Guest: Jug Twitty, Stacey Honowitz, Richard Shelby, Morgan Spurlock
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: A developing story out of Aruba tonight. Top suspect Joran Van Der Sloot remains jailed behind bars. Now Aruban authorities have to make their case.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. No passport required, and only common sense allowed.
SCARBOROUGH (voice-over): Decision day in Aruba. The prime suspect stays behind bars. We're live with reaction from Natalee's family and what it means in the search for the truth.
Plus, Senator Richard Shelby from Natalee's home state of Alabama comes to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about his efforts to bring her home.
And stunning new details in the story we brought you last night. The man who went missing from his Mediterranean honeymoon. Could it be an accident? Or murder on the Mediterranean?
Then, Mr. “Super Size Me” himself is here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Morgan Spurlock ate McDonald's 30 straight days and lived to tell about it, and tonight, he's here to talk about his new TV show.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room to the courtroom to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, welcome to the show.
A court has ruled today that Joran Van Der Sloot, the key suspect in Natalee Holloway's disappearance, will stay behind bars for at least 49 more days. Now, that part of the ruling today certainly considered a victory for Natalee's family, in their tireless fight for justice.
But the other side of it, of course, the Kalpoe brothers. Allowed to walk free.
But we're going to be covering all the angles tonight with the people closest to this story. We're going to have NBC's Michelle Kosinski;
Natalee's step-dad, Jug Twitty; sex crimes prosecutor Stacey Honowitz; and United States Senator Richard Shelby from Natalee's home state of Alabama.
But first, let's go down to Aruba, where NBC's Michelle Kosinski has the very latest. Michelle, talk about today's rulings.
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the appeals court shot down every single appeal that came before it. And when you look at the outcomes, four out of five of them do not benefit the prosecution, except for one, and that is a big one in their favor, the decision to keep Joran Van Der Sloot, the No. 1 suspect in this case at this point, behind bars.
That made the family very happy, but they and prosecutors would have liked to have seen the Kalpoe brothers put back in jail. These are the two boys who told investigators that they dropped off Natalee and Joran on a beach early in the morning when Natalee disappeared. The court said there just wasn't enough suspicion to keep them in custody.
Not so for Joran, however. The court very explicitly stated that there is some serious suspicion against him, and that's really what sets him apart from the Kalpoes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISELLA WERNET, COURT CLERK: The serious objections against the suspect consists of the fact that, until briefly, before the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, he was in her company and gave varying statements about what happened then and afterwards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: Interestingly, the court of appeals kind of put all three of these suspects in the same boat, in a sense. They said all three of these young men were with Natalee Holloway shortly before she disappeared, and all three of them gave statements that seemed to change over time.
The difference, though, is they explicitly stated, as we said, in writing, that this serious suspicion against Joran justifies keeping him in jail, and they said they want to keep him there to continue their investigation. They want to sort out all of his statements and get to the bottom of his story.
Of course, they have 116 days from the time of his arrest to keep him there, charge him with a crime, or release him. And as we see it, that date will come in early October for him.
SCARBOROUGH: Michelle, obviously in the United States you have one appeal after another. You can start at the state court, keep going up all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. What about in Aruba? Is this Joran's one and only bite at the apple, or does he have an additional appeal coming up?
KOSINSKI: No more appeals at this stage. At this point, it ends here. Doesn't go to a higher court. The appeals court was ruling on what the lower court judge said, so they upheld that. It stops here for now.
Now, once Joran's 60 days are over, there's going to be another hearing where prosecutors can push to have him detained another 30 days. At that point, another appeals process could start. So it remains to be seen, if the same sorts of things keep going on or, of course, there is more evidence presented, things could really start changing in a big way.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Michelle, last night we were talking about new evidence that had come out, lawyers had been talking about it over the past few days. Did you get any indication what that evidence was? Obviously, now is the time the prosecution has to get their case together or else Joran walks. Any word, though, on this new evidence?
KOSINSKI: Well, there's plenty of rumors of evidence on this island right now, but those tend to be focused on evidence that's already in the file, that's already there, just stuff that we don't know about.
As for the new evidence that was presented in court on Tuesday by prosecutors, again, we know that these are witness statements in the form of affidavits, but the attorneys are telling us it doesn't pertain to their client, it doesn't affect my client, it's nothing that we haven't heard before.
And we just don't know how true that is. I mean, that could be true in a sense for their client, but obviously, when there is new evidence presented, it has to pertain to the case in some way, and that way is what we don't know.
I mean, does it benefit the prosecution? Possibly, but prosecutors had to present all the evidence they had, even if it was something that was not going to be earth shattering for them, so we just don't know what that evidence is. But it is comforting in a sense to the family that there is something new, at least, that's being gathered that could be presented.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Thanks so much, Michelle Kosinski, as always. We appreciate you being with us.
Now, let's move on and talk to Jug Twitty, Natalee's stepdad. Jug, thanks for being with us tonight. Great talking to you again. What was the family's reaction to the court decision today?
JUG TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY'S STEPFATHER: Well, we were happy that they retained Joran, of course. I mean, we would like to have seen Deepak, at least, retained, too, because he still has some—some answers to questions that we have. But we were certainly relieved they kept Joran in there.
And I'd also like to say that I really appreciate—I understand that Senator Shelby is with us here tonight, and that's what the United States is all about. Senator Shelby has helped us tremendously, and I applaud him for stepping up to the plate and helping my family.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, you've left Aruba. How is Beth holding up right now with the hearing? Obviously, she's very disappointed, as were you, when the Kalpoe brothers walked originally.
I mean, after all, these were guys that, again, seen with Natalee, change their story time and time again. Part of the cover-up. Got advice from Joran's father, no body, no crime, and yet they walk. Is she doing OK tonight?
TWITTY: She is, Joe. Thank you very much. She's—she's a strong woman, as everybody in the world knows. She's determined. We all know that—that Joran has answers that we need—you know, we need answered.
And, you know, one thing about him staying in there, I believe that he's going to be in there for 60 days, or 48 more days. And if it was my son, if George was in this situation, I know that I would be telling George, “Let's get to the truth. I don't want you in there another 48 days. You tell the truth. And call us. You tell the truth, and let's get an answer to this. Let's bring closure to it.”
If they're innocent, come forward, and I wouldn't want my son in there for another 48 days.
SCARBOROUGH: You talked—you talked about, obviously, the key suspect and his father. Talk about that night, one of the first nights right after the disappearance. You go to the island. You go to meet these people to talk to them to try to figure out what happened to Natalee, and obviously, you all exchanged words.
What did you see that night? What did you all say to each other? How did your wife know that something was wrong?
TWITTY: Well, you know, immediately when we got to the house, you could tell there was a defense. Already they were trying to come up with some kind of story, so to speak.
And then, of course, we went through the Holiday Inn scene, and Joran immediately tried to say—first he looks at Natalee's picture like he didn't know her. And then, you know, I faced him and I said, “Don't act like you don't know her, because I have—I have witnesses that stood there and saw her get in the car with you.”
And then, “Yes, I know her.” And then we went through that for
awhile, and you know, you just had the feeling right there that something -
· something wasn't right.
SCARBOROUGH: So he's lying from the very beginning, acting like he didn't even know Natalee. Are you convinced tonight, is Beth convinced that these three young men all committed some crime against Natalee?
TWITTY: No, I'm not convinced that they all committed a crime. I'm convinced that they were the last ones—that definitely Joran was the last one to be with Natalee, and he knows the answer.
And as I've said before, numerous times, if it were my son in the same situation, I would have come back the next morning and said, “Look, I've talked to Joran after we spoke last night,” or “I talked to George after we spoke last night, and he really didn't take her to the Holiday Inn. He took her to the Marriott Beach. They dropped him off. She passed out. He may have panicked, or whatever, and—but, you know, we're back this morning, Jug, and Beth, and, Joran did nothing bad. We want to help you find Natalee.”
And why they didn't come back the next morning and try to do that, I don't know. Instead, they go and hire an attorney. So I mean, everybody in the world knows that. So everybody knows that story (ph)...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, Jug, not only do they hire an attorney. They also
· I mean, Paulus goes to the boys and says, “Hey, if there's not a body, there's not a crime.” So obviously—I mean, they are acting in bad faith. They've been acting in bad faith from the first night that you arrived on the island, and they continue to act in bad faith.
You know, we've been hearing the past couple of days about a possible confession, that the FBI talked to the family and said—may have told you all that Joran had made a confession early on in his incarceration. Any truth to that story?
TWITTY: I can't say for sure that that's the truth, but I tell you, Joe, I would—I would believe that that could have happened. I mean, I was told by the FBI they almost broke the first night or two, and that something happened in there. And all of a sudden, somebody got to him, and he decided not to say anything else.
But, you know, now—now we're into the 60-day thing, so if I were his father, Paulus, and I'll make a plea to Paulus, you need to talk to your son, and you need to come and you need to face us and tell us the truth.
Let's bring this to closure. You know the answers. Your son knows the answers. So all we're asking for is, you know, whatever happened, we've been through the we've found her alive, she's been dead. Beth and I have been through this emotional roller coaster. And all we want is Natalee, whether she's alive or dead. We want to bring her back to the United States, and we'll leave and they can do whatever they want to do.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Jug Twitty, thank you again for being with us. We really appreciate it. Unfortunately, I don't think we're dealing, again, with people who are acting in good faith. They haven't from the beginning.
But certainly our thoughts and prayers are with you. And we hope that something turns up, something happens soon, to finally bring closure to this case.
TWITTY: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Straight ahead, more to come on our Aruba coverage. Next, we are going to be talking to the United States senator who is desperately trying to get answers out of Aruba, out of the Dutch, and out of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Also, we're going to be talking about the latest on the mystery in the Mediterranean. What happened to a newlywed on his honeymoon cruise? He disappeared, blood was reportedly found in his cabin, and many are saying it looks like murder. That's coming up.
And also, mixing it up with Morgan Spurlock. We got the man who received an Oscar for eating McDonald's for 30 straight days. He's still alive to tell about that and much more in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. He's going to talk about his latest provocative project.
We're just sticking around. Stay with us.
SCARBOROUGH: An exclusive Connecticut town is reeling under the story of a possible murder on a Mediterranean cruise. We'll give you that honeymoon story when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: You're looking at the Wall of Hope in Birmingham, Alabama. People in Natalee's hometown continue to add to it every day, continuing to keep hope alive.
Now, we all know Joran Van Der Sloot is going to spend at least another several weeks in jail, so the question is, will prosecutors be able to build a case against him in that time to convict him?
Let's turn to Florida sex crimes prosecutor Stacey Honowitz. You know, Stacey, we keep talking about that quote, that chilling quote by the father, “No body, no crime.” In the end, that's pretty god legal advice, isn't it?
STACEY HONOWITZ, SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Absolutely. I mean, Joe, this is a very difficult case. If this kid doesn't break or crack somehow within the next 60 days, prosecutors have a major problem.
Now, as Michelle said at the top of the segment, she talked about additional evidence. We know that they are waiting for evidence of e-mails or computer chat rooms, so we still don't know what's hanging out there. Hopefully, prosecutors will have something else to tie him in. But for now...
SCARBOROUGH: But, Stacey, of everything you know.
HONOWITZ: ... he says it's nothing. He's not going to break.
SCARBOROUGH: Of everything you know of tonight, what you're telling us is, if the police officers aren't able to break this guy down, he 's going to walk out of jail free 49 days from now?
HONOWITZ: Yes, I mean, you really, unfortunately, have nothing in this case at this point. That's what we're dealing with. The guy that's in custody that gives inconsistent statements, you can't prosecute just based on a lie. You can hold him, but you can't prosecute him for murder based on inconsistent statements without any kind of forensic evidence. That's what we're hoping is going to come about.
SCARBOROUGH: So what happens? I mean, Stacey, we obviously, in the United States, we—we hear of murders that are—that are committed. We never find a body, and yet somebody is convicted.
Later on, the segment we're going to be talking about a possible murder in the Mediterranean, where a lot of evidence may point to a wife.
You can convict people without actually having the body, can't you?
HONOWITZ: Oh, absolutely. I'm not saying that the body is the key in this case. Certainly having the body, if, of course, she has been murdered, would help with forensic evidence and things like that.
But in any kind of murder case, even though you don't have the physical body, you still have the corpus delecti, the body of the crime, which means that a mere confession would not be enough. You really need some type of forensic or evidence to prove that there was violence, something was committed.
So while you're right about there doesn't have to be a physical body, there still has to be a corpus to the crime. Murders take place. People are prosecuted, but right now as we sit here and we wait, right now we don't have anything. So we're going to have to see what comes through the next 60 days.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Of course, what's so difficult about that is we've got to sit and wait in the dark, because obviously, it's a judicial system in Aruba that is not transparent, to say the least.
