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A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book III – The (First Ten) FBI Years

By
James R. Fitzgerald

Bonus Chapter 20B - Manhunt: Unabomber; The making of a mini-series and the “unmaking” of
a few retired FBI agents.

There’s this website called “Tickle the Wire” (TtW). In early August of 2017, shortly after the

two-hour premiere of Discovery Channel’s scripted mini-series Manhunt: Unabomber, a peculiar

blog posting found its way on to it. It was very critical of Manhunt - and specifically me.

Interestingly enough, it was written by a retired FBI agent. I didn’t know him, I had never even

heard of him before, but what he wrote about me and my role in the actual Unabom investigation

was virtually all untrue. I wanted to address it and him right then and there with my own

response in the media, but upon advice from others, I didn’t. The reasoning for this decision will

be forthcoming.

Also, there’s this online listserv of retired FBI agents. At any given time, there are in excess of

1,000 retired agents on it, with a few of its members who are still “on the job” as active, working

Bureau agents. The list’s moderator posts news articles relevant to the FBI and law enforcement

in general and some of the list’s members comment on them. (The above referenced TtW

blog/article was dutifully posted by the moderator a few days after it went online.)

Sometimes the retired agents on this list bring up other topics of interest and an online discussion

will ensue regarding them. The topics and issues are generally benign, especially as partisan

politics is forbidden on the list. Most who subscribe to this list are “lurkers,” meaning they

rarely, if ever, actually post anything. I would fall into that category. However, there’s one
retired agent who posts virtually every day of the week - sometimes even twice in the same day.

There have been long online chats about whether he should be banned or not from the list

because of his many inane ramblings about, well, nothing, or at least what some other members

have considered nothing of importance or relevance in his daily postings. It was decided after a

week-long online debate about a year ago that this everyday poster would be permitted to stay on

the list and continue to do his thing with the provision that anyone, upon seeing his name as the

contributor, could immediately hit the “Delete” button on their keyboard. Whatever…

Well, in late July of ’17, before Manhunt even premiered, this ubiquitous online FBI retiree

decided to post about the upcoming mini-series and how it was “100% fictitious” as it related to

the actual Unabom investigation. From watching the series’ trailer alone, it seemingly upset him

that the character “Fitz” was being portrayed in a certain form and manner, other characters in

the series were being portrayed in certain forms and manners and differently than what was

“real” and/or what he preferred, that these characters’ names were changed from the “real”

Unabom investigators’ names, and that the series wasn’t more like a documentary, illustrating

the “facts” of the Unabom case, and nothing but the “facts.”

After some initial reluctance, I decided to politely respond in my own post to the FBI list and this

particular poster. In it, I summarized how the whole TV project came about, that it’s a scripted

mini-series, it takes some literary license, there are composite characters, there is compressed

time, and most importantly, that it is NOT a documentary. I even encouraged him and the other

members to not watch it if it bothered them, much like others previously advised hitting the

delete button when seeing this guy’s everyday posts among their emails.

As it turned out, no one else on the list seemed to care about the original post or my follow-up

post, or if they did, they didn’t respond as such on the list for the rest of us to read. I was fine
with that and the matter seemed to go away. Well, that is, until the TtW blog posting a week-

plus later. Then the ubiquitous poster was even more…well, ubiquitous. Again, I decided to let

it go, for reasons to be described a bit later here.

Then, in mid-September, for some inexplicable reason, as Manhunt concluded its U.S. television

run, this issue came up yet again on the FBI listserv, started as usual by the everyday poster. It

surprised me that in another post that same morning even the list moderator had taken it upon

himself to cut and paste alleged “facts” (and wrongful ones at that) about me from the TtW

article in his short message to the list.

I knew then I had to respond, and to everyone on the list. So, I did with a long post to the FBI

retired agents list. Then, I decided I should convert the post into a JCM-Book III Bonus Chapter.

So, I did. You’re reading it now.

