Psychological Evaluation of Theodore Kaczynski

[This report can also be found elsewhere on the Internet, and is provided here in a reader-friendly layout to facilitate study; original typing errors and omissions have been retained.]

Dr. Sally C. Johnson's psychological report describes Theodore Kaczynski, the confessed Unabomber, as a man whose early brilliance was ruined by paranoid schizophrenia.

Johnson made her evaluation after interviewing Kaczynski, his family and people who knew him, analyzing psychological tests, and studing of the Unabomber's journals which document over 40 years of his life.

She cites "an almost total absence of interpersonal relationships," and "delusional thinking involving being controlled by modern technology" as examples of his illness.

Kaczynski increasingly withdrew from society as he grew older, and his journals reflect a feeling of social alienation, suspicion and anger he found hard to express. The report says one of his motives for writing the journals was that he intended to kill people and did not want society to think he was mentally ill.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the psychiatric report should be made public in order to provide a better understanding of the Unabomber's motivations.

DATE OF BIRTH:05/22/42

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION: Theodore John Kaczynski is a 55 year old white single male, currently housed in pretrial status at the Sacramento County Jail in Sacramento, California. He was most recently residing in Lincoln, Montana. On 01/09/97, the Honorable Garland D. Burrell, Jr., United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of California, issued an order that Mr. Kaczynski be examined by Bureau of Prisons physicians and others authorized by such physicians to assist in the study and examination to determine his mental competency to stand trial. The Order further indicated that the examining physicians are authorized to access all pertinent medical and collateral information, including psychiatric and medical records, and psychological testing. The examination was ordered to commence on 01/12/98. On 01/12/98, Judge Burrell issued a supplemental Order for Dr. Sally Johnson to travel to Sacramento to conduct the examination of the defendant at the Sacramento County Jail. The Order outlined that Dr. Johnson should prepare a report of the examination of the defendant pursuant to the Provision of 18, U.S. Code, Sections 4247(b) and (c). The examination should include: the defendant's history and present syndromes; a description of the tests employed and the results; the examiner's findings; and the examiner's opinions as to diagnosis, Prognosis, and whether the defendant is suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the Proceedings against him or to assist properly in his own defense. Copies of the report were ordered to be provided to the Court, counsel for the defendant, and the Government by 7:OOPM on Ol/16/98. on 01/13/98, Judge Burrell issued an additional Order which directed that trial counsel for the defendant were to provide Dr. Johnson with copies of each of the letters admitted to the Court - under seal by the defendant and all of the transcripts of ex parte and in camera hearings. If these materials were included in the competency report, that aspect of the report would not immediately be given to the Government. Rather, the Government would be provided the opportunity to petition the Court for access excluded materials at a later date. The trial judge and the defendant's counsel would be given a copy of the competency report in its entirety. In accordance with these Orders, the psychiatric evaluation was conducted between 01/12/98 and 01/16/98.

In the indictment filed 06/18/96, Mr. Kaczynski was charged with violations of 18, U.S. Code, Section 844(d), Transportation of an Explosive with Intent to Kill or Injure (four counts); 18, U.S. Code, Section 1716 Mailing an Explosive Device in an Attempt to Kill or Injure (three counts); and 18, U.S. Code, Section 1924(c)(1), Use of a Destructive Device in Relation to a Crime of Violence (three counts). These charges involved use of an explosive device to kill Hugh Scrutton on or about 12/11/85; the use of an explosive device that injured Dr. Charles Epstein on or about 06/22/93; the use of an explosive device to injure Dr. David Gelernter on or about 06/24/93; and the use of an explosive device to kill Gilbert B. Murray on or about 04/24/95. Mr. Kaczynski is represented by Federal Defenders Quinn Denvir, Judy Clarke, and Gary Soward. Special Attorneys to the U.S. Attorney General assigned to this case are Robert J. Cleary, Stephen P. Freccero, R. Steven Lapham, Bernard F. Hubley, and J. Douglas Wilson.

Extensive collateral information was available for review and use during this evaluation period. This included copies of Judge Burrell's Court Orders dated 01/09/98, 01/12/98, and 01/13/98; the indictment filed on 06/18/96; extensive information in regard to the charged offenses; medical records on Mr. Kaczynski, including a copy of his birth certificate from the State of Illinois; dental records from William Schauer, MS, and Thomas Ditchey, MS, through 1982; University Health Service records from Harvard University beginning in September 1958; hospital summary from Billings Hospital in Chicago, Illinois for hospitalization from 09/10/59 to 09/15/59; records from Dr. Walter Peschel in Missoula, Montana; records and correspondence from Carolyn C. Goren, M.D., April 1991 through January 1995; records from St. Peters Community Hospital in Helena, Montana; records from Glen Wielenga, M.D., of Lincoln, Montana for time periods between 1991 and 1993; records from the Sacramento County Jail for the time period between 1996 and 1998; and records from the Health Services Department at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Dublin, California, for a period of detention from 09/03/97 to 11/06/97.

