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'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for March 7

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Carol D‘Auria, Michelle McPhee, Owen Carragher, Christopher Shays, Bree Smith, Brett Rivkind, Harvey Pass, Vito Colucci, Joe Cardinale, Raul Russi, Leslie Crocker Snyder, Ryan Kocher, Mickey Sherman

RITA COSBY, HOST:  Good evening everybody.  Tonight, disturbing new details in the savage torture, rape and murder of 24-year-old graduate student Imette St. Guillen.  For the first time, we‘re taking a look and getting a look right now at the man that police believe is a possible suspect in the case, bar bouncer Darryl Littlejohn.  This is an old mugshot of his from his long arrest record.  Tonight, he is being held on an unrelated parole violation, and we‘ve learned that he‘s just been transferred to the jail at Rikers Island.

Joining me now with late-breaking developments is 1010 WINS radio reporter Carol D‘Auria, who spent the day at the bouncer‘s home in Queens, New York.  Carol, what do we know about the van?  We understand there was a van found near his home.

CAROL D‘AURIA, 1010 WINS:  There was a van found about four blocks from his home.  And this is in Jamaica Queens.  It is a gray van, a minivan, a Ford Winstar.  And it was just parked on the street.  Residents in the area said it had been there maybe about a week, as best they could remember.  So late this afternoon, early this evening, there were lots of police officers out on that street.  They had the whole place cordoned off, and they were waiting for crime scene investigators to dust the outside of the vehicle, and then they were taking it away on a flatbed truck.  They will be examining the whole vehicle, inside the vehicle, at the 75th precinct.

COSBY:  You know, one of the things we‘re hearing, Carol, that what, the back seat was found in the home?

D‘AURIA:  One of the seats from that van was found in the home.  And there were no—there was no blood found in the house, but they found that sometime yesterday in the house.  It was that, plus identification in the house that led them to this van.

COSBY:  There‘s also now, -- we‘re hearing, that maybe the owner, and what, the bartender, somebody at the club where she was last seen, did not come forward with information.  What do you know about that?

D‘AURIA:  Pretty incredible that they withheld information.  Initially, they told the police, the bartender, the owner, that she had left unaccompanied at 4:00 o‘clock from The Falls bar.  And now we find out that they came forward and they said, Well, she didn‘t really leave unaccompanied, that they, in essence, threw her out of the bar.  The bar close at 4:00 AM, and that they escorted her out.  What exactly her condition was—we know that it had been a night of drinking, but she was escorted out of the bar by the bouncer, the bouncer who has been questioned now for a good two days.

COSBY:  There‘s also word, Carol, that maybe they heard what‘s been described, I‘ve seen in some reports, a muffled scream taking place, and maybe even an argument or something going on between her and the bouncer?

D‘AURIA:  Possibly, that he was escorted out a side door, which goes into a hallway, and that they heard some sort of a muffled scream.  But apparently, everybody just went about their business, continued doing what they do at 4:00 o‘clock in the bar.  There were, apparently, still other people in the bar.

COSBY:  And Carol, what I‘m hearing is that authorities found out that maybe there was some lies or some inconsistencies, then that‘s what forced them to go back to the bar, and it wasn‘t that it they came forward, right?

D‘AURIA:  I‘m not quite sure about that aspect of it.  I know that they went back because that was the place that she was last seen and the trail went cold after that, so they had to go back there.  They‘ve been under tremendous pressure to bring about an arrest, and so you keep going over things.  You look again.  And so they did go back, and they came forward with this information.

COSBY:  Real quick, have you heard anything about a scratch on this possible suspect‘s neck?

D‘AURIA:  That there was a scratch on the back of his neck.  How accurate that is, I‘m not sure.  I know that there was another gentleman who they asked to disrobe at the bar to see if he had any scratches, and the answer to that was no.  But apparently, this fellow had a scratch on the back of his neck.

COSBY:  Interesting.  Carol, thank you very much.  Please come back if there‘s any other developments in the hour.

And let‘s now bring in, if we could, private investigator Vito Colucci and also former New York police squad commander Joe Cardinale.  Vito, let‘s first talk about this van.  If the back seat found in the home, as Carol was saying—pretty interesting.  What could they be looking for?  What could be on that seat?

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  Oh, any kind of evidence at all, Rita.  You know, what they‘re doing right here is they‘re taking their time.  This guy‘s on a parole violation.  They‘re not in a rush.  They want to cross every T and dot every I on this.  So they‘re following up now with this tip about this seat.  They found this.  They‘re doing forensics on it.  They‘re doing an excellent job.  Piece by piece, they‘re putting this together.  The guy‘s sitting in jail.  They do have the body.  There‘s not a rush going on here, Rita.

COSBY:  And what are they looking for, though, Vito, like, maybe blood, any traces of Imette on that back seat?  I mean, why would you have a back seat of a van in your home?

COLUCCI:  Yes, that‘s a very good point.  Some people take them out if they‘re moving things, obviously, different things.  Sometimes painters buy these minivans.  They take out the back seat or sometimes even the middle part of these vans.  Any kind of trace evidence at all, Rita, they‘re looking for, to connect this individual to her, OK, in any kind of way possible.  First they had one thing, now they‘re checking today on this.  I think an arrest is going to be imminent over the next day or two.  I‘m anxious to hear if they‘re going to do a voice comparison on that 911 tape, to see if that comes back to this guy, Rita.

COSBY:  Joe, what do you know on that?

