Guest: Jim Humphrey, Stacey Honowitz, Keith Ablow, Jeralyn Merritt, Dave Holloway, Ivan Golde, John Bartus, Daniel Horowitz, Ken Ostra
RITA COSBY, GUEST HOST: And right now, on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, here we go again, Hurricane Wilma a Category 5, and she may be barreling toward Florida. Forecasters are calling Wilma the worst hurricane ever recorded. We are going to track her path and bring you the very latest.
Then, an MSNBC exclusive. Defense attorney Dan Horowitz speaks with Dan Abrams about the crime, about the investigation, and about who he thinks killed his wife.
ANNOUNCER: From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all. Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
COSBY: And, hello, everybody. Thanks for being here us tonight.
Do not adjust your sets. This is SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Rita Cosby, in for Joe, who has the night off.
We are going to have all those stories in just a minute, but, first, Scott Peterson is heading back to court. He is convicted of killing his wife and unborn son, but now Scott Peterson is trying to collect on his wife‘s life insurance policy. And, believe it or not, some people actually think he should get it. That‘s tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY‘s showdown.
But, first, Hurricane Wilma is barreling towards the Florida coast tonight with sustained winds of 160 miles an hour. The killer storm that you are seeing there is churning towards the Gulf of Mexico at this hour, and some computer models have Wilma slamming into Southern Florida Saturday night.
For the very latest on Wilma‘s track, let‘s go live right now to Bill Karins and NBC Weather Plus.
Bill, what are you seeing?
BILL KARINS, NBC METEOROLOGIST: Well, the latest information is showing on our computer models, which earlier in the day, were flipping and saying the storm may stall out and not hit Florida. A lot of them are now coming back to what they were saying 24 hours ago, and it looks like a great threat to Florida, possibly a Category 3, maybe a 2 as we go throughout Sunday now.
The time frame looks to be a little bit later. You can see our storm to the bottom of your screen here. And our computer models, some of them go out as far as seven to 14 days. A couple of them here—these are all of these lines. Almost all of them now at least take the storm over the Yucatan, and then they take that northeast turn. The key to the forecast the next couple of days for Florida is when does it take the Northeast turn.
If it stalls out here for a longer period of time, like this red line, and then takes the northeast turn later, say not until Friday night or Saturday, then it has a better chance of hitting Cuba and then heading out into the Atlantic. If the storm makes it further to the north, and then takes that northeast turn, say earlier, say as early as tomorrow night, like the orange line here, it could go from anywhere from Tampa down to about Fort Myers or anywhere in between.
What is interesting with some of our computers, and these are some of the better ones that we have, the long-term path takes it dangerously close to the Outer Banks. One of them even takes it up towards Providence, Rhode Island, or Cape Cod. The other one comes dangerously close to Cape Cod or maybe Maine or Nova Scotia. So, we are going to be dealing with a very interesting forecast as we go throughout the upcoming week.
It‘s currently a Category 5, winds at 160 miles per hour. It hasn‘t weakened much. We would like to see it weakening a little quicker for all those residents in Cancun and Cozumel, because that‘s the first area that is going to be hit. This black line indicates the path of the storm, so far heading to the northwest.
New information will come out from the Hurricane Center within the next half-hour. At the end of the show, I will bring you the brand new latest track and intensity. Stay tuned for that.
COSBY: And, Bill, what is chance that maybe it‘s going to miss the United States altogether? What is the percentage of that?
KARINS: If anyone wants it to miss this country here in South Florida, the storm would have to stall out for two or three days where it is, and then head east, and then it would head over Cuba, missing South Florida.
If you hear the storm over the next couple of days has stalled, that‘s better for the U.S., worse for Cuba. If you hear that the forward speed is increasing, much worse for the whole entire East Coast and especially the West Coast of Florida.
COSBY: Bill, thank you very much.
It‘s amazing, when you look at that eye of the storm, amazing some people actually flew through it.
Joining me now on the phone is Major Ken Ostra. He‘s an Air Force reservist who flew a mission into Hurricane Wilma last night. He was a member of the crew that last night recorded the lowest pressure ever measured in an Atlantic storm.
Major, first of all, what did the hurricane look like?
MAJOR KEN OSTRA, AIR FORCE RESERVES: Well, the hurricane was actually pretty unique, because it was a very tight and small eye, and the wind field was actually very small. So we had really good pictures on our radar, but, since we were out there in the middle of the night, we really didn‘t get a good visual image of it.
COSBY: Is the sense that it is a monster of a storm—when we hear that it‘s the most powerful in the Atlantic ever, and, you know, we are looking at a loop now. This is a satellite loop. It looks breathtaking.
OSTRA: Yes. It was definitely noteworthy.
We knew while we were in it that it was something a little bit different. The pressure gradient was so steep that we had 11 degrees of (INAUDIBLE) down, just trying to catch the pressure gradient. And that‘s three times the descent rate you would see on a commercial airline going to an airport, for example.
COSBY: And how wide was it? How wide is the swathe? Just as a sense, give us sort of a physical sense of it.
