Saturday, April 18, 2009

Phil Spector: The Wrongful Death Suit by the Clarkson Family

Good morning everyone. Let me tell you about my day yesterday.

I got up (for me) gawd awfully early at 6 am. I knew there was supposed to be a status conference that morning in the civil case at 8:30 am. I had no idea how bad traffic would be driving to Pasadena so I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get there. I left the house at 7:11 am but I didn't need to worry. There was virtually no traffic and I arrived in Pasadena 20 minutes later. I chatted with donchais the entire way, catching up on the latest news.

I am somewhat familiar with the general area since my sewing machine repair shop is in Pasadena on Colorado Blvd. Still, I got a google map print out of where the courthouse was located. The Pasadena Courthouse is located at 300 E. Walnut, in Pasadena. The back of the building buts up next to Pasadena City Hall and across the street on Walnut is the local Public Library. All of these stone buildings have an old feel to them. The parking lot is about one block away and costs only $7.00 for all day. This is a more reasonable parking fee, reminiscent of the time I spent at the Van Nuys Courthouse attending the Robert Blake trial.

At first, I had trouble locating the exact building. The courthouse is currently under renovation, and I initially drove past it at first because I thought it was abandoned building with all the scaffolding around the exterior. I asked people I saw on the street exactly where I needed to go and found the public entrance with no problem.

This is a small, older court building with six floors. There was no line at the small security station and I passed through easily. The lobby is very tiny, too, more like a doctor's building or small bank branch. There was a free standing three foot square, glassed in display in the center of the lobby with the location of different departments on all four sides. Reading all sides of the display, I found Judge Jan A. Pluim's court. Department P was located on the second floor and I took the elevator up.

Once on the second floor, I had to go down a maize of several corridors before I reached Department P. I think where I ended up, I was in an annex of the building; I'm still not sure. The courthouse was relatively quiet and there was no one in the hall waiting.

When I entered the last corridor, Department P was the first courtroom on my left. The hallway was narrow, similar to an office building and not the wide space I've been used to in the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The scuffed, hallway flooring was a light brown square tile and the noticeably worn walls were old paneling. The sprayed ceiling was that old cottage cheese stuff you often find in apartments. The doors to the courtroom led directly inside. There was no ante chamber. When I arrived, there were these little signs hung inside, blocking the tiny rectangular windows that said "Court In Recess."

I took note of the hard sturdy benches lining both sides of the hallway. Imagine the letter H short and squat and the middle cross bar stretched out about eight feet long. That was their shape. The seat was made of three long planks of thick wood approximately 6" wide with the center plank stained a darker color than the rest of the wood. The front edge of the benches were strengthened with wood that looked like two by fours. There were a couple different style benches that were built attached to the walls. You could tell they were there when the walls and floor were finished because the black vinyl trim along the bottom of the walls extended around them.

Outside of each courtroom to the right was a bulletin board and a computer print out of the cases that would be heard that day. All the times listed for each case were the same: 8:30 am. The Clarkson's case was number twenty out of twenty-four listed. I wondered how long that would take to get to their case. As I waited, I read what the printout said to donchais. Product liability case. Motor vehicle. Medical malpractice. Breach of contract. Several of the cases, including the Clarkson case had the following, either PIPD/WD or PI/PD/WD. I'm guessing the PI stands for "personal injury" and the WD might mean "wrongful death." Also beside the Clarkson listing was the original filing date of the claim. February 2nd, 2005. The very last text along the bottom of Clarkson's listing was C/F 12-08-08. 3-03-09. 4-03-09. Those appear to be extension dates since the April 3rd date matched the one on the most recent motion filing by Taylor & Ring, the Clarkson's co-counsel for the hearing for today.

It wasn't until I was already in Pasadena that I closely read the motion and it said, "telephonic Status Conference." So I might be listening to the attorney's speak to the Judge over the phone. All this time, I'm on the phone describing everything I see to my co-blogger donchais. She's been the best friend anyone could have, supporting me through all the ups and downs I've experienced covering both criminal trials.

An older distinguished looking man, obviously an attorney, appears in the hallway. He takes a seat on the bench I'm on and starts to go over some papers. Not long afterwards, unexpectedly, John Taylor rounds the corner and greets me. He tells me Rod Lindblom is not far behind. Taylor knows the attorney sitting beside me and they chat for a bit about the case this attorney is litigating. I hear him tell Taylor that a young man was ejected from an Explorer, landed on the train tracks and the train ran over his leg. He lost his mother in the same accident. The attorney in the hallway said that he has settled with everyone except the train. It's then that I remember reading on the Judge's calendar for today a listing that included the words "MTA."

Taylor and I enter Department P. It's an old looking courtroom. The Judge's bench is located in the back center with the small witness stand to my left. There is the standard California Seal on the wall behind him with the State flag and the National flag flanking each side of the bench against the far wall. The jury box is on the left and seats 12 jurors. The chairs in the jury box look like an older style, padded, high back office chair. There is no door or area I can see where there might be a jury room behind or near the jury box. Along the far right wall I see two door, and the farthest one in the corner says "private." That might be the door to the Judge's chambers. The table for the defense and prosecution is one long continuous table, just like in Fidler's courtroom, but about half that length. There is a large bulletin board in the far left corner behind the jury box.

