Kazcynski code/ side issues

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Ciphers: Kazcynski code/ side issues

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-234.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 11:07 am:

Initial questions to Doug because it harps back to an earlier discussion.However I would welcome thoughts from all.
In this extract from the Journal we see Kaczynski
basically doing what everybody else who ever kept one does.Recording their own private thoughts and feelings,hope and fears with some soul searching thrown in.It appears to be a very candid piece,recorded for himself.
It's the soul-searching bit that has me wondering.
He is questioning his conscience with respect to "Guitly feelings" about the crimes he has committed.These crimes of course refer to the ones "reported elsewhere" in his notes.It also gives the impression of someone dealing with this for the first time.
My point being,if he were the Zodiac, questioning his conscience now about these crimes
seems out of place.Is he being dishonest with himself? Would he have at this stage,blocked out that previous part of his life? Does is offer anything to that woulds suggest he was not the Zodiac? Or perhaps someone else reads it differently!
Second part;- A Hypothetical: we don't know who wrote this code, all we have is the code and decryption. As we examine the text and code,does anyone believe we are learning something about the author? If so,(first) what are we learning about this Unknown? and second what points argue in favor of a link to Zodiac and what argues against it.Comparing codes and text only,it there anything to be learned?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-173-158.phil.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 01:47 pm:

Good questions, Lapumo. You could be right, but you've got to remember that these journals were meant for public consumption; to offer the public a particular impression of Kaczynski after he had been killed in a violent confrontation with the police (he pretty much admits this in the preface to the journals). Since he's been busy formulating his anti-technology worldview as the motivation for his crimes, he's not going to blow his cover by admitting to a series of murders that essentially have him pegged as a sick pervert.

Very shortly after Kaczynski's arrest, a letter to his brother surfaced in which Ted claimed he had never committed any serious crimes. However, in his recent book "Harvard and the Unabomber," Alston Chase claims to have seen a journal entry in which Kaczynski admitted that he lied to his brother about his involvement in crimes simply so that David wouldn't suspect him. What this tells us is that Kaczynski's writings are first and foremost a means of public manipulation.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-24.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 03:41 pm:

Well yes,I suppose that my comment about him questioning his conscience could be an argument against him being Zodiac.However what I was chasing were your thoughts about the progression from Zodiac to the Unabomber in the context of this questioning(as you see it).I honestly did not know that these Journals were meant for public consumption,in fact I was working from the opposite, that these were private.Having said that you've got me going again ).You wrote:-"Alston Chase claims to have seen a Journal entry in which Kazcynski addmitted that he lied to his brother". Does this not indicate that he was being true to himself in these notes?
As to the second part of my post,I think dealing with this hypothetical could be a valuable exercise.It goes to a future discussion dealing with conclusions we may be able to draw from analysing the information we may be able to glean about the people behind these ciphers.That's without any bias toward any suspect.Without knowing it's Kazcynski, what conclusions (if any)
can we draw about the author?

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (pool-151-197-225-241.phil.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 05:44 pm:

Lapumo, I doubt very much if the progression from Zodiac to Unabomber would have been planned or given any extended thought. It's not as if he would have said, "Well, I've pretty well milked the Zodiac role; now I'll go for something a bit more academic." Zodiac would have been a persona that he assumed almost by accident as a consequence of trying to assuage his feelings of sexual inadequacy (which we know he possessed) by lashing out at the nearest victims he could find. He would have abandoned that persona (1) because it was risky; (2) because it didn't suit his conception of himself; (3) because he undertook a means of existence that distracted him from the role; and (4) because he had exhausted its possibilities. The Unabomber persona was there from the beginning, only it couldn't express itself until Kaczynski had formulated a rationale for its use. That didn't occur until after Kaczynski discovered Jacques Ellul, ca. 1971. By then he had planted himself in Montana, and it would take another seven years before circumstances would progress to the point where he wanted to lash out once again.

So far as Kaczynski lying to his journals is concerned, consider the following post from a former regular poster at alt.fan.unabomber, David Buchanan:

Subject: Spin-Doctor Kaczynski Hoodwinks Federal Prosecutor
From: ag434@freenet.hamilton.on.ca (David Buchanan)
Date: Sun, Feb 22, 1998 01:32 EST


The most recent Sacramento Bee story on the case, "Prosecutor's
view: Why he killed," which can be found at their web site
(http://www.unabombertrial.com/), says that Kaczynski formed a
plan to drop-out and move into the wilderness before he went to
Berkeley. Prosecutor Lapham was reportedly basing his remarks on
previously unpublished portions of Kaczynski's diary.

"Theodore Kaczynski began honing his skills as a survivalist while
a graduate student at the University of Michigan in 1966. He
hiked for six to eight hours at a time in remote areas, and ran
for miles and miles. He began studying "hunter-gatherer"
techniques and reading about indigenous plants."

"He took a job as an assistant professor of mathematics at the
University of California, Berkeley, only to earn enough money to
buy a plot of land in the wilderness. He stayed for one year
before moving to a relatively secluded area near Lincoln,
Montana, in 1969."

