J.K. Rowling Sends Dumbledore Letter to Shooting Massacre Teen

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J.K. Rowling Sends Dumbledore Letter to Shooting Massacre Teen

J.K. Rowling sent a very special package to Cassidy Stay.

Earlier this year, 15-year-old Cassidy Stay survived a shooting massacre by playing dead, and phoned the police as soon as the shooter - her former uncle, Ronald Lee Haskell - left the scene to kill other family members. That act probably saved lives, but by that point both her parents and four younger siblings were already dead. At a press conference after the tragedy, Stay quoted Dumbledore, one of her favorite characters, and said, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Author J.K. Rowling has responded with a hand-written letter from Dumbledore himself.

The contents of the letter will remain private, but a representative of the Facebook page set up to help Stay confirms that the package includes an autographed copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban, a wand, and an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, as well as the Dumbledore letter.

"The fact that she wrote a handwritten letter from Dumbledore who has been dead for 10 years is incredible," says Michelle Boyer, who set up the Facebook page. "In my opinion, a letter from Dumbledore is better than an actual visit from J.K. This is something that she will be able to find comfort in forever."

The lead district attorney in the case expects Haskell to face a grand capital murder indictment.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Hopefully this will help her get through such a tragedy. I can't imagine what kind of emotional damage she incurred, and I pray that she gets through it. In the future, I can see her treasuring this a lot, as something that helped her get through this hard time in her life.

I know crazy shooters are, well, crazy... but to this day, I just cannot fathom how... EVIL... you must be to take the life of a defenseless child. It's one of those crimes where I simply cannot empathize in any way whatsoever because the very concept is so heinous and horrible to me.

I hope the poor girl who lost her family finds recovery and happiness in life. If this helps even a little tiny bit, I'm happy for it.

That is very cute actually. A nice gesture from J.K, and one I am certain the girl appreciates a whole lot.

On July 9 Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, came to the Stay's home in search for his ex-wife, Cassidy's aunt. Haskell shot and killed Cassidy's father, mother and four siblings after Cassidy's parents refused to tell him where his ex-wife was. Cassidy was shot in the head, but she survived the shooting by playing dead. She immediately called the police to tell them what her uncle had done, and she warned the police that her uncle was headed to her grandparent's home.

She had the presence of mind to play dead and then warn the cops after being shot in the head.

That's one... tough kid.

JK Rowling has always been, to me, a wonderful human being. She was so kind in doing this and the girl is a hero in her own right. I wish her many years of happiness and strength, still.

A really lovely gesture from JK.

What sickens me most is the fact that he had the presence of mind to bind them, face them down and execute them by shooting them in the back of the head. That doesn't strike me as the act of an insane person, but rather a sick twisted individual.

Hope this girl can find some comfort.

Damn, I feel sorry for the girl for losing most of her family in just 1 single day. Since she seems to be in a tight-knit spiritual community I assume she will be looked after.

Side Note: Fuck the guy who did this.

This might sound evil but I hope that guy gets tortured for the rest of his life.

Doing shit like that should yield no mercy whatsoever.

I hope that this girl isn't completely screwed for the rest of her life. It's good of JK Rowling to take the time to do something like this.

That girl must be strong to even have thought of Dumbledore's quote at a time like that.

Trishbot:
I know crazy shooters are, well, crazy... but to this day, I just cannot fathom how... EVIL... you must be to take the life of a defenseless child. It's one of those crimes where I simply cannot empathize in any way whatsoever because the very concept is so heinous and horrible to me.

I hope the poor girl who lost her family finds recovery and happiness in life. If this helps even a little tiny bit, I'm happy for it.

Reading through the article on the shooting, its pretty clear we have the depressingly familiar case of someone who decided the best response to his wife/girlfriend leaving him was to try and kill her and/or any members of her family he came across.

This is a wonderful gesture from Rowling.... and i hope the girl is going to getting through this ok.

Crazy people and guns don't mix well. What I'm really concerned with about this tragedy is that without treatment for the mentally ill or measures to stop them from getting weapons that allow mass murder more people will be inevitably doomed to this fate.

Hopefully that girl has some extended family to support her, as going it alone in her position sounds really hard to do.

Haru17:
Crazy people and guns don't mix well. What I'm really concerned with about this tragedy is that without treatment for the mentally ill or measures to stop them from getting weapons that allow mass murder more people will be inevitably doomed to this fate.

