CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Brad Silberling, Annika Einhorn
Aired September 30, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Rebecca Schaeffer was a rising young star on a hit TV show.
And then her shining Hollywood future was shattered when the beautiful young actress answered her door and was shot to death by an obsessed fan. Thirteen years after that stalking murder that shocked America, Rebecca Schaeffer's boyfriend, Brad Silberling, joins us to discuss his girlfriend's and the brutal death and the grief and healing of the loved ones left behind.
Then, after 21 years on the run, her husband went on trial today for a gruesome crime. Former hippie guru Ira Einhorn allegedly beat his girlfriend to death in 1977 and hid her mummified remains in his closet. Tonight, in a rare interview, his wife of 10 years, Annika Einhorn speaks out from Paris.
All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Our first guest tonight is Brad Silberling. Brad is a director and screen writer. He did "Casper the Ghost," you may remember that. He also did a wonderful movie with Nicholas Cage and...
BRAD SILBERLING, DIRECTOR AND SCREENWRITER: Meg Ryan.
KING: Meg Ryan. Angel...
SILBERLING: "City of Angels."
KING: "City of Angels." I love that movie.
Brad is the director and screenwriter of a movie called "Moonlight Mile." It stars Dustin Hoffman and it's rooted, basically, in Brad's emotional experiences following the 1989 stalker murder of his then-girlfriend, actress Rebecca Schaeffer.
It is -- and this movie doesn't retell the story, right?
SILBERLING: No, exactly.
KING: But it's based on it.
SILBERLING: It's an emotional autobiography, exactly. It's a different story and the characters are not meant to represent, literally, her or her family, but...
KING: But it's the aftermath of death and a killing and what have happened. SILBERLING: Exactly, within a family. Exactly.
KING: What took 13 years, then, to get this done?
SILBERLING: It took about four years, I think, to have a desire to try to capture the experiences that I had and her parents had. It was a very unique situation. I didn't know them very well.
KING: And you get to know them very well.
SILBERLING: Yes, it's like instant intimacy. Suddenly, the common link is gone and you are this odd new family. And what went on for the next couple of years we had to wait for a murder trial to transpire, that took two years.
We had a bond by the conclusion of that that was, you know, remains to this day.
KING: Was it difficult emotionally to do this? To relive that?
SILBERLING: The deep, dark secret is it was actually incredibly pleasurable and Dustin asked me constantly while make the movie, How're you doing? And I said, I think because I get to bring my life and work and not have to leave my life at home, my life gets to be part of my craft.
It was very therapeutic for sure.
KING: Is the murder shown in the film?
SILBERLING: No. The story begins the morning of the funeral.
KING: OK, let's go back to you and Rebecca. She was a star of a TV show. What were you doing at the time?
SILBERLING: I was a young loser. I was a film school -- I was finishing film school when she and I met. We were set up on a blind date my last day of film school. I was screening my student film and obviously wasn't thinking very well because I accepted a blind date during a screening experience.
KING: Not a bad blind date though.
KING: When she came to the door, you were not upset, were you?
SILBERLING: No, no, no, no. It was a fine blind date, exactly.
KING: You're not kidding.
SILBERLING: And so we met in that circumstance.
KING: And got together -- I mean was it like chemistry immediately? Did you get along right away?
KING: Were you intending to marry?
SILBERLING: By the time she was killed, we had just started to talk about it. We were not engaged. But the timing is always...
KING: And she was how old?
SILBERLING: She was 21 when she was killed in '89.
KING: And you were?
SILBERLING: I'm always bad at dates. I was 25. We had four year difference.
KING: What happened?
SILBERLING: In terms of her murder?
SILBERLING: Her grandmother, who has now since passed away, had the best phrase of all. And she said, effectively, it was like a natural disaster. It was like a tornado came down and plucked her into the sky.
She was killed by a young fellow who showed up from Tucson, Arizona, who we later discovered had come out, I think it was a good year, year and a half earlier.
KING: You see, for those of you watching on television, we're also simulcast on radio, his arrest.
SILBERLING: And he had come out, I think, prior to try to actually at least meet her.
KING: He was fascinated by her on television?
SILBERLING: Yes. This is a young guy who was basically fascinated by fame and what was revealed after Rebecca's death was that there had been other focuses of his obsession.
And he was fascinated by people who had famous lives. He was a very unhappy kid who was a janitor at a fast-food joint in Tucson and, I think, and dreamed of having a life beyond his own bounds.
KING: And when did he begin focusing on Rebecca?
SILBERLING: I think -- my memory was that within that year.
