Shed no tears: I am a Houston police officer who dealt with Reginald and Robert LaVergne ["Lost Boys," by Wendy Grossman, August 9]. I was the first officer on the scene of Robert's "altercation" with Officers Chaison and Higgins, who are two fine officers and citizens. I think some of the facts of the ordeal that Mrs. Walker supplied are in error. At the scene, Mrs. Walker was yelling that we were beating up "that poor black man." The suspect was already injured and an ambulance was at the scene along with many officers and civilians. No "beating" happened. During the officer's attempt to find the shooter, a young man was trying to steer the officers north, when the shooter was running south of the apartment complex. The young man was Robert's brother.
The article seems to suggest that these two boys were just products of their environment. This is wrong, they had the control. They simply refused to follow the laws that society has set down. I hate to see anyone treated unfairly but they were given fair trials and were found guilty. The article is clearly an attempt by Mrs. Walker to incite people to side with her against the judicial system and prison system. The facts that her sons were no angels and that she was lacking parenting skills, obviously had nothing to do with their behavior.
I was one of two officers assigned to find and notify her of Reginald's death. The contact information provided to us was incorrect. When the officer with me finally found a good phone number for her and called, a male answered and the officer asked who he was. The young man stated, "Reginald LaVergne." I wonder if this attempt to mislead the police is a learned behavior?
These were not "Lost Boys." They were adults who refused to take responsibility for their own actions.
Name with held by request
The guilt and the guilty: Once again -- good investigating, good writing by Wendy Grossman. I feel that the day Reg LaVergne died was the day that the life of an innocent person was spared -- Reg was obviously on the road to murdering someone. Reg and Rob's mother and aunt continue to raise a ruckus because of their feelings of guilt. They know that they failed miserably in the raising of these twins. If you can't spend the time to raise children properly -- don't bear them. Reg and Rob are poster boys for birth control.
Blind faith blunders: Thanks for the article "Files Not Found" [by Steve McVicker, July 19]. It's surprising how many people blindly accept the pronouncements of the FBI and other such bureaucracies in authority, and what a devastating effect this can have on people's lives.
A friend who lives in Houston mailed me your article, because of a similar experience (of potential national interest) that happened to me -- perpetrated in this instance by the navy.
Covet not: Regarding John D. Griffith's August 9 letter about Margaret Downing's article ["Stupid Pet Tricks," July 26]: If it were true that without criminal intent there is no crime, then no parents would ever be charged or convicted for the death of a child due to negligence, such as leaving children unattended in parked cars. Griffith claims that no evil intent was involved, and thus "no sin." He is wrong again. In this case, both property owner and dog owner were guilty of "coveting" something dear to them to the point of being hateful, unforgiving or unrepenting toward another being.
Wiggins clearly valued the monetary cost to his property over the cost of life to raccoons, neighborhood animals and pet owners. Ledwell valued his relationship with Gerda over his relationship with Wiggins. If it had been the other way around -- had Gerda chased after raccoons and accidentally killed Wiggins -- would Ledwell not have forgiven Gerda?
The difference is that Wiggins killed raccoons out of greed for real estate value, and that is the source of resentfulness. Both Wiggins and Ledwell are guilty of placing the value of their physical loss above the spiritual loss of compassion toward each other.
It is not a crime, but it is a sin, and thus results in suffering.
Changes won't work: I am a former MHMRA clinical supervisor. The number one determining factor in frequent readmission is substance abuse ["Rx for Failure?" by Brian Wallstin, August 2]. Number two is non-compliance with treatment, which usually means failure to take medication. MHMRA just absorbed a substantial number of Medicaid lives (about 10,000) in its managed care division. How many of those 10K-plus lives will go to Eckerd's for their meds? I bet not many. Once again, my tax dollars hard at work!
Name withheld by request
Resolve the war: As a member of the original local KPFT board and a former member of the national board of the Pacifica Foundation, I have appreciated the evenhanded Houston Press coverage of the Pacifica conflict. John Lomax's article [Racket, August 2] emphasizes a significant point. Pacifica and KPFT had and have a lot to say that is vitally important. Saying it, however, is only the beginning. There has to be a significant audience for the message to make a difference. Those of us who were there at the beginning (KPFT's founder, Larry Lee, was one of my roommates at UT) continue to hope for a resolution that brings both sides together soon and sensibly.
David T. Lopez
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Review and relief: I read your review of the band Four [Local, by Chris Smith, August 9] and I am so happy. In the past, a lot of local talent seems rather "low-cal," and your reviews often agree with that.
I was worried when I first saw that you had written about my favorite local heavy band. I was so very pleasantly surprised that your staff knew true talent and effort when it heard it. I am grateful for your kind words which do come slowly in your paper.