Stoughton family shaken by alleged piece of hate mail - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Stoughton family shaken by alleged piece of hate mail

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STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- Harry and Hester Hale have lived in Stoughton for six years.

"It's a good town," Harry said. "We have good neighbors."

But he said nothing could prepare him for what he found in his mailbox Wednesday afternoon.

Harry opened an envelope, with no return address written on it, to find a picture depicting the lynching of two African Americans. His 18-year old son's face had been superimposed onto one of the bodies.

"This is something we've honestly never dealt with," Harry said.

Upon opening the envelope, which was postmarked from Madison, Harry showed the picture to his wife Hester. She urged him to call police immediately.

"My heart started beating real fast," she said.

"This is not a game," Hester said. "People don't take things like this lightly."

She said the picture was turned over to Stoughton police Wednesday afternoon. Police declined to provide details of the picture Thursday, but said an investigation into the incident is "ongoing."

Harry said his son is too scared to continue living with him, and is now staying elsewhere.

"We didn't sleep last night," he said. "We're scared."

Harry added he hopes bringing the hateful piece of mail into the public's attention will prevent others from receiving similar threats. He and Hester are now hoping the culprit can be caught by police.

"It if can happen to us it can happen to anybody else," Harry said. "If you came home and saw something like that in your mailbox, how would you feel? Especially if you have a family? It's not fair."

"Everyone should feel safe in their home," Hester said.

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