GOLDMAN'S LAST FREE MINUTES

[CHARLENE: I had previously conducted an outdoor retracing of Goldman's steps, and here I recreate his activities in his apartment. The only remaining uncertainty is the time it took for him to get from his front door to his car at the Gorham Avenue apartment; I estimate this as one minute.]

The earliest time at which Goldman could have appeared at Nicole's front gate has come into question, and so I here both cite earlier investigations on the subject and conduct a simulation to determine how long he was in his apartment. From the indication in his sister's testimony that he had hung his pants over the top of the door, and the implication that going to Nicole's was an unexpected opportunity to interact with an attractive woman that could help his career prospects, I think that Goldman proceeded unhurriedly, but without distraction to change from his work clothes (he had already removed his tie and vest in the restaurant), and prepare himself for a date. From the clothing he put on for this date, I would guess that he was reasonably careful, but not fastidious in his preparations.

GETTING HOME: In court testimony Tia Gavin, a co-worker, said that, like Goldman, she lived on Gorham, on the other side of San Vicente from the Mezzaluna. It was a two minute walk for her to get home, and Goldman lived somewhat closer, so it is presumed it would not take him more than two minutes. It was not explicitly said whether he walked or drove on that night, but it was implied that he walked. Since it could often take more than a minute in that neighborhood to get to and get from a parked car, and since the oblique intersection of San Vicente and Gorham can be awkward for Gorham travelers, it is most likely that Goldman walked. The best interpretation of restaurant workers is that he left at 9:50 at the latest, so he got home at 9:52 at the latest. (See "Timeline, Starting" at  http://www.wagnerandson.com for more on this)

IN THE APARTMENT: I, myself, today went through a recreation of the activities Goldman would have engaged in, but with a stopwatch in hand. This is what I determined:

0:00 (Cumulative)
Unlock front door Go directly to bedroom, remove watch
Remove keys, coins, wallet, money clip from pants
Remove belt Take off shoes, socks, shirt, pants,
shorts Hang pants over top of door, shirt on hanger
1:40 Proceed to bathroom Shave, brush teeth, use mouthwash
5:33 Shower and dry
10:37 Find clean shorts, socks
11:26 Comb hair Use deodorant, hair spray
12:42 Put on shorts, shirt, pants, socks, shoes Load pockets, put on belt, watch
15:24 Go to kitchen Take swig of milk from carton in refrigerator
To bathroom, check hair, clothes To front door, exit, lock door
16:51

From this, the minimum elapsed time inside the apartment without a shower is 12 minutes; with a shower is 17 minutes. Thus, Goldman could have left his apartment by 10:04 or 10:09, depending on the shower.

(I truly believe that if I were 25 years old again, and fantasized that there was a desirable woman waiting breathlessly for me, I would accomplish the activities within the apartment in less than 9 minutes without a shower, and 13 minutes with a shower. But, I will nonetheless henceforth use the actual observed values above.)

TRIP TO BUNDY: There is no information on where Goldman's car was parked at the Gorham apartment, or how long it would take for him to walk to it. But, it was a neighbor's car, she was (presumably) a resident of the apartment building and Goldman certainly was, so there was on-site parking for it, and it would be close to Goldman's apartment door. I estimate one minute to get to the car.

As reported elsewhere ("Goldman's Last Trip," on the web site previously mentioned) a recreation of Goldman's trip from his apartment to the Dorothy parking place by car, and a walk from there to Nicole's front gate, when combined with a one minute estimated time for him
to get from his apartment door to the car, give a total elapsed time of five minutes for all of these activities. From this, it appears that Goldman could have arrived at Nicole's gate as early as 10:09 if he did not take a shower or 10:14 if he did. Because of the fit with other timeline indications (barking dog witnesses), I believe he did not take a shower, and hence arrived at 10:09. (Additional tuning of the timeline to account for the barking dog witnesses is still possible, but will not cause more than a few minutes further change I would think.)

[So, Charlene, you have caused me to make a direct determination of the matter, and that has resulted in my changing the time of the crime from 10:05 to 10:09. I have more confidence in the new value than I had in the earlier one. I have also changed the timeline accordingly.]

Dick Wagner • Van Nuys, CA (1/04/99) NG_502

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