The Gazette gets a mysterious letter and … prints it

Here’s a novel idea. Say you’re a newsroom. Say you get a verrry baffling typed letter from someone named “Haywood Floyd,” claiming knowledge of hidden plastic bottles in prisons and promises of secret maps to said plastic containers in exchange for $150K. What do you do? If you’re the Colorado Springs Gazette’s managing editor, Larry Ryckman, you slap that puppy up on the Web, with this hedder: “What do you think of this letter?”

They could have turned their best, hard-nosed gumshoe reporter loose on this one, to see where the treasure hunt took them. But no, the Colorado Springs daily newspaper just published the letter as is (along with sic corrections) and asked the readers what they thought of it.

Here is the news “tip,” from “Haywood Floyd”:

Suppose I have information on a company that when the prisons were being built had hidden several plastic bottles of various products that are worth several more dollars to the prison population. These bottles hidden in various places, like in the walls, under sprayed on insulation on steel beams, in the floor etc etc …

Theoretically there is an inside prisoner and a prison guard who from time to time get a single place map, and retrieves on (sic) at a time a bottle depending on demand, when retrieved repairs are done and the goods are sold for inflated prices compared to the outside market. Not all the containers are sold at this time and there is a master map, along with the names of all involved, which can be given to you.

For a donation of a 150k in installments of 100k first for the master map and when the first donation is found to be free and clear of all traceable markings or tracking devices and such, the later (sic) will be given for a second donation of 50k. If you agree to this arrangement put an add (sic) in the Gazette classified adds (sic) under help wanted Construction Paymaster, give five phone numbers to call, one person only, with no tails will be told what to do. A call from a Haywood Floyd will be your clue to who will be handling the exchange; instructions will be given, with no discussion.

Again no traces or tails. You have one week or another news source will have this story along with the bragging rights and awards that go with it. My reasons for coming forward are my own and are of no concern.

Haywood Floyd

And here’s a comment left by Managing Editor Larry Ryckman:

Clearly we’re not paying a dime to Haywood or anyone else. It’s standard policy not to pay news sources or potential sources, no matter how much fun it might be to get a treasure map.

As for notifying law enforcement, we’ve notified them — and the entire community, for that matter — by posting this letter (it was typewritten, by the way).

So much for the “bragging rights and awards that go with it.”

I just thought you readers might find it interesting to see one of the many letters we receive around here (you ought to hear some of the voicemails). And who knows? There’s always the remote chance that there might actually be something to this contraband scheme.

I’ll let you know if we receive any maps in the mail.

Larry Ryckman
Managing Editor

And here’s the best comment left so far, from someone who signed off as “101abn”:

Dear Penthouse Forum,

You’re probably not going to believe this but I am an inmate at an unnamed correctiunal (sic) institutyion (sic) somewhere in Colorado. While on a work detail with these two sexy blondie (sic) female guards with really big handcuffs, I came across a suspicious bulge in some insulation. Imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a bottle of strange liquidity.

Upon removing the top, a pungint (sic)smell overcome me and when I awoke I was all doopey (sic) and sweaty and breathin’ real hard like and my boxer shorts wuz (sic) inside out!

I can only suspicion that it musta been some a that consintrated (sic)liquid viagrya! (sic)

Although I can’t remember nuthin’, I know them two blondie (sic) guards now giggle a whole lot whenever I walk by.

I feel so… used.

Yours Very Truley (sic)

Floyd Haywood

P.S. I am willin’ to offal you the movie and book rites (sic) for a mere 150K.

Please call me.



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