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March 5: Noted author discusses theory of mysterious 1953 death

Monday, March 5, 2012

FREDERICK, Md.—The mysterious and controversial death of a Fort Detrick research scientist will be the topic of a lecture by a noted author and investigative reporter March 21 at 7 p.m. at Hood College.

In his first appearance in the Washington, D.C., area, H.P. Albarelli Jr., noted expert on the history of the CIA's behavior modification and assassination programs of the 1950s, will give a talk based on his recent book, "A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiment." A book signing will follow the lecture, which will be held in Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall.

Albarelli relied on government documents, interviews with eyewitnesses and other information to conduct a six-year investigation into the puzzling death of U.S. Army biochemist and Frederick resident Frank Olson, whose 1953 death was ruled a suicide by the New York City Police Department, the U.S. Army and the CIA, for whom he secretly worked. Albarelli concludes that Olson was a victim of the CIA's experimentation with mind control techniques and that his death, made to look like a suicide, was in fact a murder.

Albarelli has written numerous feature articles about such topics as the 9/11 anthrax attacks, the history of biological warfare, the Cuban revolution and social and political affairs. His work has been acknowledged and cited in American History magazine and other investigative books.

The lecture is sponsored by the College's history department and the global studies program.

For more information, contact Len Latkovski, professor of history, at (301) 696-3722, or e-mail