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Lawsuit planned for 1953 death of man CIA drugged with LSD

Frank Olson's passport.
Frank Olson's passport.
Frank Olson Legacy Project

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We turn now to another story about the CIA, one that has become part of popular lore: the curious death of U.S. Army biological warfare specialist, Frank Olson.

It sounds like the stuff of "X-Files" or the "Manchurian Candidate,"  a government scientist working on bio weapons during the height of the Cold War. On a November night in 1953, Olson plunged to his death from the tenth-floor window of his New York hotel room. 

Just days before, he had been given LSD by the CIA without his knowledge as part of a series of secret experiments in mind control. The government labeled Olson's death a suicide, but his family has always believed there was more to the story.

Today, nearly 60 years later, Olson's two sons are filing a wrongful death suit against the government. They allege their father's death was not suicide, but murder.

Here to talk about the case is journalist Jon Ronson, who wrote about Frank Olson in his book, "The Men Who Stare at Goats."