In one of the most disturbing stories we have read, which also reminds everyone when corresponding with people you have never met before, think twice, as this is a frightening cautionary tale!
The L.A. Times reported yesterday that, “A New York parolee accused of fatally strangling a retired teacher in Hollywood may have come west after developing a network of pen pals, some that apparently grew from a shared fondness for the long-running soap opera General Hospital. Three months after he was released from prison after serving 20 years for murder, Scott Kratlian showed up in Hollywood and allegedly strangled one of his pen pals, 82-year-old Harry Major.”
The Times also revealed, “The relationship between the convicted killer and the retired Hollywood High School teacher was probably one of many the inmate fostered over the years while imprisoned at Marcy Correctional Facility outside Syracuse, said another of Kratlian’s pen pals.”
Kratlian was part of a General Hospital fan club whose enthusiasts wrote to one another, Jason Ward said in an interview. “I don’t know why I started writing him; it was a really dumb decision,” said Ward, who connected with Kratlian through a mutual friend who received a General Hospital newsletter that went out to fans. “I only wrote to him a handful of times because he got really weird,” Ward said.
A free man after two decades behind bars, Kratlian was in Los Angeles by Feb. 1, authorities say. After months and possibly years of exchanging letters, detectives say, Kratlian went to Major’s Hollywood apartment February 10th and strangled him. Kratlian may have been looking for other former pen pals as well when he arrived in Los Angeles, said Ward.
New York officially listed Kratlian as a fugitive February 14 after police identified him as their suspect. He was arrested by an LAPD and FBI fugitive task force at a Pasadena mental health and substance abuse treatment center on February 18th.
This story is even more horrific, if you read the entire piece from the L.A Times. So, what do you think about how these two people connected and it led to murder? Does it make you think twice before corresponding with people you don’t know? Share your thoughts!