Unabomber News History

Copyright 1994 Gannett Company, Inc.


December 12, 1994, Monday, FIRST EDITION


LENGTH: 388 words

HEADLINE: A bomber's deadly streak / Weekend blast believed the work of elusive, 'embittered' loner

BYLINE: Gary Fields


Jimmy Carter was president, Pope John Paul II was still an archbishop in Poland, and the miniseries Roots had not yet been on television when the "unabom" bomber mailed his first deadly package in May 1978.

Now, Carter helps build homes for the poor, John Paul just marked his 16th anniversary as pope, and the unabom bomber is still at work.

In the latest incident Saturday, Thomas Mosser, 50, a North Caldwell, N.J., advertising executive, was killed by a mail bomb.

Since a May 25, 1978, explosion injured one person at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., 23 people have been injured and one other person killed in bombings across the nation that officials say are linked.

Among past targets: A Yale professor and a geneticist at University of California-San Francisco, both injured. In 1985, Hugh Scrutton, 38, was killed at his computer rental store in Sacramento, Calif.

"It's frightening to think that someone can maintain that kind of a feeling and anger for either an industry or individuals that represent an industry," says Florida State University criminologist Thomas Blomberg.

An FBI profile describes the bomber as a white male, late 30s to 40s, with a high school education and exposure to the college environment, and who knows the areas where the bombs have been planted or sent.

A casual observer might see him as a loner and a "nice guy with no apparent predisposition to violence."

In the November issue of Playboy, FBI bomb specialist Patrick Webb said the bomber has probably read publications that cater to survivalists. He said the bombs are simple.

James Fox, a Northeastern University criminologist and author of Overkill: Mass Murder and Serial Killing Exposed, says the bomber is "very likely embittered over a whole lot of disappointments in his life. It's likely things haven't gone real well for him at school, at home, at work."

Fox says the bomber's lone accomplishment is his bombing. "He's had a very distinguished career in his mind and he's not ready to retire," Fox says.

Blomberg says the bomber is also "ingenius in a way. . . . I can't think of any situation where you've had a bomber through the mail that's gone on this long. He's not going around thumping his chest either because he would have been caught. If it's a protest, it's a private protest."

GRAPHIC: PHOTO, b/w, Warren Goldberg, AP