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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With John Walsh

Aired April 3, 2002 - 21:00   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.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, two Oregon teens vanished. Can anyone solve their mysterious disappearance?

"America's Most Wanted" famous crime fighter John Walsh joins us with the latest on this investigation, and lots of other things too. And we'll take your calls, and it's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's always a great pleasure to welcome him to LARRY KING LIVE. It's also an indication sometimes of where the society may be going that he's so frequently a guest.

John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted," "America Strikes Back." His son, Adam, as you well know, was abducted and killed in the summer of 1981, that's 21 years ago.

Let's discuss first, John, this open case. Two missing teens in Oregon, 12-year-old Ashley Pond, her friend, 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis. What's -- give us a little background.

JOHN WALSH, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": These -- first Ashley was kidnapped about a month and a half ago. She never made it to school. She left her house, never made it to the bus. Wasn't reported missing until later that day, because she didn't come home from dance class.

Vital time lost. I think every school in the country should be mandatory that if your child doesn't show up at school, they call you, either at your business or at your home, and say your child hasn't made it.

KING: That's not the usual procedure...

WALSH: Not the -- in some...

KING: ... they're just marked absent.

WALSH: Absent. Some states it's mandatory now, Larry, in some states it's mandatory for public schools to call up, for three reasons, truancy, liability for the school. But mainly to say, Hey, where is your child? Your child never made it.

So then about her beautiful little friend, Miranda Gaddis, who she was in dance class with, went on television and said, "I'm so worried about Ashley. We need to keep up the search for Ashley." And then four and a half weeks later, Miranda gets kidnapped. So now we have two little girls, two 12-year-old girls, one of them 13, one of them 12, missing from the same city. We have...

KING: No ransom notes, no...

WALSH: No ran -- no, absolutely a predator. There's...

KING: Was there any protection put around Miranda after it came out that she was her friend and spoke on television?

WALSH: No, no. I think the community was alerted, but I think we're dealing with a very smart, very calculating serial predator. I think he grabbed both these girls. Both of them were on their way to the buses, never made it to school.

It's come to light that there's another little girl that was murdered two months ago, Melissa Bitner -- Bitler (ph), 14 years old, same area, who was found in her neighbor's back yard. She was grabbed on her way home from school, sexually assaulted, and her body found in the neighbor's yard. It's an unsolved homicide, no suspects.

This is my personal opinion. I think there's a serial predator in the area. I think he's really good at it. There was an unsolved rape of a girl two years prior to that murder of this other little girl. So you've got four victims in the same area.

KING: You're saying you think these two girls are dead.

WALSH: I don't want to say they're dead, because I know probably their mothers are watching tonight. We've gotten kids back that have been missing as long as four and five years. Steven Stainer (ph) was kept by a pedophile for six years, who used him as a sexual toy, kept that boy for six years. I...

KING: There is always hope.

WALSH: I never give up hope. But if the reality is the Justice Department came out with a survey last year and said the vast majority of stranger-abducted children are dead within the first four hours, that time is crucial.

I'd be -- think it's very hard for someone to keep two teenaged girls. But, you know, we never give up hope.

But the thing is, I want to catch this guy. They got to catch him before he gets another girl.

KING: Similarities, both, I understand, are quite pretty, we've shown pictures.

WALSH: Yes.

KING: Both single parents, right, single mother.

WALSH: Both single moms. I think it's somebody that's familiar with the neighborhood, familiar with what goes on, familiar with the fact that these girls were going to a bus stop, and probably -- you and I have talked about this a lot of times -- sexual predators have a certain preference. Some guys, like John Wayne Gacey, prefer only boys. Some guys like little boys, the guy who was suspected of my son's murder. This guy apparently is into girls of a certain age, 12 or 13.

All these girls around the same age, pretty young girls.

KING: You went to take part in a town meeting, right?

WALSH: I did it by satellite. It was really -- I think it was a great idea. The FBI and the local police -- that the community is terrified. They're absolutely terrified.

KING: This was just yesterday, right?

WALSH: Last night. Last night the parents of the little girl who was -- whose body was found were there. The two mothers were there. And members of the community who say, We think we have a sexual predator in the area, what do we do?

And I say, You have to be on red alert. That's what you have to do.

KING: Do the police run dry? What do they do in a case like this? Are they ever alert, do they -- has other things to deal with? How do they treat...

WALSH: No, this one is, this one is a high priority, because you've got two girls, and you don't know what happened to them. Their haven't been found dead or alive. So they know there's a sexual predator or a stalker, a kidnapper in the area.

And it -- they're on red alert, hoping they'll get a tip. But they -- but the answer to your question is, we're up against a wall. I've been profiling these girls now for five weeks, Ashley first and then Miranda. We'll do them again this Saturday night. We've gotten over 100 and some tips. The FBI have gotten over 2,000 tips that they've gone -- that they've been following up on. Not one lead. Not one single lead.

KING: If, God forbid, this is the kind of predator who would hurt these girls and move to Massachusetts...

WALSH: Right.

KING: ... and is not going to do it again, you're never going to catch him, right?

WALSH: Well, I don't say they don't do it again, Larry. The...

KING: Do they always do...

WALSH: ... it's a predilection, it's an obsession, it's -- they're hunters and predators, predators. They don't stop. They do move, yes. We have three unsolved cases in Spottsylvania, Virginia, three little girls, very similar to this case, kidnapped after school. Two sisters and another girl, very similar looking, very similar in age...

KING: Could it be the same person?

WALSH: Could be the same guy, moved from Vir -- from Spottsylvania, Virginia, up to this Oregon city. Scopes out the neighborhood, checks it out, gets the lay of the land, and continues the preda -- his predatory.

