updated 8/22/2005 10:17:47 AM ET 2005-08-22T14:17:47

Guest: David Soares, Art Wood, Clint Van Zandt, John Wells, Andrew Smith, Susan Filan, Vito Colucci, Bertha Propst, Carrie Propst, Stephanie Stephenson, Tom O‘Neil

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  I‘m Rita Cosby, LIVE AND DIRECT tonight.  A teacher accused of sleeping with her young student gets in trouble with the law again.  What was she thinking?  Sandra “Beth” Geisel has not only been accused of having sex with her teenage student, but now, just this morning, she was arrested for driving drunk.

Reporter Abigail Bleck from NBC affiliate WNYT in Albany is following this story.  Abigail, this woman had so many run-ins, it seems like.  It‘s incredible.

ABIGAIL BLECK, WNYT-TV:  Yes, Rita.  It really looked like in court today like Geisel‘s attorney could not believe he was back there with her.  The charges are racking up for this former private school teacher.  This newest glitch could jeopardize the possibility of a plea bargain for the felony rape and child endangerment cases.


(voice-over):  Forty-two-year-old Sandra “Beth” Geisel‘s day in the spotlight began near the intersection of Catherine (ph) Street and Morton (ph) Ave in Albany‘s south end, where a sheriff‘s deputy reports that she was driving erratically and then cut him off.  She failed field sobriety tests, and a Breathalyzer registered a .13 blood alcohol content.  The former Christian Brothers Academy teacher was officially charged with DWI, her second in eight months, in Albany‘s police court.  Defense attorney Don Kinsella entered a not guilty plea, and bail was set at $7,500.

Less than an hour later, an Albany County judge ruled today‘s charges a violation of the probation requirements established based on Geisel‘s August 1 felony rape and child endangerment charges.  Not taking questions on her way out, Geisel was ordered to the Albany County Correctional Facility, where she‘ll remain without bail.

DONALD KINSELLA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  She‘s someone with a problem, and it needs to be dealt with.


BLECK:  When deputies arrested Sandra “Beth” Geisel this morning, there was Someone else in the car.  That‘s the question everyone asks.  Who is it?  Sheriff‘s department here says it was a 37-year-old man -- 37 years old.  And he was released.

COSBY:  Not a student, Abigail.  How is the community reacting to the case?

BLECK:  Rita, there‘s just 515 kids at CBA, her private Christian school where she teaches.  obviously, those parents are concerned, upset.  And really, this has kind of snowballed.  This has been reported extensively the past month, so the community is really, really interested, not just for the shock value, because this is an attractive female woman accused of having sex with her students, but also for her family.  Her kids and her husband still live here in the capital region.

COSBY:  All right, thank you very much.  Apparently, four kids, too.

Well, the prosecutor in this case says that he‘s shocked that Geisel did this, considering she‘s already in so much trouble.  Just before the show, I talked to the Albany County district attorney.


DAVID SOARES, ALBANY, NEW YORK, DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  I‘m very stunned.  Considering the—considering the eyes of the world are currently on this defendant and on Albany County, I would have anticipated that she would have been on her best behavior until a disposition was had in this case.  And it comes as a shock to me that she would violate the terms of her release on bail by re-offending.

COSBY:  Yes, aren‘t you just shocked at the audacity to do this?

SOARES:  Well, power and privilege, I believe, breeds arrogance, and I think we‘re seeing that on display right now.

COSBY:  And you know, you talked about the prior charges.  This woman, 42 years old, married, four kids, of course, under investigation for having sex with a student—how does this new charge impact the current investigation?

SOARES:  Well, it doesn‘t impact the current investigation.  I think what it does is it brings to light what we in the office already know.  And it‘s just a shame that we have a person who‘s out there continuing to put the public at risk by her behavior and lack of judgment.

COSBY:  And speaking of her behavior, I understand it all started—she was having kids over her house, a number of boys, serving booze to minors, and then what, allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old boy.  Aren‘t you astounded?  This is a teacher!

SOARES:  I‘m—it‘s astounding on several levels, but that, by far, is the most astounding and the reason why we actually are in court because, as you know, at the age of 16, it‘s not the age of consent in the state of New York.

COSBY:  You know, Mr. Soares, there seems to be a bit of a double standard.  You know, lately, there‘s been so many cases, another teacher, very attractive, Pamela Turner (ph), Deborah Lefave—is it more difficult as a prosecutor to go after these people because they‘re women?  You know, you hear comments, Oh, they‘re attractive.  They‘re interesting.  Would it be different if it‘s a guy?

SOARES:  I believe in my heart of hearts that it would be different if it‘s a guy.  I don‘t say that as a prosecutor, would I have approached this case any differently, because I would not.  But I do believe that society has a very different attitude when the tables are turned.  You know, justice is blind, and whether it‘s a victim or a defendant, regardless of race, gender or what have you, we prosecute cases based upon evidence and based upon the law.

COSBY:  In the case of Ms. Geisel—Mrs. Geisel, because she is married—why do you think she did this?  Is there any motivation?  Because people go, How could do you this?  We put you in a position of authority.

SOARES:  You know, it‘s tough to speculate as to why people engage in these activities.  To say that what we have here is an extremely poor use of discretion and judgment would be an understatement.  What we do know is that, in fact, it happened.  This was a person who was placed in a position of trust.  Parents send their children to go school and to be educated, not to go school and be exploited.  So it‘s tough for me to figure out why.  It‘s my job to hold people accountable once, in fact, they engage in these activities.

COSBY:  And what could she face, real briefly?

