Sciencemadness Discussion Board

May I have been exposed by Ricin?

Xanax - 28-11-2004 at 04:47

Two times, I have tried to extract the poison from the beans of Ricinus Communis & Abrus Precatorius, Ricin & Abrin and both times I have been very ill, the days afterwards.

First time was the worst. I had no protection or something like that, and I did it in my kitchen. The day after I got pain in the whole body, diarrhea, stomach pain and more. I was ill in several days.

The second time, also the day after the extraction, I was really scared when I had diarrhea and I dicovered that it ran out a lot of blood when I was on the toilet.

The symptoms disappered after a few days, but I wonder if it is enougt, to be exposed by very small doses (not noticeble quantitys)?

Yes, I know that I'm stupid when I do this experiments. But now I've thrown away all my castor beans & jequerity beans.

I was drunk both times when I did the extraction :), chemicals are not good to be keept to store in my house when I'm drunk. Once I mixed Nitric acid with Glycerine, when I waked up the morning after there stood a glass of Nitroglycerine....:o

BromicAcid - 28-11-2004 at 08:17

By virtue of extracting the Ricin you were exposed to it. It is very plausible regarding your symptoms and the fact you know you were exposed to it, that you may have uptaken a large enough concentration to do some damage. I believe Ricin can have a latent period of some time (at least a month) so you might be in trouble there. To illustrate the toxicity of this compound here is a quote from "Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary":

Very highly toxic by ingestion; small particle in cut or abrasion, eye or nose may prove fatal.

So if you managed to escape without permeant damage then it is definitely a good thing you tossed your castor beans. There is another major symptom of poisoning by Ricin which you didn't mention however, that of vomiting, I believe this is common in most cases and it seems odd it would be absent.

axehandle - 28-11-2004 at 09:19

<b>Go see a doctor!</b> Seriously.

Organikum - 28-11-2004 at 09:59

I always thought to get ricin from those beans needs more than a simple extraction? But already in unaltered state the beans contain some nasty stuff, nothing deadly though. The oil was actually used in the olde days to get somebody on the shitter, so the symptoms are correct.

But please nobody post the correct process to get rizin now! It probably is exactly what somebody tries to fish from the depths here.


PS: If you die Xanax, make sure somebody applies for an Darwin Award for you. Perfect usename too, congrats.

Magpie - 28-11-2004 at 11:09

This seems to be a perfect example of how potentially deadly our hobby can be even when you know the hazards of what you are experimenting with.

I must agree about the Darwin Award. Getting sick once is one thing - but twice?

Castor oil from the castor beans was a very common laxative during the early part of the 1900's. Then I learned about ricin from the Bulgarian murder of a diplomat in London and they said it came from the same beans. This seems extraordinary to me that this common laxative didn't kill many people. I'm sure the knowledge level and quality assurance was not that great in those days. I still see castor oil for sale at my local pharmacy. You'll never catch me drinking that stuff. :o

Polverone - 28-11-2004 at 14:57

The beans are highly toxic by themselves. Slightly greater "density of toxicity" can be achieved by defatting the bean material with solvents. This defatted bean material is, I believe, what people who are reported in the media as having "made ricin" usually have. Extracting the pure and intact toxic proteins from the bulk of the bean requires significantly more sophistication. I know JACS has a lab-scale preparation that would be accessible to the well equipped home experimenter, and there's a patent registered to (IIRC) the US Army that shows how to do it on an industrial scale.

As far as I know, ricin is very difficult to effectively deliver on a large scale, so it never became adapted to battlefield use, though it is famous for use in a couple of assassinations. Reports of "suspected terrorists found with ricin" are little more worrisome than "suspected terrorists found with rifle ammunition." It's circumstantial evidence of evil intent, but really no more destructive than guns or petroleum distillates. If Xanax's reports are to be believed, it also threatens the health of the manufacturer far more than mundane weapons like firearms.

Darwin Award Indeed

HRH_Prince_Charles - 28-11-2004 at 17:05


"Ricin from the castor bean (Ricinus communis) is a potent cytotoxic protein that is lethal to eukaryotic cells by inactivating the organelle sites of protein synthesis called ribosomes. Just one single ricin molecule that enters the cytosol of a cell (the semifluid medium between the nucleus and plasma membrane) can inactivate over 1,500 ribosomes per minute and kill the cell. One of the two protein subunits of ricin (RTA) is a deadly enzyme that removes purines (such as adenine) from ribosomal RNA, thus altering its molecular structure and function."

Of course, all the 'suspected terrorist' stuff is pure bull. Of the 600-or-so people detained under the odious Mr Blunkett's terrorism legislation, all but around a dozen have been released without charge. Most of those charged are Irish terrorists, there's a Sikh 'terrorist' and a Tunisian. None of them are Al Qaeda. In fact, Al Qaeda is a myth - the name was fabricated by the US.

sergius - 28-11-2004 at 23:07

The links below could be useful


Reverend Necroticus Rex - 29-11-2004 at 12:02

Abrin is EXTREMELY toxic, as you probably know, three to four times more lethal than ricin, that stuff is right up there with anatoxin-A, and palytoxin in terms of lethality.

