Today, jury selection begins in a gruesome murder case. After Thanksgiving 2005, a young woman was found with her throat slashed in her apartment. She was Catherine Woods, who moved from Ohio to NYC as an aspiring dancer and worked as a stripper to make ends meet. While she had been living with an ex-boyfriend from Ohio on the Upper East Side, the police zeroed in on another boyfriend Paul Cortez, a personal trainer and yoga instructor. Cortez (pictured) made a number of cell phone calls to Woods (from outside her building), which stopped after her death, and police say a bloody fingerprint found in Woods' apartment matched Cortez. After Cortez was arrested, a police source said that Cortez's diary described "cutting [Woods'] throat" because she wouldn't get quit stripping, in order to cleanse her.
Apparently the prosecutors have "hundreds of pages of poems, letters, lyrics, and diaries" from Cortez which describe how he was obsessed with Woods. Additionally, Cortez's bloody bootprint was allegedly left in Woods' apartment as well. One poem says, "You who has slain my heart, has also destroyed my art." Cortez's defense team will say that Woods met many dangerous men while working as a stripper.
Woods' father, John Woods, who is the musical director of Ohio State's marching band, tells the News that he and his wife are not sure if they will attend the trial. Woods says, "I'm trying to keep an open mind."