Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dr. Larry C. Ford

The Unexpected

The day following DSaachs arrest, police searched Fords Foxboro Street home, finding evidence described as germane to the case. On March 2, three days after Rileys shooting, Ford met with his lawyer for several hours. Later the same day, Ford shot himself in the head in the bedroom of his house.

He left behind a suicide note, in which he stated that he was innocent of the attempted murder of his partner. Fords lawyer, Bryan Card told the Associated Press on March 14 that the note stated that Ford believed he had been set up to look like he had been a part of the ambush. Ford wrote that he would be vindicated of the crime if the investigation was conducted appropriately. The suicide note also claimed that there was information related to the case hidden within his house, but the location written in the note was illegible.

Bomb Squad at Dr. Ford's home
Bomb Squad at Dr. Ford's home

In a search of Fords property, police found five different guns in the bedroom where Ford had apparently committed suicide. None of the guns was connected to the Riley shooting. The guns were not the only weapons found on Fords property. Shortly following Fords death, a family member contacted the police anonymously to warn them that Ford had buried canisters of HIV-related materials on his property. The phone call sparked a massive search, which would expose much more than the caller suggested.

Biohazard suited police at Ford's home (AP)
Biohazard suited police at Ford's
home (AP)

On March 9, 2000, police and FBI agents began a search of Dr. Fords backyard. However, before any digging began, the local elementary school and some 200 area residents were evacuated from their homes as a safety precaution and lodged for four days at a nearby Hyatt hotel.

Inspectors with barrels found at Ford's home (AP/Wide World)
Inspectors with barrels found at
Ford's home
(AP/Wide World)

After digging for some time beneath a concrete slab next to Fords swimming pool, they found six suspicious white plastic cylinder containers. The investigators x-rayed the cylinders on sight. We dont know whats inside, but we believe they are filled with illegal weapons and hazardous materials, Irvine police Lt. Sam Allevato said. Orange County Sheriffs Department used a robot to remove the containers from their location and sent them to the FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia, to be dismantled and analyzed. The six containers were filled with military grade explosives, including C-4 plastic blasting caps.

Twenty-one more sealed canisters were discovered on Fords property. The canisters contained several thousand rounds of ammunition and a multitude of guns, including automatic rifles. According to an article by WorldNet Daily, anthrax containers were also found buried in Fords yard. Some 25 jars of unidentified substances were removed from inside Fords home.

On May 15, 2000, The Chemical and Biological Arms Institute released the results of preliminary tests on the substances found in Dr. Fords home. The Los Angeles Times reported on May 15, 2000, that some of the live cultures contained cholera and salmonella. The New York Times reported on November 3, 2002, that the refrigerators in Fords home and office had a total of 266 bottles and vials of lethal toxins. Live cultures of botulism and typhoid fever were also found. On November 7, 2002, CBS News said that police also found the medical files of some 83 women, including some of their personal effects and photos, below the floorboards of the house. Investigators believed that the discovery of the biological materials and other articles found at Fords home could serve as a link to a biological warfare program run by the military in South Africa a country that Dr. Ford visited often before his death.



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