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The Search for Chandra Levy: Chandra Speaks Via Videotape and Gary Condit Remains Silent

Aired July 24, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Chandra Levy speaks for herself, via videotape. Gary Condit stays silent. Day 85 of a mystery with no resolution in sight.

Joining us in D.C., defense attorney Mark Geragos; former prosecutor Nancy Grace, now with Court TV; former independent counsel and federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin; former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne; and a reporter who's been investigating this case since it broke, Lisa DePaulo, contributing writer for "Talk" magazine.

Later, six years ago this week a South Carolina jury convicted Susan Smith of a terrible crime: deliberately drowning her two young sons. She was sentenced to life in prison. Susan's mother, Linda Russell, is here to talk about her daughter's life behind bars and why she thinks Susan was not completely to blame for her horrible crime.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Our panel is assembled and we're all together here in Washington. No more going to other screens, so if there are interruptions, we can settle the fight right here.

The news breaking late today is that Representative Charles Stenholm of Texas, one of Gary Condit's fellow Blue Dog Democrats, has rebuked the congressman, saying he brought "controversy and discredit to his family."

Stenholm, a Texas Democrat, didn't call for him to resign, said he wouldn't comment on whether the House should discipline him, but came out strongly against him.

Lisa, is this going to start -- is this the beginning of more?

LISA DEPAULO, "TALK": You've been saying that every night.

KING: Yeah, but finally?

DEPAULO: Yeah. Oh, I think so.

KING: Do you think so, Mark?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No. It just shows that you shouldn't mess around with these Blue Dog Democrats. You should just stay in the mainstream Democratic Party.

KING: No tide?

GERAGOS: Exactly.

KING: Nancy?

NANCY GRACE, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Pot calling the kettle black. I think Condit has got a lot bigger problems than a fellow congressman pointing a finger at him.

KING: What do you think, Michael?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, FORMER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL: It may. It may begin the breach in the wall of the Democrats remaining silent on this, and we'll see.

KING: And Cynthia?

CYNTHIA ALKSNE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Oh, I'm sure it will be -- it will be the beginning, and soon someone will take the floor and give a Lieberman speech.

KING: Is his alibi, Lisa, the ones we've heard about, airtight?

DEPAULO: I don't think so. I mean...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) people all the time...

DEPAULO: Well, there are a few interesting parts of this timetable. He spent four hours apparently in his office, and I would love to know if there were more alibi witnesses besides people on his payroll in the afternoon and his wife in the evening. And...

GERAGOS: Well, it's not like Dick Cheney isn't a pretty good alibi witness...

DEPAULO: For 20 minutes.

GERAGOS: I mean, you start out with Dick Cheney...

DEPAULO: For 20 minutes.

GERAGOS: You come back to Congress. You're sitting in your office. That isn't good enough?

KING: You don't -- you don't think he said to his panel, hey, I'm getting out of here, don't say anything?


DEPAULO: Well, I think -- I think, first of all, for a congressman to be in his office for four hours and not see a constituent, not meet with a colleague -- he must have made a phone call, he must have met with someone. You know, where are these people? KING: You're implying he was not there?

DEPAULO: Oh, I'm saying that four hours in his office is not an alibi.

GRACE: And that's not the only issue. We know that she was last seen on a particular day. If she is dead, who is to say she died that day? For all we know, they could have met at some motel for a few days, and then she went missing after that.

KING: We do not know, Michael, the day she -- we know the day we haven't heard from, but that doesn't mean anything happened to her that day, right?

ZELDIN: A couple of things. First, with respect to the timetable, on May 1, the day we last know of her, from 12:50 after Congressman Condit leaves the meeting with Vice President Cheney, his whereabouts have been accounted for with his staff and with members of his family, and the police have said in response to that, we're comfortable with their, the staff's, response and his time is accounted for. That's the police's version of it.

May 2, we haven't seen yet the detailed timeline. We know he had the reporter lunch, and we know that the reporter will verify that. So more than less his time is beginning to be accounted for. Whether there could be some conspiracy where it doesn't involve him personally, none of that is -- is excluded.

KING: He could have picked up the phone and hired someone.

ZELDIN: But as to him -- as to him...

GRACE: But you're got to look at his nature. He's been stuck with his wife. We know how she feels about her -- how he feels about her, unfortunately. He's been with his wife for days now. I'm sure, look at Condit's nature, he's itching to be with one of his other girlfriends. Please.

KING: Boy, we are really going wild here.


GERAGOS: Wait a second. He's stuck with his wife so he's out with his -- he's got to get out to see girlfriend? That's what we're talking about?

GRACE: Condit -- Condit has created...

KING: One at a time.

GRACE: Condit has created a pattern that we are revealing. I can't help that Condit had a fleet...

GERAGOS: What's the pattern?

GRACE: ... of girlfriends. GERAGOS: He's got -- he's got his time accounted for. Now, you're speculating that somehow his wife's in town, so therefore he must have had the itch to go out and see Chandra. The fact...


What we do know is that Chandra was on the computer up until roughly 1 o'clock, and after that we've got nothing.

