updated 8/19/2005 10:21:33 AM ET 2005-08-19T14:21:33

Guest: Marc Klaas, Kevin O‘Connor, George Kirkham, Dave Holloway, John Silvas, Catherine Crier

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, confessed serial killer Dennis Rader, known as BTK, is sentenced but not before some of the victims‘ families had a few words with him. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We had to go through so many important moments in our lives without her.  Every day is a struggle to get through without her. 

ABRAMS (voice-over):  But Rader may have made everything worse.  Rather than just apologizing, he acted as if he were at some sort of award ceremony. 

And the money is supposedly there for another week of searching at a landfill in Aruba but there‘s nobody to do the digging.  We talk to Natalee Holloway‘s father. 

Plus, from Scott Peterson to O.J. to the Menendez brothers and JonBenet Ramsey.  How do you pick the 50 most captivating crime stories ever?  Well Court TV and “People” magazine did it.  We‘ve got the results. 

The program about justice starts now. 


ABRAMS:  Hi everyone.  First up on the docket tonight, for almost 30 minutes in a Kansas courtroom today, the confessed BTK killer seemed to confuse his sentencing hearing with an awards ceremony as he thanked those who have helped him, quoted from the scriptures, talked about good Christians and had the gall to try to explain discrepancies in the—quote “ record”.  He voiced his—quote—“complaints” and drew comparisons between himself and his victims.  Now, we are not going to play almost any of his rantings, because that‘s what he wants.  This show is not going to become a forum for a sadistic killer to offer musings about himself and his victims. 

The only sound you will hear from him on this program will be when we‘re making a specific point about something that happened today or to show exactly what the victims had to endure at a particular moment.  Even then, we‘re going to try and keep his statements short and sweet, which they were not, in court today.

But first, more importantly, the victims.  Rader killed 10.  Each one had family members in court today.  Rader‘s last known victim, 63-year-old Dolores Davis, handcuffed her, tied her with pantyhose before he choked her to death.  Rader told police it took two or three minutes for her to die.  Her son, Jeff, spoke out today.


JEFF DAVIS, MOTHER MURDERED BY BTK SERIAL KILLER:  For the last 5,326 days I have wondered what would be like to confront the walking cesspool that took my mother‘s precious life.  Throughout That time, I always envisioned this day as being one for revenging the past.  I could think of nothing but savoring the bittersweet taste of revenge as justice is served upon this social sewage here before us today. 

Now that it has arise—surprised - arrived, surprisingly, I realize that this day is not just about avenging past crimes.  Sitting here before us is a depraved predator.  A rabid animal that has murdered people, poisoned countless lives, and terrorized this community for 30 years, all the while, relishing every minute of it.  As such, there can be no justice harsh enough or revenge bitter enough in the world at least to cause the pain and suffering of which a social malignancy like this has coming. 

Therefore, I have determined it for the sake of our innocent victims and their loving families and friends with us here today, for me this will be a day of celebration, not retribution.  If my focus were hatred, I would stare you down and call you a demon from hell who defiles this court the very sight of its cancerous presence.  If I embrace bitterness, I would remind you that you are nothing but a despicable, child-murdering, cowardly, impotent, eunuch and pervert, masquerading as a human being. 

If I were the animal that you are, I would say that I relish the thought of you being treated to the same despicable brutality, terror and agony at the hands of your soon to be fellow inmates that you relished inflicting on your defenseless victims.  If I were spiteful, I would remind you that it‘s only fitting that a twisted, narcissistic psychopath, obsessed with public attention will soon have his world reduced to an isolated, solitary existence in an 80-square foot cell doomed the language away the rest of your miserable life alone. 

If I had your devil nature, I would delight in the fact that your congregation has turned its back on you.  That your friends have deserted you, that your wife his divorced you, that your children have disowned you and then I would remind you that you will never have any warm loving human contact again for the remainder of your twisted existence.  If I were cynical, I would remind this court that you would return to your murderous ways in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.

So for the safety of society, you must remain caged forever like any other vicious predatory animal.  If I were to sink to your level, I would say that this world would have been much better off had your mother aborted your demon soul before you were unleashed on this world, sparing 10 innocent lives and avoiding untold heartache for this community.  If I were vindictive, I would wish you many long emotionally tortured years in your cage, haunted every night by your victims hopeless pleas for mercy as you played God and pronounced their death sentences upon them. 

If I had your sadistic nature, I would delight in the pain you feel now and realizing that your own arrogance and ego got you caught.  That if you had just kept your big mouth shut, you‘d still be a free man today, able to eat pizza and walk your dog, Dudley.  If I wanted revenge, I would pray that you develop a lingering illness from which you suffer for many, many years before you ultimately choke to death one lonely night on your own vomit.

