'Wild Bill' made for a funny column, but may have needed psychiatric help


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I didn't live in Oak Park in the 1980s when "Wild Bill" was around, but I still had a good laugh over Dan Haley's column ("'Wild Bill,' OP's headline-grabbing top cop, dead in Newark of all places," Jan. 5). It's the funniest thing I've read in your paper. I even read parts of it over the phone to an Oak Parker who has moved to Tucson.

But then I felt uneasy and wondered if the man was mentally ill. And if, instead of laughing at him, people had encouraged him to get help back in the '80s, if he might have recovered and had a better 20 years than he apparently did, and not hurt those who crossed his path. His life sounds like a tragedy.

This might be an occasion to re-think the boundary between bad choices and mental illness. If I were acting like Wild Bill, I would hope that people would not walk away but would walk toward me to help.
Susan Piha
Oak Park

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