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Panel Discusses Kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart

Aired June 13, 2002 - 21:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight the kidnap of a 14-year-old schoolgirl, Elizabeth Smart, has devastated the Salt Lake community. Could it be an inside job? A local newspaper says evidence at the home has the police taking a long, hard look at her own extended family.

And what about the so-called drifter who lived in his car? Well, just yesterday police issued an all-points bulletin for Bret Michael Edmunds, but tonight he's still missing.

We go live for the very latest in Salt Lake City with John Daley, tracking the case for KSL TV. Also on the scene there in Salt Lake, the man heading up the search for 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, Andrew McGregor is with us, plus former FBI special agent and profiler Clint Van Zandt, world renowned forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee, high-profile defense attorney Mark Geragos, and former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne. It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Let's go right now to John Daley, reporter with KSL TV. John, are you with me?

JOHN DALEY, KSL TV: Yes, I am, Nancy.

GRACE: John, bring me up to date. What's the latest developments as of today?

DALEY: Well, the latest thing this afternoon, there were some police dogs that were searching in and around the Smart home. We saw, by news helicopter, we could see that the dogs were there and that the police were searching, but we don't have any kind of indication of exactly what they were looking for. So that's kind of the very latest.

GRACE: Well, John, my question to that would be, do you have any idea, any rumor, is there any suggestion what type of dogs -- could it be a drug dog, an accelerant dog, a bomb dog, a cadaver dog, a bloodhound, a tracker dog?

DALEY: No information on that. It looked from the video from the helicopters that it was some sort of German Shepherd from what you could see from that video. Again, this is a case where there's been a lot of rumor, a lot of speculation, a lot of people throwing out theories here and there, but the police are giving out very little details. We really don't know a whole lot more than what the police are telling us for sure.

GRACE: You're right about that, John Daley, the police are really playing it close to the vest. Yesterday there was an all- points bulletin for Michael Edmunds. Today that's over. Police have actually come out and said, "We don't think he was involved." That's pretty strong language, huh?

DALEY: Yesterday they said that they wanted to talk to him for questioning. They didn't say that he was a suspect but they said they wanted to talk to him and see what he knew about the case. His photograph was put out all over local and national TV, and then today the police were asked about that, and they said that he's not considered a suspect. Essentially we didn't have anything new, except they do say they still would like to talk to him.

GRACE: Well, you know, they kept saying he's not a suspect, not a suspect, but I've never seen a simple witness being searched for with overhead helicopters, all-points bulletins, the way they were looking for Edmunds yesterday. Since they have not talked to him, does that not suggest to you they've come up with another idea?

DALEY: Well, that's possible. But you know, I think one of the things we've learned from all these other cases, these high-profile national cases over the years, is to not jump to any on conclusions and to not make any assumptions. You just don't know. It's quite possible that you're absolutely right, that they're looking in another direction, but it's possible that this was just one of the many leads.

Yesterday it was the Edmunds lead that they were chasing, today it may be something else. I think in respect for the family and the community that's invested a lot of energy in trying to find Elizabeth Smart, I think, you know, we need to be careful about speculating too much.

GRACE: Well, you know, this investigation has turned on a dime. Yesterday, as I said, there was this all-points bullpen looking for Edmunds, and then suddenly, without even talking to him, the police have suddenly basically cleared him by saying we don't think he's involved. That certainly -- just a common sense logic would tell you they've got someone else in mind. What can you tell me about the polygraph situation?

DALEY: We know that they've polygraphed a number of people, including family members. We know they've polygraphed the father, Edward Smart. Beyond that the police are not telling us much about polygraphs.

How did those tests come out, who all have they talked to? They aren't saying much about them except for that they're saying that they're using polygraphs, that they've done polygraph tests on family members and that they will continue to use polygraph tests throughout their investigation. But specifically what they're finding, they're not saying.

GRACE: John Daley, question regarding the father's polygraph. Was the polygraph administered to Elizabeth's father before or after he was admitted to the hospital for exhaustion?

DALEY: I don't know the answer to that question. As you've been following this case, he was admitted to the hospital, I believe it was on the second day, so the search had been going on for a little while.

That morning there was a search in Immigration Canyon, a canyon near here, there were some searchers that thought they spotted the suspect, and that started off a whole chain reaction of news coverage and searching in the canyon, and it was during that time that he collapsed and was taken to the hospital. Whether it was before that or after that, I don't know.

