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Anthrax Victims' Family Have Questions For FBI

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

In 2001, five people were killed by anthrax; more than a dozen were injured. NPR's been speaking with some of the victims and their families. They say they found out about these latest developments the same way most people did - they heard it on the news. And as NPR's Katia Dunn reports, they are skeptical about the FBI's investigation.

KATIA DUNN: Dena Briscoe hasn't heard anything from the FBI in years, even though she's the president of a support group for postal workers injured in the anthrax attacks.

Ms. DENA BRISCOE (President, Brentwood Exposed): We have not gotten any calls from postal management, inspection service, FBI, anybody to give us a heads-up on anything.

DUNN: Briscoe was working in the Brentwood post office in Washington, D.C. in 2001. She says the last contact she had with the FBI was at a five-year memorial her group organized. She has little trust in the organization and wants to see evidence that Bruce Ivins was the man responsible. She's not alone.

Ms. MARTHA MOFFETT (Anthrax Victim): I didn't think it would take them seven years. I thought they were much more capable than this.

DUNN: Martha Moffett is also disappointed in the investigation. She was a librarian at American Media Incorporated at the time of the attack. A good friend of hers, a photo editor, was killed. She assumed the killer would be caught a lot sooner.

At least one family member is trying to remain positive.

Ms. MARY MORRIS: I don't want to have my life defined by the events of 2001.

DUNN: Mary Morris, the widow of a postal worker, is just waiting to see what the FBI says.

Ms. MORRIS: If this is how they chose to do it, it's fine with me. I'm not going to get in an uproar as to how they choose to do it.

DUNN: Director Robert Mueller himself plans to do a briefing this week to show the FBI's commitment to these families.

Katia Dunn, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Corrected: August 6, 2008 at 5:41 PM EDT
Some versions of this story included an anecdote from a postal worker in Washington who recalled that her co-workers "found some mail with a strange smell" and that they "all started having tightening of [their] throats." We failed to note that these symptoms are not associated with anthrax.
Katia Dunn
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