updated 10/9/2005 9:23:59 PM ET 2005-10-10T01:23:59

Guests: Ron Marks, Steve Emerson, Jonathan Delano, Rod Wheeler, Helen Bolling, Daniel Horowitz, Joel Hinrichs, Jr., Houda Elyazgi, Todd Blackinton, Dave Holloway, Richard Johnson, Gregg Henry

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Hello, everyone.  Tonight, new information on the New York City terror threat that has people on edge this weekend.  What do intelligence officers know that is so frightening?  And late-breaking details in the Natalee Holloway investigation.  The prosecutor makes a surprise move.  Is Natalee‘s family finally getting results from the island of Aruba?  An amazing crash all caught on tape.  Find out what happened to the police officer who dove out of the way.  This is amazing video.

But first, everybody, New York City is on high alert at this hour after word of a possible terrorist attack that could happen on the subway.  Today, New York City police were out in full force.  Commuters were greeted by stepped-up police patrols, random bag searches and also warnings to remain aware of their surroundings.

And the edginess isn‘t just in New York.  Washington had a scare of its own.  We have team coverage tonight with Greg Starddard with NBC station WRC in Washington, and also NBC‘s Michelle Franzen is in New York.

Michelle, we‘re first going to start with you.  Tell us about the latest terror threat there in New York.  What do we know tonight, and what‘s the mood?

MICHELLE FRANZEN, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Well, good evening, Rita.  That is right.  Commuters here in New York City braved the rush hours both in the morning and in the evening, and they did so with success.  They braved it with determination and with resolve.  As you mentioned, that threat has been looming over New York City subways for over 24 hours now.

What investigators do know is that here in the city, they believe—and they are taking that threat seriously.  They believe it‘s specific and also credible, and as a result, the mayor said that he is definitely taking precautions.

What are some of those precautions?  Well, they‘ve been in effect for over 24 hours.  Police officers have been stepping up their patrols in and around the train stations, random bag searches.  And also, they had a couple of instances at New York‘s Penn Station today.  Those turned out to be false instances, one suspicious bag that turned out to be nothing, and also a bottle that had some substance in it that they are testing that out.

In the meantime, New York‘s mayor definitely said that he wants New Yorkers to go about their daily lives.  He himself took the subway to and from work today to show that he is definitely not afraid to take the subways.  He usually takes the subway every day.  And New Yorkers are telling us that, for the most part, they know that this is just part of living in New York City.

So threat or no threat, plot or no plot, this is the way it is in New York City tonight, Rita.

COSBY:  Michelle, thank you very much.  And I took the subway, everybody.  I‘m going to show that you a little bit later on in the show.

Meantime, our nation‘s capital also had a terrorist scare today.  Reporter Greg Starddard with NBC station WRC is standing by live tonight on the Mall in Washington.  Greg, what‘s the latest from there?

GREG STARDDARD, WRC-TV:  Well, this all started at around 2:30 this afternoon, East Coast time here, in the nation‘s capital.  D.C. police actually got a phone call, and that caller indicated there was a bomb or an explosive inside the Washington Monument.  Now, D.C. police immediately notified U.S. park police.  They patrol the grounds.  They quickly evacuated everybody who was inside the monument, evacuated everybody at the base of the monument, sealed off the area.  Some of the streets around the monument also closed.

At that point, they decided to bring in some bomb-sniffing dogs.  Several law enforcement agencies took part in all of this.  They searched the monument and the surrounding area.  They didn‘t find anything, and that‘s the good news to report at this hour.

But we do have new some developments.  They did trace this phone call back to a Metro station which is located in northwest Washington.  They believe that this phone call, this threat, may have come from a pay phone up there.  We understand that detectives went up there, dusted for fingerprints, but at this point, no one has been arrested.  The investigation continues at this hour, Rita.

COSBY:  All right.  Thank you very much.  We appreciate it.

And tonight, there is word that now a third person has been arrested, tied to the New York City terror plot, and that a fourth may still be at large and possibly already here in the United States, and in fact, possibly even here in the Big Apple.

LIVE AND DIRECT tonight from New York is terrorism analyst Steve Emerson, and in Washington, Ron Marks.  He‘s a former CIA officer.  Ron, what do you know about these arrests so far?

RON MARKS, FORMER CIA OFFICER:  Well, I think you‘re beginning to see what‘s going to take place over the next couple of days, which is there are going to be probably be several of these things.  There‘s not just one person in New York, there‘ll probably be several.  And you‘re going to be seeing the information that‘s spewing out of Iraq at this point start to come into focus as they begin to pick up people.  And I suspect it‘s a much longer line than what we‘re seeing right now.

COSBY:  Yes, I suspect so, too, unfortunately.  Steve, what about the background?  We‘re hearing that this third individual has ties to Afghanistan.  But then we‘re also hearing there may be some others tied to Syria, a number of countries.

STEVE EMERSON, TERRORISM ANALYST:  Well, you know, Rita, there‘s a lot of information out there, and unfortunately, probably some of it is not correct because it‘s coming through various channels, it‘s not getting distilled correctly.  And the interrogators really are the only ones who can vet this, at this point.

At this point, really, the fact is that they really don‘t know how extensive the plot is, if, in fact, it was real, whether there was anyone in the United States, and, in fact, whether these three people that they were arrested have been really solidly connected to the plot and whether they can confirm that.  They‘re trying to check that out right now, as we speak.

COSBY:  What‘s the possibility, Steve, that they are already in the

U.S.?

EMERSON:  Well, it‘s a good question.  I asked a senior official that this morning.  He said, Look, we don‘t know.  We don‘t know if they‘re in the U.S., whether they exist, or...

COSBY:  Do we know a name, Steve, or is this even (INAUDIBLE) at that point?

EMERSON:  Well, I don‘t know, and I don‘t know that they do—if they did have a name, I would suspect they would have put it out.  They‘d be on the lookout for it, or it would have leaked out already because it would have been, you know, something that they would have checked out at airports and other types of ports, but—so I don‘t think they have a name.  They just have big, you know, allegations that somebody may have been in the United States, casing the New York City subways, and somebody may have been here to try to detonate some type of bomb either with briefcases or with baby carriages.

COSBY:  Ron, are you surprised how quick they sort of broke this cell?  I mean, first, we got this one tip, then we heard about these other, now two arrests, now that there‘s a fourth.

MARKS:  I think they‘ve gotten pretty efficient in the last few years, especially when you‘ve got a threat regarding the United States, and particularly in this case, where it‘s so specific.  Even as Steve is saying, if there‘s some ambiguities here and you‘re not 100 percent clear in terms of sort of who or what or why.  When you‘ve got specific dates and you‘ve got some indication of where they‘re going to hit, they move very, very quickly on this.

COSBY:  Ron, what do you make the significance of the dates?  First we were hearing somewhere that it was the 7th.  One of my sources was saying here the 8th.  I heard 9.  I heard 19.

MARKS:  Well, that‘s where I think you get a little bit of the ambiguity that Steve was talking about here before.  The fact of the matter is that no doubt that there was some planning staging going on here.  These may have been suggested dates, at this point.  Again, the interrogators and those people who‘ve got the information right now are probably piecing together very, very quickly whether or not this was real in terms of whether or not these were targets or whether or not this was something that was being projected as an actual operation.

COSBY:  And Steve, real quick, you know, we talked about these interrogations that are clearly going on overseas, it seems.  That‘s a good sign in the sense they can maybe use some different methods to get information out, right?

EMERSON:  Different methods, and also be able to vet the information.  The interrogators are the first guys on the line in terms of vetting the information, and that‘s critical for people here in the United States, particularly in New York, to be able to assess the credibility.  You can‘t do remote-controlled interrogations.  That‘s why those guys on the ground actually speaking to the guys who have been picked up are critical to assessing this threat.

COSBY:  All right, guys, thank you very much, both of you.

Well, I headed underground today with former New York City police commissioner Howard Safir, where I saw firsthand that security is at an all-time high.  I had a chance to see how New Yorkers were coping with the terror threat and also what steps were in place to protect them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

We‘re on the subway platform, and we‘re seeing some extra officers. 

Is that sort of the first step?

HOWARD SAFIR, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER:  It‘s part of it.  (INAUDIBLE) response.  These officers came up from Queens.  The Organized Crime Control Bureau is now in uniform.  (INAUDIBLE) in uniform.  You use additional personnel, you use technology, chemical detectors, radiation detectors, CCTV with intelligent algorithms so that it can determine certain activities.  Rather than just recording events, you can prevent an event.

COSBY:  What are you looking for today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Anything that‘s suspicious, anything out of the ordinary, any packages left unattended, any people that look like they‘re hanging around too long, look kind of nervous, anything that‘s not usual that (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  If you were an officer, what would you be looking for?

SAFIR:  Looking for unusual activity, somebody leaves a package around, somebody‘s inappropriately dressed for the weather, somebody who looks particularly nervous.  Those are all the kind of things.  It‘s a gut instinct.  You look, you see something that doesn‘t sound right, doesn‘t seem right, you should report it.  Better to be embarrassed than to have people hurt.

COSBY:  A lot of people here have bags.

SAFIR:  Yes.

COSBY:  They were told not to bring backpacks, strollers.  How are you going to prevent that?

SAFIR:  You can‘t prevent it.  The fact is, four-and-a-half million people every day, 500 miles of subway.  You can do random bag searches, but it deters things.  You know, terrorists want to succeed.  They see more police presence, they see bag checks, they‘re going to go somewhere else.

COSBY:  There are four million people taking the subway...

SAFIR:  Yes.

COSBY:  ... every day.  How can you possibly check four million people?

SAFIR:  You can‘t.  What you have to do is you have to make the subway as hardened a target as possible.  You can‘t do what you do at airports.  You can‘t screen everybody for metal.  You can‘t pat people down.  And you have to be lucky.  You know, look what happened in Madrid.  Look what happened in London.  London has thousands of cameras, but they still (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  Are there detectors, are there surveillance cameras on the train?

SAFIR:  Well, I‘m not going to tell you specifically what the security is, but there are security measures.  There‘s a lot of stuff that you don‘t see.  And you know, one of the best things we have going for us, the NYPD is the best emergency response force in the United States.  They know what they‘re doing.

COSBY:  How often does that happen, when you can actually thwart an attack by seeing something as a citizen?

SAFIR:  It happens all the time.  Four-and-a-half million eyes are better than 40,00 eyes.

COSBY:  Were you worried today?  Did you take any extra steps?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  No.  I just (INAUDIBLE) you know, I look for packages.  I look for things like that.  But I don‘t take any extra precautions besides that.

COSBY:  Commissioner, what advice would you give this passenger?

SAFIR:  I think he‘s doing exactly the right thing.  He‘s looking around (INAUDIBLE) what‘s going on around him, and if he sees something, he‘s going to report it.

