The Staircase (2004) s01e02 Episode Script

Secrets and Lies

This is ABC 11 Eyewitness News at six.
Caitlin Atwater knows a year can change a life forever.
It's too much to even really say.
One year ago today, her mother, Kathleen Peterson, died.
At first, Caitlin believed she fell down the staircase as she was told.
Now she believes Michael Peterson murdered her mother, and she's certain Peterson will be convicted in a criminal trial next spring.
Why would Michael want to kill your mother? I think that the Michael that I knew would not want to kill my mom.
I think that I didn't know him in the way that You know, I think that I couldn't tell you why, because I didn't know the person who killed my mom.
You know? That's not who he held himself out to be.
It doesn't change any of my memories.
It doesn't change the fact that I thought they were happy together, but you don't end up at the bottom of the stairs, under those circumstances if your life was what everyone thought it was.
From what we found, every aspect of Mike Peterson's life is a lie.
He's He wasn't wounded in Vietnam.
He's not I mean, he obviously served, and I'm sure that he served bravely, but when he came back from serving in Vietnam to Okinawa, injured in a jeep accident He comes back to the States or even wherever he's ever lived, he's told everybody that he was injured in the war.
That's just absolutely not true.
There's, um obviously other aspects of his personality.
He wanted to give the appearance that this was a wholesome, blended, functioning family.
Well, that simply is not true.
The evidence is going to show that he was having um an illicit relationship that We believe she likely found out about that, based upon information that we found near the computer, and was contained in the computer.
The evidence is going to show that he is bisexual, and that he was having a relationship with a man outside of this county.
We both believe that after she had a phone call from a person that worked at Nortel about an upcoming trip that she was going to take that sometime perhaps after that phone call, which could have been anywhere between 10:30 and 11 o'clock, she discovered this information on the computer, which, according to the persons that know her well, they've told us that, including most especially her sister, that she would have been infuriated by learning that her husband, who she truly loved, was bisexual, and having an extramarital relationship not with another woman, but even with a man, which would be humiliating and embarrassing to her.
We believe that once she learned this information, that an argument ensued, and a homicide occurred.
Yes, I've known about the bisexuality since I was about I can't remember, 13 or 14 years old? And I learned about it from a friend.
Um And my parents knew.
Uh And, um it's, you know, just part of his life since that since that time.
And I felt from the beginning that the prosecution was going to go there, that this would end up being an important thing for them.
The reason I believe that is because when they executed the search warrant, the police, the second search warrant The first was December 9 or 10.
The second was the evening of the wake, the following Wednesday.
And they were here for several hours, and then they left, but when they left the house and we came back into the house, they left a picture uh on a table in the den.
The table was completely clean, nothing on it except one picture, and the picture was from his computer, which they had taken.
They had downloaded or printed off this picture, and it was pornographic.
And it was a message.
I knew I knew that was a message, that they left it there on purpose so that we would see it, and that we would find it, and what the message was to me and to him, "We know what you're like, we know this secret life of yours, and we don't like it, and we're going to do something about it.
" I was looking out here, dealing with photographs that were taken from his computer, and most of them are, um homosexual military men, and there are all different types of things that they're doing, but, you know, multiple partners, but they're all portrayed as being gay military men um performing sexual acts on each other.
And part of, um One of the persons that we believe that he had had a relationship with um We We believe he came He met this person from a website that, once again, was designed for homosexual military men and this individual that has been interviewed and that we know about, that we believe had some type of relationship with Mr.
Peterson, contemporaneous with the time period that we've been talking about He fits right into this mold.
It's not the type of thing your typical average juror or typical average citizen would want to access, nor would want to play out in their personal lives.
Not if they want to portray themselves as someone that has this perfect marriage or however he wants to make his life seem, so perfect, um with his wife.
But it's obviously very powerful information that he wants kept from the public in particular, but certainly the jury.
Because it could be very damaging, from a lot of perspectives.
- You got his statement? - Mm-hm.
- What'd he say? - He said you had sex with him.
