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Revealing investigations. Fascinating characters. Stories with impact. Don't miss an all new CNN Presents this Sunday at 8:00 pm ET.
September 30th, 2011
03:38 PM ET

Death by mail: The Anthrax Letters

Ten years ago, in the wake of the September 11th attacks, the nation faced a second wave of terrorism: anthrax in letters mailed to news organizations and politicians.

Five people were ultimately killed and 17 others were sickened by exposure to the letters directed to The New York Post, Tom Brokaw at NBC News, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and others.

Drawing from recently released FBI and Justice Department documents, CNN's Joe Johns tells the story of the ensuing federal investigation. 

It lasted seven years - along a path that included phony leads, blind alleys, and scientific hurdles.  Finally, after a lucky break, the evidence pointed to a rogue scientist in one of the government’s most sensitive and secure labs, an man who proclaimed his innocence and took his own life before he was charged.

Could it happen again?

The one-hour documentary, CNN Presents: Death by Mail – The Anthrax Letters, debuts Sunday, Oct. 2 at 8:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. ET and replays on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.  ET on CNN.

Filed under: Anthrax • Bruce Ivins • Joe Johns
September 30th, 2011
12:13 AM ET

Testimony continues on day 3 of Conrad Murray trial

The trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician continued Thursday, a day after jurors heard that the pop star's two oldest children were standing just outside the room as Dr. Conrad Murray worked to resuscitate Jackson.

Murray is accused of giving Jackson a lethal dose of propofol in the bedroom of the singer's rented mansion.

The man who called 911 to Michael Jackson's house the day he died testified Thursday that Dr. Conrad Murray told him to gather up drug vials around Jackson's deathbed before he asked him to place the emergency call.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren blamed Murray for Jackson's death, saying he abandoned "all principles of medical care" when he used a makeshift intravenous drip to administer the surgical anesthetic propofol to put Jackson
to sleep every night for more than two months.

The coroner ruled that Jackson's June 25, 2009, death was the result of "acute propofol intoxication" in combination with sedatives.

Defense lawyer Ed Chernoff contended that Jackson, desperate for sleep, caused his own death by taking a handful of sedatives and self-administering propofol while the doctor was out of the room.

One defense strategy is to point the finger at another doctor and Jackson as having a large role in his death, while arguing Murray was blind to what they were doing.

The prosecution contends that part of the negligence that makes Murray criminally liable for Jackson's death is the lack of monitoring and CPR equipment on hand when Jackson died.

The trial began Tuesday with prosecutors playing a stunning audio recording of an apparently drugged Jackson slurring his words weeks before his death.

Prosecutors also showed jurors a photo of Jackson's corpse on a hospital gurney.

If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Murray could spend four years in a California prison and lose his medical license.

CNN’s Don Lemon reports on the last 24 hours of Jackson’s life for CNN Presents: “Michael Jackson: The Final Days.”


Filed under: Conrad Murray • Don Lemon • Michael Jackson