After reading about the murders in Pearl, Miss., I literally burst into tears. Could you please explain why you felt it necessary to describe in horrifying detail exactly how Luke Woodham tortured and killed his dog Sparkle? My heart goes out to the victims’ families, but every time I see the word “sparkle,” I will forever remember how that poor animal must have suffered.

PATRICIA B. AUNON, Charlottesville, Va.

I found the article on Luke Woodham and his cronies particularly disturbing and frightening. Maybe if they would like to experience a bit of what they worship, they should be beaten, put in garbage bags and set afire. Getting rid of these abhorrent excuses for human beings would be the “true beauty.”


As a result of children being picked on at school, another terrible tragedy has made its way into PEOPLE. The victims in this case are the nine students of Pearl High School who were shot and Luke Woodham, who could no longer stand the teasing that appears to be a catalyst for his rampage. Besides reading, writin’ and ‘rithmetic, maybe schools should start thinking about teaching the fourth R in class—respect.

C. CHRISTAL, Parsippany, N.J.


My mother (5’10”) thanks you, my sisters (5’8″ and 6’3″) thank you, and I (6’1″) thank you. It’s about time that women who are taller than average were looked upon as normal instead of freaks. Now, when will clothing manufacturers get the message?


Abingdon, Va.

As the 5’4″ mother of a 17-year-old girl who is 5’11”, I eagerly read your article. My daughter isn’t always thrilled about her height. We never take it for granted she’ll find that perfect pair of jeans or that cute little dress—but I’m going to pass this article along to her, tell her to read it, stand tall, buy a great pair of heels and find another Tom Cruise!


Thank you, PEOPLE! I’ve had it up to my ears (and it’s a long way up) with the little, short, cutesy types. Let’s all stand tall and be recognized!

CINDY J. BITER, via fax

I am (on a good day) 5’7″. My wife of 20 years is 6′. It seems Hollywood is learning my opening line, “Skip your leader, take me to your ladder!”

NICHOLAS HARMON, Lakewood, Colo.

At 5’11”, I’d always felt like the tallest girl in the world, with literally no one to look up to. I was teased ruthlessly as a child (don’t even get me started on junior high), and wished every night that I could shrink to 5’6″. However, now that I’m in college, I’ve come to fully appreciate the presence that comes with my height. Thank you for reaffirming my newfound confidence. I will walk with my shoulders slumped no more!

RENE COMSTOCK, Maryville, Mo.

Once again the average woman doesn’t measure up to Hollywood’s fickle standards. In recent years I was too tall. Now, at 5’6″, I am too short. When are they going to get it? Beautiful people—men and women—come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Why does one group always have to be on the outside of what Hollywood, in its infinite unreality, deems attractive?

LEAH C. FRY, Allen, Texas

It’s offensive how you readily assign the attributes of power, beauty and exceptional style to tall women. As a 4’10” woman, I’ve had to work twice as hard as my statuesque counterparts to win the attention and respect of a male-dominated society that continually engages in its long-legs fetish. It would be refreshing to see PEOPLE focus on trends in female intellectualism, rather than harp on how fat or how tall we are, or what bad fashion sense we have.


Oh, gosh, I’m just so excited to know that Hollywood finally says it’s okay to be tall. Maybe shoe and clothing manufacturers will take note and end the era of tall women with big feet looking like mailmen in high-water pants.

JULIA L. LANE, Canal Winchester, Ohio


Being a living donor for a kidney transplant involves undergoing risky major surgery preceded by exhaustive testing for fitness and compatibility, and followed by considerable pain and very unpleasant long-term effects. The ordeal can be more than worthwhile to save a loved one, but not when some deceitful jerk merely wants a shortcut from the waiting list for cadaver organs. I’m swearing off joking about how no rich geezers will ever court me for spare parts! Whether or not Dorothy Zauhar and her brother John Dahl were motivated by pure altruism, Richard McNutt owes them—big time.

JUDY DARBYSHIRE, Cave Creek, Ariz.

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