Unabomber News History

Copyright 1993 The Washington Post

The Washington Post

October 7, 1993, Thursday, Final Edition


LENGTH: 519 words

HEADLINE: $ 1 Million Reward Set In Bombings

BYLINE: Pierre Thomas, Washington Post Staff Writer


Frustrated by a series of unsolved mail bombings over the past 15 years, federal authorities yesterday offered a $ 1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of a possible serial bomber known as "Unabom."

Named for his penchant for targeting university academics, Unabom is believed to be responsible for 14 bombings across the country that have left one person dead and 23 injured. Despite the creation of a federal-state task force, the bomber has eluded attempts to pin down his whereabouts and his motives.

"Unfortunately, despite years of detailed investigative work . . . we have no viable suspects," said Ronald K. Noble, assistant Treasury secretary for enforcement, at a joint news conference conducted by the FBI, the Postal Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. "Law enforcement cannot end this violence alone," he said.

Little is known about the bomber, although the bombs and the victims have had similarities. The victims usually have been university scientists or employees of the computer or airline industries.

Last summer, after about six years of dormancy, the bomber or bombers struck again, sending mail packages that seriously injured two prominent academic figures on different coasts.

In June, Charles Epstein, a geneticist known for his work in locating a gene that may contribute to Down's syndrome, had fingers blown off when he opened a package in the kitchen of his home near San Francisco. Two days later, David Gelernter, Yale's director of undergraduate studies in computer science, opened a package in his 5th floor office and sustained severe wounds to his torso, face and hands.

Yesterday, federal officials released new evidence in the hope that it could lead to a break in the case -- a handwritten notation believed to have been written by Unabom. The words say "Call Nathan R -- Wed 7 pm."

"Nathan R may be associated in some fashion with the bomber or bombers," said FBI Director Louis J. Freeh. "Federal investigators also feel that Nathan R may have received a telephone call from" Unabom in June, near the time of the last bombings, he said.

The bomber, authorities say, put considerable effort into the construction and display of several book-sized packages sent through the mail. Black powder was used in some of the bombs.

A letter sent to the New York Times had predicted the June bombings. Authorities say they think it was authentic because it referred to letters etched on some of the devices. Two of the letters were "c" and "f." The letter and the last two bombs originated in Sacramento, Calif.

"While it is obvious we are dealing with a very clever, skilled individual, we are also dealing with someone with no regard for the lives of his victims or anyone who may be nearby when the device detonates," said Kenneth J. Hunter, chief postal inspector.

Noble, Freeh, Hunter and acting ATF director John W. Magaw urged people to call 1-800-701-BOMB or 1-800-701-2662 if they have any information.

"Progress is essential in this case because there is great concern that the bomber will strike again," Noble said. LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: October 7, 1993