August 15, 1992
I wish to bring to the attention of the court what I perceive to be a grave miscarriage of justice in the above entitled case.
I first became aware of the facts of this case when I went to attend the American Bookseller's Association Convention in Anaheim, California this past May. While there, I happened to visit the apartment of her sister, 20, who is the sister of the accused. I was astonished to discover that Joyce Massagli, alias Bambi, the alleged intended murder victim, was also resident in the same apartment with her sister.
Her sister shares an apartment in Los Angeles with Johnny Jacobs. Joyce Massagli visits Los Angeles about once a month to spend the night with Johnny Jacobs in the same apartment with her sister, the sister of the accused.
This is truly mind-boggling. Here is Diana Manetti, in jail for the last eight months, while her sister and Bambi are both living together with a man who was in the middle of the alleged intended murder plot.
But that is only the beginning. The only witness for the prosecution is Gene Harrell, alias Gene Campbell. From what I am informed and believe, Gene Harrell is a career criminal with a long record, which includes convictions in Canada and for lying to a police officer and for filing a false report with the police. Harrell has recently lived in Maine.
It would be understandable for a person intending to have another person killed to go to a career criminal like Gene Harrell. However, would an informed jury be likely to find "beyond reasonable doubt" that a person convicted of lying to the police is telling the truth this time around and that he really was hired by Diana Manetti to kill Bambi in Hawaii?
The third disturbing item concerns the fact that the intended victim, Joyce Massagli, whose stage name is Bambi, is a prostitute. I think that everyone will agree that prostitutes have civil and constitutional rights, just like other people. However, what concerns me is that this fact is not being revealed to this court. It is entirely possible that a jury may convict Diana Manetti, without being allowed to know the true nature of Bambi's employment.
For example, the latest affidavit of Joyce Massagli dated July 30, 1992 states that if Diana Manetti is released, then Bambi will be "unable to continue working and living normally". She states that Diana Manetti has "a great deal of personal information about me" and that Bambi "would not feel safe .... continuing work at my job." She further states: "My father is confined to a wheel chair. ... If I leave my home and am forced to hide it would cause hardship to my family and my father."
Here we have painted a tear-jerking picture of a family-oriented young woman who is concerned only for the comfort of her invalid father. What the court doesn't know is that when Joyce Massagli states that Diana Manetti has "a great deal of personal information about me", she is probably referring to the fact that they have made lesbian love together with each other on stage.
Perhaps this court will suspect that I am slandering the good name of the poor, innocent and virtuous Joyce Massagli. In that case, I would suggest that the court may want to venture down to the Mitchell Brother's O'Farrell Theater, where the virtuous Bambi works. The Mitchell Brother's Theatre, located on the corner of O'Farrell and Polk Streets, is by far the most notorious live sex show in San Francisco, a city notorious for sex acts of that nature. There, for the mere price of $25, once can see Bambi, alias Joyce Massagli, making lesbian love on stage or taking a shower, seven nights a week. More than that, for a tip (to be negotiated) the intended murder victim will sit on your lap and for about $20 you will be given the welcome opportunity to stick your finger into her vagina.
Joyce Massagli has been arrested several times on charges pertaining to public lewdity and indecent exposure, prostitution and drug abuse. She was on probation for two years. At one time, she was such a close friend of Diana Manetti that she used to borrow Diana Manetti's urine, to be given for testing to her probation officer, to hide the fact that she was continuing to use drugs while on probation.
Only tonight I have been to Mitchell Brother's Theatre and have seen Bambi's name prominently displayed at the top of the list of the women available for a private encounter tonight in the "Green Door" room. I agree that everybody has the right to make a living. However, the disturbing thing about this is that Bambi has been able to advance her professional career because of the publicity surrounding this murder-for-hire case. Simply stated, you will have to pay more money to stick your finger into Bambi's vagina than to stick your finger into the vagina of any of the many other young women working there, because Bambi is able to charge a premium due to the publicity this case has given her.
I have spoken to Bambi's publicity agent. Bambi, through her agent, is currently negotiating to sell her story to several tabloid television programs, including "Current Affairs", "Hard Copy" and "20/20". Her story has already been on "Hard Copy" more than once. Bambi has rejected an offer to appear nude in Penthouse Magazine, because she wants to appear in Playboy instead. Her nude or skimpily clad photos have appeared in many publications. Usually, the nude photo stories about her mention this attempted murder case.
I realize that the alleged perpetrator and the alleged intended victim are both of the same ilk. Both of them perform live sex on stage, often together with each other. Prior to the arrest of the accused, they both worked together at places similar to the Mitchell Brother's Theater, dancing naked on the same stage. These young women have clearly adopted an alternative life-style. Given the type of "low-life" people that they are and associate with, it is entirely possible that one of them put out a contract to kill the other one. However, it is equally possible that the other stripper is just exaggerating the situation for reasons of advancement of her career, and to eliminate competition from an equally endowed dancer. Prior to the arrest of Diana Manetti, she and Joyce Massagli were considered to be the stars of the show.
I also have information that Joyce Massagli's father is not wheelchair bound at all. He walks and even runs, although he has a limp. He appeared in a wheelchair at a previous hearing in this court in order to fake his condition and to arouse public sympathy for his daughter's case.
My information is that a deal has been struck that after this criminal case is concluded, Joyce Massagli will sell her story to one of the TV news magazines for an amount in excess of $10,000. (She has already rejected an offer of $10,000 as being too low). Given this fact, it is clear that Joyce Massagli needs to keep Diana Manetti in jail until the trial, so that her story will continue to be salable.
My main point is that none of this is revealed in any of the affidavits filed in this court. What this court sees instead is the affidavit from a young woman who is concerned about her infirm father and is afraid of losing her job. Apparently, according to this affidavit, Massagli's father and family will suffer a grievous loss if Massagli is forced to abandon her career as a prostitute. However, once one understands what her job actually is, it becomes apparent that she has nothing to fear. Her talents are easily transportable. She often performs in places outside of San Francisco, including Hawaii. There are also live sex shows in Los Angeles and New York. Here is an attractive young woman who will never have trouble finding gainful employment, even if she is forced to leave town, as her affidavit states that she will be if Diana Manetti is released on bond.
I find this to be a clear case of prosecutorial abuse. Undoubtedly the public prosecutor knows what Joyce Massagli's job actually is. Under these circumstances, it is wrong for the Assistant District Attorney to state three times in an affidavit to this court that Joyce Massagli is afraid of losing her job, while failing to reveal to the court that the job which she is afraid of losing involves acts of prostitution. In addition, there is a further prosecutorial abuse in failing to disclose the fact that Joyce Massagli is a known drug addict. Massagli's claim that she lives in fear of being killed by Diana Manetti is more likely to be a drug induced fantasy than to be a reflection of reality.
In short, I believe that it is unfair and unjust to require one stripper to languish in jail just so that the other stripper can advance her professional career. I further believe that no informed jury could possibly conclude "beyond reasonable doubt" that Diana Manetti is guilty as charged.
Very Truly Yours,
Samuel H. Sloan
Copy to: Diane Knoles
Assistant District Attorney
880 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
345 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102