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Would-Be Pufferfish Poisoner Had $5 Million Insurance Policy on Wife

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jul 8, 2008 4:17PM

2008_7_8.bachner.jpgThe pufferfish toxin guy from last week turns out to be nuttier than a squirrel on spring break. Edward F. Bachner IV had been stockpiling tetrodotoxin and weapons, and had tried to hire a contract killer to murder his wife back in 2005. The FBI investigated the attempts then, but no charges were ever filed. Bachner also had a $5 million life insurance policy on his wife that included a special terrorism rider.

This week, though, police discovered even more tetrodotoxin, a bank account containing $183,000 that Bachner's wife didn't know about, and a stash of weapons.

During searches of the couple's home that began with a June 30 raid, authorities found two passports—one of them expired—phony Central Intelligence Agency credentials and weapons that included a Glock 9 mm pistol, five garrotes and 50 knives, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Mark Karner.

The search also uncovered "a precursor to the poison Ricin and books on how to poison people, make gun silencers and hand-to-hand combat." Thorough!

Police say 19 of the 64 vials of neurotoxin Bachner already accumulated are unaccounted for. [Trib, AP, Daily Herald]