updated 12/27/2005 10:46:42 AM ET 2005-12-27T15:46:42

Guest: Bree Smith, Maureen Smith, George Smith, Brett Rivkind, Beth

Holloway Twitty, Steve Cohen, Tom Monahan, Steve Cron, Kurt Eichenwald,

Frank Caiola, Patrick Cooley, John Fiore

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  You heard it here first that Aruban police plan to re-question the three suspects in the Natalee Holloway case.  Tonight, Natalee's mother joins us live.  Does she think this could finally lead to an arrest?  And the shocking story of a young teen who performed sex acts in front his own Web cam for money on a Web site that he himself set up.  Wait until you hear how he kept it secret from his own mother and who his clients were.

But first, a candid and revealing interview with the family of George Smith.  He's the honeymooner who suddenly disappeared from a Royal Caribbean cruise this summer.  In a rare interview, I talked to his mother, father and sister.  They still have many unanswered questions, among them, who may have killed George and why.  Were people on board the cruise, including two Russians and a student from California, involved in any way?  And was there a deliberate cover-up by the cruise line?

George's parents told me that they believe 100 percent he was murdered and point to blood seen by passengers on the ship's overhang.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BREE SMITH, GEORGE SMITH'S SISTER:  The extent of the blood that was in the cabin, as well as the blood on the overhang, and also the fact that the FBI is still spending millions of dollars on my brother's investigation almost six months later—if it was an accident, the FBI would not be spending all its resources on my brother's case, when there's terrorism and a lot of other concerns that they could be focusing on.

COSBY:  What do you believe was the basis for the murder?

MAUREEN SMITH, MOTHER OF GEORGE SMITH:  We don't know.

BREE SMITH:  No.

MAUREEN SMITH  We really don't know, and that's why we're trying so hard.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE SMITH, SR., FATHER OF GEORGE SMITH:  There's a lot of theories out there, and you know, robbery and...

BREE SMITH:  We don't know.

MAUREEN SMITH  We don't know.

GEORGE SMITH:  Who knows?  There's a lot of rumors going around, you know, something about large amounts of money and winnings in the casino and...

COSBY:  One of the theories, as you pointed out, was that maybe he won a lot of money, was maybe bragging about his winnings maybe in the casino, and he was a target because folks knew on the ship that he had some money with him.  Is there anything in his nature that would lead to you believe he was a braggart, that maybe he would be a little show-boating?

BREE SMITH:  No, he wouldn't—he wouldn't brag, I don't think.  But you know, he wouldn't necessarily have to brag.  If people saw, you know, him winning, he wouldn't need to say a word.  But we can't comment on any motive because we honestly don't know.

MAUREEN SMITH:  We don't know.

GEORGE SMITH:  We're looking for answers ourselves.

COSBY:  Is it possible that it had something to do with Jennifer, who was also partying?

BREE SMITH:  We also don't know.  You know, it's very possible.  We just don't have the information.

COSBY:  Were they big partiers?

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  They were on their honeymoon.  You know, they were drinking, but they didn't have to drive.  I think that's one of the reasons why people go on cruises.  You don't have to worry about having a few drinks and then getting in a car.  And you know, generally, in the past, people have felt safe and not realized that they need to be on guard on these ships.  But I think that's one thing that my brother's, you know, murder has brought into attention, the fact that you can't let your guard down.  You have to be aware of your surroundings, and, you know, be careful if you have a few too many drinks because someone could take advantage of you on these cruise ships.

MAUREEN SMITH:  That's what Royal Caribbean like to push, intox—they were intoxicated.  That's all they kept saying.  But you know what?  They're the ones that push the drinks.

GEORGE SMITH:  And they're the one that throws the bar (ph) under the door with the big—the big bill at the end of the cruise.

MAUREEN SMITH:  They push those drinks on you.  And you're in the casino, and if you're gambling, those drinks are flowing freely.  And this is what they do.  And then they turn around and they say “intoxicated,” you know, like it's a dirty word.

BREE SMITH:  You shouldn't die because you've had a few drinks.

MAUREEN SMITH:  You shouldn't be murdered because you drink.

BREE SMITH:  And I think that that's a very easy scapegoat for Royal Caribbean to claim it was an accident because he had a few drinks.  But the facts are that the FBI is still investigating.  And I think that, usually, the cruise lines are successful in saying that it's a suicide or an accident, but because of the physical evidence in my brother's case, unfortunately...

GEORGE SMITH:  They couldn't cover it up.

BREE SMITH:  ... for them, they could not cover up this crime.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Had there not been an overhang and my son went right into the water, we could have—they could have cleaned that room up very nicely.

GEORGE SMITH:  It would be another statistic.

MAUREEN SMITH:  And it would be another statistic, another suicide overboard.

COSBY:  Is it possible that he got drunk and went overboard on his own?

MAUREEN SMITH:  No.

BREE SMITH:  No.

GEORGE SMITH:  Totally impossible.

BREE SMITH:  Impossible.

COSBY:  Why do you rule that out?

MAUREEN SMITH:  There was so much blood.

GEORGE SMITH:  Because of the fight.

MAUREEN SMITH:  There was so much blood in the room.  There was...

GEORGE SMITH:  The violent fight—you know...

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE SMITH:  ... fall overboard.

BREE SMITH:  If you've been drinking, your legs are what give out first.  You can't get over a four-foot railing if you're not standing very well.

MAUREEN SMITH:  There was a violent fight, and there were voices heard out on the balcony, and foreign voices.  And then they were heard in the cabin.  And there was lots going on on that ship.

COSBY:  Josh, one of his attorneys, I remember seeing on one of the shows, the boy from San Diego—one of his attorneys was sort of suggesting, Well, maybe George was suicidal.  Maybe he jumped overboard.

MAUREEN SMITH:  He retreated that—retracted that the next day, though.

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

MAUREEN SMITH:  That was brought right back.  You know, you're going to hear so many things.

BREE SMITH:  And a lot of people say things to protect themselves.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Yes.  Yes.

COSBY:  Was he depressed?  Is there any possibility he would have taken his own life?

BREE SMITH:  No.  No.  No possibility.

(CROSSTALK)

MAUREEN SMITH:  I have photos of him his last day and...

GEORGE SMITH:  How could you go on a cruise and spend $10,000 and be depressed?

MAUREEN SMITH:  I have photos of him.  We have photos of him in Mikonos, and you could not meet—my God, he looked so happy.

GEORGE SMITH:  He was having such a great time, and he was just looking forward, you know, to everything.

COSBY:  What a lot of people wonder is, you know, it was a honeymoon, and yet we've heard stories that George was upstairs gambling, Jennifer was over here drinking...

MAUREEN SMITH:  This is what you do, though.

COSBY:  What kind of a honeymoon...

MAUREEN SMITH:  You know, they...

COSBY:  ... does that sound like to you?

MAUREEN SMITH:  They lived together for two years.

GEORGE SMITH:  Three.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Three.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE SMITH:  ... felt like they'd—it was like a two-month...

(CROSSTALK)

MAUREEN SMITH:  When we go on a cruise, George gambles, I go back. 

Sometimes...

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  In the past, we have been almost on the identical cruise, in 2001, my brother, myself and my parents.  I would stay at the disco.  My brother would be, you know, at a different part of the casino.  Then my dad and mom would be in the room.  And I wouldn't think—you know, I would stay to the—at the casino until 2:00 o'clock and walk back by myself, and I would never think that this could happen.  We just didn't have that awareness.

COSBY:  Are you satisfied that you're getting all the information from her, you as a family?

GEORGE SMITH:  I think we'd like to have a little more.

MAUREEN SMITH:  I would like to have a little bit more from her.

GEORGE SMITH:  She hasn't given us totally everything that I think she possibly could have.

BREE SMITH:  But I think she—she has stated that the FBI has requested that she keep certain things from...

MAUREEN SMITH:  Right.

BREE SMITH:  ... that evening quiet.  So you know, that could be the reason why we don't have all...

MAUREEN SMITH:  Right.  And I think the truth will come out eventually.

COSBY:  But that's got to be troubling to you, as a family.  This is someone who came into your family.  You deserve to know.  It's your son.

BREE SMITH:  It's difficult.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE SMITH:  It's made it hard.

MAUREEN SMITH:  It's made it very hard.

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

COSBY:  What was his relationship like with Jennifer?  Did it seem things were good?

GEORGE SMITH:  They were very, very much in love.

BREE SMITH:  Yes, they were very much in love.

MAUREEN SMITH:  He just idolized her, idolized her.

COSBY:  No problems?

BREE SMITH:  No.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Oh, no.

BREE SMITH:  No.

MAUREEN SMITH:  He thought—you know, he was the happiest I've ever seen him on his wedding day, and he told everybody how much he loved her, didn't he?

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Told everybody.

COSBY:  Were they faithful?

MAUREEN SMITH:  Oh, my God, yes!

BREE SMITH:  You couldn't find a more loyal person than my brother.

GEORGE SMITH:  My son would not do that.  It's just not in his character.

COSBY:  Do you believe that maybe he trusted the wrong people?

GEORGE SMITH:  I think so.

BREE SMITH:  That's what happened, I think.

COSBY:  Someone on the ship?

GEORGE SMITH:  Yes.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Oh, yes.

GEORGE SMITH:  You know, on the ship like that, there's usually not a big crowd at his age.  And I guess, you know, if there's 10 people on board, 8 or 10 of them are going to start to hang around together, and he probably got into the wrong group.

COSBY:  Maybe the Russians?

GEORGE SMITH:  I don't—you know, I don't know.  You know, there's all speculation.  You know, we really don't know.

COSBY:  In your heart of hearts, do you believe the two Russians and the student from San Diego know more than they're saying?

MAUREEN SMITH:  I think Josh has been on the television a lot.  And that's what I've learned through the media.  He's been on and off a lot, pointing fingers, and I think he knows a lot.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE SMITH:  ... doesn't add up.

MAUREEN SMITH:  I think he's been on there just a little bit too much pointing fingers.  So I think the truth has to come out eventually.

GEORGE SMITH:  You can be on too much and saying too much, where you're just sort of...

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  We don't have enough information.

GEORGE SMITH:  We really don't know exactly who did anything.

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  ... point a finger about who may have—all we know is that, you know, there were a certain amount of people in that room that night.  I'm confident the FBI knows who those people were, and I think they have the answers.  And we have faith that the FBI, you know, will make arrests and will make convictions in my brother's murder.

COSBY:  You do believe this will be solved?

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

MAUREEN SMITH:  I do, yes.

BREE SMITH:  Yes.  It's just very painful to have to wait this long, you know, but we've been told by the FBI that they're 100 percent committed and they will bring us answers.

COSBY:  So you are 100 percent certain it will be solved?

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And let's certainly hope so.  We reached out to the attorneys for both the Russians and also the California student, Josh, mentioned by the Smith family.  The attorney for the Russian kids told us that he has nothing to add.  In the past, Josh's attorney has said that his client did nothing wrong.

And Royal Caribbean has recently released the following statement, saying, quote, “We believe that despite this terrible tragedy, the cruise line handled George Smith's disappearance correctly and responsibly.”

