Guests: Beth Holloway Twitty, Jamie Skeeters, Chris Lejuez, Susan Filan, Michael Bachner, Dave Been, Clint Van Zandt, Jim Nolan, Joseph Owen
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Coming up, breaking news out of Aruba, in a rare public statement the prosecutor‘s office announces that the investigation into Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance is not over.
ABRAMS (voice-over): This as a new tape emerges of one of the suspects admitting he two others had sex with Natalee the night she went missing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She did. You‘d be surprised how simple it was.
ABRAMS: Could this mean that he, they, could face other charges?
Natalee‘s mother is with us.
And police need your help tracking down this guy, allegedly responsible for at least seven rapes. His most recent victim may be a 2-year-old.
Plus, police investigating another possible suspect in the case of 17-year-old college student, Taylor Behl, whose body was found this week. We‘ll talk to that man‘s lawyer.
The program about justice starts now.
ABRAMS: Hi everyone. First up on the docket, breaking news out of Aruba. The prosecutor‘s office there has just issued a rare statement on the investigation into Alabama teen Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance nearly six weeks after the only three suspects in the case were released.
And I quote, “The investigation into the disappearance of the American tourist Natalee Holloway is still ongoing. The investigation continues and the team is searching for new leads that may help solve this case. At the same time, the investigation that has been done until now is being revised and evaluated.”
What prompted this? Could it be various legal efforts from Natalee‘s family? Well it comes right after the release of a taped interview with one of the three suspects in the case. Deepak Kalpoe, one of the brothers arrested along with Joran Van Der Sloot, spoke about the night Natalee disappeared.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
J. SKEETERS: And the question I‘ll ask you is if you intentionally killed her. If it was an accident I can help all of you and if you guys were partying, even if somebody had given her a date drug, I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.
DEEPAK: She did. You‘d be surprised how simple it was. To tell you quite frankly, dressed like a slut, talked like one. Would go in a car with three strange guys, and her mother claiming her to be the goody two shoes, enough of the B.S. already. If I knew where the body is I would tell them a long time ago. Let them start the trial and get this over with. I don‘t care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Wow! All right. Joining me now is Natalee‘s mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, and Jamie Skeeters, the polygraph expert who interviewed Deepak. Before we talk about this news out of Aruba with regard to the statement coming from the prosecutor‘s office, Beth, I just have to give you an opportunity to respond to that because he seems to be going after you directly in that tape.
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S MOTHER (via phone): Well, you know when I hear Deepak, I‘m also thinking when he described that yes, they all had sex with my daughter and he talks about how easy it was. Well you know it would be easy for three—I can‘t even call them men, Dan—for these three thugs as I‘ve heard referred to, sounds good to me, for them to have my daughter, you know an 18-year-old female tourist drugged as Joran has her, because he has her talking about a lot of strange things and also states that she‘s obviously drunk. And in his statements he has her coming in and out of consciousness. Well it would be easy for these three citizens to overpower my daughter, drugged and unable to defend herself, absolutely.
ABRAMS: And again, you know we say this every time, that we have not been able to see the reports that you have discussed, that you have discussed these repeatedly saying that you‘ve seen reports with these kinds of statements about these young men, but this is really hearing him on tape say this, it directly contradicts—if we can get number seven ready—directly contradicts what Joran Van Der Sloot said in an interview with “A Current Affair”.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, RELEASED SUSPECT: It was Natalee who asked me to go out with her, it was her that asked me to come to the club, it was her that was yelling me to go dance with her and yes, I kissed with her. But neither me, Deepak, or Satish ever had sex with her and no one ever said otherwise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: So Beth, do you view this admission, so to speak, from Deepak on tape as a big development?
TWITTY: Oh absolutely. I mean it‘s huge. It is not only now just showing that my daughter was raped by Joran Van Der Sloot, but that you know this was a gang rape that was committed on the island of Aruba against my daughter between Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, and Joran Van Der Sloot. That is huge.
ABRAMS: Let me ask you about this statement that we have just gotten from the prosecutor‘s office in Aruba. We read the first part of it where they basically said all right, the investigation is ongoing. But I have to tell you that I am reading excerpts from this that sounds to me like they are referring specifically to you and let me read.
If a concerned party in a criminal case, for example, somebody who has filed a complaint with the police, is of the opinion that the investigation is not being done or not being done in a reasonable amount of time, this person can file a complaint with the Common Court of Justice of the Netherlands, Antilles, and Aruba.
It went on to say the public prosecutor‘s office does not have to justify its action with regard to the persecution of criminal acts to the Minister of Justice or the government of Aruba. It sounds like they‘re saying that you filed something either with the government of Aruba or the Minister of Justice.
