CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Expert Panel Discusses Smart Case
Aired June 27, 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: The desperate search for Elizabeth Smart, now more than three agonizing weeks old.
Is an ex-con named Albert Ricci -- Richard Albert Ricci -- the key to solving this terrible mystery? He worked at the Smart house, he admits he burglarized it, and the FBI has seized a tan golf cap, plus a machete, from his father-in-law's trailer park home.
Joining us from Salt Lake City, Elizabeth's uncle, Dave Smart.
Also in Salt Lake: Exclusive insights from Ricci's neighbor, Carma Tolman. Her son Andy has already told a grand jury what he knows.
Then prosecutor-turned Court TV anchor Nancy Grace.
High-profile defense attorney Mark Geragos.
World-renowned forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee.
And Kevin Peraino, covering the Smart trial -- or the Smart case, rather, and the kidnapping for "Newsweek."
And they're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin with Dave Smart, the uncle of Elizabeth Smart. He's the brother of Elizabeth's father, Ed Smart.
And I guess our first and obvious question is: How is the family doing today Dave?
DAVE SMART, UNCLE OF KIDNAPPED GIRL: Well, Larry, it's -- you know, you keep hearing the same term used, it's a roller-coaster of emotions. And it's about the only way we can describe it. You know, there's many different things that break. And we've just learned to try to buffer ourselves from all of the different issues, like how Edmunds came out and the statements were made about him, and then Ricci.
And it does seem a little more severe at this point in time with Ricci but, you know, we've just learned that we just can't hang on everything that comes out, that we just have to keep searching and praying and having faith and hope that we'll be able to bring Elizabeth back. KING: But there aren't any moments, Dave, are there, that produce optimism?
SMART: You know, as soon as we hear that moment that someone's talked to Elizabeth or that they found Elizabeth and she's doing well, and at that point, that's when we'll start cheering.
KING: Our Jeanne Meserve of CNN disclosed today that a golf cap, a machete has been found associated with the -- well, not a suspect, I guess -- Mr. Ricci, who is in custody. That cap matches, apparently, the description given by Mary Catherine, Elizabeth's sister, who has seen pictures of Mr. Ricci.
By the way, do we know -- has she identified Ricci at all? Has she been shown pictures of him? Have two and two been put together?
SMART: Not to my knowledge. With everything that's been going on with the grand jury, you know, we're more than willing to help however we can.
But I just really haven't been listening to the news of what's going on with that.
And actually, everything that you just commented on, the cap and the machete, this is the first time I've heard of that.
KING: You had not heard it today. They were found in the father-in-law's house, or one of his trucks or something.
In a sense, don't you hope that it's not Mr. Ricci, because if it's Mr. Ricci, where's Elizabeth?
SMART: Well, you know, there are those feelings that kind of go through you. You know, we hope it's not Ricci. And there's also the feelings of it would like -- we'd like to have closure here, and we'd like that closure to be a happy ending as well. So it's...
KING: He -- go ahead, finish.
SMART: No, it's just, once again, we don't know definitely if it was Ricci. And there are so many different situations, I think, that are floating around Ricci.
I'm glad that this whole grand jury thing has been set up to try to streamline the information so the police can work -- have some tools to work, help them be more effective, I think, as far as getting answers -- questions answered.
KING: Dave, he worked for your brother. Do you remember him?
SMART: I'm sorry, say that one more time, Larry.
KING: He worked for your brother, do you remember him?
SMART: You know, I remember hearing of him, and also of the Cherokee -- the Grand Cherokee and that type of business dealing. I never did meet the man. I just know that Ed was -- is very compassionate, and this is -- this whole thing has just been very unfortunate.
You know, I don't know what else to say about Ricci. I hope if he's the one, that he will help the police bring Elizabeth back immediately.
KING: Were you surprised that Ed, in part payment, had given him a white Cherokee? Is that unusual for Ed, or is that the way Ed operates?
SMART: It was a little bit unusual. But once again, just how Ed is so compassionate in this -- at the time I just knew of this person, or this worker as -- I never did recall his name -- but that this worker was doing a lot of work for Ed and was very skilled and did a good job, and Ed was just wanting to help him get back up on his feet, and this was a method of helping both of them to an ends.
KING: Dave, to your knowledge, have any members of the Smart family been called to testify before the grand jury?
SMART: I really don't have any knowledge of that at all.
KING: Has anyone asked you to testify for any reason whatsoever, do you know?
SMART: At this point, no.
But you know, once again, Larry, any -- anything they want of us, you know, if they want to ask us questions or go in and testify, or anything to that matter, we're more than willing and able to go in and help however we can.