If I were judgmental, I would call you the most despicable form of hypocrite for profaning Christianity by daring to associate yourself with my faith and for blaspheming God‘s house with your demonic actions.  If I were unforgiving, I would tell you that I will accept any shameful, meaningless attempts on your part to feign remorse by responding and I will grant you forgiveness the same day that hell freezes over, although I know that my mother in her Christian grace has already long since forgiven you. 

But I won‘t hurl these invectives at you or I won‘t reign these curses down upon you because you‘re not smart enough to understand most of the words I would use anyway.  And even if you could begin to fathom the depth of my hatred for you, I would still refuse to waste any breath on you because that would once again allow you the satisfaction of being in the limelight and that attention I refuse to allow you.  As of today, you no longer exist. 


ABRAMS:  Jeff Davis—his mother was killed in 1991 by Rader who has now gotten, by the way, 10 consecutive life sentences.  Joining me now is the Sedgwick County deputy district attorney, Kevin O‘Connor, whose office handled this case and Marc Klaas; his daughter, Polly, was murdered and he addressed her killer in court as well; and criminologist George Kirkham.  Thanks to all of you.

All right.  Marc, why don‘t I start with you?  You were listening to those statements.  Bring us into his mind.  What does it feel like to be in court speaking to the person who‘s ruined your life? 

MARC KLAAS, ADDRESSED DAUGHTER‘S KILLER IN COURT:  Well that‘s exactly what it is and I thought that was absolutely an amazing statement.  I‘m just sorry, Dan, that the judge allowed Rader to speak in the first place.  He should have had no opportunity to do that. 

But to get back to your question, we find ourselves in these situations where our lives have been destroyed by these demons, these monsters, just as this man said, and we never have an opportunity to address them.  We can‘t address them during the court, during the trial, or we‘re kicked out of court.

Oftentimes, there are gag orders placed on us, so we can‘t put our true feelings out there, so after long last, after given an opportunity after having no opportunity to be able to say anything, we have our moment to either address the offender, as he did, or to remind the court of what a wonderful person has been taken by this individual.  I kind of chose the other path, but I can completely understand what he did right there, and I think it was an absolutely fabulous statement that probably got out everything that I would have wanted to say and probably everything that anybody else would want to say at the same time. 

ABRAMS:  Kevin O‘Connor, look we all understand victim impact statements, the purpose of them, et cetera.  Yesterday on the show we were talking about why there was a need for the police to recount everything that Rader told them in court about the details of the crime, considering that he had already confessed to the crimes himself in court.  Was it overkill?  Was it necessary? 

KEVIN O‘CONNOR, DEP. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SEDGWICK COUNTY, KS:  Well, we feel it was very much necessary and we thought it was very important that the law enforcement officers that solved this case that you heard from them.  We were trying to make a very clear court record for the sentence we were going to request and the recommendations about his incarceration that we‘re going to request and rather than the prosecutor talking, you heard from the law enforcement officials that heard it.  You can‘t present evidence at a sentencing hearing.  We thought it was important enough, this is a crime—crimes that this community has been living with for over 30 years.  And we thought it was important to do that and...

ABRAMS:  Beyond his confessions though?  Beyond his confessions?

O‘CONNOR:  Oh, the statement that he made in his guilty plea, as you can tell, was nowhere near the full story of it.  And this community had a right to hear the real story of the person that terrorized them forever.  We also spent a lot of time talking to the victims about what they were going to hear and we had their support 100 percent.  And that‘s the people that I care about.  So they understand why we were doing it, and I think the people here in this community understand the legal reason for it and we felt very comfortable that we were doing the right thing and still do even more so today. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  So Rader—you mentioned that Rader spoke on June the 27th, and the victims, in essence, got an opportunity to speak to him today and again, today he went into this ranting and raving.  Honestly, it really felt like he was --  thought he was accepting some sort of award.  I‘ll show you a little clip in a minute, but first, here‘s Rader on the 27th and we‘ll play a very little piece of sound to show you what the victims‘ families had to listen to.  And then I‘m going to play a much longer piece of sound from the victim‘s family talking to Rader today.


DENNIS RADER, SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON:  Finally got the hand on her and got a nylon sock and started strangling her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So you wrapped the stocking around her neck?

RADER:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What happened then?

RADER:  I finally gained on her and put her down, and I thought she was dead, but apparently she wasn‘t.



STEPHANIE CLYNE, MOTHER MURDERED BY BTK SERIAL KILLER:  We didn‘t have enough time with her.  It‘s not fair that her three grandbabies will never get to know her.  She doesn‘t get to see me with her grandchildren and she doesn‘t get to see her baby Brandon with his first child.  My mom would so love the fact that that baby girl looks just like Brandon did when he was little.  My mother begged for her life, yet he showed no remorse.  He saw that she had a family and a little boy right there in the house with her, yet he continued with his sick plan.  I ask you today, Your Honor, to show no remorse for him.  Don‘t let this monster have any comforts as he lives out his remaining years in prison.  He isn‘t worthy.


