The Billy Letters

Radar Magazine has a fascinating article comprised of letters written by pop-culture historian Bill Geerhart to America’s most notorious serial killers and their written replies. Geerhart posed as 10-year-old “Billy” Geerhart to ask advice on dropping out of school from such infamous murderers as Charles Manson and the Unabomber. All of the inmates that Geerhart contacted replied to his hand-written letter and several years later he sent a follow-up thanking each of them for their advice.

Each inmate letter offers a glimpse into the personality of people that the media often portrays one-dimensionally as monsters. For example, Richard Ramirez’s reply is hand printed on personalized “Nightstalker” stationary. Charles Manson’s nearly illegible, rambling message is evidence of his isolation and insanity. Erik Menendez portrays himself as a concerned and sympathetic ear.

link to article

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