Ground Truth: The Inside Story – How The FBI Caught The Unibomber


Sam Faddis interviews Terry Turchie, retired FBI special agent. Terry Turchie was the man who ran the UNABOM task force that finally brought Theodore Kaczynski to justice. Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, eluded capture for 17 years. During that time period, he killed three Americans and wounded 24 more. 

Turchie was named to take charge of the investigation in 1994. He found a task force in disarray and immediately began to implement measures designed to get control over the mountain of data the FBI had acquired, revisit every lead, and run the Unabomber to ground.

Under his leadership, the task force pioneered a number of new investigative techniques.

On April 3, 1996, FBI personnel arrested Kaczynski and searched the tiny Montana cabin where he lived. They found bomb components, thousands of pages of journal entries, and one fully functional live bomb ready for use.

Kaczynski’s reign of terror was over. He pled guilty in January 1998 and was locked away in an isolated cell in a “Supermax” prison in Colorado.

Hear the inside story. (VIDEO)

Terry Turchie, retired FBI Special Agent.

Terry D. Turchie is a former Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI. His leadership was the driving force behind the capture of the two most elusive and solitary domestic terrorists in U.S. history.

In his early years in the FBI, Terry chased timber thieves in the Oregon forests. By the 1980s, he was chasing Soviet spies at the United Nations in New York, and on one memorable occasion, depicted in New York Magazine, wrestled Soviet spy Gennadiy Zakharov to the ground at a subway station. After a tour at FBIHQ in Washington, D.C., he took over a counterintelligence squad in San Francisco and within a year disrupted two major East Bloc espionage operations.

Between 1994 and 1998, Terry directed the UNABOM Federal Task Force (UTF) that finally caught and convicted Theodore Kaczynski for an 18-year long string of terrorist bombings. Robert Graysmith, an author who wrote about the case in a 1997 book UNABOMBER—A Desire to Kill, called Turchie “the heart and spirit of the investigation.” For more info on Mr. Turchie – click here.