A Chilling Crime

Problems persist: First I'd like to say I'm African-American. I'm assuming when most African-Americans or anyone else with a warm-blooded heart read this ["The Icebox Revisited," by Keven McAlester, March 11], they felt some type of feelings: either anger, sadness or shock, and some probably felt hate. I wasn't surprised by this story at all.

I've seen and read similar stories, and none of them end happily. When a murder that horrible happens, the media and the community put a lot of pressure on police to see that someone pays. It's still like that to this day. The worse the crime, the harder they push for justice, and sometimes they're out for blood. With all this chaos they needed a scapegoat because there were no real suspects and no concrete evidence. So, the scapegoats at the time were underprivileged black kids.

Ira Lee Sadler, Robert Miller and Adrian Johnson didn't get good representation because they came from poor families, and they were black. Let's just admit the defense lawyer saw this case as "hopeless," not because of the evidence, but because he knew they'd get convicted simply because they were black. There isn't a happy ending because they never caught the murderer, and the boys, who are now men, lost large parts of their lives that they'll never get back. Even if they would've filed a civil suit and won, there's no amount of money to replace what they and their families lost.

I just ask if any lawyers are reading this, and if you have a client, you'll represent them to the fullest regardless of their race or financial status. If you're a minority and if you feel hate after reading this story, take that hate and use it to overthrow laws that wrong people in similar situations. The only positive thing about this whole tragedy would be to learn from all of this. Sadly, people go through this every day -- black, white, Asian, etc. -- in big cases and in some cases that you'll never hear or read about. There will always be someone who gets accused wrongly, because there will always be people who dismiss the facts and see the trial as a way of making someone -- anyone -- pay.

LaResha Green

Ancient history: In September 1959 I had just graduated from journalism school at the University of Texas and was working as a reporter on The Houston Post. I had little or no choice in helping The Post cover the sad horrors of the William Bodenheimer murder. What's your reason?

You open one of the darkest doors in Houston's history, poke around with a few doubts but don't have the balls to honestly express those doubts. If you believe the wrong people were punished, why the hell don't you say so?

As for your horseshit (that's really bad bullshit) about "whose tragedy was it," I suggest you start with that little boy on his bike.

William R. Barron

Profit from the past: Great story. Too bad all the real facts could not be put before sensible juries. The police actions described are so dead-on it is almost unbelievable, but true, as I certainly do remember such things happening in those days. It was a sad time in American history. Perhaps we may profit from reading the story.

Tim Pollard

Attitudes continue: Very well written story. It's just unfortunate that it is most likely true. Having spent many years as a federal agent and now occasionally working with defense lawyers, it is also unfortunate that the HPD's attitude hasn't changed much since then.

Randy Cunningham

Unplug the Tube

Shining Star works: In his exposé of Shining Star Kindergarten ["School Spirit(s)," February 5], Michael Serazio appears to be appalled by the absence of computers and television and the replacement of Santa Claus by gnomes. In other words, icons of our consumer society appear to be absent. I suggest that the absence is not a result of some cultish mysticism but sound common sense.

If Waldorf schools have the guts to stand up for educating sane and healthy human beings and turn off TVs with the 95 percent of bullshit found there, they are to be commended for it. TV does not help people think for themselves. The avowed aim of commercials and other TV programs is to mold the next generation of consumers.

And how many kids can use the plethora of Internet information to make up their minds about what they are seeing? For most kids, computers mean mind-numbing games that totally destroy any incentive to use the imagination and to create something new. If we are only interested in raising our children to be clones of ourselves, to carry on our legacy of wars, crime, suffering and human misery, then TVs, computers and Barbie dolls are the perfect tools.

My own kids didn't see a TV until they were seven and 11 years old. They grew up to be voracious readers, and both are in prestigious colleges today and have bright futures.

The Waldorf approach may not be all that crackpot after all. For people looking for an alternative to cookie-cutter education, it might be the answer.

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