Paul Kevin Curtis has been arrested and charged with making threats against the president and sending letters threatening to injure other persons. Relatives, who call him a 'super entertainer,' are shocked.
A fuller picture is emerging of the ricin attacks on public officials and private individuals, including confirmation of the poisonous substance and a portrait of the alleged attacker.
Paul Kevin Curtis is being held in the Lafayette County jail in Oxford, Miss. He was arrested Wednesday at his home in Corinth, near the Tennessee state line. He has been charged with making threats against the president and sending letters threatening to injure other persons, the FBI and the US Attorney’s office announced Thursday.
Officials are awaiting the results of laboratory tests to determine whether ricin in fact was the substance contained in letters sent to US Sen. Roger Wicker (R) of Mississippi and to President Obama. Both letters were intercepted at a government mail screening facility before they reached their intended recipients, and initial field testing indicated the presence of ricin, a poisonous substance made from castor beans.
Such off-site screening has been conducted on mail addressed to the White House and members of Congress since the anthrax attacks of 2001, which targeted Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont, and then-Senate majority leader Tom Daschle (D) of South Dakota. Media organizations were targeted as well, killing five people and infecting 17 others.