Guest: Jossy Mansur, Jim Moret, Paul Reynolds, Stacey Honowitz, Pam Bondi,
LISA DANIELS, GUEST HOST: Tonight‘s top headline: busted.
In Aruba, the Kalpoe brothers back behind bars, suspects in the rape and murder of Natalee Holloway. We have got the very latest from Aruba, reaction from Natalee‘s family and analysis from a panel of the best investigators and lawyers in the business.
Thanks so much for being here. Joe is off tonight. I‘m Lisa Daniels.
Tonight, we will have a close-up look at the wife of missing newlywed George Smith IV. Who is Jennifer Hagel and why has she kept quiet for so long?
And we have GOT new information on what could have happened the night Olivia Newton-John‘s long time boyfriend disappeared.
Plus, Hurricane Katrina left a path of destruction across South Florida. And, as we speak, she is gaining strength and is becoming a very dangerous storm. We will have all the very latest.
But, first, it‘s been a day of stunning developments in Aruba, the break that Natalee Holloway‘s family has been desperately waiting for, the arrest of the Kalpoe brothers and a close friend of prime suspect Joran Van Der Sloot on suspicion of raping and murdering Natalee Holloway.
With us tonight, an all-star panel, former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt, Florida prosecutors Pam Bondi and Stacey Honowitz, as well as former FBI agent Candice DeLong.
But right now, let‘s go right down to Aruba and MSNBC‘s Michelle Kosinski for the latest.
And, Michelle, as of today, this case suddenly has new legs. What is the new evidence that prosecutors say they have?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC CORRESPONDENT: That‘s what everybody would like to know.
And prosecutors won‘t go into great detail about this. But this development, you know, this is something that many legal experts on this island thought would not happen any time soon. We have known for weeks now that police have wanted to question the Kalpoe brothers again, that they wanted to rearrest them. But they said there was really no timeline on that and they‘ve been gathering evidence.
Also, it was just last week we talked to one of the boy‘s attorneys, Satish Kalpoe‘s attorney. And he said, really, prosecutors had no evidence against his client and he predicted this case, at least against the Kalpoe brothers, could very well go nowhere.
And then this development this morning. Police went to their house, arrested them, and they also arrested a friend and a neighbor of Joran Van Der Sloot. Now, prosecutors made it very, very clear that the arrest of the Kalpoe brothers is based on the Natalee Holloway case, but the arrest of that friend and neighbor is not.
So, what the question is there, what the connection is, what made these three arrests happen together and yet be on separate matters, is a really interesting development. We just don‘t know what the connection is and what the separation is at the same time, because this happened all in the morning today.
Also, the attorney for Satish Kalpoe, when he talked to him today, told us that he believed that these arrests were based on information about four people. That would be the Kalpoe brothers, this mysterious friend whose involvement we have no idea and also he said Joran Van Der Sloot, although prosecutors today mentioned no development against him.
We will tell you exactly what prosecutors had to say in their statement. This is about the Kalpoe brothers. They are suspected of the of the primary criminal act of, together with other people, committing premeditated murder, alternately, together with other people, murdering somebody, more alternately, rob a person of her liberty, with fatal consequences, and they said, even more alternately, raping somebody.
Aside from these suspicions against the two brothers, there are new suspicions which at this point the prosecutor is not commenting on. They went on to say, to arrest the Kalpoe brothers again, there had to be new facts and circumstances and that that is the case.
Now, the Kalpoe brothers‘ attorney, the attorney for Satish Kalpoe, also said he believed these arrests might be based, at least in part, he thought, on allegations involving young girls and photos. But prosecutors made no mention at all of that—become to you, Lisa.
DANIELS: Michelle, let me ask you, in the prosecution‘s statement, it says raping and murdering somebody. Do we know that that is Natalee Holloway?
KOSINSKI: Yes, they spelled it out explicitly for us.
We wanted to make sure, especially when there was these talks, these statements this morning from attorneys that this might be based on some other matter altogether. But prosecutors stated it clearly. Yes, these arrests of the Kalpoe brothers are based on the Natalee Holloway disappearance.
DANIELS: Michelle, Beth Holloway Twitty has been calling for these two guys to be arrested since May 30. Is this a result of her hard work? Did she know this was coming this morning?
KOSINSKI: No, she did not. We‘re told she got a call early this morning from the FBI, as did Natalee‘s father, about 8:00 this morning. And attorneys in this case, we are told, for the family, were told not to mention this to anyone.
It‘s been interesting over the past couple of days, seeing the family really pushing for the rearrest of these brothers, but we didn‘t have any evidence. So, it‘s been a really sensitive topic as to, how do you even say that when we don‘t know what prosecutors have, we don‘t know if these boys had any involvement for certain, and then you had their attorneys saying there‘s no evidence against these boys at all?
So, obviously, prosecutors had something and now they‘re trying to spell it out in what terms they can—back to you.
DANIELS: All right. Michelle Kosinski with stunning new developments
· thanks so much, Michelle.
