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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 | Industry | August 6, 2014 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | August 6, 2014 |

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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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.