updated 10/6/2005 12:47:37 PM ET 2005-10-06T16:47:37

Guests: Joe Wasilewski, James Walker, Mary Fulginiti, Beth Holloway Twitty>

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight‘s top headline:  Natalee Holloway violated by Kalpoe brothers and a Dutch boy, and they are blaming her of what sounds like gang rape to me.  Deepak tells a polygraph expert that he, his brother, and Joran had sex with Natalee, but Joran is now saying he never touched her.  Beth Holloway Twitty is in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, and we will have her reaction to these explosive new developments. 

Then, three months to the day since honeymooner George Smith IV disappeared.  A SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY investigation takes you onto the cruise ship where he vanished. 

Plus, my return to sweet home Alabama. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, no passport required, only common sense allowed.  

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks so much for being with us tonight.  I hope you and your family are doing well. 

We are going to be talking live with Beth Holloway Twitty in just a minute.  Plus, more of Donald Sutherland‘s stunning interview, as the “Commander in Chief” star slanders the real commander in chief.  The question is, will ABC pay for it?  And, later on, the conservatives‘ take on the president‘s Supreme Court selection.  They are bashing Harriet Miers, and I am going to tell you what‘s really going on. 

But, first, it‘s been 128 days since Natalee Holloway vanished from her high school trip on the island of Aruba.  Tonight, Deepak Kalpoe, one of the men once held as a suspect in the case, reveals in shocking language horrible details about what he said happened the night that Natalee should have been enjoying her first semester as a freshman at the university of Alabama.

But, instead, it is the prime suspect, Joran van der Sloot, who is free and who is going to college right now in the Netherlands. 

Natalee‘s mom, Beth Holloway Twitty, joins us live from Birmingham. 

Thank you so much for being with us tonight, Beth.  I know it‘s extraordinarily painful right now for you, but I have got to—I have got to sense there has to be anger there, as you see Joran enjoying his first semester of college, while this is a time that Natalee should be in Tuscaloosa, enjoying her college days.  How do you process this? 

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY:  You know, Joe, it‘s something that we have had to—we have been dealing with early on, since way before, you know, July 4, even when the suspects were released for the first time. 

And, you know, we have known things that—we have known that these suspects had, you know, been involved in this violent crime against Natalee.  But, you know, we tried to remain so professional and allow—and dignified, and allow this Dutch system to work.  But it has failed Natalee greatly, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It certainly has. 

You know, the shocking admission that we are about to play on this tape that has got to be painful for you to listen to, I am sure is not even a surprise to you, is Deepak Kalpoe talking to a polygram examiner, Jamie Skeeters, says he and the other two thugs had sex with your daughter. 

Let‘s take a look at this remarkable clip from the Dr. Phil show.  And then I want to get your reaction. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) 

JAMIE SKEETERS, POLYGRAPHER:  If you did it, don‘t take a poly from me or anyone else, because you won‘t pass it.  If you did not do it, you‘re foolish.  And the question I will ask you is if you intentionally killed her.

DEEPAK KALPOE, SUSPECT:  rMDNM_No.

SKEETERS:  If it was an accident, I can help all of you.  And if you guys were partying, even if somebody had given her a date drug.      I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.

KALPOE:  She did.  You‘d be surprised how simple it was.

SKEETERS:  Let me ask you this, that, for $25, you can pay a bartender to slip your date a date rape drug in her drink.  Does that happen?

KALPOE:  I never drugged someone.

SKEETERS:  I‘m not saying you.  But, I mean, have you heard of that happening?

KALPOE:  I haven‘t heard the bartender story.  I know there is a drug called ecstasy.  I heard they slip that into drinks.

To tell you quite frankly, dressed like a slut, talked like one.  Would go in a car with three strange guys and her mother claiming her to be the Goody Two-shoes.  Enough of the B.S. already.

The person that saw something in the morning hours.

SKEETERS:  That‘s the gardener.  The gardener is the one that definitely saw you guys at 3:00 when statements were made.  This guy remembers exactly what time it was because he couldn‘t sleep that night.  He identified every one of you in the lineup except for one of you.  I don‘t know which one, you or your brother.

KALPOE:  My brother.

SKEETERS:  But he didn‘t.  He says because the brother was lying in the backseat and that‘s going to kill you. 

Sometimes, your closest friends, if they‘re worried, and this thing is that big, they‘ll burn you.

KALPOE:  I don‘t have any close friends anymore.  They‘re all gone.

SKEETERS:  Really?  Because of this?

