Published Wednesday, 06 August 2014
Cassidy Stay watched her angry former uncle Ron Haskell shoot and kill her parents and four siblings, played dead until he left the scene of the crime and then called police to identity her family's killer and alert them to the fact her grandparents were at risk.
Thanks to the Texas 15-year-old's quick thinking, police officers were able to track down Haskell and arrest him before his killing spree over the whereabouts of his ex-wife, Cassidy's aunt, could continue.
Rowling learned about the story when Stay quoted Dumbledore at a press conference three days after the tragedy, when she bravely said: "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light."
Sources now confirm that Rowling has sent Stay, who lost part of her finger in the shoot-out at her home in Houston, a personalised letter from Dumbledore, hand-written in purple ink, as well as a wand, an acceptance letter to Hogwarts (school) with a school supply list, and an autographed copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the book from which Stay quoted at the press conference.
A spokesman for Rowling said: "We can confirm that JK Rowling was in touch with Cassidy Stay, however, the contents of the letter remain private."
Asked whether a meeting between the two may happen, she added: "We wouldn't comment on that but [Cassidy's] is a remarkable story."