I appreciate your extending me an opportunity to comment for your article concerning Mr. McDougal's book ("Murder, They Wrote," May 3). Unfortunately, your article is set to print tomorrow morning, and I just received your fax dated May 1, 1991, late this afternoon. I'm responding as quickly as I am able.
Inasmuch as you have interviewed Mr. McDougal, you already know that I have not read his book. It is not yet on public sale, and neither Mr. McDougal nor the Los Angeles Times nor Warner Books has advanced me a copy.
I have, however, heard some brief impressions of others who have read it, and the consensus is that the book is "true" in very few senses. Rather it is a particularly vicious blending of fact and fiction. It is replete with factual errors. And lacking credible evidence that points to my being guilty, Mr. McDougal turned instead to my family, whom he trashed with all his reportorial skills. A sorry spectacle as I understand it, made even sadder, since Mr. McDougal's story isn't true.
I'm sure that Mr. McDougal must have told you that I cannot respond in the instantaneous manner which your letter presumes. I do not have a fax machine or access to one, and I have extremely limited telephone access.