A Killer Story
After reading Alan Prendergast's "The Killer Inside Him," in the October 16 issue, I realized that killing him was too good for Gary Davis. First he should have suffered the way his victim suffered--and then we should have put fourteen bullets in him. Thanks for showing us that this was not a man worth mourning.

Cecily Frank

Regarding your excellent article about Gary Davis: How tragic for all concerned that this man with a long history of substance abuse, mental illness and violent crime (both as victim and perpetrator) did not get the help he so desperately needed until he landed on death row.

Margaret R. Puls

The Artist Formerly Known as Deutschendorf
Your tasteless remarks and unfunny cartoon in the October 16 issue following the death of John Denver (a cartoon, no less?) were pitiful. Denver's "sins," apparently, were that he was no longer deemed hip by whoever dictates such things and that he had not had a hit record in some time--which actually says more about the recording industry than it does about the virtue of an artist's musical worth. He was also lampooned for his wholesome image, his penchant for supporting causes he believed in...and, of course, let us not forget that he had two DUIs.

You were more sympathetic and balanced in your extensive treatment of convicted murderer Gary Davis. How we love to kick someone when they're down, eh? Better yet, when they're not just down, but actually dead and can no longer answer their critics. History will treat Denver better than your professionally cynical writers did; his music will be remembered, whether you ever liked it or not. His love of the earth and support of causes in its defense will likely not be sneered upon by later generations.

The fact is, John Denver was a talented man who saw enormous success in his lifetime. He brought pleasure to millions, and his influence will be felt for a very long time to come. I doubt if any of those things will ever be said about your staff writers, whose names are even now not worth remembering and whose words would not have come to anyone's attention in the first place if you didn't give your newspaper away for free.

Have a nice day.
Carey Winters
via the Internet

To Kenny Be: I'm sure there is an even less talented and humorous cartoonist working in America today, but offhand, I can't think of one.

To Michael Roberts: I wouldn't worry if I were you about people remembering your screwups. You are so inconsequential, you'll be lucky if people remember you at all.

Westword long ago lost any editorial relevance and established itself as a pinup magazine for yellow journalism, but at least it was useful to find out what musical acts were coming to town. But after the tasteless cartoon and comments in this issue, I doubt I will even pick it up as infrequently as I once did. It's not that I'm such a fan of John Denver--if you didn't like the guy's music, fine--but these two articles are tasteless beyond belief.

And by the way, it was well-established back when the controversy was fresh that Denver was not installing gas tanks on his "estate" but on the ranch that he bought as a nature preserve in the Snowmass area. Thousands of Colorado ranches have gas tanks on them, so this was a non-issue to anyone with a brain.

But of course, getting your facts straight would violate a long-standing Westword editorial policy, wouldn't it?

Martin Ward
via the Internet

I was never a big fan of John Denver's music. But I'm enough of a fan of humanity to have some respect for people and their loved ones in a time of tragedy. John Denver had a bigger career and did a hell of a lot more for the disenfranchised than twerps like Kenny Be ever will.

Go fuck yourself, Kenny.
Patrick Cullie
via the Internet

I was interested to see that brother Kenny Be felt comfortable and qualified to cast the first stone at the late John Denver. The singer gained wealth with songs about Colorado at a time when the state's population began to grow. He recorded and released some beautiful ballads--who wouldn't have released them? Anyone living in Denver in the early Seventies could see the inevitable growth of this state, songs or no songs.

There is no reason to judge his character on this basis. Was he guilty of inconsistent behavior? While actively working for environmental causes, he had a 400-gallon gas tank buried on his property. So what? This was one thing he did among many things in his life. It was clear, even to one who didn't know him, that he was a decent man who led a good life. These judgments hardly justified the cruel cartoon on the week of his death about a man well-loved and respected by the people who knew him well and the millions who were uplifted by his music.

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