Serial killers answer letters from guy pretending to be a 10-year-old

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87 Responses to “Serial killers answer letters from guy pretending to be a 10-year-old”

  1. Phart says:

    I think the person this guy is mean to is the one who is living at his old address when one of the psychos gets paroled or a weird furlough like Hinckley.

    Just sayin. Life in prison is usually, but not always, life in prison.

  2. Tenn says:

    Wow. I kind of expected something different in these posts after reading what many here have said about torturing people. Maybe those people haven’t logged on yet.

    Or are occupied in the evolution thread.

    What a fucking loon.
    I was willing to entertain the idea that I was a sissy until I realized you’re an ass. I am the farthest thing from Darth Obvious’s ‘thin skinned’- I am next to invulnerable towards insults or pranks or ‘mean’ things done to me. I simply realize that when people are bat-shit crazy, certain things will affect them differently than they will you or I. In fact, any given thing will affect someone differently than it will another. Giving notice to differences and the way things may be construed as an insult is key to diplomacy.

    bOINGers are on the most part sissies in this way. Forgive us, we’re liberal.

  3. bobolikebeer says:

    Sweet Bottlekid. I was acually just about to come here an post that up. Any sign on what the “code3″ part means tho? or why “worm” is spelled “warrom”? I’ll definitely keep looking into it.

    @76: I was wondering what the hell that symbol was… interesting…. One of the main things I’ve been focussing on is those first few lines. I think whatever crypto keys there might be, would be in there. A few brief observations:
    1) “Good” is encircled with “Ha Lo Soul”. That circled section should be treated as it’s own entity, so “good” should not be read as part of the first sentence.
    2) If you trace the arrow from “you” at the beginning of the second line, it leads to the numeral “2″. Put that together with the other two arrows, and the fact that “I” is dirrectly beneath “two”, and you get this 1:1 correspondence list: “To”–>”X”, “Too”–>”Ordal”, “Two”–>”I”, and “2″–>”you”.
    3) so if we go with the futhark thing for a bit –which doesn’t seem too unreasonable– we have a few ways to procede. But here’s where I’m starting: [http://www.jstor.org/sici?sici=0149-6611(193011)45%3A7%3C465%3AG%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E&cookieSet=1] and [http://www.ancientscripts.com/futhark.html] It’s some of the basics for decoding.
    4) here goes: X = 6 (good crops, riches), Udal = 22 (inherited, cultivated land), I = 10 (Cold, death… hmmm, self commentary????) and taking ‘you’ phoeneticaly for the only U sound available, we get Ur = 1 (help and protection). So we have some numbers to start working with.

    We might be well under way!

  4. Darth Obvious says:

    @Bobolikebeer

    ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGHH!

    You got me looking at the second letter from Manson as if it were a puzzle, code, or perhaps a map.

    One thing I did notice in letter in addition to the swastika embedded in the doodle in the top right of the page, was the line ending in an arrow pointing to the x and upward arrow. The symbol to the right of it is the elder futhark rune Odal which corresponds to the roman character “O” it has the meaning of property, homeland, estate or inheritance.

    I am taking this as an hint to not drink anymore coffee tonight and go to sleep.

  5. sproing3 says:

    “Mostly, these remind me of how poor our criminal justice system is, and how lovely it would be if we could help these sort of men. It would be the greatest scientific achievement of mankind to manage good rehabilitation.”

    I’m puzzled why at age 9 I shared your sentiment that revenge is folly. I’ve heard recent news that some emotions are genetically hard wired and not shared by all humans. Apologies for not digging up links, but it’s more than gossip or speculation to group personality types genetically. Some of us aren’t into spectator sports, and some of us aren’t into revenge.

    A rational and empathetic view wants happiness for the jailed.

  6. RJ says:

    I would be more inclined to say Charlie is just a rambling fruitcake. Even if he is sending out codes and so on, I doubt it would be anything too earth-shattering. He is, after all, a wild-eyed cult leader whose last experiences in the free world involved killing as many people as possible.