The Smith family is not giving up.  Find out their plan to get answers next.  We're going to have much more of our interview.

And also coming up in the Natalee Holloway case, her mother is reacting to the news that we broke that police are finally going to question the three suspects in the case again.  Could this bring about an arrest?

And is life imitating art?  A former “Sopranos” cast member was caught up in the killing of a New York police officer.  The actor was in the hospital, and his friends join me live.

Plus, the shocking story of a boy making thousands of dollars by performing sex acts in front of his own Web cam, and his mother never knew it.  That's all coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BREE SMITH:  No man is an island entire of itself, the English poet wrote.  Every man is a piece of a continent, a part of the main.  George Allen Smith IV was a part of Cos Cob (ph), and his loss diminishes me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  That was George Smith's oldest sister, Bree.  Well, the family of missing newlywed George Smith has received emotional and touching letters from countless people across the country, especially in their community of Greenwich, Connecticut.  They are now breaking their silence, hoping someone out there who knows what happened to George will contact them and help break this case.

They also told me that they believe that there's a strong likelihood that his possible murder was hidden by the cruise line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE SMITH:  It's evidence of a cover-up with Royal Caribbean.  If they'd left that evidence, it would have been a lot easier for the FBI to work on the case, but they were seen 7:30 or 8:00 o'clock in the morning washing that off, even before the Turkish police came on board, so...

BREE SMITH:  And then it was painted over before the FBI got on the boat.  So you know, who knows what was left there for the FBI.

MAUREEN SMITH:  They knew there was blood there.  And what did they say to you, Bree?  No news.  No news.

GEORGE SMITH:  No news.

BREE SMITH:  No news.

MAUREEN SMITH:  No news.

GEORGE SMITH:  That's what we kept getting, No news.

MAUREEN SMITH:  From Royal Caribbean, yes.

COSBY:  And they had no update for you?

MAUREEN SMITH:  No.

BREE SMITH:  Right.  Right.

COSBY:  They knew that there was blood there.

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

COSBY:  And didn't tell you.

BREE SMITH:  Right.

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  ... that they had no information.

GEORGE SMITH:  That's typically the way they work.  It's risk management...

COSBY:  So they lied.

GEORGE SMITH:  Yes, they lied.

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  The risk management department, which is the department that's concerned with lawsuits, is the department that was making the initial calls to us.  It was only in September that we heard from a different department, which was the public relations department.  And I actually have a recording of a message on the answering machine.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hi, this is (INAUDIBLE) from Royal Caribbean, and I'm wondering if it might be possible for either Mr. or Mrs. Smith to give me a call back.  I wanted to—I'm the one that was on “A Current Affair” for Royal Caribbean, and I wanted to give you—tell about another program that I'll be going on next week.  And I just wanted to tell you that.  So I'm sorry to have bothered you, and I hope you will return my call.  Thanks so much.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

COSBY:  When you hear that recording, how angry are you?

GEORGE SMITH:  We got so angry, we...

MAUREEN SMITH:  I called the FBI.

GEORGE SMITH:  ... called the FBI immediately.

MAUREEN SMITH:  And I played it for him.

COSBY:  Weren't you waiting to hear...

GEORGE SMITH:  I'm sorry.

COSBY:  ... I'm sorry about your loss, we're trying to figure out what happened?

GEORGE SMITH:  We'd do anything for you.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Maybe a knock on the door three months earlier to say

·         come in and say, I'm from—a representative from the Royal Caribbean cruise line.  I just want to say how sorry I am.  Nothing.

COSBY:  The first call you get is from someone in risk management?

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

GEORGE SMITH:  Yes.

COSBY:  And what did that call say?

BREE SMITH:  We're sorry that your son is missing.  We have no news. 

We have no information.

We received information, thankfully, from the American embassy in Turkey.  And also, my father had the good idea of contacting Congressman Shays, and that's when I found out about the suspicious circumstances and contacted the FBI.  But thank God that there was the American embassy involved and Congressman Shays's office, or Royal Caribbean would have been successful in its attempt to make it look like an accident.

Basically, their first media reports were that there was a drunk honeymooner that fell overboard.  And there were no suspicious circumstances, and the captain had out-ruled foul play.  Well, this is not true.  This is not true, and they lied to the media.

COSBY:  You haven't filed a civil lawsuit yet?

GEORGE SMITH:  No.

COSBY:  But you plan to?

BREE SMITH:  Yes.

GEORGE SMITH:  Yes, we do.

COSBY:  Why do you think that's important?

GEORGE SMITH:  To get answers.  We want to know what happened through discovery and get answers to exactly what Royal Caribbean did and what they know and what they're not telling us because they're not telling us everything.

MAUREEN SMITH:  That boat did—when it got to Turkey, God knows what was taken on off that ship, whether people got off, and they're not reporting that people got off, evidence...

BREE SMITH:  Weapons.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Weapons, what got off.  And if there was murderers left on board when it took off, when it went off to the next port of call.

BREE SMITH:  Well, we know there were murderers left on board.

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  The question is whether they're still on board.

MAUREEN SMITH:  No, you don't.

BREE SMITH:  The question is whether the murderers still are on board.  If crew members were involved in my brother's murder, they could still be on board.  So I mean, I'd be very afraid if I was currently on the Brilliance of the Seas on a Mediterranean cruise.

COSBY:  In other words, you believe maybe some of the responsible still working for the cruise line...

BREE SMITH:  They could.

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  The could be.

(CROSSTALK)

MAUREEN SMITH:  It could be passengers, crew.  It could be a combination.

GEORGE SMITH:  A combination of passengers and crew.