SOARES:  Well, she‘s facing—it‘s an E felony that she‘s charged with, rape in the third degree, and she‘s facing one-and-a-third to four years in a state prison facility.

COSBY:  Mr. Soares, thank you very much.  We appreciate you being with us.

SOARES:  You‘re welcome.


COSBY:  And we spoke to Geisel‘s attorney, Don Kinsella, just before the show.  Here‘s what he had to say.  Quote, “We have indicated from the beginning that Mrs. Geisel has a severe alcohol problem that is extensive enough to negate any sort of criminal intent.”  He even went as far as to say—get this—“Some young men at the school may have sensed her vulnerability and may have taken advantage of it.  We had hoped that the district attorney would exercise some compassion, judgment and discretion, but his media blitz would seem to indicate that he‘s more interested in personal publicity than justice.”  That‘s, again, from the attorney for Mrs. Geisel.

And now to the search for missing Alabama teen, Natalee Holloway. 

News tonight that the FBI is getting some tips right here in the U.S..  Could they provide some new clues?  NBC‘s Michelle Kosinski is live in Aruba.  Michelle, what are those tips?

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Rita.  Well, the FBI tells me today that since this case broke, several young women have come forward to the FBI in the U.S. and said that they had been sexually assaulted recently while on vacation here in Aruba.  Keep in mind, that has nothing to do with these suspects or this case.  But the FBI found it interesting that this case drew these people out.  They feel they are credible and that on this small island, they feel that this sort of thing does happen.

Also, we learned the interesting development earlier this week that key suspect Joran Van Der Sloot has not been interrogated now for more than a week.  Well, the FBI said today that there is no timeline as to when he will be interrogated again.  His attorneys feel those interrogators are going back to the files, possibly trying to come up with a new strategy because they say they have not been able to get anything out of this suspect.  And you know, that date, September 4, is approaching quickly.  That‘s when a judge will have to decide to keep him for 30 more days or set him free—Rita.

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

Well, also tonight, investigators are trying to get back into the landfill to resume their search for the missing girl.  They‘re desperately trying to get teams together to scour the site, hoping to find something.  Searchers and members of Natalee‘s family are upset that they have not been able to finish the work that they started.  Word is that they want permission to search the landfill day and night until they find some answers.  They feel the job has not been done right so far.

And that‘s not the only place that people are going to be searching. 

Divers are going to be heading to the water one mile off shore tomorrow.  Joining me now from Aruba is Clint Van Zandt.  He‘s a former FBI agent and also an MSNBC analyst.  And also side by side with him, Art Wood, the private investigator who will watch tomorrow‘s dive.

Art, let‘s talk about this dive because it‘s based on what, something called triangulation.  Tell us what that is.

ART WOOD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  Well, it‘s based the technology that a 76-year-old man from Nashville, Tennessee, brought to the island.  Joe Walker (ph) is a treasure hunter, has been for a number of years.  And he claims—and I can‘t vouch for his technology, but he claims that his technology can locate a body off shore.  I spent the better part of four days helping him run his equipment.  And using a compass and GPS, we have triangulated about 20 different readings to a spot about a mile-and-a-quarter off the coast of Aruba.  And tomorrow, we‘re going to put divers in the water and see if we can locate Natalee‘s body, if it‘s possible.

COSBY:  Well, and anything, of course, is possible.

Clint, let me move to you because these new allegations that Michelle was talking about, other people—and I‘ve been hearing about this for some time—other people making the allegation—again, not tied to any of these three boys so far—but assuming that—they‘re saying that they, too, were raped while on vacation in Aruba.

How does that affect the case?  Is it possible maybe they can connect something to this case?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI AGENT:  Well, what I‘m hopeful for, Rita, is that if there‘s any suspect in this case who had any inappropriate contact with a woman who has been to Aruba around the world, that those women will come forward right now, that they‘ll see the strength and bravery of these women in the United States that are rising up, saying, We will not be victims, and we won‘t let ourselves be.

And what‘s more important is that they‘re putting the message out there.  The message is, You have to be careful.  I mean, whether it‘s Aruba or anywhere in the Caribbean or anywhere in the United States, you have to be careful where you choose, where you go.  You know, you always have to be with your wing men and be careful you don‘t get cut out of the herd.  These are all things that whether you‘re Natalee Holloway or anyone else, you have to practice that.

So I‘ve got a lot of hope, Rita, that there are people that are going to come forward that are going to be able to shed more information on the character of a number of different suspects in this case right now.

COSBY:  Yes.  No doubt about that.  And Art, you know, so far, we‘re hearing that Joran Van Der Sloot has not been questioned for what, about a week now.  How does that impact the case, especially as we‘re gearing up to September 4, when he could be released?

WOOD:  Well, Rita, first of all, I‘m not privy to any of the conversations he had with these investigators or these Dutch scientists that—the behavioral specialists that have come in and talked to him.  But September 4 is fast approaching.  I think they need to start—the police need to start banging away at his friends and the friends of Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe because, as you know, loose lips sink ships.  And I‘m sure there are stories out there.  We‘d like to find this missing girl.

COSBY:  Absolutely, guys.  Thank you very much.

And everybody at home, of course, we want to hear from you, as well, if you have any information that could help in the Natalee Holloway investigation.  Art and Clint and all of us are on it.  Also, any major stories that you want us to investigate, be sure to give us a call.  And our tip line is 1-877-TIP-RITA.  That‘s 1-877-TIP-RITA.  You can also check out our web site at rita@msnbc.com.

And tonight, a shocking copycat story.  Some violent teens are blaming this disturbing videotape for their heinous crimes.  You‘re going to be outraged when you hear what two teenagers did.  And that‘s just the beginning of what‘s ahead tonight.

