Too much fund?: In the just-trying-to-help department--the Rev. Zan Holmes, pastor of St. Luke "Community" Methodist Church, has expressed fervent hope that the perpetrators of a vandalism attack on his church ("Mystery of St. Luke," May 17) will be apprehended, no matter who they may be. The need for the "no matter who" stems from widespread suspicion that the paint attack on Dallas' most influential black church may have been a hoax carried out by black people in order to help get a hate-crimes bill passed in Austin.

Experts on church desecration told the Dallas Observer that this one didn't match the pattern set by other racist attacks, and two eyewitnesses told police they saw a black person doing the painting. Holmes, meanwhile, has been adamant about one thing: Nobody in his church did it.

So what about this? Why doesn't Holmes help get a bandwagon going for one of those big reward funds Dallas likes so much? You know, like that "Crimestoppers" thing that Dallas Police Chief Terrell Bolton is always on TV about?

Come to think of it, it's kind of strange that the usual reward-fund folks--people like Pete Schenkel and the Dallas Crime Commission--haven't already stepped up to the plate on this one. Doesn't this crime cry out for a fat reward fund? What if we could put 25 grand on the table for anyone willing to rat out the perpetrators of this heinous offense?

(By "we," Buzz of course means "they" or perhaps even "you." As much as Buzz wants to fight evil, it's easier to carp and tell others how to spend their money. Besides, have you seen the economy lately? Buzz be broke.)

Holmes himself has said that the church was still desecrated, no matter who did it. So, for the sake of St. Luke and its many prominent members, shouldn't we be trying harder to flush out the villains? In fact, if it's such an important case, what about 50 grand? A week in the South of France? Maybe toss in a new car, a sailboat, a college scholarship to SMU--oh, wait, forgot, we're looking for things with value.

Or, if that doesn't work, we could just start a rumor that the folks who did this had dreadlocks. Chief Bolton would surely put at least 20 extra officers on the case then, ah?

--Compiled from staff reports by Eric Celeste