KALPOE:  Everything is empty.  If I knew where the body is I would tell them a long time ago.  Let them start a trial and get this over with.  I don‘t care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Beth, rapists always try to blame the victim.  In this case, the victim can‘t speak for herself.  I would like you to speak for your daughter tonight.  How do you respond to these hateful, slanderous charges leveled against Natalee? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  You know, Joe, what I would like to say is, I would like to see what all the—you know, all the millions of people who have supported Natalee and her family throughout this, what—now what I want to do is with them, I want all the eyes to be on Aruba now and on the Dutch law and on the Dutch government.

And we all want to see now, what will their reaction be?  Now this new evidence has been brought forward.  We all want to see, will they re-incarcerate these suspects?  They certainly need to, Joe.  It‘s long overdue, and now we all need to have eyes focused on Aruba to watch what they are going to do now. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And, once again, they are caught in another lie.  You have got Deepak saying all three of them had sex with your daughter.  You have Joran—Joran is now saying that he—they didn‘t even touch her.  In fact, Joran was asked about his encounter with Natalee that night, and this is what he had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, SUSPECT:  It was Natalee who asked me to go out with her.  It was her that asked me to come to the club.  It was her that was yelling at me to go dance with her.  Yes, I kissed with her, but neither me, Deepak, or Satish ever had sex with her, and no one ever said otherwise. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  Beth, I have talked to friends of Natalee who was there that night.  That‘s—that‘s just a flat-out lie.  They are lying again.  Have you talked to the prosecutors to try to get them to get these three incarcerated again after this new evidence? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Oh, have we.

And, you know, we must not be being very effective, Joe.  And I certainly hope that—you know, I had a meeting this morning with some official people in Alabama, and we are really trying to get a plan together and to see where the pressure needs to be applied on the Dutch government in getting them to respond and to solve this crime.  They need to bring charges forward against these three suspects. 

They have them on kidnapping and rape, clearly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, but none of them have been held accountable.  Are you ready?  Because we talked about this before several months ago, but you were trying to work with the Aruban government and with the Dutch government.  I talked about the possibility, and I know Alabama legislators talked about the possibility of a boycott for tourists going to Aruba. 

Are you ready now to step up and say you will support that type of boycott until these three punks are put back in jail? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Joe, they have got a couple of things that they need to come forward with.  And you know what, Joe?  We will be prepared to go forward with whatever we need to. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, you know, what do you have to say, again,

specifically about these attacks, and especially Deepak‘s attack towards

you, where he said terrible things about your daughter, said that you were

trying to paint her as some Goody Two-shoes, and, again, like all rapists -

I am not saying he is yet.  That will have to be proved in the court of law.

But it seems all rapists are always trying to blame the victim, say, oh, she wanted it.  She dressed provocatively.  She talked provocatively.  I mean, that happens time and time and time again.  That‘s a rapist‘s first defense. 

What do you say to Deepak when he not only attacks your daughter, but also attacks you?  And I think his words were, you were full of B.S. 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Oh, Joe, there‘s nothing that Deepak could say that would tarnish Natalee‘s impeccable record.

And, you know, when I hear him say that, I think what a pathetic form of a man he is, and that, you know, he cannot accept any responsibility in this, and he is only trying to redirect all of his—all of his—all of his energy onto his victim.

And that‘s the same thing that Joran is doing during the statement that he gave to the reporter, “A Current Affair.”  I mean, everything is Natalee‘s fault.  You know, it‘s just—it‘s so typical of these men to do this. 

SCARBOROUGH:  How angry are you?  We are seeing a picture of Joran walking in the airport with his parents.  How angry are you at Joran‘s father and mother, the father especially, who, from our vantage point, certainly seemed to have something to do with the cover-up of what really happened to your daughter that night on the beach? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Well, Joe, I don‘t think that I am alone in speaking how angry we are. 

I think that there have been millions of supporters who have stayed with us, and I think that we are all just outraged at what we have witnessed and experienced coming from Aruba. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Beth, I—and this is sort of in the weeds, and you may not even be interested in this, but I think my viewers will be. 

A lot of media critics have attacked people like myself and other cable news shows for talking about your daughter so much.  Obviously, there‘s been devastation and so many people hurt over the past month or so along the Gulf Coast.  But it was interesting.  When I went up to University of Alabama this past weekend, I had people, I mean, from all across the state of Alabama, grab me by the arm and tell me, even after the game, were telling me, we have got to find out what happened to Natalee. 

It seems like Natalee really has been adopted, not only by the people of Alabama, but also—and this is something that media elites don‘t understand—but also by all Americans.  What can Americans do tonight?  What can they do to help you, to help your family, to help Natalee, even if it‘s the memory of Natalee, to bring these people to justice?  What do you want us to do? 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  You know, Joe, just what they have been doing, and we will be forever grateful for them supporting us in their thoughts and prayers.  I mean, the millions of supporters are the only thing that has been getting us through this.

