updated 8/16/2005 11:28:10 AM ET 2005-08-16T15:28:10

Guest: Christene Hollloway, John Walsh, Benvinda De Sousa, Jossy Mansur, Harris Faulkner, Charles C. Harris, James Walker, Fortunado Perri Jr., Art Wood, Matthew Mangino, Louis Oswald, Russ Patterson

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  We have another big show coming your way tonight.  “America‘s Most Wanted” host John Walsh will join us live, as well as Natalee‘s grandmother.  She‘s going to talk for the first time.  And we also have some new news about a possible new connection in the case.

Plus, some exclusive pictures from the ship where a groom vanished during his honeymoon, and why TV star Matt LeBlanc is giving up the dirty details of a wild night with a stripper.

But first, let‘s go to Aruba, where the mysterious gardener has just shown up.  Let‘s go to Michelle Kosinski, who‘s standing by there live.  Michelle, tell us.  He finally appeared in court.  My gosh.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Yes, he did.  Investigators have been wanting to talk to him for more than a week now, to get him in court before a judge, get his testimony on the record.  He‘s an illegal immigrant from Colombia in this country, and prosecutors were worried that they wouldn‘t be able to get that testimony before this case went to trial, if it does go trial.  They were worried that he might have left the country already, in fact.

Well, they were able to get him into court.  There has been a warrant out for him to get him there.  But coming out, defense attorneys said they thought his testimony might have actually been good for the defense.  Remember, this is a witness who said early the morning Natalee disappeared and after the time the Kalpoe brothers said they were already at home, he was cutting through a field, and he said he came upon a car with all three suspects in it.  He said that they tried to cover their faces when they noticed they had been seen.  And this was in an area that was later drained over the period of several days, looking for evidence.

But defense attorneys say that he couldn‘t remember very many details at all about what he saw, that when asked to describe the Kalpoe brothers‘ car, he focused on the rims.  Defense attorneys say, Well, if he noticed the rims, how well did he actually see the people inside?  And in fact, they say, when he was asked to identify Satish Kalpoe out of a photo line-up, he couldn‘t do it.

Now, outside of court, Natalee‘s mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, has a new source of support here.  Her mother has joined her in Aruba.  She‘s going to stay for a couple of days.  We were able to sit down with both of them this afternoon.  And it was a very touching interview because they really do play off of each other‘s strengths.  They know each other so well, they can finish each other‘s sentences.

And Beth‘s mother actually knows the pain of losing a child.  Her 1-year-old son died of encephalitis.  And Beth says she has been an incredible source of strength for her here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN REYNOLDS, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S GRANDMOTHER:  The wisdom that (INAUDIBLE) is this: The pain does go away.  But you don‘t ever forget, but it takes a long time.  I think she‘s probably stronger than I am, maybe, or I was.  I was so young, but...

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE‘S MOTHER:  And the problem that we‘re having is we just don‘t have any answers yet.

REYNOLDS:  That‘s what‘s terrible.

TWITTY:  That—that is—is just—you really can‘t begin to go through the...

REYNOLDS:  Closure.

TWITTY: -- yes, until you have some answers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSINSKI:  There was also a decision out of the appeals court today allowing the FBI to continue being involved in the case, to continue seeing all the prosecutor‘s files—Rita.

COSBY:  All right, Michelle.  Thank you very much.

And we just heard from one grandmother.  Now we‘re going to hear from another.  Christene Holloway is Natalee‘s grandmother, and she‘s here with us tonight in this LIVE AND DIRECT exclusive from Arkansas, speaking out for the first time on national television.

Mrs. Holloway, how do you get through the ups and downs, the daily ups and downs of this case?

CHRISTENE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S GRANDMOTHER:  Well, it‘s just with the help of God.  I have a great faith.  All of my family does.  And we pray every day for Natalee.  And that‘s where we get our strength.

COSBY:  You knew Natalee well.  In fact, you saw her just a few days before her graduation.  What were her spirits like?  This was just a few days before she disappeared, right?

HOLLOWAY:  Yes.  She was really happy.  When we went back to see her, she was getting ready for graduation.  And that‘s the last time I saw her.

COSBY:  You know, many of us feel like we know her.  We‘ve seen, you know, so many pictures of her.  What a beautiful girl.  Tell us a little bit about her, what made her just such a special granddaughter to you.

HOLLOWAY:  Well, she was always special.  She had that quick grin, just like her dad.  She looks a lot like her dad.  And she‘s always been quiet.  She‘s—she was just a fantastic granddaughter.

COSBY:  Speaking of—you know, you talked about your son.  I understand it‘s hard for to you talk to your son about the details of this case.  Why is that?

HOLLOWAY:  Yes, it is, because I know he‘s hurting.  It‘s been hard on all of us.

COSBY:  I‘m sure.  How frustrated are you, too, here we are, two months, and still so few details?

HOLLOWAY:  Well, we‘re all real close.  The whole family is.  All the family has joined together since this has happened, and we‘ve been together a lot in, you know, the search for Natalee.  And we all have been to Aruba and back, and we, you know, talk and visit a lot.

COSBY:  And I‘m sure it‘s frustrating, though, too, because still so few leads.  And I‘m sure there‘s some frustration with Aruban authorities on your part too, right?

HOLLOWAY:  Well, I think they‘re doing all they can as of now.  We met nice people over there when we spent 10 days.  I really liked Aruba.  I liked the people there.  And I think everybody is doing all they can, working very hard, you know, on the search for Natalee.

COSBY:  Well, Mrs. Holloway, stick with us, if you could, because I want to bring in now into the conversation a man who knows firsthand what it‘s like to search for a missing child, John Walsh, a dear friend of mine, the host of “America‘s Most Wanted.”  And he joins us live.  John, great to see you.  We still have Mrs. Holloway with us.  What would you like to say to her?  You‘ve been in this situation before.