What it was, though, in Turkey, that was a crime scene, and it should have been locked down tight.  You know, that ship—when you see blood dripping down the side of a boat, you know you've got a crime scene, and that boat should have been stopped, locked down.  Passengers should have been questioned.  No one should have been allowed to get off the boat.  You know, that was a crime scene, and it should have been treated as a crime scene.  And Royal Caribbean did not treat it as a crime scene.

MAUREEN SMITH:  And we have evidence to the fact that there was enough blood in the room to warrant our suspicion.

COSBY:  The Christmas holidays are approaching.  It's got to be tough. 

It's the first Christmas without him.

MAUREEN SMITH:  First Christmas without him, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BREE SMITH:  He's always been here at the holidays.

MAUREEN SMITH:  Yes, always.

BREE SMITH:  And we're a small, close-knit family, and you know, we've spent all the holidays together.  And this year for Thanksgiving, you know, we tried to pretend that Thanksgiving wasn't happening.  And then the day after Thanksgiving, I had to go with my father to clean out my brother's clothes and his shoes from the closet.  So this is an awful holiday season this year.

COSBY:  I understand you have a trip after the holidays.  Where do you plan to go?

MAUREEN SMITH:  We haven't planned it yet, but after—we were supposed to go before Christmas to England.  But we're going to go after Christmas, maybe just after the new year.  And then we're going to go into Greece again and just try and get some final answers and go back and speak with the Coast Guard, like we did before, and possibly go into Turkey and get some questions answered.

COSBY:  Do you think you'll get more answers this time?

GEORGE SMITH:  I think we'll get a lot of answers if we go to Turkey.

(CROSSTALK)

GEORGE SMITH:  We have contacts in Turkey, and I think, you know, if we use those contacts, we're going to get a lot of answers.

COSBY:  Tell us about your son George.

GEORGE SMITH, SR.:  He's a special person.  I worked with George every

day, and he was just a hard worker and a nice guy and he had a great

personality.  And everybody loved him in the store because he just loved to

talk and he loved to make jokes.  And he was just very, very popular.  He

was scheduled to take over my business in 2006 and -

COSBY:  The liquor store?

GEORGE SMITH, SR.:  And I was going to retire.  My business is actually up for sale now, but I was going retire and George was going to take over.  He was really looking forward to that.  He was taking courses in wine.  And he's into computers.  He was going to do a lot on the Internet, and he was just looking forward to getting started.  And would have been, you know, next year.

MAUREEN SMITH:  He had such great friends.  And you know, birds of a feather flock together.  And they just—they just adored him.  He's just missed so much by so many people.

COSBY:  What's the most difficult thing for you, as a mother?

MAUREEN SMITH:  Losing a son, just not having my son anymore.  I mean, my daughter doesn't have her brother.  My husband doesn't have his son.  And he's gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  A tough loss.  And again, Royal Caribbean has also again said that George Smith's disappearance has been handled correctly and responsibly.  That's the cruise line involved.  Of course, the family continues to urge anyone with information to come forward, maybe if you saw something unusual that night or heard anything.  If so, please e-mail their tip line, which is justiceforgeorge@aol.com.  Again, that is justiceforgeorge@aol.com.

And joining us now is the Smith family attorney, Brett Rivkind.  You know, Brett, I had the pleasure of spending some time with the family.  You've known them well.  I mean, this—what I was impressed—this is a close-knit family.  This loss is just so deep for them, right?

BRETT RIVKIND, SMITH FAMILY ATTORNEY:  It's unbelievable.  This has to be one of the most heart-wrenching cases.  And I've been doing nothing but maritime law for 23 years, and I've had some tragic cases I've worked with, a case involving a fire where 158 passengers died, ships lost at sea where people died, and this is one of the most heart-wrenching cases.  This was such a close family.  I mean, they're still a very close family.  It's just a tremendous, tremendous loss.

COSBY:  You can tell.  You know, one of the thing, too, they seem very frustrated that they're being kept in the dark in a lot of different directions, right?

RIVKIND:  It is frustrating.  You know, all I can say is, you know, there's an ongoing FBI investigation.  And when that happens, the FBI likes the witnesses and anybody with information really not to share their information during the investigative stage.  So it's been very frustrating for the Smith family because, as you know, speaking with them, all they really want right now, their number one priority is answers.  And it is hard for them, very hard.

COSBY:  And boy, do they deserve it.  You can just tell that they're desperately looking for that.  One of the things—we heard some good news, too.  We heard also that tomorrow—this is—we got this flyer.  I don't know if you can see this here, Brett, but we got this flyer.  Apparently, attorneys and people close to Jennifer Hagel, tomorrow, they're going to be greeting the cruise ship when it comes into Miami.  This is the actual cruise ship, when it docks in Miami.  And we're told that they're going to be handing out this flyer, reminding everybody that there's a $100,000 reward, trying to also pass it out to crew members, because hasn't there been a problem even talking to some of the crew members and even other passengers on board, right?

RIVKIND:  Well, it's very difficult.  First of all, as lawyers, we're prohibited from talking with current employees of the company.  And as you know, most of the crew members on the cruise ship come from all over the world, from all the third-world countries.  It's very difficult to get subpoenas over them.  It's very difficult to get any information.  We're not allowed to talk to them, and most crew members are fearful of helping because they've been retaliated against in the past for testifying against the cruise line, and many are fearful of losing a job that's very precious to them.  So anything that could help them come forward, of course, we applaud.

COSBY:  Absolutely.  You know, and you have pointed out, Brett—you've been a maritime attorney covering, you know, cases like this for what, 23 years.  How do you rate this case?  I'm stunned at a lot of the things that have happened.