COSBY:  Were you nervous about taking the subway today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, not particularly.

COSBY:  Was there something you were looking for that you weren‘t before?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No, but it did cross my mind that I think I‘d rather be at one end of the train or the other, not in the middle.

COSBY:  How serious should all of us take this threat?

SAFIR:  We should take it very seriously.  We have a credible threat that specifies a place, a time, a method.  And you know, that‘s unusual.  Usually, we get just chatter.  But this was specific to the New York subway.  It talked about specific methods of delivering explosives.  We should take it very seriously.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And our thanks to the commissioner for spending that time on the subway with us today.

And still ahead, big developments in two high-profile cases, Taylor Behl and Natalee Holloway, two students who disappeared.  And that is not all we have tonight.  Take a look, everybody.

Late developments in the Natalee Holloway investigation.  Only hours ago, a surprise announcement from the prosecutors.  Find out what they said and why they did it.

And child porn, machetes, old bones—what else will police dig up on the man just named as a suspect in the Taylor Behl murder mystery?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RODNEY MONROE, RICHMOND POLICE CHIEF:  Our focus is towards one individual.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  His former roommate is telling his chilling story exclusively to us.

And you have got to see it to believe it.  Could anyone survive a crash like this?  It‘s all ahead LIVE AND DIRECT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Also, there are some new developments tonight in the tragic case of college student Taylor Behl.  Tonight, police say that Ben Fawley, the man at the center of the investigation, is now officially a suspect in the case.  Taylor Behl‘s body was found this week, as you know, in a grave about 70 miles outside of Richmond, Virginia.

And joining me now in his first television interview is someone who knew Ben Fawley, Jonathan Delano.  Jonathan, first of all, how did you know him?

JONATHAN DELANO, FORMER ACQUAINTANCE OF BEN FAWLEY:  I knew Ben through my roommate at the time.  He was involved with her.  And I met him when he helped her move into my apartment.

COSBY:  What kind of a guy was he?

DELANO:  My first impression of him was that I didn‘t like him.  I didn‘t think that he looked like a very good person.  I didn‘t think that he—he didn‘t come off very well to me.

COSBY:  Tell us about—I was hearing something about that he went into your apartment and came after you?  Tell us about this.

DELANO:  A couple of weeks after I met him, he came in—he broke into my apartment at 4:00 o‘clock in the morning in order to talk to me.  And by “talk to me,” I guess he wanted to—I‘m not really sure what he wanted to do, but he was carrying a hammer...

COSBY:  Yes, what did he break into your apartment with?

DELANO:  He says that the back door was unlocked, but I assume that he picked it or something of that nature.  He was carrying a hammer and a can of mace with him at the time.

COSBY:  Were you scared like heck to see this guy come in with a hammer (INAUDIBLE)

DELANO:  It was a definitely surprise to wake up and see him standing in my doorway.

COSBY:  What kind of a—you know, we‘ve heard now that he‘s bipolar, that he‘s got all these issues, very strung highs and lows.  Did he seem like someone who wasn‘t stable to you?

DELANO:  Oh, he—I knew that he wasn‘t stable at all, but I don‘t think that he ever had characteristics of being bipolar.  I didn‘t note any manic highs or depressive lows.  I just think that he was a very calm psychopath.

COSBY:  You know, your girlfriend, correct me if I‘m wrong—your girlfriend...

DELANO:  She was not my girlfriend, she was just my roommate.

COSBY:  Oh, she was a roommate.  But who‘s the one who was his ex-girlfriend, Ben Fawley‘s ex-girlfriend?

DELANO:  It wasn‘t necessarily his ex-girlfriend.  He thought that they were boyfriend and girlfriend, but I don‘t think that it was ever officially that, on her terms.  And she was my roommate when I first moved in.

COSBY:  Now, was she someone who cooperated with police?  Is this the one who‘s been very helpful to police?

DELANO:  As far as I know, yes.

COSBY:  What do you think of the fact that she‘s played a key role?  Because authorities have been just really, you know, crediting her, apparently pinpointing the location, saying this may be a spot, and then knowing that, indeed, this was the spot that was close to Ben Fawley, that we know was on his Web site, and indeed, it turns out this is where Taylor Behl‘s body is found be.

DELANO:  I‘m very happy that she cooperated with police.  I know that she was nervous at first because of possible ramifications from him.  but I‘m very happy that she‘s been involved, and I‘m very happy that she can do what she has done.

COSBY:  Did you ever meet Taylor Behl?

DELANO:  I did not meet Taylor Behl.

COSBY:  What are you thoughts about the case, now that we‘re finding out her body is found, and now, just a few hours ago, the police chief saying Ben Fawley is a suspect?

DELANO:  It‘s kind of scary to me because I—having had him in my house at one point, it‘s—if the circumstances had been different, it could be me in a shallow grave.

COSBY:  Very scary.  Well, I‘m glad you‘re safe and sound.  I do appreciate you coming forward, Jon, and sharing what you know about Ben Fawley.  Thank you very much.

DELANO:  You‘re welcome.

COSBY:  And what does all of this have to say about Ben Fawley as a person?  Joining me now is former homicide detective Rod Wheeler.  Rod, you just heard he went after this other poor boy with a hammer and mace, suddenly showed up in his apartment.  What does this say about the personality of Ben Fawley?

