MONDAY, APRIL 13 This springy week kicks off with an incriminatingly rare occurrence: the criminal conviction of a rich and famous person, in a California court, no less. Today's subject: 69-year-old Phil Spector, the genius producer behind some of the greatest pop records in history, who was today found guilty of second-degree murder. As the Associated Press reminds us, Spector was charged with murder in the death of Lana Clarkson, a 40-year-old actress and nightclub hostess who accepted Spector's invitation for a drink at his Alhambra mansion and wound up with a fatal gunshot to the head. After six years of legal wrangling and one deadlocked jury, throughout which Spector's defense attempted to cast Clarkson's killing as a suicide, today Spector was convicted of murder, denied bail, and scheduled for sentencing—where he faces 18 years to life in prison—on May 29.
TUESDAY, APRIL 14 From the creepy dregs of humanity we climb to the kooky heights, on the rainbow-suspendered shoulders of Ed McMichael, Seattle's late, great Tuba Man, who was memorialized this afternoon at Safeco Field, where an all-kazoo band bleated out "When the Saints Go Marching In" in honor of their fallen comrade. For those who don't know, McMichael rose to local prominence through his decade-plus of tuba playing outside Northwest sports and arts events, until a random attack at a bus stop last October left him with injuries that quickly added up to his death. Earlier this month, McMichael's killers were finally brought to something resembling justice, with three of McMichael's attackers—two Cleveland High School students, one Garfield High School student, all 15 years old at the time of the attack—pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter, for which none will spend more than 18 months in juvenile detention. As the Seattle Times reports, "The teenagers could have faced longer prison time had authorities charged them as adults, but police could find no eyewitnesses to the crime except for the teens themselves." Thus, the kid-sized plea deals, which the teens accepted, as King County prosecuting attorney Dan Satterberg told the Times, to "avoid the risk" that prosecutors might eventually assemble a compelling case should a witness ever come forward. RIP once more for Ed McMichael, and thanks to today's kazoo army.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15 Nothing happened today, unless you count Tax Day, the annual mad dash to the post office/e-file "send" button that was miraculously transformed—thanks to various gaggles of Fox-fueled loonies—into a national celebration of teabagging. May America's face never smell this musky again.
THURSDAY, APRIL 16 The week continues with Last Days' favorite holiday that doesn't involve time off or seasonal candy: National Librarian Day, the annual celebration of those patient professionals who help us find books, complete theses, and, if the lusty comments on Slog are to be believed, jack and/or jill off with their wankworthy public hotness. Here's hoping Seattle's librarians enjoyed their day of tribute, as tomorrow Mayor Nickels will announce his money-saving plan to close Seattle libraries for the last week of August. Are such mandatory "unpaid furloughs" as disruptive and stressful as they seem, or are librarians so Zen they can embrace them as surprise vacations? For an answer, Last Days called the Seattle Public Library information line, where a real-live librarian will answer, or at least attempt to answer, any question you ask during regular library hours. (Call 386-4636 if you don't believe us.) "No," said my friendly but decisive librarian. "We don't get paid, we're just laid off for a week. It is not a good thing."
FRIDAY, APRIL 17 Speaking of not-good things, today we turn to Fort Lewis, where an army sergeant stands accused of moonlighting as a pimp specializing in underage runaways. Details come from the Tacoma News Tribune, which identifies the alleged Sergeant Pimp as Sterling Terrance Hospedales, a 25-year-old infantryman assigned to the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, who was charged yesterday in Pierce County Superior Court with two counts of promoting prostitution. Further details come from KOMO, which reports the charges stem from Hospedales's alleged pimping of two teenage girls—ages 16 and 17, both listed as missing persons—who were intercepted by the federal Innocence Lost Task Force after officers found their escort ads on Craigslist. "The two told officers that Hospedales was their pimp, and that he took naked pictures of them and posted them on the internet," as KOMO reports. "They also said that Hospedales had flown one of the girls to Seattle from Wyoming." Reportedly found carrying $882 and one of the girl's birth certificates at the time of his arrest, Sergeant Hospedales remains jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.
••Today also brought the National Day of Silence, the annual parade of muteness devoted to "bringing attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment in schools." Making this year's Day of Silence especially poignant: Carl Walker-Hoover, the Massachusetts boy who would've celebrated his 12th birthday today if he hadn't committed suicide two weeks ago, over what his mother identified as relentless anti-gay bullying. Crucial point brought up by this tragedy: Walker-Hoover was 11 years old, and even in this age of rainbow parties and "sexting," 11-year-olds are pre-sexual, or at least pre-sexual-identity, and the fact that the mere prospect of being perceived, identified, and mocked as gay is enough to drive an 11-year-old to hang himself makes us want to remain silent for the rest of our lives.
SATURDAY, APRIL 18 In better news: The week continues with what Belltown historians will remember as the Great Honduran Drug Sweep of 2009, as more than 70 Seattle police officers descended on the north-of-downtown neighborhood from 10:00 a.m. till midnight, with the aim, according to the Seattle Times, of arresting "52 targeted members of what police describe as a tightly organized Honduran drug-dealing operation that had taken over the neighborhood's crack-cocaine market." By 10:00 p.m., a reported 30 of the 52 suspects will have been taken into custody and placed in West Precinct holding cells. (Dear SPD: Looking for a quick fix for your budget crunch? Five words: Honduran Drug Dealer Petting Zoo.)
SUNDAY, APRIL 19 The week ends with another instance of what's shaping up to be 2009's leading cause of death: murder-suicide. This week's horror comes from Middletown, Maryland, where yesterday a curious relative of the Christopher and Francis Wood family learned the horrific reason his phone calls weren't being returned. As the Associated Press reports, authorities believe 34-year-old Christopher Wood killed his wife and their three young children—aged 2, 4, and 5—before fatally shooting himself. "Authorities didn't specify a motive," reports the AP, "but said there was evidence the man faced psychiatric and financial problems."
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