Below is the exact post I sent to the list. In it, I summarize the early development/creation of

Manhunt: Unabomber by me and my friend and fellow retired FBI profiler Jim Clemente, the

late July listserv posts, and the early August TtW article. At the very beginning of it, I thank two

retired FBI agents, John Winslow and Mike Pizzio. Both of them stood up for me in separate

posts from the not-so-subtle denunciations coming my way in mid-September on the list, and

even before that in earlier posts and the TtW article. Needless to say, I wanted to thank them up

front in my post. (For the record, I knew John Winslow from my New York City days, but I

don’t believe I ever met Mike Pizzio.)

So, here’s my post to the retired FBI agent listserv. It went online September 20, 2017. It

should be self-explanatory to the reader. I include a very brief follow-up at the end of it.
Thanks John and Mike, I appreciate your common-sense and logical approach to the tempest-in-

a-teapot response to the Manhunt: Unabomber mini-series - at least by a few people on this list.

I wrote most of this post in mid-August, but held off putting it on the listserv. I explain why a

few screens from here. But now I think it’s time.

A warning in advance…this just recently updated post is a long one. But it’s important for me to

clear up some recent misinformation which has been posted/written about me. Read all of it,

some of it, or delete it as you deem appropriate. However, you may actually find it interesting to

read about the development of a major TV mini-series from scratch by a couple of Hollywood

rookies (who happened to be retired FBI agents), their honest and noble intentions to make their

former agency look great, what can go right, what can go wrong, and the subsequent reaction by

a few people who just don’t seem to get it. Or, they do get it but there’s some sort of hidden

agenda behind what they’re doing. I’ll let the reader decide on that last part…

I was really going to let this whole rather silly topic go away and not bother to correct some of

the alleged “facts” (if not actual lies) which have recently been put forth regarding my role in the

Unabom investigation. However, after reading yet additional posts on this listserv over this past

weekend in which these same wrongful “facts” were being regurgitated yet again by a few as

seemingly gospel and the undisputed truth, I feel it is now necessary to dispute them once and for

all. Again, why I didn’t do it sooner will be explained a bit later in this post.

So, for one last time I want to set the record straight regarding my role in the REAL Unabom

investigation and my role in the REEL version, Manhunt: Unabomber.
Beginning with a recap and in mostly chronological order…

Starting shortly after I retired in ’07, Jim Clemente (NY/WF/CIRG; ’87-’09) and I got together

in our spare time and decided to attempt to tell the story of the Unabom investigation for

possibly some sort of a future movie or TV mini-series. Jim and I first met at the FBI Academy

in Class 88-2 and we’ve been great friends ever since. Besides having been an excellent FBI

agent, Jim is also creative, an excellent writer, and I knew he would make a great story-telling

partner in this venture.

As I was the first member of the Unabom Task Force (UTF) to ever formally publish anything

about the case (i.e., Chapter 14, “Using Forensic Linguistics to Track the Unabomber,” in

Profilers, an edited book by Campbell and DeNevi, published in 2004 by Prometheus Press), and

had provided training since the late ‘90s around the US and the world about the textual

analysis/forensic linguistic techniques utilized in the Unabom case, I knew of the continued

nationwide, if not worldwide, interest in this matter. Clemente felt the same way and we decided

to begin the process of telling the story of the FBI’s success in eventually identifying and

convicting Ted Kaczynski.

A year or two later Jim and I brought in a professional LA-based writer, Tony Gittelson, to assist

us. The three of us came up with a compelling story together of how the FBI, as a TEAM, along

with two other agencies, worked to solve the Unabom case. Yes, the character of “Fitz” played

one of the several major roles in the script. That’s because in real life I did, in fact, play a major

role over an 11-month period at the UTF in assessing, analyzing, and actually supervising the

language analysis portion of the investigation, as well as updating the various profiles of our

UNSUB. My Comparative Analysis Project team (and we kept using the word “team” in the

early scripts) eventually helped identify and then confirm Ted Kaczynski as the Unabomber. In
our early script, many other actual UTF personnel were included, all very positively and using

their actual names, as the ongoing storyline portrayed agents and analysts from multiple agencies

working together to solve this 17-year old serial bomber case. It made for a great story because

it WAS a great story just as it actually happened, and we were telling it very accurately from the

start - to include that the case was solved with “teamwork.” That was our plan and we were

sticking with it.

