Day 1 Text: Jury In Date: 10-24-02

I feel obliged to personally show up at the Winona trial to show support for her. From what I have read she appreciates supporters being there in the audience. I 've also made money by selling the Free Winona t-shirts and by their success my business has taken a significant turn for the better and for that I feel indebted to Ms. Ryder. I have never met Winona personally but because she wore the design on the cover of W magazine I feel like a newfound respect was added to my otherwise degenerate career. Personally, I also feel that the prosecution of Winona on the charges is a significant waste time since there was obviously confusion at the store and the issue could have been settled right there with monetary compensation for the goods.

The DA’s office is out to prove that they can execute celebrities and they sure can do some damage even if they lose. The DA’s office and the store in question Saks may have been subliminally affected by the propaganda throughout the USA at the time of the arrest which was saying, “Buy From Corporations” and you will be fighting terrorism. This would have made shoplifting a horrendous crime right before the Christmas season and the over zealous nature of patriotism may have taken this case further than it needed go. Just yesterday the Mayor announced that he was returning 25K he took from a public agency for a political tool and he returned it when both before and after it was obviously a conflict of interest on his part to have taken the money. He's not being held accountable and probably won’t be. Because Winona can afford her defense while so many other people can, I would like to do my part and encourage her to prove her innocence-- which she so radiantly emits with her glowing charm.

Today I went to Beverly Hills, a city in LA, to see what I could see at the Winona Ryder trial. I criss crossed the roads off the 10 freeway working my way upwards to the 90210 that is etched in our collective memory. I moved into the area I was driving into the smog bank that after a while I forgot I was in. Then I noticed the sign that read, “Beverly Hills City Limit”. There was an overwhelming sense of cleanliness. I just have to remember to be calm and collective. I was early, and the actual trial was not going to start until 1:30pm so I wandered around the courtroom and tried to get on the guest list to see the trial. After poking around the courthouse I decided to go find some coffee.

There were two strange cats outside dressed like a cartoon character and they called themselves Bounty License Recovery, with a slogan, “Justice Will Be Served”. They dressed like ZZ Top and even had their own badges. Their website is I wonder if it is worth a look. I got their photos and asked if they did parties and they said no. Too bad they would be great bouncers. As I walked down the street I wondered how strange it must be to live in Beverly Hills where everyone has to be rich. As I walked down the street I felt like everything was isolated and separated by cleanliness and luxury. It was as if I was walking across the top of a glass dish. I found a café on the street that had tables outside, just like in my neighborhood, and I sat down. The food was not as expensive as I had thought it would be and the eggs tasted the same on this side of town.

I went to buy a pen and ended up at a Radio Shack and the only pen they had was a recording device too. It was on sale and I couldn’t resist. I felt like Dick Tracy or a Soviet Spy. I walked back to the courthouse and listened to journalists dispensing justice through comments like “well, she didn’t run anybody over in an SUV” and “This isn’t good for her no matter how it turns out”, which I agree with. I felt kind of weird hanging out without a press credential and I wondered if I was the world’s First T-shirt Journalist. Would they accept that type of credential when I apply for my Press Pass? The photographers were juggling for position near the window that has the metal detector on the other side. There was a lot of talk about when and where she would approach. There should be a book written on paparazzi etiquette because it seems like an art form. As the crowd of journalist grew it seemed like a feeding frenzy and one journalist even mentioned that he was happy because at least this was a legitimate News story. Really? Watching someone get assaulted with cameras is news? Then I started thinking how much fun it would be to photograph the photographers. Is that news?

It’s lunchtime and the courthouse is vacant, except for me. I think about leaving but decide to stay. I feel more effective at home in my digital world where I can cruise the news and find things to write about at any time instead of hanging out on a petri dish waiting for something to happen. At my office I can make designs and find images and never have to go outside in the smog. A couple passed that had just gotten married and I wanted to run downstairs and compete for the bouquet. Rather uneventful morning. Then I imagine myself in the middle of a river floating on a raft with nothing to do except wait for something to happen. It may be better for whole days go by with nothing happening than to add significance to things of no meaning. The media trucks outside seem practiced in their patience. Some of the broadcasters are preparing “packages” or watching the monitors for other news. Most of the bystanders are disinterested sorts looking at the ground in between snappy comments. The scene reminds me of union workers at a convention center. I check through the window and there are vans from a variety of networks, KCAL 9, ABC 7, Eyewitness News, CBS 2, and an unmarked white van that is commonly known as the CNN shuttle. The media is the message.

As I wander through the halls I over hear conversations. “Are you ready for the show”, the janitor commented to the guard. ”Naw, Do you think she’ll settle?” the guard on duty replies. “I say eight-to-five she’ll cop out”, the janitor comments. “That’d be nice,” says the guard.

I imagine creating a t-shirt news network, buying a van with a big fake antennae and a large logo on the side of the truck. Get some flashy badges and maybe some plastic surgery to sharpen my features and then drive around and make up stories like I was a professional. The news business is very predatory by nature.

I listen to other conversations about how many jurors are in the building and how many jurors are needed and if they have enough of them in the building, like they are bowling pins. Other people are concerned that the jurors will be exhausted from waiting and the jury selection will be delayed. A woman with a Hebrew accent asked me, “Are you with this group?” I meekly replied, “I’m just watching.” Some of the reporters around seem to be specialist in either law or celebrities. There are discussions concerning Nick Nolte and his drunken driving arrest and the fact that his problem has been reduced to a misdemeanor and he won’t even have to go into trial. One writer reduced his story to three quick statements and said, “Yeah, that’s enough for a story.” Another comment, “I always thought they would settle.” “I know why they didn’t but I can’t divulge,” says another journalist. Many of the reporters assume that they won’t be on the air because the sniper was recently caught and that he will get all of the coverage over the next several days. I’ve run out of time to complete this day, too many notes But I'll give a summary here. The jury was brought in and Winona sat attentively facing them. She smiled often and was gracious towards the audience and the jury. She seemed very much in control and often spoke softly with her attorney. She wore a pink sweater with an above the knees floral print dress with beige open backed shoes and a handbag with a fur handle. The judge maneuvered the jury around and estimated seven days of trial. Wow, seven days of seeing Winona Ryder, live. I was afraid as she looked to the audience, somehow she is the most powerful person around and she evokes innocence. I don’t see how they can prove her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I got a copy of the questionnaire for the jurors. An LA Times attorney tried to inject an oral argument near the end and was denied the opportunity. Something about the closed sessions being illegal, but it won’t effect the outcome of the trial. Winona looked towards the audience after the jury left and provided a glimpse of sadness that was different from the concerned looks earlier. I stood outside with the photographers and took pictures of them taking pictures. Sorry for the brevity but I'm running late and have to get back to the courthouse.


Day 1 Photo Gallery

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