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How The Feds Unmasked The Alleged Presidential Poisoner

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AP Photo

According to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Brandon M. Grant and Secret Service Special Agent Victor Dickerson, the three letters allegedly sent by Curtis were all postmarked in Memphis, Tenn., on April 8. All three envelopes contained a "suspicious granular substance" and a typewritten letters with a variation of this message:

No one wanted to listen to me before.
There are still 'Missing Pieces'
Maybe I have your attention now
Even if that means someone must die
This must stop.
To see a wrong and not expose it,
is to become a silent partner to its continuance
I am KC and I approve this message

The affidavit also described how, after the discovery of the letter addressed to Wicker, the United States Capitol Police asked the Wicker's staff "for any constituent with the initials 'KC' who previously corresponded with the office."

"This query revealed a constituent named PAUL KEVIN CURTIS, who previously sent multiple communications to Senator Wicker's office in Washington, DC, containing similar verbiage, 'this is KEVIN CURTIS and I approve this message,'" the affidavit said.

Curtis' attorney said Thursday that he denies the charges.

When investigators contacted police in Mississippi, they found Curtis had "been investigated on several occasions since 2007" including an incident that year where his "ex-wife reported to the Booneville Police Department that Curtis was extremely delusional, anti-government, and felt that the government was spying on him with drones." Authorities also discovered Curtis sent an email to Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS) that referred to a book Curtis claimed to be writing called "Missing Pieces." Investigators also identified a lengthy digital trail tied to Curtis that included writings with similar language to the letters in the poisoned envelopes, including a 2010 blog post in which he said "he was currently writing a novel about black market body parts that was titled 'Missing Pieces.'"

Beyond what is described by prosecutors in the court records, Curtis has an extensive digital trail, from personal websites to a social media presence to YouTube videos.

One website identified as belonging to a Mississippi man named Paul Kevin Curtis features the heading "Missing Pieces" and describes a conspiracy involving government agencies and his ex-employer, the North Mississippi Medical Center, participating in an "illegal organ harvesting market":

I, Paul Kevin Curtis, being of sound mind, am attempting once again to expose various parties within the government, FBI, police departments, legal & healthcare systems, etc. that a conspiracy to ruin my reputation in the community as well as an ongoing effort to break down the foundation I worked more than 20 years to build in the country music scene, began on the day I accidentally discovered a refrigerator full of dismembered body parts & organs wrapped in plastic in the morgue of the largest non-metropolitan healthcare organization in the United States of America.

Online court records show a man named Kevin Curtis was involved in a nearly yearlong legal dispute with the North Mississippi Medical Center. Those records are not available online, but documents posted on the "Missing Pieces" website show Curtis believed he was wrongfully terminated from the hospital. As of this writing, Curtis' attorney in the case has not responded to a request for comment. Other documents on "Missing Pieces" website detail Curtis' involvement in multiple assault cases, both as a plaintiff and a defendant.

The "Missing Pieces" website identifies Curtis as an Elvis impersonator, which links it to other pages on Facebook and Myspace that feature photos of the same man on the "Missing Pieces" page and describe his musical career. As of this writing, the FBI did not respond to a request for comment on this story, but Capt. Ralph Dance with the police department in Corinth, Miss., where Curtis lived and was arrested, confirmed he was an Elvis impersonator.

One of Curtis' Myspace friends posted a photo of a cover image for a "Missing Pieces" book by Curtis. The photo features the tagline, "BODY PARTS: HOW FAR WILL ONE MAN GO TO EXPOSE A GOVERNMENT COVER UP." The claims in Curtis' web postings also appear to match a lengthy 2007 diatribe posted on the site RipOffReport.com entitled, "North Mississippi Medical Center Tupelo Mississippi fired banned me after accidentally discovering refrigerator full of body parts Ripoff Tupelo Mississippi."

"What I discovered, changed my life forever! There were dismembered body parts & organs wrapped in plastic. A leg, an arm, a hand, a foot, hearts, lungs, tissue, eyes and even a severed human head!" the posting said. "I immediately noticed a change in the atmosphere. Security guards were all of a sudden around me...walking behind me and I could hear video camera's zooming in on me as I walked down the hallways that night."

The RipoffReport.com posting is signed with similar language to what authorities claimed was contained in the letters sent in the ricin-filled envelopes, "This is Kevin Curtis and I approve this report." It also details the legal battle with the hospital, at least one assault case, and previous communication with Wicker.

"I sent letters to State Representative Roger Wicker, Senator Trent Lott and Thad Cochran. I never heard a word from anyone," the posting said. "I even ran into Roger Wicker several different times while performing at special banquets and fundraisers in northeast, Mississippi but he seemed very nervous while speaking with me and would make a fast exit to the door when I engaged in conversation leading up to my case against NMMC."

Wicker seems to have had a more positive view of their interactions. On Thursday, Wicker told reporters he remembered hiring Curtis once for a party.

"He's an entertainer. He's an Elvis impersonator. He entertained at a party that my wife and I helped give for a young couple that was getting married. He was quite entertaining," Wicker said. "A number of couples gave a party and he was the entertainer and we kicked in on our share."

Wicker's office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.

According to the affidavit in Curtis' current case, on April 12, 2013, he posted "a photograph on his Facebook page" and a comment under the picture that also matched the language in the poisoned letters.

"To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance," the comment said.

TPM was unable to recover that posting, but one of the pages tied to Curtis' activities as an Elvis impersonator has several comments made on April 12, four days after the ricin-tainted letters were postmarked: "changing into superman cape...have a nice weekend! PKC," one of the comments said.

The social media pages that appear to belong to Curtis include several political statements, but none that seem to align with any mainstream ideology. On one Facebook account Curtis is identified as a "Dragon for justice" and his political views are listed as "non aligned." That page features a picture added on Monday showing Curtis giving a thumbs up next to a bumper sticker that reads, "CHRISTIAN and a DEMOCRAT." A Myspace page tied to Curtis included a photo album labeled "Causes I am passionate about" that contains multiple pieces of pro-life imagery. Another Facebook post made Tuesday described Curtis' crusade against the "body parts harvesting black market" and his relationship with his family.

"I'm on the hidden front lines of a secret war. A war that is making Billions of dollars for corrupt mafia related organizations and people. (bone, tissue, organ, body parts harvesting black market) when we lay our loved ones to rest," the post said. "My mother wants me to SHUT UP. My brothers fear me. My sister hates me. My cousins have hostility towards me (they work in healthcare) I have lost most of my friends. ... They destroyed my marriage, they distracted my career, they stalked, they trolled, they came in to my home, took my computers, had me arrested 22 times and guess what? I am still a thorn in their corrupt anals!"

Along with these more political statements, on Facebook, Curtis also linked to sites displaying his work impersonating Elvis and other musicians. Another video posted on one of the Facebook pages Monday depicts a more mysterious performance. It shows a shirtless man wearing a paper bag mask and singing. The YouTube account where the video is posted includes no other content and has the username, "Bruce Traywick," which is the birth name of country singer Randy Travis. In another Facebook post added just before he posted the video, Curtis said he and Travis both "know the truth." The mask-wearing man shown in the video doesn't reveal his face, but he is wearing necklaces that can be seen in the other photos of Curtis on the Facebook page.

"I can't really introduce myself and tell you who I am had a few run-ins with the law in the last couple of years," the man said. "Let's just say that the law enforcement personnel and myself don't quite see eye to eye with things that are acceptable in society."

Watch that video below.

About The Author

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Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com

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