CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Guests Discuss Washington Sniper, Trial of Late Princess of Wales' Butler
Aired October 16, 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: Today, day 14, the sniper still on the loose. Can law enforcement crack the case before the shot's fired?
Going inside the mind of a killer, the best-selling crime writer, Dominick Dunne, veteran FBI profiler, Bob Ressler. Criminologist Jack Levin and Mitch Miller covering the story for WTOP in Washington.
Then later, Princess Diana's butler is standing trial for stealing almost $8 million in gifts from her estate. Her mother and sister may be key prosecution witnesses. Will Prince Charles, William and Harry have to take the stand too?
Joining Dominick Dunne, who will remain with us, will be three more best selling royal watchers -- Robert Lacey in Washington, Kitty Kelley, author of "The Royals" and in London, royal expert Hugo Vickers. Plus, London lawyer, Mark Stephens -- he's the fellow that got Princess Anne's maid cleared of charges she stole love letters to the princess.
It's all next on a jam-packed LARRY KING LIVE.
In the first half hour, we devote to the continuing, puzzling story of the sniper. Let's get a thought from Dominick Dunne in London. He's the host of Court TV's "Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice." Never been anything like this.
What are you thinking about it from across the sea, Dominick?
DOMINICK DUNNE, HOST, "POWER, PRIVILEGE & JUSTICE": Well, I'll tell you it's getting a lot of play over here, Larry, both on the television and in the newspapers. It's a really scary thing. I don't know any more than what I read in the newspapers. I'm sure your experts there do because I'm so involved in the Princess Diana butler trial.
KING: So why do you think they're making it a big story there?
DUNNE: Well, it is a big story. I mean it's almost like another terrorist thing in a way. I mean, it's a -- this is a real criminal mind at work here who seems to be, I don't know, it's almost flirting with police. And, I mean, it's -- this is an amazing story.
KING: Jack Levin is professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University, director of the Brudnick Center on Conflict and Violence at Northeastern, author of many books, including "Mass Murders: America's Growing Menace." Is this part of that concept of the book, Jack? Is this a growing -- part of a growing menace?
JACK LEVIN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, Larry, you know, since 1970, we've seen an incredible number of serial and mass murderers in this country. And, you know, I understand why the people in England and other countries in the world are interested. They're interested in American culture.
And, you know, this is a kind of story that really is every American's worst nightmare. I mean this sniper is selecting victims at random. In fact, I think he's selecting the next victim so that he is different from the previous victim.
And he seems to have a grudge against all Americans or all humanity. No one feels safe, even people in California, who are 3,000 miles away, are terrified by this. I mean anybody could be next.
KING: Is he definitely -- are there certain definite things about him? Is he definitely white? Is he definitely angry? And he is definitely crazy?
LEVIN: Well, he's definitely not crazy. He may be white. You know if he were a guy with an AK-47 who went into a shopping mall and sprayed bullets at everything that moved we'd say, you know, he's psychotic. He's crazy. He talks to dogs. He hallucinates. He hears voices in an empty room commanding him to kill.
But you know a guy who does that is caught immediately. He's no challenge to law enforcement. You know he commits suicide or if he doesn't commit suicide, he's killed by police sharpshooters almost immediately. But this sniper goes on and on and on. He distances himself from the victims so he leaves almost no physical evidence behind. And he's more crafty than he is crazy. And his crimes may be sickening, but I don't think he's sick.
KING: Robert Ressler is the former FBI criminal profiler for 16 years. He's now director of Forensic Behavioral Services. That's a company that provides training and lectures on civil and criminal trials and does it worldwide.
Robert, does this last murder, the woman in Falls Church, as a lot of people have been saying today, lead more of us to think we're closing in?
ROBERT RESSLER, FORMER FBI CRIMINAL PROFILER: It certainly leads us to think that because of a little more eyewitness business here. We have reports that some are together and some are in conflict. So eyewitness reports are -- always have problems with them. But you know I think we feel a little more secure but this guy's playing for the media. He is definitely planning, premeditating the next murder. And as Jack would indicate, this guy is already probably on the road, maybe surveying a new location. He is not doing them so randomly that he doesn't set himself up for a -- you know, a hasty escape. And I think he's already planning the next one. KING: Robert, sources are telling CNN that an undetermined number of people are under surveillance. They're not considered suspects but they're under surveillance. They would be, like, what kind of people?
RESSLER: Well, in any given major metropolitan area, there is always a list of people that have come to the attention of the authorities for various reasons. The Secret Service may have an individual. They have a kind of a watch list of people who are -- have written threatening letters to the government, to the president, things of that nature. They could have provided some information.
The FBI has information relative to people who have brought attention themselves by various anti-social acts, hostility, anger at society at large. And I'm sure that a number of names have come up and they're watching these people. There's nothing wrong with that.
KING: Mitch Miller has been covering this story for WTOP radio and has added his expertise to coverage for CNN for which we have been most appreciative. And he has become a very familiar face around these parts and we thank him for joining us again tonight as he did last night.
Mitch, are the authorities buoyed at all? Are they a little up over the chances that they're closing in?
MITCH MILLER, WTOP RADIO: I think so. There are a lot of promising developments. One of the most latest is going to be whether or not we get any kind of hit related to the license plate that apparently has been seen by some witnesses.
Again, as Mr. Ressler noted, there may be some conflicting comments related to what people actually saw. But there appears to be at least a partial on a Maryland license plate and they're running those plates right now to see whether or not there is any kind of match with this light-colored van that we've been hearing about.
Unfortunately, as people are well aware in this Washington area, there are a lot of these type of vans, these Chevy Astro vans, the Ford van. There are tens of thousands of these vans in the Washington area. And as people note every single day, you look in your rear view mirror, there's another one. You look down the street and you see another one.
So it's very difficult for people on the street seeing a lot of these vans but certainly when they narrow it down with the computers, that's going to help quite a bit, I think.
KING: Dominick Dunne in London, we know how strong a supporter you are of law enforcement. And apparently, they're going to be now using federal troops and the like, an all-out effort. Are you at all concerned about civil liberties being smashed here in order to try to capture this person?
DUNNE: No, I'm not. I mean I think they ought to do anything to capture this guy, absolutely anything. KING: So you have no qualms that if even the Army personnel are used and Air Force personnel are used and special planes to locate people on the ground?
DUNNE: I don't, no.
KING: Do you have any, Jack Levin? Are there any concerns that a society can go overboard in search for someone?
LEVIN: Well, sure. Look, after September 11, we were willing to give up some of our civil liberties, at least temporarily to fight the war against terrorism. And, you know, this is a crisis and during this period of time, I suppose Americans would do the same. You hope, of course that these are not permanent.
And, you know, I believe that there will be legal avenues for the government to use surveillance techniques from the air. I think that right now they're making arrangements for that.
You know, Larry, I just want to say this, I am concerned. I do think that this sniper is getting careless. He's cutting corners. I think he feels invincible and I think that over time we're going to catch him, hopefully before he kills again.
But, you know, the idea of thousands of people phoning in tips to the police. They've got 70,000 tips now. And they've got this half million-dollar reward, which I think inspires pathological liars and produces lots of irrelevant and fabricated and misleading tips.
In addition, they focus so much on this van. Look who's going to turn in their husband, a neighbor or a friend because he drives a white van, goes hunting and is a little bit strange? We're talking about millions of people. They need to give us more information about the killer. If we knew, for example, the race, the gender, the age of the killer, maybe that he has blonde hair, he has black hair, so forth, so on, that would really help when people decide that they're going to call the tip line.
KING: I'm going to take a break. When we come back, we'll ask Robert Ressler, former of the FBI, if there's a chance this person may just stop and never be caught. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN NANCY DEMME, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Remember though that personal safety comes first. If you hear the sound of a gunshot, I want you to get down or seek cover. Please remember that is paramount, your safety. Look in the direction of the sound. Make a mental note of the persons or the vehicles in the area. Commit what you saw to memory. Have a pen available on your person.
And if it's not -- and if paper is not available, write it on your hand. Remain on the scene and in a safe place until police arrive. Do not allow other witnesses or the media to contaminate your memory. Do not compare or discuss what you saw with another witness. But remember, first of all, safety is the most important thing. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. We're going to include some of your phone calls for this panel.
