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The Search for Chandra Levy

Aired July 20, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a Washington intern missing, her married congressional lover keeping mum, a police investigation with no hard leads. On day 81 of this national obsession, we'll hear from the investigative reporter who's been digging into this story from the get-go, Lisa DePaulo contributing writer for "Talk" magazine. Joining her for another no-holds barred discussion former federal prosecutor and best-selling author Barbara Olson. In Los Angeles, defense attorney Mark Geragos. Here in D.C. former prosecutor Nancy Grace, now with "Court TV." And in New York, the editor of "The Nation," Katrina Vanden Heuvel. And then, some of the top radio talkers will chime in. Janet Parshall, host of the nationally syndicated program, "Janet Parshall's America." With her in D.C. is Jim Bohannon. His "Jim Bohannon Show" is on Westwood One. And Ronn Owens of "The Ronn Owens Show," KGO San Francisco. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening from Washington. As we said last night, it gets curiouser and curiouser. We'll start with Lisa DePaulo, who's been on top of this story and who on August 3 will publish in "Talk" magazine a major piece on the Gary Condit and the missing intern. Now we have media attention turning to Sven Jones, who worked with Levy at the Bureau of Prisons, a frequent confidante. And apparently, the last call she made was to him. Is that is true?

LISA DEPAULO, "TALK" MAGAZINE: Apparently it was. And as you know, Sven has not spoken yet, but I spoke to him today.

KING: And?

DEPAULO: And he seemed really surprised that the last call was made to him. Sven told me that he did not have a conversation with her on May 1. And did not get a message from her.

KING: So, that means she called him, but he wasn't there?

DEPAULO: It's highly possible that she dialed his number and did not leave a message.

KING: And why he was surprised?

DEPAULO: Because he hadn't heard that before.

KING: He hadn't heard from her?

DEPAULO: No, he hadn't heard that that was last call. KING: Oh, I see. And was he was surprised that she made a call to him?

DEPAULO: Yes, and he seemed to feel, "Wow, what did she want?"

KING: Were they boyfriend/girlfriend?

DEPAULO: No. Sven is a very -- he's one of many people I have been talking to, but he had a close platonic friendship with Chandra. She went to him a lot for advice. He's in late 30s. He's a very smart man. He's very compassionate, has a couple psychology degrees.

It's very interesting Chandra had male friends, good male friends, good platonic male friends.

KING: Platonic?

DEPAULO: Yes. And a lot of her -- the men that the was good friends with you know, were the kind of guys that you wish she had chosen to date.

KING: Does Sven have any theories? Did he know about Gary?

DEPAULO: Oh, yes.

KING: He knew all about the relationship?


KING: So she had -- was confident with him?

DEPAULO: Correct, correct. Yes, it's amazing that Chandra, you know, confided in people.

KING: Barbara there are appears two things we don't have here on each side and maybe I'm wrong. On the side of Gary Condit, we don't any alibi. On the other side, we don't have a direct motive. Are both those statements true or not?

BARBARA OLSON, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: They are true, and obviously that's why this investigation keeps going on. But also, what keeps happening is Gary Condit keeps causing us to question if he does have a motive

You know, we've all talked about the watch case in the dumpster. It evidently wasn't directly related to Chandra Levy, but it hours before a search warrant. This is a man who knew the police was going to come in. He obviously didn't want to reveal, I guess, this woman is woman No. 3. So he goes and puts it in a dumpster. Well, the prosecutors wonder what else did he do.

We know he now wants to hide evidence. He was trying to hide his relationship with Chandra. And so it certainly makes him more suspicious. And this keeps on going. And so, does he have a motive? Well, woman No. 3 is going to be -- they're going to want to talk to her just like they did Anna Marie Smith. And so, I just wonder how forthcoming Mr. Condit has been about this. It might be relevant if Chandra knew about this woman. It might be relevant to some of the evidence they have, such as web site, which they're not putting forward. And so all of it takes too long.

KING: I want to get in Katrina and Mark and then Nancy. And then we'll go round the circle.

Katrina, what's your read on all of this, the dropping of a box, a gift from a woman in a dumpster in Alexandria, which is not near where he lives?

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, "THE NATION": Larry, I'm sitting here because I believe this is legitimate news story, but I think we have to raise the issue of the proportionality of coverage at this point. I mean, think of the opportunity costs for this country that the stories that remain uncovered because of the feeding frenzy around this. Think if the media put its resources, its get-go, its laser- like energy that's being deployed on this story into stories like the torpedoing of campaign finance reform or the institutional corruption of Congress. We could make those sexy. And instead, there's a feeding frenzy around this in a way that I think is going to really blur the line forever between entertainment and news in American journalism.

KING: You could not argue with that statement, could you Nancy, except that it is what it is?

NANCY GRACE, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, no, I don't argue with that statement.

KING: I mean, the statement she made is correct.

GRACE: I don't argue with statement at all. A lot of people tune in to the story regarding Chandra Levy because it entertains them, it mystifies them, it's a mystery. I, however, consider it a crime. I do not think Chandra Levy is any longer a missing person, God help her. After this time, I think she's a murdered person. And what that thrown away, that discarded box means to me and the great pain and effort Condit went to, to throw away a link to yet a fourth woman if you include his wife, it makes me wonder what would he throw away to erase links to Chandra Levy.

KING: You're convinced he's involved, right? So you're building everything that happens, you build against him?

GRACE: Well, I'm convinced that he's hiding more than what we know. And my only question is, unless there are other women out he wants to hide, what else is he hiding about Chandra?