KING: How is Mary Catherine doing?
SMART: Well, the other night the whole family got together. This was last Sunday. The whole family was able to get together and have dinner together. And the kids were running around playing and laughing, and just -- it was very relaxing and very enjoyable to see the kids being able to function in the manner that they were.
So overall Mary Catherine is doing very well.
KING: She's holding up well, then?
SMART: She is.
KING: It's been more than three weeks. What at all keeps your -- any hopes up? I mean, doesn't each day get a little more despairing?
SMART: You know, I really haven't -- I know all of the statistics and the odds, and well aware of those. And I just -- I've come early on in this whole event, I've learned that it just doesn't pay to dwell on how much time's passed or what the statistics are or different events that have come up, because you can get so caught up into those events, especially when they're negative events that have taken place, that it just becomes too emotional.
And you start burning time and wasting time thinking and dwelling on those elements, whereas if you're looking at a more positive aspect of Elizabeth still out there -- she hasn't been found, which means she could still be alive, and that we just need to continue with the search effort and with all the searchers going out, still about 400 to 500 per average on a daily basis are going out and looking on the weekends. Those numbers jump up to 3,000-plus.
And I'll tell you, with having that many people, that many volunteers out there helping search in the heat of the day, even, it's just -- it's been amazing. And the relationships that have been created through that, people exchanging phone numbers from all different walks of life in society, it's amazing. It really is.
KING: Sure is. It's a great testimony to man and fellow man.
Thank you, Dave. We'll be calling on you again, we hope with good news.
SMART: Thank you very much, Larry.
KING: Thank you.
Dave Smart, the uncle of Elizabeth Smart, he's the Elizabeth's father Ed Smart.
We'll come back, our panel will join us. And we'll talk first with Carma Tolman. She lives in the trailer park neighborhood of Richard and Angela Ricci, and her son Andy, who lives with her, has testified before the grand jury about all of this.
We'll be right back.
KING: Joining us in Salt Lake City now is Carma Tolman. Carma lives in the trailer park neighborhood of Richard and Angela Ricci. Her son Andy lives with her, and he's testified before the grand jury investigating the case.
Also on hand, joining us shortly, are our regular panel on this matter: Nancy Grace, the anchor for "Trial Heat" on Court TV, she's in New York; the defense attorney Mark Geragos is in Los Angeles; in Princeton, New Jersey, the world-famed forensic expert, Dr. Henry Lee, the author of "Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes"; and in Salt Lake City is Kevin Peraino, the "Newsweek" correspondent covering the Smart story.
But let's go to Carma Tolman.
You were on vacation when the young lady was taken away, is that right, Carma?
CARMA TOLMAN, NEIGHBOR OF RICHARD RICCI: Yes I was.
KING: So what you know is what your son Andy told you, right?
TOLMAN: Part Andy told me, and part Angela told me herself.
KING: You are friends with Angela, the wife of the -- I don't know what to call him -- a suspect -- the wife of Mr. Ricci, right?
TOLMAN: Right, we're casual friends.
KING: What has she told you about all of this? What can you tell us?
TOLMAN: Well, she's -- she doesn't believe that he did it, and she's devastated.
KING: Has she said that he was with her that night? Has she offered an alibi for him?
TOLMAN: Well, I watch the media, and she gave an alibi for him, so I guess she thinks he was there all night.
KING: Did she say anything to you either contradicting it or confirming it?
TOLMAN: Well, she went around and asked a few people in the neighborhood if they had seen him leave late at night. And I told her I didn't pay any attention. I hadn't really, you know, known him to leave, so...
KING: So in other words, she may have been asleep, and he may have left?
TOLMAN: Yes, he could have.
KING: What has your son -- what has Andy told you about what he saw?
TOLMAN: All right. He said on the morning of the 5th, he awoke to hammering on our trailer, and he thought, what is going on? So he got up, and he looked out the back door, and Ricci was boarding up a hole by our water.
And Andy says, what are you doing that for? And he says, well, I'm -- I don't want my cat to get in there.
And he had also cleaned out underneath our stairs really good, weeded and everything and turned up the dirt. And as my son thought about it, after he heard the story, why, he thought he would get ahold of the FBI.
And so the FBI came and inspected our trailer. They had dogs and -- it was a big thing, but there was -- I don't think there was anything they ever found.
KING: So it was Andy, your son, who contacted the FBI about Mr. Ricci?
TOLMAN: About that, yes.
KING: About that incident. He had those suspicions.
Do you know Mr. Ricci fairly well?
