The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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CA vs. Spector – What Happens in the Vagus, Stays in the Vagus

Posted by thedarwinexception on August 23, 2007

 I hope that when Paul eventually kills me and throws me in that wood chipper he is always threatening my ass with, that he just pleads guilty to the murder charge and doesn’t have some big fancy trial where they put *my* ass on trial. Because I will not fare well.I have no friends. And maybe that’s a good thing. There won’t be a parade of people going to the stand saying “Oh, yes, Kim and I were BFF’S and here’s how she *really* was.” And then spin yarns about how I drank all the time, snorted coke and partied until dawn. That just won’t happen. Mostly because I didn’t *do* those things, but also because I haven’t cultivated enough “friends” to allow anyone to get on the stand and say that they knew me. There are no photographs of me and *anyone* partying or or drinking or in Cancun on vacation. And there certainly aren’t people who are going to get on the stand to say “She loved *me* best!” “No, she’s a liar! Kim loved *ME* Best – that other chick was a daytime friend.”

There are no Pie’s or collagen lipped Jennifer’s or Nili’s in my life.

But Paul had better just plead out to any murder charges leveled against him – because it wouldn’t be too hard for him to have a parade of Malonian’s come to the stand testifying as to what a fucking bitch I am. “She done hated them there Redneck Games – Why would she wanna say anything bad against them? The Redneck Games is for charity – She hated poor dying kids – she was a BITCH! A BITCH!” Paul would get off just through jury nullification. I can safely say that in this town, I’d fall under the heading of “people who just need killin'”.

But that’s because people don’t like me. And I have no friends. Lana had friends. People loved her, and yet she still has people parading to the witness stand to say “Oh, Don’t get me wrong, I *LOVED* Lana – but here’s why she needed killin'”.

I haven’t decided which is worse. Having no friends at all or having friends like Lana’s.

In the meantime, we are graced with the presence of Dr. Spitz again on the stand – because God hates us all.

Linda Kenney Baden, looking rather bright eyed for someone who was at death’s door a week ago, gets up to do the direct and Spitz gets on the stand with a fucking suitcase in tow. Warning us, perhaps, that this isn’t going to be as quick as the defense says it will be. And if Spitz is true to form and does his “rambling fucking  rose” answers the way he did last time, he probably should have his suitcase with him.

Spitz reminds the jury that he has done 55,000 to 60,000 autopsies over his career, and you know that the only reason that he has done so many is because dead bodies can’t talk back to him. If this guy treated living patients, you would ask him one question and by the time he finished fucking answering you, you’d be dead from old age right there on his office floor. He could only see one patient a day, because the first one would never get out the door with a simple fucking answer. If you asked this guy where the bathroom was he’d have to give you a rundown of the elimination system in the human body and talk about that nasty sphincter muscle winking after death when you scratch the anus rather than just telling you “down the hall to the left.”

So last night he made a chart of the spinal cord and using the photo generated at autopsy and the ruler markings of the wound, he measured the actual width of Lana’s spine as 15.875 millimeters, not the 10.4 Andrews said it was.

He also takes issue with the diameter of the bullet as stated by Andrews – he says that the width is governed by Federal Standards and that you don’t actually measure the width – you measure the bore – which is the end of the bullet and that the bore of this bullet was 8.8 millimeters, therefore instead of the 1 millimeter on either side of the bullet that Andrews said would have had to happen to have intact nerve fibers, according to Spitz the cord actually had a whole 7 millimeters left after the bullet passed through wherein fibers could still be intact.

And Spitz says that there could have been tons and tons of fibers in that 7 millimeter area, since these nerve fibers are so minute and so tiny that you can’t even see them with the naked eye. You need a special microscope and you need to stain the fibers in order to see them.

Spitz then takes issue with Andres theory that breathing could not take place after the transection of the spine. Spitz says that the textbook that Andres was relying on for his information, the Guyton Textbook, covers other areas that weren’t in the two pages supplied to the defense during discovery. Spitz says that he pulled the actual textbook and referred tot eh chapter entitled “Regulation of Respiration” and discovered some information that he wasn’t even familiar with.

Spitz says that according to the book, the same one relied upon by Andrews in forming his opinions, that breathing can certainly happen when the spinal cord is transected, either fully or partially.

Spitz explains that there is an area just above the medulla called the pons, which literally translated means “bridge” and it is called the pons, or bridge, because it is the bridge between the cerebrum and the cerebellum. The medulla sits below the pons. The medulla is the place where all the autonomic control centers are, including those that control heartbeat and respiration. The spinal cord starts just below the medulla.

The area that governs regulation is the pneumotaxic area in the pons and the inspiratory area that governs the taking in of breath or air is located in the medulla – the expiratory center that governs exhalation of air or breath is located adjacent to the inspiratory center in the medulla. The inspiratory center generates millions of fibers that go into the vagus nerve and these fibers connected and contained within this nerve is the one that controls breathing. The vagus nerve originates in the inspiratory center in the medulla and comes out of the vertebrate column and runs all the way to the soft tissue in the chest. The spinal column does not affect this nerve or these fibers – since the nerve is outside of the spinal column, Therefore, according to Spitz, the spinal column is not necessary or vital to the process of breathing.

Spitz says that there is a survival mode that the body enters into when the spinal cord is damaged. If this very area – which is above the area of injury here – is not only damaged but cut, or even suppressed due to chemical causes – it will still generate impulses for executing it’s function. These impulses have absolutely nothing to do with the spinal cord. The vagus nerve, as well as the glossopharyngeal nerve, are outside of the spinal cord itself.

And since the wound in this case was below this area, these automatic functions would not have been affected.

Next Linda Kenney Baden, (who really does look even nicer than when the trial started – I think the grim reaper actually did visit her while she was ill – and he must have told her “Girl, fix your hair and put on some makeup – I can’t take you when you that ugly”, and she took his advice) asks the doctor about the lung slides that were taken at autopsy. She flashes some of them on the screen, and they look like some Jackson Pollack “red period” painting. Just a bunch of red crap with some lines in it. Dr. Spitz explains that surely everyone can see that the blood cells in these alveoli can’t be from leeching – it’s so clear, isn’t it? There are circles of blood and walls and black shit that has to be gunpowder residue, therefore she breathed in. And leeching of red blood cells only happens when bodies are breaking down due to decomposition of tissue – that didn’t happen here.

And in case you’ve lost track – this shit doesn’t matter in the least, anyway. The defense needs blood in the lungs from breathing not because of the process of inhalation, but only for the companion process of exhalation, so that Lana could have coughed blood onto Spector’s jacket. It matters not a fart in the wind HOW the blood got there – it was there. To argue over whether it was leeching or from some other process doesn’t really matter – it was there. All we need to argue over is if it came out through coughing and how far that coughing could go. But the defense doesn’t want to go there, because if the coughed blood could only go one foot – well, that puts Spector right back at her side, and they don’t want to put him there – especially not after the jury has seen him pointing his finger like a gun. They want some pneumonia whooping cough pertussis going on – so that the blood can go 4 feet away, way over by the stairs, where Spector is safely out of the reach of an extended arm with a gun in his hand. But I don’t give a crap how the blood got into her lungs. It’s there, and that’s all we need to know. All the rest of this is just delaying getting Punkin Pie back on the stand, and that’s really who I want to see today. Just to see if she’s going to have her deflated pancake boobies hanging out again.

But the doctor drones on about the specific findings that were significant to him when the autopsy report mentioned the lungs – mainly that there was a description of blood in the alveoli, and that there was a description of sub-crepitus in the lungs. This is the sound of crackling or popping that can be heard when you rub soft tissue and there is air or gas under the skin that shouldn’t be there. The doctor says that it is often seen in drowning victims lungs when they have inhaled a mixture of air and water. The doctor says that the autopsy report noted this sub-crepitus when the lungs were manipulated, leading him to assume that there was air and fluid together in the lungs, which could have only happened by inhalation after the wound was inflicted.

Linda Kenney Baden then asks the doctor about the testimony Andrews gave regarding the fluid in the lungs being there as a result of the manipulation of the body during transport. She asks the doctor if he often saw this much fluid in lungs of gunshot victims that were transported to his Coroner’s office. The doctor says no, there was never blood in the lungs such as this unless the patient was breathing after they were wounded, or if they were shot in the lungs or some other area that would naturally create blood in the lungs.

Linda Kenney Baden then asks the doctor about the contents of the stomach, and asks if it is reasonable to assume that if the blood got into the lungs through the forces of gravity, if it would be expected that we would find blood in the stomach, as well. The doctor agrees that if the fluid and blood had drained through the back of the throat into the lungs, that we could expect to find blood in the stomach as well. Since there was no blood in the stomach, it is safe to assume that this was not the mechanism via which the blood got into the lungs.

The doctor wraps up his testimony by repeating his central premise – that no matter if the spinal cord was transected fully or partially, there could still be breaths taken after this injury – that the respiratory center in the medulla would still function, since it was above the point of injury, and that several breaths could have therefore been taken.

Alan Jackson then gets up to cross examine the witness, and he begins by asking the doctor about his testimony regarding the size of the bullet. Jackson asks the doctor if he understands that his measurement of the “bore” of the bullet is really a measurement of the inside of the lands (the parts that stick out) of the cross section of the bullet, and that this is not the actual measurement of the diameter of the bullet itself.

Spitz agrees that this is true, and that he knows that the bore measurement is actually a measurement of the two closest spots of the lands inside the muzzle, not a measurement of the bullet. Spitz says that this is not what he was actually rejecting, anyway, he was only rejecting the measurement of Andres, that the bullet measured 9.6 millimeters – he says he is not fussy about 1/1000’s of an inch.

Jackson then asks the doctor if he realizes that this was a plus P bullet – and the doctor agrees with that, but says that this referees not to the bullet but to the powder used.

Jackson asks the doctor if he is aware that this was a hollow point bullet, and the doctor says yes it was.

Jackson then asks about the mushrooming effect of this bullet – how it will flatten when it makes an impact and the doctor says he has never seen the bullet in this case, so he doesn’t know if the bullet flattened.

Jackson asks the doctor to assume that the bullet did mushroom and flatten out, he asks if this would make the diameter much wider and the doctor agrees that it would.

Jackson tells the doctor that this bullet hit the bone and tissue of the spinal cord and before that went through the tissue and soft palette at the back of the mouth – and asks if he thinks this would have flattened the bullet – the doctor says that he doesn’t think that the soft tissue in the throat would have had much effect on the bullet and that he is not sure if it flattened before or after it hit the spinal cord.

Jackson asks the doctor if he is aware that these bullets are designed so that they mushroom upon impact with water in a water tank – the doctor counters that he has seen bullets hit skin and not mushroom, and that skin is much denser than the soft palette at the back of the throat.

Jackson then asks the doctor about his opinion of the transection of Lana’s spine and he wants to know if the doctor thinks it was partially or completely transected. The doctor says it was probably a partial transection. Jackson asks when he came to that conclusion, and the doctor is noncommittal, saying that he doesn’t think the issue matters, and that his opinion makes no difference either way.

Jackson, not getting a satisfying answer, asks again, and the doctor says that he thinks, because of the extent of the structural damage and the way it looks, that you can’t really tell either way, he sys that there is excellent reasoning in saying that the bullet did not transect it completely, because there is a huge amount of blood in the lungs – but then she would have taken breaths whether it was totally transected or not – that a partial or complete transection has little to do with her ability to take a breath and apparently his colleagues who did the autopsy thought so too, because they said she took some breaths, and that opinion had to have been based on the amount of blood in the lungs because he can see no other basis for such an opinion, and it makes no difference if it was partial or complete – once the body was moved and the area was partially torn, the move would have completed the tear.

Jackson then asks the witness if he is a pathologist as opposed to a neuropathologist. The doctor confirms this.

Jackson then asks if the witness saw Dr. Baden’s testimony. The doctor says he started to and then he couldn’t continue because something happened to his transmission. But he says he heard about Baden’s “AHA” moment through other people who did see the testimony. He says that it wasn’t from Baden himself, that he hasn’t spoken to Baden and it wasn’t anyone from the defense team, that he had spoken to no one from the defense team until last night.

Jackson then asks if he is getting another 5K for this trip and the doctor says he is very pleased that Jackson is looking out for him.

Jackson asks the doctor if he was called here to rebut Andrews testimony and the doctor said that he knew last night that he would be a sur rebuttal witness, but that he really didn’t know what he was going to testify about.

Jackson then asks the doctor if he was called by the defense team after dr. Baden testified and asked if he could corroborate Baden’s testimony, and the doctor says no, that didn’t happen. He also tells Jackson that if Jackson knew him better, he would know that no one tells him how to testify.

They then have a sidebar, and Spitz and the jury are excused for the moment while Jackson wonders to the court why it is that Christopher Plourd said in open court a week ago that he was going to call Spitz to corroborate Baden’s testimony, if it is true that no one even asked Spitz if he agreed with Baden.

Plourd offers that yes, he did talk to the witness last week and he doesn’t remember exactly what they discussed, but he knows that he asked if he could confirm Baden’s theory, and the doctor said it was possible that the spine was partially transected. Plourd says he is not sure if he even mentioned Baden’s name, or if the doctor just confirmed the facts. Plourd said that he asked if the doctor would be available and he said he would.

Jackson then says, well, I’m sitting here thinking to myself that Dr. Spitz just…..and I need to choose my words carefully here but…and Fidler says let’s just bring him back in and ask him.

Spitz then retakes the stand and the jury comes back in and Jackson clears up the issue by getting the doctor to admit that yeah, he talked to Plourd last week and although he doesn’t remember the subject matter and never heard the words “aha moment”, he is sure that they asked him to come back.

Jackson then asks the doctor if it is true that the last time the doctor was here he never mentioned this partial transection. The doctor says he never talked about the spine at all, that he was talking about whether or not she could have taken a breath, he never talked about how or why breathing was accomplished. And he says he still stands by the fact that Pena did a good job at the autopsy, even though he said that the spine was completely severed. The doctor says that when a bullet hits a spinal cord the spinal cord nerves and tissue becomes a semi liquid Jell-O like substance and it’s next to impossible to determine a wound path.

Jackson takes this admission to ask the doctor is he then would agree that the area surrounding the wound path would be traumatized and damaged – and the doctor says that is partially correct, although this would be compounded by unprotected transport.

