White woman arrested over racist note to black family moving into 'white neighborhood'

Mary Scott
Nov 01, 2018
11:47 A.M.
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A senior white woman in Indiana was arrested after she defaced her new neighbors’ home and left behind a racist letter threatening their black child, the police revealed.


63-year-old Deborah Cantwell from Greentown was booked after a man reported to sheriff deputies in Howard County that his family’s newly-purchased home had been toilet-papered and a racist note left behind. That was on October 13. The man’s family had yet to move into their Greentown home, and he stopped by the house around midnight on his way from work.




Kokomo Tribune reports that the woman’s note was regarded as “racially offensive and threatening in nature” as it targeted the family’s black son whose age is not known.

Part of the letter was posted by the man’s wife on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for legal fees, a fence, and security system.


Cantwell repeatedly referred to their child with a derogatory name for African Americans and made sure to capitalize it each time:

“No [expletive] wanted in this neighborhood- THIS IS A WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD – some people find [expletive] stressful YOUR [expletive] KID IS NOT WELCOME.”


In the note, she also seemed to imply that her offensive actions were fueled by black kids who beat up her sibling in the past and went scot-free.




The father of the targeted kid told officers that he suspected Cantwell was behind the incident because the home’s seller had informed him previously that she didn’t want them in her neighborhood because of their black son.


Text messages from Cantwell to another person were later discovered and confirmed that she indeed committed the crime. The text read:

“I am stressing now that we are going to get black neighbors. I am hoping that more people look at the house and an all-white family are the ultimate buyers. I am afraid the stress of black neighbors could put me in the hospital. My blood pressure is elevated just thinking about the possibility.”



Cantwell was charged with misdemeanor counts of intimidation and criminal mischief and confessed to the crime. She said:

“I was just trying to let them know that they weren’t really. …welcome as far as us. …I just needed to let off some steam and it was the – I’m not a violent person so I didn’t think it was any big deal.”

She also refused to apologize for her actions and only said she plans to go for counseling.



Meanwhile, the boy’s mother, in an emotional outpouring on the GoFundMe page, wrote:

“I will forgive you one day, but for now you have instilled in all my heart, a fear I have never had before. You have instilled fear in my family, you have instilled fear [in] my children. This fear I have is crippling.”


Jasmine Brewer, a 26-year-old waiter at an Applebee’s in Radcliff, Kentucky, also received a racist note in September. Instead of leaving a tip, a group of customers took the time to write a “We don’t tip black people” note and left it for the young girl.

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