Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family – David Kaczynski

From the Schlow Library:

Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber & His Family by David Kaczynski is exactly that. David, the younger brother of Ted, provides an intriguing view that only he can from inside the family that produced the Unabomber who terrorized the US for over 15 years with homemade bombs that killed three and injured nearly two dozen others.

Rather than a scientific study of Ted’s dissent into mental illness-induced madness, though, Every Last Tie reads more like a well-written, thoughtful therapy journal. David starts at the beginning with the brothers’ typical suburban childhood as he explores the relationships among all four members in the Kaczynski family and continues through Ted’s estrangement, their father’s suicide, and their mother’s death from cancer.

Hindsight being 20/20, the author now realizes there were signs of his older brother’s mental illness that were misinterpreted or denied by a family whose first concern, of course, was the happiness of a brilliant, tortured soul. The parallels between the two brothers’ lives cannot be refuted, but, due to the very different ways they responded to events, one is happily married dealing with the psychological ramifications of the other spending his life in prison for murder.

An afterword by a forensic scientist discussing the current challenges of the mental health system provides a more clinical view for those who are interested.

Every Last Tie is a fascinating account, especially for anyone with siblings who has ever wondered how children born of and raised by the same parents can turn out so very differently.