updated 7/26/2005 10:29:12 AM ET 2005-07-26T14:29:12

Guest: Arlene Ellis-Schipper, Don Clark, Steve Emerson, Charles

Shoebridge, Gil Alba, Erin Runnion, Adriana Gardella

LISA DANIELS, GUEST HOST:  Coming up, a possible break in the Natalee Holloway case.  A new witness says he knows where to find Natalee's body. 


DANIELS (voice-over):  And key suspects in the investigation go to court to get the FBI off their case after Aruba's prime minister orders local authorities to tell the feds everything they know. 

And some terror experts say it takes al Qaeda four years to plan an attack.  Well it's been almost four years since 9/11, so after what happened in London and Egypt, will we be hit here at home again? 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I am so sorry—I am just so sorry you took her away. 

DANIELS:  Erin Runnion confronts her daughter's killer moments before he is sentenced to death.  She joins me live. 

The program about justice starts right now. 


DANIELS:  Hi everyone.  I'm Lisa Daniels.  Dan is off tonight.

First up on the docket, NBC News has learned that a potential new witness has come forward in the Natalee Holloway case who may have information about the whereabouts of the Alabama teen who disappeared almost two months ago.  This after the Aruban prime minister on Friday urged prosecutors there to give the FBI—quote—“complete access to the files in the case”, prompting outrage from the lawyers of some of the suspects. 

NBC's Michelle Kosinski is in Aruba with the very latest.  Michelle, fill us in.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Hi Lisa.  We have so much to talk about today.  We have seen such extraordinary movement in this case in one day's time and it seems to be coming from all sides. 

First off, we want to show you some video.  We just witnessed a re-enactment involving the FBI and local authorities of a witness statement that they obtained recently.  The parked car you will see is the Kalpoe brothers' car.  The moving car you'll see is the witness' car.  The witness claims that he was driving near the Marriott the morning Natalee disappeared and that he saw the Kalpoe brothers with Joran Van Der Sloot in that car around 3:00 in the morning. 

That would be after the time the Kalpoe brothers claim they were already at home.  Plus there is a second witness who has come forward who claims that he knows where Natalee's body was placed on this island.  Because of these two witnesses now, EquuSearch, the team of Texas volunteer searchers is planning to step up its return to this island possibly as early as tomorrow with ground-penetrating radar and they want to search two locations now based on those witness statements. 

While that goes on, Beth Holloway, Natalee's mother, has a plan of her own in the form of $1 million coming from donations from friends in the states, a reward for the safe return of her daughter.  Also, today, we see four new investigators from Holland added to this case, bringing the total number of investigators to between 20 and 25.  One of them, a behavior expert.  Two others, experts in interrogation. 

And in court today we see attorneys for the suspects go for more in the way of the legal system to try to block prosecutors from opening up their files to the FBI.  In one of those cases involving Satish Kalpoe, his attorney is also trying to block the use of a DNA sample from his client.  He says this is not a matter of trying to hide any information, but he wants to make sure that things proceed legally in this investigation. 


DAVID KOCK, SATISH KALPOE'S ATTORNEY:  (INAUDIBLE) we have rules and we have to follow the rules.  I have to follow them and the district attorney has to follow them.  It is not because we have nothing to hide.  Make it open, let's check into backgrounds of everybody.  I mean that is not how it is supposed to be.  Today is the FBI; tomorrow it might be the Colombian police, The Venezuelan police, the Chinese police.  Where is this going to end? 


KOSINSKI:  He claims prosecutors have not been playing by the rules in this case.  That will be worked out in the courts, possibly a hearing will happen tomorrow.  And what we expect to see in the next few days is EquuSearch come back and start looking in those locations based on these two new witness statements. 

Back to you Lisa. 

DANIELS:  All right, Michelle, I'm just curious, how did we get that tape?  I am surprised that we have it. 

KOSINSKI:  We were there while this re-enactment was going on.  It involved we know the FBI, local authorities, a chopper in the sky, and both of these cars that were supposedly involved early that morning that Natalee went missing.

DANIELS:  Michelle, any sense of how much faith the authorities have in the witness who says that they know where Natalee's body is? 

KOSINSKI:  That is coming from the second witness who came forward very recently over this weekend and that's a great question.  I mean we have seen so many clues pop up in this case that may or may not be related in any way.  Many of them were discounted early on. 

Now witnesses are starting to come out of the woodwork.  And what we see, all we know at this point is that authorities obviously are taking these very seriously.  Apparently both statements have some detail to them.  Of course, in the end they might turn out to be nothing.  But at this point authorities, you know, authorities here, searchers are just going by what they have, and at this point that seems to be about it. 

DANIELS:  All right, thanks so much, Michelle.  We appreciate all the developments.

