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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Poison Threat

RICIN: Seattle Gay Bars Receive Threatening Letters

Posted by on Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Originally posted on Tuesday, January 6, at 3:40 PM.


Eleven gay bars in Seattle received letters today addressed to the "Owner/Manager" from someone claiming to be in the possession of ricin, a deadly poison. "Your establishment has been targeted," the letter begins. "I have in my possession approximately 67 grams of ricin with which I will indiscriminately target at least five of your clients."

"I felt sick when I read it," said Carla, the owner/manager of Re-bar. "It's so vile. It's just hatred. It made me worry for all the other bars, and for my bartenders, and our clientele."

According to the CDC's website, someone who has ingested "a significant amount" will develop vomiting and diarrhea within the first 6-12 hours; other symptoms of ricin poisoning include hallucinations, seizures, and blood in the urine. There is no antidote for ricin but ricin exposure is not invariably fatal.

"I just had the police come pick [the letter] up," said Keith Christensen, the manager of the Eagle, when reached by phone. Christensen had already heard about the letter from other bar owners and managers, and so he didn't open it. "It's probably nothing," Christensen added, "but the economy is really screwing all the bars right now, and the last thing we need is something ramping up the not-go-out mode people seem to be in right now. It's really freaky that someone would do something like this at a time like this."

eagle1-6-09.jpgChristensen says he's posted signs at the Eagle advising patrons not to leave their drinks unattended.

"The police have already come and gone," said Roland, the manager at Madison Pub. "They collected the letter and that's about it. I don't think it's anything to worry about it." Roland admitted to being unnerved by the letter at first.

"But after the initial 'what?', it's like whatever."

A letter also arrived in The Stranger's offices, addressed to the attention of "Obituaries." The letter's author said the paper should "be prepared to announce the deaths of approximately 55 individuals all of whom were patrons of the following establishments on a Saturday in January." The listed bars are: the Elite, Neighbours, Wild Rose, the Cuff, Purr, the Eagle, R Place, Re-bar, CC's, Madison Pub, and the Crescent. "I could take this moment to launch into a diatribe about my indignation towards the gay community," the letter concludes, "however, I think the deaths will speak for themselves."

Alison, Luying, and Tippett, local promoters and DJs who do nights at various bars around town, came up with the idea of organizing a pub crawl for this Friday night to show support for the bars that were threatened.

Carla at Re-bar added that, as distressing as the letter was, she was pleased with the response from the community.

"Everyone is calling each other, everyone's got each other's backs."

Full text of the letter after the jump.



Comments (296) RSS

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Jesus, that's fucked. Thanks for getting the word out, and may this asshole accidentally ingest some of his own goodies, if he has them.
Posted by Levislade on January 6, 2009 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Dan - the permalink is broken, linking to different article.
Posted by Tim on January 6, 2009 at 4:54 PM · Report this
sounds like a closeted fatty with a vendetta on happiness
Posted by Non on January 6, 2009 at 4:56 PM · Report this
I'm guessing it's one of the radical religious extremists that aren't allowed to hold services at Neumo's anymore.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 6, 2009 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Posted by blaire with an e on January 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM · Report this
People: DO NOT accept drinks brought to you by a suitor or stranger. Keep an eye on them.

We should always be doing this like chicks at a frat party, but now it seems even more important
Posted by Non on January 6, 2009 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Imagine if someone sent a letter out claiming to have AIDS and they would purposely infect people they met at gay'd be business as usual I suspect.
Posted by Cause barebacking is hotter? on January 6, 2009 at 5:00 PM · Report this
Want to hear my theory?
Posted by elenchos on January 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Well, fuck. Every bar I patronize on the hill was on that list...

and since when is the Crescent considered a gay bar? All I ever see there are hipsters.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on January 6, 2009 at 5:02 PM · Report this
Why are they giving these letters to the police? The FBI should be contacted.
Posted by E. Steven on January 6, 2009 at 5:03 PM · Report this
@2 - The permalink is fixed now, thanks.
Posted by Anthony Hecht on January 6, 2009 at 5:04 PM · Report this
The good news is, any psycho stupid enough to send out (to 11 establishments) such a letter is bound to get caught. Gay bars as targets or not, I couldn't imagine an issue the Feds take more serious.

And holy hell, the Crescent is still there (that's the place near City Market, right)? How long has it been in business, anyhow? It must be some sort of landmark, no?
Posted by Dougsf on January 6, 2009 at 5:11 PM · Report this
So, where's Homeland Insecurity?

You did call them, right?
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 6, 2009 at 5:13 PM · Report this
@10, I agree. This is not a job for the Seattle PD - it's clearly a matter for the FBI.
Posted by Trey on January 6, 2009 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Fuck that's nasty. Ugh. Careful.
Posted by tomasyalba on January 6, 2009 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Yet one more reason to stay in.

It definitely is staying in season as it is, and not much going on at the clubs/bars anyway that draws anyone out. And now this? Shit, I pour stronger drinks at my place, with better music, and better eye candy.
Posted by Homo Will on January 6, 2009 at 5:25 PM · Report this
That is so fucking lame. What an asshole. This douchebag is such a dickless piece of shit. Fuck him, I'm going out to every bar on that list every Saturday this month, I don't give a shit how much it fucks up my god damn liver.

Pardon my french.
Posted by F this S on January 6, 2009 at 5:29 PM · Report this
Well, Homo Will, I think you should prove it -- better eye candy at your place? Send pictures. And if you're serving strong drinks, invite us all over, would you?

But let's not be shitty to the bars or their owners and managers. This isn't a time to be tossing attitude at them, or encouraging people to stay away.

I'm going to Purr and Madison Pub for drinks after work, and will hit 'em all on the Pub Crawl later this week.
Posted by Dan Savage on January 6, 2009 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Sounds like someone feels bad about himself and the sweaty man sex he he's lashing out.

Or maybe no one sucked him off when he went down to the OLLLLD GLOORYYHOOLE! (Whitest Kid You Know reference).
Posted by Jeremy from Seattle on January 6, 2009 at 5:30 PM · Report this
This is just sick, and we have do something to let this idiot know that this sort of thing is NOT OKAY HERE.

It makes me want form a coalition of folks, so that we can head out to each and every one of these bars for each of the coming Saturdays, and ensure that they are full to capacity, as a our own little protest that we won't stand for this hateful asshat's actions. Our own organized protest, with fine adult beverages?

And given that this is a target threat with use of a chemical weapon, this MUST be submitted to the FBI immediately, as SPD isn't going to have the tools or resources to properly investigate this.
Posted by rlv on January 6, 2009 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Hope the FBI nails this fucker's dick to the wall.

Any of these bars have good happy hours?
Posted by Greg on January 6, 2009 at 5:51 PM · Report this
um.. guys... the stupid FBI probably SENT the damn letters
Posted by Fred Hampton, anyone? on January 6, 2009 at 5:57 PM · Report this
Aren't crazy closet cases just the worst?

This is almost a perfect example of what a hate crime is. Most people think a hate crime is the violent part of a crime, but it's not. The fact that a crime is intended to inflict terror on a group of people is what makes it a hate crime.

That said, my bullshit meter is screaming right now. Regardless, stay safe out there kids.
Posted by Trouble on January 6, 2009 at 5:58 PM · Report this
How ultra lame. Hard to believe that some one in Seattle has it in them to hate themselves sooo much that they actually send "threatening" letters to gay bars.
You know, I'll bet this person would attest to "hating terrorists" too. Oh the hypocrisy.
See you all out there each Saturday this month for drinks.
Posted by treacle on January 6, 2009 at 6:00 PM · Report this
This sucks, I really wanted to go out this weekend! I need laid! I need gay cock so I can make sure I am gay!!!
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on January 6, 2009 at 6:07 PM · Report this
Did anyone check to see if there was a Mr. Poe monogram on the stationary?
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball on January 6, 2009 at 6:11 PM · Report this
@26: I was thinking more like John Bailo.
Posted by Aislinn on January 6, 2009 at 6:21 PM · Report this
I hope we can all do a Pub Crawl this weekend to show that fear will not work on our gay community
its probably a hoax but Ricin is serious and everyone should be very carefull not to leave there drink alone and if you see anything suspisious to please tell your bartender about it.
Posted by SEAEAGLE on January 6, 2009 at 6:26 PM · Report this
This is all kinds of lame. But it is a good reminder to keep an eye on your drink. This guy is probably full of shit. But I have a number of pals, men and women, who have been randomly roofied this year. Though none of them got hit at any of the bars mentioned in this post.

Another silver lining, I didn't realize that Purr was a gay bar! I'll have to add it to my drinking rotation.
Posted by The Lady T on January 6, 2009 at 6:37 PM · Report this
I'd be very surprised if the FBI gets involved. I'll go out and buy a beer and have a good time. It's a Bush-ism, you know when they attack we go shopping. It's something like that.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 6, 2009 at 6:38 PM · Report this
LOL WTF happend to Mr. Poe
Posted by Non on January 6, 2009 at 6:50 PM · Report this
This guy's straight Al Qaeda, brah! He's gonna be everywhere!

Gimme a break. He not only advertised WHERE he's targeting, but he also sends a copy to the Stranger so they can get the word out. Bouncers beware, look for the dude with a dozen stamps on his wrist.

Still, thanks for the heads-up, Dan.
Posted by Drink the Kool-Aid on January 6, 2009 at 6:53 PM · Report this
If you stop drinking, the terrorists win.
Posted by Dan on January 6, 2009 at 7:09 PM · Report this
I bet the author of the letter calls himself a Christian ...
Posted by disgusted on January 6, 2009 at 7:11 PM · Report this
i just ate half a box of zatarans, some lemon yogurt, and one chicken breast grilled and dipped in thai peanut sauce.
Posted by derrickito on January 6, 2009 at 7:28 PM · Report this
Am I right that it is not just your drink? They can simply dump some into a ventilation system in a bar or in the smoke machines?
Posted by It's not just your drinks on January 6, 2009 at 7:33 PM · Report this
the ld50 on ricen is 30mcg/kg. What does that mean? It means a 190lb dude would have to ingest about 2.6 GRAMS of the powder to have a 50% chance of dying. That's FIVE extra strength Tylenol tablets. Little hard not to notice in a drink.

So, to review : watch out for 1/4" of crap in the bottom of your drink, don't snort anything you don't know is drugs, and watch out for syringe-wielding madmen.

So, now your faced with the question : go to your favorite bar, or cross the street? I'll bet crossing the street is more dangerous.
Posted by Ain't Skeered on January 6, 2009 at 7:34 PM · Report this
I called and asked about the FBI being involved and the officer said that the FBI screens all their cases anyway. So if it's something that they feel they need to look into, they will. See you all out this weekend!
Posted by sweetray on January 6, 2009 at 7:36 PM · Report this
I'm stumped, it's too well written to have come from Daniel “Go live in France pussy you faggots!” Freykis. Maybe it's from Hutch...
Posted by brian on January 6, 2009 at 7:41 PM · Report this
Well, after we all march on Saturday to protest DOMA (because WE ALL ARE GOING TO MARCH, RIGHT, AREN'T WE?) we can go, en masse, to the targeted clubs and show them our love with our almighty gay dollars, right? Right?
Posted by Andy Niable on January 6, 2009 at 7:45 PM · Report this
@37: Check your math dude. That's 30 *MICRO*grams per kilo of body weight. So your hypothetical 190 lb dude only needs to ingest 0.0025 grams of pure ricin in order to have a 50% chance of dying.
Posted by death to all fanatics on January 6, 2009 at 7:45 PM · Report this
UNFORTUNATLY, The sicko peep that is doing this is probably sitting back and reading all this and laughing their head off loving every momment that they are in the spotlight, and then thinking when will I strike!!!
Threats are not to be taken lightly of any kind.
I hope the police find him/her quick.
Posted by REE' on January 6, 2009 at 7:55 PM · Report this
I work at one of these establishments, and all I can say is I hope people dont stay away. It's idiots like this that try to prey on our fears. Hopefully the police and the FBI can find this guy before we wake up tomorrow. Maybe he can hate gays while he's getting his ass pounded in jail!
Posted by f u bush on January 6, 2009 at 7:56 PM · Report this
22. Why would it go that far up the chain? It was probably someone with SPD or the City of Seattle, maybe even someone with a developer eyeing valuable Capitol Hill property, someone local who has some sort of interest in seeing gay bars fail.
Posted by Gomez on January 6, 2009 at 8:02 PM · Report this
If the Crescent isn't gay- I don't know what is.
Posted by This is your brain on Ricin on January 6, 2009 at 8:05 PM · Report this
This interesting fact from Wikipedia (Ricin is made from castor beans):
"In January 2006, ricin was found in a home in suburban Richmond, Virginia in the form of mashed castor beans. Although the suspect, Chetanand Sewraz, was allegedly isolating the toxin to kill his estranged wife, and not for some form of bioterrorism, it nonetheless highlighted the ease with which ricin toxin can be made." So watch your drinks, homo's, and your beans.
Posted by cold war kid on January 6, 2009 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Gomez, I thought you gave up commenting?

Posted by Everyone on January 6, 2009 at 8:54 PM · Report this
Wait, I formally gave up commenting? When did I tell you this, stranger?
Posted by Gomez on January 6, 2009 at 9:01 PM · Report this
That letter appears to be a photo copy - assuming that the perp. was the one who did the photo copying it might be possible to track down which machine was used. Given the cost, size, and need for easy access it seems reasonable to consider copiers at public libraries as those are readily available to all and it would be unlikely the perp. would want to make the copies at work. Granted that's all speculation since its possible the letter that was scanned was copied by someone else prior to being posted online. peace out.
Posted by Austin_gay on January 6, 2009 at 9:07 PM · Report this
I think it's time to call Scooby and the gang. In the meantime, I think this straight guy might just go out to a few gay bars this weekend. I'd prefer to see a quiet backlash, saying 'you don't scare anyone, you're eventually going to jail, and these bars had their best weekend since the block party.' I could use a change of scenery anyway.
Posted by Stoppin ze throwinze on January 6, 2009 at 9:09 PM · Report this
Screw FBI... give that letter to the CSI crime lab. They'll bust out blacklights and science music and solve that shit like BOW!
Posted by WHooooo Are U? on January 6, 2009 at 9:10 PM · Report this
Thanks if fucked up! All the bars in question should start serving all their drinks in coffee cups with tops or plastic cups with straws. Out smart the ass hole! He obviously thinks he is smarter than all the gay people and bars he is targeting, not to mention the cops. I definitely support the a bar crawl in support of these establishments.
Posted by Molly on January 6, 2009 at 9:10 PM · Report this
My gut tells me this clown is trying to kill business at these bars, not actually kill the patrons. If he really wanted to kill the patrons, he wouldn't have advertised it. If I was a patron of any of those bars, I'd still go to them and spend lots of money and have fun; that's the best way to fight assholes like this. Whoever did this is a coward and a bully; the best way to fight them is to show that while you may be scared, you're not so scared that you're going to stop living. Go out, have fun, but keep an eye on your drinkies - just in case!

