Killer was nobody's pal: I was in the National Guard with that guy ["Gone in 50 Seconds," August 2]. What a freaking weirdo he was.
We'd be all playing Xbox, and he'd come into the room and just stand there, not talking. Always so concerned with his hair, which he put about a bottle of gel on each day.
For some reason he thought he had great legs and would randomly say to someone, "Wow, I've just got incredible legs." This guy was not a badass; he was a douchebag. We made fun of this kid, like, nonstop.
When we were leaving Italy, we all had a party one night with Air Force people and a lot of us Guard guys. A food fight started, and I threw some mustard on him. He lost it, man. Hilarious! Tried to come after me like he wanted to fight. I wrestled since I was little, so I hit a double leg on him and put my knee on his chest and pushed his head into the dirt until he calmed down. The kid apparently had a long temper -- we made fun of him relentlessly -- but the mustard was too much. Apparently, so was his ex-wife getting banged by that kid.
Shaun wasn't a tough guy. He wasn't an ultimate fighter. He was a fucking loser from the day I met him, and now he's a murdering piece of shit that should have gotten the death penalty.
Racism in Black and White
Reader needs story color-coded: After reading your July 26 issue, I have come to the conclusion that your magazine is a racist, liberal, yellow rag.
I noticed in "Screams in the Dark" that you went out of your way not to mention that the rapist was black and that 10 of his 12 victims -- including the 12-year-old -- were white. Why is that? Is it because your masters in the NAACP and the Democratic Party tell you what to print in your stinking yellow rag?
The Plain Dealer printed that the rapist was black and that most of his victims were white, and even printed his picture. But not you liberals.
If you won't print the truth, please find another job, like cleaning out porta-johns.
Please start reporting about hate crimes committed against white people.
System abandoned rape victims: What the hell is going on with the authorities there ["Screams in the Dark," July 26]?
The first response the victim receives is: "Men with RTA badges were trying to arrest her." They should be reprimanded!
Then Berg, being a woman herself, should be ashamed of her actions in regard to these victims. Berg needs to step down. Whoever is running the sex-crimes unit should be fired.
These women were victims, and they weren't seen as such; they were viewed as inhuman. An abandoned dog on the side of the road gets more respect than these women did.
It's repulsive, and I'm so glad I don't live there. Maybe they should rewrite the laws there to say it's okay to rape, as long as it's a prostitute. Dumbasses.
St Paul, Minnesota
Cheers for the New Guy
He's got the spirit: As a resident of Ward 14, I celebrated Councilman Joe Santiago's election and am enthusiastic about his commitment ["New Guy," August 2]. He "gets" it.
Santiago knows that if neighborhoods are to thrive, attracting new residents and businesses is crucial. If some residents get their way, it will be business as usual. That attitude has led to hundreds of boarded-up houses, closed businesses, and rampant crime.
I had to laugh at one resident's claim that he wants to maintain the "residential character" of the area along Scranton Road. He is being disingenuous. The boarded-up homes and general blight around the area of Starkweather and Scranton are to blame for the crimes in that area, not the newly renovated restaurant and bar. To blame businesses like Modä, the Starkweather, and Envy for all the crime in an urban neighborhood is ridiculous, shortsighted, and dangerous.
The only way to decrease crime is for residents, business owners, and politicians to work together to improve existing housing stock, encourage new residential and business growth, beautify the area, and send a message to criminals that they are not welcome in the neighborhood.
Let's see what he's got: Councilman Santiago should be commended for taking a proactive position in Ward 14 ["New Guy," August 2]. People in your article like Henry Senyak are the first to criticize and the last to offer a constructive solution.
Joe is an honest, hard-working man with integrity who has, like former Mayor Campbell, inherited a mess. He deserves the time to sort it out and get Ward 14 on the right track.
Here's the Buzz
Some sweet honey in that rock: As D.X. Ferris wrote of Chris Allen's solo debut album, Good-bye Girl and the Big Apple Circus [Regional Beat, July 26], the end of the disc "descends into blues as the buzz gets harsher."
Whether it's with Doug McKean and the Stuntmen, the Chris Allen Band, or special guests like the Jack Fords (at the July 29 show at the Happy Dog), Chris and Doug are always onstage as the honey in a buzzin' beehive of amazing musicians. In a blur of swappin' songs and switchin' instruments, the sound always remains stuck together. Yep, lots of sweet wildflower honey flowing --with the occasional sting. Throw me a biscuit, brother. If you can't find a local Cleveland venue to see these guys perform each week . . . you're not reading Scene!