Saturday, December 29, 2012


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Jean Harris, the patrician girls' school headmistress who spent 12 years in prison for the 1980 killing of her longtime lover, "Scarsdale Diet" doctor Herman Tarnower, in a case that rallied feminists and inspired television movies, has died. She was 89. 

She had claimed the shooting of Tarnower, 69, was an accident. Convicted of murder in 1981, Harris suffered two heart attacks while serving her sentence in the Bedford Hills women's prison north of New York City. She was granted clemency by then-Gov. Mario Cuomo when she underwent heart bypass surgery in December 1992 and was released on parole three weeks later.

story link : AP Harris Obit

The Jean Harris trial was a sensational case that Aggie Kenny and Richard Tomlinson covered daily.

story link about the trial:

Below is some of the work from their collections.

Jean Harris on the stand being cross examined by prosecutor  George Bolen
artwork by  Aggie Kenny
link to story about her testimony :  Harris on the witness stand

Jean Harris seated with her defense attorney Joel Aurnou
artwork by Aggie Kenny

Ms Harris' attorney and the prosecutor clashed during the 4 month long trial
link to the story: Harris attorney and prosecutor in heated argument

A young Meredith Viera as local reporter for WCBS News doing her stand-up at the trial
artwork by Richard Tomlinson

A schematic diagram of Tarnower's bedroom where he was shot
artwork by Richard Tomlinson

Friday, December 28, 2012


Defense lawyer John R Wing, was not only Madoff's lawyer he was also the federal prosecutor during the Watergate related Mitchell-Stans Trial. Artist Aggie Kenny covered that trial and won an Emmy for her artwork.  Below is an illustration of AUSA John Wing examining former SEC director William Casey in Manhattan Federal Court in 1974.
Former SEC director William Casey examined by AUSA John Wing,
by Aggie Kenny CBS News

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Peter Madoff speaking during sentencing 

Today Peter Madoff was sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court by Judge Laura Taylor Swaine. There were some gasps in the courtroom, when Madoff was only sentenced to the agreed upon 10 years and allowed to stay out for prison until February 2013. This was unlike his brother who was immediately put in prison once he pleaded guilty.  Madoff stood and made a brief statement about his remorse, then sat down.

Victim Amy Luria speaking during hearing with Madoff and lawyer John Wing

Victim Amy Luria spoke about Peter Madoff's misdeeds and gave an impassioned speech of how destitute her family is now, due to the scam and the loss of their money.  Madoff would glance over to her with an incredulous look. During the hearing he would look up to the sky and down at the floor, clinch his jaw, he seemed to be grappling with his fate. 

It was almost 4 years since his brother confessed running the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Bernard Madoff appeared almost resigned to his fate not showing the same expressions of concern as his brother, Peter. 

Finally the judge sentenced him to the 10 years and agreed to make a recommendation that they place him in the Otisville prison.

The NYT reporter Diana Henriques sat next to me, these images were pretty much her view. Except we were all challenged by the computer monitor on the desk and had to lean left and right to see him throughout the hearing. Note the monitor above.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CUNY J-Press Will Publish Book of Courtroom Illustrations

CUNY Journalism Press, the academic imprint of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, will publish The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art in early 2014.
Celebrating the unique blend of art and news in courtroom illustrations, the book will offer some of the best work of five award-winning illustrators covering a range of the biggest courtroom dramas of the last half-century. The book is edited by highly regarded courtroom illustrator Elizabeth Williams, who has covered many headline-grabbing trials (Martha Stewart, John Gotti, John DeLorean, Bernard Madoff) for the Associated Press, every major network and many other news organizations. Narrative will be supplied by crime journalist and author Sue Russell, whose work includes “Lethal Intent,” the acclaimed biography of executed serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
The Illustrated Courtroom will include about 150 iconic illustrations depicting memorable moments, and will tell the stories behind the headlines, with the artists’ insider insights. The result will be an artists’ eye view of courtroom history in the making, allowing readers to savor the extraordinary work of those who go where cameras cannot.
The book will be a must-have for everyone passionate about true crime, legendary defendants, headline-making trials, big-time lawyers and courtroom drama.
Readers will meet an array of rogues, villains and victims, murderers and white-collar criminals, judges and legal eagles. Readers will step into dozens of colorful trials with defendants including Jack Ruby (who killed President John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald), mob kingpin John Gotti, the Watergate burglars, key Iran-Contra players, Charles Manson, David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz, members of the Black Panther party, kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, pop icon Michael Jackson, Mohammed Salameh, the terrorist behind the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and many more.

