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Unabomber's cabin remains on display in DC

Unabomber's cabin remains on display in DC

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Ted Kaczynski's cabin

This April 6, 1996 file photo shows Ted Kaczynski's cabin in the woods outside Lincoln. 

FBI evidence photos show the inside of Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski's cabin, along with some of the items found by investigators. Kaczynski was arrested on April 3, 1996 at his cabin in Lincoln, Montana, following a nearly 18-year series of bombings in which three people were killed and many more injured across the U.S.

One of the most defining characteristics of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, is that he lived in a tiny cabin near rural Lincoln.

The "cabin" was a 10-by-12-foot shack where Kaczynski lived for 25 years, until his arrest in April of 1996. The shack had no running water and multiple locks. It was in this shack that Kaczynski built 16 bombs that killed three and injured 23 people across the United States.

After he was apprehended by the FBI, the cabin stayed on the rural property outside Lincoln until the following year. At that point, Kaczynski's defense attorneys paid to have the structure sent by trailer to Sacramento, where he was set to stand trial. It was reported at the time that a man from Ennis drove the cabin to Mather Air Force Base, where it was intended to show that Kaczynski was mentally unstable as part of a legal strategy.

Ted Kaczynski's Montana property

A 1996 aerial photo shows the property where Unabomber Ted Kaczynski lived. Kaczynski's cabin can be seen near the center of the frame.

After pleading guilty in 1998, Kaczynski later attempted to transfer ownership of the structure to defense attorney Scharlette Holdman in 2003. However, the FBI obtained ownership of the structure instead.

It went on to be displayed in the Newseum in Washington, D.C. for over a decade. The Newseum announced plans to shut its doors permanently in 2019. At that time, it was unclear what would happen to the Kaczynski cabin and the Montana Historical Society showed an interest in bringing it to the state. 

Former MHS Director Bruce Whittenberg said he spent some time trying to track the cabin down.

"What I wanted to do was make sure it wasn't being disposed of," Whittenberg said. "What we heard was that they aren't going to let it go."

Whittenberg said the cabin is a piece of Montana history, and he is sure that it would be quite a tourist attraction here. However, he was satisfied that the cabin wasn't being disposed of.

Newseum exhibits Unabomber cabin

In this undated photograph courtesy of the Newseum, the cabin used by Ted Kaczynski is seen on display at the Newseum in Washington. 

The current MHS administration is not pursuing the cabin, as it appears the FBI plans to keep it. 

"Ted Kaczynski's story is part of contemporary Montana history," said MHS Director Molly Kruckenberg. "Although we are not actively pursuing acquisition of the cabin itself, we are documenting the account of the Unabomber in the greater context of Montana's story."

Currently, the cabin is on display at a museum called the FBI experience in Washington, D.C. A self-guided tour allows guests to see the structure alongside its "Inside Today's FBI" exhibit.

The FBI did not respond to a press inquiry regarding the cabin.

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