CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interviews With Harland Braun, Cary Goldstein, Margerry Bakley
Aired April 22, 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, Robert Blake pleads not guilty to murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. By his side in court, attorney Harland Braun. We will ask him about his celebrity client and this high-profile case.
Also with us, Bonny Lee's sister, Margerry Bakley. How does she feel about her brother-in-law's arraignment, plus the attorney for the Bakley family, Cary Goldstein.
Then, the host of "America's Most Wanted," John Walsh. He'll talk about the sensational Blake case and the sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic church and a lot more. He'll take your calls, too. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin with Harland Braun, the defense attorney for Robert Blake. He joins us by phone. Thank you for being with us, Harland.
HARLAND BRAUN, ROBERT BLAKE'S ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me.
KING: What do we mean by arraignment compared to preliminary hearing?
BRAUN: Arraignment is just where you are initially charged and you plead not guilty. A preliminary hearing is they present some evidence to satisfy the judge there's enough evidence to go to trial.
KING: And bail is set, if bail is set, when?
BRAUN: Well, there is no bail because it's a capital offense right now. We've reserved the right to make a bail motion May 1.
KING: Is there a difference usually a week difference between arraignment and preliminary hearing?
BRAUN: Oh, no. Usually in a case like this, it would be months. But this next date is just a date to set a preliminary hearing. So I would estimate it might be months away, depending on the amount of evidence we're given.
KING: This would mean trial is how far away?
BRAUN: My guess would be this year sometime. I mean, a preliminary hearing, given 35,000 pages and 900 exhibits, is probably four months away, and depending on what happens there, another four months to trial, by the end of the year.
KING: What's the mood of your client?
BRAUN: He's very serene. He is very happy. Mrs. Margerry Bakley has said that she's not going to be trying to take Rosie away from Delli (ph) Blake, who is raising her. That was one of his goals, as you know, throughout the whole unfortunate relationship, was to maintain that Rosie would be raised in a moral environment. So that's really made him very, very happy.
KING: Harland, have you ever reconsidered some of the ways -- you've been very strong in putting the victim on trial in a sense. You said -- even said that you might have considered murder had you been in Blake's situation.
BRAUN: I would have thought about it. I wouldn't have done it. But, no I don't. I'll tell you why. I mean, I feel sad about it because I love Rosie. Robert's more than a client. He's a friend and I am talking about Rosie's mother. So if you put it that way, you can see.
But the problem is is that the character, the background, the history of a victim of murder is always a clue as to who has a motive to kill him. In this particular case, Bonny Lee's background was so sordid and so difficult and there was so many victims of her criminal activities that you can't overlook it. And, of course, it also fits in because this was Robert Blake's motive for marrying Bonny, because he did not want Rosie to slip into this lifestyle. So, you know what? I have to do my job and I didn't do it just for the sake of besmirching the dead. I do it because it's relevant.
KING: Can you understand, Harland, why your client would be a prime suspect?
BRAUN: Oh, absolutely, I mean, because any time that you have a woman that is murdered and there's not a rape or a robbery, the lover, the boyfriend, the husband, is the No. 1 on the list. And so, statistically, the police are going on probabilities. It's our position, though, this is not a probability. This is a specific case.
KING: I have read the prosecution's complaint. It seems very strong. I guess all complaints look very strong upon reading. But it deals with alleged other plots, attempts maybe to kill her when she was in Arizona.
KING: Another suspect unknown. What do you make of the complaint?
BRAUN: I make of it -- and maybe I'm being a little Polyannish right now -- is that if they had a strong case that he murdered her, they would say he murdered her on such and such a day, end of story. We're going to present the physical evidence and proved that me murdered her. You wouldn't be throwing in subplots, other people who claim they talked to him. I read it as a weakness in their case. But, you know what? Time will tell. I haven seen their evidence, so I'm really not in a great position to judge it until the end of the week.
KING: They're claiming that Mr. Caldwell conspired in this, because we all know he was in San Francisco that night, right?
BRAUN: That's right.
KING: So the prosecution is saying he did what?
BRAUN: Well, it appears that they're saying that he was involved in an aborted conspiracy of some type, that did not result in Bonny's death -- very odd -- and then unrelated solicitations. And then they're saying that Robert Blake personally killed her. That's what is purported of what they're saying.
But when you look at the charges, it makes no sense because some of the charges that they're saying things that occurred had three witnesses, Earle, Robert and Bonny. So who's going to be their witness to those events? Obviously, there is no witness to some of these charges.
KING: Do you think they're hoping that Earle will turn?
BRAUN: Yes. I think what they did was they threw him in jail, held him on $1 million bail, and trying to make him say what they want. He's been very cooperative with them. He's given them numerous interviews. But they don't like what he has say. What he has to say is not consistent with their theory.
KING: Wait a minute. Are you saying that the prosecution is trying to make him fit a theory that may not have happened?
