RD Fan Mail

by William Skink

I received an odd piece of mail yesterday, at work. Fan mail it is not. It was typed and arrived with no return address. I also suspect the name is fake, which is funny considering the content. Here it is with names omitted/altered:

Hey (my last name) the scumbag–

Lets see you kick around people by name in the city, county and at UM–and you hide behind a surname–what a fucking coward—the gloves come off now for you–you chickenshit.

We intend to write to the (my employer) and send them all your previous posts for their review

John Doe

I think the name is fake because the police officer I talked to couldn’t find it in their database.

Yes, I talked to an officer. This attempt to negatively impact my employment is not just a threat to me, but to my family, and I don’t take that kind of thing lightly.

I don’t have any clue who sent this, or what specific post or general topic inspired this little outburst. But I am taking precautions, and documenting this with law enforcement is just the first step.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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7 Responses to RD Fan Mail

  1. I’m sorry that happened to you.

  2. steve kelly says:

    More infantile, anonymous retaliation from an unknown location. I have a small flock of laying hens with more integrity than that. Sheesh!

  3. Eric Coobs says:

    You have rattled somebody – and I hope you figure out who it is too !

  4. Greg Strandberg says:

    Just one?

    Jeez, I’ve been getting those for years now. One usually comes every 3 to 6 months. The last time I got one was shortly after George Dennison died and I wrote about him on my site. Got one a while back saying people in the Capitol were spreading rumors about me that I was anti-semitic.

    These letters never have return addresses. I don’t think I’ve ever had one that’s been signed, however. Usually it’s just a single 8.5×11 piece of paper, folded three times, and usually with three lines of text on it, one sentence each.

    So far I’ve received them from Missoula and via Great Falls…based on the postmark cancellations.

    I’ve never bothered to contact police. Why? What are they going to do with an anonymous, typed-up letter?


    Anyways, I’ve never feared for my safety.It wasn’t until 6 months ago that I got a real job for the first time in Missoula since 2008, though, so I’ve never worried about my employer. I still don’t. I’ve always written under my real name, however. I go to where people work and ask them questions so I can write my blog. I call people on the phone to get more information.

    People know I’m not scared of them or their empty threats.

    Why are you?

  5. It’s very basic – even though we (technically – not really) have freedom of speech, we are not free to exercise it, and the greatest impediment to it is social pressure, or groupthink. This is the driving force we encounter at all times at our website, fear of wavering from the path of group acceptance. The letter you received is just more blatant and undisguised. More often it takes subtler form, as when Jay Stevens shut you down because Democrats did not like what you write. More often is is simply a banning or removal of your site from a blogroll or a roll of the eyes over cocktails at a political watering hole. But at all times and under all circumstances, we exercise free speech at our own peril. We talk about it, give thanks for it, but do not actually practice it.

  6. Steve W says:

    Of course that’s a crime. It’s at least libel and maybe felony intimidation. I hope you find out who it is and they are prosecuted. Though it’s not likely.

    I got a death threat once for writing an editorial opposing capital punishment. Irony is lost on these people.

  7. Pingback: More RD Fan Mail | Reptile Dysfunction

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