ABRAMS:  Mr. O‘Connor, were you horrified by Rader‘s statements today?  I mean he --  honestly all I could think of is that he sounded like --  he thought he was on some sort of stage, thanking the people who helped him, and setting the record straight, et cetera.

O‘CONNOR:  Yes, it was hard to listen to.  I agree with Marc, but under Kansas law, they have a right to speak at a sentencing unfortunately, because it was a little hard to take.  It was not surprising—with my connection with this case, knowing all the facts and watching him on videotape, not surprising that he took this route.  This is a man that is so disconnected from reality about what‘s really going on, he still actually believes that the sheriff‘s deputies are his buddies, that the detectives that interviewed him are his buddies, and I can assure you that they‘re not.  But again, in a job like this it‘s why you‘re a prosecutor.  To meet...


O‘CONNOR:  ... Jeff Davis and Stephanie there, strong people with a lot of dignity.  I met Marc at a conference here last year and I‘m blessed to meet these people.

ABRAMS:  Let me play—I‘m going to play a very short, again short piece of sound from Rader today and I‘m not going to play all the things that Rader wanted people to hear, but just how he introduced this, just to give you a sense of exactly what Mr. O‘Connor is talking about.


RADNER:  I wrote some notes down.  I don‘t know if this is really appropriate or not.  And these things came—a lot of these came up (INAUDIBLE) because I didn‘t—I knew the people.  They all know why I chose them.  But I thought I‘d share some things.


ABRAMS:  And then, Mr. Kirkham, he goes on and on about things he learned about the victims from the media.  He compared himself to them in various ways.  How do you explain any of this?  I mean if it‘s even worth explaining.

GEORGE KIRKHAM, CRIMINOLOGIST:  Well I‘ll tell you, I‘ve been a criminologist for over 40 years.  I‘ve worked in most parts of the justice system, law enforcement, probation, prison work, and you never get used to it nor are you able to explain it.  I wish I could sit here and tell you that I know the answer, that we as criminologists know the answer.  What we do know is that we all have a need to feel different from a monster like this and from horrible acts like this, and we all have this primitive reptilian brain they call the R-complex...

ABRAMS:  Right, but let‘s focus on him.  I mean apart from a historical --  I mean specifically him...


ABRAMS:  I mean what can—I mean is he just loving of the spotlight? 

KIRKHAM:  He‘s—yes he‘s very egocentric as far as the spotlight.  He has obviously ice water running in his veins.  That‘s the thing that you are struck with again and again when you deal with people like this.  He feels nothing for his victims.  What you saw today were some tears for himself.  He feels very sorry about having been caught, which probably came as a result of his ego.  He needed to talk to police and challenge them to catch him.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Let me take a quick break.  I‘m going to come back to you Mr. Kirkham in a minute because I‘m going to ask you whether a guy like this can be of use at all in catching other serial killers, whether they actually do that or not.  Everyone is going to stick around.  More on the BTK monster coming up.

Also ahead, a new obstacle in the search for Natalee Holloway.  The money is now there for another week of searching a landfill but apparently there‘s no one to do the digging.  We‘re going to talk with Natalee‘s father, coming up.



BEVERLY PLAPP, SISTER MURDERED BY BTK SERIAL KILLER:  As far as I‘m concerned, Dennis Rader does not deserve to live.  I want him to suffer as much as he made his victims suffer.  But then when I think about that and his sick perverted way, he‘d probably find that as some kind of pleasure or reward.  This man needs to be thrown in a deep, dark hole and left to rot.  He should never ever see the light of day and I have some after-life scenarios for him.  On the day he dies, Nancy and all of his victims will be waiting with God and watching him as he burns in hell. 


ABRAMS:  She‘s talking about her sister who was killed, Nancy Fox.  Dennis Rader apparently twisted a nylon stocking around her neck and strangled her.  Marc Klaas, when you‘re in the courtroom and you‘re facing, in your case, your daughter‘s killer, in their case, various relatives‘ killer, does it take a lot of self-restraint to not literally jump over and literally attack the person? 

KLAAS:  Well of course it takes a lot of self-restraint, because again, these people have destroyed lives and thrown your own family and life asunder.  Now you know defense attorneys love to point out to those instances where people do lose control and say that‘s why victims shouldn‘t be allowed to have victim impact statements.  We saw a number of those in the Colin Ferguson situation.  But what we have to do is remember that we‘re better than him, that we do have dignity, and we have to make our case as emotionally difficult and challenging as that is. 

