Posts Tagged ‘monica lindstrom’
There is a new book project and a 48 Hours Mystery show coming out about the death of Natalie Wood Wagner. This coming November 29 will be the 30th anniversary of her death. To me it seems morbid to be celebrating an anniversary of a tragic death, but, what do I know.
The story is that Natalie, Robert Wagner (her husband), Christopher Walken and the boat’s captain took the boat to Catalina for dinner. During dinner the trio had several drinks then returned to the boat and continued drinking. According to Wagner, him and Walken got into a trivial argument, made up and then went to bed. Wagner noticed his wife wasn’t there so he waited for around 15 minutes and when she did not show he went looking for her. He notified the authorities and in the morning she was found having drowned. The coroner ruled it an accident in that she had bruises on her cheeks that indicated she had fallen. No charges were brought and the investigation was closed.
Now, 30 years later the ship’s captain is coming out saying that he lied to investigators years ago and that he thinks the death was Wagner’s fault. I find this problematic. First, how good is his memory after 30 years? Is his memory really based on what happened or has it been influenced by all the movies, TV shows, books and magazines he has read and watched over the years? How can we believe that what he NOW says is true? I say that we cannot. How do we know it is not about the money? Also, where is the evidence? Oh yeah, there is none other than the bruises.
Granted, there is no statute of limitations for murder and the police likely have to reopen the case since there is so much publicity surrounding the anniversary, especially since there is a book project and a 48 Hours show in the works. However, I hope this story dies fast so that her loved ones do not have to go through any more unnecessary heart ache.
As a mother – I am disgusted and enraged;
As a sports fan – I am disgusted and enraged;
As a lawyer – I am all that and hope that you rot.
Now my blogs usually explain the legal landscape of a particular case and what the public and the defendant can expect to happen. Rarely do I give my personal opinions; however, I am going to deviate with this one.
I understand that the world of sports, and especially college football, is very different from the reality that most of us live in. I understand it is all about the wins, the reputation and above all, about the money. But that is no excuse. As a human being there should be times that you rise above the petty and protect your fellow human being – ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT HUMAN BEING IS A CHILD! Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, should fail in comparison to the importance of protecting a child from being raped and abused. The men (if you can even call them that) at Penn State that allowed the horrible acts to take place (and continue to take place) should be ashamed of themselves and should rot somewhere that is dark, uncomfortable and cold. Yes, these are strong statements and maybe not politically correct but I do not care.
These men, other than Sandusky, did not do the act itself, and did not do the “first” act, but by their inactions they facilitated, encouraged and provided the means to continue the horrible abuses of the children. Yes, I am even talking about the much loved Joe Paterno. I don’t care what you have done in your professional life, how many games you have won and lost, how much money you have made, you failed to do everything you could to protect someone who needed your protection and to me that means that you failed. You say that you did not know the exact details…what more did you need to know? You had enough information to make the right call and you didn’t.
All of those involved failed, even the grad assistant that first reported it…why didn’t you follow up! You knew what you saw and you chose to only go so far – that is disappointing. Almost everyone who was involved and knew something was up consciously decided to not go to the police, or not stop it. For that you should be ashamed. Nothing is more important that the welfare of a child, especially one who had been raped, abused and fondled. You had better hope that Karma forgives you because the mothers and the victims never will.
If you want to know the timeline click here. All these men knew something was going on and did not stop it when they had the ability and the means to do so. Look at the timeline and see what these people did and did not do – you will see a common theme – they didn’t take it where it needed to go:
Ronald Shreffler, Lerry Lauro (investigator with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Public Welfare), Ray Gricar (a prosecutor), Thomas Harmon (campus security), Tim Curley (Penn State Athletic Director), Gary Schultz (Penn State VP), Dr. Jack Raykovitz (Executive Director of Second Mile), and Graham Spanier (University President) just to name some who KNEW something and failed to do anything outside of their own little reality to stop it. Oh sure, they may have banned Sandusky from this or that, but they could have and should have done more. Again, you should be ashamed of yourselves and yes, I am judging you.
As for you Penn State, Second Mile and the High School that was involved – get out your checkbook because there is no defense.
If you watch TV at all you know Fox TV’s “Special Report With Bret Baier,” the number one ranked news show. I will be the first to admit that I am not a big fan of politics – I find it frustrating and inauthentic. However, if the politicians had as much integrity and charisma as Bret Baier, our Country would be in a better place.
Here is how my moment started…It was a Thursday afternoon and I was on my way to the Ritz Carlton in Phoenix to attend a luncheon hosted by Harris Private Bank and M&I Wealth Management (a part of BMO Financial). My girlfriend, Dr. Tara Brodkin, had invited me to attend several weeks earlier but I hadn’t taken the time to see who was speaking or what the lunch was about. I was just happy to be going to an “adult lunch.” When I walked in I first noticed how incredibly full the lunch was and that the only seats available for us were at the table – at the very front of the room. Normally this would not be ideal – however, this time was perfect.
As I sat down I noticed the title of the lunch and who the speaker was. I was intrigued because of all the work I have done with both Fox National and Fox Local. Even though I have met and spoken with many of the anchors and hosts such as Shepard Smith, Neil Cavuto, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Martha MacCallum (to name a few) I had not had the opportunity to meet or speak with Bret. I was pleasantly surprised.