Coming up, a LIVE AND DIRECT exclusive.  Missing from his honeymoon cruise, do these people have clues in the case of the vanished groom?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I just got an eerie feeling.


COSBY:  And has time finally run out for the killer who locked a time bomb around this man‘s neck?  Tonight, new clues in the hunt for the killer dubbed the “pizza bomber.”

Plus, the search for two missing pregnant women.  The father of one unborn child says he‘s innocent, and police are looking for new clues for the other.

And the mess that is Courtney Love.  Can she ever pull it together? 




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  From what I‘ve seen, and I haven‘t seen everything, that he‘s probably an innocent guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, he just didn‘t really seem to be the type of person that would be money-oriented or very violent in any way.


COSBY:  Well, this story sounds like something out of a sick horror movie.  A man dies when a time bomb locked around his neck explodes.  Tonight, with the two-year anniversary approaching, there‘s some new leads to this unbelievable story.


(voice-over): Two years later, one of the most puzzling crimes in recent history still baffles authorities, a pizza delivery man killed after he was found with a bomb locked around his neck.  Eerie police tracked down Brian Wells after he robbed a local bank.  He tried to explain that he had been ambushed while out on a delivery, forced to wear a collar bomb by people he never met.  The group had even given him a list of demands, with less than one hour to met them or he would be killed.  By the time the bomb squad arrived on the scene, it was too late.

The FBI has never ruled Wells out as a suspect in his own death, but family and friends believe there is no way he could have been involved.

JANETH MCDONALD, BRIAN WELLS‘S AUNT:  Brian was kind.  He was a genuinely concerned person.

COSBY:  Authorities have few clues to go on—no witnesses, no motive, just the bomb itself and some suspicious items found in Wells‘s car: a gun crafted in the shape of a cane and hand-written notes directing Wells to his death.  The FBI did investigate one man who lived near the site where Wells was supposed to deliver the pizza, but they never found anything linking that man to the crime at all.  He later died of cancer.

But now, after two years, there may finally be a break in this unsolved case.


And the man who was cleared—he was cleared as a suspect in the case had a roommate, and now we‘ve learned that the FBI may be investigating him.  Joining me now is Brian Wells‘s brother, John Wells.  John, are you hopeful that this could maybe be the break in the case?

JOHN WELLS, BROTHER OF BRIAN WELLS:  After two years, we‘re hoping this actually will be the break in the case that we‘ve been waiting for.

COSBY:  Are you getting any sense that it is the break?

WELLS:  I would like to say yes, but I‘ve had my hopes up before and I don‘t want to really—I don‘t want to have my hopes up just to have them dashed again.

COSBY:  Yes, this particular person—because this individual is a convicted rapist.  He was living near the site of the pizza delivery.  He was living also with this guy who was cleared.  But this guy who was cleared (INAUDIBLE) later found a body was found in the freezer.  So there‘s some very strange activity coming out of this—this same home, correct?

WELLS:  Yes.  I mean, they both had criminal pasts.  And I don‘t think they ever cleared Rothstein (ph), I just think they have said they‘ve never found any evidence on Mr. Rothstein.

COSBY:  Do you believe and he this new man may be tied to the case, maybe the two of them men together?

WELLS:  I would believe what—there‘d be—with all the coincidences of the close proximity of to whatever happened, I believe they have to be involved in some way.

COSBY:  You know, one of the other things, John, that I found striking, the note that was left with your brother, you know, that handwritten note, had some doodling on it about a McDonald‘s.  And I understand that this particular individual that we‘re looking at now, this convicted rapist, liked doodling, also has a violent past, clearly.  Certainly sounds like more than coincidence, right?

WELLS:  It sounds like more than coincidence.  I mean, I was—would just like to believe that the FBI had looked into this man two years ago and would have be discovering these clues a little bit quicker.

COSBY:  Has the FBI told you anything, John?

WELLS:  No.  I read the news story, like you did, last week.  That‘s the first I‘ve heard of it.

COSBY:  That‘s the first you‘ve heard?  They haven‘t kept you abreast of what‘s going on?

WELLS:  About the only thing we get from the FBI is it‘s an ongoing investigation, we‘re tracking down leads and we‘re making progress.  But words don‘t mean anything to the family.  The family‘s waiting for results.

COSBY:  You bet.  And now, after two years, do you still believe that your brother had no connection to this case, that he was just a victim of a crime?

WELLS:  My brother was just a murder victim.  That‘s his only connection at all.  And law enforcement knows that, and they‘re afraid to let the public know that they made mistakes that day.  But somebody has to have the courage to say they made mistakes that day and take responsibility for that and take the appropriate actions to make sure that those mistakes aren‘t made in the future.

COSBY:  You bet.  And why do you think your brother was singled out?  Do you think he was a victim of circumstance, or do you think they were targeting him?

WELLS:  I think he just happened to be the person who delivered that pizza that day.  If he had left five minutes earlier, the owner of the pizza shop would have taken that delivery.

COSBY:  Wow.  Well, John, I do hope you get some answers soon, especially after two years.  I hope and pray for you this is the break in the case.

WELLS:  Thank you.

COSBY:  Thank you very much.

WELLS:  And could you mention the Web site?  I‘m trying to get the notes out to the public that...

COSBY:  Sure.  Tell us what it is real quick?

WELLS:  ... haven‘t been released yet.

COSBY:  Tell us what it is (INAUDIBLE)

WELLS:  Brianwells.net.  You can see the notes that the FBI have released, but they‘ve not been in any publication.