Off to the right in the well area (but not against the wall like in Fidler's court) is the clerk's desk. There is another desk area in the front right area of the well. The clerk's desk is interesting. It has these wooden sides around it, hiding the top of it from view. The front part of the desk has a ledge and there are about twenty or more colorful stuffed animals on top of that ledge. I can barely see her face from where I'm sitting the the gallery because of the animals.

The gallery has about eighty-five individual white seats. I think the courtroom might be completely square, or a little deeper than it is wide. There are about ten or more attorney's in the gallery. Some are sitting working on papers, others are chatting and still more are coming and going. I notice that everyone in the gallery is wearing black except me. I'm the only one who looks out of place with my casual jeans and pink knit shirt. Taylor is the only attorney not wearing black. He's wearing a dark blue pinstripe suit. Lindblom enters Department P around 8:19 am.

Taylor and Lindblom are at the clerk's desk and I hear her tell them that the Judge is not here today; he's at a conference. The clerk hands them a thick file and they go over it at the long table in the middle of the well. As they look over the clerk's copy of the motions filed in their case, other attorneys are stopping by the clerks desk to get hearing dates moved. I note that there is no projector screen mounted on the wall to pull down. I do see what looks like an older style projection device in the center of the counsel table. Over on the right wall, sort of near the clerk's desk I see three calendars mounted, just like Wendy had behind her desk. From where I'm sitting I can see that they say at the top, "Los Angeles County," so I'm guessing this is a calendar that is standard use throughout the court system. It's very relaxed in the courtroom right now with the Judge off the bench.

Lindblom and Taylor are finished viewing the file and hand it back to the clerk. It's then that I see in big black letters on the front of the file, "Clarkson vs. Spector." A man enters in a light tan suit and goes up to the clerks desk. Taylor and Lindblom chat with the man in the tan suit. I hear him say something to the effect of, ".... made me schlep over here..." but it is quite friendly banter. I also hear him ask "... how long does he have to file a motin for a new trial?" He appears to be a very friendly man and Lindblom and Taylor appear to get along with him well from what I can see. They shake hands and then the man says, "Just call me; let me know." Then Taylor and Lindblom speak to the clerk again and I can't hear what they are saying.

The next hearing in the civil case is moved to Monday, June 4th right after Spector's sentencing. And that's it. I'm back in my car traveling home by 10 am.

The tan suited man was Chris Sheedy, whose office is located in Glendale. Interestingly, Spector did not actually hire Sheedy. Spector's first attorney to handle the civil case was an attorney he used in dealing with settlements he had with Ronnie Spector. After that attorney, another group of attorney's was assigned to the civil case; the same one's Spector used to successfully sue Michelle Blaine. However, Spector did not fully pay their bill in that case. They petitioned the judge and got removed as defense counsel. Spector then tendered his defense to his homeowners policy, to defend him on the wrongful death suit. It was Alstate Insurance who hired Sheedy. Now you have to wonder if this attorney has even met Spector, since Spector did not retain him.

Up until the criminal case came to a verdict, there has been what is called a "stay" on the civil case. That means that the nothing could move forward; people could not be deposed or investigations into Spector's finances were halted. All that has changed now. It's my understanding that Taylor and Lindblom made a conscious decision to step back and let the criminal trial proceed. They did not try to make contact with any witnesses or involve themselves in that case. With the criminal trial over (except for sentencing), their job finally starts.

Although this case was filed in Pasadena, it will not be heard by this judge. Most cases in these tiny branch courthouses only last for a couple weeks, maybe three at the most. his Handling a long case such as this in a branch court would affect the calendar of cases this court usually handles. It's my understanding that once depositions and discovery have been completed, the branch Judge makes a decision and the case is transferred to downtown Los Angeles to the "long cause matters" division. There are Judge's in downtown that specifically handle long cases of this type. The case could be heard in one of two places; the Stanley Mosk Courthouse at First and Grand near the music center, or at the Central Civil West Courthouse on a few floors of an office building. Both of these locations are near mass transit and would be easy to get to. Judge Pluim will handle all the pretrial until then, such as evidentiary disputes to obtain information and depositions. If Taylor and Lindblom are lucky, the civil trial could start around the beginning of 2010.

Many people have speculated that Spector will have to take the stand in the civil trial. That's not necessarily true. As long as Spector has an active appeal in his criminal trial he can take the 5th. He could continually appeal in his criminal trial, keeping that 5th Amendment right in play. There are a lot of things that are dynamic in the civil case right now, and until it moves forward with depositions and discovery, it's still too early to say that Spector "has to" take the stand. There is also the possibility that Spector could take the 5th in his civil trial. However, once he invokes that right, he is forever barred from testifying in the civil case, later.

There is another possibility that might delay the civil case. This is all speculation at this point, but consider this. Alstate Insurance could file an action in another court, seeking to be removed from the case. The argument could be that they don't owe Spector a defense for murder, that murder is not something that they are obligated to cover under his homeowners policy. A slip and fall, broken water pipes, sure; but not a murder conviction. We will just have to wait and see what happens. Maybe Spector will have to use that 1 million bond he just got back towards hiring a new defense attorney for the civil case.

Criminal Trial Aftermath
Meanwhile, back in the criminal case, many of you have asked where there might be more online viewing of the press conference once the verdict was reached. I've not found anything online. The most I've seen was April 14th on Tru Tv where Beth Karas gave three reports; once on Lisa Bloom at the end of the program and also on Jamie Floyd's show at the end. Her report on Banfield and Ford was on towards the end of the first hour of that show. What I have done is transcribe all the text from the clips provided within those three shows.