- Oh, you're shitting me.
- No.
Four or five times.
Where? I I don't know all the details, 'cause I was skimming through all the stuff, and when I came to his - You're kidding me.
- Uh-uh.
That's what he's claiming.
That's what he's claiming.
- Oh, my God.
- Everybody wants a piece of you.
Jesus Christ! Or everybody claims to have a piece of you.
One of the two.
- And you have his statement? - Yeah, yeah, we copied it.
Send me a copy of that statement.
I'm dying to see that.
I'll get it tomorrow.
Was it a short statement or a long statement? About a page-and-a-half.
- Okay.
- Handwritten.
Handwritten? Okay.
He didn't indicate where this great love affair took place? Yeah, but Mike, I cannot remember it.
So Rather know now than later.
I'll say.
God, I'll say, for sure.
So I talked to Dave about Dennis, and we're going to rethink We're going to digest the statements, and then rethink as to how to approach it.
Okay.
All right.
Jesus.
All right.
God! Hmm Okay, well, if you say "relationships", that would mean That would imply more than you know, sex, for instance, and that never happened.
I mean, I'm a very I'm not that multi-faceted, you know, that I could have more than one relationship.
I'm a monogamous person in the sense that I don't There was Kathleen, and she took up my whole life.
Uh Could I have sex? Yes.
That could exist, but not a relationship.
I could not, you know, go to dinner, you know, or have a No, it would be inconceivable that, that Because she fulfilled all of that and actually fulfilled certainly sexual, but there was this other aspect of me that just existed, and I yes, did have sex.
No injuries to Mike Peterson, good fact.
Mm-hm.
Search of vehicles finds nothing, good fact.
Okay, what else? Number of lacerations.
Relationship between Mike and Kathleen.
Imprecise statement from Mike Peterson about what happened.
No motive at all.
- Well, that's not a fact.
- Well, okay.
"No intimate" says bad marriage, or trouble.
That's true, and no affairs, no current affairs.
No intimate.
Apparent happiness that evening.
Mike ignoring the 911 operator's questions.
- Right.
- He called two times.
Right.
He said she was breathing, the first call.
He said she was breathing.
He said she was breathing.
- Good and bad? - Yeah.
- Right.
- Emails.
- What does this mean, "emails?" - Bi, uh Gay emails.
Affair during the marriage.
Gay affair.
- Nobody knew about the bisexuality.
- Bisexuality hidden.
- Hidden.
- She knew.
Who can testify that she knew? Who is the fact witness that can say that she knew that he was bisexual? - Mike.
- Anybody besides Mike? - Yes.
Todd.
- Todd and Mike are the only two people.
That is a negative, negative, negative.
That is a big, huge negative, I think.
Is there anybody in this room who believes she probably didn't know? Let's go back to the truth for a second, reality.
The relationship was a beautiful relationship, and a loving relationship, and I think we can prove it.
We know that there is a bisexual hidden life here.
We know that.
Is it possible I'm sitting there as a juror.
Is it possible that a marriage can function that way? - And the answer is it can.
- Of course.
- And marriages do function that way.
- It does in France all the time.
Do you think that merely because he was bisexual would make it more likely to you that he would murder? That's the right question, all right.
What the State is trying to do here is prejudice the jury against this guy.
It's got nothing to do with evidence of guilt or innocence in this case, because they want to attack him for his personal life, or what-have-you.
If that's all you've got, folks, if that's all the State's got, we know you're going to acquit this case.
Let's assume that all this bad stuff comes in.
We gotta ask ourselves, "What can Mike do to counteract that, versus making it worse?" I think that if all he's gonna do is get out and say, "I wasn't having an affair at the time, and she knew I was bisexual," that will not have any credibility at all.
You know, my approach has always been, uh I'm not going to put my client on the stand, unless it becomes absolutely essential, unless there is something he can do that I have to have done that I can't do myself, and unless I'm convinced that we're going to lose the case unless he gets on the stand.
I think Mike can come across pretty well on direct.
