Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lana Clarkson’s Life and Death OnThe Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

Venice, CA—In a tiny cottage here lived Lana Clarkson. She was a great looking glamorous lady. She sought work as an actress/entertainer with limited success. In Hollywood you either have an agent or you are unemployed. Agents are difficult to obtain even for very talented people. Clarkson needed an agent.

Lana Clarkson was not particularly talented but talent is not a requirement to make it in this town if you have the looks. There is no formula, but getting famous before your famous helps a lot. Hollywood was the birthplace of the publicity stunt. The trick is to pull one off without getting arrested. Actress and comedienne, Carol Channing was always a champ of the PR stunts.

Lana Clarkson had one B-movie, starring role and little to brag about or more importantly, pay the rent. I know many like Lana here in L.A. that are emotionally hurting while waiting to fulfill a dream.

Hollywood is unforgiving about age. For women it is doubly true. Clarkson turned 40, a milestone of old age for any actress. For an actress that has not achieved the desired career it is devastating.

Clarkson had another problem that destroyed her hope and that was a horrible fall that fractured both of her wrists crippling her for months in the recent time frame before her tragic death.

Lana became dependent upon pain killers for her emotional pain as well as the physical pain. Alcohol was also a big problem but still Clarkson tried to cope in an untenable situation.

Clarkson was forced to take a minimum wage job serving the people that she hoped were her peers. The earnings for that job were insufficient to pay for her cottage, a car with insurance, her utilities, food and her Vicadin addiction.

Clarkson had the looks and appeal to be a great porn star but sidestepped that temptation. That to me shows she was making a better choice.

Her job as a hostess at the House of Blues put her face to face with aging music legend Phil Spector. Clarkson did not know Phil Spector, but joined him at his home after work. I’m convinced this was an opportunity to supplement her income with a low profile act of prostitution. There’s no question Clarkson needed any money she could get.

I don’t condemn Clarkson for doing what she had to do in order to try and survive. It should have never been a matter for public consumption. Hollywood is full of part-time hookers that later became stars. Many wanted to be stars but wound up as hookers and porn stars instead.

There are other unflattering things that came out about Clarkson. She often raided medicine cabinets of her friends in search of drugs for her addiction. She swindled several friends out of as much as $60,000.00 to finance a vanity film she wanted to use as a demo to showcase her act. The demo tape was an entertainment disaster. I’m sure she expected her stalled career to move and she’d pay back her friends in full. It just did not happen.

Clarkson’s hopes and dreams evaporated. A 40 year old woman with no marketable skills was out of luck and money. That left her even more despondent and hurting. This is incredibly sad but often repeated scenario in Hollywood. If someone could have whispered to Clarkson before she left school, “Lana, don’t quit, stay in school.” Maybe there would have been a much better ending.

While very drunk in Spector’s home Clarkson found a gun. I’m convinced horseplay began and an accident or suicide resulted. There were no witnesses. People are left to guess, speculate or wonder what really happened.

Found by police on a sink, were a pair of false eyelashes. On Phil Spector’s Scrotum Saliva belong to Clarkson was found. On one of Clarkson’s breasts Spector’s Saliva was found. This supports the prostitution angle since she was a stranger to Phil Spector.

Clarkson’s friends and family have been in immense pain. They blame the record producer just because he’s an easy target. The evidence for murder or manslaughter is just not there. Lana Clarkson is not coming back. She’s dead.

I grieve for Clarkson’s mother and sister. They did not deserve their loss. There is nothing for them to do but move on and make the best of their lives. We are all in this together and none of us will be leaving this world alive.

I hope people can still smile about some good times with Lana Clarkson. I’m sure there must be some great memories.

Clarkson should live on in an image she created of the hopeful starlet that had beauty and worth even though she was never properly recognized on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.


Anonymous said...

Spot on CF.

Anonymous said...

No one forced Lana Clarkson to drink 8 shots of tequila at Spector’s house after ingesting the painkiller Vicodin.

No one forced Lana Clarkson to give Spector oral sex-as the prosecution’s DNA expert testified.

There is no evidence that Lana Clarkson was “forced to sit down while her purse was on her shoulder”.

There is no evidence that “Lana Clarkson was ready to leave. And this mad man stopped her”.

In addition, why-after paying a chauffeur to sit and wait in a limousine from 1:30 AM to 5:00 AM for the sole purpose of giving Clarkson a ride back to her car when she was ready to leave, and after getting oral sex from her, would Spector shoot Clarkson to prevent her from leaving? Because this one-night-stand cocktail hostess would not, at 5:00 AM agree to stay for brunch?

Spector lives at the top of an isolated hill, behind walls and gates. If he wanted to keep Clarkson from leaving at 5:00 AM after she orally serviced him, he could have simply told his driver to go home for the night.

No amount of Phil Spector hatred or speculation about what happened that night is going to fill in the prosecution’s gaps in the evidence, nor will it compensate for the prosecution expert testimony that the forensic evidence cannot exclude suicide, nor will it erase Lana Clarkson’s December 8 email threatening to end it all.

There is more to this case that the worst 5 things Phil Spector ever did in his life—like the reasonable doubt supplied by the prosecution’s own forensic experts and the documents retrieved by DA investigators from Lana Clarkson’s computer hard drive.