Robert Ressler, any chance, based on history and events of the past, this person or persons may just say, hey, they're closing in; it's over, good bye?
RESSLER: Larry, I don't think it's a possibility because people that do acts of this particular type -- we could be talking about one or two individuals -- people that do this type of thing, their lives are a mess. They're in disarray. They've had failures from day one. They do not see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as their lives go.
This is an act of -- a final act of desperation. There is a death wish here. These people are probably -- basically are suicidal. They have nothing to live for. Everything they're doing is extremely at high risk. And I think that there are -- again, they're planned, premeditated.
I think there are contingencies for when in fact that confrontation comes and they know it's going to be violent. Lay down their weapons and put up their hands, that's not going to happen.
My fear, for the arresting law enforcement officers, that these guys are so dedicated to what they're doing, that, in fact, there could be explosives in the van. There could be heavy weaponry and it's going to be a real touchy thing to get in there and deal with these people.
KING: You say guys. You definitely think it's plural?
RESSLER: I do, I really do. It's such a complicated sequence of events that I really believe that it's more complicated than one person could affect. One person might more be -- more as Jack Levin would indicate, be more mentally ill. When you get a pair of these guys, they can kind of feed off of each other, just life-long psychopathic type personalities.
KING: Mitch, a little bit before we take a call, there's a massive manhunt, one of the largest ever in America, over 400 FBI agents, 250 ATF investigators, hundreds of law enforcement. Who is the -- who's in charge?
MILLER: Well, it's a region wide task force, so as you say, you have all these different law enforcement agencies all coming in together. There have been a few little turf battles behind the scenes with some of the local law enforcement, I think.
But by and large they're really trying to work hard. I mean this is an unprecedented situation where you have, as you say, literally hundreds of federal agents working now with all these jurisdictions in the Washington area. So they are doing their utmost to work together.
Today, they had a lot of the police chiefs and a lot of the high- ranking officials meeting behind closed doors, probably trying to iron out some of the things that they need to do. And clearly they need to get out one unified message, which is very difficult when you're dealing with all these different variables.
KING: Let's take a call. San Diego -- hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. I wanted to ask the guests on your show if they think the shooter possibly is ex-military?
KING: Is there that thought, Jack Levin, that this is ex- military?
LEVIN: You know, this sniper is either ex-military or law enforcement or one -- or law enforcement wannabee. But I think more important; I think he goes hunting and target shooting right now. He's an expert marksman.
And, you know, most serial killers use their hands. They enjoy the physical contact. They want so desperately to squeeze the last breath of life from their dying victim's body because it makes them feel so powerful. But this guy, I think, wants to tell us something about him. He wants us to know that he's an expert, that he's good at something. This is probably the only thing in his whole life that he's done well and he wants us to -- he wants us to know that again and again and again and again. And that's the problem.
KING: Dominick Dunne, I know you've covered a lot of murderers. Have you ever covered a serial killer?
DUNNE: I never have, Larry, no. And I'm kind of fascinated by them. But I've read about them, but I have never covered a serial killer trial.
KING: All right, now, as you watch and listen to these experts here tonight, do you think that they are very different from the guy who goes home and shoots the wife?
DUNNE: Yes, absolutely.
KING: Do -- is it a -- it's a more warped mind that you're dealing with; it's a more difficult matter legally?
DUNNE: Well, yes. I mean we -- I'm not...
KING: I could say in other words, a killer is a killer or is that wrong?
DUNNE: No, a killer is a killer, but there's some joy that this guy is getting out of it. I mean I think he knows he's the most discussed man in America at this point. And I think that's probably a high for him. And I think that the set of strategic planning of finding the next victim, I mean this is sort of a fascinating madman to me. KING: Los Angeles, hello.
CALLER: Hi, I'm just curious to know what your feeling is as to whether this could be an individual or individuals somehow related with al Qaeda?
KING: Mr. Ressler, you buy that?
