American writer and literary critic Anatole Broyard once opined, “In an age like ours, which is not given to letter-writing, we forget what an important part it used to play in people’s lives.”
In the 1970s, the ability to instantly communicate through e-mails, texting, or social media was still decades away, so people employed the use of paper and pen, the mailman, and mailboxes to stay in touch.
One of life’s simple joys was writing and receiving letters. Through letters, people built friendships, sustained relationships, and strengthened romance.
But for the residents of one small town in Ohio, the fun of exchanging letters was turned to terror when many of them received anonymous, vitriolic, and threatening handwritten messages.
These poison pen letters of the mid-1970s came to be known as the “Circleville Letters,” and for nearly two decades, they spread fear through the mail in Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio.