The Dr. Kenneth Berry Investigation
compiled and analyzed by
Ed Lake
(Aug. 14, 2004)
(Last revised: Dec. 1, 2012)
Two faces of Dr. Berry.
(Sources: AP & PREEMPT)


The Man From Nowhere

Having read virtually every news story about the anthrax case that's been written since October of 2001, I was very puzzled when, shortly after noon on August 5, 2004, a man I'd never heard of, Dr. Kenneth Berry, was suddenly all over the news as it was learned that his homes were being searched by the FBI as part of their ongoing investigation into the anthrax attacks of 2001, an investigation the FBI calls "Amerithrax".

The situation became truly bizarre a few hours later when Dr. Berry evidently went berserk and was arrested for assaulting members of his family in the lobby of a New Jersey beachfront motel.

Nearly as suddenly, four or five days later, the media attention ceased and people in the towns where Dr. Berry lived were left scratching their heads and wondering what it had been all about.  The reasoning behind the search was not satisfactorily explained, and the details of the assault charges seemed even more inexplicable. 

After going line by line through all the Dr. Berry news articles from those few days, here's how it all seems to sum up for me:

Dr. Berry's Background

Dr. Kenneth Berry is currently 48 years old.  He was born in Teaneck, N.J., and moved with his family to Switzerland at age 5.  Later, they returned to New Jersey, living in Wayne, and then moved to Connecticut.  His father, William C. Berry, is now a retired financial director and still lives in Connecticut.  Source.

Berry became a born-again Christian at age 14, according to his father, and spent some time in a seminary.  Berry was drawn to medicine after volunteering in a Danbury, Conn., hospital.

Berry is a graduate of Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., he got his medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Montserrat in 1983, and he did his third and fourth year clinical training predominantly at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.  Source.  (The medical school in Monserrat was destroyed by a volcano in 1995 and was relocated to the island of St. Maarten.)

He is licensed as a physician in New York state.  He has also had a Pennsylvania medical license since 1984.  His Pennsylvania license expires in December of 2004; he is in good standing and he has had no disciplinary actions.  Source.

Berry and his first wife, Aileen, lived in Cheltenham Township near Philadelphia for several years in the early 1990s when he worked as an emergency room physician, according to neighbors. When the two split up, Aileen moved back to western Pennsylvania with the couple's two daughters. Source.

Berry's first marriage ended in 1991, and according to an acquaintance who asked not to be identified, it was because of incidents involving his temper.  He has two teenage daughters from that union, Nicole aged 16 and Michelle aged 19.  Those two daughters live in Masontown, PA, 66 miles due south of Pittsburgh.

In the period 1993 to 1996, while Dr. Berry was still living near Philadelphia, he would regularly fly his private plane to the airport at Waynesburg where he kept a car for use on such occasions.  He would stay in half of a duplex he rented in Masontown.  According to the owner of the other half of the duplex, Dr. Berry stopped maintaining the duplex in 1996 or 1997.   Source.  This was evidently after he moved to Wellsville, NY. 

In December of 1996, Dr. Berry became the director of the emergency room at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, NY.  He continued to visit his two daughters and would land his plane at the Connellsville airport, 23 miles northeast of Masontown.  Source.

When Dr. Berry moved to Wellsville, he had a push-pull plane, one with an engine in the front and an engine in the back.  Wade Haines, a maintenance worker at the Connellsville airport, said Berry has been using the airport for the last 10 to 12 years and recalled he wrecked one plane he owned a number of years ago when he traveled off the side of a runway and into a ditch during a landing.

The plane, which he used to keep in a hangar at the airport, was totaled, but he walked away, Haines said.  (The wrecked push-pull plane was evidently replaced by a Cessna.)

Berry has had a Pennsylvania medical license since 1984. His license, which expires in December, is in good standing and he has had no disciplinary actions.  Source.

According to his web site, Dr. Berry hold diplomas from and is a fellow of the American Board of Family Practice, the American Board of Forensic Medicine and the American Board of Forensic Examiners.

