updated 5/23/2005 2:16:32 PM ET 2005-05-23T18:16:32

Guest: Ramsey Clark, Susan Filan, Ronald Richards, Gloria Allred, Ben Wolfinger, Bo Dietl, David Gehrke

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, Saddam Hussein exposed, a picture of Saddam in his underwear on the front page of a British and American paper. 


ABRAMS (voice-over):  The photos bought by London “Sun”, Saddam in his cell folding his clothes, washing his socks.  His lawyers outraged, threatening to sue.  Are these pictures really that big a deal?  We have the exclusive with Saddam‘s American lawyer, former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. 

And Michael Jackson‘s former lawyer, Mark Geragos, returns to the witness stand, testifying for Jackson.  It may help Jackson in court, but it could mean big trouble for Jackson‘s lawyer as the judge threatens to punish him because of it.

Plus, it‘s their big night, Mary Kay Letourneau marrying her schoolboy lover.  She went to prison because she had sex with him when he was just 12.  Now she‘s trading in her prison orange for wedding white.  We talk to one of their guests and tell you what kind of gifts they‘re hoping to get.

The program about justice starts now. 


ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  First up on the docket tonight, Saddam on film, photos of the former Iraqi dictator plastered across the cover of American and British newspapers this morning.  Showing the deposed Saddam in nothing but his skivvies locked in a cell, doing his own laundry by hand, taking a nap.  The photos were purchased by “The Sun”, a British tabloid, and then featured stateside in today‘s “New York Post”.

“The Sun” won‘t reveal exactly where they came from, but say they are from U.S. military sources and that they were taken at a top-secret location, where Saddam is watched 24 hours a day on closed-circuit television by special forces and military police.  Now according to the paper, the source of the photos sold them and hoped that they would be seen in Iraq and it would deal a blow to the insurgency there—some now criticizing both the “Sun” and “The Post” for publishing the photos. 

“The Sun” responding saying, they are a fantastic iconic set of news pictures that I defy any newspaper, magazine or television station who were presented with them not to have published.  He‘s not been mistreated.  He‘s washing his trousers.  This is the modern day Adolf Hitler.  Please don‘t ask us to feel sorry for him.

The U.S.-led military forces in Iraq vowed to aggressively investigate how the photos were taken and by whom.  And said the photos are a possible violation of the Geneva Convention.  One of Saddam‘s lawyers said today that the defense team plans to sue “The Sun” for $1 million for printing the photos. 

Joining me now, former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is also a member of Saddam Hussein‘s defense team.  Mr. Clark, thank you for coming back on the program.  Appreciate it. 

RAMSEY CLARK, ATTORNEY FOR SADDAM HUSSEIN:  Thank you.  It‘s good to be here.

ABRAMS:  All right, so let‘s just put this in a broader context.  Is this really that big a deal? 

CLARK:  It‘s big in this sense—it‘s further evidence that the United States has absolutely no intention of respecting any rights of the leadership of the Saddam Hussein government, including the president himself.  And it‘s a very serious thing.  The first pictures they showed were much worse than these. 

ABRAMS:  Let‘s talk about these.  The U.S. is now saying they‘re going to investigate this and...


ABRAMS:  ... they seem outraged.  It‘s embarrassing.  It doesn‘t help the U.S. government to have these pictures out there.  It‘s clearly bad news.

CLARK:  It makes people angry everywhere in the world...

ABRAMS:  That‘s right.

CLARK:  ... that respect privacy and respect human dignity. 


CLARK:  But you have to back up.  What did they do when they first arrested him?  They delivered release pictures.  It showed him disarrayed, disoriented, and with—a person with a foot and hand in his mouth.  The next picture three days later showed him sitting there on the floor, submissive and who‘s hanging over him, but Ahmed Chalabi, a vowed enemy who had been paid tens of millions of dollars by the CIA to help overthrow the government.  What kind of respect for rights? 

He hadn‘t seen a lawyer—you talk about his lawyers, he hasn‘t chosen a lawyer.  No lawyer has talked to him.  You can‘t represent a client that you can‘t talk to. 

ABRAMS:  He has spoken to a lawyer, as you know...


CLARK:  Look, I just came back from Amman.  I spent 10 hours with that man.  He has not been able to speak with a lawyer.  And Saddam Hussein has not been able to choose a lawyer.  He has been cut off.  He‘s the only person (INAUDIBLE) we‘ve seen him twice.  Outside of that, no member of the family has seen him.  He has no right that is respected. 


CLARK:  This is clearly a violation of the Geneva Convention. 

ABRAMS:  Let me read from that part of the Geneva Convention.  Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated.  Prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity. 

The public curiosity is the one—as you know, though, the occupying force—let‘s talk about the first one because I know that you find that one to be more offensive.  I find these pictures to be more offensive and I‘ll tell you why—we will go through this as a legal matter.  The pictures when Saddam was arrested, where you see the person you know investigating, putting his hand in his mouth, et cetera.  An occupying force has every right to show that they have arrested—have in captivity the leader of the opposing army.  And I don‘t think it‘s any problem to show him on television, do you? 

CLARK:  Absolutely.  The way they showed him, disarrayed, disoriented...

ABRAMS:  He was.  That‘s the way he was. 

