Haines was sane

Your cover story about Haines Fullerton ["Dave, Fame & Haines," September 16, 2004] was far from fair, balanced, and accurate. It's clearly no more than the latest installment in Mark Roebuck's public attack on Haines' character.

I was a fairly close friend of both Mark and David McNair in the early '90s, and a very close friend of Haines from '93 until his passing. I speak from grounded experience, not speculation, nor projection– nor reckless, unfounded attack.

According to a longer version of the article currently posted on McNair's website, Mark had repeatedly encouraged his good friend McNair to write about Haines. Who was the main source of information for the article? Mark, who admits he had not spoken with Haines for years before his death, and that he had "hated him for years."

The article was about Mark and David McNair's feelings of unworthiness and envy, not about Haines. McNair never knew Haines well (contrary to the impression given in your paper), and Mark was simply out of the loop for years. They are in no position to understand what Haines was going through during his final years, let alone offer their explanations.

Yet, instead of admitting that they can't understand, they have invented a believable story to explain it all– that Haines was crazy. And many of those who also can't understand appear to have accepted this explanation without question.

Anyone who knew Haines well during his final years would find Mark's assertions laughable, except that his aggressive assault on Haines' character, which began well before his death and continues to this day, is in no way funny.

These attacks and lies have effects, at a minimum on Haines' beautiful children who deserve respect and care regarding their father. Wouldn't a "health professional," a social worker, wish to uphold a higher standard than this? This public campaign of slander is part of the reason why I chose to move Haines' and my daughter out of Charlottesville.

Amazingly, McNair has never bothered to ask me directly about Haines. Hawes Spencer chose to use an article based on such a questionable source for his cover story, while he barely used the information he spent hours collecting from family and friends close to Haines.

This type of "journalism" is beyond sloppy. It is recklessly irresponsible. Truth has not been served.

Lisa Olsen
Port Townsend, WA