You know, what happens is -- often security measures we know now for celebrities weren't quite in place then and, I think, she had a service that would basically bring fan mail. She would send off, you know, a little post card, thanks for watching. Somehow, by her corresponding back, it ignited in his mind to think, in a sense that he had a relationship. KING: And so it even led to his coming to Hollywood.
KING: To meet her.
SILBERLING: Yes. And I think -- I think by that point he had felt rebuffed because I don't think any -- I think he might have written back. I think she never probably got the correspondence.
KING: Was she stalked? Did she ever report a stalker?
SILBERLING: No. I mean, -- that's why it was like a natural disaster.
KING: That's weird. In other words, he didn't write letters and say, I want you and...
SILBERLING: What was discovered after her murder was there was a cache of letters he had written and never mailed, which probably psychologically is not that unusual.
But he had a whole -- like I said, he almost carried off both parts of the relationship.
KING: Was she killed daytime? morning?
SILBERLING: Yes, it war morning. It was about 10:15 in the morning on a...
KING: What was the -- set the scenario. Where were you?
SILBERLING: I was home.
Actually, no, that time of the morning I was -- I think I had gone off to exercise. She was living in an apartment in West Hollywood and I had an apartment off in -- also near Burbank in California.
It was just by coincidence that we hadn't been together the night before. I had a function, I think, that night. So, she had just left me a message that morning, about 10 in the morning, which I got on my message machine, like you know -- just saying she was just calling to say, Hello and she knew I was about to go off and start writing a screenplay that I had been hired to do, and she was always incredibly proud of my creative desires, as a director and writer.
She kind of gave me a great wish.
KING: And when you met her she was already in the sitcom?
SILBERLING: She was -- yes. She was just beginning her second year. The show ran two years with Pam Dauber. And they were just beginning. But she was totally unaffected. Remarkable girl. She had incredible charisma and drive. Had no experience doing a situation comedy before the show. And everybody just fell in love with her. KING: She was also uniquely beautiful, right? Not your everyday kind of beautiful. Not the girl next door.
SILBERLING: She was a Susan Sarandon beauty. That's what's so interesting, which is a lot of it is from inside.
KING: Susan Sarandon is in the movie as the mother.
SILBERLING: That's exactly right.
KING: OK, what happened to her? Had she gone out and was returning home?
SILBERLING: No, it's best -- it's best, I -- having gone through the trial, Marcia Clark was our prosecutor and did a brilliant job. This is prior to O.J., obviously, and she built a very convincing case, which should have convinced the judge. We had a bench trial. There was no jury.
KING: The defense didn't want a jury?
SILBERLING: No, actually, they probably would have enjoyed it, but they were more fearful of capital punishment, and so in exchange for not pushing for the death penalty, the family...
KING: So he lives, this killer, right?
KING: He lives in prison today.
SILBERLING: He was prosecuted with special circumstances for lying in wait, which is what Marcia had to prove.
KING: That is the death penalty.
SILBERLING: Or its life without parole, which is what he got, exactly. It's what we agreed to.
KING: And his name is?
SILBERLING: Robert Pardo.
KING: He's in prison now?
SILBERLING: I believe so, yes. I don't know where, exactly.
KING: You went to the trial?
SILBERLING: Yes. We were there the whole time.
KING: What happened? How did she get killed? What happened?
SILBERLING: Basically, she was home that morning. She was preparing to go out actually for an audition. But I think, as circumstance would have it, she was anticipating, I think, a script to be messengered, and there was a buzz at her door. She was living in an apartment complex where there's a speaker.
Of course, the speaker was broken, so one had to go to the door to meet whoever was there. And she went the first time and encountered this young kid who was very nervous and wanted to give her, I think, a tape of some music and wanted to talk to her and she was very savvy kid, Rebecca. And she basically said to him, How did you know to find me here? Please don't come back. I appreciate you coming, but please don't return.
KING: She was suspicious?
SILBERLING: Yes. That's a pretty personal affront on your own sense of privacy. He left and, I believe it was a matter of maybe 90 minutes or two or so, I believe, and then he came back to the door.
What Marcia set out to prove was that rather than simply ringing and standing at the door frame, he rang the buzzer, realized she had to come out before to greet him, and stood off to the side.
And from what we understand --
KING: And then what happened? She opened the door --
SILBERLING: She opened the door and he stood out and shot her point blank.
KING: And ran away?
SILBERLING: Yes. Evidently, they've actually -- they've -- Marcia was able to help retrace through a couple of witnesses' accounts. A footpath -- he fled on foot.
KING: How soon after was he caught?