CLARK:  His—well that‘s the way he was.  But he could have been in the bathroom, too, couldn‘t he?  That‘s where you have to show him?  If you want evidence that you have him, you could show a picture with a guard on each side of him and there he is.  You don‘t have to show him there—you don‘t have to come back the next day and show Chalabi leaning over him, we told you so, we got you now...

ABRAMS:  That seems to me so minor in the big...


CLARK:  Listen, the whole thing is minor, but these shows are like the Michael Jackson show.  However you look at it, guilty or innocent from the worst standpoint, it‘s pitiful, isn‘t it? 

ABRAMS:  No...

CLARK:  It‘s pitiful that human beings...


CLARK:  ... to be showing pictures like this...


CLARK:  How would you like your father to be shown in a picture like this...


CLARK:  ... or your son or yourself.

ABRAMS:  ... if my father had led Iraq the way Saddam Hussein led Iraq, I might expect it.  I mean I don‘t think that...

CLARK:  Well OK...


CLARK:  ... and I‘ll tell you exactly why the American Indians...


CLARK:  ... related to this.  The American Indians related to what happened to Saddam Hussein.  I had dozens of letters.  I worked for Indians all my life because I believe in supporting people who have been persecuted. 

ABRAMS:  Right.

CLARK:  And they were outraged.  They said that‘s exactly the way they treated us.  That is Sitting Bull...


CLARK:  That‘s Crazy Horse...

ABRAMS:  Well...

CLARK:  That‘s Geronimo.  You demean them like they‘re animals.  You don‘t do that if you want peace.  And the idea that The Sunni Muslims won‘t be serious at this is absolutely absurd. 

ABRAMS:  There‘s no question.  That‘s why I‘m saying...

CLARK:  You want more war this is what you do. 

ABRAMS:  That‘s right and I think we—I think we agree then that these pictures are a far—these pictures are a potential problem.  The other pictures that I know spurred you to reach out and say look I‘ve got to get involved here, I want to make sure that I‘m part of the Saddam Hussein team...

CLARK:  That‘s not what I was doing.  I was saying I want the rights of this man...

ABRAMS:  OK, fair enough.

CLARK:  ... protected because it‘s going to be war if you don‘t. 

ABRAMS:  Fair enough...

CLARK:  Historical truth will be distorted. 

ABRAMS:  That‘s fine...

CLARK:  Public justice is destroyed. 

ABRAMS:  That‘s fine, but you were spurred to action when you saw those photos initially...

CLARK:  I was.  I was. 

ABRAMS:  ... the ones with Saddam Hussein, where they were looking in his mouth, et cetera...

CLARK:  Whenever I see injustice I get spurred to action.

ABRAMS:  Fair enough.  And it does seem to me though that these photos are a—you know, a bigger problem because here—you know you are talking about someone sitting there in their underwear.  And I think that the people who took the pictures, if they ever find them are going to be in big trouble.  Is there any potential lawsuit though?  I mean some of the lawyers were talking about suing “The Sun”.  Do you have any sense of that?

CLARK:  These pictures are cheap.  The others were serious because you were trying to really demean him.  You show him submissive to someone who had been his enemy.  You show him in disarray.  You know, if I were thinking about a lawsuit for money—I‘m much more interested in rights than money—if I was thinking about a lawsuit for money and it‘s important (INAUDIBLE) it has to do with privacy and First Amendment rights and the Geneva Convention, I‘d go to Floyd Abrams and ask him. 

But I‘m not going to subordinate my commitment to rights.  The United States has every necessity to respect rights, to show that it‘s respecting rights.  What‘s it afraid of?  Is it afraid to give rights to Saddam Hussein and his people because the truth will come out or what‘s the problem?  They ought to lean over backwards and show everybody—but they -- I wrote the president the month that he was arrested and I said he needs to be seen by someone outside.  I asked you to give him this letter and say I will come see him because he needs to be protected.  He needs to choose his own counsel.  He‘s not been seen.  He‘s not been protected.  He has no counsel he‘s chosen.

ABRAMS:  Look, I agree with you they should give him access.  I think the notion that Saddam Hussein is not getting access to a lawyer is just bad for everyone involved in this.  But it is the Iraqis who are trying him now, is it not? 

CLARK:  No.  No, the Iraqis...

ABRAMS:  I thought they were.  OK.

CLARK:  Well, no (INAUDIBLE) I mean the Iraqi people there, who has been training them?  Who is behind the scenes? 

ABRAMS:  Still the Iraqis. 

CLARK:  Well, they‘re Iraqi people, but who were they chosen by?  Who was the first judge?  It was Chalabi‘s nephew.  What‘s the meaning of that?  Symbolically, what does that mean to the Iraqi people?  What does it mean to the probability of independence, impartiality, confidence?  How was that court created in accordance with law?  Absolutely not.  It was created by the mandate...


ABRAMS:  Look, I think that they should let Ramsey Clark and any other attorney who‘s representing Saddam Hussein get in there and talk to him and I think that would help...

CLARK:  You can‘t begin to represent someone—you can‘t...

ABRAMS:  I agree...

CLARK:  ... defend them until you talk to them. 

ABRAMS:  I agree.  I agree, but I—you know, because I think that way, when he is convicted, which I‘m certain that he would be, there would be more of a sense of a conviction...

CLARK:  You can believe in it.  It means something. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Yes. 

CLARK:  A kangaroo court has no credibility, but it makes people who believe in justice and who think that truth is important...

