In my opinion, the only interesting aspect of the Phil Spector trial which opened today is whether yet another Los Angeles jury is stupid enough to let yet another entertainment personality get away with murder. There’ll be jury selection nonsense for the next few weeks until around April 30th. And then taxpayers get to foot the bill for a trial that never seems to come to the proper conclusion. Instead, it falls to civil suits — against Robert Blake, O.J. — to mete out financial justice, if not legal. (Does anyone ever collect on those judgments? Apparently, not in L.A.) Even with TV cameras rolling throughout this trial, chances are slim we’ll ever know what really happened in the early hours of Feb. 3, 2003, when failed actress Lana Clarkson (Amazon Women On The Moon) died in Spector’s castle-like Alhambra mansion. As Court TV pointed out, “a recently unsealed deposition transcript reveals that the once-powerful music man has struggled with crippling depression for years, is under the regular care of a psychiatrist, and still disavows any responsibility for an alleged history of trouble when it comes to guns and women.” Spector fired L.A. attorney Robert Shapiro (of O.J. infamy) amid considerable acrimony, and then hired NYC mob lawyer Bruce Cutler. The 60s music producer famous for his “Wall Of Sound” recording technique has pleaded not guilty, suggesting that Clarkson “kissed the gun” and shot herself in a bizarre suicide. If the past is prologue, Spector’s defense will surely convince the L.A. jury to ignore testimony from a police officer dispatched to the crime scene who heard Spector blurt out: “I didn’t mean to shoot her, it was an accident.” Or disregard the claim by Spector’s driver that the producer emerged from his home holding a gun and saying: “I think I killed somebody.” Some 50 news organizations applied for a seat in the L.A. courtroom, guaranteeing the usual media spectacle surrounding these tragic Hollywood trials. But the real message is that L.A. itself is a tragedy where, again and again, celebrities get one free murder. Please prove me wrong this time.
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