TWITTY: Well you know, there‘s been a lot of concerned parties about this investigation. So I think that it‘s—there would be so many that you would line up, we might all have to take a number, Dan.
ABRAMS: But have you filed—have you or lawyers on your behalf filed any papers with the government of Aruba or the Minister of Justice or any other agency in Aruba saying they have missed up this investigation?
TWITTY: I can‘t comment on that at this time.
ABRAMS: OK. All right—the reason is—you know, the reason I ask is because it really does sound like a direct response to you. All right, what do you make of the fact that they say the investigation is ongoing. Do you believe it?
TWITTY: Well I‘d like to think it is. I really don‘t feel like we have had a good beginning to this investigation yet, so I certainly hope it is ongoing. We—you know if you don‘t have a good beginning you certainly can‘t have an end.
ABRAMS: Yes. Let me bring in Jamie Skeeters, who was the polygraph expert who interviewed Deepak. Thanks for joining us. How did you get him to talk to you? I mean it seems like no one else has been able to get him to talk and you got him on tape.
JAMIE SKEETERS, POLYGRAPH EXPERT: Well I contribute it to 38 years of being a street cop, to be honest with you, but I can give you a long story in about 30 seconds on how it happened.
ABRAMS: You‘ve got 30 seconds.
SKEETERS: You got it. I went over there as a polygraph expert to administer a polygraph on an individual that had taken an alleged voice stress polygraph on an individual that said he saw the judge, the prosecutor and the three suspects burying Natalee in the dump. I was advised that this individual had passed this voice stress thing.
I was concerned, because I don‘t have that much confidence in it, so I talked to Dr. Phil, he sent me over there. I did a polygraph on this same individual, a certified polygraph, where he failed the polygraph and admitted that he was lying on the voice stress test.
ABRAMS: Now let‘s be clear...
SKEETERS: After that happened...
ABRAMS: Let me just be clear. You‘re there talking about another witness, right? Not one of the three suspects?
SKEETERS: Yes. This is the witness that said he saw Natalee being buried...
ABRAMS: Right. Right.
SKEETERS: ... in the dump.
ABRAMS: Right. So you believe...
ABRAMS: ... that he failed the polygraph. OK, go on.
SKEETERS: Not only do I believe it, he admitted that he was less than truthful and he‘s actually more interested in the reward and his 15 minutes of fame.
SKEETERS: And he was a cocaine addict.
ABRAMS: All right, so how did you get to Deepak?
SKEETERS: Well that‘s how I got to him. What I did—we have to keep a high standard with the American Polygraph Association. Even though this individual was lying about the proposed suspect, we have an obligation to go to whoever that was, let them know that this individual was lying, was setting them up, was going to testify and give false testimony.
I went to a connection that introduced me to Deepak. I said please get a hold of Deepak, have him—and he and his attorney look at my polygraph. I want to let you know that I‘m not taking sides...
ABRAMS: All right.
SKEETERS: ... and he did.
ABRAMS: All right.
SKEETERS: He came to my room and viewed it.
ABRAMS: All right, bottom line is he came in, he agreed to sit down with you. He talked to you. He answered questions. Did he pass the polygraph?
SKEETERS: Deepak was going to take a polygraph, but he wanted a large sum of money...
SKEETERS: ... he and allegedly his attorney.
SKEETERS: And he wanted a book deal and a movie deal and I told him I would set him up with an appointment.
ABRAMS: All right.
SKEETERS: It was at that time, Dan, that I told him that from now on, any time he and I talk, anytime whether he sees me on the phone or not on the street, I will be tape recording and videoing him at all times.
ABRAMS: All right. Here is more...
SKEETERS: They both understood that.
ABRAMS: Here is more of what Deepak had to say and this is on the question of whether—you heard Beth there talking about the possibility that Natalee was drugged. Here is what Deepak said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SKEETERS: Let me ask you this, that for 25 bucks you can pay a bartender to slip your date a date rape drug in her drink. Does that happen?
DEEPAK: I never drugged someone.
SKEETERS: No, I‘m not saying you. I mean have you heard that happen?
DEEPAK: I haven‘t heard the bartender story. I know there‘s a drug called Ecstasy. I heard they slip that into drinks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Beth, do you believe him?
TWITTY: Well you notice, he says he just hadn‘t heard the bartender story. He hadn‘t heard the bartender story. You know well I think that we have all known the story of Joran and Deepak and Satish Kalpoe and how that they (INAUDIBLE) had charges being brought against them from these young girls, these young Aruban girls who had been drugged and raped by Joran Van Der Sloot and are just now coming forward towards the end of August.
