Guests: Marc Morial, Candice DeLong, Ray Daudani, Jim Nolan, Josh Hanshaft, Louise Pennell, Holly Phillips, Pat Lalama
MONICA CROWLEY, GUEST HOST: Coming up tonight on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY:
In New Orleans, the brutal beating of former elementary school teacher Robert Davis. Is there a so-called Katrina defense? We‘ll talk to the former mayor, the man credited with cleaning up the New Orleans Police Department.
Then, the murder of college freshman Taylor Behl. Is there evidence to charge the boyfriend who‘s more than twice her age? We‘ll go inside the case in pursuit of justice for Taylor.
ANNOUNCER: From the pressroom, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
CROWLEY: Hi, everybody, and welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Monica Crowley in tonight for Joe, who‘s taking a few days off. And we will have those stories in just a moment. Plus, movie star, Reese Witherspoon, is fair game on the carpet, but now a photographer is arrested for, get this, pushing a child just to secure a picture of Reese and her little girl. We‘ll have that story too. What celebrities are doing to protect themselves from the paparazzi?
And, Outbreak: Half of the people who contract the bird flu could die. Could it be coming to America, and most importantly, are we doing enough to prepare?
But first, more trouble in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Can you believe that FEMA still cannot get parts of this clean-up and relief effort right? Well, this time it‘s all about the ice that was never delivered to the victims of the hurricane all along the Gulf Coast. NBC‘s senior investigative correspondent, Lisa Myers, has that story.
LISA MYERS, NBC SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rocky coast of Portland, Maine, is nowhere near hurricane territory, yet 163 truck loads of excess ice bought for Katrina victims are now stored here, 1,600 miles from the Gulf Coast. Cost to taxpayers: $153,000.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS ®, MAINE: And FEMA is so disorganized that it‘s buying ice, tracking it all over the country, and placing it as far as possible from the people who could use it.
MYERS: FEMA is now paying to store 65 million pounds of excess ice, in a dozen facilities from Maine to Idaho, and in hundreds of trucks, motors running around the clock. Dan Russell‘s ice company has worked for FEMA for years. He says the cost to taxpayers is absurd.
DAN RUSSELL, ICE COMPANY OWNER: Six-thousand dollar load of ice is costing between 25 to $35,000.
MYERS: We previously told you about a truck of ice that left Wisconsin September 6, went to Louisiana, then was rerouted by FEMA to Georgia, South Carolina, and Maryland. Well, after that, the truck was sent to Iowa and the ice put in storage. Then when hurricane Rita hit, that ice was packed up again, and taken back to Louisiana, then on to Texas, where it‘s been sitting the past four days.
(on camera): FEMA argues storing ice costs less than buying new ice, and enables a faster response to the next disaster, but Russell‘s and others argue with transportation costs, it would be much cheaper to let it melt.
RUSSELL: It‘s a lot smarter to dump the ice.
MYERS (voice-over): After driving through 22 states, one frustrated trucker did just that, to the delight of some very appreciative creatures. Lisa Myers, NBC News, Washington.
CROWLEY: The ice truck to nowhere, unbelievable. Let‘s go live to New Orleans, and bring in Heath Allen, from our affiliate, WDSU.
Hi Heath, how are you?
HEATH ALLEN, WDSU REPORTER: I am doing just fine. It‘s so odd to listen to this story about the ice. Just a few days after the storm we were in Chalmette, Louisiana. You have probably seen U.S. Senator David Vitter‘s much played remark about FEMA idiots. That‘s what he was talking about that day, just days after the storm, two big Reefer trucks had somehow found their way from Oklahoma all the way to Chalmette, where they really needed the ice in Saint Bernard Parish. And FEMA was ordering them to dump it on the ground. Nobody could believe it. Everybody was stunned, they said they needed the trucks. As it turned out, they weren‘t allowed to dump the ice. Everybody kind of—they were ready to boat anchor the trucks to keep FEMA out. But there you go.
CROWLEY: Heath, we are hearing story after story like this, Heath, it‘s unbelievable, after all these weeks after the hurricane actually hit. There‘s got to be so much frustration in the city of New Orleans right now.
Tell us what life is like in that city.
ALLEN: Well, life in the city now has gotten pretty calm. There‘s some ongoing problems, of course. You know, power is still a problem in many areas like, again, Saint Bernard Parish, where they still have very little, but the real problem people are facing now is garbage, mounds and mounds and piles and piles of really, really smelly garbage that‘s very, very slow to get picked up. And garbage is, believe it or not, an emotionally issue. If you haven‘t had your garbage picked up in a while, you can get angry about it. And even in the wake of the storm, you don‘t mind picking up the phone, saying, hey, how come you aren‘t picking up my garbage? Truth of the matter is, some communities—some cities here in this area have gone out and hired independent contractors, when the main waste hauler, the main garbage picker—picker-upper hasn‘t been able to get the job done, and so you still have the big mounds of garbage sitting out there in the city. A lot of people are pretty upset about that.
