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Interviews With Tom Smart, Heidi Smart, Geoff Shank

Aired June 21, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, a break in Day 16 of the desperate search for Elizabeth Smart. Bret Michael Edmunds, wanted for questioning in the kidnapping, is in custody in a West Virginia hospital.

Reacting to this major development, Tom Smart and his wife Heidi, Elizabeth's uncle and aunt.

A senior U.S. Marshal will tell us how his folks found Edmunds just 26 hours after getting the job.

And the perspective from Nancy Grace, former prosecutor turned anchor for Court TV; high profile defense attorney Mark Geragos; former FBI special agent and veteran profiler, Clint Van Zandt; world renowned forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee; and covering the kidnapping story in Salt Like City, Kevin Peraino of "Newsweek." All that and more, next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin in Salt Lake City with Tom Smart. He is the uncle of the still-missing Elizabeth Smart and the brother of Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father, and Tom's wife Heidi. We welcome them back to LARRY KING LIVE, and Tom, what's your reaction to the location of Bret Michael Edmunds?

Tom, did you hear me? Tom, you can't hear me? All right, let me get a break and see if we can straighten....

OK, we'll get break and straighten this out, and we'll be right back. Don't go away?


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. We are having some difficulty with technical equipment, and as soon as we straighten that out, we'll go right back to Tom and Heidi Smart in Salt Lake City, and in a little while we'll be meeting Geoff Shank, who is the senior inspector for the U.S. Marshals, and they were involved in the hunt for and the acquisition of Bret Michael Edmunds, so we'll have our -- some members of our panel join us right at the top, and then as soon as we connect with the Smarts we'll go to them.

Nancy Grace is in New York, the anchor of "Trial Heat" on Court TV, and former prosecutor. And here in Los Angeles is Mark Geragos, the famed defense attorney. And in New Haven is Dr. Henry Lee, the world famous forensic expert, professor of forensic science at the University of New Haven. His new book is "Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes."

We'll be joined later by Clint Van Zandt, former FBI agent, and Kevin Peraino, if we can make connections with Salt Lake City, who is covering it for "Newsweek."

What do you make, Mark, of this apprehension today of Mr. Edmunds?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The U.S. Marshals, obviously, have to be pretty pleased with themselves. They did it in record time, I think. I just don't know, based upon everything that's been released so far -- and I do say that with some hesitation -- because we've heard, one minute, we're hearing one thing and the next minute we're hearing something else about what the true facts are here.

It does not appear from everything that we've heard so far that this guy tends to be a suspect. He is somebody who, obviously, the police want to talk to or the FBI wants to talk to. I don't want to get overly enthused about it, or think that this may break the case, only to disappoint the family and everybody else.

Obviously it's better that they found him rather than worse, and maybe they can get him in or out in terms of being a suspect pretty quick.

KING: Nancy, what's your read?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: I agree with Mark to the extent that he does not fit the profile of someone that would go into a home of that type, a 6,600 square foot, million dollar home, go up into that turret, Larry, where Elizabeth lived, basically, on the second floor, and abscond with her without making a sound.

However, they have got him. Either they are going to get something out of that car, Larry -- he does not strike me as the type of person that would be able to sanitize or immunize his car against a police forensic search -- or he will be cut loose and the police can then focus on the real perp.

GERAGOS: And you know what's also interesting, and Nancy would probably agree with this -- she's seen this as many times as I have -- you have got somebody who they're now reporting is either addicted to heroin or has some kind of addition.

If that's the case, that's somebody, generally -- I mean, you hate to make generalizations, but generally what happens in those kinds of cases, are -- it's somebody who does, or in order to sustain the habit, enters into burglaries or enters into dwellings, tends to try to do things in a desperate fashion in order to get money in order to sustain the habit.

KING: Nancy, before you respond, we understand that we can make connections now with Tom Smart and Heidi Smart in Salt Lake City. Tom, do you hear me OK now? TOM SMART, UNCLE OF MISSING GIRL: I do, Larry.

KING: Heidi, you hear me all right?


KING: OK. What's your reaction to Bret Michael Edmunds now being available for questioning, Tom?

T. SMART: Well, what I've heard is what Salt Lake City Police Chief Dinse has said, and it sounds as though he may have some evidence to do that, and it sounds like they're looking at the car, and we're just waiting to hear what's next, basically.

KING: Heidi, would you say you're encouraged by this?

H. SMART: Well, we're definitely glad they found him. We're hoping that he has some information that can help us here. Until they give us that information, we just have to wait. So, we are encouraged.

