|1999 Photo of Paul Kevin Curtis as Elvis|
The FBI reports that a Tupelo, Mississippi area man has been arrested for mailing letters containing deadly ricin to President Obama and Mississippi U. S. Senator Wicker. If the name Tupelo sounds familiar, that's because it is home base for the virulently anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, which on its webpage this morning had headlines columns such as "Liberal Media, Obama's Front Line" and a piece claiming that Army officials have labeled Christian groups as "domestic terror groups. While nothing links AFA to the suspect, it does give a sense of the local mindset in that part of Mississippi. The Tupelo Daily Journal has a detailed article on the suspect, Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, who seems to be some kind of conspiracy nut cases based on the article. Here are some excerpts:
Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested by the FBI and Lee County authorities today at his home after an investigation by multiple local, state and federal officials. With Curtis in police custody, different versions of the his life continue to unfold, some wacky and entertaining and others conspiratorial, threatening and violent.
[T]he divorced man was also known in many online communities and others locally for criticizing the North Mississippi Medical and state Rep. Steve Holland for alleged crimes.
As a janitor working in a cleaning service, he claimed to have insider information. Combing through his online postings including Facebook and message boards and interviews with people who have had altercations with him, Curtis sounds more and more conspiratorial.
“I’m on the hidden front lines of a secret of a secret war,” Curtis posted on his Facebook profile at 2 a.m. today. “A war that is making Billions of dollars for corrupt mafia related organizations and people. (bone, tissue, organ, body parts harvesting black market)”
Curtis’ phone number listed on his Facebook profile was disconnected.
In online postings, Curtis ends letters with a phrase similar to those found in letters to President Obama and Sen. Wicker.
“This is Kevin Curtis and I approve this report,” he posted in an online rant against the NNMC on September 2007.
The Washington Post has more information and coverage of other scares at Congress. Here are highlights:
By Wednesday night, authorities had arrested Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Miss., as a suspect in the ricin mailings, the FBI said in a statement. Curtis also sent a third letter to a Mississippi justice official, the FBI said. He is well known to law enforcement as a frequent letter-writer to lawmakers, two officials said.
It will be interesting to see if Curtis had ties with the Teabagistan crowd or not.
Suspicious envelopes were hand-delivered to the Capitol Hill offices of senators from Alabama and West Virginia, prompting evacuations of their staffs, and lockdowns of many more. Two other senators — from Arizona and Michigan — reported that authorities were investigating suspicious letters delivered to district offices in their home states.
In all, five senators, including some in the thick of contentious negotiations over gun-control and immigration bills, were sent into emergency mode. Another wave of anxiety swept through the Capitol just before lunchtime when a bag left in the entranceway of a Senate building brought a bomb squad racing toward Capitol Hill. Police ordered thousands of staffers and aides not to leave their offices.
After two tense hours, the package was cleared, as were two letters delivered earlier to the offices of Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.).