KING: And Mark Geragos, does he have a solid alibi for that day?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: My understanding is that he does. And this idea that all of a sudden the watch case, we're going to make into circumstantial evidence of some other motivation of his to hide evidence. You know, we were talking last week or earlier this week, about this minister's daughter. And this supposed mixed race love child that she had. We've now been told that the minister made that all up or at least told somebody else who's come forward, who said he's made it all up. So there's this feeding frenzy that Katrina talks about. You started to see where just anything gets put out there under the stream of commerce here and gets run with it. And then we create these monumentally labyrinth type analysis of it. And we condemn Condit. And then it turns out that it wasn't there. It wasn't true.

KING: And Lisa, does that occur because Condit doesn't speak out? So any little bit gets blown?

DEPAULO: Of course, this guy left out a really big piece of information for 67 days. And so of course, we are suspect.

KING: And by remaining mum, does he add to that every day?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Absolutely, but I totally agree with Nancy.

KING: You do? You've got him pegged, are you leaning over that way, too?

GRACE: Yes, it's not little.

KING: You think there is a crime? You think she's gone?

DEPAULO: Absolutely.

KING: You do?


KING: You think a crime has been committed?

DEPAULO: I think a crime has been committed.

KING: And he is a suspect in your mind?

DEPAULO: Absolutely.

KING: We'll get a break and we'll come right back with our panel. Later, our radio talk show hosts. Tomorrow night, well, we're going to change pace a little, Catherine Zeta-Jones, not too hard to look at. Don't go away.


CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: The longer this goes, the longer we don't have any clues to take us down one path or another, you have to start thinking of that possibility. I hope that's not the case. I hope we still find her. Not only find her, but find her alive. So I mean, we can -- we're optimistic, but unfortunately, there are some people in the United States that have been missing for a very long period of time and have never been found.



KING: "Newsweek" magazine will report on Monday, panel, that Condit on May 1, the day in question, had a private meeting with Dick Cheney on Capitol Hill to discuss California energy crisis. The meeting began at 12:30, lasted for 20 to 25 minutes. And then "Newsweek" reports that Condit went back to his office and stayed there until 5:00 p.m. doing office work. Does that, Nancy, give him an alibi?

GRACE: Absolutely not. We know she logged off her computer around 1:00. That was the last that was seen or heard of her.

KING: But he's working till 5:00.

GRACE: Till 5:00. And then what?

KING: Well we don't know.

GRACE: Then we don't know. I'd like to know.

DEPAULO: He says, you know. what's really interesting about the timeline that he -- his office put out is it's very vague for that day. And then, the next day, it's really detailed.

GRACE: Well, now that they've got the right day. Now that they've got the right day.

DEPAULO: Well, that was other thing that was ridiculous.

GERAGOS: Doesn't that have something to do with the fact that he was at the Vice President's beck and call there, waiting to meet with him?

GRACE: For 20 minutes?

DEPAULO: For 20 minutes.

GERAGOS: I mean, that's why -- you say, it's a 20 minute meeting. You don't just schedule it and say, "Hey, Vice President, I'm going to be by at 12:00. You wait for me whenever I get there."

GRACE: And Mark?

GERAGOS: They block off 5 hours when they meet with the -- go to White House.

DEPAULO: Mark, not with this group. They're on time. That's the old administration.

GRACE: That's true.

GERAGOS: I'm telling you, you block off five hours, Barbara.

GRACE: That's true. Well, evidently... GERAGOS: And you go there and you know that you're going to be there.

OLSON: Now, Mark, evidently it was a set meeting. It was on the energy issue. And obviously Condit, they wanted to talk to him because he's one the moderates.

KING: Let me bring Katrina back to the case. Katrina, on the case at hand?

VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes, I heard energy issues, policy, policy.

KING: Always "The Nation".

VANDEN HEUVEL: May I suggest? We live in United States of America last I heard about it, where we have a constitution, a bill of rights, and a person is innocent until proven guilty. Condit...

GERAGOS: Not on this show.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Condit is a creep, Condit's behavior has been creepy, but what right does the press have to be judge and jury until he is there hard evidence that he committed a crime? Shouldn't his status be left to law enforcement authorities, to his constituents, and perhaps a House Ethics committee? But I mean...

KING: Katrina, does it bother you as a journalist, though, that he apparently, if not involved, appears not only not to want to deal with media, but not to be, nightly concerned about the whereabouts of his friend?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think this is a personal tragedy for the Levy family. I think the way Condit has handled this has been a disaster and has been -- I mean it shows a lack of compassion of enormous magnitude, but that does not mean he has committed a crime. There is a distinction.

KING: All right. Now isn't that another good point? Barbara, now we'll go around. Barbara, is that is not a good point? You can tell all these damaging things, but you don't have that he committed a crime?

OLSON: You don't. Obviously, he would be indicted and we would not be talking about it.

KING: All right, so...

OLSON: But what do you have is someone you cannot explain why he would act that way if he's innocent, but you can explain why he would act that way if he's not innocent.

GERAGOS: Well, Barbara, that's just isn't true, because that just -- exactly what Katrina pointed out, you completely eliminated the bill of rights and the constitution if you say that there's one you're supposed to act if you're innocent or if you are guilty. You have a right. OLSON: It's common sense, Mark.

GERAGOS: No, Barbara, there are rights.


GERAGOS: There are rights that you have as a human being here in the United States. And those rights involve the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, things that he's exercising in this case. He's got five people on the show in the last two days, who have accused him of being a murder suspect.

DEPAULO: Where is the right to lie?

KING: One at a time, Lisa?

DEPAULO: Mark, where is the right to lie?

GERAGOS: There is no right to lie. And if he had lied, Lisa, you know, as well as I do that if he lied. that's a crime. And they could have indicted him, and they haven't. So don't keep saying that.

