09/02/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT
Correspondents were appalled by the grisly crimes allegedly committed by Jeffrey Dahmer (PEOPLE, Aug. 12), and many were outraged by his appearance on our cover. Letter-writers were generally sympathetic to actor Paul Reubens, better known as Pee-wee Herman, and accused police, the media and his former employers of overreacting to his apparent indiscretions in a Florida movie house.
Serial killers are made, not born. I wish that the people who helped create these monsters were held accountable. If they were also on trial, there might be fewer mourners.
CATHERINE CHRISTAL, Lake Hiawatha, N.J.
Didn't Jeffrey's father or stepmother realize something was wrong with a boy who liked to use acid to scrape the meat off dead animals? Or maybe they thought those were the actions of a fun-loving kid.
LEAH WRIGHT, Upland, Calif.
More horrific and frightening than the details of Dahmer's sick behavior and unfathomable crimes are the issues of his family's involvement—or lack of it—in his problems, and of how he fell through the cracks in our system for so long.
KELLY WILLIAMS, Del Mar, Calif.
Jeffrey Dahmer's ghastly carnage is the ultimate hate crime. Dahmer projected his own self-loathing onto the gay community—viciously murdering and dismembering at least 17 innocent young men. Hopefully the gruesome atrocities will make police departments more aware of the homophobic violence in this country.
LAURENCE ELTON, Sacramento, Calif.
I was disgusted that you saw fit to choose Dahmer as your cover story. You put him in the same category as all the others who have made your cover, and made him seem human, which he is not. Families of the victims have had enough. They don't need to see Dahmer's face every-where they go.
PENNY ZIMMERMAN, Aurora, Ill.
My son's favorite toy, a Pee-wee Herman doll, is broken. Thanks to the guardians of public morality, I can't buy another one. However, the stores do have a large selection of toy knives and guns. With the nation's murder rate as high as it is, why haven't these been yanked off the store shelves? My kids and I loved Pee-wee's Playhouse. We don't know who Paul Reubens is, and we don't care. After all, he wasn't running a day-care center. Bring Pee-wee back and let the public-decide if they want him or not.
ROSEMARY ORBEGOSO, Westmont, Ill.
Mr. Reubens should have confined his pornographic viewing to his home like any decent, law-abiding citizen.
JANET BEECH, Claremont, Calif.
If the Sarasota police can devote their resources to keeping X-rated moviegoers from offending each other, I assume the city must be free of drugs, violent crime and theft. If it isn't, I'll bet the residents are out-raged over this nonsensical waste of people, time and money. I am, and I don't even live there.
THOMAS F. MEEHAN III, Wilmington, Del.
I find it ironic that while this man's career is probably ruined due to his masturbation in an adult theater, our same society allows Madonna
to simulate masturbation during her Blond Ambition concert that was televised at 9 P.M. I don't understand the double standard.
KATEY O'BRIEN, Revere, Mass.
My family and I would like to thank you for featuring our daughter Adriana in your January issue. Without the exposure, we would never have identified her, thus missing out on the life of a very precious child. We would also like to extend our appreciation to our families and friends, who supported us throughout, to the Franciscan Health System of Cincinnati, for helping us defray costs, and to our lawyer, Mary Lynn Pac-Urar, who was instrumental in bringing Adriana home. May God bless all of you.
GRETI DORR, Bright, Ind.
I find it appalling that it took 10 years to get taxol into a clinical study. During that time, over 400,000 women died of breast cancer. Many of us don't have years to wait for a possible cure. I am waiting for a clinical study that is held up pending FDA approval. Women need to organize to put pressure on our government to commit more dollars to research. That is the only way our lives will be saved.
KATHLEEN FARRIS, Sacramento, Calif.
I wonder what reaction male conservationists would have to using the Pacific yew tree in treatment of a cancer prevalent in males—not females. As a surviving ovarian cancer patient, I welcome this taxol discovery. Trees can be regrown over time, but people cannot.
ANN WELLS, Carmichael. Calif.