Guests: Lawrence Schiller, Pam Bondi, Patrick Korten, Trip Demuth, Bill Fallon, Caryn Stark, Jill Dobson, Leeann Tweeden, Ken Baker, Joe Tacopina
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST: Right now in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the little beauty queen‘s murder mystery goes from shocking to surreal as the sleazy suspect confesses during a Bangkok press conference, as the world looked on in disbelief, asking if it‘s nothing more than a cruel hoax to get this guy out of Bangkok jail.
Then: All eyes are fixed on the suspect, until they dart back to Patsy Ramsey. Why do so many investigators still think the little girl‘s dead mother may have done it? And the DA in Colorado holds a press conference to say—nothing. Is it more evidence that Boulder officials are still in over their head? And can they finally convict a killer? We‘re going to be asking our all-star panel.
Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. No passport required, only common sense allowed.
We‘re going to have all those stories and a lot more, but first the bizarre twist in the beauty queen‘s murder mystery. John Mark Karr, the troubled teacher arrested half a world away. Karr held a bizarre impromptu press conference last night in Bangkok.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MARK KARR, MURDER SUSPECT: I was—I was with—I was with JonBenet when she died. Her death was—was an accident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Later, a reporter recorded this as he rode in the elevator with Karr.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
KARR: I feel very sorry for what happened to JonBenet, and it‘s very important for me that everyone knows I loved her very much. I made several efforts to communicate with Patricia before she passed away, and it‘s my understanding that she did read my letters and she was aware of me before she passed away.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: But you know, there are so many parts of Karr‘s story that just doesn‘t add up. First of all, Karr says he drugged and sexually assaulted JonBenet before she died, but an autopsy on the 6-year-old found no drugs or alcohol in her body, although she had been sexually assaulted. Karr also claims he picked up JonBenet from school the day she was killed, but she was on Christmas vacation at that time. Plus, his ex-wife said Karr was in Alabama the day JonBenet was killed, not thousands of miles away in Colorado.
So with all these questions swirling around the case, many were eagerly anticipating the Boulder, Colorado, district attorney‘s press conference this afternoon. This is what Mary Lacy had to say to America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARY LACY, BOULDER DA: All evidence is important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Thank God I went to law school so I could follow that jurisprudential lecture. She also said “no” an awful lot.
Let‘s go to Dan Abrams, though, to find out what‘s really going on here. He‘s, of course, NBC‘s chief legal correspondent. Dan, what did you make of the DA‘s “no news” news conference, plus all of the events of the past 24 hours that you first told us about?
DAN ABRAMS, NBC CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, look, I think -
I think yesterday, we were at the point when we broke this story around 3:40, 4:00 o‘clock yesterday, where it seemed there was an arrest. It seemed that this case might be solved, that they may have finally cracked the JonBenet Ramsey case. That was before we heard from this guy. This is before he‘s rolled out into a press conference in Bangkok to give this sort of bizarre accounting of what had happened, admitting that it was an accident, but unwilling to talk about details, then saying how much he loved JonBenet, et cetera, et cetera.
I think now, as you point out, because some aspects of his story don‘t add up, the questions are going away from him and back towards the DA again, saying, Exactly what evidence did you have here to seek an arrest warrant and drag this guy to Thailand? And let‘s be clear. I don‘t think anyone is sorry that this guy is behind bars. This is a guy who is a—you know, a convicted sex offender. There were some outstanding issues with regard to child pornography. This guy was about to teach 2nd graders in Thailand. It‘s not—the question isn‘t, Is it good thing or bad thing that he‘s free, the question is, Did he really do it?
SCARBOROUGH: And Dan, of course, it‘s a good break for him, if he confess to a murder that he didn‘t commit, he gets out of a Bangkok jail, a possible life sentence. He comes back to the United States, he‘s tried on these charges, and they can‘t prove it. And it‘s not like we‘re going to send him back to Bangkok, right?
ABRAMS: He gets a free flight, too, right?
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, a free flight, also.
ABRAMS: From Bangkok to the United States. I don‘t know. The bottom line here, Joe, is—you know, this is (INAUDIBLE) Look, a judge signed off on an arrest warrant here. A judge signed off saying that there‘s probable cause to believe that he committed this crime. But with that said, I think we are a number of steps away from the DA actually filing charges.
It seems to me what they have here are statements that he has made, incriminating statements he‘s made publicly, statements he made in e-mails to this professor and documentarian. I think that‘s what led them to say, All right, we got to put this guy behind bars. Let‘s do a DNA test. Let‘s make sure he doesn‘t flee. Let‘s make sure he doesn‘t hurt anybody else. The problem is, when you‘re dealing with a case that is this high-profile, 10 years later, there other issues that come up when you announce an arrest.