DEPAULO: Which is exactly when he left Dick Cheney.

GERAGOS: Well, he didn't leave Dick Cheney's place, run by Chandra's...

DEPAULO: How do you know?

GERAGOS: ... pick her up and take her over to Congress. Because Congress has got a very sophisticated security system.

DEPAULO: No, he -- he wasn't in Congress until the afternoon.

GERAGOS: He was there. He had all kinds of congressional security devices that show that he was there.

DEPAULO: Five hours, five hours unaccounted for.

KING: Cynthia?

GERAGOS: Including those.

ALKSNE: But it does mean that now what we're going to do is shift this focus to the staff, because we have a couple of staff questions: (a) They're alibi witnesses.


ALKSNE: And who's the driver when he's out cruising around in Alexandria chucking things into the trash?

DEPAULO: Dropping watch cases.

ALKSNE: Dropping watch cases and Lord knows what else. It means that when he -- when he's in trouble he's sneaky, when he's in trouble he lies, and now -- would also even include lying to his lawyer. So we...

KING: Every cheater does that, right?

ALKSNE: Right, but here, but this means is -- we look at the watch case and we look at the alibi -- suddenly the focus is going to shift to that staff and what will they do.

GERAGOS: Where do you get lying to the lawyer? Where did that come from?

ALKSNE: Well, he has to lie to -- look... GERAGOS: Why? Why does he have to lie to his lawyer?

ALKSNE: ... what are the chances Abbe Lowell, who is a good lawyer, would say, hey, let's go ahead and search my client's apartment, and then maybe you better go throw away that watch case?

GERAGOS: Well, if he did -- if he did throw...

ALKSNE: That didn't happen.

GERAGOS: ... the watch case away...

ALKSNE: He must have lied to his lawyer.

GERAGOS: .... what makes you think that he said to Abbe Lowell, hey, I'm going to go throw the watch case away or anything else?

KING: Mark -- Mark, doesn't the watch case thing baffle you a little? Is...

GERAGOS: Well, it baffles me, if it's true, just like the story about the minister/landscape architect's daughter if it was true...

KING: But one of the problems is...

GERAGOS: The problem is...

KING: ... that we don't know because he won't come on and say, I didn't drop the watch.

GERAGOS: But at the same time, even if the watch case is true, totally irrelevant, inadmissible.

GRACE: If he would get rid of a watch case linking him to a third woman, what would he get rid of that linked him to Chandra Levy?

GERAGOS: Well, why is it that here we're so willing to take the jump that some guy who is an adulterer...


... and wants to cover up for that necessarily is a murderer. There's no link between that...


GRACE: I'm saying that necessarily he is.

KING: Well, there are two reasons for that, I guess, Lisa, and Michael. She's gone, and he's acting like, one, he doesn't care a great deal, and two, he doesn't talk.

GERAGOS: Except, look, he is the guy who called...

DEPAULO: All of this behavior...

GRACE: And destroys evidence.


GERAGOS: Lisa -- Lisa has said that he did call, he was the one who called the police. He was the one who said, I want you to start looking for her.

DEPAULO: That's right. That's right.

GERAGOS: He's the one who kind of started this whole ball rolling, because they weren't going to do it.


He's the one who has...


Wait a second. No, it wasn't. The family called and said, she's missing, do something, and he called the police. And he's cooperated three times in three interviews, which, I'll tell you, how many people in Chandra's apartment building have not. So when you think about that...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That means nothing. That means nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But how many people -- but he was sleeping with her.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll come right back with Lisa, Mark, Nancy, Michael, and Cynthia. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


CHANDRA LEVY: I mean, I do stuff with my graduate student committee and you know...


SUSAN LEVY, CHANDRA'S MOTHER: Well, that's a little -- so you have some social life.

C. LEVY: Oh, yeah. I mean, I would have been, you know, going out this week and I would have gone out tonight.

R. LEVY: Yeah.

C. LEVY: And last night.

R. LEVY: Do you want...

C. LEVY: There's always stuff, is always going on. I mean...

R. LEVY: Yeah, jeez.



KING: Michael Zeldin, is Gary Condit contributing greatly to his own problem here?

ZELDIN: Yes. He's contributing by not having spoken at the outset of this investigation.

KING: What, as a former prosecutor, what do you read into that?

ZELDIN: I think at the outset he didn't know what to do. I don't think he was able in his own mind to formulate a strategy, both media and/or legal. Now, I think it's just too far down the line for him, and he feels that he has to view himself as a legal target, and that as a consequence, he has got other to begin negotiating with the police in ways that a normal target would. He is stuck.

KING: If we accept that, Nancy, then it wouldn't be right for him to come out now, even if nothing is wrong, as he is just stuck in this?

GRACE: You know what, Larry? Right, wrong, he is all about spin. He is all about strategy. I'm about Chandra.

KING: Let's assume -- let's assume he had nothing to do with this.

GRACE: All right.

KING: Should he come out now?

GRACE: Yes, he should come out now.

KING: If you were advising him, you'd tell him?

GRACE: ... and he should have come out before, because it doesn't matter what this does to him politically, it matters about what happens to Chandra Levy.