TOLMAN: I beg your pardon?
KING: Do you know him fairly well, Carma?
TOLMAN: I know him pretty well. He's a likable guy.
KING: What can you tell us about him? Tell us about him.
TOLMAN: He's a really likable person. He's done a lot for me. He's, like, mowed my lawn. And, you know, if my car is ridden-down, he would run me places. And he took my son and his son and Angela's son to the movie.
And, you know, I guess that was the day of the 5th, he took them to the movie.
So, you know, he does nice things for me. This is all very surprising to me.
KING: Did you know about his prior criminal record?
TOLMAN: I did not.
KING: So that was all a surprise to you, too?
TOLMAN: I was very surprised.
KING: OK. When the FBI asked him about Mr. Ricci -- your son about Mr. Ricci's vehicles, you mentioned that the white Jeep was not at the trailer park at the time. Is that correct?
TOLMAN: Yes, they came out and talked to me, and they says -- so he had his Angela's father's car there and their own car. And he says, so I guess that's their cars.
And I said no, they've got a white Jeep. And they says, a white Jeep?
And I says, yes, they have a white Jeep.
And he says well, where's the white Jeep?
And I says, I don't know. But apparently it was in a shop. So...
KING: Carma, what do you make of this story that Jeanne Meserve of CNN broke today about the finding of a golf cap, and a machete -- a cap apparently, that supposedly the younger daughter saw the person who came into the house wearing?
TOLMAN: Well, now, I knew about it, but I wasn't... KING: Oh, you did?
TOLMAN: Oh, yes, I knew. I wasn't going to say anything, but Angela had came over to my house crying, and she says the FBI said they had found -- he had taken the car from the shop and -- I don't know how this goes in sequence, so I'm not sure just how it goes -- but they had seen the machete on his belt, two plastic bags and -- oh...
KING: A cap.
TOLMAN: Well, no it wasn't the cap, it was something else.
But anyway -- oh, they had went 1,000 miles. And she says, the FBI had told her that, and she was crying.
KING: In other words, when they put 1,000 miles on the car that Angela was not aware of?
TOLMAN: Apparently not.
KING: Carma, all of this is beginning to look very bad for Mr. Ricci. What are your thoughts?
TOLMAN: Well, you know, I don't want to pass judgment, because nobody knows for sure. And I want Elizabeth found.
But, you know, he was a good neighbor. He was a good guy. This is all really a shock to me.
KING: Now he, as I understand it, had a son that was killed by a drunk driver. Is that right?
TOLMAN: That's what I heard, yes.
KING: Did he ever talk about his son to you?
TOLMAN: Not to me, no.
KING: You don't know the Smarts, do you?
TOLMAN: I don't. I just feel so bad for them.
KING: What do you make of all of this -- what it's done to you, what it's done to your son, the whole makeup of what's happening in Salt Lake?
TOLMAN: Well, you know, it's kind of sad because you could put your child to bed at night and think everything's going to be all right, and when you wake up, why, well, the whole world's changed.
KING: How is Angela doing now?
TOLMAN: Well, at first she was really sad, but now she's -- I think she's a little more determined to, you know, fight this thing.
KING: Thank you, Carma.
TOLMAN: You're welcome.
KING: We really appreciate you joining us. Carma Tolman.
Our panel will be with us next. We'll include your phone calls later, too.
Don't go away.
KING: Before we get with our panel, here's the statement made today by David Morse -- he is Mr. Ricci's father-in-law -- concerning that machete and that cap.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MORSE, RICCI'S FATHER-IN-LAW & NEIGHBOR: I give him a machete blade that I used for trimming these tree limbs off, and a golf hat I had that matched the description that's been hanging in my kitchen.
And that's all. That's all they took from here.
QUESTION: Did Richard ever use either of those items?
MORSE: No, no.
QUESTION: You're sure he wasn't using either one of them the night of the abduction?
MORSE: Positive, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That may, therefore, be a kind of red herring if he didn't use them. But the cap is, of course, similar to the cap described by the young girl, apparently.
Nancy Grace, we'll start with you. What's your read today?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, right off the bat, regarding the father's statement, that machete may very well have normally hung in his kitchen.
However, if other impartial witnesses can place the machete with Richard Ricci around the time this girl disappeared, that's a completely different animal.
And I want to mention, regarding the alibi, his wife says she has no knowledge of him leaving the home from about 9:00 that night until the following morning when they woke up. However, I would like to find out: Did she know about the burglary of the Smart home, or his most recent robbery? I'd be willing to bet she would say no.
So if she didn't know about those, Larry, how would we expect her to know about a kidnapping and/or murder?
