Keep in mind that while Buck may have wanted to set it up to look like an accident for Jennifer's sake, he probably had every intention of keeping the Zodiac. If he put it in the water then it would likely be damaged beyond repair, and then it would be useless. Why break your new toy when you can get the same effect without breaking it?
1) The rat poison could have been taken by Mac with the intention of poisoning Buck's dogs. I don't think that's a far-fetched option- I know I would if I had the chance. There are also doubts that the "cake-truce" incident ever happened. And even if it did, that doesn't mean it was poisoned, it could have been innocent- Jennifer routinely baked as a way to say "thank you" to their neighbors. And yes, there is the possibility that they never ate it anyway, especially in light of the knowledge of the missing poison- unless they are the ones that took it. There was also testimony from another "neighbor" who said Jennifer baked them bread as a thank you, but they threw it out because it didn't look good.
And yes, Bugliosi made many arguments that were little more than smoke and mirrors, but I certainly want him on MY side if I'm ever on trial.
2) No one says "boo" about her being in the bathroom except for a civilian, we have every reason to believe that her purse has already been searched, and no one has any guess as to what she could possibly have been flushing. She denies that she flushed anything, but even if she did, maybe it was just marijuana.
3) I don't believe for a second that Jennifer ever said that.
4) Sure, criminals make mistakes, that's how they get caught. But their mistakes are usually from cutting corners (like the Zodiac incident, maybe?). If they did it together, they could have just dumped the bodies overboard- easy, fast, effective. Or dumped them out at sea as they sailed away. Why NOT do it that way? What's the reason for doing it the hard way?
On another note, have you read "Till Death Us Do Part"? That one will give you fits.
Thanks for the discussion, Milana!
It appears that neither of us will sway the other, particularly since there's no solid proof either way. The jury had reasonable doubt and aquitted her. That's not how I would have voted, but in any case...
You said: "And yes, Bugliosi made many arguments that were little more than smoke and mirrors, but I certainly want him on MY side if I'm ever on trial."
I agree, I'd want Vince defending me too (if I could afford his giant ego!). But what bothers me is all of his hype/words in the beginning of the "Justice" section about not taking clients that he didn't fully believe were innocent and so forth. The deeper I read, the more I got the feeling that he had some serious doubts. I originally had a ton of respect for the man, but I lost a little in learning how Jennifer was defended and what he kept out of court. Yes, I know, it's his job to protect his client. But it's a tough pill to swallow with all of his early righteous rhetoric.
Maybe Jennifer had him fooled too. She was definately a "strange bird" and acted different than I would imagine any guilty or innocent person on trial for murder to act. Maybe Bugliosi has us fooled with his book. Maybe she's truly innocent and Bugliosi knew it all along.
He's still a good writer and the book is still excellent. In fact, part of what I enjoy about the book is that I have a different view point and opinion than the author.
It's funny you said that about his "hype" because I thought the EXACT same thing, seriously. I got the feeling that he WANTED to believe what he was saying, so he talked himself into it.
It always bothers me with juries when there are hold-outs who eventually agree with the majority. Are they convinced by the evidence, or is it peer pressure?
Yeah, Bugliosi kept a lot of stuff out, but that's what lawyers are supposed to do. You expect them to fight tooth and nail for you and do whatever it takes, no matter what.
Bugliosi is articulate, devoted to his clients, and super, super sharp. He's one of those people that can persuade you of anything, someone you believe just because they say so. I think he won a lot of his cases ONLY because he is so persuasive.
I thought his jury assessment skills were horrible. He saw those two women crying and thought they must be the hold-outs, couldn't think of any other explanation? Seriously, Vince, get a clue.
Really, read "Till Death Us Do Part". His ego is not so inflated at that point, but there are many instances where he "waves away" damning evidence as if it were nothing. He's very convincing, but you still sit there thinking "Wait, that doesn't make any sense!"
Nice talking to you!
She knew what happened, at least after the fact. Don't know if she planned and participated directly. But she had to have known they were murdered, at the least. It's just common sense. Buck does all that, and she doesn't know? No way.
A fellow attorney of mine (ex-colleague) knew a number of the players when he lived in Hawaii. He never doubted she was just lying through her teeth.
Bugliosi made himself believe so he could defend her. Some attorneys need to operate that way. That pollyannish mindset is conveyed through his story (regardless, I thought it was excellent TV fare).
As far as why she was acquitted, well not a huge surprise. She had a good attorney, and anything can happen with juries.
By the way, I absolutely hate the argument, inevitably raised by defense attorneys: "Why would they do this when they could have done that?" "Why would they be so dumb?" Etc. Here, regarding where the bodies were buried. Raised similarly in the O.J. and Scott Peterson trials. Well, the answer is, criminals are dumb. Or simply illogical. Or not thinking clearly.
Coincidentally, I also knew one of the real-life characters, depicted briefly in the film. His name was Norm Sanders and he was one of the two guys who briefly visited the island (then turning down some bread or something? I saw this years ago). Sanders was a UCSB professor and was sailing his boat from Hawaii to Australia (after the Santa Barbara to Hawaii leg) where he eventually settled down and became a senator.