Friday, August 22, 2008

Ivins as Stalker?

Excerpt from original story in The Oregonian indicates extensive contacts and debriefs between Haigwood and the FBI over 6 years. Although agents were close-mouthed with almost everyone else during this investigation, they apparently opened their case files for Dr. Haigwood:

"Haigwood, who researches HIV transmission and vaccines, said she contacted the FBI shortly after the American Society for Microbiology asked its members in 2002 to think of possible suspects in the anthrax case. Agents soon interviewed her and have stayed in touch off and on ever since, she said.

FBI officials told her of their plans to accuse Ivins and of his suicide before the news broke, and they will debrief her more in the coming weeks, she said.

Haigwood said FBI agents were "very ethical and above board." And reading their case files convinced her they have the right suspect. "The evidence was compelling," she said.

"I have a tremendous sense of relief, I must say," that Ivins is gone, she said. "But also tremendous sadness. Because I always hoped I was wrong."'

A Nature interview with Dr. Haigwood is here.


Ennealogic said...

Ms. Haigwood, apparently, was an FBI stooge. After she suggested that Dr. Ivins might be a suspect, the FBI encouraged her to keep up a correspondence with him and feed them information, which she did, for 6 years.

As for Ivins being a stalker, I can't find any evidence to support that. We have Haigwood saying someone took a book from her locker in 1979 and left it for her in a PO Box. She's sure it was Ivins. We also have Haigwood saying that someone painted KKG where she lived in 1982. She's sure it was Ivins. Then we have Haigwood saying that Ivins kept up a correspondence with her, even mailing a picture of himself in the lab in November 2001, working with anthrax (which he was doing in conjunction with the anthrax investigation, duh).

But where is the stalking?

It sounds to me like the FBI stoked Haigwood's paranoia until she truly feared Ivins. Now that she no longer has to remain in secret agent mode, she is milking her experience in 15 minutes of fame.

But then, I've grown cynical. :)

Ellen Byrne said...

In 1998 and 1999 my daughter was the victim of a stalker. At the time she lived on Riverside Drive near the 125th St. Subway Station in New York City. This man would follow her, send unwanted letters, call her. He never threatened her or vandallized her property yet the New York City police arrested him twice and was convicted by the Manhattan District Attorneys office.

Why Dr. Haigwood didn't have her stalker arrested? Certainly, the NYC police are busier than those in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Why was Dr. Ivins not arrested for stalking and threatening Ms. Duley? I live in Frederick, MD and the Frederick Police have not yet explained why such a dangerous man was allowed to live in our midst.

The general public would probably perceive Bruce Ivins differently if not for the allegations of these two women who appear to have been working with the FBI ti "crack the case".

Ellen Byrne said...

$2.5 Million Dollar Reward

Since Dr. Ivins is dead he can't be arrested, convicted or put to death. Don't these women get a reward other than 15 minutes of fame and dubious notoriety?

Anonymous said...

Did the FBI ask you to meet with Ivins and wear a hidden recording device?

Yes. I came close to setting a meeting up. I was going to have lunch with him when visiting Washington DC. Ultimately, I couldn't do it. I was afraid. The FBI told me there might be guns involved. I would be surrounded by disguised agents. But the agents thought I would be too nervous to do it.

This is weird. It sounds like the FBI suggested a meeting but at the same time, dissuaded Haigwood from agreeing to it by saying it might get violent. Maybe what the FBI really wanted was for Haigwood to tell exactly this story to the media -- that she'd 'almost' agreed to go meet Ivins wearing a wire but the threat of violence was too real.

If Haigwood had gone to meet Ivins, the wire might have caught some things the FBI didn't want going on the record -- like how the FBI was harrassing him and perhaps the reasons why Ivins couldn't have mailed the anthrax.

Lamorial said...

Wow, this case now is a slam dunk 4me. The Stasi secret police have nothing on the FBI.

What’s her name and the FBI should share the Time cover Sleuths of the year - pardon the pun.

And Dr. Ivins’ first Anthrax sample was destroyed because it did not meet with evidentiary protocols? Cute.

Elizabeth Ferrari/ San Francisco said...

A few things. I also had a stalker and while I never involved the police, I did cut off all contact with him and that ended the stalking. It's generally not recommended to pursue 25 year relationships with your stalkers if you want that activity to end.

Also, in one iteration of this story, Haigwood's ex is surprised to find out Ivins lived in their neighborhood at the time of the spray paint incident. So, he could have become aware of where Haigwood lived simply by living in his own neighborhood. What kind of a stalker was he if they didn't even know he was there?

It is possible and even likely that the FBI worked on Haigwood's ego and fears as they seemed to do on Duley's.

Does anyone know if Haigwood would have an opportunity to read the material Barbara Hatch Rosenberg was putting out via F.A.S.? She wrote an analysis of the anthrax attacks that are generally read as a veiled indictment of Hatfill. I was wondering if these two women would have had an opportunity to talk about this case in some way.

Here is a link to that analysis:

ajesquire said...