And as Michelle just mentioned, attorneys representing Joran Van Der Sloot and Satish Kalpoe filed two motions today, one trying to limit the FBI's access to the case files, the other one trying to prevent the use of a DNA sample taken from one of the Kalpoe brothers. 

And joining us now is Aruban attorney Arlene Ellis-Schipper.  Arlene, what are these motions based on? 

ARLENE ELLIS-SCHIPPER, ARUBAN ATTORNEY:  Well, basically the motion that I understand, the injunction proceedings that I understand are based on the fact that the defense attorneys are of the opinion that there are no legal grounds for—to get a search party, a foreign authority involved in this case.  You have to understand there is no treaty between Aruba and the United States.  The FBI has no judicial power here nor jurisdiction.  So I would have to agree with them that there is actually—this creates a precedence. 

DANIELS:  So there's absolutely no precedence for this motion.  Is that correct?

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  No, no.  I say there is no—this creates a precedent to work together with the FBI like this to get them involved in an investigation.  The FBI, we are a sovereign county.  The FBI has no jurisdiction here, so there is no legal basis why they should be involved in this case. 

DANIELS:  And is that pretty much the general consensus among the legal community in Aruba? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well basically, we are—it is consensus.  However, we look (INAUDIBLE) a little differently towards the involvement of the FBI.  First of all, the involvement is on an advisory basis.  So it shows goodwill of the Aruban authorities.  And a lot of us, we agree with that showing of goodwill because we have confidence in our own investigators.  And by opening up, you maybe get some, for once and a while, fair criticism from their colleagues, so why not.  But from a defense point of view, I could agree with them that there is no legal basis. 

DANIELS:  But there is another motion too that we are not talking about, which is to get the DNA evidence kicked out.  What do you feel about that one? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, from what I understand I just heard about that.  I don't know about that motion.  However, apparently the defense attorney of one of the Kalpoe brothers feels that there was no reason to take the DNA test.  I have no idea what substantiates that appeal to that decision.  Because that is an appeal from an order of the judge of instruction to take that DNA material. 

DANIELS:  Here have you a witness, Arlene, who came forward Friday saying your timeline is wrong basically to the police.  The Kalpoe brothers were at a racket club.  They weren't where you thought they were.  Is that enough basis for hauling these guys back into police custody? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  Well, I would say that there is—we have to take a close look at that.  If indeed they have evidently deceitful declaration and if the witness that came across is credible and they can put them there at that time that it was feasible that he was driving there, I think there is quite reason to arrest them again, yes. 

DANIELS:  So what is your gut saying at this point?  Do you think that we're going to be seeing back in police custody to answer some follow-up questions? 

ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  It depends.  My gut feeling says that they probably will be requested to be interrogated again. 


ELLIS-SCHIPPER:  And if they refuse there will be an order for their arrest. 

DANIELS:  All right, I think this case is just about to heat up again. 

Arlene Ellis-Schipper thanks so much for joining me now.  We appreciate it. 

Now we're going to turn to former FBI special agent Don Clark with some insight.  Don, let me ask you, why is the FBI involved in this case? 

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT:  Well it's very simple, Lisa.  They have been asked.  They have been requested to come over and give some assistance.  They started off early on taking divers down, taking a lot of people down, profilers and a number of other investigators trying to assist in this case because they were invited in.  That happens routinely in a number of countries, even in (INAUDIBLE) own country, the FBI may not have jurisdiction in a particular small town, a village, or some of the larger cities quite frankly depending on the crime...


CLARK:  ... but nonetheless they come in. 

DANIELS:  Let me rephrase this.  Do you think it is appropriate, Don, that the FBI is moving in based on one person missing in Aruba? 

CLARK:  I don't think whether or not it's appropriate or not is the issue.  I think the issue is, is that a crime has been committed in a particular country.  The person that's the victim of the crime is a United States citizen and obviously that country's authorities feel that they need some assistance in this.  I think it would be wrong for the FBI to just categorically say no, we won't do anything if you've asked for some assistance.  So I think it's appropriate that they're there.  Yes, I do.

DANIELS:  OK.  Well that's another question.  Is there a precedent for this in other countries, in other cases that the FBI would move in for a single person's missing case?

CLARK:  Well I cannot think of a single person missing case, but I can think of a number of places and again I go back to even cities and towns in our country where the FBI has been requested to come in.  Clearly, some of the larger metropolitan places, for instance, for an example, like London or some of the other cities may not be as apt to invite the FBI in because they have ample resources.  But smaller places clearly some of the South American places and other places have requested that the FBI come in and assist.

DANIELS:  But what gets to me is that it is all so public.  The FBI is now moving in.  Investigators from Holland are moving in.  Is this all to sort of satisfy the public's need for something to be done?  Is this a response to the family's push for something to be done? 

CLARK:  Well I think we've kind of generated that.  People like me and others who are talking about it and talking about what the FBI is going to do, and the cameras are constantly on them all the time.  So yes, it has been a lot more exposure than even some of the homegrown kidnappings and disappearances that we've had found here that go by the wayside. 

So yes, this has gotten a lot of publicity and I can't attribute that one way or the other.  But I can say that I don't think that publicity has anything to do with whether or not the FBI should or should not be there assisting these authorities if they are requested. 

DANIELS:  All right, well you're a former FBI special agent.  What does the FBI do on a day-to-day basis right now?  They are in Aruba.  It's two months later.  What do they do? 

CLARK:  Well I know that answer because I happen to talk to some people down—back at FBI headquarters and clearly they have people reviewing documents, re-reviewing documents.  They have them looking at evidence to see, and they really do have them working with the Aruban authorities trying to figure out a strategy.  Maybe there's something been left out.  Are there other approaches that they can take with this?  So they are working closely with them to try to determine if there is another approach to this or if they've overlooked something. 

DANIELS:  I'm sure the Aruban authorities love this.  Here come the Americans, the FBI.  We've got the Holland investigators here.  How are all of these teams going to work together?  You just heard this local attorney saying why is the FBI getting access to things that the Aruban authorities don't have access to.  It's just unfair. 

CLARK:  Well I wouldn't say it's unfair.  What fair is, is try to put everything you can together to solve this particular crime.  Whether you think the FBI should be there or not, they are there.  The crime has occurred.  A disappearance or whatever may have occurred, so you try to put everything together. 

I think the Aruban authorities are doing the right thing to try to draw from every bit of resources that they have to see if they can solve this crime.  Defense attorneys, they've got to say what they need to say to defend their clients.  But the government, the FBI was called in, and I think they have agreed to go over and once they agree to do that, then they've got to put everything forward to try to solve this crime. 

DANIELS:  Yes.  Who cares what the defense attorneys think, right, Don? 


CLARK:  Not necessarily.  I lived with them too long. 

DANIELS:  All right, I'm sure you have.  Don Clark thanks so much. 

CLARK:  You bet.  Thank you...

DANIELS:  And coming up, British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologizes for the accidental killing of an electrician mistaken for a terrorist involved in last week's bombing.  But the policy in the U.K. when it comes to tracking terrorists remains shoot to kill, so what is the law over on this side of the pond? 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No one will remember you, no one will pray for you and no one will care when you die. 


DANIELS:  The mother of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion confronts the man who kidnapped, raped and murdered her daughter.  She's going to join me live, coming up.

Plus, what do Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson and Rob Lowe all have in common?  Well they've all had those embarrassing sex tapes go public.  So what exactly are your rights when somebody else gets their hands on your personal home videos? 

And your e-mails send them to abramsreport@msnbc.com.  And remember to include your name and where you are writing from.  I'm going to respond at the end of the show.



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  (INAUDIBLE) kill Muslims, innocent mothers and dads, people who are trying to make a living.  They have no heart.  They have no conscience.  They have no ideology.  I just hope that—and they have an ideology of hate.


DANIELS:  And that was President Bush at Egypt's embassy in Washington after signing a condolence book for the victims of Saturday's terror attack in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheik.  Egypt officials say 64 people were killed in the three bombings.  Local hospitals actually put the number at 88. 

Among them, one American, 27-year-old Kristina Miller who was celebrating her birthday that night.  And while Egyptian police are said to have fought gun battle today with veteran (ph) tribes who could be linked to the attacks, they are also circulating pictures of five Pakistani men who also are possible suspects. 

And British police have released more pictures of these men, Yasin Mohammed Said and Muktar Said Ibrahim.  Both caught by close circuit TV cameras before they allegedly took part in last week's botched bus and subway bombings.

Now British police have made five arrests in that case, and displayed a copy of the plastic container they say was used to hold the four bombs in last week's failed attacks.  And a fifth bomb discovered later in a park. 

Now joining me, terrorism expert, Steve Emerson and Charles Shoebridge, NBC News analyst and also a terrorism expert.  Good to have you both on board.  Let me start with you, Steve.  What would you need to see in terms of evidence to say in your mind yes, al Qaeda is linked to both the London bombings and the Egyptian bombings?  What evidence would it take?

STEVE EMERSON, TERRORISM EXPERT:  I would have to see a common denominator.  Either the arrest of a mastermind or a piece of electronic evidence showing that the two cells essentially communicated upwards with somebody who was controlling them from Pakistan who is obviously in touch with or was a leader of al Qaeda.  If we had that, then we could definitively make it—make that identification.  But in the end, Lisa, I don't know that we will ever find that type of definitive proof. 

