Monday, June 09, 2008

Unabomber's brother, victim forge unique friendship

(...) It was [David] Kaczynski's brother, Ted, who tried to kill [Gary] Wright with a bomb outside his Utah office in 1987. The blast sent him flying through the air, and more than 200 pieces of shrapnel tore into his body, some shards severing nerves in his left arm.

But David Kaczynski [right] and Wright [left] have forged the type of bond that has taken them canoeing in the Adirondacks together and touring the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. They also travel the nation for speaking engagements about pain and reconciliation.

"He helped me see that I could reconnect," Kaczynski said. "There was hope that things would get better and not worse. Gary was, in some sense, my psychological lifeline through this terrible ordeal." (...)

Wright was the Unabomber's 11th victim.(...)

When (David) Kaczynski and Wright finally spoke by phone, Kaczynski offered his apologies and then braced himself for Wright to lash out in anger.

"It's not your fault," Wright recalls telling Kaczynski. "You really don't have to carry that [burden]." (...)

The two men didn't know it at the time, but it was the beginning of their unlikely friendship.(...)

"I have learned things that no other victim of these set of crimes will ever know, and it's because of that relationship," Wright said. "There's more knowing you have a good family that raised this person [Ted] and that one person inside the family doesn't define the whole family."

They say that after their initial conversation, the phone calls became more frequent. Their families soon met. In fact, Wright traveled to New York and met David Kaczynski's mother and sat down in her living room, thumbing through family photo albums, looking at the childhood pictures and hearing stories of the boy who would become the Unabomber, the very man who tried to kill him.

"I've been able to see things, see photos that were outside of the norm," Wright said. "See a family that was a family unit before something went wrong."

In 1999, Wright and Kaczynski started traveling the country together telling their story. Thousands of miles on the road have developed a brotherhood born of tragedy. They admit their relationship is unique.

"There is a lot of pain for me with the word 'brother,' a lot of emotion," Kaczynski said. "But I see Gary as my brother."

Wright added, "I don't take that lightly, either. I don't use that word, 'brother,' lightly."

Kaczynski says Wright has not replaced Ted as his older brother, but Wright has clearly filled in.(...)

Story taken from Please follow link to read the complete article.

Additional Note: David and Gary were both on the 2005 Texas Journey of Hope

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