At the presser, Steve Cooley spoke first and then Alan Jackson. After Jackson, John Taylor, counsel for the family spoke. The jury foreperson addressed the press next and Weinberg went last. I've not found any news organization that aired Steve Cooley's statements. One respected reporter (whom I will not name) actually asked Alan Jackson, "What do you think happened that night?" To me, Jackson appeared dumbfounded for a moment that this seasoned reporter who covered the first case asked that question, then summed his answer similar to his closing argument.

Part of Jackson's statement is as follows:

"Any murder case is difficult. Every murder case, is difficult. We're talking about peoples' lives that are on the line. The, The victim went through something, [pause] very difficult quite frankly. The defendant is facing something very difficult. That is not lost on jurors.

When you impanel twelve people to decide the fate of somebody based on facts, for which they were not privy to until you present them in a courtroom, and the defense has their opportunity to present facts that are sometimes in opposite of that, it's difficult. These are difficult decisions, with, um, broad reaching ramification. That's what I mean when I say this is difficult."

When a reporter pressed Jackson about the cost of the trial from the prosecution's perspective, this is what Beth Karas reported he said. "You know, justice doesn't have a price tag. This office is going to pursue what ever it takes for justice, no matter the cost."

John Taylor, on behalf of the family: "The family is pleased with the verdict. The family is pleased that the jury rejected the distortion and trashing of Lana Clarkson's life, which was a part of this trial, the past trial and (has) been going on now for six years. Actions have consequences. Mr. Spector has to face, the consequences of his acts. There's no joy here today. It's a tragedy, um, but he has to face the consequences of his acts. The family cannot make any statements beyond that because of the ongoing civil case."

The foreperson for the jury spoke next. There were many questions peppered to her by reporters, specifically if there was "one piece" of evidence that stood out. She deflected all those questions by simply repeating that they reviewed all the evidence, and it was all the evidence in total that they considered in rendering their verdict. One out of the loop reporter asked the foreperson Towards the end of the presser, she became emotional and that's the portion of the clip that most news organizations have shown.

"This entire jury, took this so seriously. And I don't think there could have been [pause] another set of eleven people, who really, really listened to everything. [pause] We reviewed everything. [pause] And could not have been more, [pause] painful, [pause] in our decision. And, absolutely, [pause] nothing to do with Mr. Weinberg's ability. (She then turned to Mr. Weinberg and looked at him addressing him.) You were awesome. It just is [a] painful decision and 'til anybody is in our shoes, you have no idea. It's tough to be on a jury. And especially a jury of what we had to decide."

Reporter: Can you talk about why it was so painful and hard (for you)?

"Because you're talking about another human being. [pause] And, um, we all have hearts. We all have people we love. And you try to really, really evaluate another human being. And it's really difficult."

Doron Weinberg spoke next. He was flanked by Jennifer Barringer and their assistant/clerk, Tran Smith.

"I don't think justice was done today. I have an enormous amount of respect for this jury. As I said to them in, in my closing argument. It's hard to imagine a group of people taking a case more seriously, giving it more careful consideration, um, and, trying to do the best, honest job that they could. "

I have no doubt that the jury did that with complete integrity and complete honesty. But I've, in all candor, I think that they came to the wrong result. Not only because I don't believe Phil Spector murdered Lana Clarkson, but also because I'm very, very certain that under the proper legal standard, that, his guilt was not proven, not nearly proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

Questions were asked of Weinberg as to what he was specifically referring to.

"Well, I think, I think the most important ruling is probably the most highly contested ruling in the case and that is the admissibility of the evidence of, ah, um, from the five women who testified. We believe that, analytically, there's absolutely no legal basis for the admissibility of that evidence. But once the framework was set, with those five witnesses, and they were the heart of the prosecution's case, that's what they led off with, once that framework was set, it was extremely difficult for Mr. Spector to get a fair trial."

Beth Karas has indicated during her report that an appeal does not hold up the civil case. There is a possibility that Spector's civil attorney could argue before Judge Pluim that the civil case cannot go forward while there is an active appeal in the criminal case. We will just have to wait and see.

Criminal Trial Media Reports
Here are some more links to media coverage of the criminal case. Here is a report out of Australia. There is a video report also on the page. Just click the link listed on the right. Author Mick Brown is interviewed in this video clip link. The LA Weekly has an unusual piece on Leonard Cohen's Phrophecy contained in his album, Death of a Ladies' Man. If I find any new interesting reports I'll add them here.

I just have an small afterthought commentary on the Associated Press reporting. If you read Linda Deutsch's report, on the verdict and presser, she does not accurately quote the Clarkson family attorney, John Taylor.


katfish said...

Thanks for letting us know about the civil case. I find it unbelievable that Spector expects his homeowners insurance to cover his criminal act. My guess is that Allstate will contest that....and the Clarkson family still waits.IMO Allstate should contest that claim.

After following links you posted in your last entry about Spector, I noticed there is a lot
of "flack" out there about Alan Jackson's answer [at the pressor] about the cost of the trial from the prosecution's perspective. Jackson said, "You know, justice doesn't have a price tag. This office is going to pursue what ever it takes for justice, no matter the cost."