Well, until it all changed on us…

Flashing ahead to early ’15, along with other studios and production companies, Clemente and

Gittelson pitched our script at the Discovery Channel HQ in LA. They loved the story right

away. If fit well into their future network plans, they said. They saw it as a 6 to 10-part mini-

series. Within a few weeks, they essentially bought the script and we all signed contracts.

Within a few more weeks, Clemente and Gittelson were essentially fired. A month or two after

that they hired a new writer. His name was Andrew Sodroski. The new writer, as talented as he

was, had very different ideas about the Unabom story and “Fitz’s” role in it.

While I was disturbed and upset that Clemente and Gittelson were no longer part of this mini-

series process, they both encouraged me to nonetheless stay on and tell the writer and his team

the story of the FBI’s capture of the Unabomber. So, that’s exactly what I did. During in-person

meetings, over the phone, and by email, I gave them the actual facts of the case, of

EVERYONE’S role in it (emphasizing that “team” concept again), using the relevant people’s

real names. I included what I did too, of course, but nothing more and nothing less. At my

insistence and Discovery’s approval, in June of ’16, I even reached out to a former UTF

management team member. I wanted one or more of them to possibly work with me on this

Discovery project. But, I was turned down by him as he/they had their own movie project they
were working on. (The last I heard, they are still working on it.) I told him I understood. So, it

was just me.

The new writer and by this time director (another talented man named Greg Yaitanes) along with

multiple executive producers, including actor Kevin Spacey (yes, also talented), then changed

the direction of the series and made my character, “Fitz,” the lone protagonist. They didn’t ask

me about this, they told me about it. I objected to this change, but I lost. I told them the UTF as

a whole should be the protagonist, if that’s at all possible. They were polite, they listened to me,

but they didn’t agree with me. Again, I lost.

At the beginning of this next-stage of script-writing process, in which I shared with them my

200+ slide Power Point presentation (“The Use of Forensic Linguistics in the Unabom

Investigation”), a copy of my 2004 Profilers chapter, videos of earlier media interviews of mine

regarding Unabom, and the outline of my upcoming book with its long, detailed chapter on the

Unabom case, they seemed to appreciate my honest and objective input. And, for the record

here, nowhere in any of these conversations, electronic communications, published or soon-to-be

published chapters or books, media accounts, references, asides, or anything similar, did I EVER

state I interviewed or spent any substantive one-on-one time with Ted Kaczynski. Why would I?

It never happened. If I didn’t write about it in my ’04 book chapter, or talk about it at training

venues, or discussed it in many past media interviews, why I would I invent it now just for this

series? It would have made zero-sense on my part and for myriad reasons.

But, the Discovery writer/director/exec producer team insisted on scenes with “Fitz” and “Ted”

together. I argued, I protested, at times with raised voice (mine), I didn’t respond to their phone

calls/emails for over a week at one point when they needed to run things by me, and I seriously

considered backing out of the whole project. In fact, I came very close to doing just that late last
year after I first read the eight finalized scripts. I even sent the money back to them that they had

previously paid me for my “life rights” as it pertained to this story. But then I was reminded by

my agent (of the Hollywood variety, not the FBI variety) that I had signed a contract. Oh

yeah…right. I then found myself in a conundrum unlike one I had ever faced before. Nothing

life threatening mind you (we’ve all had our share of those in law enforcement), but very

problematic nonetheless from both a personal and professional perspective.