BRAUN: Well, he says it didn't happen. They say it did happen. It's their theory. So, you know, this is not -- I'm not criticizing. This is standard operating procedure for prosecutors. They developed a theory. They then threaten people with jail if they don't give testimony that's consistent with their theory.
KING: How about the fact the police searched the properties after last week's arrest, which took place nearly a year after the crime?
BRAUN: Yes, I think what happened there was Chief Parks, who was leaving, wanted to have a press conference, his swan song. So I think what happened is that the police jumped the gun by a couple of weeks, embarrassing the DA, putting them in a jam, and, basically, shocking me. Shocking me because I expected a phone call from the chief investigator at some point saying, we have concluded our investigation. We would like to take another statement of Robert Blake and that would have put me in the position of saying either no, which would -- then they could say, well, he wouldn't talk to us; or yes, and they would have had an opportunity to confront Robert with all kinds of things that they have developed over the last year.
It was a no-brainer as far as I was concerned. And I thought that's what would signal the conclusion of their investigation.
KING: Why don't you want cameras?
BRAUN: I don't want them in this case because I think that in Hollywood cases, witnesses are going to grandstand. They're going to try to elaborate on stories to look good. They'll make up stories just to be part of Hollywood. And some witnesses will just be afraid to come into court because they don't want to be embarrassed on national television. Average cases are fine. You know, local cases, maybe fine. But this kind of case, it's just too dangerous. It would affect the witnesses.
KING: Bonny Lee's side though says that you want to block the cameras so the public only gets one side of the case, the thrashing of the victim.
BRAUN: No. I mean, I'm not saying that people can't comment, talk about the case outside the court or I'm not saying that there can't be the written media in there. I just think the television medium is so strong and so immediate that witnesses are highly affected by it. But they're not affected by, say, the newspaper reporters.
KING: Apparently, Caldwell kept a list of some sort. Does that look damaging to you?
BRAUN: Yes. When I first saw it a year ago, I thought it was. But, you know, at the time, I sat down with him and he sat down with the police and explained that he does, you know, work. He did work, construction work, around the properties and that he was cleaning a pool. And what initially looks like a little shocking list actually has an innocent explanation. He's already explained it to police, and they just don't like his explanation.
KING: He has his own attorney, right?
BRAUN: Yes, separate lawyer.
KING: Thanks, Harland. We'll be calling on you again.
BRAUN: OK. It's wonderful to be with you.
KING: Same here. Harland Braun, defense attorney for Robert Blake.
When we come back, the deceased's sister, Margerry Bakley, the sister of the late Bonny Lee Bakely, and the attorney for the Bakley family, Cary Goldstein, will join us. Then John Walsh. Dominic Dunn tomorrow night. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: In this case, people vs. Robert Blake and Earle Caldwell in count one, it is charged that on May the 4th of 2001, Mr. Blake committed a first-degree murder of Bonny Lee Bakley and it is further alleged that Robert Blake personally and intentionally discharged a firearm which caused proximate -- which caused great bodily injury and death to Bonny Lee Bakley.
All right. Mr. Braun, how does your client plead?
BRAUN: Not guilty, your honor.
UNIDENTIFIED JUDGE: All right. Mr. Blake enters a plea of not guilty on his own behalf.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Margerry Bakley. Margerry is the sister of Bonny Lee Bakley; and Cary Goldstein, the attorney for the Bonny Lee Bakley family. Any reactions, Margerry, to the court arraignment today?
MARGERRY BAKLEY, BONNY LEE BAKLEY'S SISTER: It was horrible. It was horrible to see everything written out, and to see all the people. It was just a terrible thing.
KING: You were present?
BAKLEY: I was present.
BAKLEY: Because, you know, when you watch it on TV, it just doesn't quite seem real. And, you know, after 11 and a half months of waiting, I wanted to know that this was really taking place and to be there and actually see these people and...
KING: Was it hard for you to be in the same room with Robert Blake?
BAKLEY: It was very hard to be in the same room with Mr. Blake and Mr. Caldwell, but just as hard to sit in the same room with Mr. Braun.
KING: Cary, do you take offense to Mr. Braun too, do you not, in this?
CARY GOLDSTEIN, BAKLEY FAMILY ATTORNEY: No, I don't take offense to Mr. Braun. He's got a client. He's doing his job. I don't particularly like the tactics he's utilizing at this point and time. But, personally, I have no problem with him.
KING: He dismissed the Caldwell list idea. Did you want to say something on that?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, Margerry points out that there's no pool at the Matahari (ph) Ranch. And he said these are pool supplies.
KING: There's no pool at that ranch?
GOLDSTEIN: That's what Margerry says, and she's positive of it. KING: Did the police do a good job, do you think, Margerry?
BAKLEY: Oh, they've been so wonderful, so good. They've done everything possible to assist the family and to do the right thing.
GOLDSTEIN: Larry, I think if you take a good look at that complaint and read it...
