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I Shocked the Sheriff
September 30, 1999
Before we get any further into this week's Savage Love, I'd like to say this for the record: While the letter printed below was written on Garfield County Sheriff's Department letterhead, so far as I've been able to ascertain this letter is a COMPLETE FABRICATION; it was NOT sent to me by Thomas P. Dalessandri, Sheriff of Garfield County, Colorado, or by any other law enforcement officer, living or dead, to the best of my knowledge, so help me God.
About three weeks ago, I had a lengthy session with one of my hoes that began with oral sex. Then to add variety to the fukking, I inserted a full "longneck" bottle of beer into her pussy, licking her clit while pushing the bottle in and out. By the time she came the third time, the majority of the beer was inside her snatch. I took a straw and pushed it inside to drink a cocktail of beer and skank juice. Yummy!
When that was over, she wanted the "longneck" bottle rammed back inside her, so I used it like a glass dildo. Well, the bottle broke, and cut her twat, and now she is sueing me. My deputy told me of a similar case involving a silent film star named Fatty Beltbuckle or something, where he managed to get off. Do you know the facts of the case? Maybe my lawyer can apply similar loopholes here. Only answer my inquiry in the newspaper, my wife opens all my male.
Sherrif T. P. Dalessandri
Garfield County Sheriff's Deparment
Glendwood Springs, Colorado
Now that's what the kids in the Savage Love mailroom like to call a goddam letter. While the acts described by "Sherrif Dalessandri" are extreme by anyone's standards -- even our famously extreme Savage Love standards -- they're not unperformable. Yet something about the letter struck me as odd. Supposing there was a Garfield County, Colorado, and supposing this county had a sheriff named Dalessandri, and supposing this sheriff had some sort of interaction with a prostitute that ended badly, would this same Garfield County sheriff be so foolish as to send an incriminating letter to a newspaper?
And while the letter was handwritten on official letterhead -- complete with an embossed seven-pointed gold star -- it arrived in a cheap envelope, postmarked Chicago. I suspected foul play. Like any responsible journalist, I immediately went to lunch. Upon my return, I got on the phone with the Garfield County Sheriff's Department.
The department's public relations manager, Ron Vanmeter, quickly confirmed that, yes, there was such a place as Garfield County, Colorado, and yes, Thomas P. Dalessandri is its sheriff. Glenwood Springs, the county seat, is about 40 miles from Aspen, and according to Vanmeter, is a pretty nice place to raise a family. When I told Vanmeter that someone claiming to be Sheriff Dalessandri sent a letter to my sex advice column about a dispute with a prostitute, Vanmeter laughed.
"That's a hoot!" he said. "I don't think Tom's in need of any 'sex advice.' He's a happily married man. This must be some sort of joke." Is there much of a prostitution problem in Garfield County? "No, our major crimes are simple theft and criminal mischief." (Actually, while there may not be a prostitution problem in Glenwood Springs proper, a moment online uncovered quite a few "escort agencies" operating in nearby Aspen and Vail -- Always a 10 Plus, Escorts Intl, Accents of Vail, Charming Evening -- both cities in Garfield County. When I called these agencies to ask if Sheriff Dalessandri had ever been a client, I was curtly informed that they don't release the names of clients.)
Before we hung up, Vanmeter asked me to fax him a copy of the letter along with a number where I could be reached. A few minutes later, Jim Sears, Undersheriff of Garfield County, was on the phone.
"This is so stupid," said Sears. "Tom is a good man, a family man -- I mean, my God. I don't even know what they're talking about. Who the hell is Fatty Beltbuckle?" Fatty Arbuckle, I explained, was a silent film star who was charged with the rape and subsequent death of a 25-year-old starlet named Virginia Rappe. Accused of violating Rappe with a Coke bottle, Arbuckle was tried three times, and ultimately found innocent.
I asked Undersheriff Sears if he was officially denying that Sheriff Dalessandri wrote the letter. "I can unequivocally say that Tom did not write this letter. It is not Tom's handwriting; it is not Tom." But someone sent me the letter, I pointed out, someone with access to department letterhead. "The letterhead is right here in the office. We are a small department here, and it is a small office, and Tom's got an open door policy. Say, you're not going to print this thing are you?"
Bernie Grauer, a reporter at The Glenwood Post, told me that Sheriff Dalessandri is well-liked in Garfield County. "He was re-elected last November after a very bitter campaign," said Grauer. "Ed Foster, his Republican opponent, made quite a few allegations against Tom's leadership." Any substance to those allegations? "No. Before Tom got in, there were some sex scandals involving guards and inmates. Since he put in his reforms, there haven't been any." Is the sheriff known to consort with prostitutes? "No. I've never known Tom to act any way other than professionally. What this sounds like to me is a total smear."
Okay, Savage Love readers, are you thinking what I'm thinking? Dalessandri, a Democrat, fights a bitter re-election campaign against a Republican, Ed Foster of Silt, Colorado -- defeating Foster by a margin of nearly two to one. Could Foster have forged this letter as a Dick Nixon-style Republican dirty trick?
"It got pretty nasty," said Ed Foster about his campaign to unseat Dalessandri. Why the personal attacks? "He's got a lot of side businesses, and that prevents him from being in the office as much as the sheriff needs to be. He has a private security firm. That's a definite conflict of interest right there."
I asked Mr. Foster to sit down, and then I read him the letter. After a pause, I asked him if he was responsible for the letter. "Absolutely not! Hey, you run for office, and when the votes are counted, you move on. You let bygones be bygones. I don't go in for dirty tricks." Does Sheriff Dalessandri consort with prostitutes? "No! That's off the wall! I did not write that letter, that's all I know. How would I get access to the official letterhead? Hey, maybe the sheriff's got some disgruntled employee down there in his office."
This morning, when I arrived at work, this message was on my voice mail: "Hi, Dan, this is Sheriff Tom Dalessandri calling. I spoke with my undersheriff, Jim Sears, regarding this letter you received. We will be conducting an investigation on that. Any information you have, including the envelope, we'll need. If you can preserve the letter without fingerprinting it, that would be best."
When Undersheriff Sears called, I told him that I would mail the original letter to him on one condition: I wanted immunity from prosecution. My fingerprints are all over the letter, and I don't want to wind up in the slammer for the "crime" of cooperating with the police. Sears assured me that I wasn't under suspicion, and I agreed to send the letter.
Who stole the sheriff's letterhead and sent the letter remains a mystery, but I have some advice for them: Get the hell out of Garfield County.
Dan Savage's new book, The Kid... An Adoption Story (Dutton), is in bookstores now.