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A gay couple finally found out who was sending them homophobic hate mail for five years after their neighbor tried to sign up for a newspaper subscription in their name

Summary List PlacementA gay couple in Milton, Massachusetts lived in constant stress after receiving homophobic hateful mail from an anonymous community member for five years. USA Today reported that police finally discovered who was sending the mail by utilizing handwriting analysis, and made an arrest on May 13.  LeeMichael McLean and Bryan Furze told USA Today they found their first piece of hatemail in 2016 when they discovered a magazine subscription addressed to a fake homophobic name.  The two initially brushed it off, but the harassment didn't stop. Over the course of five years, McLean and Furze were sent over 30 pieces...

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Summary List Placement

A gay couple in Milton, Massachusetts lived in constant stress after receiving homophobic hateful mail from an anonymous community member for five years.

USA Today reported that police finally discovered who was sending the mail by utilizing handwriting analysis, and made an arrest on May 13. 

LeeMichael McLean and Bryan Furze told USA Today they found their first piece of hatemail in 2016 when they discovered a magazine subscription addressed to a fake homophobic name. 

The two initially brushed it off, but the harassment didn’t stop. Over the course of five years, McLean and Furze were sent over 30 pieces of hate mail. 

The two worried their now 7-year-old son would find the mail while he was learning how to read or that the mail would escalate into something more violent against their family.

“It brought me back to being a little kid and getting teased for my voice or my appearance,” he told USA TODAY. “We were being picked on because we were gay, and it had followed me into my 40s. I couldn’t believe it.”

Police suggested it was likely a neighbor or someone in the area who knew the couple, as is usually the case in harassment cases of this nature. 

“For five years, we were living here and wondering which of our neighbors, who were all being kind and neighborly to us, is actually harassing us,” McLean said.

The case received massive support from community members in the small progressive town, but no leads were discovered until 2021.

The harasser had tried to sign the couple up for a subscription to the Boston Globe, but they were already subscribed. The handwritten subscription request form was sent back to the family’s home because it was the return address listed by the suspect. 

Police were able to analyze the handwriting to find the suspect — a neighbor who felt the couple was too vocal at town meetings — and make an arrest, charging him with criminal harassment. The two were relieved when the ordeal came to an end. 

“I walked out of there feeling like a foot shorter because I had so much weight on me,” McLean told USA Today. “It was horrible. I was anxious, depressed. Having to recount those details was incredibly painful.”

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