In a crisp blue suit, white shirt and smart blue/navy/white striped tie, Bret started his discussion with his resume and how he got to where he was today. Normally some may see this as bragging but he explained it in a way that was fascinating. He turned his resume into a story starting with his first TV gig and going through how he was involved with the coverage of 9-11, his trips overseas, his White House gig, and the start of Fox News Channel – Fair and Balanced. When he was done I would have been willing to buy a copy of the book he has yet to write about his life since I can only imagine the stories he has to tell. I was riveted, even though I am not a fan of politics.
Bret has made his career covering political events and world events. He has been in the right place at the right times and you can see him today not only on Fox but also moderating several of the political debates of the 2011/2012 campaigns. One thing I found interesting is that when he was asked his opinion by someone in the audience, he bluntly stated, “I rarely give my opinion” since it is his job to cover the stories. That has to be difficult – but what a great line! One nugget he gave us was that he thinks our economic future revolves around what is happening with the European market and that we are “one world event away from slipping.”
Bret was here in Phoenix to entertain us due to a college friend that lives in the Valley. I believe that the hosts paid him, however, I believe he donated the money to his favorite charity, The Children’s National Medical Center . If you have the opportunity to see him or to listen, I recommend you do so.
At the end of his discussion I took the opportunity to go right up to him, introduce myself, and tell him how much I enjoyed the lunch. He may not, but I will remember by moment with Bret Baier.
Day #6 in the Dr. Conrad Murray trial (Michael Jackson Death Trial) mostly consisted of ladies. To be specific, Dr. Murray’s ladies. The prosecution called 3 of the doctor’s girlfriends, past and present. Apparently all 3 are or were strippers and/or servers. Now, as a former prosecutor, I am sure the prosecution was salivating at this information and tried everything it could to get this information in. After all, if you are a stripper you can’t be believed right? If you like strippers you can’t be believed right? If you have a baby with a stripper you are definitely not a good person, right? (insert sarcasm)
Well, the prosecution scored on this one. Each of the three ladies are what you would call “timeline” witnesses. Dr. Murray had communications (phone call or text message) with each of them the day Michael Jackson died. As such, they are witnesses. As witnesses, certain information about them and their proclivity for telling the truth is now relevant. In comes the “stripper” information. Hold up, not so fast, the Judge in this case correctly saw the prejudicial nature of having their professions known by the jury and thus ruled this information could not come in. However, they could mention “social club.” Oh please – as if the jury won’t figure that one out. I have yet to see the relevance of what their chosen profession is and more importantly, I fail to see the relevance that Dr. Murray goes, or went, to strip clubs. BIG DEAL. It doesn’t prove any element of the prosecution’s case and is more prejudicial than probative in my opinion. (That is the test of relevancy; does it have a tendency to prove a material fact in issue – if so, is the probative value outweighed by the prejudicial impact.)
In the end does it make a difference, that he likes strippers, to the issue of whether his gross deviation from the standard of case caused MJ’s death? No. But, considering the social taboo surrounding strippers and those who socialize with them, he could be convicted just because of this.
Wow! After 4 years Amanda Knox is finally free and the case is done (well, almost). I have been commenting on this case since it happened in 2007. Even from the beginning I thought the prosecutor had a tough case and couldn’t understand how there was a conviction with such little evidence. You have to ask, whose fault was it that she was convicted in the first place? A crooked prosecutor, an inferior defense team, a powerful media?
For those of you who don’t know what happened, Amanda Knox was an American exchange student living and studying in Italy. One night her roommate was murdered. Amanda and her boyfriend claimed they were not present but the prosecution and the fact finders in the first trial believed differently. The main evidence was the fact that Amanda’s DNA was on the murder weapon, a kitchen knife. She argued that this evidence wasn’t enough since she lived with the victim and of course her DNA would be on the evidence. She, along with her ex-boyfriend, were convicted of murder and sentenced to prison. Interestingly, the actual murderer was also convicted after he was caught leaving the country after the murder.
I cannot remember all the stories that were floating around in the media but some claimed there were deviant sexual behaviors that she was involved in that just went too far, that she planned the death of her roommate, and that it was a drug deal gone bad.
The commentators are now suggesting that Amanda Knox was basically a victim of character assassination by the media. I believe there is some truth in that statement. In today’s world the media is quick to jump on these big cases and horrific stories. We always want someone to blame so the media does what the prosecution cannot do, at least not as quickly. The media can investigate, interview and interrogate friends, family and acquaintances of the potential defendant to “create” the story. It can get away with a lot more than the government can. This results in the majority of the viewing public already having an opinion on what happened and who did it. Granted, as a legal analyst I am guilty of helping this along.
However, is it the media or is it the viewers? Yes, this question is akin to what came first, the chicken or the egg. But, without the thirst and desire of the viewers to see the commentators and the interviews and the information, the media would not supply it. After all, the media is going to give the viewers what they want since that is what reels in the advertisers. To suggest differently is to suggest that the viewers are mindless robots that just digest whatever is fed to them. Well, this might be true for some, but I would venture to say that it is the desire that drives the result.
Anyway, Amanda Knox is now free and is on her way home to Seattle. I think she will now be held out as a type of hero that suffered at the hands of another country whose justice system is inferior to ours. One thing to note, in the Italian appeals process there is essentially a new trial; that does not happen in our system. Had Amanda been convicted here, the result would likely not be the same and she would be considered a villain and not a hero.