Fan Mail

I received my first Jeopardy! fan mail yesterday. It was from a man whom I do not know. I do not ever wish to know him. He is in prison. Yes, friends, my first fan mail ever came from an inmate at a Sunshine State correctional institution . I’ll call him Jay, and here is his letter. [The errors in grammar, punctuation, and syntax are his.]

Dear Alto2,

Well hello and a pleasant goodevening to you! I hope and pray that this finds you in good health, spirits, and all going well for you. You deserve the best!

First, let me say that I hope your not offended by me writing to you and being incarcerated. If you are, please accept my apology. We all make mistakes. I got caught, paying me debt to society, and only want to return to it as a law abiding citizen and an asset to my community!

Also Alto2, congratulations on your super job of Jeopardy! You did a fabulous job to say the least.

I don’t know what your specialty is in law, but for now all I can say is I’m getting a screwing and need help.

I got letters and public records requests from the Clerk of Court, State Attorney, and the Public Defender all supporting my entitled relief, but the judges ignore it as I don’t have a lawyer and have to proceed pro se. Any legal sentence expired in 1994!

If I send you a copy to show all this can you check it out and we can go from there?

Take care and G-d bless you Alto2! Please reply.

Sincerely,

Jay

My first thought was to get a post office box immediately and remove my address from state bar records. That may or may not be excessive. I re-read the letter in order to figure out this guy’s story. I deduced he has at least a high school education because the letter is relatively articulate and grammatical. His correct use of punctuation makes me think he’s had some college education as well. My guess was that he is a convicted sex offender. I was completely wrong: he is a convicted multiple murderer and one-time prison escapee. I searched the state’s corrections offender network and found all my “penpal’s” information. He is 57 years old and was first arrested at age 23 for at least one count of homicide and manslaughter. He escaped from prison and was caught a few months later; that added 15 years to his original 5 year sentence. Some six years later he was convicted on another six counts of homicide and manslaughter, each count bearing a 30-year sentence. His current release date is sometime in 2083. He is housed in the prison’s maximum security division.

I am totally creeped out!!! WineGuy and I laughed about it last night. Calvin and I had a good laugh about it this morning over coffee, but I really don’t know what to do. If I reply to this guy, even on attorney letterhead, and tell him to get lost, I am concerned he will reply. I don’t want to get involved with him at all. I’m thinking about calling the state bar’s ethics bureau to find out how I’m supposed to handle this. I’m going to call my law school buddy, Wilbur, who practices criminal law in Milwaukee. He’ll have some good advice, I’m sure.

How’s that for my first NaBloPoMo post of 2007?

Blast from the past: Day 1, NaBloPoMo 2006
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8 thoughts on “Fan Mail

  1. hi, i saw your comment on zandria’s blog and came by.

    this would creep me out too. i don’t have any experience with this, but i am also an attorney and i can tell you what i’d do if i were you: i’d just ignore him. he may write letters to a lot of attorneys and quickly forget who he’s sent letters to. any attempt to contact him will just bring more of his attention on to you and escalate your relationship (that is, create a relationship whereas right now, there is none).

    you are not under any ethical responsibility as an attorney to respond to solicitations for representation, particularly since i’m pretty sure you didn’t go on national tv and say “hey america, if anyone in prison wants to track me down through the state bar, i’d be happy to represent you!”

    i would, however, keep the letter just in case he continues to contact you, you can use it to demonstrate a pattern of “stalking” or whatever.

  2. I often get unsolicited e-mail requests from rich gentlemen in Africa who need my help handling large sums of money. I ignore them regularly!

  3. Well, I’ll give him this, he’s very creative. But historically he hasn’t done a very good job of returning to society as a “law abiding citizen and asset to his community” now, has he.

    I’ll let your lawyer friends help you with what your next step should be.

  4. OH geez!!! Good one. your first official fan is an incarcerated multiple murderer. Well, that’s one for the story books!

  5. That is seriously creepy, but at least you have something interesting to write about. LOL!

    I’m glad to see you’re doing NaBloPoMo. I wasn’t sure you would given all that’s been going on in your life.

  6. Eeewwww!! That is CREEPY!

    My unsolicited advice was going to be almost exactly what Jen said. He probably writes lots of letters to lots of people while he’s sitting there in prison with nothing else to do. Just ignore him, and he’ll probably forget all about you and move on to the next person who catches his attention on TV. If you reply in any way, you’ll just get him all excited that he got your attention.

  7. i was on jeopardy about 15 years ago for four shows. i cannot begin to tell you how many creepy phone calls i got — i still remember “junior from richmond” whoever the hell he was.

    fret not, though. it will pass. i promise.

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