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Nancy Grace for August 11, 2005, CNNHN
Aired August 11, 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, breaking news. Massive manhunt out of south Florida for an incredibly brazen rapist. At 10:00 AM this morning -- this morning -- police say a young mother was riding a bus, got off, he followed her and raped her in broad daylight just a few feet away from the bus stop. Bikes (ph), choppers, dogs, police trying everything to apprehend a man believed by many to be a repeat sex offender. Within the last hours, have police made an arrest?
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace, and I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, modern-day Bonnie and Clyde captured. A Kentucky cab driver leads U.S. Marshals to the Ohio motel hideout of George and Jennifer Hyatte, ending a massive manhunt starting when the two blasted their way out of a Tennessee courthouse, enabling her inmate husband to escape justice, leaving a deputy gunned down in cold blood in the line of duty. Tonight, these two have a date with Lady Justice. The cabbie- turned-hero is with us tonight.
And tonight: murder on the high seas tonight. Two American honeymooners set out to honeymoon on a dream cruise. Then the groom vanishes off the luxury cruise somewhere between Turkey and Greece. The only clue, blood in a stateroom and the ship`s side.
But first tonight: Florida police get their man in another massive manhunt, this one for a man accused of raping a woman at a Broward County bus stop in broad daylight, 10:00 AM. Local schools on lockout as police search.
Tonight, in Miami, Florida, Captain Larry Diaco of the Pembroke Pines Police Department. In West Tampa, defense attorney Joe Episcopo. In San Francisco, defense attorney Daniel Horowitz. In New York, psychotherapist Dr. Lauren Howard.
But first to "Miami Herald" reporter Wanda Demarzo. Wanda, bring us up to date, friend.
WANDA DEMARZO, "MIAMI HERALD": What`s going on is that the suspect in this case is going to be taken to the Broward County jail, and he`s going to be booked within probably the next hour or two and charged with at least one count of sexual battery, and possibly several other charges will be coming.
GRACE: Explain to me the circumstances, Wanda. I mean, this went down at a very, very busy intersection right outside a Wal-Mart. Apparently, this young mother, just 22 years old, just had a baby, riding the bus, minding her own business -- apparently, this guy stalked her on the bus, Wanda.
DEMARZO: That`s correct, he did. And then he followed her as she stepped off the bus, walked across the street, and then he dragged her into the bushes and brutally assaulted her, and telling her he would kill her if she didn`t cooperate.
GRACE: You know, it`s amazing to me, Wanda, that no one heard a thing, and they were so close to this busy intersection.
DEMARZO: I think because they were back behind the bushes, and she was probably terrified and afraid to move, thinking he was going to kill her. And she has a brand-new baby. She was probably very much in fear for her life. And when he fled, that`s when she ran in the street and flagged down a motorist.
GRACE: We`re showing you a map of Pembroke Pines, not too far from Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Wanda, is -- how far of a drive is this from Miami?
DEMARZO: About 15, 20 minutes.
GRACE: OK. OK. Let me quickly go to Lauren Howard. Lauren, this rape, a brutal rape goes down in broad daylight, 10:00 AM, basically, at a bus stop.
LAUREN HOWARD, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Right.
GRACE: Now, Lauren, the rapes I`ve handled in the past are done secretly, furtively, in the dark, on a dark alley, behind closed doors. This guy is so brazen. What does that say to you?
HOWARD: Well, it speaks to the fact that it`s a compulsion, that he literally is sort out of mind. He may get off on the thrill of doing it publicly, in a public place, where the chance of getting caught -- you know, that sort of living on the edge thing. But it really speaks to a kind of compulsion, where he sees the victim, he stalks her, he follows her. He`s not thinking. He`s not being rational and he`s not protecting himself. He just -- he literally can`t stop himself.
GRACE: To Larry Diaco, the PIO with Pembroke Pines Police Department. I`m concerned about the level of violence of the attack and the fact that it`s committed in broad daylight. The guy didn`t even try to be surreptitious!
CAPT. LARRY DIACO, PEMBROKE PINES POLICE: That`s right. Of course, you know, Pembroke Pines is a beautiful community. It`s a bedroom community. We haven`t had anything like this happen. We`re certainly relieved, and as we know, the victim and the family of the victim are and the citizens of Pembroke Pines are, that he was caught tonight. But in a case like this, you know, we just can`t understand why someone would do that. It was a violent and just terrible act that happened. It is a tragic day.
