Those who don't know about the circleville writer in 1976 Mary Gillespie a school bus drive began receiving threatening letters accusing her of
having an affair with a school official telling her to come clean or they would expose the affair. She kept the letters from her husband. However,
later her husband Ron also got a letter and confronted her about it. They along with other family members thought they knew who the writer was sent a
letter to this person. The letters apparently stopped for a time.
Then Ron received a phone call and stormed out of the house and got in his truck with his gun to meet the writer. Several hours later they found his
body and his truck were found wrapped around a tree. Ron's gun had round fired, his BAC was .16 though according to friends and family was not a
drinker. Police ruled the death a accident. This seemed to upset the Writer and dozens of people received letter accusing the police of a coverup.
The letters continued into the early to mid 80's. The writer eventually began posting signs along Mary's bus route. After seeing one of these signs
she stops the bus (with kids in board) and tears it down. Attached to the sign was a length of rope leading to a second box. She brings the sign and
box on to the bus and opens it to find that the rope is to a trigger of a revolver.
Police take the gun and all and are able to raise the serial number. The gun is registered to Mary's brother in law Paul.
He was arrested for attempted murder. According to Paul the police gave him the original letters and asked him to copy them as close as possible.
These copies were then used to prove he wrote the letters. He was convicted and served 10 years in prison mostly in solitary confinement. Regardless
the letters continued during his entire imprisonment. Paul himself received a letter telling him he would never get out.
The TV show
profiled this case in 1994. The Writer sent the show a letter as well which read "Forget Circleville Ohio: Do Nothing to
hurt Sheriff Radcliff: If you come to Ohio you El-Sickos will pay: The Circleville Writer"
Several things about this case strike me as odd don't add up.
It was later discovered that Mary and the school really did have an affair but claim it started after the letters were sent.
Who did Ron Gillespie fire his gun at and where?
Ron was reported to be not a drinker but managed to drink himself to 1 1/2 times the legal limit at the time, today it would 2 times the limit in
The way in which the handwriting samples were taken seems to me to be the wrong way to do it. Giving Paul the original letters to copy would make him
prone to try and imitate the writing style.
While Paul was in prison the letters continued even during his Solitary Confinement and had no access to write or mail the letters.
A more recent story about the case the Lineup