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.
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.