Guests: Joe Flaherty, Martha Coakley, Rob Selevitch, John Depetro, Vito Colucci, Lawrence Kobilinsky, Gerry Leone, Emily Smith, Theodore Simon, Jim Cook, Ted Wasky, Andrew Marchand
RITA COSBY, HOST: Good evening, everybody. You are now looking live at the scene of a horrible crime, the home where a mother and baby were shot to death in this quiet neighborhood near Boston. Their bodies were found in bed on the second floor of this house that you‘re looking at. And some major developments have happened in this case. Tonight, the husband and father, Neil Entwistle, is under arrest in the United Kingdom, but the U.S. plans to bring him back to justice.
Hello, everybody. I‘m Rita Cosby, and I‘m LIVE AND DIRECT from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, in front of the house where Rachel Entwistle and her 9-month-old baby, Lillian, were killed just three weeks ago. Neil Entwistle suddenly disappeared to England and has been at his parents‘ house outside of London, even missing their funeral. But tonight he is behind bars. Police believe the crime was a failed murder/suicide.
NBC‘s Charles Sabine has been following the very big breaking developments all day long in London, and he joins me now live. Charles, first of all, how and where did they finally get Neil Entwistle?
CHARLES SABINE, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, he was, strangely, arrested at a west London subway station, one called Royal Oak, Rita. This happened at 11:50 this morning, local time. Now, I say strange because this was 150 miles from his family home in Worksop, central England, where he has, we know, been spending most of his time since he came here to England following the deaths of his wife and daughter.
Now, the officers from the Metropolitan Police extradition unit say that he did not put up any struggle, but they served him with a warrant which alleged that—and I will read from it. It says, Rita, “On or before 22 January at 6 Cubs Path (ph), Hopkinton, Massachusetts, you, Neil Entwistle, did murder Rachel and Lillian Entwistle.” He was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition—Rita.
COSBY: You know, Charles, describe a little bit about his mood. How was he dressed today in court? I mean, this is the first time a lot of people got to see him face to face.
SABINE: Yes, it was. Well, he was only in Bow Street magistrate‘s court in Covent Garden for less than five minutes. He was dressed casually and appeared calm, as he was asked by the judge if he understood the nature of the charges, which he said he did, and then whether he consented to extradition, to which he said no. His lawyer, Ben Brandon (ph), said there would be an appeal for bail tomorrow, when there will be a reappearance in court. Meantime, he‘s been remanded in custody pending that appearance—
COSBY: And Charles, real quickly, give us a little bit more sense of what that hearing is going to be tomorrow.
SABINE: Well, it‘s going to be about the extradition and how long it‘s going to take. If he says that he is going to appeal against it, which is likely, it will take possibly up to a year, at least nine months, although since the 9/11 events, the extradition process here has been greatly simplified. Lawyers representing the U.S. government have 65 days to serve formal papers to the court, after which the decision will go to the British home secretary. Then, of course, there could be hurdles further through the British court system. So we could see be seeing nine months, at least, here for this to go through—Rita.
COSBY: What a long process. Charles, please keep us posted. Thank you very much.
So the big question is, How is the family reacting to Neil Entwistle‘s arrest? Let‘s now bring in, if we could, the family spokesman for Rachel and Lillian Entwistle, Joe Flaherty. Joe, first of all, how is the family doing tonight?
JOE FLAHERTY, SPOKESMAN FOR RACHEL‘S FAMILY: Well, as you can imagine, Rita, they‘re devastated by the news. They‘re saddened. They always—Rachel loved Neil and Lilly, and they had a lot of trust in him, and obviously, that—according to the charges that have been brought forward, he‘s betrayed that trust, and they‘re very sad. They‘re a very strong family, a very private family.
They‘re being supported now by, literally, people around the world. I mean, they‘ve had a tremendous response from the people in Britain—and of course, Lilly was—the baby was born in Britain, but just from all over the world, from the United States, from Britain, the outpouring of support and prayers and love is helping them stay strong. And they‘ll get through this, and they understand this is just the beginning of a very long process.
COSBY: You know, and Joe, as you pointed out, there must be so many emotions. You talked about betrayal, hurt. There must be just a roller-coaster of emotions that they‘re experiencing, right?
FLAHERTY: Absolutely, Rita. I mean, you can imagine, this is—as we said today, it‘s just incomprehensible that somebody could betray a family trust like this and be charged with such a horrible, horrible crime.
COSBY: How did they find out that Neil was arrested? How were they told?
FLAHERTY: The Middlesex County district attorney‘s office, Martha Coakley‘s office, and the State Police and the Hopkinton police have been in touch with the family right along, giving them updates as the investigation progressed, obviously, not in any great detail, but kept them abreast of things as the investigation continued. And when the warrant was issued, the family, of course, was told. In the event that, you know, it did get out there, the district attorney‘s office wanted, of course, the parents and the family to know before anyone else.
COSBY: You know, Joe, it‘s got be heart-breaking for them, especially the news that we heard today that the gun that Rachel‘s father had in his collection, apparently, you know, allegedly, according to the district attorney, was used by Neil. There‘s just got to be so many emotions. How are they handling that news?
