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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Discussion of Robert Blake not guilty verdict with family of murdered woman and Blake's attorney; Discussion of Jessica Lunsford, Missing since February 24th
Aired March 17, 2005 - 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, the family of Robert Blake's murdered wife, outraged at his stunning not guilty verdict yesterday. Bonny Lee Bakley oldest daughter, Holly Gawron, and Bonny's sister, Margerry Bakley Smith, will tell us why.
And then: Police will question a convicted sex offender in the case of missing Florida 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford. Who is the man picked up 100 miles away in Georgia? And is this the break Jessica's family's been praying for? We'll get the latest from her father, Mark Lunsford, CNN's John Zarrella on the scene at the Lunsford home in Florida, Ed Smart, whose daughter, Elizabeth, was rescued nine months after her abduction, plus former FBI profiler Candice DeLong and Mark Klaas. The abduction and murder of his daughter, Polly, in 1993 made him a leading child safety advocate. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
We will also hear from Gerry Schwartzbach, the very successful attorney who represented Robert Blake.
We begin in New York with Holly Gawron. Am I pronouncing that right, Holly?
HOLLY GAWRON, DAUGHTER OF ROBERT BLAKE'S SLAIN WIFE: It's Gawron. Hello, Larry.
KING: Holly Gawron -- hi -- who is Bonny Lee Bakley's oldest daughter. She was in the courtroom, by the way, for the verdict, but is now in New York. And Eric Dubin, who is the Bakley family attorney.
Holly, safe to say you were shocked?
GAWRON: Shocked and appalled, really devastated.
KING: Are you angry? Are you angry at the prosecution? All the jurors that we had on told us that the vote was 11 to 1 almost immediately for not guilty.
GAWRON: I'm not angry at the prosecution. I think that they definitely laid out enough facts, enough circumstantial evidence to convict him. And I think that -- yes, I'm a little bit angry at the jury. I'm, like, Where did you find 12 people that think he's innocent? I just don't get it.
KING: Eric, how about the jurors' statements that they never connected the gun to the suspect? ERIC DUBIN, BAKLEY FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, come on, Larry, if there was fingerprints on that gun, they would have said he was framed. They also said they couldn't -- there's no video of him shooting, and et cetera. This was a solid circumstantial case, and for a non-celebrity, it was a no-brainer. But what we're seeing now is in these celebrity trials, the burden gets raised higher than it should be and it becomes, We're absolutely positive he did it, versus reasonable doubt. So in a civil court is really where we're going to have to find our justice, like O.J. did...
DUBIN: ... in the O.J. case.
KING: Are you handling the civil case, Eric?
DUBIN: I am, Larry. We go to trial July 7. I'm going to depose Robert Blake next month under oath. He no longer has any privilege to hide behind. And we're going to get the real story.
KING: And what are you saying in the civil suit?
DUBIN: We're saying he murdered a mother of four. And there's four kids that deserve justice, and it's my mission to get it for them. I promised them I'd get it for them, and I'm going to keep my promise.
KING: Holly, when the jury filed in -- as they filed in, what were you thinking?
GAWRON: I had already been prepared. Eric sort of predicted the verdict, and he softened the blow for me. It still really shocked me. I had no expectations. I thought from the very beginning that he would walk just because of who he is.
KING: So you think celebrity benefited him.
DUBIN: Larry, money and fame will buy you freedom in America. It's that simple.
KING: Holly, why do you think he would kill your mother? Why?
GAWRON: There are plenty of reasons, but mostly the daughter, Rose. He definitely did not want my mother to have that child. I don't know why he keeps saying that he wanted to make sure she was raised right and taken care of well, but I don't think he has anything to do with her. He gave her to his daughter, Delinah, and I'm not sure if she even has anything to do with the child.
KING: Now, what do you have to prove, Eric? I know civil is different from criminal, and naturally, he has to submit to deposition and testifying. Do you have to -- there's no presumption here, is there, in a civil trial? DUBIN: Well, I mean, I have an easier burden of proof. I have to show by a preponderance of the evidence that he did it -- basically, more probable than not. And if you remember, Mr. Schwartzbach told the jury in his closing that even if they think it's probable Mr. Blake did it, that is not enough. In a civil case, that's more than enough. And I get to put him on the stand, as you've noted. And I have the benefit of watching the trial, saw what worked and what didn't work.
But I want to echo was Holly said. Shellie Samuels, Detective Ito and Detective Tyndall are three of the most amazing people I've ever met in my life, and I think they earned a conviction. They just didn't get it.
