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Phil Spector and the Murder of Lana Clarkson

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Lana Clarkson Found Dead in Spector's Mansion:


On February 3, 2003, police went to Spector's Los Angeles mansion after receiving an emergency 9-1-1 call. As stated in the police reports, police found the body of the 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson sitting slumped in a chair in the foyer. She had been shot in the mouth and a blue-steel .38 Colt revolver with a two-inch barrel was found on the floor near her body.

The Investigation:


Clarkson was an actress and also working as a hostess in a VIP lounge at the House of Blues in West Hollywood on the night that she met 62-year-old Spector and left with him in his limousine. His driver, Adriano De Souza, told the grand jury that he waited outside after the two went into Spector's mansion. Almost immediately after the two entered the home, Spector returned to the car and got a briefcase. About an hour later De Souza heard a gunshot, then observed Spector going out the back door with a gun in his hand. Allegedly, Spector told De Souza, "I think I killed somebody."

Spector is Charged With Murder:


After police arrived to the scene, a small struggle incurred when Spector was asked to show his hands, which were jammed inside his front pockets. He fought off police and was eventually subdued after police used a Taser stun gun on him then tackled him to the ground.

"I Didn't Mean to Shoot Her":


Inside the home, police found nine additional firearms and a blood trail throughout the house. Transcripts of grand jury testimony in the case show that Spector first told police he accidentally shot actress Lana Clarkson, then later said she had committed suicide. When police officer Beatrice Rodriquez arrived at the scene, Spector told her, "I didn't mean to shoot her. It was an accident."

After an investigation lasting over six months, Spector was officially charged in November of 2003 for the murder of Lana Clarkson. He is currently free on $1 million bail.

Statements Can Be Used In Trial:


Spector's attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have the damaging statements suppressed, but on October 28, 2005, the judge ruled the statements could be used against Spector in trial.

One Attorney, Two Attorneys, Three Attorneys, More..:


To date, Spector has gone through three attorneys. Defense attorney Robert Shapiro represented Spector at his arraignment and early pretrial hearings, and arranged for his release on $1 million bail. He was replaced by Leslie Abramson and Marcia Morrissey. Bruce Cutler, the former long-time lawyer of New York City mafia boss John Gotti, in turn, replaced them.

More than four years after actress Lana Clarkson was found shot to death in his Hollywood mansion, Phil Spector is now on trial for her murder.


Find more background and latest developments in the Phil Spector Murder Case.

Return to Page One of the Profile of Phil Spector

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