DEPAULO: Well, Mark, you know what the problem is? The lies have come from his staff. We don't know that he's lied to the police...

GERAGOS: But that's not a crime.

DEPAULO: ... no, we're not saying...

GERAGOS: That's not a crime.

DEPAULO: Mark, this is how...

GERAGOS: I'm just responding to Lisa.

OLSON:; This is how prosecutors build a case. And this basically what we're doing, we're looking at evidence. We're looking at his actions. We're trying to see if he is suspect.

GERAGOS: Right, and as a prosecutor...

OLSON: And he is acting like someone who has something to hide.

KING: Is it...

GERAGOS: And as a prosecutor, you know that this is no case -- there's no case here so far of obstruction. There's no case here of perjury. There's no case here of anything revolving...

OLSON: Mark, he was drawing up affidavits for women to sign.

GERAGOS: The affidavit is...

KING: One at a time, please. GERAGOS: you know, the affidavit had nothing to do with the governmental investigation. It had to with "Star" Magazine. That's not...

DEPAULO: No, you are wrong, Mark. And you have done this before. And you are so wrong. KING: Why is he wrong? Hold it, why is he wrong?

DEPAULO: Because, that affidavit was drafted on June 15th. And do you know what happened on June 14th? That was when the Levys went on national television, distraught, begging Condit to help them. And the day after. he's drawn up affidavits? That was after "The Star" came out.

KING: Is it possible -- now hold.

GERAGOS: You are so wrong, Lisa. No, she's just wrong on the facts.

DEPAULO: Look at date on the affidavit. Look at date on affidavit.

GERAGOS: It was provided by Cotchett's office. It was provided specifically for a civil lawsuit. It had nothing to do with law enforcement.

DEPAULO: They released the affidavit.

GERAGOS: It had nothing to do with law enforcement.

KING: Hold on.

DEPAULO: Larry, you asked about...

KING: Try to get a word in, please. When everybody jumps in...

DEPAULO: Next, time, I'll bring it.

KING: OK, I have to get some more. Yes, go ahead.

VANDEN HEUVEL: You asked you asked about Condit's behavior. I'll tell you I think Condit's behavior combined with the media feeding frenzy, and one has to make a distinction between the two, though they're symbiotic, I think what it's done this summer has really compounded the cynicism Americans feel about Washington, D.C. and the media. And I think that's a very dangerous fallout from this affair.

KING: Yes, Nancy, it is true, is it not, that maybe is this possible? Maybe what you're doing here, police are doing. Maybe they are investigating Condit. Maybe they know things you don't know.

GRACE: Very possible. And we keep hearing about the bill of rights and the presumption of innocence. I'm all for it. That is in the constitution...

GERAGOS: Yes, you look like you're all for it.

GRACE: ...but right now we are, if I could just finish, right now we're not in the courtroom. We are doing what police and others are doing, putting together, logically what we know.

KING: We're speculating.

GRACE: And as far as a crime goes, I don't care what that affidavit was for, the bottom of every affidavit it says "I hearby swear under penalty of oath." And I don't care if for Globe Magazine or what. That was a false affidavit.

GERAGOS: It does not -- it's not a crime.

GRACE: And Condit was seen throwing out evidence. And that is a crime.

GERAGOS: You know as well as I, it's not a crime.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll be right back, folks. Don't go away.


ANNE MARIE SMITH, FLIGHT ATTENDANT: We were talking about some way to come up, some way to deny or to you know, keep the story from being printed because, I mean, obviously I didn't want it to come out. And he didn't want it to embarrass him. And so my attorney asked me if there was any truth in it. And I said yes. There is truth in it. And he said well, then we can't keep it from being printed.

KING: So he wanted to you sign an affidavit that it was not true?

SMITH: That's correct.



KING: Barbara Olson, we learn anything from the web sites released today, other than the fact that Chandra likes Baskin Robbins?

OLSON: Well, it's interesting. I was looking -- you know, they said her travel plans. I thought that was interesting. Southwest Airlines, seems like they do fly not into San Francisco but Oakland. And then I looked at Amtrak. I thought, well, she wouldn't be going from Washington to Modesto Amtrak. But if you flew into Oakland, you could take a train down.

KING: Yes.

OLSON: The problem is, that doesn't seem like the kind of travel she would take to go back home to see her parents. She would fly closer in. So I don't know what other travel sites she was looking at. I'm sure they see -- they know the exact location for Amtrak that she was looking at. Was it to meet someone, to see someone?

And then the search engines, they've being very vague. As you know or anyone who surfs the Internet, the search engines usually are to find someone specifically or something specifically. So there is a lot of information that the police have. Let's hope they're leads and either they exonerate, Mark -- as Mark would like to us to say, Gary Condit or they inculpate him. And maybe Mr. Condit will tell us some more.

KING: What happens to the family, Mark, when Chief Ramsey says he that has two theories. Either she's missing of her own accord or has fallen victim to foul play. They've kind of eliminated suicide. And he says "fairly significant chance she'll never be found."

GERAGOS: Yes, I know.

KING: Could this be unsolved crime?

GERAGOS: Well, I just don't think, given the amount of attention and media scrutiny on this and the fascination that it's going to be unsolved, I certainly hope it's not a crime. You certainly hope that they find her. Just as an aside, Lisa, I hope you saw the tape of Anna Marie Smith there that they rolled at the break. She didn't want the story to be printed. So that should be defense exhibit A.

DEPAULO: There are two stories, Mark.

GERAGOS: To put to bed your little, your story there.

KING: All right, let her respond, Mark.

DEPAULO: Mark, Mark, Mark, Mark...