ABRAMS:  I‘m...

CLARK:  ... and who believe that peace depends upon treating people fairly, then if you treated them fairly and they are convicted, OK...

ABRAMS:  Right.

CLARK:  ... but if you treat them unfairly...

ABRAMS:  I‘m betting before the trial he‘s going to get a lot of access to his lawyers.  We‘ll see.  I know you may think that that doesn‘t happen.  I certainly hope it does...

CLARK:  Just a long delay.  You know, I tried to see Tariq Aziz, who I‘ve known for a long time.  Just talked with his family, just talked with Saddam Hussein‘s family in Amman this week.  And they have not seen—they have not been able to talk to them and they are...


CLARK:  ... heartbroken about it and their rights are being denied every day.  In Tariq Aziz‘s case, two years have gone by.  You come in two years after and try to investigate the case, try to get the documents, try and find the witnesses...


CLARK:  ... you‘re way behind.  You never catch up. 

ABRAMS:  As you know, they have been establishing the tribunal there, which has taken time, but did you speak to the families...

CLARK:  They‘ve been investigating.  They‘ve had—been out looking for mass graves and everything else and it‘s going to be extremely difficult for any defense to prepare. 

ABRAMS:  Very quickly, you said you spoke to the family.  You didn‘t speak to them after these latest pictures came out, did you? 

CLARK:  No...


CLARK:  ... I got back last night. 


CLARK:  I went to Algeria when I came from there.

ABRAMS:  All right, Ramsey Clark...

CLARK:  The leadership over the Arab world is furious at this situation.

ABRAMS:  Well I‘m sure everyone is furious about these latest pictures in particular...

CLARK:  This is before the pictures...

ABRAMS:  All right.  Ramsey Clark, thank you for coming back on the program. 

CLARK:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  We appreciate it. 

CLARK:  Good to be with you.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, attorney Mark Geragos comes back to the—you know Ramsey Clark loves the Michael Jackson case—no, he doesn‘t like it at all.  Every time we‘ve talked about the case, he says, you know people are covering the Michael Jackson case.  This time, Mark Geragos is there to help out his former client—Michael Jackson.  Shocker—there were more fireworks. 

And authorities searching for the Idaho brother and sister, missing since their mother and brother were murdered get a tip on where the kids might be. 

Plus, she went to prison for having sex with her 12-year-old student.  Now they are getting married.  Tonight, we‘ll talk with one of the lucky guests who will be heading to the wedding.  We show you the invites and tell you what the couple is registered for at some of the most expensive stores in the world.

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.



ABRAMS:  Attorney Mark Geragos who once represented Michael Jackson, back on the witness stand in Jackson‘s trial trying to explain why he ordered a private investigator to follow the accuser‘s family. 

On cross-examination from prosecutors, here‘s the question.

Why are you paying for the accuser‘s mother to move and why are you paying to have her put all her stuff in storage if she‘s about to shake Michael Jackson down?

Geragos:  I was afraid she‘d disappear into the ether and he would lose her and she would do exactly what she did in this case.  Find a lawyer.  Go to a psychiatrist and make a claim of false accusation, just like in the J.C. Penney lawsuit.

This morning the judge, Melville, gave Geragos permission to testify about only some of his interactions with his former client.  That decision came after a big fight over whether Jackson had waived the entire attorney-client privilege with Geragos or just part of it.  Well when Team Jackson insisted he‘d really only waived a part of it, now this is very unusual and some would say it‘s really not permitted. 

But Judge Melville allowed Geragos to refuse to answer some questions from prosecutors, his silence not necessarily good for the defense though.  Jurors may be wondering you know what didn‘t he want to talk about, about Jackson?  Why is he not answering that question?  And the whole situation just really irritated the judge.  He said today he‘s considering taking action against the attorney, Tom Mesereau, for all the confusion.

Quote—“I feel deceived by Mr. Mesereau and I‘m considering, although I haven‘t made my mind up, whether to impose sanctions of some sort, but that doesn‘t really affect us for today.”

Joining me now, three people who were all in the courtroom today, MSNBC analyst and former Connecticut state prosecutor Susan Filan, NBC analyst and criminal defense attorney Ron Richards, and come on, you know who she is, Gloria Allred, victim‘s rights.  All right, thank you all.  Appreciate it. 

All right, Susan, let me start with you.  Before we get into this whole waiver or not waiver business, bottom line, what was the most important testimony that Geragos provided for Jackson today?  He‘s basically been saying, look, nothing happened and we were always worried that mom was going to make some false accusations here. 

SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  Exactly.  Here was another example of the defense letting Michael Jackson testify without having to be subject to cross exam.  Because his lawyer said—I asked him did anything happen and Michael said to me, no, nothing happened.  That denial goes in without being subject to cross-exam. 

And the other thing he said is my client is the victim.  He‘s the one getting shaken down.  There is a conspiracy against him.


FILAN:  And with that partial waiver, and him not having to answer the rest of the questions, it‘s kind of—I mean it‘s a win-win. 

ABRAMS:  You know...

FILAN:  How much better can it be? 

ABRAMS:  Well I wonder—Ron Richards, would you worry if you were the defense attorney that some people might have seen Mark Geragos, as Scott Peterson‘s attorney, a guy you know who a lot of people didn‘t believe his public proclamations about Scott Peterson, for example, and maybe when he says—let me read this.  This is what he said last Friday.  He‘s talking about Michael Jackson.

