Oshawa hate letter offer.

Update 09/04/13
So far my offer has not turned up POM! and she has not yet found the courage to step up and face her responsibilities. My offer still stands, I still feel that our community needs to see her be responsible for her words in order to heal from the harm she has caused.

 

Update 08/24/13
I’m just going to refer to the author of the anonymous hate letter as POM! (Pissed Of Mother!!!) It’s just too awkward and confusing to try to refer to her as “the author of…” and “the person who wrote…”. Also I’ve seen a lot of speculation that POM is neither a woman or a mother, I agree that elements of the letter may have been a deliberate attempt to misdirect. I will keep referring to POM in the female sense, it’s only intended to avoid confusion, I’m not trying to perpetuate the assumption that it is a woman.

In the last two days I have received messages from dozens of people seeking to contribute and increase the amount that I am offering. Right now I don’t want to increase my offer over the $100 mark. There are too many issues that are inherent,and inseparable
when making a cash offer to identify someone. That person may be harassed, threatened or even harmed. I don’t condone or seek for any of these things to happen to POM! but if they do I don’t want to spread that responsibility. I made the offer, if there are negative consequences I do not want anyone else to feel responsible for them.

I still want to see POM! come forward on her own. The things that she said are damaging to an entire community of people that already struggle with hate and intolerance every day. Taking responsibility for what she has said is the first step toward repairing that damage. So far I haven’t seen anything indicating that the Ontario Police are planning on bringing charges. If they announce an intent to charge POM! with a crime, and they offer a reward for her identity, I will add my offer to that reward and direct everyone that has contacted me on how to contribute to it also.

To the Begley family:
I have huge sympathy and respect for you. I apologize that my offer has detracted attention from your issue. I would be glad to hear any thoughts you have towards this all.

To Brenda Millson:
Helping to care for Max is a huge responsibility and I applaud you for taking it on. Every parent raising a disabled child needs as many people as possible who love and support their children and are willing to help with their care. Unfortunately many of us don’t have people like you. The tremendous benefit that you are to your family, and to the community, is not lost on me. I’m so sorry that you had to be the first person to see that letter and that you had to share it with your family. I have been in the position of having to deliver terrible news to people I love and I know how hard that is. When POM! wrote that letter she thought that you were Max’s mother, the things that she said were directed toward you and you don’t deserve any of that. Hopefully Max will continue to be safe in your care and he will be able to enjoy his time with you uninterrupted.

To POM!:
If your paying attention to any of the fervor that you have caused than your going to end up reading this. The things that you have said in your letter have caused damage to an international community of people that face hardships everyday that you can’t even begin to appreciate. Now you need to take part in repairing that damage. You need to take responsibility for what you have said. Continuing to hide isn’t going to solve this problem for you. Someone knows who you are, it is only a matter of time before they come forward. If you want to gain any respect, and eventually forgiveness for what you have said you have to step up and take responsibility. My offer is still open for you to contact me directly.

To the Media:
At this time I am declining requests for interviews. If you have questions that you want answered please write them down and submit them to me. I will publish both the questions and the answers here.

Update: 08/22/13
My offer has received a lot of attention in the last two days. The Cape Brenton Post has even written an article about it which can be found here:
http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Canada%20-%20World/Society/2013-08-22/article-3359254/American-offers-100-to-identify-author-of-hatefilled-autism-letter/1

I feel a responsibility to explain my intent in making this offer:
I believe in seeking the best possible outcome for all parties whenever there is a dispute. As I read the news articles, I could not help but think of how the author of that letter could exit the situation with the best resolution possible. The only solution I could discern would be for her to come forward herself, apologize publicly and profusely, recognize and take responsibility for her mistakes, perform a grand act of kindness (perhaps a new trampoline for Max!) and show tolerance in her future actions. This isn’t going to generate a positive outcome for her, but it would be the least negative and it will create the opportunity for these neighbors to build a better relationship and seek an amicable solution.

