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Authorities angry over flyer about sex offender

11-4-2005 Minnesota:
.Four days ago, a simple flyer sent Crystal residents Sheridon Pedler and her mother-in-law, Ginger Klicker, into an emotional tailspin. "I said we can not allow a sex offender to live in this neighborhood." The single piece of paper was a state-required sex offender notification flyer, telling a Crystal neighborhood that a man by the name of Ricky John Lindstrom was moving in. Lindstrom is a level three sex offender who served 10 years for fondling a 10-year old Hopkins girl at knifepoint. He also served time for raping a woman in 1986. Pedler and her neighbors decided they weren't just going to stand by and let Lindstrom move in. So they banded together and planned on giving the Crystal police an earful at the scheduled sex offender notification meeting. But that meeting never happened.

It was canceled after someone took matters into his or her own hands, circulating a second flyer. That paper impersonated the woman who was going to rent her house to Lindstrom. It gave her name, address and phone number and proclaimed, "I am moving my own little monster into my home and I don't care what any of you think." It also warned, "Don't go to sleep, ever. That is when he prowls your homes, looking for his next victim." The flyer worked, and Lindstrom backed out. But law enforcement officials aren't amused. They, and even some victim's advocates, call the flyer "vigilante justice" and say it disrupts the whole process. Russ Stricker oversees Lindstrom's probation. He understands the neighborhood's outrage, but calls the letter "vigilante justice" and fears it will ultimately lead to the repeal the very law that's there to protect neighborhoods. "If we can't tell neighborhoods, then offenders can move anywhere and people will never know about it and I think that's more damaging than letting us know."

And while he says he doesn't expect any sympathy for Lindstrom, Stricker says, the fact is, at some point, society has to let go of its grudge. "Someday he is going to be off supervision, and the goal is to change him and reduce his risk to the public and that's hard to do if he is not given an opportunity." Still, those living in that Crystal neighborhood will continue to ask, how far is too far when it comes to the ones you love? One neighbor simply asks, "What would you do if he moved in next to you?" Crystal police are actively investigating this case, they say whoever created that false flyer could face criminal charges. ..more.. : by Amy Hockert, KARE 11 News

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