The only compromise I could work out with the writer/director/EP regarding these specific

Fitz/Ted interview scenes was as follows. In ’07, before I retired, I was supposed to conduct an

interview of Kaczynski at the Supermax prison in Colorado. I had formally set it up months

before with the BOP. In advance, I had prepared at least 50 questions for Ted. However, the

interview fell through at the last minute when I was only 20 miles or so from the prison. Ted

was “busy” that day, the correctional officer told me over my cellphone. Whatever… Anyway,

in ’16 I gave the writer those questions from almost 10 years ago and to his credit SOME of

them were used in the various scenes of “Fitz” and “Ted” together. They based SOME of

“Ted’s” cinematic responses on his own writings which are now public source. But, once again

here, these interviews NEVER happened in real life and I NEVER told anyone that they did.

(Can I make that any clearer? I will, at least one more time before the end of this post.)

So, back to mid-summer of ’17…before Manhunt: Unabomber premiered on Aug. 1, and in

response to one of JW’s (the ubiquitous poster) many communiques, I pretty much laid out for

all to read in a July 29 post to the list, followed up by a post from Jim Clemente a day later,

about the aforementioned circumstances surrounding the then-upcoming mini-series. I thought

Clemente and I stated our cases well and that most folks on this list would understand the overall
situation, not to mention that this was a TV mini-series and NOT a documentary. (There’s a big

difference as we all know – or we should all know.)

I naively thought at the time that MAYBE these two posts would stem at least some of the in-

house criticism of how the Unabom story would be told over the next seven weeks in Manhunt.

Meaning, as with virtually every Hollywood movie/TV show “Based on True Events,” the

writers were going to take some factual liberties and use literary license whenever they deem it

appropriate. After all, they’re artists, they create stuff. And, as it turned out, Manhunt was no

exception. However, as I was soon to find out, Clemente and my early posts weren’t enough for

a few of the people among us to be satisfied. This could not stand by their way of thinking. No,

not at all.

And that’s when thing started getting really weird…

One night in early August, I was contacted by the Discovery Channel PR people. It was

sometime after the Manhunt two-hour premiere. Between a few phone calls and some emails, to

include the PR folks, the writer, the director, and the exec producer, an initial conversation took

place. In it, they asked me if I had ever heard of someone named Greg Stejskal. I told them

“No,” and asked them how I should know of him. They told me that he claimed to be a retired

FBI agent who worked on the Unabom case. I responded again that I never heard the name

before. When pressed even more I told them when I was assigned to the UTF for my three

separate TDYs over 11 months, I read just about every FBI report ever generated about the case,

or was at least familiar with most of them. And, as I told the Discovery people, I had reread all

of my many pages of UTF notes and various retained documents over the prior year while

writing my just-published book. However, I still didn’t recognize Stejskal’s name, I insisted, as

it wasn’t in any of these documents or even in other books about the Unabom case which I
occasionally referred to when writing my own book. Then I finally asked, “What’s this about,

anyway?” The PR person then told me that someone with the name Greg Stejskal had recently

posted a highly critical blog or an article of some sort on a website. It concerned the Manhunt

series…and me. They then sent it to me. Before long that evening, I read it.

In the first half of Stejskal’s article, I learned of his obvious dislike for the first episode of

Manhunt. Okay, I said to myself, that’s his prerogative, his choice. As I kept reading, he wrote

that Manhunt should somehow resemble either the ‘60s TV show The Untouchables, or the more

recent movie Spotlight, or both. Sort of an odd juxtaposition I recall thinking, especially as only

one or maybe two episodes (out of 7) of Manhunt had even aired as of yet, but again, that’s his

prerogative, his choice. As I continued reading his piece, I found myself genuinely not caring

one way or the other about his thoughts on the series. I assumed he had an “Off” button on his

remote, and he could remedy his issue with the series by simply pushing that button. However,

what I eventually did take exception to were Stejskal’s purported “facts” near the end of his

article which concerned my 11-month tenure at the UTF. That’s because he was wrong about

virtually everything he had written regarding that timeframe and my role in the Unabom

investigation.