What he has consistently said is that he didn‘t do anything that was untoward.  That if someone has spent time in his room it was an act of unconditional love.  Would you be worried at all that some people might just say—some jurors, I don‘t believe Mark Geragos?

RONALD RICHARDS, NBC LEGAL ANALYST:  Well, I would be worried that some wouldn‘t believe Mark Geragos, especially after listening to some of his justifications.  But what I wouldn‘t be worried about was this—it clearly showed that Michael Jackson wasn‘t in charge of some of the actions that the prosecution is claiming is criminal, like the surveillance, and I think that part helps Jackson, because it shows that Geragos even distanced himself from his own investigator.  He didn‘t even know what he was doing. 

ABRAMS:  Yes and you know that‘s one of the points I want to make, because we got the exclusive interview with that investigator, Bradley Miller.  Let me play the piece of sound where Bradley Miller talks about how he was hired to start on this case.  Because Mark Geragos is saying look, I didn‘t know a lot of what Brad Miller was up to.  Here is what Brad Miller had to say about it. 


ABRAMS:  Tell me how and when you became involved in the case. 

BRADLEY MILLER, FORMER JACKSON DEFENSE INVESTIGATOR:  It was somewhere around the—right before the middle of February 2003, I was hired by Mark Geragos, Michael Jackson‘s lawyer. 

ABRAMS:  Why did he want you to get involved? 

MILLER:  Apparently, this family had been up at Neverland with Michael and had made some threats of making up some story and contacting some tabloids, and we just wanted to find out where they were and get an idea of who they were meeting with, if anyone. 

ABRAMS:  What were you asked to do? 

MILLER:  I was asked to find out where they were, get in contact with them, let them know that I wanted to meet with them, talk to them and get an idea of what was going on because my understanding was all of a sudden they had just disappeared from Neverland in the middle of the night. 


ABRAMS:  Gloria Allred, is that consistent with what Mark Geragos said today? 

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM‘S RIGHTS ATTORNEY:  Fairly so, but Dan, I mean Mark Geragos testified today that the reason that he had an investigator basically follow them, find out what the parent—the mother and children were doing, was because, one, he was ready to go to a lawyer, and two, that they would sell their story.  Guess what?  Isn‘t that exactly what Michael Jackson did? 

He immediately went to a lawyer after the Mark Bashir interview.  Not only a lawyer, but a criminal lawyer.  What was he afraid was going to be said about him that he had to go and get Mark Geragos, a criminal lawyer to represent him?  And then guess what?  He‘s the one who sold his story what, for millions of dollars, but he‘s afraid that the family is going to do the same thing that he did?  Sounds kind of strange to me. 

ABRAMS:  But, again, the timing here is important, Ron, right?  Because the alleged molestation hadn‘t even occurred at the time that that documentary was made, and at the time that Michael Jackson calls a lawyer. 

RICHARDS:  Well, yes, that‘s a great point, Dan.  I mean at the time the documentary was made, nothing had happened, so I don‘t know what the tie-in is to that.  Michael Jackson certainly should be justified in seeing a lawyer, because he was prosecuted by the same prosecutorial agency in 1993, so there‘s nothing wrong with him getting that advice.  He was on the case for 16 months.  And as you saw, Mark Geragos testified in court.  He developed a lot of civil issues relating to this family, like the J.C.  Penney lawsuit...


RICHARDS:  ... that gave him grave concern. 

ABRAMS:  Susan, again, let me get back...

ALLRED:  ... this wasn‘t just that.  This wasn‘t just getting advice.  Mark Geragos admits that he had an investigator out there, following the family.  This reminds me of what we used to call in the criminal defense field, the soda defense.  Some other dude did it and he went that way.  That somehow, no, Michael Jackson, what, doesn‘t know what Mark Geragos is doing?  Mark Geragos somehow doesn‘t know what Brad Miller is doing.  Brad Miller doesn‘t know what somebody else is doing?  Come on.

ABRAMS:  Here‘s what Brad Miller said about the issue of surveillance. 

All right.


MILLER:  Contrary to what people believe, there was no round-the-clock surveillance for days on end.  This was a hit-and-miss kind of thing, just to get an idea of where they were, who they were meeting with, what was going on.  There was no one holding them against their will, making them do or say anything.  She is living with a man that I believe is—or was—a major in the United States Army.  He‘s bigger than I am, stronger than I am or any of my operatives.  I don‘t see how anyone was held against their will, particularly at his apartment. 


ABRAMS:  Susan Filan, go ahead. 

FILAN:  Well, what I saw today in court was Mark Geragos doing an amazing tap dance of trying to take the blame for Michael Jackson.  In other words, any conspiracy, blame it on me.  At the same time, walking a fine line between being blamed himself and thereby distancing himself from Bradley Miller.  Watching these lawyers try to out lawyer each other is like watching sumo wrestlers in the pit.  It was the—it was attorney Olympics.

But I think Geragos held his own on cross-exam.  The district attorney tried every way he could to shake his story.  And the more excited the district attorney got, the calmer Mark Geragos got and he would turn to the jury and smile—he made some hilarious jokes, had them eating out of his hand.  It was a great day for the defense in that he got Jackson‘s story out once again. 

