UNABOMer Case Focus of Presentation

April 2, 2017

A former FBI explosives expert, hosted by Emporia State’s forensics program, will speak on the UNABOMer case and its investigation, presenting information that has never been seen by the public. Dr. Thomas Jourdan, in a free seminar titled “The Mind of the UNABOMer,” will share his expertise at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in Science Hall 72.

The UNABOM case stretched from 1978 to 1995. Theodore Kaczynski was arrested in April 1996 for the series of bombings. He pleaded builty in January 1998 and is serving eight life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Jourdan has worked nearly every major bombing case in the last 20 years, including Oklahoma City, the World Trade Center, UNABOM and Atlanta’s Olympic Park. As the unit chief of the FBI’s Explosives Unit, Jourdan organized the Bureau’s response to the Oklahoma City and Dar es Salaam bombings.

His work with the FBI extended beyond bombing investigations. Jourdan held the position of supervisory special agent and was a field agent and laboratory forensic examiner. While stationed in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Jourdan assisted with projects ranging from nuclear forensics to weapons of mass destruction. After his retirement from the FBI, he went on to work for the University of Central Oklahoma. As UCO’s current assistant director of the Forensic Science Institute and a professor of chemistry, Jourdan instructs courses in nuclear and organic chemistry, toxicology and forensics.

During his talk, Jourdan will expand on the UNABOMer case’s details and provide a first-hand account of parts of the investigation.

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