GRACE: Let me ask you, what do you make of the police scouring that area -- it's about 100 miles off Interstate 15 corridor between the state line in Idaho Falls. There's camp grounds, picnic areas. What's the connection, John?

DALEY: You know, they've got a huge number of volunteers, like 8,000 volunteers, somewhere in that range. Folks have been coming out of the woodwork to volunteer, to go out and search high and low for Elizabeth Smart, and they've sent them as far away as the West Desert of Utah, which is 60 miles to the west of Salt Lake City in a very remote area.

Now we've got this report up near the Idaho border. So my thinking is they're trying to leave no stone unturned. That's certainly what the family wants. They've got an incredibly well- organized search effort, like I say, with all these folks coming in. I think they want to put these people to good use.

The police want to focus on the area around the neighborhood, that's what they're saying. I think that the family members and the folks organizing the volunteer effort are looking everywhere that they can, and they're not up in around the family neighborhood, because that's what the police are doing.

GRACE: John, speaking of the volunteers, there's a huge fleet of volunteers searching probably even as we speak for the little girl. What do you make of the fact that police are now searching a TV video, looking at the volunteers themselves? I guess it's under the theory that criminals may come back to the scene of the crime, or may be involved in the search somehow?

DALEY: Exactly. I think that you know, we have that...

GRACE: That's incredible.

DALEY: Well, we have FBI profilers up here, we have other people, seasoned law enforcement people, and I think that they look at a number of different things. They're following all the leads. That's what they're telling us, that they're following all the leads that they've got. So they want to see videotape that's been on television. They have information about all the different searchers and, I think, based on criminal cases in the past, there are people who have been involved that have come back to the scene, perhaps a suspect has come back to the scene of the whole incident, so that may be...

GRACE: John, that's actually very, very common for the perpetrator to come back to the scene of the crime, to mix in amongst the TV journalists and so forth, to be there on the scene -- very, very common. The big headline today on the local newspaper is that evidence within the home is suggesting the police are now focusing to family and extended family. They were very careful to say specifically, John, what evidence?

DALEY: Well, there's a screen to a window that -- in the "Salt Lake Tribune" today, actually, I've got the newspaper report right here if you can see that. In the "Trib" today they reported that according to anonymous sources, that a screen a window screen was cut from the inside, leading police to believe that this may have been a quote-unquote, "inside job," someone inside the home, inside the family, perhaps, who, you know, perhaps they need to take a closer look at.

But again, later on today, police were asked specifically about this a number of times, and they said no, that they're not focusing -- their main focus is not on the family, but that there are a number of theories that they're taking a look at. These are anonymous sources, and as you know from these high-profile cases, there are reports that go out that are never substantiated.

So that's -- if it's true, it would be a very interesting piece of information. The question is, is it true?

GRACE: You're darn right, if it turns out that screen is cut from the inside, I would agree with you, that would be very, very interesting. Everyone with us. That's John Daley with KSL TV with the very latest there in Salt Lake.

When we come back, not only are we not only going to have Dr. Henry Lee analyzing that screen cut, but also the man in charge of the search for 14-year-old schoolgirl Elizabeth Smart, Andrew McGregor will be joining us live. Stay with us.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry King tonight.

Elizabeth Smart, 14-year-old schoolgirl, still missing. And now with us live from Salt Lake, Andrew McGregor. Andrew is heading up the search, literally heading up thousands of volunteers looking for the missing girl. Hi, Andrew.


GRACE: I'm fine. Thank you for being with us. Andrew, tell me about the search.

MCGREGOR: We've had a huge turnout, just massive. We've had over 7,500 volunteers on almost 570 individual searches, not including air, dogs, horses, ATVS, and individual searchers who went out on their own.

You know, Andrew McGregor, the volunteer search effort is not something to be easily discounted. Right now in a California courtroom, David Westfield is being tried for Murder One in the disappearance, the kidnapping and murder of seven-year-old Danielle van Dam. Volunteers found her discarded along the side of the street like trash, by the way. So the volunteer effort has quite a bit of legitimacy tonight. Let me ask you this, at the end of the every day, are you reconfiguring the search?

MCGREGOR: Absolutely. We sit down and look at the areas that we covered. We try and determine the most high probability area of finding Elizabeth alive, and we focus all of our resources to locating her and bringing her back to us. This is a joint effort. It is a no- lines drawn team platform. Everybody shares the information globally, and we sit down and we agree what makes sense, what -- where could she be?

And then we all make the effort together to focusing our effort to discovering anything about that area that may lead us to her or evidence that may lead us to her.