ZELDIN: The question is, if you were defending him legally -- Mark is the one who is doing that more than any of us -- if you were defending him legally, and with people like yourself, in good faith, calling him a suspect...


ZELDIN: ... and essentially calling him a murderer, how do -- well, how do you then divine what the appropriate strategy for him to be as a legal defendant is? And that is the difficult part.


KING: ... he has created his own problem and now -- all right, Mark?

ZELDIN: He has created his own problem and now he can't respond.

GERAGOS: Everybody here on this panel has argued already that this guy, because he is involved with her, or anything else, is automatically a suspect.


KING: ... most of America...


GERAGOS: Well, I said that before. This guy is a suspect, most of America has already made up their mind that this guy is guilty, based on very little evidence, if any.

KING: Assuming he did nothing, what should he do now?

GERAGOS: Well, what he's going to -- I don't know what he should do now. What I would advise him to do now is I would tell him, you've got to come out and you've got to talk and you've got to say something, because at this point, I think this thing has reached a dry hole as far as he goes. The police are not going to -- they may want to talk to him a fourth time, but nothing is happening there.


ALKSNE: I totally disagree. I think as a legal matter, he should -- at this point, he has ruined his political career, he has ruined his marriage, his family is destroyed, everybody knows about his affairs. So you might as well just think about this straight legally, and straight legally he should lawyer up and say nothing. Because...


ALKSNE: We can talk about that, but Larry's question was, what should he do legally? Legally, he should lawyer up. Legally, he should not take a polygraph. Not only will he probably not pass it, but any statements to the polygrapher can be used against him in the court of law. Legally, he should not continue to give them his timeline, because he has already had problems with his timeline.

KING: But that's acting like he did it.

ALKSNE: I know, but he should just stop, because it can't get any worse for him anyway.

KING: Lisa.

DEPAULO: I think what is bothering a lot of people is that this guy has said, "she is my good friend." We know she is his lover, we know she is his constituent, and he is just not acting like someone whose good friend, lover and constituent is missing and probably dead.

ZELDIN: Because he is being treated like a criminal suspect. Mark and I -- it's interesting, we sort of flipped. At the outset of these programs together, I said from day one he should come forward, he has a moral obligation, an ethical obligation to come forward, and he should let his legal problems not be material. And Mark said the other way. He said he is a suspect, and he should clam up.

Now, we are sort of flipping, in a sense. I said he's dug a hole for himself, he's got to be...


GERAGOS: Precisely because he has gone and done things that no legal defendant or a criminal defense lawyer would ever let their client do in 99.99 percent of the cases.


GERAGOS: But he is also -- he has done the polygraph. No lawyer in his right mind is going to offer that up unless they have done a prepolygraph. He let them search. No lawyer in his right mind is going to let them search, they just won't do that. He has gone in an interview three times...


GERAGOS: But once you have done all of that and you have gone that far at this point, then it is literally -- you have gone halfway. You might as well at this point, if you are going to do all of that, you might as well go out and make the public statement at this point, because obviously, he is not...


KING: But I think the better question would be, what does he have to lose if he goes public now?

DEPAULO: If he is innocent, nothing.

ZELDIN: Well, he has to lose the possibility of being indicted for obstruction of justice. He has that possibility, that is a realistic possibility from what has been seeping out in the press. If it's true about the watch case, if it's true about the -- about a false statement with respect to -- in his first interviews about his relationship, he faces that possibility, and you can't belittle it.

KING: One thing that we have to do is put ourselves in someone's shoes. Now, let's say you are him, and you didn't have anything to do with her disappearance. Would you come out?

ZELDIN: I would have on day one.

KING: But now you would not?

ZELDIN: Now I don't know. Now, if I'm being accused all over the place of being a criminal defendant, potential criminal defendant, I don't know that it's as easy for me now to come forward. Morally -- we are not discussing morals -- morals and ethics, it's a no- brainer... GRACE: Is it that hard to do the right thing?

ZELDIN: Yes, I think it is hard.

GRACE: I mean, the girl could still be alive. His information could be vital! Is it all about politics and legal strategy? Does nobody care he could save this girl's life?

ZELDIN: The question asked is what would you do legally.

KING: If you were him.

ZELDIN: And that is the answer, legally.

KING: Now, what would you do if you were him?

ZELDIN: I think if I were him now, I would respond as a moral person should and answer all questions, and be forthright. That is what I would do if I were him. If I were his lawyer, I'm not sure that I would necessarily advise him on that.

KING: Is that because you suspect him, as his lawyer?

ZELDIN: No, it's because I would be trying to do what I can to protect him. And that is what...


GERAGOS: ... guys who didn't do it. So, that's -- I know it's a stretch of imagination, does that answer the question? I mean, you've got a job...

GRACE: Second verse same as the first. They are all innocent behind bars. Guess what? Juries put them there, OK?

GERAGOS: Nobody said -- nobody said they are all innocent, but at the same time, we have guys walking off of death row all the time who are innocent. So, understand that the criminal justice system is not infallible.