FLAHERTY: Well, Rita, you know, we‘ve been, you know, very consistent in not talking about anything relative to the investigation itself, other than to say, of course, the family has always been cooperative in this investigation from the beginning. They were always—had a lot of confidence in Martha Coakley‘s office, the district attorney of Middlesex County, and the state police and the Hopkinton police. And of course, they had great assistance from the British authorities, the—Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan extradition unit. So they were always confident this case would be solved, and they‘ve always been cooperative, hoping that that would be the case.
COSBY: You know, and Joe, really quickly, because as we heard today, that there is a fight for extradition by Neil—this could be a long road. Are they ready for what may be a really difficult road ahead?
FLAHERTY: Absolutely, Rita. I mean, they‘ve been told right along that if, in fact, this is the way it went, that this is—and again, any investigation like this, an arrest many times is just the very beginning of a case like this. And this case will be investigated and it will go on for a considerable amount of time afterward. And they‘re aware that the extradition proceedings and how long they can take, but they‘re going to be patient, and they are thankful to everybody for their support and their prayers and thankful to the district attorney‘s office, the State Police and Hopkinton police and everyone involved that they were so tenacious and that they were able to bring someone to justice for this crime.
COSBY: Absolutely. And Joe, thank you very much. Our prayers are so much with that family tonight. We appreciate you being here. I know you‘ve done a great job for the family. Thank you very much.
FLAHERTY: Thank you, Rita.
COSBY: Thank you, Joe.
And tonight, there is shock and also outrage from people who knew Rachel Entwistle, including people in Carver, Massachusetts, just about an hour away from here south. That‘s where Rachel‘s family is based and where Neil allegedly took his father-in-law‘s gun. Take a look at how that community is reacting tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He left, and then he never even came back for the services or anything. I mean, to me, I mean, your child and your wife should be your priority, no matter what.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just a feeling I had, just based on, you know, the evidence that the press was bringing forward, the way he took off—just things just didn‘t add up to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I don‘t think anything could drive someone to kill somebody, or especially a little innocent baby who wasn‘t asked to be brought into this world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And reaction from Carver, Massachusetts.
Well, today, our LIVE AND DIRECT team went to Boston‘s Logan airport, to the British Airways international terminal. That is the very same terminal where Neil boarded his flight to the United Kingdom on Saturday, January 22, at 8:15 in the morning. Now, we learned today that he bought the ticket for the flight at 5:00 AM that morning with a credit card, only one day after he allegedly murdered his wife and baby.
Middlesex County district attorney Martha Coakley is overseeing the case and asked for the warrant against Neil Entwistle. I asked her about the evidence in this heart-breaking case.
MARTHA COAKLEY, MIDDLESEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: What we did was look at witnesses. We did a very thorough investigation, and as you would always do in any case like this, you would look at what other kinds of physical evidence or forensic evidence you can gather. Now, in Massachusetts, prosecutors are prohibited from commenting specifically on that, and all I have said today is that we did have forensic information that allowed us to link the .22-caliber gun that was owned by Rachel‘s father to Neil, which was part of the evidence that led us to seek these charges.
COSBY: Do we have any idea when he got that gun to begin with, like, how far in advance this may have been planned?
COAKLEY: Well, we know that it can‘t have been gone for too long because it is part of a collection that Rachel‘s father uses from time to time—obviously, not every day. He was not aware that it was missing. And so we believe he returned it Friday afternoon, sometime after we allege he committed these murders. When he took it before then, we‘re not certain. It could have been a week. It could have been two weeks. But we can‘t pinpoint that time. The father-in-law did not know the gun was missing.
COSBY: Do we know if there were any forensics found in the car? We know his BMW, the family‘s only car, ended up in Logan airport, which he drove there.
COAKLEY: Correct. And again, because we can‘t comment specifically on tests or results of that, I‘m just not at liberty to say. We obviously looked at his car. We looked at the house. And all of that was part of what, you know, led us to the charges today. But there‘s nothing specific I can comment on about the car.
COSBY: Tell us about his financial problems.
COAKLEY: What we had determined is that he had some debt in England. And what seems to be the facts are that he owes money in England. He comes to this country and he is—attempts to be self-employed. And I think we found that some of his efforts to raise money, generate funds through Internet businesses, was starting to fall apart.
And so at least what we have is a picture of someone in debt, in a new country, with a new wife and baby, just entered into a six-month lease in a fairly expensive neighborhood, and who realizes that he may not be able to make any money. And so I think it‘s both of those things that may have been part of this in terms of the financial picture. Why it was so overwhelming is part of the mystery that we‘re still looking at and we may never really solve.
COSBY: Now, you believe it was also a murder/suicide that fell apart, and obviously, the suicide wasn‘t carried out. Why is that?
COAKLEY: Well, we—first of all, if you look at the evidence of this. You know, we‘ve got a lot of experience with domestic violence murders. It did not appear to be, at the beginning, what you might think of as in the heat of passion, someone‘s in a fight, pulls out a knife or a gun. There‘s usually a crime scene. There‘s usually evidence of some fight. That wasn‘t present here.
