updated 6/15/2005 2:46:22 PM ET 2005-06-15T18:46:22

Guest: Alan Lipman, Sue Blaney, Tom Sneddon, Noraina Pietersz, Mickey John, Ruben Trapenberg

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline:  Police in Aruba follow new leads.  But time may be running out.  And, tonight, the question remains, where is Natalee Holloway? 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  No passport required.  Only common sense allowed. 


SCARBOROUGH (voice-over):  A new search today in Aruba, as word comes from the island that three suspects may be cracking, but still no sign of Natalee.  Can the two released security guards tell us about the case of the missing Alabama teen?  We will talk to one of them tonight. 

Plus, Natalee‘s family, what are they going through as the search drags into a second agonizing week? 

TOM SNEDDON, SANTA BARBARA DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  We worked hard.  We put our heart and soul into it.  And we felt that we did the best job that we could. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Tom Sneddon, the man who went after Michael Jackson and missed 10 times.  Rita Cosby interviews him in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and asks, what went wrong?

Mud wrestling, punch-outs.  And it‘s all caught on videotape.  What is going on with America‘s kids?  In this new age of video, who is to blame for the fact that our children have gone wild?  That is a SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY debate. 


ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome to the show tonight. 

Major new developments in Aruba, as the search for Natalee intensifies.  Now, two suspects were released late last night, while three young men who had been the last to see Natalee are still being interrogated.  The question is, is one of them beginning to crack? 

For more on what happened today, let‘s go live to Aruba and NBC‘s Martin Savidge. 

Marine, now, the government of Aruba is saying it is doing everything it can.  But the question is, is the clock beginning to run out on this trail of evidence in the case? 

MARTIN SAVIDGE, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, time is becoming a crucial factor. 

You know, this was a day where they went, again, looking for answers.  And it was another day where they just simply didn‘t seem to be able to find them; 2:00 this afternoon, it looked like a major search effort under way within sight of our cameras right here at the Marriott Hotel, a specific site just to the north, actually, an area where it is believed with the interrogations that have been taking place with the suspects they have said that Natalee Holloway had gone with them on the night that she vanished. 

It was also an area where earlier today a volunteer had found a pair of women‘s underwear.  As a result of those factors coming together, police decided it was time to thoroughly search the area.  They moved in.  They cordoned it off.  They shut down traffic at certain places.  And they brought in FBI search dogs.  Carefully, they lined up people on foot and waded into the underbrush and the undergrowth that is located there.

But it appears, despite all of those efforts, they didn‘t find anything more than the original discovery.  And there is no way really right now to know if that is connected with Natalee‘s disappearance. 

It is frustrated for the family.  You pointed that out.  I was out earlier today with Natalee Holloway‘s mother.  And she was going door-to-door, as she has done for the past two weeks, handing out fliers, prayer bracelets, just saying hello to people, making them realize what is going on, as if they need any reminder in this island.

But, today, she went specifically to one area, the neighborhood of where the suspects have lived.  She wants to get the message clear to family members and maybe friends, people who knew them, that this search effort is vital and maybe they know something to talk about, to give away about those suspects.  It is her personal way of trying to bring pressure to bear. 

And then, finally, you pointed out two suspects released, those former security guards.  They now appear to have been cleared from the investigation.  But they feel that they have been harmed as a result.  They were angry over the fact that they were held for so long for apparently a story that was concocted by three boys who are still the prime suspects—


SCARBOROUGH:  Martin, let me ask you very quickly, obviously, in America, we are hearing more and more criticism of the fact that Aruban authorities allowed those three crime suspects to go for at least 10 days and may have allowed the trail to go cold.  Are you starting to hear that criticism grow in Aruba on the island? 

SAVIDGE:  Well, you are not hearing it so much from the people on the island.  You certainly hear it from the family members.  They say, why did it go 11 days when you knew that these were the three young men that were with her the night that she disappeared?  Why did it wait so long? 

And here‘s another concern about timing.  And that has to do with the evidence.  If, sadly, something tragic has happened to Natalee Holloway and she was murdered, her body is the largest piece of evidence to be found.  In this tropical heat, with time and with all of those factors coming together, the evidence that could tell the authorities who did it and how could be dissipating.  We are talking about DNA, semen and other things that could be retrieved. 

So, that is one reason why authorities want to find her, preferably alive, but, if not, they need to find evidence to prove who did it. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  And, again, Martin, obviously, those 11 days, 11 critical days that were lost.

Martin, thanks a lot for being with us.  As always, we greatly appreciate it. 

Now, in just a minute, you are going to be hearing from one of the security guards that was arrested, then released in Aruba.  Mickey John is going to be here to talk live about what he heard inside the jail that could crack this case wide open. 

But, first, the government of Aruba facing tough questions tonight about the investigation. 

Now, for that part of the story, we turn to Ruben Trapenberg.  He‘s a spokesman for the government of Aruba.

Thank you so much for being with us tonight, Ruben.

Certainly, you are hearing a lot of criticism about these three prime suspects not being picked up and kept in custody.  Why the 11-day delay?  And are the Aruban authorities now admitting that may have been a mistake? 

RUBEN TRAPENBERG, ARUBAN SPOKESMAN:  They are not admitting that it was a mistake. 

The official version—and this was communicated about a week ago in a press conference from the chief prosecutor when she was confronted with that question.  She said that they were questioned and then released for tactical reasons.  Now, what exactly tactical reasons may be, people have speculated that they may have been followed and tapped or whatever. 

We have no explanation of what those words mean in this case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  But, obviously, though, it doesn‘t apply to the car, which, if it would have been impounded, then they could have found—possibly found critical evidence to, again, put Ms. Holloway in that car.  And if a crime were committed in that car, obviously, it would have helped to impound it before giving them 11 days to clean up the DNA evidence. 

TRAPENBERG:  Well, what she said in that very same press conference is that the car‘s—and certain holdings of these kids were checked out.  They did look for samples that they could get.  That is what they are explaining at this point.  Why they didn‘t impound them at that point is not revealed at this—at this moment. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mr. Trapenberg, obviously Mickey John was jailed for a few weeks.  He is now claiming that, while he was in jail, he wasn‘t asked a single question.  Can you give us more information on that?  What are the authorities saying on why they would this man for a few weeks and not even interrogate him? 

TRAPENBERG:  From what I hear, he was interrogated, but only once. 

And then all the information that he had given up had to be checked out. 

That took a while. 

And when it was clear that—when they were cleared, they were released.  That is the information that we have at this point. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mr. Trapenberg, could it be that your island is, for the most part, such a peaceful island and such a crime-free island that maybe Aruban authorities aren‘t up to the task to investigating such a high-profile possible murder investigation? 

TRAPENBERG:  That is true.  We don‘t have this kind of a situation.  People don‘t go missing on the island.  We don‘t have this—we don‘t have a crime problem on the island.  So, you would think the local authorities don‘t have the experience. 

But what they do have is that part of the year they go to Holland and they have contacts with U.S. authorities.  They go over for training.  So, even though they may not handle those cases, when they go out to do this special training, they do get training in that area.  So, in this case, we have people that have come from Holland and from the FBI, and they are assisting, because they already know each other.  It is not that you are going to get your jurisdictional trouble at this point. 

They know each other and that is why they are working.  And the FBI came in almost from day one. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Mr. Trapenberg, thanks a lot for your time. 

We greatly appreciate it. 

And, again, to put perspective on it, this really is a rare, rare occurrence in Aruba.  But, certainly, it has happened to Natalee.  It has a great impact on her family, her friends in Birmingham, Alabama, and all Americans that have been following this story and thinking about her and praying for her over the past several weeks. 

Now let‘s bring in former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt. 

Clint, I just don‘t know where to begin.  These authorities have made so many mistakes. 


SCARBOROUGH:  But let‘s start with the biggest mistake, allowing these three suspects to basically go free for 11 days.  Talk about all the things that these three suspects could have done over 11 days to basically to make the trail just go cold. 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, I‘ll tell you what, Joe.  This is—you know how they advertise it as one happy island.  This is one unhappy island right now. 

You know, I understand this tactical phrase that we heard earlier, and, hopefully, to you and me, that suggests they were able to put, you know, beeping devices on their car.  They were able to get court-ordered wiretaps on their cell phones. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Clint, Clint, Clint, that was spin control, buddy.  You know that.

VAN ZANDT:  Yes.  Well, I am saying hopefully. 

Reality is, Joe, you know, reality is, I‘m afraid—I‘m afraid, reality is, they went out and rounded up the usual suspects, two poor black guys who might take the fall for it, while these other three guys walk for almost two weeks until the mother of the victim and the FBI and other people put such pressure on the government that they had to cave and pull these three guys in. 


VAN ZANDT:  ... that‘s reality.

SCARBOROUGH:  And, of course, Clint, what makes—what makes it even worse is that one of these kids, the white kid, is politically connected on the island. 

You know, I never use the race card, but it was so painfully obvious that they pulled these poor...