KING: Tom, your brother Ed has generally been amazingly cool through all of this, but today he had a very, very rough time talking, and he seemed at wit's end. Would you tell us what happened overnight or if anything occurred to cause him to be in that bad of shape?

T. SMART: Well, Larry, we had a family press conference today where we talked about making sure that people were focused on Elizabeth, and when I saw my brother speak, I thought he was as clear as a bell and was right on, and I haven't seen him at wit's end.

KING: I mean emotionally drained.

H. SMART: You know, Larry, he might be a little tired. His wife, Lois, is home sick with the flu, and I guess a couple of the other kids have had the flu as well, so I think they're probably exhausted and emotionally drained.

KING: Would you say, Tom, that Ed Smart remains optimistic?

T. SMART: I would say that Ed Smart is full of hope and faith, and the fact that we're into this as long as we do and that he's so strong and plus the police seem -- we don't know any more than what they're telling the press, really. But it seems like there are some changes and we are still continue to be full of hope and prayer.

KING: Are you -- Heidi, the capture of Edmunds at least will lead some answers or clear certain things up, there will be a finality to what his role in all of this was, don't you agree?

H. SMART: I agree. In fact, that's why we're very glad they found him. We're hoping that he might have some information that might lead to some valid information. I mean, that's all we can hope for. This person is the one connection we have right now, so.

T. SMART: Larry? KING: Yes?

T. SMART: It's my understanding that he was on -- and it's only from what the chief of police was saying, but it sounded, though, he was on a heroin overdose and that he hasn't been coherent, and we pray that he is, so that if there is any information he can give us -- he's never been called a suspect by the police department, but obviously he's somebody who had been in the area and they thought it was important, so we are, of course, excited to hear what it is, what he may have. But I don't even know he's been able to talk to them yet.

KING: We might get more information in a little while. Geoff Shank, the senior inspector of the U.S. Marshals is going to be with us. Tom, the last time you were on, you said the following thing about the kidnapper.

You said, "I believe this person is not a bad person at all, and our family has felt this strongly for a while, it may be somebody who actually likes Elizabeth." And a lot of people have wondered about that statement. You want to elaborate?

T. SMART: Yes. Sure. I think that our greatest hope is that that is what the case is, because that's the greatest hope that she comes home safely.

H. SMART: Safe, yes.

T. SMART: And that's why.

KING: You think it's someone who may admire her, like her, and has taken her to be with her, and is not harming her?

T. SMART: We hope with all our heart that's the case, Larry.

H. SMART: That's speculation, but of course we hope that it's someone that likes her so that she will come back safe. That's what we have to hope for.

KING: Heidi, are you offended -- this for both of you, we'll start with you, Heidi -- by all these tabloid stories that are breaking, looking at the family and the like? I'm not going to delve into them, just an overview of what you make of them?

H. SMART: You know what? It's not even worthy of a comment, to be honest with you. It's not credible.

KING: Tom, were you surprised by all this?

T. SMART: You know, I haven't read a word of it. I heard about it and it seems to not be worthy of a comment or any credibility.

KING: You were polygraphed already, Tom. Were you polygraphed as well, Heidi?

H. SMART: No, I was not. KING: When they -- how did that -- what was the process like for you, Tom, to be polygraphed in this? I mean, like what do they want to know?

T. SMART: Well, I think that that's part of the investigation and I don't really think that I should be going into that. For me, it was very interesting, and of course, when everything else is falling around and you have a beautiful little girl that we're trying to be focused on, bringing her home, that's another issue for another day, as far as I'm concerned.

KING: All right. What is this about -- Heidi -- what is this about the checking of the computers belonging to the family, examining and analyzing them, what was that about, Heidi?

H. SMART: Actually, that's a really good question. I'm unaware of what computers they actually took, to be honest with you.

T. SMART: I heard they took one from my house and I don't think anybody has.

H. SMART: Yes.

KING: No? Do you know if computers were taken?

H. SMART: You know, that is part of the investigation, and I don't know if Tom has more information, but all I know is actually what you know, and that they said they took computers. The number seems, you know, a little bit large. We just know what you know.

T. SMART: Larry, I would assume that any person in an investigation with a family and everything would go immediately to the computers and look at them. I don't know any more information than that, but that would be elementary detective work as far as I'm concerned.

H. SMART: Right. But they didn't come for our computer.

KING: Do you understand -- I'm sorry, Tom, you were going to say something?

T. SMART: Well, I haven't even opened up my own computer at home. I looked at it. Most of the things or thoughts I've had I've just tried to write by hand and I don't really know where a lot of this has come from, and I haven't even read the story, Larry.

