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Analysis of Jackson Verdict; Breaking News in Search for Natalee Holloway
Aired June 14, 2005 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, reverberations across the board from the stunning not guilty in the Michael Jackson child sex trial.
And tonight, breaking news in the search for Natalee Holloway, the 18- year-old American girl who vanished into thin air on her senior trip to Aruba. Tonight, we are live in Aruba with one of the men who landed behind bars in connection with the girl`s disappearance.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. And I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
Tonight, breaking news in the disappearance of an 18-year-old Alabama beauty, Natalee Holloway. Two security guards behind bars since the get-go walk free tonight. The three young men who took Natalee from that Aruba nightclub remained in jail. Tonight, the search desperate for 18-year-old Natalee Holloway.
And also tonight, Jackson jurors try to explain their verdict. Why did they give Jackson a clean sweep in his child sex trial?
Tonight, in Santa Maria, juror number one, Raymond Hultman and trial attorney Anne Bremner; in L.A., the Jackson family attorney, Debra Opri; in West Palm Beach, Florida, defense attorney Joe Episcopo; in New York, psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig.
But first, to CNN correspondent Brooke Anderson. Brooke, a lot of finger-pointing this morning. Bring us up-to-date.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nancy, I`m here at courthouse, and the scene has changed significantly from yesterday. The crowd has thinned out. I don`t see any fans.
And yesterday, at about 7:30 in the evening at Neverland Ranch, the crowd was about 250, 300 people. And Michael`s security detail approached the gate, told everyone Michael is resting, he does not feel well, asking everyone to respectfully go home, come back maybe today, maybe tomorrow, that at some point Michael will make an appearance, will make a statement, possibly even invite some people into Neverland, that there will be some type of celebration, some type of party.
So what did the fans do? Well, as we have seen throughout the trial, when Michael speaks, when any of his folks speak out, they listen. So Nancy, they left. They all left. The crowd thinned out. And I expect they will be back in full force today.
GRACE: You mean, Michael Jackson didn`t make it to the famous restaurant, the Hitching Post, last night for dinner? There was a party of 12 for Jackson.
ANDERSON: He did not make it. He did not have any of that pinot at the Hitching Post. I`m not hearing that he was there.
GRACE: Right now, we have a very special guest with us. It is juror number one, Raymond Hultman.
Welcome. Thank you for being with us. Take a listen to this, sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL RODRIGUEZ, JACKSON JURY FOREMAN: There was a lot of things that came out that didn`t -- they didn`t follow up on by giving us more information. You know, they would get our attention, they would go so far with the information, and then they would say, "Thank you for your testimony." And we were thinking, "OK, wait a minute. Take this a step further. Give us a little bit more to work with." But they didn`t do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Out to juror number one, Raymond Hultman. That was your foreperson, Mr. Rodriguez. Last night, I asked him, point blank, sir, what do you think Jackson was doing sleeping with little boys, we know of, 365 nights in a row, un-chaperoned, not a blood relative? What do you think, sir?
RAYMOND HULTMAN, JACKSON JUROR #1: Well, I have the same questions. And the problem is that we could only use that kind of evidence to show that Michael Jackson may have had a pattern for committing child molestation. And we could use it as any other piece of evidence that was offered in the courtroom.
But when you get right down to the charges that were in this trial, we had to separate those from our beliefs based on what we thought some of the other evidence may have shown.
GRACE: You know, Mr. Hultman, I understood a lot of the jurors did not like the boy`s mother. I`m sure you were not aware of all of us, legal pundits, talking about the case during the trial. But at the get-go, people had problems with her testimony.
But you said something very interesting to me, that you think that Jackson had a pattern of child molestation. Is that true?
HULTMAN: That was my belief after reviewing the evidence that was presented from the `93 and `94 case.
HULTMAN: And all I can say at this point is that that was my belief. But that doesn`t make Michael Jackson guilty in the current case.
GRACE: So, sir, if you think -- just bear with me -- if you think Jackson is a child molester, has a pattern of molesting little boys, very similar to this little boy, what do you think he was doing in bed with this little boy? I mean, what do you think a child molester does in bed alone at night with a little boy?
HULTMAN: On the surface, it does seem suspicious. But, again, we`re looking at the specific case, the specific accuser, the specific timelines. And when you add everything up, you`re talking about credibility of witnesses. You`re talking about the fact that the accuser and his family visited two attorneys and a psychologist about three weeks before they actually conducted an interview with the sheriff`s department. And those questions leave room for reasonable doubt. And that`s where we wound up.
GRACE: You know, Mr. Hultman, Mr. Hultman, I have got to tell you. Those are excellent points. Did you guys take a straw vote when you first went into the jury deliberation room?
HULTMAN: Well, you know, we did. And I resisted somewhat, because once you do that, you sort of set the trend on where the deliberation is going. But we did it anonymously. And we determined fairly early on that probably nine of the twelve jurors were leaning toward a not guilty verdict at that time.
GRACE: Mr. Hultman, what was it about the boy, or was it the boy`s mother you disbelieved?
HULTMAN: I think it was a combination. I mean, a lot of people would say that the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree. I don`t believe that entirely. I think, you know, that every human being has the opportunity to be whatever he or she wants to be.
But the family had a history of lying. They were involved in a case with JC Penney where the jury could find several places where they lied. And this was kind of the focus of the deliberation on the molestation was - - how many times could we identify where the accuser was actually lying or where there was a high probability that he was lying? Not just the case where he was confused about a date or he twisted something around, but a case where you could say, "Well, he said this before. And he`s saying something different now."
GRACE: Mr. Hultman, what did you perceive of Michael Jackson not taking the stand and subjecting himself to cross-examine?
HULTMAN: I didn`t really take that into account too much. I don`t think any person is obliged to put themselves in that position when you`re a defendant. I think that the outtakes from the Bashir video kind of spoke for themselves, as far as how Michael Jackson felt about the whole situation.
GRACE: Mr. Hultman, you have made it very clear that you, like many people, believe that Michael Jackson has molested children in the past. When you went out to announce this not guilty verdict, were you worried about letting who you believe to be a child molester in the past go free?
HULTMAN: You know, it`s a concern. But all of the jurors were required to follow the jury instructions and to do what was legally required to arrive at the verdict we arrived at. And it was based on this particular accuser, and the particular timelines, like I mentioned, and the credibility, primarily. I mean, the...
GRACE: I agree with you, Mr. Hultman. I agree with you.
And I`ve got to tell you, as a former prosecutor -- I mean, you know where I`m coming from -- I`ve never seen a child molester be rehabilitated. So I`m just intrigued, frankly, talking to you is the first time I`ve been able to make any sense out of the jury verdict, frankly. I really appreciate you being with me.
If you see Jackson, say a year from now, with his new little friend, how is that going to strike you?
HULTMAN: Well, I`m hoping that, as I have from all of this trial...
GRACE: Yes, sir.
HULTMAN: ... I`ve learned a lot. And I`m hoping that Michael Jackson may have learned something from all of this, also. Maybe it`s the wakeup call that he`s been waiting for. I don`t know.
GRACE: Well, you know what? You have...
HULTMAN: The `93, `94 case didn`t do it.
GRACE: You know, Mr. Hultman, I was all ready to take you on and argue with you, but you make such good sense. I want to thank you, again. And I agree with you, sir, that I hope Jackson, like all of us, has learned a lesson from this trial.
Thank you, sir.
Everybody, please stay with us.
HULTMAN: I appreciate it. Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODRIGUEZ: The boy accuser, he was also -- sounded a lot like he had been programmed. He sounded a lot like his mother`s testimony. And it was really hard to be convinced by him. And that`s one of the things we were really hung up on. We had to listen to his testimony, and discuss it, stop it, discuss it. But again, the evidence was not there beyond a reasonable doubt. It just wasn`t there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: How do you explain this guy sleeping with a 13-year-old boy, 365 nights, in their underwear?
RODRIGUEZ: The thing is, we didn`t have the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he did anything with these children. And when some of these children came in to testify, none of them said that anything happened. So it was really hard to go in the direction that he was molesting them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I guess he didn`t hear the testimony of the current accuser or the maid`s son that came in, the current youth minister, to describe being molested by Jackson. But you know what? The jury has spoken.
Tonight, another very special guest. Joining me from Washington, "Vanity Fair" special correspondent Maureen Orth. She has covered this case from the get-go.
MAUREEN ORTH, "VANITY FAIR" CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Surprised on the alcohol, particularly, since the jury did say that the one witness that they thought was credible was the ranch manager, Jesus Salas. And he said Michael was drunk four times a week when that accuser and his brother were at the ranch.
GRACE: You know, when I was interviewing the foreperson last night, not Mr. Hultman, but the foreperson last night, I asked him about all of the charges. And they seemed to blame everything on the boys themselves, that somehow the boys were the ones that had gotten into the alcohol. Everything was the boys` fault.
ORTH: You know, and what Mr. Hultman just said on the air, I find really odd, because the way I heard the testimony was that, after the mother went to the two attorneys, they had no idea what had really happened.
The second attorney, Larry Feldman, sent the boy to the psychologist. The boy did not disclose to the psychologist, but the psychologist was a mandated reporter. So they called Sneddon who got the sheriff`s department involved. And it took three weeks to get the boy to come in.
And then they had to pull it out of him that he had been molested. So I don`t see how the juror -- how the jury came to the conclusion that he just explained to you. It doesn`t make sense to me.
GRACE: Maureen, take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: What do you think Jackson, Michael Jackson, 40-year-old man, was doing with these little boys all those nights in bed alone?
RODRIGUEZ: Well, that`s a personal view that I don`t want to talk about right now.
GRACE: No, sir, you tried him for that. He was tried. You were on his jury. That`s what he was accused of. What do you think he was doing?
RODRIGUEZ: I know. And that`s why I say -- we had to just rely on the -- I`m not going stick my neck out there on this. I`m going base it again on the testimony that was presented to us, and there was too much reasonable doubt.
GRACE: Well, what do you mean stick your neck out?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Maureen, after that interview, I was deeply, deeply distressed that a juror would say, "Well, I don`t want to stick my neck out about what I really believe was going on in Jackson`s bed." That`s the point of a jury, for Pete`s sake.
ORTH: Well, yes. And they`re all going around saying celebrity had nothing to do with it. Well, if that`s the case, how come six of them hopped on a plane to New York last night to end up on -- you know, to be interviewed by Diane Sawyer this morning, and then on the "Today" show? They`re loving it.
I think it is about celebrity. And I think that we do have two different justice systems. And one is for celebrities and there`s another one for the rest of us.
GRACE: Maureen, do you think Jackson will stay in the U.S.? I do.
GRACE: Really? Go ahead.
ORTH: Well, I`m not sure he`ll stay. I don`t think he`s going to stay at Neverland. That`s for sure. There is a deal on the table for Neverland to be turned into Graceland, and he can sell it, I think, for around $35 million, maybe a little more.
And I know for sure he`s going to get out of that part of the country. He`s going to leave Los Olivos.
I would think that, even if he doesn`t leave the country entirely, we saw the testimony in court where lots of money was going off-shore. The money -- part of the $13 million he got for all of the rebuttal videos, a lot of that big payment was going off-shore, according to the forensic accountants we saw. So I wouldn`t bet where he`s going to end up.
GRACE: With me tonight, special correspondent for "Vanity Fair." She was not only in the courtroom the whole time, but did behind-the-scenes investigation, as well. Please stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODRIGUEZ: We thought that she was -- from the get-go, that she was not telling the truth, that she was in it for whatever she could get out of it. You know, going back to the JC Penney case, and so many other things that came along, it was -- she just wasn`t a credible witness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODRIGUEZ: We looked at all of the evidence. We looked at Michael Jackson. And the first one -- one of the first things we decided that we had to look at him just like any other individual, not just as a celebrity. And once we got that established that we could go beyond that, we were able to deal with it just as fairly as we could with anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. A lot of the legal world and court- watchers scratching their heads this morning. Many legal pundits went out on a limb predicting a quasi-conviction in the case. All wrong, including myself. Michael Jackson, clean sweep, not guilty across the board.
With me, Maureen Orth. She is a special correspondent with "Vanity Fair." And she has not only covered the trial, but done in-depth research and reporting on the background to Michael Jackson.
Maureen, do you think Jackson will ever have a recording career again?
ORTH: He doesn`t really like to perform anymore. He had to pay $5.2 million in a civil suit in 2002 because he canceled concerts, although there is talk now that they`re going to have a tour called "Framed" and he can, you know, use his victimhood as much as possible.
GRACE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, Maureen, Maureen...
GRACE: ... he was acquitted. How does the "Framed" thing fit in with an acquittal?
ORTH: Well, then maybe we`ll call it "Vindication," since we have already gone through "Invincible." I have no idea. But that`s -- he prefers to think of himself that way.
And I think he`s going to come out swinging on a lot of fronts. He`ll probably try to sue over his finances, about people trying to take his catalog away. I`ve talked all about that conspiracy in the current issue of "Vanity Fair."
And I just think that he`s a person who has really been deformed by fame, and he really represents the trajectory we have in this country from fame to infamy. And it doesn`t matter. He might have even been more famous if he had been found guilty. I don`t know.
GRACE: Maureen, regarding his future, I kind of feel like we`re trapped in that child`s nursery story about the emperor`s new clothes...
GRACE: ... where he actually has nothing on, and everyone tells him how beautiful...
ORTH: Or "The Emperor`s New Face," whatever.
GRACE: And they tell him how beautifully he is dressed. Do you think these people that surround Jackson are part of the problem?
ORTH: Oh, absolutely. That was one of the most interesting parts of the trial, to kind of get a bird`s-eye view of these revolving entourages and all the side deals they were making, the way they were stabbing each other in the front or in the back, conspiring. First, one group brings in the Muslims, and then they get thrown out, and then we get the Europeans, and then they get thrown out.
And I`m like, I think you can see the way that Jackson`s spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, was just fired and gotten rid of on the Web site by the brother. It`s just another example of how things are done. It`s really very much like an old-fashioned Byzantine court where no one can get past the ding-dong, you know, outside the doorway of the emperor, except little boys.
GRACE: Oh, I thought you were going to say the ding-dong outside his bedroom doorway. OK.
ORTH: Hi, bedroom doorway. That`s right.
GRACE: Hey, Maureen, you left off Mark Geragos, Benjamin Brafman, and attorney Oxman. All three good lawyers got the boot when...
ORTH: Got the boot, but they also got a lot of money.
GRACE: Yes. What about Geragos, $180,000 for about two weeks? Cha- ching!
ORTH: Well, except he got on the stand and said that Michael had nothing to do with the conspiracy, that it was all him. He told the -- he`s the one that sent the special -- you know, the private eye or his own investigator out. So he actually performed a huge service for him.
GRACE: Maureen Orth, I`ve only got a couple of moments left with you. I know you`re headed out. Big question: Do you really believe Michael Jackson thinks there is a conspiracy against him, this vast conspiracy?
ORTH: He thinks that people are trying to take his catalog away. And frankly, he has often hired people who do have more -- who are not totally disinterested parties.
But the fact that this conspiracy is supposedly the mother being set up to make the charges, if he believes that, well, I don`t know what to -- yes, well, you know, he also believes on his Web site that yesterday was as important as Martin Luther King`s birthday, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Nelson Mandela being released from prison. So, yes, maybe he believes it.
On that note, everybody, when we get back, we`re bringing in the shrink. Please stay with us.
Bye, Maureen. Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RODRIGUEZ: One of the stewardesses, she said that she never seen Michael Jackson give any child anything to drink. So it`s hard to base it on anything else other than the hearsay maybe from the mother, and the mother didn`t seem to be that credible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, HOST, "TONIGHT" SHOW: When Michael`s motorcade pulled into the Neverland ranch after the trial, his whole staff came down from the main house to greet him. Did you see that? Sure, it was really lovely. Here it is. Those are the gates opening. OK, now watch. You`ll see the staff run down from the main house. There they are, right there.
LENO: Good news for Michael Jackson, not guilty on all 10 counts! Yes. The bad news? He`s going to DisneyLand. Yes!
