Archive for the ‘Survival’ Category

If I Sentenced Oscar Pistorius   12 comments

I would, as an American, half a world away from all the action and media frenzy, if any, be almost a sequestered juror. Some of you who have read my prior coverage of the trial may doubt that, but I challenge any of you to cite any examples of my reporting something that had not yet been testified to in court. As I said: sequestered. Almost.

Not only can’t I discern the accents of the South African newscasters, the so-called best of the best — and there are numerous accents, not just one — but the technical acumen exhibited by SABC, as an alum who’d made it to the NFL might say, “THE South African Broadcast Network (goofy smile),” can only be equated to the middle-school TV production done by my younger son’s seventh-grade class in 2001.

As compared to most of the developed world’s media, whatever story they try to spin on one side or another (if any) is completely overshadowed by the comical presentation of its production teams. I have been, for all intents and purposes, a sequestered reporter. I have watched reporters gargle, towel off, blot their underarms, button their blouses, fix their hair (or dearth thereof), and scratch their balls.

As to sentencing. In matters of domestic violence, as a husband who has never lifted a hand to his wife of nearly 35 years, I tend to err on the harsh side. Therefore, I would not blink, and I would give him 25 years, the maximum allowable sentence for the crime of which he was convicted. (Note to Judge: He is no longer the accused; he’s a convict. YOU convicted him!) I would make this concurrent with the gun charges, because an out-of-shape 60-year-old Oscar Pistorius would be of limited danger to women or anyone else, and he would have very limited earning power at that age as well. He will have paid for his crimes.

The witness the other day who argued that prison was an improper place for Oscar Pistorius because “they have condoms there” was still silently cracking people up Friday morning when Roux first opened his pie-hole to argue Mitigation. So the jolly old weasel defense attorney played the “Oscar the Handicapped Victim” card to the max, and tried to soften up Judge Masipa by using his whiny, condescending offerings of paybacks and deterrents to society that would pay not even lip service to the real victims in this case, whining about how the killer’s debt is to society. Society, society, society. Then he brought up Ubuntu, and quoted a story in it of a goat. He equated Reeva Steenkamp with a fucking GOAT. The man is insane. Get this goddamned turkey away from the microphone. If Roux ever slept with a female of his own species, he’d know the difference between Reeva Steenkamp and a fucking goat!

I think the final undeserved slap in the face to the Steenkamps was the claim that Pistorius be given leniency was because although there were no shower rails at either the convict’s home or in the prison’s showers, his home shower came with a stool or a bench so he could wank freely between the two, and in addition be able to balance on his arse while using one or both hands, hence keeping his arms in shape to continue to work out all of his upper and lower appendages and limbs, or what remain of them. And that’s being nice to him.

On the dark side, Pistorius, with his snake-like eyes, knew VERY well who and what part he was shooting at. He’d accused her of messing around on him, even though she’d had very few (and longer-term) relationships compared to him, she’d reportedly been heard or commented to a friend that he had recently raged at her, “go ahead, fuck them all if you want,” or words to that effect, which is why he was shooting at that height. Do you think he was trying to hit a fucking pygmy in the head? If he were shooting at an adult’s chest, he’d be shooting at about 48″ off the ground. His first shot, the one that hit her in the hip, was 34″ from the floor. All shots were about the same height, within three inches. Isn’t anyone curious about his target? His first one was pretty close – the one that hit her in the hip. Just a couple of inches off target.

I was honestly very surprised to hear Gerry Nel request a minimum sentence of ten years. Even if he wants to squeeze Masipa for 15. This was a heinous crime, and the spolled, pampered little shit who committed it deserves some serious time. I figured a guy nicknamed “The Pit Bull” would have looked to rip off a bigger bite than that.

I’ve got friends who did more time than that in tougher prisons for simple possession of a joint.

What the hell kind of deterrent is ten years supposed to be? The suggested punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crimes. Let’s remember, we’re talking about multiple felonies. He’s now got three strikes on him. In many states, he’d get mandatory life without parole under the “Three Strikes You’re Out Law.” Three felony convictions, you’re out of society, and in for life.