SCARBOROUGH:  ... these poor black guys off the street simply because they were easy targets.  I mean, so, what happens next?  What does the FBI do?  How do they step in and try to make up for those 11 days?  Or can you simply not make up for 11 lost days in an investigation like this? 

VAN ZANDT:  You know, sometimes, when the train pulls past the watering station, you can‘t get water again, Joe.  You are too far down the tracks. 

And, in this particular case, the FBI, you have got to realize, now, if this was an Aruban girl who went missing in Chicago and a dozen Aruban cops showed up and told the Chicago P.D., hey, we are here to take over the investigation, that wouldn‘t fly very well.  You and I know that.  So, that is—that is what the FBI is encountering. 

They are there.  They are saying, we are here to help you.  We will help you with interview strategies.  We have got the lab.  We will fly in search dogs.  We will do anything we can to make this investigation work.  And the Arubans are saying, thank you very much.  We will run it.  We will let you watch.  We‘ll let you see some things that are going on, but it is our country. 

I can‘t blame them for saying that, but you have got FBI agents who work these type of crimes all the time.  And the Arubans will proudly tell you, they have only had two or three homicides in the last couple of years.  You don‘t get a lot of experience working homicides unless, unfortunately, you work homicides. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, and, unfortunately, they don‘t work homicides.  And it reminds me of Barney Fife with the one bullet, except, in this case, tragic consequences. 

Stay with us, Clint.  We‘re going to be right back.

And we‘re also going to have a lot more tonight on the search for Natalee, including, we are going to the security guard who was just released from jail.  Now, you remember, last week, I told you, the only reason they arrested this guy was because he was black and he talked to tourists from time to time. 

And, sure enough, he is here tonight to confirm that what I said while he just got thrown into jail is exactly right.  You are going to be hearing from him in his own words. 

Plus, this:


SNEDDON:  That is just another instance where the defense team doesn‘t know what they are talking about. 


SCARBOROUGH:  The man who lost the Michael Jackson case, Tom Sneddon, goes one-on-one with our own Rita Cosby.  What mistakes did he make?  You are going to be hearing that explosive interview coming up. 

Plus, kids out of control and on tape.  We are going to show you and find out what is behind this disturbing new trend. 

Hey, don‘t go away.  SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is just getting started. 


SCARBOROUGH:  The search for Natalee.  Next, what a former suspect heard in jail, information that could break this case wide open.  And it came from an unlikely source.  We are going to hear it in his own words when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back to the show. 

Late last night, the two security guards who were arrested early in this case were released after nearly two weeks behind bars.  Now, you will remember, here on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, first, we told you that these guys were being set up by the police to draw attention away from the real suspects.  Well, Mickey John and Abraham Jones were detained, but they were never charged.  And now we are having explosive new information coming out.  They are free tonight. 

And Mickey John is with us now, along with his attorney, Noraina Pietersz.

Mickey, thank you so much for being with us tonight. 

I want to ask you about your arrest, about being thrown into jail and

·         and why that happened.  But the first thing I want to ask you is about an interesting conversation you had with suspect Deepak Kalpoe.  What did he tell you about Natalee while you were in jail? 

MICKEY JOHN, FORMER SUSPECT:  Well, Deepak came to San Nicolas police station Thursday, come to Friday morning.  I saw him on Friday morning.  He introduced himself as Deepak.  So, we had been talking. 

You know, when somebody come in new, you always ask them things about yourself and what are they here for.  He said his name was Deepak and he was here for the missing girl‘s case. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And what did he tell about that night? 

JOHN:  Well, let me go in details.

I ask him if he saw the guy on the news.  He said yes.  He saw the guy on the news.  I asked him if he knew the guy.  He said no.  I asked him if he knew where the guy is from.  He said the guy is from Grenada.  So, right then, I knew he was talking about me.  So, I decided to ask him a few questions.

SCARBOROUGH:  And when you asked...


SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  I was just going to say...

JOHN:  Go ahead.  Go ahead.

SCARBOROUGH:  What did he have to say about Natalee? 

JOHN:  Well, he said the story that Natalee had been dropped off at the Holiday Inn was all made up.  He said the girl has never been dropped off at the Holiday Inn.

He said (INAUDIBLE) took the girl from Carlos ‘n Charlie‘s, drove to the lighthouse.  He, Deepak, was driving the car.  His brother was sitting next to him in the front.  Natalee was sitting in the back seat, behind Deepak.  And the Dutch guy was sitting in the back seat behind his brother.  They drove to the lighthouse. 

