Video: Virginia Murder Mystery

msnbc.com
updated 1/6/2006 3:55:58 PM ET 2006-01-06T20:55:58

The murder of an entire family has the entire community of Richmond, Va., turned upside-down and investigators are baffled on how it all went down. 

Police are trying to figure out who killed Bryan and Kathryn Harvey and their two daughters, 9-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Ruby.  They were found bound and their throats cut after the crime on New Year's Day.  So far, there are no suspects in this case. 

On Thursday, MSNBC's Rita Cosby welcomed Richmond news radio reporter Jim Craig, along with private investigator Vito Colucci and Steve Huff, a writer for Court TV and the blog, Planethuff.com

To read an excerpt from their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.

RITA COSBY: Walk us through, first of all.  Any suspects? 

JIM CRAIG, WRVA RADIO REPORTER:  At this point, not only are there no suspects, but even clues to indicate a suspect are hard to come by. 

COSBY:  Walk us through, again, how the family was found.  And describe the crime scene. 

CRAIG:  Well, Bryan Harvey is a rock guitarist by night, worked at schools by day.  They were planning a New Year's Day chili dinner.  And one of their friends came over to help prepare for that, just a little before 2:00 on New Year's Day.  He went into the house and found that it was filled with smoke.  He called firefighters.  They responded, found the four bodies in the basement. 

COSBY:  And I understand, at this point, we are hearing some reports that they were bound and their throats were slit, but maybe one of the other family members may have been killed in a different fashion? 

CRAIG:  Well, it's my understanding that they were all bound.  They were all had their throats slit, apparently with a box cutter.  But there's some indication from at least preliminary reports that at least one of the family members was stay alive when the fire was set, because they found smoke residue in their lungs. 

COSBY:  Who have they been talking to?  I mean, are they talking to neighbors, family members?  I mean, it sounds like someone who clearly was, a, had a vendetta against this family, especially to kill two young children, and, then we're clearly trying to cover it up. 

CRAIG:  That's the speculation at this point, is that they set the fire to try to destroy the crime scene.  As to who might have done this, we don't know.  But the first speculation that it may have been a professional type of hit is pretty well, I think, been ruled out, because this was a fairly sloppy crime scene.  And everything that was used came from the scene itself.  They found the tape, hammer, box cutter all in the home. 

COSBY: ... Steve, I want to get to you, because I think what's so fascinating is these lyrics-and very eerie, too-the lyrics on the song that the father was tied to? 

STEVE HUFF, CRIME BLOGGER, PLANETHUFF.COM:  Yes, Bryan Harvey-I think he co-wrote it with one of his old band mates-and the title is, "Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey."  And the lyrics read almost like an account of what could have happened to the family.  It talks about death in the basement.  I don't remember the lyrics off the top of my head, but somebody had tracked those down on the Internet and posted them, at least on one message board.  And now they've made it into articles in the "NY Daily News."

Because, at the very least, there's such an eerie correlation between what may have happened to the Harveys and those song lyrics.  I mean, it's at the very least, it's a haunting element of the story, and one of many. 

COSBY:  It certainly is.  Any idea of any suspects?  Is there any discussion of any suspects, Steve, that they're saying who could have done this horrible crime? 

HUFF:  There is a lot of discussion and a lot of speculation.  And some of it points towards people who were not relatives of the Harveys but may have had a relationship with someone who was close to the family.

And someone that I had a tip sent to me, that there was some sort of altercation between the Harveys and one person on Thanksgiving Day when they were in Virginia Beach.  But it's been so unspecific that I can't give it a lot of credence, as yet.  But the problem with that is, I've had the same tip sent to me from an entirely different source. 

COSBY:  Is this a family member?  Is this a family member? 

HUFF:  No, this is not a family member.  This is someone who had-my understanding-formally had a relationship with a family member. 

COSBY:  Walk us through, also, the "Desperate Housewives" tie.  There's an interesting "Desperate Housewives" tie.

HUFF:  Yes, Steven Culp, who was playing-who played, until, I believe, the last TV television season of "Desperate Housewives," he played Rex Van De Kamp on that show-he was Kathryn Harvey's half-brother.  I think they had the same mom.  And I am given to understand that they had a close relationship and that Mr. Culp is devastated. 

COSBY:  I can imagine.

You know, Vito Colucci, hearing all these details, especially what Steve was just saying about this person-and he's getting tips from different directions-but maybe that somebody had an altercation with the family member.  Where would you look for suspects at this point? 

COLUCCI:  Well, this is a group of people, Rita, that had a lot of contacts.  This guy was a notable musician.  One place I would definitely look is that Web site for that band, "House of Freaks," because Harvey had a lot of contact back-and-forth with people writing in. 

You know, that would be interesting to read, all of these things back-and-forth that happened.  Obviously, this guy, where the altercation, she was co-owner of a store.  He worked in the school system.  He played in many bands across the country. 

So you've got a lot of leg work to do as a cop here.  But this is a good P.D.  Richmond Police Department is a very good police department down there.  So I got a feeling this shouldn't take too long.  Sloppy crime scene, a lot of blood, bloody footprints, bloody handprints.  I think it's going to show something here, Rita. 

Watch 'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' each night at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

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