You really shouldn't fuck around with toxalbumens at all, you are likely to kill yourself, theres no good "home" use of either plant IMHO, save for castor oil, although there are doubtless more pleasant ways of making you take a shit.

If I were you I would stay well away, ricin is bad, and abrin is a fuckton worse, I am surprised it didn't kill you:(

The_Davster - 12-12-2004 at 13:04

Xanax: Post here if you are alive.:(

DDTea - 12-12-2004 at 15:34

Now there's a crazy mofo ;) . Also a very lucky one. From what I understand though, if you survive the 3-4 days after Ricin poisoning and your symptoms go away, you can be expected to live. Still, I strongly strongly strongly suggest you visit a doctor and get checked out! Tell them you got drunk and mistook your castorbeans for your sleeping pills or something.

aikon - 13-12-2004 at 09:19

Originally posted by rogue chemist
Xanax: Post here if you are alive.:(

Message posted on 28-11-2004 at 12:47 PM
Last active: 29-11-2004 at 08:04 PM

Yes Xanax would be nice to hear from you, or from your relatives.

HNO3 - 18-12-2004 at 07:26

I think we lost a member. I U2U'd Xanax on 12-13-04, and it hasn't even been read yet.:(

Saerynide - 18-12-2004 at 07:45

Maybe we should email him, incase he doesnt check the board anymore?

Edit: I just sent him an email

[Edited on 18-12-2004 by Saerynide]

HNO3 - 18-12-2004 at 09:13

Hope he checks his email.:(
Here's a dollar for a casket fund.:(
Edit: I just sent him an email too.

[Edited on 12-18-04 by HNO3]

I think he's dead.

Nerro - 18-12-2004 at 16:05

Username Xanax (Send U2U) (Add to Buddies)
Registered 8/28/03 (0 messages per day)
Posts 2 (0.01% of total posts.)
Avatar & Member Status:
Custom Status:
Last active: 29-11-2004 at 21:04

His first post was from 1-1-2004, his second was the one at the top of this topic. He obviously isn't a frequent poster.

But as mentioned earlier he was likely to have been subjected to either ricin or abrin. Considering the extremely lethal nature of both substances (and and especially the second one) and the period of time that passed since his intoxication his death is a very real possibility.

Just goes to show you should always steer clear of this kind of chemistry. Anything that can only kill should be avoided. (explosives rarely kill smart chemists.)

I feel sorry for his family. Not because he's probably dead (that's his own stupid fault) but rather because they too may have been exposed to his "experiments".

BromicAcid - 18-12-2004 at 16:45

Chemistry is dangerous, that's all there is to it. Xanax was lax in his treatment of this hazardous chemical, I don't think he's dead though, like some people's speculation on Flayer's demise from the phosphorus thread. Although Flayer still appears to be active to this day despite not posting in over a year. Xanax probably just pops in whenever he has something interesting, not really interested in the day to day activity here. There is a chance we may well never know what became of him, then again he could be looking over this post without logging in and laughing his rear end off.

[Edited on 12/19/2004 by BromicAcid]

HNO3 - 18-12-2004 at 19:55

Then again, if we did lose a member, it might not be all bad. Check out his 2 posts. After reading them I am :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:, and I think it might be a good thing to lose a terrorist/k3wl.

cyclonite4 - 19-12-2004 at 07:20

OMG, after reading this thread, it's like a movie or a in-depth story to me. About how ones inability to be responsible and caring with such dangerous materials has been the ending cause of their life. Even though HNO3 is right, i still kinda hope he is alive. I feel quite happy adnd somewhat assured by the way that Saerynide and HNO3 sent emails to see if he is OK. I think this thread should be 'laminated', as it contains a very valuable lesson, the moral of the story, don't f*** around with dangerous chemicals unless you know what you are doing, and can be safe and responsible in your experiments.

Best of luck to Xanax.

HNO3 - 21-12-2004 at 12:35

OK, he's alive. "Hello!

Yes, I'm alive
I have throw'n away that shit now :-)

Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2004 17:18:25 +0000
Subject: Ricin

Are you still alive? You vanished after posting on Science Madness about the
extraction of ricin." The original email and the reply. But Xanax, please try not to kill yourself!:P

Saerynide - 22-12-2004 at 04:23

Thats good to hear :D

I didnt get a reply from him though... Im so insulted *sniff*

just kidding :P

cyclonite4 - 22-12-2004 at 04:49

Yay, he's alive :P

Good that he threw away the ricin/abrin, for the better :)

Darkfire - 17-1-2005 at 13:44

Hahahaha where exactly did he throw it?

sparkgap - 18-1-2005 at 01:09

Maybe he burned it. I don't know of any proteins save those from hot-spring microbes that can be seared pretty and still remain active.

