“I just found out about the Circleville letters, those are fucking nuts.
Just the broadstrokes, because it gets nuts fast: In the late-70s a bunch of people in a tiny Ohio suburb named Circleville started receiving weird, creepy, anonymous letters. The letters all had the same chunky, overly-blocky handwriting, and would often include threats & intimate details about the peoples’ lives.
But they were just letters, so most of the town chocked it up to a crazy person and moved on.
The person who seemed to get the most venom in the letters was a school bus driver named Mary Gillespie. Whoever wrote these letters fucking HATED Mary, alleged she was having an affair, and threatened to expose her affair to her husband. Mary told her husband, Ron Gillespie, about the letter straight away and swore she wasn’t having an affair, and he believed her.
One night Ron was home with the kids, just watching TV, when he received a phone call. Nobody knows who was on the other end (this is just from the kids’ reporting) but Ron gets FURIOUS, grabs his shotgun, and tells the kids to stay put while he goes to take care of something.
A few hours later Ron’s car is found smashed into a tree, seemingly having crashed, with Ron dead inside. His blood alcohol level is .16, he’s covered in gunpowder residue, and his shotgun had recently been fired. No bullet was ever found.
Time goes on and one day, a year or so later, Mary was driving along when she spotted a sign on the side of the road with same chunky, blocky writing as the letters. It said, “MARY GILLESPIE SUCKS.” Exasperated, Mary stopped and tore the sign down, revealing this weird little cardboard box mounted to the pole behind the scene, with a handgun taped inside and crudely rigged to go off if the sign was disturbed (it was straight up a string tied to the trigger, really dumb). It was just dumb luck that the gun didn’t go off, Mary had tugged the sign off the “wrong” way or something.
So now everybody is freaked out. The local sheriff gets involved and manages to trace the gun to Mary’s brother in law, Paul Freshour. Paul claims the gun was stolen, but it looks bad for him. Now here’s where the sheriff’s department shits the bed: They claim Paul confessed to sending the letters (which they have no record of, and which Paul disputed for the rest of his life), Paul is imprisoned… then the letters immediately start back up. Even Paul is getting them now, delivered to him in jail.
Paul wasn’t paroled until 1994, when an investigative reporter took an interest in the story and found the sheriff’s department basically had zero evidence that Paul had actually done anything. The only thing that tied Paul to the so-called Circleville writer was the gun, which Paul claimed had been stolen from his garage.
Unsolved Mysteries takes an interest in this weird clusterfuck of a case, but before they even arrive they get a letter from the Circleville Writer too, threatening them to stay away and to not do anything to make the sheriff look bad.
To this day nobody knows who was behind the Circleville letters.”