Guests: Marc Klaas, Rudy Bermudez, Greg Hoole, Brent Jeffs, Sam Brower, Mark Shurtleff, Tony Gricar
RITA COSBY, HOST: And good evening, everybody.
Tonight, a dramatic courthouse scene—a man breaks down, as he learns his sentence for a human catastrophe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL BIECHELE, DEFENDANT: I wanted to tell the victims and their families how truly sorry I am for what happened that night and the part that I had in it.
I never wanted anyone to be hurt in any way. I never imagined that anyone ever would be.
I can only pray that they understand that I would do anything to undo what happened that night and give them back their loved ones.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And that man, Daniel Biechele, now faces four years behind bars for starting that famous fire at a Rhode Island nightclub that killed 100 people.
Victoria Block from NBC affiliate WHDH has the latest from Providence, Rhode Island.
VICTORIA BLOCK, WHDH REPORTER: Daniel Biechele says he waited three years to talk to the families of the victims who died in that fire. He wrote letters to all 100 of them earlier this year, and he also pleaded guilty. But, today, he truly had his day in court.
BIECHELE: I don‘t know that I will ever forgive myself for what happened that night. So, I can‘t expect anybody else to.
BLOCK (voice-over): Asking for forgiveness, Daniel Biechele tearfully tells the court and the victims‘ families he never meant to set The Station nightclub on fire that terrible February night or hurt so many people.
BIECHELE: I know how this tragedy has devastated me, but I can only begin to understand what the people who lost loved ones have endured.
BLOCK: Biechele got four years in prison. He was hoping for community service. But it‘s his life sentence that the judge addressed this day.
JUDGE FRANCIS DARIGAN, SUPERIOR COURT: Mr. Biechele, the greatest sentence that can be imposed upon you has been imposed upon you by yourself. That is having to live a life, an entire life, knowing that your actions were approximate cause of the deaths of 100 people.
BLOCK: The state had asked for 10 years in prison, claiming Biechele knew exactly what he was doing. But his defense said Biechele is the only man who had the courage to be held accountable for that tragic night.
BIECHELE: I can only pray that they would understand that I would do anything to undo what happened that night and give them back their loved ones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He‘s not a scapegoat. There‘s just not enough people prosecuted. It doesn‘t make him less responsible for killing them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is the only one who was man enough to stand up and say, yes, I had a part in this and I am sorry for what happened.
BLOCK (on camera): Under Rhode Island law, Biechele will only have to serve a third of his sentence, which means that he could be eligible for parole in less than a year-and-a-half.
Reporting from Providence, Rhode Island, I‘m Victoria Block—back to you, Rita.
COSBY: Victoria, thank you very much.
And the nightclub‘s owner is set to go on trial in July. His brother‘s trial has not yet been set. They face 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter.
And now for the hunt for fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs. In addition to sexual misconduct, we now know that Utah authorities are also investigated Jeffs for allegedly cooking the books. The state has been quietly conducting an organized crime investigation into Jeffs and also his group‘s finances.
The revelation comes just days after Jeffs was added to the FBI‘s top 10 most wanted list.
Live and direct right now is the man whose office has been heading up that investigation, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.
Mr. Attorney General, how dangerous is this guy? And where do you think he could be tonight?
MARK SHURTLEFF, UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL: He‘s very dangerous. And the FBI has said that he is armed and dangerous and needs to be approached—approached cautiously.
Where he is, if we knew, we would have him in custody. We‘re hoping, with programs like yours, Rita, that people will keep an eye out for him, and that they will report him to the FBI, and that we will be able to apprehend him.
COSBY: You bet.
You know, when did your office decide to look into him for organized crime? What tipped you off?
SHURTLEFF: Well, we started four years ago, actually, looking into those issues, because we had some people who came out who clearly told us that it is the teachings and philosophy of Warren Jeffs that you bleed the beast, in their terminology, the beast being the government.
That is, you take advantage of every opportunity to bleed money away, through welfare fraud, tax evasion. And, in addition to that, we were told that he kept separate books. And he has run this empire, which includes criminal offenses, predicate offenses, in furtherance of his criminal enterprise. And—and we have evidence that it was a well over $200 million organization.
COSBY: Two hundred million dollars, I mean, what does it say to you about this guy‘s capabilities, also his infrastructure right now, too?
We have clearly identified well over $120 million in real property alone that was owned in trust by Warren Jeffs. He has now been removed from that position of trust by a Utah judge. Nevertheless, he used that power, that authority, to absolutely control people‘s lives, so that, if you were crosswise with him, if you did something that displeased him, you would lose your family, your home, which is owned by the trust, your job, which is owned by the trust. You lose it all.
And then you‘re sent away, under the belief that he has condemned you to burn in hell forever. So, it is an absolute tyrannical power that he holds over these people.
