was written by the Kaczynski family: ``Our hearts are with Ted. Our deep sympathies go out to the victims and their families. We will not be speaking with anyone from the media now or in the future.″

He said the family did not know of any childhood use of explosives by Theodore but was aware that in later years he made rockets. ``We could mix chemicals and fashion metal tubing″ for the rocket engines and frames, Bisceglie said, which information could be transferred to bombs.

The lawyer was contacted by family representatives during the first week in January and he contacted an FBI agent in Washington the following week. Bisceglie said he chose the agent because they had worked together on a case before and trusted each other.

Bisceglie said the FBI took the contact seriously immediately and he meet with the agent the following week. He said David first met with the FBI during the first week in February.

Theodore’s mother was not told of the suspicions until two weeks ago and expressed ``the belief that Theodore was not the Unabomber, but if he was, he must be stopped,″ Bisceglie said.

``David wanted very much to believe his Ted was not involved,″ Bisceglie said. ``He would still like to believe that .... But I think he believes his brother was involved.″

Like the FBI, Bisceglie described Theodore as a loner and said the family has no knowledge of anyone who might have worked with him.

Later, however, when the Washington Post and The New York Times published Theodore Kaczynski’s long anti-technology manifesto, ``David Kaczynski read the manifesto with the idea that he would be able to immediately discount any connection between his brother and the Unabomber. Unfortunately for Mr. David Kaczynski, when he read the manifesto, he was unable to do that and in fact was left with considerable unease.″

By October, David Kaczynski contacted a friend of his wife, Susan Swanson of Chicago, who works as a private detective. She collected samples of Theodore Kaczynski’s writings and contacted Clint Vanzandt, a former member of the FBI’s Behavior Science Unit. He and a team of analysts ``concluded that there was a significant probability that the manifesto and these writings were written by the same individual,″ Bisceglie said.

At that point, Ms. Swanson contacted Bisceglie, the lawyer said, and furnished him with the same information.

``I determined also that there was a significant possibility that Ted and the Unabomber were one and the same,″ he said.

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