Meanwhile, we didn‘t have anything that was well planned on his part after the murders. If you are involved in a homicide to try to collect an insurance policy or you‘ve planned it well, you would probably do better than this situation, where it appears, Friday afternoon he was trying to get funds or get some means to buy a one-way ticket to England. He clearly hadn‘t planned to do that.
There is some other information at this time I‘m not at liberty to discuss, but we believe would come out at trial, that may lend some credibility to that. Again, I stress that that‘s really only part of the theory. We‘re trying to put these pieces together and figure out why this happened and how it happened. That is one possibility in terms of what we know about what happened in that Hopkinton house.
COSBY: And that was Middlesex County district attorney Martha Coakley. Thanks to her for doing that interview.
And still ahead, as we continue our coverage right here live from Massachusetts: Was Neil Entwistle keeping a big secret from his wife and family? Did his wife really know where he worked or where he went when he left the house in the morning? Find out what one of Rachel and Neil‘s friends had said in a revealing interview. And the devil in the details. Where did investigators find evidence that led them to arrest Neil Entwistle? Is it something inside the house? We‘re going to look at the crime scene in depth when we come back.
And later, reports of bombshell evidence now linking hockey great Wayne Gretzky to a huge gambling bust. Could his own words link him to a multi-million-dollar scheme? That‘s all coming up on LIVE AND DIRECT.
COSBY: And we continue now LIVE AND DIRECT from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the home of Neil and Rachel Entwistle, the home where police now say Neil killed his wife and child. And there is word tonight that perhaps Rachel Entwistle may not have known everything about her husband‘s comings and also his goings. Was he keeping secrets? And did she ultimately confront him?
Joining me now is John DePetro. He is a radio host with Boston‘s WRKO radio. And John, you have some interesting information. You interviewed a lot of friends who know both of them. What did they say to you about what Neil was telling her where he worked?
JOHN DEPETRO, WRKO RADIO: Rita, a lot of the friends say that it was really unclear what he did. You know, he was just introduced as this guy that was a computer guy. But there were even reports—I‘ve heard from some friends that he had told her at one point he was working on a secret mission for the British government while they were in England. And all everybody knew was he was this charming guy that, you know, just was into computers.
COSBY: So he was saying that as an excuse as to why he would leave every day and who knows what he was doing?
DEPETRO: And when she inquired where he worked, he said, I can‘t tell you. Now, this is what sources have said. I can‘t tell you because I‘m working on a secret mission for the British government.
COSBY: In addition, also, friends you‘ve talked to, they have a gut (ph) about maybe there might have been some sort of confrontation between Rachel and Neil prior to her death.
DEPETRO: That‘s right.
COSBY: What did they tell you?
DEPETRO: Absolutely. Friends say that they think Rachel was completely in the dark. He was living a double lifestyle, had no knowledge of what business he was in. And they think she confronted him that Thursday night as the money was starting to dry up. They had this new house, they had the BMW, no real signs of money. They absolutely believe that she confronted him and that‘s what put events in motion.
COSBY: And what do they base it on, what—just their gut? Or what do they base it on?
DEPETRO: Just—you know, we don‘t know, and Martha Coakley was kind of coy in some of the information she had...
COSBY: Yes, she was alluding that there might have been some information.
DEPETRO: She did. She didn‘t give out everything today, but that‘s one of the things they seem positive on. And she wouldn‘t exactly get into it, but I wonder what‘s in that computer and what information they have that he may have sent in e-mails.
COSBY: John, very interesting. Thank you very much for being with us.
DEPETRO: Thank you, Rita.
COSBY: (INAUDIBLE) RKO—KRO radio, right?
COSBY: WRKO radio.
DEPETRO: That‘s right.
COSBY: I‘m glad I got that right. Thank you very much, following the story the beginning.
And now we‘re going to go to the actual crime scene. This is the home that you can see behind me, but before the show, private investigator Rob Selevitch walked me through the details step by step, all the way through the day that Neil Entwistle fled the country. But we begin with what looks like a picture perfect family.
COSBY: You know, Rob, the first thing that strikes me as we come up on the Entwistle home here, looks like a picture perfect home. Seemed to be a nice family, no violence in the background.
ROB SELEVITCH, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Yes. Well, I mean, it‘s a very nice community. Not a lot of things happen here that bring the kind of attention that‘s here today. And you know, I‘m sure they‘re very surprised about what‘s gone on here.
COSBY: We learn now that he is accused of killing them Friday morning. On the second floor of the house, that‘s the bedroom where the baby was found, what, dressed, we‘re told, in sleepwear?
SELEVITCH: Yes, in sleepwear, and the mother was also perhaps in sleep clothing, as well. They were probably killed while they slept in the bedroom on the second floor.
COSBY: You know, as we look over here and we see neighbors—I mean, this is a house right here. How come nobody heard gunshots? It doesn‘t sound like anybody saw anything.
SELEVITCH: Well, a .22-caliber pistol, which is the one that‘s allegedly been used, is a small-caliber gun. It‘s not going to have a big noise associated with it, so—I mean, it is close, but it‘s also, you know, very rural here, as well, so—I think that the caliber of the pistol was the reason why no one heard anything.
