Join 3,377 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A Mother's Love
November 29, 2008 11:38 AM   Subscribe

With that meeting, Mr. Allo took his first step into an intricate trap. The deeply strange tale of one very determined woman's quest to overturn her son's conviction for murder.
posted by digaman (57 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Coming to a flat-panel screen near you eventually -- I'd bet on that.
posted by digaman at 11:45 AM on November 29, 2008


Wow. Moms are pretty cool.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:56 AM on November 29, 2008


I'm impressed with her grit...but her son is still a fucking douchebag.
posted by vito90 at 12:04 PM on November 29, 2008


I'm personally creeped out by the whole story, even if she wins the case. But I'm not a mother.
posted by digaman at 12:19 PM on November 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Holy hell.
posted by hermitosis at 12:25 PM on November 29, 2008


Good for her. If I thought my son had been wrongfully convicted, I would overturn the earth and the sun to try and clear his name.
posted by dejah420 at 12:29 PM on November 29, 2008


Dee is 46 but doesn’t look it.

Was this reporter wearing the same beer goggles as Allo?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:37 PM on November 29, 2008


Holy shit, what a wonderful nugget of journalistic awesome. I miss feature writing!
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:37 PM on November 29, 2008


She bent over backwards/forwards to prove her son may have received an unfair trial...(polite and subdued applause)

Maybe if she worked half as hard as a parent, she could have saved herself the peroxide.

[/.02 ]
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 12:38 PM on November 29, 2008


Was this reporter wearing the same beer goggles as Allo?

Camera flashes are harsh. Why do you think Blanche Dubois insisted on candle-light and Chinese lanterns? I'm sure when well-lit she's a marvel.
posted by hermitosis at 12:59 PM on November 29, 2008


It's a bit creepy that this woman was even able to track down the juror. What if she was just out for revenge, and wanted to kill him?
posted by delmoi at 1:08 PM on November 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


In this picture she sure doesn't look 46 y.o.
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on November 29, 2008


It's a bit creepy that this woman was even able to track down the juror. What if she was just out for revenge, and wanted to kill him?

The names of jurors are public record, in most cases.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:25 PM on November 29, 2008


Also, why the hell are you wankers focusing on the looks aspect of this story?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:26 PM on November 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


b/c that is an integral part of the story??
posted by found missing at 1:36 PM on November 29, 2008


b/c that is an integral part of the story??

But the dude never wanted to sleep with her, so not really.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:39 PM on November 29, 2008


Dude also said, "Something wasn't quite right about her" (paraphrase). I am guessing that the fact that she was 46 and pretending to be 30 might have something to do with that. Hell, I'm 38 and I couldn't pull off 30 anymore.

And it reads as creepy because it's all stalkery. I didn't like anyone in these stories.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:44 PM on November 29, 2008



Also, why the hell are you wankers focusing on the looks aspect of this story?


Are you talking to us or the people that wrote the pieces in the links? Because her whole M.O. was the seduction of a young juror it seems pretty germane to talk about.
posted by vito90 at 1:55 PM on November 29, 2008


Pretty awesome if you ask me. It's the sort of Batman shit that looks awesome in the movies, and while it's less glamorous in real life, it's just as impressive.

Creepy? Of course. "Creepy" is the name of the game when it comes to investigation and spying. There's really no such thing as a non-creepy private investigation. But it seems like she really didn't break the law or do anything underhanded beyond creating an alternate persona to get close to the guy. She didn't attempt any sort of vigilante justice to punish him, but rather just sought the truth.

Also, Vito90, why, "her son is still a fucking douchebag."? All I can gather from the stories is that he was a kid in his early 20s who had some friends of questionable quality, and he hung out with some of them. If her story and his defense is to believed, he didn't do anything, and was essentially strung up for political expediency.
posted by explosion at 2:29 PM on November 29, 2008


Also, Vito90, why, "her son is still a fucking douchebag."?

Did you read the last link all the way through to the end?

This is Mr. Guica's third arrest since the shooting. He was arrested at a Florida nightclub on July 4 and charged with first-degree attempted assault for shooting at someone during a dispute, missing his intended target. On September 30, Mr. Guica was arrested on a Brooklyn street corner for buying narcotics while wearing a bulletproof vest.

posted by vito90 at 2:36 PM on November 29, 2008


In this picture she sure doesn't look 46 y.o.

Shot from a distance so her clothes throw you off. Try this one, with no flash.

But the dude never wanted to sleep with her, so not really.

But she says that she would have done, had he wanted to, so yes really.