And we just—we just need them to continue to keep us there and to keep Natalee there.  And just—we just feel like, Joe, that something will come forward.  And, you know, we just—we are—we don‘t—we are not giving up.  And, like I said, Joe, we will be forever grateful for the millions of supporters who have stayed with us.  It‘s just been incredible. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It really has been. 

Beth Holloway Twitty, thanks for being with us, and our thoughts and prayers are going to stay with you.  I know it‘s going to get even tougher in the coming months, but God bless you, and let‘s hope that justice is finally done down in Aruba. 

HOLLOWAY TWITTY:  Thank you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Good night. 

Now, three months ago tonight, George Smith IV disappeared from his honeymoon.  And we are still looking for answers.  We have gone all over the world for an exclusive investigative shot of what happened.  We have got new details, pictures, and questions that could change the way you think about what happened on that cruise. 

And, later, a chilling phenomenon in my home state of Florida, an invasion of deadly pythons that are upsetting nature‘s food chain.  Wait until you see this one. 

It‘s a huge night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We are just getting started.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Mississippi is burning, because the land America forgot is still getting the short end of the stick from FEMA.  We will explain how overcharging is punishing Mississippi schools and their children when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, the people of Mississippi still have a reason to be angry tonight.  They have been forgotten by the national media.  They have been forgotten by too many people in government.  They have been forgotten by the very people who should have been helping them out from the beginning. 

The rebuilding process is continuing tonight, though, all along the Gulf Coast, but questions remain, in Mississippi especially, about those no-bid contracts that FEMA handed out after the storm.  And it‘s Mississippi schoolchildren who are getting hurt because of it. 

NBC senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers has a look at a possible waste of your taxpayer dollars. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA MYERS, NBC CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  In Pass Christian, Mississippi, where most schools were destroyed, today, 56 mobile classrooms are being readied for students to arrive next week.  But critics complain, the federal government paid way too much, $88,000 per trailer.  That‘s $30,000 more than a Mississippi company says it would have charged for the very same job. 

KENT ADAMS, ADAMS HOME CENTER:  It makes me mighty angry.  We are just absolutely throwing tax dollars away. 

MYERS:  Kent Adams says, for 20 years, his family‘s company in Yazoo City has supplied mobile classrooms to the state and that he already had half the trailers needed and the rest lined up for quick delivery.  But, instead, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave a $40 million no-bid contract to the subsidiary of an Alaskan company, Akima Site Operations, who had never done this kind of work before. 

ADAMS:  We really needed this, not just for us, but for our own community and for the state of Mississippi.  I think it would have produced a lot of jobs. 

MYERS:  The Corps of Engineers says Akima could deliver the classrooms faster and is also being paid to manage the project.  Still, a Mississippi congressman calls the contract exorbitant. 

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D), MISSISSIPPI:  The only excuse you can come up with is that we expedited it.  Well, you did, but you paid twice as much for it. 

MYERS:  Critics also say FEMA is paying through the roof to temporarily cover damaged roofs in the Gulf with blue tarps. 

(on camera):  The government is providing tarps like this free and paying an average of $2,500 to get them nailed to a roof.  One contractor admits that, for that price, you could shingle an entire roof. 

(voice-over):  The government and the companies justify the price, citing costs of housing and feeding workers in the storm zone.  Still, some roofers say it could be done for much less. 

SCOTT SIEGEL, MAGGIO ROOFING COMPANY:  After seeing these numbers, I would love to get that contract. 

MYERS:  Critics say, again and again, taxpayers are paying too much, driving up the already staggering cost of Katrina. 

Lisa Myers, NBC News, Washington. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, that‘s an important report from Lisa.  And I will tell you how it hits home with me. 

Just today, we had a friend that‘s been working with Christian Ministries come over to our house and delivered us a list of what a Mississippi school needed in Stone County, and I have part of that list here.  For the $30,000 per trailer, per trailer, that the government is wasting, you could get copying machines, 15 copying machines for this Stone County school—school system that we are going to be helping with the money that you gave to us, projectors, an encyclopedia set, library books, furniture, blackboards, filing cabinets, desks. 

Again, we have got a list that goes on a mile long about what these Mississippi schools need because they are not getting the help they should get from Washington, D.C.  And now, because these contractors from Alaska are getting paid $30,000 too much per trailer on a $40 million contract, well, it‘s going to be the children of Mississippi that are going to end up suffering. 