JOE CARDINALE, FORMER NYPD SQUAD COMMANDER:  I think the voice comparison is already done.  I think they looked for that as soon as they got this guy.  That‘s one of the things to do on their list.  And also, that van, I mean, the back seat being in the basement—you know, he could have used the van.  They‘re assuming that he used the van to transport the body.

And Rita, as far as these guys at the bar—I mean, that‘s ridiculous.  I mean, they were there last Saturday.  They had the opportunity to come forward with this information.  Why would they hold this information for a week?  It‘s totally ridiculous.  And you know what?  They‘re either—some people speculate civil liabilities on it.  You know, that‘s baloney.  You come forward with that information.  You know this girl is a victim, and you come forward a week later, with, Oh, by the way, I forget to tell you this?  That just doesn‘t fit.

COSBY:  Yes, Vito, what do you make of that?  And one of the reports is saying that they heard a muffled scream, I mean, which could have means maybe they could have prevented this, had they known.

COLUCCI:  Yes, you know, I agree with Joe 1,000 percent.  You know, they let all these days go by.  People don‘t realize, if they would have gotten Littlejohn maybe before this—if he is, if he is the suspect, if he is the murderer here, no matter who it is.  Bruises heal, Rita.  Scratches heal.  A lot of valuable time could have gone by in here.  And I‘m sure the police went back there two, three, four times, to finally say, Hey, guys, you got to help us out here.

COSBY:  And what do you make of the fact that...


COSBY:  Vito, what do you make of the fact that they had to—it

sounds like, from what we‘re hearing—they had to go back to authorities

I mean, go back to the bar and get it out of them?

COLUCCI:  That‘s right.  Well, they know that‘s the ending point where she was.  They know she was there.  So you‘re going to keep going back and say, Hey, fellas, think again.  Something‘s not matching up here.  And then like Joe just said, it‘s all of a sudden, Oh, by the way, I forget to tell you this.  Very bad move.  You better get a drink at The Falls soon because that place is not going to be around too long, if this guy Littlejohn is the murderer, I‘ll tell you that much.

COSBY:  You think it‘ll close down if it turns out that, indeed, he is the guy?

COLUCCI:  Well, Rita, in my office, we do what‘s called pre-employment background checks.  The reason for that is so you don‘t have a situation like this, OK?  They bring in a guy off the street, they announce he‘s the bouncer/security, and what happens?  He escorts her out, if all of these things are true.  It doesn‘t work that way.  We do everything from a mom-and-pop store to major companies, to bars and taverns so these incidents do not happen.  And that‘s how it‘s supposed to be done, Rita.

COSBY:  You know, Joe, let me look at some of the things that we do know in this case so far, with some of the new developments that Carol D‘Dauria was (INAUDIBLE) with us.  We know the van, the back seat was found in the home of the bouncer.  We know that a stained carpet, we‘re also hearing from some reports, was found in the bouncer‘s home.  We‘re also told that the bouncer‘s cell phone was tracked to an area where Imette‘s body was found.  Also plastic wrapping tape and wires found in the basement of the bar, matching what she was bound with.  And a cat lives in the bar basement, cat hairs also found on the blanket, that quilt that she was wrapped in.

Also what we‘re hearing, you know, Joe, that this guy didn‘t take a DNA test.  He was the only employee, according to some reports, that didn‘t take a DNA Test.  All the other employees volunteered that.  What does all this say to you, Joe?

CARDINALE:  Well, it‘s—it‘s—you know, everything is pointing in his direction.  I mean, the cell phone, especially, the phone call being made from that particular area, the cat hairs—they‘re definitely going to be able to match that up to that particular cat.   If—and that‘ll give a timeline and, you know, place everything as far as what time—they‘ll get the time of death and they‘ll put it together with all the evidence that they have.  And they‘ll put the paper trail together with this.

And I‘ll tell you something.  It‘s getting—as Vito said, it‘s coming to the point where they‘re going to make an arrest, but they want to make sure they have everything.  They‘re not being pressured to make an arrest.  I mean, everybody wants the arrest, but that pressure is not forcing them to make this arrest.  They‘re going to make sure they have their case in place, and once that case is made, they‘re going to go ahead with the arrest.

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

Well, more details are coming out now on bouncer Darryl Littlejohn‘s criminal rap sheet.  Documents show that he has served nearly 15 years in prison and been on parole four times.  He was even denied parole after being cited as, quote, “a menace to society,” a comment made only two months before he was released from jail.

Joining us now is the former chairman of the New York state parole board, Raul Russi.  Mr. Russi, let me show you—these are some documents we obtained from the parole board.  It says—it talks about, you know, history and sort of just checking him.  There were two checks, apparently, his parole officer with him, one of them on February 2.  It was an unannounced visit from the parole officer to this guy, Darryl Littlejohn, the bouncer.  February 14, he was visited while working at a mortgage company, but Littlejohn never told the parole officer that he was working as a bar bouncer.  How come they didn‘t know?  How do you check these things?

RAUL RUSSI, FORMER CHAIRMAN, NEW YORK STATE PAROLE BOARD:  It‘s impossible.  The reality is that in order to have an individual checked 24 hours a day, you would have to have a parole officer assigned to every single parolee in the system, and that‘s an impossibility.

COSBY:  But what you do, you just trust his word?  How‘re you going to trust somebody who‘s got a rap sheet like this?

RUSSI:  Well, obviously, you know, you have a number of individuals that have to be supervised at a higher rate, if all the standards fit the character.  I don‘t know the particulars about this individual‘s history, but I would think that he would have been under some kind of special supervision if he was a high risk, if he—and if he hadn‘t been on parole for a long time.

