Thursday, March 5, 2009

Phil Spector Retrial: Day Fifty-three

March 5th, 2009

Defense Witnesses: #16 Dr. Richard Seiden, Ph. D. (psychologist; under first cross examination)

Accredited Press inside the courtroom: Harriet Ryan of the Los Angeles Times & Linda Deutsch of the Associated Press for a short period in the afternoon session.

I have been trying to catch up around the house this evening so I'm sorry that I don't have much in the way of notes today. I promise to try to get my notes from yesterday finished tomorrow, and notes from today finished over the weekend. I did do Talk Radio One this evening. I come on a little after 9:30 PM PT. The archived show should be up after 11:00 PM, PT.

I will say that on direct examination Dr. Seiden came across different than the other paid experts that have testified in this case so far. As a witness, he's very dry, and a bit boring. Dr. Seiden admittedly, stated he rarely testifies in trials. Out of the gate, he came across well. I did note that right after he answered what he had been paid in the trial so far, $6,000, two of the jurors in the back row, #5 and #6, looked at each other and smiled. Dr. Seiden's cross examination began about 10:10 AM this morning and even though court was excused early today, Truc Do is still not finished.

I have to say that, in my opinion, Truc Do did an excellent cross of Dr. Seiden today. In fact, I think this cross was better than her cross of Dr. Lakshmanan and Jennifer Hayes Reidl. The cross was that good that the last hour or so of trial I just sat and listened to her discredit the witness and didn't take any notes. Truc wasn't stumped a single time, but Dr. Seiden was. Truc knew the material better than Dr. Seiden, who many times could not remember what he said to Alan Jackson and Truc Do in an interview they did with him on February 6th, 2009.

Truc pointed out many inconsistencies in Dr. Seiden's testimony, even using his own prior writings and papers to show that his conclusions written in those papers are in conflict with his testimony regarding his Golden Gate Bridge study and his "percentages" of the suicides he testified are "spontaneous." Truc Do also showed the jury how any study that extrapolates the self reporting thought process of survivors of attempted suicide (labeled "spontaneous, unplanned") to those who actually do commit suicide, is flawed.

Weinberg has one more witness after Seiden and that's (I believe) Dr. Mary Goldensen, a therapist Lana Clarkson contacted, but never saw for therapy. One of the last things Weinberg informs the court is regarding Punkin Pie. "That's a question whether she will be called now or another time. I will let counsel (and the court) know (by Friday)," Weinberg states.

So Weinberg still hasn't decided at this late date, whether he is going to call Pie as part of his case-in-chief or in sur-rebuttal. I have no idea what that means. I am speculating here with not a shred of evidence to support this thought. I'm wondering if she has made herself scarce.

More to come on Wednesday's entry and this entry...

Just thought I'd add that there was a ton of press camped out in the front and rear entrance to the Criminal Court Building today in hopes of getting a shot of Chris Brown arriving. They were there when I arrived around 9 AM and they were still there when I exited the building around 3:25 PM. At first, I heard the court appearance would be at 1 PM on the fifth floor. I later learned that it was moved to 3:30 PM. Spector, Rachelle and Rachelle's mother were photographed trying to get past the gauntlet of photographers on their way out of the courthouse.

Update! March 8th, 2009 4:00 PM

I'm inside 106 at 9:24 am. There's lots of bustling going on inside the well. Jackson and Truc are going through books and files. Josh, their clerk is getting other books for them. Wendy thinks she's coming down with something and there is talk about just about everyone they know is sick again.

9:35 am: The bailiff Kyles calls for the cell phones to be turned off. Spector hasn't arrived yet. Fidler takes the bench right after Weinberg stepped outside 106 for a moment. Fidler, jokingly asks Jackson for the people's motion. Jackson replies, "Fat chance." Weinberg comes back in a moment later and apologizes to the court. He states he has a witness under subpoena and she's not here. (I find out later that this must be Dr. Goldenson, the therapist.) He also mentions that "Mr. Spector is running late.

I have a note here, and I'm remembering the discussion but I don't have in my notes that Weinberg is speaking. I'm pretty certain it is for the entire paragraph.

DW: I understand that Dr. Seiden testimony involved effects of alcohol on people and questions about Mr. Spector on... [...] I asked Ms. Do if there are any questions involving other conduct and Mr. De Souza... [...] She declined to tell me. (Too bad.) [...]I just wanted to inform the court.

From what I'm remembering, I'm guessing this has to do with questions the prosecution asked Dr. Seiden during their meeting on February 6th.

Fidler: I'll have to listen to all his testimony. It depends on what conclusion he already draws.

Fidler leaves the bench. A tall suited man wanders into 106, looks in and then leaves. I overhear the court reporter's discussing how to spell the last name of Hayes Riedl's friend, also named Jennifer. It's "Sykes." Weinberg wanders in and out of 106, possibly waiting for his missing witness. He then stands at the podium.

9:42 am: An older looking couple who have been here several times before to support Spector enter and sit on the defense side of the room. Spector enters with Mommy. Rachelle enters about 20 seconds later. She's wearing a very form fitting brown pantsuit and carrying her blanket. Dr. Seiden takes the stand. I'm so tired I yawn. Too little sleep trying to keep the house up and still get to court on time. Fawn and John Taylor chat.

9:44 am: Bailiff Kyles calls for cell phones to be turned off again. Spector has a reddish looking drink inside an arrowhead water bottle. There are just a few people in the gallery today. There are interesting looking men in the back row. They don't look familiar to me at all. Tran Smith enters 106 and goes up to the podium. He shows Weinberg a message on his blackberry then exits 106.

9:49 am: Jurors enter the courtroom and right behind them Fidler enters. Weinberg has his witness still under direct examination.

DW: Yesterday, we reviewed a number of documents, primarily emails and some medical records. I've got just a few additional items for you to look at. A medical record from a Dr. Kudrow's file is introduced. I think he states that this is a result of an MRI from a Dr. Enselmo (sp?) reported to Dr. Kudrow. This record is put up on the overhead.

'Severe headaches. History of multiple motor vehicle accidents with head trauma.'

Next, Weinberg asks Dr. Seiden if there was a DMV history. He starts to answer that "She had.."

TD: Objection! Not in evidence.

Fidler: Even if the doctor looked at certified records, they have to be marked into evidence.

