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'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' for Nov. 2nd

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

Guests: Dave Holloway, Paul Reynolds, Gerold Dompig, William Slemaker, Sheila Jackson Lee, Robin Leach, Betty Flores

RITA COSBY, HOST:  And good evening, everybody.  Tonight, an exclusive LIVE AND DIRECT investigation.  I traveled to the U.S./Mexican border on a dangerous mission to show you how drug trafficking is turning America‘s borders into war zones.  U.S. citizens kidnapped and murdered.  We‘re going to take you right to the front lines.

And a breaking story at this hour.  It involves two fugitives, a garbage truck and a lawyer who was held hostage at one time.

Plus, famous Jackson brother Tito Jackson is going to join me LIVE AND DIRECT with a new album and to spill the beans on the Jackson family, some details you have not heard.  Does Jackson‘s sister, Janet Jackson, really have a love child?

But first, the family of missing Aruba teen Natalee Holloway is fighting mad and going after Aruban authorities at this hour in a big way.  They want a new team of investigators to handle the search for Natalee.  In a stinging letter to the Aruban attorney general, Natalee‘s parents say that they have lost all faith in Aruba‘s investigators because they have ignored leads and bungled the investigation.

They say, quote, “It has become increasingly difficult to hold our tongues.  Our only goal is to find Natalee Holloway.  It is our contention that it is in the best interest of everyone concerned to instigate a fresh start in this case.”

Joining us now on the phone from Meridian, Mississippi, is Natalee‘s father, Dave Holloway, who has signed that letter.  Also with us is Natalee‘s uncle, Paul Reynolds.  He‘s in Aruba tonight with Natalee‘s mom, Beth Twitty.

Let me start with you, Dave.  Why do you feel that investigators and prosecutors are bungling the case?

DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S FATHER:  Well, it started from day one.  We—or Beth arrived on the island within 24 hours of Natalee‘s disappearance, and she identified—she and Jug identified the suspects within 24 hours and handed it to the authorities.  And then, you know what‘s happened since then.

COSBY:  You know, Paul, you‘re in Aruba.  Are you stunned that things have not been resolved quicker?

PAUL REYNOLDS, NATALEE HOLLOWAY‘S UNCLE:  We‘ve been concerned about the investigation from the very beginning, you know, sort of like they said, on almost the first day.  And we‘ve identified certain people that we feel are, for whatever reason, just not taking the necessary steps.  And you know, we feel like a change is certainly necessary and appropriate to try to move this investigation along.

COSBY:  Yes, absolutely.  And in fact, you know, some of the things were pretty stunning, Dave, that you say in the letter.  I want to show a quote.  This is from Dennis Jacobs.  He‘s one of the lead investigators in the case.  You basically went over to him and you told him, Look, Natalee‘s missing.  This was early on.  And he said to you, according to you, “Just go down to Carlos and Charlie‘s and have a beer.  She‘ll show up sometime.  She probably just got drunk or fell in love and ran off with someone for a few days.”

How outraged are you?  And you know, there‘s another allegation that he said, How much money do you have?

HOLLOWAY:  Yes, those statements were made, and the standard MO down there was, You know, a lot of girls do that and not show up, and you know, that‘s the indication he gave us, which is go down to Carlos and Charlie‘s and maybe she‘ll show up.  And you know, I knew that wasn‘t the case, but he insisted that that‘s what we needed to do.

COSBY:  Oh!  Dave and Paul, please stay with us because right before the show, I actually spoke with Aruba‘s deputy chief of police and he dropped a bombshell, telling us in an exclusive interview that he believes that the boys are guilty as hell and that he just has to prove that information.  He also defended himself against the attacks by Natalee‘s family.  Let‘s listen to what he told us.


Chief, I want to read you a quick quote, if I could.  This is from the letter that was signed by Beth Holloway Twitty, also Dave Holloway, also a few others.  It says, “The investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway has been mishandled and jeopardized by the current investigative and prosecution team.  We expressed our total lack of confidence in that team.”

I know you‘ve been asking, you know, a lot of questions, but what is your reaction to this?

GEROLD DOMPIG, ARUBA DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF:  I totally regret that these feelings are probably with the family right now, but it has become increasingly difficult to please the family.  As you might understand, we do want to conduct the investigation, and to be able to investigate, we really have to go to the bottom of things.  We did not get a chance in the beginning to really interrogate the Alabama teens, for instance, because they left Aruba.  And four months after the fact, we—as a matter of fact, myself, after looking at the material, I think that we still need to get a couple of answers.

COSBY:  Are you, Chief, not satisfied that maybe some things may lie tied to the United States, tied to, what, maybe some of the other teens that were involved?

DOMPIG:  Well, no.  That is also, I think, a misunderstanding.  We are looking for pieces of the puzzle.  And I want to state once more that I still believe that these boys have been lying.  They‘re still lying.  And everybody knows that by now.  So there‘s no doubt in my mind that they know something, they are guilty of something.  I just don‘t know what they‘re guilty of.

And my effort is to try to prove that they have something to do with the disappearance of Natalee, but to be able to do that, I really need more information.  We started with the three boys because there was so much pressure also.  And we tried to prosecute them because, as you all know, but—as you all know, the judge threw it out.  And at a certain point, you have to go back and try to find out where the weak links are.  Why did the judge throw it out?