  7. Tenn says:

    At age 9, eh? I do wish I had such a life view at the age of 9! I’ve actually only come to the conclusion that revenge is folly recently- along with numerous other evolutions in my personal beliefs. Within the past year, perhaps.

    I do believe those studies about hard-wired emotion, though. Perhaps I’m hard-wired rationally and empathetically, as so you say. It would make sense, since these changes in thought run contrary to the beliefs of everybody in my daily life, save for my best friend’s.

    On that note, we should forgive those who don’t take what we see as a rational and empathetic view, because they could be wired that way. And maybe they’re -right- to be wired that way. It seems beneficial, evolution-wise. People like us probably died when there were leopards running free.

  8. june says:

    Forgive us, we’re liberal.

    And YOU look like an ass when you leap to conclusions about people based on nothing more than a few sentences in a website comment. I’m a born-and-raised in the Bay Area bleeding heart liberal who supports prison abolishment.

    Forgive ME, but I hardly think pointing out that CHARLES FUCKING MANSON has a less-than-firm grasp on reality makes me some kind of conservative monster.

  9. Tenn says:

    And YOU look like an ass when you leap to conclusions about people based on nothing more than a few sentences in a website comment. I’m a born-and-raised in the Bay Area bleeding heart liberal who supports prison abolishment.

    I never said you were a ‘conservative monster’. If I was going to say you were a ‘conservative monster’, being raised around them, I could find much more disparaging ways to put it.

    Sure, he’s got a less than firm grip on reality, but I also take offense (or at least try to be aware of it) that it’s not his fault he’s a fucking loon. As someone who’s currently living with someone who’s a fucking loon because of some issue with her brain, and who has been emotionally and physically abused by said loon, I am trying to watch my comments of that nature. I had less issue towards your flippant remark towards Charles fucking Manson than I did towards the assertion that bOINGers are sissies because we are, perhaps, oversympathetic to the incarcerated.

  10. sproing3 says:

    “People like us probably died when there were leopards running free.”

    Absolutely. Societies have classes and social roles. Neither worker bee nor soldier and nor artist can survive without the larger clan. A truly egalitarian society would quickly be overrun.

  11. Tenn says:

    And, as I have reread my previous statements and relaxed some, I apologize for calling you an ass. I still disagree with you. I’m rather ashamed of having said it in such a crude way. My sincere apologies.

  12. Tenn says:

    A truly egalitarian society would quickly be overrun.

    Well, I was just about to invite you to the commune when you delivered that stirring piece of pessimism. Afraid it’s true, though.

  13. sproing3 says:

    ” As someone who’s currently living with someone who’s a fucking loon because of some issue with her brain…”

    Been there. Doing that is traumatic. You’ve probably already sourced websites of people in your similar situation. Which type of loony is she? Some version of BPD? From what I understand most people find that the intriguing loons have extra special spice that normals don’t have. Loons are addictive and thrilling and push buttons that normals don’t. But try not to be with a loon for more than a year. No matter your fortitude, a loon will win by attrition.

  14. Antinous says:

    Yeah, the lifers are real friendly.

    Until they figure out that you’re not really a busty redhead.

  15. june says:

    You can be sympathetic to the incarcerated (although in the interests of full disclosure, I have little to no sympathy towards Manson), and still call someone a loon or josh around a website about a funny project. The world isn’t so black and white and neither are most people.

  16. Antinous says:

    Anybody want to call me a sissy to my face?

  17. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    @63:
    “Let them be punished and shunned.”
    I’m against capital punishment at this time so it’s life in prison. That protects us and deprives them of liberty. There’s no perfect punishment for the criminally insane, but I’m fine with that one.

    and this:

    “Why? You lack imagination to realize reality. Push yourself and see that some people are foreign to concepts of punishment. You can’t make a sociopath feel remorse. Punish for eternity, don’t punish at all, whatever. The impetus to punish in that case is all about you, and only you.”

