Parkland shooter flooded with fan mail from older men, teenage girls

By : Randa Griffin
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PARKLAND, Fla. | While in custody awaiting trial for the murder of 17 of his peers, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been receiving piles of fan mail, photographs and love letters from teenage girls, women and even some older men.

The Sun Sentinel reported a man from New York with a bushy, grey mustache sent Cruz a card with a cat on the front. The card also contained photos of himself behind the wheel of his white 1992 Nissan convertible.

The teen shooter who had few friends in the outside world is now being showered with attention from people all across the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia, according to The Sun Sentinel.

The romanticization and fascination with killers and notorious “bad boys” is nothing new. Cult leader Charles Manson and serial killers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer received their fair share of fan mail and attention from sympathizers across the country, some even resulting in romantic relationships.

The fan mail began arriving just days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and the amount of mail sent to Cruz is rapidly piling up.

Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office is representing Cruz, told The Sun Sentinel, “There’s piles of letters. In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant. Everyone now and then gets a few, but nothing like this.”

Most of the letters offer Cruz support and friendship, saying things like, “I know you could use a good friend right now. Hang in there and keep your head up.” Some of the letters are more romantic, and accompanied by suggestive photos.

Finkelstein told The Sun Sentinel, Cruz now has $800 deposited into his growing commissary account, apparently sent by fans.

Facebook groups have also been created to garner support and sympathy for Cruz. Male fans and supporters have posted comments such as, “He is good guy, just lost his control,” and “Sad.. we should always support Nikolas.”

The continuing idolization of Cruz and his actions has raised cause for concern, demonstrated by a recent case in Polk County. According to the New York Post, a 13-year-old boy was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of felony aggravated stalking, after he admitted to wanting to be “the next school shooter” and “kill lots of kids.” The boy idolized Cruz and the Columbine shooter, collecting pictures of them on his PlayStation.

Cruz is on suicide watch and therefore has not been shown the mail from his admirers, Finkelstein told the Sun Sentinel.

“It’s important that the community understand that as this case continues, the awfulness will continue to spread,” Finkelstein said. “Everything about this case is awful and evil.”

Image of Nikolas Cruz public domain

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