KING: How about the mother who just said, Mark, that she was asking people, did they see him leave?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Larry, in fact, I'm surprised that Nancy wasn't jumping out of her skin when she heard that, because a prosecutor would have a field day with this idea that somebody is saying, I don't know if he left, and then she's out there running around the neighborhood saying, did anybody see him? Did you see him after...
GRACE: Well yes, clearly.
GERAGOS: ... I went to sleep of before I woke up?
Obviously the significance of the machete and the golf cap is they've got a description of a golf cap. And I'm sure -- and you can ask Dr. Henry Lee this -- somebody is going to want to find out, did that machete match, or is there any kind of metal scrapings on the window screen that's there, and can they get any kind of forensic evidence that's then going to link that machete to the screen?
If they do that, that's significant.
GRACE: Well, the other thing about what she said, Mark -- the other thing about what she said, that she gave police this alibi, then went and asked the neighbors, hey, did you see him leaving the area?
She could take and pass a polygraph with flying colors because she may really have no knowledge about his whereabouts.
GERAGOS: But wouldn't you concede, Nancy, that that's something that could be potentially devastating: that somebody so doubts their loved one that they're up and out and surveying the neighborhood...
GRACE: Her alibi will be crushed. Alibi crushed.
KING: Dr. Lee, where do forensics enter into it now?
DR. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: Yes, right now the most important thing, if Mr. Ricci is the one, they have to have some physical evidence to link to him.
Of course, you know, they haven't found a gun yet because the 9- year-old sister say have a -- suspect have a gun, a weapon in his hand. Of course baseball -- the golf cap, they have to check on whether or not have his hair, which is similar to Ricci's or not.
Again, they searched the area looking for whether or not a hole was digging. I'm sure they're going to use ground penetration radar or a body dog to look for any clue they can find.
KING: Kevin Peraino of "Newsweek" magazine, is he now a suspect?
I can't hear Kevin.
OK, I hear you now, go ahead, Kevin.
KEVIN PERAINO, COVERING KIDNAPPING FOR "NEWSWEEK": They won't call him a suspect publicly, but they say he's at the top of the list of people that they're looking at. I mean, they're looking very carefully at him, more carefully than they looked at anyone else.
And also, one other thing police are telling me about the machete is they -- I spoke with a couple of police sources tonight who said, don't read too much into the machete. Yes, you know, they did retrieve this from the home, but they said, at this point they don't necessarily think that machete was involved.
KING: Nancy, if you're the Smarts, don't you hope that it isn't Mr. Ricci, because if it is Mr. Ricci and there's no Elizabeth, this don't look good.
GRACE: Well, it's a double-edged sword, because if it is Ricci and the girl is alive, he has her life in his hands. All he's got to do is cough up.
On the other hand, it's been so long, Larry, if it is Ricci...
KING: He's been in jail so long now...
GRACE: If it is Ricci, she's more likely than not dead.
GERAGOS: Unless it's the other alternative. And if it is -- and it certainly hasn't been proven -- but if it is, and she's alive, it's because he has an associate or an accomplice that's working with him.
And I don't know...
KING: For what purpose? No ransom note.
GERAGOS: Well, none that we know of. We don't know if there's some kind of revenge. We don't know if there's some kind of -- you know, people do odd things for odd reasons. I mean, the whole...
GRACE: Revenge, revenge, because he got fired from a handyman's job six months ago?
GERAGOS: I'm not saying that he necessarily is the person who is the one who did this. I don't know that the police have said that yet.
Clearly they've got enough to have violated his parole and to keep him in on parole, and they've got the luxuries, I've said before, to investigate that. But at the same time, if there's an accomplice, there's all kinds of scenarios that you can spin out that are potentially possible here that don't involve a ransom.
KING: Dr. Lee, are we getting closer to the answer now, do you think?
LEE: I don't think really that close to the answer.
Of course, you can link to him -- you know, Kevin says (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I do agree, middle of the night, somebody bring a very large knife to cut the kitchen screen. That's kind of a little bit unlikely, but definitely (ph) should check.
His neighbors say two plastic bag was found from his Jeep. That's kind of interesting to me. Why take two plastic bags? Of course, if we can find any of Elizabeth fingerprints or hair or fabric material on those plastic bags, that can be an important linkage.
KING: And also, Kevin, isn't the Jeep important, going over that Jeep?
PERAINO: Yes, it is. And there's a disagreement, but police are asking people whether this Jeep actually had some seat covers. They've been asking a lot of questions about these seat covers.
