Guests: Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Carl Griffith, Dave Holloway, Antonio
Carlo, Stanley Borgia, Jon-Paul Carew, Janet Pelasara, Jim Nolan, Jayne
Weintraub, Stacey Honowitz
RITA COSBY, HOST: Tonight, the unbelievable destruction from Hurricane Rita. Towns are devastated, and so are the residents. Thousands are suddenly homeless. And there are now eight deaths associated with Hurricane Rita.
Plus, another bombshell in the Natalee Holloway case. Joran Van Der Sloot speaks out. It‘s outrageous. He even blames Natalee‘s own mother.
And a teacher is going behind bars for a Catholic school sex scandal, but does her punishment fit the crime?
We‘re going to have all those stories tonight, but first, LIVE AND DIRECT from the hurricane zone, our MSNBC‘s David Shuster and Ron Blome. David, first to you in hard-hit Lake Charles, Louisiana. How bad are things there tonight, David?
DAVID SHUSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rita, it‘s bad as far as infrastructure. The—essentially, the utility grid for this town is not working. It‘s going to be a couple of days. You‘ve got a lot of trees down, a lot of power lines down. And as you get closer from Lake Charles to the Gulf, to towns like Cameron and Grand Chenier, which is where we were today, it‘s absolute utter devastation.
You have to get there by helicopter or by boat. We went with an urban search and rescue team today from Phoenix, Arizona. We were flown in on a border patrol helicopter. From the air, you can see that this is generally swampland anyway, but the few roads that were there, many of them were under water. The few homes, many of them were simply pulverized, with debris across the property. And then when you actually get down onto the ground into some of these towns, that‘s where you can see that the devastation is just complete.
The one saving grace, though, is that the eye of the hurricane, as you know, Rita, went to some of these very unpopulated areas, so you‘re talking about towns of 400, 500 people that were completely pulverized, whereas in towns in, like, Lake Charles, where we are, the destruction was pretty serious, but at least there is some infrastructure. Many of these homes at least have rooftops. And once they can get rid of trees, get the power lines fixed, then at that point, perhaps, maybe in a week or so, Lake Charles will begin to get back to normal. But right now, they‘re telling people not to come back in part because there‘s still no gasoline in the city—Rita.
COSBY: And David, real quick, you talked about Cameron being a small town. How small is it? And did any of the residents stick around? Did any percent of the population stay there?
SHUSTER: Well, we went to this town called Grand Chenier, which is near Cameron, and that has a town—that has about 500 people. We ran into some people who were actually cattle ranchers, who took a boat to get back to survey their property. Their property, of course, was completely destroyed.
But they told us and they told the urban search and rescue teams that, in fact, most of the people got out a couple of days before the storm, and then everybody had gotten out by the time the storm hit on late Friday night. So that, of course, made the job of the search and rescue teams a lot easier because they had information that, in fact, nobody had tried to ride this out. If they had tried to ride it out, they likely would not have survived because the devastation there, Rita, was simply catastrophic.
COSBY: Can‘t imagine. Dave, thank you very much.
Well, from Lake Charles, we‘re going to travel 90 miles east to battered Erath, Louisiana. NBC‘s Ron Blome spent the day there, and he joins us with more now. Ron, what did you find?
RON BLOME, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Oh, just a lot of water and a lot of houses. This is what they call the Acadiana parishes of Louisiana, Cajun country. We were just south of Lafayette, in the community of Erath today. If you look at the pictures from the air, you‘ll see what happened. This storm surge came in 20 miles across the land, across agriculture property, through the sugar cane fields, and settled in around the houses here, four feet of water over probably 90 percent of the community. We met many residents who were having to wade into their houses, looking for small pieces of their life that might have survived, people like Miss Mayer. And she told us that she was having to depend on friends and family to help her out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAMMY MAYER, ERATH, LOUISIANA, RESIDENT: I have no idea what to do now. I guess start all over. But then, I don‘t know how I‘m going to do that, either. You know, I‘m on a fixed income. I don‘t know what I‘m going to do. All of my life is in that house, every bit of it. And I have my mother that lives with me. She‘s sick, you know, and I don‘t know what we‘re going to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLOME: Tammy Mayer about the situation in her house. We talked to another neighbor of hers who said she‘d called her insurance company and asked when they could get an appraiser over to look at it. She was told six to eight weeks, they were so busy on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in the city of New Orleans.
And another common site, airboats cruising over the highways, through the agriculture lands, looking not only for survivors, but also for cattle and horses, trying to round them up and head them to higher ground. All of this as the Acadiana parishes of Louisiana wait for the water to go inch by inch very slowly. It‘s going to take days before it recedes back out into Vermilion Bay—Rita.
COSBY: Yes, Ron, I was going to ask you, what is the plan? Like, in New Orleans, they had water pumps, these massive water pumps. Is that the plan, Mother Nature, where you are?
BLOME: It‘s just strictly Mother Nature. And the water is still high. The tides are still high. This has got to go out slowly. And Louisiana is so flat that where the water washed over roads or railroad tracks, in some places, it is trapped inland. They have to get in there with pumps eventually to push it over these high low ridges of highways and railroad tracks, just to keep it moving back out towards the Gulf of Mexico.
