Was ricin-letter suspect framed?
posted at 3:21 pm on April 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Could the Elvis impersonator arrested in the ricin-letter case have been set up? Fox News reports that the FBI has begun to look into the possibility that Paul Kevin Curtis got framed in the terrorism scare:
The Mississippi man charged with sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama has been released, the U.S. Marshals Service said Tuesday.
Jeff Woodfin, chief deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service in Oxford, Miss., confirmed the release to the Associated Press but said he didn’t know if there were any conditions on the release.
Two sources had earlier confirmed to Fox News that the FBI was looking into the possibility that he might have been framed as part of a grudge against him from someone in his neighborhood. A detention hearing for Paul Kevin Curtis that was scheduled for Tuesday has also been postponed.
The development comes after investigators said they hadn’t found any ricin in his house. Agent Brandon Grant said that a search of Curtis’ vehicle and house in Corinth, Miss., on Friday did not turn up ricin or ingredients for the poison. A search of Curtis’ computers has found no evidence so far that he researched making ricin.
Every defendant claims a frame-up, but this one might be getting a little more credit than usual. For one thing, it appears that another ricin attack took place while Curtis was in custody:
Reid just now suggests there’s been another ricin incident: “We’ve had another incident today, I’m told, at Bolling Air Force Base.”
— Mike O’Brien (@mpoindc) April 23, 2013
Of course, this could be a copycat attack, which the massive media coverage could have provoked. Still, despite the fact that the case involves terrorist threats against the President and members of Congress, the US Marshals allowed Elvis to leave the building earlier today after a hearing in federal court. That doesn’t sound like the feds think he’s a threat any longer, and perhaps wasn’t one all along. No one can say whether the court even put any conditions on Curtis’ release. And yesterday, investigators could find no evidence that Curtis had produced any ricin or even had researched how to do so.
On the other hand, the report from Fox on Curtis’ history isn’t exactly a confidence-builder, either:
Of course, Curtis’ mental-health issues could have made him a good target for a frame-up, too. Remember the old joke that went Just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you? That may well apply in this case.