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Unabomber fights for his possessions

Theodore (“Ted”) Kaczynski, 67, who left a tenure-track position at the University of California, Berkeley in 1969 to build a 13 x 13-foot cabin near Lincoln, Montana, and who killed three people and wounded 23 others in a series of attacks from 1978 to 1995, is fighting to prevent the auction of his diaries and other personal possessions to pay $15 million in restitution to four victims, as ordered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kaczynski, the publication of whose 35,000-word, intelligently written and tightly reasoned manifesto (right up to the sentence in paragraph 96, in which he states: “In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we’ve had to kill people.”) against technology ultimately led to his identification by his brother and consequent arrest, is currently serving a life term in the federal “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado.

Kaczynski, who evaded the FBI for 17 years, has until June 15 to file a notice of appeal with the United States Supreme Court to prevent the auction of his possessions, including his degrees from Harvard and the University of Michigan, tools, typewriter, glasses and hooded jacket (made famous in the police sketch for the “wanted poster“) and 40,000 pages of Kaczynski’s diaries and other writings. Kaczynski, referring to himself as “K” in handwritten legal documents, stated that, “The District Court’s orders violate K’s First Amendment rights.

As for me, I could not help but notice the very eerie similarity to the name of the protagonist, Josef K, in Franz Kafka‘s novel, The Trial (required reading in one of my Honors Comparative Literature classes at [The] Ohio State University, in my distant past :-) ).

Lawrence Brown, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, says that the directive from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals forces his office to support the auction.

The U.S. Supreme Court would still have to decide whether or not to hear the case, if the appeal is filed in time.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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