COSBY: As we walk up here, the garage door is where they went in to do the well-being check.
SELEVITCH: Yes, that‘s correct.
COSBY: And they didn‘t see anything. Why didn‘t they see anything?
SELEVITCH: Well, when the police typically do a well-being check, what they‘re looking for is, you know, signs of forced entry, signs of major trauma, signs of disruption within the house. You walk in, you look around. If everything looks quiet, no one responds, you know, you may not search every area of the house, the way if you were searching for something in particular.
COSBY: They went back in again. We know that the authorities came in.
SELEVITCH: Yes. The authorities came in on, I believe it was Sunday, and they did another wellness check. And this time, they detected an odor.
COSBY: On the second floor, correct?
SELEVITCH: Yes, on the second floor bedroom. And that odor was one that they believed was a dead body, and that obviously spurred a much more intensive search of the residence. And there wasn‘t a lot of signs of struggle. There wasn‘t a lot of signs of forced entry or any other type of trauma in the residence, so that, you know, it was a very peaceful scene, from what I‘ve been led to believe.
COSBY: Rob, we know that after he‘s now accused of killing his wife and child, he returned the gun to his father-in-law. He drove down this driveway with the BMW and then headed to Carver, where his father-in-law lives. How far away is that?
SELEVITCH: Oh, that‘s about 55 miles or so away. It would take him about an hour to get there, maybe a little bit more, depending upon traffic.
COSBY: Complicated to get there?
SELEVITCH: Not particularly, no. It‘s all pretty much highway driving. You know, it‘s not a bad ride at all.
COSBY: We don‘t know if he went from Carver to Logan airport and flew out, or if he went from here to Logan. How far are those distances?
SELEVITCH: Well, from here to Logan, you‘re looking at probably about 40 minutes. And from Carver to Logan, closer to an hour.
COSBY: So what did this crime scene tell detectives on the case? Joining me live with me is the detective you just saw, Rob Selevitch. Also joining me is private investigator Vito Colucci, and also professor of forensic science Dr. Larry Kobilinsky.
Rob, let me start with you. Seemed like it‘d take a lot of planning. We talked about, you know, getting the gun, first of all, sneaking the gun out, returning the gun. Is all that going to hurt him in this case?
SELEVITCH: I think it will, I mean, particularly if he‘s planning on doing some type of an insanity defense. The post-incident planning seems to be pretty extensive. Not someone who was obviously insane.
COSBY: So you think it could hurt if he goes by the insanity route, if that‘s sure to come to that.
SELEVITCH: I would think so, yes.
COSBY: You know, Vito, I want to play a clip for you. This is Martha Coakley, the district attorney, talking about this murder/suicide theory. Let‘s listen to her, and then I‘m going to get you to react, Vito.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COAKLEY: We believe possibly that this was intended to be a murder/suicide, but we cannot confirm that. Obviously, the murder was effected. The suicide was not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Vito, do you buy this, that it was a murder/suicide?
VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Yes, I buy it, Rita, because I really appreciate this woman, Martha Coakley. I‘ve been following this from the beginning. I did research on her. She‘s a tough DA. And she took her time, took all her time on this case. So when she comes out and says that, she has a lot to back that up, definitely.
COSBY: You know, Rob, you and I were trying to figure out—she said no note left at the scene. We all thought, Is there a suicide note? Was there something there, and then he just backed out of it last minute. What do you think it is? Do you think maybe it‘s conversation with friends, something leading her to believe that he was planning on doing something to himself?
SELEVITCH: I think so. I think that there was some conversation, when he was over in England, back to the family, and I think that may have led them to believe that possibly he was despondent, depressed and maybe even suicidal at one point.
COSBY: You know, Dr. Kobilinsky, you know, emotions aside, they are talking about forensics in this case. And in fact, the big thing she said today is what we‘ve been talking about, Doctor, the gun...
LARRY KOBILINSKY, PROFESSOR OF FORENSIC SCIENCE: That‘s right.
COSBY: ... that apparently, he took his father-in-law‘s gun. She said there is some forensics on there. What are we talking about, gunpowder? Could there maybe be even her DNA on there?
KOBILINSKY: Absolutely. Neil was a person of interest, but the gun made him the suspect. What they could have found on the gun—we don‘t know if it was cleaned or not, but they could very well have fingerprints on the gun. There could be gunshot residue. There could be back-spatter of blood. When somebody is shot, that bullet hits its target, and there‘s a mist of blood that comes back. And you find it very often inside the barrel, in the muzzle, providing that the shot was pretty close range, I would say two to three feet.
So there‘s a lot of things there, but of course, the ballistic tests will determine if those bullets were shot out of that gun. There may be shell casings, as well, but that gun closes the loop. That‘s the critical piece of evidence in this case.
COSBY: You know, Dr. Kobilinsky, what about also forensics in the car? I mean, there might be some residue of—you know, of gunpowder or something on even the steering wheel.