KING: Also, though, the problem you will have -- let's say you win. It's a Pyhrric victory. He doesn't have money, does he?
DUBIN: Well, that's what he says, but he also told Bonny he had cancer when he was trying to get her to get an abortion. So I don't believe a word he says. This case isn't about money, as much as everybody likes to say that. Bonny didn't want a penny from Blake. We want justice, and if the only place we can get justice is in the civil court, then that's what we're going to do.
KING: We'll take a break, and when we come back, we'll be joined by Margerry Bakley Smith, Bonny's sister, and then we'll meet Gerry Schwartzbach, the attorney for Robert Blake. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT BLAKE, FOUND NOT GUILTY OF MURDERING HIS WIFE: You've interviewed my friends. You've interviewed producers that have worked for me. You've interviewed distant relatives and close, immediate relatives. You've interviewed, Hey, I lived in his house. I know him. I know him inside out. Well, guess what? They're all liars. And about half of them are commode scum who are out to hustle you to make a buck over my, hopefully, dead ass. Well, they missed their bet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Holly Gawron and Eric Dubin are with us in New York. Joining us from Huntsville, Alabama, is Margerry Bakley Smith, Bonny Lee Bakley's sister.
You were not in the court, right, Margerry?
MARGERRY BAKLEY SMITH, SISTER OF ROBERT BLAKE'S SLAIN WIFE: No, I wasn't?
KING: Did you watch it on television?
SMITH: Yes, I watched the verdict on television.
KING: What was your reaction?
SMITH: I was in shock. I was devastated. I just don't know how they came to that conclusion. Maybe it's just more obvious to me because of, you know, talking to my sister so much and for so long and hearing all the threats and -- you know, he promised he was going to do it, and he did it. And he said he'd get away with it, and he did. I guess this is just the final time I can be hurt by him.
KING: Did your sister actually tell you she feared that he would kill her?
SMITH: Over and over again, you know, since she was pregnant with Rosie.
KING: Were you asked to testify in the case?
SMITH: I was subpoenaed but never called.
KING: I guess it would have been hearsay, right?
SMITH: Exactly. Exactly.
KING: All right, the...
SMITH: There's not much you can do.
KING: Holly, Bonny's daughter, and Eric, her attorney, think that this was celebrity influence. Do you think that? I mean, Robert Blake hasn't been widely in the public eye in years.
SMITH: I'm sure it had to do with his celebrity and his finances. And it's amazing what you can buy, you know? Obviously, he bought his freedom.
KING: Bought it how?
SMITH: Well, you know, how many high-profile attorneys had he been through that was out there smearing my sister from day one? You know, they had four years to taint the jury, and they succeeded.
KING: Holly, do you think they put -- that basically, they put your mother on trial?
GAWRON: Yes. Yes. I think the media had a big deal to do with this, the tabloids and ruining the testimony of several witnesses that were solicited, even bringing in McLarty's son, Cole, I think, you know, and -- it was easy to ruin their credibility because they had talked to tabloids.
KING: Eric, isn't it a problem when the victim herself or himself has problems? DUBIN: Well, it shouldn't, Larry. Bonny wasn't on trial. Bonny's the murder victim, and I feel that they murdered her twice, once in the car and once in the public's eye. The Blake lawyers may not have invented victim-bashing, but they took it to a new level. And I thought it was appalling from the get-go. Bonny's still alive, and you see Harland Braun bad-mouthing her. It was really unbelievable, what they did to this woman.
And you know what, Larry? I know everything there is to know about Bonny, and there's nothing there. There's nothing even close there to what the people think. She sold nude photos. I mean, is that worthy of the death penalty? And Blake knew about it. Blake dated her for years before they married. It was no secret what Bonny did. Blake had no problem with it.
KING: Margerry, the jurors were out a whole week. And last night, two of them on this program said they just -- they didn't say he didn't do it, they just say they didn't have enough to convict him. How do you react?
SMITH: Yes. Well, you know, I wasn't in the courtroom, so I don't know what evidence was presented, but I do know all this evidence they had. I just don't know what they used. And I just don't see how they came to that conclusion. There was overwhelming evidence. I mean, of course, there was nothing direct. It was all circumstantial. But people are convicted every day in America on circumstantial evidence.
KING: Are you saying, Margerry, there's no doubt in your mind that Blake did this?
SMITH: No, not at all. Never was. He was bragging to everybody who would listen that he was going to do it, and then he did it, and all of a sudden, nobody believes it? You know, I don't know.
KING: Why didn't your sister leave him?
