Avoiding Armageddon
Personal Tales

Ali Shah Khan

Ehab Yusef

Essam Alridi

Leonid Smirnov

Leroy Richmond

Milya and Gosman Kobirov


James & Robin Wong

Avoiding Armageddon - Now available on VHS and DVDClick here for VHS and DVD detailsCheck local listings for re-runs
Meet the People Learn the Facts Get Involved
Personal Tales Episode Gallery About the Series
Leroy Richmond - Battling back from a Biological Attack - People see something visually.  "...People see something visually.  They may see the World Trade Centers tumbling down.  They can visualize something like that. But they can't visualize something that is so microscopic as sarin gas or bacteria in the air.  So, it doesn't play on their mind, to say, "Nothing like that [will] happen again."  But I'm here to tell you it will happen again.  The possibilities are not remote." - DC postal worker and inhalation Anthrax survivor

Leroy Richmond worked in the Brentwood mail sorting facility in Washington, DC. In October 2001, he had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He breathed in some of the Anthrax spores that had contaminated the facility from an Anthrax-laced letter on its way to Congress.

Even though he and his co-workers were made aware of the attack, which eventually claimed five lives and infected 22, Richmond kept denying that he could be a victim of a biological weapons attack.

" ...Everything I read said I had to handle a powdery substance. Everything I read said I had to handle a letter, which I had not come into contact with at all," he says.

Fortunately, Richmond recovered, but not without a price. Today he lives with his wife and his young son in a Virginia suburb. But he has yet to return to work, gets tired easily and suffers from short-term memory loss. But the impact of the attack is more than physical. Richmond has also been left with a feeling of vulnerability that is shared by much of America.

"I think that's what this whole attack is about," Richmond says. "Somebody is trying to ... put fear in our hearts. And if you have fear in your heart, then they're controlling you. And then they've taken away your freedoms, and then they've taken away your quality of life."

Leroy Richmond's story is told in "Silent Killers: Poisons and Plagues," the first episode of "Avoiding Armageddon."

Presented by: WETA  Sponsored by: Ted Turner Documentaries  Site Design by: Starpoint Solutions
Copyright 2003 WETA. All rights reserved. | PBS Privacy Policy