But to think that a parole officer on his own can supervise 50 individuals and know exactly where those 50 individuals are at all times is impossible.  And from what I hear, this individual was, in fact, not paroled, but he, in fact, finished his sentence, and he was being supervised after that sentence, which is a big difference because...

COSBY:  Yes, but let me play—this is the parole board commissioner at the time, on May 11, 2004.  This is one of the comments, which I think is pretty telling.  It says—this is apparently what the commissioner said during one of his parole hearings.  It said, “You have a total of seven felony convictions”—this is what he said to Littlejohn—“and violated parole previously.  Your violent and out-of-control behavior shows you to be a menace to society.  Your continued incarceration remains in the best interest of society.”

That‘s a pretty strong word.  And then...

RUSSI:  That‘s, in fact...


COSBY:  But then we find out, two months later, he gets out.

RUSSI:  Yes, but he got out because he finished his sentence.  He was conditionally released after finishing his sentence.

COSBY:  So what do you do, you say, OK, your time‘s up?  Sorry.  And no matter how much of a danger, you let him out?

RUSSI:  Well, you know, that—people criticize the parole system.  The parole system, in fact, can be very helpful.  In this case, they denied his parole right to the very end.  And then they‘re responsible for supervision after he‘s released.  He was not paroled.  People don‘t understand that in these kind of cases, these individuals are, in fact, finishing their sentence and they‘re being supervised for a number of months, sometimes years, based on the fact that they didn‘t lose good time.

One of the problems with New York state, they have this crazy good time law that gives the individuals the time before they walk into prison.  The individuals should have to earn their good time, and they don‘t.  They, in fact, get the good time, and only if they misbehave in some special way do that—is that good time taken away.  That good time should be earned.  and it should be earned for good behavior and it should be a combination with convictions of the individual.  That‘s not the way New York City law is.

COSBY:  You bet.  It‘s outrageous.  Mr. Russi, thank you very much, the former New York parole commissioner.  we appreciate it.

And now we‘ve got to describe a bizarre twist involving several aliases used by the possible suspect, Darryl Littlejohn.  Get this.  The fake names appear to have a comic book connection.  Three of the names that he allegedly used are linked to Marvel comic books.  Littlejohn most recently used the alias Jonathan Blaze.  That‘s the name of the lead character in the “Ghost Rider” comic series.  The other aliases, John Handsome and Darryl Banks, are both from “The Green Lantern” comic series.  One is the name of a character, the other is the name of an illustrator.

And still ahead, everybody, for the first time, we‘re going to be hearing from Imette‘s ex-boyfriend.  He is outraged at the loss of his friend, but he‘s taking some action, and I‘m going to speaking to him live right after the break.  And that‘s not all we have on the show coming up tonight.

Still ahead: A fateful phone call could be one of the last clues to the murder of Imette St. Guillen.  Tonight, an up-close look how even on your cell phone, police can track you down.

And when George Smith vanished from his honeymoon cruise, it was the cruise line that faced a storm of controversy from his family and investigators.  Now it‘s Congress making the waves.  George‘s sister joins me live.

And a controversial police shooting caught on tape.  The suspect survived, but what about the officer‘s career?  Now he‘s the one under fire.  That‘s coming up.


COSBY:  Outrage tonight with word that the owners and some employees of the bar The Falls failed to tell police the truth about what happened the night that Imette St. Guillen was last seen.  Reports claim that they heard a muffled scream and they did nothing.  So should they face charges?  Ironically, the Soho, New York, bar is run by the family of Jack Dorian (ph).  They also own the bar where the preppie killer met his victim back in the 1980s.

Joining me now to discuss some of the legal implications is defense attorney Mickey Sherman and Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder.  Judge, let me start with you.


JUDGE:  Sure.

COSBY:  You know, how outraged are you to hear that they withheld critical information?

SNYDER:  Well, of course, it‘s outrageous because it could have helped the police, but the police have zeroed in on the same person right now, and they‘re doing an excellent job.  They were very thorough.  This information could have been helpful earlier.  But I think the real outrage should be directed at whoever did this horrible, horrible crime, and that‘s what they‘re working very carefully on solving.  And when they get the forensics back, they may very well have a very strong case.

COSBY:  And Judge, could they be charged with obstruction of justice? 

Let‘s focus on the bar folks for now.

SNYDER:  It is possible that there is a charge...

COSBY:  If they heard a muffled scream—if they heard a scream and did nothing, if, indeed, that‘s true?

SNYDER:  It is possible, and it is possible that the district attorney‘s office will look into charges.  But I really think, whether it‘s hindering prosecution or obstructing governmental administration, that is really not the focus right now, and the outrage should directed at solving the crime, murder.

COSBY:  Mickey, what do you think, if these guys withheld—you know, withheld information?

MICKEY SHERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Well, you know, what‘s the motive?  If they were in on the killing, that‘s one thing.  But more likely than not, they either forgot, they were stupid, or more likely than not, they were trying to protect the bar from some type of civil liability.

COSBY:  But Mickey...

SHERMAN:  Either way...

COSBY:  Mickey, that‘s not a good enough reason.

SHERMAN:  No, of course not.

COSBY:  (INAUDIBLE) either way.  Come on.

SHERMAN:  None are good reasons, but again, I think there‘s a major difference between being protective of their pocketbook, as opposed to being involved in the actual murder.


SNYDER:  And they may have been...

SHERMAN:  ... to the former.

SNYDER:  They may have been afraid of losing their license because that‘s a very sensitive area.  This is not an excuse, but it‘s understanding their motivation, and I think we should worry about that later on.  I think we should worry about getting the DNA results and whether or not this suspect is the person and can be successfully prosecuted.

