By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Stanek shed the trial’s first light on the crime scene. When Stanek first looks at Bakley from the driver’s window of Blake’s car, she merely appears to be slumped back a bit. Then, when Stanek moves to the passenger’s side, he’s shocked to discover her true state: "There was tons of blood," he recalled. The playback of 911 tapes revealed a confusing soundtrack of emergency personnel calmly talking to an agitated Stanek on the phone while Blake yells in the background to the accompaniment of a barking dog — at which Stanek shouts "Get out!"
Some in the court, though, snickered at any mention of Stanek’s discomfort about the situation he found himself in. To them he was a guy sitting around a rented house he shared with roommates and who, when he’s asked to assist an injured woman, is soon haunted by Hamlet-like doubts — in his bathrobe, no less. (At first, Stanek said, he thought Blake had beaten up his wife.) Worse, Stanek later begged a detective to search his living room, suddenly believing Blake may have planted a gun in it. When he described why he gingerly crept up to the car and its motionless occupant, his explanation seemed cloying with sensitivity:
"I wanted to present myself as a stranger who was not dangerous."
This last statement and others like it had reporters continually shooting get-a-load-of-Alan-Alda glances to one another.
Stanek, who has also worked as an actor, put on an animated performance that first day of testimony, reliving those fateful moments by imitating Blake’s voice (at one point yelling at the top of his lungs) and cutting off Samuels and Schwartzbach to make personal observations. When Schwartzbach asked him to clarify what he meant when he said Blake was "acting a certain way," Stanek replied, "Well, [the way] you’re acting like a lawyer right now." Eventually, Schwartzbach dryly asked Stanek to allow him to finish asking his questions before answering, because "the reporter can only take down one of us at a time."
Afterwards Solari said he thought Stanek had been rehearsing his testimony.
"He’ll be on Larry King tonight," he said dismissively.
Scooby dooby doo . . .
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