KING: How are they usually caught? Leads, a tip?

WALSH: They're usually caught by luck. I hate to say it. They're usually caught by luck. They're usually -- I know for a fact in the Spottsylvania case, we did not have one piece of DNA. This guy -- the FBI psychological profiling division down there in Quantico, the serial killer unit has been studying this and said this guy is probably one of the best serial killers of children they've ever run up against.

If he is the guy that moved to Oregon, we are -- we're going to have a very scary guy, but it's usually luck.

KING: Because he leaves no clues.

WALSH: No clues. But you know what it is? It's usually luck. It's somebody who says, You know, I have a weird neighbor, or, This guy is really his -- bees -- bizarre, you know, he acts bizarre. Check this guy out.

Sometimes we get lucky, we just caught one in El Paso just before Christmas who kidnapped a little girl out of a Wal-Mart. He was so smart. He was out on parole, Larry, for raping an 8-year-old girl. He should have never been out of prison. In my book, he should have done the time. He was given 10 years, he was let out after one year.

He took this little girl, stripped her clothes off completely so there'd be no evidence, burned her face with lighter fluid, because he didn't want any DNA whatsoever, a 5-year-old girl. You know what? He left a palm print on her forehead, underneath the scarred skin.

Now we have great new technology, DNA and some really good forensic experts. The FBI, local police work together. And you know what? He was a registered sex offender. That's how we're tripping these guys up now, because of Megan's Law, where once they're a sex offender, they have to be registered. It came up, the handprint came up.

In the old days, when you and I first started talking about this 18 years ago, we would have never caught the guy. He would have never been in a computer bank. He wouldn't have been in a registered sex offenders' bank.

KING: John, by the way, used to come on my radio show on Mutual, the show that started talk radio, I guess...

WALSH: Absolutely.

KING: ... nationally, and John was a regular guest before he hosted "America's Most Wanted."

WALSH: Absolutely.

KING: When the book came out about...

WALSH: It was an honor, and you helped me get a lot of legislation passed in those days. You really did.

KING: So these are the hardest to catch because they're crazy and smart?

WALSH: Not crazy. FBI profilers say that they're...

KING: Well, something's the matter with them.

WALSH: Well, they're deranged to -- in their sexual preference, usually very smart, not insane. And I've been doing "America's Most Wanted" 15 years, and we've caught people in 30 countries with the help of the worldwide public.

The toughest to catch, the child killer. He never confesses, he never lays in the prison cell and says to the guy next to him, You know, I feel real guilty about murdering that child, or sexually abusing that child, because he knows they hate him in prison. They have their own code of honor in prison.

So these are the toughest guys to check -- to catch.

KING: Do we know why they go after kids?

WALSH: You know, we've been studying this for years. Dr. Gene Able (ph) of Emory University in Atlanta, very prestigious school, he studied pedophiles, he studied about 600 of them over a 10-year period. Those pedophiles were convicted of or admitted to over 6,000 molestations of boys and girls. They all said the same thing, It's our sexual preference, we don't know why we do it, but we know one thing, we'll keep doing it. You must separate us from society.

And that's my -- that's my feeling. When they cross that line, I don't know what to -- lock away the key. Nobody knows why they do it, but it's a sexual preference.

KING: I know you're a Catholic.

WALSH: Yes.

KING: And we'll talk about the priest situation as well. We also want to talk about a runaway who was caught tonight, and the girl apparently is OK.

We'll be right back with John Walsh. And this Saturday night, he'll cover the Portland case on his own program. We'll be including calls tonight. Tomorrow night in his first television appearance since all the fuss over being dropped by PBS, Louis Rukeyser will be our special guest tomorrow night to tell about what happened, what he may do next. Louis Rukeyser tomorrow night.

Right back with John Walsh. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED")

WALSH: Thirteen-year-old Ashley disappeared on her way to school here in Oregon City, Oregon on January 9. Her friend, Miranda, also 13, disappeared from the exact same spot two months later, on March 8.

Ashley was last seen wearing Tommy Hilfiger blue jeans, white Sketcher tennis shoes, and her Tweety Bird watch with the pink wristband she got for Christmas.

Miranda was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue hooded sweatshirt, and a blue or tan bookbag.

If you know anything about their disappearance, call us tonight at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: By the way, for over 20 years I've called him Louis Rukeyser, and I'm now corrected, I understand it's Louis Rukeyser. I've interviewed him, but I've always called him Louis Rukeyser, but it's Louis Rukeyser, so I apologize. Rook, not Ruck.

Our guest is John Walsh.

A 13-year-old girl who ran away with a North Carolina man she met on the Internet, authorities suspect that Cheyenne Simmons of Panorama City, California, traveling with 25-year-old Michael Allen Hulst (ph) of Jacksonville, he drove across the country to marry her. Hulst is wanted in connection for transporting a minor across state lines.

This afternoon outside Tombstone, Arizona, in Cochise County, a witness recognized the pair at a rest stop, reported them to the police. The man is under arrest, the girl is in protective custody.

Even if she is willing, this is still a crime, right?

WALSH: She's 13, Larry. She's 13. What does a 13-year-old girl know? This guy lures her off the Internet, he's 25 years old, drives all across country. How would she know that he wasn't going to tie her up in a motel and rape her and kill her? How was -- how did she know that she was -- he wasn't a pervert?

But I'll tell you what, I'm so relieved that this happened today. We were going to put this girl on Saturday night's show. You know what this is testimony to? The media, the media covering this. Great FBI work, getting on this case right away, getting into the computer and saying, OK, here's our suspect.

