Greg Marcotte sat at his desk in Washington. It looked like it was going to be a nice day as the nine o'clock sun was making its way over the first low-rise buildings in the Government complex.
He went through his morning mail. Notices of employee awareness in the bureau and even some advertising. One envelope was hand addressed, however, piquing Greg's interest. He slid the letter opener across the top - feeling comfortable that postal screening services had done their job properly and there was no letter bomb or dangerous powder enclosed.
The return address was Alvin Kuntzler, Spring Hill, Florida, where ever that was. The introduction was brief as was the message as a whole.
Dear Mr. Marcotte,
I have an issue I need to bring to your attention. It has national security significance. I must speak to you and you alone about this. Please respond by written communication or agree to visit me at my Florida home. That visit must be secret.
There was nothing else. No inkling as to what great state secret a man in Florida had to share. Greg put the letter in the tray holding other such communications that would be squirreled away somewhere - only to be dredged up again should any of the communiques bear real fruit.
A month later the second letter came.
Dear Mr. Marcotte,
I have not heard from you since my first attempt at communication. While I may seem like a common citizen to you, I have information that has extremely important significance. As you delay, more of the situation to which I will alert you continues.
"Probably another nut job" Greg thought out loud. "As if we don't have enough."
But two months later a third letter arrived. It became more emphatic.
Dear Mr. Marcotte,
I understand your reluctance to give credence to my letters. I will have to be more succint in order to catch your attention. Following is a list of six people in government or judicial positions in our United States. I predict with a great deal of certainty that harm will soon befall at least one of the poeple on this list:
Henry Jeerson - Appeals Court District 2, Washington State
Prosecuting Attorney Julie Weston. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Arthur Armitrage - Mayor of Rampart, Minnesota
Bob Linley - Convicted Child Rapist - Little Rock, Arkansas
Peter Mellor - State's Attorney - Wesley, California
William C. Martin – High School Principal – Conroy, Virginia
Jeff was a little more perplexed and did a search of his resources on Alvin Kuntzler. From as far as he could tell, Mr. Kuntzler was 66 years-old and had retired as from driving a produce truck in and around the Tampa Bay area. He dismissed the letter as he had before and left for home.
On Monday morning Greg noticed a headline on page two of the Washington Post:
"Peter Mellor - State's Attorney for Wesley, California Found Shot To Death Outside Home"
Greg Marcotte shot bolt upright in his chair and reached for the phone.
Alvin Kuntzler stood at his front window, holding his morning coffee in his hand. He took immediate notice of the two black SUV’s that pulled up in front of his house.
“Susan”, he called out.
“What is it, Al?” Susan called back from the kitchen.
“They’re here” was his reply.
Al’s wife hurried from the kitchen, wiping her hands in a towel and met Al at the front door. They shared a knowing look just before Al opened the door as two men in suits mounted the four steps to the Kuntzler home.
After flashing FBI badges they were ushered in to the Kuntzler living room. Agent Michael Morrison seemed to be in charge as he did all the talking.
“Mr. Kuntzler, you’ve been in communication with one of our department heads recently and we would like to speak to you about those communications.”
“I understand” Al replied. “Would you like some coffee?”
“Actually, Mr. Kuntzler, we’d appreciated if you’d accompany us to a location where we speak in privacy.”
“I’m okay with that” Al said, seeming undisturbed at this level of official visit. Since being fully dressed Al made his goodbye to Susan.
“I told you this may come to be.” Al said in a comforting tone.
“I know” Susan said, “But I’m just concerned nonetheless.”
“It will be alright.” Al said in a soft voice.
Al and the FBI men got in the SUV’s and left Susan Kuntzler staring at their retreat from her front steps.
The SUV’s pulled in up front of a non-distinct 3-story brown building. Al knew the area from his days of produce delivery but never had occasion to stop at anyplace in this part of Tampa. He was ushered into the front of the building, then a turn down a left-hand hallway to an unmarked door. Inside, a man arose from behind a table, a man Al ostensibly took to be the one and only Greg Mellor of the FBI – the one to whom his communications had been directed.
He was escorted into a glass door and was turned left down a hallway. At the first door on the right an FBI agent opened it and led Al to the room’s interior. The room’s contents consisted of a small table with two chairs opposite one another and two single chairs on the wall. There was not a single adornment, picture or poster of any kind on the walls. At the table sat another man Al assumed to be the one who would interrogate him.
The man at the table arose, not extending his hand but merely introducing himself as Greg Marcotte of the FBI. He nodded towards the other chair at the table that Al was meant to occupy. Al and Greg Mellor were seated, Greg Marcotte afixing his gaze on Mr. Kuntzler.
“Mr. Kuntzler, you are here due to the correspondence you sent me about the murder of significant public figures.”
Al only looked back at the man, figuring he would have more to say before wanting a response.
“Tell me, Mr. Kuntzler, how is it you knew who might be murdered when you sent these letters to my attention?”
Al shifted in his seat, turned to look at the two men seated behind him then looked back at Greg Marcotte.
“It was an educated guess.” Al said.
In an even tone, Mr. Marcotte replied,
“And what is it about your education specifically that empowers you to predict a homicide?”
Giving Mr. Marcotte a quzzical look, Al Kuntzler leaned forward a little with his respone.
“The very same education that is available to you and every other American in this country, Sir. If more people would pay attention to what is happening in this country today, we might not be in the mess we’re in now.”
It was Mr. Marcotte’s time to lean forward now.
“Do you belong to any organizations, Mr. Kuntzler?”
“Yes” he replied, “The citizenry of the United States of America. And you plan anything further that constitutes any investigation of me or any delving into my personal affairs, it will be with my legal counsel present.”
Seeming nonplussed and fearing not getting information, Mr. Marcotte leaned back in his chair.
”I’m not wanting to put any constraints on you, Mr. Kuntzler”, now seeking a more conciliatory tone, “I’m asking for your help in assisting your Government should you have any knowledge of future harm impending anyone in our country.”
Al’s response was measured and even.
“For an agency that has investigative tools far beyond mine you shouldn’t even be asking me questions but instead should be doing your homework. If a mundane citizen like me can alert you to a situation why is it you seem to be blindsided by my revelation? And any further discussion will end until I have a legal representative with me.”
“We would like to keep in touch with you, Mr. Kuntzler, in case you have knowledge aforehand of any peril approaching any American whatsoever.”
Al interpreted his statement as meaning they would be watching him and watching him very closely. But Al was driven back home and released while in the care of two quiet and stern faced agents. Without a word the SUV brought Al to his home and without speaking an agent opened the door for Al to exit.
Al knew that can of worms had been opened but it frustrated him that the government was seemingly ignorant as to the can’s existence.