FBI looking for Syracuse area man in white powder letter mailings

Congresswoman Buerkle's office, in Syracuse's Federal Office Building, was shut down last year by a 'suspicious letter.' Now the FBI is looking for a Syracuse man in connection with a series of 21 such letters.

The FBI is offering a reward, as it looks for a Syracuse area man, who may be linked with a series of letters containing bizarre messages and drawings, and a white powder. At least 21 letters have been sent, starting in late 1997.

The FBI says it's looking for a man who's 35 or older, probably odd or eccentric, who may articulate ideas that seem out of context. The FBI thinks he voices frustration or annoyance at fundraising or 'junk' mail, and probably has had significnt contact with the mental health care system. There are long gaps in the times the letters were mailed, which could account for illness, treatment or incarceration.

The letters, 21 of them, contained a white powder which turned out to be non-hazardous. The letters referenced AIDS, anthrax, ricin, politics, abortion rights, 9/11 conspiracy theories, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, war crimes and atrocities, the 1993 Branch Davidian incident in Texas, religion, oppression of Muslims, degradation of women, and home-shopping TV shows. Many letters feature drawings of daggers or single eyes. There are also references to the science fiction and horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft.

The letters were mailed to Syracuse addresses and other cities in the Eastern United States, to a high school, college, non-profit groups, military and law enforcement member associations, government officials and offices, TV celebrities and private busiensses. They were mailed in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2010, 2011, and 2012. A number of the letters had return addresses of private citizens which the FBI says had no connection to the case.

In May of 2011, Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle's Syracuse office was shut down after a suspicious letter was received, and hazardous materials handling procecures were initated. The FBI would not comment, but staffers said the letter contained white powder.

A $10,000 is now being offered for information leading to identification, arrest, prosecution and conviction in the case.

If you can help, you can go online at or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324)