“Hello, this is Black Bullet. I was wondering if I could get a story about myself in your paper,” began the message on the Independent-Scout voicemail last week.
“I’m going to be around town for the next few months stopping crime,” the message continued. “I’m in the area and I’m at a pay phone, so my identity is secure right now.
“So, I would just call back within the next couple of weeks and we’ll talk then. Thank you very much and have a great day.”
The message left on the newspaper office voicemail recording on Saturday, June 7 at 12:46 p.m. The speaker on the recording seemed to be a young man in his late teens or early twenties, speaking in a casual friendly manner in moderate and measured tones.
Actually, the voicemail recording was not the first message from the would-be crime fighter in Gays Mills. Weeks earlier, residents found a similar message from the man who refers to himself as Black Bullet taped to the door of the laundromat on Main Street.
That message read:
As many of you already know, the crime in Gays Mills (and surrounding areas) is rising….
So for us all I will devote as much of my time as feasible to stop it.
A copy of that message or a similar message was found stuffed into the combination windows by an employee cleaning at the nearby Halver’s Town Tap around the same time.
BLACK BULLET? Rising crime in Gays Mills? A crime fighter?
It’s hard for most residents to make sense of the situation, but they shouldn’t feel alone. Crawford County Sheriff Dale McCullick is also a bit perplexed.
McCullick could only wonder what the self-appointed crime fighter was describing as rising crime. The sheriff said that in his experience there wasn’t a higher crime rate in Gays Mills than most of the rest of the county. He urged the individual identifying himself as Black Bullet to contact the sheriff’s department with any information he had about crime in the area.
“I don’t think that crime in Gays Mills and the surrounding area is any worse than anywhere else,” Sheriff McCullick said after hearing about the first message taped to the laundromat door. “I don’t really know what to say. I guess I don’t understand what it means at this point.”
However, the sheriff was quick to add that any attempts at vigilantism would not be tolerated in the county.
“Black Bullet is welcome to call me and discuss this,” McCullick said. The sheriff expressed some concern that the letter writer might take actions that could create a potentially dangerous situation. He stressed that anyone with knowledge of a crimes being committed or the potential of crimes being committed should report them to the sheriff’s department.