The Rickety Ranch is a farm in Hollis, New Hampshire. It’s not involved in any sort of illegal activity. It’s not the kind of place in which the FBI would typically take an interest.
Yet because of a strange series of rhyming notes and a rash of incidents connected to it, the bureau is up in the Granite State investigating one of the most bizarre cases of extortion we’ve seen.
Now it’s offering a huge reward to whoever can break the strange case.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the individual, or individuals, behind multiple extortion attempts, harassment, and animal cruelty inflicted upon a family and their farm known as Rickety Ranch in Hollis, New Hampshire,” the FBI’s Boston office said in a press release earlier this week. The Boston Division covers all of New Hampshire as well as Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The #FBI is offering a reward up to $10,000 for info leading to the identification & arrest of the individual(s) behind multiple extortion attempts & harassment of a family in Hollis, NH. Anyone with info should call 857-386-2000. https://t.co/4iifw8BBKl pic.twitter.com/2HANMADLEa
— FBI Boston (@FBIBoston) November 27, 2018
“The family received multiple extortion letters that were sent in an attempt to collect $250,000. In exchange for the payment, the sender offered to spare the family from harm and claimed to be capable of settling their ongoing disputes with the Town of Hollis, New Hampshire.
“In addition to the letters, the family was the target of various attacks over the last two years. Thousands of dollars in damage was done to their property, including their vehicles and barn. Multiple acts of animal cruelty were also committed on the farm.”
FBI Agent Brian O’Hara told WMUR-TV that some animals had been “harmed viciously.”
“He’s had a barn burned down, some severe property damage — tens of thousands of dollars — and the letters themselves have tried to extort $250,000 from the victims,” O’Hara said.
The FBI also released one of the extortion letters, which apparently take the form of strange riddles with dubious spelling. It’s titled “Act 2” and reads:
I saw your flag on your lawn
And time almost gone
I know your in
Just pay me know and you will win
It will be simple and fast
I left instructions under glass
On your grass
From here o keep 50k cash on your a–.
According to The Washington Post, O’Hara said multiple letters to the farm have been “constructed in a similar way with some rhyme and riddle to them.”
The area, The Post mentioned, has been one that’s seen increasing suburban encroachment from Boston; it’s unknown whether this has anything to do with it.
Similarly, the farm also has been involved with legal disputes in the past. Currently, Rickety Ranch is sparring with the town of Hollis over zoning regulations. In 2014, the farm’s co-owner, Gary Bergeron, also pled no contest to a misdemeanor after an incident involving an improperly registered inflatable bounce-house on farm property that severely injured two children.
Whatever the reason behind the attacks, the FBI wants whoever is trying to extort the farm to know that the long arm of the law is coming after them.
“The vicious shakedown of this family and the use of violence to intimidate them will not be tolerated,” Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said in the press release.
“We’re asking anyone with information about who is terrorizing them to come forward and share that information with us so we can put a stop to it and bring whoever is responsible to justice,” he said.
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