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Nancy Grace for August 3, 2005, CNNHN
Aired August 3, 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, is there a murder mystery on the high seas? Is one of the world`s largest cruise lines engaging in a cover-up to save them from a P.R. nightmare? A 26-year-old groom vanishes for a dream cruise, a European cruise.
And tonight, Natalee`s friends with her on their high-school senior trip to Aruba speak out. Tonight, it is day 66, and the search goes on. Suspect Joran Van Der Sloot back at police headquarters in the just the last 24 hours. Why? For more intense questioning.
And Natalee`s mother jets back to Aruba stating she is ready to fight.
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace, and I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
Eighteen-year-old missing American girl Natalee Holloway`s friends with her on their high school senior trip are with us tonight. And tonight, Natalee`s mother resumes the search against all odds for her girl.
But first, tonight, a 26-year-old newlywed and his wife from a wealthy area of Connecticut, seen in these photos from "A Current Affair," went honeymooning on a European cruise. But then, the groom vanishes into thin air. The only trace, blood on the ship`s side and in his own cabin. P.S.: His wife says she doesn`t remember a thing.
Tonight, in New York, Adriana Gardella, associate editor of "Justice" magazine; in L.A., defense attorney Debra Opri; in Fort Myers, Florida, defense attorney Wilbur Smith; in New York, psychologist Michelle Callahan; and "A Current Affair" host Tim Green.
Let`s go first to Tim Green. Tim, bring us up-to-date.
TIM GREEN, HOST, "A CURRENT AFFAIR": Well, you know that this couple was on their honeymoon, and they had a spat late at night. They`d been drinking heavily, and then that was the last they heard.
We at "A Current Affair" have spoken with the person who was in the cabin directly next to the Smiths. He heard noises from 11:00 until 3:00 a.m. He said he heard men`s voices. He heard a woman`s voice at one point in time. And then he heard that thump, that tremendous thump that a lot of people have recounted who were on that cruise.
And that thump seems to be George Smith`s body hitting that awning on the floor below where he was staying. That`s where the tremendous blood stain was left.
The FBI says that they`re on the case. However, Nancy, we continue to talk to witnesses who haven`t been interrogated by the FBI or interviewed by the FBI. And then, after we put them on "A Current Affair," suddenly the FBI calls, tells them to not talk to the media, and then subsequently interviews them.
GRACE: Tim, take a listen to what this passenger had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN DRAKE, PASSENGER ON CRUISE SHIP: I woke up about 7:30. And I stepped out on the balcony, and it was just too apparent to miss, right below my balcony. And there was a very large blood stain there, very, very dark in the middle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: You know, Tim, when you hear that, I`m very surprised the FBI hasn`t gotten a much more involvement in the case.
GREEN: Well, let me say this, in fairness to the FBI, there`s a jurisdictional issue. This event occurred between Greece and Turkey. They pulled into Kusadasi, Turkey. And the Turkish officials came onboard the boat.
Royal Caribbean told us that they gave the authorities the opportunity to examine the scene. And they also -- the Royal Caribbean told us that they gave the FBI warning or notice of what had happened.
Now, Turkish officials, allegedly or reportedly, took some evidence from the crime scene. They interviewed the wife, Jennifer Smith, and then they released her and then turned over the investigation and the evidence that they had to the American consulate.
So you do have a jurisdictional issue here. And then the FBI, you know, you`ve got to admit, it gets to them somewhere down the line. And then they have to play catch-up.
The other thing I`ve got to say about this is, it is possible right now that the FBI knows who did this, because George Smith`s family is not speaking. And his wife, Jennifer, is not speaking to the media.
The FBI says that they`re working closely with them. And the FBI has advised them not to speak to the media. So it`s possible that the FBI, through things that they`ve said, knows who did this. And they`re zeroing in as we speak.
I hope that`s the case. If it`s not the case, I am terribly afraid that a family is making a crucial mistake not talking to the media, not doing what Natalee Holloway`s mother, Beth Twitty, is doing, which is keeping that story alive, keeping the pressure on authorities.
Because the FBI, like any other authority, has limited resources. And they`re going to put them where they need to. And if the media`s on it, they`re going to continue to investigate and to question witnesses.
GRACE: To Adriana Gardella. She is with "Justice" magazine.
Hey, Elizabeth, Renee, could you show me the picture of that blood again?
Adriana, you and I have been talking about this case for some time. This is a good bit of blood. And from what Tim Green is telling me, there was a substantial amount, not only in the cabin, but on the side of the ship, as well.
Look, we all know, Adriana, it only takes three days to get a DNA result back. Who`s in charge of the DNA and the blood testing?