ALKSNE: ... legally that we haven't talked about, which is what's coming. Let's say, Gary Condit had nothing to do with this. You know what the defense is at trial if somebody else is charged with this crime? Gary Condit! Because the Geragos of the world -- bless your little heart -- are going to say....


GERAGOS: ... and Lisas have been saying, this guy is the one who did it, this guy is the one who did it!


ALKSNE: ... let me explain it. The defense will be, I didn't do it, Gary Condit did it. And pretty soon, it would be like, Gary Condit had the affair with her, Gary Condit lied about it, Gary Condit lied about everything else.


GERAGOS: How's that Condit's fault? How is that Condit's fault? That is from people not giving him the presumption of innocence and already saying that he is the guilty party.


ALKSNE: What will happen is, that person will be acquitted because of Gary Condit, and he will be golfing with O.J., devoting his life to finding the real killer, and we can thank Gary Condit for messing up the investigation, wasting resources, being a totally immoral person, embarrassing the Congress, ruining the concept of interns, and providing a defense.


GERAGOS: ... lost sight of what the presumption of innocence is, and who have condemned this guy based on absolutely no evidence.

KING: Other than that, Cynthia, you hold him in highest regard.

We will be right back with more, don't go away.


ROBERT LEVY, CHANDRA'S FATHER: Just keep prayers up and hopes. And again, if people have good information, you know, like to have them send it in or call in, and they have been doing that. And just need one piece of information that really shows us -- so far, we haven't had it. We hope. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, doctor.



KING: Lisa DePaulo, is the Darrell, the brother thing, is that come and gone?

DEPAULO: You know, I was thinking more about Darrell. You know what really bothers me about Darrell? We are supposed to believe that he is not estranged from Gary Condit, but they haven't spoken in over a year. I assume there are televisions and newspapers in Florida. I mean, his brother has been on the front page for two and a half months, he didn't call him? Doesn't that seem a little bit unbelievable?

GRACE: No. I mean, take a look at him. He's a record as long as, you know, George Washington Boulevard, and there is no way this guy is involved in Chandra's disappearance. I wouldn't trust him to hide an Easter egg, much less take part in a murder, OK? KING: Do you think Darrell is a come-and-gone issue?

ZELDIN: Yes, I think he was a nonissue from the start. What's an interesting issue, though, unrelated to Darrell, and its segues from Greta Van Susteren's discussion earlier is that today, in my version at least, for the first time, "The Washington Post" carried no story about Chandra Levy. And if, what this is all about...

KING: Is this the beginning of the...

ZELDIN: If what we are all about in discussing this, because we are engaged in rank speculation, and there is some value to that at times and sometimes there's no value. If the whole purpose is to keep the story alive, make sure that Chandra Levy stays in the forefront of everybody's minds, it is interesting that today for the first time "The Post" has got nothing on it -- "The L.A.Times" nothing on it. And we wonder whether or not where we are going is down that path.

KING: Cynthia, have the strategists for the Levys -- they are not coming -- to make a two-minute appearance.

ALKSNE: It's one thing to have the case come and go because the ratings are down on cable television. It is another thing, on what are the police thinking? And it don't seem to me that the police are going to lower their resources in any way. I am actually very confident that this case will continue to get resources, which is what counts -- not cable television ratings -- and that they will do what they can to find her.

You know this cold case squad -- they don't want to call it a cold case squad, but that is what it really is -- has worked together very well with the D.C. police department solved some really tough crimes, has a lot of resources, is good at wiretaps, has really good profilers, has really good interviewing technique guys.

So, even though "The Washington Post" may devote less resources, at this point it is important that the police are continuing to keep it on the screen.

KING: Let me grab a call. Setaukee, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Wonderful show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Who is paying for this investigation? And at what point the cost is too much?

KING: Mark, the city pays, right?

GERAGOS: City, and the Feds because the Feds now are involved in it and there is no point at which they say that it is too much.

KING: You are federal prosecutors. Is there a budget? There is no budget with the federal prosecutors, right? They can spend what they want. (CROSSTALK)

ZELDIN: Not only -- sorry -- not on a case-by-case basis, but everyone operates within appropriated funds. And you are always hearing law enforcement complain about...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) using a lot of funds here?

ZELDIN: Yes, they are using a lot of funds. I don't think that they are applying too many funds. I don't think can ever find too little money to find a missing person, and again, the story should be about Chandra Levy and all the other people who are missing and the lack of money for that sort of inquiry.

ALKSNE: This one of the things that is so tough. The police department the city of D.C. is broke. And I mean there isn't any other fancy way to say it. And they have go up on the Hill and beg for money, for guns and uniforms and everything. They beg for money and training. The training facility here is pathetic and they need that money.

And here they have so many officers devoted, which they are required to do because of the national pressure on this case. Those officers are not available for other things, and in the court system, here is what happens in D.C., there is 5,000 cops, in D.C. -- because I prosecuted cases here -- there is about 300 who do the nuts and bolts and the grunt -- and the court work and they are the ones that keep this place moving.

Many of those are now off the rapes and the homicides and the child abuse cases because they are working this case. So there very much is a triage. It's sort of sort of the entrance to the emergency room and somebody is going, this one is going to homicide, and this one is going here, that is a problem.