Jackson then asks the doctor that if Baden said that in Baden’s opinion the only way to account for breathing is if the spinal cord was partially transected and the remaining axons were healthy enough to continue to receive signals, if he would agree or disagree with that, and the doctor said he wouldn’t disagree with that – that the appearance of the lungs proves that there was a transmission of impulses and even though this wound was below the medulla and the impulses generated, that the word “only” is the only word he would leave out – that there is another way nerves can receive signals – impulses can continue whether spinal cord is partially or completely severed.

Jackson is a little incredulous and he doesn’t understand the doctor’s conclusions – he asks if the doctor is saying that the spinal cord does *not* carry the neurotransmitters for respiration, that it’s a completely different set of nerves…

And the doctor says no, he isn’t saying that, but that Jackson can surely see that there is a continuation from inspiratory center by way of vagus nerve and by way of spine -

And Jackson asks then if it is the doctor’s understanding that there are two transmissions,

And the doctor, now totally and utterly confused begs off any position and says “Look, I am totally innocent in this, I told you earlier, I knew none of this until I read it in the literature last night, and it says in unquestionable detail that respiration would continue.” And now we are left to wonder if the doctor read the chapter very closely, or if he is just confused, or maybe even just misunderstood what he read.

Maybe the judge senses, too, that the doctor is confused and maybe needs to glance at the chapter again because he calls for a break.

After the break the defense asks if they can put on a witness out of order – Dr. Mary Goldenson, as she has patients waiting,. The prosecution agrees and she is called.

Dr. Goldenson testifies that she is a licensed clinical psychologist, that she practices in Brentwood, that she gives seminars and sees patients and that at the end of 2002 or the beginning 2003 she got a call from someone claiming to be Lana Clarkson, that she was calling to see if she had a n open practice and if she could come in for a consultation, just to discuss issues, and that she was recommended by friends. She asked how the doctor charged, said she was working on handling her insurance and that she would get back with the doctor. The doctor never heard from her again.

The doctor then identifies her name and address in two emails, the prosecution has no questions, and she is excused.

And with that Spitz gets back on the stand.

Jackson asks the doctor if it is true that just last night the doctor learned that there are neuropathways that are not contained within the spinal column, but the vagus nerve is outside of the column – the doctor says yes, but that he would also say that the glossopharyngeal nerve is also outside of the column.

Jackson says – “so the spinal cord can suffer a complete transection but the impulses to breathe will still be intact – that’s what you learned last night?”

And the doctor agrees.

Jackson then says “you said that you’ve been practicing medicine and been a board certified pathologist for over 54 years and you never knew this?”

And the doctor excuses himself by saying “Well, I never read this chapter before.”

“So last night when you read this chapter,  this was the first time you learned this and your entire opinion today is based on this?”

“Yes”

Jackson then asks the doctor if it is true that the chapter he is referring to is actually written with reference to the respiratory system and how it reacts to strenuous exercise and stress.

The doctor says no, that this chapter talks about the issue at hand and the relative portions are in the first two pages. (And raise your hand if you think he only read the first two pages.)

Jackson then has the same thought I had, and he asks the doctor “Did you read the whole chapter” And the doctor says yes, (so put your hands down.)

Jackson then asks ” Doctor, wasn’t it talking about stressors in live people?”

And the doctor says “Yes, but the first part talks about the location and the function of the respiratory center – things like how many there are and how they transmit their impulses and what happens if there is damage.”

“And you interpret that to mean that all the impulses are transmitted by the vagus nerve and not the spinal cord?”

“No,  I’m not saying that, but I gleaned from this text that there is a series of stimuli that occurs even when there is very significant damage – and the fact that the diaphragm is functional even in cases of damage leads me to believe that the respiration continues for a substantial length of time in an individual with significant spinal injury – which I would not have thought before. I was not aware of this, and this book talks with authority about it.”

And now I really am shaking my head, because what is this fucking book? Really! I want to see this book! How authoritative must this book be to be able to convince a doctor and pathologist of over 54 years of some new thing that he never knew of before overnight – and to the point that he will testify to the book’s conclusions in a high profile murder case on the basis of one chapter! What? Is this book like written in gold or something? And how gullible is this doctor? Do you think we could give him a Dr. Seuss book and have him go into a murder trial the next day and testify that there really is such a thing as green eggs and ham and that you should eat them on a train and in the rain and in a box and with a fox because he just read this book last night that said so – an the book said so very authoritatively?

Get the fuck out of here!

Jackson then tries very calmly and very patiently to explain to the doctor that this is not what the book said at all – that the doctor has some misunderstandings about what the book said – and even some basic misunderstandings about the central nervous system itself – and who can blame him, you know? He’s not a neuropathologist – and he probably hasn’t read a book explaining it to him. 

Jackson explains about the reflex cycle described in the book – that from the lungs, at the bottom of the cycle, to the brain, at the top of the cycle,  there is a generation of impulses that leads to the lungs and the inhalation and exhalation of air, but the lungs do not act alone – they do not squeeze and release on their own. And the doctor agrees with this, he says that the lungs are not muscles.

Jackson continues that no, they are not, but that there are muscles around the lungs that are required for breathing, that these lungs are the intercostal muscles, the abdominal muscles and most importantly the diaphragm. The doctor also agrees with this and he emphasizes that the primary muscle is the diaphragm, that it is the bellows. 

The doctor then offers that  – “the vagus nerve – it is the nerve that carries the signal that causes the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles to contract.”

And Jackson asks the doctor if he can point to *any* book or medical piece of literature that would suggest that  the outgoing transmission from the brain that goes to the diaphragm or any of the muscles – or any transmission away from the brain to the muscles is via the vagus nerve.”

The doctor complains that Jackson is expecting him to have a computerized brain to tell him what anatomy books say.

Jackson gives him another way out by allowing him to agree with the statement that there is a reflex arc or cycle – and the lungs (which have no muscles) send impulses UP the vagus nerve – going on a Northbound highway, so to speak –  to the brainstem.  The brain then transmits signals down to the muscles – on a Southbound highway – and then the diaphragm, abdominals and those muscles are given the signal to breathe.”

The doctor says that he doesn’t agree that breathing is a reflex.

Jackson ignores this – mostly because he probably doesn’t have fucking clue what that had to do with his statement, and says “But doctor, isn’t it true that this Southbound transmission that sends signals to the muscles is inside the spinal column?”

And the doctor, maybe remembering some other book he read and realizing that he is now disagreeing with basic anatomy, says only ” I don’t know – I can’t argue with you – my reading of this book is different.”

Jackson then gets the book out and asks the doctor if this is the sentence he is relying on and basing his conclusions on: “Even when all incoming nerve fiber connections to this area are cut or sectioned or blocked, this area still emits repetitive cycles.”

The doctor says “You left one part out – exhalation is passive.”

Jackson says :yes, but in order to have passive exhalation, you have to have active inhalation, yes?” Yes.

“What this sentence is saying doctor, is that if the vagus nerve is affected and *incoming* signals from the lungs are cut off, there is still an area in the brain that is going to send automated signals for a few seconds to the muscles to tell the muscles to breathe, do you agree with that?”

Yes.

“But the nerves that control those muscles, doctors, and take those signals away from the brain – those nerves are inside the spinal column.”

“Exhalation is passive, you don’t need nerves to control exhalation.”

“But before you can exhale, doctor, you have to INHALE. The impulses in the brain are trying to send signals to the muscles to tell them to contract, yes?” Yes.

“and if those impulses are severed, or cut off,  then there is no bridge or pathway to tell the muscles to inhale – no matter what the signals are from brain, if the spinal cord is cut off, then those signals are not going to get there.

“My opinion is and has always been: inhalation continues, exhalation then follows.”

“Tell me how the muscles are told to contract if that cord is severed, doctor.”

“It would happen if – the cord is a bunch of spaghetti, only much tinier – first of all if the cord is not completely severed, well, there you go, the signals can still be transmitted – although it’s true that the vagus is receptor – there are fibers within this vagus nerve or from the inspiratory center that cause continued contractions.”

“Doctor, the only outgoing nerve from the vagus goes to the pharynx and the larynx – and those have nothing to do with breathing.”

“The vagus comes out of the inspiratory center.”

“But it’s only receiving info from lungs to breathe – all the info *to* the muscles –  all of it – travels straight down the spinal cord.”

“If you want to say that the cord is completely transected and there are no fibers to make the diaphragm move than you may be correct – but I think you are incorrect – I think the diaphragm continues to move.”

“Doctor, it can only continue to move if it was able to receive impulses from the spinal cord – no muscle can move unless it is stimulated.”

“You cannot stop your diaphragm from moving…”

“But Doctor, that’s in a live person, I can hold my breath – but my brain is still sending impulses – even unconscious movements come from spinal cord, if I twitch in my sleep or something…:”

“You are oversimplifying a complicated issue…”

Jackson tries to cut in as the doctor starts to explain about what happens when you hold your breath and Rosen complains tot eh Judge that he doesn’t think that Spitz is done with his answer.

The Judge, seeing how rambling and off on tangents the doctor has gotten all morning, says “It’s hard to tell….” He then turns to the doctor and says “Have you finished?”

And the doctor says “I don’t remember.”

Jackson then continues to beat the dead horse, and says “Doctor, any movement that controls breathing,  all of those muscles require an order from the brainstem that travels down the spinal cord and tells those muscles to contract –  and if that is cut completely off those instructions to those muscles will not get there, is that right?”

“If you are correct there would be no quadriplegics – remember that the area that we are talking about is not involved in the injury. Whether the spine is severed completely or severed half way, you are talking about lower level of injury than the inspiratory center and the medulla. Quadriplegics – they are injured in levels below that – this is not spinal cord these centers are all within the brain – these centers are active and able to produce signals.”

Jackson says – “OK, but there are plenty of quads who say, fall off a horse for instance, and break their neck and these pathways are transected and those quads are on respirators that are breathing for them for the rest of their lives.”

“Yes, but there are quads not on respirators.”

“Yes, then that would mean they didn’t suffer this type of injury with complete transection.”

“That’s why I said, if there are some fibers in this case that were still connected, she could still breathe.”

And Jackson thinks that they are finally getting somewhere, and maybe he *can* get the doctor to agree with his position – but it isn’t going to be that easy.

“OK Doctor – so – if in fact that there was a complete transection of the spine will you agree that her muscles couldn’t move and she couldn’t breathe.”

“No, I don’t agree with that in this case – there are other phenomenon…”

“Doctor, let’s not worry about other phenomenon –  if in fact that there was a complete transection of the spine will you agree that her muscles couldn’t move and she couldn’t breathe.”

 “No, I can’t agree.”

“Well, where do these impulses come from then that tell the muscles to contract?”

 “Either through incompletely severed cord or via other connections.”

“So, you think that the vagus nerve receives impulses from the brain and those pathways are outside the spinal cord?”

“No they are inside the spinal cord -and some are outside…”

“Which ones?”

“The major nerves – I’d have to look it up –  the phrenic nerve, for instance.”

“So your testimony is that the phrenic nerve is high enough that it could still receive impulses?”

“I said I don’t know – I’d have to look it up.”

“Is it your opinion that,  in fact,  in order to breathe Lana Clarkson would have had to have suffered a partial transection?”

“It also appears to me that it doesn’t matter – it’s easier to explain on basis of partial – and easier to understand, but, in fact, it doesn’t matter.”

“Doctor, the phrenic nerve is located at c3,  c4, and c5 – is that above or below the wound here?”

“Below.”

“So there is no way for the brain to get impulses to the phrenic nerve if the spinal cord is severed?”

“Yes that eliminates the phrenic nerve.”

“By the way Doctor, just to eliminate some other nerves, the intercoastal nerves are t 1 through 12…”

 “The intercostal muscles by themselves can’t sustain breathing – same with abdominal muscles, so it doesn’t matter where they are located.”

“Ok, Doctor, so if these other nerve muscles are all lower then the location of her injury then there’s no way for them to get info from the brain if the transection is at c1, right?”

“Yes, these are below.”

In what even Jackson himself describes to the judge as a “merciful” act, he moves on to something else.

It’s easier this time for Jackson to get the doctor to back down. He asks about those slides of the lung tissue that Linda Kenney Baden put on the ELMO. Jackson asks the doctor if he realizes that Pena said these were only “representative samples” of the lung tissue, and if he realizes that Pena testified that he only took slides from the area where there was blood, that there were tons of places in the lung tissue where there was not blood at all.

Spitz says that this is not what Pena’s report described, but says he does not recall what Pena actually testified to.

Jackson then asks about the lack of blood in the stomach, and asks the doctor if there were a small amount of blood in the stomach, and if it was mixed with gastric contents already in the stomach, if the blood might not have been noticed or reported. Spitz maintains that blood is a powerful dye, and it would probably be noticed.

Jackson then asks about he fractures to the top of the skull, and the doctor says he does not agree that these are fractures – he would call them separation of the natural sutures in the skull. He explains that the skull is not one continuous piece of bone, but that the skull is in separate pieces. As we age these bones fuse together, but in some people that takes longer than in others, and in younger people, the suture lines will be more pronounced. The doctor attributes the separation of the sutures to the gasses inside the head that built up and the increased pressure this caused inside the cranial cavity – he does not attribute this to the bullet slamming into the back of the skull at 900 feet/sec and pushing the skull up and away from the brain.

Redirect of the witness is relatively quick – Linda Kenney Baden asks the doctor if there’s any way other than breathing that the blood could have gotten into the lungs, and the doctor says no, and she brings up that Pena described the damage to the spinal cord in two different ways – he used the terms “pulpified” and “ragged”, and the doctor agrees that these two terms could have been describing injury from two different things – one, the bullet, and one the continued damage that transport caused.

She then asks, with regard to the lung slides, if Pena also described aspirated blood, and the doctor says yes, he did, and aspirated blood means inhaled blood.

The witness then is excused and he takes his suitcase and leaves.

The lawyers then, outside of the presence of the jury, get ready for the next sur rebuttal witness, Punkin Pie, who will presumably be called Monday, since the judge sends the jury home.

Rosen gets up and proffers to the judge what exactly he wants this witness to testify to.

