CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Analysis of Princess Diana's Letter Predicting Her Own Death
Aired October 20, 2003 - 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: a shocking report that Princess Diana predicted someone plotted to kill her 10 months before her tragic death in a car crash. Her butler, Paul Burrell, now says Diana made that chilling forecast in a handwritten letter she sent to him.
We'll check in with our royal watchers in London -- Robert Lacey, the best-selling biographer, author of "Monarch"; Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to the queen; and Harold Brooks-Baker, director of "Burke's Peerage."
And then: The judge ruled today Kobe Bryant will stand trial on a charge of sexual assault. And there's new in the Laci Peterson murder case. The defense claims investigators mishandled a key piece of evidence and withheld other important information from the judge. We'll have heated debate with Court TV's Nancy Grace, defense attorney Chris Pixley and others.
It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We begin tonight with a shocking story out of London, the story that Princess Di predicted or feared her death in a car crash, the letter printed in "The Daily Mirror" today. In fact, just a couple of moments ago, I spoke with Paul Burrell, who'll be a guest on this program, I believe, next week. It comes from his book. There you see a portion of the letter. We'll read you a portion of it.
Robert Lacey, what's been the reaction?
ROBERT LACEY, AUTHOR, "MONARCH": Well, the reaction is that -- your first thought, that this cannot be true, the letter must be a forgery, is not, in fact, the case. There's no doubt she wrote down this extraordinary prophecy as to what was going to happen to her. She enters the realms of Nostradamus.
But then the questions start. If in this letter she says -- as, indeed, her own handwriting says -- someone -- and the name is at this moment in time blocked out -- or something -- what's blocked out might be "the government" is planning to do this -- if she wrote that down and Burrell knew that she had written it down -- this is something you might care to ask him, Larry, next week -- if he had a piece of paper on which Diana says someone's plotting a car crash, why didn't he reveal it when she died? Why didn't he give it to the authorities. There's a lot of questioning here about the motives for the timing.
KING: Yes. LACEY: Also, there are questions about the letter. We haven't seen these other things that she wrote down. She has many preoccupations at that time. And we don't know where she gets this idea from. Is she saying somebody in authority told her this? Or is it just an imagining of her mind, which we know at that time was very much under threat.
KING: What has been the reaction of the rest of the press? I understand you have papers there, Robert.
LACEY: Yes, well, this is "The Daily Mirror" for tomorrow, in fact, in which we get more revelations, the letters that Diana -- that Diana and Philip exchanged, in which Philip apparently very frankly discusses what -- what he thought of what was going on in the relationship.
The press having a very similar reaction to the last round of Burrell's disclosures, and that is, those who haven't managed to get the disclosures are being very sour-grapes about it and are criticizing what he says from a rather skeptical point of view.
KING: Dickie Arbiter, former spokesperson for Buckingham Palace and former press secretary for the queen and for the prince and princess of Wales, your reaction.
DICKIE ARBITER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN: Well, my reactions are, firstly, sort of duplicitous ramblings of a spurned lover. He seems to have set himself up as the princess's protector. He's said time and time again since her death that he would never write a book. Well, what's he done? He's written a book. And these are extracts from those books.
What he's also included in these -- in the book are quotations from letters. Now, did he copy the letters that he had in his possession before they were taken by the police a couple of years ago? Or is there another cache of letters that nobody knows about? Because, quite frankly, if he's quoting from these letters, he's actually in contravention of copyright because they are not his copyright. And he is actually quoting because he is saying...
ARBITER: ... particularly in one that, I never record Prince Philip ever using the word harlot or trollop in any of the correspondence. So where has he got this from? So has he copied the letters? Because he certainly wouldn't have remembered two years ago, when all this stuff was taken by the police.
KING: Of course...
ARBITER: I think it's a very sad case, actually.
KING: The writer of a letter owns the letter. The person who writes it has the copyright.
ARBITER: Absolutely. KING: However, if she's dead, who's going to sue?
ARBITER: Well, the copyright is then in the hands of the executors of the estate. And the executors of the estate are the family. And the inheritors of the estate are Princes William and Harry. So they own the words.
ARBITER: But they don't own the paper, but they do own the words.
ARBITER: And this will open a...
KING: Speaking of...
ARBITER: ... open a can of worms.
KING: Speaking of the words, Harold Brooks-Baker, here's a part of that letter. She writes, "I am sitting here at my desk in October, longing for someone to hug me and encourage me to keep strong and hold my head high. This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous." And then it's blacked out. Something "is planning an accident in my car, brake failure and serious head injury, in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry."
Harold, what do you make of that?
HAROLD BROOKS-BAKER, DIR., "BURKE'S PEERAGE": Well, I think you have to remember that the late princess of Wales visited soothsayers and clairvoyants constantly. She believed in them. They often proved to be correct. This could be simply another statement that she transcribed from her clairvoyant. It's hard to say, but it's more than likely.
And I think that what all this points to is that there should have been a full-fledged inquiry, just as there was for the Kennedy assassination in 1963. The French have had the inquiry over the automobile accident in the tunnel, as you know, and it needs to be done in this country. And all letters should have been taken and no references made to them until the court said one way or the other.
ARBITER: Larry, you know, she did play games when it came to sort of things -- security, like bugging and accidents. I mean, there was a case some years ago when there was a rewiring program. It was part of a sort of fire detection system. And she actually believed that she was being bugged and she told her private secretary she was being bugged. And he really had to pull up the floorboards and explain to her that this was a rewiring of the palace as part of the fire protection system and not a bugging system.
And you either agreed with her or you didn't. And if you didn't agree with her, then she wouldn't speak to you for two or three weeks, and perhaps even more. KING: But Robert, it is prophetic to predict a car accident.
LACEY: I quite agree with you, Larry. I don't quite go along with the skeptical tone of my companions here, particularly Dickie's. What is interesting, too, is that in the papers, what she's predicting is actually not her death but a car accident which will leave her brain-damaged to clear the way for Charles.
Now, as Harold says, has this been dictated to her by some soothsayer? Where does she get this rather sad idea (UNINTELLIGIBLE) actually going to get killed, but that this horrible fate is being planned for her? It may be that Dickie's right, it simply reflects her delusion. But the fact is, it's down there in her own writing. And whatever people now say about the death of Diana, people will say, and they will be right, she predicted it.
ARBITER: But why clear the path for her to -- for Charles to marry Camilla? They were divorced. They were divorced two months before this letter was written. So if he wanted to marry, he could. There was no obstacle. And she could have remained, you know, the divorced wife. So there was no path to clear. It was already cleared through the divorce courts.
BROOKS-BAKER: Well, no...
KING: Let me get a -- let me get...
KING: Hold it. I'll come right back. Let me get a break, and we'll come right back with Robert Lacey, Dickie Arbiter and Harold Brooks-Baker and more on this fascinating never-ending saga, it would seem. Later we'll be talking about Kobe Bryant, going to be bound over for trial. And we'll also talk about developments in the Laci Peterson murder case.
Wednesday night, an hour, her first prime-time live hour since the publication of her book. Barbara Bush will be our special guest Wednesday night, with your phone calls. We'll be right back.
KING: Princess Di also writes, "I have been battered and bruised and abused mentally by a system for 15 years now." She also admitted that she had "cried more than anyone will ever know during those dark days."
Harold Brooks-Baker, this was a very unhappy lady. Would you -- would that lend her to fantasy, do you think?
BROOKS-BAKER: I think that she and fantasy were happy bedfellows long before the marriage ever took place. If you talk with people who were in school with her as a child, you'll see what I mean. But on the other hand, it is tragic. It is very sad that anyone should be that miserable. She clearly did not understand the concept of an arranged marriage. And I have found that some of the best marriages in the world that I have ever known of or seen at firsthand were those that were arranged by guardians, parents and so forth.
And I think that we're out of -- we're out of that habit today, except in the Far East, where sensible arranged marriages still continue. And she, obviously, had a schoolgirl-type crush on the prince of Wales, who was, after all, one of the most important people in the world at that time, as he is today, even more so. And that explains what happened. He saw it, perhaps, as a semi-business relationship, and she saw it as romance that was about to come to fruition.
BROOKS-BAKER: It never did come to fruition, but...
KING: Dickie, why do you think Paul Burrell, in appearances on this program, didn't mention this before?
ARBITER: I think that's something that you're going to have to ask him, and it's a question that's being asked in this country because, quite frankly, to hold on to that sort of letter six years after her death, certainly, four years after the French had concluded their exhaustive inquiry, does raise a very major issue as to why he didn't release this letter. What else does he have? He seems to have a lot of material. And is this -- as I said a while ago, is this secondary material that was missed the first time around?
KING: Robert Lacey, do you sped Dodi Fayed's father to emerge again? He's the owner of Harrods, and he always thought there was a plot to kill him.
LACEY: Yes. That, I think, is one of the next stages on the agenda. Mohammed Fayed has been calling now for some time for a full- scale British inquest into her death to check on what was discovered in France. My own feeling is that that has been -- is now irresistible. It's been resisted by the royal coroners. Two of them have succeeded each other in the time since Diana's death. The first of them was not really in favor of the inquest system. The second one -- well, and both of them, I think, and particularly the second one, are very much deferring to the feelings of the royal family in this.
