Walter White toasts you, new young ricin men.
American mass media and Google are not your friends. Together, they’ve created a peculiar and abnormal environment which manifests in increasingly unusual pathologies.
Google search now judges the most relevant materials to be those selected through crowd-sourcing by idiots. And so it is elementary to find worthless recipes for ricin with a smartphone app in an instant, along with lots of information that guarantees young men who are broken in some way a quick visit from a federal and state joint anti-terrorism task force.
Today, Preston Rhoads, 30 of Oklahoma City, makes the second young American in 60 days to have been tabbed as influenced by Walter White, Breaking Bad and its secondary plot of ricin poisoning. Rhoads is the fourth young man arrested this year in connection with ricin-kookism, already up one from three arrests in the 12 months of last year.
The first was young Danny Milzman, a student at Georgetown University, of whom much has already been written here.
Walter White said ricin was a fine poison, untraceable. And it is on the net in hundreds of places. Therefore, it must be true.
The prison sentence that would result from a conviction in the Rhoads case is probably around fifteen years.
Court documents state an Oklahoma City man arrested in a murder plot mentioned a popular television show before revealing he had Ricin.
Federal agents said Preston Rhoads was planning on killing his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn fetus with the deadly toxin.
The Oklahoma Department of Health told News 9 the state has never had a documented case of Ricin toxicity …
The use of Ricin was a plot line in the hit television series, Breaking Bad. Ricin is a potentially deadly toxin made from castor beans. The federal search warrant stated Preston Rhoads asked a friend about the show just moments before showing the friend a vial.
In three of the four ricin cases this year, the young men now in jail talked to a friend or showed them their castor powder concoctions.
Either because they have a subliminal desire to go to jail or because the country won’t know how clever you are with ricin poison, like Walter White, if you don’t tell someone about it. Or both.
Oh, and like Preston Rhoads, ask the buddy if he would like to deliver a pizza to your girlfriend and put your powder on it. Most friends would respond well to such a request, don’t you think? Would Jesse have done it for Walter if he wanted to poison Skyler?
In a very small way it may be satisfying to see how a character and story have so indelibly inspired a special cohort of the American citizenry. But if I were Bryan Cranston, the script writers and the show’s science advisor, I’d actually be kinda bummed at this point. And I enjoyed Breaking Bad. (Google, on the other hand, doesn’t bum out about anything. Part of its function is to raise digital road spikes, oil slicks and cinder blocks hidden in paper bags to the top positions in search on the information superhighway.)
Earlier, on this channel:
The hit TV show “Breaking Bad” and its dark plotlines played an outsized role in a federal courtroom in Washington this week …
In the case of the Georgetown student, defense attorneys have said Milzman was a troubled 19-year-old struggling with depression. He created the ricin, his lawyers said, because he wanted to hide his suicide plans from his family. If he became ill from the substance, no one would know that he had killed himself.
But the federal prosecutor argued that Milzman’s statements about “Breaking Bad” suggested otherwise. She told the judge that the show’s protagonist produced ricin not to commit suicide, but to kill someone else. A friend said Milzman was such a big fan of the show he knew the name of each episode by heart. [Italicized -- from the WaPost.]
The judge asked if Milzman was such a big fan of the show, why had not the prosecutors brought it up on the day another judge had ordered the young man released to psychiatric treatment in a DC hospital?
The government’s lawyer responded she had been unfamiliar with the show.
“I was not as familiar with the show then as I am today,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Maia Miller …
Public service announcement
This blog’s 2006 rendition of the illustration that accompanied Kurt Saxon’s ricin recipe from The Poor Man’s James Bond, one of the original sources of web “manuals” on how to make it. Use your smartphone to share it on social media with your friends! They’ll think you’re as clever as Walter White! Then the armored car circus will visit your neighborhood!