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Tales of Addiction, Anxiety, Ranting

Bruce E. Ivins committed suicide as authorities were preparing to indict him in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
Bruce E. Ivins committed suicide as authorities were preparing to indict him in the 2001 anthrax attacks. (By Skip Lawrence -- Frederick News-post Via Ap)
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According to the scientist, who said he spent about 80 hours with Ivins to help him recover from his addiction, the FBI agents pressured Ivins's children, and they were pressuring Ivins in public places. One day in March, when Ivins was at a Frederick mall with his wife and son, the agents confronted the researcher and said, "You killed a bunch of people." Then they turned to his wife and said, "Do you know he killed people?" according to the scientist.

The same week, Ivins angrily told a former colleague that he suspected his therapist was cooperating with the FBI. On March 19, police were called to Ivins's home and found him unconscious. He was evaluated at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

Ivins was an inpatient in April at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, the scientist said, and it was during that time that Ivins and the scientist had especially intense visits. And in a late morning e-mail to him on May 26, Ivins wrote: "I just came back from 4 weeks of rehab at the Massie Unit of the Finan Center in Cumberland. It was a good program. . . . They talk about relapse triggers, relapse prevention, stress management, etc."

It is unclear when Ivins began to see Duley at Comprehensive Counseling, 1 1/2 miles from his home. According to a court filing last month, Duley said she had known Ivins for six months. Another source said Ivins began to see her after he left Suburban Hospital.

A spokeswoman at Suburban, while not confirming whether Ivins had been a patient, said the behavioral medicine department there sometimes gives patients lists of places near their homes where they can pursue outpatient therapy, including Comprehensive Counseling.

According to court records, Ivins also saw a psychiatrist, David Irwin, at Shady Grove Psychiatric Group in Gaithersburg, although it is unclear when he was a patient there. Neither Irwin nor Duley have returned repeated phone calls. Allan Levy, Duley's boss and the director of Comprehensive Counseling, declined to comment.

Duley, seeking the protective order against Ivins, testified before a Frederick County judge last month, saying that Ivins had said during a July group therapy session that he had bought a bulletproof vest and a gun to carry out "a very detailed plan to kill his co-workers." When she sought to have him committed, she said, he threatened her. To this day, Duley is the only person who has said publicly that Ivins intended to kill. In court testimony, she said she was cooperating with the FBI.

Staff writers Aaron C. Davis and Michael E. Ruane and staff researchers Julie Tate and Meg Smith contributed to this report.


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