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Arrest Made In Ricin Letters Case

Just two days after the first reports of a ricin-tainted letter was discovered in mail to a U.S. Senator, an arrest has been made in the case:

WASHINGTON — Federal agents arrested a man on Wednesday who is suspected of sending letters believed contaminated by the poison ricin to President Obama and a Republican senator. The F.B.I. identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Miss.

The arrest, days after the letters were intercepted in mail-sorting facilities for the White House and the Capitol, was based on information collected “very early on” about who had sent the letters, an official said.

Corinth is about 50 miles north of Tupelo, the hometown of Roger Wicker, the Republican senator to whom one of the letters was addressed. The letters, which had a Memphis postmark but no return address, were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message,” according to Senate staff members briefed on the case. Corinth is about 100 miles east of Memphis.

The speedy arrest in the case may calm nerves in a twitchy capital where it had begun to feel like the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when anthrax-laced letters mailed to media organizations and two Democratic senators killed 5 people and sickened 17 others.

Earlier in the day, with reports of other suspicious letters and packages turning up in Senate offices, the Capitol Police evacuated parts of the Hart and Russell Senate Office Buildings, shouting to clear the hallways and leaving staff members to peer nervously out their windows.

As it turns out Mr. Curtis is something of a, well, colorful character:

So, who is Kevin Curtis? To begin with, he “might be better known to some as a celebrity impersonator,” says the Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger. Curtis, 45 and a resident of Corinth, impersonates 70 celebrity singers, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jon Bon Jovi, Prince, and Kenny Chesney — using the stage name KC. According to his profile on Reverb Nation, Curtis has been performing in Elvis competitions since age 10. And on the entertainment-booking site GigSalad, Curtis says he has an impressive three-octave range and is a seven-time World Finalist at the Memphis-area Elvis impersonation contest “Images of the King.”

He also seems to have an undue obsession with organ harvesting:

In a a photo posted to Facebook two years ago — on April 15, 2011 — he remained focused on the obsession from the hospital days. In the caption, he wrote: “I won’t get into the illegal black market of fetus parts sold each day for Profits in the United States on the Black Market. I’ll save that for another time, place & day. God bless. KC”

As recently as October 2012, he tweeted about how “i blew whistle on illegal bone, tissue, organ & body parts trade in 1999 in Ms.”

Less than 20 hours ago, he wrote on Facebook:

I’m on the hidden front lines of a secret war. A war that is making Billions of dollars for corrupt mafia related organizations and people. (bone, tissue, organ, body parts harvesting black market) when we lay our loved ones to rest….we hope and pray their bodies are not violated but I am here to tell you, as long as the bone, tissue & organ harvesting indu$try is NOT REGULATED….on any level(s) whether it be local, state, federal or national………..your loved ones body parts are NOT $AFE. It’s not fun for me to be the Me$$enger here. It was not fun in 1999 when I made accidental discovery and became a “Person of interest”.

My mother wants me to SHUT UP. My brothers fear me. My sister hates me. My cousins have hostility towards me (they work in healthcare) I have lost most of my friends. I have spent more than $130,000.00 on legal fee’s in 13.5 yrs. They burned down my home, killed my dogs, my cat, my rabbit, blew up my 1966 Plymouth Valent. They destroyed my marriage, they distracted my career, they stalked, they trolled, they came in to my home, took my computers, had me arrested 22 times and guess what? I am still a thorn in their corrupt anals! I will remain here until Jesus Christ decides its time for me to go. (ur welcome and amen. :)

In short, this seems like a slightly unbalanced guy who is obsessed with a bizarre issue. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any connection to the Boston Marathon bombings. Instead, it just seems to be one heck of coincidence.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Barry says:

    IOW a paranoid schizophrenic. Question is, how did he get ricin? And, of course, did he actually have ricin, or something he thought was ricin?

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I will remain here until Jesus Christ decides its time for me to go. (ur welcome and amen. :)

    Hey KC? I think I hear him calling your name.

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  3. de stijl says:

    My mother wants me to SHUT UP. My brothers fear me. My sister hates me. My cousins have hostility towards me (they work in healthcare) I have lost most of my friends.

    That Friends & Family Plan(tm) deal ended up as a bad play at the end of the day. That’s a sunk cost he’s never getting back.

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  4. grumpy realist says:

    Am glad that he decided to use ricin and this half-assed attempt, rather than purchasing a gun and mowing down people.

    Still, I bet that up until he was arrested, it would have been perfectly legal for him to purchase no matter what firearm and ammunition he liked.

    Care to comment on how we’re supposed to keep firearms out of the hands of people like this, anyone?

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  5. John Burgess says:

    @Barry: Ricin occurs naturally in Castor beans. As no report gives any indication of the purity of the ricin found in the envelopes, he could have just ground up some castor beans and dropped the dust into the envelopes. Castor bean plant is an ornamental and is grown in many gardens. You can even buy the seeds through Amazon.com

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricin
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castor_oil_plant
    http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Zanzibar-Castor-Seeds-Ricinus/dp/B000RGZFEI

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