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Nancy Grace for May 11, 2005, CNNHN

Aired May 11, 2005 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, no bail. Two second-grade girls brutally beaten and stabbed to death while out riding their bikes. Today, an Illinois judge brings down the hammer, ordering the murder defendant, Jerry Hobbs, to remain behind bars.
And we go live to California in the Michael Jackson child sex trial. "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin under oath, on the stand today, and under cross-exam.

And a convicted serial killer, Michael Ross, who admits to the sex murders of eight innocent women, is headed to death row. But will his execution be blocked?

Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us tonight.

At the Michael Jackson sex trial, Macaulay Culkin, big screen star, on the stand today for the defense.

Convicted serial killer Michael Ross set for lethal injection this Friday morning, 2:00 a.m. Ross actually appears in a video about his life in which he states, "I`m not a big serial killer. Eight people, that`s nothing." The videotape is selling for $19.99 on-line.

But first, to Jerry Hobbs, now formally charged in the brutal double murders of his 8-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old best friend. Hobbs reportedly confessed to the murders, including of his 8-year-old daughter, stabbed more than 20 times in her neck, her eyes, and her stomach.

With us tonight from Waukegan, Lake County coroner, Dr. Richard Keller; in Libertyville, Lake County state`s attorney, the district attorney, Mike Waller; in Atlanta, defense attorney Renee Rockwell; in New York, psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere.

But first, to CNN correspondent Jonathan Freed. Jonathan, bring us up-to-date, friend.

JONATHAN FREED, CNN REPORTER: Good evening, Nancy. Well, you have hit the high points today. What everybody was waiting to see was Jerry Hobbs appearing in court today, it was for that bond hearing. And as you pointed out, he was denied bond.

I did not have a chance to actually be in that courtroom today. But I spoke to my colleague, Chris Lawrence of CNN, who was there. And Chris painted a very clear picture for me. He told me that, at various times during the proceeding today, whenever the details about what happened to his daughter were mentioned in court, that he would hang his head and, in Chris` words, he appeared to actually be whimpering. He appeared to be visibly upset with what was going on in court -- Nancy?

GRACE: Let me just get one thing straight. Wasn`t he put behind bars recently for going on a rampage in his neighborhood with a chainsaw? Somebody had to beat the man in the back with a shovel to get him stopped? And he`s whimpering because he murdered his 8-year-old daughter? Did I hear that?

FREED: Well, that`s the picture that was painted for us today. And you`re referring to an incident that happened a couple of years ago in Texas, where he apparently went after his -- he went after Laura`s mother at that time with a chainsaw. And that somebody actually subdued him by hitting him with a shovel. You`re right about that.

And then, as it`s been described to us, he was held down until the authorities arrived.

GRACE: Take a listen to this.


RICK MAHLER, CHIEF FELONY PROSECUTOR, WICHITA COUNTY: He got in a fight or a disagreement with his ex-wife. And for some reason, it escalated up to a very unusual weapon of him and a running chainsaw, which is -- I mean, I`ve never seen anybody have a chainsaw involved in a fight other than in the movie.


GRACE: Joining us is the district attorney, the state`s attorney in that jurisdiction, Mike Waller. Mike, what did we learn -- what did the public learn about the case today in court?

MIKE WALLER, COUNTY STATE`S ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, in essence, the public learned the details of some of our evidence. You`ve detailed some of it in your lead in.

GRACE: What specifically came out in court today?

WALLER: Yes, yes. That`s why can talk about it. Last night, I couldn`t talk to you about it.

And I think, clearly, when we were detailing the extent of the injuries, the people in the courtroom were horrified, and you know, obviously as any person of goodwill would be. You know, I was standing next to Hobbs in the courtroom. And I think that was a fairly accurate description of how...

GRACE: OK, you know what? Let me ask you some pointed questions.


GRACE: Did the probable cause for his arrest come out in court today?


GRACE: What was the probable cause?

WALLER: He gave an oral confession, a signed confession, and a videotaped confession. And we detailed the substance of those confessions in court today. And that established the probable cause.

GRACE: So...

WALLER: In those confessions, he admitted to the brutal beating of his daughter and of Krystal.

GRACE: To you, Dr. Richard Keller -- he is the Lake County coroner. He performed the autopsies on these two little girls. What exactly were the injuries the girls sustained? I couldn`t believe my eyes when I read one of them had been stabbed in both eyes?

DR. RICHARD KELLER, LAKE COUNTY CORONER: Yes. Laura Hobbs had about 20 stab wounds, six of them were to her neck. She did, indeed, have stab wounds to both of her eyes. Krystal had about 11 stab wounds, several of them to the neck, as well as to her chest and abdomen.

GRACE: Doctor, I understand the girls were also beaten. Is that true?

KELLER: Laura Hobbs had a number of bruises about her face and swelling. Krystal was a little harder to tell at autopsy. She certainly wasn`t bruised as bad as Laura had been.

GRACE: Was there any indication that the girls were left there to die?

KELLER: I mean, it`s very obvious that they were. You know, the blood had drained down over their clothing and down underneath them. And you know, obviously, they, you know, were there and that`s where they bled.

GRACE: Mr. Waller, did he show any remorse when he was giving this statement? I don`t mean in court in front of the public. I mean when he was talking to police, did he show any remorse over this double murder?

WALLER: Well, the investigators have told us, Nancy, that, near the end, he did display a minimal amount of remorse. But generally, he did not display any remorse. And his reactions were fairly bizarre, considering the circumstances.

GRACE: When you say his reactions were bizarre, what do you mean by that?

WALLER: Well, he didn`t show any emotion. He had a matter-of-fact manner. Maybe bizarre wasn`t the right word.


GRACE: ... affect?

WALLER: He had a no affect in his reaction. Yes, he was typical of a lot of people who commit terrible crimes like this.

Clearly, he didn`t demonstrate any empathy for either his daughter or this other poor little girl that he murdered. And you know, as I`ve said before, that was -- that type of reaction and action led to the police questioning him further.

GRACE: Very quickly, I`m very distraught about this rap sheet.

Dusty, can you take a look at this thing? We showed it to our viewers last night.

He had just gotten out on aggravated assault with a weapon. And I`m not sure what that was all about. He had driving license suspended, marijuana, fugitive from justice, assault with bodily injury. It goes on, driving license suspended, resisting arrest, evading police, more marijuana, more aggravated assault and more aggravated assault.

Take a listen to this.


MAHLER: I don`t know Jerry Hobbs personally. So I can`t give you any input about his personality or his personality problems.

He certainly has a violent past, just because of the several priors -- I think three prior convictions for assault of offenses. So certainly somebody that didn`t deal well with controlling his anger.


GRACE: To Renee Rockwell, joining us from Atlanta. You know, it sounds, Renee, like a defense attorney`s worst nightmare. They`ve got his confession typewritten, oral and on video. I mean, this guy is not going to be able to complain, "Oh, they hit me with a phone book. They wouldn`t let me eat. They tortured me, you know. They burned me with their cigarette lighters." Not going to happen, Renee.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, Nancy. And it`s my understanding that there`s no physical evidence. I think that there was a potato knife he alleges that he did this massacre with, but that has not been recovered. Am I right?

GRACE: I think you`re right. But Renee, just because we don`t have the murder weapon does not mean the clothes he was wearing at the time doesn`t have the little girls` blood on them. That`s DNA.

ROCKWELL: No, I understand that. But it`s interesting, because with such an iron-clad confession, the defense attorneys are going to try by any means to get it thrown out. I would be interested to know if the Miranda warnings were on the videotape.

GRACE: Oh, Renee Rockwell, always looking for a loop hole. Listen. This guy did not just fall off the turnip truck.

Mike Waller, I know you`ve got the Miranda warnings on video and before a signed statement there`s a page in front with the Miranda warnings on them typewritten for the prisoner to sign. Please tell me that`s correct.

WALLER: Yes, that`s correct. The investigators followed all the rules and complied strictly with constitutional requirements. We have signed waivers and we have videotape statements memorializing that.

You know, there is a substantial amount of physical evidence that`s been seized. And it`s at the crime lab now. You know, the girls` bodies were discovered on Monday morning, and we`re at Wednesday evening now. The crime labs just don`t operate that quickly.

So we`ll see what physical evidence we develop. I believe we will end up with physical evidence that links the defendant to the crime.

GRACE: Right. If this guy has confessed to a multiple stabbing of two little girls, somewhere there`s some clothes with these little girls` blood on it, somewhere. And I`m sure the cops didn`t seize clothes that did not look as if they were associated with the crime.

So what he`s talking about is there is a delay at the crime lab. It takes them 24, 48, 76 hours to actually make a DNA match.

