- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2002

A handwriting analyst familiar with the anthrax-laced letters sent last fall to Capitol Hill says the sender is a white, middle-age man who suffers from bipolar disorder, a sexual dysfunction and a martyr complex.
These details, which do not appear in the FBI's profile of the sender, could sharpen the focus of the 6-month-old investigation into who sent the lethal letters, says Mark Smith, a handwriting analyst based in Virginia.
"At this point, the FBI investigation has been focused on people who have had access to anthrax," Mr. Smith says. "Taking into account the possibility that these characteristics are inherent in the makeup of the perpetrator could greatly reduce the size of the investigation."
Mr. Smith says federal law-enforcement authorities solicited his services in the weeks immediately following October's anthrax attacks. FBI officials would neither confirm nor deny his account and declined to comment on his findings.
The FBI's profile describes the sender as being a nonconfrontational person who may hold grudges for a long time and who is familiar with the Trenton, N.J., area from where anthrax-laced letters were mailed to Sens. Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont. The profile also notes the sender's access to anthrax spores and scientific experience in dealing with the bacteria.
Law-enforcement sources and others, including biochemical specialists questioned by the FBI, have said the investigation has focused on former and current scientists associated with the federal government's anthrax program at Fort Detrick, Md. The spores in the Daschle and Leahy letters match samples of an anthrax strain produced at the facility.
FBI Assistant Director Van A. Harp, who heads the FBI's anthrax task force, told the 40,000 members of the American Society for Microbiology in a letter in January that it "is very likely that one or more of you know" the sender of the anthrax letters, which have killed five persons.
Mr. Smith, who last month posted a detailed personality profile of the culprit on his Web site (www.anthraxhunt.com), goes a step further by suggesting the microbologists might be able to pinpoint current or former colleagues known to be bipolar or sexually disfunctional.
"The very uniform and pronounced curving baseline of the writing on the anthrax letters indicates the bipolar trait," he says. "[The sender] probably wrote these letters on a manic high, triggered by the September 11 attacks."
"Anything below the baseline, such as the loops in the letters 'y' and 'g,' traditionally gives insight into sexual characteristics," Mr. Smith says. "In the case of the anthrax letters, there's nothing below the baseline. It means there is nothing happening in the sexual zone of the writing, which leads me to believe the anthrax sender is sexually dysfunctional."
Handwriting analyst Roger Rubin, based in New York City, says one needs to be cautious in analyzing the anthrax letters because "the writing on them is clearly in disguise."
"It's very difficult to pierce the veil of personality when somebody could be trying to disguise themselves," Mr. Rubin says. "It's like looking at a mask on a person's face and analyzing the mask instead of the person underneath it."
Mr. Smith says the use of block lettering indicates the anthrax sender's age because it's a style of writing taught to children between the late 1940s and mid-1960s. He says the use only of capital letters shows the sender was trying to exhibit power, something "linked to the martyr complex."
In the 1980s, Mr. Smith analyzed a sample of talk-show host Oprah Winfrey's handwriting and accurately described an incident of unresolved sexual trauma in her background years before Miss Winfrey publicly acknowledged having been raped as a child.
The government has offered a $2.5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the sender of the anthrax letters.

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