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Interview With John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted"

Aired January 22, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: John Walsh of "America's Most Wanted." He turned a terrible personal tragedy into a crime-fighting crusade. John Walsh on Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson and a lot more. He's here for the hour. We'll take your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.
It's always great to have him with us, regular visitor, John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back," an extraordinarily successful show. Got a lot of cases they're currently following. We'll be doing that in various segments, but let's get to some things current.

What did you make of that arraignment of Michael Jackson?

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": The most bizarre thing I've ever seen. I mean, here's a guy that everybody has suspected has been a pedophile for years, settles a case out of court -- whether he was guilty or not, he still settled for $20 million. He's brought before serious charges, and he stands on top of his car and does a couple dance moves and directs a video crew to film this whole charade, or this whatever you want to call it. It's one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen at an arraignment in my life.

KING: One of his lawyers said, though, he was helping crowd control by stepping up. They stepped back and didn't rush the car.

WALSH: Well, what do you say to that, Larry? I mean, I -- let me tell you, I've seen the worst of the worst serial killers arraigned, all kinds of crazy, psychotic people. I've never seen anybody get up on a car and dance at an arraignment of child abuse.

KING: Do you think he can get a fair trial?

WALSH: I think he'll get a fair trial. I think that, you know, they'll find 12 honest men and women. If they could try O.J. Simpson, they'll be able to try Michael Jackson. He'll put together a "dream team." He'll get the best legal counsel he can get and...

KING: Well, we don't know he did wrong, do we.

WALSH: No, we don't. We don't know. And I do agree. Everybody's innocent until proven guilty, OK? And this trying people in the press is the wrong thing. It really is and -- you know, even though there's all kind of innuendo and speculation. I always say one thing. I mean, he's a pop star with millions of dollars. He could have any woman he wanted, if he was into women. If he was gay, which would be all right, too, he could have any man he wanted. But why does he travel all these years around the world with 12 and 11-year- old boys? Not girls, boys. It's pretty strange for a 40-year-old guy to spend all of his spare time with little boys, no matter how you look at it. But maybe the jury will, you know, find out the truth.

KING: Scott Peterson. They changed the judge again today. This time, the prosecution dropped the judge.

WALSH: Yes, well, you know something? All of these things are things that we have to go through in our criminal justice system. Change of venue is OK because, you know, they did it in McVeigh's case, took the trial...

KING: Well, it would be hard in Modesto.

WALSH: It would be impossible in Modesto. You know, it around until you get -- until everybody's OK with the jury, with the judge and all that type stuff. I don't buy the jury consultants. I don't like that, where the defense can hire for $75,000 a jury consultant and slant the jury, like in the O.J. Simpson case. If the defense gets to do that, I think the prosecution should have...

KING: They can.

WALSH: ... a pool of $75,000.

KING: I think they -- oh, you mean have the money?

WALSH: And have the jury consultant to pick the jury they want and go back and forth. In other countries, the prosecution gets as much as the defense. So if the defendant is poor, in other countries, the defendant gets as much resources as the prosecution, and vice versa.

KING: Fair.

WALSH: It's very fair. In the O.J. Simpson case, he got off, in my opinion, for two murders because he spent $10 million.

KING: You turned down the Peterson matter after meeting with Peterson, right?

WALSH: Oh, God. I...

KING: Did you go into that meeting open-minded?

WALSH: I did. I talked to him on the phone for 45...

KING: That was before the body was found, right?

WALSH: Yes, before everything, before it became the cause celebre. His father and five brothers said, will you go up and put Laci Peterson on "America's Most Wanted"? I said, Absolutely, but I need to talk to Scott. So I talked to Scott. I waited about four hours for him to call me back, and I talked to him. My wife was with me. And I said, Scott, you're throwing off this total investigation. This was before the body was found.

He said, What are you talking about, John? I said, you know, any parent of a missing child, anybody who's missing a spouse who's nine months pregnant and about to have your son would be at that command center day and night.

I know, when Adam was missing, I never left the Hollywood Police Department until they found his body, for two weeks. I said, And why wouldn't you go in and cooperate with the police? I said, When Adam was missing that day, they took Revay (ph) and I in separate rooms for 12 hours, cross-examining us, because you have to eliminate the immediate family or friends. And we took polygraphs repeatedly, two polygraphs each, to dispel any rumor and innuendo about this.

I said, you are the guy that is hampering this case. I'll come. I'm the court of last resort. I've found people that nobody can find. I've caught criminals that nobody can catch. And I'll come up and I'll be fair. He says, I'll meet you. I'll come up there. I stood outside his house for six hours. He called and said, I'm late. I'm playing golf. I said, what the hell are you playing golf? I brought my whole crew all the way to Modesto to give you a shot at finding Laci Peterson, your beautiful wife. You forgot who the victim is. Laci's the one who's out there. You're off playing golf. I can't believe it.

Finally, he came on "America's Most Wanted," first show he went on. Guess what? Couldn't look me in the eye. He couldn't sit down with me. I never interviewed him. He demanded that my producer interview him. And know what the cops said to me? John, we knew about the adulterous affair -- because he brought that up to me.

He says, You know, I can't get a fair shot with these cops because, you know, I've been adulterous. And I said, adultery is not illegal. It's a bad thing, but it's not illegal, and the cops know about it. This lady came forward. You're using it as an excuse. And the cops said to me, he couldn't sit in a room and look you in the eye, John.

