digging in to the trial

I woke up from a dream where I left my purse precariously on a table while I went to dance, came back and my wallet, alone, had been opened but all the money and credit cards taken. Then I looked back on the table and there was everything “taken” neatly stacked. I thought “of course it’s still there” then went looking for the rest of my purse and my cellphone. It was a big party so I helped myself to a drink and snack and a dance while Pharell played the drums on the stage – knowing i would find my cellphone.
Went back out to the table where the African ladies were selling their wares – where I’d left it – and of course they had saved my cellphone in their cash lockbox knowing the person would come for it. And I did.

Then I opened the blinds to this vista and to the left clear snowcapped mountains. Life is good.

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I started digging in to the trial transcripts yesterday and writing about it. Last year I did mostly reading of the entire trial (and investigation and…) but little writing about it. It’s time.

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my living space split in to relaxing and work space

Here is a snippet from last night:

She delivered her opening statement in true Cathy Hughes style with a soft demeanor and clear, organized, detailed information. The jurors hung on her every word.

She began using Michael’s own words from the bizarre message they’d crafted in poorly translated English on Cindy’s answering machine.

“Mr. Villareal, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, hear what I have to talk. I’m going to tell you about the death of Cynthia Estelle Monkman Apelt. She died on December 23, 1988, just two days before Christmas.

She was murdered. She was murdered just one day after a $300,000 life insurance policy insuring her life became effective and just one day after another separate, additional $100,000 life insurance policy was delivered to her home.

She was murdered just one day before she was going to fly to Illinois to spend Christmas with her family. It was also her intent during that trip to discuss the insurance policies with her father.

She was murdered by her husband, by this man who is sitting right here with earphones on. His name is Michael Apelt.”

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Then from my father’s testimony:

Q: When was the next time that you heard anything about Cindy?

A: We.., we talked to Kathy early the next morning and she had not heard from her and could not contact her. And then I tried to call her at home.

My father went on to explain how he’d left a message that morning.

Cathy took him right after that in to funeral arrangements, Michael and Rudi attending the funeral and their behavior. She finished her examination of my father showing him a photograph of Cindy asking him if he could identify the person in the picture.

A: Yes, I can. That’s Cindy.

Q: And is that how Cindy looked around the time she died?

A: The last I saw her she did, yes, uh-huh.

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on a break yesterday I painted some highlights in to my hair — kitchen beautician style

 

And now something from my writing this morning:

I thought carefully about what to wear that day. Not because I had not seen Michael Apelt in a year and a half, not because I was going to perform a serious task in a crowded courtroom. Not because I would be photographed. I considered this decision for one reason: the jury. I knew that I was the closest possible opportunity for them to see Cindy alive and that I would be, at least in some of their minds, a representation of her.
I knew that the defense would, at least on some level, be smearing her reputation via their client. He had already doled out statements in interviews that my sister was entangled with Drug Lords, that she had been a serious drug user including injecting herself and that she had basically been a slut before marrying him. I knew the truth and needed to represent her as she was—an educated, clean cut professional raised humbly in an upper middle class home.
I chose an outfit from the Units collection that was popular in the 80’s– tunics, skirts and slacks with wide elasticized gathers of fabric that scrunched at the waist. We all had them. I chose my pink top, periwinkle blue skirt and patterned cummerbund with simple grey pumps. I wore my shoulder length blond hair down and lightly curled with my usual bangs. It was important to me to look professional yet approachable and attractive and modern, just as Cindy was. I finished my look with a pair of handmade ceramic blue and grey earrings I’d gifted Cindy from an art fair.
As I applied my makeup that morning I thought “well this mascara won’t make it through the day”.
I walked in to the courtroom following my parents’ testimony shoulders back, chin high and felt my serious but not angry or afraid demeanor. I glanced briefly at Michael Apelt looking very different than the last time I’d seen him, was sworn in and took the witness stand. I wasn’t afraid. I had a job to do and I was ready to do it.

(as a footnote I will add, compared to today’s trials such as the absolute worst, the smearing of victim Travis Alexander, trashing of my sister’s name was very mild. That behavior has escalated out of control now — victim blaming/trashing–and something I’d like to be involved in doing something about–my sister’s killers were allowed very little leeway in this regard in trial which is how it SHOULD BE)

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And now, back at it. Hope you are all enjoying a beautiful Sunday.

 

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