NEW LONDON, Conn. – Bah, humbug. The woman at the center of the national battle over property rights has some less-than-joyous tidings for the people involved in using eminent domain to take her house to make way for private development.
However, at least one recipient of Susette Kelo's unmerry greeting has put it on his mantel with his other cards.
Kelo's cards feature a snowy image of her pink house and a message that reads, in part: "Your houses, your homes, your family, your friends. May they live in misery that never ends. I curse you all. May you rot in hell. To each of you I send this spell."
The cards were sent to city officials and members of New London's development agency. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2005 that New London had the right to take homes in her Fort Trumbull neighborhood to make way for a riverfront project that will include condominiums, a hotel and office space.
Kelo, one of the last holdouts, earlier this year accepted a $442,155 settlement, more than $300,000 above the 2000 appraised value of her house. Her pink cottage will be moved elsewhere in the city.
"It's amazing anyone could be so vindictive when they've made so much money," said Gail Schwenker-Mayer, a development supporter who received one of the cards.
New London Development Corp. member Reid Burdick said he put the card on his mantel with his other Christmas greetings.
"I still feel bad for Susette," Burdick said. "The sorry part of this is that the things she's angry about were not done to be mean-spirited toward her personally."
Kelo isn't forgiving.
"They didn't have to do what they did to us, and I will never forget," she said. "These people can think what they want of me. I will never, ever forget what they did."