Seven years after Marjorie Knoller's pup killed Dianne Whipple in the hall of her Pacific Heights apartment building, a judge sentenced Knoller 15 years to life in prison today. Initially handed a four-year sentence after the original trial judge "reduced a jury's conviction of second-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter," Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard was all oh, hell no, and slapped Knoller with 15+ years in the clink.
For those of you who don't remember, the entire city went nuts in 2001 over this story. (Seriously, aside form how the dot-commers and the retro swing craze were going to ruin us all, it was all anyone could talk about back then.) Dianne Whipple received 77 wounds over her body during the attack, an attack that Knoller witnessed and, more or less, did nothing to stop. Let us refresh your memory:
Judge Charlotte Woolard ruled that Knoller, 53, "acted with conscious disregard for human life" when two Presa Canario guard dogs owned by Knoller and her husband Robert Noel attacked Whipple, a 33-year-old lacrosse coach, in the hallway of their Pacific Heights apartment building on Jan. 26, 2001.
The couple adopted the dogs from state prison inmate Paul "Cornfed" Schneider, a reputed member of the Aryan Brotherhood who was planning a guard-dog business to be called "Dog-O-War." They later adopted Schneider as their son, three days after Whipple's death.
More importantly, during this tragic time, a silver lining was seen by all when Nedra Ruiz -- Knoller's defense attorney/the single most awesome person to appear before a judge -- got down on her hands and knees during the trail to reenact the dog attack, earning her the esteemed nickname, Four on the Floor Ruiz.
Four on the Floor could not be reached for comment. Bah.
At right: our hero