JOHN WALSH, HOST, “AMERICA‘S MOST WANTED”:  Well, first of all, I have great admiration for Beth Holloway and all of the family and friends that have been back and forth from Aruba.  And Christene, please don‘t give up.  I mean, this story, Natalee‘s disappearance, is still in the news because of one predominant factor, and that‘s the Holloway family not giving up until they get some answers, not leaving that island until they find out what happened to Natalee.

COSBY:  Do you feel, John, obviously, you know, even in your own case, it is key for these families to get out there and fight?  You know, it‘s the families that actually get out there.  They‘re able to get the message through the media and others that can make a difference, right?

WALSH:  Oh, it makes a huge difference.  The families who can‘t muster the strength or don‘t have the savvy to go out there and use the media are the ones who don‘t get the coverage.  I mean, the Holloways have singlehandedly turned Natalee‘s case into a primetime issue because of their perseverance and their demand to know what happened to their daughter.

And the not knowing is what‘s killing this family, and I say—the one piece of advice I‘d give them—you‘re on the right track.  Remember who the victim is.  Natalee is the victim.  She‘s the one who‘s out there somewhere, and that they have to stay until they get some answers.

And I know that they have great strength and great courage, but now is the real tough, tough time, and lots of people give up and they leave, but this family is hanging in there.  And that‘s the only thing they can do.  The only reason, I believe, the Aruban authorities are going to this extent and doing what they‘re doing now, which I say is way too little, way too late, is because of this family.

COSBY:  I agree.  And Mrs. Holloway, too, as you hear this, I don‘t get any sense that any of are you ready to give up, is that right?

HOLLOWAY:  No, we‘re not going to give up until we find her.

COSBY:  And what does keep you going?  You talked about the faith, but this family seems so strong, so—you know, so much love there in this family.

HOLLOWAY:  Yes, there is.  And we pray every day.  We pray every day for Natalee‘s return or, you know, something to come up, to lead us to Natalee.  And we are.  We all—have a strong faith in God.

COSBY:  Well, it‘s been inspirational to all of us, and we‘re praying that you get some answers soon.  And Mrs. Holloway, we thank you for being with us.  John, stick with us, too, because we‘re going to have you also after the break.

But meanwhile, there‘s also an interesting discovery being reported tonight that could have some big implications in the case if it turns out to be connected.  Aruba‘s “Diario” newspaper is reporting that a fisherman has found what he believes is a body part off the coast of nearby Venezuela.  NBC News is still trying to confirm this story.  But we want to tell you to keep in mind that Aruba is only 18 miles from the northernmost point in Venezuela, it‘s not that far away, but also that Natalee has been missing, remember to keep in mind, for almost two months.

And joining me now live on the phone from Aruba is Jossy Mansur.  He is the managing editor of the “Diario” newspaper.  Jossy, how did you guys find out about this find?

JOSSY MANSUR, MANAGING EDITOR, “DIARIO”:  Because it was published in a Venezuelan newspaper, and we were called by the people in that part of Venezuela, that (INAUDIBLE) about this forearm that was found on a beach called Las Pierdras (ph) on the peninsula of Paraguna (ph).  That‘s the Falcon (ph) state of Venezuela.

COSBY:  And where exactly—it was located, you said, on the beach.

MANSUR:  On the beach.  It was located by a dog.  A dog picked it up, too, it to the dog‘s owner, and then he called the police.  He gave it over.  They made some tests in the labs over there locally, and then they sent it to Caracas yesterday.

COSBY:  And now, what kind of condition is the arm?  And how were they able to identify that it was a woman‘s arm?

MANSUR:  Well, from their expertise, their experience.  I mean, many people die or are killed in Venezuela and go through the process.  They identified it preliminarily as belonging to a young person of a certain height before they sent it back to Caracas, in other words, sent it on to Caracas for the real lab tests that have to take place.

Now, we reported this because anything that we find, anything that might have a relation to this case, we investigate.  And whatever doesn‘t turn out to be correct, we discard.  Now, this—this could be from anyone.  It could be from an illegal person trying enter Aruba and drowned on the way.  Or it could be related to this case.  It could be anything.  We just have to wait for the results in a few days.

COSBY:  Well, that‘s what I was going to ask you.  Are you hearing about how many days until you get an answer on this?

MANSUR:  Oh, it‘s within 24 to 48 hours...

COSBY:  Oh, that soon?

MANSUR:  ... we‘ll know the preliminary results.

COSBY:  And that‘s soon.  Any other missing persons case in that area that it could be someone else that they‘re looking for?

MANSUR:  No, not from there.  From the police in that part of the region, we haven‘t heard anything related to that.

COSBY:  And real quickly, while I have you on the phone, I got to ask you about the gardener, this mysterious gardener—who, actually, you and your newspaper tracked down, which is a great job on your part—finally showed up in court.  Where has he been?  And why do you think he‘s critical to the case?

MANSUR:  Well, we—we understand he was in Bonares (ph), another small island close to Aruba.

COSBY:  Right.

MANSUR:  He went there to get away from all the media attention, from all the pressure from the police and everybody that was looking for him.  And then—they have him—they have him inside all the time.  They brought him over today.  He was interrogated during three-and-a-half hours in the afternoon, with all the defense lawyers present that could ask him questions also, the judge of instruction.  And from what we hear from people who were present, he‘s sticking to his story.  And he did identify to the judge from pictures that were shown to him both Joran and Deepak.

COSBY:  All right.  Well, Jossy, thank you very much.  And of course, keep us posted if that arm is, indeed, connected to the case and any other developments.  I know you guys have been all over this story.