Unbelievable, your tax dollars at work, as they say. 

Well, I am going to keep a close eye on where all the money is going.  And if you have any examples of waste or outrageous spending that we should know about, send me an e-mail at Joe@MSNBC.com.  We will get to the bottom of it. 

I‘m sure you know by now, the president‘s Supreme Court pick, Harriet Miers, is making the rounds on Capitol Hill, but a lot of conservatives are angry.  Miers hasn‘t received the widespread of support that the right gave now Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts after his nomination. 

“The New York Post” came out with this scorching criticism yesterday -

quote—“Without the patronage of George W. Bush, Harriet Miers is nothing more than a fairly obscure lawyer from Texas.  Miers is an unbecoming choice for one of the most important and influential jobs on this Earth.”

And Tony Blankley in “The Washington Times” had this to say about the president‘s selection—quote—“I would not have made Ms. Miers my first choice or my thousandth.  In fact, I would associate myself with brother in Christ Patrick Buchanan‘s searing preachment at Monday‘s services.  This president, who we with our own millions of arms raised on high, has spurned our best and chosen one of his lackluster own.”

So, the big question is, is this nomination doomed from the right from the start? 

With me now to talk about it is brother in Christ and NBC analyst Patrick Buchanan. 

Patrick, the anger continues to rise on Capitol Hill.  And it‘s coming from conservatives.  I just got to ask you, is it—I don‘t know.  Is there sort of an elitism setting in from the right, because she didn‘t go to Georgetown or Harvard or because she is an SMU grad? 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Joe, there‘s no anger at Harriet Miers.  She appears to be a lovely lady. 

She has a fine record as a lawyer.  I am sure she is a loyal staffer to the president of the United States.  The anger is at the president of the United States. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Why? 

BUCHANAN:  He told us—he told us he would appoint people of the caliber and intelligence of Scalia and Rehnquist and Thomas to the Supreme Court, and now he tells us, the most outstanding choice in the United States of America was the lady down the hall from him, who has been his personal attorney...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Pat, that doesn‘t mean she is dumb.  I mean, how do you know she is not as gifted as Rehnquist? 

BUCHANAN:  She‘s not dumb.  She‘s—look, she—look, I don‘t say she is dumb.  But if she is the finest potential jurist in America, why did he have her as staff secretary?  Why wasn‘t she his counsel for the first four years?  Why wasn‘t she appointed to the federal appellate bench as soon as Bush got in, which is a stepping stone to the U.S. Supreme Court? 

I mean, why was she not on the list for chief justice?  Joe, this is -

the president of the United States has made an in-your-face decision to thumb his nose at the constituency, which asked him for one thing, the finest, most talented, most courageous, intelligent, conservative and philo

judicial conservative he could find.  He didn‘t do that.  And that is why the anger is at the president.

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, why—the $64,000 question is why.  He knew he was going to be accused of cronyism.  A lot of people have always accused this president of selecting people from a very insular group.  Is it cronyism?  If so, why did he do it? 

BUCHANAN:  I don‘t like the word, because I think she is a lovely lady, but there‘s no question about it.  This is appointing from the family. 

And why did he do it?  One reason is, Senator Reid came down and said, hey, why don‘t you appoint Harriet Miers and don‘t take someone from the monastery?  So, he seizes on that.  Secondly, the conservatives beat up on Gonzales.  He didn‘t like that, and he‘s probably reacting to that.  Third, he thinks he does—I think one reason is, he doesn‘t want a fight.  He thinks this...

SCARBOROUGH:  But, also, isn‘t that what George W. Bush does?  Doesn‘t he select from inside the family?  I mean, most of the people that work for George Bush worked for his daddy in 1988 and his dad when he was a vice president in the Reagan administration.  Nothing wrong with that, but, I mean, they hire from within. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, there‘s nothing wrong with that.

But, Joe, this is the most eminent tribunal in the world.  This decides the great cultural and moral issues of our time.  And we have a nominee now who, from 1965 to 2005, has not taken a single definitive position on any of the great issues of our time.  And that blank slate, we are told by White House aides, is the main qualification, because the Democrats in the Senate don‘t have a record. 

She has no paper trail.  That means that the people who took stands, who have been out there, Joe, fighting these battles, who have been on federal appellate courts, who have worked at Justice, who have worked at the White House, who have gone through these battles for years, they are disqualified by the fact they had courage of their convictions and wrote about it and spoke about it and ruled that way? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat—Pat, George Will says she deserves no deference.  Trent Lott says he is not pleased with the selection, conservatives like yourself across America, very angry.  But you and I both know, in the end, she is going—she is going to be chosen, isn‘t she? 

