The Unabomber was a “criminal mastermind” who went to extraordinary lengths to erase any trace of physical evidence within his explosives. He ripped the skins off batteries to make them untraceable. He also avoided commercial glue and instead made his own epoxy by melting down deer hooves
After the Unabomber demanded in 1995 that his manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future, be published in a major newspaper as a condition for ceasing his mail-bomb campaign, The New York Times and The Washington Post published the manifesto, hoping somebody would recognize the writing style of the author.
David Kaczynski (Unabomber’s brother) recognized Ted’s writing style, and the criminal defense lawyer he hired notified authorities.
On April 3, 1996, police arrested Ted in his rural cabin in Lincoln, Montana. David had received assurance from the FBI that his identity as the informant would be kept secret, but his name was leaked to the media. In addition, he sought a guarantee from federal prosecutors that Ted would receive appropriate psychiatric evaluation and treatment.
The Justice Department’s subsequent active pursuit of the death penalty for Ted, and Attorney General Janet Reno’s initial refusal to accept a plea bargain in exchange for a life sentence, was seen by Kaczynski and other members of his family as a betrayal.
Such a plea bargain was eventually reached, and Ted was sentenced to serve life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.
David Kaczynski has since said that the decision to report his brother was painful but he felt morally compelled to do so.
David Kaczynski received a $1 million reward) posted by the FBI for the Unabomber’s capture. The reward was funded by a Congressional appropriation for the Department of Justice and was, at the time, one of the largest rewards issued in a domestic case. Kaczynski told the Associated Press that he planned to distribute the majority of the reward money to the bombing victims and their families, adding that this "might help us resolve our grief over what happened.