Dancing With the Devil
Skinheads, freaks and biker chicks: I just wanted to write in and express my love for your Inferno column. The one on the Palo Verde in Tempe ("Motley Crew," Stephen Lemons, August 26) was very interesting. Skinheads, bikers and all kinds of freaks in one location. I'm changing my drinking spot from Casey Moore's to the PV. I want to see some action in my drinking establishment, and meet some dangerous men.
I wouldn't have noticed Inferno in the first place if it hadn't been for the Club Candids you guys started publishing on your Web site. What a great idea! Love that little devil girl icon. I hope I can get my picture taken someday, since I'm a hot biker chick.
Anyway, thanks for the laughs. I went back and read some of the earlier adventures of Jett and Kreme. I like boys and girls, so maybe Jett and I can cross paths and have some fun. Give her my name and phone number, but don't publish them, since every dweeb in the PHX will start hitting on me, especially if they ever see my picture [in Candids]. Ha!
Name withheld by request
Editor's note: Even though they had never caused trouble and profess to hate Nazis and white supremacists, SHARPs (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) -- a few of whose members were at the PV when Kreme and Jett visited -- were banned from the establishment following mention of them in Inferno. Several SHARPs complained to New Times that they were unfairly painted with the same brush as violent Nazi skinheads in the column. Owner David Eng says the SHARPs weren't prohibited from drinking at the PV because they're skinheads, but because he was afraid that racist skinheads might confront the SHARPs at his bar.
Skins game: What was said about the Skins in Inferno was uncalled for! Honestly, they are just a bunch of nice guys who like to drink and fight. So what?!
Now they have nowhere to hang out, drink and shoot pool. I didn't hear anybody cappin' on any of the other subcultural people at the PV. You know, the Skins there weren't racist Nazis, so what's the fucking point?
This is bullshit! I'm never picking up your magazine again. This is the whole reason Skins don't talk to the media. One of them did, and see what happened? They can't even drink at the PV bar anymore, you fucking assholes!
We're cool again: Finally, New Times is cool again? This week, you've got your club photos column up and running with Inferno, and I see the great Jim Mahfood's "Stupid Comics" cartoon appearing in your pages, too.
I've got to give you guys credit, even Mahfood managed to get in a dig at Sheriff Joke: "He'll kill your dog, too." Very funny!
About Inferno and 'toons, you've increased the size of "The Implants," and now I can actually read about the adventures of the three dumb girls with big ta-tas. The type used to be so damn small! This week's was pretty funny, as was the Inferno on Suede in Scottsdale ("Posh Playas," Stephen Lemons, September 2). Loved that line [in Elaine Bell's comic] about the chick going to the policeman's ball with the cop but being allergic to copper.
I used to hate "Implants" and Inferno, but the more I read them, the more I like them. It takes a while to get what you guys are trying to do. And I think both have gotten better over the months.
Eric Trenton, Tempe
Never thought we'd hear it: I never thought I'd be saying this, but Inferno is starting to rock! I love looking at all the photos of the denizens of the dark in Club Candids. Plus, the last two columns, on the Palo Verde and Suede, were very funny.
I used to find Kreme tedious, with all his hip-hop lingo. I couldn't tell whether he was 50 Cent or some wigga. Now, I like the way the pieces are written. And I never thought I would want to hear about lesbian sex, but all I can ask Jett now is: "Can I just please watch?"
Paul Ventana, via the Internet
A Serial Predator
The incredible Robert Owens: Having once met the incredible Robert Owens -- known to insiders as Yardbird PI -- I would like to commend Paul Rubin for his diligent investigation into the evil life of this career criminal ("Catch Him If You Can," August 12).
Lamentably, as our public officials fail to protect the community, Mr. Rubin has warned us that another serial predator has obtained season tickets to life through insider relationships with governmental prosecutors and secret ties with police officers paid to protect us.
When it comes to scams against the taxpayers, it's difficult to tell who's on first.
It's indeed unfortunate that a caring professional like Thomas A. Thinnes has been tarred with the same black brush. In this case, the brush has a name: Craig Mehrens. While I find Mehrens' servile statements to be fully transparent, others should know that they are sour grapes.
Derek Van Arman, Scottsdale
The wrath of con: I would like to commend you on shedding light on the absolutely heinous nature of the crimes committed by Robert Owens in "Catch Him If You Can."
I had the displeasure of knowing him personally, and can attest to the devious and demented mind that works constantly behind the faux smile and dead eyes. He is truly a master con man. Yet when your life is just a series of lies, it's only a matter of time until the truth shines through.
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I would also like to comment on the attacks on Thomas Thinnes in the article. I also know Mr. Thinnes personally, and can say that I have never met a finer, more genuine person in my life. He is one of the few people that I can think of who truly believes in the goodness and potential in everyone. So I do not find it shocking that, when the smooth-talking con man came to him with his list of references, Tom believed he was reformed and sincere. I am also not surprised that he didn't read the report given to him by Craig Mehrens, because Tom had already decided to give Robert a chance. May we all be blessed with the naiveté and trust that Mr. Thinnes possesses.
I find it hard to believe that the loan offices Owens worked for, the clients looking for representation from whom he stole, the judge who released him, and so many others, were innocent victims -- but not Tom Thinnes. We should remember that it was Mr. Thinnes who collected the largest amount of incriminating evidence against Robert Owens. It was Mr. Thinnes who, after discovering the truth, confronted Robert and contacted others to enlighten them of Owens' dubious nature.
Some of us get off easy and learn of predators like Owens by reading about them in articles like Mr. Rubin's. Unfortunately, others must learn by becoming victims like Petra Cano, Steven Bowers and Thomas Thinnes.
Scott Silverman, Phoenix