Guests: Justin Quinn, Vito Colucci, Steve Huff, Amanda Schoen, Jorge Pesquera, Paul Finebaum, Tim Burger, Warren Reilly, Mark Harris, Owen Lafave, Jonna Spilbor, Wendy Murphy, Jared Ginglen, Garrett Ginglen, Clay Ginglen
RITA COSBY, HOST: Good evening, everybody. Tonight, a teacher accused of having sex with her student cops a plea. But wait until you hear who the judge says is the real victim in the case. Not the student.
And my interview with Matt Damon, the conspiracy theories in his new action-packed movie and the scoop on his soon-to-be marriage.
But first, some big developments in the case of David Ludwig. He‘s The Pennsylvania teen accused of killing his 14-year-old girlfriend‘s parents. Only a few hours ago, a stunning revelation. Prosecutors now say Kara Borden willingly left with Ludwig after he allegedly murdered her parents. And the kidnapping charges against Ludwig have now been dropped.
Joining me is investigator Vito Colucci, and on the phone is Justin Quinn, court reporter for the local newspaper, “The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal.” He is, of course, the one who just saw the court documents.
I‘m going to start with you, Justin. What do they say about her going willingly?
JUSTIN QUINN, “LANCASTER INTELLIGENCER JOURNAL”: Well, what they say is that she was—after she was taken into custody, she told the police that she was—she went willingly and that she went of her own free will. Kara told the defendant that she wanted to stay with him, and they drove west with the intent to, quote, “get as far away as possible, get married and start new life.”
COSBY: What does it say also about his confession? I just got a quote in that had just crossed, apparently, the AP wire. He apparently talked about the murder and says, according to—this is her mother—I shot mom as she was sitting in the chair. It was an intentional murder. I intended to shoot them and I did. what else does it say about this confession, Justin?
QUINN: Well, Kara Borden‘s statement is corroborated by the statement of David Ludwig. He admitted to Lancaster County Detective Joe Geasy (ph) in a signed statement that he went over to the Borden residence armed with several weapons. After talking for about 30 to 45 minutes, Mr. Borden informed Ludwig that he was no longer permitted to see Kara. For that reason, the defendant, quote, “decided to shoot her dad and her mom,” end quote.
Ludwig explained to the Detective Geasy that he, quote, “drew the pistol and shot her dad in the back as he was going down the hallway to the front door.” He said, “I was behind him. I may have taken two steps towards him. I pulled the gun when I stood up, took two steps down the hallway and fired. His back was towards me.”
COSBY: And Justin, does it say anything about her knowing the murder was going to take place?
QUINN: No, there‘s no evidence that she knew about the—about any kind of a plot to kill her parents, and it certainly seems that this was not a case where he had kind of a plan together, although it does say that the district attorney is dropping the kidnapping charge.
COSBY: Yes, Vito, let me bring in you. And Justin, stay with us. You know, this is disgusting! This girl was at the funeral yesterday over the weekend, upset, somber, and now we find out that she says, I‘m going to run away with him, start a new life, get married.
VITO COLUCCI, FORMER DETECTIVE, STAMFORD, CT, POLICE DEPARTMENT.:
Yes. If you remember, last week, Rita, on your show, I said that I felt she went willingly. She runs to the car. She‘s got 30 hours with this guy. She had plenty of time, if she didn‘t want to be with him, to take off, OK?
And so—you know, and this is a guy—as far as the murders, look at that 18-minute video. He talks about an armed raid at a house. He talks about going on night patrol. Him and his friend talk about raping Kara—I mean, having sex with Kara and her sister and then having to kill somebody once they‘re caught. I mean, this guy is just—evil has grabbed hold of this guy, and he brought her along for the ride.
COSBY: And in fact, Justin, let‘s talk about what was found in his car because we got some new details. What does the search warrant say? There‘s a couple items I was hearing—what is it, screwdriver for the license plate, clothing, including a black stocking cap and mask, holster...
QUINN: Yes, there was a...
COSBY: I mean, this sounds planned out, Justin.
QUINN: Well, there was a bunch of black clothing in the car, from what I understand. I don‘t have the search warrant in front of me, but I‘m told that there was—that the gun, the murder weapon, was under the driver‘s seat. There was a handgun, and then there was a rifle, from what I understand, along with lots of black clothing and several different Indiana license plates.
COSBY: You know, Vito, do you think we‘re going to find out that maybe she knew something? I mean, it sounds like he did a lot of planning here, Vito.
COLUCCI: That‘s going to be the only thing left to find out, Rita. Obviously—look at that list you just had on your screen. This guy calculated this whole thing. The whole thing is going to how much she knew in advance and other things of that nature, what she knew he was going to do, what Ludwig was going to do, is going to be the key point of this whole thing. The kidnapping charge being dropped, as you know, Rita, doesn‘t mean nothing right now, I mean, with the murder charges and everything else. We need to know what else she knew about this whole this thing, and they‘ll find that out in the next day or two. Every day, it‘s something new, Rita.
COSBY: Yes, it is. It‘s been—it‘s been amazing how it‘s been unfolding. Vito, stuck with us because, of course, we‘re leaning a little bit more about some of David Ludwig‘s previous relationships.
Crime blogger Steven Huff has been following this case carefully. He joins me now, also along with teenage blogger Amanda Schoen.
Let me start with you, Steve, if I could, because it‘s fascinating. What are the bloggers saying? They‘re comparing this case, now that we‘re finding out that she went willingly, to what case?
STEVE HUFF, CRIME BLOGGER: Oh, one comparison has been to Charley Starkweather and Carol Ann Fugate, who went on a crime spree across Nebraska in the Midwest in 1958, I think it was. And Starkweather was 19. Carol was, I think, 14. Of course, in their case, though, Charley Starkweather killed Carol Ann Fugate‘s parents and her baby half-sister, and then together, the two of them killed seven more people before they were caught.
COSBY: So this is sort of like another lovesick case. You know, Steve, speaking of lovesick, this I thought was very amazing, and I want to show this. This is a comment from another girl who it sounds like had a romantic type of relationship with David Ludwig. This is the blonde that you found out. And I think it‘s really incredible because it sounded like he was in love with this Kara Borden, but yet this woman, it sounds like, was talking about a relationship in the summer.
Let me show a quote. It says, “I‘m sorry that I let us go as far as I did. I regret that I became a stumbling block, rather than encouraging you the way a sister in Christ should have. Please tell me if you‘re going to tell my parents,” blah, blah, blah.
But Steven, doesn‘t that sound like this guy has had a couple romantic relationships?
HUFF: Oh, I think he‘s had more than a couple, and I think his hook was his veneer of ardent Christianity. Some people are truly faithful and fervent Christians, and some people realize that they can use faith as a tool to manipulate others. And I think he realized rather young that he probably could do that.
COSBY: Yes, and Vito, does it sound like this guy was sort of using religion (INAUDIBLE) He‘s speaking about, you know, faith in Christ, and yet he‘s having sex with a 14-year-old girl and talking about having sex with her daughter—I mean, with her three younger sisters.
COLUCCI: Definitely, Rita. That was his vehicle to start his relationship with this girl. Then he brings her over to his side, OK? This guy was just interested—just like—remember the Columbine shooters? They took videos of themselves, too. This isn‘t a money thing about robbing and killing people, this guy just wanted to kill people, and he used this girl for that. He wanted to take her. Her parents get in the way, he kills them. They were going to kill other people. This guy‘s bad news, Rita. He‘s going away forever.
COSBY: Let me bring in Amanda Schoen because, as a blogger, Amanda, you know, here you are, and you hear these stories. How worried are you and how careful are you when you‘re on line not to give out personal information, to get lured by somebody like—like this David Ludwig?
AMANDA SCHOEN, TEENAGE BLOGGER: Well, you have to be really careful
about what you put out there and what you don‘t. I make sure that I keep
my information accessible only to friends and people that I know. I‘ve had
experiences in the past where I—a couple of information that I was used
that I used on line about myself a few years ago, it was intercepted by someone whom I knew—whom I knew but had to keep anonymous and used against me in a time of my life when my parents just divorced and I was going through a lot of tough times in my life. And I learned from that to keep my journal private, for the most part, with a few exceptions, just to make sure that my reputation isn‘t ruined, but also that these kind of predators don‘t come after me.
COSBY: You bet. And we were looking at a shot of your blog just a little bit ago. Amanda, you know, what advice—do you think enough teens are aware of this? You know, David Ludwig, incidentally, had on line his phone number. By the way, we called the number. It is the right number. His phone mail is full. But you know, are there still kids out there that you know of, Amanda, that are still putting out their numbers, putting out information on line?
SCHOEN: Yes, I know of several people that do that through various blog sites, such as Livejournal or Myspace. And you know, Livejournal gives the option of you putting up a—options where people can text message you. And it‘s scary, you know, what kind of people that can try to get a hold of you, try to stalk you. And just the best kind of information is just not to post that sort of information unless you know the person yourself personally.
COSBY: Well, you‘re right. It‘s a whole new world out there with the Internet. Thank you very much, all of you. We appreciate it.
And still ahead: It turns out that Natalee Holloway‘s home state of Alabama is standing behind her mother‘s call for a boycott big-time. Some new information is coming up, and it‘s just the beginning of the show.
Still ahead: A teacher accused of illegal sex education with her students finds out if she‘s the one who‘s going to be in detention.
And what would you do if you spotted your mom or dad on a wanted poster? Three brothers faced that tough call. Tonight, they tell me what they did and why.
And my interview with superstar Matt Damon, what he told me about his new movie and his personal life. Is he ready to become a dad?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT DAMON, ACTOR: Right now, I‘m like one of the kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: It‘s coming up.
COSBY: Well it looks like almost the entire state of Alabama is lining up to support Natalee Holloway‘s family and the recovery efforts for a boycott of Aruba. In a new poll, 75 percent of the people surveyed in Alabama said that they backed the boycott after the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Governor Bob Riley and Natalee‘s mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, announced the boycott earlier this month.
LIVE AND DIRECT tonight from Birmingham is radio talk show host Paul Finebaum. Paul, why do you think the numbers are so high?
PAUL FINEBAUM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I‘m not really sure, Rita, because after Governor Riley made the announcement, there was some criticism on our program and in the media. But for whatever reason, I think people just want to get on board. Beth has made a very compelling case, as you well know, and I think people are afraid to say, I‘m not with you. So I think when they responded, they said, Yes, we‘re behind you. I‘m not sure how many people would actually refuse to go to Aruba, but that‘s what the poll said.
COSBY: You know, I want to show (INAUDIBLE) some more details in the poll here, Paul. It says 70 percent of the people surveyed said that they wouldn‘t travel to Aruba, even if they won a free trip, while 60 percent said they disapprove of the State Department‘s refusal to give this boycott official backing. A, do you believe them, if they got a free trip? And what‘s the reaction from your listeners, Paul?