To this day, I’m not exactly sure where Greg attained his “intel,” or what “sources” he had for

his article. Whatever or whoever they were, Stejskal or anyone else who uses these same sources

may want to reconsider their credibility and viability in the future because they, and he, were

demonstrably wrong, certainly as it applied to my time at the UTF and my contributions to the

successful conclusion of the Unabom investigation. I’ll come back to these issues shortly.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own

facts.” Stejskal’s own opinions regarding Manhunt itself were meaningless to me (after all, I
never even heard of the guy), but he had every right to hold them and even compose and publish

an article or blog post about them. However, his own alleged “facts” about me were

disconcerting, they were wrong, and he certainly had no “right” to them.

So, how do I handle this? What do I do?

Over the next day or so I discussed the matter of how to address this issue with friends, former

FBI colleagues, the Discovery people, and others. I told them I didn’t care at all if Stejskal

disliked the series. I wasn’t interested in trying to convince him otherwise. However, I told

them I did want to somehow address his blatant misstatements regarding my role in the Unabom

case itself. Thus, we kicked around a few ideas.

With the input of the above people, it was eventually decided that responding to this article/blog

entry was not really worth it at this point in time (early August). While I really wanted to clear

the air (and my name) and correct Stejskal’s untruths about me, at the same time the PR people

were telling me that this story was not getting “traction” or “legs” in the regular media. (They

know how to measure these things. It’s their job. They do it all the time.) In other words, it

wasn’t being picked up by other media outlets and no journalists or even other bloggers were

contacting Discovery asking anything about this story, or me, in relation to it. So, before long,

we collectively reached a decision. It was the right one, too. That being, to not turn this as-of-

now small, barely-read story into a possibly bigger, more-read story and give it and its author

any subsequent notoriety from me or Discovery by responding to it, and in effect, legitimizing it.

This, as apparently the article was going nowhere on its own. I eventually agreed with my

advisors, colleagues, and friends.
However, before we ended this relatively brief discussion, I insisted we develop a back-up plan.

The Discovery people agreed to it. The plan was put into place in the event an actual journalist

from a legit media outlet did read the Stejskal article and contacted Discovery or me regarding

these mistruths and wanted to do their own story. So, in the course of about 45 minutes, that’s

exactly what we did. We quickly learned that it was actually rather simple to dispute the article.

Our response to it, if ever needed, was to be divided into five parts. And, for at least three of

those parts, we let other people’s words do the talking.

Firstly, if contacted by media, we were of course going to readily acknowledge that the real

“Fitz” (that’s me) never actually interviewed Kaczynski. That was easy. In the recent past, I had

already advised the Manhunt people that even if they do include scenes where “Fitz” interviews

“Ted” at one or more points during the series, I (again, the real “Fitz”) would never say that I did

it in real life in any media interviews…because as they all knew from me, it never happened.

They concurred and naturally I never did say I interviewed Ted to anyone, media or not. So, in

terms of this one particular “fact” listed in Stejskal’s article, I’ll give him credit. He got it right.

His source was correct about this fact. (Although, he could have asked me or just read my new

book and learned the same thing.)

Secondly, Andrew Sodroski gave us a statement. It reads as follows:

“I'm Andrew Sodroski, the writer/creator of MANHUNT: UNABOMBER. I'm the one
who figured out how to turn the facts of the Unabom case into an emotional, compelling
TV drama. One of the ways I did this was by inventing a fictional plotline in which the
‘Fitz’ character interrogates Ted Kaczynski. I invented this story to bring our two lead
actors together face-to-face, and to hook the audience on the cat-and-mouse drama of
‘Fitz v. Ted.’ However, everyone involved knew this was a fictional device created
entirely by me.
The real Jim Fitzgerald never claimed to have interrogated Ted. He did not suggest that
this story be part of the show. In fact, he strenuously objected when he found out that we
were planning to include this plotline. We overruled his objections in the interests of
making a dramatically satisfying narrative. The entire team (Fitz included) has made it
clear in interviews, press, and publicity that the Fitz/Ted interrogations are fictional, part
of the dramatic license I needed to take to tell this story in an exciting, compelling way.
Jim Fitzgerald has always been a stickler for the facts; the dramatic licenses were entirely
my own.”