While Dr. Haigwood seems "certain" that Dr. Ivins committed the anthrax attacks (apparently alone), reading that article it's clear that she doesn't base that on her history with Dr. Ivins, but with her interpretation of what the FBI eventually just recently released.

As such, her "conclusion" is subject to the same critiques as that "evidence" has received.

And she talks about a KKG "house" in Princeton, when we now know that it was nothing more than an administrative office/storage facility. So she's got more than a few facts wrong.

Elizabeth Ferrari/ San Francisco said...

In the interview, Haigwood says,"a diabolical little twist that is so Ivins".

Both Duley and Haigwood refer to Bruce Ivins in similar terms. Neither of them knew him very well, did they? Duley had only seen him a few times over the course of six months when he was under a great deal of pressure and Haigwood hadn't seen him in many years.

Someone in Frederick -- Ellen or someone: Who did Duley's employer have the contract for drug rehab with? Does anyone know? Was it with Frederick or with the insurance provider or with the Feds or? I'm trying to track that down. Any help, much appreciated.

George Washington said...

Dr. Nass,

I have been told that Francis Boyle, who drafted bioterror laws, and consulted with the FBI in the early stages of its anthrax investigation, says in this interview (mp3 audio) that scientists independently confirm the weaponized anthrax could not have come from Fort Detrick.

I'm at work (no sound on computer), so I can't verify this right now.

Anonymous said...

She's getting "regular" e-mails from him? Was she some part of a cc: list of scientists? She never complained of the e-mails, and she never blocked them?

Something very fishy here. At least completely overblown.

The FBI stoked every angle of the various "profiles". Bioevangelist who wanted to scare people; right wing white guy; pharmaceutical industry profiteering motive. Now add "stalker", that's a new one.

Another detail, now we have Ivins in a photo at a lab as guilt. Hatfill had the same used against him.

Elizabeth Ferrari/ San Francisco said...

That she repeats FBI talking points in the interview should tell us a lot.

That she says they behaved ethically when she wasn't asked that question also tells us a lot.

The leaked distortions in this case seem to always start with a grain of truth, e.g., he probably did mail out a picture to a list of correspondents.

There as also an investigation of her operation on charges of animal abuse in late 2007. They seem to have gone away pretty quickly unlike other similar problems they've had there. I'm still looking for a good or neutral source -- a source besides animal rights sites - but the basics seem to be true.

spoonful said...

Yes, a truly bizarre interview, especially given the thorough debunking of the affidavit and other evidence on which she bases Ivins' guilt. Perhaps her sudden appearance can be explained by one simple motivation: a John McCain victory in November (or Hillary Clinton). Nothing else matters to those who work for the federal government right now. To the extent that for the next three months this woman can con the American public into believing Ivins is guilty, it will only benefit McCain.

Ellen Byrne said...

Elizabeth - Jean Duley was program director at Comprehensive Counseling Associates in Frederick. 172 Thomas Johnson Dr # 204
Frederick, MD 21702
(301) 663-8343

Below is an article about Ms. Duley in the Frederick News Post which, INCREDIBLY, was published the day Dr. Ivins passed away.

daedalus2u said...

That is no way to run an investigation, let potential witnesses read investigators' case files?

That completely impeaches her as a witness. There is absolutely no way that she would be credible to a jury after the FBI fed her stuff like that. It should be considered witness tampering.

The FBI could have given her completely fictional material. Lying to potential witnesses is not considered unethical in the course of an investigation.

It almost sounds like the FBI was never intending to prosecute this case in court. None of this would stand up and convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

It sounds like their strategy is what the prosecution used against Steven Kurtz and Robert Ferrell

Apply enough pressure until they "break" and plead guilty. The "three strokes and you are out" strategy. Robert Ferrell did plead guilty after having 3 strokes. A judge dismissed all charges against Steve Kurtz.

Elizabeth Ferrari / San Francisco said...

Ellen: Thank you. I have some calls out.

This stalking story has bothered me since the first time I read it. And nothing I've read about it since has made more sense to me.

Those two women do have a lot in common in the way that they present and in the way they seem to have been handled. Let's see what turns up.


Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

Thomas C. Butler is another case of excess by the FBI against a doctor/scientist like the Kurtz/Ferrell case

Instructions come down to lean on someone as in these cases, and the leaning is intense.

Ennealogic said...

Ellen, the story about Duley pushing suboxone was published one month to the day before Dr. Ivins died.

I do have to wonder who tipped the paper to that story... why did they run it when they did?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone aware of whether suboxone could have an adverse or fatal interaction with the acetamimiphne that Ivins was taking? What about interaction with the numerous anthrax vaccines Ivins was subject to?

Anonymous said...

They're leaking all this "personal" stuff and no hard evidence-- suggests they don't have anything but these implications. I must say, I don't think what she says sounds like anything that could be used to convict him of stalker-hood.