GRACE: Andrew Mcgregor, you have been on the case, so to speak, from the get-go. I'm glad to hear you suggesting that Elizabeth is still amongst us. Are you prepared for the worst, however?

MCGREGOR: I'm actually quite hopeful, and I never allow myself the luxury to stray from the truth. This is not something the leadership normally allows themselves. They stick right to the truth, they're logical, and we have to be truthful and logical about the decisions that we make and the choices that we make, and to add more pain to a family that might be suffering by giving hope is cruel and unnecessary, if you're only aware of it, but certain circumstantials -- some certain circumstances sometimes say that you have a right to have hope.

GRACE: But what, Andrew -- give me something to hope for. What do you mean, circumstantial evidence suggests she could still be alive?

MCGREGOR: We have not found anything at this point. We found no evidence and we have not found any remains.

GRACE: Let me ask you this. You have just described a massive hunt for this little girl. What areas have you covered, Andrew?

MCGREGOR: We've covered almost all of the Greater Salt Lake Area, all of the roads, searching both sides of it, most of the foothills, some of the more popular campground areas and some of the more popular routes that would be traveled. perhaps by a vehicle. in and out of the city to other areas. We've also covered -- go ahead, I'm sorry.

GRACE: To fill us all in, what is the day of a volunteer? What time do you start? How long do you search? What do you do? MCGREGOR: The resource center opens up at approximately 8:00 a.m. Volunteers are already lining up. We use off-site parking. They come in, they fill out the registration forms, et cetera, et cetera, then they're brought into a large auditorium where they are briefed, broken up into teams and given individual assignments of places to go search.

Depending on how long the search can last, it can be anywhere from three hours to six hours. They often, often return, get right back in line and go back out with another team again.

GRACE: Man! Now, are the police helping you coordinate where you should be searching?

MCGREGOR: The police are coordinating their own investigation and we are doing the volunteer part. If we have suspicious activity or we find something we think the police should know about, we have an open door policy going both ways and we're sharing information to help them find Elizabeth as well.

GRACE: Now, Andrew, I'm going to throw you a tough question. Are your people prepared to protect a crime scene, not contaminate it and protect what evidence you find?

Of course we've addressed that, as well as perhaps finding something we don't want to find, and although we're looking for Elizabeth and not expecting to find that, it's quite possible while they're out there they may find evidence from another crime scene, so it's important that they do receive training and a briefing in how to deal with that, and we do have procedures in place, and it has been working.

GRACE: Andrew, I want your response to the fact we've all heard police are now subpoenaing from TV station, radio stations, wherever, evidence of the volunteers themselves. They're taking a look at your fleet of volunteers under the theory -- some may find it farfetched -- maybe not, that possibly the perp is coming back to the scene, checking out what's going on as a volunteer. What do you think about that?

MCGREGOR: The safety and security, both of this event and Elizabeth, is extremely important to us. Of course we look at our volunteers as they come in for the possibility that I understand has actually happened before in this type of search, although I didn't participate in it.

We -- everyone, when they come in, is on a security system that we can recall and review frame by frame every individual that passes through the door. That's very important to us and for the protection of our searchers.

GRACE: Andrew, I saw footage of you guys registering the volunteers by name. Good move. You talked to the family today. What can you tell me? How are they holding up?

MCGREGOR: I talked to some members of the family in a briefing a little bit later this afternoon. They're very positive and very enthusiastic, and they are very, very spiritually lifted and hopeful that this will have a happy ending.

GRACE: Andrew, before you get away, last question, I know long, hard hours, out in the elements -- you're not giving up -- what's your inspiration?

MCGREGOR: A little girl's out there. And just, a strike against the Smart family is a strike against all of us, and here's our opportunity to stand up and fight back.

GRACE: Andrew McGregor, thank you for being with us and sharing tonight, and good luck.

Everybody, we are taking a quick break. When we come back, joining us, former FBI special agent and profiler, Clint Van Zandt, world renowned forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee, high profile defense attorney Mark Geragos, and former prosecutor Cynthia Alksne kick it around. Stay with us.


GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry King tonight. Thanks for being with us. Let's go straight to world renowned forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee. Hi, doctor.

Doctor, a lot has been made today of the suggestion, the allegation, it's been in black and white on the front page of the Salt Lake newspapers, that the screen of the family home, where the entry was made to the home, the screen was cut from the inside out. How can you tell such a thing?

DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: Well, as a forensic scientist or forensic investigator, based on our experience, training, usually we can tell the cut initiated from the inside or outside by exam. The area of the cut under the high-powered microscope, we can see that there's damage of the wire, the paint material and the way of the bending and the direction.

Of course, the point of entry is the most important area give us the clue. If I understand correctly, they say that screen is about six feet tall, the window. That give us an indication if somebody tried to get from outside through, in fact, through that window, you have to reach six feet, which is a pretty good height. Either have to have something step on it, or a very tall person, or have a second individual assist. And if the screen, in fact, cut from the inside out, which could be -- suggest some kind of staging, which is from cutting, maybe that's not original point of entry, just a staged entry.

GRACE: Dr. Lee, what's interesting here is that to the naked eye, to the person that cut that screen, they probably didn't realize that you can look at the screen under a microscope and tell which way the wire mesh is pointed -- is it pointed out, is it pointed in. When they did it, they probably had no idea they were leaving behind a very, very important clue. LEE: Right. Just like you break a window, the glass formation fall outside the window, or inside the window, also the rip mark leave on the window glass, we can usually tell the direction of the force, it's from the inside out, outside in. That's a very important aspect of analyze the crime scene pattern evidence. The pattern evidence give us a lot of important clue for the investigator to determine that's a staged scene or not.

GRACE: And Mark Geragos, what do you make of the fact that yesterday all-points bulletin on Michael Bret Edmunds -- today police basically come out and not with the same operating procedure line, he is not a suspect, they say we do not think he's involved. Now, Mark, without even speaking to him, they've basically -- they've effectively ruled him out on national television. Doesn't that suggest they've got somebody else in mind?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yeah, not only have they ruled him out, but now all of a sudden we've jumped from this idea that the screen was cut from the inside, instead of saying literally it's an inside job, it was somebody who was going through that house maybe when it was being sold during the real estate walk-through or something like that, they've actually pinned this now on the same extended family, which I find fascinating.

I wonder if maybe they think there's too much attention that's being paid to this gentleman that they say is not a suspect, and now they want to try and refocus this into what they believe is somebody who is inside the family, and part of the extended family, as opposed to a friend. They didn't say somebody who knows this person, somebody who's been inside the house, they actually said -- I mean, suggested blood relative.

GRACE: Extended family.

GERAGOS: Yeah, which I find to be amazing.

CYNTHIA ALKSNE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, first of all, it's not that amazing to me, because that's where the statistics are, that it would be a family member, like 50 percent of the family members...


GRACE: ... and then if you include acquaintances, it's actually about 75 percent responsible.

But here now they have a group of people that they can deal with, and they can use the polygraph as a tool. You know, polygraphs are a much-maligned tool. They are perfect for this situation. You have a list of 35 or 40 people who are the extended family, and everybody gets polygraphed. And they not only get polygraphed on the basic questions, you know, do you know where she is, do you know who we should talk to, you know, those basic questions, but also, are you hiding anything?

And that's a very important tool that will help us maneuver around. If they get a good polygrapher. I understand the FBI is doing these polygraphs. I can't begin to tell you how important that is. You can get the best FBI polygrapher in the world -- or one time I got a polygrapher with Tourette's syndrome. So, anything can happen when you get that polygrapher, and you have to get a good one.

GRACE: What do you make of the fact that it's been stated some of the results are inconclusive?

ALKSNE: Well, the first thing is this business that was released about we're studying the results...


ALKSNE: No. You walk out of the room, there you are...


ALKSNE: You walk out of the room, and the polygrapher goes passed, failed, I don't know.

GRACE: Exactly.

ALKSNE: And you get that instantly.

Lots of times when you hear inconclusive, what's happened is on the basic questions, do you know where Elizabeth is? Do you know what happened to her? Those first two questions, the person passes. Are you hiding anything from the police? And they flunk. That's an inconclusive. So you begin to feel like --

GRACE: You make a C minus on the polygraph.


GRACE: Let me ask you something, Clint, regarding the stats that Cynthia just threw out. What are the stats on the likelihood -- and Mark Geragos, don't start. I know you hate it when I bring up the stats, because they always work against you.

GERAGOS: I don't, because it's meaningless, it's meaningless to start talking about the statistics, because if you are...

GRACE: Yeah, whatever.

GERAGOS: ... then why are they going to say it's somebody in the extended family as opposed to an acquaintance? How did they make that distinction right now? Obviously they have some other information.

GRACE: That's a good question, Clint.