KING: They've got murder case their working, they should be working the murder case that they know is a murder.

GRACE: This is high priority. They are trying to solve it because they are really under the magnifying glass of really the public.

KING: But if "The Post" stopped the stories and...

ZELDIN: What the police did today, which was bad news, I think, is they put out the statistics about the number of people, adults and children, who remain missing, and...


ZELDIN: It doesn't portend well for resources and media coverage.

KING: Let me get a quick break and we will be right back with more. Don't go away.


KING: Every host wants to say this: This just in! CNN has learned that Gary Condit has agreed to help the FBI create a profile of Chandra Levy. Apparently, within next few days he will sit down with FBI profilers. Good sign, Mark?

GERAGOS: Of course it is. And that just shows that he is cooperating. He's given three interviews. Now he's going to go to the FBI. He's going to cooperate with a profiler, although we were talking at break, you know, profilers are generally pretty much the end of the line. If you hit psychics you know you have hit rock bottom.

KING: But he has agreed to sit with them. Impress you?

GRACE: Yes, I'm very impressed. I'll be even more impressed when he sits down for that polygraph, a real polygraph. Word I heard today regarding the door-to-door attempt by police. It seemed to be the press was suggesting something nefarious, something evil, that certain people in the apartment building where Levy lived have not responded to police. That is not that unusual. Larry, I have done many, many door-to-door canvassing the neighborhoods, knock, knock, knock. People that think they don't know anything don't call back, and they don't realize they could be withholding evidence.

DEPAULO: I know people who live in the building who have called the police and have not gotten a return call!

KING: Are you impressed though that he's going to meeting with profilers?

DEPAULO: I think it is too little too late, quite frankly.

KING: You do?


KING: You are not even willing to give...

GERAGOS: She won't even give --- she wouldn't even give him that much. I mean the fact that the guy is going in there again, he is going to meet with the FBI, he's going to give them a profile.


KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Michael, for him, he's going to sit down with profilers.

ZELDIN: We have all agreed that the moral thing for him to do is to fully cooperate. If this is a step toward full cooperation then we all should be applauding him. And there is nothing short of that. And good for him.

KING: Does that impress you, Cynthia?

ALKSNE: I'll believe it when I see it. GERAGOS: Spoken like a true ex-federal prosecutor.

ALKSNE: Let's make sure really happens before we get, you know, hand out too many roses. This is a guy when the cops were going to try to do one of the interviews to him, first of all, it wasn't a good time. and the cops left.

One time they said, well he wasn't in Congress, they didn't know where he was. And one time he was too busy, and now it turned out he'd had a, you know, worked out and had a three-hour lunch. So I will believe it when I see it.

DEPAULO: And also it's been four days now since they've been talking about the fourth interview. And this is -- and put yourself in the position of the Levy family. Every time there is a promise that he is going to talk again. Then there is two more weeks...

GERAGOS: He's talked three times. He's just agreed that he's just agreed that he's going to go help the FBI do a profile. Give the guy a break. And the same time you are apologizing for the people who don't want to get involved, who are sitting in the apartment building, and the landlord has to send out a little flier that says please help.

DEPAULO: Mark, we can't all live by the morals of a defense attorney.

GERAGOS: Except the morals of the defense attorney is not why we are here. We are here because generally we are either law enforcement people or people who are in the criminal justice system. He wants priests, he can he get five priests to come here and talk about it.

DEPAULO: If Chandra was your lover, best -- good friend and constituent...

GERAGOS: Would I call the police and tell them she was missing? Yes, just like Gary Condit did? Yes. Would I get interviewed three times just like Gary Condit did? Yes. Would I throw away a watch case that somebody else may have given me? Probably not. I mean, I won't go there.

But, at the same time, when you are under that kind of scrutiny, when you've got this kind of attention and media focus, you freeze. It is not the first time somebody has frozen

KING: Going to get another break and we'll come right back with our panel. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with our panel. Let's take a call.

Washington, D.C., hello.

CALLER: Hello, how are you?

KING: Hi. Hello? Go ahead. CALLER: Yes, hello, I'm calling as a -- I guess as a resident in Chandra Levy's building; I want to comment about the police investigation.

KING: You live in the building.


KING: Do you know -- do you know Chandra?

CALLER: No, actually nobody did.

KING: What do you mean?


CALLER: Nobody did. She just seemed -- like, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) one about my neighbor is that really she just kept to herself, and even the front desk staff, that she walked in and out, really didn't say anything, to anyone, really just nobody knew her, nobody knew anything about her. And just kept to herself. And nobody knew her.

But what I wanted to say was, I took issue with the little blurb that you had at the bottom saying some in the building are not cooperating with the police, and that is just not true.

KING: In other words, what? Have the police called you?

CALLER: Yes, I have been -- I was interviewed twice. While, actually, the first time it was just before the story broke, that just to say there was someone in the building who was missing, and then of course, we had no idea it was going to kind of turn into this.

But, then after that I have been interviewed. But, you know, there are some of my neighbors who have never, ever seen a police detective who's never gotten a card stuck in the little...

