In a chilling audiotape, a former therapist of anthrax-case suspect Dr. Bruce Ivins warns a Maryland judge that Ivins is a psychotic "revenge killer" who boasted of buying a gun and killing his co-workers.
The New York Times obtained the audiotape of a court hearing in which therapist Jean Duley told a judge that she feared for her life. She testifies that, at a July 9 group-therapy session, Ivins announced that he had bought a gun and a bulletproof vest and was plotting to kill his co-workers at the Fort Detrick Army research laboratory.
“He was going to go out in a blaze of glory, that he was going to take everybody out with him,” Duley said. The tape, released to the Times by the Maryland District Court in Frederick, is a recording of the recent hearing at which Duley successfully sought a restraining order against Dr. Ivins.
“He is a revenge killer,” Ms. Duley told a Maryland District Court judge on the tape. “When he feels that he has been slighted, and especially towards women, he plots and actually tries to carry out revenge killings.”
Duley ran group-therapy sessions, and Dr. Ivins was a patient. She said on the tape that she had been cooperating with the FBI in its anthrax investigation and was planning to testify against Ivins before a federal grand jury.
She said that on July 9 Dr. Ivins showed up at the group session in Frederick and was "extremely agitated and out of control." He then described a "long and detailed homicidal plan" regarding his co-workers, Duley said. He also revealed that "he had been roaming the streets of Frederick trying to pick a fight" with a stranger so that he could stab him.
Duley called the FBI and other officials after the troubling group session, and helped have Ivins committed to a mental hospital. She said that Ivins then began calling her, from the hospital, and left threatening messages at 4 in the morning. Ivins was "ranting" and "thanked me for ruining his life" and for enabling the FBI to prosecute him for the anthrax murders.
Duley also told the judge that Ivins had mental problems that began in 2000, when he "attempted to murder several other people" through "poisoning." She didn't elaborate, and NBC News has not been able to locate any old criminal charges against Ivins.
"He has been forensically diagnosed...as a sociopathic homicidal killer," Duley added. "I'm scared to death," she said.
The judge quickly agreed to Duley's request, and ordered Ivins to stay away from his former therapist. Ivins was later released from the mental hospital, and killed himself days later.
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2008 1:35 PM ET
Filed Under: Terrorism
By Jim Popkin, NBC News Senior Investigative Producer
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