Guests: Jim Mixon, Lawrence Kobilinsky, Marc Klaas, Ed Miller, Cecil Reed, Tim Morgan, David Davenport, Symmes Culbertson, Karla Armenzedariz
RITA COSBY, HOST: And we also have late-breaking developments tonight in the bikini strangler case. Cops say they have caught the killer, a repeated sexual offender. Cobs nabbed Jerry Inman, this man that you see here, just hours after releasing his picture late last night. He is accused of strangling Clemson University student Tiffany Souers with her own bikini. And it turns out, he is accused of more gruesome and violent crimes.
NBC‘s Michelle Hofland is live with the very latest in Pickens, South Carolina.
Tell us how it all went down, Michelle.
MICHELLE HOFLAND, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, this morning, a few hours after Jerry Inman waived extradition in Tennessee, deputies drove him 140 miles south down here to the Pickens County Jail.
He rolled up here. As the garage door closed on this caged sally port, Inman stepped out. And it was for the first time that any of us saw Inman in person. It was silent out here. And, as he stepped out of the car, in that caged sally port, there were some deputies standing out here. They spontaneously began to clap as he stepped out of the car, for both relief that all their hard work trying to track down this guy paid off, and now the man that they believed killed Tiffany Souers is now behind bars.
Now, once he was taken inside, Inman was booked on charges of rape, kidnapping and murder. Then he was photographed and fingerprinted. After Inman changed into his jailed-issued orange suit, four deputies escorted him downstairs to a basement courtroom, where he was arraigned.
Judge Forest (ph) read the charges and asked Inman if he understood them. Inman quietly responded, “Yes.”
Then the judge acknowledged that Inman had an attorney. Bond was not set today. Another judge will do that in about two weeks. Authorities have also revealed that Inman has confessed to some of these crimes, reportedly saying that he didn‘t know his victims, including Tiffany Souers, that he would just drive around looking for someone that he liked.
Now it appears Inman may have recently carved a path of crime through at least three states. He could be facing charges of raping a woman in Tennessee on May 22, the very next day, attempting to rape a woman in Alabama, and, then, three days later, here in South Carolina, kidnapping, raping and murdering Tiffany Souers. As I mentioned last night, Inman has a long criminal history.
In North Carolina, convictions include sexual assault and prison break, in Florida, kidnapping and rape. He has been in prison since he was 17 years old, until he was released from prison nine months ago, after serving just half of his 30-year prison.
Tonight, Inman is here in the Pickens County Jail in a maximum-security cell, with a security camera watching his every move 24 hours a day—Rita.
COSBY: You know, Michelle, you just hit it on the head. He served half his sentence. Why was this guy out of jail to begin with?
HOFLAND: You know, that wouldn‘t happen today.
He was sentenced under the old guidelines in Florida, and that allowed for that. However, now, since 1995, they changed the rules, so that a convict must serve 85 percent of his prison term before being even eligible for parole.
COSBY: Michelle, thank you very much.
Well, today, we heard from Tiffany‘s devastated mother, Brenda, about the arrest of Jerry Inman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENDA SOUERS, MOTHER OF TIFFANY SOUERS: We had to have faith in the police that they were going to find this guy. We just have to faith that they will put him away, where he can‘t hurt anybody else. I don‘t think the man deserves to be out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And on the phone with us right now is Jerry Inman‘s attorney, the man you saw on the video earlier, Symmes Culbertson.
Mr. Culbertson, have you talked to your client? And what did he say?
SYMMES CULBERTSON, ATTORNEY FOR JERRY INMAN: Yes, I have talked to my client.
He has not—we have not had any detailed discussions yet about the particular charges that he is facing here in South Carolina. I will tell you that his initial concern when I first talked to him was about his mother and how she was doing and how her health was holding up.
COSBY: And I understand that he said, can you could get ahold of her?
Did you talk to his family, or did he talk to them?
CULBERTSON: He has not talked to his family, at least not today.
I have attempted to contact his family. They have obviously been besieged by reporters and people calling up there. I have left messages to get in contact with them, but I have not yet personally had a chance to talk with any member of his family.
COSBY: You know, authorities are saying that your client confessed to just not the Souers case, but a number of other cases of sexual assault. Did your client confess to you?
CULBERTSON: No, he did not.
COSBY: Does that mean that you are going to contest what he said to authorities or bring in maybe mental illness?
CULBERTSON: As—well, you know, as far as to what he said to authorities, I don‘t know that that rises to the level of confession.
I have not yet seen any of the statements that he supposedly gave to the authorities up in Tennessee. Once I see those statements, I might be in a better position to answer that question. And, as far as your question goes about his mental health or his mental illness, I haven‘t talked to any mental health professionals or any doctors or anybody. I have yet to see a report.
I‘m really not comfortable right now talking about any sort of mental health assessment of my client.
COSBY: You know, because his mother was saying—is quoted in a number of reports saying that she says he is bipolar and suicidal.
And then he also reportedly told the authorities he is—quote—“a sick animal,” you know, making statements to authorities.
Are you going to at least look into that?
CULBERTSON: Oh, absolutely, I‘m going to look into that.
But the—you have to understand that, you know, I‘m fairly recently involved in this case and have yet—none of that information has been provided to me, like it should be. I‘m not faulting the authorities for that yet.
They haven‘t had a chance to get everything together yet to turn over to me.
COSBY: All right, well, Mr. Culbertson, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
And let‘s bring in, if we could, Sheriff David Davenport of Jefferson County, Tennessee. One of his deputies actually arrested Jerry Inman late last night. And also here is Assistant Sheriff Tim Morgan from Pickens County, South Carolina. He oversees the jail where Jerry Inman is being held right now.
Let me start with you.
Sheriff Morgan, what is he doing right now? What‘s his demeanor tonight?
TIM MORGAN, PICKENS COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA, ASSISTANT SHERIFF: He is in an isolated cell. It‘s a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell made out of concrete and steel. He has complied with all our requests so far.
COSBY: Has he said or done anything interesting? What—what has he basically been doing? He got there about 2:30 to your location.
MORGAN: That‘s right. He got here around 2:15 this afternoon. He went through the booking process, through the arraignment hearing, and he has been in his cell since.
COSBY: Sheriff Davenport...
DAVID DAVENPORT, JEFFERSON COUNTY, TEXAS, SHERIFF: Yes.
COSBY: ... how surprised were you that you guys got him so quickly?
I mean, we finished our show and literally within hours, you guys got him. I mean, great work on your part. What were the clues that led to him, and what was your reaction that you nabbed him so quick?
DAVENPORT: Well, we had been in contact with—with South Carolina authorities and TBI agents. And our department went to two residences where this character had been staying.
We put people on both houses. And at about 15 to 12:00 last night, he came driving by his mother‘s house in the vehicle we knew that he was in. The deputy gave chase. Actually, it wasn‘t a chase. He went out and stopped the vehicle in a church yard, about a mile away from the mother‘s house, and apprehended the subject. And...
DAVENPORT: ... he was brought...
COSBY: You know what is amazing, Sheriff? One of the things I heard he said, he didn‘t know that his face was all over television last night, right? What did he say to you guys?
DAVENPORT: No, because we asked him—that was one of the questions that I asked him when I talked to him, is, I said what are you doing back here, after we told him what he was charged with. And he said, I didn‘t know.
And I‘m thankful he didn‘t know, because he told us that had he known he was facing charges in South Carolina, that we wouldn‘t have found him. He would have been gone.
COSBY: You know, he also talked about, you know, sort of sadly, how he picked his victims. Tell us about what he said, in terms of sort of trolling.
DAVENPORT: He—well, of course, he did speak to us. And I‘m not going into any details about what he told investigators.
But he said that he just drove around, and as, you know, a random driving pattern. He took day trips. He described them as day trips. Most of the areas he visited were within two or three hours of where he lived with his parents, mother and step-daddy, in Jefferson County. And, on these trips, he found his victims.
COSBY: And just sort of picked them out randomly, right?
DAVENPORT: Yes. There is no indication whatsoever he knew any of the victims.
COSBY: You know, Sheriff Morgan, is he going to be moved, I understand, maybe to a maximum-security prison?
MORGAN: Well, he is in a—our maximum-security area here.
We will petition the governor and ask him to place him in the South Carolina Department of Corrections. We are well-trained and have facilities that house him here. But with a trial being maybe more than a year away, it would really strain our resources. I think they are better equipped in the long run to handle him.
So, in the next few days, with the governor‘s approval, we hopefully will be moving him to the Department of Corrections.
COSBY: All right.
Well, both of you, thank you very much. Good work on both of your departments. And we thank you both for being here tonight.
And, everybody, we are going to have a lot more on this case right after the break, including outrage that this sexual predator was on the streets in the first place, and a look at the forensics that brought him in.
And that‘s all we have on tap tonight.
COSBY (voice-over): Still ahead, voyeur videos of cheerleaders for sale on the Internet. A perverted film producer got up close and personal with teen girls just by zooming in. You may be disgusted, but, believe it or not, it‘s totally legal. One of the cheerleaders‘ mothers joins me live. It‘s a special investigation.
And wedding crasher Oprah—can you believe she crashed another nuptial? And, this time, we have got the surprising videotape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And what would you do if this big gator was lurking in your backyard? Would you leave it alone or try to get rid of it? The amazing pictures coming up on LIVE & DIRECT.
BETH BATES, ALLEGED ATTEMPTED RAPE VICTIM: I did whatever he told me to. I prayed the whole time. And, you know, I prayed to stay calm, because, I mean, you can‘t hardly help but to get excited—I mean, you know, frantic. I was kind of just ecstatic, just—I don‘t know. The whole time, even after he left, you know, when I called, I was panicking. And, I think, not fighting back may have saved my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Well, we are hearing now that Jerry Inman was preying on other women in the days before Tiffany Souers was raped and murdered.
As you just heard, another of his alleged victims is speaking out today about this man‘s alleged trail of terror. Inman is now being investigated on rape allegations in Tennessee. He also faces four charges for allegedly tying up a woman in Alabama on May 23.
And Inman is accused of killing Tiffany Souers, as you have heard, in her apartment on May 26, three days later.
Live and direct right now is Sheriff Cecil Reed from DeKalb County, Alabama, where that attempted rape is believed to have happened.
Tell us about the new charges. Give us some of the background on the case there.
CECIL REED, DEKALB COUNTY, ALABAMA, SHERIFF: The charges that are pending on him in Alabama...
COSBY: Yes, please.
REED: ... he is charged with burglary—burglary in the first degree, theft of property, an attempted rape, first-degree robbery.
COSBY: And how did he break into, Sheriff, the victim‘s home in Alabama? And what do we know about the background of the case?
REED: He crawled under the house, and cut his way through the floor into the home, where the victim lived.
COSBY: He—explain that again. He—he went through the ground, got through the floor? That‘s quite a lot of work.
REED: It‘s quite a bit of work, but he was there quite a while, I‘m sure.
COSBY: Do you get the sense that he was obviously scoping out this victim there in your state for a long time?
REED: I don‘t think it was probably a long time. But he evidently had cased the house out just the victim, by him picking out—picking out that particular house.
COSBY: And what did he try to assault her? Did he tie her up? What did he do?
REED: Yes, he did. He held a knife to her throat, tied her hands and legs.
COSBY: You know, Sheriff, it‘s interesting, because we are hearing the behavior, that he was sort of apologizing at one point, too?
REED: According to the victim, they had a conversation to that, yes.
COSBY: Yes, explain to me. Tell me a little bit more about what he said, that she claims he said.
REED: Well, he apologized to her for what he had done.
COSBY: And, I mean, in all your years of law enforcement, it‘s a pretty strange thing, someone attempting that and then doing that.
REED: It is. You don‘t hear a lot of that.
COSBY: You know, how was the victim able to identify him?
REED: She gave a good description of him. And we put out a BOLO.
And that‘s what we had to go on.
COSBY: And, of course, that‘s, you know, an all-points bulletin.
But then I understand that there was someone who was actually watching the news last night. Walk us through so finally how did they pinpointed that it was Jerry Inman.
REED: The description of the vehicle and of the suspect had gone out over police radios. She had a friend that had knew the evidence, too. And when she saw it on TV last night, then she contacted our victim. And they contacted my department.
COSBY: Sheriff, thank you very much. Please keep us posted. We appreciate it.
And with us now are two people who know just how dangerous predators like Jerry Inman are. Marc Klaas is the president of BeyondMissing.com. His daughter Polly was kidnapped from her bedroom, raped, and also killed when she was just 12 years old. And we are also joined by Ed Miller of “America Most Wanted,” which has been helping track down predators across the country for a long time.
You know, Mark, how angry are you, you know, as a father and as someone who has been fighting for these causes, when you see that—this guy‘s rap sheet in all these different states?
MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT, BEYOND MISSING: Well, you know, let‘s be very clear on a couple of things here, Rita.
This is the killing season. This is the time, in summer, when all of the kids and the young women are going to be out. They‘re going to be dressed down, and the predators are going to be after them. So, we are going to hear more, instead of less, of this kind of information.
Now, this particular individual was well-qualified for civil commitment in the state of Florida. He is a sexually violent predator. He was convicted of kidnapping and rape in the state of Florida. Yet, inexplicably, they allowed him back onto the street. And the inevitable occurred.
There is no way that this could have been stopped. The guy is operating under irresistible urges, to the point that he even apologizes for the crime that he commits. It‘s outrageous. It has got to be stopped.
And, hopefully, when the Children‘s Safety Act finally gets to the president‘s desk and we start coordinating some of the efforts through this country, we will be able get a handle on exactly who these guys are and keep them away from innocent citizens.
COSBY: You bet.
You know, Ed Miller, what do you think of this and especially—let‘s put up his rap sheet, because, I mean, I‘m astounded what the sheriff just told us from Alabama, and the fact that this guy got out early. We heard he served half his prison time, Ed. Why are they out free?
ED MILLER, “AMERICA‘S MOST WANTED”: Well, actually, Rita, you are absolutely correct. That is the question. Why are they out?
And it is more common than you think. It is actually another little dirty secret that people don‘t like to talk about. But sexual predators gravitate to college towns. It‘s all over the country. These small little towns in the middle of nowhere have a huge number of sexual predators there hanging out, because they have an audience there. They have this built-in subject, exactly what they want.
And, so, you have people that will steal girls‘ underwear. They will collect the lint out of clothes dryers where the girls dry their clothes, all sorts of weird things like that.
There is an almost identical crime to this one that happened in Corvallis, Oregon, Brooke Wilberger, who was kidnapped and murdered—that that case solved by DNA, this case solved by DNA.
But let me just tell you something very shocking. I asked the cop, put in the number of registered sex offenders into the computer in the immediate radius of the college. The computer screen lit up like Radio City Music Hall at Christmastime, a huge number of sex offenders in this small college town.
MILLER: It‘s true all over the country. They gravitate toward these areas because they know these girls are there.
COSBY: You know, and let me put up—you know, Marc, you touched on this guy‘s demeanor, because, according to authorities, they say, when they asked him, why did you do this, he said he‘s a sick animal. So, this guy, self-admittedly, you know, says he has got problems.
As you point out, why isn‘t there a law to keep these guys behind bars? Even John Evander Couey in the Lunsford case, I remember him saying, I‘m a sick man.
They‘re self-admitting it.
COSBY: And we let them go out, Marc?
KLAAS: Well, sure, there are laws.
And I just want to reemphasize the point that Ed just made about these guys being in the college town, because he is absolutely correct about that.
But, you know, right now, we have 16 states that offer some form of civil commitment, which means that if these violent predators are still a threat to society once they have served their terms, they can be maintained in a civil commitment through various types of procedures. And what we need...
COSBY: And, you know, Marc, Marc, why isn‘t that in all states? You say it‘s only in six. Why not in all?
KLAAS: It‘s—actually, it should be in all states.
COSBY: You bet.
KLAAS: And it will be when the Children‘s Safety Act finally gets out of conference and gets on to the president‘s desk, because what that‘s going to do is—is make the states start coordinating the efforts regarding these individuals.
And one of the stipulations on that bill is that the—on that law, is that the states will have to adopt some kind of a civil commitment law if they are going to continue to get certain amounts of federal funding for crime-fighting.
It has already gone through the—it has already gone through the Supreme Court. And the constitutionality of it has been upheld in the Hendricks vs. Kansas case in 1996. And, quite frankly, until that law gets onto the president‘s desk, it‘s going to be an open day for the predators in our society, and we are going to be doing this night after night after night, with our jaws opened, and these horrible, horrible predators.
COSBY: And it is sad, especially when we are hearing today, guys, that he was sort of simply just trolling around, and she just happened to be a target of opportunity. I mean, he admitted that, according to the authorities.
You know, the other thing, Ed, I‘m amazed at the amount of recidivism, particularly with sexual offenders. Both of you guys know this all too well.
But statistics, 40 percent of repeat offenders, sexual offenders, commit new crime within one year of release. Why aren‘t these guys better monitored if they are going to be released? Ed, I mean, this guy, here, you know, he was able to roam freely, leave, go to Tennessee, then goes to Alabama, and then goes to South Carolina, and no one is checking on this guy?
MILLER: Absolutely. You‘re right.
And if—if it wasn‘t so ugly and—and right in front of your face, you would say, no, that‘s something out of the movies. No, it‘s not out of the movies. It happens every day. And you‘re seeing it right in front of you.
There was a—again, to go back to the Brooke Wilberger case in Corvallis, Oregon, there was a number of sex offenders, one of them who became the prime suspect for a moment. It was right out of “Silence of the Lambs.” He had chained a college girl in the basement. She was living there as his prisoner, a slave.
She somehow managed to escape. He went away to prison for a while and came back. And, sure enough, a few years later, there he is again. He is in the same town. He‘s out trolling the streets for the same college girls that he once had—had...
COSBY: It‘s disgusting.
COSBY: You know, Marc, what is it?
You know, these guys, you can tell, they just cannot help themselves. And the guy even said, if—look, if I knew you were looking for me in this case of Inman, he said, I would have been on the run. But I didn‘t know. So, he‘s hanging out at his parents‘ house.
KLAAS: Never in the history of the world has a predator or a—I‘m sorry. Never in the history of the world has a psychopath or a pedophile been cured. It‘s never happened. And it‘s not going to happen.
There‘s no way to stop these guys, once they get their eye on a target. Very few women or children are able to protect themselves against a determined predator. So, it then becomes up to society to do certain things, number one, put them where they can never get their hands on people again, or, if they choose to put them back into society, give law enforcement better tools to be able to track and monitor them, including strengthening the laws for failure to comply with the—for failure to comply with the—with the registry laws.
And also the tracking devices that are being put out there by the GPS companies now, they have proven to be effective. They have used them to actually solve cases. They have used them to put people back in when they cut them off. They are—they‘re quite effective.
COSBY: You bet.
Guys, thank you both very much.
COSBY: And there is no doubt that DNA will be critical to this case.
Let us bring in Dr. Larry Kobilinsky, who is a professor of forensic science at John Jay College in New York.
You know, Dr. Kobilinsky, you got the guy, apparently, you know, according to authorities, saying, you know, how he picked out Tiffany Souers and others, confessing. You got DNA matches in the apartment. Does this look like a very strong case to you?
DR. LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: I think it is a very strong case.
And I think, once again, DNA makes the difference to the outcome. I think we have to commend the crime scene investigators that collected this biological evidence and the laboratory analysts who tested it. But, most importantly, it is the national DNA database that helps to identify these professional criminals that...
COSBY: But don‘t you think—don‘t you think, Dr. Kobilinsky, this guy was not so slick, because, I mean, he was hanging out at his parents‘ house, committing other crimes. It sounds to me like he was kind of sloppy, don‘t you think?
KOBILINSKY: Well, I do.
But, I mean, when I say professional criminals, this guys has a rap sheet longer than, you know, our arms put together. But the point is, is, they make mistakes.
KOBILINSKY: They leave parts of themselves behind at crime scenes.
And this national database now has three million people named on that database, with 80,000 new names every month. The bigger the database gets, the better it is at catching these serial killers that cross state lines to plunder, to rape, to murder. And I think that DNA, once again, is the hero in this case.
COSBY: You know, we hear from the attorney that he has just talked to him for a few minutes. He didn‘t say, you know, the mental case or not.
But we know the mother is going and saying that the boy is—you know, her son is suicidal. Her—you know, this man is also bipolar. If now he is locked into the confession and say he goes for the mental, you know, illness defense, how critical is it—is it going to be?
And, also, if he says, look, not guilty, period, this guy is being framed, how critical is it going to be, that DNA, particularly. Say they try to throw out the admission, they still have the DNA, right?
KOBILINSKY: Well, absolutely.
In fact, I think DNA trumps everything.
COSBY: I agree.
KOBILINSKY: I mean, there are other forms of evidence.
But if you have got a DNA profile that matches, they have got a rape kit. They‘re indicating that there was a rape. That means they have semen, they have evidence. There is no way he is walking out of this with an insanity plea.
COSBY: All right. Thank you very much. Dr. Kobilinsky, thank you...
COSBY: ... as always, for putting in perspective.
And still ahead, everybody, we are going to talk about Oprah. Oprah Winfrey has crashed another wedding. For the first time, you will see the video and hear from the stunned man who saw the whole thing.
And next: high school cheerleaders caught up in a perverted video. Believe it or not, they had no idea they were being filmed until the tapes went up for sale on the Internet. But now it‘s all exposed in our special investigation. That‘s coming up next.
COSBY: Underage girls are being exposed to dangerous online predators simply by showing up to cheer for their school‘s football team. NBC news has uncovered a twisted Internet operation filming high school cheerleaders without their knowledge. The suggestive tapes are being sold on-line where anyone including sex offenders can buy them. KNBC‘s investigative reporter Anna Garcia joins us now live with the shocking story, Ana.
ANA GARCIA, KNBC INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: As part of our exclusive investigation, we have uncovered at least five high schools here in California where the cheerleaders were unknowing targeted for a series of videotapes that some school officials are calling soft porn.
GARCIA (voice-over): He goes unnoticed sitting in the stands with a video camera among the family and friends of the local high school football team, the band and the cheerleaders. But he, or maybe she, is taping just one thing, the cheerleaders, focusing on their mouths, breasts and crotches, freezing shots under their skirts during kicks or splits.
Tapes sold on eBay of hot cheerleader videos going for upwards of $70 each.
CHRISTINE THOMPSON, CHEERLEADER: I think they‘re sick and there is definitely something wrong with them.
GARCIA: The Thompson family of Oxnard is seeing it for the first time.
You can feel the discomfort in the room and see it on their faces, because for the first time, they are seeing their child through the eyes of someone else.
BETH THOMPSON, MOTHER: I don‘t want that out on the Internet. That‘s my daughter. This is really upsetting.
GARCIA: Christina is a varsity cheerleader at Rio Mesa High School.
C. THOMPSON: I think it‘s embarrassing. They can see your face and if they really wanted to find you, it‘s not that hard.
GARCIA: “They” would be the 600 plus happy buyers who have left positive feedback for the seller, “Cheergirls.” The tape we have is one of 20 advertised. This one features cheerleaders from high schools in and around Santa Barbara: Rio Mesa, Dos Pueblos, Bishop Garcia Diego and Carpenteria.
SUPERINTENDENT PAUL CORDERO, CARPENTERIA, CA SCHOOL DISTRICT: This is the first that this has been brought to my attention.
GARCIA: Paul Cordero is the superintendent of the Carpenteria School District whose warriors are prominently featured.
CORDERO: It is obviously exploitative. I would consider it predatory.
GARCIA (on camera): Do you think this tape crosses the line?
(voice-over): We asked Los Angeles sex crimes prosecutor Deborah Sanchez to examine the tape.
DEBORAH SANCHEZ, PROSECUTOR: I would consider this tape in the category of child erotica or child pornography.
GARCIA: But Sanchez cautions—
SANCHEZ: Whether or not there would be enough evidence or prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt is a different standard.
GARCIA: When the seller discovered a producer from Channel Four News placed the winning bid and paid for the video, the seller posted this, “Don‘t trust this Hollywood producer type,” and refused to send us the tape. We eventually obtained one.
(on camera): We traced the return address to this post office, not far from where the girl‘s go to school and live.
(voice-over): The seller, according to this email from Cheergirls, is Kathleen Arredondo, but the return address and P.O. Box is listed to Eric Arredondo, who we found at this home in Galita. That‘s where we turn the cameras on him. We saw him carrying shipping boxes like the ones sent to us. Then our cameras followed him to this post office, where we saw another similar looking box being mailed to Arkansas. But it wasn‘t until Cheergirls sent us this e-mail that we were sure of a link.
Cheergirls writes, “I can do a way better job of filming someone without them knowing. I spotted him right away in the post office. He is lucky I didn‘t call the cops.”
That‘s the last time we heard from Eric Arradondo. We tried phoning, writing and paid him a visit. But there was no sign of him.
B. THOMPSON: I certainly hope law enforcement takes care of it.
GARCIA: So we asked the Santa Barbara sheriff‘s office to look at the
tape. After watching for two hours -
SGT. FRICK BANEY, SANTA BARBARA SHERIFF‘S DEPARTMENT: People may have their own opinions about it and whether they like it or not, the bottom line is from the law enforcement standpoint, there is nothing that breaks any threshold of any crimes.
Robert Thompson is worried about what someone who bought the tape might do.
ROBERT THOMPSON, FATHER: Are they going to try to make contact with my daughter and her friends.
GARCIA: That is exactly what Marc Klaas is worried about. He became an advocate for children‘s safety after his daughter Polly was kidnaped and murdered by a child sex predator more than 10 years ago in Northern California.
KLASS: You can easily find out what school these kids are going to. And it‘s a short step from there to identify the individuals themselves and then working out whatever fantasies one might have concerning cheerleaders.
GARCIA: If the sheriff won‘t investigate, Rio Mesa High says they are exploring all legal avenues to protect our students and put an end to this illegal activity.
C. THOMPSON: I wouldn‘t feel comfortable going out onto the football field in my uniform again.
GARCIA: That leaves this family with very little to cheer about.
Since our investigation aired here in Los Angeles, there have been some developments. EBay has pulled all the advertisements and the photos of the young girls and the Oxnard School District has filed a lawsuit to stop these tapes from hitting the market. Rita.
COSBY: Ana, are there other cases like this around the country?
GARCIA: Certainly here in California, very close right here in Los Angeles, we had a case in Griffith Park, where they have a pony ride for little kids, the LAPD Sex Exploitation Unit arrested a man who was taking pictures of little girls, close ups of their tushies on the ponies and that person was arrested and charged with child exploitation, sex exploitation and child annoyance.
It‘s a case very similar to this, because the children were fully clothed.
COSBY: Really interesting reporting. Good work. And when we come back, we‘re going to talk to a mother whose daughter was one of those cheerleaders, who was videotaped and exposed. It is sick video, but it‘s legal. So what can a mother do? And more of the Oprah Winfrey wedding crashing. Imagine the daytime dive catching your wedding bouquet. Oprah in action. That‘s next.
COSBY: Cheerleaders caught on tape in a perverted video in broad daylight. An outraged mother tells me how she‘s now taken action.
COSBY: And more now of our disturbing report, suggestive videos of underaged cheerleaders being sold on-line without their knowledge. With us now on the phone is Karla Armenzedariz, she is the mother of one of the cheerleaders who was videotaped and we are also joined by Marc Klaas who fights every day against sexual predators. As a mother, how angry are you that your daughter is being exploited this way?
KARLA ARMENZEDARIZ, MOTHER OF CHEERLEADER: I am furious about this. I couldn‘t believe it. I think it is so scary that people are out there buying this and I don‘t know who has these videos with my daughter and her friends on her cheerleading squad and what type of people have bought these.
COSBY: Are you worried that a sexual predator or someone with lascivious intentions is looking at this video?
ARMENZEDARIZ: Absolutely. A lot of these girls are 15, 16 years old.
Who else would want a tape like that? It‘s very scary.
COSBY: Mark, is this something on the same line that could trigger someone, like a Jerry Inman in the case of Tiffany Souers, these sexual folks who look over and over again at videos and ultimately act something out?
KLAAS: He could do his trolling from home. What I would suggest to Karla and the parents of these children, now that they know who this individual is that has been filming them, I would think some of the dads could take some kind of an action against him. Maybe they could start hanging around at his place of employment, his home and start videotaping his stuff and putting that on the Internet and not selling it, but giving it away.
Sometimes we have to fight back as citizens and put a stop to this kind of activity. And this is a perfect example of when that can be done, since the police are saying that no laws have been broken.
COSBY: This is from the prosecutor, again, he says, there is nothing they can do. This is the prosecutor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: I would consider this tape in the category of child erotica or pornography. Now whether or not there would be enough evidence or could we prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, it‘s a different standard.
COSBY: That was the female prosecutor in the case. What can you do, Karla? Have you thought about any kind of action to fight back?
ARMENZEDARIZ: Yes, I have. I tried to figure out what we could do. I talked to a lady at the FBI, and what she suggested was just trying to get state legislation to make this illegal.
COSBY: Have you been thought about following the guy, the guy suddenly disappeared when the great reporter was knocking on his door. Are you trying to track him down?
ARMENZEDARIZ: We have talked about it. We thought about passing out fliers in his neighborhood.
COSBY: What do you think about that, Mark?
ARMENZEDARIZ: I think that‘s a great idea. You have to engage in civil disobedience and you have to fight back against these type of guys. I think putting his information up on the Internet, I think of hassling him at his job, finding out what his phone numbers and his cell numbers are and putting the wrap on this punk, because he deserves it quite frankly. He is endangering their children and he has no right to do that.
COSBY: See how he feels. Karla, how does your daughter feel about this?
ARMENZEDARIZ: She is very embarrassed. She thinks it‘s really creepy and that she is definitely going to be self conscious when she‘s out there cheering.
COSBY: Karla, thank you. If you put out those fliers, we will cover it and we will be there with our cameras. Thank you very much. And Mark, good to have you with us tonight.
There is a lot more coming up here on MSNBC tonight. Let‘s check in with Tucker Carlson with a preview of the “THE SITUATION.”
Tucker, what do you have?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”: Rita Cosby, well, we had Ann Coulter on last night, our e-mail box brimming with outraged comments, Mrs. Clinton, while she didn‘t exactly write our show, among those mad.
The question tonight is, will all this controversy help sell the book?
It‘s an open question.
Plus, “Pee-wee‘s Playhouse” is back. Paul Reubens is back on television, the great Pee-wee Herman. What does it mean for America? We will tell you.
COSBY: Well, we will have to tune in for that.
COSBY: And, speaking of TV, still ahead, Oprah Winfrey, the wedding crasher, why did she barge in on another wedding? You will see the actual video and meet a stunned witness. Coming up, it‘s tonight “Celebrity Dish.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEATHER KLEIN, OPRAH CRASHED HER WEDDING: And we saw bright lights
coming. And she just walks in and—and came right to us, and said,
congratulations, Ben and Heather, and gave us a little toast. And it was -
it was great.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Well, it may have been a great time, but Heather and Ben Klein had an uninvited and very surprising guest at their wedding, talk show host Oprah Winfrey. She crashed the newlyweds‘ reception in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a camera crew and her friend Gayle King in tow.
Tonight, we are giving you our first look inside the party, especially after Oprah surprised the very happy couple. We have obtained the actual videotape of Oprah being there. You can see it there, the first time we are showing it.
Live and direct tonight is the man who actually shot that video, Jim Mixon.
Jim, what was your reaction when you saw Oprah walk in, and you are filming all this?
JIM MIXON, VIDEOTAPED WEDDING CRASHED BY OPRAH: Well, first, Rita, I want to thank you for referring to me as a young man. I haven‘t heard that in a good many years.
COSBY: There you go. You owe me big bucks for saying that, OK?
MIXON: When I saw her and the film crew coming in, I thought it was somebody from a local station, or perhaps the bride‘s parents or groom‘s parents had set up as a surprise.
And then I saw it was Oprah. And I realized that nobody in the entire room would have had enough clout to bring this off. And, so, I just started filming what was going on and—and waited to see what would happen.
We had—the local TV station, one of the local stations, was going to—as soon as they got wind of it, they tried to come up and film it themselves. But, as I understand from what they told me, Oprah was just getting on the elevator to leave, and the door had closed just as the local TV crew was just getting off their elevator to come on. So, they literally missed her by just a couple of seconds.
COSBY: Wow. So, you—so, you got, basically, the only video, sort of outside of her crew‘s.
COSBY: What was going on through your mind as you‘re filming this, saying, you know, look, here, I film all these different weddings, but, suddenly, Oprah walks in, Jim?
MIXON: Well, we never had anybody—the first—the closest I have ever had to having a celebrity is, one of my customers once told me that they were going to have Garth Brooks singing at their wedding, but that didn‘t come off. So, this definitely tops everything.
COSBY: I bet. I don‘t know how you would top that one.
In fact, this is how Oprah explained how she and her friend Gayle ended up at this particular wedding. Let‘s listen to Oprah real quick.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, HOST, “THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW”: ... went online and researched. And we went to Dillard‘s today. And we went (INAUDIBLE)
WINFREY: Dillard‘s. And (INAUDIBLE) it was Gayle‘s idea that we should crash a wedding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: She said she went to Dillard‘s, a department store. That‘s where they registered, the couple. She did the research, and that it was, again, Gayle‘s idea to crash the wedding, her pal.
How excited, you know, were the couple? And what was the—what was the couple‘s reaction, Jim?
MIXON: I could see they were completely surprised.
In fact, everybody who I thought may have planned it was surprised. After about a minute, the entire room just erupted in pandemonium, as soon as people realized that Oprah was actually in the room, same room with them. And they just crowded around so close. And there was hardly a breathing space, you could tell from the video I was shooting.
There was hundreds of people right behind me. As soon as I told my friends later on, and they started to believe me...
MIXON: ... some of them were actually asking me—quite a few were asking if I had managed to get her autograph, which—and one person asked if they could get my autograph, just because I was in the same room with Oprah.
COSBY: And let me play—this is the little clip of the couple.
They were last night on “COUNTDOWN.” Here‘s what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “COUNTDOWN”)
KLEIN: Now that I can entertain and say hey, these dishes are from Oprah. Not everybody can say that. And they—they are very gorgeous. So, hey, any young couple these needs—needs a great set of dishes. And Oprah did just that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: Explaining their wedding gift.
You know, Jim, how long did Oprah stay? And how are you going to remember that night?
MIXON: Well, she stayed about 10 minutes. But I am going to remember it a lot longer than that. For the entire week, I have been getting swamped with calls from people and publications all over the country, wanting what was apparently the only videotape in existence of this, including, as you know, Eric (ph) calling me.
COSBY: Yes, our producer.
You know, I think you have got the hottest tape in the country. You realize that, huh?
MIXON: And it‘s really been good for conversation with my friends, because, you know, someone can come up to you and say, what did you do yesterday? And you just say, oh, I just went to work, came home, had supper, go to bed. And now I could say, I went into work, ran into Oprah, came home, had supper.
COSBY: Good for you.
Well, Jim, we thank you so much for sharing this tape with us.
MIXON: Thank you.
COSBY: And good work.
COSBY: Thank you very much, young man. We appreciate it.
COSBY: Thanks so much.
And we want to hear what is going on, because we know that Oprah has been going around the country. She has been crashing all these different weddings. If you‘re one of the lucky ones, let us know. E-mail us at Rita@MSNBC.com—again, Rita@MSNBC.com. We will share your stories and your pictures right here on the air.
And, also, go to our Web site right now, Rita.MSNBC.com—
Rita.MSNBC.com. You can see that‘s my interview that I did last night with parents of an Oklahoma newlywed couple who were also surprised by an Oprah visit. You have got to go on the blog and take a look at that. We‘re going to also do a little blog, probably, tomorrow on it.
But make sure you send us some stuff if you get a surprise visit, like Jim did, and others, from Oprah.
And still ahead everybody, wait until you hear what this massive reptile was doing when he was caught in the act. It‘s “Caught By Cosby,” and coming up.
COSBY: Residents in Davie, Florida, are feeling much safer tonight, after a dangerous creature was caught lurking in the neighborhood. And it‘s also “Caught By Cosby.”
This comes only weeks after three women were killed in separate gator attacks across the state of Florida.
Hetal Gandhi of WTVJ has a lot more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, and thank God we saw him and we saw him in time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are going to have birds, you need to be kind of—and ducks like that, you need to kind of keep them in a secluded pen somehow, you know, but you are—you are drawing attention to, you know, an animal such as that one there. You know, and now—and now he has just gotten a little bit aggressive because of the bird situation. And he‘s getting a little too close for comfort.
HETAL GANDHI, WTVJ REPORTER (voice-over): This gator wasn‘t afraid to get close to land, even close to these geese, and, even worse, close to people. It‘s one of the reasons they finally had to trap the animal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It‘s a normal alligator. This location where he was at, a lot of weeds, vegetation.
This gator is over the size limit, so, unfortunately, he will be taken to a processing plant, where he will be processed for a product, such as meat.
BETTY GONZALEZ, RESIDENT OF FLORIDA: It‘s better him than a human being. And other—you know, if they would kill him, I don‘t know, but they should put him someplace else that is not near any people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just that you can‘t relocate him, because a gator this size will come back eventually. He has probably been used to the food source in here. And they find their way back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSBY: And that was Hetal Gandhi of WTVJ.
That does it for me.
Let‘s now go to Tucker.
CARLSON: Why, thank you, Rita.
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