Suspected Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz is being inundated with fan mail, love letters, and donations, according to a report in South Florida's Sun-Sentinel.
Some of these letters are of a sexual nature and include provocative photos.
"When I saw your picture on the television, something attracted me to you," one letter said. "Your eyes are beautiful and the freckles on your face make you so handsome."
The girl said she was white, had big brown eyes, is “really skinny and have 34C sized breasts.”
"I reserve the right to care about you, Nikolas!" wrote a Texas woman in neat blue script in a letter addressed to the jail’s Post Office Box in Fort Lauderdale. The letter was mailed six days after Cruz murdered 17 students and staff and injured 17 others with an AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14. […]
A woman from Chicago enclosed nine suggestive photos, including a shot of cleavage, another in a skimpy bikini eating a Popsicle and a tight shot of her backside as she bent over. Another girl sent photos with Hello Kitty Snapchat filters.
An 18-year-old from New York wrote: “No one else is dealing w/your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning, friend. I know you could use a good friend right now. Hang in there and keep your head up." The letter closes with hearts colored in pink ink. (Sun
Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein said he’s never seen anything like it.
"There's piles of letters," he said, reports the Sun Sentinel. "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."
Cruz is unaware he is receiving these types of letters, not all of which are from women.
Finkelstein, whose office is representing Cruz, explained only a few have been read to him—and they are of a vastly different nature.
“We read a few religious ones to him that extended wishes for his soul and to come to God,” Finkelstein said, “but we have not and will not read him the fan letters or share the photos of scantily-clad teenage girls.”
But his fans aren’t just sending snail mail. They are also on social media. According to the report, several groups have formed on Facebook, including one called “Nikolas Cruz—the First Victim.”
The group’s mission is to offer “complete support of Nikolas Cruz. Whether or not he did this, he was completely failed. He deserved to get the help he needs and he deserves a fair trial.”
“I want you all to know that Nikolas knows about us and he had the biggest smile on his face when he was told that we all support him,” one female commenter wrote earlier this month. “Keep the letters coming because he can’t wait to finally get them.”
While jail workers have kept the showering of praise from Cruz, he may be somewhat aware of his fans as his younger brother was overheard telling him about how popular he’s become, especially among women.
Finkelstein said the response he’s seen is very troubling because “everyday boys and girls are starting to view him in an elevated way, looking up to his fame and notoriety.”
"The letters shake me up because they are written by regular, everyday teenage girls from across the nation,” he told the Florida paper. “That scares me. It's perverted.”
According to author and forensic psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, who has studied and written about this issue, people send killers such letters due to their own psychological problems.
“Women who become pen pals and groupies of killers in prison are those who have had a dysfunctional relationship with their dad that has made them feel unloveable,” she told the Florida paper. These women have low self-esteem, she said, and “become imbued with the killer’s power.”
This post has been updated.