How Did Mississippi Man Possibly Get Ricin?

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Update 4/22- The FBI said no said a search for the home of Kevin Curtis did not turn up Ricin or ingredients with which to make it.

(Memphis) Officials have not said how Kevin Curtis may have either obtained or made the ricin they say he used to lace letters to President Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi judge.

We found out one way he could have gotten it is by making it.

Federal investigators say Elvis impersonator Kevin Curtis put a powdered form of ricin inside envelopes.

They haven’t said how he obtained it. Curtis’ family and friends say he struggled for years with mental illness and pursued a conspiracy theory for years about his former place of employment selling body parts on the black market.

However, they doubt his involvement in this nationwide scare. We asked a friend and neighbor if Curtis had access to anything like that.

“He wouldn't. No. Really, he couldn't even hook up his DVD players and anything. He couldn't do stuff like that,” said Barry Pardue.

One way Curtis could have gotten ricin is by making it himself. It’s made from the castor bean which is also used to make castor oil. The trick is extracting it.

Recipes for such things can sometimes be found on the internet to make crude versions but experts say producing a more toxic form of ricin would require a high level of expertise.

Thursday, investigators searched Curtis’ house, looking for clues, possibly any chemicals that could have been used in the process of making ricin.

Pardue said, “We never even heard of that. What? Ricin? Whatever it is. We never even heard of it and I'm sure he hadn't either.”

Today, the hospital in Tupelo where Curtis once worked issued a statement about him and his theory about them selling body parts on the black market.

Statement from North Mississippi Medical Center:

Paul Kevin Curtis was employed by North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Miss., from 1998-2000. He was not terminated in response to the allegations that he has made about NMMC.

NMMC normally does not disclose personnel matters, but because of alleged actions that Mr. Curtis has taken against the President, a U.S. Senator and a local judge, we are making an exception and acknowledging that he was terminated.

As is the case in other U.S. hospitals, we are required by Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to have an arrangement with an organ procurement organization to harvest organs donated by individuals desiring to do so.  Our contracted organization is MORA, Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency.  MORA harvests the organs and takes them immediately for transplantation to other hospitals.  NMMC does not receive payment for these organs.