Letters to the Editor

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

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.

In my estimation, it is particularly pertinent that David shared his experiences as a male survivor of sexual abuse. We hear about the pain suffered by many female victims, but male voices have been too infrequent and very often anonymous. I hope his voice will be heard by the estimated one in six men who have been molested or raped before the age of eighteen (a statistic in the article) and that they know they are not alone. David Holthouse's courage in sharing his story openly, and as himself, should be commended in the highest manner possible, and your newspaper commended as well for making it a feature article.

Sylvan Rosas
Ridgewood, New York

No safe place: Thanks to David Holthouse for sharing his experience. As the father of two young teenage boys, it is a sobering reminder that we cannot assume that the relationships around us are completely safe, and therefore require an ongoing commitment to know what is really going on in our children's lives. I sincerely hope David has found a degree of healing in the process.

Ed Beehner

The power of the press: "Stalking the Bogeyman" is probably the finest piece of writing I have ever experienced. It's an amazing story, and even now, after I've finished it, my stomach is still clenched in knots. More power to David Holthouse, and thank you for sharing that piece of his life with your readers.

Kathy Anderson
Marlborough, Massachusetts

Too close for comfort: David Holthouse's story hit close to home because we are close in age (I'm 34), and in 1979, when I was nine, I was molested on several occasions by the 22-year-old son of my fourth-grade teacher. Like David, I never repressed the memories and I have never confronted the man or his mother, nor have I told my own mother about it. ( I think she suspected at the time, though, and was quite suspicious of him.)

I have often thought about him over the years and wondered if he has continued molesting kids, or worse. What he did to me never reached the "rape" stage -- there was never any penetration -- but there is no doubt that what he did was very illegal, and it did scar me pretty deeply. I have never wished for "revenge," per se, but I often have feelings of guilt about not stepping forward as an adult and blowing the whistle on this guy. I think my reluctance is pretty selfish -- not wanting to reopen old wounds and deal with it, not wanting to have to explain it over and over to my friends and family, not to mention the cops or whoever. Even if I did want to expose him, I'm not sure where I would find him. I have long since moved away from the town where it happened, and I have no connections there now.

Sometimes I try to track the damage that those experiences must have caused. I take long, hard looks at myself -- my personality, my attitudes toward sex and relationships -- but I haven't found anything too obvious. I don't molest kids; I have a healthy, committed relationship with a woman I love; and I have a healthy and normal sex life. The wounds are more subtle than that, I suppose.

Thank you for the story. It's given me some perspective and made me think about my own situation a little differently.

Name withheld on request

Do the right thing: I never read Westword articles, but this week I did. David Holthouse's story was extremely admirable. Most people would have kept that bottled up inside forever, and most people probably would have killed that guy. My first reaction while reading was "I hope he blows this guy's head off" -- but David did the right thing.

Jules Dygert
via the Internet

Righting a wrong: David Holthouse, thank you for sharing such courage. You are very strong. The metaphor from the Clint Eastwood movie and letting your rapist beg was very emotional. I still think you should have killed him.  

My significant other had horrible childhood events similar to your own. She cannot remember the faces, for she was too young, but her anger will always be with her. Sometimes I feel the only way to correct a wrong such as this is through violence.

After meeting your attacker, do you feel somehow at peace with the situation?

Name withheld on request

The evil that men do: David Holthouse's autobiographical account is a masterpiece. Thanks to him for having the courage to share the details of this fascinating encounter with evil. And thank God he found closure and healing.

John Parsons
via the Internet

Close to closure: I just wanted to say that David Holthouse's story was so moving. I was molested as a child by a neighbor in his seventies. I can't relate to his violent experience, but it was a violation that I will never forget. I'm glad David was able to have some sort of closure. It was incredibly brave of him to confront his predator and tell his story.

Name withheld on request

New year resolution: Oh, my gosh! David Holthouse's story about stalking the bogeyman was so personal and forthright, it was absolutely riveting reading. What a story! I'm so glad that he resigned his desire to kill the perpetrator; I'm so glad to read how supportive David's parents are. The description of the face-to-face meeting was incredible! It is encouraging to read about such resolutions "in this lifetime," and probably therapeutic for many -- dare I say thousands?

Cheray Fowler
Kansas City, Missouri

Forgive, never forget: I was extremely moved and inspired by David Holthouse's article. I read it with anger and then ended up sitting in my living room, crying, because of the obvious forgiveness that he had found and the guts he had in telling such a story. He is one of the main reasons I read Westword.

I am so sorry something so hideous happened to David, but I am also glad he didn't kill him. He isn't worth jail! No matter what he said about doing this only once, once was enough, and he is still a pervert.

I was recently hurt by three friends -- though not in this way -- and it has taken me time to forgive them. For the most part, I have. This article was a perfect lesson in forgiveness.

Robert Baca-Bower

A positive path: Thanks to David Holthouse for sharing his story. He showed great courage in opening his life up to us; he also showed great courage and maturity in how he ultimately handled the situation. I can't imagine what a challenge it was to make the many decisions he has had to make in order to live with what happened when he was a child. But since he has now shared his experience, I at least have some idea of the complexity and emotions that are faced by a person in that situation.