I mean, she is going to be confirmed by the Senate, isn‘t she? 

BUCHANAN:  Let me say this. 

If she can demonstrate what the president says she is—and she has got to do that, Joe, because we are not taking this—we are not taking this on trust.  You got to trust, but verify.  If she can demonstrate that, I think she is home-free.  But if she goes up there and does not demonstrate that she is of the highest quality of jurisprudence and understanding of constitutional law, I think the Democrats will have a hard time supporting her, because everybody says she ought to go in there because she is an evangelical. 

And I think a lot of Republicans will have to take hemlock.  I think Trent Lott‘s position is correct.  I am not persuaded yet.  I am open to persuasion. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Pat, thanks a lot.

I personally think she is going to get as many votes as John Roberts, but we will see. 

Coming up next, a story you are not going to want to miss.  We traveled halfway around the world for exclusive investigation into missing honeymooner George Smith IV.  Tonight, new details, new pictures, and new questions about this shocking case.  That‘s just minutes away. 

And, later, stars like Donald Sutherland going off on President Bush, are they making suits in Hollywood nervous, and shouldn‘t you punish them by not watching their shows? 

Stay with us.  We will give you my input.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  There‘s a new blood sport in South Florida, as pythons invade the Everglades.  They are taking on gators.  We will tell you about that prehistoric battle coming up.  Plus, our exclusive investigation on the cruise ship disappearance. 

But, first, here‘s the latest news you and your family need to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Welcome back. 

As you know, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY has been investigating the disappearance of George Smith IV from Royal Caribbean‘s Brilliance of the Seas.  Now, today marks three months that George has been missing, still no answers, no arrests, and too many questions about the cruise line‘s behavior. 

So, we stepped up our investigation.  We have talked to more witnesses, created a timeline. 

And we sent SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY producer Rich McHugh aboard that very ship.  He is with us tonight. 

Rich, thanks so much for being here. 

The one thing we wanted people to know about is how that cruise line handled security at 4:00 a.m., the time that George Smith IV vanished.  You were on the ship.  Talk about the security measures that they have put in place since George‘s disappearance to make sure an incident like this doesn‘t happen again.  Have they done anything? 

RICH MCHUGH, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY PRODUCER:  Well, it‘s a good question. 

I—that was one of my objectives when I went on the cruise.  And I retraced George‘s steps, basically at 3:45 and 4:00 a.m., and found that, surprisingly—I left the disco at approximately 3:45 in the morning, 4:00, and went on the decks.  And I actually couldn‘t find a security guard.  I walked the entire ship, basically, and saw a few people in hot tubs.

SCARBOROUGH:  Wait.  Wait a second.  You couldn‘t—hold on, Rich.  You are telling me, at 4:00 a.m. in the morning, at the time this guy was possibly beaten up and thrown overboard, three months later, you couldn‘t find a security board—on the ship at 4:00 a.m.? 

MCHUGH:  That‘s correct.  That‘s correct. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Unbelievable. 

What about security cameras?  We have had the big question time and again.  Did they put security cameras up?  Are they there?  Did you see any when you were around? 

MCHUGH:  That‘s interesting. 

What you are showing right now is some footage I shot of a security camera that is trained on the side of the boat.  And the reason I shot that is because, if, in fact, someone were on that awning and pulling a body over, there‘s most likely a recording of that exact spot.  And we hope that that‘s been turned over to the FBI, but we don‘t know.  You know, the cruise line wouldn‘t tell us.

But that—yes, there are plenty of security cameras on the boat.  There‘s none in the hallways.  And in some of the common areas, I couldn‘t find any.  Sol, if you were trying to figure out whether—who was in the hallway with George at 4:00 in the morning, it might be impossible.  But...

SCARBOROUGH:  Rich, we saw awnings, by the way.  Were those the awnings that George‘s body allegedly fell onto at 4:00 a.m. in the morning? 

MCHUGH:  Yes, that was.  There‘s actually—the footage you are going to show right now is footage from George‘s room.  And it‘s looking out on to—it‘s going to look out on to the balcony where he would have fallen.

And, surprisingly, you can see where they might have painted over.  And I am convinced of it, that it‘s a new spot.  And the other surprising thing to me was how short the distance was.  It‘s really...

SCARBOROUGH:  I was just going to say, from—from your video shot, it doesn‘t look like it‘s maybe a couple stories, not far at all. 

MCHUGH:  It‘s actually 21 feet.  I measured it, because I knew people were going to ask me it when I got back. 