Dr. Berry's Emergency Preparedness Work

In 1997, Berry founded the not-for-profit Planned Response Exercises and Emergency Medical Preparedness Training (PREEMT) Medical Counter-Terrorism Inc., an organization that trains medical professionals to respond to chemical and biological attacks.  In a 1997 interview with USA Today, Dr. Berry "said military experts believe that a terrorist attack in a major U.S. city using a biological weapon is likely within five years."

On September 24, 1997, he presented a workshop on a hypothetical terrorist anthrax attack on San Francisco, which he warned would kill more than 1 million people.

"Weapons of mass destruction utilization by terrorists is now the number one national security threat in the United States," Berry wrote in his prepared remarks. "Let's not need a Pearl Harbor II to force us to get serious regarding WMD Domestic Preparedness. Please, I beg you."

From April 4 to 6 in 1998, "The 2nd Annual PREEMPT Conference on Medical Domestic Preparedness Against CBN (Chemical, Biological, & Nuclear) Terrorism", organized by Dr. Berry, was held at the Adams Mark in Philadelphia.

In 1999, Berry spoke at a conference on chemical emergency preparedness and prevention sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. Berry said he supported gas masks for civilians and said battling chemical attacks from terrorists would require resources on par with the Cold War, which he said took 50 years and six trillion dollars to win.

Berry worked part-time for the Defense Department from Oct. 9, 1998, to June 30, 2003.  The work was coordinated by the Orlando-based Advanced Information Systems Group, a private firm that handles contracts for the federal government.  His work was related to matters involving "chemical and biological terrorist incident responses."  Source.

Dr. Berry filed a provisional patent for a system to identify chemical and biological attacks in October 2000 and filed the actual patent application Sept. 28, 2001, 10 days after the first anthrax letters were postmarked. Source.  However, it should be noted that the dates were most likely determined by his patent attorney, not by Dr. Berry.

The Patent was granted in March of 2004.

A lot of people have been pointing out that Dr. Berry's seminars sometimes involved scientists from USAMRIDD and other government labs.  However, it's important to note that none of the USAMRIID people involved has even been mentioned as a "person of interest" in the case.  Moreover, for every speaker at these seminars there were probably from 10 to 25 unnamed attendees.  We have no solid reason to assume that the seminars had anything to do with the reason Dr. Berry became a "person of interest" to the FBI.  Such seminars are very common, and Dr. Berry's were not particularly different from any of the others. 

But there is one thing that would truly set off alarms among conspiracy theorists:  According to the New York Times, "In late 2000, Dr. Berry persuaded Mr. Patrick, the biodefense expert, to give him a two-day course on using pathogens, including anthrax, as weapons.  Mr. Patrick agreed to the request but found it suspicious", particularly since Dr. Berry paid with a personal check even though he "had presented himself as a contractor for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency". 

The Forgery Incident

In 1999, Dr. Berry and his PREEMPT secretary, Cathy Litzburg, were accused by authorities in New York's Allegheny County of conspiring with Mary Colletta to fake a will for her late common-law husband, Andrew Colletta.  Mary Colletta lived in Wellsville, NY, and was a close friend of Dr. Berry.

The orthopedic surgeon had died at age 46 in May of 1998 of a heart attack at his home near Wellsville. The forged will attempted to make Mary Colletta the beneficiary of the doctor's real-estate holdings, she said. That shocked Andrew Colletta's first wife, whom he had not divorced. 

On March 17, 1999, Dr. Berry entered a guilty plea to a violation instead of a misdemeanor so he could keep his medical license.  He was fined $300.  Mary Colletta was sentenced to 5 years probation.  The charges against Cathy Litzburg were dropped. 

In an interview on August 6, 2004, Mary Colletta told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that Berry tried to coax more than $1 million from her "to fight bioterrorism."

I remember he would go on and on about bioterrorism defense and, specifically, it was the anthrax threat," Mary Colletta said in [the] interview [...] at her home.

"He wanted me to financially invest in a number of items, some of which had to do with communications and other equipment he needed, which I'm not going to mention," she said. 

