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The cabin manifest: bombs, 239 books

 
Published April 16, 1996|Updated Sept. 15, 2005

Among the items FBI agents found in Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski's remote Montana cabin were hundreds of pieces of potential evidence, including bomb parts stashed in old food cans, a list of corporate executives stored along with a San Francisco city map, and an obscure book that was quoted in the Unabomber's manifesto, according to documents filed Monday.

The contents of Kaczynski's 10-by-12 foot cabin were itemized in a list filed in U.S. District Court in Helena, Mont.

The list, which includes about 700 items, is the most detailed explanation yet of what authorities have privately said is an overwhelming body of evidence linking Kaczynski to the scattered Unabomber attacks. But some of the FBI's alleged discoveries, which have been leaked to the press and widely reported, were not mentioned in the detailed accounting.

Notably, the list makes no mention of the draft copy of the Unabomber's 35,000-word manifesto published by two newspapers last fall.

The FBI's list does make repeated reference to unspecified documents found in the cabin, as well as three typewriters taken from there.

The FBI's filing notes that Kaczynski had a list of corporate executives, although the names are not identified. Limited disclosure at this stage is not unusual because law officials often want to provide defense attorneys as little information as possible.

The FBI list showed he kept a bottle of the prescription anti-depressant trazodone hydrochloride, but it is unclear whether Kaczynski was using it.

Depression is a central theme of the Unabomber's manifesto. "Instead of removing the conditions that make people depressed," the bomber wrote, "modern society gives them anti-depressant drugs."

A Samsonite briefcase held Kaczynski's masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan, the FBI said. A brown clasp envelope found in the cabin was marked "Autobiography."

Kaczynski's reading collection included Violence in America: a Historical and Comparative Perspectives, according to the FBI's list. The book also happens to be quoted extensively in the Unabomber's manifesto, suggesting that investigators may have found not only the manifesto, but the literature used to produce it.

Another book found in the cabin, Ice Brothers by Sloan Wilson, had direct ties to Unabomber attacks as well. In 1980, the elusive killer sent a bomb to one of his targets inside a copy of Ice Brothers, a 1979 coming-of-age tale based on Wilson's World War II service in the Greenland Patrol.

Other books found among the more than 239 in his cabin include Growing Up Absurd by Paul Goodman, who often wrote about how institutional society forced people to suppress their humanity. The book applauded youths who dropped out rather than give in.

Also found were volumes I and II of Les Miserables, the famous Victor Hugo novel about Jean Valjean, a victim of social injustice whose goodness is unshaken by the corrupt society in which he lives.

Also listed was a Basimov's Guide to the Bible, but the agents were probably referring to Asimov's Guide to The Old Testament, or Asimov's Guide to the New Testament, a commentary by Isaac Asimov.

The cabin also contained an unspecified musical instrument, a recorder and its case, and a dental bridge, found in a glass jar.

_ Information from the New York Times was used in this report.