The Texas Bomber Who Wrote To The Unabomber For Advice

According to NBC 5 Dallas Fort Worth, in 2015, then-35-year-old Texas resident Anson Chi was sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison for plotting to blow up a natural gas pipeline near Plano, Texas. That verdict was reached as part of a deal with Chi in exchange for a guilty plea to two of the four charges against him. As was revealed in the Chi investigation, his 2013 plan to blow up the Atmos Energy natural gas pipeline in Plano was inspired, at least in part, by the crimes of Ted Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber.

At the time of Chi's sentencing, Kaczynski was serving a life sentence at a maximum security prison in Colorado for killing three people and injuring more than twenty with untraceable explosive packages sent through the mail (via the FBI). Those attacks began in the late 1970s and lasted through 1995. After a nationwide manhunt, Kacynski was identified as the Unabomber while living in a primitive cabin in the Montana wilderness. As Reuters notes, Chi shared an interest in explosives with Kaczynski, but Chi also had an affinity for the Unabomber's anti-technological philosophy.

Chi first wrote to Kaczynski in 2011

Per Reuters, Chi first wrote to Kaczynski in 2011. As the Austin American-Statesman explained, Chi expressed to Kaczynski an interest in building a website to further promote and support Kacynski's anti-technology manifesto. By 1995, the federal investigation into the bomb attacks turned up few leads. Kaczynski's writing was published in The Washington Post in an effort for the FBI to track him down (per the FBI). In the lengthy essay, Kaczynski outlined his belief that the Industrial Revolution had been an overall negative development for the human race and the natural world.

Also, in his writings, Kaczynski called for widespread revolution from humanity against all further technological advancement. It was through linguistic analysis of the Unabomber's published manifesto that Kaczynski was finally caught. According to the American-Statesmen, in 2011, Chi wrote to Kaczynski while he was in prison, "You're a true inspiration to me and I vow not to let the sacrifices that you've made go to waste." And to Chi's inquiry about a website, Kaczynski wrote, "What the hell do you think I've been trying to do for the last fifteen years!!!!?"

Kaczynski told Chi to stop contacting him

After the first contact was made between Chi and Kaczynski, they continued to communicate and even exchanged design ideas for a website, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Eventually, Kaczynski cut-off contact, explaining that anyone writing as Chi did to an inmate at a maximum security prison must live with mental health challenges. Kaczynski told Chi to stop writing to him and to see a psychiatrist.

Kaczynski wrote, "I will have nothing further to do with you under any circumstances whatever," as he also referred to Chi as irrational. Chi was injured in the Texas natural gas pipeline blast, based on NBC 5 Dallas Fort Worth reporting. His homemade bomb caused a small explosion at the facility but failed to destroy the pipeline. At first, Chi confessed to the crime but later withdrew his confession. According to Chi, the pipeline bombing was not a terrorist attack but instead an attempt to test the bomb he constructed.