Warning: This story contains content that may disturb some readers. Discretion is advised.
People living and working near an east Saint John middle school say they’re on edge because someone has been leaving them hand-written letters and other items.
Some residents believe this has been happening in the neighbourhood for several years.
Kyle Stacey said he returned home from work last Friday to have lunch and found a plastic bag on his porch. It contained a child’s doll wrapped in plastic and several hand-written letters.
“Stripped to the waist and superb upper bod – for all to enjoy it’s too bad you wear a Tee shirt – any man would slice his throat to have your Panther like Physique,” one letter said.
“Thank your ancestors’ parents for your great genes – you (sic) face so extraordinary,” said another page.
Stacey says the day before, he, his girlfriend and their three-year-old daughter went for a meal at Donnie’s Cookhouse, a restaurant next to Bayside Middle School on Bayside Drive.
One page referenced Stacey’s family meal from the restaurant.
“We are very worried about the safety of my daughter and girlfriend. Like I said, it’s so close to home. And this isn’t just a funny joke, it’s some very disturbing messages,” he said.
Stacey said he contacted police, but had not heard from them since Friday.
Another man said he was doing masonry work at the school last week. His vehicle was parked several metres behind him. When he returned to his vehicle, he said he found letters sitting on his car seats and his windshield. The man declined to provide more details of the alleged incident.
The men took their stories to social media where they were shared hundreds of times.
Stacey says he received several messages from other possible victims. The posts also prompted a response from another man who says he had a similar experience six or seven years ago.
Resident Bill Kelly said he was doing construction work near the school on a hot, summer day. He said he was heading to a convenience store during a break when a man living near the site asked if Kelly goes to the gym.
When Kelly told the man he did not, he said the man said “something very sexual,” prompting him to walk away from the conversation.
The next day, Kelly said he returned to the construction site and found a message-in-a-bottle in the bottom of a hole on the site.
“I opened it up and took pictures of the pages, six or seven pages of this letter he wrote to me,” Kelly said. “And I knew it was him because he said he couldn’t believe I didn’t go to the gym.”
Kelly said he contacted police at the time of the alleged incident, but said he did not hear from them after an initial response.
Jim Hennessy, the communications manager for the Saint John Police Force, said police are investigating these incidents.
“We just remind people to be a little cautious when they are posting things online,” Hennessy said. “Some of the information may not be up to date, some of the information may not be factual.
“So again, we remind everybody that anything that’s posted online can possibly impede an investigation.”
Stacey said learning he wasn’t the only victim was “even more frightening” than his own experience.
“To know that this has been an ongoing issue for years and no one’s come out about it,” Stacey said, “I just happened to put the post out and, sure enough, I’m not the only person this has happened to. This has been an ongoing issue for almost five to seven years now, at least,” he said.
“It’s very alarming to know that there’s multiple people out there with the same situation, in the same area.”
Kelly said this situation calls for more than just a police response.
“This highlights the need for mental health,” he said. “Because people who are like this need help. They need it badly.”