DANIELS:  So, Charles, if there is a Pakistan connection here, does that make it much more likely that al Qaeda was behind both attacks? 

CHARLES SHOEBRIDGE, TERRORISM EXPERT:  Well certainly there are links between different bombings, for example, in London.  Whether there are links between let's say the London attack (INAUDIBLE) attacks or Sharm el-Sheik is a different matter.  I agree with what your contributor, Steve, just said.  It's far more likely that the links will be established if they exist at the intelligence level rather than anything that could be provable in court.  I would add to his list of criteria the use of informants because, of course, informants can tell the authorities, particularly intelligence services of these links.  But I think it is still fair to say that we don't have these organizations penetrated at such a high level as necessary to discover that. 

DANIELS:  Steve, you monitor the Jihadist Web sites.  Are you seeing any chatter about American being one of the targets now? 

EMERSON:  Still not seeing that.  You're still—we are still seeing basically a focus of general attacks in Iraq with attacks against Western symbols.  But really nothing particular that says we're going to attack American icons.  On the other hand, one of the problems, of course, is the absence of chatter, Lisa, is really what's causing an interesting and ironical consternation in terms of being—not being able to know what is going on in the communities out there in the radical Islamic communities leaving people very worried about what could be planned right now.

DANIELS:  It's been four years of silence, Steve.  Is that worrisome?

EMERSON:  Well it's four years since they carried out 9/11.  And generally if you look at previous patterns, for example the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 took four years from beginning to end to carry out that operation.  Now they're resurrecting themselves and I think al Qaeda, we're seeing baby al Qaedas and other types of reconstituted al Qaeda cells that aren't really consistent with the traditional linear structure that we witnessed on 9/11. 

DANIELS:  So let's speak bluntly for a second.  Are you very worried that we're going to be attacked next?  Isn't that the question everyone wants to know?

EMERSON:  Everybody wants to know that.  And there is no magical answer.  If I had the intelligence, of course, I could be predicting anything.  Look, in the end, it's in my gut.  My gut is now—I am more concerned now than I've been in the previous three years and 10 months...

DANIELS:  Charles...


DANIELS:  Oh go ahead.  No, you go ahead, Steve. 

EMERSON:  No, I—and I don't want to suggest that have any inside intelligence on this, because I don't.  But it's just in terms of the quietness is so eerie that given the fact that al Qaeda really is determined to resurrect itself, I think there's something being planned considering how well they did in London and Egypt. 

DANIELS:  It's funny, Charles, because we used to look for chatter.  That used to be one of the signs that raised the terror alert.  Now the silence is worrisome.  Do you think al Qaeda is able to change its procedures and its patterns to try to fool us? 

SHOEBRIDGE:  Well there is no doubt within al Qaeda, whether it is a proper stratified organization or whether, as Steve correctly said, it's become very much (INAUDIBLE) a grouping of separate organizations you can even self start.  These people are well aware of the intelligence capabilities of the—of Britain and the United States and other countries, particularly in forms of electronic surveillance, e-mail, Web sites and so on.

Satellite phones and mobile phones, these are not the way that a self-respecting terrorist will communicate if he is talking seriously about some operation for the future.  More and more, and this is perhaps one of the reasons why if it is true, their operations are taking longer to organize, is that you are seeing, I think, a lot more use of (INAUDIBLE) personal information back to the old ways that are not so easy to infiltrate.  And again, this is why it's critically important for all countries that they recognize and actually act upon recognizing the importance of human intelligence, getting action agents into these organizations. 

DANIELS:  Well there were a couple of years where we were not acting very well on that.  Steve Emerson, Charles Shoebridge, thanks so much for being here.  We appreciate your insight.

Also in London today, mourning for a terror victim gunned down as he fled British police who feared he was about to launch a suicide attack.  Jean Charles de Menezes was a 27-year-old Brazilian electrician living in London.  Last Friday anti-terrorism police followed de Menezes to a subway station, tried to stop him from boarding.  De Menezes ran and police fearing he was about to set off a bomb, shot him seven times in the head, once in the shoulder.  Prime Minister Tony Blair, of course, apologizing to de Menezes' family, but backed the policy on shooting suspected suicide bombers.


TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER:  We are all desperately sorry for the death of an innocent person.  And I understand entirely the feelings of the young man's family.  But we also have to understand the police are doing their job in very, very difficult circumstances.  And I think it is important that we give them every support. 


DANIELS:  And here in the U.S., tensions are high as many worry we could be the next targets of a suicide bombing.  So what would a police do if a suspect were running from them here?  Would they shoot to kill? 

