I grew up in Siskiyou County during the events described in "The Ballad of Hooty Croy" (by David Talbot, June 24), and I knew Bo Hittson. Tony Serra's eloquently impassioned and utterly inaccurate defense rested on a single premise: that villainous Siskiyou County is so violently bigoted that Native Americans live in fear for their lives and that consequently Croy had no choice but to gun down this law officer--in "self-defense."
In 20 years of living in Siskiyou County, moving among all types of citizens from shop clerks to cowboys and attending Yreka High School alongside Native Americans like Croy, I never witnessed an act or word of prejudice against a Native American, nor did I know anyone who harbored such bigotry. Like everywhere else, Yreka probably does have its share of bigots and idiots, but the inflammatory profile drawn by Tony Serra is false and reprehensible.
Offended though I am by Serra's deliberate misrepresentation of Yreka, I'm equally distressed by the way your magazine highlighted Serra and Croy with many eloquent paragraphs and romanticized photos and by comparison neglected Bo Hittson almost entirely. Once again, the criminal has become the victim, and the real victim has been forgotten.