And joining me now is Benvinda De Sousa.  She is the attorney for the Holloway family.  Benvinda, what do you think also of the gardener finally showing up?

BENVINDA DE SOUSA, HOLLOWAY FAMILY ATTORNEY:  Well, I‘m very pleased that he finally showed up, and I‘m sure that he can shed some light into this case, especially because he claims to have seen Deepak, Joran and Satish at a time at the night of Natalee‘s disappearance when they claim that they were—that they were home.

COSBY:  Yes, he does play a key role.  Now, we‘re looking at pictures.  This is, of course, when Beth went over and tried to speak to Deepak.  He did not talk to her.  One of the issues today before the courts was whether the FBI can get involved, still maintain its involvement.  The court, of course, decided, yes, and also decided that Joran will continue to be interrogated on a daily basis.  Why are these two things critical?

DE SOUSA:  They are critical because in continuing to interrogate Joran, we might find out at some time what happened or get some answers.  And the fact that the FBI is allowed to continue to help out in the investigation is very important because providing their expertise, they can help to shed—or try and find some answers where they haven‘t been found any yet.

COSBY:  All right.  And let me go John Walsh real quick because I know he‘s still with us.  John, I got to ask you, first of all, key to have the FBI still involved?  And what‘s your reaction if, indeed, this arm, this body part appears to be connected?

MANSUR:  Well, it would be wonderful if that body part is connected to Natalee.  At least they would know.  As I said before, the not knowing is a nightmare.  And they should really make every effort they can to check that DNA.

And absolutely—I think if that they didn‘t elect to have the FBI still involved, then everyone should boycott Aruba because the FBI should have been brought in in the beginning into this case.  It was a case of a missing American woman.  And I‘ve worked cases with Scotland Yard, Interpol.  Countries have used each other‘s resources.  And I know that the Aruban police were not experienced in cases of missing women, and the FBI should have been asked in right from the beginning to help them interrogate this guy and those two brothers that they let out of jail.

So it‘s crucial that the FBI be involved, if only for their forensic lab and their ability to do forensics.  So this is something—it‘s a little bit too late, but it‘s a good thing the FBI is still involved.

COSBY:  Absolutely.  And both of you, thank you very much.  Benvinda, thank you.

DE SOUSA:  You‘re welcome.

COSBY:  John, stick around, if you could, because we are going to have a lot more to say about some of the other big stories that are still ahead.

Tonight, everybody, take a look.  This is what‘s in store.

Up next: George Smith vanished from his honeymoon cruise.  Tonight, exclusive pictures from the scene.  Plus, who are cruise ship investigators really working for?

And what kind of creep would attack a flock of pet ducks?  The sick crime is caught on tape, and now the suspect is the one being hunted down.

And why is actor Matt LeBlanc spilling the beans about his wild night with a stripper?  We‘ll tell you LIVE AND DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Interesting developments tonight in the case of a man who went missing on his honeymoon, vanished right from his suite on his cruise ship.  There‘s some new details about the final day that George and Jennifer Smith spent together.  Police suspect that he went overboard and that he may have been pushed.

Joining me now is Harris Faulkner of the TV show “A Current Affair.”  Harris, you uncovered a new eyewitness.  This is a new person who‘s sort of in the scene.  Tell us, first of all, who is he, and what did he say to you?

HARRIS FAULKNER, “A CURRENT AFFAIR”:  Well, he‘s a crew member, and this is the first time, Rita, that we‘ve heard from a crew member from the honeymoon cruise, if you will.  And he told us a couple of things, some disturbing details about the behavior of George and Jennifer Smith leading up to those wee morning hours.  We knew already, Rita, that they were heavily drinking, but we knew it from people who were drinking in the bar.  Now we know it from somebody who wasn‘t drinking, who remembers vivid details about the kamikazes, the lemon drops, exactly what was going on, the kinds of beverages they were drinking, how many, and the attention that they were bringing to themselves by bragging about the amount of money that they‘d won that night in the casino.

We saw them almost look more like potential victims, Jennifer and George, of a crime of opportunity, should it arise, because of their inebriated state.

COSBY:  Flaunting the money.

FAULKNER:  Exactly.

COSBY:  Now, interesting.  Jennifer Smith was actually, what, quite sort of affectionate?

FAULKNER:  Well, you know, she was caught in a situation with a couple of guys.  And we‘ve heard talks about Russian kids, two Russian kinds and another kid from southern California.

COSBY:  Who were hanging around with George.

FAULKNER:  From this crew member, we have confirmed the names.  We‘ve got Josh, the two Russian kids, Gregory (ph) and Rusty (ph).  That‘s as far as we‘ll go tonight for the purpose of...

COSBY:  Same last name?

FAULKNER:  Same last name on those two people.  So you know, we‘re learning more about the texture of what was going on inside that bar, those guys getting physical, intimate with her, her so drunk, she was...

COSBY:  And here she is on her honeymoon!

FAULKNER:  Right—not realizing at first that it wasn‘t her husband doing some of these intimate things to her in an open bar, getting upset with George for not taking care of her in that bar.  Now we know more about that spat, according to this crew member, was about the fact that her husband wasn‘t looking out for her, that she was literally being fondled by the other guys, according to this crew member.  And she was so drunk, she didn‘t even realize it wasn‘t George.

COSBY:  It‘s interesting.

FAULKNER:  It‘s such a really a dark picture that he paints.

COSBY:  Yes, sets the scene of sort of what happened.  Harris, stick with us, OK, because I want to bring in a few other people.

I want to bring in now—first of all, we‘ve obtained some exclusive new photos of investigators on the cruise ship just days after George Smith disappeared, The first photo shows FBI agents boarding the ship.  You can see it here, being greeted by crew members in Naples, Italy.  That photo was taken on July 9.  Just to put it in context, it was four days after George Smith went missing—four days.

