FBI Preps Unabomber Papers

Kaczynski documents readied for auction with X-Acto knife

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FBI To Cut Up Unabomber Papers

MAY 11--X-Acto knives in hand, FBI employees are poised to manually redact a mountain of documents--20,000 pages of which are handwritten--that were seized from the Montana cabin of Ted Kaczynski, the convicted Unabomber.

In August 2006, a federal judge ordered that the killer's papers be auctioned, with the proceeds being used to pay restitution to victims of the deadly bombing spree. That online sale was stayed while Kaczynski appealed Judge Garland Burrell, Jr.'s ruling, which was affirmed last year by the Court of Appeals. Since then, FBI officials have been processing Kaczynski's documents in advance of forwarding them to an auctioneer selected by the United States Marshals Service.

However, before the Kaczynski material can be sold, FBI workers will have to manually cut out portions of the documents containing material that Burrell has ordered removed from the documents (such as the names of victims and their families, and bomb-making instructions). According to a May 10 status report filed in U.S. District Court, prosecutors reported that 'the safest method to redact an original document with minimal defacing is via extraction, i.e., by cutting the document.' The X-Acto redactions--likely a first for the bureau--will take FBI workers about 60 days.

It is unclear how extensive those extractions will be, or if some of the jailed-for-life lunatic's writings, like his infamous manifesto, could end up resembling paper dolls or Swiss cheese. (4 pages)