I’m Proud to Have Such a Courageous Colleague

From the L.A. Times:

When UCLA neuroscientist J. David Jentsch was a grad student, he never expected his life as an academic would require around-the-clock armed guards, or a closed-circuit TV inside his bedroom so he could keep constant watch over his home.

But the high-powered security proved necessary again this month when the researcher, who experiments on monkeys, opened a letter left in his mailbox to discover razor blades and a death threat.

“We follow you on campus,” Jentsch recalled the note reading. “One day, when you’re walking by, we’ll come up behind you, and cut your throat.”

Activists claimed the razors were tainted with AIDS, though it hasn’t been confirmed by officials. University officials have said the latest threat, confirmed by UCLA on Tuesday, is under investigation by the FBI and UCLA police.

But the 38-year-old professor has been through this before. Last year, he woke up to an orange flash and a car alarm. He ran outside to find his car had been blown up….

Molotov-cocktail-like devices have been left near [other] researchers’ homes and under their cars, and in one case, a professor’s window was smashed and a garden hose inserted to flood her home….

Jentsch uses vervet monkeys in his research on methamphetamine addiction and tobacco dependence in teens, along with cognitive disabilities affecting schizophrenia patients…. Some of Jentsch’s work has included administering methamphetamine to monkeys and then withdrawing the drug, a project that includes killing about half a dozen of the primates each year for postmortems….

Lately, the researcher said, activists have been referring to him as David “Tiller” Jentsch, a reference to abortion doctor George Tiller, who was shot and killed last year in Kansas by a pro-life activist.

“They’re hoping I would be the first Tiller of the animal rights community,” he said. “My worry is some unstable person will hear these messages enough times and they’ll take it as a signal.” …

“They’re used to scaring people and getting their way,” Jentsch said. “It’s just not going to happen in this case.”

Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.

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