COSBY: Going to take a while. Ron, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
Well, Hurricane Rita is now being blamed for eight deaths in Texas. That includes a tragic story out of Beaumont. Five people. including three small children, are dead, killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. CHARLES TAYLOR, BEAUMONT, TEXAS, POLICE DEPARTMENT: A lot of people are buying generators. They‘re looking for generators. They think they can survive, as long as they have water and sewer. Carbon monoxide is odorless. And if you‘re not careful, you‘ll be overcome. You‘ll go sleep or lounging around, and you never wake up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And when it comes to the recovery, there‘s already complaints about getting help to the right places. One Texas judge is so frustrated that he‘s telling police to seize supplies from FEMA. Carl Griffith of Jefferson County, Texas, is that judge, and he joins me now on the phone.
Judge Griffith, do you mean that? In fact, one of the quotes is, “If you have enough policemen to take it from them”—referring to FEMA—
“take it.” Is that what you mean, take it by force, whatever you have to do?
JUDGE CARL GRIFFITH, JEFFERSON COUNTY, TEXAS: Oh, yes. Last night or yesterday evening at a meeting at 5:00 o‘clock, after the generators, 50 generators were sitting at a—at our Ford Park, a park that‘s in our county, and they hadn‘t been deployed, they‘d been there since yesterday morning—and my staff, who is—one is an assistant United States attorney for the eastern district of Texas and the other an attorney at my office, had called me just so frustrated with the fact that they said, well, they had to continue to evaluate, figure out where they wanted to go with these.
And I had a judge in the—in a county just north of me, Billy Caraway (ph), that was desperately needing power. I had cities in my county that couldn‘t get their—that haven‘t still been able to get their sewer and water going. And I gave them at 5:00 o‘clock an ultimatum:
Either by 8:00 o‘clock, they better start deploying the generators or I was going to have police seize them. At 8:00 o‘clock, I told Judge Caraway to have a trailer there, and he did. And they did load two generators on, and they began deploying other generators today, but not near to the extent they need to.
And they haven‘t—there‘s not near enough generators here to take care of the needs of hospitals, water and sewer, and our people are desperately trying to get back because the shelters are crowded up in east Texas.
All these judges in East Texas, who are good friends of mine that I work with, smaller counties, are so desperate. The supplies aren‘t coming in. There is absolutely no way that our government should have done what they‘ve done to us. They should have set those supplies in Texas, out of harm‘s way, and they should have been delivered here as soon as the winds quit blowing. And I was promised that.
COSBY: Yes, you bet!
GRIFFITH: And the state of Texas will admit it. They told me that that was going to happen.
COSBY: And Judge, I would imagine you‘re just disgusted. How outraged are you with FEMA? These—you know, they‘re claiming that they were so well prepared this time. Doesn‘t sound like it at all.
GRIFFITH: No. I just—I absolutely want to see that Congress reviews the process. President Bush will be here in the morning. And I‘m a Democrat, but President Bush as a governor here in Texas, when I asked him to do something, it got done. And I don‘t know how the process works in Washington, but I believe, as we visit tomorrow, that I think he‘ll give us the commitments that has, one, we‘ll get the supplies we need, but two, that we will make a concerted effort to change this in America because it just shouldn‘t be happening here. And I want to—I‘m going to do my dead level best after this is all down to see that it‘s changed.
COSBY: How outraged are you? And what are you going to express to President Bush?
GRIFFITH: Well, I‘m going to clearly—I‘m going to tell him about the mishaps that have occurred throughout this process. I was promised (INAUDIBLE) hurricane on the phone with the state officials, who had federal officials sitting there, that those (INAUDIBLE) would be landing in two Chinook helicopters and a Blackhawk, and we‘d be able to be a distribution point for—we‘d started getting things out for all of east Texas.
I mean, clearly, it was very important for us to have those supplies in our area, to get those supplies out not just for our county but for our other counties, and no one is getting the supplies they need. People are going to bed hungry tonight. It‘s like a third world country, and it makes no sense!
COSBY: No, it absolutely doesn‘t. It‘s disgusting, after all the time that they had to prepare for this one. Judge, we‘d love to have you back on soon and hope that you do get some fast response from the president. Thank you very much.
GRIFFITH: Thanks for letting us talk.
COSBY: You‘re welcome. You‘re welcome. Please keep us posted.
And coming up, everybody, the heart-breaking tale from New Orleans. As some people get ready to go back home for the very first time, is it too early to do this?
Still ahead, with Hurricane Rita pouring salt water in the wounds of storm-ravaged Louisiana, is anyone ready to come back home? We‘re live at the disaster zone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just bought this house, too, three months ago. I don‘t want to see no more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And a bombshell in the Natalee Holloway case. Joran Van Der Sloot changes his story again and admits to lying. Plus, outrage as he points fingers at Natalee‘s mother. Hear what Joran has to say for himself now.
And a 13-year-old girl who blew the whistle in a child abuse case turns up brutally murdered. Her parents say they got death threats, but did they get protection? The shocking answer ahead.
And what a tale of survival. Wait until you hear what this dog swallowed and how they got it out. It‘s all ahead LIVE AND DIRECT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICKI, HUMANITY PLAZA VOLUNTEER: I don‘t really have that much money to give. but I wanted to be able to help out in some way and, you know, take a couple of hours out of my day to come up and, you know, build some houses (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Well, tonight, the combined efforts of NBC News, Habitat for Humanity and Warner Music are on full display—you can see it there—in New York‘s Rockefeller Plaza, now called Humanity Plaza, as volunteers build houses for hurricane victims. And if you would like to help out or if you want anymore information about how to donate to Habitat for Humanity, a great cause, just log onto our Web site, which is msnbc.com.