Now, the second photo, which you‘ll see right here, shows the FBI agents with an officer from the ship.  They‘re reportedly looking for clues near the overhang in the area of George Smith‘s cabin.

And we‘re joined now on the phone by “Susan,” whose husband took these photos.  Susan, why did you think it was important to take these pictures?

“SUSAN,” PASSENGER ON SMITHS‘ CRUISE:  Well, we were getting off of the ship to sightsee in Naples, and we saw the men in their khaki suits flashing badges.  And we kind of hung around and watched what was happening.  And they boarded the ship, and you know, they—it seemed like they were asking permission to board the ship.  And then we just stood there and watched, and my husband started taking pictures.  And they went over through the doors that looks like there‘s these automatic doors, and it looked like they were going to go to the crime scene, which was right near—it was the overhang of the lifeboat where George Smith—that‘s where they found the blood stain.

COSBY:  Do you believe, based what you saw, that the overhang—that he was sort of pushed over that overhang?

“SUSAN”:  Definitely.

COSBY:  You do?

“SUSAN”:  Yes, I feel that he was pushed.  And the attempt was to push him into the water, but they missed, and so he landed on the overhang.

COSBY:  Now, did you see anyone suspicious on the ship?  And what was your feeling about the crew members?

“SUSAN”:  Very eerie feeling after we heard about it.  And you know, that night, we were told—actually, we got back from Naples at the end of the day, and we went to go into our safe, and we couldn‘t open it.  And that was one little—you know, it was kind of eerie.  We were, like, Someone‘s been in our room, checking our room.  And then we heard that night at dinner that 51 people were taken off the ship, and just very—you know, strange people walking all over, and you know, you didn‘t know who was who.

COSBY:  All right, Susan.  Well, we appreciate it.  And thank you very much for sharing these pictures from us.

And joining me again now, the host of “America‘s Most Wanted,” John Walsh.  Also maritime attorney James Walker, who has worked for cruise companies and also for passengers.  And on the phone with us, we have Charles Harris.  He‘s former security chief for Carnival Cruise Lines.  And still staying with us, of course, is Harris Faulkner with “A Current Affair.”

John Walsh, let me start with you.  You know, we‘re just hearing, you know, the picture that Harris paints and also Susan paints, sort of a ship run amok (INAUDIBLE) crew members looking very suspicious and acting very suspicious.

WALSH:  Well, I would ask several questions.  I think George Smith‘s family should take a lesson from the Holloway family being the squeaky wheel in Aruba.  If I was George Smith‘s family, I would be asking these questions.  Why isn‘t the cruise ship more forthcoming with their investigation?  Probably because it‘s bad for business, and no cruise ship wants to let people think that you can be murdered on a cruise ship.

Where is Jennifer Smith?  I mean, she‘s the newlywed, and this is her husband.  I know if I was just married and my wife was missing on the ship, I would be everywhere I could be, saying, What happened to him?  And what‘s the role of the Turkish authorities and the FBI?  You hear so little about this investigation, and there‘s so many unanswered questions.  If I was George Smith‘s family, I‘d be asking all those questions.

COSBY:  Let me get Charles to answer some of those because, I mean, Charles, with your background as security chief for Carnival, you know, how come it seems like the cruise ship has not been forthcoming and not helpful?

CHARLES C. HARRIS, FORMER SECURITY CHIEF, CARNIVAL CRUISES:  Well, you‘re looking at part of it right now.  It‘s covered up information and people coming forthwith (ph).  Four days later, the FBI‘s on it.  Nobody did an investigation until the FBI got there.

COSBY:  Yes, and James—James, a maritime attorney—how come the FBI has been so slow?  I mean, one of the things that Harris was talking about, the FBI is sort of following up on their leads.  Where is the FBI?  Four days until they get on the ship?

JAMES WALKER, MARITIME ATTORNEY:  Well, what you have to understand, of course, is that this crime, assuming it‘s a crime, occurred between Greece and Turkey.  The FBI probably has some field agents over in Turkey.  Ten to one, they‘re over there for terrorism surveillance and also to deal with drugs.  The FBI typically is called in late by the cruise line by design.  They first send their own investigators in.  They send their own...

COSBY:  Why?  Because the cruise lines want to cover up it, right?

WALKER:  Well, there‘s a...

HARRIS:  Right.

WALKER:  There‘s a history over the past several decades of this type of crime being covered up by the cruise lines.  The director of safety and security at Royal Caribbean was quoted five years ago stating that out of every 100,000 passengers, there‘ll be one assault and battery.  That turns out to be, at 10 million passengers a year, 100 assaults and battery of a sexual nature each year.  That‘s two a week.  Those do not—those crimes do not lead to successful investigations because of these problems.

COSBY:  No.  Absolutely.  Let me bring in Harris because Harris, you actually told the FBI about this new witness.

FAULKNER:  Well, absolutely...

COSBY:  What was their reaction?

FAULKNER:  Well, I mean, “A Current Affair,” it felt like we had a responsibility.  When you get this kind of testimony and evidence, you feel like, OK, let‘s pick up the phone and not only see if we can get a response from them but just let them know what we have.

Here‘s what I think.  If they even have a fourth of what we have, they ought to be able to figure out who did this.  I mean, they are FBI agents.  They are investigators.  So we‘re sharing everything we have at this point, Rita.

But I have not gotten a one-on-one conversation back saying, This is what we‘re going after next.  We interviewed the Redlands detective in Redlands, California, the deputy police chief.  Fifteen minutes after our live interview, he gets a call, Don‘t talk to the media anymore.  We want to sit down with you on Friday, four days later.  I don‘t know if, in fact, they‘re following “A Current Affair.”  It would appear that we‘re opening doors and they‘re walking through them.  but we are sharing with them what we have.  And again, with their expertise, if they even have an inkling of what we have, they ought to be able to solve this one.