    I strongly disagree with. I agree the criminally insane are not like us. But that doesn’t mean we abandon just principles when dealing with them. ‘We’ maintain the moral authority to punish crime because we (in theory) apply consistent punishments. The Criminally insane might not experience incarceration in the way that we intend them to but that’s the best that can be done. Lock ‘em up and deal with the survivors.

    If you meant something else, please elaborate.

  18. Takuan says:

    do I get to wear the mask?

  19. Tenn says:

    Which type of loony is she? Some version of BPD? … Loons are addictive and thrilling and push buttons that normals don’t.

    I haven’t, really. I’ve spoken to one or two people about it to vent. She’s my grandmother. I wouldn’t diagnose her as BPD as she has not been diagnosed with such a thing. I have, however, lived with one of those (my stepfather), and while I never experienced some of the … interesting events my brother did (he actually lived full time with stepfather and mother, and I only on occasion), and I find BPD to be preferable.

    She is not addictive, she is not thrilling, but she pushes all sorts of buttons. I’ve lived with her my entire life (and, really, 17 years is not so much to complain of), and progressively she has grown worse. My mother has pointed out that when her children start making their own decisions that she becomes unbearable, and that is true. I and my younger brother (who is babysat here) are accused of stealing numerous things- everything she has misplaced. I have been woken at 3 AM to be told my faults. I have been charged at, cussed at, and insulted in myriad ways. Her lunacy isn’t just that though- it’s the way she’ll change on a moment’s notice (very BPD, I suppose), will pursue me from room to room in order to incite an argument, will dwell on things that have bothered her for months and months and months on end and bring them up again and again and again. She’s woken me at six with seizure like fits where she cries out as a child that everyone hates her, that she has seen it in dreams that she is going to die, and nobody believes her. She takes the slightest phrase and makes it conspiracy.

    still call someone a loon or josh around

    Then I have made the fundamental error of believing I can accurately understand what you are saying sans the nuances of actual conversation. If it was meant in jest, I apologize. I put the sneering tone in by myself, then.

    But we’re still not sissies. Except Antinous, of course. -Whispers behind his back-

  20. humanpower says:

    Oh yeah, f-ing with the criminally insane is a lot of fun. When you read them, most of these are actually pretty sad. Kind of a depressing experiment. And what does “pop-culture historian” mean? Does it mean “not a real historian”? I think it does.

  21. loci says:

    Unfortunately, the fact all incoming/outgoing mail is monitored, makes this project fail for me.

    The more interesting replies instructing young bill to to insert metal pointy things into his parents head whilst they slept and decorate his playroom with their innards, would not have got through to him.

  22. sproing3 says:

    Tenn, sounds like you’ll come out of Grandma’s gitmo with your sense of humor intact. I’m not sure if I’m grateful at my loss of innocence about loons. I don’t feel scarred anymore, so I guess it’s cool.

  23. CopyrightMe says:

    Even the criminally insane are people who are just one jail cell away from being just like you.

  24. Tenn says:

    Grandma’s Gitmo.

    You, sir, have an inspiring inclination towards apt alliteration! I don’t feel especially scarred myself, but according to some people I seem it. Thanks for seeing some sort of twisted sense of humor in me!

  25. pork musket says:

    @3 – Yeah, that and the committing heinous crimes thing, otherwise we’re totally alike!

  26. Takuan says:

    Perhaps this should be read before commenting – start at “victims”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Ramirez#Victims

  27. Suburbancowboy says:

    The sad thing about the Unabomber is that he walked the very line between genius and madness. His manifesto was the work of someone with a brilliant mind.
    It is unfortunate that the only way he saw fit to spread his message was the use of violence.

  28. nex says:

    In all honesty, is there such a thing as being “too mean” to a convicted serial killer/multiple murderer?

    Sure, but what about the other ‘targets’? Were they asked whether they’re OK with their private correspondence being published? Not that this is necessarily a big deal, I’d just like to know out of curiosity.