Stacey, thanks a lot.
HONOWITZ: They don't want the public to know anything. Thanks, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: No, they really don't. Thank, as always, Stacey. We really appreciate you being with us.
Now earlier tonight, I talked to U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, and I asked the Alabama senator about the ongoing investigation to find Natalee and also asked him if the Aruban government is shutting out the FBI.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY ®, ALABAMA: The FBI has to be asked to come in there. You know, this is an extraterritorial area. There's sovereignty there. We've had people down there, but you know, they're not conducting the investigation, because they don't have the jurisdiction to do it. But they have tried to aid the Aruban investigators everywhere they could.
They've reached out. They've reached out to me. But where we go from here, I don't know. I think every day works against us.
SCARBOROUGH: You've written some letters to the Aruban prime minister, to Condoleezza Rice, also.
SCARBOROUGH: Tell me the response to those letters. And there's some tough talk in there, where you did accuse them of running an ineffective investigation. What was the response from Aruba, from the Dutch, and also from Condi Rice?
SHELBY: Well, first of all, the Aruban prime minister called me. The Dutch ambassador has been in touch. Secretary Rice's office has been in touch, and of course, but nothing is really coming together yet.
You know, generally we want results. We haven't gotten them yet. The family needs results. There's just, as I said earlier, just too many unanswered questions. A lot of—a lot of mystery, a lot of stuff that shouldn't have gone on. Forty-something days, nearly going on 50 days, and no answers. Something is wrong.
SCARBOROUGH: When you talk to the family, the Holloway family, what do you say to them? What can you say to them to try to bring them comfort or understanding?
SHELBY: Well, I don't know, except to say this. I think the family, Ms. Twitty, Natalee Holloway's mother, her father, her stepfather, her stepmother, her aunts and others, they have driven this issue. They care about this. This is a very important member of their family.
And I believe if they hadn't pushed it like they had, nothing—it would have been on the back pages if it would have been anywhere. But I hope they will continue. I want to reach out as one of the U.S. senators, and senator from their home state of Alabama to try to help them find some answers.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Senator Richard Shelby, thank you so much for being with us.
SHELBY: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: And roll Tide.
SHELBY: Roll Tide.
SCARBOROUGH: I'll tell you what—I'll tell you, everybody in Alabama greatly appreciative of what the senator is doing, certainly the family, as you heard earlier tonight, very appreciative. This senator continues to fight for the truth. And since the Aruban officials don't seem to be as concerned, that's certainly a good thing.
Now let's move on. We're going to move to a mysterious story we brought you last night. An international search continues for newlywed George Smith IV, who disappeared from his honeymoon cruise.
As we reported, Smith married Jennifer Hagel in June. They went on a cruise throughout the Mediterranean, but the honeymoon ended July 5, when the 26-year-old Smith vanished as the ship sailed between Greece and Turkey.
So what happened on that night? Did he fall off the ship? Could he have been murdered?
With us now to talk about the latest is Lisa Salvati. She's a reporter with NBC station WVIT in Hartford.
Lisa, thanks again for being with us. Tell us what you got.
LISA SALVATI, WVIT CORRESPONDENT: Joe, I spent the whole day in Cromwell, Connecticut. That's the town that Jennifer Hagel grew up in, and I can tell you, I sense a wall of protection being built around this family.
She comes from a very prominent family in Cromwell. Her mother owns a real estate business. Her father owns a construction business. He's a former police sergeant. And they—the people that I talked to want to protect this family. They want to give them their space and keep them private.
Now, I spoke to, in person, her grandfather, Jennifer's grandfather, and he did tell me—I asked him how his granddaughter was doing, and he did tell me, she's coping. And that's all he would say. So that's basically...
SCARBOROUGH: Well, she's coping. Are you getting—are you getting a sense, though, Lisa, that they understand that she is going to be a target in a possible investigation for murder?
I mean, you look at the stories as they line up. The A.P. story talking about how she left. And when she left to go to the gym that morning, she didn't realize that her newlywed husband was not in the room.
Reports from the A.P., they found blood on the carpet. The ship is reporting they found blood on the awning down below their windows, and went and searched.
A lot of these—obviously, a lot of these facts don't add up in a way that would provide comfort for this woman or this family.