ABRAMS:  I‘m going—this is the final piece of—very short piece of sound I‘m going to play from Rader today.  Again, he‘s complaining a lot.  I‘m not going to play his complaints.  I‘m going to play it and I‘m going to ask Mr. Kirkham a specific question about it in a minute. 


RADER:  Everybody knows Rader has to complain a little bit, so I‘d like to do some minor ones.  Not because I want to complain today, but I want to set the record.  This is my last time.


ABRAMS:  Well we are not going to go over his complaints, but Mr.  Kirkham, with that in mind, knowing what kind of person he is, someone who wants to sort of make pronouncements and set the record straight, et cetera, could he be of any use in the future in catching other serial killers by talking to them the way we sometimes see in movies? 

KIRKHAM:  Yes, that‘s the only good thing that could perhaps come of it is using his own egotism to try to unravel what caused him, what kinds of factors pushed him to do such horrible things.  There‘s a lot of time to do that and there are a lot of skilled people who can participate in it.  So, yes that‘s the only good that can come of it. 


KIRKHAM:  Get him talking, find out what happened.

ABRAMS:  And Mr. O‘Connor, have you gotten any sense that Rader is going to be of any use in anything like that or is this just a piece of garbage who‘s going to rot away and be useless?

O‘CONNOR:  Mr. Rader is of no use.  I think what people have to accept that there‘s evil in this word.  Jeff Davis said it at a conference with the victims earlier.  I mean I think it‘s hard for people to accept that there‘s evil. 


O‘CONNOR:  Dennis Rader is evil.  There‘s nothing to study and as far as I‘m concerned just go away and die. 

ABRAMS:  Very quickly, Marc Klaas...

O‘CONNOR:  And that‘s what I‘d like...

ABRAMS:  ... would you have any concern—would you have any problem with people using him to try and catch future serial killers or would you say don‘t even try and give him that kind of power, et cetera.

KLAAS:  Well I think that his value is that he shows us that not all serial killers are the same.  We‘ve been told for decades that it‘s a white middle-class guy with no social connections, who stutters and lives with his mother, and...


KLAAS:  ... himself into some kind of a “Jack the Ripper” kind of a frenzy...


KLAAS:  ... and this guy shows us that that‘s not necessarily the case at all.  They‘re very different.  They‘re very individual...

ABRAMS:  That‘s a good point. 

KLAAS:  ... and we have to keep that in mind in the future.

ABRAMS:  Yes, that‘s a good point.  Kevin O‘Connor, Marc Klaas and George Kirkham, thanks a lot.  Appreciate it. 



ABRAMS:  All right, now to the search for Natalee Holloway in Aruba.  A new piece of equipment is being used to look for clues in her disappearance and there seems to be some trouble for searchers who want to continue going through a landfill. 

NBC‘s Michelle Kosinski joins us live in Aruba with more.  All right, so first of all Michelle, what is this new piece of equipment that they supposedly have? 

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well, it‘s kind of strange.  You know, when you look at this case, full of mystery, frustration, nobody can find anything.  It‘s really drawing people from all over the country with new technology to come down here.  We saw those EquuSearch volunteers bring things like gas detectors that have never been used before, vision sticks, robotics, they had all kinds of gadgets.

Well now this guy comes down here from Tennessee with something he calls triangulation.  He kind of invented it himself.  He has these metal rods and you‘ve kind of seen people dowsing for water, well basically he‘s dowsing for human remains.  He‘s been working for four or five days and he says he‘s found some a mile off the coast. 

Now interestingly, he‘s getting the support of people here.  Local divers are planning to dive down into that area on Saturday and now he‘s working with a private eye who‘s been on this island for weeks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Most of the coordinance triangulate this circle right here.  OK.  We do have one that‘s on the same lines, but it‘s a few degrees off.  So we have a two areas that we‘re going to check.  We‘re going to put divers in the water on Saturday morning and we‘re going to check this circle.  We‘re going to check this square right here. 


KOSINSKI:  That just goes to show you how desperate people are here to find any sign of Natalee Holloway.  And for weeks now you‘ve been hearing us talk about this landfill.  Well the reason we‘re so fixated on that is because every searcher that‘s been here will tell you that is one of the only places they feel there is a legitimate chance at finding some evidence.  They have had a lot of trouble getting equipment, getting manpower. 

There was a big fire there.  One of the searchers who had some good news yesterday, some extra funding to stay here with his dogs, had to leave suddenly back to the states.  He had some stuff to take care of.  Now searchers are scrambling to try to get back to that landfill.  They say that they have the support of prosecutors now and they‘re basing this on a witness‘ statement who says he saw a body buried there three days after Natalee disappeared, and the fact that it‘s just one of those places that hasn‘t been searched well.  So they‘re trying to do that...