ADRIANA GARDELLA, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, "JUSTICE" MAGAZINE: That is subject to some debate at this point. I received a correspondence from the U.S. attorney`s office inquiring about just when those blood test results would be back. And I got an apology, but "Sorry, no comment." So I don`t know.
GRACE: Take a listen to this, guys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DRAKE: That morning, before I got off the ship, I saw no one, no investigative authorities on the ship, didn`t see anyone.
When I got back on the ship later that afternoon, the deck had already been cleaned up. I thought it was very strange that no one was asking any questions, since my room was so directly in front of the blood, until finally, on day 10 or so of our trip, we did get a letter in our stateroom asking us to come to a boardroom to be questioned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: To Tim Green, it`s my understanding that the bride doesn`t remember a thing about the night before when she got to the cabin, when the husband got to the cabin. She woke up the next morning, he wasn`t there. And after all that drinking, she went to work out, Tim?
GREEN: That`s what has been reported early on. We don`t know. We haven`t spoken to her.
By the way, I compliment my colleague on getting a response, getting an apology from the U.S. attorney`s office in New Haven, because my phone call to the U.S. attorney`s office in New Haven was given a response when I asked about any negotiations they had going on internationally, as far as a prosecution venue and jurisdiction on this. The reply to me was the U.S. attorney`s office doesn`t do legal analysis.
So I compliment you on getting an apology from them and then a no comment. That`s better than what I got.
GRACE: Well, here`s another thing I`m trying to figure out. Who exactly is in charge of the blood sample? Is it the cruise line? Is it Turkish authorities? Is it the FBI, Tim? Who`s in charge?
GREEN: Right now, Nancy, we have no idea...
GRACE: Oh, good lord!
GREEN: ... because the FBI won`t tell us and the U.S. attorney`s office won`t tell us. And that is baffling to me.
GRACE: Well, hey, everybody, don`t count on the cruise line to tell you anything. Lord only knows -- we tried to get statistics all day long, isn`t it true, Ellie? We tried to get stats all day long about crimes on cruise ships. They`re hard, true/false?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s true, yes.
GRACE: They`re very hard to track down. And the reality is, who`s going to get on a cruise ship when you find out somebody`s just been murdered?
Take a listen to the U.S. attorney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN O`CONNOR, U.S. ATTORNEY: I think we have an obligation, frankly, in U.S. law enforcement, when a U.S. citizen disappears in international seas and the circumstances surrounding that disappearance are at a minimum unclear.
I think we have an obligation to assume there could be foul play here. I think we owe it to the citizens. I think I, as the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, owe it to the people of Connecticut so that they know, that God forbid if they were ever in this situation, their son, daughter, brother, or sister, that the U.S. authorities would play an active role in trying to find out what exactly happened here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Adriana, I mean, I`m not one to tell another lawyer how to try a case, but assume there`s foul play? He`s been missing now for how many days? There`s blood in his cabin. There`s blood on the side of the cruise ship. Nobody`s answer any questions. Nobody questioned the passengers.
Adriana, a question. Are any of the employees under suspicion? I don`t want to point the finger at the bride.
GARDELLA: Right now, we simply don`t have the identities of the people who are under suspicion. And in all fairness, I would say that I think what the FBI and the U.S. government is worried about is a possibility that they might taint a potential witness. You know, somebody hears a rumor and then that somehow colors their perception of events.
So I think it`s a precaution that, while it`s frustrating to us, there is probably some basis for it.
GRACE: Tim Green, do you know anything about any of the employees of the cruise ship?
GREEN: No. No, we don`t. We don`t have a passenger list. And while I agree with Adriana, that there are certain things that the FBI and the U.S. attorney`s office needs to keep to themselves, there are other things, like, you know, has there been a DNA test?
Does the FBI or does the U.S. attorney`s office have, you know, possession of the blood samples that were taken by Turkish officials? That wouldn`t be giving anything away, but it seems to me that it would be something that the American public has a right to know.
GRACE: Well, yes.
And to Adriana, have any of the family members been asked to give blood samples or DNA samples?
GARDELLA: Well, what we heard initially was that George Smith`s family was asked to supply blood samples to compare to what was found on the boat to the Turkish authorities. And it`s now unclear whether that responsibility has gone over to the FBI to try to get that sample.
GRACE: And Adriana, where was the bride, Mrs. Smith, when all of this was going on, the party, the loud thump, where was she?
GARDELLA: She may be the only person who knows. I believe that what she has told authorities is that she was in the room and woke up there. And that`s when she first noticed her husband missing.
GRACE: Did she notice the blood on the floor?
GARDELLA: Been no comment on that.