 Your comments are requested. Please note this was published IN ADVANCE OF the Tuesday morning Oct. 21 session.

Only a special kind of mother could possibly know this   2 comments

A couple of my most beloved friends lost their baby last week. It was neither totally unexpected nor do I believe was it totally unwelcome, given the other possible outcomes of this tragically ill-fated pregnancy that began on an otherwise magical night in the most #becausefutbol moment of both of their young lives. (If you haven’t seen the ‘maternity ward’ commercial that ran on ESPN during the World Cup, find it on YouTube, then apply it to the NFL.)

This piece is about the mother. The word – mother – doesn’t seem to carry the weight to justify its mass, sitting there on the page, or the monitor, whichever. Less so on the monitor, because the black type means a small array of switches have been set to zero; their circuits have been broken; their value nil.

I would imagine that in a way my friend must somehow feel the same, although God Himself knows she’s got no reason to. She’d spent most of the spring preparing her body; her heart and her nature, her soul if you will, and her mind have always been prepared. She’s been mother material for longer, I’m sure, than the decade or so that I’ve known her. And, to be perfectly honest, we’re so diametrically opposite in just about every way, if we were really close friends, I’m convinced she would hate me. I just love her because she’s always had this aura or something. Maybe she gives off a maternal pheromone; I have no idea.

Other than family, I’ve only met one other woman in my lifetime, really, whom I would describe in those terms. While the one central to this event has been fortunate – she’s always been put on a pedestal by her husband, and rightfully so; the other, not so much — sadly, she was abused by virtually every male who ever got within arm’s reach of her. You wouldn’t know either one’s background by the way they love their children, the way they hold their heads up when they’re with them — their blessings, their treasured gifts. Interestingly, they both have three. I love them both. I just hurt for them in different and indescribable ways.

Now, I need to interject that through the winter, we’d found out my younger son’s wife was pregnant with their first child, a boy, whose gender we found out at an ultrasound the morning after the Super Bowl in February. So I was pretty excited that I was going to be a grandfather for the first time in July, which I did, B”H, on July 7th.

Back to the end of April, when my friend central to this story told me she was pregnant, I had somehow sensed (divined?!) it for no apparent reason, and I was wild with excitement, because I’ve got a sense for that (and earthquakes – don’t ask), and I posted this on my Facebook page:

I’ve been thinking [friend – not named] is pregnant for two full weeks now, and didn’t want to impose by asking her or her husband, who’s also a friend. The last time I had this premonition was this morning, oddly enough in the shower. I wasn’t thinking of her (she’s like a sister, people, come on), but I got that feeling again, and she just confirmed that today, without my having to ask. The oddest thing is, I’ve done that with one of her previous kids. She’s the only person I’ve ever been able to detect twice, but about the 10th-12th person I’ve been able to make the call on just out of thin air.

By the time May came around, I’d expected to hear or see, in the form of a cute Facebook post, what my friends’ baby’s gender was going to be, and I enquired and was told they believed it was a girl, but there were problems and the outlook didn’t look good either way, pending some more tests. I tried to swallow my heart back down. Prayers and requests for same go out immediately, literally around the globe. Older son in Jerusalem to Western Wall, holy sites in Hebron, other friends to mosques and churches….

More painful days of even more painful tests told them their baby had a “not uncommon” (1 in 6000) genetic disorder, and would likely not survive until birth, but a small percentage may live as long as 10-12 years, require 24/7 care and have the mental capacity of an infant. This could have a permanent effect on their family, their three kids would be scarred for life, and they could end up among the least fortunate, God forbid. The kind of stuff that runs through your mind when there’s absolutely not one blessed thing you can do to make any kind of constructive difference….

I was dying to give her the one thing I could, but I couldn’t! It was only a suggestion. The suggestion every single woman I spoke to about this said they would give their daughter, and what they would do themselves! But being a progressive — being in favor of a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body, all I could do was shut my mouth and respect her decision to follow her own beliefs. She’s a smart woman, has graduate degrees; she’s a scientist. She knows her options. But if she follows her beliefs as religiously as she does, with so much conviction, then I have to follow my belief, which is a woman’s right to choose, as religiously as she does hers. What an incredibly difficult real-life test for a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool, blue-state progressive liberal Democrat from Brooklyn named Levine. I hope I never have to take one like it again.