COSBY:  You know, Mickey, what if they can make the case that, Look, valuable evidence was discarded, concealed.  They gave him a week.  Say it is this guy, or say it‘s tied to the bar in some shape or form at the end of the day.  You know, say it gave him time to hide the evidence, do certain things.  A week is a long time.

SHERMAN:  But they still got to link it up to some specific person here, whether it‘s Littlejohn or somebody else.

COSBY:  Say it turns out to be Littlejohn, Mickey?  I mean, what‘s the end of the day?

SHERMAN:  Then they‘re going to keep their eyes on the prize and go after Littlejohn, as Judge Snyder points out.  That‘s where they—that‘s where the focus should be, not on how stupid the bar owners or employers are.

My question is, is it just too easy to get this guy, Littlejohn?  I mean, clearly, he‘s a thug.  Clearly, he‘s got a criminal record.  But you know something?  That‘s who we hire as bouncers in the bars.  That‘s who‘s going to take into control people who are drunk, stupid and unruly, not...

COSBY:  But what do you—what do you...


SHERMAN:  ... graduates.

SNYDER:  You know, I think...

COSBY:  What are you saying?  What are you saying, that there may be somebody else involved, Mickey?  What do you (INAUDIBLE)

SHERMAN:  No, I‘m saying that we‘ve basically convicted this guy Littlejohn him because we hate him.

SNYDER:  No, come on, Mickey!


SHERMAN:  ... got a criminal record...

SNYDER:  Mickey!  Mickey!

SHERMAN:  ... and he‘s probably the guy, but...

COSBY:  Well, Mickey, if you look...

SNYDER:  Mickey!

COSBY:  ... at some of the evidence, even, I mean, if you look at some

I mean, there‘s a lot of interesting things (INAUDIBLE) it‘s not clear if it‘s him.

SHERMAN:  Then why...


SNYDER:  This is why Mickey‘s such a great defense lawyer because not only is everyone presumed to be innocent, but he actually believes the guilty are innocent so often!

SHERMAN:  Well, what hasn‘t (INAUDIBLE) talked to the press?

SNYDER:  Mickey, I want you as my lawyer!

SHERMAN:  Well, please, commit something tonight.  I mean, steal a CD, Yanni‘s or something like that...


COSBY:  But Judge—but Judge, on the other hand, let‘s play devil‘s advocate with Mickey.  They don‘t have to rush, you know, as we just heard from Joe Cardinale...

SNYDER:  They—they are...

COSBY:  They‘ve got him on a parole violation.  That gives them enough reason to hold him.  We were even doing some research.  They may be able to hold him I think until November, we were reading.

SHERMAN:  Oh, sure.

SNYDER:  Well, they‘ll be able to hold him for a while.  I think what the public should be asking is how does someone who has the kind of record he has—how does he actually end up back on the street, whether he committed this crime or not?  I would see this in case after case, as 20 years as a judge.  It‘s shocking how many people with multiple felony convictions somehow end up back on the street...

SHERMAN:  Well, you know...

SNYDER:  ... committing more crimes.

SHERMAN:  I make the same argument in his favor.  He‘s on the street because he, quote, unquote, paid for his crimes.  That‘s how the system works.  My question is...

SNYDER:  Well, but the question is, Mickey...

SHERMAN:  ... with his record, though...

COSBY:  Even if he‘s, quote, unquote...


COSBY:  Mickey, even if he‘s a menace to society, as even the judge was saying?

SNYDER:  Well, you know...

SHERMAN:  He was prosecuted.  He served his time.

SNYDER:  Mickey...


SHERMAN:  He has no sex—he has no sex offense history.

SNYDER:  You mean that, as far as we know, that he was...

COSBY:  But you guys...

SNYDER:  ... that he was arrested for.

COSBY:  But the commissioner said violent history, and that was the first thing I had seen, because, as you point out, Mickey, parole—all the other stuff is burglary and drug charges.


COSBY:  But then in that commissioner‘s statement—and I don‘t know if we can find it again, but it said, “menace to society”...


COSBY:  ... and violent behavior.

SHERMAN:  There‘s violent behavior...

COSBY:  I mean, that was—that was...


SNYDER:  He‘s a violent felon.  We have enhanced our sentencing laws...

COSBY:  There it is.

SNYDER:  ... here in New York.  But if prosecutors don‘t ask for long enough sentences and if judges don‘t give them, people like this will be walking the streets.

COSBY:  All right, that‘s going to have to be the last word.  Both of you, thank you.

Meantime, Imette‘s friends and family are taking action to bring her killer to justice, whoever he is.  Joining me now in his first television interview is Imette‘s ex-boyfriend, Ryan Kocher, who joins us on the phone.

Ryan, first of all, our prayers are with you.  How is everybody holding up, the family?  How‘s everyone doing?

RYAN KOCHER, IMETTE‘S EX-BOYFRIEND:  The family is actually doing amazingly well right now.  Everyone is doing as well as they possibly can with such a devastating loss.

COSBY:  You know, we‘re hearing today about—that some folks at The Falls, maybe the owner and a bartender, didn‘t come forward with information, you know, right away.  How disappointed are you to hear that people were withholding information?

KOCHER:  Well, disappointment would not be the word.  I am truly disgusted.  If anybody out there has any information and they‘re holding back, I am disgusted to be a member of the human race, if they call themselves human beings, too.  I have no words for that.

COSBY:  How confident are you, you know, in the New York Police Department and this case being solved?

