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'The Abrams Report' for Nov. 4th

Read the transcript to the Friday show

Guests: John Martin, Vic Wisner, “Del Harvey”, “Frag”, Lisa DePaulo, Dawn Scott, Gene Scott, Susan Pniewski

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Coming up, riots break out in Argentina near President Bush at the Summit of the Americas and in Texas, a massive manhunt underway after a death row inmate escapes.


ABRAMS (voice-over):  This man convicted of two grisly murders escaped by dressing in civilian clothing and flashing a photo I.D. to guards.  He‘s considered extremely dangerous.

Plus and “Dateline NBC” undercover, on the trail of potential pedophiles, confronting them when they show up to meet what they thought were sexually available teens they met online.  Wait until you see who the alleged predators are.

Plus, believe it or not, there are new details about the last days of Marilyn Monroe‘s life that could suggest she was murdered. 

The program about justice starts now. 


ABRAMS:  Hi, everyone.  We‘ll get to those stories in a moment but first breaking news tonight, fire bombs, rocks and bottle-shattered glass and teargas at the Summit of Americas.  Thousands of demonstrators running wild in the streets of Mar Del Plata, a seaside resort in Argentina.  They are protesting the presence of President Bush and supposedly his push for a free trade area that would cover the Americas.  The riots followed a speech by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a bitter Bush opponent who said he was there to bury Bush‘s free trade plan. 

For more on what‘s going on down there, let‘s go to the White House, NBC‘s chief White House correspondent David Gregory.  All right, so David, what‘s the latest?  What do we know? 

DAVID GREGORY, NBC CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT:  Well, what you‘ve been describing is a situation unfolding in street right now, well away from the actual epicenter of summitry right now.  The Summit of the Americas, President Bush and other world leaders in Central America meeting now and talking about free trade and an agenda for that part of the world that a lot of these protesters simply are against. 

There is this movement, as you described, of anti-globalization protesters that will always follow, always be there at summits like this.  People who represent—people around the world, really who, feel like they‘re being left behind by all the politicians promising to, you know, all of these advancements as a result of free trade and you have the likes of Hugo Chavez from Venezuela who whips up some of this sentiment as well who has promised to bury the Central American free trade agreement that has been passed in this country, but has not been passed throughout all the countries in the hemisphere, who will whip up this sentiment, not only on an economic basis but against George W. Bush, against President Bush on the basis of the war, on the basis of his, just his posture in the world, and it feeds what is an anti-Americanism in this part of the world that‘s been around for quite some time. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, you have to wonder whether it‘s a specific protest related to this particular summit or just a protest for the sake of general protesting.  David...


ABRAMS:  Go ahead.  Yes.

GREGORY:  Yes, I think that‘s a big element of it...


GREGORY:  ... because I have traveled around the world with the president, as I‘ve been saying in the last few minutes, and at every summit like this, whether it‘s a G-8 economic summit of the largest industrialized nations in the world, the largest economies and Russia, or the Summit of the Americas, whenever globalization...


GREGORY:  ... whenever free trade is on the agenda you see these kinds of demonstrations.  Some of them sort of organic and homegrown and another element to this because I‘ve seen it upfront...


GREGORY:  ... are people who are just there to do no good and to make a statement and to sort of hijack the television coverage. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, well I guess they created some good pictures this time. 

David Gregory thanks a lot. 


ABRAMS:  We‘re going to keep an eye on the situation there.  We‘ll let you know if anything happens that we need to bring to you. 

Now to that manhunt in Texas, Charles Victor Thompson convicted of the 1998 fatal shootings of his ex-girlfriend, Dennise Hayslip and her boyfriend Darren Cain, walked out, walked out of the Harris County Jail in Houston yesterday afternoon in a change of clothes using a fake I.D. badge.  The question everyone is asking is how could this happen?  And of course more importantly now, where might he be now? 

Joining me now is Lieutenant John Martin with the Harris County Sheriff‘s Office and Vic Wisner, Harris County Assistant District Attorney.  He was the prosecutor for both of the Thompson trials and was at last Friday‘s hearing when Thompson was sentenced to death.  Gentlemen thanks very much for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

Lieutenant, let me start with you.  Let‘s deal with the most important issue first and that is catching this guy.  What do we know? 

LT. JOHN MARTIN, HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF‘S OFFICE:  Right now we‘re—we do have an ongoing investigation trying to locate him.  We continue to receive credible leads, some of them significant, and follow up on those leads as they come in and you know it‘s important to point out our detectives have been out, some of them longer than 24 hours searching for this guy, so you know this is very much still an active search. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  I want to play a piece of sound from the brother of the victim.  Because I think it sort of sums up, or it‘s actually—it‘s full screen with the words on it.  It says this is something that‘s just unfathomable to me.  How can a convicted murderer get away like that?  It makes me feel vulnerable.  I live in the same town where his family lives.  My name and number in the phone book, and anyone who wants can find me.  I hope to God they catch him before he does anything.  He‘s asking the question I think everyone is asking is how does someone who is on death row walk out of a courthouse? 

MARTIN:  Well, and I think that you hit it right on the head.  It is unfathomable, and you know we‘re certainly not trying to shirk responsibility for it.  Basically what we have seen here are a series of errors that allowed this to take place. 

ABRAMS:  What happened?  I mean he, what, he showed some sort of fake I.D. or something?  Do you have any sense of how he got it, how he got the change of clothes, any of that? 

MARTIN:  Apparently nobody actually scrutinized that actual I.D.  We don‘t know if that was—it was something that had his picture on it.  I was told it was some type of a laminated card, like a driver‘s license, something similar to that.  They did say that it had a black stripe across the back, although it‘s not clear at this point if it was magnetic, if it was just a piece of tape put on the back to give that appearance. 

Again, he was in civilian clothes.  It‘s my understanding these are the clothes that he wore to his last court appearance.  So apparently at the point at which he changed back into his inmate jumpsuit, he also retained possession of those clothes and he was able to smuggle those back to his cellblock. 

ABRAMS:  I assume some heads are going to roll? 

MARTIN:  We have an extensive investigation going on right now.  We have several members of our Internal Affairs Division and they are—they‘re interviewing any staff members that may have come into contact with him during this time, any inmates that may have information about the incident, and also a couple of witnesses.  We had some people that were there in the lobby at the time that he walked out, and you know at this point we‘re trying to get as much information as possible.  Again, it‘s clear that there were a series of lapses and as the investigation progresses we‘ll be looking at whether the—obviously we know that the procedures were not followed... 

ABRAMS:  Was it just one person?  I mean basically did he just show his I.D. to one person and then suddenly you know he was basically free?  Or were there a number of people that he had to pass in order to get out? 

MARTIN:  No, he came into contact with at least four of our personnel before he walked...

ABRAMS:  Four people?  Wow. 

MARTIN:  Again, it‘s...


MARTIN:  ... a series of lapses. 

ABRAMS:  Four?  He showed that fake I.D. to four people and all of them bought it? 

MARTIN:  No, the first person he came into contact with actually told him he could not exit the facility.  They were on the second floor.  He told him that he could not exit the facility on the second floor; he‘d have to go down to the first floor and speak with the deputies there.  There is an elevator in the secure area of the jail.

He went down to the first floor, spoke with the deputies there, and they were questioning it, questioning his I.D., at one point a deputy took him from that floor control center out to the visitor control center and at that point he had actually been taken outside of the secure area of the facility and he was in a lobby accessible from outside of the building. 

ABRAMS:  I asked my staff today, I said I had never heard of a death row inmate escaping.  Apparently, it‘s not the first time it has happened. 

Vic Wisner, how bad is this guy? 

VIC WISNER, HARRIS COUNTY, TX ASST. DIST. ATTY.:  He‘s very dangerous, obviously.  He‘s killed two people.  He launched a couple of murder for hire plots while he was in jail awaiting trial, the first trial.  But that being said, I think his interest probably would be more in getting away than seeking to harm people who‘ve testified against him or he has some grudge against. 

ABRAMS:  Well his—the victim‘s mother said the following.  They say all he wants to do is run.  I don‘t believe that.  I really think he wants to get revenge.

WISNER:  There‘s some element of truth to that.  You can‘t take him too lightly.  What happened in this case was he got into a fight with his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend, lost the fight.  The Sheriff‘s Department was called.  He assured the deputies that he realized that he was the ex-boyfriend.

There won‘t be any further problem.  Even the ex-boyfriend convinced, called his best friend, said it‘s over.  There aren‘t going to be any more problems, came back three and a half hours later and killed both of them.  So he is dangerous.  That being said, I think the murder for hire plots were more along the lines of, if I can get these people out of the way I‘ll go free as opposed to I‘m going to death row.  I may as well kill a couple of people on my way. 

ABRAMS:  Lieutenant, what are the procedures that are in place for someone who has been convicted and sentenced to death?  I would assume that that person is always monitored.  I would also assume when that person is not on death row that they would be in cuffs and possibly even shackled.

MARTIN:  That‘s correct.  Anytime they‘re brought out of their cellblock they are escorted, as you said.  They would be handcuffed and in fact he was handcuffed.  He had an attorney visit almost two hours before he escaped.  He was taken to the attorney booth and once they‘re placed in the attorney booth, the doors close and it‘s actually locked. 

So he should not have been able to get out of the attorney booth by himself without somebody coming and opening that door for him.  But you‘re exactly right; there are a number of procedures in place for high security inmates like those on death row. 

ABRAMS:  And I know you have spoken to his attorney.  What does he say? 

MARTIN:  I have not spoken with his attorney.

ABRAMS:  All right. 

MARTIN:  There—he will be contacted at some point basically because he had a visit with this person just a few hours before he left.  And at this point we just want to ask him what he knows about this incident, if anything. 


WISNER:  Dan, one thing you should know...