You add on top of that the fact that Mayor Ray Nagin, here in the city of New Orleans, had come up with a pretty good idea, he thought, about how to bring the city back. He had an idea to put gambling, put casinos in downtown New Orleans and that would have to go, of course, before the legislature, would have to be voted on by the people of Louisiana, but he thought that was a pretty good idea. Well, the governor of Louisiana, they‘ve been at odds one more time. She doesn‘t want to put it into a special session, doesn‘t think that‘s a good idea either.
CROWLEY: All right, Heath Allen, please stand by. As we mentioned before, tonight, a curfew is in effect in New Orleans, on the heals of the police beating of 64-year-old Robert Davis that was caught on tape. Three police officers have plead not guilty to charges of battery and here is how Mr. Davis remembers it.
ROBERT DAVIS, ARRESTED BY NEW ORLEANS POLICE: There was an officer on the horse. I asked him about the curfew, because I wasn‘t sure of the time of the curfew. And this other guy interfered and I told him, he shouldn‘t be interfering because it was a conversation between me and the man on the horse, and I started walking across the street. And, “bam,” I got hit, and that was al I remember other than trying to block the blows. At no point during this altercation did they say that I was under arrest or anything. They didn‘t read me my rights, anything. All I know is this guy attacked me and said, “I will kick your ass” and those were his act words. “I will kick your ass.” And he proceeded to do it. I was almost dead, really, that‘s a lot of blood. That‘s more than half a pint of blood that‘s on that ground.
CROWLEY: Joining us now to talk about this incident is Marc Morial, former mayor of New Orleans, and now the president and CEO of the National Urban League.
Nice to see you, Mayor. Thank you for being here.
MARC MORIAL, CEO OF THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Great to be with you.
Thanks for having me.
CROWLEY: So, Mayor, you were widely credited with helping to clean up the New Orleans Police Department when you were mayor throughout the ‘90s and into 2002. What do you make of this alleged police brutality?
MORIAL: It‘s sickening. It‘s unbelievable to see the incident. Those officers got caught doing something that was wrong, unconstitutional, and illegal, and I admire the victim, the gentleman‘s sense of how he‘s dealt with it, not expressing animosity, but certainly wanting justice and an investigation to take place. This is what happens when systems break down. This is what happens when discipline breaks down. I think the seeds for the problems you see were planted long before Katrina took effect, and it should not, of course, diminish from the fact or take away from the fact that there are many, many officers who have and continue to try to do the right thing.
CROWLEY: Mayor, a lot of folks are saying, look, the police in the New Orleans area have been under enormous stress since this hurricane hit. No. 1, is that an excuse for something like this, and No. 2, do you think Mayor Nagin, perhaps, brought police back too soon, and the police aren‘t up to handling all of this right now?
MORIAL: Well, I would say this. The fact that the police have been under stress is certainly something that needs to be dealt with. It isn‘t an excuse. It isn‘t a reason. It doesn‘t sanction the kind of brutality and heinous treatment that this gentleman suffered at the hands of the police. They got caught on tape, something they certainly didn‘t expect, and they should be swiftly dealt with. They should be disciplined, they should be brought to justice. They aren‘t fit to carry a badge or a gun.
Secondly, an immediate fix needs to be put into place in order to provide public safety. I think for residents to return, even to inspect their homes, and that really is the issue because I‘ve taken two visits to New Orleans, and the devastation is wide-ranging and significant. People want to have a sense that they‘re going to be safe, that their properties are going to be safe, so there needs to be almost an emergency plan to ensure that the police department can, in fact, maintain and provide public safety for the residents and the visitors who are in the city at this time.
CROWLEY: Mayor, the New Orleans Police Department came under enormous criticism in the wake of Hurricane Katrina for their handling, or their mishandling of that situation, and now on top of that, you have this episode as well. Can that police department recover from all of this?
MORIAL: It can recover if the leadership of the city wants and demands that it recover. It‘s a rebuilding process. It‘s as though the department has to be rebuilt from the very beginning, from the ground up, with those officers that want to be part of a new effort and a new department. They‘ve been under tremendous stress, but it is a crisis. They need assistance, and they need help, but nothing sanctions brutality. Nothing sanctions what, in fact, we saw. I think Chief Riley, from what I saw, has taken the appropriate immediate steps, but we should wait to see what discipline he, in fact, meets out on these officers.
CROWLEY: Mayor, I also understand the National Urban League, which you head up, is taking matters into its own hands in terms of trying to rebuild and get New Orleans to recover. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
MORIAL: Yes, tomorrow I‘ll give a policy speech at the Georgetown University Law Center at 10:30, entitled, “Katrina Rights,” the Katrina bill of rights specifically. We‘ll be talking about a number of things, included in that is the right of everyone to return to the Gulf Coast, the right of everyone to rebuild their homes and rebuild their neighborhoods. Also, the right of people to work. I‘m deeply concerned about the fact that residents of the area, victims of Hurricane Katrina, in fact, survivors of Hurricane Katrina have not been afforded the job opportunities and the contractual opportunities to clean up, rebuild, and recover. They have a right to be first in line, and I think tomorrow, at Georgetown University Law Center, I‘ll elaborate a little bit more on that, because I think fundamentally, this is an opportunity and a need to rebuild, but we ought to ensure that the people whose lives have been torn asunder, who have been dramatically affected, are first in line for the opportunities.
CROWLEY: That‘s right. Well, best of luck with that, Mayor.
MORIAL: Thank you.
CROWLEY: Mayor Marc Morial, and Heath Allan, thank you guys so much.
And coming up next, police are asking for the public‘s help in the case of murdered college freshman Taylor Behl. When we come back, we go to Virginia live for the very latest, what the police are saying, and are they close to solving the case of this young woman?
And Hollywood super stars tired of being victims of the so-called “stalkerazzi.” Now they found a way to fight back. Wait until you see how. Stick around.
CROWLEY: Olivia Newton John‘s heartbreak, she talks about her lover lost at sea. Are there any new clues? We‘ll get the very latest, coming up.
CROWLEY: The story of missing Virginia teenager, Taylor Behl, has taken yet another turn. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Monica Crowley sitting in tonight for Joe.
Well, police found the body of 17-year-old Taylor Behl lying in a shallow grave in this rural Virginia field, and tonight, they are holding this man, 38-year-old Ben Fawley, as the prime suspect in the case. We‘ll have the very latest on the evidence police have against Fawley in just a moment, but first, reaction from Taylor‘s heart-broken family. Here‘s NBC‘s Kevin Corke.
KEVIN CORKE, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even before confirming that the body found was her daughter‘s, Taylor Behl‘s mother demanded that the killer or killers pay the ultimate price.
JANET PELASARA, TAYLOR‘S MOTHER: I am positive the authorities will bring these subhumans to justice, and I pray thee receive the death penalty.
CORKE: The discovery, just beyond a dirt path in this rural Virginia county, ending a month-long search for the college freshman. Pelasara says the news came as less of a shock than a confirmation.
PELASARA: The only time I did have hope was when they found her car, and the hope didn‘t last long.
CORKE: Investigators say a person of interest, 38-year-old Ben Fawley, is thought to have had a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old. Fawley, in custody on unrelated charges of possessing child pornography, admits to seeing Behl the night she disappeared, but claims he was abducted and assaulted that same night. Police won‘t call him a suspect, but they admit.
RODNEY MONROE, RICHMOND POLICE CHIEF: Now a very targeted focus, and that‘s where our investigation is right now.
CORKE: An investigation unlikely to yield enough answers for a grieving mother.
CROWLEY: For the latest on the investigation, I am joined now by Ray Daudani from NBC12 in Richmond, Virginia; former FBI criminal, Candice DeLong, author of “Special Agent”; and also on the phone, “Richmond Times” dispatch reporter, Jim Nolan.
Welcome to you all. And, Ray, let me begin with you. What exactly do we know about this guy, Ben Fawley?
RAY DAUDANI, NBC12, RICHMOND, VA: Well, Monica, we know that he is a 38-year-old which says he was having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old VCU freshman. We know he has a history of dating young men. We know that according to his own lawyer, that he‘s bipolar. According to his ex-girlfriend, he tends to get violent when he doesn‘t take his medicine. We know he took pictures of Taylor and posted them on his Web site, and we know that one of his ex-girlfriends was able to identify a picture on his Web site and link that to the site where Taylor was found, so there‘s a lot of circumstantial evidence in this case.
CROWLEY: Jim Nolan, what do you know about how they met?
JIM NOLAN, “RICHMOND TIMES” DISPATCH REPORTER: Taylor and Ben Fawley met in February of this year through a friend of Taylor‘s who had attended James Madison High School with her, and was also now attending VCU as an upper classman. He happened to be the roommate of Ben Fawley.