There is an enormous amount of hate out there for this person right now. As I read through comments I saw practically every hateful thing she said redirected back at her. All of this hate is directed at a faceless figure unfocused and unabashed, I’m not seeking this persons head or calling for her condemnation. I hope that in identifying her it will humanize her, causing everyone to reel in their vitriol a little and consider the situation with an eye toward positive resolution, but that only works if she comes forward on her own. Unfortunately, as she has not done it yet, the fear that someone else will disclose her identity may be the only way to encourage that.I am not advocating for the author of that letter in any way, I just think that there is a way to turn this into something positive for the community.

The intent of my offer is for this woman to come forward on her own, whether it be out of desire to right her wrongs, or out of fear that she will be outed by someone else. That being said my offer stands although I would like to expand a couple of points.

1.If I am able to determine the identity of the author of the letter I will contact her and give her first opportunity to come forward. If she chooses not to, and I am able to positively determine her identity, I will come out with it myself. I will still provide the $100(USD) to whoever supplies me her identity regardless of how it becomes public.

2.If somebody knows who this person is and they choose to encourage her to come forward on her own I will give the money to them.

3.If the author of that letter realizes on her own that it’s her only hope for a resolution and decides to come forward I will donate the money to any charity as directed by Max’s parents.

To me, it is a great affront that this person has used anonymity to perpetuate hate and cause harm. There are appropriate circumstances for anonymous speech. That letter, the hate it contains, and the hurt it causes, to the family and to the community, is not an appropriate form of anonymous speech.

Previous entry:
While I don’t usually divert subjects from my work with DCFS I just read about a family in Oshawa Canada that has received a very hateful letter directed toward their autistic son. The letter is so hateful and hurtful that I cannot avoid addressing it.

For those that haven’t read it here is a link:
http://o.canada.com/2013/08/19/ontario-woman-receives-hateful-letter-about-autistic-son/

I’m making an open offer of $100 to anyone that can positively identify the author of that letter.

I have written an open statement to that person:

The statements that you have made are insensitive, hurtful and demonstrate a juvenile mentality. People with Autism, and any other disorder or disability, are still people. Though not always apparent they have feelings just like you.

I understand your frustration with your neighbor’s behavior. Dealing with children with disabilities can be frustrating, and exhausting. I say this from experience; I am raising a son with autism myself. It is difficult but having him in my life has given me a greater sense of humanity that I otherwise would not have. You should open yourself up to acceptance of his diversity; clearly you could benefit from a greater sense of humanity yourself.

Take a moment and try to understand the frustration that this boy experiences every day. Like any child, like your children, he has needs, but he does not have the ability to express them, at least not in a way that most people can understand. The voice inside his head is screaming for someone to help him, understand him, accept him; but when he tries to speak all he can produce is the “noise” that you complain about. He hears it too; it is not the sound he wants to make. If he had the ability to articulate his needs verbally, like your “normal” children he would.

You are a coward. Everyone has the right to speak their minds. If you had taken ownership of your statements I would not hesitate to defend that right, but you have not. You have chosen to hide behind anonymity. If you lack shame for the hurtful things you have said you should at least be ashamed that you are not taking responsibility for them.
I will not hide my identity; I take full responsibility for everything that I say. My name is Wade Huntley, I live in West Jordan Utah, I operate a website: http://www.avoiceformyson.com where my contact information can be found. You are welcome to contact me yourself if you would like to respond. Be warned that I may post any communications that I receive from you and if you reveal your identity to me I will disclose it publicly.

Finally, I am making an open offer of $100 dollars to anyone that can positively identify you as the author of that letter. It isn’t much but it is all that I can afford. Given the hurtful things that you have said I doubt it will require any reward for someone to reveal who you are. If I am able to confirm your identity I will post it publicly on my site and I will provide it to your local news stations.

Wade Huntley
Proud father of an autistic child

To anyone that can and would like to identify the author of that hateful letter please contact me: wadehuntley@gmail.com.
I will do everything I can to positively confirm the identity of the author before posting it.
I will not reveal the identity of anyone that contacts me.
If you are this persons friend, parent, sibling or child I will not reveal who you are.

38 thoughts on “Oshawa hate letter offer.

