Friday, August 1, 2008

Anthrax suspect who killed self was Catholic church musician

The military anthrax researcher who committed suicide as the FBI was closing on him over the 2001 anthrax letters that killed five people, played keyboards and led the music program at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Frederick, Md., the Frederick News-Post reports.

The paper has more on the late Bruce Ivins, who worked at Fort Detrick:

Ruth Ann Randall, a member of the family who owns The Frederick News-Post, knew Ivins.

"Several years ago I played in an Irish band with him," she said. "I remember mentioning at that time to the newsroom that he might be a good source on some of the anthrax stuff. Wow. Now look what happened! I'm in shock. He was a pretty religious guy, and he never seemed nervous around me (knowing I was with the paper) back when we played together and the subject of anthrax and Fort Detrick would come up."

The News-Post has learned that Ivins was scheduled to appear in Frederick County District Court on Thursday on a peace order charge. On July 24, he was ordered to stay away from his Frederick residence and Fort Detrick.

Only last month, the government exonerated another scientist at the Fort Detrick lab, Steven Hatfill, whose name for years had been associated with the post-9/11 attacks that traumatized the nation. Investigators had publicly named Hatfill a “person of interest” in 2002. The government paid Hatfill $5.82 million to settle a lawsuit contending he was falsely accused and had been made a scapegoat for the crimes.
A friend of mine at the New York Post was one of those infected by spores from a letter sent to that paper, but made a full recovery, thank God.

Ivins was married and had two children. Please pray for his soul and for those who loved him.

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.