Volume 36, Issue 1 (January 1991)

    Threatening and Otherwise Inappropriate Letters to Hollywood Celebrities

    (Received 20 November 1989; accepted 5 March 1990)

    CODEN: JFSOAD

      Format Pages Price  
    PDF 25 $25   ADD TO CART


    Abstract

    In this paper, the authors examine the characteristics of threatening and otherwise inappropriate letters sent to Hollywood celebrities. Such communications, known colloquially as “nut mail,” “hate mail,” obscene letters, and threat letters, are received by the famous in enormous volume. We studied approximately 1800 such letters to entertainment celebrities from 214 subjects, who averaged 8 letters apiece. We quote excerpts from these letters, describe objects enclosed with them, and provide quantitative data on such variables as the form, appearance, volume, and duration of such letters; the subject's perceived relationship to the celebrity; the thematic content of the letters; and the messages and threats they communicate. Comparisons between 107 subjects who pursued encounters with the celebrities and 107 who did not revealed 15 factors associated with such pursuit. Contrary to expectation, the presence or absence of threats was not associated with pursuit behavior.


    Author Information:

    Parry, CDH
    Postdoctoral fellow in clinical services research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA

    Van Duyne, C
    Doctoral candidate, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, CA

    Martell, DA
    Research scientist, Nathan Kline Institute, New York, NY

    Matthews, DB
    Professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of psychiatric residency training, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR

    Crowder, JD
    Assistant professor of psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX

    Warren, J
    Assistant professor of psychiatry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

    Dietz, PE
    Clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA

    Stewart, T
    Psychologist, Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic, Philadelphia, PA


    Stock #: JFS13019J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS13019J

    ASTM International
    is a member of CrossRef.

    Author
    Title Threatening and Otherwise Inappropriate Letters to Hollywood Celebrities
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30