Whether he stands up to cross is a different issue, but I think he can be taught on that.
And some of the bad stuff we may have to deal with anyway.
Mike gets on the witness stand and a good cross-examiner is gonna be able to make his actions seem unreasonable.
And once he gets on the stand, too, they can start bringing up, to impeach him, can't they? - All the stuff about the - Oh, God! Let's get into that.
"Sir, you don't always tell the truth, do you?" - "You know when" - "Yes, I try to.
" "Well, I understand you try to, but sometimes when it doesn't suit you, you lie about certain things, don't you?" - "What do you mean by that?" - You know.
"For example, in your mayoral race, it wouldn't have helped you very much to admit that you had actually gotten your injuries in a car accident, right? In a book jacket, you painted yourself as having gotten these injuries in Vietnam, right?" "This is true.
" "And you kept that lie going for years, didn't you?" Right? Without Michael on the stand, whatever gay stuff gets in, I can argue they have so little real evidence here, that they're getting into his private sex life.
I mean, even if we have to concede it, what does it have to do with You know? And I can sort of get into it as gay-bashing.
- You know, and, you know, sort of - Yeah, I like it.
As opposed to it becoming a credibility thing, with Michael having to admit, "Yeah, you know, I've had, you know, homosexual relationships, but not with him.
" I mean, what good does that do us? Michael's the only one who can deny an active, current homosexual relationship.
You know what? If someone's gonna say - Let me tell you - His credibility versus the emails Oh, my God, come on.
- His denial will have no credibility.
- Okay.
- We have to suppress those emails.
- Let's talk about Right, let's talk about that for a second.
You know, uh "Mr.
Peterson, you claim that Dennis Rowe is just lying, making this up? - Is that what you're saying?" - "Yes.
" "Well, Dennis Rowe didn't make up those emails on your computer, did he?" "No, but those emails are on the computer.
" "Sir, my question was, 'Dennis Rowe didn't make up those emails, did he?'" "No, he did not.
" - "You wrote those emails, didn't you?" - "I did.
" "You wrote the emails saying you wanted to suck so-and-so's dick, didn't you?" "No.
Are there emails saying that?" - "Yes, sir.
" - "To two different people.
Brad and" "Have you forgotten? Didn't you want to suck their dicks?" Can we take a moment? "It has to be in the afternoon, because at night my wife is home.
" You have to swallow hard, Bill? Maybe we'll work with him together.
It doesn't mean Can you say for him - what your goals are for this session? - Mm-hm.
Yeah.
And certainly if things come up in terms of testimony, that, uh, David wants to spend time with, he may veer in a million different directions, but just in terms of us together, and using this time for the space of the configurations of the courtroom.
Yeah, I'm not so interested, Mike, in particular substance right now.
What I'm really interested in right now is getting you up in a witness chair, talking with a jury Mm-hm.
and not going into some role that's designed to shield - what's inside.
- Okay.
What I'm hoping is that the role you play up on the jury, up in the witness box, is the role that you played with Kathleen.
- Okay.
- Uh In terms of just your who you are.
You know, I want the jury to see the same person that Kathleen saw.
Okay, um You sing around the house to yourself, don't you? - I thought I heard you - Hum.
- Hum.
- I hum.
What's the song you hum? I don't think it is a song.
I just hum.
What's a song you know? Look for a way in, not a way out.
It is sort of a dum-dee-dee, dee-dee-dee It used to be Kathleen's joke.
- "Is this the 'dee-dee-dee' song?" - Right.
"Or the 'duh-duh-duh' song?" Now let the hands out of the pockets, and just walk just easy.
Louder.
Now send it to that seat in the jury box.
- Blah.
- Blah.
- Right to specific places, so it's - Blah.
Good.
Widen the stance, relax the body.
Blah blah.
I'm gonna have to go back to "Do-Re-Mi.
" Go to "America the Beautiful," but we're going to be asking you about your sex life, my friend, - so just let's get some - That might be easier than singing.
- Add some sound.
Come on.
- Aaaah Aaah! I slit a sheet.
