My mother has sent me more chain-letter spam. This time, it's a dubious tale of a serial killer who lures his victims by pretending to return a $5 note. The message ends with:
Ladies, really DO forward this to EVERYONE you know. Even if this man wasn't a serial killer, he looked nice, he seemed polite, he was apparently doing an act of kindness, but HE WAS NOT A NICE PERSON!!!
Urban Legends clears this up as an unsubstantiated scaremail that started around the time of the Baton Rouge murders in 2003, and is still making the rounds. Oh, and it's badly written and melodramatic - so why is anyone taking it seriously?
Handling this kind of thing is tricky though. One friend had sent me an email petition against those pesky Bonsai Kittens. When I sent her a link explaining the hoax, she retorted "I just wanted to protect the kittens!" and now that I think about it, I haven't heard from her since. But hey, if you're going to send it to me...don't expect me not to try and save some future bandwidth.