Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Phil Spector: The 'Mad Genius' of Rock'n'Roll

'I Don't Want to Live Anymore'

Judge Fidder
Judge Fidder

After trying unsuccessfully to appeal Judge Fidler's contempt of court ruling, attorney Sara Caplan reluctantly testified for the prosecution, repeating testimony she had already given at a previous hearing regarding the small white object she claims she saw in Dr. Henry Lee's possession at the crime scene. The object is alleged to be a piece of Lana Clarkson's fingernail, but no such object was ever turned over to the police. The judge allowed Caplan's testimony so that the jury could evaluate Dr. Lee's credibility when and if he testified for the defense. Lee has maintained all along that he did nothing to thwart the investigation but told the Associated Press that he planned to be out of the country when he would most likely be called to the stand and wasn't certain that his expertise was needed.

After Caplan's appearance on the stand, the defense continued to present their case, calling Lana Clarkson's best friend Punkin Laughlin who reinforced Jennifer Hayes-Riedl's testimony regarding Clarkson's drug and alcohol use and the state of her depression. Laughlin testified that just days before Clarkson died, she had told her friend that she had lost the will to live. Laughlin related a particular incident that had caused Clarkson a great deal of stress. At a party Hollywood director Michael Bay failed to recognize her. Clarkson, who had previously worked on a car commercial that Bay had directed, was inconsolable, Laughlin testified. (In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bay said the incident "never happened.")

"'I don't want to live anymore,'" Laughlin said Clarkson had told her in a phone conversation. "'I don't want to live in this town. I want to end it.'"

On cross, Deputy DA Jackson followed up on statements made by Jennifer Hayes-Riedl in her testimony regarding Laughlin's faulty memory and her reliance on Lana Clarkson to help her remember things. Laughlin explained that her allegedly poor memory was "a joke" she shared with her friends.

Jackson asked Laughlin if she was in process of writing a book about her relationship with Clarkson and if she had hired a publicist in the wake of Clarkson's death. Laughlin acknowledged that she had talked to a writer about collaborating on a book, but the project never got off the ground. She said she called a publicist expecting to be overwhelmed with press inquiries about Clarkson after her violent death. Jackson asked if she expected to make a profit out of her relationship with Lana Clarkson. Laughlin's bewildered response was "You're kidding, right?"

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