That aside, I tried to put myself in her place when her husband told me, knowing her child had died inside her, going into the hospital and being induced (as my son’s wife had been just days before), going through I don’t know how much painful sweating, agaonizing labor and having a natural birth (as I witnessed my wife do twice) and knowing that after everything she and her body and soul put into it, there was nothing more than a lifeless body that never breathed the air, a child she loved and now had to bury without ever hearing him cry, I don’t think I could survive something like that. I would be a total and complete wreck. Just give me the needle and don’t take it out. Where on earth does one find the strength?

This is the kind of stuff that a special kind of mother’s character is built on. The heroine doesn’t need a name, she doesn’t need a philosophy or a specific belief or anything, she doesn’t need a background. This is about a woman’s – a mother’s – superhuman strength of mind, body, and character. This goes so deep into the makeup of her character, it is an eye-opening, mind-expanding, cathartic thing for me, as a male, to really sufficiently identify with in any kind of way. All I can do is try to imagine what it must feel like.

Except I can’t.

 

Oscar Pistorius in Wonderland   2 comments

8 May Morning Session:

Roux calls an anesthetist (not an anesthesiologist, who has an MD) to testify (speculate) as to the contents of Reeva Steenkamp’s stomach, which she was not qualified to testify about because, as she kept repeating, she was not a forensic pathologist. So where was the forensic pathologist? Ah, Wednesday. Must have been on the links, my lady.

She takes up a good bit of the morning, and then Roux pulls a bit of a shocker, but the effect is soon lessened, because AGAIN, he chose the least qualified clinician he could possibly find, save an intern, to testify — a social worker and probation officer who normally does assessments of children and adolescents after they’ve been arrested for commission of minor crimes. She specifies that she doesn’t treat the patients (clients) she sees, but just presumably listens and comforts. Also not expert witness material.

She said she first saw Oscar on Feb 15, 2013, the day after the murder — he told her he missed Reeva so much, and that he was heartbroken. Later on, he told her, she volunteered,  that he “accidentally shot her,” which is not the Oscar Pistorius we’ve heard come clean in court. After the assessment, her participation should have been over, but she wouldn’t let it go.

The social worker continued that it upset her that she’d read in the newspaper and heard in the media that he wasn’t sincere about his feelings, that he took acting lessons, was crying when needed, and that he was taking lightly what happened, so on Tuesday of this week she decided to come forward because she thought he was heartbroken and traumatized.

[Takes big step backwards] So, she’s got a reason to come forward — to improve Oscar’s public relations profile and counter the bad PR he’s been getting from everyone in the media for shedding crocodile tears, crying on cue, and taking acting lessons. In other words, she’s motivated. Nothing like having an expert witness who comes in off the street and wants to do something for you, is there?

She goes on to testify to Nel, “He (the defendant) kept saying he was sorry about the loss, about her parents, the loss, he loved her, etc. And so Nel correctly calls her testimony hearsay — it’s all the defendant’s emotions. Roux got up to object to the line of questioning, and the lawyers exchanged gentle feel-out jabs with the judge, and evidently Nel seemed to win, but ended up apologizing to the judge and slightly changed his tack.

He cried, talked about the future he says they’d planned together, the loss, that he was never going to see her again, her parents and what they’re going through, and she saw a heartbroken man who suffered emotionally. She was assigned to be his probation officer as a term of his bail, and they turned over a bunch of papers as evidence of those logs. He never said he was sorry for what he had done. never showed remorse and said he’s sorry for what he did, specifically. “I’m sorry for my loss. I’m heartbroken.” But she couldn’t speculate what a person’s emotions might be after he’d shot someone. He was traumatized, he was emotional, he cried. He talked and said how he misses Reeva. Didn’t talk that day about shooting her. Sorry about what happened, sorry for the loss — sorry for the parents, misses Reeva, spent a lot of time discussing his version of what had happened, and he talked a lot about his own feelings. She checked that he was seeing his psychologist, which he was, and had regular contact with him as his probation officer in person or by phone.