ABRAMS:  Michelle...

KOSINSKI:  ... local people here also reacting in different ways...

ABRAMS:  Let me ask...


ABRAMS:  I just want to ask a quick question about the guy...


ABRAMS:  ... with the triangulation.  For those of us who don‘t know anything about triangulation, looking at him, you know it looks like he‘s using some sort of—you know, the way people comb the beach with metal detectors, looking for quarters.  And I would assume that people are going to want to try anything and everything that is possible from psychics to triangulation.  But is this considered an accepted science or is this something that this guy created? 

KOSINSKI:  Well apparently, in literature, there are cases when people will—it‘s called dowsing basically and he said, yes, it is based on that.  People will hold metal rods and they‘ll look for water and apparently there are documented cases where people have found things like that.  But there‘s no documentation that his invention works for anything. 

We asked a private eye about that.  We said you know what is this?  We‘ve never heard of it before.  Is there any chance that these two metal rods could find a body a mile off the shore?  And he said you know what, more power to him.  We‘ll check it out. 


KOSINSKI:  And won‘t it be interesting if they do find something out there...


KOSINSKI:  They‘re just willing to try absolutely...


KOSINSKI:  ... anything.

ABRAMS:  ... who wants to be the person who discounts the theory that actually ends up cracking the case?  So—all right, Michelle Kosinski...


ABRAMS:  ... as always thanks a lot.  Appreciate it. 

Coming up, we‘re going to talk with a very frustrated father, Natalee Holloway‘s dad.  He‘s worried that suspect Joran Van Der Sloot‘s days behind bars are numbered. 

Plus, what is this woman doing lying in what looks like a pool of blood?  Well she‘s supposed to look dead.  She‘s helping police get the goods on her ex-husband. 

And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they might strike again.  Our search today resumes in Alabama. 

Charles Bellew, III, convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl in Baldwin County, has not registered with the authorities.  He‘s 29 years old, 5-foot 11, 175 pounds. 

If you‘ve got any information as to where he is, please call the Alabama Bureau of Investigation at 334-353-1172.

Be right back.


ABRAMS:  Coming up, that new technology that has just arrived on Aruba, could it crack the case?  Well we‘ll talk to Natalee Holloway‘s father about it.  First the headlines. 


ABRAMS:  That is a portrait of Natalee Holloway from a local artist being given to Beth Holloway.  The artist made it for Beth and gave it to her as a gift and there she is looking at the photo with the painting with tears in her eyes and thanking the artist. 

All right.  But there are some developments in this case, including this new technology that seems to have arrived on the island.  Also this question about why the landfill is no longer being searched.  Joining me now is Natalee‘s father, Dave Holloway.  Dave, thanks for coming back on the program.  We appreciate it. 


ABRAMS:  First let me ask you about the landfill.  Are you frustrated that the search has been halted? 

HOLLOWAY:  Well, that‘s coincidental that you ask that question.  Late this afternoon, Tim Miller with EquuSearch called me out of the blue and just wanted to know how I was doing, how I was feeling and all this stuff, and you know I told him I was doing OK, and he wanted to know when I was going back to Aruba.  And I said when you go back I‘ll go back.  And we‘re partners and he said well I‘ve got some good news for you.  He‘s—right now, he‘s working on a deal to actually move some dozers to the landfill from the United States and possibly get a corporation or company to commit some people and assets.


HOLLOWAY:  It‘s still in the works.  It‘s not finalized.  It‘s just in the talking stages at this point, so I was given a little bit of hope that we could clear that landfill.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Well that‘s, you know --  look, I hate to...

HOLLOWAY:  It‘s still in the talking stages...

ABRAMS:  All right. All right. Good.

HOLLOWAY:  ... so nothing confirmed.

ABRAMS:  Well I have to tell you Dave, I think that people listening to you talking and listening to Beth talking, et cetera, has led a lot of them to make donations to places like EquuSearch so that they can continue the hard work that they‘re all doing.  Everyone should remember, of course, that they are volunteers who are working down there.

HOLLOWAY:  That‘s right.

ABRAMS:  What do you think about Joran?  I‘ve talked to Beth a lot about this.  I don‘t know that you and I have discussed this, September 4 is the deadline.  Are you concerned that he may actually be released from custody at that point?

HOLLOWAY:  It is a concern of mine.  From what I understand from the legal experts is that you have to have additional evidence to you know continue holding someone and you know the other opposing view is, is well let him go and see if he‘ll talk to someone, but you know if you look at the Kalpoe brothers, you know, they hadn‘t talked in the last 60 days.  And there‘s no additional evidence other than the gardener to point the finger at them either.  So...


HOLLOWAY:  ... it is a concern.

