By People Staff
May 20, 1985 12:00 PM

Cathleen Crowell Webb

Cathleen Webb’s self-revealed soul-searching and her courageous attempt at freeing Gary Dotson deserve great sympathy if she is knowingly prepared to face the legal calamity that might befall her (PEOPLE, April 29). But the wrath of the people should come down hard upon this justice system. How is it that one judge with a vested interest has so much power that he can continue to turn a blind eye to the basic requirement of “beyond a reasonable doubt”? Gary Dotson and his family must not be subjected any longer to the legalized rape of his human rights. Unfortunately the unacknowledged victims of the backlash may turn out to be real rape victims who, because of this case, are unable to overcome the heightened wariness of juries, judges and police everywhere.

Peter Woo


I can hurt for Cathleen Crowell Webb because of her background, and I can understand her reasons for wanting to “make things right,” but I cannot accept the pain that she has caused Gary Dotson and his family. Heartrending? Hardly. The only heartrending story here is that of an innocent man sent to prison for a crime he did not commit.

Coleen Cooney

Carmel, N.Y.

Although I am young and I am not aware of all the predicaments that a judge or lawyer faces, if Mrs. Webb is now telling the truth—that because of personal problems she lied and wrongfully sent a man to jail for six years—my feeling about the law and the legal system have been forever altered.

Kendra Hawes

Rehoboth, Mass.

Cathleen Webb stated in your story, “I wish I were wealthy and could give [Gary Dotson] a million dollars and set him up for life….” Well, she can begin by giving Gary Dotson any and all monies she received from PEOPLE for her story.

Chris Guptill

Jaffrey, N.H.

Cathleen Webb received no payment from PEOPLE for its interview with her.


The Readers’ Poll

Regarding Michael Jackson’s being voted “the person you’d be happy not to hear another word about in 1985″—it’s publications like yours, with five covers on him last year, and the rest of the press that should be told to “beat it,” not Michael.

Shelli Zirandi

New York City

I’d like to thank the PEOPLE readers who voted me “Best Actress in a Soap.” With all the talented people in my field, I’m thrilled and honored beyond words that they have chosen me.

Susan Lucci

New York City

Apropos of the PEOPLE Poll, a pox on the 47 percent who declared that Cleveland is “the area the U.S. could most easily do without.” I’ve lived here for 52 years and every year I love it more. What city can match our incomparable orchestra, art museum, parks and internationally known Cleveland Clinic? Regardless of your poll, Cleveland is the best location in the nation!

Larry P. Bauer


Dr. Yves Cotrel

We commend you and Giovanna Breu for your informative, well written article on French surgeon Yves Cotrel’s recent work with scoliosis patients. Since 1976 we have been working to increase public awareness of this disease and to develop programs for early detection. As a service to readers we will be glad to send them a free brochure on the subject or respond to other questions. Requests should be sent to the address below.

Laura B. Gowen, President

National Scoliosis

Foundation Inc.

P.O. Box 547

Belmont, Mass. 02178

Anthem Singers

While my name would not qualify me for an American Express commercial, it is not unknown in the corridors of Madison Square Garden. According to Sonny Werblin, who “runs the place,” I am the most prolific national anthem singer in Garden history, and I boast a near-perfect “wins” record for both the Rangers and Knicks. As for the fans, their homage is reverential; they actually allow me to finish.

Merrie Rich

New York City


I was only 11 years old when the Vietnam War ended, so I don’t remember much about it. As I began reading about John Wilson’s experiences in Vietnam, I found myself reacting like a curious thrill-seeker, intrigued by something I knew nothing of. I wanted to know what he’d been through, where he’d been and what had happened to him. But then I almost wished I’d never read it because I felt so guilty and ashamed of my fellow Americans. To John Wilson, both the young man in uniform in the photo on the first page of your story and the gentle-looking man you show him to have become, I hope it’s not too late to say I’m sorry for the way you felt getting off the plane the day you came home.

Nancy E. Zupfer

Mankato, Minn.

This 10th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War has caused me to look back to see what it has meant in my own life. In 1967 I lost a very dear man who would have been a fine husband to me and father to my children. It didn’t really hit home until last October when I saw for the first time the telephone-book-size directory of the names of 50,000-plus men who died in Vietnam. Since then I have visited the monument in Washington, D.C. twice. I found my friend’s name, ran my finger over it and cried for what might have been. Women of my generation were robbed of futures with the thousands of fine men whose lives were lost and the many others who were either physically or emotionally maimed and who, through no fault of their own, are unable to love. I pray we never again are caught in another Vietnam.

Leslie A. Franklin

Muncie, Ind.