back to article US scientist commits suicide as Feds prep anthrax charges

A senior US government bioscientist thought to be facing charges over the 2001 anthrax attacks has apparently committed suicide. The Los Angeles Times reports that 62-year-old Bruce Ivins died on Tuesday after taking a massive dose of painkillers. He had learned that the US Department of Justice was about to hit him with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Is it just me - again - or...

    Anything strike you as convenient about this?

    FBI chief leaks what amounts to operational information about an ongoing investigation to CNN...

    Target then 'commits suicide', thus neatly wrapping things up...

    Shades of Former Enron Corp. vice chairman J. Clifford Baxter's rather convenient 'suicide' there I feel?

    Damage limitation anyone?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Whatever happened to an investigation of Dr. Philip Zack? wasn't he fired from the lab in question and was then filmed on security cameras going back into the lab *after* he was fired? call me stupid but...

    AC & Black Helicopters for obvious reasons.

  3. Brian Miller
    Black Helicopters

    I smell a rat

    This poor fool was probably killed by the good ol' US of A government after he helped them spread fear and panic amongst the population. They realised that they didn't do a good enough job on the scapegoat, so were going to rat him in for being their rat.

    They realised he might use the excuse "but the secret services made me do it". So decided on the next best thing to stringing him up in front of the nation. Kill him in a suicide setup, which leads the public to assume he was guilty.

    All's fair in love and the war on terrorism.

    Same Shit, Different Day.

  4. Eric Werme

    Ivins link to Gulf War Syndrome & anthrax vaccine

    An interesting page to read is . If I had time, I'd get the book. At least it explains why people sent to the current Iraq war aren't coming down with Gulf War Syndrome.

    I get the sense that Ivins was closely involved with the investigation into the Anthrax contaminated letters. If that's true there's gotta be some interesting stuff that hasn't (will never?) come to light.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    One name. David Kelly.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Google-washing without Google

    "suicide" is now a transitive verb, as well as a reflexive (intransitive) one, and getting more so every year.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's an interesting article

  8. Tim McMurphy


    It's called "being suicided" like the old P2 lodge did to Roberto Calvi. Interesting how all these people like the DC madam etc just give up and commit suicide at the most opportune time for those in power isn't it?

  9. Dave Bell

    Who will ever know for sure?

    I can certainly believe that this guy had a genuine mental health problem.

    But is his suicide that convenient? It's still bioterrorism using material from a US Government laboratory.

    You know, just like that Foot and Mouth outbreak around Pirbright, which nobody is actually responsible for.

  10. heystoopid

    but then again

    but then again the extended clean up time at the house in question allowed the boys in Maryland to ghost and duplicate the entire house network so as to monitor everything they do , oh what a very neat and nasty trick indeed as it will automatically bypass all security upgrades and password changes !

  11. Alan Esworthy

    @Dave Bell

    If Ivins was not involved in sending those anthrax letters, then his "suicide" would be supremely convenient for the true bad guy(s). This way they can blame one man with, as you say, "a genuine mental health problem." A misdirection must be believable, after all.

    @Brian Miller - I also smell an anthractic rat.

  12. Bucky
    Black Helicopters

    Is it still bioterrorism if there was no actual bio agent?

    What if Ivans, as a major investigator, was going nuts because there wasn't any anthrax, he knew it and could prove it, but was nevertheless ordered to keep quiet about it in a calculated move to frighten the American public (or more specifically, congresspeople), making them more receptive to the whole Iraq invasion idea.

    This would of course explain how he was able to be so calm and confident in 2004 even though he was "emotionally fractured"--he knew for a fact there wasn't any anthrax.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Who will ever know for sure?

    I'm guessing this is unravelling, we'll find out soon. I don't think this guy is the guilty one, no Israel connection (Anthrax letters mentioned 'death to Israel', only pro and anti Israel people are so obsessed with Israel), lots of things not quite right. Was he due to be indicted? Do they warn people when they're being indicted now???? I thought they just go arrest them.

    Other stuff too, he was seeing a therapist and had suicidal thoughts, and was barred therefore from the lab..... since when would therapists reveal suicidal thoughts to his employers?

    The women at the house wouldn't comment, they don't know her name, yet they know private discussions with the therapist? What?

    The 2002 desk cleaning incident looks like a smear to paint him as a long time rogue. A bit of nudge nudge wink wink. Apparently this incident wasn't considered serious at the time when ANTHRAX ATTACKS WERE KNOWN TO HAVE COME FROM THAT LAB? WTF!?

