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Poison for the Supreme Court

I found this story from Sandra Day O'Connor (posted at Drudge yesterday) to be interesting.

When federal appellate Judge Danny Boggs said at a Friday legal conference at Las Colinas that physical assaults aimed at judges have come mainly from "the deranged," O'Connor underscored the safety concerns.

"Every member of the Supreme Court received a wonderful package of home-baked cookies, and I don't know why, the staff decided to analyze them," she recounted. "Each one contained enough poison to kill the entire membership of the court."

I guess it is just morbid curiosity, but I would like to know what type poison was used and whether or not there were any efforts made to find the poison baker. I also wonder how many other stories like this are out there that we never hear about.

Update: Thanks to Matt who pointed me to this New York Times article with all the details I wanted.

Although the episode was not publicly disclosed when it occurred in April 2005, it had a public, although little-noticed, denouement last month when the sender of the poisoned cookies was sentenced in federal court here to 15 years in prison.

The sender, Barbara Joan March of Bridgeport, Conn., pleaded guilty to 14 counts of "mailing injurious articles." The 14 recipients included the nine justices; the chiefs of staff of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; and the director and deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The packages, containing either candy or baked goods, were laced with rat poison.

All mail received at the Supreme Court is screened, and the tainted packages never reached the justices, said Kathleen Arberg, the court's public information officer. The danger posed by the packages was immediately apparent. Each contained a typewritten letter stating either, "I am going to kill you," or, "We are going to kill you," and adding, "This is poisoned."

The letters carried various return addresses of people who had earlier connections with Ms. March, including seven who attended college with her. The F.B.I. determined that Ms. March wrote and sent the letters, typing a number of them on a typewriter at a public library near her home.

I know this is serious stuff, but that "this is poisoned" line made me laugh out loud. Why even go to the trouble to include the actual poison in the food if you are going to tell the person? I'll bet there are thousands of these kinds of stories over the years. This failed poisoning attempt definitely deserves "dumb criminal" status.

Speaking of dumb criminals...

Wichita police said a botched kidnapping ended with one of the assailants shooting himself in the groin.

The man had just stuck the gun back into his waistband when it fired, shooting him in the left testicle. He cringed, causing the gun to fire again and strike him in the left calf.

He cringed? I thought cringing was something you did at the thought of something, or in embarrassment. My guess is he did more than cringe.


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Comments (13)

Contact the FBi and ask for... (Below threshold)

Contact the FBi and ask for info. This would have been a federal offense, yes?

The dough was made by Pills... (Below threshold)

The dough was made by Pillsbury's sister company, Killsbury.

Ok, not funny.

More information on this pa... (Below threshold)

More information on this particular event (including the fact that the individual who did it was captured and plead guilty) here:

By the way: The Director and Deputy Director of the FBI received these cookies too. So I suspect they took it somewhat personally.

But I'll agree: if this could occur, and the individual responsible be prosecuted, without anybody really knowing about it, it sure does make you wonder what we never hear about ...

'Shot himself in the left t... (Below threshold)

'Shot himself in the left testicle', immediately resorted to the Howling Howie Scream.

Reminds me of the 300 pound man that attempted suicide. Missed his chest, shot himself in the stomach with a Sat night special, 25 cal auto. Caused a lot of pain, a lot of surgery, but no danger to his life. Well, he did look like a fool in front on his neighbors. His statement. this sh** hurts and I won't do that again.

I wonder if they ever found... (Below threshold)

I wonder if they ever found out what her beef was. I hope Large Marge is taking good care of her right now.

Why even go to the troub... (Below threshold)

Why even go to the trouble to include the actual poison in the food if you are going to tell the person?

Probably her real aim was to cause trouble for the people whose return addresses she used. If she just sent threatening notes and unpoisoned cookies, it would not have made enough trouble for her former acquaintences.

The Constitution's Bill of ... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

The Constitution's Bill of Rights may not cover the subject, but it is clear nonetheless that some people need to be locked up not just to protect the rest of us, but to protect them as well from their own latent stupidity.

I agree with Teri. My firs... (Below threshold)

I agree with Teri. My first thought was that this very sick woman was trying to get back at people she knows, rather than trying to actually kill a varied assortment of important people. The warning notes are beyond dumb.

No doubt she's a dimocrap.<... (Below threshold)

No doubt she's a dimocrap.

Here is a <a href="http://w... (Below threshold)

Here is a DoJ press release with details.

Good point about the motive being to implicate her past acquaintances.

Let me add - per the senten... (Below threshold)
Tom Maguire:

Let me add - per the sentencing memorandum, that was in fact the motive:

Third, the defendant's conduct does not appear to have been motivated by any personal, political or professional animosity toward the intended recipients of the letters. Rather, interviews with the purported senders of the letters, as well as factors cited in the presentence investigation report, suggest that the defendant's conduct likely was motivated by a misplaced anger toward the purported senders of the letters, former friends and colleagues who in the defendant's mind somehow had abandoned or wronged her.1 See Presentence Investigation Report at ¶88. The fact that the defendant chose to mail the letters to high-level public officials in a misguided attempt to cause more harm to the purported senders has increased her sentence by approximately five years.2

I am off to mock some lefties.

Can anyone say, "incapable ... (Below threshold)

Can anyone say, "incapable of assisting in her own defense?"

And wait for them to blame ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

And wait for them to blame the gun maker or the NRA knowing how rediculous these liberals get






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