Colletta said FBI agents visited her home Thursday [Aug. 5, 2004] and they spoke again by phone Friday. She would not discuss those conversations. But she said she handed over a taped speech, a Berry tribute to her common-law husband in which Berry made some "bizarre statements about the government."

Mary Colletta said that at first, she and her husband dismissed Berry's passionate talk about bioterrorism. But soon it became clear Berry was "on a mission."

It appears that Dr. Berry was "on a mission" and he was able to justify a criminal act in order to continue with that mission.  That's just the type of person one can see as being behind the anthrax attacks.  But Dr. Berry clearly isn't the anthrax mailer.  At minimum he's a fellow traveler who believes as the anthrax mailer believes.  At most he knows or has met the culprit(s) and may be involved in some indirect way. 

Mary Colletta said she believes the FBI investigation of Berry is appropriate. She told Pittsburgh's Channel 2 News, "Any self-proclaimed expert on bioterrorism should expect to be investigated."  Source.  She also told the media that Dr. Berry was upset with the government because they did not take his research seriously.

However, I've found no reason to believe that Dr. Berry ever had access to Ames anthrax nor that he knew how to make it into a lethal powder like that found in the Senate letters.  And it seems highly unlikely that he had any advance knowledge of the anthrax attacks.  He had other things on his mind at that point in time.

9/11 and After

On Tuesday Sept. 11, 2001, Dr. Berry was preparing to get married that coming weekend.   (His new wife had six of her own children, and they had one child together, a son, who is now age 3.)  Source.

At that time Dr. Berry was evidently living in a one-bedroom apartment on Maple Street in Wellsville.  He'd lived there only about 4 months.  He moved out after he got married.

The marriage went ahead on schedule, probably on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2001.  He and Tana were married at the Knights Creek Church wedding chapel in Scio, NY, a few miles north of Wellsville.

While he almost certainly didn't know about the attacks in advance, a months later Dr. Berry suddenly made some significant changes to life.

After nearly five years as a physician and chairman of emergency medicine at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, Dr. Berry resigned his position in October 2001, the same month anthrax-laced letters were delivered to U.S. Senate offices and the same month people started dying from anthrax. 

According to Pastor Richard "Dick" Helms, who performed Dr. Berry's marriage ceremony, Berry left the emergency room position because he needed a break from the intensity.  "He also wanted to work on his patent," said Helms, referring to a system Berry had developed using a computer that combined weather data with information on chemical and biological agents to assess how they would affect certain locations.

Dr. Berry is now 48 years old.  His current wife's name is Tana.   His primary residence is still in Wellsville, NY, and after his resignation from Jones Memorial Hospital, he began commuting 273 miles to work at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in McKeesport, PA, by plane.  Dr. Berry currently owns a 1978 single-engine, fixed-wing Cessna 210 Centurion.  However, in need of costly repairs, the four-seat plane has been grounded for six to eight months on the Allegheny County Airport tarmac.  Source.  (This probably explains why he hasn't been seen at the Connellsville airport since December.)

The "commute" between Wellsville and McKeesport wasn't a normal commute, not just because it was 273 miles by plane, but also because it was not a daily commute.  According to Joan Hand, who shared an office with Berry when he worked at Jones Memorial in Wellsville, Dr. Berry would typically work four or five shifts in a row at UPMC McKeesport and would then spend five days at home in Wellsville before returning to work again. 

In the last days of July 2004 he was still working in McKeesport. 

The Anthrax Investigation

According to Dr. Berry's father, the Amerithrax investigation of Dr. Berry began almost as soon as it was learned that there had been an anthrax attack via the mails. 

In June or July of 2004, the investigation of Berry evidently intensified.  The FBI began talking with people who knew him.   Around this time the FBI also asked Dr. Berry if they could search his home in Wellsville.  Dr. Berry refused to allow it.  Source.

