rising

img_3530

I worked all day on writing and organizing chapters. I finished one entirely that was kind of a breath of fresh air, as it was more about the rising out of the mire, than the quicksand of Cindy’s murder, the investigation and trial.

I treated myself in the evening to a dinner at a restaurant not too far away called Mkt. One of the ladies at the flower class had recommended t, and boy was she right. I had just a wonderful time there.

img_3511

snapped a couple of pics of myself before I went out to document my attempt at using the curling iron on my new haircut–I look so relaxed, and was–my skin is also really improving with the fasting lifestyle–can you believe I turn 60 in two weeks?

I’ve done quite a bit of solo travel and one thing I’ve learned that works really well for me is to eat at the bar. Whether it’s a sushi bar or in this case “chef’s table” which was a five seater bar overlooking the cooking and prep area. It makes you feel part of things sitting there.

13abec7b-f2a9-41fb-bab6-1907cfc00fb8-1

I had a gorgeous glass of Sangiovese and these incredible grilled green beans with lemon, then their ahi crudo and my third course was a burratta salad. I topped it off with a lime coconut sorbet with shortbread cookies for dessert. I did indulge and had the stomach ache later to prove it, but it was worth it. I just can’t eat as much as I used to now that I started Intermittent Fasting…dammit.

On the way home, these two bugs were mating on my windshield, literally the entire drive home, including on the freeway. They were serious about it.

img_3539

 

Been writing off and on all day. I also planned my next trip to come back in three weeks. Long story, but she got a cancellation, I needed to spend some money on the airline before the year was out and I’m riding a wave of momentum right now. Plus I need to get some more documents that are packed up in our garage at the moment.

Today was one of those days that I had my jammies on at 3pm. I was sitting on my perch–the fold out sofa in the studio–and there was a knock on the door.

My sweet husband sent me a gorgeous dozen roses to enjoy for my last days here. He’s so sweet and thoughtful.

img_3548

Well, here is a snippet of a chapter on Michael Apelt’s sentencing that I worked on some today. Still pretty raw, but it’s on paper.

Topped off with my two views–to my front and to my left. I’m sure you can see why I have such a hard time staying away from this paradise.

I sat with my family and Janine in our regular spots–the second row on the right side behind the prosecution.  There were more press in the gallery that day than on other days. The Death Penalty tends to draw that.

I had a perfect view of Michael as they brought him in, clad in the jail’s orange jumpsuit, socks with plastic sandals and shackles–both wrist and ankle—with chains.  It was the first time I had seen him like that, ever.  In the trial, he was always restrained beneath his casual slacks.

I watched him, knowing this was likely the last time I would ever lay eyes on Michael Apelt.  I witnessed him awkwardly sit down.  I watched his always-present interpreter hand him the headphones he wore daily in court.  I saw him pick them up with his manacled hands, clanging, and restrained together at the wrist.

What happened next, is one of those moments you will never quite catch the essence of, in either telling it, much less writing it.  It was a miracle of sorts that occurred in my heart that day.

It was as if the environment around Michael Apelt both paused and went black and white, like a scene you’d see in a movie. He became like some sort of spotlighted hologram, and he was the only thing moving in the room, but in slow motion. The air around me shifted to a stillness the courtroom had never held before. It was as if I could hear his every move, amplified in my mind.

img_3557

img_3558

abundance

img_3469

It’s Monday and I’m up early and getting to it! I just have four more writing days while here in Edmonds, so I’m going to make the best of them. I had a little fun last week and over the weekend, so time to buckle down. I read through almost all of my chapters yesterday, editing and making notes and I like how things are coming along. I just have a very few chapters left to write, and I’ll complete one of those today.

Not gonna lie, I’m already dreaming about my next trip here. I just love it so much.

img_3380

So to follow up with where I left off last time–the fantastic flower class I got in off the waiting list!

I always do my research, or at least as much as I can, before venturing solo in to a new neighborhood to see what I might not want to miss.  The London Plane is in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle which is kind of between the train station and the happenin area of Pike Market. There are new places popping up around there, so I decided to go early to check out a local happy hour, have dinner and plenty of time to find parking.

img_3422

Well, had no idea the traffic going IN to the city on a Thursday afternoon would be so brutal. It took me over an hour to get there and another 20 min or so of roaming looking for parking, so the happy hour I’d planned at a place I’d scoped called Good Bar was out. I squeaked in just in time for the class.

