Unabomber: How the FBI Broke Its Own Rules to Capture the Terrorist Ted Kaczynski

Jim Freeman, Terry Turchie, and Donald Max Noel. History (Midpoint, dist.), $27.95 (380p) ISBN 978-1-940773-06-3
Ted Kaczynski, a.k.a. “the Unabomber,” eluded federal authorities for 18 years, leaving a trail of mayhem and death in his wake before he was apprehended thanks to a tip from his brother after his manifesto was published in the New York Times and Washington Post. FBI agents Freeman, Turchie, and Noel worked in concert to bring Kaczynski to justice and share their insights and memories here. Hampered by ineffective technology, an inaccurate sketch of the suspect, and a management style that could generously be called antiquated, the trio and their team had their work cut out for them. Unfortunately, what could have been a dramatic account of federal agents in hot pursuit of a crazed genius seemingly two steps ahead of them at every turn frequently devolves into recaps of meetings, procedural changes, and managerial minutiae, all of which slow the story’s momentum. Snippets of Kaczynski’s writing pepper the book, including chillingly casual descriptions of the carnage he caused, injecting much-needed tension to the story. Whether intentional or not, the book reads as an explanation (or an apology) for the fact that the New York Times and Washington Post were able to do what the feds couldn’t: flush out Kaczynski. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 345 pages - 978-1-940773-01-8
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