CNN News announced yesterday that law enforcment had made an arrest in the case involving the ricin-laced letters sent to President Barack Obama and to Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi. FBI stated the suspect had been identified as a man named Paul Kevin Curtis, age 45, of Tupelo, Mississippi.
An FBI spokeman said both letters contained the identical sentence: “to see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.” Both were also signed with the initials ‘KC.’
The letter sent to Obama was intercepted Wednesday and is still being tested.
Numerous Senators’ offices around the country reported suspicious mail on Wednesday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ricin is a deadly powder that causes respiratory stress, fever, cough, nausea and chest tightness, when inhaled.
This recent event mimics the strange case of a man named Doctor Bruce Ivins, who committed suicide on July 29, 2008, after learning that criminal charges were about to be filed against him by the FBI.
Six days after his suicide, FBI and DOJ officials announced their conclusion that Ivins was solely responsible for “the deaths of five citizens, and the injury of dozens of others, by mailing numerous anonymous letters to members of Congress and the media, in September and October 2001, which letters contained Bacillus anthracis, commonly referred to as anthrax.”
On February 19, 2010, the FBI released a 92-page “summary of evidence” explaining why they ended their investigation after his death.
Ivins had been a scientist for 36 years and senior biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.
In August 2008 U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor officially reported that Ivins was the “sole culprit” in the 2001 anthrax attacks. Taylor stated that Ivins had submitted false anthrax evidence to throw investigators off of his trail; was unable to adequately explain his late laboratory working hours around the time of the attacks; tried to frame his co-workers; had immunized himself against anthrax in early September 2001; was one of very few people with access to the same strain of anthrax used in the killings; and had used similar language in an email to that in one of the anthrax mailings. Ivins was apparently upset that the anthrax vaccine he had spent years helping develop, was being pulled from the market.
Here are two great resources on this very strange case:
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