One interesting thing: it's curious how he/she used the term "in hospital", rather than 'in the hospital'. That style of speaking/writing suggests the author is either English/Canadian, or wants you to think they are. It's too bad there were no words in the letter that have different English/American English spellings (favour/favor, etc).

I hope they catch this sick fuck. Maybe we should analyze the ink and compare it to what Rev. Ken Hutcherson is using.....
Posted by BB on January 6, 2009 at 9:11 PM · Report this
Gomez: maybe, on a technicality, you were lying to the stranger…

Either way, you have absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation.

Go away.
Posted by Everyone on January 6, 2009 at 9:11 PM · Report this
That's it, everyone bring their sippie cups with lids and have the bar tenders pour your drinks in there!
Posted by incognito206 on January 6, 2009 at 9:16 PM · Report this
It is my understanding that printers encode anything printed on them with an ID from what printer it came from. Assuming the printer was registered for its warranty, it is possible to catch the culprit. Surely the FBI (which has thousands of job openings and is way understaffed, thanks bush.)can trace where these letters came from.

As for the F-TARD that thinks 'it' is going to go to 11 bars and slip posion into 5 drinks with out getting seen and caught, think again. After you get the shit kicked out of you, you will have plenty of time on your side in JAIL. Assuming the GAY MAFIA lets you live.

One more thing, dont let the Seattle Police Department slack off with a typical "theres really nothing we can do about it" until somebody gets injured or worse. Squeaky wheels get the grease and they probably need some pressure to take threats like this more seriously.
Posted by Jet City Jim on January 6, 2009 at 9:26 PM · Report this
A) Sippy cups are a good idea for all sorts of reasons.
B) So are bottled beers.
C) Isn't this an act of domestic terrorism? Who ya gonna call?
D) I just saw a soccer mom with her car battery dead with TWO police cars AND a two truck on Madison.
E) I also just saw a dude totally whacked out of his skull pissing on a car on Broadway.
F) Serious about the who to call if you suspect terrorism. Anyone?
G) Let's just move the big Homo scene to Georgetown. Bikers down there won't put up with this shit and if we suck 'em off every once in a while they'll actually like us. Who's with me?
Posted by Sparkplug on January 6, 2009 at 9:31 PM · Report this
Posted by Another on January 6, 2009 at 9:33 PM · Report this
This letter is photocopied. I gave the original to the SPD (this is Carla from Re-bar). I am going to be a squeaky wheel believe you me! thanks everyone
Posted by sweetray on January 6, 2009 at 9:36 PM · Report this
Jet City Jim @56, the microdot identifications are only printed with color laser printers. thanks, xerox!
Posted by mb on January 6, 2009 at 9:41 PM · Report this
I wasn't going to go out this weekend, but hell yeah! I'm joining that bar crawl and I'm going to show this "person" that they cannot scare us. I'd blow that letter up and turn it into a poster if I owned one of those bars.
Posted by strangerthanyou on January 6, 2009 at 9:42 PM · Report this
Georgetown is cooler than the hill anyways. How come no one has opened a gay bar down there yet?

Seriously, I think we should peg this letter on the Prop 8 supporters.
Posted by Brian on January 6, 2009 at 9:44 PM · Report this
Some of U guys R fuckin HEEE-LARIOUS!

Ricin in the ventilation ducts?

Tracking the copy machines the letters were printed from?

Serving drinks with lids and straws?!!!!!

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

You know, it's not the Joker you're up against.

Although, whoever commented "don't snort any powder this weekend" ,that's probably good advice for ANY weekend.
Posted by This shit'll get you crazy high, man. on January 6, 2009 at 9:47 PM · Report this

Dan described the first symptoms as vomiting and diarrhea.

So how is that different from most Binge-Drinking hangovers?

I know if I drink and then hit Dick's up, the next morning my beer-farts are so bad they could kill a car engine.

Just saying, look for lotsa worried gay people in the ER this weekend.
Posted by They call him Theodore! on January 6, 2009 at 9:59 PM · Report this
Hey, I'm straight but I live up here and this pisses me off. Can I come drink at all those bars too? (Not like I don't anyway)
Posted by ThatHouseIsBurningDown! on January 6, 2009 at 10:09 PM · Report this
Not everyone who goes to a gay bar is gay, either. Ann Rule wrote a book about a woman who was using ricin to poison her husband, and they tracked her down via the purchase of a large amount of castor bean seeds at a local garden and nursery. If I recall, it is rather bitter-tasting, as well. I hope the jerk DOES try something, something traceable, something that connects them to the letters, and that before the cops can get to him, he gets his ass KICKED!!!
If I lived closer, I'd be there for that pub crawl, and I seldom drink!
Posted by chichen itza on January 6, 2009 at 10:20 PM · Report this
I like living in a city that has 11 gay bars. :)
Posted by violet_dagrinder on January 6, 2009 at 10:21 PM · Report this
Having been a target of anonymous gay harassers for years (death threats via untraceable phone calls, trash dumped into our yard, items tampered with, drive by yelling to keep us at night, being called faggots by some anonymous cowards in the dark), I know these haters exist right here in liberal Seattle.

We should be vigilant to root out these disturbed individuals. They hide because they know if exposed they would be at the mercy of people like us, who are tired of being humiliated and threatened simply because of our sexual preference and activities. And I doubt law enforcement will help -- some of em likely are haters themselves.
Posted by Northwest on January 6, 2009 at 10:23 PM · Report this
I'm going out every night this month... with pre-funk, post-funk and all other kinds of funky funk at my place. STRONG DRINKS, HOT MEN, and et cetera et cetera throughout.

see yinz out there.
Posted by JT on January 6, 2009 at 10:24 PM · Report this
So far I give the Mayors response to this a B+ as well.
Posted by C on January 6, 2009 at 10:34 PM · Report this
Real serial killers kill first, taunt after. This guy is a wannabe. People should exercise ordinary caution, of course, but I wouldn't think that the actual chance of an attack like this is any greater than it was the week before the letter was sent (which is to say, very very small).
Posted by A. on January 6, 2009 at 10:40 PM · Report this
Ann Coulter's writing style has really gone downhill...
Posted by J on January 6, 2009 at 10:56 PM · Report this
I dated this gal in HS and her dad was arrested because the FBI thought he was manufacturing ricin ( http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.c… ) . I'm sure the FBI already has someone of interest in mind. They don't take bio-terrorism lightly.

I agree...form an alliance with your fellow patrons. Watch out for each other...

Posted by addicted2tennis on January 6, 2009 at 11:01 PM · Report this
@37 according to wikipedia, the Center for Disease Control 500 micrograms is the minimum reqirement for a lethal dose. Thats the size of a grain of salt. Although it might be bitter as others mentioned it, in a 120z beer you'd never notice it. Come out. Support the bars. Dont let this person bully you. But for god's sake BE CAREFUL and WATCH YOUR DRINK!
Posted by patty kakes on January 6, 2009 at 11:24 PM · Report this
@16: You're one of the people terrorists like since you're ready to cave into what they want to do... to terrorize.
Posted by Joseph on January 6, 2009 at 11:40 PM · Report this
This is seriously terrifying. I have already called friends and told them to spread the word. How incredibly wrong is this person?
Posted by jdm on January 6, 2009 at 11:45 PM · Report this
lol, i'd like to see someone successfully put that shit in 55 drinks.

He would be caught quickly and judging from his obsessive numerical fascination and laughably over-dramatic sci-fi influenced writing style he is probably: awkward, nervous, overweight, and generally pretty incompetent.

The nerd is also reading these posts after writing to the stranger. He knows he would be caught if he attempted it and also knows how much he would be ass fucked in prison when he does get caught. Hard. It's quite ridiculous. Ha ha comedy.

Really it is another reason to support these bars and look out for one another.
Posted by strangerr on January 6, 2009 at 11:46 PM · Report this
I'm sorry, did someone say a pub crawl? Did someone have crazy for breakfast? C'mon, we all LOVE all these places - and this sentiment is valorous and quite touching. But have you really sat down and thought this through? You are willing to actually risk your life - in support of a BAR? Really? This is likely just a maladjusted fuck with a typewriter, or it just may be someone with the means and the will to ACTUALLY KILL YOU. What if - he (or she) isn't going to spike your drink? Do you think perhaps they'll spritz it in your face? put it on a q-tip? In the coat check? On a toilet seat?

Sorry to be fatalistic here folks but life and limb trump EVEN our beloved local drinking holes. Call me a pussy but taking such a risk, albeit likely negligible, even for the right reasons, goes beyond customer loyalty and neighborhood solidarity, and crosses over into suicidal behavior. How about a compromise? Perhaps mailing your favorite targeted bar some 20-dollar bills? You were going to drop $40 on drinks anyway, how about just not getting shit-faced for a few weekends? These places ARE our community, and even under the circumstances I feel kinda shitty for writing this, but look at it this way - would you walk right into a building that had just received a bomb threat - based solely on principle? You would? You wouldn't?
Posted by CapHillNeighbor on January 7, 2009 at 12:02 AM · Report this
Not opposed to going out this week end, and will for sure join in the bar crawl, but if this individual is targeting all 11 of these venues, and will have enough of this substance with him, would it not be a good idea to do some patting down or mild searching of bags (for females or anyone for that matter) when entering the premises? I understand this may increase the wait time to get into the club, but just taking precaution. Also, I feel the best way to avoid from something being slipped in your drink is for us to be cautious, and not leave it unattended. This would be a good reason to not get a pitcher of beer and leave it behind while you dance. Three weeks ago some one slipped something on my friend's cocktail at Neighbours, presumably GHB, and I feel as if we only become cautious when things like this hit home. Instead of worrying who this guy/gal is, protect yourselves and those around you by being alert.
Posted by Distantloveaffair on January 7, 2009 at 12:15 AM · Report this
isn't it funny how everyone assumes this letter came from a male?
Posted by gender? on January 7, 2009 at 12:21 AM · Report this
Anyone else notice that the sign has got 3 t's in ATTTENTION?
Posted by tapedshoes on January 7, 2009 at 12:23 AM · Report this
@78, Yes, I totally would. If you don't, the terrorists win! CapHillNeighbor, are YOU the mad Ricin terrorist? And yeah, you're a pussy!
Posted by Daisy on January 7, 2009 at 12:25 AM · Report this
@ 78. You are a "pussy". Over 15 years ago someone targeting a gay bar with violence was very much a real threat. Yet week after week I went to the bar without hesitation. Back then it felt like almost an obligation to go out.
Posted by Bill W. on January 7, 2009 at 12:36 AM · Report this
this doesn't sound like one ass hole. this sounds either a group of assholes or a really angry stupid person. there would have to be 11 people in each one of those bars to target 55 people exactly on the same day......this person/people would either have to have access to a medical facility or have extensive knowledge of the castor bean- which is the plant that ricin is extracted from. i hope everything will be okay.
Posted by miss sam doyle on January 7, 2009 at 12:55 AM · Report this
Oooo...I've always had a thing for Crippen! Maybe if I go out, I'll get to meat him.
Posted by Coffee Homeground on January 7, 2009 at 2:36 AM · Report this
@80. Do you want to wager it isn't a male? Sounds like a good wager. I, however, am a lousy better and would go with the safe answer. Yes, it is a male. But that's just me being chicken-shit with my money.

It is obvious that 8 years of the Bush administration has taught the fundamentals of terrorism quite well in this country. At least we can prove he improved education in at least one capacity.

@78. You completely lack a spine. If you can't see straight through the intent of this letter and the intended results your brain went missing when your spine took off. If the goal *was* to kill gay people, then they wouldn't have warned everybody about it first. Crazy psycho killers don't start writing to the press with crazy manafestos until *after* they hurt people, not before. This is 100% domestic terrorism. Probably targeted towards Seattle for sparking that nation-wide Prop 8 protest.

Just goes to show that Larry Kramer is right when he warns that gay people are *HATED* in this country, still.

Lots of work left to do. Don't drop your guard, but don't abandon your balls either. You're gonna need them at the bars anyway, yes?

Was the Wild Rose targeted? Anyone know? I ask, because in that case I mean balls to include ovaries as well. :)
Posted by Austen Hoogen on January 7, 2009 at 2:51 AM · Report this
@69...a noble cause, but you better not be the same JT that lives below me cuz I gotz to work during the week, and you know I can't avoid the temptation of 'funky funk'
Posted by EB on January 7, 2009 at 2:53 AM · Report this
This is just another reason I continue to ask myself, can the gay rights movement succeed without a militant faction that protects our community and raises awareness/outrage about this kind of behavior?…
Posted by Justice on January 7, 2009 at 4:22 AM · Report this
Fuck yeah, the Crescent Lounge is very gay. Matter of fact, it was one of the original undercover lesbian bars in the 70's. It's been owned by a gay man for the last 30 years. It's 70% staffed by gay people. I am one of 5 straight people out of 20+ employees.

I'll tell you what happened when the news broke to the staff and regulars of the Crescent. The regulars shrugged and kept drinking like nothing happened, and the staff has got it's eyes out. I'm pretty sure the sales impact will be zilch.

When you're a community bar, and the majority of your customers are your next-door neighbors, it's like a staff of 40 customer service trained people working at the bar at all times. If there actually is a hate-monger in our bar, he will get caught so fast it's not even funny.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the same guy who tried to get SSP shut-down. Both cases reeeeek of a closeted loser.
Posted by godsactionfigure on January 7, 2009 at 4:47 AM · Report this
It makes me sad to see people perpetrate such ugliness. I will pray for safe, happy and tipsy homos! 8-)
Posted by Johnson Montana on January 7, 2009 at 5:27 AM · Report this
Will this be treated as a terrorist threat? The targets are only gay people, so I seriously doubt that DHS will do anything helpful.
Posted by TechBear on January 7, 2009 at 6:07 AM · Report this
If I lived in Seattle, I'd now make a special point of patronizing these bars, 'though I'm straight. Don't let this dangerous fool succeed with his/her terrorism. Patronize these bars. I'll make a promise: if there is such an attack, I'll fly to Seattle just to patronize these bars. I'd rather die than let somebody get away with this. These bars should have the best January they have ever had. In solidarity, from Chicago,

Posted by JEB on January 7, 2009 at 7:01 AM · Report this
Check the stamps and envelopes for DNA from saliva or a loose hair. Figure out which post office originally sent the letters. I hope the FBI is taking this very seriously. A threat to kill 55 people is absolutely terrorism. This is on par with the Zodiac killer.
Bars could also help by video recording who is walking through the door. Eight hours worth of tape is only $20. Just a suggestion.
Posted by Phil on January 7, 2009 at 7:19 AM · Report this
@ 81 And that's not to mention "have abandon," "possablity," and "safty." Yeesh.
Posted by M. on January 7, 2009 at 7:45 AM · Report this
Might be time to bring back the old "members-only" club concept with some physical security around HVAC systems as a second level of caution. Don't know.

