Unabomber News History

Copyright 1994 The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company

The Houston Chronicle

December 12, 1994, Monday, 2 STAR Edition


LENGTH: 613 words

HEADLINE: N.J. attacks linked to 15 other blasts by mystery bomber




NORTH CALDWELL, N.J. -- Federal officials said Sunday that a mail bomb that killed a prominent advertising executive on Saturday was sent by the same man who has mounted a string of similar attacks since 1978, striking targets across the corporate and academic landscape in one of the most notorious unsolved crime sprees in the nation's recent history.

The death of the executive in this wealthy suburb about 15 miles from New York City deepened the mystery of the bomber.

The suspect, described as an anarchist with a mastery of explosives and a grudge against the influence of technology on society, has long eluded a team of federal investigators that has roamed from Connecticut to California.

With the death on Saturday, the bomber, dubbed ""unabom'' because in the past he had seemed to want to torment universities and airlines, has now killed two men and wounded 23 other people in 15 attacks.

Officials said at a news conference Sunday that they had concluded that the explosion that killed the executive, Thomas Mosser, 50, was related to the earlier ones because the bomb was built with similar materials and had a similar, sophisticated design.

But once again, they said they were not exactly certain what connected Mosser to the other victims.

""The components of the bomb, its construction, make us believe the bombs are linked,'' said Barry Mawn, the head of the FBI's Newark office.

Mawn said there was nothing to indicate that Mosser was involved with organized crime or had been a witness in a criminal trial. Nor, Mawn said, were there any threats made against him or his family.

Mawn said that from one briefsighting of the suspect in 1987 in Salt Lake City and shards of evidence gathered at bomb scenes, the FBI had developed a likely profile of him. It identified him as a recluse, a white man in his late 30s or 40s with a high school education who is familiar with university life.

The investigation into the bomber, who apparently mails his packages from northern California, had stalled in the early 1990s until he resurfaced last year, maiming one professor in New Haven, another in California.

After those incidents, investigators disclosed that he usually leaves the initials ""FC'' engraved on his bombs. Officials said Sunday that they had not yet determined whether those initials were on the bomb that killed Mosser.

The earliest victims of the attacks were airline executives.

Those wounded in recent years have been scholars who have made significant advances in computer sciences, psychology and genetics.

Mosser, who was promoted to executive vice president earlier this year and recently was named general manager as well at Young & Rubicam, one of the largest advertising firms in the world, appears to be the first victim in advertising.

The bomber sent a letter to The Times last year, postmarked Sacramento, Calif., identifying the author as a ""an anarchist group calling ourselves FC. '' The letter promised to ""give information about our goals at some future time,'' a suggestion taken by investigators to mean that the suspect intended to attack again.

Investigators said they had not yet determined where the package originated.

The explosion tore a hole through a kitchen counter, broke windows and filled the room with smoke. Mosser was declared dead at the scene, and was apparently decapitated by a bomb that appeared to be stronger than any of those mailed to earlier victims, officials said.

Federal agencies have set up a $ 1 million reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the suspect. Their hot line number is (800) 701-BOMB.

GRAPHIC: Drawing: FBI suspect