What follows is the transcript of a handwritten letter from Travis to Jodi written on 21 Jan 2008*, the same day that Jodi accidentally witnessed Travis pleasuring himself to an image of a small boy and she ran out of the house. *Note that the letter is dated 2007 but due to context we know that it was the beginning of 2008 (when many people had not yet broken the habit of writing the previous year).
* * * * * * * * * *1-21-07
Please give me a chance to explain what you saw. I know it looks bad and honestly it is. Your probably the only person on the planet who has the capacity to understand and the compassion to even try. This goes back years. I have desires I can’t explain. What is worse is I’ve acted on those desires.
I have hurt children because of urges I can’t control. I can’t help it. I know it’s pure evil but I can’t stop. I’ve prayed about it repeatedly, I’ve gotten a blessing, but nothing helps. I have gone to my bishop but I cannot tell him directly about it for obvious reasons. I had “toys” in the attic which is I never let you up there to clean.
Even after I said I was done I didn’t get rid of them right away because I thought what if? What if I might need them again? I finally donated them. Enough is enough. I want to stop and at times I think I can. Other times it feels like I’ll never be able to. I can only imagine that it’s like a drug problem.
I worry about getting married. I worry that my wife won’t suffice. I worry about having kids. What if I have to adopt? If they are not my seed will it be too easy? I’m scared to be alone with a boy. I get unwanted thoughts and I don’t want to act on them. It’s true, kids can get annoying but the truth is I’m scared to be alone with them.
I worry about going to the Hughes in the future because Ryell is getting close to that age. It would be so easy.
I know you think this is sick. I am sick. I’ve had sex with boys and I don’t know if they’ll ever get past what I’ve done. The truth is I fucking hate myself! I want to kill myself! I want to blow my fucking head off! Sometimes I can’t stand being alive. I’m sorry you had to see what you saw.
Honestly you’ve helped me on several occasions without even knowing it. You’ve been an outlet frustrations via the fantasy enactments. It’s one of the reasons I like anal sex so much. It’s the reason for the boys underwear. Don’t get me wrong I’m not gay. I’m not a fag. I’ve just had this inside me. And when I’m getting it from girls I desire boys less. I know this is evil. But this is not who I am nor who I am becoming.
Jodi I don’t want to be labeled a pedophile or a child molester. Do you understand what I am saying? Please just call me. I need to know that I can trust you. I know I can trust you. I’ll tell you everything. Just call me. You have never judged me before. Please do not judge me now. Just call me when your done reading this.
* * * * * * * * * *
There are many who believe (without any proof) that Jodi must have forged this letter. So that immediately begs the question:
When should we assume that Jodi forged the letter?
1. Before she killed him, in anticipation of claiming self-defense, which she refused to claim for the next two years?
2. After the killing but before she was incarcerated, again anticipating a self-defense claim several years down the road?
3. While she was incarcerated, using contraband paper and blue pen, with full knowledge of Travis’ handwriting style in her head, and then smuggling it out of jail?
Here’s is the actual handwritten letter, followed by a sample of Travis’ known handwriting for comparison:
Please note that following distinguishing characteristics regarding the above writing style:
* Prints in uppercase letters (except for the occasional lower case i and e when they come in the middle of a word, or double L in such words as All, I’ll, THeY’ll and Tell).
* All letters are sans-serif except for the upper case I and J.
* N: Upward stroke to point and downward stroke around like a U. (Similar mix of a point followed by curves in many M’s and W’s.)
* Crosses out words with swirling loops.
Now compare this with the following from Travis’ known writings:
There are also folks who surmise, because the letter is not an original but a scanned copy, that (1) a forger created fonts on a computer to mimic Travis’ writing style, (2) the forger did a copy & paste from images of other Travis writings, or (3) the forger photoshopped the letter. To begin with, the work that would be required to create fonts for this letter is astronomical because one would not only have to create a font for each letter in the alphabet but also for each individual letter in the document, otherwise every letter of the same type would look exactly the same (all A’s would be identical, etc.). I challenge anyone to find any two letters in this document that when laid one on top of the other are exactly identical in every respect. And then there’s the whole cut & paste argument. But again, unless you want all the same words to look exactly alike you would have to cut out individual letters and then string them all together – or else have a whole plethora of written documents to cut & paste from (and how the forger would have access to all of them would then become its own head scratcher). In addition, all the documents would have had to have been written with the same pen. Photoshopping creates similar problems. Who among thinking people believes that any of this could be done without being detectible?