FINEBAUM: Well, certainly, I don‘t believe any politician would turn down a free trip.
FINEBAUM: But I don‘t know. That‘s a little bit hard to believe. And I‘m not a pollster, so I really wouldn‘t know how to counter that. But I think most people would take a free trip to Aruba. I think that we‘re in a politically correct environment down here, as you well know, and I think people just don‘t want to answer in the negative with anything that has to do with Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance.
COSBY: Well, you know, Paul, we have, of course, had Beth Holloway on our show a lot. Last week, we had her and Amy Bradley. This is another girl who‘s missing. We had her parents on. I want to show a little clip of sort of the interaction between both of the families. Here‘s what they had to say about going to Aruba now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, MOTHER OF MISSING GIRL: Right now, it is just not safe traveling to these islands for our young children, and you know, until changes—changes need to be made. And I think the Bradleys had just as many barriers and roadblocks and difficulties as we have in searching for Natalee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: You know, you talked about sort of the political correctness, Paul. Do you think that the attitude of this poll, if it was done nationwide, would be the same, or do you think it would be different? Or do you think it‘s because there‘s this—you know, she‘s a hometown gal?
FINEBAUM: Yes, I think, Rita, that‘s exactly what it is. I think—
I‘m not sure, nationally, it would have anywhere near those results. I think most people would kind of shrug their shoulders and go, you know, What‘s this all about? Everyone‘s heard about this case, but I don‘t think people are as passionate nationwide as, obviously, they are here in the state of Alabama.
COSBY: All right, Paul. Thank you very much. We appreciate you being with us.
And joining us now on the phone from Aruba is Jorge Pesquera. He is the president and chief executive officer of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association. Jorge, what do these numbers mean to you?
JORGE PESQUERA, ARUBA HOTEL & TOURISM ASSN.: Well, I think the gentleman who was just speaking said the right thing. I think that the hometown issue is impactful in those numbers, and it would be very surprising if we would see anything anywhere near that—those numbers in the rest of the nation.
COSBY: You know, right now, of course, we got the Philadelphia city council. We got Alabama. Is your country doing anything to make sure that this doesn‘t go other states?
PESQUERA: I‘m sorry, but I think the Philadelphia city council tabled any issues related to boycotting indefinitely, if I‘m correct.
COSBY: Yes, they basically have come out and said, We support it, that we—we believe in it, at least, they vocally have said it, I should say. But you know, we hear these things—are you—do you believe and are you doing any steps to make sure it doesn‘t spread outside the state of Alabama?
PESQUERA: Well, speaking out as we are tonight is I think the thing to do. We have been in Aruba a community that has been very sympathetic, very supportive of the Holloway and Twitty families, and we feel their pain. And everyone here is shocked and outraged at this sort of unique set of circumstances that have affected the island. I‘ll tell you, you would be hard pressed to find a safer place on earth.
COSBY: You know, Jorge, do you understand why people are shocked and outraged, though? You know, we‘ve even had the chief of police on our air saying, These guys are guilty as hell, I just have to prove it. Do you understand why there is frustration on the American end?
PESQUERA: Well, I can—I can appreciate the frustration because it is impossible for the full extent of an investigation to be put out into the open in that it may jeopardize the results of the final investigative efforts. And this is something that is very, very hard to get across to the American people. But I can assure you that this is a country where it is very law-abiding. It‘s a very civilized, advanced society, very sophisticated. And the people who are in the police force and the investigative system here strike me as very professional, well trained, serious about their work. They assure everybody here that this is very far from being over.
COSBY: Now, Jorge, can I ask you, in terms of—you guide (ph), obviously. You oversee hotel security. What can you say to Americans who are watching now, say, You know what? I‘m worried about my daughter going to Aruba. I worry about my son going to Aruba. What can you say in terms of security efforts that you have done even to staff up to make sure there‘s not another case like this again?
PESQUERA: Well, I can tell you that the figures speak for themselves. About 1,300,000 visitors come to Aruba every year and have been coming to Aruba for many, many years. Crime against tourists, or even just crime in general, is almost unheard of. Let me tell you, the main highway in Aruba is named after an American citizens. U.S. corporations have been here since the 1920s, and Americans are considered family. And Arubans are really very welcoming and hospitable people.
I tell you, I moved here a year-and-a-half ago with my wife and 6-year-old precisely because of the quality of life that prevails here. This is no third world destination. It is a sophisticated melting pot of many nationalities. There‘s virtually no unemployment. It has the highest per capita income in the Caribbean. It has high-speed Internet access even on the beach.
I‘m telling you, it‘s even below the hurricane belt. So I mean, you‘re very safe coming to this island.
COSBY: All right, Jorge. Thank you very much. And of course, we hope that this case is solved soon. Thank you.
And now to a place whose tourism has been hit hard. It‘s being described as “the New Orleans blues.” A stunning new article in “Time” magazine paints a pretty tough picture of that city. As we all know, New Orleans was absolutely devastated by Hurricane Katrina. But this new report says conditions are much worse now than you think. Some local residents wonder if they‘ll ever be able to return to their homes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every normal thing that you took for granted, you can‘t take anything for granted anymore. It‘s going to take too long for important decisions to be made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And LIVE AND DIRECT tonight is “Time” magazine reporter Tim Burger. Tim, how bad are things in New Orleans now?
TIM BURGER, “TIME” MAGAZINE: They‘re horrendous. I mean, the story sort of went of the—out of the, you know, main headlines after the waters receded and the people were no longer hiding on their roofs. But in fact, the city really remains devastated, much of it. The 9th ward, maybe 50,000 houses have to be bulldozed, people‘s lives sitting on the curb, destroyed by the flood. It‘s rather incredible.
COSBY: How few people are actually back in New Orleans? Tim, you know, 24 hours a day, how many hospitals are working?
BURGER: Well, they had eight hospitals before Katrina, and now they have only two of those back up on line. Fifteen percent of the medical professionals are back working and able to care for emergencies. The city had about half million people before Katrina, and now about 150,000 go there to work during the day and only 60,000 overnight.
COSBY: Wow. What is the state in terms of crime? Murder rate, I understand, the good news, it‘s down, but what about looters?
BURGER: Well, people apparently continue looting, although the city is so dead in many places that they can do it during the day. At night, apparently, the population just recedes away, even the looters, I guess. The murder rate is way down. You know, even if the murderers were roaming the streets, there‘s not so many people to even prey on. It‘s really an incredible sort of almost a ghost town.
COSBY: You know, it‘s amazing because that‘s how I remember it when I was there right after the hurricane hit, Tim. But here it is months later, so much attention, so much criticism. What is taking the government so long?
BURGER: Well, the scale of the disaster is what you see—our team of correspondents who are down there—and trying to basically help repair an entire city, a major American city. It‘s the same size as Washington, half a million people. So just the scale of trying to do that is the federal government, the state and local all trying to figure it out, along with people who own their homes. It‘s quite a bureaucratic nightmare.
COSBY: All right, Tim. Thank you very much. Good reporting there, my friend. Thank you.
BURGER: Thank you, Rita.
COSBY: And now joining us tonight is Police Chief Warren Riley from New Orleans. You know, Chief, how would you describe the city you know well and love?
CHIEF WARREN RILEY, NEW ORLEANS POLICE: Well, I think the reporter from the “Time” article is relatively accurate. Seventy percent of the city is still unoccupied. Seventy percent of the city is still without lights. It is still—the city—I don‘t know if the nation ever really got the picture of how devastated this city was or is from Katrina.
COSBY: What is the biggest frustration for you? And why do you think it‘s taken so long? Is it the light? Is there still bureaucratic hold-ups in the money? What‘s the issue, Chief?
RILEY: Well, I don‘t know. I just think that not only locally, but I think nationally, devastation to this degree has overwhelmed everyone. But I do think the federal government needs to move quicker. We have 300,000, 400,000 people that are not able to return. We have a levee system that absolutely has to be repaired to a category five, to resist a category five hurricane. The government has do something quickly because, obviously, people are losing hope.
COSBY: Well, and not just losing hope, it sounds like they‘re looting, from what Tim Burger was saying. Tim Burger was saying, basically, that they‘re looting even by day. Are you seeing that? That it‘s just so deserted that sort of people are still able to do a few things?
RILEY: I‘m sorry. I didn‘t understand your question. I didn‘t hear you.
COSBY: In terms of looting, he said the good news is the murder rate‘s down because there‘s basically nobody there. But he said that some folks still, unfortunately, taking advantage. There‘s still some looting, even by day.
RILEY: Well, that isn‘t necessarily true. The looting is down because of enforcement by NOPD, along with Louisiana State Police and New York State Police that have been here assisting us. So we formed an anti-looting squad. We‘ve arrested over 100 people, primarily people who are from out of town, who have come in to do work and things like that at night. At night, are people out looting? No. It is so dark and desolate, nobody‘s really around.
COSBY: You know, Chief, how do you managed to stay focused, and your guys, who, believe me, when I saw them firsthand, they are doing a great job out there—how tough is it when you still see, you know, like places like the 9th ward that need to be leveled, so much destruction, so much, you know, silt, so much mold still all over the place?
RILEY: Well, it‘s hard to stay—it‘s easy to stay focused, I should say, because, I mean, this is the city where I was born and raids. This is a city that we all love. The citizens here, we love. So we‘re here to do all we can to bring New Orleans back. New Orleans will come back. It will take some time. And hopefully, America can learn from this because this is not the last or the worst catastrophe that will ever hit this country. So hopefully, people will take notice of this and put the appropriate things in place so that the response in the future is much greater and much better.
COSBY: Yes, the city‘s losing millions, sort of $1.5 million a day in tourism alone. How long do you think it‘s going to take to get until it really gets back on its feet and gets the funding it needs to really rebuild?
RILEY: I‘m sorry. I‘m having—I didn‘t hear you.
COSBY: How long do you think it‘s going to take to rebuild, Chief? I mean, you know, it‘s losing so much money. It‘s going to take a long time.
RILEY: It is going to take a long time to rebuild the city. However, our central business district is coming back up slowly but surely. We do have Algiers, which is another area with 60,000 residents. I believe over 40,000 have returned. We have two other areas of the city that‘s beginning to come back. But we do have Lakeview, the lower 9th word and New Orleans East, which does have a long way to go. They were the most devastated areas. Still waiting on power and water, but those things will happen, hopefully—hopefully, in the near future. But we do have a long way to go.
COSBY: Well, we wish you lots of luck, Chief. Thank you so much for being here.
And of course, everybody, later this week, I‘m going to be heading back to New Orleans to see for myself how the city is coping since Hurricane Katrina. Please be sure to watch my pre-Thanksgiving special this Wednesday night live from New Orleans.
And up next: A teacher is sentenced for having sex with her students, but wait until you hear why the judge says the teacher is the one who was being used for sex. That‘s right.
