Irene Elizabeth Laughlin has the unusual alias of “Punkin Pie” She was Lana Clarkson’s very best Friend until her tragic apparent suicide at record producer Phil Spector’s home four years ago.
Laughlin was called to testify as a defense witness to shed light on Clarkson’s state of mind before her death. Clarkson confided her hopes, dreams and failures, for years along with suicidal thoughts to Laughlin during the period just before her life ended.
Laughlin has a heavy burden to deal with, and that's the guilt of perhaps not having done enough to see that Clarkson got help from mental health professionals and instead tried to cheer up her profoundly depressed friend herself. That obviously did not work and Clarkson died.
Laughlin’s testimony also revealed that the Clarkson family lawyer and others essentially tampered with a witness (Laughlin) in a criminal investigation by telling Laughlin to withhold information about Clarkson’s suicidal thoughts. That may have been what caused the cops to go after Spector since everyone close to Clarkson tried to paint a Clarkson as a happy and hopeful women who’d never kill herself. That effort nearly worked until Laughlin could no longer live with that deception and came clean with Spector’s defense tem after they contacted and interviewed her.
Was there a motive to place the blame on the wealthy Phil Spector to collect money from him by those trying to cover up Clarkson’s alcoholism, drug use, depression and suicidal remarks? One could also argue that the cover-up was done to protect Clarkson's public persona and memory.
Now comes prosecutor Alan Jackson, angry that his case for murder is flushing down the toilet as the truth surfaces during the trial. Jackson spent the day degrading Laughlin and accusing her of making her testimony up for a book deal that never existed. Jackson continually tortured the witness by rubbing her face into her failure to make an effort to notify authorities about Clarkson’s mental state to gain some sort of professional intervention.
It was laughable when Jackson tried to suggest that a crappy $9.00 an hour job at the House of Blues was somehow a wonderful and uplifting professional move for the 40 year-old Clarkson who spent her entire adult life trying to get her entertainment career of the ground.
Jackson came off as the Jackass of the trial by his behavior against this grieving witness.