By Robbie Ward and Sarah Robinson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Corinth man and Elvis impersonator arrested and accused of sending poison-laced envelopes to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a local justice court judge seems to have had different personas.
Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested by the FBI and Lee County authorities Wednesday at his home after an investigation by multiple local, state and federal officials. With Curtis in police custody, different versions of his life continue to unfold, some wacky and entertaining and others conspiratorial, threatening and violent.
Several Tupelo residents who did not want to be identified told the Daily Journal of experiences of erratic and even threatening behavior with Curtis through the years.
Locally he has been known for his passion for Elvis and hatred for North Mississippi Medical Center expressed in online message boards.
Some people know Curtis through his passion as an Elvis impersonator, including a snarl and long sideburns.
In a 1999 interview with the Daily Journal, Curtis said “I used to say, ‘I’m going to grow up and be just like Elvis and buy my mom a mansion. That was my goal from age 6.”
He participated in Elvis tribute artist events at the annual Elvis Presley Festival in Tupelo in its early years. He has dozens of YouTube recordings of his performances and won second place in the Gumtree songwriting competition in Tupelo in 2002.
The 1999 Journal article described him as a father of four who was married at the time and in a cleaning business with his wife. Among their clients was the Medical Center in Tupelo.
As a janitor working in a cleaning service, he claimed to have insider information. His online postings including Facebook and message boards and interviews with people who have had altercations with him show a man with a conspiratorial mindset and evidence of paranoia.
“I’m on the hidden front lines of a secret war,” Curtis posted on his Facebook profile at 2 a.m. Wednesday. “A war that is making Billions of dollars for corrupt mafia related organizations and people. (bone, tissue, organ, body parts harvesting black market)”
In online postings, Curtis ends letters with a phrase similar to those found in letters to President Obama and Sen. Wicker.
“This is Kevin Curtis and I approve this report,” he posted in an online rant against the NMMC on September 2007.
“I am KC and I approve this message,” the letters to the president and senator said.
Online, Curtis also mentioned speaking with Wicker, who was then serving in the House of Representatives. He wrote about trying to talk to Wicker and other federal officials from Mississippi about his concerns about issues related to the hospital.
“I even ran into Roger Wicker several different times while performing at special banquets and fundraisers in northeast, Mississippi but he seemed very nervous while speaking to me and would make fast exit to the door when I engaged in conversation leading up to my case against NMMC,” Curtis wrote in 2007.
While Curtis was kicked off the Daily Journal message board for threats, others experienced it in person. David Daniels, a former Lee County assistant district attorney, had a violent run-in with Curtis around 2001.
When Daniels played in a band of Elvis tribute artists that included Curtis, Daniels recalls the impersonator attacking him with a beer bottle.
“It appeared that he was very, very unstable,” Daniels said Wednesday night.
When attacked, Daniels said Curtis said things about body parts and the local hospital system.
As authorities’ investigations moved closer to arresting Curtis on Wednesday, his Facebook postings became more anxious and intense.
“My mother wants me to SHUT UP. My brothers fear me. My sister hates me. My cousins have hostility towards me (they work in healthcare) I have lost most of my friends. I have spent more than $130,000 on legal fee’s in 13.5 yrs. They burned down my home, killed my dogs, my cat, my rabbit, blew up my 1966 Plymouth Valent. They destroyed my marriage, they distracted my career, they stalked, they trolled, they came in to my home, took my computers, had me arrested 22 times and guest what?” Curtis posted earlier Wednesday. “I am still a thorn in their corrupt anals! I will remain here until Jesus Christ decides its time for me to go. (ur welcome and amen) :)”