SILBERLING: Within 24 hours, because set himself up to be caught. He got back to Tucson, got a bus, I guess, but was sort of running about on a freeway off-ramp.
Though -- I think he wanted the world to believe he was trying to commit suicide, but in my mind I think he just wanted to get caught.
KING: More in a minute with Brad Silberling. Brad is the director and screenwriter of a motion that's gotten extraordinary reviews.
It opened only this past weekend in New York and Los Angeles. This coming weekend it will open wide, as they say.
The movie is called "Moonlight Mile." I'm going to ask about that, I think it's from a poem. I'm going to ask about how he picked that title and it deals with the aftermath of what we're discussing now. It's a fictionalized version but touches a lot of truth.
As we go to break, here's a scene from Rebecca Schaeffer's own sitcom. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REBECCA SCHAEFFER, LATE ACTRESS: I like to think of them as the penicillin of talk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know about this.
SCHAEFFER: There's more.
You read junk magazines without guilt and take all the love quizzes. But first, posture. Feet elevated. And some serious slouching. To a speedy recovery. Slouch more. Good. Now, follow my lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT BARDO: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's a video of Robert Bardo's, I guess, his confession. Our guest is Brad Silberling, director and screenwriter. His newest, "Moonlight Mile," opens wide this coming weekend, and it deals with the aftermath and the fictionalized version of the killing of his girlfriend, actress Rebecca Schaeffer. It's not a retelling of that specific tragedy, but in a while, we'll get to where the things do coincide.
How do you feel when -- how do you feel to look at her?
SILBERLING: Oh, it's a time machine in a certain sense. You look at her, and the vitality and charisma that she was is just so present. I mean, it just twists your stomach, because it's, you know, she was...
KING: Was she dead immediately?
SILBERLING: Yeah, the one thing that the doctors at Cedar Sinai in L.A. said to try to comfort us was that it was such a traumatic wound, or, you know, the point of entry, it was right to the heart, and so they believed that...
KING: He seemed in that clip to be proud of this.
SILBERLING: Well, this is my point that that...
KING: There was no difficulty in prosecuting him, was there?
SILBERLING: No, the only concern was, of course, the only defense was going to be a mental defense. They were going to...
KING: Was that the defense? SILBERLING: It had to be, yeah, effectively, because he confessed to the killing itself. So they were a number of very well paid witnesses who had to come in for the defense to try to...
KING: And what did they want the judge to do with him?
SILBERLING: It think they wanted to basically have him institutionalized, but not put into, you know, a maximum security situation for the rest of his life.
KING: Is he in that situation?
SILBERLING: Yeah. He is locked up for life in an actual, you know, as I say, I think it's (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KING: Did you go to trial every day?
KING: Did the parents to?
SILBERLING: Yes, we did. We did. And one of the things that -- and it's reflected in the film, actually, because there's a touch of the trial in the film. Marcia made it very clear that because there would only be the judge, that in this case we knew it was he, that he might never look us in the eye. He would know we were there and he would feel us, and he would feel us every day. And so she said, "I believe you people are going to come anyway, but if you're thinking of not, please be there."
KING: What was it like for you?
SILBERLING: Surreal is the best way to describe it. I think we were living in absolute fear of what it was going to be like to have to walk in there that day, because you are being asked to sit civilly in a room with somebody that -- there's no discussion, you know he has done this. This is the person who took away your loved one. And you have to sit about 20 feet away and argue points of law. It's surreal. And...
KING: Let's break it down. How did the father react?
SILBERLING: Similarly. We all -- we were shaking before walking in that first day. And it was all you could do to breathe and to think you are actually in the room. And by the lunchtime, we all had gone into sort of a numb state and were comparing notes, saying this is just surreal at this point.
KING: Was the trial in the movie?
SILBERLING: What happens is very late in the film, there is a trial, because likewise in my story, the young woman who's killed before the picture begins -- her murderer is caught instantly. And they are waiting for this trial to finally happen. And there is a trial, but we don't see the conclusion of the trial in the film because what I... KING: Because it's irrelevant?
SILBERLING: It's irrelevant. It's emotionally irrelevant. What happens is the family discovers, which was my discovery and Rebecca's parents' discovery, that we put so much hope into justice and the idea that a sentence, be it a life sentence or a death sentence would give us a sense of peace. And it was the moment the judge dropped the gavel and said done, it was like a swift kick in the stomach. It was amazing. We all had the same feeling, which is, oh, OK, the circus is out of town and all you're left is your loss. You're just left with who's missing. So to me, I wanted in the film to not place all of the family's hopes in that.
