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Tamara Brooks and Jacqueline Marris

You provided the nation with a real public service by featuring the inspiring story of Tamara Brooks and Jacqueline Marris on your cover. It’s my hope that this article will inspire schools, law enforcement officials, parents and those in government to think of additional ways of emphasizing to kids that today’s world can be a dangerous one.

Paul Feiner, Greenburgh, N.Y.

While the fact that Marris and Brooks survived such a horrific ordeal is amazing enough, the true inspiration of their story is their unwillingness to hide in shame after reportedly being sexually assaulted by their kidnapper. By speaking candidly and recounting their determination to survive, these young ladies have further empowered themselves and all women. Kudos to their parents for raising such strong, resilient daughters.

Natalie Desmond, Blacksburg, Va.

Could you print a more misleading story? The article implies that Tamara Brooks and Jacqueline Marris are alive because they fought their attacker. This is disingenuous. They were taken to a remote desert area and then assaulted. Their abductor had a gun. The real reason these girls are talking to anyone, including People, can be summed up in five words: the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.

Matthew Mason, Houston, Texas

For a long time, I’ve thought PEOPLE to be highly exploitive. But you have definitely sunk to a new low with the cover of Tamara Brooks and Jacqueline Marris, who are now behaving like the Cagney & Lacey of the teen set. You should be ashamed to have provided these girls with another chance to participate in publicity they may quickly come to regret.

James Cannon, Van Nuys, Calif.

I’m thankful to see a good outcome of these two girls’ awful experience, but as a mother, I wonder what they were doing out with boys at such a late hour? Where were their parents?

Lisa M. Dubois, St. Helena, Calif.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Give me a break! Week #1: J.Lo and Cris Judd split. Week #2: J.Lo and Ben Affleck as a couple. Week #3: J.Lo and Ben as kissing costars. Is this a series? So what will be next? J.Lo in the bedroom? Another week of Jennifer Lopez, and this person will not be ordering PEOPLE!

Linn Miller, Orland Park, III.

Vin Diesel

I have been waiting for 2½ years for PEOPLE to do an in-depth article about Mr. Diesel. Very good work! Good information and wonderful pictures. He is going to be an enduring star like Mel Gibson or Morgan Freeman, two of my idols. Instead of waiting to read your expensive magazine in my doctor’s office or at the gym while doing the treadmill, I actually went out and bought this issue.

K.A. Kincade, Port Angeles, Wash.

Raquel Martinez

When I read your magazine’s glorification of bullfighting [PEOPLE, July 29,2002], I wanted to scream, “The emperor has no clothes!” What exactly is praiseworthy here? Bullfighting is a cruel spectacle. I won’t call it a sport because it’s not—there’s nothing sporting about it. The matador has the choice to be there—the bull does not.

Bea Arthur, honorary chairperson, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Los Angeles, Calif.

Josh Ryan Evans

Thank you for the article about Josh Ryan Evans. Although the story was near the back of the magazine, it was nice to see him honored this way instead of on the Passages page. Evans dealt with a disease he was born with, but he still had the determination to succeed.

Memory Robinson, Clinton, N.C.


On again. Off again. On again. Off again. No, it’s not Britney and Justin, nor is it Bruce and Demi, but, in fact, Angelina Jolie and her father, Jon Voight. I am sick and tired of hearing about whether or not they are speaking. She is a great actress; he is a wonderful actor. Everything else is just not relevant.

Joslin Friedman, Northridge, Calif.

Picks & Pans

I am very disappointed with Chuck Arnold’s harsh review of Amerie’s debut album. All I Have is a breath of fresh air. Amerie’s music and voice resonate with love and real emotion. Bottom Line: There’s nothing not to love about it.

William Sutherland, Larchmont, N.Y.