Lyle Menendez and Norma Novelli talking about Oziel

In the post titled “Novelli tapes” I mention that in Norma Novelli’s book on pages 135-144 there is a transcript of a conversation regarding Dr. Oziel. The conversation is dated July 29, 1993.

One can actually listen to this conversation on the audiobook version. Below is a self-made transcript of the conversation. This transcript has been made from the audiobook version, it is not a copy/paste of pages 135-144 of the book. The transcript differs from the book version in many, many places.

The transcript is not perfect. The words/sentences I simply couldn’t make out are listed as (unin.) which is my shorthand for “unintelligible.”


LYLE: You know, I need to put some thought between now and Monday when he gets on the stand Monday or Tuesday.
NORMA: Was this a sort of preparation?
LYLE: I’m going to — How exactly we are going to cross-examine this guy, you know.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: How exactly we are going to establish his motive. It looks to me like the stuff he is saying is really unbelievable and he says it in a way that is relatively convincing.
NORMA: Aha.
LYLE: And uh — Although the stuff he is actually talking about —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — is not convincing at all. But the way he says it —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — is convincing. He doesn’t look like an honest guy and he looks a little shifty but he is very smart guy.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: So he looks like he recollects everything perfectly almost as if he is seeing it in his mind, you know —
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: — Which is just because he’s sort of a psychopath kind of guy.
NORMA: So he is putting it over real well, huh?
LYLE: You know anybody that has had enough experience — really he’s a psychologist.
NORMA: Of course.
LYLE: He knows how to talk in the way that’s convincing.
NORMA: Sure.
LYLE: They probably sit there for patient after patient and sound like they are very caring convincing people.
NORMA: Well, yeah, you have to be like an actor, you know. It’s just like when you’re an attorney, you’ve got to be an actress or an actor.
LYLE: And he is.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I need to — my feeling is that I should not go in there like we originally intended and say that, you know, we just didn’t tell him the truth and so we therefore said these things that he is saying we said instead. Because these things he is saying instead are just so far out of the character of anything I would say.
NORMA: Yeah, I’ll say.
LYLE: Anybody that would even make this stuff up is a sick person.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: It’s talking about perfect murder and this and that and all — just stuff that’s amazing, right. And all made up. Never happened in our sessions. We had very casual sessions.
NORMA: Um-hum.
LYLE: Never really discussed anything. And this guy has just made these tapes. And I never did get to find out the motive ’cause I got arrested too soon, basically, you know?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: But my feeling is we could already show that I paid him $3000 for two sessions that happened the first two days after the memorial.
NORMA: That’s how much he charged?
LYLE: Huh?
NORMA: $3000?
LYLE: Well, he showed up after my parents died for two days and hung out at the hotel with my family.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And five, you know, six weeks later he charged me for it after my brother confessed. ‘Cause he had me by the balls, what could he do? I gotta pay.
NORMA: Oh — Yeah, right.
LYLE: You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: But my feeling is, we could show that, right?
NORMA: Uh-hum.
LYLE: My feeling is to stand that scene because I think we need to show that this guy and everything on this tape is just something he fabricated for a purpose.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: And this is my thinking and I have three days to figure out what’s the best angle and if it’s the right angle.
NORMA: To use as a motive for why he did it, you mean?
LYLE: To go ahead and say something like — along the lines — I want to say that I knew that these tapes existed.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: (unin.)
NORMA: When you’re being — Didn’t he tell you you were being taped?
LYLE: No.
NORMA: I thought you have to.
LYLE: This is not on voice on tape. This is his voice.
NORMA: Oh yeah, saying what you said. Right.
LYLE: (unin.) we said any of this. This is just straight bullshit.
NORMA: Yeah, but I’m saying before he —
LYLE: (unin.) our voices on tape, you know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah, right.
LYLE: Then he couldn’t do any of this shit. Anyway, and he destroyed his original notes —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — when he made these tapes supposedly what he says a week later, right. But, in any case, my thinking is that — to tell a story — talk about him coming —
NORMA: Uh-huh.
