In the frenzy to unlock the mystery of why a 15-year-old boy who once seemed pretty normal might shoot up his school and kill four classmates, some have seized on his mother's 2016 open letter to president-elect Donald Trump as evidence the family had radical views.
"In 2015, Ethan Crumbley was a seemingly sweet kid with good grades and a conscience. What happened in his home from 2016 to now? Seems clear to me...," a liberal Michigan activist wrote on Twitter.
The Daily Beast published the more sensational aspects of the letter. Taken its totality, however, it reveals very little beyond that Jennifer Crumbley had opinions and could sometimes be a little crass.
In the since-deleted letter published to Crumbley's WordPress several days after the election, the now 43-year-old describes herself as a struggling middle-class mother — at one point the lone breadwinner for her family — who came to vote for Trump with some reluctance.
Like many Americans, she does not align with one political party's platform. She "used to think Democrat" and is "quite opposite of your typical 'republican.'" She expresses support for the Second Amendment — "As a female and a Realtor, thank you for allowing my right to ... be protected if I show a home to someone with bad intentions" — and Trump's proposed border wall, but also equality for the "LGBT" community and abortion rights.
Separately, she indicates she'd had difficulty making ends meet with her husband unable to work.
My husband suffered a stroke and a broken back and we were with just my income. Do you know how hard it is to support a family on only $40,000 a year? I couldn’t qualify for State Aid. I made to much. Mr. Trump, this is why I voted for you. I see the change that we so desperately need. I see jobs coming back, people having to work for their handouts, money going to who really deserve it.
Crumbley signs the open letter "A hard working Middle Class Law Abiding Citizen who is sick of getting fucked in the ass and would rather be grabbed by the pussy." Ethan's father, James Crumbley, co-signed it in a way, posting it to Facebook with the caption: "My wife can be spot on. Sometimes."
(The blog post was deleted, along with James Crumbley's Facebook page, by early Thursday afternoon.)
The Oakland County prosecutor has indicated James and Jennifer Crumbley may face charges if it's determined they did not properly secure the gun used in the attack. Crumbley's father bought it four days earlier on Black Friday, authorities said.