SMITH: Because he had Rosie. She was only in his home for five days, and Rosie was to come home on Monday, and he killed her on Friday. Obviously, he couldn't find somebody else to do it. He was panicking. He wanted her gone out of his life, out of the baby's life. And he knew the baby was coming home on Monday, and he decided to do it himself. I'm not shocked. She knew it was going to happen. She was just hoping that she could get the baby and get out of there, you know, before it did. And she didn't make it.
KING: Where is the baby now, Holly?
GAWRON: That's a good question, Larry. I don't know. I don't know how to get in contact with them. They're definitely not going to try to reach out to me. I hope when she grows up, she will come to me for the truth because we share the same blood. She is my sister. That's something Robert Blake can't take away. He can't change that.
KING: Who is taking care of her? Do you know where she is? GAWRON: Apparently, Delinah has adopted her. I'm not sure if that means she's taken care of by Delinah. I think she's with a full- time nanny or something. I think that the entire family is incapable of love. I think they're void of emotion. They seem inhuman to me. They don't really seem to care about anything except money. And I feel really story for the child.
KING: Eric, who are you representing in the civil case?
DUBIN: I represent all four children, including Rosie. I know there's some confusion out there about it, but let's be clear. I represent all four children in this wrongful death case, and I'm going to get justice for all four children. This is not over. And I don't like to see Robert Blake celebrating. We're talking about a murdered mother of four here. Let's not forget that, Mr. Blake. And I'll see you in July.
KING: And that's when, July what?
DUBIN: July 7 is our trial date, and I'll be ready.
KING: Thank you all very much. Margerry Bakley Smith, Holly Gawron and Eric Dubin, Bonny's sister, daughter and family attorney.
When we come back, Gerry Schwartzbach, the attorney for Robert Blake. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAKE: I was concentrating on the verdict. I was concentrating on my grand-baby being born healthy and strong. If that sounds crazy, people have always said I'm crazy, and that's all right, just so I ain't a fool.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAKE: I want to thank Gerry. God brought Gerry into my life. He'll never be rich and he'll never be famous because he don't know nothing about money and he has no idea what to do with you people. But by God, he can save lives, and that'll keep him warm on any cold night in his life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Is he right, Gerry Schwartzbach?
M. GERALD SCHWARTZBACH, ATTORNEY FOR ROBERT BLAKE: Well, I work hard for my clients, Larry.
KING: How are you -- Robert said he's broke, so how were you remunerated? SCHWARTZBACH: Well, I don't -- you know, I can't speak to his financial condition, but you know, I was retained and he paid my retainer.
KING: You were paid?
SCHWARTZBACH: I was paid. But I was paid before the trial was over.
KING: What won it?
SCHWARTZBACH: I told the jury there simply was no evidence, whether direct or circumstantial, that Robert personally either killed Bonny Bakley or that he was in any way culpable. There simply wasn't any evidence, which is why the jurors told you what they did.
KING: That they were 11 to 1 for not guilty almost immediately.
SCHWARTZBACH: Yes. There simply wasn't anything. There wasn't -- there wasn't -- there wasn't even circumstantial evidence that he was guilty.
KING: The gun, nothing? He was the last one to see her, he finds her?
SCHWARTZBACH: He found her, but he was -- he found her. He immediately attempted to find -- she was alive when paramedics arrived. And he went to seek help. He was the one who had them call 911. He ran to the restaurant to get a doctor. He ran to the car with people trying to help her. That's not somebody who had just shot somebody who knows them.
KING: Do you have a theory of the crime?
SCHWARTZBACH: I have thoughts in my own mind, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to share them publicly.
KING: But since you don't think your client did it, you must have some thoughts of who might have done it.
SCHWARTZBACH: I do have some thoughts as to who might have done it, but again, I don't think it's appropriate for me to say.
KING: All right. Do you think this crime will ever be solved?
SCHWARTZBACH: I don't.
KING: You don't?
SCHWARTZBACH: I don't. Because they're going to stop looking?
SCHWARTZBACH: Because they're going to stop looking.
KING: The other attorney, Mr. Dubin, just mentioned that when you did your summation, you said, Even if you probably think it, you have to do it beyond the shadow of a doubt -- with reasonable doubt. Does that open the way for him to lose the civil case?
SCHWARTZBACH: There's a different burden of proof at a criminal trial and a civil trial. But the evidence is going to be the same. And there's simply no evidence that Robert was in any way culpable in this crime.
KING: Are you going to represent him in the civil case?
SCHWARTZBACH: I don't, as of now, and I don't whether or not I'll have involvement in the civil case or not.
