Child's Prey
Bravo, Patricia Calhoun. Your column about Colorado's children ("Raised From the Dead," July 17) was right on the mark and had a very important message. If Renee Polreis is not convicted in the death of her son, it will be an outrage. And if no one is ever charged in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, this state will have to hang its head in shame.

Lynn Swenson

I applaud you in writing about Dr. Richard Krugman's noncommittal attitude in regard to JonBenet Ramsey. I have found him to be political and vying to please those people who will advance his security.

I was a medical student at the University of Colorado years ago. I went to Richard Krugman in 1991 after I had been badly treated and sexually harassed; these events precluded me from finishing medical school. I was told by Dr. Krugman that the man I accused may or may not have done this; he "wasn't there," so he couldn't believe me. About two years later, more women came forward about this man.

I am an incest survivor. When I think of JonBenet, I highly suspect she was repeatedly sexually abused before the day of her murder. Her mannerisms and how she would be seductive in contests is scary. How could her parents think that was normal, and how did she learn those adult looks and poses?

When I was a child, my mother had me take dancing lessons. I sang and danced on stage. I enjoyed some of it, but when I did solo routines, I felt very insecure and vulnerable--I was being made to perform and please. Yet if an adult asked me if I wanted to do this, I'd say "yes"--to please and to get the praise.

My other thought is, how could JonBenet be murdered and her parents not detect anything? Mrs. Ramsey said she gave the keys to her house to several people. Why would she do this?

There is a lot of denial going on about JonBenet's death.
Cheryl Gallagher

Venus Rising
I was touched by Steve Jackson's story about Venus Montoya ("The Gang's All Here," July 17). There are so many kids like Angel who will never get to know their moms and dads due to bullshit like this. I was raised by my mother because my father (who I know only by pictures that my mom kept) was killed. My love and heart go out to everyone who has lost someone they love to some stupid bullshit like this.

Maria Rodriguez
via the Internet

I read the article about Venus Montoya, the young girl who fell victim to a shooting last year, and I was inspired to write a poem:

How come she's gone?
Is she the last one?
So young, so wrong.
It's not just
the silent of
the night that
breaks when the
shots explode.
Dreams and a life
taken in the night.
And somebody's
mother falls victim
to the gun.
How come she's gone?
Is she the last one?
Steven J. King

I really enjoyed "The Gang's All Here." I think it was very well-structured plus very humanistic. There were several ways to lead the story, but I think the writer chose the most effective way.

How much time did the writer spend with the family? How hard was it to get them to open up? Those are my only questions; everything else has been answered.

Amy Oakes
via the Internet

I think your story on the Bloods was really bad. These guys haven't even been to trial yet, and you guys already have the people thinking they're guilty. That's bullshit.

Name withheld on request

Stories such as this break my heart and put a lump in my throat. The main thought that comes to mind is, why are there only four pictures published of these horrible boys? What do the others look like? I think society should be able to view these criminals beforehand. Maybe if we knew what to watch for, we could stay clear of them--I would think that might help defer trouble. Or in some of these cases, it would be like America's Most Wanted locally--to assist in locating the whereabouts of these lowlifes.

Name withheld on request

Editor's note: Only four photographs were published because only four were available--the pictures of the gang members who are still on the loose. Jefferson County refused to release the mug shots of those already arrested and charged in connection with the murder of Brandy Duvall, citing potential problems with identifications when the accused go on trial. For another side of the story, see page 12.

Carey On
I just finished reading Alan Prendergast's article, "Con Heir," in the July 10 issue, and I really enjoyed it. It made me wonder about the prison system we have created, though. What do we do with people who need to be disciplined? We decide we are too busy (not enough funds) to discipline them ourselves, so we confine them, give them lots of comforts and resources and let them discipline each other. Inside of a prison, many of the rules are made by, and enforced by, other prisoners. At a time like this, they need society "in their face"--not other criminals.

And now you tell me that one of the things we will punish them for is exercising their freedom of speech? Thanks for the story!

Mark Polatsek

James Carey is a typical loser at life. He blames the Bureau of Prisons for his failure to be a decent human being. He deserves to rot in jail. He made his bed, now he's sleeping in it.

Shut up, Carey--nobody cares about you and your wasted life!
Name withheld on request

Fights Out, No One Home
Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Curses on Both Houses," in the July 10 issue:
The Quigleys and Aronsons have proven themselves "two households, both alike in dignity"--or in other words, without any dignity. Their idiotic, pointless arguments prove that people can find anything to argue about, whether it's their dogs or kids. The profanity displayed by their lawyers hasn't helped matters, either. Hopefully the families can put this behind them.

Andrew Rice

Gay Blade
In your July 17 Off Limits, you rightly ridiculed the Rocky Mountain News for slapping a black bar across a movie ad showing two men kissing.

