Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Q&A with AP's Linda Deutsch - LA Observed> Manson highlighted

Q&A with AP's Linda Deutsch at the Board of Supes - LA Observed
Bill Robles worked alongside Linda Deutsch for many years, starting with the Manson trial. Her experiences at the Manson trial and more are highlighted in the link above.

Below is a sampling of  Bill's artwork from the Manson trial.
More about his experiences at that trial are in  the book: The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art
Link to the book website:

Charles  Manson giving the infamous
“Manson stare” from the witness stand; a look observed by Bill Robles, Howard
Brodie, assistant district attorney Bugliosi and all in Manson’s sight line.  (Illustration: Bill Robles)

In August 1970, medical examiner Dr. Thomas T. Noguchi explained to the jury his diagrams of the Tate residence victims’ wounds. He showed a diagram of the 51 stab wounds and 7 head blows received by Abigail Folger’s lover Voytek Frykowski. While Dr. Noguchi told the jury what brought on death for the victims, Robles recalls, “the girls were chattering away, totally oblivious. Then they would stand up and go ‘Sieg Heil’ or whatever because Manson did it and they’d follow. He must have told them what to do through signals because they always, always mimicked him.  (Illustration: Bill Robles)

After the verdicts and while waiting to hear
if he would be executed for his crimes, Manson shaved his head. Defendants Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten (left to right) then 
followed suit in a show of solidarity.
 Against their lawyers’ advice, the women
wanted to testify that they and not Manson planned and committed the murders. 

(Illustration:Bill Robles)

Being led past the podium, Susan Atkins grabbed some of prosecutor
Vincent Bugliosi’s papers and tore them before he could grab them back. Some
news reports said he took a swing at her; something Judge Older called
absolutely false. Bugliosi wrote in his book “Helter Skelter” that he
involuntarily muttered “You little bitch” under his breath, nothing more.
(Illustration: Bill Robles)

Delorean Trial with Linda Deutsch by Elizabeth Williams

Below is a drawing of Linda Deutsch, at the Delorean trial, seated behind Delorean's former wife Cristina Ferrare. Linda is seated far left, with the red press tag.

Cristina Ferrare often sat alongside her
friend Margaret Weitzman, wife of DeLorean’s
attorney Howard Weitzman, or Cristina’s mother, Renata,. This drawing shows Cristina awaiting the verdict; to many surprised observers Delorean was  found not guilty. (Illustration: Elizabeth Williams)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Powerful NY politician arrested on bribery charges - The Sun Chronicle : Nation World

Powerful NY politician arrested on bribery charges - The Sun Chronicle : Nation World
NEW YORK (AP) - Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who bent state government to his will for more than 20 years as one of New York's most powerful and canny politicians, was arrested Thursday on charges of taking nearly $4 million in payoffs and kickbacks.
The 70-year-old Democrat was taken into custody by the FBI on federal conspiracy and bribery charges that carry up to 100 years in prison and could cost him his political seat.
He was released on $200,000 bail.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Silver, a lawyer by training, lined up jobs at two firms and then accepted large sums of money over more than a decade in exchange for using his "titanic" power to do political favors. The money was disguised as "referral fees," Bharara said.
Sheldon Silver listening to charges against him, read by Federal Judge Frank Maas,
flanked by attorneys Joel Cohen and Steven Molo. Artwork by Elizabeth  Williams

Monday, January 19, 2015

SELECTIONS FROM RICHARD TOMLINSON in Honor of his Birth Date: Jan 19th

RICHARD TOMLINSON not only was a wonderful courtroom illustrator he also created many drawings of different scenes and still lifes. Here is a selection in honor of his birth date. He has passed but his talent and beautiful artworks live on. EW.

For those who are interested, more of Richard's work can be found on Tumblr @

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sokolow et al v. PLO: Suicide Bomber's Reeboks Explored in Terror Trial By NICK DIVITO

Suicide Bomber's Reeboks Explored in Terror Trial
Story link
Courthouse News Service

 MANHATTAN (CN) - Amid data-driven testimony from a terrorism expert, a federal jury heard Wednesday about a 2002 suicide bomber who went "to Paradise with Reebok shoes."
     Sa'id Ramadan and his sneakers emerged as Israeli judge advocate Nick Kaufman testified about the convictions of various accomplices in six different attacks between 2001 and 2004 that killed dozens and injured hundreds.
     Kent Yalowitz, an attorney representing American families injured in those Jerusalem attacks during the Second Intifada, called Kaufman to the stand for the second day of what's expected to be a six-week trial against the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.

Lead plaintiff attorney Kent Yalowitz  questions Israeli legal expert Nick Kaufman

     Kaufman said Ramadan had been driven on Jan. 22, 2002, to a busy intersection in downtown Jerusalem for his mission: shoot and kill as many civilians as possible.
     As he crouched in the back of the Isuzu, an M-16 machine gun in one hand and three magazines in his other, Ramadan complained that the new shoes he bought for the mission were too tight, according to the trial documents.
     That's when Mohammed Abdullah, one of the two men who drove him there, pulled off his shoes and handed them over."Go up to Paradise with Reebok shoes," Abdullah told the gunman, according to the court documents read by Kaufman.
"Go up to Paradise with Reebok shoes," Abdullah told the 
gunman, according to the court documents read by Kaufman.

