updated 09/03/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/03/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT


"'How could this happen?' It happened because our judicial system let these monsters out of jail"
Gene F. Odato
Landisburg, Pa.

I was shocked and horrified to read about the savage attack on the Petit family in their home in Cheshire, Conn. It is incomprehensible how something so evil could happen in such a peaceful place. State authorities should look closely at the parole system and work to change it. No family should ever go through what the Petits suffered, and we can only hope that the two men responsible will receive the maximum punishment allowable by Connecticut law. My prayers go out to Dr. Petit.
Alain Hall
Buffalo, N.Y.

The brutal murders of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit are reminders that we are all vulnerable to random acts of violence and that our lives can change dramatically from one day to the next.
Maria Palermo
Stamford, Conn.

You forgot to mention one of the most effective ways to protect your home from intruders: Add a dog to your family. Even a small dog can alert you to the presence of a stranger, and most would-be intruders will avoid a house with a barking dog. I wish the Petits had owned one.
Marilyn Shank
Poca, W.Va.


Wayne Gerdes drives 2 1/2 hours to work every day. That's probably 1,000 miles per week. Even if he gets 60 mpg (which I doubt he gets every day), he's using more gasoline per year just for his commute than many other Americans use for all their needs. Gerdes is breaking the law and creating risk by coasting with his engine turned off. And he's hardly a safe driver gesturing "5-5" to other drivers and taking their pictures with his cell phone when he should be paying attention to the road.
Bill Smith
Castle Rock, Colo.


Star Jones Reynolds says she did not reveal she had gastric bypass because she was "ashamed." Ashamed that she finally got the help she needed for a condition that she could no longer handle alone—a condition that severely affected her quality of life and might have killed her? There is no shame in that.
Jennifer Rivera
Lakeville, Minn.


We have now seen Matthew McConaughey shirtless, on the beach, wearing bathing suits in every conceivable color and pattern and playing just about every sport imaginable. It's starting to be a bit of a yawn. Unless you are going to up the ante and show Mr. McConaughey in the altogether, how about we all move on? Some pictures of other sexy people would be nice.
Jesse Christian
Edgewater, Fla.


Readers had passionate—and divided—opinions about our story chronicling Alexis Stewart's efforts to have a child at age 41. "If she is so desperate to have a baby, she should adopt—or use another woman's eggs if hers aren't healthy," writes Aimee Pickens of Los Angeles. Other readers were more sympathetic to Stewart's attempts at in vitro fertilization. "I can totally relate to what Alexis is going through," says Dawn Serpas of Decatur, Ga. "I am 39 years old, and my husband and I are going to start our second IVF cycle. Like Alexis, I'm going to keep trying." Though fertility in women declines more than 90 percent by their mid-40s, Susan Rosenberg of New York City notes that it's not impossible to have a child without help: "I had a baby at 45 without reproductive assistance. Parents who can't afford fertility treatments should take heart." Alexis Stewart is continuing her daily fertility regimen. Of the reaction she's had since the story ran, Stewart says, "People are just happy that somebody was willing to talk about it."

In our Aug. 13 issue, we stated that actor Matt Damon has been married for nearly three years. Damon wed Luciana Barroso nearly two years ago. We regret the error.

From Our Partners