OSTRA: Really, the wind field was actually pretty small. The wind field itself, where we were getting hurricane-force winds, was only 40 miles wide, and the eye was a very tight eye.
It was down to about 2.5 miles at one point. So, it was very compact, but very, very intense storm when we were in it.
COSBY: And we are looking at these images from space. You talk about the hurricane-force winds. How fast were these winds, how ferocious?
OSTRA: Well, what they did was they started off at about 40 knots, when we started to get into the wind field proper, and within a few miles, I think it was about within 10 miles, they had gone from about 40 knots all the way up to 165 knots, sustained peak gusts of about 170.
COSBY: What did that feel like?
OSTRA: It was pretty turbulent air. When you have something that is building that fast, the air is very rough and very turbulent. And we actually got pounded pretty hard last night by it.
COSBY: I can imagine.
Well, thank you so much, Major, for your sharing your firsthand opinion. Imagine just driving, flying literally right through, driving ferociously with a jet going right through the hurricane. Incredible to see. Thank you.
Hurricane Wilma has already turned deadly. So far, the monster storm is responsible for at least 12 deaths in Haiti and one more in Jamaica.
One of the cities bracing for a potential hit from Rita (sic) is Marathon, Florida.
The mayor of that city, John Bartus, joins us now on the phone.
Mayor, how worried are you? We just heard from one of our majors who flew through the storm. He said it is ferocious. It is huge, winds 170 knots.
JOHN BARTUS, MAYOR OF MARATHON, FLORIDA: I tell you, Rita, this is a very scary storm to be looking at, trying—with the potential of bearing down on you.
We are definitely taking all the precautions necessary. As of noon today, we evacuated all the tourists and nonresidents from the Florida Keys, the entire chain of islands. And tomorrow at noon, barring anything unforeseen at this point, we are going to be issuing evacuation, Keys wide, for residents, a mandatory resident evacuation.
COSBY: What is your biggest concern now?
BARTUS: My biggest concern is the fact that there‘s still a little bit of uncertainty left in this forecast zone and that it could happen—that something could happen that would bring it directly over the Keys. That, of course, is my biggest concern.
And of course, the big other concerns I have are any impact on the state of Florida, the impact upon life and property. When you talk about a storm like this, this is a potentially very devastating storm in terms of both the winds, the destructive winds and the storm surge it could bring.
COSBY: How weary are your residents? I mean, I would imagine they are going, here we go again.
BARTUS: That is pretty much it. The whole here we go again theme has already happened to me.
We have already been through Dennis, Katrina, and Rita, and now everybody is bracing for Wilma. And the thing about this year‘s hurricane season that I am finding, more so than seasons in the past, especially after Katrina and the devastation that it wreaked on New Orleans, is that people are taking these things seriously.
When they hear there‘s a Category 4 or a Category 5 that has the potential for coming our way, they are taking these things a lot more seriously than they used to. A lot of residents in the Keys, there‘s going to be people who never evacuate no matter what, and, for those people, I would just like to remind you that, in the worst-case scenario, if something happens, and we do say, for example, lose a bridge, or a bridge, if that‘s a storm surge, that if a section the Keys are cut off from water, electricity, these are the people that there‘s going to be a very, very, very tough life ahead for them for the reasonably near future.
The recovery of this is going to take a little bit of time if we sustain a direct hit.
COSBY: Oh, you bet. You bet.
COSBY: Well, Mayor, thank you.
And, of course, we hope that you don‘t get hit.
Everybody, we are going to be tracking the storm. We are going to have a lot more on the storm, again, a Category 5, the biggest in the Atlantic. We are going to be keeping an eye and we are going to have some more updates later on in the show.
And coming up next, everyone, the brutal murder of prominent defense attorney Daniel Horowitz‘s wife. Tonight, Horowitz talks about these past heartbreaking days, how tough they have been, the moment that he found his wife, and the investigation.
And get this. Even from behind bars, Scott Peterson is making headlines. He is going back to court this week, and wait until you hear what this killer is fighting Laci‘s family over. You may be outraged.
SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY is just getting started. Stay with us.
COSBY: The emotional words of Daniel Horowitz. Who does he think killed his wife, and how is he coping with it? That‘s next, an MSNBC exclusive.
COSBY: Attorney Daniel Horowitz vowed he would never return, but today, he did go back to the dream house that he and his wife, Pamela Vitale, were building, to collect photos for her funeral set to take place tomorrow.
Vitale was brutally murdered on Saturday, and police have still not made any arrests. Horowitz was defending Susan Polk, who is accused of murdering her husband. Are the two murders now connected? Who would want Pamela Vitale dead? And who does Horowitz think committed this brutal crime?
And now an MSNBC exclusive. Earlier tonight, Daniel Horowitz did his first live TV interview since he found his wife murdered on Saturday night.
He spoke to our Dan Abrams. He has the story—Dan.
DAN ABRAMS, NBC CHIEF LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: Rita, every time I have spoken to Daniel Horowitz since this happened, he has broken down in tears. And so you can imagine, doing his first live interview with me was not easy.
