Thunder Bay police have charged a man with 21 counts of uttering threats after he allegedly sent threatening letters out since July of last year.

The letters were sent to local businesses, individuals, groups, media outlets, city politicians and members of the Thunder Bay Police Service. The anonymous letters were believed to have come from one individual and, after forensic examinations of the letters, 46-year-old Eric Wirkkala was charged.


Thunder Bay Police Chief JP Levesque (CBC)

Police Chief JP Levesque said close to 65 letters were sent out.

"I can't really get into it ... as it is before the courts, but I would certainly deem them to be really disturbing," he added.

"This individual caused a lot of anxiety for the people who received these letters."

Levesque said the difficulty in the investigation was in trying to find a common threat or a link between the victims.

"There didn't seem to be one.  It seemed somewhat random ... I don't know that there was one," he said. "When we brought this to ... the OPP behavioural sciences people to get a profile, it was something they pointed out."

The police service kept silent on the 16-month investigation until now because "the behavioural sciences [people] felt that any notoriety was just gonna allow this individual to ramp up his activities," Levesque said.

Wirkkala is expected to appear in court Nov. 5.