Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 20, 2004

The Killer Inside Him

A life in the balance: I just finished reading "Stalking the Bogeyman," in the May 13 issue, and have been in tears ever since. I can completely empathize with David Holthouse. When I was twelve, I was raped by a man in his late twenties. He was never arrested or prosecuted. I'm 33 now, and I can honestly say that I hardly ever think about what happened to me. "Living well is the best revenge," right?

At least, that was, until about two years ago, when I discovered that this person not only still lives in Colorado, but that he is also someone occasionally in the public eye. I must admit that I have lain awake at night many times, plotting revenge. I'm sure that it wouldn't be difficult to find out where he lives and so on. I've come up with dozens of scenarios where I confront him and demand that he remember me before putting him through any number of grisly tortures. I've also thought of ways to publicly humiliate him.

Reading this article, however, reminded me that I have a good life. Why should I risk fucking it up over some piece of garbage, a lame excuse for a human being such as this man? I'm a firm believer in karma, and I'm sure that the scales will balance some way, somehow, and he will get what he so richly deserves. Also, I refuse to spend one more minute even thinking about this S.O.B. He isn't worth the time or energy.

Thank you for printing such a frank and honest article. I applaud the author.

Name withheld on request

Inner strength: David Holthouse, I read your article and felt compelled to thank you for your honesty. I won't go into what a tragedy that rape was or the horrific experience that some people have to endure in this life. I will say that what you faced in the confrontation and how you faced it was truly admirable. You must have some inner strength! Hold close to that strength; it is an inspiration to us all.

Gabriel Davis
Thornton

Letting go: That was one seriously powerful piece of writing. I can't say I even closely relate to David Holthouse's situation, having never been in it, but he certainly put my beliefs in peace and forgiveness to the test. I wonder what my own reaction would have been. It took a lot of guts to write about that, more guts to confront the guy, and all the guts in America to forgive him. Or at least let him go.

I'm not sure whether David's at peace, or if he ever will be, but I admire his courage. I hope he can channel his emotions into helping stop crimes like this.

Scott Morgan
Bordentown, New Jersey

Losing his religion: I just wanted to express my admiration for "Stalking the Bogeyman." It was extremely courageous of David Holthouse to tell his story. My boyfriend of five years was sexually abused repeatedly by his Sunday school teacher when he was young, and while I don't know the details, I've seen firsthand the anger it causes. The only time he's ever discussed it with me, he said if he ever saw the man again, he would certainly kill him...and to this day, he has a hatred of organized religion like I've never seen. I hope one day he can come to terms with the anger, as David has.

Name withheld on request

Crime and punishment: Wow! That was my first reaction to David Holthouse's revelations in "Stalking the Bogeyman." I am a 64-year-old mother with two adult children, and I had no idea of the degree to which child molestation is a threat. Maybe I have been living in a bubble. When I look at David's photo as a seven-year-old, my heart aches for him. No one should ever have such a horrific experience. I admire him for being able to write an article that can serve both to alert others and punish the perpetrator.

Dorothy Riddle
via the Internet

Family ties: David Holthouse, thank you so much for sharing your experience, your pain, your humanity and your insight with us. Your courage is admirable, to say the least, and your extenuating compassion for others should be an example to everyone. Do not be afraid about having your own family. I have "a friend" who suffered something similar to your story -- though not nearly as brutal -- and am proud and happy to report that his children (all three of them) are the light of his life, and no single thought of debauchery has ever, ever entered his mind. It was his great fear, too.

Your compassion and self-awareness has taught us all something, David. Thank you again for sharing. I can only hope that some of your demons are exorcised by the literary bloodletting in the pages of this alt-weekly. My prayers are with you.

Charlie B.
Jacksonville, Florida

Male call: It is rare to read news articles with the atypical candor and courage that David Holthouse reveals. "Stalking the Bogeyman" exposes the lifelong pain, shame, terror and confusion endured by countless other survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I hope it serves to educate members of the public who are unaware of the dynamics and consequences of childhood abuse, and also serves as validation for the countless, often silent childhood sexual-abuse victims.

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