As you will see, he is a man of mixed emotions. At times he is angry. At times he is sad, but he says that his one goal now is to find out who killed his wife.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “THE ABRAMS REPORT”)
DANIEL HOROWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Today I went back with my family and the police had taken out the most horrific parts of the scene, the parts that really were upsetting, you know, just pure—they took that away.
So it was a beautiful day and I went into our bedroom and you know the bed just has a sense of the person or the people who were there. And for me, it was a nice feeling to be with her. So it‘s like there‘s horror, but I can never escape that and then there‘s the moments where I feel her and then there‘s all these questions and functioning and you got to do arraignments and other people‘s feelings and you just don‘t really know where you‘re at. And I think anybody who‘s been through this can just tell you there‘s no formula for it.
ABRAMS: If you can, tell me what you can about arriving at the scene that night.
HOROWITZ: OK. I remember that I called her a few times during the day and she hadn‘t responded, which maybe that‘s happened 100 times before. So it‘s doesn‘t mean that you feel good about my, you know your wife not responding. You know how that is. You have funny feelings, but it always turns out OK. So when I arrived though and I came down the hill, and her car was there, that wasn‘t a good feeling.
But I just said OK, well maybe she‘s not going to dinner—sorry, Dan
· she‘s not going to dinner. I‘m losing track. I just saw her car and I‘m just going maybe she wasn‘t going to dinner with her friend for the ballet, so she‘s home still, but it didn‘t feel good. But I just went to the door and I saw a smear on it, which I knew was bad, but I didn‘t know it in my brain.
A lot of what you‘re seeing and what‘s going on is like your body knows first and your brain knows second, and then I found her there and then I—you know. I‘m going to tell you something, Dan. I‘ve relived this every few minutes constantly, just to figure out what happened and also just because it‘s my last moments with her even in the state she was in and then I see the pictures. I don‘t know what to say anymore.
ABRAMS: You—when you arrived there, you told me before that you touched her body. That you felt her pulse, etcetera, and you spoke some words to her.
HOROWITZ: When she was lying there, even though I knew that she was
dead, I touched her on the temple to see if she was alive and you know
called 911 on the phone and then went back to her and then I just told her
· I said a million things. I screamed, I cried, and I told her I loved her, and I‘m trying to avoid just—I don‘t want to cry anymore. I‘ve just cried out to tell you the truth.
But basically, for me lying—when she was lying there, she was still Pamela.
ABRAMS: You had said that it was clear to you that the killer or killers had cleaned up the crime scene. Why do you believe that?
HOROWITZ: All I can tell you is that what I saw was that she fought like hell and really fought like hell and I think she almost won and I know my wife. I know Pamela would never ever you know give up. She would fight to the end, Dan. No one could scare her. She loved life and I think that person almost lost. I mean I‘m assuming it‘s a man. I don‘t know. But I think she almost beat him.
ABRAMS: So you‘re convinced that the killer would have some sort of wounds on him?
HOROWITZ: Well, either wounds or he struck with a weapon repeatedly so that she didn‘t have a chance to wound him, but she didn‘t go down and she didn‘t give up, Dan. I could see that. Look, I know what a crime scene looks like. It‘s what I‘ve done for a living and I‘m telling you that Pamela fought like hell and that person who attacked her, I bet he feared that he was going to lose. She fought like hell.
You could just see how the battle went back and forth and what objects were moved. And again, these are some things even that I figured out I don‘t want to say on TV, so that the police don‘t have their hands tipped, but I could see things moved in certain ways that I know how the bodies were when they were fighting. You could see the splatters of blood, but you could just see that she‘s moving around, that she is not giving up.
And of course it doesn‘t make much difference if she lost in the end, but I still know my wife and I know for whatever comfort it brings to the people who love her, you know, she fought like hell. Nobody just you know got away with this without being frightened that she was going to win and if I was there she—I could have taken care of her but she almost took care of herself, Dan.
ABRAMS: When you had a chance to sit there for a moment, did you have thoughts about who you thought might be responsible for this?
HOROWITZ: I communicated all that type of information to the police right at the scene.
ABRAMS: Your neighbor, Joe Lynch, has been talked about a lot in the press. You wrote the following about him in an application for a restraining order just a few months ago.
“I have phrased this declaration in personal terms, but most important to me is that he stay away from my wife Pamela.”
Is Lynch someone you think the police should be looking very closely at?
HOROWITZ: Dan, here‘s what I have to say about that. My job is not to go on television and point the finger at anybody because we have a great police department, the Contra Costa County sheriff. They‘re working so hard on this case. They don‘t need Dan Horowitz to be going on television and making accusations against people.
They‘re going to do the best job they can. I don‘t want them to rule out anyone. I don‘t want them to rule out me or anyone else on this planet until they actually have a person arrested who‘s good for it, so I‘m never going to point the finger at anybody.
ABRAMS: What has been the part of this that has kept you going? Has it been family? Has it been friends? What—has it been a support system?
