The terrible thing about murder trials is that there's always someone trying to bring the mood down, like the forensic analyst who insisted on showing everyone at the Phil Spector murder trial all sorts of gory photos of Lana Clarkson's dead body.
Yesterday Lynne Herold, the chief analyst of the forensic evidence against Phil Spector, took to the stand in the ongoing Phil Spector murder trial to provide the courtroom with the most graphic reminder of what happened to Lana Clarkson yet – a number of close-up photographs of her dead body and injuries sustained by the gunshot wound that killed her. It's horrifying images like this that a) act as a sharp wake-up call to the severity of the charges against Phil Spector and b) make us wish that Lana Clarkson was wearing one of Phil Spector's hilarious lesbian wigs when she died so at least we could make a sodding joke about it.
The Phil Spector murder trial is almost at the halfway stage now – forensic scientist Lynne Herold is the last witness that the prosecution against Phil Spector will call, after which the defence will step in and try to somehow prove that Lana Clarkson committed suicide in Phil Spector's LA castle. But the prosecution has done a pretty good job of accusing Phil Spector of murder.
If there wasn't a procession of women claiming that Phil Spector had pointed guns at them, then drivers were happy to claim they heard Phil Spector say "I think I killed someone" or coroners were calling the case murder or Phil Spector's guns were shown or bits of Lana Clarkson's saliva were found on Phil Spector's privates, all of which pointed to a grisly murder. But you know what's missing from that list? All kinds of explicitly gruesome photos of Lana Clarkson's body slumped in a chair with blood oozing from her mouth and nose. The Telegraph reports:
Most of the pictures have been seen before but the testimony accompanying them, from Lynne Herold, the chief analyst of the forensic evidence against Spector, provided the most graphic and disturbing descriptions yet of the alleged murder. Dr Herold detailed the clotted blood on Miss Clarkson's face, stringy blood, blood spatter and bodily fluids on her body and clothes as the photographs, often in groups of four, were displayed on the screen.
The pictures of Lana Clarkson weren't just to freak people out, though – there was science behind it. Lynne Herold pointed out smears of blood on Clarkson's face, claiming that someone had attempted to clean her up before the body was found. In addition, Herold pointed out that blood spatter from a gunshot wound typically travels for no more than two to three feet – contradicting claims by Phil Spector's forensic scientist Dr Henry Lee, who claims that blood can travel up to six feet. Lee's claim is thought to be key in the defence of Phil Spector, so expect lengthy cross-examinations when the time comes to it.
So, in the face of all these claims against Phil Spector – plus an argument against a key defence argument – it'll be interesting to see how well Phil Spector's defence can rally together. Because frankly the 'Phil Spector is short and she was a nutter anyway' argument might not win over many of the undecided at this point.