KING: Is that -- are they special attorneys, civil attorneys? Do you do any civil work?
SCHWARTZBACH: I do do civil work, but I haven't been involved in this case to this point.
KING: Would you do it if asked?
SCHWARTZBACH: If asked, I would.
KING: Let's watch a bit of that extraordinary day yesterday of Robert Blake and the press. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAKE: I'm going to get a job. I'm broke. Right now, I couldn't buy spats for a hummingbird. What did Johnny Cochran say? You're innocent until proven broke? Well, by the time Gerry and these troops got here, it was the bottom of the barrel. I was a rich man. I'm broke now. I've got to go to work.
But before that, I'm going to go out and do a little cowboying. Do you know what that is? No, you don't know what that is. Cowboying is when you get in a motor home or a van or something like that and you just let the air blow in your hair. And you wind up in some little bar in Arizona someplace, and you shoot one-handed nine balls with some 90-year-old Portuguese woman that beats the hell out of you. And the next day, you wind up in a park someplace playing chess with somebody. And you go see a high school play where they're doing "West Side Story," and you just roam around and get some revitalization that there are human beings in the world, that there are people living their lives that have no agenda. That have no agenda.
I've been involved in a world where -- you know the Mafia saying, The enemy of my enemy is my friend? Well, in this world that I've been in, it's very much that way. People drift from one side to the other in five minutes, and you never know where you are or who's on your side or who's not on your side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Gerry Schwartzbach, what was he like to work with?
SCHWARTZBACH: The first time I met Robert, we spent four hours together. I expected us to talk for an hour. We established an instant rapport. Robert's a complicated man. His character cannot be capsulized in a sound bite. As I told the jury, he's not just Robert Blake, he's also Mickey Gubitosi. And I believe that -- I mean, Robert and I have a very strong bond. We trust each other personally. I think he decided to retain me because he trusted me personally and he trusted me professionally.
KING: How did he know of you?
SCHWARTZBACH: I was just a name on a list.
KING: He went through other attorneys. Different people represented him, had difficult times with him. What do you think it was about you and him that was different?
SCHWARTZBACH: You know, I can't speak about his relationship with other people. I wasn't there. But he and I had a -- we had a very successful relationship.
KING: Was he a good client? Did he listen to his lawyer?
SCHWARTZBACH: He did listen to his lawyer.
KING: Was he always open to his lawyer?
SCHWARTZBACH: He was open to his lawyer. We had frank exchanges. I told him -- the first time I met him, the first thing I said to him is, I don't promise results, and I'll never lie to you. And I was always open to his input. He had a lot of information about the case. I was new to the case. He's a bright man. But it was always understood that I made the final decision.
KING: Did he ever want to testify?
SCHWARTZBACH: Did he -- well, we talked about the possibility of him testifying, but I didn't think it was necessary. I actually never thought it was going to be necessary.
KING: Someone like that usually likes to be heard.
SCHWARTZBACH: Well, you have more experience with somebody like that than I do. But as I say, we established a sound relationship and he accepted my advice. We had free exchanges of information.
KING: Where is his daughter?
SCHWARTZBACH: She's adopted by his older daughter, Delinah, and there's proceedings -- her husband -- Delinah's married, and soon her husband will also be Rosie's father.
KING: And what will Robert be?
SCHWARTZBACH: Well, he'll be a member of that family and... KING: He'll be her grandfather/father?
SCHWARTZBACH: Well, you know, that's a personal matter, a family matter. I don't intrude into those things.
KING: What did he do last night?
SCHWARTZBACH: We had a very small gathering of people who worked on the case and some friends, and we stayed at the house where Robert's currently living. And we ordered out some food, and we just relaxed and enjoyed the fact that Robert got to walk out the front door and didn't have to walk out that side door.
KING: When the jury filed in, what were you thinking?
SCHWARTZBACH: My mind told me that they were going to acquit him because I couldn't believe that they could be hung up on a solicitation charge regarding Duffy Hambleton and not acquit him. But any lawyer who's been in that position just has their heart in their hand when the jury comes in. So I was -- I was -- you know, I was more anxious than he was.
And to give you an indication of who he is, he looked at me before the jury came in, and he could appreciate that I was more anxious than he was, and he just looked at me and said, You tried your best. He was telling me, you know, Even if this goes bad, even if I lose my life, you know, I don't want you to carry any guilt. You did the best you could.
KING: Thanks, Gerry. Congratulations.
SCHWARTZBACH: Thank you very much.
KING: Gerry Schwartzbach, the attorney for Robert Blake.
