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August 01, 2008

Suspect In 2001 Anthrax Attacks Kills Self Before Being Indicted

Let the conspiracy theories begin.

A U.S. government scientist suspected in the 2001 anthrax attacks died July 29 in an apparent suicide, after learning the Justice Department planned to file criminal charges against him, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Bruce E. Ivins, 62, died from an overdose of Tylenol with codeine at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Maryland, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified friend and colleague. Federal prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against him, the Associated Press reported, citing an unidentified U.S. official. Ivins was a scientist at the U.S. biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, for 18 years, the Times said.

Ivins, who helped U.S. investigators analyze anthrax samples used in the attacks, had been told he was about to be charged, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people familiar with Ivins and the investigation.

I don't think a lot of people had heard of Ivins or realized how far along the investigation was. That's because after totally botching their initial case against Steven Hatfill, another scientist at Ft. Detrick, they kept this case quiet. Ultimately Hatfil reached a settlement of almost $6 million from the federal government.

Hopefully the government will now release the evidence they had against Ivins so most people will be able to close the books on a crime spree that rocked the nation following the 9/11 attacks. I say most people because given the fact that the FBI screwed up the initial case, there will be no trial and the suicide will undoubtedly give those given to conspiracy theories plenty of fodder.

Shocking [ace]: Non-ironically. Obviously they kept this under wraps, and I'm closed to shocked a prosecution had advanced this far.

Now that he's dead, I hope they'll present all the evidence against him, so as not to encourage irresponsible conspiracy theories of a cover-up and failure to pursue more likely Al Qaeda culprits.

Because I'll be first in line making those irresponsible conspiracy theories, of course. I always thought this was an Al Qaeda plot, and that the FBI was in Richard Jewell mode looking for domestic suspects to the exclusion of any other.

Unlike a Truther, though, I can be persuaded otherwise. I hope they will actually bother trying.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:33 AM

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