- I slit a sheet.
- A sheet I slit.
A sheet I slit.
Upon a slitted sheet I sit.
Upon a slitted sheet I sit.
I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit.
Upon a slitted sheet I sit.
Don't protect yourself.
I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit.
Upon a slitted sheet I sit.
Do it.
Please! I shit a sleet, er, sheet, I sat upon a slitted sheet.
Now, I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit, upon a slitted sheet I sit.
- I shit a sleet - Good.
And that's just the deal.
You may misspeak, a word like "shit" may come out.
You may make a mistake, big deal.
Mr.
Peterson, I want to read you something, and I'm going to ask you, after you've heard it, if you recognize it.
"Did your friend die for anything? I hope so, if only because there is something in him that lives in you.
Every man who dies can live on in us.
" I think I wrote that.
I hope I did.
Do you believe it to be true as you sit here today? Yes.
What parts of Kathleen live on in you? Hmm Good, we don't need to hear the answer now.
- Okay.
- Just your willingness to go there was enough.
Good.
Okay, Mr.
Peterson, you're under oath.
- Correct? - Yes.
And you expect this jury to believe you? - Yes.
- To treat you as an honest person? Yes.
But the truth is, there have been times in your life where you have lied because it benefited you.
I would say, probably, that's a good characterization, although I might say it's easier.
It was just easier sometimes to let the lie come out.
And for example now, you married Patricia Peterson in 1966.
- Isn't that correct? - Correct.
And during your marriage, you had a number of affairs.
- Yes.
- They were not all women, were they? No.
And you did continue to have affairs, even after your relationship with Kathleen began? That's a word I - Affairs to me mean - Sex.
How do you describe it? One incident or or affairs? You have The word "affairs" is confusing to you? - Yes.
- Let's make it simple then, sir.
You had sex with other people after your relationship with Kathleen began.
- That's correct.
- Men? - That's correct.
- And women? No.
- Just men? - Yes.
So now this is different from when you were married to Patty Peterson? - Yes.
- Okay.
How many different men did you have sex with after you started your relationship with Kathleen Peterson? Maybe six.
Not sure? Maybe five, maybe seven.
Somewhere in that number.
In fact, you never talked about that with Kathleen.
Well, we did talk about it.
That you were having sex with other men during the marriage? In the sense that yes, she understood that.
She understood it was with men? Oh, yes.
And you actually told her that? It was simply understood again that No, I think it would have been, for some strange reason, maybe been more upsetting to her if it had been other women.
I think that might have threatened her more, I don't know, but in all the conversations that we'd have, all the joking, every time we go to a military base, "They're just like you.
They're all gay.
Look, they're all touching each other, patting each other all the time.
" I think that there was enough awareness on her part of me as a person, and who I was, which is what made this relationship so good, that yes, she understood these aspects about me and was not bothered by that, because I loved her, that yes, I did have sex with other people, but that had absolutely nothing to do with not loving Kathleen or loving her less.
Mike, what do you think? How are you feeling compared to, say, what we did earlier in the office? I would have no clue.
- Honestly? - Honestly.
My sense is that you are not parsing.
You are not trying to win on any technicalities.
- No.
- I saw nobody who was being tricky.
Someone who assumed responsibility, and someone who within the No, and I told you this, guys, from the beginning.
My ass, life, totally is in your hands, and I know that.
And I'm not gonna outsmart you, I'm not gonna outsmart Hardin, I'm not gonna outsmart anybody and I'm gonna tell you this.
At one point, you actually even leaned into the wind, - physically - Hmm.
and it was a cold wind, so I thought, "Okay, he's gonna be fine.
" - Hi.
- Hey.
Hey! Good to see you.
Right this way.
Come on in.
All right.
Hello.
Take a seat anywhere.
Number one, I want to talk about additional survey stuff to give us more insight, and what I would call triggers, key questions, so, uh Well, how do you approach the bisexuality issue? Since we didn't do it last time for the reasons you expressed.
It seems like that reason still applies for not doing it.
