'the World Today Seems To Be Going Crazy. Speaks Of 'the Unabomber's Manifesto'

3099 words - 12 pages

It was May 25th 1978, Terry Marker was on his usual patrol oncampus at the University of Illinois. This earmark package, addressed to anengineering professor at Rensselaer from a material science professor atNorthwestern, was found in a parking lot. What seemed like an insignificantmisplaced parcel was about to start a reign of terror and the longest manhuntin U.S. history. Officer Marker retrieved the package and began to open it;the crude triggering mechanism set off the device. A flash of fire and smokespewed towards Terry's face as the match heads ignited and the mysterypackage exploded. This event sparked the 'most expensive manhunt inUnited States history, ultimately costing upward to $50 million' (Douglas,31). The reasoning behind this initial attack (and subsequent assaults) wasnot known for sure until 15 years later in 1993, when the Unabomber's anti-technology philosophy became public.The Unabomber's 18 year tirade against technology killed three peopleand maimed 23 others in a series of 16 attacks dating back to 1978. TheUnabomber's targets were universities and airlines (thus the 'un' and the 'a'in the FBI's code name); proponents of technology. The Unabomber believesthat the present industrial-technological society is 'narrowing the sphere ofhuman freedom' (Unabomber, 93).The crudeness of the Unabomber's inaugural mail bomb attack was notan indication of what was to come. The Unabomber's devices became moresophisticated and deadly as his targets became more specific and focused.'The pressure vessels in his bombs were the most sophisticated ever seen byfederal authorities' (Ewell, 3). His later efforts were sometimes concealed inbooks and hand-carved boxes, had all hancrafted parts carved of wood andmetal (he made his own pins, screws and switches), and sometimes hadaltimeter and barometric switches which would activate at precise altitudes inan airplane. Bombs, like the one planted outside of a computer store inSacramento, were sometimes fitted with gravity triggers which woulddetonate the bomb at the slightest touch. Later bombs contained twoindependent systems of batteries and wires, a backup fail-safe mechanism,installed to ensure the bombs detonation. The crime scene analysessuggested that each bomb 'took more than a hundred hours to construct'(Douglas, 56).The bombs were getting deadlier as the Unabomber's skill levelevolved. FBI agent James Fox says 'This guy's done a wonderful job in self-education (Gleick, 26). On April 24, 1995, Gilbert Murray, president of theCalifornia Forestry Association, died instantly when a bomb exploded in hisoffice in Sacramento. The force of the blast was so great that it pushed nailspartly out of the walls in other offices in the building. The force of theexplosion was so great that the pieces of Murray's body; when retrieved,filled eleven bags. Evidence was presented to the coroner in paint cans.Some bombs like the one that killed Hugh Sutton, a computer store owner,was filled with pieces of...

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