He wants to introduce Pie’s datebook – which lists all the events in 2002 -2003 that she and Lana attended together – this is to rebut Nili Hudson’s testimony that Lana was backing off seeing Pie in the last year of her life. The judge allows this.

Rosen then talks about the whole “daytime/nighttime friend” concept – the same thing he wants to bring up with Jennifer Hayes. Pie will also say that Lana compartmentalized her friends and that Nili was a daytime friend, and someone Lana looked up to and admired, and for this reason she did not tell Nili a lot of her troubling or distressing feelings and thoughts. The judge thinks this is hearsay, and Rosen says it goes to state of mind. The judge is going to defer ruling on this.

Rosen then want s to “revisit” the area of the phone call between Lana and Pie three days before Lana’s death because he doesn’t think the wording was clear the first time around – the judge says this is not proper sur rebuttal.

Rosen wants Pie to talk about the Christmas card and letter – the judge allows this.

Rosen wants to revisit the Franklin party, because Pie has some newly recovered memories of Lana saying “The fuck he didn’t recognize me – I’ve been to his fucking house, I know his fucking dogs names.” The judge says no, because this is not new and this party was already extensively testified to, and that this is not information she couldn’t have testified to the first time around.

Rosen wants Pie to testify about the House of Blues job and the depression Lana felt and that Lana was trying to get a job at the Hustler Casino and was pissed when she didn’t get it. The judge says no – all this has been testified to before and offers nothing new or nothing pertinent to rebuttal.

Rosen wants Pie to testify about “The Cowboy” (L.B. Moon). Hudson said that this relationship was a potential, but no big deal, but Pie will say that Lana thought this guy was the one. The judge says no – testified to before.

The last area Rosen wants to get into is the drugs and alcohol, and that Pie says she was using them more than in any other time of her life.Oh – and that Lana had her purse with her at all times.

The judge says he has to read PIe’s testimony regarding the drugs and alcohol, and that the purse thing isn’t rebuttal to anyone.

And he orders everyone to come 15 minutes before court on Monday to go through the same things regarding Jennifer Hayes testimony.

57 Responses to “CA vs. Spector – What Happens in the Vagus, Stays in the Vagus”

  1. Erin said

    You are sooooooooooo appreciated.

  2. Kat said

    Thank you Kim! I don’t get to watch the trial and always look forward to your reports.

    I’m with you on the friend thing. See what having “friends” gets you? Poor Lana.

  3. Bill T said

    Geez, this whole thing with the pathologists is ridiculous. Get some actual clinicians up there: neurosurgeons, neurologists, they will all say there is no way the spinal cord is going to transmit any signals after such a bullet wound.

    Bill T

  4. Karen said

    Kim,
    You have more friends than you realize….consider me a “daytime” friend, as I read your blog during the day..oh, wait. I read it tonight, does that make me a “nighttime” friend? Sometimes I’m embarrassed to live in LA…not all women are like The Pie, and The Botoxed One. Many are sweet, charming and gutsy, just like Lana Clarkson!

  5. Bill T said

    And another thing: the glossopharygeal doesn’t connect to the diaphragm. That’s first year med school anatomy. Maybe I can be an expert witness for $100,000.

    Jackson obviously did his homework, but it is still embarrassing that a lawyer knows more about cranial nerves than a pathologist.

    Bill T

  6. Carolina said

    How do you do it? 40 minutes into his testimony I was on the bed sawing logs! My dog Rusty was far more enthraled as he kept licking my face and barking until I stumbled back over to the computer only to fall face forward again until noon break.

    I was also awaiting the Pies lies (testimony) only to again fall into Zombie mode. I’ve been waiting all day to get your translation on this cluster fuck!

  7. shell said

    I’d love to be your BFF! GENIUS!

  8. houdini said

    Kim….once again you have outdone yourself. your title is hilarious and i actually could understand some of the gobbedly gook voodoo science with your explanation. trying to listen to this old scientist confused me but you made it clear. too bad he didn’t avail himself of your fine illustrations! i kept thinking that rudimentary drawing he proferred was done by Sarah Caplan since it reminded me of her LWT drawing. and if you’re only making $5K a day, a professional illustration, or even a page ripped out of one of his dusty anatomy texts, would have been better than what he showed up with. scary to think this man might have once been a leader in his field. better yet, scary that others thought he was a leader in his field.

    dini

  9. Nancy said

    Thank you so much for this blog. I watched the testimony, I am of a scientific bent, and it was a pile of pulpified jello to me.You must be much better at staying awake than I am. Now I know what was actually said. Not that it was intelligible, or even responsive, or anything trivial like that.
    I kept thinking it was perhaps only me that thought he was repeatedly answering some entirely different question than was actually asked by Jackson. Like they were in a totally different conversation.
    Meet Warner Spitz–denizen of an entirely
    different space-time continuum.
    Do you think he’s doing it deliberately? Oh not the outright lying about basic neural anatomy–that’s on purpose.(5,000 purchases). I mean the answering of a totally different (& unasked) question. i bet it is.For all his ramblings, he seems somehow shrewder to me than “mumbles” Baden.

    (change of suject) Tommorrow is Aug 24th. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who has remembered.Will you be wearing your tin foil hat under or perched atop, your red wig? Please provide peeectures.

    Thanks for the roll-on-floor-laughs,
    Nancy

  10. Gail said

    Hey Kim get rid of the woodchipper LOL

    It’s such a relief to come here every evening and have a few laughs, especially after listening to people like BadMan and Spitter all day!

    Sometimes I tune the court out, knowing I can get the low-down here. Thanks so much Kim for your great reporting. Really Really great, incase I forgot something, it is HERE! :)

  11. Don Sparks said

    This message may ramble a bit. I’ve been watching Dr(but at this point I’m not sure Dr of what, not anatomy or the nervous system)Spitz and he has me confused. I’m still trying to think if he actually had a straight or honest answer. He’s not a Dr of language because he hasn’t ever heard of yes or no.

    Spitze falls along with the rest of the defenses science experts. All had different oponions. Based on their testomony I’m not sure if the defense is going to argue Spector was 6 feet, 2 feet, upstairs or on the moon when the shooting took place( I would sooner believe the moon).

    It’s a sad state if when you take out their science experts their best witness is “Punkin Pie”. How would you like your life to be in her hands or riding on her breasts?

    This is my first experience with watching and following along on the chats. I must say I have enjoyed your observations and those of Sprockets. I believe you have captured the feelings of a lot of the followers in your observations.

    Regards

    Don Sparks

  12. Lisa said

    My husband and I nearly peed our pants reading this. Thank you!

  13. CloseReader said

    Wow.
    A.

    With or without your Gray’s Anatomy?

    Did I hear Roger say something about how Tawni Tindall had helped Miss Pie fill in her datebook since Pie didn’t bring her glasses today? He wanted to mention this since the handwriting in the datebook was not all the same. Anybody else catch something like that? Was Tawni Tindall on hand to help as a “memory-jogger” should Miss Pie’s testimony be required today? So, Miss Pie’s memory (under oath… she confessed to having a terrible memory as I recall) has been restored enough to go back and update her 2002 datebook as Tawni filled in the calendar squares. That’s good news since this is a murder trial and the details are important. I wonder if any other days of the week besides Tuesday eves at Backstage were noted. Whatever…this Tawni chick deserves a raise–the money kind, not the eye kind.

