Terrorism or small town feud?

While the media was reporting on the Boston Bombings and subsequent manhunt, another story got some airplay only because they thought it might be connected. Once it was proved there was no connection the story dropped from many news organizations. But this was just when the story got interesting.

Letters poisoned with ricin, a lethal toxin made from caster beans, were mailed to President Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and Mississippi Judge, Sadie Holland. FBI quickly jumped into action and investigated. Within just a few days, they arrested Kevin Curtis, a Mississippi man with bipolar disorder.

But terrorism wasn’t the motive. FBI learned that Judge Holland had sentenced Curtis to six months in jail in 2004 for assault.

The FBI announced it had nothing to do with the terror in Boston, but continued to search for evidence against Curtis. Before Curtis could even appear in court, the media had lost interest.

Curtis did make his appearance and was suddenly and surprisingly released from custody. Charges were dropped after he adamantly denied having anything to do with the letters. Despite the letters having phrases Curtis used in social media and despite the letters being signed by ‘KC,’ no ricin or castor beans were found in a search of his home. In fact, nothing was found linking him to the letters.

So Curtis turned around and helped the FBI. He pointed a finger at the one person he knew would want to ‘frame’ him, James Everett Dutschke.

 Dutschke had a reason to dislike Judge Holland as well. In 2007 he ran for the state Legislature against Judge Holland’s son and lost. But the framing of Curtis was the most interesting part. It appears Curtis and Dutschke had been friends and almost partners in a project to publish a book. But the two had a falling out. First a physical confrontation, then the two began to feud online.

What was initially thought to be a classic terrorism turned out to be a small town feud.  Last week, the FBI searched Dutschke’s home and arrested him on charges of possessing and using ricin. Apparently Dutschke thought he could get two birds with one stone. Dutschke is being held without bond pending a preliminary hearing later this week.

Of course, the Curtis story must remind us that we are all innocent until proven guilty

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org.