KING: Where was your dad and mom?
SILBERLING: My parents were in Los Angeles when it happened.
KING: Did they come to the funeral? Did they go to the trial?
SILBERLING: My mother came to the funeral and my parents both came to the trial. They were very respectful, because they didn't know how much we wanted them there.
KING: In the movie you got very involved with the family of the girlfriend.
KING: Did you in real life, too?
SILBERLING: Oh, yeah. Again...
KING: Did you live with them?
SILBERLING: No, didn't live with them.
KING: But they live with them in the movie.
SILBERLING: Yes, exactly. The story in the film is that it's a young man who is just out of school. He and his fiancee in the film are moving into the family home to save some money for the future.
KING: Is she a television actress?
SILBERLING: Oh, no, not at all. No, in the film -- again, it's really the coinciding elements are the emotional elements.
KING: Reacting to the loss?
SILBERLING: Yes. Exactly. And how a family moves from the absolute devastation of a loss like that to the possibility of some hope.
KING: When the judge put him away, relieved?
SILBERLING: That was the thing -- I was looking for relief. No, it was the most excruciating moment in the whole trial.
KING: So there is no closure.
SILBERLING: No, there is no closure.
KING: There never is any closure. Are you married now?
KING: Have children?
SILBERLING: Have a first child who is 18 months old, and -- which brings up the whole Rambo feelings. It brings up incredible joy. It brings up fear, of course, because once you've lost...
KING: You get frightened if a stranger is looking at your wife?
SILBERLING: Yeah. I mean, it's -- one of the things early in my relationship -- my wife is an actress, Amy Brenneman.
KING: Oh, yeah? I know her.
SILBERLING: Yeah, yeah. And so when I met Amy, I said to her, OK, I'm the guy, of course, who is going to be worried. And I don't want to be that person.
KING: There's Amy.
SILBERLING: There she is. Yes, a hottie. And she was wonderful, because I warned her. I said, I just don't want to be that person that's going to be so overly cautious as to be a problem. But she's always been...
KING: Are you cautious?
SILBERLING: I went the other extreme. For a long time, I always bit my tongue and just thought, oh, I can't become a cliche because I've lost somebody dear to me. But I am cautious. Yeah, you bet. I'm very aware, and I ask that now with my family.
KING: What did the perpetrator say? He testified, did he not, or did he?
SILBERLING: He did not. He did not testify.
KING: In that clip which we played, that brief part, did he say why he killed her?
KING: Just that he killed her.
SILBERLING: That he did. And I think -- well, what happened in the way it was contorted by the defense, they actually tried to make it sound like an accident. So that he confessed to it, and then they tried to say, well, basically, he had -- yes, he had a gun with him, but it happened to be in a bag with a lot of other items, and he was reaching for one of the other items when he shot her. So, no, they wouldn't let him actually own the act.
KING: That sounds like a stretch.
SILBERLING: Isn't it a wee bit of a stretch, yeah.
KING: Brad Silberling, the former girlfriend -- the former boyfriend of Rebecca Schaeffer, and here now, a scene from his movie based on it, certainly emotionally. The movie opens wide this weekend. The movie is "Moonlight Mile." Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUSTIN HOFFMAN, ACTOR: I figure I finally got a shot at someone to talk to.
She ever -- she ever talk about me, Joe?
JAKE GYLLENHAAL, ACTOR: Diana? Yes, sure. Nothing really in particular, but...
HOFFMAN: I know something wasn't right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can we say? On the outside we're alive, and on the inside every day is different.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The night is the worst time for me, you know? I can manage during the day, but at night, because she was our only child. And, you know, it's not something you can fix.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's always going to be this way, missing her so terribly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's Mr. And Mrs. Schaeffer, the parents of the late Rebecca Schaeffer. They are portrayed in the movie, of course a fictionalized (ph) version of all this by Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon.
And who's the young boy who plays you?
SILBERLING: Jake Gyllenhaal, who is a young force to be reckoned with. He's a fantastic actor.
KING: And Holly Hunter plays, in effect, Marcia Clark, right?
SILBERLING: Yes. I named a character named Mona Camp.
KING: Mona Camp.
SILBERLING: Mona Camp.
KING: She's the prosecutor?
SILBERLING: She is the prosecutor that is there with the family through the film. And...
KING: And you had Marcia Clark and Holly Hunter get together?
SILBERLING: Yes, Marcia was kind enough to spend some time with Holly. And Holly came back from that experience, really, with a sense of the character and the grasp.
KING: Let's include some calls for Brad Silberling, director and screenwriter. The newest: "Moonlight Mile."
