THERE ARE THOSE OF US WHO HAVE never been fooled by Richard Berendzen {"The Public Nightmare of Richard Berendzen," September 23}. His fall from grace is not surprising, shocking, amazing or incredible; it is overdue.

What is frightening, however, is that he hoodwinked so many for so long about so much. The real tragedy has nothing to do with "the wreckage of his life." The real tragedy is the gross corruption of justice that allowed him to escape assuming any real responsibility. How many individuals without book-length re'sume's and wealthy and powerful friends would have been tipped off to a police investigation?

What should outrage anyone who is not already outraged is that we have not heard the last of Richard Berendzen.



I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO AN ARTICLE about "The Private Nightmare of Victims of Telephone Terrorists." The woman Richard Berendzen called, Susan Allen, got off pretty light compared with thousands of people, mainly women, who are subjected to this sort of threat every day.

There is a support group, People Against Telephone Terrorism & Harassment (PATTH), that offers information and help to other victims and is working diligently to get Caller ID available nationwide. Its number is 1-800-783-5959. People who abuse other people, even by telephone, need to be held accountable for their actions and punished.


Silver Spring

CONCERNING THE SIDEBAR " 'IT'S NOT A Lot Different Than Being Raped' " about Susan Allen's receipt of Richard Berendzen's intrusive calls, I can't help wondering how many rape victims look back and say, "Being raped was a pretty bad experience, but I sure am glad I never had the ultimate power to escape from my attacker by simply unplugging the phone at the first unpleasant word and getting on with my life."

It's enough to make you wonder whether such a call is even a crime. Numerous harassing calls -- and even unwanted phone solicitation -- constitute crimes, but what about the case where the recipient is a participant? WALTER I. NISSEN JR. Silver Spring

SUSAN ALLEN ACCUSES RICHARD Berendzen of "doing a horrible, horrible thing." To me her suit for $15 million is repulsive. If she was being "raped" by his phone calls, she wouldn't have been able to listen to the sexual talk and egg him on for more. To take advantage of this man's very public tragedy is disgusting.

She is a mother of three, and any loving mother (not out for big bucks) would have some bit of compassion for anyone abused as a child. If Mrs. Allen could imagine one of her own children being abused for one day, one hour or one minute as Mr. Berendzen was for years, I think she would be ashamed of herself and drop her suit. SUSAN FUSI Rockville


I ENJOYED THE ARTICLE ON CORA'S "Plastic Palace" {J Street, September 23}. So Cora Scott has been slinging her famous hash browns for 29 years. So the focus of the story is Cora Scott. So the photo accompanying the story is . . . John Warner?

I think we all appreciate that Sen. Warner is a good customer, but we know what he looks like. How about a picture of Cora Scott? JOAN E. MCNOLDY Manassas

EDITOR'S NOTE: Unfortunately, despite numerous entreaties, Cora Scott declined to be photographed.

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