RIVKIND:  Yes, this is one of the most stunning cases.  It's really difficult to see a statement that Royal Caribbean puts out there that says, We handled this responsibly and correctly.  I mean, you know, what they say and what the truth is two different things.  I mean, it's a general statement.  They're not coming out here.  I don't know one thing they did correctly.

I think from the beginning, they duped the FBI, the public and the Smiths into believing that this was just an unfortunate accident.  And then when the FBI learned the facts of the case, they had to go down a different road with their investigation.  And by the time they went down that road, it's now a bumpy road because of what the cruise line company did and didn't do, tampering with evidence, destroying evidence, contaminating evidence and keeping the truth from the FBI themselves.  So the FBI's handicapped, at this point.

COSBY:  Brett, thank you very much.  Keep us posted.  And of course, we're going to keep that family in our prayers.  And again, everybody, you saw the AOL—this is the tip line.  It is justiceforgeorge@aol.com.

And right now coming up, there's an all points bulletin for two murder suspects.  Get this.  They're a well-known body building couple, and the details are coming up.

Plus, how did a teenage boy secretly made hundreds of thousands of dollars by getting naked in front of his own Web cam?  I'll get the answer from the man who broke the story.

And Natalee Holloway's mother tells me when what she thinks about the Aruban police plan to re-question in the next week or two the prime suspects in the case.  What could that lead to?  That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  From MSNBC world headquarters, here is Rita Cosby.

COSBY:  And now to the Natalee Holloway investigation and the news that we broke that police plan to re-question all three suspects.  In the next 10 days, we can expect Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers to be questioned by police again.

On the phone tonight is Natalee Holloway's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty.  Beth, we broke this last night.  What's your reaction to this announcement?

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY'S MOTHER:  Well, you know, Rita, it's long overdue for the family.  And of course, it's always been frightening for us to put all of our faith in the Aruban criminal justice system, but that's exactly what the family is doing, Rita.  We're having to do that.

COSBY:  How key do you think it is that they're going to bring them in for re-questioning?  At least, that's certainly going to be a good sign, Beth.

TWITTY:  Well, I think it is.  I think it's a huge sign.  I just hope that it is done the correct way.  And you know, it's just hard, like I said, for us to put all of our faith in this.  But we know that Congressman Bachus has offered Aruba—he's offered it to Adolfo (ph) Richardson—if there's any additional tools or resources that they need, that they have the authority, they can pick up the phone and contact the U.S. and request this, Rita.

COSBY:  You know, Beth, how confident are you, or do you have any optimism that this new round of questioning is going to be more than questioning, could maybe even lead to an arrest or some major advancement in the case?

TWITTY:  Well, the way we feel about it is, Rita, is since Aruba has chosen to maintain complete control of the investigation, they haven't requested and utilized additional resources and tools from the United States, like they should have done—they have not released the proper documents—you know, Aruba must be completely confident that they alone can solve the crime that was committed against Natalee on their island, Rita.

COSBY:  And do you think that it's heading in that way or do you think this is just smoke and mirrors, Beth? 

TWITTY:  Well, it looks like it's headed that way.  And I think that everyone in the United States is just waiting and watching to see what Aruba is going to do with Joran Van Der Sloot, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe.  And the Aruban officials have publicly admitted that these three suspects are responsible for the disappearance of Natalee.  So we expect results. 

COSBY:  Well, let's hope you get some.  Beth, thank you very much.  We appreciate it. 

And, of course, joining me now is a special adviser to the Aruba government, Steve Cohen.  He first told us about the re-questioning of the three suspects. 

You know, Steve, you just heard from Beth.  I thought, for you guys, she did say it looks like it's headed that way, so she sounded at least optimistic that this could maybe break through some of this. 

STEVE COHEN, SPECIAL ADVISER, ARUBAN GOVERNMENT:  I think she is optimistic and so are we.  But we don't want to be optimistic to a point of being silly about this.  Obviously, this is the first step in what is this next phase of the investigation, albeit an accelerated phase. 

And I do think—and I think we all, our hearts have to go out to Beth and the family, because they have been through a very long road here of seven months.  And there have been a lot of promises.  And these promises are hard to keep in an investigation that is so tightly held and is confidential. 

So it's understandable that she would have a lot of doubt about what's going to happen going forward.  But I have to say to her and the audience that this re-questioning is a very important next step.  Out of it may come a re-arrest.  If that happens, then we're on our way to a case and to a judge of instruction.  And, actually, that is everyone's hope, but, you know, we have to be very cautious about these steps to make sure we do it within Dutch law. 

COSBY:  You know, Steve, when you were on our show, you mentioned that probably within the next 10 days or so this would happen.  Do you have anymore specifics? 

COHEN:  No, I don't have more specifics, just because of the nature of the relationship between the attorneys for the Kalpoes and Joran and the investigators.  Obviously, they have to be talking.  They're trying to work out a schedule that is amenable to everyone.  No one's trying to destroy anyone else's holiday season.  But our investigators are very adamant that this re-questioning does need to occur. 

COSBY:  Any ground rules?  Who's going to be there and who won't be there? 

COHEN:  Yes, the ground rules are fairly firm under Dutch law.  There will be an investigator who would be the interrogator.  There will be an attorney that is permitted with either of the suspects. 

The attorney cannot speak during the interrogation, but can ask for a pause in the interrogation to talk to his client privately.  And then the interrogation would continue.  It's exactly what happened over the last—over the 80 days that the boys were detained in the first place. 

COSBY:  All right, Steve Cohen, thank you very much for the information.  Keep us posted when you do know the exact date.  Thank you very—and by the way, Steve, real quick, have you talked personally to Joran and the father at all? 

COHEN:  No, I've not, since their release from the Kia institution (ph) on Labor Day. 