ABRAMS: Let me ask Chris Lejuez, who joins us now, who is an attorney down there. Chris, we‘re talking about this news that the Aruban authorities have released this statement, a very rare statement basically saying the investigation is ongoing, and then going on to say how someone who is a concerned party in a criminal case can file a complaint.
It sure sounds to me like they are responding—Beth can‘t comment one way or the other on whether she has filed something, but it sure sounds to me like they are responding to something that has been filed and they are basically saying it was filed the wrong way.
CHRIS LEJUEZ, ARUBAN ATTORNEY: No. No, that is not what they‘re saying. What they are saying is that we know in Aruba a very special procedure for anyone who feels that the prosecutor should prosecute, should cite someone to court, to trial. There is a special procedure if you find that the prosecutor is not doing her job right, then you can start that procedure by filing a special claim...
LEJUEZ: ... in the courts of Aruba against the prosecutor to import the prosecutor to take someone to trial.
ABRAMS: Well but they‘re also very defensive in the statement where they‘re telling you how it is not supposed to be done. It is not done this way. It is not done that way. That sure sounds to me like they are saying somebody filed something in the wrong way.
LEJUEZ: No, they filed something, but they filed something else. What they filed up to now is like kind of being a victim in a criminal investigation. But not official—an official complaint that you take to the judge to let the judge decide whether or not the prosecutor should act...
LEJUEZ: ... the way that (INAUDIBLE).
ABRAMS: When I hear the public prosecutor‘s office does not have to justify its actions with regard to the persecution of criminal acts to the Minister of Justice...
LEJUEZ: They do have to justify it...
LEJUEZ: That‘s why we know this procedure.
ABRAMS: All right, well I‘m reading to you from their statement.
ABRAMS: The public prosecutor‘s office does not have to justify its actions with regard to the persecution of criminal acts to the Minister of Justice or the government of Aruba...
LEJUEZ: That‘s correct, but they do have to...
LEJUEZ: They do have a responsibility towards the court.
ABRAMS: Right, but that sounds like a very defensive statement to me.
ABRAMS: ... Beth Holloway Twitty, we will let you go. I know you‘ve got a busy day. Thank you so much for...
TWITTY: Well thank you so much for the time.
ABRAMS: Chris Lejuez, if you can stick around for a minute because we‘re going to do...
ABRAMS: ... a quick legal panel on the other side of this break and talk about the question of you heard what Beth was saying about, you know you hear Deepak Kalpoe saying hey, all three us had sex with Natalee. Does that mean that they could try those three men for another crime?
And 17-year-old Taylor Behl‘s body has been found and identified. The guy she had a sexual relationship with is in custody. Police are close to labeling her death a murder, but some believe that more than one person might have been involved.
Plus, New York subways still on high alert, during this rush hour, subway lines closed down today. We finally know what information and arrests led to the terror threat going public in New York.
Your e-mails email@example.com. Please include your name and where you‘re writing from. I respond at the end of the show.
And don‘t forget about our charity auction. My press passes from the Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson cases going to the highest bidder with all the proceeds going to two great charities. Bidding is getting ferocious. Go to the Web site, abramsreport.msnbc.com. Tomorrow is the last day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SKEETERS: And the question I‘ll ask you is, if you intentionally killed her?
SKEETERS: If it was an accident, I can help all of you. And if you guys were partying, you know somebody had given her a date drug, I‘m sure she had sex with all of you.
DEEPAK: She did. You‘d be surprised how simple it was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Deepak Kalpoe, one of the suspects in Alabama teen Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance, in an interview about the night that Natalee disappeared. The question is, could that admission lead to different kinds of charges? Could there be rape charges? Something else?
On the phone once again, Aruban attorney Chris Lejuez—he‘s represented NBC in court in Aruba as well—MSNBC analyst and former prosecutor, Susan Filan, and criminal defense attorney Michael Bachner.
All right, Chris, any potential charges as a result of that admission?
LEJUEZ: Yes, it‘s possible, but the admission as such—the tape as such is not enough to be evidence in any kind of criminal case in Aruba. But, it will help the prosecutor in the investigation. They can use it as a stepping-stone to go to a trial, but they need to have more evidence.
ABRAMS: The problem though, Susan, is that these guys‘ statements are just all over the place.
SUSAN FILAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: They are...
LEJUEZ: But these statements are...
ABRAMS: Hang on...
LEJUEZ: ... not according to our law.
ABRAMS: Let me let Susan Filan take that one. Yes.
FILAN: And I think that‘s what is really great for the prosecution, because their statements are so vastly inconsistent between each other and amongst themselves that they‘re clearly not telling the truth. And I think he said something very key on this tape. He says if I knew where the body is I would have told somebody by now. Well I thought they said hey, we left her on the beach and she was fine, so he knows she is dead. I think that is very incriminating.