KING: So you gathered that -- now, are we in danger of -- are you doing what you said we shouldn't do? Pre-judge...

WALSH: Trying it in the press?

KING: Yes, we are.

WALSH: No, he'll get his fair trial. And I'm not saying he did it. My -- now, this is John Walsh's personal opinion...

KING: But a prospective juror watching you would be affected.

WALSH: Absolutely. And that juror would probably be eliminated from the jury...

KING: Should be, yes.

WALSH: Absolutely -- cross-examination. But you asked for my honest opinion, and I'm that kind of person that always says it. Scott Peterson had nothing to do with finding his wife, didn't help in the search, and he's been lying about so many aspects of this trial. This is not what you do when you love someone so dearly. And I don't know how he could behave that way when his wife was about to have this beautiful son, his first child. You know, my personal opinion is that he's toast.

KING: What's the effect of all this media coverage and 24-hour news channels on cases?

WALSH: Well, you know, it's a double-edged sword. Certainly, they can put the spotlight on the criminal justice system. I think O.J. Simpson's trial being covered by television -- and I was never for cameras in the courtroom, but I think it let the American public realize that the criminal justice system is the criminal injustice system. You see all the abuses that go on. You see how money affects trials. You see all the manipulation and machinations that go on in that courtroom. And it's not like you see on TV, where the bad guy gets convicted at the end and justice is dispensed. Many times, that's not the case.

But -- and the thing that bothers me is the exploitation of victims. Victims don't know the rules. When you see someone whose house just burned down, their kids are inside, and you see the media coming up and say, how do you feel, to this crying person, it's heartless. And you have to consider the victim in the courtrooms. You know, we're a country with free press. What is the alternative? The alternative is horrible.

KING: One of the dangers is, though, we convicted Richard Ricci, who had nothing to do with the Smart kidnapping.

WALSH: Absolutely. It was -- it was a terrible thing. Richard Ricci was the logical suspect. Absolutely. He had a rap sheet. He had spent 10 years in jail for attempting to kill a cop. He admitted burglarizing the home, and he spent -- he, you know, had been working in the house for two months.

The down side was that little Mary Katherine, the 9-year-old -- you know, I talked to Ed Smart all the time during that and profiled her five times on "America's Most Wanted." Ed said the police are ignoring the fact that Mary Katherine says it is not Richard Ricci, it's a man named Emmanuel.

And you -- and this is hats off to you because you allowed me to show that composite, against the advice of the police, against the advice to the Smarts. I showed the composite of Emmanuel on this show, a week later on "America's Most Wanted." Two weeks later, we found out his real name, where he was, who was with him, Linda Barzee and all that stuff. And those two couples eventually, who watched every episode of "America's Most Wanted," spotted him. And the bonus was Elizabeth.

Now, I know the chief -- Salt Lake City chief of police feels that, you know, maybe I was a loose cannon. He thought I was burning the bridges with law enforcement. He called... KING: The truth is, they found him.

WALSH: The truth is, I did the composite, and we got Elizabeth back alive.

KING: But Richard Ricci got a raw deal.

WALSH: He got a raw deal. And it was my wife who said to me one time, she says, John, I think you're convinced that he killed Elizabeth Smart and put her body out in the desert. I said, All the odds, Revay, point to Richard Ricci. She says, Don't give up. I said, I can't. I'm never going to give up for Ed Smart.

KING: And we can have the tragedy, the Atlanta bombing and the -- at the...

WALSH: Oh, boy!

KING: The guy didn't do it.

WALSH: That was terrible. I mean...

KING: They dragged him through it.

WALSH: ... look, we just finally caught the guy, you know?

KING: Yes.

WALSH: We just finally caught him. He was on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list.

KING: We're going to go to break. When we come back, we'll come back with cases John is on top of. We'll be including your phone calls. We'll have a different case each segment and include your calls along the way. Our guest is John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back." Don't go away.



WALSH (voice-over): Parents in this working-class community in Long Beach, California, thought of Richard Goldberg as a friend. Goldberg had turned his back yard into a child's paradise, with swings and a pen for pet rabbits and ducks. But cops say what no parent here knew was that Goldberg's interest in their children was far from innocent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has already assaulted six kids, and we know that these guys don't stop.

WALSH: But before cops could close in, Goldberg took off. Take a close look at this new picture of Goldberg. It's an artist's rendering of how his looks may have changed since he's been on the run.


KING: Been on the run a long time?

WALSH: I've profiled this guy five times. I don't know why I can't catch him. He doesn't have the drug cartel money or the Mafia backing. He's a low-life pedophile. And I give the FBI a lot of credit. They just started in the last couple years putting pedophiles on their top 10 instead of these bank robbers. I don't know why I can't catch this guy, but he -- and there's a lesson to be learned here. When you see a guy that's having pet ducks and rabbits, et cetera, and all the kids over to the house, you've got to be that concerned parent. You just can't...


KING: There are nice people that have that, too, right?

WALSH: Absolutely.

KING: What do you do in this world?

WALSH: Well, absolutely. What he always did was prey upon divorced women that were -- that had to work necessary to keep their family going. And they would think it would be OK for this guy because he'd take their kids to Disneyworld and he'd take them in the backyard and this and that.

KING: Be suspicious...

WALSH: You got to ask...


WALSH: ... the questions. Plus he had -- you know, he was a suspect in other molestations. I mean, six kids they know of, Larry, and that means triple that at least, et cetera. I don't know why we can't catch him. But I say to people all the time, Please talk to your kids. Check him out. Not one of these women ever wondered why this guy preferred hanging around with their kids instead of them. That's a real key to it.

KING: It frustrates when you can't catch them.

WALSH: Oh, God! I can't...

KING: It drives you nuts.

WALSH: This guy is -- it is driving me nuts. This guy is...

KING: Have you ever -- I don't think I've ever asked you this. Have you ever chased someone who turned out to be innocent?

WALSH: No. Fortunately...

KING: All the people you've caught...

WALSH: Well, we...

KING: ... when they've gone to trial, no one was ever not guilty?

WALSH: I think one guy made a deal, you know what I mean? They'll make a deal for immunity. They'll...

KING: I see. But you've never had anyone...


WALSH: Not that I know of.

KING: ... that didn't -- turned out -- like, Goldberg, let's say, didn't do these things.

WALSH: Well, I would be surprised because...

KING: That's never happened to you?

WALSH: Not yet. What we do is that we do the worst of the worst. You know that.

KING: Right.

WALSH: We screen the cases. We make sure that there's -- either they're a fugitive -- well, all of them chose to run. All of them chose to not participate in the system, so they're fugitives, No. 1. And our job is just to get them back, to get them into the system and get that fair trial, get the 12 honest men and women that didn't see the show and try them. But we go through it and through it and through it, and we do the guys with the really dangerous...

KING: Are there some cases where you don't have an idea of who did it?

WALSH: Absolutely.

KING: For example, let's say Scott Peterson had been cleared with a good alibi...

WALSH: Right.

KING: ... and she was still missing...

WALSH: Right.

KING: ... or the body found. Would you be out looking for her killer without any description?

WALSH: Absolutely. Years ago, we did the Claremont serial killer in San Diego. He killed seven women, and the eighth victim he near -- almost killed. And she gave a very rough composite. Identity unknown, didn't have a clue. It looked like just any African-American man, right? It was -- it was indistinguishable. Prison guards always watch this show. We're the No. 1 show in prison. The inmates watch it to make deals to trade information, and the guards. And this guard said, We've got a guy down here in Huntsville, Alabama, that was just arrested for a brutal rape. And guess what? He was down here visiting his father, who's on death row for murder, rape and murder. Talk about the gene pool.

And they said, Well, you know what? We think this is the guy. And we said, Well, can you take DNA? And this was before the civil liberties stuff. And they said, Hey, it's Alabama. We'll take blood. We'll take hair. We'll get the DNA. They had saved the semen in San Diego. The DNA matched all those eight -- all those eight women. We caught a serial killer because one prison guard said, I think this might be the guy. Nobody knew his name. Solved seven homicides and a brutal rape. It was wonderful.

KING: Prisoners watch you why?

WALSH: All the time. Because they -- you know, a lot of guys go into prison under aliases. This is the bad thing. You know, you get stopped by a cop, Oh, I don't have any ID. My name's Larry King, OK? And they may go through the system. There was a guy in West Palm Beach County jail that was on the U.S. Marshals' top 15. He'd escaped from six jails in a row. He got caught for burglary in Palm Beach County, processed and was sentenced to three months. They never presented his fingerprints to the FBI.

He watched "America's Most Wanted," tried to turn the channel, and all the guards and all the prisoners are yelling, Hey, that's our favorite show. And he jumped over the fence during the show. But they try to make deals. They'll see a guy that's under an alias, and they'll say, Hey, you trade some time off my sentence, and we will -- I'll turn this guy in.

KING: I know you like cops.

WALSH: I love them.

KING: Is there a lot of bad police work?

WALSH: There are -- let me just say one thing. A hundred and fifty cops lost their life in the line of duty last year. No anchormen or editors of newspapers or movie stars go to work every day and their kids worry will they come home at night. They're underpaid. Lots of times, they're poorly trained. They don't have the resources. And in one minute, they got to make a decision. Do I shoot this teenage boy, even though he's 220 pounds and has a rap sheet this long, or do I not shoot him and he kills me? And then they're Monday- morning quarterbacked.

Of course there's bad cops. A lot of times, it's because don't have the training, they don't have the background, they don't have the education. And I've seen some horrible police work. But 98 percent of the police work I've seen are well-intended people that have kids, and they really want to do -- it is a thin blue line. KING: We'll take a break, we'll come back with more, more cases John's following. We'll also start to include your phone calls for John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back." Don't go away.



WALSH: Social workers in California say Gracie Valencia (ph) abused her own daughter so cruelly and for so long, it's a wonder the young girl survived. Cops say Valencia abandoned her 11-year-old daughter. The girl was forced to wander the streets like a stray dog. Luckily, she was found. Now, thanks to concerned social workers, she's in a safe place.

Let's help cops find Valencia and put her in a different kind of place, a jail cell. If you've seen Gracie Valencia, call us at 1-800- CRIME-TV.


KING: Boy, you do a lot of weird people.

WALSH: I am so glad you had the guts, and your producers, to show those pictures of that girl. This woman abused this girl and burned her and tortured her...

KING: Her daughter?

WALSH: Her own 11-year-old daughter -- so horribly that the social worker that I had on "America's Most Wanted," said, I've never seen a case of child abuse this bad that the child isn't dead. And she abandoned this little girl. She was walking around dazed and confused, out on the street.streets. Thank God she's alive.