And, you know, it‘s not something for me to decide, but 21 feet, I was on that balcony, thinking, if I had fallen over or gotten thrown over, would I actually—would I actually die?  I didn‘t think so. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Not far enough. 

MCHUGH:  No. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, you also talked to a crewman—who we had an attorney on.  His client accused a crew member of separating the honeymooners and taking the bride upstairs. 

Talk about that part of the story. 

MCHUGH:  Right. 

That was one of my objectives going on the cruise ship.  There was talk of a guy named Lloyd (ph), who is a casino manager on the ship.  And I thought, if I could talk to him, I might be able to get more informing.  Well, on day three of the cruise, I was able to speak to him.  I walked up to him and I said—I introduced myself, and I said, look, this is who I am.  And some people are pointing the finger at you in the United States.  What‘s your story? 

And I thought he was going to just not talk to me, but he actually opened up and spilled quite a lot to me.  We talked for about 20 minutes.  And he recounted his own timeline.  He said he was in the casino, and they noticed George and Jennifer...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Are we looking at him right now? 

MCHUGH:  That‘s the...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Is that the guy we are looking at?

MCHUGH:  Correct.  That‘s a side shot of him.  I wasn‘t able to get direct footage of him.  But...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.

And let me clarify again.  The California teen who was a possible person of interest has said it was Lloyd, this crew member, who left with Jennifer at 4:00 in the morning, separated Jennifer from George, and took her someplace. 

So, go ahead.  Keep talking. 

MCHUGH:  Correct. 

So, the interesting thing about this is, in our conversation, I said, what—what is your timeline?  He said, well, they were at the—they came into the casino.  They were gambling a lot.  They looked like they were drunk.  They were with these Russian kids.  And the Russian kids slammed down a bottle of absinthe on the—one of the blackjack tables, etcetera, etcetera.

And then we—we met them up in the disco later.  And I said, so, you actually didn‘t go up to the disco with them?  Which is what some people have alleged.  And he said, absolutely not.  And I said, well, OK, bring us to the—up to the disco.  What happened? 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  So, somebody is obviously lying, right, Rich? 

MCHUGH:  Absolutely. 

That‘s when I knew somebody was lying, I said, because we have one story that says they went up in the elevator together, and then his story.  He says he went up with a friend, a blackjack dealer from the casino, whom he introduced me to.  His name is Christian (ph).  And they told me their story.  And they said they went up there independently and were up there at the next table to them drinking, and they saw them drinking absinthe.

But, you know, they left independently about 20 minutes before people said they left. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  All right, Rich, thanks so much.  Great work, as always. 

MCHUGH:  Sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  And we are going to have more of your special investigation tomorrow night.

But, right now, I want to bring in my panel of experts.  We have maritime attorney Jim Walker, former federal prosecutor Mary Fulginiti, and former FBI agent Clint Van Zandt.

Clint, you have seen some footage from our investigation.  What is your take? 

CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST:  Well, Joe, what I find interesting is just what you jumped on and what I would glom onto as an FBI agent. 

I mean, there is an obvious—somebody is lying here.  We know from the interviews that you have shown on your show, that “NBC Dateline” has done, that the—that this kid from California and the Russian brothers and their cousin, I mean, they absolutely claim:  We are on the elevator.  We go up.  The guy from the casino is hitting on this young woman.  He has got his arms wrapped around her. 

Now here is somebody else saying, hey, I wasn‘t even on the same elevator.  Joe, when somebody lies about the little things, they lie about the big things.  So, there‘s someone who is not even close to the truth there.  And, hopefully, these 200-plus security cameras on board have assisted the FBI in figuring out who got on and off the elevator together or not. 

If somebody is lying there, we have got to presume they may be lying in the rest of their story. 

SCARBOROUGH:  James Walker, still no security areas in some of the hallways.  Why? 

JAMES WALKER, MARITIME ATTORNEY:  The security on these ships are—the security is far below standards, Joe. 

You know, the reference to the security cameras on the side of the ship, where is that tape?  We have had many cases where those tapes are lost.  You know, there are other issues here.  The casino manager has admitted, if you believe his story, that he saw them bringing alcohol from off the ship, this absinthe.  He saw them drinking it in the casino. 

He later went up to the disco and drank himself, and he was commingling with passengers, all of that strictly against the company rules.  And all of this happened not on an ordinary night, but on a night where a passenger disappeared.  Where is the accountability?  Why is this man even still working for this cruise line?  It‘s just remarkable. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It really is remarkable.

Mary Fulginiti, somebody is lying.  How do you find out who the liar is? 

MARY FULGINITI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR:  Well, you know, you keep interviewing people.  And that‘s exactly what I presume the investigators are continuing to do here. 