Now, the conspiracy theories say the royal family are trying to suppress an inquest because they are involved. Let's get a name out here -- Prince Philip. Let's repeat this extraordinary allegation that Mohammed Fayed makes, that Prince Philip was behind the death of Diana. Well, I think we're going to see in future days that Prince Philip was much closer to Diana than people have given credit for. And I think there will have to be now the inquiry, and I think, certainly, Mr. Fayed, to answer your question, is going to welcome that.
It so happens, by a bizarre coincidence in the British coroner system, that the coroner for Surrey, where Mr. al Fayed lives and where Dodi Fayed lived, is also the royal coroner. And so I think that's something -- I don't know if the word is to look forward to -- in the months ahead.
KING: Let's take a call. Toronto, Ontario. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
CALLER: I was wondering, if it is, indeed, a royal's name revealed, what kind of charges would be faced and -- if any, because of status of their family?
KING: Yes, Dickie, what could be done? When the name is revealed, supposing it was a prominent person, or any person? Could you charge off a letter?
ARBITER: Well, once the inquest has made its findings known, it would then -- if they were serious allegations and there was the prospect of a charge being made, it would then have to go to the police for further investigation. The police would then have to put it towards the Crown Prosecution Service, who would then decide whether there was a case to be made. It's a fairly lengthy process. But I don't think you're going to find that sort of thing coming out of the inquest.
KING: Was she, Robert, to your knowledge, paranoid?
LACEY: I think paranoid is overstating it. I mean, you're entering here a very troubled area, Larry, because in the war of the Waleses, Diana's mental state of mind was a very potent weapon. Words were used, clinical terms are used like borderline personality disorder, trying to downgrade the princess. There's no doubt at all that, as her Australian friend, Clive James, used to say, she could at times be a "fruitcake on wheels." But to start using clinical terms -- she was, after all, in an adversarial situation with the royal family.
Now, I would say she brought a lot of that on herself. But if paranoid -- being paranoid is feeling that people are out to get you, she put herself in a situation where people in the palace did want to get her. And so there was a certain justice in the defensiveness of her attitude.
KING: Tampa, Florida. Hello. Oh, let's go -- let's go to -- Tampa. Hello.
CALLER: Yes. If an inquisition is actually made into the death of Diana, could an outside source maybe perhaps do the investigation because of the bias or perhaps even the power of the royal family suppressing information?
KING: Harold, do they have things such as special prosecutors in London?
BROOKS-BAKER: Yes. But you see, one of the great difficulties here is that everyone is very sympathetic to the plight of the princes. William and Harry are known to be suffering a great deal once again. One wonders if it will ever end. There are so many unpleasant loose ends. And it's as if, from beyond the grave, the princess of Wales is able to do as much damage as she did when she was alive. No matter how attractive and beautiful and charming and loved -- and she was the most loved woman in the world -- she was, nevertheless, the destruction is very impressive and very depressing in every way.
KING: We'll take a break and come back with more, and more phone calls. Then we'll be discussing the Kobe Bryant matter and the Laci Peterson matter on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Speaking of royalty, Fergie, the duchess of York, tomorrow night. Don't go away.
KING: Let's take another call. Rankin, Texas. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, Mr. King, and good evening, gentlemen.
CALLER: I would like to know if anybody has anything to say about the letters that Prince Philip had written Diana shortly before her death kind of reprimanding her and being terse with her, to where she had to answer him with help of legal counsel. I read that in one of her biographies. I'd like to know if that's true. And if so, how come we don't know what those letters said? Or will we ever know?
KING: Robert Lacey?
LACEY: Well, I don't hold "The Daily Mirror" up yet again, which is...
KING: Go ahead.
LACEY: ... the newspaper which is at the center of it all. But here you can read on the front of "The Daily Mirror" the latest installment, which will take over in the hours that come. And here we've got Prince Philip saying, "I can't imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla."
Now, there are other questions that Dickie has already raised about where exactly Burrell got this information from. But I think one of the things we are going to see is the revelation of the fact that these letters, these very controversial letters that Philip wrote to Diana -- let's get the date right, just about '92, just after the revelations in the Morton book but before the actual separation -- in which he intervened and tried to help. He sat down at his word processor. He bashed out these letters. They were alleged to be incredibly unhelpful.
I think what we've seen so far, and what also people have been saying, is that they were much fairer and more balanced. This is a man who speaks his mind. Some people have given him credit for.
