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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Jack Hannah, Steve Sipek, Josh Nichols; Panel Discusses Scott Peterson Case
Aired July 14, 2004 - 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, exclusive, Josh Nichols, son of Oklahoma terror bombing convict, Terry Nichols. His first and only interview since his father was convicted and escaped the death penalty. Josh Nichols exclusive with your calls.
And then, a dramatic day 23 in Scott Peterson's murder trial. The judge says he will consider a defense motion to discuss the charges. We'll have eyewitness accounts from Nancy Grace and other reporters and experts inside that courtroom today.
But first, Florida wildlife officers shoot and kill Tarzan's run- away tiger. The tiger's owner, Steven Sipek who played Tarzan on screen, calls it murder. He'll join us along with Jack Hanna, the world renowned animal expert. Both next on LARRY KING LIVE.
I said Sepek, it's Steve Sipek, owner of Bobo the tiger. Bobo who escaped on Monday, was shot and killed yesterday by wildlife officers. Steve is the actor played Tarzan under the name of Steve Hawkes. And he' s in Loxahatchee, Florida.
Why do you keep wild animals, Steve?
STEVE SIPEK, ACTOR, "TARZAN": Because animals need to be helped and taken care of by people who would mistreat them and hurt them unnecessarily. And above all
KING: You don't think zoos do -- do zoos do a proper job?
SIPEK: I'm sorry, I never appreciated zoos. Because they fail to understand the animal being caged for so many years will go insane.
KING: I'll have Jack comment on that in a while.
But Steve, Bobo escaped, right. He's on a compound, and he got out, right?
Do you know how?
SIPEK: Bobo did not escape. He was let out. Someone let him out. Somebody opened the cages and let him out, because my compound is a fortress. I have a 12-foot wall around the property which would be impossible for any cat to jump over. Yet he wind up on (UNINTELLIGIBLE) road, which is the road where I live. When I found out that he was out there, I rushed back. Bobo saw me, he came to me. We walked back toward the gate. And as we came to the gate, helicopter came down hard and the blast of the engine scared Bobo to a point that he freaked out and ran back out in the road and around the corner and to the next door neighbor. I ran after him.
KING: Where did they shoot him?
SIPEK: They shoot him about a couple of hundred -- a couple thousand yards from my place.
KING: They didn't -- they didn't use a stun gun, right?
They used a weapon that killed him?
SIPEK: No. No, they have no intention to do that at all. Even though we talked about it, even agree upon, even to agree that was going to be necessary that they will do it. And Lieutenant (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Dennis promised me that that's exactly what's going to happen. But he also promised me that I will be the one if they found him to put chains on Bobo and bring him home.
KING: So, they broke their promise? They broke their promise.
SIPEK: He did not keep his promise. He never called me at the time when they found Bobo. I found, because I refused to leave the premises, only for 10 minutes to...
KING: Jack Hanna, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," the director emeritus of Columbus zoo in Kalispell, Montana. What do you make of this story.
JACK HANNA, HOST, "ANIMAL ADVENTURES": First of all, when he said zoos were not good for tigers, I guarantee you, Larry, zoological parks are the last haven for tigers, Bengal, Siberian, whatever it might be. We treat these animals tremendously. I know of Steve's situation. I'm not trying to knock Steve. But I do know the habitats there aren't superior, aren't even adequate. As far as the gentleman trying to shoot the tiger, what do you do, Larry when you have an animal -- these are not pets, by the way. This is what has to be stopped. If you have the proper permitting, the proper money, you can buy a tiger for $500 to $1,000, Larry, that's easy to do. What's hard is to spend hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of dollars to build a proper tiger habitat. I'm not saying a tiger will never get out of a zoo. I'm not saying that. But we are accredited with the AZA Accredit Zoos. We have a SSP program. To say that zoological parks don't do anything for tigers is ludicrous. The last haven for tigers could be in zoological parks.
As far as the man shooting the tiger, what choice do you have?
You can't take a tranquilizer gun and shoot a cat that's been out over 24 hours, he's nervous, and Steve would have to admit that, he's hungry probably, the cat didn't know where he was at that point. My understanding is from David Hitzik (ph) who was there, David Hitzik who Steve knows, did have a tranquilizer gun. It takes several minutes.
My best friend Dr. Bill Montgomery in 1976 was killed in Knoxville, Tennessee, by a tiger that escaped from a Knoxville zoo. There was a SWAT team around him. He was 20 feet away, shot the tiger with a tranquilizer gun, the tiger jumps on him, gutted his stomach, gutted his arm. He died 3 and half months later. A tranquilizer gun doesn't work that way. When there is human life involved, there's people involved, everyone hates to see the tiger killed, but what choice do you have, Larry?
That's what has to be done. It's what has to happen.