KING: Tom, is the procedure of investigating the family, do you accept that, even though it may be rough?

T. SMART: Absolutely. I mean, I know the statistics and I think that 75 or 80 percent is always a family member or someone close to, so we understand that the police have to do that and we've been extremely cooperative to -- I can't imagine us being any more cooperative. We want the truth and we understand that they have to do their job. And we look at that and we feel like there has been some progress made on it. There is still hope and I think there is still hope in the police department and the FBI and our hearts.

KING: Your brother the other night, Tom, absolutely dismissed the idea of it being a boyfriend, a runaway. You share that view?

T. SMART: I do share that view. Knowing Elizabeth, I share that view.

KING: Heidi, wouldn't you hope that's the case?

H. SMART: I guess anybody would hope that, but if you knew Elizabeth, you'd know that that was something that wasn't even a question in the family's mind. So...

KING: Was she very much a part of a family group? I know very much how closely aligned Mormons are with each other. Was she very much into the whole family scene?

H. SMART: Well, all of the kids are about the same. When we get together for family dinners or go for vacations, every one is there, and all of the kids play together, and I wouldn't say that any particular cousins are more or less involved. She's one of the cousins.

T. SMART: Larry? Larry?

KING: Yes, Tom.

T. SMART: One thing I would like to say is that I think it's a lot broader than Mormons, I mean, it is a family thing that I think people all across the country and world feel the same view of family. And we are a very close family, regardless of whether we're Mormon, Catholic, or anything else.

KING: I'm aware of that, but we know how close Mormon families are.

T. SMART: Well, we are.

KING: High percentage rate.

T. SMART: And that is a fact. And that's...

H. SMART: But there was nothing unusual or different. I mean, Elizabeth interacted just like all of the other kids.

KING: How is Mary Catherine doing, Tom, the 9-year-old sister?

T. SMART: You know, I hadn't seen her until yesterday and I -- and she, actually, I think, misses her friend, and I -- we took her for a horseback ride and she -- I think she's doing as -- better than could ever be expected.

KING: Heidi, what is she like? We know nothing about her.

H. SMART: Who are you talking about?

KING: Mary Catherine.

H. SMART: Mary Catherine? She's a sweet little girl that's kind of quiet, just loves her sister and loves to get out in the out-of- doors and ride horses and play the harp just like her sister.

KING: How is she holding up, Heidi? She's been interviewed, we're told, four times by the authorities. How is she -- for a 9- year-old, how is she dealing with it all?

H. SMART: Well, you know, we don't -- we don't talk to her at all about the investigation, and as far as how she's holding up, she's just a quiet little girl that seems to be trying really hard to, you know, just interact. I mean, she's a sweetheart. She seems to be doing quite well.

KING: Tom, how far does your family live from Ed's family?

T. SMART: About 25 miles. But I was raised in this general area here that Edward lives in when we were -- I mean, our family lived in this area from the time I was 13 until the time I was 21, so, we know hundreds of people in this same area, even though Heidi and I don't live that close to Edward.

KING: Heidi, what keeps your faith up?

H. SMART: Well, a lot of prayer and a lot of hope that she'll come back to us safe. We're just -- I think we're all feeding off of each other's energy and we're staying real busy, focused on finding Elizabeth. We're just working really hard to make that happen. So, we're staying busy.

KING: Wouldn't it be normal, Tom, a tendency at this point to doubt your faith?

T. SMART: It may be normal at this time, how many ever days it's been into this thing, to doubt it, but we don't.

H. SMART: We don't have any reason to doubt it yet. All the searches that have gone out have made us feel better, actually, what they have done. They haven't found anything, and that can be a good thing, that they haven't found anything, and I think that's part of it, the support of the community, the positive -- we get a lot of positive feedback from the community as well, people calling us and feeling the same we are.

"I really feel she's alive, we're searching every day." I mean, I think the whole community is feeding off of each other. Until we have reason to lose hope, we're not going to go there.

KING: Thank you both very much. Tom, you want to add something?

T. SMART: Well, I just wanted to say, everybody's love all around the world, we get phone calls, and I think the thing that strengthens me personally the most is there's miracles all around us, even though we're staying in focus about finding a beautiful little girl. H. SMART: We need a miracle.

T. SMART: The world is praying for a miracle, Larry.

KING: Boy, they sure are. Tom and Heidi Smart, the uncle and aunt of Elizabeth Smart, the brother of Ed Smart. As we go to break, before we meet the senior inspector of US Marshals, here is what Ed Smart had to say earlier today.