ABRAMS: I don‘t know. I mean I think at this point everyone kind of assumes—I think even the family...
FILAN: ... it‘s coming from his mouth. It‘s coming from his mouth. That‘s—he is the last person with her. He had sex with her. He‘s the last person to see her and he‘s telling us it‘s a body. That‘s very different from us all inferring well since we don‘t know where she is, she must be dead. I think it‘s very, very incriminating.
MICHAEL BACHNER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don‘t really agree with that. I think you‘re right, Dan. Everyone knows at this point that the young girl is dead, and he is just referring to that fact when he says if I knew where she was, I would tell you. You know and indeed, there is a spin here to be put, that in fact Deepak‘s statement really is fairly exonerating us to him.
When you think about it, if he was part of a conspiracy with the other fellow to try and hide what had done, why would he be going on tape and saying yes, we all had sex with her. It seems to me that if there was some conspiracy, they would have gotten their statements all together. They would have all kept the same story and not made that type of statement about having sex with her. You know it‘s quite possible...
BACHNER: ... that as far as he was concerned, he had sex with her, and he doesn‘t know what happened after it. You know it‘s—I think that that statement may actually be helpful in some ways.
ABRAMS: Jamie Skeeters, let‘s be clear, he knew he was being taped or not?
SKEETERS: Yes, I have that on tape. I have it witnessed by another former FBI and Deepak himself and another citizen of Aruba.
ABRAMS: OK. You‘re saying that yes, you believe he did know he was being taped?
SKEETERS: I have that on tape...
ABRAMS: Right, OK. All right, so Susan, what of that? I mean what of the fact that he knew he was being taped and Michael Bachner is saying look, if he‘s telling the truth about having sex with Natalee, he‘s going to what, admit that he had sex with Natalee, but then he‘s going to deny that he had anything else to do with it?
FILAN: No, absolutely not. He‘s trying to get himself out of hot water. You can‘t assume that what he is saying is going to be truthful. If he was going to be truthful he would have cooperated and said the truth long by now. What is happening here though is with this statement that we all had sex with her.
If the prosecution wanted to put a case together using the mom‘s testimony about the daughter‘s character saying that this is not a girl that would have ever had sex with one stranger, let alone three and you have an admission from one of them that we all had sex with her, that does sound like gang date rape, and so it is possible to file charges. A jury would then have to decide this case on the mother‘s testimony about the daughter‘s character, but you know there is something to work with. It‘s not an absolute nothing. It‘s difficult without forensics. It‘s difficult without the body, but it‘s not a zero possibility.
ABRAMS: Very quickly, Chris, what do you make of that?
LEJUEZ: No, I don‘t believe that they can use this tape in the court
in a court of trial—in a trial. That does not constitute evidence according to Aruban law.
LEJUEZ: If you want to use a tape, you need to have permission to tape the person. Permission has to come from a judge of instruction. They didn‘t have it. The tape has possibly, I don‘t say it is the case, but it could have been edited, it could have been changed, it could have been someone else, we don‘t know.
ABRAMS: Assume for a moment...
ABRAMS: Chris, assume for a moment they are able to verify that it is Deepak on the tape. But let‘s assume that, you know, yes, it‘s just a little portion of it, but that they are able to verify he knew he was being taped and that it is him on the tape. You‘re still saying they couldn‘t use it in court?
LEJUEZ: Well, I would have to admit again in front of a judge here in Aruba...
LEJUEZ: ... that it was him, and that he stated—he made those statements.
LEJUEZ: His new statements, his admissions can be accepted.
ABRAMS: All right. Chris Lejuez, Susan Filan, Michael Bachner, Jamie Skeeters, thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
Switching topics, there were bomb threats in Washington and a major terror alert in New York today at the Washington Monument. Around 2:24 an anonymous caller told Park Police there was a bomb. Tourists were ordered out, but after a two-hour search they were allowed back. Nothing found.
And in New York tonight, you are looking at Time Square. Commuters heading home after the city boosted security after what was called a credible threat to the subway system. There have been suspicious packages spotted on the subway throughout the day.
MSNBC‘s Michelle Kosinski is live at New York‘s Penn Station where there was an incident this morning. Michelle, are things even close to back to normal there?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi Dan. Well because of that tension there has been disruptions throughout the day. In fact now during rush hour, two of the subway lines were shut down in both directions from midtown to uptown for about an hour or two after a suspicious package was spotted on one of the tracks. That turned out to be a bag with some books in it.
Also here at Penn station where we are, the busiest station in New York City, the front entrance here was shut down for a couple of hours this afternoon. Also, part of the Amtrak station was shut down after police started investigating what looked to be a suspicious package. It was a bottle filled with what might have been drain cleaner, so that might just show you that things are working as they should.
