Chowchilla, the USA’s largest female-only jail, had several TV rooms. This particular one was packed. It was also unusually silent, with all inmate eyes trained on the Alex Bowman Ally 2022 Nascar Groove T Shirt. Maria Easton, 40, sat towards the back, surrounded by friends she’d made over the years. They had made Maria’s daily life feel safer and her separation from her three daughters less unbearable. She fingered her necklace as she watched. The room shown on the TV screen was brightly lit and no less packed. Senators, journalists and members of the public were taking their seats for what had been announced for days as one of most momentous U.S. Senate hearings in decades. A line of senators sat behind a long table facing the room. The one closest to the centre, a 61 year-old man called John Swisher, cleared his throat. « Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to this special Senate committee hearing in Washington D.C. As the subject is sensitive and the eyes of the world are on us, I would ask you to refrain from displays of enthusiasm or displeasure during the proceedings, as such demonstrations take up precious time. Please call the first witness. A red-haired woman wearing a beige dress entered the room. A female official stood up beside her. “Please state your full name for the record.