Decades-Old Love Letter Mystery Almost Solved, With Help From Local Police

Jan 2, 2018

Not all mysteries pursued by the police are crimes.

The Greenfield, Massachusetts, police department asked for the community's help in locating the subject of a 73-year-old love letter.

Lieutenant William Gordon learned on Facebook that a Greenfield resident had recently unearthed the 1944 letter -- from a Walter to a Betty -- during a home renovation.

So Gordon, in turn, posted a photo of the letter on the Greenfield police department's Facebook page, and asked for clues.

"The response that we got was worldwide," Gordon said. "We got responses from Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, and then all over the United States."

Some people were just happy for a nice Christmas story. Others were genealogists offering information. And by this week, Gordon said they got a partial hit.

Although the Betty in the letter died in 2004, her sister is still alive.

She said Betty had two suitors named Walter. And Lt. Gordon thinks they found the right one.

"We found a Walter that went to school at the same time," he said. "We contacted their family -- actually, their family contacted us. So we're looking for a handwriting sample to see if it matches."

Gordon said he hopes mixing items like this within the more traditional crime blotter reminds people that police can be as soft-hearted as everyone else.

He's also happy to know about local genealogists for future investigations.