On July 16 the News ran a lurid front-page headline on the Gianni Versace murder. The headline began: "Gay Serial Killer..." In contrast, the Denver Post saw no need to highlight the alleged killer's sexual persuasion.

Who's in charge at the News nowadays--Will Perkins?
Rolf Asphaug

Dropping the Ball
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Counting Stars," in the July 17 issue:
I am not a football fan, but I have gone to concerts at Mile High Stadium, and restroom space for women seems to be the only shortcoming to me. If football is so profitable for team owners that Mr. Bowlen wants a new stadium so he can be profitable (and competitive with other team owners), then there should be no problem with him finding non-taxpayer financing. I will not vote in favor to build any more sports arenas for professional teams. If new stadiums are so successful as money generators, then he and other team owners can surely finance their own stadiums or renovation of existing facilities.

If you wish to argue that taxpayers pay for other dubious projects, I can respond that I pick and choose when possible where my dollars go, both privately and as taxes.

Mark W. Milburn

Zero Worship
Regarding Michael Sragow's "Muscle Bound," in the July 3 issue:
On July 13, I took my three-and-a-half-year-old son to see Hercules. Disney should be ashamed and parents should be aware. The loud and violent story had nothing to do with the classic tale of Hercules. I disagree with all the messages in Hercules, which represented many of the ills of our society as positive. A few of those messages: 1) a woman's strength comes from her ability to be sexually attractive, and she must sell this one attribute (see Meg and the female flying horse); 2) evil can be eradicated from earth as people are either all good or all evil (an obvious theme in many stories that contributes to people failing to understand the good and evil in themselves); 3) gods must have blond hair and blue eyes (Hercules's eyes turn green and his complexion dims when he turns mortal); 4) a man can only have the power of a god if he does not profess his love to another (to be with his love he must be a mortal, adding to the belief that strong men are separate from women and intimacy); and 5) a hero is one particular person building singular strength and acting alone as all others watch or hide.

After the movie, it took several hours to calm my son down. He only wanted to yell, kick and kill things--not activities we need more of. It is clear to me that the movie is a vehicle for merchandising. I suggest that another rating be used that will tell us that even though the movie is G, there is violence, sexism, etc. Disney should be able to rise above this sort of low-level so-called entertainment.

Thomas Neuville
Lancaster, PA

The Doctor Is In
I would like to commend Michael Roberts for continuing to be a champion of intelligent hip-hop ("Rooting Interest," July 17). The bright light that the Roots continually shine on what has become a gloomy rap community is something that is not only entertaining musically, but also important culturally. The Roots' ?uestlove knows the time. He realizes that braggadocio and posturing was fun in the Eighties but can turn deadly in the Nineties. Rap is slowly dying a creative death, with only a handful of producers causing the greatest number of casualties. Groups like the Roots act as medical saviors to the genre, continually reviving the ailing patient of hip-hop with an IV full of dope lyrics and funky instrumentals. "Paging Dr ?uestlove..."

Craig Smith
via the Internet

Regarding Joshua Green's "Love That Dave," in the July 10 issue:
It's very rare that a lousy critic gets shown the door, albeit for the wrong reasons. The Dave Matthews Band is the single best band in music today, bar none. Their musical talent, originality and intense live show are some of the reasons I own all of their releases plus some non-released CDs. Don't dismiss me as a Davehead or a zealot...I enjoy a wide range of music and am very well-versed in musicality--something I feel very strongly that the Rolling Stone dork isn't.

I hope this guy grows up sometime soon. His opinions are not given the credence they once were when he poisoned Rolling Stone.

Roy Thigpen
Vienna, Virginia

Being an avid fan of the Dave Matthews Band, I enjoyed your article about DeRogatis and Dave Matthews. It was quite entertaining and intriguing. Allow me to say that DeRogatis is entitled to his own opinions, but I don't think he should have added such a bitter touch to his comments. To me, the Dave Matthews Band is a relief from a music world endlessly engulfed with monotonous drumbeats and angry vocals. They invoke a touch of harmony by not being afraid to challenge the common listener's ears and by bringing a new sound to their lives.

Go ahead, DeRogatis, be a biased bigot, but remember: The Dave Matthews Band will continue to make me proud.

Eric Chu
via the Internet

Even though I am a Dave Matthews Band fanatic, I think that Mr. DeRogatis has the right to say whatever he wants to. If fans can't deal with what he said, then too bad. Or we could erase the First Amendment, couldn't we?

Jeremy Kolonay
via the Internet

I agree wholeheartedly with Dave Matthews's comment about Rolling Stone. I look forward to the day when that bloated thing finally dies and stops fouling the well with its disgusting trendiness and commercialism. But to some extent, I agree with Jim DeRogatis in that I am underwhelmed by the music of Dave Matthews. Perhaps I just don't get it.

Geoff Wilson
via the Internet

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number.

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