What started out with poisonous letters has turned into a case with twists and turns.
Letters laced with the deadly poison ricin were recently sent to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Sadie Holland, a justice of peace. A day after these letters were discovered, Paul Kevin Curtis in Corinth, Mississippi, was arrested on Apr. 17, because the letters contained his signature phrase “I am KC and I approve this message” that he used in online postings. However, upon searching Curtis’ home and car, there was no evidence of ricin found, so the charges against him were dismissed. Curtis was in a Mississippi jail for a few days, where he was overwhelmed because he didn’t know what was going on. While being questioned by a federal agent, Curtis misheard “rice” for “ricin,” and told the investigators that he didn’t even like rice.
Curtis said that the experience was surreal, “like a scene from a movie,” with hooded men with machine guns. He also told reporters that he respected Obama, and wouldn’t do anything that would pose a threat to him or any other U.S. official.
Curtis, 45, is an Elvis impersonator and an entertainer. It is believed that Curtis was framed, possibly by James Everett Dutschke, a 45-year-old in Mississippi. He has ties to Curtis, Judge Holland, and Sen. Wicker. Curtis and Dutschke had talked about publishing a book about Curtis’ conspiracy on underground trafficking in human body parts, but later had a feud and a falling-out. Holland was the presiding judge in a 2004 case in which Curtis was accused, and she sentenced him to six months jail. Also, Dutschke ran against Holland’s son, Steve Holland, a state representative, but lost. His primary and secondary residences have both been searched. Dutschke has been arrested, and was due to appear in federal court on April 29.
At a press conference after his release, Curtis stated that he was very grateful for his attorney. He revealed that he is a licensed reflexologist, or a massager. Curtis offered to pay his attorney back with foot rubs, and 100,000 hours of community service to ‘all you ladies who need foot massage therapy’. After his ordeal was over, Curtis has been reunited with his dog, Moocow, who ran away when federal agents searched his house. When asked on how his arrest has changed him, the topic turned back to rice.
“I have a contempt for rice,” Curtis said. “Anything that sounds like rice, even mice.”