At least, that's what I think...

cyclonite4 - 18-1-2005 at 07:14

Originally posted by Darkfire
Hahahaha where exactly did he throw it?

In a populated childrens' playground? :P

Quince - 4-2-2005 at 07:15

I was thinking of extracting abrin. I've seen the A.P. vines grow in the bush while I was in FL. But then I read this thread and changed my mind (also because I tried to figure out what to use it for and failed...)

arnold - 9-3-2006 at 08:17

Hi. I've got a few questions concerning poisons:
Can the ricin be prepared from expired castor beans? How stable is the ricin? Could it be deteriorated by long storage in room temperature?

How stable in storage are alkaloids like colchicine and aconitine? Which of them is more toxic?

battery - 29-6-2006 at 02:40

mate you are one stupid guy i mean come on i would have stopped tryin the first time if i got ill like you did from what i have read about it you only need a little to kill you so leave alone most of the simptons are correct anyway if your gona keep doin it why not try extracting cyanide from wild cherrys its in the seed/nut thins in the centreof the cherrys but i advise you dont just be careful dont play with poisons play with explosives instead they fun!!!! try mixing aluminum fileings and iron oxide stand back and light called thermite burns through anythink:mad::o:D

Nu-ANFO - 28-5-2011 at 09:18

I'am going to make ricin. I've read a lot. I surprise that how xanax can be alive from this chain reaction ricin?? :o:o

If half the people here were bright enough to....

The WiZard is In - 28-5-2011 at 10:35

know how to use a library or the internet, the county could
be in trouble.

A not very bright US Gov idea.

As recently as last year, a 1962 Army patent for making weapons-
grade ricin was available on a public computer at the United States
Patent Office. That Web page has been closed, but the
military's recipe is still available elsewhere on the Internet.

Yup, however, money talks. If you send the US PTO US $3.00
they will mail you a copy. Or as suggested you can DL it for
free from any one of several obvious sources.

I know of a PhD level forensic chemist who must have been
watching toooo many TV shows who said to me I'll never taste
anything else again.

New York Times
February 4, 2004
RICIN ON CAPITOL HILL: THE POISON; Ricin, Made From Common Castor Beans, Can Be Lethal but Has Drawbacks as a Weapon

While ricin is one of the deadliest known poisons, and can be made from common castor beans, it has been used only rarely as a murder or terror weapon.

It is normally just a white protein powder, and its plain appearance has led to false alarms in detecting it.

A speck of pure ricin the size of a grain of salt is enough to kill if it is injected or swallowed, said Dr. Michael P. Allswede, a toxicologist at the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But about 10 times that much would be needed if it is inhaled, so sending it through the mail is not as deadly as mailing anthrax, for example.

Even high-quality homemade ricin, if that is what was found in a Senate mailroom on Monday, is only about one-third pure, so a lethal dose would mean inhaling or swallowing at least three times as much as a pure dose.

None of the dozens of Capitol police and Senate staff members who were decontaminated by showering and throwing away their clothes yesterday showed signs of poisoning.

The toxin in castor beans is in the pulp left after the oil is squeezed out. The oil has long been used as a laxative and in paints and lubricants. The beans grow wild in the United States and are farmed in many countries.

There is no antidote for ricin poisoning. Doctors can offer only secondary support like fluids, oxygen and blood pressure drugs.

Ricin (pronounced RICE-in) can cause severe swelling and fluid in the lungs or bleeding in the stomach and intestines, and it destroys the liver and kidneys. A survivor of ricin poisoning would probably have permanent organ damage.

It is not a good battlefield weapon because, unlike hardy anthrax spores, its long, linked proteins break apart in dry, sunny conditions. Unlike nerve gases, it is not easily absorbed through the skin.

''It's best used as an assassination weapon or a food contaminant,'' Dr. Allswede said. ''It needs to be targeted at an individual.''

Last April, French officials were embarrassed when sophisticated tests revealed that a small bottle of powder found in a locker at the Gare de Lyon actually contained ground wheat germ and barley.

Initial tests in March identified it as ricin, which has similar proteins, and officials had boasted that they had probably thwarted a terrorist attack.

It was found during random locker searches when Paris was on a state of high alert because of the Iraq war. Three months earlier, a small amount of ricin had been found in a London apartment used by six North Africans who were arrested because of information gleaned by French police after the arrests of terror suspects in the Paris suburbs.

The most famous ricin murder was that of the Bulgarian dissident, Georgi I. Markov, who was killed in 1978 at a London bus stop by the Bulgarian secret service, apparently to silence his broadcasts on the British Broadcasting Corporation. A platinum pellet injected into Mr. Markov's leg with a spring-loaded umbrella contained a dose of ricin that killed him after three days of intense fever and vomiting.

In the 1990's, American white supremacist groups tried to kill police officers and tax officials by coating doorknobs and steering wheels with homemade ricin, hoping it would be ingested.

