Bruce Ivins anthrax, anthrax scare, scientist suicide anthrax
Robb Carr/AP
Frederick Police talk with a woman who they identified as Diane Ivins, the widow of
Bruce E. Ivins. (AP)

As Details Surface, Doubts Grow About FBI’s Ivins Case

August 06, 2008 10:36 AM
by Josh Katz
The FBI is expected to reveal more information about its evidence against deceased anthrax specialist Bruce Ivins Wednesday, though many continue to be skeptical.

30-Second Summary

Federal authorities are expected to outline the case today against Ivins to the families of victims of the 2001 anthrax attacks. However, many remain skeptical about the case as the evidence surfacing against Ivins is reputedly largely circumstantial, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Ivins, 62, died of an apparent suicide on July 31. A prominent scientist who worked at the U.S. government’s biodefense research laboratories and assisted authorities in the anthrax investigation, Ivins had allegedly learned that the FBI was going to file charges against him.

The heart of the FBI’s case is the anthrax spores found on a flask at Ivins’s laboratory, which the FBI has connected to spores used in the attacks.

But The Washington Post reports on certain questionable actions that allegedly occurred during the investigation of Ivins, such as agents showing his 24-year-old daughter pictures of those who died in the 2001 anthrax attacks and saying, “Your father did this.”

Also, Jean C. Duley, one of Ivins’s counselors and the only person who “has said publicly that Ivins intended to kill,” has a history of offenses including drunk driving and illicit drug use.

The Los Angeles Times, which broke the story about Ivins’s suicide, also pointed to his history of mental illness. The Associated Press also reported on Ivins’s infatuation with Princeton’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, located near the mailbox where four anthrax-laced letters were found.

But, in The Wall Street Journal, Richard Spertzel, head of the biological-weapons section of Unscom from 1994 to 1999, is doubtful that Ivins was the lone culprit, or even involved at all, because the anthrax strains from the attacks were too different from that available in Ivins’s lab.

Headline Links: FBI’s case against Ivins raises doubts

Background: The anthrax scare, Hatfill, and the events leading to Ivins’s death

The attacks begin
Anthrax breach involving Ivins
Hatfill’s defamation suit dismissed
Ivins apparently commits suicide

Opinion & Analysis: The case against Ivins


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