WISNER:  ... is the attorney who went to see him is not an attorney of record. 

ABRAMS:  What is—what significance is that? 

WISNER:  It may or may not have significance, but he had an attorney visit by someone who has not officially...


WISNER:  ... been assigned to the case. 

ABRAMS:  So...


ABRAMS:  ... you‘re saying that it might have been someone who helped him? 

WISNER:  No, I‘m not necessarily saying that, but the attorney who visited him was not his attorney at trial.  And I think John can address that possibly. 

ABRAMS:  Yes, are you looking into, Lieutenant, the possibility that this attorney helped him? 

MARTIN:  Right now we don‘t have any evidence that would positively indicate that the attorney helped him or any of our staff members helped him for that matter.  Again, we are in the process of trying to contact everybody who may have been in contact with this person immediately before he left.  And at this point the attorney and many of our staff members would be considered witnesses as the investigation progresses. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Lieutenant and Vic Wisner, thanks very much for coming on the program.  Good luck.  We got to get this guy.  That‘s the number.  That‘s—let‘s put it up again.  That‘s the picture.  That‘s the number.  That‘s why these guys are here.  Come on, we got to—this is a dangerous person. 


ABRAMS:  There are the phone numbers.

All right.  Coming up, an undercover sting operation, “Dateline NBC‘s” hidden cameras catch potential pedophiles in action.  People who posed as sexually available teens lead to these guys getting caught.  It was a sometimes-dangerous job for NBC‘s Chris Hansen.  He‘ll tell us all about it.

And new details that could suggest Marilyn Monroe was murdered?  New details about her final days are out. 

Plus, this was the scene when a 3-year-old boy was taken from his adopted parents, the only ones he‘d ever had known, and given to his birth mother.  Now the boy‘s stepfather is charged with abusing him. 

Your e-mails  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.


ABRAMS:  It is many parents‘ greatest fear, online sexual predators.  An estimated 50,000 of them are logged on at any given moment, searching for children to meet up with.  It‘s a murky, dark underworld, but it seems those adults looking for children know exactly where to go. 

That‘s what “Dateline NBC” caught on tape.  Decoys posing as teens online, chatted with potential child predators.  They rented a house in Washington, D.C. suburb, outfitted it with hidden cameras and computers and then waited for the knock on the door. 

“Dateline NBC‘s” Chris Hansen has the story. 


CHRIS HANSEN, “DATELINE NBC” (voice-over):  As part of our undercover investigation we enlisted the help of a sort of vigilante organization called Perverted Justice.  Its volunteers pose as 12, 13, and 14 year-old boys and girls in AOL and Yahoo! chat rooms, trying to expose adults who solicit them for sex.

Our decoys are hit up almost immediately.  And it wasn‘t long before men started showing up at our house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Knock, knock. 


HANSEN:  All together 19 in three days.  If that number doesn‘t shock you, what some of these men do for a living certainly will.  This man is a special education teacher.  Our decoy is now posing as a 13-year-old boy named Brandon the teacher is expecting to meet. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the kitchen counter for a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Where are you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I just—I need to get my new shorts on.


HANSEN:  The teacher is 54 and married.  When I confront him at first he says he thought Brandon was an adult. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well he said he was 23.  What‘s the problem? 

HANSEN (on camera):  I have the transcript, that‘s what the problem is.  Brandon said he was 13.


HANSEN:  Thirteen.

(voice-over):  And the teacher knows this because Brandon told him online.

HANSEN (on camera):  You can talk about all the different things that you‘d like to do with him.  What are you doing here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I thought I would come see him...

HANSEN:  Come see him for what? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I wanted to meet him. 

HANSEN:  What is a 54-year-old man doing coming to this home to see a 13-year-old boy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I obviously made a big mistake. 

HANSEN (voice-over):  And he wasn‘t the only one.  This man thought he‘d had a sexually charged chat online with a 13-year-old boy, a boy he thinks he‘s about to meet.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hey, hold on a second, I got to change my shirt...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I spilled a coke on it.  I got to ask you (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tonight? 



HANSEN (on camera):  So, how can I help you?  What are you doing here? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not something good.  This isn‘t good. 

HANSEN:  Not good?  That‘s kind of an understatement, isn‘t it?  What do you do for a living? 


HANSEN (voice-over):  That‘s right, a rabbi. 

(on camera):  Now presumably you counsel families and children in your position as a rabbi? 


HANSEN:  What are you doing as a man of God, as a rabbi in this house, trying to meet a 15-year-old boy? 

(voice-over):  Instead of answering, the rabbi asks to know who I am, but before I tell him I want to ask him about some obscene pictures he sent our decoy. 

(on camera):  You sent pornographic pictures.  OK, that‘s a federal offense right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK, look, you know I‘m in trouble, and I know I‘m in trouble.  I am not interested in getting into it further. 

HANSEN (voice-over):  The rabbi and virtually every other man who showed up claimed it was the first time they had ever done something like this, and wouldn‘t actually have had sex with a minor. 