The poison has also been used in extortion attempts. Last October, an envelope containing ricin inside a sealed metal container was left at an airport postal building near Greenville, S.C. Accompanying it was a typed letter to the Department of Transportation that was signed ''Fallen Angel.'' The writer claimed to be the owner of a truck fleet and demanded that a change in federal regulations to give drivers 10 hours of sleep between shifts instead of 8 be canceled. On Jan. 8, the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $100,000 reward for the arrest of the author.

It is still very easy to find crude amateur recipes for turning castor beans into ricin. They have been printed in books on unconventional weapons like ''Silent Death'' and ''The Poisoner's Handbook,'' and intelligence agencies have said that translations of those recipes have been found in Al Qaeda hideouts.

A five-minute Internet search yesterday produced a kitchen recipe using lye and acetone, which did contain a warning that making it at home could be fatal.

As recently as last year, a 1962 Army patent for making weapons-grade ricin was available on a public computer at the United States Patent Office. That Web page has been closed, but the military's recipe is still available elsewhere on the Internet.

Chart: ''Ricin, Compared With Some Other Killers'' Although highly toxic, ricin is less suitable as a widely distributed weapon than anthrax.

AGENT: Ricin

CHARACTERISTICS Pellets, mists or powder. Can be inhaled, injected or ingested. Not easily absorbed through skin. A salt-grain-sized amount, if pure, could be fatal. Derived from castor beans.

EFFECTS/MORTALITY Toxin. Causes weakness, fever, cough, respiratory distress, internal bleeding, organ failure. High mortality rate, especially from inhalation and injection, lower mortality rate from oral ingestion.

SPEED OF EFFECTS Rapid. Symptoms in a few hours. Toxic effects may last up to three days, but damage to organs can last much longer.

STABILITY OF AGENT Very stable. Not affected much by extreme temperatures, but breaks down as it dries out, making it difficult to weaponize. Person-to-person transmission is extremely unlikely.

DEFENSES AND TREATMENTS No antitoxin or vaccine available.

AGENT: Anthrax

CHARACTERISTICS Spores in powder or aerosol are inhaled. Occurs naturally and can be refined for weapons.

EFFECTS/MORTALITY Bacteria. Cutaneous (skin) anthrax is not lethal; inhalation anthrax results in severe respiratory distress, with a very high mortality rate if not treated.

SPEED OF EFFECTS Incubation: 1 to 6 days. Length of illness: 1 to 2 days. Death within 2 to 3 days.

STABILITY OF AGENT Spores can live in soil for decades. Sunlight may degrade them. Person-to-person infection is extremely unlikely.

DEFENSES AND TREATMENTS Treatable if antibiotics are administered early. Vaccine exists but is not available to the public.

AGENT: Smallpox

CHARACTERISTICS Disease officially eradicated in 1980; only two stocks remain, in U.S. and Russia, but hidden stocks are feared. Spread by contact with infected persons.

EFFECTS/MORTALITY Virus. Causes severe skin rash. Historically, about 1 in 3 die from the infection.

SPEED OF EFFECTS Symptoms appear in 12 to 14 days. Rash occurs between the 15th and 30th days of infection.

STABILITY OF AGENT Highly contagious. Aerosolized, it is fragile. In experiments, 90 percent of aerosolized smallpox died within 24 hours; ultraviolet light degraded it further.

DEFENSES AND TREATMENTS Limited vaccination of health care workers under way. Those vaccinated before eradication may have lost their immunity. Vaccines carry health risks, with rare fatalities.

(Sources by Dr. Francis J. DeRoos and Dr. Robert H. Poppenga, University of Pennsylvania; Elisa D. Harris, University of Maryland; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; ''The Survival Guide'' by Dr. Angelo Acquista)

Deadly Poison, Fatal Mystery
Toxic terror or overkill? Probers seek answers,; suicide blocks way
By Michael Dorman

Ricin is a poison that kills by contact—described by the FBI as third in
toxicity only to plutonium and the botulism toxin. It has no known antidote.
It has been a favorite death weapon of Soviet-bloc spies—one of whom
used a mere speck of the poison, jabbed on the pointy tip of a black
umbrella, to kill Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov on a London sidewalk
in 1978.

Today ricin is at the center of a mystery marked by death, controversy
and overtones of potential terrorism, stretching from Arkansas- to Canada
to Alaska. The person best able to unravel the mystery is dead— in what
has been described as a jailhouse suicide. FBI agents, federal marshals
and Canadian authorities are trying to solve the mystery without him.

It dates to April, 1993, when a 52-year-old Arkansas farmer named
Thomas Lewis Lavy—described by neighbors as connected to survivalist
groups tried to drive from Alaska into Canada at the Beaver Creek border
crossing, A search of Lavy's car by Canadian customs agents revealed
that he was carrying four guns, 20,000 rounds of ammunition, a
belt-buckle knife, $89,000 in cash, neo-Nazi literature and a handbook on
use of poisons;

Court records show the agents also. found a bag containing 130 grams
of a white, powdery substance. When the agents asked what the
substance was, Lavy replied that it was poison he used to kill coyotes
preying on the chickens on his Arkansas farm.