It was amazing. First there was a bar of really nice snacks, which was nice because I had been fasting all day (I’m doing Intermittent Fasting now). They had three selections of wine and delicious cheeseboard type of nibbles.

There were buckets and buckets of flowers, branches, berries, fruits etc. all around the tables that were preset with artisan vases and clippers (that we got to keep!) at each spot.  I switched out the vase at my spot for a white and blue striped pottery vase.

img_3305

The women hosting the event were both the owner of The London Plane and a local floral artist. I gleaned so much from just listening to them and watching. The LP is a unique concept which houses a flower shop/wine bar/coffee shop/pastry shop/cafe/boutique with handmade items for sale. It’s like everything I love under one really open and charming roof. I loved it and would totally hang out there if I lived in the area.

We got some intros to the flowers and their backgrounds, while the Jeni the floral artist created an arrangement as a demo.

They then basically set us free to choose what we wanted of probably 50 different varieties of the above options and we all spread out and went to town. I dumped my entire arrangement about half way through and started over…arrgh. I’m still very much in a learning curve. By the end, I was really happy with what I made. They also gave us boxes filled with tissue to easily cart them home (great idea). I learned very much about the direction of my new business and where I want to take it (and myself) in the coming year.

 

img_3376

07a82c71-faf2-428f-a545-55c38d931277

img_3368

I am really interested in developing my skills as an artist and have decided to break out my easel (well get a new one as mine was lost in the flood) and get to painting again.

Oh! Almost forgot. Pat, my host here, had told me that day that she was planning on taking out her dying fig tree the next morning, asking me to park my car elsewhere to make space for that project. Well….I got a wild hair. I asked the London Plane owner if they might like the dozens of green figs/ branches/ leaves that would be coming off and discarded and she said yes! She offered Pat a $50 gift certificate for her fig remnants which was perfect as I really wanted Pat to get down there to check out the place–it’s totally her, as well.

So the next morning, I pruned that tree to an inch of its life and stuffed my car with figs and branches and toted them back down to the shop. It was a great caper, got me outside and a little bit of gardening as I miss my own garden so much!

 

img_3417

After the class, I walked with my arrangement back to my car, kind of hungry still so thought about where I might grab a bite back in Edmonds. The neighborhood felt very different at night, so not a place I’d venture out on my own. As I sat in my car, checking my phone for directions, I glanced up and right across the street, just steps from my car was something that looked familiar. It was the exact type of font as the Good Bar lounge I had been researching earlier and lo and behold there it was! Literally in front of my face!

img_3339

Well, that was a no brainer. Popped right back out of the car and walked across the narrow street and right in to this very cool spot in an old bank. The vault is still there even!

img_3345

img_3337

I ordered myself a cocktail and perused the menu. I had read one review where the man said he rarely would go to a swanky bar like that, but the sloppy joe was so beyond, he kept going back just for that. So, that’s what I got.

img_3341

I was looking around with this goofy smile on my face, which caught the attention of the owner across the room and she mouthed “do you need anything?”. I motioned her over because I wanted to share with her good fortune in finding her place.

Well, we ended up talking and talking as she joined me multiple times as I enjoyed my cocktail, a “not cocktail” later as I was driving, my sloppy joe and then she comp’d me this delicious “Swiss Miss” ice cream that tasted just like hot chocolate, but frozen. Complete with mini marshmallows! Thank you Nancy!

 

img_3346-1

I’ve found that when I travel alone, I often feel less alone because I’m more approachable and meet more people. Always sit at the bar is my motto.

I’ll end this with a snippet that I edited yesterday. Coming in to the home stretch. Once I get home, I’ll spend time getting back with the agents who expressed interest and likely reach out to new ones. True crime is at a high now, so I think my options are much better than even when I started this four years ago.

Back to writing!

It was all very robotic and infused with denial. I just kept reinforcing the story in my head—that Cindy had gotten a call from Mark, that he was in the parking lot of her apartment, threatening to come to the door, so she ran out to head him off at the pass. He was the “angry man” Michael was referring to. The only person she would run off like that to. Then the two of them went somewhere and were holed up in a hotel or something. This was the only story I could allow myself and I was holding on to it for dear life.

Meanwhile, the Mesa police were making the off-policy decision to forego their policy of waiting twenty-four hours to declare Cindy an official missing person. Maybe it was the fact it was Christmas Eve, maybe it was the life insurance I mentioned, or Michael’s strange drunken story that didn’t make sense. But the police declared Cindy officially missing by 6:00 that morning, just three hours after they had been contacted. And they sent a report to the media. The people of Phoenix were waking up on Christmas Eve morning to my sister’s face on their screens, declared “missing”.

With my permission, my friend Debbie had a key to my house and let the police in. They retrieved the note I left and Cindy’s airplane ticket.

Then they went looking for Mark Maurer.

 

 

 

monster

img_1391

I spent a good six straight hours today, sitting propped up at the laptop, either editing or writing or researching agents or reviewing information for the book. My derriere is killing me! In one of my searches, I ran across this video of the current Assistant Attorney General arguing an appeal for reconsideration by the 9th Circuit of Michael Apelt’s successful grant of a new trial last year. It is stomach turning to listen to the sympathy argued by the other side, now, nearly thirty years later, escalated to claims of his father being a Nazi rapist, Michael being product of a rape, his being tied up and locked in the basement, blah blah blah. I have no doubt that most, if not all, of these “facts” as she states them, came from the murderer himself.

img_1390

I’m reminded of Jodi Arias–her claims of her victim escalating further and further from anal rape to pedophilia, which all were argued and allowed in court with a straight face. And yet people think these murderers don’t get “fairly treated”. Please.

Pardon the interruption there, I had to go excuse myself to pour a big fat glass of wine to deal with the crap I’ve waded through today. I do like the way the Judges handled the arguments though, for the most part. It was easier watching this, knowing the outcome (appeal overturned). I mean, I could be sitting here right now, knowing that monster was prepping for a new trial, which I would have to sit through and testify at AGAIN. And yes, I did appreciate it greatly when the Judge on the left referred to Michael Apelt as just that:  a monster.

img_1395

I found it interesting that the female Judge (and the one on the left), both indicated that all of these “poor little abused boy” (yes I can say that in quotes because I don’t believe it at all–poverty yes, abuse, no. I mean no one knows what makes a sociopath but I do know plenty of people who grew up with abuse and abject poverty who did not end up plotting to kill people and killing them–my husband for one!–sorry for the long parenthetical comment) arguments can split both ways. Meaning a jury or Judge could see that as evidence of “what created the monster” as that Judge said OR evidence to be more lenient. Nevertheless, the facts remain–the plotting, the execution, the cover up, the brutality. Hard to mitigate, but they sure are trying. What’s next? His Dad killed Jesus?

michaeltriptych

poor little abused monster

So, IF you are so inclined and I know many of you are in terms of viewing legal dynamics, it’s kind of an interesting hour to watch. Here’s the video, direct from Pasadena:

 

It’s been a super productive day. I’ve not even showered. I woke up thinking it was Saturday and glad I had gathered groceries, as I like staying in here over the weekends when everyone else is out and about. I did my outing last evening, when I went to a new Korean spa and had this oldish Korean woman take out all of her frustrations on my skin during a scrub. Let’s just say, it wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve had. I cheated on my regular spa, Olympus, to check out a different one and I regretted it almost immediately. But my skin is super soft nonetheless and it was good to get out, even if it was raining. I picked up some things at an Asian grocery store and made myself a damn good poached cod dinner. Then I slept like a baby. I was so glad to wake up and realize I have one more full day! I’m in Heaven here, literally Heaven.

img_1377

I poached the beans and oyster mushrooms first in spiced milk, then poached the cod in the same and made a little lemon butter shallot sauce for on top. Yum-it was as good as a restaurant if I do say so myself-and basically a one pot meal! Ok, two.

Ok I’ll leave you with a snippet of some writing I worked on today. I hope it’s not a repeat as I’m doing a ton of editing right now. But anyway, here it is…some hard walks down memory lane. Again, the wine. With dedication to the friend in Santa Barbara who I mention here, who serendipitously called me today wanting to connect.

Cheers.

