Bomb Suspect's Brother 'Torn' Over Contacting Investigators

WASHINGTON -- David Kaczynski agonized over whether to put country or family first before he told the FBI his older brother might be the Unabomber that lawmen have sought for 18 years, federal agents say.


In early January, Kaczynski got an acquaintance, a Washington lawyer, to relay his suspicions to the FBI here, according to agents who spoke only on condition of anonymity. Even then "the relative was reluctant to come forward'' and personally speak with investigators, one agent said Thursday.


"He was torn, as anyone would be, between doing what is societally right and loyalty to his brother,'' said one agent. "This was not some guy who walked in with information to collect the $1 million reward.''


The government's $1 million reward for the Unabomber won't be handed out, if at all, until someone is convicted of the Unabomber's crimes. It's not clear David Kaczynski even knew about the reward or cares about it now; it did not motivate him to establish contact, agents said.


Agents of the FBI's Washington field office needed "many discussions, many interviews'' with the lawyer to get David to meet them face-to-face, one official said.


The agents wanted more than an intermediary's oral description of some suspicious documents Kaczynski had found; they wanted to see the papers and search the suburban Chicago home where they were found.


David Kaczynski, a 46-year-old employee of Equinox, a nonprofit group that provides halfway house programs and rehabilitation services, and his mother, Wanda, have refused to speak with reporters camped outside his house near Schenectady, New York.


Agents said the Kaczynskis found some of Theodore's documents as they cleaned up old boxes to put their house in Lombard, Illinois, up for sale. Wanda Kaczynski, a widow, sold the house March 15 and moved east to be near David. The documents raised their suspicions.


Ultimately, after talking directly with David Kaczynski, agents got permission to see the documents and search the Lombard house.


About three weeks ago, Lombard police escorted the FBI to the house, where agents searched the blue shed in the back yard, Lombard Police Chief Leon Kutzke said Thursday.


"They basically just packed up the whole shed and took it away,'' Kutzke said.


Federal agents won't say exactly what they found, but it raised their suspicions. They began surveillance of Theodore in Montana several weeks ago.


Meantime, word of David's role in the case has brought as many as three dozen reporters and photographers to his doorstep. Others besieged his telephone.


That news media siege has driven a wedge between David and the FBI, an agent said. "He's mad, and we no longer have a relationship,'' one agent said, "because the media are all over him. He wanted his role kept confidential, and we are just sick that it got out.''