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CNN BURDEN OF PROOF

Search Continues For Missing Intern

Aired July 24, 2001 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROGER COSSACK, CO-HOST: Today on BURDEN OF PROOF: The parents of Chandra Levy release new pictures of the missing intern and we hear her voice for the first time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHANDRA LEVY, MISSING INTERN: Honest to God, I don't know where they have their meetings. I'm not on campus that often to know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

LEVY: And I just don't really have the -- kind of the time. I mean I do...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSSACK: Her parents urge Congressman Gary Condit to -- quote -- "Tell everything he knows and just tell the truth."

ANNOUNCER: This is BURDEN OF PROOF, with Roger Cossack and Greta Van Susteren.

COSSACK: Hello and welcome to BURDEN OF PROOF.

Twenty-seven year old Amy Bradley mysteriously disappeared from a cruise ship on March 24, 1998 and today her family speaks to BURDEN OF PROOF.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, CO-HOST: But first, just hours ago the Levy family released videotape of their daughter, Chandra, and we hear her voice for the very first time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, very wealthy people, you know, Jewish people in school.

LEVY: I haven't gotten met yet. Honest to God, I don't know where they have their meetings.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

LEVY: I'm not on campus that often to know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

LEVY: And I just don't really have the time...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSSACK: Joining us today to discuss this investigation are, from New York, criminal defense attorney Gerry Lefcourt and here in Washington Christiana Oliveira. Bill Ritchie, the former chief of detectives for the D.C. Police Department and Rekha Matchanickal (ph). I guess I said it right.

REKHA MATCHANICKAL (PH): Good job.

COSSACK: Bill, let's go right to you and start. Let's talk about the evidence that has come up with -- in the Chandra Levy case and let's sort of review it a little bit, as we go back over it.

First of all, there's been this notion of the watch box that was found recently, the allegations that the congressman tried to discard this as evidence that might be found during the search of his apartment. What do you make of that?

WILLIAM RITCHIE, FORMER D.C. CHIEF OF DETECTIVES: Well, I don't think the watch box has any significance to this particular case. But it may show a predisposition on his part to have disposed of evidence earlier before the police department were able to get into his apartment. Consequently, if they are able to interview him again, if they are able to conduct their own polygraph examination, I would surely ask the question -- Mr. Condit, did you destroy or remove from your apartment any items of potential evidentiary value.

COSSACK: Let me just follow-up one question with that. You brought up a really interesting point, the notion of if they are able to interview him again. OK, fourth time interview, what does that mean? I mean does that mean that the police are developing more and more leads and they have to continue to keep going back to him? And does that -- can we draw anything out from that, from the fact that they keep going back to him?

RITCHIE: Well, I think that the original ploy by Mr. Condit's attorney to do the outside polygraph has really backfired in the eyes of the public. I know, having spoken with individuals who were privy to the third interview, that Mr. Condit apparently did not answer all the questions on the advice of his attorney. The police department obviously obtained the information that he had a relationship but it is my understanding that there were still some questions -- and I don't know the specific questions -- that his attorney advised that he not answer.

VAN SUSTEREN: Gerry, how much do think that Gary Condit's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, wants to clobber his client for running out to northern Virginia and getting rid of a watch box just hours before the police descend upon his apartment to do a so-called voluntary-consent search?

GERRY LEFCOURT, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I am sure it's a very frustrating event. But, you know, that watch box, as I agree with what was just been said, has really nothing to do with Chandra Levy. It may have something else to do with somebody else and there may be reasons why people like privacy.

But look, you know, this whole thing is getting ridiculous. I've never seen a defense lawyer provide more to police, three interviews, a fourth one coming, a polygraph, you know. And that upsets me because I have watched I don't know how many polygraphs. They are done by people in the same way, they ask specific questions and they want to test answers to specific questions. Not only is this person, who gave him the polygraph, somebody the FBI relies on, he's got 35 years of expertise and everybody thinks the world of him. Not only that they've allowed interviews of staff, searches of cars, the house, DNA evidence, his wife. He's got alibis. He's with the vice president of the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me stop. Let me start...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me start going through your list. First of all, I will give high marks to Abbe Lowell. Unfortunately, I think Abbe Lowell has got a huge problem. It's called his client, who has now added to all the problems by looking deceitful and putting mystery. So now, the police want to talk a fourth time.