    He had a prescription for codein???? Killing yourself with paracetamol is now painful? Do they let suicidal people get codein prescriptions?

    The timeline is all wrong, I thought they settled with the other guy to save face. I reckon settling would take time, so I'd expect any new information to be investigate before or during the settlement discussion...

    All very, well, I'm just an armchair pundit, so what do I know. But no, I'm guessing this is unravelling. I can't swallow this story.

  14. Alec Cordova
    Thumb Up

    @Bucky - THAT'S thinking outside the envelope

    Your theory probably involves the most impressive collusion, deceit, and trickery.

    I like it.

  15. yeah, right.

    too convenient

    7 years they find nothing, have to settle a lawsuit for having suggested that someone else was responsible, then claim they were "about to charge" someone who very conveniently dies. Now they don't have to provide any evidence, and they don't have to lose yet another lawsuit when they heap all the responsibility on this now-dead person.

    Too damn convenient by half.

  16. Jen Johnson


    They guy killed himself. Can you imagine what it must feel like to feel the need to kill yourself? He was clearly mentally ill, he had been hospitalised with depression. And it really isn't difficult to get hold of that sort of information, it doesn't have to come directly from a therapist - hacks do embroider their stories you know.

    I think there might be a level of mental illness going on in the comments in this thread.......... of the paranoia type!

    My theory is that the guy was already very ill and the distress the possibility of a formal charge caused him just tipped him over and resulted in his suicide. Or, he was actually guilty and couldn't face the possibility of a formal charge which caused him to commit suicide. I would imagine the FBI believe he was guilty, which is why they are no longer investigating. However, that doesn't make him guilty because he hasn't been found guilty.

    We'll never know but I doubt very much that there is any kind of conspiracy here. Let get real eh?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Let get real eh?

    "I think there might be a level of mental illness going on in the comments in this thread.......... of the paranoia type!"

    Jen, the words you're looking for is "inquiring minds", we did after all see straight through that 'worlds biggest drawing' DHL bullshit. Even though there were comments like yours trying to explain away the problems with that story. The readers of elReg see straight through a lot of these PR games.

    This story was put out, backed by a lot of anonymous FBI quotes, and it just didn't convince us (me and similar people). You know there's bits missing, inconsistencies, stuff that contradicts the other stuff.... e.g. anon FBI agent in USA Today says motive was to 'test is anthrax vaccine' but letter says "take penacilin now" (mispelled). My guess for that is the 'USA Today' made quote up most likely, I'd look to match that to an actual FBI statement to confirm it's a made up quote.

    That codeine just soo bugs me. If it was trace amounts that would be one thing, but not if it's lots. I'd want to know the whole story behind how he got it, what for, what quantity how come he can get codeine but is considered suicidal.

    Little holes all over the place.

    You know what, I read the Wikipedia page and it's now full of references to Ivins, where he was never mentioned prior to this. His name is everywhere there.

    Inquiring minds will then dig into that info and check it for accuracy, or maybe more holes or maybe not. But that's what inquiring minds do.

  18. alex d


    You guys... you're such amateur theorists.

    Obviously this guy *knew* something. The knowledge drove him to depression, and right before he was about to crack, the powers took action. Remember he was a key investigator in this whole mess.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The simplest solution is normally the correct one

    The trail has gone cold since the original crime almost a decade ago. In all that time the investigating forces have been stumpted. But now, when hope was all but lost, a chance clue surfaces that leads officers back to the senior scientist who had been helping them to shape their investigations at the start.

    This "next" suspect then shows up dead, having "discovered" his impending incarceration (what would officially be a secret, Shirly) and that he was about to be lifted. Sadly, before the police could arrive, he obtains and consumes sufficient painkillers to cause speedy and irreperable cessation of his life functions. How VERY convenient for those charged with obtaining a scapegoat... no need for a written statement now because the poor soul has gone and killed himself and therefore MUST have been guilty? ...apparantly.

    This is an episode of CSi.

  20. heystoopid

    In late breaking news

    In late breaking news Fredrick Md FBI siezed two library computers from the C BURR Artz Library without either a court order or warrant in a town where one late Mr Bruce Ivins just happened to have a library card ?


    Or is the smell of the alleged convenient suicide and the manner it was committed now starting to get a bit on the nose ?

    Let the conspiracy 101 theory really take off to flush the rats out of the wood work like Bob Woodward did once before !

  21. Nano nano

    Police not "disappointed"

    And unlike the Barry George verdict, the police can't be "disappointed" at the outcome. How convenient.

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