He didn‘t say to me what took place at the lighthouse.  But he said, on his way back, they dropped the Dutch guy off and Natalee close to the Marriott Hotel.  He went home.  He went online on his computer.  And he said, like an hour after, the Dutch guy sent him an e-mail, like a message on his telephone, on his cell phone, saying that, when he got home, he would communicate with him online also.  So, apparently, the Dutch guy was still out when he sent him the message. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And that story sounds completely different from what we heard from these statements that they gave to the police immediately after the arrest.  Let‘s—where they said they dropped her back off at the hotel.

Let‘s talk about your story for a second.  You know, I personally could not believe you got arrested.  They had no evidence on you.  From everything we heard, you had never even met this young woman.  Tell me, what—what excuse did the police give you, did the Aruban authorities give you for throwing you in jail in such a high-profile case? 

JOHN:  They didn‘t give me absolutely no excuse at all, until this very moment, no excuse.  They didn‘t explain to me why I‘ve been taken into custody, no excuse at all. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Did they ask you questions when you were in custody?  I mean, the whole world saw your face.  They saw you taken out of your home like a common criminal, thrown into jail.  Did they—did they ask you about Natalee?  Did they say, did you see her that night?  Did they ask you about the crime? 

JOHN:  Yes.  They asked me if I knew her.  I said I didn‘t know her.  They asked me if I see her.  I say, I never saw her before.  And I was not at the Holiday Inn at the time they said the incident had been taking place.  I was in my bed sleeping, apparently, because I had to be working 6:00 the following day, 6:00 a.m. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What—what about—do you think this happened because the main suspect in this case, Mr. Van Der Sloot, has political connections on the island? 

JOHN:  Well, I wouldn‘t emphasize most on that.  I wouldn‘t say that.  I don‘t know much about that.  I just mean that they are trying to set somebody up, and which I was very unfortunate and my other colleague.  We are both unfortunate.


Let me bring in your attorney. 

Ms. Pietersz, obviously, tonight, you have got to be pleased that your client is free.  But, at the same time, are you getting any answers from authorities on why they arrested him? 

NORAINA PIETERSZ, ATTORNEY FOR MICKEY JOHN:  Until this moment, not really, because today is Tuesday. 

Last Sunday, I spoke with the prosecutor in charge of the case.  And she even told me that she was still investigating on my client.  But, after I spoke with my client, after speaking with him every day—and the only investigation that has been done, according to my client and as far as I know of, is the fact that they took his statement the first day they brought him in under police custody, which was Sunday. 

And now Monday again, they took a statement.  And, after that, nothing else happened.  Then the confrontation with one of the suspects who has been held in one or two cells next to him.  And that was on his own insistence. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And that is on his own.  And, of course, the police officers, using the information that your client gave the world, conducted another investigation today. 

You know, I understand it is a small legal community down there.  I understand it is hard to criticize other attorneys. 


SCARBOROUGH:  But to those of us in America, this seems so obvious that for 11 days they let the prime suspect run free, simply because he was politically connected.  Are you willing to say that that may have played a role on your suspect landing in jail, instead of the main suspect who was seen with this young woman leaving the bar the night she disappeared? 

PIETERSZ:  You know, I have heard a lot of rumors about some strategic plan or something like that.  I don‘t want to believe so, because, even according to the Aruban law, it is not allowed to take in an innocent person as a suspect, whereas you might have some other suspect walking out there. 

And that was the case with my client.  Three—three people were heard as witnesses.  They were witnesses from the beginning.  And then according to their statements, they got my client.  And, after all, it happened that he wasn‘t even a suspect. 


PIETERSZ:  Until now, we don‘t really know how that happened. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, I tell you what...

PIETERSZ:  We don‘t really have an answer to that. 

SCARBOROUGH:  They owe you answers.  They owe your client answers. 

And they certainly owe the family of Natalee Holloway a lot of answers.

Thanks for being with us tonight again, Ms. Pietersz.


SCARBOROUGH:  And thank you so much, Mickey John.  We are glad, finally, that you are where you belong, out of jail. 

Let‘s bring back Clint Van Zandt.

Clint, the errors made by the Aruban authorities just keep piling up. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Here, an innocent man thrown in jail, not really even interrogated.  What is going on down there? 

VAN ZANDT:  Well, I will tell you, Joe, I have worked in Aruba, Curacao, the Bahamas as an FBI agent.  You know, they have got some real hardworking cops.  They are doing the best they can with the conditions they have. 

But, you know, just—when you and I first started talking, I suggested there was some sophisticated plan.  OK, we are going to go bag these two guys and then we‘re going to be following the other three guys to really get the goods on them.  That is some dime store comic book.  That is not reality. 

