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:

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.

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Take a good look a the pic of this guy above. Does anyone
really think this man could do this??

O.K., let me re-phrase that.

ToddPA on April 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Fake but accurate?

Roy Rogers on April 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

O.K., let me re-phrase that.

ToddPA on April 23, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Don’t be cruel. The authorities are in Heartbreak Hotel and I’m all shook up.

Next time they should just write on the envelope “Return to Sender.”

Drained Brain on April 23, 2013 at 3:29 PM

What difference does it make that this dude he was framed ?
Hussein got some sympathy by the tinglers in the media out of it,
and that my friends is the most important thing in the world.
And before I forget ..eff the FBI.

burrata on April 23, 2013 at 3:30 PM

I don’t understand the “trace” part. If it’s intentional, it should be ricin — not trace ricin.

Blake on April 23, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Don’t be cruel. The authorities are in Heartbreak Hotel and I’m all shook up.

Next time they should just write on the envelope “Return to Sender.”

Drained Brain on April 23, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Heh!

And just think, once he’s sentenced, he’ll be able to croon
JailHouse Rock!

ToddPA on April 23, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Drained Brain on April 23, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I’ve got you on the must-hire list. Please send your headhunter’s contact info.

Limerick on April 23, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Buddy Holly’s ghost framed him?

sentinelrules on April 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

He ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog.

The Rogue Tomato on April 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Remember the old joke that went Just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you?

Actually, I think the old joke went “Just because you’re PARANOID doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.” Substituting “crazy” for “paranoid” pretty much kills the punch line.

tommyboy on April 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

From this article: Ricin Suspect Released From Jail

“(FBI Agent Brandon) Grant said lab analysis shows the poison in the letters was in a crude form that could have been created by grinding castor beans in a food processor or coffee grinder.”

Fine f’n thing. Maybe in a few weeks we will find he had a bean burrito before he mailed the letter.

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Check his blue suede shoes for ricin dust.

Bishop on April 23, 2013 at 3:42 PM

How the devil do average people get anywhere near a source of Ricin? Is there a gun show loophole for highly toxic compounds no one untrained would even know how to handle and store?

Here’s one: This recent Ricin scare is a lie, it never happened.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Our government seems to be mighty eager to release the names of “persons of interest,” showing little regard for what it will do to their reputations. They (we taxpayers) had to pay Steven Hatfill millions of dollars because John Ashcroft had no compunctions about bearing false witness against him. The happily complicit media did as much as they could to destroy his life, all with a drumbeat of innuendo. There is a reason no one should trust the media or the government, and it has nothing to do with paranoia.

DrMagnolias on April 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Government might be trying to scare us into losing more of our freedoms. I refuse to play along.

astonerii on April 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Was ricin-letter suspect framed?

“Only if his last name is Tsarnaev.”
/The Slimeballs’ mother

Bitter Clinger on April 23, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Just because the FBI goons arrest someone it doesn’t mean they have the right person. Just google Richard Jewel.

MoreLiberty on April 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM

It grows in your backyard. It is a natural substance. Testing positive might just mean you dropped the letter on the ground taking it to post office.

astonerii on April 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM

We can’t go on together, with suspicious minds.

forest on April 23, 2013 at 4:02 PM

It grows in your backyard. It is a natural substance. Testing positive might just mean you dropped the letter on the ground taking it to post office.

astonerii on April 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM

I’m not so sure. If extracting Ricin is anything at all like is done for essential oils in perfumery, it takes a lot of the source to produce a readable amount.

For example, to get one pound of rose oil, a hundred pounds of rose petals are need needs to be pressed. True, I don’t know the math but this instance seems too bizarre to consider with more than a grain of salt. I’m only going by experience in the fragrances industry. Other mileage may vary. :-)

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Return to sender. Address unknown. No such number. No such zone.

portlandon on April 23, 2013 at 4:07 PM

It grows in your backyard. It is a natural substance. Testing positive might just mean you dropped the letter on the ground taking it to post office.

astonerii on April 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM

You may be thinking of Anthrax.

Ricin has to be processed. Otherwise, it’s just beans.

makattak on April 23, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Ed:

Just because you’re crazy paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you

FIFY

socalcon on April 23, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Don’t be cruel
to a heart that’s true crazy . . .

Thank you.Thank you very much.

BigAlSouth on April 23, 2013 at 4:20 PM

What did he say when released from custody?

“Thankyouverymuch.”

Ward Cleaver on April 23, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 4:04 PM

From this article: Ricin Suspect Released From Jail

“(FBI Agent Brandon) Grant said lab analysis shows the poison in the letters was in a crude form that could have been created by grinding castor beans in a food processor or coffee grinder.”

Fine f’n thing. Maybe in a few weeks we will find he had a bean burrito before he mailed the letter.

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 4:24 PM

From this article: Ricin Suspect Released From Jail

“(FBI Agent Brandon) Grant said lab analysis shows the poison in the letters was in a crude form that could have been created by grinding castor beans in a food processor or coffee grinder.”

Fine f’n thing. Maybe in a few weeks we will find he had a bean burrito before he mailed the letter.

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 3:40 PM

slickwillie2001 on April 23, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Must have taken a hell of a lot of reasonably-raw castor beans. And, if that crude, how much straight-up Ricin would have been produced? Assuming this was a real attack, I’d start looking for a freshman high school geek who thinks he ‘found’ something, and went the way of budding teenage computer hacker types who figured out how to take down the Facebook page of their ex-girlfriend to spite her.

Maybe it’s all true, I don’t know. What I find more telling/annoying is that they’ll spare no expense for this ‘crisis’, while pooh-poohing the fact the Tsaraev brothers are Muslim terrorists.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Per the US Marshals office…”Elvis has left the building”

jaywemm on April 23, 2013 at 5:09 PM

What does he and Charlie Rangel have in common?

Schadenfreude on April 23, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Wait, there is still an opportunity here to blame something on a Conservative, yeah, that’s it, and evil Conservative framed him…

rgranger on April 23, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Of course, he is a Democrat activist in a red state the Dems desperately want to turn blue, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with this!

Katja on April 23, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Heartache Hotel.

Del Dolemonte on April 23, 2013 at 5:45 PM

An Elvis impersonator accused of sending ricin. I swear, this country is getting just too bizarre.

ddrintn on April 23, 2013 at 6:34 PM

What I find more telling/annoying is that they’ll spare no expense for this ‘crisis’, while pooh-poohing the fact the Tsaraev brothers are Muslim terrorists.

Liam on April 23, 2013 at 4:43 PM

The “targets” of the ricin letters were Congresscritters and Preezy himself. We can’t have anyone targeting them.

On the other hand, the victims of the Bomber Brothers were common folk. Not nearly as important to protect, apparently.

Syzygy on April 23, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Was ricin-letter suspect framed?Was ricin-letter suspect framed?

…only if he is right…of center…

KOOLAID2 on April 23, 2013 at 8:27 PM