So that‘s—for that reason, I am trying to get more answers, find more new leads, but the problem is that we cannot focus if we constantly are confronted with problems with the family.

COSBY:  Do you believe, Chief—you said to me even before this interview that you believe the boys are guilty as hell.  Do you believe they‘re involved in her disappearance?


COSBY:  In what capacity?

DOMPIG:  Well, I don‘t know.  You know, it is something that has to do with a gut feeling, and I know that a gut feeling is something that you cannot take to court, so I have to prove my case.  We have to get the opportunity to get those pieces of the puzzle.  It‘s very important to try to get an exact profile of Natalee, meaning her behavior, background, et cetera, et cetera.  In the beginning, that was very difficult because the family was very upset and it was an emotional period for the family.  And so we...

COSBY:  And obviously, they‘re still very emotional.  One of the letters...

DOMPIG:  Of course.

COSBY:  In this letter, they even kind of go after you personally.  They say, “It is apparent that Dompig wants to incite anti-Beth Twitty feelings among the Aruban populace in a situation where he should be doing the exact opposite and appealing to the Aruban people for leads to solve Natalee‘s disappearance.”

How do you feel about that?

DOMPIG:  Well, I think it‘s very unfortunate because it is strange that while we are trying—doing everything in our powers to get more information, when we turn to the Alabama kids or even to the mother or the family, then we start getting into blind walls, and as a matter of fact, really into trouble, troublesome areas.  And I find that very disturbing, and it is not helping the investigation.  I regret that the mother feels that I‘m going after her.  That‘s not the case at all.  But I really need more information.


COSBY:  And let‘s bring back in Dave Holloway and Paul Reynolds.  You know, Dave, one of the things I thought was very powerful that the chief just said—I asked him, you know, what he said to me before on the phone, Do you believe these boys are guilty as hell?  And he said yes.

HOLLOWAY:  And that‘s where he needs to be focusing his investigation, in my opinion.  In fact, he knows the key witnesses that I‘m aware of, and I just can‘t understand why he has not focused in on those key witnesses.

COSBY:  You know, Paul, what‘s your reaction?

REYNOLDS:  Well, you know, we know that the boys are guilty.  And you know, as he said, we don‘t know exactly what all they did.  We know certain things they‘ve did, though, because they‘ve come out against each other.  They‘ve given us information.  And we feel that the police need to be aggressive or the prosecutor needs to be aggressive in following up on these allegations that they‘ve made against each other.

Now, I know that Beth has offered to meet with the police yesterday and today and, you know, she‘s been denied that opportunity.  There may be a meeting scheduled tomorrow.  We‘re still waiting to see if that‘s going to take place.  But you know, Beth is always willing and ready to meet with them and provide whatever information is necessary.

COSBY:  Oh, absolutely.  I want to show—this is just another quote.  This is from Detective Dennis Jacobs down there.  “Jacobs continues to theorize that Natalee is still alive, which may explain his lack of diligence in pursuing the suspects who are responsible for Natalee‘s disappearance.”  This is in the letter, Dave, that you also sent and it‘s being distributed down there.  Do you think that—that they actually think that she still may be alive?

HOLLOWAY:  Well, that‘s the theory Dennis gave us, and you know, maybe he‘s changed his mind since then.  But he‘s the lead investigator, and according to the FBI and review of those statements and things, they feel like that‘s not the case.  So you know, I really don‘t know where he‘s coming from on that.

But you know, there again, the issue is, is these three boys were last seen with Natalee, and that‘s where the focus needs to be directed.  And I just—I can‘t understand why they want to get off on peripheral issues, you know, such as Beth related to Hitler (ph) and how much money does she have and et cetera.  You know, it just astounds me.

COSBY:  It is crazy.  But look, the chief even said he believes they‘re guilty as hell.  He just has to prove it.  Now he‘s got to, you know, put his money where his mouth is.  Guys, thank you both very, very much.

So the big question is, SO what now?  LIVE AND DIRECT tonight from New York is former Connecticut prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Susan Filan.  And in Miami, we‘ve got Jossy Mansur, who‘s the managing editor of Aruba‘s “Diario” newspaper.

Susan, first of all, I thought it was very powerful.  You‘ve got the deputy chief of police saying these boys are guilty as hell, he just has to prove it.

SUSAN FILAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST:  That‘s right, Rita.  That‘s a very powerful statement coming from him.  But if you look at the letter supplied by Natalee Holloway‘s family, it looks like there have been leads, if you believe that what is stated in the letter is true, that he hasn‘t followed up on.  He hasn‘t done everything he can do.

Now, it‘s always tricky for the victim‘s family to be critical of the police because they‘re in charge of the investigation.  But if their criticisms are true, it looks like there have been some things that have fallen through the cracks that are rather serious, Rita.

COSBY:  And in fact, let me show one of the quotes that they put in their letter.  It says, “Joran says, I think that Deepak killed Natalee and buried her body.”  And then they say, “There‘s no follow-up question as to why or where” from the documents that they have seen.

Jossy, what‘s the sense there in Aruba?

JOSSY MANSUR, MANAGING EDITOR, “DIARIO”:  You know, in Aruba, from what I understand is that people are a little frustrated that the whole case is coming up again.  They thought it was over with.

COSBY:  But Jossy, how could they think it was over with?  There‘s no resolution.