RESSLER: I don't buy that. Terrorists have their own agenda. They have their own style, suicide bombings, the type of thing they did on 9/11. This is disrupting a lot of people's lives, but it is not disrupting the economy. It's not disrupting the inner state commerce. It just not enough bang for the buck when you're hitting...
KING: No political statement?
RESSLER: No, there's no political statement. They're doing victims one at a time. It's just not devastating enough for terrorists to really get their...
KING: As we go to break -- we're going go to break and come back with more of our panel. As we go to break, for those in our viewing audience, here's some shots of the nine victims so far of the sniper or snipers. These nine are all dead.
KING: Mr. Miller, do the experts have a thought as to why in this latest shooting the distance was so short, 300 yards or so?
MILLER: It's not really clear...
KING: Thirty yards? Was it 30 yards?
MILLER: Yes, apparently, it was about 30 yards, which would make it a lot shorter than the other shootings. The other shootings were roughly anywhere from 50 up to 200 yards roughly. And what they're talking about is the fact that we've seen this continued brazenness by this sniper, that he is taking more and more risks as the experts have pointed out.
And from a positive point of view, of course, this caused a lot of the witnesses to come forward and we had much more witness accounts than we did in some of the other shootings.
Unfortunately, as was announced today they will not have a sketch. Police will not have a sketch related to the shooter because there are too many contradictions related to what people saw that night.
KING: Alexandria, Virginia -- hello.
KING: Hi. CALLER: Right now, the sniper is shooting one by one and I was just wondering if anyone on the panel thinks that he'll ever start shooting into a crowd.
KING: Good question -- Jack.
LEVIN: Well, I think he would have already done that. He gets a lot more pleasure in expressing his expertise to all of us so we see what a big shot he really is. And I mean that literally here. I mean the truth is that this guy is sending us a message. Political terrorists send us one kind of message. He's sending us a message about himself. He's a loser. He has been a failure his entire life but now he's successful in something. This is a great accomplishment from his point of view. And he wants to prolong it.
If he shoots into a crowd and kills a lot of people, he'll get caught. He does not want to get caught. He may be taking more chances, but that's only because he feels so superior to the police that he feels he can do almost anything and get away with it. And anyway, he's upping the ante. It becomes more challenging, more fun for him to kill from 30 yards than 200 yards, to shoot into a crowd, to kill one person by shooting her in the head while she stands next to her husband. You know this is -- this sounds like craziness, but unfortunately it's craftiness.
KING: Dominick Dunne, Britain has very, very strong gun laws, much, much stronger than ours. Are they saying there that this could never happen here?
DUNNE: No, I haven't heard anyone say that. And I don't think anyone believes that. I think that this is what the world is turning into. And, by the way, I'm sure that the guy, whoever he is, is watching this show right now, Larry.
KING: And getting what out of it, Dominick?
DUNNE: I mean I think he's really -- He's enjoying his fame.
KING: Robert Ressler, do you agree with that?
RESSLER: I do agree with that. A person that has had kind of a disastrous life and, as Jack would indicate, has been a failure through most of his life, this is something that means something to him.
KING: Yes, but when you therefore say something like that, don't you spur him on? Let's say he's watching or two of them are watching.
RESSLER: Yes, let's...
KING: They look at you saying they're demented or something and that gets him angrier.
RESSLER: No, I don't think it does because I think he recognizes he's dysfunctional. At the same time he knows -- he seems himself as the center of the universe. I mean the governors of the state of Virginia and Maryland have made statements about him. President Bush has made statements about him. And he is now walking on air because he feels like he's gotten the attention of everybody in this country and that's important to him.
David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer, told me one on one -- he said when my letters appeared in the New York newspapers, he said, It was the greatest accomplishment of my life. It was a great thrill. And he wanted to scream out to the public that I'm the Son of Sam killer, but of course he couldn't do that.
KING: Bakersfield, California, this will be the last call on this panel. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, my question is for Jack Levin.
CALLER: We have two Michael's stores here and they both have been recently closed and everybody fired. Is there any possibility that this is a nationwide thing and these are disgruntled employees who may have lost their jobs?
