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Is The Prevailing Spirit Colorblind?

June 29, 1997

I was struck by the curious juxtaposition of articles in the May 18 magazine. In Paul Lieberman's story ("The Butler, the Heiress, the Maid and the Medium"), one reads of the $600 seance held by medium James Van Praagh in which the spirit of Doris Duke's butler and heir, Bernard Lafferty, was contacted. Next, one reads Miles Corwin's article on the young men gunned down in South-Central whose murders go unsolved ("For the Longest Time I Just Wanted to Die").

Perhaps Van Praagh could be called upon to solve the South-Central murders--or could it be that the spirits he contacts inhabit an afterlife where only the white, wealthy and famous reside?

Kenneth Long

Department of Biology

Cal Lutheran University

Thousand Oaks


If you drove up into the Hollywood Hills, not far from the Hollywood sign, you would find an incredible estate that is also called "Falcon Lair." From what I've heard, this was the house that Rudolph Valentino lived in.

Maybe the seance should have been conducted in the original house, although I'm not sure that Valentino died there. Perhaps we should ask him.

D. Goodman

Los Angeles


There doesn't seem to be a Happily Ever After to that grim fairy tale.

Patti Garrity

Manhattan Beach

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