GRACE: All right. OK.
To Debra Opri, joining me out of L.A. Debra, it`s my understanding...
DEBRA OPRI, JACKSON FAMILY LAWYER: Hi.
GRACE: Hi, friend. It`s my understanding Turkish police have handed the case over to American authorities, but I don`t care how great the FBI is. How many people have been in and out of that room by now, sleeping in it, probably? You think the cruise line`s going to give up a cabin for a search? Forget it.
OPRI: Three main points: First, they have compromised the crime scene, inadequate delayed investigation. You know what pops into my pea brain tonight, Nancy? Why not lie detector tests? Why not ask all passengers on that ship to voluntarily give a lie detector test so they can start eliminating possibilities?
Because we all know a crime was committed by someone or a group of people on that ship. And if they start with the lie detector test, I think they can start a proper investigation, because right now it`s been botched. It`s been botched.
GRACE: You`re not kidding.
And Wilbur Smith, you practice out of Fort Myers. A lot of big cruise lines coming in and out, in and out. Once you have a couple of dozen passengers tromping in and out of that cabin, it`s over. You`re not going to get any evidence from that cabin anymore.
WILBUR SMITH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I don`t think you`re going to solve this case on forensics. I think it`s going to be on statements.
I had a case very similar to this. It wasn`t on a cruise ship; it was in an apartment, where partying, a prank, led to a fight, led to someone being seriously injured, who they thought was dead. And then he was dumped in a canal.
And what happens is...
GRACE: Now, wait, what does that have to do with this?
SMITH: Well, what it has to do with this -- what`s going to happen eventually is that people are going to talk. The people on a cruise ship like this are going to eventually say, "Wait a minute. This person was more culpable than me." The government is going to make a deal, and somebody`s going to talk. More people are going to talk, and the most culpable person is going to get nailed.
GRACE: You know, Tim Green, he`s got a point. Now, you actually spoke to a little girl who saw blood on the ship and took photos. Now, you`d think, with the FBI, and the Turkish authorities on the case, we`d know more about the blood.
Uh-uh. Tim Green has to go and question a little girl who took a snapshot, probably with a fun cam. Tim, what did she say?
GREEN: Well, she said that she saw this blood and she thought it was something of significance. And she said that her mother had heard a scream in the night. And so she took the photograph.
Nancy, I`ve got to ask you a question. I mean, is there an explanation -- you`ve got a lot more experience than me and probably all of us here talking with you tonight -- is there an explanation as to why the FBI, if they know, wouldn`t come out by this time, almost three weeks later, and at least say, "Well, we tested the blood, and we compared it with the DNA to the parents, and we know, in fact, that this is George Smith`s blood."
Right now, they`re not even saying that. Is there a reason for this?
GRACE: There is absolutely no reason, unless it`s not his blood. And let`s take a look at the possibilities. Who else`s blood in that quantity is going to be in his cabin?
And speaking of the blood, Tim Green, where exactly was the blood on the outside? What I`m trying to get at is, was it on the railing? And how high was that railing? I mean, would he have to be a high jumper to jump over the rail?
GREEN: OK. I can only say this, that it was -- that there were other people reporting that there was blood inside the cabin, there was blood on that railing, or at least on the deck outside.
The only thing that we know for sure is that there was some substance that appears to be blood that was on that awning. We know that for a fact, because we`ve seen the photographs.
Again, we have to go to the FBI and the Turkish authorities. They`re not saying -- nobody`s saying anything. They`re not even saying -- they`re not even admitting, "Well, this was blood," let alone George Smith`s blood.
But I will say this: It looks like it`s blood. And that`s the presumption that we`re all making. And if you`re going to make that presumption -- by the way, people who say -- I`ve heard people say, "Well, maybe the wife had something to do with it," that, to me, it`s possible, but to me it`s ludicrous.
It`s very unlikely, because that railing is four feet high. George Smith was a big, strong guy. He was reported by numerous witnesses as barely being able to stand. Someone had to take him and put him over a four-foot railing?
I would be just blown away if it was his young wife, who is also in a highly intoxicated state, or a highly debilitated state. It seems to me that more than one strong man had to put him over that railing. If, in fact, it`s his blood, but we don`t know, because the FBI won`t tell us.
GRACE: Quick break, everybody. We`re bringing you the latest on the case of a missing groom. A lot of finger-pointing tonight. But what happened to 26-year-old George Smith? Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O`CONNOR: This is not going to be an easy investigation. We`ve got essentially a moving crime scene, if you will. You`ve got a passenger ship of people from all over the world who have dispersed. And it`s going to take some time to piece together, I think, exactly what happened that night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In the early morning hours of July 5th, people report hearing arguments, banging and loud voices coming from the Smith`s cabin, followed by a horrific thud which awakened other passengers.
