Unable to Delete/stop An Email Indexing/downloading



I've been troubleshooting an email problem for several days and nothing I try has worked, so I'm hoping you can help me. My tech level is neither novice nor expert. I usually try to resolve problems myself through books, web research, etc, before resorting to paying high tech-support fees.

I have a Power-Mac G4 1.25 GHz (768MB RAM, ample HD space, etc), OSX.10.3.9, Earthlink DSL internet, using Panther ”Mail” for email. I have thousands of emails (about 1.3GB!) organized into several sub-mailboxes with 997 still in In-box needing sorting, purging, archiving - so I don't want to delete my entire collection by trashing and recreating the Mail account just yet.

Last week when I opened Mail, there was a message taking too long to download, so I quit Mail, and opened Webmail online server to check messages. One message had a 4MB attachment called “houses”, which I deleted from the server, then reopened Mail, but the “houses” message kept appearing in my in-box, never able to complete downloading.

I tried again to delete the message + empty trash, but the email stays stuck in the download process, so I tried to quit, without response, and had to force-quit, then reopened, only to encounter the same problem every time I opened my in-box.

I then tried deleting cache files from Mail, which seemed to do the trick - temporarily - but after sorting, deleting and re-filing several messages this same message keeps trying to reappear, freezing Mail when I quit, and after force-quitting, all the messages I moved or deleted are still in my in-box.

I tried shutting down, disconnecting modem, router, restarting, deleting cache repeatedly, secure empty trash, repaired permissions in First Aid utility + deleted message-sorting.plist + backup from Mail folder, stopped activity viewer, plus rebuilt indexes from all folders except in-box (which is grayed out because the indexing seems to be stuck at that message). The status bar says “Indexing 371 of 998: houses”. and the little wheel keeps spinning. I also tried letting it spin for hours, and it never stops.

Is there anything else I can do to permanently delete and stop the indexing of this message - which no longer exists anywhere I know? I would greatly appreciate feedback and solutions.

what/where are you getting all those messages to re-fill you inbox? The" houses" message sound like a windows virus inside an email and the Mac chokes on it. It seems like everytime mail starts up the POP protocol keeps getting this message.
Hi Satcomer,
Thanks for your reply.
I receive about 30+ emails daily. The in-box messages are mostly emails acumulated over time that I've not had time to read, file, delete or deal with.
The indexing/downloading of the “houses” message was preventing me from deleting or filing messages to appropriate folders or mailboxes, so that after I force-quit and reopened, they were still in the inbox, but it seems to have mysteriously corrected itself and stopped downloading yesterday, after a client sent me several large jpeg attachments. I am hoping it is finally resolved now. I will write again if it comes back. MS