Guests: Arthur Miller, Floyd Abrams
DAN ABRAMS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Police searching for a missing college student, Taylor Behl, turn up some strange items.
At the home of a man who says he had a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old. One of the last to see her alive. A box of bones, a machete, and women‘s underwear.
And after 85 days, “New York Times” reporter Judith Miller is out of jail and finally testifying in front of a grand jury. What happened? Why now? I asked her lawyer, my dad, Floyd Abrams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us your name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Valerie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Valerie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Plus, this four-year-old girl abandoned on a New York street. She knows her name. Her mom and dad‘s first names as well. The authorities are now looking for her mother.
The program about justice starts now.
First up on the docket tonight, a box of bones, a machete, women‘s underwear, just some of the items found at Ben Fawley‘s apartment. Police had called him a person of interest in the disappearance of Virginia college freshman, Taylor Behl, last seen leaving her dorm room at 10:20 the night of September the 5th. Behl was believed to have taken her cell phone, car keys, and student identification, told her roommate she was going skate boarding with friends and would be back in a few hours.
Now police Fawley has told police he had a sexual relationship with Behl and last saw her at about 9:30 p.m. the night she disappeared. He was arrested last Friday on 16 counts of possession of child pornography, unrelated to Behl‘s disappearance, and now says that he was kidnaped that same night.
Joining me now, Jim Nolan, writer with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who‘s been following this story closely, and MSNBC analyst, former F.B.I. investigator, Clint Van Zandt.
All right, Jim, first, let me ask you about the items that were found. Just, number one here, box of bones, a machete, 32 caliber cartridge, sex toys, women‘s underwear, skate boards, cell phones, clothing, dirty laundry. I don‘t really know how that‘s a particularly surprising item to have found there. But what is it about these that‘s particularly striking?
JIM NOLAN, RICHMOND TIME-DISPATCH: Well, Dan, in some cases, they‘re common items, computers, DVD‘s, videos, the clothing, as you mentioned. They also found a machete, a shotgun cartridge. There are a number of things that concern police, but some of the things that they were looking for the most are the things they didn‘t find. For instance, they did not find Taylor Behl‘s student I.D. They did not find her cell phone. And they did not find the keys to her White Ford Escort, was recovered 12 days later.
ABRAMS: None of the items that we just listed have been linked to Taylor as of yet.
NOLAN: Well, we don‘t know for sure, because a number of those items, including the laundry, believe it or not, will be taken to the F.B.I. lab and tested forensically to determine whether Taylor Behl had any contact with him or whether there‘s any evidence of Ben Fawley‘s contact with Taylor. Those are some of the things that will be tested.
Other things, even Fawley‘s lawyer has admitted, do belong to Taylor Behl.
A couple of her pieces of clothing, perhaps, and perhaps some jewelry. That should not come as too much of a surprise because we know the Fawley and Taylor Behl had some sort of relationship prior to the evening before she disappeared.
ABRAMS: And where does this claim that he made that he was kidnaped. I mean, the fact that he‘s saying that he was kidnaped. That someone put a bag over his head hours after she disappeared is almost beyond belief.
NOLAN: Well, that‘s one thing police are looking very carefully at. He has filed a police report, a document saying that he was the victim of a crime, an abduction and a robbery, some seven hours after he last saw Taylor Behl. What‘s troubling about that report, or curious about it to investigators, is that it‘s very light on specifics, Dan. It doesn‘t say description of who attacked him. It doesn‘t give a description of the weapon that was used to attack him. He is unable even to tell people where he was dropped off after this attack. And those are a few things that police are saying, we need more details on this before we can even confirm this you had a crime committed against you.
ABRAMS: Clint, as a profiler, we at least know that this guy is extremely bizarre, correct?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FMR. FBI INVESTIGATOR: Yes, he‘s bizarre. He‘s an interesting collector of things to include now license plates and bones. And the story you just talked about, Dan, this bizarre sounding kidnaping, what that does, of course, it allows him to account for his time the night Taylor Behl disappeared. And if there‘s any scratches, cuts, abrasions that he picked up that night, he can say, hey, I got them when I was kidnaped.
ABRAMS: And what about the items, Clint? They are all, I assume, now going to be taken. They‘re going to try and match them up in some way or another. Let‘s assume for a moment that they can‘t say anything beyond what Jim just said. And that is, all right, yes, they‘ve got Taylor‘s clothes there. He‘s going to say, yes, we had a relationship, et cetera. Her DNA may be found at the house. They‘re going to need a little bit more.
VAN ZANDT: Yes, her DNA may well be found. You know, one of the things they seized too was men‘s underwear that he had thrown out in the trash can. Wonder why. You know, so maybe they were just old. So they‘ve got those. But they‘ve also got it looks like a blood stain on the mattress in the house. They‘ve got a hammer. They‘ve got an ax. And, you know, what the were I working this case, Dan, I‘d have to take a real hard look in this guy‘s background and see, what was his relationship with other women. Go talk to those women and then find out the degree of the personal relationship that he had. What did he ask them to do in their intimate contacts? What might he have asked Taylor to do that she did or didn‘t go along with?
ABRAMS: And, remember, this is a guy who had been convicted of eight crimes that we know of between 1986 and now.
VAN ZANDT: And he‘s done three years of hard time already. So, you know, the guy is even though the police don‘t want to call him a suspect, the guy‘s a suspect.
ABRAMS: Jim Nolen, Clint Van Zandt, thanks a lot.
NOLEN: Thank you, Dan.
VAN ZANDT: Thanks, Dan.
ABRAMS: Turning now to the latest on a nationwide manhunt for an accused rapist, pedophile, and killer. Forty-three-year-old Melvin Keeling, suspect in the murder of a 13-year-old girl. This story, ah, Katie Coudill shot in the head in her bedroom last week. According to police, it was after she accused Keeling of molesting her best friend. That person, Keeling‘s girlfriend‘s daughter. Keeling disappeared after that shooting. Then that same day, two clerks in an Indiana convenience store shot dead. Keeling‘s been charged with two counts of homicide. Investigators have considered the possibility Keeling might be dead. He reportedly left a message in a van that he abandoned saying his family would never see him again alive. But then Keeling‘s wallet and I.D. found near the van, tracking dogs picked up his scent. The manhunt goes on. Once again, Stanley Borgia is the F.B.I. special agent in charge of the Cincinnati office which initiated and is coordinating this investigation.
Special Agent, thanks for taking the time.
All right. So, bottom line, do you still believe he‘s alive?
STANLEY BORGIA, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: You know, Dan, we‘re going to continue to investigate this as if he‘s alive. We have no information or facts that would lead us to think that he is deceased. Information has been circulated that he may have taken his life. Certainly the activities that occurred from the time of the first alleged murder and through the time that his vehicle was found in Gary might lead people to believe that he was on a downward spiral, that would lead him to take his own life. However, that was that is conjecture. There has been no documented note that would indicate he was going to take his own life.
ABRAMS: I want to just give our viewers I know the reason you come on this program is so we can put out the word and we give information about him. That‘s why you take your precious time. So let‘s put up some personal details about him. Apparently he‘s got a slight lisp, avid pool player, pin in the neck apparently limits movements, fifth degree martial arts black belt. He‘d worked on an assembly line. What do you mean what does he mean, pin in the neck limits his movement?
BORGIA: Well, what that means is that, when he turns his head to one side or the other, he favors his neck, so it causes his body to turn. And also, I don‘t think we should forget to mention that he was last known to be carrying a 40 caliber pistol. So that he‘s should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.
ABRAMS: Let me ask you a question. After this break, we‘re going to have the bounty hunter, Duane “The Dog” Chapman, on the program. He says he‘s now out looking for this guy. How do you feel about that?
BORGIA: Well, I can tell you that, you know, we put up a reward for this individual. But it was not to encourage old west style justice. That money was put up to encourage people with information to come forward. This investigation several days ago did cross the paths of one bounty hunter, which caused a momentary disruption in the investigation, until we could identify what was happening and where information was leading us. So what we don‘t want is to have some kind of conflict in the investigation that would cause confusion to investigators that might lead us make us think we‘re hot on the trail.
ABRAMS: Has your office asked The Dog and other bounty hunters to back off?
BORGIA: No, we have not. We have not had any contact directly with any bounty hunters.
ABRAMS: All right. Special Agent Borgia, thanks a lot again for coming back on the program. And keep us up to date. We‘ll keep putting out the ward.
BORGIA: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Coming up, Dog, the bounty hunter. Tells us what he is trying to do to track down Melvin Keeling. And we‘ll ask him if he feels like he‘s getting in the way. We‘ll talk to him up next.
And reporter Judith Miller‘s out of jail after 85 days, finally testifying to a grand jury. So why did she decide to give up her source now? Her lawyer, the great lawyer, my dad, Floyd Abrams, joins us.
Plus, this little girl turns up on a New York City street in the middle of the night. All she knows is her name, her parents‘ first name. She tries to help them with information. They have her talk to the media in an effort to put the word out. The tape of her is absolutely heartbreaking, but it has led to people helping. Police now believe they may know who she is.
Your e-mails, firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, where you‘re writing from. I‘ll respond at the end of the show.
