Md. Anthrax Scientist Dies in Suicide
By Carrie Johnson, Del Quentin Wilber and Carol Leonnig, Washington Post
A Maryland scientist who committed suicide this week was about to be
indicted in connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people
and terrorized the country, two sources familiar with the investigation said
Paul F. Kemp, a criminal defense lawyer in Bethesda [Maryland] who has
represented Ivins for the past year, issued a statement that confirmed the
federal investigation, but gave no details. He also asserted Ivins'
"For more than a year, we have been privileged to represent Dr. Bruce Ivins
during the investigation of the anthrax deaths of September and October of
2001," Kemp said. "We assert his innocence in these killings, and would have
established that at trial.
"The relentless pressure of accusation and innuendo takes its toll in
different ways on different people, as has already been seen in this
investigation. In Dr. Ivins' case, it led to his untimely death. We ask that
the media respect the privacy of his family, and allow them to grieve."
In the last few weeks, Kemp, an experienced death penalty attorney, had been
appointed to represent Ivins at public expense because Ivins was in danger
of losing his job upon indictment, one source said.
In a statement issued this afternoon, the Justice Department, the FBI, and
the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) said they had made "substantial
progress" in the investigation using "new and sophisticated scientific
But they refused to provide any details, saying they had "significant
obligations to the victims of these attacks and their families that must be
fulfilled before any additional information on the investigation can be made
public. In addition, investigative documents remain under court seal."
One source who has been briefed on the investigation said Ivins had been
under intense FBI scrutiny for weeks if not months and that wiretaps were
used in the investigation. Authorities' working theory is that Ivins sought
to highlight U.S. vulnerability to such attacks.
Maryland's chief medical examiner, David Fowler, said Ivins was admitted to
the hospital Sunday [July 27, 2008] morning and died 10:47 a.m. Tuesday
[July 29, 2008] at Frederick [Maryland] Memorial Hospital. The cause of
death was listed as an overdose of acetaminophen, the active drug in
Tylenol, which causes liver failure over several days. Fowler affirmed the
death was ruled a suicide, based on doctors' reports, the condition of the
body and recent events in his life.
In a July 24  petition to a Frederick County [Maryland] court seeking
protection from Ivins, a woman claimed that Ivins had threatened her with
violence, stalked her and harassed her.
"Client has a history dating to his graduate days of homicidal threats,
actions, plans . . . toward theripist [sic]," Jean Duley claimed in a
hand-written note. "FBI involved, currently under investigation and will be
charged w/5 capital murders. I have been subpoena [sic] to testify before a
federal grand jury August 1, 2008 in Washington, D.C."
See Washington Post for further details.
>Maryland's chief medical examiner, David Fowler, said Ivins was admitted to
>the hospital Sunday [July 27, 2008] morning and died 10:47 a.m. Tuesday
>[July 29, 2008] at Frederick [Maryland] Memorial Hospital. The cause of
>death was listed as an overdose of acetaminophen, the active drug in
>Tylenol, which causes liver failure over several days. Fowler affirmed the
>death was ruled a suicide, based on doctors' reports, the condition of the
>body and recent events in his life.
While acetaminophen ("Tylenol" best known brandname
in the US) will easily kill off the liver (I'll
skip the details for now), if he got hospital treatment
within 24 hours or so they'd have been able to
prevent the damage.
It's also a pretty ugly and painful way to kill yourself.
(While most people might not realize it, I'd have
guessed that a biochem scientist would know the
details. Then again, once you're suicidal all
bets as to rationality are off the table).
'twould be interesting to find out how much he
took and how long before he got to the hospital.
- It's certainly possible he od'ed on the Tylenol
with codeine on, say, Friday and passed out, and
his wife found him near death Saturday afternoon.
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
It seems to me that I remember that the antidote is muco-mist. Is that
- - - -
"danny burstein" <dan...@panix.com> wrote in message
>It seems to me that I remember that the antidote is muco-mist. Is that
Eyup. Acetominphen ("Tylenol") is broken down in
the liver (just like most other stuff is). In doing
so it messes up the "cytochrome p450" chemical
balance there, and then starts attackign the liver.
If you give n-acetyl-cysteine (brand name "mucomyst")
you can get things back to normal. (You have to do this
before there's liver damage, which is largely irreversable).
Oh, "mucomyst" stinks as badly as you'd expect something
with that name...
NOTE: This only works for the liver toxicity, and
only if done reasonably soon. In this case he also
had codeine on board. I haven't yet seen a timeline
but I'd guess (emphasize guess) that he OD'ed on
the "tylenol 3", which is Tylenol with codeine,
and that knocked him out. He stayed passed out
for 48 hours barely breathing... and his wife or
someone found him unconscious with both braine
and liver damage.
-Emphasing that's just a guess of mine. I's expect
a good timeline to be printed RSN with all the details.