The last witness of the day was a ballistics expert whom some had called verbose before he took the stand. Verbose? Anyone remember President Clinton’s remarks to the Democratic Convention in 1996? He took a record 70 minutes. His 3300-word prepared speech went close to 6000 words. But he kept his audience mostly riveted. Mostly.

This ballistics expert, who was also not a forensic pathologist, talked endlessly about ammunition and how a gun works, he referred to a semi-automatic pistol as an “auto-loader” and never did talk about a safety mechanism of any kind. Not only that, but the moron didn’t even bring a demonstration gun that looked similar but was painted with a flame-orange barrel, maybe a plug in or a bar across the barrel, and a half-functioning firing pin. So there stood Captain Boring, trying to explain how a gun worked using a piece of paper. Nice.

In my mind, and in my notes, all we got from the firearms expert or ballistics expert was that a bullet could be deflected by up to 1-3 degrees by going through a door before ripping pieces of a human body to shreds. Great. For that I stay up til 6am, and the bastard didn’t even figure in drag coefficients OR the type of wood. Fraud.

The one-hour afternoon session with this guy should have gone until 4:15, according to agreements made with other court employees before they went on a two-week break, but it went exactly one hour, before Roux begged my lady to call it a day, after taking the 1-2 hour for lunch and returning at 2 , and then at 3 they’re done, jolly old fun.

That’s how they work the day away in the merry old trial of Oz.

Mercifully, the week in court ends tonight, Thursday night (early Friday morning) in the U.S., and so a very interested — some may say obsessed — crowd on Websleuth, DigitalSpy, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media that God knows I have no time for, will have a chance to celebrate Mothers’ Day in relative peace, as long as they don’t sneak in a nap after dinner so they can stay up all night to watch the barely competent witnesses line up for the defense on Monday.

REMEMBER YOUR MOTHER AND HONOR HER ON MOTHERS’ DAY.

YOU’RE LUCKY IF YOURS IS STILL AROUND.

 

Zimmerman trial is bringing out the racists   4 comments

The murder trial of George Zimmerman is getting worldwide attention, but nowhere is it as important as it is in the African-American communities across this country..

It’s brought out some of the worst in people. Some schmuck created a Trayvon Martin game on his website; even the media have jumped on this awful bandwagon of racism.

I haven’t seen any animosity from the black community, but they damned well have a reason to march on and close the HLN hate machine. On the day the defense presented their closing arguments and the state gave their rebuttal closing, I caught two instances of blatant racism on HLN, one of which spilled over to CNN, the supposedly legitimate media.

The first offender, of course, is Frank Taaffe, the loud, brash friend of George Zimmerman. He’s been a staple on HLN and CNN, and last night he sunk to a level where Taaffe had to look UP to see Satan.

Last night, Taaffe mimicked the accent of a black woman, saying “PO-lice” at least twice. Dr. Drew didn’t call him on it.

And Nancy Grace offended Latinos last night as well, while talking to this idiot, and she sank to a new low when she erupted and spewed out this insult (paraphrasing) : “Give him (Zimmerman) back his life? Give him back his life?! He’s got his life; he’s driving through Taco Bell every night.”

I don’t know why CNN, who own HLN, allow inflammatory stuff like this on their air. Taaffe is clearly a racist from his white hair to his white feet; I’m sure of that. And Nancy Grace is a mental case.

Last August, Taaffe’s 30-year-old son Vincent, a Marine and an Iraq veteran, was killed with a friend Justin Head (who was, oddly, from my little town) when he failed to negotiate a right turn in his Jeep near Ormond Beach, Florida.

Frank Taaffe has been traumatized, and all the television time he’s logged, he’s not going to have time to get over his son’s death. I’m actually surprised he’s facing off against another family that’s grieving for their dead son. That has to hurt if he’s got any soul at all. And that’s becoming more and more doubtful as he shows more of his personal racism. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s lit more crosses than Christmas trees in his lifetime.