MANSUR:  Well, I agree with you, as long as there‘s no answer to the questions that the mother is posing because she is only sincerely interested in finding her daughter.  But if those answers are not forthcoming, then the case cannot be over.  And we won‘t give up on it, either.

COSBY:  Well, you guys have really done a great job, Jossy, too.  Do you see any leads, any peek-throughs (ph)?  I mean, we‘re still waiting to hear—as even the deputy chief told me before the show, they still have not got the answer yet on those tapes.

MANSUR:  I think they have a lot of things to go on.  For example, they have a very solid case on sexual assault.  There have been admissions to that fact, so the police and the prosecution can move forward on that basis.  I can‘t understand why they haven‘t done so so far.

COSBY:  You know, and Susan, I understand what Jossy is saying.  I mean, why not go after them exactly on sexual assault?  We know she was going in and out of consciousness, especially if now they can prove that these tapes are authentic and you got Deepak on record saying it.

FILAN:  Well, and not only that, Rita, but it looks like there were actual forensic leads that they could have followed up on.  For example, I looked at this letter, and I found at least nine allegations which I think are very serious.  One of them involves finding a bone with some flesh attached to it.  The person that found it thought it was a shoulder bone.  Now, that wasn‘t, apparently, according to the Holloway family, turned over to forensic examiners.  Now, what could the reason be for that?

COSBY:  You know, and Susan, also there was...

FILAN:  There was a belt.


COSBY:  Exactly.  That belt found by the lighthouse that, apparently (INAUDIBLE) told me that the investigators said, It looks too old.  We‘re not going to even check it.

DOMPIG:  So if the police chief says these guys are guilty as hell, but I need proof, why not take the forensic pieces?  Because this is an entirely circumstantial case that‘s going to be made up without a body, statements.  If there are forensic leads, those have to be followed.

COSBY:  Absolutely. Guys, thank you very much.  We appreciate it.

And everybody, stick with us because coming up, Tito Jackson is letting loose with some new music and some interesting new details about the Jackson family.  He‘s going to be coming up.

And that is just the beginning.  We have a great show for you tonight.  Still ahead, a LIVE AND DIRECT exclusive investigation.  I‘ll take you to the dangerous U.S./Mexican border where I went with heavily armed law officers fighting vicious drug smuggling as Americans get caught in the crossfire.


WILLIAM SLEMAKER, DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED IN MEXICO:  If I have to die to find the answers to my daughter‘s whereabouts, then so be it.


COSBY:  We‘ll show you why American lives are at risk.

And a daring jail break and a frantic manhunt.  A convicted killer and a thief bust out of prison.  Wait until you hear how they did it.

And London comes calling, but not everyone is happy that Prince Charles has the president‘s ear.  We‘ll tell you why.

Plus, which one of Camilla‘s 50 dresses is she wearing tonight?  It‘s ahead LIVE AND DIRECT.


COSBY:  And now to a LIVE AND DIRECT investigation, “Murder on the Border,” A growing and urgent crisis that threatens every part of our country.  I recently went down to the Mexican border for a firsthand look at how vulnerable it truly is.  We‘re going to show that to you in just a moment.

But first, the front line of this battle is in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and its sister city right across the U.S. border, Laredo, Texas.  NBC‘s DOn Teague has the details.


DON TEAGUE, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Nuevo Laredo, a once bustling tourist town, now the center of a raging war between rival Mexican drug cartels.  There‘ve been hundreds of kidnappings, the city‘s police chief assassinated during his first day on the job, and a man gunned down on the U.S. side of the border in broad daylight.  In Texas, Laredo police worry more violence will spill over.

CHIEF AGUSTIN DOVALINA, LAREDO POLICE DEPARTMENT:  We have a number of warring factions, a couple of drug cartels that are fighting for this very lucrative drug route, and they‘ll do just about anything to maintain control of that.

TEAGUE:  While troubling for Laredo, Texas, it‘s been devastating for Nuevo Laredo, its police department allegedly so corrupt and infiltrated by cartel members, the Mexican government suspended all of the officers, replacing them with federal agents.  The tourist economy is in shambles.

(on camera):  It‘s in the middle of the lunch hour in Nuevo Laredo.  Ordinarily, this sidewalk would be filled with tourists from the U.S., even during the week.  But today, it‘s mostly locals.  Some of the businesses didn‘t bother to open.

(voice-over):  But despite a U.S. travel warning, merchants here insist tourists are safe.

SUNESON BAUTISTA, MERCHANT:  These are drug wars.  They‘re not involved in the local populace.

TEAGUE:  Still, dress shop owner Lapita Barrone (ph) says she is close to shutting down.

LAPITA BARRONE, DRESS SHOP OWNER:  Sometimes we‘ll have two or three days we don‘t sell anything, and we are in a crisis.

TEAGUE:  Back in Texas, Laredo‘s mayor says it didn‘t have to happen.

MAYOR ELIZABETH FLORES, LAREDO, TEXAS:  What we are seeing here today and what we are seeing across the border today is the result of our two governments not paying attention to the first terrorists that we have had, and that is the drug terrorists.

TEAGUE:  The U.S. Border Patrol and Texas State Police have pledged more officers along the border, but in Mexico, authorities are on their own, fighting an increasingly dangerous battle.  Don Teague, NBC News, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.