HOROWITZ: I would say first and foremost when I‘m really, really just hurting, two things are happening at the same time. I just call on Pamela. I just feel Pamela and at the same time, you know, her children who are my children too now. You know, they‘re one and I feel them and then I have my family and the rest of her family and even her ex-husband are the children‘s natural father, this is my support.
But the reality that I have to face, Dan, is that when all of this craziness ends and the person is caught, I‘ve got nothing in my life, you know, at the very core. The very core of my life will never come back no matter what happens. There‘s nothing that‘s going to ever happen that‘s going to make it OK. That‘s, you know that‘s the bottom-line reality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABRAMS: So Rita, as you can see, this was not an easy interview for Daniel Horowitz to do. It wasn‘t an easy interview for me to conduct either, because I really do know Daniel Horowitz.
And keep in mind that his wife‘s funeral is tomorrow.
COSBY: Dan, thank you very much. Definitely is hard to see, and very emotional. Thank you.
Well, let me now bring in two men who know Daniel Horowitz well, Ivan Golde, who is Daniel‘s co-counsel in the case of Susan Polk, accused of stabbing her husband to death, and also Michael Cardoza. He‘s a former prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst, who also knows Dan quite well.
Ivan, let me start with you.
Your reactions to seeing Dan there in the interview. He looks horrible, looks just like he is overwhelmed.
IVAN GOLDE, CO-COUNSEL OF DANIEL HOROWITZ: Dan is grieving. He is grieving very hard.
But one thing struck me. Even with all this tragedy and all this grieving, he is still so eloquent, so pure. That‘s Dan Horowitz. You are really seeing who this man is, and you can see the grieving. You can see he is just tortured and how much he loved Pamela. And, believe me, I knew Pamela very well, and she loved him. They had a great marriage. They lived for each other.
It‘s very difficult to hear that. But, even so, Dan is still so eloquent in what he says.
COSBY: Oh, he absolutely was, and you can tell, it is gut-wrenching.
Michael Cardoza, you know Dan, too. I know we have covered a lot of cases. You have talked to Dan a lot. When you see this situation, where do you think the case is going to go now?
GOLDE: Well, you know, that‘s really difficult to say. I know the police are doing an awful lot of work in the case. That‘s one thing that Dan, when he and I speak, he has been very vociferous about. And that‘s the outstanding job that the Contra Costa County Sheriff‘s are doing in this case.
And I know they are exploring all sort of avenues here. So, we are just speculating as to where it‘s going to go.
COSBY: Do you believe it‘s someone that knows the couple? It seems so.
If you are looking at, Michael, you know, the house—when I have talked to Dan—I have talked to Dan quite a bit the last few days, talking with him, giving him some comfort, but the one thing he keeps saying, I believe it‘s someone who knew the house.
Well, you know, I have done an awful lot of homicides. I have done well over 40 of them, and one of the things that strikes me is the instrument of death was a blunt object, like a baseball bat. And it was a baseball bat that struck her in the head, so you have that blunt trauma to the head.
With that, that is a violent-type crime. It‘s not a weapon like a gun. That is a little bit detached. This—whoever did this is someone that was very angry with her, so it strikes me, it‘s someone to do with the house. I don‘t think it‘s any one of Dan‘s clients. Certainly, I know they are looking at the Polk sons in this case. I don‘t know what they have done in that regard, but I know one thing.
Dan has opened his files up to the Contra Costa County Sheriff‘s. And he told me that each one of his clients had said they‘re willing to sign a waiver, go ahead and look at us; go ahead and look at our files. So, I think we are going to find someone to do with the house, is going to be my guess. But I‘m speculating.
COSBY: Yes. I do. I think so, too.
Let me bring in Ivan, because, earlier, on my show, a couple of minutes ago, we talked with a neighbor. And this guy, Joe Lynch, this is the caretaker, who Dan believes is probably tied to this case, this guy has a violent history. Dan tried to get a restraining order out on the guy. We just had a neighbor on who said that he tried to get a restraining order, that he believes the guy is capable of killing people.
Is that where you think, Ivan, that the investigation should go? More than coincidence, right?
GOLDE: Well, let me tell you this . The investigation is going there.
Believe me, the police are doing everything they can.
Dan is correct. The Contra County Sheriff‘s Department is doing an excellent job with this case, Rita. Trust me.
COSBY: Do you think an arrest is coming soon, Ivan?
GOLDE: Remember, we must wait for all the forensic evidence, all the DNA evidence. That takes time. It must go to the lab. It must come back. It must be reviewed.
I don‘t think speed is the essential element here. Let the police take their time. Let‘s make this case stick. Let the evidence stick. We don‘t want to arrest someone, then have to release them. When an arrest comes...
COSBY: Michael, go ahead.
COSBY: Michael, you got 10 seconds. Go ahead.
You know what‘s interesting? That I have heard that they say that whoever did this took a shower. I will tell you what. In all my prosecutions and defenses, I don‘t know anyone that would, you know, commit a murder of this magnitude and then take the time to take a shower at the place. You know, that strikes me as very odd, so I am real curious to see, what did they do to clean the scene up?
