UCLA neuroscientist David Jentsch, who conducts research on rodents and primates, received a gruesome package earlier this month: "Bloody, AIDS-tainted razor blades," courtesy "the Justice Department."
That's "the Justice Department," the radical animal-rights group founded in the UK, not "the Justice Department," the Justice Department. And, yes, they most likely meant "HIV-tainted" razor blades, as AIDS is merely a syndrome resulting from the virus. But even so: Gross.
The unfriendly missive came to light today thanks to a press release from the Animal Liberation Front, another animal-rights group, which printed the message for Jentsch in full:
The Justice Department at UCLA sent bloody AIDS tainted razor blades to David Jentsch at [xxxxx] Valley Vista boulevard in the town of Sherman Oaks, California; instead he should be living in hell which is where he will eventually end up desirably sooner rather than later. He has no business addicting primates to phencyclidine known on the streets as PCP and other street drugs using grant money from the federal government. Confining primates to puny filthy cages then removing them to give them their fix of PCP when primates would not get addicted if it weren't for Frankenstein's like Jentsch. How would Jentsch like the same thing he does to primates to be done to him? That would be justice. STOP YOUR SICK EXPERIMENTS OR HELL AWAITS YOU. —UCLA JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
Eesh. According to the Los Angeles Times, the FBI and UCLA police are investigating the incident, as well as claims by the ALF that the Justice Department sent a similar package to one of Jentsch's researchers (apparently, there's no evidence that she ever received such a package). It's not the first time the scientist has faced violence in the face of his work, either—his car was blown up in March 2009.
And what kind of work, exactly, does Jentsch do? UCLA doesn't detail the specifics, but says it's "key information on biochemical processes that contribute to methamphetamine addiction affecting teens and disabilities affecting speech and behavior of schizophrenia patients." BoingBoing has more:
Jentsch is the head of a pro-vivisection advocacy group. His past research, much of it funded by the NIH, includes tests on monkeys that animal rights activists find particularly reprehensible: one involved injecting vervets in "squeeze cages" twice a day with high doses of PCP, then killing them and examining their brains; other projects involved similar procedures with methamphetamine.
Well! If anyone needs me, I will be trying not to think about anything I learned from this story, at all, ever.