Guests: Dr. Henry Lee, Clint Van Zandt, Tony Perry, Todd Jones, Pamela Brown and Michael Lamonsoff.
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Coming up, a huge development in the case of a Clemson college student strangled with a bikini top. Police release a photo of the likely suspect. They warn he still could be in the area. We’ll show it to you.
The program about justice starts now. Breaking news in the so-called bikini strangler case. Police have just released this photograph of the man they believe may have killed Clemson University student Tiffany Souers by tying a bikini top around her neck. His face covered with a bandana. The photo was taken by surveillance camera as police say he tried to use Souers’ bankcard six times at an ATM.
They also released this picture of a car like the one they believe the killer drove, a two-door, light colored Chevy SUV made sometime between 1982 and 1994. Not necessarily that color. They would not say whether they believe Tiffany Souers was raped, but they do believe the murder was — quote — “sexually motivated.” The prosecutor Bob Ariail explained more about the photographs at a press conference about an hour ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB ARIAIL, GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC PROSECUTOR: Investigators believe it is very likely that others saw him or saw something significant during the time of the murder in the apartment complex or around the apartment complex. They may not have recognized it at the time as being significant, but if people who were in the area that night, those people are urged to contact investigators. The offender owns or has had access to a 1982 to 1994 Chevrolet or GMC and these are the types of vehicles. It is a two- door — two-door, I repeat a two-door, not a four-door as has been shown on TV, a two-door SUV-type vehicle.
The color of the vehicle is not known. It is anticipated that it is a light to medium color. This individual’s photograph was taken attempting to use a debit card at the — at a bank, ATM early in the morning on the day of Ms. Souers’ death. He is wearing two bandannas, one on the top of his head and one across his mouth. The bank photos picked up the distinguishing mark, this is a peculiar distinct — particularly distinguishing photo of the bandanna. You can see the cross, not a — I wouldn’t call it a Christian cross, but a cross with four sides, looked like arrowheads. Here is the one with his arm stretched out. Another with the ATM card in his hand. Clearly appears to be a white male. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: So we know a lot more than we did before. We’ve got this photo. You can see the outlines of the face on that photo. Now we’ve got a basic description of what the car looks like as well and the authorities presenting a psychological profile that we’ll talk about in a moment.
Joining me now in Greenville, South Carolina, is NBC’S Michele Hofland, former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt joins us and the famous forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee is with us as well.
All right, Dr. Lee, interesting clues we’re getting here...
DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: Yes.
ABRAMS: ... as to this guy. What do you make of it?
LEE: Yes. Right now they have five important clues. First of all, apparently they’ve got some DNA profile of the suspect. Second, they have a photograph. Third, they have a description of the vehicle. Fourth, they did a psychological profile on the individual. Six, of course there are some potential fingerprints. Now that is a good combination. Right now, of course, they have to do data mining, check other cell phone records, and also their reports say his I.D. card was found not too far from there in a garbage can, so that’s geographic profile become important.
ABRAMS: Her I.D. you mean. Her I.D. found...
LEE: Her I.D.
ABRAMS: ... on the side of the road, right.
LEE: Yes, somebody had (INAUDIBLE) I.D. Now, with DNA I’m sure they already searched the DNA CODAS (ph) data bank, did not get a hit, so which means this person, not the ordinary sex offender. It is not in the data bank. A fingerprint and partial, apparently some fingerprint was found. Of course, are they are going to search the AFIS system. If the fingerprint no hit, then we know this person is not a criminal currently or former incarcerated before.
LEE: Therefore, we have to focus on the ski mask. They have a printout of the vehicle, similar vehicle, we have a case before we have about 2,000-some vehicle printouts. We just assign detectives one by one. It is a long shot. But they have to work on it and they’ll have to check all the garbage cans every day looking for the ski mask.
ABRAMS: It is a bandanna. Two bandannas.
ABRAMS: Yes, bandanna on the head, bandanna on the face, and to back up exactly what you were saying, the D.A. actually talked about this very issue today.
ABRAMS: Hang on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAIL: We think it’s his first murder. And the first murder was not a planned murder, perhaps. It was a sexual assault or an aggressive sexual act encounter gone bad. And that’s why we believe he is somewhat consumed and will alter his behavior pattern. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Dr. Lee, how would they know that it is his first murder?
