Suspect in the (Totally Not a Terrorist Act) Anthrax Mailings Reportedly Commits Suicide

[Well, Bill beat me to it—but I'm going to go ahead and post this anyway, because, despite not being a conspiracy theorist, I am nonetheless deeply suspicious.]

Under the subtly subversive headline "Apparent suicide in anthrax case," the LA Times reports that a "top government scientist who helped the FBI analyze samples from the 2001 anthrax attacks has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks," which "killed five people, crippled national mail service, shut down a Senate office building and spread fear of further terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks."
Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the last 18 years worked at the government's elite biodefense research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Md., had been informed of his impending prosecution, said people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and the FBI investigation.

Ivins, whose name had not been disclosed publicly as a suspect in the case, played a central role in research to improve anthrax vaccines by preparing anthrax formulations used in experiments on animals.

Regarded as a skilled microbiologist, Ivins also helped the FBI analyze the powdery material recovered from one of the anthrax-tainted envelopes sent to a U.S. senator's office in Washington.

Ivins died Tuesday at Frederick Memorial Hospital after ingesting a massive dose of prescription Tylenol mixed with codeine, said a friend and colleague, who declined to be identified out of concern that he would be harassed by the FBI.
Well, I guess that's case closed then. What a tidy little ending to a case with a long-elusive conclusion.

In case I'm not laying on the sarcasm thickly enough, suffice it to say I'm unconvinced of the veracity of this story. The case against Ivins, as laid out in the Times, while certainly circumstantial, isn't exactly what I'd call convincing. But then again, I'm innately suspicious of sudden, neat solutions, especially to messy, desperate cases.

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