This was terrifying to me. Cindy was always my rock. I had never seen her like this before for so long. She seemed to be getting worse, instead of better. I’d experienced those feelings myself though, so I knew exactly what she was describing. My own breakdown had snapped me in half three years earlier, and I was only just stabilizing. I’d had a severe panic attack on an airplane headed to visit a friend in Santa Barbara, hoping the trip would cheer me up from a recent hard breakup. Consumed with claustrophobia, I’d demanded to be let off the plane, as it was taxiing toward the runway. In this day and age, I’d be arrested for my behavior, which was completely out of control even to me. I was a psychiatric nurse at the time and had no idea what was happening.

I made it to Santa Barbara but still wasn’t myself. I was also pretending. I found myself walking along the beach with my friend feeling trapped and claustrophobic because there were a few clouds in the sky. It was a terrifying time, which climaxed with the psych nurse being hospitalized in a psych hospital briefly a few months later. It took me several years of all kinds of therapies to work myself out of that nightmare. I knew first hand how these things take time to build, then more time to recover from, but I was still terrified seeing it mirrored in my big sister. I was desperately afraid of losing her, losing her strength. She was my everything.

I had found my footing for the most part by the time Cindy started to tumble, but it was incredibly distressing nonetheless.  I had developed some skills by then to help navigate her, and for the first time in our lives, I moved into Big Sister mode.

 

I’m back!

image

Good Lord! It’s been over a year since I’ve posted here. <<spanking myself>>

I have posted a bit over on the other blog Two Innocents.

In case you missed it, Cindy’s case was featured on Investigation Discovery’s new show True Conviction. John and I were flown back to AZ (from PA where I mostly live now, or at least trying to) for the taping. It was quite an experience — not only the being picked up by a fancy car service, etc. part– but mostly it was the unexpected healing that came with it. I was so glad they allowed John to come with me, as I really needed him on so many levels. We hit the ground running, and rushed up to Sedona to retrieve photos and documents for them, before being interviewed the next day.

If you have a provider that has ID, you can watch the show via this link.

dViHCwN

There were also some videos of it available online, if you want to search “True Conviction Deception in the Desert”, you might find one.

The producers wanted all kinds of photos and documents and anything else that I had, which required me to dig through all of that stuff, when all I’ve been looking at for the last 3 years, have been police reports and trial records. Believe it or not, those things were emotionally easier for me to view than the photos, letters and a cassette tape I uncovered that Cindy and I passed between us, before the days of cell phones and internet, when she lived in Minnesota. Sigh…

image

 

I had that tape copied to CD, so I can listen more easily. Chitchat between us, talking about boys we were dating, how much we missed each other, etc. Just hearing her voice again…well, you can imagine. All of the feelings.

img_1383

The act of being sort of forced to excavate those things, also forced me past some of my blocks in remembering good times with Cindy. That’s always been the hardest part. I know that sounds macabre in a way, but the deepest pain, for me, has always been remembering the great memories. It just led me down a dark rabbit hole to remember what I’ve lost–never to be again. It has been very, very hard for me and kind of a secret I’ve held. When people say things like “at least you have so many fond memories”, it’s like a dagger in my solar plexus.

Confronting that, through participating in that show, helped clear some of those brick walls of resistance out for me and connected me back to Cindy in a positive way. Yes, it has taken nearly three decades. Grieving has no timeline.

photo(45)

 

It was also really wonderful to reconnect with our amazing prosecutor Cathy Hughes and some of the detectives involved, who never knew what became of me. It was so great to see them from a place of happiness in my life. There were so many tears and hugs all around. The producers and host Anna Sigga Niccolazzi treated us all (including Cindy) with such tenderness and respect. It was overall a very positive experience and I’m glad her story got to be told in this way.

I had some revelations, that perhaps I will write about later once I’ve let them gel inside me a little more. They will certainly land in the book somehow.

 

image

 

Speaking of the book, once I was contacted out of the clear blue about this show, I realized it was a sign that I needed to finish the book. There is attention now around Cindy’s case and I need to finish telling it.

Also, around the same time, my dear friends in Edmonds asked if I would house-sit again for them. What an opportunity! You may (or may not) recall, that I have taken two fairly lengthy sabbaticals and have done about 99% of my writing there. I’ve rented their wonderful studio, overlooking the Puget Sound and read, literally, every document I have related to the case–from police interviews to testimony from both trials–and written about 2/3 of the book. I’m at the “Book Proposal” stage now, and over half way through crafting that lengthy document.