ED SMART, FATHER OF MISSING GIRL: I'm asking and I'm pleading with whoever has her, that I would do anything to have her back in my arms. And please realizes how much she is missed. She's missed tremendously.




E. SMART: I want to reinforce to you that we still feel that Elizabeth is out there. We still need each one of your help. We need you to be the eyes and ears in the neighborhood. We need you to be the eyes and ears wherever you're going. And one of the most important things is that each person is a searcher. It doesn't matter where you are. Please keep your eyes and ears open. I truly feel that this is the way Elizabeth is going to come back to us.


KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE in Washington, Geoff Shank, senior inspector for the United States Marshals. The Marshals were put on this case 26 hours before nabbing Bret Michael Edmunds. Congratulations, Jeff. And by the way, do Marshals normally get called upon to do this kind of work, looking for somebody that's wanted?

GEOFF SHANK, U.S. MARSHALS: Mr. King, we, in fact, arrest over 60 percent of all federal fugitives. And we have such a strong working relationship with federal agencies and state and local agencies across the country, that, yes, we get called every day to assist in locating individuals that are wanted for questioning or wanted for various felonies across the country and internationally.

KING: Are you surprised you weren't called in sooner?

SHANK: No, I mean, everything seemed to be progressing as normally would in an investigation. And we have an incredibly strong working relationship with the Salt Lake City Police Department. They reached out to our task force people there, and we were ready, willing and able to jump into it full bore, and we're just really happy that it ended up with a quick resolution.

KING: Without telling us any Marshal secrets, how was Bret Michael Edmunds apprehended?

SHANK: Mr. King, it was a lot of hard work. As I said, about noon time, Eastern Standard Time yesterday, we hit the ground running and just began a myriad of different investigative techniques, mostly just standard police operating procedures -- interviewing, following up on tips and what have you. And lo and behold, today we got a call from one of our sources who told us, hey, we believe that Edmunds has checked into a hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia under an assumed name.

KING: And how did you confirm it was him?

SHANK: In a nutshell, we took the information that he did give, that was legitimate, and just backtracked it to the hotel room he was in, and then simply did a photo identification. And at that point, we were quite certain it was him. While this was going on, another deputy marshal from the Martinsburg, West Virginia office located the green Saturn out in the parking lot.

KING: And we're told -- we're told now, Geoff, that -- Senior Inspector Shank, that a forensic testing is going on right this minute on that vehicle?

SHANK: That would be the standard procedure. Once we actually secured the vehicle, we turned it over to the West Virginia State Police Department, who was the second responding unit, and obviously we contacted the FBI, and they showed up. And that's their ball of wax. We were one call, one mission, and that was to find Mr. Edmunds. We put every effort into that, we got him, and now we're going to step aside and let the investigators who are actually handling the case take over.

KING: So you do not do any of the questioning?

SHANK: We will not question Mr. Edmunds no. Our deputies, once they found him, they secured him. Any spontaneous utterances he may have made, in one ear, out the other, we have no questions posed to him, no. We turned him over to the Salt Lake City investigators.

KING: Is he in the hospital now?

SHANK: Last I knew, yes. He should still be in the hospital.

KING: And is it -- can you confirm that it was an overdose -- that he was committing himself as an heroin addict to that hospital?

SHANK: Mr. King, I knew he was committing himself and he was somewhat incoherent when he was doing so, but the medical parameters surrounding that self-admission, I'm not sure what those are.

KING: Did Marshals talk to him at all?

SHANK: No, our deputies did not speak to him, and -- for any relevant matters whatsoever.

KING: How would you describe his appearance? SHANK: According to our deputies who first saw him, he was laying in a hospital bed and he looked like he belonged there. I don't know how else to describe it, Mr. King.

KING: He did go in under an assumed name, though?

SHANK: Yes, he did.

KING: So you had no question when you traced it back, the travel and the like, and the circumstances, that he was, in fact, Bret Michael Edmunds?

SHANK: We were quite certain. We do this every day, and it's not surprising for individuals on the run to travel great distances, to drive for two or three days straight. Once their adrenaline rush ends, and in this Mr. Edmunds' case, a narcotics addiction, whatever it may be, they're going to make a mistake. And the mistake he made was, in his haste or what have you to get into that hospital, he gave up a little bit of information that we knew was valid, and that little door, that little piece of information led us to grab him before he was able to get better and check himself out of that hospital.

KING: Is it true that the person who tipped you was someone that you'd interviewed the day before, one of the Marshals that interviewed, and then they put two and two together?