The agents confiscated the powder and refused to permit Lavy to enter
Canada on grounds that he lacked the forms needed to bring in more than
$10,000. After chemical tests Canadian authorities identified the white
powder as ricin—a poison 6,000 times more powerful than cyanide. An
FBI agent later testified that the quantity confiscated from Lavy was
enough to kill 32,000 people.

For reasons yet unexplained, it took U.S. authorities more than two years
to launch criminal proceedings against Lavy. After the border incident he
made his way back from Alaska—where he had previously worked in the
oil fields near Yaldez—to his farm at Onia in northern Arkansas. Agent
Thomas Lynch, assigned to the FBI's Little Rock office, said it was not
until late last year that he was informed of the ricin incident and ordered
to investigate Lavy. -

On Dec. 12 a grand jury in Alaska returned a sealed indictment charging
Lavy with violating the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989.
Robert Bundy, the U.S. attorney in Anchorage, said in a telephone
interview: "He was accused of possession of a biological toxin with intent
to kill. He told two stories of why he had the poison—one about protecting
his chickens, and the other about preventing people from stealing his
property. He said if a thief came onto his property, the thief would
probably steal the ricin—thinking it was cocaine. And then the ricin would
kill the thief."

On Dec. 20 about 40 FBI agents—accompanied by Army
chemical-warfare experts based in Aberdeen, Md.—descended on the
remote farm where Lavy lived alone. He was arrested without a struggle.
Paula Casey, the, the U.S. attorney in Little Rock, said in a telephone
interview that the agents found in Lavy's stone house "a Christmas
fruitcake can filled with castor beans." Ricin is made from castor beans,
which grow abundantly in many parts of the United States. Casey also
said Lavy's house contained several books describing how ricin can be
produced from the beans;

But there was no evidence that Lavy had made the ricin confiscated by
the Canadian agents. Part of the rnystery concerns who had produced the
ricin and why.

Another concerns what Lavy really planned to do with the poison. Still
another concerns his reported survivalist connections and who might have
been involved with him. There are also questions about why he had been
carrying the weapons, ammunition and $89,000

While FBI agents continued investigating, Lavy was taken to Little Rock
for arraignment and a bail hearing before U.S. Magistrate Jerry Cavenau.
It was at the bail hearing that FBI agent Lynch testified the ricin
confiscated from Lavy could have killed 32,000 people. Cavenau
explained to Lavy that he faced a maximum sentence of life if convicted
under the anti-terrorism act. The magistrate ordered Lavy held without bail
and he was sent to the Pulaski County Jail in Little Rock, which holds
federal prisoners temporarily.

Three days later Lavy was found hanged in his cell. Conrad Petillo, the
U.S. marshal in Little Rock, refused in a telephone interview to say how
the hanging was accomplished or whether Lavy had any visitors at the jail.
Local authorities unofficially described Lavy's death as a suicide, but the
U.S. Marshals Service is investigating it. "We're not at liberty to comment
on an open investigation," Petillo said.

Federal authorities concede the ricin investigation is proceeding slowly.
Ricin, used in medical research, can legally be obtained from chemical
suppliers only with government certification that it is necessary for
legitimate purposes.

Agents have reported finding no evidence revealing the source of Lavy's
ricin. As for his connections to survivalist groups, neighbors have told of
Lavy talking about his association with such organizations but have
provided no leads to specific individuals or units, It is known, however,
that some paramilitary right-ring groups have begun acquiring ricin. In
February two members of a paramilitary organization called the Minnesota
Patriots were found guilty in a plot to kill federal agents and public officials
with ricin:

Sam Heuer, a Little Rock lawyer who had never met Lavy before being
retained to defend him in the ricin case, accused federal authorities of
mishandling the prosecution. "It is such a tragic case," Heuer-said. "An
overzealous U.S. attorney in Alaska and a hqt-dog FBI agent tried to paint
Tom as something he was not. " What Lavy was, Heuer contended, was
simply a man trying to protect his chickens. Arkansas federal prosecutor
Robert Govar scoffed at that. "It would be tantamount to saying you can
use a thermonuclear device to protect your property from burglary," he

Antiterrorism Law Used In -Poison Smuggling Case"."
Man Had Enough Powder for Mass Killing
New York Times

Federal agents have arrested in Arkansas man on charges that he
possessed enough of one of the deadliest poisons known - a favored and
nearly undetectable weapon of the old Soviet K.G.B. - to kill thousands of
people, officials said yesterday.

The man, Thomas Lewis Lavy, was arrested on Wednesday morning In an
F.B.I. raid on an isolated stone cabin In the Ozarks of northern Arkansas. Mr.
Lavy, described as about 50 years old, is said by the authorities to have tried
to smuggle 130 grams of the fatal poison ricin, a white powder distilled from
castor beans, across Alaska's border with Canada In 1993, Although Mr.
Lavy was not detained at the time, the Canadian authorities confiscated all
the powder that subsequent analysis showed to be ricin.

