Dr. Kathleen Puckett : Inside the Mind of the Unabomber
“Bombing cases, generally, are some of the most difficult to investigate because the evidence-the bomb-explodes. So we use interviews, past threats, and general investigative work because we are limited by the physical evidence.” - Dr. Kathleen Puckett
Associate Professor at Alliant International University's California School of Forensic Studies, Dr. Kathleen M. Puckett spent 23 years as an FBI Special Agent, where she was primarily involved in the investigation and analysis of cases involving foreign counterintelligence and domestic and international terrorism. The co-author of Hunting the American Terrorist: The FBI’s War on Homegrown Terror (2007), she was the primary behavioral expert during the UNABOM investigation between 1994 and 1998. She also assisted FBI Inspector Terry Turchie in the investigation of Eric Rudolph in North Carolina in 1998, and received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service the same year.
In the mid 1970s, Kathleen was an officer in the Office of Special Investigations in the U.S. Air Force, where she acquired an early knack for investigations of Soviet and East Bloc espionage. When she left the Air Force, she was heavily recruited by both the FBI and the CIA. By the mid 1980s she had learned Russian and was working against Soviet Intelligence in the San Francisco Division of the FBI.
Between 1988 and 1994 she was a principal in “Project Slammer,” an interagency espionage
study that involved extensive interviews of Americans convicted of espionage.
In 1993 she became a founding member of the FBI National Security Division’s Behavioral Analysis Program (BAP), and was an operational and behavioral consultant to numerous high profile counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations throughout the United States.
Between In 2000 she completed a research internship that led to the production of a dissertation concerning the prediction of violence and the conferring of a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. In 2001 Dr. Puckett conducted a multi-jurisdictional risk assessment study concerning lone domestic terrorists including Theodore Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph for the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI.
Dr. Puckett provides behavioral threat assessment consultation to international corporations and governmental security agencies, and is a law enforcement consultant to the Program of Psychiatry and the Law at the University of California at San Francisco. She is a frequent presenter at law enforcement and mental health community forums on the psychology of terrorism, as well as her own unique findings on what makes America’s most complicated adversaries tick. She recently appeared on the National Geographic Special, Undercover History: The Unabomber, and has been a guest on numerous radio programs.