Sixty letters sent over two-year period

Updated: December 9, 2004, 4:54 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- A person who has sent threatening letters denouncing interracial relationships to some NFL players and other prominent black men now is targeting high school athletes, authorities said Thursday.

St. Ignatius and St. Edward, two Catholic high schools in Cleveland with well-known sports programs, received threatening letters addressed to student athletes, FBI special agent Bob Hawk said. St. Ignatius received eight letters on Nov. 30. St. Edward received two letters last week.

"The sentence structure is very similar, the paragraph structure, the verbiage structure. They're all computer generated," Hawk said. "We're convinced that it's the same letter writer."

Hawk said he only knew of schools in Ohio receiving letters.

Over the past two years, 60 such letters have been sent to at least six NFL players and other well-known black men across the nation, including civic and business leaders. None of the recipients has been identified.

The mail, postmarked from cities in northeastern Ohio and Pennsylvania, criticized interracial relationships and directed the men to end such relationships "or they're going to be castrated, shot or set on fire."

The FBI says it has no suspect and is asking anyone with information to contact the agency.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press