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Strange Country

Sometimes you need to have a glass of wine, cuppa whatever and listen to a good old weird story. Musical score Resting Place by A Cast of Thousands.

Jul 20, 2023

Maybe this got lost in the shuffle for you, dear readers, like it did for Beth who completely spaced about this, but in the weeks after 9/11, opening the mail was a terrifying act. That’s because someone was sending anthrax letters to the media and politicians. Five people died and another 17 were sickened in these attacks. It took eight years for the FBI to find their suspect, and even now some questioned whether or not they got the right man. Join Strange Country cohosts Beth and Kelly as they dissect this story that never made it into their memory banks.

Theme music: Big White Lie by A Cast of Thousands

Cite your sources:

“Anthrax Facts - MN Dept. of Health.” Minnesota Department of Health, 5 October 2022, Accessed 9 July 2023.

“Anthrax | National Postal Museum.” National Postal Museum |, Accessed 8 July 2023.

Diamond, Dan. “Trump's election challenges distracted from covid response, White House adviser told colleagues.” The Washington Post, 23 September 2021, Accessed 9 July 2023.

Engelberg, Stephen. “New Evidence Adds Doubt to FBI's Case Against Anthrax Suspect.” ProPublica, 10 October 2011, Accessed 8 July 2023.

Freed, David. “The Wrong Man.” The Atlantic, 15 May 2010, Accessed 8 July 2023.

Lancaster, John. “When anthrax-laced letters terrorized Washington and New York.” The Washington Post, 24 October 2018, Accessed 5 July 2023.

Palca, Joe. “FBI Faulted For Overstating Science In Anthrax Case.” NPR, 15 February 2011, Accessed 8 July 2023.

Shane, Scott. “Portrait Emerges of Anthrax Suspect’s Troubled Life.” The New York Times, 3 January 2009, Accessed 7 July 2023. 

“Spotlight falls on anthrax case < Yale School of Medicine.” Yale School of Medicine, 2002, Accessed 7 July 2023.

Stoogenke, Jason. “Did you get a paper called a 'prayer rug' in the mail?” WSOC TV, 14 February 2022, Accessed 5 July 2023.

Tarm, Michael. “Ex-House Speaker settles child sexual abuse payments suit.” AP News, 15 September 2021, Accessed 5 July 2023.

Temple-Raston, Dina. “David Willman's “The Mirage Man: Bruce Ivins, the Anthrax Attacks, and America's Rush to War.”” The Washington Post, 11 August 2011, Accessed 9 July 2023.

Wiser, Mike. “New Report Casts Doubt on FBI Anthrax Investigation.” PBS, 19 December 2014, Accessed 8 July 2023.