New York City, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Brad.
CALLER: I was wondering about Rebecca's parents; how they reacted when you told them that you were going to be touching upon this or recreating it somewhat in your film? Were they emotionally ready for this?
SILBERLING: What's really interesting is Diana (ph) Schaefer is a writer, and I met her as a writer. And she had the most incredible desire to try to find something to do with her experience.
And so they were the first ones to look at the screenplay. And the first reaction she had was -- I remember it -- she said, I'm so glad to see a way of putting our emotional experience into something fictional, and I want to do that for myself as well.
And so they, not only were supportive, they kind of became like the script's agents. It was very funny. They'd say to me constantly, what's going on? What's going on with the project?
And they have been incredibly supportive. I took the film up for them to see about 10 weeks ago up to Portland, Oregon. And each of them was down for...
KING: They live in Portland, Oregon? That's where she grew up?
SILBERLING: She did, yes; exactly.
KING: What about the father's reaction? SILBERLING: Similar. Ben -- it's interesting because the character truly closest to the family in the film is Susan Sarandon's character. Ben Schaefer is less represented.
And I think Dustin Hoffman is playing sort of an everyfather. He's a lot of Dustin's dad, he's a lot of my father. There's some Ben Schaefer in him as well, but he's a real composite character.
KING: Rose Hill, Kansas, hello.
CALLER: Good evening.
I just want to ask -- in my opinion, I really think that a lot of the problem rests with our -- not so much with the justice system but the speed with which the justice system works, to where if punishments were swift and certain, I believe that that would be a great deterrent. We have existing laws on the books, but I think many criminals are kind of hedging their bets by thinking they either won't get caught, or the system will be so slow that it will work to their favor.
KING: That's an interesting comment. But how do you react, though, to those when there has been swift justice that turned out to be wrong?
CALLER: Well, basically, I would just think, as far as appeals go, the appeals system shouldn't go like 10 years with no end like people on death row. You know, if they're on there 10 years, that's kind of cruel in itself on both sides -- the agony for the families waiting, and then also for the person waiting justice...
KING: No, I meant...
CALLER: ... speed it up a bit.
KING: What if you're on death row -- and there's been over 100 Americans -- and you didn't do it?
CALLER: That's true enough.
KING: That would bug me.
Have you thought a lot about the whole system? It worked in this case, didn't it? The judicial system worked.
SILBERLING: It did. The torturous part of it...
KING: Did you want him executed?
SILBERLING: No. In the end, what's interesting is it became irrelevant. And though in the immediate aftermath -- and those feelings are reflected in the film -- Dustin's character says, I want to see him eviscerated. I want to see him just gone, ripped to shreds. And I shared that too. You had immediate, very passionate, violent feelings which, by the time the trial came about, the last thing we were focused on was this young man, because he had nothing to do with her. All we were focused on was our loss.
And I could have never expected that to be the case. I would have thought, oh, it would all be about fixation on having him punished.
KING: You shot the movie in Boston. Why?
SILBERLING: Yes, the north shore in Boston.
I wanted to take some of the small community experience that I had with the Schaeffers, essentially, in Portland, but put it into a different location so it would give me a writer's distance. And my mother's family is from Boston. And I know the area very well.
The topography is challenging. Everything is a challenge. And in the film, not to make it extra hard for the family, but even just walking up the street in the morning is a pain.
And it's a very tight-knit community. And the family in the film doesn't have a lot of privacy. And part of the dynamic is they're very public in...
KING: Did Rebecca have brothers and sisters?
SILBERLING: No, she was an only child.
KING: Now I've read in one of the reviews -- haven't seen the film, heard nothing but good things -- that the mother has a kind of feeling of -- romantic toward the boy?
SILBERLING: It's funny. It could certainly be construed as that. What she has...
KING: That's what this critic did.
SILBERLING: Well, I think what she felt was chemistry, and that there is incredible chemistry between, certainly, Susan Sarandon and Jake Gyllenhaal and all the actors.
And it comes across as an ease where there is no generation gap. She's like a peer to him, and they talk really openly.
KING: But they don't have a...
SILBERLING: No, there's no "Graduate"-like -- no.
KING: But they have a tie that binds?
SILBERLING: Yes. And what happened in the film -- and we saw it in the previous clip -- Dustin has one as well. Each of them has a need of this young man. They need a confidant. They need...
KING: The father gets so involved he almost. like, adopts him? He names his real estate firm...
SILBERLING: Yes, basically you have a character who, prior to his daughter's death, he was going to take this young man into the business. In the wake of her death, he so can't deal with what's happened, he decides, let's get to work anyway.
