NYC Nanny Trial Wasn't Suspenseful, but It Was Mind-Twisting

Rich Juzwiak attended nearly all of it and recounts the experience
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2018 10:10 AM CDT
NYC Nanny Trial Is Over, but a Big Blank Remains
In this March 1, 2018, file image, Yoselyn Ortega, a trusted nanny to a well-to-do family, listens to court proceedings during the first day of her trial in New York.   (WYNY-TV/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Former New York City nanny Yoselyn Ortega was on Wednesday found guilty of murder in the Oct. 25, 2012, deaths of Lucia and Leo Krim, ages 6 and 2. Rich Juzwiak attended nearly the entirety of the trial, and he writes for Jezebel about its odd nature: "alternately straightforward and mind-twisting, unbearably sad, and then farcically bizarre." As for the straightforward part, Juzwiak explains the trial was largely void of suspense: That Ortega killed the children she had cared for for over two years while mom Marina Krim took the kids' sister Nessie to her swim lesson was not in dispute, nor was the fact that Ortega would either end up in prison or a mental hospital. "The question was what was going on in her head when she did it," Juzwiak writes. But since Ortega didn't take the stand, that question was never definitively answered.

Juzwiak tracks the more mind-twisting elements of the trial: Jurors were only allowed to consider the English translations of the many Spanish-speaking witnesses, so even if they understood the language, they were supposed shut their brains off to it. Ortega never visibly shed a tear during any of the testimony about "Lulu" and Leo's murders; she cried when a psychologist testified about her own prior comments about missing her own family. As for Ortega's attorney, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, her "methods were mysterious, if I'm being generous," writes Juzwiak. Her language was packed with obtuse and unusual phrases; she cried "objection" with the frequency of a "cartoon lawyer"; and she referred to Ortega in five ways, including "Yo-sie," and "Yossie," nicknames he never heard anyone else use. And that's not the half of it. Read his full account here. (Read more Yoselyn Ortega stories.)

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