No autopsy was ordered following his death because, according to an officer in the local police department, the state medical examiner "determined that an autopsy wouldn't be necessary" based on laboratory test results of blood taken from the body.A summary of the police report of his death, released in 2009, lists the cause of death as liver and kidney failure, citing his purchase of two bottles of Tylenol PM (containing diphenhydramine), contradicting earlier reports of Tylenol with codeine.
When asked about the anthrax attacks and whether he could have had anything to do with them, the FBI said that Ivins admitted he suffered from loss of memory, stating that he would wake up dressed and wonder if he had gone out during the night.The family went regularly to Lebanon Presbyterian Church, although Ivins was later a Catholic parishioner. When she discovered she was pregnant with Bruce, a pregnancy that was unplanned and unwanted, she repeatedly tried to abort the child by throwing herself down a set of stairs.Ivins would eventually hear the story of his mother's attempt to abort him.The Los Angeles Times asserted that Ivins stood to profit from the attacks because he was a co-inventor on two patents for a genetically-engineered anthrax vaccine.San Francisco-area biotechnology company Vax Gen licensed the vaccine and won a federal contract valued at $877.5 million to provide the vaccine under the Project Bioshield Act.It has been reported that the death penalty would have been sought in the case. According to Byrne and local police, Ivins had been removed from his workplace out of fears that he might harm himself or others.
"I think he was just psychologically exhausted by the whole process", Byrne said.
A coworker reportedly told Ivins that she was concerned she was exposed to anthrax spores when handling an anthrax-contaminated letter.
Ivins tested the technician's desk area that December and found growth that had the earmarks of anthrax.
On March 14, 2003, Ivins and two of his colleagues at USAMRIID at Fort Detrick received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service — the highest award given to Defense Department civilian employees — for helping solve technical problems in the manufacture of anthrax vaccines.
Results of the investigation were initially distributed to the public via ABC News claiming "four well placed sources" attesting to the fact that "trace amounts of the chemical additives bentonite" were found in the anthrax samples, and that this was the chemical signature of Iraqi-made anthrax.
And I, in my right mind wouldn't do it [laughs] ...