I talked to Ricci's lawyer, who said that Jeep never had seat covers.
So there's a little disagreement about whether there were seat covers at all, or if there were, what happened to them.
KING: Do we have any idea, anybody, about what Mr. Ricci is saying to the police?
GERAGOS: Well, we know that there's apparently -- what's been leaked out so far is that there's some contradictions. They're not satisfied with some of the answers that are being given.
KING: Has he been polygraphed?
GERAGOS: Apparently the word is he submitted himself to a polygraph and it was inconclusive.
But you never know on those things, because until you see the results or have somebody else read them or report it, we just don't know.
KING: If he is involved, Nancy, can he plea bargain? It's kind of weird, but can he say, I'll tell you the story if you don't do this to me?
grace: Well, it may be a question that's posed to the family. God forbid that it goes to this point, where in exchange for a particular sentence he would reveal where Elizabeth or her remains are. And that's a hell of a choice, frankly, to go light on someone in order to get a child's remains.
I would be very hard put to give him a light sentence.
KING: We'll take a break and come back. We'll be including you phone calls.
As we go to break, here's a statement from Mr. Ricci's attorney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID SMITH, RICHARD RICCI'S ATTORNEY: When you boil it all down, at least in my mind, the real issue is, what happened between 10:00 and 6:00?
And just as you said -- and where was he at that point in time?
QUESTION: And his wife will vouch for him?
QUESTION: She's not wavering at all?
SMITH: No, not in the least.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with our panel. Don Imus tomorrow night. We will include your phone calls. We'll do one now. Cincinnati, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry?
CALLER: First of all, I want to tell you I love your show. You do a great job.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: Second of all, I want to ask what made the police focus on Mr. Ricci? What is, you know, what is the focus other than we've heard that he violated his parole? Is that the only thing that made them focus?
KING: Nancy, what brought them to him?
GRACE: Well, for one thing, he -- they were looking at who would have known the home layout. There had been a lot of craftsmen in the home prior to the kidnap. So they were looking up everyone that had been in and out of the home, both workers such as carpenters and electricians, but realtors and so forth, people that had looked at the home. So he was on that list. After they talked to him the first time, they thought his alibi stunk. So that is how they began to focus on him.
GERAGOS: It didn't hurt when Carma's son calls up and says he's acting peculiar out there. So, that's going to kind of heighten their curiosity, if you will.
GRACE: Well, another thing...
LEE: Also, Larry...
GRACE: Another thing about that, though, Larry, is that not only was he out there digging beside the mobile home, when a neighbor approached him, he volunteered unsolicited, hey, you know that kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, I worked there, and the police are probably going to implicate me. Nobody even asked him, and I find that very unusual.
KING: Dr. Lee, what were you going to say?
LEE: Yes, you know, also, police found some items, an object, he steal from the Smart home. I'm sure he probably volunteer, gave that information to the detectives, say I break into the house, steal something. Of course, that's kind of like an important red flag. And now they found a golf hat fit the description of. Those can be potential link.
KING: Kevin, what's your assessment so far, and you've been right on the scene, of the work being done by the Salt Lake City police here?
PERAINO: Well, they seem to be doing a good job. I mean, I sort of wish that they had some hard evidence right now. I mean, they have a lot of circumstantial evidence about this guy Ricci. You know, he certainly fits the profile. He has a long criminal record. He knew the house well.
But, you know, my sources are telling me that they just don't have any hard evidence right now. And that could change any minute, but they don't have it right now that they could charge him with. And so, you know, when I talk to people, they're not -- at this point, it doesn't sound like an indictment is imminent, at least in the next couple of days, unless something else turns up.
KING: Another (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Mark...
LEE: Larry, can I...
KING: Hold it. Yes, I'm sorry, go ahead, Dr. Lee.
LEE: Can I ask Kevin a question?
KING: Yes, sure.
LEE: Did they trace the gun and whether or not Ricci ever owned a gun, a weapon?
PERAINO: You know, I'm not sure. I don't know whether he ever owned a gun.
GRACE: Well, we do know he took a shot at a cop.
KING: One at a time. One at a time.
GERAGOS: If this guy is an ex-con, the last thing he's going to do is register a gun, because that's a felony violation right there in and of itself, so...
LEE: I'm not saying he registered a gun.
GRACE: Let's have a reality check here. We know he took a shot at a cop and landed in jail for it. Yes, he's got access to a gun. He's already taken a shot at a cop.
LEE: That's why I have to follow up and ask about why the family member ever saw he has a gun or where he hide a gun, all of those are important, whether or not he have another hideout, some place he hang around or, you know, check around, because lack of hard evidence, you can't really link him to this case directly.