The next day, a large blood stain was seen on the metal awning under the Smith`s cabin. Had any of these young men been in the room? Do they know what went on? Answers are hard to come by.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Can you imagine going on your honeymoon, and a few days into your trip, your husband disappearing without a trace, only blood left in his cabin, blood left on the side of the boat?
Very quickly, to Tim Green. Tim, what was the bride doing the night before? What were these two up to, that she can`t remember anything that happened the night before?
GREEN: Well, they were both reported to have been in the casino. And then they were last seen in the discotheque. They were seen and appeared to both be, as I said earlier, heavily intoxicated.
We talked with a couple of witnesses who said that Jennifer was, you know, leaning up against them for support. And then she and George, you know, talked with each other. George was over at a table with some other people. They had a spat. And then...
GRACE: Wait, who had a spat? Who?
GREEN: George and his wife, and Jennifer.
GREEN: And then she left. And people, again, witnesses reported that she, basically, stumbled out like a ping-pong ball, kind of bouncing back and forth off the cabin. She was in a state of, you know, under the influence of something.
Now, George then went back with -- witnesses reported that he went back with these three guys and they reported that they were drinking absinthe, which is 160 proof.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, drinking what?
GREEN: Absinthe. It`s 160 proof, an alcoholic drink, which is not provided by Royal Caribbean cruise lines. They made it clear to us that they didn`t supply that. And in fact, the people saw...
GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. Ellie, here on the set, who obviously is more familiar with absinthe, so it`s not legal?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can`t buy it here. That`s right.
GRACE: It`s that strong? I`ve never even heard of it.
GREEN: 160 proof is 80 percent alcohol. So, yes, it`s heavy duty.
GRACE: OK, you know what? It`s starting to make sense to me that she can`t remember exactly what happened. Oh, that shot we were showing is from "a Current Affair."
Could you bring that back up? There you go.
Man, what a nice-looking couple. Adriana Gardella, with "Justice" magazine, so who, BYOBed, bring your own beered?
GARDELLA: I have no idea.
GRACE: I mean, how do you get that? They don`t serve -- maybe they got it on one of the islands and brought it on?
GARDELLA: That`s certainly a possibility.
GRACE: There`s not enough booze on the ship for everybody? That`s to you, Adriana.
GARDELLA: Oh, you know, again, not something that we`ve got access to, where this absinthe came from.
GRACE: Hey, has the family made any statements at all, Adriana?
GARDELLA: I recall early on there was a statement, I believe, by Jennifer`s family that they were too distraught to speak, which is certainly understandable. And then, since then, I believe the FBI has ordered them not to.
GRACE: Quick break, everyone.
Quickly, to "Trial Tracking." Convicted sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan behind bars for the Idaho kidnap and murder, involving Shasta and Dylan Groene, also under investigation tonight for a `97 kidnap and murder case. The Riverside County, California, sheriff says Duncan is linked by a single fingerprint to the scene of a murder of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB DOYLE, SHERIFF, RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Riverside County Sheriff`s Department would like to confirm today that credible evidence has been developed in the Anthony Martinez case that makes Joseph Edward Duncan of the Idaho case our prime suspect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Yes, that`s the one Schroeder, Judge Schroeder let go on $15,000 bond. Duncan arrested last month for allegedly bludgeoning to death three people in their Coeur d`Alene, Idaho, home, and then kidnapping the children, 8-year-old Shasta and 9-year-old Dylan. Dylan`s little body was later found in Montana.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): We`ve all heard the reports of blood stains found on a metal overhang near the cabin of George and Jennifer Smith, newlyweds on a honeymoon cruise when George vanished in the early morning hours of July 5th somewhere between Greece and Turkey.
Now, for the first time, in this graphic photograph taken by a passenger aboard the Brilliance of the Seas, we can see what appears to be a dramatic blood print for ourselves, found on an awning two decks below the honeymooner`s cabin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Holy moly. That`s the first time I got that view of what looks to be blood outside George Smith`s cabin.
Very quickly to psychologist Michelle Callahan. Michelle, everybody naturally wants to blame the wife or the husband in cases like this, but you`ve got to say, Michelle, it`s very unusual that she can`t remember a darn thing.
MICHELLE CALLAHAN, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it`s very disturbing that she can`t remember what happened. It`s understandable that she may have blacked out, if they were drinking this super-high-proof alcohol, but the next day, to wake up and not even be concerned to run out of the bed and say, "Hey," you know, "what in the world happened last night? Where`s my husband?"