CROWLEY: Candice DeLong, we do know that Taylor Behl, we‘re seeing here in these photographs, was 17-years-old. This guy, been Fawley, 38-years-old. We take a look at his photograph. Seems like a pretty creepy guy. What would attract a young, beautiful girl like Taylor Behl, just starting off in college, to a guy like this?
CANDICE DELONG, FMR. FBI AGENT: Well, she probably saw him differently than this. One of the earmarks or one of the things that we frequently see in psychopaths and sexual sadists is that they will go for much younger women, women their own age don‘t want anything to do with them, so they tend to hang out and try to attract younger women. They‘re very charming. She probably saw something in him, and he made her feel very, very important, and so for her, only being 17 and very naive, it‘s, “ooo, ah, an older man likes me. That‘s really cool.” When, in fact, as I said, women his own age don‘t want anything to do with him.
CROWLEY: And Candice, what do suspects do, like Ben Fawley, to attract these women? We do know that he went online and was using chat rooms to try to meet these young girls. Is that a typical M.O.?
DELONG: Well, of course, the internet is new. It certainly doesn‘t surprise me he would do that, but what does it tell you about his verbal skills? What it tells me is his verbal skills and his communication skills are probably pretty good. These people tend to be very charming, psychopaths have to be charming so that they can get people to hang around them and do—and so that they can manipulate other people. I mean, these are guys that take pride in the fact that they lie to their parents and teachers when they‘re five and six-years-old.
CROWLEY: Ray Daudani, I want us to take a look at what Taylor wrote on her online blog about going off to college. Here‘s what she wrote, she wrote, “I just graduated from high school and now I‘m off to Richmond.I‘m looking forward to meeting people that are in Richmond because I only know a few people down there. But I love to meet new people in general so feel free to message me whenever to chat!”
Ray, that seems like a wide-open invitation for any kind of character to contact a girl like this. What do we know for sure about her relationship with Ben Fawley? Was it sexual?
DAUDANI: Well, according to Ben Fawley it was sexual. Her parents, Taylor‘s parents, have said that they don‘t believe it was a romantic relationship, but there‘s certainly been enough evidence, at least by Ben‘s own admission, that it was a sexual relationship. They met in February when she visited the campus, met again one more time in April. He‘d taken pictures of her and then when she got to the campus in mid August, for the couple weeks when she was here before she went missing, they had been hanging out from time to time and apparently seemed to be romantically or at least sexually linked.
CROWLEY: Jim Nolan, what did the police find in her apartment and also in his apartment that would suggest some sort of romantic relationship?
NOLAN: Well, Monica, we‘re not really sure exactly whether any of the things that they took from his apartment will lead directly to a romantic relationship—evidence of a romantic relationship between them. Suffice it to say that both sides in the case have pretty much acknowledged that they did have an intimate relationship. The key, of course, will be establishing whether Mr. Fawley had any direct connection with Taylor Behl‘s disappearance, and to the extent he claimed he was abducted just seven hours after he had last seen her, to the extent that she was found in a farm that was a farm owned by the family of his ex-girlfriend, those are the kinds of connections that police are trying to draw lines between to see if Ben Fawley did, in fact, have anything to do with Taylor‘s disappearance.
CROWLEY: And Ray Daudani, what about these child pornography charges? Apparently he was being held, initially, on child porn charges. What do we know about that?
DAUDANI: Well, initially Richmond police went in when they decided that he was a person of interest in this case, issued a search warrant on his apartment, and when they went in, they seized seven computers from his house. This is a guy that spends a lot of time taking pictures, posting stuff on the internet, so no surprise they will look at those things, but as they were looking at those, they uncovered movies involving sexual acts in children as young as one to 12-years-old, so definitely stuff that the chief has said was very explicit, and that‘s why they put him behind bars on 16 counts of possession of child pornography. They don‘t believe he created or distributed it, just things he had in his possession, and that‘s why they have got him without bond still sitting at the Richmond City Jail.
CROWLEY: Candice DeLong, what does that tell you about this guy, the fact he is held on child porn charges, that he had seven computers and may have been alleged distributing this kind of stuff? What does that tell you about this guy? Would that make him capable of murder?
DELONG: Well, possession of child pornography alone doesn‘t mean one is capable of murder. However, I think it would appear curious that someone who now is suspected of sexual murder, probable sexual murder of a young adult female would also have child pornography with children as young as a very prepubescent children, toddlers, and infant, a one-year-old infant. In fact, one of the things we frequently see in sexual predators is they often times have a wide variety of pornography that interests them. The fact that he has seven computers is more significant, actually, or as significant than the fact that he merely has child pornography on one of them.