Juror #7 looks at #8 and they both smile to each other.

Weinberg presents records for Dr. Seiden to review.

DW: Do those records support the suggestion that in the last few years of her life she was driving in a reckless and dangerous manner?

Dr. S: It supports it. [...] When all these are put together, it does suggest someone of a reckless nature.

I could swear I just saw Juror #7 wink at Juror #18. Weinberg has Dr. Seiden look as some past medical records from Cedars Sinai. In 2001 she reported for migraine headaches and some depression. The next issue Weinberg has Dr. Seiden address is Greg Sims testimony. Dr. Seiden states something to the effect that he asked if there were bouts of long periods of crying. And this fit the bill. Dr. Seiden also states that Mr. Sims was so concerned about her that he called her the next day. Weinberg then asks his witness a very leading question.

DW: Wasn't it the best friend he called?

AJ: Objection: Mr. Weinberg is testifying. (Unfortunately, I did not note the ruling.)

Dr. Seiden states he also reviewed Dr. Lakshmanan's study of suicides and the percentage of women who committed suicides in those years.

Juror #5 has her arms crossed and her eyes closed. Juror #11 is in a familiar posture with his left elbow resting on the chair arm, his chin in his hand and his fingers slightly covering his mouth.

Weinberg brings out the fact that Dr. Seiden spoke with Jackson and Truc Do and spent about two hours with them at their request?

Dr. S: Yes I did.

Now Weinberg goes directly to his conclusions. To paraphrase: Sometimes ending one's own life, or, including an emotional, that is, to end a pain also include reckless acts, that results in someones death, even accidental.

Dr. S: This is the whole linchpin of suicide prevention. [...] To get them through the dangerous points.

DW: You're not being asked to give an opinion as to the whether Lana Clarkson took her own life.

TD: Objection!

Fidler: It's not a question so I will sustain it.

DW: Based on your experience, [...] is expressive [...] Did you find suicide ideation in the case of Lana Clarkson?

Dr. S: Yes I did.

Weinberg now goes back over the specific statements that helped Dr. Seiden reach this conclusion. On the first statement, Weinberg asks, "They're not clear statements?" And Dr. Seiden answers, "They are suggestive."

DW: Is the existence of suffering financial pressure, is that a risk of suicide?

Dr. S: Yes it is.

DW: And did you find that her (writings supported that)?

Dr. S: Yes I did.

Question after question, of many of the risk factors for suicide and whether or not he found that in reviewing the record.

DW: And feelings of failure of ones' career?

Dr. S: I certainly found that here.

Dr. Seiden goes on about Lana's broken wrists. Weinberg mentions the documents that he reviewed in the packet sent from Doug Sortino to Dr. Pena. Weinberg asks Seiden about Jon Barrons testimony, and that she was upset about that failure. Dr. Seiden goes onto say that, "... Because everyday she had headaches." When he says that, Jackson and Truc Do look at each other with this totally puzzled expression on their faces. Truc Do shakes her head.

DW: Is it possible to exclude suicide in the evidence of this case?

Dr. S: I don't believe any professional could exclude it.

And that's the last question under direct. It's 10:11 am, and Truc Do gets up to cross Dr. Seiden.

Truc Do starts off with a review of his qualifications. He's a licensed psychologist. She asks him if he's currently a member of any psychiatric association.

Dr. S: No. At one time I was.

TD: Let's start off where Mr. Weinberg left off. That as a (psychotherapist?) you can't rule out suicide?

Dr. S: That's correct.

TD: And you also can't rule out homicide?

Dr. S: that's correct.

Truc Do now moves onto his research on impulsive suicides. "You testified that the time interval is five minutes or less?

Dr. S: that's the conventional standard.

TD: And impulsive suicide is not defined by the method chose?

Dr. S: Not necessarily defined that way.

TD: When we flew up to meet with you on February 6th, one area we talked about was, is an impulsive suicide defined by the method chosen. Your answer was no.

Dr. S: It's not synonymous with the method chosen.

I believe my notes here say that Dr. Seiden asks about the recording of the interview, and Truc Do replies that we wanted to clarify with you (that point). The jury is smiling.

Under cross, Dr. Seiden admits that the method doesn't tell you if it's suicide or not. Jackson interjects something for Truc Do and Weinberg objects. He asks the court that only Ms. Do be allowed to offer information to the witness. Fidler, bemusedly smiling, tells Jackson that the proper way is to pass Ms. Do a note. Jackson, making a point of how ridiculous this objection is, gets up from the prosecution table, goes over to Truc Do and whispers in her ear. There's laughter in the jury box over the comedy of the exchange.

TD: Are you telling the jury that suicide doesn't involve an intention to die?

Dr. S: It's to end pain.

Truc Do confronts him with an article written in 1989. It's his own words where he said the firearm is paired with the intent to die.

Dr. S: Can I see it?

TD: You don't remember what you wrote? [...] And where do you say "ending pain" or....

Dr. S: This is a statistical article.

TD: You stated that 40% of suicides are impulsive (and it was) your case work you relied upon? [...] You began consulting around September 2008? [...] And you've been on the case for about seven months? [...] All those materials were sent to you prior to 2008? (I think this is a misspeak.) [...] The medical records were not? [...]

Dr. S: The emails and investigative report and the coroner were given to me (later?).

TD: When did you get the Greg Sims testimony? [...] The last date you did any work was December, 2008? [...] And any work (that) was reviewed prior to that date? [...] Everything that you received prior....

Dr. S: After we met I received more emails and medical records.

TD: You've not made any reports. In fact, Mr. Weinberg wrote the report?

DW: I wrote a summary.

Dr. S: I wrote a revised paragraph. [...] (The report) was submitted to me by counsel and I rewrote the final paragraph.

TD: You have not written (any summary about your conclusions)? [...] Mr. Weinberg wrote what you have testified (to), a five page statement?

Dr. S: Except for a paragraph that I rewrote.

TD: A paragraph that you revised, after you had met with us?

Dr. S: I sent him a revised paragraph by mail.

TD: In anticipation of that five page statement [...] there was something about impulsive suicides and statistics [...] Do you remember that?

10:20 am: A Spector supporter arrives.

Truc Do reads him a paragraph (I believe from the five page statement).