The transit workers and riders themselves are pointing out the things that make they feel uneasy. And frankly, this whole thing makes people feel uneasy, to be told that this is the first of its kind. A specific, detailed, very—I would say expansive threat against the subway system here in New York City. We haven‘t seen anything like this before.
And to hear the mayor and the FBI say that this was made by several people overseas, that it was a serious and credible threat. And then at the same time to be told by the Department of Homeland Security that this really isn‘t that credible, it‘s confusing. But today the mayor said that he‘s happy the public was warned.
This comes you know just after the London bombings in July where we saw a similar threat actually in reality. There was—explosives were brought on in backpacks. And here in New York City people were warned also about briefcases and baby carriages. Here is some of what the mayor said earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NYC: I have an obligation to take care of the 8.1 million people who live in this city and all the people that come into this city every day. And we will do exactly what we did, when we see a threat, we are going to increase our presence, wherever that threat is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: Yes, there were mixed feelings today among riders. But the transit authority says it was as busy as ever on the subways. And people we talked to too said that once they heard the news and they found out more about the threat, they did feel OK seeing heightened security down in the subways.
Back to you, Dan.
ABRAMS: Michelle Kosinski, it looks like you are getting good sailing practice there with...
KOSINSKI: Yes, right.
ABRAMS: ... your sail. All right.
So how did security officials in New York and Washington learn about this possible threat? The trail started in Iraq. To find out exactly where it led, let‘s go to NBC‘s Jim Miklaszewski at the Pentagon.
So Mik, what we have learned in the last 24 hours about how this—how they learned about it and what they did with it?
JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well Dan, you are exactly right. This did begin - this story began thousands of miles away in Iraq where everything is complicated, just like this one. And over the last 24 hours, U.S. military and intelligence officials have laid out some of the details that help us better understand just how this threat came about.
And it began, actually, with an informant who was somewhat reliable in some cases, not reliable in others. When he sat down with U.S. military and intelligence officials this past weekend in Baghdad and told them some details, specific details about an alleged bomb plot against the New York City subway and at the same time, then fingered three suspected al Qaeda bomb makers there in Iraq, just outside Baghdad.
The informant himself passed enough of a polygraph test to add some credibility to his claims. New York officials were apparently warned about this alleged bomb plot as early as Monday, but were asked by U.S. government officials to hold off from taking any action, so—until attempts were made to capture and round up these three bomb suspects.
Then Wednesday night, U.S. special forces and Iraqi special forces with the help of CIA who tracked down the location, staged a raid on several buildings south of Baghdad where they rounded up about a dozen suspects, including we are now told, all three of the suspected bomb makers. Then Thursday afternoon, New York City officials informed the public of a possible bomb threat and boosted security at the subways.
Now U.S. intelligence officials tell us today that the three suspects are undergoing questioning by U.S. military and intelligence officials in an attempt to learn what they may know about any alleged bomb threat. But I can tell you, that as of today, some senior officials are telling us, just less than an hour ago, that they have no corroboration to back up the claims initially made about the threats against the New York City subway system.
ABRAMS: So bottom line, Jim, do they still view it as—quote—
MIKLASZEWSKI: Many officials never considered the threats themselves to be that credible.
MIKLASZEWSKI: But nobody has any argument with New York City officials for taking the steps they did in the interest of public safety.
ABRAMS: Jim Miklaszewski as always, thanks a lot.
MIKLASZEWSKI: You bet.
ABRAMS: Coming up, police need your help tracking down this man. They say he‘s responsible for at least seven rapes. There are different sketches of him. His most recent victim could be a 2-year-old.
Seventeen-year-old Taylor Behl‘s body found in rural Virginia, now a second person could end up becoming a suspect.
And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike again. Our search this week in Arkansas.
Authorities are looking for Micah Gingrich, convicted of raping a woman he met over the Internet. Gingrich is 29, 5‘11”, 155, hasn‘t registered with the state of Arkansas.
If you‘ve got any information as to where he is, please contact the Arkansas Crime Information Center, 501-682-2222.
ABRAMS: Coming up, Tulsa, Oklahoma police need your help tracking down a serial rapist targeting young children in their homes. The police chief is up next...
ABRAMS: Authorities on the hunt for a serial rapist in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tonight police are waiting for DNA results to determine whether a serial rapist struck again over the weekend, this time, sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl. They suspect he got in through an unlocked bedroom window early Saturday morning while her mom slept in the next room, then brought the toddler back to her room after sexually assaulting her.
Tulsa police think the attacker may be the same serial rapist they have been tracking for nearly two years, seen here in various sketches released by police. They believe this man has attacked at least seven times. His M.O., breaking into homes through unlocked windows or doors, usually in the early morning hours, sexually assaulting very young female victims as their family members sleep nearby.