Gil Alba is a private investigator, also a former NYPD detective who worked with a major case squad and the joint FBI NYPD task force.  I don't know about you, but that didn't really sound like too much of an apology.  Prime Minister Tony Blair saying hey we are sorry.  It was a mistake.  Let's forge ahead.  Are we supposed to be having a policy here that like that if we want to conquer the war on terror?  What do you think?

GIL ALBA, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE:  Well so far nothing has changed in the New York City Police Department.  Everything is status quo like it was before as far as using deadly physical force.  You can only use deadly physical force when somebody uses it against you as a police officer or as a detective, or somebody else.  However, the restraint in the New York City Police Department is probably better than any other police department in that you can't even shoot somebody, you know you are trained to stop rather than to shoot somebody. 

DANIELS:  That is not making me feel better.  I will be honest right now.  I mean we called police departments in Chicago, New York, L.A., all of them told us they really don't have a set policy when it comes to suicide bombings. 

ALBA:  No, well that's true.  Now in saying all of that now, let's look at the one that happened in England.  Let's look at the circumstances and see what we think about that.  On July 7, how many places went off?  Three places plus a bus exploded.  A week later, they found five different devices that could have went off and killed somebody.  They had suspects.  They think they were the suspects (INAUDIBLE).  They did surveillance on them, plus they've got a policy, shoot to the head and kill—and shoot somebody to kill, shoot them in the head if you see any suspected terrorists...

DANIELS:  So wait, what is your point? 

ALBA:  So my point is that here it is the next day, where these officers now have gone and seen, you know, body parts and everything else, so human emotion plays a lot in somebody.  Now here they have a guy in surveillance.  He jumps (INAUDIBLE).  He runs.  He has a heavy coat on.  He does not stop.  So what is the emotion of the police officer when he's—he already went through this and already the feelings are extremely high.

DANIELS:  Yes.  Come on, that's just one side of the case.  What about the other scenario where you're in the middle of the summer, you see a guy with a heavy coat.  What are police in New York going to do if this guy doesn't follow orders to stop, runs on a subway train, what are the NYPD officers going to do?  There is no policy.

ALBA:  Well, yes there is no policy right now.  But they still have the same policy, which means that you take your time and you don't...

DANIELS:  But there is no time, Gil...

ALBA:  There is...

DANIELS:  There is no time. 

ALBA:  There is time.  There is training and there's time.  However, you have to see something.  You have to see if the person has some kind of device on them or wires or anything else.  So there is time—there is enough time when somebody is running around. 

Now what are you going to do?  How are you going to shoot?  Are you going to shoot to kill?  Are you going to shoot him in the head to stop him if he has a device?  I mean those are all things that they have to come and have a policy for.  But I still think the policy, what they have now in effect.  However, a suicide bomber we are not used to that right away...


DANIELS:  Isn't this the problem, Gil, that we are here.  It is now, there is no policy, period. 

ALBA:  Well, we have Commissioner Kelly, which is I'm sure, after this is going on...


ALBA:  ... that he is doing a lot of training in the police department. 

DANIELS:  All right, we've got to go.  Gil Alba, thanks for your insights.  I just don't agree with some of the policies, but appreciate you being on the show. 

ALBA:  OK, thanks a lot.

DANIELS:  Coming up, a convicted sex offender murdered her daughter and now he's facing the death penalty, so why does Samantha Runnion's mom want him to stay alive?  Erin Runnion joins me live.  That's next.


DANIELS:  Coming up, the man who kidnapped, molested and murdered Samantha Runnion sentenced to death.  Samantha's mother, Erin, joins us next, but first the headlines. 



ERIN RUNNION, SAMANTHA'S MOTHER:  In choosing to destroy Samantha's life you chose this.  You chose to waste your life to satisfy a selfish and sick desire.  You knew it was wrong and you chose not to think about it.  Well now you have a lot of time to think about it.  Don't waste it.  Write it down so that the rest of us can figure out how to stop you people.  You are a disgrace to the human race. 


DANIELS:  Alejandro Avila was sentenced to death on Friday for the kidnapping, molestation and murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion.  Samantha was taken from her front yard in July of 2002 after Avila asked her to help him find a lost puppy and then forced her into his car.  At the sentencing, as you saw, Samantha's mother, Erin Runnion, gave an emotional powerful statement confronting the man who killed her young daughter for the first time. 


RUNNION:  You killed a child with a loving and passionate heart.  Samantha was outrageously bright and funny.  She wasn't demanding.  She didn't ask for everything under the sun, just to play and have fun as much as humanly possible.  Why would you want to take that away? 