Reality is, you get the three guys that were last with the victim and you work them and you work them and you work them until you crack them.  You don‘t say, well, let‘s see.  We are on the bullseye and let‘s move out about 5,000 yards and see who might have been on the peripheral.  And that is what they have done in this case. 

And they—as you started your program out, they wasted valuable time.


VAN ZANDT:  As Martin said, the chances of getting linking forensic evidence in a worst-case scenario are getting tougher and tougher. 

And, you know, the authorities have got their work cut out for them.  And I hope they give the FBI a greater role.  My question is, can this be salvaged?  But, Joe, all we have got to have is one of these three guys break and tell us the truth.  But, you know, you have got an island about the size of Washington, D.C.  And you and I know it took over a year to find Chandra Levy‘s body.  And we knew where that park was...


VAN ZANDT:  ... where she was last at.

SCARBOROUGH:  They thought—they knew that she was in a park.  And it took them a very long time to find her bones.

Clint, thanks so much for being us with.  We are going to keep following this case, obviously.  And we need your insights. 

Now, another big story.  Our own Rita Cosby has another big get in the Michael Jackson case. 


RITA COSBY, MSNBC:  In fact, I have district attorney Tom Sneddon.  I just spoke with him.  He‘s the man who lost the Michael Jackson case.  Tonight, he tells me what the accuser‘s reaction to the verdict was and if he has any regrets.  Joe, it is an explosive interview.  You do not want to miss it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And I am not going to, obviously.


SCARBOROUGH:  And nobody in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY should either.

And also, later, disturbing images of teen violence caught on camera.  But what is really behind this out-of-control behavior?  We will give you the answer when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 


SCARBOROUGH:  He suffered one of the most stinging defeats in celebrity trial history.  Coming up next, Tom Sneddon, the DA who pursued Michael Jackson for more than a decade, comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY with Rita Cosby.  That is just seconds away. 

But, first, here‘s the latest news that you and your family need to know. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Prosecutor Tom Sneddon yesterday, the day his office suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Michael Jackson‘s jury.  Well, tonight, he is talking tonight about what happened to MSNBC‘s own Rita Cosby.

Rita joins us now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY—Rita. 

COSBY:  Joe, Tom Sneddon was quite fiery during this interview.  And, for the first time, we hear how the boy who accused Michael Jackson of molestation reacted to the verdict. 

We at MSNBC, in order to protect the boy‘s privacy, have chosen to remove his name.  So, you may at times not hear the audio for a brief second during the interview.  But what you will hear is a boisterous prosecutor who defends his case through and through. 

First, I asked the district attorney if he was personally devastated

by the jury‘s decision. 


SNEDDON:  We felt that we did the best job that we could.  And that is it.  I mean, that is our philosophy.  You do the best you can.  And we‘re not the judge and we‘re not the jury.  We are people who put on the case and we feel that we did a very good job, a better than good job, an excellent job. 


COSBY:  Did you talk to the boy (AUDIO GAP) What was his reaction? 

SNEDDON:  (AUDIO GAP) was very discouraged.  He was—as you would expect, a young 15-year-old boy who everybody in the world now knows the jury didn‘t believe what he said was very discouraged. 

He couldn‘t understand it and was down.  And I talked to him at length and told him to get his chin up, that he was a very courageous young man and that he had done the right thing.  And, you know, that is the whole thing about this, is, we did the right thing for the right reason.  He did, too.  And it didn‘t go our way, but life goes on.  And his life will go on and it will be a very good life.  He‘s a very courageous young man.

COSBY:  What did he say to you specifically? 

SNEDDON:  He asked me a couple of times, you know, what happened?  Why didn‘t they believe me?  Why didn‘t—and I tried to explain to him that I couldn‘t, I couldn‘t tell him that, but that, in our opinion, we believed in him and we continue to believe in him and that I told him that basically this is a chapter in your life that is closed.  Close it up and get on with your life. 

Go back to school.  Play your sports and be a good person.  Be somebody.  And he will, because he is that kind of person. 

COSBY:  Is there any doubt in your mind after talking to this boy that Michael Jackson did not molest him? 

SNEDDON:  There never has been, from the very first time I met him. 

COSBY:  So, you believe that Michael Jackson molested this boy, even to this day? 

SNEDDON:  Look, Rita, it is this simple. 

Not only do I believe that, but all the people associated with this case who‘s had an opportunity to with be (AUDIO GAP), to hear (AUDIO GAP), to interact with (AUDIO GAP), this is not Tom Sneddon.  This decision to go forward in this case was a decision that was made by a team of people, a number of lawyers beyond myself.  And there isn‘t a person involved in that decision that in any way, shape or form has ever wavered in their belief that (AUDIO GAP) was telling the truth. 