And find out what three brothers did when they found out that dear old Dad was wanted for bank robbery. Did they turn him in? Find out, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID SOARES, ALBANY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It‘s pretty outrageous that we would characterize someone who perpetrated this offense on a youth as being anything other than a sexual offender. The idea that he didn‘t see the young boys here as victims is offensive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And that was the district attorney in Albany, New York, who is outraged, needless to say, after comments by a judge today suggesting that a teacher who had sex with her students was really the victim. He says she was used by her teenage student. Today in court, 42-year-old Beth Geisel got a six-month sentence, but since she‘s already been serving time, she‘s going to be out by the holidays. Is this justice?
Joining us now to talk about a surprising day in court is assistant district attorney in Albany, Mark Harris, who joins us by phone.
Mark, I want to further show comments from the judge. This is a quote
in his, you know, comments on the court today. “At the time this occurred”
and he‘s talking about Geisel—“you were needy, drinking heavily, and had low self-esteem. While you looked at this as affection, you were being used, abused and sexually abused.”
What do you make of the judge‘s statements?
MARK HARRIS, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN ALBANY: Well, I mean, a lot of people in the criminal justice system are intoxicated, or have alcohol problems, or needy, and there‘s a number of reasons why people commit crimes or get in the situations where they‘re committing crimes.
But that was irrelevant to the later comments he made regarding the victims in this matter. Beth Geisel isn‘t a victim; she‘s a criminal. And maybe she‘s had a difficult period of time of, but compared to backgrounds of a lot of criminals, I mean, she‘s had a very easy time of it. So for the judge to take that position was stretching it.
COSBY: And, Mark, I want to show—this is a comment from her attorney. This is what he had to say just a little bit earlier on Dan Abrams‘ show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON KINSELLA, BETH GEISEL‘S ATTORNEY: There‘s no question that she engaged in the conduct with the young man and that she had been abusing alcohol. She got involved with a couple of 17-year-olds. And one thing led to another, with a group of boys who basically decided to pass around their experiences with her and take advantage of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: You know, Mark, has the judge lost sight that she‘s the teacher, they‘re the students?
HARRIS: Well, he certainly seems to have lost sight of that fact, that she took a position of power and authority over students that all teachers seem to have and abused it for her own ends.
COSBY: Mark, thank you very much. We appreciate you being with us.
And now some new developments in a very similar case. Debra Lafave was a married teacher from Florida who‘s charged with having sex with a 14-year-old student. Her trial starts December 5th.
And now we‘ve learned that her defense team is planning to claim that she was insane. Let‘s bring in someone who knows Debra Lafave well, her ex-husband, Owen Lafave.
You know, Owen, what do you make of the insanity plea? Is she insane?
OWEN LAFAVE, DEBRA LAFAVE‘S EX-HUSBAND: Rita, I mean, that‘s something I‘m going to leave up to the psychologist to determine whether or not she is insane. By I think, from a number of instances and her appearances in the media and things that have been released, I think we all can conclude that she does have some mental issues, even specifically related to the latest news that she went and threatened her new boyfriend‘s ex-girlfriend.
COSBY: Yes, in fact, I know that there‘s some comments out. There‘s a filing. In fact, I want to show that. This is a petition from this woman, who was, I guess, the ex-girlfriend or the current girlfriend of this guy that she‘s apparently pursuing. And she makes it sound like Debra maybe even is violent.
She says, “I don‘t want her near my children. I don‘t hate Debbie.
She has to work on herself. It‘s about my kids.”
Did Debbie display any violence?
LAFAVE: No, I‘ve never seen any sign of violence. However, what she is accused of is going into this lady‘s place of work. And I think that is a display of poor judgment. And being accused of what she‘s accused of, I can understand this lady‘s concern for Debra being around her children.
COSBY: Now, will you, Owen, be testifying in the trial? And if so, what would you say?
LAFAVE: You know, I haven‘t been subpoenaed to testify, which is kind of surprising, since the trial is scheduled to start in almost two weeks. So I‘m not really sure at this point.
COSBY: You know, are you surprised it even got to this point? A lot of people thought, Owen, it would get to sort of a plea deal, it would never make it to trial.
LAFAVE: I‘m extremely surprised it got to this point. And the only thing I think they had going for them is the public‘s sentiment.
I know there is a lot of compassion on her behalf; however, when she keeps doing things in the public forum, like she recently did with this girl, I think it‘s negatively affecting her ability to persuade any type of jury.
COSBY: Yes, absolutely. They‘re going to say, “What‘s going on with this woman?”
You know, her defense attorney, Owen, has basically said all the dirty laundry‘s going to be aired. What do you think they‘re talking about? What do you think they‘re going to go after?
LAFAVE: I‘m not exactly sure. I understand that some comments were released about possibly going into the boy‘s sexual background. Those will not be permitted to be discussed.
I‘m sure they‘re going to go into her previous mental and sexual history, so that‘s—you know, if I had to make a guess, that‘s what I think they‘re alluding to.
COSBY: When was the last time you talked to her, Owen?
LAFAVE: It‘s been months, Rita.
COSBY: And do you want to see her? And if you did, what would you want to say to her next time you do see her?
LAFAVE: You know, I really have no desire to see her at this point. But, you know, still one of the burning desires and questions that I have is just, “Why?” Why did it ever happen?
COSBY: Why do you think, Owen? And, in fact, you‘re an amazing guy in the sense that you went through this horrible experience. I know you‘re working on a documentary and doing some really great, positive things to try to help other folks.
