October 15, 2001. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle receives an innocuous-looking letter. It has childlike handwriting and an elementary school return address. When an intern opens the envelope, white powder spills all over her clothes and wafts into the air. Soon after, the confirmation comes: Anthrax. This attack is one in a series of letters that arrive at media offices all over the country, just weeks after 9/11. The letters prove to be untraceable, and the investigation becomes one of the hardest and most complex in FBI history. How did investigators close this impossible case? And what remains unsolved to this day?
Special thank you to our guest, R. Scott Decker, retired FBI supervisory special agent and author of Recounting the Anthrax Attacks.
And thank you to our sources for this episode: David Willman, author of The Mirage Man. We also consulted an article in Wired Magazine by Noah Shachtman, and reporting by Propublica, PBS Frontline, and McClatchy.