Envelope with canceled stamp and a photo paperclipped to it

Letter Excerpts – Dale King

YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 001019-28B-2022
Case Description: Andrea Stover death investigation

The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department collected as evidence from Andrea Stover's residence five hundred forty-eight (548) letters addressed to Andrea Stover at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.

Included in that number were thirteen (13) letters from Dale King (Evidence #s 001019-21-289 through 001019-21-301).

YCSD investigators have examined those letters and assembled the following excerpts from the King letters.

These excerpts were determined to be potentially relevant to the Andrea Stover death investigation and typical of the content of all letters from Dale King.


Jun 12, 2020

Letter Date: June 12, 2020
Postmark: Oxford, MS

I suppose you already know Owen asked me to step into your shoes as director of Oxtales. The direction will be a bit different from when you were here, but we artists put our own spin on things. Right? That's what makes it "our own work."

After the "Snopes" debacle, I thought it best to cool it for a while and tone down the controversy. Quite frankly, I don't think Oxford was ready for that much controversy. But I'm sure you knew how I felt after our many discussions and arguments. No hard feelings?

COP is still whooping it up, but they've apparently found someone else to harass and have left us alone—at least for the time being.

Hang in there. We're all pulling for you. I'm sorry you didn't plead out.

––End excerpt––

Aug 24, 2020

Letter Date: August 24, 2020
Postmark: Oxford, MS

Ethan and I have been spending a lot of time in the genealogy room of the library researching old newspapers, cemetery records, diaries, census records, and local history accounts in journals and books. We're looking for historically significant local stories that would make a good drama. We've found some great material, and Ethan is enthusiastic about writing them.

I suppose this will seem much too tame for your taste, but hopefully, it can redeem the credibility of Oxtales in the eyes of the community if Ethan comes up with something.

––End excerpt––

Sep 30, 2020

Letter Date: September 30, 2020
Postmark: Oxford, MS

Hope it isn't too rough on you there. It's too bad you decided not to plead out, but that was your decision.

I'm doing my community service and managed to pay my fine with help from my family. I'll be paying them back for the rest of my life, probably. I wish I'd had an "angel" like yours, but thems the breaks. You're in jail, and I'm poor.

––End excerpt––

Jan 12, 2021

Letter Date: January 12, 2021
Postmark: Oxford, MS

We're well into rehearsal for our new play, "Black Boy in a Closet." Ethan really outdid himself on this script. It's the story of the first black student at Ole Miss. No, it wasn't James Meredith, but a poor young black student discovered by a new art instructor on his way from the North to teach at the university in 1953. He invites the kid to go to school but discovers blacks are not welcome, so the teacher gets him a job as a janitor in the art room, and the kid attends classes from the closet—for four years!

It's a great story, and Henry is superb as the art instructor. We got this kid, Xavier, right out of Ole Miss to play the student, and he's been a breath of fresh air. I'm really excited about this play and hope it will do well enough at the box office to bring some bucks (and good PR) to Oxtales. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

––End excerpt––

Apr 25, 2021

Letter Date: April 25, 2021
Postmark: Oxford, MS

Hallelujah! A hit. "Black Boy in a Closet" was "critically acclaimed," as the saying goes. We got terrific local reviews and even a write-up in the Memphis papers. Every show was a sell-out. 

We're riding high but are really tired. I think when we close, I'll give the troupe a few weeks off. Ethan and I have some more researching to do.

We're thinking of doing some short—like under five minutes—radio dramas. I have an appointment with WOXX 95.5 FM in a couple of weeks to explore the concept.

––End excerpt––

Jun 7, 2021

Letter Date: June 7, 2021
Postmark: Oxford, MS

We aired our first short drama this week, and it was favorably received, according to the radio station. I had to work my tail off to get advertising for us. We pay $50, then get advertisers for the beginning and end, charge them $300, and make a $250 profit. Well, of course, we have expenses, so I guess we really don't make a profit, but the station considers them a community service because they're local history, so that's like money in the bank.

Ethan did a great job of working them up, and Frank has performed magic with the sound effects. He managed to get a wind machine, horse hoof device, marching soldiers device, and he can simulate gunfire, door openings and closings, and footsteps. I guess he begged and borrowed—whatever worked.

Speaking of Frank, have you heard from him? He and Sheila seem pretty tight since you left. She always did have a thing for him, even when you and he were an item. She didn't waste any time getting her hooks into him, and they've been thick as thieves. Hope you don't have any deep feelings for him. But then, maybe he's just marking time until you return.

––End excerpt––

Sep 23, 2021

Letter Date: September 23, 2021
Postmark: Oxford, MS

How you doing? Hope you are OK.

I thought you might be interested to know I'm experimenting in my garden with some things not usually grown in Oxford. I've got an artichoke plant and some rhubarb rhizomes. They all take some time to produce, so maybe when you get home, I'll have some new recipes using my new produce to try out on you. You always appreciated my cooking.

I've had to be creative to make up for my reduced income. The community service has used up a lot of the hours I used to work for the caterers, thus cutting into my income.

Hang in there. Only a few more months to go. Everyone says hello and sends their best.

––End excerpt––

Oct 27, 2021

Letter Date: November 23, 2021
Postmark: Oxford, MS

Guess you'll be coming home in a couple of months. Any idea what you're going to do when you get home? Or have you decided not to come back to Oxford but to move on to greener pastures?

Anyway, if you do come back, be sure to come see us. Everyone in the company will be glad to see you—except maybe Sheila. Ha Ha.

––End excerpt––


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