COSBY:  And Charles, do you think they will follow up now and—but boy, you know, it shouldn‘t have to take the press to give you the leads to make it happen.  Luckily, the press is helping, but boy, you should do it on your own.

HARRIS:  Well, these cruise lines should have been doing it.  They should have done it before the FBI got on it.  The crew members should have been interviewed.  The personnel should have been done.  But the cruise lines don‘t have trained investigators or trained security personnel running the operations on the ship.

COSBY:  Right.  But do you think that‘s going to change really quickly, based this now?

HARRIS:  No.  It‘s been going on since ‘91, ‘92, ‘93, ‘94.  They‘re still doing it.  Unless the media and the public demands it, they are not going to make the change.

COSBY:  Well, let‘s hope everybody demands it.  Everybody, thank you very much.  Harris, great job.  And John, stick with us because I know you‘re going to have a lot more to say about what is coming up.

And in fact, a new program cracking down on sexual predators.  We‘re going to have some details of that.  Plus, Matt LeBlanc gives up the saucy details about a wild night with a stripper.  We‘ll tell you why he‘s telling the embarrassing tale.  Harris‘s eyes are popping out on this one!

And after the break, we‘re headed back to Aruba for the latest on searchers who are combing that island, looking for Natalee Holloway.  Where are they looking now?  We‘ve got some new details.

And we want to hear from you.  If there‘s a story that you think we should know about, some amazing video, something you think we should investigate, make sure you give us a call.  And the new tip line—there it is -- 1-877-TIP-RITA, 1-877-TIP-RITA.

We‘re coming right back after the break, everybody.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  There are a lot of people calling for America‘s sexual predators to be part of a nationwide list to help people and also especially keep police keeping an eye on them and keeping them away from our children.  One of those people is the host of “America‘s Most Wanted,” John Walsh, who has been fighting to protect children for the last 24 years, ever since the 1981 murder of his young son, Adam. 

John, I have to ask you.  I know you and I talked about this a couple months back.  Why do you think it is so critical now to have a national sex offender registry? 

WALSH:  Well, we‘ve seen what‘s happened this year.  These have been some of the most horrendous kidnappings and murders of children by repeat offenders, many of who were in direct violation of their parole or probation. 

The United States Justice Department estimates there‘s about 550,000 convicted sex offenders out there; 150,000 of them are missing.  This is a country of 50 little countries called states.  We need federal legislation.  We need a federal sex offender registry, and we need penalties for that. 

Now we have a new piece of legislation, the Child Safety Act of 2005.  I‘ve been working on it for almost two years with Congressman James Sensenbrenner from the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Mark Foley, and from a whole bunch of senators on the Senate side. 

This has to be passed.  It would make sex offenders register.  It would hold them accountable.  If they didn‘t register, they would receive five years in prison.  It would allow the U.S. marshals to track them down.  And if they were second offenders, they would be in prison for 25 years. 

It‘s about time, since we can‘t cure these people—the psychiatric community says that—since we can‘t keep them in jail long enough, like the guy in Coeur d‘Alene, Idaho, that roamed all over the country for years, then we at least have the right to know where they are.  And if they won‘t comply, then they should be punished. 

COSBY:  And we were just looking at some pictures of you on Capitol Hill.

You talk about the Idaho case, John.  Also the Jessica Lunsford case, John Evander Couey in Florida.  Why has it taken so long to get such a registry if it seems so critical? 

WALSH:  It is so critical.  And it‘s just a mishmash.  It doesn‘t work. 

I mean, John Couey had 22 arrests before he is alleged to have stalked and tracked Jessica Lunsford.  He was in complete defiance of his sex offender registry.  He didn‘t give a valid address, yet he was 150 yards way from Mark Lunsford‘s house stalking this beautiful girl... 

COSBY:  So, John, why aren‘t people not hopping on it and saying, “Look, we‘ve got to get this”? 

WALSH:  Well, this is the time for every American to saddle up.  And call your two U.S. senators.  Find out who your member of the House of Representatives is.  You can go to my web site, amw.com.  We‘ll tell you how the write the letter. 

And say, “Look, children have no lobby.  And women, particularly, especially women victims of these sex offenders, women and children don‘t have a big political action committee.  It‘s time say—listen, it‘s a simple piece of legislation.  The Child Safety Act of 2005 needs to be passed in the House and Senate.”

And say to the legislator, “I‘ll never vote for you again.  I don‘t know what you‘re doing in Washington if you don‘t care about the safety of our children.”

COSBY:  No, you bet.  And speaking of kids, you‘re also profiling another case of a little Brooklyn girl.  This is just a horrible story.  Jessica Saji went to take out her garbage. 

WALSH:  Absolutely, Rita.  I‘m so glad you got this little girl‘s picture on, because she went missing on Friday.  She went to take out her garbage.  She‘s only 11 years old, in Brooklyn, New York.  And she never came home. 

She‘s a good student, goes to a Catholic school, wonderful family.  And we always talk about how the blonde little girls always get all the attention, JonBenet Ramsey and Elizabeth Smart.  Yes, they need the attention, but ethnic girls like this don‘t seem to make national news. 

And I‘m proud for you and your producers, Rita, for putting this girl‘s picture out there tonight, because this family is desperate to find out what happened to this little girl. 

COSBY:  And, John, I‘ve got to ask you, you know, as we talk about all these cases, Jessica Saji, obviously, Jessica Lunsford, time goes by.  You know, you talked about Natalee Holloway‘s family.  Time never heals it, right? 

