He came in through the bathroom window….

“By the mid-1970s, Bruce Ivins had earned his doctorate and was a promising researcher at the University of North Carolina. By outward appearances, he was a charming eccentric, odd but disarming. Inside, he still smoldered with resentment, and he saw a new outlet for it.

“Several years earlier, a [University of] Cincinnati student had turned him down for a date. He had projected his anger onto the young woman’s sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. There was a Kappa house in Chapel Hill, and Ivins cased the building. One night when it was empty, he slipped in through a bathroom window and roamed the darkened floors with a penlight.

“Upstairs, he found something that fascinated him: a glass-enclosed sheaf of documents, called a cipher, necessary for decoding the sorority’s secrets. The cipher would help him wage a personal war against Kappa Kappa Gamma into the sixth decade of his life….

“Investigators believed the poisoned envelopes [in the 2001 anthrax attacks] were deposited in a curbside mailbox in downtown Princeton, N.J. Only years later would the significance of that location become clear.

“The mailbox stood beneath the fourth-floor office of a college sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.”

— From the Los Angeles Times, May 29, 2011

Despite a wealth of circumstantial evidence pointing at Ivins as the anthrax terrorist,  new questions have arisen.


In Pinehurst, a general grand but not grandiose

“In the last few years of his life [George C. Marshall, General of the Army and recipient of the 1953 Nobel Peace Prize]  used to drive downtown most days from his small house in Pinehurst, North Carolina, buy his groceries in the supermarket, tote them to his car to the accompaniment of a nod from the townspeople, a bit of gossip with the drugstore clerk, and then get into his car again, receive the flourish of a salute from the traffic cop, and drive home again. Yet on [Oct. 16, 1959] wherever in the world the American flag flies, it was lowered and flown for him.”

— From “Letter from America: 1946-2004” by Alistair Cooke (2004)