Sunday, May 3, 2009

Leaving the Courtroom

I reached my car at the courthouse just moments ago, and I must admit that I am overwhelmed by exhaustion, but my first loyalty is to dictate my sentiments at this very moment for you, my faithful followers.

The jury deliberated just a few hours before reaching a “not guilty” verdict. I obviously expected to win the case. I commanded the jury from my opening statement. I was nonetheless surprised at the expeditious nature of the deliberation. In my experience on the Yale Law Review, and in my subsequent consumption of the legal literature, I am unaware of such a decisive win in a serial murder case. In fact, a serial murderer acquittal is essentially unprecedented. This coup de grace eclipsed even the previous trajectory of my illustrious career.

Reporters swarmed the courtroom, thrusting toward us or retreating with their cameras and microphones toward the frenzy brewing outside.

Analogous to other paramount events in history, the number of self-proclaimed “eye-witnesses” already appears to exceed the modest courtroom capacity as the news reporters cling to any available story. Observers just reported that the victims’ families were crying out obscenities at me and Destiny. The brother of Satin Strangler victim Grant Leighton supposedly pushed through the crowd and threw himself across the guard rail lining the defense stand. He was presumably attacking us, but eventually succumbed to police Tasers. It should be stated for the record that I witnessed none of this. Instead, I was attending to the inundating paparazzi and well-wishers.

We anticipated Destiny’s extradition to Virginia to face the next set of murder charges, but were pleasantly surprised when authorities informed us during the courtroom adjournment that she was released from custody. I have since learned that charges in all other Satin Strangler states have been postponed.

Destiny and I embraced as the verdict was read. At first I sensed in her the massive relief that comes with an acquittal of a capital offense. But when I began to back away, she held me tighter. In other circumstances I might have reciprocated, but I had to adhere to my professional code of ethics and extricate myself from her embrace.

Destiny’s face quivered momentarily as we separated. Never during the months leading up to the case, never in the courtroom, never in the flashing lights of the cameras did she express the slightest fear. But her emotion at that moment was unmistakable.

The reason for her trepidation was readily apparent to me. Ever since the arrest, Destiny’s friends and family progressively abandoned her. Several sold their stories to newspapers, magazines and talk shows. I was the only one to remain by her side. I emerged as her knight in shining armor.

Destiny was leaving her former life behind in exchange for a world of bright lights and cameras. She would be living an endless reality show, with a blurred distinction between reality and fiction. Our relationship together, which was confined by our professional interaction boundaries, was impeded from proceeding to the next phase. This reality suddenly weighed heavily on her during our embrace.

“I know,” I said, brushing a wisp of auburn hair back from her face. “Don’t be afraid.”

Police wedged the crowd apart, allowing us through like a newlywed couple exiting a church. The cacophony outside was deafening, causing Destiny to retract closer to my side. Suddenly I spotted a projectile hurling toward; we braced for the impact. Striking me across my left cheek was a black satin stocking, the first of many to precipitate down upon us from all directions. Cameras flashed as Destiny reached over to remove the stocking from my face and neck.

Radio correspondents are already reporting that Destiny was pantomiming strangling me with the stocking. This “strangulation photograph” and our well-documented embrace are presumably igniting love affair speculations throughout the airwaves.

I will soon navigate my BMW Z8 through a stream of paparazzi, so please carry on without me until I return with more thoughts on the trial.


This is post #38 in The Satin Strangler Blogs (TSSB).
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