KING: I want Steve to comment, but first I want a spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission released this following statement. "The commission made every effort to try to bring this situation to a positive end. From the beginning we had two goals in mind. The first the safeguard all of the residents of the area where the tiger was loose. The Secondary goal was to bring the tiger home safely. We're saddened that the outcome was not as we had hoped." That statement from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
What's your comment on that, Steve?
SIPEK: That is total lie. I was with them for two days. I walked with them -- I walked next to them. They walked two feet, then they got too hot, and they went and had a cold drink because it was too hot, we'll have to wait until 5:00 until the weather gets better and cooler. And that's what happened yesterday. Promised me that I can go take my shower and come back at 5:00. I came back at 4:30, and I couldn't find them. They wasn't there. Somebody said Bobo -- pointed out where he was. I ran over there across the field as hard as I could, and I heard five shots. I knew right away that they shot Bobo, because they promised they were going to use tranquilizers. And...
KING: Steve. Steve, why -- we are getting repetitive.
Why do you think they shot him? Why do you think?
SIPEK: There's only one reason -- there is only one reason, they had to satisfy the public's opinion about their work, what they do for animals, why they're getting paid by our taxes. All of this put together, only explains one thing.
KING: Jack, why do you think they shot him?
HANNA: Larry, the Florida Wildlife Commission is one of the finest wildlife commissions in the United States.
Now, I work with a lot of these people in the United States.
HANNA: Why did they shoot him?
SIPEK: Bull. HANNA: It's very simple, Larry. What would have happened, Larry, and during the daytime, the reason they went to get a drink of water, is most cats are sleeping, and Steve, knows in the daytime they're laying down. Whether it's in the wild or a zoo, it's hot, they're laying down. The animal is going to start coming out at night time. They shot him because, no. 1, it's been 24 hours, people are around there. The last thing Steve ought to thank God that some child or some person didn't get hurt or killed by the animal. The last thing they wanted to do was kill this cat, trust me.
KING: Why is 24 hours significant, Jack?
HANNA: Well, I say 24 hours -- picture, Larry -- I've been lost up in -- I've been lost in camping in certain places in the wood. When you get lost in the woods and the mountains, first thing you do is kind of panic. And I'm a human being and I should know what I'm doing. An animal that's used to this place gets nervous out there. He doesn't know where he is. Steve tried to call him, he wouldn't come.
So, what choice do these guys have?
They had to do something.
SIPEK: That is not true. That is not true. Bobo came to me. He came to me, he needed me to go home with me. The man came from behind with a rifle, Bobo took off.
HANNA: The tiger tried to approach -- I was there, I know the guy that was there with the tiger. The tiger tried to come at the officer like this, tried to charge him. The tiger was shot once, it went over in the bushes and rolled around somewhat. And they shot the tiger again. This is like a loaded gun. These animals, I hate what happens, I hate it.
SIPEK: That is a lie. That is a lie. I took many people...
KING: I've got a time limitation. Obviously, you weren't there.
Steve, do you plan any lawsuits of any kind? Steve, do you plan any lawsuits.
SIPEK: Oh, yes. Bobo did not die in vain yesterday.
KING: All right. We'll do more on this.
KING: All right. I've got to cut it, but we thank you both. Steve Sipek, who plans lawsuits, and Jack Hanna of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures."
We hope we do more on this, because it certainly deserves more attention.
When we come back, Josh Nichols, the son of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator convicted, he'll be sentenced soon, Terry Nichols. Josh will be with us in a moment. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Josh, what do you know about your father's role in the bombing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did your father disappear days before the bombing, leaving you alone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Josh did you help rent the car -- rent the truck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Josh could talk to us and just tell us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you with McVeigh when McVeigh rented that truck. Josh, can you just tell us, yes or no? Just, yes or no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Josh Nichols. Thank him very much for coming. He's the son of convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols. Earlier this year, Josh's father Terry was convicted by an Oklahoma jury of 161 state murder counts in connection with the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. He'll be scheduled next month. The jury dead locked on the penalty phase, meaning he will not receive the death penalty. The penalty will either be life without parole, or life with the chance of parole.
Were you at the trial, Josh?
JOSH NICHOLS, TERRY NICHOLS' SON: I went there. My mother testified and she was subpoenaed. That was in the first phase of the trial.
And then I went back during the second phase before the verdict came back. It was just good to be there and support him. Just to have him know that I was there for him.
KING: How do you react to all of this, Josh? What's this done to you?
NICHOLS: What's it done to me? I tell you what, you know, it's given me a lot of pain. It's been quite an experience. I wish it upon nobody. It's been hard to take a look at my situation, to make something of it. But I have. It's taken years to find myself again. I really lost focus on who I was where I was going in my life.
KING: Did you straighten it out?
NICHOLS: I have.