KING: But everyone you know would cooperate if asked to cooperate?

CALLER: Certainly, certainly. the problem is that my building is filled with young professionals; we have busy lives, you know, and we lead our lives in everything, but we can't proactively say, we get fliers to say, if you have any information to add, please go ahead. But that doesn't mean we are not cooperating.

KING: I walked by your building the other day. Boy, you have a lot of security in that building.

CALLER: We do. I have a front desk staffed 24 hours a day; that's why I bought my condo here; I feel very safe here, I think, you know, with myself, at least I'm hoping, as a 5'6" brunette, that what happened was case specific to her, you know, but certainly, if there is anything that we can add -- and we want her found just as much, you know, as anyone else. KING: Hold on. Does anyone on the panel have a question?

Did you hear the scream on the 30th that was reported -- there was a 911 call; did you hear that?

CALLER: No. That was news to me.

KING: Did you ever speak to Chandra?

CALLER: No, I have never seen her. If I saw her, it was not, you know, like I said there are a lot of young women here, and, I did not.

GRACE: How about the congressman?

CALLER: No. No, I was asked that by the police.

GRACE: Are you on the floor?

CALLER: No, I'm a few floors up.

KING: Anybody else?

DEPAULO: You have dogs in that building; right?

CALLER: Yes, this is a large, actually any size, pet-friendly building.

GERAGOS: Does anybody talk to the security guy at the front desk to ask him when he last saw her?

CALLER: I'm sure they have. I didn't; I said, did anyone see her? They walked in and out.

GERAGOS: Is there a scuttlebutt in the building...


KING: Good question: is there any building scuttlebutt?

CALLER: Any building scuttlebutt?

KING: Yes, do people talk -- yes, I saw her here occasionally or...

CALLER: Yes, actually, up on the pool, we were talking about it, we are like, have you been interviewed? Did you know her? Nothing, nobody really knew her.

KING: Nobody knows her.

Caller: No.

GERAGOS: Nobody's asked the security guards when the last time they saw her go out...

CALLER: Of course we did, when this first happened.

GERAGOS: And what did they say?

CALLER: No, it's nothing. She just walked in and out, kept to herself.

GERAGOS: Did they keep...


KING: Was she known as a loner to anybody's knowledge?

GRACE: She was...

CALLER: She wasn't known.

KING: Very private.

DEPAULO: It is something, too, about interns, you know, they come here, they really don't have a lot of friends, and...

KING: Wouldn't you make friends in a building with young professionals?

GRACE: Unless she's a quiet reserved person who kept to herself. Does everyone use the same front door? Just one main entrance and exit to the building?

CALLER: There is one main entrance and exit to the building. But there is a rear entrance and that is -- that is keyed.

DEPAULO: You need several keys; right? To get through that back courtyard?

CALLER: Yes, there is a back gate.

DEPAULO: The saddest part about this, the Levys were very concerned about making sure she had a safe place.

GERAGOS: Security -- does the security at the front desk have a sign-in or sign-out of any kind?

CALLER: No, anyone who comes -- anyone who comes in the building that is not -- that is not known has to...

GERAGOS: Right. Don't they have a videotaping system right there.

CALLER: They do.

GERAGOS: And hasn't anybody taken a look at that videotapes from that day to see what it shows.

DEPAULO: Mark, the tapes are kept for 11 days, the cops got there on day 12, OK. KING: Thanks for calling; you have been invaluable. We'll be right back with more moments with the panel and their comments on this, right after that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you are having a goodtime going to football games and going out with people?

C. LEVY: I would have been going out tonight.



KING: We are back. OK, gang, we have a few minutes left. What do you make of that call? Mark.

GERAGOS: Well, obviously, if there was a videotape there the police didn't get there in a timely fashion, to grab that videotape.

KING: Weird.

GERAGOS: That not only weird, it is -- it is -- it is unconscionable. The first place you go -- I mean, you saw this panel, they are leaping on him to find out, is there security there? Is there a videotape there? What was the scuttlebutt -- it's the first place you go!

KING: Michael, are you surprised no-one in the building knew her? According to this girl.

ZELDIN: We've got one person that lives 4 floors above her in a large building.

KING: But she's talked to others.

ZELDIN: Right. But I don't know, maybe she had a smaller circle of friends, maybe she had a larger circle of friends, and this girl knew. With respect to Mark's point on the videotape, this is the problem of a missing person. There was no urgency on the police's part in those first 10 days to go grab this because there was no evidence that they were looking for her, that is problem with missing persons's cases, now the police are trying to -- sort of retrace their steps in a way that they couldn't....


GRACE: ... building did not know her. She was dating a married man, he had all these security precautions, so he wouldn't be found out. So she was basically kind of helping him live a double life. I only hope that this so-called sit-down with police is genuine on Condit's part, and not like the polygraph he didn't take.

KING: What will they do with profile, Cynthia?

ALKSNE: They'll ask -- what will they do with it?

KING: Yeah, a profile is what? They want to know everything about her?

ALKSNE: Yes, it's really -- they call it a victimology.

KING: What food she likes?