LYLE: — to me and us having a meeting of some sort on which he basically says, “You know, I have this tape.” Maybe play us the whole tape or a portion of it.
NORMA: Uh-hum.
LYLE: And it’s a blackmail meeting. You know what I’m saying?
NORMA: Yeah, right.
LYLE: Something of that sort. ‘Cause I’m gonna have to make something up to show this guy’s motive, because sometimes people can lie too convincingly.
NORMA: Oh, sure.
LYLE: Look at this guy Glenn Stevens yesterday.
NORMA: So you gotta be just as convincing.
LYLE: Oh, yeah, which is no problem for me. I mean, I can do that —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — just as well as he can.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: You know what I mean? I mean, I’m a smart guy and he’s a smart guy and we both know it. My credibility is less at issue really because I’m also a nice guy and everybody has said that so far even in their case.
NORMA: Uh-hum, right.
LYLE: This guy is not, and we have many people who say that.
NORMA: Okay.
LYLE: The difference is I need to establish some clear motive because I can’t figure the guy out. Because before I could figure out where he was really going with this tape.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And I don’t know whether to say — I haven’t figured out that like he made the tape for life insurance reasons like he was genuinely afraid for some reason.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And he was paranoid. The guy thought I was gonna kill him or something, right?
NORMA: Yeah. Did he use drugs?
LYLE: No. He gave them to millions of other people but he didn’t use them.
NORMA: He had to give them to others, didn’t he?
LYLE: Yeah. So, and you know, either say that he made the tapes for life insurance purposes and basically said, “Hey I made this tape.” And played some of it´.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: (unin.) And I’m like, he and I know that that tape never happened, it was just a fabrication.
NORMA: Uh-hum.
LYLE: But it made me look like a killer and a dangerous person. And he said, “Anything happens to me, this is going to the police.”
NORMA: Yeah, right.
LYLE: You know what I mean? And that was his lie. And he understood it and I understood it. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Uh-hm.
LYLE: And I said, “Alright, fine.” And then he asks me for money for the sessions for the two days and I paid him $3000, boom, no problem, I knew he had me.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: And I started giving him money and I knew that I was gonna have to be seeing him forever. And paying him.
NORMA: Yeah, sure. If he would have asked you for $10000 you would have had to pay, wouldn’t you?
LYLE: Yeah, and I don’t know if I should even add in — because you know I’ve got a lot of people that should come forward for me, whatever I need.
NORMA: Oh.
LYLE: Maybe talk about that there was a payment made, or something in cash or something like that. Or a meeting with a third party because bringing somebody else into it to say, “Yeah this happened,” and let him deny it —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — and let someone come in and impeach him. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah, I’m trying to think rapidly as you’re talking.
LYLE: Just think about it for awhile because I don’t have to decide today.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I’ve got all weekend.
NORMA: Okay.
LYlE: But I’m thinking of actually talking about a meeting that takes place shortly after these sessions in which he sits there with me meeting in a restaurant or we meet somewhere.
NORMA: Uh-hum.
LYLE: And I’ve got to be vague as to the time and I can’t be vague as to the place. But as to the time —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — because I don’t know if he can somehow verify if he was here or he was there or you know?
NORMA: Yeah. Right, because you don’t know what kind of alibi he’s got, right?
LYLE: Right. So I can’t just say —
NORMA: You could pick a day that you know you went to see him, um —
LYLE: Right —
NORMA: Did he make a note of all your visits? He probably does, huh?
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: Yeah. Especially you guy, he probably does make a note of your visits.
LYLE: We have a pretty much a lot of information on that time period.
NORMA: Oh, do you?
LYLE: From Judalon Smyth, his girlfriend. From his previous testimony and all that stuff.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: So I think that I can get enough details to know pretty much where he was.
NORMA: Can you?
LYLE: Yeah, what was happening. I’m gonna get them all from Mike tonight or tomorrow and that — maybe I can help piece together something from that.
NORMA: Okay.