  29. Faustus says:

    The responses from the killers all make me feel sad. These are arguably some of the worst, most evil people in the world, but it still doesn’t feel right for this guy to be lying to them like this. He really jerks them around with his replies, seemingly trying to mock them by saying they’ve inspired him to do law or become a prosecutor, but most of their responses seem motivated out of genuine desire to help billy out. Even manson’s mad first letter is mitigated by his second one in which he seems quite pleased that billy has done well for himself.

    I’m sure there’ll be a lot of posts now along the lines of “I’m glad this guy tricked them, they deserve whatever they get…etc. etc.”. This is a valid point, their crimes are unforgiveable, but these letters really don’t seem right to me.

  30. mattharvest says:

    In all honesty, is there such a thing as being “too mean” to a convicted serial killer/multiple murderer?

    I mean, what sort of niceties are owed to these people?

  31. sproing3 says:

    @77 who said “We’ maintain the moral authority to punish crime because we (in theory) apply consistent punishments.”

    Rehabilitation and punishment are practically at odds. Rehabilitation is in societies better interest. Who is benefitted if the punishment makes everyone worse off? If jail practically served to make criminals more criminal.

  32. PeaceLove says:

    Peacelove, By pranks do you mean innocent in intent or faked?

    I meant not intended to be cruel to the recipients. This was simply an interesting and potentially revealing prank against some infamous people.

  33. phillamb168 says:

    Who needs to “do unto others…” when you’re a pop culture historian! (@humanpower my sentiments exactly – that’s like saying lastnightsparty is maintained by a photojournalist.

  34. dculberson says:

    @Matt, #7, yes. There is such a thing. Being mean to someone does as much harm to yourself as them, in my opinion, and whether they’re a serial killer or Mother Teresa doesn’t make it less harmful to your subconscious.

  35. kaosdevice says:

    The surreal factor was amped pretty high here. The Nightstalker had personalized stationary in prision? The Manson stuff was as crazy as I expected though.

  36. RJ says:

    I wouldn’t say the letters were “mean,” but they did disregard the recipient’s humanity. Of course, their humanity is debatable, so that brings us back to the original moral dilemma.

    Make up your own mind about it.

  37. SeppTB says:

    I like the letters to other famous people after the serial killers, especially Larry Flynt’s advice to read the Sears catalog until the kid was old enough to get Hustler.

  38. Faustus says:

    @Matt, I think morally any level of meaness is too much, directed at anyone. I mean what moral backing have you got to be mean to someone at all? perhaps you could say being mean to people like this was part of the punishment they deserve for their crimes, but I don’t think that fits the criteria I consider relevant when deciding punishment for criminals.

    Deter: it doesn’t, anyone planning on committing crimes like this isn’t going to stop because someone’s mean to them.

    Incapacitate: It certainley doesn’t do that, they’re already in prison and as incapacitated from doing crimes as we can make them

    Vengeance: It does provide vengeance, as a society being mean to serial killers could make us all feel better, but I always thought vengeance was the weakest of these three reasons for punishment, because I don’t really agree with doing anything to hurt someone else just to make yourself feel better…no matter who they are

    btw this doesn’t mean I’m never mean :) it just means I think I’m wrong when I do it.

  39. Grant says:

    I only read the letters to non-convicted celebrities. Dick Cheney wasn’t Secretary of Defense in 1998! He was running an obscure energy services company called Halliburton at that time. He was SecDef from March 21, 1989 to January 20, 1993.

  40. Tenn says:

    they did disregard the recipient’s humanity

    Thank you, RJ. That’s concise and explains what I could not express.

  41. Antinous says:

    what sort of niceties are owed to these people?

    Failing to accord them common decency says everything about you and nothing about them.

  42. Takuan says:

    “humanity”. What is “human”? I am prepared to argue some of these imprisoned organism may indeed not be “human”.

  43. Tenn says:

    I am prepared to argue some of these imprisoned organism may indeed not be “human”.

    Genetic humanity and moral humanity and intellectual humanity are three separate things.

