The story starts when I was called in early and drove directly to the City of Santa Ana. I have fond memories of my early post-college video days of working for Santa Ana's civic access cable TV channel. Paid far less than I am today for lugging around a 3/4" portable VTR, camera, tripod and sun gun (with battery belt)-- hey, come to think of it, that's not a fond memory.
Anyway, back on target here, I was working with Serene Branson and we were being granted a jailhouse interview with convicted murderer Paul Smith.
Paul Smith was convicted of killing a childhood friend and of attempting to place a hit on the case's lead detective.
Yes, it is a strange feeling to be locked in with a man who is believed to have killed another human being. That's weird enough, but I also had to mic him.
He wasn't Charles Manson weird, but he was still just odd enough that I was glad he was brought to us fully restrained.
He could have gone all Hannibal Lector on me and tried to bite as I ran the lavalier mic underneath his jail house scrubs. I felt pretty safe, but I was thinking he could have had a good laugh by just saying, BOO!
That would have been pretty funny (after the fact). Thankfully he behaved himself. He was even completely coherent during the interview.
CBS2/KCAL9 Video Clip
I'm not a trained psychiatrist, but yeah, I kind of believe that he might be missing a few marbles.
The sad part for me? He isn't the worst killer I've ever talked to.
Happy Monday. I hope this week is as interesting as last.
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