James Foley Tricked Captors to Send Family a Last Letter
He had fellow hostage memorize it, recite it to his mom
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 25, 2014 2:46 PM CDT
Candles are lighted on the town common during a vigil for James Foley in his hometown of Rochester, NH, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – In captivity, it was impossible for James Foley to get letters home past guards. So he came up with a way to get a final message to his family anyway—through the mouth of another prisoner, Vanity Fair reports. Foley dictated the letter to fellow hostage and photojournalist Daniel Rye Ottosen, according to the Daily Mail. Ottosen memorized the letter and, when he was released, called Foley's mother to give her the message, addressed to "family and friends." "I have had weak and strong days," Foley wrote. "We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom."

"I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart," Foley writes, via the Washington Post. He describes how the prisoners kept busy with invented games, "endless long conversations about movies, trivia, sports," and "teaching each other." He offers messages to many individual family members, calling for "any money left in my bank account" to go to them and asking his grandmother to "take your medicine, take walks, and keep dancing ... Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life." Foley's full letter is on Facebook.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
Aug 26, 2014 4:01 AM CDT
I think we lost a man with a lot of heart and humanity. The earth seems to need more of people like this rather than having them go to heaven. I found a photo someone created that helps me remember Mr Foley in a heavenly way rather than the photo that is too often used in the press. Perhaps you would like to see it also. http://imgur.com/xafCSt8
Aug 25, 2014 11:19 PM CDT
Great man. Stupid Headline
Aug 25, 2014 7:41 PM CDT
How ironic that James Foley used his imprisonment to rise toward the heights of humanity, especially since he knew that his future was very much in doubt. On the other hand, the captors of James Foley, by robbing James Foley of his future, took a hard, nose-first dive to the depths of inhumanity. And their narrow-minded self-righteousness justifies their doing so, in their eyes. This scenario shows why it is a foolish waste of time to negotiate with such terrorists...it is 'all about them'. Further, there is a concept amongst Arab terrorists called 'taqiyya', which means that it is okay for an Arab to lie to his enemy, if doing so will get the Arab what he wants from any given entity. Most likely, the term taqiyya had a different meaning when it first came into existence, but the contemporary Arab terrorist has customized it's meaning to fit his needs.