Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

A retirement community resident allegedly made ricin poison and tested it on her neighbors

A 70-year-old woman named Betty Miller who lived in a Vermont retirement community produced ricin, a toxin that naturally occurs in the seeds of the castor oil plant, and tested it on her neighbors, local police report. Miller told authorities she wanted the deadly poison to "injure herself" but decided to test the compound on others first by putting in their food. She confessed her activities to the senior home staff, who called the police.

Miller has been charged with possession of a biological weapon. Only one of her neighbors was made ill by her experiments and has since recovered. Miller will not return to her retirement home.