Good morning from Edmonds. It’s a beautiful drizzly day here today. Most people don’t understand why anyone would love a rainy day, people from the Northwest anyway. In Arizona we have sunshine most days of the year. We crave clouds and precipitation. I’d be ok with it if it rained here most days this month. It also keeps me cozy inside and helps motivate me to work.
I hit the ground running last year but this time it’s different. I’m a little resistant and sluggish. So I decided to work at my pace and by that I mean get something accomplished each day but it doesn’t always have to be writing. I’ve got lots of reading and researching yet to do.
Yesterday afternoon, I made it through the entire cross examination of Michael Apelt by the brilliant Cathy Hughes. I wish I could put the entire 128 pages in my book, it’s that stunning to read in terms of her skill as a cross examiner. I recently had lunch with Cathy and she said that was really what she felt was her greatest skill as an attorney. I’d agree.
It’s hard to pin down a sociopath. They will be slipperier than you could ever imagine or foresee. You kind of catch them more in hindsight and distance with some reflection. That was certainly clear with Cindy. He had her in his sights from Day One (as well as numerous other women) so he started the gaming then. She was questioning things but privately in her diary. With him, she was like a little wooden marionette and he was pulling the strings. I remember feeling scared and annoyed at the time when I saw her act like that. I had absolutely no idea what she, or we, were dealing with. Now when I see that kind of glazed over behavior with someone who is in a new relationship–not the in love glaze–the sort of masked affect and tension beneath the surface trying not to be seen kind of glaze, I feel very triggered. I want to yank them as far away from that person as possible.
The truth is though, there are all kinds of personality disordered people out there–from Narcissists to full blow Sociopaths–and the vast majority are not plotting to kill anyone. Many are just playing in the power fields and enjoying the games of manipulation. When something this drastic has happened in your life, one of many legacies left is a state of over reaction to this kind of behavior. Try dating in that kind of swamp. It was pure Hell.
Ok, back to the cross examination. I wore out a highlighter yesterday marking lines. I will share now one of many many exchanges between Cathy Hughes and Michael Apelt that are just mind blowing. It reminds me so much of Jodi Arias on the stand squirming and wiggling under the direct laser of Juan Martinez. Now Cathy’s style is much softer and less aggressive. Imagine as you read this, a very feminine woman with a pleasant face and smile, wearing my sister’s earrings, gradually gaining speed in her cadence but not raising her voice much as she nails this killer to his own cross.
This particular passage has to do with the alibi he’d established at a restaurant/bar (the one where he met Cindy)–going there for Happy Hour and tipping $7 on a $3 beer to be remembered, slipping out to kill Cindy, then returning and “waiting for her” to show up then finally enjoying a post kill celebratory dinner with his killing companions using her credit card.This is about the various stories he told about what he did during the time he thought she was “missing” (7ish to 10pm) and how his behavior didn’t quite line up along with stories he told from jail to another woman he was still manipulating. Sociopaths never get normal human behavior quite right so there is often a lot of cleanup and explanation making on the other end. We saw this for 18 days with Jodi Arias on the stand, this exact cut-from-the-same-sociopathic-cloth style of excuse making.
Q: For three Hours you were in there, in Bobby McGees?
A: I don’t know about the time. All I know is that I called at 10:00 because I didn’t know what was going on. Cindy hadn’t come.
Q: And you left a message on the machine?
A: No. I hate messages on the answering machine.
Q: You have had several conversations with Kea Amara since you have been in the jail isn’t that true Mr. Apelt?
A: That is true.
Q: And you told her on more than one occasion that you left a message on the machine, isn’t that true?
A: Sometimes I don’t understand Kea on the telephone and sometimes I may give wrong answers when I talk to her.
Q: Didn’t you tell her that you left a message and you said, “Wife, wife are you there? Pick up, pick up.”?
A: Sometimes when I talk to her it was people who are so loud in the background that sometimes I gave her wrong answers when I talked to her.
Q: Did you say that or not Mr. Apelt?
A: I cannot remember.
Q: You know that the conversations are tape recorded don’t you Mr. Apelt?
A: That is true. I had learned that later.
Q: And you have copies of those tapes, don’t you?
A: That is true.
Q: And you have read them,have you not?
Q: And isn’t it on the transcript that that is what you told her?
A: That is true, but as I already said, there were several conversations where I didn’t understand because on the telephone it’s very difficult for me to maintain and English conversation.
Q: But you did tell her that, didn’t you Mr. Apelt?
A: Yes, I agree.
He used this “I don’t understand English well” excuse over and over, both in his manipulations of Cindy and during the investigation/trial. Yet in another cross examination, using a German interpreter, (which he requested) he answers quickly and accurately in English admitting he has a hard time responding in German now as it’s become his second language. Just after claiming he doesn’t understand English very well. It’s mind numbing the loopdeloo’s they take people on. If it’s not recorded in real time you can see how one would question if they just didn’t hear what they said correctly. This is the sociopaths’ greatest weapon–disarming honest people with their ability to reconstruct reality moment by moment–usually playing victim at the same time demanding their prey take responsibility. This is exactly what we saw between Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias.
This dynamic is all over Cindy’s journal and in conversations she had with me. By that time she was a bug caught in his web and any way she tried to free herself got her stuck even deeper. And her one secret weapon she couldn’t access at the time was her own screaming intuition that knew something was wrong. Which he wiped out with his huge bear claw of words each and every time. Pretty astounding for someone who claimed they didn’t have good command of the English language.
And my sister was smart. Not all his women were, like Kea Amara, but my sister was.
She was smart but vulnerable and one open crack is all they need to slip through.