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The Fall From Spyglass Hill

Friends Say That to Understand the Story of Mary Kay Letourneau, the Ex-Schoolteacher Jailed for Having Sex With an Adolescent, You Need to Look Back at Her Childhood in Orange County


None of her siblings have commented publicly on their sister's legal troubles.

In Mary Kay's parents' Washington home, a big red brick house behind the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill--the house once owned by John Schmitz's idol Joe McCarthy--the extended Schmitz family gathers now as they did years ago on Spyglass Hill to face head-on the latest crisis.

But this time, it is not their father, but the daughter who so adored him who needs their help and support.

"This is a family that does not run away from its problems, that does not look for excuses but that does what has to be done for whomever needs their help," says Michael Horowitz, a former Reagan administration counsel and close friend of John Patrick Schmitz.

For the time being, the family, which is bringing in a new attorney to prepare an appeal for Mary Kay, isn't eager to rush in to save the day. Nor is her father rushing to her rescue. Although he is well enough to travel to Wisconsin for family celebrations, he apparently has made no trips to Seattle to see his eldest daughter.


Los Angeles Times librarian Sheila A. Kern contributed to this story.

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