KING: Mark, he's had no history though with all these criminal background, of any type of pedophilia or attacks on young girls.
GERAGOS: This girl, albeit is very young, but she's also striking. She's 5'6", I think 105 pounds. There is among law enforcement, there's always a feeling that any time you have anybody who's hardened or has been a repeat institutional guest at a penal institution, that that is not such a big leap, that there are -- the culture inside of prison is so perverse to begin with that it's not a tough thing to once you come out to be somebody...
KING: To do something you had not done previously.
GERAGOS: Exactly. To be -- I don't want to -- it's a family show. I'm not going to get into it. But that is not the biggest leap in the world.
KING: Rochester, Indiana, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Have the investigators done any kind of canine search of Mr. Ricci's property or surrounding area?
GERAGOS: Yes. My understanding that they've done a dog search early on, I think on the 5th or the 6th as they were out there. Kevin can probably substantiate that.
KING: Kevin, do they use dogs a lot in this?
PERAINO: Yes, they've used dogs in the past. You know, I'm not 100 percent sure whether they used dogs around Ricci's house. But we know they have used dogs in other situations, and they've certainly searched Ricci's trailer.
KING: What are dogs looking for, Dr. Lee?
LEE: Well, his neighbor just gave us information. FBI brought a dog in. The dog, basically, you look two category of information. One is the body dog, of course. If, unfortunately, Elizabeth, something tragedy happen to her, so they look for body. Second is try to pick up any scent. And whether or not can trace some information if the dog can alert something, they can dig the area carefully, search the area.
KING: Nancy, if they never find a gun, they have no other witnesses come forward, and Elizabeth doesn't return, is this a tough guy, if they think he did it, to charge?
GRACE: Yes, unless forensics show otherwise. There are unsubstantiated reports that people at that auto repair shop observed Ricci removing car seats from the car and he left the car also with a plastic bag full of something. Now, if he is removing those car seats, if that is true, I find that highly suspect. But back to your question, Larry. If he cannot be connected up through a body, a live victim return home, or a gun, all we have to rely on is him cracking under questioning or forensics.
GERAGOS: Right. I think the cracking under questioning is surely what they're hoping for. I don't think the gun is that significant. I mean, when it comes down to it, the gun is based upon the nine-year-old's statement. The nine-year-old's statement...
KING: Could have been a wooden gun.
GERAGOS: Exactly. It could have been anything. She could have seen virtually anything, thought it was a gun. He could have said he had a gun or she could have overheard that he had a gun. That, I don't think, is going to be tell-tale sign. The fact that he makes certain statements that contradict each other, certain statements that incriminate him, that will be, I think, at least for a prosecution, be infinitely more significant.
KING: When we come back, I'm going to ask you if you were his lawyer, how would you handle this?
We'll be right back. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with our panel. Oakville, Ontario, hello.
CALLER: I've got a question.
CALLER: Mary Catherine's sister described the suspect with hairy hands, but she didn't seem to mention the mustache. And I was wondering if anybody can answer if they know if Mr. Ricci has hairy hands and if they can explain this question about the mustache.
KING: Good question. Kevin?
PERAINO: Well, I don't think Mary Catherine saw the perpetrator's face. I mean, she has described the kidnapper in detail. She said he had black hair. He was wearing kind of khaki pants, a Polo brand shirt. But she hasn't given any description of the kidnapper's face. So she may well not have known whether he had a mustache or not.
I don't know whether Mr. Ricci has hairy hands or not, but he does have black hair and he's roughly the same height as the kidnapper that Mary Catherine described.
KING: If you were his lawyer, Ricci's lawyer, what would you tell him?
GERAGOS: I don't know if it's what I would tell him as much as what I would ask him. You know, when you go to law school, one of the toughest situations when you are talking about criminal defense is what do you do in a situation where you suspect that especially a little kid may -- whose life may be in the balance.
I think you have to learn exactly what the client is telling you. You can't always believe what the client tells you. In fact, you're probably a lot of times are better off not believing everything the client tells you.
I think you have to make an assessment of the situation. You have to determine whether or not if you were to believe, and I'm not saying for a minute that he did this, but hypothetically, if you have somebody you think did this, you have to make a determination, is that little girl alive? And if that little girl is alive, there's some gutwrenching decisions you've got to make.
KING: Do the prosecutors question him in a tough manner, Nancy, or not?