CROWLEY: Right. And also, Candice, police found her body in a shallow grave. What does that tell you?
DELONG: Well, it tells me it probably wasn‘t very well planned out. It‘ll be difficult for them to get forensics, but they will probably be able to get something. What‘s more significant than the shallow grave is where it is. It‘s on the farm of a former ex-girlfriend‘s family. What are the chances someone he was linked with would be taken by someone else and put there? Pretty slim.
CROWLEY: So, do you think that is a really key piece of evidence when piecing together this case?
DELONG: I think it‘s a very good piece of circumstantial evidence.
CROWLEY: All right. Very good, we will be following this case. Candice DeLong, Ray Daudani, and Jim Nolan, thank you so much for your time tonight.
NOLAN: Thank you.
CROWLEY: And she‘s kept her silence for months, but now, singer Olivia Newton John shares her heartbreak about her boyfriend who vanished without a trace. What she is saying, plus the clues police are following to crack the case.
Then, some of the biggest names in Hollywood trying a new way to keep the paparazzi away, but are they the ones now going too far? You decide. We‘ll be right back.
CROWLEY: She thrilled us on the big screen, but now Olivia Newton John is speaking out about her boyfriend, who has been missing more than three months. We‘ll have the very latest. But first, here‘s the latest news from MSNBC World Headquarters.
CROWLEY: They are fighting back against out of control paparazzi. But are Hollywood‘s biggest stars taking their tactics too far? And a piece of history is now history itself. Oh, look at that. The bridge demolition you have just got to see. Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, everybody.
I‘m Monica Crowley in tonight for Joe. We will have those stories in just minutes. But first, singer and actress Olivia Newton John breaks her silence. As you may know, her boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, has been missing since June 30. He was last seen heading out on a fishing boat near San Pedro, California. The Coast Guard and other authorities continue to investigate his disappearance, and yesterday for the very first time, Newton John spoke about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN, SINGER: It‘s a very, very painful topic, and it‘s still an investigation, and I just - I love him very much. And as you can imagine, it‘s an incredibly hard thing to go through. This is such a personal thing for me and for his family, that we have chosen not to talk about it because the investigation is not final yet, and I just respect we don‘t go any further, because it‘s very hard for me to talk about it, as you can imagine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: So what happened to Patrick McDermott? Let‘s bring in our panel of experts, who have been following this story. First up, Louise Pennell. She is a journalist with Seven Network in Australia, and Josh Hanshaft special federal prosecutor, and rejoining me once again, former FBI profiler, Candice DeLong. Welcome to all of you.
And Louise, let me begin with you. You have been covering this story for quite a while. Can you bring us up to date on what we know so far?
LOUISE PENNELL, SEVEN NETWORK AUSTRALIA: Well, what we do know is that as you mentioned, Patrick McDermott was last seen taking an overnight fishing trip on June 30 off the California coast at San Pedro. We do know that he paid his galley bill on July 1, about three miles off-shore, although the marina manager said some crew members did see him actually stepping off the boat. That still hasn‘t been confirmed by the Coast Guard.
We know he is still registered as a missing person, although the Coast Guard isn‘t ruling out that he has actually staged his own disappearance. We know that he was in great financial debt. He owed about $30,000. He filed for bankruptcy in 2000. He had some financial difficulties with his ex-wife. She filed for a legal dispute just weeks before his disappearance, due to delayed child support payments.
We know that he was a regular fisherman, and he usually told his neighbors that he was going on these trips. This time, he didn‘t, and we also know that Olivia Newton John had no idea that he had disappeared until several weeks after his ex-wife reported him missing.
CROWLEY: Josh Hanshaft, a lot of unanswered questions here. And a lot of red flags going up. As Louise was going through all of this. Now that you have heard all of this, how would you go about starting an investigation into this man‘s disappearance?
JOSH HANSHAFT, PROSECUTOR: I think you first have to look at the possibilities here. There‘s pretty much four. Either he faked his death, it was a murder, an accident, or a suicide. So each one of those has some possible evidence out there, or facts that you can now go searching for. In this case, since the investigation seems to have led to that he faked possibly his own death, there are certain things you would look into a little deeper. I guess the public and I would like to know, let‘s look at his bank records. Somebody can‘t get up and leave and fake his own death and disappear. Things like records, phone records, bank records, certainly going to be somebody who sets up, to say, you know what, I am leaving town, I am going to need cash, and I think those things, which are probably looked into, the public would like to know, what has led us to these conclusions of possibly faking his own death.
