Monday, April 2, 2018

Recounting the Anthrax Attacks

On April 8, 2018, a new book about the anthrax attacks of 2001 will be available in book stores.  The book is "Recounting the Anthrax Attacks" by R. Scott Decker.  While there have been a number of other books about the case, this is the first book written by an insider.  Scott Decker was in charge of the scientific investigation that led to identifying Bruce Edwards Ivins as the anthrax killer.  He's retired from the FBI now, so he is free to write about the case.

Although Scott and I have never actually met in person, we have talked on the phone and from December of 2015 to March of 2016 I helped him proof-read his book as he was writing it.  He used my web-site as a source for many documents related to the case.  I also remember sending him a CD with several FBI files I had obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  Since he was retired, it was easier to get the documents from me than to try to get copies from the original sources.

In December of 2017, I learned that on the first page of the Acknowledgements section at the beginning of the book Scott wrote:
There are many people who supported and encouraged me throughout this writing project. Edward Lake, who by keeping his Internet site up to date from the fall of 2001 through the end of 2014, chronicled the investigation. The site is a wealth of information and source of media references. I thank him for agreeing to review my manuscript for accuracy; any mistakes still remaining are completely on me. 

So, I'm looking forward to seeing what reaction the book receives.  It's been a long time since the case was closed.  But, there still seem to be countless conspiracy theorists and True Believers around the world who feel someone other than Ivins was the anthrax killer.  The blog you are reading was created to discuss the beliefs of those True Believers and conspiracy theorists.  Long ago I created this cartoon to illustrate the situation:

None of those conspiracy theorists and True Believers have any solid evidence to support their beliefs.  What they have instead is an absurd argument that no one can prove it is "impossible" for them to be right, and that somehow means they are right.

Hopefully, Scott Decker's book will re-open some discussions about the case, since it shows how the evidence against Ivins was uncovered and how Ivins repeatedly tried to obstruct the investigation.  It won't stop the True Believers or conspiracy theorists, but it might help isolate them from the rest of the world.

And, of course, since I'm mentioned in the book and my web site is used as a reference source on several occasions, plus he mentions both of my books about the case, it would be nice if his book spurs some sales for my book(s). 

There also seems to be a good chance that they might make a TV documentary series or a major motion picture out of Scott's book.  An agent even put together a video promoting the idea.

I have been totally involved in other subjects for years, so this renewal of interest in the anthrax case is also likely to be a source of interruptions for me.  But, I'll deal with it. 

I wish Scott the best of luck with the book.