HANSEN:  The rabbi called us several times during our investigation claiming he had done nothing wrong.  Nevertheless, he has now stepped down from the Jewish youth organization where he once worked. 

The teacher you saw, he was fired after this information was given to the school district in Maryland where he worked.  Tonight you‘ll hear from many more prominent people in the community who got caught up in all this. 

You‘ll hear from a clinical psychologist who will take us inside these men‘s minds and you‘ll hear from experts who will tell us all how to better protect our children—Dan.

ABRAMS:  Chris, these stories are so important and you have done such a great job with this in years past as well.  We should first point out that virtually all the men in this piece deny coming to the home for sex with an underage child...

HANSEN:  Absolutely.  And without exception, it‘s their first time. 

They really wouldn‘t have gone through with it. 

ABRAMS:  And I should again (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you can see all of Chris‘ investigation, “Dateline”, 8:00 -- 7:00 Central on NBC.  All right, so Chris, question one, I would think that some of these guys get angry.  And I‘ve asked you this before.  I remember last year when you did this piece.  I said to you did any of these guys try and slug you? 

HANSEN:  Nobody actually took a poke, but when I told the rabbi who I was, and he started to get aggressive in terms ever saying, who are you?  I need to see some I.D.  And I said well, you want to know who I am?  He said yes, I do.  I said well, I‘m Chris Hansen of “Dateline NBC” and we are doing a story on computer predators. 

Now I had just shown him a picture that he had sent to the decoy, a picture of himself naked and so he came after me and you‘ll see this tonight.  I think just to try to get the picture back.  He just kind of exploded with anger and he started towards us and once the security stepped in he just turned around and he left. 

ABRAMS:  It‘s a good thing you‘re a big guy, Chris.  I think that might help in some of the situations here.  All right.  And I assume a lot of these guys also just ran, right? 

HANSEN:  There were a number who, you know, got to the door, saw me and said you know, that‘s it, I‘m out of here, and they ran down the street.  You can see this guy right here.  A lot of them stayed to talk.  You know, I didn‘t tell them who I was when they first walked in.  I just said you know, why don‘t you have a seat there?  I want to talk to you about this. 

And the majority of them sat down and obviously some thought I was a parent.  Some thought I might have been with law enforcement.  Some had kind of a little bit of recognition factor going, but they were so stunned that they didn‘t you know put two and two together...

ABRAMS:  All right.

HANSEN:  ... until I told them who you know I actually was. 

ABRAMS:  Right.  In no cases did you say I‘m actually 13 and I look a lot older...

HANSEN:  Exactly.  Right. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  There‘s a naked guy, a guy who came in and took off all of his clothes? 

HANSEN:  I thought I had seen just about everything and you see it right there, as I hand him the towel to cover himself up.  There had been chat with the decoy indicating that maybe this was a possibility.  So I had that towel on top of the refrigerator just in case, but we never thought he‘d do it, and I was standing in the next room with the security guy and the other camera man, and we had it up on a monitor, and here he comes, he cases out the place, walks into the garage, strips and comes in. 

Now the kicker to this, you know we talked to him, he‘s embarrassed.  He leaves.  The very next day, Dan, he is online in a chat room talking to another decoy who is posing as a 13-year-old boy.  He makes a date to meet this decoy at a McDonald‘s in suburban Virginia.  I‘m waiting there with the camera crew again and I ask him, I say you know what are you doing here?  I‘ve never seen anything like this.  Twice in two days.

ABRAMS:  So and the question everyone is asking is that guy and the rest of these guys, are they getting prosecuted? 

HANSEN:  Well, Perverted Justice as a matter of routine, after they do something like this, turns over all the chat logs and other information to the local police.  In this case it‘s the Fairfax County Police Department.  I interviewed the lieutenant who heads up the unit, who handles these matters, who assured me that all of these cases are being investigated and I have to believe that it won‘t be too long after the piece airs tonight that we‘ll hear you know if any of these guys are going to be prosecuted. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Chris, if you can just stay with us for a minute...

HANSEN:  Sure.  Absolutely.

ABRAMS:  (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Chris piece, you head a young teen named Brandon talking in the background after the men came into the house, saying he just needed to change his clothes. 

Brandon joins me now.  So Brandon, what kind of things would you say when these guys would talk on the phone or when they were in the house? 

VOICE OF BRANDON, “13-YEAR-OLD BOY” IN STING OPERATION:  Basically I would tell them that I was 13 that I was home alone and my parents were out of town.  They were going to be gone for four or five days or two days or whatever the case may be.  I would then essentially ramble about something completely inconsequential, which would inevitably convince them that I was a real kid, because I had some of the stupidest topics of conversations you‘ve ever heard. 

ABRAMS:  When you hear the words inconsequential and inevitable you probably realize that Brandon is not a 13-year-old.  It‘s actually Del Harvey, who acted as a decoy to lure some of the men into the house. 

