Alright my fellow honorary members of the Bloodhound Gang, I've got a mystery for you. I need help reconciling an absolutely positive identification of somebody with the fact that I'm not sure that there was any logical way it could have actually been the person I thought I saw.
Sound confusing? It is.
First a little background.
I'm in New York City for the weekend visiting my favorite Grammar Editor, and last night she made reservations for us at Sparks Steakhouse. Now, as much I love a good steak, my Editor also knows that I like all things about famous crime, and Sparks is the scene of the famous Organized Crime hit on Paul Castellano that John Gotti ordered back in 1985. Needless to say, I was already quite excited about the evening.
We arrived at 8:30 p.m. and had a drink at the bar while waiting for our table. As we were talking to the bartender, a blond lady walked in, dressed in some sort of purple velvet suit. Her date was an eccentric looking man who was dressed in a bizarre suit with a ultra-wide tie that only a celebrity could get away with. I took one look at the man, and I knew exactly who he was.
He was this guy:
Yeah, Phil Spector walked into the bar. I'm not talking about a guy who looked like Phil Spector. I'm talking about Phil Spector. We compared this guy to pictures on my Editor's IPhone for two hours. Same hair. Same cheekbones. Same eyes. Same nose. Same mouth. Same eccentric taste in clothing.
The only problem being that the last I heard, Phil Spector was serving the beginning of a 19-year-sentence in California for the murder of Lana Clarkson.
So we thoroughly searched through Google.com to see if perhaps Mr. Spector was out on an appeal bond or something. I know in Texas you can't get an appeal bond following a murder conviction or a conviction with a sentence of over 10 years, but we all know that California has always marched to the beat of a different drummer.
But the only thing our Google search yielded for the Spector case was an article about how he was having trouble finding a location to transition to from his lock-down drug rehab.
So, of course, being a complete and total tourist and celebrity gawker, I did a walk-by on the way to the restroom for a closer look.
Yep, it was Phil Spector. And to make matters worse, the woman he was with was arguing with him!
Good Lord, lady! Don't you know how this guy handles an unruly woman!! Quit arguing with him!
We also sat and watched as a waiter was taking photographs in the general vicinity and Phil kept turning his back to the camera. He was clearly feeling very awkward with being documented. I mean, it was hysterically blatant how this guy was avoiding being photographed.
We discussed with our waiter whether or not he thought the mystery guest was Phil Spector, and he agreed completely with us.
But how could he be in New York City and Corcoran Prison in California at the same time?
The Grammar Editor and I left the restaurant at about the same time as Mystery Phil, and he was pacing around, waiting for a cab. He wouldn't stand still as she tried to sneak a photograph of him on the IPhone. The closest thing she got to a picture of him was this shot:
Although it is a crystal clear photograph of my right shoulder, Mystery Phil came out a little blurry.
So, you guys be the judge. I'm 99.99% positive we were sitting across the restaurant from a convicted murderer who is supposed to be sitting in prison right now.
Can anybody help me reconcile this?
Or is Eyewitness I.D. really that unreliable (at least when it comes to me?)