Agents move cautiously in Unabomber investigation

Theodore Kaczynski

April 5, 1996
Web posted at: 9:00 a.m. EST

HELENA, Montana (CNN) -- The man the FBI says is a "very strong suspect" in the Unabomber attacks is being held under a suicide watch in a Montana jail Friday, where he has until noon to request a preliminary hearing, bond hearing, or both.

Theodore Kaczynski was formally charged Thursday with possession of bomb-making materials. Officials said the charge would keep the former University of California-Berkeley math professor in custody while they continue to build a case against him in the Unabomber attacks.

Kaczynski's cabin

If Kaczynski requests it, a preliminary hearing must be held within 10 days and a bond hearing within five days. A federal grand jury will meet April 17 to decide whether to issue an indictment against Kaczynski on the charge.

Federal agents continue to search Kaczynski's remote cabin on a mountain 60 miles northwest of Helena. Agent Donald J. Sachtleben said Thursday that the FBI had found a partly assembled pipe bomb and ten three-ring notebooks filled with "page after page of meticulous writings and sketches which I recognize to be diagrams of explosive devices," Sachtleben said.

Agents say they have also found pieces of metal, pipes and chemicals which can be used to make bombs. Investigators are moving cautiously.

"It's going very slowly because we're not sure if it's booby- trapped. We have an explosives ordnance team X-raying everything before we touch it."

-- one of the investigating federal agents

Another agent, who spoke anonymously, said that investigators are looking at two manual typewriters found in Kaczynski's 10-foot by 12-foot cabin. The Unabomber used a manual typewriter for numerous correspondence sent in the past several years, including a 35,000-word manuscript published by the Washington Post and the New York Times last year.

Kaczynski family home

The publishing of that manuscript -- an anti-technological missive about the inhumanity of modern society -- followed a string of bombing attacks attributed to the Unabomber. The attacks occurred across the country over a span of 18 years. Three people were killed by the bombs, and 23 injured. The bomber promised to end the bombings if the treatise were published.

Federal agents began to investigate Kaczynski in the Unabomber cases after his brother alerted them to some papers found in a Chicago home where Kaczynski once lived. Members of Kaczynski's family -- now living in Schenectady, New York -- are secluded in their home.

"They have no intention of talking to anyone," said neighbor Bob Welch. "They are completely exhausted. They've had a terrible time and they haven't had any sleep."


Send us your comments.
Selected responses are posted daily.


Copyright © 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.