KING: How old were you when the bombing occurred?
NICHOLS: I was 12-years-old. KING: Did you hook your father up that? Did you think he was involved?
NICHOLS: No. As any son 12 years old, wouldn't know what his father was up to. He wouldn't know his activities during the day or, you know. If a father wanted to do something, how much would a kid know?
KING: Did you ever think anything was the matter with your dad?
NICHOLS: Oh, absolutely not.
KING: Not. He was a good father?
NICHOLS: He was a good mentor. He spent time with me. He showed me how to do things. Anything that a father would do with a child.
KING: When you found out, Josh, when he was arrested, when he was implicated, what was your reaction? You were a kid.
NICHOLS: As a son, of course I'm going to take the position...
KING: He didn't do it.
NICHOLS: Absolutely. Anybody would look at the situation from my point of view and say, of course my father was innocent. They were going to stand by the person they love. And no, because...
KING: Were you shocked?
NICHOLS: Of course I was. It's taken me years to get past -- I was shell shocked -- to get past it. And just get past the emotion and the cloudiness. I was kind of clouded for years.
KING: Did you know Timothy McVeigh?
NICHOLS: Yes, I did.
KING: They were friends?
NICHOLS: Yes. I've had contact -- I had contact with him for a couple of years. It was off and on. He would come in my life with my father, spend some time with us for a couple, then move out and go a separate way. But I really never really stayed around him for too long.
KING: Was your father, Josh, very political? Did he speak out about things, about the government? Was he an activist?
NICHOLS: I wouldn't really consider him an activist. But he took a stand. He had his point of views as we all do. He just didn't think what was going on with the government, you know, the things they were doing to us -- his points of views were different.
KING: All right. Did he ever explain to you why he did what he did?
NICHOLS: No, he has not.
KING: When was the last time you spoke to him?
NICHOLS: About two weeks ago.
KING: Can you call him, or...
NICHOLS: He can make three phone calls a week.
KING: And he has to call collect, right?
NICHOLS: Yes, he does.
KING: Does he keep in touch with you?
NICHOLS; Yes, he does. Very much so.
KING: How is he doing? How is he handling this?
NICHOLS: It's amazing. His focus and spirituality with God -- he's in solitary confinement -- to be able to make it this far, be OK, be sane in this situation he's in right now, takes a lot. He's found God. He's found a way to make it his faith.
KING: Is that new?
NICHOLS: Yes -- well, it's not new now, but it was new when this first happened. He's given me strength and hope, you know. If he can make it in there by himself, dealing with himself every day, there's no reason why I can't do it and make it out here.
KING: What prison is he in, is he in Colorado?
NICHOLS: Right now he's in the state penitentiary in Oklahoma, awaiting sentencing.
KING: And then they will move him to a -- back to the state penitentiary?
NICHOLS: No, to a federal penitentiary.
KING: Do you think he'll -- where's McVeigh? McVeigh's dead.
NICHOLS: McVeigh is dead, yes.
KING: How did he react to McVeigh's death?
NICHOLS: I didn't receive no -- he didn't tell me.
KING: Were you present when you found out the jury was dead locked?
NICHOLS: Was I present as in?
KING: In the court.
NICHOLS: No, I was not.
KING: Were you very worried he'd get the death penalty?
NICHOLS: You know, I mean -- to actually have somebody that's in your life and means so much to you, face such -- you know, something so horrible, you know, of course it's going to be lingering in the back of your mind. But as my stand as a son, I would -- we always hope for the best. I did worry about him getting the death penalty. Him not making it through this. But he showed amazing strength. And thus far, it's worked out. It could be much worse.
KING: Why do you believe he did this? Or do you believe he was not involved? What do you believe?
NICHOLS: I believe my father is my father. And I don't -- I don't know what he was involved in before this happened. But whatever -- whatever he was doing, you know, obviously wasn't the best. And his choices, you know. He's made some bad choices.
KING: How do you feel about all those people killed?
NICHOLS: I feel horrible. Because I can kind of relate. Because of what they're going through, what they've been through, I've been through kind of things that only people that are victims can imagine.
KING: You consider you are a victim?
NICHOLS: Oh, absolutely.
KING: Can you visit your dad?
NICHOLS: Not right now, I cannot.
KING: Eventually you will, though.
KING; We'll be right back with more of Josh Nichols, the son of Terry Nichols, on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Terry, you escaped death again. What do you think, are you relieved? Terry, what do you think? Are you happy? Are you relieved?
Go to hell, Terry Nichols. You've got a 168 people to thank.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LANA PADILLA, JOSH NICHOL'S MOTHER: Well, we were in shock when the questioning started. But we do know and understand thoroughly that the authorities are doing their job at trying to uncover who John Doe Number Two is. And we know and understand their questioning. But he is not John Doe Number Two. And he is nowhere -- knows anything. He's cooperated fully in all the questioning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That of course was your mother back before he was charged, right?
