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A story about another time Robert Mueller messed up.

Well I think criminals keep you in business. But solving the case, right? So let’s, let’s shift gears out of language for a minute and let’s get into the art of entertainment so to speak. Um, I even know where I want to go with this. I just fast the reality versus what I mean, what you guys do on a day to day basis versus what we see on tv. I guess it’s what I want to go because I obviously know I’m not stupid enough to believe that everything gets solved happily cleanly and within an hour we’re know even like, because you were mentioning, I heard you’re doing an interview fits, um, about the anthrax. How, how that, that took a couple of years if I recall correctly from the other interview.

Oh, that’s a real sore subject with me. I’m, and I have no problem talking about it with you, but before more recent times in the bureau in terms of some political things going on, that was the one case that really stuck in my craw because there were me and a few other profilers we’re telling then director mueller and his people are working the anthrax case. No, you’ve got the wrong guy, I won’t even mention the wrong guys name on the, when your show here, but, but, uh, they followed this guy around, never arrested him, but they drained a, uh, a lake near his house and searched his house and always computers, whatever. And we just kept saying this is the wrong guy, the wrong guy. and finally they found out it wasn’t. He sued the government. He’s a wealthy man now. And quite frankly, he probably deserves that. But then eventually I was, a year after I retired, I helped the new task force was formed and um, and they were focusing elsewhere.
I, you know, I was there at the beginning stages of this new task force and eventually in 2008, the summer of 2008 and individual was identified. And uh, as soon as his lawyers were contacted, he wound up killing himself. So they never got a confession out of him. But, uh, there’s no doubt he was the anthrax guy. And, uh, uh, from 2001 right after nine slash 11 attacks, this guy came out and he was killing people for his own purposes basically to get his, a vaccine that he sort of invented or at least was developing out into the main mainstream market. And that’s why he decided to send the anthrax was a male. And we knew there were some personal agenda behind it. It wasn’t a terrorist attack, uh, you know, by, by definition, um, and eventually that’s what it turned out to be. So yeah, that was a tough case back then.
But, uh, there was a language element to it. There were several different letters that accompanied. There’s anthrax letters, a couple of the envelopes I should say. And um, I think I had about 39 words total and the bosses at the fbi said, journals, I want you to do all these media interviews and I know you were in the, in this linguistic stuff, they probably pronounced it like you to jim in the beginning. I said, no boss, it’s linguistics. It’s not an italian meal, uh, to study a language. And, uh, I had to basically do my best one in the media, uh, to tell them about these two letters with about 39 words total, but, you know, delta America, a praise allah and just a few other things, a death to Israel to weeks, letter ended. Uh, so, uh, I did my best and in that case, uh, I asked to do some more work with linguistic analysis.
I wanted to look at the known writings of all the scientists they had at u samred versus a us army military research facility of some sort, the acronyms off a little bit there. But, uh, but they said, nah, we know you’ve had success in the unit, bob case, but we don’t need this kind of work here will think we know who it is. It’s this guy blank blank. But they were wrong. And I never did get a chance to do any real strong linguistic analysis in that case. But I, as coming up in my next book, I’ll, I’ll spend a chapter, jim talking about that case. And quite frankly, what the fbi initially did wrong under some poor management. But they eventually got it right on the, uh, I certainly believed that the correct guy was arrested, uh, why shouldn’t say identified in 2008. He was never arrested because he chose to take the easy way out and a and kill himself.


James Fitzgerald and Natalie Schilling

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