Hothead: What evidence does Dr. Deborah Mash have to support her theory about excited delirium ("The Dark Side," Gus Garcia-Roberts, July 15)? The article says, "The brain goes into hyperthermia, sizzling like bacon at temperatures of 105 degrees or higher, causing extremely sudden cardiac arrest..." Does Dr. Mash (or anyone else — coroners, emergency medical technicians) have records of brain temps of deceased persons taken at times of death? That would seem like essential evidence for the excited delirium theory, as opposed to mere anecdotes about "trashed rooms littered with ice cubes." Hypothesis is easy. Science is hard.
Not shocked: Even if there is a tiny element of truth in the theory of excited delirium, it is wrapped in exaggeration and deception. For example, Dr. Mash claims the observation goes back to "Bell's mania" in 1847, when the asylum director's report clearly stated the deaths followed in "two or three weeks." That's different from Taser deaths where the subject often reacts instantly and is often dead within minutes. Her claim that excited delirium has 150 years of history is obviously garbage and seems to reveal she's making it up as she goes. And the real origin is the other so-called Miami doctor, Charles A. Wetli, who used the theory as an excuse that allowed a serial killer to escape detection for years. Sounds familiar.
Scare tactics: My family and I are completely appalled by the picture on your cover. It's very disturbing to anyone who has smaller children and passes the news box. It's very irresponsible to publish a picture like that.
Pet peeve: I'm speechless over this hack job that Miami New Times passes off as an article ("The Mad Dr. Riley," Gus Garcia-Roberts, July 15). If you were going for shock value, you did a good job. Unfortunately, your story is a hateful piece reeking of racism, and I find it in poor taste. You have the nerve to compare an ancient religion, Santería, with the rites of black magic and treat the concept of sacrifice as if it were something careless and mundane. Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life practice this faith — authors, lawyers, doctors, nurses, policemen, and college professors, to name just a few with whom I am familiar. And you insinuate we sacrifice our pets? You're sick.
Slanderous heathen: I would hope the editors reprimand the writer for his offensive statements about Santería and vodou. These two religions hold just as much legitimacy as other world religions. Stick to writing about what you know, and drop the ignorant, slanderous comments.
Act of contrition: I'm embarrassed to learn that a newspaper supposed to be so serious allows something so offensive to be published. It is an insult and a clear indication of the ignorance, prejudice, and lack of information that exists about the Lukumi faith, practiced in thousands of homes in Florida and across the nation. May God forgive you.
Do the Wright Thing
Color blind: It seems Michael Wright was an extraordinary individual ("Luke's Gospel," Luther Campbell, July 15). I cannot say I had ever heard of him, but his actions speak volumes about his character. It does not matter that he helped only black kids, although I doubt that was the case. He sounds like the type of person who would have helped anyone in his community who needed help no matter his or her skin color or ethnic background. Rest in peace, Michael "McAdoo" Wright. You were a credit to your race — the human race!
Mr. Can Do: Michael Wright is someone from whom we can all learn a life lesson — about love. That great man had a lot of it to do the things he did because he wanted to be of service to people in his community. That's what makes a good man great, and that's what Mr. Wright was and always will be remembered as. RIP, McAdoo!
Bummed-out: Who approves shit like Romero Britto-painted parking meters ("Bums vs. Britto," Gus Garcia-Roberts, July 15)? Seriously, you wouldn't fill up your house with just one artist. Why do the same to the city? And of all of the artists, Britto?