You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

RicinWhere to start? It's an embarrassment of riches.

Ricin expert Crump (source)
Crump, who used to perform maintenance services at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eventually told the undercover agent he wanted to make 10 pounds of ricin and "put it out in different cities at the same time: Washington, DC, maybe Newark, N.J., Atlanta, Ga., Jacksonville, Fla., New Orleans."

Distributing the biological toxin was simple, he said, "All you got to do is lay it in the damn road, the cars are going to spread it."
Criminal masterminds (source)
They met at a Waffle House and called themselves “the covert group.”
Living high on the hog with Social Security (source)
"We need somebody to back us with some damn money so we can make that other shit," Crump said at a Waffle House in Toccoa, Georgia.
Ticking time bomb (source)
Documents say the men intended to launch their plot within a year.
The plot was operational (source)
Federal investigators said they had them under surveillance for at least seven months, infiltrating their meetings at a Waffle House, homes and other places, before finally arresting them Tuesday, just days after discovering evidence they were trying to extract ricin from castor beans.
Thomas and Roberts were charged with conspiring to buy an explosive device and an illegal silencer. It wasn't clear whether they actually made any purchases and prosecutors wouldn't comment. Adams and Crump were charged with conspiring to make a biological toxin.
The men were well known to local law enforcement (source)
“If you had told me these men did these things before I heard about the investigation from the FBI, I would have told you you’re a liar,” said Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley, who has known Roberts, Adams and Crump for more than three decades. “It just does not add up.” Because until now, it’s believed the men have not had brushes with the law.
Realistic plot (source)
But could the group have made ricin? “No, what they would have wound up with is dried castor powder,” said George Smith, a senior fellow for, a public information organization on terrorism and homeland security. “They would not be able to make that into a weapon of mass destruction, and it’s not something even a lab technician can really do.”
Really, it could happen (source)
Experts said that the chances of four men in Georgia successfully pulling off such an attack were not good. "Absolutely zero," said Raymond Zilinskas, a microbiologist and expert on chemical and biological weapons.
Terrorist humor (source)
Nearly three years ago, in an article published Dec. 12, 2008, on, Thomas asserted that he does not "advocate a general rebellion against the U.S. Government for cause" and is "not an anarchist." He ended his missive with the following statement involving a Thomas Jefferson quote: "‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants' can only be described now as the quaint uttering of an historical personage," he wrote. "My other half disagrees with me; but, she always does."
Stranger than fiction (source)
Thomas allegedly discussed a novel he had read on the Internet that described an antigovernment group's deadly attack on Justice Department attorneys. "Now of course, that's just fiction, but that's a ... good idea," Thomas said, according to an affidavit.
Ricin featured in Better Homes and Gardens (I'm not kidding: Better Homes and Gardens)

Castor Bean

Castor Bean

Ricinus communis
Plant a castor bean and then stand back. This is one of the fastest-growing, giant annuals in the garden, rivaled only perhaps by giant sunflower. By midsummer, you'll have a huge (it can hit up to 20 feet) tropical plant sporting burgundy foliage. It's a great plant to grow with kids. Be careful, though. The seeds are extremely toxic.
Light: Sun
Plant Type: Annual
Plant Height: 3-20 feet tall
Plant Width: 3-6 feet wide
Landscape Uses: Beds & Borders, Privacy
Special Features: Attractive Foliage, Fall Color, Deer Resistant, Easy to Grow