Did they, in fact, take a shower there? You know, my common sense is, wait a minute, you kill someone, you bludgeon them, and then you go take a shower, taking a chance that someone might come home? That doesn‘t sit well with me.
GOLDE: I don‘t think we have—I don‘t think—I don‘t think we have all the facts, though.
CARDOZA: No, I agree. No, I agree, Ivan. I agree with you. We don‘t have all the facts.
GOLDE: There‘s a lot of things up in the air in this case.
COSBY: Absolutely, guys.
CARDOZA: I absolutely agree with you.
COSBY: Both of you, thank you both very much. We appreciate it, Ivan and Michael, also good friends of Dan Horowitz. Thanks for coming to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.
Coming up, everybody, convicted killer Scott Peterson back in court. Believe it or not, he is trying to cash in on his murdered wife Laci‘s life insurance policy. And some think he is actually entitled to it? That showdown is coming up.
And the fight for Natalee. Do Aruban authorities have enough to throw the key suspects back in jail? Is an arrest coming soon? Dave Holloway thinks so. He is going to be in Aruba tonight. He‘s going to be talking to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. He‘s going to be with us when we come back.
COSBY: It‘s one of the most intense storms ever. Hurricane Wilma has already turned deadly, and it is headed now for Florida. Tonight, we are tracking her path, new information about to be released. We are going to have the very latest.
But, first, here‘s the latest news from MSNBC World Headquarters.
COSBY: Hurricane Wilma at Category 5. With 12 dead, Wilma is already a killer storm, and tonight, a mandatory evacuation is in effect for the Florida Keys.
Plus, the protest of last Saturday‘s neo-Nazi march in Toledo turned into a riot. We are going to show you incredible pictures, just how out of control it really got.
Welcome back, everybody, to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. I‘m Rita Cosby, doing double duty. My pal Joe is off tonight. We are going to have the latest on Wilma in just a few minutes.
But, tonight, a remarkable and quite outrageous story, a new fight involving convicted murderer Scott Peterson and the family of Laci Peterson, the wife he murdered. As you know, Laci and her unborn son were murdered back in 2002. Earlier this year, Scott was sentenced to die for those crimes.
But even facing lethal injection, Peterson is taking on Laci‘s mother, Sharon Rocha, for, get this, Laci‘s $250,000 life insurance policy. They will fight it out in court this Friday.
But joining me now to talk about it is Dr. Keith Ablow. He‘s the author of “Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson.” Also, Florida prosecutor Stacey Honowitz and criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt.
Stacey, how outraged are you?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Well, as you can imagine, I shouldn‘t be the only one that is outraged about this.
Imagine the emotional distress that this family has to go through again and again. Now this person, this convicted felon, this convicted murderer, is seeking to inherit his spouse‘s benefits. It‘s outrageous. It‘s ridiculous. It‘s going to take 25 years for it to get to the appellate system. She should be entitled to the money, but I guess we are going to know when they fight it out on Friday.
JERALYN MERRITT, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, he has not had his appeals yet. This conviction is not final. The money is sitting in the registry of the court, and when and if he loses his appeals, then her mother can have the money, but his conviction may be overturned.
HONOWITZ: Oh, Jeralyn.
MERRITT: And, if that happens, then he is entitled to that money.
MERRITT: So, I don‘t have any problem with this. And I think the court will hold it.
COSBY: Jeralyn, what happens in the case where Stacey is saying, look, it could go on for years. You know this guy. I have met him a number of times. He is going to appeal until he is dead.
MERRITT: Yes. But, you know, let‘s talk about why these appeals go on for years and years in California. It‘s because he probably won‘t even be appointed a lawyer for five years. So, you should petition the legislature and ask that they appoint more lawyers for death row inmates sooner, so it doesn‘t take 25 years.
HONOWITZ: This has nothing to do with getting a lawyer.
COSBY: Stacey, go ahead. Stacey.
HONOWITZ: This is how the system is. Listen, he got a lawyer right away, believe me. There‘s an appeal going on now, and he has a lawyer.
This has nothing to do with a lawyer. This has something to do with the system. It does take a long time. And let me tell you something.
MERRITT: He is not going to have the funds for private counsel for all of his appeals.
HONOWITZ: If, in 25 years, in 25 years, they decide to overturn this conviction...
HONOWITZ: ... then he can sue and get the money.
MERRITT: ... so that lawyers are available.
COSBY: Ladies, ladies, ladies, let me bring in Dr. Keith Ablow.
Dr. Ablow, what is going on inside the mind of Scott Peterson? You researched this guy. For him to say, look, I am going to go after the Rocha family, a lot of people would say, be considerate, sit back, do something for this family for a change.
DR. KEITH ABLOW, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, remember, this is the same Scott Peterson who during the investigation was very concerned that the police officers not scratch either his, nor Laci‘s vehicles, nor leave a ring from the coffee cup on the coffee table.