COSBY:  And you believe that to this day? 

SNEDDON:  Of course. 

COSBY:  The jury, though, another team, eight women, four men, said no way.  They said the evidence wasn‘t there. 

SNEDDON:  That is what they said.  And I don‘t quarrel with juries. 

But you are asking me what my belief is.  And my belief has not wavered.  And it will not waver ever in that regard.  And that is why we have juries, instead of having prosecutors make those decisions. 


COSBY:  Is it possible, though, sir, that this boy and this mother, who have lied before in other cases, like the J.C. Penney case, totally fooled you guys and they were lying again? 

SNEDDON:  No.  And that is a misrepresentation of what happened in J.C. Penney‘s. 

COSBY:  How so?  Because, even, it sounds like she had exaggerated some things before.

SNEDDON:  Well, all right. 

Exaggerating is not the same thing as being a liar.  And what a mother does and says is different from what a child says or does.  And you are asked me specifically about (AUDIO GAP) and I don‘t think that, if the mother had even done something wrong, that you visit the sins of the mother on the son, if you have real belief and integrity of what the young child was telling you. 

So, I think that this tendency to kind of mesh these things together, as if one is dependent on the other, I think is probably a fallacy which a lot of people have bought into, perhaps even the jury.  But, like I said, I‘m not quibbling with the jury‘s verdict.  I‘m just—you are asking me my personal opinion.  And I‘m telling you that there isn‘t a person associated with the prosecution of this case that has ever wavered in their belief in (AUDIO GAP)

COSBY:  What do you say to people who say that you personally had a personal vendetta against Michael Jackson, that you were driven by it, that you spent all this taxpayer money, hundreds of search warrants, tons of time, and it was a waste of taxpayer‘s money, because the jury sort of laughed it off? 

SNEDDON:  Rita, first of all, there weren‘t 100 search warrants in this case. 

Second of all, we didn‘t spend a ton of money.  And, third of all, that whole idea of the revenge is such nonsense.  I see that you folks in the media that really believe that garbage, come down here and check my life.  See what have I been doing the last 10 years.  You know, I have a family.  I have a large family.  I have grandkids.  I play sports.  I work in the community.  I volunteer my time. 

If you think I have given this one passing thought once that case ended in 1993 and ‘94, you are just—you are not in touch with reality.  I mean, I had a chance to make probably $1 million writing a book on that case and turned it down.  I had chances to go on...


COSBY:  Will you ever write a book on this? 

SNEDDON:  I had chances—probably not.  I mean, I‘m just not—probably not.  But, I mean, I had a chance back then to do that.  I had a chance to go on TV.  I had a chance to be interviewed. 

I never said one word after that press conference ever in 10 years. 


SNEDDON:  So, I mean...

COSBY:  Go ahead.

SNEDDON:  Well, it is the truth.  I mean, just look at it.  It is the truth.  I never—people would—every time he would do something, they would call me for a comment, everywhere, Japan, France, England, New York.  Everywhere.  The media would go crazy.  And I didn‘t take any of those calls.  I never made a comment about anything. 

I really, really, really was not involved in following Michael Jackson‘s life.  When (AUDIO GAP) said he was not going to cooperate with our investigation, that was over with and I moved on.  And that is the truth.  I know that doesn‘t make it nice for you folks, because it doesn‘t sell, but that is the truth. 

There is word tonight that Jackson and his team, I guess, have indicated that they want you to immediately surrender these photos that were taken that you have access to of Michael Jackson‘s private parts, that they are fearful that they are going to be leaked out in the press somehow.  Will you surrender those photos? 

SNEDDON:  Rita, that is just another instance where the defense team doesn‘t know what they are talking about. 

I don‘t have those photos.  The sheriff‘s department doesn‘t have those photos.  Nobody can get those photos without a court order.  There are only three names on the signature to get in there.  And you need signatures from two of them and a court—a judge‘s approve.  So, this is just typical of what has been going on in this case ever since it‘s happened. 

The people don‘t know what they are talking about.  And it is not true. 

COSBY:  So, what do you say to Michael Jackson‘s team who are saying, we are worried that Tom Sneddon is going to leak this out?

SNEDDON:  It is just—it‘s the same old nonsense.  I can‘t leak out what I can‘t get to, can I? 

COSBY:  So, you can guarantee that they won‘t be leaked...


