Books

Library receives anonymous note from student who took witchcraft books 40 years ago

Two books on witchcraft — and one about Jack the Ripper — were stolen from University of Nebraska Omaha's Criss Library 40 years ago. They were returned with an anonymous note.
Two books on witchcraft — and one about Jack the Ripper — were stolen from University of Nebraska Omaha's Criss Library 40 years ago. They were returned with an anonymous note. Facebook, UNO Criss Library

The student was reluctant to properly check out three books from the University of Nebraska library — and that was 40 years ago.

The three books? Two on witchcraft, and one about the unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper, according to the Omaha campus' Criss Library.

So the former student just "walked out of the UNO library" without checking them out, according to the anonymous note that was returned with the three books at the library.

"Please forgive my laziness and reluctance to not only properly check them out - but for keeping them so long," the letter says. It was signed only by "A former student."

The UNO Criss Library posted a photo of the note to Facebook.

"Better late than never, right?" the post states. "Thank you to the alum who recently returned three library books after taking them from the library 40 years ago. We appreciated your note and the good condition you kept the books in all these years!"

The three books returned were "The Complete Jack the Ripper" by Don Rumbelow, "Witchcraft: The Old Religion" by Leo Louis Martello and "Navaho Witchcraft" by Clyde Kluckhohn.

Joyce Neujahr, director of patron services, told the Omaha World-Herald that four decades is one of the longest stretches of times for books to be missing from the library.

She also provided the newspaper with a few theories on why the student took the books — in one , she thought the student may have been embarrassed about the "provocative topics."

In another theory, she said maybe the line to check out the books was just too long.

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