KING: How long has she been (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

WALSH: She's been out for about a year-and-a-half and...

KING: Really?

WALSH: This is another one, like Goldberg. I would -- Larry, tonight, if anybody nails Gracie Valencia, I'll do cartwheels on this show because she is a low-life, horrible woman.

KING: Want to include some calls. What about the Dru Sjodin case in North Dakota? Got so much attention, now I don't hear anything.

WALSH: Drives me crazy. They arrest a suspect, Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.

KING: No body, right?

WALSH: No body. No body (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., served 23 years for rape -- convicted of rape, gets out. They find the knife sheath by her car. They find blood there. They find blood in his car and the knife. And he's talking to the cops and he's ready to talk. He's ready to say, I'll make a deal. They always make a deal. I'll make a deal. I'll tell you where the body is. Don't give me death...

KING: You know this, that he was going to...

WALSH: I've talked to the cops. You know that. I mean, and off the record. I'm talking off the record. And then...

KING: It can't be...


WALSH: Oh, I know, but I mean, I'm not being specific...

KING: All right.

WALSH: ... who talked to me, or anything like this. And I never transgress that bond of trust. But this David Dusek -- and I want to say his name on the air right here. He is the lawyer that came in at the last minute to represent Rodriguez and told him not to talk. Let me tell you, I don't know how this guy sleeps at night. Yes, you can represent this guy. Yes, we need defense attorneys. But when they know something, when they prevent their client from ending the horrible search of this family...

KING: But they can't prove anything without...

WALSH: They can't prove anything. They'll get him at the trial, believe me. But it's very hard to convict somebody without a body, OK? And all these parents want to do -- the not knowing is what breaks your heart, what kills you. And when you're a defense attorney, let me tell you, you're going to a special place in hell...

KING: "Law and Order" did a show like that last time...

WALSH: It was...

KING: ... where the lawyer was convicted for...

WALSH: You and I both saw it.

KING: Yes. What a show.

WALSH: Dick Wolf (ph) is great. And it was about the lawyer- client privilege.

KING: Yes.

WALSH: And they indicted the lawyer, public defender, representing a serial killer who...

KING: Who knew where bodies were buried.

WALSH: And...

KING: He'd already been convicted.

WALSH: He'd been convicted with the DNA, and he knew where 15 bodies were buried. I had sat down with Dick Wolf and said, Dick, this is what's killing me, that these lawyers will tell these guys not to tell where the bodies are so they'll have a better chance. Don't they have an obligation? Well, you and I both saw at the end, the lawyer got convicted and was sent to jail. I wish that would happen. I really do.

KING: It doesn't happen, though, right?

WALSH: No, it doesn't happen.

KING: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We include some calls for John Walsh. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Mr. Walsh, I think you're wonderful. I just wanted to ask you, how confident are you that the man that was -- that died in prison was the one that murdered your son, Adam?

WALSH: Well, I'm not 100 percent convinced. A lot of people in law enforcement think that the Hollywood police dropped the ball. Otis Tool (ph) was his name. He was a convicted...

KING: In Hollywood, Florida.

WALSH: In Hollywood, Florida -- serial killer, child molester, died on death row of a horrible death of AIDS, which he deserved, I mean, to die in that horrible way. But anyway, lots of people believe that he killed Adam, and he was never indicted because the Hollywood police, believe it or not, lost his car and the piece of bloody carpet where he said he decapitated Adam in the back of the car.

He recanted his confession -- he never -- I'm sorry. He never recanted his confession, his defense attorney did. And when the publicity died down, the defense attorney vanished, when the dollars dried up and et cetera. But I don't know.

KING: You're not sure?

WALSH: Pretty sure, you but you know what? The sad thing is, is as much as I try to get justice for other people, I've never had it. So it keeps me going.

KING: Battle Creek, Michigan. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. Mr. Walsh?

WALSH: Yes, ma'am?

CALLER: I was wondering whatever became of the lawsuit you brought against Sears after Adam's kidnapping.

WALSH: Well, we dropped... KING: That's where it occurred, right?

WALSH: Yes, in the -- I still believe -- we didn't know at the time, and I really wished I'd pursued it because at that time, we were trying to get the missing children's bill passed and create the National Center for Missing and Exploited children. I found out after 15 years, when the records were released, that -- and the Broward County state attorneys found the poor young security guard, female security guard who ordered Adam out of the store. He was 17 at the time. She'd just had an abortion. She was a part-time employee, no training, and she was told by the Sears attorney not to tell anybody that she ordered Adam out of the store. We never knew that for years. We had a suspicion that Adam didn't leave the toy department voluntarily because his mother was three aisles away, and Adam said, I'll be right here when you come back.

When that lady was finally found -- and she's a wonderful person. She's an emergency room nurse. And I saw an interview with her, where she said, It's been on my conscience for all these years that I ordered Adam Walsh out of that store. I wish I'd have known at the time, but it was...

KING: What happened to the lawsuit?

WALSH: It was counterproductive. It would have hurt the passage of the missing children's bill. I said -- Revay -- she didn't want to give up. She said, I know...

KING: You dropped it?

WALSH: We dropped it. Absolutely. It was just -- it got too tough. It just -- you know what they do, they depose you. It goes on for years and years.

KING: By the way, speaking of that, rape is a terrible crime. Kobe is charged with a terrible crime.

WALSH: Absolutely.

KING: He's asking to see the medical records of the accuser.