The "mentally ill"-comment is often brought up, but... well, there certainly are cases with early warning signs, but in a lot of cases people are just completely flabbergasted when their neighbour or relative goes on a killing spree. A lot of these folks snap after a particular incident but otherwise seem or seemed like normal people, responsible gun owners. Until they aren't. It is... problematic... to try and put these types of tragedies on the mentally ill, although I obviously won't disagree with improving mental and overall healthcare.

Skeleon:

Haru17:
Crazy people and guns don't mix well. What I'm really concerned with about this tragedy is that without treatment for the mentally ill or measures to stop them from getting weapons that allow mass murder more people will be inevitably doomed to this fate.

The "mentally ill"-comment is often brought up, but... well, there certainly are cases with early warning signs, but in a lot of cases people are just completely flabbergasted when their neighbour or relative goes on a killing spree. A lot of these folks snap after a particular incident but otherwise seem or seemed like normal people, responsible gun owners. Until they aren't. It is... problematic... to try and put these types of tragedies on the mentally ill, although I obviously won't disagree with improving mental and overall healthcare.

Yeah, I hear in many of these cases that the killer was always quiet until they opened fire. It's an inherent problem with trying to understand some mentally ill people, it's just that their brains work differently. This is hardly to say that all mentally ill people are killers, but there should be treatment to help people before people die. I don't know specifically if Haskell is mentally disturbed, I would assume he'd have to be, but he could have done this as just an evil design of a sane person. Either way he probably needs psychological help, I don't know what could have caused someone to go off on their girlfriend's family like that.

Haru17:
This is hardly to say that all mentally ill people are killers, but there should be treatment to help people before people die. I don't know specifically if Haskell is mentally disturbed, I would assume he'd have to be, but he could have done this as just an evil design of a sane person. Either way he probably needs psychological help, I don't know what could have caused someone to go off on their girlfriend's family like that.

But that (the bolded bit) is exactly the problem I have with this:
A person does something horrendous, cruel and monstrous... and that must mean he was mentally ill/disturbed. I know you qualified that statement, but it's still that particular assumption that I have a problem with. Especially considering the mentally ill are statistically more likely to be victims of violence than the average person...

It's also very much circular:
A person is deemed mentally ill because they did something horrible, which I deem so bad that only mentally ill people would do it, which means the person in question must've been mentally ill.

Yeah, I hear in many of these cases that the killer was always quiet until they opened fire. It's an inherent problem with trying to understand some mentally ill people, it's just that their brains work differently.

I'm arguing that perfectly sane people can snap. In fact, if the circumstances were right, you or I would probably snap despite not being deemed mentally ill. This isn't something that, say, somehow locating all the mentally ill people and treating them would stop from happening.

Plus, "mentally ill" is an incredibly broad term. Misusing it for... what exactly? Violent people? Antisocial people? Anyway, misusing it like that puts everybody with mental issue into that group of (potentially) violent mass murderers. Let's just say I have a problem with the implications of that.

Haru17:

Skeleon:

Haru17:
Crazy people and guns don't mix well. What I'm really concerned with about this tragedy is that without treatment for the mentally ill or measures to stop them from getting weapons that allow mass murder more people will be inevitably doomed to this fate.

The "mentally ill"-comment is often brought up, but... well, there certainly are cases with early warning signs, but in a lot of cases people are just completely flabbergasted when their neighbour or relative goes on a killing spree. A lot of these folks snap after a particular incident but otherwise seem or seemed like normal people, responsible gun owners. Until they aren't. It is... problematic... to try and put these types of tragedies on the mentally ill, although I obviously won't disagree with improving mental and overall healthcare.

Yeah, I hear in many of these cases that the killer was always quiet until they opened fire. It's an inherent problem with trying to understand some mentally ill people, it's just that their brains work differently. This is hardly to say that all mentally ill people are killers, but there should be treatment to help people before people die. I don't know specifically if Haskell is mentally disturbed, I would assume he'd have to be, but he could have done this as just an evil design of a sane person. Either way he probably needs psychological help, I don't know what could have caused someone to go off on their girlfriend's family like that.

The other problem is that psychopaths and sociopaths often realize they are different and go to great lengths to cover it up. But a lot of them acclimate and can live normal lives even if they are a bit different inside. So not only would one have to be able to understand what kind of person would be likely to do something like this, but what kind of event might set it off and a myriad of other things that are just impossible to determine until it's too late.

Chaos sucks.

On Topic: I feel so bad for this girl. I mean it's incredibly noble of JK Rowling to do a nice thing for someone who knows the meaning of true loss. But I still just cannot even imagine what she's going through. She's obviously tough, smart, and quick thinking. Hopefully she can find some comfort and support in the coming years.