To just get up and go through the day and just assume he`s just doing whatever, this is a honeymoon, still. So you`d think you`d be excited to go and look for him. If it was me, I`d be at a psychologist`s office undergoing hypnosis and everything to remember.
GRACE: And of course, that wouldn`t be allowed in trial. But still, maybe it could give us a lead.
Quick break, everybody. We`ll all be right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN O`CONNOR, U.S. ATTORNEY: Finding out what happened does not necessarily mean there will be a conclusion a crime was committed. But certainly, there does not appear to be a plausible explanation, at this point, as to why he would have disappeared. So I think we have to assume that foul play might be involved and proceed in that manner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Hey, Kevin, U.S. attorney, the floor`s covered in blood! Something is wrong, all right? You don`t have to be a crime scene tech to figure that out!
Very quickly, to "Justice" magazine`s Adriana Gardella. Adriana, isn`t there a young man who was on the cruise ship who claims to have very suspicious evidence about someone on the ship, that worked there, very incriminating evidence?
ADRIANA GARDELLA, ASSOC. EDITOR, "JUSTICE" MAGAZINE: At this point, we`re dealing in a lot of rumors, and there is a rumor that we`ve heard. But you know, the details are not clear. In fact, there are no details...
GRACE: OK, wait a minute! Let me just ask you -- let me break it down. Was there a young guy on the ship that gave a statement to ship authorities?
GARDELLA: I believe there were several people on the ship who gave statements to authorities.
GRACE: Dubin`s (ph) client!
GARDELLA: We don`t know anything about him, so we`re all in the dark.
GRACE: OK, let me go to Tim Green on that. Tim, is anyone suspicious of an employee on the boat?
TIM GREEN, "A CURRENT AFFAIR": Not that I know.
Nancy, I want to say this about Jennifer Smith. And you talked about her, how could she not remember something. And I was with your colleague, Larry King, the other night on his show and had the opportunity off-camera to talk to the renowned forensic scientist, Dr. Henry Lee. And he and I were talking about the possibility of arufio (ph) or some kind of tranquilizer being slipped in this young woman`s drink.
GREEN: And Dr. Lee said to me, Well, you know, all they would have to do is take a hair sample from her, and they could tell that. And he went through a litany of other things that they can do.
I hope this. I hope to God, for the sake of that family and the sake of justice, that the FBI is on a trail so hot right now that they don`t have time for photographs of blood stains or interviewing passengers who heard noises in the adjacent cabin.
GRACE: Tim, I hope you`re right.
And one last (INAUDIBLE) this with Adriana. Adriana, wasn`t there a press release sent out by an attorney representing another passenger on the cruise?
GARDELLA: That very attorney subsequently said, Sorry, can`t talk.
GRACE: OK. And what did the press release say, Adriana?
GARDELLA: What I read spoke of a client of this person`s, of this attorney`s, who had incriminating information. But at this point, again...
GRACE: Incriminating information about who?
GARDELLA: The incriminating information was supposedly about a Royal Caribbean employee, but again, rumor.
GRACE: OK. Thanks. Thanks. You know, I`ve got my JD, not my DDS. I don`t know how to pull a tooth, but I know that press release came out suggesting that a passenger on a ship has incriminating information not about the wife of George Smith but about an employee on that ship!
We`re switching gears, everybody, and going live to Aruba. Tonight in Aruba, managing director and editor of "Diario," Jossy Mansur. Also with us, Natalee Holloway`s friends, Katherine Weatherly and Claire Fierman, who were there on the trip, this high school senior trip.
But first, to WBMA reporter Anastasiya Bolton. Anastasiya, bring us up to date. Is it true that Joran Van Der Sloot underwent another round of questioning starting this morning?
ANASTASIYA BOLTON, WBMA-TV: Yes, a second round today. Behavioral specialists took a second day to question Joran Van Der Sloot. I am told by the chief investigator that he was not very cooperative. They did question him all day long from early morning...
GRACE: Can you imagine that, Anastasiya! Joran Van Der Sloot not cooperating! Go ahead.
BOLTON: It`s very consistent, obviously, Nancy, with what he has done in the past. Another thing about Joran, he turns 18 on Saturday. Why that is significant? Because as he`s accused or suspected of a crime as a teenager, as a 17-year-old, he`s underage, his parents are still going to be allowed to visit him. If he were accused of a crime as an 18-year-old or of age, he would not be able to have visitations from his parents.
Another thing happened in court today. Two -- several attorneys, actually, from the Kalpoe brothers and Joran`s attorneys went to the judge and are asking the judge to stop the FBI from having access to the files in this case. So far, the judge has not made a ruling. He did not give a timeline when that ruling may come down, but we are expecting it this week.
Why the tapes are important? The FBI has asked to look at the tapes of -- not confessions but the interviews of Kalpoe brothers and Joran Van Der Sloot from early in the investigation. We know that the Dutch authorities took the tapes to Quantico, Virginia, but we do not know if the FBI has ever had a chance to look at the tapes or analyze them.
GRACE: I want to go to Claire Fierman, a friend of Natalee Holloway`s that was there. OK, no Fierman? Let me go to Katherine Weatherly. Katherine, are you with me, dear? Can you hear me?
KATHERINE WEATHERLY, WAS AT CARLOS AND CHARLIE`S WITH NATALEE: Yes.
GRACE: Hi, dear. Thanks for being with us. Now, were you there that night at Carlos and Charlie`s?
WEATHERLY: Yes, ma`am. I was there.
GRACE: What did you see? Did you see Joran Van Der Sloot there?
WEATHERLY: Actually, Natalee -- I was with Natalee. We were all together, dancing, and Natalee was only with Joran towards the end of the night. But I did pass him. I didn`t really even notice him. And that was it.
GRACE: So when you saw him later in the evening with Natalee, what were they doing?
WEATHERLY: I didn`t see him later in the night with Natalee. I saw him in passing, and that was it.
GRACE: OK. How was Natalee that evening?
WEATHERLY: She appeared fine. She wasn`t acting out of control or anything so...
GRACE: Did you see her when she left?
WEATHERLY: No, I did not see her.
GRACE: Had you already left?
WEATHERLY: Well, Carlos and Charlie`s closed at 1:00 o`clock, and when it closed, everyone was getting in taxis at the same time and it was really chaotic. And I got in a taxi, and everyone just thought that everyone would get home OK. There were so many people leaving at one time, it was just...
GRACE: OK. Hold on. Am I getting Claire Fierman yet, Elizabeth (ph)? OK. I`m hearing...
CLAIRE FIERMAN, WAS IN ARUBA ON GRADUATION TRIP WITH NATALEE: Hey, sorry. It`s sort of breaking up.
GRACE: Hey, Claire.
GRACE: Claire, did you see Joran Van Der Sloot that evening?
FIERMAN: Did I see him? I`m sorry, I -- (INAUDIBLE) breaking up. No, I`ve never seen him. I wasn`t at Carlos and Charlie`s, and I`d never seen him -- I`ve never seen him ever.
GRACE: Claire, when did you realize Natalee was not there to return home?
FIERMAN: The next morning, I was on an earlier flight than everybody else, and Francis Ellen (ph), one of our friends, came and found me and Katherine in the airport and told us that Natalee wasn`t flying home, that they did not know where she was.
GRACE: But to Katherine Weatherly. Katherine, when did you realize that Natalee wasn`t there to return home?
WEATHERLY: I realized the same time as Claire, actually, but at the time, we thought maybe she slept in. We didn`t -- I mean, we were very concerned, but we thought...
GRACE: What did you do?
WEATHERLY: ... she would be coming home. We -- well, we had to get on the plane immediately after that, and we got on the plane...
GRACE: Nobody tried to call her?
WEATHERLY: Oh, yes. People -- we were getting -- her cell phone was in her room at the time. She didn`t take her cell phone with her.
GRACE: Did you try and call her before you got on the plane?
WEATHERLY: No. We knew that she didn`t have her cell phone with her, so there was no point in calling, if she -- because -- well, they -- I wasn`t there when they realized that she was missing. I was told in the airport. But I know that other people did, and -- but realized that she didn`t have her phone with her.
GRACE: Why would anybody know she didn`t have her phone with her?
WEATHERLY: Because they saw her phone in the hotel room. She hadn`t taken it out with her that the night.
GRACE: OK. It just seems to me that everybody keeps their cell phone with them. Why wouldn`t she have it that morning? But you`re telling me people did try to call her, right?
WEATHERLY: No. Well, no. They -- no. They didn`t -- everyone knew -- when the next morning that her cell phone was there. I was just saying that we would have tried to call her. I don`t know if people actually did try and call her or not, but the people that were in her room knew that she hadn`t had her phone that night.
GRACE: Right. Right.
