$1,000 reward offered in Jaffrey festival bomb threat case
"A $1,000 reward is being offered to the person that provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime against the Jaffrey community," Police Chief William Oswalt said in a press release Wednesday.
The festival was scheduled for Aug. 17, but officials canceled it after the letter arrived.
Oswalt also released a transcription of the original threat letter that was received by the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce and the Jaffrey Town Office including all spelling and syntax errors in the original.
According to Oswalt, the exact same letter was sent to the Keene Sentinel with the addition of an introduction.
"MR. GILBERT. THIS IS SOME UPBEAT NEWS FOR YOU THING YOU CAN TURN THIS AROUND INTO A POSITIVE?!"
The letter writer identified himself as a person who has military training and who has lost a job and home because of the poor decisions of the Jaffrey Select Board.
"THERE WILL BE MORE "BOOMS" THAN JUST IN THE SKY AT THIS YEAR'S "FESTIVAL OF FIREWORK"!!I
HAVE A LOT MORE TIME ON MY HANDS SINCE I HAVE NO JOB OR HOME ANYMORE BUT I HAD A LITTLE STASH TO INVEST AND WITH MY EXTENSIVE MILITARY TRAINING I WILL BE STTING OFF MY OWN "FIREWORKS" DISPLAY ON SATURDAY AND IT WILL NOT BE A CROWD PLEASER TO ALL YOUR FUN FESTIVAL GOERS WHO ARE THERE!
TO THE JAFFREY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PLEASE LET ALL YOUR PEOPLE WHO WILL BE ATTENDING THIS JOYOUS EVENT TO BE ON GUARD, NO ONE WILL KNOW IF THEY ARE IN MY DANGER ZONE OF MY FIREWORKS DISPLAY."
The letter writer also apologizes to the town fire department for the death and dismemberment they would likely encounter after the explosion.
Oswalt said leads in the case continue to be investigated, and physical evidence is in the process of examination. Investigators ask anyone with information relevant to the case to contact the police at 532-7865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The annual fireworks festival has been a fundraising event for the Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce for 23 years.The event is held at the Silver Ranch Airpark in town, in partnership with the airpark and the Jaffrey-based Atlas PyroVision Productions. The airpark alone attracts 30,000 to 35,000 people to the fireworks festival. Many attendees in the past, though, park in the surrounding area and walk in.