Guests: Jim Moret, Yale Galanter, Leslie Crocker Snyder, Ray Mabbitt, John Gostomski, Elizabeth Gleick
SUSAN FILAN, GUEST HOST: Coming up, O.J. Simpson is back. This time with an outrageous new DVD and pay-per-view show called “Juiced”. We‘ve got it here and we‘ll talk to Simpson‘s attorney.
The program about justice starts now.
Hi everyone. I‘m Susan Filan. Dan is off today.
First up on the docket, how low can O.J. Simpson go? The latest from Simpson, a prank DVD for the Internet and pay-per-view markets called “Juiced” a knockoff of the MTV series “Punk‘d”. Simpson‘s gags include a mock sale of the white Bronco he used in his infamous low-speed chase back in 1994 before he surrendered to police in connection with the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
Simpson even tells a buyer it was good for me, it helped me get away. It‘s a car that I personally made famous. The car has escape-ability if you ever get into some trouble. Simpson, as you know, was acquitted of Ron and Nicole‘s murders, but he was held liable for wrongful death and battery in a 1997 civil trial. That jury ordered him to pay more than $33 million in damages to the Brown and Goldman families.
Jim Moret is a senior correspondent with “Inside Edition”. He‘s been covering this story. Jim thanks for joining us.
JIM MORET, “INSIDE EDITION” SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Susan.
FILAN: What is O.J. Simpson up to?
MORET: You know I talked yesterday to Rick Mahr, who is the executive producer of Xtreme DVD, that‘s the producer of this video. He claims that he has O.J. Simpson‘s blessing. That he has a business arrangement with O.J. Simpson to put out what he calls extreme comedy.
Now you talked about that Bronco incident, where Simpson poses as a used car salesman, trying to sell this Bronco. The Bronco incidentally is autographed on the left front fender, O.J. Simpson and there‘s a bullet hole in the left front fender. You know, I talked to Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman‘s father, we also talked to Denise Brown, they in simple terms call this blood money.
All of the proceeds—they say anybody buying this DVD, anybody renting it, viewing it, is just as bad as Simpson himself. But as you point out, Simpson was found not guilty criminally, but liable civilly. Rick Mahr, however, says Simpson is not getting a penny for this project.
FILAN: Yes, then why did he do it? And if he does get any money, shouldn‘t that go to the families of the Goldmans and the Simpsons?
MORET: Well, Fred Goldman said in simple terms, yes, he will go after Simpson, if he does receive any proceeds from this, because it‘s his right to do so under the judgment. But Rick Mahr didn‘t have a good explanation. It‘s my sense that this was simply a pilot, a failed TV pilot that somehow Rick Mahr may have obtained the rights to or have gotten the legal right to use.
I really don‘t know. He claims he has a business relationship with Simpson, but that Simpson is doing it more for publicity than anything else.
FILAN: Wow, more bad publicity, more bad taste. Let me bring in Yale Galanter to this discussion. Yale is a defense attorney who now represents O.J. Simpson and I‘m going to bring in Leslie Crocker Snyder, a former New York State judge. Jim, stick around with us please.
Yale, come on. What is O.J. up to? Gross, gross, gross.
YALE GALANTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there are a couple of things, Susan. First of all, the reporter from “Inside Edition” should have contacted our office before they ran this piece yesterday.
FILAN: Oh, so you‘re outraged, I‘m sorry...
GALANTER: If they would have interviewed me...
FILAN: ... you‘re not going to...
GALANTER: ... they would have...
FILAN: moral outrage high ground here.
GALANTER: ... they would have—Susan, if they would have contacted me, what they would have reported last night would have been the truth, and the truth is that this is not a recent project, this is old footage. There is no contractual relationship between O.J. Simpson and Rick Mahr, and that‘s kind of confirmed because there‘s no money that‘s been exchanged. We don‘t know Rick Mahr. O.J. Simpson doesn‘t know Rick Mahr. We‘ve never met him.
FILAN: OK, so Yale...
GALANTER: We don‘t have a contractual relationship.
FILAN: ... you don‘t work...
GALANTER: Susan, let me...
FILAN: No, no, no, Yale...
GALANTER: Susan, let me tell you what the film is so that the American public can get it straight. This film was shot two or three years ago in Los Angeles. At that time the production company hired O.J. Simpson, there were no back end deals, it was a failed pilot. That production company through some means that had nothing to do with us, gave this film to Mr. Mahr and he‘s distributing it himself.
It has nothing to do with us. We‘re not endorsing it. We‘re not authorizing it, but he does have the legal right to do it because he did obtain the film from the production company that hired Mr. Simpson.
FILAN: So you‘re saying that O.J.‘s done this completely for free, isn‘t going to get any money out of this and once again, the Goldmans and the Simpsons aren‘t going to see a dime from O.J.?
GALANTER: Susan, that‘s not what I‘m saying. Two or three years ago I was actually interviewed on this show about it and announced publicly that O.J. was being compensated for his time, his travel and his expenses.