KING: I'm read it. You gave to it me.
GOLDSTEIN: ... they've done apparently a very thorough job, just as we expected. Also it's very consistent with what the police have been told up until now. They wouldn't obviously put it in there unless they were able to prove it.
KING: It mentions person or persons unknown. Does that throw you off a little, that there may be other people involved here that they don't know who they are?
GOLDSTEIN: I don't fully understand what they're getting at with that, but my understanding is that there are other people that they've interviewed who have information.
KING: Have information?
GOLDSTEIN: Who have information. Not necessarily were moving forward to perpetrate the crime, but were soliciting.
KING: Harland said if they've got all the facts, what do we need to bring up about Arizona and driving out to other places? Why don they just show what they have in connection with the May 4 killing?
GOLDSTEIN: I think it has to do with the conspiracy theory. I think it has to do with bringing Caldwell closer into the action.
KING: Margerry, why did your sister stay?
BAKLEY: She wanted to be with her baby. Mr. Blake had taken Rosie when she was three months old in September of 2000. And my sister had only seen her between September and May 4 twice, both for one hour each time at Delina's house under armed bodyguard.
KING: So she stayed to be with her baby?
BAKLEY: She wanted to be with her daughter.
KING: A baby you have allowed to stay where she was.
BAKLEY: I have no desire to hurt that baby or traumatize her in any sort.
KING: Did you ever think of asking maybe I want to have her?
BAKLEY: If Mr. Blake was going to stay in the picture, yes, I would have pursued custody.
KING: Cary, do you have any recommendation in that regard?
GOLDSTEIN: Well, the problem that the family had was that Rose was being raised by the individual that the family believes murdered her mother. So that doesn't work. But there's no reason that the Bakley family shouldn't be involved in Rosie's life. She has her mother's family. She has aunts, grandmother, half-siblings.
KING: Margerry, why do you think Robert Blake killed your sister?
BAKLEY: Well, he told her over and over again he was going to kill her. He was cold as ice with her. Again, he dangled Rosie over her head for a long time. At no given point did she really know for certain where Rosie was living. He had told her he had given her to the maid. The maid had given her to relatives in Mexico. She was never for certain that she was actually staying at Delina's.
KING: Did she tell you he was going to kill her?
BAKLEY: Over and over again.
KING: Now, according to the case, Cary, what did Mr. Caldwell do? What are the police saying he did since he was in San Francisco that night? He wasn't present at the murder.
GOLDSTEIN: He provided the murder weapon and apparently he conspired to actually kill Bonny at different times. It seems like he got cold feet on one particular instance and didn't follow through. But that's basically his role.
You know, Larry, as far as motive goes by Blake, a lot of people have asked me why didn't he just divorce her. That wasn't going to resolve his problems. There was still child support. There was still Bonny in his life involved with what he perceived as his child. And just divorcing her doesn't eliminate Bonny from the picture. He -- eventually Bonny was eliminated. The question was, did he murder her.
KING: The attorney says that the reason he has brought out things about your sister is to point out that there are a lot of other suspects, people who would want her dead.
BAKLEY: That's just not accurate. I'm sure there's people that disliked my sister. There's people who dislike me. There's people who dislike everybody. But they didn't want to kill her. She was not afraid of anybody. And I stress that again. She was not afraid of anybody but Mr. Blake.
KING: She certainly has gotten a bum rap, right, in your opinion? She's gotten -- her press has been poor.
BAKLEY: She was killed. I think that's bad enough. She doesn't need to be drug through the mud now after her death.
KING: What are some things we don't know about her?
BAKLEY: What a great mom she was. I mean, she made sure her kids had everything. She was the sole supporter of her ex-husband, three other children. They had vacations, school clothes, lunch. They went out to dinner all the time. They had love. They were cared for. Bonny was only at Mr. Blake's house for five days and he just couldn't take that, and she's deceased. Five days, Mr. King.
KING: We should reiterate again, Cary, what's your involvement? Is there a civil case coming here?
GOLDSTEIN: Yes, there will be...
KING: Because there's no standing in the criminal -- there's nothing for you to do in the criminal case.
GOLDSTEIN: Right. The will be a civil action filed before the one-year anniversary of Bonny's death. Also, I'm involved in negotiating the visitation for the Bakley family.
KING: The visitation to see the baby.
GOLDSTEIN: Of Rose, yes.
KING: What do you want out of this, Margerry?
BAKLEY: I'd like peace. I'd like peace between the families. Mr. Blake and I are never going to get along. That's obvious. But there's no reason why his children and I should not be civil to each other. We have a common bond and that's not going to change. The only thing I want is the best thing for my niece. And right now, I believe that's to stay right where she's at and just to allow us to see her.
KING: Do you think this should be a death penalty case?
BAKLEY: No, sir, I don't. I don't believe anybody should have a death penalty case.