Some folks complained that Jackson had made such an "issue" about the fees Spector paid for his defense, it was wrong for him to make this statement.
IMO, those fees would not have become so much of an issue had the "experts" not testified in such a deceitful way, ie. Michael Baden's aha moment, Spitz's downright misrepresentation of human pyshiology, D'Maio the "expert" of everything, James Pex's perjury on the stand, not to mention the Henry Lee debacle. IMO, their testimony made it neccessary to point out why they might testify in such a deceitful way.
Mr. Weinberg was free to point out that the state has unlimited resources and why their experts might hold bias.

Sorry this turned out so long, I guess I should have done an entry on it. LOL

Anonymous said...

Betsy, thanks so much for all this detail. I too believe that Allstate will try to be removed, the same way insurance companies in some of those priest-molestation cases refused to pay: the acts that took place were not part of what they were insuring against. Certainly the aim is to hit PS personally, not some insurance company. And yes, the insurance companies just assign an atty, Spector would not have met him necessarily. By the way, is the court ante chamber like a vestibule in a church?

The criminal cases are interesting enough but I think the civil cases can be trickier in how the defendants often dodge the consequences, or the judgement. Robert Blake comes to mind, I don't know what, if anything, he has paid on his judgement, especially in light of the bankruptcy filing. I fully expect PS to file b/k as well, before this is all over. I also wonder about "freezing" ---as well as finding--all possible assets. And, whether the houses will revert to the lender, and boy, what a mess all this entanglement can make before the dust settles. If he has some suits about unpaid royalties now pending, those will multiply as well, I think that is safe to predict.

I looked at the attorneys' website,, they appear to be very heavy hitters in these types of cases, and I would not want to be on the opposite end of a case that they are pursuing. The Rachelle campaign to counter-act by writing your elected officials and wrangling interviews is futile and amateurish in the extreme. She would do well to get a savvy divorce attorney and get out while the gettin' is good.

For anyone interested, the criminal trial of Anthony Marshall, son of NY philantropist Brooke Astor (regarding looting her estate)is scheduled to start next week. To my knowledge, there is no "Sprocket" on the case, but if anyone spots a sharp blogger on it, please share the info. Thanks.
Wes J.

shari said...

Allstate Insurance must be lovin' this dilemma. I wonder how quick they will try to put the responsibility onto someone else. Phil must be out of dough by now. He owes soooo many people money.

Anonymous said...

Those Australians need to get their facts straight: Spector was not part of Motown...that was Barry Gordy. And did PS use illicit drugs? I don't recall that.

Lana was not an "aspiring" actress, she had made movies 20 yrs prior. The trash-talk continues...

ritanita said...

Sprocket, you are a real trooper. Thanks for taking us to Pasadena and a glimpse of the civil case.

Harvey isn't exactly in "Good Hands" with his homeowner's policy. I sincerely doubt they insure murder convictions/civil liability lawsuits.

Since Spector needs $$ to fund his appeal over the next few years (sounds good to say that), he has to have some liquid assets.

Since he mortgaged the "castle" to the hilt, it wouldn't surprise me if he skipped out on the payments. What with the curremt real-estate market and the poor maintenance, it is probably a tear-down anyway. The property is probably worth more without it.

Mrs. Spector will probably be looking for new digs in a few months... What she finds could be very revealing of her current financial status.

Anonymous said...

I have been wondering if Spector will simply default, or refuse to contest the wrongful death suit. My understanding is the judge would then enter a default judgement against him.

Some think O.J. Simpson would have been better off if he had done this. If he had, the civil trial would not have taken place, with the effective presentation of the evidence by the plaintiff's attorneys. Simpson would have probably been better off defaulting, but his arrogance made him fight the civil case.

I expect the pretrial activity in the wrongful death case will go on for a long time.

David From TN

Anonymous said...

If Whineberg has such respect for the jury, why did he trash them the very next day to an LA Times reporter by calling them "unprincipled?"

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sprocket. You are amazing!!! If the Clarksons lawyers don't free Phil's assets there will be nothing left by the time the case gets to court. He probably knew this was coming and hid the valuables a long time ago just like O J did. What keeps Rachelle from holding a yard sale? Someone might pick up a good deal on a Rolls or some wigs. Are they holding a party at Phil's house this weekend?

Toni - St. Louis said...

I think since Spector was found guilty, you'll see the insurance company bowing out. I think they are only responsible if they can prove it's some kind of "accident" that happened on his property. Since Spector has been found "guilty" (Yeah!!!) - I'm sure that All State will be able to find an out to any homeowner policy. Too bad he can't get the death penalty and Lana's family could get "his" life insurance.

Anonymous said...

I just read an article by the tour manager for the Ramones at, and yes, PS did apparently do drugs tho' not specified what kind. (GoldMine is a tabloid-sized magazine about classic rock artists and record collector ads and related).
The interview mentions wigs even back then, guess he was anticipating the need.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the Clarkson attorneys will mind the insurance co bowing out, that's not who they are after anyway. They are likely expecting it as a matter of routine.

I know Rachelle has nerves of steel but I don't see how she stands living alone in a great big spook-house like that place. Here's hoping she hears creepy noises in the DEAD of the night.

Liz said...

Hi Sprocket

Many thanks for so much information in one post. The insurance angle was most unexpected - but so typical of a man who has so much difficulty being responsible for his own actions.

I find it rather easy to assume who is the "respected reporter" who asked the dumb question of Alan Jackson - but as you appear to not want the name on your blog, I will refrain from further comment.