So suddenly this young man is going into a father/son business, he's living in her bedroom, and it's all a little inappropriate.
KING: We'll be back with some more moments with Brad Silberling, and we'll be including more phone calls.
The movie is "Moonlight Mile," and it opens wide this Friday. It has played only in some theaters in Los Angeles and New York.
And by the way, when it played in those theaters it did phenomenal business in the small test run that it's going in.
Wednesday night: the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani will be our special guest.
We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAM DAWBER: It's not just John Lennon. It's not just major celebrities. Rebecca was not one of the most famous people in the world. Neither have I. You never know who is going to decide that you are the one they want to get.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's Pam Dawber, the star of that series that featured Rebecca. And we're talking with Brad Silberling. In a couple of minutes, Annika Einhorn, the wife of Ira Einhorn, the former countercultural guru who's accused of bludgeoning his then-girlfriend Holly Maddux to death back in 1977. He has been fleeing from the law ever since, was captured, brought back, and Annika will join us. His trial began today.
Let's take a call. Sioux Falls -- Sioux Falls -- I'm sorry, let's start first with Keller, Texas. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Brad, I wanted to know, do you find it difficult to be making money off of such a personal tragedy? As Larry alluded to, it seems like the movie will be a tremendous success, or perhaps you have plans to put the money toward helping other women, particular celebrities, such as Rebecca, overcoming this horrible experience?
SILBERLING: Yeah, well, it's interesting about this experience for me is that my last film was made in 1998, "City of Angels." And I was so dead set on trying to tell this story that basically I turned down work for the last four years. Shot this for scale, and basically recruited a cast that would also agree to do this movie for scale, because no studio in Hollywood wanted to make this movie.
KING: Dustin did it for scale?
SILBERLING: Yeah. He did it for scale. First time in his career, he's actually broken down and done that. Because we wanted to tell a story of a hope -- ultimately one that would be uplifting and would show some sense of what can happen for families, you know, experiencing this loss. So this is a case where it's not a profiteering situation. It's a story that I felt uniquely qualified to tell.
KING: A labor of...
SILBERLING: Love, yeah.
KING: ... love.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Hi, Larry. Hi, Brad.
CALLER: Brad, I had a question about the killer. Age -- was there any previous incidents besides Rebecca that he had trouble with? Were there protection orders, restraining orders, or was this a single isolated event?
SILBERLING: No. No restraining orders that I knew of, but definitely there was a pattern that was revealed after the fact. He had, I believe it was Debbie Gibson, the pop singer, the young pop singer, he had been very fixated on. And it might have been another before that as well. So it was, again, more the idea of the celebrity and the fame itself, I think, rather than Rebecca, because he didn't know her.
KING: Iron River, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hi, Brad. My first comment is "My Sister Sam" was my favorite sitcom. I never missed an episode. And it seemed to me that Rebecca had such a zest for acting and living and such a wonderful personality, and I'm sure she was that way in real life as well. Are there any episodes of reruns that are played, and any way of getting any copies of the reruns, because they were just the joy of my week?
SILBERLING: It's a great question. I don't know the answer. I know it was Warner Brothers Television that was the distributor. And I would bet if you contact them, you know, it perhaps in TV Land and some of the cable venues that are now running kind of classic series, but I don't actually know. I'm sorry about that.
KING: One more call. Earl, Arkansas, hello.
CALLER: Yes, hello. Hi, Larry.
CALLER: I have -- I do have a question for Brad. I, myself, lost my own son by gunshot at point blank four years ago. And I do look forward to seeing this film. My question is, because I haven't got past it myself, have you -- are you to the point of forgiveness?
SILBERLING: It's a really wonderful question. I don't know that I can say forgiveness. I know that what I experienced, which came out in the court trial, was almost a need to almost remove the -- this person's relevance from my life and from, in a sense, Rebecca's. I don't think I can actually say that I forgive the selfishness of his choice. It was, you know, it was just a selfish choice. So that I have a hard time forgiving.
KING: One other thing, Brad. How did you get the title, "Moonlight Mile"?
SILBERLING: "Moonlight Mile" is actually -- it's the last track on the Rolling Stones album from 1971 called "Sticky Fingers," and it's a beautiful, very evocative song that's really about almost an emotional measurement. It's about the distance between where you are and where your heart would like to be. I think Mick Jagger wrote it as a road song about -- he was really pining for his love back off the road, and -- but it's a great song and it's a real anchor in the film.
KING: I'm looking forward to seeing it. Thank you so much, Brad.
SILBERLING: Thank you. Pleasure.