Haru17:

Yeah, I hear in many of these cases that the killer was always quiet until they opened fire. It's an inherent problem with trying to understand some mentally ill people, it's just that their brains work differently. This is hardly to say that all mentally ill people are killers, but there should be treatment to help people before people die. I don't know specifically if Haskell is mentally disturbed, I would assume he'd have to be, but he could have done this as just an evil design of a sane person. Either way he probably needs psychological help, I don't know what could have caused someone to go off on their girlfriend's family like that.

Except in this case there was a number of warnings - read the linked article about the shooting - he had been arrested for domestic violence in 2008, but with the charges dismissed in a plea deal, likewise last year his wife (sister to the murdered mother) had placed a protective order against him, which unfortunately was dismissed when they filed for divorce, and just over a week before the shooting he restrained his mother by taping her to a chair after an argument.

ZZoMBiE13:

Haru17:

Skeleon:

The "mentally ill"-comment is often brought up, but... well, there certainly are cases with early warning signs, but in a lot of cases people are just completely flabbergasted when their neighbour or relative goes on a killing spree. A lot of these folks snap after a particular incident but otherwise seem or seemed like normal people, responsible gun owners. Until they aren't. It is... problematic... to try and put these types of tragedies on the mentally ill, although I obviously won't disagree with improving mental and overall healthcare.

Yeah, I hear in many of these cases that the killer was always quiet until they opened fire. It's an inherent problem with trying to understand some mentally ill people, it's just that their brains work differently. This is hardly to say that all mentally ill people are killers, but there should be treatment to help people before people die. I don't know specifically if Haskell is mentally disturbed, I would assume he'd have to be, but he could have done this as just an evil design of a sane person. Either way he probably needs psychological help, I don't know what could have caused someone to go off on their girlfriend's family like that.

The other problem is that psychopaths and sociopaths often realize they are different and go to great lengths to cover it up. But a lot of them acclimate and can live normal lives even if they are a bit different inside. So not only would one have to be able to understand what kind of person would be likely to do something like this, but what kind of event might set it off and a myriad of other things that are just impossible to determine until it's too late.

Chaos sucks.

On Topic: I feel so bad for this girl. I mean it's incredibly noble of JK Rowling to do a nice thing for someone who knows the meaning of true loss. But I still just cannot even imagine what she's going through. She's obviously tough, smart, and quick thinking. Hopefully she can find some comfort and support in the coming years.

As I understand it, Sociopathy is a personality disorder. Not a mental disorder.

A sociopath knows right and wrong, they just don't care. They don't have a conscience. They don't have empathy.

Is there a donation fund for this kid or something? I mean, I know that this stuff happens in third world countries (not in this exact scenario, but all your family being brutally murdered in front of you certainly), but it's considerably harder to learn about it and offer them support. I really want to just... show her some solidarity by throwing money her way, even if the state/any relatives are going to take care of her. Kid needs fucking something to try to keep her going, and this effort from JK is a very good start.

Trishbot:
I know crazy shooters are, well, crazy... but to this day, I just cannot fathom how... EVIL... you must be to take the life of a defenseless child. It's one of those crimes where I simply cannot empathize in any way whatsoever because the very concept is so heinous and horrible to me.

I hope the poor girl who lost her family finds recovery and happiness in life. If this helps even a little tiny bit, I'm happy for it.

To start, I agree wholeheartedly that this is a tragedy, and JK is a fantastic human being for taking the time out to do all this for this girl to help with her suffering.

On that note, I think its important to realize that the gunman was not necessarily evil. Most gunmen in situations like this have some very serious psychological disorders. These disorders coupled on top of situations that breed hatred and contempt for others is what leads to murder. No one is born a murderer.

The only reason I say this is because if we can properly identify and help those that are at risk for developing these murderous tendencies, we could potentially prevent these kinds of things from happening.

If that gesture of goodwill doesn't bring at least a tear to your eye you aren't human. I can't even begin to comprehend what horrors Cassidy went through that day, and continues to re-live every day in her mind, no child, no one should be victim, or witness to such horrors. May she find the strength to carry on and live her life to its fullest.

Trishbot:
I know crazy shooters are, well, crazy... but to this day, I just cannot fathom how... EVIL... you must be to take the life of a defenseless child. It's one of those crimes where I simply cannot empathize in any way whatsoever because the very concept is so heinous and horrible to me.

I hope the poor girl who lost her family finds recovery and happiness in life. If this helps even a little tiny bit, I'm happy for it.

It depends. Do they like children? Are they like me, and cannot feel empathy for other human beings? Could they shoot a children in the spur of the moment? Do they have temper issues?