I tell you, Michael Jackson was so happy with the verdict, when he got back to the Neverland ranch, he gave all the cleaning monkeys the rest of the day off.
LENO: If he had been a black guy, he would have got convicted like that.
LENO: You know, I was wondering, how does this make Martha Stewart feel?
LENO: O.J. goes free. Robert Blake walks. Michael Jackson, not guilty. She made a phone call -- Hello, is this my broker? -- prison! She`s in prison!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That is comedian Jay Leno on the "Tonight" show. He testified for the Jackson defense, ended up being a state`s witness on cross.
Welcome back, everybody. A clean sweep for the defense in the Michael Jackson trial, a stunning "not guilty" across the boards. Very quickly, let`s go to Dr. Robi Ludwig. You know, something that Maureen Orth was just saying about how celebrity has somehow deformed Michael Jackson -- what do you think?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Absolutely the case. And that`s why Michael Jackson idealizes childhood, because he never experienced it. Imagine growing up, and you`re a product and you`re only as good as your last success. I think that there`s -- you get a lot of attention. He didn`t have time to play and explore and develop normally. It also contributed to his narcissistic personality disorder, where he needs to always be on and perform and is addicted to attention. So I think it absolutely contributed to his psychological demise.
GRACE: To Debra Opri, Jackson family attorney. Were you with the Jackson family last night? And what was their reaction to the verdict?
DEBRA OPRI, ATTORNEY FOR JACKSON`S PARENTS: I spoke -- I was with the Jackson family yesterday. I spoke to them last night and this morning. They are relieved. They are happy. I think the family, in the end, is going to resolve their differences with the Sneddons of the world, be careful, get on with their lives. And they`re so appreciative to the jurors for doing their job.
I talked to your guest a short while ago. He said, It was a lot of evidence to go through, but in the end, we had to follow the law. And that`s what I`m telling all of your viewers. In the end, we were in a courtroom. We were not out there in the court of public opinion. We`ll leave that to the media pundits, where they will hold tight to their opinions. But the court of law ruled that Michael Jackson is innocent.
GRACE: Very quickly, to Brooke Anderson, CNN correspondent. Brooke, one of the jurors said, as the trial progressed slowly, day by day, Jackson started seeming normal to them. Do you remember that?
ANDERSON: Nancy, that was quite an interesting statement. A lot of people don`t think he looked normal. A lot of people believe his appearance progressively got worse. And then as he left the courtroom yesterday, no expression, stoic. This is a stark contrast to after his arraignment, when he jumped on top of his limousine, gave the "V" for vindication, for victory, sign. So it will be interesting to see how he is physically and what he will do going forward, if he can recover from this debacle.
GRACE: To veteran defense attorney Joe Episcopo. You know, we were commenting about his appearance in court and how bizarre he looked sometimes and acted. But apparently, the jury thought he looked normal!
JOE EPISCOPO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think they meant maybe the stress that he was going under and the way he was behaving. But you know, I disagree with Maureen Orth, that just because the jurors are jetting around the country, going on television, means that they`re impressed with celebrity. I think they feel obligated to explain to everyone, especially you, Nancy, why they reached their verdict. And I think they`re doing a very good job of it.
GRACE: Yes, I have to agree with Mr. Hultman, excellent spokesperson for the jury.
Anne Bremner, do you think the case boiled down to the credibility of the boy`s mother?
ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Absolutely. It was about the mother, the mother, the mother. Nancy, you know, I briefed the press pool out here, the international press pool, and I said before she testified, Don`t call her. And after she testified, they shouldn`t have called her. Drop the conspiracy.
I hate to say I told you so, but that mother undermined the entire case. You know, like I`ve said before, there was a circus (INAUDIBLE) at court. There`s a circus in court and a circus in her head. And the sins of the mother became the sins of the son. You heard Mr. Hultman say it. The apple doesn`t fall far from the tree. And what a tragedy to have this prosecution fail by virtue of the calling of this mother.
GRACE: The reality is, it seems as if they acquitted Jackson and convicted the mother, Anne.
To victims` rights advocate Marc Klaas. Response.