Nitzana Darshan-Leitner  attorney for the Israeli plaintiffs  seated far left,
the assistant to the Palestinian Finance minster seated right, next to a PLO Ambassador

    The PLO was created in 1964, three years before Israel's war with Jordan, Egypt and Syria that led to military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The PA was formed in '90s as part of the Oslo Accords.
     U.S. District Judge George Davis is presiding over the trial before a jury of six women and six men, who will determine if the PLO and the PA bankrolled the operations and provided supplies to the terrorists.
     Yalowitz filed a $1 billion lawsuit nearly a decade ago. The lead plaintiff in the case, Mark Sokolow, is a lawyer who escaped the south tower of the World Trade Center during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, only to later survive a bombing in Jerusalem.
     Sokolow and his family were among 150 injured on Jan. 27, 2002, when a woman named Yafa Idris arrived at a busy downtown street in Jerusalem and blew herself in the middle of the day. There was one fatality, an 81-year-old man.
     The Sokolows suffered "severe burns, shrapnel wounds, fractures and other serious injuries as a result of the explosion," according to the complaint.
Brian Hill attorney for the defendants speaking to judge

Friday, January 9, 2015

Islamic cleric gets life in plot to kidnap tourists in Yemen

Islamic cleric gets life in plot to kidnap tourists in Yemen 
 Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

NEW YORK (AP) — An Egyptian-born cleric who turned a London mosque into a training ground for extremist Islamists was sent to prison for life on Friday by a judge who cited his lack of remorse for "barbaric" acts that included aiding kidnappers who killed four tourists in Yemen in 1998 and sending two men to the United States to open a terrorist training camp in Oregon.
"If released, you would do it again," U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest told Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, a former engineer who was jailed by Great Britain on separate charges in 2004 and extradited to the United States in 2012.
The white-haired Mustafa remained composed as the judge announced the sentence, saying it was significant "you have not expressed sympathy or remorse for the victims of the Yemeni kidnapping."

Judge Katherine Forrest reading transcripts of Abu Hamza speeches.

Abu Hamza making his statement to Judge Forrest, prior to being sentenced to life imprisonment 

Wide shot of Abu Hamza flanked by his attorneys in court. 

Friday, January 2, 2015 THE MADOFF FIVE: History's Greatest Fraud Yields One Of The Greatest Legal Slugfests Of Our Time

THE MADOFF FIVE: History's Greatest Fraud Yields One Of The Greatest Legal Slugfests Of Our Time by Richard Behar

Excerpts from the Richard Behar story( link above)
and images from the trial by Elizabeth Williams
    “What?! For Annette? How the hell did that happen?! Oh my God, I can’t believe Annette got only six years. Don’t tell me it’s gonna be like two months for [co-defendants] Jerry and George. That pisses me off, I’m sorry. I thought she was more guilty than all of them. The prosecutors must have been devastated. It’s kind of like a slap in the face to everybody who worked so hard getting these guys convicted, and for the jury who had to listen to the evidence for nearly six months.”
    — Juror Sheila Amato, on sentence imposed on Annette Bongiorno, a former top manager at Madoff Securities
Courtroom deputy reading verdict in Madoff 5 case
    “Richard, these five loyal and dedicated employees were following the instructions of their immediate supervisor. They were not SEC-registered brokers and therefore had no reason to believe that they were violating any SEC regulations. They were always led to believe that the trades and the client assets were effected and held in Europe, as was common in our industry for this type of transaction. I alone am responsible for any wrongdoing on their part and will always suffer for the pain I caused my clients, my employees and their families.”
    — Bernard L. Madoff, to author 
Awaiting his sentence, Bernard Madoff seated in ceremonial courtroom ( same courtroom where the Madoff 5 were tried) June 2009


Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District typically have a five-year run, at which point they jump to prestigious criminal-defense law firms. Not so the 37-year-old Schwartz, who became the lead investigative prosecutor of the Madoff Five case. He’s spent nearly twice that amount of time honing his skills there, on cases such as the JP. Morgan Chase/Madoff anti-money laundering prosecution and a lengthy tug-of-war with Madoff customer Jeffry Picower’s estate. He’s a graduate of Columbia Law School, which is typically ranked among the top five law colleges in the U.S. He also clerked for two top judges, including late Connecticut governor Thomas (“Tough Tommy”) Meskill, who was known for rarely walking away from a good fight.
Throughout this trial, Matt himself was a buttoned-up assassin in the courtroom
Madoff 5 defense table
AUSA Matthew Schwartz during opening statements