GRACE: Well, actually, I would advise, and I'm sure they're doing this, a mixture. I would keep questioning him in either a tough manner and then another prosecutor or cop come in and ask him kindly, try to put him on a guilt trip about Elizabeth's family. I would do whatever it took, whatever manner of questioning it took. And the more you can keep him talking, Larry, the more likely he is, if he's the correct person, to trip up and you'll find inconsistencies. But the answer is going to be in the forensics.
KING: Kamas, Utah. Hello.
CABIN: Yes. I would like to ask Kevin from "Newsweek" magazine if Mr. Ricci did any work on Mr. Smart's cabin?
PERAINO: You know, I don't know. He worked for a couple of months at the Smarts' home last spring about a year ago. But I haven't heard any talk about him doing work at the cabin. I just don't know. KING: Dr. Lee, is this forensic work difficult?
LEE: This forensic work, it's relative difficult. You really don't -- we only know one thing, have a screen in the kitchen was cut. Whether or not they found any fingerprint in the house, we don't have any information. But just now, Ricci's neighbor say something about 1,000 miles.
KING: Yes, on the car.
LEE: On the car odometer. How many days he drive 1,000 miles? That's kind of interesting to me. The investigator definitely should check it out. How many days he drive that many miles?
KING: That is certainly interesting to me. Ottawa, Ontario. Hello.
CALLER: Oh, good evening, Larry.
CALLER: I'd just like to say something to Mark Geragos for a second, because he's the lawyer I love to hate. My question is have they taped Ricci's voice and had Mary Catherine listen to it?
GERAGOS: You think that that would be one of the first things they would do, because apparently, that's one of the only things that she could significantly tell them, is words and a voice, and apparently gave kind of a description of what the words were and what the statement was, although that's been reported differently, I think, at least initially and what it was after that.
If that hasn't been done, I'm sure that they will at some point. They may not want to at this point. Larry and I were talking about this at a break. You've got a nine-year-old girl, the last thing you want to do is anything that's going to have somebody be able to suggest that she's been programmed later on.
So there are various ways to do that in terms of voice identification, voice six-packs, if you will, play another couple of voices to make sure that it's not unduly suggestive. So if they haven't done it, they might at some point. But they probably, I think, are focusing more on getting different statements from him.
KING: Nancy, isn't that voice idea a good one?
GRACE: Excuse me.
KING: The voice idea. Isn't that a good one, tape his voice and play it for the girl?
GRACE: I think it's a wonderful idea and it has been very successful in many, many prosecutions. But I agree with Mark in that the prosecution, police are looking ahead to whether or not by showing this, by playing this to the nine-year-old, it will damage her later testimony or her later identification of the true perp. KING: We'll take a break, come back with our remaining moments. The I-man is with us tomorrow night. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back. Beaumont, Texas, hello.
CALLER: This question is for Nancy Grace.
CALLER: I was wondering if she could give us any insights into why the grand jury was convened so quickly?
GRACE: Well, in my experience, when a grand jury is convened, there's several reasons for a grand jury. It can be a charging grand jury, seeking indictment, or an investigative grand jury, who's just simply investigating the case. I think that it's a sign that police are closer. They've gone beyond just police/detective work, and they've actually gone to an investigative grand jury.
Another thing about that, ma'am, is that you can tell a police officer, no, I don't want to talk to you, get lost. No problem. But you cannot go in front of a grand jury and refuse to testify unless you want to be thrown behind bars.
KING: Why do you think they put a grand jury together so quick, Mark?
GERAGOS: I think it's a good technique. It harkens back to the question you asked earlier, is are they doing a good job or not? I think that the fact they get a grand jury in there, they memorialize the people's testimony so that they can't backslide, they can't say, no, I didn't say that, they can't equivocate. I mean, you're there. You're facing what up to 23 people in a grand jury. Somebody is asking you questions. You take it real seriously.
It also gives you the ability to start subpoenaing evidence into a grand jury which you normally wouldn't have unless you had a prosecution that had already been filed.
KING: Dr. Lee, do you think it's a good idea?
LEE: I think it's a wonderful idea. It's fact finding, can get some information out. Right now, they don't have any direct evidence, so hopefully, can through the subpoena of witness and get some testimony, get some information, the case can go on.
KING: Kevin, have you been outside watching people go in to see who testifies? PERAINO: Yes, I did a little bit today. We know Angela Ricci testified before the grand jury yesterday, I believe. And Mr. Thurber (ph), the neighbor, I believe he testified today. He was there today. There are a couple of others that I have heard have been there, but I'm not sure exactly who.
KING: Have you seen any family members testify?
PERAINO: I haven't, no.
KING: Milpitas, California, hello.