LEVIN: You know, typically a mass killer kills people that he knows very well, a spouse. He goes after a boss and some co-workers. But this killer is not after any particular individual. He is after humanity in general. He may, however, have been recently fired or he may have lost a lot of money in the stock market or he may have suffered a nasty separation or divorce or maybe has a terminal illness. There's some catastrophic loss but his enemy is not seen as an individual or a store. It's all of humanity or maybe all Americans.
LEVIN: And let me point out that there is a problem for people in other states because of the copycat factor.
LEVIN: I wouldn't be surprised and this is very sad to say that we might see snipers in other parts of the country because of this -- sad.
KING: Mitchell Miller, you're the only one on this panel on the scene every day. Are you concerned for you?
MILLER: Well, there are lots of reporters out covering this story and certainly everybody is talking about it every day that they go into work. Just like anybody else, when you walk out of your house every day you look a little bit around, see what's out there, you check out the van.
We were talking last night at WTOP when one of the anchors was coming in in the morning and he said, You know what I noticed a light- colored van near me on the road heading into work. And he slowed down and actually checked it out. So everybody, you know, from the average citizen, average journalist, we're all keeping an eye out here in Washington, D.C. because it's really just a very bizarre situation right now.
KING: And is that a good idea, Jack Levin, you know, to react to fear and if you see white van, pull aside?
LEVIN: There is nothing wrong with the average citizen being vigilant. That's what we're supposed to do in the fight against terrorism. That's what citizens in the Washington D.C. area ought to be doing now. But I think they need more information.
I -- the police may not have it to give. But as soon as they do, they ought to make sure that citizens know a little bit more about the killer so they can be on the lookout, not only for a vehicle, but also for a human being.
KING: Yes, Robert Ressler, would you agree with that? You're a former FBI guy. When did the Bureau make it -- when is the time that you say, yes, let's tell them?
RESSLER: The public has to be informed. The media has its job and public awareness is crucial in a case like this. With the availability and all the cell phones out there, it's really maybe the way that this thing is shut down, is somebody with a cell phone that spots a van, spots a vehicle, spots a guy taking a rifle out of a car, gets on the telephone and immediately, 911, and calls it in. Police can be dispatched to a scene in minutes, in seconds sometimes. And I think that's really important, to keep them informed so that they are vigilant to the point of bringing this thing to a close.
KING: All right, Dominick Dunne's going to remain with us for our panel on an incredible trial going on in Great Britain. We thank the rest of our panel for being with us and remind you that they -- some of them will be back with us again tomorrow night, when we devote the entire program to the hunt for the sniper. The hot line number, by the way, if you have any information is 888-324-9800, 888-324-9800. We'll be right back.
KING: There's a trial sort of going on in Great Britain. And to discuss it in London is Dominick Dunne, host of Court TV's "Dominick Dunne's Power Privilege and Justice" -- a terrific show, -- special correspondent for "Vanity Fair," attending the trial at Old Bailey.
Robert Lacey is with us. The best-selling biographer and Royal- watcher. His latest book is "Monarch: The Life and Rein of Elizabeth II."
In Washington is Kitty Kelley, the best-selling author of "The Royals," currently working on a book about the Bush family dynasty.
In London, as well, is Hugo Vickers, best-selling author of -- veteran Royal watcher. His book on Price Philip's mother, "Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece" is out in the United States. And Mark Stephens, prominent London lawyer. Mark is following this case closely with good reason. He once represented a maid who was accused in the theft of love letters from Princess Anne's husband.
Dominick Dunne, why are you over there for this?
DUNNE: Well I'm over -- I'm at the Old Bailey. By the way, it is a thrilling thing to be at the Old Bailey. I've never been there before. And it's really kind of a wonderful building. And with a great history.
And this is -- well, I don't know. I've always had a great attraction for Princess Diana. I've always liked her. Knew her slightly. And I think this is an interesting case.
KING: And the case is Paul Burrell is charged with what?
DUNNE: With theft. With three counts of theft of objects and things belonging to the Prince of Wales, belonging to the estate of the late Princess Diana, Princess of Wales and his Royal Highness, Prince William of Wales.
KING: And Robert Lacey, they're saying he was to do what with this theft? What did he steal and what was he supposed to do with it?