Will say that "gather the troops and protest mightily" works better against people than poisons, flying objects, and sudden chemical reactions.

YMMV. Balance your priorities, talk with friends, examine your ethical imperatives...and pass the word along.
Posted by gc on January 7, 2009 at 7:49 AM · Report this
Well then, I know what I'm doing on Saturdays this month - sticking it to this asshole and going to some great gay bars!
Posted by lilzilla on January 7, 2009 at 8:04 AM · Report this
"A closeted fatty with a vendetta against happiness?" That sounds like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.
Posted by Radiofreerome on January 7, 2009 at 8:10 AM · Report this
Too bad white Christian Americans will never be classified as terrorists in this country. Because that's what this is - terrorism. But I do not expect one bit of outrage or support from the American public.
Posted by gex on January 7, 2009 at 8:16 AM · Report this
Judging by the use of such phrases as "in hospital" (which is just so British) and the allusion to "Time on my side", it's clear to me that this was sent by Mick Jagger. Arrest him!
Posted by J. Edgar Homo on January 7, 2009 at 8:17 AM · Report this
Let's not call names to those that have expressed their fear. We are one of the most educated cities in the nation, no? And we are better than that.

CapHilNeighbor - I understand your concern. However, threats of violence have always been the tool to use against any "hated" group. But standing up for your rights is the only way to advance freedom. Imagine if Rosa Parks had not sat in the front of the bus. She was but one of many African-Americans who refused to back down. Yes, I'm quite sure she was very fearful of retribution. But if you back down, then the "other side" wins.

I'm a straight female in Federal Way. If I lived closer, I would join you in your pub crawl.

My suggestion to everyone on this blog is to arm yourselves with the knowledge of how Ricin can be distributed. Stay safe, my friends!
Posted by GermanGoodness on January 7, 2009 at 8:27 AM · Report this

This isn't about supporting a bar. It's about refusing to live life afraid. Check out the pizza shops in Tel Aviv. Packed. Even though a freak with a belt full of scrap iron and dynamite could be walking 'round the corner.

If you are that much of a coward, stay home. Don't infect the rest.
Posted by AnyEdge on January 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM · Report this
Considering the CDC has stated a person will NOT die from the ingestion of this chemical, the writer of this letter has not fully researched his/her threat. This person is trying to invoke fear in the gay community which will work if we let it. We should still support the bars that are targeted and be careful to not sit your drink down near someone you do not know or leave it sitting where someone can tamper with it. I would fully support a pub crawl to show our support of the businesses on the hill being targeted.

To the writer of the letter: You're a complete assh*le! GO move somewhere else, if you are so bothered by the gay community of Seattle, because we are not going away.
Posted by mw on January 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM · Report this
@ 101 Your comment speaks volumes. The pizza shop is a great analogy. This will only make us even stronger and will actually turn into a boon for these establishments during what is typically a slow month of January.
Posted by Bill W. on January 7, 2009 at 8:44 AM · Report this
I think the person that wrote these vile letters should commit suicide and do the world a favor. He is a waste of space!
Posted by Ginfaxi26 on January 7, 2009 at 8:50 AM · Report this
@ Bill W...

Are you a friend of Bill's? Click my name for more.

Posted by AnyEdge on January 7, 2009 at 8:55 AM · Report this
I see tagline opportunities for these bars:
"Now With Less Ricin"
"Ricin Free Since '93"

Or Joel Connelly's favorite:
"Where's The Ricin?"
Posted by DOUG. on January 7, 2009 at 8:59 AM · Report this
Man, Viral Marketing for the new Batman movie started early...
Posted by TheRiddler on January 7, 2009 at 9:12 AM · Report this
I can't believe none of you have realized that he's drawing on the New Testament, from instances when Jesus Christ and his disciples would methodically go around poisoning prostitutes, publicans, and sinners.

Oh wait, did that happen? Would somebody mind asking the letter sender if this is, indeed, What Jesus Would (really) Do?
Posted by Cuntry First on January 7, 2009 at 9:27 AM · Report this
Why would a gay target his/her own people? The letter is written with such eloquence, drama and suspense, the author must be one of us.
Posted by KevinLovesDoug on January 7, 2009 at 9:35 AM · Report this
Assuming it's not one of the usual religious whackjobs that hate us, this has the tenor and phraseology of someone less familiar with colloquial english. In other words, an immigrant or foreign visitor/illegal alien.
Posted by Studying the structure of what is said on January 7, 2009 at 9:38 AM · Report this
a million bucks says this person is a religious nut.
when are people going to realize that religion is the problem?
Posted by john on January 7, 2009 at 9:42 AM · Report this
@68: My dad's a cop, and after seeing a homophobic cop freak out and arrest a lesbian gay-marriage supporter at a rally in front of her daughter (though she was doing nothing suspicious - the guy almost arrested me, too) I called him, looking for comfort. He told me that yes, they're out there, but "everyone knows who they are, and let's just say that even though we can't do much about them, they don't get much in the way of support, if you know what I mean. Most of us have little tolerance for that closed-minded bullshit."

I guess the cop community in Seattle is mostly open-minded, and does its best to push out the pricks that get in the way.
Posted by A Cop's Kid on January 7, 2009 at 9:45 AM · Report this
If someone wants to do such thing, they wouldn't warn everyone first. But it's good that bar staff/bartenders, as well as customers are protective of their drinks.

Plus, surveillance/cameras should help, but def not enough.

The idea is sick but since there is no control over a fucked up mind's decisions, people must look out for what they put in their mouth.
Posted by Ed on January 7, 2009 at 9:58 AM · Report this
If this person was so hell bent on taking this action then why did they announce it? Proably a closet homo.
Posted by AM Now on January 7, 2009 at 10:01 AM · Report this
The author of the letter uses two peculiar constructions which may help authorities discover his identity. (A general profile says there's a 95 percent chance the aurhor is male.)

The phrase "while in hospital" (as opposed to the standare American English standard phrase "while in the hospital") indicates an ethnic origin from a country which was once part of the British Empire, or Britain itself.

The awkward phrasing "This is merely your warning for which you can do nothing to prevent me" indicates a college-educated person, but someone for whom English is a second language.

My profile of the suspect: Male, mid 20's to early 30's. Likely of Middle-Eastern ethnicity, olive skin, short dark hair.

Because of the taunting tone of the section describing the "amount of exposure" and detailing the progressive symptoms, this appears to be a hoax, a bluff. It is intended to cause fear, which makes it less convincing.

Also, because even a very small amount of pure ricin is enough to cause death, it would be impractical and very labor-intensive to produce 67 grams of it when there are other poisons which would be much easier to cook-up in a clandestine lab.

Advice to bar management. Set up security cameras to photograph everyone entering the bars. If the person who wrote the letter is actually going to try and poison people, he will have to physically enter the bar and try to slip poison into someone's food or drink. Many bars have loyal regular patrons. They should be asked to take note of anyone entering the bar alone who has not been seen in the establishment before. If this person actually means to poison people at eleven bars in one night, then he will try to enter without drawing attention to himself, and will try to leave quickly once he has planted the poison. Bartenders should not have lime wedges or cherries stored in reach of patrons, and should avoid having popcorn or other-such finger-food sitting open on the bar. Ice storage should be kept covered.

Be on the lookout for an unknown patron who pays the cover charge, but does not order anything.

If this person actually does enter a number of bars and then people develop symptoms, a comparison of security camera records of patrons entering the bar should be able to identify him easily.

It is probable that this person may attempt to "poison" patrons with an over-the-counter liquid medication such as a laxative or vomit-inducing agent like Ipekak that would cause patrons stomach discomfort or other symptoms which might initially be mistaken for the "ricin symptoms" described in the letter.

He is not likely to be armed, but should be considered unstable and dangerous. Anyone seeing anything suspicious is urged to call the police immediately.

Posted by A Concerned Citizen on January 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Is there going to be a place to organize a pub crawl for the night? I propose the following order to hit the bars and show our support.

1. Re-bar 2. the Crescent 3. the Elite 4. the Eagle 5. R Place 6. Neighbours 7. Purr 8. Wild Rose 9. the Cuff 10. Madison Pub 11. CC's

Or in reverse order so that it is fairly in order either up or down the hill. I would have done the other way but starting at CC's with how strong their drinks are could make for a short pub crawl with emphasis on crawl. And i think that we should figure out some way to show that we are on a pub crawl for this purpose like an outrageous hat or a striped shirt or something.
Posted by Mona Khrome on January 7, 2009 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Everyone keeps making a big deal out of the "in hospital" thing. It could be as simple as the person typing the letter forgetting to put the "the" part in. I have a habit of doing that sort of thing, and obviously this guy wasn't much of a proofreader.

Also, it could be a case of someone trying to sound "european" on the assumption that's more scary.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on January 7, 2009 at 10:17 AM · Report this
@109: never underestimate the ridiculous amount of vengeance a scorned gay person will have amongst the local gay community. This goes for any community with a specific trait, not just gay people -- there will always be the nutcase that gets ostracized and then threatens to burn down their building, or something else Milton-esque.
Posted by mackro mackro on January 7, 2009 at 10:17 AM · Report this
Also, I hope this is a lesson to ALL bars and taverns. This could happen to anyone in any bar, straight, gay, whatever. If this not only galvanizes the gay bar community but also triggers a new campaign for women to be not leave drinks unattended, this could also undercut the whole roofie problem in Seattle as well... this wouldn't go unnoticed in other cities.
Posted by mackro mackro on January 7, 2009 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Now we know the purpose of a purpose driven life.
Posted by Mike on January 7, 2009 at 10:22 AM · Report this
Not to put a good spin on tragedy, but won't this encourage gays to get married and stay at home, watch Netflix, raise some kids, instead of being out every night partying at bars?
Posted by Do It, Get Married! on January 7, 2009 at 10:23 AM · Report this
This is absolutely insane.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone this affects and hope that whatever nut-job is behind this, they are apprehended before they can do any more physical or psychological harm to the Gay Community.

BTW Dan, Good show of support by organizing a pub crawl.
Posted by Paul on January 7, 2009 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Why did Dan Savage bump the article up?

did he want more comments? more attention to it? to warn people because he things this is a real threat?
Posted by Non on January 7, 2009 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Hang onto your drinks, the bigots are back!(not that they ever went anywhere, ever!) Circle the wagons, watch each other's backs and dance the night away.
Posted by lamar on January 7, 2009 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Sherlock Holmes @115, Middle-eastern origin, is he now? That's brilliant. Maybe you should cut back on the Ricin Krispies and the Ricin Roni.
Posted by Fnarf on January 7, 2009 at 10:36 AM · Report this
@115: Fear and panic are two very potent poisons. They've killed societies like France in the 1700s and Russia in the late 1800s, so it's not difficult to imagine this being an attempt at neutralizing the gay community in Seattle.

@119: Sadly, nobody notices that women are still drugged very frequently this way in this country.

As an aside, didn't some folks come up from Tacoma in late '07 and start wailing on gay folks?
Posted by AJ on January 7, 2009 at 10:40 AM · Report this
I believe RICIN only has a 6 month shelf life. The person is most likely making a threat that he can't backup.
Posted by Shawn on January 7, 2009 at 10:40 AM · Report this
In the interest of solidarity, I vow to partonize every gay/lesbo bar in The Lou this & every weekend in January. Hell, I'll even do it in February, just to be sure...

Posted by Mike in MO on January 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM · Report this
It was ZackZackZack
Posted by on January 7, 2009 at 10:45 AM · Report this
I *never* go to the hill for drinks because I'm within walking distance of many places in Ballard. However after hearing this I think I'm going to patronize these establishments.

Fuck off, you gay hating letter sender.
Posted by Ballard on January 7, 2009 at 10:51 AM · Report this
nevermind, Dan reposted the article so it would be closer to his newer post. I rescind #123
Posted by Non on January 7, 2009 at 10:53 AM · Report this
From the Arizona Department of Health Services - Lethality: The mortality rate due to ricin ingestion is 2-6%.
Posted by MK on January 7, 2009 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Seattle Times says Dan is blaming someone in the gay community for doing this. Amazing. Sarah Palin's Chruch gets firebombed and the gays get blamed. Our bars get targeted for a killing spree and the gays get blamed.

Wow, how much do we hate ourselves that we are the first to be blamed by US! LOL
Posted by Mike in Chgo on January 7, 2009 at 11:01 AM · Report this
@129: Scandal!
Posted by AJ on January 7, 2009 at 11:08 AM · Report this
So.. what's a good mixer for a caster oil taste? nom nom nom
Posted by dmoola on January 7, 2009 at 11:12 AM · Report this
I work in one of the businesses mentioned and I think that our community is so close and we all know each other well enough to know who stands out in the crowd. As long as we all look out for each other and take care of each other this nut does not stand a chance.
Posted by bar worker on January 7, 2009 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Good call, @115 - you pretty much nailed it.
Posted by wench on January 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Here is a pat on the back from one of your brothers in Montgomery Alabama. AND speaking of not living a life, that idiot obviously doest have one to be proud of. Peace.
Posted by alaman39 on January 7, 2009 at 11:20 AM · Report this
I'm sure that person doesn't hate gay people though. They just support traditional marriage of course.
Posted by Tom on January 7, 2009 at 11:24 AM · Report this
Times New Roman...likely an MS/MS Office user, and it appears to be written by an Asian/ESL person. That should narrow the search a bit.
Posted by Wally Wilson on January 7, 2009 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Well it seems I have been shot down. Thanks to some rather harsh feedback on my comment (# 78), this mind has been changed. I had advocated last night staying in and sending the bars your money. Then somebody brought up the folks in Tel Aviv who continue going to their markets despite frequent bombings, and the sheer guts of Rosa Parks, and it clicked. I'll take that "pussy" mark of shame with me and think about it next time there's a choice to make between playing it safe and taking a stand. Thanks folks.
Posted by CapHillNeighbor on January 7, 2009 at 11:43 AM · Report this
The bars should say they are using surveillance cameras at their locations. It could be a deterrent, or at least catch a guy who shows up at all locations the same night should something bad happen. Clearly a hate crime mentality where they are under the illusion they are doing something good. Though the fact he sent a threat instead of taking action suggests it is a bluff. 67 grams is oddly specific. I certainly hope it is merely a bluff.