In order to figure out and unravel this story, not only are they going

to have to analyze the forensic evidence that‘s been gathered, but, with

regard to the witness statements, analyze those two.  As I have said

before, innocent people don‘t typically lie, so they are going to compare

the statements from the Hymans, from the Lawyers (ph).  Those are the

individuals that were on either side of George Smith‘s cabin that night,

They will compare those statements with Josh Askin‘s, who is the Californian who said he was back in the room a couple times with George Smith that night.  And they will compare all of those statements against the statements of the other crew members and passengers and try to figure out what happened to George Smith and who isn‘t telling the truth.  So, it‘s actually a very—a very good tool, for the investigators to take a number of different statements, because it‘s how they can discern and figure out what happened and who is really not telling the truth and then focus on why. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thank you so much, Mary, James, and, as always, Clint Van Zandt.  Would have loved to have you on longer.  We are going to bring you back tomorrow, if you can come back and talk more about this investigation.

But, right now, I am joined by Tucker Carlson.  He is, of course, the host of “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.” 

Tucker, I hear drumbeats in the background.  You going to be drumming tonight? 

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What‘s going on in there? 

CARLSON:  It‘s me thwacking the table in anticipation of our show tonight. 

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON:  We are still trying to make heads...

SCARBOROUGH:  Whoo!

(DRUMBEAT SOUND)

CARLSON:  Exactly. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly. 

CARLSON:  Heads or tales of the Harriet Miers nomination.  We are going to have Catherine Crier on, who knows her personally.  And she‘s going to explain what this all means.

We found an amazing corollary to what‘s going on now in Washington—

1981, it turns out conservatives had the same concerns about Sandra Day O‘Connor.  The Reagan administration said, don‘t worry; she is one of us.  It turned out not to be true.  We will see if that is going to hold true now.  It‘s going to be a great show. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Tucker, is she—is she smart enough to be Supreme Court justice, in your opinion? 

CARLSON:  You know, I don‘t know the answer to that.  We will find out at the hearings.  I have talked to a lot of people who know her, who say she is a very decent person, a nice person, a kind person, probably a fair person, all of which matters, I think.

But you got to wonder.  Pat Buchanan said the smartest thing I have heard all night on your show, which is, if she was the most qualified person the president could find, why didn‘t he appoint her to an appellate court over the past five years?  It‘s a great question.  And we are going to ask that question to Catherine Crier.  And I don‘t know what she‘s going to say, because I can‘t imagine what the answer might be. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Looking forward to that answer.  Thanks so much, Tucker.

CARLSON:  Thanks, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And make sure you tune into “THE SITUATION” coming up next, at 11:00.

Now, when we come back, my trip back to sweet home Alabama. 

Plus, what happens when a python tries to bite off more than it can crew?  You will see why this deadly encounter could signal a growing problem in Florida.  And then you‘ll see a battle that a gator might actually win. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘m going to show you a clip that we showed you part of last night of Donald Sutherland, the star of ABC‘s new series the “Commander in Chief,” crying like a baby to the BBC about how George Bush is ruining everybody‘s lives. 

Take a look at the clip. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “HARDTALK EXTRA”)

DONALD SUTHERLAND, ACTOR:  We have children.  How dare we take their legacy from them?  How dare we?  It‘s shameful. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  What do you think?  Send me an e-mail.  I mean, it‘s hard to keep a straight face after seeing that.  What is shameful?  What is so shameful about George Bush?  I didn‘t see Donald Sutherland crying when Bill Clinton was selling secrets to China. 

I didn‘t see him cry when there was scandal after scandal that had nothing to do with Monica Lewinsky, when Bill Clinton was selling access to people from foreign countries to the White House.  I didn‘t see Donald Sutherland crying when scandal after scandal piled up throughout the 1990s.  I want to know what is so horrible about what George W. Bush is doing in the 21st century?

Let me know what you think about Donald Sutherland‘s outburst.  We are going to have a follow up on this story tomorrow night. 

But, as I told you last night, this past weekend, I went home to my old school, the University of Alabama, for the first time in almost a decade.  And I found my return to be about as moving an experience as I can imagine.  You know, too many focus on Alabama‘s blind spots and those scars that have always embarrassed Alabama natives that Northerners and Neil Young always like to talk about.

But I can tell you, as an imported Florida resident, I was not so burdened by its past, but, rather, I focused on its future.  Like most—and, you know, like most crazy dads these days, I have been pushing my boys hard to go to the Ivy League, to have careers in those type of schools from the time they were old enough to walk. 

