Been thinking a lot about murder the past couple of days.. that comes w/ the territory when you're covering a trial. The victim was 21 yr old Juliana Redding, a would be actress who came to So Cal to find stardom, apparently got mixed up w/ the wrong older man, who , according to the prosecution, sent his ‘enforcers' out to try to intimidate and threaten her... but when they left she was dead. Strangled. Beaten. Left for police to find the next day after her panicked mother called em from Arizona after not being able to reach her daughter.
Flash forward... what makes this particularly unsual and compelling is the accused killer is hardly your stereotypical hit man. In fact, it's a hit woman.. at least according to cops. Her name is Kelly Soo Park, striking, tall, gorgeous, and apparently the one who grabbed Juliana and choked her to death in her Santa Monica bunglalow the nite of March 15 2008. It's taken more than 5 years, but Park is finally going on trial on the 9th floor of the creaky, sturdy, crowded Criminal Courts Building in Downtown LA. That's where I've spent most of the past couple of days, as there are many many pre trial motions. What's particularly strange about that is that Park is out on bail ( 3 million ) so you can ( try to ) talk to her in the hallway or coming or going or during breaks. She wants no part of it, nor do her friends. ( Her lawyers coudn't be nicer ). That's one of the ‘‘cool'' things about being a reporter.. you get to actually talk to and question the people you're watching, rather than just be a passive observer. Let's just say Kelly isn't a fan of the media.... many of whom have portrayed her as the ‘‘female James Bond'.. you know.. as in a license to kill ? In fact, the defense, so worried that the jury might be prejudiced against poor Kelly if she were referred to by that nickname in court, won a motion to preclude the use of the James Bond reference.
Tonite at 10 we have a lot of exclusive info on this case, the role Juliana's father played in this, the Doctor Juliana got caught up with, who allegedly send the ‘‘enforcer'' to her place, the role of wire taps, search warrants, DNA, the whole "Law and Order" package.
Criminal trials are fascinating, dramatic, sometimes boring and always important. And you know what? They're open to the public. If you're available next week jury selection starts Mon in Dept 109 , on the 9th floor. ( Snack bar on 5, cafeterial on 1 ) Take the subway, it stops a couple blocks away, at ‘‘Civic Center'. If you see me say hi. I'll be the one trying to get James Bond ( the female one but we can't use that name ) to talk to me in the hallway.