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'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for July 5

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guests: Judy Villa, Sgt. Andy Hill, Vito Colucci, Pat Brown, Tonya Smith-King, Jayne Weintraub, Adriana Gardella, Frank Griffin, Cheryl Kagan, James Edstrom, David Hans Schmidt, Jay Gray

RITA COSBY, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Thanks so much Joe and good evening everybody.  Tonight there is a search for not one but two convicts who managed to get themselves out of prison and into a middle of a three state man hunt.  Wait till you hear how they escaped.  Plus, a celebrity photographer claims he barely survived a surprise closeup with actor Woody Harrelson and the dramatic encounter is all caught on tape. 

But we begin tonight with a massive man hunt for a suspected rapist and killer in Arizona.  Police are searching for the man they believe is behind 19 attacks, including five brutal murders.  You are looking at a sketch of the so-called baseline rapist who struck for the first time last August.  Again, 19 attacks.  The latest victim was killed late last week.  With me now with all the details is senior criminal justice reporter with the “Arizona Republic” newspaper, Judy Villa.  What is this suspects MO, who are his victims? 

JUDY VILLA, THE “ARIZONA REPUBLIC”:  His victims are very random.  They range from, his homicide victims have ranged from people who are on the way home from work to the last one was at a car wash.  Another woman was snatched in broad daylight from a bus stop.  They are really all over the map.  There‘s not really any pattern to the victims.  Some have been alone, some have not.  One of the victims was male, the rest were female.   So it‘s really all over the board. 

COSBY:  Is there an age range? 

VILLA:  Not particularly.  It‘s all over the board.  There is really no set pattern to the victims.  There is no link between them.  It makes the more scary for people who live here in Phoenix, because outside of the attacks being in two specific areas, there‘s really not a whole lot in common. 

COSBY:  You talked about this attack at a car wash.  Give us some of the details on how that happened.  Apparently, he had some communication with the person but also surprised the victim. 

VILLA:  She was washing her car.  Some of the attack was caught on the surveillance camera but very grainy images that they got of the alleged attacker, but he basically came up and snatched her.  It was a quick attack on her.  And police do believe that this suspect is watching the area right before the attacks, but strikes very quickly and he has instilled a lot of fear in the community. 

COSBY:  Any witnesses?  This particular car wash, there‘s a dance club across the street, there are motorists and it‘s a busy road. 

VILLA:  No witnesses that have come forward at this point.  Apparently, he has been able to instigate all of his attacks without anybody knowing who he is.  There is the grainy surveillance image from the car wash, and the composite sketch, but really not a lot to go on. 

COSBY:  We were looking at the surveillance video and it is grainy and can‘t see too much.  You see a hat and that was put in the sketch.  How frightened is the community with this guy still at large, 19 attacks, five murders, too? 

VILLA:  There is a lot of fear in the community, because the attacks are so very random.  There doesn‘t appear to be a link between them.  Some of the victims have been with other people when they were attacked.  Five of the last six attacks have been, have ended up in murders.  So he is very brutal and you know, started out with rapes.  There were some robberies in there.  And now we are seeing homicides.  So there is a lot of fear in the community. 

COSBY:  Alright Judy, please keep us posted.  Let‘s hope they get this guy soon.  And let me bring in Sergeant Andy Hill.  He‘s with the Phoenix Police Department.  What are you doing to catch this guy at this moment? 

SGT ANDY HILL, PHOENIX POLICE DEPARTMENT:  We have had a command center set up for a couple of months.  We have dozens of detectives working on this case as well as numerous other personnel.  One of the things we have been embarking on is to make sure the public understands that we need them to call us with suspicious activity.  We don‘t want there to be another victim if at all possible.  We are encouraging people if they see something suspicious in their neighborhood or out and about that is isolated, not to have a confrontation with anybody that starts to approach them that they don‘t know.  To lock your car doors or hit your car horn or get back into the business.  Get to a safe spot, call 911 right away and let the police officers check it out. 

COSBY:  Sargent, why do you believe al these attacks are connected? 

Is it physical evidence?  What is tying all 19 attacks? 

HILL:  They began with attacks that did not have any forensic ties, but by method of operation.  Information that we are holding on to really unless it helps us to protect the public or get some information that might help us catch him.  The homicides, all five of the homicides are connected forensically, we have evidence that ties him to those.  We are not revealing those at this point because it is pertinent to the case.  And it will be valuable to us later on.  At this point, we have 19 incidents, five of which are homicides and five of those 19 are connected. 

COSBY:  And give everybody a sense for the folks who are not in Phoenix, why is he being called the baseline rapist for the geography reason? 

HILL:  Well, initially the media began to use that term.  The initial incidents that occurred were along an eight mile stretch in south west and south east Phoenix, along what‘s called baseline road.  And the most recent ones have moved over to a different part of town in central and central east Phoenix.  And so that acronym isn‘t appropriate at that point, but that‘s the way it started. 

