And we did. James and I, (I refuse to call him 'Tacos'), were a tenacious pair of detectives. We weren't afraid to bang down doors, even if it meant getting our hands dirty.
"This door is filthy," I recall James saying one morning. And it was, but we banged on it anyway, getting the dirt all over our hands. Even after he washed them, James couldn't stop smelling his hands all day,
that's how dirty the door was.
I remember meeting Bruce Ivins. There was nothing remarkable about his door. It wasn't as dirty as the dirtiest door we ever banged on, but that
isn't saying too much. As I recall, Ivins looked particularly diabolical, like some kind of mad scientist, though, James pointed out later, that might just have been because he wore a lab coat, and, well, my imagination likes to take me places.
Bruce Ivins as I remember him.
"Let's just ask him straight out if he's mailing anthrax to people. I am so sick
of beating around the bush," I said as we were walking up to his studio apartment. James was quick to correct me.
"Let's not give out too much info too soon. I've got a hunch about this one. If we
him, he's gonna think we're on to him. We need make him think that we
think that anthrax is cool. That way, he'll admit to mailing out anthrax to people, just to impress us." James was a much better detective than me. Ivins came to the door after we fearlessly banged on it looking either like a mad scientist or like a totally normal scientist, depending on which detective you ask.
"Can I help you, gentlemen?" I noticed an unmarked jar of flour on his kitchen table next to a list of addresses of important figures in the media. I immediately dismissed this as a list of people he wanted to send cakes to. I shook my head.
He's gonna need a lot more than just flour to make cake,
Like eggs. Most cake recipes call for eggs.
"We'd just like to ask you a few quick questions, Professor Ivins, if that's alright with you," James said.
"Question the first," I barked. "Have you been mailing anthrax to people?" I had to listen closely to his response. All subsequent questions would be based on his answer to this one. If, for example, he said 'Yes, I do that all the time,' then I think we'd have our man.
James looked at me, dumbfounded. I couldn't tell how, but I knew that I'd severely disappointed him.