updated 11/1/2007 10:46:55 AM ET 2007-11-01T14:46:55

Guests: Clint van Zandt, Don Grigas, Monica Lindstrom, Greg Solano, Laura Flanders, Cliff May; Cody

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  The other Democrats hammered Hillary Clinton on last night‘s debate by most accounts not her finest hour of the campaign.  Tonight, Clinton‘s flaws being exposed by fellow Democrats and Republicans alike.  In particular, her unwillingness to actually to take a stand on whether illegal immigrants should get driver‘s licenses as the New York governor has proposed.  As a fellow lawyer I know these issues are not as clear cut as politicians would like them to be.  Difficult realities are often not politically expedient.  But even so, she blew this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY R. CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  So what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is to fill the vacuum.  I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well- intentioned, can fill this gap.

SEN. CHRIS DODD, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The idea that we are going to extend this privilege here of a driver‘s license I think is troublesome.  I think American people are acting to it.

CLINTON:  I just want to add.  I did not say that it should be done but I certainly recognized what Governor Spitzer is trying to do it and we have failed.

DODD:  Wait a minute, no, you said yes, you thought it made sense to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Senator Clinton I want to make sure what I heard.  Do you, the New York Senator, support the New York governor‘s plan to give illegal immigrants a driver‘s license?

CLINTON:  This is where everybody plays gotcha.  It makes a lot of sense.  What is the Governor supposed to do?

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I want to add something that Chris Dodd just said a minute ago because I don‘t want it to go unnoticed, unless I missed something Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes, just a few minutes ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS: Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.  Clinton‘s campaign trying to clean up the mess today now saying the Senator does back the New York governor‘s driver‘s license plan.  The campaign also trying to fight back with little humor – this is the new ad they just released today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Senator Clinton.

SEN. JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Senator Clinton.

OBAMA:  Senator Clinton.

EDWARDS:  Senator Clinton.

CHRIS DODD, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Hillary Clinton.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Senator Clinton.

OBAMA:  Senator Clinton.

EDWARDS:  Senator Clinton.

OBAMA:  Hillary.

DODD:  Hillary.

OBAMA:  Hillary.

BIDEN:  First lady and now Senator Clinton.

CLINTON:  I seem to be the topic of great conversation and consternation and that‘s for a reason.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Yes, but is that enough to get her out of this?  Joining us now Air America host Laura Flanders and MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan.  Aright, Laura, let me start with you.  So, she had a rough night, we know that.  Now she’s basically saying—they are all piling on and they’re after me.  That’s true.  But is that enough of an answer?

LAURA FLANDERS, AIR AMERICA:  I think we should face facts that yesterday was really politics as ratings pitch.  I mean, first this network arbitrarily shut out Mike Gravelle and they set it up as this Obama vs. Clinton match as if there was nobody else in the fight.  There was so few questions posed to Richardson, and Dodd, and Kucinich that they might as well without a vote having been cast just drop out now.

ABRAMS:  Maybe because the network is realistic about the fact that -

FLANDERS:  I just don‘t think it was good—I don‘t think it was so bad for Hillary.  I don‘t think it‘s good for politics.

ABRAMS:  Alright.  Pat Buchanan let‘s talk specifically about the debate.  Not broadly about the politics as a whole. Let’s talk about what was good or bad for Hillary Clinton last night.  I mean look, she got caught and I think that in a way that I’m surprised she got caught doing flip flopping on this question of whether she actually supported the New York governor or not.

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think she, yeah, I agree with you there, Dan, for this reason.  Look, that‘s been a blazing issue up in her state in New York.  Spitzer’s been on the ropes on it, 72 percent of New Yorkers are against driver‘s licenses for illegals.  You’re almost certain to get that question and I‘m surprised that, A, she seemed unprepared, B, she got on both sides of it, and, most important, C, today, she came down on the side of Spitzer.  Now, I mean this might be the right thing to do for her buddy Spitzer, but I’m telling you, as a national issue, this is a very serious loser as is her amnesty idea.  I mean, those things have been repudiated by the whole country, the grass roots of the country, Democrats as well as Republicans.  It’s a burning -

FLANDERS:  That‘s not true, pat.

BUCHANAN:  This is a burning issue that could turn a presidential election.

ABRAMS:  Laura, go ahead.

FLANDERS:  Is not true, Pat.  You know, I mean, again, this debate it was like Halloween the night early.  So many conservative talking points from this real I.D. thing to the Iran nuke scare.  It was Democrats dressed up as Republicans and I think the problem here is that this is a complicated issue.  The public is nowhere near decided and the Spitzer Bill that started out as a pretty good idea has ended up as a pretty measly bill, a real I.D. Law that’s going to be expensive, unworkable and a lot of people, even immigrant rights groups are against it?

BUCHANAN:  But do you realize that Gray Davis lost his governorship because of driver‘s licenses for illegal aliens.  It was the strongest issue Schwarzenegger had in liberal California.  All over the country -

FLANDERS:  I do realize and I think the media is really riling this up.

ABRAMS:  Pat, you really think that this—I understand people feel strongly about it.  Look, you got people like Lou Dobbs ranting about the same thing every night on CNN saying the same thing and he’s doing all right doing it.  But that doesn‘t mean the country as a whole is going to say it‘s so important to me this particular issue that I’m going to vote or not vote based on that issue.  Go ahead, pat.

BUCHANAN:  Dan, where are you coming from?  The first time in my life a populace uprising defeated George Bush, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ted Kennedy, the “Washington Post,” “Brookings,” the “Wallstreet Journal,” the establishment -

ABRAM:  Let him finish.

BUCHANAN:  The establishment of the country was over-throne.

(CROSSTALK)

FLANDERS:  This campaign -

BUCHANAN:  We did it.  It’s—the amnesty is unwanted by the American people.  Even McCain has gotten off of it.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:   Laura, let me ask to you focus on this question.  That is, do you actually—there is no question there this is a hot button issue.  No question.

FLANDERS:  You are making it one.

ABRAMS:  I’m not making it one.  Look, the reality is it is one world (ph), Laura, whether you like it or not, it is.  And now the question is assuming it is already, no matter whose fault it is for getting us there, assuming it is, do you really think it‘s going to be that important in the general election as Pat is saying?

FLANDERS:  I think if this election becomes a chase off to the Lou Dobbs voters‘ race we’re in trouble.  Because this is a complicated issue.  Obama was very clear yesterday.  Edwards was clear.  There’s no question that there are states around this country who are trying to figure out how to deal with a failure of federal government.  And it was not right to talk about it.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Let me go back to Obama.  This is Obama yesterday talking about why the GOP wants Hillary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Part of the reason that Republicans, I think are obsessed with you, Hillary, is because that‘s a fight they’re very comfortable having.  It is the fight that we’ve been through since the 90s.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  You know I’ve got to say, Pat; I think the Republicans might have an easier time, even with Obama than with Hillary.

BUCHANAN:  I think they would clean Obama’s clock to be honest.  I don‘t think can he win a presidential election.  I think Hillary is still the strongest candidate.  But excuse me, anyone who says this driver‘s license is a complex issue, 78 percent of New Yorkers most probably Democrats are against their own governor on this issue.

FLANDERS:  You’ve got half of the states have passed these real I.D. laws saying they just don‘t work.

BUCHANAN:  And they’re all changing them.

FLANDERS:  Because they don‘t work.  They’re expensive.  You know- 

ABRAMS:  I’ve got to wrap it up.  Laura and Pat, thanks a lot.  Appreciate it, I’ll get right back to you both in a minute on a different topic, alright?

The man was supposed to be a shoe-in to become the attorney general still won‘t say yes, waterboarding which involves strapping the suspect to a board with his feet raised, wrapping his face in cellophane and pouring water over the prisoner to simulate drowning is torture.  Now, all 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing reservations about him.  Yesterday, Judge Mukasey submitted a letter supposedly in an attempt to clarify his position.  It did not clarify a thing.  He said that waterboarding was repugnant but that hypotheticals are different from real life and in any legal opinion the actual facts and circumstances are critical.

I have no idea how the circumstances surrounding waterboarding would change whether it is or is not torture.  I’m happy to discuss whether in some unique situation torture might be necessary to prevent a bomb from going off, for example, but let‘s first admit it‘s torture.  Tonight in the lions, Dean Cliff May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies,  he has written a nationally syndicated article entitled – “Between Jack baker and Dan Abrams,” basically suggesting that my view that this is torture and that Mukasey should say it‘s torture is somehow a radical position.  Cliff, had you a lot of time to think our last discussion.  So, let me keep this one simple to make you understand what I’m asking.  How is it a hypothetical to ask whether waterboarding is torture?  Mukasey now saying it depends on the circumstances.  That is to say that in certain cases strapping someone to a board and simulating drowning might not be defined as torture, right?

CLIFF MAY, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES:  Yes.  Let’s talk about what torture means.  You have had time, I assume, to look it up.  And it means punishment so severe that it shocks the conscious.  Now, a hot poker through your eye, that is so severe, it shocks the conscious.  A simulated drowning from which you recover fully, it‘s not lethal, it’s not permanently harming, it does scare you, whether that falls under the legal definition of torture that can be debated.

ABRAMS:  Can be debated but doesn‘t need time.

MAY:  Yes, he does.

ABRAMS:  What does he need time to do, cliff?  What is it he’s going to go and research in the meantime, on waterboarding.

MAY:  Well, a couple of things.  One, he wants to know how effective it is.  And two -

ABRAMS:  Wait a minute.  How effective it is does not change whether it‘s torture.  It has nothing to do with it.  It is either torture or it’s not and then you can talk about whether torture is effective.

MAY:  First of all, as you well know, if he were to render this opinion publicly, which he shouldn‘t do, any CIA interrogator who has ever used that procedure would then be in legal jeopardy.  Do you understand that?

ABRAMS:  You can say from here on forward this is our policy.  They’re asking him as the chief advocate for the United States of America is it or is it not torture and he keeps hedging.

MAY:  Here’s how you can settle it very quickly.  You have a congressman.  They can pass a law, they can pass it tomorrow.   And that law could say we describe as torture waterboarding, that is the law of the land and then it would be settled.  Why don‘t the congressman do that?

ABRAMS:  That‘s it - fine, again, distraction from what the question is to—he still, the attorney general nominee.  And he’s still refusing to answer the question, claiming it‘s either hypothetical or he needs to research it further.  He has been the judge who has been presiding over the many of the most important terror trials in this country and to suggest that he is not thought about whether waterboarding is torture is so hard to believe.

MAY:  He is not going to say in a congressional hearing which techniques may be permissible under certain circumstances.

ABRAMS:  How do the circumstances change it?  Waterboarding is waterboarding.  That’s all they’re asking him.  They’re saying is it torture or isn‘t it?  They’re not saying should we ever use certain things in certain cases.  The question is - is waterboarding torture?  That’s it.

MAY:  The legal definition of torture is somewhat subjective.

ABRAMS:  That‘s right.  That’s what actually the definition is slightly different according to the U.S. Code.  Whatever the definition is isn‘t the point.  The point is that he can answer this question the same way it answered them about removing your nails at one.  You could say you know what?  If it‘s done clinically, if it‘s done in a nurse‘s office and do you it with an anesthetic I could argue that maybe pulling your nails off is not torture.

MAY:  He cannot go through the various procedures.  On the one hand, a poker through the eye, nails off with pliers that‘s clearly torture.

ABRAMS:  You’re happy to define that as torture.

MAY:  I think there are certain things that clearly shock the conscious and certain things that don‘t.  Why is waterboarding sort of on the gray line?  Because there is a procedure we use to toughen up our commandos and our spies and our interrogators would experience it themselves when we train interrogators in the 1970s at Langley, Virginia.  You know that, right?

ABRAMS:  Just because we did it and have done it does not change the question of whether it is or isn‘t torture.  That is the question Mukasey won‘t answer.

MAY:  You think it‘s torture.  Some people do not.

ABRAMS:  That‘s right.  He should answer it.  That’s all I’m saying it.  You think it‘s not—you either think it‘s not or you are hedging but just answer the question.  That’s it.

MAY:  No.  He doesn‘t have to answer that question in that forum and he shouldn‘t.  And if Congress thinks it‘s torture, they could pass a law calling it torture.  Why don‘t they want to do so, Dan?  Why do you think they don‘t?

ABRAMS:  I think the bottom line is that the Michael Mukasey, it‘s his obligation, not Congress‘s obligation to start.

MAY:  Congress is the lawmaker.

ABRAMS:  They are not responsible for identifying everything we can‘t do.

MAY:  Why shouldn‘t they?

ABRAMS:  Because the bottom line is I don‘t want them to start spending the time to define every outlawed procedure.  We are going through pulling nails off go.  We are going through every item.  It’s not going to happen, Cliff.  And you have want to change the subject away from Mukasey because he doesn’t to discuss it.

MAY:  You tell me what procedures can be used.

ABRAMS:  I have no problem with sleep deprivation but that‘s my opinion.  Cliff May thanks a lot.

Coming up: Teenager calls 911 from the car as allegedly drunk dad is racing down the road.  We‘ve got the whole 911 tape.

Plus, another Conservative Republican caught in the gay sex scandal.  This time the family values poll was reportedly prancing around in red stockings and black sequin (ph)lingerie top.  His alleged sex partner joins us live up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Another Conservative Republican lawmaker announcing his resignation today after being exposed as both the homosexual and the hypocrite.  On October 26, Washington State representative, Richard Curtis apparently dressed in red stockings and a black sequin lingerie top and let‘s just say he wasn‘t on his way to a Halloween party.  According to police reports, Curtis who has voted against gay rights legislation visited an erotic video store where he was seen receiving oral sex from an unidentified man inside a viewing booth.  The report says he then invited another young man from the store back to his Spokane hotel promising $1,000 for sex.  What followed we really can’t repeat on TV.  Let’s just say involved lingerie, rope and stethoscopes.  They all made appearance.  All of these came to light after the conservative lawmaker apparently contacted police claiming he was the victim of extortion by this man.

Joining us now is Cody Castagna, the man who Representative Curtis allegedly paid to have sex with him and his lawyer.  Thanks very much for coming on the program to both of you.  We appreciate it.  Alright, Cody, let me start with you, how did you realize that this guy that you had had sex with was actually a lawmaker?

CODY CASTAGNA, CLAIM HE HAD SEX WITH LAWMAKER FOR MONEY: That would be after he gave me his wallet.

ABRAMS:  Why did he give you his wallet?

CASTAGNA:  Because he didn‘t have enough money to give me at that time and so he gave me his wallet as collateral.

ABRAMS:  And then you say he definitely wasn‘t paying up the money he owed so you started going through his wallet?

CASTAGNA:  No.  no.  He gave me—well, he was tired.  He didn‘t want to go down and—plus he didn‘t think he could get that much money at that time of the morning.  So, he told me to hold on to his wallet until in the morning when he would be able to go and get the remainder of the money that he promised me.

ABRAMS:  And so, it sounds like what he did is he ended up calling the police and claiming that you were trying to extort money from him, right?

CASTAGNA:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  Mr. Partovi, let me ask you a quick question on that, I mean, it sounds like the reason that this was all sort of came out into the open is because he called the authorities saying—someone is trying to extort money from me and, as a result, this whole investigation ensued, right?

DAVID PARTOVI, CASTAGNA’S LAWYER:  I think that‘s absolutely correct.  You know, his smart move would have been just to keep his promise and I don‘t think the young man, to my left or to my right, I guess, wouldn‘t have made a big deal about it at all.  He chose to take what is essentially consensual simple misdemeanor level conduct between two men and turn it into a violent class B felony that carries an instantaneous six-month sentence for my client with no prior felonies. 

ABRAMS:  Has anyone been charged yet?

PARTOVI:  Nobody’s been charged.  I think that it‘s an unreasonable escalation but, you know, in this town, the only reason that I’m really here, Dan, is because this young man hasn‘t been through anything like this before.  I have.  And, unfortunately, I do expect a charge, even though the evidence, I don‘t think, supports one.

ABRAMS:  Against your client, yes.  Cody, are you surprised that this is an official – a politician who’s voted against gay rights legislation?

CASTAGNA:  That blew my mind when I found that out it didn‘t surprise me though, I mean.  But -

ABRAMS:  Alright, Cody Castagna and David Partovi, thanks a lot.  I appreciate it.

The question is so what is going on with Republicans getting up, wrapped up in these sex scandals?  You know, this is the latest incident comes after Senator Larry Craig and the infamous arrest during the sting in the bathroom.  Back with us again, Air America’s Laura Flanders and MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan..   Pat, what do you make of this?  Are we being unfair by picking a local you know, state official but it does seem to me that this reflects a problem with Republican hypocrisy.

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t think so.  I mean, look.  Obviously—I don‘t think hypocrisy is involved.  I don‘t know all the details other than what we heard.  But, quite clearly, if this state legislature resigned out of shame and gave up his office, what he is saying is I have engaged in shameful misconduct and that‘s consistent with the way he’s voted.  So, I don‘t see the hypocrisy.  I think he did do the right thing in resigning.  But look, there must be 10 to 20,000 state legislators and 2 to 3 percent of society is homosexual, it is higher in politics and journalism, I will say that so you have got 600 or so of these guys.

FLANDERS:  Pat is really trying here.  You are really trying here.

ABRAMS:  Here’s the difference.  And Laura, I will let you get a crack at this one.  So, this is his voting record, alright.  In 2005 and 2006, he voted against bill granting civil rights protections to gays and lesbians.  In 2007, voted against bill creating domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.

FLANDERS:  That is what he should have resigned for right there.

ABRAMS:  That‘s my problem with it.

FLANDERS:  I think the evidence is in, Dan.  There is no question.  I want every Conservative Republican out there to think about it the next time that you feel inclined to cast a vote against fairness, against equality, we will all know that you like sex with men and you’re chicken and it‘s the being chicken part that disqualifies you for office and should.

BUCHANAN:  There is no hypocrisy if a guy believes there’s shameful – I mean, if a guy believes adultery is shameful and engages in it, he’s a sinner.

FLANDERS:  He is chicken.

BUCHANAN:  He resigns and does an honorable thing.

ABRAMS:  Is he a hypocrite too?

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  If we find out Pat, that you’ve got illegal nanny, all right, Pat?  There are going a lot of people are going to say Pat Buchanan, is a guy has been speaking out against all this immigration-related issues and he’s got an illegal nanny, right?

BUCHANAN:  You are right that would be hypothetical because I would have one there for a long time.  Dan, you’ve got to realize that not all the homosexuals are in the Democratic Party.  There are some in our party.

FLANDERS:  Give it up.  Not your job.  Relax.

ABRAMS:  Not about the party.  Look, when you’re preaching about how other people should live, you better be living on the straight and narrow.

FLANDERS:  We know exactly what those votes mean.  We sure do.

ABRAMS:  Laura Flanders and Pat Buchanan, thanks a lot, appreciate it.

Coming up: The ex-wife of police sergeant found dead three years ago, now his current wife is missing.  Tonight, police reopen the investigation into her death while searching for his current wife.

It’s not often a reporter actually asks the questions of a wife of a presidential candidate, the questions everyone really wants answers to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You would be the youngest first lady ever, if your husband were elected president.  You have a tongue ring.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Tongue rings and odd couplings.  That’s up next in Beat the Press.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s Beat the Press.  First up, TV news folks can get pretty kooky and wackier at Halloween time.  Here are the folks over at KXTV in Sacramento doing just that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE HOST:  We love emails.  Good morning at news 10.

[SCREAMS] [LAUGHTER]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE HOST:  Oh my God.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Just kooky times in the newsroom.

Next up: France press or AFP (ph) wrote a story titled “Shoot First Laws Make it Tougher for Burglars in the United States.”  The article went on to explain that a growing number of states have made it legal to shoot to kill when somebody breaks into a house.  OK.  So, in reading the story online you would expect the picture to accompany the story might be a homeowner with a handgun in front of their house or something like this.  No, they had this.

Wow! Trying to invade this guy‘s house, I would not be thinking about the legal issues involved.

Finally, every news reporter claims to be asking the questions we all want answered.  yesterday our own Norah O’Donnell did ask questions we were all thinking, to Elizabeth Kucinich the 30 year young British wife of 61-year-old Democrat Dennis Kucinich, congressman of Ohio who is running for president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORAH O’DONNELL:  Dennis Kucinich has been in Congress for a long time.  He’s almost twice your age.  I mean he’s known as a policy wonk and you are obviously very beautiful.  It seems to some people sort of an unusual match.

ELIZABETH KUCINICH:  Well, I love him to bits in every single way I love him.  you know, his mind, his work.  I love everything about him.

O’DONNELL:  You would be the youngest first lady ever if your husband were elected president.  You have a tongue ring.

KUCINICH:  Um.

O’DONNELL:  Um what about that?

KUCINICH:  What about that?

[LAUGHTER]

O’DONNELL:  Well, it‘s very unusual.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Yes, it is.  We need your help beating the press.  If you see anything right or wrong, amusing or absurd in the press, go to our Web site Abrams.msnbc.com and leave us a tip in the box.  Please include the show and the time you saw the item.

Up next the fourth wife of a police sergeant goes missing three years after his third wife is found dead.  Now, police have reopened that investigation while searching for his current wife. 

And a teenage girl calls 911 on her dad from the car they are riding in as he is racing down the road, allegedly drunk.  We have got that 911 call coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

ABRAMS:  Coming up, a teenage girl calls 911 on her dad from the car they are riding in while he is racing down the road after allegedly having consumed a six-pack.  We have got the 911 tape.  But, first tonight, state police in Illinois are searching for a young nursing student and wife of a police sergeant.  Now, what makes this particularly ominous is that his third wife died three years ago.  At that time, her death was called an accidental drowning but now prosecutors are reopening the case as they try to find out what happened to Sergeant Drew Peterson‘s(ph) current wife.  NBC Lee Cowan has the story. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEE COWAN, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Stacie(ph) Peterson, bright-eyed and 23 years old, left home on Sunday to help a relative paint a house.  She never showed up and she never returned home.  Her husband, Police Sergeant Drew Peterson, told colleagues said he wasn‘t worried because he says he heard from her later that night when she called from her cellphone to tell him where to pick up the family car. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER:  That car was recovered at this time so we don‘t know what mode of transportation she is utilizing right now. 

COWAN:  Sergeant Peterson didn‘t report her missing but Stacie‘s family did, saying it was odd not to hear from her for such a long time.  But hey made it very clear they didn‘t want her husband‘s fellow officers to investigate the disappearance.  They wanted someone else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE POLICE OFFICER:  The family wanted to take it to the State Police apparently because they might have had some issues with us handling it.  I don‘t know. 

COWAN:  Three years ago, Sergeant Peterson‘s third wife Kathleen was found dead in the family bathtub shortly after the two had divorced.  Court documents indicate that she had been granted an order of protection against him because, in her words, he wanted her dead.  The coroner ruled her death an accident, saying she died of drowning, and no charges were ever filed. 

But, in light of this latest disappearance, the State Attorney‘s office says it is now reviewing the circumstances surrounding her death.  Sergeant Peterson has not reported back to work, saying he is taking some time to be with his two children.  Messages seeking comment were not immediately returned.  State police have now officially listed his fourth wife as a missing person.  Lee Cowan, NBC News, Chicago. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Joining us now on the phone is Don Grigas, a staff reporter for Chicago Suburban Life Publications.  MSNBC analyst and former profiler Clint van Zandt is with us, and former prosecutor Monica Lindstrom.  Thanks to all of you.  I appreciate it.  All right, Don, let me start with you.  Just so I understand this, about the phone call, what the sergeant is saying is that he received a phone call from his wife the night that she supposedly went missing? 

DON GRIGAS, STAFF REPORTER, CHICAGO SUBURBAN LIFE PUBLICATIONS:  That‘s right.  In fact, she was supposed to have met a friend about 10:00 in the morning on Sunday and did not appear.  That friend, in turn, called her family to let them know that she had not shown up and he could not contact her.  But the husband, Sergeant Peterson, has told colleagues and told investigators that he did receive a telephone call Sunday night about 9:00 p.m.  But they have not verified the content of that conversation and they could not tell whether or not the phone call was actually made using telephone records.  They have not released that information yet. 

ABRAMS:  But do they - they don‘t have her cellphone, correct? 

GRIGAS:  I don‘t believe they do.  No. 

ABRAMS:  OK.  All right.  Clint, this is another one of these cases where you don‘t just look at the isolated facts in this case.  You look at the big picture, right? 

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER PROFILER:  Yes. 

ABRAMS:  And you say, first of all, in this old case, supposedly his third wife dies in a bathtub that is dry, of drowning? 

VAN ZANDT:  Yes.  This guy has really been on a streak of bad luck, Dan.  1985, he gets fired for various and sundry charges, to include taking bribes and trading drugs for police information.  Then he gets back on the job.  Then the wife who died, supposedly he beat her.  She has had to go to the hospital.  He has pointed a gun at her.  He said he would burn the house down with her in it.  Then they get divorced and then he is bringing the two kids back to the house.  He goes to the door. 

Dan, this is where this breaks down for me.  He goes to the door.  The door is locked.  This is a police sergeant, okay?  And he sees the door is locked, so he goes to the next door neighbor‘s house and says, “Hey, let‘s call a locksmith.”  Then he waits for the locksmith to come who works the magic.  Then he has the neighbor go into the house. 

Dan, if I thought my current wife or former wife or anybody was in the house and in danger, you put a foot through the door and you go in and you find out what‘s going on. 

ABRAMS:  And Monica, here is what apparently, according to WBBM in Chicago, they spoke with the sergeant, with Sergeant Peterson, he apparently said she seemed snotty on their last phone call and said that was unusual.  After she sees the media reports she will either go deeper underground or she‘ll surface.  That‘s a biting analysis of what is going to happen here.  You know, this guy - again, what these guys does is they end up talking and they don‘t help themselves. 

MONICA LINDSTROM, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  No.  Clearly that does not help him, Dan.  You are right.  This whole story isn‘t making sense.  The family is looking for her but he is not looking for her.  He supposedly hears from her but she calls her family every day.  They don‘t hear from her. 

You have witnesses saying oh these two got along great.  They were in love.  They were happy.  Then you have reports no, they weren‘t.  They weren‘t getting along.  You have got him saying she was snotty?  Clearly there is a problem here. 

ABRAMS:  How important is it if you are the prosecutor who is supervising this case about this other - this other instance with this third wife where the coroner believed that it was accidental death, very important, as you are investigating this case? 

LINDSTROM:  Well, you know, every fact that comes to light is important.  These facts that have come to light with this fourth wife are making the prosecutors go back and question what happened with the third wife.  And that‘s exactly what‘s going on. 

There is a new prosecutor involved that‘s going back and looking at the third wife case and saying, “Wait a minute.  Based on these new facts that are coming out, we need to look at this because this new incident is kind of telling us a little bit more about this guy.” 

And, like he said, this guy has a lot of bad luck, but maybe it‘s not luck - bad luck.  Maybe it‘s not a coincidence that links everything together.  Maybe. 

ABRAMS:  Don, Sergeant Peterson has not been named any kind of suspect or anything like that, right? 

GRIGAS:  No.  At this time, they are treating it as just a missing person and not a criminal investigation.  So they are saying that he is not a suspect at this time. 

ABRAMS:  Any indication that she may have wanted to run away?  Any indication that she just may have wanted out of her life and just left town? 

GRIGAS:  Well, it‘s interesting that there hasn‘t been real discussion from her family coming out and pointing any fingers or accusing which sometimes happens in these high profile cases.  But in my discussions with people in deep background, not at this time, but you never know. 

DAN:  Yes.  All right.  Don -

LINDSTROM:  You know, Dan, clearly -

ABRAMS:  Real quick, Monica.  Real quick.

LINDSTROM:  OK.  Clearly there is something there because they called the state police, not the local police, so there is something there that they are worried about. 

ABRAMS:  All right, Don Grigas, Clint van Zandt, Monica Lindstrom, is going to stay with us.  We‘re going to stay on top this story.  Thanks a lot. 

VAN ZANDT:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Up next, a daughter busts her dad.  She calls 911 from the car they are riding in as they are speeding down the road, allegedly drunk.  We‘ve got that 911 call.  And Paul McCartney‘s ex breaks down during a TV interview. 

HEATHER MILLS, PAUL MCCARTNEY‘S EX-WIFE:  We‘ve had death threats.  I have been close to suicide, so upset about this.  I have had worst press than a pedophile or a murderer. 

ABRAMS:  That‘s coming up in tonight‘s “Winners and Losers.”  But, first, hey, it‘s Halloween and ghouls and goblins are out in force.  Here‘s one image that‘s sort of scary.  The White House put this out today, a frightening pet in Darth Vader costume.  Even scarier is that it belongs to Vice President Dick Cheney, or as he likes to call himself, Mr. Vader.  It‘s not a joke, Vice President Cheney.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  Did you know the three digit code 911 was selected because it was brief, easily remembered and has never been previously authorized as an official area code?  Well, coming up, a teenager knew the number and called 911 on her dad while they are in the car as he‘s speeding down the road after allegedly downing a six-pack while waiting to pick her up.  We‘ve got the call coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  A teenage girl picked up by her father at a pumpkin patch apparently became so frightened that he was allegedly driving drunk.  She called 911 from the car.  The girl, her sister, and a friend, all in the car that reportedly hit 100 miles an hour.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DAUGHTER:  Dad, slow down!  You‘re going 90!  Slow down!  Dan, pull over!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  How many people are in the vehicle with you?

DAUGHTER:  Me, my sister and my friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  Tell him to pull over.

DAUGHTER:  I‘m trying to.  He‘s like going 100 now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  He‘s going 100?  OK.  Are you guys belted in?

DAUGHTER:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  OK.  Make sure you have your seat belts on, OK?

DAUGHTER:  OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  Where you guys at?

DAUGHTER:  We‘re - I don‘t know (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  OK.  What‘s going on?

DAUGHTER:  My dad - he was going faster.  Dad, slow down!

DAD:  I‘m not going fast!  Give me that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) phone!

ABRAMS:  Wow!  The dad allegedly downed a six-pack while waiting for them.  And the young girl called 911 again in an even more frantic state.  We‘ll play that in a minute.  But first, let‘s bring in Sheriff Greg Solano with the Sta. Fe County Sheriff‘s Office, and former prosecutor Monica Lindstrom.  All right, Sheriff, thanks a lot for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.  First, tell us, are the girls okay?  Is everyone all right who was involved here? 

SHERIFF GREG SOLANO, STA. FE COUNTY SHERIFF‘S OFFICE:  They are.  The family is pretty much tried to stay out of the media in the last few days.  And I hope the kids are getting some kind of help or will get some help because it‘s got to be very hard on them emotionally. 

ABRAMS:  Why was it this guy - it was his sixth DWI arrest.  Why was he out? 

SOLANO:  Well, his DWI stretch back to 1976.  He received first one in ‘76.  Another one in 78.  His most recent one in 2006.  So they have been spread out.  And he has at least two convictions out of the five.  We‘re still researching some of the older ones back in the ‘70s.  A lot of the records were manually kept.  But, you know, I‘m hoping that this time that he does spend quite a bit of time in jail.  And he‘s eligible for up to 10 years in prison.

ABRAMS:  We‘ll play another piece of sound.  This is from a second call that the girl makes to 911.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DAUGHTER:  He‘s like going really, really fast.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  I know.  I know.  We‘re trying to get you help, OK?  I‘m sorry.  Just try to calm down.  I know you‘re scared.  But we have help on the way, OK?  Try to stay on the line with me as long as you can, and keep me updated on where you guys are at.

DAUGHTER:  OK.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Now, Monica Lindstrom, I know the Sheriff is going to tell us that the 911 operator did a good job.  It seems to me that she really did.  It really seems like she was saying all of the right things.

LINDSTROM:  Absolutely.  That 911 operator not only gets out the emergency information but they are there to also help the caller calm down, reason with them, help them in any way that they can.  This poor girl, she was scared to death.  And how any parent or any person could do this, to not only one child but two children and another person in the car, is ridiculous.  He needs to go to jail for this. 

And, by the way, his BAC came back, reports show, at a .19.  That is way over the legal limit.  And I would say that is way more than a six pack. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Sheriff, do you agree with that? 

SOLANO:  It is.  He was .19.  That is over two times the legal limit in New Mexico which is .08.  And I am, you know, I do feel, especially with the child endangerment charges, that he should be spending major time in jail.  I can‘t see how any jury or judge could view this tape and not, seriously. 

DAN ABRAMS:  You know - Monica, I want you to listen to this.  And Sheriff, you can listen to this also.  This is something we played last week.  This is an 8-year-old, calling on his dad, again, same issue, driving drunk - actually calling on his mom.  Driving drunk, and I just want to ask you if this is becoming more prevalent because of cellphones, et cetera.  Let‘s listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BOY:  I don‘t to give the phone because she will totally hang up on you.  I know she will.  I know she will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  Why?

BOY:  Because I don‘t know what‘s going on with her.  She (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I don‘t think she knows what‘s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  OK.  Well, do you have any idea where you are?

BOY:  No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  OK.  Are you driving in a car right now?

BOY:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 911 DISPATCHER:  How old are you?

BOY:  I‘m 8 years old, and my sister‘s 5 years old, and she‘s in the car with me.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Wow!  It just breaks my heart listening to that.  Sheriff, are you seeing more of these kinds of cases, put aside just drunk driving but where kids, who are in danger, are using cell phones in exactly the right way? 

SOLANO:  We really are.  I mean, kids are growing up with cell phones at a very young age and learning how to use them - learning how to call 911.  And they are not afraid to do so.  It‘s - they are just much more advanced nowadays with communications whether it‘s a computer or cell phones.  And we are seeing a lot more calls like this. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  And I think this guy is going to end up serving some serious time here.  Sheriff Greg Solano and Monica Lindstrom, thanks a lot.  Appreciate it.