GOLDSTEIN: That's a matter of personal choice. I am not going to comment on that one, Larry.
KING: That's up to the prosecutor to ask for that, right?
GOLDSTEIN: That's right. It's the law. You know, whatever they decide is the way it ought to go.
KING: Thank you both very much.
BAKLEY: Thank you very much.
KING: We'll keep in close touch with all of you. Margerry Bakley, the sister of the late Bonny Lee Bakley and Cary Goldstein, the attorney for the Bakley family.
John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted" will comment on this and lots of other things next. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: It's always good to welcome him back on LARRY KING LIVE. He's John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back." He gets his own TV show for NBC this fall, a talk show. His Web site is WWW.AMW.COM. And viewer tips can always be called to 1- 800-CRIME-TV.
All right, what do you make about what we were just talking about?
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Well, I think it's a fascinating case, and I have talked to the LAPD for almost a year now. We profiled the case when it happened because the LAPD was hoping that someone would call "America's Most Wanted" hotline because you and I have talked about it, we've had great success. We're up to 699 captures because we don't trace calls and tap calls and a lot of people are afraid to call the police.
I was amazed that about 95 percent of the calls that we got a year ago said take a close look at Robert Blake, take a close look at his friends. There was very few people who said it's probably somebody else out there. LAPD took their time. I talked to them a lot about it. You know, we have this bond and we've done a lot of their cases.
They said look what happened to us with O.J. We rushed to judgment. We made mistakes. We looked bad in the courtroom. He had the dream team. He had a $10 million pool to go to. We had a couple kind of inexperienced prosecutors. We had a lot of evidence. But you know what? The jury -- we didn't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
So you know what they said this time? We're not going to let the media push us. You know, the media was screaming let's get a result. It is Robert Blake? Is it not Robert Blake? They took their time, and as you saw in that indictment -- at that arraignment today, I mean, there are literally thousands of pages of work that they've done. They've been to 20 states and interviewed witnesses. And they think they have a very solid case.
KING: Frankly, John, because of your own circumstances, the death of your child, the kind of program you do, do you tend to believe that he's guilty? You couldn't serve on the jury?
WALSH: I couldn't serve on the jury because you know what bothers me the most about it? Two things about it, is that no matter how poorly you're getting along with your wife, and they were married, if you can't stand each other, file for divorce. You know, get joint custody, battle over the joint custody. Get divorced. People go through it all the time.
You don't try to -- you know, fake it that you're having a marriage when you're thinking of killing your wife or getting rid of her. You get a divorce. You don't go to dinner that night and then she's killed and you start the next day. This is what bothered me the most. He hired this attorney the next day to disparage here. You've been talking about this all night. I mean, you say it's a horrible thing that the mother of my beautiful little daughter was murdered. I have got to bury her and take care of this little girl. But you don't start casting aspersions and start disparaging the reputation of a woman who was murdered the night before. I have never seen that done before.
KING: What about this list thing that's come up?
WALSH: Well, you know, this bodyguard, I tell you, I think they're going to sweat him now. He's got an attorney. I believe, I may not be wrong, but I believe this attorney is being paid for by Robert Blake. And this list that he says, you know, the shovels, the different things, if you look at the report today, it talks about Draino. It talks about lye. It talks about pool acid.
I was a beach boy in Miami Beach in the old days. We were talking about that. You don't put lye and you don't put Draino into a pool. You put chlorine into a pool and you put euridiatic (ph) acid in there. You know what you use lye and Draino for -- and I've doing it for 15 years on "America's Most Wanted" -- you put that on bodies to get rid of evidence. And I'm not saying that that was what that guy was going to do. But by him telling the police that this list wasn't a list of how to get rid of bodies is B.S.
KING: So you're saying they're going to try to get him to turn?
WALSH: You know what he is going to do? I have seen it in thousands of trials, Larry, in 20 years. They get a guy, the co- conspirator who is hanging tough and saying we're going to hang in there. We're brothers. We're brothers. And then the lawyers separate. He's got his own lawyer. And they sweat them, and they say, you know something, you got a chance to make a deal. You're going to go down here. You're either going to do 10, maybe 15 years as an accessory, if he's convicted, in a bad, bad prison, or you can cut a deal right now. We'll make a deal with you and you may do three or four years and get out on early parole. And I have seen literally thousands and thousands of guys flip and make deals.
KING: He was strong when he was on our show though, Caldwell. That was, of course, before any charges.
WALSH: That was apples and oranges. That's when they were just taking a look at them. They were proceeding very slowly. I think it really hit him in the face the other day when they came to the house and put the handcuffs on him and he's in jail on $1 million bond. Now he's in the game.
KING: You've hunted down wife-killers before.
KING: John List comes to mind.
WALSH: This is the most ironic thing, is that I was challenged by the FBI to look for John List. They said he was in New Jersey...
KING: He's killed his family, right?
