By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
My god, couldn't she see that Mark Davis was a zero, a hippie until I taught him how to use the cutting torch he carried up to the Snow Bowl? Ilse, can't you see that? No . . . she's too busy out there on the couch playing kissy face with him to see anything. Ilse doesn't understand, none of them understand, that, I, Ron Frazier, am nobody's au pair!
It is impossible to imagine Ron Frazier's thoughts without having your perception of reality jangled.
Over the past week, he has said so many things that are a half a bubble off plumb--"I was reviewing all of the faults I perceived in our employer-employee relationship"--that observers cannot help but marvel over his grip on the world around him.
When Frazier's attorney appeared in the gallery at the end of the week, one of the first questions he was asked was whether or not his client was sane. Though the woman making the inquiry did so rhetorically, the probe was nonetheless pointed.
The image of Frazier was not improved when his own handlers, the prosecutors, filed a motion with Judge Robert Broomfield on Friday seeking to keep the background of the state's star witness out of the courtroom and away from the jurors.
Roslyn Moore-Silver revealed in the motion that Frazier used and sold marijuana and LSD for nearly twenty years. His most serious outburst included firing a gun at another person. The prosecutor also wrote that she didn't want it known that Frazier had testified on behalf of a man charged with possession of pornography even though the charges were eventually dismissed. Though unsubstantiated, Moore-Silver also admitted there were allegations of child abuse linked to Frazier as well as abuse of a sheep dog. On a more upbeat note, she told the judge that despite all of the smoke that swirled around her boy, the only fire was a single bust for peyote.
With visions of Mike Black cross-examining her witness--Tell us about the sheep dog, Mr. Frazier; did she reject your advances, too?--Roslyn Moore-Silver had to hold her breath waiting for the judge's ruling on her motion.
In the meantime, Ron Frazier continued to testify.
In the past week, Frazier's behavior on the witness stand has considerably toned down. His responses are given in a subdued monotone meant to suggest to observers that Thorazine has a place in the courtroom.
Prosecutor Tom Simon, new to the U.S. Attorney's Office, has been assigned this witness.
On July 10, as Frazier testified, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published an article claiming that the very sound of Mary Hart's voice (co-host of Entertainment Tonight) had induced an epileptic seizure in a woman. Dr. Venkat Ramani, professor of neurology at Albany Medical College, claimed that the pitch of Hart's voice triggered the violent reaction in his patient.
Watching Simon elicit testimony, you can see this principle in reverse.
Unlike the nasal Moore-Silver, whose voice could precipitate convulsions in the host of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Simon has the soothing, yogurt-coated voice of an Iowa undertaker. His words are administered like aural prozac to a witness whose cerebral transmitters are liable to light up like cranial popcorn without warning.
Even with the gentle hand of Tom Simon, the prosecution never knows what it's going to get from Ron Frazier in response to the simplest questions.
Last Thursday, there was testimony that Mark Davis had told Ron Frazier that a part of Frazier's brain "was not energized."
Simon asked his witness what that meant.
"I took that to mean that I did not know how to telepathically obey his orders," replied Frazier.
Telepathically obey his orders?
Time out. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I want a show of hands. Are we in a United States federal courtroom or the set of Star Trek?
Telepathically obey his orders?
Hey Ron, it's me, your weekly columnist. I'm beaming you my mind-control waves. Send me another letter. The people want to know what you are thinking. Your eyelids are growing heavy. You are feeling sleepy. You have an overwhelming urge to write to me again and this time you will explain how it is that the government of this nation spent millions of taxpayer dollars to end up with you, a tightly-wrapped holiday fruitcake from Knott's Berry Farms, as its star witness. I'll protect your confidentiality. Trust me, Ron. Why does Roslyn Moore-Silver wear those Day-Glo wrist watches with the interchangeable color bands to match her vivid outfits? Ron, when I snap my mind-control waves you'll begin to come out of your trance. You'll feel refreshed, Ron. And you're going to notice something. Roslyn Moore-Silver is dreaming about going to a disco, with you, her special witness. Trust me, Ron. I've seen her staring at you. She can't get over the way you say the things you do. Trust me, Ron. She wants to dance. "Stayin' alive, stayin' alive, ah-ha-ha-ha stayin' aliiiive!"
Do not blame journalists for lapses in their concentration or wandering flights of fantasy; much of what Ron Frazier said, or the way that he said it, sounded like a message out of a Dungeons and Dragons fortune cookie.