ROD WHEELER, FORMER HOMICIDE DETECTIVE:  Well, as we‘ve been saying all along, Rita, Ben Fawley is an individual who‘s very—very deviant, so to speak.  I mean, remember, this is the guy that had the deviant art Web site.  I mean, this guy, when you look at his criminal history, as we just had up on the screen, this guy has a criminal history dating back almost 5 to 7 years.  So he‘s clearly not a Boy Scout.  He‘s had several types of charges, whereby there were physical assaults against other people, property damage-type charges.

So this is a guy that I can tell you right now the police are probably looking at not only, Rita, for this case, but believe me, they‘re going to look at him for some other crimes and assaults and things like that perhaps have happened in that area down there in Richmond.

COSBY:  This kind of personality that we‘re hearing about, this violent past, now we‘re hearing he‘s bipolar, taking some medication—is this the kind of guy, Rod, that now, with the squeeze on him, clearly, that he‘s going to crack?

WHEELER:  He should.  He absolutely should, and I‘ll tell you why real quickly here, Rita, because the police, as you well know, has a lot of information, a lot of evidence, direct evidence, Rita, that they‘re going to present this guy with and say, Hey, look, you know, here‘s the deal.  We have all of this evidence.  What you need to do is just tell us the truth.

Now, one other real important factor here, Rita, remember, earlier in this case, this guy cut his hair in an effort to change his appearance.  So he did that all for a reason, and I can tell you, all of that information is going to go in an affidavit for arrest, and they‘re going to charge him with this crime over the next day or two, I believe.

COSBY:  Yes, it sounds like they‘re very close.  Rod, thank you very much for giving us an update.

And everybody, this Sunday, “DATELINE” NBC is going to take you into the investigation of what happened to Taylor Behl.  Watch an all new “DATELINE.”  It‘s Sunday night at 7:00 PM Eastern Time on your local station.

And we‘re going to turn now to another interesting case, the case of Susan Polk.  She‘s the California housewife in jail for stabbing her own husband to death.  She claims it was self-defense.  Susan Polk‘s trial begins in just a few days.

And joining me now is her defense attorney, Dan Horowitz, along with Susan‘s mother, Helen Bolling.  She‘s the one who actually introduced her daughter, Susan, to her husband, Felix Polk.  And get this.  Felix was two years older than his own mother-in-law.

If we could bring in now Helen.  First of all, what was your reaction?  This guy is basically your age, and your daughter starts having a romantic relationship with him.

HELEN BOLLING, SUSAN POLK‘S MOTHER:  Are you speaking to me?

COSBY:  Yes, I‘m speaking to you, Helen.  What was your reaction?

BOLLING:  Yes.  Oh, I was—I was distressed.  I mean, the—first

of all, you know, I brought Susan to Felix because the district

psychologist had recommended Felix, and she seemed to, Susan, like him, and

I was very happy and pleased.  But I certainly didn‘t expect Felix to—to

to...

COSBY:  Have a romantic relationship, I bet.

BOLLING:  That‘s right.  Of course.

COSBY:  You know, Helen, I talked a bit with your daughter.  You know, she‘s been behind bars for a while.

BOLLING:  Yes.

COSBY:  I want to show one comment.  She talked about just the climate in the home.  Let‘s take a look a little bit at what she had to say to me for now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN POLK, ACCUSED OF MURDERING HER HUSBAND:  Sometimes I‘d get hit in the face.  Sometimes I‘d have black eyes.  Sometimes I‘d have bruises.  But mostly, he would just—just push me around and chase me around the house, and I would run away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  Helen, what did you see?  Did you see a lot of violence in that home?

BOLLING:  No.  She kept that from me!  I would have—had I seen any violence, because I have a very low threshold for physical violence, I would have done something.

COSBY:  I bet you would have.

You know, let me bring in Dan Horowitz because I know he is doing something with the medical records.  Dan, what will the medical records show of Felix that would be significant to this case?  That‘s a big win for you guys to bring it in.

DANIEL HOROWITZ, SUSAN POLK‘S DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Yes, Rita.  It‘s the law, though.  The law says the jury gets to see everything that‘s relevant.  And in this case, this man‘s state of mind, being so ill, so—oh, I guess possessed, with having himself surrounded by people he can‘t control.  Now, he controlled Susan with the threat of violence, with some physical violence, but a lot of psychological violence and terror.  And Rita, that‘s why we‘re looking for witnesses to come forward to the psychological oppression and the use of other people by Felix Polk.  That‘s why Helen couldn‘t see it, and yet there was terror in the household every day.

COSBY:  What do you think, Helen, happened the night of the murder?

BOLLING:  I think that he hit her, and she was trying to defend herself.

COSBY:  Are you worried how this trial is going to go?  Are you worried—you know, at one point, your grandson is going to have to testify against your daughter.  That‘s got to be painful.

BOLLING:  Yes, it‘s—it‘s discouraging and painful and surprising because she was always such—so devoted to the children, helped them with their homework, you know, I mean, you name it.

COSBY:  It‘s going to be heartbreaking.  How‘s she doing, real quick?

BOLLING:  It is heartbreaking.

COSBY:  How‘s she doing?  I know you just saw her in jail.  Real quick.

BOLLING:  Well, she‘s—you know, I keep trying to offer her encouragement and telling her to trust in the truth and that it will come right, she will be able to vindicate herself.

COSBY:  Well, we‘re going to be watching closely, Helen, and we appreciate you being here.  I know it‘s got to be gut-wrenching to see this situation.  And Dan, thank you so much, as well.  We really appreciate it.