Very quickly, to the prosecutor. We spoke...

WALLER: Threw it into the woods.

GRACE: Threw it the woods? I`m sorry, threw what into the woods?

WALLER: The knife. And we`re still looking for the knife, but he threw it into the woods.

GRACE: Yes, you may never find that.

WALLER: Right.

GRACE: Two things, Mr. Waller. Number one, we spoke with the wife earlier. And she says her husband is innocent, that he did not do this. Is that her story, that her husband is innocent?

WALLER: Well, you know, actually, her statement to the police was she was sleeping at home during the time when the murders were committed. So you know, you expect a wife will stand by her husband. And I appreciate and respect that. But you know, we have accounted for his time, and we`re confident of the case that we have against him.

GRACE: So she`s giving him an alibi?

WALLER: No, she`s not.

GRACE: Oh, OK. I`m sorry. I misheard you. I thought you said...

WALLER: No, she was asleep during the period of time that the murder was committed. She had no idea what he was doing.

GRACE: OK. Did she come to court today?

WALLER: I believe she was there. There were so many people in the courtroom, it was hard to, you know, figure out who was there. I heard that she was there later.

GRACE: Mr. Waller, are you seeking the death penalty in this case?

WALLER: Well, Nancy, I have a procedure that I follow. I`m going to follow it in this case, even though this is a horrific crime.

And I deliberate. I thoroughly review this case, try to get as much information about the defendant`s background as I can, and then I also afford, in this case, the public defender who represents him an opportunity to give me whatever evidence he thinks would mitigate against the death penalty.

GRACE: Right.

WALLER: Then I`ll make a decision. And I...

GRACE: Right. Mr. Waller, I understand...

WALLER: I don`t think it`s a good idea to...

GRACE: ... you have a protocol. I get it. And you`re not ready to make any type of announcement.

Very quickly, rumors are circulating that this defendant, Mr. Hobbs, with this horrific rap sheet, is actually trying to suggest he killed in self-defense against these two little girls, that one of them had the knife. Is that true? Is he actually saying he was defending himself against an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old girl?

WALLER: Well, the statement that he gave to the police and that we detailed in court today, he said that Krystal had, as he described it, a potato knife. You know, we don`t believe that. The investigators don`t believe that. But his statement, even with that bit of misinformation in it, really didn`t amount to self-defense.

GRACE: Mr. Waller, thank you so much for being with us.

Dr. Richard Keller performed the autopsy on these two little girls, was kind enough to be with us tonight to outline their injuries.

Gentlemen, thank you.

Quick break, everyone. Please stay with us.



JOHN MCELROY, HOBBS` FORMER NEIGHBOR: I see this one individual pushing a female around. I said, "You don`t leave the trailer park. I`m calling the police." I told my two sons to stay in the yard. And I was looking for some kind of protection myself, either a two-by-four or something. And I found a shovel.

He was doing something in the back of the truck and then all of a sudden I heard the noise and it was a chainsaw. In my mind, I was thinking, "I`ve got to stop this guy." At the same time, I`m thinking of the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." My youngest son got in front of him and he swung something at the same time I took my shovel and hit him square in the back and knocked him down.


GRACE: What was this guy doing out of jail? Somebody help me, for Pete`s sake. You are taking a look at Jerry Branton Hobbs III. He is now formally charged with the double murders of his 8-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old little playmate, last seen taking off riding their bike together, one on the back of the other on the bike. They were never seen alive again.

Hobbs found them, led authorities to their body. Today, he appeared in court. The judge said no bond.

Welcome back, everybody. I want to go to victims` rights advocate, Andy Kahan. Andy, can you -- have you seen this guy`s rap sheet?

ANDY KAHAN, DIRECTOR OF VICTIM`S CRIME OFFICE FOR THE MAYOR OF HOUSTON: Oh, it`s incredible. I mean, the minute I saw it this morning, I sat and I knew this should have never, ever happened. It`s a million dollar question. How in the world did a guy who played the system like a fiddle with an arrest just about every year gets only two years in the penitentiary?

GRACE: And you know, the thing is, one of these assaults was with a chainsaw, a chainsaw. And here he, back with these little girls in his neighborhood, the little girl in his house, Andy.

KAHAN: He`s a chronic, habitual offender. After all the arrests he had in the 1990s, they finally nail him, I guess you can say, with ten years probation when he was chasing people around with a chainsaw. And then, again, he flees.

