Guests: Stacey Honowitz, Jayne Weintraub, Thomas Siebel, Paul Venables, Richard Knighton
RITA COSBY, HOST: Good evening, everybody. We are coming to you right now, as you can see, LIVE AND DIRECT from The Falls bar in downtown Manhattan with late developments in the murder of 24-year-old Imette St. Guillen. Right now, you’re looking at the first video we’re going to show you, scene of The Falls bouncer and the only suspect in the case, Darryl Littlejohn. Police are not only investigating him in Imette’s murder, but they’re also eying him closely in connection with several New York rapes.
Littlejohn was placed in a line-up today for one of those attacks, but came out clean. But investigators say they have made a match. Some very crucial evidence found on Imette’s body leads directly to Littlejohn.
Joining me now with late-breaking details is WNBC reporter Jonathan Dienst. Jonathan, tell us about the mood in the courtroom. And also, we understand you were there when he was arriving.
JONATHAN DIENST, WNBC-TV: That is right. There—you know, quite a scene, a ton of media outside, waiting for the arrival of the suspect, hoping for a first opportunity to catch a glimpse of him, and helicopters overhead. And we did get a first look at Mr. Littlejohn as he was brought to court today.
The hearing today was to see if he could be put in place in a line-up in a rape pattern—or rape incident out in Queens, New York. And the judge ruled that, yes, he could be put in that line-up, and that line-up did take place at a precinct in Queens this afternoon. Police felt that this victim picked him out in a photo line-up and thought and were hopeful that perhaps, if they did a regular line-up, that she could do that, as well. But unfortunately, we’re told when that line-up took place, she was not able to identify him, was not able to link him as a suspect. So the police are going back to the drawing board in terms of these rapes investigations.
Do they think he’s involved? Yes, they do. Do they have evidence to link him to it? At this point, no, but the investigation continues. They tell us there is forensics, there is other evidence, but now in the three rapes—not connected to the murder, but the three other rapes in Queens and in Nassau County—so far, all the victims—they’ve done three line-ups, and in three cases, they’ve not picked Mr. Littlejohn as the suspect.
COSBY: You know, Jonathan, I’ve got a couple things I want to see if we can get some quick answers here. The red carpet fibers—we understand there is a match there. Tell us about that because that could be significant.
DIENST: Investigators tell us that there is preliminary forensic match between a section of carpet, a piece of carpet that was found in his home in Queens, and on a piece of tape that was located at the crime scene. Now, does this mean it’s a definitive match and they can charge the suspect? No. Does it bring them another step closer to raise suspicion on his actions the night of the killing? Yes.
And they continue to work hard on this investigation. But we spoke with police commissioner Ray Kelly and the Queens district attorney, Mr. Brown, and also the Nassau County police, and all said they are waiting on DNA and other forensic evidence to come in that will help them rule in or rule out this suspect. But again, no charges have been filed.
And the defense made a very key point about that today, feeling that without any charges, without any key line-up match, I believe the term the defense lawyer used was he believed his client was being railroaded, and that he denies the charges—the allegations that have been raised.
COSBY: You know, also, I spoke, in fact, with the attorney for Darryl Littlejohn, who was basically given the case here. I want to show a quote. This is Kevin O’Donnell, the new attorney. And he said, If they had the evidence, they would have charged him.”
Jonathan, you also spoke to police commissioner Ray Kelly. Let me show that clip of you speaking with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: We’re going forward with all deliberate speed, and hopefully, we’ll be able to come to a successful conclusion soon, but I can’t put a date on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Any idea when an arrest would be made? Do you think they’re waiting just because, look, he’s behind bars for this parole violation?
DIENST: I think there are two points on that front. One, every day since this investigation has happened and the DNA samples and testing has gone under way, detectives and investigators have been waiting with bated breath, hoping that today’s the day the medical examiner’s office or the police lab comes up with that key piece of evidence. And every day, that final answer has not come. We saw a bit of a break yesterday with the fiber, perhaps. But again, these tests take time.
And think about the mountain of evidence that has been recovered or that has been taken from the home, the mountain of materials taken from the bar and the van. And they have to sift through all of that in a painstaking fashion, then try to use the lab and the testing that goes on to try to see if they can come up with a match. And that will take a very long time.
Now, you bring up the fact that he’s in prison. He’s in prison on a technical parole violation, the fact that he was working as a bouncer, working past 9:00 o’clock at night, and that violated the terms of his parole. And yes, they can hold him now. I believe he is entitled to a hearing 15 days from now. But the judge can take up to 90 days to issue a ruling as to whether he should be sent back to prison for the remaining year that was part of his sentence and he was let out on parole, or if he should be released.
So police and investigators have 90 days to continue to work this case. They believe they have plenty of time to try to come up with some results and either rule this suspect in or out.
COSBY: Jonathan, thank you very much. Please keep us posted. You’ve done a great job on this case.