Rather a shame the complete press conference is not available.

Liz said...

Forgot to mention - in regard to John Taylor's reported statement

"The family is pleased that the jury rejected distortions of Lana Clarkson's life" should have been

The family is pleased that the jury rejected distortions and trashing of Lana Clarkson's life"

(split the link to fit it on a line)

Sprocket said...

Civil Case Defense:I expect the homeowners insurance policy will bow out as soon as they can. They just have to write a convincing motion to a judge to have them removed.

There appears to be a question about Spector's age. The LA Co. Sheriff's at their web site for the jail has Spector's year of birth at 1939.

Just check out their stats on the inmate to verify it.

katfish said...

I thought Spector's birthday is December 26, 1939. That is what Wikipedia says.
I remember on I.S. Gary and Louis discussed it one day. They said it is easy to confuse his age because his birthday is so late in the year.

Anonymous said...

It's been a wonderful week, each day reflecting on tiny Phil locked up in segregation and studied like the rat he is, making sure he doesn't kill himself.

This detestable creature who luxuriated in a completely hedonistic life for decades now has to dwell in a cage. I can see him shaking, and feel his anger and rage.

Even though he is undoubtedly medicated, it is on their terms, not his own discretion. He can't pop extra xanax or synergize his drugs with alcohol.

I hope he focuses on his young shallow bride now free to enjoy the lifestyle he entitled her to when he married her in an attempt to be perceived as anything but an old lecherous disgusting loser.

Between the gold-digger stripper, the family of the woman he murdered, his lawyers and debts, all he has to look forward to is being ruined, impoverished, disgraced, loathed, and forgotten.

Personally, I hated his stupid wall of sound, like Paul McCartney. Back in the Fred Flintsone days of music, it was a novelty, but, genius? Negative. Overrated? Heck yea.

There seems to finally be order in the universe, as far as this nobody is concerned. He should have remained a nobody throughout his rotten life. Too bad he ever got the impression he mattered.

Anonymous said...

Re the insurance claim. If he says he'd pay it himself that would indicate that he's admitting guilt. "It was an accident" or "She committed suicide" is Spector's mantra.

It's hard not to know how things are going with him now that he's shut away, nor are there any other reports. But on the other hand a great relief to believe that justice does work.

Thanks again for everything Sprocket.

Best, Christine

Anonymous said...

It certainly is interesting isn't it? "The beat goes on". PS just will not admit culpability. As a previous poster commented, he will be left penniless, and forgotten. His whole life spent trying to be the object of admiration and it will end just the opposite. Thank you again for all of your observations and dedication with this case. I wonder about the civil case now, do you think that this will actually take place? I can see delays and appeals for the next 15 years.

Sprocket said...

As far as the civil case goes, I predict some delays but not 15 years worth. Maybe 1 or two years at the most.

Anonymous said...

It IS interesting! And the thing is, no press will be covering it--til the judgement is rendered. You can bank on it.
The "accredited" reporter who asked AJ what he thinks happened after the verdict---what a dumb question. And this is someone who attended one of the trials, and should know the theories. And if anyone thinks reporters get it wrong, wait til the books come out, and the movie with the typical "dramatic license" taken.
We will need a seperate blog just to seperate fact from fiction.

Anonymous said...

Oh Betsy I just saw this quote about the castle at, which they refer to as "a source of fantastic legends":

"The neighbors are probably happy to have a stay-at-home proprietor with no where to go so that the castle will continue to receive the attention it so rightly deserves.

Pyrenees Castle is as beautiful as it was when first created in 1926. The mystery and legend of Alhambra's famous castle, located high atop its perch, will continue to titlillate the minds of future Alhambrans"

You gotta love it.
Wes J.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sprocket!

Wouldn't it be great to see the claim that Spector filed with Allstate? He would have had to talk with them directly to file the claim, as I'm fairly certain they wouldn't have taken the info from a 3rd party. The same would go for the atty retained by Allstate to represent him in the matter. While any communication with the atty would fall under atty/client priveledge, it will be interesting to see if the actual claim with Allstate might be subpoenaed for the civil trial.

Anonymous said...

If PS has a choice between paying attorneys for his appeals versus paying for wrongful death claims versus continuing the suit against Robert Shapiro, its clear which one would take priority. If he is not yet at the To-Hell-With-All-The-Rest-Of-Them phase, he very soon will be, once reality sets in. You are then going to see a mad scramble, fighting for scraps, like you have never seen.

Anonymous said...

A comment about 'The Castle'....I saw some pics of it one time on the internet and it was very outdated in style and looked like it was not kept well. If I remember right, the CSI team gathering evidence said the carpeting was quite filthy. I am sure the real estate value of where it is located makes it very valuable but on the inside it looked definitely to be a fixer-upper. I am amazed a man of Spector's wealth at that time (who could leave large tips) would not have a regular housekeeper. I know this seems a small detail but gives more insight into Spector.

Sprocket said...

The value of the property is not the location. The value of the property is the fact that it's 3 acres.

Three acres in Beverly Hills would be a hell of a lot more valuable than 3 hilly acres in Alhambra.

Anonymous said...

If anyone has read Ronnies book, Be My Baby, you wouldn't be surprised at how cheap Phil Spector is. But he will either have a revelation or die caged. I don't think he'll be able to take it. Betsy, please keep us up to date if you hear anything more on PS. And thanks for all the work you've done. Amazing.