CROWLEY: Candice DeLong, you heard a long litany of red flags here that Louise went through. This is a guy who is in a custody battle. He suffered from depression. He was known to be a heavy drinker. Also, his relationship with Olivia Newton John had ended. There seems to be a lot to go on here. Do you think that this man could have possibly faked his own death?
DELONG: Well, the thing about faking one‘s own death, it‘s very Hollywood, it‘s very mysterious, it makes for good novels, but, in fact, it doesn‘t happen a great deal in reality. In cases where it has happened that I am aware of, the individual who was trying to make it look like they were dead had very good reason to hide from something, either they had committed a murder or multiple murders or they had swindled someone or a lot of people out of a great deal of money. This man doesn‘t have all that much, I mean, so he was in debt $30,000. He is in a dispute with his ex-wife over child support. Just described half of America.
He had a relationship that wasn‘t going well. If he faked his own death, he certainly didn‘t do a very good job of it, because two people on the cruise say they think they saw him exit.
CROWLEY: Do you believe it‘s more likely he committed suicide, say?
DELONG: Well, it‘s possible, but why would he wait until the end of the trip? Why would he pay his bar bill? Those are not generally things people do that are about to off themselves. Oftentimes when people commit suicide, they do it in such a way that their body will be found fairly quickly.
This man‘s body hasn‘t been found at all. I am leaning toward an accidental overboard, and he may have drowned. I mean, there‘s a lot been made about the fact that he had his passport with him. Perhaps he was planning on taking a trip. There haven‘t been any indications he is living on credit. If he faked his own death, where is he, living in a jungle in Mexico somewhere, eating bananas?
Where is the guy? There just wasn‘t the motive there. Suicide doesn‘t seem very likely, although possible. It just looks to me like the guy accidentally went overboard, three miles off the coast, it‘s possible his body was washed out to sea.
CROWLEY: Louise Pennell, you have heard three different theories here, accidental drowning or accidental death, suicide, and faking his own death. What seems most likely to you?
PENNELL: Well, I think it‘s interesting to note that Olivia Newton John‘s nephew spoke to a British tabloid several weeks ago to sort of set the record straight on their relationship. He said, as you mentioned before Patrick McDermott was a heavy drinker, in fact, an alcoholic in his words. He said he did suffer from depression, and that the relationship just came to a natural end several weeks before his disappearance, so I mean, I can‘t speculate on what happened to him, but he certainly, according to Olivia Newton John‘s nephew, was an alcoholic and did suffer from depression.
HANSHAFT: I think that was a very isolated opinion, correct, and I don‘t think pervasive to everybody they spoke with.
CROWLEY: Josh, let me follow up on something mentioned. When the boat crew went through Mr. McDermott‘s bunk after the boat came back to shore, they found a number of his items, including his passport, car keys a wallet, driver‘s license, an organizer, a few coins, but no paper money. So what does this say to you? Why would somebody bring a passport on a fishing trip?
HANSHAFT: It seems to me he had some indication of going somewhere. He is bringing all of his important things with him, such as passports, and things people would carry with them not on a fishing trip. Here, they find everything, but not paper money. It does indicate, you know what, he was looking to go somewhere, to get out of town, to have just a disappearance all of a sudden. I don‘t think people bring their passport if they are going to commit suicide, so I think some things can be eliminated, I think the things left are, yes, accidental possibly or that he faked his own disappearance.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you a question which Candice raised, if he has no paper money, perhaps he brought some with him, if he, in fact, faked his death, but there would be credit card receipts, there would be some sort of paper trail. How in the world would he be supporting himself if he staged al of this?
HANSHAFT: I think that‘s why it‘s important to go back in time. I don‘t know. The Coast Guard is handling this investigation. I don‘t know how far back they went to check. Were there large sums of money that were deposited elsewhere? Yes, it seems reasonable that nobody would assume somebody would fake their own death and plan years in advance, but it‘s quite possible, the money was at certain times distributed to other places. He had issues with bankruptcy and child support, he might have put money in different places that now he can get access to the money.
CROWLEY: Candice DeLong, does the celebrity element here involving Olivia Newton John, does that help or hurt a case like this?
DELONG: I don‘t think in this particular case it‘s hurt. I mean, frequently, as we know, from recent notorious trials in the United States involving celebrities, celebrity status can hurt an investigation and prosecution. I don‘t think in this particular case it has, but let‘s not forget, she is a celebrity in this country, but she doesn‘t live here, and she certainly doesn‘t have the celebrity status that others would. She didn‘t even know about it for a while. I don‘t think in this case it hurt at all.
CROWLEY: And the investigation into this disappearance does continue.
Candice DeLong, Louise Pennell and Josh Hanshaft. Thank you all so much.
HANSHAFT: Thank you very much.