He doesn‘t have normal emotions. His wife was dead. He knew it. He is a convicted murderer. He did it. And he is sitting there thinking, well, it‘s over. They‘re not going to find her. Why ruin a perfectly good coffee table? So this is just another chapter in that story. He has no remorse. He just does arithmetic. He could use the money. That‘s all there is to it. There‘s no empathy there. There‘s no guilt. There‘s no shame. Now you know a little bit more about Scott Peterson.
COSBY: Now, Jeralyn, wouldn‘t it just send a powerful message to say, look, I‘m not going to fight it? He has been fighting tooth and nail, this family. Wouldn‘t it be just even a nice gesture?
MERRITT: Absolutely not. Scott Peterson says he is innocent, despite what the jury says.
COSBY: But the jury convicted him hands down. The jury convicted him. Is our system wrong?
MERRITT: He has a right to the court of appeals decision, and then he has a right to habeas in the federal courts.
MERRITT: We have to find out whether he got a fair trial. And, remember, there was never any showing at this trial, one, that he intentionally caused the death, or, two, even how she died.
COSBY: Let me get Dr. Ablow in.
COSBY: Dr. Ablow?
What Peterson doesn‘t understand is that he thinks that this is a grand display of his innocence. And, as you can see, there are some aficionados out there who think, well, if he is innocent, this would make sense. He is entitled to the money.
Scott Peterson has never had very good intuition about the way other people feel, because he doesn‘t have feelings like the rest of us. Of course it would be a wonderful display. And people would start to say, wait, maybe this guy isn‘t this cold-blooded killer, if he said, look, it‘s really my money, because I didn‘t kill my wife. But I am not going to put my in-laws through this. Take the money. It‘s not about money anymore. It‘s about proving I am innocent.
But he is incapable of taking that empathetic leap because he has no empathy.
COSBY: Let me bring in Stacey.
HONOWITZ: No. I was going to say, Rita, he is 100 percent right.
That‘s what it‘s all about. And, seriously, for her to have to go through now this other court battle—she already filed a wrongful death suit. We know that that is going to be in civil court. But for her now to have to be there fighting with the murderer of her daughter, and to have to go into court and relive this now, when a jury already returned a verdict of guilty, is preposterous. He will never give her the money.
MERRITT: Why doesn‘t give up the right to the money then? She doesn‘t have to fight him. She could relinquish her claim. She still has a civil lawsuit pending.
HONOWITZ: Why should she relinquish her claim, Jeralyn? Why should she allow her son-in-law to benefit from her...
MERRITT: Because he says is innocent.
HONOWITZ: Because he is innocent? That‘s not what a jury said.
MERRITT: Because he...
HONOWITZ: ... to death.
MERRITT: I didn‘t say he‘s innocent. I said, he says he is innocent. And he is not guilty until the appeals court has finished ruling on his appeals.
COSBY: All right, guys. That is going to have to be...
COSBY: Going to have to be the last word.
COSBY: I‘m going to go through all three of you really quickly, real quickly.
COSBY: I am going to go through all three of you. I want a yes-or-no answer.
Friday, the decision. Keith, will do you think is going to happen?
Yes or no, will he get it or no?
ABLOW: I don‘t believe he will get it for a long, long time.
HONOWITZ: I agree.
ABLOW: And I don‘t think, ultimately, he will get it at all.
COSBY: You agree?
All right, Jeralyn?
HONOWITZ: I agree.
MERRITT: The court is going to keep holding it until his appeals are exhausted.
COSBY: Which is going to be who knows when in our lifetime.
MERRITT: Who knows when.
COSBY: Guys, thank you very much.
COSBY: Thank you, everybody.
HONOWITZ: Thanks, Rita.
COSBY: Thank you, guys. We very much appreciate it.
And I‘m now joined by also a feisty Tucker Carlson, host of “THE
SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON.”
Tucker, are you going to have screaming, feisty debate, like mine tonight?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION”: You know, Rita, I am not sure I can match the feistiness of your panel. I hope so.
COSBY: There‘s a lot of energy here.
CARLSON: It‘s amazing.
CARLSON: Well, there‘s a lot going on in Washington, D.C., tonight, investigators apparently moving closer to the office of the vice president in this investigation into the CIA leak. We got news today that the president scolded behind closed doors his closest aide, Karl Rove. We are going to talk to someone who worked closely in the vice president‘s office.
Plus, Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist, has a new target for criticism. It‘s not anyone you would expect. It‘s worth staying tuned to find out who it is. Pretty interesting.
COSBY: All right, Tucker, thank you very much.
CARLSON: Thanks, Rita.
COSBY: I don‘t know who the target is. Is it you? It‘s not you or me, right? I just want to make sure.
CARLSON: I would wear that as a badge of honor. No, it‘s much more interesting than me. I can tell you that.
CARLSON: It‘s interesting.
COSBY: Well, we are going to be watching. And you are very interesting.
COSBY: Make sure, everybody, tune into “THE SITUATION.” That‘s next at 11:00.
And, everybody, stick with us, because we are watching Hurricane Wilma. She is churning, Category 5 hurricane, could hit landfall this weekend in Florida. We are watching the satellite closely. We are going to have an update later on in the show, and also some more news.
