FBI Probes Unabomber Connection to Tylenol Murders
Ted Kaczynski offers DNA evidence in hopes of stopping government auction.
May 19, 2011 — -- Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, offered to provide DNA samples to help the FBI in their investigation of the 1982 Tylenol murders, but if -- and only if -- the government did not go forward with an online auction of his personal effects, the convicted killer said in court documents.
The government, however, went ahead with the auction Wednesday in which various possessions of Kaczynski's, from his infamous anti-technology hand-written manifesto to his typewriter, are currently fetching thousands of dollars.
"Kaczynski has not been indicted in connection with the Chicago Tylenol investigation, and no such federal prosecution is currently planned," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in its own court filing in response to Kaczynski's. "Consequently, there is no basis for an order interfering with the sale previously approved by the district court, as directed by the court of appeals."
The FBI said Kaczynski was among "numerous individuals" from whom the Bureau tried to obtain voluntary DNA samples as part of a reexamination of the 1982 killings in which seven Chicago residents ingested Tylenol capsules laced with deadly cyanide.
A week before the auction, Kaczynski filed court papers claiming he had nothing to do with the crime and agreeing to provide the sample should his possessions remain private until his death.
"I have never even possessed any potassium cyanide," he wrote. "But, even on the assumption that the FBI is entirely honest (an assumption I'm unwilling to make), partial DNA profiles can throw suspicion on person who are entirely innocent."
Kaczynski asserted that if he is a suspect and his DNA profile is related to the 1982 killings, "some of the evidence seized from my cabin in 1986 may turn out to be important," apparently referring to some of the objects up for auction.
Kaczynski is currently serving a life sentence after being convicted in 1998 for killing three people and injuring over 20 others in a mail bombing spree that spanned two decades.
The proceeds from the auction will serve as part of the "effort to pay $15 million restitution order to the victims [of Kaczynski's crimes] and their families," according to the government auction website.
The FBI announced it was making a reexamination of the Tylenol case in 2009 "given the many recent advances in forensic technology" and new tips which had been called in on the 25th anniversary of the murders two years before.
FBI officials in Washington said that they were in the process of obtaining a court order to seek the DNA sample from Kaczynski.
The Sacramento Bee first reported on the court filing.