The Elvis-Impersonating Ricin Suspect Swears He's Innocent

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Despite a small mountain of incriminating evidence stacking up in front of him, Paul Kevin Curtis isn't miffed. The ricin suspect's lawyer said on Thursday that he "maintains [his innocence] 100 percent." And yes, it was definitely ricin that was in the letters Curtis allegedly sent to politicians. The FBI just confirmed that fact.

Curtis appeared in court briefly on Thursday, and though he didn't enter a plea, it looks like that plea will not be "guilty." This, despite the fact that the ricin-laced letters Curtis is accused of sending to the president, Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge — who apparently sentenced Curtis to six months in prison a few years ago — are signed "KC." The initials could be a coincidence, of course, but the similarities don't end there. Curtis apparently set up a website to harbor his conspiracy theory about a black market for organs and body parts. At the bottom of the page is the message "This is Kevin Curtis& I approve this message." That's more or less the same sign-off that's on the bottom of the letters to Obama, Wicker and the judge. 

Those are only a few strikes against Curtis and to dwell too long on the particulars of the case would be disingenuous. (We're not a jury and hardly have all of the evidence in front of us.) Based on the profile of Curtis just published by the Associated Press, it's glaringly obvious that Curtis is a character, one who suffers from mental illness and one who has a violent past. We've pulled a few lines out of the AP piece to bring his character to light:

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Curtis suffers from mental illness - "'He is bipolar, and the only thing I can say is he wasn't on his medicine,' his ex-wife, Laura Curtis, told The Associated Press."

Curtis maintains a potentially unhealthy fascination with body parts - "In several letters to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, and other officials, Curtis said he was writing a novel about black market body parts called 'Missing Pieces.'"

Curtis thinks the government is against him - "In 2007, Curtis' ex-wife called police in Booneville, Miss., to report that her husband was extremely delusional, anti-government and felt the government was spying on him with drones."

Curtis admits to sending letters - "In one post, Curtis said he sent letters to Wicker and other politicians."

Again, we're not trying to cast judgement. But things aren't not looking good for our man from Mississippi.

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This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.