Just days before Natalee Holloway‘s 19 birthday, her family is back in Aruba, still fighting for justice. Next, we are going to also get the latest from her father, who sat down with Aruban authorities. He is in Aruba. He has some more details.
And a normal day descends into chaos when a gang of looters stormed this convenience store. You can see it here. It‘s all caught on tape. We are going to have some amazing details. That‘s all coming up.
COSBY: And welcome back, everybody.
Natalee Holloway‘s 19th birthday is this Friday. But instead of planning her party, her father, Dave, is now back in Aruba, trying desperately to get the investigation back on track. The key question is, will the prosecutor there rearrest the three main suspects in Natalee‘s disappearance?
Live now with Dave Holloway. He‘s joining us by phone from Aruba.
Dave, I understand you met with the prosecutor. You met with the deputy chief of police. What did they say to you?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, FATHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Well, as far as the tape is concerned, that tape has not been received.
The FBI was given the tape by Jamie Skeeters, and I am sure the FBI has reviewed the tape, and through I guess the proper chain of events—that tape is not going to be mailed or FedExed or anything like that. I am sure the FBI is going to hand-deliver that tape to the authorities here, so that there won‘t be any question about whether or not it is going to be tampered with or anything like that. And I think that arrival date may be some time next week.
COSBY: Now, did you get any guidance, though, Dave? I know you met with the prosecutor and also the deputy chief. Are you getting a sense that they are very serious, that, if this tape, when it does come, and it‘s authenticated, verified, that they are going to go forward with this?
HOLLOWAY: Sure, if it‘s authenticated, and certainly if it‘s Deepak talking on the tape, and they can do something with it, yes, they will do something with it.
I did meet with Chief Deputy Gerald Dompig. And, of course, I am gaining confidence in the fact that he has made a lot of statements, and he is acting on those statements. And, for the first time ever in this investigation, he has directed the team of Tim Miller and EquuSearch to specific areas that we can search, rather than a broad scope of the island and the sea.
So, without saying any more, I feel that we are—based on the police investigation, we are pinpointing areas that we can search in, instead of just anywhere and everywhere.
COSBY: Now, Dave, when you talk about specific areas, are these new areas, or are these new areas that we sort of knew of before, but they are doing a more thorough search?
HOLLOWAY: Well, it‘s a more thorough search.
We have just about searched the entire island and part of the sea, and without saying anything more, that would have to come through Gerald Dompig -- but he has directed us to some specific areas and asked us to proceed in those areas, and we are now planning—in the planning stages of doing that.
COSBY: Are you getting a sense that they have some new information to lead you back to those places?
HOLLOWAY: Well, I am not sure it was really any new information. It was just the fact that they have been able to sit down, and Gerald has gone through all the investigative material, and, you know, he mentioned the other day that he realizes that he has talked to the suspects within the first 40 days.
And he just looked through the evidence, and I guess has come to the conclusion this is where we need to search.
COSBY: Is there a sense that you are getting from the deputy chief that, again, if he can verify these tapes—remember, you guys did an interview with me. And he said, look, if these things are true, there could even be an arrest within two to three weeks.
Do you believe he is that serious, that he can maybe squeeze these guys and we may see a break?
HOLLOWAY: Well, that‘s what I am hopeful for. But I have been—we have been through these ups and downs quite a few times in the last five months, and this time, I feel certain that hopefully something will come about this case.
COSBY: How are you being received in Aruba? Because I know, Beth, your ex-wife, was getting some threats, was concerned about going there. How are you received?
HOLLOWAY: Well, I don‘t know about her situation, but I have not received any threats or anything like that. In fact, I have—I am very friendly with everyone here, so—and it‘s about communications and communicating with everyone.
And the last visit I was here, I just noticed the lack of communications between everyone. And what I have done is trying to get everyone on the same page all the way from the top to the bottom, the strategic task force, and everyone involved, so that we can dispel rumors and get to the meat of the issue.
COSBY: How long do you think you are going to be down there, Dave?
HOLLOWAY: Well, I will probably return Friday, unless something develops.
COSBY: Dave, I hope something does develop. And I hope you will be there a little bit past there and hope to some good news soon.
HOLLOWAY: OK. Thank you.
COSBY: Thank you very much.
And, of course, everybody, we are tracking a massive hurricane tonight, keeping an eye on Hurricane Wilma, barreling towards Florida. New information from the National Hurricane Center just in. The latest coming up next.
And, also, caught on tape, looters storm a convenience store. Wait until you see how quickly things get out of control.
Stay with us.
COSBY: Hurricane Wilma, still churning her way towards Florida at this hour, the most powerful storm ever in the Atlantic.
Let‘s go live again right now to Bill Karins with NBC Weather Plus for brand new information.
I understand, Bill, you just got some new news in. And it‘s actually good news, right?
KARINS: Well, some of it, a slight weakening trend, Category 4 storm now, but it‘s as strong as you get for a Category 4.