And let‘s bring in, if we could right now, former prosecutor and MSNBC analyst Susan Filan.  Susan, you know, as you hear just this mother, your heart just breaks.  It‘s got to be gut-wrenching for her to see especially what‘s going to be ahead.

SUSAN FILAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR, MSNBC ANALYST:  This is an incredibly tragic case.  This is “Family Feud,” husband and wife pitted against each other and a divorce that ends in a death, children testifying against their mother, brothers pitted against brothers.  It‘s a very, very sad, tragic family case.  It is dysfunction on trial.

COSBY:  Yes, it absolutely is.  I want to show a clip.  This is of Susan Polk, the woman who is, of course, standing trial for murder.  I asked her a little bit about the self-defense and some of the allegations of what happened that night.  Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Now, a lot of people are saying you stabbed him 27 times.  How can that be self-defense?  Explain to us what was going on in your mind.

POLK:  Who is saying that?  That concerns me.  The coroner‘s report does not say that he was stabbed 27 times.  It‘s not true.  He was not stabbed 27 times, and the coroner testified at the grand jury that he was stabbed five or six times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  And Susan, two quick questions.  First, is the self-defense going to work?  And second of all, he‘s got someone now representing him, the husband who‘s deceased.

FILAN:  Right.  I think the termination of the privilege, in other words, the judge letting the records come in, is going to pretty much minimize that lawyer‘s role in this case.  I think more interesting is how is the self-defense going to play out.  She‘s not necessarily claiming battered women‘s syndrome.  She‘s claiming on that specific night, he was trying to kill her, and the only way she could survive was to kill him.  I think that the forensics in this case are going to be absolutely critical.

COSBY:  I believe so, too.  And in fact, I know that they have a forensic person on the other side who‘s going to say the wounds do look it was in defense.  So it‘s going to be fascinating to watch.  Thank you very much, Susan.  We appreciate it.

And still ahead: A suicide bomber killed himself at an Oklahoma a football game.  What was his motive?  And why are Muslim students outraged?  And a shocking crash all caught on tape.  Wait until you hear the story behind these amazing picture.  Stay tuned, everybody.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  And now we have a shocking story in the heartland.  A suicide bombing at the University of Oklahoma has the campus and the community on edge tonight.  Twenty-one-year-old student Joel Hinrichs blew himself up outside a packed football stadium last Saturday. 

No one else was hurt in the blast.  And police have now ruled out terrorism as a motive.  Joining us live is the student‘s father, Joel Hinrichs, Jr. 

Mr. Hinrichs, first of all, our apologies.  I‘m sure it is just heartbreaking for you.  Why do you think your son killed himself? 

JOEL HINRICHS, JR., SON COMMITTED SUICIDE WITH BOMB:  He ran out of optimism.  That‘s one way to put it.  He decided that the life he was looking at had nothing.  He had run out of solutions and was too proud to try anybody else‘s.

Since that left him in a dead-end situation, he‘s looking at life through the end of a telescope.  All he can see is his death 60 years out.  And this is me extrapolating.  He said, “Why wait?” 

COSBY:  You know, your son tried to buy fertilizer.  And an off-duty police officer saw that in a store.  I want to show a comment from the store owner, if we can take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DUSTIN ELLISON, STORE OWNER:  I chose not to contact anybody, because I assumed that it had already been in the hands of the authorities and they were going to take it from there. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  I‘m sure it breaks your heart Mr. Hinrichs.  Do you think, you know, had the store owner and had this off-duty cop, had everyone sort of followed through, do you think your son would still be alive? 

HINRICHS:  No.  No. 

COSBY:  You don‘t.  You think he was still determined. 

Why do you think he chose a bomb?  You know, it‘s such a bizarre way to take your life.  You know, taking it whatever way is unfortunate, but it‘s sort of a strange mechanism to do so. 

HINRICHS:  Not to me.  He was a high-tech kind of guy.  He had been interested since a very young age in anything that went bang.  Most little boys are.  He just found it is—he went out with a bang.  What can I say? 

COSBY:  Are you worried about copycats?  I know there‘s some extra security at the University of Oklahoma football game in Dallas taking place.  Are you worried about someone else unfortunately doing something similar? 

HINRICHS:  I‘m worried about the parents of anybody who might want to be a copycat. 

I‘m here because of hindsight.  Hindsight makes geniuses of us all.  I have learned things about my son that I didn‘t know.  Perhaps I should have.

The changes that take place are so gradual.  You don‘t see them coming.  But if I were to have stopped at some point, a year ago, and said, “My son is 20.  What was he at 15?  What was he at 10?  What are the changes that have taken place that are so gradual?” 

I didn‘t see them coming.  And if they‘re good ones, I should celebrate the good ones.  It‘ll probably shock my child if I celebrated something good, but do that. 

And if the changes are not good ones, then what do I do?  There‘s no magic eraser.  I can‘t undo what has happened, but there are steps.  I don‘t know what they are.  They‘re counterintuitive.  They‘re beyond my capability. 

But if I research those steps, and find them, and put them in play, then I am a genius before the fact. 

COSBY:  No, absolutely. 

HINRICHS:  That‘s...

COSBY:  And, Mr. Hinrichs, I would just tell you our prayers are with you.  It‘s just got to be heartbreaking, the loss of a child, especially something like this.  And I do thank you very much for being with us, sir. 

HINRICHS:  You‘re welcome. 

COSBY:  Thank you very much. 