 

image

 

So, in about two weeks, John and I will be flying to Seattle together, where he will stay with me in their gorgeous three story house (I call it a mansion because it is to me). He will leave after 5 days, then I will hunker down and finish the proposal, send it out (I have two agents interested in me, maybe more now because of the show) and see what happens. It’s time.

 

img_8087

I can’t wait to get to my creative haven again. I’m also glad to have that opportunity, because I also realized that it’s not easy to think about bringing the book in to my peaceful, spa-like home here in Pennsylvania. Did I mention we recently got a hot tub? Heaven soaking out in the snow-filled cold air. I’m really loving this life that I never expected to fall in to in mid-life. It is really, really wonderful and I am so grateful.

 

 

Well, these are my updates for now. Stay tuned. Very shortly I’ll be posting more snippets and book stuff. I’d really like to get this thing completed this year.

Thank you, as always, for coming along for the ride!

 

img_7993

feedback, please

image

Good morning from Paradise!

I’m a busy little beaver over here tapping away.

I’ve written two more chapters since yesterday and I want to ask some feedback if you’re so inclined. Also feel free to write me off the blog if you’d like (contact tab) on this issue.

image

I’m reading Juan Martinez book and there are obvious similarities writing about a murder trial. I’m piecing mine together a little differently just on personal preference. He weaves the trial and testimony in to his narrative. I’m delineating mine out with the layout of the exact transcript. I guess for me being kind of a trial nerd, I like reading exact wording of things–testimony, police interviews, that kind of thing. So I’m laying it out like that vs. weaving it in to the story like Martinez does (which also works). It’s just a style thing.

I’ll give an example from my writing this morning:

Cathy Hughes addressed the life insurance in her examination of me. 

CH:  During the period of time that we’re talking about, from November to December 1988, did Cindy ever talk to you about life insurance?

KM:  Yes.

CH:  And can you remember on how many occasions she talked to you about life insurance?

KM:  I would estimate four or five times.

CH:  Did she ever tell you how much life insurance they had applied for?

KM:  No.

CH:  Did she ever talk to you about why she was getting life insurance?

KM:  Yes.

CH:  And what did she tell you?

Mr. Villarreal: Objection to hearsay, your Honor.

CH: It’s for the state of mind of the victim, your Honor.

The Court:  Overruled.

KM:  How it came up a lot in conversations was that she had to meet repeatedly with this insurance agent when we had plans. And then I asked “Well, what is this all about, you know, this insurance deal?”.

(I marvel at how naïve I was then, how we all were. Not anymore)

And that’s when she said that Michael was arranging for policies for them, a life insurance policy, and that it was for the purpose of investments, investing money, that he had a lot of money and was looking for ways to invest his money, and in Germany that was the customary thing to do when you marry someone, was to take out a life insurance policy as an investment program or something. And was how it was explained to me.

CH:  And did she mention that every time that you talked about the subject?

KM:  When we talked about it, that was consistent, yes.

 I intend to tell the true crime piece of the braid this way–through exact transcripts laid out like this.

Does this work for you, style wise? I’ll talk to my editor at our meeting tomorrow about this but kind of wanted to get a read from you guys as well.

image

By the way, on a completely different topic, I found my way to a natural Artesian well yesterday where you can obtain drinking water for free and oh man was it worth it! I couldn’t wait to get up and make my coffee with it this morning and I’ve never tasted coffee this smooth. I see this outing as a several times a week venture for me while I’m here. Wow, never water could taste so good!

image

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

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.

image

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.

image

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.”

image

 

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.

image

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)

image

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

 

diving in

image

Happy Saturday Morning from the gorgeous Northwest! A beautiful sunny day here to wake up to after an interrupted night of sleeping. I crashed at around 11:30 reading Juan Martinez’ book in bed and I guess it was haunting me as I woke up again at around 3:30 and read more for another couple of hours then crashed again until 9.  That’s the beauty of being on no one’s time but your own, you can do these kinds of things and not bat an eye. I kind of like being up in the middle of the night when the world is dark and silent anyway, speaking of bats. 😉

A passage in Juan’s book really struck me so I dog-eared it to share here:

“The highlight of the 48 Hours interview was the assertion that she intended to take the witness stand and testify at trial. That told me that she was confident in her public speaking abilities and that she believed she was persuasive enough to make the charges go away just by telling her story. She was masterful in front of the camera, playing the part of someone who couldn’t have committed this murder. The way she could look straight at the camera lens and answer the interviewer’s questions with apparent sincerity was impressive. She clearly wasn’t going to be intimidated.

