updated 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/13/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
Peter Bogdanovich has spent far too many years grooming Louise to take Dorothy's place (PEOPLE, Jan. 23). In the process he has proven himself not only to be desperate, disgusting and sleazy, but more in need of a psychiatrist than a new wife. Fortunately there isn't a third, even younger sister in the Hoogstraten family.
As the parent of a high-functioning autistic 9-year-old, I am grateful for your article on Joe Sullivan. Just as the movie Rain Man has opened the door to public awareness of autism, your article is sure to help people understand what autism is and how it affects both those who have it and their families. Like Dustin Hoffman, you've done your homework well.
Mount Clemens, Mich.
I just spent a sleepless night after reading the article on the new Underground Railroad. I constantly see in the paper where some child is dead or an infant raped as the result of a social service agency or a judge returning that child to an abusive parent. I pray that your article stirs the conscience of people everywhere to write their legislators and congressmen to try and rectify this situation. Child abuse in all forms is epidemic in this country, and so few people seem to care. Thank God for the Underground, and thank you for printing the story.
Martha Anne Alvarez
The judges who condemn children to further molestation are as depraved as the men they allow to use those trusting, innocent children for perverse sexual pleasure. Any judge who ignores medical evidence proving sexual abuse deserves not only to be removed from the bench but also imprisoned himself.
Thank you for your heart-wrenching story. Instead of criminal records, these parents should receive medals for protecting their kids at any cost.
Chatham Township, N.J.
I have an ex-husband who was violent toward my children and me. We have been divorced for over nine years. He does not know where I live, but if he should ever find out, I won't run, I won't hide. I will kill the son of a bitch. Simple as that.
Until you live this nightmare, it's hard to imagine an upstanding citizen molesting his own daughter. My husband is a master at his Jekyll-and-Hyde personality. He fooled us all for a longtime. He is going to trial soon, but I see the future for myself and my daughter in your article. Hopefully, the timing of your story will affect the judge's decision. If not, I too may resort to the Underground very soon.
The people of the so-called Underground are not engaged in civil disobedience. That involves open protest of laws or decisions regarded to be unjust, with the protesters willing to accept the legal consequences and not, in the process, injuring innocent people. The Underground you describe is engaged in putting itself above the law and subverting it. The children—who are compelled to become fugitives—are the innocent victims. Your article displays a Child Find poster, leaving the vague impression that we exist to help child beaters. We exist to end child abduction. We try to reach out to the abducting parent through an 800 number (1-800-A-WAY-OUT) to enable them, through mediation, to return their child to the legal environment.
Executive Director, Child Find of America Inc.
New Paltz, N.Y.
Your harrowing article about children who are forced to become fugitives to avoid sexual abuse by their fathers was bracketed by a lighthearted reference to a woman who was a porn queen at 16, a cover story about a 49-year-old whose obsession with his 20-year-old new wife began when she was 12, and a profile of a painter whose subjects include pubescent girls. The behavior of sexual abusers of children can only be fueled by a culture that continues to send messages that children are sometimes appropriate sex objects for middle-aged men.
A colleague of mine remarked that Donald Trump is the price we pay for having a free-enterprise system. Trump's letter petulantly denying that he lost Resorts International to Merv Griffin was the first time I've seen someone throw a tantrum by mail. No doubt he dictated it while rolling about the carpet, pounding the floor with his fists, hollering "I did TOO win! Did too! Did too!" The ugly American of the '50s isn't dead. He just got rich and moved to Trump Tower. Mr. frump. we don't need crown jewels like your yacht. Take that $32 million and open up clean and safe shelters for the millions of homeless people who don't have a place to sleep.
George J. Stavros