In Masontown, PA, they talked with a neighbor, Tim Kovach, 42.  Kovach said they inquired about Berry's attitude toward the government.  "They said they were here for a job check, but I knew (different)," said Kovach, who lives in a duplex neighboring the home where Berry spent weekends visiting his daughters for several years. "Then at the end, they asked if he ever said anything against the government, and 'Did you ever witness him doing anything that would compromise the government?'"  They also asked whether Berry had been seen abusing family members.  Source

Dr. Berry was aware of the investigation and that the FBI had begun talking with people who knew him.  He talked with his daughter Nicole about it.  "He told me that people he knew knew how to make it or had access to it, but he said he had nothing to do with it."

"Two weeks ago, the FBI showed up at my house," Mary Colletta told The Wellsville Daily Reporter. "They took the hard drive from my computer, but replaced it.  They were very nice people."  They kept the hard drive only long enough to make a copy of it.

Colletta said she did give some information to the FBI that she was not able to discuss.

"Ken was a bio defense expert and talked about the possibility of an anthrax scare," Colletta said. "I've been on Ken's plane, we've gone to Jersey. He wanted me to go in with him to buy a jet one time."

Former Jones Memorial Hospital Chief Operation Officer William DiBerardino said he saw Dr. Berry at the end of July at a concert in New York City.

"I don't know what to think, this is hard to believe," said DiBerardino. "I talked to him a couple weeks ago at Music on the Lawn, we talked about flying.  Most of our conversations seemed to end up about flying because I love flying and he has been flying for years.   Source.

Dr. Berry's parents had been staying at their summer house in NJ, but went back to Connecticut on Saturday night, July 31, 2004.  The next day, Sunday, August 1, Dr. Berry, his wife and 3 or 4 of their children arrived to spend a two week vacation in the summer house owned by his parents.  The house is in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.

August 5, 2004

It seems clear that the searches which took place on Thursday August 5, 2004, were well coordinated.  They involved at least 50 FBI agents and postal inspectors from the Washington Field Office, the Pittsburgh Field Office, the Buffalo Field Office, and even some from as far away as the Bahamas.

Although some reports say the FBI went to the red-shingled bungalow in Point Pleasant Beach while Dr. Berry and his family were still home, it appears that in reality the FBI moved in to do the searches after Dr. Berry and his family went to breakfast at the Sand Dollar Pancake House.  There are reports from other diners at the pancake house that Dr. Berry "did not appear fazed" and was in a "good mood" while having breakfast. Source.  He certainly wasn't in a good mood later in the day.

The coordinated searches involved:

1.  Dr. Berry's parent's summer home in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ., including under and around the nearby pier.
2.  Dr. Berry's former apartment on 125 Maple Avenue in Wellsville.
3.  Dr. Berry's home at 211 East Pearl Street in Wellsville, NY.
4.  Dr. Berry's car, a white Mercury Sable, which was parked at the local airport in Connellsville, PA, 223 miles from Wellsville.
5.  Flight records at the Connellsville airport.
6.  Dr. Berry's former apartment in the Pittsburgh area. Source.

The searches of the home in Wellsville and the bungalow in Point Pleasant Beach both began at or around 8 a.m., Thursday, August 5, 2004.  The searches of his former apartments occurred later in the day.  The FBI reportedly arrived at the Connellsville airport Thursday evening and evidently remained through Saturday, when they searched his car which had been left there in the parking lot since December.

The Point Pleasant Beach Search

When Dr. Berry and his family returned from having breakfast, they were not allowed to enter the search scene, and the FBI evidently arranged for them to stay at the White Sands Ocean Front Resort and Spa nearby until the search was completed.

The FBI agents worked in street clothes, although some wore rubber gloves.  Two large white vans were parked in front of the home all day and several other vehicles left and returned throughout the afternoon.  The agents worked inside throughout the day, occasionally emerging from the house with boxes and filled plastic bags.  Beach towels and bathing suits still hung on a clothesline as investigators went in and out of a side door. Agents also inspected a small boat moored behind the home in a lagoon.

Two flatbed trucks hauled away two vehicles away around noon, according to Adam Fadel of Dayton, Ohio, whose summer home is opposite the street leading to the bungalow. Just before 7 p.m., a champagne-colored 1998 Ford Windstar van with New York license plates was returned to the property. The license plate identified the dealership as one in Wellsville, N.Y. Source.

