Bruce Ivins

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"“Lone nut”"
Person.png Bruce Ivins   NNDBRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(researcher, scientist, 9-11/Premature death)
BornApril 22, 1946
Lebanon, Ohio, U.S.
DiedJuly 29, 2008 (Age 62)
Frederick Memorial Hospital, Frederick, Maryland, U.S.
Cause of death
drug overdose
Alma materUniversity of Cincinnati
ReligionRoman Catholic
Victim ofpremature death
Supposed perpetrator of2001 Anthrax attacks
Interests • biological weapons
• vaccines
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 biological weapons 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.[1][2]No formal charges were ever filed against him for that crime, and no direct evidence of his involvement has been uncovered.[3]

Official Narrative

On August 6, 2008, federal prosecutors declared Ivins to be the (lone nut) culprit of the crime.[4] Two days later, senators Charles Grassley and Rush Holt called for hearings into the DOJ and FBI's handling of the investigation.[5][6] On February 19, 2010, the FBI formally closed its investigation. [7]

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".[8] 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.[9]

A review of the science used in the investigation is under way at the National Academy of Sciences. [10] Some information about the case related to Ivins' alleged mental problems is still "under seal." [11]


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.[12]


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[12]

Allegations of FBI corruption

"Ivins cooperated with the FBI's investigations over the six years following the anthrax mailings, but by early 2008 federal agents made it clear that he was the prime suspect. Feds tailed him everywhere, around the clock, month after month. Ivins complained that FBI agents had offered to pay $2.5M to his son if he would provide evidence incriminating his father, and the FBI confronted his daughter with photographs of the anthrax victims, telling her, "This is what your father did"."[13]


Related Quotation

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 LeahySeptember 2008


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:All Roads Lead to Dark Winterreport1 April 2020Whitney Webb
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  1. {{URL||optional display text}}
  2. {{URL||optional display text}}
  3. Greenwald, Glenn (2011-02-16) Serious doubt cast on FBI's anthrax case against Bruce Ivans,
  4. U.S. officials declare researcher is anthrax killer CNN 6 August 2008
  5. Anthrax investigation should be investigated, congressmen say Associated Press 8 August 2008
  6. ISBN 978-1-60239-715-6 The Anthrax Letters: A Bioterrorism Expert Investigates the Attacks That Shocked America-Case Closed?
  7. F.B.I., Laying Out Evidence, Closes Anthrax Letters Case New York Times 19 February 2010
  8. FBI file #847444, page 67
  9. Ivins case reignites debate on anthrax LA Times 3 August 2008
  10. Science review underway
  11. FBI Summary Report Footnote pp. 8
  12. a b