The investigation into poisoned letters mailed to President Obama and others has shifted from an Elvis impersonator to his nemesis. Investigators are determining if their online feud has escalated into something more sinister. Paul Kevin Curtis, age 45, was released from a North Mississippi jail on Tuesday and charges against him were dropped, nearly a week after authorities charged him in sending Ricin laced letters to President Obama, Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and 80 year old Lee County Mississippi Justice court judge Saydie Holland.
Before Curtis left jail authorities had already descended on the home of 41 year old Everett Dutschke in Tupelo, a north East Mississippi town best known as the birth place of the King himself. On Wednesday they searched the sight of Tupelo marshal arts studio once operated by Dutschke, who hasn’t been arrested or charged. Wednesday evening, Hazmat teams packed up and left Dutschke’s business. He was at the scene at times during the day.
A woman drove off in a green Dodge caravan parked on the street that had been searched. Daniel McMullen, FBI special agent in charge of Mississippi declined to speak with the reporters.
After being released from jail on Tuesday, Curtis who performs as Elvis and other celebrities described a bizarre year long feud between the two, but Dutschke insisted he had nothing to do with the letters. They contained language identical to that found on Curtis’ Facebook page and other websites making him an early suspect.
Curtis said he’s not sure exactly what led to the bad blood. It involves the men’s time working together, a broken promise to help with a book by Curtis and an acrimonious exchange of emails according to Curtis.
The two worked together at Curtis’ brothers’ insurance office years ago, Curtis said. He said Dutschke told him he owned a newspaper and showed interest in publishing his book. Dutschke decided not to publish the material, Curtis alleged and later began stalking Curtis online. Dutschke said, ” the last time I had contact with Curtis was in 2010 when I threatened to sue him for fraud for posting a fake Mensa certificate.”
Curtis acknowledges posting a fake Mensa certificate on Facebook, but says, ” it was an online trap for Dutschke because he believed Dutschke was stalking him online. ”
This is certainly an extreme case of a co-worker relationship gone bizarrely out of hand. There are many lessons to learn from this unfortunate scenario. The most important lesson is to deal with a conflict as soon as it begins. Avoiding a conflict will not make it go away, all it will do is intensify it. The best way to handle a conflict is to ask the other party to arrange a mutually beneficial time and place to discuss the conflict. If the other party denies the conflict, tell them what you feel and ask them what they feel? That should bring the issue to the surface. After it’s on the surface, you can take the steps to resolve it, i.e. finding common ground and solutions to your conflict.
In this case apologizing for the online stalking by Curtis and apologizing for the false promise to publish Curtis’ book by Dutschke is the start of resolving this conflict.
If you have any questions about a conflict, post them on PeacePazPaix.com.