DALLAS -- The mystery of 'C.J.' -- the writer of a magazine letter who claims to have purposely infected black men with the AIDS virus -- may be over, according to police who say they have interviewed a teenager contending to have concocted the letter.
The 15-year-old girl told police she wrote the letter published in the September issue of Ebony magazine that purports to be from a woman who is deliberately passing on the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS.
The teenager said the letter is fictituous and that she does not have acquired immune deficiency syndrome, according to police.
'Apparently, a family friend or relative had died of AIDS and she did it to raise awareness of AIDS issues,' police Sgt. Jim Chandler said.
Chandler said a handwriting sample from the girl will be compared to the original letter, and the results will be analyzed.
'I'm going to be surprised if she didn't write the letter,' he said.
Asked whether the child could be charged criminally, Chandler said it isn't against the law to write a fictitious letter. But he added that if her statements Friday turn out to be untrue, she could be charged with filing a false report.
Chandler said the teenager's admission will not put an end to the 'C.J.' scare that has spurred a search by police and prosecutors and flooded AIDS hot lines with calls.
Local AIDS educators say the increased awareness about the disease caused by 'C.J.' has been good, but too much energy has been misdirected.
'What we've had is a witchhunt for a particular person, rather than have people take responsibility for their own sexual behavior,' said Jamie Shield, of the Dallas Gay Alliance. 'I'm sorry it has taken something lie this to wake up the heterosexual and African-American community that AIDS is there for them, too.'