Key events in the anthrax episode


October: Anthrax is mailed to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and members of the news media in New York and Florida. By November, five people are dead and 17 sickened. Victims include postal workers and others who came into contact with the anthrax.


January: Senate office building where anthrax-tainted letters were sent reopens after three months and fumigation.

August: Law enforcement officials and Attorney General John Ashcroft call Steven Hatfill a “person of interest” in the investigation.


June: FBI drains pond in Frederick, Md., in search of anthrax-related evidence. Nothing suspicious is found.

August: Hatfill sues Ashcroft and other officials, accusing them of using him as a scapegoat and demanding they clear his name.


February: A white powder determined to be the deadly poison ricin is found in an office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. No one is hurt and no arrests are made.

July 13: Hatfill sues The New York Times for defamation, claiming the newspaper ruined his reputation after it published columns pointing to him as the culprit.


Jan. 12: A federal judge dismisses libel lawsuit filed against The New York Times.

Oct. 2: Hatfill asks a federal judge to hold two journalists in contempt for refusing to identify officials who leaked details about the investigation into the attacks.


June 27: The federal government awards Hatfill $5.8 million to settle his violation of privacy lawsuit against the Justice Department.

July 31: Bruce Ivins dies of an apparent suicide after being informed by the FBI that charges likely were being brought against him in the anthrax attacks, sources say.

Associated Press