Cover Illustration by Bill Robles of Charles Manson 

Southern California Terrorist, Soheil Omar Kabir by Bill Robles

The FBI has arrested four defendants from Southern California who are accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. The complaint alleges that Soheil Omar Kabir, a 34-year-old Air Force veteran,( image by Bill Robles)  introduced two younger men, Ralph Deleon, 23, and Miguel Santana, 21, to the teachings of Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen. Yesterday the Judge denied bail for Kabir; Bill was in Riverside CA drawing the hearing. 
More on the story see link:

Thursday, July 26, 2012


John Kinnucan Plea July 2012  by Elizabeth Williams
John Kinnucan pleaded guilty yesterday in Manhattan Federal Court in front of Judge Deborah Batts.  His appearance was quite different than when I drew him in March. He had lost a lot of weight; his prison uniform hung off his shoulders and had grown a significant beard. His responses to the judge were very clear, he stared straight ahead when reading his statement, which was rather brief.
During the March appearance he was looking around, was much more robust, with a closely cropped beard. Both appearances were rather short, and Judge Batts was awaiting the verdict in the Larry Seabrook trial yesterday. The jury on that case has been deliberating for about a day, so this plea was taken during the lunch hour.
John Kinnucan arraignment March 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

ANIL KUMAR then and now

Last week Anil Kumar the former McKinsey director was sentenced to 2 years probation in Manhattan Federal Court by the Judge Denny Chin, the same judge who sentenced Bernard Madoff almost 3 years ago to 150 years. Kumar was a start witness at the Raj Rajaratnam trial and his testimony and tapes supported the prosecution's case. The tapes of Rajaratnam and Kumar showed both men had engaged in insider trading.
This  illustration of Kumar on the stand at the Raj trial, going through the transcript of the tapes as they are played for the jury, showed his sheepish look, as he checked to see the jury's demeanor.  

In contrast his testimony at the Rajat Gupta trial there were no tapes of Kumar and Gupta and  no accusations that Kumar engaged in any illegal activity with Gupta. Rather he was on the stand to establish the relationship between Gupta and Rajaratnam. His testimony was not so key and he was far more engaged with the jury and appeared less concerned. He would face and speak to the jury when he responded to almost every question the prosecutors posed. 

Both Rajat Gupta and Raj Rajaratnam were found guilty of insider trading and Rajaratnam is serving out an eleven year sentence and Rajat Gupta is awaiting his sentencing this fall.

Kumar sentencing story link
Kumar sentencing story by the AP

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Robert Blake recently made news on the Piers Morgan Show on CNN

Here is an illustration Bill Robles drew of him during his trial, his hair was gray back then,
 no hair dye in prison.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

CHARLES KEATING 19 years ago

sentencing hearing of Charles Keating drawn by Bill Robles
Charles Keating  was a major player in the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980's and early 90's.  Keating was a banker who ran American Continental/Lincoln Savings and Loan which went bankrupt. Many investors lost their life savings.   His involvement with 5 US Senators, dubbed the Keating Five ignited a huge scandal.
Story link

Joseph W. Cotchett who represented the bondholders had represented years earlier the Los Angles Ram football team and owner Georgia Frontiere during the lawsuit of Al Davis and the Raiders vs the NFL. Both the Raiders and the Rams wanted to move their teams, and now, LA has no football team and the Raiders are back in Oakland. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

60 MINUTES Westmoreland Trial

Last night on 60 Minutes the show played an interview with Mike Wallace, pictured here in this court illustration by Aggie Kenny.  Wallace spoke about the trial of General Westmoreland v CBS and  stated how the lawsuit caused him to become so depressed he tried to commit suicide. The trial ended in an out of court settlement.