  44. The Unusual Suspect says:

    mattharvest: “In all honesty, is there such a thing as being “too mean” to a convicted serial killer/multiple murderer?

    I mean, what sort of niceties are owed to these people?”

    It’s no longer about their actions, it’s about ours.

    That being said, does Cheney qualify as a serial killer?

  45. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Whether the letters were mean to the serial killers or not, a kind person would not have sent them. It reveals an indecent willingness to exploit tragedy for spectacle.

  46. Antinous says:

    I am prepared to argue some of these imprisoned organism may indeed not be “human”.

    Well, you like animals better than people anyway, so…?

  47. bobolikebeer says:

    oh, I’m quite sure that whatever secrets may be hidden in this are really rather silly, but that’t not the point… it seems to be a really cool crypt of some sort… people don’t spend days putting puzzle-pieces together just to see the picture on the box in a slightly larger and more pixelated form.

    I mean, over the last day, I’ve navigated NOAA archives, listened to the White Album about 50 times, tuned-up on environmental law (Manson’s Vermont connection), watched a bunch of 1940′s cartoons, and learned to do modular arithmetic with 1500 year-old, magic Viking Runes!!

    And the best part is, I’m sure that that’s just the tip of the big-ol-loonie iceberg. If anyone can think of a better way to spend a tuesday, please, let me know.

  48. Talia says:

    This experiment doesn’t particularly strike me as mean. I mean, really, I doubt the killers even gave it overmuch thought. Just another letter, alabeit kind of weird.

  49. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    It’s ridiculous to say these innocuous letters are “mean.” If this guy had sent me a similar letter and I later found out it was an art project/prank, I’d be delighted.

  50. Maddy says:

    ah, people. I think we all need to adjust our “mean” meter. I do not find these letters particularly mean. I would say the word “mischief” seems to apply better. Not like he had a series of letters over the years that got their hopes up or something. I mean, you can make a case that Borat was certainly more mean as he duped people …

  51. Kit10inDublin says:

    I immediately thought of the Henry Root letters when I saw this. That persona didn’t write to serial killers, as far I as know. The letters of Henry Root are woderfully hilarious. A journalist in Ireland did a similar experiment in the 90s mainly writing to policitans and goverment miniters as well as well-know personalities or celebs as we call them now. Both of the above writers managed to produce very funny books that were also fantastically satirical.

    There have been many hoax letters writers.
    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Root[/url]

  52. Antinous says:

    If this guy had sent me a similar letter and I later found out it was an art project/prank, I’d be delighted.

    But you’ve never killed a man with your thumb.

    Have you?

  53. jonesy says:

    Funny, I have sent many, many letters to that serial killer George W. Bush, and he has never repsonded. Perhaps if I enclosed one of his “Imperialist Dogs of the 21st Century” playing cards, and ask for his autograph, he would oblige, yes? I will do whatever it takes to ger that miserable sack of garbage to know that I have a voice!

  54. buddy66 says:

    All I know is that we shouldn’i poke sticks at animals in cages.

  55. Takuan says:

    so, the offense to humanity is where? If we spare these “people”, it is only to honor ourselves. Is it because they are in our image? If they looked like beasts would we behave differently, feel differently?

  56. Tenn says:

    Takuan, Antinous.

    To IRC with you! Channel #boingboing. Obviously.

  57. Antinous says:

    so, the offense to humanity is where? If we spare these “people”, it is only to honor ourselves. Is it because they are in our image? If they looked like beasts would we behave differently, feel differently?

    You’re out of liquor, aren’t you?

  58. Violet says:

    @The Unusual Subject

    That being said, does Cheney qualify as a

    A: Serial killer
    B: War criminal
    C: All of the above

    Grand prize is a one way permanent vacation to sunny Gitmo…

  59. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    To me, the individuals are inseparable from their heinous acts. They should be remembered as cruel criminals, not a subjects for entertainment. Let them be punished and shunned.

