Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tearing Down the Wall of Sound: Now in Paperback!

When Kim of The Darwin Exception posted that she had received her complimentary paperback copy of Mick Brown's book, a flash of jealousy passed my mind ~she got her book first, I thought, lol,~ but I knew my copy wasn't far behind. I finally got mine in the mail just two days later.

The paperback has a new afterword, a little over 30 pages that covers the mistrial. And just as Mick had promised, along with The Darwin Exception, T&T was credited in the Bibliography section under websites, AND I got a listing on the Acknowledgement page. How cool is THAT?

Here is a short excerpt from the afterword titled: "Trial and Error."

ACT I, pg 435-437:

In April 2007, more than four years after I had sat with Phil Spector in his Alhambra castle, I returned to Los Angeles to see him once again. This time there would be no castle, no "Phil show," no strains of Handel, no interview. The figure that now sat in the drab utiliarian surroundings of Department 106 of the Clara Shortridge Folz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, on trial for murder, looked almost unrecognizable from the man I had met four years earlier. He was dressed in a beige, frock-coated, three-piece suit, with a deep purple shirt and matching handkerchief. His surgically tightened face was pale and wan, criss-crossed with lines and indentations, and he wore yet another new hairpiece--a blond pudding-bowl cut, possibly inspired by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, yet more reminiscent of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, lending him an unnervingly androgynous appearance. His hands trembled violently in his lap, and his eyes flickered from side to side, as if unable to fully comprehend exactly where he was and what had brought him here. He looked like a small boy who has set off a firework and discovered he's burned down a house.

Ranged in a series of swivel chairs on either side of him were the five principal members of his legal team: Roger Rosen, a dapper, pinch-faced man in rimless glasses; the bullish Bruce Cutler; Christoper Plourd, a ponderous, soft-spoken man who would handle much of the forensic testimony; the smooth Bradley Brunon; and Linda Kenny Baden, a full-figured woman with a curtain of improbably vivid blonde hair and sleepy eyes peering over spectacles. Kenny Baden would be an almost maternal presence at Spector's side throughout the trial, often draping her arm over his shoulder in a gesture that seemed as much designed to signal to the jury that Spector was "safe," if not altogether loveable, as to comfort him.

Directly behind Spector, on rows of wooden benches, sat his wife, Rachelle, and other supporters and members of the defense team, most of them similarly improbable blondes of an indeterminate age.

On the other side of the court sat the two men whose task it was to convict him. Leading the prosecution was Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, a boyish-looking forty-two-year-old with an Elvis Presley kiss-curl, who spoke with a slight Texas twang. He was being seconded by a man who was notionally his superior, Pat Dixon--a patrician looking man in his late fifties with an enthusiasm for competitive swimming and German sports cars. The pair was fresh from victory in the Mickey Thompson case, having secured the conviction of Michael Goodwin.

Behind Jackson, in the front row of the public gallery sat Lana Clarkson's mother, Donna, and her sister, Fawn, both wearing ribbons in Lana's favorite faux leopard-skin. They would occupy these same seats virtually every day of the proceedings over the next five months.

From the outset, it was clear that the trial would revolve around three central points; the body of circumstantial evidence against Spector; forensic evidence; and the state of mind of Lana Clarkson in the days and weeks immediately before her death.

In his opening statement for the prosecution, Alan Jackson told the jury that in the coming weeks they would be meeting "the real Phil Spector"--a man with "a rich history of violence against women involving guns," and who "when confronted with the right circumstances turns sinister and deadly."

Four women, Jackson went on, would testify that Spector had threatened them with guns after flying into a rage while drunk, and each incident would prove "strikingly similar to the next." These were the women--Diane Ogden, Dorothy Melvin, Melissa Grosvenor, and Stepanie Jennings--whose testimony of "prior bad acts" had already been presented to the grand jury. All of these incidents, Jackson said, demonstrated a recurring pattern of behavior in Spector. This pattern always began with Spector drinking to excess and moved on to "romantic interest," Jackson went on. It usually involved Spector and a woman being "home alone." When a woman tried to leave, Spector would become enraged and pull a gun, forcing her to stay.