But why do you think it happened? Why do you think your wife hit up with a 14-year-old boy?
LAFAVE: You know, I have no idea, because there was nothing wrong with our relationship. And it‘s just one of those things that is just bizarre. It‘s very “Jerry Springer”-esque, especially as the story continues to grow. And it‘s just—it‘s very confusing. And it‘s something that, you know, I still continue to search for the answers.
COSBY: Owen, thanks so much for being with us. It‘s always good to have you on. Thank you.
LAFAVE: Thank you, Rita.
COSBY: Thanks. And let‘s bring in, if we could, former prosecutor Wendy Murphy. And with me right here in the studio is defense attorney Jonna Spilbor.
Jonna, what do you make of the fact, the insanity plea, which it sounds—obviously, she‘s nuts to go out with a 14-year-old guy.
JONNA SPILBOR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right, right.
COSBY: Owen‘s a wonderful guy, and then to cheat on her husband, some 14-year-old student, but to use insanity?
SPILBOR: It probably won‘t work. What I think this is, Rita, is what we call a slow plea. If she pleads insanity, her defense attorney will be able to bring in all of her mental history and her mental illness. The jury will get to see that and, hopefully, feel sorry for her, give her some sympathy. It will be a mitigating factor, just like the mitigating factors in the other case that we might discuss, Beth Geisel.
COSBY: You know, Wendy, will it work? Will the sympathy vote work?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: No.
Look, the only reason she‘s pleaded insanity is because she has no other defense, because she got caught, not only red-handed, so to speak—
I think it was a different body part, though.
COSBY: You know, Wendy, is that...
MURPHY: Wrote love letters.
COSBY: Is that the question, that she had no other choice, because she couldn‘t go into the boy‘s background? That was ruled by the judge inadmissible. So is this sort of her only choice?
MURPHY: Yes, of course. I mean, there‘s no defense here except to claim some kind insanity, but it doesn‘t matter. This is really an attempt at a nullification verdict.
She does want, you know, a couple of “Playboy”-loving guys on the jury who won‘t even pay attention to the evidence. They‘ll just look at her, and her breasts, and her mini-skirt, and go, “Oh, the lucky kids.” And that‘s a problem.
And I hope that the D.A.‘s are prepared to screen out those kind of jurors, because that‘s not the law. The law says, “We don‘t care if the boys got tingles, because they were doing whatever they were doing with her.” Boys get tingles when they drink and drive, too. And we don‘t say, “Oh, good, well, wasn‘t that good for them,” and give the bad people a pass.
That‘s what this story is all about. It doesn‘t matter what she looks like. And it‘s not less harmful, because she‘s blonde and cute...
COSBY: Let me bring in Jonna, because...
MURPHY: ... or whether she was an ugly beast.
COSBY: You know, Jonna, some of the things she touched on, obviously, first of all, his background can‘t come into play, whether he had relationships with other girls before. And we don‘t know if it‘s other women or not, older women, who knows what.
Also, there‘s a gag order in place. Does it seem like she‘s working with a couple strikes against her going in for her defense team?
SPILBOR: She definitely is, not so much for the gag order, but because, look, if this 14-year-old kid was 14 going on 24, he‘s much less a victim than Wendy wants to portray him.
In all due respect, Wendy, he‘s not some little innocent 14-year-old kid who perhaps never had sex before. He could be experienced sexually;
14-year-old kids come of age, and that‘s what they do. He happened to do it with an adult and not somebody of his age. And that does make a difference in the eyes of the law.
MURPHY: There‘s not one bit of difference, not one bit!
MURPHY: She‘s a grownup. She needs to leave him alone.
SPILBOR: He is far less a victim than, say, a little girl who is not sexually experienced...
MURPHY: It‘s irrelevant. It‘s irrelevant.
SPILBOR: ... who has sex with a male teacher. No, and it won‘t be in the eyes of the jury.
SPILBOR: If I were on that jury, it would be very relevant.
COSBY: Let me get—Wendy‘s going to get a rise out of this, because speaking of coming of age, this is about the Geisel case.
I think it‘s really shocking as what this judge said, basically suggesting that she‘s the victim because she drank, she was taken advantage of by these guys, you know, poor her. She‘s 42 years old; the kid is a 16-year-old kid.
Wendy, what‘s your reaction to the judge‘s statements?
MURPHY: That‘s a judge who should be run off the bench. He should be ashamed of himself. Because if that‘s how he feels, because he‘s got his own titillating problems going on under the robe, he should be off the bench, because that‘s not the law. It‘s a very stupid statement.
MURPHY: It‘s a stupid statement to make.
SPILBOR: We don‘t know what‘s going on under that judge‘s robe.
COSBY: Jonna, aren‘t you stunned that a judge would actually say that?
SPILBOR: No, I‘m not stunned, because he couldn‘t make it up out of a whole cloth. The defense attorney must have presented him with evidence of that. And that‘s his conclusion.
MURPHY: It‘s irrelevant.
COSBY: But she‘s still a 42-year-old teacher.
SPILBOR: A 42-year-old alcoholic, obviously with some problems, so maybe to call her a victim‘s a little harsh.
MURPHY: How dare he blame the kids. How dare he blame the kids.
SPILBOR: He‘s not blaming the kid. He‘s taking a little of the burden off the defendant...
MURPHY: Yes he did.
SPILBOR: ... because she was an alcoholic. And that‘s allowed.
MURPHY: But, Jonna, he‘s a judge.
