February 29, 2008

100% Pure Ricin Found In Vegas Hotel
— Ace

Preliminary tests indicate it's "100% ricin," but follow-up tests haven't comfirmed that. Castor beans (used to make the poison) were also found.

It seems that something bad was afoot. Though of course it might just be plain old murder or psychopathy... thankfully.

Hot Air has the link.

Police in Las Vegas, Nevada, are investigating the discovery of what they said is the deadly poison ricin in a hotel room.
art.ricinhotel.klas.jpg

No one has shown symptoms of ricin poisoning after the toxin was found Thursday at a Las Vegas, Nevada, hotel.

Preliminary tests show the substance is ricin, authorities said, but other tests to confirm it are under way.

Meanwhile, the reason the substance was in the room remains a mystery.

"We don't know who [the ricin] belongs to or why it would be here at this time," said Capt. Joe Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The FBI, which is assisting in the case, said it saw no link to terrorism, according to spokesman Richard Kolko.

Authorities were called to an Extended Stay America hotel around 3 p.m. PT Thursday after a man brought a bag with a small container to the manager's office. The man said he found it while retrieving items from a hotel room.

The substance is "100 percent ricin," Lombardo said.

Posted by: Ace at 06:05 AM | Comments (32)
Post contains 229 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Don't they have false tests all the time for this stuff?

Posted by: IreneFingIrene at February 29, 2008 06:17 AM (7nV1N)

2

fwiw, there was a Gideon's Bible in the nightstand.

.

Posted by: BumperStickerist at February 29, 2008 06:21 AM (UeP9e)

3 hey man, don't pin this on me.

Posted by: Gideon at February 29, 2008 06:25 AM (pzen5)

4

"Found it while retrieving items from a hotel room."  Ah, don't the maids throw everything out of a room when the guests change?  This sounds real strange and I am betting there is more to this than is being said.  Last thing Vegas needs is a story about ricin possibly being put in the food on 50 buffets or in the water supply.

Posted by: Kempermanx at February 29, 2008 06:30 AM (qvT/A)

5 Kempermanx yeah, there is most definitely more going on here. My guess is the original suspicion was meth lab. I've got a master's in biochemistry, and I could follow the "recipe" to get 100% pure ricin from the castor beans, but it would take time, effort, and some equipment. So, here's my guess: somebody reported odd things going on in an extended stay hotel, which everybody thought was drug related. I've got a friend who is a fire fighter, and he's been in on several meth lab busts for some reason. He said most of the guys don't don the whole haz-mat suit because it's really hot and a pain in the ass .... meth lab stuff is toxic enough that I'd wear the suit, but I'm not a 20 something year old man either. Anyway, the guys who went in thinking it was a meth lab or something similar got a scary surprise here. Again, just a guess.

Posted by: funky chicken at February 29, 2008 06:46 AM (I+jPP)

6 Ricin is easy to extract.  It could belong to any nutjob.

Posted by: Mike Z. at February 29, 2008 07:03 AM (GLMrI)

7 Mike Z uh, really? To 100% purity? In a hotel room? Organic chemistry stinks (quite literally) and requires some fairly obvious apparatus.... Now, it is possible (extremely improbable) but possible that there are some pin-head organic chem students who thought this would be a funny prank and are going to be in big trouble. Extremely improbable.

Posted by: funky chicken at February 29, 2008 07:10 AM (I+jPP)

8 Abrin could be coming to a neighborhood near you soon.  The stuff is similar to ricin, but  is said to be many, many times more deadly than its cousin (about 75 times as deadly in mice).  Just like ricin, it should be easy to extract.

Posted by: Mike Z. at February 29, 2008 07:13 AM (GLMrI)

9 Mike Z uh, really? To 100% purity? In a hotel room?

Organic chemistry stinks (quite literally) and requires some fairly obvious apparatus....

I doubt it is really 100% pure.  I think the guy was speaking figuratively.  But getting up there purity-wise isn't very difficult with this stuff.

Posted by: Mike Z. at February 29, 2008 07:16 AM (GLMrI)

10 There are analytical chemistry professors all across the nation who are screaming at their newspapers/computers. 100% purity? 100% purity? But you don't get almost pure ricin out of beans with no training and no equipment. I'm sticking with my guess that they thought it was a meth lab.

Posted by: funky chicken at February 29, 2008 07:21 AM (I+jPP)

11 If you are a legit operation, it's a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to order ricin than purify your own. I remember discussing that as a grad student in the context of attaching the stuff to antibodies to target specific cells, like a tumor. It was a hot research idea back in the day (may still be) but even cheap professors at my school didn't torment their drones by making us experience the glories of ricin extraction.

Posted by: funky chicken at February 29, 2008 07:25 AM (I+jPP)

12 But you don't get almost pure ricin out of beans with no training and no equipment.

The chromatography involved is relatively simple and, yes, I suppose they would have to have some training and equipment.  I doubt they would have to be formally trained any more than most meth cooks are formally trained.

Posted by: Mike Z. at February 29, 2008 07:25 AM (GLMrI)

13 100% pure Ricans? Just look at the maid staff and busboys and....

....what? Oh. Ricin.

Never mind.

Posted by: Emily Litella at February 29, 2008 07:27 AM (Ds4I5)

14 According to Hot Air they also found castor beans in the same location.  Sounds like DIY to me.

Posted by: Mike Z. at February 29, 2008 07:29 AM (GLMrI)

15 I hope nobody thought is was coke

Posted by: toby928 at February 29, 2008 07:32 AM (evdj2)

16

"I hope nobody thought is was coke"

 

Hey, toby928, "Extended Stay." Cokeheads check in but they don't check out.

 

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at February 29, 2008 07:43 AM (eZ0vq)

17

Everytime I see the word Ricin I read is "Rican."  Thus I read this headline and thought it was about some new Puerto Rican restaurant.  I was disappointed.

 

Posted by: Jennifer at February 29, 2008 08:25 AM (WhgGR)

18

The question I haven't seen asked is, "Are there any Russian oligarchs in Vegas this week?"

Posted by: Veeshir at February 29, 2008 10:16 AM (zXUuJ)

19 Isn't Ricin an Iraqi scientist specialty? Or is that Sarin?

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at February 29, 2008 10:16 AM (3+3kx)

20 No foul play involved anywhere of course.  I always travel with a kilo of Ricin in my travel bag for use as a pillow on those long plane flights and such.  Its nice and fluffy, just like goose down.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at February 29, 2008 10:52 AM (5hXBq)

21 I think it would be more accurate to describe the process of ricin production as biochemistry rather than organic chemistry.  As to 100% purity, did they determine that by staining with Coomassie, or did they use a more sensitive method?  I've seen plenty of protein preps that look lovely by Coomassie, but really nasty by silver.  I'd bet that the statement with respect to purity was probably not based upon a rigorous determination, but it's difficult to say.  I was told by a law enforcement official some time ago that you would be surprised at how often they catch people in our state alone who are either planning to purify ricin or were attempting it.

Posted by: Crimso at February 29, 2008 10:53 AM (BbB7t)

22 And apparently someone was exposed and is now comatose.  From what I read, they seemed to be trying to downplay this.  There's something funny going on with this.  I doubt it will turn out to be someone who was planning on killing his wife...

Posted by: Crimso at February 29, 2008 10:56 AM (BbB7t)

23 That stuff scared the shit out of me in '03. We were told that our masks were no defense against it and that it was REALLY easy to make. Well, compared to Sarin etc. So while I at least had some protection against VX, Sarin, Mustard etc., no matter how quickly I could get into my MOPP suit (five to eight minutes depending on how motivated I was. Sarin was great motivation, by the way), against risin it was useless. And now they find it here. Great.

Is it bad when you hope it's just some psychopathic serial killer?

Posted by: Militant Bibliophile at February 29, 2008 12:38 PM (93gGp)

24 100 pure Puerto Ricans in a hotel room in Vegas.

I don't get it.  What's the big deal?

Posted by: Z as in Jersey at February 29, 2008 12:45 PM (kZT4X)

25
Chemical Ali will get his neck stretched soon.

Posted by: Rinnie at February 29, 2008 04:21 PM (GuQpe)

26 Ricin is suppost to be even more deadly then cobra venom and it was used in the assasination of the bulgarian deffector back in the 50s or 60s

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at February 29, 2008 05:59 PM (n7v4a)

27 Fucking spambots must fucking DIE!!!

Posted by: Stoop Davy Dave at February 29, 2008 08:51 PM (8xWCA)

28 Interesting that they won't reveal the scumbag's identity.

Posted by: Mike Force at February 29, 2008 11:25 PM (iQT6P)

29

"The FBI, which is assisting in the case, said it saw no link to terrorism, according to spokesman Richard Kolko."

Ok, I give. What the hell would somebody need with Ricin (which has no antidote, by the way) in a hotle room?

Just something extra to imbibe along with the Jack Daniels?

Posted by: sfcmac at March 02, 2008 04:11 AM (hdsxV)

30 hotle=hotel. Dammit.

Posted by: sfcmac at March 02, 2008 04:12 AM (hdsxV)

31 thank you !

Posted by: mac cosmetics at June 09, 2011 12:32 AM (SbqCe)

32 thank you !

Posted by: gucci shoes at June 09, 2011 12:34 AM (SbqCe)

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