  60. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    I have no idea what kind of argument you’re trying to make here W/R/T punishment, rehabilitation, revenge, etc. I’ll provide a few of your quotes below in case you want to try pulling them together into something coherent. Give it your best shot and I’ll be happy to read it.

    “I’m puzzled why at age 9 I shared your sentiment that revenge is folly”
    “Push yourself and see that some people are foreign to concepts of punishment. You can’t make a sociopath feel remorse. ”
    “Rehabilitation and punishment are practically at odds. Rehabilitation is in societies better interest. Who is benefitted if the punishment makes everyone worse off?”

  61. sproing3 says:

    ” Let them be punished and shunned.”

    Why? You lack imagination to realize reality. Push yourself and see that some people are foreign to concepts of punishment. You can’t make a sociopath feel remorse. Punish for eternity, don’t punish at all, whatever. The impetus to punish in that case is all about you, and only you.

  62. k2r says:

    @(7)Mattharvest
    Matthew:

    Being an atheist I find it funny that the best answer to your question seems to me Matthew 25.40:
    ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    However, the “christian” majority in general seems to be using a very special, refurbished version.

    And I wonder how parents bring up a child to make it consider that being intentionally cruel to anybody or anything might be okay.

  63. Antinous says:

    Let them be punished and shunned.

    Or….reality show. I mean can you imagine Richard Ramirez’s face if Charlie Manson ate all his dried cranberries?

  64. scottfree says:

    I just want to say that as a student of psychology, I find these letters to be fascinating. Maybe I’ve read a bit too much Grant Morrison lately, and I haven’t worked with psychotics at all, but I would imagine their communication to make a great deal less sense then these letters. Given the difficulty of evaluating these cases, these letters are probably as good an insight into their minds as we are likely to find.

    and the unibomber’s response doesn’t surprise me. I don’t know why a government who found uses for ex-nazi scientists can’t find use for him…except he hates the government, of course. Still, I sort of hope they let him write and researche.

  65. naturalismo says:

    you can hear Charles Manson’s recorded songs here: http://naturalismo.wordpress.com/2007/04/13/the-original-freak-folk/

    they’re actually pretty catchy folk songs…

  66. Takuan says:

    If a psychopathic killer (eg. Cheney) is incapable of remorse and is beyond punishment in any human sense, then where is the sin in execution? Vandalism of the sacred human form? I would never trust any state with capital punishment, but it is morally permissible to shoot rabid dogs.

    I submit it is perhaps bad form and disrespectful of the families of the victims to dupe the Ramirez’s and Mansons, but apart from soiling oneself unnecessarily, no moral crime is committed.

    I wouldn’t do it.

  67. PeaceLove says:

    I was a buddy of Geerhart’s in high school (if the kid pic is any indication). These letters are simple pranks, with no malevolence or meanness in them. And they sure are revealing — alternately funny (Ramirez’s personalized stationary), sad (Menendez), and creepy (Manson, Cheney).

    Nice work, Little Billy!

  68. Wingo says:

    I find it absolutely insanely creepy that Ramirez had that psycho stationary.

    I remember being terrified every night going to bed when the ‘NightStalker’ was on the loose. To see that he truly considered himself some sort of rock star worthy of a personalized logo just makes it that much more bizarre and evil.

    And anyone who feels sorry for these guys, or that the writer was being ‘mean’ needs to lighten up. If anything, they were simply amused to receive letters from a little kid. Hell, they probably all get twisted ‘fan mail’ from nutjobs all the time. And in Manson’s case, he likely had no clue what the hell was going on. I’m sure thought he was receiving a correspondence from God or Satan or something.

  69. sproing3 says:

    “where is the sin in execution?”

    Your rhetorical question posits that sin is a social construct, and that the anti-social are outside of social merits.

    Sometimes I daydream of deaths to the unworthy also.

