The mother of Theodore Kaczynski says she still can't comprehend that he could be the Unabomber as authorities suspect, but she supports another son's decision to turn him into the FBI.
"I just can't convince myself that he could've done it," Wanda Kaczynski, 79, of Scotia, N.Y., told The Washington Post in her first interview since her elder son was arrested on April 3 at his Montana cabin.Theodore Kaczynski, 54, has been charged only with possession of bomb components and not with any of the Unabomber attacks, which killed three people and injured 23 in nine states. He was turned in to authorities by his brother David, 46.
"I ponder endlessly over it," Wanda Kaczynski was quoted in the Post's Sunday editions. "What could I have done to keep him out of the wilderness? What could I have done to give him a happier life? And yet there were so many happy, wonderful times with the family. I just don't, I just don't know."
One particular episode from young Theodore's life haunts her: seeing him restrained on a Chicago hospital bed at age 9 months, his eyes crossed in fright, while doctors photographed an unusual case of hives that kept him hospitalized and isolated from his mother for a week.
She recalls he would not look at her when she arrived for the one visit allowed that week. And how the infant would not look at her when she returned to take him home.
When he was 4, the family pediatrician showed mother and son the photograph in the file of the baby pinned to the bed.
"Ted glanced at it and he looked away," she recalled. "He refused to look at it anymore. And I thought, `Oh my God, he's having the same feelings that he had when he was held down that way."
Now, she worries about David and Theodore - Theodore for whatever lies ahead and David for any guilt he might feel about turning his brother in to the FBI.
He told his mother what he was doing on March 23.
"At first I said, `It can't be,"' she recalled. "`It can't be Ted. First of all, he didn't have the money for all that traveling. And secondly, he hates to travel. And thirdly, I can't conceive of him doing anything like that. He's never been violent all his life."'
David cried and paced and told his mother he was sorry, they recalled.
"She immediately got up from her chair and hugged me and said that she felt just awful for what I'd gone through," David told the Post. "And I can't tell you what a rush of gratitude I felt toward her in that moment."