And it has been weeks since New Orleans residents have been home. And now, for the very first time, some of them are seeing the devastation firsthand, able to go back into their houses. NBC‘s Donna Gregory is live in New Orleans with the very latest. Donna, how is that going?
DONNA GREGORY, NBC CORRESPONDENT: I‘ll tell you, Rita, it‘s sort of touch and go for the people who snuck in a little earlier than they were supposed to. They‘ve been able to see their homes for a couple of days and have a chance to sort of assimilate the damage, if there was some. And keep in mind, there were some areas that were fairly untouched, considering the flood waters that we saw. And you can see right there. That is what part of this area still looks like, however, St. Bernard parish still a lot of water. You remember those levees breached, and that was a problem twice, once with Hurricane Katrina and then again just a few weeks later with Hurricane Rita.
Those people who were allowed back into St. Bernard parish face yet another headache. After four weeks of waiting and wondering about the damage, they sat in a parking lot on interstate 10, just trying to get into town. There were so many cars and police checkpoints, people were told they could come in as early as 6:00 AM, many of them weren‘t allowed in until 10:00 o‘clock. So you can imagine the frustration level very high. And a lot of the people are told simply grab what they can, their precious items, and leave. It‘s not safe to live there. In that parish, there is no power. There is no drinkable water.
But there is in the town—or in the neighborhood, I should say, of Algiers, about 55,000, 57,000 people there who will be able to come back and just check out what‘s going on there. And we understand that there is full services there. People are able to do their normal business activities.
Very different here in the central business district in New Orleans. I must tell you, we‘ve been in several areas, small pockets of people doing business. And some of the small businesses, Rita, I do want to tell you, are a little concerned about that. They think that the big-name hotels and restaurants will be able to survive this. They‘re a little worried about their own businesses. They‘re afraid they may have to take it out of state if some of the locals don‘t come in. But there‘s a lot of talk about when it will be safe to come back into this city. But at least for a couple of neighborhoods, they‘re getting a firsthand look. For some, they‘re thrilled. For others, it‘s just devastation—Rita.
COSBY: Donna, thank you very much.
Well, the big question is, Is it to soon and too dangerous for New Orleans residents to be coming home? I want to show you some of the regulations that are put on folks who are going back. As Donna said, it is open for business in some parts of Algiers, but there are still some restrictions on you. First, enter at your own risk. There‘s a curfew in place. No children or senior citizens. Limited emergency services. Apparently, limited access, particularly to hospitals. Also, bring supply of bottled water. That is critical. And also a limited amount of gas supply.
And joining us is now New Orleans councilmember Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, who is joining us to talk about everything. Councilwoman, is it too early bring folks back? Is the mayor and other people jumping the gun again?
JACQUELYN BRECHTEL CLARKSON, NEW ORLEANS COUNCIL MEMBER: No, not at all, depending on the areas you‘re referring to, Rita. In Algiers, which is the west bank community of Orleans parish, we were not flooded at all. We had a lot of wind damage, but we are with all full utilities. We have cleared streets. We have garbage pick-up. And we have medical services. We have gas stations. We have grocery stores. We have small businesses.
We had at least 20,000 people there by the time of the first entry. It was suspended for Rita. And now I‘d say with—and we have all of the staging of the emergency workers from there. I would say that Algiers is close—is at least at 30,000 right now and working on 40,000. And will it be at full capacity of 60,000 people by November 1, when our schools open? We are a full-running city in Algiers, and the perfect place to begin the rebuilding of the entire city of New Orleans.
COSBY: Yes, and I saw...
CLARKSON: So it‘s not too early—yes?
COSBY: It was not badly hit. But what about St. Bernard parish, where they‘re letting some people come back in?
CLARKSON: Well, St. Bernard parish...
CLARKSON: St. Bernard parish not Orleans parish. I‘m a councilwoman for the city of New Orleans, and I‘d like to hold my comments there because I‘m not—I‘m not authorized to speak on their behalf. It was destroyed. I had family there, and it‘s heart-breaking, but I don‘t have any—I don‘t have any words to say about St. Bernard because I‘m not authorized to.
As far as Orleans parish, we have a repopulation plan that will begin first with Algiers, which is the perfect staging point to rebuild the city. It will next go to our downtown business district and French Quarter, which is the heart of our commerce, and have our (INAUDIBLE) already active and our ports will have opened and our airport is opened, and so business will return. And then we will progressively go downtown and uptown, as we call it, into neighborhoods that were mostly dry. And by the time we get to the more devastated areas, which will be our eastern part, we will have the rest of the city ready help them rebuild, and we will handle whatever we have to handle.
It‘s being done in a very orderly, progressive manner, and on that basis, we will be ready for it and we will be able to handle it.
COSBY: Oh, that‘s great news. I don‘t know if you‘ve seen these comments that just came into us a few minutes ago. This is from the former FEMA director, Mike Brown, testified, made some comments today in a sort of closed session. They were released. He‘s taking a lot of barbs at your government, saying Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco was, quote, “indecisive.” And he also says that she and New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin sparred a lot during the crisis. They couldn‘t work together. And he blames a lot of the problems on that. What do you make of that, Councilwoman?
