Hunting the Unabomber: The FBI, Ted Kaczynski, and the Capture of America’s Most Notorious Domestic Terrorist

Thomas Nelson. Apr. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9780718092122. $26.99. CRIME
Intent on bringing down the government and destroying technology, Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, terrorized American universities and airports for decades with his handcrafted bombs. Why did it take so long to find him? Former Fox News analyst Wiehl (The Separatists), with crime writer Pulitzer (coauthor, Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony), investigates the case undertaken by the FBI, the postal service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Wiehl relies primarily on the memories and documents of FBI agent Patrick Webb, the longest-serving member of the UNABOM task force, but also draws from the FBI’s UNABOM file and the Kaczynski Papers special collection, held at the University of Michigan. With an overwhelming volume of minutia, the book is at times a slog. However, because Kaczynski was ultracareful not to leave traces, these details were crucial to identifying him, and Wiehl’s laserlike focus is warranted.
VERDICT This meticulous history of the hunt for the Unabomber will appeal to true crime readers who enjoy immersive scene setting and don’t mind a slow pace.
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