KOBILINSKY: Very true because gunshot residue is particulate, and it literally can drop off your hands or your clothing and fall into the car. They may very well have found it in there. That would not be a very tight piece of evidence but certainly would contribute to the big picture of what happened.
COSBY: You know, Vito, I want to put up a timeline because, I mean, a lot of these things, when you piece them all together, and now you hear that she‘s got sort of the “gotcha,” the forensic evidence, looks pretty strong. First of all, you know, he allegedly shoots, you know, his wife and his baby daughter. I mean, who would shoot a—you know, a 9-month-old baby? He returns the gun, but he buys this ticket, and we find out that he bought it, as it turns out, just three hours earlier, a one-way ticket, leaves the car so they have no car, and then he flies to the U.K., doesn‘t come back for the funeral. As a detective, do all these pieces—you know, some of them in and of themselves look so bad.
COLUCCI: Yes, Rita, you know what amazes me the most about this case is that he drives back an hour to his father-in-law‘s house. He knows where the key is for this gun cabinet. He replaces the gun, instead of getting rid of it in the water, in some dumpster, whatever it may be. And the question that people are asking me all day today, Why didn‘t he bring the baby back with him? Couldn‘t he have brought the baby and just dropped the baby at his in-laws‘ house? It‘s amazing. That‘s the—it‘s like the doctor said, that‘s the key point, the gun he brings back. He‘s the only one in the family, other than the father-in-law, that knew where the key was and everything like this. And up to this point, you had a lot of circumstantial. This really puts it over the top, Rita.
COSBY: All right, guys. Thank you very much. And also, Rob, thank you very much...
SELEVITCH: You‘re welcome.
COSBY: ... for giving us that tour today. And the big question is, Is there also maybe some evidence over in the U.K.? The other question is, What is it going to take to get Neil Entwistle back to this country? It turns out that it can be a legal nightmare, even if police have tons of evidence against him. That‘s coming up next.
And later: Did Wayne Gretzky‘s own voice link him to a multi-million-dollar gambling scheme that has his celebrity wife and even a state trooper on thin ice? Some stunning news on Wayne Gretzky. That‘s all coming up.
COSBY: And good evening, everybody. Welcome back. We are LIVE & DIRECT tonight from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, with more on the arrest of Neil Entwistle in connection with the murder of his wife and also his nine-month-old daughter.
He was arrested today in his native Great Britain. Now that Entwistle is finally in custody, just how long will it take to get him right back here to the United States? And when this case finally goes to trial, what type of evidence might we see against him?
LIVE & DIRECT tonight right now is former Middlesex County prosecutor Gerry Leone. Also here is criminal defense attorney Ted Simon. And also, Emily Smith, she‘s the U.S. editor of the British newspaper “The Sun.”
Gerry, let me start with you. What do you get a sense, in terms of motive and evidence in this case?
GERRY LEONE, FORMER MIDDLESEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Well, my sense of the motive is that the office and the investigators have done a good job in developing motive at this point. My experience with matters like this and my instincts tell me that they‘re probably not done developing the motive evidence in this case, and I would expect that the board of evidence is developed further...
EMILY SMITH, U.S. EDITOR, “THE SUN”: Excuse me. Do you mind putting the monitor back on?
COSBY: You know, let me, in fact, play a little clip of Martha Coakley, Gerry, earlier. She was talking about finances, that he was so stressed out, couldn‘t pay his bills, over his head. Let‘s listen to what the D.A. had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA COAKLEY, MIDDLESEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: At this time, we are under the belief that he had no money and really had no assets, and, because his business was failing, may not have had any possibility or at least any apparent ability to provide income for himself and his family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Gerry, do you get the sense that, at the end of the day, it‘s sort of going to be a combination of things, depressed, money, or do you think it‘s all going to come down to finances?
LEONE: Well, you know, debt obligations place certain anxieties upon people, but I think what we‘ve found and what is normal in these circumstances is that debt obligations bring about collateral anxieties, which lead more to motive. And I think, as the evidence is developed, I think we‘ll probably see more than just the debt obligations that have been revealed now.
COSBY: You think, beyond that, any problems in the marriage, or what do you think?
LEONE: Well, oftentimes that‘s what we see. That would not be unusual to see those type of problems crop up and cause further anxiety in someone which causes them to do the unspeakable, which is what we‘ve seen here, kill your wife and child.
COSBY: You know, Emily, I want to ask you, because we understand that there were lots of bags of evidence being removed, not just in this area but actually in the U.K. today from his family‘s house. What do you know about that? Do you know what they were taking?
SMITH: It‘s believed that they seized a lot of computer equipment to look further into Neil‘s Internet businesses and who he might have been dealing with. It‘s also believed that they took clothes to look for further forensic evidence in relation to the murders.
COSBY: You know, Emily, the D.A. did dispute one of the things that you guys were reporting, about a phone call. And I want to give you a chance to clear it up, because you guys said that there was a call on Tuesday where he said, you know, “I don‘t know how I got here to London. I‘m distressed. What happened to my wife and my daughter?” But she did confirm that there was a call on Monday. What do you guys know now about that call?