COSBY:  And authorities on both sides of this border war are outmanned and they‘re outgunned.  It‘s astonishing to see how few law enforcement officials are manning those borders for drug dealers and the like.  I was stunned to see that myself firsthand.  And some say it‘s also a crime how little the U.S. government is doing to help its own citizens who have become casualties of a vicious drug war right on our own border.  And the reason all of us need to care about what‘s happening is because the bloodshed is now spilling over into our country, meaning this deadly battle is now at our doorstep.


(voice-over):  In the past year, 145 people have been murdered in Nuevo Laredo.  Now even some Americans who visit that once thriving border town are caught in the crossfire or suddenly disappear, victims of kidnappers and drug lords.  One of them is 27-year-old Texas resident Yvette Martinez.

(on camera):  Tell us about your daughter.

WILLIAM SLEMAKER, DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED IN MEXICO:  Oh, Yvette!  She‘s a very wonderful, unique person.  She is very caring, loving.  If you had a problem, she would make it her problem.  She would try to fix it.  She would go out of her way to help you.  She was very outgoing, fun.  She enjoyed life.  She was a young—very beautiful young lady.  And if you were at a party with 100 people and she walked in, you‘d know she‘d walked in.

COSBY:  Tell us what happened to your daughter.

SLEMAKER:  My daughter and a friend went into Mexico.  They were celebrating Brenda‘s (ph) birthday.  They went into Mexico to see a concert up there (INAUDIBLE) never made it home.  And to this day, a year and a month later, it continues to be a mystery to all of us.

COSBY (voice-over):  That night, an annual fair was taking place in Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, Texas, where Yvette Martinez lived with her two small daughters.  Yvette and her best friend, Brenda Cisneros (ph), drove to Nuevo Laredo, never to be seen again.

(on camera):  William Slemaker is sure that something unforeseen and something horrible happened to his daughter, Yvette, that night.  A toll ticket shows that she and her friend crossed this border into Mexico just after 11:00 o‘clock.  The last time anyone heard from Yvette, she was still in Mexico.  She spoke to a friend on her cell phone around 4:00 AM.  She told that friend she was in her car, headed back here to the U.S. Border.  At that point, she was only five blocks away.

What do you think happened to her at the concert, at the perea (ph)?

SLEMAKER:  I‘ve been told by several people that that night, there was over 70 armed men who just showed up, all dressed in black with machine guns.  And they had seats reserved, and we believe that they were these criminal, you know, elements.

COSBY:  So what do you think happened to your daughter that night?

SLEMAKER:  I believe she was picked up on the orders of one of these (INAUDIBLE)

COSBY:  One of the drug lords?


COSBY:  Where do you think she is now?

SLEMAKER:  Oh, that‘s a $1 million question.  I wish I knew.  If I knew, I‘d go and break their door down myself.  If somebody told me she was at the devil‘s house, I‘d go down there and knock his door down to get her home.

COSBY:  You received a phone call, two weeks after your daughter went missing, on her cell phone.  What did the caller say?

SLEMAKER:  Just basically what our relationship was to Yvette, and that he would contact us within the next three days to ask us for a ransom demand.

COSBY:  It was on her cell phone?

SLEMAKER:  On her cell phone.

COSBY:  Did you ever hear from them again?

SLEMAKER:  No.  We never did.

COSBY:  Never again?


COSBY (voice-over):  Yvette Martinez is one of 43 U.S. citizens believed to have been kidnapped in the last year in Mexico.  Seventeen of them have been released, some by paying ransom.  Three were found murdered.  And twenty-three others, like Yvette, continue to be missing to this day.  Even more infuriating, William Slemaker believes the drug lords did not act alone.

(on camera):  Why do you believe Mexican police are tied to this?

SLEMAKER:  When I found her car, it was in their care.  They denied having the car.  It sat—Yvette‘s car sat at their—at their police station for seven days.  And I‘d been there maybe two or three times, and they denied having the car.  And I was looking for signs of a struggle, blood or anything like that.  Thank God, there was none.  I know Yvette‘s cards (ph) were in the car.  I found her shoes were in the car.

COSBY (voice-over):  Slemaker says the shoes indicate to him that Yvette was suddenly snatched from her vehicle, again, less than a minute‘s drive from the safety of the U.S. border.

(on camera):  How many times have you been to Mexico to look for your daughter?

SLEMAKER:  Over 50 times.

COSBY:  Fifty times?

SLEMAKER:  Yes.  Within the first month, I was over there just about every single day.  I mean, I‘ve gone to talk to drug lords.  I‘ve knocked on doors.  I‘ve had threats made against my life and my family‘s life.  But that‘s not going to deter me.  If I have to die to find the answers to my daughter‘s whereabouts, then so be it.

COSBY:  You‘ll do anything to find her.


COSBY (voice-over):  William Slemaker is now helping other families whose loved ones are suddenly missing in Mexico, some of them too scared speak out for fear of retaliation.  But Slemaker is vocal in his outrage that, in most cases, especially that of his own daughter, Yvette, he sees no one in authority vigorously seeking justice.

(on camera):  How angry are you that it seems, in your case, the U.S.  government is helpless, and the Mexican government, you believe is corrupt?

SLEMAKER:  Very.  It‘s very disheartening.  Like I say, we are the children of this great nation of ours, and this great nation of ours has 23 of its children missing today, and they‘re not looking for them, I don‘t feel.  I mean, I feel the FBI is, but I feel Washington can do more to pressure the Mexican government to find our loved ones.  I think it‘s a concern that everybody should be worried about, you know, because today it‘s our loved ones, tomorrow, God forbid, it might be yours.