WALSH: You know, this...

KING: This is a touchy situation for the judge tomorrow.

WALSH: I'm a victims' advocate, and I've always been. My bailiwick and the things I care about are children's issues and victims' issues, you know? And in all the legislation, times I've testified, those are the only things I really care about.

And you know, to get a fair trial -- this rape shield law in Colorado, I think, is well-intended. Parts of it were poorly written. His defense attorneys are trying to say that the mental state of this woman is important to this trial. But I always say this -- and I don't want to take sides here. When a stripper is raced by a motorcycle gang, is it rape? Sure, it's still rape, whether she's a stripper or she's Mother Teresa.

KING: If you're walking down the street in a miniskirt...

WALSH: Absolutely.

KING: ... and you call someone over to the car...


WALSH: It doesn't matter if this woman is nuts or insane or whatever, only if they can prove, maybe in psychological testing, that she might be delusional, et cetera. But bringing up these other things is not important.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. More cases to cover and more of your calls with John Walsh. As we go to break, some more shots -- pictures of Dru Sjodin, still missing.



WALSH (voice-over): Kelly was a registered nurse supposedly taking care of a 4 year-old disabled girl. But when Skullman's (ph) name came up in connection with a with a child porn investigation, cops say they found a videotape the couple made of themselves sexually assaulting the little girl.

Agents now think that Stoneman and Kelly have moved south of Ohio to warmer weather. They think the couple is moving around a lot and living out of their car. Your tips have sent investigators scrambling across the country, from Florida to Texas and California. Some tips have mentioned that Patricia Kelly may have changed her hair color and may now look like one of these pictures. Let's get them off the street tonight before they hurt another innocent child.


KING: What do they do?

WALSH: These two are on the top of my personal most wanted list. OK, they were caregivers. She took in kids that were disabled or small children to be -- run like a little daycare center in her house. She videotaped him molesting a 4-year-old girl, raping a 4-year-old girl with spina bifida because they didn't think she'd tell anybody, and they have that videotape.

KING: How can you rape a 4-year-old girl.

WALSH: Let me tell you, this is a pervert. People do it all the time. I looked at the tape and felt like throwing up. I said we've got to do it. We've had great tips. The people who watch "America's Most Wanted" are so angry about this couple. Talk about my frustration. They are at the top of my list. And when you see that video of this guy raping a 4-year-old girl with spina bifida and this psychopath woman, his girlfriend videotaping for their own pleasure it makes want to (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: What's your number. What is the number of "America's Most Wanted"?

WALSH: 1-800-crime-tv. And for 16 years cops don't answer that phone, Larry. That's why the public call.

KING: And it's open now?

WALSH: Absolutely, 24 hours a day. I am praying that somebody is going to see one these fugitives from that show.

KING: Garland, Utah, hello.

CALLER: He, Larry. Hi, John.

My question is how long does a jury -- are they able to go out and liberate?

KING: Oh, deliberate, you mean?

They can take forever.

CALLER: Absolutely, forever. They can stay out so long they can be a hung jury. And you know what will happen?

I am all for justice, Larry, but I'm not for this -- the entire jury has to come to the same conclusion. In other countries, they'll take a majority instead of unanimous. It will be 10 out of the 12, 11 out of the 12.

KING: They do that in civil cases.

WALSH: In civil cases, but not in criminal cases. If you have that one nutcase who doesn't have a job and loves to sit on the jury all day long and says I'm going to fight this, and then the judge throws it out because of a hung jury.

KING: What would you make it two-thirds?

WALSH: I'd make it 10 out of 12.

KING: Either way.

WALSH: Either way. An allowance for the nutcases that are professional jurors, and we have them.

KING: Springhill, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hello.



Yes, ma'am. CALLER: This is about the Peterson case. I was curious, if you could give me your opinion as to why the police were not able to successfully convince Scott to take a lie detector test?

WALSH: Well, first, this is my personal opinion. You cannot force anybody, and lie detector tests are not admissible in court. What a lie detector test does is if you refuse to do it, allows police to say, you know what, this guy doesn't want to cooperate with us. It's kind of a test...

KING: It's a tool, right?

WALSH: It's a test. It's a tool.

KING: If you take the test it's a tool.

WALSH: And you know, what it can be inconclusive. Serial killers pass lie detector tests because they have no conscience. Honest people, you could get nervous and start sweating and fail a lie detector test. But it's a tool, but mostly it's a test. Are you willing to do it?

KING: You did it with your son, right?

WALSH: I went in for twelve hours and my wife in a separate room. How angry does that make you when your child is missing and you know you had nothing to do with it, and bring you into a room and question you.

But you know what you do?

If care about your child and you are focused in on who the victim is, y you come in and take the lie detector test. Scott Peterson made an adversarial situation between him and the Modesto Police when he refused to cooperate and refused to sit down and take the lie detector test. Bottom line, he became a suspect. Bottom line.

KING: But you cannot force him, obviously?

WALSH: No, you cannot force people.

KING: Chilliwack, British Columbia, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thanks for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: John, I'd like to ask you if you think all child murderers should get automatic death penalties?

WALSH: Well, this is again, my opinion. I believe that people that are convicted by a jury of their peers who get the normal appeals process and it is the -- America has the longest and most expensive appeals process in the free world, longer than Japan, longer than Germany, longer than England. And once that is...

KING: It's also the only one of those countries that has the death penalty.

