Police: New Castle man targeted police officers with powder-laced letters

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NEW CASTLE (April 9, 2014) – Police arrested a New Castle man who mailed envelopes filled with white powder to three Henry County law enforcement officers.

George Kinser, 51, New Castle, claimed the letters were filled with anthrax. Tests showed the substance was actually talcum powder. Police arrested Kinser on two counts of terroristic mischief, a class C felony.

The investigation began on April 2 when the wife of a Henry County sheriff’s deputy opened a letter from the family’s post office box. A white powder fell out of the envelope, and the woman—who works in Marion County—called Indianapolis Metropolitan police.

Two New Castle police officers also received suspicious letters at their homes, according to court documents. The letters were addressed to their wives, police said. One of the officers said the handwriting matched that of a similar letter he’d received in August 2013. In the earlier case, Kinser admitted sending the letter and said he wouldn’t do it again after being questioned by police.

The three new letters were nearly identical, police said, postmarked for April 1 and sealed with clear scotch tape. Each letter had the same handwriting with the same blue marker. Police compared the handwriting to the previous letter Kinser had sent as well as court documents.

Police obtained a search warrant for Kinser’s apartment. Inside they found “rubber gloves, papers and small notebooks with the names of officers, names of family members which included some addresses.” They also found “markers and pens which were consistent with those used in the recent letters” sent to the officers.

In the kitchen, police came across at least two types of powder, including talcum powder. Officers discovered notebook paper matching that used for the other letters. Police said Kinser had the names and addresses of public and court officials along with “names of their family members and personal information of court officials.”

The charges filed by the Henry County prosecutor said Kinser used the powder “with the intent to cause a reasonable person to believe that the substance was a weapon of mass destruction … anthrax.”

Kinser was arrested and taken to the Henry County Jail.