Unabomber News History

Copyright 1994 The Atlanta Constitution

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

December 13, 1994


LENGTH: 587 words

HEADLINE: Will mad bomber strike again? Attacks usually occur in pairs, wary FBI reports



New York - His bombs usually come in pairs, less than 30 days apart.

That pattern has federal authorities bracing for another strike by the serial bomber agents have dubbed Unabom.

Investigators who have spent more than 15 years tracking the elusive killer said they have isolated a pattern: The bomber selects two people in geographically different locations and tries to blow up his second target within days of the first.

It's a thin link and one that FBI officials readily admit gets them no closer to identifying the mail bomber who sent the package that killed Thomas Mosser, a Young & Rubicam executive, in his suburban New Jersey home Saturday.

It was the 15th bombing linked to Unabom in 16 years - the second one to claim a life. His targets have been university professors, airline executives and computer experts. Mosser was the first advertising executive.

Young & Rubicam spokesman Richard McGowan said there is "absolutely no suggestion" that the bombing was related to Mosser's work with the company or its clients.

But Jim Freeman, FBI special agent-in-charge in San Francisco, said Monday that a link had not been ruled out. Mosser's client list shows he had some business with airlines, and computer giants Xerox Corp. and Digital Equipment Corp. recently hired Young & Rubicam.

Barry Mawn, special agent-in-charge of the Newark FBI office, which is heading the investigation into the New Jersey bombing, said the return address and the postmark on the package showed it was mailed from San Francisco on Dec. 3.

It was mailed with stamps so the sender probably didn't have to deal with a postal clerk.

The revelation means that of the 15 incidents attributed to the bomber, seven packages either were mailed from or exploded in Northern California. The bomber also mailed a letter to The New York Times from Sacramento last year at about the time two of his devices injured professors in Marin County, Calif., and at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Since 1993, when Unabom re-emerged after a six-year hiatus, agents set up their investigative clearinghouse in San Francisco, believing Unabom lived in the Bay Area or elsewhere in Northern California.

The bombings usually occur in twos. Agents reviewing the case in 1993 discovered that bombing pattern emerged as far back as 1979, with the bombings coming roughly in pairs - about six months apart. It wasn't until May 1985, when two bombs exploded in Auburn, Wash., and Berkeley, Calif., within a week of each other that Unabom perfected his deadly calculus.

Since then, four attacks have occurred within 30 days of each other.

Part of the difficulty in identifying the Unabomber has been his development as an explosives technician.

"The first bombs were mostly gunpowder, scrap metal and a fairly sophisticated detonator," one investigator said. But when Unabom returned in 1993, he had graduated from using off-the-shelf products and began crafting his own bombing elements from scratch. His detonators have also evolved, relying on high-tech, homemade devices. He does not use plastic- type explosives such as C-4, which are difficult to obtain.

"He spends a great deal of time on his bombs, fashioning the components by hand, pressing the initials F.C. into them, polishing the individual components," said one investigator.

"What he's doing doesn't require a great deal of physical strength or conspicuous tools," said another. "Anyone with a set of watchmakers' instruments can construct the same kind of bombs."