SHANK: Most of the time, Mr. King, yes, that's the way it works. We interviewed dozens and dozens of people and established a great rapport with just a network of individuals across the country. And we're quite certain that it was one of these folks that we reached out to that got wind of this and out of the goodness of their heart gave us a call. I mean, it does happen, and we're grateful when it does.

KING: What is the -- does the Marshal do? They serve summonses, right? What are the Marshals sworn to do?

SHANK: A great many things. It would take me your entire show to tell you everything that we're involved in. I can tell you that our investigative services division is responsible for the apprehension of approximately 60 percent or more of all federal fugitives in the United States of America and abroad. We do all extraditions, we have just a myriad of task forces and regional task forces that are dedicated into removing people like Mr. Edmunds from the street, so that they don't have an opportunity to possibly be involved in violent crimes of this nature.

KING: Geoff, our congratulations to you, it was a great piece of work.

SHANK: Thank you very much, Mr. King.

KING: Geoff Shank, senior inspector, United States Marshals, who apprehended Bret Michael Edmunds. He's still in the hospital, and the car is being examined forensically now.

Speaking of forensics, Dr. Henry Lee and our regular panel will join us right after this. Don't go away.


CHIEF RICK DINSE, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE: Mr. Edmunds has been somebody we want to talk to. He was seen in the area sometime around the time of the incident, or at least the vehicle, a vehicle similar to what he had been driving, and we know he had been since his April, at least April, had been on the run and had been in the Avenues (ph) area, so he was somebody we wanted to talk to. I mean, I use the example, he's a question mark, and we want to put a period on that question mark.



KING: Before we welcome our panel, tomorrow night on "LARRY KING WEEKEND," we'll repeat a recent interview with Martha Stewart. On Sunday night, a "LARRY KING WEEKEND," brand new edition with Zacarias Moussaoui's mother, the prisoner who will go on trial in September as having been involved in September 11. And Monday night, an exclusive with the Pearls, the parents of the late Danny Pearl of the "Wall Street Journal."

We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Nancy Grace, the anchor of "Trial Heat" on Court TV. She's in New York. Here in Los Angeles, Mark Geragos, the defense attorney, both were with us briefly earlier. Now joining us, Dr. Henry Lee, the world famous forensic expert. In Washington is Clint Van Zandt, 25 years special agent with the FBI. He's now president of Van Zandt and Associates, an investigative support and threat assessment group. And on deck in Salt Lake City is Kevin Peraino, correspondent covering the Smart story for "Newsweek".

Dr. Lee, what are they doing forensically with that automobile?

DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: Well, the automobile, of course, that's a very important piece of link. We have to look for physical evidence. If we can find anything belongs to Elizabeth Smart, such as her fingerprint, any (UNINTELLIGIBLE), residue, we can find any DNA of hers, or her belongings in the vehicle, now that provide an important tie.

Besides the vehicle, of course, they should check the drug overdoses, where the source of the crack cocaine or heroin, where he got the money to buy it. What's the route (ph)? He traveled from Salt Lake City to Virginia. Which hotels did he stay in, any gas station or so, towns. It's important to figure out what had happened, how did it happen. So that's a very important piece of puzzle. Either he's a suspect or maybe a witness.

KING: Now, Clint Van Zandt, is he -- what is he?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI AGENT: You know, we keep hearing...

KING: I mean, Dr. Lee just described -- if you're going through the car like that, it sounds like -- reads weird. VAN ZANDT: I don't care if you call him a suspect or a musketeer, he's somebody, Larry, we had to find, and we've either got to rule this guy in or rule him out. Look, he was seen in the neighborhood two days before. He lives in the community. He was seen two different places subsequent to the kidnapping that related to Ms. Smart. He's been a fugitive for 12 days. He's taken the license plates off his car and disposed of them. He had to know he was a fugitive.

Now, all of that, and I agree with Mark from the beginning, all of that can be explained simply because he's a transient, he doesn't like the authorities, he's afraid he's going to get framed in this, and he took off running. And all of that can be the case.

But, you know, you've got to have a Henry Lee going through that car, you have to see is there any physical evidence that can relate him to the car. And I'll tell you what, if I was an agent interviewing that guy, he and I would have a come-to-Jesus time, Larry, and it's you know, this is your time, my friend, to either, you know, you've got a constitutional right to clear your conscience before you meet your maker, if you're going to die of a heroin overdose or whatever it is. We go have a little girl's life.

And if Mark was the attorney, I would say, "Mark, please talk to your client. If he knows anything and this little girl is alive, this could make the difference between life and death for him."

GERAGOS: And you have a guy who is going through either -- at some point, he's overdosing or he's going to be going through withdrawals of heroin. There is not much more of a strong medicine that you can have that's going to get somebody to talk or be forthcoming or say anything, virtually.