But it was a bad day because every time he claimed attorney-client privilege it was just like he was taking the Fifth Amendment, and saying to the jury look, I‘ll tell you what he said that‘s good, but I‘m not going to tell you what he said that‘s bad.  So they could possibly draw the inference that he denied this molestation but maybe he admitted to another one. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  Would you be worried about that, Ron? 

RICHARDS:  No.  Because the fact is, the simple assertions of attorney-client privilege are not a negative inference...

ABRAMS:  That‘s a lot of legal...


ABRAMS:  That‘s a lot of legal jargon, Ron, but what‘s Susan is saying...


ABRAMS:  ... Susan is saying as a matter of common sense, if you see someone saying, I‘ll answer certain questions, but you know what?  (INAUDIBLE) when it comes to those other ones I‘m not going to answer it, it doesn‘t look good. 

RICHARDS:  Yes, but the results are something that you didn‘t hear and that was that the scope of the direct was limited, as the scope of the cross was.  And these questions that—what happened after the indictment really weren‘t probative or relevant.  And only—the assertion was really two times.

And the big scope of the picture, I agree with Susan‘s first comment, that it was helpful to the defense.  But you heard Mark Geragos repeat the defense theme, and also distance the problems in the case away from Michael Jackson‘s culpability.  That‘s what was important.

ABRAMS:  Gloria, do you think it‘s possible that now the prosecutors are going to say oh yes, all right, so Mark Geragos, he didn‘t—this wasn‘t your idea?  It was Brad Miller‘s idea to do X, Y, or Z, the investigator?  Is it possible the prosecutors will say let‘s get Brad Miller on the witness stand or is that just too dangerous? 

ALLRED:  Well...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That‘s not going to happen...

ALLRED:  ... it‘s possible, but I don‘t know if it‘s probable.  I don‘t know...


ALLRED:  ... that Brad Miller is actually going to take the witness stand.


ALLRED:  But...

ABRAMS:  They don‘t want him...


ABRAMS:  I‘m he‘s going to...

ALLRED:  ... you know everybody is trying to protect Michael Jackson. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, he‘s going to say things...


ABRAMS:  ... too helpful to the defense...

RICHARDS:  Brad Miller can‘t take—he can‘t take the witness stand because the prosecution accused him of committing a crime today and that was the illegal taping, so he‘s not going to do that. 

ABRAMS:  All right...

ALLRED:  Except that Geragos tried to say it wasn‘t illegal, because the reason that they taped, and that tape, that Child Protective Services interview, which by the way, was triggered by my complaint was because they -- somehow they thought that maybe there was going to be a crime committed.  That to me didn‘t fly. 

ABRAMS:  Ron, real quick...


FILAN:  He could join the long line of...

ABRAMS:  Hang on a sec.  Ron, the defense is wrapping pretty soon, right? 

RICHARDS:  Yes, they are. 

ABRAMS:  When? 

RICHARDS:  I think the defense is going to wrap soon, because the court made another ruling, not letting in Vincent Amen testify because of...

ABRAMS:  Just give me...

RICHARDS:  ... by the prosecution.

ABRAMS:  Give me an overview though.  When are we talking about the defense resting? 

RICHARDS:  I think that they are going to rest later in the week, next week...


RICHARDS:  ... they are going to be finished with this case.

ALLRED:  They said probably—possibly Tuesday. 

ABRAMS:  Tuesday. 



RICHARDS:  ... I think coming up—the upcoming week they will be finished. 

ABRAMS:  Are we still going to see Jay Leno? 

FILAN:  Yes...

ABRAMS:  Yes...

FILAN:  ... we are. 

RICHARDS:  I think if he can...

FILAN:  He‘s coming. 

RICHARDS:  ... something you will...


ABRAMS:  The defense will rest on Tuesday.  That means maybe a short couple-day rebuttal case, and then the closing arguments.  We‘re going to find out the end result in this case.  I will be there.  I‘ll be out at closing arguments joining my friends, Susan, Ron and Gloria.  Thanks a lot for coming on the program.


ABRAMS:  Appreciate it.

ALLRED:  Thank you.

FILAN:  We can‘t wait to have you, Dan. 


ABRAMS:  Coming up, the latest on the search for an Idaho brother and sister, Dylan and Shasta Groene.  Their mother and brother found dead at their home.  One of the authorities leading the search joins us next. 

And it‘s not quite the wedding of the year.  Certainly may be the most bizarre.  Tonight, Mary Kay Letourneau marries her former student.  She went to prison because she had sex with him when he was just 12.  Now he is an adult and their—quote—“love” is legal.  We‘ll talk to one of the wedding guests coming up.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, authorities searching for two children missing from an Idaho home where their mother and brother were brutally murdered.  They are looking into a tip that the children may have been spotted.  We will talk to an investigator working the case.  First the headlines. 


ABRAMS:  The manhunt continues for Dylan and Shasta Groene, last seen at their Coeur d‘Alene Idaho home on Sunday night.  Authorities today moved on a tip from Bonners Ferry, about 75 miles north of there.  A shopkeeper said he saw a van with two young children in it.  Turns out the boy in the van had light brown, collar-length hair, not the blond crew cut that Dylan has, seemingly another dead end in the search.  Investigators have poured through the home, scoured the ground, drained the creeks, streams, and ponds in the area.  So far nothing.  Dylan and Shasta‘s father was on MSNBC this morning pleading for his children‘s return.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Please release my children.  Release them in an area where they will be safe, until they are contacted by law enforcement officials.  There‘s no call to harm these children. 