TD: We asked you about that?

Dr. S: Not really. Refresh my memory.

Truc Do asks to approach the bench. During the sidebar, Juror's #5 and #6 look at each other whisper and smile. Tran Smith speaks to Rachelle and Mommy. Josh and Fawn exchange a few words.

TD: Dr. Seiden, my question is when we flew out to talk to you (about) the statistics that we... (that 50% or more of suicides are impulsive).

Dr. S: I suppose so. I don't remember exactly.

TD: We asked you if you agreed with that. [...] We asked several times.

Dr. S: As opposed to the 40%?

TD: Will you take my word for it that you said it?

Dr. S: I suppose.

TD: I asked you where you got the statistics from?

Dr. S: I don't remember every question you asked.

Truc Do brings up all the reporting centers, and that, "All thse institutions compiled statistics for stats that.... [...] Do you have a CDC statistic that states if suicide are impulsive?

Dr. S: No I did not.

TD: Yesterday, you told Mr. Weinberg that 40% of all suicides are unplanned, correct?

Dr. S: That's correct.

TD: You also told Mr. Weinberg that you researched various organizations on those statistics, correct? (There's no answer from Dr. Seiden.) Did you research the CDC? [...] The NBDRS?

Dr. S: No.


Dr. S: No.

TD: The Injury Prevention Control Center (statistics)?

Dr. S: No.

TD: Isn't the reason that none of those organizations (don't have a percentage) is because that's an impossible statistic to compile? [..] That the only true and reliable source of that data is the person who is dead? [...] I want to be more clear, none of these organizations can ask a dead person if they spent five minutes or less contemplating death, correct?

Dr. S: I was talking about those who survive. [...]

TD: These national organizations that compile data, do not compile statistics on the number (of impulsive suicides)?

Dr. S: I don't understand your question [...] It's been long known in the field that there is....

TD: So you believe attempted suicides mirror the motivations of actual suicides?

Dr. S: Yes.

TD: How are you going to report to the CDC [...] if someone contemplated for five minutes or five days? [...] So the percentages you talked about was on suicide attempters?

Dr. S: Yes.

TD: Who did not succeed and then you debriefed them?

Dr. S: Some of them.

Isn't that the general attempters, you're going to assume that's the same that (of those) that are dead?

Dr. S: Yes.

TD: What are you relying upon? Your own study that you had done yourself, the Golden Gate Study?

Dr. S: Among others.

TD: You told us about others?

Dr. S: Yes.

TD: You're sure about that?

Dr. S: Yes.

Truc Do goes over Dr. Seiden's Golden Gate study.

TD: How many people did you interview?

Dr. S: About a dozen or so. [...] of 515 attempts. [...] through (research?) some behavior there were that was suspicious... [...] I want to add that I also reviewed police reports.

TD: Didn't you tell us that 50% of suicides were impulsive? [...] Didn't you tell us that based on this study you could support that 40%...

Dr. S: Then I misstated it. It's based on (another study).

TD: Isn't it true that your study doesn't support your testimony of 40%?

Dr. S: There are several studies on this topic, with 40%, 50% even the Scotland poisoning study showed 67%. I misstated to you the percentage on February 6th. I didn't base it on my own study.

Truc Do now confronts him with a conclusion on his Golden Gate Bridge study that he wrote in 1990. "You wrote in 1990, that many of the people on the Gold Gate Bridge had fantasized about it for a long time."

TD: Are you aware of the demographics Marin County keeps, a demographics on the Golden Gate Bridge that the majority of people traveled from other counties?

Dr. S: I believe they got that information from me. [...] That's a chamber of commerce hypothesis.

10:54 am: The morning break is called.

During the morning break, Truc Do speaks to Fawn and Mrs. Clarkson about the "auto accidents." I overhear Fawn say that one accident, she was driving and not Lana and the other accident she was rear-ended!

Spector greets a nicely dressed older looking man in a suit. He's with a friend and the suited man introduces his friend to Spector. The gentlemen then shake Rachelle Short's hand. The first image that comes to mind is this man looks a bit like a younger Robert Evans, with the stark white silk kerchief in his lapel pocket. I have no idea who the gentleman is. He could be in the music or entertainment industry, but that's just a guess. For Spector to greet him the way he did and introduce him to Rachelle, this is someone quite different that the usual crowd who shows up to sit in court and show the jury they support Spector. Right after this, we are back on the record outside the presence of the jury.

AJ: Now it is in agreement to have the tape transcribed.

DW: There are no inconsistencies. Just a continuing attempt to break the agreement. There's no place where they.

Fidler: Neither of you can bind the court to an agreement. [...] There are inconsistencies. [...] The problem is, [...] neither party [...] that the witness would have a lack of memory, so I'm turning this tape over to the people.

DW: Please! I'm going to say this is a 352 issue to send this witness home. They're not going to want to go ahead [...] (it's) insufficient to interrupt [...] The court is intruding between an agreement between (both parties) The court has conducted no investigation or analysis! [...] The court is inserting itself into an agreement!

Fidler: That's about the SECOND OR THIRD TIME that you've said that! I take umbrage and it's NONSENSE!

Weinberg then goes back over the same argument as yesterday, AGAIN! The same argument! On and on and on he goes. "The two of them took notes. there's nothing to discover!" Weinberg continues to argue. "They're attempting to use the tape for a completely different purpose! Weinberg then brings up the Dr. Herold tape, again. "To now say this is a discovery issue is a completely different issue!"

Jackson and Truc are both leaning against the jury box. I can barely hear that Jackson says to Truc Do, "He just goes on and on and on." Jackson then looks at his watch. It's 11:16 am.

AJ: I'm certainly not going to address everything concerned, but one thing Mr. Weinberg didn't address is the truth.

Fidler: The bottom line is, [...] I believe the witness does not have a complete memory of the case. [...] A Judge's solemn obligation is to ensure that the truth is presented to the jury.

DW: So they can prepare that transcript [...] as to whether or not [...] that it can be used.

AJ: Mr. Weinberg acts like this is one big trick.

Then Fidler really gets angry. He raises his voice and his face looks real mad.

DW: Is the prosecution going to get to listen to the tape?

Fidler is shouting. "I ALREADY STATED THAT!"

