updated 4/20/2006 10:42:18 AM ET 2006-04-20T14:42:18

Guest: Josh Nichols; Gary Guyman; Danny Coulson; Bud Welch; Wendy Murphy;

Daniel Spitz; William Cotter; Nona Faranhink; Michelle Kosinski; John Q.

Kelly

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  We're live again and direct from Durham, North Carolina.  Tonight, you'll be hearing from a new player in the Duke University rape investigation.  You'll hear from a cab driver who says that he drove one of the suspects home the night of the alleged assault.  His story could rock this entire investigation.

And you heard it here first on MSNBC, the conversation secretly recorded between the original three suspects in the Natalee Holloway case in Aruba, the words about Natalee they thought no one could hear.  You're going to hear them, and that's coming up.

But first tonight, a LIVE AND DIRECT exclusive and a stunning twist in one of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, 11 years ago today, after the Oklahoma City bombing.  Now, the son of co-conspirator Terry Nichols says others may have helped in the attack and that his father is ready to tell all.

I sat down with Josh Nichols for an exclusive jailhouse interview, and he told me what he knows about the plot and that he thinks it could reach the highest levels of the U.S. government.  He also reveals why he's had his own run-ins with the law.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over):  It's the worst act of domestic terrorism in U.S.  history, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murragh federal building in Oklahoma City 11 years ago today, 168 people killed, including 19 children, hundreds more injured.  Former Army buddies Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were convicted for their roles in the attack.  But to this day, many still question if others were involved.

Now, for the first time, Nichols's son, Josh, is speaking out, telling me that some of those responsible for this horrific attack are still on the loose.

(on camera):  COSBY:  Do you believe that there are several others involved beyond your father and Timothy McVeigh?

JOSH NICHOLS, SON OF OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBER:  Yes, there was more people involved.

COSBY:  More than just one?

NICHOLS:  More than just McVeigh and him.

COSBY:  And how many others do you believe are involved?

NICHOLS:  I couldn't put a number on it, you know?  It could be five, it could be 10, you know, it could be more, but there has to be others involved.

COSBY:  Do you believe the others were either belonging to the government or extremists in America?

NICHOLS:  Extremists.  Extremists, you know?  Extremists, you know, can be connected with certain people, certain individuals, you know, or they—you know, certain—certain groups, you know, take things to different levels, you know, and you know, they believe in different, you know, laws and they abide by different things.  And the people that McVeigh was hanging around with, you know, obviously had the—had the same beliefs and nature he did.

COSBY:  Do you believe that there was any foreign involvement in the bombing?

NICHOLS:  I don't believe so.

COSBY:  No al Qaeda, no Arab tie?

NICHOLS:  No, I don't believe so, no.

COSBY:  Any tie-in with your dad's trips to the Philippines?

NICHOLS:  No.  To my knowledge, no, there wasn't.  You know, there could have been, you know, but as a child, I was not aware of it.

COSBY:  Do you think your dad knows who John Doe number two is?

NICHOLS:  I do.  I do.  I never said that and, you know, I—I do believe he knows who it is.

COSBY (voice-over):  Some believe Terry Nichols was about to reveal the full scope of the Oklahoma City plot late last year.  That is, until Josh was arrested in October after trying to flee from police in a stolen car.  Josh says he believes law enforcement is targeting him in order to keep his dad from talking.

(on camera):  Do you believe what your dad is ready to say about the Oklahoma City bombing could hurt the U.S. government?

NICHOLS:  I believe it could.

COSBY:  And how so?

NICHOLS:  Because he knows what happened that day.  He knows what happened in Oklahoma City.

COSBY:  Your dad has said he believes there's some government cover-up here.

NICHOLS:  You know, I don't know what he knows, but it is also obvious to me that what he knows is something that's very powerful, and he doesn't want to go out and exploit it when the time isn't right, when you know that there's a lot more at stake than just—than just, you know, telling a story, you know?

COSBY:  How high up do you believe it goes?

NICHOLS:  You know, I really don't know, you know, who's involved, what individuals or, you know, what position they have in their department.  But you know, I mean, it's obvious to me, it's very obvious to me that, you know, he's fearing for his life for some reason.

COSBY:  And when you say department, do you believe the FBI?

NICHOLS:  You know, ATF, FBI, you know, some government, you know, agency, you know, investigation, you know, agency, CIA, you know, some department that investigates this kind of stuff.

COSBY:  Do you believe that someone in the government had prior knowledge about the bombing or covered it up?

NICHOLS:  I do believe it, you know?  How could something that huge happen, and you know, just two people know about it?  You know, it's—it doesn't make sense.

COSBY:  Do you believe your dad is worried for his safety and that of his family?

NICHOLS:  I know he is.  I know he is.  You know, there's been threats on me.  There's been threats on my mom.  You know, there's—every day, there's threats in prison, you know, against his life.

COSBY:  What would you want to say to Congress, who oversees these federal agencies that you believe may have played a role?  If they're watching, you know, what would you want to say to them?  Because those are the folks who could reach out to your dad, who could give him an independent investigation.

NICHOLS:  Take a risk.  Take a risk.  You know, every individual, if they're labeled a criminal or a terrorist or, you know, a bad influence, you know, those people change.  Those people—you know, don't give up hope on them.  You know, believe in them.  You know, people do change and - - just do the right thing and respect the truth.

COSBY:  Do you think he's ready to say everything?

NICHOLS:  Yes.

COSBY:  How so?

NICHOLS:  Well, I don't believe, you know, he would get—you know, it wouldn't benefit him.  You know, as I was saying earlier, it wouldn't, you know, get him a lighter sentence.  You know, it wouldn't get him, you know, a contact visit with a special person.  You know—you know, there would be nothing beneficial.  Actually, it would make circumstances worse for him by, you know, relating what he knows.

COSBY (voice-over):  Terry Nichols, who is behind bars serving multiple life sentences, may be the only person still alive with full knowledge of the plot.  His partner, Timothy McVeigh, was executed on June 11, 2001, taking his secrets to the grave.

(on camera):  What kind of a man was Timothy McVeigh?  You knew him.

NICHOLS:  You know, in fact, you know, he was—he was an extremist.  He really didn't care too much for children.  You know, he used to drive like a maniac.  He—you know, the times I did see him, you know, he was real moody, real, you know, isolated, you know?  And that's the—that's the picture that I got of McVeigh.  You know, that's just—that's how he carried himself.  You know, he was independent, you know, and I guess he stuck to what he believed.

COSBY:  When you say he didn't like kids, how so?  I mean, he wrote in a letter to me many years ago, the kids in the day care center were collateral damage.  Were you surprised to hear that?

NICHOLS:  It's—you know, he just—he has no—he has no heart. 

You know, he just—you know, I've never seen a good feeling from him. 

You know, I've just seen negativity, negativity, negativity from McVeigh.

COSBY:  Did you have any idea that Timothy McVeigh and your father were planning this?

NICHOLS:  No, I didn't.

COSBY:  None at all.

NICHOLS:  None at all.

COSBY:  Nothing suspicious?

NICHOLS:  No.

COSBY:  Nothing unusual?

NICHOLS:  No.

COSBY:  How do you describe your dad?  Because some people in the American public call him a monster.

NICHOLS:  My father is no monster.  My father is not a monster. 

McVeigh's a monster.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And still ahead: This will surprise you, why some of the survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing are actually working to help Josh Nichols.  Plus, should he also feel like a victim of the bombing?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICHOLS:  Victim to victim.  You know, it's—it's—you know, I share—I share a part of their loss, too.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And out of Aruba, the private conversations between the three prime suspects they didn't think anyone could hear.  Wait until you hear what they say about Natalee Holloway.

And an explosive interview in the Duke rape investigation that could change everything.  The cab driver who said that he drove one of the suspects tells me what happened when he left the house.  Tonight, you're going to see it right here on LIVE AND DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And more now of my exclusive interview with the son of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols.  Before the break, Josh Nichols told me that he believes other people helped his father and Timothy McVeigh plan the attack.  I also asked Josh Nichols what he remembers about that terrible day 11 years ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICHOLS:  What I remember from the 19th of April, 1995 is just the state of shock, you know, just—you know, just sorrow, you know, sadness.

COSBY:  You were in 7th grade at the time, and they pull you in and say, Did you play a role in this horrible crime?

NICHOLS:  You know—you know, it was kind of strange to me.  You know, I was going to my sixth hour of class, you know, and all of a sudden, the dean, the principal, the hall monitors, they surrounded me.  They said, You know, Mr. Nichols, y'all come with us.  You know, I thought I was in trouble for, you know, goofing off in school.  I was like, What's going on, you know?  And they're, like, Just calm down, and your mother's boyfriend will be here in a few minutes.

My mother's boyfriend arrives, and you know, we hop in the vehicle, and I say, What's going on?  What's going on?  He said, Josh, you know, there's somebody following us.  I said, So?  You know?  As a kid, I'm, like, So, you know, who's following us?  You know, he's, like, The FBI.  I'm, like, OK, so, you know?  What's the bombing got to do with me, and why are the FBI—you know, why is the FBI following us?

So we get to my house, my mom was just crying and crying and crying, and you know, I swore it was a mistake, you know?  You know, your father has been arrested for what happened in Oklahoma City.  And you know, I'm, like, yes, right, you know?  Because reality, it doesn't set in on a child, you know, as it does an adult.

COSBY:  You actually went to the Oklahoma City bombing memorial.

NICHOLS:  I did.  I did.

COSBY:  People would say, Why?  How was that for you?

NICHOLS:  Victim to victim.  You know, it's—it's—you know, I share—I share a part of their loss, too.

COSBY:  Do you feel you've been punished enough in your life just by being Terry Nichols's son?

NICHOLS:  You know, I wouldn't really know what “punished enough” is.  You know, I had this—the shadow pulling at me, and it's been pulling at me for 11 years.  The stuff I've been through in my life, I wouldn't wish upon nobody.  I've been sentenced for 11 years.  You know, I've been called, you know, John Doe number two.  You know, this could be a terrorist.  You know, he could be John Doe number two by the FBI.

You know, at 12 years old, I was labeled as a could-be terrorist.  I just—you know, to go through your life called the bomber's son or, There's bomber, you know, just pointing fingers at me and calling me, you know, names and, you know, just unfair treatment.

I can't convey to you enough how my life just took a downfall from that point forward.

COSBY:  Do you think it would help you if you knew every detail and maybe other people involved in Oklahoma City?  Do you think that would give you some comfort?

NICHOLS:  Some type of closure, yes.  Some type of closure.  It would.

COSBY:  Do you believe the bombing victims now need to hear the truth about who else may have been involved?

NICHOLS:  They deserve the truth.  You know, they deserve to hear what happened, you know, what led up to that type of, you know, action.  It's my belief that, you know, the truth, you know, who it may hurt, you know—you know, it needs to be—it needs to be out there.  It needs to be talked about.

COSBY:  Do you believe the bombing victims especially deserve to know if there's others involved?

NICHOLS:  There shouldn't be no one holding anything back.  I wish the circumstances were a little different so my father could say what he has to say, but they're not.

COSBY:  Do you believe he will, though?

NICHOLS:  I do.  I really do.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And some very powerful words there from Josh Nichols.

And joining us now, Josh Nichols's attorney, Gary Guymon.  Also, former FBI deputy assistant director Danny Coulson, who led the search for Timothy McVeigh.  And also Bud Welch, whose daughter was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Gary, first to you.  What do you think the judge should do?  I know that, you know, Josh is facing some pretty tough charges.  I know they were reduced.  but what do you hope the judge will do at the sentencing next week?

GARY GUYMON, ATTORNEY FOR JOSH NICHOLS:  Well, we always expect the worst and we hope for the best.  I hope that he gives Josh an opportunity to have his freedom in the near future.  I think Josh will honor his freedom, once he gets it.  I've had a number of conversations with Josh and truly do believe that he's going to make some different choices in his life in the future.

COSBY:  You know, and I believe that, too.  I was very impressed with him, Gary, and I do believe—don't you get the sense this is a guy who really wants to make a difference now?  Don't you believe that?

GUYMON:  I do believe that.  You know, it's interesting, when you have client contact like I have, to sort of see the changes come about in his life, and to watch him tremble at the reading of the verdict.  I mean, he was so very fearful that he would be convicted of the charge of attempted murder, which, you know, quite honestly, to me was just a trumped-up charge.  He was overcharged.

And he trembled at the time the verdict was read.  And he took such great joy in that.  And I told him he needs to grasp that moment.  There's a photograph of that moment in the local paper, and I said, you know, He needs to really hold onto that moment and focus on it because if he does that, he's going to make some different choices about his freedom in the future.

COSBY:  And again, those charges, the more serious ones, were dropped, sentencing on the other charges.  Gary, I also asked him—and I thought this was interesting—his father is planning on writing a letter to the judge.  He may have already done it by now.  And I asked Josh about that.  let me play a little clip.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICHOLS:  For him to make a stand like that is—it would be very credible and respectable.  I mean, the reason why my life is what it is, is because of his actions, you know?  I love him to death, but you know, his actions affected my life drastically.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And do you think the words of the father are going to help the son now, Gary?

GUYMON:  You know, I would hope so.  I've got to believe that his father still loves him.  There's no question in my mind that his father didn't, you know, breed, if you will, a person that was going to possess a stolen vehicle.  Josh came to make those choices perhaps in part because of the impact his father's had on his life.  And I think his father's impact can be adverse or it can be positive.  And it's time now that Josh makes his father's lessons positive in his life.

COSBY:  Absolutely.  Well, we wish him the best.  I was very impressed with him.

Let me bring in, if I could, Danny and also Bud.  Danny, let me also talk about the other issue, and this is, of course, the idea that there are others involved.  Do you believe—you and I have talked about this for years.  Do you believe, as you sit here and you hear Josh, you know, who has nothing to gain by talking about this, saying that his father knows who John Doe number two is and that there are others involved?

DANNY COULSON, FORMER FBI DEPUTY ASST. DIRECTOR:  Yes, do I believe that, Rita.  We've done a couple of shows about that.  And I do believe it.  Lane Shannon (ph) and I wrote a book about it, and I think we didn't them all.  And it's a shame that we didn't, but (INAUDIBLE) I would hope that sooner or later, Mr. Nichols would agree to talk to at least the FBI or a grand jury or a congressional committee.  But yes, I do believe that.  I believe it without any doubt.

COSBY:  You know, Bud, do you believe that there are other people involved who may be responsible for your daughter's death?

BUD WELCH, DAUGHTER KILLED IN OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING:  I don't have any proof of that, but I have always had the feeling that it was not just McVeigh and Nichols that pulled this off, that they had to have some—at least some financial help from others.

COSBY:  You know, we're looking at a beautiful picture of your daughter, Julie.  And you know, Bud, I remember talking to you right after the blast.  Where do you believe—one of the things that Josh said is maybe extremists—that's where he is pointing.  You know, there's a place called Elohim City.  It's this Aryan Nation compound that I visited many years ago.  Do you believe that signs are pointing there and that maybe there was some government prior knowledge?

WELCH:  Well, I don't know if there was government prior knowledge or not, but I—but I do know this, that the signs have always pointed toward Elohim City, and I've always been very suspicious about them.

COSBY:  You know, Bud, would you like to call on Congress or somebody to take a look at it?  Because he's saying if he is given some safety—he knows he's not going to get any reduction.  He's got multiple life sentences.  And in fact, Bud, one of the things that his son talked about was faith.  Let me play a little clip because this is what he said has now turned Terry Nichols around.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICHOLS:  Having faith in God and Jesus and—you know, you learn to wash—wash your sins.  You know, you learn to open up and confess to the things you've done wrong.  I believe that's prepared him to say what he needs to say.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And Bud, I understand that you've been a little touched also by Josh Nichols and you've even thought about, what, writing something to the judge?

WELCH:  Yes, I think it's important that I sent a note at least to the court.  I met Josh in June 2004 in McAlister (ph) during the trial of Terry Nichols, when Oklahoma was trying him to try to get the death penalty for his father.  And I actually, in fact, testified in the sentencing phase on behalf of Terry.

And I found Josh to be a very nice young man.  I was around him for about two or three days.  And I've been traveling for more than nine years.  I travel speaking against the death penalty, and I've met so many victims' family members and also family members of perpetrators.  And the victims' family members, we all have some sort of victim support programs for us.  And the children especially of the convicted, they have no support structure of any kind, no safety nets.  They're just kind of throwaways.

And our system needs to change to where that we can help these innocent people.  Just because their—just because their—his father did something doesn't mean he did.

COSBY:  No, you're right, Bud.  Thank you very much.  And Danny, real quick, do you think we're ever going to know what happened in Oklahoma City, the real story, if there's more?

COULSON:  Only if...

COSBY:  Real quick, Danny.

COULSON:  ... there's a federal grand jury, Rita.  That's what it needs.  It needs a federal government and somebody to look at this thing that has subpoena power and can compel testimony.  And Terry Nichols needs to come forward and talk about it.

COSBY:  You're right.  The time is now.  Both of you, thank you very much.

And everybody, you can read more of my exclusive interview about Josh Nichols and also the Oklahoma City bombing on our Web site.  Be sure to look at that.  It is rita.msnbc.com.  That's rita.msnbc.com.

And still ahead: It's the secret conversation the three suspects in the Natalee Holloway investigation didn't think that anyone could hear.  Wait until you hear them talking about the beach where Natalee likely vanished.

Plus, LIVE AND DIRECT gets an interview that could change the whole Duke University rape investigation.  A cab driver's story could help one of the suspects, but get this, it may actually hurt one of his teammates.  That's coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I remember one guy, he said in a loud voice, She's just a stripper.

COSBY:  She's just a stripper?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Shocking new development tonight in the Duke rape investigation you'll see only right here on MSNBC.  First, an interview with a cab driver whose story is a double-edged sword.  The cabbie's story about taking Reade Seligmann, one of the suspects, home appears to match the young man's alibi, and that could very much help him.  But get this.  The cab driver's story may actually hurt some of the other players.  He told me what happened after he dropped off Seligmann and then went back to the house for another call.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  You made a second pick-up that night near the house, one actually at the house.  What did they say in the cab that was unusual to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I remember one guy, he said in a loud voice, She's just a stripper.

COSBY:  Do you think he was complaining about the stripper or something bad happened with the stripper?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I have no idea.  I don't have any information about what's going on in the house.

COSBY:  Now that you look back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.  When I look back, he look like he mad at the stripper, or the stripper, she going to call the police and she's just a stripper.

COSBY:  Did it seem to you that someone had been raped in the house and they were talking about a rape?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  My mind couldn't go that far away, but it

looked to me like somebody got hurt, but what kind of harm or what kind of

·         I have no idea.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  That driver also took me on a ride-along, retracing what he says are Reade Seligmann's exact steps the night of the alleged assault.  Take a look. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  Moett (ph), where were you on March 14th

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  March 14th, I was here at the station (INAUDIBLE) and working by myself. 

COSBY:  And what call did you get? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I got a call at 12:14, showing up here. 

COSBY:  12:14 in the morning, you received a call. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.

COSBY:  Now, this number that we see here, at 12:14, whose phone number is this? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This phone number belong to Reade. 

COSBY:  Reade Seligmann, who has now been charged in the Duke rape case. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, ma'am.

COSBY:  How do you know for sure that you picked up Reade Seligmann? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I know his face at the time, and I recognize him. 

And I said I remember his face. 

COSBY:  So what time do you think you arrived there at the house?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I arrive at between, I guess between 12:19, yes.

COSBY:  So just about five minutes later?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  About five minutes, yes. 

COSBY:  You picked them up on the corner.  Then you came to this bank?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I came to the Wachovia bank machine, yes. 

COSBY:  And who took out money from the machine? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Reade. 

COSBY:  Reade Seligmann?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, he come out this side door, and he went to the machine down there where he takes some money out. 

COSBY:  And was Reade the only one of the two who took out money? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, I just remember just Reade at that time.  I didn't remember the other guy went out.

COSBY:  And how long did it take to drive here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  From the corner?  Probably two or three minutes. 

COSBY:  Did you notice anything unusual about their behavior?  Was he drunk at all? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, he's little bit, but not that much drunk. 

COSBY:  Just a little drunk?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, not that drunk so he can't get out and can't get inside my car. 

COSBY:  So after the bank, where did you take him to? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I take them to Cook Out Restaurant.

COSBY:  This restaurant right here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This restaurant right here.

COSBY:  And this is open very late? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, it's open very late, like maybe 3:00, 4:00 in the morning. 

COSBY:  After you left here, where did you take them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  After I left here, they said they wanted to go to the west campus (INAUDIBLE) 

COSBY:  To back to their dorm on campus?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Back to the dorm on campus.  That's where I took them to.

COSBY:  And how much of a fare was it?  How long were you with them? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  About 30-35 minutes, and they asked me how much it is.  I told them about $17, $18, and they gave me—Reade, I believe, he gave me $25. 

COSBY:  So they gave you a pretty big tip? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A very big tip, yes. 

COSBY:  Is that why it stands out in your mind?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, because I'm with them a long time, they make my car smell.  That's the only reason I have them in my mind.

COSBY:  Well, his father showed up here.  And when he saw the call, near the house, right, about a block away from the house, he said, “This is for sure my son's cell phone number”? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, ma'am.

COSBY:  One hundred percent?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  One hundred percent.  He was jumped outside the—up inside the (INAUDIBLE) and he's happy. 

COSBY:  He was jumping up and down?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Jump up and down.  He says, “Yes, I know my son called for a taxi at this time.”

COSBY:  Moett (ph), how do you feel to know now you may be Reade Seligmann's alibi? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes, I'm so happy that I'm telling the truth.  I'm so happy, if this guy is innocent, he didn't do anything, I'll so happy to see him out and do his normal life, as he is to do.

COSBY:  And you're sure that it was Reade Seligmann that night? 

You're sure you were with him for half-an-hour?  You sure he took your cab? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I sure, yes.  He's this guy, he called me.  I sure I pick him up.  I took him to that bank, and I took him to the cookout, where he got some food. 

COSBY:  No doubt in your mind it was definitely this man that night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That's him, no doubt, 100 percent. 

COSBY:  And you will testify under oath to that? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sure. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSBY:  And the cab driver says he will testify under oath. 

And also tonight, these controversial photos of the accuser taken as she left the house obtained exclusively by MSNBC's Dan Abrams.  The time on the photo the alleged victim is leaving is after the cab driver says he already picked up Seligmann near the house.  Defense attorneys say the photos also show her smiling as she leaves. 

Joining me now is North Carolina defense attorney John Bourlan, also sex crimes prosecutor Wendy Murphy, and forensic pathologist Dr. Daniel Spitz. 

John, I'm going to start with you.  And I want to play this clip first off.  I thought this was very powerful, that the cab driver said the second call that came to the house was the following—and this was not the first call with Seligmann.  This was when he picked up four other boys.  Let's take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I remember one guy, he said in a loud voice, “She's just a stripper.” 

COSBY:  She's just a stripper? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  John, how do you read that?  Of course, because we were talking a little bit, he said that he read it that maybe the girls were going to call 911, and, don't worry, it's just a stripper. 

JOHN BOURLAN, NORTH CAROLINA DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  It sounds to me that they had a reason to mention that.  Why would someone get into a cab and the first words out of their mouth is, “She's just a stripper”?  I guess that means that there could be no misconduct, they don't need to fear any threats to call the police, because it is known that at least one of the girls threatened the boys they would call the police.

COSBY:  So it could have been just after the racial slurs and not, say, supposedly a rape had occurred? 

BOURLAN:  He didn't hear the cab driver mention anything about a racial slur.  He mentioned, “She's just a stripper.”  I guess the stripper can't be the victim of a violent crime. 

COSBY:  You know, Wendy, how do you read it?  I thought that was very powerful when he said, “It is just a stripper.”  What do you read? 

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  Yes, I mean, it's consistent with the attitude that some people suggest is prevalent in this area, in particular with regard to this group of guys. 

You know, look, there's no question the guys booked it out of there, Rita.  We know the house was empty when the police got there at 1:00 a.m.  The house was empty because the guys fled, and you don't flee the house en masse, 46, or 50, or however many guys were there, you don't run away unless you're afraid when the cops get there that you're going to get in trouble for something, and you're not afraid you're going to get in trouble for using bad language. 

COSBY:  And, Wendy, I've got to interrupt you.  Wendy, hold on. 

Wendy, hold on, because I got to bring in John. 

You hit on a point.  They didn't just leave the house; they also cleared out the house, right, and cleaned it? 

BOURLAN:  They cleared out the house.  They were gone.  The neighbors next door said they left as if the house was on fire. 

COSBY:  And what was the other thing you told me about, garbage cans? 

BOURLAN:  Apparently, there was no garbage anywhere.  There were a few beer cans outside now, but, remember, this is almost 1:00 in the morning. 

COSBY:  But are you saying that they cleared out—that they basically cleaned out the garbage cans and they did a superb cleanup job? 

BOURLAN:  This is a big party with a bunch of young men drinking underage, and they've cleaned up in the matter of a few minutes, and they all scatter and get cabs?

COSBY:  Wendy, what does that say to you?

MURPHY:  Look, they were afraid of law enforcement showing up.  Come on, let's have some common sense here.  They ran away because they knew they were in trouble. 

And it tells you a lot about the group mentality they had, that not only were they going to run away so they didn't get in trouble for whatever they did to her, they then stuck together.  All of them took the Fifth.  All of them refused to cooperate.  All of them refused to give a DNA sample, until the court produced an order compelling them to do so. 

They were covering up for each other, too.  And you don't do that when something stupid like bad language happens, Rita.  You do something like that when you're afraid because you've raped, and assaulted, and beaten a woman. 

COSBY:  Let me bring in Dr. Spitz, because, Dr. Spitz, let me show some of these photos, too, that Dan Abrams got—I think they're pretty interesting—showing the timestamp.  It really puts a very narrow window, if anything did occur.  How powerful do you think that they are to the defense's case? 

DR. DANIEL SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST:  Well, forensic evaluation of the photographs could be very important.  You know, you need to look at the pictures.  You need to look at the wounds that are visible in the pictures.  You need to attempt to make a determination as to the age of these injuries, which may be done through a photograph.

You need to determine whether these injuries are consistent with injuries that could be inflicted in the course of a sexual assault, and differentiate that between injuries that might be inflicted in somebody who happens to fall in an intoxicated state.  So I think they can be helpful, depending on what they show. 

COSBY:  What about DNA?  We were expecting maybe DNA today, maybe that second round may come back tomorrow.  Dr. Spitz, how could that weigh, one way or the other? 

SPITZ:  Well, there's nothing more that this prosecutor would like than to have positive DNA results.  But, you know, thus far they've been negative, but I'm sure that any of the testing that was done and any of the specimens that were collected were sent, in addition to what was sent previously, because DNA would be very helpful for the prosecution. 

COSBY:  And real quickly...

SPITZ:  But, at this point, it hasn't helped.  And I'm sure that they want to get more testing to see what they find. 

COSBY:  Dr. Spitz, hold on.

And, John, real quick, this alibi.  The cab driver—look, if they have the stamp that the cab driver has, then they got the ATM receipt.  They can get surveillance tape.  That is pretty powerful stuff, if you can tie all that together. 

BOURLAN:  But, remember, we don't know when the party actually started, because none of the boys refused to talk anybody, just as Wendy said. 

COSBY:  Yet it seems that they were gone—that's a significant period, if you believe all that information, that's pretty strong for the defense. 

BOURLAN:  I find it very curious that the boys fled simply because this woman was intoxicated.  Why would they flee a party that they had been there for hours?

COSBY:  But what about Reade Seligmann?  I'm talking about the cab driver.  That helps him.

BOURLAN:  I'm not sure—I don't know what about Reade did, but I agree with Wendy.  Something was wrong at this party.  Boys that age just don't leave.  And in terms of the cab driver's log, I find that to be not persuasive at all.  That could be legit; it could not be legit.

COSBY:  Well, we're going to look into it further, guys.  Thank you very much.

And coming up, two friends of the Duke suspects join me LIVE & DIRECT. 

What do they think about the arrest? 

And then, a huge development in Aruba.  NBC has obtained a secretly recorded conversation between Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers.  You will be stunned to hear what they said about Natalee Holloway.  That's all coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM COTTER, COLLIN FINNERTY'S ATTORNEY:  I'm saying it because I know him, I know his family.  I know a lot about this case, and I'm convinced that he is. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And that was Duke defense attorney William Cotter speaking out today in Durham, North Carolina, where I am here live, confidently stating that his client, Collin Finnerty, is innocent.  (INAUDIBLE) is the latest to join the heated debate that is stirring up this community big time, along with a number of Duke students who are actively showing support right here on campus for the lacrosse players. 

And joining us now are two Duke sophomores.  Here with me is Sylvie Charles.  She's a close friend of Reade Seligmann.  And also Nona Farahnik.  She's a close friend of Collin Finnerty.

Sylvie, I've got to start with you, because this is, you know, about the cab driver.  The cab driver seems very convincing.  He said that he's got the log.  We saw the receipt.  Then he also said he took him to the ATM and then went, you know, food shopping, munchies in the middle of the night, like a lot of college kids do. 

Are you happy to hear that it seems like there is a pretty strong alibi at this point? 

SYLVIE CHARLES, FRIEND OF DUKE SUSPECT:  Well, Reade has been telling us from the very beginning this exact same story, and that's why he felt he had nothing to worry about.  This came as a shock to everyone, because he was in a cab.  He did leave the party before this alleged rape happened. 

COSBY:  Did he talk about the party at all, like what the climate was like and why the stripped—you know, what it was like when the stripper was there? 

CHARLES:  I mean, he said it was pretty crazy, and that the strippers locked themselves in the bathroom for a short amount of time, and that he left shortly after that. 

COSBY:  Did he think that the strippers or anybody was doing drugs at the party? 

CHARLES:  He did.

COSBY:  And who was doing drugs, the strippers or the players?

CHARLES:  He thought the strippers were doing drugs in the bathroom. 

COSBY:  Were the players doing drugs?

CHARLES:  He didn't say anything to me about that, so I have no idea.

COSBY:  Because, of course, we heard that there was such a big deterioration in her condition. 

Have you heard anything from your friend?

NONA FARAHNIK, FRIEND OF DUKE SUSPECT:  I've actually heard, similar to Sylvie, that they were actually very concerned because of the state of the strippers that there might have been a dispute about paying her, that they were worried that her pimp would come after them, and they weren't sure really how to handle the situation. 

COSBY:  And what was the dispute about, what, they didn't want to pay the money or there was an argument over the money?  What was the issue?

FARAHNIK:  I know it had something with money.  I didn't want to press the boys who had so much, you know, weighing on their shoulders at that time. 

COSBY:  Sylvie?

CHARLES:  I believe the boys said that they danced for four minutes and that they didn't want to pay for four minutes.  And then, after the four minutes of dancing, that they went into the bathroom...

(CROSSTALK)

COSBY:  Yes, because we heard today this line about “It's just a stripper,” blah, blah, blah.  Could it be that it was, because they said, “We're going to complain.  You didn't give us cash.  You didn't do whatever.  We're going to call 911 on you”? 

CHARLES:  It could have been something like that.  I have no idea.

COSBY:  Have you talked to Reade recently?

CHARLES:  Like I said, I'm best friends with his girlfriend, so I know everything through her.  And she's talked to Reade, of course. 

COSBY:  And how is he doing?  My producer spoke briefly with him tonight, because we had to confirm that that was the actual number, you know, with the cab service.  And we obviously didn't talk for very long.  He (INAUDIBLE) referred us to his attorneys, but we had to verify that, indeed, was the number.  How are his spirits? 

CHARLES:  I mean, of course, he must be distraught over this whole situation, but I feel like he's taking it very calmly, because he knows in his heart that he did not do anything wrong.  And that's all he needs. 

COSBY:  All right.  Well, both of you, thank you very much.  And we're going to be following this closely.  And, indeed, if this is an airtight alibi, it is absolutely atrocious that these boys, you know, have been accused. 

FARAHNIK:  Tragedy.

COSBY:  And we appreciate it.  Thank you very much.  I know you got a lot of support on the campus, too, guys.  Thank you very much.

FARAHNIK:  Thank you. 

CHARLES:  Thank you.

COSBY:  And still ahead, wait until you hear the conversation that Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers had in Aruba when they thought no one was listening.  What they said will shock you.  And that conversation is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And now to the Natalee Holloway case and a secretly recorded conversation first obtained by NBC News between the three key suspects, Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers.  The conversation was recorded while all three men were in police custody. 

Meanwhile, we're also hearing more today about a new round of searching for the missing Alabama teen.  LIVE & DIRECT tonight from Aruba is NBC's Michelle Kosinski. 

Michelle, let's get right to the tape.  When was this conversation recorded and what do they say? 

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS:  Hi, Rita.

Well, it had to have been done on or before June 29th.  That's the date that's on the police transcript and it's the date that it was transcribed, so not necessarily the date that it was done, but roughly, we guess, about a month after Natalee disappeared.

And you just see the three suspects alone together, according to police, arguing, accusing each other of lying in their statements to police, accusing each other also of doing something to Natalee.  The thing is nowhere in the transcript does it indicate that any of them actually know exactly what happened to her. 

To read from it at one point, Joran says to Deepak Kalpoe, “I will laugh if they find her alive, expletive.  I know very well that you're afraid, that is, if you did something bad with the girl, and if they find the girl, then we will see.”  Satish replies, “I'm not afraid.  Why must I be afraid?”  Deepak:  “I want them to find the girl.”  He says, “You're going to talk (expletive) about me that I have buried the girl by the fisherman's hut.”

Joran replies, “Who said about burying?  I said nothing about burying.”  Deepak:  “That's what you testified.  Stop with that (expletive).”

Joran responds, “I said nothing about burying.  Only thing that I can think of is that you know people, that it is the people from Automotive Enterprises.”  And Satish says, “Yes, yes, yes, after I got that flat tire, huh?  Yes, yes, yes.  I've picked you up, and after that, I went to the beach again for her.”