  1. Veronica says:

    Your greed is very dissapointing if that indeed is the case. Trying to profit off of someone else’s crime and demanding more than was offered…. sad

  2. misscapri says:

    This woman needs to be found out. This isn’t your average garden variety ignorance and stupidity, this is malicious, and she could be another George Trepal. She didn’t just say “I’m so mad I could wring your neck” in a fit of anger like a normal but seriously ticked off person. she was way too specific in her fantasies of what she wants done to people she views as being somehow beneath her. and she shouldn’t get off. I don’t believe she has been punished enough as some people claim. I don’t believe she needs pity or anybody feeling sorry for her. I don’t pity or feel sorry for people like her. they are just too evil to evoke anything in the way of sympathy from me. she’s obviously imbalanced, but that’s no excuse.

    • Thank you very much for bring George Trepal to my attention. I hadn’t heard of him before but I’ve been doing some reading up on his case. For those out there that haven’t heard of him:
      http://murderpedia.org/male.T/t/trepal-george.htm

      After several altercations, and anonymous threat letters, George Trepal poisoned his neighbors by placing thallium in coke bottles in their garage. He told police that he did it because he wanted them to move away. It’s an unfortunate reality that people do things like this. POM! is a potentially dangerous individual and Max is especially vulnerable.

      • When you are depressed you feel like that says:

        the thing is you shoudnt dismiss any suspects … it can be a man (or even a bully teenager), who wrote the “my children” and being “a mother” to just distract

        i would suspect:
        a) lonely depressive people that live REALLY CLOSE to you…
        b) a bully (this one can be not so close) if a teenager he/she doesnt take this so seriously… did it just for fun…

        anyway, i hope you fin her/him

  3. Tom says:

    Email me, I want to support the cause

  4. Warren says:

    Hopefully the police will find the person responsible for sending that nasty letter, and take appropriate action. These sorts of things should not happen in Canada, or anywhere else.

  5. Michael says:

    let me know when you have a name.

  6. Harold says:

    I live in Bolton Ontario and would like to express my support in catching this hater . I have a adult daughter with Down Syndrome and although we have never had to deal with such hate, we have mostly had understanding people who just loved being around our daughter. How do I send my donation and where can I send it ? Can we post a fundraiser to help flush out and charge this so called person or people. If the money is not claimed maybe it can be used to do something good for Maxwell.

  7. Buhda says:

    If they slipped it under the door, have they checked with thier neighbors to see if anyone has a security camera pointed in thier direction?

    • I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, I’m not Max’s father. I’m the father of a another autistic boy that I am immensely proud of and I am very sympathetic toward the Begley family, toward Brenda Millson, Max’s grandmother, and toward Max himself. You have an excellent idea. I’m sure that the police will be looking at footage from any nearby cameras. With home camera security systems becoming more and more affordable it’s really likely that somebody had a camera pointed out toward the street that day.

    • Jon says:

      Very unlikely that anyone has a security camera, Newcastle, ON is a very small town. It’s the type of place where you don’t need to lock your door and I’m willing to bet that many don’t. I’m sure that someone in the community knows exactly who wrote this disgusting letter. I really hope that all of the support being shown to Max causes the author of the letter to feel enough remorse that they apologize. I actually feel kind of sorry for them, so much hate against someone so innocent.

  8. Thank you for what you are doing

    I started a support. Group Facebook page for the family
    I would love it if you joined
    Thank you

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/510387959036866/

  9. I have a child who has Aspergers Syndrome, I was Soooo sick to my stomach when I read the letter “the pissed off mother” wrote! I just can’t imagine what Mathew’s family went through when they read it! I love my son to the moon and back! I hope justice is serve to the “pissed off mother”, she should know better. Never Judge unless you REALLY know the story…. do the research. Autistic kids are VERY smart!!! anyways I can go on about this topic (it really urks me people have to be so inhumane) but i’ll stop here. I support Mathews family for sure!

  10. Francois says:

    Way to go — You have my full support in this. My son is also Autistic.
    Best of luck from Ireland.

  11. Kim says:

    So sorry your going through this my son is 14 and has aspergers its a shame that our children have to worry about bullies at school but now to have a grown adult to do the same is pitiful praying for you guys that justice will be done.