SMITH: As I say, she did confirm that the call was made, that Neil spoke to Joe Matterazzo, Rachel‘s stepfather. I‘ve been speaking to a family member who told me that Neil sounded confused, he was upset. He said, “Is it true that they‘re dead?” And he said he wasn‘t ready to return back to the U.S. yet.
And Martha Coakley is not confirming any of this evidence. She‘s saying there‘s something else that was said in that conversation. And I think that conversation will prove a crucial part of the prosecution evidence.
So we may not find out what happened until the trial comes to happen and Joe takes the stand and reveals what exactly was said. Did Neil incriminate himself? Did he talk more about feeling suicidal? That we won‘t know until it comes to trial.
COSBY: And, Ted, before I go to you, I want to play a little clip of Martha Coakley, where Martha Coakley was actually talking about premeditation, why she based this first-degree murder. Let‘s take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COAKLEY: Whenever we charge somebody with first-degree murder with use of a firearm, that would satisfy in Massachusetts premeditation. At the time someone pulls a trigger with a weapon like that, you assume, or at least a jury can conclude, that someone has planned it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And, Ted, she believes she has a pretty strong case all the way to go to first-degree murder. How tough is it and how complicated is it now to extradite him, to bring him back?
THEODORE SIMON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That‘s a very good question, because we‘re really in the early and preliminary stages of this extradition proceeding. You may equate it, if you will, to the first pitch of the first inning.
They‘ve thrown the first pitch. They‘ve filed what they have to do to have an extradition, which is an accusatory charge. And that‘s just the beginning.
They‘ve taken the next step and asked for a provisional arrest warrant. And that‘s why he has been arrested, which basically a very brief statement of the facts they have, the charges that they‘re going to bring, and the arrest warrant. That has caused his concern. He can now in England...
COSBY: Now, Ted, how long is this process?
SIMON: Well, first he‘s going—there, he‘s obviously going to seek bail, which is within the jurisdiction of those courts. Thereafter, they have approximately 60 days to file their formal request, which was a—it‘s a much more comprehensive package, which would include the facts and circumstances and the basis upon which they‘re going to seek his extradition and the specific charges.
Thereafter—and a lot of times Americans forget this—in extradition proceedings, it is always determined by the law of the place where the person is. So, in this case, the courts in England will determine whether or not there‘s an appropriate amount of evidence to meet the charges that have been laid. If he should win there...
COSBY: You know, Ted, in this case—Ted, real quick, in this case, do you think there‘s even a possibility he‘d get bail?
SIMON: Well, I think—I mean, this is a judgment call that they‘re going to have to make. I‘ve been in many extradition cases. And while bail and extradition cases is not the norm, we have been able to obtain them in various cases.
So it‘s a question of whether or not they can provide the type of special circumstances that would warrant that type of release. Again, it‘ll be a determination based by the courts in England.
Do I think it‘s likely that he‘ll get bail? No, I don‘t think it‘s likely. Is it possible? Absolutely.
COSBY: All right, Ted. Thank you very much.
And Gerry and Emily, stick with us. We‘re going to talk with both of you later in the show.
And still ahead, everybody, it sounds like the plot from the movie “The Fugitive,” but this is no movie; it is really happening. A doctor on the run accused of killing his wife. Police apparently thought that it was an accident until they found one very big piece of evidence. That‘s coming up next.
And find out what hockey great Wayne Gretzky has to say about reports that he and his wife are linked to a multimillion-dollar gambling ring, just broken up. That‘s all coming up.
COSBY: And tonight, the hunt is on for a doctor accused of killing his wife by taking advantage of her trust. Dr. Yazeed Essa is now charged with one count of aggravated murder.
He vanished three weeks after his wife‘s death and has been missing ever since. Investigators say Dr. Essa was having an affair and killed her to avoid a pricey divorce.
Now, last February, Rosemarie Essa apparently took what she thought was a calcium pill. The local coroner later found that the pill had high levels of cyanide.
LIVE & DIRECT tonight are FBI special agent in charge Ted Wasky and also Highland Heights, Ohio, Police Chief Jim Cook.
Chief Cook, let me start with you. It‘s been almost a year since Rosemarie Essa died. Why were you finally able to bring charges of murder now?
CHIEF JIM COOK, HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, OH, POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, Rita, what I can tell you is, over the last year, we‘ve conducted an extensive investigation into this case with the cooperation of federal authorities and other local authorities. And during the course of that investigation, we feel that we have a very, very good case that Dr. Yazeed Essa murdered his wife, Rosemarie.
COSBY: Now, Chief, I know you can‘t get into specifics, but what type of evidence sort of proved that he was involved in this crime? What linked him?
COOK: Well, we feel the cyanide is a key player in the case. And initially, the reason the investigation did take a long time is we didn‘t want to jump to any conclusions and we wanted to explore a lot of avenues.
There were a lot of searches conducted in this investigation and a lot of time put into it. And we wanted to think everything through before any charges were brought and our case was presented.
COSBY: Now, you know what‘s so strange, I mean, his wife called a friend of hers and she told this friend that her husband forced her to take some pills. Why wasn‘t that enough to arrest him, just in the days and weeks after her death?