KING: A lot of problems happened with you, right?
KING: You got into problems with the law. You had marijuana, you had drug problems. Do you think that all relates to this?
NICHOLS: Absolutely. Because, I mean, because of the pain that came with this and me not wanting to facing it. Me as a child with no father figure, no structure anymore, I kind of fell and started leaning on my friends as support and help. My friends just influenced me with drugs and that kind of lifestyle. But today, you know, I've gotten past that with thanks to the Salvation Army.
KING: You did the Salvation Army program?
NICHOLS: Yes, I did. It works wonders if you work the program. And I give a lot of thanks to my judge and Michael Douglas and Jack Lehman. They had a lot of faith in me and they've gotten me where I am today.
KING: The FBI questioned you when you were 12 years old?
KING: They did? A lot of questioning?
NICHOLS: Oh, yes. For days, interrogation.
KING: Were they rough on you?
NICHOLS: Just being a 12-year-old, you know, it was rough.
KING: How about classmates, friends? How did they treat you after the news broke that you were the son or the news broke what your father did or was charged with doing?
NICHOLS: They would call me, like, "bomber." "That's the bomber's son," and so on and so forth.
KING: Get in fights? NICHOLS: No. I've come to accept it. I've done a lot of growing here. The progress I've made in the past eight years, nine years, has just been extreme.
KING: Do you ever hear from relatives or people of those who were killed?
NICHOLS: As a matter of fact, yes. My mother and I stayed with a lady that lost two grand babies in the bombing. Her name is Kathy Wilburn (ph).
KING: You stayed at her house?
NICHOLS: Yes. We slept at her house overnight for a couple of nights, as a matter of fact, while I went to visit my dad in the time period. We stayed at her house. She cooked us dinner. It was real warming.
KING: That's forgiveness.
NICHOLS: Yes, it is.
KING: Let's get a call. Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Hello.
CALLER: Good evening. My question is because of his young age at the time, did he understand the magnitude of the manhunt going on for his father during the bombings?
NICHOLS: No, I did not. As a child, I mean, it happened. I thought it was all just -- it wasn't really reality to me. Because as a child, the news and the headlines didn't pertain to my life as a child, of course.
KING: Do you ever say to yourself, why did my father get involved with this?
NICHOLS: To be honest with you, of course, you know -- I wonder what the reason behind it is. Until he gets ready to tell me what went on in his life to make him make the choices he made, I really can't answer that.
KING: But to you he was a good father?
KING: Caring father?
NICHOLS: Very much so.
KING: Fort Meyers, Florida.
CALLER: Yes, Larry. I wanted to ask Josh if his father ever mentioned to him that he recalls anything of partaking in this? And has he ever wondered perhaps concerning Timothy McVeigh right back to Lee Harvey Oswald, John Muhammad, the guys that were beating up their wives at Fort Bragg...
I could go on and on...
KING: What's the question?
CALLER: Does he believe that maybe there might be something that has to do with implanting this in their minds?
KING: Do you think there was something mentally wrong?
KING: Your dad.
NICHOLS: Oh, no, no. Absolutely not. Like I said before, friends and the people that you hang around influence you.
KING: You think McVeigh was the influence?
NICHOLS: Absolutely. I believe he put my dad's life at risk.
KING: Was he that kind of person, McVeigh? Was he the stronger character of the two?
NICHOLS: Well, he was more like a control freak.
KING: That's what I mean. So when you saw them together, he would be the one that said...
NICHOLS: My dad would be quiet and he'd be in charge.
KING: He'd be the one to say let's go here and that's where he'd go.
KING: Did you not like him?
NICHOLS: The reason why I didn't like him or I, you know, had a resentment toward him is because he didn't care for children. Mr. McVeigh didn't care for kids.
KING: How is your mom holding up?
NICHOLS: She's great. If it wouldn't be for her, I honestly wouldn't be where I'm at today. She's been a great support for me and my father.
KING: She's still supportive of him?
NICHOLS: Yes, she is.
KING: He calls her, too? NICHOLS: Yes.
KING: And when he is sentenced, assuming it's life with whatever, parole or not parole, probably not parole, you would guess. You plan to visit him and keep in constant touch?
NICHOLS: Yes. Even though he's physically not here, mentally he continues to keep in touch with his letters and phone calls.
KING: And you live in Las Vegas, work in construction?
KING: And your life is OK now?
NICHOLS: Yes. I've made more progress in the past year than I have in the past nine.
KING: Good luck to you, Josh.
NICHOLS: Thank you very much.
KING: Sins of the fathers they used to say. Josh Nichols, the son of convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator, Terry Nichols.