COSBY:  And we‘re going to keep following William Slemaker‘s story and that of other missing Americans.

And still ahead, our investigation, “Murder on the Border,” is going to continue after the break.  We‘re going to tell you why some blame United States citizens for causing the border battles.

And later, Tito Jackson spills the beans on his famous family, including what his brother, Michael, is up to.  He‘s going to join me LIVE AND DIRECT with a new song.


COSBY:  And as we continue our LIVE & DIRECT investigation, “Murder on the Border,” a closer look now at how U.S. officers on the U.S. border with Mexico are trying to turn the tide against these narco-terrorists. 

Joining us right now is Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.  And on the phone, we have Mayor Bettie Flores of Laredo, Texas. 

Let me start with you, Congresswoman.  How concerned are you, especially of these pictures we just showed and what I saw first-hand?  I mean, the drug stuff is creeping into our country.  How worried are you about your home state? 

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D), TEXAS:  Rita, it‘s good to be with you.  I just came back from Rosa Parks‘ funeral.  And one of the things that we heard there is she worked to make our country better. 

I am extremely concerned, because we need to make our country better.  An we in the federal government need to accept our responsibility for making our country better.  Frankly, we do not have enough Border Patrol agents that are assisting our local authorities, our local cities.  And we‘ve left them in complete collapse. 

One of the issues...

COSBY:  Yes, why is that?  Why is it—you know, here we‘re focusing so much on homeland security, and yet our borders are so vulnerable? 

JACKSON LEE:  Well, one thing, we need to look at comprehensive immigration reform.  One deals with earned access to legalization. 

But, Rita, I have a bill, the Rapid Border Patrol Protection Act, which is supported by the Council of Border Patrol Agents, Homeland Security, the 9/11 families. 

So what it does, it says that we will dispatch 1,000 agents immediately to a state, and to the border, and to a problem area, as soon as that governor declares an international emergency.  It provides extra equipment, night goggles, speed boats, helicopters, training, recruitment for our Border Patrol agents. 

What we‘ve got to do is to stop worrying about how we‘re going to pay for it, and begin to assess how our communities are being impacted, and begin to develop the Border Patrol into the kind of effective agency that can work to—if you will alleviate the problems that the mayor is now facing in his city. 

COSBY:  No, you‘re right.  In fact, both of you, I want to have you hold on for a second, because I want to show everybody—right now, this is just what police on the border are dealing with. 

This was from my visit when I went to the border just a few days ago, when police showed me just how bad the drugs are that they seize.  They just seized this in the last few hours before we did this.  Take a look. 


COSBY:  So how many pounds of marijuana do you have in here? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  About 6,000 do we think? 



COSBY:  What is that worth on the streets of America? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Again, about $175 a pound here. 

COSBY:  $175 a pound, and you guys... 


COSBY:  .. and you have 6,000 pounds. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If you bring that to Chicago, it‘s about $1,000 a pound.

COSBY:  So if you bought this in Chicago, $1,000 a pound?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Six thousand pounds. 

COSBY:  You do the math.  That‘s a lot of money. 

And this is from homes, cars, just people smuggling it in?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Riverbank.  Some of this was caught coming off the river, coming out of the river.  Some is caught in homes with search warrants, and others are traffic stops. 


COSBY:  Mayor Flores, I mean, these pictures are stunning, this huge, enormous pile of marijuana.  What are you doing in your community?  And, also, what are you doing in your community to help those Americans that are missing, like William Slemaker‘s daughter? 

BETTY FLORES, MAYOR OF LAREDO, TEXAS:  Rita, thank you for having me on.  I‘ve been sitting here very anxious about everything that‘s been said, because I want people to remember that we‘re talking about another country. 

Nuevo Laredo is my sister city.  We‘re divided by just a very simple river.  But it is another country. 

These young ladies went at 11:00 at night, were kidnapped somewhere around 4:00 in the morning in another country.  So were the other 20 Americans that they‘ve been talking about.  All of these folks somehow are directly or indirectly tied to this war on drugs. 

COSBY:  How so? 

FLORES:  The war that you‘re watching there is...


COSBY:  Mayor, I‘ve got to interrupt you, because you made some comment earlier on another show where you said that they were drug-related kidnappings.  Are you suggesting that these folks were involved in drugs? 

FLORES:  Yes, ma‘am, I am. 

COSBY:  How so?  I mean, where‘s the proof?  William Slemaker strongly disagrees.  I asked him.

He said the only thing his daughter did was be beautiful, that these drug lords seemed to target them out.  Where is your proof that his daughter was involved in drugs?  He says that‘s preposterous and he says it‘s irresponsible of you to say that. 

FLORES:  Well, he can.  And as a grieving father, he has every right to.  And I don‘t—I‘m not going to argue with what he says, because I understand his pain. 


COSBY:  But, Mayor, you‘re saying that anybody involved with any ties to drugs, that we shouldn‘t go after them? 


FLORES:  Let me tell you this...


COSBY:  Mayor, Mayor, hold on one second.  Are you saying, though, that nobody—then you don‘t go after these people...


FLORES:  No, I‘m not saying that.  That‘s what I‘m getting ready to tell you. 

