FBI investigating white powder mailed to Knights’ headquarters

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A mailroom and printing plant at the Knights of Columbus headquarters in New Haven remained closed Nov. 14 while the local FBI office investigated a white powder contained in an envelope mailed from California.

David Rhieu, chief division counsel at the FBI office in New Haven, said Nov. 14 that the testing of the powder will be completed within 48 hours and “the results will be released to the victim, the Knights of Columbus.”

Mr. Rhieu said that while the investigation was ongoing he could not comment on whether the letter containing the powder could be linked to similar envelopes received at the national headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City and a Mormon temple in Los Angeles.

Patrick Korten, Knights of Columbus vice president for communications, told Catholic News Service Nov. 14 that the letter was received in the Knights’ mailroom on the morning of Nov. 13 and “produced a white powder when opened.” Local police and fire officials were notified and eventually the FBI was brought in, he said.

“Three individuals were decontaminated” following the incident, and the mailroom and printing plant were to remain closed until Monday, Korten said.

The Knights of Columbus and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were major financial supporters of California’s Proposition 8, which amends the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The amendment was approved, 52 percent to 48 percent, Nov. 4.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.