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, no doubt about it, Dan. I‘ll tell you, we‘re going to be following it. And thanks so much for being with us. And we‘ll see you tonight at 10:00 o‘clock for your special report on all of these shocking developments.
Right now, though, let‘s bring in our all-star panel. We have Lawrence Schiller. He‘s author of the book, “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.” We also have with us Pam Bondi. She‘s a Florida prosecutor, and Clint Van Zandt, former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst.
Clint, there so many things in this, again, at first blush, that just don‘t add up. He says he drugged JonBenet, they found no drugs in her system. Told Bangkok officials he picked her up from school the day he murdered her, she was off on Christmas break. And then, of course, he‘s got an ex-wife that‘s saying this guy wasn‘t in Colorado, he was in Alabama at the time of the murder. What do you make of all of this?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER, MSNBC ANALYST: Well, this is also the same guy who tells us that it was an accidental death. I mean, we know JonBenet was struck in the side of the head with such force as to put an eight-and-a-half-inch groove in the side of her head. Then a garrote was placed around her neck, tied so tight that it cut into her skin. Her hands were taped above her head. There was tape on her mouth. That‘s not a soft kill. That‘s not an easy kill.
You know, every time this guy‘s lips are moving, Joe, it sounds like he‘s lying. And you don‘t want to give this guy a pass. I mean, I—as Dan suggested earlier, he belongs in jail for something, but whether he did the JonBenet Ramsey murder or not—you know, you‘ve got to take a step back and you say, Why would someone confess to the crime and then not have the information to back up his statement? And that‘s the challenge.
If I‘m an investigator, you know, I‘ve got 200 questions to ask this guy when I sit down so I can either link him to that crime scene and to the victim or not. Plus, you‘ve got the DNA, the handwriting, hairs and fibers and everything else scientifically that can put him there. But you know, just as we had to be careful and unfortunately indict the Ramseys by public opinion, we don‘t want to clear this guy, either, until we find out, Can you rule him in or can you rule him out?
SCARBOROUGH: You‘re absolutely right, and of course, the Ramseys were indicted not only by the court of public opinion but also by the media.
Lawrence, let me bring you in here. Few people have followed this case more closely than you over the past 10 years. Tell me about elements in the DA‘s office from the very beginning that told the Boulder DA that they needed to look for child sex predators.
LAWRENCE SCHILLER, AUTHOR, “PERFECT MURDER, PERFECT TOWN”: Well, very early on in the case, when Alex Hunter was district attorney, he hired Mr. Lou Smith, a seasoned homicide detective from Colorado Springs. And Lou Smith, within one week of being hired, felt that this was a killing from outside of the family, contrary to what the Boulder Police Department felt.
He saw stun gun marks on her, which may or may not be actual stun gun
marks. But he felt the method of death, the strangulation, was so horrific
her neck look like the smallest part of an hourglass—was that which would have come from a sexual predator. And he had a lot of experience in that area.
So from day one, he said, You‘ve got to look in another direction. He was eventually—he eventually resigned from the Boulder DA‘s office, and when Mary Lacy came in as the new DA a number of years ago, she brought him back in. And he and several other detectives have been working the case. But I think they‘ve been working it from an entirely different approach.
We know what the physical evidence is. We know where we hit a dead wall. We know there‘s foreign DNA, and that‘s not going to come about until we get some type of a database match. So they started looking in another direction.
Now, at the same time, Mr. Tracey, a professor at the University of Colorado, made a documentary about the Ramseys in which that documentary became an invitation for maybe thousands of people to communicate with him and the Ramseys. And somewheres along the line, I think Lou Smith and everybody else were looking at those e-mails and seeing whether they have a hit.
Now, here is somebody who admittedly has researched this case. He even wanted to write a book on it. Is he looking for 15 minutes of fame, or is he really involved in this horrific crime?
SCARBOROUGH: And that‘s, of course, the big question. And Pam Bondi, how do the police figure this out? Do you believe, Pam, as a prosecutor in Florida, that chances are good that the DA‘s office and the police had a sample of this guy‘s DNA before they were willing to get him out of jail for free in Bangkok and bring him back to the United States? Because they have enough DNA samples. And like you said last night, DNA technology in 2006 is a lot more advanced than it was in 1996.
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Yes. And Joe, you can obtain DNA surreptitiously. We did it in a murder case in Tampa. A guy was walking around, eating ice cream. He threw the spoon in the trash. They got the spoon. And that‘s the DNA. So you don‘t have to have a warrant, you don‘t have to have probable cause to obtain DNA. Now, whether or not they have it in this case, I sure hope they do and I hope it matches him, but right now...