    Perhaps someone has got Lana’s phone records showing their telephone time too. Otherwise, I guess it’s back to Tawni.

    I do think the Judge is a true mensch for letting Miss Pie back on the stand. Never let it be said that Judge Fidler lacks wit.

    Thanks for your work and insight.
    See you Monday.

  14. Maureen said

    This is brilliant!!! You have one wicked sense of humour…I love it!!!

  15. A.D.A. said

    Forget Paul. You & Alan Jackson are obviously Superpeople, capable of stamina, endurance, and powers of intelligent analysis unattainable to the rest of the race. Plus, you could probably get very fine teeny-tiny needles and knit him awesome pasmina/silk blend suits.

    Wonder if my bet can be won by claiming that Spector, Dr. Spitz, and the defense team are already members of the Undead, kept going by feeding on money, time, and Lana’s dissected body?

    If “the big one” finally hits LA soon, call it as “Lana’s Revenge”.

  16. Sprocket said

    Ah, Kim priceless! You had to drag my mind back to my early anatomy classes where we had to memorize the 12 cranial nerves, and what areas of the body they send signals to and from. I remember the names of the nerves, but I can’t seem to remember the little tricks that were use to remember them all lol!

    Olfactory
    Optic
    Occulomotor
    Trochlear
    Trigeminal
    Abducens
    Facial
    Vestibulocochlear
    Glossopharyngeal
    Vagus
    Accessory
    Hypolossal

  17. Kendall said

    I absolutely love your blogs. You are hilarious. One thing I cannot get out of my mind is these “freaks” that call themselves Lanas friends. No “true friend” would ever say those things about someone they love. Not only are they saying it to the world, but they are actually trying to help the “freak” that murdered her. Look at them. Look how disgusting, ragged, dragged, burnt- out (I could go on and on) they both are and look at how beautiful Lana was. No way did Lana do the things they do. The proof is in the skin!!!

  18. pj said

    Kim – i dont whether you have friends or not but you definitely have talent. I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I got booted from court tv by coldwater for laughing with one of the other posters when they called punkin pie – “pork pie”. So I rely on your blog for the low down every day, I look forward to it! keep it up the good work!

  19. Dave said

    So, Spitz and the Pie both need others to remember things for them. Maybe they are related somehow. LK-B’s illness is known as backaftertestifyisis. Monday, the defense should testify that Spector tried to give Lana cpr, and blew the blood into her lungs. That way the blood could get onto Spector’s jacket via exhale and it wouldnt matter if the spinal cord was cut or jello. How’s THAT for an AHA moment? Spitz did say that even if the cord was not completely transected the surrounding cord would be traumatized and turn to a jello like substance, didn’t he? I understood that part of his testimony to mean that even with a severed spinal cord our brain could still communicate via the “jello”.

  20. FloA said

    Kim…you are priceless. All I can do is reiterate all the other comments to this article.

    But, one more thing….I believe everything in your blog except that you have no friends….that is unbelievable.

    Your WannaBe Friend,
    FloA

  21. A.D.A. said

    Pie’s datebook is probably going to be in the same handwriting as Babydol’s trickbook “correction”.

  22. Geez, this whole thing with the pathologists is ridiculous. Get some actual clinicians up there: neurosurgeons, neurologists, they will all say there is no way the spinal cord is going to transmit any signals after such a bullet wound.

    Spitz’s testimony blew my mind. I was sitting here thinking “My God! Have I really fogotten *that* much science since college?” I had to go and dig out all my textbooks from my Vertebrate Evolution classes just to assure myself I wasn’t disremembering everything I ever learned.

    I mean, I knew that college was a long time ago for me, but I didn’t think the human body had changed all THAT much since then.

    The guy is a paid shill, willing to relocate nerves and rewrite basic medical knowledge to prove his point for his client.

    I didn’t think he was all that credible the frist time he testified, but any credibility he did have he threw out the window yesterday.

    Kim

  23. I kept thinking it was perhaps only me that thought he was repeatedly answering some entirely different question than was actually asked by Jackson. Like they were in a totally different conversation.

    It was really odd. Really, really odd. But it made me laugh.

    Kim

  24. Tommorrow is Aug 24th. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who has remembered.Will you be wearing your tin foil hat under or perched atop, your red wig? Please provide peeectures.

    Crap! I forgot!! Thanks for the reminder. I am going to talk to her today – since the trial is dark, today is my “free day”. I have to go to the post office, then to Kinney’s, and then when I get back I plan on seeing where she is at and clearing up a few things with her. Like “You do not come over for any reason between 12:30 and 7:00″, I’ve told her before, but I guess it’s going to take some repeating before it sinks in.

    And I need to find out some more info on the people behind her who she thinks are floating above the ground peeking in her windows.

    Kim

  25. Sprocket said

    And I need to find out some more info on the people behind her who she thinks are floating above the ground peeking in her windows.

    Uh, good luck with that, Kim, LOL! You may get more than you bargained for!

  26. Based on their testomony I’m not sure if the defense is going to argue Spector was 6 feet, 2 feet, upstairs or on the moon when the shooting took place( I would sooner believe the moon).

    That’s the real question, isn’t it?

    They’ve changed their theory of the case so many times and argued so many different scenarios, it’s a little hard to know *what* they are going to argue in closings. I’m really looking forward to their “final theory” and see how much time we wasted with them arguing things they later changed their mind about.

    And what’s so stupid about the whole thing is that they have Spector sitting right the hell there!! Don’t think the jury isn’t going to wonder “Well, gee, if they think NOW that she coughed – why didn’t Spector just TELL them in the beginiing – look, guys, the blood got there when she coughed on me…and if first they said he was by the stairs, and then no, he ran towards her, and then no, he over in this other place – why didn’t Spector just tell them all that to BEGIN with?”

    It only looks suspicious when a defense changes strategy in mid trial. It’s not like they are saying “some other guy came in and killed her and I wasn’t there…” they HAVE an eyewitness sitting at the table with them.

    The constant “AHA’s” make Spector look even more guilty.

    Kim

  27. Did I hear Roger say something about how Tawni Tindall had helped Miss Pie fill in her datebook since Pie didn’t bring her glasses today? He wanted to mention this since the handwriting in the datebook was not all the same. Anybody else catch something like that?

    Rosen had a seperate piece of paper that he offered to the proseuction and the court – it was a transcription of the datebook and the events that Lana and Pie had attended together in 2002-2003. Tyndall had to copy from the datebook because Pie forgot her glasses.

    She wasn’t actually filling in the datebook – Pie probably did that at home before she came to court – I mean, really, who’s going to argue that she and Lana *weren’t* together 52 times in 2002.

    BUt I agreed with the proseuction – this has already been testified to the first time Pie was on the stand – she already said she and Lana were together at least once a week at her “club things” and that they talked on the phone a lot.

    The only thing more testimony to this will point out is “If you loved her so much and cared about her so much and spent so much time with her, why are you testifyiung for the guy who killed her?”

    Kim

  28. but I can’t seem to remember the little tricks that were use to remember them all lol!