MARC KLAAS, PRES., BEYONDMISSING.COM: Well, you know, I`ve not felt good about this man for years. In 1994, when we were starting up the Klaas Kids Foundation, we were approached by a Jackson spokesperson for a sizable donation. I wouldn`t take it then. I wouldn`t take it now.
GRACE: Why not?
KLAAS: Why? Because I think the man`s a pedophile. I think the man`s a pedophile. I think that he lures little boys into Neverland ranch. I think he lures little boys into Neverland ranch, and I believe that, you know, he`s just been given free reign to continue that kind of activity far into the future.
GRACE: We are switching gears from the Michael Jackson verdict and going to Aruba. Tonight, in Aruba, editor-in-chief of "Aruba Today" Julia Renfro. But first to CNN correspondent John Zarrella. John, bring us up to date.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nancy, new developments today here in Palm Beach, Aruba. Late this afternoon, we can report that for the last several hours, police have been looking at an area about 200 yards north of the Marriott Hotel, up the beach from the Marriott Hotel. That is an area they have been combing. There is at least one police dog there. There is a boat in the water, we believe with a diver on that boat. They have been searching there, again, for several hours.
Now, apparently, that coming as information -- new leads that the police have been getting. And the latest information apparently comes from a couple of different sources now. What had happened was that one of the security guards, while he was in jail, was a couple of cells down from one of the three young men now being held. Well, the security guard had a conversation with one of these three young men, and this one man told the security guard, Listen, I apologize. You were wrongfully accused. We shouldn`t have accused you, and apparently related the story to the security guard of how they had dropped Natalee off with one of the three people, with the Dutch boy, some place near the Marriott Hotel. So that`s one reason why we believe police are searching that particular area now.
So the latest developments here, again, police are searching, oh, for the past several hours here an area that is a couple of hundred yards from the Marriott Hotel, about a mile-and-a-half from where we are, here at the Holiday Inn. What exactly they are searching for, if it`s anything in particular or just things in general, is unclear.
So now the focus, of course, will shift to the three young men who are in custody, the two Surinamese young men and the one Dutch boy. And of course, now authorities here are telling us that they have been formally accused with murder, manslaughter and the kidnapping with fatal results of Natalee Holloway. But remember, a formal accusation is not a charge. And in fact, no one in this case here, the security guards or these three youths, have been charged of anything yet. What police may have, as far as what their interrogations have been revealing to them, they`re not saying.
GRACE: Is it true, John, that blood was found in the car?
ZARRELLA: No, it was not. It came back that that was not blood at all. Don`t know what the substance was, but the FBI crime lab in Quantico was asked to take a look that the sample, take it out of that Honda, and it came back negative. It was not blood.
GRACE: Well, that`s very unusual. It seems to me that just common sense, logic, one of these three, as you call them, youths, has given some type of a statement, for there to be a formal accusation tonight of murder.
Quick break, everybody. We are live in Aruba and the latest in the Natalee Holloway case.
To tonight`s "All Points Bulletin." FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for this man, David Nam, wanted in connection with the shooting death of an elderly man during a robbery in Philadelphia in 1996. Nam, 28, 6-1, 180 pounds, black hair, brown eyes, has the word "Nam" tattooed on his arm, the word "Cobra" on his back. If you have any information on Nam, call the FBI, 215-418-4000.
Please stay with us as we remember Marine Lance Corporal Thomas O. Keeling, 23 years old, an American hero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICKEY JOHN, FORMER ARUBA SUSPECT: He told me that the story about dropping the girl off at the Holiday Inn was all made up.
QUESTION: Why? Why would they make it up?
MICKEY JOHN: Because he told me, apparently, that no one -- somebody`s missing, like a young tourist person missing. They find him, like, a few days after at some crack house or with some beach bum. So they thought they would find her three days after. When push come to shove and they couldn`t get her, they decided to target-shoot. He told (ph) his brother (INAUDIBLE) target-shoot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: As you know, two security guards released from behind bars in Aruba in a desperate search for Natalee Holloway. And tonight, from Aruba, Mickey John. He is one of the two young men released in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Also with him, his mother, Ann John.