KING: Brad Silberling. The movie is "Moonlight Mile." He wrote the screenplay, he directed it. It opens Friday wide. Holly Hunter, Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon.
When we come back, Annika Einhorn will come to us from Champagne Mouton, France to discuss her husband's trial for murder. He is Ira Einhorn. She is next. Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back. By now, of course, you know the story. Holly Maddux, the girlfriend of countercultural guru Ira Einhorn, was bludgeoned to death in 1977. Mr. Einhorn was charged with that in Philadelphia. He fled rather than face trial. He met his soon-to-be wife in London of November of 1987, stayed on the loose. They were married, and she joins us now as his trial began today. Annika Einhorn joins us from Champagne Mouton, France. Annika, why are you not here with your husband?
ANNIKA EINHORN, WIFE OF IRA EINHORN: I would like to be. That's where I should be. But I cannot take the risk, Larry, because if I go to the United States, I may risk being arrested, because I've helped him all these years. And being in a prison in the United States is not what I would like to be in. So I have chosen to stay here in France.
KING: You married him knowing he was wanted in this country, is that correct? You knew that he was a fugitive?
EINHORN: Yes. I have known that for many, many, many years. We have been together for 14 years, and I have known him for almost all of this time.
KING: When you first found out about it, did that not give you pause?
EINHORN: No, it gave me action, because at that moment when I learned, I also learned that he was under threat, and I felt that that was a threat to him and to our relationship. So my first response was to move forward and see to that I could do everything to protect him as safely as possible.
KING: And what, Annika, did Ira say were the facts of the case? He is saying he didn't kill her. Does he have any idea who killed her, what the motive was to kill her?
EINHORN: He definitely said he didn't kill her. But he does not know who did it. And that's a huge, huge problem. There is a good thing now that facts are coming out so he can substantiate that he did not kill her. But he would very much like to know who did. I would very much like to know who did. But he doesn't know who did it.
KING: One of the key areas, Annika, is why did he run away?
EINHORN: That, Larry, is something I can talk about. He has always, always, always told me that the reason he ran away was that he was convinced that he would not receive a fair trial. I know that the perception is in many people's mind that he ran away because he was guilty. But that is not the case. The correct perception of why he ran away was he felt he couldn't get a fair trial. And that also now can be substantiated, because today we know that the prosecutor at the time withheld information that radically would have changed his possibilities. He felt that there was foul play going on, and there was foul play going on.
KING: Foul play meaning what? I mean, why would the prosecutor want to send an innocent man to jail, or to possibly to be executed? What do you mean by something going on? Why?
EINHORN: There was a report, an instructive report, and that report should have given -- been given to the defense, to Ira and his lawyers. But the prosecutor at the time, she fiddled with this report. She blew it down (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that the numbers didn't show. She gave them to the defense in a truncated format, and the lawyer at the time, Norris Gellman (ph), he smelled a rat. So he went into court and he did get part of what was missing. He did get -- one person had seen Ira after -- sorry, seen Holly after she supposedly was dead.
But the real kicker is that the very, very important testimony of a policeman who knew Holly and knew her well, because he had been stationed in the area, his testimony was withheld at the time. And we now have it, and this policeman will testify during this trial. But at the time, the D.A. at the time, Barbara Christie (ph), she withheld this information.
Ira is a very, very intuitive. He knew it.
KING: Ira is going to testify. I think that's been announced already. How do you feel about that? How well will he do?
EINHORN: I feel that it's a very good thing that after all these years, Ira will be able to talk and be part of his defense.
KING: When did you speak with him last?
EINHORN: Oh, that was in September, September 10.
KING: Just about 20 days ago then, or are you talking longer?
EINHORN: No, no, just about 20 days ago. Yes. We have been able to talk to each other once a month. So that was our allotted time in September.
KING: There were reports that there was a lot of strange goings- on in that relationship between Ira and Holly, correct? That there were supposedly Holly wanted to leave him and there was -- if not physical brutality, psychological brutality. There was a lot wrong in that relationship.
EINHORN: Let me talk about my relationship with Ira. I have 14 years of very, very intense living under very, very stressful circumstances. I can tell you during all of that time, there has been absolutely not the slightest little tendency whatsoever on Ira's part to be violent. I have never, ever felt threatened. I've always felt very comfortable with him.
And they talk about, you know, the part of rapture and leaving. And actually, because of this stressful situation, I've been practically really very, very close to leaving him four times. So I have experienced those situations, which something like that could erupt, and even just a couple of months after we met each other, I had that experience. I asked him to leave, and what did he do? He was very sad and he asked -- he started to look for another apartment. I feel very comfortable that Ira is non-violent.
