Proof enough: I have to feel sorry for these people, as their lawyer says it should not be your responsibility to prove what the bank did with your stocks ["Taking Stock," by Sarah Fenske, March 25].
If I were to make a deposit at the bank and realize sometime later that the bank never deposited it into my account, should not the deposit slip be proof enough? Or do I have to track down all the people who gave me cash or checks and go to court with them to prove they gave me the money? Then what more proof will they need to verify they gave me the money? What good are all my Chase Bank deposit slips if they choose to say they are no longer valid because of their age?
I think that is a rather scary thought. If they take my money and it takes several years and huge attorney's fees to prove them wrong, what kind of hardship does that cause me? Will I still have a roof over my head? That brings up another point of concern: My home mortgage is also through Chase. I guess nothing is safe from the wealthy banking industry.
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Another account: After reading this article, I am furious. I lived next door to the half-brother, John Burke, caretaker/giver of the deceased Jean Burke Springfield. There are tons of discrepancies to the story told to you by Ms. Scholz and Ms. Satterwhite. Indeed there are dividend receipts -- hard copies, if you will. They are reinvested returns from the original stock held in trust by Chase Manhattan, formerly North Houston years ago.
However, what isn't mentioned is that the original trust letter was found by Mr. Burke himself, and I made him keep it to ensure he gain his portion of the inheritance left by his mother. Also, the lame story of long ago isn't correct; I know this as I took care of Mrs. Burke Springfield personally.
In three years of living next door and helping Mr. Burke with his mother, I saw one car belonging to Mrs. Peacock only three times. Mr. Burke held the dividend receipts as well as the original trust account letter. This letter stated quite clearly that "all dividends be reinvested into each stock," etc...I still hold a copy of the original trust letter and the original seven first dividends, dated 1962.
My question: If one company's stock was found and cashed many years later, then why is there such hassle to the other six held, and why haven't they been reinvested?
Family values: I think this is another fine example of a large bank thinking that just because it has been a long time since it had any contact with the owner of these stocks, it can keep them for itself. I hope this family gets what is owed to them, as well as damages.
Put up or shut up: If I were a bank, or indeed any other trustee, and I produced a receipt document that flatly stated that property in trust could be returned to the depositor only if the receipt was surrendered, I would keep a record of whatever happened to that property until doomsday. I would be clumsily negligent if I did not.
It doesn't matter a damn whether someone removed that property by some other method, legal or illegal. If the bank has no black-and-white accounting, it has an unchallengable liability and is obliged to immediately settle. Either that, or the trust departments of the J.P. Morgan Chase Bank are not to be trusted and with all the sweeping consequences that implies.
The fact that this straightforward matter has been dragged out for three years of hopeful delays by the bank lawyers reflects badly on the bank as well as our justice system. If the bank indeed has any case, the plaintiffs are entitled to hear it in one immediate presentation. Either that, or pay the honest debt.
Tom R. Dunnam
Doubts from the Past
Reviving the questions: I was 11 when William Bodenheimer was killed ["The Icebox Revisited," by Keven McAlester, March 11]. We lived just 15 minutes from where it happened. For years I have been thinking about this case, looking for information about it and the teens charged with his murder. It's been like a book in my head, but without all the details -- To Kill a Mockingbird, only real.
My mother was obsessed with the case, and we raced out for the newspapers twice each day to read the latest stories. At the time, it didn't occur to many in the white community that the boys could be innocent. My mother thought they were guilty, and hoping they'd be convicted and executed, we followed every trial from start to finish. It seemed justice was being served.
Your article has renewed the questions I had then. Why would they do it? There seemed no motive, not gang or black-on-white violence, as neither really existed in Houston in 1959. It was the end of my innocence in many ways, as it certainly was for those more closely involved.
Thank you for telling the story. Knowing more about child predators today, the truth is still haunting for me.
Name withheld by request
Teach before writing: I would like to know what experience you have teaching middle school and high school students ["Watching You," by Margaret Downing, March 18]. If you have none, I'd suggest that you become a substitute teacher for several weeks prior to writing your next education-related article.
An insider's perspective might benefit your research and enable you, as a reporter, to deliver a more balanced and somewhat objective approach. Furthermore, you would be helping children in the process, which is infinitely more productive than tearing down the organizations that seek to protect them and educate them.
Texan Tavern Tutus
Ballet and two-step: I attended the final performance of Tales of Texas, and it was my first time to see live ballet ["Lone Star, Anyone?" by Marene Gustin, March 18]. I saw the TV commercial featuring "Cline Time" and was hooked.
Although I can't make comparisons to other works, I found your review to be right on. "Big Sky" was maudlin and boring. I thoroughly enjoyed "Cline Time" and chuckled to see some of the performers with longneck beer bottles and cigarette smoke wafting toward the singer. Both were pure honky-tonk. It was fun to see the mix of ballet and two-step.
I was captivated by Pecos Bill and agree that Widow Maker looked too much like an Indian. The costume was striking, but a bit confusing at first.
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