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By the time of this January conversation, Frazier also blamed Davis for his problems with Skjei. Based upon a discussion with Ilse in December, Frazier deduced that Mark "encouraged her [Jody's] resentment of me, her suspicion of me."

On that fateful January 11 when Davis visited Frazier, Ron had lost his job at Skjei's, lost the Nordic princess of his dreams and baby-sat for Prescott's environmental homecoming king and queen. By January 11, when Mark Davis bounded through the door, Ron Frazier had had all of Mr. Wonderful that he could take.

"I waited five to ten minutes after Mark Davis left, drove to Phoenix and called the FBI," swore Frazier in court.

Frazier explained becoming a snitch by telling the jury that he was concerned for the safety of Ilse and her two children in the war that Davis was waging against the forces of development. As the strains of Casablanca's "Marseilles" rose in Frazier's mind, he portrayed his trip to the FBI office as the journey of a cavalier concerned for the safety of women and children.

In reality, he was a eunuch who wanted the FBI to equip him with a set of cojones that would give him the power to extract the most horrible sort of revenge upon the woman who'd rejected him and then scalded his ego by falling in love with Mark Davis.

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.

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Michael Lacey
Contact: Michael Lacey