Court Hearings Continue For LITH Man Accused of Trying to Kill Wife With Puffer Fish Poison
Edward Bachner, formerly of Lake in the Hills, is currently in custody at the Ogle County Jail.
A Lake in the Hills man charged with conspiring to kill his wife by using a deadly puffer fish toxin to will next appear in court in June.
Edward Bachner IV, 37, is accused of trying to kill his wife to collect millions of dollars in life insurance payouts. He appeared in court last week for a status hearing before Judge Frederick Kapala.
“This case is going on three years, which is not unusual,” U.S. Attorney spokesman Randall Samborn said.
Bachner was arrested in June 2008 when he arrived at the Algonquin UPS store to pick up a package of Tetrodotoxin, or TTX, which is a deadly poison found naturally in puffer fish and which has no known antidote. TTX is a neurotoxin that can cause respiratory paralysis within six to 24 hours of ingestion, according to the indictment.
Bachner allegedly ordered the TTX under the assumed alias, “Dr. Edmund Backer.” Bachner listed his purpose for the toxin as “marine antitoxin research,” according to the 16-count grand jury indictment delivered in November 2008.
Bachner has plead not guilty to the charges.
Charges Against Bachner
Starting in 2006, Bachner placed four separate orders for the toxin to Biotium Inc., based in California. Biotium is a chemical and pharmaceutical product distributor serving neuroscience researchers.
Accordint to the indictment, the TTX orders were delivered to Bachner's UPS mailbox address. Biotium shipped a total of 64 milligrams of TTX to Bachner’s address through March 17, 2008.
Around June 17, 2008, Ascent Scientific LLC, a New Jersey scientific chemical research supplier, received an electronic purchase order for 98 milligrams of TTX from "Dr. Backer," the indictment said.
Federal law requires scientific researchers to report orders of 100 milligrams or more of TTX to the Center for Disease Control.
Bachner's arrest drew national media attention when FBI agents searched his Lake in the Hills home.
As part of the overall scheme, authorities allege Bachner planned to use the toxin to kill his wife and collect on more than $20 million in life insurance policies that he had fraudulently obtained.
Other charges against Bachner include wire fraud and filing a false claim with the Internal Revenue Service. Bachner used money from filing false income tax withholding claims to pay almost $40,000 for the life insurance policies, according to the indictment.
Bachner has been in federal custody at the Ogle County Jail since his arrest.
Bachner is next expected in court at 2:30 p.m. on June 8.