updated 06/25/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/25/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Many readers were disappointed and angry that we chose to feature Marlon Brando's son Christian, an alleged murderer, on our cover and not the late Jill Ireland (PEOPLE, June 4). One correspondent wrote, "Miss Ireland inspired millions with her courageous battle with cancer. Who has Christian Brando inspired?"

Now let me get this straight. Christian Brando"s father has nine children (the latest by the family maid) and has had three wives (the current one is common-law). Christian's parents fought for his custody for 16 years, during which time he was taken to Mexico and hidden with some American hippies. Now his unmarried, pregnant half-sister's presumed lover is dead, and he is the prime suspect. Just your typical all-American family story. Give me a break!
L.T. Woods
Portola Valley, Calif.

Why would you put Christian Brando on the cover when one of the bravest and most admired women of the decade died the same week he was accused of murder? Jill Ireland deserved the cover to herself.
Roberta G. Martin
Norcross, Ga.

A few years back, a very dear friend had breast cancer. I bought the book Life Wish to comfort her and maybe ease her through this tremendous change with Jill Ireland's tender words and thoughts. However, I ended up reading it before her, and it not only helped me relate to what she was going through, but it gave me a new outlook on my own life. Your story on Miss Ireland was truly beautiful, as was she.
Janet Samoska
Orland Hills. Ill.

Jill Ireland fought her toughest battle in public view with the greatest of dignity and courage. May this beautiful woman now rest in peace, and may Charles Bronson and her family find comfort in knowing that others share in their sorrow.
Adrienne Sempr-Capaccio
Tarentum, Pa.

I was moved by the eloquence with which Moses Stewart voiced the depth of suffering of a parent who tragically and needlessly loses a child. His message transcends all color barriers, chilling any parent, black or white, to the bone. I want to thank Mr. Stewart for so courageously sharing his sorrow. The contrast between the tenderness of his grief and the brutality of the murder that stole his son's future helps us put into perspective the demented bigotry of such savage racism.
Malik Slosberg, D.C.
San Leandro, Calif.

I guess I find it incredible that in this day and age there are still communities like Bensonhurst, where ignorance reigns supreme and prejudices still run with as much fervor as they did a few decades ago. The loss of a child is unthinkable under any circumstances. At the hands of a batwielding mob of closed-minded youths, it is unforgivable.
Jahel Nolan
Grand Rapids, Mich.

Our mother was brain-injured in a 1989 automobile accident. Like Lincoln and Rose Marie Justice, we have fallen through the cracks in the government-assistance program because we are neither poor enough to meet the ridiculously low income ceilings nor rich enough to afford the lifelong nursing she will require. Thus, we will pay out almost $100,000 for home care this year, virtually wiping out her savings and profits from the home she was forced to sell. Rose Marie Justice and our mother are victims of our nation's deranged health-care system.
Lisa Bolton
Patrick Bolton
San Marino, Calif.

Thank you very much for your article on the Church Universal and Triumphant. What this witch does to other human beings in the name of religion deserves to be brought to the public eye. You see, I lost a child to this insidious group, and the techniques they employed amounted to pure brainwashing. I watched a bright young human being with a promising future gradually lose his animation, act as though he were in a hypnotic trance, then turn into a lobotomized robot capable only of parroting the spoon-fed gibberish presented by "Guru Hitler Ma." The chants, marching music and scattergun philosophies found their mark on my son. This woman is nothing but a common thief, robbing her followers of their assets, their minds and their time. Her name is appropriate—only the spelling is wrong. It should read "Elizabeth Clear Profit."
Name Withheld

I don't presume to know what Jesus would be doing about the world's ills were He on earth today. But I've got a good hunch He'd be handing out food to the homeless, involved as an AIDS activist or fighting to rid our communities of crack. He'd probably also be urging each of us to help better the planet by helping one another. One thing I do know—He certainly would not be stockpiling canned goods and shotgun shells while smugly predicting doomsday from a bunker.
Heather Hawkins
New York City

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