GERAGOS: Hopefully, the rest of your "Talk" Magazine article's a little bit more factually accurate than what you've been saying here on the show.

DEPAULO: Oh, I can't wait to come back here with this for you.

GERAGOS: And I can't wait to see it.

KING: Let her respond.

DEPAULO: Mark, there are two "Star" stories. The first was a story that her roommates or sold to "The Star," about they called her Mary I think in piece. And that was first piece. And that was the thing that raised all the big red flags. And at the time of this affidavit, it was written at the time of the second piece, but the first piece was already out.

GERAGOS: Right, and the second piece was going to be where it identified her. And she didn't want to be identified. And you can file a false affidavit all want you to try and get "The Star" not to print a story. And that's not a crime. It never has been.

DEPAULO: You're missing, the most... GERAGOS: I don't need to know the moral implications.

KING: All right, he's saying simply, he's saying, girls -- ladies..

GERAGOS: I'm just saying it's not a crime.

KING: He's saying it's not a crime to file false affidavit to a tabloid.

OLSON: You know what Mark's doing? He's doing a great job as a criminal defense attorney. What he is ignoring is the fact that Anna Marie Smith says Gary Condit called her, asked her sign this affidavit, after it's clear that it was going to go somewhere, it was going to be used...

GERAGOS: Barbara, and you know as well as I do...

OLSON: Told her he didn't think it was going to trial.

GERAGOS: He could tell her to sign it. And if she signed it...

OLSON: And it was a lie.

GERAGOS: And it went to "The Star" and was a lie, it doesn't matter. It's not obstruction.

OLSON: You're right, Mark but...

GERAGOS; If the affidavit was used to thwart a government or criminal investigation, it is a crime. But it was not.

OLSON: That's right. And why would he tell her this won't go to trial? Obviously, this is what the prosecutors are looking at, was he aiming this affidavit for legal purposes by the fact that he told Anne Marie...

KING: Yes, well, let me get a break and we'll come right back. We'll try to get everybody in here. And, we will remember Katrina who will also come back. Don't go away.


SMITH: I wanted to keep it out of the newspapers. I wanted to keep it away from the media. And I talked to my attorney. And he said, "Well, since there's truth in story, there's no way we can go up against them and you cannot sign that document. He said there's absolutely no way. And I kept getting phone calls urging me to sign it. And I would defer to it my attorney. And Mr. Condit asked me, "Well, I don't -- you know, he's hesitating about you signing that. I don't understand why." And if I hadn't had an attorney, I probably would have signed it.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Let's take a call. Victoria, British Columbia. hello.

VICTORIA, CALLER: Hi. Well, is there a specific length of time during which nothing is found in this case, and that's not made -- well happens, that sooner or later, this search will be called off? And if that happens, who will make that decision, the Washington police or the FBI?

KING: Who would know about that? Mark, would you know who makes decision to...

GERAGOS: Well, the decision right now, they've got both the D.C. police and the FBI are involved. They brought in a specific unit from the FBI that specializes in these kinds of matters. So they can make it either separately, jointly, or they could decide to take a parallel track.

OLSON: And this investigation is being headed up by the U.S. Attorney's office, since D.C. doesn't have a local D.A. So you have two federal prosecutors in charge of this investigation.

KING: Well, I mean you were a prosecutor. When does it run out? I mean, you can't search forever. You don't have resources. You can't...

GERAGOS: Well, the interesting...

KING: ...are you going to be searching in October?

OLSON: But Larry, it's odd. Why did they go back again to park? This is interesting. You know, we've watched them for several days, cover the Rock Creek Park. And they going back for more and more, which tells me they're getting something through either her web site or information to make keep come back.

KING: Katrina, with all our understanding of the bill of rights and overemphasis on this, Katrina though, is this a case that's beginning to be, it looks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, it walks like duck, it might be a duck?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I don't know what sounds or quacks or looks like duck, Larry. I mean, I think -- you know, there is a purpose.

KING: I mean it is strange, isn't it?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I mean there's a purpose in holding a lawmaker accountable. But...

KING: Right.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I was saying, you know, so much of this media coverage is not about producing good government and it's not in some ways about, you know providing, a way -- to.

KING: Producing good government isn't the only role of media. VANDEN HEUVEL: Yes, but I'm saying, it's not even really about helping Chandra Levy's parents or helping other parents of women who have disappeared or either about finding Chandra Levy. It's about "lowdown." I mean, there's a titillating quality to so much of the coverage.

KING: All right. Now would you admit that...I'm sorry. go ahead, finish.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But I mean, I was going to say one other -- I mean it may be too grand a point, but I mean each society, each civilization has a drama or tragedy that in a way reflects the moment, a country is in. And the way the media is covering this in the sort of first year of the Bush administration, I think says a lot about the soul, the culture of this country in the media at this time.

KING: Now, Laura, isn't --Lisa, isn't it true that this is a juicy story for you?

DEPAULO: Look...

KING: Come on, it's a juicy story? It's a better story for you than campaign finance?

DEPAULO: Absolutely, oh, you bet. But, I also think the media has been incredible on this story, I think they have been stellar.

KING: And whole point it may turn out to be stellar, it may help missing persons.


KING: But its purpose is to titillate.

DEPAULO: But I also...

KING: True or not?

DEPAULO: No. In fact, I think if Gary Condit on May 11 had told that truth, we may have all moved on by now.

GRACE: I think that it's a lot bigger than that. Of course, they want media to focus on good government. But contrary to what Katrina was saying. if you ask the Levys tonight whether they want this continued coverage, I would bet my bottom dollar they'd say yes. And victims across this country would agree. You have to be victim of violent crime yourself to understand that very often such crimes are only solved by media attention. And I'm glad media is pursuing this.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But Nancy, I would agree that there was early stage where the media played an important role in pushing Condit to reveal certain things. And it's outrageous that he didn't earlier. But at this stage, it's not playing that role you. Would agree? I mean.