Right now, though, Frank Taaffe and the CNN/HLN producers who continue to book this hot-head are fomenting the latent racism in this man. The fact that those networks are continuing to book him is that he riles people; he gets attention. I wonder how it’s playing in the African-American communities in this country.

All major cities in the country are ready to sic their SWAT teams on any demonstration they think is getting out of hand. All this country needs is a riot in every major population center.

Unfortunately, the pressure on the nation’s minds is building up to a point where the racism becomes more and more evident, and I’m afraid this is going to have a spillover effect on all of us, and we’ll be back to the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960a.

Fifty years later, this country seems to have learned nothing, and the media seems to be nice and comfortable with their ratings spike.

But something’s got to give once this verdict comes in. The media are stirring up a big, boiling Force-5 shitstorm.

I hope we all keep our heads and show the world what kind of country America can be.

My personal impression: Neither side picked up on this: After being pummelled, George Zimmerman pulled out his gun, which caused Trayvon to scream for his life. That accounts for the screams of “Help!” which stopped the moment the fatal shot occurred. Just my theory, but I think it fits. Either way, Zimmerman failed to follow the police operator’s instruction, “We don’t need you to do that (follow Martin).” He got out of his car and went hunting. I believe it’s as simple as that.

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Your comments, as always, are encouraged. The only rules are that you’ve got to be on topic, and you’ve got to keep it clean. Thanks, and I look forward to your opinions.

Warning:  If I see one racist comment in the wrong context, I will publicly expose the commenter on every social media platform I can find. And I’m very resourceful that way. Don’t try me.

HLN and Jodi Arias: Stirring up the public’s taste for blood   12 comments

I remember when HLN was sort of a trimmed-down version of CNN. They would run most of the stories, albeit much shortened versions of them, and they’d repeat or update their programming in half-hour slots. They never covered anything in depth, but their mere existence was to provide a broadcast equivalent of USA Today, America’s cartoon newspaper. As a straight print journalist, I won’t say those were HLN’s best days, but, well… OK, those were HLN’s best days. USA Today sucks, the original HLN sucks, and their present iterations all suck. And in greater measure than in the past.

On another front, we had CourtTV, an innovation that started more as a smaller-scale C-SPAN network. Now, CourtTV has devolved into TruTV, which broadcasts the so-called reality shows over and over again ad nauseum, and barely covers any live news. And a new HLN was born as well, utilizing the most sensational hosts, discussing the most sensational topics, and basically raking in the dough by playing to people’s collective fear, hatred, and need to feel superior to someone in the public spotlight.

Trials were covered, and fairly impartially if I recall, by CourtTV, which is now obsolete, but their anchors weren’t “star personalities” of television-land, they weren’t psychological analysts with BIG problems of their own, and they didn’t appear on Dancing With The Stars. In fact, since the Nancy Grace nip-slip on DWTS, those initials now mean “Dancing With Tits Showing.”

But Nancy Grace isn’t the only talking fat-head leading the rabble. Vinnie Politan, a former prosecutor in Bergen County, NJ, is equally snarky and distasteful, and between the two of them, they make a good duo in what seems like a national campaign of blood lust. Adding fuel to the fire is Joey Jackson, who sounds almost exactly like Jerry Lewis. In character. And sometimes Jackson makes less sense than Jerry Lewis as well.

During the trial I’ve watched the WPTV stream, without any commentary whatsoever, and that’s what I want to hear. I want to be able to judge the case for myself without hearing what these idiots have to say on commercial television, cable or otherwise. It’s only now, that the trial is over, that I click over to HLN’s stream to see what the less-educated “Joe the Plumber” on the street is watching. And it’s sad.

In the Arias case, there are mitigating factors. Not all eight reasons Jennifer Wilmott put forward. The fact that Arias was 27 when she killed Alexander is irrelevant. The fact that she had and still has dissociative personality disorder, however, is crucial information, and that must be taken into account by the jury, because it exacerbated her vulnerability. In fact, it created and broadcast her vulnerability to any man who came close enough to her to sense it.