SALVATI: Well, you have to remember, Joe, she did—the cruise ship officials told me that when she awoke—when she got up that morning, she went to the gym. Her husband—she reported him missing when she got back. Now, she knew that he wasn't there. She went to the gym. From what they did tell me that—she assumed that he had just gone out or was with friends or—so he was not there in the morning. And when she came back from the gym, she reported that he was missing when he wasn't there, so...
SCARBOROUGH: And that's the other thing, Lisa. This is obviously a mystery, but a lot of these reports also don't seem to be quite as consistent.
The ship had said that originally they released a statement earlier, saying that they actually had gone in, conducted an investigation, and then were actually trying to page her to try to find her on the ship, try to find the husband on the ship, and then she made those reports.
I want you to tell me about any indication, of any investigation of her, of this crime. I know the FBI is running the investigation right now. Have they named her as a suspect?
SALVATI: I spoke to the FBI today. They are coordinating this investigation with international authorities. She has not been named as a suspect.
SCARBOROUGH: But again...
SALVATI: I'm sorry?
SCARBOROUGH: No, go ahead. I was just go to ask you about the town and ask again about the family's standing in the town.
SALVATI: Yes, they are a very prominent family in Cromwell, as I said. You know, I spoke to the police chief there. Now, Jennifer's father was a police sergeant for 25 years, and he now owns a construction business. He has not spoken to him. However, the police chief did say that they want to give them their privacy. They want to leave them alone. And if they want to come to them for support, they are available.
But as of now, we don't know where Jennifer is. We do know that she flew home, yes, the day after, after she was interrogated on July 5 by Turkish authorities. She flew home. We don't know why. I know that if something like—something terrible would happen to me, I would want to be with my family. So she did fly home the next day.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, I'll tell you what, it seems to me there are a lot of questions out there, and, of course, we're going to continue this story. Lisa, thanks for being with us. We really appreciate it.
And obviously, when we come back we're going to continue our coverage on this story in a minute. And also have a lot more in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, so stay with us. Be right back.
SCARBOROUGH: Honeymoon homicide or an accident? It's a question nobody can answer tonight. But coming up next, two men who know the family of the missing newlywed will be in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about what's happening in his Connecticut hometown.
But first, here's the latest news you and your family need to know.
COLETTE CASSIDY, MSNBC ANCHOR: MSNBC keeps you up-to-the-minute every 15 minutes. Good evening, everyone. I'm Colette Cassidy. Here's the latest.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist says tonight he has no plans to announce his retirement. In a statement released just hours after arriving home from the hospital, the 80-year-old Rehnquist said he will continue to perform his duties as long as his health allows. Rehnquist just spent two days hospitalized with a fever.
A medical helicopter headed to the University of Chicago Hospital crashed moments after takeoff from the roof of a hospital in Valparaiso, Indiana. None of the four people on board, including one patient, were injured when the chopper tipped over. Authorities are still investigating the cause of this accident.
And Hurricane Emily continues to gain strength after slamming into Grenada where at least one person was killed. The Category 3 storm is currently packing 115-mile-an-hour winds. Forecasters say Emily will likely miss the United States and hit the northeastern coast of Mexico.
Those are your latest headlines. Now back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
SCARBOROUGH: And welcome back. You know, that hurricane they were just showing clips of—I think that's the first one that hasn't, like, had the eye come directly over my home in the past two years.
Anyway, welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. We're still talking about the bizarre story of George Smith IV. He vanished while on a honeymoon cruise a week after he married 25-year-old Jennifer Hagel.
Well, tonight, there are few clues, but many questions. With me now live, two men who know the Smith family, defense attorney Mickey Sherman and Dan Williams, a former assistant principal at Western Middle School in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Mickey, let me start with you. You know the family. You went to school with his father. Tell me about the Smiths. Tell me about this young man.
MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Joe, I honestly don't know them that well. I think I did go to Greenwich High with the dad of this young man, but I never had any real, great contact with them.
I do know their reputation in the community is nothing less than excellent. Everyone in the town is very much concerned. This is a shocker in Greenwich. And you know—something it doesn't make sense. It just does not compute.
But I know, just as in Cromwell with the young lady, in Greenwich, I can tell you that the community is very supportive of the entire family here.