As stated before, the government’s main witness in the case was Frank DiPascali, Madoff’s right hand, who joined the company in 1975. If the jury needed a lifeline in this complex and interminable case, Frankie was it, as he fingered each of the defendants. If the jury believed he was telling the truth, they’d convict all five, perhaps quickly. If they thought he was a liar, as the defense went to great pains to try and show, then they might be deliberating a very long time. The five jurors I interviewed all say they found him credible, although Judge Swain—more on this below—had some problems believing him.
Larry Krantz cross examining Frank DiPascali
The most exciting part of most wars is the climax. So it was with the closing rebuttal by the third prosecutor, Randall Jackson, who colleagues have aptly nicknamed “Action Jackson.” Like an elephant with a propensity for china shops, he rampaged through his summation—sometimes upsetting the judge, and almost always infuriating defense lawyers, who rose and objected 42 times, which is about 40 times more than what is typical in a federal criminal case rebuttal. When it was all over, the courtroom had the pleasant atmosphere of a stalled subway train.

AUSA Randall Jackson cross examines Daniel Bonventre

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Illustrated Courtroom Presentation by Elizabeth Williams

The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art 
a Kirkus Review's Best Book of 2014
a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year
On sale now for 30 dollars on Amazon

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sexy Russian spy ‘tried to seduce’ Snowden


Sexy Russian spy Anna Chapman tried to seduce whistleblower Edward Snowden on orders straight from the Kremlin, according to a defector.
Boris Karpichkov, a former KGB agent, claims that a plan was launched for Chapman, 32, to keep Snowden, 31, in Moscow so that Russian agents could continue to question him about US security secrets, according to a new report.

Anna Chapman made her debut appearance in a Manhattan Federal Courthouse on June 28, 2010.
Image below by Elizabeth Williams

Friday, December 5, 2014


To Buy the Book
CUNY Press 

by Jonathan Benthall

Benthall is an author and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London.

From the entry by Jonathan Benthall to "Books of the Year" in the TLS for November 28, 2014:

Courtroom artists in Britain have to work from memory, but in the USA they have the advantage of being allowed to sit with their drawing materials. The Illustrated Courtroom: Fifty years of courtroom art by Elizabeth Williams and Sue Russell (CUNY Journalism Press) is an anthology of this underrated genre. The camera has not yet displaced it in evoking tension: Charles Manson restrained by a bailiff as he leaps to attack the judge, Michael Jackson weeping as he is cleared of child abuse, Bernard Madoff led away to the lockup in handcuffs.

Link to article below "Family" Court, starring Chase Lunge: Bill Robles, via  Illustrated Courtroom F rom the entry by Jonathan Benthall to "Books of the Year" in the TLS for November 28...


The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art named to the 
The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year of 2014 
by Jonathan Benthall 
Benthall is an author and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London.
Link "Family" Court, starring Chase Lunge:
Bill Robles, via  Illustrated Courtroom F rom the entry by Jonathan
Benthall to "Books of the Year" in the TLS for November 28...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bill Robles' LAX Poster Mystery

An unknown poster by court artist Bill Robles came to light with an email to Bill requesting  information about a  poster. The person  purchased the LAX poster from an estate sale and was curious about the image. Bill requested a  photo of the poster and confirmed that the illustration was done for a 1969 annual report cover.  It came as a complete shock to Bill as he never knew the piece of artwork had been turned into a poster.
1969 Annual report cover by Bill Robles

Bill said "Needless to say, seeing the poster, I was blown away! Nobody at the Dept. of Airports ever told me that it was also going to be used as a poster promoting LAX! As it turned out, the owners of the poster have a charming book store in Covina, and they were going to sell it along with other items from their inventory at an upcoming Pasadena book fair.As you can imagine, I had to have it!”

"Can you imagine, the poster is 45 years old, and in mint condition, and I am so thrilled to have it!"

Unknown LAX poster from the same artwork above, by Bill Robles

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies
AP story link

From the AP story
Barry's name  became synonymous with corruption for many observers.  His accomplishments are often forgotten in light of his arrest for drug abuse when he was caught in a Washington hotel room with a much younger woman.

"Bitch set me up," Barry famously cursed when FBI agents burst in, referring to the woman who helped the FBI set up the sting.

Below is a drawing from the 1990 trial by Aggie Kenny
Story link

Federal authorities had been investigating him for years for his alleged ties to drug suspects, and while he denied using drugs, his late-night partying was taking a toll on his job performance.

The arrest and subsequent conviction - a jury deadlocked on most counts, convicting him of a single count of drug possession - was a turning point for Barry.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cohen v Cohen and Gerry Lefcourt

High profile lawyer Gerry Lefcourt, who represented  the Black Panthers in 1970,
is now representing Patricia Cohen in a post-divorce fraud lawsuit against Steven A Cohen.
Below is an image from the Panther trial dated October 27th 1970 by Richard Tomlinson

Below the drawing from today's hearing in front of Judge Loretta Preska by Elizabeth Williams

Story from today's hearing  by Patricia Hurtado at Bloomberg News
Link below