The debacle started with a misspelled word.

It ended with a criminal harassment conviction and a long saga involving hundreds of death threats and three women bent on learning the results of a spelling bee.

Linda Pitney was found guilty of criminal harassment yesterday for making multiple phone calls to Perth Avenue Junior Public School and demanding information on the spelling bee results for a Grade 2 boy she hardly knew.

The 64-year-old handwriting analyst was found not guilty, however, of sending hundreds of letters threatening to bomb the school and shoot teachers and staff.

In 2008 and 2009, hundreds of death threat letters were found scattered around Perth Avenue and mailed to residents in the area. One threatened to shoot a teacher and her newborn baby.

Her co-accused, Rafat Parsaei, the boy’s 47-year-old mother, was also found not guilty.
Charges against a third defendant, Carole Tovell, 69, were withdrawn.

Police allege the threats were an overreaction by three women who believed Parsaei’s son was being discriminated against by his teachers and principal.