ROBERT LACEY, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: Well that is the mystery that remains and will presumably unfold during the trial. One of the interesting things about this case -- and, of course, someone like Burrell who has come so close to this fascinating woman. I mean, this man, Burrell, says that the Princess called him "her rock" and we know -- and certainly a fact -- that among other duties that he performed was actually to go and dress her dead body in Paris after that terrible car crash.
And to start with her family seemed to respect the special role he claimed. They seemed to be more disenchanted with him now, the Spencer family. That will emerge in the course of the trial, but it is one of the mysteries why he should have accumulated this vast number of actually items of real -- no real intrinsic value, CDs with her names signed to it.
KING: Kitty Kelley, from looking at it from your point of view, I mean, what is he saying? That she gave him this stuff? Is he supposed to sell it? What's the story?
KITTY KELLEY, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: Larry, he is saying he has these 342 objects and he's keeping -- he has them for safekeeping. He says that the Princess gave him these things -- some of he was supposed to give to charity. Some he said he meant to give to the Windsor archives.
It's a vast amount of objects -- of articles. The things that are rather fascinating are the 48 pieces of clothing. The ball gowns, the monogrammed night shirts, the 35 purses, little pieces of jewelry. One wonders how they were taken out of Kensington Palace and also how this came to people's attention. I understand that when Diana and Charles were getting a divorce there was a total inventory done. And then Mr. Burrell, after the Princess' death, did an inventory as well. And I think he kind of ran afoul of the Spencer family and somebody there started comparing inventories.
KING: I'm trying to get at Hugo Vickers. What was he going to do with this? Was he going to sell the dress?
VICKERS: I don't think he was going to sell anything. I think he -- I think, Larry, it is a very, very difficult problem, this whole case. One thing I know about Paul Burrell is that one of his previous private secretaries -- one of Prince Charles' private secretaries said to me, He was the one man that was 100 percent loyal to that girl throughout thick and thin and not many people were.
And there is a kind of -- it is a gray area this whole business as to what he might have taken or been given. She was a very, very mixed up person. And she had a habit of giving things to people, asking for them back again. She had a habit of giving instructions.
And I can understand so entirely how it could have got into his head that he had a mission to take these things. All sorts of things like that. It is a very, very murky -- it's a very murky business and it is very complicated. I have an enormous amount of sympathy for him.
KING: Does it mean, Mark Stephens, the prosecution is going to have a tough time here of showing motive?
MARK STEPHENS, LAWYWER: Well, I think that motive is pretty clear. He seems to be some sort of squirrel of Royal ephemera. I mean here he is, he's taken 284 things from Diana, four things from Prince Charles, 22 things from Prince William. And he's actually got explain why it is that he's got these things. He's given about a dozen different reasons on different things.
As Kitty Kelley said, some things he said he was given as presents. Some things he was looking after for safekeeping. Of course, the law of theft in this country says if you have the intention to permanently deprive somebody of the particular items in question, then you're guilty of theft. In those circumstances, he's got difficult questions.
KING: Does it also mean Prince Charles and Prince William have to testify?
STEPHENS: Well, I think this is one of the key things, isn't it? Not since Edward VII, Bertie (ph) was brought into court and sat on a special stool next to the judge to give evidence in the famous Bacharach Gambling trial have we seen the possibility of a prince of this country giving evidence in court.
And, yes, because these things belonged to Prince Charles, because they belonged to Prince William, there is every possibility that they're going to come out -- have to come along, identify the items and also say I didn't give Burrell permission to take them.
KING: The judge halted the trial today and dismissed the jury without explanation. The trial had just started on Monday. It is expected to resume tomorrow with a new jury.
So when we come back, I'm going to ask Dominick Dunne what he makes of the legal system in Great Britain as opposed to the United States. He's covered so many trials on this side of the Atlantic.
As we go break, Mr. Burrell, did appear on this program and here was his answer as to how he first met Diana.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURRELL: I met this shy young girl walking down the corridor of Bamoral (ph), and she said, I can't find my way, I'm lost -- would you show me back to my room? I said, Yes, of course.
So I took her back to her room. She said, you know, have you got time to spend with me and have a chat, because I'm a bit lonely.