I'm glad for David that the circumstances are ending on a relatively positive path. He is a great writer. I respect and admire him.

Kevin Lindahl

Mind over matter: I found David Holthouse's story reassuring -- because I know I am not alone.

I'm a 38-year-old man with a similar story. I went through horrors as an eight-year-old boy. I was abused in foster homes, at a camp, and finally in my adopted home, through ritual beatings and mental abuse. I ran away and ended up in a boys' home called the Virginia Home for Boys. That is where I found peace, finally, but that would change. I suffer today from a betrayal by a person I thought I trusted with my life in the boys' home.

David's story brought back memories. At a young age, I became strong and realized that they hurt me physically and mentally, but they didn't break into my mind, where I hold everything of value.

I am a divorced father of two wonderful children. I made it my mission as they grew that my children would never see or feel the hurt that sexual, mental and physical abuse can cause in their lives. They are thriving, healthy children, thirteen and nine years of age.

I have never told anyone -- and I mean anyone -- of the abuses I have faced. The person who betrayed me asked for my forgiveness as he lay three months from his death. So I wonder, did he truly ask for forgiveness, or did he realize he was about to meet his maker?  

Name withheld on request

Let's See What Develops

Sprawl in the family: After reading Alan Prendergast's "The Next Bad Thing," in the May 6 issue, addressing the status of life in the suburbs, I would like to challenge the anti-sprawl contingent about their role in the spread of beige housing. This issue is not as simple as painting all developers as money-hungry bullies. By no means would I consider myself pro-development or enamored with developers, but I realize that they are in the business of providing a service/product that people want. The developer provides a product based on market research and his best guess as to what the public desires. Sprawl is driven by the market and the desire to obtain the American dream of a single-family house with a pretty lawn. People buying new houses and supporting the new stores that they denounce actually encourage this process. It does not continue without our participation.

I'm tired of reading about the newest residents who escaped to the country only to feel that their slice of heaven is diminished by each new housing development that pops up. If you bought an old house and haven't affected that rural atmosphere, I'll cut you some slack -- but if you just purchased your dream McMansion, it's time to realize that that decision has a significant role in this process. What do you think your neighborhood was before you came along? Did you stop to think about the person who watched helplessly as your house was built? Density, open space and walkable communities are the answer, not more cul-de-sacs.

Vance Bostock

Lineman for the county: Alan Prendergast's article was very well-written and informative, and certainly captured what is happening in Elbert County. Thanks.

Fred Beisser

Send in the Clown

Lifetime channel: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Tears of a Clown," in the May 13 issue:

I'd like to thank Channel 12 for producing a fine retrospective of the life of Russell Scott, aka Blinky the Clown, and his worthy consorts, Zelda and Otis. Bob Palmer narrated this little locally made gem; it was very good to hear his voice again. The amount of time spent on Russ's young life was nicely done, and I enjoyed the bits about early Colorado TV. The after-the-famous-times were good, too, showing the interesting and apropos retirement Russ chose for himself. Many personal documentaries stumble at these points, tending to concentrate on the "famous years" everyone recalls most easily. I sincerely hope that Scott-o's Mini Circus is in a local museum somewhere, or will be.

Me, I first saw Blinky on a thirteen-inch black-and-white TV in 1963, when I was five. He taught me one of my first jokes, a classic vaudeville-style two-liner: "What do you do when your big toe falls off? Call for the big toe truck!" Later, Blinky kept my young brother and sister company when I had to sit them.

For Russ Scott, I pen this little ditty:

Happy life...time to you,
Happy life...time to you,
Happy life...time, dear Blinky,
Happy life...time to you.

You laughed us, you safed us,
You forever embraced us,
Happy life...time, dear Blinky,
Happy life...time to you.

Now, if we could get more of this kinda locally produced program from Channel 12 (and Channel 6, too!) instead of being held hostage to endless infomercial reruns of Suze Ormond, Wayne Dyer and the '50s-music gang, et al., then we'd have something worth watching.

Joe Hutchinson

Voices Carry

His vote's come in: Regarding the May 13 Off Limits:

Ronnie Crawford is right. Our country is broken, and it sure needs a lot of fixing. That's where my generation needs to step in and make voices for themselves by registering to vote. Many of my friends feel that they shouldn't register because, they say, "Who's going to listen to us? We're still kids in their eyes." But once one of us steps up...there are many of us that will be right there behind that one person, trying to change this country for the better. From what I've noticed, just one voice in this generation has a larger impact on the government than someone of my parents' generation or my grandparents' generation.

What I'm trying to do here is get the people of this generation, the ones who are just graduating high school and college, to go out there and register to vote. We'll have an even higher impact on our government and how this country runs if we all put in our voice this November. You don't agree with Bush/Cheney? Register, and you can put someone new into office.  

Jamie Oberloh

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