CBS News link;contentBody

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BOB DIAMOND of Barclays

Today Bob Diamond, CEO of Barclays resigned amid a Libor-rigging scandal that occurred in 2008.  Two years ago Diamond was on the hot seat in the Southern District of NY Bankruptcy Court over the lawsuit of Lehman vs Barclays. Lehman claimed that Barclays took advantage of the market chaos of 2008 to get an unfair" windfall profit".
Former CEO of Barclays Bank Bob Diamond testifying at the Barclays/Lehman lawsuit in 2010
I recall Judge Peck( pictured here) got rather irked  and said he felt that Mr Diamond was being evasive at times when questioned by Lehman's  lawyer Robert Gaffey.  Judge Peck is such a thoughtful and deliberate judge to see him get annoyed stuck in my mind. 
Will be interesting to see how Mr. Diamond performs before a British parliamentary committee next week.

story links
Lehman Attorney Robert Gaffey questioning Bob Diamond
I recall  Robert Gaffey grilling Mr Diamond and getting frustrated when he would not directly answer the questions. That frustration showed all over his face.  Seated next to Mr Gaffey is the famed lawyer David Boies, who represented Barclays Bank.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Almost a year to the date of his arrest Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife have separated.
Story link

This drawing was of his formal arraignment .It was surprising to see Anne Sinclair in such a short skirt with
red soled Christain Louboutin shoes, which were part of a legal battle as well, at the time.

story link

She looked surprisingly young and much younger than DSK; actually she was a bit older.

To view the previous DSK post click here;postID=4733485070996069879

This is a great book for those who are interested in this case. Lots of images, photos and interviews of those who were involved.


Today in Manhattan Federal Court Peter Madoff the younger brother of Bernard Madoff pled guilty.

Peter Madoff Plea
Madoff swearing to truth of his statement
with his attorney John Wing, who had a broken arm.

His demeanor changed during the hearing from somewhat agitated to what appeared weepy and remorseful.
Peter Madoff is out on a 5M dollar bail until sentencing. He was lucky that his fate was unlike his brother, who when he pleaded guilty was cuffed and sent off to prison. There is a door on the side of the courtroom that leads to a holding cell and that is where Bernard Madoff began his 150 year jail sentence.

Youtube video of the Bernard Madoff plea and others

Peter Madoff after reading statement  to Judge Swain by Elizabeth Williams

Judge Laura Taylor Swain took the plea and was very careful to explain to Mr Madoff the rights he would give up by pleading guilty. She set the sentence date for October 4th.

story link    Peter Madoff plea

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ADAM SMITH SENTENCED Rajaratnam trial co-operating witness

Today star witness at the Rajaratnam Trial, Adam Smith was sentenced by Judge Jed Rakoff, who 
just presided over the Rajat Gupta trial. Smith was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $105,300 for his participation in an insider trading scheme that helped Rajaratnam and his cohorts. 
Below is an illustration of him on direct examination by AUSA Andrew Michaelson at the Rajaratnam insider trading trial. He testified that after Raj was arrested he drove to his country house and disposed of his lap-top. It was surprising to see a person with such an educational pedigree admit to such things including giving tips and inside information to Rajaratnam on a regular basis.
On the board to the left of Smith there is an image of Rajat Gupta, a visual foretelling of the resulting indictment and conviction of Gupta.

Adam Smith testifying at the Rajaratnam Insider Trading Trial  April 2011 by Elizabeth Williams

Story link:

Monday, June 25, 2012


Bill Robles illustrated the entire trial of Michael Jackson
Here is his illustrated tribute to Jackson who died 3 years ago today.
story links

Also this is an article about Bill Robles work on the Jackson trial in USA today

Below is a collection of artwork by Bill Robles, who has covered famous trials since 1970


Now that Jerry Sandusky has been found guilty his lawyers are raising issues of timing of the trial for their appeal.
The AP reports: Jerry Sandusky's lawyers said they tried to quit at the start of jury selection in his child sex abuse trial because they weren't given enough time to prepare, raising an argument on the trial's speed that could become the thrust of an appeal.
Story link

Seated are Karl Rominger and Jerry Sandusky at the end of the trial. Sandusky had a noticeable smirk on his face throughout the trial, especially when the prosecution gave it's closing statement.( artwork by Aggie Kenny)

Now it turns out that the  Penn State administration decided against contacting authorities and keeping the McCreary accusations in-house after talking to Paterno.
story link

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Jerry Sandusky and his lawyer stand as verdict is read by Aggie Kenny
After two read backs of  testimony today, including Mike Mc Creary, the jury reached a verdict Saturday night around 9:30pm by, about 10:15pm  the verdict was read. Sandusky  was found guilty on 45 of the 48 counts. The New York Times news alert read:     Friday, June 22, 2012 10:22 PM

Breaking News: Sandusky Is Found Guilty on 45 of 48 Counts in Child Sexual Abuse Case

Keeping his hands in his pockets as the guilty verdicts were read, Sandusky showed a nonchalance
that belied his obvious disbelief.