Let me challenge you, Gerry, on this alibi business. In order for the alibi that Gary Condit -- being with the vice president to have any sort of value or weight at all, we have to know when it is that Chandra Levy disappeared. Can you say -- I mean can -- frankly, I have not been able to sort of coincide this? I have no idea when Chandra Levy disappeared. I'm troubled by that...

LEFCOURT: Well, it started that...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... so-called alibi.

LEFCOURT: You know my understanding, from the same sources that you have, is that she was finishing her Web activity at or around the time that he was meeting with the vice president.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's right.

(CROSSTALK)

COSSACK: But that's the problem.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: But wait, let me stop -- I mean, wait, let me stop right there.

COSSACK: That's the problem.

VAN SUSTEREN: According to -- well, at least the information we have is that she was finished doing the Web activity about the time that the meeting stopped with Vice President Cheney and Gary Condit. But we don't know. She could have disappeared within an hour or two hours the next day. I mean...

COSSACK: It's even more than that. Bill, how do we know that...

LEFCOURT: But he was then voting. He was then voting.

COSSACK: Gerry, wait a minute. How do we know, Bill, that it was Chandra Levy that was on the Web doing the e-mails?

RITCHIE: Well, that was the same observation that I raised. It's just going to your ATM. You stick the card in, punch in the code, you get the money. But if you don't have that camera there, you have no idea.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you know, I mean you're -- right, but my guess would be -- I mean I'd be willing to say, I mean, that's probably Chandra Levy. I mean if I were investigator, I would not necessarily conclude it because it may mislead me. But in all likelihood, Chandra Levy was the one. But you still have this huge gap between the time that the congressman was with Vice President Cheney and the time he was voting. But even more that is that she could have disappeared the next day and it could be someone who lives in the building or someone who picked her up randomly.

RITCHIE: Absolutely.

LEFCOURT: Well, anything is possible, Greta. But it's shocking to me that after three months, there hasn't been a grand jury getting the people in the building before. Why won't people in that building come forward and talk to the police. Well, they should be talking to a grand jury. Why did it take three months for the Washington, D.C. police to go to this Klingle mansion, which -- she was on Mapquest, which is a search site to find out how to get there? I don't understand why not all dangerous sex offenders in the area have not been immediately contacted and find out where they were.

You know, this notion that it's Condit or it's nobody is bizarre and just really...

VAN SUSTEREN: Absolutely. Without any doubt whatsoever...

COSSACK: And -- but...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: I agree with you on that one.

COSSACK: Let me just jump in and say though that we don't know if it's Condit or somebody. Condit gets the publicity but we don't know what the police department...

VAN SUSTEREN: And that's what...

COSSACK: ... who else they're looking into.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. And we have no idea who did it. We don't even know what the police are doing about it. We're going to take a break. I know that. And when we come back, the family of Amy Bradley, who has been missing since 1998. Stay with us.

(BEGIN LEGAL BRIEF)

York, Pennsylvania Major Charlie Robertson pleaded not guilty in the fatal shooting of an African American woman in a 1969 race riot at an arraignment hearing Monday. Robertson was a police officer at the time and is charged with murder and conspiracy.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAN SUSTEREN: In 1998, 23-year-old Amy Bradley was cruising the Caribbean aboard "The Rhapsody of The Seas" cruise ship with her parents and her brother. But on the night of March 24, Amy disappeared without a trace.

Joining us are Amy's parents, Iva and Ron Bradley. Also joining us is David Carmichael. He's the one witness who has managed to give the Bradleys some hope.

Iva let me go first to you. When did you last see your daughter or when is the last -- when is the last time that someone saw her?

IVA BRADLEY, AMY BRADLEY'S MOTHER: The last time that someone saw Amy was approximately 5:45 a.m. the morning of the 24th. She was seen by two college-age girls that were aboard the ship. They saw her going up toward the disco with the bass player of the band that was on the ship. Fifteen minutes later he came out by himself and Amy didn't come out. The ship was at dock at 6:00 a.m. and so we know that where we were -- we know who she was with, and that was the last time that she was seen aboard the ship.

VAN SUSTEREN: Which then, of course, raises the question -- let me go to you, Ron. The bass player, the last person to see her, what does he say? What does he recall about seeing your daughter?

RON BRADLEY, AMY BRADLEY'S FATHER: He has said that he went back into his cabin at a certain time and you know, he was in his cabin until about 8:00 when the security person woke him. But the doors -- the way the lock link system works on those ships, he could have very easily left his cabin and left the door a chocked or had his -- someone else that was in the cabin let him, it wouldn't have registered on the computer. So they really don't know what time he went out or what time he came in.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything funny or shady about the bass player? I mean is there suspicion cast in his direction?

