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May 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

FBI to Pay $879,550 For Scientific Review of Deadly Anthrax Case

Suspect Bruce Ivins

Suspect Bruce Ivins

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — Nine months after the real suspect in the anthrax killings committed suicide, there are still plenty unanswered questions as to why the FBI let its top investigator on the case focus for so long on the wrong guy, Steven Hatfill, even after some investigators and prosecutors expressed serious skepticism internally.

Now the FBI has agreed to pay the National Academy of Sciences $879,550 to review the case. Unfortunately,  some of the perplexing questions  about the investigation won’t be answered in this 15-month review, according to the New York Time’s Scott Shane.

The review, Shane writes “won’t assess the bureau’s detective work or its conclusion that an Army microbiologist, Bruce E. Ivins, sent the deadly letters in 2001.” Ivins committed suicide last summer before authorities could file charges in the case.

Instead, Shane writes: “The academy panel will review genetic fingerprinting that led agents to Dr. Ivins’s Maryland laboratory, as well as clues to how and where the anthrax was grown and dried.”

The money for the research on the case is far short of the $5.82 million the government agreed to pay scientist Steven Hatfill last June to settle his lawsuit, which alleged that the FBI and Justice Department ruined his reputation and career after publicly naming him a “person of interest”.

Some remain skeptical that Ivins sent the letters.

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Comment from lewweinstein
Time May 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm

When the FBI announced that the conveniently deceased Bruce Ivins was the sole anthrax perpetrator, I didn’t believe a word of it. The FBI took 7 years to solve a case which had a very limited number of possible suspects with access to the powdered anthrax.

So the question was … why did the FBI fail to solve the case.

It occurred to me that perhaps they were told NOT to solve the case. This thought led me to consider how such interference with the FBI investigation might have played out, and then to a novel which picks up where the facts of the case leave off.

More information about the case and about my novel can be found at

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