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S P E C I A L The Unabomb Trial

Kaczynski's cabin ends long journey

Kaczynski's cabin

Jurors will see shack where suspect lived

December 5, 1997
Web posted at: 10:36 p.m. EST (0336 GMT)

SACRAMENTO, California (CNN) -- The tiny plywood cabin where Theodore Kaczynski lived as a recluse for two decades arrived in Sacramento Friday, after an 1,100-mile trip from Montana on the back of a flatbed truck.

Defense lawyers for Kaczynski, the man accused of being the widely sought bomber in the Unabomb case, had the shack trucked to the site of his trial, hoping to bring jurors, literally, into Kaczynski's world.

"We want to show how (life in the cabin) affected his mental state," said defense attorney Dennis Wacks. "I think once (jurors) see all the evidence in all its totality, they'll see that Mr. Kaczynski had some psychological problems."

The cabin will be kept in the hangar of an old Air Force base until it is introduced into evidence and shown to jurors at the trial. Kaczynski is expected to be on hand as jurors view his former home.

While jurors are often taken to crime scenes in trials, defense attorney Quin Denvir noted that "in this case, it was easier to bring the view to the jury."

Kaczynski's trial, which is still in the jury selection phase, was off on Friday. Opening statements are expected December 29.

Cabin had no electricity, running water

For more than 20 years, Kaczynski, a former mathematics professor with a Ph.D., lived in the 13-by-13-foot cabin, which he built in a remote area of Montana's Rocky Mountains. It had neither electricity nor running water and was heated with a small wood stove.

Ted Kaczynski
Kaczynski   

After Kaczynski was arrested in April 1996, federal authorities had the entire cabin seized as evidence. It was stored at an Air Force base near Great Falls, Montana, until it was brought to Sacramento for the trial.

Prosecutors claim it was in this cabin that Kaczynski meticulously manufactured bombs that killed three people and injured 29 others. The bombs were mailed to targets around the United States over an 18-year period.

Inside, federal authorities say they found bomb-making equipment, a live bomb, a draft of a anti-technology manifesto sent to news organizations by the Unabomber and a typewriter on which the manifesto was purportedly written.

Cabin part of mental illness defense

While Kaczynski has refused to undergo psychiatric tests, his attorneys are expected to use his writings -- and the cabin -- as part of their strategy to prove he is mentally ill.

But because of Kaczynski's refusal to be examined by psychiatrists, prosecutors say the defense should not be allowed to use mental illness as a defense.

As the cabin was lifted off the truck Friday, three locks were visible on the outside of its small front door. The defense is expected to point to details such as the multiple locks to proved that Kaczynski suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, which they will argue makes him incapable of forming the intent to kill.

Kaczynski is charged with the murders of a forestry industry executive and a computer store owner in Sacramento, as well as the maiming of two college professors. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Truck driver becomes minor celebrity

Meanwhile, the man who drove the cabin from Montana to Sacramento, Bill Sprout, has become something of a minor celebrity.

Sprout drove only in the daytime and, fearful of leaving the cabin unguarded, slept in his truck for two nights and ate his meals there.

"Everyone is making a bigger deal of this than I would. When I get the cabin unloaded, I'll be just another truck driver," he told his hometown paper, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Correspondent Rusty Dornin and Reuters contributed to this report.

The Unabomb Trial
 
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