WALSH: Entire family. I said born in New Jersey. He's the most cold-blooded killer, killed his own mother, killed his wife and killed his three children methodically, lined them up and disappeared for 20 years. And the FBI spent over $1 million trying to catch him.
We caught John List by a forensic bust. It was after 20 years. And then they decided to do a movie of the week. And guess who they chose to play John List? Robert Blake. And the most ironic thing is Robert Blake played this cold-blooded killer, John List, and Robert Blake -- it showed Robert Blake sitting in hotel rooms hiding out over, you know, watching himself, watching me on "America's Most Wanted" profile John List. It's a pretty kind of ironic twist.
KING: What do you make of this Catholic church situation?
WALSH: You know, you and I talked about it. And it still -- what really bothers me is the harsh reality that over the past 20 years, the church is paid over $1 billion in what I call hush money to victims, to be quiet. They're calling the cardinals in to Rome now to talk about what went on.
I still say the same thing. Many of these priests have beat the statute of limitations. You know, victims have come forward and they can't be charged. I say if they did the crime, they should do the time. Again, if you molested a 10-year-old boy, a page that worked here, you'd be in jail.
KING: You're a Catholic, right?
WALSH: I'm a Roman Catholic. I hate to say it.
KING: Why do they cover up?
WALSH: You know something? I think they're more worried about the institution. I really believe three things need to be done here. I think, No. 1, an apology to all the victims. And now there are literally thousands of victims. I haven't heard that from the Vatican. I haven't heard that from some of the bishops. I've heard about keeping the institution intact and how do we get better priests and how do we regulate the priests. I think the first thing is the apology.
No. 2, forget paying the hush money. Forget paying people off. If a priest is a pedophile, if he's a child molester, you turn that over to the DA. You turn him over and he does the crime. You don't ship him to another church. You don't ship him to another place to be rehabilitated for six months. And, you know, the cardinal that they're calling, Cardinal Law, they're calling for his resignation right now.
You know what? The captain of the ship always, you know, takes the hit. He knew that there were pedophile priests and he shipped them around. I think the decent thing...
KING: What's the third thing? WALSH: The third thing is that priests should be allowed to get married, that they should either choose celibacy if they want to. But if they want to get married, I think married would be -- you know something?
KING: They were married right through the Fourth Century.
WALSH: They were. In some of the eastern Roman Catholic countries, priests can be married. And you know what? When my son was murdered, I wish that there had been a married priest that could have consoled me and know exactly how that terrible death of a child is.
KING: Back with more of John Walsh. We'll be including your phone calls. The host of "America's Most Wanted" on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Dominic Dunne, who writes about crime, will be with us tomorrow night. Don't go away.
KING: Back with John Walsh. Let's take a phone call. Chicago, hello.
CALLER: Hi. Hi, Larry, hi, Mr. Walsh.
KING: What's the question?
CALLER: I'm just curious. You've done such tremendous work over the years with "America's Most Wanted." Do you approach the high profile cases involving murder or a missing person differently than those that don't capture the public's imagination quite as much?
WALSH: No, we don't. I think the toughest thing we do every week is we sit down and we have to decide what to do that week. We turn down about 100 cases. We never got involved in the Joan Benet Ramsey case because there wasn't a fugitive for almost a year until the D.A.'s office asked us to get involved in that.
We try to focus on primarily missing children, dangerous prison escapees, dangerous fugitives and be very fair. There's a lot of small police agencies out there that are only two men or women that would never be able to catch a fugitive. So we try to be very fair. We've caught 16 of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted. The FBI would love us just to do their cases. But we do cases from every jurisdiction.
KING: We asked about one of them. I asked John during the break if he were doing his talk show now -- and it starts when?
WALSH: September 9.
KING: I said would you do the Bakley case? He said, absolutely. Would you do the Catholic church? He said, absolutely. Then I asked if he would do the Palestinian/Israeli situation. You said you'd do that, too. It seems out of your genre.
WALSH: I have been profiling terrorists. I had the honor of profiling, being asked by the White House and Attorney General Ashcroft and Colin Powell to come to the White House after September 11 and do the World's Most Wanted Terrorists, the 22 most terrorists. As a matter of fact, I meet with the president last Tuesday. He thanked "America's Most Wanted" for profiling the terrorists because we've gotten information on guys in different parts of the world.
We've caught fugitives in 30 countries. I have been doing those guys since the '93 World Trade towers. I did bin Laden five years before September 11. And the weird thing was, we used to take calls from Americans who would say stick to serial killers. Stick to Americans.
I said, these guys are killing Americans in other parts of the world. They're coming here. I would do a whole show about Yasser Arafat because when I was in the Persian Gulf right after 9/11. I was the only guy allowed at Ground Zero. You and I talked about it -- the FBI and NYPD took me down there and I did a two hour show. No other media was allowed down there.
