As trial nears, prosecutors say Unabomb suspect is sane
But Kaczynski refuses psychological testing
October 25, 1997
Web posted at: 1:47 p.m. EDT (1747 GMT)
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- Prosecutors say diaries and papers
found in the Montana cabin of Unabomb suspect Theodore Kaczynski describe his alleged bombing attacks and show he was not mentally ill when they were carried out.
Prosecutors filed their conclusions this week in federal
court to try to head off a possible insanity defense for the
trial set to start November 12 related to four bombings in
California, two of them fatal.
Kaczynski had been scheduled to begin a week of psychological
tests Saturday, but attorneys announced his refusal late
Kaczynski's defense attorneys argue that any psychological
testing of their client would invade his privacy, and violate
his constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.
They have said in court documents that their client suffered
from paranoid schizophrenia, a condition that includes
delusions and feelings of persecution.
The testing decision underscored a furious legal battle
between prosecutors and defense attorneys on what will be the
focus of the trial.
Federal prosecutors believe Kaczynski, 55, is responsible for
16 bombings since 1978 attributed to the anti-technology
terrorist known as the Unabomber. Besides the California
bombings, he also has been charged in New Jersey with a fatal
bombing in 1994.
'This is a message from FC'
Prosecutors said Kaczynski, writing in English, Spanish and
in code, kept detailed notes of the attacks in his journals,
and told of a failed plan to blow up an airliner.
The reclusive former Berkeley mathematics professor, who was
arrested last year in his primitive Montana cabin, has pleaded not guilty. He could be sentenced to death if convicted.
Among the materials prosecutors filed in court Thursday were
several entries, allegedly from his journal, that attorneys
said show he knew exactly what he was doing.
According to prosecutors, one coded entry supposedly
describes a December 11, 1985, attack that killed Sacramento
computer store owner Hugh Scrutton. They said investigators
found a key to the code at the cabin.
It said: "Experiment 97. Dec. 11, 1985 I planted bomb
disguised to look like scrap of lumber behind Rentech compute
store in Sacramento."
Kaczynski allegedly wrote that the San Francisco Examiner
reported that the store owner was killed -- "blown to bits."
Prosecutors also submitted a letter to an environmental group
in which they say Kaczynski admitted carrying out a fatal
attack on forestry executive Gilbert Murray.
It reads, in part: "this is a message from FC. The FBI
calls us 'unabom.' We are the people who recently
assassinated the president of the California Forestry
More writings may be released
In another document, dated 1978, prosecutors claim he wrote:
"I came back to the Chicago area in May, mainly for one
reason: So that I could more safely attempt to murder a
scientist, businessman or the like.
"I picked the name of an electrical engineering professor out
of the catalogue of the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute and
addressed the bomb -- a package to him."
The letter was dated one month after a bomb mailed to
Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute injured a security guard.
In still another excerpt, dated December 1979, Kaczynski
allegedly described rigging a bomb to explode on an airliner.
"I PUT MORE THAN A QUART OF SMOKELESS POWDER IN A CAN, RIGGED
BAROMETER TO DEVICE WOULD EXPLODE AT 2000 FT., OR CONCEIVABLY
AS HIGH AS 3500 FEET DUE TO VARIATION OF ATMOSPHERIC
PRESSURE," the document reportedly said.
The FBI said an explosion a month earlier caused a fire in an
airliner's cargo hold, forcing the plane to make an emergency
landing. Agents blame the incident on the Unabomber.
The judge has yet to decide whether more of Kaczynski's
writings will be released.
Correspondent Don Knapp and Reuters contributed to this report.