Package Alert! Alcatraz East Crime Museum Offers Temporary Unabomber Exhibit

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

It’s been nearly 28 years since the FBI arrested the domestic terrorist known as the “Unabomber.” Unsurprisingly, it remains a subject of interest for people around the world. This case stands out from others because of the highly intelligent mastermind behind the crimes and the struggle law enforcement faced in apprehending the culprit. Alcatraz East Crime Museum is opening a new temporary exhibit titled “Evil Intelligence: The Making of the Unabomber,” which will run from December 15, 2023, through April 19, 2024, and will be a part of the regular admission fee.

“The Unabomber’s crime spree spanned for almost two decades and this is a case that still intrigues the public,” says Ally Pennington, artifacts and programs manager at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “It’s fascinating to look into how Ted Kaczynski’s thought pattern changed over time and what events led to his attacks.”

The “Evil Intelligence: The Making of the Unabomber” exhibit will include information about how Theodore Kaczynski became a criminal, the timeline of his crimes, and how he was caught. The exhibit will also include information about the many people who investigated the case over the years, trying to solve the mystery that terrorized the nation. Artifacts that will be on display include Unabomber passport photos, handwritten documents from his cabin, and saws that he used.

Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski grew up socially awkward and was considered an outcast among his peers. He was highly intelligent, though, and earned a doctoral degree in math from the University of Michigan. As the years went on, he became increasingly anti-social and took issue with the way society was developing. After graduating, he became an assistant professor at the University of California Berkley for a few years before moving off the grid to a cabin he built in a remote area of the Montana wilderness.

For 17 years, Kaczynski mailed or delivered homemade bombs to people around the country, all of which he hand-constructed in his Montana cabin. The FBI tried to figure out who was behind the crimes for years, but they were unsuccessful until there was a major break in the case. Kaczynski anonymously mailed a 35,000-word manifesto, claiming responsibility for the crimes and saying the attacks would end if the manifesto was published. The government allowed The Washington Post to publish the document,hoping that someone would recognize the author. They struck pay dirt when several leads pointed to Kaczynski, including one from his brother, who provided the FBI with additional writing samples. After determining that Kaczynski was the Unabomber, they moved to arrest him in Montana. The Unabomber’s crime spree left three people dead and two dozen more injured.

“You will not want to miss this temporary exhibit,” added Pennington. “There is no substitute for seeing some of these artifacts in person. Be sure to stop in before it’s gone.”

The museum features over 100 exhibits, with many famous items on display, including Ted Bundy’s famous Beetle and the white Bronco from the O.J. Simpson chase. They also hold a biennial art contest that puts graffiti in the spotlight. This top museum is open at 10 a.m. daily. The last tickets are sold 60 minutes before closing. These interactive experiences are available for an additional fee for birthday parties, school groups, scouts, team building, or other special events. For more information about tickets, discounts, temporary exhibits, and all the museum offers, visit the site:

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has updated its board of crime experts, which includes Derwin Bradley, a retired master police officer, James R. Knight, a crime writer, Robin Maynard, a certified crime scene investigator in Florida, Derek Newport, a law enforcement veteran who was with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for 20 years, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who presided in the notorious case against Casey Anthony, among others.