David Kaczynski is the past Executive Director of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located in Woodstock, New York. An anti–death penalty activist, Kaczynski served as the Executive Director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty from 2001 to 2012 and has given hundreds of public talks throughout the United States about mental illness, the death penalty, and healing in the aftermath of tragic violence. He is also the author of the poetry chapbook
James L. Knoll IV, MD is the Director of Forensic Psychiatry and Professor of Psychiatry at State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has served as a consulting forensic expert for the ACLU, as well as for many law enforcement agencies including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice.
This chapter is a portrait of Wanda Kaczynski, mother of Theodore and David Kaczynski, from her humble beginnings in a Polish American immigrant family until her death in 2011 at the age of ninety-four. Included are descriptions of her meeting with the FBI in connection with the Unabomber case, her attendance at Theodore’s federal death penalty trial in Sacramento, California, and her encounter with murder victim family members in the aftermath of her son’s trial. The chapter describes how Wanda embraced and embodied motherhood despite extraordinary challenges arising from her child’s mental illness and his eventual arrest as a serial killer after being turned in to the FBI by his brother, David.