Wendy Runge: Day 2 – Jury Seated, Trial Begins


rungeBy Wendy Runge

As the jury pool dwindled and final selection came close, the prosecutor used this opportunity to speak to the crowd in a way so as to plant ideas of my alleged guilt into the minds of the hundreds of people assembled. There are only three people in the audience whose opinion mattered to me: Three out of four of our children, ages 18, 10 and 9.

As I was being publicly labeled a thief, liar and criminal mastermind, my children chose to sit in a dignified manner and watch this narishkeit with wounded and fearful eyes. To my , they did it b’simcha.

It’s not that our children would have thought me to be guilty, it’s that G-d forbid they could have chosen not to see this as “all for the good” and G-d forbid resent HaShem for allowing this travesty to occur. Not these neshamos. No way. Thank G-d and kavod to my husband whose faith never waivers.

As difficult as that must have been, these little people sat respectfully for 2 1/2 hours through the prosecutor’s “framing” of the case and then through my attorney, Mr. Whitaker’s, positive, fair and realistic assessment that the facts simply do not show what the State has been trying to prove for 18 months. They called upon Hashem for strength and dignity so that His honor and mine could somehow shine through.

My parents, my husband, distinguished guests and beloved friends calmly witnessed this disturbing display and left an impression of the privilege of being “chosen.” One mentioned that she will never enter Yom Kippur without the image and feeling of facing an angry accuser in this courtroom. It will color everything she does to prepare for that season.

To top it off, dinner for 12 was brought from Minneapolis and our entire family enjoyed the delicious adventure of opening tin foil covered tin pan after tin pan. What an amazing day!

Today, the State’s first witness will try to help them prove their case. He has to…it’s the trade-off he received for his “plea agreement”. HaShem’s case is being won by your unceasing support, tefillah, and acts of chesed.


Zeva Rochel bas Chaya

Wendy Runge

{Wendy Runge for Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I heard (actually, my wife heard from a friend of Wendy’s, so I know it might not be 100% accurate, but maybe worth researching) that she was acquitted on almost all counts!!