Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bruce Ivins' "therapist" accuser Duley was under house arrest when she colluded with FBI

[After breaking client-therapist confidentiality, and filing for a "Peace Order," with an FBI agent accompanying her to court, Ms. Duley hasn't been seen or heard from since--Nass]
Katherine Heerbrandt
A shocking mockery
August 12, 2009

With the anniversary of Bruce Ivins' death and subsequent character assassination by the FBI and Department of Justice, comes "new" information supporting what many suspected at the outset of the events leading to his apparent suicide: Ivins was a suspect of convenience, a vulnerable, despairing man who couldn't absorb the psychological blows dealt by a heavy-fisted FBI who sought to "beat" him into confession.

The science touted that narrowed the suspects in the 2001 Amerithrax case that killed five and sickened 17 is being debunked on a daily basis.

Still U.S. Rep. Rush Holt from New Jersey isn't getting far in asking for a panel investigation into the case, similar to the 9/11 Commission Report. Perhaps some are worried that shining the light of truth will reveal the government's role in Amerithrax. In the wake of Amerithrax, biolab funding grew from $4 million to $15 billion.

Holt should keep pushing hard. The proposed National Academy of Sciences study is a waste of time because we already know the science doesn't make a case against Ivins.

The only case to be made is that Ivins had a mental breakdown, likely caused by his own mental frailty aggravated by the FBI's harassment. Agents pounced on Ivins' deficiencies, real and contrived, and fed them to a public eager for answers.

For example, the phone messages from Ivins to therapist Jean Duley. A copy was obtained through a public information request to the Frederick Police Department, which did its own investigation into Ivins' death last fall.

The messages came from Ivins after Duley secured an emergency petition to have Ivins hospitalized. This happened less than a month before a grand jury was set to convene. Duley was signed on as a witness, despite her "confidential" relationship with Ivins.

As a result, Duley, encouraged by the FBI who recorded the voicemails, took out a peace order against Ivins, citing "threatening" messages. The July 24 order broke the Ivins' investigation to the world because the documents are open to the public. Duley made it known that Ivins was a suspect in the anthrax murders. She specifically referenced "threatening" messages. Listen for yourself at No threats are made or implied in the messages. More the sad ramblings of a broken man who felt betrayed.

Was making the investigation public another FBI attempt to coerce a confession? Or was it a way to allow Duley to testify outside the confines of a client/patient relationship? Either way, it succeeded on one level. Three days after the peace order, Ivins reportedly overdosed on acetaminophen.

No grand jury hearing. No Duley testimony, which could've been extremely damaging. But, no trial meant Duley didn't have to testify that she was on house arrest during her last sessions with Ivins, according to court records. Sentenced to three months beginning in mid-April, her detention was complete a week before she filed the peace order that ultimately broke Ivins.

Surely that information, along with her lengthy list of DUI's and other troubles, would've shredded her credibility as a witness.

Trial or no, the public and the victims' families, including the Ivins, deserve the truth about Amerithrax. The evidence presented by the FBI makes a mockery of our justice system and insults not only our intelligence, but the memory of those who died.


Ellen Byrne said...

Katherine's article is the best I've read in ages. I urge everyone to listen to the audio at
to hear Bruce address the health care professional who threw the last straw on the camel's back. I don't know many people capable of the restraint he used in the messages. Where, oh where, are the famous threats?! Bruce was a good, honest, innocent man.

Ellen Byrne said...

Katherine's article is the best I've read in ages. I urge everyone to listen to the audio at
to hear Bruce address the health care professional who threw the last straw on the camel's back. I don't know many people capable of the restraint he used in the messages. Where, oh where, are the famous threats?! Bruce was a good, honest, innocent man.

Ed Lake said...

In Ms Heerbrandt's opinion, "No threats are made or implied in the messages." Evidently, she feels this first message time-stamped at 4:25 a.m. in the morning, Friday July 11, 2008, is just a pleasant and friendly "Thank you" from a satisfied patient:

"Hello, Jean. This is Bruce. And I want to thank you for getting me arrested at Fort Detrick, and roughed up, and threatened with being handcuffed, guarded by six police officers with guns in a room, incarcerated. And also I want to thank you for your withdrawing from me our client-patient relationship so the FBI can come and get all the information from you and from Dr. Liggety, and you can't do anything about it, because it's already been made available."

Dr. Ivins' voice on the recording clearly seems both angry and menacing.

Dr. Ivins' second message three minutes later, at 4:28 a.m. that morning is as follows:

"Yeah. In our last phone call I forgot to tell you that I'm going to be leaving both you and Dr. Levy as therapist and psychiatrist, and I'll be seeking help from a preferred provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Thank you very much."

But, evidently Ms Heerbrandt feels that a therapist under "house arrest" on a DUI charge cannot be trusted, even when in the third message Dr. Ivins admits that he is a danger to himself and to others.

The third message is time-stamped at 11:17 a.m. on Saturday, July 12th. This time Ivins' voice is shaky and he is undoubtedly upset or scared. As best as I can make out, he says:

"Jean, this is Bruce Ivins. I'm calling from Shepp-Pratt [Sheppard Pratt psychiatric facility] in Towson. I just wanted to tell you how just disappointed and betrayed I feel about what happened with the E. P. [Emergency Petition] because not only did the information go to the police, it also went to the FBI, and now they're all over me on this. I was looking at the information on the E.P. and what difficult for it. It says, 'You must have a mental illness.' That's true. ' You must need in-patient care and treatment.' That's true. 'You must present a danger to yourself or others.' Okay. I agree with that. 'There's no available less constrictive care or treatment to meet your needs.' Okay, that's true. And then it says, 'You must be unable or unwilling to be admitted voluntarily.' I would never have said no. I never said no to Dr. Peter's suggestions. When he wanted me to go to Suburban, I said 'Sure.' When you wanted me to go to Massey, I said, 'Sure.' If you'd said, on a scale of one to ten, you worry me at an eleven, you need to go away today, you may need to go away within an hour or two, I would have done it. But instead you see, I got arrested by the police, I had the guys with the guns, got roughed up. It was a terrible experience, it got me released to the FBI, and now they're all over my family and all over my case. I have to have a counsel that I can trust. And I don't have that trust anymore. I'm sorry."