He visited her in a chat room. Here's -- we -- they tracked down where he came from in Jacksonville, get his M.O., put it on the national news. You know why she got -- she's safe today, and he didn't get a chance to do something terrible to her? Because of the media. That's how powerful (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Supposing she says he was very nice, he never touched me, there was nothing sexual, he was teaching me about the world, we were thinking about maybe getting married, we were going to get parents' permission, or she covers for him?

WALSH: Right.

KING: It still ain't going to work if she's 13.

WALSH: She could -- it isn't going to work. She's 13. The law's very, very clear. This guy knows better. He's 25 years old. He knows he did something wrong.

KING: There's no excuse for a 25-year-old to be with a 13-year- old.

WALSH: There's no excuse. Come on, there's no equal power base there, there's no excuse. It's exploitation. And he's going to pay. He's going to pay. He came and got her and he took her.

KING: You are Catholic.

WALSH: Yes, I am. I'm a Roman Catholic my whole life.

KING: What do you make of the obvious?

WALSH: Well, you know something? It's about time this all came out. It's about time -- we have been talking about pedophile priests ever since I was a young guy. I think it's the biggest transgression of trust when you are going to your priest for counsel or it's authority figure that you trust so much, and you're a young lady or a young boy that's been molested by priests.

And the Catholic Church has paid out over a billion dollars' worth of out-of-court settlements, of money that I donated to the church and other Catholics over the last 20 years. And they've shuttled around pedophile priests from one parish to the next, knowing that they're predators. You and I have talked about they're predators.

And I ask one question. Why didn't the pope in his recent address address the victims? Why didn't he apologize for the church to the victims? I hear cardinals and bishops saying, Well, we did this, we made a mistake, these priests, you know, we shouldn't have done this. What about the victims?

And I'll say the one thing that nobody seems to be dealing with, if you molested a 10-year-old altar boy or a little girl, or I molested them, we'd be in jail. You know we'd be in jail. If a rabbi did it, if a Protestant minister, they'd be in jail.

Those pedophile priests should be in jail. They should be prosecuted under criminal prosecution. Forget about the civil penalties, forget about settling out of court, forget about settling -- sending them to a monastery somewhere to rehabilitate them, to put them somewhere else.

You molest a 10-year-old boy, you should pay the price.

KING: Do you wonder why they do this?

WALSH: Because, you know, I listened to "Meet the Press" on Sunday. I thought it was a terrific show. And one priest really had the guts to say it. For years we've known that a lot of priests were gay in the priesthood. Everybody knows that, everybody knows a gay priest, because they get pressure on them to say, How come you're not married? So it was an easy out to join the priesthood.

Doesn't mean they're not a good priest, doesn't mean that they're not a good person. Again...

KING: And there's alcoholic priests.

WALSH: Lots of alcoholic priests. It's a great place to drink, you don't ever have to drive anywhere, you're in the rectory and you're drunk every day. We all -- I went to Carmelite High School, and I knew there were alcoholic priests in that high school. You could smell it on their breath every day.

But a pedophile priest, the church up until now was a great place to hide out. It was, like, you know, single people go to single bars to meet other single people. For a priest, it was -- pedophile priest, it was open season. They had great access to children, and they knew the church would protect them, that if they -- accusations were made, the church would pay off, and they'd be shipped to Arizona somewhere.

KING: You think there's a higher degree of the population of priests that are pedophiles than in the general population? Or is there just a lot of pedophiles?

WALSH: I think we're coming to grips with the fact that there's a lot of pedophiles, that there are people -- I was in Broward County about a month ago riding with the fugitive squad, and I asked the head of the fugitive squad, real brave guys who go out in the middle of the night and take down fugitives, he says, "We're going after some sexual predators tonight."

I said, "How many registered sex offenders are there in Broward County?" He says, "We've got 900 registered sex offenders, 13 are on the predator status. There's the really, really violent ones. And I think we're just coming to grips with the fact that pedophiles are everywhere in society, and the priesthood used to be a great place to hide out. But I still say the same thing, if they do the crime, they should do the time.

KING: So you don't think...

WALSH: They should pay.

KING: ... the ending of, say, of celibacy would end it?

WALSH: I do, I truly...

KING: You do.

WALSH: I absolutely do. I mean, there may be some priests who want to choose celibacy, and they can be great priests. But I'll tell you what, when my son was murdered and I went to the Catholic priesthood and to my cousin, who's a monsignor, a wonderful guy, they couldn't console me. They've never had a child. You and I talk about the special love of a child.

How can someone who's never had a child or someone who's never been married talk to someone and give them advice of how to deal with a rocky, you know, road through your marriage or how to deal with the loss of a child?

KING: Sexual problems.

WALSH: Absolutely, sexual problems. I think that it would be wonderful if the Catholic Church allowed priests to be married. Every other religion. And there are parts of the Catholic Church, which has just come to light, you know, in other countries, in Eastern countries, where the priests can be married.

KING: And it just happened in the third century, this was not some edict of the founders of the faith.

WALSH: Absolutely, absolutely. I think that -- I honestly think if priests had the option, we'd have a lot better priests. And you know what? Something like 20,000 priests have quit the priesthood in the last 10 years or so because it's so tough.

And I'd say, You know what? Priests, number of priests is declining so rapidly, it's time to change. Join the 21st century.

KING: More with John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted," "America Strikes Back," on every Saturday night, including your phone calls in a little while too, don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED")

WALSH: Now it's time to announce the latest member of the FBI's top 10 list.

Michael Scott Bliss is wanted for repeatedly molesting a 9-year- old girl, and that's not all. He's already served nine years in prison for nearly killing three boys with a baseball bat. So let's put him back behind bars tonight.

