In 1982, seven people in the Chicago area died after taking Tylenol capsules that had been poisoned with potassium cyanide. The case has never been solved. Now, though, the FBI has a new person of interest in the case: Theodore Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber.
Evidently, the FBI has some partial DNA profiles connected to the Tylenol case, and it has requested a DNA sample from Kaczynski, who killed three people and injured 23 others with mail bombs between 1978 and 1995. Kaczynski's now serving a life sentence at a supermax prison in Colorado. In a motion filed in federal court on May 9, CNN reports, Kaczynski explained that he'd be willing to provide a DNA sample "if the FBI would satisfy a certain condition that is not relevant here."
Kaczynski says he's never used potassium cyanide, and had nothing to do with the Tylenol poisonings. He's open to cooperating with the feds, he says, because he's got the greater good in mind:
Even on the assumption that the FBI is entirely honest (an assumption I'm unwilling to make), partial DNA profiles can throw suspicion on persons who are entirely innocent. For example, such profiles can show that 5%, or 3%, or 1% of Americans have the same partial profile as the person who committed a certain crime. If it happens by chance that I fit one of the partial DNA profiles that the FBI has in relation to the 1982 cyanide incident, then it will be not only to my advantage, but to the advantage of society in general, to resolve correctly the question of any putative connection between me and the cyanide incident.
Everyone's the hero of their own story, we guess.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.