FILAN: OK, did any of that money go to the families?
GALANTER: This is old news. The “Inside Edition” piece made it seem as if O.J. recently shot this and is involved in the distribution and that is just totally untrue.
FILAN: ... that‘s not what we‘re saying.
GALANTER: They should have called us to verify the story.
FILAN: That‘s not what we‘re saying.
GALANTER: They didn‘t...
FILAN: We‘re saying that yes, it was shot three years ago, but here we are today pay-per-view is picking it up, it‘s going to be a DVD that you can buy it on the Internet I think for 19.95. How are we suppose to believe O.J. is not going to see any money from this and the families again aren‘t going to see any money from this?
GALANTER: Susan, we have no contractual relationship with the people at Xtreme Video who are distributing this. We don‘t know them. They‘ve never contacted us. There are no financial arrangements.
FILAN: OK, Yale, why did O.J. do this? Why, why, why?
GALANTER: Well originally O.J. did this because that‘s what he does for a living.
GALANTER: He gets paid to appear on film and do appearances. Prior to the murders and being charged with murder in the trial, O.J. Simpson was a superstar. He‘s very talented...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But Yale...
FILAN: Does he think this is funny?
GALANTER: ... on “Saturday Night Live”...
FILAN: Yale, Yale...
FILAN: ... let me turn to Judge Snyder.
GALANTER: ... this is what celebrities do for a living.
LESLIE CROCKER SNYDER, RETIRED NY STATE JUDGE: You know, Yale, I hear everything you‘re saying, but let‘s face it, this is an all-time low in terms of poor taste, in terms of outrageousness. So many people, granted, he was acquitted of the criminal charges. So many people felt that that was a travesty in and of itself but he was found liable civilly, and if he did anything, even three years ago, in this poor taste, it‘s just appalling. I think most people...
GALANTER: It‘s a comedy, Leslie...
FILAN: Is it funny?
GALANTER: It was done...
SNYDER: But how is it a comedy?
GALANTER: That‘s what celebrities do.
FILAN: This is not funny.
SNYDER: Wait a minute, his conduct...
GALANTER: ... appear on “Saturday Night Live”...
SNYDER: Yale, Yale, but his...
SNYDER: Yale, his conduct before the murder charge and the civil charge are very different from the way people have viewed him afterwards. Even though he was acquitted on the criminal level, he was found guilty on the civil level. He is not the same person he was before then. And to say that you can do this...
GALANTER: Leslie, you have presided over many criminal trials.
GALANTER: When criminal defendants are acquitted and found not guilty, they are entitled to their lives back.
SNYDER: Well I‘m not...
GALANTER: This is what O.J. did before the trial.
SNYDER: But wait a minute...
GALANTER: This is what he does after the trial and there‘s been...
SNYDER: Actually, that‘s not entirely true in his case, because he was found liable civilly, he‘s never paid a dime of the 33 plus million, and then he embarks upon...
GALANTER: That‘s actually not true.
GALANTER: That‘s just not true...
SNYDER: That‘s what‘s been reported.
GALANTER: They took his house. They took a lot of his personal belongings...
SNYDER: Well, so he moved to Florida...
GALANTER: There was a forced sale...
SNYDER: ... where his house can‘t be forfeited...
FILAN: OK, Yale, Leslie...
FILAN: Yale, Leslie...
GALANTER: But that‘s not...
FILAN: ... let‘s say...
GALANTER: Leslie, that‘s not O.J.‘s fault.
FILAN: Yale, Yale, let‘s say you‘re both right. Let‘s say he has a right to do this, this is what he used to do. Let‘s say you‘re right. Leslie, it‘s in very bad taste. Why isn‘t it that if that‘s what he does, why does he have to pick something so outrageous, so offensive, in such poor taste, why does he have to go on camera making fun of something absolutely horrible?
SNYDER: Let me say something about that. I think this man has you know shown that he flouts the law at every turn. Regardless of whether he was convicted or not, Yale, he‘s a man who—he let the police chase him, he tried to escape. I think if—that‘s an inescapable conclusion, no pun intended, and his conduct is outrageous. Even if he‘s not guilty of murder, his conduct knows no bounds.
GALANTER: Leslie—listen you—Leslie, all commentators and especially you and people like Susan are entitled to your opinion. The fact is O.J. lives in a state that‘s a right to work state. He has minor children. He‘s putting one of them through college. He‘s getting ready to put another one through college. He doesn‘t want to go for the—on the welfare rolls. This is the type of work that he gets.
FILAN: OK, Yale...
GALANTER: It‘s public knowledge, there‘s nothing surreptitious about it and it‘s completely legal. There‘s...
FILAN: Real quick...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess...
FILAN: Yale, Yale...
FILAN: Leslie, I‘ve got to cut it off.
FILAN: Yale and Leslie, you guys are going to stick around with me on Duke. Jim Moret, thank you so much for joining us. It was great to have you.
Is another indictment in the Duke rape investigation imminent? The D.A. has said all along that he will seek a third person and now he reportedly has a DNA match. The grand jury meets Monday.
And Mary Winkler is sitting in jail after admitting to killing her husband, but she wants her children to visit her in prison. Only problem, her in-laws say no way.
Plus, “Dateline NBC” strikes again, heading to Florida with their undercover operation, targeting potential sexual predators and one man makes it a family affair. He gets a ride from his own unknowing sister.
Your e-mails send them to email@example.com. Remember to include your name and where you‘re writing from. We‘ll be right back.
FILAN: Eight days ago, Tracy Tribble left her home in Councils Bluff, Iowa to walk her dog. She hasn‘t been seen since. Tracy left without her cell phone or keys reportedly after having an argument with her husband. Her dog was later found wandering the streets without its collar and a massive search for Tracy is on.
Her husband, Stan Tribble, was the last person to see her, making him a person of interest to police, but he hasn‘t been named a suspect and so far police say there are no signs of foul play. Joining me now is Tracy‘s dad, John Gostomski, and Council Bluffs‘ police sergeant, Ray Mabbitt.
Sergeant Mabbitt, let me start with you. Do you have any leads or any information about this search?
SGT. RAY MABBITT, COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA POLICE DEPT.: No. So far, we‘ve interviewed al the family, friends, co-workers, looked through the house, vehicles, and to date have come no closer to determining what happened to her or where she might be.
FILAN: Is it significant to you that she left without her cell phone and without her keys, does that say anything to you?
MABBITT: Yes. That was disturbing to her family and also to us that she left her beloved dog wandering and also left without personal items, such as her cell phone and obviously her vehicle.
FILAN: And when you say at this point you don‘t suspect foul play, it also from your tone I‘m guessing doesn‘t sound like you think everything is fine. Is that fair?
MABBITT: So far we haven‘t ruled out anything or anyone, but so far, we found no evidence of a violent crime scene at the house or in the car or anything that would indicate a—you know, a violent incident happened there at the house.
FILAN: And so what are you doing to try to find her?
MABBITT: Well, so far, we‘ve been checking out a few local tips. However, those have been few and far between. There is a substantial award being offered by the family members. So without the large number of local tips coming in and sightings, we believe that she—if she is still alive, she may be out of the area and that‘s why we‘re hoping going nationally here might get some attention and might help locate her.
FILAN: And let me just say for our viewers, if you do have any information, if you have any tips at all, the number to call, it‘s on the screen, 712-328-5737. Sergeant, are you looking at the husband?
MABBITT: Again, we haven‘t ruled anything out and he has been what you would refer to as a person of interest.
MABBITT: We might also add that if anyone across the country does see Tracy or think they might have, to contact their local authorities with a plate number or address where she might have been seen. If they see her on the street, maybe try to you know approach her and you know ask, hey, are you Tracy...
MABBITT: ... you know, something more significant than just a sighting that...
MABBITT: ... you know, she was seen at this location.
FILAN: And I just want to say that we did ask the husband and his lawyer to come on this show and they did not join us. Let me go to Tracy‘s dad. This just has to be awful, I‘m so sorry, I can‘t even imagine it, but tell us what you‘re thinking.
JOHN GOSTOMSKI, MISSING WOMAN‘S FATHER: Well, we‘re just thinking and hoping that she is still alive and that‘s why we‘re doing the national exposure, because hopefully she will see this and see that we do love her and would really, really love to have her call, and that‘s what our hope is.
FILAN: Do you think that she...
GOSTOMSKI: But we also...
FILAN: Sorry. Do you think that she might have gone for a walk and -
you know, we did have the runaway bride who really didn‘t want to come home.
FILAN: Do you think there is anything about her that would suggest she would run away?
GOSTOMSKI: No. There is no evidence that she went out walking her dog. Her husband said when he left on Wednesday morning at 6:30 she was still in bed, because she normally didn‘t start her job until 12:00 or 12:30 p.m. until 9:00, so there‘s nothing to suggest that she was out walking her dog.
FILAN: I see. And did they have a close relationship or a stormy relationship?
GOSTOMSKI: A stormy relationship. He was an extremely abusive husband and I found out since we arrived in Omaha, and found out that I wasn‘t aware of even that she had filed assault charges against him twice in their marriage, relationship, starting in 2003.
FILAN: Oh my gosh. Let me just ask you one last question, sir. What are you doing to assist police and the community in this search for your daughter?
GOSTOMSKI: Well, everything we can.
GOSTOMSKI: We‘re trying to keep it out in the news media and we really had extremely good cooperation from the local television, papers, and anything that we can do to keep her name out and picture out in front and now we‘re starting to work on the nationals to see if we can get it nationwide in case she is someplace else other than the local area, because we put up over 10,000 flyers showing her pictures and the reward money, and just—and tomorrow we‘re organizing we hope an extensive search and it looks like we‘ve got extremely good community interest in it, so we‘re hoping to do a search in the...