CLARKSON: I totally disagree. I was with the mayor when he made the appeal for help, federal help, and it was done very early on. And all I know is that 3,000 city workers of police, fire, emergency, medical and our public health, our office of emergency preparedness and our sewerage and water board, those city workers, losing homes, some not knowing where their families were, stayed on the job full-time and saved at least 10,000 citizens. And that will be documented.
So all I am here to say is praise the city workers and our city leadership. And 56 hours later, we had help. Who‘s to blame is not my job, but it should be investigated so that it never happens again in America.
COSBY: You bet. Well, Councilwoman, thank you very much. I appreciate you being with us, and I‘m glad you have some good news...
CLARKSON: Thank you.
COSBY: ... in your community. Thank you so much.
CLARKSON: Lots of good news. Come home, Algiers, and rebuild New Orleans.
COSBY: That‘s a great message. Thanks so much.
And coming up, everybody, tomorrow, the man in charge of the Katrina relief effort, Vice Admiral Thad Allen. We‘ll, of course, ask him what the FEMA director—what he makes of those comments from Mike Brown. He‘s going to be with us for an exclusive interview. You got to make sure that you watch tomorrow night right here on LIVE AND DIRECT.
And now we‘re going to move onto Aruba, new twist in the Natalee Holloway case tonight. The lead suspect, Joran Van Der Sloot, goes on television and admits and he and two other suspects agreed to lie about the night that the Alabama teenager disappeared. And that‘s only the beginning of what he has to say.
Dave Holloway, Natalee‘s father, joins me now live. First of all, what do you make of all of his comments, Dave, and the fact that he‘s speaking out and pointing the fingers at everybody else but himself?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE‘S FATHER: Well, it was 17 pages of rhetoric that we‘ve seen all along, you know, a lot of lies, a lot of information. You know, when you got down to, you know, what happened, he‘d immediately shut up and say that the investigation is continuing and wouldn‘t say anything. So, you know, just the same old stuff.
COSBY: You know, some of his comments are quite baffling. I want to show one of these quotes. It says, “There‘s nothing else to ask. Every question I have answered. There‘s not one evidence in this case that shows something bad happened.”
So you know, if you look at that, where‘s your daughter, Dave?
HOLLOWAY: That‘s what I say, where is she? And you know, when you come down to the real questions of the investigation, he says no. And he says, you know, the investigation‘s continuing and he cannot say anything through the advice of his attorney, and so on and so forth. So you know, I don‘t know what this is, a publicity game on his part or what. But—and it may be in retaliation to the Dr. Phil show, where Deepak admitted they all three were involved. So he‘s maybe trying to say that they weren‘t now.
COSBY: Yes, it‘s like make up, decide which story you‘re going to stick with.
COSBY: He also—this I found particularly insulting, and I‘m sure it bothered you a lot, Dave. When he was asked about her daughter, he says, “When her parents showed up at my door with her picture, I didn‘t even know who Natalee Holloway is. I didn‘t even know her name.” Do you believe that?
HOLLOWAY: Not for a minute. He was around that group of people for about two or three days, and he knew her name. I would be surprised if that statement was true, again.
COSBY: Yes, and in fact, I know some of her friends said that they were hanging around. They were talking quite a bit. This was a guy who was familiar to the friends. To make it sound like he didn‘t even know her name, that‘s—that‘s just got to cut like a knife, Dave.
HOLLOWAY: Well, that‘s typical of someone trying to belittle their victim. You know, I‘ve seen it all along in some of these crime things. You try to minimize the reputation. You try to belittle their character and all this kind of stuff to make yourself feel better about what you may have done.
COSBY: Do you believe the story that he now says—and again, this is version number, what, 28 or 29 -- essentially saying he left her on the beach, that she wanted to be left on the beach. Is your daughter someone who would say, Hey, I know I‘m drunk, please leave me on the beach, leave me in a strange country?
HOLLOWAY: I would even question whether or not they were even at the beach, to be honest with you.
COSBY: What do you make of the fact that he‘s now living his life in the Netherlands at school, and you don‘t even know where your precious daughter is?
HOLLOWAY: Well, that‘s one of the reasons I went back to Aruba last weekend, is to get some answers and make sure that the police investigation was continuing, that the prosecutor was still involved in the case and to make sure everybody was on the same page. You know, it‘s a situation where maybe the prosecutor knew some information the police didn‘t, and vice versa. And that was the purpose of my trip. Hopefully, it was productive. And hopefully, we‘ll get to the bottom of this case at some point in time.
COSBY: Do you get the sense that they‘re any closer, real quick, Dave?
HOLLOWAY: Not really. I think the only way we‘re going to solve this case is to find Natalee.
COSBY: All right. Well, we pray that you get some answers, Dave.
Thank you so much.
And let‘s get Antonio Carlo in here. He is Joran Van Der Sloot‘s attorney. He‘s on the phone tonight with me live from Aruba.
You know, I don‘t know what to say to you, Antonio. I mean, he admits that he and all the boys lied, that they came up with this lie. How can we trust anything your client has to say now?