I imagine if anyone sees someone slip some powder in a drink, the guy will get jumped on the first go. With so many letters, maybe there's a clue to catch this mentally ill person. I'll drink to that.
Posted by Krindy on January 7, 2009 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Anyone know anymore details about the pub crawl on Friday? Not much of one to go out, but I will definatly be down for this.

E-mail me and we can get a group or something
Posted by Lady Luck on January 7, 2009 at 11:51 AM · Report this
That reads more like someone pissed off that they were 86'd or has an axe to grind with a jilted lover than it does some anti-gay prick. They would usually make some reference to "harbouring sodomizers" or whatever bullshit rhetoric they use.
Posted by Dan on January 7, 2009 at 11:51 AM · Report this
I am up for the Pub Crawl! The chances that this terrorist actually has the goods seems small to me.

@Dan, any chance of letting us know how hard it would be for someone to get their hands on ricin in the days of big brother.

Not sure what I think of the idea of Bush's Homeland Security boys having to protect a community Bush acctively opposes. It is either poetic irony or a terrible idea.
Posted by Teach Me Tonight on January 7, 2009 at 11:52 AM · Report this
@140, is that a joke? Asian Word users? You think they're going to go out and check up on everybody who "fits" the "profile"? Is this what cop shows have done to people's brains?

"Hey, Joey, where's that list of everybody in Seattle who uses Word? I know it's around here somewhere."
Posted by Fnarf on January 7, 2009 at 11:52 AM · Report this
The sign at the bar to not leave your drink unattended is a good idea: it's not too shockingly scary, and it doesn't pass on a 'your drink will kill you' vibe.

But couldn't the author have at least tried to use some decent spelling and grammar?
Posted by Shteevie on January 7, 2009 at 11:54 AM · Report this

Good for you. Coward comment rescinded.
Posted by AnyEdge on January 7, 2009 at 11:56 AM · Report this
People think they can try to scare Homosexuals with hatred these days? Haha that's something they've gotten used to. And their skin is much thicker than others. It's also proven that those who show such hatred towards homosexuals are hiding a little something of themselves! ;)
Posted by Cam on January 7, 2009 at 12:03 PM · Report this
The idea of slipping it into 55 drinks in 11 bars doesn't pass the laugh test, people.
Posted by Fnarf on January 7, 2009 at 12:13 PM · Report this
I'm not gay.... and I don't go to gay bars unless I'm with my gay friends. And when I do I have a much better time than I do at the straight bars. And no.... I'm not curious. I'm a man who loves vagina to the point where I'd build my house in one of I could. To date I haven't found one big enough. But that isn't my point.

I don't see any reason to stop going out just because some loser wants to use these scare tactics against gay people. The moron probably left a fingerprint on one of the letters or DNA on the envelope when he licked it to seal it. People who send out letters like that aren't typically smart enough to do so without leaving some type of trace evidence. And watching an entire series of CSI Miami isn't going to educate him/her enough to do so.

So go out and drink my gay friends.... Continue to get your party on at your gay bars. In this economy they could use the help. Be careful... watch your back (and backsides) and take care of one another. Life is too short to be worried about some lunatic on a crusade to rid the world of gay people.

I myself would hate to see a world without you. Who would write all the stuff we watch on TV? Who would be there to dictate our fashion? Who would do our hair? Could you imagine a world where all that stuff is done by right wing Christians? Ugh.... The thought of that just makes me want to puke.

Now I need to get back to work.... Searching for that giant vagina.
Posted by Jesus Christ on January 7, 2009 at 12:17 PM · Report this
I want to support the bars, but I believe overcrowding may lend to the purport of the crime. While I have patronized several of the targeted establishments, I am in no way a regular. If so many non-regulars show up, the bastard would have a better chance of blending in. My solution is to hit them up on Fridays. My money is good everyday.

Posted by Kat on January 7, 2009 at 12:19 PM · Report this
All the more reason why we need a vibrant and energetic lgbt rights movement. For three long decades, we sat on our asses and allowed the Democrats and the non-profits to fight our battles for us. We will not end homophobia until we end it ourselves. No one can win our freedom for us. To that end, come to the March against the Defense of Marriage Act this Saturday at 10:30 at the Seattle Central Community College South Plaza.

You can't defeat bigotry by remaining silent. You have to confront hate and oppression head on and let the bigots know they are not welcome. When they have free reign to spread their hate, they grow. Confronting them and standing up for ourselves weakens and disheartens them.
Posted by Lonnie on January 7, 2009 at 12:29 PM · Report this
I think all straight people should go drink at gay bars tonight just to show that we won't let idiots like this shut them down.

After all, I remember they were pretty friendly when I did SantaCon and we rambled through all the bars on the Hill.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 7, 2009 at 12:31 PM · Report this
As a gay-community supporter who isn’t gay, I’m searching for a positive response to this threat. If this threat had been made against abortion clinics, I would respond with a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood of Seattle. At the risk of sparking an argument (or reopening a wound), what’s the local gay-rights equivalent organization?
Posted by just me on January 7, 2009 at 12:39 PM · Report this
I'm a straight woman from Edmonds and am irate that some nut case made these threats! Aside from the fact that I'm on the hill a lot with friends and my boyfriend, I'm fully disgusted by any attempt to threaten and bully--whether this person seriously intends to harm people or is trying to harm the bars financially. Both are horrible and wrong and I hope s/he is caught and made to face consequences! I'd like to add also that I'm a Christian. Some of you are too. I realize (and I get pissed) that the extreme right wing wackos have made Christians look like hate mongers, bullies and worse but we're not all like that! Saying all Christians are wrong, to blame, etc. is akin to saying all gays (or insert group of choice) are a certain way. It just isn't true or fair. I'm embarrassed by much "Christian" behavior, that which is as unChristian in principle and even inhumane as you can imagine, but the answer is not for us to generalize and hate too or we're no better than them. The reality is that in any group, there are extreme, over-the-edge zealots and the person threatening these bars could belong to any of them--or just be a loner misfit like other news stories have shown us. I will be on the Hill this weekend but will be extra cautious and will pray that everyone stays safe!
Posted by concerned supporter on January 7, 2009 at 12:45 PM · Report this
My thoughts on this is that it's more or less the equivalent of written "Bomb Threat". The person likely just wants to see what sort of reaction they'll get from doing this. If they're really so knowledgeable to process that much ricin, they likely could have taken the time to add an extra OOPMH to their threat by finding out the names of the manager/owner of each business rather than sending what amounts to a form letter. And the fact that they've given people a heads up instead of merely acting and claiming credit after the fact makes me suspect moreso that there's no validity to it.

Unfortunately, threats like this have to be taken seriously. But the odds of it being real are likely not high.
Posted by DavidF on January 7, 2009 at 12:51 PM · Report this
If I may add a theory here, I believe this letter was composed by a gay-hating Canadian vampire. I mean, who else says things like "in hospital" and "I have always had time on my side."???
Posted by snowtiger on January 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM · Report this
I live in New York but would gladly come out to all the Seattle bars if I could. Put this asshole behind bars, law enforcement!
Posted by Brooklyngirl on January 7, 2009 at 1:06 PM · Report this
This is like when the Jews were exterminated back in the Nazis days, except now it's targeted on the homosexuals. These ignorant sad souls want to exterminate the "different". Because of the increasing amount of new development on Capitol Hill, I feel the violence will only evolve. It’s already taking shape! I feel we're going to continue to see a rise in hate violence as more and more folks from all over the country reside here.
Posted by Laura D on January 7, 2009 at 1:24 PM · Report this
I find it humorous as a gay male who remains in the closet in this something like this can be distributed amongst gay establishments and it doesn't even make the morning news, moreso does the FBI or anyone else get involved. Seattle Police just rolled over and picked up the another day in the park. Think they would of done the same had a letter like this been mailed to them??? NOT...hence why we will remain living in a bubble our entire lives!
Posted by Top on January 7, 2009 at 1:26 PM · Report this
If this creep were to actually be serious about this, I doubt that s/he would write a letter about it. I think it's just a prank letter, although as always it is better to be safe than sorry.
This reminds me of Halloween candy, only accepting it from people you know.
If anything, this will bring people even closer together, take care of each other as always and roll with yet one more of the tired punches that make us stronger as a collective.
Posted by Giovanni on January 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM · Report this
"@140, is that a joke? Asian Word users? You think they're going to go out and check up on everybody who "fits" the "profile"? Is this what cop shows have done to people's brains?"

It is no joke at all. Grade enough ESL papers and then see what conclusion you reach... No profile necessary, and I don't watch "cop shows."

As for narrowing it down...use that grey thing in your head. Darn-tootin' _that_ was a joke.
Posted by Wally Wilson on January 7, 2009 at 1:42 PM · Report this
The Seattle Times ran the story on today and it says that the SPD is taking the threat seriously and is working with the FBI. I agree it's probably a hoax but it needs to be fully investigated.
Posted by concerned supporter on January 7, 2009 at 1:44 PM · Report this
As a DJ who plays every weekend in one of those bars, I will not be scared. Alert, yes! Don't leave your drink, keep it in your possession at all times. Otherwise, throw it out and get a fresh one. If the bar of your choice serves food, keep an eye on it. The music WILL go on!!!
Posted by djjohnengland on January 7, 2009 at 1:44 PM · Report this
There has got to be more than 11 gay bars in Seattle.
Why just these 11?
Could somebody from another gay bar be looking to pick-up the business?
No accusations, just wondering.
See ya this week-end.
Posted by biggodhead on January 7, 2009 at 1:46 PM · Report this
@160 Gays were shipped to concentration camps and killed too... only they had the special privilege of being persecuted by their allied "liberators" if they were lucky enough to survive the Nazis. Just sayin'.
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on January 7, 2009 at 2:02 PM · Report this
If you don't frequent gay bars, the terrorists win!
Posted by NapoleonXIV on January 7, 2009 at 2:07 PM · Report this
It is simply amazing in 2009 that some small dick prick would do something like this. Simply this is a scare that will not work on proud strong people that fight simple words and discrimination on a daily basis. Bring on your so called poison mister, because all you are looking for is a reaction of acknowledgement that you are even a person alive amongst an amazing creative culture. I am sure that you have gone unnoticed daily to every single person who has even passed by you, and for that you find anger with in yourself from being pathetic. Please take the cup by the hand and do us all a favor and DRINK!
Posted by Proudofwhoiam on January 7, 2009 at 2:10 PM · Report this
As great as the SPD are, you should have given them a copy of the letter and tried to find the invisible call tag from the printer that printed that sheet of paper, THEN GIVE IT TO THE POLICE.

Cuz they tend to phone these things in.
Posted by Fenrox on January 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM · Report this
You poor, dumb children: this is obviously some fag-brain idea of drumming up business.
Posted by HuskeyQuaker on January 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM · Report this
I wouldn't immediately assume that this guy is a homophobe. If it was a phobe, I would expect the letters to contain more name-calling. Here's my hunch: This guy is openly gay, but he's a deeply disturbed and alienated individual (obviously) who for whatever reason hates the type of gay people whose lives revolve around the "bar scene." He's likely a loner who is intelligent but socially awkward and has long had trouble fitting in with the "gay community." He probably blames other gay people for his own unhappiness/lonliness. Lots of gay guys fit in this category - but this dude is also psychotic. (Another possibility is that he recently tested positive for HIV and this is somehow his revenge.) Either way, I don't think it's a homophobe but a gay guy with some major issues.
Posted by My Hunch on January 7, 2009 at 3:25 PM · Report this
@160 the nazi days they targeted homosexuals too. The state of our education system is astounding
Posted by Hunter on January 7, 2009 at 3:49 PM · Report this
I will be joining in the pub crawl with you all this weekend. While this is an upsetting event, it makes me reflect on the strength that exists within our community of gays and straight allies. That being said, I probably will keep my drink in my hand the whole time. :)
Posted by Queen Anne on January 7, 2009 at 3:54 PM · Report this
I agree it's a gay guy with issues - some combo of substance abuse, personality disorder and/or autism spectrum disorder. The language patterns indicate more than just ESL (although I tend to agree). They indicate someone who a need to exact revenge but doesn't have enough equally crazy friends to recruit to their cause.

The ricin thing always seems to fit a profile - a loner with social adjustment issues that is gonna "show them". The kid of the local VC, the guy in Vegas, the one in the Southeast a few years back...all of a type.
Posted by Cunning Linguist on January 7, 2009 at 4:05 PM · Report this
I have to admit I am inclined to agree with post number 172. Except for the HIV part. Mostly because when you test positive you certainly do not feel as though you have time on your side. However, the rest of it I am inclined to agree with. This person quite possibly is a homosexual man who is very bitter and very angry. Most likely this person has had a very sad and unfortunate life and is looking to lash out.

Although I love living in Seattle and have many great friends here, we do have to admit that our community is certainly one of the more cliquish and least friendly communities in the NW (granted there are only 3 communities up here) and we don't always do the best job of making each other feel welcome. Add that in with mental illness and it makes perfect sense that this person could very well be gay. Also, this person seems to know all the bars on the hill. Think about it, how many straight people actually notice The Crescent. Hell, some of the gay people posting here forget it exists and others may have never even heard of it.

Frankly, I think this is a sick prank from a sick individual. It doesn't matter to me if this person is gay or straight. Bottom (pardon the pun) line is this person needs the crap kicked out of them first and then needs to be admitted to a mental institution where they belong. Life isn't fair and not everyone is always going to see eye to eye in this world but that is no excuse for terrorism! I'll certainly re-arrange my schedule this month to attend the good times in all the bars and I will be damned if I am going to drink from a sippy cup. At 29 years old I have earned the right to drink from a big boy glass and nobody is going to scare me to do otherwise!
Posted by Turbjoh on January 7, 2009 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Funny that most of you assume that the creep is a male. It could be anyone: A woman whose man left her for another man, a religious fanatic, or Ann Coulter. And, if it's not a hoax, then how many people are involved in it, or is one person going to do all this alone in all the Seattle gay bars?
Posted by Don't even trust yourself. on January 7, 2009 at 4:12 PM · Report this
is this a threat letter or a warning. if it is a warning wouldn't it be smart to just stay away from the bars as opposed to attending all of them...send a check if you are worried about the bar not making a buck off of you getting drunk.
Posted by itime on January 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM · Report this
listen everybody, I'm glad we are all going out and supporting the bars and everything, but there's probably more to come. This retard isn't the only one out there who has a problem with gay people. The marriage movement has been heating up and generating more conflict, and for the past ten years at least we've had this little delusion about how nobody *really* hates gay people any more... That delusion is falling away, and if we are really serious about gaining marriage, adoption, and all the other rights we are working for, we are all going to have to be prepared to stand up and be strong and support eachother through a lot worse than this.
Posted by kathy on January 7, 2009 at 4:58 PM · Report this
I'm straight and I've been to the Re-Bar, et al., so if I got ricin'ed I guess the sick fuck would consider me "collateral damage"...

