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The Billy Letters
April 29, 2008 6:07 PM   Subscribe

In the late '90s, pop-culture historian Bill Geerhart had a little too much time on his hands and a surfeit of stamps. So, for his own entertainment, the then-unemployed thirtysomething launched a letter-writing campaign to some of the most powerful and infamous figures in the country, posing as a curious 10-year-old named Billy.
posted by snsranch (21 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Shades of Lazlo Toth.

Fight, fight, fight!
posted by nosila at 6:17 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Goodness...I'm truly sorry about the color scheme/font on the second link. Guh!

And also: stand up for our President!
posted by nosila at 6:29 PM on April 29, 2008


Responding to Billy's idea for a "Hustler for kids," Larry Flynt wrote back encouraging the fourth grader to "Hang in there. You'll be 18 before you know it."
posted by ornate insect at 6:30 PM on April 29, 2008


Ha, this is great. The letter he sent to Schwarzenegger is pure gold.
posted by spiderskull at 6:31 PM on April 29, 2008


The Manson letter is kind of weird. What's up with the photo?
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:41 PM on April 29, 2008


The Manson letter is kind of weird. What's up with the photo?

Ha ha! I was just coming here to mention that I found the Manson replies to be masterpieces of twisted literary lunacy, and that the picture of the shack was absolutely gorgeous.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 PM on April 29, 2008


nosila, thanks for the Lazlo tip. I had no idea he did anything other than Fr. Guido!
posted by snsranch at 7:05 PM on April 29, 2008


Fight, fight, fight!

Easy easy eassy ...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:10 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


WTF is up with the NightStalker stationary???!!!
posted by smackfu at 7:11 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Larry Flynt response is actually kind of endearing.
posted by amyms at 7:22 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


This was hilarious. Ditto on Flynt being awesome. And holy shit Erik Menendez has fantastic handwriting.

I just know I'll be wondering about that shack, too..
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:01 PM on April 29, 2008


This is why Charles Manson had to be banned from Ask Metafilter - complete failure to answer the question.
posted by taz at 10:54 PM on April 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


The NightStalker ... has a logo? Nice branding with the knife-like N there.
posted by dhartung at 10:57 PM on April 29, 2008


Psycho Blue.
posted by dgaicun at 10:58 PM on April 29, 2008


When I get banged up for murder, I'm totally getting a logo.

Erm, I mean if I were to get banged up....
posted by pompomtom at 11:09 PM on April 29, 2008


Shades of Lazlo Toth.

See also, Henry Root (who stole the idea from Toth but did a far better job of execution IMO.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:57 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also: 'What's that you say? You're a 12 year old boy? Send pictures!'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:59 PM on April 29, 2008


I'm imagining Manson with this huge stack of 'scenic barn' postcards, workin' the Manson BrandTM for all it's worth.

"I got you here HAHA HA yu dont remember but i do Janet chop chop meooow HILLBILLY
PS::::: Hey, the new kitchen looks great! I love the tile."

""in my dreems I took everything you had and buried it under yur moms tears in the hay Hasaan
Pls look into my Quality Paperback Book Club account; I'm pretty sure they owe me a visual dictionary."

"yor eyes dont see what's been cut out, the mold abov is nothin comparred to the mold below in yur sole HA HAHA easy easy Brian
Re: I miss the 20th century, too. :(
posted by maryh at 12:43 AM on April 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Until then, you should read the Sears & Roebuck catalog

See - he did provide a working alternative for Billy's problem - that'll do...
posted by jkaczor at 4:53 AM on April 30, 2008


Aw, man. I'm pretty jealous of Richard Ramirez's awesome stationery, too. I bet he sends his letters out in matching envelopes.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:20 AM on April 30, 2008


Ted Kaczynski is proof that, for better or worse, a person can be both a radical survivalist terrorist mail-bomber AND a thoughtful, rational, intelligent human being.

(It's weird that somebody actually wrote a letter to the Unabomber asking him to mail something back, though.)

Also: Eric Menendez has amazing handwriting.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:33 AM on April 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


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