COOK: Well, Dr. Essa was not a suspect initially in our investigation. We did talk to him approximately three weeks after Rosemarie died. And at that time, he was not a suspect in the investigation. But after we talked to him, the day afterwards, he did flee the country.
COSBY: You know, Mr. Wasky, that‘s what I was going to ask you: Was there evidence that he was planning to flee?
TED WASKY, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: We have looked at his family history. And while he was born in Detroit, Michigan, we have reason to believe his family may have property either in the Middle East. He has traveled to Europe. But his last sighting, we believe, has been in Florida.
COSBY: Well, that‘s something we heard some reports that he was, what, in Lebanon, Syria? How complicated did that make the efforts for you?
WASKY: When we find him, we will address that in the country where he is found. The rules overseas are unique for each country. And our main goal and very much, Rita, for your help is finding him first. And we will definitely work to help the Highland Heights Police Department find him and bring him back for trial.
COSBY: You know, and, Agent Wasky, one of the other things, too, we were hearing, Florida—you know, what is his connection to that area down there and also his connection overseas? And how vast of a net do you now have to cast?
WASKY: Well, we‘re trying to cast a worldwide net. And we‘re going to use our foreign offices overseas. But looking at his friends, his associates, we believe that he was last seen in the Fort Myers Beach area. But that does not mean that he has not fled that area. And we are asking the public‘s help and, if they do see him, to contact us.
COSBY: And, Chief Cook, how dangerous is this man?
COOK: I would consider him dangerous. We do have charges of aggravated murder on him right now. And if someone does see him, that is our primary purpose tonight, to contact the FBI number we have or contact the local FBI.
And we‘ like to get Dr. Essa in custody and have him stand charges for the murder of his wife, Rosy. This has been a real tragic event. It‘s been tragic for the DiPuccio family. It was sudden, and it was very devastating.
COSBY: Of course. And, of course, anybody, if you have any information—you saw the number up there on your screen, if we could put that back up again. It is 216-522-1400, 216-522-1400.
If you have seen Dr. Essa, obviously overseas or domestically, please call authorities right away.
And there‘s a lot more coming up right here on MSNBC tonight. Let‘s check in, if we could, with Joe Scarborough now with a preview.
Joe, what do you have coming up? I know I‘m going to be on your show.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: I know. Well, we‘re going to have you on our show, which is obviously a big plus up for us. But obviously, we‘re going to get the very latest in the case—what a tragic case, obviously, Rita, of this mom and beautiful baby who were killed. We‘re going to get the very latest from you up there and also from London.
Also going to be talking about overseas, a movie that was made in Turkey that uses famous American actors, actors from Hollywood, that have just a vicious portrayal, and I would say an anti-Semitic portrayal, of Americans.
You have Gary Busey who‘s starring in this film that, again, preaches hatred against Americans in the Muslim world. He plays a Jewish doctor that harvests organs of Iraqis and other Arabs and sells them all across the world.
And then, of course, we‘re going to be talking about how “American Idol” out-rated—the young teenage stars on “American Idol” out-rated the big Hollywood stars on the Grammys. All that and a lot more in “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY” tonight.
COSBY: Well, we‘ll be watching, Joe. Thanks so much.
And up next right here everybody, Operation Slapshot is a multimillion-dollar gambling bust that cops say has celebrity, a hockey all-star, and even a state trooper now in big trouble. Could hockey great Wayne Gretzky now be involved, too? A bombshell in the world of hockey, coming up.
COSBY: And hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky it appears has a lot of explaining to do tonight. The Associated Press is reporting that Gretzky was recorded on wiretap talking with an alleged ringleader of a multimillion-dollar gambling ring. Here‘s what Gretzky had to say this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAYNE GRETZKY, HOCKEY HALL-OF-FAMER: I feel like I‘m standing here talking about it and I don‘t have the answers for you guys. I don‘t know a lot of the details. It‘s not me that is involved (INAUDIBLE) innocent until proven guilty.
I‘m standing here trying to answer the questions, and it‘s not even me that this is about. And that‘s frustrating, hard part for me. But I understand.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard that your wife could also be involved in...
GRETZKY: Oh, really? I don‘t know. You‘d have to ask her that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And those are comments that Gretzky made in recent days, basically denying, distancing himself. But now investigators are looking into whether Wayne Gretzky put his wife up to the bets.
Joining me now is “New York Post‘s” sports reporter, Andrew Marchand. Andrew, first of all, how damaging is this, indeed, if there‘s this recorded conversation on wiretap?
ANDREW MARCHAND, “NY POST” SPORTSWRITER: Yes, right now it doesn‘t look—there‘s no evidence yet that Wayne Gretzky had bet on hockey or bet on any sports, for that matter, that his wife did, it looks like and according to reports, but nothing about Wayne Gretzky.
Listen, fairly or unfairly, this is going to turn out to be, at least for the time being, about Wayne Gretzky. He‘s the Babe Ruth of hockey. He‘s the biggest name that‘s ever played the sport, and his wife, you know, is very involved in this investigation.
