All the Justice Money Can Buy?
After reading Elizabeth Franklin’s story [“Every Parent’s Nightmare,” August], I wondered what would have happened if Tracy Turner had been the murderer and Ken Saunders the dead man? Would he be walking the streets free or would he be on Death Row? If Ken had not been so wealthy, would his first-degree murder conviction have been reduced to three years for a guilty plea?
Franklin’s story was supposedly about teenage drug abuse but she missed the point altogether by glorifying Ken as “one of the elite group,” a kid with a pretty BMW and a Rolex, a member of a fancy Key Club and a jet-setter. In real life, even his, drugs are not glamorous.
Most teenage drug abusers come from broken marriages just as Ken did, but they don’t get $300 a week and more from their parents. Many are poor and use cheap drugs that can damage the brain for life. Few have committed murder, but the ones who have rarely come home in three years to a rich family that can afford expensive drug re-habilitation programs.
Ken can go to work for the family real estate business, settle down, and eventually overcome his past. But what about Tracy Turner’s family? Can they just forgive Ken and go on with life? You are rubbing salt in their wounds by reporting that Ken recently won $11,000 gambling in Lake Tahoe. I don’t think they will ever feel that justice has been served when the killer of Tracy lives a better life than they do. Bitterness aside, I don’t think most people, even wealthy Dallasites, will either.
John A. Martinez
I am ashamed to know that the “D” in your title refers to our fine city of Dallas. I am disgusted (but not surprised) to find such a biased piece of journalism in this magazine. “Every Parent’s Nightmare” is a perfect example of how with money you can reduce a thirty-year prison sentence to a three-year slap on the wrist. If you’re looking for a sob story, what about Mrs. Turner’s? Her son was shot in the head in his own bedroom while she was in the next room. I bet Kenny’s parents’ “nightmare” wasn’t quite as bad.
Damiane de Wit
A Reader Just A Bid Upset
I was sorely disappointed in Liz Logan’s view of our charitable event [“Bidding For Bachelors,” August]. First of all, I’d like to set the record straight about Bill Carter’s “consortium of women.” I’ve rarely considered myself as large as a group; some even think I’m petite. In other words, I alone contributed $2,200 for what Logan called “a day in San Francisco with dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf,” which she then referred to as “the gastronomic pits.”
Next, I must comment on my experience with “the sleek-looking forty-year-old president of Carter Financial Management.” While it’s very true Mr. Carter is sleek, he is also one of the nicest, most congenial persons I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. Our time in San Francisco included a dinner on the Wharf that was suitable for even the most discriminating tastes.
This leads me to my most important point. Not once did Logan make reference to the reason for the “Bachelor” evening-the donation of funds to a reputable organization that is very close to another breakthrough, or perhaps even a cure for cystic fibrosis. That, may I add, is why Mr. Carter and myself participated in the event.
Editor’s Note: Lighten up. The purpose of the event was made clear in the third line of the story’ “After the Cystic Fibrosis Bachelor Bid…”
Bishop College-Staying Alive
Your interesting article [“Bishop College-R.I.P.?” August] fails public-spirited persons among readers of your excellent magazine. It ignores the truth Cecil Sharp asked of and got from Bishop. Except for some historical facts, the article was mostly slanted fairy tales, Examples are 1) “The prognosis, conceded Watkins, is bleak,” 2) the report that “Before the session (SACS Committee) was over, Watkins stormed out, saying he didn’t want to hear the verdict,” and 3) the one-sided presentation of persuasions of certain former officials who share accountability for the shocking financial mismanagement that brought Bishop to its lowest depth of credibility. By their very appearance in D, these fairy tales become millstones in Bishop’s struggle for survival.
Hoblitzelle and Integration: Setting the Record Straight
Cecil Sharp’s description of Karl Hoblitzelle as a man who “would vehemently resist integration in his theaters” is both inaccurate and extremely unfair [“Bishop College-R.I.P.?” August]. The seating areas at Interstate Theaters were segregated for many years, as were thousands of other businesses, restaurants, schools, and other public services in this region of the country. The segregation that did exist was a product of social custom and prevailing laws rather than a policy actively embraced and endorsed by Mr. Hoblitzelle.
As a Dallas civic leader, Mr. Hoblitzelle contributed a great deal to the orderly progression from a segregated society to an increasingly integrated one, and his foundation has given several million dollars toward educational, medical, and social service organizations that have directly benefited all of the minorities in Dallas-and particularly the black community. Nine separate and substantial grants have been made to Bishop College over the past three decades, and seven grants have been approved for Jarvis College in East Texas.
A loan from the foundation provided the initial funds for the purchase of the Hamilton Park land, and in Mr. Hoblitzelle’s will, he specifically directed that his foundation continue to “welcome opportunities to help underprivileged minorities,” The passage in Jim Schutze’s The Accommodation, from which Sharp took his comment about In-terstate’s policies at that time, did not imply “vehement” personal resistance, and in the same paragraph, Schutze stated that “men such as. . .Hoblitzelle, and others acted in good conscience and on what was, for their day and place, liberal conviction.”
What may appear as “paternalism” from today’s perspective was actually an attitude that was much more fair-minded and enlightened than the prevailing racial atmosphere in Dallas thirty years ago. The characterization of Mr. Hoblitzelle as an individual who was vigorously resistant to integration is unjust and contrary to his actual role in helping Dallas move through that era of our social history.
Paul W. Harris
Executive Vice President