GRACE: No. I disagree. If the media had not let up, we would never have been inside Condit's apartment. We would never know about the other evidence he's thrown out in trash. We would never have gotten the polygraph not for what good it is. And I think as long as the media stays on him, there's a chance we may find out about her last hours, last known hours.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll come back. I'll reintroduce the panel, take some more phone calls. Radio talk show hosts still to come. Don't go away.



SUSAN LEVY, CHANDRA LEVY'S MOTHER: We miss our daughter terribly. We want her back home alive. We appreciate all the help we can get. Including from, Mr. congressman, who said to me, that he would help me he would do anything to help me at the Jefferson hotel, and that's all I can say.



KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE. Let's meet the panel again. They are: in Washington, Lisa DePaulo, the contributing writer of "Talk" magazine, her big story comes out August 3. In Ellison Bay, Wisconsin, Barbara Olson, former federal prosecutor and best-selling author. In Los Angeles, Mark Geragos, defense attorney, his clients have included Roger Clinton and Susan McDougal. In Washington, Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor and host of "Trial Heat" on Court TV. And in New York, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, the editor of "The Nation."

Are the police coming in for criticism in your article, Lisa?


KING: They are?

DEPAULO: Yes. It took quit a little while there for them to take the Levys seriously when they were in Modesto frantic and calling the D.C. police and their congressman.

KING: Was that because Congress -- congressional clout, do you think?

DEPAULO: Oh, I think it was, first of all, it was a combination of Gary Condit saying, you know, making a few phone calls, and I think also, to his credit -- to his credit...


DEPAULO: Mark, you are not listening, I'm not talking about...


GERAGOS: Making a few phone calls to the police to tell them don't take this seriously, is that what you are suggesting?

DEPAULO: No, telling them to take it seriously, Mark. Can I finish the sentence?


KING: Let's make it clear, OK, Mark. Yes.

DEPAULO: Gary Condit did, in fact, on Monday, absolutely told -- and called and asked the police to please help after the Levys called him distraught and hysterical, but it took a combination of that and the media before it was really taken seriously.

KING: And Mark, should he be more concerned now?

GERAGOS: Look, what he has done was to early on focus attention on this thing and the police -- you can't criticize the police, given the number of cases that they have to deal with, given the violent crime in D.C., and given the number of missing persons, they don't have the resources to focus on cases like this under any circumstances.

GRACE: Mark...


GRACE: ... let the cat out of the bag, you have been having an affair with a young girl behind his wife's back!

GERAGOS: And what does that have to do with anything?

GRACE: ... then he cooperated, he didn't do that on his own, he did it because he had to.

GERAGOS: Well, your seat mate there said that he called the police immediately to get -- when the Levys were distraught...


DEPAULO: I'm giving you one there, Mark. He did something really nice that Monday, he called the cops.


KING: What would have been nicer?

GERAGOS: What would have been nicer?

DEPAULO: Why didn't Gary Condit report her missing? They talked every day. Why didn't he notice that she was missing?

GERAGOS: Well, let me ask you one thing: why did her mother say that she didn't know what her travel or arrangements were, or how she was getting back? I think that is a bigger question to ask -- and what Barbara was saying before...

DEPAULO: I can answer that question for you.

GERAGOS: ... that they've been checking out the travel and the Web site...


DEPAULO: I can answer that question.


KING: Lisa knows the answer -- hold it! What's the answer, and then we're going to get another -- what's the answer, Lisa?

DEPAULO: The answer is that her graduation was May 11, and she wasn't sure what she was -- what day she was going to go home, she did not expect to lose her job on the 23rd of April.

KING: I see.

Walnut Creek, California, hello.

CALLER: I would like to ask the ladies on the panel: they keep referring to the fact Condit took so long to reveal his information, but don't question the fact that it took the aunt so long and such a delay in coming forward.

KING: Is that a good point, Barbara?

OLSON: Well, the aunt -- you mean Chandra's aunt?

KING: Yeah.

OLSON: Well, Chandra's aunt, it's interesting, the information came forward a while later, but it did not to the family -- I mean, one has to assume the aunt talked to the family. I think what's been going on, and this plays a little bit into what we were talking about the D.C. police.

The D.C. police, I think, has been using Gary Condit back and forth a bit like a ping-pong ball. They interviewed him, and then the information comes out. And so, I think what they are doing is they are going to Gary Condit not wanting information to come out, the information then comes out, and if Gary Condit is innocent, he is fine. He says, no big deal.

If he is not innocent, this starts scaring him, because he then finds out they know a lot more information than I know. Right now, these Web sites, the police is letting some out, they would like the public to help. They are holding some back. If indeed Gary Condit has information, he has to be worried, he has got to be scared. If he is innocent...

GRACE: Another issue, Barbara, is that we don't know when the aunt first told the Levy family or the police. We just know when it became public to us. The police had already approached Condit before we finally found out through aunt Linda... (CROSSTALK)

KING: One at a time, one at a time.

OLSON: I was just going to say what's so interesting -- oh, I'm sorry -- I was just going to say what's so interesting about that, is that it was...


KING: Hold on, hold on, hold on, Mark. Barbara finish, then Mark.

OLSON: OK. I was just going to say what's so interesting about the fact that the aunt's information came out, it was right after the interview of Gary Condit, which makes me think it was a planned leak of information to what prosecutors do and the police do to squeeze the witness.


