Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day Three - Afternoon - Bill Kill, Part One

Philip Munger: I got in to the afternoon session of the trial today just as they had started playing a surveillance video of Kohring in the Baranof suite of Bill Allen. Although I already knew from reading the charging documents what had transpired, it was the first time I watched the conversation while listening. I tried putting down in my own words how I felt about the way Kohring seems to be verbalizing in the conversation. The combinations of enormous gulfs between his conversational tone and what was going down didn't bother just me. Others in the room seemed very pensive, even uncomfortable.

During a recess, Steve Aufrecht, Michael Carey and I were talking about this, all three of us sort of bewildered. Does Vic even come close to understanding how so many of us feel about him as we watch this transpire? Even though he often comes across in conversations I've had with him as childlike, guileless, and as a sort of incomplete personality, none of us felt that while watching the video of him begging Allen for money and not coming up with an answer to his dilemma.

We were pretty much in agreement that a small tragedy is unfolding here regarding a possible upcoming flash of awareness on Vic's part about this, when Steve noticed a little round thing on the ceiling. All three of us laughed as we realized it looked like an electronic "bug." Then Vic walked up, smiling vacuously as he greeted us with his weird affability. I pointed to the thing on the ceiling. Vic laughed a nervous attempt at heartiness, and said "I'm not afraid of having anything I say recorded."

Back to the video tape that includes the cash exchange. There was an enormous gulf in the way he verbalized - so cleanly, so utterly non-profane - and the sleaziness of what he was actually, and to observers, obviously doing. I think that bothered me even more than the contrasts between his faux guile and Allen's overly done earthiness.

He also continually exaggerated the significance of daily events - a radio appearance on Dan Fagan's program, a radio appearance on a nationwide NRA show, a speech he made at the Palmer High School basketball awards banquet, the value of his house and other things. I used to think this aspect of Vic's personality was a basic insecurity. I'm not so sure anymore. I think it is more complex.

Driving back to the Valley with me co-blogger in waiting, Fred James, Fred talked on the cell to Vic a couple of times, as we fought an enormous traffic jam for four hours (!!!) I can guarantee you that Kohring continues to have the highest hopes.


Steve said...

Clearly one has to be careful when talking to bloggers. :)

I would say there was some very tentative speculation about the meaning of the tapes, discussion of possible explanations, but on my side and I think Michael's side, there was nothing quite as conclusive as I read this to be.

And I would add that Kohring very generously stopped and talked to us about how stressful this time has been and a little about his family - an older brother and sister and younger brother and sister.

My personal knowledge of Vic Kohring comes mainly from what I've seen in court. I clearly do not have enough knowledge to reach any conclusions. I only know that in and around the court room he has been very polite to all around.

Philip Munger and Fred James said...


Maybe I read more into our talk before Vic stepped over than was there. And, you're right, he expressed that concern for his family in his answer to Michael's question.

I've been observing Vic since 1994, known him fairly well since 1996, and am more involved with sorting out many longstanding notions than coming to initial ones.

Your take on Browne's probable strategy in seeking such thorough human chain-of-custody validation is quite interesting. One thing I thought of, reading your FBI reunion piece last night, was "so much time, effort and money to catch this guy, who is only a cutout and a half away from the people who caused all this to transpire - the major oil companies."

Defend Vic Now! said...

Vic really is as nice as you portray him. He is not putting on a "court" personality. He and his whole family are that way, basically decent human beings.

They have been this way for as long as I've known them...since 1992.

Aloha Nui Loa,

IL Fettucinni

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