Thirdly, I went online and searched for the 1996 “Turchie Unabom Affidavit.” I found it in

seconds. I copied paragraph 110 and forwarded it to the PR people. Again, just in case some

journalist did contact them regarding this issue, they could forward the below paragraph to them.

It reads:

“110. The affiant has consulted with and reviewed the findings of FBI Supervisory
Special Agent James R. Fitzgerald, who has directed the comparative analysis of all of
Theodore Kaczynski's correspondence and documentation in a side-by-side comparison
of the UNABOM letters and 56 page manuscript entitled Industrial Society and Its
Future. Through this study SSA Fitzgerald has informed the affiant that the content,
context and writing style of Theodore Kaczynski's 6,374 word, 23-page, essay
(attachment 3) and the 34,649 word UNABOM manuscript (attachment 2) are very
similar. Some of those similarities are as follows:”

The next ten or so paragraphs in the affidavit consist of just a portion of the 600 textual

comparisons my team and I uncovered and codified between the writings of Ted Kaczynski and

the Unabomber. It turned out to be one of the key factors to getting the cabin search warrant

approved by the federal judge. So, if Discovery and/or I are contacted about the Stejskal article,

in the 1996 affidavit to search the Unabomber’s cabin, Turchie and the AUSA clearly write that I

“…directed the comparative analysis…” of all the Ted writings (175+ of them) and the Unabom

writings (14 of them, including the 56-page Manifesto). If Stejskal wants to maintain that this

constitutes me playing a “minor role” in the Unabom investigation, well, he’s solidly back in

“opinion” mode, and hardly a defensible one I would proffer.
Fourthly, again, just in case a real journalist was interested in this story and its purported “facts,”

the PR people suggested that we simply direct him/her to a copy of my just published book with

its long, detailed chapter on my role in the Unabom case. I told them we could certainly do that,

as it would resolve this issue, but also, just to be completely objective and forthright here, let’s

also direct them to the Freeman, Turchie, Noel book about the Unabom case. In the index of that

book, I’m referenced on twelve separate pages. Upon reading these pages, I’m referenced

multiple times on some of them, and each and every time in a positive fashion. IF contacted, for

starters, let’s tell the journalists to go to pages 224, 225, 237-238, and 268. Yeah, we’ll make it

easy for them. They can find the other positive references to me on their own. I’m guessing

here Stejskal never bothered reading the Freeman, et al, book. Nor did his human source(s), I

would also guess.

Fifthly, if asked, we’ll tell the journalists I was on-scene at the UTF from July-to-Dec of ’95; two

weeks in Jan ’96; from Feb-to-May of ’96; and from Sept-to-Dec of ’96. Even just counting my

time at the UTF pre-arrest, I was there for eight and a half out of ten months, plus additional

months afterwards as management kept inviting (ordering) me back from CIRG and the profiling

unit. This info is in the aforementioned book too, in so many words. If that’s “part-time” as

suggested by Stejskal, I suppose the rest of the dozens of TDYers at the UTF were day-workers.

Well, surprise, surprise, it turns out no journalist or blogger or anyone even pretending to be one

ever reached out to Discovery to discuss the Stejskal article. So, our back-up plan was for

naught. But, since we had it already to go, I figured I’d include it here.

So, that’s my story. Let me say it again here for those with short memoires and/or agendas…
The real James R. Fitzgerald (that’s me) did NOT interview Ted Kaczynski. And, for the

record, I NEVER anywhere, anytime, at any place, in spoken or written word, personally

or publicly, claimed that I did interview him, to include to the writers, producers, and/or

director involved in Manhunt: Unabomber. Oh, and two more things - I didn’t play a

“minor role” in Kaczynski’s arrest and conviction, and I wasn’t at the UTF “part-time.”

In closing to a long post (sorry about that, but I had stuff I had to say here), I will also write this.

