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“They are good people.”As a seasoned researcher, Halford was certainly aware that his behavior violated ethical norms, and probably federal regulations as well.

He would use whatever time he had left to show he was right.

The trouble was that the institutional gatekeepers of science—the agencies that fund research—didn’t view his work with the same urgency.

In August 2013, Carolyn drove six hours from Kentucky, where she lives, to Springfield, Illinois, where she had booked a room at the Holiday Inn Express.

That evening, she and seven other volunteers, who had come from all over the country, gathered with Halford in one of the hotel rooms, where they sat on chairs, the couch, and the bed. Halford arrived with a box, which contained a tray and small vials, and began “mixing what appeared to be components of the vaccine right there,” Carolyn says. In subsequent months, the volunteers gathered in Springfield twice more for injections.

When her turn came, he took a sample of blood, then swabbed her calf with alcohol and drew a circle on the skin with a black felt-tip pen. The Halfords invited them to their home for dinner.

“We were telling Bill and his wife our stories, and they listened,” Carolyn says.

The picture was taken at Southern Illinois University, where he was a respected professor.

A few years before, he had made a significant discovery—one that would determine the course of his life.

The cancer diagnosis only seemed to harden his focus.

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