Skip to main content

Mom of autistic Canadian boy: Letter writer 'cowardly'

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Thu August 29, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A letter sent to an Ontario woman's house calls her grandson a "nuisance"
  • It urges his family to do "the right thing and move or euthanize him!"
  • Mother of autistic boy says letter writer acted "cowardly"
  • "I will not stoop to an insulting level," mom Karla Begley writes

(CNN) -- An Ontario mom is speaking out after a family received an anonymous letter imploring them to move or euthanize their autistic son because of the "nuisance" the teen poses to the community.

Posting on a blog about special-needs children, Karla Begley wrote, "I will not stoop to an insulting level. What I have to say is about tolerance, acceptance and respect for kids with special needs."

It was a tempered response compared to the insults leveled at the family and her 13-year-old son, Max.

"That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL! Its (sic) scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!" Wrote the author, who signed the letter "one pissed off mother."

"They should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science," the letter said.

"If Max's sounds bother someone, I'd hope that person would let us know in a respectful way," Begley countered in her Wednesday post to lovethatmax.com. "Give us a chance to handle it instead of being cowardly about it."

Durham Regional Police consulted with the Crown Attorney's Office to see whether the letter, which among other things told the family to "go live in a trailer in the woods with your wild animal kid" and to "(do) the right thing and move or euthanize him!" constituted a hate crime.

It does not, however.

"Despite the hateful language used, the Crown Attorney's office has advised that the content of the letter falls below the threshold for a hate crime" police said in a recent statement. "However," It continued, "there are other criminal code issues that are being considered. A criminal investigation is currently underway."

Max's father, James Begley, told CNN he spoke with detectives recently and is encouraged by the investigation.

"They feel like they have a good lead," he said. "It sounds like they are onto something."

The letter was delivered to Max's grandmother's house, about 15 minutes from the Begley home in Oshawa, a town 40 miles from Toronto.

The letter writer has not been identified by authorities, and police have asked people to give them any information on the case.

CNN's Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT