updated 5/9/2013 12:37:44 PM ET 2013-05-09T16:37:44

HARDBALL
May 8, 2013

Guest: Clint Van Zandt98


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Kidnapped.

Let`s play HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Washington.

"Let Me Start" tonight with this. If you see something, say something.
When I hear that admonition, I get the point. If you see someone put down
a backpack at an airport and then head off into the distance, you`re
supposed to tell someone. You`re supposed to get out of your comfort zone
and do your duty.

Well, OK. So you hear that a naked woman was seen crawling around in the
back yard of somebody nearby on a dog leash. I call that seeing something.
Wouldn`t you? And if you saw it once and heard about it, someone seeing
it, would you just move on to other interests in your life? Would you say,
Oh, that was yesterday. I don`t have to worry about that. I have other
new things on my mind.

And if you saw a woman pounding on a window of a door, a baby in her arms,
desperate to escape, would you stop a police car and then drop it? Would
you head off, forget you ever saw that woman with a baby begging for
someone to help her get away?

Well, there`s something here that doesn`t quite add up, or maybe it does,
to a world where people don`t say something if they see something.

At any moment, Cleveland police are now supposed to hold a news conference
on the abductions out there. And when that happens, we`ll bring it to you
live. It could be any minute now.

Also, we`ll be covering the other big story of the day, bigger for
politics, of course, the House Republicans` effort to tar both President
Obama and perhaps Hillary Clinton for the events, very murky now, in
Benghazi.

But first, Clint Van Zandt`s a former FBI profiler and an NBC News analyst.
And MSNBC`s Craig Melvin also joins us direct from Cleveland.

I want to start with Clint with my questions. Oh, there we go with Melvin
-- Craig. Let`s go to Craig. You`re there. Craig, let me ask you about
this. What do we expect to happen in the next few minutes with this police
statement?

CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Two things first of all, Chris. We
expect -- we, again, expect -- that formal charges will be announced,
kidnapping and rape being the primary charges. At this point, it`s not
clear whether all three of the Castro brothers will face the same charges.
But we do expect that the 52-year-old Ariel Castro -- again, the alleged
mastermind, if you will, the alleged ringleader -- that he will be charged
with at least kidnapping and rape.

Chris, two minutes ago, we did just get a copy of the police report. We
have not had a chance to sift through that police report. But in that
report, we`re also expecting to get more details about precisely how these
three women were captured, how they managed -- how the three men managed to
keep them inside that house, essentially off the grid for a decade.

And we also should hear a little bit more about, unfortunately, some of the
grisly details --

MATTHEWS: Yes.

MELVIN: -- grisly details about what went on inside that house.

Chris, one more thing. I want to call your attention to this first house
behind me. The investigation here had been centered on that third house.
That`s where the three women were being held.

All of a sudden, about an hour-and-a-half ago, we started seeing the FBI`s
evidence response team go in and out of this first house. We saw a K-9
dog, the evidence response team. They were wearing those white clean
suits, as well. We haven`t seen them bring anything out of the house, but
they`ve been going in and out of that house for about the last hour.

We are still trying to find out precisely what the relationship is between
that house and the other house. We have heard from a number of folks here
that Ariel Castro may have -- may have also owned this house, in addition
to that third house.

MATTHEWS: I see.

MELVIN: Again, that`s information we`re trying to track down right now.
Again, that`s the latest from the scene. Had been quiet up until about an
hour-and-a-half ago, when the FBI`s emergency -- or the evidence response
team showed up.

MATTHEWS: OK, hang in there, Craig. Today, we`re also getting new details
of the horrific ordeal endured by the women themselves held captive in
Cleveland. Police chief Michael McGrath described part of it. Let`s
listen to the gory details here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MCGRATH, CLEVELAND POLICE CHIEF: We have confirmation that they
were bound, and there was chains and ropes in the home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Bound with chains and ropes, apparently, in what has been called
a dungeon. Well, sources familiar with the investigation say that the
victims have told them of rapes, multiple pregnancies, some miscarriages.
And for 10 years, the three women did not even see any other adults.

Well, today, Amanda Berry returned home to her sister`s house. And after
reports that Amanda herself might speak, her sister addressed reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We appreciate all you have done for us throughout the
past 10 years. Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our
statements. And thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Poor girl. Anyway, Gina DeJesus also returned to her house
earlier today. She was one of the three captives. You can see her there
in that lime hoodie.

Anyway, let me go to Clint Van Zandt for some explanations perhaps that go
beyond the actual details. Clint, what did you make of these bystanders,
these men in the street, women in the street, saying, Oh, yes, I saw a
naked woman, or my daughter saw a naked woman crawling around with a dog
leash on her in the back yard, and, Oh, I called the police?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FMR. FBI PROFILER, NBC ANALYST: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Well, you wouldn`t call them once. If nothing happened, you`d
call them again and again. You`d say, Wait a minute. I don`t want that
going on in my neighborhood. That`s a felony criminal act. It`s obviously
horrendous.

The other one about the woman desperately banging on the front door with a
baby in her arms, Let me out of here. You`d see that once, you`d never
forget it. You wouldn`t just call the cops and say, Duty done, I`ll move
on and go get some -- go get some, I don`t know, a cup of coffee and forget
about it, would you?

VAN ZANDT: No. A couple of issues, Chris. Number one, if I was an FBI
agent and called to a scene like that, somebody said they saw a woman and a
baby pounding on a window, or somebody saw a woman naked with a dog leash,
I`d go through that door.

I mean, one way or the other, the door would go down and I would be on the
other side of the door. If I had to, I`d buy the owner a door later. But
one way or the other, I`d satisfy myself what was going on in that house.

Now, we`ve got three possibilities. One is a patrol car drove by. They
told the officer. He or she went up, knocked on the door, thought, Oh, the
people don`t know what they`re talking about, bad move, and drove away.

Number two, the police didn`t record that, which would be a horrible mis-
sight (ph).

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: Or number three, Chris, there are people who want to do the
right thing. They wish they would have called. They wish they would have
seen something. And sometimes wishing becomes reality. Somewhere on that
continuum is what happened in this case.

MATTHEWS: Do you know -- do you know enough -- we`re getting it right now,
the police report. Here it is.

(BEGIN LIVE COVERAGE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

MARTIN FLASK, CLEVELAND DIR. OF PUBLIC SAFETY: For the past 47 hours, the
Cleveland police and our partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation
have been involved in an extremely intense investigation into the incident,
the captivity, and the kidnapping of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and
Michelle Knight. First of all, certainly on behalf of all of us who live
and work and all of us who care about life, we can`t say how grateful we
are that they`ve been returned to us and that they`re on the road to
regaining their own personal lives. And I would encourage everyone,
including the media here of course, to give them a little space and time to
heal and begin the process to recover for what we all recognize as a very
traumatic incident.

Over the past two days, our goal has been to gather as much evidence and
understand the facts as much as we can. Certainly at this point in the
investigation, we don`t have answers to all the questions that we have. The
Cleveland office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, our partners from
Washington, have completed the search of the Seymour Avenue crime scene and
collected those evidentiary items they believe are necessary to
successfully proceed through the criminal proceedings. We will not today,
however, discuss the results of the search or the evidence that was seized
at the crime scene.

I`m joined this afternoon by City of Cleveland prosecutor, Victor Perez;
special agent in charge of the Cleveland office of the FBI, Steve Anthony;
chief of police Michael McGrath; and deputy chief of police, Ed Tomba.

Prosecutor Perez will provide a synopsis of his review that was presented
to him for consideration and his decision. Following the decision and the
comments by Prosecutor Perez, deputy chief of police, Ed Tomba, will
respond to those questions for which he can, at this point, answer.

The course is -- I know you`ve heard this before, but I`d like to share it
one last time, at least for today, that this is an ongoing investigation
and there is evidence that cannot be disclosed at this time. But I know
our law enforcement officials will do the best they can to provide accurate
information to the extent possible.

Ladies and gentlemen, I`d like to introduce the City of Cleveland
prosecutor, Victor Perez.

VICTOR PEREZ, CHIEF ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR: Thank you, Director Flask.

Good afternoon, everyone.

My name is Victor Perez and I am the chief assistant prosecutor for the
City of Cleveland.

First and foremost, I believe I speak for everyone in our city that we are
happy that Michelle, Gina and Amanda are safe and healthy.

Second, I would like to thank the citizens that came to Amanda`s immediate
assistance when she was trying to escape that led to the eventual discovery
of Michelle and Gina.

I would also like to commend the members of the Cleveland Division of
Police the Cuyahoga County Sheriff`s Office, the Federal Bureau of
Investigations, for their dedicated work in conducting the investigation in
this case.

Regarding this case, I just signed criminal complaints charging Ariel
Castro with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. The signed
criminal complaints are first degree felonies. The defendant will be
arraigned tomorrow morning in Cleveland Municipal Court and his case will
be transferred over to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.

The Cuyahoga County prosecutor`s office will then proceed with the
prosecution of these criminal cases. This case will proceed to the
Cuyahoga County grand jury, at which time I expect will result in
indictments on these charges and may result in additional counts.

As it relates to Pedro and Onil Castro, no charges will be filed against
these two individuals at this time. There is no evidence that these two
individuals had any involvement in the commission of the crimes committed
against Michelle, Gina, Amanda and the minor child.

However, both of them do have outstanding Cleveland Municipal Court
warrants for misdemeanor cases. These misdemeanor cases for Pedro and Onil
will both be heard tomorrow morning in Cleveland Municipal Court.

Finally, as the chief prosecutor for the City of Cleveland, born and raised
in Puerto Rico, I want to -- I want everyone to know that the acts of the
defendant in this criminal case are not a reflection of the rest of the
Puerto Rican community here or in Puerto Rico.

I also want to remind everyone that this is now a pending criminal matter
and that we will not be able to provide any more comments at this time.

Thank you.

FLASK: Questions?

Tom?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

FLASK: Sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

FLASK: The four kidnap victims are Gina, Amanda, Michelle and the young
child. And the victims of the rape are Gina, Amanda and Michelle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, (INAUDIBLE)?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Also, make sure that you state your name and what
media outlet you`re working for.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brian Todd from CNN.

Could you tell us anything about a source that we`re finding out about just
now of a second residence on Seymour Avenue where apparently officials went
in with protective suits, masks, dogs?

This is about two doors down from the Castro home.

Could you tell us what`s going on there, please?

FLASK: Yes, that is a continuation of the search that we conducted at the
home on Seymour Avenue during the course of our investigation over the last
couple of days. Information was obtained that provided us enough probable
cause to seek another search warrant to go into that house and -- with an
attempt to secure evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell us anymore about what`s going on in that
house?

Are any suspects there (INAUDIBLE)?

FLASK: No. No suspects are there. And what`s going on is that is the
FBI`s evidence recovery team and that is their crime scene unit. And they
do put the protective suits on and they go in there with gloves and they
search and photograph very meticulously all the contents of that home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the connection to the -- to the Castro home?

Could you tell us?

FLASK: Well, I can`t tell you the exact connection, but I can tell you
that during the course of our investigation, information that was obtained
led us to that address.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next question.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening.

Sir.

My name is Ainsley Earhardt.

I work for Fox News Channel out of New York City.

A lot of our viewers want to know, did these girls, over the course of that
10 year period, 11 year period, ever try to escape?

Were there drugs involved?

Were these -- was Ariel Castro drugging these girls to prevent them from
escaping?

And what -- what allowed them, what window of opportunity allowed them to
escape this time?

FLASK: Well, number one, we`re not positive about any type of drugs, if
they were drugged. That`s yet to be determined.

Number two, the only opportunity, after interviewing those young ladies, to
escape was the other day when Amanda escaped. So they were in that home.
I don`t believe -- they don`t believe that they`ve been outside of the home
for the last 10 years, respectively, so --

EARHARDT: Were they kept together in one room?

FLASK: They -- they were not in one room, but they did know each other and
they did know each other was there.

EARHARDT: And one more question.

What`s her relationship -- the child`s relationship with the father?

What will that be?

FLASK: That is Amanda`s daughter. And as far as the relationship, that
hasn`t been determined. There`s going to be a paternity test taken. There
was a search warrant executed on the suspect to obtain his DNA.

EARHARDT: Great.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) with Channel 19.

I wanted to know if Mr. Castro, Ariel Castro, was cooperating with
investigators?

Is he speaking to you?

And do you suspect there are any other victims beyond these three women and
the little girl?

FLASK: Yes, he was. He was read his -- provided his Miranda rights, which
he waived. And he did speak with us and provided us, the division of
police, FBI and the prosecutor`s office, with a detailed statement. And as
of right now, we don`t see or we don`t anticipate any other victims at his
-- than where he`s the suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Can I ask about the reward money? Do we know if
anybody will be receiving any reward money, particularly, Mr. Ramsey?

TOMBA: You know, we don`t, but we are actually discussing that. So,
that`s going to be up to the entities that put up that reward money and
what their protocol is, but Mr. Ramsey does deserve something. A lot of
credit and he is the true key to this case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tom Berries (ph) with the Channel 3 in Cleveland here.
Would it be safe to say that the bulk of your case is based upon the
statements of the women? How much of your case is based upon what they
told you?

TOMBA: That`s the major part of the case is what they told us and what the
other interviews with the suspect told us and what the young ladies told
us, without a doubt. I mean, they were the ones that were there. They
were the main players in it. And, what they told law enforcement was key
and it`s going to be a key part in the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were they able to get into the ten-year narrative here?
I mean, the history? So much has transpired. How much detail did you get?

TOMBA: You know, as far as the history of it, I mean, it was -- it was a
lengthy interview and I don`t want to really get into that, but victims of
rape, victims of trauma, particularly young victims, they`ve been known to
disclose 10, 15, 20, 30 years later. So as of right now, they did provide
us with enough information and enough factual basis that we would seek
charges against Ariel Castro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Alana Samuels (ph) with "The Los Angeles Times."
Is there any evidence that Mr. Castro or any of these girls could be in any
way connected with Ashley Summers or is there any new information that`s
come to light about her?

TOMBA: There is no new information that`s come to light about her. Ashley
Summers is an active, open investigation. And I can assure you that her
disappearance was part of our questioning of the three subjects that we
brought in. But that`s still an open and active investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And is there any sign that Mr. Castro was interviewed
by the Cleveland police or the FBI prior to this date for any reason?

TOMBA: No. Yesterday was the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lisa Rantala (ph), WSYX out of Columbus. Wanted to
ask, one, about the physical restraints that he allegedly used inside this
home to keep the girls there, what verbal threats he may have made, and
also, are there pregnancies, possibly miscarriages that the other girls may
have had?

TOMBA: You know, all of that is, you know, evidentiary at this time as far
as that hinges quite a bit on the prosecution. I really don`t want to get
into exactly an answer to those three questions. That`s just something
that is going to have to be brought out in court. I can`t bring that out
in a public --

(INAUDIBLE)

TOMBA: OK. I know the chief mentioned something earlier about that today,
but as far as exactly what that was, we cannot bring it out into the public
forum at this time. It`s not appropriate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joe Pagonakis (ph) News Channel 5, Cleveland. Was a
suicide note from Ariel Castro found in his home?

TOMBA: That is another part of evidence that we recovered that I cannot
comment on, on the basis of that. There was over 200 items taken from the
home on Seymour Avenue. All those items will be processed. They were all
taken into custody of the FBI`s evidence response team. They`ve yet to be
processed. Exactly what they are, I don`t know.

There is a crime scene log, but that is part of the open investigation.
But I can tell you there was over 200 items taken out of that home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any questions, Ed, about the citizenship of the Castro
brothers? Are they U.S. citizens?

TOMBA: I don`t know. I couldn`t tell you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had a lot of questions earlier regarding extra 911
calls that may have come up and not been responded to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll try and answer that question the best I can.
Immediately after the recovery of the three victims and her daughter from
the home on Seymour Avenue, we began a search of our records to determine
whether or not there were any other calls for service to that house on
Seymour.

Our review indicated there were no other calls except one call for service
in 2000 and we were able to identify the Cleveland police were at the home
once in 2004 for an incident that involved Mr. Castro as part of his
employment as a school bus driver here in the city of Cleveland.

As a result of the evidence that`s been obtained, thus far, the statements
from the suspect and the victims there is no evidence to indicate that any
of them were ever outside in the yard in chains without clothing or any
other manner. In fact, I think the evidence we`ve obtained, thus far,
indicates that in the last decade, they`ve only known themselves to be
outside the home on two separate occasions and that was only briefly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Josh Haskel (ph) with Abc News. Deputy chief, can you
tell us about Onil and Pedro`s relationship with their brother, Ariel? Did
they know that there were three women living in the house against their
will, any idea about what was going on inside that house?

TOMBA: As far as a relationship, you know, I couldn`t tell you. We
focused on their knowledge or lack of knowledge. But absolutely not.
There is nothing that leads us to believe that they were involved or they
had any knowledge of this. And that comes from statements of our victims
and their statements and their brother`s statements.

So, as far as what their relationship was, Ariel kept everybody at a
distance. And, Joe, they are from Puerto Rico, so to answer that question
about their citizenship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jennifer Lundgren Channel 3 News. Can you clarify
then why Pedro and Onil Castro were taken into custody in relation to this
case?

TOMBA: They were with their brother and it was an investigative stop. And
as you know, early on, you can only imagine the chaos and the relief that
we had finding these three girls, so we had enough probable cause to bring
them into custody. They were brought into custody as many suspects are.
We continued our investigation.

We found no facts to link them to the crime. And we do -- what we usually
do is we consult with the prosecutor for charges or for them to be
released. So, that`s the reason.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us when their arraignment will be for
their outstanding warrants and when they`ll be able to go home?

TOMBA: They should be in court tomorrow and it`s up to the judge if he
credits them with time served or whatever -- but it`s up to the judge, but
they`ll be in court tomorrow morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

TOMBA: Hi, Bill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. Bill Shield with Channel 8. I don`t know if this
is for you or maybe the head of the FBI. I don`t know if it`s a joint task
force or not, but we had a story yesterday where a gentleman who was, I
believe, initially a suspect in Gina Dejesus` disappearance and a private
investigator indicated to us that this gentleman said he had pointed
authorities in the direction of Ariel Castro back in like 2004.

Yet, I don`t know who the appropriate person to respond is, but is that
true and what was done with that if it is true?

TOMBA: You want to address it, Steve?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just very quickly, we have obviously heard that same
statement, and with due diligence we have scrubbed our entire investigative
file and have no reason to believe that he made the comments that he`s
purporting to the media. So, just so I have it right, there was a
conversation with him but you have no reason to believe that he made the
statements to you that he made to us, is that correct?

It`s part of this long-term joint task force investigation. He was
interviewed at some point. And that`s -- that must be what he`s referring
to when he said that he told us that. Again, we have no information to
believe based upon our investigative file that that`s, indeed, correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Thank you very much.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pamela Brown with CNN. It was mentioned
earlier that the only opportunity to escape for the victims was on Monday
when Amanda escaped. Can you let us know what the circumstances were that
gave her the opening on Monday?


TOMBA: Well, she explained some things in her statement that are
privileged that I can`t disclose, but for whatever reason, like I said the
other day, something must have clicked and she saw an opportunity and she
took that opportunity and I said it the other day and I`ll say it today
that, you know, she is the true hero.

She`s the one that started this, but as far as what the circumstances were
inside that home, and the control that he may have had over those girls, we
don`t know that yet. I think that`s going to be -- take us a long time to
figure that out.

BROWN: But this was the first time they attempted to escape, that`s
correct?

TOMBA: Yes.

BROWN: OK.

TOMBA: Yes.

BROWN: Quickly, can you let us know how the alleged abductions happened
years ago? Can you provide any details?

TOMBA: No. No, I can`t at this time. I`m sorry. That`s part -- that was
part of our investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Donna Leinwand Leger (ph) from "USA Today." Can
you give us a general description of the conditions under which these women
were living? And well, I`ll save my second question.

TOMBA: OK. If you want a general description it was -- the house was in
disarray, but without going into any, you know, with any specifics, I did
not go into the home. That was an active crime scene. I did not enter the
home so that is, you know, we have a protocol about who enters that home.
But just from what the guys were saying that it was in quite a bit of
disarray.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell me what you mean by disarray? I mean --

TOMBA: I guess, everybody`s definition of that would be different so, you
know, that`s just an integral part of our criminal investigation that I
really don`t want to go any further into exactly what they found or what
was in that home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And then, looking back over the years as you
investigated the women`s disappearance, are there any areas that you see
that you think to yourself, gosh, that was a missed opportunity, for
example, some of these domestic violence incidents where his partner or
wife or whatever she was asked for protection?

TOMBA: You know, I have, you know, been part of this for quite a long time
and, no. The investigators and, you know, the agents and everybody that
worked on it and we`ve asked ourselves that question numerous times over
the last ten years. Are we missing anything? Is there something, is there
a sign? Is there an assignment or is there something that we missed?

And I`m just very, very confident in the ability of those investigators and
those law enforcement officers that they checked every single lead and if
there was one bit of evidence, one shred of a tip no matter how minute it
was, they followed it up very, very aggressively. So, I`d have to say, no.

In hindsight, we may find out that maybe we did, but that`s going to be in
hindsight and after this criminal case is completed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, can you tell us about the young child who was
rescued along with Amanda Berry? Was she born in that house? Is she Ariel
Castro`s biological child? Were there other pregnancies among those women?

TOMBA: OK. The answer to that is no, I definitely can`t tell you about
her. She`s, you know, a minor and I can`t discuss her, you know, her
status at all. Because it`s a criminal investigation, and out of respect
for the three young girls that were in that house. I think that
information will come out eventually, but it`s not going to come out here
today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were any of the other three impregnated?

TOMBA: That`s not going to come out here today. That`s part of our
investigation. We`re not going to discuss that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Layla Atasi (ph) with "The Plain Dealer." You
mentioned that the women left the house twice in ten years. What were the
circumstances of those instances? And also, did the women know Castro
through his daughters before their abduction?

TOMBA: Well, I`ll answer the second one. There`s nothing that leads us to
believe that they knew -- that there was knowledge between the two or a
friendship or that they knew each other. And that was as far as them
leaving the house twice, when you get a chance to see where the house is
situated and the garage is situated, we were told that they left the house
and went into the garage in disguise so those are the two times that were
mentioned or that they can recall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, they never left the property.

TOMBA: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. And there`s no connection between Castro and the
girls pre-abduction is what you`re saying, that there`s no evidence if
that`s true.

TOMBA: No. We don`t see that right now. You know, if that comes out
later, but no. Not at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This concludes the media briefing. We`d like to thank
everyone for coming out and everyone have a nice day.

(END MEDIA BRIEFING)

MATTHEWS: So, Ariel Castro has been charged here with four counts of
kidnapping, three counts of rape. Of course, also the kidnapping involves
the three women and what could be the daughter of one of those. It`s not
clear yet.

They`re doing a DNA test. And so this is where it is. The interesting
development today, of course, was of the three brothers that were picked up
the other day and arrested, formally arrested, only one is being charged.
He`s the owner of that location, that house there where those three women
were being held all these 10 years.

There are so many open questions. One of the developments today was they
found the house in disarray. He denies any evidence in the police record
books there was ever any complaints by neighbors anywhere along the line,
no evidence that anyone ever raised concerns about the situation in that
house, any evidence that anyone ever raised the question that there were
three women living there in any capacity, also no evidence that anyone ever
saw anyone outside in this very graphic description of a naked woman
outside with a -- with a dog leash on her, around her neck, apparently.

That`s also been denied. So, some of this hearsay, I guess that`s the
legal term for it, we have been getting in the last day or so now about
what actually happened during the 10 years of that captivity has now been
shot down.

What`s left is seven criminal charges, obviously all felonies, against
Ariel Castro, four for kidnapping, of course, continuing, of course, and,
of course, the three counts of rape.

Clint, how do you put it all together? I mean, I`m sure some of this jumps
out at you as either anomalous or whatever. How do you see it?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST: Yes. It really does, Chris.

And I think you hit on one of the points. Just like neighbors are telling
us that they called into the police and the police didn`t show up, there
were also allegations that the other two brothers were in and out of that
house.

Well, if they were, they -- one would think they obviously had to know what
was going on and know that all three victims were there. But the police
tell us, there`s no evidence. And, of course, part of that evidence would
be the interviews. One of the first questions you would say is, other than
the primary suspect, did either of his two brothers ever come in? Did they
ever touch you? Did they know you were there?

And it appears that the police don`t have that evidence to support this.
So it appears to refute a lot of the information that apparently most
people thought was public, but, once again, we find out may well have been
in error.

MATTHEWS: Let`s talk about the situation here. We`re talking about a guy,
a middle-aged guy. He`s not Superman. He may not be a genius, either. We
don`t know of his -- let`s assume average intelligence, average physical
ability, average sort of criminal background in terms of knowing how to do
something illegally.

How did he keep three women, apparently all in three separate rooms? He
must have been quite a custodian. He must have been quite a prison guard,
if you will, to systemically keep -- they have to go to the bathroom. They
have to live somewhat -- they have to go to bed at night.

He must have put them to bed at night, taken to them -- bringing meals to
them separately. He must have taken them to the bathroom separately. I`m
just thinking about just the natural sort of human custody requirements and
how he managed to do them all, and also this raping thing. Why did they
only charge him with one rape per victim?

Why do you think that is? Is that just a stepping-stone towards a multi-
rape charge later on down the road? Or is it accusation of just one time
in each case? What do you think is going on here?

VAN ZANDT: Yes, I think -- let`s deal with your last question first. I
think it`s, they need something to charge this guy with in the holding. So
the obvious thing is, they have enough information to say these three girls
were kidnapped. They have enough information to say at least one rape
probably of each victim took place.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: That`s enough to just put a charge against him and hold him
while they put the rest of the case together.

Realize, the FBI`s just been in and out of that house getting the physical
evidence. We have heard allegations that there were at least five births,
five pregnancies within the house. There are allegations that the oldest
victim, this 20-year-old woman, when she was taken, that she was beaten
severely, that her hearing has been damaged, the bones in her face have
been broken.

Just that alone, Chris, can you imagine if one woman would have been
battered that much and the other two women saw that? That alone could be
enough to stop them.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: But what we just heard was amazing, that in 10 years, with the
exception of going into the garage one time, these women never got out of
that house, and the first part of this week was the only opportunity they
ever felt they had to escape.

And you think of the logistical challenges of trying to keep three
prisoners, as you say, a prison guard. How do you keep three prisoners and
meet their needs for clothing and food and everything else, medicine.
There was a birth, apparently, a live birth, at least one, notwithstanding
the children that may have been lost in that house. There were so many
logistical needs.

MATTHEWS: So, he was the midwife? I mean, what are we talking about here?
And he was the midwife? And, by the way --

VAN ZANDT: Yes. Well --

MATTHEWS: -- you said there were other births. Where are those -- where
are those children now, how many years old they are? Where are they?

VAN ZANDT: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Were they put up for adoption? I mean --

VAN ZANDT: Well, we have got the one live birth. We have got the -- well,
no. We have got the 6-year-old we know of that, of course, the one woman
carried out, the first woman to escape.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: And then there are allegations that there were at least five
other pregnancies. Now, we don`t know if these were full-term pregnancies
--

MATTHEWS: Yes, we have heard of --

(CROSSTALK)

VAN ZANDT: -- or if they were just being impregnated and lost the --

MATTHEWS: We have heard of miscarriages, and all that happening without
medical assistance, and all that another aspect of the custodial
relationship here.

And I just -- the whole thing. And they were being treated like mushrooms
down in the basement there, no air, no decent amount of sunlight for 10
years. No sunlight on a person, living out of -- out of the air, out of
the -- out of -- basically out of the atmosphere down there.

And you just wonder how they kept their health up. I know they were young,
but the keeping of their health, getting through the normal diseases you
get, the colds, the flus, what you get in a house where you never get any
sunlight.

And they`re alive. I mean, maybe it`s a great testament to their own
individual strength or something here. This is -- do you think there`s
more to this case?

VAN ZANDT: Two things, Chris. How -- how -- yes, how did they keep up
their health and how did they keep up their sanity?

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: You know, I guess it really speaks to the resilience of the
human spirit that we can stand up to something like that and still survive.

And it`s no wonder the one young woman or two today refused to actually
step out in front of the media. Realize, we`re being told they had no
human contact, with the exception of perhaps with each other and with their
kidnappers, for 10 years.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: And then they look out in the front yard of the house they
haven`t been in, in 10 years, and there are 300 members of the media.

MATTHEWS: I get you.

VAN ZANDT: That probably just scared the hell out of them.

MATTHEWS: That`s good empathy for you.

Let`s go to Craig Melvin, who knows what`s happening right now.

Craig, what do you have?

CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Chris, we have been sifting through the
-- through the police report. It`s about a dozen pages or so.

But there`s been a lot -- a lot of questions about precisely how he was
able to get these three girls into that house. And based on the police
report, it appears as if all three of them were lured to the house by
offering rides. Castro apparently offered rides to all three.

According to the police report, Amanda Berry got into his car after he told
her that his son worked at the same Burger King. We`re told that -- that
Michelle, Michelle Knight, she told police today that Ariel Castro offered
her a ride home because he used a relationship that he had with her
daughter. Their two daughters knew each other. So, he uses his daughter
to lure -- to lure Gina into the car.

MATTHEWS: Gotcha.

MELVIN: Also, we found out by combing through this police report that,
according to Amanda, her daughter has never seen a doctor, nor has any of
the other three women. They haven`t seen a medical professional in a
decade.

When the officers searched the house, we`re told that when they announced
that they were with Cleveland police, Michelle jumped into the officer`s
arms. Also, Michelle Knight, according to the police report, said that
she`s been pregnant at least five times and that Ariel Castro was the
father, but when he found out about the pregnancies, he forced her to abort
those pregnancies, Michelle telling police that he starved her at one point
for at least a two-week period, repeatedly punched her in the stomach until
she miscarried.

MATTHEWS: Oh. Oh.

MELVIN: At one point, according to the police report, Chris, Michelle
actually -- Michelle Knight helped deliver Amanda`s baby in the house in a
plastic baby pool, so it would be easier to clean up, again, all of that
coming from the 12-page police report, again, shedding some light on just
precisely how it was that this 52-year-old man was able to lure these young
women into the two-story house behind me.

MATTHEWS: Let me go back.

Hold on there, Craig. Keep -- keep reading that.

Let me go back to Clint.

The criminal mind at work here, the ability to lure people in through
seduction. We always tell our kids, don`t get in the car. Once you`re in
the car, you`re completely captive.

VAN ZANDT: Sure.

MATTHEWS: You can be taken anywhere. I know it`s risky to tell kids any
advice because it may break bad.

But isn`t that still the best advice to children, don`t get in the car?
Fight, make your run for it. That`s your chance. When the guy first makes
-- or woman first makes their move on you is the one chance you have to get
away.

VAN ZANDT: It is.

And realize this guy appears to be a very manipulating sociopath --

MATTHEWS: Oh, yes.

VAN ZANDT: -- who had the right words to the right girl --

MATTHEWS: Exactly.

VAN ZANDT: -- at the right time.

MATTHEWS: Criminal mind.

VAN ZANDT: And he was able to put them at ease. He was a member of the
community. He used a name they knew. And they didn`t want to walk home.
And here he is offering them a ride, one bad mistake, 10 years later.

MATTHEWS: And what would these charges be for punching a young girl, a
pregnant woman in the stomach to encourage a miscarriage, basically
aborting the child?

This kind of behavior, I mean, it looks to me like we`re looking at a
person with multiple charges, potentially, multiple rapes. And, by the
way, when you kidnap somebody, does the penalty go up for how long you hold
them, if you hold them for three or four days, as opposed to 10 years? Is
there a difference in the charge?

VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, we can look at federal charges. These will all
probably be state charges, though, because they were all right in the area.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: But there are going to be these terrible extenuating
circumstances that are going to be involved.

You know, and realize this one young woman is alleging that she was
pregnant five times, and this guy beat her and forced her, you know, to
abort or lose these children each time.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: And somebody earlier today I was on, Chris, with said that Ohio
is one of the three states in the country that recognize a fetus as a
living human being.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: And, therefore, if this is true, that`s five counts of murder
that will be against him.

MATTHEWS: Well, that will be an interesting development politically in
this country.

Let`s go back to what we have been trying to figure out.

VAN ZANDT: Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: And I guess this is always through -- this is like "Plato`s
Republic" trying to figure out what`s going on in the cave, you know?

We have been trying to figure out a case, and yet the -- the questions
grow, how he did it, how this one guy was able to seduce on three separate
occasions over a year or two three different women, obviously competent
young people. They did -- they were just seduced brilliantly by the lure
of an easy ride. They`ve all said that.

And, of course, the confidence that comes from believing that a person
wouldn`t completely make up a relationship with one of their friends with
such manipulation. The assumption, the normal assumption the person you`re
talking to is not criminally insane or a real criminal mind at work.

And then, of course, the ability to get them all to live together, to
midwife each other, in one case, to avoid medical treatment for a decade,
to eat. I was just wondering, maybe this sounds hideously stupid, but when
he goes to the Safeway and he buys food for five people every time he goes,
didn`t anybody notice? Maybe he was criminally intelligent enough to go
from different stores to mix up his shopping list so that he was feeding
everybody through a -- you know, a number of sources.

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, all of these neighbors, Chris,
who allegedly they see a naked woman in the backyard, somebody pounding on
the glass, there were also people that said, yes, I saw this guy carrying
big bags of McDonald`s through the back door all the time. Well, wait. If
you`re carrying two or three bags of Big Macs through a back door of a
house where it appears nobody is looking, this guy isn`t just sitting
inside the house watching basketball games eating five Big Macs.

So, you know, all of these clues, not only for allegations against the
police, but neighbors should have picked up on these things, too.

You know what, Chris? This, to me, it harkens me back almost and as you
well know to the Kitty Genovese`s case back in the 1950s when something was
happening. In that case, a woman was being brutally murdered. Allegations
were people closed the windows, nobody paid attention. One more again it
looks like there were clues that were out there that people could have
seen, could have done something about, whether it`s neighbors or law
enforcement.

MATTHEW: OK.

VAN ZANDT: How can you miss it for 10 years, Chris? Ten minutes, 10 days,
10 years, I just can`t buy it.

MATTHEWS: Let`s talk good police work. Let`s talk positive police work,
community relations.

It looks like there were no community relations there.

VAN ZANDT: Yes.

MATTHEWS: It looks like the community and I`ll be open-minded about this,
didn`t have a good relationship with the police department. Wasn`t able
to, wasn`t willing to, wasn`t inclined to share a lot of community
information with the police department. The police department was not
going around looking for it that much.

It may have been what we call -- I always like to say it in a nice way -- a
tough neighborhood where there is crime, where there are people who are in
the system, people who`ve had criminal problems. They don`t feel like,
"Oh, call officer Brian to come on over. I just thought about something
the other day." Something strange about it.

They didn`t have that kind of ongoing conversation between the community
and the police force. That is going to look like it this is what it looks
like. That`s the police were not involved in that community.

The community was not confident in addressing the police. What seemed to
be as we`re talking about it common sense suspicions.

VAN ZANDT: Well, the community`s going to have a memory, too, Chris.
They`re going to remember back in 2009 where this guy by the name of
Anthony Sewell had 11 different women in his house in Cleveland and
methodically brought these women into the house, murdered them, kept the
bodies in the house. Neighbors were calling the police and saying it
smells like there`s dead bodies in there.

And it took nine deaths -- or 11 deaths to finally get the police to act to
get somebody to come and do something like that. You know, again, as we
started out talking, it could be an anomaly. But I think the police
department is going to take some hits trying to explain these things. And
all of this may not be their fault. But they still got some explaining to
do.

MATTHEWS: Well, somebody`s beat.

Anyway, neighbors say there were warning signs of trouble at the Castro
house there. Let`s take a look. NBC News national investigative
correspondent Jeff Rossen spoke to two of the neighbors with their own
disturbing stories.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF ROSSEN, NBC NEWS NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
This man lives just a few doors down. He told us in 2011, his sister saw a
woman holding a child in the house and banging on the window for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I called the cops. Twenty, 30 minutes around, the cops
pulled up. They pounded a good 20 times. They was there five, eight
minutes, something like that. No answer.

They shine the light inside the driveway. See the windows are boarded up.
They got back inside the squad car and left.

ROSSEN (on camera): That was it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was it.

ROSSEN (voice-over): Last July, another neighbor noticed another
disturbing sight there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My granddaughter told me about the naked lady
crawling on her hands and knees back there in the backyard.

ROSSEN: She says she called the police but they never came. Tuesday,
police were adamant. They`ve never been called to the house for those
reasons.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEWS: Well, NBC`s Savannah Guthrie asked Cleveland police chief
Michael McGrath about those calls, if they did occur. Let`s listen to his
response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MCGRATH, CLEVELAND POLICE CHIEF: We have no record of those calls
coming in over the last 10 years.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS: You have no record of it. Does that mean
those calls didn`t come? Or is it possible the calls were made and for
whatever reason, they were never recorded?

MCGRATH: No. We would have a recording of those calls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: That`s a pretty tough answer. Let me go back to Craig Melvin.

Craig, it seems to me we`ve got a problem here. What`s it feel like in
that community? Can you give us a sense of -- do you see police cars? I
guess you see police cars now. But do you have a sense this is a good
rapport we`re looking at here between the community and the police? Can
you tell?

CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know what? I`m going to be
careful.

MATTHEWS: I know we have to be. I know.

MELVIN: In the community, they`re within six or seven feet of me, Chris
Matthews. I think your description a few minutes ago when you described
the neighborhood as tough, that would be a very apt description. There are
lots of boarded up houses here. A number of the houses are in foreclosure.

There are a lot of folks in this neighborhood, I talked to many of them
today, they don`t work. They are very distrustful, very distrustful. And
that would probably be an understatement. Very distrustful of the police
as well.

I do want to go back to the police report we`ve been sifting through here
over the past few minutes, because there are just a few more items I want
to pass along. I also there are some things in that report that we are not
going to share on television because, quite frankly, they`re a little too
graphic for evening cable news.

But at one point, it appears according to the police report that the baby,
the 6-year-old now, there was a point where she was a child where she had
some sort of health issue. She was in distress. Shortly after Amanda had
given birth to her, and according to the police report, the 52-year-old
who`s been charged right now said to her, if that baby dies, I`ll kill you.

So that -- that should give you a pretty --

MATTHEWS: Yes.

MELVIN: -- good idea of the type of conditions or even perhaps the mind
control that Castro had over these three women. And the two times that
they did leave the house, according to the police report, they were in
costume. They were in wigs. They were in glasses.

MATTHEWS: My God. And so, boy, that makes it sound, Craig, it sounds like
his ability to control them was through absolute terror. That, you know,
your baby dies, you die. That`s one way to get somebody to get -- I`m sure
a mother, if she was the mother in this case was certainly going to look
out for the child anyway.

Let`s go back now to Clint again and looking at this as a profiler case.
What do you see here in this guy?

VAN ZANDT: Yes. Well, you see a -- you see this sexual psychopath,
sociopath, sexual sadist. Somebody who not only kidnapped and not only --
we know rape is a crime of power, dominance and control. But this goes far
beyond that. When you get a sadist you get someone who enjoys torturing.
Just like the police have told us. There were chains there. There were
ropes there.

Well, that was used to bind and tie these women up. But that was also
because this type of personality enjoys doing that, enjoys that terrible
level of dominating. And as we`re suggesting right now, actually
terrorizing, traumatizing, these women so that they wouldn`t escape.

I mean, you and I talked about the emotional chains that held these women.
These emotional chains, the fright, the fear for their very life and for
their baby`s life, was so great that that was as strong if not stronger
than the chains and ropes that this guy used to tie them up, Chris.

MATTHEWS: What kind of witnesses will they be in court? They must find a
way of de-nerving themselves. I`m trying to think of the right term. If
you know every day`s going to be a horror and you know every day is going
to involve perhaps being raped, being beaten, being frightened, you would
sort of I think develop a certain ability to deal with that.

That ability takes away from your ability to have a true sensory
appreciation of life. Let`s put it that way. You`re not looking for new
sensory experiences. You`re looking for unnerving, avoiding any new
experience feeling.

So, are they going to be good witnesses or are they going to be shell-
shocked by this whole thing?

VAN ZANDT: Well, it`s going to take time to bring them around. You know,
one day at a time. There`s two different ways to look at this.

Number one is that these women have been so traumatized, they never need to
see this guy again.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

VAN ZANDT: But the flip side of that coin is how do they finally face
their kidnapper? How do they finally face their tormentor? And that`s
going to be in a court of law. If they can be prepped, if they can be
helped, if they can be brought back properly, finally after 10 years,
they`ll get a chance to be in the driver`s seat. And this guy will be the
one who`s in shackles, chains and orange jump suit.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I`m talking to an expert, Clint. You know he`ll be
planning for that courtroom scene, too. And he`ll be planning to use all
his mind control and intimidation.

VAN ZANDT: And he`ll like it, Chris. He`ll like it.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: -- to reestablish again.

VAN ZANDT: Yes. This guy will like that level of confrontation. But
that`s all right.

These women, this -- this is justice. I mean, in America we have justice.
And this will be their chance to get back at their tormenter.

Chris, let me throw something out to you. Three quick numbers, maybe four.
You and I have talked about 850,000 missing people every year in the United
States. In Cleveland, right this second, there are 96 people missing, 45
of them are women, 30 are women 18 and younger, somewhere around the area
where these three girls disappeared, to include the women we talked about,
Ashley Summers.

So there`s 30 young women missing in that area. Law enforcement has to
look at every one of those missing persons, 18 and under, and see if
there`s any relationship between them and their current suspect also.

MATTHEWS: And if your child`s missing now, you should call the police
today, again, and tomorrow, the new week and the week after that, because
this is a lesson in the squeaky wheel.

If you have a missing child, don`t assume they are working in L.A.
somewhere. Don`t assume they`ve got a life that`s reasonable. Don`t
assume they are passed away. Assume they might be somewhere else that you
can possibly reach that the police can get there in some time.

Clint, stay with us.

We`ll be right back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Craig Melvin, thanks for joining us. I know you have to go on
to a local report there. But let me ask you one last question about this.

When you look through the whole report, does anything grab you besides the
gravity of these charges, at least seven very serious felonies that may
develop something with regard to those fetuses, too, and whether they
involve life for the state of Ohio. That kind of question is lingering
there.