Doreen says her husband demanded she hew to one rule in her relations with Allo: no sex. “Don’t ever cross that line,” he told her. Doreen agreed. But in her mind she had already decided she would do whatever was required. “I woulda had sex with him if that’s what it took,” she says. “But the tension was never there. He was never into me.”
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:38 PM on November 29, 2008


Jesus, this whole thread is creepy.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:52 PM on November 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, she vaguely reminds me of Anjelica Huston in The Grifters.

I wouldn't want to tangle with either of them.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:00 PM on November 29, 2008


Jesus, this whole thread is creepy. agreed, but could we maybe get a moratorium on the jerkfilter? Otherwise the boyzone-angstistas are going to be in here derailing this into a ginormous fighty trainwreck, which would be quite sad as there's perchance an interesting social commentary discussion to be had here if it doesn't devolve into a middle school "but HE SAID" buncha bullshit.

and, as explosion pointed out, creepy is kind of the name of the game when you're doing PI. Agreed that her son was guilty of some terrifically bad judgement, however if he was setup, and as it seems, the juror wasn't legit, then she may have somewhat of a case here.
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:07 PM on November 29, 2008


While prosecutorial misconduct and a compromised jury are obviously serious issues, it's sort of off-putting that she focused her efforts on overturning the conviction/appealing via technicality rather than addressing any of the testimony or evidence even though the VF article says the case against against her son was weak.

*Cue a MeFi law-talkin' guy who'll tell me what a clueless feeb I am*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:18 PM on November 29, 2008


Maybe if she worked half as hard as a parent, she could have saved herself the peroxide.

That's an impressive array of assumptions, there.
posted by cmoj at 3:32 PM on November 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


creepy is kind of the name of the game when you're doing PI.

Did you read the story? PI stuff does not creep me out. Ok, maybe Magnum's mustache, but that's it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:07 PM on November 29, 2008


And in any case, at least half of what I was referring to were the fixations of people in the thread, not the story itself.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:07 PM on November 29, 2008


God her son is one pathetic, vile SOB. Makes me sick just reading about it.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2008


I think this woman rocks.

Is the whole thing creepy? I'm assuming that you are all saying it's creepy because the guy was convicted on lame, circumstantial evidence (actually, no evidence at all, just the words of people in trouble with the law who stood to gain if they spoke out), I'm assuming that you all are creeped out by the fact that this man is now in a cage, and will be in a cage for a long, long time. Or would be, rather, if not for the work of the mother.

And it was work. Hard work. She worked her ass off. She went through a monster depression and then emerged, pissed off, and had to learn what to do from where she sat, with no legal training and no real idea who/what/where/how/when/etc and etc. She created an identity. Imagine doing that, sports fans -- creating a whole new identity for yourself. Renting an apartment. Figuring out how to attract this guy, how to get to this low-rent scumbag who lied to serve on the jury and then by god doing it, changing her appearance and turning her entire life on its head. She smokes pot with a guy she wants to run a knife into. She dyes her hair, she's riding bikes all over the place, she's wearing serious recording gear, which, if you'll recall, she had to learn all about, from scratch. She was willing to fuck or suck this piece of shit if that's what it took to get a line on the truth and get it on tape.

This woman really is something. She really does have some jam.

Did her son actually have anything to do with the killing? I don't know. Neither do you. And neither did the jury, they wavered. And if you like her son or don't, or like her or don't, the fact of the matter is that there are laws in place to protect people from being put into a cage UNLESS IT CAN BE PROVEN THAT THEY COMMITTED A CRIME. PROVEN. BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT. Get it? In this country, we are to be assumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. Period. Remember that part. The crime has to be proven to have been committed by this individual beyond a reasonable doubt, whether you like the kid or not. Whether he's a turd or not. Whether his hair is how you'd like it, whether he's black or white, whether he hung out with people you'd rather he didn't, whether he smoked pot or was an honors student or whether he was mentally ill or anything else.

The prosecutors almost certainly bent the law into any shape they could to get the result they sought. Do you really think they gave a shit if this man did it or not? They wanted a conviction. NEEDED a conviction. Their job depended upon it. The minor bits of it all, such as whether or not they followed the law to the letter or not? Well, hey, on with the show.

I don't know if I like this woman or not. I also don't see what that would matter, what relevance it would have on anything, aside from my own little ideas of how I feel about a human being who lives 1000 miles away from me. Regardless any of that, I goddamn sure admire her. She is one hell of a worker. She is one hell of a determined human being. She shows what a person can do if they decide to do something rather than just moan about the unfairnesses of life, and how there's just nothing that can be done.

