10/02/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT
Correspondents expressed sympathy for teen movie star Macaulay Culkin (PEOPLE, Sept. 11), caught between warring parents, whom they see as primarily the victim of a selfish stage father. On another issue of parenthood, they questioned Melanie Griffith's comment—given that she is the mother of two children—that love interest Antonio Banderas is her "top priority." But readers were most outraged by the death of Deletha Word of Detroit, who threw herself off a bridge after being beaten by the driver of a car with which she had collided as bystanders looked on and did nothing. Noted Linda Gramatky Smith of Westport, Conn.: "She will probably be remembered as the Kitty Genovese of the '90s."
It is ridiculous and repulsive what Kit Culkin and Pat Bentrup are doing to their children. Kit seems to be a coldhearted man who has no respect for his family's well-being. In my opinion, the children should be awarded to Pat, and the only way Kit should be able to see them is through plate glass.
KELLY KAMPPINEN, Milwaukee
I pray for Macaulay and hope he has the strength to pull through this messy custody battle without turning to drugs or alcohol for solace. There are actually people out here who think of him as a talented, carefree and fun-loving 15-year-old rather than just another object with a huge price tag.
MAIZIE LAU, New York City
I recently spotted Macaulay Culkin conversing with a homeless woman on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He took a bunch of bills out of his pocket and handed over at least $20 to the woman. She told me that every night he stops by to give her some money, and that when he is away he has food sent to her. In this case, I guess that apple does fall far from the tree.
DAVID FISCHER, Dix Hills, N.J.
There must be a special sort of hell reserved for every single person who stood by submissively on that bridge and watched Deletha Word mercilessly beaten. May each and every one of them be haunted by her helplessness and terror, and by their own inactivity, for the rest of their lives. It would be really interesting to hear their responses to her former classmate Demetrius Daniels' question: "What's wrong with our society?" To find the answer, they'd need only look in the mirror.
JILL WEGLARZ, Wayne, Pa.
To those people interviewed who tried to rationalize their atrocious behavior, I hope they never find themselves in need of assistance, of any kind, from a stranger. They deserve to be ignored, just as they ignored the pleas of Deletha.
CAROL RAIDER, New York City
I wish I'd been there with a baseball bat. Maybe then the fight would have been a little more even.
KERRI PHILLIPS, Evergreen, Colo.
So, yet another of Elizabeth Taylor's marriages collapses and it's deemed worthy of cover space in PEOPLE. Isn't there just some hot line we could call?
MARK YOTHER, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I was wondering—where are Melanie's children, and what number are they on her priority list?
JULIE M. CARR, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Grow up, Melanie, and be a responsible mother!
JEAN-MARIE TAYLOR, Baltimore
Oh, stop it already. Your treatment of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith is shameful. What on earth is wrong with being in love and showing it everywhere you go?
GAYLYNN BAKER, Sierra Madre, Calif.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER
Three cheers for Senator Boxer for keeping up the pressure on that old pervert Bob Packwood. It is amazing to me that after all the women who have told their stories about this dirty old man, he is still in Washington deciding our children's future. The man should be fired pronto!
L. BIDDLE, Ellicott City, Md.
Robert Packwood has since resigned from the Senate.—ED.
Oh, come on, Ms. Boxer, get over it! A single incident of harassment more than 30 years ago. You should have kneed him in the groin, called his wife and gotten on with your life. I, too, have been the "victim" of sexual harassment, but I have chosen to take it as a lesson on the behavior of middle-aged men. I don't feel victimized, and I certainly don't need women like you sticking your nose in my life.
COLEEN DEON, Dover Plains, N.Y.