"But there was a flaw in Kaczynski's plan, said prosecutor, who
spoke publicly about the case for the first time Thursday.
Kaczynski was only four miles from civilization, and it kept
invading his life."

Did he take the Berkeley job with the sole intention of earning
enough money to carry out his plan? Did he really form such a
plan in 1966?

Let's look at this logically. How much money does one need to
buy an acre or two in the wilderness? Not much. If memory
serves, he bought his acre and a half in Montana for around

Why did he take the Berkeley job? That was in 1967 when faculty
jobs were plentiful. Perhaps Berkeley paid their assistant
professors a bit more than other faculties but that would have
been offset by the high cost of living in the Berkeley area.

If Berkeley, perhaps the top school for mathematics, was willing
to hire him, then many other schools would have been eager to
snap him up and willing to offer him a higher than normal
starting salary. Among other schools willing to make him a good
offer, he could have found some situated in small towns where
living costs were low and where there was easy access to nearby
wilderness areas. That would have fitted his "plan" better
and allowed him to live in more congenial surroundings while
carrying it out.

At Berkeley, the competition with other mathematicians would have
been intense and "publish or perish" the rule. At a smaller,
less prestigious school, he could have taken it a lot easier
while accumulating enough money to drop-out.

And TK apparently did publish papers while at Berkeley. If he
was planning all along to drop out of Berkeley after a year or
two, why bother? There is no money in publishing. It's done
solely to gain tenure or otherwise advance one's career --
something TK was supposedly planning to abandon.


Lapham's remarks were based on unpublished portions of TK's
journals and believing everything in the journals is where Lapham
went wrong. Consider this quotation from TK's journals about his
first bombing. The quote can be found in the January 22 court

"August 21, 1978: I came back to the Chicago area in May, mainly
for one reason: so that I could more safely attempt to murder a
scientist, businessman or the like. Before leaving Montana I
made a bomb in a kind of box, designed to explode when the box
was opened . . . I picked the name of the electrical engineering
professor out of the catalog of the Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute and addressed the bomb -- a package to him."

TK's explanation for why he returned to Chicago is hogwash. The
bomb was in the form of a postal package which he could have
safely mailed from any large population center sufficiently far
away from Montana. Returning to Chicago was unnecessary and
actually increased his risk because people could then place him
in the Chicago area at the time the bomb was mailed.

(TK actually abandoned the package in a university parking lot
because he discovered it wouldn't fit into the available
mailboxes. But he didn't learn that until he tried to mail it.
If he had learned of the problem in Montana, he could have
rebuilt the bomb to fit a mailbox.)

Why would TK lie to his own journal? It must have been
humiliating for him to admit he couldn't make it in Montana and
had to return to Chicago and take a menial factory job in order
to make a bit of money. To admit that to himself and to any
posthumous readers of his journal would make him seem like a
failure being controlled by outside forces. Much better to
portray the move as part of his grand plan for revenge on society
-- then he can see himself as powerful and in control of events.

I suspect that TK's supposed plan to drop out was invented long
after he left Berkeley and was invented to cover up what he
regards as his failure at Berkeley. Instead of a failure, leaving
Berkelely becomes the fulfillment of his plan and hence a

Of course, my interpretation depends on the journals being
written after TK left Berkeley. Too bad we can't see the
journals and instead have to rely on garbled second hand accounts
of what they contain.


Buchanan is saying that Kaczynski spun everything in such a way as to excuse himself for his numerous shortcomings in life. That's a very human quality, and one we're likely to see exaggerated in people like Kaczynski, who dedicate their lives to self-vindication.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51-26.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 01:40 pm:

Hi Doug,
Thanks for the detailed response.While I would still be suspicious of him questioning his conscience in the manner in which he did,I have to agree there is more than enough evidence here to prove he was not being truthful.Mr.Buchanan has posted a very insightful and convincing piece.
It was never my intention to suggest that the progression from Zodiac to Unabomber was consciously planned,but rather question this particular extract in the context of him being aware that he was once the Zodiac.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw1.ciw.edu - on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 09:01 pm:

Lapumo: Also in answer to your original question: The passage where TK admits guilty feelingsbegins:

"Since committing the crimes reported elsewhere in my notes I feel better."

We don't know which crimes he's talking about here because we don't have the full journal. But my guess is that he's ONLY talking about Unibomber crimes.

While I agree with Doug that his journals may be doctoring reality to present it from his point of view, they also contain a high degree of candor, including his unflattering discussions of guilty feelings, and if I'm not mistaken, his unfulfilled longings for "normal" relations with women. I think he hoped in these writings, to "make contact" with someone (presumably future anti-tech admirers) and to share with them something of the "Real Ted". After all, if you believe yourself to be such a great hero, you at least owe it to the world to give them an inside look at what you are "really" like (after of course removing some of the more incriminating passages)

But I think you have a point that if we were to see ALL of TK's journals (including the "QUEER") ones, we would really get some insight on whether nor not he could be Z.