And also joining us is Perverted Justice‘s assistant director of operations, who goes by the name of Frag.  He was a contributing—contributor in the sting, meaning he posed as a 13-year-old girl and chatted with these guys online. 

You know it seems, Dell, that they do it again and again.  I mean, you know Chris does this story every year, and then you hear about the guy who gets caught.  He gets naked.  He gets caught and he goes out and does it the next day.

“DEL HARVEY”, INTERNET STING DECOY:  It‘s absolutely habitual for a lot of these guys which is why we‘ve started making an increased push to really work with law enforcement and why we started essentially working with law enforcement on every case that we can.  Because there‘s really nothing that can be done unless they‘re put into prison or they‘re put into counseling or something along those lines.  It‘s just amazing how many people just don‘t seem to learn from what happens. 

ABRAMS:  Frag, tell me about some of the experiences that you had.  You were posing as a girl and some of these guys—one guy actually came back to the house again? 

“FRAG”, PERVERTED-JUSTICE.COM:  Yes.  Actually one of my busts, we had a - quote—unquote—“date” scheduled for around 10:30 in the evening and he didn‘t make it.  And we wrapped for the day and shut down the operation, and later on in the evening the gentleman showed up and the gentleman who answered the door, he asked for me. 

And he was just told that he had the wrong address and went away.  The next day one of our female phone verifiers called up the predator again, and gave him an excuse as to what the situation was and rectified it in his mind, set up another date for that night for 7:00 and he showed up right on time.  And spoke with Chris...


“FRAG”:  ... or actually he ran. 

ABRAMS:  Do you show—Frag, do you ever just come there and say hey, look, listen to this voice.  This is what you—you know, this is what you were talking to? 

“FRAG”:  Listen to what voice? 

ABRAMS:  Meaning your voice.  Meaning, it‘s your voice that they had heard to sort of confront them directly and say, hey, this is the voice you heard and this is the face.

“FRAG”:  No, I‘ve never confronted any of them directly.  I was in the house during the operation upstairs.  I let Chris handle the confrontations. 

ABRAMS:  Yes and Del, apart from the work that you‘ve doing with Chris and “Dateline”, what is it that you guys are doing on a daily basis with this?

“DEL HARVEY”:  Well, essentially we‘ve really developed a lot of agreements with law enforcements at all levels across the nation.  Last time we were on this show, last September, actually, we had around 25 agreements with law enforcement agencies and as of this taping we have over 175 covering over 120 million people. 

ABRAMS:  Wow.  That‘s great. 

“DEL HARVEY”:  We‘ve also picked up 31 convictions so far this year, so...

ABRAMS:  All right.  Well that‘s good news.  Chris, do you get nervous when you‘re doing this?  I‘d get nervous if I were doing this.  I don‘t know. 

HANSEN:  Yes, I mean you‘re always a little tense walking out.  I mean even though we have security and everything else, and we think we kind of know what makes these guys tick.  You know Del and Frag are very good at that and kind of letting us know OK, this is what we think this guy is all about. 

But yes, you never really know who is walking in.  I mean we take a lot of precautions.  For instance, you notice that there‘s a kitchen counter there, so there‘s something between the person coming in and myself.  So if it did blow up or somebody pulled something, I mean I could dance or get out of the way for a few minutes until you know our security guy could get in the room, so it keeps you on your toes, that‘s for sure. 

ABRAMS:  I‘ll bet.  All right.  Chris Hansen, and Del Harvey and Frag, thanks a lot.  This is important stuff.  And again, you can see it on...


ABRAMS:  ... “Dateline” tonight at 8:00.  Coming up, more than 40 years after she died, new details coming out about Marilyn Monroe‘s final days, raising questions about whether she actually killed herself. 

Plus, you may remember the pictures of this 3-year-old boy taken from the only parents that he had known and given to his birth mother even though she had agreed to give up the child.  Well, now the stepfather of the new family, or the biological family charged with abusing him, and the couple who raised him from birth want him back. 

And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to help find missing sex offenders before they strike again.  We wrap up our weeklong search in Delaware today.

Authorities need help finding Clarence Weatherspoon, 20, 5‘3”, 135, was convicted of attempted rape of a child under the age of 11, wanted by the state on other charges. 

If you‘ve got any information on his whereabouts, please contact them, 302-736-7111.

Be right back.



ABRAMS:  Coming up, believe it or not, there are new details emerging about the last days of Marilyn Monroe‘s life.  It could suggest she was murdered, first the headlines.


ABRAMS:  It‘s hard to believe almost 40 -- more than 40 years later we‘re getting new information now on the death of Marilyn Monroe.  She was found dead of a drug overdose in August, 1962, or at least that‘s what they said, face down on a bed in her Brentwood home, her death ruled a probable suicide.  But now a close friend of Marilyn‘s tells “Playboy” magazine—quote—“I know she was murdered.  It wasn‘t suicide.”