And the bombing has had some other rippling effects.  It‘s had some Muslim students on the campus worried about their own safety.  Joining us now on the phone is Houda Elyazgi.  She‘s a member of the University of Oklahoma Muslim Student Association. 

Ms. Elyazgi, why are students so worried?  I know there was this pointing of maybe a Muslim tie, because it was someone who blew themselves up.  It‘s in Oklahoma, where the Oklahoma City bombing took place.  It‘s also Norman, Oklahoma, where Zacarias Moussaoui, you know, supposedly, at one point, the 20th hijacker, we know that he went to flight school there. 

Do you understand why sort of everybody was just so nervous at first? 

HOUDA ELYAZGI, O.U. MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION:  I think we‘re all nervous because we‘re just all so confused.  The media has put out an image.  And unfortunately, they have not been portraying this story as it should be portrayed. 

Everyone‘s really confused.  There are a lot of unanswered questions.  We don‘t understand the situation in full.  And everyone is speculating, because the media is basing their reports on speculations.

And so it‘s contributing to this pool of ignorance that exists on campus.  I think we‘re just all confused.  And we‘re all concerned for our safety, as O.U. students, not necessarily as Muslims in general. 

COSBY:  No, which is a shame.  And I want to show a statement.  I know the president of the school has been trying to do what he can and also issued a statement, if we can show that. 

“It‘s to rush to judge others or to make assumptions about them, on that basis is nothing short of prejudice.  It has no place in America, and it certainly has no place at the University of Oklahoma.”

How would you say that school officials have responded?  Are you happy that they‘ve at least tried to do what they can? 

ELYAZGI:  President Boren is doing a wonderful job of promoting tolerance and understanding on campus.  And O.U. is a very friendly campus.  So I think that they‘re doing a wonderful job. 

COSBY:  Do you understand—you know, I know that, at first, because Joel Hinrichs had a Muslim roommate, they questioned him and some of the others.  Were you angry that there was sort of this rush to judgment, bomber, Muslim, that things sort of unfortunately got out of hand? 

ELYAZGI:  I was angry that the media rushed to judge, because it was not the O.U. community that rushed to judge.  I don‘t feel that anyone, you know, made rash decisions or judgments.  It was what the media said then.  And they based their judgments on that.  And it‘s very unfortunate. 

COSBY:  It absolutely is.  Well, I do appreciate you coming on.  And I hope it helps clear things up on the campus and elsewhere.  And again, our prayers are with Joel Hinrichs and, of course, his father very much tonight. 

Thank you, everybody. 

And later on tonight, the woman held hostage in the Atlanta courthouse shooting is telling her dramatic story in “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”  Joe has a look. 

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  Thanks, Rita.  Tonight, we‘re going to be talking to that remarkable young woman who tamed the alleged Atlanta courthouse shooter by reading to him from “The Purpose-Driven Life.”  Talking of course about Ashley Smith. 

And also, Rick Warren is going to be here.  He wrote “The Purpose-Driven Life.”  And I‘m going to be talking to both of them.  Take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY SMITH, HELD HOSTAGE BY COURTHOUSE SHOOTER:  From the moment I turned around and he was there with the gun at the front door, until that moment when I chose not to do the drugs, the whole time, I didn‘t have any hope that I was going to make it out of there alive. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  It‘s an inspiring story you‘re not going to want to miss.  That‘s coming up tonight on “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.” 

Rita, back to you. 

COSBY:  Thanks so much, Joe.  So everybody be sure to stay tuned for “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY,” coming up at the top of the hour right here on MSNBC. 

And only a few hours ago, a big surprise, a stunning announcement in the search for missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway.  In a rare statement, the Aruban prosecutor says the investigation into Natalee‘s disappearance is still open. 

The investigation, it says, into the disappearance of the American tourist, Natalee Holloway, is still ongoing.  It further says the team is searching for new leads that may help solve the case.  At the same time, the investigation that has been done until now is being revised and evaluated. 

Joining me now live on the phone is Dave Holloway, Natalee‘s father. 

You know, Dave, here it is, Friday, late in the day, and then suddenly they put out this statement.  Come on.  What do you make of this? 

DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S FATHER:  Well, I don‘t know.  I received a call from your station wondering why that e-mail was sent out from the prosecutor‘s office, and I did a little research and actually spoke with our attorney. 

And there‘s some concerns of a boycott from the U.S.  So they asked me my position, and my position was that, you know, I really didn‘t support it.  The investigation needed to continue. 

COSBY:  Well, that‘s my question.  Do you think that this was sort of a preemptive strike?  We had Beth on the other night.  She made it clear she‘s not giving up on the investigation.  We had Joe Mamana (ph), who I know has been very helpful to you both, who was talking a lot about suing the island of Aruba. 

There‘s been all of this talk.  Are they trying to do the uptake?  Are they trying to do a preemptive strike here? 

HOLLOWAY:  Well, you know, I‘m really not sure.  That would have to be posed to the government of Aruba.  And I think the prosecutor‘s office is trying to separate themselves from that issue. 

COSBY:  Do you think that they really are looking into everything and they‘re reevaluating this?  Or is this just sort of smoke and mirrors, to try to look like they‘re doing something, hoping to block, you know, some sort of a blockade on Aruba? 

HOLLOWAY:  Well, you know, I do know that, you know, the police chief was replaced.  And, you know, I had confidence in some of the detectives that were still investigating the case. 

So, you know, the jury is still out on that.  You know, I just really don‘t know what the tactical move is on the government regarding, you know, the proposed or alleged boycott. 