KOCHER:  I am supremely confident.  I would actually like to commend the NYPD right now.  They are doing a fantastic job and they aren‘t letting up.  And I‘m very confident.

COSBY:  Are you pleased with the way the investigation is going?  They really have given so much attention to the case and continue to go back out, you know, to where her body was found, back out to the bar.

KOCHER:  Yes.  Absolutely.  I‘m very pleased with it so far.

COSBY:  Tell us, you know—you know, Imette was so special to so many people.  What was it about her?  You know, just knowing her firsthand, you know, what was it about her that we all feel like we know her now?

KOCHER:  Well, she was just an individual that really cared about making a difference, and that‘s why it‘s such a—it‘s just—it is a big loss.  The world is going to miss her.  She meant a lot to a lot of people.  A lot of people loved her.  And that‘s it.  Yes, she was wonderful in every aspect of the word.

COSBY:  And a beautiful smile, too, as we‘re looking at some pictures here.  You know, I know in light of this tragedy, you‘re working on pushing for some legislation.  Tell us about that, what you want to see outside bars in New York.

KOCHER:  Yes, we are—we‘re working in conjunction with John Jay right now, including the president, Jeremy Travis (ph).  We‘re working on pushing for legislation to have surveillance cameras outside every bar in New York City, focusing on the entrances and exits.

COSBY:  And when do you think that that will go forward?  Where is that looking at and...

KOCHER:  Well, we are right now getting the ball rolling.  I‘m talking

probably talking to the mayor about it.  So that‘s where that stands right now.

COSBY:  I know they‘re also questioning a possible suspect.  Does that bring some comfort to you and others close to her that maybe this is wrapping up?

KOCHER:  It brings something.  It‘s not comfort.  It just—it makes me feel a little different about it.  Perhaps some closure will be brought out of this and for the—I mean, yes, that‘s—some comfort may be brought out of this.

COSBY:  Do you believe it will be solved?

KOCHER:  Yes.  I‘m very confident.  With the way the investigation‘s going right now, I am very confident.  I‘m proud of them right now, the way they‘re doing their jobs.

COSBY:  We just have a few seconds left, but I want to make sure I get to the fact—a scholarship also the reward.  Please tell us about those.

KOCHER:  Yes.  Right now, John Jay‘s setting up a scholarship in her honor, and it is taking donations.  If you want to contribute to that, you call John Jay, John Jay College.  And it also has a—we also have a $47,00 reward going out to anyone with any information concerning any information about this investigation, so—yes, $47,000.

COSBY:  Forty-seven thousand.  And What do you want to say to anybody, as we‘re looking at Crimestoppers, if they saw anything, anybody, especially in the bar or anywhere else, tonight, Ryan, if they‘re listening?

KOCHER:  I would just urge them very strongly to come forward.  I don‘t know how you can call yourself a human being and have any information like this and not come forward.  It would be a crime.  It‘s a crime.

COSBY:  Ryan, do you think they should be prosecuted if it turns out they did withhold information?

KOCHER:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.

COSBY:  Ryan, thank you very much, Imette‘s ex-boyfriend and a dear friend, of course, of her and other people close to her.  Thank you so much for being with us, and our prayers are with you tonight.

And coming up, everybody: Could a final phone call from Imette tell police where she and her killer were in her final moments?  The incredible science that could help cops crack this case.  You just heard from Ryan how much the family wants, that they believe there‘s a resolution.  Could a call crack it?

And congress is getting involved in the mystery of missing honeymooner George Smith.  Could the cruise industry be facing more troubled waters?  George‘s sister joins me live.


COSBY:  Tonight we are following some new developments in the gruesome murder of that New York City graduate student, 24 year old Imette St.  Guillen, who was killed more than a week ago after leaving a bar in New York‘s SoHo district. 

Police say a bouncer from the bar is a possible suspect and is being held now at Riker‘s Island.  This is an old mug shot of the guy, Darrell Littlejohn. 

Joining me now on the phone is Boston Herald reporter, Michelle McPhee, she is the author of the book, “Mob Over Miami.”  Michelle, if you can tell me, I know there was a lot of searches outside this guy‘s home today.  We were hearing at the top of the show that they took a part of the van, part of the car and part of the seat. 

MICHELLE MCPHEE, BOSTON HERALD:  There was a section of the seat that was among the boxes and reams of evidence that they removed from the house.  As you know, NYPD Crime Scene detectives went into his house sometime Monday night and did not emerge until early this morning.  It was an exhaustive search and that was one of the items that is they did recover. 

COSBY:  Do you know what else they recovered? 

MCPHEE:  They recovered—I know they were looking for and found carpet fibers and cut out a section of his rug and there were some hair follicles they removed and they are hoping that that evidence is going to be crucial in determining whether or not Mr. Littlejohn is responsible for this murder. 

COSBY:  Were they able to locate any of Imette‘s belongings in his house.  That would be very powerful. 

MCPHEE:  They have not.  My sources are telling me they have not located any of her belongings.  It‘s a very active investigation and they‘re following new leads we will be talking about tomorrow in The Herald. 

COSBY:  Can you give us a hint of it tonight? 

MCPHEE:  I know they are looking at some other crimes that may be connected to this guy. 

COSBY:  Are they serious? 

MCPHEE:  It‘s a very active investigation.  They are very serious crimes. 

COSBY:  Are they rapes or attempted murders? 

MCPHEE:  That‘s as far as we can go with it.  It‘s going to be on the Boston Herald Web site probably sometime after midnight. 

COSBY:  We will check for it.  I know you were out at the scene where I was soon after her body was found in that location, which is a few miles from the home we were looking at now.  Any new information from that area?  What are authorities gleaning from where her body was located? 

MCPHEE:  What I can gather from my sources is that they are really focussed on this 911 tape that was made from the diner.  I did see you at the diner and you could see the fingerprint dust they left.  I don‘t believe that got them far, but they are looking hard at the recording, the 911 recording, and wondering if they can match that to either Mr.  Littlejohn or someone close to him. 

COSBY:  Thank you very much Michelle, and we will be looking at The Boston Herald Web site tonight and I think we‘re going to be having you on the show tomorrow.  We look forward to it. 

Could a cell phone, something like this, belonging to either Imette St. Guillen or even her killer hold vital clues in this case?  Just how could something this small give detectives a potential break they have been waiting for? 

LIVE & DIRECT right now is Owen Carragher, he‘s an electronics surveillance expert and also a former Manhattan District Attorney.  People are astounded you can do this.  How can you trace someone‘s movements on a cell phone like this? 

OWEN CARRAGHER:  Every cell phone, in order for it to work, has to communicate with the phone company providing service.  Essentially what‘s happening is even though the phone may not be in the middle of a call, it‘s constantly communicating with the carrier and sending out an electronic hand shake. 

It‘s a little bit like if you were to walk into a room in a big party and you wanted to waive to the host and hostess and say here I am and get the host‘s attention. 

COSBY:  You are saying there has to be a call on the cell phone.  It can‘t just be carrying the phone around.  You have to be connected to somebody or dialing to somebody? 

CARRAGHER:  What happens is right now if this phone was on, it would be sending a message to your phone carrier.  It would be saying here I am.  If you receive a phone call, I want you to send it to me in this location and vice versa.  It‘s sending a message saying I am on the network. 

COSBY:  This is weather I‘m speaking or not?  Just having it on? 

CARRAGHER:  That‘s right.  What happens is there is a difference between the information that law enforcement can get if that are actively doing electronic surveillance at the time or if they are trying to go backwards and go to the phone company after an event and try to say to the phone company, what information can you get? 

COSBY:  Let me show you Darryl Littljohn‘s alleged movements.  At 5:00 p.m., this is that Saturday after her body was found, hours after they believe she was killed.  He is apparently at home in Queens and an hour later, he is in Brooklyn in the same area, according to records, where Imette‘s body was found. 

How close can they pinpoint someone‘s location?  It is a few miles apart.  Is it possible he was hitting a wrong tower?  For sure was he in Queens and for sure was he in Brooklyn? 

CARRAGHER:  The way it was set up is the phones are supposed to register with the closest cell tower.  Now in a highly concentrated area like New York there are an awful lot of cell phone towers. 

How close he is to a tower will depend on where he is in the city and which company is providing service. 

COSBY:  How accurate is this information? 

CARRAGHER:  It is probable.  I haven‘t seen the data myself, but if the phone registers in a cell site near his home and an hour or two later registers in an area closer to Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, which is where I understand where the body was found, the phone certainly moved. 

It is not likely there is any set of atmospheric circumstances that are going to move that.  The question then is where are the cell sites in this location.  It depends on who the carrier is and the location, in downtown Manhattan you can be within a few hundred feet of a cell tower if you look at the records.  Someplace out in Brooklyn, it may be as much as a mile.  But they usually register to the nearest cell site. 

COSBY:  Interesting.  We will begin to follow this and it could prove be key evidence in the case if it turns out.  Thank you very much Owen Carragher.  We appreciate you being with us. 

Everybody, we will stay on this story and hope that justice is served for Imette and also her family.  If you have information about this case, we want to put up this number.  Please call crimestoppers.  It‘s 1-800-577-TIPS.  Be sure to call in any information you have. 

Still ahead everybody, George Smith vanish on his honeymoon cruise.  His family blamed the cruise line for botching the investigation.  Will Congress now do the same?  His sister joins us live next. 

Dana Reeve, she stood by her husband Christopher during his fight with paralysis and tonight she has lost her fight against lung cancer.  How do nonsmokers get the disease?  That‘s all coming up. 



KENDALL CARVER, DAUGHTER WENT MISSING ON CRUISE SHIP:  If something happens to you or a loved one on a cruise ship, you‘re on your own. 


COSBY:  And that was Kendall Carver, whose daughter disappeared from a cruise ship back in 2004.  After the disappearance of George Smith from his honeymoon cruise last year, many are demanding to know just how safe these ships really are. 

Today, relatives of cruise ship victims went before Congress, demanding changes in how crimes are reported on cruise lines. 

We are joined now by Congressman Christopher Shays of Connecticut, who chaired these very powerful hearings. 

You know, Congressman, how big of a problem do you think cruise ship crime is and what are some of the worst things that you heard? 

REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS ®, CONNECTICUT:  Well, first off, we don‘t know how big a problem it is.  If the statistics are accurate, then it‘s not a problem.  If the statistics are not accurate, then it is a problem. 

But I will also say, even with the small number that the cruise industry says have actually occurred, missing people, people assaulted and so on, the way they are treated appears to be a problem. 

COSBY:  You know, I wanted to show some of the statistics from the cruise ship industry.  They claim that there were 178 sexual assaults that we have here—this is from 2003, 2005 -- 24 missing persons cases and four robberies.  Do you trust these numbers? 

SHAYS:  Well, I said to them that I am a bit suspicious of it, because the problem is there is a huge incentive to underreport, because they are talking about their livelihood.  And I mean, no disrespect to the cruise industry, but we are still checking the numbers, and we are—you know, we‘re a bit concerned about how the security actually takes place, how people are notified where to go when there is a problem.  So the cruise industry has 10.5 million people in a period of a year.  That is going to grow close to 20 million people in just five years. 

COSBY:  You know, I wanted to show, this as a comment from the International Council of Cruise Lines.  This is what they had to say to us.  They said: “Cruising is one of the safest vacations available, with an outstanding record that demonstrates the industry‘s commitment to safety and security.” 

Do you feel that that‘s the case, that they are really paying proper attention, or you think they are turning a blind eye? 

SHAYS:  I honestly don‘t know.  It‘s a question that‘s up in the air.  I have no dog in this fight, in the sense that I don‘t have a preconception that the statistics are wrong.  I have a suspicion that they are not accurate, because in my 30 years in public life, there is a real incentive for organizations that for the most part provide voluntary statistics to understate the statistics. 

But what I do know is when Mr. Carver talks about his daughter, Merrian, being lost on the ship and the ship knew it and never notified him, that he had to find out—he spent $75,000 to find out what happened to his daughter—you know, that‘s a huge problem.  When Mr. Pham goes on a family vacation and his mother and father are missing, and they don‘t know when to look and when it happened, but basically say in so many words they committed suicide, it‘s just hard to believe.  They were on a family vacation. 

COSBY:  A lot of questions still open tonight. 

Congressman, thank you very much.  I know you are determined and dedicated, and if anyone is going to get to the bottom of it, you will. 

SHAYS:  We will. 

COSBY:  Good, I hope so.

An attorney Brett Rivkind testified before Congress today, before the chairman that you just saw there, just a few hours ago.  He represents the family of missing honeymooner George Smith, and joins us now also with George‘s sister Bree. 

Brett, how confident are you that Congress is going to get to the bottom of this and determine, you know, whether or not there is a cover-up here? 

BRETT RIVKIND, ATTORNEY:  I‘m very confident.  Especially Congressman Shays today, and from the last hearing, he is very committed.  Their eye is on the cruise ship industry.  They are going to have to work now with Congress, or Congressman Shays is not going to stop.  He‘s going to get the statistics.  He‘s going to find out how much underreporting is going on.  So I think they‘re going to get to the bottom of it, Rita. 

COSBY:  You know, Bree, there was a lot of emotional testimony today.  And I want to show a comment—this is from a mother whose daughter was allegedly raped on a cruise ship.  And I want to play it and I‘ll get you to react.


DEBORAH SHAFFER, MOTHER OF CRUISE VICTIM:  Losing her father almost 12 years ago, and then being raped eight years later is an enormous hurt in her whole being that could never begin to heal until she was able to address what had happened. 


COSBY:  You know, Bree, that‘s got to be just heartwrenching for you to hear, you know, from these other victims as you still try to figure out what happened to your brother. 

BREE SMITH:  Well, Deborah Shaffer‘s testimony was—it‘s awful to listen to, as was the testimony of the other victims of cruise crimes. 

I think that my brother‘s death will not be in vain, because he has given them a voice.  You know, these people who have had, you know, suffered at the hands of crime perpetrators and also at the hands of cruise lines now have a voice and now are being listened to.  And I think that my brother has caused something amazing with his death, as hard as it is for us, that there will be changes made to the cruise industry.  Cruise lines will finally be accountable, and I can‘t thank Congressman Christopher Shays enough for asking the hard questions. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  You know, let me play some comments.  This is from George‘s bride, Jennifer Hagel-Smith.  She also did sort of a separate press conference today.  This is what she had to say.


JENNIFER HAGEL-SMITH, WIFE OF GEORGE SMITH:  Certainly the cruise industry still has some very valuable information that we don‘t have in our hands at this moment.  We are learning new information every day. 


COSBY:  You know, Bree, have you talked to her at all, and what information do you think is still being held back? 

SMITH:  We know that Jim Walker, who is Jennifer‘s attorney, is in constant contact with Bret Rivkind, and you know, they share any information that comes up through their tip line. 

COSBY:  You know, she was on another network, did an interview recently and said that she was asleep near one of the cabins of one of the guys that was partying that night.  We‘ve learned that it may have been Josh Askin, who is that California student.  Does that raise any questions to you? 

SMITH:  Well, you know, I think that she said in her interview on another network that it was troubling to her.  You know, I can‘t draw any conclusions from where she was found, but it‘s definitely worth investigating. 

COSBY:  Brett, what do you think?

RIVKIND:  Well, I think, you know, it‘s another piece in the puzzle.  It is troubling.  There is more questions that need to just be answered here.  You know, we don‘t have much other information than that.  That‘s where she was found.  We don‘t have the surveillance films, we don‘t have statements.  We just learned this recently.  So it‘s just another piece in this puzzle, Rita, to try to put together.  But obviously as Jennifer‘s attorney has stated, they are very troubled by where she was found, and looking into the circumstances as to how that fits into the big picture here. 

COSBY:  You know, Bree, spring break is sort of coming up.  A lot of people think about cruises.  What advice do you have? 

SMITH:  Well, I think that Americans should really think hard before they spend their hard-earned money on these cruise vacations.  You know, it‘s very clear from the testimony today that cruise line corporations value their bottom line profits above human life.  And so I think that Americans have a choice where they choose to vacation, and they should strongly consider whether they will be safe on a cruise line and God forbid a crime is committed against them, whether it will be handled properly. 

COSBY:  Both of you, thank you very much.  And of course we hope you get some answers, Bree and Brett, as to what happened to George.  Thank you so much. 