GRACE: Well, I got to tell you, when -- I remember coming out of the county courthouse, walking up through a dark parking deck to get to my car, and I knew that it was a dangerous thing to be alone in a parking deck at night with my hands full of stuff at 9:30. But when you`re getting off a bus, for Pete`s sake, Wanda Demarzo, at 10:00 AM in the morning, you`re at a bus stop by a Wal-Mart, to me this is incredible. What can you tell me about the suspect, Wanda?
DEMARZO: Just that he does have a record. He is on probation. We did not confirm that, though, with Captain Diaco. But I had pulled down some background checks. And according to court records that I have here, he`s on probation for a false imprisonment. We don`t have the details of the case yet.
GRACE: Well, I can tell you right there, Wanda, a false imprisonment often, in my history, precedes a rape. That is, holding someone against their will. So he`s got a false imprisonment conviction?
GRACE: Anything else?
DEMARZO: Well, he had been also booked, but the charges were dropped for a battery and for obstructing justice without violence, and he`s only 25.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIACO: An incident like this has not occurred, you know, in the past 20 years in Pembroke Pines, with this type of stranger rape. It`s not uncommon in most municipalities to have, you know, known suspects that commit date rapes and things like that, but to have a stranger-on-stranger rape is very, very rare.
And we`ve got the person in custody. He will be facing sexual battery charges and potentially multiple charges.
At 8:50 this morning, a Broward County transit bus was traveling westbound on Pines Boulevard. It came to the bus stop at 180th Avenue on the north side of the roadway. The victim and the suspect were both on the bus, and they got on at separate locations. They both exited the bus. The suspect followed the victim across the street to the south side of Pines Boulevard. The suspect physically forced the victim behind a hedge line, where he sexually assaulted her. He stated that he had a gun during the attack, and he also stated -- he also threatened her life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: To Larry Diaco with the Pembroke Pines PD -- we`re showing video of this guy, I think, on the bus. Is that how you identified him, Officer?
DIACO: We did have some excellent photographs, still shots that were obtained from a video that we received from Broward County Transit. They were distributed, and we thank the members of the media for helping us and assisting us in this case. The pictures were of very good quality. We were able to e-mail them, and it did assist us in identifying the subject.
GRACE: I want to go back to Wanda Demarzo with "The Miami Herald." Wanda, why were the schools put in lockdown?
DEMARZO: That`s a normal procedure. And Captain Diaco can also, you know, speak to that. But whenever there is somebody out that they feel might run into a school to hide out and that the children might be in danger, that`s an automatic procedure that happens, you know, I`m afraid, a little bit regularly around the county. They just want to make sure the kids are safe and that...
GRACE: Well, I`m glad -- I`m glad, Wanda, that they did. But you know, Lauren, that`s not exactly the childhood memory you want to grow up with, when you got put in lockdown because of a rapist up the street.
HOWARD: Because of a rapist, right. I mean, I can remember us getting under desks. We were afraid of -- the Russians were coming, you know, when I was a kid. It`s lot different to be terrified about, you know, the power of a country versus the power of an individual. It`s very scary for kids.
GRACE: Back to Officer Diaco. This guy had already made it to the next town? How the heck did he do that, back on public transportation?
DIACO: We do have some information that we`re not at liberty to discuss right now on how he was able to do that. But just so that you`re informed, there was an extensive search with the use of many neighboring jurisdictions, including the city of Hollywood, Miramar and the Broward sheriff`s office. We used K-9 dogs, several of them. We had a helicopter assisting us. We had crime scene technicians gathering physical evidence. We had our detective bureau, who did a wonderful job, along with our patrol officers and patrol sergeant Chris Stazio (ph), who was the first one to be on the scene to set up the scene and, you know, have it come to an excellent conclusion.
GRACE: Here`s what the mayor had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK ORTIS, PEMBROKE PINES MAYOR: You`re going to get caught and going to get caught quick. You`re going to spend time behind bars. That`s the message we`re giving. Beautiful community. We want to keep it that way. Think twice about committing a crime in our city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Think twice about riding a bus at 10:00 AM in the morning!
Bottom line, Joe Episcopo -- I know you`re a veteran defense attorney. You defend guys like this all the time. But this was very different from a lot of rape cases, and I understand why the community went into a state of shock. Why such a massive manhunt, Joe, for this guy?
JOE EPISCOPO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, for one thing, it wasn`t the usual date rape that we hear about that has so much controversy about it. He supposedly had a gun. And I mean, can you think of anybody more dangerous that would just hop off a bus and just randomly grab anybody? Of course, that`s a dangerous person, and that`s somebody that everybody`s going to be looking for. And apparently, they had some surveillance video from the bus. They were able to identify him quickly, and he`s behind bars and he`s going to get life in prison.
GRACE: You know, in a lot of jurisdictions, Daniel Horowitz, there is a life sentence attached to rape. In a lot of jurisdictions, it`s 20 years, but apparently in the Florida jurisdiction, you can get life behind bars. And don`t tell me, Horowitz -- don`t~! -- that just because he doesn`t have a rape conviction on his rap sheet that this is the first sex offense. You know, people normally graduate to something like murder or rape in broad daylight, Daniel.
DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, you know, I`m not going to fight with you on this one. I`m sitting here, thinking about...
GRACE: Well, you`re not going to get this case. He`s not going to be calling you from the jail.
HOROWITZ: No, I won`t represent rapists, Nancy. And I feel for this victim. Everybody`s so happy that they caught this guy, but what is she going through tonight? What kind of hell is she feeling? This guy is a sick man, and we should have picked it up -- and this is my theme again and again on your show -- identify these sick individuals early, before they commit heinous acts where the harm is irreparable to the victim.
GRACE: Quick break, everybody. When we come back, a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde blasted their way out of a Tennessee courthouse yesterday. Tonight, joining us, the Kentucky cab driver who led police to the modern- day Bonnie and Clyde, ending a massive manhunt. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLEN, U.S. MARSHAL: They responded to the scene, set up a perimeter. And we then made a phone call into the room, and we asked -- so we told George and Jennifer -- we actually spoke with Jennifer -- that we knew they were in there, we knew that there was a possibility they could be armed, we didn`t want to harm them, and so we asked them to come out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
A modern-day Bonnie and Clyde captured at a local motel in Ohio largely due to the cabbie that drove them two full hours. I can`t wait to hear what these two had to say in two hours! And remember, these two are not afraid of drawing blood. This is George Hyatte`s third escape. The second time, he used a homemade shank, which is a knife made behind bars, cutting up two corrections officers to escape, apprehended the next day a full state away. This time, his wife drove up to the courthouse, guns a- blazing, to enable her husband to escape Lady Justice. Well, they have a date with Lady Justice. They are looking right down the wrong end of the barrel of the death penalty!
Tonight, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Michael Wagers, the taxi driver who drove fugitives George and Jennifer Hyatte all the way from Kentucky to Ohio. They were captured. In Kingston, Tennessee, police officer -- police chief Jim Washam and CNN correspondent David Mattingly. Welcome, gentlemen.
David, bring me up to date.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nancy, it all came down to the cab driver. It was about this time last night we were reporting that the agents had surrounded the hotel in Kentucky and had burst into the hotel room where the couple had been staying and didn`t find them there. Well, it turns out the cab driver who gave them a ride to Columbus was eventually alerted by one of his relatives, who said, Hey, didn`t you take someone up to Columbus today? That`s when he realized he had the couple in his car. He told authorities where he took them. And then it was just a short time after that that the authorities were calling the couple in their hotel room in Columbus, saying, essentially, If you don`t come out, we`re coming in. And fortunately, there was a peaceful ending to all of this, not at all like the deadly violence that -- in which this manhunt started 36 hours earlier.
GRACE: Well, David, here`s the thing I don`t understand. Why did she pick the phone up? All right. She blasts her husband out of the courthouse. She takes down a corrections officer, killing him. He bled from the abdomen. His wake is tonight. His funeral is tomorrow. Then they`re hiding out in this motel in Ohio. The phone rings. She`s, like, Hello? Jennifer Hyatte. Can I help you? What was that? What? And the police say, You`re surrounded! That`s a question, actually.
