The Ivy League School The Unabomber Graduated From May Surprise You

Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, was born in 1942. He displayed intelligence as a young child and even skipped two grades in his early school years, although he was described as a loner. At just 16 years old, Kaczynski was awarded a scholarship to attend Harvard University, and as expected, he excelled in his studies. Kaczynski graduated from Harvard in 1962 with a degree in mathematics, and from there, he pursued further studies at the University of Michigan and earned his master's and doctorate degrees. According to History, Kaczynski was just 25 years old by the time he completed his studies. He worked as an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley in 1967, but he resigned just a couple of years after.

Kaczynski decided that he wanted to live in isolation. It was in 1971 when he constructed a cabin in the woods in Montana. He learned to survive on his own and earned money by doing odd jobs and getting monetary support from his family. Kaczynski caught the FBI's attention in 1978 when a homemade bomb was sent to a university in Chicago. Over the years, Kaczynski sent a total of 16 bombs to schools, businesses, and other locations. A few people were killed and several were injured by the blasts. Back then, Kaczynski's identity wasn't known, and the media dubbed the culprit as the Unabomber, per the FBI. He was finally arrested in 1996 after a 17-year manhunt and was sentenced to life in prison.

Did a Harvard experiment affect the Unabomber?

Ted Kaczynski was part of a psychological experiment during his sophomore year at Harvard when he was just 17 years old. In 1959, Dr. Henry Murray conducted a three-year-long experiment with 22 undergraduates as subjects, and one of them was Kaczynski. They were instructed to establish their life philosophies, and they were then pitted against one another to debate their ideas, as reported by Mental Floss. During the debate, the subjects were seated on chairs, and electrodes were attached to them. The subjects weren't aware that they were debating with a law student who was told to challenge the philosophies of the subjects. They were intensely interrogated as well. The purpose of the research was to assess how the subjects reacted to a stressful situation. Per The Atlantic, Dr. Murray himself described it as "vehement, sweeping, and personally abusive."

Kaczynski wrote a 35,000-word manifesto titled "Industrial Society and Its Future" that he sent to the New York Times and The Washington Post prior to being identified as the Unabomber. In it, he stated that the Industrial Revolution has had a debilitating effect on the human race. Many believe it was the Harvard study that pushed Kaczynski to his breaking point, and psychologists who testified for the defense said that the Unabomber had paranoid schizophrenia. The real answer may never be known, as Kaczynski's files from the experiment are sealed for confidentiality reasons, per Dr. Murray's camp.