GOSTOMSKI: ... around the area and radiate out from there.
FILAN: You‘re doing what any good dad would do to find his beloved daughter. To our viewers, if you can help in any way, please call that tip line on our screen, 712-328-5737. John Gostomski, Sergeant Mabbitt, thank you so much for joining us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much.
FILAN: Remember, if you‘ve got any information—you‘re welcome.
And now to the Duke lacrosse rape investigation, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong vowed to continue investigating this case to identify a third suspect. Well, yesterday we told you that DNA under a stick-on fingernail found in the house could belong to a third lacrosse player, not to either of the two men already charged.
Well the grand jury meets again on Monday. So is another indictment imminent? Joining me again criminal defense attorney Yale Galanter and former New York judge, Leslie Crocker Snyder.
So Yale, what are you hearing about the possibility of an indictment?
GALANTER: Well I heard yesterday, Susan, that an indictment was imminent some time on Monday or Tuesday. That of course is contingent upon Mr. Nifong‘s office actually getting the print report back. However, you would hope that even with this 90 percent positive I.D. by the complaining witness and the DNA that may be consistent with as reported by “The Herald Sun”, you would hope knowing what Mr. Nifong now knows about his indictment against Mr. Seligmann and Mr. Finnerty, that he would contact this third player‘s lawyer first and ask whether or not there are any alibis, any phone records...
FILAN: OK, Yale, but you know he‘s not going to do that.
GALANTER: ... before he actually indicts...
SNYDER: Well I don‘t know...
GALANTER: Well, no...
GALANTER: I don‘t know about that, Susan. I think he has got egg on his face up to this point...
GALANTER: ... and surely he could take a step back before he goes ahead...
FILAN: Not going to happen. Not going to happen.
FILAN: Judge Snyder, let me hear your response.
SNYDER: I don‘t really think he‘s under any obligation to do that. I‘m still not certain of how solid the alibi is. I‘d like to know a few more things, but if he has a 90 percent identification, and a consistent DNA, it‘s not a match, and I don‘t know how strong it is, but he‘s got substantial DNA evidence and the complaining witness‘ I.D. 90 percent, surrounding circumstances, I think that he has an obligation to go before the grand jury and let the grand jury determine whether an indictment is appropriate.
I think this does tip the balance. It seemed as if a lot of bad stuff was coming out. And it was kind of leaning towards a pro-lacrosse team. I don‘t know what the ultimate just result should be of course, but this would seem to be corroborative at least of the alleged victim‘s statement, of her story, and I think it‘s extremely damning potentially towards at least this defendant.
FILAN: Leslie, let me ask you this. Leslie, if there is an indictment against a third player because she made an eyewitness identification, in which she said she‘s 90 percent sure it‘s him and this DNA is consistent with the same guy that she identified. What do you think the DNA present as to one does with no DNA as to the other two?
SNYDER: I‘m not really disturbed about that at all. I think that, again, I‘d like to know the medical report. I‘d like to know some of the facts that have not been made entirely clear. I think it‘s going to be the entire picture.
SNYDER: So her story presumably, if it gets to trial, and she testifies as to scratching certain of the defendants or certain of the players, it is certainly possible that she actually did effectively scratch one but not others or that she didn‘t scratch them all, and it‘s not necessarily clear that there would be DNA as to each one.
SNYDER: A lot depends on all the facts as she outlines them. Now of course the defense will make some very good points on that disparity, but I personally think that logically, if her story, it makes sense, that it‘s not going to matter.
FILAN: Right. Yale? My dear Yale, I am going to give you the last word here.
GALANTER: Thank you.
FILAN: What are you going to do? Let me hear your defense spin...
FILAN: Let me hear your defense spin...
GALANTER: No, here‘s the thing.
GALANTER: You know, the complaining witness in the photographic transcript says that the—that Mr. Finnerty and Mr. Seligmann actually had union with her body, there was actually insertion, so the fact that no DNA from Seligmann or Finnerty was found...
GALANTER: ... in the bathroom on her body, on these boys—no she doesn‘t—that‘s the thing, Leslie. She never tells the police about a broomstick. She doesn‘t mention a broomstick during the transcript of the photographic I.D. where she‘s describing what each boy did. She doesn‘t say that these boys used a broomstick on her.
They say that they actually used their body parts on her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well you know...
GALANTER: So the fact that a fingernail in a trashcan comes up with an inconclusive amount of DNA on it is more likely that it was got there by transference...
FILAN: Yesterday we said we had a match...
FILAN: ... today it‘s inconclusive. I‘ve got to wrap guys.
FILAN: It‘s always great to have you...
GALANTER: Susan, thank you.
SNYDER: It‘s fun to argue. This case has problems, but not that many.
FILAN: Yale, Leslie, thank you so much for joining us.
SNYDER: Thank you.
FILAN: Moving on to another story...
GALANTER: Thanks, Susan.
FILAN: Do you remember this woman? Mary Winkler is the Tennessee preacher‘s wife charged with murdering her husband. She sits in jail as we speak. It‘s been seven weeks since she shot her husband Matthew in the back. And we still have no idea why she did it. And even though she‘d like to see her three daughters, 8-year-old Patricia, 6-year-old Mary Alice, and 1-year-old Breanna, the children‘s paternal grandparents won‘t allow it.
This week‘s “People” magazine is reporting that the girl‘s grandparents consulted the girls‘ counselor who said it‘s not a good idea for them to visit their mom in prison, at least not yet. Joining me now is the assistant managing editor of “People” magazine, Elizabeth Gleick.
ELIZABETH GLEICK, “PEOPLE” MAGAZINE: Hi.
FILAN: Thanks so much for joining us. Hey, Elizabeth, what‘s the story here?
GLEICK: Well, the story is—what we don‘t know is what we all want to know which is why did she do this, if she did in fact have a reason. But right now, she‘s in jail, she‘s missing her children terribly, she has asked to see them. Her three daughters are with their paternal grandparents, and a counselor who these kids are seeing has advised against the kids visiting their mom in jail.
FILAN: Elizabeth, do you know why a counselor would say it‘s better for kids who just lost their dad to lose their mom too rather than some kind of contact, some kind of visual confirmation that she‘s still there?
GLEICK: You know, I can‘t speak to what this particular conversation was, but one could imagine that it would be very traumatic for a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old to see their mother in prison and perhaps they‘re just trying—the grandparents are trying to keep the girls having as normal a life as possible. They‘re going to school. They‘re back in school, the two older girls, and it‘s a semblance of normalcy in a really messed up situation.
FILAN: Exactly. And you could certainly say that the reason their lives are so messed up is because of what their mom did.
FILAN: Elizabeth, good story. Thank you so much.
FILAN: Coming up, more of “Dateline NBC‘s” undercover operation targeting potential sexual predators. Chris Hansen is in Florida and he quickly discovers that these men aren‘t always showing up alone.
And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike again. Our search today is in South Dakota.
Police are looking for Richard Davis. He‘s 59 years old, five-foot-ten. He weighs 175 pounds and he was convicted of rape and felony sexual contact with a minor. He hasn‘t registered his address with the state. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Pennington County Sheriff‘s Office at 605-394-6117. We‘ll be right back.
FILAN: Coming up, “Dateline‘s” undercover investigation targeting potential sexual predators, more on the man who showed up with his son, first, the headlines.
FILAN: Welcome back. We‘ve got more of “Dateline NBC‘s” undercover investigation targeting potential online predators. Yesterday, you saw men who showed up to a Fort Myers, Florida house, possibly looking for sex with someone they thought was underage. But instead, found “Dateline‘s” cameras rolling. “Dateline” partnered with the online watchdog group Perverted Justice who provided decoys posing as minors chatting about sex online. Some of the men brought alcohol or condoms with them, but you won‘t believe what one of these men took along when he showed up.
“Dateline‘s” Chris Hansen has the story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here he comes.
CHRIS HANSEN, “DATELINE NBC” (voice-over): Our 13 cameras are in place and rolling, including one high up in a palm tree. We‘re able to spot a potential predator‘s car long before he gets to our house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, this is our boy...
HANSEN: The man walking in our back door is 21-year-old David Schumacher (ph), screen name freebird 72,000. He‘s been chatting online with a decoy posing as a young tee named Bea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knock-knock.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, come on in.
HANSEN: Our 19-year-old actress, the decoy playing Bea invites him in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can try one of my cookies. They‘re so good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you make them?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I made them myself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) I like chocolate chip.
HANSEN: Online he invites the girl who told him she was 14 and a virgin to a birthday party and from his online chat, it appears he has his sights on a party for two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be your first baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You‘re going to put my (BEEP) in your mouth because I like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess I can try it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just let me drive baby. I‘ll show you heaven.
HANSEN: He goes on to talk about having different kinds of sex with a virgin and then gets almost poetic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to make love or (BEEP) for your first time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is the difference?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... is just raw passion and making love is a connection of bodies I guess.
HANSEN: Freebird 72,000 also mentions online that he‘s going to bring marijuana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you bring some green?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we‘re going to smoke some though; I‘m going to get some.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cookies are good munchies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) parents are rich. What do they do for a living?
HANSEN (on camera): Hey, why don‘t you have a seat right over there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m done.
HANSEN: Good. How are you? What‘s happening?
(voice-over): Like so many of the men who walk into this house, the man sits and answers questions. He can‘t figure out if I‘m the girl‘s father or a police officer and remember he has no idea he‘s being videotaped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What‘s going on?
HANSEN: You tell me what‘s going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you her dad or something?
HANSEN: What are you doing here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m David. How are you doing?
HANSEN: I‘m Chris. Nice to see you. How‘s everything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chilling, birthday party.
HANSEN: Except the girl here was going to go with you to the birthday party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who are you?
HANSEN: I‘ll get to that in a minute.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.
HANSEN: What‘s your date‘s name for the party?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bea.
HANSEN: Bea. And how old is Bea?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don‘t know. She didn‘t really tell me.
HANSEN (voice-over): But she did tell him. Online she typed her age, 14, female, south Florida. And he said, what would your parents say about you talking to someone as old as me? Then freebird seems to worry I‘m a cop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You seem like law enforcement. I happen to know law enforcement.
HANSEN (on camera): You do? So you‘re an expert in this area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no. I‘m just saying you come off as law enforcement.
HANSEN: Really? You know how you come off?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How‘s that?
HANSEN: Somebody who is very nervous, somebody who came over here to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fourteen-year-old?
HANSEN (voice-over): I read him some of what he said online.
(on camera): Are you sexy naked? Have you ever played with yourself?
You‘re going to put my (BEEP) in your mouth...
HANSEN: ... because I like that. I‘ll teach you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) trying to say...
HANSEN: I‘m trying to say it makes it...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HANSEN: ... look like you came here...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn‘t come—I came here to pick her up...
HANSEN: ... to have sex with an underage girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were in a role-playing chat room dude.
HANSEN: And what role were you playing exactly here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People play roles any time, never ask (INAUDIBLE) role-playing, people just talk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My God. Is this some kind of holdup, man? You got a warrant? Because I mean if the girl don‘t want to come and if you got a problem...
HANSEN: A warrant? What, are you a defense lawyer now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m saying man you don‘t got no cause to hold me.
I got no problem sitting here talking to you...
HANSEN (voice-over): He sticks to the story that he‘s here to take the girl to a party but it turns out he didn‘t come here alone. Waiting outside in the car is his sister and her two young children. He says his sister was going to drive them to the party.
HANSEN (on camera): And your poor sister is waiting outside with two babies in the car?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes...
HANSEN: Because you had to come over here and have sex with a 14-year-old girl...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn‘t come over here to have sex.
HANSEN: Why would you put that...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn‘t come over here to have sex. I come over here to get the girl and go to a party, dude.
HANSEN (voice-over): We learned his sister apparently didn‘t know he was trying to meet an underage girl. Later you‘ll find out what happens when I tell him I‘m with “Dateline”.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing funny going on here.
HANSEN: There are more potential predators to confront. As you can see, the palm tree cam picks up another man headed our way. This time he‘s riding a motorcycle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He‘s parking right by the door.
HANSEN: Instead of coming in right away, he stays outside and smokes a cigarette.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
HANSEN: Our actress tries to get him to come inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call him. He‘s getting nervous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, come on in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, he just put a cigarette in the trash, he‘s heading towards the door.
HANSEN: He‘s 45-year-old Dennis Ramsey, a truck driver, screen name, daddieforu. He drove four hours to meet a girl who told him online she was 14, home alone and willing to have sex with him. Online daddieforu says I just met you, I like you and the world says it‘s wrong because I‘m older than you. Then later under a different screen name, blugrsruls, he brings up the idea of having sex with her in a roundabout way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said we can‘t have sex but that‘s up to you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It might be OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we do, you have to assure me, no one will ever find out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And where are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, hey, I‘m just picking out a jacket to wear on a bike. Just take a seat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is quite a place.
HANSEN (on camera): Glad you like it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing? How are you doing?
HANSEN: Good, why don‘t you have a seat right over in that chair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, man.
HANSEN: Thanks for smoking outside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
HANSEN: Go ahead. Please have a seat. What are you up to?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I knew this was going to happen.
HANSEN (voice-over): He tells me he has kids of his own and drove four hours simply to warn our teenager about the dangers of talking to strangers on the Internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I came to let her know that, you know, when you do that, it could be anybody.
HANSEN (on camera): So you came to help her out, out of the goodness of your heart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, that sounds stupid, but maybe you could say that. I don‘t know.
HANSEN (voice-over): And what about his chat log?
(on camera): Did you ask her what size her boobs are? She says 32b. You say yummy. And again you get somewhat suspicious. You say you‘re not trying to set me up are you? Are you a cop? If anyone ever knew about this, I would go to jail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can‘t tell you how ashamed I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He‘s getting out of the car.
HANSEN (voice-over): But what happens here in Florida, shocks us all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He brought his son with him. He brought his son with him. He‘s got his child with him.
HANSEN: He‘s a 40-year-old married man, Clifford Waller (ph), screen name, fotophix. He‘s here to meet a boy who told him online he was 14. Dell from Perverted Justice posing as the boy talks to fotophix on the phone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said I like oral all aspects, I said giving or receiving, he said both, I said cool, he said are you up for that, I said sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming in the back door.
HANSEN: Holding his son‘s hand, the 40-year-old walks into the house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did you go?
HANSEN: Because we don‘t want to scare the little boy, we immediately tell the man what‘s going on.
(on camera): I got to tell you something, and I‘m going to tell you this straight up right now, I‘m Chris Hansen with “Dateline NBC”.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
HANSEN: We‘re doing a story on adults meeting children and since you have your child here, I‘m not going to pursue this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
HANSEN: But I think you know what you were doing here, don‘t you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I was just going to take someone to lunch.
HANSEN: My point is because your child is here, I think it would be best if you just went ahead and left.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes (INAUDIBLE). I‘m never going to do this again.
HANSEN (voice-over): Since the police know the man has his son with him...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, right there. You come here. You come here.
Let go of the child.
HANSEN: A female officer quickly takes the little boy and whisks him away so he doesn‘t have to further witness his father‘s arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please give me my son. Please.
HANSEN: He‘s taken away in handcuffs and brought to the transfer station.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, I want to stay with my son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now that‘s not an option for now, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn‘t do nothing wrong. I was...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... going to take somebody to lunch. I can‘t feel my hands, please.
HANSEN: The police contact the boy‘s mother at work, tell her what‘s going on, and she comes and gets him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to get a drink? Yes.
HANSEN: Meanwhile, the dad is taken to jail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on in and make a left.
HANSEN: Photographed and put behind bars.
FILAN: Coming up, we‘ve got more of Chris Hansen and the “Dateline NBC” undercover operation, including a man who says he‘s just at the house on business.
Your e-mails send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include your name and where you‘re writing from. Coming up...
FILAN: Coming up, he went to a house apparently hoping to meet a 14-year-old girl, but when he got caught he told a very different story, more of “Dateline‘s” “To Catch A Predator” next.
FILAN: We‘re back with more on “Dateline‘s” undercover investigation into the world of potential online predators. Take a look at what happened to some of the men when they left the decoy house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Parking out front. He‘s out of the vehicle.
HANSEN (voice-over): The man in the black hat is 31-year-old Thomas Coffen (ph), a self-employed handyman. He‘s here after making a date online for sex with a girl pretending to be 14. He tells her, I am into young girls. I like them better than the older girls and he goes further, admitting he‘s done this before. When the decoy types how young have you dated though, he says 14.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on in. I‘m in here. I‘m just getting changed. I got some chocolate on my shirt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to find this place was hard.
HANSEN: Online, he tells the girl posing as a 14-year-old several times that he loves her. He also makes it clear he‘s coming to the house to have sex with her, even sends her a picture of himself naked.
HANSEN (on camera): Hey. How are you...
(voice-over): But when I show up, he explains it‘s all a big misunderstanding.
HANSEN (on camera): What‘s up?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m looking for work and stuff.
HANSEN: Looking for work and stuff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HANSEN: And what kind work were you looking for here exactly?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do blacktop ceiling.
HANSEN: And what brought you to this address exactly? Did the owner of the house call you...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I put ads out and stuff.
HANSEN: Really? And did you bring all your blacktop stuff with you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just came down just to look at it.
HANSEN: Oh, just to look at it. Do you want to start the story again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean?
HANSEN: Tell the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I talk to a lot of people.
HANSEN: So you weren‘t really here to give an estimate for a blacktop job?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
HANSEN: That was a lie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry about that.
HANSEN (voice-over): He also seems sorry he sent that picture.
(on camera): That‘s appropriate...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
HANSEN: ... to send to a 14-year-old girl?
(voice-over): He doesn‘t deny he sent the picture, but does he know it‘s a possible crime.
(on camera): Do you know that this is illegal to send something like this to someone you think is underage? Do you get that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It won‘t happen again, I can tell you that much.
HANSEN (voice-over): Then he tries to explain it all away as one big computer glitch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I shut down my computer and stuff. My computer is messed up.
HANSEN: Your computer, so it just what, magically typed...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
HANSEN: ... itself like a player piano.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it‘s messed up, I‘m say. I got a virus in it and stuff.
HANSEN: What‘s messed up is this conversation. So what was your intent today? Just to baby-sit until she‘s old enough...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, just come over to say hi. That was it.
HANSEN (voice-over): But how will he explain that online the decoy asked him to bring condoms and he just happens to have them in his shirt pocket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always have them...
HANSEN (on camera): You always carry them right there in your pocket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, if I sit on them, they end up getting crushed.
HANSEN: Do you see how this looks, Thomas?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it looks bad.
HANSEN (voice-over): And it looks bad for all the men you‘ve seen walking in our door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don‘t like myself right now at all man.
HANSEN (on camera): I‘m Chris Hansen with “Dateline NBC” and we‘re doing a story on adults who meet teens on the Internet.
(voice-over): Like most of the men who find out they‘ve been caught in a “Dateline” undercover investigation, this man, the 45-year-old truck driver, who made plans online to meet a girl who told him she was 14, has nothing more to say.
(on camera): You‘re obviously free to walk out that door that you came in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will do that. Thank you.
HANSEN (voice-over): But he won‘t get very far.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get down. Get your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on the ground now.
HANSEN: Fort Myers police are ready to make the arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do everything you‘re told and you will not get hurt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
HANSEN: He‘s taken away in an unmarked police car and brought to a transfer station.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spread your legs out.
HANSEN: He‘s searched, put in another car, and transported to jail. Meanwhile, back at our house, another man thinks he has his own solution to being exposed on national television. Remember the 21-year-old who duped his sister into driving him to meet a girl who said she was 14?
(on camera): We‘re doing a story...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do look kind of familiar.
HANSEN: ... who try to meet kids on the Internet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey man, I don‘t want to be on the news. Are you filming?
HANSEN: We are filming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don‘t want to be on the news, dog.
HANSEN: Well it‘s a little late for that dog. Now if there‘s anything else you want to tell me...
(voice-over): He quickly comes up with a disguise and as far as interviews go, this may be a television first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I got to say is, ain‘t nothing going on here, dude. Nothing funny going on here.
HANSEN (on camera): Nothing funny going on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. If the girl is really 14 (INAUDIBLE) but...
HANSEN: She told you she was 14.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were in a role-playing chat room, dude.
HANSEN: Do you know how many times I hear that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Am I being held up here?
HANSEN: You‘re not being held up. You‘re free to walk out that same door you walked in...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) NBC?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NBC and you‘re?
HANSEN: Chris Hansen...
HANSEN: “Dateline NBC”.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me explain something to NBC for a second here. I don‘t know what kind of rap you all got on people, but maybe I can get the whole story because this girl is in a role-playing chat room. Whose house is this? Can I smoke a cigarette...
HANSEN: No, you can‘t smoke...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn‘t think so.
HANSEN: You can smoke outside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, dude. Later.
HANSEN (voice-over): He decides to go out the front door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Running to the car. Move.
HANSEN: But that doesn‘t stop detectives from catching him and placing him under arrest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, man.
HANSEN: And when he shows up at the transfer station, police search him and he keeps talking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all thought you were going to get some green (BEEP).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey NBC, two words, role-playing, chat room dude, because the girl was role-playing, man.
HANSEN: We checked with Perverted Justice and we‘re told he met the decoy in a Florida romance room, not a role-playing chat room.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What‘s that, for your frigging pedophile thing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
HANSEN: And the transcripts of his online chats and phone calls were enough for police to charge him with a felony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) found not guilty (BEEP) (INAUDIBLE) somebody.
HANSEN: Even after he‘s placed in the police car, he goes on talking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m not guilty, man. I—do I look like I need 14-year-old girls? I don‘t need 14-year-old girls. Dude, I got all kind of girls...
HANSEN: And he has even more to say when he‘s brought to the jail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NBC again. (INAUDIBLE) How are you all doing,
HANSEN: It turns out there was at least one thing he said earlier that turned out to be true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I happen to know law enforcement...
HANSEN: He has quite a long rap sheet. In 2002, he led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car. He was also convicted of grand theft and trying to sell the stolen goods. And twice, he was convicted of battery, the most recent case in January.
FILAN: “Dateline” will be back with another episode of “To Catch A Predator” next Wednesday on NBC at 9:00 Eastern.
Coming up, with Mother‘s Day on Sunday, I take some time to reflect on the mothers who we‘ve come to know for all the wrong reasons, mothers who have lost their children to brutal crimes.
And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike again. This week we‘re in South Dakota.
Police need your help finding James Jumpingeagle. He‘s 30 years old, five-foot-ten. He weighs 160 pounds. He was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor and he hasn‘t registered his address with the state. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Pennington County Sheriff‘s Office at 605-394-6117. We‘ll be right back.
FILAN: My “Closing Argument”—with Mother‘s Day approaching, I want to pay homage to all the moms who have lost a child to crime. Among those sons and daughters lost, Laci Peterson, Nicole Brown Simpson, Ron Goldman, Imette St. Guillen, those who lost their lives in the Rhode Island night club fire, those who died on 9-11, and all the countless loved ones who have been murdered that we‘ve never even heard about.
We debate serious legal issues on this show, analyzing the law from both the prosecution and the defense point of view. Our debates, while often intellectual and cerebral, are not intended to ignore the emotional impact crime has on people‘s lives. We don‘t often stop to offer our condolences or to celebrate the lives of those innocents who have died, but today in honor of Mother‘s Day, I want to honor all those who have died and give support to all the loved ones left behind. And I want to say to all mothers, hold your children tight, and tell them that you love them. We‘ll be right back.
FILAN: That does it for us. Dan will be back on Monday. Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews. Tonight Chris takes on the question of the government collecting data on phone calls in this country with the “HARDBALL” hot shots.
Have a great weekend. Bye-bye.
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