Ricin-Scare Letters Suspect Confessed

William Clyde Allen III

William Clyde Allen III, the Utah man arrested on Wednesday, has confessed to sending four letters which initially tested positive for ricin to the Pentagon and White House, CNN reports.

The letters, addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis, Admiral John Richardson, chief of naval operations, FBI Director Chris Wray, and President Trump, contained ground up castor beans which ricin is derived. The gound castor beans were a prescursor to the finished form of the deadly poison and, as such, were not very hazardous, according to NBC.

Allen, 39 year old vetern of the Navy, confessed during an interview, to  “having purchased castor beans and having sent the letters.” The affidavit, obtained by CNN affiliate KTAV, states the four letters were sent on or around September 24, 2018 but gives no indication of a motive.

The letter addressed to James Mattis contained an index card with the words “Jack the missile bean” and “Stock powder”, CBS reports. Both envelopes had messy handwriting on the outside. 

On Monday, two of the contaminated letters arrived in the Pentagon’s mail facility which is housed in a separate building on the Pentagon grounds.  All US postal mail delivered to the Pentagon’s postal facility on Monday was placed in quarintine. The two contaminated letters never reached the Pentagon and never posed a threat to Pentagon staff, Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Rob Manning said. 

The Secret Service, on Tuesday, confirmed that a “suspicious envelope addressed to the president on October 1, 2018” had been intercepted. The spokesman stated the envelope was intercepted at a location outside the White House. The letter never entered the White House, according to NBC

According to the Navy,  Allen enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 1998 and left the service in 2002 and worked as a damage control fireman apprentice, NBC reports.

Neighbors spoke to KSL, an NBC affliliate, about Allen.

Neighbors in Logan described Allen as a friendly man who is married. They said Wednesday’s search took them completely by surprise.

“There’s nothing that I saw in him that would raise red flags as far as this type of behavior. Nothing,” said neighbor Darrell Robison. “I never (saw) anything in his actions that would say he’s a scary guy or anything like that.”

Allen was, however, convicted of attempted aggravated assault in 2008 and two counts of child abuse in 2005, according to Utah State Court records. A woman with the same last name as Allen filed for a protective order against him in 2004, court records state.


Kimberly Allen, who was married to William for four months in 2004, told Salt Lake City’s Fox 13, “I just seen pure evil in his eyes,” adding that Allen scares her. Megan Mitchell, Kimberly’s daughter who Allen plead guilty to abusing in 2005, said, “I felt like he was always out to get somebody, just so that he himself didn’t feel attacked.” 

William Allen was scheduled to appear before US District Court Judge Thomas Kay in Salt Lake City on Friday on charges of making a terrorist threat and will remain in FBI custody. There were no injuries from the contaminated letters.

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