August 12, 2006

Auctioning off the Unabomber's possessions.

A court has ordered that Ted Kaczynski's possessions be sold to pay for restitution to his victims. What did the Unabomber even have, living in that off-the-grid shack, without water or electricity? What things do you retain when you're freaked out by all the things other people have? I want to see the complete list! Smoking Gun? Ah, yes! They've got the whole list. Unlike Ted, I love the internet. Let's read the list....

48 items -- some plural -- on the "Tools" list. "Red colored vice" is one. No virtues are listed, so we don't know what color they would have been had they existed.

24 items on the "Clothing" list. Expect to pay a premium for glasses and anything with a hood.

19 items on the "Personal Belongings" list. He did have three watches, including a "Le Watch." And three typewriters.

And the books: here's the whole list. "Autopsy of a Revolution." Things about ancient Rome and world politics. "Count Your Calories" (that will bring out the anger!). "The Defense Never Rests." Guides to edible plants. The ways of the Indians. "The Organization Man." "Razor's Edge." "Psychology of Women" (evidence of pain?). Volumes of "Skeptical Inquirer." "Secret Agent." Several Dickens novels. "Your Right to Privacy." "The Elements of Style." A beginner's typing manual. Many more. You try to solve the puzzle of a brilliant mind gone wrong.


Elizabeth said...

I bet the spine on that copy of "Elements of Style" isn't cracked.

Dave said...



sonicfrog said...

Ooooh! Is the Uni-shack for sale???

I want it!!!

Icepick said...

Hopefully the auction will be on eBay. That would be one more little symbolic punishment.

Meade said...

(that will bring out the anger!)
THAT was funny!

Rick Lee said...

Damn, that's quite a library. I wish I'd read half of those books.

Icepick said...

Sorry, I hadn't read the article before. I see that the judge did order the auction to be done online. Excellent.

vnjagvet said...


Perfect. ROFL.

Maxine Weiss said...


Peace, maxine

Goatwhacker said...

Hmm, supposedly the book "Secret Agent" inspired him to bomb professors. That would be quite the momento. No "Earth in the Balance" on the list, though.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Is there some way to be funny and tie Ted Kaczynski to Kevin Barrett?

University loons, bombings...I just can't make it work.

Sippican? XWL? Help me out, here, guys.

Pogo said...

Re: "You try to solve the puzzle of a brilliant mind gone wrong."

You're right, Ann. No one cares who killed Roger Ackroyd. Manufactured evil is paint-by-numbers compared to the real thing. And there seems far too much of the latter to read about the confabulated stuff.

Perusing the banal tools, workgloves, watch, and mostly unrevealing books, one is struck how amazingly ordinary is this small collection. It's bad garage sale stuff. Fifty cents apiece, tops.

More, it's dissapointing; because no arrangement of pliers to hoody to book to sunglasses creates the sum "murderer". Nothing of use to signal "beware," no lesson to learn for our safety.

Another mind would use the same stockpile and create a simple bench, or historical fiction, or a cheap source of solar energy, or a loving daughter. Ted made bombs, killed people unknown to him, and left no useful clues about the origin of his evil, no puzzle pieces.

I own a small cheap porcelain figurine, from 1960s China, a grim woman in the Red Guard, holding up the little red book. In the Cultural Revolution, my neighbor down the street saw his friends jailed, beaten, or disappeared for imaginary infractions against the Great Leader. I initially saw this piece as ironic, its supposed intent hid the actual revolution against its own people.

But now I don't know, and I put it away.

AlaskaJack said...

Perhaps the earlier discussion on "The Stranger" holds the key. Maybe old Ted did what he did because it was hot and the sun was too bright. But now at least he knows that he exists.

Could it be that the deep wisdom of existentialism explains Ted's life?