1991 Updates : Hate Mail Author Remains a Mystery

Even a $25,000 cash reward hasn’t been enough to uncover any clues as to who mailed hate letters last spring to parents of Santa Monica High School students with Latino surnames.

The reward--which grew from donations from the Santa Monica City Council, several community groups and a bank--did not generate a single phone call, said Sgt. Bill Brucker, spokesman for the Santa Monica Police Department.

“Whoever did it has obviously kept it well to themselves,” Brucker said.

The letter was mailed on May 22 to about 800 families. It contained racist remarks against Latinos, calling Mexicans “brown animals,” and saying, “We’ll gas you like Hitler gassed the Jews.”

Whoever sent the letter made it look official by using the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District as a return address. The district’s mailing list and bulk mailing permit were also used.


High school officials held a day of assemblies to help direct the anger generated by the letters and to promote cultural awareness. About 30% of the 2,650 students at the high school are Latino.

Police and postal workers found fingerprints in several of the unopened letters, but could not identify them.

At the height of the investigation, three police detectives and several postal workers were on the case. Now, it’s down to one person at each agency, and there are simply no leads, Brucker said.