CLINT VAN ZANDT, PROFILER: Yeah, and part of it -- I agree with you, Mark. I mean, we said yesterday statistics be damned, and I continue that, but from an investigative standpoint, you know and I know, we all know this is going to be a two-track investigation. Track number one says an unknown person kidnapped Elizabeth Smart, and we have to do everything we can all across the country to find her. But track number two, just like a set of railroad tracks, track number two says we have to exclude the family, acquaintances, the neighborhood, and if we don't rule all those people out, we're not doing the right investigation.


GERAGOS: ... but why did they exclude the acquaintances? That's what I don't understand.


VAN ZANDT: Absolutely not, but...

ALKSNE: They have to start somewhere. That's the point. They're starting somewhere.


ALKSNE: Let me frame this for a second for you, because we've heard about Elizabeth Smart and we see these pictures of her as a young girl. Let me tell you something, she's 5-foot-6 and 105 pounds. She's taller than me and weighs a lot less.


ALKSNE: And she is stunning. She is -- she is...

GRACE: She's still 14, Cynthia. She's still a little girl to me.

ALKSNE: But that's the point, is that to a predator she's a little girl and she can be manipulated, but also she is a woman to the predator. And in many sex crimes cases, over the years trying these sex crime cases, I know you have, too, this is the age, this is the time when the sex crimes predator...


GRACE: We've got to take a break. Got to take a break. Clint, we'll come right back. Everybody, stay with us. But I want to throw these numbers up quickly: The tips hot line numbers, if you know anything, if you think you know anything about the disappearance of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart, 800-932-0190, 801-799-3000.


DAVID SMART, UNCLE: We will help them in any way possible, any questions they have or anything we can do to help aid in this investigation, we will do that. As you know, in investigations, there are many boxes that need to be checked, and we feel that the family box is one of those boxes, and if the police did not do their job, if they did not investigate us, they would not be doing their job. They'd be negligent.


GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Nancy Grace, in for Larry King tonight. Thanks for being with us.

Let's go quickly now to John Daley, KSL-TV reporter there in Salt Lake.

John, yesterday the police were very forthcoming about their search for Edmunds. Today they seemed to have closed ranks again. Not very forthcoming, playing it very close to the vest. Why?

DALEY: Well, I think they want to be really careful not to ruin their own case. What they're telling us is that they know two things: They know what the little girl has told them, the 9-year-old sister who was there in the bedroom. She's their only witness, and they have the information that she's passing along to them.

They also have physical evidence that's been found in the home. But they say beyond that, they're not going to tell us anything else, because they don't want to ruin their case. They're trying to protect their case. There may be other facts that are coming out in the media as rumor, as speculation or as something that's coming from anonymous sources. But the things that they're saying on the record are that we've got some information from the girl, from the witness, and we've got some physical evidence from the home, and we're not going to comment beyond that. They get asked a zillion questions at these press conferences, and mostly they keep a lid on what they've been saying.

GRACE: Clint?

VAN ZANDT: Two things, John, with what you just said, two things having done these cases myself. Number one, you want the kidnapper to know that you've got evidence and it's eventually going to lead to him, and number two, you have to hold things back, because there are people who will stand up and say, "I did it, I know something about it." The kidnapper went through the front door, not the back door, and if law enforcement releases everything they know, they have no way to separate the weak from the chaff, the liars from the fools from someone who was actually involved in the case.

So you've always got those two or three facts. You tuck them in your pocket, you hold them back and you hope that they'd never get released so you can make this differentiation.

GRACE: John Daley, a lot has been made about this theory that the police are releasing misinformation. I don't buy that at all.

DALEY: Well, you know, it's impossible for us to know what's true and what's not true, because we're not on the inside of the investigation. But in general, I would say that our experience in the news media here covering the Salt Lake City Police is in general that's not something we've known that they've done. So I have no reason to believe that that's what's been happening, and we have no information to lead us to that conclusion. So, you know, at this point I think, you know, a lot of us just want to trust what we're hearing. And if the police are saying they haven't ruled anyone out, so that's what we believe is true.

GRACE: Well, John, I want to ask you one more thing regarding police theories. We saw police give statements in the last 48 hours, looking right at the cameras saying, we think we may have already talked to the suspect. Now, what did they mean by that? Certainly they've got a suspect in mind if they believe, if they've deduced they've already spoken to him.