ABRAMS:  Joining me now once again is Captain Ben Wolfinger of the Kootenai County Sheriff‘s Department and bring in the great private eye and former NYPD detective, Bo Dietl.  He‘s also the author of “Business Lunchatations: How an Everyday Guy Became One of America‘s Most Colorful CEOs... And How You Can Too!”. 

All right, Captain, bottom line is you get this tip, seems like something—you might have something real and something tangible.  You convinced it was nothing? 

CAPT. BEN WOLFINGER, KOOTENAI CTY., ID SHERIFF‘S DEPT.:  Yes, we are.  We‘ve had dozens and dozens of tips.  We‘ve had well over 500 calls into our tip line and we followed every one of those tips up.  This tip excited us a little bit more because it was close to home.  And because of that we thought maybe this is the one. 

But unfortunately, the description just didn‘t match Dylan Groene and that‘s what really iced it.  Just moments ago I was back at the command center and they had confirmed it was not the right people.  It was not the right children, and that‘s just one more we‘ll chalk up.  We‘re still looking for those tips though. 

ABRAMS:  All right and we‘ve got the tip line number up there, just to try and help.  Anyone who‘s got information, there are the numbers.  All right, Bo, let‘s lay out the evidence that we know about, all right?  We know you‘ve got a bloody crime scene.  We know you‘ve got three victims, bound, blunt-force trauma.  What—and two kids are missing though from the house. 

BO DIETL, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  You know the thing I wanted to find out and I got my answer to it was, was the boy that was killed, was that the same father of all three of the children, the two that are missing,, the boy and the girl, the young one, and the one that was killed has the same father.  So that kind of eliminates that father I really believe, as far as being involved.  Also, Captain, I wanted to ask questions about...

ABRAMS:  Yes, go ahead Bo.

DIETL:  ... about this family, Captain.  Were they involved in any kind of shady business at all?  What was the business that this mother and the boyfriend were involved in? 

WOLFINGER:  Well I don‘t know what the boyfriend—I think he was a construction worker.  I know the mother was a waitress in a local restaurant. 

DIETL:  Yes.  Now, also, Captain, did we also check on the local child molesters out there because these are young kids now.  All of a sudden for some reason they survived this attack.  There‘s a reason behind that.  We always got to look at a reason why they took these young children, and they killed everybody else.  So it could be a possibility of one of these registered sex offenders that‘s going to do something to these children.  Have we been checking all them avenues? 

WOLFINGER:  Absolutely.  You know those investigators are out there digging through that list.  We have a very, very good program here for registering sex offenders.  (INAUDIBLE) on them every day.  We have one deputy just assigned to deal with that.  So they are researching all those, they‘re studying those, they‘re contacting those, they‘re investigating all those possible leads.

DIETL:  And all the people that were at the barbecue they have been tracked down I‘m sure.  But the other thing I was—I wanted to ask you about was they have the FBI involved with this case, now have they done the whole latent print thing, the whole house completely with the latent prints? 

WOLFINGER:  Well they are—they‘re still finishing up the house, they haven‘t completed it.  But they—we are pulling latent prints, as well as blood for DNA and other tests.  They‘re doing—they‘re processing the crime scene very, very well. 


WOLFINGER:  Everything is going back to...

ABRAMS:  Captain, let me just ask you one thing about what Bo just mentioned.  That is about the barbecue, right.  You‘ve got this barbecue at the house on Sunday night—at least this guy Lutner tells you that there is a barbecue.  And so far...

WOLFINGER:  That‘s right.

ABRAMS:  ... have you not been able to track down any of the people who were at that barbecue? 

WOLFINGER:  No.  Actually, we‘ve learned now that once we put that invitation out, those people started calling us.

ABRAMS:  They did. 

WOLFINGER:  And the vast majority have been contacted now by our investigators.  So that was—that worked great using you, the media, to get that word out to these local people. 

ABRAMS:  And what did they say? 


ABRAMS:  They said it was just a barbecue and the family was there, and everybody was fine, and there was no conflict? 

WOLFINGER:  Well I—all I know right now is the investigators are talking to those people.  They are interviewing them.  They are calling all those leads, that hasn‘t come back to the media center yet.

DIETL:  You know, Dan...

ABRAMS:  Go ahead Bo.

DIETL:  Dan, a lot of people don‘t understand with these latent prints, you know, they have the FBI involved now, which is really good.  They can take a partial print or piece of that print, they run it through that computer and they compare it with anyone who was arrested.  So anyone who didn‘t belong in that house at that time could be some kind of evidence leading to somebody. 


DIETL:  Now the only problem with this thing, again, is why just take those two children?  Why didn‘t they wipe out everybody?  This is a very unusual case. 

ABRAMS:  And you know, I think an item—and Captain, I don‘t know if you can answer this, but I think someone like Bo, other people looking at this from the outside would be very interested to know, what were they bound with?  I mean were they bound with an item that was found in the house, which might indicate that it was sort of a last-minute thing to do this or was it binding that might have been brought into the house?

WOLFINGER:  Well, I can tell you that the investigators are keeping what they were bound with close to the vest.  That‘s part of that investigatory issue.  They‘re going to help weed out those people who want to confess, get their 15 minutes of fame. 

