The Darwin Exception

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CA vs. Spector – Solving Mysteries

Posted by thedarwinexception on July 10, 2007

Well, we may not know exactly what happened to Lana Clarkson, but thanks to John Barons we can lay to rest the whole “Marilyn” mystery. According to Barons and his “Brentwood Blondes” script, it was Joe Kennedy Sr. who did in that particular Brentwood Blonde. And Barons also testified today that he had re-written his play to include the ghost of Lana, although when asked by the prosecution if this meant that she, too, was killed by a famous man, the premise of the other three “Brentwood Blondes” in his play, he confessed that he really hadn’t made that determination quite yet. but out of respect for his former employee, he felt he had to include her in the production.

In other testimony Barons confessed that he did not exactly hire Clarkson for her great acting talent, which he described as “minimal at best”. He had other motives in mind when he gave her the role of Marilyn Monroe, only to fire her a month later. Lana had given him a copy of her self produced and self written DVD she called “Lana Unleashed”, and although completely under whelmed by the actress and her abilities, the last three minutes of the DVD caught the playwright’s attention. He saw that Roger Corman, the cult favorite director of B horror movies, and a great favorite of Baron’s, made a cameo appearance in Lana’s DVD, and seemed to be quite taken with her. Barons realized that if he hired Lana there was a chance Corman might come to see the play, and he decided that he would hire Lana for the opportunity.

“So you hired Lana for purely selfish reasons, so that Corman might see your play and help *you* out?” Asked the prosecution.

“It’s Hollywood” Barons replied.

Next to the stand was David Schapiro, who had a brief and not exactly deep friendship with Lana over the course of about 8 months. Their friendship consisted mostly of him taking her to dinner a lot and paying her way into events. The defense had him read a series of emails the two had written back and forth where she very dramatically lamented her lack of money, her lack of acting opportunities and her lack of will to go on. He admitted that he didn’t *really* think she was “a starving actress” as she described herself in one of the emails – not to the point that he thought she needed medical attention or anything, that “starving actress” was simply a descriptive phrase used by many actresses in Hollywood, even the ones who don’t look like the Olsen twins or Nicole Ritchie.

He also didn’t think that her phrase “I’m ready to chuck it all” was a “cry for help” or a reason to call the suicide hotline. He testified that their friendship ended when she asked him if she could borrow $600 to pay her rent, he countered with an offer of $200 because he didn’t feel comfortable lending her $600, then decided that he really didn’t feel comfortable lending her $200, either, and she took this as a betrayal of their friendship.

Crossing Schapiro, prosecutor Alan Jackson went into a long description about the acting business in Hollywood, suggesting that complaining about employment is pretty normal for an actor – or even a writer like Schapiro.. “It’s a kind of tough business all around, is it not?” he asks. “It is a fickle business,” he continues. “When there are downs, they are way downs, employment is transitory and sometimes there are long stretches between jobs. It is sometimes depressing, isn’t it? he asks the witness.

“You’re making me depressed right now,” Schapiro interjects, getting a laugh from everyone in the courtroom, even Spector, who rarely chuckles along with the rest of the courtroom.

Of course, Schapiro isn’t too depressed at the moment. He’s now a producer on the Court TV show “Speeders”.

In between witnesses there was a little drama outside the presence of the jury when the defense wanted to put on a witness that the prosecution hadn’t turned over discovery material on. The witness is Raul Julia Levy, the son of late actor Raul Julia and a former boyfriend of Clarkson’s. The prosecution said that there was a very good reason they hadn’t turned over discovery and asked for an ex-parte hearing with the judge. The defense took offense to this, made a few snide comments about how many ex parte hearings the prosecution was getting, which made Judge Fidler tell Roger Rosen to shut up and sit down, that he was the judge and he wasn’t playing favorites with anyone, thank you very much. Rosen apologized, the prosecution got their ex parte hearing and when the parties met back in open court the judge said that yes, there was indeed a very good reason the prosecution hadn’t turned over the discovery materials, and the defense should be very happy because if the prosecution’s current investigation into this witness panned out, it would be good for the defense, and that if they put this witness on the stand before hand, it could “irrevocably harm their case”. So that was kind of mysterious and intriguing.

Next up was another friend of Lana’s, this one named Jennifer Hays, and who knew Lana through the infamous “Punkin Pie”, who we still don’t know if the judge is going to allow to testify. Hays offered no more on the stand than a description of Lana’s “cottage”, as Lana affectionately called it. Ms. Hays seemed to be a little confused at why she was there, and frankly, so was I, although she did offer that she contacted the police after Lana’s death “to tell the truth”, about what, we do not know, because all she really was able to say on the stand was that Lana liked Marilyn Monroe, had pictures and memorabilia around her “cottage” and that she had a bathroom, one bedroom, and a kitchen. Not exactly Earth shattering stuff, or information that would make one scramble to impart such data to the police after the death of a friend.

So far, most of the non technical witnesses the defense has offered have all mentioned Marilyn Monroe and Lana’s idolization of the star. If the defense is trying to paint Lana as a person who was so obsessed with Marilyn Monroe that she committed suicide to emulate her, I think that the broad stroked brush they are using to paint the picture with has a few bristles missing. I think that more parallels can be drawn between Anna Nicole Smith and Marilyn than Lana and Marilyn, and even the Anna Nicole connection to Monroe is tenuous at best. The defense is seemingly missing the fact that Monroe didn’t put a gun in her mouth, she overdosed on pills, which, by the way, Lana had access to. If she really wanted to cement her relationship with Monroe by committing suicide, it seems she would have stockpiled some of the Vicodin and other pain killers the defense has tried to prove she had such an affinity for, lock  herself in the bedroom that they had a witness testify she really did have, grab the telephone, and swallow the pills. Shooting yourself in the mouth in a stranger’s home with a stranger’s gun really isn’t saying “I love you Marilyn!! See, I’m just like you!”

But, then again, nobody asked me.

Tomorrow will have testimony in the morning only, as a juror has a prior commitment in the afternoon.


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