Letters to the Editor

From the week of January 12, 2006

Downhill Eraser

This boy's life: Alan Prendergast's "Throw It All Down," in the January 5 issue, was the most amazing story I have read in years. I cannot believe how quickly his life went downhill. Rest in peace, Michael Lanahan. What a waste of a promising life!

Laney Alvarez
via the Internet

CU later: Is anyone surprised -- saddened, sickened, infuriated, sure -- by the outcome of Michael Lanahan's far too short life?

No doubt, feminists and their far-left fellow travelers read this as proof positive of the once popular (in their circles) bumpersticker sentiment, "Every man is a potential rapist." It's certainly likely that a randy, oversexed and clearly alcoholic Lanahan let his dick and his bottle do the thinking for him that fateful night with Jane Doe. On the other hand, what do women think men are thinking about when they are lying in bed next to them, naked and having just completed a marathon of sex? The Buffaloes' running season?

In hyper-liberal Boulder and, worse, inside the hysterically leftist CU culture, every man is not only a potential rapist, but if he's had sex -- consensual, adult sex -- he is a rapist. Period. As long as you are rich and connected, it's okay to sexually abuse (let's call a spade a spade, shall we?) and murder your six-year-old daughter in Boulder, but Gaia help the poor slob who's accused of "rape" by the girl who just let him tie her up and hump her.

Mothers, keep your sons close. Actually, send them far away from a place that fetes a Ward Churchill, protects John and Patsy and hounds a young man like Lanahan to his death.

JM Schell
Arvada

Open Mike night:I wanted to send kudos to Alan Prendergast for yet another excellent article. He was able to give a taste of the pathos and excitement that spilled through Mike Lanahan's short life. And yet the article didn't shy away from destructive behaviors that are not uncommon among the late-teen/early-twenties crowd. Kudos are also in order for including Jane Doe's part in this sad saga. She came off as being realistic in what was and what was not agreed-upon behavior. I hope that she will be able to get back that part of herself that Mr. Lanahan took away. I was disappointed that the parents didn't allow any interviews -- but I wouldn't wish that kind of pain on anyone.

Again, another well-written, balanced piece. A great way to start off 2006!!

Tim Ferree
Lakewood

Friend or foe:I am unfortunately involved in the "Death on the Flatirons" story in more ways than one. I swam on the CU swim team and went to a couple of parties at Michael Lanahan's house. I was the bouncer who told him to leave and never come back. We shared some friends and knew each other. I never liked Lanahan. I met him during his downward spiral, and he was more dangerous to women than any frat boy I've ever encountered.

Alan Prendergast wrote a well-researched story on a heated topic. He did his homework, and many things he found none of us knew.

I only wish he would have talked to somebody who was not a close friend of Lanahan's. Many of our stories do not paint Lanahan in a bright light. In my experience, Lanahan was not an especially well-liked person on the swim team. Yes, some people were friendly with him, but many people couldn't stand him. Women all around him were constantly warned of him, for obvious good reasons.

While I have no sympathy for Lanahan, many of his friends were my friends. I feel sorry for them. Even by taking his own life, he played with his friends' emotions with that narcissistic wild goose chase in the mountains.

If you want to talk to somebody who has felt real pain, ask to see the scars on Jane Doe's arms or legs. An outcast? Ask how many friends Jane still has from those days. A tainted person? Try being either called "the rape victim" or a liar.

Everything he did was his choice.

Casey Freeman
Boulder

A friend in need:I lived with Mike Lanahan for about ten months, from September 2002 to April 2003. He was wildly insane, incredibly witty, a complete binge drinker, and a nice kid who always had something nice to say to and about me. I was 23 the year I lived with him, and Mike was this nineteen-year-old, typical frat-party seeker, swim-team captain (he really did adore the sport and the team) and, honestly, the-glass-is-half-full kind of person. He also stole loads of stuff and never felt remorse for any of it. Yet Mike and I always got each other. He was a guy who had a ton of friends and valued friendship and partying with his mates.

I hadn't had any contact with Mike since I left the house in '03 to move to Boston. It was not that we'd lost touch; it was more that it was never an option because we were content with the brief amount of time we had in each other's lives. He was an odd kid, but hell, we were all eccentric that year. Bad decisions, misrepresentation and his recent scripted actions coupled with his suppressed depression gave him this only option. That totally sucks, man, and it's a major waste for an eccentric mind.

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