DALEY: Yeah. Probably the strongest information that we've had the entire week since Elizabeth has gone missing, was from the police chief, from the press conference that he held the other day, and during that press conference that's exactly what he said. But what exactly that means we don't know. We know they've got a number of leads, we know they've talked to countless numbers of people. So, exactly, you know, what does he mean by that we don't know. But clearly the police seem to believe that they have talked to the person that they've think is ...

GRACE: Very, very interesting. Very interesting. Dr. Lee, let me go to you regarding the tidbit we learned today that dogs, search dogs, were brought into the home today. It's been said that they were German shepherd dogs, don't know if that's going to make a difference or not. What is your take on that, Dr. Lee?

LEE: Well, first of all, you know, while our ordinary investigation, we start with the universal poll -- everybody is the suspect, start with the family members, then friends, acquaintances and strangers. Polygraph, background checking, just the process of elimination. If you can eliminate all the impossible, whatever remains is the more probable.

What they're doing is just the traditional police work, through scientific evidence, maybe we can link somebody, through re-interview the 9-year-old sister maybe can get some more new information. The dog tracking, just another tool. So maybe the dog can pick up scent to look for some evidence, or look for body.

Basically, I don't think it's for (UNINTELLIGIBLE), or bomb, or drug. Basically, it's a police tracking dog, looking for clue. Based on what we learned from the news account, they're basically conditional (ph) evidence, pattern evidence, transfer evidence, try to put together some package that eliminate some of the suspect, whatever remain they are going to take a close look.

GRACE: Cynthia, what do you make of the dogs?

ALKSNE: Well, I think they have to do everything. My guess is their stronger play is the polygraphs. And then they have three other places that they obviously have to go, and are going. One is everybody's computer record in this family. Everybody. The other is the phone records, and the other is all her girlfriends. We've all been 14-year-old girls, you and I did, and we talk, we blab, that's what we all do. And so all of the friends have be interview as well, and -- to see what we can learn that way. GRACE: And the dogs, to me that says something that today of all days they're bringing dogs into the Smart home.

VAN ZANDT: They're looking for something that they haven't looked for before, and they're doing that right now. The question is, why are we doing it eight or nine days later? Why weren't we looking initially? And I think that's the challenge that we've got to develop.

GRACE: I agree, and I think there's a way to deduce what type of dogs, based on the timing the dogs have been brought into the home. Everybody, quick break.

Elizabeth Smart, where are you?


GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. Let's go to Mark Geragos. Mark, it seems to me that based on what the police are letting out, which is very little, they've got some type of physical evidence in the home, and they've got the nine-year-old little sister. What about that eyewitness testimony?

GERAGOS: The first thing I think they've got -- if they've got the nine-year-old, and they're releasing the fact that they think it's part of the extended family -- I've got a nine-year-old. He knows, and I'm sure this little girl knows, as well, most of her extended family.

My guess is is that she's identified somebody or she's given them a description of somebody or said it's uncle Joe or cousin Jimmy or whoever it may be, or looks like that person or something to that effect -- nine-year-olds are fully formed little kids. They know how to recognize their relatives.

GRACE: Mark, they've interviewed the little girl at least three times and then the Bret Michael Edmunds thing came up, the suspicion of him. So I don't know...

GERAGOS: It could have been that all they were looking for was this person to see if they could place the extended family relative, that they really believe is the suspect, in the neighborhood, and that this guy was in the neighborhood, maybe they thought they had a witness to place the relative in the neighborhood. My guess is why else would they start releasing that we're looking at the extended family and excluding people like acquaintances or stranger abduction or anything else, unless they think there was more than one person involved. That's one of the issues.


ALKSNE: One of the things that happens in these cases is at some point you want to communicate, if there's more than one person involved, hey, the train is leaving the station, we're getting close. So you come on and play with us first. That may be the extended family comment. GRACE: I just don't see this as a two-person operation, though. What about it, Clint?

VAN ZANDT: On the younger sister, too, the official version that we hear is she didn't see anything. I'm sitting there screaming from day one, "Where's the sketch artist? Let's get a sketch artist in. Let's get a picture of this guy's face, and let's get something out."

Now the flip side is, and Mark said this last night. She's nine years old, it's 2:00 a.m. in the morning, she's sound asleep, she's traumatized, there's a low light situation, so unless she hears a voice, maybe she doesn't recognize it, if it's the relative.

GERAGOS: And then, Cliff, they said yesterday, or they were releasing the information before, that she was told to keep quiet, that's one of the reasons that she stayed quiet for three hours. If that's the case, presumably she heard a voice, she thought that voice was somebody that she recognized, even if she couldn't see it. That leads me to believe that they either think that it's somebody who is a relative, or they think it's more than one person.

