The Poison Pen: Who Wrote the Circleville Letters?

The True Crime Times
15 min readFeb 26, 2020
Circleville, Ohio — Source:

Your home is your castle. Even though there is no way to keep yourself and your family completely safe, we all have a reasonable expectation of security and privacy within the walls of our own homes.

Beginning in 1976, one small town in Ohio became gripped with fear when an unknown individual began mailing threatening and sexually explicit letters to residents. If you were raised in a small town, then you already know that there are no real strangers. Everybody knows each other.

But the person behind the poison pen that wrote the Circleville letters was too familiar with the goings-on of townsfolk, and for years, locals looked over their shoulder and wondered if they, too, would be targeted. More importantly, they wondered why regular people in a small town were in the letter writer’s crosshairs.

A Campaign of Psychological Torture

Imagine you’re quietly living your life, minding your own business. You go to work, you take care of your kids, you mow the lawn, you walk the dog. There’s nothing particularly interesting about your life — certainly not more interesting than the average person’s.

Sure, you’ve got secrets. Open anyone’s closet and you’ll get smacked in the face with a skeleton. But it’s not like you’re a serial killer. You don’t have a meth lab in your backyard shed. At the end of the day, your baggage is your business, not an entire town’s, right?

One day, you throw on a pair of slippers and mosey on out to your mailbox. Bills, bills, bills. Junk mail. Another credit card offer to decline. Wait, what’s that envelope with the Columbus, Ohio, postmark? You’re not expecting anything…

You pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit down at your kitchen table and rip open the mysterious envelope. You open the folded letter and suddenly your heart screeches to a halt. You can’t quite catch your breath. Your stomach does a somersault, and your hands start to tremble.

You’re being stalked.

In 1976, Circleville residents started receiving oddly sinister, handwritten letters in the mail. [1] The troubled author knew details about their lives that he shouldn’t have known and claimed to be watching them, but one person…



The True Crime Times

My name is Julie Fidler. I’m a writer, author, wife, and animal lover. I shed light on unsolved mysteries and shocking crimes.