WALSH: Well, absolutely. Absolutely. But I believe there's a special place in hell, because I have profiled child killers who have gotten out after seven and eight years. And I say once you cross that boundary and kill a child, you don't have the right to be out. If life without parole in America meant life without parole, maybe that would be the answer. But I -- my one opinion is send them to the next life. They've lost the right to live on this planet and this life. They can come back as a butter flea -- fly, a tree, a dolphin, but get them off the planet.

KING: Do you have any knowledge, and I've asked you this before, of why someone would someone harm a child?

WALSH: I believe that most of it -- I believe that pedophiles may have a gene, it may be genetic. Everybody's been studying it forever. But do know one thing, there's never been a psychiatrist who's been able to convince the psychiatric community that a pedophile is curable. You're heterosexual, been married a few times, you've got some kids, et cetera, nobody is going to cure you of heterosexuality. Homosexuality is fine, consenting adult, nobody's going to cure homosexuals. Homosexuals will tell you, I knew I was homosexual from age 5. Pedophiles, I think it's something to do with their genes. But until we find out...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) make it sound like it's not their fault.

WALSH: It is their fault, because they have free will. They have a choice. When I mess up it's my choice to do it. They know it's reprehensible. They know it's against the law. That's why they sneak around, OK? You know, you have a choice. If you're down a few bucks, you want to rob a bank, Larry? No, you don't, you work twice as hard. They have a choice, it's against the law. There's no equal power base between a 6-year-old child and a 55-year-old adult.

KING: You have no forgiveness for the pedophiles?

WALSH: I don't. In my heart I absolutely do not. You're destroying someone's life, not only psychologically, emotionally. You're damaging them. You hurt them. It's a horrible crime.

KING: Brooklyn, New York. Hello.

CALLER: Hi. This is for John. I wanted to ask you a question. I believe that everybody has a different makeup about themselves, and I know I've lost my husband 7-years-ago, and he was killed in a fire. I went into shock for quite a long time and into denial.

Is it possible Scott Peterson could be reacting to the same way, because everybody is different.

And my other question is I want to know whatever happened with the Sandra Levy case?

WALSH: Well, first, Scott Peterson, absolutely. People, I mean, you know... KING: You can be in denial.

WALSH: I've experienced it firsthand where the media wants the mother of a missing child to cry on camera, why?

You know, my wife used to say why do they always want you to look like the stoic heroic dad that's out looking for Adam and I've got to be the crying, broken-hearted mother. I'm just as tough as you, and I want to find Adam. So, yes, that does happen. People don't react, and they're judged by the media. And the basis for my opinion of Scott Peterson is all the lies, all the concoctions and all the excuses. Whether you're in shock or not, I have never met a parent of a missing adult or a missing child that didn't make them self available to cooperate with police or the media. Chandra Levy, terrible case. Probably will never be solved. I still believe...

KING: Really?

WALSH: Well, I still believe -- I don't ever give up. You know that. I've caught guys that have been out there 20 years on "America's Most Wanted." I believe it's the guy that killed Joyce Chung, the INS lawyer, who's body was found. This wonderful young woman, lived with her brother Roger. She was very accomplished, she had a lot of money in the bank. Her I.D. was found by the river, the Potomac River, and her body was found 70 miles downstream. Another young woman was found beaten to death in a canal in Georgetown. My theory is, they both looked like Chandra Levy. All three were walking home in the broad daylight. All three lived within a mile of Dupont Circle. Those two homicides are unsolved. Chandra Levy's homicide is unsolved. My theory is that there is a serial killer out there. It's a tough case.

KING: Serial killers are tough because they have no motive?

WALSH: They're smart, Larry. They're really -- a lot of them, serial killers, I've been studying them for over 20 years...

KING: And they can wait.

WALSH: They can wait. They can wait. They'll move. They'll go to another area. I mean, the FBI said in a hearing that I attended and testified at, that they believe there are at least 300 serial killers at large right now, identities unknown. And they are, like the child killers, the serial killer and the child killers are the lone wolves. They don't ever brag about. They never talk about it in a cell. They know how reprehensible it is. They're the hardest to catch.

KING: Gary Condit get a raw deal?

WALSH: Gary Condit, was -- you know, he was just an older guy that was having an affair who have should have had the guts to go forward and tell the Levy's. The problem I had with Gary Condit is he didn't tell the Levy's that he was having an affair.

KING: He made himself look guilty? WALSH: Yes, he made himself look guilty. If had gone in and said, look, maybe -- I think he thought maybe she was in Cancun with another guy or boyfriend or something. That he had the affair, he didn't want his voters to know about it. He didn't want his wife to know about it. He should have said to the D.C. police, come into my apartment, I had the affair and go through everything. Then he did go through the polygraph with his own polygraph expert. He started to work with the police. The problem is he lied to the Levy's and he side tracked the whole investigation. The whole media and the D.C. police went onto the Gary Condit theory. Meanwhile, there was no work on the possibility of it being a serial killer. It sidetracked the whole investigation.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted." Don't go away.



ANNOUNCER: Robert Fisher, a born-again Christian, who police say slaughtered his wife and young children.

911: What's on fire?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole house. The whole house is burning up.

ANNOUNCER: Police say not only did Fisher kill his family, he set the house on fire to cover up his crime.

