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David Kaczynski Speaks at BCC About Death Penalty, Infamous Brother

May 10, 2013 by admin

By Alexa Crapanzano

    “Here I am with a mentally ill brother, and he could be the Unabomber. I’ve got to protect him, but I’ve got to protect the world from him.”

    David Kaczynski, brother of the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, told his story to Brookdale Community College on April 16 in Navesink II and III as a part of the guest lecture series presented by the Student Life and Activities.

     Kaczynski, like all who were terrified while the Unabomber was a threat, simply wanted the attacks to end. And when his wife, Linda, began to consider the idea of Kaczynski’s brother as the Unabomber, their lives changed in ways they never would have imagined.

     After coming to terms with the possibility that his own brother, whom Kaczynski always believed to be “different,” could be one of America’s most wanted, it was a daily battle of deciding whether he should protect his brother or the world.

     “I’ve always believed brothers should protect brothers,” Kaczynski said.

     Without substantial inside knowledge other than letters his brother had written him while living isolated in a cabin he had built in Montana, Kaczynski believed his only option was to go to the FBI with what little evidence he had.

     With the room silent and attentive, Kaczynski went on to speak of the hardships he and his wife encountered while looking further into the case alongside his brother’s history of anti-technology crusades.

     “For me, it was like a rollercoaster,” he said. Students with pens and notebooks paused and looked up at the speaker as they heard the sorrow in his voice.            

     “I finally found out there was something I could do, and it turned out to be the greatest ordeal of my life.”

     Kaczynski was told, after helping the FBI in their investigation against his own brother, that Theodore would be a candidate for the death penalty. After finding out his brother had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, Kaczynski fought against the use of the death penalty on anyone with mental illness, eventually earning his brother the sentence of life in prison without parole.

   Although Theodore has requested that he have no visitors and/or contact with his brother, Kaczynski does not regret the decisions he has made. “We can’t change what happened, but what we do with it. We do have choices.”

     Lectures presented by Student Life and Activities are meant to expose the community to a wide array of things that are prevalent in the world, as well as provide an in-depth look at topics often discussed in the classroom.

     Student Life and Activities coordinator Jill Donovan was thrilled by the outcome of the lecture. “To me, it’s a real success when it’s two hours passed time and student are still here speaking and asking questions.”

     Other guest lectures and events presented by Student Life and Activities can be found in the events section on www.brookdalecc.edu or by contacting Student Life and Activities at studentlife@brookdalecc.edu. More information on David Kaczynski can be read on www.davidkaczynski.com. 

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