When we come back, that horrible story of the missing 9-year-old, Jessica Lunsford. There is now someone who has reason to be thought of as a possible person of interest that has been apprehended. We'll talk all about that when we come back. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF RONNIE STRENGTH, RICHMOND COUNTRY, GEORGIA: He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the law enforcement center. Further investigation revealed that had Couey had been in Augusta two days and was leaving today for Tennessee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford has been missing since February 24th.
Joining us Homosassa Springs, Florida, is Mark Lunsford, the father of Jessica Lunsford. Sitting with him is John Zarrella, CNN correspondent. In Salt Lake City is Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, the young Utah girl who was abducted from her Salt Lake home and later found alive. In San Francisco, Candice Delong, the former FBI profiler. In San Francisco is Mark Klaas, whose daughter Polly was abducted in October of '93 and found murdered. He is founder of the Klaas Kids Foundation. With us on the phone from Cincinnati is Angela Bryant. She is Jessica's mother, the ex-wife of Mark Lunsford.
John Zarrella, bring us up to date. What's this development about a person of interest?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry, he was picked up this morning, John Couey, in Augusta by authorities there, and he was taken from a Salvation Army overnight shelter where he'd been for a couple of days. Now police here -- authorities here sent investigators up to Georgia. They thought at first he might be in Savannah. Eventually they found him, of course, in Augusta.
They have been talking with him. According to the sheriff's department here, late this afternoon the sheriff held a news conference and indicated that his investigators had been talking with Couey, and he was cooperating with them and that he was talking to them and filling in some of the blanks, but not necessarily giving them things that had anything to do with Jessica. That's the way he put it.
Now, Couey will have his first appearance tomorrow in court in Augusta some time in the morning, not clear exactly what time that will be, Larry, and that will be on the charges, the warrant from Florida, nothing to do with Jessica, but the warrant that as a sex offender, a registered sex offender, he had left the place of residence that he had given them in Florida without notifying his parole officer. So, that's the warrant that he will be facing the hearing for tomorrow in Augusta -- Larry?
KING: Candice Delong, what is a person of interest?
CANDICE DELONG, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, Larry, I think that's the term that we now call someone who -- what we used to call a subject of an investigation or a suspect in an investigation. "Person of interest" has become the term we use since the Atlanta bombings in the Olympics several years ago when word got out that the FBI was looking at someone and it turned out that he was not the person responsible for the bombing and he successfully sued.
KING: So we should not make assumptions about Mr. Couey?
DELONG: Well, no, not yet. He's certainly -- he's a very interesting person to look at. My level of suspicion regarding his activity is very high, that he left without telling his parole officer, that he lived close to this missing girl, and that he kept on moving. If that's unusual behavior for him, if he doesn't normally move around that quickly and that fast, and I doubt that he does, then one has to ask themselves, why would he be doing it now?
KING: And Candice, if his history has been as a pedophile and not a violent criminal in that he never murdered anyone, does that give you hope about Jessica?
DELONG: Well, I'm very worried about Jessica because of the time that's gone by. If he is responsible for her disappearance, where the heck is she? So, that, of course, worries me a great deal. And the fact that he does not have a known murder in his past does not necessarily -- isn't going to help me sleep better tonight that he had nothing to do with her disappearance. No, I'm afraid not.
KING: Mark Lunsford, the father of Jessica Lunsford, how do you feel?
MARK LUNSFORD, FATHER OF MISSING 9-YEAR-OLD GIRL: I've been taking it like a grain of salt. The sheriff said he only wanted to speak to the man in questioning. There's not been any ties between him and Jessica. I try not to get excited any more over things because it just seems to be a let down, so I'm just going to continue with my search efforts this weekend.
KING: Have you gotten any leads at all, Mark? Have the police told you, other than this person of interest, of any leads?
LUNSFORD: Other than this person of interest, they've not mentioned any other solid leads.
KING: Angela Bryant, with us on the phone from Cincinnati, who's Jessica's mother, how do you feel about this?
ANGELA BRYANT, MOTHER OF MISSING 9-YEAR-OLD: I don't feel that, in my heart, I don't feel that he really had anything to do with it. I know she's out there somewhere, and it's very important that we find her. I keep hoping, I keep her in my heart.
KING: So you feel that -- this is a gut feeling, right, -- that John Couey was not involved and that she's still alive?
BRYANT: I feel she's still alive, and in my heart and in my gut, I don't feel this man really had anything to do with it. I'm praying that he didn't, but I'm just -- it's better than no news at all. It's just important that we keep looking for and keep finding her.