Quickly, everyone, to "Trial Tracking." A stunning break in the case of Brooke Wilberger, the 19-year-old college student who vanished from Corvallis, Oregon, May 2004. After a year of searching, tonight, police charged Joel Patrick Courtney (ph) with murder. Courtney also charged with kidnap and rape of another college student in New Mexico. He heads to Oregon after New Mexico courts get the first court date. Courtney could face the Oregon death penalty for Brooke`s murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMI WILBERGER, BROOKE`S MOTHER: We`d like to thank all of you who have joined with us over this past year in searching and trying to find Brooke. Our main goal remains the same, to find her and see that justice is served. We believe families are eternal, and Brooke will be with our family forever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE`S MOTHER: When I got home Friday night, the first thing I did was book a flight out because I was -- I just felt like I was already ready to go. But you know, once -- once I -- once I started driving around in Natalee`s community and saw all of the yellow bows on the mailboxes and the businesses and I visited the prayer wall, and that was just incredible, and you know, I was so glad that I did come home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. We are live in Aruba and the search for Natalee Holloway. Joining us in a moment will be Natalee`s mother, who has flown back to Aruba in the last 24 hours.
Let`s quickly go to Jossy Mansur with "Diario" newspaper. Welcome, Jossy. Jossy, what can you tell us about the resumption of the questioning of Joran Van Der Sloot this morning, the judge`s son?
JOSSY MANSUR, MANAGING EDITOR, "DIARIO": You know, what I can tell you is that we found out that he is answering all his questions with silence, and at a certain point, he also throws his hands up and covers his ears so as not to listen to them anymore.
GRACE: Oh, that`s helpful.
Debra Opri, think some defense attorney told him to do that, pretend he can`t hear?
DEBRA OPRI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I think the father did. And the bottom line is this. They went in there with a number of puzzle pieces all in place, and they had some leverage. They`re saying, You`re turning 18 and the tables are going to turn, buddy, so you`re going to cooperate with us now, or once you turn 18, it gets even worse for you in terms of your freedoms and your privileges.
The bottom line is he is not going to talk. He has something to hide. And they`d better find the body because time`s ticking, and unless there`s some confessions by someone else, it`s going to be rough. The guy is a very shrewd guy, and he has a father to support him.
GRACE: Jossy, what can you tell us about that witness that says he saw someone actually dumping a body at the landfill?
MANSUR: Well, he keeps insisting that he saw that. He`s also helping out at the landfill site. He`s participating and pointing out the area where he says he saw this happen.
GRACE: Now, the shoes we saw last night that we thought may have been the boots he was wearing, Van Der Sloot wearing, the night Natalee went missing -- it was actually the case it was tennis shoes he was wearing, right?
MANSUR: We don`t know that. But that photo was misstated by our people at the "Diario." We assume full responsibility for that. It was taken a few weeks before, so it`s not consequential to the case or the investigation. But still, we should have checked more carefully.
GRACE: Well, bottom line, all I care about was what happened to his shoes, and did he tell police he lost them the night Natalee went missing?
MANSUR: He did. He confessed to the police that he lost both shoes that night and he walked barefooted to his home.
GRACE: You know, Jossy, what will happen to Joran Van Der Sloot when he turns 18? Will there be a difference in the way he`s treated?
MANSUR: But of course. He`ll be treated as an adult under our laws. One thing that I do know, that he will lose visiting privileges every day by his parents. He will go down to once a week that he will be allowed to have visits. And all depends that -- I`m not a lawyer in Aruba, so there`d have to consulted some lawyers...
GRACE: But Jossy...
MANSUR: ... that know the other implications.
GRACE: Jossy, isn`t it correct that on September 4, he`ll be released, if there are not formal charges?
MANSUR: He can either be released, or they can give him a 30-day extension.
GRACE: And Jossy, have you heard any information regarding a search for one of those little kiddie pools?
MANSUR: They have been searching for that. They have found one, and they`re concentrating on that area where this witness says that when they dumped the body, they covered it with some other bags and then put this little pool on it.
GRACE: OK, I`m sorry. I didn`t hear that. Repeat, Jossy.
MANSUR: They are searching where -- they did find this -- one of these pools, this pool, and they have been searching in that specific area because we have to remember that this garbage has been moved about quite a bit from that day on by big tractors and front-end loaders and whatever.
GRACE: I want to go quickly to Wilbur Smith, defense attorney out of Florida. Wilbur, obviously, the high school friends are going to be little or no help to police regarding the night Natalee went missing. What`s their best shot, at this juncture? I say to get the Kalpoe brothers to break down and give evidence.
WILBUR SMITH, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I would be interested to know what the economic impact on Aruba is. This has to be devastating to their economy, and they`re going to put pressure anybody that has any information. Now, the young man in jail, he`s been well schooled. I don`t think he`s going to talk. But you`re right, it`s the brothers and maybe other people that the locals are going to put pressure on. I don`t think that forensics or any other type of search is going to be that productive.
GRACE: What about it, Michelle Callahan? Is Joran Van Der Sloot too dug in now, remaining silent? Will he ever crack.