ABRAMS:  Right.

WOLFINGER:  They‘re going to hold that close to them. 

ABRAMS:  And Bo, Bo, wouldn‘t you be interested in knowing that, because I think...


ABRAMS:  ... that might help...


ABRAMS:  ... if they are bound with telephone cord, right, it might have been from something in the house and then they could say oh, maybe they did this last-minute. 

DIETL:  You know, Dan, in reality, the captain is right.  I mean if we start putting all the evidence out, and if someone confesses to something, that‘s the pieces of evidence that you have to hear to know that they were really involved.  The problem here is you always look for a motive on a murder like this.  And this is so weird with the two little children. 

That‘s what makes me believe that there is someone involved with sexual deviancy with children to let them survive and why they killed the other son.  And then when they interviewed the other person that was there, you have phone records there now from the telephones, the incoming calls, the outgoing calls...


DIETL:  ... the cell phone.  There are so many investigative leads I‘m sure they are following up on.

ABRAMS:  Bo, you think the binding, does that tell you anything about more than one person?  I mean if you‘re talking about three people in the house...

DIETL:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  ... does it make more likely you‘re talking about more than one person?

DIETL:  You know my feelings here, unless somebody held a gun on everyone and tied each one up individually by himself, which could happen.  When we had the Palm Sunday massacre, he killed 10 people by himself.  So he had a gun out as he was shooting people, as he was going around.  But this seems like there could be a group involved, one or two could be involved.

Also the anger that is shown with the bludgeoning of these people, this shows some kind of a motive of anger.  I mean if you‘re going to slice somebody‘s throat or you shoot somebody in the head or whatever, that‘s a way of killing people, but to bludgeon someone has some sort of anger to it.  And I really believe there was possibly drugs involved with that kind of anger.  And that methane, that high stuff, it gets people to react like that when you bash somebody‘s head in like that.

ABRAMS:  Yes.  All right.  We shall see.  Captain, we continue to put up the tip line, as we always promise you when you come on the program, been putting up throughout the segment.  Thanks a lot for coming back on.  We appreciate it.  And Bo, always great to see you...

WOLFINGER:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  Thanks for coming on the program.

DIETL:  Good luck, Captain.  Catch them son of a guns. 

WOLFINGER:  We‘re going to try.  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Former teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau and former student Vili Fualaau tie the knot tonight.  We‘re going to talk with a good friend of the beaming and now legal couple.  They got—the person‘s about to leave for the wedding.  That‘s up next.

Your e-mails abramsreport@msnbc.com.  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, Mary Kay Letourneau made headlines, went to prison, when she said she fell in love with her 12-year-old student.  Well now they‘re getting married.  He‘s a lot older.  We‘re going to talk to one of the wedding guests up next. 



ABRAMS:  From her prison jumpsuit to a wedding dress.  Tonight is the night that Mary Kay Letourneau has been dreaming of.  Tonight she gets to enter the world of happily legal wedded bliss with her paramour, her former sixth grade student, the father of her two youngest children, Vili Fualaau.  Over 200 guests are expected to attend.

Mary Kay, now 43, served seven and a half years in prison after she was convicted of raping Vili, who is now 22.  She was released last August, has been busy, busy, planning the wedding ever since.  The couple registered, after all they do have a house to fill and apparently they have some expensive taste.  There is the $345 salt and peppershakers from Tiffany, the two Tommy Hilfiger twin bed sets from Macy‘s, presumably for Mary Kay and Vili‘s daughters, Audrey and Alexis, the always-necessary Williams-Sonoma French crepe pan, or feel free to complete their set of Crate and Barrel Brandy Snifters and dessert wine glasses.  If you‘re really undecided, you can always take the easy way out and get them a gift card of course. 

Joining me just hours before he heads to the Letourneau-Fualaau wedding, Mary Kay‘s friend, attorney, David Gehrke.  David, good to see you again.

DAVID GEHRKE, MARY KAY LETOURNEAU‘S FRIEND:  Hey thank you.  It‘s an honor to be on your show.  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  David, this whole thing is kind of weird, right?  I mean going to their wedding? 

GEHRKE:  The whole thing is unusual.  Going to the wedding is sort of like the highlight of it, after the tears, the cheers, the tears again, as she re-offended, the joy.  In fact, I think we were with you in New York last summer when we found out the no-contact order was being lifted.  This is sort of like the culmination of a long-term mystery, what is going to happen.  Now we know.  We‘re going to go to the second chapter starting tomorrow. 

ABRAMS:  Are you confident about this?  I mean if someone, let‘s say Mary Kay came to you and she said, this is crazy, David.  Am I—you know I mean apart from the fact that having sex with your 12-year-old student is crazy.  But if she was to say to you, you know, I‘m going forward with this wedding.  I shouldn‘t do this, should I?  What would you say to her?

GEHRKE:  You know, you look at our high school friends, our college friends, our current friends that are married for a month, a year, two years, a little trouble, they get divorced, they can‘t tough it out.  Mary spent 18 months in solitary during her prison time, because she wanted to be in touch with Vili.  Vili would forego a lot of opportunity because he wanted to wait for Mary. 