And after that, Joran says, “Who says that?”  And Satish says, “You said that.”  And Joran says, “I never said that to police.  I never said that at all.”

So you see them really going back and forth.  At one point, Joran says, “Well, you must have done something bad, otherwise you wouldn't have lied.”  And then they say something to him, like, “If they find the girl, they'll put you behind bars for 15 years.” 

So we never really gain any insight into what happened to Natalee, but you see them fighting over what exactly has come out and what was said to police. 

Also on the island right now, prosecutors just revealed to us that they've been doing searches for four days in the ocean off the coast of Aruba in conjunction with the Aruban Coast Guard and also some Dutch investigators.  We also know they're using sonar and they'll be back to their searches tomorrow. 

Back to you, Rita. 

COSBY:  What about the suspect, also, Michelle, Geoffrey van Cromvoirt?  What is the latest with him? 

KOSINSKI:  He's still behind bars.  He's now in the second of the eight days that prosecutors extended his detention.  And tonight, his attorney put out a statement in Dutch.  In fact, she said, it's in Dutch because, hey, that's the language of the island.

We were able to get that roughly translated, and she disputes some of the things that she says has been reported on, she claims, inaccurately.  Some of the attorneys involved in the case said that this boy may have been working for a security company, might have been doing beach patrol that might have been in the area where Natalee was staying.

Well, she says, yes, he did work for beach patrol at some point, but not during the time that Natalee was on the island.  She also says that this boy does not know any of the three suspects in the case, and also that he was not installing security cameras and the company he worked for didn't install any in the hotel where Natalee was staying.  So a few clarifications there.

COSBY:  All right, Michelle, thank you very much. 

Well, just what effect does all of these taped conversations you just heard from Michelle have on the case?  And how important could it be to the investigation?  LIVE & DIRECT right now is Holloway family attorney John Q.  Kelly. 

John, I want to put up a couple of quotes.  It says, “If you know what happened to the girl, if you don't know, then nothing has happened to her.”  And then I want to put up another quote.  It says, “If you go against me, I'm also going to go against you.”  Satish then says, “We're not getting you into trouble.  We're just telling the truth.” 

Joran then goes on to say, “You're not doing that.  Half of what you have said is not the (blank) truth.”

What do you make of the fact, John, that they're arguing over all of these details?

JOHN Q. KELLY, HOLLOWAY FAMILY ATTORNEY:  You know what, Rita?  You really have to put it all into context.  It's a very lengthy transcript.  The conversations between the three of them, I'd describe as cautious, guarded, but menacing and accusatory also. 

And the message between all of them seems to be:  Each of us knows what the other did, but ultimately, you know, if we keep our mouth shut, then, you know, they don't find the girl and we don't say anything, we'll be OK, so we all have to, you know, stick together on this. 

COSBY:  You know, John, what do you also make of the fact that now we're hearing that there's, what, a fourth day of searches in the water?  Did you get any signal at all from the prosecutor's office that they were starting the search? 

KELLY:  Oh, sure. 

COSBY:  And what is the tip to do it?

KELLY:  Sure, actually, the water searches have nothing to do with the arrest that was made Saturday.  The searches commenced last Monday and Tuesday, well before the arrest, and they had to stop the searches because of the choppy waters. 

It was the Aruban Coast Guard using sonar equipment.  And I was told that the waters had calmed down yesterday, and there were very specific places where they had plausible information that they were going to be searching yesterday, today, and tomorrow, also. 

COSBY:  Yes, and, John, plausible information.  How do you read that? 

KELLY:  Plausible, that's a quote, just that it's—don't get your hopes up, you know.  We feel there might be something to it, and we want to be diligent.  We want to go out there, leave no stone unturned, and someone gave us some information.  And, you know, maybe it's not fully accurate.  Maybe there's nothing to it, but we feel that we've got to follow through on this, and I appreciate that. 

COSBY:  All right, John.  Well, thank you very much.  And, everybody, we'll be right back with some more right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And as we wrap up our show here live from Durham, North Carolina, some big developments coming just a short bit ago from a cabdriver who spoke with us and told us some pretty incredible details. 

First off, saying that he has basically an alibi for one of the key suspects, Reade Seligmann, in the Duke rape case, saying that he got a call that night, 12:14 in the morning, then picked up Reade Seligmann, 12:19, at a corner right near the house, and took him to an ATM, and then also took him to get some food, saying that there is no way that he could have been at the house during an alleged rape, period, basically giving him an air-tight alibi, and also saying that there are some receipts. 

Of course, they're looking to verify these details.  All of this comes as we're also waiting right now for DNA test results.  We had expected them to come back today, but they should be coming back probably tomorrow.  That is the word.  And we will see if that second round of DNA tests again is inconclusive or could possibly provide a twist in the case.

That does it for me.  Let's now go to Joe Scarborough and “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”—Joe?

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

END   

Content and programming copyright 2006 NBC.  ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2006 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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