Many reasons a person could kill a defenceless child.

Damn. I believe this is appropriate here: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ly2r9uGdX51qhiopi.gif

Holy shit that's a terrible story though... Best of luck recovering Cassidy, and I admire your courage and strength through this horrible ordeal.

It's been a while since I read up on this case, but wasn't it implied he was heading or planning to kill her grandparents as well? I seem to recall that they had evidence that this guy planned to kill even more people and it's one reason they have credited her with saving lives.

Anyway, awesome girl, a great treat, and I hope the bastard rots in jail for the rest of his life, til he dies from the death penalty or natural causes (whichever comes first). Hopefully, she can fully recover from this tragedy.

Dumbledore dead for 10 years? Considering Half Blood Prince takes place from 1996-1997, he's been dead for 17 years, not 10.

Yes, I know it's nit-picky, but someone had to say it. Besides, everyone else has already covered all the nice stuff to say about it.

Wait, am I the only one who found a handwritten letter by a dead guy who was murdered in front of children completely inappropriate and creepy?

DoctorM:
Wait, am I the only one who found a handwritten letter by a dead guy who was murdered in front of children completely inappropriate and creepy?

Maybe it was penned by his magical portrait.

DoctorM:
Wait, am I the only one who found a handwritten letter by a dead guy who was murdered in front of children completely inappropriate and creepy?

Dumbledore will only be truly be dead when everyone is no longer loyal to him.

At least that's what the books say.

Skeleon:

Haru17:
This is hardly to say that all mentally ill people are killers, but there should be treatment to help people before people die. I don't know specifically if Haskell is mentally disturbed, I would assume he'd have to be, but he could have done this as just an evil design of a sane person. Either way he probably needs psychological help, I don't know what could have caused someone to go off on their girlfriend's family like that.

But that (the bolded bit) is exactly the problem I have with this:
A person does something horrendous, cruel and monstrous... and that must mean he was mentally ill/disturbed. I know you qualified that statement, but it's still that particular assumption that I have a problem with. Especially considering the mentally ill are statistically more likely to be victims of violence than the average person...

It's also very much circular:
A person is deemed mentally ill because they did something horrible, which I deem so bad that only mentally ill people would do it, which means the person in question must've been mentally ill.

Yeah, I hear in many of these cases that the killer was always quiet until they opened fire. It's an inherent problem with trying to understand some mentally ill people, it's just that their brains work differently.

I'm arguing that perfectly sane people can snap. In fact, if the circumstances were right, you or I would probably snap despite not being deemed mentally ill. This isn't something that, say, somehow locating all the mentally ill people and treating them would stop from happening.

Plus, "mentally ill" is an incredibly broad term. Misusing it for... what exactly? Violent people? Antisocial people? Anyway, misusing it like that puts everybody with mental issue into that group of (potentially) violent mass murderers. Let's just say I have a problem with the implications of that.

Well, that's the thing, mentally ill is very much a sliding scale from what is conventionally deemed 'normal', it's all based on judgment calls. There's no switch in your brain or a line that can be crossed into the territory of mental illness, just different behaviors that can go wrong (for instance, uncontrollable aggression). If someone keeps committing violent acts then they have a mental problem; whether medical or learned. Thats not to excuse this man for his horrible actions, he did it whether mentally compromised or not. I just don't think offing him will solve anything, a death penalty trial will sure cost more than a lifetime in prison, money that could be used to treat disturbed individuals and prevent this kind of horror. Treatment needs to happen before these kind of disasters do. Massacres like this are admittedly not inevitable in every case, but if we can stop even one death both prospective victim and killer will be better off.

Too bad it's Texas, as the state government will probably just kill the guy, learn nothing, and let it happen again. If more money was spent on corrective treatment, mental and criminal, then this kind of disaster might be avoided. But apparently the richest country on the world can't afford domestic safety for its citizens so life continues to be cheap in America.

DoctorM:
Wait, am I the only one who found a handwritten letter by a dead guy who was murdered in front of children completely inappropriate and creepy?

Harry Potter really, really, really could not matter less here. Yes it's a nice show of support, but insignificant compared to the bigger issues here. 6 people are dead and, whether you believe in an afterlife or not, that's a bad thing. Rowling is just what makes this more of a headline than the thousand of other killings like this each year, that and Stay's heroism. Stay likes the books, and that's great, but I'm sure she has bigger issues to deal with.