ABRAMS: We‘re back with more on the nationwide search for Melvin Keeling, a suspect in the murder of a 13-year-old girl, who had alleged confronted him about molesting her friend. He‘s also been charged with murdering two convenience store clerks and raping and molesting his girlfriend‘s daughter. That was the friend.
We just talked to the F.B.I. about the search for Keeling. My next guest has his own manhunt underway. A friend of the program, Duane “Dog” Chapman is a bounty hunter. Dog‘s show “Dog: The Bounty Hunter” airs Tuesday nights on A&E, and he joins us now by phone.
Dog, thanks for taking the time.
DOG CHAPMAN: Thank you, my brother. How are you?
So what kind of progress are you making in the search for Keeling?
CHAPMAN: Well, you know, we‘re right on, you know, right behind him as they say. We‘ve got information coming in, you know, about every 10 minutes. So, I mean, we‘re after him, my brother. We‘re after him.
ABRAMS: Are you convinced he‘s alive? Because some were speculating that he might be dead.
CHAPMAN: You know, I think he‘s alive, because I‘m sure if he would have killed himself, he would have done it, you know, somewhere where the authorities could have found him. I have checked with four surrounding states at the morgues and they do not have, you know, anybody that matches his description as a John Doe. So I do believe he is still alive and functional.
ABRAMS: Now I understand that you had some connections to this case.
CHAPMAN: Well, you know, we got hundreds of e-mails when it first happened. And then I talked to, you know, the little girl‘s grandmother and her mother and her aunt and, you know, I‘m encouraging them that, yes, we are on it. And, you know, because of their requests, we‘re doing this. You know, we‘re going full blast. My brother, we are on the hunt for Melvin and we‘re going to get him.
Now, listen, I want to tell you I probably you know, everybody wants to do the hands-on themselves. But, you know, I‘m going to locate him. I‘m not, you know, that stupid, my brother. The guy‘s a head shooter. He‘s made it, I think, his suicide pact is that he either wants to commit suicide or die behind a policeman‘s gun. So, you know, I‘m not going to go out there and be an idiot and die behind it. But whatever I can do to help these people and locate this killer, I‘m going to do that.
ABRAMS: We just talked to the F.B.I. and they said that they had not specifically asked you or any other bounty hunters to back off, but he did say that they were concerned about you or others getting in the way. Your response.
CHAPMAN: Well, I‘m glad they don‘t ask me to back off because, you know,
for 20 years, you know, I think the score is 10 to 4 right now, so and
I‘m ahead. But I you know, I see that. I mean these guys work, you
know, just like I do, 24 hours a day, and they don‘t want some guy like the lone ranger coming in thinking they‘re going to take some guy like this shooter out, you know.
And like I say, I‘m not ignorant. I will contact the F.B.I. when I do locate him or the local police department, let swat take him out like they want to. So I think that‘s what they want is like, you know, Dog, if you do find him, don‘t be a glory hound. You know, share it. And, you know, I have a lot of brothers in the F.B.I. and I absolutely will share this. I‘m just doing it along with my family to help find this guy.
ABRAMS: You predict you‘re going to find him the next week?
CHAPMAN: My brother, you know, I can‘t tell you in a week. But I know I‘m almost positive Melvin is still alive and I‘m sure I will be you know, I‘m sure that the F.B.I. will end up saying that Duane “Dog” Chapman was instrumental in the apprehension of Melvin.
ABRAMS: Duane “Dog” Chapman, people didn‘t know your last names is Abrams. That‘s why he‘s calling me brother. No, I‘m just kidding. Duane “Dog” Chapman, thanks for coming on the program.
CHAPMAN: Thank you, brother.
ABRAMS: Yesterday, “New York Times” reporter Judith Miller, who was starting her 85th day in jail for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury, now she‘s free. Miller was held in contempt of court because she wouldn‘t give up her source in the investigation into who outed CIA operative Valerie Plame. But today she testified, saying her source sent a letter and called her in jail saying testify and insisting he‘d voluntarily waived their agreement a long time ago to keep his name confidential.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDITH MILLER, “NEW YORK TIMES” REPORTER: I served 85 days in jail because of my belief in the importance of upholding the confidential relationship journalists have with their sources. Believe me, I did not want to be in jail. But I would have stayed even longer if I had not achieved these two things, the personal waiver and the narrow testify and the narrow testimony.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, agreed to limit Miller‘s testimony to her conversations with that source.
Now her source, according to her own paper, “The New York Times,” Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Vice President‘ Dick Cheney‘s chief of staff. Although she wouldn‘t say that name publicly today. Floyd Abrams is Judith Miller‘s attorney, and my father. Now, I should say he joins us now.
