Eric Hainstock's tragic tale
I would like to express how deeply saddened I am by the Eric Hainstock story. Yet I am also grateful that Isthmus has given this child a long overdue chance to be heard ("Free At Last," 8/1/08).
I recall living in Baraboo when the trial was going on, and occasionally driving or walking past the courthouse to catch a glimpse of the frenzy. I also remember the local media commenting on how troubled Eric was, yet the legitimacy of his abuse was always being questioned.
Now I am certain that Eric was abused and neglected. So I will state what no one else will: Eric, it's not your fault. I am so sorry that you were relentlessly victimized by your guardians and peers.
Our society's tendency to blame the victim is so much more than a tendency. For our "justice" system, for example, it's standard operating procedure.
Thank you, Bill Lueders, for the excellent coverage of the young man Eric Hainstock. I absolutely will contact him and offer ongoing communication support.
Many decades ago, when I was a student nurse at the UW, I worked part-time at the old Children's Hospital. We would get infants and toddlers in with the diagnosis "failure to thrive." This young man's story is about as clear as I've ever seen of that in an adolescent who has been crying for help since he was a young child.
The other marvel in this story is his cellmate. For these two human beings to have come together and found a partnership that works for them within a prison is the stuff of movies. This young man's saga could end up becoming a series of miracles.
Eric is also a victim here. No, it does not give him the right to take another life, but I agree with Jerry Hancock that the justice system failed in Eric's case. There are many signals that this child was calling out - long before he went with weapons to be heard.
Thank you for putting your heart into this story. It is very well written. I hope the Klang family appreciates your efforts, even if they declined to speak to you.
I am very interested in Eric Hainstock. When I read about him in The Capital Times, I felt very sad that he was treated as an adult. I spoke with Jerry Hancock about him and got some information but not enough to correspond. Jerry was a pastor at our church during his seminary work, and we count him as a dear friend.
I will write to Eric now that I have his address from the Isthmus article. I would like very much to help him. We have sponsored kids all over the world through church agencies, and Eric sounds like he really needs friends.
I am outraged that Eric Hainstock's father regained custody after he abused him. I also blame Weston High School for refusing to help him with his problem; therefore the school should be held accountable.
Thank you for writing the story on Eric Hainstock's life and allowing Eric to contribute to it. It is a sobering account of what happens to people when communication is not heard, misunderstood or unable to penetrate the listener's ear.
I worked with abused women and children when I started a shelter for them in Iron Mountain, Mich. I know what can happen when one feels trapped in an abusive relationship such as Eric describes. While I do not condone what he did, I understand why he felt that taking a gun to school was a solution to his situation. Guns are portrayed as giving power to the holder. I doubt that Eric thought far enough to realize that guns also kill.
You did a good job releasing information on this case that was not brought out in his trial. It never ceases to amaze me how quick people are to condemn without knowing the facts.
We as a society must monitor our children and make sure that proper action is taken with the situations our young people incur. It may be too late for some, but we must try to salvage the shattered lives that have already been created by our negligence.
Rick Berg touted the Republican talking points on the whole "Drill Now" from Newt Gingrich's spin machine ("Belatedly, Obama Wises Up On Energy," 8/8/08). Unfortunately, what Berg and the others fail to state honestly is that the technology and infrastructure to get at these oil resources don't exist.
That's right, by the industry's own admission the equipment won't be available for at least seven years, so the rush to give away even more of the nation's resources to the oil companies is, to put it mildly, unwise.
The political theater that we are now seeing in Washington is no doubt effective, as is any propaganda playing on a nation's fears. Doubly disturbing is the failure of the mainstream press to remind people of the facts on this issue. Namely, this oil won't magically appear overnight, and giving away these leases now will do nothing for current fuel prices at the pump.
Prairie du Sac
After reading Vikki Kratz's piece on Peter Theron, Tammy Baldwin's Republican challenger in the November election, I have a word of advice: Drop out of the race before you further embarrass yourself (Madison.gov, 7/18/08).
"I didn't realize I was waiting so long," you admit, in order to explain your low visibility and funds raised. This is the House of Representatives you claim to be running for, not a position on your Neighborhood Watch committee. In these grave and uncertain times, who would waste their vote on a candidate who appears to lack organization and managerial skills?
Thank you for visiting the Jade Monkey ("The Place to Be," 7/25/08). We certainly appreciate the mention. I would like to invite you to return on a Friday or Saturday night so that you can have a "lounge-ier" experience.
Patrons on weekend evenings generally go to greater lengths to dress up for each other/themselves and drive in from all over the city. Monday through Thursday evenings, patrons usually are attired more casually and live in the neighborhood.
Women at risk
Kudos for "Heartbreak Motels" (7/11/08), especially its mention of the state Department of Corrections' placement of recently released clients in the motels. However, I wish more attention had been given to that practice. It is poorly thought out.
There are many DOC facilities in Madison for housing men released from Wisconsin prisons, ranging from closely supervised residences to more unstructured half- and 3/4-way houses. For women, it's a whole different world. There are only the ARC Houses, one of which is pretty much reserved for probation clients, not parolees. ARC is a fully programmed residence. There is nothing else available.
So, for females released from prison without family, spouse or partner, the usual procedure is several months on an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet and being placed in the Expo Inn, the Highlander or Kings Inn. All are "crack shacks" where a woman fresh from prison and electronically shackled is immediately recognized and targeted as a possible customer/ whore/safe house, etc.
There simply aren't enough options for housing female ex-convicts upon their release.
inmate, Taycheedah Correctional Institution