After that I went to the Persian Gulf to try to catch one of bin Laden's money men. I saw what goes on over there and what Yasser Arafat was saying on television. I had an interpreter. I had a bodyguard that was provided by the sheik of dubai. I would watch Arafat and I would watch him on Al Jazeera, and I would watch him on Egyptian TV.
He'd say one thing to CNN and act like a victim and the Israelis are doing this. Meanwhile, he's sending suicide bombers -- if those bombers were going into Nate and Al's in Beverly Hills and Starbucks and blowing up your mother or your wife or your children, you would be after Arafat. But he turned right around on Al Jazeera and say, the suicide bombers are with Allah now. They are heroes. Drive the Israelis and the Jews into the ocean. Kill every Jew. Let's get back...
KING: He said things like that?
WALSH: Absolutely. On Arab TV, which the media has just started to pick up in the last month or so. And he would say, you know, the Americans are the bullies of the world. They support Israel. They haven't been fair to us. Yet he'll go in his compound over there when there's a mile of evidence as high as the empire state building that he has been a murderer and a terrorist and is harboring two guys in that room with him that killed an Israeli member of parliament that should be turned over to the Israelis to be tried, he's a thug, Larry. He's a thug and a coward. That's what he is.
KING: Other than that you have no opinion on him.
WALSH: No, other than he should be dead.
KING: What about this case of Timmy John Webber?
WALSH: This has disturbed me. This is one of the worst cases we've done on "America's most wanted." This is a case from Las Vegas. This guy struck up a relationship with a mom with three kids. And she thought he was a good boyfriend. She came home one day and he had the 14-year-old daughter tied to the bed. He had repeatedly raped her. When the mom and 16-year-old son came in, he brutally murdered the mom and the 16-year-old son and took off.
He's been on the run. I haven't been able to catch him. The 14- year-old daughter that he raped repeatedly is still alive and you wouldn't believe this. The 14-year-old survived, and the oldest son, 17-year-old -- that's him. That's low life, that coward, right there -- the 17-year-old son came home to get clothes for the funeral last week, to bury his mother and to bury his 16-year-old brother and this Webber guy broke back into the house and almost beat the 17-year-old son to death. I can't catch this guy. It's driving me crazy. He is a complete psycho.
KING: Still in the neighborhood.
WALSH: I still think he's in Las Vegas. Las Vegas PD are looking for him. I thought we would have nailed him this week, but this guy is right on the top of my most wanted list.
KING: Is he a psycho?
WALSH: He's a psycho killer a horrible violent nut case.
KING: We'll take more calls for John Walsh the host of "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back." By the way, if you think you have seen that guy, you can call 1-800-crimetv. The Web site is www.amw.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: T.J. Weber managed to slip through the dragnet, and now cops need your help to bring him in.
Timmy John Weber is a big guy at 6'4, 250 pounds. He was last seen in Las Vegas wearing no shirt and a hospital scrub-type pants that tie at the waist. He is likely to have a head injury and be in need of medical attention. If you know where police can find him, call our hotline tonight 1-800-crimetv.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with John Walsh. Great Falls, Montana, hello.
CALLER: My question is, do you find it odd that Bonny Blakey told her family time and time again that Robert Blake will kill her, that no one seemed to notify the police before she was murdered?
WALSH: That's really not unusual. That's a good question, but it's not unusual. I have heard cops say that the laws are so weak, especially in domestic abuse cases, that you can call -- a woman can call a cop and say my husband or my ex-boyfriend is on the front porch and he's threatening to break my neck, and the laws are so weak that they'll say I can't come there until he hurts you. I can't come to do anything.
You can call the cops 100 times and say someone wants to kill you, but until you have some evidence, or until that person tries to do it, there is not a darn thing they can do.
KING: Two people on opposite sides of the political spectrum; Dianne Feinstn and Jon Kyl of California and Arizona, along with Congressman Henry Hyde have co-introduced a crime victims rights amendment. Do you support that?
WALSH: Absolutely. This is the fourth year we've reintroduced it to Congress. On Tuesday President Bush came out very strongly for it. Spoke very loudly for the 8 million American victims of violent crime last year. This is a bipartisan constitutional amendment. What people don't understand, the U.S. Constitution it's hard to amend. It's been amended 27 times. 27 of the amendments have been for criminal rights. This simple two-page amendment would give...
KING: Not all criminal rights?
WALSH: No, three -- I'm sorry, three of the 27 amendments have been for criminal rights. Three times they have amended...
WALSH: Accused or the defendants' rights. But this constitutional amendment doesn't take anything away from the accused. Doesn't take anything away from the criminal.
KING: The difference between accused and criminal...
WALSH: One of those amendments also has rights for the convicted.
WALSH: Their appeals, how many appeals they can do, et cetera. This is something that the American public said they want to see. Criminals and the accused have rights on the federal level. It's time for victims to have those rights. And it is before the Senate Judiciary for four years. It hasn't moved out. Senator Patrick Leahy says we don't need it. We need to do it state by state. Larry, I will be an old man. I have gone to every state and tried to pass these laws.
KING: Are you disturbed at all, bothered by Illinois having to suspend capital punishment over 60 people on death row in America have been released, false convictions. What does that tell you? Doesn't that bring your concern on the other side. That's where victims falsely identified people.
WALSH: Absolutely. I think that No. 1, I don't think -- I know for sure there's lots of people in prison that don't belong in prison.
KING: That's a shame.
WALSH: I think criminal justice system should be called the criminal injustice system.
KING: On both sides.
WALSH: Absolutely. I think every death penalty case if DNA is a factor that they should go back and look. I hate to hear when prosecutors can't say I can't go back and look at it in DNA. Yes, death penalty cases should be looked at.
I really really have lived this since my son was murdered. I have testified in every single state many, many times. I have testified before Congress 52 times. I'm the one person that's probably knows more about the criminal justice system from the inside than anybody because I have seen both side of it.
I am telling you it needs to be totally revamped. If you look at the scales for the accused and the criminals, which deserve their rights -- down here the scales are down here and up here there is nothing for the victims. A constitutional amendment would even that playing field. You bring up a great point. People just don't understand that the criminal justice system is so poorly broken...
KING: The whole thing needs overhauling.
WALSH: It is overwhelming. We're a country of 50 little countries. Some states like Florida and other states have great laws as it relates to children, to repeat offenders, to victims rights. Other states have none whatsoever. You can't -- in some states you can't even make a victim impact statement after the guy that has murdered your daughter, you can't address that jury for five minutes.
KING: Bowling green, Virginia, hello.
CALLER: I have a question for Mr. Walsh. What is your opinion, please, of television coverage in the courtroom, especially in the case of Robert Blake and the effect it would have, if any, on the outcome of the justice.
WALSH: I don't think television coverage will have any effect on the trial. I think that they will find 12 honest men and women, hopefully, that won't be swayed by, as they were in the O.J. Simpson trial, swayed by his Celebrity And a $10 million dream team. I am for coverage. I am for coverage of court proceedings because I think the O.J. Simpson trial and the coverage of that trial really supports my point that people saw first hand that the criminal justice system is so poorly broken.
They saw a guy that I think 90 percent of Americans know, get away with murder because hired a dream team that beat up -- it was like the Dallas Cowboys playing against a high school football team. I think more Americans should see what goes on in the courtroom and see all the injustices that go on in the courtroom. I think it would make the criminal justice system better.
KING: Any update on Danielle Van Damme case? The accused, Mr. Westerfield, has plead innocent.
WALSH: His trial will be coming up, and you know, Larry...
KING: May 17th.
WALSH: Yep, it will be a brutal trial because again exactly what's going to happen in the Robert Blake trial is they're going to try to turn the victim into a bad person, Bonnie Blakely. You and I have talked about this, this is apples and oranges. No matter she did, she didn't deserve to be murdered.
KING: They're going to try to make the mother and father...
WALSH: They're going tear apart the Van Dammes for no reason at all. It's irrelevant. Whatever they do in their personal life has -- is not should not result in the murder of their child. I think it's two separate trials. I think it really bothers me when I listen to Robert Blake's lawyer at the beginning of this show. A person was murdered. That's the victim. And right off to cast the aspersions that this person was going to be hunted down for doing all these horrible things and deserved to die, I mean, it's ludicrous.
A homicide was committed here and somebody should pay for that homicide. And if it's Robert Blake, and believe me the LAPD think they have a mound of evidence -- it doesn't matter whether Bonny Blakely was a stripper, whether she was a prostitute, whether -- whatever she was she didn't deserve to die.
KING: We'll be back with some more moments with John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted." We'll also be repeating the phone number and Web site right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, too, want to thank John Walsh. I appreciate not only you standing up for victims, I appreciate you putting pictures of the al Qaeda killers on the TV screen to help America remain alert, to help this country understand that we're still in danger from attack.
I want to thank you for being a good American. I want to thank you for helping the cause.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: I'm looking at this crime rights of the crime victims' rights amendment as prepared by Dianne Feinstein's office in Washington. You're asking people to contact their senator?
WALSH: Absolutely. Visit amw.com. We'll tell you who your two U.S. senators are, your member of the House. There's no lobby behind this. There's no big political action committee. It's up to for the American to say the whole house is up for re-election this year, a third of the Senate. You know when they ask for that money to be sent back to Washington, say look: eight million victims of violent crime, 40 million other victims of crime. I want you to get this constitutionally amendment out.
KING: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Mr. Walsh, I was wondering, how does anyone living in America think that Robert Blake could possibly get a fair trial especially after how the LAPD handled the O.J. trial? They almost have to convict Mr. Blake just to save face.
WALSH: Well, I hope...
KING: Does she have a point?
