A Shed in the Dock

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GREAT FALLS, Montana: Sometime soon, an unassuming little ten-by-twelve shed will be mounted on the back of a flatbed truck and begin the 1,100 mile trip from Malmstrom Air Force base here to Sacramento, California where it promises to be a star turn in a major federal murder trial. As TIME San Francisco Bureau Chief Dave Jackson explains, "this dark, cramped cabin will tell us a lot about the kind of man who lived in such a place."

The man who lived in that place for 24 years was Ted Kaczynski, the suspected Unabomber. And strange as it may seem, one of the main hopes of his lawyers since they picked up the case was that the jury would be exposed to the primitive structure he made his home. "Their hope," says Jackson, "is to show that a normal person would not live in such a place" and thus prove their client to be mentally unstable.

The defense asked the judge a month ago that either the jury come to the shed, or the shed come to the jury. Deciding it would be better to bring the mountain to Mohammed, the judge granted the latter request. So began the shed's bizarre journey. But the question remains: Will it stand up in court?