US to auction Unabomber's personal effects online

May 13 2011 - 9:59am

CHICAGO -- Personal effects of Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, will be auctioned off online later this month with the proceeds going to his victims, the U.S. Marshals Service said Thursday.

Kaczynski was behind a mail bombing spree that spanned nearly 20 years until his arrest in 1996, killing three people and injuring 23 others. The bombings, he said, were designed to attract attention to the erosion of human freedom brought on by modern technology.

The irony of the online auction was not lost on the marshals service. "We will use the technology that Kaczynski railed against in his various manifestos to sell artifacts of his life," said U.S. Marshal Albert Najera.

Among the items to be auctioned are personal documents, including driver's licenses, birth certificates, deeds, checks, academic transcripts and photos. Also, typewriters, tools, clothing, watches, several hundred books and more than 20,000 pages of written documents, including the original handwritten and typewritten versions of his "Industrial Society and its Future," also known as the "Unabom Manifesto," the marshals service said.

The items also include sunglasses similar to the pair featured in an infamous sketch of the hooded Unabomber suspect.

The auction will begin May 18 and continue through June 2.The online catalog can be viewed at www.gsaauctions.gov beginning May 18.

U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell, who presided over Kaczynski's trial, approved the sale last August, saying the proceeds had to be applied to the $15 million in restitution he had ordered Kaczynski to pay to his victims. Bomb-making materials were excluded from the sale.

Kaczynski was arrested in April 1996 at his remote cabin outside Lincoln, Mont. after a tip from his brother. He pleaded guilty in January 1998 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

(c) 2011, Chicago Tribune.

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