COSBY:  Why has he not been able to be caught, 19 attacks?  Why is this guy still on the loose?

HILL:  Well, you have to remember, serial killers, many of them go un-apprehended for many years.  This has been about 11 months now.  We are confident we will catch him.  We have a great police department that has a lot of community confidence.  Obviously there is some fear there that we want to allay by encouraging people to call us and be cautious and careful. 

COSBY:  He has some sort of confrontation with his victims.  He had a confrontation at the car wash.  Does that seem to be consistent? 

HILL:  There appears to be consistency in the fact that this subject in not stalking victims but the subject is out there and wandering and locating areas and before he does strike, oftentimes he has tried to strike up a conversation or made a comment and initiated something verbally and came back with a quick attack. 

COSBY:  What do you want to say to the public who‘s listening tonight? 

HILL:  Surely, someone has a piece of information that they have not come forward with.  Police officers enjoy going to calls before something happens.  They want to be proactive rather than reactive.  If someone has information and calls us with suspicious activity, the officers want to go and respond, even if it turns out not to be significant, don‘t hold back the information just cause you‘re not sure if it will be pertinent.  Please call 911. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  The number is there for the Phoenix Police Department.  Sergeant, wish you a lot of luck in getting this guy, thank you. 

And everybody, how do you go about catching this rapist and killer?  Joining me now live is criminal profiler Frank Brown and also private investigator Vito Colucci.  Vito how do you get this guy?  What do you see as the lock and a way to tie this guy in? 

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR:  You have a distinguishable sketch here Rita.  Now obviously that could be a wig and a he‘s wearing a hat.  But like the Sergeant says, you need the public‘s help, because this guy has gone to fast food restaurants, bus stops, car washes, a lot of them in the middle of the day.  This guy is an opportunist and he‘s a killer and he‘s as mean and nasty as they come.  You need the public to say, I think that looks like my cousin, I think that looks like my next door neighbor, pick up the phone and make that call. 

Like the sergeant says, this is a big good police department out in Phoenix.  They want to investigate.  They want every tip that they can make.  This guy has been averaging two a month, 19 for almost 10 months.  This is the type of case where a rookie cop on routine patrol can solve it. 

So, you know, you need some luck on this Rita.

COSBY:  Just like Eric Robert Rudolph (ph), there is sort of a picking stuff out of the garbage cans.  I remember, the big bomber tied to the Olympic Park bombing, rookie cop finds him.  You know, Pat, the other thing, he changes appearances, we have seen him there with the long hair.  But I was looking at one of the sketches, he had a big Afro.  There is another sketch that another person said, totally different look.  Typical, right, that these guys change their appearances. 

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER:  A lot of them don‘t bother, because they don‘t think they will be spotted. 

COSBY:  What does it say about this guy? 

BROWN:  We have to look at the total picture of this guy.  He is an opportunist.  He‘s an anger retaliatory type of rapist, serial killer.  That means he is not clever with ruses.  He looks for windows of opportunity, which is why he strikes up a conversation and while he is doing that if he looks around and sees nobody is around or paying attention and then he grabs the person and that‘s the end of it all.  He has a very short fuse.  A type of guy who doesn‘t do in life.  He‘s obviously a local.  He has been around that area.  And it‘s also very curious, they say about the daytime stuff, but most of his stuff is between 8:00 PM and Midnight.  So I‘m wondering does he have someplace he has to be back at 12:00 p.m. 

Does he have to be back at a halfway house?  Does he have to be at a job? 

Is he a security guard from midnight to 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning.  What is keeping him from doing anything later at night?  What the public needs to know, I would love it if the police would put out an actual map showing the location so they can see it.  Because I went on the website and just had the information listed, very confusing.  I would like to see a map.  Look for, do you know a psychopathic guy, a guy who‘s a lying dog, a guy who‘s committed a lot, I think this guy is the criminal justice system already, I don‘t believe he‘s new at this, guy‘s done a lot of crap crimes. 

COSBY:  In fact, Pat, we‘re putting a map, because we put ourselves—we got creative and we put a map together of all the locations, putting it up there for that exact reason. 

BROWN:  Oh, good.  Fantastic, Rita.

COSBY:  Guys also, what I think is important—there was that break.  Let‘s put up the dates, because as Vito hit on, 19 attacks, last ones were homicides.  If you look at the dates of when these happened, they started in August.  There is a big break though from December ‘05, which was the first homicide, to March ‘06, three more homicides then.  Vito, what do you make of that?  Do you make that—in the BTK case, Dennis Reeter (ph) relocated for work.

COLUCCI:  Yes, this guy‘s getting more vicious and that‘s the danger with this case, Rita.  As you know, there‘s three homicides in March alone with that coming of that break.  So the public has to be careful. 

COSBY:  Why do you think a break, Vito?  Why do you think a break?

COLUCCI:  Could be many different reasons.  The guy could be in jail for 60 days.  We don‘t know.  It could be a host of reasons.  But once he came back in March, three homicides.  I‘m quite curious why there couldn‘t be any more surveillance videos, since a lot of these—all we have is one grainy one, which is better than nothing, of course, Rita.

But I‘m surprised with the bus stops and the different areas, maybe surveillance cameras in apartment buildings and businesses that nothing else has popped up.  I‘m also wondering how long it took the police department, this is not a knock against them, they‘re a fine police department...

COSBY:  To put it all together.

COLUCCI:  To notify the public that they‘re dealing with maybe one individual here. 

COSBY:  And Pat, is there a possibility that more people could be involved than just this one guy?

BROWN:  Well, there was that one case where they said—this woman said two people approached here.  It‘s possible he had a buddy hanging around with him that day.  But he‘s probably not going to give up much information, so I think we‘re looking at—basically we are looking at one guy who is out there.  And you‘re talking about the down time.  That could have been—yes, it‘s true, Vito is right, he could have been in prison. 

It could have been he got a job that messed up his schedule or he got involved in something that he thought, well all right, now everything is going OK and then after three months he lost his job again and said, oh crap, you know, I‘m back to my normal, rotten life. 

This is what usually set these guys off.  But this guy has gone into homicide, which means he‘s decided living witnesses are not a good thing.  Let‘s get rid of them, so he‘s become more and more dangerous.  But you know, suspicious activities, unlikely to be found because by the time you realize it‘s suspicious, you‘re dead.

So it‘s really important for the public to look around to see if their cousin is—cousin is the guy that could be doing it, their next door neighbor could be doing it.  Who is this psychopathic creature who has something to do at midnight?

COSBY:  Very good points.  And both of you, I understand Sergeant Hill is still with us with the Phoenix Police Department.  Sergeant Hill, I understand you want to make a comment.

HILL:  Yes Rita, thanks for your time.  I just want—a couple of things.  One is we went out to the public almost immediately after several sexual assaults took place last year, primarily because even though we couldn‘t connect these things forensically, based on M.O., we felt the public had a right to know. 

We also did put out a map a few months ago and we have been very diligent in going to the business community, going out into the neighborhoods and we will be having more or larger meetings in terms of having businesses check their video cameras and things like that to make sure we get the best possible information.  So we really have been doing the best we can in this process, but we have not caught the suspect.

COSBY:  And we will do whatever we can to help you sir, too.  Thank you very much for being with us.  And everybody, again, if you have any information, call 911 or the Phoenix Police Department.  And everybody, still ahead, as you show the number of the Phoenix Police Department, we are tracking an all-points bulletin for two daring prison escapees.  How did they get out? 

Plus an international check cashing scheme, did that drive this woman to murder her husband or was self defense?  Dramatic new details in the case of a preacher, killed apparently by his own wife.  And dramatic video of a paparazzi photographer who got a closeup of actor Woody Harrelson that he was not expecting.  Are these celebrity photographers going too far or the actors going way too far?  That‘s coming up on LIVE & DIRECT.


COSBY:  Police say she killed her husband and prosecutors argue it was all about the money.  Mary Winkler faces a first degree murder charge for shooting her pastor husband Matthew back in March.  But now, her attorney says Winkler and her late husband were simply victims of a check scam.  Prosecutors disagree.  They claim Winkler moved thousands of dollars in the days before her husband‘s killing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  what did your investigation reveal on bank records on Mr. and/or Ms. Winkler that raised a red flag to you regarding some financial irregularities?

BRIAN BOOTH, TENNESSEE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION:  Checks being deposited into accounts in Canada, Nigeria in excess, total excess, $17,500.


COSBY:  Hm, $17,500.  And here us tonight with the very latest is reporter Tonya Smith-King with the “Jackson Sun” newspaper.  Tonya, at $17,500, how many days before the killing?

TONYA SMITH-KING, REPORTER, THE JACKSON SUN:  Well from what I understand, it was the day before. 

COSBY:  The day before?


COSBY:  And explain how she did this.

SMITH-KING:  Well let me—I could tell you exactly what was said.

COSBY:  Just real brief in general terms just to explain to our viewers, because the whole issue of check kiting is an interesting aspect.

SMITH-KING:  Well the it was described in court by the TBI special agent, he described it as a check is written on one bank, deposited into another account at another bank and then withdrawing funds from the bank where the check was deposited before it cleared the bank it was written on.

COSBY:  Now Mary Winkler‘s attorney is saying that the reverend, Matthew Winkler, her husband, knew about the check scam, is that right?

SMITH-KING:  Well, he seemed to insinuate that, I‘m not sure.  He said they.  He asked me if I meant they when I asked him the other day about why she would be so desperate for money, that she would deposit two fraudulent checks.  And he asked me if I didn‘t mean they.  And he went on to say that he knew who all knew about it.  So he seemed to be insinuating that maybe he did.

COSBY:  And he also said that Mary, he also said that nothing went on in that Winkler home without Matthew Winkler knowing about it.  Did it sound like this was a husband who knew every aspects of his wife‘s life, including finances?

SMITH-KING:  Say that again, please, I‘m sorry.

COSBY:  It sounds like nothing went on in that house without him knowing about it, without the husband knowing about it, so he‘s clearly insinuating that the husband knew about the check scheme?

SMITH-KING:  Yes, that‘s what I gathered.

COSBY:  How do you think that‘s going to play in the defense side?  It sounds like they‘re saying that there‘s a victim—that they were both victims of this scheme, in some bizarre way.


COSBY:  And how are they making that out? How are they saying they were both victims when she cashed these checks? 

SMITH-KING:  I‘m not sure.  That will be interesting to see when the trial starts October 30. 

COSBY:  Well, it is going to be fascinating.  We have wondered what is going to be the defense in this case.  Tanya, please keep us posted.  How could this check writing scam play into the defense‘s case?  LIVE AND DIRECT right now a defense attorney Jayne Weintraub and former prosecutor Adriana Gardella.  Jamie, it‘s interesting because the defense brought up that the husband knew about the check scam and they were both were victims, how does that work for the defense? 

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Regardless if she were the victim or the perpetrator, this isn‘t a fraud case, but a murder case.  This is not the motive for a killing.  Remember, she gave a full statement.  She has already given an admission to the police and of course, I don‘t have the benefit of having spoken to the client, but from the public record, what we do know is that something snapped.  She remembers things up until and right before the shooting.  She tells the police she doesn‘t remember the actual shooting, yet it seems obvious that she knows that she did it.  She just doesn‘t remember it.  Something is wrong here.  She needs to be psychiatrically evaluated.  Something went wrong.  It has nothing to do with the check writing.

COSBY:  I agree.  This is exactly, this is the special agent recounting what Mary Winkler said about the night she and her husband fought.  These are Mary Winkler‘s own words.  And she says I was upset with him because he had been on me that morning, criticizing me trying from the way I eat everything, it was building up until this point, I was tired and as Jayne just said, I just snapped.  Here it is.  Is this the audio? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was just building up to this point.  I was just tired of it.  I guess I just got to a point and snapped. 


COSBY:  And there it is, these are her own words.  Adriana, how does that mix with check kiting, with the check scam? 

ADRIANA GARDELLA, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  I have to agree with Jayne, I think the whole check kiting thing seems to be a red herring.  We are not hearing she was financially distraught that she was planning to shoot him to recover a life insurance policy, I mean to me it‘s like apples and oranges.  I don‘t see the connection and the prosecutors have plenty of evidence without using this as a motive. 

WEINTRAUB:  They don‘t have pre-meditation, that‘s for sure.  

COSBY:  That‘s what I want to ask.  Do they have pre-mediation, you don‘t think so Jayne, why? 

WEINTRAUB:  I don‘t see any evidence of any pre-meditation.  Moving a few thousands dollars isn‘t pre-meditation for murder.  It‘s barely enough to get away with her babies. 

GARDELLA:  I think the cutting of the phone cords suggests pre-meditation.  And that‘s probably the biggest factor to me.  And she did go to a closet and get the gun out.  I think they‘ve got premeditation if the statement is admitted. 

COSBY:  Let me play, this is a little more of Mary Winkler‘s own words about what happened that night.  This is an agent recounting her statement. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The next thing I remember was hearing a loud boom.  I remember thinking that it wasn‘t as loud as I thought it would be.  I heard the boom and he rolled out of the bed onto the floor.  And I saw some blood on the floor.  And some bleeding around his mouth.  I went over and wiped his mouth off with a sheet.  I told him I was sorry, and that I loved him. 


COSBY:  You know Jayne, they are trying to throw out some of her statement.  If they throw out her statement, what does it say about her case? 

WEINTRAUB:  Then she obviously has a much better case.  And speaking of throwing out her statement, the biggest issue on the table, as well as the motion to suppress the statement is whether or not they will go with the death penalty.  That is a big question right now.  And it seems to me that there is a lot of mitigation.  I think the financial aspect of the case will be used to demonstrate her desperation.  And something snapped.  We know, even when the police officers read it, just seems so sympathetic and the jurors won‘t miss that and the fact that she‘s a good mother and plenty of people in the church support her, despite the fact that her husband was the preacher. 

COSBY:  You brought up some good points.  OK, she had financial problems, had this mental distress, he was a controlling husband, just throwing everything out there to avoid the death penalty. 

GARDELLA:  I don‘t think this is going to be a death penalty case either.  The fact that the victim‘s family is not even in favor of it in this case.  And the fact this is her first offense.  I don‘t think that will be an issue. 

COSBY:  What happens if that statement gets thrown out? 

GARDELLA:  Then they will have to go to forensic evidence.  We haven‘t heard any talk about fingerprints on the gun or D.N.A., but it seems like there might be something. 

COSBY:  Thank you both very much.  Still ahead, why would two prisoners in jail for no violent offenses risk it all and break out of prison?  Cops will ask them when we catch them.  Details on an all-points bulletin, that‘s coming up.  And next, a confrontation with movie star Woody Harrelson caught on tape.  Who went too far, the photographer or actor.  It‘s all coming up next.  He‘s seen choking a photographer.  That‘s all coming up next. 


COSBY:  And in tonight‘s “Celebrity Dish,” actor Woody Harrelson is no stranger to controversy, but now is accused of attacking a member of the paparazzi and all caught on videotape.  The paparazzi claimed that Woody even got violent, choking one camera man after asking him to stop filming. 


WOODY HARRELSON, ACTOR:  Turn it off.  Turn it off. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All I‘m doing is filming. 

HARRELSON:  I‘m asking you to turn it off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And I‘m telling you is all I‘m doing is my job.

HARRELSON:  Will stop doing it please?


HARRELSON:  I‘ve asked you to stop, are you going to stop?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not when you ask me like that.


COSBY:  There is a little bit of the choking action, so they say.  This incident is just the latest in an increasingly ugly battle between Hollywood stars and the paparazzi.  But with big bucs on the line, it‘s clear that these photographers will still be chasing down million dollar photos no matter what the cost. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It is out of control, especially when people are following you to the doctor‘s office and stuff or waiting for you to drop your groceries and that kind of thing. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The hunters become the prey, the L.A.P.D.  warning to back off. 

COSBY:  It‘s more lights, camera or action than anyone in Hollywood really wants. 

PAMELA ANDERSON, ACTRESS:  I remember one guy showed up at a tennis court at a private residence and he was shooting pictures of my son and zoomed in with this huge lenses and I told him to F off, I shouldn‘t have in front of my kids.  And he said I can‘t believe you would swear in front of your kids.  I‘m like I can‘t believe you‘re on a private residence shooting my son, what‘s worse?

LINDSAY LOHAN, ACTRESS:  It was really bad.  Probably the worst it has ever been for me. 

COSBY:  Haunting stories from the biggest names of Hollywood, chased by gangs of photographers hoping to snap them in a compromising position or when they least expect it.  In a society obsessed with celebrity, how far are tinseltown‘s ever growing paparazzi going to go to get that million dollar snapshot? 

FRANK GRIFFIN, BAUER-GRIFFIN PHOTO AGENCY:  We have to be squeaky clean.  The law enforcement authorities are the first ones on us if we have any trouble.  We pay our taxes.  We make sure the cars are insured.  We don‘t employ undocumented people. 

COSBY:  Many celebrities are cashing in on photos which will garner mega-exposure, not to mention mega bucks. 

Sources say British import “OK! Magazine” paid actors Ashton Coucher and Demi Moore $3 million for exclusive rights to publish their wedding photos last September. 

GRIFFIN:  The million dollar photograph, I think, in my lifetime, has only existed once or twice.  But certainly for a celebrity to have that exposure in the press is worth millions of dollar.  That million dollar photo may only come across once in a lifetime.  But that doesn‘t mean some lucky photographers aren‘t making a pretty penny. 

Photos of Gwennith Paltrow‘s new born baby, Apple, were allegedly sold by a paparazzi to “People Magazine”  for an astonishing 300 to 500 thousand dollars.  And these famous pictures of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on the beach went for a reportedly $500,000.  Topping them all, $4 million for Brad and Angelina‘s latest photos with baby Shilo splashed on the front page of “People Magazine.”  In a town with more than 150 paparazzi, you better believe there is lots of competition to get that winning photograph and some will go to any length, even dangerous ones to snap them. 

GRIFFIN:  There‘s always been a golden rule, if the photographer becomes part of the story, they‘re either fired or to me they don‘t exist.  It‘s not a story to me.  We have a specific job to do.  We have a function to fulfill and one of them is not to allow our members to be, we‘re observers, we‘re not participants in the story. 

COSBY:  Last year an L.A. based paparazzi made headlines when he was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly rammed his car into Lindsy Lohan‘s Mercedes.  It all happened in a high speed chase, where the film star was being pursued by a group of photographers.  It was later ruled that the paparazzi did not directly cause the accident.  And last August, actress Scarlet Johansson crashed into another vehicle near Disney Land after being chased by paparazzi for nearly 45 minutes. 



SCARLETT JOHANSSON, ACTRESS:  Hi we‘ve just gotten into a car accident.  We‘re right on Disneyland Drive.  Actually we‘ve pulled off to the side, but unfortunately we have a bunch of paparazzi cars also following us.


JOHANSSON:  I‘m Scarlett Johansson, an actor, they‘ve been following me all the way here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  About the media, are they starting to, to cause problems?

JOHANSSON:  They‘re pulled all around us, waiting for us to, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, I‘m going to go ahead and start a unit and I‘m going to roll a couple of them out there, OK Ms. Johansson.

JOHANSSON:  Thank you very much.


COSBY:  It‘s these type of paparazzi, magazines like “People” say they want nothing to do with. 

LARRY HACKET, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, “PEOPLE MAGAZINE”:  There is no legitimate magazine that wants to run pictures of stars being stalked by paparazzi.  There‘s no gain out of it.  We at “People” make it a habit and a policy not to run pictures where it‘s clear these people are being harassed by paparazzi.  It‘s not good for us or the readers.  They don‘t enjoy it. 

While there are people out there, and there will always will be people who rue that they are not celebrities and have gripes with celebrities and think that celebrities are coddled and pampered, I don‘t think there is anyone out there, or certainly no reader that I want who enjoys seeing celebrities being harassed and stalked and chased by photographers in cars. 


COSBY:  And our thanks to our producer Darren Mackoff (ph) who did that piece.  Still ahead, how far is too far when it comes to celebrity photographers?  We‘re going to ask some of them what they think about the Woody Harelson confrontation. 

We are tracking two prison escapees who are out of jail.  The cops need your help to put them back behind bars.  How did they get out?  That‘s coming up. 



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey bro, I just got assaulted by Woody Harrelson and he‘s just choked me out right now. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m a witness.


COSBY:  Are the stalkerazzi, as some call them, out of control?  New questions tonight after a confrontation between actor Woody Harelson and a camera man, all caught on tape. LIVE & DIRECT with us tonight is publicist to the stars Cheryl Kagan.  She has worked with the Olsen sisters and also Hugh Grant, among many others.  And also with us is celebrity photo agent David Hans Schmidt.  And in studio with us is celebrity photographer, good pal of the show, James Edstrom.  Cheryl, you know, this holding that happened with Woody Harrelson.  Is that like a publicist‘s nightmare?

CHERYL KAGAN, CELEBRITY PUBLICIST:  I don‘t think so, Rita.  I mean, it didn‘t look as though that paparazzi was assaulted in a terrible way.  I think these celebrities just get so disgusted with the situation.  He asked him very nicely to please stop.  He had taken some footage.  You would think he would just go away and he wouldn‘t.  And to me, that is harassment.  He should leave him alone, he‘s got his footage, and move away.  And I think these celebrities have it up to here and especially Woody Harrelson, and he got a little bit physical, but it didn‘t look as though that particular gentleman was hurt as all.

COSBY:  You know James, paparazzi. out of control?

JAMES EDSTROM, CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER:  I think everybody is out of control these guys.  I think the paparazzi are out of control, the publicists are out of control and the celebrities are out of control.

COSBY:  What do you say to folks who say, OK, look, I mean in the Woody Harrelson—you‘ve done some pictures with Woody Harrelson.  How has he handled you?

EDSTROM:  Woody Harrelson has always been against the celebrity photographers.

COSBY:  Always?

EDSTROM:  He‘s always been nasty, he‘s always been mean.  He says really mean things to them.  I mean, he‘s going to a public place, he knows the paparazzi are going to be there, what does he expect?

COSBY:  Let me play the little clip again, because here‘s the confrontation between the photographer and Woody Harrelson, everybody judge for yourselves.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All I‘m doing is filming.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  All I‘m doing is filming.

HARRELSON:  I‘m asking you to turn it off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And I‘m telling you all I‘m doing is my job.

HARRELSON:  Will you stop doing it, please?


HARRELSON:  I‘ve asked you to stop.  Are you going to stop?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not when you ask me like that.


COSBY:  You know and it‘s hard to say, because we weren‘t there.  But when you see it James, it doesn‘t sound like he ran after him.  It sounds like he‘s still just taking pictures.  What do you say about what happened here?

EDSTROM:  Well from what I just saw there, it looks like that he went over to the paparazzi and started the confrontation himself.  He is touching the guy‘s equipment.  He is touching the guy.

COSBY:  Yes, it looks like he choked him.

EDSTROM:  If it had been the other way around, if we had gone up to him and touched him and pushed him and shoved him, it would have been a different story.  But obviously from the footage you can see that Woody made the first move.  Woody touched his equipment.  That is the No. 1 thing celebrities should never do is touch a photographer or his equipment.

COSBY:  David Hans Schmidt, who is out of line here?

DAVID HANS SCHMIDT, CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER:  Oh god, this is a no brainer, guys, come on, get real.  I mean, there is no enticement whatsoever by this guy.  He was sitting there, talking in almost a rather passive demeanor and Woody Harrelson stalks and harasses him.  And you said, just moments ago Rita, judge for yourself, rolls the tape.  Well let me tell you what a judge is going to say worth his salt, in even the most minuscule of criminal proceedings.  He is going to be charged with a felony class four for physical assault upon this photographer‘s person.  It is undeniable.  It is absolutely undeniable.

COSBY:  You know it‘s interesting David, we got a statement.  Let me put this out, because Woody Harrelson‘s publicist released a statement.

He says, “Unfortunately this is not the first or last time the paparazzi have provoked an incident with a celebrity.  Mr. Harrelson is evaluating all of his legal options against the options against the photographer.”

You say it‘s the other way around, David?

HANS SCHMIDT:  No, the keyword in that paragraph there is provoked. 

There was no provocation here whatsoever.  If there was any provocation it

was in Mr. Harrelson.  Look at him, he‘s walking right up and he‘s enticing

he‘s invoking the entire situation here.  And he doesn‘t stop there, Rita.  He steps across the line and puts his hands on the guy and chokes him like he is going to suffocate him. 

That is a felony class four here in Arizona.  It‘s the same in California, I checked it out this afternoon.  If Woody Harrelson is not charged with physical felony class four assault, I‘m telling you, then the whole system is out of whack because they got him dead to rights here and they need to make an example that just because you‘re a star doesn‘t mean you can walk up and choke someone and get away with it.

COSBY:  Let me play it again, real quick everybody.  Here it is again, this is Woody Harrelson and the photographer, take a look again.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All I‘m doing is filming.

HARRELSON:  Turn it off. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  All I‘m doing is filming.

HARRELSON:  I‘m asking you to turn it off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And I‘m telling you all I‘m doing is my job.

HARRELSON:  Will you stop doing it, please?


HARRELSON:  I‘ve asked you to stop.  Are you going to stop?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not when you ask me like that.


EDSTROM:  It‘s so simple, Rita.

COSBY:  Let me bring in real quick Cheryl—because Cheryl, when you see this, how heated do things get?  You worked with Cybil Shepard.  You had some wild stories of what you had to do there.

KAGAN:  Absolutely.  And you know this is just one particular segment that we‘re looking at.  And you know, I‘ve worked with paparazzi for over 20 years and most of them are lovely. 

But I call a particular element of paparazzi, stalkerazzi, because that‘s all they do.  They‘ll go out there and do whatever they can to get that elusive photo.  I mean, it‘s very frightening. 

I mean, with Cybil Shepard, I mean she was having babies in the hospital, she was having her twins, and I sat at the birthing room with a security guard.  I had to map out a special plan within the hospital to go through tunnels to be able to get her out safely.  We had to set up two look alikes to send them out the front of the hospital with dummy babies, because we were surrounded at this particular hospital by paparazzi, as we whisked Cybil, her husband and her two children out the back door. 

And you know Rita, when you get into a situation when we are talking about the safety of children, infants, it becomes very scary.  They are very aggressive people.

COSBY:  James, real quick, you get the final word.

EDSTROM:  Cheryl, wouldn‘t it have been much easier just to bring her out, have her pose for a quick photo and then she goes off into the night? 


EDSTROM:  Let everybody get their photo, it‘s done with, it‘s over with.

KAGAN:  You know, there are some celebrities who like to do that.  That has happened with Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts, but there are other celebrities who do not want want to do that and you have to be able to respect their wishes.

HANS SCHMIDT:  But you know Rita...

COSBY:  All right David, I‘ll give you the last word, 15 seconds.

HANS SCHMIDT:  ... You‘re making apologies here for assaultive behavior.  You can speak in general terms about any of this stuff, but the bottom line when you isolate this particular incident that‘s in contention here this evening, Rita, it‘s clear cut, felon, assaultive behavior by Woody Harrelson, a crime now committed to this young man, who will have a criminal and a civil day in a court of law down the road, you watch.

COSBY:  Well I can bet you guys we will be following this case.  All of you thank you very much, we appreciate it.  And everybody, there‘s a lot more coming up here on MSNBC tonight.  Let‘s check in now with Tucker Carlson with a preview.  Tucker, what do you have?

TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST:  So photographers can harass actors and their families to the point of distraction, but if the actor says anything about it or raises a hand, he‘s guilty of felonious abuse?  I mean, is that what your last guest—I just feel like jumping through the T.V. at that guy.

COSBY:  Although, if you noticed Tucker, he was also doing a little choking.  It‘s going to be interesting.

CARLSON:  He deserved to be choked.  I have never been on Woody Harrelson‘s side on anything until tonight.  You won me over, Rita.  If there‘s a defense fund, I‘m sending money.

COSBY:  We‘ll tell Woody.

CARLSON:  All right.  Well tonight on my show, we‘re not doing that, unfortunately.  Maybe we should be doing it.  We are going to talk to a man who spent his 4th of July burning American flags, if you can even imagine.  And the U.S. government decides it‘s a good idea to pay drunks to drink in federally funded apartment buildings.  Huh?  We‘ll talk to the man behind it.

COSBY:  And we‘ll be watching and we‘ll call Woody right after the show.

CARLSON:  If you would, thank you, Rita.

COSBY:  Thank you.  And everybody, still ahead, one thief really could take the award for the world‘s dumbest crook.  You‘ve got it here, he planned his escape from jail.  And the stunning news of the death of Enron founder Ken Lay.  What exactly was behind his sudden death?  That‘s coming up next.


COSBY:  Ken Lay, one of the most controversial business leaders in U.S. history, dies this morning of a heart attack.  The former Enron executive was vacationing at his home in Colorado.  His death comes less than two months after his conviction in the biggest corporate fraud trial in U.S. history.  NBC‘s Jay Gray has more. 


JAY GRAY, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  Ken Lay‘s death, after a massive heart attack Wednesday morning at his home just outside of Aspen, Colorado, marked the end of a life that included fame and fortune, but also a conviction as one of the most notorious corporate criminals in U.S.  history. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ken Lay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Enron.

GRAY:  Once considered one of the most powerful men in corporate America, at the peek of his success, Lay had access to some of the most powerful leaders in the world.  Enron, the company that he founded, grew to the seventh largest in the U.S., but ultimately collapsed in 2001, leaving employees and stock holders broke, many who thought that they would retire millionaires. 

Government investigators say Lay and his partner, Jeffrey Skilling, were the masterminds of an elaborate accounting scheme to prop up the dying business and drain millions of dollars for their own personal gain.  Lay maintained his innocence even after a guilty verdict last May. 

KEN LAY, FMR CEO ENRON:  I firmly believe I am innocent of the charges against me. 

GRAY:  Awaiting sentencing that would likely have resulted in Lay spending the rest of his life in a federal prison, those close to him say he was at peace what might have happened next. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Whether in jail or out of jail, Ken felt like he was ready to face the future. 

GRAY:  That future will never be fulfilled.  Ken Lay, dead at age 64. 


GRAY:  There has been no public comment from the Lay family today.  And when they heard the news, the Skilling family would only say “we loved him.”  Jay Gray, NBC News, Houston. 

COSBY:  Jay, thanks so much.  When we come back, the naughty husband, you‘ll have to hear what one wife did after seeing her husband on TV news.  That‘s coming up next. 


COSBY:  And there is a verdict in the Rush Limbaugh Viagra case.  The conservative commentator will not face criminal charges for having a bottle of Viagra in someone else‘s name.  Rush was detained at the Palm Beach International Airport in Florida last week after returning from a vacation in the Dominican Republic.  Limbaugh‘s lawyer said the prescription was written in his doctor‘s name for privacy purposes.  Charges could have nullified a deal Limbaugh reached with prosecutors on doctor shopping allegations. 

Limbaugh‘s doctor is now being investigated for possible ethics violation.  And tonight police in Oklahoma are on a three state manhunt for two dangerous inmates who escaped from prison.  These two men, Truman Gross and Benjamin Beck have been on the run since escaping from the Lexington Correctional Center on Sunday.  The inmates are considered armed and dangerous. 

Police believe the two men may be in Wichita, Kansas, because one of the men called a family member in that area from a local phone booth.  The men broke in the house in the morning on Monday.  They locked the owner in a closet, stole cash, a vehicle and also two guns.  You can see them there, and if you have any information at all on this case, be sure to call the number that you see there on your scene, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 405-425-2570. 

Well so much for wedded bliss, a Tennessee man is behind bars after being turned in by his own wife.  Take a look at this.  James Kelly was arrested and charged with several counts of robbery after his wife recognized him on this surveillance tape.  He is accused of robbing several hotels.  Investigators say Kelley would distract the clerk and jump the counter to take the money from the cash drawer. 

And “Caught By Cosby” tonight, a dumb crook caught by the cops, an inmate thought he made a daring escape from a south Florida jail.  But, his get away car was very easy to find.  That‘s because he escaped in a deputy‘s patrol car.  He avoided police for about two hours, but a sheriff‘s helicopter spotted the cop car and that‘s when the cops arrested the man, 21-year-old Derrick Tucker, and get this, he was in jail originally for grand theft auto. 

And that does it for us tonight.  I am Rita Crosby.  Be sure and tune in tomorrow night for our final show of LIVE AND DIRECT.  As many of you have heard, I will do many new exciting things, some new shows at MSNBC, including some of the top rated MSNBC investigates and also Rita Cosby specials.  I have had a great chance to work with such an incredible staff on this show and we‘ve had a lot of incredible moments and tomorrow night we‘re going to share some of our favorites with all of you.  So be sure to tune.  We‘re also going to have the latest breaking news.  That does it for me tonight.  “THE SITUATION” with Tucker starts right now.



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