COSBY: You know, talk about the—what kind of effort is now being done on the federal level now that he‘s on the top 10 most wanted list. Are you surprised it took so long for the feds to really start looking at him?
SHURTLEFF: We have been asking for some time for them to do that. We understand that you‘re talking about the 10 most dangerous people, the worst desperadoes in this country. And so we understand that it took some discussion to prove that he was that kind of a man.
COSBY: Is it frustrating to you, Mr. Attorney General, you know, because here you—you have been looking at this guy for years?
SHURTLEFF: Well, it is, in that we were, with our limited resources, unable to find him, particularly because he‘s unique among fugitives, in that he has this entire organization.
He has armed security people who are hiding him, moving him from one safe house to another. He has all the cash he needs. He has aliases. He has everybody out there in his organization, in fact, an entire army, protecting and hiding him. So, it‘s absolutely critical that we have the entire country looking for him.
And that is what the FBI has done. And we are very grateful for that.
COSBY: Yes, talk about that coordination. I would imagine there‘s a lot of coordination, state, federal. Everybody is looking for this guy, right?
SHURTLEFF: Everybody is looking for him. And now it‘s not just the special agent in charge of Utah and Arizona, but every special agent in charge every district out there knows that this man is wanted.
And if a tip comes in, then they mobilize all their resources nationally and internationally, quite frankly, because we know that he‘s been in Canada. He‘s most likely been in Mexico at his various compounds.
So, it is—it is an effort. But, you know, what‘s going to catch him is not necessarily law enforcement, but it‘s going to take people, people who are watching your program, people who have a concern that this man needs to be brought to justice, and giving those tips. And then we will be able to apprehend him.
COSBY: Yes. And, of course, let‘s pray that somebody sees him tonight and calls it in to your folks and others.
Thank you, Mr. Attorney General.
COSBY: We really appreciate you being with us.
And now let‘s turn to a man who has also been tracking fugitive Warren Jeffs, this person for two years, private investigator Sam Brower.
You know, we just heard—I was astounded at the number that we just heard from the Utah attorney general. This is incredible; $200 million, this Warren Jeffs had like in his network, in his book, over $100 himself, a vast network. How tough is it to find this guy tonight?
SAM BROWER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, it‘s going to be really tough, as the attorney general stated. He has thousands of followers that consider it an honor and a privilege to—to hide him, to give him their money, their families, their homes whatever it takes. And, so, he‘s not just your ordinary crook.
COSBY: Talk about how he could be hiding, Sam, because you know this guy better than most people. Do you think he‘s in a safe house? What type of life underground? Is he disguised?
BROWER: I—you know, I don‘t think he would disguise himself, per se.
I think he would continue in his traditional clothes and what he wears, which is normally a suit. But my personal feelings are that he is probably in Texas in the—in the shrine that he has built for himself there, the temple, and a place where he has unlimited resources.
It‘s self-sufficient, and have their own water supply, their own sewer system, foodstuffs, fuel, gardens, orchards, everything he needs to survive there. And—and, as I said, he‘s built a shrine to himself and a place where people can come worship and adore him.
And—and I don‘t think his personality will necessarily allow him to
to leave there.
COSBY: You know, let‘s talk about some of the terrible things that this man is accused of. You‘re working with some clients who are suing Jeffs. Tell us what—what he is accused of doing.
BROWER: Well, one of the lawsuits is charging him with rape and sodomy of a child. That‘s the Brent Jeffs case.
Another one is charging him with racketeering, under the Utah version of the federal RICO Act. The other one is on behalf of an underage bride that‘s charging him with child abuse.
COSBY: Well, please keep us posted. Very much, Sam, we wish you a lot of luck. And I hope you can track this sick man down. Thank you very much.
And Warren Jeffs‘ alleged abuses go beyond money and marriage. His nephew Brent Jeffs—you just heard about it from Sam—well, he tells me a stunning tale of alleged abuse inside the cult. That‘s coming up, and that‘s not all tonight, everybody. Take a look.
COSBY (voice-over): Still ahead: Disneyland is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth. So, why are child predators staying at hotels all around the Magic Kingdom? If that‘s not bad enough, wait until you hear who‘s putting them there. It‘s not Disney.
And can a psychic help find this man? He‘s a prosecutor with enemies behind bars. Can a medium working the case find clues from the other side? I will ask the psychic live and direct.
And did anyone see this coming? “American Idol” loses another contestant. We will tell you who got the boot and what two big-name former contestants think went wrong.
That‘s all coming up, LIVE & DIRECT.
COSBY: And as the hunt goes on for fugitive polygamist Warren Jeffs, members of his own family are now coming forward.
I spoke to Warren Jeffs‘ nephew Brent and his attorney. Brent is suing his uncle for alleged sexual abuse when he was just a child. Brent tells me, Warren Jeffs is not the prophet his followers think.
BRENT JEFFS, NEPHEW OF WARREN JEFFS: My uncle Warren Jeffs is a man who is surrounded by a lot of people around him, bodyguards, per se, a very tall, tall man. He—he comes on as a very kind and gentle man, but, to know him personally, he‘s very dark.
COSBY: What happened to you at the hand of our uncle?
JEFFS: When I was a little boy—he had raped me when I was a little boy, and—so, that‘s been haunting me my whole life. And—and I‘m sure it‘s happened to a lot of other people, also.
COSBY: How long did that go on for? And what did he say as to why he was doing that?
JEFFS: When I was around 5 to 6 years old. And he threatened me with burning in hell. This is God‘s will. And this is how I become a man.
And, so, threatening my soul to damnation, I had kept it in my whole life.
COSBY: And I understand, as you‘re saying, he did this to other people, too, even your own brothers?
JEFFS: Yes. My oldest brother, Clayne, who was a victim first in our family. And it had tormented him for a lot of years, until he took his life.
COSBY: He committed suicide?
COSBY: Do you believe it was as a result of what Warren Jeffs did to him?
COSBY: And why do you think he targeted your family? You‘re related to him.
JEFFS: You know, it‘s—it‘s really hard to say why he would target our family, but it‘s unfortunate, too. I just—I just hope he can turn himself in, so we can face him in court.
COSBY: You know, Greg, there‘s a lawsuit, obviously, now. Where does the lawsuit stand? You‘re representing Brent. And what do you hope to achieve by this lawsuit, especially with him on the run?
GREG HOOLE, ATTORNEY FOR BRENT JEFFS: Well, there‘s a lot we can achieve. We have monetary and nonmonetary goals.
And the nonmonetary goals actually are equally as important as the monetary goals. And the nonmonetary goals include helping law enforcement officials bring Warren Jeffs to justice, putting him behind bars, and exposing him for who he really is, not a prophet of God, but a common criminal, a pedophile, and a coward. And we want that information to get out.
We also want to wrest control of the United Effort Plan Trust from Warren Jeffs, who had sole control over a $110 million trust that essentially owned all the homes in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah. And Warren Jeffs has been able to use that control to wreck families, expel young children by saying, if you don‘t follow my word, you lose your home; you‘re out on the streets.
COSBY: You know, Greg, when you talk about all this money, here‘s a guy on the run. We also know he has got, you know, thousands of followers. Could he be on the run and be well-financed for protected for quite some time?
HOOLE: Well, he absolutely is. And that‘s what makes Warren unique among criminals, is, he has a constant cash flow going toward him. Most criminals have to come up for air from time to time and surface to get money, food, whatever it is, to keep them going.
COSBY: Brent, if your uncle is watching, I‘m sure he probably is aware he‘s on the top 10 list, that everybody is looking for him. We have been doing lots of stories.
What would you want to say to him tonight?
JEFFS: A lot comes to mind.
If I were to see him tonight, I would—I would look him straight in the eye and tell him, you know what you—you know what you did to me and you know what you did to my family, and you need to pay—you—you need to pay for what you did.
COSBY: Well, Brent and Greg, we wish you a lot of luck. Thank you both very much.
HOOLE: Thank you very much, Rita.
JEFFS: Thank you, Rita.
COSBY: And we will stay on this case, everybody.
Tonight, also, we have discovered a truly astounding case, where children could be at risk by sexual predators, and—get this—at hotels near Disneyland, California. It turns out the state of California, not Disney, has been housing dozens of sex predators in motels right near Disney, near the so-called happiest place on Earth.
As you can imagine, vacationers, parents, Disneyland, and neighbors are absolutely outraged.
Joining us now is California Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez. He‘s the assemblyman in that area.
First of all, how could this happen, sir?
RUDY BERMUDEZ, CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLYMAN: Well, you know, it happened with people that were totally irresponsible and not following through with—and following the letter of the law.
It‘s totally unacceptable to place high-risk sex offenders in areas that—which would, one, endanger Californians and—and visitors to California, as well as possibly impact the overall economy of the state.
COSBY: Yes, but, you know, sir, but what I‘m confused about is, how could they put them there to begin with, knowing it‘s so close to—how did this mistake happen to begin with?
BERMUDEZ: You know, I really don‘t think it was a mistake.
I think they were trying to comply with Assembly Bill 113, which prohibits high-risk sex offenders from being a half-mile from a school. And they decided it met the criteria. Why not put them there?
They didn‘t think about the consequences to children and families that come and visit and stay at those motels around Disneyland. You know, it‘s a lifetime dream that children have of going to Disneyland. It provides a lifetime of memories.
COSBY: Yes, it‘s disgusting that they—that they would actually put them in that place. I agree with you.
Let me put up also, just to show everybody, some of the things -- 31 registered sex offenders at various different hotels in this area. And I want to put up particularly the background of two of the guys—this is your investigation found—living in the Arena Inn. And this is less than a mile from Disneyland.
And—and this is disgusting, especially if you look at the background of this character here. Perry Sheller raped—apparently raped by forced sodomy a person under 14 years old with force, another sodomy count.
And then there‘s another guy named Jeff Wright, who is also at the same place, Arena Inn and Suites, prior offenses, lewd, lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old.
How dangerous are these people? And how, you know, just outraged are you that these guys would be near Disneyland?
BERMUDEZ: As a former law enforcement officer working as a high control agent, sending these type of sexual predators back to jail—that was my career before entering the legislature—I‘m extremely irate and disappointed simultaneously.
You know, these are very dangerous individuals. And when they re-offend, they just don‘t commit a small crime. They create devastation in families in—in—within the community.
COSBY: So, what are you doing to the state, sir? Because, I mean, what are you doing to make sure that these folks are moved out?
BERMUDEZ: Well, I‘m proud to say, as we sit here today, that Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth. And because of our efforts, we were successful in moving the—these high-risk sex offenders out of the area around Disneyland. And I‘m proud to say that, as of 5:30 today, Disneyland is the still safest place on Earth as well.
COSBY: Now, are you saying that all 31, Mr. Assemblyman, have been moved out, or just the ones in that Arena, the one—the closest area?
BERMUDEZ: They have moved the sex offenders out. They‘re out in Garden Grove and other areas.
COSBY: You know what—this one place, where these two guys were in, I want to put it in context, because this Arena Inn and Suites is actually located in the Disneyland village. I mean, I—what—I—I‘m just amazed that they would actually consider putting these folks right there. You see it right on the map. It‘s in the Disneyland village.
Don‘t they have some sort of radar or some sort of tracking device to say these guys are so close to an area with kids?
BERMUDEZ: You know, common sense would tell you that it‘s inappropriate to place them there.
You know, I can tell you this, that we are going to continue to audit this department. We are going to continue to hold this administration accountable and continue to hold the agents, as well as the supervisors and their administrators, accountable. Someone‘s going to lose their job on this.
COSBY: Yes. You bet. I would hope a lot of people lose their job, don‘t you think, Mr. Assemblyman?
BERMUDEZ: Oh, we—we are definitely going to be holding them accountable.
But, again, I would like to reassure all the parents that, because of our efforts, we have been able to keep Disneyland the safest place on Earth. Those sexual predators have now been removed from the area.
COSBY: You know, there‘s a whole other issue, too, though. We were just looking, in Anaheim, alone, 259 -- these are registered. And, again, not everybody registers, but these are sex offenders that are on parole. Nineteen are in violation of parole, meaning they can‘t find them. What—what‘s going on about these 19, Mr. Assemblyman?
BERMUDEZ: You know, those are high—well, those are regular sex offenders that we have fugitive apprehension teams that go out and track these individuals down and return them back to custody, where they will pay their price to society.
COSBY: And how do you—how—what are you suggesting as an alternative here, sir? I mean, how do we—how do we know that there are not lots of other sex offenders out there that we just don‘t know about that are near places like a Disneyland or a park, or somewhere else that maybe isn‘t technically a school, but it‘s still a place where a heck of a lot of kids go?
BERMUDEZ: Well, while a person is on parole, they will be supervised by their parole agents.
And, like the governor said, it‘s a zero tolerance. We are not going to accept anything less than complete security for our community, as well as abiding by the laws.
You know, I‘m a law enforcement officer, been one by trade, put in through some of the toughest sex offender legislation to help prevent crimes. It‘s the duty of the legislature and every law enforcement officer to ensure that their—the community is protected from foreseeable harm.
COSBY: And let me now, if I could, bring in—we have got child safety advocate Marc Klaas. Marc is the president of Beyond Missing, set up in the memory of his late daughter, Polly Klaas, who was abducted from her home and murdered.
Marc, I want to bring you into the conversation, because I don‘t know if you have heard us—everything we have been saying, but they found—this assemblyman, who‘s been doing a great job, and obviously cracked down -- they found 31 sex offenders living near Disney, some right in the Disney village, put up by the state.
The assemblyman, you know, in the last few hours, has gotten them moved. But the fact that they were there, put by the state—these are parolee sex offenders, with some serious offenses. Marc, are you just astounded and just disgusted?
MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT, BEYOND MISSING: Well, of course. I‘m outraged, as is everybody else.
You know, there are—there are 600 hard-core predators in this state, over 600 hard-core predators in this state that are under the most stringent regulations. And it‘s very, very difficult to place some of these people. And to think that some of them would end up in Disneyland, it‘s just like putting a kid in a candy store. It‘s crazy.
COSBY: Yes. And aren‘t you surprised, Marc, that there wasn‘t some monitoring, some check? I mean, it doesn‘t take a rocket scientist. You‘re looking at a map here. It‘s not that far. It‘s within a mile of Disneyland.
KLAAS: You know what? There‘s an enormous amount of these individuals in the state of California. There are over 100,000 registered sex offenders.
And, currently, it‘s very easy to get away with not complying with the law with being a registered offender California. And I think, finally, because of the work the assemblyman is doing and some of the things that will be on the ballot this coming November, it is going to become much, much more difficult to not only be an offender, but also much, much more difficult to manage these guys, because the—the—the regulations are going to be so—so strict.
But, again, like you say, for these characters to be there right now, this is something that has to be dealt with. We have to figure out a way, and ways, actually, to be able to manage these individuals much better than we have been doing in the past.
COSBY: You know, Marc, the assemblyman suggested that maybe some heads will roll. Somebody is going to lose their job.
COSBY: Do you agree that...
COSBY: ... that it‘s just reckless?
KLAAS: Well, it—it‘s beyond reckless.
It‘s—it‘s a careless disregard. It‘s a betrayal of the public trust. I mean, if—if public safety is not the number-one goal or the number-one priority of government, I really don‘t know what is.
And, certainly, by—by taking this approach and putting these guys in this candy store, I—I—I think is—is endangering every child, quite frankly, that comes—comes near the park right now.
COSBY: You bet.
Well, Marc, thank you very much.
COSBY: And, Assemblyman, keep up the great work, and, please, keep us posted, too. We will do whatever we can to also let the public know of what‘s going on out there. Thank you.
And, still ahead, everybody, can messages from the other side help find a missing prosecutor? Tonight, a psychic working the case is going to join me live. Could one of the crooks he put away be responsible? She will tell us. That‘s coming up.
COSBY: And some dramatic pictures out of Texas tonight, where tornadoes and rough weather is wreaking havoc.
Three people are now dead, and 10 others injured, most of them northeast of Dallas, where an elderly couple and a teenage boy were killed.
COSBY, MSNBC ANCHOR, LIVE & DIRECT: . tornadoes and rough weather is wreaking havoc. Three people are now dead and 10 others injured, most of them northeast of Dallas, where an elderly couple and a teenage boy were killed. All day emergency crews have been using heat-seeking sensors and dogs, searching for other survivors. We‘ll keep an eye on the rough weather tonight and if more storms break out, we will indeed bring you the very latest.
And tonight, there are some new clues that may finally solve the case of a prosecutor who vanished without a trace more than a year ago. Investigators now say that they‘re looking for a woman who may have been with district attorney Ray Gricar on the day that he disappeared and they‘re also getting help in the case from some TV psychics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLA BARON, PSYCHIC PROFILER: Our best bet is to go to this business, check out what‘s going on there, maybe have some surveillance. I think this is where Ray lost his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And we‘re going to talk live to the TV psychic in just a moment. But first Gary Sinderson (ph) from NBC affiliate WJAC has the latest on this baffling mystery.
GARY SINDERSON, WJAC (voice-over): It‘s in this Lewisburg antique mall where a man reports seeing a woman with Ray Gricar the day Gricar went missing.
DARRELL ZACCAGNI, BELLEFONTE, PA POLICE DEPT: Ray was not seen entering the shop with this lady. He was not seen leaving the shop with this lady. He was seen walking down the hallway, having conversation with her, nothing of an intimate nature, no holding hands, hugging or anything.
SINDERSON: The mystery woman, described as about 5‘8” with dark hair, attractive in her mid 30‘s or early 40‘s.
ZACCAGNI: Our hope is she‘s going to be able to tell us that Ray talked about, oh, I can‘t wait to go to Tahiti next week or things are really bad at work. I haven‘t been feeling well. We don‘t know what that conversation took part in, but what it was all about, but maybe something that he said to her will be a clue to us on what direction we need to go in this case.
SINDERSON: Police admit they didn‘t talk about the woman initially, because of concerns for Gricar‘s family and his girlfriend Patti Fornicola (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And that was our affiliate WJAC. And joining us now is Ray Gricar‘s nephew, Tony Gricar. Tony, what do you think of this new lead?
TONY GRICAR, NEPHEW OF MISSING PROSECUTOR: It‘s not really a new lead. It just seems to be something that they‘ve gone back and looked at to see if they can find something new or at least contact this woman. It doesn‘t seem there was really anything to it in the beginning, and it‘s just kind of popped up as something new now.
COSBY: That‘s what‘s so strange about this Tony is that here it‘s been a year since your uncle went missing. Why is this just coming out now and is it possible your uncle was seeing another woman?
GRICAR: You know, the possibility of him seeing another woman, we‘ve kind of discounted it. It‘s been in the realm of the possibilities in the beginning. It was a standard question to ask in a missing person‘s case. In this instance it was a woman that he was seeing. There was no physical contact and it was just—it looked like a brief, casual conversation.
COSBY: In fact we‘re putting up sort of a description Tony. Do we have any idea who this woman is? Is it someone he just ran into in the antique shop or is it someone that he actually was talking with and spending time with that day?
GRICAR: Who knows. The problem here also is we don‘t even have any firm verification, besides if the eyewitness is there in the mall, if it was my uncle. So we‘re still working on that supposition. And there were a couple of other sightings around the area that had been discounted by police. So I think this was an open-ended situation. What they‘re trying to figure out now maybe this is somebody of interest they can talk to, at least find out what was going on with Ray that day, if it was in fact him.
COSBY: Your father, Ray‘s brother, committed suicide about 10 years ago. Is there a possibility that Ray Gricar did that, that he took his own life?
GRICAR: It‘s a distinct possibility. Coincidentally, it‘s actually 10 years ago this week that my father‘s situation occurred. It‘s run away, suicide, or foul play seems to be the three main options there. Two of them are going to be -- the two that at least have always spoken to us are either going to be a suicide or foul play.
COSBY: Is there any reason why he would have taken his own life or staged his own disappearance?
GRICAR: No, not that we can think of. He was looking forward to retirement. I know at the time, he was planning to come to Ohio to actually visit myself and the family and my daughter, for her birthday which was in May, as well as some trips he had planned with Patti. So from a suicide standpoint, there wasn‘t a lot to it, but he was heading into a major life-changing event there with his retirement pending. So there are causative factors if you look at it, but there‘s just been no evidence to substantiate any three of the scenarios, really.
COSBY: Yeah in fact, there‘s been some sightings of him too, I want to show real quick, all over the country. Do you believe there‘s a chance that these may be him, just sort of all over the different states?
GRICAR: No, I don‘t think so at all. I think every one of those have been discounted. The one being the most prevalent was the Texas photos from a restaurant there and those, none of us thought were him. And the FBI ruled it out. It was not him, as well. Personally, the Gricar side, we don‘t feel he‘s alive, just because of the time frame here and knowing what we went through with my father‘s own case. It‘s just not something - he was heavily involved with that, helping me out here in Dayton, Ohio at the time and it‘s just not something I can imagine he would put us through intentionally, again, especially if it‘s a runaway scenario.
COSBY:I hope your uncle comes back safe and sound. Tony thank you very much. We appreciate it. And everybody, there‘s a lot more coming up here on MSNBC tonight. Let‘s check in with Tucker Carlson now with a preview of “The Situation.” Tucker, what do you have in store?
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE SITUATION: Rita, an amazing story, a Florida doctor gets a call on a cell phone saying his daughter has been horribly injured in a car accident. He rushes to the scene, pushes past police and is arrested and charged with a felony for battery. We‘re going to talk to the cops who arrested him.
Plus John Stossel stops by to tell us everything we know is wrong. Price gouging is good, the world is (INAUDIBLE) size does matter for women and Costco doesn‘t save you money. Shocking.
COSBY: I don‘t think I can comment on any of those things. Thank you very much.
CARLSON: Thank you Rita.
COSBY: And when we come back, more on the missing prosecutor. Will investigators have to use their sixth sense to try to figure out what happened to Ray Gricar? A TV psychic is now on the case and she is going to join us live and direct next, to share with us what she has found so far.
And America has voted and now there‘s three. Who just got booted off “American Idol” tonight? We‘ll have the inside scoop and a lot more details coming up.
COSBY: Paranormal investigators are now on the case of the missing prosecutor, Ray Gricar. Psychic profiler Carla Baron is working on the case for Court TV‘s new show, “Haunting Evidence,” which debuts in June and she joins us now live. You know Carla, I first want to show a little clip. This is you in action from the Court TV show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARON: This is it. This is it. I‘m telling you, for some reason I know where we‘re going. Oh, shipping and receiving area. Look at this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘ve got chills. Karla visualized where we are, the shipping and receiving dock that we‘ve just pulled up to.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Carla has pinpointed the place she thinks the DA was taken the day of his disappearance. But where did he go next?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Carla, what do you think happened to this prosecutor who suddenly vanished?
BARON: Hi, Rita. I honestly think that he stepped into a situation because of information that he stumbled upon. He was working on another case and inadvertently stumbled upon this other network, this other syndicate where he ended up interviewing someone, someone he went to go meet. I think that he arranged to go met this person and that he was parked in that parking lot, waiting to meet this person, thought it would be five minutes long and he could go on his shopping day. He could continue shopping for antiques.
COSBY: So you think he knew his killer? It was somebody connected. I mean, he was a prosecutor. Do you believe it was sort of drug, crime related?
BARON: I definitely think it was drug crime related. And the thing is that I think this syndicate has been in play for at least 10 years or longer. It‘s something that has been going on for some time. The feeling that I got was that he was working on something, on another file, on another case perhaps, and he had information. He was going to interview someone. Someone thought he‘s getting a little close and the second that he went out of town, that was their opportunity.
COSBY: Now the family said that they can‘t rule out suicide, but you absolutely believe he was murdered. You believe this was definitely a hit.
BARON: This man did not commit suicide. No feeling that I got, no sensation, no, no. I usually know a suicide. I‘ve worked on a lot of suicides and I can earmark them right away. I know if it‘s a suicide. I get a sense about why they did it. There was nothing that he was unhappy about. He loved his life. He was looking forward to retiring. He loved his girlfriend. I don‘t think anything inappropriate was going on here. The man was private and he was shopping and he loved antiques and I think he was spending a day antiquing and thought he would interview this guy and meet with him. I don‘t think in any way, shape, or form that he was prepared to meet his demise on that given day.
COSBY: And in fact we heard also from his nephew a little bit ago saying you know, things are happening. He‘s planning some trips too in addition to all—let me play a little bit more from the show Carla.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His hands were tied. His feet were tied.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They wanted to know how much did he know, who did he tell? Ray, by accident, came upon a name having to do with some other case. That‘s why this happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Carla, how do you get a reading, how do you get a feel of what happened to somebody?
BARON: Well, one thing that I found out Rita was when I arrived on location, I had no idea that my senses would multiply. Things became so much more clear. That‘s something I didn‘t realize until I started working on “Haunting Evidence” and they took me to the location. I had done move my work by phone and there was no need, or so I thought. When I got there, everything rushed forward and I was able to pick up on detail that I was not able to pick up on before. And I know—
COSBY: Real quick, do you think that this will be solved? Do you get a sense that we‘ll know what happened?
BARON: I know that we‘re very close, and I feel that another crime will be committed and that because of that other crime, we‘ll be able to tie it to the disappearance of Ray Gricar and we will have vindication and we will have solved this case, yes.
COSBY: Well, Carla, we do hope that this case is solved. And Carla, thank you for being with us. We appreciate it and we‘ll keep an eye on the show. It looks really interesting.
BARON: Please, thank you so much.
COSBY: We will and now an update on a story that we have been following here on LIVE & DIRECST and one that will soon make some high school kids very happy. A Massachusetts school says that they were trying to protect their students when they started conducting criminal background checks on non-students who were coming to the prom. But some parents got very angry when they were told that some people that their - told some people that their dates were not welcome because of minor violations in their background. Well, after our story and a couple of others, now the school has suddenly changed its policy, letting those guests attend after all. But saying that the school still has the right to conduct background checks in the future.
And listen up everybody, “American Idol” fans, we have the (INAUDIBLE) I will ask two big name former contestants, did the right person get the boot on the show just a few minutes ago? “Idol” gossip coming up.
COSBY: That was Taylor Hicks (ph) singing his heart out last night on “American Idol,” but was his enthusiastic performance enough to keep him in the game. Everybody, we have a spoiler alert for our viewers on the west coast. We‘re going to talk about who got kicked off “American Idol” just a little bit ago, so please turn of your TVs or lower your volume. Lower your volume, don‘t turn of the TV, you don‘t want to hear the results. America has voted. Taylor, Elliot and Catherine will now duke it out for the title of “American Idol.” Unfortunately, the favorite, Chris Daudrey (ph), was voted off just a few minutes ago. And joining me now live is co-host of “Idol” tonight and former “Idol” contestant, Kimberly Caldwell, back by popular demand, there she is and also joining me is another favorite, Anwar Robinson. He competed.
KIMBERLY CALDWELL, CO-HOST, “IDOL TONIGHT”: Hi Anwar.
COSBY: You‘re old friends here right?
CALDWELL: I haven‘t seen you in forever. How you been?
ANWAR ROBINSON: It‘s good to see you.
CALDWELL: Rita, I‘m devastated.
COSBY: I got to ask you Kimberly, what did you think? I was surprised too. What‘s your reaction?
CALDWELL: Well, my mom called me from Texas because I‘m in LA right now and I said so who got kicked off and she‘s, like, you don‘t want to know. And I was like, oh my God, it‘s Chris. And I literally maybe dropped like, two tears, seriously.
COSBY: You did?
CALDWELL: I‘m devastated. I thought that he was going to win the whole thing and you know what, I think he deserved to win the whole thing. But as I think the rest of America knows, he‘s going to be just fine by himself, being kicked off, whatever, whether he went first or last, Chris is going to be just fine.
COSBY: You‘re right and this guy definitely has talent. Anwar, I want to play a little clip, because last night the judges said a couple comments about Chris. Let me play it and see if this might have been a precursor in some way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was nice. I don‘t know if it was your best vocal performance for me, but it was kind of nice. It was kind of nice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You forget how great that song is until you hear Chris (INAUDIBLE) sing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sunglasses aside, that worked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: You heard he said well, it wasn‘t maybe your best performance.
Is that sort of a sign of what‘s to come, do you think?
ROBINSON: Well, it depends on how soon in the competition. Because if it‘s like before—
COSBY: Like, the night before, when you hear that from the judges --
ROBINSON: Well, like I said, if it‘s like sometime like early in the finals, then you still may be able to remain a few weeks after. But if it‘s like down to the last five, then that‘s kind of unfortunate.
COSBY: What do you think of Chris‘ performance. Are you surprised?
(INAUDIBLE) you were surprised too.
ROBINSON: I‘m not even going to lie, because usually I don‘t make comments Rita, about the show, because it‘s very unpredictable, but I was really surprised because I thought that Chris was a favorite amongst a lot of people. He appealed to a lot of different people, very energetic onstage. He has it. He does have it. So I was, like, oh, OK.
COSBY: In fact, Simon Cowell, I want to play a little clip because Simon Cowell was on our show, sort of said these are the people who I predict will be the winners. He also repeated it again on the “Today” show. Let‘s see what Simon Cowell, who usually gets a right a lot of the time, right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIMON COWELL: (INAUDIBLE) If you had asked me this seven or eight weeks ago, I would have thought Kelly (INAUDIBLE) would be in the top three, so I got that wrong. I‘m going to guess that it‘s going to be a two boy final, Chris and Taylor. Beyond that, couldn‘t make a prediction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: What do you think Anwar? Simon thought Chris and Taylor.
COSBY: It shows the judges aren‘t really the ones who are decided.
ROBINSON: It‘s up to the people. It‘s up to the people and when you have judges making comments, you can only go but so far on what they say, because the vote came in, and a lot of people didn‘t think that Chris would be voted off. People I was talking to, they were saying Chris is going to make it to at least the final two.
COSBY: That‘s a lot of people and you know, Kimberly, dialidol.com, it‘s a website that was set up. It predicted who would be voted off. Let‘s show you what it was showing. And it was showing that Chris actually would have been voted off. It was put in there as a possibility. Were they right?
CALDWELL: Well, obviously. My mom actually is the one who told me about that, and I couldn‘t believe it when I heard it and I just thought OK, well, it‘s just a poll. A poll doesn‘t matter. It‘s the votes that count. And I mean, I did a bunch of interviews today, and the only thing I said, the only prediction I could make—I couldn‘t decide who was going to go home, because Elliot was amazing and I thought Elliot would go home. But he was phenomenal and didn‘t deserve to go home. And Taylor is always on his game and Katherine was at a disadvantage with the Elvis song. But the only prediction for sure that I could make all day today was that Chris was going to be in the top three, and the two, going to win the whole thing. And it proves you wrong and “American Idol” is a shocker. So that‘s what it‘s done for.
COSBY: And by the way guys, we‘re hearing now that some viewers are writing in and they said the lines were jammed, so they couldn‘t get to him. Is there something going on? Is there something fishy going on?
CALDWELL: I don‘t know. But I voted, and I don‘t vote. So—
COSBY: What do you make that a lot of people were trying to get in?
CALDWELL: No. I don‘t think there‘s anything fishy going on. I just think that I mean, it‘s happened in every year. I know that, there was one time in my season, I think it was an issue when Jennifer Hudson got kicked off. That‘s just the price, you know. It‘s going to happen or it‘s not.
COSBY: Real quick, is that frustrating?
ROBINSON: Well, you call and you don‘t get through and a lot of people just are, like, these lines don‘t work, so it could be a number of things.
COSBY: All right guys, thank you very much. I know you got a new album out. (INAUDIBLE) Everybody stick with us. Still ahead, hikers lost for days and then rescued, but they might not have survived had it not been for another hiker who had just vanished last year. The amazing story of survival. And Kim‘s reminding me, you got to watch the “TV Guide” channel. You got to watch her and also look out for his new CD.
COSBY: Tonight, an amazing survival story as caught by Cosby. Rescuers found two lost hikers and believe it or not, they may have survived thanks to another hiker missing for more than a year. The pair of hikers survived three long cold nights in the mountains in California as they attempted to find their way, they stumbled on an abandoned camp sight that they found food, clothes and also matches. The life-saving items belonged to a veteran hiker who disappeared last May.
And coming up everybody, tomorrow night actor Richard Dreyfuss is going to join me live and direct. He is part of the blockbuster remake of the movie, “The Poseidon Adventure.” Will it be as good as the first one? It could be the summer‘s big blockbuster movie, Richard Dreyfuss tomorrow night.
And that does it for LIVE & DIRECT. I‘m Rita Cosby. Tucker starts right now.
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