For many people, the urge to explain, if not to confess, is as urgent as it was for Raskolnikov in “Crime and Punishment.”Human nature. Without it, there'd be no crime in the first place. The defense lawyers will keep their jobs, and they will tear their hair out forever over all those confessions. Go ahead. Confess! It's good for the soul. But that's not why they're doing it -- according to Castleman. People think they can either talk their way out of it.
“My name is Paul Cortez,” is the Melvillian first sentence of the V.D.F. statement handwritten by Mr. Cortez, a yoga teacher who is awaiting trial as the suspect in the fatal stabbing of a dancer in her Upper East Side apartment.
What follows is a three-page roller coaster ride of love, sex and betrayal, culminating in an alibi. On the day of the victim’s death, Mr. Cortez wrote, “I knew something was wrong, so I called back several times.” When she didn’t answer, he called clients, watched a football game with a friend, “then read a little and went to bed. The next morning about 10:30 I found out from my mom Catherine was Dead.”
The last word, “Dead,” is capitalized for emphasis.
Prosecutors love to have defendants volunteer an alibi because it shows what they call “consciousness of guilt.”...
“Everybody talks,” said Daniel J. Castleman, chief of investigations for the Manhattan district attorney. “Almost nobody doesn’t talk. And the reason for that is that people think they can either talk their way out of it or mitigate the crime. It’s human nature.”
January 5, 2007
It's the People’s Voluntary Disclosure Form, the VDF: