Vile letter says autistic Ontario boy should be 'euthanized'

13 year-old Maxwell Begley at his Oshawa home, with his mom Karla Begley, on Monday August 19, 2013.



OSHAWA, ON -- A nasty, hateful letter won't keep Maxwell Begley from visiting his grandmother.

Members of the 13-year-old autistic boy's family say they never wanted a poison pen pal.

But on Friday, an anonymous letter arrived in Brenda Millson's mailbox, saying the grandmother should "do the right thing and move or euthanize him."

"It's disgusting," said Maxwell's mother, Karla Begley from their Oshawa home Monday. "I can't imagine thinking those thoughts, let alone writing them down for other people to see. It's scares us for his safety."

Maxwell lives in Oshawa, but visits his grandmother in nearby Newcastle, ON, on weekends.

Printed on a pink sheet of paper, the letter begins with complaints about the boy making noises in the backyard because "it scares the hell out of my normal children."

Some of the most disturbing passages include: "He is a hindrance to everyone and will always be that way!!!!! Who the hell is going to care for him??????

No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!! Personally, they should take whatever non-retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science."

The letter -- signed by "one pissed off mother" -- insinuates that nearby residents feel the same. It concludes with the suggestion that the family should "do the right thing and move or euthanize him."

Maxwell was diagnosed with autism when he was 20 months old. Begley said when he was born, everyone said he was such a quiet baby.

"He didn't really say anything until he was five," she said. "He's come a long way. He does make noises, but they're soothing. He usually
makes noises when he's having fun. I call it, 'singing'."

Maxwell spent Monday afternoon joyfully bouncing on a trampoline, one of his favourite pastimes.

Maxwell's brother Jackson, 15, called the letter "living in the dark ages."

"If you break it down to the basics, he's just your everyday 13-year-old kid," he said.

The offensive letter went viral Monday, spreading through Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

Up to 100 people from the Newcastle community rallied outside Millson's Shipway Ave. home Sunday to show support that they are revolted by the letter.

"It was disgusting to hear," said neighbour Angela Palantzas, 36, who is also a mother of two young children.

"I've never heard any noise from this kid. I don't know where someone would have this much hate to do this to the grandparents."

Durham Regional Police said they are investigating the letter, however, it appears at this point there is no evidence of criminality. Investigators are working with the Crown to find out if there may be.

"We're taking it very seriously and investigating," police spokesman Jodi MacLean said.

Begley, who faces her own battle with multiple sclerosis, is thankful for the community response.

"He thinks he's famous," she said. "I keep telling them, they're here for you, babe. That's how we live our life. I couldn't believe that out of something so ugly came the support."

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