And for more reaction from Natalee‘s family, let me bring in her uncle, Paul Reynolds, who joins us from Houston.
You know, I have heard you and your family so many times say, we‘re not giving up hope; we‘re going to bring Natalee home.
But I‘m sure, in private moments, you had your doubts: Is this case ever going to be solved? And now this, a stunning development. What is your reaction tonight?
PAUL REYNOLDS, UNCLE OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Well, of course, this is something we have been working on for weeks. We‘re very appreciative of the work of the investigative team and the prosecutor in bringing this action.
You know, we certainly feel it‘s warranted. We felt like there was information that the police obtained in the very beginning that was a strong indicator of their involvement. And, you know, it looks like they‘ve built on that information and they‘re finally putting the pieces of the puzzle together and we will have some information.
DANIELS: On the one hand, this gives you a ray of optimism that, yes, this case is finally moving forward. On the other hand—and I hate to bring this up—but some of the details have the potential of being horrible, just plain awful. Is your family ready to accept some of these horrible details if it means finding out the truth, Paul?
REYNOLDS: We‘re certainly focused on the truth.
We are—you know, we‘re not really thinking about, you know, what the consequences may mean. This is something we have had to deal with for months now. And we‘re just—right now, we have to stay focused for Natalee on getting answers and we just have to see where that leads us.
DANIELS: Paul, you and your sister, Beth, have been so strong. You‘ve really put up a brave face. Have you spoken to your sister today, and what did she tell you?
REYNOLDS: Well, actually, she called me this morning and let me know that they had been arrested, they were picked up.
And, of course, you know, this is what we were working for. So, we‘re happy for the developments. And, again, we‘re appreciative of all the efforts that have gone into this.
DANIELS: You know, I think back to something that Joran allegedly said, which is, hey, it‘s really Deepak that‘s responsible for Natalee‘s disappearance. Does any part of you maybe think all the attention has been on the wrong person? Maybe it is these Kalpoe brothers who know a lot more than they‘re saying?
REYNOLDS: Well, we certainly think they know more, but we think all three are involved. We think Joran and Deepak and Satish are all involved.
And, you know, we still think the father was at least involved in the cover-up. And that‘s based on the statements that the boys gave in the beginning.
DANIELS: Well, let me tell you I‘m so happy for you and your family this is finally moving forward. I know this is really the break you‘ve been waiting for and really working for. And we‘re all just praying that Natalee comes home. Thanks so much, Paul.
REYNOLDS: All right. Thanks, Lisa.
DANIELS: Let me turn now to our panel.
Pam Bondi, let me ask you, do you think that the developments today—and they are stunning—do you think that it blows this case open, finally?
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: I sure hope so.
And, certainly, they are very, very important developments today, that they could arrest these two boys. And aren‘t we seeing quite a different picture now of these boys, especially perhaps if these new young girls come forward on the case? It‘s painting quite a different picture for them as almost serial rapists, potentially, who prey on young girls using date rape drugs.
Also, adding this new guy, Freddy (ph), into the mix almost gives prosecutors someone else who may have information, and now they have quite a bit of leverage against Freddy. So, yes, these new developments are huge.
DANIELS: Let‘s bring in Stacey Honowitz quickly.
You are a sex crimes prosecutor. We‘re not talking about one guy, potentially. We are talking about one, two, three, four guys here. What does this say to you?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Well, certainly, it‘s not an unusual pattern.
And if this is what has been going on, on the island, that the four of them band together and, as Pam said, prey on tourists or young girls, then certainly, this is stunning developments, as you said, for the prosecution.
We obviously know that there is going to be an opportunity now to try to break and crack one of these guys. I mean, all along, everyone has been saying, the statements have been inconsistent between the brothers. And now we finally see, with another person in custody, that this might be the key to resolving the case, because when someone is in custody, and especially people that have been rearrested, this might be the time now for them to talk or for this fourth person to talk.
So, these developments are wonderful for the Holloway case. And let‘s hope that, on September 4, everybody will now know what evidence the prosecution is holding, because, right now, it is quite a secret, but we are going to all know the facts of what they were holding come September 4.
DANIELS: Pam, talking about secrets, how many times have we heard Clint Van Zandt come on this program and say, the rumors on the island is that Joran has done this before? I just shudder to think, if the media didn‘t keep this case up—and there‘s been a lot of criticism of the media for keeping this up—but if the media did not keep this up, would these answers be coming forward?
And, Lisa, you know, I was talking about that with someone today. And you are carrying out, really, the family‘s wishes by keeping this case alive and all the attention focused on it. No. I absolutely agree with you.
And let me tell you one point with the conspiracy. Now that you add another person perhaps into the mix of the conspiracy, a conspiracy is only as good as the people in it. And the more people in it, the weaker it gets. I just prosecuted a murder case, and it was a conspiracy. And once one person talks, the whole case falls apart. And I really think that‘s their biggest asset right now, that there are so many people perhaps involved in this.