GERAGOS: I think the aunt's information came out after the Levys had been out there at least publicly stating that they wanted to know more about what the relationship was about. I don't think that Mrs. Levy for a second knew what the aunt's information was.

DEPAULO: Yes, she did.

KING: You don't think she'd hold it, Lisa?

DEPAULO: She did -- yes.

KING: That will be in your story?

DEPAULO: Yes and I also -- it's -- what's important is that, you know, the Levys were told by the police from the very beginning -- and the police have done an amazing job at what you were just talking about, which is ask him first when you have the information, see if he tells you the truth and then put it out there. But the Levys were told from the very beginning, and so was Linda Zamsky.

KING: They were?

DEPAULO: Keep this, keep a lid on this, let us do our job.

KING: Let me get a break and come back with some more moments with our panel, and then we will meet our talk show hosts. This is LARRY KING LIVE, don't go away.


RAMSEY: People don't have to submit to that. The congressman has submitted to a DNA sample, he did submit to a search of his home. He took a polygraph, albeit not one that we were particularly pleased with the process that he used, but he did take one. So, again, I think that a lot of the focus is very narrowly on one individual, when our focus is much broader than one individual or one aspect of a particular investigation.



KING: Katrina, is it hopeful that of the 5,000 missing persons reported last year in Washington, the D.C. police resolved all but 130?

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think it's hopeful. And I think that the more attention that this case brings to the plight of, you know, women, people who disappear, it is very important. And that gives some perspective to the story and, you know, some broader perspective.

KING: And Barbara, the average missing person is found in two and a half days.

OLSON: Right. The problem is usually missing persons are found because they just they -- they go away and don't tell anyone, it's also part of the reason the police unfortunately don't jump on missing person cases.

Most of them are solved. The person comes back, something or else something instantly has happened -- if it's been a crime, the body is instantly found, and that is what makes this so tragic. Nobody and no recognizable suspects, except for Gary Condit right now.

KING: Mark, how long does the story go?

GERAGOS: Well, I'll tell you, the story is going to go for -- until something happens or some other story eclipses it, because this vanishing without a trace intrigues people. It provides for this endless speculation that everyone is engaging in, because there is -- there are so many different possibilities that you can construct and you can theorize or speculate about. So, until something else comes along that is going to eclipse it, or some significant turn in this story, it has got some legs.

KING: You told us the other night about gut and your gut instinct. Does your gut tell you something is going to be solved?

GRACE: You know, it does, it really does. But sometimes, Larry, I think maybe it is my heart speaking because when I see Susan Levy come out, and she looks so worn down, and so tired, my heart goes out to her and I want an answer. I want her back alive, but even in the alternative, if they could just find her body.

KING: Lisa, do you think the congressman is going to come forward?

DEPAULO: I think we are going to have to drag him out. I hope...

KING: Congress goes out of session for the summer, it's supposed to go August 1. DEPAULO: Now the daily of him down the sidewalk, is just fantastic but, you know, there is so much he should have said from beginning, and also, this is his constituent, in addition to his lover. The Levys are his constituents.

KING: Thank you all very much and we will be seeing you all next week. They will be back. Lisa DePaulo, Barbara Olson, Mark Geragos, Nancy Grace, and Katrina Vanden Heuvel. We thank them all very much.

When we come back Janet Parshall, Jim Bohannon, and Ronn Owens. Three of the top radio talk show hosts in America, will give us their reaction and their listeners's reaction to all of this. Don't go away.


SUSAN LEVY, CHANDRA LEVY'S MOTHER: We do want our privacy. We need our privacy. I hope you will honor that. And we will not be commenting, any comments, any press this whole weekend. And I hope you will give the courtesy to honor our privacy and not to follow us.



KING: By the way, there will be a half hour special following this program on the total investigation of this affair. We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, Janet Parshall here In Washington, she is a radio talk show host, the host of Janet Parshall's America.

Also in Washington. Jim Bohannon hosts the "Jim Bohannon Show" syndicated on Westwood One. And joining us from San Francisco, the very popular Ronn Owens, host of his own "Ronn Owens program" on KGO San Francisco.

Ladies first, what has been the reaction? Has it been heavy?

JANET PARSHALL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, it has been. And it has been a split reaction. In fact, I listened very intently today and I have some callers who say don't judge him, just leave him alone, let him to do this own thing. But then I got a very interesting call from a police officer in the state of Michigan who said, you know I put on that uniform and I'm expected to conduct myself in a particular way, and it's supposed to be reflective of the office that I hold.

So let me ask you a question, I said if your police chief were involved in adultery, no missing person, no alleged murder here, just a missing person. What would your police chief be forced to do? He said, oh, man, he would have to step down like that. He said everybody in the community would ask it for would it and it would be expected because he broke trust with the American people.

KING: Jim what are you hearing?

JIM BOHANNON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I am a lot of conspiracy theories, Larry, as you might expect, with the gross national cynicism being what it is, and things such as she's disappeared to try and get back at him, she's disappeared to have his baby. The usual sort of things.

KING: A lot of speculation.

BOHANNON: A lot of speculation, and a general feeling that there all sleaze balls, meaning public officials, therefore he is tarred by that.

KING: And Ronn Owens, what about in the very sophisticated San Francisco, how do they look upon this?

RONN OWENS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I jump on the Jimline. As far as sleaze balls are concerned, not all of them. We are talking about one person. We are saying that Condit is coming off sleazy, he's coming off slimy, he is coming off smarmy; like every s-word except sincere. And I think the focus has to continue to be back on Chandra Levy and the missing person. That is the key. That is the whole key to this.

KING: Is it a problem, Janet, as someone who supports the Constitution, to the point now where we are presuming guilt here?

PARSHALL: You know...