The victims range in age from it seems maybe 2 to 20. Police believe he‘s a white male with brown hair, 20‘s or 30‘s, stocky build, somewhere between 5‘7” and 6 foot. Joining us now is Chief Dave Been, chief of the Tulsa Police Department and former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst Clint Van Zandt.
All right, Chief, how convinced are you that all of these rapes are connected?
DAVE BEEN, TULSA POLICE CHIEF: We‘re sure that seven of them are by the same person and very shortly we‘ll confirm whether or not the one with the 2 ½-year-old child over the weekend was committed by the same person, but we know of seven. We also suspect that there may be nine to 10 other ones ranging from attempted molestation to rape to crimes that weren‘t carried through, may very well be committed by the same person.
ABRAMS: So we‘re talking February 2004, an 18-year-old, May 2004, a 4-year-old, July 2004, 15, August 2004, a 20-year-old, August—October 2004, an 11-year-old, May 2005, 12-year-old, July 2005 a 6-year-old. Is it the DNA matches in all these cases?
BEEN: Well it‘s something obviously we won‘t get into the exact reason, but we do know we can confirm those seven. And again, you know, it is the modus operandi of the person, the method—they get into the house, how they act, how they treat the victim. In the case where there were older people who can relate what actually went on with the conversation, we take that all into account as we look at all of those situations.
ABRAMS: And Chief, you‘re expecting that the sexual assault on this 2-year-old is going to be linked up to this guy as well?
BEEN: Yes, sir. Everything seems to be right in line with those other seven cases. And again, very similar to probably nine or 10 other cases over actually more than a two-year period now.
ABRAMS: All right. Clint Van Zandt, look, you had to deal with this a lot in terms of sketches and profiling. A lot of these pictures—if we can put up number three as we go through all seven sketches...
ABRAMS: ... a lot of these sketches look different from one another.
They don‘t all look exactly like the same person.
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well Dan, number one, you and I know one of the worst forms of identification there is, is eyewitness identification. And of course, this is coming just as you suggest, from anywhere from somebody 20 to somebody 4 years old and most of the assaults, as I understand it, take place during the night after midnight up to 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. in the morning. So the victims are being perhaps wakened out of a sound sleep and are being confronted like this. I think it‘s understandable that this fleeting glimpse they have of their assailant may not match.
ABRAMS: Chief, are the children in these cases the ones helping to create these sketches?
BEEN: Yes, sir, the victims are. And again he‘s perfectly right. It‘s—in the cases we have it‘s from 4 to 20 years old and again, eyewitnesses, especially when there is a victim, especially when it‘s a trauma such as this and again where they‘ve been awakened and it‘s dark and things, it‘s you know not as reliable obviously as other cases. And there are some similarities, but when you look at all of these, I think it‘s the reason it‘s led to thousands of crime-stopper calls that we have received and information from citizens that we have asked for, because there are so many people that could fit this profile or this description.
ABRAMS: Clint, this is the type of case though that almost always gets cracked, right?
VAN ZANDT: Well I think it‘s going to and I‘m sure the chief is throwing resource from his department and other agencies out there to do it. You know one of the things you do in a case like this, and again, I know they would have done it, you know you start where the first rape is. Perhaps that‘s where, that‘s where the assailant either works, lives, or something like this.
The scary thing is in my research on this case that there is the potential that this suspect is threatening his victims, say don‘t tell anybody or I will kill you. So, again as has been suggested, there may well be other victims or other attempted victims...
VAN ZANDT: ... out there that we‘re not even aware of right now.
ABRAMS: And that‘s what the chief was telling us too. All right, look, the chief is on this program for a reason, so we put out the number, so we put out the sketches, the tip line number, 918-596-COPS. COPS is 2677.
That is the number. Remember, different kinds of sketches. Don‘t just rely on that one. Think about it in terms of a compilation of the various sketches we‘ve been showing through this segment. Chief, Clint Van Zandt, thanks a lot; we‘ll continue to follow this.
Coming up, Taylor Behl‘s family making plans to bury their 17-year-old daughter. Police seem to be closer to calling the death a homicide. Got an update on this investigation.
And this NBC reporter knew days ago about the threat to New York City subway system, kept it under wraps because the authorities asked him to. Did he compromise his journalistic integrity? It‘s my “Closing Argument”.
Your e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include your name and where you‘re writing from. I respond at the end of the show.
And our Web site, get your bids in for our big auction. We are auctioning off my press passes from the Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson cases. All the proceeds going to two great charities. One of you has already bid more than $1,800 for one of them, abramsreport.msnbc.com...