To both of you, thank you for being with us. First to you, Mickey. When did you learn you were going to be released from jail? * MICKEY JOHN: I have to talk?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MICKEY JOHN: Around quarter to 10:00 PM last night.
GRACE: Mickey, how do you think you got mixed up in this to start with? Why did they arrest you?
MICKEY JOHN: I don`t really know. I think it just mixed identity of -- I don`t know. I don`t know how they come to the conclusion. Nobody told me why I`ve been arrested, how they got the clues that been linked up to me. Nobody explain to me.
GRACE: Mickey, where were you at the time of Natalee Holloway`s disappearance?
MICKEY JOHN: According to (INAUDIBLE) the time she disappeared, I was home, sleeping, I think.
GRACE: At your mom`s house?
MICKEY JOHN: Yes, ma`am. At my mom`s house.
GRACE: Mr. John, I know that you were in jail with the brothers. Did they tell you what happened with Natalee?
MICKEY JOHN: Like, I (INAUDIBLE) opportunity to speak to one of the brothers, which calls himself Deepak.
GRACE: What did he say happened? What did he say happened to Natalee?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did he say happened?
MICKEY JOHN: He said that -- yes? Go ahead, please.
GRACE: Yes. What did the brother tell you happened to Natalee?
MICKEY JOHN: He told me that they picked her up -- he, his brother, a Dutch guy, picked her up at Carlos and Charlie`s, drove down to the lighthouse. On the way back, he dropped Natalee with the Dutch guy close to the Marriott, and he and his brother went home. He went on line. And like, hour later, the Dutch guy sent him a text message on his cell phone, saying that as soon as he got home, he will talk to him on line.
GRACE: Do you have any idea how you got tangled up in this? Do you think the other three gave police your name?
MICKEY JOHN: The three suspects?
MICKEY JOHN: No. No. They didn`t place my name. (INAUDIBLE) made a story up. Deepak explain to me that the fact I`ve been involved with my colleague because they made the story up of dropping the girl off at the Holiday Inn because all something made up. They say the girl was never been dropped off at the Holiday Inn.
GRACE: So if they did not drop her off at the Holiday Inn, where did they tell you they dropped her off?
MICKEY JOHN: Like I told you before, he told me that he dropped the missing girl and the Dutch guy close to the Marriott Hotel.
GRACE: Oh, I see. I see. Van Der Sloot. Were you behind bars with Van Der Sloot?
MICKEY JOHN: No, ma`am.
GRACE: Mr. John, what do you believe happened to Natalee Holloway.
MICKEY JOHN: I have no idea, ma`am.
GRACE: To Mickey`s mother, Ann John. Ms. John, thank you for being with us.
ANN JOHN, MICKEY JOHN`S MOTHER: Thank you, too.
GRACE: Ms. John, do you believe that your son was arrested in the disappearance because of race?
ANN JOHN: No, I wouldn`t -- I wouldn`t really say that. What I`m trying to say that if they say the girl was picked up and put at the other end of the island, why are they coming to the other end of the island to look for evidence? That`s what I was -- I really want to know.
GRACE: Ms. John, does it upset you that your son was arrested while this judge`s son, Van Der Sloot, remained free?
ANN JOHN: Well, I think -- I think so because for the first or second day and the third day, I wasn`t hearing no names (INAUDIBLE) except the two ex-security guards.
GRACE: Did you always believe in your heart that your son would be released?
ANN JOHN: Well, I believe on the first and the second day, I was very well believed. But on the third day, I broke down because nobody told me they was going to bring him to the courts. I went to the CD. I wait for nearly an hour-and-a-half. Nobody (INAUDIBLE) with my son. Nobody call me to said, Ann, he`s not coming. So at that time, I was going down. I said something is not going right.
GRACE: I want to go back to Mickey John. You know, Mickey, you told me that you actually spoke to one of the other three suspects that are still behind bars. It sounds to me like they made up the whole story to get out of trouble.
MICKEY JOHN: I guess so.
GRACE: Well, how does that make you...
MICKEY JOHN: Like I told you...
GRACE: How does that make you feel, since you were the one thrown behind bars because of their lie?
