The Alice Crimmins Case
Comedy in the Courtroom
Lyon attempted to cast doubt on the witness veracity by raising doubts about her mental health. He questioned her about the accident at the Worlds Fair, something which had occurred only nine months prior to her fateful night at the window.
Theres nothing to it, Earomirski said. I reached down to take my pocketbook from the little bin and a mouse ran up my arm and I fainted.
A mouse? Lyon asked.
Yes, a mouse, Earomirski replied nonplussed. You know, a little ittybitty thing with a tail on it: a mouse.
Both spectators and jurors rocked with laughter while the judge brusquely called for order.
Asked if she had reported the mouse was yellow, Earomirski replied, Because upstairs in the gourmet shop they had a giant cheese which all the mice used to eat and the cheese was yellow and the mouse was yellow. Yes, sir. Earomirski smiled in delight at the titters her story elicited.
She denied that the time she had overdosed on tranquilizers was a suicide attempt.
Lyon pointed out that her stomach had been pumped.
Thats right, a smiling Earomirski readily agreed. And then I went with my husband across the street to a diner and had a hamburger.
Lyon questioned Earomirski about the extensive and dramatic dialogue she testified that she had heard. He asked her to point to where those people were and she indicated a spot one hundred and fifty feet from her window. Lyon then showed a diagram from the first trial in which Earomirski had placed the people some sixty feet farther from her vantage point at her window.
Were they speaking loud, were they yelling, Lyon rather understandably wondered.
No, in normal tones, Earomirski replied.
And from two hundred feet away you heard them talking in normal tones? Lyon asked in amazement.
Thats not unusual, Earomirski informed him. My girlfriend, I hear from the window when she asks me what I want from the store.
Lyon asked where the girlfriend lived and Earomirski went to the diagram and pointed to an apartment some two hundred feet away from hers.
The acoustics carry differently in that area because we are downhill, Earomirski told him.
And if your girlfriend calls you in a normal tone from her window and you are in your kitchen, you can hear her?
Of course, the unflappable Earomirski replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world before again strutting in the courtroom hallway with her hands clenched in a boxers salute.