We'll be back and talk about more people in trouble. Scott Peterson. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Two and a half years ago when the Murrah building was bombed, FBI Director Louis Freeh and I promised to follow every lead and bring those responsible to justice.
Today that promise has been kept. The jury has declared Terry Nichols responsible for this crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. The Scott Peterson matter getting heavier and heavier. Joining us in Redwood City, Ted Rowlands of CNN, been covering it from the get-go. He was in the courtroom today.
Nancy Grace. Normally in New York, Nancy is in Redwood City taking a close look at this case. By the way Nancy will have a series of live specials on Court TV at 11:00 Eastern each night through the rest of this week.
In Atlanta is defense attorney Chris Pixley.
In Redwood City is local defense attorney and former Alameda County prosecutor Michael Cardoza.
Also in Redwood City is Chuck Smith, the former San Mateo County prosecutor. Six years a homicide prosecutor, now in private practice.
And in Redwood City is Richard Cole covering this case for the Daily News Group, veteran crime and trial reporter in the courtroom today as well.
Ted, what happened today?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today was broken into two segments. The first half of the day was spent outside the presence of the jury. Judge Al Delucchi ruled to continue a defense motion to basically throw out this entire trial because of misconduct on the part of the prosecution. Delucchi is going to hear that on July 29. He's going to allow the media to listen to a portion of that motion hearing.
The other half of the morning was spent on the prosecution side asking the judge also to allow them to edit down those interviews that Peterson did with different television stations. The judge has got to hear the rest of that on the 29th as well.
The second half of the day, the jury was present. It was testimony from Dodge Hendy (ph). He is a detective with the Modesto Police Department and he was involved in many different facets of this investigation. He's been on the stand a couple of days, expected to stay there the rest of the week. He talked about recovering the bodies and other facets. At one point they showed an autopsy photo of Laci Peterson. Her mother broke down in court, another emotional moment, one that was really not predicted. So it really hit home. Hendy then was crossed by Mark Geragos for a certain period of time. He'll be back on the stand tomorrow when court resumes.
KING: Nancy, what's all these stories about stuff found in the car? Has that been introduced in evidence or this is an outside story?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV, FMR PROSECUTOR: It has not been introduced in evidence in this proceeding, Larry, but it will be. We heard about it first in preliminary hearing. And I assume you're talking about Scott's Dodge truck. There are two vehicles actually.
In the Dodge truck, very interesting, they found blood on the steering wheel, Larry. They found blood on the driver's side pocket. They found blood in the toolbox of Scott Peterson's Dodge truck.
More important in my mind, they found cement residue, a claw foot hammer is the way they're describing it with cement residue on it, and chicken wire in the back of Peterson's pickup truck. And the reality is, Larry, what the prosecution's going to try to do is connect that cement back to cement they claimed Peterson used to create anchors. Four of which are missing.
KING: What do you make of the judge considering a dismissal, Chris?
CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think at this point, there's a real problem for the defense. The prosecution has been admitting evidence repeatedly now. The judge has had to go in open court and make statements repeatedly telling the prosecution, if you're going to present evidence, it needs to be something that's already been turned over through discovery to the defense.
At this point it's happened so many times, that the judge has to give real serious consideration to what Scott Peterson's attorney Mark Geragos is asking for. The problem is, in a special circumstances capital murder trial, you're not going to get a mistrial and a dismissal with prejudice, meaning that Scott Peterson could not be retried. And that means that you're either asking for a mistrial and a dismissal without prejudice, in which case you go right back to the drawing board. I think the defense has had too many good days in trial right now for that to happen and for them to want that.
And that leaves you really with either asking the judge to recuse the D.A. or asking for a curative instruction every time this happens. Anybody that's ever tried a case knows those curative instructions, as soon as you tell a jury don't listen to this evidence, it's got a prominent place in their mind until the end of the case.
KING: So Chuck Smith, what does the defense do?
CHUCK SMITH, FMR. MATEO COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Well, I think what the defense does -- I disagree with Chris in a couple of respects. What the defense does is, I don't believe the defense really wants a dismissal. Because I think Mark Geragos believes he's ahead. He does not want the case dismissed because the prosecution will get to start all over again and correct some of their mistakes.
I think ultimately what he wants is he wants Judge Delucchi to tell the jury now that the prosecution has not complied with their obligation to turn over evidence. And therefore, the jury can consider the evidence that they are presenting with incredulity, don't believe it, or look at it with caution because it wasn't properly turned over. That kind of instruction is devastating to the prosecution because the judge is basically telling the jury, you have to be careful about these prosecutors, you're not sure you can trust them.
KING: Do you think he might get that?
SMITH: I think he's going to get that. I think he's going to lose the mistrial, he's going to lose dismissal, but I think the judge will give him such an instruction which is going to hurt the prosecution but they've made their own bed to sleep in with not properly turning over evidence.