The friend, June DiMaggio, the niece of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn‘s second husband and the love of her life.  What makes June DiMaggio so confident?  Well, she says she knows for a fact that Joe and Marilyn planned to remarry and even set a date.  And June‘s mother Lee, also a close friend of Marilyn‘s, says she took a call from Marilyn and heard her scream the night of her death. 

When her kids asked her for details she reportedly said, I want you all to live.  Even told the police you put me on a lie detector and I‘ll lie like hell.

With me now is “Playboy” magazine contributor Lisa DePaulo, who wrote the story, “The Strange Still Mysterious Death of Marilyn Monroe” for the magazine.  Lisa good to see you again, all right...


ABRAMS:  ... so, what is really new here?  The fact that June DiMaggio is coming forward and you say she‘s writing a book, et cetera, about this and saying not just that she‘s convinced that Marilyn was murdered, but is offering some evidence? 

DEPAULO:  Well, a few things she brings forward.  One is that she spoke to her that day.  She saw her that morning.  And Marilyn seemed perfectly fine.  A lot of other people did as well.  But I think the real important thing is June, as well as two of DiMaggio‘s closest friends, insist that they were going to be remarried on August 8, 1962, which was the day of her funeral.  In fact it was a very chilling moment where DiMaggio says to his friend, you know, instead of kissing her on the altar, I kissed her in her casket. 

ABRAMS:  And let‘s assume for a moment that they were going to get remarried.  Why does that necessarily suggest that it wasn‘t suicide?

DEPAULO:  Well, I think—two reasons.  I think if you‘re going to remarry the love of your life you‘re not going to take your life four days before the wedding and I also think she always counted on Joe.  Whenever she was in trouble she called Joe DiMaggio, and it was her pattern even when she was feeling depressed to call him.  And I just find it a little bit impossible that she would be at the end of her rope and ready to kill herself and not reach out to him, because usually when she tried to do that it was a call for help. 

ABRAMS:  One of the things I found most striking about your article was the issue of the time line. 


ABRAMS:  I think that—that to me really struck me, because the bottom line is that according to your article that on August 4, 1962, police told the DiMaggio family between 11:00 p.m. and midnight...


ABRAMS:  ... that Marilyn was dead and yet the official report says that police first called—were called to Marilyn‘s home at 4:30 a.m.  Why is that so important? 

DEPAULO:  It is so important because people have always believed or suspected or worried that there was some kind of a cover-up in the hours before police were notified at 4:30 a.m. by Eunice Murray, who was her housekeeper.  And in fact, when the police arrived at 4:30, rigor mortis had already set in.  So—but here‘s June DiMaggio saying actually they came to my door between 11:00 and 11:30 looking for my Uncle Joe to tell him that Marilyn was dead. 

ABRAMS:  A lot of your article or at least the beginning of is the description of a former L.A. prosecutor named John Miner...

DEPAULO:  Right.

ABRAMS:  ... who‘s been on this program...

DEPAULO:  Right.

ABRAMS:  ... where he talks about having taken extensive notes of tape recordings that Marilyn Monroe apparently left for her psychiatrist.  The problem there...

DEPAULO:  Big problem...

ABRAMS:  ... is that so many people have questioned Miner‘s credibility. 

DEPAULO:  Well, what I set out to do is to find other things that, you know, would add to his theory or not, whatever I found.  You know, I have a problem too with the recreating...

ABRAMS:  I mean he‘s got these long, long...

DEPAULO:  Right.

ABRAMS:  ... quotes that he says oh yes, I listened to it once...

DEPAULO:  Right.

ABRAMS:  ... and after that I was able to...


ABRAMS:  ... write these long quotes. 

DEPAULO:  I know.  You know, you and I do it for a living, but I think if you and I had a conversation we couldn‘t go home...

ABRAMS:  No way.

DEPAULO:  ... and recreate it perfectly.  So I was always skeptical of that, which was why what I was looking for was more—you know, firsthand testimony from people who were with her that day or talked to her in the last days and what her plans were in the days ahead.  And it really struck me, this wedding plan, and it wasn‘t just the wedding was planned at St.  Peter and Paul‘s in San Francisco, but she had a dress, DiMaggio had a ring for her.  She even had her China. 

ABRAMS:  Bottom line, you‘re convinced she was killed? 

DEPAULO:  I‘m not convinced it was suicide. 

ABRAMS:  But not convinced she was killed either? 

DEPAULO:  Well, you know, accidental is a very likely possibility.

ABRAMS:  Right.  All right, Lisa thanks a lot for coming on the program.  Good to see you again.

DEPAULO:  Thanks Dan.  Great to see you. 

ABRAMS:  Coming up, remember little Evan taken from the only parents he had ever known and given to his birth mother, even though she‘d agreed to give him up on adoption.  Now her husband has been charged with abusing the boy and the couple that raised Evan want him back. 

And jurors in the Robert Blake trial started deliberating.  Don‘t be surprised if Blake wins another one.  Looks like some people may not have learned a lesson from O.J.  It‘s my “Closing Argument”.