  12. Katherine says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/08/20/autistic-boy-family-receives-euthanize-letter-ontario-newscastle.html
    More coverage on the story.
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1149322-autistic-boy-s-dad-offers-reward-to-identify-hate-letter-writer
    Your reward offer has made National news. Thank you for reaching your support over the border.
    Katherine, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

  13. Heather says:

    I don’t even know what to say. No words can take that hateful letter back. Although I understand the frustrations that you deal with as a neighbor- I can only assume that the letter writer has issues herself. Any “normal” person would simply approach the grandmother and calmly express her concerns and try to come up with a “normal” solution. Having special-needs children (of any kind) is very trying, and this grandmother is just trying to give her own daughter a break from the chaos.
    To the writer: I challenge you to this – ask yourself if you would euthanize your OWN child if he or she were different from other children. I pity your children and the life that they are undoubtedly going to grow up to live in – where they will be haters also. Rather than have your children “scared to death”….TEACH them to be understanding and respectful as a good mother would.

  14. Greg says:

    I too have children with disabilities but have never had to experience what they have in the form of a hateful letter. But still it angers me. Although this attack was directed against their son it could have very easily been anyone who’s child is different.

    As a father to I stand with the Begley’s. Their son is wonderful as is thier family for all the love and support they provide for him.

    I’m sorry they have had to endure this but through it all I think what has emerged has been positive as people have rallied to their sons cause and condemned the hateful letter.

  15. jillianmccabe says:

    I’m very happy to support to your cause 🙂

  16. dan says:

    we need to find the author of the letter.. and educate her on how to treat people with kindness and respect

  17. Robert Dunn says:

    I would also contribute to find the person who wrote the letter. I bet if there was a page to make donations for a reward to turn in this poor excuse for a human in, people would donate. I wish I knew how to set it up. If it doesn’t help turn over the rock this scum is hiding under we could give the money to Max and his mom, at least that way they can take away something positive from a very painful experience.

  18. clarion says:

    Hi Wade,

    I would like to express my support.

    Also, I live in Toronto it’s a relatively short drive to Oshawa or Newcastle.

    With great respect,

    Clive

  19. tzzy says:

    I would like to express my support.

  20. canadian says:

    I would contribute to that.

    You should open up a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign to raise the pot. If the writer is not found, funds could go to the family or Austism organizations in their area!

    • Thank you for the idea, for now I’m not seeking to increase the amount of my offer. There are just too many issues that are inherent and inseparable when seeking someone’s identity through a cash reward. If there are negative consequences I don’t want anyone else to feel responsible.

  21. Robin says:

    Although I do not have an autistic child I was touched and moved by your cash reward offer to find the person who wrote this letter. I currently live outside Ottawa, ON but was born and raised in the Oshawa area.

    Hate and ignorance fills this world, and if there were more people like you the world would be a better place.

    The statements made in this letter worry me. I am a mother with two young boys and cannot imagine another mother writing such a disturbing peice of uneducated and disrespectful garbage.

    Lets find this person and hopefully this family can stop being harrassed.

    Robin Dewey

  22. Brian says:

    Shame on you. You yourself are a horrible person. Putting a bounty on someones head. You should accept that woman for who she is, no matter what differnces you may share. That is what you want for you child right? Lead by example.

    Practice what you preach.