ARBITER: And I think, just to add one thing that Robert said, Larry, for years we've been told that Prince Philip is alleged to have called the princess a harlot and a trollop. Well, Burrell has come out and said he does not recollect being in any of the letters from Prince Philip the words harlot or trollop used. So he's been a lot more sympathetic to her than previous writers have allowed us to believe.
KING: Manteca, California. Hello.
CALLER: hi, Larry. I'd first like to say I love your show. I watch you every day.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: And my question is for the panel. How do Princess Diana's children feel about these letters, now that they've come out? And I mean, are they open for the public to read them?
KING: Dickie, how do you think they're going to react?
ARBITER: Well, firstly, the letters are not open for the public to read them. What you're going to see when the book is published next week, is you're going to see extracts of these letters. And how they've got there, one day we'll find out. I think the boys, once again, are saddened by what's happened. They're upset by what's happened. You know, every time something happens and then the dust settles and they begin to raise their head over the parapet, they're then shot down again with yet more revelations. Unfortunately, this is something that they're going to have to live with for the rest of their lives because it's not ever going to go away.
KING: Naples, Florida. Hello. Naples. Hello.
CALLER: ... if a monument has ever been dedicated in London for Diana? And also, has Sarah Ferguson or any of Diana's family commented on the letters that we're talking about?
KING: Sarah will be here tomorrow night. Is there any kind of monument to her, Harold?
BROOKS-BAKER: Well, there's the wonderful park for her. And she is certainly remembered in many different ways, ways that she would have liked.
But I think that what is important here is that this letter, which is rubbing salt into the wound of everyone connected with the late Princess of Wales, especially her sons, is doing no one any good at all. And it is rather interesting that Paul Burrell is going to make a great deal of money because of this letter. So you can't deny the person who speculates that he held it back in order to gain as many buyers of his book as possible. It isn't just by coincidence.
KING: Las Vegas. Hello.
BROOKS-BAKER: And it isn't just by coincidence...
KING: Las Vegas. Yes, go ahead. CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hello, gentlemen. I was concerned about how the boys would react to all of this. But also, has anyone heard from her brother and the sisters, how they're reacting to this revelation?
LACEY: Well, that's a very good question because on this matter, the warring Windsors and the Spencer family are, in fact, apparently in total agreement. Both the Windsors and the Spencers feel that it was a tragic accident which killed Diana, and they don't want things raked up. I think both families have been opposed to the idea of an inquest because of what Harold's just been talking about, rubbing salt in the wounds, particularly for the boys.
And this is just one other argument against the conspiracy theory. If, as Mr. al Fayed alleges, Prince Philip was behind in some way this car accident, surely the Spencers, who lack little excuse to go for the throat of the royal family, would jump in with Mr. al Fayed and agree with him. But in fact, they accept that it was an accident.
KING: Our guests, Robert Lacey, Dickie Arbiter, Harold Brooks- Baker. We have not heard the last of this. Sarah Ferguson will be with us tomorrow night. Paul Burrell coming up, as well.
And when we come back, we'll discuss the Kobe Bryant matter with our panel. Don't go away.
KING: First with our panel we'll discuss the Kobe Bryant matter. In New York, Nancy Grace, the anchor of Court TV and former prosecutor. In Atlanta, defense attorney Chris Pixley. In New York, Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychologist and former rape crisis counselor. In New York, Judge Jeanine Ferris Pirro, author of the new book "To Punish and Protect," district attorney of Westchester County, and in Los Angeles, Jan Ronis, defense attorney.
Nancy, we'll start with you. The judge ruling to hold Bryant over for trial, wrote in his ruling: "The people presented, despite the court's consistent comments and admonitions concerning the amount of nature the evidence can be presented, what can only be described as a minimal amount of evidence." The defense issued this statement today. "We are disappointed by the decision. The court notes in its decision almost all of the evidence, viewed either independently or collectively, does not support a finding of probable cause, let alone proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the test to be applied at a trial. We will prevail."
Nancy, your comments?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: I'm not surprised at all. Judge Gannett simply stated the law. At a preliminary hearing, you are not trying to prove your case, you're simply trying to get over a speedbump, a speedbump called probable cause.
And I would like to point out, if you read the next paragraph in the judge's finding, he seemed to throw a bone to each side. First he said, you brought me a lot of hearsay. I could find against you, to the prosecution. Then he said to the defense in the next paragraph, you know what, you want me to attack her credibility. I could. But I don't see anything to prove what she says is unbelievable. So basically, Gannett threw a bone to both sides, and the case is going forward, as we all predicted it would.