COSBY:  You got it.  In fact, everybody, www.brianwells.net.  Please, if you have any information, make sure you look on there and also tell authorities.  Thank you very much.

And now to another disturbing story.  I just came back from Wichita, Kansas, a few hours ago, where the BTK serial killer, Dennis Rader, has started serving his 10 consecutive life sentences.  He‘ll be spending his first night inside the maximum security prison in El Dorado, Kansas.  He arrived there this morning wearing, as you can see, an orange jumpsuit with his arms and legs in shackles.  Rader will likely serve his entire sentence in El Dorado unless it‘s determined that his life would be at risk there or that he‘s a threat to other inmates.  Rader will be locked down for 23 hours a day, leaving his cell block only to do a shower or to do some exercise.

Now a brutal crime in Los Angeles this week that was inspired by a sick and shocking video.  “Bum Fights” (INAUDIBLE) is a controversial DVD where homeless men are paid to beat the heck out of each other.  Tonight, two 19-year-olds are behind bars in Los Angeles, charged with attempting to murder two homeless people with baseball bats.  And get this.  They say that “Bum Fights” gave them the idea.

Joining us now is Captain Andrew Smith with the LAPD.  Captain Smith, what condition are the men in tonight, the two homeless men?

CAPT. ANDREW SMITH, LAPD:  Well, the first individual that was struck with a baseball bat was hit in the arm.  He is—as far as we know, he‘s in good condition.  We‘re still looking for him.  The second individual is still in intensive care.  He‘s in a coma.  He‘s in critical condition and in life-threatening condition.

COSBY:  Oh, that is—that is just horrible!  What were they doing at the time?  Were they sleeping?  They were just totally surprised, I understand.

SMITH:  That‘s exactly right.  The first individual was lying on the sidewalk asleep, with a blanket over him.  These two individuals came up to him, struck him with the baseball bat on the arm.  And he got up and fled into the police station.  The second individual was also asleep.  He never woke up, as far as we know.  He was beaten about the head with baseball bats.  And like I said, he‘s still in critical condition.

COSBY:  And you know, Captain, I want to tell everybody, on the other side of the screen, we‘re looking at the video, the DVD, the “Bum Fights” video.  Not obviously, what happened with these two homeless men, but the video that these guys say inspired home to beat the heck out of these two other guys.

What—when you see this video—and if we can roll some more of it, what goes through your mind?  You know, do you buy this argument at all that they were inspired by this video, that that gives them an excuse?

SMITH:  You know, I don‘t know if it‘s the reason that they did something like this.  It‘s such a despicable act and such a cowardly act to go and find a homeless person sleeping, without waking them up, and just start beating on them with an aluminum baseball bat.  I can‘t imagine why someone would do something like that.

COSBY:  Captain, what‘s your impression of the video, too?  I understand you did get some glimpses before the show.

SMITH:  Yes, I have seen portions of the video.  It‘s disturbing.  You know, unfortunately, a lot of homeless folks that we have have mental illness problems and alcohol and drug problems.  And to prey on a community like this is just about as despicable as these individuals who were beating on a homeless guy with baseball bats.

COSBY:  You bet.  And I understand we have the picture just came of one of the guys that you‘re looking for related to the case.  Gerald D.  McHenry, I think, is one of the individuals you‘re looking for, one of the 19-year-olds.  Are they both at large tonight, or just this individual?

SMITH:  No, this is actually one of the victims.  This is the first victim that came in and reported being beaten by these guys.  We‘re actually looking for him for interviewing him to—he‘s listed as a crime victim.  Both of the suspects in this case are in custody, held without bail in Los Angeles.

COSBY:  OK, so you‘re looking—but this is the one who hat came forward and said that this is what was going on, and you‘re looking for him for information, in terms of beefing up the charges against the 19-year-olds.

SMITH:  Exactly.  He‘s in the homeless population somewhere in Los Angeles.  We‘re trying to find him because he‘s one of our victims.  We want to bring him to court and stand him in front of the judge and let him tell his story to the judge of what happened to him.

COSBY:  Well, I hope he‘s watching tonight, and I hope he comes forward and helps and assists in any way he can.  Captain, thank you very much.  We appreciate it.

SMITH:  Thank you.

COSBY:  Thank you.

And still ahead tonight, the search for two missing pregnant women.  Details LIVE AND DIRECT.  And Courtney Love breaks down in court after breaking her parole.  Find out why she‘s off the wagon again.  And next, a LIVE AND DIRECT exclusive with two people on the same cruise as George Smith.  Was he pushed overboard on his own honeymoon?  We‘ve got some new photos.  You got to stick with us for this.


ANNOUNCER:  From MSNBC world headquarters, here is Rita Cosby.

COSBY:  Tonight, a LIVE AND DIRECT exclusive.  We‘ve got new information about the missing honeymooner.  George Smith vanished from his honeymoon suite aboard a Royal Caribbean ship six weeks ago.  He may have been pushed overboard, but the big question is by who?  Tonight, an exclusive interview with two passengers from that same cruise.  They say their pictures may be significant.


ROBERT, CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER:  I felt it was important because it adds to any possible evidence that can be used in solving this case.

COSBY:  In one of the pictures, this is sort of a wider shot of the boat.  And we also seen in another picture ladders, and we see crew members having access to them.  Why did you think that was key?

ROBERT:  Yes.  I think that was important because the person or persons who presumably threw George Allen Smith overboard really missed the mark.  They thought he was going to go directly into the water, but what happened, in fact, is that the body landed on the overhang to the lifeboats.  And at some future time, somebody had to come along and push him further off of the overhang and into the water.

