Published 14 December 2005

Three years ago, Butler claimed that dangerous bioterror pathogens were stolen from his lab; the hoax put the nation on edge, and he went to jail

In case you were wondering: Dr. Thomas Butler, the former Texas Tech scientist who caused a nationwide bioterrorism scare is now three weeks from freedom. Butler will be released from a half-way house in Lubbock, Texas, on 2 January. He was serving his two-year sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth through late November. In 2003 Butler reported that vials of plague were stolen from his care but he later admitted he may have accidentally destroyed the vials. Butler was later convicted on forty-seven charges including defrauding the Texas Tech Health Sciences center. He settled with Tech for $250,000 and voluntarily gave up his medical license.

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