Killer Writes Girl on How to Foil Molesters

from Associated Press

Child killer Westley Allan Dodd, scheduled to be hanged Tuesday in Washington state, sent a 6-year-old girl a booklet he wrote on how to avoid child molesters, the child's grandmother says.

The nine-page booklet arrived in November for the granddaughter of Sandra Clemons. Clemons has exchanged letters regularly with Dodd.

Dodd, 31, is scheduled to be hanged for strangling or stabbing three boys in the Vancouver, Wash., area in 1989.

He has fought appeals of his execution. He says he wants to die by hanging because he strangled his youngest victim, a 4-year-old, and hanged him in a closet.

The booklet, dated Oct. 10, says on the cover page: "When You Meet a Stranger or Other Bad People--by Westley A. Dodd." A drawing shows a boy lunging away from two grabbing hands.

The signature matches that in about 20 letters Clemons has received from Dodd, sent from Washington State Prison to her home in this Cleveland suburb.

The booklet's hand-printed text begins: "My name is Wes, but since you don't really know me, I am a stranger to you. I am the kind of stranger you should stay away from. There are other people like me."

The booklet, which Dodd created about two years ago, contains an admission that he sexually molested a small child in a public park.

It concludes: "Now I can never do bad things to any more boys or girls. What do you do when someone wants to do bad things to you? Just say NO! Run! SCREAM! YELL! GET AWAY! You can protect yourself and other kids too! Be a hero!"

Clemons, 48, helped her granddaughter, Becky, read the booklet, she said.

"Becky was happy to get the book; she was excited. She was proud of it," Clemons said.

Clemons said she has been writing to condemned killers for about 20 years. "You hear their anger, but I don't let that anger get to me."

Clemons said that as a Seventh-Day Adventist, she believes killing is wrong even if it is condoned by the government.

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