They have been through the hard times because of their love and devotion to each other.  Is that weird?  Nowadays it is.  Most people get divorced as soon as there is any hardship.  I do want to say today, tonight is my 15th wedding anniversary.  I know what it takes to be married for a while.  It takes a lot of hard work, love and dedication.  Susan, I love you.  Thank you for sticking by me.  She‘s worked a lot harder than I have at it.

ABRAMS:  Good for her. 

GEHRKE:  And...

ABRAMS:  I‘m happy to give you that...

GEHRKE:  ... these two people...

ABRAMS:  But you weren‘t 12 when you met her, were you? 

GEHRKE:  No, not chronologically.  But I‘ve certainly been a lot more immature than she was over the years. 

ABRAMS:  Here‘s what Vili...

GEHRKE:  These guys have been through the hardship and I think they‘ve shown that they can tough it out... 

ABRAMS:  Here‘s what Vili...

GEHRKE:  ... and it is strange.

ABRAMS:  Let me—hang on one sec.  I just want to me play what Vili said on the “Today” show about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If you had a version of a happy ending, would it include marrying Mary Kay and living happily ever after with Audrey and Alexis? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I would really like that, to be with her and start off where we left off and, you know, do the things that we said we were going to do.


ABRAMS:  I‘m sorry, David.  I interrupted you.  Go ahead. 

GEHRKE:  No.  Dan, I‘ve seen these people together since they have been out.  I‘ve seen them quite a bit.  I‘ve seen them at barbecues.  They are in love.  They are dedicated to each other.  And it is strange.  If anyone had told me seven and a half years ago they were going to end up here, I would have said, no, never happen. 


GEHRKE:  But it is not that weird now, when you track the course of the case, when you‘ve seen them together over the last six, seven months...


GEHRKE:  It almost makes sense and that is hard to believe... 

ABRAMS:  It is...

GEHRKE:  ... it does make sense.

ABRAMS:  It is hard to believe.  I mean look, you know, as you know, I had lunch with Vili and you know it is hard to believe, even (INAUDIBLE) for those of us on the outside, it‘s—you know, more than hard.  Very quickly, what did you get them for the wedding? 

GEHRKE:  A telescope.  They‘ve got this nice little place on the beach and there‘s always things to look at, and we figure, the little girls are there and they can watch the ships go by, and there‘s eagles that fly by. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  David Gehrke, come on back after the wedding.  Be interesting to hear how it goes.  Thanks. 

GEHRKE:  I‘m sure it will be interesting and I hope I can.  There is supposedly a confidentiality agreement that we all have to sign... 


GEHRKE:  ... we can‘t talk about it...

ABRAMS:  The whole thing is a pay per view...

GEHRKE:  I‘ll give you a heads up. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, the whole --  apparently the whole thing...

GEHRKE:  Right.

ABRAMS:  ... is basically a pay per view event.  You know, unbelievable.  All right.  Coming up...

GEHRKE:  Take care. 

ABRAMS:  Good to see you.  Last night we debated Six Flags banning sex offenders from its amusement parks.  Many of you writing in.  Your e-mails next.


ABRAMS:  We‘re back.  Now to “Your Rebuttal”.  Six Flags amusement park became the first amusement park to ban sex offenders from the premises.  I said can‘t imagine too many people are going to object to that.  Some did.

Not Debbie Harbeck in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  “If a sex offender is not allowed within so many feet of schools and places that children are congregating, why should they be allowed into theme parks that are crawling with children?”

But Dae asks, I think sarcastically, what‘s next?  “Why stop at Six Flags?  How about banning sex offenders from all places where children may be?  Pizza Hut, McDonald‘s, the mall, Wal-Mart, video stores, movie theaters and so on?”

From Greensboro, North Carolina, Kathryn Adams, “If sex—if convicted sex offenders cannot vote and employers and communities have a right to now about them, businesses not only have a right, but an obligation to protect their customers and their businesses.”

Julie in Merchantville, New Jersey, “I‘ve got the answer Dan.  Maybe Six Flags should set up sex offender day so the sex offenders who really want to play at Six Flags can do so on their own special day without any kids around.”

From Palm Springs, California, Rhoda Castro.  “How in the name of common sense will any amusement park implement their policy?  Hi.  Welcome to Six Flags.  Are you a convicted sex offender?”

Finally, let me just say thanks to all of you who wrote in wishing me a happy birthday today.  I appreciate it. 

Your e-mails abramsreport—one word -- @msnbc.com.  We go through them at the end of the show. 

Coming up, why the new “Star Wars” movie sent a convicted sex offender back to jail.  It‘s tonight‘s “OH PLEAs!”.


ABRAMS:  “OH PLEAs!”—it seems for one avid “Star Wars” fan the only force with him was the police force.  Thirty-five-year-old Andrew Crawford (ph) from Sun City, California, landed himself down in front of the Edwards 11 Theater in his own personal millennium falcon, a tent.  Crawford (ph) was sleeping in the theater weeks before the premier in the hopes of being one of the first to see the last “Star Wars” movie.  Two days before show time, like a disturbance in the force, the sheriffs showed up.  You see not only is Crawford a fan of the land of tattooing, but he also succumbed to the dark side.  He is a convicted sex offender.  Under California law, he has to report a change of address within five days of moving.  A two-week camping stay at the theater didn‘t allow him to register after relocating.  He pleaded not guilty.  He remains in jail pending bail.

Looks like even OB1 might not be able to help him.  See you tomorrow -

·         no Monday.


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