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April 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Scientist Steven Hatfill Wrongfully Accused in Anthrax Murders Breaking Silence

Steven Hatfill/fox news

Steven Hatfill/fox news

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Steven Hatfill, the scientist wrongfully accused of being the anthrax killer, is apparently working to repair his damaged image and has decided to break his silence.

The Atlantic magazine has put a teaser on its website indicating that it plans to publish a story on Friday in which Hatfill, 56, speaks out.

“In the fall of 2001, a nation reeling from the horror of 9/11 was rocked by a series of deadly anthrax attacks,” the website teaser says. “As the pressure to find a culprit mounted, the FBI, abetted by the media, found one. The wrong one. This is the story of how federal authorities blew the biggest anti-terror investigation of the past decade—and nearly destroyed an innocent man. Here, for the first time, the falsely accused, Dr. Steven J. Hatfill, speaks out about his ordeal.”

An interview with  Hatfill is also expected to air on NBC’s Today show.

Hatfill sued the Justice Department for besmirching his reputation and ruining his livelihood, alleging that it falsely dubbed him “a person of interest” and leaked damaging information about him to the press. For years after the 2001 attacks that killed five and sickened 17, the FBI investigated and surveilled  Hatfill and considered him a key suspect.

That changed around 2007 when the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspectors began focusing more closely on another government scientist Bruce Ivins of Maryland.

In June 2008, the Justice Department agreed to settle the lawsuit with Hatfill and pay him what amounted to  about $5.8 million.

A short time later in  July of 2008,  the real suspect Ivins, 62, loaded up on Tylenol with codeine in a suicide bid on July 27. Two days later, he died. Authorities never filed charges against Ivins, but had said they were preparing an indictment.

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