Unabomber News History

Copyright 1993 The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company  

The Houston Chronicle

October 7, 1993, Thursday, 2 STAR Edition

SECTION: A; Pg. 13

LENGTH: 813 words

HEADLINE: Feds offering $ 1 million reward for elusive serial "Unabomber'

BYLINE: STEVE GOLDSTEIN; Knight-Ridder Newspapers



WASHINGTON -- Admitting they have no ""viable'' suspects in mail bombings that have killed one person and injured 23 since 1978, federal authorities Wednesday announced a $ 1 million reward for information leading to the capture of the so-called ""Unabomber.""

Federal investigators revealed the latest clue -- a note scrawled on paper that says, ""Call Nathan R -- Wed 7 PM'' -- that they believe the bomber may have written as a reminder to make a telephone call.

FBI Director Louis Freeh said ""Nathan R'' may have received a telephone call from the bomber in June, when two university professors were maimed by mail bombs within two days of each other.

Nathan R's association ""may be completely innocent,'' Freeh added.

The unusual nature of the appeal for help and the size of the reward underscored the frustration felt by investigators, who conceded they were baffled by the person or persons responsible for sending 14 bombs in 15 years to professors, airlines and computer experts.

""We're at a dead end,'' said a law enforcement official who asked not to be identified. ""For $ 1 million, there are going to be a lot of nuts coming out of the woodwork. ''

The FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service each contributed $ 150,000 to the reward fund, with the rest contributed by anonymous organizations and individuals.

People wishing to give information are instructed to call a toll-free number: (800) 701-2662.

""Progress is essential in this case because there is great concern that the bomber will strike again,'' said Ronald Noble, the assistant Treasury secretary for enforcement.

FBI Inspector George Clow, head of a 45-person ""Unabomb'' task force, termed the bombings ""cowardly acts'' that have lasting psychological effects on the victims. ""I was touched by the genuine horror, the genuine terror that these people feel to this day,'' he said. ""Their whole lives have been affected, and they don't understand why. ''

After a six-year hiatus, the most recent bombs were mailed June 18 in Sacramento, Calif., to professors at the University of California-San Francisco and Yale University.

On June 22, Dr. Charles J.Epstein, a geneticist at the San Francisco school, lost several fingers when a parcel bomb exploded at his home in Tiburon. Two days later, Yale computer scientist David Gelernter suffered serious wounds to his abdomen, chest, face and hands when he opened a package bomb in his office.

Both parcels had return addresses of different professors at California State University-Sacramento.

On the day Gelernter received his package, a letter postmarked June 21 from Sacramento arrived at the New York Times.

The letter, written by a person who claimed that a group was responsible for the earlier bombings, bore the initials ""FC,'' which were found on other bomb fragments.

Clow said the letter was being treated as genuine because it was dated before the bombings and predicted a ""newsworthy event. ''

Based on what are literally scraps of evidence, investigators describe the bomber as a white man in his late 40s or early 50s with training or education in explosives, electronics and woodworking.

Behavioral scientists see the bomber as ""rigid and inflexible, someone who may be perceived as a very nice person with a sense of humor that appears at times to be macabre or tasteless,'' said John W. Magaw, acting director of the ATF.

""Unabomber'' is shorthand for ""university and airline bomber. ''

Where the ''Unabomber'' has truck over the past 15 years, killing one and injuring 23.

The FBI is offering a $ 1 million reward for his capture.

Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, Ill.

May 25, 1978            1 injured.

Northwestern Univ., Evanston, Ill 

May 9, 1979             1 injured.

American Airlines, Chicago, Ill.

Dec. 15, 1979           12 injured.

United Airlines, Chicago, Ill.

June 10, 1980           1 injured.

Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Oct. 8, 1981            No injuries.

Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville,Tenn., .

May 5, 1982             1 injured 

Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, Calif.,

July 2, 1982            1 injured   

Boeing Aircraft, Auburn, Wash.,  

May 8, 1985             No injuries.

Univ. of Mich., Ann Arbor, Mich   

Nov. 15, 1985           2 injured.

Rentech Co., Sacramento, Calif     

Dec. 11, 1985           1 death.

CAAM's Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah 

Feb. 20, 1987           1 injured   

Physician/researcher, Tiburon, Calif.

June 22                 1 injured.

Yale Univ., New Haven, Conn   

June 24                 1 injured.

GRAPHIC: Graph: Where the mail bomber has struck (text); Knight-Ridder Tribune, Source: FBI


LOAD-DATE: October 8, 1993