Since the mid '90s, the last name Kaczynski often has been associated with domestic terrorism. Ted Kaczynski had spent 17 years anonymously mailing homemade bombs to various companies and individuals involved in modern technology, injuring 23 victims and killing three others. The "Unabomber" was finally caught in 1996, after one individual tipped off the FBI that Ted may be the one responsible for the heinous crimes. That individual was Ted's younger brother, David.
As David tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" in the above video, having Kaczynski as a last name has been difficult since his brother's very public takedown and arrest. It's as if shadows have followed David in that aftermath, reminding him and everyone else of Ted's violent legacy.
With Ted now 17 years into his term of eight life sentences, David says that he has been able to find ways to let light into those shadows, specifically by opening up his life to some of Ted's surviving victims.
"Some of the friendships that I never would have had without this experience have been very, very meaningful to me," David says.
One particular friendship that has special meaning is David's bond with Gary Wright, a man injured just a year after the Unabomber's first fatality. In 1987, Gary was the owner of a computer maintenance company targeted by Ted, whose bomb sent more than 200 pieces of shrapnel into Gary's body and severed nerves in his left arm. As traumatic as the incident was, it eventually brought David and Gary together in genuine friendship.
"Gary and I are very good friends," David says. "We live on opposite coasts, unfortunately, but we get together when we can."
The two have become so close, he adds, that they almost feel like family.
"It's almost a little bit like I have a brother in Gary," David says.
As for his brother Ted, David says that despite his reaching out to Ted in prison, they haven't spoken since Ted's arrest. However, if Ted were to change his mind and decide to see David, David wouldn't even hesitate to visit the U.S. Penitentiary housing his brother.
"I would go at the drop of a hat," he says.
"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.
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