A top government scientist who helped the FBI analyze samples from the 2001 anthrax attacks has died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him for the attacks, the Los Angeles Times has learned.
Bruce E. Ivins, 62, who for the last 18 years worked at the government's elite biodefense research laboratories at Ft. Detrick, Md., had been informed of his impending prosecution, said people familiar with Ivins, his suspicious death and the FBI investigation.
Ironically, Ivins helped the government assay the anthrax he is now accused of mailing to a U.S. senator's office. Five people were killed when the anthrax was put into the U.S. mail system, disrupting government mail deliveries for months. Recall that the government recently paid out a $5.82 million settlement to Steven Hatfill, another government scientist who the FBI falsely accused of being behind the anthrax attacks.