File photo: A Sunshine Coast Daily journalist received a very strange letter in the mail recently.
File photo: A Sunshine Coast Daily journalist received a very strange letter in the mail recently.

'I'm not a serial killer': Stranger letter to journo

I DON'T have a bucket list but if I did, receiving a love letter from a prisoner would be on it.

Luckily for me that far-fetched sounding scenario became a reality on Thursday.

I was sitting at my desk when one of the front reception ladies walked over to me and handed me an envelope.

I had no idea what to expect since I mostly communicate with people by email, phone or in person.

I didn't recognise the address, or more accurately, I didn't take notice of the sender's address: 'Maryborough C.C.'

I would later realise 'C.C' stood for Correctional Centre.

Maryborough is foreign land to me, having never set foot on the town's grass.

My concern was growing.

The card had a picture of a heart drawn in the sand on the outside and on the inside, was filled with writing.

So much writing that I didn't know where to look first, but a few words jumped out at me almost immediately: "your secret admirer", "I'm not a serial killer", and "unfortunately I'm incarcerated for a little bit".

Without going into detail, he had written a poem or lyrics from a song on one side of the card and a nice little message on the other.

He signed off with his name, in case I wanted to see his picture on Facebook (he said).

Of course, being a journalist, the first thing I did was look at his Facebook profile and see if I had written an article about him.

Every now and then I fill in for our court reporter, Chloe Lyons, who is off now roaming Japan.

I guess at one stage my secret admirer and I were in the same court room, although perhaps he didn't get to walk out at 4pm.

I could be wrong, he may also be an avid reader of the Sunshine Coast Daily, but I don't think they get our local newspaper where he is.

Although, if my letter writer is reading this, I have to say your efforts are impressive.

After a few years, working as a journalist numbs you to a lot of things. Not that we don't care, it's more like there isn't a lot that will surprise us.

But to my letter-writing friend, you surprised an office full of journalists last week.

My colleagues told me I should write back, but my mum? Well she had other opinions.

The whole situation got me thinking. I haven't been a journalist for long, maybe just over three years, but I can tell you that this puts you in some positions.

I was reminded of a time I went to the home of a stabbing victim to do a story about the ordeal he went through.

Sitting on his couch, feeling awkward and beyond uncomfortable I watched as he re-enacted the entire incident from start to finish.

He jumped around his lounge room, theatrically acted out the stabbing motions and fell to the floor in a dramatic finish.

Lying on his back he told me he thought he was going to die, but then he jumped up and asked me if I wanted a coffee, or a juice.

I said "Sure, why not?".