The Return Address Puzzle
(Page created Dec. 30, 2001)
(Last updated Sept. 27, 2002)

The one "clue" that seems to intrigue the most people who see the anthrax letters is the return address that was used on the envelopes sent to Senators Daschle and Leahy.

Both letters used the same return address:

4TH GRADE
GREENDALE SCHOOL
FRANKLIN PARK NJ 08852

There is no school in New Jersey called "Greendale School".
There is a town called Franklin Park in New Jersey.  Check the map below.

However, Frankin Park does not have a "Greendale School".

And Zip code 08852 belongs to Monmouth Junction, New Jersey.

Monmouth Junction has a Monmouth Junction Elementary School, with grades K-4.

There is a Greenbrook Elementary School with grades K-4 in New Jersey.  Its Zip code is 08824, but it is in a town called Kendall Park, New Jersey, which is very close to Franklin Park.   Greenbrook/Greendale and Kendall Park/Franklin Park?  That seems to be enough similarities to send many arm chair detectives off into a frenzy of further clue hunting.

The letters were postmarked in Trenton, and Franklin Park is 20 miles from Trenton, a 38 minute drive.  It seems a long drive to get to school, but not overly long for the "right" school.

The FBI has apparently located one mailbox which may have been where all or some of the letters were mailed.  According to Richard M. Smith:

"The mail box with anthrax spores in it is at the corner of Nassau
and Bank in Princeton.  It is in the downtown Princeton commercial
district right across the street from Princeton University.
Nassau St. is also NJ Route 27 which goes north east to Franklin
Park, NJ and Kendall Park, NJ.  The Greenbrook School is about 1/4
mile off of Route 27 about 10 to 15 miles from the mail box.The
main Princeton Post Office is only a couple blocks from this
mailbox.  It was one of the four post NJ offices that also had
anthrax spores.The last pick-up from mail boxes on Nassau St. is 5
PM according to my notes."

Here's a map showing the drive from Greenbrook School in Kendall Park to Princeton:

In reality, however, there is also the Hwy. 27 route, which seems much more direct, although perhaps not as fast.

Here's a map of the location of the mailbox that contained spores:

Someone living or working in Trenton would have to drive right past Princeton University to get to Franklin Park, which is actually closer to Rutgers University.  Does that mean something?

As far as I'm concerned, while there might be a clue here, it's too obscure to be of much value.

If I have a martini for breakfast but switch Cherrios for the gin, switch milk for the vermouth and switch a teaspoon of sugar for the olive, does that prove I'm turning into an alcohlic?

This return address "clue" might mean something if it could be compared to the return addresses on the 15 letters sent from Indianapolis.  We only know one thing about those return addresses, and it's from the story in the New York Post: "The return address on one letter - addressed to Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly - listed the name of Sean Hannity, another FNC personality."

To me, that indicates that the terrorist likes to play games with the return addresses.  So, if there is any relevance to the fact that there is a Greenbrook School in Kendall park, it would most likely have something to do with some personal grievance - possibly something as complex as that school being where some hated former boss sent his kids.

Another "coincidence" is that there is a Greendale school in the town of Greendale, just outside of Milwaukee, WI.  Is it a coincidence that a suspect lives in that area?  And what about the report that Greendale, WI, Greenbelt, MD, and Greenhills, OH, were created during the FDR era of the 1930s, and a fourth town was envisioned in New Jersey near what is now Roosevelt, NJ., which is not far from Trenton?  That's all very odd, but thinking through the implications only makes my head ache.

Yet another "coincidence" is that ABC reported that a scientist referred to by Barbara Hatch Rosenberg in endless news reports and speeches, went to medical school in Zimbabwe near an elementary school was named "Greendale School".  But no such school exists.  There is a town called "Greendale" with many schools, including a "Greengrove" school.  But no Greendale School, much less a Greendale Elementary School.  So, what we have is an example of facts getting muddled with each telling until the facts that are reported on TV are not really facts.

And then there's the report that during a convention of handwriting experts someone from the military noticed that "4th Grade" in military terms was the rank of sergeant.  They then checked to see if there was a Sergeant Dale Green in the U.S. military, and there was.  Another interesting fact, but does it mean anything?  There's no mention if they checked for a Sgt. Greendale.

And then there's this to think about: There is a very popular childrens TV character in Britain called Postman Pat.  It's an animated series aimed at 2-4 year olds, and every kid in Britain has seen it. It's apparently been around since the late eighties.  Postman Pat is the village postman, and he gets up to all kinds of adventures while delivering the mail.  The signifigant factor is that Postman Pat's adventures are all based around a fictional village called Greendale. A link to the amazon.co.uk page for Postman Pat merchandise is HERE.

To complicate matters, someone else brought to my attention something odd about the return addresses on the anthrax letters sent to Senator's Daschle and Leahy:

greenDALE SCHool

If you take the first three letters of "school" and put them in the middle of the last four letters of "Greendale", you get DASCHLE.

When I found that interesting, the same person then brought this to my attention:

That exercise in manipulating letters of the alphabet just gave me a headache.  And, while interesting from several points of view, I have a hard time finding any significance to it.  But it is interesting that some people do find this significant.

Greendale could be just a fictitious name that was created from names found on the Internet.  After all, if I'm correct about who did the actual writing of the letters and the addressing of the envelopes, the adult involved with the anthrax letters has experience in locating a school for a young child.  That experience would be put to use to create a fictitious school in the New Jersey area.

On the other hand, the child writing the letters may have been tricked into believing his school is in Franklin Park while it's actually in Kendall Park, and he may have been tricked on the Zip code.  But could he have been tricked on the name of the school?  Who knows?

Just an opinion.

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(c) 2002 by Ed Lake
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