The Wellsville Home Search

Acting Wellsville Police Chief Steven Mattison said he was informed Wednesday night the F.B.I. would be executing a search warrant for the house at 211 East Pearl Street owned by Dr. Kenneth Berry and an apartment at 125 Maple Avenue where he once lived, on Thursday.

Neighbors woke up at about 8:15 a.m. Thursday to the sight of several large, dark colored cars, vans and trucks, parked on their street and blocking the intersection at East Pearl Street and Wheeler Place.

"They were there when I got up just a couple of cars and then all the others showed up," said Eugene Coburn who lives across the street from the two-story, block-shaped, tan and cream-colored house at the corner of the two street.

"They just sort of swooped in shortly after we got here," said a member of a village work crew that has been repairing a water line on the street.

"I didn't know how extensive it was going to be until I went up there," Acting Police Chief Mattison said.

More than 50 agents, some from as far away as the Bahamas, most from Washington, Maryland and Buffalo arrived in the village Wednesday night.  Others stayed in Olean before entering the Wellsville house between 8:15 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Local officials said the agents were part of a special team put together by the F.B.I. to investigate such cases.

Looking at his watch more than 12 hours after the search warrants were executed, Mayor Bradley Thompson said, "When they contacted me they said they'd be here eight to ten hours." 

The search ended around 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Agents wearing purple gloves took several bags, boxes and children's toys from both homes (the NJ bungalow and the Wellsville home).

In the last week in July, the Wellsville Code Enforcement Office sent a violation to Dr. Berry for having two junk cars on his property. Village officials in Wellsville said Berry called and said the vehicles belonged to his daughter's boyfriend and they were going to be removed.  (One can imagine that having teenage daughters can be as stressful as work in a hospital emergency room.)

The Wellsville Apartment Search

Standing across the street from 125 Maple Avenue where Berry lived in an apartment, Susan Decker and Don Figenscher both said they were surprised when they found dark-suited individuals going in and out of the house early in the morning. Decker who lives in the area and Figenscher who lives at 126 Maple Avenue said they vaguely remembered the doctor living there, but agreed that he hadn't lived there in years.

Both, and others at the scene said they observed agents carrying items out of the apartment including a small, hand-held, vacuum cleaner.

The Connellsville Airport Search

A contingent of approximately 15 agents arrived at the Connellsville airport Thursday night.  They questioned airport employees on Friday.  They spent Saturday searching a white Mercury Sable automobile owned by Dr. Berry.  They were evidently at the scene from Thursday night through Saturday.  The agents were stopping vehicles that entered the operations office and hangar area, but the airport remained open throughout the weekend.

A hanger at the airport may have been used as some sort of base of operations.

On Saturday, FBI agents vacuumed Dr. Kenneth M. Berry's white Mercury Sable for evidence, said Frank Sero, an employee at Connellsville Airport, Fayette County.

Agents searching the vehicle wore protective clothing to safeguard potential evidence from contamination, he said.

Sero said he periodically did odd jobs for Berry, such as washing his plane, but did not consider him a friend.

"He's an all right guy, a typical doctor, you know what I mean? Sometimes I think doctors have more money than common sense," he said.

FBI agents questioned Sero throughout the day Friday, querying him about how well he knew Berry and his daughters Nicole and Michelle, where the physician lived and whether he kept his plane at Connellsville Airport, Sero said.

Sero said he had not seen Berry or his plane since before Christmas.

Sero said he and others at the Connellsville Airport had refused to do some work on the plane, such as an inspection and paint touch-ups, because Berry demanded that it be done within his schedule, not theirs. 

Officials at the airport in Wellsville say the Cessna plane has not been there in a year, but the FBI did come to the airport and searched his flying records.  Source.

The Assault

Police were already being called when Chatham (N.J.) Township Police Chief Elizabeth Goeckel - who was on vacation at the White Sands Oceanfront Resort and Spa - noticed the ruckus as she waited for an elevator in the lobby of the hotel.

Chief Goeckel said she saw a man push a young woman through the doors leading into the lobby, then hit her about the face and upper body and shove her to the floor.