SNEDDON:  I don‘t have the negatives.  They‘ve been—what did I just tell you?  They can‘t get—nobody can get access to them without a judge‘s approval and two signatures.

COSBY:  So, they are not going anywhere, is what you are saying? 

SNEDDON:  That is what I said.  And that is what I have been saying and that is the truth.  That‘s another one of these things where...


COSBY:  If you saw Michael Jackson on the street, and you ran into him, or run into him again, what would you say to him? 


SNEDDON:  That is a highly unlikely scenario. 

COSBY:  But if it were to happen...


SNEDDON:  That Michael Jackson and I are going to run into each...

COSBY:  What would say to him if you could see him, if you happen to run into him? 


SNEDDON:  I wouldn‘t say anything.  I would probably nod and keep walking. 

COSBY:  Would you walk away? 

SNEDDON:  I said I would probably nod and keep walking.  I wouldn‘t go out of my way to avoid him. 

I don‘t feel any vindictiveness towards this man.  In a lot of respects, he is a fairly pathetic person, in the sense of what he has gone through.  And I don‘t have any vendetta against him.  And it is just that simple. 

COSBY:  Are you sad, sir, as your term is ending, that this is...


SNEDDON:  No, I am glad. 

COSBY:  Well, no.  This may be the last huge case.  You are certainly never going to have a case like this with a year and a half left in your term.  Are you sad this is the way you are going out? 


I just don‘t think you people understand who I am.  And who I am is that I tell the kids that I have coached and I tell my kids that I have raised that, if you do the best job that you can possibly do, and you do it for the right reasons, whether you win or whether you lose is unimportant.  The question is, can you walk off the field at the end of the game with your chin up and say, I gave it my all and I played fair and square and I did the right thing? 

If you have done that, you have got nothing to apologize for, nothing to put your head down about.  And I am proud of my office.  I am proud of the people who participated.  I am proud of the sheriff‘s department.  And if anybody thinks that, because we lost this case, that I‘m going to walk around in a sackcloth with my chin down around my knees, is crazy, because I am not. 


COSBY:  Our thanks to the district attorney.

And, by the way, Sneddon is a well-known figure in Santa Barbara.  He‘s a father of nine kids.  He became the district attorney for the county in which Neverland resides in 1983, when Michael Jackson was already a household name and a mega-star. 

And, Joe, as you can tell, he does not shy away from some pretty tough questions. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Man, Rita, that was an explosive interview. 

Now, you talked to the other side today, also.  What is the Jackson family going through today? 

COSBY:  You know what?  Just sheer relief, Joe.  They just seem to be so joyed and so happy over the decision yesterday.  I don‘t think anybody knew how the decision was going to go yesterday when the verdict came down. 

Both sides had no idea what the outcome was going to be.  So, I think incredible relief.  The other thing, I am also gathering, is that Michael Jackson, a very close person to Michael Jackson said to me, today, he is mentally and physically exhausted.  He is sleeping.  But they also say he is planning the next step in his career, always looking ahead. 

And my understanding is that they had a big event most of the time yesterday in Neverland for the several hours after the verdict came down.  And now most of them are going back to their homes trying to go on with their lives—Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Rita Cosby, thanks again. 


SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what.  That was a heck of an interview, heck of an interview.  Thank you.  We appreciate it. 

Now, it looked like a fight was going on there.  But let me tell you something.  As you know, the first rule of fight club, don‘t talk about fight club.  Well, folks, tonight, we are breaking the rules.  Tonight, we are going to show you disturbing displays of teen violence caught on camera.  And we are going to find out the real deal behind this out-of-control new trend. 



SCARBOROUGH:  Police in Arkansas are calling it “Fight Club” meets “Girls Gone Wild,” a disturbing video of high school students fighting and mud wrestling.

Students themselves filmed it.  And they did it to sell it later for cash.  Now, high school officials are saying students are not going to be punished here, but the police are still investigating.  And they tell us they could bring charges soon.  But who is to blame?  The children?  The school?  The parents? 

With me now to talk about it is Sue Blaney.  She‘s the author of “Please Stop the Rollercoaster! How Parents of Teenagers Can Smooth Out the Ride.”  I need to read that book.  And also Dr. Alan Lipman.  He‘s a psychologist from the Center For the Study of Violence. 

Sue, let me begin with you. 

What is going on here?  Whose fault is it?  Do we have clueless parents out there that don‘t know what their kids are doing?

SUE BLANEY, AUTHOR, “PLEASE STOP THE ROLLERCOASTER!”:  Well, I think we really need to look at the parental influence, because, clearly, there is a role that they are playing or perhaps not playing in this case. 