PIXLEY: And, Larry, something else that's important here. The judge isn't making this decision until the end of the month now.
So he's given the prosecution a lot to chew on. He's basically saying, look, I'm going to have the hearing on July 29. I'll let you continue forward with your case. But for the next 15, 14 days, you have to know that if any of this happens again, it's really going to seal your fate. That's probably the best thing he can do, given the remedies are so limited. KING: Michael Cardoza, what's your input?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The other day when they had the police officer on the stand, when they were talking about the 290 sex registrants, there was a list that wasn't turned over to Geragos. And Geragos jumps up in court and says in front of the jury, "Judge, they're making this evidence up as they go along."
Well, Judge Delucchi quickly shot Geragos down. But he turned to the district attorneys and he said, "look, I've got to put the jury back in the jury room, bring you guys back into chambers again for this. What have you guys been doing the last year and a half?" He said that to the D.A...
GRACE: Wait a minute, wait a minute.
CARDOZA: Wait a minute, Nancy, let me finish. He said that in front of the jury to the D.A. And I'll tell you. I prosecuted for 15 years. You never want to lose that aura of the good guy or that you're hiding evidence. Go ahead, Nancy. What do you have to say?
GRACE: Larry, I would like to point out the crux of the evidence. Everybody's arguing about what the prosecution did or didn't do wrong. The evidence is out of 300 registered sex offenders living in the general area, the prosecution went out, the cops went out and ruled out well over 280 of them. That's the headline. Not that Geragos claimed he didn't get this list. The headline is most of them were ruled out. And a large portion of them are dead.
CARDOZA: Nancy, the headline is that the district attorneys didn't turn that evidence over to Geragos. And you know from prosecuting cases, you're supposed to turn that over. The jury has been fooled by this prosecution a number of times. Starting with that boomerang meringue thing at the beginning of this trial.
KING: Let me get Richard Cole who's covered trials for a long time. His thoughts on what we've heard so far tonight and what you saw in the courtroom.
RICHARD COLE, DAILY NEWS GROUP: I have to agree with Nancy that the evidence is what's going to count in the end. A lot of the legal shenanigans are being played out far from the jury. They may hear a little bit about it but I think they're looking at the evidence.
As far as the 290 registrants, between 100 and 200 on that list were listed as not being cleared of being involved in the case. Now we think that maybe some of them later were cleared. But I think that was one of the significant things about the list.
The other thing that Nancy mentioned was this issue of the concrete which the prosecution is trying to tie to the concrete anchors that they say Scott made and now no one can find and presumably were used to weigh down the boats. The bodies are everything in this case. People shouldn't lose sight of that. The location of the bodies was the proximate cause for Scott's arrest. All the other evidence that we have -- Amber Frey, the anchors, all of this issues, they didn't feel that it was enough evidence, even to arrest Scott Peterson never mind to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt.
So it's all about the bodies. If the defense can throw some doubt into the location where the bodies went into the Bay, or if they went into the Bay earlier or later -- sorry, later than the prosecution said, that I think will sink the case. If they can't shake that at all, then it's quite possible this jury could say, forget all of the mistakes the prosecution made, no one has adequately explained to us how those bodies could have shown up right where Scott Peterson was fishing. I think that's the be all and end all of this case.
KING: Ted Rowlands, speaking of Amber Frey. When?
ROWLANDS: Good question. It seems to change every week in terms of the rumor and the excitement around the Amber watch, if you will. It's definitely still here. But Hendy's going to be on the stand tomorrow and next week, along with another detective that's going to be recalled. Where the prosecution goes from there, who knows. They don't have to divulge their witness list. So early -- or mid to late next week at the earliest. But probably a safer bet would be the following week.
KING: So, in other words, during the Democratic National Convention?
ROWLANDS: Possibly. But I doubt this prosecution team is going to take that into consideration. I think that they're doing things the way they want to do them. When they feel it's appropriate, they'll bring her on.
KING: We'll take a break and come back with more. We'll including your phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PETERSON, ACCUSED OF MURDERING HIS WIFE: I had nothing to do with Laci's disappearance. Even if you think I did, think about Laci. And I know that there's a nation that wants to bring her home to our families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. We'll go to your calls in a moment. Nancy Grace, do you agree with Richard Cole, that the whole determination of this trial will be location of the body and the jury's interpretation?
GRACE: Well actually, I do. I think that he is correct. The time of the arrest was immediately after the discovery of Laci's remains, Laci and Conner's remains.
And the tides, Larry, will clearly show, and I expect an expert to come on the stand and testify to this, that the tides came in from where the area was where Scott had been fishing.
And today, Larry, it all went back to the water. Where he was fishing, where they looked for those anchors. I thought there would be a star witness on the stand this week, Larry. Forget about it, the star was a 90-pound bag of cement.
