The Unabomber’s Brother

Programs 82, 83 • 29 mins


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In a remarkable contrast within one family, we meet social worker David Kaczynski, who in early 1996 had a “dark night of the soul” when he realized that his older brother Ted was the “Unabomber,” a serial murderer. Supported by his wife, and later by his mother, David felt compelled to notify federal authorities, leading to his brother’s arrest. The prosecutor later called him a “true American hero.” Deeply thoughtful and idealistic, David today devotes most of his time working to eliminate capital punishment (his brother was spared the death penalty in a plea agreement).


  • How does a person sort through the divided loyalties of love for a brother and the need to stop violence?
  • Where is the line between justice and vengeance?
  • What does it take for the victim of a violent crime to reach a point of forgiveness?
  • Is the death penalty appropriate for grave offenses?

David KaczynskiWe’ve got to take back the ideal of justice, we’ve got to take back this principle of human dignity. We’ve got to take it back from vengeance, from hatred, we’ve got to say: look, we’re all in this together. We are human beings.”

—David Kaczynski


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