You know, I can`t stand it when I keep reading and seeing, "Well, he missed some appointments." Let`s call it what he was. He was a fugitive. They get him. They had a chance to throw the book at him. They could have and they should have sentenced him to the full ten years.

Instead, they give him the bare minimum, a bare minimum that you can sentence a convicted, violent offender. And that`s two years. That`s incredible.

Just think, Nancy. If he would have even gotten even five years, three years or ten, which he should have, those two little girls would be riding the street today. This guy couldn`t even behave in prison, by the way. He had four infractions written up for bad behavior in prison.

He was a time-bomb ready to explode. He played the system like a fiddle, and the criminal justice system deserves their fair share of blame in this, because he should have never been on the street to do what he did to those little girls.

GRACE: I have got to tell you something, Andy. I am ashamed of our justice system tonight. When I saw this rap sheet, I nearly fell off my seat.

And now, Waller, the D.A., has to handle it. Keller had to work overtime to handle the autopsies of two little girls, best friends.

Jonathan Freed, do we know anything about the girls` funerals?

FREED: Nancy, before I get into that, I think there`s one thing that`s important to point out. I realize that everybody is feeling very confident about this. People see these crimes as what they are. They are, in and of themselves, by any standard, horrible, horrifying crimes. They`ve chilled all of us that are covering this.

And I realize that the police and the prosecution are very confident about their case. There`s been a lot of talk on this air tonight, almost as though they know that they feel that this is a slam-dunk and that they`ve got a conviction.

I think it`s important to remind the viewers at home that what happened today was a bond hearing.

GRACE: You know what?

FREED: We have not even been to a -- hang on, Nance. We have not been to a preliminary hearing yet. And anything can happen. I have covered a lot of these cases. You have, undoubtedly, tried a lot of these cases. Anything can happen at this point forward.

This man has not been convicted yet. And I appreciate that these points of view have to get out there, but I think the viewers need to be reminded today was just the bond hearing. He was denied bail. He`s still sitting in prison, still sitting in jail. Then we move forward.

GRACE: I guess I`ll ask the prosecutor. Do you have any information about when the funerals for these two little girls will be?

WALLER: I don`t, Nancy. As of today, I don`t think they have been scheduled, and maybe if -- at least as far as I know, I think maybe they have been by now, but I do not know.

GRACE: Back to Dr. Richard Keller. Sir, before we go to break, I know the girls were beaten. I know that they were stabbed. But what was the actual cause of death on the girls?

KELLER: The stab wounds to their throats were mortal injuries. They died from that. Also, from the bleeding from the other wounds, as well.

GRACE: When you say they were mortal injuries, you mean they couldn`t breathe? They died of blood loss? They were stabbed in the heart? What was the actual cause of death?

KELLER: The stab wounds to the neck went through the airway, went through the breathing tube. They also had enough bleeding to have bled to death, as well.

GRACE: Can you imagine them, Doctor? Dr. Richard Keller is with us. He performed the autopsies on these girls. They`re angels tonight, stabbed in the throat and laid there, trying to breathe until they died.

Dr. Richard Keller, Mike Waller, thank you very much.

Jonathan Freed, thank you as well.

Let`s go to "Trial Tracking": Police, who found six bodies in a California home, tried to determine if it is a murder-suicide. A 911 call was made around 4:30 a.m. early Tuesday morning. No words were spoken. But 911 heard a gun shot.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE DISPATCHER: 911. State your emergency.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE DISPATCHER: Sheriff`s department. How can I help you?


GRACE: Shortly after, police discovered the bodies of David McGowan, an investigator for the district attorney`s office. Also in the house, his wife, Karen, her mother and the McGowan`s three children, 14, 10 and 8, all shot to death in their beds. As of tonight, no evidence of a break-in.


GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.

Let`s go straight out to Santa Maria, California. Standing by, "Celebrity Justice" correspondent, Jane Velez-Mitchell. Well, you were right. Macaulay Culkin on the stand. What happened?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, "CELEBRITY JUSTICE": Well, Macaulay Culkin took the stand and said, in no uncertain terms, Nancy, that Michael Jackson did not molest him and said any suggestions to the contrary were, quote, unquote, "absolutely ridiculous."

He said when he was a boy, he did sleep in Michael Jackson`s bed while at Neverland, but there was never a plan to it. They would just run around, play and get exhausted, and sort of crash. He said he always wore a t-shirt and blue jeans. And even on cross-examination, being grilled by prosecutors, he stayed on message, insisting nothing, nothing inappropriate ever happened.

