From the Forum:
A disgruntled former PS 91 teacher decided to get her revenge for a poor performance review by mailing former colleagues a white powdery substance through the mail, according to federal authorities. The FBI charged Anna Catalanotto on October 28 for sending more than 20 powder-laced letters concluding a five-month investigation.
According to the criminal complaint, Catalanotto, who lives on Madison Street in Ridgewood, contacted the FBI in June to complain about several people she believed to be selling drugs in the neighborhood. At a follow-up interview, she also charged that the men were grave robbers who were responsible for the disappearance of her dead father’s body. During this interview, Catalanotto also implicated a Howard Beach woman for selling narcotics.
Shortly following this interview, the FBI noticed a connection between Catalanotto and mysterious packages with a powdery substance that was being mailed to residents in Queens and Long Island.
On September 17, a woman opened an envelope addressed to her husband. The letter contained a Jewish star and the words “Hungarian Connection” and contained a white powder, which upon testing revealed was not hazardous. The letter was purported to have been sent by one of the first men Catalanotto had implicated as a drug dealer to the FBI.
In October, a string of powdered-filled letters arrived in Queens. Letters were sent to various locations in Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village and Ridgewood. PS 91 in Glendale also reported a suspicious letter delivered on October 14. In all instances, given the potential hazards of a suspicious letter with an unidentified powder, law enforcement had to take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the recipient, investigators and surrounding community.
A big break in the investigation occurred when an anonymous tip to NYPD Crime Stoppers alleged that Catalanotto was the culprit of the mailings. The tipster claimed Catalanotto, who had retired from PS 91 with an unsatisfactory rating, used the letters to get back at the principal and former colleagues responsible for her poor rating and for picking on her.