And now there‘s a report this morning, the A.P. picked it up, the “Newark Star-Ledger” first reported it, that he was caught on wiretap saying—you know, asking how he can get his wife out of trouble. And so obviously he knew about this sooner than maybe he first admitted to with the press.
COSBY: Well, and based on that, Andrew, just the fact that he was aware of something that his wife was doing that was improper, how much is that going to hurt his image?
MARCHAND: It hurts his image, I mean, but I think Wayne Gretzky is so big, so popular, he could overcome that, if there‘s not more to it. The problem for Wayne Gretzky is that, as the story develops, it‘s going to become more and more about Wayne Gretzky.
And with the Olympics, which is on your networks, NBC, MSNBC, there are a lot of compelling hockey stories at the Olympics. But what‘s going to take center stage is Wayne Gretzky. He‘s the coach of the Canadian team. And this story‘s not going away. The arraignment‘s a little less than two weeks away.
So Wayne Gretzky‘s going to have to answer questions, unless he puts the kibosh on them. But still it‘s not going away, this story, any time soon. And Rick Tocchet, Janet Jones, you can talk about any of these other people whose names come up, none of them compare to Wayne Gretzky. He‘s the biggest name out there, in terms of hockey.
COSBY: Yes, that‘s clear. Now, tell us about the wiretaps, Andrew, in terms of, like, when did they tap him? When was this call made? How extensive was the conversation?
MARCHAND: Yes. The reports were that, over the 40-day period when the Operation Slapshot were monitoring Rick Tocchet, Wayne Gretzky called late in the investigation, called Rick Tocchet, apparently, and said, you know, “How can I get my wife of the hook here and get her so she‘s not in trouble, in terms of this investigation?”
So obviously he knew something earlier than he admitted to, again, with the press. That could be something that could get him in trouble, because he knew about it. And it depends what he‘d tell the authorities. You can lie to the media all the time. People do it to me constantly, in terms of sports people. And probably you, too, Rita. But in terms of lying to the authorities, you can‘t do that.
MARCHAND: Absolutely. That takes it to a whole other level.
Andrew, thank you very much.
And, everybody, we‘re going to keep on this story and bring you any developments in the case as they warrant.
And when we come back, as we continue here live from Massachusetts, what‘s next in the Entwistle murder case? Another court appearance for Neil Entwistle tomorrow morning. But will he continue to fight extradition back to the U.S.? Find out when we come back.
COSBY: And we‘re live here in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, the scene of the brutal shooting of a mother and baby in the home which you can see behind me. Now, tomorrow morning, Neil Entwistle will be back in court in the U.K. on charges that he murdered them.
Let‘s bring back in, if we could, former Middlesex County prosecutor Gerry Leone and also Emily Smith. She‘s the U.S. editor of the British newspaper, “The Sun.”
Emily, real quick, what‘s going to happen in court tomorrow?
SMITH: Well, it‘s believed that his legal team will ask for bail and the prosecution will do everything to keep Neil in custody. So we‘re thinking we may hear more about his state of mind. Is he considered still a suicide risk? And also exactly what he was doing at that tube station in West London. Was he, as Martha Coakley said, visiting a friend or was he going somewhere?
COSBY: You know, Gerry, if you‘re the prosecutor, you go in there and you fight like tooth and nail, right, say that this guy is a flight risk, suicide risk. There‘s all these things that are going to come out tomorrow, right?
LEONE: Absolutely. What you‘ll do is you‘ll put your case on before the judge, judge magistrate, establishing the standards that you need to, that in fact he committed these crimes. At that point, the judge magistrate will send along a recommendation to the home secretary, and hopefully that will begin the extradition process. And hopefully the appellate process won‘t hold this up too long.
COSBY: What is the sense, in terms of time frame, Gerry? What are we looking at? What‘s ahead?
LEONE: Well, from a prosecutorial standpoint, you‘re hopeful that it‘s weeks and not months. The only thing that will cause this to be months and not weeks is if there‘s a viable appellate issue that Entwistle decides to pursue. And in that situation, it could take months to resolve appellate issues.
COSBY: Do you see anything, real quick?
LEONE: I don‘t see any apparent appellate issues. You know, murder is murder. And one of the only real apparent issues is usually when there‘s a difference between the charge in one country and the charge in another. However, that doesn‘t preclude them coming up with some type of creative appellate issue.
COSBY: And, Emily, let me bring you in real quick. Mood there in your country? Because, at first, they didn‘t seem to want to believe that he was guilty. What are they saying today?
SMITH: Well, once he didn‘t attend the funerals, the mood turned quite quickly. So, again, there was not really so much surprise that he was arrested today. But I think he will fight, because hearing what Martha Coakley said, she‘s got a very strong case against him. He‘s going to need a lot of time to put together a strong defense.
COSBY: All right. Both of you, thank you very much. And again, Neil Entwistle accused now first-degree murder, two counts of murdering his wife and nine-month-old baby.
And that does it for us here at LIVE & DIRECT. I‘m Rita Cosby. Joe Scarborough starts right now—Joe?
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Hey, thanks a lot, Rita.
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