GRACE: How did he do on cross?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he did pretty well. He`s cool. He`s calm. He`s collected. He`s a trained professional. He`s a good communicator. And he had a message to deliver, and he delivered it.

GRACE: Jane Velez-Mitchell standing by at the courthouse. We`ll bring in the rest of the panel when we come back. Stay with us.




LARRY KING, HOST: Why do you think he likes young people so much?

MACAULAY CULKIN, ACTOR: It`s because -- because The same reason why he liked me, was the fact that I didn`t care who he was. That was the thing. I talked to him like he was a normal human being. And that`s what -- and kids do that to him, because he`s not -- I mean, he`s Michael Jackson, the pop singer, but he`s not the god of -- the king of pop or anything like that. He`s just a guy who is actually very kid-like himself and wants to go out there and who wants to play video games.


GRACE: We are live in Santa Maria and the latest in the Michael Jackson trial.

From California, defense attorney Anne Bremner. Also with us there, Jane Velez-Mitchell with "Celebrity Justice". Joining us also on the phone is the Jackson family attorney Debra Opri.

Let`s go straight back out to Jane Velez-Mitchell.

Jane, I understand he did a great job for the defense. I was asking you how he did on cross. Specifically, what was he questioned about on cross?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he was questioned about a lot of things, a trip to Bermuda that Michael Jackson tagged along with this 10- or 11-year-old boy, who was going to Bermuda with another family. And the prosecution suggested very strongly that this family wasn`t too thrilled about having Michael Jackson, an adult in his 30s, tagging along with this 10- or 11- year-old boy.

He was also questioned about similarities between all these boys` stories, the fact that Michael Jackson gave him an expensive Rolex watch. He`s also accused of giving the accuser in this case an expensive watch. The fact that both of them went to Toys `R` Us, that there were long phone calls that last many hours, that Michael Jackson spoke to all of these boys, apparently, as being family.

These are the commonalities with all these stories. And prosecutors were trying to emphasize that. And I think they did a good job of emphasizing that.

GRACE: To Anne Bremner, Seattle lawyer standing by at the courthouse.

Anne, it sounds like a romance, all these long, two- and three-hour phone calls with these little boys, giving them gifts, taking them on shopping sprees, on trips. Watches, that`s one step away from an engagement ring.

ANNE BREMNER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Well, for me, it would be.

Nancy, the defense had a five-star day. They really did. Macaulay Culkin was charming. He was appropriate. And, you know, what he said was, Michael is a child. We understood each other. I was a child. They don`t have self-help groups for child stars, is what he said. And they had a connection. And he went a long way to explaining Michael Jackson to this jury as someone that never grew up, who is Peter Pan, who had innocent sleepovers.

He was a great, great witness. And it didn`t sound romantic with this witness. It just sounded like something that they bonded. They had something in common. They`re still friends. And he really took it away today.

GRACE: How did the jury respond?

BREMNER: I think the jury loved him. I think they were very interested in him.

Now, I saw one juror that had her arms crossed and kind of -- she`s one of those kind of tongue-cluckers, you know, kind of like, I don`t know about that Neverland kind of altitude. She`s 79 years old. But it doesn`t mean that she disliked him. She just was kind of looking a little sideways at him.


GRACE: Hey, Anne Bremner, 79, there`s nothing wrong with that. I hope we make it.

BREMNER: I know. I do, too, Nancy.


GRACE: Watch it.

BREMNER: But, no, she`s seen a lot. She`s seen a lot. But she wasn`t quite there with the other jurors, I didn`t think. But, overall, she was great.


Let me go to defense attorney Renee Rockwell.

Renee, I know you`re going to take the side of the defense. But, just for a moment, just be straight with me. Be honest. A grown man talking with a little boy for three hours, two hours, four hours, giving them expensive gifts, shopping sprees, taking them on exotic vacations, watches? It sounds like they`re dating, for Pete`s sake.

ROCKWELL: But, Nancy, none of that is illegal.

And one thing that Macaulay Culkin said that`s going to be very interesting to the jurors is namely that he didn`t even know that he was an alleged victim of any kind of harassment, sexual harassment, by Michael Jackson. He heard about it when some friend of his said, hey, you better watch CNN. They`re talking about you.

He got on the stand. And he said, no prosecutors approached me during this investigation. Nobody contacted me. I heard about it through the news.

