(researcher, scientist, 9-11/Premature death)
April 22, 1946|
Lebanon, Ohio, U.S.
July 29, 2008 (Age 62)|
Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick, Maryland, U.S.
Cause of death
|Alma mater||University of Cincinnati|
|Victim of||premature death|
|Supposed perpetrator of||2001 Anthrax attacks|
A biodefense researcher at Fort Detrick, Maryland who, the FBI concluded, sent anthrax letters with crude anti-Zionist messages to the US politicians who were holding up the rollback of civil liberties in the wake of 9/11. After an investigation costing around $100,000,000 Ivins was declared to be a lone nut responsible for the crime shortly after he was found dead.
Dr. Bruce Ivins was a microbiologist, vaccinologist and biodefense researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. He allegedly committed suicide by taking a drug overdose on July 29, 2008 and the FBI later named by him as a "lone nut" behind the Amerithrax Anthrax Attacks just after 9/11.No formal charges were ever filed against him for that crime, and no direct evidence of his involvement has been uncovered.
On August 6, 2008, federal prosecutors declared Ivins to be the (lone nut) culprit of the crime. Two days later, senators Charles Grassley and Rush Holt called for hearings into the DOJ and FBI's handling of the investigation. On February 19, 2010, the FBI formally closed its investigation. 
Media reports focused on other possible suspects for years, but FBI files show that the investigation began to focus on Bruce Edwards Ivins as early as April 4, 2005, when Dr. Ivins told the FBI he would not talk any further without his lawyer present. On April 11, 2007, Dr. Ivins was put under periodic surveillance because "Bruce Edwards Ivins is an extremely sensitive suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks". Ivins was a scientist who worked at the government's biodefense laboratory at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland. In June 2008, Ivins was told of the impending prosecution, and on July 27, 2008 it is claimed he committed suicide using an overdose of acetaminophen.
A review of the science used in the investigation is under way at the National Academy of Sciences.  Some information about the case related to Ivins' alleged mental problems is still "under seal." 
The head of the FBI's investigation was unhappy with the conclusion that Ivins was a 'lone nut' killer, and publicly charged in a whistleblower lawsuit in April 2015 that the FBI had suppressed evidence (which he declined to specify) which would have exonerated him.
Many points of evidence cast doubt on Ivins' guilt:
- Handwriting analysis failed to link the anthrax letters to known writing samples from Ivins
- No textile fibers were found in Ivins’ office, residence or vehicles matching fibers found on the scotch tape used to seal the envelopes
- No pens were found matching the ink used to address the envelopes
- Samples of his hair failed to match hair follicles found inside the Princeton, N.J., mailbox used to mail the letters
- No souvenirs of the crime, such as newspaper clippings, were found in his possession as commonly seen in serial murder cases
- The FBI could not place Ivins at the crime scene with evidence, such as gas station or other receipts, at the time the letters were mailed in September and October 2001
- Lab records show the number of late nights Ivins put in at the lab first spiked in August 2001, weeks before the 9/11 attacks
|2001 Anthrax attacks||“If [Bruce Ivins] is the one who sent the letter, I do not believe in any way, shape or manner that he is the only person involved in this attack on Congress and the American people. I do not believe that at all. I believe there are others involved, either as accessories before or accessories after the fact. I believe that there are others out there, I believe there are others who could be charged with murder. I just want you to know how I feel about it, as one of the people who was aimed at in the attack."”||Patrick Leahy||September 2008|
- Apuzzo, Matt and Dishneau, David (2008-08-01). "U.S. wanted death penalty in anthrax case". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-08-01.
Federal prosecutors investigating the 2001 anthrax attacks were planning to indict and seek the death penalty against a top Army microbiologist who was developing a vaccine against the deadly toxin.
- Willman, David (2008-09-18). "Senators question FBI's handling of anthrax inquiry". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
Ivins, 62, committed suicide July 29. His former lawyers have said they would have won his acquittal at a trial.
- Greenwald, Glenn (2011-02-16) Serious doubt cast on FBI's anthrax case against Bruce Ivans, Salon.com
- U.S. officials declare researcher is anthrax killer CNN 6 August 2008
- Anthrax investigation should be investigated, congressmen say Associated Press 8 August 2008
- ISBN 978-1-60239-715-6 The Anthrax Letters: A Bioterrorism Expert Investigates the Attacks That Shocked America-Case Closed?
- F.B.I., Laying Out Evidence, Closes Anthrax Letters Case New York Times 19 February 2010
- FBI file #847444, page 67
- Ivins case reignites debate on anthrax LA Times 3 August 2008
- Science review underway
- FBI Summary Report Footnote pp. 8