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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Investigation of letter threatening Gov. Charlie Crist dead ends

“Boom!! You are dead Charlie. This is a sample of what you got coming!! You Should Have Died in St. Pet But I will kill you Soon very soon no matter what happens to me my people will see this through you are not safe, nor your family I know everything about you we will get you we have the money t”

Who wrote this (grammatically) threatening letter to Gov. Charlie Crist last year? Who enclosed it in an envelope with a white powder meant to look like anthrax or some other poison?

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement never could figure it out, despite months of investigation spanning three counties. The letter arrived in Tallahassee Aug. 20, just as John McCain was considering whether to pick Crist as a vice presidential running mate.

One central figure sounds like a political rival: Jimmy Davis.

But he’s not Jim Davis, the Democrat Crist beat to become governor in 2006. His full name is Jimmy Lee Davis, a former St. Petersburg cop. Davis, also a Democrat, told FDLE he voted for Crist because “the governor is a Republican who acted like a Democrat.” (Davis however didn’t like Crist’s U.S. Sugar bailout/Everglades buyout plan).

One reason Davis probably didn’t do it: The threat letter itself. It was signed “Mr. Davis” and bore his return address in the Manatee County town of Palmetto. Almost no one is that stupid. Even in Flori-duh.

Jimmy Lee Davis suspected a former girlfriend or two could have set him up. One had threatened to get the “crackers” (i.e., white people) after him for failure to pay child support. Maybe it was the former husband or a former boyfriend of the woman he was going to marry just before the threat letter was mailed? Maybe it was one of two seemingly unrelated ex cons? FDLE agents spoke to all of them. They gathered video from the Palmetto post office, combed computer records, and took handwriting samples and DNA swabs. When one refused to give a DNA sample, agents staked him out to recover the plastic-tipped Black & Mild cigars he discarded on the ground after smoking them.

The investigation, which we wrote about shortly after a mail clerk spotted the suspicious envelope at a screening area away from the Capitol, was closed in April. We remembered to ask for it recently. It makes for interesting summer doldrums reading in Tallahassee, replete with jilted lovers, a mention of Free Masonry and loads of suspicious dead ends. Special Agent Larry Ruby’s conclusion is a yuck:

The writer states “my people” and “we will get you we have the money to.” Research has shown that words such as “my people” and “we” are phrases used to empower the writer. This writer has no group or associates.

It is the opinion of SA Ruby that the threat level based on the letter to be minimal or a low risk for actually carrying out the threat. The writer of the letter starts with BOOM!! But encloses a sugar substance that has no BOOM associated with it, making the letter fraudulent in its entirety. No boom and no real chemical substance.

No boom. Unsubstantial. Fake. That describes so much in the state Capitol.

Download Threat Letter to Gov EI August 08

Marc Caputo, Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:51pm]

    

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