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Monday, May 16, 2011

Ron Santo’s FBI file sheds light on 1972 death threats

Those clicks you heard were not his heels.

The third baseman turned broadcaster discussed both in his 1993 autobiography, but generally didn’t enjoy talking about the incidents. But a 160-page FBI file obtained by USA TODAY’s Peter Eisler under the Freedom of Information Act provides new details about the latter incident.

In mid-summer 1972, Santo began receiving a series of threatening letters at home, one of which contained words pasted from a newspaper to read “two girls one man dead.” Two fans of Santo, 15-year-old girls, also received threatening letters and reported receiving telephone calls, according to the file.

Santo, who lived in Glenville, Ill., at the time, received protection from the Glenville police department, the file says. In the fall of 1972, the letter writer suggested meeting with Santo, so FBI officers posing as Santo drove the player’s car to the location under a stakeout, but were unable to make contact.

While Santo received no letters after the 1972 season, the FBI continued to investigate the incident for more than two years. At one point, they obtained handwriting samples of the two fans, including samples of their school work obtained from the principal of their high school, the file says. While one analysis of samples found “numerous similarities to some of the handwriting in extortion letters,” the FBI ultimately found “a definitive conclusion could not be reached” as to whether they matched the handwriting from the threatening letters, according to the file. (Names of all principals in the case besides Santo were redacted from the FBI files).

Repoz Posted: May 16, 2011 at 01:10 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 16, 2011 at 01:48 PM (#3828733)
One weird thing about this story: There ain't no Glenville, Illinois. I think they mean Glenview.
   2. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 16, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3828860)
No wonder the FBI couldn't draw a definitive conclusion, they couldn't even find Santo's address.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3828864)
Elijah Dukes is somehow involved.
   4. Brian Posted: May 16, 2011 at 10:55 PM (#3829287)
The town name was altered to protect them.

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