Boy, is he angry. Then Fidler back pedals! First, he stated that the tape would be handed over to the people to transcribe. Now he's saying that the people will have someone transcribe it, but the tape and transcription is to be delivered directly to him! All that bellyaching by Weinberg worked, again. Fidler addresses the people, "Any other questions?"

AJ: Not after that.

Fidler: Bring the jury out.

11:23 am: Fidler apologizes to the jury. He tells them that they had another on of their discussions and that, "It was a heated one, on my part."

Truc Do asks if Dr. Seiden read the police reports. (I don't have the answer.)

TD: Are you in any way changing the conclusions of your research?

Dr. S: No, not at all.

TD: There's no mention in there of impulsive suicides, correct?

Dr. S: Correct.

11:28 am: Mrs. Weinberg enters 106. Weinberg fiddles with his lips again.

TD: You said you wouldn't find it in the CDC or the other studies?

Dr. S: I said that?

TD: Did you call Mr. Weinberg after we met with you?

Dr. S: Yes. [...] I asked him about Punkin Pie's testimony because, because you were so concerned about it.

TD: Characteristics of...

Fidler: (To Weinberg) It will be gone into..

TD: I'm sorry?

Fidler: It was a response to an arched eyebrow.

Truc Do then goes over the article where Dr. Seiden did get the 40% figure. She then asks him if he remembers telling them at the February 6th meeting, that the time impulsive suicides contemplated was one hour. Truc asks Dr. Seiden, "Isn't that a big difference?" Dr. Seiden replies that the "five minute" figure is within the 1 hour or less figure. Truc Do then asks the next question with an incredulous tone in her voice.

TD: Five minutes is between 1 hour or less?

The jury box erupts in laughter.

TD: Where in the literature are you going to find that there is a 1 hour (time frame)?

Dr. S: It was my best estimate at the time.

TD: Could you cite me a study that says 1 hour or less?

Dr. S: I probably could not.

TD: The estimate you gave us was prompted (by) ..... (our inquiry?) [...] Then afterwards you came up with the 2001 article, after our questions? [...] You now came up with that research after you had been on this case for seven months?

(Unfortunately, I don't have Dr. Seiden's answers in my notes.)

TD: Isn't it true that that article is not supportive of your conclusion?

Truc Do reads from the article where he obtained his 40% figure. The article even states at the end that there are inherent flaws in the research..

TD: Do you see inherent flaws in the method?

Dr. S: The best source (the dead person) is not available.

TD: I'm talking about those you interview. [...] Isn't there a problem with self reporting? [...] You assume they are being forthright and truthful?

Truc Do spells it out for the jury.

TD: Isn't it easier for the reporting person to say afterwards, that they didn't think about it, than to admit they had thought about it for five days, five weeks or five months? [...] Didn't the author's of that study admit it's an inherent flaw? [...] And thesea re the reports you as an expert rely on?

Dr. S: It's the best estimate.

TD: It's an assumption?

Dr. S: It's not an assumption. It's....

Truc Do moves onto the study performed by Dr. Laksmanan.

TD: Did you look at the autopsy reports, that were part of the study?

Dr. S: No.

TD: Was it part of what Mr. Weinberg provided?

Dr. S: No.

TD: And you've published studies on the difference between the way that, masculine and feminine ways of commiting suicide. [...] Men use firearms where as women use pills or gas? [...] Isn't it true taht 90% of suicides by men are with firearms?

Dr. S: No. The national statistics of suicide by firearms is for men and women.

TD: Suicide by firearms are 90% committed by men.

Dr. S: Yes but suicides by men are more frequent than women.

The lunch break is called. Over lunch I take some notes on my impression of Dr. Seiden. It's obvious that Dr. Seiden has not testified very oftne in a court of law. His memory is very faulty and he is not correctly remembering the facts of the case. The inherent flaw of all of these studies is the researchers' own admissin that the surviving subjects tendency to not admit to prior suicide ideation. It's easier to state that they only thought about it for five minutes instead of admitting that they thought about it for weeks and months.

1:38 pm: Back inside the courtroom, we wait for Judge Fidler.

Truc Do is going over with Dr. Seiden the statistics on suicide on firearm by men and women. She shows him the most recent statistics (years 2003 & 2005 I believe), and 90% are by men. She then goes over Dr. Lakshmanan's study of 755 suicides by firearms, 80 of which were by women. That comes out to 11%. Truc Do asks Dr. Seiden if Los Angels County is consistent with the national average.

Dr. S: Correct.

Truc Do asks Dr. Seiden if he's been in the field (psychology) for about 40 years, and he confirms that.

TD: You are aware that Lana Clarkson was killed in Mr. Spector's home?

Dr. S: Correct.

TD: And that Lana Clarkson just met Mr. spector on that morning?

Dr. S: (Yes.)

TD: Based on your 40 years of experience in the field, what is the percentage of suicides of a person who comes into the home of a complete stranger?

Dr. S: I've noever known or seen (any) statistics.

TD: In a complete stranger's home. You have not seen a single case where any of those circumstances (exist)?

Dr. S: I think so.

TD: Is that what you told Mr. Jackson and I that...

Dr. S: Unequivically, no.

Truc Do asks another question that I miss, but I do get Dr. Seiden's answer.

Dr. S: I've never seen any statistics where a suicide is committed in the home of a stranger.

Truc Do asks him again and says something to the effect that she doesn't want to put words in his mouth.

Dr. S: Not that I can remember.

TD: Would you agree that tis a statistical anomaly?

Dr. S: In my experience (it hasn't occurred).

TD: You said on direct that you looked at John Barrons (testimony?)?

Dr. S: Well, I looked at it, It wasn't significant. It was hardly a determing factor.

TD: (Do you remember) telling me and Mr. Jackson that you didn't consider it. That you thought it was amusing?

1:48 pm: A Spector supporter wearing a cowboy hat enters 106.

Now Truc Do moves onto another area, Greg Sims's testimony. Truc asks Dr. Seiden if there was anything else that he asked of Mr. Weinberg.

Dr. S: I asked him if there was any evidence of copious crying.

TD: so that's an incidence that you asked Mr. Weiberg that if there was, any other witness information? And Mr. Weinberg was... [...] You mostly based your opinion about her emails and what she said to others?