COSBY:  Would you talk to him, do you expect, in the near future, real quick?

COHEN:  I don't think we'll be speaking until sometime after the first of the year. 

COSBY:  OK.  Keep us posted.  Thank you very much, Steve.  We appreciate it. 

And there's an all-points bulletin tonight for two well-known body builders.  They're wanted in connection with a murder in Las Vegas.  Arrest warrants were issued for Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan after human remains were found inside the trunk of a burning car. 

LIVE & DIRECT tonight with us is Lieutenant Tom Monahan with the Las Vegas Police Department. 

Lieutenant, where are you looking at leads for this couple? 

LT. TOM MONAHAN, LAS VEGAS POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Well, actually, we have the names entered into the national database.  So were they to be contacted by the law enforcement agency throughout the country, they'd be arrested and we'd be notified. 

COSBY:  Do you have any idea where they may be headed?  Do you think they're still in the area? 

MONAHAN:  We don't think that they're in the Las Vegas area.  But other than that, we really don't have any good idea as to where they may be. 

COSBY:  Do you believe they're still together or do you think they're separated? 

MONAHAN:  Either of the possibilities are there. 

COSBY:  How would you classify them?  Are they armed and dangerous? 

MONAHAN:  Well, although firearms wasn't used in this particular murder, certainly anyone that commits a murder is desperate and they've demonstrated that they're willing to take a life.  So I would consider them dangerous certainly. 

COSBY:  You know, there are warrants, obviously, issued for them. 

What evidence do you have against the couple to support those warrants? 

MONAHAN:  Well, I'm reluctant to elaborate as to what exactly our prosecution will present as evidence.  But it is substantial and, certainly, was enough to support an arrest warrant. 

COSBY:  And, of course, the person that was in this car, the body that was found, we're told it was someone who lived with this couple.  What else do we know about this woman?  And what was sort of her relationship to the couple? 

MONAHAN:  Well, while we've referenced the victim in this case in our affidavit, we're still waiting DNA results to conclusively prove that she is the person we think it is.  So we might be speculating a little bit too much at this point to say it's absolutely her. 

COSBY:  Do we have a motive at all? 

MONAHAN:  Well, we've been receiving information from a number of sources close to both Craig Titus and his wife.  And it appears that our victim may have been accused of some embezzlement or some identity theft by Titus, but we also know that there was a romantic relationship between the two of them, as well. 

COSBY:  Between the woman and Titus? 

MONAHAN:  That's correct, yes. 

COSBY:  OK.  But he was married, right, to this—so, what, he was having an affair, is what you're saying? 

MONAHAN:  That's what the allegation is, yes. 

COSBY:  Ah, OK.  Anthony Gross, we put a picture up a little bit ago.  This guy has also been arrested in this case.  What is his connection to the couple? 

MONAHAN:  He's been charged with being an accessory with the murder.  He certainly assisted them substantially and, as a result, is being charged as an accessory. 

COSBY:  All right, Lieutenant, thank you very much.  I hope that you track down this couple.  And, again, anybody, if you have any information, of course, call Las Vegas authorities.  Thank you very much. 

And coming up, the story of a teenage boy doing shocking things in front of his own web cam and making a ton of cash doing it.  Did his parents know?  The person who broke the story's going to join me live. 

And find out how an actor who was on “The Sopranos” ended up in a real life saga, a deadly police shootout.  Well, his friends are going to join me live and talk about it, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSTIN BERRY, CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VICTIM:  You're letting your kids use a device when they should be out having fun.  They should be out playing with other kids.  It screwed me up bad.  I don't want to see other kids screwed up bad. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Well, advice from someone who should know.  That was 19-year-old Jason Berry, a kid who made a ton of cash secretly performing sex acts in front of his own web cam.  He spoke out in an interview with the “New York Times” with reporter Kurt Eichenwald, who broke the story on the front page of Monday's paper. 

Kurt Eichenwald worked on this expose for six months for the paper and even helped to pull Berry out of the business.  And joining us now live is Kurt Eichenwald. 

Kurt, you know, first of all, how did he get sucked into this?  How did Jason Berry get involved? 

KURT EICHENWALD, REPORTER, “THE NEW YORK TIMES”:  Well, it was a very subtle thing.  It happens very slowly.  One thing I want to make sure viewers understand:  Justin is not the only person this happens to.  Justin was a representative of much larger group of kids that have been brought into this. 

And the way it happens is very simple.  He purchased a camera—he obtained a camera when he was 13 years old.  Like a lot of kids, it was a new gadget, it was cheap, hooked it up.  His image goes up on the Internet into one of these directories for people with web cams.  And those have become hunting grounds for pedophiles, for people looking for children whose images are out there. 

COSBY:  You know, it's incredible.  How much...

EICHENWALD:  And it took about...

COSBY:  How much did he make?  And how many clients did he have? 

EICHENWALD:  Well, over the years, he made several hundred thousand dollars, most of which, you know, if you give a child that much money, it gets blown pretty quickly. 

COSBY:  Several hundred thousand dollars? 

EICHENWALD:  Several hundred thousand dollars. 

COSBY:  That's incredible. 

EICHENWALD:  But this is coming from 1,500 different people.  I mean, these are people who are out there looking for children, seducing them, gradually getting them to do the acts that they want them to do.  And they're very coordinated.  They're very organized.  And ultimately, Justin was one of their victims.

COSBY:  I want to show another little clip of your interview with Justin that aired on the website for “New York Times.”  Let's play that, if we could.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERRY:  There were people who were watching me do these things on the website that I looked and saw who they were in real life.  And in real life, most of them weren't kids.  And it kind of scared me.  I just—I didn't like it.  I wasn't comfortable with it. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  You know, real quick, how did these people lure him in? 