A mere speck of ricin, daubed on the tip of an umbrella, was used by Soviet
agents in 1978 to kill a defecting Bulgarian official, Georgi Markov, at a
London bus stop.

Mr. Lavy was arrested after about 40 F.B.I. agents and Army chemical
warfare specialists from Aberdeen, Md., surrounded the small stone house off
a series of dirt roads near tiny Onia, Ark., In Stone County.

He was charged under an anti. terrorism statute with possession of a toxic
substance with intent to use it as a weapon. At a hearing In Little Rock
yesterday, a United States Magistrate, Jerry Cavanaugh, ordered Mr. Lavy
held without bail and transported to Alaska for trial, where the charges were
originally filed.

Although no poison was seized in the raid, Paula Casey, spokeswoman for
the United States Attorney's office in Little Rock, said a container that she
described as a "pound and a half Christmas fruitcake can" filled with castor
beans was found, along with "several books detailing recipes" for producing
ricin from the beans.

Neighbors described Mr. Lavy as having ties to "survivalist groups," said
Sheriff Fred Black of Stone County, although the Sheriff added that they did
not name specific groups.

In the parlance of the sparsely populated corner of the Ozarks where the
raid occurred, the term "survivalist" refers to far-right Christian
fundamentalists who are storing food, weapons and supplies In backwoods
hideouts In anticipation of a cataclysmic war.

Although officials cautioned that no links to known rightist groups had been
established in the case, the arrest came against a backdrop of recent
violence that Includes not only the bombing of the Federal Building In
Oklahoma City, but several bombings of Federal Government offices in the
West and clashes in which local police and sheriffs have been shot by people
refusing to obey court orders or pay taxes.

Two members of a paramilitary group called the Minnesota Patriots Council
were convicted in March of planning to use ricin to kill Federal employees and
law-enforcement agents.

Ricin Is described In the Merck Index, the standard reference on chemicals,
as "among the most toxic compounds known." It Is 6,000 times more
poisonous than cyanide and 12,000 times more poisonous than rattlesnake
venom, wrote Wayne Armstrong, a botanist, in the magazine Environment

When Soviet agents killed Mr. Markov, the Bulgarian defector, lie felt a
sharp stab In the back of hls right thigh as he waited for his bus near
Waterloo Bridge. Turning, he saw a man with an umbrella who apologized
and hailed a taxi. Four days later, Mr. Markov was dead.

Doctors could find no cause for his suffering until a pathologist recovered a
tiny metal pellet with two' hollow channels, somewhat similar to the bail of a
ballpoint pin. The poison ricin was identified in an amount estimated at a few
hundred millionths of a gram.

Sheriff Black, who accompanied the Federal agents on the raid, said.. that
several rifles he described as "collector's models," five pistols, gold
Krugerrand coins and several thousand dollars in cash had also been seized.

The arrest was made on a sealed indictment handed up in Alaska on Dec.
12, which charged Mr. Lavy with possession of a toxic substance with the
intent to use it as a weapon, Ms. Casey said.

Federal officials said the charges arose from an effort that Mr. Lavy made in
April 1993 to cross to Canada from Alaska, at Beaver Creek, while carrying
the 130 grams of ricin. He was also carrying, court documents said, four.
guns with 20,000 rounds of ammunition, a belt buckle knife and $80,000 in
cash. In addition, court documents said, he had several pieces of literature,
including "The Prisoner's Handbook," and "Silent Death," a work whose
author was identified only as Uncle Fester.

Canadian border officials turned Mr. Lavy back because he did not have the
proper form to bring more than $10,000 into their country. They confiscated
the white powder, which he had told them was a poison he was using to kill
coyotes preying on his chickens.

Federal officials indicated there had been a delay in the Canadians'
notifying them of the nature of the white powder, Chemists say the tests to
identify ricin are extremely difficult and sophisticated.

Sheriff Black said Mr. Lavy had moved to the Ozarks - home to numerous
right-wing survivalists about three years ago. He said Mr. Lavy was believed
to have worked on the Alaska pipeline and seem to have retired. He said Mr.
Lavy was pleasant but spoke little to his neighbors.

"He just pretty much kept to himself," the sheriff said.

The F.B.I. agents appeared in the area about Friday, Sheriff Black said,
creeping up on the house from a, cemetery.

The castor plant, which is readily'. available, has purplish-green, red-veined
leaves shaped like starfish., Federal officials said Mr. Lavy told them he had
bought his beans by mail from a woman In Oregon.

Beans from the plant are used to, produce castor oil, paint, varnish,
lubricant for jet engines, nylon and transparent soap.

In addition to the real-life umbrella case in London, ricin made a fictional
appearance in the 1929 Agatha Christie mystery, "The House of Lurking
Death," In which an heir and heiress die from the poison, which had been
mixed Into a fig paste.