SCARBOROUGH: Would it be reckless, Pam, if they didn‘t have DNA and allowed him to come back without hard evidence? Would that be reckless on the Boulder law enforcement officer‘s part?
BONDI: You know, Joe, reading between the lines from what the DA said, she seemed very concerned that they made the arrest so quickly. You know, we have heated debates often with law enforcement when they feel someone committed a crime but we feel we don‘t have enough to say we‘re ready for trial. Something must have been going on here, more in that they were scared he was going to get out and that they were scared he was going to hurt someone else. And I think that‘s the real factor here, that she had to weigh that in order to authorize the arrest in this case, that they have...
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Pam...
BONDI: They‘ve got to have corroboration.
SCARBOROUGH: I want you to stay with us. Greatly appreciate, Lawrence, you being here and giving us your great insights.
Coming up: With questions growing about John Mark Karr‘s guilt, some are putting the spotlight back on the Ramseys, and some say unfairly. Why do some still believe that JonBenet may have been murdered by a member of her own family?
Plus: Can we tell if Karr is guilty by looking at him? Well, that‘s what investigators do, and we‘re going to be talking to a body language expert about what the suspect is really telling us.
But before we go to break, more from the Boulder County DA‘s press conference today, condensed down for our busy SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY viewers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LACY: I am not commenting on the particular nature of this investigation or arrest.
We can‘t comment on the evidence in this case at this time.
We cannot comment on the investigation of evidence in this case.
We cannot discuss forensic tests.
I cannot talk about anything with regard to the evidence in the case.
I‘m sorry, I can‘t answer that.
And I—you know, and I just simply can‘t take any more questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back. Who killed JonBenet that night in Boulder, Colorado? Was it a member of her family or an intruder? John Karr‘s arrest in Bangkok, Thailand, may or may not close the books on the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Here now talking to his former spokesperson for the Ramsey family, Patrick Korten. Patrick, obviously, the family very excited about this arrest. You still have a lot of people who are (INAUDIBLE), a lot of people that don‘t know the details that the DA knows. But let me ask you a question a lot of people want to know. Did the Ramseys know this man?
PATRICK KORTEN, FORMER RAMSEY FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: Well, I don‘t think so. We offered the detectives early on in the case a lot of possibilities and a lot of possible names, a lot of possible places to look. I don‘t recall this one coming up, but that doesn‘t necessarily have any significance, Joe. The fact of the matter is that from the earliest days of this investigation, the local police in Boulder who were working the case at the time did not take seriously any other possibility than that the parents were responsible, and that...
SCARBOROUGH: Why is that?
KORTEN: ... terrible injustice. Well, I think they looked in their “how to be a cop” book, where it says that most of these cases involve a crime committed by the parents, and they decided that that must be the answer. They never really seriously looked beyond that.
SCARBOROUGH: Talk about how the murder, coupled with the fact that everybody in America seem seemingly was pointing their fingers at Patsy Ramsey—talk about how that impacted their lives. Did that ruin Patsy Ramsey‘s life?
KORTEN: Well, Patsy was already obviously in difficult circumstances. She had been suffering from ovarian cancer even then. She had already been undergoing treatment. And to lose her daughter and then to be suspected of the crime on top of that was almost more than any human being could bear.
I will say that John and Patsy were extraordinarily strong, in my view, throughout this period, stronger than most people would have been. But it was a very, very difficult time. It was made all the more difficult by the fact that it became a media circus very quickly, and that was something that I was hired to try to deal with. At one point, Joe, I got to the point where I had to go to a computer database to keep track of all the reporters who wanted to talk to me about the case. And that database eventually grew to more than 300 names.
It was a circus every time you turned around. You were bumping into reporters. They tried to follow the Ramseys to the place they were staying. They had moved out of their house elsewhere. They were chased everywhere. When I tried to go to meetings, I had a tail on me. I had reporters trying to listen at my hotel room door. It was nuts. It was crazy. As unfortunately, as you can see today, the craziness has hardly subsided.
SCARBOROUGH: The craziness—that‘s it, Patrick. You‘re exactly right. This guy is arrested. It‘s a circus over in Bangkok. And the craziness continues. Patrick, thank you so much for being with us. We greatly appreciate your insights.
KORTEN: Thank you very much, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: And let‘s hope that there will be some peace for the Ramsey family soon.
Let‘s go live now to Boulder and former Boulder deputy district attorney Trip Demuth. He spent two years investigating the Ramsey case. Also with us, former sex crimes prosecutor Bill Fallon. And still here, MSNBC analyst and former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt.
Let me start with you, Clint. Investigators—again, investigators often follow their gut instincts. When you look at the Ramseys and you look at how they responded afterwards and you look at this guy today on TV, what is your gut instinct as a former FBI profiler?
VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, profiling is something, you know, we can even set aside. We can say the investigators have a responsibility to work this case from the center out. The center is the family, the home, anybody who had access to the victim. They have to rule the family in or rule them out. Whether your name is John Walsh or whether it‘s John Ramsey, it makes no difference, you‘re going to be considered a suspect.
And what most families understand they have to do is totally cooperate with the police, do whatever is needed. I mean, were it me, God forbid, I would say, Whatever you need. You need me to walk on hot coals, take a lie detector, exclude me and then go find who killed my child.
SCARBOROUGH: But they didn‘t do that, and obviously, that caused a lot of suspicions. Trip, do you think that the Ramseys were railroaded?
TRIP DEMUTH, FORMER BOULDER DEPUTY DA: Well, let me first comment on the fact that they didn‘t cooperate. In fact, the police and law enforcement was perpetuating the view that they weren‘t cooperating. They had actually agreed to be interviewed by us. And those interviews were canceled by law enforcement, and then the statement was made to the media at the time that the Ramseys were not cooperating.
There was a lot of misinformation that was released in the early years of this investigation that led all of you to believe that the Ramseys were guilty. The fact of the matter is that this investigation should have been a search for the truth and following the physical evidence.
SCARBOROUGH: But it never did that. In your opinion, they were so focused on the Ramseys exclusively that that prevented them from going after sex—child molesters and other suspects that you think could have led them to solving this crime seven, eight, possibly nine years ago.
DEMUTH: That‘s right. I mean, Lou Smith and I and Detective Steve Ainsworth (ph) were the three lone voices that were advocating investigating broader investigation and looking at other possibilities than just the Ramseys. That was a very unpopular view at the time. As the previous speaker mentioned, Lou Smith eventually they resigned because of it. And it wasn‘t until the investigation was moved from the police department to the DA‘s office that it did take on this broader approach, and they did bring Lou Smith back into it, and it take on this broader approach, which has led, apparently, to this arrest today.
SCARBOROUGH: This arrest today, Bill Fallon, but some people look at the arrest today and look at the press conference yesterday, look at the story that this guy‘s come up with and they say, It doesn‘t add up. What‘s your take?
BILL FALLON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Yes, this is...
DEMUTH: Oh, I‘m sorry.
FALLON: This isn‘t leading me to full faith and confidence that there‘s going to be an indictment or a complaint really soon. I think the DA—for once, we have a DA in America who says, It‘s not good for the media, it‘s not good for us commenting, but I‘m supposed to shut my mouth. In fact, I wish she took no questions because she gave no answers. What she should have said is just what she said, Something happened today, we‘ll evaluate it, it‘s not going to please you all, because quite frankly, slightly disturbing is the fact that there‘s a press conference in which we know nothing. And I didn‘t get a warm fuzzy feeling that she knew a lot more than we know. And that is of great concern to me.
On the other hand, I think there probably wasn‘t DNA already matched. They probably have it (ph) already to them. When someone has made the kinds of confessions or the statements he made, when he is also, Joe—you talked about it earlier—he‘s on flight from child pornography charges, I believe, so the United States had an interest in him coming back anyway.
SCARBOROUGH: They‘ve got...
SCARBOROUGH: ... something on him. Exactly. He‘s on flight from California to Bangkok. He gets in trouble from Bangkok. Now he‘s on flight coming back.
Stay with us, Bill, through the break. Same with you, Clint. Trip, thank you so much for being with us.
Coming up next, we have a body language expert who breaks down Karr‘s confession to see if we can tell if he‘s telling the truth.
SCARBOROUGH: Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. Last night‘s confession from suspected killer John Mark Karr was less than convincing. We brought in a body language expert to break down Karr‘s performance to try to get a better insight into that confession.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: Pay attention. You can see his eyes are very shifty, even—there, he just looked up. Now he‘s looking to the side. We can see that someone who can‘t make eye contact, who‘s not confident, somebody you can‘t trust, which doesn‘t surprise me. If you continue now? They‘re asking him questions. He looks like he‘s sedated, very frightened.
In my opinion, you could watch his face, and there are times that—right there, when he looked up, that‘s—when you look up, you‘re a person who‘s remembering something. You‘re bringing back a memory. And to me, his face, which then becomes pained-looking—as you roll the tape, you‘ll see—is looking that way because he‘s remembering something terrible.
So watch closely, and you‘re going to see—see that expression right there? That‘s what I‘m talking about. I would be surprised if he weren‘t conjuring up right now a very painful memory.
He can‘t keep the eye contact. His shoulders are hunched over, no confidence. They‘re going to help him get up, and it‘s not because he can‘t get up on his own. I think he‘s in close custody.
And I think that people ought to know that what they expect from the killer isn‘t necessarily what you‘re going to find, that a child molester is not somebody who looks like he‘s going to knife you. He looks innocent. He looks scared. He looks like he‘s somebody who has no confidence because he preys on defenseless children.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it.
Now, coming up: Has there been a rush to judgment against John Mark Karr? And did authorities rush the arrest 10 years after the murder? And later, lighten things up. “Talladega Nights” has been called offensive and even bigoted. But is Ricky Bobby (ph) also a man who hates women? Our live (ph) poll straight ahead.
SCARBOROUGH: Did their desire to solve this case lead authorities to arrest the wrong man? Suspect John Mark Karr hasn‘t been charged with murder, but he confessed to the crime while in custody in Bangkok, Thailand. Was Karr just trying to avoid the misery of prison in Thailand by lying his way back to Colorado?
For more on some of the questions surrounding this arrest, let‘s bring in NBC‘s Mike Taibbi.
MIKE TAIBBI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A lot of the day‘s headlines left no room for doubt, after that he bizarre confession...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you an innocent man?
JOHN MARK KARR, SUSPECT IN JONBENET RAMSEY INVESTIGATION: No.
TAIBBI: ... and quick confirmation that John Mark Karr faced past charges of possessing child pornography. But almost as quickly, some case experts started saying, “Not so fast.” For example...
LARRY POSNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I understand he said he picked JonBenet up at school. It‘s Christmas vacation. She wasn‘t at school.
TAIBBI: And was Karr ever even in Colorado? No proof yet, but his ex-wife told a San Francisco television station he‘d been with her and their family in Alabama the entire Christmas season in 1996. Cause for doubt, even for those who believed JonBenet was killed by an intruder.
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: We want case solved, but let‘s not jump on this guy until we have what we need, which is linking physical evidence.
TAIBBI: We do know he was a good high school student in Alabama, though not popular.
BRAVELL JACKSON, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS: He was different in the fact that he was kind of a loner to some degree.
TAIBBI: And in Petaluma, California, where Karr faced those child porn charges, he was remembered as distant and odd.
SYLVIA ROSS, FORMER NEIGHBOR: One thing that was strange, he had three children and he never played with them.
TAIBBI: After California, Karr‘s resume says he took teaching and tutoring jobs in at least 11 countries. For example, in Germany, three girls, 7, 11, and 12, then two girls, 5 and 8, and a boy, 10. “I woke the children in the morning,” he wrote. “At day‘s end I made sure the children had their evening bath, then put them to bed.”
Through it all, a reported obsession with at least two cases of murdered young girls: the Polly Klaas case from 1993 and the JonBenet murder.
VAN ZANDT: appears, at this moment, all we have is the confession of someone who has researched this case for the last 10 years.
TAIBBI: And has now either admitted his guilt or made a grab for his 15 minutes.
(on camera): In fact, there are already so many inconsistencies in this story, the story told by the suspect himself, that it‘s fair to ask—and many people are—could his entire confession be a false confession—
SCARBOROUGH: Thanks so much, Mike. Greatly appreciate it.
And that is the question of the hour. To get the answer, let‘s bring in criminal defense attorney Joe Tacopina, Pam Bondi, prosecutor in Hillsborough County, Florida, MSNBC analyst and former FBI hostage negotiator Clint Van Zandt, and also former sex crimes prosecutor Bill Fallon.
Let me start with you, Joe. How do they figure out whether this guy is lying, whether it‘s all a hoax?
JOE TACOPINA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Put his statement aside for a second, Joe, and really there are going to be two things that are going to put him in or take him out, primarily DNA, secondly handwriting. I mean, look, there was male DNA recovered under JonBenet‘s fingernails. If this is his DNA, bingo, case solved, and we get some resolution and a prosecution begins.
If it‘s not his DNA, it doesn‘t exclude him, Joe, but it certainly calls into question his story. The handwriting example on the ransom note...
SCARBOROUGH: So certainly, Joe, they would be fools had they not gotten handwriting samples and DNA samples before getting this guy out of Bangkok, right?
TACOPINA: Well, you know, not necessarily, Joe. I mean, they want him back. Look, anyone who is warped enough to make up a false murder confession, you know, deserves a trip in Con-Air, if you will, and brought back to the United States for questioning. I mean, this is not something to joke about. This is a family that‘s suffered, and we‘re talking about the death of a little girl.
But I will say this, Joe. I mean, you know, this individual has said so many things, and I just don‘t think the D.A. has made a determination in their own mind that this is the right person. Look, this case has been lingering for 10 years. It‘s been the laughingstock of the Boulder P.D. They destroyed that crime scene. They made it almost impossible to ever have a successful prosecution, short of a valid confession, Joe.
But let me say this: This guy said some things, like he picked JonBenet up at school. She wasn‘t in school. His ex-wife said that at the time he was in Alabama. He said it was an accident. Her head was bashed in. I mean, he said things in his confession that make him sound like a kook, and he has said absolutely nothing that has not been in the public record. And when asked for details, he hesitated, paused, and said, “No comment.” So if I were a betting man, Joe, I‘m not betting the ranch on this one.
SCARBOROUGH: No, I certainly wouldn‘t either.
Bill Fallon, let me ask you, with all these questions out there, do you think they did the right thing to arrest him and bring him to the United States?
BILL FALLON, FORMER PROSECUTOR: They did. Joe, you got up there, “Did Boulder Blow it Again?” They didn‘t blow it again, but quite frankly, as Joe just said, they really had to do this. You have to take this risk. You have to come here. They‘ll blow it again if, in fact, they present something to the grand jury before they get all the evidence.
He‘s got to be here. They‘ve got to take—but if there is no DNA, this guy‘s walking, whether he did it or not. If there‘s no DNA that matches, unless there‘s a great kind of other bit of evidence that we don‘t know about, no one is going to go with this mental case.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Clint, why would somebody confess to a murder they didn‘t commit?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: 1932, Joe, 200 people confessed to the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder. 1980, Henry Lee Lucas confessed to over 200 murders he didn‘t commit.
You get individuals who either have a pathological desire for notoriety, they have a need to be punished for some other crime, or they can‘t separate reality from fiction. They‘ve been playing out a game in their mind where they‘re some evil person, like this guy, who told his dad four years ago that he had been fingered in the kidnapping and murder, so to speak, of JonBenet Ramsey.
So somewhere in there lies the reason. And in one Illinois county over a 10-year period, 247 murder confessions were thrown out because they turned out to be false confessions.
SCARBOROUGH: Boy, that is just bizarre.
Pam Bondi, do you think Boulder made the right decision here bringing this guy back?
PAM BONDI, PROSECUTOR: Well, it sounds like, Joe, that they didn‘t have a choice. They were worried he was going to get out. They were worried he was going to hurt someone else. It sounds like they wanted to wait, but they didn‘t have a choice.
Now, he‘s been arrested on this. He‘s going to be extradited. Although he hasn‘t been formally charged, this is it. He can‘t be charged again. This is his one shot, so I hope they have enough.
SCARBOROUGH: And before I ask you the next question, Pam, take a look at this sketch. It was done by a psychic back in 1998, and compare it to the suspect John Mark Karr. Just interesting.
SCARBOROUGH: For what it‘s worth, that‘s crazy, again, 1998, a psychic drew that picture. So, Pam, what happens if this guy comes back, they don‘t have hard evidence, he asks for a speedy trial? Does that put them behind the eight ball?
BONDI: It sure does. It sure does. That‘s why you always want to wait as long as possible before you charge someone, Joe. It does.
I mean, if he demands a speedy trial, he could be—Joe can tell you
he can be in trial in a matter of months. And, you know, if there is still outstanding DNA and things to be analyzed, they are going to be scrambling to get everything together.
SCARBOROUGH: Is that what you do, Joe?
TACOPINA: Joe, no, look, here‘s the deal. I mean, this guy has made a confession. Assuming the confession is admissible, Joe, that‘s powerful evidence. I mean, most jurors are not quick to believe that a confession is concocted. So if that confession is deemed admissible and it has the badges of credibility, if there is some corroborating piece of evidence that go along with that confession, they‘ll take him to trial next week.
I mean, they don‘t need much here. I mean, DNA aside, if his confession is valid and admissible and they could corroborate some of the things he says, terrific. But I think the D.A. is going to make a determination whether they believe this guy after questioning him. Hopefully they‘re going to get a chance to sit down with him.
FALLON: They may never know, Joe. They may not know he‘s been involved in the case. That‘s the thing. He‘s got some credible evidence. He‘s been a nut. He‘s and he followed this. He‘s relived like, “I want to be a JonBenet groupie,” is almost what he‘s done. He‘s put himself with these child murdering cases, and that‘s what they‘re looking at, not whether they can get over the rail. They want a conviction if they indict this guy.
SCARBOROUGH: And as Clint said, he could be a freak that just followed this case and made a false confession. But, again, as Joe pointed out, you have DNA evidence, you‘ve got the handwriting sample from that ransom note. It should be pretty easy to line this one up.
Hey, thanks so much, Joe, for being with us. Thank you, Pam, thank you, Clint, and thank you, Bill. As always, we greatly appreciate it. Coming up next—oh, by the way, go to Joe.MSNBC.com to get my opinion on it.
