The gripping conclusion to the capture and trial of Ted Kaczynski airs tonight on the last episode of Discovery’s Manhunt: Unabomber.
In our exclusive clip below we see exactly how FBI Agent and Criminal Profiler Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald got Kaczynski to plead guilty.
It was the realization that the wood cabin where Kaczynski lived as a hermit in Montana — now stored as evidence in an Air Force warehouse — was going to be used by his own legal team to prove he was insane.
Kaczynski eventually plead guilty to the 16 bombings from 1978 to 1995, which killed three people and injured 23 others. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1998.
Yet it was not an easy road for law enforcement. Kaczynski, played by Paul Bettany in the series, was able to outsmart and foil the FBI for years.
The savvy of Fitz (Sam Worthington) as a linguistic and detective profiler, combined with his unorthodox methodology — which flew in the face of FBI protocol at times — was how the Unabomber was eventually convicted.
The events in the clip below take place in 1997, as Kaczynski worked hard to invalidate the evidence Fitz had compiled against him, but ultimately failed.
Fitz appealed to Kaczynski to plead guilty, which Kaczynski fought.
The alternative, which Fitz found out, was an insanity plea being cooked up by Kaczynski’s lawyers.
With Fitz’s help, Kaczynski learned his lawyer Judy Clarke and other attorneys were acting against his wishes by transporting his cabin to a warehouse to use as evidence proving he was insane.
Kaczynski learned a guilty plea was the only way his manifesto would not be deemed the ramblings of an “insane” criminal and stay relevant.
For him, the insanity outcome was far worse.
After losing his first bid to throw out Fitz’s evidence and learning his lawyers were conspiring, a despondent Kaczynski tried to hang himself in his cell.
Surviving the suicide attempt, he pled guilty to the UNABOM crimes.
It was at his trial sentencing phase that Kaczynski’s victims and their survivors recounted their side of his attacks.
These emotional stories seemingly affected Kaczynski, who was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment in a maximum security federal prison.
After this laborious and lengthy case wrapped up, Fitz was finally recognized for his role in Kaczynski’s capture and he was able to reunite with Stanford linguistics expert Natalie Rogers (Lynn Collins).
All seemed well for Fitz and Natalie, who as the series draws to a close have a future together planned. However, the words of Kaczynski’s future predictions haunt them still…
The season finale of Manhunt: Unabomber airs tonight at 10pm ET/PT on Discovery.