COSBY:  Dave, what‘s your plan for the future?  And would you support a boycott?  And what‘s your plan? 

HOLLOWAY:  Well, I don‘t support boycott.  I intend to go back to Aruba.  And I‘m hopeful that the local people there will help us solve this case. 

COSBY:  Well, I certainly hope so.  And we will do what we can on this end.  Dave, thank you very much for being with us, with this late-breaking information.  We appreciate it. 

And still ahead, everybody, the shocking details of the BTK Killer‘s life are turned into a movie.  How does the actor playing a homicidal sociopath get into that role?  How do you do it?  He‘s going to join me next. 

And Renee Zellweger hunts down a newspaper writer that she says made her look like a tramp.  Find out what she said when she found him in his office.  She showed up in his office in New York.  That‘s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  A terrifying car crash caught on tape.  This is amazing.  A high-speed police chase ends when a suspect slams his van into a police cruiser. 

Joining us now live on the phone with the amazing story behind this incredible video is Todd Blackinton.  He‘s a news anchor for affiliate KPVI in Idaho. 

Todd, first of all, what happened here? 

TODD BLACKINTON, KPVI-TV NEWS ANCHOR:  Well, Rita, the police tried to serve a warrant to a Dennis Dixey on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.  At that time, he fled.  He got in his van and started to run from police. 

Fort Hall police then asked for backup from Idaho State Police and also the Bannock County sheriffs.  And the chase went on for the better part of a half an hour.  We never heard speeds dipping below 75 miles per hour.  And they went as fast as 100 miles per hour to try and stop him before he headed back into town, because most of this chases was on rural roads. 

They threw out the spike strips.  And then, instead of running over the spike strips, the suspect drove his van head on into the ISP patrol car. 

COSBY:  How is everyone doing who‘s been involved in this crash?  And also, what kinds of charges is the driver facing? 

BLACKINTON:  He‘s obviously got the charges from the felony aggravated battery.  And then the U.S. attorney, because this happened on the Indian reservation, the U.S. attorney is looking at additional charges for felony eluding and whatever else they determine from the video.

The suspect was taken from the scene.  We haven‘t been able to get a lot of updates on his condition.  The officers on the scene said his legs were in bad shape, as you can imagine.  But he was conscious, and talking, and breathing on the scene. 

There was nobody in the ISP patrol car.  So all of the law enforcement were fine.  The only injury here was to the suspect. 

COSBY:  Yes, I was hearing in your state, Idaho, that they‘re seeing a lot more high-speed chases lately.  Why is that? 

BLACKINTON:  They don‘t necessarily know.  We talked to them about that, as we were talking to them about their pursuit policy.  They usually get, they say, three or four a year.  But they‘ve had probably six, or seven, or eight in the last few months. 

So they don‘t necessarily know why.  It doesn‘t get quite the coverage as it would maybe in Los Angeles.  So it can‘t be a publicity issue.

But, either way, they want to get the message out that, if there‘s a problem, that it could be worked out in a court of law, and there doesn‘t need to be, you know, a high-speed chase involved at all. 

COSBY:  And, real quick, you know, the area, we don‘t see a lot of people around.  Was there a possibly of any bystander, anyone else getting injured? 

BLACKINTON:  He was running mostly on rural roads from the Indian reservation.  So they had the spike strips out to try and stop him as he was heading back into town, so it was a very good strategic point for him to try and do it.  And then, instead, he just plowed into the car.

COSBY:  Incredible.  It‘s amazing when we look at these pictures. 

Todd, thank you very much. 

Well, it‘s not everyday that a celebrity shows up at a report‘s office in person to complain about a story.  I know that firsthand.  But that‘s exactly what actress Renee Zellweger did this week at the “New York Post” newspaper. 

Reporter Richard Johnson joins me now live on the phone with the details about his star-studded surprise visitor. 

Richard, I love this story.  What did you think?  All of a sudden, you‘re in your office, you get a phone call, and she says, what, “Hi, I‘m Renee Zellweger.  Come down.”  What did you think? 

RICHARD JOHNSON, “NY POST”:  Well, I thought it was a prank.  I figured it must have been somebody just, you know, making fun.  And I said, you know, I‘m sure that this isn‘t true, but I‘ll come down any way, because I don‘t mind being pranked. 

And I got down to the lobby, and I see this little blond woman, you know, leaning against the wall.  I get closer (OFF-MIKE) it was.

Hello?

COSBY:  And, Richard, you‘re breaking up a little bit, because I know you‘re on a cell phone.  In fact, I think you‘re at a baseball game, if I remember correctly.  You‘re in Yankees Stadium.  No wonder it‘s loud there. 

So if you can hear me real quick, tell me about also, you know, did anybody else see her?  And what did she say to you? 

JOHNSON:  She said (OFF-MIKE) just got a new boyfriend, and that might be (OFF-MIKE) marriage to (OFF-MIKE) was hurtful and it wasn‘t true.  And you know, she didn‘t want other people to be picking up on it.  She was coming to me.  And she wanted to, you know, set the record straight.  And I said, “Great, I‘ll be happy to do so.”

COSBY:  I think it‘s hilarious.  And hold on.  I want to show a couple of quotes. 

This is, first of all, the Monday headline that sort of got her up in arms, everybody.  Let‘s show that if we could.  It‘s basically—it says, “Renee Zellweger Called it Off with Hubby Kenny Chesney.”  Of course, they had that short-lived marriage, “because it seems there was another man.” 