I should say, Dad, you and I have not had the time to discuss any of this today, so I only know what I have seen and read about this. And I have to tell you, I still don‘t get it. She‘s been in jail for 85 days because she refused to ask her source for permission to testify? Is that journalistic ethics or pig headed?
FLOYD ABRAMS, ATTORNEY FOR “NEW YORK TIMES”: I wouldn‘t put it quite that way, Dan. I would say that she‘s been in jail for 85 days because she made a promise of confidentiality and she thought it was important to keep the promise of confidentiality. And that‘s what she‘s done.
Now, a time comes when her source says to her, in so many words, it‘s all right, you can go ahead. Not until that moment happens can she testify. And for her, that moment didn‘t happen until he picked up the phone and called her and told her. Not his lawyer telling me in language, which is sort of contradicted by some other things he told me. But by him telling the very journalist that he talked to. And that‘s what happened.
ABRAMS: Well, let‘s be clear about this. I mean, the attorney is saying, “her lawyers were provided with a waiver that we said was voluntary more than a year ago.” And they go on, “we told her lawyers that (the waiver) was not coerced. We are surprised to lean we had anything to do with her incarceration.”
I mean, Dad, it sounds like Scooter Libby‘s attorney is basically blaming you or Judy.
FLOYD ABRAMS: He certainly is and he‘s wrong. I understand he‘s got a problem and he has to deal with it, but I‘m not the problem and Judy‘s not the problem. The problem is, for one thing, that on the very same day that he said to me, look, I‘ve spoken to my client and it‘s all right if Judy Miller testifies.
He also said to me, of course the waiver, the underlying piece of paper that his client signed, was coerced. It‘s a form document. The government made him sign it. The government would fire him if he didn‘t sign it.
Now, that‘s a mixed message. That doesn‘t mean he did anything wrong. Doesn‘t mean Mr. Libby did anything wrong. But it means that we were left in a situation, and I talked to him on more than one occasion, we were left in a situation where Judy Miller, having promised to protect this man‘s source, couldn‘t be sure just what it was he wanted.
ABRAMS: But could you clarify it with him though?
FLOYD ABRAMS: Well, you know, the idea of going back to him and back to him and still trying to figure out just what is it he means, just what is it that his source wants, is itself a form of pressure. Journalists, you know, stay away from going back to their source and saying, please, please, let me out of my obligation. And in this situation, we had a member of Congress get on the floor and say, Mr. Libby, please provide a personal waiver to Judy Miller, and there was no answer.
She was in jail for three months. He didn‘t pick up the phone. He didn‘t call. He didn‘t write. You draw certain conclusions. And it‘s not the conclusion of wrongdoing, but the conclusion you draw is at least, I promised him confidentiality, I‘ll keep my word.
ABRAMS: And your position would be, why else would Libby‘s lawyer have said, yes, go ahead and testify, but, but that waiver was clearly coerced. Why else would he have said that except to be saying to you, effectively, we‘re not fully waiving here?
FLOYD ABRAMS: Yes, and why else would they have been so silent? I mean, Judy Miller‘s been in jail, as I say, for 85 days. It‘s been all over the papers.
ABRAMS: But they‘re saying that they didn‘t know it had anything to do
that they‘re saying they seem surprised that this that he‘s the source?
FLOYD ABRAMS: Well, that‘s all I can say on that one is, that‘s just not
credible. It‘s just not credible. They know that these two people spoke.
They know when they spoke. There‘s every reason for us to think that Mr. Libby testified about that, as Judy Miller now has testified about whatever she was asked about. The notion that after all of that, that he had nothing to do with it, that he wasn‘t even the reason that she was put in jail, is really very hard to believe.
ABRAMS: And you are confident that his lawyer knew he was the source, that he was the reason that Judy Miller was behind bars?
FLOYD ABRAMS: Yes. I can‘t think of anything else. Again, I strain you know, I know what I say for my clients sometimes, you know, to try to persuade people my clients are right. And I understand that he‘s got a client too. But, look, this isn‘t a matter the core issue here is Judy Miller kept her word. She said she‘d keep her word. She kept her word. And finally, but only then, did her source say to her, in clear, unequivocal language, person to person, look, not only is it OK, I want you to testify. And then she did so.
ABRAMS: All right. Dad, I hope your arm keeps healing well.
FLOYD ABRAMS: Thank you. And I was glad to hear I have another son tonight.
FLOYD ABRAMS: The Dog.
ABRAMS: Oh, The Dog. Dog Chapman. That‘s funny. I was thinking, wow. I didn‘t I‘m like, Dad. I wish I hadn‘t gotten the news on TV, you know. All right. Good to see you.
FLOYD ABRAMS: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Lucy Daglish, she‘s an executive director for the Reporter‘s Committee for Freedom of the Press, and she joins us now.