WALSH:  No.  Any parent of a missing child, any parent of a murdered child, there‘s no such thing as closure.  I‘ll never have closure in Adam‘s case.  But at least I know where he is. 

What really kills and destroys people is the not knowing.  That‘s why Natalee Holloway‘s brave family is down there in Aruba.  They probably know in their heart or hearts the odds are that she‘s dead.  They just want to know what happened to her and maybe bring her remains back. 

The not knowing is what kills people.  And so the media plays such a role.  I‘ve learned it on “America‘s Most Wanted.”  We‘ve got 851 of the uncatchable and brought back 34 missing children.  It‘s the American public that really solves these cases. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  And keep up the great work you do.  John, always great to have you on, my friend. 

WALSH:  Thank you, Rita. 

COSBY:  Thank you very much. 

We want to take you back now to Aruba where searchers have been combing through every inch of that island, searching for answers in the Natalee Holloway investigation.  Art Wood is a private investigator in Aruba. 

Art, where are they searching now?  I understand it‘s a little break from the landfill, right? 

ART WOOD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  There‘s a break.  Not only a break, we‘re suspending operations in the landfill at this time, Rita.  We don‘t have the money or the resources to continue that. 

I need to make sure that everyone knows that they need to put pressure on this Aruban government to take over that search.  They have the equipment.  They have the money, and they have the people who can continue that search. 

COSBY:  So it comes down to dollars.  Is that what you‘re saying? 

WOOD:  Well, it comes down to manpower, too.  We were searching for 10 days in the landfill with one backhoe two people. 

COSBY:  Wow.  You You‘ve been really on this Art, and you guys have done a great job down there and in volunteering your time.  You also reached out to some of the folks in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the Lori Hacking case.  Tell us about that. 

WOOD:  Well, I called Salt Lake.  I wanted to know what methods they used to find Lori Hacking‘s body.  And they filled me in on what they had to do. 

They had a lot of manpower, and they had a lot of equipment.  They raked through that trash and physically moved the earth in grids from one section of the landfill to another. 

They had people with rakes raking that trash.  They also said that, by this time, the body would have decomposed to less about 80 percent—there would be about 20 percent of the body weight left.  So we‘d be looking for hair, teeth and bones. 

COSBY:  Right, literally, just whatever the remains are.  One of the things that you did find recently by the lighthouse—we had John talking about the belt, as we‘re looking at a picture of it here. 

Looks very similar, as you saw with your naked eye, as you were saying, to Joran‘s belt, Joran Van Der Sloot‘s belt, in the picture.  There he is with a friend.  Any more details on the status of that? 

WOOD:  No, there isn‘t.  It would take time for that belt to be examined in Holland. 

But I will tell you this:  The police have shown a renewed interest in the area where that belt was found.  They have been showing up left and right out there when we‘ve been conducting these searches.  And I‘ll tell you, Aruba police need to get involved to solve this case, because, if they want the American tourists here, people are going to want to know it‘s safe in Aruba. 

COSBY:  You bet.  They‘re going to want to have some answers in this case. 

Art Wood, keep up the great work there.  And I hope that money and resources and pressure comes that way.  Thank you. 

WOOD:  Thank you for having me, Rita. 

COSBY:  You‘re welcome, Art.  Thanks so much. 

And coming up, a lot more to the show.  Why Matt LeBlanc is telling the world about a wild night with a stripper that nearly wrecked his marriage.  Why‘s he talking? 

And next, a father-daughter driving lesson lands the dad behind bars on homicide charges.  What went so wrong? 

And if you‘ve got a big story that you want us to check out or investigate something big, log onto our web site.  That‘s Rita.MSNBC.com.  Stay with us, everybody. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The law says that we are actually supposed to drive with an eye towards anticipating problems. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m so sorry for the family, so terribly sorry this happened. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Well, this is a shocking story.  A father is facing homicide charges right now after a driving lesson with his daughter takes a horrible turn. 

Richard Miller was doing what a lot of parents do, teaching their kids how to drive, even before they have a permit.  But his daughter, Megan, lost control of the car and hit a woman carrying her baby.  The woman actually tossed the baby to safety.  The baby survived, but the woman died. 

Joining me now is their defense attorney, Fortunado Perri, and also district attorney Matthew Mangino, who could tell us how the law works in Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Perri, first of all, tell me, how are your clients doing, the father and the daughter? 

FORTUNADO PERRI, JR., MILLERS‘ DEFENSE ATTORNEY  Well, they‘re not doing well.  Obviously, it goes without saying that this has been a nightmare for both of them, for their families, and for everyone involved in this case.  This has been a life-altering experience. 

They are deeply, deeply sorry and remorseful for what happened in this unimaginable accident.  And the family of Sarah McGinley are in the thoughts and prayers of Mr. Miller and his entire family every day. 

COSBY:  And you know, it is something—I mean, a lot of parents let their kids drive without permits.  Why did your client, you know, say it‘s OK for the daughter to go out with anything written, without any documentation? 

PERRI:  Well, I think you said earlier, it‘s the type of thing that people have been doing for years with their children.  And I think Mr.  Miller, in this particular case, his daughter was about four or five months shy of her 16th birthday. 

He decided to take her to a fenced-in, abandoned school parking lot.  He thought that that was an appropriate precaution at the time.  And what has happened here was completely unforeseeable. 

COSBY:  Now, Mr. Mangino, you believe this wasn‘t just a tragic accident.  Why? 

MATTHEW MANGINO, LAWRENCE COUNTY, PA, DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  Well, it is a tragic situation.  There‘s no question about that.  But in Pennsylvania, under the vehicle code, homicide by vehicle, if you commit an unlawful act, letting your unlicensed daughter drive, and you disregard a substantial risk, as they did in this particular situation, well, you‘re liable under the vehicle code for homicide by vehicle.  And that‘s exactly what happened here. 