The events of February 2 and 3 2003, conformed to that pattern, Jackson said. Lana was "simply the last in a very long line of women who have been victimized by Phil Spector."

Jackson then went on to outline the events of that evening, culminating in Clarkson's death, and what Jackson described as Spector's "confession" to Adriano De Souza--"I think I killed somebody."

As he talked, a photograph was projected onto the screen of Clarkson sprawled in a chair in the foyer of Spector's mansion, her head twisted to one side and her mouth bloodied. It was the first in a sequence of increasingly gruesome images that would be displayed in the months to come. Spector stared pointedly into the middle distance, his face registering nothing.

There were fourteen telephones in Spector's home, three of them within five feet of Lana Clarkson's dead body, but there had been "not one call for help from Philip Spector," Jackson went on. "So if he wasn't calling for help, what was he doing?" According to Jackson, Spector was making a "pathetic attempt" to clean up the crime scene, wiping the gun clean and placing it under Clarkson's left leg "attempting to set a stage for the crime." In cleaning up, he had removed gunshot residue from his hand, but "he didn't get it all off."

Jackson then turned to the forensic evidence. The "misting pattern" of blood spatter found on Spector's jacket had traveled "a maximum of three feet," Jackson said, and the same spatter pattern had been found in Clarkson's skirt; from that it could be concluded that Spector's jacket was the same distance from the fatal wound as Lana's dress. "Physical evidence and forensic evidence, all will give deep meaning to the defendant's confession, 'I think I killed somebody,' which still echoes in this courtroom today."

To read more, pick up the paperback!

This past Thursday, The LA WEEKLY came out with it's "LA PEOPLE 2008" issue. One of my favorite staff writers, Steven Mikulan, featured Alan Jackson in the issue as The Juror Whisperer. Check it out; it's a great read!


John said...

Hi Ms. Betsy,

So please let us know the details of the hearing this Thursday. Wondering if Court TV is covering any of it?

That's great you got Mr. Brown's revised copy. Does he hint at Rachelle being a fake wife? Hope he covers that morsel.


Erin said...

Any more news Dianne Ogden's cause of death? I just heard about her passing but can't find anything more on it. =/

Sprocket said...

Dianne Ogden:

Back in March, one of my trial watching buds SKelly63 found this out:

QUOTE SKelly63:
Ok I found out it is Summit County Utah, and it sounds like you have to jump through hoops to get anything.

Here is the info.

Certificates for deaths that occurred in Utah since 1905 are on file in this office. If the death did not occur in Utah, please visit NCHS - Where to Write for Vital Records.
Death certificate fees:
Search fee (includes one certified copy) - $13.00
Each additional copy of the same record - $8.00

To obtain a death certificate, you must apply IN PERSON at the Summit County Health Department office at:
85 North 50 East
Coalville, Utah 84017

NOTE Identification is now required for the purchase of a Utah death certificate. You MUST bring a valid identification with you to apply for the certificate.


I've had two thoughts on the press not reporting the cause of death. It could be, that it was determined that she died of natural causes. That would not be that interesting, or really noteworthy. However, if a hold or seal was put on her death certificate, that would answer why there has been no reporting of cause of death, yet if that was the case, I think a news organization would report that, because it would be noteworthy.

If any reader out there, wants to go to Coalville, UT and obtain a copy, please let us know what you find out.

Ziggy said...

Hi Sprocket!

I was wondering if you will be attending Phil's Hearing to set Dates for his Trial?,,,,,,,,,It probably will start @ 9am Today,Thursday may 22,,,I'm guessing,,,,,I doubt CNN/Live,,,,,,will cover this hearing? they have been pretty lame lately? Let me know?,,,Thanx Again!

Ziggy,,,,,,,,,,,, ziggytrialz@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Tru TV sucks! Where is the mention of the Spector hearing? Nowhere!

Ziggy said...

Hi Sprocket!

I just found out that Phil Spector's trial will start Sept 29th!,,,,,,,,(like I said,I knew Septenber was going to be the month!

Phil,,,,,,,,,,,,get your "new" story straight this time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,there is alot of testimony that will get compared with any change of directions,,,,that you know the new Trial will take upon!