Ed at

Ed Lake said...

I just noticed something else in the New York Times article.

It wasn't just his therapist who considered Ivins to be a threat. Her boss, who was Ivins' psychiatrist also had an opinion. The article says:

Dr. Ivins’s psychiatrist had “called him homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions.”

So, when a homicidal sociopath with clear intentions calls you at 4:25 in the morning to angrily "thank you" for having him arrested, should you just ignore it and go back to sleep?


Anonymous said...

Mr. Lake misinterprets manipulative sarcasm as menace and threat in his analysis of these phone calls. While I am willing to admit that a voicemail on your home phone from a client, whose trust you have been betraying, (with virtually any content) at 4:25 am, would cause you to be concerned. However, the voicemail was on an office phone and the content appears aimed at causing Ms. Duley to consider the unprofessional and unethical actions she had taken by becoming a double agent in his case and on the physical and emotional injury it cause her client. Yes, it is also a responsibility of a therapist to report to authorities behavior that may be of danger to himself or others but at that point they must end their relationship. What Ms. Duley did would have made any patient furious and they certainly would not have been as polite as Dr. Ivins was in communicating their displeasure to the counselor. Other than the sarcasm of thanking her for what she did to him, there is absolutely nothing violent or threatening about his messages. The recipient's guilt may have inflated this interpretation.

Anonymous said...

I think you are being polite allowing the title "therapist" to Ms. Duley. It seems she had a history of substance abuse before becoming a therapist and had a long arrest record. Then poor Bruce had the misfortune of landing her as a therapist - one could argue that act of fate in itself resulted in Bruce's untimely demise. What I mean here is that Ms. Duley was open to FBI intimidation due to her record.
And from the FBI's history with Hatfill and Dr Ken Berry it is known that their modus operandi was to look for any previous unsusual behavior and pounce on it (since they didn't have any physical evidence to link anyone to the antharx attacks).

With Hatfill it was a forged diploma and death threats made against folks in a different continent 20 years previously. With Berry it was a forgery rap from 5 years previously. With Bruce it was snooping into his emails and getting testimony from a woman who didn't like him and thought he was "creepy".

Berry ended up with an assault charge against his family when the FBI harrassment got too much. Hatfill started drinking heavily, but in the end prevailed and is richer for it today.

As for the likes of Ed Lake, his tireless campaign to accuse Dr Ivins of mass murder with no evidence makes one wonder if he is an FBI shill.

"Shill" can also be used pejoratively to describe a critic who appears either all-too-eager to heap glowing praise upon mediocre offerings, or who acts as an apologist for glaring flaws.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lake quotes the information Ms. Duley entered on the Peace order she filed. Dr. Levy was Bruce's psychiatrist and he was who supervised Ms. Duley yet Ms. Duley quoted a Dr. David Irwin as his psychiatrist and said he called Bruce homocidal, sociopathic etc. We looked up the Dr. Irwin and found that he is a Forensic Psychiatrist who contracts with agencies, I suspect he was working for the FBI. I don't believe he was involved in Bruce's treatment. Dr. Levy, Bruce's psychiatrist at this time made no public comments agreeing or disagreeing with what Ms. Duley said. This is one of the reasons I believe the Peace Order was orchestrated, especially as she says in her own hand on the Peace Order that the "FBI involved, currently under investigation & will be charged w/ 5 capital murders. This was written before Bruce committed suicide and long before the FBI made a public statement to that effect.

Anonymous said...

i learned on a french tv programme that a graphologist from harvard university was called in to analyse the handwriting on the anthrax letters and the handwriting of all staff at the military lab where the anthrax came from. but before he could begin the second analysis, he was called off.
who called him off? can that person/s be prosecuted for obstruction of justice?
is this one way in which the file can be reopened?

DXer said...

While I didn't see the show, perhaps you mean Vassar. And he wasn't called in. As I recall the story, he volunteered and then was frustrated when they wouldn't give him samples. That perhaps would have been Don Foster, who wrote the Vanity Fair article about 9-12 months after most every one else had moved on from Hatfill. He was sued for libel although I don't recall the result. (Never publish anything you don't relish the prospect of proving in court - I don't). In the press, you can see that he initially thought the writer's language was Urdu from the syntax but then after a lunch with an informed pundit caught the scent of the vapor trail he thought followed Dr. Hatfill. But the suggestion that there was obstruction of justice on the part of the FBI has no basis because he was never called off -- he just was not sought as an expert despite his wishes. (He had been consulted by someone who had used him to write the affidavit in the UNABOM case where they had a 26,000 word manifesto to compare against lots of Kaczynski's writing. Much different situation. Googling would put his track record in other cases right up there with the bloodhounds although it speaks for itself and you should not rely on my say-so. He's not a graphologist but someone who runs sentences through a software program. For example, he might take note you chose "analyse" over "analyze" and consider whether that indicated your nationality or schooling. Of course, given the new information that came out in the affidavits about Cipro it does make you go "hmmmmm..." Relatedly, it is worth noting that the flask was sometimes kept in 1412, not 1425, and I believe virology was in 1412.