And yesterday in court, Larry, it looked as if the pictures they showed in the courtroom was of five paint cans, and someone had dusted baby powder over them and lifted them up. That was the suggestion by the prosecution showing where these five anchors had been made.
And, Larry, the reality is that between 12/9 and 12/24, according to the prosecution, Peterson bought a boat, put it in his warehouse, made five homemade anchors, and somehow lost four on them. That's pretty darned coincidental.
KING: Chris Pixley, what's your reaction to that?
PIXLEY: I don't know that there's any evidence he made five homemade anchors. Obviously, we've got the residue from the cement, and, of course, the anchors themselves are five-pound anchors. Whether you believe that the 4 anchors that are actually missing, or 20 pounds worth anchor could have held Laci Peterson's 150 pound body is an open question.
The other thing is, if in fact we were searching for this body for six months, with divers and sonar and imaging equipment, and we know the pattern that the bodies would have taken to get to the shore, where they were found, back in April, doesn't it seem likely that you'd find the anchors, that you'd find the missing body parts? In fact, what came out in cross examination, through Mark Geragos' cross examination, is that there were at least 243 different locations throughout the bay that were being searched by those divers.
So you're missing critical evidence. If you're going to claim that they're anchors, find them, show the anchors. Where are they?
GRACE: I've got an answer to that, Larry. Larry, I've got an answer to that. While they were looking for the anchors, Larry, and this came out in court, one of -- a very expensive piece of sonar equipment, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) sonar equipment worth $10,000, the wire, the ropes snapped in the water. They immediately GPS'd it, they sent divers down. And even knowing the GPS location, they never found the piece of equipment, Larry, that's how murky this water is.
KING: Chuck Smith...
GRACE: No, there are two pieces missing.
KING: Chuck Smith, is Scott Peterson's interviews with various media folk going to hurt him?
SMITH: They're absolutely going to hurt him. I mean, the interview with Diane Sawyer which they are doing about today, how much the prosecution gets to use, he made a couple of statements that they're just going to try to explain as slips of the tongue. The one devastating one was, he says to Diane Sawyer, Laci was an amazing woman -- I mean Laci is an amazing woman. This was before the body was found.
And a couple of other things he lied about. He lied about the affairs. He also told Diane Sawyer that Laci was just fine with the fact that Scott Peterson was having an affair. No one's going to buy that.
So, these statements are going to hurt him a great deal. And I believe these statements are going to be the reason that Scott Peterson will be compelled to take the witness stand, which obviously everyone greatly anticipates in this case.
KING: Lexington, Kentucky -- let's get a call in -- hello.
CALLER: Yes, sir. I was just calling to wonder if he had shown any emotion whatsoever? Or if he's broken down when they showed the pictures?
KING: Michael Cardoza, what's been his reaction in the courtroom, Scott Peterson?
CARDOZA: Fairly stoic. There are times when he will turn away from certain pictures in the courtroom. The photos of Conner and Laci being found, he will turn away. There are others that he's very intent on.
But there has been testimony in this trial, for example, from Mrs. Moreno, the next door neighbor, that said Scott had come in shortly after Laci went missing and broke down in her house. So there's emotional testimony before the jury about Scott, but he hasn't shown a great deal of emotion in court. I think he's been appropriate in the courtroom.
KING: Richard Cole, this is case a puzzlement to you?
COLE: There's a lot of things that puzzled me. Scott Peterson just didn't act -- other than the affair with Amber Frey, Scott Peterson didn't act like a man who was getting ready to kill his wife.
You look at his office. There's pictures of him and his wife. You look in the baby's room. He built the crib, the nautical design that he made. You look at him inviting his sister-in-law home for pizza the day that he supposedly killed his wife.
You look at the history of everything, even the Rochas, who are so upset with him now understandably, they had to admit that he was basically the perfect husband. He did what he was asked to do. He did it with good humor. He seemed to love his wife.
I don't see any of the signals that you would think would be there if a man was angry and upset enough to kill his wife, or were planning to do it. He seemed to -- he spent the day before taking her to the doctor's office, going with her to get his hair cut. The two of them did that together. I don't know. I just don't understand when he turned into -- from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde.
KING: Norfolk, Virginia, hello. Hold on one second. Norfolk, hello.
CALLER: Hi. Scott Peterson seems like such a sociopath. Has he ever had any type of psychiatric evaluation?
KING: Do we know -- Ted, has he?
ROWLANDS: Not that we know of. The question's been asked before. Of course, it wouldn't happen now while he's in the situation that he is. He wouldn't allow it. But there's no history. Richard's right, there's no history that Scott Peterson was anything but a normal guy. Maybe an above average guy that has done nothing. Has no history of violence. Just a regular guy, seemingly a young guy expecting his first child.
