'Euthanize' autistic teen for being 'nuisance,' says letter

'Euthanize' autistic teen for being 'nuisance,' says anonymous letter

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(CNN) -- An Ontario family is in shock after receiving an anonymous letter -- purportedly from a neighbor -- imploring them to euthanize their autistic son or move out of the neighborhood because of the "nuisance" the teen poses to the community.

"That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL! Its (sic) scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!" said the letter aimed at 13-year-old Max Begley. "They should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science."

The letter, signed "One pissed off mother," told the family to "go live in a trailer in the woods with your wild animal kid" and to "(do) the right thing and move or euthanize him!"

"Either way we are all better off."

"Disgusting" is the word Max's father, James Begley, said comes to mind when he thinks about the letter. "I cannot believe that someone would think that in this day and age."

Begley said the letter was delivered to Max's grandmother's house, about 15 minutes from the Begley home in Oshawa, a town 40 miles from Toronto.

"I work and my wife has (multiple sclerosis)," Begley said. "So Max's grandmother helps us out a lot. He is over there three to four times a week."

Durham Regional Police said the incident is being investigated, and police have asked the Crown Attorney's Office whether the letter constitutes a crime.

Crime or not, Begley is concerned.

"If someone is sick enough to not only have those thoughts, but to write those thoughts out and then to mail them" he said, then "they should be considered dangerous. We are all concerned."

Despite the "one bad apple" as Begley described the letter's author, his spirit has been buoyed by others who have rallied around Max. "The neighbors have been wonderful" he said.

Max is going into the eighth grade this year and his dad said he is not aware exactly of what has happened, "but he sure is getting a kick out of all of the attention."

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