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Inside the FBI’s Hunt for the Anthrax Killer


Ten years ago, letters laced with anthrax killed five people. The FBI says it traced the spores to a single U.S. scientist. But could the feds have gotten the wrong man?

That’s the question Noah Shachtman investigates in his story “The Strain,” featured in the April issue of Wired magazine.

“There are giant holes at the center of the case,” Shachtman says. Though the FBI claims to have unraveled the mystery, the agency still can’t say when, where, how or why its prime suspect, Bruce Ivins, would have cooked up and mailed the deadly spores. “As a reporter,” Shachtman says, “those are questions we’re trained to answer first, before we write anything.”

In this edition of the Storyboard podcast, Shachtman joins host Adam Rogers and articles editor Rob Capps to discuss the ins and outs of this epic story, the writing of which involved a 1,500-row spreadsheet and a whole team of fact-checkers. Did Ivins do it? Like we’d tell you here. Guess you better listen in.


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