Friday, June 22, 2012

SANDSUKY TRIAL Closing statements, jury watch

Judge Cleland Charging Jury
Yesterday closing statements at the Sandusky trial were finished in the morning and the jury got the case before lunch.
Victims with family watching and listening to closing statements

During closings, victim #4  sat across the aisle from court artist Aggie Kenny, a fresh faced, handsome young man, listening intently with face muscles and legs twitching.

After the jury had their lunch,  the press and some lawyers sat around the courtroom awaiting a verdict until almost 9pm at night.  Sandusky and his team left,  the thought that there would not be a verdict immediately. The jury will deliberate over the weekend  and the press will be waiting. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SANDUSKY TRIAL Defense rests

Two former Seven Mile participants David Hilton and Chad Rexrode
testified that Sandusky did not abuse them.  Then the defense rested without calling Sandusky.

story link

The ghost of Joe Paterno hangs over the town of Bellefonte where the trial is taking place. In a local shop window there was a sign for Joe Paterno memorabilia.

Now it turns out that the University decided against contacting authorities and keeping the accusations in-house after talking to Paterno.
story link

SANDUSKY TRIAL Defense~Sandusky's wife Dottie testifies

Dottie the wife of Jerry Sandusky testified on her husband's behalf.

"She also told jurors about her life with Jerry Sandusky, how he worked long hours while devoting his life to The Second Mile, the charity for troubled youths where prosecutors say he found his victims" AP reports 
story links

Also of note,  the presence of sharpshooters on top of buildings across the street from the courthouse.
Though no confirmation why or what they are doing there, it adds to the unsettling feeling around this trial.

Monday, June 18, 2012

SANDUSKY TRIAL Prosecution rests

Artist Aggie Kenny has been covering this trial and her images and text below.

Sandusky prosecution rests, 6/18/2012

The mother of one of 10 boys allegedly molested by Sandusky took the stand today. In emotional testimony she described insisting her son accompany Sandusky on many occasions despite his protestations. Her heavy breathing gave way to sobs as she covered her face. She was a  poor woman but a smart woman and full of grief.

story link

 Prosecuting attorney Frank Fina successfully countered most of defense attorney Karl Rominger's motions to drop more than 20 of the 51 charges.
The courtroom in the Bellefonte Pa courthouse is a large beautiful room, painted white, dotted with windows with deep red curtains and painted portraits. There is a very large decorative medallion in the ceiling. 
It's beauty is an odd contrast to such a lurid trial.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Very emotional reaction by the family. They have attended the trial almost every day. The wife put her head on the rail and the girls wept and sobbed holding each other. Gupta sat stoically as the guilty charges were read.

After the jury and the judge left the bench, Gupta went over to his family and consoled them with a hug.
As I saw the jurors walk out of the courtroom,  some of them had tears in their eyes and I even heard  a few sniffles from the press section.
Very different from the Rajaratnam verdict, the Raj jury was out for twelve days, his family never came to court and Raj showed little emotion when the verdict was read.

Here is the YouTube video that contains the Rajartnam trial pictures, from start to finish.