My $ 0.02
posted by dancestoblue at 4:20 PM on November 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


You know who else was one hell of a determined human being?
posted by Aquaman at 5:13 PM on November 29, 2008


You know who else got really tired of that throwaway one liner?
posted by Burhanistan at 5:19 PM on November 29, 2008 [13 favorites]


My mother once told me, "When you become a mother, you will be ready to kill another human being for your child." What her position would be on becoming a bottle-blond guidette to seduce some fool of a juror, I couldn't say, but at least I understand.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:24 PM on November 29, 2008


It would be nice to see a detailed, impartial analysis of the trial. From the accounts, it looks like he was convicted on some truly scanty evidence. However, it also looks like he wouldn't be someone you'd really like to encounter in a dark alley, either. I'd simply like to see better data.
posted by Mitrovarr at 6:06 PM on November 29, 2008


And...four cents!

Doreen Giuliano worked hard. But sometimes, it's not a question of how hard you work, but what you're working toward. This case strikes me as less a matter of "my son, he was wronged," and more one of "my son, right or wrong."

First off, a caveat: Given the reportage, we don't know much about the actual facts of the murder case, or really, of the trial. As such, I'm going to limit my comment to Giuliano's tactics.*

Now, Giuliano invested time and money, no doubt. And yes, she learned to use a high-end tape recorder. But given that she knows about organizations that work on behalf of the wrongfully convicted (enough so to pose as working with one of them), it seems odd that she didn't actually try to engage such a program. Failing that, Giuliano could have spent some of her time and money (she lives in a seven bedroom house—house—in NYC, was renting an additonal $1,100/month apartment, and does not appear to have a full-on job) on working with additional lawyers and/or real private investigators.

Instead Giuliano, under false pretenses, repeatedly got a man inebriated, lead him down a particular line of questioning, and recorded him without his knowledge. Or, put another way: Rather than of working to prove her son's innocence, or to learn the exact sequence of events on the night of the murder, Giuliano used short shorts, wine, boobs, and weed to entrap a guy, and get her son re-tried on a technicality. That is, when Giuliano wasn't stalking one of the case's prosecutors, to the point where the lawyer was given a guard. Erin Brockovich she ain't.

The whole thing smacks of the sort of old-school Brooklyn attitude one might've found in Red Hook when Giuliano was growing up, where, using a mix of favors and intimidation, close-knit communities could hold their favorite sons immune from guilt and prior records—and permit them to get away with murder. Now Prospect Park South might be somewhat isolated, being tucked in behind the cemetery, the park, and Flatbush proper. But surely someone could take the Q down there to let Giuliano, and/or all the kids who refused to come forward, know that the city has changed. And for good reason.

*It's ironic that Chris Ketcham's article criticizes the Post for sensationalism, while Ketcham's busy channeling Jimmy Breslin at his true crime-iest. It's not much better on Giuliano's end, when it comes to the details on why her son is innocent. Freejohngiuca.com, rather than delineating all that's wrong with the case, consists of a couple testimonials (Giuca's uncle thinks he's an okay guy!), and a slew of details on other, wholly unrelated individuals who were wrongfully convicted.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 6:21 PM on November 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


Actually, I was impressed with her makeover-- ok, she didn't look 30, but she could have passed for 38 in her after picture, which is not bad for 46. Perhaps she has a new business-- or yeah, as a PI, too. though she doesn't seem that bright, given that it's really hard to get a jury verdict overthrown even when there's seemingly obvious evidence of misconduct.

You do wonder what the guy's relationship with his parents was-- whether she's more like Freudian mom from hell or supermom, it's hard to say. The fact that the father went along is also um, interesting.

but yeah, i do see a movie coming...especially since the killing-- whoever did it-- seems completely motiveless and absurd. and terrifying to anyone with kids in college.
posted by Maias at 6:27 PM on November 29, 2008


I goddamn sure admire her. She is one hell of a worker. She is one hell of a determined human being. She shows what a person can do if they decide to do something rather than just moan about the unfairnesses of life, and how there's just nothing that can be done.

My $ 0.02


Word.

And really, the comment about being a better parent could've saved her the peroxide... hey, some people need time to get their shit together. Not everyone is an awesome human at every moment of their lives. Maybe she failed her son when he was a kid, maybe she didn't, but now - now when he needs help the most, she's doing everything in her power to help him. She's obviously incredibly devoted to her family and is willing to go farther than most of us have ever imagined to ensure her son's freedom and safety.

