Vice presents the wild trip of Krystle Cole as part of its Hamilton’s Pharmacopoeia series:
There is no facile synthesis of the events that transpired at the Wamego missile silo between October 1 and November 4, 2000. The available information is a viscous solution of truths, half-lies, three-quarter truths, and outright lies, the fractionation of which yields no pure product. The dramatis personae are many and varied. The chemicals in question often obscure and untested. What is known is that in 1997, a virtuosic organic chemist named Leonard Pickard joined forces with Gordon Todd Skinner, the heir to a spring-manufacturing fortune, to organize what would later become the world’s most productive LSD laboratory. A laboratory that, according to some sources, produced 90 percent of the LSD in circulation, in addition to unknown quantities of MDMA, ALD-52, ergot wine, and quite possibly LSZ… but I’ll get to that later.
Leonard Pickard is an anomaly among clandestine chemists—one of very few who was able to achieve great success in academia. He studied at Harvard, Purdue, and UCLA while producing kilos of MDA and LSD in secret laboratories under the auspices of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. He was charismatic and gentlemanly, with excellent posture (he would advise slouchers to let their vertebrae fall vertically, like “a beautiful string of pearls”). A notable photo depicts Leonard at a scientific conference in Sussex, gently appreciating the scent of a long-stemmed rose. He was like that…
[continues at Vice]