J.K. Rowling Sent a Letter from Albus Dumbledore to a Girl Who Lost Her Family in a Tragic Texas Shooting
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J.K. Rowling Sent a Letter from Albus Dumbledore to a Girl Who Lost Her Family in a Tragic Texas Shooting

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | August 6, 2014 | Comments ()

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I am a big fan of feel-good stories, but usually, the “feel good” part of the story is the thing that sticks out, rather than the circumstances which prompt the good deed. Here, I can’t seem to get over the heartsickness I have surrounding the circumstances, which involve 15-year-old Cassidy Stay. Stay was the lone survivor in a terribly upsetting shooting in which her parents and her four siblings were all shot dead. Stay’s head was grazed by a bullet, and she managed to survive by playing dead. After the gunmen (her uncle) left, she called 911 to alert the authorities before the shooter killed his next targets, Cassidy’s grandparents. Basically, the guy shot them all because they refused to tell him where his ex-wife (Cassidy’s aunt) was.

This is the family that was killed.


Cassidy is the one on the left, and you’re welcome for the heartache.

Anyway, a week after her family was killed, Cassidy managed to deliver a eulogy for them at the funeral, which included the words of Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books:

“”I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca, and Zach are in a much better place, and that I’ll be able to see them again one day. Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

How she managed to beleive that is a testament to the indomitable human spirit.

At any rate, some very nice people on Facebook created a page in the hopes that Cassidy might meet J.K. Rowling some day. That has not yet happened, but J.K. Rowling has been in touch with Cassidy.

According to sources close to the Stay family, Cassidy received a package from Rowling with a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the book Stay quoted from in her remarks. In addition, Rowling sent Stay a letter with her condolences. In the letter, Rowling wrote several paragraphs from the point of view of Albus Dumbledore, telling Cassidy what the headmaster would have told her if he could have.

They confirmed it on the Facebook page.

“This afternoon, I talked to a friend of Cassidy’s who confirmed that JK Rowling did, in fact, write her a personalized letter from ‘Dumbledore’ (hand-written with purple ink). She was also sent a wand, an acceptance letter to Hogwarts with a school supply list, along with the 3rd book with JK’s autograph. I’m so excited and ecstatic that we were all able to make a difference! How wonderful.”

Unbelievable, unspeakable tragedy, although I do appreciate that Rowling did what she could do. It’s small comfort, I’m sure. But it’s comfort.

via The Mary Sue

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • gefeylich

    I will never understand why someone thinks picking up a gun and shooting an entire family is the way to solve their problems. The uncle was clearly mentally ill, and yet he had a gun. This happens almost every week in this country now.

    This poor little girl will have PTSD for the rest of her life, as well has having no parents and no siblings. Hideous.

    I'm glad Rowling reached out to her.

  • duckandcover

    I was going to point out that Dumbledore himself is dead, because my heart is just that black, but HNNNNNNNNNNG DAMN IT ROWLING.

  • E Robb

    The Youtube comments on that video can't be real. They're all hoaxes and spambots. It's the only way it makes sense.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    What is it like to be left alone like that? I remember the
    fifteen-year-old Haitian girl who lost ten of her family members in the
    earthquake and wondering just how does a person go on with it. I don't know: that's my privilege.

    I can't imagine that level of betrayal, to have your family killed by family. I'm sure I've told the story about the lady from Vietnam that my mother sort of knew whose husband stabbed her to death in front of her mother and young son. Why? Because she ran away from his violence and got an apartment for the three of them. When he found out his wife had gone with her mother she wouldn't tell him where she was. It was over 20 years ago and I think about how we met her (we walked her and the then-baby to her place when she didn't have an umbrella in a storm, she only lived across the street) and hearing what had happened on the news the afternoon after it had happened. I don't say anything worth saying, I don't understand the motive or that level of pain.

  • Maddy

    This is why I will not hear a word again Jk Rowling. I won't hear it.

  • stryker1121

    Amazing composure..hope she gets all the support she needs.

  • Janine

    Thanks for the ugly cry, Pajiba.

  • BobbFrapples

    I need to curl up beneath my desk now.


  • amberdragonfly

    My aunt was murdered, and it was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I can't even imagine if someone had taken my entire family away. My heart is broken for that girl.

  • JustOP

    Fucking hell that video is rough. I've seen some bad shit on the net but I actually had to turn that off.

    What a brave young woman.

  • Dulce et Banana

    You're braver than I. I barely made it through the reading. I just can't.

  • JustOP

    Tough stuff to watch. In an effort to lighten the mood - I wrote my dissertation in part on Dune and it was only a couple days ago that I realized what your name was referring. I felt mighty stupid.

  • Dulce et Banana

    I've been Benny on io9 for quite some time - when you get a good avatar, you hang onto it.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Still on the heartbreak.

  • narfna


  • NateMan

    I can't even imagine the pain this girl is going through, and will deal with the rest of her life. All because an asshole couldn't let go of the past and move on. The world needs to be a better place. We need to make it one.

  • People committing acts of kindness to strangers in a time of tragedy? What is going on here I thought this was the internet?

    j/k (Rowling)

    This was nice. Hope it brings her some small measure of joy.

  • Berry

    After something as devastating as losing your whole entire family, any comfort you can get is going to be small. I would imagine. Still important though.

  • PDamian

    Something must be done about all this dust, pollen and dander in my office. My eyes will not stay dry.

  • BettyNugs

    It appears to be raining on my face.

  • JustOP
  • MaxineDabbsyba

    I just <- got paid $7500 parttime working online with a lap-top b­­­­­­­­y ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­G­­­­­­­­­­­­oog­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­­­­­e­­­­­­­­­­­­­.I­ a­­m ­­­­­­­­­m­­a­­k­­­­i­n­­­g ­­­­­­­­­a ­­­­­­­­­go­­od ­­­­­­­­­sa­­la­­ry ­­­­­­­­­fr­­­om ­­­­­­­­­h­­.o­­m­e ­­­­­­­­­$­­5­5­0­0­­­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­­­$­­70­0­0/w­­­­­e­e­kL­­­ast Monday got a brand new BM­­­W since getting a check for $647­­­4 this - 4 weeks past. I beg­­­an this 8-months ago and imm­­­ediately was bringing home at lea­­­st $97 per hour. I wo­­­rk thr­­­ough this link, go to tech tab for work det­­­ail­­­


    Here ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started------ http://www.googleprojects97$jobs1....



  • Why spammers are shitty, Exhibit A.

  • BWeaves

    You, too?

  • Krissy

    I am pregnant so this made me weep uncontrollably at my desk...dammit !

  • Emily Chambers

    Goddamnit, Dustin.

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