KING: Now, Chris Pixley, what's next? Is there going to be an arraignment and he pleads and then they set a date, is that the way it works?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That's the way it will work in Colorado, exactly.
KING: So they will pick an arraignment date, Kobe will have to appear, say guilty or not guilty, and then they pick a court date?
PIXLEY: Well, there won't necessarily be a court date set at that point in time. But he will be arraigned. Ultimately, he will have to enter a plea. And at that point, then so much of this is going to go on in the courtroom and out of the public -- or at least in front of the judge. There will be a district judge assigned to the case. Many, many, many more motions are yet to be filed for both sides regarding the evidence that's to be admitted at the time of trial. And that's really going to become the new battleground.
It's over now. What was presented and allowed in at the preliminary hearing; now the issue is, what actually will be allowed in at trial.
KING: Dr. Ludwig, what is a rape trial like?
DR. ROBI LUDWIG, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I've never actually sat through a rape case, but very often rape victims certainly feel like they are on trial. And defense attorneys have no other choice but to put the victim on trial, because what other choices do they have? They have to attack the victim in order to defend their client. Especially in this case, what are you going to say, Kobe Bryant, isn't he a fabulous basketball player, how could he do it? So Pamela Mackey certainly did give it a good try, but clearly it really had to go in this direction.
KING: Judge Pirro, what's your reaction?
JEANINE FERRIS PIRRO, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK: Well, you know, it's interesting. Defense strategies succeed when people start wondering -- or stop wondering whether the defendant is bad and start wondering whether the victim is bad. The defense in this case clearly accomplished their goal at the preliminary hearing, and that is to create a cloud over the victim in this case.
And, you know, right now we're going into a trial, and the battle now is in the minds and the hearts of the jurors. Are jurors going to assume that because she may have put herself in a position that they would not have, that she necessarily asked to be raped? And I think that's where the real issue is going to be. KING: And Jan Ronis, defense attorney, how do you see it?
JAN RONIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I disagree with the panel in that they have to attack the victim. The fact of the matter is, this is a very serious charge and he very well may be innocent. Quite frankly, the evidence that I've seen at this preliminary examination leads me to believe he very well may be. So to suggest that there ...
KING: But in order to be innocent, does he have to attack the victim?
RONIS: Well, I don't know that he's necessarily -- she's necessarily attacking the victim. She's just defending him aggressively...
KING: No, but she's pointing out sex with other people, sperm count and...
RONIS: You know, the fact is, if it's correct that she's allegedly had sex with three different people, they're alleging that he raped her by force or violence and there's blood in her panties. I know this is a family show. There's blood in her panties the day she goes to the doctor. And these aren't the panties she had on that night of the attack, so she's got to pursue this.
KING: Nancy, from far away, as a prosecutor, does this look like a tough one to prove?
GRACE: No, I don't think it's going to be tough to prove, based on these facts. The biggest hurdle the state will have in this case is getting over the celebrity status, the likability factor of Kobe Bryant.
You know, I was reading very carefully Judge Gannett's findings of fact, and Larry, if you really go over this order with a fine- toothed comb, you learn a lot about the facts of this case. Specifically, I'm referring, and again, I know this is a family show as well, but to the vaginal lacerations that totally support her theory, the location of those lacerations.
Let me just be blunt, Larry. Between the vaginal area and the rectum are exactly as she describes to police. The girl was still bleeding the next day, Larry.
KING: Chris, does it look like a tough case for the defense?
PIXLEY: Actually, I think that Judge Pirro made a great point in saying, look, when you get through the preliminary hearing, which is the day for the state to shine, if the defense has been able to effectively call into question the accuser's story, then that is effectively a success.
Right now, it is a fairly even playing field. And after the preliminary hearing, if anything, the state should have the upper hand. So I disagree with Nancy in saying that it will be an easy case to prove. It's going to be hotly contested when you deal with the physical evidence alone. There will be arguments that, as Janice (sic) said, that the physical evidence regarding her injuries should be contested by the defense, that we're talking about the treatment of physical evidence now and not about her sexual history. And for that reason, evidence of her past sexual acts immediately surrounding the time of this alleged attack should be allowed in.
And then there's the whole issue of how much she pursued Kobe. The lengths that she went to to see Kobe. That has nothing to do with the physical evidence. So it's going to -- there's a lot to defend with here.
KING: That's what makes it so interesting. Dr. Ludwig, is she still, would you gather, being counseled?
LUDWIG: I would hope so. I mean, this is a girl who has a history of depression, has a history of hospitalization, has a history of suicide attempts. So if she wasn't feeling suicidal before, I imagine with the attention this case is getting, she certainly could be vulnerable to that.