MICHELLE CALLAHAN, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think he`s holding up, and he probable will continue to. I think that`s a good angle, to go at the others and see if he can get them to break. He`s got the support of his parents. He`s got no reason to roll over now.
GRACE: Well, back to Anastasiya Bolton. Isn`t it correct, Anastasiya, that in Aruba, there`s no plea bargaining? In other words, give the Kalpoe brothers a lighter sentence in order to get them to tell what happened that night.
BOLTON: As far as I understand it, there is no plea bargaining. But as far as interrogations, the FBI is able to sit in on these interrogations, they`re not able to ask questions, which is a big victory for the Holloways in this case, that the FBI can participate. But of course, since he`s not talking, I`m not sure what kind of help they`re getting in the situation.
GRACE: Very quickly, joining us now, Natalee`s mother. Thank you for being with us, Beth.
TWITTY: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, friend. Tell us why the return to Aruba.
TWITTY: Oh, Nancy, I -- you know, I think -- at first, I was thinking why -- why leave Aruba? But it was the best thing that I have done. It really -- you know, I couldn`t see that it was necessary, but once I stepped outside and I was really able to get a clearer picture of everything that has happened, and really get, you know, specific details of the investigation that I can, you know, really go back in my mind. And it was just -- it was just great, and I felt like I came back to Aruba with a lot more information and -- you know, and just to begin at the beginning of the investigation, and that`s huge.
GRACE: Beth, what is it that you see more clearly now?
TWITTY: Well, I think, just starting from the beginning. you know, we were always concerned at the circumstances surrounding Carlos and Charlie`s and just how Deepak Kalpoe and Satish Kalpoe and Joran Van Der Sloot were able to get her out of there. And I know definitively, Nancy, that Natalee -- there was a mass exodus. And I`m so proud of Katherine and Claire for coming on. And you know, as it came closing time for Carlos and Charlie`s, you know, there was a lot of confusion. There`s a mass exodus of the kids, and they`re all climbing in the back of cabs.
And Natalee Holloway had absolutely no idea that she was getting into a car, anything other than an Aruban cab driven by an Aruban cab driver.
GRACE: Beth, don`t move. We`ll be back with Natalee`s mother. Stay with us.
GRACE: The reward for Natalee`s safe return, $1 million, $100,000 for info on her whereabouts. Call toll-free 877-628-2533.
Very quickly, to Natalee`s uncle, Paul Reynolds. Paul, do you see the investigation taking a positive turn?
PAUL REYNOLDS, NATALEE`S UNCLE: It has to, Nancy. We`ve seen some increase in the intensity, but you know, we`re not done. Beth was able to go home and interview some people and get some new information, and that`s what needs to be done here. More witnesses need to be interviewed, friends, family, business associates of the family. The investigation has to continue to intensify, and not just interrogations, that is an important part of it, but getting information from the community.
GRACE: You know, too, Beth, Natalee`s mother, what new information did you learn back in the States?
TWITTY: Well, not only how the night unfolded at Carlos and Charlie`s, but even prior to that. This 11:00 PM pick-up on May the 29th - - I was able to speak with a witness also that said that Joran Van Der Sloot -- they were offering to give him a ride home at 11:00 PM on the 29th, but he didn`t need one because he had already called Deepak and Satish Kalpoe to pick him up. So that is something that -- you know, we know that Paul Van Der Sloot did not pick him up at 11:00 PM on the 29th. We know now that that correct pick-up time was 4:00 AM on the 30th, and Paul Van Der Sloot stated that he picked them up.
GRACE: So Beth, they`re all just lying through their teeth.
TWITTY: Well, I think they`ve been doing that since -- let`s see. Let`s go back to May 30 at around 3:00 AM.
GRACE: You know, Beth, you stated to the press that you were going back to Aruba, ready to fight. Those were your words. What do you mean?
TWITTY: Well, I mean, just ready to go back to the beginning of this investigation. Like, Paul and I were speaking that -- you know, we`ve got to go back to what we know. And the facts are that those three individuals and the father have knowledge, and they have got to come forward with it. I mean, they see what we have been put through, the entire world, as we`re (ph) watching for the last two months. And we`ve just got -- we`ve gotten a huge commitment of involvement from the FBI, which is wonderful, Holland`s involvement. But the four individuals have to come on.
GRACE: Beth Holloway, with us tonight, Natalee`s mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, her uncle, Paul Reynolds. Our prayers are with you.
I want to thank all of my guests tonight, but my biggest thank-you to you for being with us, inviting us into your homes. Coming up, headlines from around the world, Larry on CNN. I`m Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 o`clock sharp. Until then, good night, friend.