“I don’t believe that I am going to be convicted, she confidently told 48 Hours Maureen Maher, just as she had advised the interviewer from Inside Edition. “I don’t think that I’m going to spend one day in prison.”

I guess this stuck out to me so distinctly because of what I’m reading on our own trials. I spent much of yesterday combing through the extra materials I’d picked up at Cathy Hughes’ before driving up here. I had two full boxes from last year but thought I’d just take a look. She was kind to remove any terrible photographs that I might inadvertently run in to.

image

I was shocked to see how lucky I was in what I grabbed because I opened one file that contained two kind of brief packets of interviews (I have thousands of pages of interviews). In that folder I found something I’d really wanted to lay my eyes on: the actual interviews at the time when both the men were arrested. I jumped to the end to see what this was because frankly I don’t have the time or interest in reading more of their made up bullshit that is in every interview for the two weeks prior to their arrest. The one that really steamed me was the German speaking burglary detective brought in for translation who clearly had sympathy for them and even put in his own personal observation that all three of the killing trio were telling the truth (he had to eat those words pretty quickly, but still).

It was fascinating to read the trap that was set for each of the brothers as the detective make a sharp about face in the curiosity portion of the questioning to the accusing portion.

Like Arias though, especially with Michael who I believe was always the mastermind and true malignant sociopath, they both didn’t flinch. Michael was cocky,demanding to be arrested so he could speak with a Judge who would most certainly agree and set him free. The arrogance oozes off the page as their violence is shoved in their faces and never ceases even when they are handcuffed. Since that day 1/6/1989, neither has seen the light of day outside incarceration. Good. That is satisfying also to reflect on.

I’ve said this before and will again: SOCIOPATHS ARE NOT EASY TO PROSECUTE. Even seasoned prosecutors like Martinez and Cathy Hughes say that and they aren’t kidding or exaggerating!

They almost and do get away with murder! Murder convictions are hard fought and that is all over Martinez’ book as he prepared for this trial. So when people talk about how the “government” has all the cards and blah blah blah it slays me. Death penalty cases are the hardest–high profile the most arduous ! It is NOT easy to get a sophisticated killer their just sentence for many reasons not the least of which, their lack of conscience and really emotion or fear at all, makes them very formidable all the way up to the handcuffs (and beyond which you will read in my book).

cindytravis

It’s so fascinating to be reading Martinez’ book along side these twenty five plus year old documents though. So much is written about diagnosing personality disorders and when you start to compare them to each other it’s like they were molded from the same cookie cutter–their methods and robotic ways of being coupled with high degrees of intelligence and sophistication. Yet 18 years post conviction, we taxpayers spent over 10 million dollars for their supporters to attempt to prove Cindy’s killers are mentally retarded. Mark my words, had Jodi Arias received the death penalty, we’d be paying for that argument for her too somewhere down the line. But I digress…more on that topic to come.

 

image

I’m finally kicking in to productivity-have an appointment with my writing coach and editor next week up by the Canada border so I’ll get to take a little road trip, moved my desk space around and created a new more ergonomic setup which I love, copied some pictures of Cindy from my printer to have around me (can’t believe I forgot those unless they are in one of my boxes I’ve not dug through yet), listened to some Juan Martinez interviews online (Vinnie Politan’s is the best),  read and reworked several of my chapters to send to the editor, read several hundred pages of documents and managed to make myself a delicious dinner in my kitchenette. Oh and I also changed the font on this blog as people were having a hard time reading it–is this better? I have a huge screen so kind of hard for me to tell. Please let me know if I need to tweak it again as that’s so frustrating!

image

It’s Saturday and gorgeous outside so I’m guessing most of this area is just that–outside. Which makes me think other than taking a little walk later, I’ll stay in and on my groove today. I have everything I need and mostly this view.

image

Yes I’m reading Juan’s book kind of slowly on purpose. It’s become a security blanket for me in an odd way. I’m feeling a camaraderie with Juan while reading it as I dive in the same darkness and remotely, he’s supporting me through his book. Most of you know I’ve met Juan Martinez many times and he’s been nothing but kind and warm to me as well as genuinely interested in me and our case. I have a special place in my heart for him. He’s one of the good guys.

image

image