DANIELS:  Avila was convicted back in April, and the jury recommended the death penalty.  The judge endorsed the recommendation on Friday telling the court—quote—“For the temporary gratification of his lust the defendant destroyed an entire family's future.  He has forfeited his right to live.”

Joining me now Samantha's mom, Erin Runnion.  And Erin, I can't tell you how much I applaud your courage.  You were so strong to stand up to that guy who killed your daughter.  It must have been so hard for you to do it.  What got you through it? 

RUNNION:  You know it was very hard.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it through.  But I had—I brought a present that was made for me by a friend that had—it was a deck of cards and on it every face was a picture of somebody that I loved, somebody from my family, mostly of Samantha. 

DANIELS:  And that gave you the courage? 

RUNNION:  Yes, I held that the whole time. 

DANIELS:  How do you figure out how to encapsulate all those emotions that are running through your head?  You want to tell him so much and he has taken away so much from you.  How do you choose what to say to this guy? 

RUNNION:  Well, you know it has been three years and I lost a lot of sleep thinking about what I wanted to say to him.  And over time I finally decided that it wasn't just him I wanted to talk to.  I also wanted to talk to every other predator out there who might be watching. 

DANIELS:  Did he show any remorse whatsoever?  Did you read anything in his face? 

RUNNION:  No.  He turned his back.  His back was already toward me in the courtroom, and he turned it even further away from me. 

DANIELS:  And he just didn't look at you? 



RUNNION:  He is a coward beyond measure. 

DANIELS:  Oh that's an understatement.  How do you get through every day life?  I know so many people look up to you and you've been so courageous.  You've spoken out so much.  How do you get through the day-to-day? 

RUNNION:  Well my husband and I started the Joyful Child Foundation in memory of Samantha and now we spend our days literally full-time working on stopping crimes against children.  And it makes it so that—you know I'm going to think about Samantha every day of my life for the rest of my life.  And at least this way when I think about her I know that we are doing something to honor her, to make sure that the horrible nightmare that she lived and died through is not in vain.

DANIELS:  You know often, Erin, what gets lost in these cases is the victim herself.  Why don't you tell—tell us a little bit about Samantha.  What was she like?

RUNNION:  Well Samantha, it was—she was taken just 10 days before her 6th birthday.

DANIELS:  Her birthday is tomorrow, isn't it?

RUNNION:  Her birthday is tomorrow. 

DANIELS:  She would have been 9. 

RUNNION:  Yes, yes, and she was incredibly smart.  She started—she was reading at 3, so I finally—after she begged me, she started school at 4.  And you know, she just loved to read.  She loved to draw.  She—we used to go to the park all of the time and she would always bring a bag and collect neat things that she saw along the way. 

And she'd come home and she'd paste it or tape it or glue it or create some multimedia piece of art.  She loved to tell stories.  She had those big, beautiful brown eyes that you have seen pictures of.  And she would make—she would get really wide eyed and tell stories and jump around, gesticulate like crazy.


DANIELS:  She is just so adorable.  It's just so sad this tragedy.  Do you ever think about the happier times or is it completely clouded with this horrible tragedy that happened? 

RUNNION:  I work very hard to think of the happy times.  I refuse to let my memory be of her, of how she died.  My memory of her is all of the wonderful moments that I had with her and I'm grateful for every last one of them.  And I think that's kind of the lesson in this, I guess, or one of them, is to really cherish your children, cherish every second with them, even the ones that drive you crazy because years later those are the memories that make you laugh.  Those are the memories that will warm your heart forever. 

DANIELS:  And for parents listening to this who hear newscasters like me who say over and over there is another case in Florida or there's another case in California, what can they do to help their kids?  What advice do you have? 

RUNNION:  Well my first advice is to recognize that communication and awareness are the absolute best weapons against child predators.  We have got to raise the level of awareness in this country.  People just don't realize that over 95 percent of all child molesters molest children that are close to them.  They know their victims and their families and they're trusted people to the family of the victims.  And that is why it is so hard, because most of these people are never accused, much less convicted because the family has an attachment to the person who hurt their child. 


RUNNION:  And that's what makes this a really difficult issue to

solve.  So the best thing that we can do is talk with our children before

something happens.  Let them know that they have private parts, that it is

not OK to tickle them, that it's not OK to touch them without a parent

there and that if anybody ever makes them feel weird they can always have

tell you.  You will not get mad and hold true to that promise.  And if my -

·         I beg people if you know of a case, if you know your child has been hurt, report it.  It is so important.  Your child I can promise you is not the only one. 


DANIELS:  Erin Runnion, thank you so much for being on the show and thank you for all your courage.  It really is just remarkable.

RUNNION:  Thank you. 

DANIELS:  We appreciate it. 

RUNNION:  I appreciate you having me.

DANIELS:  And we'll be right back.