KING: Offer him some of this product, yeah.

GERAGOS: All you've got to do is give him a little dose of methadone.

KING: Kevin Peraino, you've on been on the scene in Salt Lake City. Why are they so insistent that he's not a suspect?

KEVIN PERAINO, COVERING KIDNAPPING FOR "NEWSWEEK": Well, there are a lot of things that don't really fit. Mary Catherine, the 9- year-old sister, described a man who was a lot shorter than Bret Michael Edmunds is. Edmunds is 6-foot-2, he weighs 235 pounds. This guy, the guy that Mary Catherine saw is 5-foot-8.

Also, I mean, I talked to the milkman who first supposedly saw Edmunds up in the neighborhood, and even he isn't entirely sure that he's got the right man. I mean, the man he saw was in a different colored car, as he remembers it, it was a '70s model car. And he said the man sat a little bit lower in the seat. So, I think, you know, there are a lot of things that don't quite fit.

KING: Nancy Grace, what do you read about this not suspect?

GRACE: Well, they said the same thing about Robert Blake, Larry, and we see where he is right now.

KING: So to you, he's a suspect?

GRACE: To me, everybody is a suspect. At this point, everybody is a suspect. Nobody has been ruled out. I agree with the police to that extent, I think they are telling us the truth.

But right now, they have an opportunity to get a fountain of information. Just as Dr. Henry Lee said, they are looking for the victim's hair, fiber from her bed, the carpet, those red silk pajamas. Of course, they're going to try to get his DNA and fingerprints, possibly to match it back to the house.

But there is more in that car, Larry. For instance, they should be looking for receipts, for gas, for food, restaurant napkins, matchbook covers, anything to trace back how the heck, Larry, did they get from Salt Lake City, Utah all the way across the country to Martinsburg, West Virginia and elude police that far. And more importantly, Larry King, why was he eluding police?

GERAGOS: Because he didn't want to get arrested, because his name and his face has been all over the news. Look, what they've got to find, besides receipts, besides everything else, they have to find something that connects him to her. They've got -- in that car, if there is a hair, if there is a drop of blood, if there is anything that connects that car to him, you know.

KING: But he might be able to help them if he saw something.

GERAGOS: Well, that's exactly why I think the police...


GERAGOS: I think the police's initial reason for wanting him is they figured he was in the neighborhood, he's somebody who was apparently sleeping in his car, so he would be there presumably at odd hours, and that maybe he saw something. If that's the case, it would be malpractice per se for the police department not to go and see him.

GRACE: But you know what?

KING: Hold on a minute.

GERAGOS: You ask why he didn't -- why was he running? I mean, look, guys in this kind of a position, who are living out of the car, who are addicted to heroin, are not guys who are police friendly.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll come back with more of our panel. This is LARRY KING LIVE. The parents of Danny Pearl Monday night. Don't go away.


E. SMART: I feel that the momentum is continuing. I have felt -- I have felt it very strongly. And I am so grateful for it. And I'm just praying that it continues, because I know that this is what is going to bring Elizabeth back.



KING: Dr. Henry Lee, there have been police -- there have been reports of police make one statement one day and a different one the next. Should they be above board on everything?

LEE: Well, there are a lot of investigative information cannot release. Many of information we learn through the media, not necessary correct. However, we do know there a screen was cut, apparently they release cut from inside, and of course, with this vehicle, that's a piece of puzzle now.

Larry, you probably can assemble a best team, have Glen (ph) and Nancy and Mark to investigate the case, just now I heard a comment, it's excellent. That is what we should do, process the vehicle, use physical evidence to tie -- either eliminate him or include him. Of course, now we still have put a lot of effort, look at around the house and relative, not just because apprehend Edmund forget about rest part of investigation.

KING: Now Clint, the disparaging here is significant information -- the kidnapper had dark hair on his hands and arms. If that's accurate, then he wasn't wearing gloves. There was a report he was wearing gloves. Why this disparity?

VAN ZANDT: I think that's really important, Larry, and I don't hear it addressed. If in fact the -- Elizabeth's sister saw the kidnapper's hands, says he has dark hair on his hands, to me -- and Henry Lee can jump in on this, too, but that doesn't sound like a professional burglar who does high-profile houses.

That type of guy would wear a glove, so he's either a very dumb criminal to come in without gloves on, or he knows that he's not going to touch anything and he's that disciplined, or else, Larry, he's been in the house before and if his fingerprints are found, he would be able to explain away the prints having been in the house. Somewhere within there is the reason why this guy's not wearing gloves.