KING: So you were going to leave just because of the stress of the situation, not because of any action he took against you?
EINHORN: Exactly. It is -- it's been a very, very stressful situation to live under.
KING: I would imagine. We'll take a break and come back and take a few phone calls for Annika Einhorn from Paris. As we go to break, here's what Holly Maddux's sister said today at the opening of the trial.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUFFY HALL, HOLLY MADDUX'S SISTER: It's a huge relief to get this show on the road and really be actually testifying and actually moving forward and actually with him in the courtroom, it's pretty amazing. You know, we worked so long for something and then when it's here, sometimes it's kind of surreal. You think, you know, this -- it feels very strange at first, and now it feels real.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Einhorn. Einhorn. Einhorn, why aren't you...
WALSH: Too bad. Einhorn, if you are innocent, why are you such a coward and you don't go back to face justice? Why don't you go back? You're going to get a fair trial. You're going to get a fair trial. They're going to give you another trial. Too bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That was John Walsh and running into Mr. Einhorn overseas and getting -- that was quite a take with him on camera, trying to get him to go back.
Before we take a call, Annika, explain something. Holly is missing in September of 1977. In March of 1979, complaints from neighbors about a bad smell; police go inside Ira's apartment. They discover Holly's partially mummified remains. Einhorn is arrested for the murder. In April, he's released on bail after prominent Philadelphians vouched for his character. How has he explained to you the mummified remains in his apartment?
EINHORN: How he has explained them. He is as stunned as he possibly could be how that happened. He did not kill Holly. He doesn't know how it is possible that her body has been found in a trunk in his apartment.
KING: How do you rationalize it?
EINHORN: Rationalize it?
KING: Well, I mean...
EINHORN: It's a fact, Larry. Could you ask me that again, please?
KING: OK, I'll try to phrase it -- wait a minute, it's hard to go this distance.
KING: How do you explain it to yourself when he says, I don't know how it got there? How do you explain to yourself in your wildest dreams, how did this mummified remains get in his apartment? How do you explain it to you?
EINHORN: Somebody else put them there. I do not know who that somebody else is, but somebody else put her body there. Because the body was found in his apartment doesn't mean that he put the body there. It was only that the body was found in his apartment.
KING: That would mean...
EINHORN: Doesn't mean that Ira killed her and put her there.
KING: Correct. But that would probably mean that the killer knew that she and Ira were together and that the killer knew he would implicate Ira by putting the body there. Does Ira have an idea who the killer might be?
EINHORN: You're saying something when you say implicate. Ira had an intuition during the summer of '97 that somebody was out to get him. And he had a very interesting conversation with a friend of his at the time, and he told this friend that he felt that somebody was going to do something to him so that his work, his work at the time that was very, very important and very sensitive, would be discredited. And that is exactly what happened.
I -- all Ira's work at the time has been discredited. Now he is looked upon as this person who murdered or maybe murdered Holly Maddux. But all Ira's work, which was very, very important work, in many, many related topics, that is not talked about today, and that is a very, very important thing to keep in mind, what happened to all of Ira's involvement, what happened to his activities at the time. That is also an important question to ask.
KING: Do you think he'll get a fair trial?
EINHORN: I hope so. I sincerely hope so. And I would like to at this point make a plea, because Ira now has a good defense team around him, and he has facts that substantiate that he did not kill Holly. The policeman that saw him. There is a question about the forensics.
KING: So what is the plea?
EINHORN: The plea, Larry, is, Ira's old friends have, because they feel and they've taken that Ira fled as a sign of guilt, which it isn't. Please, Ira's old friends, do step forward. Become his character witness. Remember Ira as he was then. Remember what happened during that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) trial. Thank you.
KING: Annika, as this trial -- I'm sorry to interrupt, but I'm out of time. As this trial goes on, we'll be calling on you again. You are a staunch defender of your husband. I thank you very much for being with us.
We'll come back in just a moment to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KING: There is a Camp Dream Street group here in Los Angeles, a wonderful charity, helps a lot of young children, and one of those young children, Griffin Yalfaro (ph), victim of cancer, went home safe and sound today after a hospital stay, and we salute him and all of them.
And tomorrow night, the Mannings join us. She was burned on 90 percent of her body on 9/11; he wrote a book about it. The Mannings will be with us, and Giuliani joins us on Wednesday.
But who joins us now that Giuliani is no longer mayor -- the new king of New York. Yeah, my man. I can't wait to see him. I'm going to be in New York, going to be with him.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com