Collateral information provided by the prosecution included copies of the Government trial brief filed under seal; selected statements and writings by the defendant; a letter outlining the Proof of Uncharged Crimes dated 07/29/96 addressed to Quin Denvir, Federal Defender; statements concerning the charged bombs, information on disguises and aliases, and targeting of victims; a copy of Mr. Kaczynski's original autobiography (1979); the Unabomb correspondence and manifesto; declarations from Park Elliott Dietz, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., dated 10/02/97, and Phillip J. Resnick, M.D., dated 10/02/97; and an Analysis of Neuropsychological Testing on Theodore Kaczynski by John T. Kenny, Ph.D., dated 12/29/97.

Collateral information provided by the defense included a chronology of charged and uncharged offenses; transcripts of court proceedings in United States vs. Theodore Kaczynski dated 11/21/95, 01/05/98, 01/07/98, and 01/08/98; Declarations of defense retained experts including David Foster, M.D., dated 11/11/97 and 11/17/97, Xavier Amador, Ph.D., dated 11/16/97; Karen Froming, Ph.D., dated 11/17/97; a letter to Elizabeth Gilbertson, M.D., from Theodore Kaczynski; the autobiography of Theodore Kaczynski prepared in accordance with participation in the Multiform Assessment of College Men Study, by Henry A. Murray at Harvard University; a typewritten transcript of Theodore Kaczynski; autobiographical notes 1979; a social history chronology of Mr. Kaczynski; and excerpts from correspondence between 1975 and 1991 and journals between 1957 and 1971. Also provided was a copy of the Refutation (a 15 chapter manuscript written by Mr. Kaczynski primarily between August and November 1997). Pursuant to a Court Order dated 11/13/97, the examiner was provided copies of the letters written by Mr. Kaczynski to Judge Garland D. Burrell, Jr., dated 12/18/97 and 01/05/98, and copies of the sealed reporter draft transcripts dated 12/18/97, 12/19/97, 01/05/98 and 01/07/98 (in camera proceedings).

The examiner also reviewed the complete set of writings obtained from Mr. Kaczynski's cabin in Montana. This included a series of journals spanning the time period of 1960 to present; extensive correspondence by Mr. Kaczynski and to Mr. Kaczynski; and detailed records of scientific experiments conducted by Mr. Kaczynski. In addition of review of the extensive collateral information, the examiner also had the opportunity to visit Mr. Kaczynski's cabin at the storage site outside of Sacramento and to review extensive photographs of the cabin contents.

Initial interviews were conducted with defense attorneys Quin Denvir, Judy Clarke and Gary Soward, and prosecuting attorneys Robert Cleary and Stephen Freccero on 01/11/98. Prosecuting attorneys were then interviewed separately on 01/11/98. Defense attorneys were interviewed on 01/12/98. Additional interviews with both defense and prosecuting attorneys took place throughout the week, in regard to obtaining necessary information and managing the logistics of the evaluation process. Personal interviews were conducted with Wanda Kaczynski, mother of the defendant, and David Kaczynski, brother of the defendant, on 01/13/98. Phone interviews were conducted with defense retained experts David Poster, M.D., Raquel Gur, M.D.,Ph.D., Ruben Gur, Ph.D., and Karen Froming, Ph.D.; and prosecution retained experts Park Dietz, M.D., and Phillip Resnick, M.D. A phone interview was also conducted with Sherry Woods, librarian in Lincoln, Montana.

DATES OF CONTACT/PROCEDURES ADMINISTERED: During this evaluation, Mr. Kaczynski was interviewed by Sally C. Johnson, Chief Psychiatrist and Associate Warden of Health Services for the Federal Correctional Institution in Butner, North Carolina. During this evaluation, Mr. Kaczynski was interviewed by the examiner on eight occasions at the Sacramento County Jail, with a total interview time Of approximately 22 hours. The interviews took place either in the line up room conference area or in confidential attorney visiting booths on the second or eighthfloor. At the start of the initial interview and briefly during subsequent interviews on 01/12/98 and 01/13/98, the defense attorneys were present to answer Mr. Kaczynski's questions regarding the evaluation process. In addition to the clinical interviews, formal review was conducted of previous medical evaluations, as well as previous neuropsychological and psychological testing results. Additional psychological testing administered during this evaluation included the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (01/12/98), the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-II (01/12/98), the Beck Depression Inventory (01/15/98), and the Draw a Person Picking an Apple from a Tree projective drawing (01/15/98). Psychological testing administered during this evaluation was administered by Dr. Johnson. Scoring and interpretation of tests were accomplished with the assistance of psychology staff at FCI Butner.

At the outset of this evaluation and repeatedly throughout the week, the purpose of the evaluation and limits of confidentiality of information provided were discussed with Mr. Kaczynski. He was informed that the information and the observations made would provide the basis for completion of a report which would be available to the Judge, as well as the Defense and Prosecuting Attorneys. He was advised that a provision was in place to protect the privacy of any en camera materials. He demonstrated an adequate understanding of this information.