Teenage Girls Are Sending the Florida Shooting Suspect Love Letters and Bikini Pictures — and His Lawyers Refuse to Show Them to Him
Like many infamous prisoners before him, accused Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz is receiving torrents of fan mail, money, and vulgar photos from teenage girls and young women across the country who say they're attracted to him.
Cruz has been in jail since February 14, the day he allegedly gunned down 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Prosecutors recently announced they intend to seek the death penalty.
His attorneys said they were shocked by the stacks of letters and cards he has received - many of which included pictures of scantily clad teenagers or gushing descriptions about his looks.
"When I saw your picture on the television, something attracted me to you," one letter from an 18-year-old girl in Texas said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "Your eyes are beautiful and the freckles on your face make you so handsome."
She added some jokes about gummy bears and peanut butter, and a description of herself: "I'm really skinny and have 34C sized breasts."
Another woman in Chicago reportedly sent Cruz nine salacious photos, including shots of her cleavage and backside, and one of herself in a bikini eating a Popsicle.
Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein told the Sun-Sentinel he hasn't seen anything like it in his 40 years on the job.
"The letters shake me up because they are written by regular, everyday teenage girls from across the nation," he said. "That scares me. It's perverted."
Finkelstein added that about $800, apparently from Cruz's fans, has been deposited into Cruz's commissary account in jail.
Cruz has not received any of the mail since he's currently under suicide watch - and his attorneys said they refuse to read him the fan letters or share any of the girls' photos. Finkelstein said his team has only read certain religious letters to Cruz that "extend wishes for his soul and to come to God."
Jail workers also reportedly open every item sent to Cruz, except legal documents, and return any "obscene" or potentially threatening mail to the senders.
But despite his attorneys' efforts, Cruz is apparently aware of his newfound fame.
A prosecutor involved in a trespassing case against Cruz's brother, Zachary Cruz, said during a court hearing she was concerned about a jail visit Zachary made to Nikolas, in which the two apparently discussed starting a fan club for girls, ABC News reported.
"There is a discussion of starting some kind of pen pal or fan club and see how many girls he is capable of attracting - referring to his brother Nikolas," Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy said last week. "[Zachary Cruz] has been heard and observed discussing how popular his brother is now."