Thursday, March 10, 2011

Peculiar letter mystifies police

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, March 4, 1936.

Ypsilanti police today are puzzled over a letter addressed to ‘city trustees’, which contains no writing, but several figures, which may convey a message or merely be from a fanatic.

The letter was sent from San Francisco, Calif. and was dated Feb. 29, 11:30 p. m. It came ti the attention of Mrs. Mabel I. Stadtmiller, this morning, as the scrawled penciled writing of ‘trustees’ resembled ‘treasurere.’ Ypsilanti was spelled Y-P-S-A-L-A-N-T-I and apparently to ‘Miss,” instead of ‘Mich.’

There is not one word of writing in the contents, but it contained a short newspaper clipping of the sudden manner in which a clergyman died, a cartoon of a man reaching out for children, who are playing in the street, a top section of a woman with an apparent halo drawn in pencil above her head, and a cross or dagger also drawn below her left hand. From the elbow to the end of her hand it is drawn in pencil. There is also the head cut of a man, with the left arm drawn in pencil from the shoulder and the right hand clutching at the heart.

The only possible clue as to whom might be the sender is offered by three letters cut from newspaper headings and pasted on a heavy piece of paper. They are ‘U. S. F.’

In is not known whether the ‘letter’ had any connection with the slaying of Richard Streicher, Jr., whose body was found with 14 stab wounds under Cross St. bridge, one year ago next Saturday, but Chief Southard is studying it carefully in attempting to solve the ‘message or puzzle.’

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