CROWLEY: And I am joined now by my friend, Tucker Carlson, host of THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON. So, Tucker, what is the situation tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: So much tonight, Monica. Almost nothing bad that can happen in this world some people won‘t blame the U.S. for. You are seeing that taking place in Pakistan, where the America haters have been criticizing the U.S. for not sending more in earthquake aid. We are sending a lot, but apparently not enough, this to a country filled with people who hate us and would like to kill us, but somehow it‘s our fault. We are going to talk about that and many other things.
Sam Giancana‘s daughter joins us, by the way, said her father killed JFK, if you can believe it.
CROWLEY: Well, it sounds like a great show, as always, Tucker. Be sure to tune into THE SITUATION coming up next at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
And a new warning tonight about a possible health disaster, if the deadly bird flu jumps to humans, will America and the world be ready? We‘ll have the latest.
And the war between stars and the stalkerazzi heats up. See how some of the biggest names in Hollywood are trying to turn the tables. But is it too much? Stick around.
CROWLEY: Could these birds be the cause of a widespread pandemic that is on its way to the United States? Tens of millions of them have been killed in an attempt to stop the spread of the deadly avian bird flu. So far, the bird flu virus has been confirmed in at least 10 countries around the world. Mostly in Asia. And it‘s responsible for killing at least 60 people.
So what risk does this deadly flu pose to Americans, and how many people could potentially be killed? Here to talk about all of that is Dr. Holly Phillips from Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City. Welcome, Dr.
DR. HOLLY PHILLIPS, LENNOX HILL HOSPITAL: Great to be here.
CROWLEY: Let‘s start off first off by talking about what exactly is the bird flu?
PHILLIPS: The bird flu is a form of the influenza virus. We are all familiar with the influenza virus because it actually causes our winter flu. The bird flu is a different strain of this virus that primarily infects domestic birds like chickens and turkeys, and can affect some migratory birds like ducks.
The issue is, this flu at times can move from birds to human beings. When it does, it‘s incredibly deadly. In fact, half of the people, more than half of the people who have ever caught this flu have actually died from it.
CROWLEY: And Dr. Phillips, how unusual is it to have an animal-based disease like this one jump to humans?
PHILLIPS: Well, unfortunately, it‘s not as unusual as one might think. The famous Spanish flu of 1918, which killed millions of people, actually started with a bird source as well.
CROWLEY: Well, you know, you mentioned it has taken upon itself to jump from the birds to humans. But I know there‘s a great deal of fear out there that the virus may, in fact, mutate to allow it to jump from person to person. How likely is that?
PHILLIPS: Well, you know, although we can‘t say that it‘s inevitable, the World Health Organization seems to think that it‘s a very high likelihood. What happens is scientists really study viruses, and they try to predict how the viruses are going to mutate, and apparently in the past couple of years they have noticed that this form of the bird flu is starting to mutate toward something that could be passed from human to human.
If that happens, the virus can spread very rapidly. If you consider how much travel people do now, how worldwide we are, it could really move very quickly and infect many people.
CROWLEY: Well, we do know that there‘s no cure for this right now, but there is medication out there that can ameliorate some of the symptoms, should it be passed to human beings, medications like Tamiflu, and we also know that a number of countries around the world have started to stockpile this just in case. The United States has just started to do that. Do you think we are prepared enough for such an outbreak, should it come to our shores?
PHILLIPS: I don‘t think we are prepared, and that‘s actually whale—actually really what the Bush administration and the head of the World Health Organization is working on now. The had I issue is not just stockpiling but production. Tamiflu is made by a pharmaceutical company, Roche Pharmaceuticals, that really will need to increase their production or allow other drug companies to make it. It‘s going to be a big issue. The key, however, will be if we can develop a vaccine, produce the vaccine, and distribute it before the flu actually gets to us.
CROWLEY: What should people be on the lookout for, Dr. Phillips?
PHILLIPS: Well, so far, there has not been a single case in the United States, and at this point the flu cannot be passed from person to person, so here in the States, there‘s nothing really to fear at this point, go about your lives. One important thing, though, make sure you get your flu shots.
The flu shot will not protect you from the bird flu, but it‘s thought to be very important to protect in case the bird flu were to make it here, co-infection, meaning having the regular winter flu as well as the bird flu, could be very, very serious. So we are encouraging everyone to get their flu shots this year.
CROWLEY: Definitely a very good precaution to take. Dr. Holly Phillips, thank you so much.
PHILLIPS: Great to be here.
CROWLEY: Coming up next, some of the biggest names in Hollywood fighting back against out of control paparazzi. Next. Wait until you hear how they are trying to keep their private lives private.
