Northwest of Chicago is a bucolic community with half-million dollar homes on outsize lots. Ninety-five percent of the residents are white, 82 percent are college educated. And one of them is alleged to have tried to kill his wife in a manner reminiscent of Agatha Christie. Edward Bachner ordered 64 vials of puffer fish toxin, allegedly with the idea of killing his wife.
Bachner allegedly is a devotee of Dungeons & Dragons and other role-playing internet games. One might allege he was simply acting out an Internet game fantasy.
Turns out he also had bought a $5 million life insurance policy on his wife, with himself as the beneficiary. Three years ago, Bachner allegedly used the Net to find a hitman to kill "an unnamed woman" in the Chicago area, "intended as a simple termination."
The FBI questioned Bachner about the his e-mails, in which he was searching for a hitman, but they never pressed charges, and --they never told his wife, Rebecca. She lived with him for three more years, until someone got suspicious of all the pufferfish toxin orders and reported him. This time, the feds took him into custoy.
Please, guys, I know you have a lot on your plate, what with terrorists and all, but if someone (allegedly) tries to take out his wife, don't you think she has the right to know?
I would love to see the dialogue that went on in the FBI office when they decided not to charge Bachner and not to tell his wife about the 2005 alleged attempt to hire a hitman. I can guarantee that if any of us wrote it, our editors would reject it as bogus.