MELVIN: Chris, I think, you know, again, just something through here, and
I haven`t gotten through the whole thing. What strikes me is how he was,
according to the police report, how he was able, how Castro was able to
ward these girls. He essentially used the same M.O. over and over again,
offering rides. And at one point actually using his daughter -- actually
using his daughter to lure Gina into the car.

I mean, that`s -- you know, so it paints the picture of someone who wasn`t
just satisfied with ruining the life of one young woman but ruining the
lives of three. If there was one piece of good news perhaps out of that
entire news conference -- and I use good for lack of a better adjective at
this particular point, the fact that according to police, there does not
seem to be any other victims out there right now. They think that they got
him.

MATTHEWS: Great reporting. Great reporting. Craig Melvin, thank you for
joining us from Cleveland Ohio.

We`ll be right -- let me go right now to Clint Van Zandt and follow what
Clint is good at, is seeing patterns. Trace this from what we know now and
the police report. The picking off these young women, the manipulation of
these women, the use of their friendships to try to give them comfort to,
give them a free ride, you give them something right up front, and then, of
course, to be able to get them into that house and keep them there for a
decade each and keep them in their separate ways alive, healthy, and useful
to him and whatever his purposes were.

By the way, why would he want three? Would he want more? What`s this say
about his profile?

VAN ZANDT: Yes. Three is an interesting number. And again, Chris,
realize, he grabbed the first victim in `02, `03, `04. You`re telling me
this guy batted a thousand that every time he went for a victim, he was
able to get it. There were no attempts where, as you suggest, young women
would have refused, said no thank you, I know better to get into stranger`s
car.

And what about all these other missing persons?

I don`t -- you know, I would not be quick to close a book on this guy
whatsoever. But, you know, you`ve got to look at logistically for him,
once he`s got one victim and why in the world he wants two and three, only
he can answer that question. But then what does he do with them? You have
to maintain them. If you let them loose, you have to tell them who you
are. If you kill them, that`s another level of crime.

So, you know, can you imagine someone who can kidnap, torture, rape right
up to taking somebody`s life but says, oh, no, murder`s too significant of
a crime for me, therefore I had to keep these women locked up for 10 years,
what was I going to do with them?

I`ve heard people say that to me. That`s a horrible level of rational but
that`s what somebody like this does, they are able to rationalize their
behavior and make it acceptable to themselves.

MATTHEWS: Criminals in prison, is this a myth I grew up with, or are they
especially cruel and unpleasant, to put it lightly, to these kinds of
inmates?

VAN ZANDT: I hope so. I hope so.

MATTHEWS: Isn`t that the pattern? They don`t like people who hurt
children. They don`t like it. They have an honor among themselves.

VAN ZANDT: No.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about this. Go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN ZANDT: There was a ladder or a hierarchy in prison and the lowest
level in prison is someone who offends against the child and already I`ve
heard where these guys are incarcerated, that there are other inmates
yelling at him, screaming, threatening what they are going to do. And
realize when these two brothers were -- the police say we have no evidence
against these two brothers, I wouldn`t necessarily want to be one of them
on the streets of Cleveland with the community believing still you may have
had something to do with this terrible crime.

MATTHEWS: Well, I hope the people out there respond to the fact that
there`s no charges against them and you`ve got to treat them as innocent.
It`s a smart development here.

But I think it`s a wonderful thing to think about, the one thing that
people have done very bad things, the one person they miss in prison is
their kids and maybe that`s the basis of all of that respect.

This charge, do you think this is going to take a while? I don`t know. I
know there`s always a good defense and a smart lawyer can develop one. I
wonder with this kind of a case where you have the housing situation well-
established, where the defendant in this case is well-established to have
lived there, the three women victims are well there -- well ready and
proven their ability to testify against him.

What could possibly be missing in that equation that would suggest
innocence? I mean, I`m just talking about how the trial proceeds. It
looks like a complicated case.

VAN ZANDT: Yes. Well, you have to look at our criminal justice stem and
how hard as the prosecution, what work. You and I can say, well, one count
of kidnapping and one count of rape ought to be good enough to put any
suspect away, if found guilty, for the rest of their life but we`ve seen
all of the forensic work. We`ve heard about the forced loss of the
children, we`ve heard about the beatings, we`ve heard about the multiple
sexual assaults.

If law enforcement wants to, they can build hundreds of counts against this
guy. But how many years past 100 can you give him in jail? The criminal
justice system has got to make a decision, how many counts do you want to
put against him and how many lives do you want him to serve in prison?

MATTHEWS: You know, it seems like he would go to prison if he`s found
guilty. The lingering question is the brothers. They were all arrested.
So, there was some kind of cause for that and now, two of them are found
not justified to be charged for anything.

And then the question is, weren`t they seen, according to witnesses, that
we`re discussing tonight, not legal witnesses but media witnesses, having
been seen entering that home. And then the question is, if they were going
in and out of that place, don`t they have some responsibility to prove that
they didn`t know what`s going on? Or that`s just something the state has
to prove that they did hear or sense the presence of four other people in
that house when they visited their brother?

VAN ZANDT: Well, I`m sure that the -- that the law enforcement would not
turn these two brothers loose if one of the three girls said the two
brothers were involved in my kidnapping.

MATTHEWS: I guess you`re right.

VAN ZANDT: Or I was sexually assaulted or beaten by one of the other two
brothers. That would have been very blatant evidence that they could have
used to hold one or brothers at the time. So, now, they`re going to have
develop further evidence, are the girls being completely frank? Are they
telling? Or the girls are afraid of the brothers?

MATTHEWS: OK.

VAN ZANDT: Obviously they were afraid of the one guy for ten years. I
think there`s a lot more chapters in this book. And again, the physical
evidence, the evidence teams are still in the house. They are going to
have to process that and that could take months.

MATTHEW: Clint, you`re the best. Clint Van Zandt, thanks so much for
joining us.

This is HARDBALL now, and thanks for being with us.

We`ll have an entirely new edition of HARDBALL one hour from now with the
latest on this kidnapping case and on the Republicans` relentless efforts
to blame President Obama and Hillary Clinton for this thing called
Benghazi.

"POLITICS NATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now"

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