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Bobbitt, Menendez & Harding - Oh My! (January 1994)

Some newsworthy events unfold over a course of weeks so they can't be pin downed to one moment in time.  Such was the case of the unrelenting cold and snow of January 1994 and a number of high-profile criminal cases that received considerable attention in the same month. 


Iceonhudson For much of the nation it was one of the coldest and snowiest Januarys on record.  New York was hit by a lot of sleet and freezing rain; a number of sub-zero mornings caused ice to form on the Hudson and East Rivers (which I could see from my office at ad agency NWAyer on the 34th floor of Worldwide Plaza on West 50th St.), making for slow going for river traffic.  In the middle of the month I tried to escape the brutal cold by flying down to Orlando where I made my first visit to Disney World and Epcot.  Unfortunately the Arctic chill followed me (the same misfortune befell me two years later when I took a vaction in Key West in February).


Tonya.hardingMenendez _brothers Lorena.bobbit Before the introduction of the "reality" TV format, there was Court TV (now called truTV). During this frigid and inclement month I got into the habit of watching it because of its "gavel to gavel" coverage of a number of headline grabbing cases.  First was the trial of Lorena Bobbitt who cut off her husband's penis while he slept and then tossed it out of her car window.  Less salacious, but equally riveting, was the trial of the Menendez brothers, Lyle and Eric, for the murder of their wealthy parents.  (Even more attention was generated due to the brothers' flamboyant attorney, Leslie Abramson.)  Then feisty figure skater Tonya Harding was added to the mix when she was implicated in the pipe bashing of her rival Nancy Kerrigan a few days before the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and one month before the Winter Olympics. (Besides Court TV these cases received exhaustive coverage from CNN, Nightline and the Big 3's evening news shows.)




Star_jones Toobin These cases also made celebs of legal analysts Jeffrey Toobin and Star "before The View" Jones (who knew she had a law degree?).  I suppose these tawdry cases were a welcome diversion from that winter's onslaught.  Of course, this was all just a prelude to the huge media circus created later in the year as the OJ Simpson murder case unfolded.




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