ANTONIO CARLO, JORAN VAN DER SLOOT‘S ATTORNEY: Again, I mean, I did not hear the interview. You know, what I can say is that he did not seek to be interviewed by the press. He was ambushed right on campus at his school in Holland. And you know, he was—they asked him questions and he answered. But I really don‘t know what the questions were and what the answers were. So I‘m not able to comment on that right now.
COSBY: Well, Antonio, let me show you. This is a direct comment from your client. He says, “I thought about going to police and telling them the truth, but I really couldn‘t because I lied to everyone. I lied to my parents. I lied to my friends.” So he admits—and these are his words, he‘s seen on camera saying it, Antonio—I don‘t mean to put out spot, but these are clearly his words. If indeed, he said this, and I‘m sure he did, it‘s on camera. There‘s no dispute. He‘s admitting he lied.
CARLO: No, again, I‘m not going to—I‘m—you know, I haven‘t had the chance to—to—read or see his interview. I have spoken or—I have been in contact with his father, and he told me that he was ambushed on his campus and he answered some questions. But I‘m not really able to comment on them. The only comment I would like to make is that, you know, there‘s this information going around that he changed his story, like, 22 times. You know, that‘s—that I can for a fact refute that, and that is not true.
COSBY: Well, I can tell that you my team actually watched the interview. He seems very comfortable, doesn‘t seem like he‘s pushing any position, answered a lot of questions. This wasn‘t, like, a quick, you know, spout out an answer, Antonio. It sounds like he was very comfortable. I don‘t know if he‘s lying to you now, too.
CARLO: No, no, no, no. Not at all. Not at all. Again, you know, this information about that he saw Natalee and that he was with her at the beach is already—you know, it‘s nothing secret. You know, it has been reported prior to this, so I really don‘t know what‘s new about that information.
COSBY: The only thing is he claims that he didn‘t even know who she was when the parents came to the door. Real quick, is that true?
CARLO: I can‘t comment on that. I don‘t know.
COSBY: All right, Antonio. Thank you very much. I would like to have you back on after you see the interview. It runs on “A Current Affair,” and I do hope that you can come back with us, Antonio, after you see it because, apparently, he is not being coerced and seemed to be speaking freely. Thank you very much.
And still ahead: Did police know a little girl was in danger after she blew the whistle on an alleged child molester? Could they have stopped her murder?
And the Catholic schoolteacher fired for sleeping with one of her teenage students is now losing more than just her job, but is that punishment enough? That‘s ahead on LIVE AND DIRECT.
COSBY: And there are some shocking developments tonight in the Natalee Holloway mystery as the prime suspect finally breaks his silence. Joran Van Der Sloot admits to lying in the investigation. But does that mean anything will change now that he‘s in college back in the Netherlands?
Joining me live and direct now, Defense Attorney Jayne Weintraub and also sex crimes prosecutor Stacey Honowitz. Stacey, what do you make of Joran Van Der Sloot?
STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: Boy, I‘m not surprised at all, Rita. This has what has been going on. He‘s been lying the whole time. And that‘s why he was being held so long, because the stories were so inconsistent. This guy doesn‘t know when to tell the truth. So, the idea of him coming forward now and saying he lied during the investigation, it‘s not a shocker. It‘s just a shocker that we‘re all getting to finally hear it.
Whether it‘s going to change things is another story. Because as you know in the prosecution, having the statement is just not enough. So, we have to see what is going to go on here.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: IT doesn‘t mean he‘s a murderer just because he lied to the police, let‘s be honest.
COSBY: But it means he‘s a liar, right?
WEINTRAUB: It doesn‘t mean he‘s a liar. It means he lied to the police about a particular incident. That still is a far cry from having a murder investigation going to a grand jury.
COSBY: But Jayne, it makes him a liar. It makes him an admitted liar.
WEINTRAUB: It makes him a liar as far as having sex with a girl on
the beach to the people and his mother. He was embarrassed. Obviously,
we‘ve all heard this story before, Rita
HONOWITZ: It‘s not an embarrassment. He didn‘t want to tell anybody the truth about what happened. And this guy is being ambushed by the press. He‘s so cocky now that he‘s out of jail and no charges have been filed, he probably doesn‘t care what he tells them. Now, it‘s OK for him to come forward and say I lied.
COSBY: I have got to clarify one thing, Stacey. Because, you know, his attorney made it him like he was ambushed. I haven‘t seen it, but my team has actually seen the interview that he did with “A Current Affair.” Apparently, he‘s very comfortable. He‘s talking. Very at ease. It seems like whenever he speaks, the family comes out and says, oh, he‘s ambushed. And it certainly doesn‘t look like that at all. Is that just sort of like another deflector, Stacey?
HONOWITZ: Oh, absolutely. I mean, what are they going to bay is this kid? Like I said before, he‘s out of custody. No charges have been filed. This guy could be as cocky as he wants to be. So, being comfortable in the interview is very easy for him now.
He‘s young and arrogant. That‘s 100 percent right. So this is just a way for the family to say he‘s been ambushed, he didn‘t know what he was doing. It is a deflection, exactly.
COSBY: Let me show you a quote. I want to have Jayne respond to this. This is—he says, “I‘ve never touched a girl in an aggressive way in any way in my life, never. And there‘s no one that could come forward and say otherwise.”
