How the Unabomber Got His Nickname Might Surprise You

Nick Paschal
Supervising Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

In the 1980s and 1990s, everyone had heard of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. For those of you who don’t remember the serial bomber, the Discovery Channel is airing the miniseries Manhunt: Unabomber. But while you may remember that infamous police sketch, you may not remember how Kaczynski got that chilling nickname.

In the series, FBI Agent Stan Cole (Jeremy Bobb) was informing James “Fitz” Fitzgerald (Sam Worthington) and the other agents about the Unabomber case. Agent Cole said, “For 17 years he’s been planting and mailing bombs, 16 bombs, three people killed, dozens injured, and we really have no friggin’ clue who he is or why he’s doing this. We call him the Unabomber because his early targets were universities and airlines — ‘Un’ for ‘University,’ ‘A’ for ‘Airline,’ unabom.” But Kaczynski was a guy who gave himself his own nickname. Agent Cole continued, saying, “He calls himself “FC” for “Freedom Club.” It’s how he signs all his letters. It’s also how he signs his bombs. Seventeen years of bombs all signed by FC. He’s a sick bastard.”

One thing that everyone remembers is that police sketch with the hooded sweatshirt and big black sunglasses. It came after the first time someone caught Kaczynski in the act. In 1987, Kaczynski was seen setting a box down that ended up causing his first fatality. Agent Cole summed it up by saying: “And this is where we got our first eyewitness. She gave us this now famous sketch, and then nothing for six years. So we figured he was dead or maybe finally got laid.”

Manhunt: Unabomber airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Discovery

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