That`s got to be damaging.


GRACE: And then, on cross-examination, the prosecution said, isn`t it true our office tried to contact you in 1993 and in 1994 and you refused to speak to us? And Macaulay Culkin`s answer was, I don`t remember that. And I`ve got to agree, Renee, with Anne, as well as with Jane Velez-Mitchell. There`s something about Macaulay Culkin.

Everybody loves him. I`ve seen "Home Alone," I guess maybe 10 times between my three nephews and niece. When he came into that courtroom, I understand, Jane Velez-Mitchell, the jury perked up. The audience perked up. Everybody loved him. There`s no way around it. They believed him.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is a trained actor, Nancy. This is a guy who has done a lot of television and newspaper interviews.

He knows how to dance around questions that are awkward. He knows how to give the answer he wants to give. He knows how to stay on topic. And that`s exactly what he did. I really think he handled this kind of like he was giving an interview to a newspaper columnist that he knew was going to be a tough interview.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he was really dancing. And he did a very good job of it.

GRACE: Jane-Velez, take a listen to this.


CULKIN: The thing is, with Michael is that he`s not very good at explaining himself. And he never really has been, because he`s not a very social person. You`re talking about someone who has been sheltered and sheltering himself, also, for the last like 30 years. And so he`s not very good at communicating to people and not very good at conveying what he is actually trying to say to you.


GRACE: Well, he had me at this, OK? I would believe Macaulay Culkin. I can`t help it. He`s got me hook, line and sinker.

But I used to have a judge -- I know you remember him, Renee -- Luther Alverson (ph), who is 84 years old, who is a former barber. And he would tell the jury at the end of the case, it was their duty to make all witnesses speak the truth and impugn perjury to no one.

To Dr. Jeff Gardere. You have two witnesses, a maid and a chef, say, I saw him fondle Macaulay Culkin. You have Culkin take the stand and say, yes, I was there at that time in that location in that moment at the arcade and in Neverland, but I don`t remember getting fondled. That did not happen.

Can they all be telling the truth and none of them committing perjury?

GARDERE: They could be telling the truth. And I think this may be an example. We`ve heard of this many times of repressed memory.

He was 10 years old at the time. Perhaps he didn`t interpret, if something had happened to him by Michael, didn`t interpret that as being inappropriate. But the fact that he says nothing happened, well, let`s believe him. Nothing happened, that it wasn`t molestation. Nothing inappropriate happened.

But something very inappropriate did happen, Nancy. And we`re talking about a 10-year-old boy sharing a bed with, at the time, a 32-year-old man, Michael Jackson. That`s very inappropriate. And it`s very damaging for any child`s psychology.

GRACE: You know, Renee, I think there`s only two choices with Macaulay Culkin. Either he is outright telling the truth. I do not think Culkin is lying. Either he`s outright telling the truth or, as Dr. Gardere has painted, you know, Renee, you hear stories all the time about women on the bus and the subway and some guy will get too close and they think, hey, did he just grab me? Did something just happen here and I don`t even know it?

And, nah, you know, nothing happened. You`ve got a 10-year-old kid here. He`s playing in the arcade. He`s playing with Michael Jackson. Are we sure he understood what was happening?

ROCKWELL: Well, Nancy, that`s exactly what the prosecutor asked him. They said, are you sure that this didn`t happen maybe while you were asleep?

And he said, I think I would know if something like that was happening while I was asleep.

GRACE: Well, I think I would, too. I don`t blame him for saying that.

I mean, you can`t get around that, Jane Velez-Mitchell. Everybody on the jury says, yes, I think I would know, too, if I was molested in my sleep.

But do you think there`s any way that the prosecution can make all witnesses speak the truth?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, I have to tell you, there was another incredibly compelling piece of evidence that the jury got to see today. And it really was sort of like Michael Jackson testifying without having to be cross-examined. It was three hours, almost three hours of outtakes shot by Jackson`s videographer, Hamid Moslehi, of the Martin Bashir interview, where he goes on and on and tells almost his life philosophy and his philosophy of children.

And what`s really interesting, at one point, he says the thing that makes him saddest in the world is seeing children victims of crime, specifically children who are kidnapped and murdered. So, it was actually devastating for the prosecution. Tom Sneddon was literally like this. You could see him holding his head, because they fought this like crazy. They can`t get to cross-examine a videotape.

