Nature 454, 917 (21 August 2008) | doi:10.1038/454917a; Published online 20 August 2008
Case not closed
The FBI says it has evidence showing that Bruce Ivins was behind the 2001 anthrax attacks — but with his death, this will not be tested in court. A full enquiry into the case is needed if justice is to be done.
Was Bruce Ivins a scientist-gone-wrong who single-handedly orchestrated the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States? Or was the 62-year-old anthrax-vaccine researcher at Fort Detrick, Maryland, an emotionally unstable innocent whose profile made him a convenient fall guy for the FBI?
The jury is still out on those questions — or rather, it would be if one had ever had a chance to hear the evidence. Ivins's apparent suicide last month means there will not be a trial, which makes it all the more important that the government release the evidence it planned to use to accuse him. In full. Now.