If this genetically defective mutant who's drowning in the gene pool gets caught let's hope he/she ends up the star of an inmate produced instructional video on salad tossing & anal fisting.

Just desserts: the homophobe's latte needs sweetening & they accidently grab the ricin instead of Sweet & Low...
Posted by Hippy Gypsy on January 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Judging from some of the above posts, it seems to me that ifyou choose to stay at home and/or deliberately not frequent these establishments, you will be handing a victory to mr "big man with the threatening letter" - it's terrorism at its most basic.

think about it - if you're going to off 55 gay people, why warn anyone about it first? If this jackass was going to do this, he'd have done it then sent the letter(s) afterward.

With the economy in a tizzy and so many people staying at home already, maybe this jerk just wants to see if he can help push some of the "fringe" establishments over the edge. What better way than by threatening to kill random patrons of said establishments?

If you yelled fire in a movie theater, people would gtfo whether they smelled smoke or not. So perhaps this is a homo-hater who thought, "I know...I hate these gay bars, and business is probably bad there like everywhere - if I send soemthing like this I might be able to scare enough people off to run them out of business!"

In full disclosure, I'm neither gay, nor a resident of Seattle (though I lived on capitol hill for several years in the early 2000s) - but that said, it seems like the best way to beat this douchebag is to go out in droves to these bars and support them so that no lasting damage is done to them economically. If I lived in the state still I'd be headed out for a few drinks right now just to flip this jackass the bird.

My gut feeling: he's (assumption) a resident of the neighborhood who's likely homophobic, and hates the businesses being there. I bet he lives within a few blocks of one of the bars he listed. And he's probably reading everything he can get his sweaty little hands on about this, including this column and all responses.

Don't give him the satisfaction folks. If you go to those bars, keep on keepin on and to hell with this dickhead. Hopefully the FBI or Seattle PD catches up with him. Everyone makes mistakes - this shitbrain will as well. Peace and happy new year.
Posted by capital hill rocks on January 7, 2009 at 5:18 PM · Report this
My concern with many of the above comments: There may be people in the community (and I mean Seattle and surrounding areas, not necessarily gay community) that may show up in a show of solidarity. This means there may be new faces you do not recognize. If you target these people simply because you don't know them, it may backfire.

From the CDC website:

How ricin works

* Ricin works by getting inside the cells of a person’s body and preventing the cells from making the proteins they need. Without the proteins, cells die. Eventually this is harmful to the whole body, and death may occur.
* Effects of ricin poisoning depend on whether ricin was inhaled, ingested, or injected.…

Stay safe!
Posted by GermanGoodness on January 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Here's some interesting mathematics, etc.:

Weaponized Ricin comes in two forms--powderized for aerosol disbursment (think like a thrown bag of flour) or slipped surreptitiously into a drink (which causes surprisingly slim fatality rates). Ideally, the powdered form is much more toxic than ingested, and almost perfect for the letter-writer's desires of indiscriminate killing. At best dividing up 67 grams 11 ways makes for a shade over 6 grams of weaponized ricin on a person at the time of the attack. In a baggie or in a solution in a vial--keep your eyes peeled and help those bouncers out.

Also the letter makes an interesting point: There are five total Saturdays in January this month, with one already passed with no deaths. That leaves 4 Saturdays to go with 11 bars to hit total. So figure either it's all in one (possible, but with high potential for failure) OR do a split of 2-3 bars a night with his "attacks" that means 10-15 people showing up with known symptoms in the hospital on saturday. The police (whatever the division) probably are going to snag that tip pretty fast. Especially since symptoms show up 2-6 hours after initial contact, depending on the method, final symptoms manifesting 1-5 days later.

Here's what to do in a pinch:

If someone who is obviously disturbed chucks a baggie that explodes with white powder at you, close your eyes, hold your breathe and get to a safe place fast--that's just common sense.

Exposure to ricin on the skin is rarely fatal. However, you are going to need to strip off that size gay-tight shirt and pants, darling. Put the clothes in a ziploc bag. Wash the exposed skin, but make sure no there are no cuts, scrapes or knicks you splash the water in. Seek medical help.

If you get powder in your eyes, immediately get to a sink and rinse your eyes for 15 minutes while telling your heroic friends to call 911 and get immediate help.

If you inhale ricin make sure someone is there to back you up, make sure you are still breathing and remain that way until help arrives. Get to a source of fresh air, fast. Most importantly, get the hell outta the location where it happened until cleanup comes.

If you drink/ingest it (it dilutes in sodium chloride/saline solution) you'll note a probable taste of salt and the presence of a strange person who laced your drink. Don't induce vomiting, but DO call for immediate help, also, make sure to keep your drink handy but away from anyone else--evidence, ya see.

Finally, if some guy lunges at you with a syringe, scream bloody murder (since that's exactly what's happening) and fight for your life.

Dont' be afraid, people, be aware. Enjoy yourself however you'd like. Protect your friends and yourselves, but don't let the letter writer's obvious attempts at fear induce you to head for the hills. Doing that means the letter writer wins--you don't care about your life and you are letting some crazed bastard with castor oil make you shake in fear.

for more on ricin:…
Posted by C. Grey on January 7, 2009 at 5:32 PM · Report this
I wonder if robert m. alberg is up to his tricks again he was sentenced to 3 years in jail in 2004 for making ricin
Posted by the truth on January 7, 2009 at 5:38 PM · Report this
I sure hope everyone supports the "pup crawl"
We will not be stopped from supporting our community.
Prayers and support!
Posted by Firetender on January 7, 2009 at 6:13 PM · Report this

Hello all,

I wanted to give you an update on what is happening in regards to the threatening letters that 11 gay bars received last night. You can read the story below:……

I received a call this morning from the Seattle Police Department LGBT Liaison Detective Kim Bogucki with updates on what is going on:

*The letters threatened the poisoning of five people with ricin each weekend over the next month at the 11 LGBT bars

*The Seattle Police Department Deputy Chief, East Precinct Captain and Det. Kim Bogucki visited each bar last night to discuss the situation

*The Seattle Police Department (both officers, detectives and the homicide unit) and the FBI Special Investigations Unit are investigating

*All area hospitals and Seattle-King Country Public Health have been notified and are preparing

Some things to consider:

*There was a quick and active response by the bars, the media, SPD and the FBI

*All of the bars affected are on high alert (and I'm assuming all bars in Seattle are also on alert)

*Most people that really want to hurt someone usually don't give you warning without a demand, they usually just hurt you and then claim they did it. Therefore, this is likely an empty threat

*The person that sent these letters could be anyone (including a gay person)

*I, personally, don't feel people should be afraid to go out over the next month due to the heightened awareness and other presenting facts

*Having said that, AS ALWAYS, people should watch their drinks and NEVER leave them unattended

We should make time on the January agenda to discuss and if we want to put something out publicly, I can help work on that.

Feel free to contact me with questions.

David S. Beard, Commissioner

Seattle Commission for Sexual Minorities
Posted by update on January 7, 2009 at 6:34 PM · Report this
@116 re-bar opens later then most bars and isn't on the hill. The Knights of Malta are already doing a pub crawl that night that is starting at the Elite at 7pm to promote their annual Beggar's Feast. It was scheduled a month ago so why not just hook up with them? I say we should do

Wild Rose
Madison Pub
The Cuff
Re Bar

Does anyone have the manager/owner contact info to see if they will wave the cover and call it their "Ricin Free Night" that would make hitting all 11 more affordable and promote people to come in and spend that money on booze anyway. I would be willing to organize it and send an email to coordinate the launch and route to anyone interested. Just email me at
Posted by Aaron McCartney on January 7, 2009 at 6:45 PM · Report this
I did not read all of the comments made on this page but at no point in this letter does the author reveal his/her gender. So make sure to watch for evil ladies as well, be aware everyone.
Posted by donna on January 7, 2009 at 6:46 PM · Report this
Event: “Capitol Hill Pub Crawl”
Date: Friday January 9th
Time: 8PM-2AM

11 Bars in the Capitol Hill area have received Death threats from anonymous letters graphically depicting the possible threat of Ricin poisoning.

On Friday Night January 9th 2009, 11 Bars operating in tandem to combat Hate and Fear, have organized a Capitol Hill PUB CRAWL. All people are encouraged to support our efforts to bring life to our local bars for support against Fear and Hatred posed to our local Gay community.
The Pub Crawl will began at 8pm and continues until 2am at all the 11 bars.
We ask that you gather your friends, pick a specific bar and work your way around the 11 establishments, we are trying not to get everyone at one point and move around together as most of the establishments cannot fit an overload of people at one time
The Elite 1520 E Olive Way (206) 860-0999
Neighbours 1509 Broadway (206) 324-5358
The Wildrose 1021 E Pike St (206) 324-9210
The Cuff 1533 13th Ave (206) 323-1525
Purr 1518 11th Ave (206) 325-3112
The Seattle Eagle 314 E Pike (206) 621-7591
R Place 619 E Pine St(206) 322-8828
Re-bar 1114 Howell Street (206) 233-9873
C.C.Attle’s 1501 E Madison Street (206) 323-4017
Madison Pub 1315 E Madison St (206) 325-6537
The Crescent 1413 E Olive Way (206) 726-1774

And remember not to leave your beverage unattended
Peace and be safe
Posted by PORN VS VIOLENCE on January 7, 2009 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Be careful people -- and let's hope they get the sender of these letters quickly. From Chicago, in solidarity.
Posted by Anon on January 7, 2009 at 6:51 PM · Report this
@108 et per al.
Jesus didn't poison people, you dumbass.
I sincerely wish you wouldn't lump all christians into a single stereotypical group. As someone who believes in christ and loves the gays (I worked in a gay bar), I find an incredible offense in these generalizations. My apologies for all the shitheads who profess to love god and hurt you, but remember that its the individual person doing it, not the faith itself. Its funny that people get angry about their stereotypes and then impose their same feelings of prejudice on others. Can't we just remember to love each other?

Screw this letter writing asshole, btw! Go out to the bars! Drink your drinks! The pub crawl is a great idea!!!!
Posted by nonarenee on January 7, 2009 at 7:00 PM · Report this
Wish I was inport so I could join the crawl. It pisses me straight the fuck off (pun intended) that some asshole would target the most peaceful establishments in town (as well as two of my former employers) with something like this. I hope that the authorities find this shithead.
Posted by SingleMaltScott on January 7, 2009 at 7:03 PM · Report this
Naturally all should take precautions - leaving a drink unattended isn't wise, ever.

I must note, though, that this letter has a decidedly "horror movie knock-off" flavor to it... smells a little of "Saw" (you haven't made your life matter before now/don't take it for granted) and "Fallen" (the recurring tune being the old Beatles tune "Time [is on my side]")... the lack of originality does take a little edge off of the evil involved...

Be smart, folks (as drinking does, of course, induce a propensity to lose track of things - i.e. your drink, good sense, etc).
Posted by the goodbigirl on January 7, 2009 at 7:13 PM · Report this
@ friday pubcrawlers:
Why friday? He clearly says he'll be 'attacking' on 'Saturdays in January'. I would think Saturday would be better for this? More people around/in the know if it happens?
Posted by DL on January 7, 2009 at 7:35 PM · Report this
As some of you know, there was an article released today talking about
some wakko wanting to poison drinks at gay bars.The article is
attached at the bottom of this note. Please read if you have not

I send this to you because I think it is important to recognize that
we are being challenged. The person sending the letters and sending
the threats, however real, is attacking our safety in our own space.
We do not have the luxury of having a million bars and establishments
to go to in Seattle. We have a few places that we can go and feel
totally welcomed at. These places are extremely important for us.
Even if we do not support the particular establishments, they are
important to our culture. To the queer/gay/lesbian (whatever title
you prefer) culture. It is important to say that we do exist and that
we go out. We do not hide or stay in because we get bullied or have

I urge us all to go out this week and weekend to our favorite gay bars
and support. Show up. Have a drink or not. Just fill the clubs and
these spaces with our bodies. We will support our community in times
when we are threatened.

I urge also to be mindful if you do drink. Look out for each other.
look out for people you don't know. Look at who is hanging out. Let
us all be detectives and find this wakko. This sad ignorant person.
Let us send the person love and show that we are strong for them and
for the rest of society that doesn't understand love and how love has
no boundaries. We will gather as we always do and play and dance and
have fun together.

Be safe and mindful. Know your limits and take full responsibility
for all your actions.

We are full of love and united thus fear has no entrance point with
us. So let's play!

Love you always!
Seattle Lesbians United
join the fun at
Posted by Seattle Lesbians United on January 7, 2009 at 7:45 PM · Report this
Any recommendations for a good place a couple can celebrate their 10th anniversary at to show our support?
Posted by Larry365 on January 7, 2009 at 7:57 PM · Report this
@196 That depends on how strong you want your drinks (CCs) how much you want to dance (the Cuff, Neighbours) If you want a show (ReBar) or darts and beer (Madison Pub) or go for a nice dinner at Martin's off Madison then an after dinner drink at Purr or any of the other bars that were threatened.
Posted by Aaron McCartney on January 7, 2009 at 8:12 PM · Report this
The letter itself is a hoax. The question is what the purpose of the hoax is. A bigot trying to spook gays out of pure, spiteful hatred is the easy answer.

But there are a lot of developers who have some sort of vested interest in opening up some real estate populated by popular gay bars, and would stand to gain by scaring away enough business to make these businesses insolvent.

And, on the flipside, there is a not so insignificant chance that someone in the LGBT community planted this letter knowing that the community would mobilize and spark business in these bars during a down economic period.
Posted by Critical Thinking on January 7, 2009 at 8:23 PM · Report this
(I love when people feel the need to be all "I'm not gay because I am superduper straight and love vagina in a very hetero way, but I just wanted to declare my straightness before I leave a comment about this gay, gay issue.")

To the person who said this would have "absolutely no impact on bar revenue this month"--You crazy, homey! This is going to be the highest grossing January in *ages* for Capitol Hill bars, especially the gay bars. Which is awesome, since we (service industry) usually make approximately nothing this time of year.

Thanks for the huge bump in profits, creepy letter writer. Now we all know where *the* place to be is this weekend!
Posted by sototallynotgaysrslyguyz on January 7, 2009 at 8:37 PM · Report this
Where is Nancy Drew when you need her? Who cares I say, I will be out at the bars looking for the Hardy boys.

We have been injured through history, but we must let them see we will never be defeated. If I have to die by supporting our community, and local bars, so be it. We are allowed very few instances to show our pride on a large scale. This is one of those opportunities so make sure you stand up and be counted. Killing a few queers doesn't hurt us, just as long as it isn't Billy I met last week, god he was so cute.