Your e-mails  Please include your name and where you‘re writing from.  I respond at the end of the show.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They seem to think that he‘s going to be fine.  That this is—that he‘s got this bond and he‘s going to his new home and a new mommy and a new dad and he‘ll be fine. 


ABRAMS:  Dawn Scott back in January, days after this scene.  Her adopted 3 ½-year-old son, Evan, being removed from the Florida home he shared with Dawn and her husband Gene Scott, after the Scott‘s fought a lengthy legal battle to gain custody of Evan.  The state court—granted custody of Evan to his biological mother even though she had put him up for adoption and picked the Scotts to raise him. 


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m so grateful that it has finally come to this.  I‘m so glad that my son is home finally. 


ABRAMS:  Since then, Evan who is now 4 ½, has been living with Hopkins and her husband, Michael Hopkins, in Illinois.  But earlier this week Michael Hopkins was arrested by authorities investigating a report of child abuse in the home.  He‘s charged with domestic battery and local police tell NBC that he caused physical harm to Evan while disciplining him. 

Late this afternoon, the same Florida judge who ordered Evan be removed from the Scotts‘ home back in January, ordered that Evan should be removed now from his biological mother‘s custody and temporarily placed in the custody of his biological father. 

That should give the Scotts a bit of hope that they may get Evan back.  Joining us now is Dawn and Gene Scott, Evan‘s former adoptive parents and their attorney Susan Pniewski.  Thank you all for coming on the program.  Appreciate it.

All right...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re welcome...

ABRAMS:  So, Dawn, look, we‘re hearing that now Evan is going back to the biological father.  Let‘s be clear what happened here, the reason that the biological father wasn‘t involved in the beginning was because he beat up mama so bad that she didn‘t want to tell him about the fact that she was pregnant.  She then gives you all permission, she says look, I want you to adopt my child and then three years later he comes into the scene and says oh you know what, I never signed off on it.  That‘s the man who is now getting Evan, right?

DAWN SCOTT, EVAN‘S FORMER ADOPTIVE MOTHER:  That‘s not exactly how it happened.  He actually filed his paternity when Evan was 5 ½ months old, so he has been fighting for Evan since that—at that time legally that time. 

ABRAMS:  And so he—all right, so he‘s been fighting since Evan was 5 ½ months old but was it clear at the time, was it not Gene, that when you all adopted Evan that the mother had said, look, I‘m the only one you need to talk to and I‘m giving you permission and encouraging you to adopt Evan?

GENE SCOTT, EVAN‘S FORMER ADOPTIVE FATHER:  Well, the adoption was never finalized because of the biological father had filed a motion.  But the trial judge at the time placed Evan in our custody.  And the fight went on from there.

ABRAMS:  Susan, I got to tell you, your clients are not making the best case here for getting Evan back.

SUSAN PNIEWSKI, ATTORNEY FOR DAWN & GENE SCOTT:  Unfortunately, I don‘t hold a whole lot of hope for them to be able to regain custody.  At this point, what we want to do is we want to protect Evan.  Getting him out of the situation he‘s in is the utmost urgency at this point.  I believe that he‘s being placed with his father and his father has lately stepped up and he‘s been doing the best he can to protect Evan.  And as long as Evan is protected we feel comfortable with that.  If there is some reason that the courts fail to place Evan with the father, then of course we‘ll be here for Evan. 

ABRAMS:  Well that‘s great—I have to tell you that‘s great news.  I‘m thrilled to hear—I was under the impression that you all wanted to get him back.  Gene and Dawn, you‘re happy with the situation? 

G. SCOTT:  Well, it‘s not our optimum goal.  We would love to have him back if at all legally possible.  But as the situation is now where he is, is the best-case scenario. 

ABRAMS:  All right.  Well then all is well that ends at least somewhat well.  So Gene and Dawn Scott, thanks very much.  Appreciate it.  Susan Pniewski, thanks a lot.  Coming up...


G. SCOTT:  Thank you.

ABRAMS:  ... Robert Blake‘s civil trial is wrapping up.  Deliberations got underway today.  My prediction, the sweet smell of victory again for the “Baretta” star.  I‘ll tell you why. 

And everybody has got something to say about Natalee Holloway‘s disappearance.  The latest was Dr. Phil going on “The Tonight Show”, saying that he thinks it is very possible that she is a sex slave somewhere in the Caribbean.  A lot of you had some tough comments on that one. 

And our continuing series, “Manhunt: Sex Offenders on the Loose”, our effort to find missing sex offenders before they strike again.  Tonight we finish our search in Delaware.

Please help authorities locate Scott Klinger.  He‘s 35, 5‘9”, 135.  Klinger was convicted of rape and unlawful sexual intercourse with a child younger than 16.  He‘s wanted on other charges, so if you‘ve got any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Troop Four State Department, 302-856-5850.

We‘ll be back in a moment.