I'm not sure if I would like her personally, and I don't think I would necessarily nominate her for "mom of the year," but man, I have all the respect in the world for what she did for her family.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:43 PM on November 29, 2008


> Get it? In this country, we are to be assumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. Period. Remember that part.

He was convicted. That's literally the definition of being proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

I'm a parent, and I get the desire, no, the urge to do something to help. If her son really was railroaded, she's Mother of the Year.

But a Mom yelling "he didn't do it!" doesn't negate 12 jurors saying he did. Absent some real evidence, I assume he's guilty.
posted by FfejL at 6:52 PM on November 29, 2008


Absent some real evidence, I assume he's guilty.

An telling inversion of the principles of our legal system...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:02 PM on November 29, 2008


Yeah, that was a kind of scary comment, FfejL.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:22 PM on November 29, 2008


Sorry, meant to say "absent some new evidence, I assume he's guilty." My mistake.

But my basic point stands. He's been convicted. Dancetoblue's screaming "innocent until proven guilty!" makes no sense.
posted by FfejL at 8:29 PM on November 29, 2008


I think what FfejL was trying to say was that, given the paucity of evidence presented in these articles, it is probably a reasonable assumption that the twelve members of the jury, charged with evaluating all of the evidence presented, are better barometers of guilt than the fact that his somewhat-unhinged mom is willing to go to extreme lengths to get a new trial.

Also, the legal system does not continue to grant a presumption of innocence after a person is found guilty. I'm surprised at the number of people who forget that.

Finally, does anyone else find it odd that she won't actually play the tapes? So really, we're just going on her word at this point.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 8:32 PM on November 29, 2008


Note to self: if anyone ever approaches you and gives a name like “Dee Madison Quinn” be very suspicious.
posted by telstar at 8:33 PM on November 29, 2008


I actually found the second part of her business card even more suspicious than the fake name: "Business Management Specialist." Who calls themselves a "specialist" on their business card? And who in management calls themselves a "management specialist" anyway?
posted by digaman at 8:37 PM on November 29, 2008


Doreen says her husband demanded she hew to one rule in her relations with Allo: no sex. “Don’t ever cross that line,” he told her. Doreen agreed. But in her mind she had already decided she would do whatever was required. “I woulda had sex with him if that’s what it took,” she says.

Yeah...I don't know...someone with this much moral ambiguity doesn't really endear me to them when they are searching for the "truth". It also makes me think, regardless how good of a mother Doreen was/is, her son probably had few rules to go by and a lot of gray area to play with while growing up.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:03 PM on November 29, 2008


Finally, does anyone else find it odd that she won't actually play the tapes? So really, we're just going on her word at this point.

Her legal counsel probably advised her not to.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:12 PM on November 29, 2008


Did her son actually have anything to do with the killing? I don't know. Neither do you.

The prosecutors almost certainly bent the law into any shape they could to get the result they sought. Do you really think they gave a shit if this man did it or not? They wanted a conviction. NEEDED a conviction.


You don't know the extent to which the son was guilty, but you're sure you know what was going on in the prosecutor's mind? Uh huh.

PROVEN. BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT. Get it?

My $ 0.02


Ah yes. Here's my two cents. *hurls it at listeners*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:30 AM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


He was convicted. That's literally the definition of being proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

No it isn't. The jury should not convict unless they agree that the case has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That's not the same as saying that since he was convicted the case has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Given that there was no coherent account of the crime, no testimony that witnessed the killing, and no murder weapon, some skepticism seems appropriate.
posted by BigSky at 6:45 AM on November 30, 2008


Also, why the hell are you wankers focusing on the looks aspect of this story?

As has been pointed out, changing her appearance and perceived age was integral to attracting the former juror's attention.
"But in the last two years, Ms. Giuliano’s activism reached dramatic new heights. Having assumed the role of a 30-year-old research analyst from California who wore six-inch heels and push-up bras, she set out to meet a man named Jason Allo, a contractor who lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He was a juror in her son’s trial."*

"First, she needed to transform her appearance, because Allo might recognize her from the courtroom or from her days tracking him. She went to a tanning salon, got much too dark for her Irish skin. She worked out at a gym, rode her bicycle everywhere she went. She gathered a new wardrobe. 'Sexy clothes only,' she says. Short-shorts, tight blouses, push-up bras. She dyed her hair gilded blond....The next day, dressed in her short-shorts, she bicycled up and down Target’s block, waiting to catch his eye."*

"She was new in town, she said, just in from California. She gave the impression of a lost and lonely thirtysomething getting to know the neighborhood. Where could she drink at the bars and eat at the restaurants for cheap? Where could she go dancing? She admitted she was a party girl, winking as she spoke. On a hunch, she purposely ignored Target and turned all her attention to his companion. The ploy worked. Within 10 minutes, the prey was asking for her number: 'If you need anything,' Allo said, 'just give me a call.'"*
posted by ericb at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2008


God her son is one pathetic, vile SOB. Makes me sick just reading about it.