I said, Yes, of course.
All the men were out on the hillside, stalking deer, and she needed a friend and someone to talk to, and our relationship began there and then.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURRELL: I had the strongest bond that I had with the princess was trust and loyalty, and still is, and I think that doesn't have a price, and that should remain. It doesn't matter if someone isn't here anymore to be with, it is very important to keep that link and that trust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: All right, Dominick Dunne, you've covered so many trials. Today they throw out the jury. They're going to have a new jury. Explain all this, will you?
DUNNE: Well, it is -- they threw out the jury, as they said, the trial was dramatically halted in its third day, and the jury was discharged for legal reasons that cannot be reported. I know why. I can't tell you why.
And I think the thing that has been the most interesting to me is that in three days now, I have watched them select two juries. Now, in all the trials I've covered, they sometimes take weeks with the voir dire, and there is jury consultants and everything whispering into lawyers' ears. Nothing like that. It was over in under an hour, and they do not have alternate jurors as we have, and the group comes in from the jury pool. There is about 30 of them, and people who have hardships and can't take the six weeks' time, you know, are excused, and -- but the judge was very tough on some of the people. She's very, very good, I think. And -- but they just seated them in -- I never saw anything so quick in my whole life.
STEPHENS: This is one of the critical differences, actually, Larry between the U.K. and the U.S. system. We have 12 jurors. I reckon that as a lawyer, it probably takes us about 30 minutes to impanel a jury. We're not entitled to question them. I think that may surprise you and many of the viewers because we're only allowed to challenge a juror if we know them, or if there is some other good cause.
KING: But Dominick, I know you said -- I would be remiss if I didn't ask you -- you know why, but you can't tell us why. Is that British law you can't tell us why?
DUNNE: Yes. Yes.
KING: In Britain, what? The trial cannot be covered?
DUNNE: It cannot be reported in the papers or on TV -- I couldn't get into the trial tomorrow if I talked about it. It is -- we're just told for legal reasons this cannot be reported.
KING: Robert Lacey, what is the reason for that, where the American courts, everything said in the courtroom is public information?
LACEY: Well, I think this particular matter deals with a problem with the jury that was encountered, and there was a feeling on the judge's part that this particular jury couldn't give Mr. Burrell a fair trial. But the reason why the judge felt this can't be disclosed, because it might then influence the next jury, or down the line Mr. Burrell might say, Well, if I could have had the first jury -- whatever. So I am no legal expert, perhaps you should really ask Mark about this.
KING: Mark, why can't we know everything?
STEPHENS: Well, that's one of the joys of the English legal system. It is opaque. We're not allowed to see through, the justice isn't completely open. We have seen this not only in relation to the discharge of the jury, but also in the fact that the defense barrister, Lord Carlisle (ph), has, I think somewhat surprisingly, said, certain parts of Burrell's statement, critical to understanding his case, he says, certain critical parts of his statement can't be read in open court because they're sensitive and express the views of Princess Diana about other members of the royal family, and that might upset people.
KING: Dominick, doesn't that drive you up a wall as an American journalist?
DUNNE: Absolutely up the wall. I want to know what that Paragraph 7 says that that is so sensitive that the jury can read it. You know, you can't report anything unless it has been in front of the jury, am I right on that, Mark?
STEPHENS: That's absolutely right, Dominick.
DUNNE: It drives me crazy.
KING: Kitty what do you make of that -- Kitty, you're an American reporter, wouldn't it drive you nuts?
KELLEY: Yes, it would, and it makes me realize that justice seen is justice believed, which is why we require so much openness in our court system.
KING: Now, Mr. Lacey and Mr. Vickers, how do you live with that? Robert Lacey, do you just accept it?
LACEY: Yes, because it is not quite as bad as it may be sounding to you. Certain things are shown to the jury, and the jury see them, and at the end of the day, the jury who will make the decision.
I mean, frankly, since we're getting into ethnic differences, I'm happy to live in a country where that happens, and I'm not happy to live in a country where there are hundreds of people apparently driving around the Washington area with guns in their vans, which is what somebody earlier said.