There is a ladder apparatus that runs alongside the ship.  And it‘s used for maintenance, and the crew has access to that movable ladder.  And one of those pictures there, you can see some crewmembers actually in this ladder apparatus. 

COSBY:  So, Susan, do you also believe that that‘s what happened to George Smith? 

SUSAN, CRUISE SHIP PASSSENGER:  Yes, I do.  I definitely believe that. 

COSBY:  You believe that he was pushed over and that he somehow hit that overhang? 

SUSAN:  Yes.  Yes. 

COSBY:  And who do you think did that? 

SUSAN:  Most definitely.  Well, I feel its crewmembers. 

COSBY:  You said crew members were acting suspicious.  How so? 

SUSAN:  I felt—I don‘t know, I just didn‘t feel real comfortable with a lot of the crew members.  Many of them were very nice, but others I just got an eerie feeling. 

COSBY:  Now, you also got an eerie feeling about Josh.  This is the San Diego student. 

Robert, what did you overhear?  You got to know his family? 

ROBERT:  Actually, my daughters talked to Josh‘s parents.  And both my daughters did get some information from the parents. 

COSBY:  What kind of information, Robert? 

SUSAN:  Well, I could speak to that, because the girls shared that with us, that they were very upset.  They felt that the cruise ship was treating them poorly, and that they were being blamed, and the—you know, they wanted to—well, they just felt that they wanted their money back, actually, for the cruise.  They just were very upset with how they were being treated. 

COSBY:  In other words, the FBI agents or at least other people on the cruise ship were zeroing in on Josh, right? 

SUSAN:  It seemed to be, yes. 

COSBY:  Tell us about this mysterious woman named Jackie? 

SUSAN:  We were walking back from the train station in Rome, and she was expressing the fact that she was so upset she had been with George Smith in the casino at 2:00 in the morning.  And that was the last time she saw him. 

And she couldn‘t sleep.  She needed counseling.  She felt very, very upset about the whole situation.  And she wanted to talk to the authorities to tell them what she knew. 

COSBY:  If she‘s watching right now, what would you want to say to Jackie?  Because I understand you‘ve lost contact with her. 

SUSAN:  I‘d just to hear a little bit more about her relationship with George and Jennifer.  And I hope she‘s doing well, because I know she was very upset. 

COSBY:  Now, have either of you been contacted by the FBI, Robert? 

ROBERT:  We have not yet been contacted by the FBI.  We do know the FBI did board the Brilliance of the Seas ship in Naples, Italy.  Those pictures were shown on your show. 

COSBY:  Yes, in fact, I understand that the FBI boarded—we‘ve even got those pictures of the FBI boarding, what, four days after George Smith went missing.  How do you know that these are FBI agents? 

ROBERT:  We were leaving the ship that day in Naples, Italy, going to do some sightseeing and shopping.  And these gentlemen approached the ship, went up the gangway, and they did flash their badges to the officers on board the ship.  And we did hear dialogue that they are from the FBI. 

COSBY:  So no doubt in your mind? 

ROBERT:  Correct.  No doubt. 


COSBY:  Well, could their information hold any clues?  Joining me now is Susan Filan.  She‘s a former Connecticut prosecutor and also MSNBC analyst, and also private investigator Vito Colucci, two good friends of the show. 

Susan, let me start with you, because this couple, they‘re focusing on these crew members.  Do you think they‘re suspicious, too? 

SUSAN FILAN, FORMER CONNECTICUT PROSECUTOR:  Well, I think law enforcement is more correctly focusing on the suspects that they‘ve identified, or should I say the persons of interest, that being...

COSBY:  The Russians and Josh?

FILAN:  That‘s right.  The California teen and the two Russians.  And I think the California teen really is the key to this case.  And he should do the right thing and cooperate with law enforcement and tell what happened that night in George‘s cabin. 

COSBY:  Is your sense that that California teen played a role or was more of a witness? 

FILAN:  I don‘t think that‘s utterly clear at this point.  I think it‘s going to depend on what the information is that he comes forward with.  His lawyer has been very vocal.  I want to hear from the young man. 

COSBY:  Yes, and you know, why have we not heard from this guy?  You know, especially if you‘re falsely accused, or people are zeroing in on you, why not come out and say, “Look, I have nothing to do with this”? 

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE DETECTIVE:  Well, you know, it‘s interesting, because his lawyer gave a statement saying that they put George back in his cabin at 4:00.  And they went to get a bite to eat.  So I‘m sure the FBI has already digested that and tried to find out. 

Now, you may say, in the course of a 12-day trip, how do people remember?  It‘s Fourth of July.  You would have a tendency to remember that night, your activities, more than any of the other days on that trip.  So I‘m sure, like Susan said, they are keying on this.

But a good investigator doesn‘t eliminate anybody else.  Since this case started, we learned that many cruise lines don‘t even do background checks on their workers.  And that‘s scary. 

COSBY:  It‘s really scary. 

And, Susan, the attorney for Josh came on—he was on another show.  He was on Joe‘s show, Joe Scarborough‘s show.  Basically said he somehow maybe got angry at himself when he didn‘t find his wife there, somehow he fell over in an alcoholic stupor.  Do you buy that? 

FILAN:  Absolutely not. 

COSBY:  With all the blood?  Come on.

FILAN:  Absolutely.  There are serious inconsistencies in what he says that his client, Josh Askin, is saying.  Number one, he says George was happy as a clam when we put him to bed.  Number two, after he was in his room alone, he got into an alcoholic rage, began to smash furniture, and killed himself?  Those photos look nothing like suicide. 

