The Solo Crusader: Theodore Kaczynski and Timothy McVeigh

  • Tonya M. DeSa
  • Kevin E. McCarthy

Hacker (1976) categorized terrorists as criminals, crusaders, or crazies. Two of America’s most infamous homegrown terrorists, Theodore Kaczynski and Timothy McVeigh, occupied Hacker’s crusader category because they believed that their actions were for the greater good of their respective causes. Both were loners. McVeigh largely plotted and conducted his single bombing on his own, and Kaczynski lived in a hermit’s isolation during his long bombing campaign. Both espoused radical political philosophies – McVeigh described himself as being on the “far right” and Kaczynski as being on the “far left” (“McVeigh Vents,” 2001). This chapter examines their backgrounds and their terrorist acts. Law enforcement responses will be reviewed, along with the prosecutions that yielded very different results. The chapter ends with analysis and suggested countermeasures.


Death Penalty Task Force Ammonium Nitrate Oklahoma City Insanity Defense 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tonya M. DeSa
    • 1
  • Kevin E. McCarthy
    • 1
  1. 1.City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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