Academic Life Can Be Poisonous.

This story sort of put things in perspective this morning: 

A postdoctoral researcher in the UCSF urology department has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly admitting that he twice tried to poison a colleague by putting laboratory chemicals in her drinking water, authorities said Tuesday.

The bizarre scheme ended when researcher Benchun Liu, 38, allegedly told the colleague, lab technician and research assistant Mei Cao, that he had tried to kill her, police said.

The two work together in the Baskin Lab on the university’s Parnassus campus. Liu, a Chinese citizen here on a work visa, was arrested Friday and was charged Monday with attempted murder and putting poison in a drink. He is in the County Jail on an immigration hold; no bail has been set.

Police said Liu tried to poison Cao twice, first on Oct. 24 and again sometime the following week. He admitted the scheme in the first week of November, authorities said.

Again, just like in the story about the sign stealing prof Shahar mentioned, this criminal misunderstood the major premise of any successful crime: don’t go around telling everyone about your evil ways!

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