One of these students, whom they dubbed “Lawful,” was Theodore John Kaczynski, who would one day be known as the Unabomber, and who would later mail or deliver sixteen package bombs to scientists, academicians, and others over seventeen years, killing three people and injuring twenty-three. For many years he and I had lived parallel lives to some degree.
Both of us had attended public high schools and had then gone on to Harvard, from which I graduated in 1957, he in 1962. in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1967 and then joined the Berkeley Department of Mathematics as an instructor.
Most of us may believe we already know Ted Kaczynski.
According to the conventional wisdom, Kaczynski, a brilliant former professor of mathematics turned Montana hermit and mail bomber, is, simply, mentally ill.
In 1972 my wife and I bought an old homestead fifty-five miles south of Great Falls.
Three years later we gave up our teaching jobs to live in Montana full-time.
He is a paranoid schizophrenic, and there is nothing more about him to interest us. I came to discover that Kaczynski is neither the extreme loner he has been made out to be nor in any clinical sense mentally ill.
He is an intellectual and a convicted murderer, and to understand the connections between these two facts we must revisit his time at Harvard.
One of his defense investigators, he said, reported that the center had told participating psychologists not to talk with his defense team.
After this intriguing start Kaczynski told me little more about the Murray experiment than what I could find in the published literature.