Occasionally, one of our stories touches an individual in such a way that we invite them to issue a response. Such was the case with our Music Issue interview with Ronnie Radke for Setta Freeman, the mother of Michael Cook, who was killed in a 2006 shooting that involved Radke. Freeman was kind enough to share her thoughts with us, and now we share them with you.
I am writing to you in regard to the interview with Ronnie Radke released on May 5, 2011.
My name is Setta, and I am the mother of Michael Cook, who was murdered on May 6, 2006 in the desert shooting by Shadow Ridge High School.
I have a few issues that I wanted to discuss with you regarding the interview.
First and the most important is the reference I have seen in numerous interviews about the third party who committed suicide while facing felony charges. The third party’s name is Marcel, and it has been implied that he committed suicide because of the charges. This is far from true! Ronnie was originally charged with challenging a fight, and Marcel was being charged with accepting a challenge to fight. Marcel, just like Ronnie, had retained an attorney and had already appeared in front of the judge. Marcel committed suicide because he felt so much guilt over what had happened that day. He could never get over it. His brother was shot six times and my son died, and he witnessed it all. That is an overwhelming guilt for anyone to carry on their shoulders.
I spoke to Marcel’s mom and sister when the interview was released and his mom asked, “Why do they say this about my son?” Her heart is broken, and seeing her broke mine too. It is time to stop the hurting that the mention of May 6, 2006 brings up!
The second issue I have with the interview is the timing and the idea of it being brought up again five years later. This interview was released the day before the 5-year anniversary of my son’s murder. The anniversary itself is hard enough to deal with, let alone seeing it being brought up again in your newspaper.
Now, I am sure that my letter is going to bring a ton of fan hate my way! Please realize, fans, that I am not bashing Ronnie or his band. I am simply a mom. A mom who is tired of seeing Michael and Marcel’s family and friends hurt all over again when this is brought up.
It is time for what happened that day in May to be left alone. All it manages to do is dig at the still-fresh wounds that we all feel. Let both Michael and Marcel rest in peace.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express myself. —Setta Freeman
Spoiler alert: The Rapture didn’t happen. Which means you didn’t need Kristen Peterson’s fantastic two-disc Rapture playlist. Good thing that didn’t stop some readers from contributing their own songs to help deal with the End Times. Get ready to pump it in 2012.
End Times music mix, Vol III
“The End,” The Doors
“On My Own,” Patti LaBelle
“It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” REM
“Created,” Portugal. The Man
Google’s dreams of bringing driverless cars to Nevada might sound awesome—texting! robots!—but with our highways already treacherous, some locals aren’t all that excited to share the road.
I wonder if the car is gonna drive around talking on the phone and changing lanes with no signal. It would fit right in if it did. —Calvin Mahlum
Like drivers aren’t pathetic enough here in Vegas. OMG! Everyone here texts while driving, and it’s really out of control. Most of the people on the road here can’t walk down the sidewalk in a straight line, let alone drive in their own lane. —Melissa Randolph
Don’t lie. You’ve been wondering about that billboard on the 215 with the picture of the woman giving her man a good uppercut to his undercarriage. Last week, April Corbin explained the mechanics of Cheaterville.com, and readers, well, let’s just say they value their privacy.
People should worry about their own skeletons and issues. Someone’s infidelity, indiscretions and perhaps transgressions should not be aired in such a worthless and spiteful way.What’s the point? —John Honz
This company needs its head checked. Our reality TV society needs to focus on some basics again. We are not saying that you should cheat and be untrue at all, but to put it up on a billboard and websites for society to mock and have fun with crosses some serious lines. —Stardust Fallout
Why not? There are websites to assist people in cheating, why not one to call them on it? If they don’t want to be caught, how about not cheating at all? —Cheryl Petersen
I pity the fool that allows their life or their feelings to get hurt by a piece of trash website like that. But maybe I’m just all high and mighty because my conscience is clear. —Chris Temple
People need to mind their own f*cking business. I swear. This isn’t California. Nobody gives a sh*t. —Chris Hartenstein
Last week, Rick Lax wrote about the Las Vegas family featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in 2009 and the recent controversy over whether their daughters ever suffered from a disease at all.
Negative spin at the expense of innocent people. I know the family personally, and they’re legit—backed by some of the best immunologists in the country. I hope that the media spreads more truth than lies. It’s very disheartening to see people make assumptions about something they are unaware of. PIDD—look it up and learn for yourself. —Rachel Delgado
This type of publicity, whether true or false, makes it harder and harder for kids with true disabilities and parents to get the help they really could use. What I wouldn’t have given for a house with an elevator for my son who uses a wheelchair. This is just bad publicity, and tossing terms that make any caring parent second guess asking for help for fear of being labeled. —Misty Jackson-Groenig
These families that get the ABC extreme home makeovers are checked out. Get real. Do you think that they are going to spend all this money on people that are pulling a scam? Have you ever seen the makeover application? It is pages and pages long. These people have to be nominated by another source to even be consindered for this. ... Well I am happy extremely happy that these children can live in a healthy home. —Debbie Ann Lee