Triumph of the spirit: Thank God for Noemi Ponce-Sigler! I'm sure Irene Garza is looking down from heaven and smiling. Without the door-knocking by Irene's cousin, Noemi, Irene's story never would have been told 45 years later.
If John Feit is arrested for murder, it will be Noemi's doing. She just wouldn't let the case drop, and that is what it takes when the Catholic Church is there blocking investigators' efforts. What a brave woman! I just hope that McAllen DA Rene Guerra comes around and takes this case seriously, or that the feds take it over and bring Feit to trial.
Congratulations to Robert Nelson for writing this article in such a compelling way. The story was all the more poignant because it was so well-told.
Pauline Dent, Corpus Christi, Texas
Voice of experience: You wrote in "Altar Ego" about the mournful sound of Irene Garza's mother upon hearing her child was murdered. Sadly, I know this sound; I heard it come out of my own mouth when a detective told me my Vanessa was beaten to death.
You drop to your knees because you feel the most immense pain, and then you hear that unholy moan, and it takes you a minute to even realize that this horrible sound is coming from yourself. But this sound doesn't come from your body. This horrible sound is your soul screaming out when it has been touched by pure evil.
And for months your soul literally hurts trying to spit out this evil. For me, the only way to rid my soul of this pain was realizing that violence begets violence. So it stands to reason that love and kindness beget love and kindness. I showed love and kindness in the hope my soul could recover. It did recover, but not without leaving a scar.
How do I know that evil is to blame? Because only evil would snuff out a light as bright as the light of God that radiated from Vanessa, and from Irene Garza. Someone who has even a spark of God's light would never even think of snuffing a light so bright.
As far as justice goes, it's a myth to think you will get peace of mind or satisfaction from it. The only thing justice gave me was closure to move on with my life and my family's lives. My Vanessa was Vanessa Cruz, 25. She was murdered on February 11, 2001. Her murderer got 20 years in an Arizona prison with no parole.
But thanks for seeking truth and justice for a screaming soul.
Loretta Bigness, via the Internet
Be cool, Robert: I literally couldn't put down "Altar Ego," which reads like a detective novel. Only the subject matter is true, and that is frightening! How could the church harbor this guy all these years? He makes the average pedophile in the church look like a saint.
Seriously, Robert Nelson could be the next Elmore Leonard. Your guy's storytelling ability is second to none.
Jason Griswold, Tucson
Live and let live: Why can't the world forgive John Feit? It's obvious that God has by letting him work for the poor for decades. What Feit said about himself is true: The man who lived in south Texas in 1960 is dead.
I'm sad for Irene Garza and her family, but I'm also sad for John Feit and his family, because now he could be sent to prison, and that will serve no purpose. He has already been rehabilitated, as his good deeds in Phoenix prove.
Name withheld by request
The Gift of Life
Spreading donor awareness: The man in Speakeasy who had a heart transplant was weird ("Have a Heart," Robrt L. Pela, June 30). Since the transplant, he has been listening to jazz music and eating salad. Something he never did, but his donor did. That is definitely weird.
However, a man who wears a diaper like a 2-year-old, a 2-year-old girl, for that matter, is much weirder ("Baby Man," Joe Watson, June 9).
To me, however, someone's beliefs are not as important as his actions. I think it's great that Bill Wohl is spreading donor awareness. So much of the human body is wasted by being left in a box. It makes me sad that one person has to die and sadder that another has to die because they didn't get around to getting a donor card.
The real problem is partly with the person who dies. He or she gets too busy to put their affairs in order, and then they fall off a ladder or something. The second half of the problem lies with the family who is usually traumatized by the incident and refuses to allow the organs to go to a needy person missing a kidney.