CROWLEY: Paparazzi that get too close to celebrities, beware, the cameras to be turned on you. Hollywood power couples like Brad and Angelina, are they dating? They are protecting their privacy by hiring investigators to go after the very photographers that chase them down.
Celebrity journalist Pat Lalama will talk about this latest trend in Hollywood security. Great to see you Pat.
PAT LALAMA, CELEBRITY JOURNALIST: Hey thanks. It was only a matter of time before we got to this. Let me tell you.
CROWLEY: My first question to you is that these movie stars, musicians, big celebrities, they go out there and choose a public life. So how much privacy are they really entitled to?
LALAMA: That‘s the million dollar question. And I can see it from both sides. Here‘s the problem. There was a time that paparazzi were perfectly happy to get the red carpet shot. That doesn‘t mean anything to them anymore. There‘s no big bucks so now what they do is employ tactics. Everything from your mom wears army boots, to some of these celebrities, to get them mad, to get them angry, to get them to react. They want them out where everybody else is and they want them behind the bushes having an affair with someone.
This is where they get the big bucks. So they are employing tactics that are completely out of the question.
Now, having said that, I also believe that a lot of these celebrities like the drama. I think it is a love-hate relationship. Let me use the example of poor Lindsay Lohan. Last week on Robertson Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California. where does she choose to have lunch? The Ivy. That‘s putting a big sign on you, come take my picture. When you sit at the Ivy you are sitting right on the street. If you are familiar with that restaurant, it is where the biggest stars go. I understand she was going way over the speed limit when she was trying to elude the paparazzi. That‘s not right. If you are so troubled, go out the back door or you pull over and let the paparazzi get their shots and call 911 and say look, I‘m not moving, but I just need to have you get these guys away from me.
So I don‘t always feel so sorry for these folks. Let me tell you that as well.
CROWLEY: You know, Pat, we‘ve heard about these incidents that you just mentioned and also a five-year-old being allegedly being shoved out of the way so a photographer could get Reese Witherspoon‘s photograph. And then of course perhaps the most infamous case of all, Princess Diana. What crosses the line, do you think?
LALAMA: I mean that‘s where we‘re going to find a lot of debate in the next 10 years probably in Los Angeles. The line is crossed when it reaches criminal behavior. It‘s not criminal to stand on the sidewalk. It‘s not criminal to follow someone in a car. It is criminal to put them in a dangerous situation where they might hurt themselves or others.
It is criminal to rifle through their personal items. That‘s what we are getting at right now. Let me tell you, the old timers, these old guys have been around. I‘m old, too. They know the rules. A lot of the older guys are pretty cool. They know how to talk, but they generally like to play with the celebrities and they generally have a kind of a yin and a yang relationship. What the problem is right now are the young people that understand with their cell phone cameras or with their little DV cam that they have in the back of the car, they can sell a piece of photography that can make them a lot of money. They have no idea about the boundaries of journalism. They have no idea about First Amendment rights. They go out there and they employ tactics that are beyond reason and are now approaching criminal levels.
CROWLEY: And Pat, now we are hearing that celebrities are going to extremes to fight back like Brad Pitt, for example, hiring a private investigator to go after the paparazzi.
LALAMA: That‘s fine. As long as they‘re not trying to find if the paparazzi are doing drugs or cheating on their wives, that‘s a whole different issue. If they just want to see and want have it on tape to see if these paparazzi are employing illegal tactics, that‘s a different thing, and they have every right to do it. This is guerilla warfare. I don‘t want anybody to get hurt, but it‘s really interesting, because people are fighting back. And the stars like Angelina and Brad have the clout to do it. People listen to them.
And so you are going to see a lot of future court cases regarding this kind of thing.
CROWLEY: All right. We‘re going to leave it there. Pat Lalama, great to see you.
LALAMA: Hey, my pleasure, take care.
CROWLEY: Thank you. Well, forget the old expression about selling you a bridge, how about blowing one up. That‘s when we come back. Stick around.
CROWLEY: This bridge in South Carolina was too low for ships to pass through. We will show you how they solved that problem next.
CROWLEY: Part of Charleston, South Carolina‘s history is now history itself. Crews blew up the first span of the Silas Pearman Bridge. Eleven segments of steel trusses plunged into the water where they will be recovered within a day and recycled. A new taller bridge will allow bigger ships into Charleston‘s shipping channel.
Well that‘s all the time we have for tonight. I‘m Monica Crowley in for Joe. I‘ll see you tomorrow on CONNECTED. THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON starts right now. Hiya, Tucker. What‘s THE SITUATION tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC HOST: Well, thank you, Monica Crowley.
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