LYLE: ‘Cause I want to make sure it’s as sound as possible.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: What I may then do is use a witness that will say, “Yeah, Lyle said he had to go to this meeting with a psych at this restaurant. He came back and he was real frazzled and everything.” Something like that might be good. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah, okay.
LYLE: That gives me a little more time to set that up because then I don’t need to know by Monday. I don’t need to know until I testify.
NORMA: Yeah, okay, yeah, right.
LYLE: (unin.) I need to know basically what it’s gonna be so that when he comes on the stand just for the cross-examination —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — they can say, “Isn’t it true you met with Lyle here and you said so and so and so and so.” And then that’s as far as we can take it ’cause if we have anything that can prove that, we have to do that in our case.
NORMA: Right. Does Leslie need to be in on this?
LYLE: I’ve got a visit. Oh, no, definitely not.
NORMA: Okay. ‘Cause I thought she’d seen each of your — I mean, she knows all what Jill is gonna be saying, right?
LYLE: Well, yeah, this is gonna be very difficult to add now.
NORMA: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. If she’s seen the stuff already that you are already gonna say, you know.
LYLE: This is something that I’m gonna have to just tell Michael, “Hey –“
NORMA: That you just remember it all?
LYLE: Well, you know what I mean, he’ll know that I did it but I’ve got to tell him this is my life —
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: — and unless you see another way. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Uh-hum.
LYLE: Unless you see another way for people to understand this guy —
NORMA: Uh-hum.
LYLE: — I gotta do what I gotta do.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And he understands.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And he’ll — I’ll just say, “You just ask those questions, that’s all. Don’t worry about a thing.” And he understands that. And, you know, I think he understands that this guy is a problem.
NORMA: Uh-hum.
LYLE: Because he is such a —
NORMA: So what time period is — is this —
LYLE: (unin.) convincing liar, but I think people are going to wonder, Can anybody have made up all that stuff? He’s got conversations —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — and I remember he nodded and I remember his face (unin.). You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah. Is this about the August period? August, September or what?
LYLE: What?
NORMA: This whole period that you are gonna make this thing up, where you’re gonna have to fit something in, what period of time is it going to be in?
LYLE: Halloween.
NORMA: Halloween time?
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: Around there? Okay.
LYLE: Exactly Halloween.
NORMA: Halloween day?
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: Okay. But do you know where he was on Halloween?
LYLE: I have a friend in town —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — at that moment, but he’s in Greece so I would need to get the number out there. Like I said, I have a little time.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And maybe he can help me out. He can say he dropped me off at the meeting or whatever — something of that sort. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah. I know that you didn’t know many people around Beverly Hills at that particular time, did you? Because you hadn’t been here long enough —
LYLE: No, but I —
NORMA: To fall back on now I mean.
LYLE: Unfortunately that’s true.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I can also get verification from people in Jersey or anywhere in the country whom I told later this has happened or whatever.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And it could be a prior consistent statement. Like if they try to suggest that I’m lying —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: — then I can bring in so and so to say that, No he told me that this happened or whatever.
NORMA: Yeah, okay.
LYLE: So I can bring in other people. It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t aware of this problem earlier because a lot of the people that can help me I’ve used for other things. But, you know. I was gonna use —
NORMA: What about Jill though? Will — well, she’ll have to go along with it, won’t she?
LYLE: Oh, yeah.
NORMA: Okay.
LYLE: They won’t be happy but I don’t give a fuck. It’s my defense team. You know?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: It’s very honest but on the other hand, you know, if I say, “Hey’ I’m gonna say this, so –” you know?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: (unin.) But they’re not gonna do anything about it. They don’t have a control issue over me.
NORMA: Yeah, but who is actually gonna say — okay, he’s gonna be on the stand getting questioned back and forth, right?
LYLE: Michael.
NORMA: Michael’s gonna do it?
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: Okay, he’s gonna chip in with what you are telling him that you did.
LYLE: I don’t know. I haven’t talked to him yet.
NORMA: Okay. You’re gonna — okay.
LYLE: I’ll talk to him when I get back from the visit.
NORMA: Right. ‘Cause he might want the waters not ruffled.
