Trials & Litigation

Suit Alleges CIA Murdered Scientist Said to Have Leapt to His Death After LSD Experiment


The family of a bioweapons expert who died in a fall from a window after the CIA secretly gave him LSD doesn’t believe it was a suicide.

In a suit filed on Wednesday, Eric and Nils Olson allege their father, Frank Olson, was pushed from the 13th floor hotel window in 1953 after he developed misgivings about “extreme interrogations” he had witnessed, report Bloomberg News and the Associated Press. During the interrogations, “the CIA committed murder using biological agents that Dr. Olson had developed,” the complaint says.

The suit says the circumstances of Olson’s death “mirrored those detailed in an assassination manual that, upon information and belief, the CIA had drafted that same year.” A CIA scientist who was with Olson when he fell from the window was one of two men responsible for slipping him the LSD nine days earlier, according to the suit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.

President Gerald Ford apologized to the family for the LSD incident in 1975, and the family received a $750,000 settlement along with CIA documents. Eric and Nils Olson believe information has been withheld, however.

“The family’s acceptance of those funds was induced by the CIA’s false representation that it had disclosed all relevant information regarding the circumstances of Dr. Olson’s death,” the suit says.

The New York Times had a report before the suit was filed.

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