Travis Alexander came close enough to sense it. He started overstepping her boundaries from the moment they met, because her vulnerability gave way to his predatory instinct. Whereas his various Mormon female friends may have thought he was a virgin, ALL of his male friends, Mormon or not, knew Travis was a pussy-hound.

This too is a mitigating factor in Jodi Arias’ favor. As is her feeling of low self-worth. She doesn’t project that in the courtroom or in her many TV interviews, but instead she portrays herself as she wishes she were: stable, ruminative, confident, and professional. It’s part of her untreated mental illness.

It would be nice if she were given the services of a psychiatrist, or a team of psychiatrists while in prison; she might actually come out – not unscathed – but certainly not as scarred as she is now, and somewhat healed. Her psychological wounds are as gaping as Travis Alexander’s neck wound. Some people have failed to appreciate that because they’re faced with shit like HLN’s talking fat-heads, but with the blatantly sensational imagery so prominently and almost joyfully featured on their website.

HLN’s credibility took a big hit when Casey Anthony was judged not guilty, and they’re setting themselves up for another hit by putting all their chips on a death penalty verdict. Personally, I hope they lose their shirts. Except for Nancy Grace. From her I’ve seen and heard enough.

Jodi Arias trial: Trying our patience   5 comments

The Jodi Arias case has been going on for longer than most of her relationships have lasted, and people all over the blogosphere are getting damn fed up with it. You can read it on people’s blogs, Tweets, Facebook posts, maybe even their attitudes if you happen to call someone who’s forced by circumstance to watch HLN’s time-stretched version of this fairly tiresome and unprofessionally-conducted trial.

Constant objections, repeated sidebars, meetings in chambers, former Juror Number Five (the Three-Toned Wonder of bad hair), Judge Sherry Stephens admonishing the witness time and time again in the case of Alyce Laviolette, who may have to check into her own clinic if she can even walk off the stand under her own power by the time that day mercifully arrives.

What’s surprises me the most is the unprofessionalism displayed by the prosecutor, in most cases, followed pretty closely by the judge, who looks like she’d rather be getting a pelvic exam than sitting on the bench for this fiasco for another minute.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez has taken this trial so personally, he can barely hold himself back, gritting his teeth, clenching his fists. Most recently he actually hopped on a couple of occasions (as in ‘hopping mad’) and has begun to slap exhibits on the glass surface of the document projector, snatching exhibits from the domestic abuse counselor and, according to the continuum of abuse that’s been put into evidence, practically terrorizing her. 

This is unprofessional in itself, and might be grounds for appeal, but apparently that’s Juan’s shtick.

On the other extreme, listening to Kirk Nurmi ask a question is worse than watching the grass grow. It’s more tedious than going over every inch of ground we have under satellite surveillance in North Korea, one pixel at a time. His direct questioning of the defendant alone lasted long enough for an entire freaking carton of Tootsie Pops to melt.

The only attorney in this case who doesn’t make me want to toss a brick at my computer screen is Jennifer Wilmott, but she hasn’t made a big score yet in this case, although she seemed to have raised Dr. Samuels from the near-dead, because most of the time he spent being cross-examined, he was arguing with Martinez to less success than Alyce Laviolette. At least she’s demonstrated more resilience.

For a case with a profile as huge as this one, Jodi Arias needed either a franchise-level quarterback or a reliable, proven winner to back her starter. What she ended up with, apparently, was Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Screwed if you run, screwed if you pass, screwed if you run the Wildcat, especially against Ray Lewis and the ghost of Lawrence Taylor, as personified by “The Prosecutor.”

But we did get some good scientific information from Dr. Samuels regarding socio-identity disorder and dissociative identity disorder, neither of which Jodi suffers from. But she does have PTSD, Dissociative Personality Disorder, and Dissociative Amnesia, and some incredibly low self-esteem if any. And it’s always comfortable to know that the chart Ms Laviolette would classify every relationship as abusive to some degree.

My take as of now is that Jodi was a pacifist looking for something to believe in. Travis became her guru, in Samuels’ words, something I’ve said from the beginning. Travis served as her religious icon, her mentor in the PPL MLM scam, and her sex tutor.