Anonymous said...

Science and the Spector prosecution
A Times editorial on the credibility of defense experts wrongly assumes that scientists working for the other side operate without bias.
By Doron Weinberg and Susan Matross

3:20 PM PDT, March 31, 2009

The Times' March 29 editorial, "Spector — and expert witnesses — on trial," in which you raise questions about the credibility of expert witnesses retained by criminal defendants, and particularly Phil Spector, is disturbing not only because its timing suggests an intention to influence public opinion while the Spector jury is deliberating, but more importantly because it betrays a misunderstanding of the real workings of the justice system. It also inexplicably ignores the findings reached by the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most prestigious scientific organization, in a study of the dismal quality of work produced by crime labs throughout the United States -- a study on which The Times reported in February.

To begin, crime labs are organized and directed by law enforcement agencies, and the "experts," or scientists, they employ are paid law enforcement agents. The result, as the study found, is that scientific objectivity is routinely sacrificed to the perceived needs of law enforcement. The study supplies several hundred -- and the Spector case more than a dozen -- examples of crime lab scientists tailoring their findings, or even fabricating them, to fit the theories of police officers and prosecutors.

Yet juries are routinely convinced -- as apparently is The Times -- that these scientists are simply public servants doing their jobs without bias.

But the bias is pervasive. As the Spector record reveals, from the moment police officers and their scientist experts arrived at the scene, they alone determined what evidence was significant and what was not, what evidence should be tested and what should not, and what evidence should be seized and what should not. The seized evidence was then tested, retested, analyzed and reanalyzed in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department crime labs for 18 months.

As the prosecution "expert" witnesses admitted at trial, no expense was spared: Every test, experiment or analysis that was proposed was undertaken. The prosecution's DNA expert alone spent more than 800 hours in his efforts. The sheriff's chief criminalist could not estimate how many hours or public dollars she had spent, because no one had required her to keep any records, but she proudly asserted that she had spent months just on the examination of every square inch of clothing seized as evidence.

The L.A. County coroner admitted that in addition to undertaking every conceivable test and analysis, his office held meetings involving doctors, criminalists, sheriff's crime lab personnel, sheriff's investigators and representatives of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office to determine whether the death of Lana Clarkson could be declared a homicide even though the medical evidence could not support that determination.

Nonetheless, in September 2004, more than 19 months after the death, Spector was indicted. At that point, for the first time, Spector and his representatives were given access to the prosecution's "scientific evidence."

What is it that The Times suggests he should have done at that point? Is it your suggestion that law enforcement's scientific evidence is nonpartisan and should not be challenged? Is that what the presumption of innocence directs? If not, what alternative does a defendant who maintains his innocence in the face of arguably partisan forensic evidence have? The only choice is to find independent forensic experts to challenge that evidence.

Unlike the prosecution, a defendant retains experts and pays for their time and effort. But as soon as he or she does that, prosecutors such as those in the Spector trial, abetted by your editorial writers, discount those witnesses for the fact alone that they have been paid.

It is true that one of Spector's experts received about $181,000 for his work over four years and two trials. But there can be no doubt that several times this amount in public funds was spent just on the work and support of the prosecution's chief criminalist.

A fair, objective, evenhanded approach to this issue should not have identified retained defense experts as the problem. One doesn't have to be a member of the Spector defense team, as we are, to recognize that.

Attorney Doron Weinberg and trial consultant Susan Matross are members of Phil Spector's criminal defense team.

Anonymous said...

Where is your outrage that the Los Angeles Times–the most widely read and respected newspaper in Los Angeles–has published an editorial at the commencement of jury deliberations in the Spector case suggesting that the defense experts who testified in the case are not credible because they have been paid?

Let me suggest something else to you.

Influential men do not want this redux of a murder prosecution to fail. Many of those same men do not want a rising political star—Alan Jackson-to fall on his face.

So we are seeing 20 and 30 year old alleged gun brandishing incidents (that were never even reported to police and which do not resemble the facts before the jury in this case) introduced into evidence—initially for a limited purpose—but ultimately so prosecutors could argue with Judge Fidler’s blessing that Phil Spector is a “demon” and a “maniac” who has a propensity to point guns at women—all in violation of a very plainly worded section 1101 and patently constituting the most egregious prosecutorial misconduct I have seen in 30 years practicing law.

We are seeing Judge Fidler giving an involuntary manslaughter instruction to this jury when the prosecution’s theory of admissibility of the 20 and 30 year old gun pointing incidents is to prove that that the shooting was no accident, and contrary to a 2008 published decision by the very appellate district that sits in Los Angeles and that Judge Fidler is required to follow. And under circumstances where after reusing to give an involuntary manslaughter instruction, Fidler first proposed changing his mind only when the first jury deadlocked 5-7.

But even after all of that, apparently those same men do not want to take any chances that the defense has not been sufficiently crippled by those transparently motivated and prejudicial rulings, and we see a suspiciously timed Los Angeles Times editorial suggesting that Phil Spector’s testifying defense experts are not credible that is published at the start of the jury’s deliberation process.

Does it appear to you that the fix is in—meaning, decisions are being made on how to best obtain a conviction in this retrial at the expense of well established legal standards?

Because it sure does to me.