I'm a little pissed off at commenters' hopes (assumptions) that the kid will get through it, live life to its fullest, take comfort in J.K.'s letter and carry on, yada yada. This is extreme fucking trauma. You don't just tunnel through it. If you survive, you have to change. It is forced upon you. Cassidy will be extremely fucked up. Rowling's gesture is irrelevant, and would be offensive if it wasn't confidential. Her family was slaughtered. This is not some cheesy life-event that you cope with through some comfort object / celebrity intervention. Unfortunately, there will be media pressure for her to feign doing just that. Insult added to incomprehensible injury. I wish I had the guts to comprehend her hell and offer a heartfelt prayer . . . but it would still be insignificant.

No, seriously, friends -- pay attention! The woman who (smarmy cloying voice) "Set Up The Facebook Page" has this to say:

"In my opinion, a letter from Dumbledore is better than an actual visit from J.K. This is something that she will be able to find comfort in forever."

What the fuck? Comfort?? Are you fucking kidding me?? FAMILY. SLAUGHTERED. But ooooooh, a ~letter from Dumbledore~!!

Fucking insulting to the (horrifically wounded -- no, dismembered) human spirit. Misery is not a commodity.

Saltyk:
It's been a while since I read up on this case, but wasn't it implied he was heading or planning to kill her grandparents as well? I seem to recall that they had evidence that this guy planned to kill even more people and it's one reason they have credited her with saving lives.

Anyway, awesome girl, a great treat, and I hope the bastard rots in jail for the rest of his life, til he dies from the death penalty or natural causes (whichever comes first). Hopefully, she can fully recover from this tragedy.

The article linked in the original post covers that, and yes - he was specifically after his ex-wife (the dead mothers sister), and he asked where she was before killing the family. It comes across like he wanted his ex-wife dead, and as much of her family as he could come across.

nohorsetown:
I'm a little pissed off at commenters' hopes (assumptions) that the kid will get through it, live life to its fullest, take comfort in J.K.'s letter and carry on, yada yada. This is extreme fucking trauma. You don't just tunnel through it. If you survive, you have to change. It is forced upon you. Cassidy will be extremely fucked up. Rowling's gesture is irrelevant, and would be offensive if it wasn't confidential. Her family was slaughtered. This is not some cheesy life-event that you cope with through some comfort object / celebrity intervention. Unfortunately, there will be media pressure for her to feign doing just that. Insult added to incomprehensible injury. I wish I had the guts to comprehend her hell and offer a heartfelt prayer . . . but it would still be insignificant.

No, seriously, friends -- pay attention! The woman who (smarmy cloying voice) "Set Up The Facebook Page" has this to say:

"In my opinion, a letter from Dumbledore is better than an actual visit from J.K. This is something that she will be able to find comfort in forever."

What the fuck? Comfort?? Are you fucking kidding me?? FAMILY. SLAUGHTERED. But ooooooh, a ~letter from Dumbledore~!!

Fucking insulting to the (horrifically wounded -- no, dismembered) human spirit. Misery is not a commodity.

I'm glad I'm not the only guy who has this view too. It was a nice gesture. The media and people in general talk the gesture up to the point where, it has the ability to reverse the shit. This is something that should go unnoticed, shes probably sick of the media and sympathy of strangers. And she has to live with this shit and the attention from sympathisers. This is probably not for the best of individuals mental health atm, though not everyone is the same.
The reason why people think along this line; in this situation, is because its a rationalisation, its nice to think Rowling made things better. She did a nice gesture, thats all it is... now lets move on to the next massacre shall we?

Trishbot:
I know crazy shooters are, well, crazy... but to this day, I just cannot fathom how... EVIL... you must be to take the life of a defenseless child. It's one of those crimes where I simply cannot empathize in any way whatsoever because the very concept is so heinous and horrible to me.

I hope the poor girl who lost her family finds recovery and happiness in life. If this helps even a little tiny bit, I'm happy for it.

I don't understand how age or them being "defenseless" factors into it. Like shooting a 20 year old in the head for a senseless reason is somehow more heinous than shooting a 10 year old in the head. At the end of the day whether they were defenseless or not, young or old they're still dead so that becomes irrelevant.

As for spree killers being "Evil" I find it hard to concieve of someone being truly "evil". I see most, if not all, spree killers having a misshapen view of the world or them having an idea or group of ideas that let's them commit atrocities. In my increadibly armchair and naive view I find that every person can do horrible things provided they have some sort of reasoning that makes sense to them.

Not that I'm trying to defend the killer here, just trying to say that he's human and at the end of the day everyone has a breaking point.

That's darn nice of good old Rowling. Now I'm glad I buy the Harry Potter books instead of getting them at the library.

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