Michael Bliss is left-handed, and he's known to roll his own cigarettes. He may be working as a delivery truck driver and sleeping in highway rest stops.

If you know where Michael Scott Bliss is, call 1-800-CRIME-TV right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Louis Rukeyser tomorrow night. We'll be getting your calls in a little while.

John Walsh is our special guest, and he's going to start his own talk show -- everybody gets into the act! -- this September on NBC, a daytime talk show.

Looking forward to that?

WALSH: A am, I am. I'm honored that NBC would ask me. I've been asked many, many times. I think there's a place in the daytime market for serious things. I'd like to do it the old Phil Donahue style, high, you know, very serious topics...

KING: Issues of...

WALSH: No transvestite midgets from Mars, just, you know, something real serious. And I think the public, you know, by evidence of how much the news channels have gone up in the ratings, the American public's serious now, they want to know what's going on...

KING: Going to be "The John Walsh Show"?

WALSH: You got it.

KING: All right. The Van Dam, Danielle Van Dam, the -- that killing and then the involvement of the parents. Do you at all, I know you're friends with the parents, and they were on this show, blamed them for the mid -- marijuana use that night, and...

WALSH: I don't, I think it's apples and oranges. I think this guy was -- had met Danielle when she came to sell...

KING: The accused.

WALSH: ... the accused, that he had met Danielle when she came to sell him Girl Scout cookies. He became obsessed and focused in on her. He's a predator, in my opinion. What the parents do has nothing to do with the fact that this guy wanted to get this little girl, and he got her.

The trial's coming up. It's going to be tough on this family, because every part of your life...

KING: Comes out.

WALSH: ... it comes out, and...

KING: And that's the worst, right.

WALSH: it's going to be the worst. But you know what? They've done a great job, the police department down there. They've got a lot of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) evidence, they've got DNA, and I think this guy's going down.

KING: What's your read on the whole Andrea Yates matter?

WALSH: You know, I've talked about it. Just before that, I'd come on here to do the case of Christian Longo, the guy from Morgan who killed his three kids and his wife just before Christmas and went on the run and we caught him in Mexico, he was down there drinking, partying.

KING: He's in jail now?

WALSH: He's in jail back there facing the death penalty. And, you know, this guy was snorkeling and drinking pina coladas after killing his kids.

This is a very mentally ill woman, Larry, I don't think she should have faced the death penalty. She's very, very sick. I think the jury did the right thing. She'll be in jail the rest of her life. She should pay. I mean, God forbid she got out 20 years from now and they said, quote, "She was cured," and killed somebody else's child.

But I don't think she should have...

KING: How about her husband?

WALSH: You know, I can't figure this guy out, Larry. I mean, I...

KING: He was on this show.

WALSH: I know, I know you talked to him. I don't know how everybody say he's a control freak. You know, here's a woman that's overwhelmed, got five kids in the house. He said he never changed a diaper. I've changed a ton of diapers over the years.

And I think a participating father is right in there. I don't know how you don't know that your wife is so mentally ill that you don't go outside and you get some help. Now he's blaming the system. I mean, here -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- I don't understand that, I can't figure this guy out.

I don't say I've had anything to do with it, but I don't know you can't figure out that your wife is desperately mentally ill and needs some help.

KING: Robert Blake's wife.

WALSH: Geez, you know, the LAPD is going very slow on this case, because they learned one thing from O.J., that you know what? A couple of hotshot attorneys can tear you apart in that courtroom if you haven't crossed your T's and dotted your I's. I think they're going to get ready to indict somebody pretty soon. That's the scuttlebutt, that's the word.

I've talked to, you know, LAPD, and they said, You know what? We're not going to be ramrodded by the media into talking about this, we're not going to make a mistake. When we indict somebody, we're going to know who did it.

I just don't like, and I've said it to you before, I don't think, no matter how much you don't like the person you're married to or you aren't married to, the day after she's murdered, I don't think you get a lawyer and start disparaging her. I don't think you start casting aspersions on her character. I don't think you start striking out the day afterward.

You know what you do? You feel sorry for her, you mourn for her, you have a daughter in common. I think this is really, really strange behavior that you start disparaging your murdered wife the day after she was murdered.

KING: You have interest in the Skakel case?

WALSH: The Skakel case, you know, I think it's going to set precedent in this country because I'm a great believer in going back and solving cold cases. We've done a lot of them on "America's Most Wanted."

KING: Boy, that's a cold one.

WALSH: That's a really cold one. I'm glad that the judge had the guts to say, I'm going to try him as an adult. I think it's a crap shoot. I think that -- I think the prosecution's going to have a real, real tough time. But you know what? I always believe justice delayed is not justice denied. I'd like to see something positive come out of this.

KING: I know you're very interested in this Daniel Peres (ph) case. What is that?

WALSH: Well, Daniel Peres is a...

KING: By the way, we'll be taking calls right at the bottom of the hour.

WALSH: Daniel Peres is a real, real lowlife. His wife wanted to leave him because he was violent. Larry, he stalked her, he tracked her down, the -- she went to meet with him, you know how these poor women say, Maybe we can work this out, you're terrifying me. He followed her and shot her in the head in broad daylight at a gas station in front of everybody, and cold-bloodedly walked away from her.

I don't know how a judge ever released him, but he posted a $2 million bond. This guy shot his estranged wife in front of 20 witnesses in the head. She almost died. And they let him out on $2 million.

KING: He got bond. WALSH: He got bonded out. I don't know what this judge was thinking.

KING: Where was this?

WALSH: California. And you know what he did? He went into the home of her father, who he hated, who was going to testify against him, and he murdered her father in front of five children.