You know, Lucy, what really bothers me about this whole situation is this idea of this reluctance of reporters, and as a result their lawyers, to say, I‘m going to go back to my source and ask again. I have gone back to sources in uncomfortable situations and said, look, I‘m getting some heat here, is it OK if it comes down to it that I disclose who you were, et cetera? And I have never thought twice about going back to them.
LUCY DAGLISH, REPORTER‘S COMMITTEE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS: You know, Dan, I think once the legal process gets started, you‘re in a much different position. And there are a lot of lawyers that would advise you that once you‘ve got that subpoena and various threats have been made . . .
ABRAMS: All right. So you mean because of obstruction of justice concerns?
DAGLISH: Obstruction of justice or whatever.
ABRAMS: Fine. Put that aside for a moment. Journalistic ethics. Do you have any problem, when you‘re talking about journalistic ethics, with saying to a reporter, it‘s OK to go back to your source as many times as you feel comfortable or, you know, there‘s nothing wrong with going back to a source and saying, hey, I could be in trouble on this. I want to just make sure that I can disclose your name or what can I disclose or what can‘t I disclose, et cetera?
DAGLISH: Yes, you are right, and I think that happens all the time.
ABRAMS: So this notion out there that as a matter of journalism because I have heard Judy Miller suggest that she didn‘t think it was proper to go back to her source again as a matter seemingly of journalistic ethics. And it just seems to me like that‘s just overkill.
DAGLISH: I don‘t think there‘s any uniform standard of ethics out there. And, you know, Dan, I‘m not an expert on ethics, I‘m a lawyer. So it‘s up to each reporter to decide what their conscience will allow them to do. And I don‘t think it‘s a good idea for us to get in the middle of trying to analyze whatever agreement they had with their source.
But I agree that there are many instances in which a reporter will go back to a source. You know, it‘s possible that because of who these sources were and what the issue was, it was just not a good situation for her to do that.
DAGLISH: But I imagine in time we‘ll have a better idea of exactly what happened. I certainly hope Judy writes something about it and explains it to us.
ABRAMS: I am sure she will.
Lucy, good to see you. Thank you.
DAGLISH: Good to se you too.
ABRAMS: Coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You look like?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She looks like a princess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: That‘s all police had to go on as they tried to identify this little girl abandoned on a New York City street. Now they know who she is, but they can‘t find her mother.
And this, former playmate of the year is making headlines again. No reality show. She‘s heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.
DANIEL ABRAMS, ANCHOR, THE ABRAMS REPORT: Coming up, a four-year-old girl found walking the streets of New York in the middle of the night, offers nuggets about her life, to police, and then reporters. Now police in a desperate search to find her mother.
COLLETTE CASSIDY, MSNBC NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening everyone. I‘m Collette Cassidy. Here‘s what‘s happening.
Firefighters battling a huge wildfire northwest of LA are being helped by cooler, more humid air and calmer winds. The fire has now burned about 21,000 acres in the hills and canyons between Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated, scores of homes have been threatened, and at least one home has burned. Officials say the fire is now about 20 percent contained and hope to have it 35 percent contained by tonight.
Firefighters also battling a new wildfire in the hills of Burbank it broke out yesterday. Official say it burned about 500 acres, but no homes are threatened so far.
The season‘s 19th tropical depression has formed, over the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, and right now, poses no immediate threat to land. Forecasters at National Hurricane Center say it could be a tropical storm by tomorrow. Right now, its sustained winds are about 30 miles an hour. Those are your headlines. I‘m Collette Cassidy and now back to THE ABRAHMS REPORT.
ABRAMS: A little girl just, four years old, found abandoned on a New York City street in the middle of the night. How she got there? Who dropped her off? Seemingly a mystery. We are now learning, though, more about her family and what may have happened.
We will get to that in a minute. But first, the heart-breaking questions and answers from the girl herself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us your name?
VALERIE LOZADA, ABANDONED ON NY CITY STREET: Valerie.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How old are you, Valerie?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You‘re four? And do you go to school?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what school do you go to?
LOZADA: Day care.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is your mommy‘s name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Monica? And how about your daddy?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Caesar is your daddy. And do you know how you got lost honey?
LOZADA: I got lost when I was sleeping, he took me in the car, and—
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your daddy?
LOZADA: He took me outside with no shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh.
LOZADA: So I was crying. And some people find me and they give me a sweater and everything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you remember how you got lost?
LOZADA: I got lost in Queens Boulevard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does your daddy work? Does he go to work? What does he do when he goes to work?
LOZADA: I stay with my mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When daddy goes to work, where does he go? What kind of work does he do?