So he‘s obviously trying to fashion some sort of a defense, which leads me to believe, is there some reason this boy needs to be defended? 

COSBY:  And what is he covering up for? 

FILAN:  Exactly.

COSBY:  It defies logic. 

Vito, as a seasoned detective, come on.  You have an alcoholic stupor, and you say, “Well, let me jump overboard.  Let me kill myself.  Let me leave a whole bunch of blood”? 

COLUCCI:  Definitely not.  In all the interviews I‘ve done—and you‘ve known some of them, Rita—when somebody lies, they forget from each interview what they‘ve said, OK?  When they‘re telling the truth, they tell the same story every time.  When someone lies, they forget two hours later, two days later what they‘ve said.  And that‘s what‘s going on in this case here. 

COSBY:  Susan, speaking of what also is not being said, I am surprised neither one of these families, George Smith‘s family, also Jennifer‘s family, none of them are talking.  You know, and that‘s a little surprising. 

You look at Beth Holloway.  You know, it‘s another just stark contrast.  Speaking out, the media‘s on it.  Everybody wants to help.  You kind of go, why are we not hearing from either side? 

FILAN:  I‘m not terribly surprised by that, nor am I disturbed by that.  The wife has been cleared as a suspect.  Now she‘s a grieving widow. 

COSBY:  And I‘m not necessarily saying she should.  Maybe just saying, if you have clues, get out there and use the media.

FILAN:  She may be a little bit embarrassed, because the information is that she had too much to drink and passed out.  She may feel very, very guilty that she wasn‘t there for her husband when he needed her the most.  She may be having an awful time of it. 

As for George‘s family, they are the victims of some terrible tragedy.  Now they don‘t know, is this an accident?  Is this foul play?  All signs point to foul play.  I‘m certainly going to rule out suicide.  It‘s utterly preposterous and ridiculous. 

But they don‘t know what happened to their beloved son.  And I‘m not surprised that they aren‘t speaking this time.  But I‘m sure, Rita, they‘re very grateful to your show for putting so much attention on it, because this is going to help solve this case. 

COSBY:  Yes, you got to put some pressure, because, Vito, it looks like the international folks don‘t seem to be caring.  We‘re not hearing very much from them.  And the FBI seems to be chasing the media in this case. 

COLUCCI:  FBI jumped in late.  Statements were taken of some of these people.  By who?  Cruise ship lawyers, cruise ship officials.  I can imagine what those statements say, Rita, when they were turned over to the FBI.  FBI jumped in at a very tough time, and I feel they‘re going to solve this case. 

COSBY:  Susan, you have five seconds.

FILAN:  FBI didn‘t blow it here.  They jumped in late, not for their own fault.  Cruise ship tried to cover it up.  They‘re doing a yeoman‘s job making up for lost time. 

COSBY:  Yes, and they have a lot to make up for, it sounds time. 

FILAN:  Evidence was destroyed.  There was a cover-up. 

COSBY:  Moving crime scene, guys.  Thank you both very much.  Susan and Vito, we appreciate it. 

And coming up, everybody, new information in the search for two missing pregnant women.  Their families are pleading for your help tonight.  There‘s their pictures. 

And just when you think that Courtney Love may have gotten her act together, well, she‘s back in trouble with the law again.  Wait until you hear what she did this time.


COURTNEY LOVE, SINGER:  (OFF-MIKE) I hate the prosecutors.



COSBY:  Two pregnant mothers, one just days away from her due date, disappeared without a trace.  Tonight, their families are pleading for your help.  That‘s next.


COSBY:  Tonight, two families are frantic for clues.  There are two pregnant women who both vanished without a trace, one of them just days before her due date. 

Twenty-four-year-old Latoya Figueroa vanished July 18th from the streets of Philadelphia.  The waitress was last seen after her boyfriend took her to a doctor‘s appointment.  He‘s been cleared of any suspicions, but investigators so far have found nothing. 

And then near St. Louis, a newly formed task force is trying to find 26-year-old Amanda Jones, due to give birth any day now.  She was last seen Sunday after meeting the father of their unborn son.  Tonight, we have both their families. 

First, LIVE & DIRECT from St. Louis are Amanda‘s mom and sister, Bertha, and Carrie Propst. 

I want to start with you, Bertha, because this must just be gut-wrenching.  Her due date is, what, a few days away, right? 


COSBY:  How has that sort of added to the urgency in the search?  I would imagine there‘s a greater sense of, “We‘ve got to hurry up and try to find her.”

B. PROPST:  Oh, definitely.  She could have had that baby by now. 

COSBY:  Yes, which is what‘s really scary.  And have authorities been looking out at, like, hospitals, a number of different locations, I would imagine? 

B. PROPST:  Yes, they have.  They‘ve notified all of the local hospitals. 

COSBY:  How are you holding up, Carrie, too?  I know how much you love your sister. 

CARRIE PROPST, AMANDA JONES‘ SISTER:  Each day it gets harder, but I guess I‘m doing OK. 

COSBY:  Now, we talked about the sort of father of Amanda‘s unborn child.  His attorney has sort of issued a statement or at least mentioned that his client is innocent, so he has nothing to do with this. 

Do you still believe that‘s where the leads lie, because it sounds like he was the last person to see her alive. 

C. PROPST:  Yes. 

COSBY:  You do?  And why is that?  Why do you still feel that way? 

C. PROPST:  I still feel that way, because he was the last person to see her.  He‘s given us, you know, five different reasons for—like five different stories about her whereabouts.  And he‘s lied to us over and over.  And I got that gut feeling. 

COSBY:  You do.  You have a feeling that there‘s still much more to the story? 