KING: Chuck, did you want to comment on what Richard said?
SMITH: Sure. The same perfect husband that Richard described was at the same time in early December hitting on women, Shawn Sibley, and anybody else he could hit on at the fertilizer convention, making it clear he was interested in having a long-term relationship with Amber Frey. This is the same person.
So Richard's wrong when, Richard, says he was the perfect husband and there were no signs. Every case where a husband has killed his wife, I guarantee you they can find pictures of times her the two of them were happy together. It just doesn't sell.
KING: Let me get a break, and then we'll get a comment from Michael Cardoza. And get another call in. Don't go away.
KING: By the way, don't forget Nancy Grace will be doing a series of live shows at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on Court TV the rest of this week.
And before we take a call, Michael Cardoza wanted to say something -- Michael.
CARDOZA: Right, thank you, Larry. You know, what I find interesting here is the prosecution's theory is that the murder scene, the homicide scene, was at the Peterson Covena home. There wasn't one bit of forensic evidence in that house. Yet they want the jury to believe that this perfect crime scene at home, then you move to the warehouse where Scott makes these alleged anchors and leaves all sorts of trace evidence and forensic evidence behind? It makes no sense. The photographs that the district attorney put in front of the jury are not of the best quality when you look at the outlines of this alleged bucket that they were made in. But one of those looked awfully rectangular to me as I looked at it in the courtroom. So that leaves possibly three, possibly three. So I find that point fascinating.
KING: Warren, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Yes, could they replace the prosecutor. He seems to be making a lot of mistakes, and he's does not seen as experienced as the defense attorney.
KING: Nancy, is the prosecutor weak?
GRACE: Do I think the prosecution is weak? I think the prosecution is understated. I think Mark Geragos is a fantastic veteran trial lawyer. I think he's flamboyant. I think he's got a charisma in the courtroom, there's no doubt about it. He's clearly the more charismatic of the lawyers. But Larry, this ain't no popularity contest. Nobody's going home homecoming queen, OK. This is about the facts. I think that is what this jury is going to vote on. I want to tell you another thing I saw in the courtroom, Larry. I saw one of the jurors yesterday holding up an exhibit this close, Larry, this close to their face. And I could see from the back what he was looking at. He was looking at that pair of needle nosed pliers with Laci's hair in it. I think it made a big impact.
CARDOZA: Laci's hair?
KING: How did he know it was Laci's hair?
GRACE: Because there's been a match, a hair match, and it says this hair is consistent with Laci's hair. No, it was not a DNA match, Michael.
CARDOZA: That's not true.
COLE: The hair is going to meaningless. The hair is going to be meaningless. The reason it's going to be meaningless is that they already have witnessed that say Laci was at the warehouse where the boat was the day -- a day or two before.
COLE: Yes they do. And in addition to which...
GRACE: Next door in the neighbor's warehouse.
COLE: In addition to which...
GRACE: Using the bathroom.
COLE: In addition to which, they have Detective Al Brochini who before he went to the boat where the hair was found had just searched Laci's car. In addition to which they have the fact that Scott is married to Laci. So, even if the hair, which I think has one chance in 112 of being Laci's, even if it is Laci's what did that mean?
GRACE: Tell that to the juror.
SMITH: How did it get in the pliers? How did the hair get into pliers in some innocent fashion?
COLE: The pliers have not been open.
SMITH: That's what the prosecution has to push.
COLES: The pliers have not been opened for months.
SMITH: So what?
COLES: It's not going to mean anything.
SMITH: Her hair is in pliers. Her hair is not on the seat of a car.
KING: OK, guys. That's it for tonight, but we look forward to many more nights. I don't know if we look forward -- yes, we do look forward. Ted Rolands, Nancy Grace, she's on at 11:00 tonight on Court TV, Chris Pixley, Michael Cordoza, Chuck Smith, and Richard Cole.
We want to say happy birthday to former President Gerald Ford, he's 91-years-old today. Gerald Ford was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1913. He became the 38th president of the United States at a very dark time in American History. He helped put a lot of things right. He and his wonderful wife Betty have been good friends to this program over the years. We always love seeing them. And I was very privileged to talk with him today and wish him personally a very happy, healthy birthday. Now we do it publicly. Ninety one is young, we're looking forward to your 100th.
I'll be back in a couple of minutes don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night, extraordinary story. We're going to meet Tammy Menendez, the wife of Eric Menendez. Yes, Eric Menendez who along with his brother Lyle killed their parents. That's tomorrow night, Tammy Menendez, who married him after he went to prison.
Aaron Brown is off the rest of the week and the best sit host you could ever find is about to take over and host "NEWSNIGHT," my dear friend, the wolfman, there is he is, Mr. Blitzer, the stage is yours.
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