Many were obscene, the epithet of choice the four-letter C word. Astonishing to me, most of the half-dozen folks who invoked this one used it in the subject line ("You Are a C---") and had addresses that appeared to contain real names.
There were countless vague threats. "I Hope Someone Blows You Away," one man wrote. "I hope to run you out of the city," said another. A third, a fairly well-known playwright in Toronto, said he was looking "forward to writing your obit." One fellow said if he recognized me on the street, he would pelt me with fruit. (I thanked him for using his full name and said "I look forward to our meeting," at which point he backed off and said he hoped that would never happen.)
Curiously, many people, having offered savage assessments of my worth or rather lack of it, also summoned up a bewildering righteousness. As one guy said, managing to be both prim and coarse, albeit a bit funny, "I would call you a c---, but you sadly lack the required warmth and depth."Whereas those who partake in the mass boo-hooing are demonstrating that they're profoundly "warm and deep" (or so they think).
Update: Hate to break it to you, blubbering beautifiers, but he was A politician, not a saint.