Claus von Bu low woke this morning and went off to pray at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. "It's a good thing to do," he said.
Later von Bu low sat outside of Judge Corinne Grande's courtroom and waited, the third day he was waiting to hear whether a jury will find him guilty of two charges of assault with intent to murder his wife, Martha (Sunny) von Bu low.
He sat on a long wooden bench next to his teen-age daughter Cosima. The two of them smoked cigarettes at aristocratically acute angles, one smoking just as furiously as the other.
Claus von Bu low has become accustomed to this sort of thing. The last trial that was as celebrated as this one took place three years ago in Newport where von Bu low was convicted of the same charges he is again being tried on. That conviction was later thrown out.
"The waiting? The question of waiting has never even occurred to me, he said." You have to wait, so you wait. That's all."
Inside the jury listened to "read-backs" of testimony from previous witnesses.
Von Bu low fielded questions from reporters he has come to know well, some for as long as four years. The only sign of tension he revealed was a habit of crossing his legs and swinging his foot back and forth, a kind of hysterical pendulum.
"Have you ever thought if the people at the hotel are getting a little Claus-trophobic?" one waffling wag wondered winsomely.
Von Bu low extended his ferocious jaw and let a spume of smoke issue from his lips.
Today one of the alternate jurors, who was dismissed before deliberations began, became the first of the potential jurors to speak out. Elaine Aiello told a New York TV station that she had serious doubts about one of the prosecution's witnesses, maid Maria Schrallhammer, who claimed to have seen the insulin with which von Bu low allegedly injected his wife, and was unmoved by another, von Bu low's former lover Alexandra Isles.
Of Schrallhammer, Aiello said, "If she found it, why didn't she question Mrs. von Bu low or Mr. von Bu low, and say, 'Whose bag is that?' Why was she afraid to ask her, since she was supposed to be part of the family?"
And she dismissed Isles -- whose 11th hour testimony was the trial's most dramatic moment -- by saying, "She didn't impress me . . . more than any other witness. She's an actress."
Finally, of von Bu low, she said, "He saved his wife . He still cared for her. There was still feeling there."
And, she added, "he's a very impressive-looking man."
The defense and prosecution were told late this afternoon that the jury has made "substantial progress" and will begin deliberations again Monday morning. Defense Attorney Thomas Puccio predicted a verdict would be reached Monday. The jury has been out since Friday afternoon. Traditionally, defense attorneys grow nervous when a jury takes more than a couple of days to reach a decision. At the first trial, the jury returned after six days with convictions on both counts.
But as he was stepping into the elevator at his hotel, defense attorney Puccio rolled his eyes at everyone's guessing games: "They deliberated a few hours Friday, a few Saturday and a few today. What's that, a total of one day?
"To tell you the truth, I wouldn't be surprised if they've already reached a verdict and want to sleep on it. Of course, when they're still out next week, you can remind me I said that."
Prosecutor Marc DeSisto, who is three years out of law school, has been more reluctant to speculate on the jury's deliberations. After refusing to comment on dozens of questions, one fellow, with a bit of Boston blarney in his tone, issued this query:
"Hey, Mark, whaddya think happened to the Celtics' shooting today?"
With an expression as revealing as limestone, DeSisto said, "No comment."
Then he elaborated.
"Really. I have nothing to say on that."
As everyone this side of Ulan Bator knows by now, Sunny von Bu low's children from her first marriage, Annie-Laurie Kneissl and Alexander von Auersperg, believe their stepfather Claus von Bu low is guilty of trying twice to kill their mother "in cold blood" by injecting her with insulin. They are waiting out the verdict at a local Marriott. They have a publicist and the publicist says no more interviews "until it's over."
Sunny and Claus von Bu low's only child, Cosima, has sided all along with her father. Tall, blond and beautiful in the Susan Anton mode, she appeared in a two-page photo spread in the current Vanity Fair wearing an evening gown cut for instant revelation.
"People seem to like it," she said. "Nobody's said it's inappropriate or anything. To tell you the truth, my father and I both hated it. It was a fun picture but it wasn't me."
Cosima von Bu low hasn't talked to her stepbrother and stepsister since the first verdict.
"I was blinded and confused for a long time," she said. "For I while I'd see them, but I was so caught in the middle of everything, I decided to stay with my father. He'd never do anything like the things they say he did. Never."
By now, the central figures are well known. The only question is casting the mini-series. The trial has also created some unlikely, though celebrated, bit players.
The latest is Kathleen Murray, who, as court stenographer, has read back hours of testimony to the jury and to anybody who tunes in the trial on Cable News Network.
Standing outside the courtroom today, she said, "My friends say when I'm doing the stenography I should turn around and face the camera. I mean, are they kidding or something?
"Now I'm up there reading in the witness box. Someone with the prosecutor said they got a letter from Michigan or somewhere. The letter said I was a household name now."
Judge Grande can be stern when court is in session and she has been known to reprimand reporters for whispering a bit too thunderously for her liking.
But Grande does have a fine sense of her starring role. She has memorized reporters' names and affiliations. When she was a bit confused the other day she approached one writer and said, "I don't think we've met. You're the guy from People, aren't you?"
Representatives from "Today," "Good Morning America" and "CBS Morning News" are jockeying furiously in the halls to set up interviews with the principal players.
"I haven't decided whether I'm doing interviews when it's over," Grande told a CBS producer.
An immediate, though highly unorthodox, straw poll concluded that the interview issue is one decision the judge has already made.
There are few quieter spots on God's Little Acre than Providence on a Sunday afternoon. Saturday night isn't exactly the Circus Maximus either.
On her way back to the hotel after today's proceedings at the courthouse, one of Puccio's assistants was asked how the team relaxes.
"Shaboom," she said.
"Yeah, Shaboom. It's a club. We went club hopping. We went out about 10:15 and we were back by 11:30. I think we spent about three bucks."