Before our trip to Toronto, Dr. Judy, Chenlan and I made a visit to Court TV. Dr. Judy was invited to be a guest on Jack Ford’s show : Jack Ford Courtside IN SESSION. Jack Ford is a former prosecutor and has been on Court TV since its debut in 1991. Jack Ford’s show provides live coverage of trials and court cases around the country. The show takes its viewers into the courtroom so it feels almost live and you get to see all the testimony and speeches from the bench.
The court case that was examined while Dr. Judy was on the show was the Mark Jensen case : The State of Wisconsin v. Mark Jensen. The state of Wisconsin was charging Mark Jensen with the murder of his wife Julie Jensen. This case’s roots began in 1998. Here are a few facts:
1. December 3, 1998, Julie Jensen was discovered dead at age 40 by police in her home
2. Autopsy reports from Feb 1999 discovered anti-freeze crystals in her kidneys
3. Official autopsy report in Feb 2002 concludes Julie Jensen died of ethylene glycol poisoning
4. Mark Jensen arrested March 2002
In his defense, Mark Jensen defended himself on the basis that his wife had been depressed for many years and their marrital bliss had declined over the years. Mark concluded that his wife of 14 years had committed suicide and set up her death to look like murder because she found out about his affair.
However, according to Dr.Judy, people wishing to commit suicide, (especially women), do not prolong the death process. Anti-freeze poisoning is a long painful death. Dr. Judy pointed out that women often take pills to kill themselves and that makes for a quicker death.
All the evidence built up against Mark did not help his case either.
1. Days before his wife’s death, Mark did not seek medical attention although he admits to knowing she was not feeling well and was sick in bed.
2. Mark was having an affair with another woman throughout this whole process and weeks after Julie’s death, the woman was spending nights over at his home, moved to Wisconsin soon after and eventually married in 2002.
3. Police found pornographic pictures, online searches for anti-freeze poisoning, unconciousness and weak pulses on his computer and discovered that the histories had been intentionally cleared the day before Julie’s death.
4. In 2007, a letter from Julie predicting her death was allowed into evidence and named Mark as the prime suspect
5. One of the kid’s teacher’s testified that Julie had told her that she thought her husband was going to kill her
6. Another testimony from a man who Mark knew in jail testified that Mark confessed to him about killing his wife.
So all in all, according to Wisconsin and Dr. Judy, Mark had motive, he was not happy in his marriage and he had a new mistress. Often, civil people like us would ask men like Mark, “Why didn’t you just get a divorce?” According to Dr. Judy, divorce is viewed as disgraceful or taking too long. Julie Jensen had actually filed for divorce in 1991 but later canceled it.
At Court TV, Chenlan and I got to sit right inside the studio with Dr. Judy and Jack Ford. There were 3 big cameras with actual people operating them as oppose to CNN where everything is digital and computerized.
Mark Jensen was found guilty after hours of diliberation from the jury. He is currently taking his case to the appeals court.
Julie Jensen’s brothers have set up a website in her memory. It is beautiful. It shows pictures, talks about her life and about what domestic violence is. Please check this out:
We had a blast!!