A Letter From the Publisher: Apr. 8, 1985

Compared with many other stories, the Goetz phenomenon was easy to report, if only because nearly everyone, from law-enforcement authorities to the man or woman in the street, has a ready opinion on violent crime. TIME correspondents working on this week's cover stories gathered a full sample of such reactions across the country. They also found themselves remembering their own experiences with crime and criminals.

New York Correspondent Barry Kalb covered the latest indictment of the subway gunman and talked to defense lawyers to turn up new details about Goetz's personality and past. Kalb also drew on his experience covering Watergate...

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