Jayne, how many times have we talked on the show about those other women who came forward who said and he others touched him inappropriately?
WEINTRAUB: I think that aggressiveness...
COSBY: Is he looking in a different world view than we are?
WEINTRAUB: Well, I think aggressive is the key word. In his statement today to the press was that it was very consensual. And, let‘s be honest, Rita. All we really know—and in death or disappearance, especially a college girl is terribly tragic. But all we know as far as a murder is concerned is the proof is the same. There‘s still no body. There‘s no forensics. All we know is two kids drinking, dancing all night and being together.
COSBY: Let me go back to the quote. Wait. Wait, wait a minute. Let me go back to the quote I just showed. It says, “I‘ve never touched a girl in an inappropriate way. And there‘s no one who could come forward and say otherwise.” Jayne, there were young girls—there‘s a 14-year-old girl who said, he touched me inappropriately. She alleged rape. I mean, the statement on its face is incorrect. The girl was accusing him of that.
WEINTRAUB: And what was the motive for the 14-year-old girl coming forward? And what is she getting out of it?
HONOWITZ: Oh come on, Jayne!
WEINTRAUB: We don‘t know yet.
HONOWITZ: Let me tell you something.
WEINTRAUB: Oh you never heard of a 14-year-old—Michael Jackson making things up?
HONOWITZ: Let me tell you in a situation like this, Jayne, and trying all these cases. These guys—it‘s the first thing these guys say, I‘ve never touched anyone. I‘ve never been in a position to be aggressive with anybody. And then all of a sudden four women come out of the wood work. You try to figure out what the motivation would be...
What would be the motivation for these girls to have to go forward and have to show themselves on television, talk about sexual intimate relationship with this guy. That‘s what you have to think about.
COSBY: Jayne, go ahead. 10 seconds.
WEINTRAUB: I think that kids, 14-year-olds are still motivated by money.
HONOWITZ: Oh please!
WEINTRAUB: Or their parents telling them what to say. The fame, all of it goes into one bag. Ask Michael Jackson‘s accuser.
HONOWITZ: There‘s no fame in coming forward and having on to talk about sex. There‘s no fame involved in that. That‘s embarrassment.
COSBY: Well, I‘m going to have to go forward, ladies. I know I‘m going to have you on, both of you, later in the show. Stick with us, if you could.
And now to another case of another mission girl. Taylor Behl who disappeared three weeks ago today. A man who claims to have had a relationship with a Virginia student has now been arrested on child porn charges. Police say that it is not related to Taylor‘s disappearance, but it won‘t help clear him either.
Joining me now is Taylor Behl‘s mother, Janice Pelasara and also Jim Nolan from the “Richmond Times Dispatch” newspaper who has been following this case closely.
Jim, I want to start with you because this guy, this photographer, Ben Fawley, was in court today. What did we learn about him and the charges against him?
JIM NOLAN, RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH: Well, there are a lot of things we learned today, Rita. Specifically the charges involved, what prosecutors are saying are actual movies involving children between the ages of one and two-years-old and children to ten to 14-years-old with adults. That‘s the child pornography aspect of it.
Prosecutors also said that they have knowledge that Taylor Behl had intimate relations with Mr. Fawley multiple times that could eventually lead to further charges down the line for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
So, we learned that about Mr. Fawley. We also learned that he has a prior record of domestic assaults, at least three in Richmond dating back to 2003. And there appears to also be a record dating back to 1986 to 1990 in which he was arrested for theft and stolen property and aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.
COSBY: Janet, let me bring you in, because this has got to be concerning to you. Your daughter apparently now we‘re hearing had some sort of relationship with this guy. And then given from everything Jim was just saying, I mean assault, you‘ve got a burglary, you‘ve got all of these issues in his background. That has got to be disheartening to you to hear she was involved somehow with this man?
JANET PELASARA, TAYLOR BEHL‘S MOTHER: It is very disheartening. I was assured by her girlfriends that she confided in that she only had a romantic relationship with this guy once and that was in April. And that he liked her much more than she liked him. And that she wasn‘t interested after the—in a romantic way after that one time.
COSBY: Janet, does that concern you now after what I just said. And that‘s what I‘ve heard too, is that he seemed much more attracted to her? Here‘s this guy with this very questionable background, now child porn charges, liked your daughter and now she‘s missing. Are you hoping—you know, unfortunately, maybe this could put the puzzle together?
PELASARA: I‘m hoping—I‘m glad he‘s behind bars. I feel for those poor, poor little kids—babies that were abused and exploited by him. Also for my daughter. She‘s 17. But she‘s still a child. And that‘s still a—that‘s still against the law in Virginia.
And—but now that he is behind bars, maybe if he does know something, maybe he will say where she is or what he does know and that could help us find Taylor, because I know she‘s out there somewhere. Someone—I‘m sure someone has her. And they just need to let her go.
Let her walk out and, Taylor, run. Run.
COSBY: Absolutely. Absolutely. And Jim Nolan, are you getting any sense from the folks you‘re talking to that could bring some comfort to Janet and the rest of the family that maybe this guy holds the key?
NOLAN: Well, they certainly consider him a person of interest. He‘s one of the last people to see her before she has known to have disappeared. He also with was known to have reported a very strange abduction and robbery of himself just hours after he had allegedly seen Taylor, which has gotten police a little bit curious about that, because some of his story doesn‘t add up. So, they‘re looking at that closely.