Gupta verdict story link

Thursday, June 14, 2012

GUPTA TRIAL Jury Deliberations Day One

Judge Rakoff gave the jury their instructions first thing in the morning and then they deliberated for the rest of the  day. The jury picked their foreman and then sent a few substantive notes to the judge in the afternoon. One  note asked for clarification on the count of conspiracy and the other was for parts of Michael Cardillo's testimony.
story link:
After the notes were sent out, the lawyers got to work on finding the documents, the defense appeared somewhat nervous.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

GUPTA TRIAL DAY FIFTEEN Daughter takes the stand Defense rests

Today the defense finished their presentation.  There was argument over how much and what Geetanjali Gupta, the defendant's daughter could testify on the stand. So the judge proceeded carefully and at times would restate and ask her certain questions while on direct examination. 

story links

Also an amusing back and forth between the judge and the lawyers took place while they were going over a transcript of a tape to play for the jury. Mr Naftalis said to Judge Rakoff,  "for once your honor we are in agreement" and the judge replied "therefore I need a Valium".  The tensions have risen  between the lawyers on this case, both excellent in presenting their cases and both a strong advocates for their side. But at times the judge has had to control their disagreements. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

SANDUSKY TRIAL Openings and first witness

Artwork by Aggie Kenny 

Opening statements at the Jerry Sandusky trial in Bellefonte Pa.  On the wall was a photo of victim #4, who was the first victim to testify in the case.

Victim 4 took the stand first, on the screen victim #4 as a child with Sandusky's hand on his shoulder

Sunday, June 10, 2012

GUPTA TRIAL Gupta staying at the defense table, not taking the stand

Late Sunday the press was notified  that Rajat Gupta will not be taking the stand. So he will stay seated at the defense table for the remainder of the trial.   During the trial his family has been sitting behind him. His wife and daughters have attended every day of the trial. They have been a noticeable presence in court.

story link

Friday, June 8, 2012

GUPTA TRIAL DAY THIRTEEN Prosecution Rests, Defense Begins

Today after Lloyd Blankfein took the stand and the prosecution presented some records they rested their case.
Then the defense began and  put on the stand two witnesses one a very quick character witness and then a taped deposition of a Berkshire Hathaway exec who knew Gupta. Gupta told him about Raj scamming him out of his investment in a Galleon fund.
We also learned at the end of the day , that Rajat Gupta is likely to take the stand in his defense. The judge  mentioned it in an off hand manor while discussing some details of the case with the lawyers after the jury had left. The courtroom was pretty empty and I could not believe what I heard,  then he said it again. So I turned around and checked with the reporter sitting behind me and he nodded, yes. It was quite a surprise.
story link

Rajat Gupta Defense Begins

Thursday, June 7, 2012

GUPTA TRIAL DAY TWELVE Lloyd Blankfein day 2

Lloyd Blankfein continued his testimony this afternoon. However before he  answered no more than a few questions a legal issue came up and the judge called a side bar. This side bar lasted almost 15 minutes and Mr Blankfein had to sit on the stand with the audience looking at him for the entire time. It was awkward to say the least, and I noticed he was fidgeting again. I thought it would be good practice to draw and study his moves. This is the little drawing.

Finally when the judge made his ruling, the testimony  began again; the prosecutor Reed Brodsky began his line of questions. Blankfein became more focused and easier to draw.
story link,0,6331652.story

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


The Law Student and the Judge
Judge Rakoff is well regarded and has a fan in the courtroom. We learned today that a  Cardozo law student, who has attended almost every day of the trial, wrote some letters to the judge about his rulings. To avoid any impropriety he  called her to the side bar with the lawyers and told her she could not communicate with him. This all came out later when she had a little press conference outside the courthouse. Nothing was said about it in open court, it was all handled by the judge at the bench conference.
story links

Side Bars
I wanted to draw a side bar and this especially long one afforded me that opportunity. Many legal issues have been taken up at bench conferences out of ear shot of the jury.
It has been a notable occurrence at this trial.
story link

Monday, June 4, 2012

GUPTA TRIAL DAY TEN Kumar and Blankfein

Anil Kumar and Lloyd Blankfein took the stand today.

In the afternoon Lloyd Blankfein took the stand. Interesting little detail about Blankfein, while the lawyers were conferring with the judge at a side bar, he found a little rubber band and I noticed him playing with it .  So I got that in a drawing. He noticed I was drawing him fidgeting and put his hand down with the rubber band, and smiled.

 Anil Kumar finished up his testimony and Blankfein began his. Gary Naftalis crossed Kumar for about 2 hours. No taped conversations were played in comparison to the testimony that Kumar gave at Rajaratnam trial, which amounted to quite a few tapes being played and probably sealing Rajaratnam's fate.

story link