Seriously, if you avoid the bars you let them win, why start listening to your mothers now! Support our bars, drink heartily, and by all means tip your bartenders you cheap bitches...
Posted by Can I get my Tab? on January 7, 2009 at 8:39 PM · Report this
Why not have the door person at all concerned clubs have each patron sign and print their name on a list when presenting their ID? The doorperson can check the name against the ID. That way if anything ever happens it may be possible to find the person. I mean, ID's are presented already, and it may be a deterrent to this terrorist.
Posted by Bar worker on January 7, 2009 at 8:46 PM · Report this
Good Lord, what an awful cumstain of a human being, even if it IS a hoax. What purpose would a hoax serve? To strike fear into the hearts of people? Some anonymous terrorist threatening gays? That's a bitch move. May he get testicular cancer the size of a baseball.
Posted by Alex Webb on January 7, 2009 at 9:21 PM · Report this
This story would be all over the national news if the intended victims were not an unpopular minority. If the terrorist was targeting churches or sports stadiums this would be on the front pages of the major papers and on the national news.
Posted by georgelong on January 7, 2009 at 9:35 PM · Report this
Why would a legitimate threat bother to send warnings? It would be much easier to administer the poison and to evade the authorities if the letters came after the fact, and the terror would be just as effective. This is fiction. He's a bitter little worm.
Posted by fen on January 7, 2009 at 9:53 PM · Report this
Relax, folks. If this fool really *is* making ricin, then chances are really good they're already dead. Pretty much everyone who's tried making ricin outside of a professional lab has earned themselves a Darwin Award.

And if they're going to go through the detail and effort required to make the stuff *without* killing themselves, then they *aren't* going to give you advance warning.

They'll wait until after.
Posted by ScienceOtter on January 7, 2009 at 10:42 PM · Report this
Its obviously one of those nice Talibangelicals who worships Rick Warren, and believes he is doing "G-d's work." A nice KKKristian.
Posted by cowboyneok on January 7, 2009 at 11:00 PM · Report this
I am so proud to see that everyone is pulling together to support these bars and our gay community!

Screw this guy and screw our livers - lets go drink! :)
Posted by SeattleGal23 on January 7, 2009 at 11:02 PM · Report this
Republicans don't think the LGBT deserves Federal Hate Crimes protection. They think its a "special right." Oh yeah, Republicans voted unanimously to provide churches with Federal Church Arson protection because they believe torching a church "spreads fear and sends a nasty message to a group or segment of society." Of course, Republicans think its just fine to send threatening letters like the Ricin letter to "the gays" because they think that is "freedom of expression."
Posted by cowboyneok on January 7, 2009 at 11:10 PM · Report this
This is disgusting and the person that wrote this should have to take Ricin himself if we ever find out who did this despicable thing.
Posted by AB on January 7, 2009 at 11:30 PM · Report this

"I'm not gay.... and I don't go to gay bars unless I'm with my gay friends. And when I do I have a much better time than I do at the straight bars. And no.... I'm not curious. I'm a man who loves vagina to the point where I'd build my house in one of I could. To date I haven't found one big enough. But that isn't my point.

I don't see any reason to stop going out just because some loser wants to use these scare tactics against gay people. The moron probably left a fingerprint on one of the letters or DNA on the envelope when he licked it to seal it. People who send out letters like that aren't typically smart enough to do so without leaving some type of trace evidence. And watching an entire series of CSI Miami isn't going to educate him/her enough to do so.

So go out and drink my gay friends.... Continue to get your party on at your gay bars. In this economy they could use the help. Be careful... watch your back (and backsides) and take care of one another. Life is too short to be worried about some lunatic on a crusade to rid the world of gay people.

I myself would hate to see a world without you. Who would write all the stuff we watch on TV? Who would be there to dictate our fashion? Who would do our hair? Could you imagine a world where all that stuff is done by right wing Christians? Ugh.... The thought of that just makes me want to puke.

Now I need to get back to work.... Searching for that giant vagina.
Posted by Jesus Christ on January 7, 2009 at 12:17 PM "
Posted by got_it_right on January 7, 2009 at 11:41 PM · Report this
This is horrible. My wife and I are currently in a "not going out budget" because we have a mortage to pay for our beautiful tiny condo. We are both Hairdressers and also live in Capitol Hill. So we have so many friends and clients from the gay community and I would be deeply hurt if any of them got hurt. Specially because of a fucking extremist religious crackhead. It saddens me that someone could craft such a sickening letter.

I love Seattle so much, I would hate to see this city in panic mode again(wasn't the snow enough?). What Im trying to say is this: fuck our mortgage, we will go out every fucking saturday in Jan at least for one drink .
This is bullshit people. let's go out and support our local bars!

Take care Seattle.
Posted by Omar and Carling on January 7, 2009 at 11:51 PM · Report this
When life gives you ricin, make ricin crispy treats. Its lame that this douche is even getting attention. I doubt its a fundy christian or muslim -- they wouldn't use the term "gay community." No, its some tragically pathetic homo who can't get laid. He's bitter after being rejected or not being paid any attention. He's having a break-down realizing that his inflated sense of self is inconsistent with everybody's perception of him as a completely forgettable asshole. He's an alcoholic and probably has been kicked out of or 86ed from bars consistently and he resents this (because he's an alcoholic.) Yeah, I watch Criminal Minds. Jealous? So yeah, go out, have fun. He's a joke.
Posted by Captain General on January 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM · Report this
Oh, gosh, you all seem to think that there is an actual threat. There isn't. The rule is: either you write scary letters OR you do something in real life. Not one after the other. Anonymous death threats are not carried out. Bomb threats are not followed by bombs. Assassins do not warn their victims.
A threatening letter is an agressive act in its own right, it is meant to create fear and that's it. It's a safer alternative to actually doing something.
I can recommend Gavin de Beckers "The Gift of Fear" - everybody should read it.
Posted by Ulla Lauridsen on January 8, 2009 at 1:39 AM · Report this
Laura D - I thank you for your sincere concern. Not to be pedantic, but just to protect the great word/reality: "evolution": Violence does not evolve, it IS devolution. The right word is "violence 'increases' or 'escalates'.

Evolution is always toward more love and more inclusion.

Posted by livinginthelight on January 8, 2009 at 3:55 AM · Report this
The Eagle needs an editor.
Posted by Rubes on January 8, 2009 at 6:51 AM · Report this
@ 199:

"I believe everybody is gay, until they prove otherwise. And even then, I'm not 100% convinced." - Buddy Cole
Posted by BobbyP2001 on January 8, 2009 at 8:31 AM · Report this
This is an act of domestic terrorism and in the face of it I feel it to be our patriotic duty to support these bars and show the terror mongers that they will not make us cow tow to them with threats of harm. As it so happens the Knight Of Malta was already planning ot have a pub crawl to promote their annual Beggar's Feast… this Saturday. So I figured why not have both the K of M bar tour AND a good old fashioned Pub Crawl.

I am calling the pub crawl "Lifting Libations for Liberty" or "Pints for Patriotism" or "The Great Ricin Rebellion of 2009" and anyone that wished to be included in it is encouraged to email me at the email address I am no longer a Precinct Committee officer but had set up the email right before I moved out of the precinct to keep my emails straight. May as well use it for something right.

The plan is to start at the Elite at 7PM and attempt to hit as many of the 11 bars; the Elite, Neighbours, Wild Rose, the Cuff, Purr, the Eagle, R Place, Re-bar, CC's, Madison Pub, and the Crescent as possible. If anyone has contact information for the owners of the bars I would appreciate that as well to keep them posted on how many people are part of the group and to see if in exchange for us going out and facing mortal danger they may be willing to suspend their cover for the night in a "Ricin Free Night" to show they support their patrons as much as their patrons support them.


Aaron McCartney
Posted by Aaron McCartney on January 8, 2009 at 8:39 AM · Report this
The first place to look for the perp is to examine who stands to benefit from this act. The bar staff admit this is a slow time of the year...
just sayin...don't hate on me for thinking against the grain.
Posted by littlereddevil on January 8, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
Just a thought: "in hospital" (vs. "in the hospital") is not standard American English usage. I would guess that the person who wrote the letter is from some country in the British Commonwealth/Commonwealth of Nations. Maybe this will help the police catch the Neanderthal who made the threat.
Posted by sf_otter on January 8, 2009 at 9:19 AM · Report this
I'm not gay, but ALL of my straight friends and I will be going to all the gay bars, that were threatened, in the up and coming Saturdays because we don't take kindly to terrorism on any scale. This psycho is a terrorist among us, with obvious disregard for this country and all of its citizens gay or straight... what a time to take away resources from our already stretched to the limit intelligence agencies! For or against it, we are at war you stupid fuck.
Posted by Waterworlder on January 8, 2009 at 9:30 AM · Report this
oh boy.
no salt with your tequila, kids.
Posted by Harker on January 8, 2009 at 11:24 AM · Report this
What. A. Motherfucking. Asshole.

Well, I guess we were overdue for this kind of middle America terror shit to hit us. Keep your eyes open, people. Ffffuck.
Posted by Tom on January 8, 2009 at 12:23 PM · Report this
To all, gay or not, I don't sit in front of my computer all day and don't have the time to read everyones comments/input (good or bad) on all this...I will say this, "This makes me sick to my stomach to think that someone would do this - but I guess if it weren't for fucked up people, I wouldn't have a job....

**** Some advice, whether you choose to accept or ignore it; don't leave your drinks unattended; always take them with you. Don't drink with people you don't know or trust. Don't allow some dude or chick you don't know "bring" you a drink...if you take them up on their offer to buy you a them bring it to you from the bar.

My guess is this guy is straight or confused, just found "God"....and lost control in his life therefore is creating chaos amongst us to have some type of control again - by telling all of you that death is nearing "you", is controling everything you do, however you ever did it, whenever you wanted to do it, and whatever it is that you do......."Ile"
Posted by Ile on January 8, 2009 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Just another thing to consider guys, DO NOT bum smokes from anybody! Play it safe :)
Posted by Chase on January 8, 2009 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Why hasn't word got out that Chop Suey also received this letter? They DID receive what would be a 12th letter. Why they received a copy of the letter I do not know, perhaps because they host Comeback. The point is that for some reason this fact has not yet been reported in the media. I heard it from one of the Chop Suey managers early Tuesday afternoon before anybody had even reported on this story.
Posted by SWALLOW on January 8, 2009 at 12:45 PM · Report this
"Why hasn't word got out that Chop Suey also received this letter? They DID receive what would be a 12th letter. Why they received a copy of the letter I do not know, perhaps because they host Comeback. The point is that for some reason this fact has not yet been reported in the media. I heard it from one of the Chop Suey managers early Tuesday afternoon before anybody had even reported on this story."

Swallow, just because a bar knew about it before the media doesn't mean they received a letter. They knew because an employee of a targeted bar called them and told them. Many people who work on Capitol Hill work at multiple bars and of course told all of their employers, and coworkers just like I told all of mine when I was told on Tuesday before the media knew. Chop Suey has signs up all over warning people not to leave their drinks unattended, and I am sure that they will take this threat VERY SERIOUSLY especially since they do host several gay nights.
Posted by Bar Worker on January 8, 2009 at 1:10 PM · Report this
I heard the same thing. I wonder if Chop Suey management decided not to report their letter to the police for fear of even more bad publicity. Its a horrible thought, but there has to be some reason why nobody has really heard about it yet.
Posted by VeggieGirl on January 8, 2009 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Yes Bar Worker, I too am employed at one of the targeted bars. That is how I know of the Chop Suey letter. I heard it directly from their general manager. So, yes that does imply that there was a 12th letter received by their bar. Why would he make up such a story? He wouldn't. I know what I know and you can get as defensive as you want. It doesnt change the facts.
Posted by SWALLOW on January 8, 2009 at 1:29 PM · Report this
I work at the Cuff everyone should know that we are doing everything we can to ensure that nothing horrible occurs: we have constant video surveilance throughout the bar, we have posted 'watch your drink' signs, none of the food, ice, cherries, limes, bottles, etc. are accesible to patrons, and most importantly the bar staff will be adamant about ensuring people do not leave drinks unattended, even to go outside to smoke. We are watching even closer and any drink that does not have an immediate owner or drink-sitter will be removed.

be smart, keep your drink close to you.

And give a big FUCK YOU! to this guy by coming out and having a dam good time.
Posted by shy on January 8, 2009 at 1:57 PM · Report this
I work at the Cuff everyone should know that we are doing everything we can to ensure that nothing horrible occurs: we have constant video surveilance throughout the bar, we have posted 'watch your drink' signs, none of the food, ice, cherries, limes, bottles, etc. are accesible to patrons, and most importantly the bar staff will be adamant about ensuring people do not leave drinks unattended, even to go outside to smoke. We are watching even closer and any drink that does not have an immediate owner or drink-sitter will be removed.

be smart, keep your drink close to you.

And give a big FUCK YOU! to this guy by coming out and having a dam good time.
Posted by shy on January 8, 2009 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Posted by Adam on January 8, 2009 at 2:17 PM · Report this
I didn't read all the comments; but my suggestion is to place a few unattended drinks around each bar and video them constantly, maybe you could catch this louse. I'd particularly recommend doing this at any bar that did not get a note, just in case misdirection was intended.

Straight and I don't drink; but this is unacceptable behavior towards my fellow citizens!
Posted by SpookyCat on January 8, 2009 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Enjoy yourself, Seattle!

From metro NYC, we are thinking about you this weekend.

It is my opinion that this person, a friend or family, has been hurt by a gay person in the past: "presumably, they didn't care that they were living...". It is very hard to tell if they are gay themselves from this letter, but you can feel their angst in the text. The writer's use of the phrase "no antidote, no salve for their unimaginable pain" as well as the missing word "the" before hospital indicates to me that:

1) The person is highly educated, originally from outside the US.
2) The person is not necessarily a male.
3) The person will likely not blend well in the bars.
4) The person will likely be more interested in rooms off the main room, including bathrooms and hallways.
5) The person will not be looking for social interaction, including dancing or conversation with any of you.
6) The person will be looking for victims and will therefore be hypersensitive to anyone looking at them.

My suggestion? Talk to more people than normal this weekend, keep your hand over your cup, and don't get so trashed (like I did on NYE) that you pass out when you sit down (whoops).

If you happen to catch this waste of their father's semen, I hope you figure out how to inflict some pain into this person's life. My mind is reeling with ideas right now.

