Assault on Edward Hall

Cameron Laird (claird@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM)
30 Mar 1995 17:25:34 -0600

I reprint, with the permission of its editor, Susan Skomal, this
"letter to the editor", which appeared on page 2 of the *Anthro-
pology Newsletter* (of the American Anthropology Association) for
March 1995.
Friday morning, November 18, 1994, I called my office in Santa Fe from
Chicago only to hear that someone, keys in hand, had entered during the
wee hours of the night and walked off with my new computer system,
including hard drive, laser printer, manuals and all of the backup
discs! I had protected myself against a crash of the hard drive but not
from robbery, and was quite simply struck right out of the ball park:
important parts of two books-including the one I am currently
writing-notes, references, correspondence and ideas, years of work all
vanished into thin air.

The police dusted for fingerprints and said it was a professional and
highly selective job. The consensus is that someone was out to either
get back at me for goodness knows what reason, or to sabotage my work.
Already crippled by the loss of my partner of 47 years, whoever
perpetrated this outrage did put a crimp in the work, as I haven't been
able to do a thing that isn't robbery-related for weeks.

The Albuquerque and Santa Fe papers carried ads offering a $2500
reward for return of the contents of the hard drive, and later for
information leading to the theft. My own networks, detectives I have
hired and the police have produced some leads, but nothing
sufficiently definitive to make an ironclad case. [. . .]

Two months after the theft, I still have heard nothing concerning the
return of my work. On the chance that this may happen to one of you, I
thought you all should know. Also, I would appreciate it if you would
keep an eye and an ear out for anything on this bizarre event as well as
anything "new" in the academic world conforming to the patterns of my
work. I would appreciate any leads. Let us hope that this will be the
last occurrence of this sort that anthropology will experience.

Edward T. Hall
Santa Fe, NM
Emeritus, Northwestern U.
I have a FAX number for Professor Hall, for those who wish to correspond
with him. He does not receive email.

I don't know what the sci.anthropology and ANTHRO-L readership can do for
Professor Hall, apart from his suggestion to "keep an eye and an ear out";
I do know that he deserves better than this.

Thanks to DS, the correspondent who brought this to my attention, and
suggested we circulate it through sci.anthropology.


Cameron Laird +1 713 267 7966 +1 713 996 8546