But a Mom yelling "he didn't do it!" doesn't negate 12 jurors saying he did. Absent some real evidence, I assume he's guilty.

From the accounts, it looks like he was convicted on some truly scanty evidence. However, it also looks like he wouldn't be someone you'd really like to encounter in a dark alley, either.


While prosecutorial misconduct and a compromised jury are obviously serious issues, it's sort of off-putting that she focused her efforts on overturning the conviction/appealing via technicality rather than addressing any of the testimony or evidence even though the VF article says the case against against her son was weak.

So her son isn't a model citizen, and she chased after a mistrial based on juror misconduct.

Even pathetic, vile SOBs you wouldn't want to encounter in a dark alley (and who may have had valid prior convictions) can be wrongfully accused. And it's not an unusual tactic to try to have have weak testimony/evidence reevaluated in the course of a second trial called for after.....an appeal is made successfully "via technicality."
posted by availablelight at 10:44 AM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


He was convicted. That's literally the definition of being proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Yikes.
posted by DU at 10:07 AM on December 1, 2008


This is creepy beyond reasonable doubt.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on December 1, 2008


Ok I have read the story and all the comments, correct me if I am wrong but are there not 11 other people on a jury. Did this Allo guy have that much pull on them all? Seriously, it went to trial and the son was convicted. The most you can do is appeal the way the case was ran. I don't see a bias juror slipping through the cracks enough to reverse the decision. If they do reverse it based on this then how many other juror's motives are going to be questioned in every murder case ever? This is why we have a jury selection. Their lawyer should have done a better job during this and had Allo dismissed.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:57 AM on December 1, 2008


So what's your definition, DU?

"Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a legal standard. During the trial, the jurors were instructed to return a guilty verdict if they found that standard to have been met. They did, so they did.
posted by FfejL at 1:07 PM on December 1, 2008


I'm with mastercheddaar....sounds like Allo just bragging and boasting like most men do when they want to impress a woman, any woman. But if it gets the kid a new trial, than mom has done what she set out to do.
If I were that kids mom, I would have done the same thing if I believed my kid didn't do it. Right or wrong? I don't know. But she is one tough mom for doing what she thought needed to be done for her child.
posted by brneyedgrl at 1:59 PM on December 1, 2008


I with ya FfejL. I understand perfectly well that people are sometimes falsely convicted. But it seems a little late to say that he's still innocent until proven guilty. Because he has. Been proven guilty. Of course, that doesn't mean he is guilty, but I don't see why several people have said your comments are scary and responding with "yikes." He has actually been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
posted by Mavri at 3:27 PM on December 1, 2008


"Beyond a reasonable doubt" is a legal standard. During the trial, the jurors were instructed to return a guilty verdict if they found that standard to have been met. They did, so they did.

Right. Now whether lay people did an adequate job of applying a legal standard is a question for the courts. There's a world of difference between a finding that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and proving that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That world consists of, essentially, the second half of an advanced criminal procedure class at a decent law school.

There are mindbogglingly large numbers of ways a person can proceed after a guilty verdict, including appellate review of any number of errors, structural (which always result in a new trial) and not (which may or may not depending on how harmful the error is judged to be), habeas review, administrative review before the executive if there's any chance of a pardon, commutation, or other relief, and others.

Hypothetical: Let's say the D appeals on the grounds that a competent lawyer would have asked X, Y, and Z questions on voir dire, would have introduced A, B, C exhibits, etc.; that his lawyer didn't ask those questions or introduce those exhibits; and that the lawyer's failure was so egregious as to render the lawyer's counsel not really counsel at all. Let's say further that his claims are found to be true. Lacking counsel is a structural error, meaning he automatically gets a new trial even if he can't show any problems whatsoever with the evidence or the jury selection itself. (This is all assuming an offense, like the murder charge in the OP, serious enough to warrant jail time and therefore subject to the constitutional right of counsel).

This is all by (long) way of saying the following: In that new trial, the D would have already been found guilty but would not be considered to have been proven guilty. The two are distinct.
posted by jock@law at 8:04 PM on December 4, 2008


« Older WFMU-TV; That's Irritainment (Heino, Shatner): B...  |  The Foundation for the Advance... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments