Charges have been filed in the theft of six William Faulkner letters from Southeast Missouri State University. The prosecutor in Cape Girardeau says Robert Smith, a former lawyer from Jacksonville, Arkansas, is his suspect. Smith is still at large. It’s not the first time Smith has been charged with stealing documents. He was convicted of taking letters signed by Civil War guerilla fighter William Clarke Quantrill from the University of Kansas in 1996. He also was convicted of stealing manuscripts from the University of Arkansas. He served about two years in prison for those convictions. Smith gave up his Arkansas law license after he was charged with forgery. He got probation for that. The Faulkner letters disappeared September 30th and showed up last month on the internet auction site, e-bay, being offered by a collectibles dealer in Texas. He says Smith is the man who gave him the letters. Southeast Missouri State has a large collection of Faulkner material.
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