SCARBOROUGH: Let's talk about the facts on the boat. Obviously, talking about a honeymoon couple. She doesn't notice that her husband is missing when she wakes up in the morning.
She goes to work out. The Associated Press reports that a cleaning crew finds blood. They contact the captain. The ship is actually saying that they found blood on an awning down below their windows and searched rooms directly above where the blood was found on the awning.
All of this, does it add up? Does it make this woman a suspect?
SHERMAN: Of course she's a person of interest. The spouse is always...
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on a second, Mickey. I've got to stop. I said in this “murder.” Let me clear it up. In this possible murder, possible accident. We don't know what's going on. But I will guarantee you a lot of people a the FBI are assuming that it's a murder. But go ahead.
SHERMAN: But, Joe, you know, your slip of the tongue is exactly the problem. We tend to quickly compartmentalize what happens here. We often get into a Gary Condit situation. Well, it's got to be her, it's got to be him, because who else could it be?
And the problem is, the foundation that we're basing these assumptions on is very often not there. I think, if I'm not mistaken, we are guessing ha—or we're basing our assumptions on the fact that the cruise ship investigators—now, that's not exactly the FBI.
I'm not trying to diss them too much, but by the same token, what are their backgrounds? Are they competent investigators? They found blood here, they found blood there.
Plus, the statements that are being attributed to her, do we really know that's exactly what she said? I don't think that we can actually make these assumptions based upon information which is not really confirmed. And I think it's unfair to both families to start saying, “Well, it's got to be her.”
SCARBOROUGH: Are there any facts that concern you, though? SHERMAN: I'm sorry?
SCARBOROUGH: Are there any facts in this case, from what you know, from the reports that have come out from the Associated Press and the statements from the cruise line, from the law enforcement officers over near Greece, these facts, though, do cause concern.
If you were in the FBI, if you were conducting an investigation, you certainly would focus on the events and certainly you'd have to focus on this woman, right?
SHERMAN: No question. I mean, that was a great mistake in the O.J. case, where police wouldn't, in fact, admit that O.J. was a suspect. Every spouse, when a spouse is killed or injured, is the primary suspect.
And in this case, certainly she would be a person of interest at the very least. The bottom line is, this young man is not to be found. So they're going to look for somebody, and they're going to look for the closest person to him.
But we should not jump to conclusions based upon information which we really don't know is 100 percent accurate.
SCARBOROUGH: And as we remember, the runaway bride's husband-to-be was a suspect for quite some time. Many believe that he killed her, got rid of the body, because he didn't want to marry her. Of course, we found out, she was just gambling in Vegas.
SHERMAN: And remember how we took him over the coals? And we were on these programs fighting about whether or not he was entitled to have a lie-detector test videotaped.
SCARBOROUGH: Right. And that's exactly why I bring it up. I think it is harsh and it is cruel that, when somebody loses their spouse, they immediately become the key suspect. But unfortunately, obviously, law investigators, law enforcement investigators, believe that the percentages point that way.
Let me bring in Dan Williams right now. Dan, you're a former principal. And you know the Smith family well. Talk about this young man. I understand he was an outstanding young man. Everybody loved him.
DANIEL WILLIAMS, FMR. ASST. PRINCIPAL AT WESTERN MIDDLE SCHOOL: Yes, very much. First of all, I was the assistant principal at the school where George attended. I knew him as an elementary school student, actually, because his sister was a student at our school. And he would come with the family to the programs at the school, so I would observe him there.
I though really got to know him really well when he became a student in the sixth grade. And he stayed with us for three years there, sixth, seventh, and eight.
One of the responsibilities that an assistant principal has is to deal with discipline. And across those three years that he was there, he was never once referred to me by a teacher for disciplinary problems. I had the reputation of being the bad guy in the building who would sort of hide out in the wings of the building to watch for kids who were running in the hall, et cetera.
Never caught him. He was a genuinely good, good kid.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, that's exactly what we hear. And we certainly hear that, not only about him, we hear the same thing about his family.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to thank both of you for being with us. Thank you so much, Mickey.
Thank you, Dan Williams. Greatly appreciate your time tonight.
We're going to continue to follow this story and learn more about it as the investigation moves forward.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Now, a moment of silence today in London, one week after the city was attacked. Authorities in England are moving swiftly, identifying the four suspect suicide bombers that they believe are responsible for the terror attacks that killed at least 54 people and injured up to 700.