C. PROPST:  Yes, I know there is. 

COSBY:  How are you holding up, you know, with the due date coming around the corner?  It‘s got to be just gut-wrenching for you and the rest of the family? 

C. PROPST:  Oh, it is.  It‘s very gut-wrenching, because we don‘t know what‘s going on.  We don‘t know if she did give birth, you know, how to went, if she‘s OK, if the baby‘s OK?  And even if she hasn‘t given birth yet, what‘s going on? 

COSBY:  Yes, it‘s hard not knowing. 

And, Bertha, the good news is it sounds like a lot of people have been calling in tips.  I understand, what, more than 100 tips and a task force of about 20 people are leading the search.  That‘s got to make you feel good? 

B. PROPST:  That does make me feel a lot better.  I just wish that somebody would just have seen her, and call in, and say that they did see her. 

COSBY:  You bet.  You bet.  And stick with us, if you could, both of you, because I want to go now to Philadelphia, and I want to go to the LaToyia Jackson case, also an equally troubling case. 

The 24-year-old has been missing for more than a month, but family members refuse to give up hope there.  LIVE & DIRECT tonight is LaToyia‘s aunt, Stephanie Stephenson.  She is really like a mother, though, because you raised LaToyia, right, Stephanie? 

STEPHANIE STEPHENSON, LATOYIA FIGUEROA‘S AUNT:  Yes, and her name is LaToyia Figueroa, not Jackson. 

COSBY:  Oh, forgive me.  I don‘t know why they put Jackson.  Forgive me.

STEPHENSON:  That‘s all right. 

COSBY:  And, in fact, you know, she‘s a beautiful girl, too.  As time goes by, is it tough, just, you know, the waiting and the wondering? 

STEPHENSON:  Yes, it is.  But, I‘m doing a faith walk, and I‘m trusting God to return her to us alive. 

COSBY:  You bet.  You know, how tough is the ups and downs?  You know, there was some word yesterday that someone spotted her at a local car auction house.  The authorities don‘t think that that was a real lead.  But I‘m sure, for that moment, you were just praying and hoping that this could be the break, right? 

STEPHENSON:  Yes, we were.  It‘s been a real rollercoaster of emotions.  You never have one day where your emotions are the same.  Some days, you‘re up.  Some days, you‘re down. 

COSBY:  And you know, she‘s got a daughter, right?  She‘s got a 7-year-old daughter? 

STEPHENSON:  Yes, she does.  Yes, she does. 

COSBY:  What‘s her daughter asking, as time is going by? 

STEPHENSON:  Oddly enough, her daughter isn‘t talking much about it.  I think—she‘s a very mature little girl.  And I think she‘s deliberately not saying anything, because she knows that we‘re all upset and everybody‘s worried.  So she‘s putting up a really brave front. 

COSBY:  Yes, that is brave.  And LaToyia‘s boyfriend, you know, a lot of times you look at sort of one the last person who may have seen her, and also people close to her.  Do you believe that there‘s some clues, that he‘s telling all he knows? 

STEPHENSON:  I‘m not accusing him of doing anything, because I actually don‘t know.  But I do believe that he has some information that he‘s not sharing with us.  I really feel that in my heart. 

COSBY:  You feel there‘s something more to the story than he‘s shared so far? 

STEPHENSON:  Yes, because he‘s given too many different versions of the story.  And, you know, it‘s just—it leaves you wondering. 

COSBY:  You bet, especially when you see some inconsistencies at a time like this.  You have to go, “Why?”  You know? 

STEPHENSON:  Yes, yes. 

COSBY:  Now, Stephanie, time‘s gone by and you‘re so articulate.  What advice would you want to give for the other beautiful family, for Bertha, and for Carrie, who are waiting for Amanda to come home?  Is there some word of advice or word of inspiration you can give them tonight? 

STEPHENSON:  The only thing I can tell them is what helps me.  Just to stay faithful and pray.  Trust God to do what only he can do, and I believe that you have to do a faith walk, unless you have any other signs that something bad has happened.

But until you find out for sure, every day that you don‘t hear from her is a good day, because they didn‘t find a body.  And there‘s still hope.  So just stay prayerful and keep hoping.  Don‘t lose faith. 

COSBY:  That‘s a great word of—Bertha and Carrie, is there something you want to say to Stephanie? 

B. PROPST:  We feel the same way that she does.  We‘re just praying every day, that we know that God‘s got his unseen eye on her and he‘s got his hands upon her, and that she‘s going to be safe and her baby‘s going to be safe. 

STEPHENSON:  Yes, he does, yes.

COSBY:  Well, we are praying for all of you, as we look at these beautiful pictures of beautiful LaToyia and beautiful Amanda.  And I hope all three of you, that you get some great news.  And anything we can do, you know we‘re here for you.

STEPHENSON:  OK, there‘s one thing I‘d like to say. 

COSBY:  Absolutely, Stephanie, go ahead. 

STEPHENSON:  Tonight, we had a rally in Philadelphia where we live.  And they are circulating a petition for signatures.  They would like to get 100,000 signatures so that we can keep this in the media. 

The media is very important.  We appreciate it deeply, everything that you‘ve done for us.  And, of course, the people that are not in Philadelphia can‘t sign this petition, but you can log onto a web site called goldengirlbaby.com.  And there you can put your signatures in on this petition. 

COSBY:  You got it.  And, you know, you don‘t even need a signature from us.  We will stay on this case for both of you families. 

C. PROPST:  Rita, I‘d like to say something. 

COSBY:  Yes, please, real quick, if you could, real quick. 

