Robert Blake - Toast!?
I haven't been following the Robert Blake trial all that closely, and I don't think I've blogged on it at all. It seems to me, based on everything I've read (which, mind you, is limited to the LA Times coverage of the trial), that Robert Blake's only hope is that his celebrity wows the jury. I wouldn't bet on it. I think that the days when celebrities were immune to guilty verdicts are long gone - think Martha Stewart and Winona Ryder. Nowadays, judges are much less star struck, and much more careful to screen these things out during jury selection. It is harder for stars to get away with things, and I say that this is just fine.
That being said, I don't see how even a star struck judge and jury could help but find Robert Blake guilty. Yeah, I know, it's a circumstantial evidence case, there is no direct evidence of his doing the shooting, but puleeeese! What did he do beforehand, hit up half of Hollywood's stunt men and extras asking if they'd "whack" or "pop" his wife? Here's a hint, Blake, if you're going to hit your wife, go professional, or do it yourself - early, not after having expressed your intentions to the whole city.
Blake's case reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch about the "Death of Buckwheat" (people under 35 who don't watch old SNL episodes can probably stop reading now). The sketch made fun of the way that the media venerated well known killers, profiling them lovingly with long conversations with their friends and family who expressed shock that their family member would actually do the heinous acts they did. The killer of Buckwheat, though, while being venerated, had expressed a desire to kill Buckwheat most of his life, telling everyone he wanted to kill Buckwheat, his high school yearbook has him named most likely to kill Buckwheat, etc. So while everyone is saying what a nice person he is, how he was quiet, kept to himself, never bothered everyone, when the question came "do you think he could have killed Buckwheat?" Everyone answered "absolutely." You had to see it, but it was very funny.
I get the feeling that Blake could have been named "most likely to kill Bonnie Lee Bakely. Yes, she appears to have been a despicable person, and clearly there were other people out there who also wanted to off her (which the Judge has, I think, impermissibly restricted the defense from bringing out, but more on that later). However, this guy really seems to have not just hated her, but to have tried to do everything to rid himself of her. The only thing we don't have is a tape recording of him crying, anguished, "Who will rid me of this meddlesome wife!"
And I think that Blake will continue the trend of actors going down for the count in the courts.
Then again, I lost $5 on the OJ case, so what do I know.