Iona Trailer said...

Hi Sprockey -

Spector is trying to sell his crap on EBay.

Shouldn't there be an injunction against this???

Thanks again for all your hard work -

We love you -

Sprocket said...

Until the Clarkson attorney's get those subpoena's ready for Spector's finances, he can sell anything he wants.

I don't believe these items are being sold by Spector though. IIRC, that gold record was on sale on eBay during the first trial.

I think the watch was "probably" in the possession of the recipient's heirs.

IonaTrailer said...

Hello again - just thought I'd let you know, I just called Rod Lindbloom and told him about Spector and his Ebay antics. Hopefully they'll be able to stop this.

Take care-
Julie Beardsley

Anonymous said...

I actually don't think he can "sell anything he wants" at this point, as a felon. The rules change. He can't profit as a convicted criminal. And surely he is not doing the selling, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Oh my!! Phil's stuff is being sold on ebay and bring BIG bucks too. Has anybody been by the castle to see if there is a yard sale going on? I bet the castle could be rented out for horror movie production. The saddest picture there was of his animals in cages.Now he's the one in the cage.I hope his critters will be getting loving homes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chris for the suggestion about Ronnie's book. Are there other books out anyone could recommend? I would like to read more about Spector.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should all send him a group card in jail, you know one of those big cards with things like, "we're so glad you got what you deserved" "better late than never" "hope your stylist keeps the locks in line" "Phil, you're really something else" etc etc.

Anonymous said...

"He's a Rebel" is one book, "Tearing down the Wall of Sound" another. Not sure which one (or both) was recently updated and back in print. Check your library or also thought to send him a card---do they allow profanity in jail mail?

Anonymous said...

I was in South Pasadena the other day and decided to head over to Alhambra and drive by the castle just to take a look out of curiosity.

What I fail to understand is why would someone with that kind of money live there. No offense to folks in Alhambra, but that neighborhood just doesn't make sense for somebody with that kind of money and past history. I wonder if Lana Clarkson was wondering the same thing as they drove through the less-than-glamourous streets (e.g., the west end of Valley Blvd from Lincoln Heights and the 710 freeway.) They probably drove from the Strip to the 101 and then to the 10, exiting on Fremont(?) I'm sure she didn't have a clue where they were.

It looked kind of run down, the iron fence around the property is a bit rusted and leaning over. Lots of unkempt vegetation. A palm tree with rope holding it from falling over. Certainly not the sort of record producer's house that we'd expect to see in a place like Brentwood or Pacific Palisades or the Hollywood Hills. There's a lot of concrete with ugly block walls, etc.. Weeds growing out of the asphalt driveway and several warning signs. Also a "gazebo" sort of thing up on the left of the entrance that looked like it had a dog carrier in it(?) Did he keep a security dog in there?

It's not very pleasing. I don't mean to stereotype but it really does look like a place that some old recluse lived in. I bet the neighborhood kids have made up a lot of "ghost" stories about the place. The media reports about his glittering "castle" in LA. It's far from the image most people might have in their mind.

It's an incredibly unappealing looking property from the street. However no doubt nice at one time in the past. There is a great view of the San Gabriel Mtns (although it's a smoggy view.) Anyone know who the original owner/builder was?

It made me realize just how sad this whole thing is. For Lana Clarkson and her family, for Spector, for everybody.

Anonymous said...

To add to my comment, here's a history of the "castle." I answered my own question :)

Anonymous said...

Does this story shock anyone?

Anonymous said...

Here is another article I just read from the NY Post:

I am curious if anyone has read any articles of how he is adapting to prison life. If so, please post the link(s). I did read where he was spending his time in the hospital section due to all the meds he was taking and his physical condition. I haven't heard anything more than that

Anonymous said...

Thanks for castle info. I find the whole thing sad also. Was hoping someone could drive by it periodically and update us.

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the house, I also saw a pic online with huge cracks in the dingy stucco exterior retaining wall, like it is trying to collapse into the street.
Another address that I am curious about is "686 s. Arroyo Pkwy, penthouse suite 175, Pasadena", supposedly the home of his record business, per My guess is that it is nothing more than a private postal box place in some strip center.

I noticed that in the video of the verdict reading, all 3 persons at the defense put their hands up to themselves, not on the defendant. To me, that speaks volumes psychologically about how they really felt about him.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article published Sunday in the UK Guardian about Rachelle and her refusal to grant an interview at the gate 6 days after the verdict (after rallying her group to do interviews, I don't get this at all):

Also, a rock group called Hambourg Ramones has a new album out with the song "Free Phil Spector". A catchy ditty, I am sure. Won't be buying or downloading, tho'. Google "free Phil Spector" to see both articles.

Anonymous said...

Those were interesting articles. It sounds like Linda Kenney Baden is going to be very busy defending Casey Anthoney and freeing Phil. Does anyone think there is any way in hell he can win an appeal? Sounds like Rachelle is still under a gag order until May 29. Lots of things to read when you Google free Phil Spector.

Anonymous said...

There is no way he can win an appeal. Don't believe all the junk surrounding a handful of Spector supporters mouthing off. You always get a backlash of woulda, coulda, shoulda people who think they know more than the judicial system. Judge Fidler was a smart judge in this case who covered all his bases. I wonder how many nights he stayed up striving to keep his courtroom on even keel while Spector slept on in a narcotic state. Oh to be a fly on the wall now in Phil's jail cell. He might not even realize he's behind bars yet.

