“Anthrax-laced letters that killed five people and severely rattled the post-9/11 nation may have been part of an Army scientist’s warped plan to test his cure for the deadly toxin, officials said Friday. The brilliant but troubled scientist committed suicide this week, knowing prosecutors were closing in.
“Authorities were investigating whether Ivins, who had complained about the limits of testing anthrax drugs on animals, had released the toxin to test the treatment on humans.
“For more than a decade, Ivins had worked to develop an anthrax vaccine that was effective even in cases where different strains of anthrax were mixed — a situation that made vaccines ineffective — according to federal documents reviewed by the AP. In 2003, he shared the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service for his work on the anthrax vaccine. The award is the highest honor given to Defense Department civilian employees.
“Maryland court documents show he recently received psychiatric treatment and was ordered to stay away from a woman he was accused of stalking and threatening to kill.