Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 54° Cloudy
News >  Idaho

Auction site listed supposed Duncan letter

Nicholas K. Geranios Associated Press

A letter purportedly sent by convicted sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan III was listed on an Internet auction site that specializes in selling items related to serial killers.

The letter was listed for auction starting at $20 on a site called murderauction.com. The seller was listed as jerry4516. Efforts to address an e-mail to jerry4516 were kicked back with an error message.

The four-page letter, written in pencil, was allegedly written by Duncan from the Kootenai County Jail in Coeur d’Alene where he is being held without bail on three murder charges. Authorities contend the slayings were part of a scheme to kidnap two children for sex.

The Web site included a picture of a portion of one page of the letter, in which Duncan thanked a person for support, and discussed possibly posting the person’s comments on his blog.

“P.S. Please call me ‘Jet,’ but address letters to Joseph Duncan,” Duncan allegedly wrote. Jet, an acronym for Joseph Edward Third, is a nickname Duncan has long used.

“Thanks again for writing and for your support,” the letter concluded. “P.P.S. can you type fast? I have a lot to blog about!”

He signed off with a smiley face.

The picture also showed the return address of an envelope identifying the sender as inmate Joseph Duncan from the Kootenai County Public Safety Building.

The letter is no longer posted on the Web site.

Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Ben Wolfinger did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Duncan’s correspondence.

Items related to serial killers are known collectively as murderabilia, and there is a thriving market for such items on the Internet.

Duncan was arrested on July 2 in the company of Shasta Groene, 8, the lone survivor of the May 15 abductions and killings at her rural home east of Coeur d’Alene.

Duncan is scheduled to go on trial Jan. 17 in the bludgeon slayings of Shasta’s mother, Brenda Groene, 40; her son, Slade Groene, 13, and her boyfriend Mark Edward McKenzie, 37.

Federal charges are pending in the abduction of Shasta, 8 and her brother, Dylan Groene, 9, from the home. Dylan’s remains were discovered at a remote campsite in western Montana.

Duncan, 42, from Fargo, N.D., is a registered sex offender who spent most of his adult life in prison.

The complete text of the portion of the letter that was posted on the murderauction Web site read:

“… wanted to post your own comments in the blog (illegible) were antagonistic – as long as they were honest – we’d have to talk about that of course if this plays out at all. So let me know what you think. Please write back as soon as you can – remember no stamps, they only allow paper and simple (no glue) cards and photos (no Polaroids). So its best to keep it simple and just send letters.”

That section was followed by the closing comments.

In the two years before his arrest, Duncan operated a blog called The Fifth Nail, which documented what some have called a fall into madness. He railed against society for his treatment as a registered sex offender.

Nothing from Duncan has appeared on the Internet since two days before the killings.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.