But I just want to also point out that it is very important, I think, that her psychiatric records be brought into this case, because if she has any history of psychosis, or blurring reality due to borderline personality disorder...
GRACE: That's not right.
LUDWIG: ... that is something that certainly needs to come out.
GRACE: That's not right, Larry. When you have an armed robbery case, do you go up to the man and say, hey, why were you wearing a Rolex? What's wrong with you? People only bring this up when it is a sex case. And in that instance, I agree with Chris Pixley, juries do not want to look at Kobe Bryant, the all-American young man, the star, and think he could do such a thing. And in that count, the state will have a problem.
No other victim is treated the way sex attack victims are treated.
KING: Judge Pirro, is this settlable? By that, I mean, suppose in there were a financial agreement in lieu of a civil case. Would that throw out a criminal case?
PIRRO: Well, you know, I hope not. It's only if the victim says she wouldn't testify, and we all know that we need a victim in this case in order to prove our case, especially a rape case.
But you know, it's no wonder, Larry, that 50 percent of the victims of violent crime don't come forward. It's open season on victims. And what we're seeing here is all of these questions about the victim and none of these questions are put to Kobe Bryant. He has the right to remain silent. He is presumed innocent. But we all of a sudden know everything about this victim's sexual history. And last I checked, chastity belts were out. And you know, there's no requirement that a victim of a rape be a virgin. KING: Jan, does his history come to bear, or only if he takes the stand?
RONIS: Well, first of all, we know just by reputation that he probably has no similar history. It certainly would have been outed by now. And if he did, it certainly would be relevant. But he comes in so far with a clean slate and a clean history.
KING: Could the prosecution have a hidden witness who would testify to things Kobe may have done?
RONIS: I suspect they could. I doubt it. Because, you know, we've heard nothing bad about him in many of the years he's been around the sport, and prior to this case. So I think if there was something out there -- in fact, everybody that's come forward has said nothing but great things about him.
KING: Chris, would you call this case 50/50?
PIXLEY: I think it's 50/50 after the prelim, Larry, and again, that's great news for the defense right now. But there's so much more that we have yet to hear. You know, in fairness to the prosecution, they immediately ran to the cameras after the prelim was over and reminded everyone that they have other evidence. I think that they are going to need to show other evidence, and the real contest, I think, in the coming months will be over this physical evidence, and whether, given the fact that it is intended to prove use of force, whether the defense will be allowed to talk about other sexual partners that the accuser had.
KING: And we'll be discussing it a lot. Our panel will remain with us. Ted Rowlands will join us from San Francisco, and we'll talk about the Laci Peterson matter. New things uncovered there. There was no hearing today because Mr. Geragos, the attorney for the defense, is in another trial in Los Angeles. Our panel remains. We'll be right back. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kobe, what is your level of anxiety right now, given the challenges that you face?
KOBE BRYANT, L.A. LAKERS: Basketball?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On and off the court.
BRYANT: Basketball, zero anxiety. Other stuff, a little anxiety.
I mean, I just pretty much, you know, give it up and, you know, pretty much done all I can here. You know, got to carry me the rest of the way. So pretty comfortable with that. You do that, and you have no problems whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The next time the preliminary hearing in the Peterson matter is scheduled is October 28.
Let's start with Ted Rowlands in San Francisco, reporter for KTVU. He has covered this murder story since the day it started. The defense is now coming up with complaints, are they not, Ted?
TED ROWLANDS, KTVU-TV: Well, yeah. They're complaining, first off, the biggest complaint that they have is that the prosecution, who did not provide all the information that they had, to specifically the investigators in this case, when they went to get certain warrants in this case, and specifically, they say that they have uncovered some evidence that a dog was put into the Peterson boat, into Scott Peterson's boat. This was a cadaver dog. And it did not react at all.
The defense claims that this information was not added in when they went to a judge for some search warrants. And they say that it completely flies in the face of the prosecution's case, which is that Scott Peterson transported the body of Laci and of Connor in his boat. So they brought that up in one of the filings, an opportunity for them to sort of, you know, bring this into the case publicly.
Another thing that they brought up for the first time, something that you can bet they're going to bring up again in one of their filings, is potential misconduct by Modesto police detectives. Specifically, one of the detectives is going to be sort of their Mark Fuhrman in this case, their strategy, a guy by the name of Broccini (ph). They claim that he and another person went in, looked at some evidence, it was evidence of a piece of hair in some pliers. The defense claims they went in, there was one hair, and when they came out there were two hairs.
The prosecution, of course, says that this is just a case of the hair breaking in half. But it is probably some foreshadowing here. You're going to see the prosecution hammering away at the Modesto Police Department throughout this entire process.