Daniel Peres is on the top of my most-wanted list, along with a couple other pedophiles.

KING: You mean, he's on bond...

WALSH: Two million dollar bond.

KING: ... and he murdered someone else, and...

WALSH: He kills his estranged...

KING: ... what do we know, do we have any idea where he went there?

WALSH: Nobody knows. They think he's on the run with a gang banger, another guy, a buddy of his. Maybe in Mexico, maybe coming back and forth. But how he got bonded out, he threatened the family, they had no protection, he broke into the house and cold-bloodedly shot his estranged wife's father in front of five kids.

KING: How did he, how did he get the $2 million he needed, $200,000 to get $2 million?

WALSH: He got them from a, from low, some lowlife buddies somewhere or put up...

KING: Came up with (UNINTELLIGIBLE) money of his own.

WALSH: ... his house or something, I mean, I -- I guess so, I don't know how he got it...

KING: Was the judge asked to explain why he gave the bond?

WALSH: Oh, boy, the judge is in hot water. The judge is in hot water, because everybody's asking the same question. You knew this is a violent guy. The prosecutor told you that he cold-bloodedly shot his wife in front of 20 witnesses. You know that he hates the family, you know he's threatened the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) family. Why didn't you put the bond at $5 million? Why didn't you not let -- you know, the -- judges can deny bond all the time. It drives me crazy.

KING: And for a capital case, yes.

WALSH: Yes, but a capital case, it was attempted cold-blooded first degree murder, it was a capital case, attempted first degree murder. I don't know, this judge is going to have to live with it the rest of his life. Because five little kids watched their father murdered by this guy in front of them.

KING: Before your son was killed, abducted and killed, did you have any interest in the law...

WALSH: No.

KING: ... crime and other than just the passing interest of a citizen?

WALSH: No. You know, I look back, how naive I was. You know, I was building a $26 million hotel in the Bahamas on Paradise Island, successful at a very young age. You know what I thought? That only crime happened in the ghetto, only people that lived in the ghetto, because I lived in Hollywood, Florida, you're so, you know, south Florida, Hollywood was beautiful in those days. And I would drive to Coral Gables. I was, I lived in a, in a, in a naive world that crime couldn't impact anybody.

But I'll tell you who really summed it up one time was Bill Cosby after his son was murdered. We belong to this terrible club of parents of murdered children. He says, "In this country, anybody can be a crime victim any time," he said. "Maybe our greatest basketball player, Michael Jordan's father, was killed for a Lexus." He said, "My son was killed in Beverly Hills, not in East L.A., not in Harlem, not in Watts. He was killed in Beverly Hills for a car." He says, "You know what? We ought to wake up and realize that anybody can be a crime victim any time."

KING: John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted," "America Strikes Back," on Fox. He'll host his own talk show on NBC this fall. And we'll take your calls right after these words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICA's MOST WANTED")

WALSH: Twenty years ago, John Patrick Addis (ph) was a co's cop. He was a young, ambitious state trooper in Fairbanks, Alaska. Quickly advanced from patrolling the highways to the criminal investigation division.

Addis started dating Joanne Albanese (ph), a successful business woman and divorced mother of two.

On August 19, 1995, Joanne decided to tell Addis that the relationship was over.

Four days later, Joanne's car was found abandoned 200 miles away near Prescott, Arizona. There was no sign of Joanne or John Addis.

Investigators were certain Addis had murdered Joanne Albanese, but he left no physical evidence, no defined crime scene, and most important, no corpse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back. Our special guest, John Walsh. We'll go to your calls in a moment. But that clip we just showed you about the case of John Patrick Adis, a former Alaskan state trooper, expertise in forensics and criminal investigation. Avid body builder. And they're trying to find him for the kidnapping and murder of his girlfriend seven years ago.

WALSH: Tough guy to catch. I've been profiling this guy for several years now. As you mentioned, he was a homicide investigator in Alaska. So he knows all about crime scenes.

KING: And this is obviously a crime of passion, right?

WALSH: Well, he was an exploiter of women. When he stopped being a cop, he became a body builder and worked in gyms, went to Las Vegas. He exploited several women. He was a hustler.

KING: He didn't kill her when he was a cop then?

WALSH: No, noe, he was a personal trainer and kind of a gigolo, exploiter of single women.

KING: How does she stay loose like this?

WALSH: Well, I think he's smart. I think he hid the body. They didn't find the body for three years, because he's a crime scene investigator. So he hid it out in the woods. He got a good headstart. They finally indicted him.

And I think his ego's going to trip him up, because he thinks he's got a great body. He's always worked in gyms. He thinks he's real smart and real handsome. I think somebody's going to spot him somewhere, but he's been a real tough guy to catch because he knows the system.

KING: Well, doesn't he know that he knows that?

WALSH: Oh, yes, oh, yes. He watches the show, I'm sure he does and he knows it.

KING: Albuquerque, New Mexico, as we go to calls for John Walsh, an American hero. Hello?

CALLER: Mr. Walsh, good evening.

WALSH: Good evening.

CALLER: What are your recommendations to make punishment fit these crimes against our children? Because what we have do not seem to be working.

WALSH: Well, you're absolutely right. I really urge all Americans now that there's so much attention to crimes against children, is to realize that the criminal justice system lets children down all the time. That the simple case in El Paso, when a guy rapes an 8-year-old girl, how does he get out of jail after only serving one year?

I mean, these people need to pay for their crimes. And the only way you can make them pay for their crimes is to go before state legislatures, like they've done in certain states, and pass really tough penalties and keep these people in jail.

KING: What does the parole record show? There are records, right? They keep a record of what was said?

WALSH: Absolutely.

KING: Do we find out why they let him go?

WALSH: It's mind boggling. Until Texas, you know, cleaned up their parole system in when Ann Richards was governor, guys were buying their way out by paying $500 and getting a former parole board consultant that might be head of the parole board.

There are so many inequities in the criminal justice system. But these guys, especially the child exploiters, Larry, are masters at manipulating parole boards. And saying I'll go to the meetings, I'm rehabilitated. We know they can't be rehabilitated, but the laws need to be stiffened.

KING: Alexandria, Virginia, for John Walsh. Hello?

CALLER: Hi, John. I really admire you. And I was just wondering do you think that sexual predators of young children can ever be cured? And if not, what do think should be done with them?

WALSH: Well, first of all, I don't think they can be cured. We've never been able to figure it out. And I've always said it. You can study them, when they die, study their brains, study their genes, study their background, whatever, but studies have proven conclusively that they can't be cured. This is their sexual preference. This is their predilection. This is what turns them on.

KING: Even those that willingly participate in psychiatric examinations, willing to talk about it to try to find an answer?

WALSH: A big smokescreen. I'm telling you from personal experience, probably 40 or 50 of the pedophiles that I've done on "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED" have rap sheets five miles long. They've been in therapy, they've gone to group sessions. That's the way they get out.

I do know one thing. The longer you keep them in prison, the less chance they have to get at children. The older they get, the less risk they are. So my philosophy is, when they've crossed that line, when they've hurt a child, put them away, throw away the key, let them out when they're an old man.

But I also believe in Megan's Law, the sex offender registry. And people don't know this that every police department and sheriff's department in the country is mandated to keep a sex offender registry. So where you live, if you want to know who's a sexual predator living next door to you, go and visit the Web site of your police department or your sheriff's department or call them up and say I want to know if a sexual predator or a sexual molester lives next door to me.

There are so many of them in Oregon City, where these two girls that are missing, that the FBI is slowly going to interview them. There were some 50 some around Danielle Van Dam's house that they were interviewing. So people have the right to know.

KING: Tampa, Florida for John Walsh. Hello?

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for Mr. Walsh is, the government has proposed using a DNA databank to keep track of the terrorists and detainees. How do you feel about using that same technology to keep track of child predators?

WALSH: Terrific question. I absolute am an advocate of DNA banks. Several...

KING: How does that work?

WALSH: Well, here's what happens. You're a convicted felon. Not you've been accused. You're convicted. You're a convicted sex offender or a rapist, or violent criminal. You're coming up for parole or whatever. Your DNA goes into a bank.

Several states now have their own DNA criminal banks. There's no -- and the FBI is trying to establish a national DNA bank. And do you know what? Tons of crimes have been solved because they'll have a victim, but they won't have a suspect. They'll have DNA.

They access the DNA bank and say, oh my God, it's Bob Smith. He's a sexual predator. He's in jail in Oregon. He committed this rape six months ago or whatever. I'm an absolute advocate of DNA convicted felons. I'm not talking about violating the civil liberties of anybody. Once you cross that line and you're a convicted felon of a violent crime, you should be in that DNA bank, especially if you're getting out of prison.

KING: And you also agree that even though the person may have served his time, forget parole, he served his full time...

WALSH: Right.

KING: ...the people on the block have a right to know that a convicted sexual predator lives on the block?

WALSH: Absolutely. Because you know what? He's given up his rights. When he sodomized or raped that little girl or that little boy, and he's been convicted, even though he's done his time, he crossed that line. You know what Megan's Law and the sex offender registries are about? About children's rights. They're about parents' rights. About time we started thinking about the victims. KING: John Walsh is our guest. Back with more phone calls. Louis Rukeyser tomorrow night. Friday night, a tribute to Lawrence Welk, a 50 years, an icon of American television. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED")

WALSH: Surgeons rushed to save Daryl's life. Daryl found the strength to survive and the courage to identify John Boyd as the man he says nearly killed him. Police quickly arrested John Boyd as well as two of his accomplices. But the third accomplice, Dimitrius Andruzkopolis was able to get out of Aguaca (ph) before they brought him in.

Daryl will be paralyzed for the rest of his life. He's experienced horror no child or adult should ever have to live through and often thinks about the father he lost so young in life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with John Walsh. Before we go back to the calls, tell us about that case we just saw going out of Andruzkopolis.

WALSH: Dimitrius Andruzkopolis. Again, right at the top of my list of the biggest coward scumbags going. He and those four guys tortured the father all night long. Strangling...

KING: Why?

WALSH: ...to get money. And they thought he had some marijuana in the house. They tortured the 12-year-old son that you saw there in that wheelchair.

KING: Just the father and son?

WALSH: Father and son were there in the house. They tortured the son in front of the father to get him to tell wherever he had whatever hidden, money or some marijuana, they thought. They stabbed and murdered the father in front of the son. They stabbed that little boy in the back in his spine. And he'll be paralyzed the rest of his life. They thought he was dead. They left the house, thought they had killed both of them.

The boy survived miraculously and gave the names to the cops of one of the four guys. Three of them have been caught. This coward is still out there. I don't know how you do this.

KING: Three have been convicted or?

WALSH: Three -- they're going to trial. How do you torture a 12-year-old boy in front of his father and strangle him and stab him?

KING: Well, who's the guy missing? WALSH: Dimitrius Andruzkopolis. This is a guy. I want him. He's right up there in top 10, this guy, this coward. Murders a father right in front of 12-year-old boy and paralyzes him for life. Unbelieveable.