    • Brian,
      I Thank you for expressing your opinion, whether you agree with what I’m doing or not. Challenges are how we grow as people.
      If you want to call this a bounty that is fine with me. The definition of a bounty that I have found, in the sense that we are using it here, is a sum paid for the capture of a person or animal. I believe that what I’m offering more closely fits the definition of a reward. Tat definition being a thing given in recognition of one’s service, effort, or achievement. I’m not calling for this persons capture, but if the police decide to bring criminal charges against her that may end up being the result. What I am calling for, is for this person to either step up and take responsibility for the things she has said, or be held responsible by the community. Responsibility is the ideal that each person should be accountable for the consequences of their own actions. Personal responsibility is a necessary quality for all people that choose to participate in our society. It’s the foundation for the entire judicial system both civil and criminal. For me this isn’t an issue of who said what to who and how. This is an issue of somebody causing harm and refusing to take responsibility for it. Determining that person’s identity is just a step toward holding them responsible for the harm they have caused. If the only consequence this person may face is public shame then it is their responsibility to face it. I’m not calling for an increase or decrease in the consequences this person has to face. I am seeking this persons identity so they can face the consequences whatever they are. If this person had put their name to that piece of paper we would all still be outraged and they would be facing the consequences for the harm that they caused, but at least they would have met the most basic criteria for civil participation.
      Let me ask you some questions Brian:
      If you saw someone hit a car and speed away would you ignore it because their insurance might go up, or would you report it?
      If you knew that a co-worker was stealing from your company would you cover it up so that they don’t get fired, or would you tell your boss?
      If you witness a murder would you lie on the stand so that the murderer didn’t have to go to prison, or would you tell the truth and put them away?

      These questions represent a spectrum of people causing harm and whether or not you would help them avoid responsibility for their actions or hold them responsible. Calling for this person to be allowed to remain anonymous is aiding her in avoiding responsibility for what she has done.

      I’m not equating that letter to property damage,theft or murder. Some people may feel that what she did is worse than all three of those things, some may feel that it isn’t as bad as any of them and some people may put it somewhere in the middle. What I think all people can agree upon is that a person who has caused harm should not be allowed to avoid the consequences of their actions.
      This person has caused undeniable harm to a family that is already struggling every day to care for their child. She should not be allowed to avoid responsibility for that harm. I feel that the whoever brings this person to be responsible for the harm she has caused is participating in the service of a public good, so what I am offering to them is a reward. You’re welcome to disagree, we are all entitled to our own opinions so long as we take responsibility for them.
      As to the differences that I share with with this person; Nobody knows yet who she is so all I have to go off of is her letter. Based on that alone our differences would be: compassion, empathy, sympathy, understanding, tolerance, patience, humanity, responsibility, grammar, spelling and punctuation. I can accept her failures in the last three but I think she needs considerable improvement in the first eight if she is going to continue to participate in our society.
      What I certainly don’t want for my child is to have to live in world where people are allowed to hurt each other with impunity. What I am doing is a little step toward making sure our world doesn’t head in that direction.
      As far as leading by example. That’s exactly what I have done from the very start. I’m calling for this person to be responsible. I’ve shown her how to do that by proclaiming my identity and taking responsibility for everything I say.

      Practice what I preach, I’ve beaten this subject into the ground by now. Responsibility, doing it.
      If you want to think I’m a horrible person I’m fine with that too. If you had read the other parts of my site you would see that I have set aside my own interests in order to achieve improvement in a system that is failing to protect our children. That because of what I’ve done, within a years time people that abuse children with disabilities, at least here in Utah, will be less likely to get away with it. That they too will be held responsible for their actions. If you’ve done something equally good in your life I would love to hear about it. I am truly interested in knowing by what measure you qualify yourself to declare me as “a horrible person”.

  23. E. M. L. says:

    This is so horrible!

    You know tests can be done on printer ink to narrow down ink prducers/type of printers. There are also other indicators to narrow down printer types. Was this letter tested for prints or DNA at all? Your offer to help this family is very generous. The person who wrote this letter should be identified and seek some sort of help for their own obvious anger issues.

    I am hoping that max and his family are safe and I hope they can enjoy their neighborhood once again.

    • It’s a good thought but I think that police need to balance how invasive their investigation is against the severity of the crime. To check all those things they would need to collect information and samples from everyone around the grandmas house for at least a block. Maybe further, this person may not live nearby and might just walk her kids by during the day. Hopefully this person will decide to come out on their own. Making a very public and profuse apology, performing a grand act of kindness (maybe a new trampoline for Max) and demonstrating some tolerance is the only way, that I see, that the author of that letter can hope for a good (read not completely terrible) outcome. If she does my offer still stands, but I’m obviously not going to give the money to her. I will donate it to whatever charity Max’s family directs.

  24. eileen says:

    Have you found out who it was yet this person needs to be found what an allfull person

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