10 Biggest Manhunts of All Time

Ted Kaczynski
Ted Kaczynski sits and smiles during an interview in a visiting room at the Federal ADX Supermax prison in Florence, Colo., 1999. Stephen J. Dubner/Getty Images

The 18-year manhunt for Ted Kaczynski was one of the lengthiest in U.S. history, one that began in 1978 when Kaczynski, known as the "Unabomber," mailed the first of 16 bombs to U.S. destinations. The homemade explosives he mailed until 1995 murdered three people and wounded 23 more, prompting the FBI to offer a $1 million reward and develop a psychological profile that was found (after the fact) to be stunningly accurate.

Unfortunately, Kaczynski was an expert at evading capture. He maintained a low profile at an isolated log cabin in Montana, emerging only to fire off the occasional manifesto to the media. It was one of these wordy declarations that finally led police to his doorstep.

In 1995, Kaczynski's brother happened to read the anonymous letters published in The New York Times and the Washington Post, recognized his sibling's style of writing and alerted the authorities. After Kaczynski's April 3, 1996, arrest, he was convicted of his crimes and continues to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole [source: White].