COSBY:  Let me show—this is from Carfax.com.  This is one of the quotes, just how common accidents are, especially in young drivers.  It says, “During the first year of licensed driving, one in five male and one in 10 female 16-year-old drivers will have a crash.”

They‘re fairly common.  Why go after this girl, though, Mr. Mangino? 

MANGINO:  Well, Rita, what happened here was you had a 15-year-old, unlicensed, inexperienced driver who is put behind the wheel of a two-ton vehicle in an area where there are people around—obviously, someone was killed—and you let that person take control of the vehicle. 

That‘s a conscious disregard of a substantial risk.  You know, in this particular case, this young lady admits in a statement to the police that she wasn‘t sure about which pedal was which, the brake or the accelerator. 

COSBY:  Let me bring in Mr. Perri, because that is interesting.  I mean, she seemed extremely naive.  Did they have a plan b?  Did they have a backup? 

PERRI:  Well, I don‘t know what son or daughter who‘s four or five months shy of their 16th birthday aren‘t naive about driving an automobile.  And that‘s why he took her to the abandoned, fenced-in parking lot. 

COSBY:  So Mr. Perri, what do you think the punishment should be? 

PERRI:  Well, with respect to Mr. Miller, certainly, he exercised poor judgment.  Certainly, he probably was negligent under the circumstances, but his conduct did not rise to recklessness.  And that‘s been defined by the courts as a disregard of the value of human life.  And by what he did that day, there‘s certainly no evidence of that. 

COSBY:  All right.  Both of you, thank you very much.  We appreciate it.  We‘ll be following the case. 

PERRI:  My pleasure. 

MANGINO:  Thank you. 

COSBY:  And coming up, everybody, Matt LeBlanc‘s wild night with a stripper?  Why he‘s telling the whole country about that night that almost ruined his marriage.  It‘s bizarre.  That story is next, LIVE & DIRECT.

And, this is cruelty caught on tape.  A man caught attacking a flock of pet ducks.  Now, he‘s the one that everybody wants tarred and feathered.  It‘s coming up on LIVE & DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We just got the first script and it‘s amazing. 

There‘s some twists in here that will blow your mind. 

MATT LEBLANC, ACTOR, “JOEY”:  Oh, really?  I can take it? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just keep it between us, because you were the first one to see it. 

LEBLANC:  Is that because I‘m the sexiest cast member? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No, it‘s because there‘s your germs on it, and I don‘t want it back. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Well, that‘s the fun-loving guy that we all know, flirting on the set in a scene from the NBC hit show “Joey.”  But Matt LeBlanc has now confessed to being wild off set with a stripper. 

Louise Oswald with the “National Enquirer” joins us now to talk about the magazine‘s exclusive interview the actor.  And I want to also let our viewers know that LeBlanc‘s publicist confirms this story.  He says the story is true, and that he did spill all to the “Enquirer.” 

Louise, how did you guys snag this interview? 

LOUISE OSWALD, REPORTER, “THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER”:  Basically, the information came to us as a tip that, hey, he had been to this strip club.  So after weeks of research, we were able to establish what had happened that night. 

COSBY:  Such a contrast, to, you know, here he is.  He‘s been married for, what, a few years, has a baby? 

OSWALD:  Two years, yes, 18-month-old daughter.  And this is a man whose built very much a family image and, you know, much loved around the world as one of the most famous stars of “Friends.”  So that‘s why it was so out of character for him to go to a strip club and get drunk. 

COSBY:  Yes, tell us what happened on that. 

OSWALD:  What happened is, he was motorcycling with his buddies.  They stopped in a motel, went to a bar opposite that, which was a strip club.  He went in there, had too much to drink, and found himself in a completely nightmare situation where he had a naked stripper on his lap. 

COSBY:  And, in fact, I want to show one of the quotes.  This is what he said to your publication.  This is a direct quote from him. 

He says, “The stripper was all over me, took off her top and wanted to perform a private dance for me.  I knew it was wrong.”  So he came close to cheating, but didn‘t actually cheat? 

OSWALD:  That‘s right.  That‘s right.  He had a moment of clarity, where he thought, “What on Earth am I doing here?  I‘ve got so much at stake.  I‘ve got a fantastic career.  I‘ve got a wife who loves me.  I have a baby daughter who needs me, and I‘ve got fans around the world who love me for who I am.  So why am I here?” 

And that‘s when he left. 

COSBY:  In fact, some of the pictures I want to show.  We‘re looking at some of the pictures here.  I mean, in some of them he looks so anguished.  How gut-wrenching this was interview, because what an embarrassing moment? 

OSWALD:  It was for him.  And you know, this wasn‘t acting when Matt was talking to us.  He was really remorseful.  He was full of regret, because he realized what was at stake.  A lot was at stake.  I mean, his marriage could have collapsed because of this one silly night. 

COSBY:  Beautiful wife who was a formal model.  Maybe we can go back to those pictures.  Sounds as if they have a great marriage by all accounts, too. 

OSWALD:  Yes, they do.

COSBY:  What was the reaction from his camp? 

OSWALD:  Well, I think Matt was very pleased to be able to go on the record and basically be honest about what had happened that night.  I think he found that quite therapeutic, to actually put that behind him.  I mean, also he had to admit to his wife what had happened, which, in and of itself, must have been a complete nightmare for him. 

COSBY:  Yes, I‘m sure that was probably the worst conversation of his life. 

OSWALD:  Absolutely.  You know, after only two years of marriage, and, you know, a lot of family pressures, a sick little girl to look after.  Not like that‘s an excuse to do anything. 

But Matt seemed very courageous and very brave.  And he‘s tackled this head-on.  And I can‘t think of many Hollywood stars who would actually talk to the “National Enquirer” and be so honest and so frank, really.

