Parkland school shooting: Florida killer suspect Nikolas Cruz receives adoring fan mail in prison
Admirers send letters detailing their ‘attraction’ to alleged gunman, including his ‘beautiful eyes’, while offering support and companionship
Accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz has been receiving volumes of fan mail at the Florida prison where he is being held.
In a pattern seen before with other killers and men accused of violent crimes, Cruz, who is charged with 17 counts of murder for the massacre at the school, has been sent suggestive photographs, greeting cards, encouragement and other kind notes, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, which obtained copies of some of the missives.
Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office represents Cruz, said he was concerned about the notoriety Cruz was getting.
“The letters shake me up because they are written by regular, everyday teenage girls from across the nation,” he said. “That scares me. It’s perverted.”
The Sun Sentinel showed a thick stack of hundreds of pages of photocopies of the letters Cruz has been sent.
“You’re in a tough spot, Nik and that is something I know, because I’ve been there myself,” one letter writer wrote to Cruz. “If you need something, I can mail to you … ask. If you need to talk … I’ll listen.”
On 15 March, a person who identified themselves as an 18-year-old woman from Texas wrote: “When I saw your picture on the television, something attracted me to you.”
The letter was inside an envelope decorated with hearts and happy faces, the Sun Sentinel reported.
“Your eyes are beautiful and the freckles on your face make you so handsome.”
Another woman sent Cruz nine suggestive photos, the newspaper reported.
Mr Finkelstein told the Sun Sentinel that the “piles of letters” to Cruz was unlike anything he has seen before.
“In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant,” he said. “Everyone now and then gets a few, but nothing like this.”
Some of the correspondence is also from men. Mr Finkelstein told the newspaper that Cruz, who is on suicide watch, has not seen the letters. The Broward County Jail opens most mail for inmates, the Sun Sentinel reported; mail that is vulgar or deemed a security threat is returned to the sender.
“We read a few religious ones to him that extended wishes for his soul and to come to God, but we have not and will not read him the fan letters or share the photos of scantily-clad teenage girls,” Mr Finkelstein told the newspaper.
The $800 (£568) in Cruz’s commissary account has apparently been sent, at least in part, by fans, Finkelstein said.