LOZADA: He—I don‘t know. He—I don‘t know she—what he do, because I never saw that store.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does mommy work?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what mommy does when she goes to work?
LOZADA: She packs all of her stuff in her (INAUDIBLE) and her book bag.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what kind of job she does, do you know what kind of work mommy does?
LOZADA: She cooks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She cooks. She cooks for you, or she cooks for other people?
LOZADA: For other people, and little people. But I don‘t go in the store because I stay with my daddy in the night when it‘s time to sleep. They take her, my—my Caesar take her to work. And I sleep. Then she come back by herself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So mommy works at night when you are sleeping?
And then she—in the morning she takes you to school?
LOZADA: And then—in the night she comes back, and I sleep with them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So does mommy work in a store?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does your mommy look like?
LOZADA: She looks like a princess.
ABRAMS: Oh, all right.
Well, here have been developments in this story since little Valerie was questioned, then brought out to the media in an effort to help find her family. Joining me now is Melissa Russo, the WNBC reporter who has been following the story. She was one of the ones asking a lot of the questions there.
All right. So Melissa, they are now confident they know who Valerie‘s mother is?
MELISSA RUSSO, WNBC REPORTER: Oh, they know exactly who she is, Dan. As a matter of fact, family members of her mothers are here today. The police released a photograph of her mother this morning. They released her name, it is Monica Rivadinerra Lozada. They describe her as a female, 26 years old, 5‘6”, 105 pounds, she is from Bolivia. She has long bleach blonde hair and had recent dental work.
And they are saying her face might be swollen. Which interestingly, her daughter, Valerie described to me yesterday, that her mommy‘s face was causing her pain. There are a lot of questions but not a lot of answers at this moment.
Detectives worked through the night here at the 104th Precinct Station house, questioning a man named Caesar, who they believe to be the boyfriend of Valerie‘s mother. The mother is still missing, and while Caesar has not been arrested, there are now homicide detectives assigned to this case.
Everyone is hoping there won‘t be bad news for this precious little child who misses her mommy.
ABRAMS: I heard she had mentioned, she effectively—she described it as having two daddies?
RUSSO: She did. She said she has two daddies, one who lives at home with her and another who doesn‘t, Caesar and Philippe. Police have helped on us figure out Caesar, they believe, to be the mother‘s boyfriend;
Philippe, to be the biological father, who they think is in Bolivia.
ABRAMS: And so, if Philippe is in Bolivia, is it suspected Caesar was the last one in the car with her?
RUSSO: Well, that‘s what she told us. Valerie‘s story yesterday was that she was taken in a hurry in the middle of the night about 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning from her apartment while she was sleeping, with no clothes on, which she described was very upsetting for her.
At some point, she told her foster mother, that Caesar had taken her to buy a television on Queens Boulevard. She‘s not completely consistent about where he was taking her. But she knows he took her in the car, out of her home, at 100 in the morning on Sunday. And the next thing she knows, is she was lost.
And she said some people came and found her with no shoes on, sure enough, the Good Samaritan who found her actually not on Queens Boulevard, but 76th Street in Queens, described to police they had found this little girl with no shoes on, no sweater, knocking on their door and making noise outside their home.
ABRAMS: Let‘s be clear. They took her to a hospital, it seems there was no abuse they could find.
RUSSO: That‘s right.
ABRAMS: She was well taken care of, etc cetera. So this is really a child has been abandoned. Where is she now?
RUSSO: She is in foster care. She has been placed in the care of a woman who lives in Queens, who has another child in her care. I interviewed that woman yesterday, who described Valerie as doing a little better than now she was a few days ago. At first, she said Valerie was crying every night, I miss my mommy, where is my mommy? She was saying that it was her birthday this week and that she couldn‘t have her presents because she was lost.
We haven‘t been able to confirm yet, if, in fact, it was her birthday this week.
Investigators tell us that Caesar, this boyfriend of the mother, has offered them several different versions of what exactly happened that night. He does not admit to being with Valerie or losing her early that Sunday morning. His story, or at least one of the versions he told investigators, was that he drove Valerie and her mother to the airport to catch an international flight to Bolivia.
But what has investigators concerned, Dan, is that there‘s no evidence, according to police of any ticket, any plane ticket, any reservation, or that Valerie and her mother ever boarded any plane to Bolivia.
RUSSO: That‘s what is making them concerned at this point. Some of them tell us they have a bad gut feeling about this.
ABRAMS: Well, we will hope for the best. We will continue to follow it. Thanks.
RUSSO: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Coming up, you thought Chief Justice John Roberts was going to be the marquee attraction of the U.S. Supreme Court this term? Think again. Mrs. Smith is going to Washington for her day in court.