ABRAMS:  And the gardener --  let‘s just remind my viewers --  the eyewitness who had claimed to have seen the Kalpoe brothers and Joran Van Der Sloot out that night after the time they said they were already home.  But now Dave, what, new questions about his credibility too, right?

HOLLOWAY:  Well I think one of the credibility questions came in was Satish‘s lawyer indicated that he could not identify Satish and as you know, he was the one who was in the back seat and when the car came by, he laid down in the back seat.  Well, you know, all of their statements indicate they were all together.  So it would lead me to believe that if he was the one in the back seat, and they were all together, that was him whether you‘ve identified his face or not.  So I think they‘re all three in it. 

ABRAMS:  How do you keep hope alive at this point for yourself? 

HOLLOWAY:  Well it‘s just like the phone call I received today from Tim, you know, that was a big concern of mine, was the landfill was not properly searched and you know, my last—I spent 50 days on the island just continually searching and I spent a lot of time with Equusearch and a lot of the people involved with EquuSearch and they‘ve done a great job.  And—but the landfill was the last issue.  Other than that, you know, we‘re probably looking at the ocean as the last place. 

So that landfill was not properly searched as well as we thought it could be due to the equipment problems and the personnel we had.  You know we dug it up for about two weeks and then all of a sudden, the permit ran out and it was filled back in.  So yes, that was disheartening for me. 

ABRAMS:  Yes.  All right.  Dave, thanks for coming back on the program.  Know that many of my viewers‘ prayers are with you. 

HOLLOWAY:  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, crime scene photos from a fake murder.  That‘s right.  That woman is actually alive.  It was part of a setup to catch her ex-husband who tried to have her killed twice, behind bars, according to the authorities. 

And later, O.J., JonBenet Ramsey, why are they two of the most fascinating crimes in history?  We‘ll ask Court TV how they chose the 50.

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


ABRAMS:  Coming up, a fake death, fake crime scene photos, all part of an elaborate setup to catch a husband already behind bars from allegedly trying to kill his ex-wife.  The details up next.


ABRAMS:  We‘re back.  These photos look like they came from the police file of a homicide case.  A woman appears to have been shot in the head.   You can even see what looks like a pool of blood coming from the side of her face.  She was supposed to look that way, but the woman you see is not actually dead.  She is faking it to try to bust her ex-husband who allegedly tried to have her killed for the second time in nine months. 

He‘s behind bars for threatening her with a gun and allegedly bragged that he had the perfect alibi since he was already in jail.  What Christopher Hoar didn‘t realize is that he was negotiating a hit on his wife with an undercover police officer who contacted the ex-wife, took photos of her fake death.  That undercover detective is Sergeant John Silvas of the Martin County Florida Sheriff‘s Office and he joins me now. 

Thanks a lot.  Appreciate you coming on the program.  All right.  So you met...


ABRAMS:  ... you met with Hoar to negotiate this supposed hit.  Tell me about that. 

SILVAS:  Yes, I met with him on August the 6th.  I was introduced to my source that I was Juan Gonzalez, a hit man—Colombian hit man.  So he set me up it in his visitation list under Juan Gonzalez and I met with him and I—we discussed the hit. 

ABRAMS:  And why did you need to do this?  I mean once he says I want to kill my wife, et cetera, et cetera, why do you need to go through the whole business of putting the fake pictures and all that? 

SILVAS:  Right.  Well, people talk all the time, Dan, and so what I was trying to do is to prove that he did want in fact want his wife killed.  In fact, he gave me a contract.  He gave me his truck and was going to pay me $10,000 to do it. 

ABRAMS:  And what was his wife‘s reaction when you contacted her? 

SILVAS:  Well, when I showed up at her house, she was very surprised but she was willing to do this because he was very determined to hurt her, according to my source, so I mixed the material together there at her house and then I poured it on her head. 

ABRAMS:  Explain that to me.  I mean what kind of materials did you use?  What, you used ketchup and things to make it look like blood? 

SILVAS:  Well that would be the easy way to do it.  No, I mixed it up with corn syrup, cornstarch, water, some red food dye, and yellow food dye, and I mixed it up at the sink in a baggy.  And it took about five minutes and then I kind of, if you notice that photography, there is a fly there.  I also placed a fly there to kind of give it the look. 

ABRAMS:  That‘s right.  That‘s interesting.  Did you tell her --  I mean, you know she‘s got her hands back—sort of thrown back.  It looks a little bit, a little staged.  I don‘t know.  I mean were you worried about it sort of looking a little fakey with the whole hands back behind the head, et cetera?

SILVAS:  Well I was worried about this but I‘ve done this before.  This is my second photograph like this that worked, so I just went along with what I knew.  Some people just watch too much TV and what they see and actually think it‘s a murder is what they see on TV.