CALLER: Hello. My question is for Nancy Grace. Nancy, I'd like to know do you find it odd that the nine-year-old sister identified the kidnapper's shirt as a designer shirt, but she didn't see the face?
GRACE: Yes. Yes, because we keep hearing she said a Polo shirt, you'd have to see the horseman, but not see his face. I find that very unusual. But she may be used to seeing boys or men wearing a Polo shirt and be meaning a pullover crew-type top. That could be what she's talking about.
And that reminds me of another point. We keep hearing that she's identified the perp as, I believe, 5'8" or 5'10". Remember, she's lying down in bed and looking up. So, the police may say, oh, how tall was he. And she would say, well, he comes up to the top of that picture. So, all of her words are being translated to us in police talk. We don't know what she really said in kid talk.
KING: Dr. Lee, at this point, what's the most puzzling aspect of this case to you?
LEE: The most puzzling aspect of the case, we really don't know the motive. No ransom note, and we don't know where Elizabeth is, and kitchen was cut from inside out. We don't have any direct evidence. Of course, we have some suspect, but how can we prove this case?
KING: As a lawyer, what's most puzzling to you, Mark?
GERAGOS: I don't know that it's, so far, that it is all that puzzling. I think that from a lawyer's standpoint, I tend to think about the things that are probably troubling to the investigators. I mean, if they're going to look for forensic evidence, you've got a car here with the white Cherokee that naturally is going to have, you would expect, some of her DNA or some of her forensic evidence in it, because presumably she was in that car.
You would expect that his, either his DNA or some of his tell- tale signs, fingerprints or something else, would be in that house because he worked there. So those are the kinds of things that would probably trouble the prosecution or trouble the investigators here. Those are frustrating type things. I think that's why I keep going back to the fact that they want to try and break this guy down in terms of statements because that's the thing that will incriminate him. KING: Kevin, repetorially, what's the most puzzling aspect?
PERAINO: There are sure a lot of puzzling things. I mean, one of the things that you were talking about before, the fact that she apparently didn't see the kidnapper's face, that to me is really puzzling. I don't quite understand how that happened, how she had such a level of detail but didn't see the kidnapper's face. But, you know, law enforcement sources have said that that would have been the very first thing we would have done is put out a sketch of this guy if we knew what his face looked like.
KING: And, Nancy, what is it to you? We've had so many variances here on the panel.
GRACE: Two things. Of course, I agree with Dr. Lee. I've always been perplexed by the theory the screen was cut from the inside out. That's the monkey wrench in the case. But, you know, Larry, I've handled a lot of murder cases and I've seen a lot of unusual facts. But when I -- in my mind, I know the girl is probably dead. But when I see the family, they make me want to believe she's alive. And I keep thinking, as we're kicking it around tonight, that if she is alive, that the clock is ticking. That's what's driving me crazy tonight.
KING: And nothing, Mark, optimistic has happened, as I discussed with the uncle.
GERAGOS: No, I mean, that's probably...
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) not even one leak that would have said, hey, we're on to something.
GERAGOS: That's probably the thing that's most disconcerting, is that there hasn't been anything that gives you any kind of an encouraging sign. Even when it was the Bret Michael Edmunds...
KING: For her safety.
GERAGOS: ... for her safety. Bret Michael Edmunds, I thought from the get-go, was a dead end. This guy, what is more promising -- it's certainly promising in terms of somebody being elevated to the level of a suspect. It certainly doesn't give you any kind of high hopes for her safe return. And from that standpoint, it's discouraging.
KING: Dr. Lee, are they going to crack this?
LEE: Well, I hope they're cracking this for the sake of Elizabeth. And, of course, the longer we don't find her, and the more and more and more I kind of get worried. But on the other hand, they did not find the body. That's also good news, too.
KING: Yes. No news, good news.
Thank you, Nancy Grace of Court TV; Mark Geragos, defense attorney; Dr. Henry Lee, his book is "Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes"; and Kevin Peraino of "Newsweek" magazine on the scene in Salt Lake City.
We'll take a break. And when we come back, I'll tell you about tomorrow night's edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Also, what's coming ahead on the weekend. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night, our kind of semi-annual visit with Don Imus, who's at his ranch for sick children. Quite a story. The I-man will be with us tomorrow evening.
Over the weekend, Leslie Van Houten gets another chance at parole tomorrow. We'll follow up with her. And Regis Philbin will be aboard on a repeat broadcast as well.
Right now, it's time for "NEWSNIGHT" in New York. Sitting in for Aaron Brown, as he has all week and doing brilliantly, by the way, is Anderson Cooper.
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