I am so sorry you are going through this.
Posted by Scott from CT on January 8, 2009 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Conservatives threatening violence? I don't believe it!
Posted by Kavan on January 8, 2009 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Chop Suey did not recieve a letter. Ultimately it isn't that important whether they did or did not, every bar should take precautions. I do not mean to be "defensive" but since I am trying to defend the integrity of this club and its management (some of whom I know personally), there may be some actual um, defense. I think, Swallow, that there is a misunderstanding. Chop Suey management found out about the letter from ANOTHER bar. Management called the employees and spoke to neighboring bars IN PERSON to make sure everyone knew. Madison Pub is right next door to Chop...maybe it seemed as if the manager was saying he got a letter, but he didn't. Period. No letter. No hiding it from the media. No hiding it from patrons. No letter. The letter itself states that there are eleven locations. Not twelve. Total miscommunication.
I called Chop Suey before I typed this to verify my facts. You can too 2063248005. You can also call the police department to check. This is a scary and lame situation, so let's stay focused on what we can do to be safe and how we can support these targeted bars. I know I will try to visit all of them and get my drink on. Hopefully the police catch this creep.
Posted by Bar Worker on January 8, 2009 at 2:53 PM · Report this
I am sure this fool was recently informed he has HIV. This may be his way of retaliating.
Posted by ewe on January 8, 2009 at 3:31 PM · Report this
I wonder how many clubs will be claiming to have received a "twelfth letter"?
Posted by Bill W. on January 8, 2009 at 3:32 PM · Report this
This kind of hate just catalyzes a tight knot in my stomach. Gay bars certainly are not a nexus for innocence, but no bar in the world is. The only thing this moron has done is prepared the community to mobilize and help each other in the event someone is poisoned. The bars will not close down, they will increase security, clients will be more alert than usual, and the venues will probably be the safest in the city. This psycho certainly has time on his side, but we've got an entire community on ours.
Posted by Ryan D on January 8, 2009 at 3:40 PM · Report this
Somebody could always be out to get you. At any time, for any reason. And most of them really wouldn't publicize it. Just because somebody's been threatened doesn't mean it's time to up security and be smart - you should ALWAYS be taking care of yourself. ALWAYS watch where your drinks come from, yadda yadda yadda.

The fact that the person is saying something like "there's nothing you can do to stop me" when closing the bars is both an immediate and painfully obvious solution... it should be clear what their goal is - it's to shut down the bars. They have no intention of harming anyone or anything except the bars and their owners with this pathetic threat with no apparent timeline. And they're talking -only- about harming the clients. Their mind's focused on attacking the business, not the people.

Do yourselves a favor, and the owners of these bars in these rough times, and go out. Have a drink. Enjoy yourself. Don't let this loser tell you what to do. Make this just a huge weekend for these businesses. Nobody'll get hurt, and just show the community that there's nothing to fear but fear itself.
Posted by Jake E on January 8, 2009 at 4:29 PM · Report this
The gender genie:
seems quite convinced the writer of this letter is female. I tried the first paragraph by itself and then typed in the entire letter. considering the letter contains quotes from a writer we know is male, maybe this terrorist actually is a crazy woman after all.
Posted by kathy. on January 8, 2009 at 4:49 PM · Report this
This really makes me mad. But I have to say, my heart swells with love while watching how Seattle reacts to this. My home town makes me proud by organizing pub crawls, fighting hatred and bigotry, showing solidarity. The people of Seattle rock. I wish I could be pub crawling with you this weekend.
Posted by Eastern Washington on January 8, 2009 at 4:54 PM · Report this
As a gay male, I would never consider going into the Wild Rose, without the company of one of my lesbian friends. It's just not the place to "hang," by yourself, if you're a male. So, my thought is, if this letter is written by a male, good luck with hanging by yourself in a lesbian bar. You'll stick out worse then a sore thumb. Same thought if it's a woman that sent the letter, and they choose to "hang" by themselves at the Eagle. Just not the place "single" women would choose to hang. Just my thoughts, from my own experience of both places.

On a second note, I hope the person that wrote these letters reads this: I hope they catch you, cut off your genitalia, and feed them to you. That sounds about as "just" a punishment, as someone like you deserve.
Posted by BobbyP2001 on January 8, 2009 at 6:28 PM · Report this
The intellectual bankruptcy of the letter-writer is made evident by the threat of bodily harm to others. No matter how righteous one’s cause may be in fact and logic, once you've defaulted to physical violence to make your argument, you've lost the debate by immediate loss of any intellectual credibility you might have had.

I hope those targeted remain safe and that this individual (or group of individuals) is apprehended and given the proper professional assistance they so obviously require.

Savagery may or may not be necessary in the wild, however, it is always inappropriate in that which aspires to "civilization".
Posted by Naumadd on January 8, 2009 at 6:45 PM · Report this
This is absolutely ridiculous that a "hate crime" classification is even being considered for this threat by mail. What would a similar threat be called if these letters were mailed to cop bars, or celebrity night clubs, or VFW halls, or neighborhood bars?
The entire premise of "hate crime" legislation is without merit, and the enhanced penalities and additional charges associated with them undermines the premise of 'equality under the law.'
Posted by Bobz on January 8, 2009 at 7:01 PM · Report this
Because, 244, cops, celebrities and veterans are not maligned minority groups. Most people like them. People target gays with hate, bigotry and violence; and in this case, mass murder threats. Hate crime is an abstract concept until someone kicks you in the face with a steel toe boot and knocks out eleven of your teeth and breaks your jaw while calling you a f-ing faggot. This happened to a good friend of mine and the perps (4 men) got away with it. These hate-crime laws exist to send a message to society that bigotry is not to be tolerated. Also, because this crime happened in a conservative jurisdiction, the police didn't investigate it because the victim was gay. How that for "equality under the law"
Posted by longer on January 8, 2009 at 9:01 PM · Report this
Have Washingtonians picked up the Brittish/Canadian affectation of saying "in hospital" too? What has this world come to?
Posted by annoyed on January 8, 2009 at 9:13 PM · Report this
okay, ricin researcher (post #37), let's clarify the math:
30mcg (MICROgrams) = 0.03mg (MILLIgrams)
a 190 lb dude weighs about 86 kg
86 x 0.03 = 2.59 mg
so the ld50 for that guy is about 2.5 mg (0.0025g) not 2.5g
so #37, you're off by several orders of magnitude.
you're talking about a two hundredth (0.5%) of an extra strength tylenol, not 5 of them! that's an F on your lab report, my well-meaning love.
Posted by nerdy girl on January 8, 2009 at 9:15 PM · Report this
You do know that there [could] be more that just one person involved in dispersing ricin , and I really didn't see that point made at all.

some one wanna' examine that?

Ill be working the venue at the ReBar for the sweet show there on FRIDAY>

Posted by Dont Look At mE on January 8, 2009 at 9:38 PM · Report this
I think everyone needs to rally and support all the bars on the hill - this guys is a total freak and needs to know that we will not be intimidated by a threatning letter - I think letter or no letter people should be out and about on the hill that night - Purr, R Place, Capitol Club, Kurrent, Madison Pub, Elite, Chapel - Don't let people know that they get the upperhand!
Posted by dominatrixdiva on January 8, 2009 at 10:46 PM · Report this
I agree with Dom Diva, that letter or no letter, we need to show that we won't be intimidated. Keep supporting all those bars on that list. The freak needs to know that WE WILL NOT STAND FOR THAT.........Especially those of you that live in the community. Support your local businesses........they are in your community and that's where you should be spending your money and showing your support. I'll be crossing the bridge and hitting each one of those bars with at least 25 of my friends. We'll watch each others back and will report anything suspicious in a heart beat!
Posted by No way he's keeping this gay away! on January 8, 2009 at 10:53 PM · Report this
This could be away for this person to get people to go out and maybe it's going to be something much more serious, like a bomb, fire, or worse yet, a shooting. Everyone needs to be careful and not to hesitate to call 911 if you see anything out of the ordinary. We are a small community and at least should recognize some stranger among us. The bottom line here is to stand strong, but keep your eyes open and make sure we hold the police and authorities accountable......this is a hate crime and should be treated as such!
Posted by Dominatirx's sub... on January 8, 2009 at 11:02 PM · Report this
If the letter is real the risk of death is much lower now.

I have to agree that the best course of action is to frequent these fine establishments and begin speaking in college Canadian english, what better way to mock the sick twit who has brought this scourge upon us. "in hospital" my arse. Anyway, the dumb ass author most likely used his/her own saliva to seal the envelope and sooner or later the Gobmerment will have illegally cataloged the DNA of every man/woman/unborn fetus. So even if it turns out to be a prank the author will be in Guantanamo ver 2 for a long haul. tally ho chaps!!
Posted by bob n doug on January 9, 2009 at 12:20 AM · Report this
It is foolish to think this person will not act on their threat in some way. It would be easy to tamper with toilet paper or paper towels in a restroom and then sit at a table sipping their drink and watching the crowd pour in. Please take your own toilet paper and paper towels...promise me, okay?

Not all straights, cops, conservatives, Christians are anti-gay. You all be safe and cautious.

Love, Mom
Posted by Mom xo on January 9, 2009 at 1:25 AM · Report this
I guess it is safe to assume then that the letter's author's idea of "living" is to go around lethally poisoning people - and if not following through with that, at least wasting a lot of other people's time with some stupid scare-tactic. Neat.
Posted by ... on January 9, 2009 at 6:26 AM · Report this
Whoever wrote those letters is an idiot. The letter writer claims that doctors will mistake the illnesses for flu or stomach virus. I guess the letter writer didn't consider the fact that doctors would be on the lookout for such symptoms coming from bar patrons and would, therefore, not give the wrong diagnosis. Given the stupidity of the letter writer, I have no doubt an arrest will be quick in coming. Let's all hope that when it does, it is plastered all over the national news so that anti-gay bigots can see how stupid they really are.
Posted by DJ Kaze on January 9, 2009 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Maybe we should also wear gas masks?
The UK has experience with this terror tactic.
Look at link.…
I can't believe how jacked the scene has gotten.
Posted by Amy on January 9, 2009 at 10:27 AM · Report this
All this has done has given the next attention whore fresh ideas.
Posted by Axle on January 9, 2009 at 10:34 AM · Report this
omg, how insane.
wtf is wrong with this guy?

I am so angry I can't even think.
Posted by Mia on January 9, 2009 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Ok, so I have to agree with the person that said that their bullshit meter was registering off the charts, but I also think that sheer stupidity can be a dangerous thing. The guy sent 11 letters saying that the doctors would think that it was a stomach flu and that organs would then begin to rapidly shut down. First of all, ingestion of ricin is the least potent form, so the likelihood that there would be ANY organ failure is incredibly low. Ricin only causes "problems" with the kidney and liver, and that's in more extreme cases. Second, there have only ever been "several" (several, as in a few, maybe 4?) deaths by ricin and they were all through injection, so I don't think that there will be any obituary entries this go round. Clearly this fuck nut doesn't have the internet. Third, if you're going to send out 11 letters telling us what you're doing, don't you think that we're all going to be wise to the plan? What doctor is going to think that it's a stomach flu IF YOU SENT OUT LETTERS SAYING OTHERWISE?!

Another thing (I think this is 4), if someone really wanted to wreak havoc on the gay community, why, on earth, would they tell everyone? It's like a suicide attempt. If you're really going to do it, you're not going to tell anyone.

That being said, I hope that everyone is brushing up on their bar going 101. Don't accept drinks that you don't see the bartender pour, don't leave your drink unattended, etc, etc, etc. Ricin is yucky, but with the amount, the form, AND THE FACT THAT THEY TOLD EVERYONE AHEAD OF TIME, it's highly unlikely that there will be any long term issues, even if the idiot actually follows through.

Stay safe, and if anyone knows who the jack ass is who had nothing better to do than piss off a whole bunch of other people, punch him in the throat!
Posted by Cat on January 9, 2009 at 12:59 PM · Report this
Here's an idea: Stick to doing straight-shots, then there's little to zero chance of somebody putting anything in your drink. You still get a good buzz, your drink is gone in seconds, people start looking better faster, no drink sitting around to be poisoned, and everybody wins!
Posted by Phippers on January 9, 2009 at 5:09 PM · Report this
When I read the line "I've always had time on my side." it got me thinking. What would he mean with that phrase? There could be a lot of conjectures, but it really boils down to this. How would he plan on going to 11 different bars and spiking 5 drinks and somehow not think of the possibility of getting caught?

Either he is very patient, and will do it gradually, one bar a week, or month, or something. He might even wait a while, until everyone forgets this whole letter before he launches into his scheme. Certainly patience is a reference.

Or, maybe he found a way to spike something already. Something that might take some time to produce the results he's after.

See, I'm thinking now that he's sent this letter, the people that still go are going to be cautious of their drinks. Very cautious. It'd be hard, now, to put something in several times a night and not eventually get caught. But there are things people may not think of that could be spiked, if the guy went ahead and set this up already. I mean, the amount needed is virtually untraceable.

You could spike food, though that's not too likely and less guaranteed. I'm thinking, either pop guns, or draft beer taps, or something else that's poured. Imagine if he spiked the CO2 line, it could travel through anything beer/pop related. It'd be difficult -though not impossible- to do this stuff as a patron. But there are some people that work at bars during the day, that would have access to stuff like that during that time.

There could be other ways of doing it too. The real fact of the matter is that it's not all necessarily supposed to happen exactly how it's said in the letter.

Those of you in Seattle, be more careful than simply watching your drinks. The only thing that could be safe to drink is anything out of a bottle. I think passing this possible info along to any bar owners you know might, at least, turn some cogs so they can think of possible dangers and culprits. Keep an open mind, try outsmart this person (if the threat's even genuine).

...I'd start with anyone that comes in the clean their beer lines.
Posted by gt on January 9, 2009 at 7:04 PM · Report this
it makes me wonder if the letters were from a fellow who used to go into mental health induced tirades on about how he hates the gay community because we're all mean and we're horrible and we'll get ours someday. It doesn't escape me that the letters were sent to old bars. Well, Purr being the youngest bar. many of those places this fellow would have been rejected. Just a thought.