KING: So, you have no knowledge. This is a gut feeling.
BRYANT: Yes, I have a gut feeling. It is a knowledge of a gut feeling. I don't feel that he had anything to do with it.
KING: Ed Smart, what would you say to Mark Lunsford and Angela? Your daughter was found.
ED SMART, FATHER OF RECOVERED ABDUCTEE: I would certainly tell them to keep the hope up that there is absolutely the possibility that she's still out there.
You know, hearing about sex offenders, I know Florida has an excellent sex offender registry in the way they function, and it is very suspicious that he would leave Florida, especially if he'd already been in touch with police and was moving again. I mean, that's a concern.
Of course, we had somebody that was of interest also, and it turned out not to be him, but you just never know. And I think you have to follow through on every one. And of course, this is really the first person of suspicion that they've come up with.
So, I think that, boy, they've got to follow it through, find out why it was he left. It seems that I've heard that he left on a bus with a different name. I mean, why would he do those things? You know, it's suspicious.
KING: Mark Klaas, Candice Delong says it gives her pause. Does it give you pause? The actions of this potential suspect.
MARK KLAAS: Oh, absolutely. I go along with everything that Candice said. She's absolutely the expert in this.
MARK KLAAS, FOUNDER KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: What I have done, Larry, is contacted Mark Lunsford earlier today and offered a search director to go down and assist him as he tries to search for his daughter. It turns out that in the last week or so the volunteer effort has really dwindled and Mark really needs people to come out and help, because we're looking at this man, we're looking at somebody else, but the reality is, that Jessica is still out there, and this father has to find her. So, our guy is going to go down to Homosassas Springs starting on Saturday. We are encouraging all of the people that have the ability to, to get out and volunteer and help them search and bring this child home.
KING: Mark Klaas, what is a search director?
KLAAS: Our search director actually got involved with us in 1993 when we were looking for Polly, and what he did, he came in and professionally organized the search for Polly, which did several things. It took burden off of the shoulders of law enforcement. It gave volunteers something to do, that as long as the team leaders and the people that were organizing the search are professional and know how to do these kinds of things, the people that are actually walking the line can be a certain type of volunteer. And then finally, it takes some burden off of Mark's shoulders and is going to give him an ability to go before the media on a regular basis and say we have searched, we've done this, we've done that, we've done the other, and we want people to come out and continue to help us do this.
KING: Mark Lunsford, I guess you're very happy about that, that you have someone like Mark Klaas.
LUNSFORD: Oh, yes, sir. I talked to him earlier today, and I'm just thrilled to death that I don't have to try to wing this by myself. He told me they'd be here, and I'm just real happy to have him. I've got a command center set up here today. My boss donated a 40-foot, fifth-wheel camper to use as a command center, and I'm just going to have everything ready for that man when he gets here so I can learn more.
KING: Candice Delong, certainly Ed Smart proves you don't give up, right?
DELONG: Absolutely. I remember when I heard that Elizabeth had been found alive, I had been on an airline flight for about three hours and when we landed, I turned my phone on -- it was the first thing I heard and it just brought me to tears. It was, I think, the happiest I had ever been since I started in law enforcement back in 1980, and it also was the first time I heard of it happening.
KING: John Zarrella, have police told you anything other than this person of interest, any other suspects at all?
ZARRELLA: Well, they say that they're looking at numerous other people, and they've had numerous leads they're continuing to bring in, and they're continuing to say that they're not ruling anything out or anybody out.
Once they finish interviewing John Couey, it may well be that that the end of it with John Couey and that they have to move on. Again, they are looking at lots of other leads in the case. This is not the only one. This was the brightest spot for them in the last couple of days, but they are continuing, Larry, to say, look, if it doesn't pan out, there are others we're looking at.
KING: Angela Bryant, you're in Cincinnati. You're the mother. Do you feel a little out of it?
ANGELA BRYANT, MOTHER OF JESSICA LUNSFORD (via telephone): Yeah, I feel a little out of it. But, you know, here at home, we're doing everything that we can. We're passing flyers just in case Jessica is not in Florida. We're doing everything -- we've passed flyers, we've talked to people. We've done everything that we can. And I still feel out of place, because I'm not there actually in the home area where Jessica was living. But I will come back to Florida and help search for her some more.
KING: Angela, thanks for spending these moments with us. I know how difficult it could be.
BRYANT: Thank you.
KING: That was Angela Bryant, the mother of the missing Jessica Lunsford.