Anonymous said...

I have come to the conclusion that being a "good" defense lawyer--as they seem to define good---is to be part legal-beagle and part showman (or show-woman) and a very healthy dose of snake-oil-salesperson. As long as the client can pay-as-he-goes, its all good (and all legal). Just go thru the motions, collect that retainer, and it is an easy ride to retirement riches. Just don't have a moral compass to go with that ego.

Anonymous said...

That Rachelle article in the Express (not the Guardian) got a couple details wrong (as we have come to expect): I believe she is Mrs. #4, not #3; the comments of "jurors who supported Bush" came from Phil, not Rachelle; the net-worth figure may be wildly off (hopefully the Clarkson attorneys will clear that part up for us).

Nice to know that what we call back-talk is back-chat in the UK, how much more polite to back-chat someone. And I did not know that Rachelle came from Beaver.....insert dirty joke here.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket - quick question....

Do you know if the media will be present during his sentencing hearing.

I wonder too, and I know this is a childish or petty thought, but, will he be allowed to wear his hair piece during that hearing?

I cannot imagine that his attorney would allow Phil the embarrassment he would experience if we see what he actually looks like underneath that wig.

Silly thought, but Phil seems to have a bit of an obsession with his hair.

Sprocket said...

Sentencing:My understanding is, the convicted felon can wear regular clothing (and his favorite hairpiece) at sentencing. His dedicated wife can bring him whatever he needs to appear before the judge.

And yes, I bet the media will be there in force to hear the sentence.

Linda from San Diego has received no guarantees that we will get a seat. I may have to enter the regular lottery to get in.

Hopefully, the mainstream press will get the technical difficulties straightened out by then and have a live streaming of the verdict.

Anonymous said...

In that NY Post article (or gossip column), Linda K Baden said that PS told her "he still believes in the system". Now which system is that? Is it the one where all people get equal treatment and are judged by a jury of their peers, or the one where the wealthy can move it around with expensive experts and attorneys that no "regular" person could afford, and then put it before a jury of clearly inferior people?

If he is cognizant enough to engage the services of this or any other attorney via the phone, he does not need to be in a medical ward of the jail, he is ready to go into general population with some of those inferior people.

Anonymous said...

Regarding PS and getting pics without the piece---hairpiece, that is--I remember when Jim Bakker was in prison, people who were visiting other inmates would approach him and ask to take his picture with them....and then procede to sell the pic to some tabloid (usually with a phony I-am-a-friend-of-his story). He mentioned this in his memoirs. And of course he had no hairpiece on at that time, nor does he wear one now, although he used to. It may be that we will only get a PS photo the same way. Or by someone who works in the penal system, if they care to take that chance.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand if he wasn't hospitalized before his conviction, why must he be so closely monitored now?

I would think that if his all of his meds were prescribed by his doctors, he would still be able to get his RX's filled.

Granted, the days of Navy Grog's are gone, but still....

Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can only imagine that with out his hair piece, it's probably not a pretty sight.

Probably best for all concerned for him to wear it.

nd said...

I googled Free Phil Spector and this is one of the links, lol:

Free Phil Spector's Wig! I believe that slow exposure to the wild would make it possible to someday release Phil Spector's Wig to the jungle from which it came…

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... April 21, 2009 5:22 PM:

“Oh to be a fly on the wall now in Phil's jail cell.
He might not even realize he's behind bars yet.”


nd said...

Hi Sprocket, thanks for the terrific after-trial links & updates, and for checking out the civil trial. Have you checked with the L.A. courthouse about getting press credentials for yourself for the sentencing? You are definitely a bonafide freelance journalist, your outstanding daily reporting speaks for itself!

Hope you & Mr Sprocket & the kitties are all doing well, I’ll bet you’re getting caught up on a million things. And one more time I have to thank you for the huge sacrifices you made & the brilliant job you did bringing the trial to us… (((hugs&hugs)))

Anonymous said...

"Spector Biographer Fears Mogul Will Kill Himself":

I don't know who this guy is, but he insists he "knows" Spector. I have wondered about this angle myself.
Wes J.

Anonymous said...

I just Googled an article called With A Bullet from the Los Angeles Magazine. It was writen back at the time the first trial started.Phil is even worse than I thought he was. It is very informative reading.

Allyne Smithee said...

I checked out the address for Spector's company Anonymous was curious about, 686 S Arroyo Pkwy,
Pasadena, CA 91105.

Google Maps provides a street-level view of it, and Anonymous was right in thinking it is a mail forwarding facility. The main business there is Mini Storage aka Pasadena Mini Storage, which offers a mail forwarding service.

Since it is basically a one-story building (refer to the photo linked below), there is also no penthouse.,+Pasadena%22%22&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&split=0&gl=us&ei=aBvwSfXwIqPGtAPoy63QCg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1

Anonymous said...

Allyne, thanks for checking it. It completely figures that a metal self-storage building would be gussied up with a "penthouse" address. So what will his next address be? "Central Lockup, Guest #27615334, Tower Suite"....

I'm thinking of that old Mae West song, "I'm feelin' denuded 'bout now"......

Anonymous said...

Do any of you know why there is such a long delay between the guilty verdict and the sentencing? Is it this way with everyone tried in California or just high profile criminals?