But, as I was walking across Alabama‘s quad this weekend, it hit me that nothing would make me more proud as a father than for my three children to graduate from the most crimson of all red-state schools in America and maybe even join their old dad in the stands one Saturday night in the future, belting out “Sweet Home Alabama” while stars fell on my old state. 

I only have three words to say to you that—people that may not understand.  Those three words, roll, ‘Tide, roll. 

Coming up next, 20-foot python slithering through the Florida Everglades.  What do they eat?  Gators, just like Alabama, and also anything they want.  And that is the problem.  You are going to see why scientists are so worried about this growing phenomenon. 

And a wild ending to a police chase you have got to see, that‘s coming up, too.

So, stick around.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re looking at what happens when a 13-foot python with an appetite runs into a 6-foot alligator in the Florida Everglades. 

Scientists who stumbled upon the grisly remains say the gator had no idea it was about to be swallowed whole.  And, after a battle that may have lasted 24 hours, it ended in a tie when the python exploded, leaving both beasts dead. 

Let‘s go to Miami right now and bring in wildlife biologist Joe Wasilewski. 

Joe, remarkable things going on in the swamps of Florida.  Talk about it. 

JOE WASILEWSKI, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST:  Well, there‘s pythons out in the swamps of Florida now.  And they‘re getting big.  And, as you‘ve seen in the photos, this was about a 13-foot animal.  And they can get over 20 feet long. 

SCARBOROUGH:  How do they get in the swamps? 

WASILEWSKI:  Well, a lot of people buy these little pythons for pets.  And they‘re kind of cute, you know, when they‘re this size.  This one is about six months old. 

And they grow.  And, in fact, in the first year, if you do everything right, they can get over six feet long.  And people get tired of them.  They get afraid of them.  And they illegally let them go out, actually, all over the United States.  But, here in the Everglades, it‘s sort of just what they need in terms of habitat.  And they thrive.

SCARBOROUGH:  And the pythons can grow up to 20 feet and can—I understand a mother can have 100? 

WASILEWSKI:  Normally, they have 30 to 50 eggs.  But I do know of instances where they‘ve had 100 eggs.  So, that‘s a lot of baby pythons out there. 

SCARBOROUGH:  So, what happens whether a python runs into a gator? 

How—I understand these battles go on for up to 24 hours? 

WASILEWSKI:  Yes, they can. 

And it kind of depends on, I guess, who is the bigger of the two.  I would imagine, when the snake is bigger and can overpower the alligator, then the snake will win.  But alligators have been known to win.  And there have been ties. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And while we‘re looking at some video that a lot of people may be fascinated by, this really does have the possibility of changing the food chain down in South Florida and having some devastating environmental effects.  Talk about that. 

WASILEWSKI:  Oh.  Oh, realistically, the alligator always has been the top predator in the Everglades.  And now you‘ve got this other animal, this python, that can grow up to 400 pounds, potentially competing with the alligator.  So, you‘ve got two really good topflight predators now battling for number one. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Are pythons a direct danger to Americans that would visit the Everglades National Park? 

WASILEWSKI:  No.  No.  They‘re very cryptic.  Chances are, you‘ll never even see one.  They like to hide.  A 13-foot python like you saw in that photo can hide in a 2-foot-by-2-foot space. 

And it could stay in one spot for weeks at a time.  You see, they are opportunistic.  And he could lie in wait by a game trail and wait for like an alligator to come by.  But people, they don‘t want anything to do with us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Thank God for that. 

WASILEWSKI:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  How many have been caught?  How many have been caught over the past year or so, Joe? 

WASILEWSKI:  There‘s been well over 150 caught in the last couple of years. 

And I‘m sad to say there‘s going to be more to come.  We have even found hatchling pythons, which means the big boys met the big girls out there.  And they‘re breeding in the wild. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Well, it‘s certainly dangerous, not only for animals down there, but also for the ecological balance. 

Thank you so much.  Greatly appreciate you being with us, Joe Wasilewski. 

And I want all of you to stay around.  We will be right back in a minute with some incredible video you‘re not going to want to miss.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Tomorrow, she was held hostage by the Atlanta court killer.  He wrote “A Purpose Driven Life” that may have saved her life that night.  Now they‘re both in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY—Rick Warren and Ashley Smith tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  Don‘t miss it.

We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Amazing video from Idaho. 

A police chase ends when the driver of a van smashes into a parked police cruiser.  Incredibly, this trooper that was standing nearby got out of the way just in time, wasn‘t hurt.  The driver of the van was hospitalized and now faces felony charges. 

That‘s all the time we have for tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

Thanks for being with us. 

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

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

Watch Scarborough Country each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,