KING: Nancy Grace, what must the prosecutor turn over?
GRACE: The prosecutor must turn over all the evidence that it intends to bring to trial, and anything that is exculpatory under a Supreme Court case called Brady v. Maryland.
But see, Larry, the defense really should have left the lid on that pot, because now it's boiling over. Now that they have contested what the cadaver dog did, now they're getting it back both barrels from the prosecution, because now the prosecution, in its 400-page filing, said that the dog did go up to -- the dog's name is Twist, his handler is named Eloise Anderson (ph), and Eloise Anderson's (ph) report, full report says that in that warehouse of Scott Peterson, there was a heavy smell of chemicals, and that notwithstanding the dog Twist went up to the boat and got frustrated and started barking at the boat and barking at Scott Peterson's work bench, and underneath it. But it didn't pinpoint a hit due to the chemical smell.
And as to the hair, what the defense now knows, after the state has responded, is that detectives did go look at the hair to find out if there was a root. If they had had a root, Larry, they could have done normal DNA, as opposed to mitochondrial. So here's the problem with asking the question you don't know the answer, now they've got the answer and I'm sure they don't like it.
KING: Jan Ronis, a prominent criminal attorney, L.A. criminal attorney told me that this is going to be a tough case for the prosecution as to motive and the kind. Do you think so?
RONIS: Well, certainly it's going to be tough for motive. And the fact that they haven't found any murder weapons, and, you know, they haven't seen any eyewitnesses, and the kinds of things you see in a murder case, that makes it a tough case. I like Kobe's case better, but nevertheless...
KING: You'd rather be -- if you had to pick a winner, you'd rather...
RONIS: If I had to pick a winner, the sure winner, I think I would go with Kobe.
KING: Judge Pirro, how do you see it?
PIRRO: You know, I -- all cases are very difficult to predict, but I don't think that this is so tough or so impossible to get a conviction.
Look, there are so many inconsistencies here, so many problems, that what you have the defense doing is spinning. It's about a satanic cult, now it's about tattooed gangsters. It's about a hair that's broken. Larry, how difficult is it to figure out that a five or six-inch hair can break into a four-inch and one-inch hair, that it breaks off. I mean, this is easy stuff. And the theories are starting to be so far-fetched, it shows the defense's worried.
KING: The most puzzling thing, Chris Pixley, is it not, is why murder? What about the old-fashioned divorce?
PIXLEY: Divorce. Right. Right. Exactly. And you know, you talk about how you make out this case in front of a jury. And I don't disagree with Jan that Kobe's case right now may look as though it's easier to try than Scott Peterson's.
But prosecutors have to give some of the who, what, when, where, why and how ultimately to make our their case. We don't know when Laci Peterson was killed. We don't know where she was killed. We don't know how she was killed. We don't know the cause of death and will never know the cause of death.
We don't know why. And if it's the Amber Frey theory, again, it's a woman that he met 20 days ago.
GRACE: Not true.
PIXLEY: So there are all of these defenses, and then, Larry, of course there is the question, why would he do it? And more importantly, why would he do it on Christmas Eve? A whole host of questions the prosecution will never have answers to. And so I don't know that you need to put up all of the defenses that Judge Pirro has talked about.
I know that many of them have been floated in the media, but you don't have to have them in order to show that the prosecution can't make out their case.
KING: Dr. Ludwig, you see any psychological approach to this?
LUDWIG: Well, it's, you know, a person who kills their spouse is not thinking clearly. Oh, well, let me think, if I divorce this person, then I can have this. Versus if I kill them, then I could be put in jail. I mean, very often...
KING: But why -- I mean, hundreds of husbands who fall out of love with their wives don't kill them.
LUDWIG: That's right. Because they had better defenses in place. They can discharge their rage and unhappiness in a far more constructive way. But if you have somebody who, let's say, is spoiled, who views their wife as getting in the way of them having a life, perhaps she found out something about him and was going to stop him, who knows what happened in that moment. But all it takes is one brief moment in time. Very often it is not premeditated. It is just an impulsive act. And then it's even possible for a murderer to feel guilty afterwards.
KING: Even with a little boy inside the body?
LUDWIG: You know, that could even trigger it. Who knows how he felt about this child and how he felt about fatherhood. He was the youngest child.
GRACE: Larry, Larry, there is two more developments. And one of them, I have a bone to pick with Chris Pixley. He says Amber Frey could not possibly be a motive? Well, because the defense filed this motion contesting the evidence, the state responded, we now know two very, very important facts. One, in these conversations that were tapped with Amber Frey, this was not a one-night stand. He was telling Amber Frey right before he would leave to go to his wife's vigil that he loved her, he wanted to marry her, have a family with her and spend his life with her. That's not a one-night stand.
And second, Larry, the big development in my mind, as of today, we now know because of the state's filing that two dogs, not one, but two, followed Laci's scent from the home at 523 Cavena all the way to San Francisco Bay. That's the first time we've learned that.
RONIS: Nancy, you're not suggesting that Scott loved Amber Frey, are you?
GRACE: I'm suggesting that he was fixated on her, based on the hundreds of phone calls that he made to her. Not her chasing him, him chasing her...
(CROSSTALK) RONIS: We actually know that in the three-month period surrounding Laci's disappearance -- or the three-week period, excuse me -- there were 65 phone calls between the two. We know that 47 of them came from Amber to Scott. We also know that she was working with the police.
So, you know, put this in perspective. So much of what is going on...
GRACE: Don't ask me to explain a man in love or lust. I can't figure that out. That's not an element of the state's proof, what he was thinking about Amber Frey.
PIRRO: Chris, when you put it in perspective, isn't it highly unusual for someone to say -- a married man to say to a woman that he wants to have an affair with -- I'm a widow. My wife died a year ago? what is he thinking. That is bizarre. And then when his wife is missing.
PIXLEY: I think that's one of the reasons you bring Amber in at the preliminary hearing. If he did, in fact, say that to Amber, it's one of the most damning pieces of evidence against him and I completely agree.
PIXLEY: Doesn't mean the case is won on that piece of evidence.
KING: Hold on. I've got to take a break. Jan?
RONIS: And at that moment -- at that moment, men are known to say a lot of things. And that's a far cry from murder.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with some more moments.
Don't go away.
KING: Let's go around the horn. Ted Rowlands, what's next?
ROWLANDS: Well, the preliminary hearing, and it is expected to take about five days. The first day will be for arguing the admissibility of some of the things that the defense wants thrown out, and then the prosecution will present its case.
We're hearing that Amber Frey will testify, will be there in person testifying, rather than a 1:15 capacity or with just the audiotapes. We're also hearing that she may go a full day, possibly a day-and-a-half. And that those conversations between her and Scott Peterson do have details of him professing his love, even on days where -- the day that he was interviewed by Diane Sawyer. He called her later and said he was sorry, he'd never lied to her and that he loved her. And we're also hearing from a source close to the family that he was actually asking her to go to Europe with him early in January.
So that will be a big part of the prosecution's case.
KING: Nancy, will that hearing be open? I mean to television?
GRACE: I think the hearing will be open to the press. I don't know how the judge is going to rule regarding cameras. They've gone back and forth on that. But I predict that Amber will end up being a very, very big witness due to the fact that Scott allegedly told her he was a widower and to show motive in this case.
Also, she allegedly tried to talk -- with the cooperation of the police -- tried to talk him into taking a polygraph. And he led her on through several conversations saying, yes, he would, then was a no- show.
KING: Chris, is this -- this hearing, like the Kobe hearing, he's going to be bound over, right?
PIXLEY: Oh, yes. I think the moment that the bodies washed up in the San Francisco Bay, this case was going to be bound over to trial. And I think for that reason alone, the defense isn't likely to put up any of its own witnesses at the preliminary hearing.
I think they'll vigorously challenge the prosecution's detectives and see what they can learn from them. But it's going to be bound over.
KING: When will we see the Peterson trial, Jan?
RONIS: Oh, my goodness. Look how long it's taken to get the preliminary examination. Maybe another eight or nine, 10 months.
KING: Kobe trial before that?
RONIS: Well, you know, there's a lot of pressure to keep it after the season. But I suspect that trial will come first.
KING: Change of venue there?
RONIS: I think they need one desperately. They need to get to a large urban area where there's more demographic mix.
KING: Both trials be fair, judge?
PIRRO: Well, you know, nobody on this planet hasn't heard about this case. The real issue is whether or not the voir dire process where you question the jury, the potential jurors is something that is clear and concise.
But, you know, I think that what we're going to see here, since there certainly is not going to be any trashing of the victim, is the trashing of law enforcement. And that's going to be the new theory here that I predict. I think that Amber Frey, to a certain extent, will be trashed. But I think that the trial itself is going to be very predictable.
KING: We'll be calling on all of you frequently. Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace, Chris Pixley, Dr. Robie Ludwig, Judge Pirro and Jan Ronis.
I'll be back in a minute, tell you about tomorrow night and Wednesday night.
Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night, the duchess of York. Wednesday night, the former first lady Barbara Bush will be our special guest.
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