Dr Ivan, FBI, Anthrax discussed on HISTORY This Week


Eventually the FBI places I've been under surveillance as they're getting their case together to make an arrest, they question him forcefully pushing him on some of his behavior. Ivan's is sort of unraveling. During one of his therapy sessions, he makes some threatening statements about hurting his co workers. At that point is therapists wasn't bound to confidentiality. Threaten to kill people. She told the police in a city detective escorted Bruce from his laboratory and banned him from you sammer grounds. Mile the FBI is close to making their arrest. But before they can do that something terrible happens. Bruce Ivins dies by suicide in two, thousand eight. Ivan's death means the case can never go to trial. It's one of those moments. In law enforcement dread, we can't really close the case satisfactorily there would be no trial there would be no plea no air of evidence. All that would never happen and that's required to really prove somebody in this country. Still. The FBI is pretty sure they had the right guy. And two, thousand and ten the Department of Justice releases a report stating that the evidence uncovered in the investigation quote established that Dr Ivan's alone mailed the anthrax letters. If, they've gone to court prosecutors would have had to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt. But they didn't go to court. And some people do have doubts. And Two thousand eleven a panel convened by the national. Academy of Sciences released a report saying that the science alone did not definitively show that the anthrax came from Bruce Evans's flask. They say it certainly could have come from there, but it's not clear beyond a shadow of a doubt there could be other possibilities. Clara Frazier League at one of the main scientists at the FBI worked with told us in an e mail she thinks the investigation had some loosens. She said, the science wasn't inconsistent with the idea that Ivan's could have been the scientists who produced this material. But that quote Ardita did not address who the mail was. Basically the science alone isn't proof. Decker agrees by the way he said it wasn't meant to be proof it was meant as a clue in the investigation. There are some other questions for example, know anthrax spores were ever found at is house or in his car. Remember when that congressional intern opened one of the anthrax letters, it took months to clean the office buildings. So maybe Ivan's didn't. To the mailbox in his car or maybe he was just. Super. Super. Clean. Plus some of Ivan's is co workers have debated whether Ivan's really had the equipment and experience he would have needed to make so much of this deadly powder. The FBI think C. Did and for Scott, decker, the evidence adds up. He's convinced that the FBI got the right guy and he says he's proud of the scientific part of the investigation. The amount of work that was done scientifically huge. was there more could have been done absolutely. What investigation couldn't you do a little bit more. If you had the time resources, we did not have the luxury of time. We had a serial killer on the loose. Able to do this as far as we know anytime, you want because we hadn't arrested or neutralized. On your mind. Sometimes law enforcement people and science people look at the same facts differently. We talked to one journalist David Willman who has covered the anthrax attacks. He told us that in the criminal world things have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. But in the scientific world, it's beyond a shadow of a doubt. And for everyone involved perhaps especially, the American public it's hard to live with any doubt at all in a case with life or death stakes. But the good news is the science is always getting better. The people involved in this case were inventing a whole new field microbial forensics but in the years since that field has gotten more advanced, quicker, cheaper easier. We just no more thanks in part to this investigation. So hopefully, if there is a next time. We'll be ready. Thanks for listening to history this week. For moments throughout history, but are also worth watching, check your local TV listings to find out what's on the history channel today. And for history anytime anywhere sign up for a one month extended free trial of history vault where you can stream over two thousand award winning documentaries m-series from your favorite base with new videos added every week to start your free one-month trial visit history vault, dot com forward slash podcast today. This episode was produced by mckanie Lynn. History. This week is also produced by Julie mcgruder Ben Dickstein, and meet Sally. Helm? Ar- editor and sound designer is Dan Rosado. Are Executive Producers Are Jesse cats and Ted Butler don't forget to subscribe rate and review history this week wherever you get your podcast and we will see you next week. What's new in podcasting? 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