MICKEY JOHN: I feel very bad because I know I was innocent from the start, from day one. I know -- I never knew the girl. And I would never even think of hurting somebody, never in my life, never.
GRACE: Mickey, you know, a lot of people, including myself, thought it was very unusual that the three men that the took her from the bar remained free, while you ended up behind bars. What was it like for you, those many days you were behind bars, suspected in this girl`s disappearance? How did you feel?
MICKEY JOHN: I feel very bad because I know that they been trying to nail someone and let these guys out because they knew from day one that they be last -- the girl be last seen with these three guys. So to me, they should be the prime suspects. And they had no other right to attack nobody. (INAUDIBLE) that somebody else was linked up to the case, you go to the other person. But first thing should be done, you go to them first because they were last seen with the girl.
GRACE: Well, Mickey John, I could not agree with you more. And Ms. John, Ann John, Mickey`s mother, I know that you are so relieved and happy that your son is back home. Thank you to both of you for being with us tonight.
ANN JOHN: Yes, but can you please tell Ms. Holloway my heart goes out to her still. I`m still praying for her that she should find her daughter.
MICKEY JOHN: The same for me. My heart goes out to her. And I know God will help her. She will find her daughter. Justice will serve. Justice shall prevail.
GRACE: You know what? You two...
MICKEY JOHN: And God bless her.
GRACE: You two, that have been through so much, thinking of the Holloway family -- I will make sure that they know. Thank you again to the Johns.
MICKEY JOHN: Thank you very much.
ANN JOHN: Thank you.
MICKEY JOHN: You`re welcome.
GRACE: Quick break, everybody.
As we go to break, after becoming a victim of violent crime myself and prosecuting violent felonies, I have an objection about how Lady Justice is tricked and treated in our court system. Part of the proceeds of "Objection" go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Local news coming up for some of you, but we`ll all be right back. And remember, live coverage of the "Mississippi Burning" trial tomorrow, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern on Court TV`s "Closing Arguments."
GRACE: We at NANCY GRACE want desperately to help solve unsolved homicides, find missing people. Take a look at Mark Degner, just 12 years old. Mark disappeared from his own elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida, February 10. If you have any information on Mark Degner, please contact the Jacksonville sheriff`s office, 904-630-0500, or go on line to Beyondmissing.com. Please help us.
Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us. We are live in Aruba and the Natalee Holloway case. Let me quickly go to Julia Renfro. She is the editor-in-chief of "Aruba Today." Julia, thank you for being with us. So where does the investigation stand now?
JULIA RENFRO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "ARUBA TODAY": Well, from what I understand, the police are interrogating the three young suspects. And unfortunately, they`re not able to give us really any specific details on what is going on.
GRACE: You know, to Anne Bremner, it seems to me, with the release of the two security guards, they at least seem to be refining their case. Uh- oh! I think I`ve lost Anne Bremner. Let me quickly throw that to Joe Episcopo. Joe, are you with me?
GRACE: Great. Don`t you think that by the announcement they`re releasing the two security guards that they seem to be refining their case?
EPISCOPO: Oh, yes. I think this is going to focus on the Dutch boy. He was the one that witnesses said they were -- was intimate with the girl -- more than one witness. Somehow or other, they went off on their own. He might have gone a little bit too far, it got rough, and somebody got killed.
GRACE: Yes. You know, everybody keeps saying "being intimate with." I don`t know that that`s exactly how the whole thing went down. Very quickly, to Marc Klaas. Final thought?
KLAAS: Well, you know, they have assassinated this girl`s character. They have fingered a couple of innocent men. They are responsible for her death. This is downright evil! I hope that justice comes, and I quite frankly think that Natalee`s mom is doing a brilliant job of orchestrating justice in this case.
GRACE: Robi Ludwig, 10 seconds left. I was so overwhelmed by Mickey John and his mom praying for the victim.
LUDWIG: Just really good people. And I`m just so thrilled when justice does come through.
GRACE: Everybody, I want to thank you for being with us tonight, especially my guests. But my biggest thank you, as always, is to you for being with us, inviting all of us into your home.
Coming up, headlines from all around the world, Larry on CNN. I`m Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. Hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 o`clock sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.