COSBY:  Absolutely.  And Jude Law, for example, remember, he just cheated with the nanny.  And that was sort of a whole different ordeal. 

OSWALD:  Absolutely.  But Matt‘s a completely different case.  He was happy to talk to us.  He was happy to look at the facts “The National Enquirer” had established and really give his version of events, which is what we wanted him to do. 

COSBY:  All right, Louise, thank you very much.  Interesting article.  We were all surprised when our family guy—jaw dropped when we saw this one. 

OSWALD:  Absolutely. 

COSBY:  Thanks so much.

And coming up, everybody, stick around.  A murder most fowl.  A man caught running down a flock of pet ducks?  Now an entire community is hunting down the creep who was caught on tape.  It is incredible.  You‘re going to be outraged.  LIVE & DIRECT coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You know, it‘s totally central.  The ducks are out here just to provide enjoyment.  It‘s fun for the kids when they come down here.  And then you‘ve got some sicko like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The ducks are a fixture here at the car wash.  I mean, it hurts.  They‘re a part of our family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Well, police want to know who was behind a savage attack on ducks who lived at a pond near a California car wash.  The shocking incident was all caught on tape.

A man seen driving directly into the group of ducks, killing a total of 10.  The deadly rampage lasted 16 minutes.  And, at one point, the suspect even gets out of his car to personally grab some of the ducks by the neck. 

Now police want your help in tracking down the culprit.  We‘re joined by Captain Russ Patterson of the Campbell, California, police department. 

Captain, any leads as to who this person may be who‘s behind this? 

CAPT. RUSS PATTERSON, CAMPBELL, CALIFORNIA, POLICE DEPARTMENT:  Not yet, Rita.  Obviously, the news media is really helping us out.  We think we‘re getting closer.  Folks are cooperating with us.  They‘re giving us information.  Actually, we even had to set-up a tip line because of all the calls that we‘re getting. 

COSBY:  That‘s great.  Now, why would somebody do this?  Any idea of a motive? 

PATTERSON:  You know, I don‘t know.  Clearly the news media and the public has been watching the video.  And just earlier, one of the folks said it‘s senseless.  And again, it is senseless.  We have no idea why somebody would do it.  By watching it, you can see that someone definitely is angry. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  And you know, we‘re looking at a picture here.  This is a surveillance video, but I want to tell everybody the tip line, which is 408-866-2729. 

You know, it‘s incredible.  When you saw the surveillance video, Captain, what went through your mind?  You must have been outraged. 

PATTERSON:  It‘s really hard, you know.  Even with the police department, we take our cars there.  I‘ve been going there for many years.  The ducks were a fixture here in Campbell.  And to see this happening, it‘s just, again, it‘s senseless, and again, outrage. 

COSBY:  How long have the ducks been on the scene?  From what I hear, they‘re sort of part of the community? 

PATTERSON:  Yes, the businesses have been there for well over 30 years.  And I believe that the ducks were brought, two of them, many, many years ago, and they‘ve just kind of stayed there.  And again, a fixture for the folks coming to the car wash, for the kids to come feed. 

So as a matter of fact, occasionally, they‘ll get out, people will stop traffic, and they‘d have to stop cars, and they‘d shush them back into the parking lot there. 

COSBY:  What did it look like when you arrived there on the scene, you and your men? 

PATTERSON:  You know, I don‘t know.  We got the call the next day from the folks from the car wash.  But my assumption was talking with Mike Davis (ph) from Delta Queen, it wasn‘t real pretty. 

COSBY:  Have you ever—you know, you‘ve covered a lot of cases, I‘m sure, in your day.  You‘re not too far from San Jose.  Have you ever witnessed a case of animal cruelty like this before? 

PATTERSON:  No.  This is different.  Obviously, throughout the country, we have instances of animal cruelty.  Again, locally, in San Jose, we had the incident with Leo the dog, near San Jose International a couple years ago, with the altercation after an accident.  And again, national and international attention. 

So anytime an animal is involved, for us in law enforcement, we don‘t have any understanding why it happens. 

COSBY:  No, it just hits such a chord.  And how is the community reacting there? 

PATTERSON:  Great.  We‘re getting phone calls constantly, e-mails, everybody wanting help.  The reward is now up to about $10,000.  Most of that from today.  So outpouring from all across the nation and, again, locally as well. 

COSBY:  Well, I hope they catch this guy.  Captain, thank you very much.  Keep us posted, please. 

PATTERSON:  Thank you, Rita. 

COSBY:  Thank you.

And coming up, everybody, we‘ve got a lot more ahead tomorrow night.  Jessica Canseco speaks about her ex-husband, baseball legend Jose Canseco.  She‘s featured in “Playboy‘s” September issue, where she not only ditches her clothes, but she also talks about life with Jose Canseco.  Jessica tells all, from Jose‘s fading baseball career to steroid‘s shrinking effects.  She will join me tomorrow night live to talk about that. 

And then on Wednesday, I‘m going to bring you LIVE & DIRECT as the BTK killed is sentenced for killing 10 people and terrorizing that city, the city of Wichita, for decades. 

And for the first time, we‘re going to go inside the crime scene.  It‘s something you will not see anywhere else.  That‘s going to be Wednesday, when I‘m live from the courthouse in Wichita with the very, very latest.  Be sure to join us for that. 

And everybody, stick with us.  That does it for me tonight for this edition of LIVE & DIRECT.  But don‘t touch that dial.  “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” starts right now, with my pal, Joe Scarborough—Joe? 

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”:  Hey, thanks so much, Rita.  Sounds like you have some explosive shows straight ahead.  I can‘t wait to see them myself. 

COSBY:  Thanks.

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

END   

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