And coming up next, we‘re changing gears and revving up our engines. Critics claim “Talladega Nights” is racist and bigoted, and now sexist. Is this funny film really offensive?
And later, the big question right now in Hollyweird. Will it be “I do” or “I don‘t” for Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn? Jennifer says it won‘t, but the man who says it will, will be here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY to explain.
SCARBOROUGH: And welcome back. “Talladega Nights” takes the checkered flag again for the second weekend in a row. “Talladega” rode into victory lane, pulling in another $23 million. That brings the movie‘s two-week total to almost $100 million.
The movie is clearly a big hit, but some say it‘s offensive, now to women. Some critics have taken aim at the movie‘s portrayal of women, in particular Will Ferrell‘s wife, Carley. Take a look at what they‘re upset about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey driver! Drive these!
WILL FERRELL, ACTOR: Please be 18.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Supper‘s ready! Come on, y‘all! I‘ve been slaving over this for hours!
FERRELL: I‘m the best there is, plain and simple.
First, I just want to take time to say, thank you for my family...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)
FERRELL: I know you are.
And, of course, my red-hot smoking wife, Carley, who‘s a stone-cold fox.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cause some more traffic accidents (INAUDIBLE)
FERRELL: Came first, you‘re last.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby, that‘s my baby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, come on, number one. Hold my hand, baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting a little awkward.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, baby (INAUDIBLE) Ricky! I love you. If we wanted to have some wussies, we would have named them Dr. Quinn and Medicine Woman, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: With us now, let‘s bring in Leeann Tweeden. She‘s co-host of FOX Sports Network‘s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” and a former of the Speed Channel‘s “NASCAR Nation.” Also, we have Carrie Lukas from the Independent Woman‘s Forum.
Let‘s start with you, Leeann. You‘ve been around this racing culture your whole life. And whether you‘re offended by this movie or not, there are trophy wives in NASCAR, aren‘t there? And aren‘t there even some moms that will bring their daughters in to try to pick up a young, hot driver?
LEEANN TWEEDEN, “THE BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW PERIOD”: Sure, but I think you can‘t just stereotype the NASCAR women, because I think those are, you know, women everywhere that, you know, are gold diggers, if that‘s what you want to call it or whatever. But, yes, you do see it NASCAR, but, you know, just because this movie is talking about NASCAR and the women in the South, I don‘t find it offensive, being a southern woman myself. I just think it‘s funny. Again, it‘s entertainment.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, talk about the type of NASCAR women that follow these races and also that end up marrying some of these NASCAR stars. Do they come from all walks of life?
TWEEDEN: Absolutely. You know, there are women that have been married to their husbands, they were high school sweethearts, you know? And then there are the guys out there that have married models or pageant girls. Or you see the girls out there that are models, and some of the more high-profile guys that are younger tend to get a better crop of girls, maybe, so to speak, you know. They tend to meet the movie stars, and the models, and, you know, the girls that you see in magazines.
But, you know, you see all types in NASCAR, I mean, like I said, from the high school sweetheart all the way to the actress, you know?
SCARBOROUGH: And like you said, I mean, you can see that in any sports. You can see rock stars, soccer stars, football stars, NBA stars. It‘s certainly not just NASCAR.
Carrie, a lot of people in the South, a lot of Christians, a lot of women now are saying they find this movie offensive. Why‘s that?
CARRIE LUKAS, INDEPENDENT WOMEN‘S FORUM: You know, I think this movie is so over the top that it‘s almost making fun of stereotypes more than it‘s perpetuating them. But, you know, I think the good news is, is that there‘s so much media out there that anybody who is going to be offended, you know what you‘re going to get when you‘re going to a Will Ferrell movie.
So those who are likely to be offended should take their business elsewhere. There‘s so much other media out there and other forms of entertainment, they don‘t need to watch this movie.
SCARBOROUGH: Let‘s take another clip. Let‘s look at another clip from “Talladega Nights.” Now, this is the girl Ricky Bobby winds up with at the end of the movie. Notice how un-southern she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We‘re getting married, Ricky, and we‘re getting matching leprechaun tattoos.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ain‘t that cute? It‘s a little pot of gold.
FERRELL: Is this some kind of a joke? You guys putting me on?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch the mail for that invitation to the wedding, because I want you there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Baby, he‘s not going to come to the wedding.
FERRELL: God, do you realize the implications of your actions right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What‘s implication mean?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Actually, you know what? We don‘t have that other bite, but I‘ve got to tell you, Leeann, as you know, at the end of the movie, he finds true love and it seems like he find true love from the only Yankee in “Talladega Nights,” somebody that doesn‘t have the slow, drawling, southern accent. Did you notice that?
TWEEDEN: You know, I did notice that, and I think maybe the producers and Will himself probably of the movie designed it to be that way, because, you know, let‘s face it, people that watch this, if they‘re offended by it, probably take this movie at face value. Ladies and gentlemen, it‘s a movie. It‘s entertainment.
And if you want to look at the stereotypes, maybe they needed to put the Yankee in there so people could go, “Oh, wow, I guess she‘s not the southern bimbo, redneck, whatever girl that they think they‘re looking at.” So maybe they wanted somebody completely opposite of Carley, and that was the Yankee woman who seemed educated and very demure. And maybe they wanted it to be that way, just so people didn‘t have to think about it.
SCARBOROUGH: They went for the Yankee. They should have gotten somebody like you, Leeann. Thank you, Leeann. Thank you, Carrie.
TWEEDEN: Oh, thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: Greatly appreciate it.
LUKAS: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Get the sunglasses out and Fiji water, it‘s time to take a trip to Hollyweird when we come back.
SCARBOROUGH: Time to take a trip to Hollyweird. First up, the question every Hollywood wedding planner is asking: Are Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn engaged? “US Weekly” was the first to report on it, but Jen says the rumor is insane. That has to make Vince feel good, “insane.”
Here with me to sort out all the celebrity headlines, we have, from “Star” magazine, Jill Dobson, and “US Weekly‘s” Ken Baker.
Hey, Ken, let me start with you. You guys reported the big engagement. Aniston denies it. Do you stand by that story?
KEN BAKER, “US WEEKLY”: Well, I think that Jennifer Aniston went out yesterday and she denied the story. She denied that she was engaged, that she had been proposed to. And what‘s interesting about it is it almost raised more questions than answers.
One of my favorite conspiracy theories that I saw was that Jen Aniston was denying that she was engaged now and that she had been proposed to. But if you looked at the “US Weekly” report last week, what the magazine reported was that they actually had an engagement on June 27th. That was more than six weeks ago. And so the speculation is, well, what happened in the last six weeks? There were other reports a couple of weeks ago that the wedding had been called off.
Another interesting thing about her denial is that Vince Vaughn has been silent. I thought they were a couple. Why didn‘t they get on the phone together and deny it? Why is she denying it? The speculation is that something has gone wrong. Maybe someone got cold feet or they‘re just trying to keep it private.
I think that was very compelling for her to respond to the “US Weekly” story, and I think it created a lot more questions than answers.
SCARBOROUGH: I think so, too.
And, Jill Dobson, why are stars so secretive about their engagements, about their weddings, about their babies, about all of these things?
JILL DOBSON, “STAR” MAGAZINE: Well, I think one of it is that stars are tired of the paparazzi just following them everywhere. And, of course, on your wedding day, you don‘t really want helicopters flying ahead and photographers screaming your name. You kind of want to enjoy the special moment.
So I think that‘s the real reason: They try to throw reporters off their track and tell half-truths or sometimes complete lies in order to confuse people so that they can have their privacy, but a lot of times it does raise more questions than answers.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Jill, nobody has more paparazzi following her than this woman right here, right? I mean, she‘s as popular as anybody when it comes to the fans trying to find out what‘s happening with Jennifer Aniston than anybody in Hollywood.
DOBSON: That‘s true. Jennifer Aniston clearly is America‘s sweetheart. People love her. They loved her on “Friends.” She‘s been in a number of films, many of which have been very successful, so people want to know. They also really felt for her during the heartbreak with Brad, so this comes from a good place. People care about Jen; they want to see her happy. And therefore magazines want to publish articles about here because the readers really want to know.
DOBSON: But Jennifer says, “You know what? Back off. Leave me alone.”
SCARBOROUGH: Yes, Ken, there is such a personal attachment. We‘ve got to get off the air soon, but so many people were hurt by the Jen-Brad breakup. Why do women connect to this woman so much?
BAKER: Well, I think she really won everyone‘s hearts with her character, Rachel, in “Friends.” She was so likeable. She was the girl next door. It was the most popular sitcom on television for a very long time, and I think people really felt like she was part of their family. She was one of their friends.
And I think they‘re really invested in the story of her life. And the Brad Pitt breakup was very, very hurtful to Jen. She has been very public about that. So I think there is this desire, as Jill said, to see her happy. And I think that she is happy; I think that she and Vince are going to figure out whatever the future is for them. But I think clearly people do want her to be happy, and we‘re fascinated by her.
SCARBOROUGH: No doubt about it. Thank you so much, Ken. Thank you, Jill, as always.
And thank you for being with us. Stay tuned for a special with Dan Abrams on JonBenet Ramsey. We‘ll be right back tomorrow night.
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