"She was screaming, 'Help.' When I saw that, that was going to stop. I had no emotion. I thought how can he do that to her?" Goeckel said.

"I'd just finished checking in and I heard screaming," she said. "A teenage girl was running into the lobby and a man was chasing her. He was hitting her and she was screaming for help.

"Then he tackled her onto the ground, and I went over and grabbed his arm so she could get out from under him. She was fighting to get away.  I told her to just go outside, and that's when I used force to restrain him with the help of a man from the motel."

Chief Goeckel is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, 120 pounds. While dressed in sandals and beachwear, said she pulled the woman by the arms out from under the man. When Dr. Berry tried to stand, she grabbed him by his right arm, twisted it behind his back, then put all of her weight on his back and pinned him down.

"I used every ounce I had," she said.

A hotel worker rushed over to help her keep the 175-pound Dr. Berry pinned. 

"A woman ran in - [evidently his wife] - screaming that he had just thrown her and her child down into the street," Goeckel said. Source.

Authorities later said Berry punched his wife, Tana, and two stepdaughters, ages 17 and 18, and jeopardized his son, 3, during an argument that erupted over a cell phone.

Berry allegedly shoved his wife to the ground while she was holding their son, and after one of his stepdaughters hit him, he struck her and knocked her down. Source.

Dr. Berry was arrested at 1:21 p.m. Thursday on four counts of simple assault, a disorderly persons offense. He was released on $10,000 bail at 12:10 a.m. Friday.  A temporary restraining order was issued by Judge James A. Ligouri ordering Dr. Berry to stay away from his family.

Point Pleasant Beach Police Chief Daniel DePolo said Berry was combative at the scene.  Three of Berry's relatives required treatment for bruises and abrasions, he said.

When police discovered the federal agents' search warrant in his pocket, Berry vehemently denied having any involvement in any federal crime.  But he did not mention anthrax,  DePolo said.  "He just said he wasn't guilty of anything." 

After his arrest, Berry complained of feeling sick. Police said he was examined at Ocean Medical Center in Brick[town] and then returned to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River.

Dr. Berry reportedly was held by the FBI for a time for questioning Thursday, but was later released.  Source.

The Wellsville Daily Reporter says, Dr. Berry's wife, Tana, was in good spirits when reached by the Daily Reporter on Saturday, but did not wish to comment on the case or the situation.  She noted her house was not in the same order she left it, i.e., when the family left for their vacation in New Jersey.

According to the Wellsville Daily Reporter, Dr. Berry's wife allegedly gave a cell phone to the FBI while cooperating with the investigation which started a feud.  Since this seems to be a comment by Tana after they returned home, it seems more reliable than earlier media reports which merely said the fight was "over a cell phone".

Dr. Berry evidently stayed in the summer house in Point Pleasant Beach after his family returned to Wellsville.  He did not appear in public again until a court appearance on October 1, 2004, where it was learned his lawyers were Clifford  Lazzaro of Newark and John Moustakas of Washington D.C.   Source.

According to the McKeesport hospital spokesman, Frank Raczkiewicz, Berry's employment at the hospital ends Nov. 8, and he will be on leave until then. 

What was it all about?

It's difficult to make sense of it all.  Dr. Berry seems to have a temper, he may have money problems and family problems prior to August 5.  Prior to 9/11 he seems to have been "on a mission" to alert America to the dangers of bioweapons, but that "mission" could also have been to make himself known and/or to make money from the seminars or from his patents.  Either way, his efforts prior to 9/11 could have brought him in contact with the person or people behind the anthrax attacks. 

If so, one big question is:  Was Pittsburgh TV station KDKA accurate when they said Dr. Berry was being called a "material witness" in the anthrax case?   According to the TV station,

Sources tell KD Investigator Marty Griffin that agents started looking at Dr. Berry shortly after the anthrax attacks started; but it took over 5,000 interviews and 30 FBI agents and 13 postal inspectors working on the case to come up with enough evidence to consider him a "material witness."
And they add this:
Meanwhile, bio-terrorism experts who have been questioned by the FBI and who wish to remain anonymous say they are not surprised the FBI would look at Dr. Berry as a possible material witness.
Unfortunately, KDKA-TV does not name the source who used the term "material witness".  Moreover, no other media outlet has even mentioned the "material witness" angle, much less confirmed it.  Media sources I've talked with doubt the authenticity of the report.  But one outlet, NBC News, suggests that Dr Berry may have become a person of interest in the anthrax case when he "was given a polygraph test and it came back inconclusive."  Does that connect to the "material witness" report?  Who knows? 