LINDSTROM:  Thank you, Dan. 

ABRAMS:  Up next, in “Winners and Losers,”  An Indian artist spends 11 days painting a giant mural of Mother Theresa with his mouth.  Lance Armstrong is reportedly seen making out with Full House twin Ashley Olsen in a New York bar.  And Paul Mccartney‘s ex breaks down during a TV interview.  We‘ll show you her tears on tape, next.  An artist who paints a saint, a biker who taints a saint, or an ex, who some say, is no saint?  Which will be tonight‘s big winner or loser?  Coming up. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ABRAMS:  It‘s time for tonight‘s “Winners and Losers” for this 31st day of October, 2007.  Our first winner.  Indian artist R. Rajon Dran(ph), who spent 11 days painting the giant mural of Mother Theresa with his mouth.  Twenty by 40 feet created orally for local school children.  The feat may actually land him in the Guinness Book of World Records for painting a saint with his mouth. 

Our first loser?  Cycling king Lance Armstrong recently spotted tainting a saint with his mouth.  The Tour De France champ reportedly seen making out with America‘s darling Ashley Olsen in a New York bar. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY OLSEN:  What do I do?  What do I do? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  The 21-year-old twin star of Full House apparently left the bar with Armstrong at 2:00 in the morning. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OLSEN:  Where did I go wrong? 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Our second winner.  Elvis, the king topped Forbes magazine new list of top earning dead celebrities.  Presley‘s estate raked in $49 million this year, leaving the list all shook up from last year, when Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain held the top spot.  But this finding is sure to be disputed by legions of conspiracy theorists who still claim the king is alive, even offering up out-of-this world Elvis sightings to prove it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  If this wasn‘t Elvis, then why was he getting up in a hurry after I took a picture.  I never dreamed this was going to happen. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Loser.  Out of this world UFO sighting presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.  The Democrat admitted last night to an extra terrestrial sight in the skies over Washington. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER:  Did you see a UFO? 

DENNIS KUCINICH, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I did.  And the rest of the - it was unidentified flying object, okay?  It‘s like - it‘s unidentified.  I saw something.  More people in this country have seen UFOs than I think approve of George Bush‘s presidency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Maybe on that planet, long shot candidate Kucinich is known as Mr. President. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  We all make mistakes, Mr. President. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  But the big winner of the day?  Classic horror flick, “The Exorcist,” named at a new Halloween poll today the scariest movie of all time.  The frightening film features a head-spinning tiny tot possessed by the devil who can only be helped by one man, the exorcist.  The horror show beat out “The Shining” to take the top spot in the British poll. 

The big loser of the day - polarizing British Beatle ex, Heather Mills, who says her life has been a horror show for the past year because of the press. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MILLS:  They‘ve called me a whore, a gold digger, a fantasist, a liar, the most unbelievably hurtful things and I have stayed quiet for my daughter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Paul McCartney‘s ex broke down during a TV interview revealing she fears for her life and even contemplated suicide.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MILLS:  I‘ve had worse press than a pedophile or a murderer.  And I‘ve done nothing but charity for 20 years.  I live in a prison.  I live in a prison.  I have to fight back.  Otherwise, I‘ll go insane. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TV HOST:  During the coverage of the divorce case, they have been saying that you want 50 million. 

(CROSS TALK)

MILLS:  Nothing.  OK? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TV HOST:  OK.

Nothing.  We go to court.  Nothing to do with that.  We go to court over my daughter.  I‘m not allowed to talk about it because it‘s a criminal act if I talk about my daughter.  You have no idea what‘s going on.  These figures they made up, 100 million, 50 million, 20 million, this million.  How would you know if I even want any money?  I‘m 1-1/2 million in debt in lawyers‘ fees.  And that is as much as I can say or I go to jail for telling the truth.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TV HOST:  One of the clauses apparently in this whole divorce thing is that you want to be able to sell your story.  And then again paid -

MILLS:  That‘s rubbish.  I can sell my stories right now.  I‘m trying to protect Paul and our daughter.  I am trying and I‘m being pushed to the edge.  Eighteen months of abuse, worse than the murdering people - 4,400 abusive articles.  Look what they are doing to the McCanns.  The woman has lost aunts.  The poor father has lost their daughter.  What are we doing as a nation?  What are we doing, persecuting a woman that is devastated behind closed doors and try to hold it together, as I have, for 18 months.  What did the paparazzi do to Diana?  They chased her and they killed her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ABRAMS:  Wow, Heather Mills comparing herself to Diana and the McCanns.  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Have a great time, trick or treating, doing whatever you‘re do on Halloween.  Stay tuned.  Up next, another “LOCKUP, EXTENDED STAY” from California San Quentin prison.  Well, see you tomorrow.

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

END   

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2007 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2007 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 MSNBC 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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