SECTION TWO

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COLUMN NINETY-NINE, NOVEMBER 1, 2003
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

COPS SAY PHIL PULLED THE TRIGGER, NOT LANA


LANA CLARKSON

Phil Spector says beautiful blonde B-movie siren Lana Clarkson kissed his gun and then shot herself in the face with it. But Los Angeles County Sheriff's Captain Frank Merriman says it was Phil who pulled the trigger.

"It's not an accident. It's not a suicide," Captain Merriman insisted. "Phil Spector shot her."

According to Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times staff writer, Merriman wouldn't say what charges the legendary rock producer would face as a result of the Feb. 3 fatal shooting of the 40-year-old actress in Spector's Alhambra mansion. Merriman said the decision now rests with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

"We turned over the case," Merriman said. "We had plenty of evidence for them."

Clarkson had been shot once in the face. Her body was found in the foyer of Spector's mansion. A handgun was found nearby. Alhambra police responding to the scene used a Taser-like device to subdue Spector before taking him into custody.

Arrested hours after Clarkson was shot, Spector was then was released on $1-million bail amid fears that he would flee the country.

In an Esquire magazine article in June, Spector, whom we could not reach for comment, described the shooting as a bizarre suicide. "She kissed the gun," Spector was quoted as saying. "I have no idea why " never knew her, never even saw her before that."

With investigators concluding that Spector fired the fatal shot, Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said a decision is not expected immediately. The Los Angeles County coroner's ruling on the cause of death and other details have been sealed since shortly after the shooting. The Sheriff's office withdrew the request that the record remain sealed, explaining that delays in unspecified tests prevented detectives from completing the case sooner.

Spector reportedly met Clarkson earlier on the night she died at the House of Blues, the Sunset Strip club where she worked as a hostess. Employees saw her leave with him when her shift ended about 2:30 a.m.

They were driven in Spector's chauffeured Mercedes-Benz to his Alhambra home, to which


Cops say:
'It's not an accident.
It's not a suicide.'


officers responded to a 911 call from the chauffeur at about 5 a.m. The chauffeur said he heard gunfire inside the home, investigators said.

Insisting that he had no idea how Lana Clarkson died, Spector reportedly said the police "have the gun " don't know where or how she got the gun. She asked me for a ride home. Then she wanted to see the castle." 'the Castle? is how Spector refers to his mansion.

At least, that's what Spector said in the Esquire article. Contradicting House of Blues employees, he also said that Clarkson was loud and drunk when he met her. In addition, he said that he himself had not been drinking.

According to Clarkson's family and friends, the actress, known for a series of leading roles in B movies, was not suicidal.

Known as a crack marksman, Spector has had a longstanding fascination with firearms, according to friends and associates.

One of them, punk rock musician Johnny Ramone said Spector used guns to exert control over his band, the Ramones, in the 1980s. Spector was producing an album with them at the time.  

"We were prisoners at his house," Ramone said. "He wouldn't let us leave."  ##

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