Thursday, May 24, 2007

$10,000 Reward in John Grisham Anonymous Letter Saga

Attorneys DiMuroGinsberg, P.C. today announced that their client, Katharine Almy, and her family are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the true author or authors of the unseemly anonymous letters written to Donna Swanson that began in 1996 and continued for a number of years later. These letters are at the heart of a pending civil lawsuit for intentional infliction of emotional distress involving John Grisham, Alan Swanson and Donna Swanson. Mrs. Almy was falsely accused of writing the letters. Additional information is available at:

“Someone with ties to the Charlottesville, Virginia community either knows who actually wrote the letters or has other information that would help lead us to identify the true author,” said Michael S. Lieberman, a partner with DiMuroGinsberg, P.C. “Mrs. Almy and her family are appealing to anyone who believes they have relevant information to come forward and help – it’s the right and decent thing to do, and there’s a generous reward for someone who will.”

According to court documents, beginning in 1996 and for a period of years afterwards, Donna Swanson received several anonymous letters that made various unseemly accusations about her and her husband, Alan Swanson. In 1998, Mr. Grisham also received an anonymous letter.

Mr. Grisham and the Swansons decided that they wanted to determine the source of the anonymous letters, and in doing so, they are alleged to have undertaken a course of conduct against Ms. Almy that was described by the Virginia Supreme Court as follows: “[w]e hold that reasonable persons could view the conduct alleged [against Grisham and the Swansons], if proved, as being ‘so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.’” The Supreme Court added, “Almy’s motion for judgment sufficiently alleges emotional distress ‘so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.’”

These actions directly led to Mrs. Almy being falsely accused of authoring those letters according to allegations set forth in court documents. (Supreme Court of Virginia Record No. 052378 and Circuit Court of Albemarle County, VA Case No. CL04-9694)

Samples of the anonymous letters addressed to Mrs. Swanson are being made available to the public through a new website, ‘The Innocent Woman,’ in the hopes that someone will come forward and identify the true author. In addition, the Almys have retained two highly respected retired FBI special agents - Robert K. Taubert, who will serve as chief investigator - and Robert K. Ressler, an internationally acclaimed forensic behavioral expert to assist Mrs. Almy’s attorneys in evaluating leads and administering the reward program.

To review the letter samples, details of the case, rules governing the reward, how the reward program will be administered, along with a personal plea from Mrs. Almy, visit:

No comments: