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Eleven Gay Bars in Seattle Threatened with Ricin Attacks

Eleven gay bars in Seattle received this letter, according to Dan Savage at SLOG, threatening to target at least five of their customers with Ricin:


Savage reports: "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."

Police have reportedly picked up all the letters from the various establishments and are investigating. The Seattle Times reports: "In a statement, the Seattle Police Department said it takes the threat seriously. It has seized the letters and is processing them and is coordinating efforts with the FBI and other federal agencies."

In addition, the offices of The Stranger, from which SLOG's group blog is written, received an additional letter:

"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.'"

Bar owners and customers are responding to the threat with solidarity and some have posted signs to customers to not leave drinks unattended. More at SLOG.

Seattle Gay Bars Receive Threatening Letters [slog - the stranger]
11 gay bars get letters threatening ricin attacks [seattle times]

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  1. I hate that someone is doing this. I hate being afraid, I don't even live there and chill is running down my spine. I don't understand it and I don't like it, I always thought the fear ended when we came out. I guess not. What did we do to them.

    Posted by: Stuart | Jan 7, 2009 7:52:17 AM

  2. They should start the investigation with whacko Christians. Or maybe the leaders of Catholic and Mormon congregations? I'm just sayin . . .

    Posted by: shane | Jan 7, 2009 8:02:47 AM

  3. Why doesn't Dan link this to the religious community like the mainstream media linked Palin's church fire to the gay community?

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 7, 2009 8:14:42 AM

  4. Look at his grandiose phrasing. He's a lunatic, obviously, but he's also getting off on the power trip and it looks like he means it. The FBI have to catch this freak. I don't care what his motivation is, he's already a danger to society.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Jan 7, 2009 8:47:16 AM

  5. He sounds British. And interestingly, there are no Bible verses or other religious notations.

    Posted by: crispy | Jan 7, 2009 9:06:56 AM

  6. To Stuart, we have done nothing to them. The fact that we live our lives openly and with pride is enough for them to hate us. Why? because the fact that we exist and are not abominations challenges the very basis of their faith. And without their faith they are less than nothing.

    Posted by: John Ozed | Jan 7, 2009 9:07:19 AM

  7. If the intent is to drive customer's away, then people should visit (& bring your friends)

    Also, let us be better than the religious right and not point fingers until there is more evidence that this is religiously motivated vs. something else.

    Posted by: jbo206 | Jan 7, 2009 9:34:35 AM

  8. Hugs and best wishes go out to my friends and family in Seattle.

    Hopefully this wacko is caught quickly and their story and history learned... Then put the asshole away for life.

    Posted by: Fred | Jan 7, 2009 9:37:26 AM

  9. It's what Jesus would do.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jan 7, 2009 9:41:21 AM

  10. I know it shouldn't but these type of threats make me feel violent. Aggressive in a protectionist manner. As in if I lived in Seattle and saw someone putting something in someone's drink, any drink, at one of these places, I'd likely knock them to the floor and kick in their teeth.

    I'm just sayin'.

    Posted by: Ben | Jan 7, 2009 10:22:20 AM

  11. Nice catch, CRISPY, the reference to being in hospital instead of being IN THE hospital is a common British affectation. The person writing these letters is most likely monitoring sites like Towleroad to see if their goal of instilling fear is working. Rest assured, people, the FBI and Homeland Security are aware of the threat and are seriously investigating it.

    To the person sending the letters I'd like to say you're a coward. You send letters and make threats because you're impotent in your everyday life and feel that targeting the gay community will empower you-it won't. You're pathetic and weak and no amount of threats or letter writing is going to change that for you. We're here, we're queer, and threats against our community will only make us stronger.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jan 7, 2009 10:53:42 AM

  12. What's with the Northwest and bioterrorism!

    The first bioterrorist attack in the U.S. was in Oregon back in '84:

    (Two incidents over 25 years makes it a trend, right?)

    Posted by: Marc in Chgo | Jan 7, 2009 11:23:41 AM

  13. The c*nt should be tracked down and thrown in jail for the rest of his/her miserable and pathetic life, for being the domestic terrorist that (s)he is... no mercy at all! It matters not if this is a hoax or fake threat, the consequences of the threat is to strike fear into people, which plainly is terrorism, whether he/she succeeds in killing people or not.

    Posted by: CK | Jan 7, 2009 11:40:54 AM

  14. We should greet this threat the way we should greet all terrorist threats: With laughter and derision at the acts of moral cowardice.

    Therefore -- Ha! If I lived in Seattle, I'd be on a pub crawl every night in January, just to show up this needle-dicked punk.

    What a little bitch.

    Posted by: GM | Jan 7, 2009 12:50:00 PM

  15. British English.

    Posted by: Cody | Jan 7, 2009 1:13:57 PM

  16. I live in Seattle and go to all of these places. My birthday is in January and I plan to spend every Saturday night at these bars showing my support and celebrating life. It'll take more than words to stop me, a hell of a lot more.

    Posted by: Chad | Jan 7, 2009 2:47:30 PM

  17. Bio-terrorists and Mormons must not be allowed to threaten and harm gay Americans any longer!

    We must demand all decent Americans condemn these assaults by bio-terrorists and Mormons! No more! Stop the persecution! Stop the hate!

    Posted by: leschuck | Jan 7, 2009 2:53:09 PM

  18. I find it kind of sad that the mainstream news isn't reporting this. You KNOW that if it were to happen to anyone else, they'd be all over it...

    Posted by: Cody | Jan 7, 2009 2:56:05 PM

  19. It wasn't me!

    Also-don't forget that Canadians also use british colloquialisms in their writing.

    Posted by: Gary | Jan 7, 2009 3:42:09 PM

  20. Haven't you guys heard? Threats of violence and murder don't happen to the gay community. It's what separates our struggle from the African-Americans'.

    Posted by: Meanwhile | Jan 7, 2009 4:12:25 PM

  21. Dan Savage is convinced that the letter writer is a morose, bitter gay person. It turns out that the letter contains an obscure line from "A Display of Mackerel," by Mark Doty, a gay poet.

    I have a feeling Savage is right. Time will tell. Won't be long.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jan 7, 2009 5:30:53 PM

  22. He better not dare poison gay people. Why, doesn't he know we'll spray paint his church!

    Posted by: KJ | Jan 7, 2009 7:54:47 PM

  23. Gee, I wonder how the likes of Huckabee will spin this as being our own fault.

    Posted by: Marc | Jan 8, 2009 12:35:45 AM

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