LEE: Yes, that's correct. In addition, she saw he had a weapon. Black colored gun or so cut the screen to -- a knife involved.

VAN ZANDT: Exactly.

LEE: And saw him twice. That's kind of a very important piece of information we have to study detail.

KING: Nancy, you say everyone is a suspect. Does that include family?

GRACE: Well, certainly. We heard the figure earlier by the Smart family themselves. They were accurate. Nearly 80 percent of the time with juvenile child kidnappings, it's family member or acquaintance. But you know, Larry, you were showing those bites of the father, Mr. Smart, and when I see him, he was in tears, and now that family is to the desperate point of pinning their hopes on a heroin addict bunked up in West Virginia.

That's heartbreaking. And another issue about him being in the hospital, Larry. Why, if he's a heroin addict, he's got his drill down, he knows what to do to get his high. Why did he overdose? Was it intentional? Why now, of all times, now that he's under suspicion with Elizabeth Smart, did he o.d.? I find that very telling.

KING: Let's take a call. San Francisco, hello.

CALLER: Hi, I have a question regarding Mary Catherine. I'm wondering why the police have changed their story regarding what she saw?

KING: Kevin, you want to respond to that? You're on the scene.

PERAINO: Yes, Mary Catherine didn't change her story, according to police. She changed it slightly. I mean, they've interviewed her three or four times, and with each interview she gives them a little bit more information.

But police have said that she's been pretty consistent about what she said all along. But there was one thing last week -- police had said originally that Mary Catherine was threatened by the kidnapper, and then they said just last week that no, it was in fact Elizabeth who was threatened by the kidnapper, but that was a mistake that the police did incorrect, it wasn't a mistake that Mary Catherine made.

KING: All right. That answers that. You were going to say something, Mark?

GERAGOS: I was just going to say, it's interesting that when you listen to what Cliff was saying and what Henry Lee was saying, both of them are basing that, and I think appropriately so, on what the 9- year-old says. To some degree, most of the information, if not all of the information that we are relying on and the police are relying on, is what this 9-year-old girl saw when she was there, frightened out of her wits, obviously and understandably, when her sister was taken.

A lot of that, I think, you have to take with a little bit of reticence before you invest too much in it. I think you have to, in this case, rely a little bit more on the physical evidence that's there.

KING: Clint, one thing you think of is motive, and what's motive here?

VAN ZANDT: The first motive you think of, Larry, is someone who kidnapped her for personal, for sexual purposes. If in fact that takes place, normally, a young girl -- now she is right in the highest profile danger group for young women who are targeted for reasons like that. But, so, someone, I think in the community, knew the house, knew the neighborhood, maybe even knew her, got in, got her and took her away. Then the question is, if it was for sexual purposes, normally in a case like this, the victim would be assaulted and left somewhere, and we'd find her, either dead or alive. My hope in this, in all honesty, and it's a terrible hope, is that whoever did this kept her because they wanted to maintain contact and maintain a relationship with her. That's scary but it could also say she's still alive.

Larry, you may remember back, you know -- it's been 10 years ago or so up in Long Island, we had a little girl who was kidnapped, and she was kept in an underground chamber under this guy's house. And we kept the pressure and kept the pressure on, thinking we're either going to break him, and he'll commit suicide, or we'll break him and he'll tell us where the girl is.

He finally confessed, and two weeks later we found her tied up, chained up in this underground chamber, and got her back alive. So statistically there is a chance she's out there, and I'm just like the family in this. Mark and everybody talked -- we're parents, and until I know something else, I would still hold out hope, and I think law enforcement is working 24/7, believing that if she's out there, we can still get her back alive.

KING: Well be back with some more moments on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: Clint Van Zandt, on Thursday, FBI special agent Dan Roberts said the FBI is looking at other kidnappings. Among those being checked out, the disappearances of two girls in March in Oregon City and a kidnapping in Idaho Falls, it took place the same morning as the abduction of Elizabeth. Why hasn't that gotten a lot of attention, by the way?

VAN ZANDT: Well, that's interesting. The one that took place in Idaho Falls, of course, that individual in a chase, he shot a police dog and then he shot a deputy sheriff. And then he either committed suicide or he was killed shortly thereafter. They ran the timeline, as my understanding, and there wasn't time in theory for him to have done something in Salt Lake and then gone on to Idaho Falls.

However, you make a very valid point on the West Coast, we have got those two girls, same community, same neighborhood, who went missing. Where I live in Spotsylvania, Virginia, about three or four years ago, we had two sisters that were kidnapped and murdered. Another young teenage girl kidnapped and murdered, all victims of sexual assault. That offender has never been found.