We'll come back and include some of your phone calls for Mark Lunsford, John Zarrella, Ed Smart, Candice DeLong and Mark Klaas. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF JEFF DAWSY, CITRUS COUNTY, FLORIDA: And we received probably several hundred leads from news conference yesterday about bringing Couey out. And we're still looking at all the possibilities. And I've always said that there is somebody out there who has information.
Couey may play out to not even be in the mix. We'll know that better. As I said this morning, I'm working for Jessica right now. Everybody is in this investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF RONNIE STRENGTH, RICHMOND COUNTY, GEORGIA: He's very cooperative. Like I said, he was taken without incident, did not try to hide who he was, told us who he was. We had no problem whatsoever with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Let's take some calls. Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, hello.
CALLER: Hi. This is a question for Mark.
KING: Yeah, go ahead.
CALLER: This is a question for Mark.
KING: Mark who?
CALLER: Sorry, the father.
KING: OK. Mark Lunsford. Go ahead.
CALLER: In case somebody has Jessica, could you tell me some of her hobbies and her favorite music and stuff. If somebody out there is scrambling around trying to get stuff for her?
KING: Yes, that's a good question. Let's say someone has her, Mark, and is holding her for whatever reason. What are some things he likes? What should he get her?
M. LUNSFORD: Well, he should bring her home and let her have the things that she normally has. I see no reason to accommodate this person to make my girl happy, because she's he's not going to be able to. He should just let her go and let her come home.
KING: So you wouldn't give him any information about her?
M. LUNSFORD: Well, I mean, you know, to me, I see -- it's like I don't want to. Why should I tell somebody the things that she likes? Just let her go. Let her come home. You want to make her happy? Let her come home.
KING: Mark Klaas, do you agree with that?
KLAAS: I think that Mark is doing an absolutely marvelous job given the fact that he's back at work, that he's trying to search for his daughter. Instinctively, he knows what to say. He knows how to say it. And I am so behind this guy, man, I will help him do anything to get this child home.
M. LUNSFORD: Thank you.
KING: If there is an apprehender and if Jessica is alive, should he tell the apprehender things about her?
DELONG: Well, I don't know, Larry. I've never interviewed somebody, an abductor that later said I got this kind of information. What we do know, hopefully -- what I believe is that if someone has her, that she would tell them she'd like to do this or she'd like to do that. I mean, she's been gone almost four weeks now. And I would certainly hope they would want to make her happy.
KING: Ed, what do you think?
E. SMART: Well, I think following what mark said is important. I think that just keeping the awareness of her out there that somebody is going to see her or something that's going to help bring her home.
KING: To Hillsborough, Wisconsin, hello.
CALLER: Hello. My question is about the dog that -- I have a two-fold question. The dog that's in the house was known to be a yapper and did not make any noise. My pets would not make noise when someone they knew would come in the house. But a stranger even approach the porch would go nuts.
My other question is my daughter lives in Florida and is plagued by alligators. And it looks like a rural area, have you got that problem? And would it be a possibility that she wandered out at night and was snatched by an alligator?
KING: Two good questions. Mark Lunsford, first, the dog.
M. LUNSFORD: The dog Corky he's a good dog, but when he sleeps, you're not going to wake him up unless you knock on the door or ring the door bell. There's been many a nights that I've come in late and the dog not even know I came in.
As far as alligators, this is Florida. There's probably a little bit of alligator everywhere. I have not seen any around here.
KING: Victoria, British Columbia. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call.
CALLER: Has the Lunsford family considered getting a psychic to help find Jessica?
KING: Mark, have we got to that point?
M. LUNSFORD: Psychics -- I believe everybody has their own way of doing things, and I won't knock anybody for what they do, but I prefer not to go that route. I just feel like if it was real, then there would be no missing children and everybody would win the Lottery.
KING: Ed Smart, did you ever think of using a psychic?
E. SMART: You know, we have tons and tons of psychics that offered to help. I said, please, go ahead and do whatever it is you're going to do. If you can find her, great. And we certainly did not turn anyone down. There were certainly some wild tales that came out of that.
KING: Mark Klaas, what do you think?
KLAAS: Well, I think psychics get in the way. And they'll give you information that can lead you off on dangerous tangents as happened with us. I would suggest that if somebody were going to hire an outside resource, that one would look for a private investigator that has some kind of skill set and some experience in locating missing children.
KING: John Zarrella, as a reporter, is this a tougher story than most to cover?
ZARRELLA: Oh, it really -- it always is. A year or so ago when we covered the Carly Brucia story not that far from here, just south 100 miles or so. It's very, very difficult to see the pain etched in the faces of Mark of his parents, to see that agony that they're going through, that they just don't know.