Maybe she doesn't recognize it, if it's the relative.

And then cliff she said yesterday or they were releasing the information before that she was told to keep quiet, that's one of the reasons that she stayed quiet for three hours. If that's the case, presumably she heard a voice, she thought that voice was somebody she recognized. That leads me to believe it's either somebody who is a relative or they think it's more than one person.

GRACE: Hold on, Cynthia, you and I both prosecuted a ton of child molestation cases. Very often children will not rat out a family, extended family. They simply will not do it. They're conditioned.

ALKSNE: They're conditioned, but they're also conditioned, if they're scared, to panic and do the wrong thing. You can't know what a nine-year-old would do in that situation. You'd think they'd run to you, you'd hope they'd run to you...

GRACE: But they don't.

ALKSNE: Sometimes kids, 10-year-olds and 12-year-olds and 15- year-olds are raped for a year and they don't tell you. So two hours isn't that unusual. It's actually kind of normal.

GRACE: Clint, I still don't like the theory. Something says no to the theory of a two-person operation. It doesn't make sense, I'm not buying into that.

VAN ZANDT: I don't either. There's nothing that says this is that organized, this is two people in a conspiracy that they're going to go in. And Nancy, there's nothing that says to me this is a burglary, either. The guy goes in white clothes, he's got a gun, he knows how to get in the house.

GRACE: Now what does the gun mean? What's the significance of coming in with a gun?

VAN ZANDT: Burglars don't carry guns most of the time. So the gun is there to intimidate, the gun is there because I'm going to confront someone and I'm going to use it to intimidate whatever I have to do, but I'm not there to steal your pearls and run.

GRACE: What about this, Mark Geragos, leaving the nine-year-old little girl there totally unrestrained, just basically says, shh, don't talk, and assuming the girl will do that.

GERAGOS: Doesn't that suggest that it's somebody who knows this person or feels like they can intimidate this person into taking some kind of an action, which is exactly what happened? They knew this person well enough that they could just tell them, and they were going to rely on that...

GRACE: And she did it. And she did it.

GERAGOS: Yes, and she did it.

GRACE: Very significant.

ALKSNE: But it also could suggest that they want the outside world, they want a witness to prove that it's a kidnapping as opposed to something else, and now they have a conveniently scared nine-year- old girl, who they've scared.

GRACE: And what about post-kidnapping behavior, Clint? What is the perp doing tonight?

VAN ZANDT: See, these are things law enforcement is looking at, and you can't change that. The last eight days, that behavior is there, Nancy, that cannot be changed. This is somebody, you know, he's following the scene, he has cleaned up his car, he's changed clothes, he...

GRACE: He's about two feet in front of the wide-screen TV right now.

VAN ZANDT: He is sitting there nose-to-nose with the big screen TV. But see, the challenge is, if it's this family theory we're talking about, everybody in the family is going to be traumatized. So if you're following it, if you're not going to work, if you're sick at your stomach, you know, short of taking your car to Jiffy Lube and getting everything done on it very quickly the next day, that behavior is somewhat challenging within the family, and that's why law enforcement, they're looking at the films, they're looking at the family members.

They want to see what behavior is consistent, but what's inconsistent, what doesn't fit the situation.

GRACE: Mark Geragos, why is it -- I know you tell all your clients don't speak, but why did they always circle back to the scene of the crime? Why? GERAGOS: Because there isn't a person alive who doesn't think that they can either outsmart or outtalk the authorities in cases like this. It's almost like an attractive nuisance. They just go back -- there's an obsessive compulsive disorder that just -- it manifests itself.

GRACE: In a way, I think, Mark, that they are admiring their masterpiece. They go back, they're so convinced they're not going to be caught, and darn it, they always go back to the scene.

I think it's very smart -- Cynthia, let me go to you on this. I think it's very smart of the police to subpoena all those tapes and videotapes of the volunteers, because how do we know if milling amongst them is the perp.

ALKSNE: No, of course they have to do it. I have to tell you, I always had the FBI agents photographing everybody who was out front, looking at -- I never caught one person that way. I know everybody says that's the thing. It never worked for me, not one single time!

VAN ZANDT: But your theme of coming back again, you know, it's part of what Mark says, but you want to know what's going on. Ted Bundy used to go back and sit in the cop bars where the attorneys were, and he'd sit around and listen and get information and add things back in again.

