Sunday, March 10, 2013

Subject: My book

I probably should have created a thread on this blog about my book "A Crime Unlike Any Other: What the Facts Say About Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins and the Anthrax Attacks of 2001" months ago.  Click HERE to view the ad on  Above are images of the front and back covers.  It's a 6x9 paperback, and it's also available on Kindle.

The book isn't just the story of how and why Dr. Ivins created the anthrax powders and sent the anthrax letters of 2001, and how he was identified as the killer.  It's also about how the facts of the case gradually became clear.

Some have found that the most interesting part of the book is how little was known about anthrax before the letters, and how nearly everyone was making wildly false assumptions.  Even Dr. Ivins made some critical false assumptions which later came back to haunt him.  He thought the Ames strain of anthrax that he used in the letters was a very common strain used by "countless" laboratories all over the world.  He thought it could never be traced back to him.  However, the FBI investigation showed it to be a very rare strain used in only 18 laboratories, and 17 of those laboratories got their samples of the Ames strain from the 18th lab, the lab where Dr. Ivins worked, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).

That's a blunder that's truly "stranger than fiction," since no one would believe it if it were in a work of fiction.

The book also shows how other false beliefs got started.  Some of those false beliefs are still held by people today as they endlessly argue conspiracy theories or that Dr. Ivins couldn't have made the anthrax powders.  They believe the powders were "weaponized" in some supersophisticated way only possible in a government-run bioweapons laboratory, when the facts clearly show that they were routine powders that almost any microbiologist could make.  Dr. Ivins was just an expert at purifying anthrax spores.  Many mistaken beliefs were started by the media.  The Amerithrax investigation involved some of the worst and most inaccurate reporting by the media in modern times.

The book also explains things that are not part of the official case against Dr. Ivins, such as when he appears to have first gotten the idea for using an anthrax-filled letter to get more funding for anthrax vaccine research.  The idea appears to have occurred to him a full year before the actual attacks.  And, the facts clearly indicate that the first anthrax letter was written weeks before 9/11.  So, unlike most beliefs about the case, the facts say Ivins was planning a crime using anthrax before 9/11 focused his attention and spurred him to actually do what he'd only been thinking about for over a year.       

I think it's a fascinating story.  It's kept me fascinated for over 11 years.  But, it's mostly forgotten by the public.  They generally remember the attacks, but they don't remember who did it or why.

My hope is that my book will show true crime buffs that there's "a crime unlike any other" that they have totally overlooked and should read more about.



  1. In his book, Ed argues that the facts establish that a First Grader wrote the letters. There is no factual basis to his theory.

  2. Anonymous wrote: "In his book, Ed argues that the facts establish that a First Grader wrote the letters."

    Yes, indeed. I show what the FACTS indicate about how the letters were written. When Ivins first gets the idea of writing a letter containing a coded message to go along with some anthrax in an envelope, it's a full year before the actual mailings. It's when the facts say Ivins was thinking about building some kind of fertilizer bomb to attract attention in some way to the anthrax letter. I suspect he had concerns about writing the letter himself, or using a computer to print the letter, and I describe those probable concerns. When he gets the idea of using a child to do the writing, it's over a year later, in August 2001, just after he evidently got the word that he was going to be demoted to work under a woman who was younger and had less experience than he did.

    Anonymous also wrote: "There is no factual basis to his theory."

    The facts are in the book, along with images of the letters and envelopes to illustrate the facts. Where there is doubt about some detail, that doubt is explained.

    The only "factual" basis for arguing that an adult wrote the letters is an assumption that the same person who mailed the letters also wrote them, since getting a second person involved adds risks.

    But, since Ivins was an experienced burglar and accustomed to taking risks, the book explains how Ivins would have considered using a child that way to be a brilliant idea. It was the kind of sick and nasty scheme he liked to use so often.