    I learned them by remembering the phrase:

    Oh Once One Takes The Anatomy Final Very Good Vacations Are Heavenly

    I remember there was another phrase with hairy vaginas in it – but that’s not the one that was taught to us.

    Kim

  29. I got booted from court tv by coldwater for laughing with one of the other posters when they called punkin pie – “pork pie”.

    The Court TV message boards? You got booted? For that? Oh my, I guess It’s a good thing I don’t go over there – I wouldn’t make it past posting two messages, would I? I don’t do very well in a censored environment, and I don’t condone them, or like them, either.

    If “coldwater” is the one who decides what gets said then it really isn’t the “Court TV” forums, or even a public forum, is it – it’s really “Coldwater’s” forum.

    You may call Punkin Pie anything you’d like, here.

    Kim

  30. wyler said

    A nice multilingual mnemonic aid site but their On Old Olympus’ Towering Tops A Fat Angelic Girl Viewed Spanish Hops probably isn’t as good as yours, Kim:

  31. wyler said

    Sorry but must have miscoded the link — here it is again:

    http://www.ict4us.com/mnemonics/

  32. Pile said

    I wish AJ would have asked Pie to bring ALL her date books, not only the 2003 one. That would have kept her and Tawni Tindall busy over the weekend!!!

  33. Jassyca said

    I still don’t understand why the defense thinks this new “strategy” is so much better. That they’d rather the jury think Phil saw Lana shoot herself and then stood there with his thumb up his ass as she twitched, gasped and burbled up blood and, instead of calling for help, their client decided to wander outside to talk to his driver. “Oh, look, she shot herself. Hey, think I’ll ask Andriano if he caught that Lakers game.” And let’s not forget he came back into the house and farted about for another 40 minutes, including playing in the toilet (is he regressing to a second childhood?) without ever picking up a fucking phone. THAT?? *That’s* a good mental picture to put in the jury’s head?!

    I simply don’t understand why they see this “strategy” as better than the other “strategy” of Phil standing several feet away and magically infused blood spatter managed to hover a few feet above the ground for some unknown distance until it flung itself all over one side of Phil’s coat?

    Spitz (blood) is another of their “experts” who agreed that the spatter on Phil’s jacket could *only* have been back blow from the initial shot. He never said it was globby, gooey, bloody chunks of tissue coughed up as Lana drowned in her own blood. At least he didn’t the first time on the witness stand. Wouldn’t they have also found saliva if that blood had been coughed up?

    So I wonder if they’ll bring back that other “ex-spurt” so he too can change his testimony that the spatter had to be from Lana coughing (or “exhaling” or whatever-the-fuck)? Bet he could use another five grand too.

  34. Hank said

    I think you have more friends than you realize or admit, Kim. Your posts here and on AFCA have made a lot of people care about you and your life. Maybe your “cyber friends” don’t come over for coffee, but that would just annoy you anyhow, right?

    Remember George, No man is a failure who has friends. Oh yeah, and every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.

  35. I think you have more friends than you realize or admit, Kim. Your posts here and on AFCA have made a lot of people care about you and your life. Maybe your “cyber friends” don’t come over for coffee, but that would just annoy you anyhow, right?

    Yes, yes that would.

    And as long as my “cyber friends” don’t get up on the stand in Paul’s murder trial and testify for the defense that they spent 52 days a year with me because they read my blog once a week(“Here’s my ISP bills and IE History to prove it!”) Or that I was depressed and didn’t want to live in this town anymore with the hicks and the redneck games and the no book store illiterates, and that I was upset because the Chamber of Commerce lady dissed me (“I’ve been in her house! I Know her fucking kids names!”) or that I was drinking Rum & Eggnog excessively at Christmastime (Hint: I do that *every* year), and that I had a curious affection for my purse (another hint: I don’t OWN a purse).

    And I don’t want Lesmond and Groo up on the stand saying one of them was a daytime friend and one was a nighttime friend. (Although if I had to choose, I’d want groo to be the nighttime friend.)

    I just don’t think that “friends” should be testifying for the person who killed thier “friend”. And spilling all their secrets and using the down times that they shared as ammunition. It all seems rather pathetic and “unfriendly” to me.

    Remember George, No man is a failure who has friends.

    Yeah, well, a fat PayPal account makes up for a lot of failures.

    Kim

  36. Holy Toledo said

    Man, that took a long time to read your better than live report and all those postings but they were GOOD. You definitely have admirers, myself included. Friends can be taxing. I have a few and I’m glad I do but admirers would be a nice fill-in. TIC (tongue in cheek) (face cheek)

    Friends….. well, who was it that said “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? I just read it somewhere.

    Kim, you have damn smart bloggers with great senses of humor. I loved the “ex-spurt witness” phrase.

    And one more thing. I’m really disappointed in CTV. Beth carries that show. They have live testimony tucked in 90/60/30 second commercials with news updates. My mute button is wearing out. And Jack….his monotone or drone is so tiring, I just read his lips and leave mute on.

    Have an eventful weekend.

    HT

  37. Glenda said

    That is so amazing because when I was in anatomy class and doing cadaver dissection, my professor made a big deal about finding the “famous Vagas” nerve and made locating it part of the final. And now, it is once again “famous”.

    I just have to believe that the jury is wishing someone would transect their medullas so they don’t have to listen to anymore droning and speculating. I thought that I had seen shameless tap dancing at other trials, but this one has really gone over the top. Yes I believe in *innocent until proven guilty* and everyone has a right to a fair and impartial trial. . .but the machinations and insinuations are just making me tired.

  38. Patti said

    I wont even begin to say how many years ago I graduated nursing school….our saying for the cranial nerves was
    On Old Olympus Towering Tops A Fin and German Viewed Some Hops.
    I know it doesnt match but we used the term auditory instead of vestibucochlear and spinoaccessory. So still worked althought the newer words are more accurate. Ok, so I am ancient.
    I worked ICU for years doing alot of head trauma and spinal cord injuries, many from gunshot wounds. Nothing the good? Dr. described made sense to me. You did a wonderful job with your explanations. I took a med school neuro anatomy course when I got my Masters. Sounds like he needed to as well.
    Patti

  39. Holy Toledo said

    There once was a blogger named Kim
    Whose blogs were a great source of sin,

    She tivoed CTV daily from 11 to 7PM
    Adding fodder for her wit and satirical whim,

    The Spector defense was such a no-win
    She found neighbor’s behavior as good as drinking gin,

    How you may think Kim is useless as shit
    Not true, the girl can sew and rumored double knit.

  40. Catherine said

    What fun Kim! You took all those hours of testimony and made me able to understand it and laugh at it. We were all going crazy on the Court TV message ‘bored’.

    Can I be your friend too? You have a gift. I hope that you have been approached about writing a book. I have read a couple of memoirs that stated as blogs. Your writing and ability to see the absurd is fantastic! I look forward to your recap everyday and would love to read whatever you write – your neighbor story had me crying from laughter!

  41. Tess said

    I think you are amazing. I work so I don’t get to actually see the trial. However, I can visualize it with your words. It just so happens that I saw the good Dr. yesterday. I felt the words that you have written! I just don’t know what I would do if I was one of the jurors. At the end of the day, we can only hope all the BS is cut off and discarded and justice is meted out. Thank you for your time and talent. I always enjoy reading your blog.