I‘m not saying that you don‘t go after them.  I mean, there‘s—hey, there is a verse in the “Streets of Laredo” song that says, “I‘m a young cowboy and know I‘ve done wrong.”  And at the very end, it says, “We all loved our comrade although he‘s done wrong.”

And this is what this community is all about.  But we know these—all these folks were not innocent victims.  And that‘s what you have to understand and tell the rest of the country, because it is also very irresponsible to be saying that there is violence or murder on the border. 

I‘m a border city.  There is no violence—additional violence or additional murder in my city.  It is across the...

COSBY:  Mayor, let me interrupt you.  Mayor, I‘ve got to interrupt you, because I met with all the sheriffs and all the deputies down there, and they definitely beg to differ.  And these guys are right on the front lines.  They say that it‘s out of control. 

FLORES:  I‘m on the front lines, and I been there for a long time. 


COSBY:  But I can tell you these...


FLORES:  The sheriff is saying there‘s...


COSBY:  I‘m sure you are, but let me get in—I‘ve got to interrupt you mayor. 

JACKSON LEE:  Rita, may I...

FLORES:  ... they need to get more money.

COSBY:  Mayor, I‘ve got to interrupt you.  I got to tell you, I was with all the sheriffs down there. I was with all the deputies. 

FLORES:  They need more money. 

COSBY:  I sat in a room...

FLORES:  They need more money.  They need more money for equipment.

COSBY:  They absolutely do.  But that‘s different.  They have a huge problem, and they admit it. 


COSBY:  Those are the guys fighting the battle. 

FLORES:  We have a huge problem that we have for a very, very long time.


COSBY:  Congresswoman, I‘m going to give you 30 seconds, Congresswoman. 

JACKSON LEE:  Well, I think the discussion shows why we can‘t put this burden on local government.  It has to be a federal problem. 

COSBY:  Yes, they don‘t even admit there‘s a problem. 

JACKSON LEE:  We must protect our vulnerable Americans.  We can‘t make judgments until people are tried or arrested. 

Here‘s the issue:  We must protect the borders and provide for secure borders on both sides.  Whether a city is safe on the American side, we must ensure that the violence that occurs in the city in Mexico must be addressed by Mexican authorities, as well as U.S. authorities. 

We need more effective Border Patrol agents, giving them more tools, giving them more skills, allowing extra Border Patrol agents to be dispatched where there is trouble. 

And let me just say this:  The Columbian drug cartels have been depleted.  And so it‘s gone to the Mexicans, unfortunately.  And it is a problem. 

But we in the United States have to be engaged, along with DEA, the FBI, and, yes, a very forceful, strong Border Patrol agency that can be emboldened by the rapid response bill that I have and giving them all the tools that they need, providing thousands of more Border Patrol agents that are trained and going to the rescue of our American citizens, and ensuring that the borders are safe, and avoiding terrorists coming over into the United States. 

COSBY:  You bet.  Thank you very much, Congresswoman. 

Mayor, talk to your law enforcement officials, because they‘re telling a very different story.  Thank you very much. 

And now we‘re going to move onto another story.  Again, obviously, the sheriff is talking a very different game.  These are the guys who are on the front line.  Lot different than what the mayor is doing there. 

All right.  Now, an all-points bulletin tonight for two inmates on the run in South Carolina.  The men escaped early Tuesday morning from the Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina, by hiding in a garbage truck. 

Joining us on the phone right now tonight is defense attorney Jack Swerling.  He represented one of the escapees, Jimmy Causey, in the late 1980s.  And just a few years ago, Causey and a few others broke into Swerling‘s home and held him and his family captive. 

He is joining us right now.  First of all, Mr. Swerling, how frightened are you now that this guy is on the loose? 

JACK SWERLING, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Well, it‘s unnerving that he is out there and we don‘t know where he is.  And it‘s been over 18 hours, almost 24 hours, actually more than 24 hours since he‘s been gone. 

COSBY:  Yes, it‘s got to be disheartening.  I understand there was a few hours lapse, too, until you even got notification from authorities.

SWERLING:  Yes, that was the most distressing part, because there‘s a system in place to notify people when there‘s any movement at all of an inmate.  And my understanding is that the Department of Corrections did not even notify law enforcement for a couple of hours. 

As soon as law enforcement knew about it, they told us, but several hours ha already passed. 

COSBY:  That is scary.  What happened to you a few years ago?  Obviously, this man is extraordinarily dangerous.  You represented him, and then, what, he comes to your home?

SWERLING:  Yes.  Well, I represented back in about 1990.  And about three years ago, my wife, my daughter, and I were home eating dinner, watching TV, and two of them entered my residence from the book door.  We usually leave it open at night during the summer.  We live on a lake. 

And they came in.  They had stockings over their faces and pistols.  They tied us up, put us on the ground.  They duct taped our hands.  And they basically held us at bay for about an hour and ransacked the house looking for money. 

COSBY:  Now, Mr. Swerling, these—you know, he and another man are at-large tonight.  How concerned are you?  And what do you want to say to the public, should they run into these guys?  I mean, they‘re clearly dangerous. 

SWERLING:  Well, I mean, I‘m—yes, I‘m concerned, because, first of all, Johnny Brewer is a convicted murderer and an extremely dangerous individual. 

COSBY:  Yes, that‘s the guy he‘s on the run with. 

SWERLING:  Right.  And he would kill again. 

Causey is the kind of person who I felt over the years had started developing a temperament where he would take more risk.  He started off as a burglar.  And then he became a home invader. 