C. PROPST:  For anyone in the Missouri state area, they‘re holding a candlelight vigil tomorrow night for my sister, Amanda, at this...

B. PROPST:  Sunday night. 

C. PROPST:  ... Sunday night at the Civic Center for my sister,

Amanda, from 6:00 to 7:00 for anyone who‘d like to show up. 

COSBY:  All right, guys.  And I hope a lot of people do turn out. 

And, everybody at home, investigators in Missouri and also Pennsylvania are asking for your help.  If you know anything about Amanda Jones, please call the Jefferson County Sheriff‘s Department.  That‘s the number you see there on your screen. 

And also, for information about LaToyia Figueroa, you should call the Philadelphia Citizens Crime Commission at the number you see there on your screen.  Of course, anyone please call, if you have any information for these great families. 

And coming up, everyone, Courtney Love has lost so much and now she‘s apparently lost control of herself.  Find out why she is back in trouble. 

Plus, why this squirrel should be charged with assaulting a police officer.  That story‘s ahead.



LOVE:  Are you the prosecutors?  Hey, psst!  Are you the prosecutors? 


COSBY:  Well, it has been 10 years since Courtney Love did that.  We all thought she had pulled herself back together.  Well, we were apparently wrong. 

Today, the crazy rocker broke down in court after being ordered into a drug rehab program.  She admitted to using drugs in violation of her probation terms.  Joining us now is my pal Tom O‘Neil.  He‘s senior editor for “In Touch” magazine. 

What the heck is wrong with Courtney Love? 


TOM O‘NEIL, SR. EDITOR, “IN TOUCH” MAGAZINE:  This train wreck just keeps wrecking, Rita. 

COSBY:  Yes, and why?  Why does she keep wrecking? 

O‘NEIL:  Because our system is failing. 

COSBY:  Our system or her system? 

O‘NEIL:  No, our system.  Let‘s put the blame—because she has a disease, and, you know, she‘s a victim to some extent here.  This is the third time she has been remanded to rehab in a year and a half. 

The other two times, there were conditions of random drug testing, which is not taking place.  And even on August the 10th, there was supposed to be a hearing on how she‘s doing.  And clearly, these didn‘t happen. 

COSBY:  Do you believe the system‘s going easy on her because she‘s a celebrity?  They‘re not keeping tabs on her as they should?

O‘NEIL:  Yes, absolutely. 

COSBY:  But isn‘t it her responsibility to do the right thing?  Come on. 

O‘NEIL:  Yes, that‘s true.  You‘ve got a very good point there.  But on the other hand, they‘re supposed to be ambushing here and enforcing this. 

On July 21st, last month in Los Angeles, she was at a music industry event and had an obvious overdose.  She was taken to the hospital.  Last week, the blood tests came back.  And what happened was, obviously, they found narcotics there.  And she had to go before a judge today.  That‘s what this incident is all about. 

Meantime, last Sunday, on national television, we saw her have a breakdown at the Pam Anderson roast, on the Comedy Central channel.  Did you see that? 

COSBY:  Yes, I heard about it.  I didn‘t see it.  But I heard about it.


How could you not hear about it? 

O‘NEIL:  I know.  It was unavailable!  She said, “Oh, I have been clean and sober for a year now.” 

COSBY:  Now, there was a quote from the judge, I want to show—this is what the judge said today in the proceedings. 

He said, quote, “I think that you need to hit rock bottom before you make a decision about what you‘re going to do in the future.”

Has she really hit rock bottom?  It seems. 

O‘NEIL:  Well, if she keeps going, I hope she didn‘t take that little baby girl with her, because she has a 12-year-old daughter, Frances Bean...

COSBY:  From Kurt Cobain, right?

O‘NEIL:  Yes, who, in 2003, witnessed her mother have a drug overdose at home.  This same little girl, Courtney admits to having been drugged up when she was pregnant with her. 

This mother is out of control.  The court finally took—this is the second time they took Frances away from Courtney.  But on January 1st of this year, Courtney got custody of this child back. 

COSBY:  Well, that‘s the question.  What‘s going to happen to the poor baby now? 

O‘NEIL:  I hope they take her away and give her back to Kurt‘s mother, because that‘s who was raising her before. 

COSBY:  All right.  Very interesting. 

Tom O‘Neil, good to see you, as always. 

O‘NEIL:  Same.

COSBY:  And still ahead everybody, this is a wacky story.  There‘s a rambunctious rodent.  He‘s really nuts.  He‘s got a crazy job.  And guess what?  He should be charged with assaulting an officer of the law.  The hairy details next on LIVE & DIRECT.  Tom is going to stick around for those. 


COSBY:  Tonight, a suspect in a lot of trouble for attacking a police officer.  It was apparently a very hairy fight.  And here is the crook.  There he is, Spanky, the squirrel. 

Leominster, Massachusetts, police officer Dwayne Flowers—there he is—was looking for Spanky‘s owner, Monica Marcell (ph), but instead came face-to-face with this guy here.  Spanky‘s owner says her squirrel is not violent, that he just plays rough. 

He is behind bars right now, but Marcell (ph) says she hopes to get him back soon.  Officer Flowers, meanwhile, has some scratches, but is otherwise OK. 


Well, we have a lot planned for you in the coming week ahead.  I‘m going to be talking to domestic diva-turned-convicted felon, Martha Stewart.  She‘s going to reveal to me her secrets for choosing the next “Apprentice” and also tell us what she is doing now.

And that does it for me tonight.  Everybody, make sure you have a terrific weekend and a good week next week.  We‘ll see you Monday.

But stay tuned, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” starts right now.




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