And so, 10 years later, 11 jurors spent the afternoon milling around in a Paris traffic tunnel where the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, intersected abruptly with a nondescript concrete pillar. No word on what they found, beyond some psychic vibe about who really iced the People’s Princess. Maybe cigarette butts of a brand favored by Prince Phillip. Or the Queen’s cell phone number scrawled inside a soggy Buckingham Palace matchbook.
Diana, as you know, was murdered at the behest of the in-laws because of … well, this where it gets really mysterious. Because this was a murder without credible motive, means or opportunity. A conspiracy that seemingly makes no sense. It’s crazy, some would say. Yeah, I say: crazy like a fox. Crazy like Mr. Ed.
It was a gutsy move, staging the hit in full view of the paparazzi. I’m still not sure how they pulled it off, making it look precisely like a Diana’s drunken driver hit the tunnel at twice the speed limit and lost control. To the untrained eyed, it was just the sort of preventable accident that might befall anyone who lacked the judgment God gave a goose. Subtle work, you’ve got to give them that.
Actually, I’m not real sure who “they” are either. Somebody sick of seeing blurry pictures of Diana sucking face with Dodi, maybe. Fortunately, I have an alibi. More likely, it was somebody wanting to prevent embarrassment to the royal family — although the only things Di hadn’t yet done to embarrass them were a full-blown crank habit and a job at Hooter’s. Personally, I wouldn’t rule out Elton John, who got quite a bit more mileage out of “Candle in the Wind” after the princess’ untimely demise.
It’s a big case. Bigger than a breadbox. Bigger than a two-bit gumshoe like me, sitting in my darkened office in the Hotel Ralph with half a bottle of cheap whiskey. But no doubt all will be revealed in the fullness of time. If not in this fourth official probe, then surely the fifth or sixth. These things take time. After all, it’s been 30 years and we still don’t have goods on who smoked Elvis.