Menu
Share
 
Switch to Desktop Site

'Walking Dead' actress arrested: How ricin letters became tool of revenge

Several poisonous letters sent to officials appear to have been tied to settling private feuds. On Friday, the FBI arrested a woman for sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, apparently to exact revenge upon her estranged husband.

Image

Shannon Richardson is placed into a Titus County Sheriff's car after an initial appearance Friday at the federal building in Texarkana, Texas. The FBI says Ms. Richardson admitted sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but only after trying to pin it on her husband.

Curt Youngblood/The Texarkana Gazette/AP

About these ads

Two days after an Elvis impersonator’s online rival pleaded not guilty to sending letters tainted with the ricin toxin to several US officials, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a Texas actress for allegedly sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an apparently twisted bid to implicate her estranged husband.

The emergence of ricin, a deadly toxin that can be derived from a common ornamental plant, as a revenge tool is a new twist in the post-9/11 era, in which non-terrorists have ratcheted up their local feuds to national security events by involving high officials like Mr. Obama. A spate of poison-tainted mail escalated terror fears in the wake of 9/11, but these new attacks seem both more bizarre and more mundane, like made-for-tabloid vendettas.

In both cases, police say the people who tipped off authorities ended up being the alleged perpetrators. Earlier this spring, the FBI detained a Mississippi Elvis impersonator, Kevin Curtis, on suspicion he sent ricin-tainted letters to Obama and several other officials.

But this week, a rival, James Everett Dutschke of Tupelo, Miss., was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he sent the letters in order to pin the blame on Mr. Curtis.

Next

Page:   1   |   2


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Loading...