An Actress Sent Poison to the President From Shreveport
It's possibly one of the craziest Shreveport crime stories that has been lost over time. But just 10 years ago, an actress attempted to assassinate the President from Shreveport.
This wild story involves homemade toxins, a tumultuous marriage, The Walking Dead, ordering beans online, and The Mayor of New York. This is the type of story true crime TV shows drool over, which is probably why its been used in those shows multiple times.
We are talking about actress Shannon Richardson, who appeared in shows like The Walking Dead, Franklin & Bash, The Vampire Diaries, and the movie The Blindside. Back in 2013, Richardson mailed multiple letters to various political officials that were laced with toxins. Those letters were sent from Shreveport, Louisiana.
According to the charges Richardson was convicted on, the plan she executed was in attempt to gain fame. Investigators discovered she had ordered castor beans, syringes, and lye online, and used them to create the poison Ricin. She then put the toxic concoction into letters addressed to then United States President Barrack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Those letters were brought to Shreveport, where they were mailed out.
But the way Richardson was caught helps illustrate her intent. The person who reported the crime to authorities WAS RICHARDSON. She told police that her husband, Nathan Richardson, had been the one to send the poison.
When police started investigating, the quickly found that Richardson had made multiple online orders for the beans, syringes, and other materials. Investigators then tested items in Richardson's home, which came back positive for Ricin. From there, they started questioning both Shannon and Nathan.
According to the evidence submitted in the case, Shannon Richardson had failed a polygraph test when questioned about the details. There were inconsistencies that developed in her details of the case as well. Investigators also noted that her husband was working a 10-hour shift the day the letters were sent from Shreveport, and the distance between his job and Shreveport was too great for him to have left work to make the trip.
Eventually Shannon Richardson admitted to parts of the accusations, but maintained that her husband was the one who ordered the poison and created the letters.
As the case started coming down, Nathan Richardson filed for divorce. Nathan asserted that his wife had set him up, and it started to look like investigators might believe the same thing. The motive that seemed to be coming into focus was that Shannon Richardson wanted to punish her husband, while also becoming famous through the case.
No matter what the true motive was, Shannon Richardson entered into a plea deal with Federal Prosecutors on November 22nd, 2013. The agreement was that Richardson would plead to Manufacture And Possession Of A Biological Weapon, which she was sentenced to 18 years in prison for. More serious charges, like Making Threats Against The President Of The United States and Mailing Threatening Communications were dropped.
Shannon Richardson is currently serving her sentence at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. She's expected to be released on November 18th, 2028.
In a story full of wild details, the craziest part might be the fact its become a blind spot in Shreveport. At the time, this was one of the biggest stories in the country, but in today's Shreveport, it would be hard to find someone who remembers this story.
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