ABRAMS:  My “Closing Argument”—don‘t be surprised if Robert Blake‘s civil trial ends with a victory for the 72-year-old actor again.  Jury deliberations began this afternoon in Burbank where Blake has been fighting a wrongful death suit filed by the four children of his former wife.  Forty-four-year-old Bonny Lee Bakley was found shot to death in Blake‘s car outside a restaurant where the two had just dined on May 4, 2001. 

Now back in March, Blake was found not guilty of criminal charges that he murdered Bakley.  In that case, his lawyers argued that Blake left Bakley in the car when he went back into the restaurant to get his gun that he had left there.  When Blake returned, he said he found Bakley bleeding and unconscious, a tough story to believe, but one jurors the—the jurors seem to accept.  There is a lower standard of proof in a civil case, more likely than not, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt. 

And unlike the criminal trial, the verdict in a civil case doesn‘t need to be unanimous, but that may not be enough.  Remember that while O.J.  was acquitted of murder charges back in ‘95, he lost in the civil case in ‘97 with the jury finding him liable for the wrongful death of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.  But the plaintiff‘s attorneys in the Blake case may not have learned the lessons from the O.J. case. 

Lawyers for the Goldman and the Brown families changed their tactics in the civil trial, better focusing on the most incriminating evidence against Simpson, not just rearguing the criminal trial.  Not so here according to many who have been there every day.  It has been largely a rehash of the evidence in the criminal trial they say.  Prosecutors in the criminal case argued that Blake killed Bakley because he hated her and wanted custody of their daughter. 

They called a couple of stunt men who the jurors apparently didn‘t believe, who said Blake effectively tried to hire them to kill Bonny Lee.  Apparently it has been a sort of legal deja vu.  Another problem for Bakley‘s kids, Blake who never took the stand in his criminal trial, did take the stand in the civil trial.  Court watchers say he was relatively believable.  That‘s a big difference from O.J.

Despite some inappropriate comments like telling the jury that his wife was great for casual sex, and they didn‘t like to use condoms, Blake reportedly came across as a 70-something-year-old guy who didn‘t have the greatest memory but who seemed to be telling the truth.  This was probably a winnable civil case with the lower burden of proof that comes with it.  Before the start of the civil trial, Blake offered $250,000 to drop the case.  I‘m wondering whether they‘re going to wish they had taken it. 

I‘ve had my say, now it‘s time for “Your Rebuttal”.  Last night we asked why Dr. Phil went on “The Tonight Show” and said there‘s—quote—

“credible evidence that Natalee Holloway is alive, possibly part of a sex slave ring.”

Amanda Smith in Branford, Connecticut.  “I feel his statements were detrimental to both Natalee Holloway‘s family and the so-called Aruban authorities investigating her disappearance.  What will Dr. Phil say next?  That Natalee is in the North Pole with Santa Claus?  Somebody put a sock or stocking in this guy‘s mouth.”

Carrie Taranova in Lakeland, Florida, “I‘ve said from day one that Joran van der Sloot was one of the scouts for the girls to be sold.  He sets them up for the sale, but I don‘t think Natalee is in the Caribbean.  Still, I think she was sold and sent to an Asian or Arab country where they have an appetite for young, blond, blue-eyed girls.”

Carrie, I mean these are interesting theories.  And again, I‘m not saying that I know what happened, but where is the evidence to suggest this at all?  That‘s the problem I have.  There‘s absolutely no evidence to suggest that there was some sort of sex slave ring involved here. 

And you heard Clint Van Zandt say it is almost unheard of for Americans no matter where they are in the world to be sold into sex slave rings.  I mean people keep e-mailing about this and I‘m not saying I know what happened.  But I am saying I haven‘t seen a single scintilla of evidence to support that. 

From Sherwood, Oregon, Janine Singer, “The word credible should not be used in the same sentence as Dr. Phil.  November is sweeps month.”  Oh, come on, Janine. 

All right.  Also last night, a Utah judge who has three wives and who is a polygamist fighting to keep his seat on the bench, the state‘s judicial conduct commission wants him removed.

Bob Rihl in Augusta, Georgia, “I keep hearing about all these guys in Utah who have three or four wives, but I don‘t believe there could be too many of them because most men couldn‘t afford three or four big American Express card bills every month.”  Come on, Bob.

All right, your e-mails abramsreport—one word --  We go through them at the end of the show.

Before we go, I wanted to update you on that situation on the protests in Argentina, more than 60 arrests now.  At least two police injured as thousands of demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and rocks, smashing windows in the Argentine city of Mar Del Plata.  The Summit of the Americas is underway.

They‘re protesting the presence of President Bush, supposedly his push for a free trade area that would cover the Americas.  The riots followed a speech by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a Gush opponent who said he was there to bury Bush‘s free trade plan.  But of course, as we were hearing earlier, many are wondering whether this is the same cast of characters that travels around the world whenever there‘s a major summit and simply opposes globalization. 

That does it for us tonight.  Coming up next, “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews.  Chris has got the latest on Argentina and a lot more. 

Have a great weekend.


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