As a father myself with two little girls, it really does hit home, and it makes it very difficult. It's tough to intrude on the family's privacy. You don't want to do it, but we have a job to do. And Mark and his mother and father have been just absolutely gracious in giving us access to them and making statements and coming out and talking with us almost any time we ask, Larry.
So they, in many ways have made it easy on us to do our jobs -- Larry.
KING: We'll be back with more moments, some more phone calls. Don't go away.
KING: We're back. Gray, Tennessee, hello.
CALLER: Hey, I would like and -- to ask Mr. Smart a question.
CALLER: Once Jessica does come home, and my prayers are going out that she is going to come home, what does Mr. Lunsford need to do?
Does he need to have, maybe, a therapist ready to, maybe, talk to her and what she's been through? Because I know it's going to be hard for what she's going through.
SMART: I think the best thing that can happen is for her to be with her family. There is going to be nothing that can be better for her than to be there with the people that love her and to enjoy being together. And I think that has more of a healing process than anything that can happen.
SMART: She may need some help.
SMART: But being with her family is going to be the most important and helpful thing for her.
KING: Because Elizabeth got some help, didn't she?
SMART: She did.
KING: Langlois, Oregon, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Great show as always, and a terrific panel. My question is for Candice, the profiler, what tactics would the FBI use in questioning this subject?
KING: Good question.
DELONG: Well, of course, the most important thing is to keep him talking, and they have to do a timeline, try to nail him down to where he's been, corroborate what he's saying, if possible. If it's found that he's being caught in lies, then, of course, the suspicion regarding his activity and -- having anything to do with this continues to rise. If he's responsible in anyway or knows anything about this, of course, the goal of the interview is always to find out what happened and where is the victim. So it's important to keep him talking. And -- Go ahead.
KING: Candice, when do pedophiles harm?
What is that dividing point between those who just perform the act and those who physically hurt?
DELONG: Well, actually, Larry, it's hard to say. Sometimes somebody will be involved in peacekeepers sexual behavior for years and never cross the line. And sometimes they cross the line early in their career. And interestingly -- in their criminal career. And interestingly enough, and this is surprising to most people, not everyone that harms a child or murders a child is necessarily a pedophile. Sometimes they will go for a child when they're in what I call, murder mode. They'll go for a child, because a child is easier to control than an adult woman.
KING: Mark Klaas, was your daughter a victim -- a pedophile victim?
KLAAS: No, sir, she was a -- she was a -- she fell under scenario that Candice just described to you. His -- he was a sexually sadistic psychopath, and he had victimized women with sexual motivation his entire career, and they had always been -- the rapes had always been failures. Polly was small. Polly was controllable, and I think that's exactly why he went after her.
KING: Memphis, hello.
CALLER: Yes. I would like to know if John or Candice knows if Mr. Couey has an attorney while he's being in questioning.
KING: John Zarrella, do we know?
ZARRELLA: We're assuming that for his first appearance tomorrow, he may well have an attorney there for his first appearance, which they actually do in the jail in Augusta. But at this appoint, all we were told was that the Citrus County investigators had been speaking with him. Don't know whether, there was an attorney present for that or not, Larry.
KING: Candice, would you guess there would be?
DELONG: Well, it's interesting. Sometimes people don't want an attorney with them. They oftentimes, and I've heard people have said to me, I don't need an attorney, I don't have anything to hide. Throw your questions at me. And other times, as you soon as you put their -- you're hands on them and bring them in for questioning, they, what we call lawyer up immediately and won't say anything at all. Oftentimes defense attorneys can be very helpful in assisting the police with their clients, cooperating with the police. So, it can go either way.
KING: Dayton, Ohio.
CALLER: Yes, Larry, I love your show.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: And my question is for Mark Lunsford.
CALLER: I was wondering -- I had heard that his mother was a person of interest or some red flags had come up on a polygraph. I was wondering how he felt about that.
M. LUNSFORD: I mean, everybody just has to learn my mother as well as I do. The police have to investigate everybody. They start with inside the home and worked their way out. They said there was some red flags, but they also said that her polygraph was inconclusive. I don't worry about my mom.
KING: You don't fear your mother?
M. LUNSFORD: Oh, no. Not at all.
KING: Thank you all very much. We wish nothing but the best of luck Mark. We hope all of this pans out, and the next time we do this, Jessica is home with you.
M. LUNSFORD: Thank you, Larry.
KING: We thank the entire panel.
Tomorrow night, a good follow up topic, good vs. evil. A Paula Zahn "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS" special is next. Good night.
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