WALSH: One of Fisher's most deceiving traits is his charming smile. Now it's a major clue that could help catch him. The FBI says Fisher lost his upper left first bicuspid, and he filled it with a shiny gold tooth. You can see exactly where Fisher's shiny gold tooth would be. If you've seen Robert Fisher, please give us a call at 1- 800-CRIME-TV.


KING: Guy burned his house down?

Walsh: Killed his beautiful wife and 12-year-old daughter, cold bloodedly, not in a fit of rage. And killed his 10-year-old son, who was Robert Fisher Jr. How do you do this? Arrogant guy. That guy there with the voice you heard in there is Ralph Defonso (ph), a retired FBI agent who's caught two guys off the FBI's ten most wanted list. He isn't going to rest until he kills catches this guy.

KING: Do we know why he did it?

WALSH: He's just one of those selfish arrogant creeps that just didn't want to be married anymore or didn't want the obligations. He was a loser and he coldbloodedly planned it and then he tried to burn the house down to cover it up.

KING: How long has he been out?

WALSH: He's been out there for about a year and a half. He needs to go down, this guy because I don't know how you kill your own kids.

KING: You have some concerns about cell phones and police?

WALSH: After 9/11, I think we learned a lot of things. Some the firefighters' wives filed a lawsuit against Motorola today because the radios didn't work during that. You know the band that the emergency services people, the EMS use, and the police, is a very narrow band and it's crowded by the cell phone companies now, the wireless carriers, and it blocks out some of the communications.

How dangerous is this? Your child is floating in a pool and you need to call 911 or a cop's calling for backup. Remember in Polly Klaas situation, where the two cops pulled over Brian David -- what the heck is his name? Richard Allen. And they pulled him over, and he took Polly Klaas -- Richard Allen Davis, I think his name is.

Anyway, he got stuck in the mud. He had Polly Klaas in the trunk, he had her bound and gagged and took her up and put her under a tree. The two sheriffs that pulled him out, knew that he had a rap sheet this long, they could access this in their car, did not know that a child was missing in another county right next to them because they didn't have a band on their radio, and they pulled him out, they questioned him for 45 minutes, and then he went and killed. He killed Polly Klaas.

Now this band is so crowded, and I would hope people tonight would go to the AMW website, call their Congressman -- Colin Powell's son, Mike Powell, is chairman of the FCC. He's a wonderful young man.

KING: And say what?

WALSH: And say one thing. Give us more bands so the cell companies can get off of that band. There's 300 police agencies and emergency services agencies that are saying get off that band.

KING: Too crowded? Why can't they do that?

WALSH: Because some cell carriers think it will be an unfair advantage. To others, it's all about business. To me, very simply, give them another band. God forbid that you're calling 911 and you can't get through and it's your child floating in a pool.

KING: Chesterfield township, Michigan, hello.

CALLER: John, Larry, we love you both so much here in Michigan. I guess you kind of answered my question earlier. I kind of wondered how the security guard dealt with the aftermath when she realized that she had ushered your son out of the store and then what happened to him.

WALSH: Heart broken. You know what she said? She was so young and naive, when the defense attorneys, the trial lawyers that represented Sears told her not to tell anybody that she'd done it. In my opinion, that's a criminal act, to suppress evidence. And she didn't know. She was 17 years old. But I say -- and I'll say it on this program. She's had this terrible guilt. It wasn't her fault. She made a mistake. And you know, I hope she goes on with the rest of her life.

KING: Very nice of you. From Toronto, Canada. Hello.

CALLER: John, I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the case of the missing 9-year-old, Cecelia Zhang, here in Toronto, and I'm wondering what you think the public can do to help in a case like this.

WALSH: You know, that's a terrible case. This girl was taken out of her house in the middle of the night just like Elizabeth Smart, and there's been all kinds of rumor and innuendo because this is a Vietnamese family. There's several kidnappings in Canada for ransom. We don't really those much in America like they do in South America and sometimes in Canada.

KING: Have there been notes, ransom notes?

WALSH: There was one call, and the Canadian people in Toronto and the police agencies did the right thing. They put up the Amber Alert immediately. There has not been one call. This girl hasn't been found. She was kidnapped in October. It's been a long time. The rumor was this Vietnamese gang knew this family was upstanding and wealthy and they were going to take her for ransom, and there was one call. When the Amber Alert went out, people speculate maybe they killed her and dumped her somewhere.

I never give up, like Elizabeth Smart, I'm saying that, please, we'll keep doing little Cecelia on "America's Most Wanted." People in Toronto, keep your eye out. This family is desperate. The not knowing is killing them.

KING: We'll take a break and we'll be back with some more moments with John Walsh. More of your phone calls as we go to break. More on the Zhang case.


WALSH (voice-over): When 9-year-old Cecelia Zhang's parents went to wake her on Monday, October 20, they found her bed empty. Toronto police immediately issued an Amber Alert and began a massive search.

Investigators tell us whoever took Cecelia broke into the Zhang's home through a kitchen window. They say several kidnappers may have been involved. Cecelia Zhang has black hair with blond highlights. She's an accomplished piano player and loved to read. If you have any information that can help bring Cecelia home safely, please give our hotline a call right now. 1-800-CRIME-TV.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back with John Walsh. Wadsworth, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, John. I've got a question for you that just torments me 24 hours a day. My daughter was murdered two years ago in Florida, and she was stabbed 30 times, and she was raped while she was dying. And she was studying to be a police officer, and two weeks before she had done a debate on the death penalty where she was for the death penalty. Well, the next day they caught the guy. He confessed. He took them to the bag of clothes, because he took a shower after he killed her. And her knife and his clothes and everything was in the bag that he took them to on the causeway.