So, you know, there are people out there in a fugitive status who do these terrible things to our children. And I think that's the frightening thing about this case, Larry, is that when somebody comes in your home in the middle of the night, when we think are children are the safest, all of a sudden, Elizabeth Smart becomes everyone's daughter and it magnifies everyone's fear.

KING: Nancy, is it, therefore, the betting, sadly, that this is sexual?

GRACE: Well, yes it is because normally, that is the motive...

KING: No ransom note.

GRACE: ... for taking a child. No ransom note yet. I think there was one hoax called in, sent in by e-mail. It turned out to be nothing. Ransom is actually very rare in the U.S. You get in it Hollywood and in South America, but in the U.S. it is very rare, It's normally a custody fight of some sort, a family problem or sexual. And I would put money on it being sexual here.

KING: Mark, that's...

GERAGOS: That's not something...

KING: That's the worst.

GERAGOS: Right. It's the absolute worst alternative. It's not something you want to even think. I mean, you can hold out hope for all of the other various alternatives, but the last thing you want to think about that.

KING: Kevin, that optimism we keep seeing from the Smarts, is that, in your reportorial judgment, real?

PERAINO: I'm sorry, Larry. I didn't hear what you said.

KING: The optimism we get from every family member with the Smarts, is that in your judgment real?

PERAINO: Yes, I think it has been, although I have to say, this week, every time I've seen the Smarts, they've looked just a little more tired, a little more emotional than I've ever seen them since I've been out here. It looks like, you know, a lot of the -- as time goes on, it's starting to get to them.

KING: Dr. Lee, are they going to crack this case based on your experience and what you know now?

LEE: Well, it's a pretty difficult case and I think the investigators should set up a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) file, whatever they can recover from the house, try to compare, eliminate, process, of course, examine the scene carefully to determine what kind of weapon involved.

Now with the car, they give them another piece of forensic information, they can do a detailed search. We always keep hopes and we never give up. Also, Larry, I would like to take the opportunity to thank my governor, Governor Rowland, Pat (ph) Rowland to encourage me and allow me to appear on your show.

KING: Oh, yes. We do thank him. He's a great guy, by the way, your governor.

LEE: Yes.

KING: Was with him a couple of weeks ago. He's a super guy.

Clint, they going to crack it?

VAN ZANDT: I think so, Larry. You know, there is a tremendous amount of effort being exerted on this. The police have got some good leads I know of. There are things they're not telling us, I know. There may be forensic evidence they have that they haven't shared.

I mean, look, this is a card game and the police aren't going to lay every card on the table. They're going to hold some back. They're going to use that for investigative purposes. Hopefully, they have some way to link an offender to this. They have to keep the pressure on. Every day, we want this bad guy going to bed, Larry, scared to death that there is going to be a police officer, an FBI agent standing over his bed when he wakes up, or as we heard earlier, a U.S. Marshal. Somebody is going to be there. We're going to take this guy. And we hope he has Elizabeth alive with him at the time.

KING: Nancy, you optimistic?

GRACE: Well, Larry, my head says that she's dead, but I just can't take it in. My heart says, when I see those parents, and they're so firm, I want to believe it too. And the alternative, you know, you were saying with Mark, well, a sexual assault is the worst. You know what? It's not the worst. A murder is the worst. And I'm holding out hope that that is not true.

KING: Yes. What about you, Mark?

GERAGOS: I said last week, I'm going to be the eternal optimist here. I'm going to hope that the fact that this just seems so bizarre in terms of anybody who has been around crime or the criminal justice system will tell you that this does not seem to be a stranger running in there, abducting somebody and running out. And that to me is a hopeful sign.

KING: Kevin, we got about 20 seconds. You think they're going to find out this story?

PERAINO: I'd like to hope so. But, you know, as time goes by, it gets harder to hope that.

KING: Thank you. Kevin Peraino, Cliff Van Zandt, Dr. Henry Lee, Mark Geragos and Nancy Grace. We'll be calling on them again hopefully to discuss how Elizabeth came home. Wouldn't that be a nice gift for the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend and Monday night, I'll tell you all about it right after these words.


KING: Over the weekend on "LARRY KING WEEKEND," tomorrow night, Martha Stewart. And on Sunday night, the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, who goes on trial in September. And then Monday night on LARRY KING LIVE, the first interview ever with the Pearls, the mother and father of the late Danny Pearl of the "Wall Street Journal."

We turn it over now to the host of "NEWSNIGHT," Aaron Brown, who leaves us on Monday to take a vacation. Why now, Aaron?




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