LYLE: (unin.) I’ve got to think of something that’s most believable.
NORMA: Right, yeah.
LYLE: And my feeling is —
NORMA: Something not too complicated.
LYLE: Yeah, it’s clear on the tapes, right?
NORMA: Yeah,
LYLE: That he’s saying that I’m dangerous, that I might kill him, that he thought — he took the things I said as threats.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I never said, “I’m gonna kill you,” but he took these things as threats. You know, “Good luck, Dr. Oziel” and stuff like that.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And he actually — and there’s lots of documented things. He went and bought shotguns, he upgraded the security system on his house, he moved his family to a hotel. It was clear that he was paranoid and in fear. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah, and It was — Lyle, is was —
LYLE: (unin.) gonna go ahead and conceive that this guy was paranoid with fear.
NORMA: Yeah, but Lyle, he was embellishing, you know. This is on — the latest fashion word — embellished. He was embellishing his story.
LYLE: (unin.) even embellished. This guy is unbelievable. This is straight fabrications. I told Michael — he laughed when I said when he is testifying Erik and I should be dressed in clown suits just to make a statement. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah, right.
LYLE: They could ask him, “Isn’t it true, Dr. Oziel, you’re turning these proceedings into a circus?” And Erik and I would be there in clown suits.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: (unin.) But — ‘Cause the guy, I mean, I can’t even believe that my life is hanging in the balance of somebody like this.
NORMA: Yeah, really.
LYLE: This was a guy that I didn’t even wanna spend five minutes with.
NORMA: Uh-hum, right.
LYLE: You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah, What a pity your father picked this guy.
LYLE: I’m a very private, secretive person. I don’t go around just telling anybody anything in my life.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: That’s why there’s no confessions against me or nothing.
NORMA: Yes.
LYLE: And this fucking guy has the nerve to come and say that I’ve told him all these things. And there’s just no way in hell.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: There’s no way in hell.
NORMA: Do you think he was — I think basically he was probably trying to push his business, you know. Bit of notoriety and fame. Don’t you think?
LYLE: His business is through. The district attorney —
NORMA: It is now. But he didn’t think so at the time, did he?
LYLE: No.
NORMA: So he’s gotta add things on.
LYLE: It’s not his fault. This is not his fault. See, he — the man — he never intended to go to the police.
NORMA: It’s Judalon Smyth.
LYLE: The girlfriend turned him in.
NORMA: Right, Judalon Smyth.
LYLE: Yeah. And the girlfriend was lying — saying she overheard this and that and the other and she didn’t.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: So it was like a lie because she was so unstable —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: (unin.) to him. And then this whole thing broke open and he realized that he had these tapes which he clearly was gonna use for some other purpose.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: And he figured, Fuck, I better stick with them.
NORMA: Yeah, I saw last week when he said, “I’m telling you Judalon, you’ll get killed.” He was just trying to frighten her off from going, wasn’t he?
LYLE: Yeah. “They know who you are.”
NORMA: And he sounded like he didn’t wanna —
LYLE: (unin.) We had no idea who she was. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I never heard of the lady until I got arrested
NORMA: Yeah. Right.
LYLE: So how could she be in danger?
NORMA: Of course, he’s not gonna talk about his girlfriend . Only to patients. So of course you wouldn’t know her —
LYLE: Unbelievable.
NORMA: — until afterwards.
LYLE: You know, the judge it not — The judge doesn’t think it’s relevant that he raped another girl.
NORMA: Oh, really.
LYLE: You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: He raped a patient. It isn’t relevant to his credibility. Give me a break.
NORMA: Yeah, what a sleazeball.
LYLE: So I don’t think he’s gonna let it in that he raped another girl. Like — the jury should know that.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I mean, come on, give me —
NORMA: I know. There’s a lot of things that they hide, you know, it’s not fair is it?
LYLE: It’s totally not fair. If I rape somebody you can be sure that shit will be coming in. You know —
NORMA: That’s like an injustice when somebody like him is going on the stand and the jury don’t get to know his past, you know —
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: And they’re gonna judge him by how he’s dressed and stuff.
