Deliberations continue in the murder trial of Napoleon-complex music producer Phil Spector. O.J. and Robert Blake aside, let’s hope the California jury gets this one right. More on Blake later.
Spector has a long history of gun violence towards women, particularly those who express a desire to leave his isolated Cali “castle”. He tends to pull a gun, placing the barrel directly to their face. The temple. The nose. The mouth. And not just the ladies; the late Dee Dee Ramone detailed in Legs McNeil’s awesome tome, “Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk”, how Spector drew a gun on him when the time had come to say goodnight. Ramone said Spector held him all night.
The defense argued victim Lana Clarkson was depressed, sad that at 40 her dreams of Hollywood stardom had dimmed. So very late after work one night, she accepted a ride to Spector’s home, sat down for a tequila and decided to kill herself. In a mansion she’d never visited, she managed to find his gun in the drawer of a high boy, put on her coat, took a seat by the front door and placed her handbag over her shoulder and the gun in her mouth.
A woman claiming to be Clarkson's “best friend and soul sister” testified for the defense how sad her friend had been. How she told her she wanted to end it. Lana died in February 2003. That Christmas her “best friend” wrote in her annual holiday newsletter how she’d, “lost Lana at the hands of Phil Spector”. Today the "friend" books musical acts for a club in L.A. owned by friends of Spector. With friends like these, indeed.
A beautiful, funny and smart woman who’s managed for two decades to make out a living solely as an actress (taking the odd job when needed) wouldn't choose to end it all in the presence of a stranger and by completely obliterating her face. Her money. Actors are vain.
The handbag convinces me Spector killed Clarkson. The placing of the handbag on the shoulder is the international women’s sign of “time to go”. Lana wanted to leave, nothing more. Unlike the other women and Dee Dee Ramone, she didn't make it out.
As for Robert Blake, again it's one matter of evidence which largely convinces me of his guilt. Blake says he left his then wife sitting in a car, alone and on a dark street in the middle of night. Friends and family say she’d been scared in the days before her death that someone was out to get her. Her window was rolled down. You don’t roll down the window in an unsafe place unless you know and trust the face tapping on the other side of the glass. Blake was found not guilty.