And there‘s a difference between that, because someone who invades a home is looking for—knows he‘s going to have a confrontation.  And the week after the invasion of my house, he went into a bank and robbed the bank.  But he was getting to a point where somebody was going to get killed.  And he is capable of killing.

COSBY:  Well, that is scary stuff.  And as we‘re looking at pictures, of course, anybody at home, if you see these men, they are armed, they are dangerous, as you‘ve heard the history from Mr. Swerling.  Of course, call local law enforcement, do whatever you can.  These men are armed and dangerous.

Mr. Swerling, thank you very much.

And still ahead everybody, the Windsors are doing Washington.  Charles and Camilla and the president, I bet they have a lot to talk about.

And Tito Jackson has a new album out and some scoop on the Jackson family that you have not heard.  I‘ll ask him about those rumors that Janet has a baby.  And also, what‘s ahead for him in the music industry?  Stay tuned, everybody.





COSBY:  And that is Tito Jackson‘s brand-new song.  His big break was singing, of course, with his brothers when they were the famous Jackson 5.  And now, Michael Jackson‘s big brother is going solo with a new album that is called “Tito.”  And it‘s going to be coming out early next year. 

And joining me now LIVE & DIRECT is Tito Jackson, the one and the only.  Tito, you look terrific.  I just read, did you just turn 52?  You look fantastic. 

TITO JACKSON, SINGER:  Yes, I did, October 15th.

COSBY:  Are you sure you‘re not lying?  You look great. 

JACKSON:  Thank you very much.  I had a birthday this...

COSBY:  Just a few days ago, right? 

JACKSON:  Yes, a couple of weeks ago, October the 15th, yes. 

COSBY:  Tell me, how excited are you about going solo? 

JACKSON:  I‘m very excited, because it‘s something that I‘ve always wanted to do.  And all of my siblings have had a solo record at one time or another.  And even my sons have had their solo albums.  And I feel that it‘s my turn, so I‘m taking my turn now. 

COSBY:  Where did you get the inspiration from? 

JACKSON:  Well, it‘s something that‘s always been into me, being in showbiz and wanting to do this, and not wanting to be a trivia question, “Which Jackson had never done a solo?”  So I didn‘t want to become that.  So I decided I should do a record. 

COSBY:  You know, are your brothers going to be involved in anything? 

Will we see them touring? 

JACKSON:  Yes, I‘m going to ask my brothers to join me on a song.  As well, I have my sons on a few songs, as well. 

COSBY:  Oh, that‘s great.  Will we see Michael as a part of it, too? 

JACKSON:  Well, I can always ask.  I can‘t answer that right now, but I would love that. 

COSBY:  Yes, that would be great.

You know, speaking of family, you and I talked right when the verdict came down with Michael.  It‘s five months later.  How is your family doing? 

JACKSON:  We‘re doing fine.  Everybody is back in the swing of things and enjoying life.  And we‘re looking forward for the holidays to get together for the celebrations.  And Michael is doing fine.  And it‘s a happy moment. 

COSBY:  Yes, it is.  There seems to be a renewed spirit there.  You know, Michael we know is living in Bahrain.  Have you talked to him?  How‘s he doing?  How‘s he holding up? 

JACKSON:  He‘s doing very good.  He‘s in great spirit.  He‘s recording, and he‘s doing some songs for the hurricane relief victims.  And it‘s going to be a great thing. 

COSBY:  You know, has he been back-and-forth?  Or is he mostly staying in Bahrain?  And sort of who is involved? 

JACKSON:  Well, he‘s been relaxing, basically.  And he‘s asked some friends to join him on some music.  And he‘s just putting that together for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and he‘s going to be OK. 

COSBY:  How‘s he doing?  He‘s mostly in London, too, I understand. 

He‘s sort of back-and-forth. 


COSBY:  How‘s he spending his time?  I mean, what is he doing with his days? 

JACKSON:  He‘s basically relaxing, listening to music, recording music.  He‘s being Michael, doing his thing.  He‘s a musical guy.  And you can‘t take that out of his life.  So he‘s enjoying what he loves to do. 

COSBY:  Is he going to be living permanently in Bahrain, as there have been reports from the attorney? 

JACKSON:  Oh, no, I can‘t answer that.  I don‘t know the correct answer on that.  But I‘m pretty sure he‘ll settle wherever he feels most comfortable. 

COSBY:  You know, there has been some other stuff.  I‘ve got to ask you about Janet Jackson, your sister, that she had a child 18 years ago.  Is that true? 

JACKSON:  No, that‘s not true at all.  That‘s a total rumor.  I would have known that one.  Me and my brothers, we laugh about it all the time. 

COSBY:  Yes, why did they put it out there?  Why was that out there? 

JACKSON:  I have no idea.  I have no idea whatsoever.  As I understand that my sister, Rebbie, had raised this kid and the whole thing.  And I‘m pretty sure I would know about that, and so would a lot of other people, so that‘s a total rumor. 

COSBY:  What do you see for the family now?  Is this sort of a fresh start?  But do you think you guys will always sort of be in the news, no matter what? 

JACKSON:  Well, we‘ve been doing this for quite some time.  And it‘s always a fresh start.  Every day is a fresh start in show business.  So we‘ll continue to do the great things in music that we always have done in the past.  And that‘s where we‘re going. 

