A Columbia University-trained educator was invited never to return to his volunteer job at a Brooklyn school because he sent an email to a female teacher detailing the butchering of a moose. That's the nuts and bolts of the story, but stick around, because the specifics are pretty bananas.
According to DNAinfo, 64-year-old John DeWind emailed the teacher inviting her and her boyfriend to his family's home in Vermont. Which doesn't sound that bizarre, but in actuality, is very nucking futs.
First, DeWind writes the email in the third person, which you should always take as warning sign of someone's imbalance. The email begins by imagining the couple arriving at his house with a box of cookies in hand as a host gift. So thoughtful, these made-up guests.
The email continues:
"When you turn left ... John appears on the porch," DeWind wrote, according to investigators.
"Little to [sic] you know he has recently killed a moose and plans to give you five pounds of moose meat."
The bizarre scenario allegedly continued with DeWind thinking the teacher's boyfriend is a butcher and the two tackling the carcass together.
"[John] envisages the two men bonding over the carving of the rest of the corpse," the email says, according to the report. "How he got the impression your boyfriend was a butcher is not clear, perhaps in a dream, but what is clear is that the encounter is going to be horribly embarrassing for everyone, and things are made no better when John turns on your sister and asks, 'Well surely you know how to carve up an animal.'"
Wait, did her sister just show up? Is this about to get freaky? What is happening here, I'm scared!
Before it gets even weirder, DeWind ends the email by telling the woman how much he liked working with her and signs it "with affection." Shudder.
Now, he claims he sent the creative yarn to illustrate an example of an assignment he gives students to write about a situation in which everything goes wrong. But that was all after the fact, he made no mention of this assignment to the women before or in the email. (I know, you're thinking I should go easy on the DeWind because explaining it's an example of an assignment in the moose email wouldn't have fit with the whole murder motif he had going on — but then Laura turns to her right and asks, "You've never written about a man murdering a moose before, have you?")
The teacher reported DeWind to the school and they fired him. Apparently the background check at schools is embarrassingly lax, because DeWind was fired at past schools for calling students losers, sending menacing and harassing emails to staff, and once helping two teens write a work of fiction for their literary magazine about a teacher sexually abusing students. Yikes.
After this incident, DeWind sent threatening emails to school officials and trespassed on school property, so he's been banned from working in the area by the Department of Education.
DeWind, for his part, said "I may be guilty of a poor sense of humor, but humor was what I intended."
To each their own, and I do think he could do well writing Northern Exposure fanfic, but I have to wonder: Aren't there state or national databases of people who can't work in volunteers? I've volunteered in schools in California and at some I've had to submit to a background check and fingerprints, but at others, I didn't. The lack of consistency in regulating school volunteers could create potentially dangerous situations. I know this is shit we all know, but it's worth pointing it out again when Mr. Moose Murder had no problem volunteering in several different schools even after he was fired a few times. Did he slip through the cracks? Or was this just the result of a system with no cross-referencing and little oversight?