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Manifesto fueled family's fears

By TIMOTHY BURN

WASHINGTON, April 8 -- David Kaczynski had known for years his brother was a loner who hated technology and lived without electricity or plumbing. But it wasn't until the expansive, anti-industrial manifesto was published that he began to suspect his brother was the UNABOMber, his lawyer said Monday. Tony Bisceglie, the attorney representing the family of prime UNABOM suspect Theodore Kaczynski, said when David Kaczynski read the manuscript, he realized the writing style matched scores of letters sent by his estranged brother. 'There are similarities in ideology, there are similarities in phraseology, there are similarities in the spelling of certain words,' Bisceglie said. Theodore Kaczynski, 53, of Lincoln, Mont., was arrested last week by federal authorities on a single charge of possessing bomb-making material, but the former math professor has not been charged in any of the bombings. The FBI has called him its chief suspect in the case. The UNABOMber conducted a reign of terror spanning 18 years, sending mail bombs that killed three people and hurt 23 others. Last summer, the UNABOMber promised to no longer target people with his devices if both the Washington Post and the New York Times published a rambling, 35,000-word indictment of modern society. Both newspapers published the manifesto last September. David Kaczynski, 46, of Schenectady, N.Y., had heard media reports last summer about the various sightings of the UNABOMber and had a nagging feeling that his brother may be involved, Bisceglie said. But he ignored those fears until he read the manifesto in October.

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Kaczynski hoped the document would prove his brother was not the infamous UNABOMber. 'Unfortunately, when he read the manifesto he...was left with considerable unease,' said Bisceglie. David Kaczynski contacted a private investigator after realizing the similarities between the manifesto and his brother's letters. They concluded that the manifesto and the writings were probably written by the same person, Bisceglie said. That's when David Kaczynski decided it was time for the family to get an attorney, and then call the FBI. Bisceglie knew the FBI had pored over tens of thousands of bogus leads on the UNABOMber. In early February, he said he contacted an FBI agent he had known for several years who would believe he was serious about having a possible break in the case. When he contacted the agency, Bisceglie said, 'This is either an historic moment or the beginning of a wild goose chase.' The FBI had never heard of Ted Kaczynski, the lawyer said. Without disclosing the identity of either Kaczynski, Bisceglie gave the FBI several typewritten samples of his writings. They discovered several similarities in theme, phraseology and commonly misspelled words. They also realized that all of the letters were postmarked from Montana, and none could provide Theodore Kaczynski with an alibi placing him away from the bombings. They did not want to disrupt Kaczynski's reclusive life in Montana if he was not the UNABOMber. But David Kaczynski also wanted to make sure the UNABOMber, wherever he was, did not strike again. Over the next three months, Bisceglie worked as a liaison between the FBI and David Kaczynski. Bisceglie continued to gather more letters, and the FBI began quiet surveillance of Ted Kaczynski's cabin near Helena, Mont. 'We attempted to think like the UNABOMber would think. We attempted to think like Ted Kaczynski would think,' Bisceglie said. He said the family did not know there was a reward when they began to suspect Theodore Kaczynski might be the UNABOMber. He insisted that money was not their objective and that the family was considering giving any reward money to the families of UNABOMber victims. Kaczynski's mother was not told about the investigation until late March, Bisceglie said. 'She expressed her sincere belief that Ted could not be the UNABOMber, but she also stated that if he were, then he had to be stopped.' Bisceglie described the Kaczynski family as 'very close.' Apart from occasional rambling letters, Theodore had been estranged for several years. 'We knew Ted was very much opposed to technology,' Bisceglie said. 'We knew Ted lived the lifestyle of wild nature that is described as the optimum condition of living in the manifesto.' He said the family had no reason to suspect Kaczynski had an interest in explosives. But they were aware that as a child he often made rockets and mixed his own chemicals to help launch them, Bisceglie said. They also knew that, in later years, he often sought to publish some of his writings about the influence of technology on society. Bisceglie said that on occasion the family would send money to him in Montana. Asked if he or the family had any idea why Kaczynski retreated from his seemingly successful life as a math professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Bisceglie said, 'I don't know, they don't know, and we may never know.' What they did know, he said, was that many of the details of Kaczynski's life matched the profile the FBI had developed for the UNABOMber. Bisceglie said David had considered going to visit his brother. 'At some point in the fall, David offered to come and see Ted (through a letter) but Ted declined that offer.' Bisceglie said David made no comparison between his brother and the widely publicized FBI composite drawing of a hooding man wearing sunglasses. But Bisceglie said he saw similarities between the composite and a photo of Ted from his teaching days at Berkeley. Meanwhile, FBI agents continued Monday to search Kaczynski's remote cabin near Lincoln, Mont., about 50 miles northwest of Helena. FBI spokesman George Grotz said agents should wrap up their search by the end of this week. Lewis and Clark County Prosecutor Mike McGrath said he could not find any state laws Kaczynski might have violated based on the evidence the FBI so far says agents have recovered from the suspect's cabin. Without proving intent to use it against people or property, possessing bomb- making material is not illegal in Montana, he said. Montana will not 'assert any claim' to Kaczynski, state Attorney General Joe Mazurek said. He said he understood California Gov. Pete Wilson's desire to try Kaczynski in California if he is linked to the bombings because two people were killed in that state. Also Monday, the New York Times reported that federal law enforcement officials had uncovered hotel records that placed Kaczynski in Sacramento, Calif., on the same days that some of the UNABOMber's package bombs were mailed from the city.

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