And still ahead, everybody, Dana Reeve stood by her husband in his fight over paralysis.  Tonight, her fight with lung cancer is over.  But she was not a smoker, so how did she get this deadly disease? 

Plus, find out what‘s happening to the police officer caught on tape pulling the trigger in this controversial shooting.  That‘s coming up next. 


COSBY:  Very sad news to report to you tonight.  Dana Reeve, the widow of actor Christopher Reeve, has died of lung cancer at the age of 44.  Dana died last night in New York a little more than a year after losing her husband.  While Dana is known as an actress herself, an author and mostly recently a single mother, she is best known for her recent crusade supporting spinal cord research.

Her late husband, Christopher Reeve, died in October of 2004 after struggling with paralysis from falling off a horse 11 years ago.  She started the Christopher Reeve Foundation which focuses on finding a cure for paralysis.

The death of Dana Reeve from lung cancer is a sad reminder that the disease is a common and deadly attacker.  And I know this also, unfortunately firsthand about the disease.  My own mother passed away from lung cancer in December 2002. 

And joining me now to discuss the dangers of the disease is New York University chief of thoracic surgery and oncology, Doctor Harvey Pass.  You know, Doctor Pass, you know, my mother was a smoker, she quit smoking a couple decades even before she passed. 

But in Dana Reeve‘s case she never smoked.  How unusual is that?

DR. HARVEY PASS, CHIEF OF THORACIC SURGERY AND ONCOLOGY, NYU:  Well, we‘re finding out that it‘s a problem that‘s getting increasing in frequency.  I mean, we think that about 10 percent or about 16-20,000 of the individuals who are dying of lung cancer may indeed have very little smoking history, if any.  And it‘s mainly in women and we don‘t know the reason for it.

COSBY:  Yes, why is it?  In fact, we‘re hearing more that more women, recently, are more susceptible than men.  What is the other thing?  We‘re hearing, what radon, a couple of the causes, possibly, right?

PASS:  Absolutely.  So you may have to deal with these causes of cancer in nonsmoking individuals.  It could be radon, could be passive smoking, could be some sort of genetic susceptibility.  I mean, maybe certain women have certain genetic profiles that make them more susceptible to less of the load of the tobacco carcinogens.  We‘re looking into that.

COSBY:  You know, it was just—I was seeing two months ago, she was actually singing, and I want to show a little clip of that.

PASS:  The thing that you‘ve got to understand about lung cancer is that...

COSBY:  Go ahead, Doctor.

PASS:  ... I‘m sorry.

COSBY:  Actually, let me show the clip and let me get everybody, because I think this is very surprising, the contrast.




COSBY:  You know, there was two months ago, Doctor, and you know, she looks great, sounds great.  How could this happen so fast?

PASS:  Well lung cancer is incredibly treacherous.  I mean, especially if it‘s not diagnosed early.  We don‘t know when Dana was diagnosed, but if you have some symptoms, then usually the disease has progressed and this disease can be just as lethal in patients who are nonsmokers as in smokers.  So that‘s why we have to detect the disease earlier to try and get better therapies for it.

COSBY:  And what are some of the common symptoms so people can know to look out for it earlier?

PASS:  Well you‘ve got to worry about cough, shortness of breath, coughing up of blood, hoarseness, just some fatigue, weight loss.  These are all things that you‘ve got to worry about if you‘re a smoker or former smoker or have a family history of lung cancer.

COSBY:  You know, real quick, what are some things that are being done to prevent the disease?  Are there breakthroughs on the horizon?

PASS:  Well I think that the treatment is absolutely getting better.  I mean, we‘re saving more people with lung cancer, but we have to detect it earlier.  What you‘re showing on the screen is a Helical C.T..  C.T.‘s, if done early enough in high-risk patients, I think, are very useful in detecting the disease early. 

And we know that if we detect the disease early, those patients are going to be able to be treated earlier and hopefully live longer.  Obviously we want to use other things besides C.T. screening, blood tests, which are under investigation.  These are all the exciting advances that we‘re going to hear about in the next couple of years.

COSBY:  Let‘s hope there is a breakthrough for a lot of people‘s sakes.  Dr. Pass, thank you very much. 

And everybody, Dana Reeve is survived by her 13-year-old son, Will, her father, two sisters, and two step-children.  She was 44-years-old and a really lovely person that I had the pleasure of meeting.


COSBY:  And a development tonight in the case of a sheriff‘s deputy who was videotaped shooting an unarmed Iraq war veteran after a car chase.  Tonight Deputy Ivory Webb is facing charges of attempted voluntary manslaughter.

On the tape, a voice orders Air Force senior airman Elio Carrion to get up.  When he does, the deputy shoots him three times, wounding him.  That deputy can now face close to 20 years if he is convicted.

And we‘re also going to continue following developments in the murder of Imette St. Guillen in New York City.  We‘re going to bring you the developments as they happen.  As we‘re hearing, maybe there‘s some new details that this potential suspect, Darryl LittleJohn—as you see, an old mug shot here, may have also been tied to some previous pretty serious crimes.  We‘re looking into that, we hope to have that information for you tomorrow night. 

And also coming up tomorrow, some new legal developments in the Natalee Holloway case.  The prime suspect in her disappearance is fighting back after Natalee‘s parents filed a civil lawsuit against Joran Van Der Sloot and his father.  We‘re going to talk to Joran‘s newly-hired attorney, plus get reaction from Natalee‘s mom, Beth Holloway Twitty.  That is all coming up tomorrow night, right here on LIVE & DIRECT.

And that does it for me this evening, I‘m Rita Cosby.  Joe Scarborough starts right now with “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”  Joe?



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