And let’s now, if we could, take a closer look at the three rape investigations that could be linked to Littlejohn. This is what Jonathan was talking about. The first alleged incident happened on October 16 of last year. A man grabbed a woman off the street in Forest Hills, Queens. He tossed her in a blue van and raped her in a basement.
On October 19, a man wearing a fugitive agency cap jumped out of a blue van and grabbed a college student. That young woman was lucky enough to escape. And finally, on November 9, a 15-year-old girl is raped after being grabbed by an armed man in Elmont, New York, just over the Queens-New York border, a few miles away from here.
Let me now bring in, if I could, former NYPD squad commander, who has been with us on the case, private investigator Joe Cardinale. Joe, I want to first ask about what we’re hearing from Jonathan, that there was this line-up today in these three rape cases. The woman, I’m told from the defense attorney now for Darryl Littlejohn said, That doesn’t look like the guy. I thought the guy who raped me was a lot bigger. How much does that hurt the case?
JOE CARDINALE, FORMER NYPD SQUAD COMMANDER: Well, it’s not that it hurts the case. And you know, he’s saying he’s being railroaded. I totally disagree with that. When you’re doing line-ups that are—you know, of a sensitive nature like this, with a sex crime involved or, you know, violence involved like that, sometimes the victims shy away from the line-ups. The fact that she identified him in a photo array and then didn’t identify him in the line-up—you know, his physical appearance could have changed since then. I mean, he may have had hair back then; he was wearing a hat back then.
So many things, you know, come into factor over here. So I would not rule him out based on that he wasn’t picked out of a line-up because we’ve had cases where they weren’t picked up and yet the evidence later on convicted them.
COSBY: You know, as we’re here—we’re right in front of The Falls bar—I want to show everybody, just to give them some perspective—this right here, Joe, this is the side door. It’s locked right here tonight. We don’t know that night (INAUDIBLE) this is the front door—just to give everybody a little perspective. It’s open.
But you know, the one thing we’re not clear about—one of the theories is that maybe she wasn’t walked out of the front door of the bar. Maybe she was led through the back of the bar and then somehow pulled out of the side door. What does that say to you about the bar owners and maybe what else is going on inside here?
CARDINALE: I’ll tell you, that stinks from the word go, all right? You have somebody—true, the bar owner and the bartender, who come forward a week later. And they come up with information that should have been, you know, relayed to the police the first day, the very first day, as soon as they knew it, all right?
COSBY: What are you saying, that they know more than they’re saying?
CARDINALE: Well, you know, the fact that somebody holds onto information like that, maybe they do. You know, it’s awful funny that they come across with this information once Littlejohn is, you know, picked up and they’re questioning him. So maybe they’re worried, Oh, he’s about to say something, so you know, we better say something. Maybe they’re being coached to say something from an attorney that they’ve been conferring with all along.
And the fact that—you’re a bar owner. You have a young lady who’s unruly and you want her out of your bar. You take her to a side door? (INAUDIBLE) do you put her out the front door? And again, do you call a cab for her, or do you put her in the hands of your bouncer, and if your bouncer’s going to take somebody out, they usually take them out the front. Through the side door? That stinks.
COSBY: Yes, there’s something fishy there, and there’s something questionable. Why would you go through the back door? The other thing—if we can pan up here? Let’s take a look. Upstairs—this is where these offices are. This is the second floor offices. We know that they were investigating up there. Is it possible that they were up there and nobody heard anything?
CARDINALE: Oh, it’s very possible. If you look at the situation or this building over here, and the area itself, there’s really nothing open but this bar at that time.
COSBY: Yes, at this hour—this was obviously a few hours earlier than when it occurred.
CARDINALE: Exactly. And then—but still, none of the businesses over here are open, all right? So this place is by itself. It actually stays by itself. There’s really nobody upstairs. There’s no residential that we can see on either side. So maybe somebody would take somebody up there, knowing that, you know, this—nobody’s going to hear anything, you know?
COSBY: The other thing, too—we’re looking—if we can even show over here—lots of sort of—looks like offices, some apartment buildings and some other things in this area. You can bet probably they probably questioned a lot of people in these buildings, Did you see something strange?
CARDINALE: Yes. I can guarantee you that these buildings have been canvassed and recanvassed, you know? And if need be, they’ll come back and do it again. And they’ll just keep appealing to the public, Have you seen anything, have—anything you may have heard, you know, that night, that you think might contribute to this case, call it in. Call it in.
And once again, the 911 caller. If you’re not involved with it, call in, help the police. At least let them know that you’re not involved in this and you made the call for this reason, whatever the reason is, all right? You know, he might have been doing something at that area that he shouldn’t have been doing. He can remain anonymous. Call the police and let them know exactly why you made the call and how you came about to make that call.
COSBY: Joe Cardinale, thank you. Stick with us. We’re going to have you later on in the show.
And still ahead, everybody, the evidence in the case. How much do we really know about it? We’re going to talk about that and a lot more as we continue here live from The Falls. That’s not all tonight.
Still ahead: Is it enough? A fiber found on the body of Imette St. Guillen stuck in the tape wrapped around her. Police say it’s tied to the only suspect. But what else do police have? Our forensics experts break down the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And this is your brain on crystal meth. Is this new and disturbing scare tactic...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I’m going to sleep with him for meth just once.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: ... enough to fight the crystal meth epidemic that’s exploding coast to coast? That’s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES LAWRENCE, NASSAU COUNTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Thank God, we’ve got this gentleman off the street, and we believe he’s responsible for some horrendous stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And we continue now live outside The Falls bar in downtown Manhattan. You’re looking at a live picture of The Falls bar. There’s a bit of traffic at this hour, but remember, this is just after 9:00 o’clock at night here on a busy night, and what we’re hearing about what happened with Imette St. Guillen when she left this bar, it was at closing time, just after 4:00 AM.
Let’s continue now to talk about the forensic expert in this case. And I want to bring in our panel of experts. We have with us forensic scientist and top-notch expert Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at John Jay College. Also, Dr. Robert Shaler. He’s—
Dr. Shaler was recently the director of forensics at New York City medical examiner’s office. That is the same place that is now examining all the evidence gathered in Imette’s case. And continuing with us is private investigator Joe Cardinale.
Let me start with you, if I could, Dr. Kobilinsky, because so much of this, it seems like, is going go on forensics. We know now that there’s red carpet fiber, the red carpet that apparently was found in the tape around her face—goes to Darryl Littlejohn’s, apparently, home. How strong is that?
LARRY KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, it may be strong, it may not be strong. There are general class characteristics of the fibers. In other words, we know whether they’re natural or synthetic. We know if they’re dyed and what color they are. We know how long they are. But we’re—in addition, we’re interested in the very specific individual characteristics, the microscopic structure.
If you remember the Atlanta serial killings, where Wayne Williams was caught up because of carpet fiber evidence, it could be as significant as that. We can trace the manufacturer of the carpet. We can determine how unique it is, and then it would become extremely important evidence.
COSBY: You know, Dr. Shaler, let me talk about some of the evidence that we’re still waiting to hear from. We understand they did some preliminary DNA tests that didn’t match up, inconclusive. And they’re doing further—let me kind of bullet through what we have—a floral blanket—we know they’re trying to match that. We know that there was some DNA on that, and that was inconclusive on that one. Fingernails DNA, that apparently, there was some DNA under her fingernails. They’re going to try to compare that with him. Sock also in her mouth. Seats from the van—there was that back seat that we know was found in her (SIC) home. And also, of course, we’re waiting for toxicology reports.
Dr. Shaler, what do you think it’s going to take to crack the case?
DR. ROBERT SHALER, FORMER DIR. OF FORENSICS, NYC MEDICAL EXAMINER’S
OFFICE: Well, I think that they need to continue looking at the DNA. It’s certainly going to be critical evidence, if they find something that either puts her in the van or puts him on top—on her. The DNA from the floral blanket, my understanding is, does not match him. My understanding is that the DNA under her fingernails is her own DNA. So that doesn’t look like there’s too much there.
As far as the van is concerned—I think the van is really a hot topic because I think that’s something that really needs to be looked at very closely. We know that she was in the van, so there should be something of her in there, whether it’s a fiber or a hair or saliva or something like that. I think that needs to be looked at very, very carefully.
COSBY: You know, Joe, when—I believe that, too, because I believe if we can pinpoint—and again, it depends probably what’s on that. If it’s a hair, maybe he can say, I drove her home. I lied. But if it’s blood, I think that that’s a lot, don’t you?
CARDINALE: Oh, it’s going to change it significantly. And once again, you know, you have to go back to where did this crime take place. Did it take place here? You know, was she actually murdered here? Was she actually murdered in Brooklyn? And that’s going to also change jurisdiction later on, if it does change up. It may move from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
So I mean, the evidence right now is still being collected. I agree with Professor Kobilinsky. I really think that the fibers—you know, nobody’s locking into just this one piece of evidence. There’s no way they’re going to just lock into this. It’s something that they have, and they’re going to continue to gather as much information as they can, especially if they feel he’s tied into these sex offenses in Nassau County and in Queens.
COSBY: They’re going to step it up, if that’s the case...
CARDINALE: They’re going to step it up, but they’re also going to compare all the evidence, and that’s going to take time. And they are in no rush. Believe me, they’re in no rush to come out—you know, nobody’s pressuring them. Everybody wants an arrest, all right, but they’re in no rush to make this arrest. Right now, their job is to put the case together the best way they can and make a strong case against this individual and other individuals, if they are involved.
COSBY: Dr. Kobilinsky, a tipster apparently said that that flowered blanket was spotted—and that’s, of course, that sort of quilt that we were hearing so much about for so long. But they’re saying that that sort of quilt was spotted at a Queens dialysis center where Littlejohn’s aunt was goes for treatment. Does that make it significant, if you can match that up?
KOBILINSKY: Well, of course, in forensics, what we try to do is associate an individual to a crime scene or to a victim. Now, knowing the origin of that floral print, that comforter, is very critical. As I understand it, there’s a semen stain on that object, and it turns out not to be from the bouncer. So we still have to entertain the possibility that there are more than one perpetrators involved in this crime.
COSBY: Do you believe that there are, Dr. Shaler? Do you believe that there’s still a possibility, more than one perpetrator?
SHALER: Well, we don’t know. We certainly have a DNA sample that doesn’t match the bouncer, as Larry said. So that’s something that you have—you can’t—you can’t divorce any theory at this time. You’re still—long investigation to go, a lot of evidence that has to be collected. And until you can take a look at all of this evidence and make sense of it, you can’t make any assumptions about anything.
COSBY: But is it possible, Dr. Shaler, that could, obviously—maybe it’s an old quilt, so there could be a lot of different DNA on that, right?
SHALER: Absolutely. We have a semen sample. We have no idea when it was put down there. We don’t know what the origin of this blanket is. It’s something that still has to be sorted out.
COSBY: And Joe Cardinale, the other thing, too—we don’t know the toxicology reports from Imette St. Guillen. We don’t know—you know, what will that show? She was drinking, maybe something else?
CARDINALE: It’ll show how much she was drinking, her blood alcohol content. It’s going to say—it’s going to show if she had any drugs in her, you know? And the state that she was in from—you know, from the beginning, where her friend says she in this particular state of—you know, not inebriated. You know, she was drinking but not falling all over the place.
So you have to really think about it, you know, the stages. You know, you have to watch how it progresses and what takes her to this location. Could something have been slipped in her drink in this place? It’s possible. But they’ll find that out through the toxicology. And once again, that’s going to take time. And they’re also going to start tying in the evidence, if there is any evidence to tie in, from the other cases. That’s going to be so crucial.
COSBY: How long do you think until toxicology comes back, Joe?
CARDINALE: Oh, it’s going to take a little bit, but they’re not—once again, Rita, they’re not rushing it. They’re going to just take their time with it. They’re going to cross all their T’s and, you know, dot their I’s on this. It’s an important investigation, and definitely do not rush it. No two ways about it.
COSBY: Oh, it’s real important.
CARDINALE: Let them take their time. Let the police do their job. You have the best police department in the world over here working on it, and I’m sure they’re going to come out with positive results on this. I’m confident.
COSBY: All right, guys. Thank you very much. And Joe, thank you for being out here and putting everything...
CARDINALE: Any time.
COSBY: ... in perspective. And if there is anything that comes out positive from Imette St. Guillen’s death, the question is maybe some changes for other bars, maybe some new procedures.
Let’s look also because here at The Falls bar—in fact, if we can go back to a live picture—there are no surveillance cameras outside, and that was one of the big points. Well, now some New York state lawmakers are mulling over Imette’s law. Here’s Imette’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan Kocher, describing the idea on our show on Tuesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN KOCHER, IMETTE’S EX-BOYFRIEND: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And LIVE AND DIRECT right now is New York assemblyman Felix Ortiz. He represents Brooklyn’s 51st district. You are coming up with Imette’s law. Why?
FELIX ORTIZ (D), NY 51ST DISTRICT ASSEMBLYMAN: Well, it’s very critical that—we need to stop and prevent this type of crimes for continue from happening in New York state. I think it’s very important that we come out with a law to mandate that we have cameras to be posted at the entrances of every bar and every club in the state of New York. And those cameras will be very helpful for evidence and for law enforcement, for evidence and other purposes that they might need them for.
COSBY: Are you surprised, though—and fact, let’s take another look over here at the bar. Are you surprised, as we’re looking at it, no surveillance cameras? I don’t know about the other places along here. They can take a look and see if other places have it. But the first bar that she went to, the Pioneer bar, there was a surveillance camera. And let’s think about how helpful that was because we saw her waving goodbye to her friend. Are you surprised that a lot of bars—a busy bar like this doesn’t have it?
ORTIZ: Well, I’m very surprised. That is the reason why I’m mandating that New York state should have and will be the first state to have a video camera and surveillance camera in place in the state of New York for these purposes. I think it’s unfortunate that we have to go through this type of tragedy to—for us to act on some important common sense denominator type of legislation to mandate that we need to put video cameras in the entrances of every single bar and club in the state of New York.
COSBY: Now, in the case of Imette St. Guillen, you know, how would that have helped? Because now they’re looking at the bouncer as the key suspect, you know, manning the doors again. We’re not quite sure which door he walked her out of. But if that’s the case, he’s going to know where the surveillance cameras are. In certain cases, it may not help.
ORTIZ: Well, I think—I think that today, Technology is very innovated. I think that we will be able to have cameras to be installed in this—at the entrances of every bar and club throughout the state of New York, that they will be able to get—and to get the images, if you will, of the people that are coming in and out of the bars and the clubs, and also the people who are working as a bouncer outside the bars and clubs. So I think it’s very critical that once we have these cameras in place, that will help, at least for other folks, too, that may have the mentality that they can commit this type of crime or think about it, that they will be prevented from doing it.
COSBY: Let’s hope so. I wish you a lot of luck...
ORTIZ: Thank you.
COSBY: ... because I think it is an important law. Assemblyman, thank you...
ORTIZ: Thank you very much.
COSBY: ... very much.
And everybody, stick with us. We have a lot more. Coming up tonight, a lot of new details still ahead. Is there enough evidence to successfully charge and prosecute right now the only suspect in the murder of Imette Guillen? That’s ahead.
And the epidemic of crystal meth. The addiction is spreading from big cities to small towns. Can a shocking new message stop the spread? That’s coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I’m only going to try meth once. I’m not going to be like that guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I’m just going to shoot up just once, all right? I’m not going to be like that guy!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And I’m coming to you live from right outside The Falls bar in Manhattan. This is the last place where Imette St. Guillen was seen alive. And there are some new developments to bring you. If you’re just tuning in, we’ve got a lot of developments happening, particularly in the last 24 hours or so.
Let me bring you up to date on what happened and what we know so far in the latest in the 24-year-old case -- 24-year-old graduate student Imette St. Guillen, the case related to her. Tonight, a physical link to this man—in fact, there it is. There’s the walk—Darryl Littlejohn, one of the bouncers at the bar where I’m standing in front of. But that evidence hasn’t been enough to make an arrest just yet. And in fact, they’re walking him because he was ID-ing somebody—there was going to be an ID of him possibly in a line-up. Indeed, the woman was not able to pinpoint him, but he was being walked in, in case somebody could point to him.
Joining me now is “Boston Herald” reporter Michele McPhee. She was inside the courtroom for this actual moment. Walk us through what happened inside. The woman didn’t pinpoint him out, right?
MICHELE MCPHEE, “BOSTON HERALD”: Well, not in the line-up. She didn’t point him in—out in the line-up. But however, she did—she did point him out in a photo array. And today, I think that she was just—there’s some thought—I’ve spoken to some investigators who really felt that she just might have been frightened today. You know, there was a big media circus outside the 112 precinct. And, you know, the circumstantial evidence points very strongly at Mr. Littlejohn. So I don’t have the sense that they’re going to at all abandon that investigation into this—the three other rapes that are not at all associated with Imette’s murder.
COSBY: Now in this particular case, from what I was hearing, the woman was Japanese and said what, “I thought my perpetrator was bigger?”
MCPHEE: She said she thought—no, according to his attorney, Kevin O’Donnell; Mr. O’Donnell said that when he walked up, she had everybody in the lineup room stand up and shout “Shut up.”
And apparently that’s obviously what had happened to her and that was her experience. And when Mr. Littlejohn stood up, she must have remarked, “that guy is too small and my guy was bigger.”
I saw him today in the courthouse and he appeared to be rather large. He’s a broad guy. I mean, the mugshot that we’re seeing doesn’t really do him justice because he really is a very broad-shouldered and muscular. The descriptions that you’ve heard from employees here of him being hulking or massive, they are accurate.
COSBY: What was his demeanor too in court today? And you’ve talked to him. I mean, the number of people have actually had an experience, but you saw him in court today.
MCPHEE: Right, I did see him in court today, he walked in, he had on a gray sweatshirt, his hands were cuffed behind his back. He kind of had his head down; he couldn’t look at his hands so he looked at his stomach. And he didn’t have a word to say. And when his attorney asked, you know, his attorney said that he was very eager to be put into this lineup because he wanted to clear his name.
COSBY: And his attorney, we talked with Kevin O’Donnell. He’s saying this guy is the wrong guy, he’s being framed.
MCPHEE: He’s a scapegoat, yes.
COSBY: What are some of the other things that Kevin O’Donnell has said to you?
MCPHEE: He really said that No. 1 that he’s a scapegoat, that this is like the one, you know, career criminal working at the bar. He’s being pinpointed because of his felonious past and that because of the extensive media coverage across the United States and I think even overseas, this guy can’t get a fair trial is what the attorneys are trying to say.
COSBY: Michelle McPhee, thank you very much. Interesting, much have been pretty incredible watching that lineup today in court. Thank you very much.
MCPHEE: Thanks very much.
COSBY: Well Darryl Littlejohn’s attorney as you were just hearing, Kevin O’Donnell spoke out today, reminding the public that his client hasn’t been charged yet with the murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN O’DONNELL, LITTLEJOHN’S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He hasn’t been charged in anything yet. Unfortunately it seems to be very difficult for him to get a fair trial, never mind in the city, in this state with all the publicity and the police leaks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And joining us now is sex crimes prosecutor Stacey Honowitz and also criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub. Stacey, can this guy get a fair trial?
STACEY HONOWITZ, SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Well you know what, Rita, this is just like every high-profile publicity case that your show has covered and many other shows have covered. So absolutely, there are people that don’t know about this case. Not everybody is following this as closely as we are.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, they’re on Mars.
HONOWITZ: He absolutely can get a fair trial. This is the same bit that we have been through with Scott Peterson, with Entwistle.
WEINTRAUB: And he got a fair trial.
HONOWITZ: Absolutely he would get a fair trial.
COSBY: Wait, you guys. Jayne, go ahead, Jayne, I’ll let you in now, go ahead Jayne, go ahead.
WEINTRAUB: He’s not going to get a fair trial unless he is on Mars. Every single station, every hour on the hour is covering this case. And Scott Peterson didn’t get a fair trial either. He was convicted in the court of public opinion just like Littlejohn is being convicted.
Rita, you’ve already got him convicted and just today, we’ve seen forensic evidence towards exonerating him rather than convicting him. Just maybe this isn’t the right guy. And the scary is maybe the real perpetrator’s out there.
COSBY: And you what, hang on one second.
HONOWITZ: This has nothing to do with getting a fair trial.
COSBY: And Jayne I take exception with that. Both of you hang on one second. I take exception with that because the cops have called him the only suspect and that’s all we have done as well. Stacey, let me bring you in because one thing that Jayne does bring out, he wasn’t pointed out in the lineup. The only thing though on the flip side, this red carpet is pointing, the same red carpet fiber that’s in his apartment, found now on the (inaudible) that was wrapped around her head.
HONOWITZ: Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, the most important thing that you have in this case are the forensics. That’s all you have. Look how the fiber matched the fiber in his house and it’s on the tape. Plenty of rape victims are not able to point out the perpetrators in the lineup.
Doesn’t mean that this person is not responsible. I’m not saying it’s so in this case. But you cannot discount because someone can’t point somebody out in a lineup. Plenty of times a victim is covered, a victim has come from the back. So you’re never going to be able to identify that person. We’re going to have to wait and see how this starts out with the forensics.
WEINTRAUB: And how about the fingernails, ladies? Don’t forget the fingernails didn’t match.
HONOWITZ: That’s one piece of evidence, Jayne.
WEINTRAUB: Two pieces so far.
COSBY: But at this point they only did one check on that. Let me show a statement from the parole board because I don’t want to hear you guys argue all night, you’ve got to listen to me.
Jayne, the statement from the parole board. It says, “Within the next 15 days, the parole board will hold a closed hearing at Rikers.” And this is of course where he’s being held. “His attorney will argue for Littlejohn to be reinstated to parole supervision, while the state will prepare the case against him.” What do you think’s going to happen at that point, Jayne?
WEINTRAUB: I think it’s a very, very low threshold. Remember, what he’s being charged with from the parole board is violating his curfew and being out after 9 p.m. I don’t think he’s going to have a defense to that, Rita. Sometimes there just isn’t a defense. He has one year left to serve on his supervised parole sentence.
COSBY: What do you think is going to happen, Stacey? What do you think? Do you think he’ll get out, not get out? Could he be walking the streets soon?
HONOWITZ: No, no, no, the threshold is very low. He did violate the conditions of his parole. And that’s another thing. He’s in custody, another 15 days is going to go by the time he has his hearing and that’s why the cops are being methodical. They’re taking their time; they’re waiting for all the evidence to come back before they make any kind of arrest in this case. But he’s not going to be walking the streets based on this parole violation, he clearly violated.
COSBY: You know, Jayne, I want to talk with you because we are standing right here in front of the Falls Bar and at this place, there are still a lot of questions. The sense we get from cops is they’re still not quite sure about the stories of this guy. I know we talked about this last night, but do you think there is maybe more to it than meets the eye? It’s still strange that they did not come forward with the information.
WEINTRAUB: Rita, you know, just like I said last night, I think it’s an outrage that people are looking to blame the victim in this case because she was walking at 4:00 in the morning and it’s the same kind of outrage there. It’s a blame game to try and blame the people from the bar.
Meanwhile, the “New York Post” today that I read said Littlejohn became the top suspect in St. Guillen’s death when the bar owner told investigators his identity. So what are we talking about here? The truth of the matter is that he did cooperate, he came forward, he gave all the information he knew and the blame game should focus instead on evidence of the perpetrator. The lack of evidence, the defenses, if there are any, the forensic evidence, the DNA. Let’s talk about, is this guy out there on the street?
HONOWITZ: I think that...
COSBY: ... Stacey I’m going to give you the last word, you’ve got 15 seconds.
HONOWITZ: The problem that arises, if they hinder and obstruct this investigation and gave this person time to get rid of forensics and evidence that could be very crucial to this case, then it becomes a problem. And I think that’s what the police are concentrating on.
WEINTRAUB: Waiting for the blame game, just to have somebody to think of because they’re inept if they don’t solve it.
COSBY: And I would not be surprised if there would be charged. You know what Jayne; these people have to come forward. It’s disgusting to set a standard that people could turn...
WEINTRAUB: They did come forward, Rita.
COSBY: ... three times. They didn’t, they were pressured to come back. You guys, we’ve got to go to a break. But everybody, we want you to know, we’re going to continue to follow this story for the latest developments.
Everybody also if you have any information, you know, don’t wait three times like these guys did to get a push out of it by the cops for giving information. Make sure that you come forward with information right away. You don’t want to set a standard that you don’t have to report things to police. Make sure you call Crime Stoppers, 1-800-577-TIPS. Again, 1-800-577-TIPS.
And we also want to hear from you on the show. If you have any tips for us to investigate regarding the Imette St. Guillen murder, if you know anything further about any of these rapes—remember we talked about these three rape cases. Please e-mail us right away, send your e-mail to rita.msnbc.com.
And still ahead, everybody, there is an all-points bulletin tonight for a man, a fugitive, who could be the worst deadbeat dad ever. You won’t believe what he did to his ailing son before leaving town.
And if you thought the public service announcements comparing a fried egg to your brain on drugs were stunning, wait until you see the new version that’s coming up. This is something that every parent needs to see.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Well, we all remember that famous ad, but now a new generation of commercials are trying to scare kids away from using drugs with disturbing and powerful images.
We want to warn you that what you are about to see is very graphic.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re on meth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And we are joined now by the creator of that ad and a number of other ones, Paul Venables and also billionaire Thomas Siebel, who is financing them.
Paul, when you see these things, that’s very powerful, very graphic.
Is it effective?
PAUL VENABLES, CREATOR OF MONTANA METH ADS: We hope so. In fact, Tom likes to call this a little experiment that we are conducting in Montana. But the truth of the matter is, we are treating this like a real marketing campaign. This is not your typical PSA where we get a couple of creative people to do an idea, and you hope that it runs in the middle of the night. This is a real marketing campaign, with a lot of research. We have a tracking study in field to measure effectiveness and behavioral change, as well as impressions of the drug. So we are confident it will work, and we have the tools in place to measure it.
COSBY: In fact, let me show—this is probably one of the most popular ads. It’s called “Laundromat.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up! Stop looking at me!
This wasn’t supposed to be your life!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Very powerful. You know, Tom, I was surprised at some of the statistics in Montana. And I want to put them up on the screen, because I think they really are staggering. Out of people ages 12 to 24, about a quarter of them were offered meth last year. About a quarter of them also think taking meth is not a great risk, and 40 percent think meth makes you happy and helps you lose weight.
Do you think these ads are going to help people rethink their beliefs, Thomas?
THOMAS M. SIEBEL, BILLIONAIRE FINANCING METH PROJECT: Well, we have done a lot of research in the development of these messages, and we are doing our best to communicate to young people some of the attributes of this product, so that, you know, hopefully they will make a better-informed consumption decision.
COSBY: Let’s hope so. In fact, let me play another ad. It’s called “Bathtub.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My parents think I’m sleeping at your house.
Yeah, I’m just jumping in the shower. OK. Bye.
Don’t do it. Don’t do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And, Paul, how did you come up with this idea? Who helped you?
VENABLES: Well, we have a team at the agency of our top people working on this. And we actually researched this, as I mentioned, in Montana, and we talked to ex-addicts and recovering addicts, and literally we heard the words “God, if I knew what I knew now,” you know, if I knew it back then, I wouldn’t have gone down that path. I wish I had known.
So we literally used that construct in some of the commercials to show a teen who meets his future self if he chooses the path of meth, and how destructive—you know, and he sees face-to-face how destructive it can be, because the drug is that dangerous.
COSBY: You know, Paul, we are looking on the other side of the screen. This is the (INAUDIBLE) again. When you see that one, was that something that they actually experienced? Is that sort of things that they went through, that they said this would be effective?
VENABLES: Well, we actually showed them the ads, and they always really reported back that we were playing back reality, that these things did happen. It was that ugly. In fact, in some cases, they insinuated it was even worse, but we had to kind of understate it slightly for television.
But one of the things that was really important to us is not to lecture, not to take a parental kind of lecturing tone with these ads, and always to show a relatively normal person, a normal kid up front, and then show how they devolve and become worse through the course of a spot. And I think that’s what really can connect with kids.
COSBY: Absolutely. Some of the numbers again, Thomas, 80 percent of the prison population in Montana is there because of meth. How did you take this into your own hands and decide you wanted to finance the project?
SIEBEL: Well, this is an epidemic of just magnificent proportions. Methamphetamine has become the number one crime problem in America. It’s just staggering, the devastation that this is wreaking across the country. And so we thought that we could assemble some of the best talent from around the country, some of the best advertising talent, some of the best marketing talent, some of the best consumer research talent, and see if we couldn’t come up with a solution to this just horrible problem. So what...
COSBY: What reaction, Thomas, are you getting from kids? And you know, I know this is more of a preventive—what’s the reaction you have seen so far?
SIEBEL: Oh, it’s very positive. We have—so it was rumored that some adults complained about the ads in Montana, and we had—they wanted the ads to come down, and we have high schools and high school students from Butte, high school students from Great Falls writing letters to the editor, saying these ads are critically important. Don’t take down these ads. So this has been embraced by the young people of Montana in a big way.
COSBY: Well, they are all very, very powerful, and I wish you all the best of luck. I know you have terrific intentions here to help prevent kids from taking this very serious drug. Both of you, thank you very much.
And everybody, stick with us. There is a lot more coming up tonight on MSNBC. Let’s check in with my pal Joe Scarborough for a preview of “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.” Joe.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: All right, thanks so much, Rita. Remember that story about the judge in Vermont that gave the child rapist 60 days for raping a 5-year-old girl for four years? Well, I thought that was as bad as it got, until we heard about the news out of Ohio about a judge that gave a sexual predator who raped a 5-year-old boy and his friend no time, let him walk free. I mean, it is a growing epidemic out there. We have got children being molested and we’ve got judges who continue to give more and more lenient sentences. We are going to get to the bottom of that.
And Faith Hill’s controversial comments attacking the president of the United States straight ahead in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Rita, back to you.
COSBY: Thanks so much, Joe. We will be watching for sure.
And everybody, stick with us. He could be the worst deadbeat dad ever. He promised to help save his son’s life, and then never followed through. And that’s not all. Hear tonight’s APB. Stick with us, everybody.
COSBY: And there’s an all-points bulletin out tonight for this man that you see here. He is fugitive Byron Keith Perkins and he’s already on the U.S. Marshal’s top 15 most-wanted list. Perkins was awaiting a sentence for a drug dealing conviction. And in a despicable attempt to get out of serving jail time, he convinced a judge to release him so he could give his kidney to his dying son.
But when he was granted bond, Perkins took the opportunity to skip town. His son is now left with no donor and a deadbeat dad on the run. Perkins is believed to be traveling with a woman, Lee Ann Howard, another convicted felon.
And joining me now is Richard Knighton and he’s the chief deputy for the western district of Kentucky’s U.S. Marshals Service. Deputy Knighton, I heard that there was maybe some spotting of him in Mexico, what can you tell us about that?
RICHARD KNIGHTON, KENTUCKY U.S. MARSHAL SERVICE: Well last week they were seen in Mexico, just a little south of Puerto Vallarta, along the beach. They befriended a couple who lived here in the United States, and upon their return, they saw what was on television, the reports of these people.
They contacted us and let us know of their location. We verified that they were, in fact there. As recent as today, we received information that they have now been seen today further south in Mexico, along the coast. We’re working closely with Mexican authorities and hope to apprehend them soon as possible.
COSBY: You know, how did this guy get out and how did he convince the judge? I understand you were in the court room, because I want to put up a little bit. He was a convicted bank robber, drug dealer. He’s also been convicted on firearms charges. He’s a convicted felon. How did this guy sweet talk the judge to get out?
KNIGHTON: He made a very emotional plea to the judge, he and his attorney, as well as doctors who were attending his 16-year-old son, in order to get out to be tested so that he could possible give the transplant to his son. The court allowed him to get out.
COSBY: And what kind of steps did the judge do to—what kind of steps did the judge do to make sure it wasn’t a ruse?
KNIGHTON: Well there’s a number of things that the judge does takes into consideration when he hears these cases, and one was the possibility that he would flee. There was no evidence of that at the time. He was released on bond and he did go to testing for a few days and returned from testing. But subsequently, on that second release is when he fled the country with his girlfriend.
COSBY: And deputy, real quick, how is his son doing?
KNIGHTON: Well, he’s still undergoing treatment and we receive hundreds of calls throughout the country, with people who are hoping to be a donor and a match to him. And hopefully we’ll find somebody who can do that soon. If we don’t get this guy back into custody, maybe someone else would come along who would be a good match for him.
COSBY: Let’s hope so. Deputy, thank you very much. And everybody, if you have any information on these suspects, be sure to call the number that we’re going to put up on the screen. It is the Fugitive Task Force; please call that number if you have any information.
And everyone, we’re going to be right back.
COSBY: And some new developments right now coming out of Aruba late today. A judge denied Joran Van Der Sloot’s attempt to remove himself as the primary suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. We’re told that he may remain as a prime suspect possibly up to two years.
And we will continue to follow that story, as well as the case of Imette St. Guillen. As we continue here, we’re looking live against the Falls Bar; this is the last place that she was seen alive. Some new developments coming today, again as Darryl Littlejohn, who is a primary suspect in this case, remains behind bars. The new developments, some red carpet fibers that were found in the tape wrapped around her face matching fibers found in his home. But DNA not making a conclusive match.
We will continue to follow this case and bring you the very latest. We’ll be back on Monday night. That does it for me; now let’s go to Joe and “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.”
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