Dr. Seiden states that he based his opinion on mostly her emails. He reviewed the packet of information from Doug Sortino to Dr. Pena. "Doug Sortino sent Dr. Pena thirty emails." Truc Do asks him where in the cover letter did it state that Mr. Sortino states he is sending thirty emails?

1:53 pm: Harriet Ryan and Linda Deutsch enter 106.

Truc Do presents the cover letter to Dr. Seiden. She points out that the letter states that Doug Sortino is enclosing thirty interviews along with a DVD. He's confusing interviews with the thousands of emails on Lana's hard drive. Dr. Seiden doesn't seem to see the big difference.

Dr. S: Well, they were sequentially numbered.

Truc Do confirms that he received and reviewed the medical records after he was interviewed by herself and Mr. Jackson.

TD: You had at least seven months to ask for all the information in this case. Did you ever call me or Mr. Jackson?

Dr. S: No. And you didn't volunteer anything either.

TD: You didn't interview anyone, either? [...] Or Lana's family? [...] Or Lana's friends?

Dr. S: I didn't interview anybody.

1:59 pm: Spector's number one fan enters 106. It's about this time that I really cut back on my note taking, put my pad down and just listen to the cross.

Truc Do goes over with Dr. Seiden the number one risk factor that's listed in any literature for suicide risk is depression. She then reads him a statement:

'75% of person who commit suicide had a previous history or threat.'

TD: That statement is your own writing. [...] So that you have published that 75% of people had a previous history [...] and you quoted (in) your Golden Gate study, in your study you are quoting Ed Schneidman (sp?)?

Truc Do then confronts him with the National Institute of Mental Health's standards for depression. She first confirms with him first that the statements she's using are from the Institute of Clinical Depression. She puts up on the screen the text that they have published on suicide and their definition of depression. The text is gone over with him. He keeps insisting that all this information is for major depression only, but that's not how the text is titled.

TD: You came to a conclusion about someone that you never met?

Dr. S: That's true.

TD: You don't think that it would have helped you, (if you had spoken to her family, friends)?

Dr. S: Do you think that the things they they (would say would be any different than the police reports of six years ago)?

Truc Do asks Dr. Seiden if it would have made any difference if he knew that Lana was taking a creative writing class?

TD: Do you think that Lana's writing in her emails was Lana going for that melodramatic flair?

Dr. S: It's possible. I have no idea.

Truc Do then asks Dr. Seiden if Mr. Weinberg told him that those were the only emails of Lana's? She confronts Dr. Seiden with the fact that the defense was given a copy of Lana's hard drive, and on that hard drive were 12,017 PAGES of emails. Jackson then lifts a huge box onto the prosecution table. Then another box, and then another. FIVE LARGE file type boxes filled with those 12,017 pages are placed on the prosecution table. I'm shocked. I can't help staring at those boxes. Dr. Seiden said he based his opinion mostly on Lana's writings. (Later, I asked people in the gallery if they saw the jury's reaction to the five huge boxes being placed on the prosecution table. Everyone I spoke to said they did not look at the jury. Like me, they were fixated on those boxes themselves.)

TD: You see it now but did Mr. Weinberg tell you that? (There were thousands of pages of emails.) [...] Did Mr. Weinberg tell you there were this many emails?

Dr. S: I didn't know that there were....

TD: Does that change your opinion?

Dr. S: I'm glad I didn't have to read them.

TD: You do mean her emails [...] is what is most important to you?

Dr. S: It is the most important.

Weinberg is leaning back in his chair, chewing on the arm of his spectacles.

Truc Do brings up the fact that there wasn't a single email written in the last two months of her life that had any depressive or negative statements in them.

I'm not sure if it's at this point, but at one point, Truc Do goes over Lana's DMV report with Dr. Seiden and that medical report about auto accidents from Dr. Kudrow that mention concussions. The three items on her DMV report were minor moving infractions such as turning left on a no left turn. Truc Do confronts Dr. Seiden with the fact that if he had interviewed Lana's sister, Fawn, he would have found out that one accident, Lana wasn't even driving. And that if he had spoken to Mrs. Clarkson, he would have found out that another accident, Lana was rear-ended. She then asks him if put the DMV report and Dr. Kudrow's report together and came up with his opinion that she was a reckless person. He admits that's what the records suggested. She then asks him that, knowing what he knows now, that would tend to negate his opinion that she was a reckless driver? Dr. Seiden agrees.

Truc Do then asks Dr. Seiden if it would be helpful to him if he knew what Lana was doing in the last days of her life. Some of the information is new to him. He did not receive it from Mr. Weinberg.

She then confronts him with an article he wrote in conjunction with another individual and this article was conveniently left off of his CV that was provided to the prosecution.

Glancing over at Rachelle, her eyes are closed.

Truc Do then goes over with Dr. Seiden a "scale" he helped develop for suicide ideation.

When Truc is going over everything he considered as far as Lana's writings, he also offered, "I also considered something that's not admissible." (Unforkin' believeable! I can't believe he said this!)

TD: Objection!

Fidler strikes the statement from the record.

The afternoon break is called. A trial watcher tells me at the break they overheard Mommy say to a Spector fan, "She's just trying to turn everything around." A black man with a type of ID badge that tells me he's probably a detective with the Sheriff's office comes in and greets Jackson and Truc, who gives him a hug. I note that the supporters that came in the afternoon today are a different lot than the people who came yesterday.

3:06 pm: The jury is called and a few minutes later, Fidler takes the bench.

TD: When you said you could not rule out suicide, you did not take into consideration the physical evidence?

Dr. S: No. (I'm not qualified to review it.) I was asked to (review) areas of my expertise.

TD: You did not consider the statements of other people at the scene?

Dr. S: No I did not.

TD: And you did not consider the history of, and the impulsivity of the other individual involved at the scene?

DW: Objection! Sidebar!

After the sidebar, Judge Fidler releases the jurors for the day. He orders them back Monday morning at 9:30 am. Jackson states there is another matter to address outside the jury's presence, so Fidler stays on the bench. Spector and his group leave. It's now that Fidler states he will need to review the transcript and audio tape of Dr. Seiden's interview with Jackson and Truc Do.