And, also, now that, you know, Van Der Sloot maybe hears that this other fellow gets arrested, he could get nervous. What does he know?
BONDI: What is he going to say?
DANIELS: I‘m going to ask Clint the question right after the break.
Pam, Stacey, do stay with us.
We have got a lot more to talk about on this one. We will go inside the investigation. Did a local newspaper‘s investigator break this case wide open? And the forensics, can they make the case against these boys?
And a little bit later, on board the fishing trip Olivia Newton-John‘s boyfriend disappeared from. How did nobody see where he went? How is that possible? We are going to investigate that.
DANIELS: Katrina blew through South Florida, killing four, leaving more than a million in the dark. And now she‘s even more dangerous. And we are tracking her path as she gains strength and heads straight towards land once again.
DANIELS: Here‘s a picture we have seen so many times. But, tonight, for the first time, we‘re able to reveal the face on the right as that of a young man named Freddy, who was arrested this morning along with the Kalpoe brothers.
Let‘s go back to Aruba and bring in Jossy Mansur, the managing editor of “Diario,” the largest newspaper on the island.
And it‘s such a small island, Jossy. And you know everybody there. It‘s no coincidence the arrest of the Kalpoe brothers came today. Their friend Freddy‘s arrest came today. What does it all mean?
JOSSY MANSUR, EDITOR, “DIARIO”: What does it all mean?
I mean, what it means is that these three suspects, in one way or another, had something legally against them, so that they could be rearrested. and the third one, Freddy, was arrested for another case that has no relation whatsoever to the Natalee Holloway case at this point.
DANIELS: Yes, but I don‘t buy that. What are police telling you?
What are your sources saying about why these people were arrested today?
MANSUR: Well, the two Kalpoe brothers were about to be arrested at any time. They were arrested this morning at about 6:00. And our sources tell us that the third suspect was arrested because he was selling photos, inappropriate photos, of young girls without any clothes on.
DANIELS: Do we know if Natalee Holloway‘s photo is among those?
MANSUR: No. Just—well, we don‘t know that for a fact, or we can‘t even imagine that. But he was arrested because he was discovered to be involved with other people in this kind of trade, no?
DANIELS: Yes. But I just can‘t get away from the fact that the Kalpoe brothers arrested today, Freddy arrested today. It has to mean something. There has to be a master plan here. What are you hearing about that?
MANSUR: Well, if there is a master plan, we will know about it soon enough.
What I do know is that Freddy was questioned at the beginning with relations to the Natalee Holloway case. He offered an alibi, I believe, to protect Joran. And then he was released. And now he‘s arrested as a suspect of selling photographs. Maybe they are aiming to get to him through this photo business back to the Holloway case.
DANIELS: It definitely smells that way.
You know, if you take the prosecution‘s statement at its face, we are talking on a whole new level, the charges here. We are talking about drugs. We are talking about rape and we are talking about rape of many different people. There are four guys now in custody, four best friends. What does that tell you?
MANSUR: Well, what it tells me is that, really, these four guys are friends. They belong to the same group, these party boys that go out and prey on young, unsuspected girls or other kinds of girls also that are out to have a good time, not suspecting what they‘re in for with these predators around.
And they are—they not only appear in photographs together, but I understand that Freddy lives very near to the Joran house. So, there is a bond between them. There is a group that they call themselves the pimps, in which all of these participate.
DANIELS: Jossy, take me on the inside. Are they trying to squeeze Freddy? Because that‘s what it looks like.
MANSUR: Probably, yes. Probably yes. They want some better answers from him than he gave the first time.
DANIELS: I mean, are you surprised that this happened, that Freddy, the best friend, the guy in the photos, is being arrested? Is this a posse that everybody in Aruba knew about, the dirty little secret that everybody suspected, but no one was saying?
MANSUR: Well, that I can‘t tell you for sure, because it would only be speculation or whatever.
What I know for certain is that they are closely knit together, all four of the boys, the suspects, that they do party together. They go out together. I mean, they appear in photos together everywhere.
DANIELS: Does any part of you think that this guy, Freddy, might have been selling naked photos of Natalee Holloway and that‘s the connection, among many, that may bring these four guys together?
MANSUR: It is a distinct possibility, but I couldn‘t assure it, because I have no evidence to say that.
DANIELS: Yes. And we‘re probably going to find out much more about this case as it continues, because look at what happened in one single day.
Jossy, thanks for all that inside info. Appreciate it.
And let‘s bring back our panel now. We have got a lot of people, Clint, Pam, everybody there.
Clint, let‘s start with you.
CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC ANALYST: Yes.
DANIELS: Because I want to talk about Deepak. You spoke to him in person. You went to his workplace and you said this guy was swimming. He was almost drowning. He knew this thing was not going away.
VAN ZANDT: Yes.
DANIELS: He knew Beth wasn‘t going to give up.
VAN ZANDT: Absolutely.
DANIELS: He knew the prosecutor wasn‘t going to give up. And now back in the slammer. Is this guy going to talk?
VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, what this case does is, it gives us a unique look into a criminal investigation in another country.
You know, they can arrest in Aruba on suspicion. We can‘t do that in the United States. As an FBI agent, you had to have probable cause. If I arrested someone, I had to immediately take him before a magistrate and they had a right to a lawyer. As you‘re suggesting right now, Freddy is arrested. He‘s not charged, but he doesn‘t have a right to counsel right away.
So, the authorities can do just what you‘re suggesting. They can start to play him. They can start to use him. And, you know, the Kalpoe brothers have bonded together. Joran Van Der Sloot obviously is standing on his own. But now maybe Freddy is the one that is going to come along that has got information on all of them. You know, it‘s just like your other guest was saying.
Once you get people in a conspiracy or multiple defendants who know something about each other...
VAN ZANDT: Once you get one starting falling, the others can fall just like dominoes.
DANIELS: Oh, yes.
Pam, I didn‘t want to say this Paul Reynolds, Natalee‘s uncle, because it‘s too horrifying to even discuss. But you know where that statement was leading. We‘re talking about multiple guys here and we are seeing rape in the prosecution‘s statement. We are seeing murder. Is there the possibility that we are looking at a drug date rape, gang rape murder scenario?
BONDI: Horribly, that‘s exactly how it seems it‘s going. And you know, Lisa, nowadays, date rape is so common, especially in a bar in an atmosphere like that.
We see it all the time in this country, where young girls drinks, older women‘s drinks are drugged at a bar. And, yes, that certainly appears where it‘s going. I really think Freddy is the one who is sweating right now.
BONDI: Yes, hopefully, a lot of them are.
Stacey, let me ask you. In walks Natalee Holloway, this beautiful, young, innocent girl. Did she fall into a trap that these four guys might have planned from the very beginning? Is this their M.O.?
HONOWITZ: Well, absolutely.
From what you‘re hearing now, it is their M.O. It‘s four arrogant guys who probably think that drugging these girls and committing rape upon them, they‘re never going to get in trouble and they‘re never get caught, probably with the feeling that these women come from another country and no one is ever going to tell and no one is going to report it.
So, is there an M.O.? Right now, we‘re probably starting to see that. You have Freddy in custody. And as every guest has said, when you have inconsistent statements, when you have another guy in custody, four people at one time, someone is going to break. Someone is going to talk. And it might even be the situation where a prosecutor says, listen, we won‘t file charges against—or not that we won‘t file charges.
HONOWITZ: But here is what is pending. Tell us what you know. Give us leverage. And there is going to be a big break.
HONOWITZ: Candice, this is what I‘m worried about, because I don‘t know if the Aruban authorities are up to this. Here we have Joran, with his feet up on a chair. He‘s reading a novel. Are the Aruban authorities up for pressing this guy, squeezing all four guys until somebody cracks wide open?
CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, they‘ve had, of course, Joran in their custody for a while. My understanding is that, while he‘s being interrogated, he sits with his hands over his ears. So, we can forget about him for now.
Freddy is probably—if anybody is going to break, it‘s going to be Freddy. I‘m deeply disturbed by this news that this group of young men are called themselves the pimps. What does a pimp do? It takes sexual advantage of a young woman.
It‘s fascinating, I think. The statement today was very interestingly worded. They referred to the disappearance and murder, so we have got the old thing with Natalee, and then possible new charges.
DANIELS: Pam, on the one hand, these guys are so arrogant, if the evidence—we have to repeat that—if the evidence is true and all these allegations are true. On the other hand, we are looking at perhaps sexual predators, four, maybe three guys who are sexual predators. They did it before. They may do it again. We have seen it in the movies. What does it take to crack these guys open?
BONDI: It takes one, one, only one of them to come forward.
And I guarantee you, what law enforcement is saying to these guys now, hey, the first one of you to talk gets the deal. And that‘s what they‘re so scared about. Which one is going to come forward first? And, you know, with this pattern of criminal conduct that it appears we‘re seeing, typically, in a case like that, defendants gain more confidence, because, in the beginning, we all thought, who would be stupid enough to do this to this beautiful young girl with her whole high school class there.
But if they‘ve been getting away with raping young girls who live on the island, you know, you gain more confidence the more times you do it.
VAN ZANDT: Yes.
DANIELS: Clint, I want to ask you, we‘re talking about 17-, 18-year-olds. I don‘t care how experienced they are. Professionals have cracked hardened criminals. What‘s the problem here?
VAN ZANDT: Well, it is tough. They‘ve had a tough time.
Part of it is—may be the interviewing skills on the Aruban officers themselves. When I got down to Aruba last week, I was told that the initial interviews of all the suspects were, you know, tell us what you know. Thank you very much. Close the book and move on, where an FBI agent, a police officer, or any investigator would sit there and you would ask multiple questions to try to get inside their head.
VAN ZANDT: So, it may be just the lack of skill of working homicide cases. Fortunately, for the island, they don‘t have that many cases.
DANIELS: Yes. Let me tell you, if they‘re scared off by this guy putting his hands to his ears, we have got trouble, folks.
We‘re going inside the investigation. And after this, we‘re going to ask, is there enough forensic evidence to get a conviction?
Thanks so much to my panel.
And then we are going to track Katrina. She has left a trail of devastation in South Florida. Now, in the Gulf, she is gaining strength. We have the latest.
And then missing George Smith‘s bride, she should be enjoying the early days of her marriage, but instead she‘s nursing a broken heart. We are going to take you inside her private pain.
DANIELS: Tracking the path of the killer hurricane building strength and heading for landfall. We are going to have the very latest on her path.
But, first, here‘s the latest news from MSNBC World Headquarters.
DANIELS: More than a million people are without any power after Hurricane Katrina slammed South Florida. And now she‘s getting much stronger and heading west. We‘re going to get an update.
Then new information and a tour of the ship where Olivia Newton-John‘s boyfriend was last seen.
Also, we have an in-depth report on the wife of missing honeymooner George Smith IV.
And welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Lisa Daniels, in tonight for Joe. We are going to have all those stories in just minutes.
But, first, let‘s bring back our panel. With us, Pam Bondi, Stacey Honowitz and Candice DeLong.
And I want to talk to you a little about the forensic evidence in the case, because that is really what this case is going to come down to. Let‘s break open the case and take a look at what we have got. Authorities basically have the vehicles from the Van Der Sloot property. They also searched the Van Der Sloot home, at least Joran‘s. They took bags full of evidence away.
And, of course, you have got the landfill. We know it‘s been searched a lot of times. We don‘t know what those searches have turned up. And, finally, as far as we know, perhaps there‘s some DNA tests of the Kalpoes. The first ones were, of course, tossed out of court, but it‘s possible that today‘s arrest will lead to a new round of tests.
So, Candice, looking at the slivers of evidence at this point, is there enough to prosecute any of these guys? Is there a case here?
DELONG: Well, I don‘t know if there would be enough to prosecute just based on the four pieces of evidence that you describe. But there may be things that we are unaware of that, that—for example, it‘s my understanding that there may have been some e-mails transmitted between the boys and that the police have those, taped telephone conversations, things of that nature.
And, of course, as we—as you know, I‘m sure, testimony by witnesses can be used as evidence. We don‘t know what they got out of the vehicles, probably not much, because it was 11 days before they were even searched or longer. But a tremendous amount of circumstantial evidence may be what‘s needed. As you recall, in the Scott Peterson case, there was almost no forensic and he‘s on death row.
DANIELS: Pam, I guess my question, as another lawyer, looking at this case, is, if I were the DA, if I were the prosecutor, I‘d go right to the judge and say, I want to search Paul Van Der Sloot‘s home, the family home. This is the guy that allegedly said no body, no case. He knows something.
Why hasn‘t that happened?
BONDI: Well, they have to feel they have enough information legally about the parents, about the home, before they can have a right to go search it. You know, they may have tried to get a search warrant and then were unable to in the past. We just don‘t know that yet.
I really believe, if they thought they had enough, they would have gotten one and that would have been accomplished by now. If they did that, I don‘t see how they could have kept that secret either, with all the publicity and the media around the family home.
DANIELS: Yes, but remember that they had enough apparently to bring Paul Van Der Sloot into the jail for a couple hours, questioned him—a couple days, really.
DANIELS: Stacey, you have prosecuted sex crimes before. How important is the forensics when the bottom line is looked at? When you assess the case, do you need forensics?
HONOWITZ: Well, forensics are always very important in any case, especially in sex cases. But I have to tell you, Lisa, there‘s been several cases prosecuted successfully without any forensics. Sometimes, you just don‘t have it. You can have rape cases where there‘s no semen. You‘d love to have something like that to put in front of a jury. You don‘t have it.
So, I‘m not saying this case is not prosecutable. It certainly is. As Candice said before, testimony from witnesses is sometimes enough. So, we‘re going to have to wait and see. DNA has not come back yet. We don‘t know about the communications over the e-mails. All these things might become very important. And September 4, when this goes back into court, the prosecutor has to have some substantial evidence to hold him. So forensics, while very important, don‘t always make the case.
DANIELS: And September 4 is right around the corner. This case is just heating up.
Thanks so much, Pam Bondi, Stacey Honowitz and Candice DeLong.
Appreciate all of you being here. Thanks so much.
And now to a Hollywood mystery. As we have been reporting to you, the boyfriend of singing sensation Olivia Newton-John vanished at sea almost two months ago and now we have some new details about his mysterious disappearance.
“Inside Edition” senior correspondent Jim Moret took a tour aboard the fishing trip where McDermott was last seen.
And, Jim, tell us these new details.
JIM MORET, “INSIDE EDITION”: Well, we have learned a couple of things, Lisa.
