Coming to a Head
The March 11 juxtaposition of the third installment of Steve Jackson's "Dealing with the Devil," the Brandy DuVall torture/rape/murder trial coverage, and Eric Dexheimer's Deitz v. University of Denver story, "Head Case," was most interesting. If Peter Buirski is still teaching Freud's misogynist theories as viable psycho-analytic tools decades after other psychologists have moved on, he probably needs to update his reading list, at the very least. I would suggest Dorothy Dinnerstein's application of Freudian theory in a manner that explains universal misogyny in The Mermaid and the Minotaur. And since he likes to put the novel Portnoy's Complaint on his list of required reading, why not include another novel, The Painted Bird, for another perspective on human behavior.

I would also suggest to this civilized gentleman academic, who apparently believes that women can enjoy rape as a sexual experience, that he read Steve Jackson's ongoing coverage of the above-mentioned crime and trial. He could learn a lot from the kid called "Boom," who had the intelligence and faith in himself to get out of the gang. That kid also has the intelligence to figure out the sources of a lot of the damage to his own psyche. Who knows? Maybe he and the highly credentialed psychologist could help each other learn the importance of respect for women. They aren't bitches, they aren't "hos," and they don't enjoy being raped or otherwise degraded any more than men do.

Sandy Sanchez

The Blame Game
Regarding Steve Jackson's current series, "Dealing with the Devil," and the "name withheld" letter published in the March 11 issue:

We need to have more stories like this. This story tells the truth of why kids get into gangs and also what happens to them when they do try to get into gangs. The only one who "made it" in this story is Antonio, who did it because some people took the time to care and give him a chance.

I was an intern at a home in Fort Collins that concentrated more on helping the kids with their problems and less on punishing them. They made sure they were there to help the kids whenever they needed it, and they also taught the kids to take responsibility for their actions. True, not all of the kids want to be helped, but the majority of them are just yearning for someone to care about them.

I think that if the same chances would have been given to the others, they may also have had a chance to succeed. It is sad what happened to the young girl in this story, but we also need to look at what causes these things to happen. If more time was spent trying to help Danny and Antonio and the others, this tragedy maybe could have been avoided. Our system concentrates too much on punishing young kids and doesn't spend enough time trying to help them move away from gangs.

The March 11 letter writer wants these people castrated and their stomachs slit open for what they did. Obviously, this is a very tragic story, but what are we teaching by punishing violence with violence? If someone would have taken the time with Danny Jr. when he first started getting into trouble, like someone did with Antonio, this could have turned out differently. In my opinion, there is more than one victim here. Danny is also a victim of our society, and wackos like the writer of the "they should be castrated" letter.

Brian Patrick Curran
via the Internet

How sad, how sick, what a waste of such young lives. I am sick of the family of these boys blaming everyone else. There is no one else responsible but their family members who did this crime.

Name withheld on request

I have been following "Dealing with the Devil" very closely. I cried while reading these articles; to think that one of the perps goes to church every Sunday with his family makes me sick. Where is the religious community in these affairs? If the local populace knows what is going on, I am sure the clergy is aware, too. I would kick these bastards and their sick girlfriends/ wives out of the church. They have no respect for human life, and for some reason, they believe they can do anything they want to--and when something happens to someone in their "'hood," they feel they can respond in any manner they wish. Young women getting minors for these guys to rape and torture? How sick can you get?

I grew up poor in Detroit with an alcoholic father and a mom who had to work to take up the slack. I managed to get my degree from college (it took me fifteen years) and obtain a good job. Neither of my parents even got out of grade school. The excuses of these gang members make me laugh. They are just too damn lazy to do the right thing. The worst of it is the audacity of Pancho and his supporters to try to intimidate the victim's family. How sick can you get? We should send some napalm over this ill, ill neighborhood.