And Jackson was able to tell his story in terms of how he views life and his strange outlook. But there were parts of it that were very sympathetic.

GRACE: And, very quickly, before we go to break, Anne Bremner, will this video of Jackson explaining himself, without being subjected to cross- examination, replace him taking the stand? Would you, under any circumstances, now put this guy on the stand?

BREMNER: Nancy, I think he testified today. And I think that, like I said, they had a five-star day today with Macaulay Culkin. And then that was the warm-up, and then Michael Jackson, who was even better.

GRACE: So, you think he is going to come on the stand?

BREMNER: No, I don`t think he is. I think he testified today in that video.

GRACE: Yes. OK. I think you may be right.

Before we go to break, very quickly, Jane Velez-Mitchell reports that Elizabeth Taylor may actually show up at the trial. Now, unless she was in bed with Jackson and the little boys, I don`t know what the relevance is.

But is it true? Is she coming?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to hedge my bets on that one, but I`ve heard that, first of all, it could be a question of, will her doctors allow her to come? And if she does come, it could very well be one of these dramatic finales where, if Michael Jackson does testify, she could sort of set the stage and be sort of the emcee who introduces Michael Jackson.

But all of this is speculative, no hard word yet. But, certainly, it would be quite fascinating, wouldn`t it?

GRACE: OK, prosecution, start working on your cross-exam of not only Michael Jackson, but Elizabeth Taylor. The jury is going to love seeing you tear her down, a screen icon.

Stay with us.


DEBBIE ROWE, EX-WIFE OF MICHAEL JACKSON; We are a family unit. Michael and I will always be connected with the kids. I will always be there for him. I will always be there for the children. And people make remarks, oh, I can`t believe she left her children. Left them? I left my children?

I did not leave my children. My children are with their father, where they`re supposed to be.




MICHAEL ROSS, CONVICTED MURDERER: Thanksgiving is a difficult time for me, because, on Thanksgiving Day -- I killed a girl on November 16. And, on Thanksgiving Day, the mother was expecting her daughter to come home. And, instead, two police officers came to the door. And she ended up (INAUDIBLE) her daughter. Thanksgiving is always a difficult day for me.


GRACE: That is a shot of Michael Ross. Ross is headed to lethal injection Friday morning, 2:00 a.m. According to authorities, he is responsible for the murders of at least eight women. His convictions included DNA. He now is arguing that the death should be -- his death should be stopped, that he is incompetent to get the death penalty.

With us tonight, some very special guests, in Washington, Lan Tu. He is the brother of Dzung Ngoc Tu, a victim of serial killer Michael Ross. Also with us tonight, Victoria Balfour. She was a friend and college roommate of Dzung Ngoc Tu. In New Haven, Connecticut, Steve Kalb of C.T. Radio Network, one of five reporters who will actually witness the execution. Michael Ross trial attorney Mike Fitzpatrick, and Andy Kahn, director of the Victims Crime Office for the mayor of Houston, Texas, with some shocking revelations about Mr. Ross` online activity.

Very quickly to Steve Kalb.

Steve, how many women did Ross kill that we know of and how many is he suspected of killing?

STEVE KALB, C.T. RADIO NETWORK: Well, at last count, he was guilty of and admitted to killing eight women, two in New York, the rest in Connecticut, of varying ages. And that`s why he`s currently on death row.

GRACE: And to Andy Kahn.

Andy, I understand there`s a video that he helped create that`s on sale for $19.99, where he says I`m a serial killer, but not bad. I only killed eight people. That`s not that much.

ANDY KAHN, HOUSTON CRIME VICTIM ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: Yes, what a lark. I mean, here`s another despicable thug that is profiting off of an ill- gotten infamy.

And our heart goes out to the families of the murder victims of Michael Ross. And it`s got to be the most nauseating and disgusting feeling, to find out that the person that murdered one of your loved ones now has items being hawked by third parties for all the world to see to simply make a buck off. of No one, and particularly Ross, or any serial killer, should be able to rob, rape and murder and then profit. It`s a despicable practice.

And we really need to start clamping down on the rights of inmates, convicted killers who are out there peddling their wares on the Internet and making money.

GRACE: Let me go to Lan Tu. He is the brother of one of Michael Ross` victims.

Lan, as you realize Michael Ross is fighting his execution, what are your feelings tonight, as that execution apparently gets closer?

LAN TU, BROTHER OF MURDER VICTIM: Well, I had not realized that he is now fighting it. The last I heard, he was volunteering for the death penalty.

