An unusual online auction of Ted Kaczynski’s personal items that ended Thursday garnered about $190,000 for his victims and their family members. They want the so-called Unabomber to pay for the 16 explosions he set off that killed three and injured 23 others across the country.
Kaczynski’s personal journals fetched $40,676; the iconic hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses depicted in police sketch artist renderings accounted for $20,025; and his handwritten “manifesto” sold for $20,053.
Other popular items included $22,003 for the Smith Corona typewriter used to write manifestos sent to newspapers and later seized from the cabin and $17,780 for his autobiography. The manifesto laid out Kaczynski’s belief that modern technology was eroding human freedoms and that his bombings were necessary to spark a large-scale revolution.
The pursuit of Kaczynski became one of the longest and costliest investigations in the FBI’s history. The auction was a culmination of a seven-year legal battle designed to block Kaczynski from regaining ownership of the property seized from his remote Montana cabin during a 1996 raid.
Kaczynski, representing himself in court, demanded return of the property so he could donate it to the University of Michigan, his alma mater. But because Kaczynski was ordered to pay his victims $15 million, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the property auctioned.
“He wanted his stuff back, and this way he doesn’t get it back,” said Susan Mosser, whose advertising executive husband, Thomas, was killed by a parcel bomb in 1994. “He also hasn’t paid a cent of restitution.”
Mosser said she hoped that some of the 40,000 pages of documents would end up in academia.
In all, collectors snatched up 58 items seized during the raid of Kaczynski’s remote Montana cabin in 1996.