  70. Bottlekid says:

    #70, “Oh, almost I almost forgot(git) the most crucial thing…. the transcription missed one of the margin notes. On the second page, as far as I can tell it says: “The book warrom Turns – code3″

    The Bookworm Turns (1940)
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032272/

  71. sproing3 says:

    @85 – The argument I’m making has a long history. There is a tension between the irrational emotional desire for revenge, and the rational desire to rehabilitate. Revenge punishment has the effect of making the punished more criminal like. Rehabilitation makes victims feel that the criminal got off too easy.

    Not all of us humans innately feel an emotional desire for revenge. That desire is hard coded, genetically, and we don’t all have all the coding.

    And conversely, not all humans are affected by the social contract that revenge enforces. Sociopaths will never be brought back into line – they are incapable of remorse.

    The social contract that revenge is effective at upholding is only suitable for small groups, and doesn’t work well in our modern societies.

  72. scottfree says:

    Peacelove, By pranks do you mean innocent in intent or faked?

  73. bobolikebeer says:

    Sorry to interrupt the whole morality/meanie-nicey thing ya’ll got going here….

    but has anyone read the manson letter carefully?

    Well, I’ll get back to that in a #>/sec… First, what caught my eye about the manson post was the very distinctive photo. I reside in Vermont, and well, that photo made me stop dead in my tracks for a few minutes. Mainly because I’m pretty sure that I’ve been to this place, or maybe just a few hundred like it, at some point in my life. Evidence: 1) weathering patern on barn/shack/covered-bridge-ish-thing. 2) Dirt Road.
    3) Tree species. 4) New Power Lines — we had a huge ice-storm in ’98 –. 5) Post-and-beam house in background.

    But one big thing didn’t sit right… the time stamp says “98 4 19″ and the trees are never this green by the end of April. However, a few quick checks on weather and news archives revealed that ’98 had temperatures consistantly in the upper 70s from early march through may. It was one of the earliest springs on record. In addition, on 4-19 the weather was overcast, 90% precip, and unseasonably foggy. So one of the big reasons I’m interested in this is that it would seam that Chucky M has an original photo from somewhere near where I live….

    Back to his letter, because this is where it either all gets really interesting, or where you all call me crazy and flame me out for ruining a perfectly good morality-scrimage.

    Some oddities (other than the crazy) about these letters:

    1) End of the first letter certainly sounds like a clue/challenge to me — “I bet you don’t remember this – you don’t even know where it’s at. HAHA. I got you there.” So That got me to thinking: maybe I already have the first clue?

    2) At the beginning of the second letter he draws our attention very sharply to a few key themes:
    2a) the idea of replacing syllables with numbers in some sort of pattern — ie. he separates the numerical “4 GOT” from all other instances of “forgit”.
    2b) the dissection of certain words into separate phonemes — ie. “Hay Lo Soul”.
    2c) The selective use of homo-nyms/phones. He even points out later that this is not simply because he’s stupid, he specificaly says he’s “playing clown words to say I didn’t forgit”.
    2d) selective capitalization. could be some sort of an anagram… not sure yet.
    2e) this one is hard to notice until later in the letter, but he only uses “+”-signs, never the word “and”, and for the entire first half of the letter, he uses “to” at any place where he could have used “+”.

    3) The end of the first letter talks pretty specifically about two key points. The first is that Billy “don’t remember” –notice the use of the word don’t, even though everything else is in the past tense–. The second point has something to do with geography and space –”where it’s at”, “got you there”. The rememberance theme is picked back up on right away in the second letter, and the excplicit change from “hear” to “here” show that the spacial theme is as well.

    So if we assume that Chuck doesn’t ask everyone why they’ve forgotten an important place (which is a pretty big, but necessary assumption), that means one of two things: 1) That the entire thing is a hoax, and that Billy wrote both sets of letter, or 2) the more likely option that Charles Manson spends a bunch of time on the internet researching all sorts of exentric things, found out about “Billy”, and has decided to use this as an oprotunity to encode a message in a published letter. I don’t know, it kind of seems like his style.

