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"It's the Water"

by 'John Marr'

The 2600 block of Regent Street looks like any other quiet, unassuming residential street on the south side of the University of California Berkeley campus. The atmosphere is pure college-town traditional: trees line the street and most of the buildings are either small stucco bungalows or two-story arts and crafts style houses, with only an occasional modern apartment building to remind one that it's not 1920. The street is home to the usual eclectic Berkeley mix: students, academics and a few older professionals attracted by the bohemian atmosphere of nearby Telegraph Avenue.

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This modest, unassuming block was vaulted to international fame last month following the arrest of Theodore Kaczynski, the accused Unabomber. During his brief career as a math professor at Cal in the late '60s, Kaczynski rented a small, squat cottage behind one of the larger houses on the street. Kaczynski may have moved out in 1969 to start his long, mysterious odyssey that ended in a remote Montana cabin, but he left behind something more than the usual debris.

In 1991, a young woman named Laura Marie Miller rented the same cottage. Rechristening herself Rosebud Abigail Denovo (note the initials), she only lived there briefly. However, if Kaczynski left an aura, Denovo soaked it up.

Denovo was well on her way to becoming Berkeley's own Unabomber as she fought for her favorite cause: the eternally embattled People's Park. Later that year, she was arrested after police found bomb making materials and an alleged "hit list" of university officials at a campsite she shared with a boyfriend in the Berkeley hills. This may have thwarted her bid to become the Unabomber of Berkeley but she was still intent on direct action.

The following summer, she struck. Armed with a hunting knife and a machete, she broke into the university chancellor's residence on the campus late one night. However, she triggered an alarm. She was shot and killed by campus police before committing any mayhem.

It could just be an eerie coincidence—two radical bombers living in the same house twenty five years apart. Or it could be the start of a pattern. Who knows, in 2020, the media may descend on the quiet block on Regent Street for a third time to shoot even more footage of an unassuming cottage with something wrong. </end>

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Title illustration by Wellington
Unabomber illustration by Jorja

'JOHN MARR' is the editor of Murder Can Be Fun. He lives in San Francisco.

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