And then this is Richard‘s comment after he met with Zellweger.  This is Thursday‘s headline, her basically saying, “It wasn‘t true.  And it made me look slutty.”

(LAUGHTER)

First of all, do you think—do you give her a lot of credit, real quick, Richard?  And do you think other celebrities are going to be doing this in the future? 

JOHNSON:  Yes, I think it was a good thing for her to do.  And I wish that other people would follow her example.  I mean, it makes my job easier if I get access to people instead of having to go through middlemen. 

So it was great.  And I applaud her courage, too.  I‘m sure it was just as scary for her to come over as for me to go down to the lobby. 

COSBY:  Absolutely, it makes your job a lot easier.  Richard Johnson, thank you very much, of the “New York Post.”  Great story.  Renee Zellweger just showing up saying, “I want to set the record straight.”  Amazing getting that phone call.

And in fact, just to add to another thing that Richard—we didn‘t get a chance to say.  Nobody else in the lobby recognized her.  There she is in the middle of the big media complex.  Nobody else recognized her.  She apparently had a hat and glasses on.  And nobody spotted it was Renee Zellweger.  But walked right over to Richard and said, “I want to correct the record.” 

Really great story. 

Still ahead, everybody, cold-hearted, calculating, cunning.  The BTK Killer murdered without remorse.  The story is being turned into a movie.  And the man playing the part joins me next.  Hear what he has to say. 

That‘s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Mr. Rader, do you know why you‘re being arrested? 

GREGG HENRY, ACTOR:  I have suspicions why. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  The BTK serial killer is coming to a TV set near you this weekend.  CBS is airing a new movie based on the search for Dennis Rader, the serial killer who killed 10 people in Kansas and led police on a 30-year manhunt. 

Joining me now live is Gregg Henry.  He‘s the actor playing BTK in the TV movie. 

Gregg, I want to show just a little clip of the real Dennis Rader and just how evil this man really was. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS RADER, CONFESSED BTK KILLER:  I proceeded to tie her up.  She got sick, threw up.  I got her a glass of water, comforted her a little bit, and then went ahead and tied her up, and then put a bag over her head and strangled her. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSBY:  How hard was it to get inside the mind of this incredible monster? 

HENRY:  Well, it was difficult.  I mean, the way the mind—his mind is pretty hard to fathom, so I started first from the outside working with the sort of physical mannerisms, as I sort of researched and studied more about who he was, at least to all appearances of the people there in Wichita, and then, of course, what the crimes that he committed. 

And so those physical things started to give me little tells as to when he wasn‘t able to put on a mask as easily as he thought he might be.  So those little things gave me insight into who the guy was, I think. 

COSBY:  And speaking of masks, I want to show the picture—this is a shot of him upside down.  I just remember this when we covered the trial.  This was stunning. 

He used to dress in women‘s clothes, almost basically try to almost asphyxiate himself.  I mean, this man was just completely nuts putting on these masks.  To play such an evil character, that must have been hard, to get into someone who was just so off-kilter, so horrible. 

HENRY:  Yes.  Yes.  And the thing is, we were finding out so much more about the guy, actually, while we were shooting it.  So the minute you sort of thought—you realized how sick and strange he was, he got more sick and more strange, and ultimately more evil. 

He was just way off the deep end, in his sexual fantasies and his immersion in those, and absolutely psychopathic, without remorse, without guilt, about acting out...

COSBY:  Yes, it‘s frightening.

HENRY:  ... those fantasies. 

COSBY:  It is.  He just didn‘t show any contrition at all.  You know, I‘m looking at you, and you look very different than in the film.  But I want to show sort of a side-by-side.  It‘s very eerie to see a picture of you on one side—there you are—for the film.  And there‘s Dennis Rader. 

That is incredible.  How much work did that take?  And how much, you know, just physical work, to look like him?  It‘s stunning. 

HENRY:  Well, it was a combination of, first, the make-up folks and hair folks.  You know, we dyed my hair.  We sort of played with the hairline.  We sort of reduced my side burns to widen out my face.  And, of course, the mustache, and then the goatee.  We used contacts.  We shaved my eyebrows sort of in half. 

And then it was what I was speaking about before.  It was just how I had to hold my face physically like he did.  And it‘s interesting.  I mean, this guy who had so many secrets and so many things he was covering up manifested things, like tight-lipped, and out of the side of his mouth, and he would speak out of the side of his mouth. 

He was tremendously tight-lipped and holding something—you know, holding that in.  So that set my face, and my jaw, and my mouth, in a way, so...

COSBY:  It‘s really incredible.  And talk about good acting work to play a role like this.  Gregg Henry, thank you very much. 

And of course, the BTK film with CBS is getting aired this weekend.

And a programming note now, as you can see, tomorrow night on MSNBC, hear from the BTK killer himself, Dennis Rader himself, in a two-hour special report.  Watch “Confessions of BTK.”  That‘s at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time right here on MSNBC.

And still ahead, everybody, go ahead and jump.  We‘ll tell you why these women are jumping from perfectly good airplanes to get your attention.  That‘s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSBY:  Go ahead and jump.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and these women literally jump with a cause.  A hundred and sixty-one women joined hands in California and dove from eight planes, setting a brand-new world skydiving record.

Great to see.  And that does it for me, everybody.  Joe Scarborough‘s next.

SCARBOROUGH:  Thanks, Rita.

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

Copy: Content and programming copyright 2005 NBC.  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 NBC 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 Rita Cosby Live & Direct each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,