ALKSNE: What food she likes, what restaurants she likes to go to, where does she work out, where does she run...

KING: And are they also profiling him?

ALKSNE: Well, I'm sure they are. I mean, the FBI agent who is now heading up this section is a profiling maven, and he is going to be doing the same thing. So it'll be a bit of a two-way street.

KING: Profilers were made famous in "Silence of the Lambs," right?

ALKSNE: Yes, right. Exactly.

ZELDIN: The two issues with a victimology profiler: What types of scenarios are present that she could be victimized in and what type of person would likely victimize her, or target her? Those are the two issues, and Gary Condit, being perhaps the person who is closest to her, more so than a parent, more so than the aunt -- intimate -- would be able to help them the most in those two questions.

KING: Do you stay on this after August 3rd?

DEPAULO: I can't imagine how I can't.

KING: Have you become -- well, obsessed might be the wrong word.

DEPAULO: No, no...

KING: Are you obsessed?

GERAGOS: Oh, she's obsessed.

DEPAULO: I am obsessed.

KING: Mark, you think she's obsessed.

GERAGOS: I think so. That's my -- I'm doing the Barbara Olson TV psychoanalysis.

KING: In Barbara's absence.

GERAGOS: Yes, in Barbara's absence, I'm the one who's looking into people's eyes and deciding whether they're guilty or not.

KING: I think Nancy is a little on the obsessed side.

GERAGOS: Nancy is clearly obsessed. You can tell. I'm between the two obsessions, here.

GRACE: ... coming out to her in her front yard, begging the media help, it breaks my heart. And I want some peace for the Levys, one way or the other.

KING: And you are totally wrapped up in this.

DEPAULO: Well, and the other thing is this whole talking to -- the victimology thing. This is a guy who says he doesn't remember is the last he saw her they had sex.

ALKSNE: Well, let's not give up all hope, because this team of FBI agents and D.C. police -- these are the ones who waited and did the victimology profiles and went through wire taps, and did it all, on this Starbucks case that was a huge mystery here in D.C. some time ago. And they gather their information and they're willing to wait, because they are obsessed. I mean, we can argue about whether we're obsessed. I can tell you what -- the FBI and the D.C. police are.

KING: This is classic Michael, because it's not just a whodunit, it's a what-done-who-we-don't-know-done-it, right?


ZELDIN: That's right. We have no facts. We know we have no...

KING: We've devoted two weeks here, and no facts.


GERAGOS: We've got no evidence, no facts, no crime. We've got -- and that's probably the reason why this thing will eventually will get solved, because the amount of attention, because it's so intriguing.

KING: So that's the way to do it. Approach everything with no facts, no evidence, and you will find the killer!

GERAGOS: No evidence and then great speculation. That's all you need.


ZELDIN: But the reality is, as a law enforcement matter, we have no hard "we" in the outside. They may. We have no hard facts to go on. We have people to speculate about, Gary Condit, the nature of his relationship, is he a moral person, did he do something illegal? Cynthia is right, that you're going to have to now spend the long, hard hours waiting for a break, for a snitch, for something, and that's going to be very painful.

KING: Thank you all very much. Lisa Depaulo of "Talk" magazine, Mark Geragos, defense attorney, Nancy Grace "Trial Heat" fame on "Court TV," Michael Zeldin, the former independent counsel and former federal prosecutor and Cynthia Alksne, a former federal prosecutor as well. When we come back, Linda Russell, the mother of the convicted child killer, Susan Smith, and the author of "My Daughter Susan Smith." Don't go away.


KING: It's our pleasure to welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE, Linda Russell. She was a previous guest, of course. She is the mother of convicted child killer, Susan Smith. She's the author of "My Daughter Susan Smith." There you see the book. This book is available in many sources, including through the Internet, through authors book store, right?


KING: Authors Book Nook on the Internet.


KING: On October 24, 1994, that was when Susan Smith told South Carolina police that a black man had hijacked her car, and we all know the rest, that she had two young sons had drowned. How is she doing, by the way? Do you get to visit her?

RUSSELL: I do. Yes.

KING: And how is she doing?

RUSSELL: Well, I guess she's coping.

KING: She's in for life, right?

RUSSELL: Well, my understanding is 30 years before parole -- possibility of parole.

KING: How are you doing?

RUSSELL: I'm here.

KING: Just that? I mean...

RUSSELL: Better than not being here.

KING: I know, but it's awfully hard for you, isn't it?

RUSSELL: Well, sure. I mean, it's hard for everybody.

RUSSELL: When the Yates case broke in Texas last month, Andrea Yates drowning five young children, apparently in the grips of postmortem (sic) psychosis, what did you make of that?

RUSSELL: Well, apparently she was sick.

KING: Did you relate to your own daughter or was it a completely different matter? RUSSELL: Well, children died in both instances, and both of them were by their mothers.

KING: That's the similarity. But your daughter didn't have -- there wasn't postmartum (sic), the kids were...

RUSSELL: Well, Susan did suffer from depression.

KING: She did.


KING: Was she taking medication?

RUSSELL: She wasn't. If she had been, this wouldn't have happened. But she was never diagnosed.

