A New York man accused of mailing threatening letters in which he claimed to murder and eat his victims has been charged with weapons counts this week.
Jesse Bartlett, 45, was arraigned on Wednesday on third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession, according to the Watertown Daily Times.
The charges came as a result of a May 2022 search of Bartlett’s home in LaFargeville, Jefferson County, where investigators discovered five rifles, two shotguns and a high-capacity magazine.
Bartlett was arrested on May 19, 2022, for sending disturbing letters to multiple locations across the Northeast, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.
Recipients were private businesses, houses of worship, media outlets and government offices, including the White House.
Bartlett reportedly admitted to mailing the letters, in which he claimed to have killed people and eaten their flesh. He also threatened to murder more, including an unidentified bus driver.
“Every month since November I have killed both male and females,” one letter for politicians and the police read in part. “It is possible that I am killing individuals whose identities are impossible to track (i.e., homeless, runaways, illegal immigrants), and destroying all evidence so efficiently.”
Most of the letters identified their sender as the “Chinese Zodiac Killer,” possibly referencing the notorious 1960s “Zodiac Killer” who also sent threatening letters but was confirmed to have murdered at least five people in Northern California.
Other letters were signed “Aleister Crowley” — an apparent reference to the late British occultist — which aligns with the investigators’ finding that Bartlett has an interest in black magic.
Bartlett pleaded guilty in December 2022 to a charge of mailing threatening letters, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines and up to three years of supervised release.
He is set to be sentenced for this count on Wednesday.
Prosecutors are reportedly recommending 16 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Meanwhile, Bartlett’s attorney seeks a sentence of time served since Bartlett is already in federal custody in Albany.
As for his weapons charges, Bartlett was ordered held on a $10,000 bail.