KING: Does that bother you?

PARSHALL: It does, it does and I have to tell you that that's why I have been very judicious the way I have talked about this on the radio program. because far beyond this issue, one has to subscribe to the belief, because it applies to all of us until in this country that you are innocent until proven guilty. But let me tell you what; Congressman Condit hasn't done a whole lot to foster that idea.

When the man waits as long as he did when -- now we get the news report that he is acting mysteriously, dumping things in trash cans in Northern Virginia, when he's trying to get people to sign false documents, got to tell you, you know you used the analogy before about duck.

I got to tell you there's a lot of walking and squawking here that is not helping people hang on to that principle.

KING: Jim, isn't he contributing to his own dilemma?

BOHANNON: He is contributing to his own dilemma. Especially of course the terrible irony of his statement about letting things drip, drip, drip out when he was giving advice to Clinton during the impeachment scandal, but keep in mind that we do not indict, we do not convict, we do not deprive people of their personal freedom, or their money, or maybe even their life. Courts do that.

And the media does not have to be held to the absolute standard of innocent until proven guilty any more than people around a water cooler have to be.

KING: Is it true that talk shows, Ronn, in fact, love this?

OWENS: Yes, honestly, sure. Of course we love this. It's something to focus on, it's something that everybody can have an opinion on. But I go along with Janet. Whether this guy is guilty or not, I haven't a clue. It is just the way this guy is acting. You say to yourself, what is he hiding? What is there to hide at this point? What, are we going to find out he had affairs? Duh, we know that. Does it make a difference if it's six or seven? Who knows?

Yeah, of course there is a titillating aspect to this, and yeah, talk shows love this.

KING: Do you say no, Jim? Were you saying no?

BOHANNON: What, that the talk shows don't love it? No, I wasn't saying no. Talk shows eat this stuff up. That's the reason why we covered this case because it involves sex and power as opposed to the thousands of other missing persons that have been reported since last April. Because we covered O.J. case, because there were many other multiple murders, but only one guy was accused who had a Heisman Trophy. We go after celebrity, sex, power. This case has all of that.

KING: What percentage of your calls, Janet, dealt with Bush in Europe today?

PARSHALL: Do you know, in fact, I am so glad that Jim brought that up because that is what I have been struggling to do since this case broke, is really work for balance. Huge issue in the House yesterday. They voted on H.R. 7. That was the first time they voted on the president's faith-based initiative on the House side. The president going over...

KING: Wide disagreement in conservative circles, in religious circles.

PARSHALL: Exactly. It was a huge story. The fact that we are waiting for the president.

KING: Did you get a lot of calls on it?

PARSHALL: A huge number of calls on that.

KING: You did?


KING: But you focused it.

PARSHALL: We did, because we made it that. But by the same token the point was made here tonight and I think it's a great point, that the press is to be commended because I will tell you what, as a parent, if one of my children were missing I would be so thankful that the press would be hammering this because it keeps the focus on my missing daughter.

KING: Do you agree, Ronn?

OWENS: Yes, I agree, but look, let's understand something. Talk shows are like water coolers. What are you talking about? Nobody at the water cooler is talking about Bush in Europe. Everybody is talking about Gary Condit, so that is what we reflect. There are so many angles. It's like what Jim was talking about too. So many angles to this.

You talk about celebrities and the way they're treated by the police. You talk about so-called sex addiction. Is this guy a sex addict? There is so many different ways of approaching it, so many different theories that of course, this is just a natural. This is what people want to talk about.

KING: Does it also add, Jim to the cynicism about Washington "they all do it?"

BOHANNON: Absolutely, yeah. I made that reference earlier. Obviously I wasn't saying that in fact, quote, "they do all do it."

KING: The public perception.

BOHANNON: The public reception. It's always been that way. We talk about our dearth of statesmen but we never had statesmen when they were alive. Lincoln was derided as a baboon when he was in office. George Washington was called a traitor to the American Revolution. We hate them as long as they are alive. Once they are six feet under then they are statesmen.

KING: Janet, how long does this run?

PARSHALL: I heard you ask that question earlier, Larry, and I have to tell you, I don't think there is going to be, as we say in music, a double barline. I don't know that there will be a definitive end certainly not for the Levys if there's no body, they've never discovered.

KING: There may not be.

PARSHALL: Exactly. But I have to tell you that if Condit himself doesn't say, you know what, I have obstructed, I have been slow, I have not cooperated with the family, I have certainly not been about my constituents' business the last 80 plus days, if doesn't do that on his own, then from now until time his term ends there will always be a cloud of suspicion hanging over his head, so I don't think there is a clear ending.

KING: Ronn, his district is not far from you, right?

OWENS: Right.

KING: Has he ever been on your show?

OWENS: I have never met the man, I've never talked to the man. I have never even heard this guy. I don't know anything about him other than I cannot imagine anybody handling anything worse. It was Laura Ingraham on LARRY KING LIVE last night who had a great point and that is he is handling this thing absolutely perfectly if he is guilty of something.

If not, this guy has got to be getting the worst advice I've ever seen in my life.

KING: So what is it, the "let's get more people to disbelieve me every day"?

BOHANNON: Well, yes, he's handling it perfectly if (a) he's guilty and (b) he wishes to prove that point.

KING: Mike, you don't think so? What?

BOHANNON: What this guy needs to do, and what all people need to do in cases like this is get out in front of the story.

KING: You have to.

BOHANNON: If there's anything, you reveal it. And once you reveal it, then you look better.

KING: No comment don't work anymore.

