The new Netflix series fans of Mindhunter are about to become obsessed with.

Netflix’s latest offering of crime-y binge-y goodness is a fiction series based on terrifying real life events.

It’s called Manhunt: Unabomber and it tells the story of how the FBI finally caught up with Ted Kaczynski, ending his 17 year long reign of terror.

Between 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski, widely-known as the Unabomber, detonated 16 bombs killing three people and injuring 23 more.

He was mostly known for sending bombs through the postal service and targeting universities and airplanes – hence the name, UNAbomber.

He lived in the wilderness escaping the FBI’s radar for years until a profiler named Jim Fitzgerald (played by Sam Worthington in the series), started looking into the case.

Fitzgerald was brand new to profiling but he became convinced the FBI’s current profile of the suspect, who they believed was responsible for the bombings, was completely wrong.

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The rest of the FBI task force, with its decades of experience and years of working on this specific case, were reluctant to listen to someone who was so new to the profession.

But Fitzgerald keep working, and digging, and presenting his case, until they finally listened to him.

He slowly and carefully put the pieces of the puzzle together until they revealed the man he was searching for.

Unlike the rest of the FBI, Fitzgerald believed the Unabomber was university-educated at a PhD level, that he was highly intelligent, and that he would be living as a loner on the outskirts of society.

The Unabomber then sent a 35,000-word, anti-technology manifesto to the Washington Post and New York Times, threatening to blow up an airplane if they didn’t publish it.

manhunt unabomber netflix series
Image via Netflix.

While the rest of the taskforce believed they shouldn't cave to the Unabomber's demands, Fitzgerald thought that's exactly what they needed to do to catch him.

He believed the key to tracking down the Unabomber lied in analysing the language he used in his manifesto, thinking there would be language clues in the manifesto which would reveal the type of person - or even the specific person - who wrote it.


He was right.

After the FBI released the manifesto to the public in September 1995, Kaczynski's own brother came forward and named him as a possible suspect.

The FBI honed in on Kaczynski, slowly and carefully making their case, and eventually apprehending and charging him, ending one of the longest manhunts in FBI history.

They found Kaczynski in his cabin in rural Montana, where he had been living as a hermit after abandoning his promising career as a mathematician.

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He is now serving life a sentence without parole.

You'll probably know the basics of this story going into Manhunt: Unabomber. 

But that's what makes the series - a fictionalised account of the story - so interesting. It's a mystery that you already know the answer to, but it keeps you intrigued for all eight episodes nonetheless.

While you may know who Ted Kaczynski is, you probably don't know what made him into the monster he became. All the little events that shaped the man who decided to live a life of solitude and dedicate himself to a greater cause that ultimately achieved nothing but the pointless deaths of innocent people.

And you probably know very little about the man who gave up years of his life, and his most important relationships, to track Kaczynski down.

Manhunt: Unabomber is the kind of TV show that just makes you feel smarter from watching it. All eight episodes are available to stream on Netflix now.

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