Now, three were friends in Leeds. And they were of Pakistani origin. And one's of Jamaican descent. They're currently looking for a fifth man, who they're describing as mastermind of the plot.
With me now to talk about it is Evan Kohlmann. He's the author of “Al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe: The Afghan-Bosnian Network.”
Thanks so much for being with us, Evan. I understand you went undercover in London post-9/11 to check out the roots of Al Qaeda in Europe. What you found was very troubling.
What we're finding in this case, very troubling also. These nationals who would never be seen as suspects committing some just atrocious acts of terror. Talk about it.
EVAN KOHLMANN, TERRORISM EXPERT: Yes, that's exactly what I went to go find. Right the summer after 9/11, I thought it would be an interesting time to go to London. I went with a colleague.
And specifically, we were looking for Britons, naturalized Britons, people that had lived in the country all their lives, who were being recruited by English-speaking Al Qaeda clerics and other such recruiters into acts of violence.
And while I was there, I got to sit down and speak with Abu Hamza al-Masri, that being the cleric in London who has no hands from when he lost them playing with explosives in Afghanistan, and then went on to recruit such individuals as Richard Reid, who tried blowing up his shoes on an American Airlines flight after 9/11.
And unfortunately, the list goes on. And what was most disturbing was seeing the recruitment of little kids. I went to one meeting where most of the people—most of the people in the audience were between the ages of 12 and 20, were all of South Asian descent, all British nationals.
And these kids were being told, “Millions of people are going to die in this war. There's a war between Islam and satanic forces. Millions of people are going to die. Now, are you going to die for God? Are you going to die for the opportunity that God has given us, Osama bin Laden, or are you going to die for the infidels?”
And in this war, it is OK to go ahead and kill women, and if children get in the way, then you kill them, too. This is being taught to 15-year-olds.
SCARBOROUGH: That's unbelievable, Evan. And you know what the
biggest concern for me is in this case, here you've got a perfect example -
· one of the bombers, 31 years old. He worked as a teacher, well-respected, quiet.
He actually taught special-ed kids, and everybody loved him. And he does that by day. By night, he plans this terror attack. How in the world do law enforcement officers ever track down those type of suspects?
KOHLMANN: Well, I think, really, the key is here, is these folks did not do this on their own. There obviously had to be an external influence on them.
And so far, the one suspect that's coming into focus seems to be an
individual who has not been named yet, who arrived in the United Kingdom
several weeks before the attack, and left the day before 7/7, who allegedly
· and again, this is just being reported now. It's not clear if this is, indeed, the case—but alleged showed the bombers how to detonate their explosives, what targets to go after. And what's frightening is this person, allegedly, has connections to not only Al Qaeda in Pakistan but also Al Qaeda cells right here in the United States.
So, yes, there does appear to be a foreign connection. And if we want to stop acts like this in the future, there's two simple ways. Number one, we have to cut down on the propaganda, the pro-Al Qaeda propaganda, that is just free flowing right now from London.
And number two, we have to keep a very close eye on individuals who are tied in the past to terrorist cells. We have to watch where they go very carefully, because if they find a group of clean skins, as they're being called, in the United Kingdom or in another western country, a group of westernized operatives, perhaps converts to Islam, who are not South Asian, who are Americans, it's so easy to carry out an act of violence like this.
SCARBOROUGH: It really is, unfortunately. Thank you so much, Evan. We greatly appreciate you being with us. I look forward to having you back in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY telling us what's going on in Europe. It's truly frightening. And of course, it's happening in Europe. It could happen here next.
Coming up next, we've got Morgan Spurlock of “Super Size Me.” He's coming to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to talk about his latest project, when we return.
COLETTE CASSIDY, MSNBC ANCHOR: MSNBC keeps you up-to-the-minute every 15 minutes. Good evening, everyone. I'm Colette Cassidy.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist announced tonight he is not about to retire. He issued a statement saying he will continue to perform his duties as chief justice as long as his health permits. The 80-year-old Rehnquist is battling thyroid cancer. He issued a statement hours after being released from a hospital where he was treated two days for a fever.
Meantime, NASA says Sunday would be the earliest it would attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery, but officials say even that's not probable. They say they expect it'll take several more days of troubleshooting to determine why a fuel sensor malfunctioned forcing them to scrub yesterday's launch.