KING: Were you -- they were your grandchildren. Were you angry at your daughter?

RUSSELL: I have never -- no.

KING: Then how, Linda, when you write about this in a book -- and I remember reading that book, and it was a really good book, glad to bring it out again -- how do you then rationalize it to yourself? What do you say to yourself, when one loved one kills another loved one?

RUSSELL: Well, there's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Susan was sick, that she was severely depressed, isolated that night. And then you just lose it.

KING: Then she just lost it.

RUSSELL: Same way the Yates lady did.

KING: When you visit with her, does she talk about her children?

RUSSELL: We talk about Michael and Alex. I mean, any time it comes up, they will here. We loved them. They were part of our family. Sure, I mean, we talk about them.

KING: I know you have a lot of dislike for her ex-husband, right?

RUSSELL: I think it's probably mutual.

KING: And he for you, and he must of have said that on the show. Why? What is it about him? You don't think he contributed to this problem? I mean, he didn't harm his children?

RUSSELL: I think he had a lot of responsibility.

KING: In what way?

RUSSELL: David was cruel. He was cruel to Susan. Everything he did to her, he in essence did to his children, because it had -- I mean this is the ultimate end.

KING: He was a -- was he was batterer?

RUSSELL: Mentally.

KING: Psychological batterer?


KING: And the children bore the effects of that.


KING: And so you don't speak to him at all.

RUSSELL: Well, I haven't -- I think the last time I even saw David was the last day of Susan's trial.

KING: Now, how about these stories that have been around about Susan having problems in prison with guards?

RUSSELL: What about it?

KING: Any truth to that? She was molested?

RUSSELL: No, I wouldn't think you would call it molesting, I think it would -- and she is not the only one. I mean, there is a lot of women -- a lot of women were involved, it was -- well, I think what if I were incarcerated? You know, you are vulnerable. You are, of course, captive. You can't leave.

KING: Are there male guards in that prison?


KING: It's an all-female prison.


KING: So, it's logical to assume sex goes on between the guards and prisoners?

RUSSELL: Well, I think it's probably always gone on.

KING: Nothing new about it.

RUSSELL: But just simply because of Susan's notoriety, everybody knows it now.

KING: There is no action taken against her, though, has there? Or what are they going to do to her?

RUSSELL: Oh, they severely punished her.


RUSSELL: Well, she was in isolation for four months.

KING: For having a relationship with the guards? Were the guards fired?

RUSSELL: They were. But as far as I know, these are the first officers who have ever been charged, even though they were supposed to have been charged, because -- the onus is on officers to -- these things not to happen. These women are vulnerable.

KING: Vulnerable to them. How old is Susan now?

RUSSELL: She will be 30, September.

KING: We will be right back with Linda Russell. The book is "My Daughter, Susan Smith." You can get it on the Internet through Authors Book Nook, right? We'll be right back. Don't go away.


SUSAN SMITH, CONVICTED MURDERER: I want to say to my babies, your mama loves so you much and your daddy -- this whole family loves you so much. And you guys have got to be strong, because you are -- I just know, I just feel in my heart that you are OK. But you got to take care of each other. And your momma and daddy are going to be right here waiting on you when you get home. I love you so much.



KING: Do you think, Linda, that the authorities made sort of an example of Susan? Because she is -- I guess she is the most famous person in that prison.

RUSSELL: I think their apple cart got upset when her name became involved. But the Department of Corrections has come through about three different directors. So we have a new director, and from what I have read and what I have seen, I think he is going to do a pretty good job. I think these things will cease to happen.

KING: Why did you write the book?

RUSSELL: Mainly because I -- there were so many stories, untruth, and, I mean, I have three children. Susan has two brothers. They are ours. Married -- they all have the same father, and yet they talk about one of them as my son from some other relationship.

KING: Not true?

RUSSELL: Absolutely not.

KING: So you did this to sort of set the record straight. Was Susan happy with the book?

RUSSELL: She read it, but I mean -- she didn't read it until it was finished. (CROSSTALK)

RUSSELL: ... and neither did I consult...

KING: With her?

RUSSELL: With her, because I wrote from what I saw and what I knew.

KING: Do her brothers visit her?

RUSSELL: They do. But I mean -- along with this punishment, Susan has had...

KING: No visitors allowed?

RUSSELL: They took a year's visitation.

KING: A year?


RUSSELL: ... they did relent, so -- every three months. And it's two people.

KING: And you go how often?

RUSSELL: Well, I have always seen her every other -- at least every other week. But now I can see her once every three months.

KING: Boy, Linda, I can only tell you how sorry I feel.

RUSSELL: Well, I'm -- I'm sorry. And I'm sorry for the Yates, and hopefully people can look at the Yates and all of these others, and somewhere along the way we've got to separate evil from the illness.

KING: Obviously, it's illness.


KING: Thank you, Linda.

RUSSELL: Sure, thanks.

KING: Linda Russell, the mother of Susan Smith and the author of "My Daughter, Susan Smith," available on the Internet at Authors Book Nook.

Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay tuned for "CNN TONIGHT." From Washington, good night.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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