I regret that even as a Consulting Producer on Manhunt I lost some control of the series. My

input was politely listened to and taken under advisement by the writer and director, but in some

cases not applied to the scripts. That applies to the fictitious scenes of “Fitz” interviewing

“Ted,” as well as the portrayed animosity between the UTF management and the “Fitz”

character. In reality, I got along well with Freeman and Turchie, and with virtually everyone

else at the UTF. But the writer and director of Manhunt, by the use of various composite

characters, felt they had to insert turmoil/drama when there was none, or at least very little.

Again, that’s regrettable, especially as I NEVER told them that occurred during my UTF days.

Having written the above paragraph, I will still state this. I thought Manhunt: Unabomber was a

well-written, well-directed, and well-acted mini-series. (The reviews and ratings are certainly

reflective of that.) Yes, it contained fictitious scenes. Yes, there were composite characters.

Yes, there was compressed time. Yes, people were “mean” to others when they weren’t in real

life. Yes, “Fitz” was shown living in an isolated cabin and then leaving his two kids in a movie

theater when those two incidents never actually happened. However, besides all of that, in my

opinion (and I’m allowed to hold one) the series told a good story about a very interesting case

worked by diligent investigators from a great agency. (That’s the FBI, btw.) While the agents
and support people in Manhunt weren’t always shown to be “perfect,” I believe on the whole it

showed a group of men and women dedicated to one goal, i.e., capturing the Unabomber. The

characters disagreed, some yelled, some got “fired,” but in the end, it’s because everyone at the

(real AND reel) UTF wanted to stop this maniacal killer who had been terrorizing the U.S. for 17

years. The plotline of Manhunt was far from 100% “accurate,” but in the end, I think it made our

agency look pretty damn good. And as I wrote in my earlier post, the FBI can use that right

about now.

If you still hold any doubts about where I’m coming from here, you may want to read my

recently published book. It so happens it was mostly written before I even read the Manhunt

scripts. It covers the first ten years of my FBI career, from being a trainee at the Academy, to

my seven years in the NYO, to promotion to SSA and profiling training, to the long final chapter

on my role at the UTF. In it I am praiseworthy of many fellow agents, including some on the

UTF. And, I guarantee, you will find nothing in it about my interviewing Ted or being treated

unfairly by the UTF management. It is accurate as my memory allows. No literary license in it,

I assure you, unlike in the mini-series. Its title is A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book III –

The (First Ten) FBI Years. (Infinity Publishers, 2017).

Lastly, a number of retired agents reached out to me either by email, phone, or even in person,

and offered their support after the Stejskal article. They knew of my genuine role in the Unabom

investigation and that the article (at least the second half of it) was mostly nonsense. A few even

went as far to call it “fake news.” In all honestly, I didn’t disagree with them. Interestingly,

within each of these discussions with my former FBI colleagues and friends was one common

thread and subsequent set of questions. That being (and I’ll be polite here), “Are these guys who

are posting/writing articles really that uninformed, that clueless? Don’t they know Hollywood
always makes stuff up in their movies/TV shows, even the ones supposedly ‘Based on True

Events?’” I tried, but I couldn’t answer my friends’ questions.

Well, if you actually made it this far, thanks for reading. Hopefully, thanks for understanding

too.

If you ever want to make a movie or mini-series in Hollywood, and then avoid the “fake news”

which may result afterwards (unfortunately, maybe from one or more of your former FBI co-

workers), do what Mike Pizzio smartly suggests - get “editorial oversight and control.” Don’t

hold your breath waiting for it though. Jim Clemente and I tried, but we lost.

James R. Fitzgerald

NY/CIRG

‘87-‘07

(End of post.)

The only response to my long post that I saw was from the usual everyday poster (aka, JW). He

wrote, in so many words, “The only real heroes in the Unabom case were Wanda, David, and

Linda Kaczynski.” That’s the mother, brother, and sister-in-law of Ted.

Actually, this once, I actually agree with the ubiquitous one.

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