this photo was taken the guilty verdict was read in the Travis Alexander trial, surprising we have any eye makeup left at all
The first day I showed up to the Arias trial for the murder of Travis Alexander, I just came after working all morning, after lunch, out of curiosity to check out the lay of the land (courtroom).
I had been waiting for this trial for around four years. After the first time I’d heard of this terrible crime and terrible loss in my community and terrible sociopath who committed it. I kept contacting my journalist friends telling them they needed to cover it. I’d say “there’s this female sociopath at the Estrella jail who’s talking to media, you should get down there!”. None of them bit. I just had a gut feeling on this trial but also had my own, unconscious motivations that I learned much later. I outlined them here, the similarities between this case and our own. Between Travis and Cindy.
I drove downtown to the courthouse that day, parked in the expensive lot, wound my way through the buildings to finally find the courtroom on level 5. Lunch break was still on and the public area was somewhat chaotic. An informal line was growing and yet I saw this tall blond standing outside the line area, alone, just looking around as well.
(I think I smell flatbread–private joke 😉 )
My initial impression of this beautiful young woman was that perhaps she was a witness waiting to be called in as she wasn’t really joining the public fray. I also decided, in my head, that she had to be Mormon and involved with this case. That conclusion was entirely superficial as I think some of the most beautiful women on the planet have landed in that religion and they always seem so well put together fashion wise, etc. that I just assumed she was a Mormon, part of the trial and was waiting to be called to testify.
But I was wrong on all fronts. What I had no way of knowing was that this beauty would wind up becoming one of my very good friends one day. Life has a funny way of surprising you sometimes doesn’t it?
Due to some nitwit cutting in front of me in line that day, who I guess I now have to thank, I ended up being the very first person to be excluded from the afternoon session so went and sat on one of the chairs in the hall. I do think I approached Katie first and we sat together and began talking. She’d already been there in the morning but didn’t realize the chaotic line up procedure for the afternoon session so also missed out on getting a seat. We began talking about what was going on in the trial while swatting off one of, who I later referred to as the “Nut Factory’s” regular residents. Lots of people with lots of motivations show up at trials. I’m not saying I’m not one of them but trial watchers can be a, say, colorful group. This woman in animal print leggings and wild hair kept cutting in to our conversation sharing texts about her much younger boyfriend and things I know I wasn’t the least interested in, as Katie and I tried to discuss the case and what drew us to it.
Katie was much nicer to this woman than I was but that’s not surprising. Katie is nice to everyone.
I found out that Katie’s big dream was “to become a criminal prosecutor” yet she felt it had already passed her by. She was interested in justice, law and order and had come downtown for a job interview at another State organization so thought she’d stop by this trial. I found her very easy to talk to and unusually approachable for someone who, I”ll just say it, looks like this.
There I go with my superficiality slip showing again.
I document in detail what happened the day Katie and I met here in this post so I won’t reinvent that wheel but it was nice reminiscing about it all last night, at the end of this tumultuous life changing year, together.
Katie and I were the very first “Dr. Drew’s Jury” the following week. Our other new friend, the darling Bill Hinkle, approached us as we sat in that hallway about being on the show. We were laughing last night about how I leaned back, flashed him one of those wide eyed “oh, you’ve landed in a gold mine” faces and said , pointing at Katie “this is your girl right here”. I wasn’t interested in doing the show but I did intend on going back to the trial the following week. He called me over that weekend. How ironic now that I’m remembering, Bill called me just as Alfonse and I were leaving the house, our now house, in Sedona after walking through it with the realtor for the first time. It’s interesting when major moments collide sometimes.
Katie with our darling Bill Hinkle
I agreed to do the show as I felt I had something to say and right now I don’t remember what it was. But I was terrified and uncomfortable as you can see in this lovely photo. HA! And what was up with all that big hair anyway? Did I think we were broadcasting from Texas? Oh brother.
Katie and my destinies were solidified on that day. We started out together and we will be in each other’s lives for the duration.
Here is a link to that clip which I can’t even bring myself to watch right now. My stomach is in knots just looking at the small photo. 😉
Needless to say I learned I’m not really cut out for, nor interested in a life in front of a camera, but Katie is exactly the opposite. She ended up getting a regular gig on Dr. Drew’s Jury, every night it aired during the trial for months and months.
