Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Final Poem for Lauren

An innocent child with uninhibited affection,
each moment now crystallized,
each experience magnified by its brevity.

We still miss your radiance,
We miss you as the days burn into humid twilights,
and into the long, light evenings.

There will always be a space where you left,

and we summon your voice:
lilting, sweet, rhythmic.

We linger in the memories;
they are but silent shadows 
of a forever summer etched in our hearts.

the carpenters - bless the beast and the children with lyrics


I'm shaking.  Finally justice for Lauren!  The third jury has convicted Cameron Brown of first degree murder.  Brown faces LWOP and sentencing is June 19th.


Peace to Sarah, her family and friends, and all who followed this case since 2006. Congratulations to Craig Hum and his team, especially Detective Jeff Leslie. I hope our work was helpful.

Love to all,

Loretta and Pat

Bless the beasts and the children,For in this world they have no voice,They have no choice.Bless the beasts and the children,For the world can never be,The world they see.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Incredible Running Leap Theory Rises Again

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying,' she said. "One can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

To summarize the last few days of California v. Brown, the defense introduced witnesses that presented several theories regarding Lauren's fall and Brown's affect after the incident that could be viewed as "six impossible things before breakfast." 

Gunter Siegmund appeared for the defense as an expert witness in the realm of biomechanics, presumably to offer a theory that would demonstrate Lauren could have accidentally fallen from the cliff. Siegmund agrees with Hayes's conclusions, but also suggests other scenarios that don't involve Brown assisting in the fall. Invariably, he trotted out "The Incredible Running Leap Theory." This theory was presented at the first trial by Mark Geragos, and it was summarily refuted by the fact that if Lauren had run off the cliff (or made a running start to throw a rock), she would have landed feet first instead of head first, therefore sustaining different injuries than what were shown in the autopsy. 

Never mind the fact that Brown's story conflicts with the running leap theory, because not once did he state or even imply that Lauren was running while he was sitting "four feet away" pointing out landmarks. Would any sane parent allow a four-year-old child to run on a cliff area? Is the jury supposed to think that's reasonable? If Brown's lawyer Mr. Laub wants Brown to be convicted of involuntary manslaughter, why didn't they just plead him to that long, long ago? He'd have been out of jail and enjoying the rest of his life with the lovely Kaldis twins.

The second impossible thing before breakfast was presented in testimony by a psychologist, Kevin Booker, a "Trauma Specialist." Mr. Booker attempted to explain away Brown's inappropriate affect following his daughter's death as a form of psychological shock. We cynics would characterize it as following "The Narcissist's Playbook of Grief," which is when people with narcissistic personality disorder cannot fake emotions they do not possess. They may try to mimic grief, but they often do really bizarre things instead of showing normal reactions. And, yes, there are normal reactions.

Craig Hum is, naturally, skeptical of Booker's theory. Funniest line to date:

HUM: Dr. Booker, 'malingering?' You actually test for malingering?
BOOKER: Yes, I do.

Hum goes on ask about "depersonalization/derealization" where the victim shows detachment to the event, which may explain Brown's behavior. However, it is shown later that witnesses who spoke to Brown immediately following the incident didn't characterize Brown as demonstrating this state of mind, based on the definition from the DSM-V.

Previous testimony (from earlier trials) from Lynne Brown, Cam's mother, was read into the record. I think Lynne Brown's testimony offers the most reasonable doubt for Cam's motives; but, since she was not present, and the fact that she's his mother, it may not have the impact the defense needs.

The jury's visit to Inspiration Point and other sites relevant to the trial drew a little media attention. "Inside Edition" carried the story.  Warning: that link will take you to a really annoying page. I add it only to show how ridiculous and banal our news media has become. This is why I don't blog anymore.

I expect closing arguments this week and possibly a verdict. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The Daily Breeze covers the case.