The following is from the Oct. 16, 2007, edition of The Seattle Times. SMU History Professor Rick Halperin provided expertise for this story.

European women looking for love on Texas' death row

LIVINGSTON, Texas Romina Deeken is a classic beauty cascading blond hair, green eyes set in alabaster not the type of woman who needs to solicit attention from men.

But last year, the 24-year-old German reached out to a convicted killer on Texas' death row. Her motives were altruistic, she said, not romantic. In time, after more than 50 letters back and forth across the Atlantic, Deeken said, mutual feelings grew. . .

Rick Halperin, a board member of Amnesty International USA, said it's important to remember that most European women initially are motivated by compassion, not lust.

Europeans, the Southern Methodist University history professor said, are steeped and educated in human rights. "It's easy to scoff at these women when you live in this country," he said. "But this is a real difficult thing they're doing, and it's very human."

Read the full story.

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