    So what do you all think? Am I as loonie as Manson, am I way too into Crypto, or is there the chance that all of these Crypto-red-flags actually do point to something worth finding out? I’ll be working on it, let me know if any of you other procrastinating crazzies decide to do the same.

  74. BubbaFett says:

    to #68, Bobo: I’m pretty sure they don’t let inmates get on the internet. They do let inmates have “profiles” on websites, but a friend on the outside has to send all corresponing messages through the mail to said inmate. So I think the theory that Charles Manson is spending a lot of time on the internet and messing around with codes and crypto is a little far fetched…or to put it succinctly, “Charlie don’t surf.”

  75. Takuan says:

    I think Manson too stupid

  76. bobolikebeer says:

    Oh, almost I almost forgot(git) the most crucial thing…. the transcription missed one of the margin notes. On the second page, as far as I can tell it says: “The book warrom Turns – code3″

    I didn’t notice this until after I had gone through all the other stuff, so now I’m even more convinced. Or maybe just loonier…

  77. sproing3 says:

    @68 Bobo: You want to summarize? I was neither entertained nor informed. Use a sock next time.

  78. bobolikebeer says:

    @71 Sproing3: I’m pretty convinced that this is either a hoax-puzzle or a Manson-written puzzle, but either way, I’m pretty sure it’s a puzzle. It’s a little too methodical for pure random crazy. I mean, I’m sure it’s still quite crazy, but I think there’s some sort of a (prob. crazy) message under all the superficial crazy.

    Basicaly it has too many halmarks of a Crypto-puzzle to just be random bablings, that, and he does actualy say “I’m playing clown words to say I didn’t forgit”, and it does have the non-transcripted margin note about some “code3″.

    If crypto-shit (or maybe just my writing) neither entertains nor informs you, then continue on with your prisoner’s rights stuff. I just figure that if any community was chock-full of people who would be intruiged by something as obscure as this, well… BB is kind of that place, ain’t it?

    Now go-on, get about your rhetoric and leave us(me) nerd(s?) with our play-things.

  79. Tenn says:

    All the stories I’ve read about Manson, and none so clearly express his insanity as do these letters.

    I don’t think these were malicious; they may have been petty and ill-thought, but from what I see they weren’t harmful. A strange thing to do but I enjoyed reading them (though they were sad).

    I wish we had a way to rehabilitate madmen. I believe a lot of it is genetic and not entirely the fault of the madman (though that is not to say that what happened is not deserving of incarceration.)

    Mostly, these remind me of how poor our criminal justice system is, and how lovely it would be if we could help these sort of men. It would be the greatest scientific achievement of mankind to manage good rehabilitation.

    Being an atheist I find it funny that the best answer to your question seems to me Matthew 25.40:
    ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    Eloquent, good sir. You have stated it better than I ever could.

  80. sproing3 says:

    Seeing too much meaning, making connections that are unwarranted, is past being creative. It is over the ballpark and into outer space.

    Random connections are not creative. Lay off the weed, dude.

  81. Darth Obvious says:

    Mean? I am going out on a limb here, but at risk of being arrested for assault with a deadly sentence. How do people survive in the real world with skin so thin that they equate a harmless letter with real mental or physical harm? Breathe deep, it’s okay, the sky is not falling.

  82. eustace says:

    Sorry to disagree, sproing3, but I thought that the most amusing post yet. Good luck with that decoding Bobolikebeer (I know better than to talk a geek out of his focus) though it seems more likely to me that with each effort you put into it Mad Charlie is now gaming YOU.

  83. racer x says:

    Wow. I kind of expected something different in these posts after reading what many here have said about torturing people. Maybe those people haven’t logged on yet.

  84. sproing3 says:

    I agree, Eustace. I’m nothing but a common civilian. Go on with your in jokes.

  85. june says:

    These letters aren’t “mean”, geez. When did the bOINGers turn into such sissies?

    The Manson letter was delightful. What a fucking loon. My cousin once sent him a letter as part of a school assignment, he was a senior in high school. Manson sent him back some incomprehensible gibberish about trees.

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