Discovery's limited true crime series, Manhunt: Unabomber has reached the finale of its eight-episode run and viewers will be taken into the trial of Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. (Spoiler alert that he is currently serving a life sentence in prison after pleading guilty to 16 bombings that killed three people and injured dozens, according to The New Yorker.) In the below exclusive clip teasing the finale, the dramatized Kaczynski is seen making a desperate attempt to legally represent himself, but things are not going according to his plan. In real life, the Washington Post reported that Kaczynski was concerned about whether he had been widely misunderstood, and representing himself would have given him a platform to further explain his controversial ideas.
According to CBS News, Kaczynski was quoted for the Oct. 18, 1999 Time magazine cover story as saying, "I'm confidant that I am sane." He added, "I don't get delusions and so forth." His mental state was important to the Unabomber's trial, because if he was found to be "legally insane" or went with an "insanity defense" it could have ramifications on his sentencing. As the CBS News article reported, he eventually entered a guilty plea to avoid going to trial, where his attorney had reportedly planned to use an insanity defense. In his own words, Kaczynski told Time, "I had very serious problems with social adjustment in adolescence. ... But it would have to be distinguished between an organic illness, like schizophrenia." When it came to his preference for sentencing, Kaczynski was clear when he told Time, "I do not want to live long. I would rather get the death penalty than spend the rest of my life in prison." But, Kaczynski's guilty plea also took the death penalty off the table, so he couldn't get what he wanted. As of now, he is still in prison.
In an exclusive clip from the finale of Manhunt: Unabomber, the fictionalized Kaczynski can be seen speaking with his trial judge about whether he should be allowed to represent himself as his own attorney. In the show, however, the court decides that due to his psychiatric evaluation, they see him as mentally unsound to mount an adequate defense for himself.
The trial and Kaczynski's plea are just two more fascinating aspects to this investigation, which has already been shown as quite the long, complicated hunt throughout the season. Be sure to check out the dramatic finale episode of Manhunt: Unabomber, on Tuesday, Sep. 12 at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery to see Kaczynski fights for the right to act as his own attorney and his inevitable sentencing to life in prison for his crimes.