I am delighted to know that you also have an expert on the culture, because I think the violence of culture that this generation has been raised in also plays an important role.  Let‘s explore, though, a little bit about the parenting influence.  And I would want to ask, are the kids that were participating in this ugly, ugly event, were they—are they being punished? 

Are they being held accountable by their parents?  What is happening now?  Or are these kids representative of the 30 percent of teenagers whose parents are so disengaged, they don‘t know what their kids are doing? 

SCARBOROUGH:  They just don‘t know what is going on.

BLANEY:  That concerns me even more.  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Dr. Lipman, we could talk about American society.

But I heard a month ago, I believe, on NPR, they were talking about how this was also going on in Great Britain and that, actually, teenagers would beat up people, homeless people.


SCARBOROUGH:  Take pictures on their camera phone and e-mail it to their friends as a joke. 

LIPMAN:  Right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What is going on? 

LIPMAN:  Right. 

Well, you know, I think, on the one hand, Joe, you know, we can pick any time.  Every parent out there knows teenagers want to shock.  They want to excite.  They want to break the rules.  That is something that is as old as time.  We can find it in our own lives and even farther back. 

However, I do think that there is something new going on.  And we see it in what is happening in Great Britain.  We see it in what happened at Rogers High.  And we even see it in the seemingly tragic unfolding of the Holloway case. 


SCARBOROUGH:  And also the case in Illinois. 

LIPMAN:  That‘s right. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I mean, we had a case just like this in Illinois.  But go ahead. 

LIPMAN:  I think what we have got here is, what kids do is they like to take what is happening in the culture and then turn it into something that they can use, that they can make their own, and that they can use to feel power and to shock. 

And I think what we are seeing is kind of the rise of the gangster mentality, where kids really want to be able to use violence, use aggressiveness in a very new way that I think is linked to this kind of attitude that we see in popular music and videos.  And, you know, this has been true.   You hear about this throughout time with different sorts of music and different types of entertainment. 

But there is something unique about the emphasis on violence and aggression that I think is new and that parents have not quite picked up on yet.  So, it‘s kind of under the radar.


SCARBOROUGH:  Have not figured it out. 

And, Sue Blaney, of course, there was also the bum fights video about a year or so ago, where people were actually paying bums to fight each other and then trying to sell those tapes, also.  Is it that popular culture is linking up with new technologies and clueless parents, who are more and more disengaged from their children, from their children‘s lives, from rap music, from also very violent movies? 

BLANEY:  And I think that, sometimes, it is very off-putting for parents, because some of them truly don‘t know what to do. 

If we are not talking about the 30 percent that are disengaged, let‘s talk about the parents of some of those children that were in that Arkansas video who are saying, oh, my gosh.  How did this happen?  And parents need to be able to step up.  It takes confidence to parent teenagers today.  They need to be able to step up, to be able to stand up to the kids and some of the things that they are trying to throw at us as they shock us with their exhibitions of power. 


BLANEY:  And so, it is important that parents shore up their own resources to be able to be knowledgeable and to be able to stand up to the kids and hold them accountable and apply the rules. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Sue Blaney, Dr. Alan Lipman, thanks a lot. 

We greatly appreciate it.

And I‘m sure both of you would agree with me, one of the more shocking developments, also, as you look at some of those videos is the fact that it is not just boys.  It is not just testosterone going through the 17- and 18-year-old boys.  There are a lot of young women in those videos, a lot of violence that young women, as well as young men, are now participating in. 

We will have a lot more coming up in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Just stick around.  We‘ll be right back.


SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up this Friday, a special Father‘s Day edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion.  Do you think your father deserves to be champ?  Well, drop me an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com and we will check it out. 

We‘ll be right back in a second.


SCARBOROUGH:  Do Brat Pitt and Angelina Jolie take your breath away? 

Well, if so, this is for you, air—a jar of air, that is, a jar of air that may or may not have been breathed by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the premiere of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”  Somebody posted it on eBay last week, complete with pictures from the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” premiere, proving, they say, that, well, they were both there and that they may have breathed the air that is in the jar that is now on eBay. 

Now, by last Friday night—I am not making this up, friends—not making it up—the price was up to more than $15,000.  Let me tell you something, friends.  If you like that, I have got SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY air.  It is all around.  But it is free.  We are not going to charge you for that.  We just thank you for being with us every night. 

Now, that is all the time we have for tonight.  If you have something to say, e-mail me at Joe@MSNBC.com.  And, of course, you can get the morning read every morning at Joe.MSNBC.com. 

Have a great night.  We‘ll see you tomorrow in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 


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