ABRAMS: Coming up, police investigating whether two people may have been involved in the Taylor Behl murder case. We‘re going to talk to one of the possible suspect‘s lawyers, up next.
ABRAMS: We‘re back. Virginia college student Taylor Behl, her remains have now been found. Police trying to determine how she died, who did it. Ben Fawley at one time a person of interest in the investigation now behind bars on unrelated charges of possession of child pornography remains at the center of the investigation. Police saying it‘s—quote—
“not incorrect to consider him a suspect.”
Hardly surprising since they only found Taylor‘s body after Fawley‘s ex-girlfriend helped them find the area where the body was later found. And Fawley claims he was kidnapped the same night she went missing. So if he is the suspect, do police believe he acted alone? Well another person whose name has come up in the investigation, Jesse Schultz.
Bloodhounds identified his scent in Taylor‘s abandoned car. He works at Richmond‘s Village Cafe, where Taylor had dinner the night she disappeared. Ben Fawley also worked at the Village Cafe. Schultz maintains he didn‘t know either of them.
Joining me now is Jim Nolan, who has been covering the story for the “Richmond Times-Dispatch” and Joseph Owen, III, the attorney for Jesse Schultz. All right, gentlemen, thanks a lot for coming on the program.
Jim, let me start with you. In terms of where the investigation stands, does it look like the authorities are going to name Ben Fawley officially?
JIM NOLAN, “RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH” REPORTER: Yes. In fact, Dan, today Police Chief Rodney Monroe here in Richmond has identified Ben Fawley as a suspect in the death of Taylor Behl.
ABRAMS: Have they announced that charges will be filed?
NOLAN: Well what we are being told is that charges could be filed within a number of weeks from now. Essentially what we have now, Dan, is an investigation that‘s ongoing. We have forensic results that are still waiting to be brought in from search warrants executed at several locations prior to the discovery of Taylor‘s body. And as you know, we also have an autopsy being conducted on Taylor‘s remains and that will yield certain investigative clues that might help police build a case.
ABRAMS: And do you know, are they still looking into Jesse Schultz as having had something to do with this?
NOLAN: No. In fact, yesterday Chief Monroe said that as of yesterday Jesse Schultz is no longer a suspect at this time in the case. In fact, his attorney, Mr. Owen seated to my right, had said that there‘s no evidence that he knew anything about Taylor Behl and that he no longer worked at the Village—he never worked at the Village Cafe and...
ABRAMS: Well let me let him...
ABRAMS: ... let me let him talk about that. All right, Mr. Owens, so is your understanding that your client is no longer even being investigated in connection with this case?
JOSEPH OWEN, III, JESSE SCHULTZ‘S ATTORNEY: I have not received any official notification of that. It‘s good news to hear that from Jim.
OWEN: But I do want to correct a couple of factual misstatements that you made.
ABRAMS: Go ahead.
OWEN: First, Mr. Schultz was never and has never been an employee of the Village Cafe.
OWEN: So, whoever made that link was incorrect. He has never known, never been introduced or had any relationship of any kind with Taylor Behl or Ben Fawley.
ABRAMS: Well isn‘t that one of the areas where he did not pass the polygraph test, when he was asked whether if he knew Taylor Behl?
OWEN: Well you know the police have not shared any of the information concerning the polygraph with me, but I would say to you that polygraph evidence is inherently unreliable. It is not allowed in Virginia courts. You‘re not even allowed to mention that a person took a polygraph.
So, there are any number of reasons why a polygrapher would say it appears that the responses were untruthful. There has been no—nothing that I know of that said he failed a polygraph. There was indication from the detective to Mr. Schultz that it appeared his responses were untruthful on those two areas, but not that he had failed them.
ABRAMS: Well when it appears untruthful, it‘s the same as failing.
OWEN: No it‘s not.
ABRAMS: An untruthful response is not considered...
OWEN: He says it appears. Now you got to understand...
OWEN: ... you‘re looking like...
ABRAMS: Fair enough.
OWEN: When you look at a polygraph, you‘re looking at—it looks like a seismographic chart with the lines going up and down...
OWEN: ... and you have a polygrapher who is measuring certain vital signs and...
ABRAMS: And they draw conclusions. Right, they have to do an analysis based on what they see, right.
OWEN: Right and if they...
OWEN: ... were inaccurate on their baseline any conclusion you have is totally inaccurate.