The discussion with the court is about scheduling. It's now that Weinberg states in regards to Punkin Pie, "That's questionable whether she will be called now or another time. I will let counsel know, tomorrow." Fidler states that if it turns out that we wrap up on Monday, he suggests that "We would use that time to work on jury instructions." Jackson states that he has a rebuttal witness that can only testify on Monday.

And that's it. Court is adjourned.

I want to add here that I still will try to get Truc Do's cross of Dr. Lakshmanan finished sometime soon. I'm also working on getting an entry up that is a transcript of all the statements Spector made in the presence of LE at his home and at the Alhambra Police Station. A thoughtful T&T reader has transcribed a few of the reports into simple text form for me. Once I get a few more of the officer's reports transcribed over, I will put that entry up.

I also wanted to tell you that I came across a photogrpaher's Flickr page of photographs that were taken at the end first trial. There are photos of Spector, Rachelle, Dominick Dunne, Beth Karas and a few others.


Christine said...

Sprocket, thanks for another interesting entry. As I'm not too familiar with trial procedure, what is next? There is the rebuttal, with witnesses from the prosecution, and then does Weinberg get to put on more witnesses?

Sprocket said...

Christine: What coms next?

We first have to finish with Dr. Seiden and call Goldenson. However, AJ informed the court that he has a rebuttal witness (as part of his rebuttal case) who can only come on Monday. I bet Fidler let's this witness testify out of order since Weinberg is almost finished with his case-in-chief.

There was even some discussion that if they are waiting on a witness (such as Dr. Loftus who can't come until Thursday, earliest) Fidler suggested they get started working on jury instructions in the interim.

Anonymous said...

I assume there is no court today (Friday). There was some discussion of holding court today.

Ashley said...

If AJ starts his rebuttal and Punkin Pie testifies after he has started, does he get to bring someone else in to rebutt her or something if he call one of Lana's friends before she testifes?

Anonymous said...

Ashley brings up a good point.

If DW calls Pie during his sur-rebuttal case, does AJ still get a chance to present a rebuttal witness to her?

Anonymous said...


Based on the video link you posted, it looks as though PS is somewhat dazed, and like he is being led around by RS. Can you provide any more insight, since you see him in person regularly?

Anonymous said...

What happended to Dr. Loftus?

Second, assuming that the Monday rebuttal witness is Lisa Bloom, the defense could wait to call Pie in sur rebuttal--giving Pie the last word.

The prosecution is tipping its hand by calling Bloom (Gloria Alred's daugher) to the stand during the defense case, becase it allows the defense to hold Pie back and guarentee that she can testify in sur rebuttal.

Otherwise, if they held Pie back, the prosecution to elect to not call rebuttal witnesses. Then no Pie.

Anonymous said...

March 6, 2009 11:31 AM

The answer is, if he calls his suicide retuttal W (Lisa Bloom) out of order, NO.

In addition, any reuttal witnesses would ahve to have somthing to offer that they have not aleardy said.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Is there any word that Lisa Bloom is the "out of order" witness or is that just a guess? Now is where "gamesmanship" really takes on a role more than ever.


LinZbee said...

OK, where have I been? I have completely missed the fact that Lisa Bloom is going to be a rebuttal witness. Can someone explain what she is to testify about? Have I forgotten something from the first trial or this one? I am totally blank on this.

Anonymous said...

Lisa Bloom is being brought in (out of order) by the prosecution to disrupt the defense case and as rebuttal to Sims.

My guess is that Bloom will say that Sims never mentioned that Clarkson was suicidal and, to the contrary, that Sims thought Spector was guilty.

If a trial involves famous people expect Gloria Allred or her daughter Lisa Bloom to figue out a way to say somthing to be in the news.

Anonymous said...

If Dr. Loftus does testify, I wonder if the DA can mention the lawsuit against her---and for that matter, the fact that she was a hired gun for Menendez Bros, Ted Bundy, and M. Jackson---three people who were convicted and one who should have been. Those first 3 men killed about 25-30 people combined; it is hard to imagine being willing to go on record on their behalf (especially if you were not involved in the investigations).

Sprocket said...

I'm still working on Wednesday's direct of Dr. Seiden. I hope to get that completed tonight. Then I'll get what little I have of Thursdays cross up over the weekend. Real life responsibilities do take over once Thursday comes for me.

Court on Friday:

There was no court today.

Rebuttal cases:

I'm not sure how it works beyond the defense sur-rebuttal. In any rebuttal, my understanding is, you can "only" address/refute what was in the prior case before it. For example, the prosecution can only address what was in the defense case. They can not bring in something totally different that the defense did not raise. Same with sur-rebuttal. The defense can only address what was in the prosecution's rebuttal case. I will ask on Monday how far this can extend.

Insight into Phil Spector:

The only observation I can add is, that Rachelle does hold onto Spector's arm when she is with him, coming and going into court. She is by his side, 99% of the time. I will say that I have seen Spector move quite fast when he needs to, unaided. I'm thinking of the time he rushed into 106 thinking the start time was 9:30 am but it was moved back to 10:30 am. He came into court pretty fast.

Prosecution's Monday rebuttal witness:

I have no idea who this will be. After Greg Sims testified, I speculated that the prosecution might call Lisa Bloom but I have no knowledge if that is true or not.

Understand, that Greg Sims testified that Lisa is/was a good friend of his. She is his neighbor who attended his wedding. Remember, he was asked on cross examination if he had a conversation with Ms. Bloom "before and after" he testified. Sims at first said he did not, but after AJ asked him again, he said that he might have had a short conversation with her.

What do these questions that AJ asked Sims tell you?

I don't believe that Lisa Bloom or her mother have personally tried to inject themselves into this case. However, IF by some chance the prosecution does call her to the stand, you can bet we will learn how it was that she came to testify. In other words, who contacted whom.

Pie or no Pie:

You have to understand that IF the defense does not call Pie to the stand as part of their case-in-chief OR their rebuttal, that means that any testimony that mentions Pie, or anything Pie said gets tossed. Do you see that? So, I think Mr. Weinberg will move heaven and earth to get her on the stand.

Out of order witnesses

Mr. Jackson made it clear that the "only day" the next witness could testify was Monday. Weinberg's case is almost finished. So, I don't see one rebuttal witness as a big disruption to Weinberg's case-in-chief, since it's almost finished. That's just my opinion. Others might have a different view.