When everything fell apart was when you get these lawyers, and they tried to have all the evidence suppressed, even his footprint in her blood. We went to the suppression hearing this last summer, and the judge rules against them, and we kept the evidence. But I was so scared that the death penalty just doesn't seem to work. Every ten years they get a new trial, and they suppress the evidence.

KING: By the way, was he convicted, ma'am?

CALLER: Yes, he was convicted. We sentenced him now.

KING: Did he get death?

CALLER: I offered him life with no parole instead of going for the death penalty, and they told me it's first degree and that he will never, ever, ever get out because I was afraid ten years from now...

KING: You're the mother of the victim, and you offered to say, OK, life. What did he get?

CALLER: He got life with no parole. The problem is did I do the right thing? I mean, my daughter was for the death penalty.

KING: She's feeling guilt.

WALSH: You shouldn't feel guilt. You got to remember one thing. This creep is right where he belongs because he decided to use his selfish will to brutalize and rape and murder your daughter. You shouldn't feel guilty about it.

KING: Her daughter was for the death penalty and she testified to give him life.

WALSH: Her conscience is something she has to live with. If she doesn't believe in the death penalty and she made the deal for life without possibility of parole. That's all right, ma'am. That's OK, ma'am. Your daughter is looking down on you and loves you. You did the right thing. What if he had gotten through some technicality? She offered the deal and he got convicted and hopefully, he'll never get out.

Although I've profiled guys like Howard McDuff from Texas, who was given the death penalty twice in Texas, had his sentence reduced to life without parole, had it reduced to life, got out, bought his way out of jail with a B.S. lawyer and killed five women the first month he was. So till life without means life without. But I would say to this woman, God bless you. Your daughter is looking over you. You did the right thing and don't second guess it. He's right where he belongs.

KING: Montreal, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. I'm really sorry about John's son Adam. My question is for John. Since he's the host of "America's Most Wanted," doesn't he feel scared that someone might want to kill him or his family?

WALSH: You know, I've had to live with that for years. Larry and I have talked about it. I travel around with bodyguards. I'm an excellent shot. I've been to all the schools and all the survival schools, and they've killed -- the FBI killed a guy in Denver that threatened me. They shot him 17 times. I believe it comes with the turf. D.A.'s, judges, cops get the death threats. Maybe I'm the higher profile. I'm very cautious. I know what's out there. I believe you have to fight back.

KING: Who threatens you? People who...

WALSH: Drug leaders of cartels, psychopaths. This guy they shot in Denver brutalized and killed a woman. He was a psychopath. He directed his vengeance toward me. When they caught him, he had a mattress in his house, that's all he had and a TV. He kept airing the segment that I put on him. He shot it out with them and they shot him 17 times. I asked the older FBI agent, I said, why did you shoot him 17 times? They said, you know what, he was threatening you, he is a psychopath, and I wanted to make sure damn well he was dead. I says, great, terrific. But I get the threats all the time. They're cowards. That's what I say. I use every precaution I can to protect my family.

KING: Do you ever think of giving up the show?

WALSH: It's been my passion for 16 years. It's a testimony to the American public, in my mind. The show is a great platform for me. It allows me to do other things. I'm working with Julie Clark, this woman who did the baby Einstein videos, who saw the show. I met her. We're going to do a thing called "The Safe Side," a video. The show is a platform for me to do a thousand other things, and you know what, the show is on the air because of the American public. I've caught 777 guys because of the wonderful public, the people who call in.

KING: I know you. You will never leave. Thank you, John.

WALSH: It's always a privilege to be here.

KING: John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted," and all you got to do is call 1-800-CRIME-TV if you spotted anyone that we showed you tonight.

Before we leave you, some sad news. Ann Miller, the beloved actress and dancer died last night of lung cancer. She was 81. Ann Miller tap-danced her way into show business as a young girl, strutted her stuff in some of MGM's most spectacular musicals, including "Easter Parade" and "Kiss Me Kate." She scored an incredible success on stage in shows like "Sugarbabies." Ann was a good friend of LARRY KING LIVE, a terrific guest. Always ready to share her memories about the golden days of Hollywood, including going to a special studio school with Judy Garland.


ANN MILLER, ACTRESS AND DANCER: It was a school for children that worked, and they didn't have time to go to real schools, I mean, regular schools.

KING: Like tutors?

MILLER: Like tutors and it was great because -- well, I could take the 11th grade over again, if you want to know the truth about it, but it was darn good.


KING: Ann Miller once said she made it with her lucky legs, her mother, and a lot of back-breaking hard work. She was a classy lady. She will be missed. I'll be back in a couple of moments to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Major hearing in Colorado tomorrow to discuss the Kobe Bryant matter, and we'll discuss it tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE and, of course, they include your phone calls.

Right now, we turn things over to New York, we hopscotch 2,285 miles across the United States by satellite, and there he is. Isn't it amazing? Think about it, folks, could you have explained this to Thomas Jefferson?

If he could sit in Washington and watch the two of us now, old Tom would have said, get out of here, you're crazy.

Anyway, he's not crazy. He's the host of "Newsnight." We love him. He's Aaron Brown. What did I just say?

AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT WITH AARON BROWN": I have not a clue what you just said but it's wonderful to see you again, my friend, thank you.

KING: Thank you.



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