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16 Nov, 2019 07:23

Arkansas ‘Heisenberg’? Chemistry professor who praised ‘Breaking Bad’ for scientific accuracy arrested for cooking meth

Arkansas ‘Heisenberg’? Chemistry professor who praised ‘Breaking Bad’ for scientific accuracy arrested for cooking meth

A chemistry professor at Henderson State University in Arkansas, who once called ‘Breaking Bad’ one of his favorite shows, has been arrested for allegedly producing methamphetamine together with a partner.

For the uninitiated, the hit TV series tells the story of a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher named Walter White, who recruits the help of a former student to kick-start a meth lab and eventually becomes a ruthless drug lord.

Well, this man may have taken the show as an instruction manual. Bradley Allen Rowland, 40, of Arkadelphia was arrested on Friday together with fellow chemistry professor Terry David Bateman, 45. Both men work at the city’s Henderson State University, but were put on administrative leave in October.

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Their suspension came in the wake of a chemical spill at the university’s Reynolds Science Center, according to KATV. Lab tests identified the spilled compound as benzyl chloride. This has various applications, including being a precursor for amphetamine-class drugs, which explains why its sale is closely monitored.

The pair are facing charges for the manufacture of methamphetamine and the use of drug paraphernalia, though it was not immediately clear if they are alleged to have used the university premises for this purpose.

The case is made even more unusual by an interview that Rowland gave a few years ago, when he had just transferred to Henderson, which was first spotted by Newsweek. In it, he said he was a fan of ‘Breaking Bad.’

“I thought it was a great show,” he told the university’s newspaper, the Oracle. “It was spot on and accurate when it came to the science, and, it has gotten a younger, newer generation interested in chemistry. I feel like it was a wonderful recruiting tool.”

The old report was even cheekily headlined “Henderson’s Heisenberg,” an apparent reference to the nickname that White picks as he starts on a path of crime. It seems it was God-damn right to reference the show.

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