Carla from Rebar... aren't you little poochy Tate's "staff" ??
Posted by grovers keeper on January 9, 2009 at 10:11 PM · Report this
Urge the Mayor & Gov. to speak out against the ricin threats & in support of the LGBT Community!!!……
Posted by got_it_right on January 9, 2009 at 11:21 PM · Report this
Urge the Mayor & Gov. to speak out against the ricin threats & in support of the LGBT Community!!!……
Posted by got_it_right on January 9, 2009 at 11:32 PM · Report this
although i'm not from seattle and dont know the scene. or proper grammer for that sort when im drunk. but check this out. a few things stand out in this article that got my attention. the fact that the nightlife scene throughout this country has taken a major hit during this recession, and the manner in which the letter was written. im no criminologist or psycologist(as i previously stated, fuck grammer an spelling whilst drunk). of course all threats on life should never be taken lightly. especially when dealing with biochemical weapons. but has anyone even entertained the thought of a publicity stunt? its always nice to see a rallying cry in such adversity to a threat of violence but to admit a slump in business then a boom (pub crawl?) people should definately always watch whos touching or even looking at their drinks while out in public, but to me it seems somethings rotten in denmark and its not just the cheese. not to implicate or accuse any of the owners of the establishments listed in this threat. but the common practice of politics in this modern time to get ones point across has undoubtably been one of fear. a common an uncontested tactic to mobilize people towards a certain goal. whichever that may be. the amount of ricin, the targets, the list of signs of ricin poisoning(why make it obvious to trace?). leads me at least to believe someone whos close to the scene enough to know such places (the fact that a bar some people thought was closed but still running) is obviously someone whos been around for a while, and someone whos done at least minimal research on ricin. and normally the type of people who are prone to carry out such attacks and name numbers of who they will attack, usually associate some sort of meaning to the number, whether it be ideological or cult associated, i.e. 13 (religious connotations) or 88 (white supremisist related). which are groups that have obvious polar beliefs of the idea of such establishments. long story almost short. this threat is either the work of a lone scorned sociopath, an anti-gay teenage prank, or a well constructed publicity stunt. which has more to gain? revenge? fame? money? who knows.

the lesson here is always think safe when you are out in bars, even if its somewhere you consider a second home, and always look at the facts and determine for yourself whats the real threat. living in fear, or letting fear control your actions.
Posted by drunk thinker on January 9, 2009 at 11:47 PM · Report this
actually i just looked up "5, 11 bible" on google and found this in isiah 5:11

"King James Bible
Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!"

soooo shit, might be a religious whack job after all. but still, always be carefull, and remember, violence is never the answer.
Posted by drunk thinker on January 10, 2009 at 12:07 AM · Report this
the Elite, Neighbours, Wild Rose, the Cuff, Purr, the Eagle, R Place, Re-bar, CC's, Madison Pub, and the Crescent.
Yo, ricin-bomber:
I’m sure you’re too indolent to actually get your fat ass unstuck from that sagging couch to do the job. Ooo pay attetion to me! Look I made words and gay people finally listened to me!!
And what's the deal with just those 11? What, no love for the gays at the Grill?? Tuesdays at the NocNoc is too far to walk? Julia’s hasn’t pissed you off? The mixed gay/straight crowds of the The Hideout, Chapel, Canterbury, The Bottleneck, Fiddler’s Inn, Honeyhole, and the Summit Pub aren’t specific enough? Changes isn’t on the hill so it’s not cool enough?? Marty’s off Madison is your favorite glory-hole so they get a pass? You don't think Charlie's couldn't use a boost from the CapHill Ricin-pubcrawl?? 15th Ave is too much uphill walk for you?
Or are you just listing 11 boozejoints where your anti-social, skanky, fugly ass has been turned down?? Hey if you really want to visit violence on your “indignation towards the gay community” head to Ken’s Truck Town for fuck’s sake. I think your ‘death will speak for itself’, quite nicely out there, Bombo-The-Small-Dicked.

If you’re going to target gay joints, or rather, e-thug terrorize some bar managers and beg for small media articles a) do it from the airy comfort of the Aurora Bridge handrail or b) at least go beyond the first page of results on yelp, you lazy attention-whore twat.
Posted by CapHillParent on January 10, 2009 at 1:59 AM · Report this
This lamer sucks. Regardless of intent, or who they are, or what made them think they should do it. They are a weak human and should be ashamed. I hope they sent a copy of the letter to their mother and saved one for their cellmate.

Very entertaining comments. feedback:
@84, @115 @145 – the formula is listed on the internet quite freely & free press is important. better parenting/morals are answers to curb this crap, though, not censorship.

@80: re: high odds of being male: Apparently, ownership of a uterus lowers your likelihood to murder something once grown in one.

@160- I miss Q patrol too, babe. Start up a new chapter of vigilantism, I’ll be there.

@115 & 140 & 172 &175 &183 & 233 et al. Turn the TV & Puter off, seriously. Those green things outside: we call 'em trees. They make fresh air. Armchair FBI agents: guess what? The FBI is hiring – so do it, ok? The sooner they have you in their database the better. For all of us.
Your ‘profiles’ reveal your sad racism.

@176 How can you NOT notice the crescent? It’s an odd onestory dive with queens going in and out. Regardless of sexual preference, it’s the first gay bar I notice coming off the freeway.

@179 – Retard? New to Seattle? Use ‘Lamer’ or something: Families of the retarded will ask for your vote in 20 years (for their loved ones), the way you're asking now for theirs.

@206/208 Just. Stop. Karma is circulating your pointless hate back on you. Even if they deserve it, the hatorade is pointless.

@256 I like the idea of a gasmask costume as pure cynical commentary. Of course, last time we wore gas masks on Cap hill, Dave Reichert shot us with rubber bullets.

@261 wow that’s a lot of gradeA circa-2002 fear-mongering there. Do you have the Donald Rumsefeld inflatable, or just the fanclub-approved poster?

@244 clearly you’ve taken rhetoric and debate classes, your reasoning makes sense on the surface. But. How was your ‘equality of the law’ in 1850 for black folk? Or how well people followed the law of the 18th amendment in 1920?
Some see Hate Crime Laws as stopgaps until the voting majority can be convinced that uniform freedoms are essential to the constitution.

@201: guestbook; most practical idea posted in over 200 posts! FTW!!

@225: way to jack up the panic! Woot! You and 261 must fight over the Rumsfeld inflatable!

@214 Evolve means...? tell it to the dinosaurs, vocab police.

@187: Wait. You’re going to pubcrawl, to financially support the bars, by asking them to waive their cover? WTF?

@117 hear hear on the ‘sometimes a typo is just a typo’. Brit vs American. Sheesh.

@98 aren't we all 'the American public'?

@121 Wait, Gays aren’t encouraged to get married?? Whoa, hold the phone.
.. Single drunks are single drunks, regardless of preferences involving reproductive organs.

@ 136 – my one lingering thing resembling a fear is like 182’s: that they'd use the surge of straights and newbies as cover.

@78/141: thanks for growin’ a pair. None of us needs ever be afraid.
Let’s all exercise our gawddamned 21st amendment rights and get pissed.

If we have a pool going, I'll put 5 bucks on:
"scorned closet case and wrong-headed vigilante from the Cap Hill Alano Club"
Posted by RevSmith on January 10, 2009 at 3:13 AM · Report this
This threat is a terrorist act, and should be viewed as such. The department of homeland security should be tracking this fucker down.

Let's have the PATRIOT act work in our favor for once.
Posted by Dan on January 10, 2009 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Here's my conclusion; after reading the article and the ever so enlightening public responses.

In no way am I a criminologist. Considering that, my guess is that this is a very lonely man who had a girlfriend that palled around with alot of gay men. When the relationship ended, this man was looking to lay blame on someone. His infatuation with his ex has prevented him from removing her from the unhealthy pedastal on which he has placed her so he is looking for a scape goat.

Here is the running thought that may be going through his head:

"If it wasn't for those gay friends of hers, we would still be together and she would still love me."

This is my two cents.

BTW...has anyone called the fucking FBI?
Posted by jett on January 10, 2009 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Obviously you don't want this emotional pigmy to 'win' by closing those bars (or making them unprofitable). Just as obviously, you don't want to give him an opprtunity to hurt people.

What you should do, Seattle bar-goers, is GO to these bars -- with bottle openers. Order beers, bottled, and delivered capped. Keep the bottle in hand as you drink. You'll be safe, the bars'll stay in business, the whack job will fail, and all will be well -- and don't worry, guys, drinking Budweiser from the bottle won't make you straight.
Posted by nurtz on January 10, 2009 at 6:20 PM · Report this
#268 pompous-ass
Posted by me on January 10, 2009 at 7:42 PM · Report this
saw dan at the eagle, sat night. but he didn't buy a drink. wtf?
Posted by daudder on January 10, 2009 at 10:59 PM · Report this
I hope he/she finds peace.
Posted by Robert on January 11, 2009 at 4:52 AM · Report this
I Agree With Dan, This is Probably a Hoax, 67 Grams is a Huge Amount.

Ingestion is Not an Effective Route of Poising:…
Posted by Dr. Greg W Carpenter on January 11, 2009 at 6:56 AM · Report this
Hey guys, hope the pub crawl was a big ol' hit! Solidarity & love from upstate NY, deep in the snow.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on January 11, 2009 at 10:02 AM · Report this
if this person is targeting people, doesnt he know straight people goto gay bars too. i guess he/she (i think we are all assuming he) wants to harm anyone in "support" of gay bars.... they are a psycho....
Posted by lesbolove on January 11, 2009 at 12:49 PM · Report this
fucking freak.
Posted by boai on January 11, 2009 at 4:31 PM · Report this
seriously though! HOMELAND SECURITY! This is scary.
Posted by boai on January 11, 2009 at 4:37 PM · Report this
I think this is the work of some church group. Or some loner who has nothing better to do with his time. The FBI can easily trace the letter back to the sender. I am sure there is some epithelials on the letter or dna on the adhesive part of the envelope.

I don't mind volunteering my time to find this moron.
Posted by Vince on January 11, 2009 at 8:03 PM · Report this
One thing to consider is if this freak has purified ricin, or just ground up castor beans. The bean thing is easy to do, the seeds are available just about anywhere. Wikipedia says that a lethal dose of the beans for the average adult is EIGHT BEANS. If this freak is talking ground beans, that's gonna make a noticeable sludge in your glass. Castor beans aren't small...they're about the size of a small lima bean, or large red bean. Purified ricin is a by-product of castor oil manufacture. Is there anywhere in Western Washington that makes castor oil? (From wikipedia: Ricin is easily purified from castor-oil manufacturing waste. The aqueous phase left over from the oil extraction process is called waste mash. It contains about 5-10% ricin by weight. Separation requires only simple chromatographic techniques.)
Skin/eye absorption is the least toxic, because it's the least likely.
Ingestion doesn't guarantee fatal consequences.
Powder/spray is the worst, as is injection.
Likely it won't bother anyone if it's on a toilet seat or TP.
Does pure ricin dissolve in liquids? Otherwise, you might see the powder settling in the bottom of your glass or on the cubes.

Hey, be safe. Use condoms...stretch em over your glass!!!!! LOL...stick a straw through the latex, or, drink as is, from the reservoir tip! LOL...I hope I didn't just start some weird new pub trend....
Posted by chichen itza on January 12, 2009 at 3:56 AM · Report this
I really dont care much for donut-punchers, but last time i checked, they were my fellow americans, and I do not appreciate this type of behaviour.

I certainly stand shoulder to shoulder with the Tail-Gunners this time, this is nonsense. With all that is going on in the planet today, including plenty of people that could be dispatched without shedding a tear, this asshat has decided to threaten fruit-loops with ricin?

I hope we catch this goatse stunt double before someone gets hurt.

Posted by leesus on January 12, 2009 at 2:27 PM · Report this
That steroid dealing Doctor Howard Levine that was on the cover of the Seattle Weekly this past summer is the first and only PSYCHO that should be on the FBI's suspect list! That man is one SICKO!
Posted by Jeff on January 12, 2009 at 5:57 PM · Report this
As a side note, he should have gotten someone to proof-read his little letter. The composition is atrocious. The paragraph break seems random, the word choices are odd and the structure lacks punch. A threatening letter should be scary, dammit.
Posted by Zil on January 12, 2009 at 9:36 PM · Report this
Posted by Pink Sock on January 13, 2009 at 4:56 PM · Report this
Extremely alarming but the letter itself is interesting.

The writer's command of the language is well below par. Consider the orthography and vocabulary, specifically the semicolon in the second sentence of the second paragraph and the use of the word “salve”.

Among other details, both its brevity and form, typical of a bulletin or memorandum, as well as the formally of the first sentence which begins with “Your establishment...” further suggests the note is written by someone who is well educated.

From the summational phrase “... for which you can do nothing to prevent me”, though grammatically incorrect, is a tad bit over the top and histrionic. I'll admit that I'm playing amateur sleuth and psychologist here but I'd say this person has some seriously repressed “identity” issues.

I don't suppose anyone has pissed off a middle-aged mousey closet queen who has at least one Masters degree and who is stuck in a dead end middle management job lately?
Posted by Sterling on January 15, 2009 at 4:28 AM · Report this
In the letter, it says:

“... the targets won't care much that they'll be dead and nearly frozen, just as, presumably, they didn't care that they were living...”

What the hell does that mean?
Posted by adrian on January 15, 2009 at 5:46 AM · Report this
Sounds like a very evil, vile, distburbed human need of some serious help (the mental, emotional and spiritual kind).
Posted by anonymous on January 15, 2009 at 6:32 AM · Report this
While the some of the words used might lead one to believe that the writer is well educated, I think the context in which they are used indicates someone who wishes to *appear* well educated or respectable. I will do a little amateur sleuthing of my own and say he wants his letter to show that he is more intelligent and cultured than and generally superior to the reader of the letter. I would quibble with his choice of "exposure" to describe the amount of a dose. A pseudo-medical term should, at least for consistency's sake, be in a pseudo-medical sentence. Both the last sentence in the second paragraph and the closing sentence are word salads. They lack sufficient structure to have any meaning. "A warning for which you can do nothing to prevent me" is a good example of someone writing above their reading level. It reminds me of people who say "She went to the store with John and I" when "She went to the store with John and me" is actually the correct phrasing. The addition of "I have always had time on my side" references nothing else in the letter and might hint at a sequel when the writer fails to follow through on his threats. What do you think, Ricin II: Electric Boogaloo?
Posted by Zil on January 15, 2009 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Think Homeland Security will do anything about it? Probably not. The right-wing evangelicals are who Bush and his allies got most of their support from. It will take Obama a long time to clean up and get rid of all those right wingers in the HC. So they won't be any damn help on this, even though it's their duty!!
Posted by Narutofightindreamer on January 20, 2009 at 3:44 AM · Report this
I think that the community really pulled together for the crawl. What I was surprised at was total disregard for thanking their patrons for such support. In this economy one would sort of think a "thank you" might have come from a pub owner or a worker who received the best tips January has probably ever brought.
Posted by capitolhillsupporter on January 21, 2009 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Edmund Ng 292
This is bad. Aren't we living in a world of equal rights?
Posted by Edmund Ng on July 11, 2009 at 10:51 PM · Report this
293 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
294 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
If this freak is talking ground beans, that's gonna make a noticeable sludge in your glass.
Posted by vivek09 on January 24, 2010 at 8:09 PM · Report this
296 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy

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