DANIELS:  Coming up, Cameron Diaz wins a court case today over nude photos taken before she became a star because the jury agreed she never signed a release form.


DANIELS:  Celebrity sex tapes and sleazy photos from topless pictures of Cameron Diaz to sex tapes of Colin Farrell.  More celebs resort to the courts to keep these things private than you might think.  Today a photographer who took topless pictures of Cameron Diaz before she became a star was convicted of forgery, attempted grand threat and perjury stemming from a scheme to sell the photos back to the actress 11 years later for millions of dollars. 

And just last week Colin Farrell was in the news, filing suit against a former girlfriend he says was trying to sell a sex tape he made with her.  Farrell says they own the tape together and they had verbally agreed to keep it between themselves.  These two aren't the first.  I promise you they won't be the last celebs to fight over these sometimes damaging, other times career-propelling tapes.  Think Paris Hilton.  But what are their rights? 

Well joining me now “Justice” magazine associate editor and former prosecutor Adriana Gardella.  I'll tell you, Adriana, I must have led a very good life because I never have these issues. 

ADRIANA GARDELLA, “JUSTICE” MAGAZINE ASSOCIATE EDITOR:  Yes, it's smart not to make these sort of tapes in the first place. 

DANIELS:  But for those of us who have, do you see legally any difference between the Cameron case and the Colin case? 

GARDELLA:  Well the primary distinction is that the case Cameron has filed was a criminal lawsuit and Colin's case is a civil one.  Cameron will be filing—she has a civil case that is going to be coming up related to these same facts in October.  But the successful trial was just a criminal one. 

DANIELS:  But in terms of the release, Cameron is saying you know my signature was forged.  Colin is saying—don't you like it—I am on a first-name basis with these people...


DANIELS:  Colin is saying my girlfriend and I made the tape, ex-girl friend.  We should share the rights to this.  Is there a difference legally between a waiver? 

GARDELLA:  I mean the primary difference is again that forgery is a criminal charge.  And what Colin is alleging that he and his girlfriend had this verbal agreement, that's a contractual or civil charge. 



GARDELLA:  ... he's also alleging invasion of privacy and some other civil counts.

DANIELS:  So bottom line does Colin have a case? 

GARDELLA:  He may have a better case if he does what some sources are telling us he may do, which is file an additional claim pursuant to a U.S.  code, Section 2257, which has not been used really in anything other than pornography cases.  But it requires anybody participating in one of these sorts of videos to first get a release and something that shows the age of the person, a government issued I.D. that shows the person's age.  And it is not intended for this sort of thing, but there is some suspicion that that might be the way to go with these cases in the future. 

DANIELS:  OK, let's put the legal jargon aside. 


DANIELS:  Here is the ultimate example for the news you can use segment.  You want to have a sex tape with your boyfriend.  You make one.  Who owns it? 

GARDELLA:  Well what you want to do first of all is make sure that you register the copyright.  That goes a long way toward, you know, if you want to file a lawsuit down the road the first thing you need to do is to have registered your copyright, so that would be the first thing.  And also once you have registered it, that does entitle you to additional statutory damages and attorney fees that you would get if you had not registered it. 

DANIELS:  OK, so you have to go through this formal process...

GARDELLA:  Right.  It's just a formality.

DANIELS:  ... otherwise you're going to have a dispute. 

GARDELLA:  Right. 

DANIELS:  All right.  Well I don't think this is news that most people can use, but in case it is, we were very helpful. 


DANIELS:  All right, Adriana Gardella, thanks so much. 

GARDELLA:  Thank you. 

DANIELS:  Coming up, smokers in New Jersey beware.  If state lawmakers have their way you might have to drive the entire Jersey turnpike without a nicotine fix.  They say you shouldn't be allowed to smoke behind the wheel.  It's my “Closing Argument”.

And a lot of you very angry at Alabama lawmakers for passing a resolution boycotting tourism to Aruba.  I will read your e-mails.  It's coming up.


DANIELS:  And now my “Closing Argument”—if you're a smoker, it's hard to find a place to enjoy a cigarette or a cigar these days.  Smoking in your office building, that's a no-no.  Employees need to step outside to get their nicotine fix.  In restaurants or bars, forget it.  Most major cities have banned it already or are currently working on banning it now.  On planes?  No.  On trains?  No.  But in your cars?  Well right now, yes, but it may be illegal in New Jersey if some local lawmakers have their way. 

New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon whose father died of emphysema wants the state to ban smoking while driving.  Now he says it's a safety issue.  He cites a AAA study that shows smoking while driving can cause accidents.  He wants a $250 fine for people caught smoking while driving.  But smokers in New Jersey, well they are not buying it.  They claim it's just another example of big brother overstepping his boundaries when it comes to smokers.  And here's the thing.  I agree.  I don't like smoke.  I can't stand it. 

