• FTC

Unabomber – In His Own Words

Updated: Nov 23

(available on Netflix)

Warning: Graphic images

FTC Rating: 3 out of 5


This four-part docuseries explores the life and crimes of Ted Kaczynski, a child prodigy turned serial bomber, famously known in the media as the Unabomber. It seeks to understand why this Harvard educated mathematics professor would kill three people and injure twenty-three others in the name of his extreme anarchist ideology.


Strengths:

- Interview with Ted Kaczynski’s brother and sister-in-law

- Overview of the community in rural Montana which the Unabomber called home, features interviews with neighbors and their experiences

- Explains the devices used and how these became more sophisticated over time

- Features interviews with members of the FBI taskforce in charge of case and how the Unabomber was ultimately apprehended

- Deep dive in Kaczynski’s background, personality, and belief system

- The Harvard Experiment tapes


Weaknesses:

- It would be interesting to learn about the code the Unabomber developed for his journals

- The computer graphic explosions are problematic. This choice of transition has a cartoonish feeling and detracts from the seriousness of the crimes.

- Except for the interview with survivor, Gary Wright, the victims are an afterthought in this docuseries

- Overall, the docuseries has a low-budget feel


Final Thoughts:

-I found it fascinating how detached Ted Kaczynski was during his tapes. It speaks volumes about his chosen method to kill. He murdered at a distance, without having to be confronted by the results.

- I am not a big fan of fictionalized True Crime shows (apart from Mindhunter which is excellent) but I enjoyed and recommend Manhunt: Unabomber.

Picture source: youtube.com



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