Arizona newspaper owner says he was intentionally poisoned


The co-owner of a newspaper in Arizona said he was poisoned by thallium, an odorless and tasteless heavy metal also known as “inheritance powder.”


Joseph Soldwedel of The Daily Courier revealed in his own newspaper that the thallium levels in his body were 15 times higher than normal, according to lab tests.


“The test findings are highly suggestive, but not confirmatory, of an intentional poisoning with an intent to kill,” said Dr. Ernest P. Chiodo, who specializes in forensic toxicology.


Soldwedel said he had a good idea who was trying to poison him, but declined to name names, only going so far as to rule out his son, daughter and sister.


Police have opened a criminal investigation, according to the Arizona Republic. No arrests have been made.


Thallium was used as rat poison before it was banned in the U.S., although the toxin can still be found in some electronics and paints.


The heavy metal, which is hard to detect, has been used in murders, according to the CDC. Chiodo also noted the substance is called “inheritance powder” or “poisoner’s poison.”


Soldwedel, who owns Western Newspapers with his family, created a newspaper to investigate law enforcement in Yuma County after his wife was arrested in 2000, the Phoenix New Times reported.


Police found methamphetamine and marijuana, along with drug paraphernalia, according to a police report cited by the local paper.

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