Sunday, October 02, 2011

CNN airs documentary film about 2001 anthrax incidents

On Sunday night, October 2, 2011, CNN examined the 2001 anthrax incident ("Amerithrax" according to Wikipedia), with particular attention to the investigation of Dr. Bruce Ivins at Ft. Detrick, MD, with Joe Johns reporting. The name of the documentary film is “Death by Mail: The Anthrax Letters”.

By now the story may be familiar.  I remember the fright of the first reports from Florida (the tabloid company) a couple weeks after 9/11. 

One of the oddest facts about the Ivins case is that he often worked alone at night without a reasonable explanation. One claim by plaintiffs suing the government is that the Army should have required two people be in the lab at all time and should have done more psychological profiling.

Ivins showed signs of serious instability and compulsive behavior, particularly over the loss of attention from a female friend in graduate school.  Eventually, he would admit to stealing her lab notebook in grad school, vandalizing her property, and forging her name on a bizarre newspaper letter to the editor supporting hazing as necessary to “weed people out”.   A young female federal prosecutor says the FBI was very close to charging him, before he took his own life. But Ivins’s attorney says there is no DNA evidence linking him to the attacks.

I recall that there were two other arrests in the Trenton NJ area at the end of 2001, and the media never followed up on these.

Wikipedia attribution link for FBI reward poster.

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