There is only one short witness left after Seiden; Ms. Loftus can't testify until earliest Thursday. Fidler did state that if they don't have any more witnesses until Loftus, they would use the time on jury instructions. I believe both parties agreed.

Liz said...

Sprocket - many thanks. I just listened to the radio interview - love those 5 boxes of emails - but I still find it so invading to think that folks other than the intended recipients have the right to read one's private correspondence - just because you are a victim. These trials have caused much grief to many.

In regard to Punkin Pie - perhaps the fact that Jennifer has not spoken to her since the last trial - is an indicator that Pie may not be around to testify(pure speculation on my part.)

Sedonia Sunset said...

Did Tattoo Boy (aka the younger paramedic) testify this time around? If so, did he at least wear long pants and long sleeves this time? He was pretty combative in the first trial and his extensive tattoos made him look like a gang member.

Anonymous said...

Do you think Dr. Loftus will testify to false memories, or that eyewitness testimony can be false. I noticed in researching her that she wrote a book and it had something to do with eyewitness testimony being unreliable.


Anonymous said...

I will be shocked if the defense does something smart by NOT calling Pie in this trial, she is less credible than Hayes-Riedl!

Sprocket, many thanks for your fantastic coverage.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sprocket, absolutely love your excellent reporting!

I see a discrepancy in Greg Sims testimony. GS testified that he told Lisa Bloom about Lana BEFORE she went to work for CourtTV. Lisa started at CTV in 2001 and Greg’s hotel party was a few weeks (?) before Lana was murdered in Feb 2003... so I’d say Lisa already had her own TV show at the time of Lana’s death and Greg was fibbing to not look like a media hound. Does it matter that he was lying about this? Surely he knew if Lisa was at CTV when he told her, LOL.

Thanks so much,

REF from Feb 25th:

DW: Did you tell anybody besides Pie?
GS: In the immediate days, no. [...] I might have discussed (it) with my wife.
DW: Did you discuss (it with anyone) later? [...] Was it your intention to get involved in this case? [...] Did you get involved prior?
GS: One of the people I talked to was my friend LISA BLOOM. At that time, she was not working for Court TV. (Later) she became an anchor on Court TV [...] and her producer called me. [...] At the time (it happened) I think she was working for her mother's law firm.

Sprocket said...

Dr. Loftus:

I'm not sure what she is going to testify about. Weinberg did not reference Adriano De Souza's testimony, he referenced Detective Tomlin's testimony.

Greg Sims:

What you pointed out is probably correct. He is incorrect about when she went to work for Court TV. Here is another possibility. Greg Sims states that when he first told Lisa Bloom about the incident, she was not working at Court TV at the time. What if this statement is true. That would mean the party where Lana cried was before Lisa Bloom went to work for Court TV in 2001, and not in January 2003.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, you rock!

I have a different timeline question. It's about the event leading up to JHR testifying. Am I right that it starts with her tagging along on an interview Pie had with the defense? How long after Lana's death was this? Did Pie contact the defense to set this up? So after this meeting, JHR and Pie went out for drinks at the Backstage with the defense investigator?

Thanks for all your good work. I check the blog often, looking for your update!

Sprocket said...

As far as my updates go, I'll be working on them today inbetween clients, housekeeping and laundry. Sometimes, real life gets in the way of my blogging.

The first meeting of Pie and Hayes Riedl happened at a restaurant in late December, 2005. She claims that when Pie asked her to accompany her to the restaurant, she did NOT know that it was for an interview with a defense investigator. (So, supposedly, Pie did not tell her where they were going, or why. She just went.) The interview lasted at least five hours. They stayed until the restaurant closed.

There has been no testimony (that I know of) that states Pie initiated this meeting. I'm guessing that Tyndall contacted Pie, and Pie agreed to the meeting.

The second meeting Hayes Riedl had with Tyndall was at her home, in January 2006. Pie was not there. That meeting lasted five hours. At that meeting Hayes Riedl invited Tyndall to the Backstage Cafe.

Anonymous said...

why didn't nillie hudson not testify?

Sprocket said...

Nili Hudson:

Nili was a rebuttal witness in the prosecution's case last year. It is expected she will be a rebuttal witness again.

It was the defense strategy to suggest Lana was a depressed person who, in the right circumstances took the opportunity of a loaded gun to kill herself.

To counter that defense, the prosecution then brings on in rebuttal, a witness to give a different perspective on Ms. Clarkson's character. It would not help the prosecution's strategy to bring this witness on in their case-in-chief. Otherwise, they would have to bring on a different witness in rebuttal, that would be bring in new testimony. See?

Anonymous said...

Hey Sprocket – I now see why Weinberg needs Pie to testify, thanks for the explanation. I guess DW doesn’t have much choice in whom to call since there isn’t an abundance of Lana’s “friends” who will lie and say she was suicidal.

Barry said...

Hi, Sprocket!

During the two days court was dark, I went back and reread some the material that had been printed about Lana Clarkson before the first trial.

A number of people had stated that Lana HATED guns. Yet JHR states that Lana used to go to the gun range and practice. It would seem that would be an easy statement to disprove, if it is untrue. And if it is untrue, it would seem a major blow to the defense. Any thoughts?

Sprocket said...

The tattooed paramedic:

Has not been called to testify. I do not believe Mr. Weinberg is going to call him.

Beverly Hills Gun Club

The Beverly Hills Gun club closed years ago. I doubt there are any records anywhere to verify or dispute this.

The name was free and clear for some time and someone just registered it again, that has a blog. Here's a link that goes into that, briefly. Link broken up to post in Blogger's comment box.


I'm getting close to getting up the rest of my notes for Thursdays direct and cross of Dr. Seiden. I have about 16 more pages to transcribe.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your wonderful coverage of this trial. Since Phil Spector had his throat surgery have you noticed he is able to speak any better? Thank you again and keep up the good work.

Sprocket said...

Spector's voice

It's not clear whether or not he had throat surgery or not. The words that were told to me that the court clerk said happened, were "oral surgery."

I've not been close enough to Spector to hear his voice lately. I do try to stay a reasonable distance away.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like Ms Do really tore him up on cross.....I am not sure why the judge needs to hear a tape or see a transcript, the damage to the defense is done---again!
And the jury is winkin' and laughin' and grinnin'.....I think they have long-ago seen thru this smokescreen.

