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Spector murder trial: Prosecutor promises to reveal 'real' Spector

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Editor's Note: As part of's new Crime section, we are archiving some of the most interesting content from This story was first published in 2007.

(Court TV) -- A prosecutor promised Wednesday to reveal "the real Phil Spector" as a dangerous gun nut whose "very rich history of violence" culminated in the alleged murder of an actress at his mansion.

Brushing aside defense suggestions that Lana Clarkson committed suicide in the legendary music producer's home, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson told jurors in his opening statement, "He put a loaded pistol inside her mouth and shot her to death."

The prosecutor called the Feb. 3, 2003, shooting "simply the last of a very long line of women who have been victimized by Phil Spector" and spent 40 minutes Wednesday morning detailing incidents stretching back to the early 1980s in which he allegedly threatened women with firearms.

He told the nine men and three women on the panel that in each case, a drunken Spector pulled a weapon on a woman he was sexually interested in when she tried to leave his residence.

What emerged, Jackson said, is "a picture of a man, Phillip Spector, who, when confronted with the right circumstances, the right situation, turns sinister and deadly."

The 67-year-old defendant, dressed in a beige suit with a knee-length jacket and dark purple shirt, wore a blank expression at the defense table as the prosecutor said that, while the other women will take the stand against Spector, "Lana Clarkson, however, will have to tell her story from the evidence and from the grave."

Two defense attorneys are to present their opening statements Wednesday afternoon.

Clarkson, 40, a statuesque blonde who had appeared in B movies, was found dead on a chair in Spector's foyer. She had accompanied him home from the House of Blues, the music club where she worked as a hostess.

Jackson, who was to conclude his opening statement after a lunch break, used an elaborate PowerPoint presentation to detail the government's case. As the prosecutor described Clarkson's death, a head shot showing a smiling Clarkson was projected onto a large screen across the courtroom from jurors. Moments later, the glamorous photo was pushed to the side to make room for a crime-scene photo showing Clarkson slumped in the chair, her mouth bloody.

Jackson said a chauffeur would testify that moments after the gunshot, Spector emerged from the home with a pistol in his right hand and blood on his fingers and told him, "I think I killed somebody."

In spite of the graphic subject matter, there were a few moments of levity in Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler's courtroom Wednesday morning. Recalling the initial meeting between Clarkson and Spector, Jackson said the tall actress mistook the petite producer, who was wearing a shoulder-length wig, for a woman, referring to him as "Mrs. Spector."

Later, a manager chastised her, telling him that he was famous and she should treat him "like gold."

The courtroom erupted in laughter later when the prosecutor played a 911 call chauffeur Adriano DeSouza placed after the shooting. The operator repeatedly misunderstood the information DeSouza, a Brazilian immigrant, was attempting to convey, including the name of his employer.

"Seal?" the operator asked.

"Phil Spector!" DeSouza replied.

"Seal inspector?" the operator said.

Lana Clarkson's mother and sister sat in the front row of the courtroom across from Spector's 26-year-old wife, Rachelle Short. Also on hand was Louis Spector, one of the twin boys the producer adopted while married to singer Ronnie Spector. When the defendant entered the courtroom, trailed by three burly bodyguards, he walked past his son, from whom he has long been estranged, and did not appear to see him.

"My dad doesn't even know I am here," Louis Spector said before court began. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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