COSBY: I mean, look, everybody who has robbed or done some horrible thing, 90 percent of them, unfortunately, are drugged or do drugs, or whatever the issue is.
SPILBOR: And sometimes it‘s a mitigating factor in those circumstances, too, when you have a specific intent crime.
MURPHY: Not for this crime.
SPILBOR: Yes, yes, it is. And you know, mental problems shouldn‘t—why should we not take them into consideration? If somebody‘s incapacitated mentally, no matter what your crime...
COSBY: I‘m going to give you five seconds, Wendy.
MURPHY: It‘s a strict liability crime. It‘s a strict liability crime. Jonna knows it. Her mental state is irrelevant. For the judge to say that makes it sound relevant when it isn‘t. He should be tossed off the bench.
COSBY: All right, guys. Got to have to be the last word. Thank you very much. I knew it would be interesting with the two of you guys here.
All right. And still ahead, three brothers got quite a shock when they found out who‘s accused of robbing this bank. Would you believe it was their dad? Find out what they did next.
And my interview with Matt Damon. He tells me about making his new movie with George Clooney and—get this—could politics be in his future? Stay tuned.
COSBY: Well, imagine looking at a wanted poster and realizing it was your father or mother that police were actually looking for. What would you do?
Three Illinois brothers faced a difficult decision when they realized their dad was the prime suspect in a string of bank robberies. And they made that tough call to turn him in.
I‘m joined now by Jared Ginglen, who first made that discovery, and also his brothers, Garrett and also Clay.
You know, Jared, you‘re also a cop, right?
JARED GINGLEN, TURNED IN FATHER FOR ROBBING BANKS: Yes, I am.
COSBY: Yes. How did you find out that your dad was wanted?
J. GINGLEN: It was more coincidence than anything else. One day, I was reading the newspaper, a local newspaper, and was reading about some robberies that happened in another part of the state, read the description of this bank robber.
They gave a description of his car and that something inside said, “Well, you might just want to look at this, because this is an area where my father, you know, spent time in.” The description matches. He has the same kind of car.
I went to a Web site offered by that sheriff‘s department and saw that it was, in fact, him.
COSBY: Your jaw must have just dropped. What was your reaction?
J. GINGLEN: I couldn‘t believe it, just shock, absolutely shock. I called my brother, Garrett, told him about it and had him check the Web site just to make sure.
COSBY: And what did you see when you looked at it? And you went...
GARRETT GINGLEN, TURNED IN FATHER FOR ROBBING BANKS: Oh...
COSBY: And, again, he had a surgical mask on, so you couldn‘t see his full face, right?
G. GINGLEN: Right. Right, but instantly knew. I could just tell. You know, I grew up with him. And as soon as I saw it, actually, I got very sick to my stomach. I got actually very sick. And I called my brother, Clay. And I had him to verify again, but just to verify what I saw was really true.
COSBY: And, Clay, you get the call now. Now here are two of your brothers who are saying this is dad. What did you think?
CLAY GINGLEN, TURNED IN FATHER FOR ROBBING BANKS: Then it hits me.
And you just get shivers, chills. It‘s a shock that you can‘t imagine.
Very hard to deal with, but we had to deal with it.
COSBY: And what did you decide? How did you—did you say, “OK, look, we have to do the right thing”? What was your reaction, Clay?
C. GINGLEN: That‘s exactly what we said. It was a dangerous situation, and we had the chance to put a stop to it. And that‘s all we thought about.
COSBY: And one of the other things, Clay, too, I understand, one of the robberies, at least one of them was armed, right?
C. GINGLEN: Right. That‘s correct.
COSBY: And how did he go into these banks? What was sort of the background on the crimes?
C. GINGLEN: Well, we didn‘t really know. All we saw was that Web site. And what we saw was what appeared to be him in a disguise strolling up and laying a weapon on the counter. And it looked like he was asking for money, obviously.
And I mean, that‘s all we really knew. But when we saw that, we didn‘t really know the extent of his activities.
COSBY: You know, and your dad obviously gave a statement, too. I want to show this, because he said, “I think”—referring to you guys—
“I think they could have helped me get through this easier. They did what they thought was right. I can‘t fault them for that.”
You know, Garrett, when you hear that, it must have been heartbreaking?
G. GINGLEN: It was. What do you do? You have to turn in your own father. I haven‘t spoken to the man in over a year since this happened.
COSBY: Have either of you talked to him at all? Has there been any contact?
C. GINGLEN: I‘ve talked to him on the phone a few times, but just small talk.
COSBY: And what did he—did he talk at all about what happened?
C. GINGLEN: He‘s not actually able to, due to the court system, you know, the criminal justice system so he just tries to keep in touch with me. So...
COSBY: How is your mom doing? Where‘s your mother?
G. GINGLEN: Well, Mom is still in the town we grew up in, and she still lives in the house that she had.
COSBY: And how is she handling this news?
G. GINGLEN: Well, she‘s actually doing very well. My mom‘s a very private person. And so this was hard for her.
But in spite of that, she‘s done—you know, she‘s done extremely well. She‘s very independent. And we‘re trying to—you know, we‘re trying to help her as much as we can.
COSBY: Do all of you, real quick, still love your dad?
G. GINGLEN: Sure.
C. GINGLEN: Yes.
COSBY: Do you?
J. GINGLEN: Yes, I do, but that‘s because he is my father. But what he did, what can you say?
COSBY: And he was on cocaine. You know he had his crack cocaine habit of a couple hundred dollars a week, too. Do you believe that‘s what drove him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From what we‘ve read, there had to be something.