What most don’t know though is what it took for Katie to follow through on that commitment. She would get up in the dark, every day, for days and weeks and months and head over in the wee hours to line up in the hall in the public section. The hours kept getting earlier as more and more people caravanned to the courthouse for the trial. And there was Katie, faithfully lining up with everyone else, every day. She never got any special favors.
She wouldn’t be able to leave for lunch as she had to secure her spot so would sit in the hallway, in the Nut Factory, for hours between sessions then hopefully get an afternoon seat. Then she would usually go to Happy Hour with the rest of us decompressing from the day as she waited for the taping of the Dr. Drew Show in a van on the street outside the courthouse. Then drive home, usually after 9pm and wash , rinse repeat the next day.
(here we are again, this time I agreed to go as I had something to say!)
And she was always steadfast in her opinions on the side of the prosecution. Unapologetically so. She was there to see justice for Travis and his family and would give her opinions but never waiver in her position. I knew this for a fact.
Katie endured, eventually, a barrage attacks about her motives for being on TV, that she was using the trial just to get discovered, even a twitter acct called “Katie Wick’s Teeth” sprung up to lampoon her (her teeth are exceptionally straight, and white ;)) . And she took it all in stride, keeping her eye on the ball. I would have crumbled from the weight of all that but she just kept getting up every morning and showing up at the trial, lining up like a trooper.
I remember telling her “So what if you get discovered and get a career out of this? Do not apologize for that! Great things come from tragedy and if that happens for you, then this is a beautiful thing!”. But I always knew where her heart is. Justice. Travis. His family.
And right now I’m thumbing my nose at those naysayers and backstabbers telling you that Katie Wick has decided to pursue that dream she thought she’d lost her chance at and she’s starting law school in 2014. With the focused goal of becoming a criminal prosecutor. And I have no doubt that’s exactly where she will land. She will take this God given voice and use it for justice, just like she has always felt the need to do. And she will pay her dues to get there.
Katie is a young woman with a solid backbone. And she uses it.
She wielded that backbone for me a couple of weeks ago, taking a perhaps “not with the crowd” position with me on an unfortunate incident where I was getting, well,
um, severely disappointed by a group of other people who let me down then blamed me for it (yeah one of those) and she took a strong stance in support of me. She was the only person in this group, despite my many attempts to communicate with multiple people, who contacted me directly. She phoned me up just as the dominoes started falling in this bizarre sequence and shared that she understood completely where I was coming from and she had my back. She was the only person who stood up for me or even talked to me during a bizarre several days where I basically got my heart broken and humiliated all in one fell swoop. She was the only one in this entire group who seemed to understand that I actually had a valid set of ideas relating to this incident. Validation is a great feeling, particularly when you’re being bulleted by words about how wrong you are. Don’t we all just sometimes want to be heard? Understood?
It was Katie who kept showing up on my phone, the day after this debacle occurred with messages like “you did nothing wrong” and “how are you doing today?” and “that was not right, none of it”. She even threw in there “My Mom even thinks you did nothing wrong!”. haha bringing Mama in to the equation was some serious artillery to deal with the bunker I’d backed in to. 😉
She was the one person who reached out to me in an entire group of others with absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose (you know, group dynamics) and yet she held her position firmly. “I don’t think you did anything wrong and I’m here for you”. And she proved it. For days. Unsolicited, she just reached out to me in friendship. That really gets a person’s attention.
These are the kinds of brave acts I know Katie for. She takes a stand and commits to it. And she really doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. I wish I had more of that in myself now at age 54 that she does at age 27.
What’s funny and one of many things we talked about last night at our end of the year Christmas get together, was that our paths would likely never have crossed any other way but through this trial. We are very different in a myriad of ways and I’m old enough to be her mother yet we forged this strong bond that day in that hallway. One that has never wavered not for a second.
It was so nice to have a leisurely evening with Katie last night, look in each others’ eyes, reflect on all we’ve been through in the last year together and separately and wind that down together. I was so appreciative for that time with her.
After we parted last night I received a series of texts from Katie expressing her feelings toward me and her love for me and respect. She has said to me so many times “you are the strongest woman I know Kathy” and she said it again last night. Then again later right before I went to sleep through a text. She adores me and I adore her right back.
How beautiful it is when you don’t feel strong, someone still sees you through those eyes? How lucky is a person to have someone like that in their sphere?
I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with Katie that day in that terrible hallway.
Katie, I love you dearly, am honored to be your friend, grateful for your being mine and I’m here cheering for you now and forever.
May your light always shine brightly!