The most important thing I’ve learned from this trial was in the form of  a short class in body chemistry from Dr. Samuels: Panic activates the limbic system, which puts out adrenaline, which in turn causes glucose to be produced. (This explains why, as a diabetic, my blood sugar is always higher after a stressful incident.)

Correction: In an earlier post, “hypothalamus” should correctly be “hippocampus.”
“and the animal instinct of survival came roaring in from her hypothalamus hippocampus and turned her into something like The Tasmanian Devil on Angel Dust.”
My apologies.
     And yes, it freaking sure as hell IS brain surgery!

As usual, your intelligent comments are elicited and appreciated. Please free to say your piece as long as you stay on topic and keep it real. Comment spammers should expect a guy at their door who resembles Samuel L. Jackson, especially when he reads you his favorite passage from Ezekiel.

Jodi Arias Trial – All we know are the facts, ma’am.   10 comments

Joe Friday’s worst nightmare was back on the stand last Thursday, answering the last of some 220 juror questions, many of them repetitive and annoying, but as we’ve learned to expect, once again there are new twists in the most recent version of things as they did or didn’t occur on or about June 4, 2008, the day Jodi Arias admittedly killed Travis Alexander.

Barely 15 minutes into the morning session, Jodi Arias answered this juror question, without correcting the questioner:

Judge: You stated that you remember throwing the gun into the desert, but do you remember what happened to the box it was in?

Arias: No, I do not.

Judge: What about the holster you mentioned?

Arias: I only saw the holster before I moved (back to Yreka); I didn’t see it again after that.

This box was a new addition to the story, but for some unknown reason, by not correcting the question as she’s done a dozen times over the course of this trial, she acknowledged by default that it existed.

This is also in direct contradiction to her testimony on March 5th (day 27), during the late afternoon session. At about the 35-minute mark, this revelation was made for the first time, which indicated there was no box:

Nurmi: (Exh. 69 – picture of inside of Travis’ closet projected on screen) And point to us again where in this closet the gun was. 

Arias: (touches screen to indicate location) He kept it up in this… well, it was more… it was in the corner. It wasn’t above the clothes necessarily. It was… there’s a corner there. It was in the corner.

Nurmi: OK. And was it sitting out? Was it in a box? Do you recall… wh-wh-where was it?

Arias: It was sitting up there. I believe it had a holster.

Nurmi: OK.

Martinez: Judge…(unintelligible) I think she said “I think it was in a holster,” right?

Judge (to Arias): Restate your last answer.

Arias: I think… Yes, I.. it… it… it was in a holster at one point.

Nurmi (to himself): What the FUCK???

So had she or had she not imagined two separate containers, for lack of a better word, that the gun was in. And was it in a box, in a holster, in a holster inside a box, or just sitting up there? Pick an answer, any answer.

Back on Day 25, during cross-examination, she said nothing of a holster OR a box.

On just the second day of cross-exam, she contradicted herself in the space of less than thirty seconds. During the morning session on Day 22, at about the 1:09 mark, Martinez was questioning her about extracurricular activities with Ryan Burns on June 5th. She told Martinez loud and clear, “I did not grind that guy.” Moments later, Martinez asked, “Did you grind with him? And she answered, “Yes.”

But after Juan Martinez’ math lecture, which exposed the two-gas can story as a bald-faced (well, bald-something) lie, my last page of notes for the day ends in “throw in the goddamn towel.”

Now, just when we thought it was safe to take a long weekend without the drama this case has caused, we’re presented with yet ANOTHER twist, this one not attributable to Jodi Arias: Travis Alexander’s arrest and conviction on shoplifting and battery in 2002. You’ll have to click “Search” once you get to that page. Although convicted on two misdemeanors, Travis’ booking photographs are nowhere to be found. Same with the fingerprints. So, there’s a history of violence in the years prior to his meeting Jodi Arias.

After five days off, both teams should be well-rested and ready to start fighting today, March 13th, Day 30 of a trial that would never have happened if Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias hadn’t been fuckbuddies, something that seems to have caught on over the last ten years. Part of me says I wish I were 25 years old again, but most of me thanks God I’m not.

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