David, unaware of what his brother was doing, returned to society and married. Years later, he made one of the most difficult decisions imaginable: to turn in the brother he loved as a suspected killer, which would save the lives of innocent victims, and perhaps Ted’s as well. He made what he still believes is the only rational decision. ...The decision probably did not save any lives. The Unabomber promised to desist from terrorism if his manifesto were published, and there were no incidents after the publication.
“I still look back on the decision and know it had to be done,” David said. “He could have and probably would have killed other people. … If there was any way out of having to do what I did and still be a responsible human being, I would have. But I had a responsibility. As painful as it was. As it still is.”
David’s stipulation to the FBI, when he contacted it with his suspicions, was that he would be warned before the bureau took action, and that his role would be kept secret. But when word leaked to the media that there was a Unabomber suspect, federal officials moved quickly. David and his family were given almost no notice, and someone leaked his role to the media. Within hours, reporters from all over the world were on David’s doorstep.Yes, his brother turned him in for the $1M reward.
A day later, sitting in a jail cell in Lincoln, Mont., Ted asked his public defender how the feds had found him. “Oh, didn’t you know?” the man told him, according to a story that was later recounted to David by a member of his brother’s legal team. “It was your brother.”
Ted shook his head in disbelief. “No,” he said. “David wouldn’t do that.”
I don't disagree with prosecuting the Unabomber, but his brother did have another option. He could have simply blackmailed the Unabomber into keeping his promise to stop terrorism.