The FBI case against Ivins, once again, was based on circumstantial evidence.
The prosecution stated Ivins purposefully gave a misleading sample of anthrax spore, but Frontline documented this was not true. Ivins was “familiar” with the area from which the anthrax letters were mailed, the FBI said, but Pulitzer Prize winning ProPublica lays out the accepted facts of the case showing it was impossible for Ivins to make the trip to mail the letters.
The spores used in the attacks were a similar type to the laboratory spores where Ivins worked, but that ignored the fact that the anthrax letters had a unique additive — so sophisticated and dangerous a scientist commented, “This is not your mother’s anthrax” — that was likely produced by a nation state or Al-Qaeda.
Ivins was never indicted, just given the Hatfill treatment. His house was raided, and he was threatened with a death sentence, or as his lawyer put it, put under “relentless pressure of accusation and innuendo.” He committed suicide.