This is hard to explain otherwise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That would make sense.
COSBY: Well, all of you, thank you very much. And I‘m sure—obviously, a lot of people are just heartbroken hearing the story, but you had to do what you had to do. Thank you so much for being here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for having us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks.
COSBY: Thank you.
And up next, my interview with Matt Damon. He‘s going to tell me about his new film filled with assassinations and conspiracy theories. And what about his wedding date? Does he even have time to tie the knot?
Stay tuned, everybody.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT DAMON, ACTOR: This guy might be able to revolutionize not just his country, but the whole region. As soon as his father keels over, this guy could be like Mossadeq in ‘52 in Iran, a real democracy rising up organically.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Assassination, suicide bombers, and backroom deals made by the most powerful players in Washington. Sounds like real life, but it‘s a new blockbuster starring Matt Damon.
I asked him about his film, costarring with George Clooney, and I also got some scoop on his personal life.
COSBY (voice-over): Matt Damon is one Hollywood‘s golden boys.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Matt, did you enjoy the evening?
DAMON: It‘s great. (OFF-MIKE)
COSBY: He made his mark in 1998 with his long-time friend, Ben Affleck, for their critically acclaimed drama, “Good Will Hunting,” each taking home an Oscar, making Matt Damon one of the most sought-after talents in the business.
Matt is currently filming “Good Shepherd” with Angelina Jolie, but he took time out to talk to me about his most recently completed blockbuster, “Syriana,” a political thriller about terrorism and corruption of the global oil industry.
(on-screen): Matt, what intrigued you about this film? And why should people go see it?
DAMON: Well, I think it‘s something that—it‘s an issue that definitely touches all of our lives, so I felt like it was a real timely film. And given everything that‘s—you know, if you pick up the newspaper, you know, there‘s going to be something about energy in it every day.
And, you know, it‘s something that affects all of us. And ultimately, what I hope happens—and I think what we all hope happens—is that people come out of this wanting to, you know, go get a cup of coffee and talk about it.
COSBY: The topic of suicide bombers, it‘s very chilling to see the mindset, the desperation.
DAMON: Right. Well, I think what the movie does, you know, which is important, is it tries to point—it doesn‘t simplify the characters that do this.
And I think that‘s a real danger, when we‘re willing to just paint people with such a simple brush and say, “They‘re evil, and that‘s it,” without trying to understand that there is a battle of ideas that somebody else won and convinced them to do this. What we have to do is start winning the battle of ideas.
COSBY (voice-over): With so many actors getting involved in politics, I asked Matt if he had any interest in throwing his hat in the ring.
(on-screen): In the film, you‘re talking about Washington politics.
What about your political aspirations? Do you have any?
DAMON: No, no, no. I don‘t have any political aspirations.
COSBY: Ruling it out totally?
DAMON: Yes, I think so. I‘m ruling it out. You know, I love what I do; I love working in the industry that I work in, and, you know, acting and writing. And I‘d love to some day direct, but right now—I mean, you know, who knows? People change. I mean, I‘m 35. Maybe when I‘m 50 I‘ll feel differently.
COSBY: Any possibility of an “Oceans Eleven 3?”
DAMON: If Steven Soderbergh wants to do with it, I‘m always available.
COSBY: And anything more with Ben?
DAMON: Hopefully, yes. I mean, you know, we‘ve been split up, in a sense, because we‘ve been working all over the world separately. But he just adopted a Dennis Lehane novel that he‘s going to direct next year called “Gone Baby Gone.” And, you know, after he does that, you know, hopefully we‘ll get to writing something again.
COSBY (voice-over): On a personal level, Matt Damon broke a lot of hearts recently when he took himself off the market by popping the question to Miami bartender Luciana Barroso, who has a young daughter, Alexa.
(on-screen): In the film, you play a dad.
COSBY: You‘re going to be a real-life dad soon after you get married.
Are you ready for it?
DAMON: I can‘t wait. I mean, I‘m a professional uncle right now. So I have to get better at the discipline part. You know, right now I‘m like one of the kids so...
COSBY: Have you set a wedding date?
DAMON: No, not yet, not yet. Well, we—you know, sometime next year we‘re going to figure it out. When I stop working, we‘re going to take a break, and we‘ll come up with air and figure out what we‘re going to do.
COSBY: And “Syriana” opens in select theaters this Wednesday and nationwide December 3rd.
Still ahead, a criminal makes a bizarre apology to one of Matt Damon‘s best friends. You‘re going to hear it next.
COSBY: And finally tonight, an unusual crime with an even more bizarre ending. A Wisconsin man who stored his dead mom in a freezer was sentenced to seven years behind bars. Philip Schuth was arrested in April after shooting at his neighbors. Prosecutors say the recluse led an elaborate fantasy life. He even believed he was married to actress Jennifer Garner.
At today‘s sentencing, Schuth apologized to his victims, both real and imaginary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILIP SCHUTH, STORED MOTHER‘S BODY IN FREEZER: I‘d like to apologize to Jennifer Garner and her pool-boy, Ben Affleck, for incorporating them into my fantasy life. I apologize to my victims, my grandmother, my mother, and the Russell family.
I apologize to anyone who has been offended by my fictional creations, Crysthlicon (ph), the philosopher of evil, and the Skull Sealer (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And Schuth‘s mother died of natural causes back in 2000. But investigators say that he kept it a secret so that he could cash her Social Security checks. What a wild story.
And that does it for me. I‘m Rita Cosby. Joe Scarborough starts right now.
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