KING: Eureka, California, for John Walsh. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, John. I appreciate you so much as a child. I just had a question for you. What do you think about using the computer chips underneath the skin to find missing children to protect our children? Do you agree or disagree?

KING: It's a new concept. You put the chip in the child and you can follow him anywhere.

WALSH: Absolutely, you know something...

KING: Take it out when they're adults.

WALSH: Years ago, a dentist in South Florida, back when we both lived in South Florida, came up with the idea of implanting a chip in his child's tooth. If your child's missing, the first thing you want to know is...

KING: Where?

WALSH: And if they're dead, you want to get the body. The not knowing is what's killing these mothers up in Oregon City.

Unfortunately, the technology didn't exist back then. It was only good for maybe about a two-mile radius. And it was a radio transmitter. Now we have the global positioning satellite. You know, this Onstar, if you get in a car accident, they know exactly where you are. They send 911. I think it's a great idea. I know and I've said it many, many times. You'd rather know what happened to your child, you'd rather find out what happened to them, than go to the morgue, claim their body.

KING: But if they were kidnapped, you'd be able to trace them?

WALSH: It would be phenomenal. I just hope somebody comes up with the technology. I don't know how you do it in your child. I think someone should examine the possibility of putting it on children's teeth, because we'd be catching these guys right and left. And we'd know where these kids were.

KING: Long Beach, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Mr. King and Mr. Walsh. What can we do to make certain that these rapists and pedophiles go to jail and stay there with no possibility of parole?

KING: The average citizen.

WALSH: Absolutely. You know, years ago, I was interviewed by 30 female journalists, many, many years ago in South Florida, radio, television and print reporters. They said, "Mr. Walsh, what can we really do? We're women, you know, there's only a few members of Congress that are women. You know, the glass ceiling. We aren't paid equal pay, etcetera."

And I said, "You know what? Do me a favor." And they said, "What can we do about predators? Women -- we're raped, we're stalked." I said each one of you ladies write down your two U.S. Senators, your member of Congress in the House of Representatives and your state legislators and give me the sheet."

And you know what? Only one woman of the 30 could do it. She had been raped in a Jacksonville parking lot. She was an anchor and became an advocate. I said, "You know what, ladies? You're in the media, you're sophisticated. You don't even know who you elected to Congress. You don't know who you elected to the state legislature. How are you going to change these laws? How do you keep these guys in jail? Get involved. Next time that state legislator or that U.S. senator or the U.S. Congress man or woman says I want your $100, ask him about the victims rights constitutional amendment that's going nowhere in Congress. Ask them about stiffening the penalties for child molesters."

And you know what? That's how you get laws changed.

KING: Is there a danger, John, do you ever think that possibly in discussing it like this, you create a paranoia?

WALSH: I don't think so.

KING: We start to overly worry about our kids and get overly protective?

WALSH: I don't think there's such a thing as getting overly protective when we constantly in the news, and I'm constantly back here talking to you about cases of missing children, about murdered children.

We're constantly, you know, the head of Interpol said to me several years ago, you know, you Americans, you're so naive. You don't think anything can happen to you. Look at this map. I was in the map room at their Interpol secret headquarters. And they were showing all the terrorist attacks throughout the world. Attacks against Americans in Beirut, where they blew up 241 Marines. And they said it's coming to you, but you're in denial.

I don't believe in paranoia. I believe that knowledge is power. I really believe that education -- that every school should have a mandatory program to teach kids about people who exploit them, what they should do, what are the good rules of protection. You know? We're waking up as a country. We really are waking up.

KING: Why do you constantly refer to the perpetrators as cowards?

WALSH: Because anyone that -- the vast majority of guys that I do are real cowards. They prey upon women and children. They wouldn't do it to a man. They wouldn't confront a man. A guy that sexually assaults a little child is a coward, is a low life coward to me. A guy that rapes a woman, hurts a woman, murders a woman, a serial killer, they're cowards. They don't have the guts. You know, and I looked at them as dogs.

KING: I wonder if you can -- there was a famous movie years ago called "The Mark," wonderful movie. And a predator is the central figure. And he said I feel like I'm in an automobile, I have no legs, I'm going downhill, I can't reach the brake, and there's a child at the bottom of the hill. In other words, I can't help it.

WALSH: Great analogy.

KING: Isn't there some sorrow for that? I mean, I know it's terrible.

WALSH: Yes, but it's reality.

KING: But he can't help it.

WALSH: It's the reality that I had to face 20 years ago that there were sexual predators and child molesters out there. I never dreamed my beautiful 6.5-year-old son could be kidnapped. I never dreamed he would be brutally murdered. I never dreamed it would be by someone that was sexually obsessed with six-year-old boys.

But I live in the world of reality. I know one thing over 15 years on "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED," a lot of evil walks on this planet. There's a lot of bad guys out there. Most of them are cowards and they're dogs and they need to be hunted down like the dogs they are.

KING: Any of them women?

WALSH: Some of them are women. This week's show is called "Bad Girls." It's all about women that have killed or exploited people. But the vast majority of the violent offenders are men.

KING: Any women predators?

WALSH: The only serial killer ever was a woman serial killer was Elaine Warnos, who's on death row in Florida right now.

KING: Yes, she's thrown her lawyers out and wants to die?

WALSH: She wants to die. She had a horrible childhood, Larry. She was sexually assaulted, thrown out on -- she was a throwaway child at 11. She was on the streets at 11-years-old. She was raped six times in one month. I'm not saying that to...

KING: She was a prostitute who killed...

WALSH: Got even with men. I'm not saying justification because you're molested or abused. Lots of guys in jail use this as a copout, but it's -- a majority of them are men without a doubt and they're cowards.