They‘re also looking at a few skateboarders with whom Taylor may have had some contact with in the day or two before her disappearance.
COSBY: Well, keep us posted, both of you. I hope some clues come together soon very much.
And still ahead, was the 13-year-old girl killed because she told police her best friend was being molested? She was getting death threats, but was she protected. That is ahead on LIVE & DIRECT.
COSBY: Now to a shocking case of a 13-year-old Ohio girl who may have been murdered for blowing the whistle on a child molester. Melvin Keeling is the prime suspect in the murder of Kateland Calwell (ph) -- Caudill, rather. He‘s been on the run now for exactly one week. Police believe that he killed a girl after a confrontation with her, where he learned that she told police that he was sexually abusing her young friend.
Joining me now is Stanley Borgia. He‘s the special agent in charge of the Cincinnati division. Agent Borgia, this is so tragic. Where do we think that Kateland actually approached Mr. Keeling? Where do we think that exchange happened? And how did she tell him?
STANLEY BORGIA, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, Rita, I‘m not quite sure about that. Of course, the Warren County sheriff in Ohio was conducting that investigation. And the FBI became involved in the fugitive investigation only after her murder.
COSBY: And now apparently obviously—she apparently confronts him. They believe that he killed her. Where has he been? Have you had any sightings of him since he‘s been on the lam?
BORGIA: Not since he‘s been on the lam, no. We‘ve had a number of leads. We have over 200 leads we‘ve covered in Ohio, Indiana and southern Illinois, the Chicago area. And we‘ve got a number of federal, state and local law enforcement officers working on this case around the clock.
COSBY: You talked about Chicago. I was reading somewhere that there was a strong, you know, possibility he‘s there. Why?
BORGIA: Well, certainly there‘s a possibility. His vehicle was last
or was located by Indiana state police in Gary, Indiana, which is in northern Indiana. He‘s had contact with individuals who we‘ve come to know about in the Chicago area.
COSBY: Oh, OK. So there‘s some history there. What else do we know about this man? How dangerous is he?
BORGIA: Well, let me just tell you a little bit about his history.
He‘s an individual who is highly experienced in the martial arts. Obviously, he‘s suspected of a heinous crime against a child. He‘s been involved in the martial arts. He‘s been involved in many combat situations, competitive combat situations.
Also, he‘s been charged on his way to Gary. He‘s alleged to have killed two shop operators in Jasper County, Indiana, which was captured on videotape and he‘s been now charged with that. So I‘d have to say that anyone in the public who might see him, this individual is highly dangerous and shouldn‘t be approached. They should contact the FBI and/or their law enforcement people whom they know and trust.
COSBY: Absolutely. Please keep us posted if there‘s anymore details or anything else we can put out, Agent. Thank you very much. We appreciate you being here.
And still ahead, everybody, a teacher at a Catholic school is going to be paying her penance for being naughty with her students. Details of her punishment is coming up next.
And what this dog swallowed is unbelievable, and even harder to believe is that doctors could remove it and the dog survived. Details ahead on LIVE & DIRECT.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD KINSELLA, ATTORNEY: (INAUDIBLE) articles or conditions appropriation that require that she get whatever treatment was determined would be necessary for her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And that was the attorney for Beth Geisel. She‘s the New York school teacher charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student. She pled guilty today, and get this, she is only going to spend six months in jail.
Joining us again are Jayne Weintraub and also Stacey Honowitz.
Stacey, six months, she could have gotten 16 years. Is that a slap on the wrist?
HONOWITZ: Well, of course it is, it‘s a slap on the wrist. You wouldn‘t see a man getting just six months in a case like this. Once again, Rita, it‘s a case of a double standard. Although we don‘t know in this case if maybe the plea was the way it was because the victim didn‘t want to testify. And quite often, in cases like this, you are not going to get the boy to testify. And that‘s why the offer was probably pretty low.
COSBY: Yeah, I‘m not sure of the deal, Jayne. Is this a double standard, if it was a guy facing 16 years, would have only gotten six months?
WEINTRAUB: Well, I think there probably is a double standard, Rita, but I think that‘s a reflection also of our society and not necessarily any reflection of her. I will also say...
COSBY: What would a guy have gotten, Jayne? What do you think a guy would have gotten?
COSBY: Jayne, (INAUDIBLE)?
WEINTRAUB: Well, if it was a 16-year-old, again, just a few months away from legally consenting in New York, I think that that was a large part of this plea deal. This isn‘t as if it were a grown woman teacher and a 14-year-old child. This was a child, quote, that was only a couple of months away from legally consenting to the sex that took place, so I think that was a part of the deal.
COSBY: Stacey, what about the fact that she has to register now as a sex offender, even though she only gets minimum time behind bars, you know, she is still going to have that stigma the rest of her life?
HONOWITZ: Absolutely, which she should have. And that‘s what we‘re trying to do now across the nation. Certainly if you plea to a sex case or you are convicted of a sex case, no matter how much time you do, even if only get probation, you will always carry that designation as a sex offender. She will have to register. Anytime she moves, she is going to have to change her address. She is going to have to change her driver‘s license, so that the world, the neighborhood, everybody is on notice that she committed a sex crime. So sometimes the designation is worse than actually being behind bars, but it is going to always follow her.
