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updated 04/05/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/05/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Some correspondents were angered that we featured cult leader David Koresh on the cover (PEOPLE, March 15). Many fell that extremists like Koresh revel in publicity and we only added to his twisted need.

DAVID KORESH
As a Christian, I take offense at your David Koresh cover, The Evil Messiah. Evil, yes. Messiah, no. You should have paid homage to the four ATF agents Koresh and his bunch killed. No, you chose to glorify a nut and played right into his hands.
CHARLOTTE S. DICKSON, Towson, Md.

When you put David Koresh on your cover, you gave him what he and other crazies desire—free publicity and apparent legitimacy. Print the story but not the pictures of this madman.
LARRY DIRECTOR, Maitland, Fla.

David Koresh's mother was quoted as saying that as a child he was always interested in the Bible and would go into the barn and pray for hours. She also said, "I've seen him sitting by his bed, on his knees for hours, crying and praying." Didn't anyone think it a little strange that a 12-year-old boy would cry and pray for hours? Maybe, just maybe, there was something odd about this child!
JEANNE HANSON, Escondido. Calif.

If someone will hold David Koresh, I'll gladly beat him with a bat for 30 minutes. That should equal his beating an 8-month-old baby for 30 minutes with a wooden spoon. Any volunteers?
V. BONSONGUE, Yorba Linda, Calif.

Mr. Koresh. can you pronounce Waco with a short a? Bingo!
VANESSA O. THOMPSON, Pembroke, N.H.

Since Mr. Koresh claims to talk to the Lord, someone should give him a tape recorder, then everyone can hear "His" voice.
NAME WITHHELD, St. Petersburg, Fla.

The idea of following a religious cult is creepy as well as stupid. Anyone who says he has a pipeline to God is more likely serving the devil.
STEVEN ACEVEDO, White Plains, N.Y.

JOHN CASABLANCAS
It deeply disturbed me that an innocent 17-year-old would give up school and a career for a man who, despite being 33 years older than she, states that he is far too hot-blooded to concede that this marriage will last forever! I hope she didn't sign a pre-nuptial agreement. When he tires of her (and he will), she will have nothing—not even an education.
LAURA C. FARRUGGIO, New York City

In this one issue, you had condemning articles about a religious fanatic who has sex with children and a child molester in California. Then, an upbeat article on a 50-year-old "playboy" marrying a 17-year-old model. What's the difference?
LARRY BILLMAN, Brea, Calif.

With the Year of the Woman in America, it is not surprising that John Casablancas would need to go south of the border to fulfill his insecurity. It makes one wonder if his agency's search for the Look of the Year was really his personal search for the youngest, most vulnerable child he could get away with capturing. Come on, Mr. Casablancas, you're not "hot-blooded, you re a dirty old man.
PAMELA SOTO, Missoula, Mont.

ERIK ESTRADA
Erik Estrada claims, "I was the first Hispanic to play a positive role model in a national television series." Let's give credit where credit is due and to whom—Desi Arnaz.
NANCY MEJIA, Northridge, Calif.

MINDA RILEY
Thanks for the article about the Machine at the University of Alabama. As a 1987 graduate of Alabama, I saw the Machine at work for four years. As a member of a non-Machine sorority, I was a member of various student government committees but lost a close race for a senate seat because I was non-Machine. The University of Alabama has many wonderful traditions that have lasted throughout the years. Hopefully, the Machine won't be one of them.
ABBIE BERMAN BAILEY, Oklahoma City

WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING
Hooray to all the brave New Yorkers at the World Trade Center! It was uplifting to see the way they handled this tragedy. They showed their mettle. My hat's off to my fellow Manhattanites, Jerseyites, Brooklynites and all the folks involved. You made this native New Yorker proud to be called damn Yankee!
JACQUELINE G. SLAUGHTER, Tallahassee, Fla.

PICKS & PANS
I was appalled when I read your review for the movie Swing Kids. "Hamburg, 90210?" That was disgraceful, especially because this was a very powerful movie. They danced not to show Hitler that they were in charge but because they had a lot of respect for American culture.
SARA ZICK, Endwell, N.Y.

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