Spectral Evidence: The Ramona Case: Incest, Memory, and Truth on Trial in Napa Valley

By Moira Johnston | Go to book overview

13
Courtroom B

For four years, the Ramonas' tragedy had cast its pall over an expanding universe of friends, lawyers, and experts. But as jury selection began on Monday morning, March 21, 1994, the case had not yet caught the public's eye. Even the Napa Valley Register had not yet picked up the story, although the lawyers had noticed a young woman from the paper at all the hearings. Their interview with Holly a year earlier seemed to have vanished without a trace. "I'd been under the impression that Robert Mondavi had put the squelch on any writing by the local press up here," said Ed Leonard, echoing Stephanie's fear. But with microphones shoved in his face as he arrived for the first round of jury selection, he mused, "Apparently the squelch is off." He had flown up the night before, joined Mary and Bruce Miroglio for a pleasant dinner at Terra, and turned up that morning in a sport coat, not expecting to be met by ABC, NBC, AP, the Register, and the San Francisco dailies. As Leonard and Miroglio were pursued by reporters, Miroglio quipped, "What I want to know is, where can I get a toupee by tomorrow?" Leonard responded, "Yeah, and how do I lose a hundred pounds?"

That morning, San Francisco's major paper, the Chronicle, had run a teaser to the trial. The Register followed, that afternoon, with a front-page story, the first of almost daily front-page, color-photo coverage. As the story spread nationwide -- and People magazine and ABC's Inside Edition sent reporters to cover the trial -- people lined up at the courtroom door, vying for the fifty available seats.

What lured them to the Ramonas? The sensation, of course incest, hate, money; the prospect of lurid sex and a peek at the Ra

-235-

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Spectral Evidence: The Ramona Case: Incest, Memory, and Truth on Trial in Napa Valley
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Prologue the Memory Wars 1
  • A Perfect Family 11
  • 1 - A World of Women 13
  • 2 - The Birth of a Salesman 34
  • 3 - The Family Table 51
  • 4 - Flashbacks 76
  • 5 - Confrontation 96
  • Discovery 105
  • 6 - A Family Falls Apart 107
  • 7 - A Mother Knows 122
  • 8 - The Christmas Present 141
  • 9 - This Thing Called Repression 155
  • 10 - The Gathering of Evidence 172
  • 11 - The Gathering of Witnesses 189
  • 12 - The Memory Lesson 210
  • The Trial 233
  • 13 - Courtroom B 235
  • 14 - The Great Recovered Memory Debate 256
  • 15 - The Power of Suggestion 270
  • 16 - Holly's Day in Court 290
  • 17 - The T-Graph 317
  • 18 - The Debate Continues 333
  • 19 - Verdict 351
  • Epilogue the Impact 379
  • The Process 401
  • Notes 404
  • Selected Bibliography 428
  • Acknowledgments 434
  • Index 436
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