ABRAMS:  Right.  Fair enough.  What happens to him now? 

SILVAS:  Well he‘s in solitary confinement, charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder for the second time, like you said, in seven, eight, nine months, so he‘s not allowed to talk to anyone, only his attorney. 

ABRAMS:  And we have a photo of you, of the two of you, I think right? 

It‘s a sort of surveillance photo of him meeting with you? 

SILVAS:  Yes, that was a source I had in the jail that I wired up and videotaped.  I got audio and video of him, shown Mr. Hoar the photograph and actually later on he shakes my source‘s hand for a good job. 

ABRAMS:  Oh boy.  All right.  Well looks like a job well done here, Sergeant.  Thanks very much for taking the time to come on the program.  We appreciate it. 

SILVAS:  Well I appreciate it.  Thank you. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, from the Mendez brothers to O.J. and Scott Peterson, how do you pick the 50 most captivating crime stories ever?  Well Court TV and “People” magazine did it and we‘ve got the results.

And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike again.  Authorities in Alabama are searching for Donald Wayne Upton, Jr., convicted of sodomizing a 2-year-old boy, 31 years old, six feet tall, weighs 174 pounds.  Upton has yet to register with the authorities they tell us. 

Please help in identifying where he is.  If you have any information, call the Alabama Bureau of Investigation at 334-353-1172.  Be right back. 


ABRAMS:  One of the reasons this show is so popular is because few stories are more compelling than true-life crimes.  People just got to know who‘s innocent, who‘s guilty, how the bad guys got caught.  Just ask “People” magazine.  In the 31 years since it hit the newsstand, “People” has published 123 covers on crime and thousands more stories inside. 

From the Laci Peterson case to Scott Peterson‘s mistress, Amber Frey and the lies, to celebrity trial that set the standard, O.J. and the glove that wouldn‘t fit, to Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan and her kneecapping arranged by rival skater Tonya Harding‘s ex-husband.  Remember that guy (INAUDIBLE) -- to teacher Mary Kay Letourneau‘s illegal affair with her teenage student, now her husband, Vili Fualaau.

You can see them all and more on Sunday night, 10:00 p.m. on Court TV special from the files of “People” magazine, “50 Crimes That Captivated America”.  The program is based on the “People” book, “True Crime Stories:

Cases That Shocked America”.  With me to talk about it is our friend Court TV anchor Catherine Crier.

All right.  Catherine, how exactly do you go about picking 50 and how do they go about categorizing them? 

CATHERINE CRIER, COURT TV ANCHOR:  Oh, edit, edit, edit.  We certainly don‘t ever run out of clients.  We try to categorize them, celebrities, obviously, and we have got a lot.  You ought to see some of these mug shots.  We‘ve got the celebrity serial killers, cold cases like JonBenet Ramsey and then obviously we‘ve got the extraordinary events like O.J.  Simpson and of course Scott Peterson.  So there are a lot of breakdowns, but 50 good ones. 

ABRAMS:  What do you think—I mean it seems these days it‘s the unsolved crimes that are getting all the attention, even more so than the trials themselves.  You know the Michael Jackson case, you know interesting, but not getting the sort of attention, for example, that even the Natalee Holloway case is receiving.  I would argue that the Natalee Holloway case has more people fascinated than the Michael Jackson trial.  Do you think that‘s a new thing out there? 

CRIER:  No.  I think that if it was the Holloway case where we had caught someone, we‘d be now focusing on the trial.  But I certainly think everyone loves and I apologize for using the word, but loves a great mystery.  I think that‘s one of the reasons the Scott Peterson case became so big because was that the nation had four months to search for Laci, to sort through clues, to try to figure this out in their own living rooms long before Scott Peterson was actually captured, so the same thing I think is going on with George Smith, the honeymoon cruise case, and certainly Natalee Holloway. 

ABRAMS:  You would agree, would you not, that people have become more fascinated, either it‘s fueled by the media or the media‘s being fueled by the interest, one or the other, but the public seems more fascinated by these types of crimes now than before or is it just that we‘re seeing it more on cable TV? 

CRIER:  Well I think the television exposure has a great deal to do with it because what did the Greeks write about?  What did Shakespeare write about?  Murder and mayhem and incest and violence.  It‘s just now we‘ve got television to expose us on an almost simultaneous basis to the crimes, the investigations and the trials that really bring it home to us. 

ABRAMS:  Celebrity crimes:  O.J., Tonya Harding, Mike Tyson, Phil Hartman, Selena, Bob Crane.  Do you guys follow Bob Crane, this story pretty closely?

CRIER:  No, relatively closely.  That was a pretty good mystery there. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, that was a good story. 

