Catching One of the Most Feared Terrorists in US History With Forensic Linguistics

The Unabomber, one of the most feared terrorists in the United States, was responsible for 23 injuries and 3 deaths between 1978 and 1995. Theodore Kaczynski, the man behind the attacks, was known for creating “un-traceable” bombs and delivering them to seemingly random targets. In 1979 the FBI, ATF and even the US Postal Services joined forces to investigate the “UNABOM” case, which was a codename for the UNiversity and Airline BOMbing targets that had been involved so far. 

The case didn’t get it’s break until 1995, when the Unabomber’s manifesto was published. The FBI was able to match the writing style in the manifesto to one of the suspects provided by the public using forensic linguistics, a tactic of analyzing syntax, word choice and linguistic patterns.

Watch the full story unfold on Discovery at 9EST on August 1st!