- Well, we need - But it's a big issue.
You would hide it in a list of questions, like, "What are your views about heterosexuals?" You know, you have a whole list of I really think probably we're gonna have to pick a topic like marriage.
- Right.
- You know.
"What are the kind of reasons What can you accept within a marriage?" That kind of thing, rather than just go on the issue of bisexuality.
No, but I do think we need to find out their attitudes towards homosexuality.
Well, we will.
Or we could do it that way.
And then you've got to ask, out of at least 400 or 500 people, to have a statistically meaningful sample, and so, you know, we're talking about a significant expenditure, but in my mind, you know, if you were choosing between this and a mock trial in this case, I'd choose this.
A survey and then analyzing the data, then coming up with some conclusions, which is going to cost what? It's probably going to be in the $35,000 to $40,000 range.
Okay.
So that's a total of, like, cash we have to come up with to carry this case through trial of $385,000, you know, that's what we're dealing with.
I mean, you guys are spending the money, and, you know, Mike, it's your life, but I'm just telling you that sometimes what you find out is intuitive and sometimes what you find out is counter-intuitive, and it's the counter-intuitive stuff that you just would never know.
You know, you find out one thing that's counter-intuitive in that survey for $35,000, and it's mighty cheap.
It's mighty cheap, when you stack that up against the rest of your life.
Uh-huh.
Okay.
We have our schedule down.
So, what we're going to have, it's going to cost 65, 67 700, we know for a fact between $750,000 to $800,000.
I think we were originally thinking 500 to 550, something like that.
So it's cost us another $250,000 $300,000 more.
- Over budget.
- Over budget.
If we were a business, we'd be out of business.
Then again, what do people do who don't have any money? I mean, you know, the rich get off.
Well, the reason, the only reason the rich get off is because they can afford to defend themselves.
The damn poor go to jail, because they can't afford to defend themselves.
Period.
Not in every case of course, but that's pretty much it.
What would somebody do in my case? First off, they wouldn't have been prosecuted like this.
But then the other thing is, they'd be hopeless, hopeless in hiring experts, or somebody to come in and prove that, "No, this didn't happen.
" Yeah, I think the State budgets and allocates a certain amount, - but it's nowhere near what's needed.
- No, nothing like that.
Yeah, American justice.
Yeah, the American justice is very, very expensive.
At the end of this light, this is the end of the white neighborhood.
All up in here, everything is white.
Everybody is white.
And then starting across this street, everything is black.
This is the biggest scandal in Durham right here.
They've put in millions of dollars to build these houses that they were going to be for poor people.
And it's just crooked, and it was never developed, of course.
The houses are not occupied.
It's in bankruptcy.
They built these apartments.
Look at that.
These are Only a few years ago.
They're falling apart.
They're just It's just a travesty.
And it's a beautiful As you can see, it's a beautiful piece of property.
It overlooks the city.
I mean, this is one of the nicest areas.
This is the story of Durham.
Promises and promises, and then corruption, and theft, and lies.
When I came to Durham for the first time in 1961, over 40 years ago, I just couldn't believe that Well, they couldn't, blacks couldn't go to school with white people, they couldn't eat in restaurants.
They were not much better than in slavery times.
And after 40 years, there are definitely some rich blacks, and certainly society has gotten better, but in many regards, it's just as bad, and in some cases, it's worse than it ever was.
And all we do in this town is not deal with the real problems.
The real problems are crime, drugs, ignorance, and nobody wants to talk about that.
I find that, for instance, in my case, everybody, every day, my God, pounds of newsprint, ink, paper, and all the media.
Everybody's focused on my trial.
It's a diversion.
It's something that It's an entertainment.
It's a show, and if one tenth, one tenth of that amount of time or media exposure, if it were given to what's real and what's true, the problems, things would get better.
It was four years ago, 1999.
I was writing about Rolling Hills, that place that we just saw.
That's what I was uh, starting with that.
It's mostly about corruption.
"Cops solve 5% of crimes.