CRIER:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  Crimes of passion:  Amy Fisher, remember her with big Joey Buttafuoco, Robert Chambers, the preppy murderer, Lorena Bobbitt who...

CRIER:  (INAUDIBLE) that one hurts. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, sliced off her husband‘s appendage and Mary Kay Letourneau, the—that‘s sort of interesting—you‘re putting Mary Kay Letourneau and Lorena Bobbitt in the same category. 

CRIER:  Well you know...

ABRAMS:  Love and hate, yes exactly...

CRIER:  ... love and hate, exactly...

ABRAMS:  ... the line is so close. 

CRIER:  Yes.

ABRAMS:  Following the money:  Lyle and Erik Menendez, Leona Helmsley, Martha Stewart, Michael Milken and then unsolved crimes, we talked about.  You‘re also --  they‘re also talking about some lesser-known cases as well, right? 

CRIER:  Well absolutely.  Because (INAUDIBLE) the staff there are a lot of really fascinating cases that you and I don‘t necessarily have time to cover or give the kind of coverage that really brings it to the attention of the nation but “People” magazine has done a great job in going back and ferreting these out so people will not only review a lot of their favorites, but they‘re going to learn a lot as well. 

ABRAMS:  You don‘t have to answer this, Catherine, so...

CRIER:  It‘s obviously...

ABRAMS:  ... but was there any story out there that you were saying to them, hey, you got to do this one and they said (INAUDIBLE) it‘s not there.  It‘s not going to get the attention and you were like, come on.  This is a fascinating one. 

CRIER:  You know me well enough.  I‘m going I want the political

cases.  I want to go to Capitol Hill and there are a lot of crimes up there, just kidding.  No, these are a lot more interested on a day-to-day basis, so we stayed with the more traditional concept of criminals. 

ABRAMS:  Catherine Crier, the host of “Crier Live”—and—“Catherine Crier Live” and also 10 p.m. on Sunday?


ABRAMS:  The special Court TV/”People” magazine.  Catherine, good to see you.  Thanks for taking the time. 

CRIER:  You bet.  Thanks Dan.

ABRAMS:  Coming up, a lot of you just as angry as I am about the BTK killer having a pulpit to victimize the victims‘ families again.  “Your Rebuttal” coming up.


ABRAMS:  I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”.  During the first day of BTK killer Dennis Rader‘s sentencing yesterday, family members had to listen to detail after detail of Rader‘s 17-year-murder spree.  I asked why is that part of it necessary since Rader already pled guilty.  He was getting life. 

Peggy in Wichita, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I was beginning to think I was the only one in the world who thought as you do, that the whole thing was absolutely unnecessary and definitely overkill.”

And B.J. Cole, “I‘m with you, why isn‘t this over?  All I can think is that this psychopath is now getting his pathetic life story told again, in his own words.”

You know, B.J., that‘s why we didn‘t do it.  I was real careful not to play today the stuff that Rader said in court today about his complaints and setting the record straight and all that. 

Also last night, I spoke to Dr. Keith Ablow, a forensic psychiatrist and author of a new book, “Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson”.  Dr. Ablow has also all sorts of specifics—specific theories about how and why Scott Peterson killed Laci.  He says it dates back to the death of Peterson‘s grandfather in the 1940‘s.  I said it sounded like a lot of nonsense to me. 

Tamara Tierney in Los Angeles, “Usually you‘re a really intelligent guy.  That‘s why I was so surprised when you failed to understand Keith Ablow‘s analysis on Scott Peterson.  Dan, did you read the book?  I‘m a therapist and if you read the book, you would see that he pinpoints exactly why Scott killed Laci.”

Tamara, I bet you work with Keith Ablow.  That‘s my guess.  Yes, I read the book.  I‘ll say with some level of confidence that the vast majority of the psychiatric community would think his theories are hogwash, based on speculation and superstition more than on true psychological phenomena. 

Raul, sorry Raul.  Raul Castillo writes, “You hit right on target.  This guy is just making up anything to blame occurrences in history of a family for the cause of Scott to kill his pregnant wife.”

Finally in Memphis, Carol Risher.  “He‘s an educated professional who‘s done the research and applied his years of experience to the case.  Do you have a better explanation?”

No, Carol, I don‘t have a specific one, but that‘s why I‘m more reliable.  Because I‘m willing to say that there‘s no way to specifically pinpoint how and why Scott killed Laci based on what we know now. 

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

Remember, we are continuing our special series, “Sex Offenders on the Loose, Manhunt”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike again.  Our search this week is in Alabama.  This is one of the men. 

Charles Bellew, III and the other man?  Could we put him up real quick please?  Do we have the other one?  OK.  All right, that‘s the number, 334-353-1172. 

That‘s it for tonight.  Chris Matthews, “HARDBALL” is up next.  I‘ll see you soon.



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