KING: Back with our remaining moments with John Walsh on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED")

WALSH: Parents in this working class community in Long Beach, California, thought of Richard Goldberg as a friend. Goldberg had turned his backyard into a child's paradise, with swings and a pen for pet rabbits and ducks. Inside his home, kids could play with computer games and art supplies. But what no parent here knew, cops say, was that Goldberg's interest in their children was far from innocent. Cops investigated and everyone's worst fears were confirmed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has already assaulted six kids. And we know that he's guys don't stop. WALSH: Before cops could close in, Goldberg took off. If you have any information about Richard Goldberg, please call our hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED")

WALSH: To this day, most people in the low riding industry still fear these accused killers, but a few brave tipsters are willing to take a stand.

JIMMY KRUGER: I'm afraid, but I've got to do what my conscience leads me to do. I've had the Lopez brothers' pictures on my doors for as long as I've had the posters because Mr. Miller meant that much to me. And I respected him and loved him. And not only as a friend, but as a family member.

WALSH: Take another look at the Lopez brothers. Rubin Lopez is 5'8" and about 180 pounds. His brother, David, is shorter and stockier at 5'4" and 175 pounds. If you've seen either of our fugitives call us now at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

KING: Before I ask about the Lopezes, John, what about Steve Goldberg?

WALSH: Typical pedophile. Sets his house up like a children's palace. He's got ducks and rabbits in the backyard. He's taken kids to Disney World. And he's accused of molesting six little girls, which he actually videotaped the molestation and kept it on his computer on a CD-ROM, so he could review it. Typical pedophile. And I've only got to ask people that -- and he preyed a lot on single mothers, you know, mothers that are overworked. They're divorced.

KING: So if you got somebody in your neighborhood that loves kids and invites them over, be careful?

WALSH: Be street smart. I mean, there's tons of people out there who work with kids...

KING: What do you do, go to their house? WALSH: Absolutely, check it out. I mean, isn't it -- didn't these people, weren't these people suspicious that he wasn't dating anybody, he showed no interest in the mothers?

KING: This was in Long Beach?

WALSH: Yes, Long Beach. He always had the kids over alone. He'd take the kids to Disney World. And you know how he got caught was some of the kids that he had over, their little girls were accessing his computer. They saw pictures of their neighbors naked with him having sex with him and told the police. Now those are some brave little girls.

KING: He got away though?

WALSH: He got away before they got to him, right.

KING: What's the Lopez brothers?

WALSH: Lopez brothers, I've profiled these guys for years. They were millionaires in the low rider business, you know, the cars that go up and down, bounce up and down? They made tons of money in customizing cars. And they had a competitor, the Millers.

And they hired three hit men to kill 61-year-old Mr. Miller, who was their competitor. What a way to eliminate the competition. Horrible. The hitmen got caught, confessed and turned the Lopez brothers in. And they were just greedy predators who hired a hit man to kill a competitor.

KING: And they've been missing how long?

WALSH: They've been out there since 1990. They've been out there.

KING: Wow.

WALSH: I know, they've been out there. I think they've gone back and forth into Mexico. But I tell you what, we have a lot of Mexican viewers. And I think one of the days they're going to spot the Lopez brothers.

KING: You never give up, do you?

WALSH: You know, I say keep doing it. I've caught guys that have been out there 15 years.

KING: Anna Gonish (ph), Nova Scotia for John Walsh. Hello?

CALLER: Mr. Walsh, have you worked on the Chandra Levy case?

WALSH: Yes, I was very involved with the Chandra Levy case. Matter of fact, Larry and I did a special show about it. And I think we were the first one who brought up the fact that two young women were murdered in the Dupont Circle area in the previous year and a half before Chandra Levy, and that the D.C. police never really tied it together.

And one of them was Joyce Chung, an INS lawyer, who looked just like Chandra Levy, who was walking home from a Starbucks and lived a quarter of a mile from Chandra Levy. she was missing three months. And they found her body in the Potomac River decomposed. Another young woman, who was an intern on Capitol Hill, was murdered and found in a canal in Georgetown. You're familiar with D.C., very close to Dupont Circle a year and a half before Chandra Levy was killed.

KING: Do you have a gut feeling therefore?

WALSH: Serial killer in the Dupont Circle. Gary Condit, yes, a liar, had sex with her, never told anybody. But I'll tell you what, it's a double-edged sword. You wouldn't know Chandra Levy's name if Gary Condit hadn't lied about having sex with her.

5,000 missing women, cases unsolved. Never heard of in the FBI computer. You don't know the name of one.

KING: Do you continue to work a case like that...

WALSH: They're still working it because of the high profile. They're still working the case. I think they're now -- they know that they have a sexual predator in that area. They think that those murders were related. Gary Condit has been cleared. The public paid him back for his lying, by not sending him back to Congress. But I tell you what, there's three unsolved: one missing woman, Chandra Levy, and two unsolved homicides in that Dupont Circle area.

KING: John, I don't know what to -- it's always good seeing you.

WALSH: Wonderful to see you, Larry.

KING: John Walsh, what an incredible guy. The host of "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED." We go back a long way. "AMERICA STRIKES BACK," they'll be on again Saturday night, looking at female provocateurs. His son, Adam, was abducted and killed in the summer of 1981. And I've known him for 20 years. John Walsh.

We'll take a break come back and tell you about tomorrow and Friday night and what's ahead on the weekend as well on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay right there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: You have no doubt heard that PBS has dropped Louis Rukeyser. There's been much in the press about it, will make first media appearance to discuss the matter tomorrow night on this program. Friday night, a tribute to Lawrence Welk on "LARRY KING WEEKEND."

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


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