Unabomber News History

Copyright 1995 Gannett Company, Inc.


April 26, 1995, Wednesday, FINAL EDITION


LENGTH: 847 words

HEADLINE: Unabomber may want spotlight

BYLINE: Gale Holland; Maria Goodavage



A serial bomber who added to a brazen 17-year reign of terror with a fatal blast at a timber lobbying group here was inspired by the Oklahoma City bombing, experts said Tuesday.

"It does hurt his feelings when other bombings occur," said Lawrence Myers, who is writing a book on serial bombers. "If he can get (Oklahoma suspect) John Doe 2 off the front page and his composite picture back on, he'd be very, very happy."

Authorities disclosed they'd received new insight into the Unabomber's thinking because of three letters mailed from Oakland along with the parcel that arrived at the California Forestry Association's office Monday.

Although authorities have released a sketch of a single suspect, letters claimed the bombings were the work of a group. In the letters to some victims and The New York Times, the Unabomber offers to stop bombings - if major print media publish a 37,000-word article.

"If the answer is unsatisfactory, we will start building our next bomb," the letter warns.

The timber group's president, Gilbert Murray, 47, died instantly after opening the meticulously wrapped package.

The bomber is "describing his actions and motives for the first time in 17 years," said the FBI's Jim Freeman, who heads the federal task force that offers a $ 1 million reward.

The letter to the Times says the bomber's group wants "the destruction of the worldwide industrial system. Through our bombings we hope to promote social instability in industrial society, propagate anti-industrial ideas and give encouragement to those who hate the industrial system."

A similar letter to the Times coincided with an attack that killed a New Jersey ad executive last year. That letter aped a communique to the Times from the Trade Center bombers, another reason to suspect that press clippings motivate the Unabomber, Myers said. "Most of us were watching the Oklahoma bombing identifying with the victims. He would have been more likely to identify with the perpetrators."

The suspect has set off at least 16 bombs since 1978, killing three, including one other Sacramento man, and injuring 23.

The Unabomber - so named because early attacks targeted university and airline officials - has used a puzzling scatter-shot pattern.

The suspect has a penchant for wood, both in the construction of his devices and in his targets. Many victims had wood or wood-associated words in names or addresses.

FBI profilers have pegged the Unabomber as a loner in his 40s, perhaps with a home shop where he hand-tools his bombs.

Even box hinges are hand-crafted. "He's had bombs that look like a book, a notebook, a can of paint," said expert Murray Miron.

Contributing: Steve Marshall


-- We would not want anyone to think that we have any desire to hurt professors who study archaeology, history, literature or harmless stuff like that. The people we are out to get are the scientists and engineers . . . in critical fields like computers and genetics.

-- The FBI has tried to portray these bombings as the work of an isolated nut. We won't waste our time arguing about whether we are nuts, but we certainly are not isolated. For security reasons we won't reveal the number of members of our group, but anyone who will read the anarchist and radical environmentalist journals will see that opposition to the industrial-technological system is widespread and growing.

-- Clearly we are in a position to do a great deal of damage. And it doesn't appear that the FBI is going to catch us any time soon. The FBI is a joke.

-- The people who are pushing all this growth and progress garbage deserve to be severely punished. But our goal is less to punish them than to propagate ideas.

-- Anyhow we are getting tired of making bombs. It's no fun having to spend all your evenings and weekends preparing dangerous mixtures, filing trigger mechanisms out of scraps of metal or searching the sierras for a place isolated enough to test a bomb.

Bomber's trail of terror

-- Dec. 10, 1994: Ad exec killed at North Caldwell, N.J., home.

-- June 24, 1993: Computer scientist hurt at Yale University.

-- June 22, 1993: University of California-San Francisco geneticist injured at home.

-- Feb. 20, 1987: One hurt near Salt Lake City computer store.

-- Dec. 11, 1985: Sacramento computer store owner killed.

-- Nov. 15, 1985: One hurt, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

-- June 13, 1985: Package mailed to the Boeing Co. in Auburn, Wash., disarmed.

-- May 15, 1985: One injured in computer room at University of California at Berkeley.

-- July 2, 1982: Berkeley professor injured.

-- May 5, 1982: One injured at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

-- Oct. 8, 1981: Bomb found at University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

-- June 10, 1980: United Airlines president hurt in Chicago.

-- Nov. 15, 1979: Bomb in cargo hold explodes during American Airlines flight; 12 injured.

-- May 9, 1979: One hurt at Northwestern University.

-- May 26, 1978: One injured when package found at University of Illinois and brought to Northwestern University explodes.

GRAPHIC: PHOTO, b/w, FBI via AP; PHOTO, b/w, AP; PHOTO, b/w, Bob Galbraith, AP