Looking for Blame and Souvenirs From the 'Obliterated' Cho Family

Still, said Moon, the Chos will be pariahs in centers of Korean life, no matter how hard friends try to bring them back into the fold. "The loss is unthinkable," she said.

For his part, David Kaczynski hopes to reach out to the Cho family and help them heal in a most American way. His own experience has taught him that families of murderers can survive -- with the help of others. But, he said, "the process takes time."

At 57, Kaczynski now serves as executive director of the New York Citizens Against the Death Penalty. Working with victims on both sides of the crime, he has made peace with his past.

But he still remembers one event that he said "changed the course of my life."

Unabomber Victim Is a Friend

"Ted had hurt lots of people," Kaczynski said. After the Unabomber tragedy, Kaczynski made calls to the victims, expressing his sorrow.

One was Gary Wright, who had survived a 1987 Salt Lake City mail bomb with severe injuries requiring years of multiple surgeries. Wright told Kaczynski, "You did something very brave, and if you ever need to talk with someone give me a call."

The relationship has endured a decade. Wright even called Kaczynski on Sept. 11 when old wounds of trauma were resurrected. "It was tremendously healing for me," said Kaczynski.

"There is no way you cannot be haunted by what a family member has done," he said. "You go through this period of mourning for the life that you had. Your innocence is lost."

Over the years, the Kaczynskis have received 1,000 letters, mostly from strangers, expressing compassion for their grief. With support and time, Kaczynski and his mother have healed.

"Part of it is the realization that nothing can change the past," he said. "Try to connect with society and reconnect with relationships."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 3078950.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...