I quite disagree with Dominick's statement that the Washington sniper could happen in this country. It is simply virtually impossible to get a hunting rifle. Handguns are another matter. The idea there are even half a dozen people in white vans in Britain who are capable of doing this is not the case. We have different ways of doing things.
KING: We have got to get a break in. I'll let Dominick respond and Hugo Vickers, we will get a call in, too. We veered off a little, but it ain't dull. Don't go away.
KING: That's a shot of Princess Di in Africa. And you see Mr. Burrell right behind her there, looking as she hugs a little African child.
Before we get a couple of calls quickly in, we're running close on times. Hugo Vickers, do you accept the British system?
VICKERS: Oh, yes, I accept the British system as I accept our funny unwritten constitution. There is a great deal of things in this country which work very well. Quite how they work is a great mystery.
I mean, actually, the whole thing of this whole case is in a way a little bit like that. I mean, I just -- I accept that, of course, the man has to be, you know, has to be accused of these things. People think he's taken all these things but I just wonder what the end result will be at the end of this day. This is going to be a man who was once very loyal to the Princess whose life will be destroyed rightly or wrongly. I don't like it.
KING: Yes. Dominick Dunne, you want to comment on the statement it couldn't happen there?
DUNNE: Well, first, my friend Robert Lacey said I made it sound terrible here. I want to say about this jury thing, I think their system is better in picking juries than ours. Because I hate all those jury consultants. I hate the weeks that go by. I think it's exactly right. The thing that they don't have is alternate jurors which I think that would make it perfect.
But about the other thing, whether it could happen here, I didn't mean necessarily with hunting rifles, the same thing or white vans. But I think a madman could do his own version of the same thing.
KING: Let me get a call in.
Mississauga, Ontario -- hello. Hello? Are you there? Ontario.
KING: Go ahead, you're on.
CALLER: Oh, hi, sorry. Hi, Larry. I'm a fan of your show. I just want to make a comment, actually a question first. What happens if this butler is found not guilty? Will he get to keep the items?
KING: Kitty? A good question.
KELLEY: It's a great question. And I think that he's got some basis for keeping some of the items. However, talking about the British law, if he's found guilty of stealing so much as one item, he loses all of the items. And he does not have them in his possession now.
KING: New Orleans -- hello.
CALLER: Hi. I'm wondering what would the sentence carry if this man were found guilty?
STEPHENS: I think we're expecting, if he found guilty of all counts, probably between four and six years imprisonment. But of course, we have a period of remission and he probably only served about a third of that period of time.
KING: Syracuse, last call. Hello.
CALLER: Does Prince Charles have any comment?
KING: Has he said anything to your knowledge, Robert Lacey?
LACEY: I think -- no, he certainly hasn't said anything. I think the whole Royal family, just as Hugo is indicating, would much rather this thing hadn't happened. Just as a little point of narrative, the police were originally investigating a really serious theft of quite a valuable golden Bullient (ph) Dow -- Arabian Dow. And I think it -- well we know they were totally surprised when they, just almost as routine, they went to Burrell's house and discovered these things, which as Hugo says are of no intrinsic value and could easily have come into his possession.
The Royal family are very casual about sharing things with their staff. And no, the answer to the question is Prince Charles wouldn't like to see this man, I don't think, destroyed over this event.
KING: Dominick, do you have some sympathy for the defendant?
DUNNE: Yes, I do. I do. In fact I had a chat with him today and yesterday both in the cafeteria of the Old Bailey. And, yes, I do have some sympathy for him. I mean, I have -- yes, I do. And because his loyalty to her was just unquestioned.
And, you know, she became -- I think she had a tendency to become too familiar with people and there could be -- I think there is a gray areas in this thing. I think certainly some of the stuff was taken, but a lot of it was given to him. I am surprised that it ever came this far. I'm surprised it was not settled -- that the Royal family did not settle this. Some kind of a thing so it didn't have to come to trial because potentially some very embarrassing things can come out.
KING: We thank you all very much. We've run out of time. We'll call on you again as it progresses.
And when we come back I'll tell you about tomorrow night's edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, more on the sniper. We'll have a full panel discussion, a full hour devoted to it. And your phone calls.
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