General News

Anthrax hoaxes spreading, too

Oct 19, 2001 | 1:34pm EDT

Law enforcement authorities were responding to thousands of anthrax hoaxes around the country Thursday, news reports indicated.

In Seattle, an assignment editor at KIRO-TV confessed that he was "just playing a joke" when he crushed some peppermint Life Savers, placed the candy in an envelope, and addressed it to his news department.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a Hazmat unit was later called to the station and the newsroom was evacuated before the employee, identified as Bryan Thielke, admitted that he was the prankster responsible for the letter and apologized.

Meanwhile, anthrax hoaxes have reportedly spread overseas, with word that a woman has been arrested in Paris for sending 40 letters containing a powdery substance to members of the French National Assembly and others.

Today's New York Post reports that legendary actress Olivia De Havilland, 85, who received the Best Actress Oscar twice for her performances in 1946's To Each His Own and three years later for The Heiress, was among those who received a letter containing a similar powder. The Post reported that she has tested negative for the disease.

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