EICHENWALD:  Well, Justin was a lonely kid.  Justin was from a family that—you know, he had some troubles with his dad.  And these people pretended to be his friend. 

They were there for him.  They laughed at his jokes.  They were always nice to him.  And at one point, one of them, when Justin was 13, offered him $50 to take his shirt off for three minutes and showed him how he could get the money instantly over PayPal, an Internet cash-transfer system. 

And Justin figured—you know, he took his shirt off at the pool, what difference did it make?  So did he, and he got his $50.  And, from that point on, there was this relentless and very slow and gradual effort to get him to go further, to get him to go further. 

I didn't see what happened with Justin at the time.  I have seen in current day these people talk about children who are on camera right now and about their approach, how they're going to do it, what's the next thing we say to her or him, you know, how far has she gone, what's the next step?

And it is insidious.  I mean, a lot of people, I'm afraid, will look at this and might say, “Well, there's something wrong with the kid.”  There isn't.  You are talking about unbelievably manipulative people who are coordinating their efforts, going after lonely kids who are looking for affection. 

COSBY:  Yes, incredible.  I also want to talk about the parents real quick, what, his mother didn't know, right? 

EICHENWALD:  The mother did not know. 

COSBY:  And the father—this is shocking—the father was involved some—was basically pimping his son, right? 

EICHENWALD:  Well, after a few years—his father lived in Mexico.  And after a few years of this going on, Justin went to live with his father in Mexico.  And what Justin has told the FBI is that, at one point, he told his father what was going on, that he was making this money, and his father proceeded to help him with the business and share in the cash. 

COSBY:  His father actually participated.  And that's stunning.  And the mother, there's no evidence that she—I mean, that's stunning that the mother had no clue?

EICHENWALD:  It's not really, because what you're talking about is a circumstance where—you know, children are pretty bad liars.  But when you have 1,500 adult manipulators who are helping them to lie, they can get pretty good. 

I mean, to give you an example...

COSBY:  Yeah, real quick.  Real quick, Kurt.

EICHENWALD:  ... there was a point in which—OK, Justin was concerned that his mother was going to find out.  Well, one of the pedophiles came from Nevada to California and rented him an apartment down the street from his house, loaded it up with the Internet services he needed, and thus gave him a studio where we could go perform.  He tells his mother, “I'm going off to play with friends.”  What mother is ever going to assume some guy came from out of state and rented her son an apartment? 

COSBY:  It is stunning.  Kurt, good job.  And just scary stuff in there.  Thank you very much. 

Well, after hearing this shocking story, we had to ask, what about his parents?  Could either of them face any legal action?  And also, what about all these customers, these 1,500 customers?

Criminal defense attorney Steve Cron from California joins me now live.  Steve, first of all, this father pimping out his son.  Apparently, all of this happened while the father was in Mexico.  Could he be prosecuted though? 

STEVE CRON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Rita, it's just revolting to think about somebody doing that with your kid.  I agree that, apparently, he didn't know in the beginning, but then he finds out.  And rather than being a source of guidance and saying, you know, you don't do this, this is ridiculous, he starts profiting by his son. 

I think there's a good case that he could be prosecuted in the United States, because what he did is he put his son—helped put his son, who was underage, in a position where he was basically promulgating kiddie porn over the Internet, and that comes into the United States, went across international borders, by virtue of the fact that it's on the Internet, I think he could be prosecuted for that in the United States.  And I hope they do. 

COSBY:  Yes, absolutely.  I mean, that's just disgusting.  The mother's case...

CRON:  Someone should go get that guy.

COSBY:  Yes, you bet.

CRON:  The mother is a different story, though.

COSBY:  Yes, the mother—right now, there's no evidence.  If it turns out that she did know and maybe turned a blind eye, could there be anything prosecutable there? 

CRON:  Well, that's possible.  But I think the lesson there for all of us parents is that, you know, you got to be aware of what your kids are doing.  You don't just let them sit in the room endlessly on the computer.  It's scary. 

But if she didn't know and was just busy with other things, that's not something she could be prosecuted for.  The father, though, he's in hot water.  And I would imagine someone's going to be going after him. 

COSBY:  Yes, you bet, big time.  You know, the good news is, Justin turned state's evidence, apparently provided hard drives of all the information, also some other folks, 1,500 customers we just heard from Kurt, doctors, lawyers, married people.  What's going to happen to these customers? 

CRON:  Every one of those people shouldn't be sleeping very soundly tonight.  Now, as a practical matter, does the FBI have the manpower with the war on terror and all these other things that they're doing to go after 1,500 people?  But from the story that I read, it appears that there were a number of people that who were really active.  They took the kid, they went out with him, they molested him physically, they...

COSBY:  Bought him an apartment down the street? 

(CROSSTALK)

CRON:  Right, those are the people that definitely the FBI's going to be looking at.  Whether they're going to go after everybody that went onto that website, that's a different story.  But there's a lot of major players.  And they should go after every one of them.  And I think they will. 

COSBY:  You bet.  Steve, thank you very much.  We appreciate it. 

CRON:  My pleasure. 

COSBY:  And still ahead, everybody, find out what “Sopranos” actor allegedly got caught up in a shootout that left him in a coma and a New York City police officer dead.  Is life imitating art?  That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You hear what happened to Christopher Moltisanti?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, somebody blew him up. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, it was us, me and Sean.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

COSBY:  Well, that was actor Lillo Brancato in the second season of HBO's “Sopranos.”  Brancato was hand-picked by Robert De Niro to star in his 1993 movie, “A Bronx Tale.”  But now, he's charged with second-degree murder after a shoot-out a week ago that left a police officer dead. 