  42. catchme said

    Thank you for the GREAT read. I was smiling for an hour!!! I had surgery for glossopharyngeal neuralgia a few years ago, so it was a good day watching them talk about that little known nerve. I had an artery and two veins causing me to have 4 different neuralgia problems in my brain. I was scratching my head(where they drilled a hole into my skull) there for a while, because I never had any breathing problems with all those attacks. I am glad Baden wasn’t my doctor, of course he does come with his own skull… I have to admit, the nerve talk did get on my last good one after awhile.

    BTW- Anyone who can knit or crochet(me, more than knitting) ROCKS in my book and is my new, bestest, besty, best, best friend. Don’t worry about me, I NEVER leave my house, so I won’t be around to make up stuff about you on the witness stand. I will NEVER tell anyone you were kissing raul down by the school yard.

  43. Holy Toledo said

    Sorry about the typo in the limerick.

    It should read:

    Now you may think Kim is useless as shit
    Not true, the girl can sew and rumored double knit.

  44. Jassyca said

    Wish someone would tell us how the jury reacted to the Doctor’s hot air. I just rechecked the thread on Court TV’s message board that contains a quickie synopsis on each of the jurors and none of them have any kind of medical background. The closest is juror #7, “an environmental health specialist” which god only knows what the freak that is and what kind of background you would need for it.

    So even though Jackson was more correct than the Doctor, I wonder how many of the jurors will actually realize that? :(

  45. Kate said

    I was revolted listening to Spitz insist all that was necessary to breathe was an intact vagus nerve which only sends a message to the brain of a need to inhale -and that muscles which need a message from the brain down the spinal cord before they contract -will anyway in spite of being completely cut off from the brain.

    That should be a real shocker to the many ventilator-dependent quadriplegics who suffered a transected cord even further down from Clarkson’s -that THEIR doctors have been “lying” to them all this time.

    The jury should be disgusted with these paid quacks at their attempts to deceive them over and over -but since it is in California, who knows.

    Love this blog -keep up the good work. What you write is far more interesting than these snoozer dinosaurs the defense puts on.

  46. Nancy said

    Glad to be of service. I was ROFL ar that story. Don’t forget the peeectures(word stolen from Sporcket’s great vocabulary).
    Too bad AJ didn’t read the CTV board.
    1)One great poster asked if rigor mortis would have supported the neck.(LC had been in fully-developed rigor by the time she was moved). 3 EMTs and an MD all said, yes. Essentially, the rigor would have acted as a neck brace.
    2)Another bright poster pointed out that, to have SOS (Spewed on Spector), Lana would have had to RAISE her head, to lift her chin, WITH A BROKEN NECK!
    3) The bullet also went through the lower part of her brain–the part I think, that houses all those..er inspiriatory and expiratory centers AND, according to Spitz, all those stray imaginary nerves that bypas the spinal cord to allow us to breathe while, essentially, “internally decapitated”.(I watch “True Stories of the ER”). Unless Spitz was going to say that HER particular breathing nerves came out of her eyeballs or something.
    I wonder if Spitz thinks that all those quadraplegics who are on permanent ventilators AND who had much lower injuries and less severe than Lana’s are just not trying hard enough–to find all those extra “breathing nerves” he’s so sure of.
    As for Spitz coming from “Planet of Other- Conversation”,I too eventually found it funny, After I got over how similar it was to my ex-husband’s standard form of “communication”.
    Keep the laughs rollin’ our way. And remember, No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished.
    Nancy

  47. […] CA vs. Spector – What Happens in the Vagus, Stays in the Vagus  I hope that when Paul eventually kills me and throws me in that wood chipper he is always threatening my ass with, […] […]

  48. groo said

    Woo Hoo! Nighttime friend!

    Kim, you’ve outdone yourself on this one. How the heck do you remember all that medical crap?

    One small correction, though. It’s not a “soft palette”, it’s a “soft palate”. A palette is the thing that painters smear all their different paints on before transferring some of it to the canvas.

  49. Daisy said

    Kim, you are hilarious and right on the money.

    I have to say that at one point yesterday I was picturing Spitz stuttering, “but, but, but… there’s ALWAYS room for jello!!”

    Personally, I stopped listening to him for anything other than the same kind of sick thrill you get if you were watching a live train wreck after his first time on the stand when his reaction to Phil’s history of “prior bad acts” with women and guns was that is was some kind of “dating” game played by single people that he really wouldn’t know anything about because he’s married.

    I sure hope there are a few people on the jury who can explain the idiocy of his testimony about the spinal cord, the vagus nerve, and breathing to anyone else on the jury who was either just confused by or sound asleep during yesterday’s testimony.

    Oh, and I’ll be one of your “night time friends” if you need another one. hee hee
    ~Daisy

  50. Sprocket said

    The closest is juror #7, “an environmental health specialist” which god only knows what the freak that is and what kind of background you would need for it.

    I have to say this about juror #7. This was the juror that always held the little door/gate open for everyone else in the jury box to enter/exit. Did it every time. He has white, white hair, and asian/mexican features. Mr. Dunne and I thought he just had the air or aristocratcy (sp?).

  51. susan said

    Kim.
    You are simply amazing! I don’t even bother watching the trial anymore. Everything one needs to know is in your blog along with a dose of humor. I live in LA and have my own P.S story. A former friend of mine was dating him. Our friendship ended when I realized that he had her phone tapped and was monitoring ALL of her friends. This was around the time his young son was dying from leukemia. It was told to me by this former friend that he had even threatened the lives of the Dr’s who were caring for his son if they were not able to save him. Sadly the little boy didn’t make it.

  52. Sagi said

    Hi Kim…Terrific place ya got here!

    Just a brief note about CTTV’s message board. Coldwater is an employee who has a helluva job as moderator. I wish she did have the freedom you do to say what she felt! Bet she does too! LOL

    Now back to your blog…it’s a great place to come for easy reading, lots of laughs, and as far as I know this is about as good as it gets.

    Thanks, I’ll definitely look for ya everyday!

  53. njgill said

    I’ve been trying to remember why I knew the word “intercostal” – in the movie “bringing Up Baby”, the missing bone Cary Grant needs to complete his dinosaur skeleton (the bone that has been stolen and buried by Katharine Hepburn’s dog George) is an intercostal clavicle.

    Kim, you have lots of friends – and tell Paul if he tries stuffing you in the wood chipper that Frances McDormand will get him!

  54. pattymac said

    If you go through the wood chipper, all Paul has to do is get the smartest guy on usenet to testify how you killed all those Canadian babies. Paul will get off for sure.

    Pattymac

  55. Glenda said

    FOK Friends of Kim–kinda rolls off the tongue nicely doesn’t it?

  56. […] What Happens in the Vagus, Stays in the Vagus […]

  57. […] I would have wished that Kim, having created a gap in her question/answer question/answer record of the cross-examination, used the opportunity to go on to point out that – if the fulcrum of the jury’s decision on Guilty or Not Guilty turns out to be a chapter in a book that Dr Spitz had read for the first time the night before – Anthony Samuelson must have a point when he says that the time has come to stop pussy-footing around and for experiments to be carried out on non-human primates to ascertain the facts once and for all. Kim’s posting is here. […]

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