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'48 Hours' investigates anonymous letters threatening to expose Circleville's rumored secrets

The letters at first focused on a married school district superintendent and his rumored relationship with a school bus driver.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For nearly two decades, an anonymous letter writer sent threatening letters exposing alleged secrets about neighbors and friends in Circleville.

“The Circleville letter writer,” says podcaster Marie Mayhew, “knew everything about everyone … and knew everybody’s secrets.”

The letters at first focused on a married school district superintendent and his rumored relationship with a school bus driver Mary Gillespie.

“I know everything,” the writer wrote. “I’ve been observing your house and know you have children…. It’s your daughters turn to pay for what you’ve done.”

One day Gillespie saw an obscene sign about her daughter on a fence. When she went to remove it, she noticed it was tied a string, which led to a box with a gun rigged to go off.

The gun was traced to her brother-in-law, Paul Freshour. Freshour’s estranged wife told investigators he was also the Circleville letter writer.

He was sent to prison, but the letters continued, even though he was kept in isolation and not allowed pen or paper.

The mystery has caught the attention of more than a dozen podcasters and attracted television and print coverage.

Now, a forensic document expert believes she has identified the Circleville letter writer after examining 49 of those letters.

“I would go into court and swear on the Bible on the evidence that I found,” East tells Moriarty. “I would say one person wrote all of these.”

Tonight at 10 on 10TV, Erin Moriarty and 48 HOURS investigate the mystery behind the letters and interview experts about the documents.

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