Utah is still fertile ground for leads in the "Unabom" case - a grisly murder mystery that has frustrated law enforcement officers for 16 years.

Members of a local investigative team are tracking down at least three new leads related to the bombing of a New Jersey advertising executive Saturday, said Don Bell, a Salt Lake police sergeant assigned to the team.No arrests have been made, and Bell would not characterize the nature of the leads. However, he said they came directly from the FBI's "Unabom" Task Force in San Fran-cis-co.

The local group works under the supervision of the San Francisco task force and is composed of representatives from the Salt Lake City offices of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspector and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Officers from Salt Lake City, the University of Utah and Brigham Young University police departments are also members.

The team has met on and off since a bomb critically injured a Salt Lake computer store owner in 1987, becoming the only "Unabom" incident to generate an artist's sketch of the suspect. Members have gathered twice this week to discuss the leads.

In the months following the 1987 explosion, the local group hosted more than 160 federal agents who whittled about 100 Utah-based leads to six suspects, none of whom has been completely cleared to this day, Bell said.

The Deseret News has learned that one of those suspects is a 35-year-old Salt Lake-area man, but has decided not to publish his identity.

In an interview at his home Thursday, the man talked openly about three separate interrogations he underwent in the days after the 1987 bombing. He denied involvement with any bombings, whether related to "Unabom" or not.

"You're just scaring the hell out of me," he said after the Deseret News explained its purpose for the interview. "I can only imagine . . . they're so hot to get somebody for this."

The man believes he first became a suspect because a friend called authorities claiming he fit the physical profile of a suspect seen at the computer store.

He does look like the box-carrying man described by witnesses on the morning of Feb. 20, 1987: Caucasian, about 6-feet tall, blond hair with reddish tint, light mustache and 25 to 30 years old (at the time) and about 175 pounds.

And he acknowledges that some of his habits may fit a psychological profile of the bomber. "Keeps lists? Yes, I'm very organized. I've got quite a few records of a lot of things," he said.

While the man's record-keeping may be meticulous, his home - typically suburban - was not.

Hand-drawn Christmas cards were strewn on the kitchen counter and stacks of books teetered elsewhere. Chihuahua dogs, some with red ribbons around their necks, skittered around the home but piled quickly onto a low couch when the man snapped his fingers and barked commands in Spanish.

He was dressed in faded Levi's, clean white socks and a green T-shirt speckled with what appeared to be paint or pottery clay. His light, reddish beard was trimmed neatly.

He says he has a mining engineering degree from the University of Utah and "multiple" other degrees. "I'm mostly self-educated . . . I didn't know that (the bomber was considered by many to be well-educated) and in that respect, I'm flattered."

Talking frankly, it appeared the man almost enjoyed his part in the intriguing story of a serial bomber who has disguised his deadly packages as cigar boxes and novels with titles like "Ice Brothers" by Sloan Wilson.

But he says he wasn't amused in 1987 when the FBI and postal inspectors started knocking on his door. And now he's worried it will start all over again.

"I was very cooperative at the beginning. I didn't have anything to hide. But on the second interview . . . it was like the first ones had never talked to the second ones, which concerned me. And I wasn't quite so cooperative."

By the third contact, he said he was so angry that he hung up on an agent requesting another interview.

"I'm not the `Unabomber,' and I told them that then. In some respects, it makes my life very interesting, but it's not worth it. I just expect a knock on the door anytime now that you've been here."

He said agents last contacted him in the fall of 1987 and believes whatever trail they might have been following ended after they checked travel records at his work.

At the time of the '87 bombing, the man traveled "extensively" for his employer, he said. "That's what finally got them off my back. I told them to check my time and travel records and I never heard from them again."

He married in late 1987 but was divorced last year, although he and his ex-wife have recently reconciled. He is self-employed as a consultant.

Neither Bell nor the FBI will confirm whether the man is still being actively investigated. Bell did say that all the leads, including the six suspects left over from the exhaustive efforts of 1987 - though not entirely ruled out - were followed to their "very ends."