RON BRADLEY: Well, from the reports of other people that had been on the same cruise with him, he, you know, seems to be kind of a womanizer and hitting on a lot of women and trying to force himself upon them. And so, he's a very suspicious character.

When the FBI interviewed him on the ship, after the interview was concluded he came out laughing and giving a thumbs-up to all his buddies in the waiting area.

COSSACK: All right. But tell us about your daughter, describe her to us, tell us about her personality. Is she the kind of person -- what kind of person is she? She's not the kind of person obviously that would wander off by herself and not call her mother and father. So, tell us about her.

IVA BRADLEY: Amy is very responsible. She's very conscientious. We've grown-up with Amy and Brad. She would always let us know where she is. Even after moving into her new apartment, she'd call in when she got home from work.

So when we're traveling together, everybody as a family, has a set of rules and they are that we stay in pretty constant contact, especially in the environment we were in. You know, we were floating on a small city without a police department or a fire department or a whole lot of security around, so I think she felt that she was safe. And of course, hindsight tells us different.

She's energetic. She's funny. She's great to be around. She's a good friend. She's got grandparents and aunts and uncles. And she's very loving. She's close with us, her brother. She's just a wonderful, sweet person.

VAN SUSTEREN: David Carmichael in Detroit, you think you've seen her, don't you?

DAVID CARMICHAEL, WITNESS IN AMY BRADLEY CASE: Yes, I do.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell us when in relation to her disappearance, under what circumstance and how certain you are.

CARMICHAEL: OK, I'll give you the condensed version. I was actually diving on the island of Burso (ph) in August of 1998. And we had just returned from a late afternoon dive in a dive location called Port of Maria. It's a dive location that's set up for divers and for people to go and sort of swim and they have a small cafe there. We were in process of taking off our dive gear when I noticed three people walking up the beach. There was two guys and a girl, a white guy, a black guy and the girl was trailing them.

As they passed us, I turned around to my buddy who was maybe 15 or 20 feet away from me and I yelled to them and asked him if he had a piece of my dive gear, and just as I did that -- they had past me -- this girl spun around, came right back towards me. She had her sunglasses up on her head. She stared right at me and just as she was about to say something, the black fellow came into my field of vision and motioned her away, didn't touch her. He motioned her away. She turned around, put her head down and followed them over to a small cafe area where they sat and ordered drinks. They were actually by the bar. And every once in a while -- she was facing outwards towards us so every once in a while she would sort of look over towards me and then look back down at the ground. She was sort of resting against a bar stool sort of looking out towards us.

At that point in time, my buddy and I, we went, got a beverage, sat down. Actually quite a ways from us, we couldn't hear what they were talking about and we left before they did.

VAN SUSTEREN: What's your level of certainty, 100 -- well, what -- from zero to a 100 percent?

CARMICHAEL: I'd put it at 100 percent.

COSSACK: Ron, where had you seen pictures of Amy...

VAN SUSTEREN: You mean David.

COSSACK: David, I'm sorry -- where had you seen pictures -- thanks Greta -- where had you seen pictures of Amy prior to that so that you were able to say that you were able to recognize her?

CARMICHAEL: OK, when this actually happened, I didn't -- when this person approached me on the beach, I didn't know this person was Amy Bradley. I had no idea that this person was missing and didn't until December of '98 when I was watching "America's Most Wanted." And the minute I saw the person's face, I went bang, that's it. That's her.

VAN SUSTEREN: Iva, six months after your daughter disappeared David thinks he recognized her on the beach. What do you make of that?

IVA BRADLEY: We've met David and David has flown to our home from Canada. And David described Amy's tattoos. He described her navel ring. He described her demeanor. And we believe for certain that that was Amy. That's where we were when Amy disappeared. And when he saw her in May of '98, he didn't have any idea, as he stated.

In December, he saw "America's Most Wanted" and contacted them. And unfortunately, he was not contacted, at that time, by "America's Most Wanted" or the FBI. In May of '99, he saw "Unsolved Mysteries" and he took it upon himself, at that time, to contact us directly.

COSSACK: Iva, let me interrupt you one second. Have you done anything with the authorities from the island of Cura South to conduct a search for your daughter?

