This was one of the more well-known crime stories that made it to City Confidential, and the program did its usual excellent job of making this an "entertaining" hour. Most people over a certain age certain remember the names Claudine Longet, Spider Sabich and Andy Williams. Longet was married to the singer Williams, then divorced and then moved to Aspen, eventually moving in with Sabich, a famous ski racer. A couple of years later, she shot and killed him. Her punishment: 21 days in jail.
So, if you think celebrity injustice began with O.J. Simpson in 1995 and then moved on with Robert Blake, Phil Spector and the like, think again: this miscarriage of the legal system took place 30 years ago.
But first, we get a look at the famous ski town, once described by Newsweek (as narrator Paul Winfield tells us) as "home to rich reclusives, hip hedonists, mellow cowboys and cocaine- snorting vegetarians." That about sums up the town after it had made the conversion in the 1960s to a haven for ski bums to a spot for the rich, glamorous and Hollywood elite. This trial didn't change things: this is still the latter.
Longet is brutalized in this episode, and why not: she got away with murder. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure that out. The only ones who don't get it are starry-eyed jurors and judges who are more enamored with seeing Jack Nicholson and Andy Williams in their courtroom than the truth.
That's the way it appears on this episode, anyway. They sold me. Longet is described in City Confidential as "an ambitious vamp, and a has-been" who latched on to Colorado's home- bred Olympic hero skier. When Sabich decided it was time to split for the French actress, she apparently took matter into her own hands. She claimed it was an accidental killing. The jury said she was "guilty" and she received 30 days, with nine days off for good behavior. Go figure. Twenty-one days for killing someone: no wonder Hollywood celebs love this place.
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