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, thanks so much for indulging us with this daily fix of info, regardless of how minor it may be(being a slow period between trials, lol).

It's a serious matter but we do like to laugh:some of your more jocular posters should compile their ad-libs and take it on the road....

Anonymous said...

For those of you needing a pick-me-up - go to the LA Civil Court! I'm attending a trial where a former paralegal is suing a huge law firm here in LA for lesbian sexual harassment!

The case is Benson v. Proksauer Rose, in department 48 on the fifth floor. The court is located at 111 North Hill Street.

Like Sprocket in the first trial, I was addressed by the judge after an attorney representing a party complained that I was talking to jurors in the hallway - WHICH I AM LEGALLY ALLOWED TO DO.

I explained to the judge that we were merely discussing occupational endeavors, and this judge then allowed me to remain in the courtroom. I also told the judge that Defense attorneys representing Proskauer Rose had confronted me in the morning asking me very personal questions. The judge gave the attorney for Defense a dirty look, but did nothing else.

Hope to see some folks there!!

Anonymous said...

If Sprocket had talked to the jurors in the Spector case there would have been a world of trouble.
It would seem to me an outsider that simple etiquette would make you avoid the jurors and keep your mouth shut around them so as not to jeapordize a case, even if you can legally talk to them. Just my opinion.

Back to the Spector stuff, thanks to all who have contributed sites and links, I have found a lot of interesting reading.

Sprocket, I hope you are making up for the sleep deficit you must have built up staying up so late and then rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn daily for so long. We can't thank you enough. I hope that there is no problem getting in to the sentencing hearing, think that might be dramatic in some way.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, have you given the link to the LA magazine postscript on Spector's verdict? The older article mentioned by a previous poster is really good, written before the first trial started.

here's the postscript:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sprocket, today I took a tour of a high-rise jail where I may do an internship. Not in CA but I did ask some questions about the medical ward which may be of interest: the staff (which may be in-house or contracted out to a for-profit organization)makes the determination as to who is medically stable and ready to go into general population (reg or Substance Abuse pod)UNLESS there is the fear that the prisoner may be in danger while in general. I would bet that your Sheriff Baca does not want to take that chance and will keep Spector in seg until he is shipped off and thus becomes somebody else's problem. He still has to awaken at 4:30 or thereabouts for breakfast, lol. (Where I toured, they are allowed to go back to sleep til classes (substance abuse) start about 8:30AM, going all day). All the prisoner has to do is deny that there is a substance abuse problem, in which case he/she is in general population. Where I went, there is a waiting list to get into that program.

Hope you have a good weekend. It's nice here on the eastcoast.

Anonymous said...

"Phil Spector's Adopted Son's Shocking Revelation":

I think I will NOT be reading this book......

Anonymous said...

I read where Phil has breakfast at 5:00 A.M. Lunch at 10:00 Dinner at 4:00 or 5:00. He is allowed to spend $150.00 a week on snacks, magazines and personal products. He can have visitors on the visiting days, but through glass only.He has a 6x8 cell with a sink and toilet and he is allowed to shower in private. Not too bad for a murderer.

Anonymous said...

I won't read the book either. I had heard he was cruel to the boys, but this was worse than cruel. I am wondering why the state or Ronnie Spector didn't get the boys out of there? I don't know how they can call him their father. I read where he kept gormet food in his refrigerator and had another one for the boys with the cheapest food he could find. He should be serving life for child abuse if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the "Twin Towers" facility on the Sheriffs website, the map indicates its not exactly walking distance to the courts. Well I guess there is not unlimited space to put up a huge complex like that in Los Angeles.

Re: visitors, those in the medical ward are allowed one per day, maximum of 2 PER WK., as there are only two visitor days weekly. First come, first serve for the 1 visitor daily. So if some fan or friend gets there before Rachelle, I bet there are some hissy-fits and foot-stomping going down.

I anticipate some crafty "visitor" will snap that photo we're looking for.

Anonymous said...

$150 a week for expenses for a guy in prison sounds awfully high to me. I can't believe they let prisoners have that much money on them.

Anonymous said...

It does $ound high. You would have to buy a lot of candy bars and other junk. In any event, its not cash, more like having an account at a commissary. The jail website says money orders may be mailed to the inmate, just in case any of you folks are feeling generous.

Anonymous said...

I got the imformation about how much Phil can spend on his own needs from Radar Online under Phil Spector Wigs Out. I think extras in prison may be very high like things they charge huge amounts for at the hospital. Not local store costs. Scott Pererson is allowed $180 for his wants at the prison he is in. His account is huge as woman send him money all the time wanting to be friends with him. I'm doubting Phil will have many woman putting funds in his account. LOL

Anonymous said...

You may be surprised how many women supporters PS does have, based on comments on the myspace page as well as the "petition" (which is ridiculous). In any event, I would think PS does not need outsiders' money.

They should put a cap on these prisoners' accounts and put the excess into some non-profit or other worthwhile endeavor for the inmates. Just my thought.

I have visited a couple of people in state prisons over a 3-decade period (not in the medical ward), their big thing was coins that their visitors bring in to splurge on the vending machines in the visitors areas. Instead of small-talk over a couple of cocktails, its over a shared bag of Cheese Doodles.

Anonymous said...

I agree about money in accounts should be capped and the extra money should go to something that would benifit the general population. People in prison are there to be punished and not there to receive room service. I can just hear Phil demanding they bring him a bag of Fritos.