FBI investigates Unabomber in '82 Tylenol deaths

Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski looks around as U.S. Marshals prepare to take him down steps at the federal courthouse to a waiting vehicle Friday, June 21, 1996 in Helena, Mont. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

May 19, 2011 8:48:41 PM PDT
Authorities want to know if Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, is also responsible for another crime wave. Kazynski filed a hand-written motion in Sacramento to block the FBI from getting DNA samples agents want as part of their investigation of the Tylenol poisonings case in the 1980s.

Kaczynski has refused to give the FBI a sample of his DNA. The FBI confirms as part of a re-examination of the evidence in the Chicago-area Tylenol poisonings back in 1982, agents are trying to get DNA samples from several people, including Kaczynski.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Portanova followed the Unabomber case closely.

"Anytime somebody is this sophisticated in the kind of murder rampage he went on for as long as he did, any other type of long range murder like that, he should be a suspect for that," Portanova said.

Seven people died when they took cyanide-laced Tylenol from packages that had been tampered with.

Kaczynski filed a hand-written motion in U.S. District Court in Sacramento asking that his personal belongings not be put up for auction. He says the FBI wanted a sample of his DNA to compare it with DNA connected with the Tylenol cases and claims he never even possessed any potassium cyanide.

Reached by phone, Kaczynski's attorney, John Balazs, defended the motion.

"He wants to make sure he has all available evidence to prove his innocence," Balazs said.

That would include items from his famous cabin to show there is no trace of cyanide and journals to show where he was during the Tylenol killings.

"I'm completely convinced that he's innocent; I don't believe he was in the Chicago area," Balazs said.

The judge never ruled on Kaczynski's motion, so the online auction is proceeding this week, including his notable hoodie and sunglasses and his hand-written manifesto with bids reaching in the five-figures for those items, so far.

The proceeds from the sale will go to Kaczynski's victims.

"There's no chance he's going to be able to stop the government from getting his DNA if they want it," Portanova said.

All of Kaczynski's filings were sent to the federal courthouse in Sacramento from his Colorado prison. Kaczynski's attorney says they will comply with any order to give a DNA sample, but the FBI will have to go through the legal process first.

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