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: Yeah, and they’re gonna think he’s a nice guy.
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: ‘Cause he’s a doctor and it’s all — yeah, it’s wrong, a double standard.
LYLE: Yeah, it is. You know, my feeling is, you know, you fight fire with fire.
NORMA: I mean, they’re going to know all about your background. Why don’t they tell about his background?
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: That would make it fair then.
LYLE: Yeah. I mean, that’s how you find out about people —
NORMA: Sure.
LYLE: — like their resume —
NORMA: Exactly.
LYLE: — like Glenn Stevens.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: They would have never known about this kid’s resume unless it was allowed in.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: And that really changed their mind on this kid, realized he’s a liar.
NORMA: Right. So why are they letting this ball off? This guy?
LYLE: The judge — you know why — because the judge wants us to lose.
NORMA: Do you think so?
LYLE: Oh —
NORMA: Do you think he’s still biased?
LYLE: Please, it’s not even a consideration. He thinks we should go to the gas chamber. Straight out. no doubt about it and — hold on a second — so —
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I got a visit. But you think about it.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: Think about some scenario that you think makes sense.
NORMA: Okay.
LYLE: Him coming to me actually scared saying, “This is my life insurance.” And me maybe telling him, “Hey, you know, I don’t know why you are so concerned.” You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I mean, “I would never do anything to you.” You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: Or maybe blackmail — he wants money, you know. I can’t figure out which is — or maybe a combination or something like that.
NORMA: Yeah, okay.
LYLE: And how the meeting would take place, and then this and that and the things that would be said because I’ll have to recount all that.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: And Michael will have to ask if that happened. ‘Cause my feeling is unless Michael comes up and says something like that — right?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: It’s not gonna put enough doubt in this jury’s mind after they hear his direct. ‘Cause his direct will just make me look like a fucking Jeffrey Dahmer.
NORMA: Yeah. Oh, well. I don’t know about that.
LYLE: Oh, absolutely.
NORMA: That’s a really bad comparison, Lyle.
LYLE: I will look a lot worse than Jeffrey Dahmer. You haven’t heard the direct. You haven’t heard the things he says. He says that, you know, it was a plan. There was no way to kill the father once — there was no way to kill the father without killing the mother ’cause there was just no easy way to kill the father. So it was a plan — we thought about taking the mother out — maybe she didn’t deserve to die but fuck it we figured it was a perfect plan we’ll just go with it.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: Stuff like that.
NORMA: Oh, he was — Jesus.
LYLE: Him saying, “Yeah, we’re socio–.” Me saying, “Yeah, I’m a sociopath, I have no feelings. Once I kill I just keep going. I can’t stop myself. I’m one of those guys that I just want the perfect plan I get so excited I can’t stop.” That’s pretty close to Dahmer. Pretty close.
NORMA: That’s pretty close to insanity.
LYLE: Yeah.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: I mean, you know, I mean, give me a fucking break, this guy. Unfuckingbelievable. Like I’m ever gonna tell anybody that, even if I felt that way.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: I’m just gonna sit there and go, Hey, I just thought I’d let you know that — you know — give you enough stuff to put me in the gas chamber.
NORMA: Yeah, sure.
LYLE: You’re already the most unstable person and I’m not happy, you know?
NORMA: Yeah. You’re unstable and I’m insane. Yeah.
LYLE: (unin.) fucking a joke.
NORMA: That’s what you’re gonna make out.
LYLE: Unbelievable this guy. Luckily the things he says don’t sound very believable. You know what I mean?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: If he had just toned it down a little and made it look semi, it would be more believable.
NORMA: Right.
LYLE: Because, I mean, if you’re gonna lie you better lie convincingly. But he just —
NORMA: Without the exaggeration.
LYLE: This stuff is like a bad movie.
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: It’s like Erik’s script. Erik’s script is better than this.
NORMA: Was it really?
LYLE: (unin.) would never let that shit in a movie because no one would believe that anybody actually said that. You know?
NORMA: Yeah.
LYLE: (unin.) unbelievable this guy.

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