ABRAMS: But let me just explain to you where some of the information is coming from. Look, you‘ve seen it obviously in newspaper reports, et cetera. This is George Peterson yesterday, the attorney for the family of Taylor Behl. Here is what he said about your client.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE PETERSON, TAYLOR BEHL‘S MOTHER‘S ATTORNEY: He is a gentleman I believe that worked at the Village Cafe where Taylor had dinner before she disappeared. He also, as I understand it, may be linked to a number of skateboarders in that area and it‘s my understanding that Taylor may have had plans to go out skateboarding with him that evening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: Let‘s just set the record straight here. You are saying it is not true that he worked at the Village Cafe, correct?
OWEN: That is absolutely incorrect.
OWEN: He never has worked at the Village Cafe.
ABRAMS: All right, never worked there, and what about this business about understanding that Taylor may have had plans to go out skateboarding with him that day?
OWEN: Mr. Schultz is not a skateboarder. He last skateboarded years ago when he was in high school and has not skateboarded...
ABRAMS: All right.
OWEN: ... since he‘s lived in Richmond. And in fact, he doesn‘t own a skateboard. There are no skateboards in any of his possession.
ABRAMS: All right and let‘s get you a chance to respond to another comment made by Mr. Peterson. This is about the issue on the polygraph.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETERSON: He also took a polygraph test and reportedly failed two key aspects of that test. One, whether he knew Taylor Behl. Two, whether he had been in her car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: And so basically what you are saying is you think that your understanding is that the polygraphers are not saying that they can definitively say that he failed, but there were questions. I mean because look, sometimes they say inconclusive in these tests...
OWEN: Sometimes they say inconclusive...
OWEN: ... and my understanding was there was—it was not that he had failed it, but that there was a potential that there was untruthful at best.
OWEN: Now, the other thing I would say is that Mr. Schultz has maintained adamantly that he has never been in Taylor Behl‘s car and has never met her, so...
ABRAMS: All right. Look and Jim Nolan now telling us that the—it seems the authorities are no longer considering him in this investigation. So look, it‘s important to set the record straight, because as you know, your client‘s name has been out there again and again...
ABRAMS: And go ahead, final thought.
OWEN: Yes and that‘s one of the reasons that the family and I felt it was appropriate for me to come and discuss this matter with you and some others, because they want the record set straight. They have been as concerned as anyone else in their community about the pain being suffered by Taylor Behl‘s family, and the disappearance and now death of their child. And so...
ABRAMS: All right.
OWEN: ... they would like nothing better to have the person that did it brought to justice.
ABRAMS: Fair enough. Jim Nolan and Joseph Owen, thanks very much.
NOLAN: Thank you Dan.
OWEN: Thank you.
ABRAMS: Coming up, Mayor Bloomberg thanks a local New York reporter for putting national security ahead of his work as a reporter. Did the reporter make the right decision? It is my “Closing Argument”.
And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike. Authorities are looking for Carl Murphy, 54, 5‘8”, 135, convicted of a raping a young boy, has not registered with the state of Arkansas.
If you‘ve got any information on his whereabouts, please call the Arkansas Crime Information Center, 501-682-2222. We‘re back in a minute.
ABRAMS: My “Closing Argument”—bravo to WNBC reporter Jonathan Dienst for withholding a story about the terror threat to New York for two days at the request of the local authorities. On Tuesday, Dienst was ready to report on the threat to the subway system, but after the authorities said it would jeopardize an operation to capture three suspects, he held off. Mayor Bloomberg even thanked him yesterday at his press conference.
Where are the media windbags who spend so much of their time criticizing the media colleague? The same people who complain the media doesn‘t do enough positive reporting? They should be giving kudos to Dienst for putting patriotism ahead of his own personal and professional gain. Don‘t hold your breath.
Most of them are too proud to admit he had the story before them. To those who say, what‘s the big deal? We should expect anyone, journalist or not, to do that whenever the authorities ask, I say watch what you ask for. Throughout history, government officials have claimed issues relate to national security when the reality was they were just embarrassing to the government and yet, important to expose.
But not so in New York yesterday. It seems the mayor‘s goal in asking Dienst to hold off was to try to catch bad guys. Dienst, and WNBC, the local NBC affiliate in New York, waived the significance of getting the information about the subway threat out immediately against the effect it would have on the investigation and they made the right call.
To those few journalistic purists who may say he violated his journalistic integrity by holding the story, I say part of that integrity is being a good citizen first. But this does demonstrate how important it is for the public and the press to be able to trust the authorities. If they‘re honest with us, we can all trust them back. I‘m proud of Dienst and proud of WNBC as a fellow journalist and as a fellow American.
Coming up, your last chance to get in on our charity auction.
ABRAMS: Last chance everyone, the bidding ends tomorrow. We are auctioning off my press pass from the Scott Peterson trial and the Michael Jackson case. I‘ll have autographed both of them. All the money is going to two very, very worthy charities. Make sure you get in on the bidding. It is getting up there though.
Have a great weekend.
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