GRACE: Everybody, quick break, stay with us.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart now missing, heading into week two. Dr. Henry Lee, a lot has been made, today specifically, of the theory of staging the kidnapping. What do we mean by that?

LEE: Well, we still have to, you know, look at a point of entry, point of exit, the target area, try to eliminate everything. Of course, re-interview the 9-year-old sister. The dog tracking basically hopefully to pick up some scent to eliminate a problem, just like in the Chandra Levy case. I agree with Clint, the suspect may be back to the scene or participate in the search, but usually those are serial killer. But many type of crime when we investigate, if they're not serial killer, sometime they don't come back, so police basically try to focus the house, surrounding area, search every inch until you eliminate, say, maybe they missed something.

GRACE: Right. And what about it, Mark Geragos, the theory of staging? We've heard it many times before, very often in child abduction cases?

GERAGOS: Well, it's something that you see a lot of times. I don't know that I'm convinced that that's what we've got here. It looks to me like you've got a -- just an absolute textbook example of a kidnapping. Every parent's worst nightmare, actually, when you think about it, obviously, and you've got a situation where this 9- year-old girl I think is clearly the key to everything in terms of what she actually heard or what she actually saw.

As I said last night, I mean, you can't rely on the sketch or this or that if it's a stranger, but if this is somebody that she knew, I think they've focused on that, and I think they're getting closer and closer, and I think they're trying to send the message right now. They're trying to get the family to turn on each other, if you will, or at least look internally to see what it is, and see if somebody's going to roll on another.

GRACE: I agree with you. They're definitely turning up the heat. They're looking at the cameras, saying, hey, we know we've already talked to the suspect, in fact, we think you're watching TV right now.

GERAGOS: Which might be one of the reasons why they've eliminated this other gentleman that we've seen the picture of, is because they thought maybe that was a distraction. We've got to kind of focus this, we've got to bring this to a boil.

GRACE: Turn up the heat a little bit.

GERAGOS: ... and they way they're going to do it.

VAN ZANDT: Well, if it's somebody in the family, you wouldn't want them to feel safe. You wouldn't want them to think, well, they're focused on Edmunds, I'm safe, I don't have to worry about it, nobody is looking at me. That's another reason to throw him out, to get -- you know, this is an extended family of 70-plus people.

GRACE: If they were going to throw him out, why bring him in to start with?

Cynthia, question: What about the staging theory, are you buying into it?

ALKSNE: I think it's too soon to tell. But I think this is the small nucleus, you obviously have to start here, and now the prosecutors, if they're involved at this point -- they should be -- or the lead detectives are going through, and everybody is giving very detailed statements about what they know and their whereabouts. Statements, restatements, polygraphs, sign them, do the whole program, and get your best interviewers in there and see if we can flip somebody.

GRACE: And John Daley, before I lose you, quickly, is the hope still alive that we will find Elizabeth alive?

DALEY: Well, that's certainly what we're hearing from the relatives, that's what we're hearing from the volunteers. They say that they're convinced that she's still alive, and they've got a whole community that's joining in the effort and hoping to find her. So that's certainly the hope, but right now what we have is a mystery. The police told us just the other day that if they knew who had kidnapped Elizabeth Smart, they would have arrested him.

GRACE: Well, yeah, they keep giving these obvious statements. Of course if they know who did it, they're going to make an arrest. I would like to have a little substance behind this, but from their very actions, Clint Van Zandt, I see a shift. Yesterday it was all about Edmunds. Today, they've totally exonerated him, practically speaking, and they're carrying dogs, sniffer dogs into the home. What are police doing tonight, Clint?

VAN ZANDT: Well, this is it. They are locking people in on the polygraph, Nancy, they're locking them in on interviews, where were you the day before, where were you the night of? These are detailed. Tell me minute by minute what you did the day before, into the evening, when did you get up the next morning, when did you hear about this? Everybody is going to get locked down, so we can find out who might be involved in this.

ALKSNE: And it's not only just the alibi and doing that, but skilled interviewers, there's training -- the Reid (ph) school out of Chicago...


GRACE: Guys, before we sign off, I've got to give you that tip line again, I want you to hear that -- 800-932-0190, 801-799-3000. Everyone, thank you. Mark Geragos, Henry Lee, Clint Van Zandt, and of course, Cynthia Alksne, with me tonight, and there out in the field, John Daley, reporting. We're signing off.

Coming up next, Aaron Brown on "NEWSNIGHT." And tomorrow night, Larry King, back in the chair. Thanks for watching.




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