PARSHALL: Well, and I got to tell you, the "Roll Call" paper came out this week and it said that some of his in his own party are basically saying, you're messing up the work of the party here. You may have to step aside because you're now an obstruction to the work we want to do. And not only that, but one paper this week quoted here in Washington that he said: "Ah, this is going to blow over and everybody is going to forgot about it," The cockiness is a little bit suspect.

BOHANNON: He doesn't plan to resign, though, and he has been reelected by huge margins. I'm not sure he would be an underdog if he runs again.

KING: Really.

BOHANNON: He won in the last three races by 67, 87 and 66 percent. He can take a 15-point hit and still squeak out a victory.

KING: He's a conservative Democrat.


KING: We'll be right back with our remaining moments and more of our panel. Following this program, a special on all of this and tomorrow night, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Sunday night, a tribute to the late Kay Graham, with highlights of past interviews from this program. We'll be right back.


RAMSEY: We still don't know whether or not she met with foul play or whether or not she's missing on her own accord. But I think that as time goes on, of course, we become more and more concerned, that perhaps a point may come where we just don't find her at all. It's an unfortunate fact that there are a large number of people in our country that are missing that are not found. But we're still optimistic that we will be able to find her.



KING: OK, Ronn Owens, we know what the water cooler people are saying. What do you think? What do you think the scenario is here?

OWENS: Oh, you mean in terms of what actually happened?

KING: Yes, do you have a supposition?

OWENS: My supposition is, if I had to put my money down, no, I don't think he had anything specifically to do with it. I don't think he, individually, had anything to do/ Maybe he knew something. He seems to know something.

I've just steered away from that, Larry. My whole point is to try and keep the focus on this case. My theory is that what he wants to do is get to the point where people just start to get sick of the story, and all of a sudden the light is no longer focused on him, and as a consequence of that, he just kind of slithers through. And I don't want to see that happen. That's what I'm doing.

KING: Jim, you have thoughts?

BOHANNON: I do have thoughts. It certainly could be a random act of violence, but there are so many things that were happening unusual in her life. And certainly, having this relationship with a congressman was an unusual thing. I think you've got to put him at the top of the list of possible suspects. Possible, nothing confirmed yet, but definitely at the top of the list.

KING: Would you go as far as Nancy went earlier, to say there is a crime? This is a crime?

BOHANNON: I don't see how she could have disappeared for this long. I mean, she's a young woman, very focused, had a career in mind. She had a lot of plans. No, she didn't just disappear. There's a crime.

KING: Janet, do you have a theory?

PARSHALL: I do. I think that what we're going to see in the next few days, and one of the reasons why I think he's been so quiet is because I think he may have been engaging in some rather questionable sexual behavior. And I think that the business with the ties under the bed, the closet where the contents are being told...

KING: Doesn't make you a killer, though.

PARSHALL: No, it doesn't, but there could have been a crime in the heat of passion here, with a whole new spin on that phrase, and that may be why the quiet part. I don't know. I mean, there's a million theories here.

But what we do know is what we can deal with forthrightly, and that is, if you're not guilty, then don't act like that. The first standard in the House Ethics Manual is everything you do as a member has to reflect on the credibility and the credulity of the House of Representatives, and you're not doing that. And that's why, while they've deferred right now, they may go back and look at him and say bad rep for the House of Reps.

KING: The story have longer legs, Jim?

BOHANNON: Certainly, the Chandra Levy part does not have long legs. Something has to come out of that or it's going to fade away. But the Condit story has legs all the way through November of 2002.

PARSHALL: That's right.

BOHANNON: And something else -- is he going to have a district left? Will the California redistricting...

KING: Yeah, what are they going to do there, Ronn? Are they going to redistrict that whole place?

OWENS: That's a good possibility. They'll just kind of carve around it and that way he's just eked out. I mean, don't forget, the Democrats aren't that crazy about this guy, anyway. He's one of the handful of Democrats who voted for the faith-based initiative. So realistically, it's not that big a loss. Right now this guy is albatross for the Democrats. No question.

KING: And he goes to Bible school. Janet, does that embarrass you, as we know how believing you are?

PARSHALL: Well, I have to tell you, Larry, it's such a profound reminder of the truth of the scriptures, that said all have sinned and fallen short of the mercy of God. We're all in need of redemption, including Congressman Condit.

KING: How does he get away with living in this vacuum? I mean, he goes to committee meetings. What does he do? What is he doing tonight?

BOHANNON: I don't know.

KING: I mean, what kind of life is this?

BOHANNON: Well, obviously he has to be in seclusion at this stage of the game. This man cannot appear anywhere without being spotted.

KING: Right. So he can't go out to eat.


KING: OK. So he goes to his Congress, goes to his office, goes home.

BOHANNON: That's it.

KING: Watches shows, does he watch other shows?

BOHANNON: He may be watching us right now, but he's not going out.

PARSHALL: And he didn't go back to the district on the 4th of July, which is exactly why, if you're one of his constituents, it's like, sir, you're not representing me. You're no longer my public servant. You are being held hostage, probably by your own calling.

KING: Thank you all very much. Ronn, always good to see you.

OWENS: Great, Larry, thanks.

KING: Ronn Owens, one of the best. Jim Bohannon, from the top talkers and Janet Parshall with a voice all her own. Janet Parshall, Jim Bohannon and Ronn Owens, top radio talk show hosts. We thank them for being with us.

We remind you that tomorrow night Catherine Zeta-Jones is our special guest. And on Sunday night, a tribute to Kay Graham. One of our guests on Monday night will be Bob Jones, of Bob Jones University,

Stay tuned now for a special investigative report, a half-hour look at this whole story from beginning to now. It's covered by CNN's crack reportorial team. We thank you very much for joining us. From Washington, I'm Larry King. For all of our guests, good night.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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