It's all very weird, and proof that human beings can be strange, but there's no proof of any connection to the anthrax killings. He sent a photo of him working with anthrax... well, wasn't that his JOB? I mean, I write software, so if I wanted to send a photo of me at work, it would be me at a computer. It wouldn't be evidence that I'm a hacker.

I do think, since the FBI is happy to leak, they'd leak real evidence if they have it.

I can really understand now how innocent people can be arrested and tried-- if prosecutors rely on prejudicial but insubstantial evidence for an indictment, and it all falls apart at the trial.

curiouser and curiouser said...

wow. Just wow. The truly sketchy nature of Dr. Haigwood's interview, her failure ever to provide a logical or factual basis for her conclusions, and the repetition of disproven talking points--they all have the effect at this point of making the FBI's story *less* credible than it already was. "You think our story is thin? Well, over here we have an apparently independent person who, after years of contact with us, repeats the thin story almost verbatim--so it must be true." Perhaps this interview has been heavily edited, but her persistent leaping to conclusions makes her sound more than a bit paranoid.

But we are the paranoid ones, right?

Thank you for keeping us up to date, Dr. Nass.

Elizabeth Ferrari / San Francisco said...

"They're leaking all this "personal" stuff and no hard evidence-- suggests they don't have anything but these implications."

If the FBI had a solid criminal case that could be brought to indict someone of such a serious crime, why leak and try to spin personal quirks into something sinister?

You'd think professional self-respect would cringe at such a tactic.

But the current FBI leadership is wed to the same Bush Justice Department leadership that tried to sell torture to the nation as "enhanced interrogation techniques".

There are professionals in the FBI. I believe at some point, someone will have a moment of clarity and will remember why they set out to investigate this case in the first place -- the safety of our people.

Anonymous said...

After reading her account, I was left with the clear impression that Haigwood hated Ivins for some reason, and jumped at the chance to get revenge on him for something.

She cites TWO incidents, both over 25 years old, as proof he was obsessed with her? Not to mention there is absolutely no proof he did either incident. Spray-painting a car, carefully on the window to avoid damage, actually sounds like a fraternity prank to me, not stalker behavior. Spray-painting "SLUT" on the hood would be more of a stalker move.

This woman sounds like she has carried a grudge against him for decades, and was finally able to get even.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet Haigwood thinks Brad Pitt is stalking her because, when she showed up to watch a movie once, he was in it.

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

The box the spores were found in NJ was not a mailbox you as a person could put mail in. It was one only postal employees could use according to the following story from 2002. If its the same box? Does anyone know if this was sorted out by the FBI or anyone else?

"In a search of more than 600 area mailboxes, agents said, the box at the corner of Nassau and Bank streets was the only one to test positive."

"The box in which spores were found was used to store sorted incoming mail and outbound letters, leading some to speculate that a letter addressed to an area resident might have picked up spores on contaminated sorting equipment before arriving in Princeton.

After the test, agents canvassed the area with a photograph of Stephen Hatfill, a biologist who who investigators believe may have been involved in the attacks, local business owners said."

So what mailboxes fed into this sorted mail mailbox? Also the claim he used the same mailbox twice seems to be unsupported if the mailbox they found spores in was a sorted mail mailbox the general public can't use.

Is this something else than the box they alleged that Hatfill, I mean Berry, I mean Ivins used?

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

"The finding does not conclusively tie the anthrax mailings to Princeton, leaving the FBI still unable to answer the most basic questions like where the letters entered the postal system, let alone who sent the letters, spokesmen have said."

From same Princetonian link. The spores could have come from cross contamination?

"The Palmer Square post office was also briefly closed last fall after a single spore of anthrax was found in a container inside the building."

These spores could have been cross contaminated? How much do we really know? Someone could have put the letters in that box if they had a key? Or simply inserted it into the system someplace else and cross contamination is what got spores there?

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

One final, I hope point. If the mailbox was a postal employees only box, then the mailbox used by the mailer must have been one used a couple days earlier. For the first mailing, Sep 18 roughly, that would be on the weekend or prior week. In that case, Ivins was in the lab when the mailbox available to the public was used.

Alternatively, if the FBI has a mailbox available to the public, and it doesn't have millions of spores but only hundreds, then that box is likely a cross contamination box. That weakens the timing. Which weakens the power of the coincidences of the dates.

If the letters had trillions of spores on the inside, then they likely had millions on the outside. In any case, they cross contaminated later to cause lethal doses after loss in travel. It seems the mailbox initially receiving the letters should have had lethal doses in it. The mail carrier should have gotten sick at a minimum. This is quite a mystery all around. Its really not been thought through.

Old Atlantic Lighthouse said...

I found another source that says the mailbox was used by the public and mail carriers.

"The box had two purposes: It was used by the public to drop off mail and was used by the Postal Service to hold sorted mail for letter carriers to deliver. "

"Anthrax probe goes door to door

The Trenton Times
Wednesday, August 14, 2002 "

In any case, it seems the FBI has picked this box as the mailbox to fit the lab times which reduces the improbability factor. It seems as or maybe more likely this was a cross contamination box.