In last week's issue, Ken Fine and Sarah Willets took a look back at the now-concluded Michael Peterson case, and while writer Joan Miner says "much of it rang true, your obvious prejudice against Larry Pollard's earnest work on the owl theory stands out. Referring to the idea that Mrs. Peterson was struck in the back of the head by a raptor as the 'infamous owl theory' is bizarre. It is false. It is unfair. Look at the definition of infamous: 'well-known for some bad quality or deed, wicked, abominable.' Mr. Pollard's ideas are bad, wicked, abominable? Why?
"Pollard, the next-door neighbor of the Peterson family, saw owls in the tall old trees in their yards. A lifelong hunter, he recognized the pattern a raptor's talons make on prey. He traveled to the raptor center in our state and to the Smithsonian to ask for the opinions of bird experts. Pollard is an educated man, a practicing attorney for thirty years. Why does the INDY choose to call his theory 'infamous'?
"Your writers also printed a significant error in Mr. Pollard's theory. Those of us who bothered to learn important details know the attack was thought to happen outdoors in the heavily wooded yard—never, never, never indoors. Any newspaper article that says a bird was in the house is suspect. That error is no doubt made to further ridicule the whole idea so readers do not take seriously the possibility that this tragedy was never a murder but only a sad and surprising act in nature. To me, the owl theory makes total sense."
Meanwhile, Joe Flynn, the brother of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned after reportedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with the Russian ambassador, writes about last week's Democracy in Crisis column ["From Skater to Hater"] that he is "just so pissed at all the negative bullshit about my brother in the press; it is so unbelievably one-sided. Where are the questions about the laws that were broken in the fact that the private conversations of a U.S. citizen have been breached selectively? It just seemed like you are jumping on a bandwagon. I know hundreds of skaters and surfers who are concerned about the weakened position the Obama administration put the U.S. military and our national security in. Does that make us all haters?
"My brother is not a hater. He is a patriot who served his country incredibly well for thirty-three years and transformed wartime intelligence gathering. Everyone in the U.S. military knows that. He has strong opinions about radical Islam and made no bones about it. His day of reckoning is coming, he welcomes the investigation and is patiently waiting to testify under oath about his conversations with the Russians and any other foreign dignitaries he spoke to prior to taking office, which was totally natural for an incoming national security adviser to do. There is no crime, there is nothing wrong in doing that. There is a ton of precedent with these kinds of communications. The crime is the fact that someone on the Obama team selectively disclosed these conversations to the media in order to put Mike and the president in untenable positions. This is a political assassination, and it will be brought to light very soon."
Finally, about our story last week on the pending demise of the historic Maiden Lane ["End of the Lane"], commenter SJW writes: "I hate this. Raleigh's charm is being chewed up and spit out with the ordinary and expensive. I can hardly afford to live here and I'm fifth generation in Raleigh. Are there any city leaders that were born and raised in Raleigh? If so, I wish they cared more about Raleigh's history."