COSBY: Jayne, I want to have you react to this comment, I think this is interesting. This is from her attorney, this is the teacher‘s attorney. And it says, you know, she acknowledges what she did was inappropriate. But quote: “She‘s as much a victim as any of the young men who took advantage of her and bragged about it.” Is that right to put it in perspective, doesn‘t sound like a woman who has any contrition?
WEINTRAUB: Well, it doesn‘t sound like a woman who has any contrition, and I don‘t think I would make those kind of comments if I were her lawyer either, but the truth of the matter is, I think that I remember reading she was in the middle of a very acrimonious divorce, she was drinking, she has four children. This stigma alone of being branded with this sex offender registry is going to be with her for the rest of her life, and it‘s a cross that she will have to bear.
It‘s awful. Personally, Rita, I have said it before, I think that when it comes to these registries for sex offenders, they need to be reviewed every so often. This woman is not somebody...
HONOWITZ: Oh, Jayne, if someone was in your neighborhood...
WEINTRAUB: ... who is (INAUDIBLE) preying on 14-year-old kids.
HONOWITZ: That‘s wrong. Let me tell you something, you would want to know if a sex offender was coming into your neighborhood. Man, woman, whatever it is, so to say that these registries are no good is ridiculous. These people have to be watched, they have to be monitored. I don‘t care what kind of sex it was, and I don‘t care what gender it was.
WEINTRAUB: And they should....
COSBY: That‘s going to have to be the last word, both of you. Thank you so much. We‘ll see you both very soon.
Well, John Gotti, Jr. is a free man tonight. The son of the late Gambino crime boss has been released on $7 million bond. The decision comes less than one week after a judge declared a mistrial in the bulk of his racketeering case. He was accused in an alleged plot to kidnap radio host and founder of the Guardian Angels crime fighting group, Curtis Sliwa, all in retaliation for his on-air rants against the senior Gotti. Prosecutors have not said if they will pursue a second trial.
And still ahead, an amazing story. When you see what this dog swallowed—look at how cute she is—you will be astounded that she is still alive. The unbelievable details are coming up.
COSBY: And this is an unbelievable story. A six-month-old Saint Bernard puppy is back at home and resting after undergoing a two-hour operation for, get this, removing a 13-inch knife from her stomach.
Joining us now is the vet extraordinaire, Dr. Jon-Paul Carew.
Dr. Carew, first of all, how did the owner understand or know that there was some problem with the puppy?
DR. JON-PAUL CAREW, VETERINARIAN: Well, she didn‘t really know for sure. The dog had passed a little piece of cloth earlier in the day, and it just didn‘t seem right. And she started getting really concerned about 8:00 or 9:00, when the dog just didn‘t want to walk, and seemed really, really, really sore anywhere you touched her.
COSBY: Now, what did you think? You actually performed the operation. And...
COSBY: ... what did you think when you saw the X-ray, if we can show that? This is just incredible. Look at this knife.
CAREW: We have a few pranksters at our hospital, and I really thought that someone had laid down a knife and had the dog on top of it just as a joke, to kind of mess with me, you know, first thing, early, early, early that morning. And when I saw it, I was just—I was very surprised, and like you, I couldn‘t imagine how a dog could put such a big knife down its throat, down its esophagus.
COSBY: How did that happen? What did you hear from the owner in terms of how the knife even got into Elsie?
CAREW: Supposedly she made a turkey on Sunday, carved the turkey with that knife, put it on a counter, and so that‘s the last time she saw it. So probably it was down there from Sunday night until about Tuesday night when I saw the dog. About two days.
COSBY: Wow, that‘s several days. How was the dog...
CAREW: Yeah, yeah.
COSBY: Are you stunned that the dog was even able to swallow?
CAREW: Yes. Thank goodness the dog did it handle first, or there‘s no way that dog could have passed that all the way down to the stomach. So it‘s a miracle it didn‘t do any damage.
COSBY: It is. Is this the craziest thing you have ever seen? Let me show the X-ray again, because I think this is incredible. Is this the craziest thing you have ever seen in an animal?
CAREW: Without a doubt. Without a doubt. Veterinarians do these surgeries all the time, but I don‘t know of any that have been such a large knife and the dog surviving.
COSBY: Now, how long did it take—you actually had to cut it out of the stomach, right?
CAREW: Yes, we had to go into thee stomach, because if we tried to bring it up through the dog‘s mouth, it probably would have done some pretty bad damage and the dog probably wouldn‘t have survived.
So we went in through the stomach, made a small incision, and removed it very slowly, and stitched the dog up, and she is doing great. She is actually probably getting into trouble as we speak right now.
COSBY: Now, I understand the owners say she is going to frame the knife and give it to you. Where are you going to put it?
CAREW: We‘ll see. I bet you she sells it on eBay. I don‘t know. I don‘t know. Probably going to—if she does bring it over, we‘re probably going to put it in the waiting room as kind of a reminder to keep an eye on your puppies.
COSBY: It‘s a good reminder. Well, congratulations on an operation well done. I‘m sure Elsie...
COSBY: ... and her owner are very happy.
Thank you so much.
And that does it for us here on LIVE & DIRECT tonight. Joe Scarborough, my pal, is now live in Pensacola.
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