GRACE: Other people are fighting on his behalf, and he is aware of that.

TU: Right.

Well, I think that he`s one of those people who richly deserves the ultimate penalty for the cruelty and viciousness of what he has done. And my feeling is that he is not human. And the rules of humane treatment do not really apply to him, as they do apply to common criminals. There are certain people who are so bad, so evil that, really, the only thing you can do with them is to destroy them and flush them down into the toilet of society.

GRACE: Lan, your sister, such a beautiful girl. I`m so sorry for what you`re going through.

To Victoria Balfour.

What was Dzung like when you knew her in college?

VICTORIA BALFOUR, FRIEND OF MURDER VICTIM: Well, we were freshman roommates at Vassar College in the `70s. And she was sweet, but not shy, very determined, very hard worker. And she had only been in this country four years from Vietnam and spoke fluent English, graduated with honors, won the economics prize at Vassar and...

GRACE: Brilliant.

BALFOUR: Yes, she was brilliant.

GRACE: Was Ross a classmate of hers?

BALFOUR: No. She went to graduate school at Cornell University. And he was an undergrad at Cornell, just about to graduate, when he killed her.

GRACE: To Mike Fitzpatrick, Ross` trial attorney for many, many years.

What are the claims of those that are trying to stop the execution?

MIKE FITZPATRICK, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL ROSS: Well, essentially, the claim is now that both the trial court and the Connecticut Supreme Court incorrectly applied federal law in that the -- in that both courts failed to determine whether Ross` waiver of any further appeals was, in fact, voluntary.

GRACE: So, they are not arguing that he is factually innocent, that he did not kill these women?

FITZPATRICK: That`s correct.

GRACE: Back to our reporter, to Steve Kalb.

What was the link between all the women?

KALB: All the women, he either met -- there`s a very, very loose link. He met them. In some cases, he went to school with some of them. The link is pretty tenuous as to how he knew them.

GRACE: Let me go back to Lan Tu, the brother of Dzung Ngoc. How did your family come to live in the U.S.?

TU: Well, we came here not as refugees, but we emigrated to the United States when my father got a job in the Washington area. And, to us, it was like a dream come true. And, really, in many, many ways, America has been the best thing that ever happened to us.

It`s somewhat ironic that we fled a homeland that was at war and came to the United States, partly to be saved (AUDIO GAP) lost one of us.

GRACE: Lan, stay with us, dear. We`ll be right back.




ROSS: I hear that all the time. I`m a monster. Obviously, I don`t care about the families. This is just a ploy. Public defenders out there saying I`m suicidal. And my reported concern for the families is simply a smokescreen for my suicidal desires.


GRACE: Michael Ross, convicted of killing at least eight women.

Here in the studio with me, a friend, Victoria Balfour, of one of his victims.

The night of the killing, what happened?

BALFOUR: Well, Dzung was taking a night course in agricultural economics at Cornell University in graduate school. And she left the building and Michael Ross was in the building grading papers, we think.

She went out in the dark, got her alone, put her face down in the dirt, raped her, strangled her, and threw her body into a gorge. And her body was found two days later in a lake.

GRACE: Ironically, he strangled chickens for a living.

BALFOUR: Yes. His dad had a poultry farm. And the weak chickens, he would have to kill by strangling them. So, he got his practice that way.

GRACE: Lan Tu, I know this hurts you to hear these descriptions of the murder of your sister. And I am so sorry for what you and your family have been through. It breaks my heart when you say coming to America is one of the greatest things that ever happened to you.

TU: It is the greatest thing that ever happened to us.

And we`re very, very grateful for the great opportunities we`ve had in this country. It`s just that it was ironic to escape the war in a faraway homeland and come here and lose someone that we love. And it`s always been the worst thing that ever happened in my life.

GRACE: Will you have any peace when this guy is executed?

TU: Well, you know, the death penalty, when it is carried out, will be only a small semblance of justice. We will have some consolation just from not ever having to hear about Michael Ross anymore and not having to be aware of his wretched existence.

GRACE: Yes. Lan Tu, my heart goes to you. And thank you.

TU: Thank you very much.


GRACE: Yes, sir.

I want to thank all of my guests tonight. But, as always, my biggest thank you to you for being with us.

Coming up next, headlines from around the world and Larry on CNN.

I`m Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. I`ll see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp. Until then, good night, friend.


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