Those are your latest headlines. You're now up-to-date. Now back to
SCARBOROUGH: This is a scene from Oscar-nominated documentary “Super Size Me.” Of course, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate at McDonald's for a month in that documentary to see what would happen. The results were ugly.
But now, Spurlock's doing a new fish-out-of-water series. It's called “30 Days,” where people have to live like the other half for 30 days. I talked to him about it recently and asked about the new show.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about the underlying concept for this series.
MORGAN SPURLOCK, “30 DAYS”: Yes, the whole concept behind “30 Days” was to kind of put someone in someone else's shoes, to allow you to kind of see the world through someone else's eyes. And in the premiere episode of “30 Days,” my fiancee, Alex, and I moved to Columbus, Ohio. And for 30 days, we tried to do just that, you know, live on $5.15 an hour. And we do what millions of Americans do each day, which is basically just struggle to survive.
SCARBOROUGH: You struggle to survive, and you work around the clock, and then you have to go and get health care. Talk about that situation.
SPURLOCK: I mean, that's the thing is—when you're working this type of a lifestyle, and you're living with such, you know, a meager income, all you need is one setback to really drop you back down to the bottom rung of the ladder.
And for both Alex and I over the course of this 30 day journey, we both had to go to the hospital. And we don't have health insurance. Your primary care provider is the emergency room. So that's a big, costly bill. And so here, at the end of our 30 days, we're both stuck with this gigantic bill. And you know, I can only imagine what it's like for somebody who has to do this month after month, year after year.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, obviously, there's a message, here, just like “Super Size Me”—which, by the way, I've got to say, I have friends who actually work in Washington, D.C., that represent food industries, who actually saw your film and gagged, couldn't believe it.
Were you surprised at the response that you got from “Super Size Me”?
And do you expect to get that same response from this series?
SPURLOCK: Yes, I mean, I was so overwhelmed with their response from “30 Days.” I mean, it exceeded every expectation I had. This little movie went to play in about 70 countries worldwide.
And for me, it's the impact that it's had on individuals. You know, “Super Size Me” really made individuals say, “You know what? I need to think about how I eat and how I live.” And hopefully, the TV show on F/X will do the same thing, make us start to look at our communities, look at our own lives, and look at the choices we make.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, talk about some of the other positions you put people in and make them go through for 30 days.
SPURLOCK: Yes, well, there's a fantastic episode that's coming up where we take a Christian from my home state of West Virginia and, for 30 days, he lives as a Muslim in Dearborn, Michigan, the largest Muslim population in the United States.
And we asked the question, you know, what's it really like to be a Muslim in America? I think that's a really powerful episode.
There's another great one where we take an ex-marine from Michigan, who goes and lives in the Castro, right in the middle of one of the gayest places in America. And he lives with a gay man to really see what it's like to be a homosexual in the United States. So it's like...
SCARBOROUGH: It sounds like you're getting conservatives and putting them in liberal situations. Did you take any, like, presidents of network news organizations and move them to West Virginia?
SPURLOCK: I think you just described season two.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, season two, indeed. I can't wait for season two.
I'll be glad to give him advice.
Now, will the new “Dukes of Hazzard” movie offend fans of the original show? Well, I tell you what: One of the stars of that show today says, “Stay away from the theater.” He's offended by it. We'll tell you about that when we return.
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman Ben Jones, aka Cooter, is telling fans of the original “Dukes of Hazzard” to stay away from this hormone-driven retake. We'll tell you what's got the congressman so mad, when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.
SCARBOROUGH: We have been talking about the big-screen version of the “Dukes of Hazzard,” which opens up August 5th. Well, not everybody's as excited to see this show as the male members of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Former Congressman Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the old TV series, is actually calling for a boycott of the movie, saying that the movie is a sleazy insult that makes a mockery of the family-friendly version of the show.
Now, he was once part of it, but he hasn't seen the film. But he has read the script. And he says he's not happy at all with what he has seen. Now, the original Cooter wants the big-screen version of “Dukes of Hazzard” cleaned up, edited, washed before its August release.
Now, you can tune in to the “Today” show tomorrow morning and catch Cooter talking about his grave concerns. And tomorrow night, we'll have Cooter, Congressman Cooter, right here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Hey, have a great time tomorrow. Be safe. And we'll see you tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
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