I don't even like being around smokers.  But personally, I think this proposal is absolutely ridiculous.  Telling people they can't smoke in their own cars?  That's one step away from telling them they can't smoke in their own homes.  What's next?  I can't sing in my car because it's going to distract me?  I can't talk to my kids in the back seat because they'll distract me?  I can think of so many other things the state of New Jersey should be dealing with before they tackle the issue of people smoking in their own cars.  How about taxes?  What about potholes?  Let's start there. 

And on the scale of distractions while driving, smoking really is not my biggest concern.  I've seen people eating bowls of cereal while driving.  I've seen people reading the “Wall Street Journal”.  I've seen people putting on lipstick and mascara while making a right turn.  In my view, John McKeon and his co-sponsors have gone a little bit—no, way too far with this proposal and I'm guessing it might be a personal issue.  This is a guess, from McKeon, because his dad died of emphysema.  Does he have an issue with driving distractions or does he have a beef with smoking in general? 

More importantly, I resent that the New Jersey Assembly is wasting our time discussing this when child molesters continue to prey on kids like Samantha Runnion and our country, they're at war.  Come on.  Get with the program.  Start talking about issues that matter.  That's my “Closing Argument”. 

OK, you know how I feel now.  Assemblyman McKeon gets his chance to make his case tonight on “The Situation” with Tucker Carlson.  That's tonight on MSNBC at 9:00 Eastern.

Coming up, a wanted man in Florida gives new meaning to the term tickle torture.  Our “OH PLEAs!” story coming up next.


DANIELS:  And welcome back.  I've had my say, now it's time for “Your Rebuttal”.  On Friday, Alabama lawmakers passed a resolution asking residents to boycott Aruba until the Natalee Holloway case solved.  We got a huge response on this one. 

From Alabama, Linda Norton writes this.  “I agree with the Alabama vote.  What family from any state would want to experience this kind of ordeal from a vacation paradise?”

From Poultney, Vermont, Bryan McGrath is asking this.  “How about asking their residents to boycott un-chaperoned high school graduation trips?  Natalee's situation may have been compounded by the fact that the Alabama school system let a group of 17 and 18 year olds go to a foreign country with minimal adult supervision.”

Come on Bryan.  Ever hear of spring break?  Lots of 17 and 18-year-olds go places without supervision.  I don't think that's the point.  The point is should Alabama be boycotting Aruba based on one incident?  Personally, I think it's extreme.  Aruban officials want the ones behind the crime.  Why should Aruba be blamed? 

Now also Friday Dan gave another salute in his “Closing Argument” to a serviceman in Iraq.  Twenty-year-old Army medic Private Steven Tschiderer was shot by a terrorist sniper in the chest.  The bullet actually hit him in his bulletproof vest knocking him down.  After getting up and returning fire, the soldiers located the sniper.  They took him into custody.  But after being shot by the sniper, Private Tschiderer acted like a true American.  He provided the enemy with medical treatment, the same guy who had just tried to kill him, making sure that guy survived. 

Well Steve Woodruff in Cumberland, Wisconsin writes this.  “Your story on the medic soldier who was shot was tremendous.  It's so frustrating that more media attention is not directed at these amazing acts that the men and women of our wonderful military performs.”

Steve, I totally agree 100 percent.  I am so tired of hearing about just the bad stories committed by a few people in the military.  It is about time we hear the truth about the day-to-day heroes who are fighting to provide us freedom.  I think that was well said. 

Make sure you send your e-mails to the abramsreport—one word—

@msnbc.com.  We're going to go through them and read them at the end of the show like always. 

Now to the “OH PLEAs!”—forget tickle me Elmo.  In New Smyrna Beach, Florida there's a real life tickler.  It's actually not funny.  This one is not welcomed by children everywhere.  In fact, he doesn't seem to care for kids at all.  Only for those too old to believe in Santa or the Tooth Fairy. 

In this town, 44 miles northeast of Orlando, women over 60, they're getting a visitor you would think is a figment of their imagination.  A white thin and young looking man has apparently been breaking into homes.  He heads straight into the bedrooms where he ever so briefly feeds his foot fetish.  The intruder is usually naked but at times half dressed and he tickles women's feet.  Apparently he is a serial offender and police believe he is responsible for five similar incidents.  They're all dating back to 2001. 

Again, it's not really too much of a laughing matter.  He has escaped each time leaving police and many residents with a weird case of the chills.  We thought you should know that. 

That does it for us.  Thanks for joining us.  Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.  Chris' guests include California Senator Dianne Feinstein and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.  Good night.



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