By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Sick, Busted, Disgusted
Keep kicking that ant pile: Thank you, Matt Pulle, for all of your help with the many concerns of inmates in the Dallas County jail ("We Hate Your Guts," July 28). Most people who don't have loved ones in jail are likely to be a bit insensitive on the subject. People would rather turn their heads the other way. People go to jail for getting in trouble, but how are these people going to come out and do better if they're treated this way? Some employees that work in our jails should be in trouble for their bad behavior as well. Some inmates here in Dallas need real medical help, and I hear that many are being neglected and refused help. Again, thank you for all that you did--maybe others will read it and speak out. Some fear if they speak out that things will only get worse. My husband calls me an ant-pile kicker--if I see the need to kick an ant pile for a good reason, then so be it. Nobody deserves to be treated this way, and if we all speak out, maybe someone who cares will step in and clean up Dallas.
Trial and Error
Poor, pitiful Emily: I found it ironic that your story "Oklahoma Railroad" (by Glenna Whitley, July 21) was exactly what you claim the trial was--full of half-truths, lies and deceptions. I could write a book on all the misleading statements you made, but frankly, it is not worth my time. Your story reads like the National Enquirer, or as someone else put it, a 19th- century dime novel.
Your story loses credibility in the very first sentence, and it just gets worse after that. I told you in our conversation that Emily Dowdy uses her alleged injury for sympathy, and it is bogus. However, you start your article with the same deception. "...Using her left arm to lift her right, [Dowdy] shakes hands." Please look at the photos I've sent. Can you tell me which of Emily's arms is injured? Is it the left one she uses to open the back door of her parents' car, or is it the right arm she uses to shut the front door? If she is in such pitiful shape, perhaps you can explain how she walks down the street with both arms full of packages. If she is indeed injured, wouldn't you think her father would be carrying her packages rather than walking with his hand in his pocket? And finally, lest you think it is her legs that are injured, please notice how she stands on tiptoe in the middle of the street to kiss a friend--with both arms full, no less.
I knew from the beginning of our conversation that you already had your mind made up. You were not interested in the truth. The story is much more sensational if you tell it Emily's way, so that is what you printed. I could spend hours pointing out the errors of your story, but you do not want to know the truth so I will not waste my time.
Oklahoma City Glenna Whitley responds: Emily Dowdy didn't make a big deal of her arm injury to me; she can lift her arm and grip, she said, but lifting just her hand can still be a problem. That is why doctors in the prison system--after doing an extensive physical--assigned her to a medical unit.
Pay to Play
That explains Celine Dion: I applaud Sam Machkovech for his article on the payola scandal with Sony/BMG and the other Big Four record companies ("Is This On?" August 4). I don't know of anything that would support the best of local music more than getting back to fair-play airplay on Dallas mainstream radio.
Spread the Blame
Cunniff's no angel: First let me start by saying I am not a skinhead, a racist or someone who condones violence in any way. I agree Jesse Chaddock ("Gypsy Blood," by Sarah Hepola, July 28) got what he deserved, jail time for a senseless fight, but does anyone agree that Mr. Cunniff has to bear some of that responsibility? Let's look at it...the media frenzy surrounding this case was a circus. They would have you believe that there is a huge faction of neo-Nazi skinheads ruling the streets...bullshit. I grew up in the punk-rock scene in the '80s...that's when REAL skinheads were around, not the little posers that buy their uniforms from corporate chains like Hot Topic! Real skinheads played it smart by growing their hair out, putting on the three-piece suit and calling themselves Republicans!
I'm sorry, I just don't buy the fact that this all started because Mr. Cunniff saw the little guy flick a cigarette at a black guy. Which brings up my second point...WHO walked up to WHO? It seems anyone who is going to walk up to a group of heavily tattooed men drinking at the bar and voice their opinion about something knows there is going to be some sort of altercation. I ask you, who in their right mind would do that? Exactly! Who? Someone who perhaps was drinking a bit too much? As your article said, Mr. Cunniff's kids bolted up to the front, while Mr. Cunniff stayed in the back and got drunk! So Mr. Cunniff wasn't being the most responsible person that night, either. It appears this was not organized crime--it was a bar fight, plain and simple, and alcohol and testosterone are to blame here. Just like any other bar fight. I'm not saying Mr. Cunniff deserved his injuries--I wouldn't wish that upon my worst enemy--but he has to take at least some of the responsibility.