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Unabomber `would rather get the death penalty'

Kaczynski currently is held in a federal prison in Colorado, in a block of eight cells isolated from the facility's general population  

October 10, 1999
Web posted at: 6:17 p.m. EDT (2217 GMT)

In this story:

Unabomber says brother 'troubled by guilt'

Kaczynski on prison's 'celebrity row'


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Ted Kaczynski told Time magazine he "would rather get the death penalty than spend the rest of my life in prison."

In an interview at the federal prison in Florence, Colorado, the man who mailed at least 16 package bombs which killed three people and wounded 23 also said he is sane.

Death penalty

"I don't get delusions and so on and so forth. I mean, I had very serious problems with social adjustment in adolescence, and a lot of people would call this a sickness. But it would have to be distinguished between an organic illness, like schizophrenia or something like that."

Kaczynski said he pleaded guilty last year only to stop his lawyers from arguing that he was a paranoid schizophrenic, as court-appointed psychiatrists had diagnosed.

Kaczynski has written a book, "Truth Versus Lies," to be published by Context Books of New York.

In it, he says his brother's decision to turn him in was a way of settling a sibling rivalry. His brother was jealous "over the fact that our parents valued me more highly." His parents would not comment to Time.

Unabomber says brother 'troubled by guilt'

"It's quite true that he is troubled by guilt over what he's done," the article quotes Ted as saying about brother David, seven years his junior. "But I think his sense of guilt is outweighed by his satisfaction at having finally gotten revenge on big brother."

Asked what he would have done had Ted suspected his brother of being the Unabomber, Ted told Time, "I would have kept it to myself."

If he were to see him now, "I just wouldn't talk to him," Ted said. "I would just turn my back and wouldn't talk to him."

Ted's brother David lives in upstate New York and works as a counselor at a teenage runaway shelter. He told Time he still loves his brother, has written him repeatedly and, at least once, apologized.

To forgive his brother, Ted said, David must renounce the "lies" he has told about Ted, leave his wife, and remove himself from modern society. "If he does not redeem himself," Ted said, "then as far as I am concerned, he is the lowest sort of scum and the sooner he dies, the better."

David looked up to Ted as they were growing up, Time reported. Ted was happy until about age 11, when he skipped the first of two grades in school. A freshman at Harvard at age 16, he felt socially isolated, and suffered from what he calls "acute sexual starvation."

Kaczynski on prison's 'celebrity row'

"My attempts to make advances to girls had such humiliating results that for many years afterward, even until after the age of 30, I found it excruciatingly difficult -- almost impossible -- to make advances to women ... At the age of 19 to 20, I had a girlfriend, the only one I ever had, I regret to say."

Kaczynski lives in the prison's "Celebrity Row," a group of eight cells isolated from the prison's general population. Others there have included Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing.

Kaczynskis set up fund to distribute reward for turning in Unabomber
January 13, 1999
Unabomber's brother gets $1 million for turning him in
August 20, 1998
Kaczynski gets life, says government lied
May 4, 1998

The Unabomber's Manifesto
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