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dr. Berry's father told The Star-Ledger of Newark (NJ) that his son knew Dr. Hatfill, which confirmed suspicions of all those who believe Dr. Hatfill is the anthrax mailer.  When The Star-Ledger reported that Dr. Hatfill's representative said Dr. Hatfill didn't know Dr. Berry, and Dr. Berry's father recanted and said he'd been mistaken, those who believe Dr. Hatfill is the culprit saw it as just more of their imagined massive conspiracy to cover up for Dr. Hatfill. 

The New York Daily News, on the other hand, suggests that the stepped up investigation of Dr. Berry may simply be the result of FBI Director Robert Mueller ordering agents to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the cold case and retrace old leads.

The Washington Post reports,

One law enforcement official said agents were "tying up some loose ends" and added: "They're going back and trying to make sure there's nothing there that they missed." Another official said Thursday's searches represented "nothing earth-shattering."
And the web site for "Accuracy In Media" (which seems to care absolutely nothing about accuracy in its determination to blame the anthrax attacks on al Qaeda) says,
 it appears that Hatfill and Berry have become FBI targets primarily because they warned America about terrorism that the FBI and the CIA didn't prevent.
There is nothing solid in any of the reports about Dr. Berry which could force anyone who has already reached conclusions about the anthrax case to change their minds about anything.  And that includes me.

Putting The Pieces Together

My own personal evaluation of the events tells me that the heightened attention paid to Dr. Berry is another result of concluding the forensic investigation (which were supposed to be completed in June, but there has been no official word of the findings).  But all I have to support my "evaluation" is a string of probabilities and possibilities:

1.  It's very probable that enough of the microbial forensic investigation has been concluded to identify the lab which supplied the Ames anthrax used in the attacks. 

2.  It's possible that once the lab was positively identified, the FBI was able to focus its attention on a specific individual at that lab as being the "supplier" of the anthrax used in the attack.  (I've always figured the FBI knew who it was but were unable to prove it.)

3.  It's possible the "supplier" named the person to whom he gave the anthrax (which was presumably frozen bacteria in a cryo-tube, and not a powder).

4.  It's possible the supplier did not give the anthrax directly to the refiner/mailer but to some middle-person, possibly the "Speaker" described on my web site in the section titled "What Was Plan A?".  And it may have changed hands more than once over a period of a year or more before it ended up in the hands of the refiner/mailer.

5.  It's possible that Dr. Berry is or knows the "Speaker".  Or he knows either the supplier (most likely) or the refiner/mailer (less likely).  That would definitely make him a "material witness".  But he may not want to be a "material witness" in a case which would accuse some respected American of mass murder for awakening America to the dangers of bioterrorism, a cause which Dr. Berry also had as a "mission". 

6.  However, since Dr. Berry was once trained by William Patrick III, it is also very possible that the only reason Berry was investigated by the FBI is because of his association with Patrick.  That association would cause many amateur detectives and conspiracy theorists to see Berry as having some possible involvement in the case, which, in turn, might force the FBI to thoroughly investigate Berry just so they can say that they were being as thorough as possible in the investigation and didn't just pick the real culprit without fully investigating every other reasonable possiblity. 

So, until I see some reason to believe that the forensic investigation of the attack anthrax found nothing worthwhile (which I find nearly impossible to believe), I see the Dr. Berry investigation as "evidence" that the case could be wrapping up.  And I am anxiously looking forward to the next chapter.

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(c) 2004 by Ed Lake
All Rights Reserved
First Draft: Aug. 14, 2004
Minor revisions: Aug. 15, 2004
Minor revision: Sept. 4, 2004