First of all, we learned that he was number two person on the manifest and he apparently signed a document as he got on there. There seems to be little question that it was actually him who got on the boat, because a couple of the folks that we talked to said that they considered him a regular. He had come on a couple of fishing trips before. He‘d gone on with his son. He was considered to be an experienced fisherman.
He brought on his own gear. He was said to be very meticulous with that gear. But the only time that it was actually indicated that he was seen specifically, at least recorded, was the last hour of the trip. That‘s on July 1. As they‘re coming back into port, everybody‘s called into the galley area. And there, you settle up your accounts. And he paid less than $10 to settle up his account. And he was listed as person number two on the manifest.
And, from that point on, we can‘t really determine where he was. Earlier, we heard some reports that some people seem to recall him getting off the boat, but we can‘t really pin them down. And investigators still consider this to be a missing-persons case, not something that is suspect. They do not suspect any criminal activity at this point. And no one on the ship remembers anything unusual. That‘s what is so strange about this.
DANIELS: Jim, I want you to take us through this tour. We‘re looking at the video of this ship. Tell us what you saw. Take us there.
The boat is about 85 feet long. And that seems like a lot. But, you know, there are about 23 passengers. There‘s five crew members. You go downstairs into the bunk area. It‘s an extremely narrow area, only about a foot-and-a-half-foot wide aisle. And the bunks are stacked four high. And they‘re very narrow. It‘s kind of a piece of vinyl with little curtains and a little pillow. That‘s where you sleep.
DANIELS: And let me stop you right there.
DANIELS: Jim, I‘m looking at how closely these people were sleeping.
They‘re sleeping right next to each other.
DANIELS: Why would a person put his wallet, his passport—and who knows why he even had that—all his possessions there if somebody else could take it so easily?
MORET: Well, it‘s not the question of why you would put them there, why he would leave them there. Certainly, we all would sleep with our wallet. He had everything in a fanny pack.
But, as you indicate, who is going to take an overnight fishing trip with a passport? You didn‘t need your passport. That‘s for sure. And it doesn‘t make sense that you would bring your passport. But they found everything right there alone. And, presumably, when you go up to the galley to settle off your account, you would take everything with you. But that‘s apparently not what happened in this case.
DANIELS: Back to something you said. I‘m sorry to cut you off. I just wanted to follow up on something you said, which is, if this guy was a regular on this fishing boat, can somebody 100 percent say, yes, I know Patrick McDermott? I saw that man on this boat.
That‘s what we were told last night, anyway. We were told by the person who runs the dock that, when he was shown by authorities—he looked at the driver‘s license, for example. He said the photos that we‘re showing don‘t look like the man who was on the boat. But Patrick McDermott, the person who is on his driver‘s license, he says, oh, yes, I have seen him before. He‘s been here on a number of occasions. He‘s been here with his son. He‘s fished here before.
We know who he is. The captain knows who he is. And we even talked with a passenger who said he was on that ship, on that boat. And he said, yes, I remember talking to him as well.
DANIELS: All right, Jim, stay right there, because that‘s amazing video. We want to go back on the boat.
Up next, more on the mystery of what happened to the boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John.
And later, missing honeymooner George Smith‘s wife, the silent victim in this case, we are going to take you inside her private pain.
DANIELS: Folks, you‘re looking at new pictures of the boat Freedom, where Olivia Newton-John‘s boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, was last seen.
Let‘s go back to “Inside Edition”‘s chief correspondent, Jim Moret.
And, joining us again, Florida prosecutor Pam Bondi.
Jim, I want to follow up on something you said. You said, this guy had been on the boat. He knew its path. He knew—he knew, allegedly, if somebody were to plant his stuff there, if it were him, somebody would find it. It sounds like all the elements of a staged disappearance could be here.
MORET: Well, but let‘s look at when he would have disappeared, because, if you presume that he would have gone overboard, the best time to have done that would have been overnight, when everybody is sleeping.
But we believe, based upon the people we have talked to—first of all, you‘re not allowed to go to the very front of the ship—of the front of the boat, when it‘s moving. There is somebody on the lookout all the time to keep the passengers behind this little chained area, so that they would be in the well, where you would do all of your fishing from, or underneath.
And we also know that the account was settled up an hour before they got back into the harbor. So, the only thing you could presume, then, is, it was somebody other than Patrick McDermott who paid that bill. I don‘t have any evidence or any proof that it was Patrick McDermott himself, although he was called up specifically to pay. And that‘s what supposedly happened.
DANIELS: Yes, but, Jim, isn‘t that very convenient? Everything has been taken care of. The bill has been paid. This guy, allegedly, could have jumped in the last hour.
MORET: Oh, there‘s no question. But he also could have walked off and you would be making the same presumption, that he‘s missing somewhere. And it would be much easier to simply get off that boat and walk away.
Don‘t forget his car was parked across the street. His car keys were still on board and all of the documents were there. And we could maybe be presuming that he jumped off overboard. Meanwhile, he walked away.
DANIELS: Great point. He might have just walked off this boat and pulled off the biggest stunt that ever existed.
Let me ask you, Pam, in all of your years prosecuting cases, what is the strangest part about this case that strikes you?
BONDI: I think that we know absolutely nothing about it.
And, you know, Lisa, it doesn‘t really point to a suicide, in my opinion. Most people who commit suicide leave an indication that they‘ve done that. They leave a note or they want their family members and loved ones to know that there‘s some finality. And we have no indication of that in this case.
BONDI: And for it to be a kidnapping, that doesn‘t make sense, because he was in so much debt. You know, maybe the guy just walked away from his life.
DANIELS: And excuse me. Am I the only person that‘s wondering why Olivia Newton-John, his girlfriend of nine years, isn‘t paying off $35,000? This woman could pay it in her sleep. It doesn‘t make sense.
BONDI: Well, it—no. And they may be having personal problems in their relationship.
BONDI: I‘m sure law enforcement by this point has spoken with her, now that he‘s reported missing—and that‘s really all we know at this point—to see what problems he had going on in his life, because, certainly, if they were that close, you would think she would have helped him out.
DANIELS: And that brings up, Jim, have we learned anything more about this odd relationship between Olivia Newton-John and her boyfriend? Anything?
MORET: Well, we haven‘t learned that he‘s actually her boyfriend.
She calls him a very close and personal friend.
DANIELS: Treasured, I believe, was the word, treasured friend.
MORET: Yes, a treasured friend.
MORET: And I don‘t know if that‘s—I don‘t really know what that means. They are presumably meaningful in each other‘s life. I know that he appeared in a video presentation on a “This is Your Life” show that was shown in Australia for her not long ago.
And we know that they have some kind of relationship. Whether it‘s boyfriend/girlfriend, whether it‘s just close friends, the other odd question, frankly, for me is why, once she found out that he was missing, she chose not to come forward.
DANIELS: Yes. That...
MORET: Which is truly a shame, because her celebrity would have helped the case.
DANIELS: This is a big one. And why couldn‘t the treasured friend be loaned $35,000?
Jim Moret, Pam Bondi, appreciate all those insights.
Now to Hurricane Katrina, which flooded South Florida overnight and is gathering speed over the Gulf, before a possible hit, possibly New Orleans, or east all the way to the Florida Panhandle. Katrina killed at least seven people, more than a million homes and businesses without any power. And almost a foot of rain fell on Miami.
Joining me now from Weather Plus with important information about what we can expect this weekend is Bill Karins.
And, Bill, right now, the slower Katrina travels, the more of a monster she becomes.
BILL KARINS, NBC METEOROLOGIST: You should have done the weather,
Lisa. You know exactly what you‘re talking about
The more that this storm heads over the Gulf, instead of near land, the stronger it is going to get. And that is a problematic forecast for the Northern Gulf. Luckily, she‘s just about done with South Florida. We have had as much as six to 12 inches of rain throughout the Keys during the day.
But now the concern is, where is this storm heading and when is it going to hit landfall again? This is the latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center. We have put the little categories on here, the higher the number, the stronger the category, the stronger the storm.
And right now, we have a landfall expected sometime maybe Monday afternoon, possibly as a Category 4 storm winds, 130, 135 miles per hour, somewhere within this yellow cone. Don‘t focus exactly on this black line, because there‘s a cone of uncertainty, we like to call it. It could be anywhere in this yellow.
Then, after that, just a big rain event up through the Southeast, heading all the way up into the mid-Atlantic states. And we could have more changes in that forecast over the weekend. So, definitely stay tuned here to MSNBC and NBC Weather Plus.
DANIELS: And, hopefully, this time around, people will take this more seriously.
Bill Karins from NBC Weather Plus—thanks so much, Bill.
And make sure you stay with MSNBC for complete Katrina coverage.
Now, when we come back, a closer look at the silent victim in the case of missing honeymooner George Smith from those who know her best.
And a miraculous survivor story leads to this week‘s SCARBOROUGH champion.
DANIELS: George and Jennifer Smith would have celebrated their two-month anniversary yesterday, but, instead, Jennifer is now in seclusion, following her husband‘s bloody disappearance from their honeymoon cruise in early July.
Now, earlier this month, I went to Jennifer‘s hometown, which is Cromwell, Connecticut, and I heard how the beautiful young bride was easily the most popular girl in school, a star athlete, a friend to everybody that she met. And she also comes from a private and affluent community, where almost nobody would speak to me on camera.
Now, joining me to talk about this remarkable young woman and the deepening mystery about her husband, former FBI profiler Candice DeLong, Florida prosecutor Stacey Honowitz and reporter Lisa Salvati from NBC station WVIT in Hartford.
And, Lisa, I know you‘re going to relate to this, because, as a journalist, when you go to Cromwell, Connecticut, or any hometown, for that matter, and you start asking questions about a person who had a lot of heat on her at the time, you seldom get responses. But this time, everybody said, even if it was off camera, this girl didn‘t do it; she is sweet; she is friendly; she is nice. And she‘s a good person. Is that what you heard as well?
LISA SALVATI, WVIT REPORTER: That‘s exactly right, Lisa.
There was a friend, a gentleman who owns a business in Cromwell who is friends with the Hagels, who knows Jennifer very well. He got to know Jennifer and George, spent time with them socializing in a couple settings. He said she was the sweetest, most wonderful person that he‘s ever met. And the couple, just so you know, spending time with the couple, they never fought. They never had any pettiness between them. They treated each other, he said, with respect at all times.
And they were looking forward to their life together as a married couple. I mean, clearly, this was a couple that were very much in love. They enjoyed each other‘s company. And he couldn‘t say enough about her as a person.
SALVATI: He knew her all his life and he was a gentleman—he‘s a gentleman in his, I would say, maybe late 20s, maybe 30.
DANIELS: I know.
And I have to tell you, Lisa, even if I didn‘t like the answer that they wouldn‘t speak to me on camera, part of me really respected it, that they respect the family and, until the family wants to speak out, they‘re not touching it. And still, off camera, they told me that she was wonderful, that she was popular, but she was also nice.
And I guess that leads me to my next question, Pam. Why—or, Stacey.
Why do you think this is happening? Why do you think she just doesn‘t want to speak out? Why the silence?
HONOWITZ: Well, first of all, you have to respect anybody who is in a situation like this.
As you know, Lisa, everybody reacts differently when they‘re in a situation, especially when they find themselves probably wrapped up in a criminal investigation, because that‘s what it‘s become. I think, at first, people thought she had information and she didn‘t want to go forward, and information that might not be too popular among people.
There were allegations, or there were rumors that she was extremely intoxicated that night. And so, when she heard these or when these rumors are swirling around, either some people come forward and decide they want to confront it, answer it and ask questions and say, I wasn‘t like that. Some people choose to remain silent. And, in this case, I don‘t think we can judge.
I think the biggest thing that we have to look at is how the criminal investigation is coming about.
HONOWITZ: I believe that, if she had certain answers, if she comes
from this background where we know they didn‘t fight, they didn‘t have
problems, they were on their honeymoon, but if she has answers, if she
knows about anything that might have transpired that night, you know, it‘s
her duty and responsibility to speak to the investigators
DANIELS: Yes. She has to. It is her duty.
DANIELS: And speaking of the evidence and the investigation, I want to put up the picture of the blood, because that‘s really the only straight, hard evidence we have.
And, Candice, let me ask you, Turkish authorities have been on that boat. They‘ve looked at this scene. We know Royal Caribbean sure did. They‘re not coming on this program. Joe has invited them so many times. They‘re not answering. Is this investigation at this point so messed up that this case, that blood, will never get an answer?
DELONG: Well, the FBI is involved now. It‘s—just because you don‘t see any traces of the blood, we know they washed it away—the cruise line had a statement yesterday that they did clean it up. Just because you don‘t see any blood doesn‘t mean there aren‘t traces of blood.
I would certainly hope the Turkish authorities, although they probably didn‘t, took a sample of that blood.
DANIELS: You would think.
DELONG: Right. There are biochemical agents that, when put on a surface or a fabric or a variety of things, where you can‘t see blood, but you suspect blood was there will reveal the presence of blood, if there are any, even a couple of molecules there.
DANIELS: Yes. Well, let me tell you, I have the highest regard for the FBI, but I just hope that, after everybody finished contaminating the scene, that something will be done about this.
Lisa Salvati, Candice DeLong, and, Stacey Honowitz, thanks so much, guys. Appreciate it.
And make sure that you guys tune in on Monday, when Joe continues his investigation of this mystery. He‘s going to take you step by step through the events of that night in a way you have never seen, exclusive details that will shed light on this mystery in the Mediterranean. That is on Monday on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Meanwhile, up next, stories of survival from this week‘s plane crash in Peru give us this week‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion.
Stay with us.
DANIELS: A plane goes down in flames in the Peru jungle, but some passengers walk away. From the miraculous stories of survival comes this week‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion. That‘s next.
DANIELS: This week‘s champion comes out of the miraculous stories of survival when a plane crashed on Tuesday in bad weather in the jungles of Peru. Survivors included American honeymooner William and Monica Glenn. William is a firefighter who helped guide the rescue effort. And here is Monica from her hospital bed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONICA GLENN, CRASH SURVIVOR: Once we escaped, of course, there was heavy rain, hail. We were trudging through the mud. And William, whose hands were severely burnt, was not able to help in the rescue of anyone, but his words were very helpful. He spotted a little girl who was sitting and crying above the rubble, I believe which was from the front end of the plane, even though it was actually behind the tail at this point.
And he told another man to help the little girl. This man ended up helping the little girl. We were just walking as quickly as we could through the jungle. We were probably about 50 yards away from the plane when we felt that we were out of immediate danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DANIELS: That‘s all for tonight. Stay tuned for “HARDBALL WITH CHRIS
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