Man- Arrested In Poison Case Kills Himself In Jail Cell
New York Times

A man charged with possessing enough of one of the deadliest known
poisons to kill thousands of people committed suicide in his Arkansas jail cell
yesterday morning.

The man, Thomas Lewis Lavy, 54, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation on Wednesday in a raid on his isolated stone cabin in the
remote mountains of northern Arkansas and charged under antiterrorism
statutes with possession of 130 grams of ricin, a white powder distilled from
castor beans. The authorities said he had tried to smuggle the powder
across the Canadian border from Alaska in 1993. Canadian authorities
confiscated the powder and tests found that it was ricin.

Ricin was a favorite and virtually undetectable secret weapon of the former
Soviet K.G.B. A mere speck of ricin, jabbed from the tip of a black umbrella,
was used by Soviet agents to kill a defecting Bulgarian official, Georgi
Markov, at a London bus stop in 1978.

Mr. Lavy's lawyer, Sam Heuer, said Federal marshals had told him that Mr.
Lavy had hanged himself. The authorities, who did not confirm the hanging,
said that he was found unconscious in his cell around 6 A.M. by a guard at
the Pulaski County Detention Facility in Little Rock, where he was being held
as a Federal prisoner. He was rushed to the University of Arkansas Medical
Center, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy will be performed, Mr.
Heuer said.

The lawyer took sharp issue with the Government's accusations against
Mr. Lavy.
"It is such a tragic case," Mr. Heuer said. "An overzealous U.S. Attorney in
Alaska and a hot, dog F.B.I. agent tried to paint Tom as something he was

Mr. Heuer said in a telephone interview that Mr. Lavy had possessed the
ricin because he had "read about the use of ricin by sheep farmers in
Montana to control coyotes."

"We have the right to have rat poison or coyote poison, just like we have
the right to have a .357 Magnum," he said. "It's a right.

"Tom was a very gentle, very kindly person," Mr. Heuer said. "He was in
great enjoyment of his retirement. He loved the country, he loved the farm.
He was a far, far cry from what the Alaskan authorities tried to make him out
to be.

"He was a 54-year-old man who had never had his liberty taken away. He
was a veteran, he fought for his country - and something of a naturalist. He
loved exotic books. He had a great collection on elephant hunting."

Mr. Heuer said he had first met Mr. Lavy when he took the case on
Some 40 F.B.I. agents and Army chemical warfare specialists from
Aberdeen, Md., had surrounded the cabin, off a series of dirt roads near tiny
Onia, Ark., on Wednesday morning before arresting Mr. Lavy.

He was charged with possession of a toxic substance with intent to use it
as a weapon under an antiterrorism statute and was held without bail after a
hearing in Little Rock on Friday before United States Magistrate Jerry
Cavanaugh. The Court ordered that he be transported to Alaska, where the
charges were originally filed, for trial.

Neighbors described Mr. Lavy as having ties to "survivalist groups,"
according to Stone County Sheriff Fred Black, although he said they had not
named any specific groups.

In the Stone County area, a sparsely populated corner of the Ozarks, the
term "survivalist" refers to far-right Christian fundamentalists, who store food,
weapons and supplies in backwoods hideouts in anticipation of a
cataclysmic war.

Officials cautioned that they had found no links to known rightist groups.
But there have been several recent cases of violent activity linked to
right-wing extremists, including the deadly bombing of the Federal Building
in Oklahoma City, a number of bombings of Federal Government offices in
the far West and clashes in which. police officers and sheriffs have been
shot by people refusing to obey courts, pay taxes or put license plates on
their cars.

Two members of a militia called the Minnesota Patriots Council were
convicted in March on charges that they had planned to use ricin to kill
Federal employees and law enforcement agents.

Ricin is described in the Merck Index, the standard reference on
chemicals, as "among the most toxic compounds known."

It is 6,000 times as potent as cyanide poison and 12,000 times as potent
as rattlesnake venom, according to Wayne Armstrong, a botanist writing in
the specialist magazine Environment Southwest.

Although no actual poison was seized in the raid on Mr. Lavy's house on
Wednesday morning, Paula Casey, a spokeswoman for the United States
attorney's office, said a container she described as a "pound and a half
Christmas fruitcake can" filled with castor beans was found, along with
recipes for producing ricin from the beans.

I noted this ad when it was published .... hummm, not me it
— it sets my Spider Scenes tingling.

Case of the Willing Victim
New York Newsday 16 viii 82

He called his plot to poison his wife "a mission of mercy," an attempt to end
the pain and suffering caused by a paralyzing stroke she had three years
ago. She backed his story, insisting in dramatic and emotional testimony that
she wanted to die: "I begged and pleaded with him to help me, to get
something that would help [kill me]." But the jury was unmoved: last week
William Chanslor, 50, a prominent Houston attorney and past president of the
city's Trial Lawyers Association, was convicted of "solicitation to murder" his
42 year-old wife, Sue.

