Footnote to the News (1): Missing Pieces in Mississippi

ACADEME BLOG

Anyone who doubts that history repeats itself has not been paying attention to the news this past week. If you recall, in 2001, as all attention seemed to be focused on the rubble of the World Trade Center towers, letters containing anthrax started showing up at the offices of newspapers and U.S. Senators. This week, as all attention was focused on the carnage at the Boston Marathon and then the identification and the pursuit of the suspected terrorists, letters containing ricin started showing up at the offices of U.S. Senators.

In the 2001 case, investigators seemed for half a decade to be singularly focused on bioweapons scientist Steven J. Hatfill without ever being able to make their case against him. Then their attention suddenly shifted to a bacteriologist named Bruce E. Ivins. After Ivins committed suicide by a drug overdose, law enforcement made public their case that he had been…

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