Anonymous said...

*(revised by E.D.-links adj to fit blog)*

Hi Sprocket, thank you for the updates! You write so beautifully and your detail has us sitting right next to you in that courtroom, it is so very much appreciated!

Do you think AJ will recall Greg Sims to challenge his statement that Lisa Bloom was not working at CourtTV when he told her about Lana? Or is he already pretty much impeached?

This shows Lisa covering a trial for CourtTV in 2001; I looked it up to verify she was at CTV back then:

Thanks again!
Elizabeth Davis

P.S. Did you know Lisa is leaving TruTV to move back to California? This article came out Jan 9 but I just saw it:

Anonymous said...

The Dr. had to know the question would come up: what past statistics or examples of a suicide in a strangers home...and he has nothing. It is a kind of self-sabotage, putting these experts and "friends" up there, again and again, who imploded under the pressure of well-researched DA questions.

I predict that Ms Do will do the cross of Pie (assuming she makes it to court)and the results will be more of the same, and you would think the defendant would be feeling a little hopeless by now. He is probably the only realistic-thinking person at that table.

Sprocket said...

The tape:

The tape needs to be transcribed to "prove" (to Fidler) the Dr. said one set of "facts" to the prosecution in their interview, and another set of "facts" on the witness stand.

The tape impeaches the doctor.

The prosecution will not recall Greg Sims. He won't be changing his testimony. The person to call to "possibly" impeach him would be Lisa Bloom. I do not know if they will be calling her or not.

Lisa Bloom was working for CTV in 2001 as a trial correspondent. But did she have her own regular show back then? Yes, I had heard that Ms. Bloom is leaving CTV to spend more time with her family that's based here. My understanding is her last day has not been determined yet.

Truc's cross examination:

Truc did a terrific job. She did her homework. I believe she read everything out there that the doctor had ever published, as well as a lot of the writings of his peers. She knew her material and had prepared an excellent cross.

There were several times, during cross, where Dr. Seiden would get sidetracked on the stand, where he would go off on a tangent. Truc had to keep bringing him back to the question and to "focus." The witness questioned, at times whether he actually said what Truc said he did. He wanted to hear the tape. She had to say to him a few times "we'll get to the tape Dr., focus on my question."

The impression that came to my mind was an absent minded professor.

Understand that there was quite a bit more to this cross that I did not document. I was enjoying it so much towards the end of the day I stopped taking notes. But I think the main points were, Truc pointed out to the jury that he only relied on:

1. The 30 police interviews that the DA's investigators did

2. 30 emails that the defense provided

3. Lana's medical records

And all of those items, he didn't receive until "after" he spoke to Truc and AJ!!!

Be aware that the first cross is not done yet!

Fidler still has to rule if Truc can cross him on the behavior and history of Spector!

Remember, he testified under direct that he has published on drug and alcohol abuse. If Fidler rules that he can be crossed on the subject of Spector's behavior and "impulsivity", watch this witness be used to support the prosecution's case.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sprocket,

Thanks for providing such a delicious meal for your loyal readers!

I wonder if you would like to speculate what Dr. Seiden might have meant when he said he even
"considered something inadmissable"?

Thanks in advance


Anonymous said...


I wait with anticipation for your reports and updates. You are doing a great job...Now my question...Do you worry about the " conduct " of the two jurists that are winking and whispering to each other during court?

Linda in Tx

Sprocket said...

The inadmissible item

I know exactly what this is. It's the document that has been called a "diary" that was found on Lana's computer. The last time that Lana accessed this document on her computer was 2001. If I'm remembering correctly, I don't think it was clear from the way it was written when she started it or the time period it covered. It was written more like a "story" and not like a diary with listed dates and entries. So, even if the last time she "accessed" it in 2001, I don't believe they could prove she was writing about a time in her life covering the period of 2001. In fact, I believe the time period it covers is many years earlier.

Fidler ruled last year (and most likely this year in pretrial motions) that it was inadmissible. It was too remote in time in relation to the event. I remember last year, Chris Plourd trying to think of an argument at the bench to support it's admittance and stumbling. He couldn't think of a good reason why it should be admitted.

Interesting that Weinberg sent him that document to review when he knew that it couldn't be discussed and interesting that the witness made a point on the stand, in front of the jury that he read something "inadmissible."

This was one of the things that supports my view that he's not courtroom savvy as an expert witness.

Juror's communicating"

The jurors are allowed to talk to each other. They do spend time in the jury room. I don't see anything wrong with exchanging smiles, looks, laughing in the jury box. If Fidler noticed anything inappropriate, he would address it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Sprocket.

AJ and Truc Do are incredible attorneys. The work they have put into this trial is unbelievable, and the clarity of the cross examination is most impressive. If they had been on the OJ case I wonder if it might have been different? Poor Marcia Clark was so incredibly boring.

It seems they are totally shredding each defense witness in turn, mainly because the defense witnesses have charged megabucks and then appear to have done little actual work or preparation. I can't imagine not reviewing and making sure of your previous testimony in a case. Sure you might state something a bit differently, but major things -- that completely ruins their credibility.

Fascinating stuff and very well written by you, our devoted scribe. I think that Jackson and Do are doing their part to make the justice system better.

Also, I do think Weinberg still thinks he can prevail by his legal obfuscation, muddying the waters and endless arguments.

The judge is also brilliant and able to control himself most of the time. I know Weinberg is trying to make him lose it. It's quite a drama.

It's probably good that it wasn't televised, otherwise, my work would have suffered! Though a videotape of the trial might be a real teaching tape for a lot of law schools.

Best, Christine

Anonymous said...

Again, Weinberg is not as smart as he thinks he is, and the jurors are a lot smarter than he thinks they are.

Justice will prevail; Spector is going down. And with it, Weinberg's reputation.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for you excellent reporting. I have spent the last few days reading your blog from the beginning. I too wondered why no TV or news coverage.

I have made a small donation to Scout Kitty's recovery fund. Thanks for providing a way to show our appreciation of your dedication and sacrifice in a tangible way.

Good JOB!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Sprocket for your great reporting on this case. I wanted to let you know that although your court dates after March 6 are listed I am unable to click on them to access. Is there a problem with getting into them?

Thank you again. Cheryl, CO