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Letters from the week
of November 5

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Feature: "Denim & Death," October 22

The Boot

"Denim & Death" was a crap article seemingly intended primarily to trash an individual and a local business, poorly researched, poorly written and poorly edited. Abruptly switching to present tense for several paragraphs, then switching back to past? Obviously talented journalists work for real publications, and the others end up at trash rags like The Pitch.

The tone of the entire article was calculated to paint Dennis Hess as a saint victimized by a scheming witch. Sorry, but he was a grown man able to make his own decisions and mistakes. He also had major alcohol and psychological issues, in his decision to commit suicide. A troubled marriage, definitely, but that's hardly unique.

I read very little in the story from Lena's perspective. Almost all the article is gossip and innuendo from Hess' friends and relatives.

By the way, I'm a regular at D&D, one of the "competitive dancers" you referred to and am there several nights a week. If anybody left D&D out of some sort of "loyalty" to Dennis, they've only shot themselves in the foot, because Denims is still the best place in the metro to dance: good music, great dance floor, friendly staff. It's far better than either Whiskey Tango or Crazy Horse.

Bill Ahrens, Roeland Park

Bar War

I knew Dennis Hess as a go-getter kind of person. I worked for him as a DJ. Dennis had a kind heart and an iron will. Lena Hess has been seen in the bar where I teach line-dance lessons. I will never set foot in that bar again as long as she is in control. I, along with others who were Dennis Hess supporters, will find other venues to frequent and will make sure that bar no longer prospers under her control.

Dan Griffin, Kansas City, Missouri

A Thousand Words

I thank God that someone finally took the time to write an article on Dennis Hess. What I want to know is, where is the information about him as a businessman? We have a bad marriage, a very bad wife and a man who has terrible luck with women — how any of this was relevant to the good that man did and his contributions to the community, I have no idea. Publishing a picture of a dead body is so unnecessary and truly a disservice to your paper. That was just wrong. How would you like it if someone printed your picture like that for your young children and grandchildren to see? Totally not cool. Write what you want, but dead-body photos are just wrong! I realize you will feel no remorse, but you should be ashamed. No one has the right to print pictures of someone's dead body. I don't care who they are or what they did — they should never be printed. Apparently your paper joins the ranks of those who find nothing sacred!

Name withheld by request

Dead On

Nadia Pflaum writes about the seamy side of KC and crime better than any other paid journalist in this city. Her story a couple of months ago about the rape victim was chilling ("The Aftermath," August 20). Her most recent article about the tragic suicide of Dennis Hess was gripping as well. She pisses people off, which usually means you nailed it.

Mark Smith, Independence

Corrections: In the October 22 cover story, "Denim & Death," a photo caption identifying Lena Hess incorrectly stated that the Denim & Diamonds promotional photo was taken after Dennis Hess' death; it was taken May 3, 2009. Also, an October 29 Night + Day item misspelled the name of Brick owner Sheri Parr.

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