The plot was bizarre even by Texas standards. It began last year when
Chanslor, using the alias John G. Thompson, advertised in paramilitary
journals for an "expert in poisons & chemical agents with access to same." In
one of those magazines, Soldier of Fortune, he spied an ad for a five-volume
set of books entitled "How to Kill," written by a Canadian weapons expert
(box [below]). He purchased the books and arranged to contact the author,
John Minnery, at his Ontario home. Between October and March of this year,
the two men had about a half-dozen telephone conversations about poison.
Chanslor first inquired about killing animals, then revealed that his intended
victim was human-42 years old and partially paralyzed in a wheelchair.

When Chanslor asked Minnery to procure poison for him, Minnery went to
the police. The two men finally met in April at the Toronto airport, where
Minnery introduced the Texan, still using his alias, to Keith Symons, an
Ontario provincial policeman posing as a man with access to poisons. During
an hourlong conversation in the airport lounge, taped and photographed by
Canadian police, Chanslor detailed his mission. When asked whether the
victim might cooperate by committing suicide, he lamented, "It's an
impossibility. We talked about it once and then the person backed out ... It's
gone on too long, too long ... I'm sick of waiting, for this bitch is really getting
to me."

After discussing several poisons and rejecting them-because they leave
traces the men decided on ricin, a toxin more powerful than cobra venom; it
is extremely rare and produces a slow, convulsive death. It is also virtually
impossible to detect: Minnery assured Chanslor that an autopsy would
attribute the death to a stroke, heart attack or uremic failure. Chanslor said he
planned to give the poison to the victim at bedtime and inquired how long he
should wait before calling his neighbors for help. "Eight to ten hours," Minnery
informed him.

Vitamin C: Less than two weeks later, Symons flew to Houston and, this
time under video surveillance by Texas authorities, delivered to Chanslor a
yellow capsule (which actually contained vitamin C along with a surgical
mask, gloves and tweezers to ensure that he didn't touch or inhale the
"poison." After Chanslor paid the cop $2,500 and got into his 1981 Lincoln,
police surrounded the car and arrested him.

The defense didn't dispute the facts, only their interpretation-arguing that
mercy, not murder, was on Chanslor's mind. The Chanslors tried to bolster
that view by a public display of devotion throughout the eight-day trial; he
wheeled his wife into the courtroom during the trial, and she sat as close to
him as possible. On the stand, they echoed each other, maintaining that their
complex scheme to make her death appear natural stemmed from the fear
that their son, Brandon, would be stigmatized by his mother's suicide. But
Assistant District Attorney Jim Lavine dismissed the mercy defense as "a
kaleidoscope of deception" and Mrs. Chanslor's testimony as pathetic self-
deception. He introduced statements from Mrs. Chanslor, made on the day of
her husband's arrest, that she had never asked him to provide her with a way
to die and that she wouldn't willingly take her own life. "He wanted to kill his
wife because she was a yoke, a burden to him," Lavine argued. "The mission
of mercy is for him, not her."

The jury took only three hours to return its verdict. Mrs. Chanslor took the
stand again, this time pleading that her husband not be sent to prison: "I can't
live without him." Chanslor himself begged the jury not to separate him from
his family because "they can't make it without me, and I can't make it without
them." In the end, Mrs. Chanslor's mercy mission proved far more successful
than her husband's. The jury rejected prosecution arguments for a prison
term of 16 to 20 years and sentenced Chanslor to just three years in prison,
making him eligible for parole in one year. "Mrs. Chanslor was devastating,"
conceded Lavine. Agreed his fellow prosecutor, Brad Beers, "If it wasn't for
her testimony, he would have gotten 20 years."

Manual for Murder

"You may well find this booklet offensive, repulsive, brutal and vicious." So
warns writer John A. Minnery in the preface of "How to Kill," a five-volume set
of books [Now six volumes. I like these books, they appeal to the
dark side of my humor. /djh/] that William Chanslor discovered while
plotting to kill his wife.

Minnery counsels on everything from the use of clubs to homemade atomic
weapons; wiring a urinal accomplishes swift electrocution, portable drills can
easily penetrate skulls, spines or heart muscles. But in general, Minnery
advises killers to keep their crimes simple. Clobbering a victim over the head
with a typewriter, for example, usually proves effective.

Minnery, 34, claims his books are aimed at police officers and military per-
sonnel as an "investigative aid." Morality plays little part in Minnery's text, but
he does offer one admonition to the would-be assassin: "Kill without joy."

[Minnery on the TV program "20/20" some years ago said: "They are not how
to murder books, they are how to kill books [………..!] I would call his
statement: "The morality of convenience." If it's convenient; it's moral. /djh/]

[Chanslor placed ad's in the November, 1981 issues of both Soldier of
Fortune and Gung-Ho. /djh/]

"WANTED: Experts in poisons and chemical agents with access to same for
lectures to civic groups. Excellent pay and expenses. Write to: G. Thompson,
8690 S. Gesser, Suite 232, Houston TX 77074."