Joining me now is Patrick Cooley.  He's an actor and close friend of Brancato.  Also, John Fiore.  He's a former cast member of “The Sopranos.”  And on the phone is Brancato's best friend, Frank Caiola. 

Let me start with you, Patrick.  Did you speak to him the day of the shooting? 

PATRICK COOLEY, ACTOR AND FRIEND OF BRANCATO:  I actually spoke to him the night before. 

COSBY:  What was his mood?  And was there anything unusual? 

COOLEY:  Actually, no, he was actually planning on coming out to California to hang out with me, visit my wife (INAUDIBLE) who's in hospital right now. 

COSBY:  You know, there were some reports that he was involved in drugs.  What do you know?  And how deeply involved was he? 

COOLEY:  In the last year, there's been a pickup of drug use.  He's definitely—you know, it's definitely progressed in the last year.  I've been seeing less and less of him, you know, since this has been happening.  He was planning...

COSBY:  And I understand—go ahead.  Go ahead.

COOLEY:  He was planning on coming out here to L.A. because he wanted to get away from some of the people that he was involved with back there. 

COSBY:  You know, and, Frank, I understand there are also family and friend who were trying to help out, right, and sort of intervention? 

COOLEY:  He's got a very tight-knit family, very old school Italian family, that really—they do everything for each other.  You know, and it's a shame that he's really been going through all of this. 

COSBY:  Yes.  You know, Frank, if you're on the phone with us, was your friend sort of acting a little bit like “The Sopranos,” taking it a little too seriously? 

FRANK CAIOLA, LILLO BRANCATO'S BEST FRIEND:  Well, I know Lillo for probably about 10, 15 years.  I know you said that we were best friends, but, no, we weren't.  I met Lillo a long time ago when I worked in an Italian deli in the neighborhood, and it's a shame.  He was a very good kid.  He was always a very respectable kid. 

COSBY:  Did you ever see a violent side? 

CAIOLA:  Never saw a violent side of him, up until as of lately, when he just started spiraling downhill with the drugs. 

COSBY:  So you saw it sort of degrading?

CAIOLA:  Correct.  I live across the street from his ex-girlfriend's house. 

COSBY:  John Fiore, let me bring you in.  You know, as a cast member, you worked, you know, when Lillo had a number of appearances on the show.  What were your impressions of him? 

JOHN FIORE, FORMER “SOPRANOS” CAST MEMBER:  Well, like everybody, when he burst upon the scene with “Bronx Tale,” we were all impressed, actors, just as a movie fan, that a kid can come out of the gate so strongly like he did.  And it was quite remarkable.

But when he was on “The Sopranos,” he was nothing but respectful.  We didn't exactly have scenes together, but he was a gentleman.  He conducted himself well. 

There was no indication, at least to myself, that there was any problem like this.  I wasn't best friends with him by any means, just as a person who worked with him on the show. 

COSBY:  John, was he a stable guy or a wise guy? 

FIORE:  He was pretty stable.  I mean, he was a wise guy.  He portrayed a wise guy on the show, kind of an up-and-coming wise guy type, which he acted perfectly.  He did an outstanding job at it.  But he was a total gentleman. 

COSBY:  Were you surprised by this alleged crime? 

FIORE:  I was.  Ironically, the day that it happened, the producers of a show I'm working on called “Sopranos Behind the Scene,” his name was thrown about to possibly call him in for an interview.  So, yes, I was pretty surprised. 

COSBY:  Yes, Patrick, how stunned were you?  And how did you find out, real quick? 

COOLEY:  I was shocked.  A producer friend of mine called me that morning when it first hit the news.  And, you know, I was obviously on L.A.  time, so I was a little bit behind.  But for me, just to hear him something involved with something like this, it's beyond belief. 

COSBY:  Yes, I'm sure.  A lot of people are very stunned. 

You know, John, ironically, you've got a new film out involving some folks from “The Sopranos.”  I'm going to play a little clip of it, and we're going to talk about it. 

FIORE:  Sure.

COSBY:  Let's play a little clip. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I am opening a new club.  You might say it's my dream club.  I'm looking for a singer to open up for me.  Any questions? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, not at all.  Listen, Mr. Cement (ph), I can't tell you how happy...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I expect you to do a good job and sing every word clearly. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Clearly. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  You know, John, tell us a little bit about it.  And obviously, ironically, here it is, folks on “Sopranos.” 

FIORE:  I'm sorry, Rita? 

COSBY:  Yes, here it is, you've got a “Soprano” cast member involved, sort of, you know, talking about everything, but tell us about the new film. 

FIORE:  Well, the new film is—I play a singer, Johnny Slade, who's kind of down on his luck, not getting many singing gigs, when Johnny Sack there from the “Sopranos,” Vince Curatola, hires me to sing in his night club. 

And consequently, I start getting many gigs, my career takes off, and we use several of the “Soprano” guys, because it was a very close-knit family and they were more than happy to come to work on the film and support us. 

COSBY:  OK.  Well, we'll definitely look for that.  And we appreciate you being here...

FIORE:  Thank you. 

COSBY:  .. talking, of course, about Lillo.  And Patrick and Frank, thank you both very much.   Everybody, we'll keep you posted on this story.  And we're going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And tomorrow night, we're going to take you inside the Playboy mansion, find out what Hugh Hefner is getting for Christmas, and also the playmates.  That's tomorrow night.

And that does it for me on LIVE & DIRECT.  I'm Rita Cosby.  “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” with my pal, Catherine Crier, who's been doing a great job filling in all week, starts right now—Catherine?

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

Content and programming copyright 2005 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon NBC and Voxant, Inc.'s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

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