Why?" "Despite an onslaught of publicity on how crime is down, streets are safer, drug traffic reduced, one figure remains truly alarming: the clearance rate of crime.
Police solve about five percent of reported crimes, while ticket collection is, by comparison, an impressive 33 percent.
" Then there's this one I didn't attack the DA very often.
And it says, basically, "The DA's got a hard thing for bingo, so he sends the cops out to close down the bingo parlors.
Why? Because he can't get anybody for anything else.
My God, there's more crime in City Hall than in Southern Italy.
The DA and cops can't catch any real criminals in City Hall, so they go after underage voters and bingo players.
" So, I mean, it was just a commentary and I didn't attack him personally.
I didn't say anything negative about his, you know, personal life.
I don't know anything about his personal life, and I would never say anything about anybody's personal life anyway.
But everybody knows, and I should have certainly known better, that when you make fun of people, they don't like it.
It's just that simple.
And if you make them look silly or ridiculous, uh they remember that.
Gotta speak up or forever hold your peace.
I put it in there, obviously.
The pants are 34.
The shirt's 33.
Yes, sir.
This is on top of the blood smears and blood spatter.
That's basically the last one.
And here, this has to be after the urine deposit.
Smaller one is one millimeter to approximately four millimeter.
Three inches by two-and-a-half inch.
Here, blood spatter radiates out from the center.
See now, I looked at those, and I thought, "Okay, bloody pants.
" I would have spent three minutes looking at them, but, uh Henry's a whole different story.
You can see these blood stains.
Basically, you have multiple deposits.
You have a blood spatter underneath it.
You have under blood stains, and additional blood stains.
That tells me it's not coming out at one time.
It's multiple deposits.
And that is consistent with what Warner is saying about the fact that she wouldn't have lost consciousness for some extended period of time.
She has to be conscious, then get up, sit up, and was moving.
All right, so the pants, itself, can tell us a story.
She was up.
- And there was some timeline.
- Timeline.
- Up and down, timeline, in between.
- Right.
The fact that you've got less blood on the bottom than here, is there any chance that she's on her knees, slouched over, because there's more blood on this side than there is on that side, against the wall? This portion probably was when they initially put the towel.
Maybe she her body was up here.
I'm sure that's right.
Do you see what I mean, Ron? That's the position when they took the picture.
Right.
We have to look at the scientific fact, and base our interpretation purely on the scientific fact.
The first thing, when I look at the scene, I notice the tremendous amount of blood spatter.
Ordinary beating up scene, we don't see that much blood spatter.
The second thing I noticed, all those blood spatter come from different directions.
If I'm beating in the same direction, and repetitively, in theory, we should see most spatter come from one direction, goes to other direction.
The third area I feel strange is, I examined the upper wall, the ceiling, carefully, inch by inch, in the staircase area.
I did not see a single blood spatter on the ceiling constituting as a cast-off pattern.
Mr.
Lee seemed to, um The only thing he wanted to prove was that it wasn't a beating.
He never even wanted to consider that it could be.
Never even wanted to think that it was possible.
- He only wanted to prove that it wasn't.
- Mm-hm.
I personally think that Lee was trying to was acting like he was being paid to try to convince somebody of something.
- Okay.
- That's the impression I got from him.
I thought that Lee, he was terribly difficult to understand, and as a result, - I found my my mind wandering.
- Okay.
So that there were a lot of questions that he might have answered, - but I don't remember.
- Sure.
Um And I felt that he just took the evidence and stretched it to fit whatever he needed to counteract what the defense was saying.
- Okay.
- When I first heard him, I thought, "Man, this guy reminds me of my junior year calculus teacher.
" I couldn't understand him, either.
But, you know, it after, I mean, I think he's very qualified.
I actually really think he knows what he's talking about, but he comes off kinda hokey, - because I couldn't understand him.
- Right.
But I think if he had been given a little more latitude, he may have been able to convince me a little more - about what he was talking about.
- Okay.
He didn't come up with anything that really made a plausible other explanation for what happened.
