Man Pleads Guilty to Trying to Kill Wife with Puffer Fish Poison

An Illinois man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to having illegally purchased Tetrodotoxin — the neurotoxin naturally found in puffer fish, aka the stuff you hope the sushi chef leaves out of your fugu — which he'd planned to use to kill his wife and collect on her $20 million life insurance settlement.

Edward Bachner was arrested back in 2008 after a spectacular raid on his home by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force that involved a swarm of special agents in hazmat suits. He'd been posing as a doctor and buying large quantities of the toxin, which can be ordered in tiny amounts for research purposes. But he'd ordered 98 milligrams, or enough to kill 98 people, according to an expert who spoke with the Chicago Tribune.

The plea agreement concedes "possession of the neurotoxin Tetrodotoxin with the intent to use it as a weapon, wire fraud and filing a false tax claim," according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice. His wife is only referred to in the document as "Individual A," and some news reports are omitting the nature of her identity altogether. But it's not because she wants to put this behind her: At a hearing last month, the wife in question mouthed "I love you" to him during the proceedings. He mouthed it right back. [Tribune, image of Puffer Fish via Shutterstock, photo of Bachner via WLS]