COSBY:  How is Michael‘s family, too, in support?  I know that you‘re really close to him.  Is a sense that the family is closer than ever?  And how are his kids? 

JACKSON:  His kids are fine.  And we‘ve always been a tight-knit family.  So the support is definitely there, as everyone saw across the world. 

And, like I said, Michael‘s a great guy.  And he‘s in great spirit. 

And he‘s going to be OK. 

COSBY:  And are they very excited, I‘m sure, for you, with you launching your career? 

JACKSON:  Yes.  I‘m very excited about that.  It‘s a long time coming.  And I‘m looking forward to hearing myself on the radio and going out performing and doing some great things for the music. 

COSBY:  Well, that is terrific.  And you have that wonderful Jackson gift, Tito.  And the music is beautiful.  I‘m sure it‘s going to do great. 

JACKSON:  Thank you. 

COSBY:  Thank you so much.  It‘s great to have you on. 

JACKSON:  Thank you very much.  Thank you very much. 

COSBY:  Thanks so much.

And still ahead, everybody, lifestyles of the rich and famous.  Prince Charles and Camilla‘s day at the White House.  We‘ve got the details on the diplomatic lunch and the formal dinner.  Robin Leach is going to join me LIVE & DIRECT.  It‘s coming up next.


COSBY:  The Windsors and the White House.  Prince Charles is showing off his new bride, Camilla, to President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush today in the nation‘s capital. 

And joining me now is TV host of in Las Vegas, the famous man of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” the one and only, my dear friend, Robin Leach. 

Robin, what did you make of the White House affair? 

ROBIN LEACH, TV HOST, AOL.COM/VEGAS:  Well, it‘s really an interesting gathering, this whole thing.  What is it, 20 years almost to the date that Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan hosted this lovely young lady called Princess Diana and Prince Charles there?

And now here we come with an aging couple that nobody really cares about.  And what gives him the right to come over here on a state visit and sort of point his finger at President Bush and reprimand him over the climate controls of the Kyoto treaty and global warming?

And then, if this is true that he‘s going to sit down and give him a piece of his mind about how we don‘t respect Islam properly, I don‘t know that this is a welcome visit. 

COSBY:  Interesting.  It‘s an interesting visit, too.  You talk about sort of the difference between Diana and now. 

Let me show you the menu, nothing too fancy on it at all.  Celery and shrimp soup, buffalo medallions.  You‘ve got some cake.  You‘ve got some ice cream.  What‘s your take on the menu...


LEACH:  Charles will be very upset with the buffalo medallions. 

COSBY:  Oh, that‘s right, exactly.  That‘s interesting. 

LEACH:  This man is an environmentalist of the first order. 

COSBY:  Absolutely.  I am sure his jaw dropped when he saw that. 

LEACH:  He probably got very angry about the shrimp, as well. 

COSBY:  That‘s true. 


LEACH:  I mean, we have to remember that there is a certain amount of bizarre attitude that people in Britain, not the public in Britain, but the people at the palace think that Charles should come to the United States, show off this woman, who is two years older than he is, show off this woman that he‘s been having an affair with for 35 years, as if we all care. 

I mean, stay there.  What gives him the right to come to America and lecture the people here?  It‘s bizarre. 

COSBY:  Robin, I‘ve got to read you one of the quotes.  This if from here in New York.  It said, “Queen Camilla is New York‘s Frump Tower.”


LEACH:  With a little tip of the hand to Donald Frump. 

But the amazing thing is this woman is traveling with 40 hats, 40 suitcases of clothes, 40 ladies in waiting.  What a waste of money this is, to come over here and tie up traffic on the Long Island Expressway in New York, tie up the nation‘s capital. 

He‘s going to go down to New Orleans.  He‘s going to upset people down there.  And then he‘s going to talk to organic plants in California. 

This is a very bizarre way to introduce the new wife...

COSBY:  It sure is...


LEACH:  ... who is not really that new, when you think they‘ve been having an affair for 35 years. 

COSBY:  Exactly.  It‘s definitely not the new one.  Now, look, you‘re in Vegas.  What are the odds you think that they‘re going to stay together? 

LEACH:  I‘m going to go over to the Bally‘s sports book.  They‘re stuck with each other forever.  They can‘t split.  Make the bet of $100 on a sure thing.  They are together until the end of time. 

COSBY:  Robin, thank you.  Always great to have you on, my friend.  We appreciate it.

LEACH:  Good to see you.

COSBY:  And, everybody, stick with us.  We‘re going to be right back.


COSBY:  And coming up tomorrow on LIVE & DIRECT, our investigation, “Murder on the Border,” my exclusive ride-along with Texas deputies.  I saw firsthand how they‘re trying to keep our borders safe from drug lords and terrorists, despite overwhelming odds.  You‘ve got to stick with us.  It‘s going to be incredible to see it right on the front lines.

And that does it for LIVE & DIRECT, everybody.  I‘m Rita Cosby.  Joe Scarborough starts right now—Joe?

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Hey, thanks a lot, Rita.  I‘ll tell you what.  Their job is so difficult.  The odds are overwhelming.  They need more help from Washington, D.C.  Thanks for showing Americans that. 

COSBY:  Oh, you‘re welcome.

SCARBOROUGH:  I‘ll tell you what, it‘s important.

COSBY:  And you know, it‘s infuriating, too.  When you see it firsthand, it‘s frustrating.


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