ABRAMS: Anna Nicole Smith says she is entitled to her late husband‘s millions, and believe it or not, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear her case.
ABRAMS: The Supreme Court kicks off its new session on Monday. With John Roberts now sitting in the chief justice‘s chair, the first time in more than 11 years a new face is on that bench. While many will be listening closely to get a hint of how he will decide some of the crucial issues of the day, others will be watching, more than listening.
As another attraction comes to the court this term. It‘s hard to believe Ms. Smith is going to Washington.
ABRAMS (voice over): It‘s hard to believe, Ms. Smith is going to Washington.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH: I love you all.
ABRAMS: Anna Nicole, heading to the highest court in the land.
SMITH: They think I‘m rich. I‘m not rich. I‘m going to be rich.
ABRAMS: It‘s the final chapter in the former “Playboy” centerfold turned reality show star‘s 10-year legal battle over $474 million.
SMITH: Yes, I spent money on myself, my son.
ABRAMS: At issue, the estate of her 90-year-old billionaire husband, J. Howard Marshall. He died in 1995, after just a year of marriage to the self-proclaimed blonde bombshell. His son, E. Pierce Marshall, has argued Smith was never entitled to a dime, beyond the $6 million in gifts that his father showered on her during their brief union.
ERIC BRUNSTAD, ATTORNEY FOR E. PIERCE MARSHALL: She claimed that she was entitled to a large sum, and of course, the Texas probate court said she wasn‘t entitled to anything.
ABRAMS (on camera): The specific issue before the court is pretty legalistic and technical. He initially won in state court, she won in federal court. Now the U.S. Supreme Court will determine which court, state or federal, should decide this case.
KENT RICHLAND, ATTORNEY FOR ANNA NICOLE SMITH: A testimony to the courage of the United States Supreme Court, that it took on a case when it knew it would be subject to, you know, ridicule and some fun-making by virtue of the juxtaposition of Anna Nicole Smith with the United States Supreme Court.
ABRAMS (voice over): With Anna Nicole expected to attend the proceedings early next year, even somewhat arcane legal arguments may seem just a little more interesting.
SMITH: Ha-ha, yeah, ha-ha-ha.
Joining me now to discuss Anna Nicole Smith‘s chances before the U.S. Supreme Court, other big cases of the court will take up this term, the man whose audio taped lectures helped me through law school, Harvard Law School Professor Arthur Miller.
Professor, good to see you.
ARTHUR MILLER, ATTORNEY: I am glad you still have your priorities, Dan.
MILLER: This is the bench mark of this term.
ABRAMS: This is the most important case the court will evaluate. What is going to happen here?
MILLER: In that case?
MILLER: It‘s funny, you know, I have been teaching in this federal jurisdiction field for years and years, and I have always assumed that it‘s settled law that federal courts don‘t get involved in probate and divorce matters, that those are estate matters. And maybe that‘s what the court is going to re-announce. Otherwise, it‘s hard to figure out why they took this case, given that they now work with so few cases a year.
ABRAMS: And it got—the federal court sort of snuck in the back door through a bankruptcy court, right?
MILLER: Right. Another very, very strange thing about a very, very strange story.
ABRAMS: She was filing for bankruptcy right?
MILLER: Yes, yes. So it‘s not only a question of should the federal court intervene in what the state courts have already done, but whether a federal bankruptcy court, which is the general federal court, should get involved in this.
ABRAMS: All right. Let‘s move on, Arthur. Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood, the question there: Can New Hampshire require girls younger than 18 to notify parents of get judges permission before obtaining abortions?
There‘s even more, this comes down to the fundamental question that is being debated in the Supreme Court right now about abortion, right?
MILLER: Absolutely. Of course, it will be sort of the baptism, so to speak, for the new chief justice in terms of where does he stand on the abortion question. Most people would say reasonable regulation of the abortion rights probably will be tolerated by the new court.
But this is a point about parental consent under a statute that does not have a true health exception, and the court really dealt with that a few years ago. And one would think that it would deal with it in the same way.
ABRAMS: The health exception meaning that if the health of the girl were at risk, that would then - should nullify this requirement?
MILLER: That‘s right, that it would trump. You know, if Sandra Day O‘Connor was still voting, the case should come out more or less the same way 5-4. Now, she is being replaced by Justice Robert—I should say Justice Rehnquist is being replaced by Justice Roberts.
MILLER: If the new justice yet to be appointed reaches the court in time to sit on this case, that could make a difference.
ABRAMS: This next case, Arthur, is one that I find fascinating, and I feel very strongly about this one. I researched this a lot, Rumsfeld v. FAIR. The question is: Can government withdraw financial support from a university if its law school refuses to grant U.S. military recruiters the same access to students as other potential employers.
Basically, what the universities are saying is, well, the military discriminates against gays. Our policy is we don‘t allow organizations that discriminate to be here.
Yet there‘s a federal law that says, you got to let the military in. I say the feds win on this one, and I‘m sorry that the universities want their First Amendment rights, but on this one, I think the feds should win.
MILLER: I have a feeling that‘s the way it‘s going to come out. Federal policy, that this will trump, that this is really a financing question. Every law school in the United States, it seems, is working on this case. The flow of amicus briefs to the court is extraordinary. I don‘t think anybody is teaching or going to class anymore.
It‘s a fascinating problem. The law schools, my own included, doesn‘t want to put its imprimatur on the military policy regarding gays and lesbians.
ABRAMS: But the response on the other side is all they are asking for is the same treatment as everybody else, but Professor Miller, we got to wrap it up. As always, good to see you.
MILLER: Nice to see you, Dan.
ABRAMS: Coming up, hundreds of emails after fiery debate on evolution and intelligent design. I said intelligent design is downright dishonest. Many of you disagree. Our continuing series, “Manhunt, Sex Offenders on the Loose”. Our effort to finding missing sex offenders before they strike again.
We wrap up the week in Arizona. Authorities looking for Don. C. Nordby, 55, 5‘10”, 170, level three sex offender. Convicted of molesting a child, hasn‘t registered with the authorities.
If you have any information on where he is, please call the Arizona Department of Public Safety, 602-255-0611.
Back in a moment.
ABRAMS: I‘ve had my say. Now it‘s time for your rebuttal. Last night we had a heated debate over teaching evolution in school. One school in Pennsylvania now in court because they ordered teachers to teach intelligent design in science class, along with Darwin‘s theory of evolution.
I said intelligent design is somewhat dishonest. Supporters claim it‘s some sort of science, not religion. Even though no major scientific organization has recognized it.
Nick Sweeny in Asheville, North Carolina: “Thank you for having the spine to take on the pseudo scientists of the Discovery Institute. It‘s all too easy for shows like yours to treat it as a “he said, she said” argument and give equal weight to a wholly political movement that uses circular arguments and dubious analogies to make its case.
Don Preston: “Your argument was: Intelligent Design is false because no ‘reputable scientific group espouses it.” History is replete with examples of the pontificators of the scientific consensus being dead flat wrong.”
OK, Don. So we might as well just not teach science at all in school.
From Chicago, Scientist Brett C.: “If the Intelligent Designers are truly suggesting that the Designer is a God-like entity and not God.then the whole Design theory is blasphemous.”
Rev. Susan Dolan-Henderson of Austin, Texas: “In my 47-years, it has never once occurred to me that evolution and Christian belief were mutually exclusive.The Intelligent Design people need to give it up, so that our children will be scientifically intelligent in a world of science and technology.”
Peter Taylor in California: “You referred to the Evolution Theory as something proven by facts. Please keep in mind that if it was proven by facts, it would not be called a theory.”
I‘m not sure you understand scientific theories. Like gravity, and the theory of relativity, the theory of evolution is based on facts. The scientific conclusion or theory, based on facts.
In Pensacola, Florida, Michael Lowe: “I have no problem with teaching Intelligent Design as long as they include the possibility that we came from the stars, such as the Native Americans believe that Pleadian master geneticists put us here on earth.”
Rev. Philip Orlano: “Just because a personal or organization may believe that there is an Intelligent Designer who is God our a higher power, doesn‘t make him a religious zealot or a religious partisan.”
No, it does not, Reverend. What I said was those who do not admit that Intelligent Design is a disguised form of creationism are being dishonest. Again, I have the utmost respect for those who just come out and say, I believe God created all life. I don‘t think that should be taught in public schools, but I never said, nor do I believe, that believing in creationism makes someone a religious zealot.
Finally, Mike Clinch in Dayton, Ohio: “I am a natural scientist and a Christian. You guest from the Discovery Institute last night was neither. .He lied repeatedly when he claimed Intelligent Design wasn‘t about putting God back in the classroom. Thank you for challenging him, especially when he rudely interrupted and talked over your other guest.”
Your e-mails, Abramsreport@msnbc.com. We go through them at the end of the show. Coming up—a chance to buy one of my press passes, for charity.
ABRAMS: Next week we‘re going to begin an auction. I‘m going to auction off two of my press passes, one from the Scott Peterson case and one from the Michael Jackson case. That‘s the Peterson one. The proceeds from that, one of them will go to the Habitat for Humanity, for Katrina victims. And the other one is going to CASA, Court Appointed Special Counsel, a special advocate for kids who need lawyers.
See you later.
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