It still didn't make a very good case for it being just a fall down the stairs.
So I was left kind of wondering, "If he doesn't think it was a beating, what was it?" Okay, thank you.
I'm just very freaked out.
One of the things you gotta think about when you think of Dr.
Lee is that this is not California, this is not New York City.
This is The South, and I think that part of what we're hearing here is a reaction to ethnic differences.
- Probably, but - It's difficult.
Now, the substantive part of it is that it's very overwhelming um evidence of the blood and the wounds that we're gonna see, but I think that, to me, the most important things were he's a hired witness, he's not clear, he talks with an accent, he's too general.
Um He doesn't provide an alternative explanation.
He doesn't provide an alternative "what happened".
So I'm not sure that we're gonna be able to come up with a, a good explanation.
Even if we spent an hour with Henry, talking about the limits of science - and the danger - No, it's not.
They look at all this blood and say, "In the right case maybe, - but not in this case.
" - Right.
Here, you have to be able to know something about what happened.
There's just too much blood, too much movement to not have some information.
Because people have this image that we're saying she fell from the very top, - so why aren't her bones broken? - Right.
And if she fell that far, how could she possibly get up again? I mean somehow we have to paint this scenario that this happened three or four stairs up.
She fell, you know, fell back and hit her head, started bleeding, slipped and fell again.
I think Henry is not really comfortable doing a lot more than poking holes.
So we need to think about that, because that's clearly, at least in this context, a big question for them.
The State has a theory, the defense doesn't.
All the defense has is critiques.
I've got a theory that if she's, for example, if she's on the floor, leaning against the the chair-lift, and she goes up and her feet slip out She never actually stood up at all.
She's got her feet Right, right.
Feet under, slip back again.
She's got a .
07 alcohol.
She's got Valium.
There's blood on the floor.
You've got this thing so every time she falls she's hitting her head from about the same distance right on that metal thing.
So what's the overall? Bad news, good news, what? The overall bad news is, again, we don't - We don't have any - If we can We have no explanation to tell them what happened.
David and I talked about doing an animation to reconstruct exactly how these injuries might be inflicted by a fall.
Right.
That's the dog? Yeah, I haven't I haven't heard it.
I don't want to hear it.
Hmm! Hello, guys! Come on! Where's Wilbur? Hey, Wilbur! What did you do with him? Huh? The other bad thing that I didn't mention was the autopsy photos are so visceral.
- Oh, Jesus, yeah.
- People just react - People just react to them immediately.
- Yeah.
Are they that gruesome? Are they that awful? Yeah, they're pretty bad.
You look at them initially and you think, "Man, this couldn't" Your initial reaction from looking at the autopsy photos is you can't get that from a fall.
- Hmm.
- Which is one of our problems, because we can't precisely explain how you do and can get it from a fall.
Right.
But all he can say is they didn't come from a beating either, right? Definitely did not come from a beating.
We're very strong on that.
They've got the burden of proof, so Yeah, but that burden of proof is sort of like innocent It's like innocent until proven guilty, which we all know is horse shit.
You're guilty the minute that they No, don't be such a cynic.
People get off on that all the time.
You just don't read about it.
No, I am a cynic on that.
It's, uh Well, innocent until proven guilty, I think, is No, the overwhelming thing is me.
The police arrest you, you're guilty.
This is what people believe.
Well, that's why our main theory of the case is, in the blow-up, well, how did this how did this case get transformed from accident, as reported by them initially, to a murder? - Right.
- David is thinking about taking the you know, the original report from Dr.
Snell, the medical examiner, where he concluded that in his opinion, she fell down the stairs.
- It was a fall, right? - He actually offered an explanation.
Said she fell on the third step, and then hit her head somewhere else.
- Really? - It's fairly detailed.
The medical examiner says it's an accident while he was here, right? - Exactly.
- So there was not a single thing that Holland had to go on - Right? - Nothing.
And yet within hell, 30 minutes of that son-of-a-bitch coming in here, it was it was a crime scene, and I was And I was guilty, and that was it.