On November 19, 2014, the Eastern District Historical Society, in conjunction with the Sacramento Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, hosted a panel discussion on the so-called Unabomber case, indisputably one of the two most widely publicized cases to be brought in the Eastern District of California to date.
The panel, moderated by Senior Judge William B. Shubb, consisted of Terry Turchie, a Special Agent for the FBI for 35 years, who was the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Unabomb Task force, and co- author of "Unabomber, How the FBI Broke Its Own Rules to Capture the Terrorist Ted Kaczynski"; Gary Wright, a victim of the Unabomber's 12th bomb attack; Judge Robert Stephen Lapham, who as an Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California was a member of the prosecution team; and Quin Denvir, who was the Federal Defender for this district and served as Kaczynski's defense attorney in the case.
The discussion includes, among other things, who the FBI managed the investigation of such serious crimes extending over such a lengthy period of time and such a vast geographical area; the effect those crimes had on their victims; why and how the decision was made to allow the publication of the Unabomber's manifesto and what effect that decision had on the success of the investigation; what was involved in seeking and obtaining a search warrant; who the decision was made to bring the prosecution here in the Eastern District of California; the prosecution and defense strategies, and how the case abruptly concluded in the defendant's agreement to plead guilty in exchange for the government's promise not to seek the death penalty..
The district's other most publicized case, United States v. Squeaky Fromme, was the subject of an earlier panel presentation, which is profiled here on this webpage, and the C-SPAN version can also be viewed here.
The Eastern District Historical Society was incorporated on February 9, 2001 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation for the purpose of preserving the history of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Membership is open to all interested persons.
© 2013 United States District Court for the Eastern District of California Historical Society.