The winds are at 155 miles per hour. To be a Category 5, it has to be 156, so, literally, we are just splitting hairs here. Gusts up to 190 miles per hour, pressure at 894, so still unbelievably low, moving to the west-northwest at eight miles per hour. That‘s a little bit quicker, so we have to remember, the faster this thing moves, the better chance it has of hitting Florida, and, all of a sudden, the Hurricane Center is thinking, well, it finally looks like it‘s not going to stall out.
It‘s continuing to move. It‘s also had a little hint of a northward movement during the last couple hours, and most of our computer models are now thinking that this storm will actually be moving a little quicker. That‘s actually bad news for Florida.
Take a look at it. We go Category 4 Friday evening, then Category 3, down to a two or a one possibly by the time we go across Florida. And then, the new concern is a little closer to the East Coast, by the time we go through Monday evening, the Hurricane Center has a Category 1 hurricane, due south of New England, pretty much off of the Delaware coastline.
But we always call this yellow area our cone of uncertainty. And once again, in that cone includes Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., go right down the I-95 corridor to Richmond and down towards Raleigh. All of these areas now possibly may have to deal with a Category 1, fast-moving hurricane with the wind and rain as we go throughout your Monday.
So, all of a sudden, you know, we talk about Florida, possibly a Category 2 storm. We would still have devastation down there. And now, Rita, all of a sudden, we could be dealing with millions and millions of people up the Eastern Seaboard possibly having to deal with this hurricane. So, that‘s the big change here from the Hurricane Center.
COSBY: And, Bill, some of the latest, we have seen some pretty amazing pictures out of the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica.
COSBY: Talk about some of the damage that she has already done.
KARINS: Well, a lot of that was just when it was a tropical depression, when we had the rain down there.
I know there was also deaths in Haiti, too. That was all associated with just the trough that this is what that storm developed out of. And it rained down there for about a week straight. And of course the mudslides are always a problem, the higher terrain of Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
And we are going to see similar pictures, not so much the mudslides, but we are going to have some rainfall rates there over the Yucatan, and possibly western Cuba. We could see one to two foot rain event there over the next couple days. So, that‘s the big story, the Yucatan, Cuba. And then we really have to watch Florida and then possibly the entire East Coast Sunday into Monday.
COSBY: All right, Bill, thank you. Keep us posted, please.
COSBY: Well, Fort Myers is one of the cities that might be right in Wilma‘s path.
Joining me right now on the phone is the mayor of that city, Jim Humphrey.
Mayor, we just heard from Bill Karins that it seems the hurricane is moving faster. That‘s the bad news. The good news is, the winds have diminished. How worried are you right now?
JIM HUMPHREY, MAYOR OF FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: Well, we are still very worried, because, as was said, it‘s, while a Category 4, with a wind velocity 155 miles an hour, it‘s still something for us to be very concerned about.
COSBY: What are you looking at in terms of possible evacuations?
What is the situation for your residents?
HUMPHREY: We have already started meeting to discuss and to make sure that we are prepared.
We had a meeting this afternoon, and we are going to meet again tomorrow morning, and start—in fact, we have already started with the evacuation and opening up the shelters, so we can address the elderly and those who have special needs.
COSBY: What is the biggest concern in your area?
HUMPHREY: Well, after Hurricane Charley and the devastation it caused, at least to our property, we were fortunate no loss of life, we are still, of course, first concerned about public safety, and we are in an area where—much of our residential area is actually below 10 feet—I mean, sea level, so any surge will have an adverse effect or a very damaging effect on us.
COSBY: And, in fact, Mayor, you know, our folks are watching right now, these are images from Hurricane Charley, which hurt your area. it looks like it caused quite a bit of damage there, sir, right?
HUMPHREY: Oh, it sure did.
In fact, in my home alone, we had five mature oak trees and lost four of the five.
HUMPHREY: And our street and whole historic area—we live very close to the Edison-Ford Estates. And, thank goodness, the estates were spared, but a lot of damage in our city.
COSBY: All right.
Well, Mayor, hopefully, you will be spared this time.
Thank you, everybody.
And we are going to be right back with some amazing video you have to see.
COSBY: Incredible surveillance video shows how a group of looters are able to take over the store in just seconds. You will see what happened next.
COSBY: And finally tonight, a dramatic scene at a convenience store in Toledo, Ohio. This was all part of last weekend‘s disturbance that started at a neo-Nazi march and ended in a full-blown riot.
Watch this surveillance video, as looters suddenly rush in and ransack the store. They got away with all the money in the cash register, tons of cigarette cartons, and lottery tickets. I don‘t know if they won or not. And it all ended as quick as it started, all of this damage in about one minute. Police are reviewing the tape as part of their investigation.
And that‘s all the time we have for tonight. I‘m Rita Cosby, in for Joe tonight.
Be sure to not touch that dial, because “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON” starts right now—Tucker.
CARLSON: Thank you, Rita.
Bizarro video. I wonder what that was all about.
COSBY: And they did it in one minute. It‘s incredible.
CARLSON: Yes. Is that a protest? Come on. Come on. Lottery tickets. Please.
All right, thanks, Rita.
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