WALSH: She has a point, a valid point. I will tell you they have proceeded, no matter what people think, the homicide occurred in their jurisdiction. They're the investigating authority. They admit they made mistakes in the O.J. Simpson trial. They've been very, very cautious. They think they have a mound of evidence. Do you know who it's up to? Those 12 men and women.
KING: You're confidence that the jury will out?
KING: But not in the O.j. case, or do you think the evidence was such that they shouldn't have convicted?
WALSH: I think a lot of mistakes were made in the O.J. Simpson case. I absolutely believe he got away with murder. He hired a $10 million dream team. There was no equal playing field there whatsoever. I think in this case the prosecution is ready. There's a good case to be made. And I think he'll get a fair trial.
KING: East Hampton, Massachusetts, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Mr. Walsh, because you are so knowledgeable on missing and murder cases, I was wondering what your profession was before your son was so tragically killed and also, we're from western Massachusetts. And I understand from our local newspaper tonight that there are many new leads. Any updates?
KING: New leads in what, sir?
CALLER: Molly Bish.
WALSH: No. 1, I never, ever dreamed I would be involved in the criminal justice system until my son was murdered. I was a partner in a company that built deluxe hotels luxury hotels. I was building a $26 million hotel on Paradise Island when my son Adam was kidnapped and murdered 20 years ago and never could go back to work and just started to try to change the laws.
Molly Bish case is a case that's broken my heart. She's a college girl that was kidnapped. She was a lifeguard at a pool, at a summer pool. We profiled the case three times on "America's Most Wanted" and I'm just praying that we get a break in this case. We haven't had one solid tip in the case of Molly. KING: Small town?
WALSH: Small town. Just goes to show you it could happen everywhere. Everybody keeps asking, what ever happened to Chandra Levy? What ever happened to Molly Bish? What happened to the other 5,000 women who are missing?
KING: How many unsolved murders are there in America?
WALSH: We've never been able to categorize or go back as far as 20 years because of all the different jurisdictions. That's something I'd love to see the Justice Department do is go back to every police jurisdiction and...
KING: We don't know or we can't give a count?
WALSH: We don't have a count.
KING: How many open cases?
WALSH: Oh, God, there must be tens of thousands of open cases throughout 17,000 police agencies in the United States. There's 5,000 missing women listed in the FBI computer that nobody knows where they are, like Molly Bish and Chandra Levy. You've got -- finally we've got cops working cold cases. It used to be it dropped off the ladder. You had 27 homicides. You got 28 then it dropped down one.
I would love to see the Justice Department go back and take a look. Here's a country that averages 20,000 homicides a year. I would love to go back to all the different jurisdictions and say how many unsolved missing person cases do you have? How many unsolved missing child cases and how many unsolved homicides? I think people would be startled.
KING: What do you think about this growth of identity theft? Computer technology.
WALSH: It is the No. 1 crime on the Internet. It is the No. 1 according to the FBI...
KING: People steal other people's identity?
WALSH: Identity, they will get -- people will be so naive. It's OK to buy something over the Internet. But when somebody asks you for your Social Security number or your mother's maiden name, those are those little things that people can get into your credit report, they can get auto loans.
You and I talked about Montel Williams' identity was stolen. People bought cars under his name. Then your credit's ruined. We have a kit that we sell over "America's Most Wanted" at amw.com. It lets you know that if someone has made an inquiry into your financial records, your credit report or whatever, those bells and whistles go off immediately.
KING: Do you ever say to yourself, I'm tired of this? You're like endless. You're ceaseless. You don't take a day off.
WALSH: You know what? I...
KING: Twenty years you've been doing this.
WALSH: Twenty years. I lost my little boy. It broke my heart. But I realized that he was the victim, Larry. I realized he was the victim. Do you know what I believe? I believe it's about justice. I believe it is all about justice. And literally thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of Americans have helped me change laws, change the way we do business.
They've helped me catch 690 dangerous fugitives that I believe would be out there if it wasn't for the American public. As tough as it is there's a great amount of satisfaction. You know, I have a great inspiration. I have a 6-year-old boy waiting on the other side for me.
KING: I can't tell you how many people have said to me, is John Walsh for real? I always tell them, he's for real. You are. You never forget Adam, do you?
WALSH: Never, never. I'll never get over it.
KING: As always, John, thank you.
WALSH: Thank you.
KING: Let me repeat the Web site is for John Walsh www.amw.com. That's www.amw.com. And the phone number for any information, any questions is 1800-crime-tv. 1800-crime-tv. I'll come back and tell you about tomorrow night right after this.
KING: Tomorrow night; best selling author, "Vanity Fair" columnist Dominic Dunn will join us to cover lots of thoughts on lots of criminal cases. By the way, Friday night King Constantine, the exiled King of Greece will be our special guest. Our next host is not exiled. He is in New York. He is ready to anchor NEWSNIGHT. He is my man, Aaron Brown.
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