IVA BRADLEY: When we were suggested to leave the ship on Tuesday, of that day, the 24, we were in no shape to try to do anything. So, we were traveling with the president of the insurance company that we work with and he started handling the U.S. embassy and the different authorities. We have not found, based on the jurisdiction, that we've had any help from the authorities in that area. I believe that because the crew ships going in, they support those islands with millions and millions of dollars. I don't think that they'd like to find out that Amy was taken from a Royal Caribbean ship that was on that island. So no, we've not had any help from the Cura South Island authorities.

COSSACK: All right, let's take a break. Iva and Ron Bradley and David Carmichael, thank you all for joining us today.

So how do you keep an investigation alive once the trail's run cold? Well, we'll look at some ways to keep the heat right on right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSSACK: Welcome back, we're talking about the Chandra Levy case now and following a trail that's gone cold.

Bill, you know, there's going to come a point or point in time when I guess the authorities throw up her hands and say, "We just don't know what else to do." What do you do in that situation and how do you prevent that from happening?

RITCHIE: Well, obviously the police department has to be concerned about the management of its resources. There are crimes occurring every day. There's a significant number of homicides that remain unclosed over the last, you know, couple of years. Obviously, I would put the reward money back out.

It was reported this morning, locally, that some of the residents were less than cooperative. Well, I would probably set up a command post right in front of the apartment building. They have the mobile vehicles, put it there and let those individuals say they're not going to say anything.

I think it's bad to sit back and say people are not cooperating, put the pressure on them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Speaking of what Gerry says, you get a grand jury and really put pressure on with a subpoena.

Gerry, obviously Gary Condit's got a bit -- the minimum of a huge PR flap on his hands. The police want to talk to him a fourth time. The most innocent person, when you say same story four times, is not going to say it four times the same way. Even a little detail is suddenly going to look like a big fat lie.

LEFCOURT: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: What -- if you were sitting there advising Abbe Lowell and Gary Condit -- you've got lots of experience in this stuff -- what do they do?

LEFCOURT: Well, you know, you're dealing with a politician and unfortunately, in my experience with politicians, is that they feel it's necessary for their public image and their future to be as cooperative as possible. So while Abbe can prepare Condit as well as he can in sessions in his office, he, of course, must provide, you know, the information directly to the police. I think he'll go four times.

VAN SUSTEREN: But wait a second, you've got that added problem. I mean that's in a perfect sense. But you have the added problem that the guy is now, maybe totally innocent but going across the bridge to Virginia to discard that watch box. He looks sneaky. I mean this...

LEFCOURT: He does.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... I mean -- so you -- I mean you have a different problem than just some ordinary politician. You've got an ordinary politician who's a sneak and a serial cheater.

LEFCOURT: There's no question that he has exacerbated his problems. And that's why it's still a hot issue in Washington.

I feel sorry for Amy Bradley's family because, you know, they don't have a congressman to keep on the front pages so that the police and the FBI extend more resources.

I mean what the police have to do is to get a grand jury -- a United States attorney down in Washington and convene a grand jury. And they've done that for missing people. They've done it many times here in New York and that's what's got to be done. It's absurd to think that there's a half a dozen families in that building who may know something, who are keeping their mouth shut when the government has at its resources the ability to make them talk. And that's what grand juries are for. And this is an investigation. It seems to me that it makes sense.

I feel sorry for the family. I don't blame Dr. Levy by going out every day and trying to keep the heat on because really what he's doing is keeping the heat on the FBI and the police to do something.

COSSACK: All right, Bill, so you know what Gerry points out is right. There's a grand jury -- there's a grand jury sitting right now that -- not specifically for this case, but there's always a grand jury impaneled in Washington, D.C., like most big cities. Why don't they just haul some of these witnesses down there, at least send a message out that the word -- you will be cooperating with the authorities in this case?

RITCHIE: Well, I don't know whether there's a president here in the District of Columbia for a grand jury to investigate the circumstances of a missing person unless you have a crime committed. But I defer to the attorney as to whether this can be done or not.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you raise an interesting question for our next show. That's actually a very interesting question.

COSSACK: And when does it...

(CROSSTALK) COSSACK: ... when does it become a crime?

(CROSSTALK)

RITCHIE: ... question they have the authority.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right.

COSSACK: All right, I'm afraid we're out of time. So that's all the time we have today. Thanks to our guests and thank you for watching.

VAN SUSTEREN: Join us again tomorrow for another edition of BURDEN OF PROOF. We'll see you then.

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