LEE: Well, because of the strangulation. And, of course, a strangulation you look at particular (UNINTELLIGIBLE) look at any high bone and any other injuries so medical examiner can easily determine that it’s a strangulation. If it’s a manual strangulation with a ligature, a bikini, of course it become a homicide. That is probably more likely they found some DNA on the bikini identifying this individual’s profile.
ABRAMS: This is what the D.A. said today about the — psychologically, what is likely going on in this person’s head as a result of this incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAIL: The murder has become a heavy burden for this offender and in likelihood it is all consuming to him at this time. He will likely exhibit changes in his eating habits, his sleeping habits, his consumption of alcohol and drugs. He may try to isolate himself from his family. He may try to isolate himself from his friends. He may cancel plans and appointments without notice. He may be absent from classes or work or he may be avoiding all instances of that type altogether. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Clint Van Zandt, classic profile, right? Clint, can you hear me?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Yes...
ABRAMS: I was saying it’s a classic profile, right?
VAN ZANDT: Yes, very much and the classic part of it is, Dan, long story short, the D.A. is probably right and this is the first homicide this guy has committed. You notice he used a weapon, as Henry suggested, a ligature that was found in the apartment. He didn’t bring a weapon with him. Perhaps he didn’t intend to kill.
He intended for a sexual assault, a burglary. And everything else is what you and I talk about is post offense behavior. This is what this type of individual, the type of behavior that he could be expected to exhibit. Now, this behavior is already out there. It has taken place within the last week. He can’t take it back. He can’t hide it. And that is what they are hoping for, is that people are going to put two and three and four together, the mask, the car, the individual, the location and the behavior and come up with a potential suspect and 911 let the authorities know.
ABRAMS: Yes and the D.A. again talked about what the potential motive would have been.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAIL: As we view it, this is an aggressive act by an individual. It may be she knew him or she didn’t know him, but somebody that was sexually aggressive and whether or not it was a sexual assault, I can’t answer that at this time, but that is what we think this was. And as a result, there is no indication it was a robbery or break-in or burglary or anything of that thing to steal stuff. It is an indication to us that it was a sexually motivated crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: And yet, Clint, there he is at the bank machine, right?
VAN ZANDT: Yes. And Dan, he is there two hours later. That’s the interesting thing. We know the time of death of Tiffany was placed at 1:30 a.m., but as the photograph clearly shows at 3:30 plus this guy has gone to two different banks and attempted to use this ATM card six different times.
VAN ZANDT: I mean this is a combination of being very brazen and very desperate on his part.
ABRAMS: Yes and Dr. Lee, I mean we know that there was $500 in cash found at her apartment that wasn’t taken. And yet, there he is trying to use her card, clearly trying to conceal his identity by putting these bandannas over his face and his head.
LEE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) yes, because probably did not have time to look and searching for cash and more likely way he commit a crime, somebody heard some noise, a phone rang or something, interrupt. And he had to leave in a hurry, took his — her credit card, tried to use, and basically shows inexperience. That’s why the D.A. said could be the first crime or something because more experienced criminal knows the bankcard you need a secret code to withdraw some cash.
ABRAMS: Yes, but if this was a classmate of hers or something, right, you wouldn’t expect that the person would be going to the bank machine to then steal her money after he killed her, would you?
LEE: Not necessarily, but we do have sometime classmate or acquaintance and but here we know have an old model car, light color, two- door.
LEE: That’s a very important clue. Also two bandanna. That’s kind of important too, with a cross. Those are very important markers.
ABRAMS: Dr. Lee, it’s great to have you back on the program. Appreciate it.
LEE: Thank you. Thank you.
ABRAMS: Clint, stick around. Again, if you’ve got any information, please call the authorities. The tip line is here on the screen.
When we come back we are going to get a late breaking live report from the scene there, get an update on what else we may know.
Plus, he sounded like the perfect guy, young, single, a U.S. marshal. Turns out he’s not single, not tracking down bad guys. He may be one. His ex-girlfriend turned him in and she joins us live.
Plus, supporters of Scott Peterson offering up a challenge to the rest of us who agreed with the guilty verdict. They want us to answer a lot of questions and they’re trying O.J. as tactics here. It’s my “Closing Argument.”
Your e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and where you’re writing from. I respond at the end of the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAIL: Investigators want to impress upon the public that the offender has demonstrated his ability to be very dangerous. Until he is apprehended he continues to pose a threat, not only to other potential victims, but also to friends and family members as well. The reason for this is that under the right set of circumstances, it is possible he could strike out unpredictably against someone he knows. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: All right. So here is what we know about these pictures that they have just released in the killing of Tiffany Souers, 20 years old, Clemson University student. They have released an ATM photo of the suspect trying to use her card six times, didn’t succeed, but did succeed in disguising his identity by putting bandannas on his head and over his face. They do know he is a white male based on the fact that you could see his hand in one of the pictures. We also know that the car he was driving something between a 1982 and 1994, sort of like this car, GMC, SUV, again, based on the photos, don’t know the exact color, but they do know it’s two doors.
Back with us from Greenville, South Carolina is NBC’s Michele Hofland who was there with the D.A. only about two hours ago. Michelle, what else was he able to say about who this person may be?
MICHELLE HOFLAND, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: First of all when pressed, he believes that this young man is between 18 and 25 years old. And what they’re asking — what he is asking people in this community and Clemson University students throughout the country who are at home on spring break, to look back. Do they know anyone who has been complaining that they were approached by someone in an aggressive manner or in a sexual manner?
Was anyone sexually inappropriate with them and very aggressive? To keep in mind that that’s the type of person they are looking for. If they have any clues like that, to give them a call. Also he says that he believes that somebody close to this man knows that this is the killer and that the county solicitor is very concerned that this person may strike out at the family member or a friend and attack them as well. So he is very concerned and he wants someone to call in and give them any tips or any information that they know.
ABRAMS: Clint, what do you make of that warning?
VAN ZANDT: The warning is pretty good. This is someone who has never killed in the past, but right now he doesn’t know what he is doing. He is watching shows like this on television. He is reading the paper. He knows they are closing in. He knows right now they are doing computer runs on every car like that in the state of South Carolina and then they’re going to move out to the surrounding states and just like Henry Lee said, they’re going to put two officers or agents on every car like this.
They are going to go out and find the owner and find out who it belongs to. So this net that they are throwing over the area now, this noose is starting to be tightened. Between this, between the forensic evidence that they potentially have to be able to compare to and identify with the suspect, it looks like their chances of identifying this guy are going to be very good. It is going to take one call from a citizen or one hit on a similar vehicle and this guy will be in custody.
ABRAMS: And I think that is why the specifics of what is on that bandanna become crucial. Because they are hoping that somebody is going to say I know a guy who has got a bandanna like that one. So let me play this. Again, this is the D.A.’s in-depth description of the sort of bandanna you see the suspect wearing. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARIAIL: You can see the cross, not what I would call a Christian cross, but a cross with four sides (UNINTELLIGIBLE) like arrowheads. Here is one with his arm stretched out. Another with the ATM card in his hand. Clearly appears to be a white male and then here again additional exhibits to the headdress.
Hopefully, people, someone will recognize an individual who has that type of headdress or bandanna, who drives a vehicle of this type who is exhibiting behavior profiles that we have outlined to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Michelle Hofland, at the scene there, it seemed that there was something of a delay in releasing these photographs. They knew they had them yesterday, I’m sure they knew they had them before that. What do you think that the delay was? Were they trying to enhance the photographs?
HOFLAND: It was a combination of things. First of all, they were trying to make the photographs as clear as possible. Then it was sent to them by computer and then when they tried to print it off, it ended up that the pictures were not coming over as clear as they wanted, these enhanced photographs that they had. So, they had some delays, technical delays, trying to get as many pictures out and the quality of those pictures as good as they could to give to us to show to the people out there so they could pick out this killer, number one.
Number two, it was just the timing of the thing. Up in the courthouse behind me, that county prosecutor, solicitor as they call him here, he was up in the court dealing with motions on a death penalty trial that’s supposed to set next week. So he had to wait until he was done with all that before this news conference could start.
ABRAMS: All right. Clint, I’ve never seen the authorities release a photograph like this. I think it’s a good thing they’re doing it.
VAN ZANDT: Sure.
ABRAMS: I think it’s important that they’re doing it. I’m not suggesting that they’re doing anything wrong. It’s just I’ve never seen a case like this where they’ve got so much specificity and yet so little. You know what I mean? I mean they’ve got the car...
VAN ZANDT: Yes.
ABRAMS: ... but they can’t quite see the car, so they know...
ABRAMS: They know the model and they’ve got the face, but it’s covered. It’s a unique case in that way.
VAN ZANDT: Yes, they’ve got about 25 percent of every part of this. You know, it’s like you’re putting a puzzle together and half the puzzle pieces fell on the floor, so you’re trying to work with the other pieces, but you know some of the critical things here, Dan.
Number one, these bandannas that he’s using, he’s probably had these in his possession. He probably didn’t just buy them that night, so that’s why they’re eager to get it around. You know, who’s had something like this wrapped around their neck?
Number two, this is a guy who they believe took the sheets off Tiffany’s bed, so this was someone savvy enough about physical evidence, perhaps, that he wanted to take that physical evidence away with him.
And number three, that it’s critical that Henry Lee I think alluded to was this ATM card. You know, after you try an ATM card three or four times, if you keep punching in the wrong code, that machine will suck your card in, because it figures you’re a bad guy trying to use it. So, if that card was handled properly they may well have fingerprints of the killer on that card.
ABRAMS: But not necessarily, right Clint? When you’re talking about fingerprints, it’s always touch or go as to whether a fingerprint is actually left on an item, correct?
VAN ZANDT: Yes. Well, it’s tough or go. It may or may not have been left. He may have been — may have worn gloves or how many times it was handled.
ABRAMS: We know no gloves. We see no gloves right there.
VAN ZANDT: Yes. So then the question is how many times might it have been handled...
ABRAMS: And how wet was it. I mean I know in the cases I’ve covered the big question is was there sweat on the finger, et cetera. That becomes crucial in determining whether a fingerprint is left. What was the receiving texture on the credit card, et cetera...
VAN ZANDT: Absolutely.
ABRAMS: That all becomes crucial in whether a fingerprint is actually left. Michelle, are they hopeful that they’re going to be able to find this guy in the next couple of days?
HOFLAND: The county solicitor has been very confident over the past few days that they will get enough information that he’s that the pieces of the puzzle...
HOFLAND: ... that he laid before you today and hopefully those pieces of the puzzle will be enough. Now there’s one more thing that we failed to mention that the county solicitor wants people to know that this man may have already gotten rid of that vehicle. So keep that in mind. If somebody has recently gotten rid of a vehicle that looks just like that, ask them where did it go, what happened to it...
HOFLAND: So there may be a couple of other things to keep your eye out and also remember that the driver’s license, Tiffany’s driver’s license was found about 10 miles outside of Clemson on a road that is a freeway, that you use to drive out of town.
HOFLAND: That was found on the side of the road today, earlier today.
ABRAMS: Here’s Erica Cooler on Rita Cosby’s program talking about the final moments of seeing Tiffany the night that she was killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RITA COSBY, HOST, “LIVE & DIRECT”: What were the last things that you said to each other when you saw each other, Erica?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I dropped her off and we had had a great night, you know talking with friends and I dropped her off and we were just talking, you know like we usually do, and I was actually able to tell her that I loved her and she told me that she loved me and I watched her walk to her door and I left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: If you have any information, please call 800-442-2746. Michelle Hofland, Clint Van Zandt, and Dr. Henry Lee thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
VAN ZANDT: Thanks, Dan.
ABRAMS: Coming up, everything about him seemed right. He was single. He worked as a U.S. marshal. He seemed like a good guy. It turns out he was likely none of the above. We’ll talk to a woman who fell into his trap, dated him, and then turned him in.
And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose,” our effort to find missing offenders before they strike. Our search today is in Vermont.
Authorities need your help finding Francis Trussel. He’s 44, five- eight, 180, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault, hasn’t registered his address with the state. If you’ve got any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Vermont Department of Public Safety, 802- 244-8727. We’ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We know that 99.9 percent of our forces conduct themselves in an exemplary manner and we also know that in conflicts things that shouldn’t happen do happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld talking about the investigation into the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha. Now news of another case where Marines could be in big trouble. A defense attorney is saying that seven Marines and a Navy Corpsman are going to be charged in the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian April 26 in the town of Hamandiyah. The charges include murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy. Seven U.S. Marines with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment based at Fort Pendleton, California are the suspects and are being held in the brig.
Tony Perry is with the “Los Angeles Times.” He’s been covering the story and has been embedded three times with Marine Corps units in Iraq. Todd Jones is a former military prosecutor and defense attorney and a former U.S. attorney. Thanks to both of you for coming on the program. Appreciate it.
All right. Mr. Perry, let me start with you. What exactly is the allegation as to what the Marines did that might qualify as murder?
TONY PERRY, “LOS ANGELES TIMES”: Well, no charges have formally been filed yet but what it looks like, what people are saying who were close to the investigation is that these Marines and a Navy Corpsman went to a house in this town and somehow drug an Iraqi male out of the house, killed him and then tried to cover up what they did by leaving evidence that one would think would point that he’s an armed insurgent digging a hole to plant an improvised explosive.
Among other people, Congressman Murtha of Pennsylvania is saying that they had no provocation in this and they committed a crime and now are trying to cover it up. Now we haven’t seen the charges. We haven’t heard from defense attorneys...
PERRY: ... but it is very serious.
ABRAMS: Do we know what the Marines and the Corpsman thought when they went in to get this guy? Did they think that he was an insurgent? Did they — do we know anything about why they took him out of the house?
PERRY: This is a very common maneuver often done at night where you surround a house, move into the house and then remove suspects, people you think are insurgents that have been planting bombs. That have been aiding and abetting insurgents, planting bombs. That’s what this apparently was and it apparently went very, very badly, according to what we know of the investigation.
ABRAMS: Do we know anything — again, as to — do we know anything about their account as to what they are saying happened?
PERRY: No and that is why I caution...
PERRY: ... we have not yet heard from the other side on this.
ABRAMS: All right. Todd Jones, you have done a lot of these kinds of cases and seen a lot of these types of cases. I mean look, I’ve seen some of these cases where, for example, in one case the allegation was we thought that he was reaching in. We thought that the person was going into the pocket, for example, to get something. We didn’t know that we were safe. We felt threatened, et cetera.
TODD JONES, FORMER MILITARY DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think one of the things that is going to be disappointing to a lot of folks is their version of what happened is not going to come out until after the charges are brought and it sounds like they are on the cusp of being brought and these individuals have a chance, if they choose, to tell their version of the case. The next step after charges would be an Article 32 investigation, which is like a grand jury process but there are lawyers for both sides there and a little bit more evidence presented before the commanding general makes a decision about whether to convene a general court-martial.
ABRAMS: You know, Mr. Jones, it seems to me like in almost all of these cases the claim is that there was a cover-up. And that is not the most serious allegation, the more serious allegation, of course, is with regard to the conduct. But I’ve got to wonder, in a lot of these cases do you think that the charges would be as serious if they came cleaner at the outset? Meaning, there wasn’t an effort to sort of stage the scene as is the allegation here.
JONES: I think that is what piques everyone’s interest. It’s the subsequent actions, you know, events like doing night searches and pulling people out happen every day in Iraq. We know that. This is a counterinsurgency warfare environment. These things happen and it is always subsequent events that leads people...
JONES: ... to question as to what the motivations are...
ABRAMS: Because it seems to me that there is a lot of willingness to hear the Marines’ side. Even if they make mistakes, that’s not criminal, right? I mean a mistake isn’t criminal.
JONES: That’s right...
PERRY: And we have had these investigations in which it looks very, very bad, these Naval criminal investigative service investigations that on the opening of an Article 32 look quite solid, but under questioning by defense attorneys they tend to fall apart. We have seen that...
PERRY: ... so again I would caution until we see it all. On a cover- up I think a cover-up in many ways is worse than the initial crime because it speaks to a corruption of the organization. Now maybe it is on a small level, maybe just a platoon...
PERRY: ... or maybe a company, but it talks about a corruption, a willingness to lie, not just to make mistakes, which we might all do, but then to lie about it over a period of time and that is an institutional corruption that I think the Marine Corps is very afraid of.
ABRAMS: Yes, well, but again we don’t know that it’s institutional. As you point out, it could just be an isolated incident of corruption in which case if there was murder, that’s, you know there’s a much more serious issue. I understand the point you’re making. Real quick, Mr. Perry, when are we going to find out about the charges, next week?
PERRY: I think it will be next week. Again, we’ll get some names, we’ll get some charges, but the full information it’s going to take a while. The justice system in the military service moves slowly.
ABRAMS: Yes. Well, I guess as it should in some cases. Tony Perry and Todd Jones, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Coming up...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A pleasure.
ABRAMS: ... he sounded like the perfect guy, young, single, a U.S. marshal. Turns out he is not single, he is not tracking down bad guys. He is one. His ex-girlfriend turned him in and she joins us live.
And later if you think Scott Peterson is guilty, his family and supporters have at least 20 questions they want you and I to answer. It is my “Closing Argument.”
ABRAMS: Everything about him seemed right. He was single. He worked as a U.S. marshal. He seemed like a good guy. Turns out he was none of the above. We’ll talk to one woman who fell into his trap, dated him, and then turned him in.
ABRAMS: We’re back. He sounded like the perfect guy, single man, his exciting job as United States marshal had him fighting the bad guys, but it turns out he may be one of them. It seems Richard Kudlik is actually a 43- year-old married father, was a maintenance worker at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York City. He’d allegedly meet women, lots of them online and tell them he was single and a deputy U.S. marshal.
He had the badge, raid hats, gun and stories to prove it. Well now he’s got a new story to add to his repertoire. How the women he duped turned him in. After getting a tip from one of the women he allegedly scammed, the marshals went to Kudlik’s house and found marshal stickers on his car and a marshal’s raid jacket over the front seat. He allegedly admitted the items helped him get to his job quickly without being stopped by police.
They also found a United States marshal pocket badge, two U.S. marshal pewter badges, five gold colored United States marshal badge money clips, and other U.S. marshal paraphernalia. Joining me now is Pamela Brown who up until a short time ago was dating Kudlik and who has set up a Web site, whose mission is — quote — “exposing married liars and cheaters” in particular Kudlik and Pamela’s attorney Michael Lamonsoff. Thanks to both of you for coming on the program. Appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for having us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for having us.
ABRAMS: All right. Pamela first, how did you meet him?
PAMELA BROWN, DATED A MARRIED PHONY U.S. MARSHAL: I met him through a mutual friend several years ago.
ABRAMS: He had been dating your friend, right?
BROWN: Yes, he had been for many years.
ABRAMS: All right. And so you had at least known him through her and then they break up and then you start dating him?
BROWN: Well, it was two years after...
BROWN: ... that break-up that I began dating him.
ABRAMS: Right. Right. Right. And so then he is this whole time, meaning throughout the time he is dating her and then the two years and then you start dating him, the whole time he is claiming oh I’m a U.S. marshal, telling stories about being a marshal, right?
BROWN: Yes, he is.
ABRAMS: What kinds of stories would he tell?
BROWN: Oh, he would tell wild stories of working for Hillary Clinton, that she would request him for certain duties. He would tell stories of having to fly out to Wisconsin to serve a warrant and bring back a fugitive. He would tell stories of having to fly, you know, just at the last minute on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning I have to fly down to North Carolina to bring back a prisoner or to drop off a prisoner.
ABRAMS: How did you find out he wasn’t who he said he was?
BROWN: I received an anonymous message over the Internet telling me that the man I’m dating is not who he says he is. He is very married. ABRAMS: And did you believe it?
BROWN: I didn’t know what to believe. I had my doubts, but I figured if he is married he must have a home phone number. So, I did some research and found out he is in fact married.
ABRAMS: And you talked to his wife, right?
BROWN: Yes, I did.
ABRAMS: What did she say?
BROWN: She told me he’s been married for 17 years and when I asked her if he works as a U.S. marshal out on Plum Island she told me no, he’s not a U.S. marshal.
ABRAMS: He was doing more — what, maintenance work out there?
BROWN: Maintenance work.
ABRAMS: And then you’ve created this Web site — before I talk about the legal issues with your lawyer, he’s created this — you created this Web site and I don’t mean to laugh at this, but obviously you added some humor in this by saying not wanted with this poster of him not wanted. What are you trying to get other women to come forward and say hey, I know this guy, too?
BROWN: My initial reason for creating the Web site was to let other women on Long Island know don’t get involved with this man, you don’t want him. He lies. Everything that comes out of his mouth has been lies for years.
ABRAMS: And you also say that when you asked him for a photo of himself he gave you a photo from his wedding day?
BROWN: From his wedding day. I asked him...
ABRAMS: Dressed in white?
BROWN: Dressed in white.
ABRAMS: What a cheese ball.
ABRAMS: That’s a 17-year-old picture and he gives you the picture from his wedding. All right. Are you holding up all right? I mean this has got to be a little bit rough for you.
BROWN: It’s exhausting. It’s humiliating. I haven’t slept in a couple of days.
ABRAMS: I’m sorry. Mr. Lamonsoff, tell me about the charges that have been filed against him.
MICHAEL LAMONSOFF, PAMELA BROWN’S ATTORNEY: He has been charged with possession of a badge that pursuant to federal law is a crime. That is punishable with up to six months of jail time. ABRAMS: And do — are the authorities taking this serious? Are they taking it more seriously than they might because he was also engaged in fraud? I mean any allegations of fraud?
LAMONSOFF: Well, the issues concerning that are kind of complex in that the — Mr. Kudlik could have actually been picked up about a year and a couple of months ago for the same violation, apparently somebody else had reported him as doing this. And they apparently slapped him on the wrist, took his — confiscated his marshal gear — his fake marshal gear and sent him on his way. ABRAMS: Ms. Brown, do you think there might be what like, 10 other women out there he may have lied to as well?
BROWN: There are 10 to 12 other women. I have been contacted by two additional ones recently.
ABRAMS: And what are they saying to you? They’re saying I know this guy. He told me he was single. He told me he was a U.S. marshal.
BROWN: Everybody has the same story. He is a U.S. marshal. He’s single. He lives with his sister. He has two kids that didn’t want to have anything to do with him. That’s why nobody ever met his kids. ABRAMS: And your friend who had dated him before, she didn’t know anything? That’s not the reason they broke up, right?
BROWN: No, she had no idea.
ABRAMS: Wow. All right. We will follow this case. Ms. Brown, good luck to you.
BROWN: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Thank you for taking the time. Michael...
LAMONSOFF: If I may...
ABRAMS: Yes, real quick.
LAMONSOFF: There’s a real — there’s a bigger issue here in how does this man obtain paraphernalia...
ABRAMS: On the Internet...
LAMONSOFF: ... paraphernalia on the Internet...
LAMONSOFF: ... of a U.S. marshal in and how many other people are doing this and people who we don’t want to have those...
LAMONSOFF: ... for nefarious reasons.
ABRAMS: That’s an issue we’ve been talking about since this — since September 11, quite a bit on the issue of the potential use of fake official uniforms, et cetera. Thanks a lot, Mr. Lamonsoff, for coming on the program as well.
LAMONSOFF: You are welcome.
ABRAMS: Good luck, Pamela.
BROWN: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Coming up, family and supporters of Scott Peterson offer up a challenge to anyone who thinks he is guilty. I will answer some of the questions and explain why they just don’t get it. It’s my “Closing Argument.”
And the ACLU representing convicted sex offenders challenging law that requires them to stay away from playgrounds, pools and other places where children hang out. Read your e-mails about that one.
And our continuing series, “Sex Offenders on the Loose,” our effort to find missing offenders before they strike. This week we’re in Vermont.
Police need your help finding John Datnoff. He’s 46, five-seven, 190, was convicted of sexual assault, hasn’t registered with the state. If you’ve got any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Vermont Department of Public Safety, 802-244-8727. Be right back.
ABRAMS: My “Closing Argument” — the latest pathetic effort from supporters of Scott Peterson to prove he was wrongly convicted. They’ve created a Web site and now offered up a challenge to anyone who — quote — “believes Scott is guilty.” The challenge — quote — “Tell us how Scott could have committed this crime with a series of events that fits the circumstances. And they outline 20 broad issues that — quote — “must be addressed.” Of course, most of the questions could best be answered by Peterson himself.
Why would he said certain things before the murder? Explain when and how Scott killed Laci. Explain how and when Scott cleaned up all the crime scenes. Explain why Scott is checking his voice mail while he drives to the warehouse and my favorite, explain why Scott was watching Martha Stewart on television.
As in most cases, where the murderer does not come clean, many questions will go unanswered, including when he killed Laci, but that says nothing about his guilt or innocence. They also utilized a technique mastered by O.J. Simpson, the would I really be so dumb as to (BLANK) defense. Why would he have said he last saw Laci wearing black pants and a white shirt when she was wearing khaki capris, they ask.
It’s called a bad cover-up. He’s pretending he last saw her the night before. Why would he tell the police their dog McKenzie was protective of Laci if the plan was to say she was abducted while walking the dog? I don’t know, to try to add credibility to his story or maybe he just hadn’t thought it out enough. Why wouldn’t he have cleaned up concrete found in his warehouse, if it had been used to make anchors to weigh her body down? Because he was like so many murderers before him, sloppy.
Explain why Scott would drive 90 miles to dump her body and then come home and tell police right where he was. Because he was afraid he had been spotted there and didn’t think the body would ever wash up on shore. I don’t know. They’re employing a time honored defense tactic of trying to make the case far more complicated than it actually was. Laci Peterson was found 90 miles from their home, precisely where Scott Peterson was that day. His story about a Christmas Eve fishing trip was filled with holes. He even told others he was playing golf that day.
He was having an affair that he tried to continue after Laci went missing and even told Amber Frey his wife was dead and they’d be able to spend more time together after the holidays. There are a lot of questions that still remain about the Peterson case, but the only person who should feel obligated to answer them is Scott Peterson himself.
Coming up, some convicted sex offenders in Indiana challenging the law that requires them to stay away from playgrounds and pools. Your responses to that one is up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ABRAMS: I’ve had my say, now it’s time for “Your Rebuttal.” Many of you commenting about our segment on Haditha, Iraq, where Marines allegedly killed 24 civilians. Cal Schrotenboer of San Jose, “The argument the Marines are justified in killing people who had nothing to do with killing one of their fellow Marines, of course, means that any relative, friend or countrymen of the victims is equally justified in killing those same Marines.”
Dianne Villano in St. Petersburg, Florida, “Thank you for your coverage of the Marines and the Haditha incident. These young men are in untenable positions, facing stresses, obstacles and situations which would cripple 99 percent of Americans.”
Don Peake of Abingdon, Illinois, “I’m outraged at the excuses and the un-American defenses of the alleged murders by our own Marines.”
Erik Hutchins from Utah, “Reports say that the president is troubled by the news from Haditha. This is because he has no idea what it means to be in war.”
Then our coverage of the new ordinance in Indiana that blocks sex offenders from coming within 1,000 feet of parks and schools and any other places kids congregate. They’ve challenged the law, some of them saying they can’t drive anywhere, even to work or to vote. Vanessa Gorelkin from New York, “It’s absurd for Indiana lawmakers to defend such ambiguity in law-making. I suggest these lawmakers obtain a good legal dictionary and perhaps a thesaurus.”
Karla from Fort Jackson, South Carolina about the ACLU representing the plaintiffs. “It infuriates me to see how willing they are to protect the rights of individuals that have made a conscious choice to victimize innocent children.”
Ken Horning “Convicted felons can’t vote in 14 states, so they have no need to go near a polling place.”
Well, Ken, I think the number is not quite that high, if they’re not on probation or parole, but in Indiana where this lawsuit was filed, ex- cons can vote even if they’re on probation or parole, so it doesn’t necessarily apply here.
Your e-mails abramsreport — one word — @msnbc.com. We go through them at the end of the show.
All right. We’re just about out of time. We want to again give you the tip line for that story we were covering earlier about Tiffany Souers killed, murdered with her bikini top. We now have a photo from an ATM. He’s wearing a bandanna on his head, a bandanna covering his face. If the bandanna looks at all familiar, that’s the phone number to call. Make sure — you can call it if you know anything about it.
That does it for us. “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews up next.