MATTINGLY: I know where you`re going. It`s OK. I followed you completely on that one. Agents in Ohio suggested that they seemed relieved when it was all over, so perhaps they were tired of running. They knew that call was going to be inevitable. They had nowhere else to go, possibly. So possibly, that`s what was going through their minds, that`s why the phone was picked up.
GRACE: Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOLEN: I sent a deputy marshal into this particular motel, and she went inside, identified herself, verified that the information the cab driver had given us was accurate. At that time, we put the Columbus Police Department SWAT team, a great group of professionals, the tactical entry, into their hands. And the U.S. Marshals and CPD surrounded the motel room. And we then strategically placed a phone call into the motel room, and Jennifer answered the phone. And we gave them the opportunity to end this thing peacefully and to allow them to self-surrender.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: I want to go to the taxi driver who drove this couple all the way to Ohio and helped police stop these two. Sir, congratulations. Thank you for being with us.
MICHAEL WAGERS, CAB DRIVER DROVE FUGITIVES TO MOTEL: Thank you, ma`am.
GRACE: With us, Michael Wagers. Michael, how long have you been driving taxis?
WAGERS: About six years.
GRACE: You ever had a two-hour drive between these two points?
WAGERS: Yes, ma`am. It`s actually not that uncommon. It doesn`t happen every day, but it is something that happens every now and then.
GRACE: Yes, I understand if somebody misses their flight from one town, they`ll drive to the next to try to pick it up at the airport. So what did these two talk about for two hours?
WAGERS: To be honest, most of the conversation was lighthearted and nonsensical, nothing, you know, of real importance, just lighthearted banter, just kind of chit-chatty, so you know, just something to help pass the time.
GRACE: Did they pay you in cash?
WAGERS: Yes, ma`am.
GRACE: Well, did they talk about where they were from, what they did for a living?
WAGERS: Well the topic came up to where they were from. And I don`t know how truthful it was, but Virginia was given as an answer. And as for what they were doing, they were on their way to an Amway convention, supposedly.
GRACE: An Amway convention?
GRACE: Hey, Michael, Mr. Wagers...
WAGERS: Yes, ma`am?
GRACE: ... do you realize how close you have come? You`ve had a brush with death. These two have quite a history of violence.
WAGERS: It`s really overwhelming. I think that`s the problem I`ve had mostly today is in between all the media fussing about me, that`s what I`ve had to think about. And I`m very fortunate it didn`t turn out any worse for me, and thankfully, none of the agents that took them down was hurt. You know, it ended peacefully.
GRACE: Well, Michael, I understand, after your long cab drive, they pay you in cash, you go home and started playing video games. Yes or no.
WAGERS: Yes, ma`am.
GRACE: What video game, just out of curiosity?
WAGERS: It`s actually one of the older ones, it`s...
GRACE: Donkey Kong~!
WAGERS: No. It was Siphon Filter (ph) for the Playstation 1.
GRACE: Sir, did you have any -- had you been watching the news? Did you know these two blasted their way out of a Tennessee courthouse?
WAGERS: No, I was totally unaware of it. My best friend, Rob, called me and said, Hey, those people you took to Columbus, they found a van right around the corner. You need to call the local police and let them know what happened. If you`re not involved, that`s great. If so, you need to let them know what happened. And I called the police. The marshals called me. I spoke with the Columbus Police Department. A marshal showed up at my house. Then the Columbus Police called me after it was all done, probably about 10:30 or so, and said, Hey, we got them, thank you. And I said, No, thank you.
GRACE: Hey, you know what? I think you deserve a reward. I really do. Michael, please don`t -- don`t move. With us is Michael Wagers. This is the cab driver that led police to a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. Jennifer and George Hyatte took the life of a law enforcement officer yesterday, blasting him out of a Tennessee courthouse. The wake for that officer tonight. He leaves behind two children and a wife. The funeral tomorrow. This guy came this close to killers and lived to tell the tale.
Very quickly, to "Trial Tracking." Today, Jonesboro, Arkansas, prepared itself for the release of Mitchell Johnson. Johnson opened fire on a schoolyard in 1998 when he was 13 years old, a babyface killer, killing four students and a teacher. He injured ten others. Johnson and his friend, Andrew Golden, 11 -- 11, one-one -- at the time, triggered a fire alarm and laid ambush to teachers and students as they all hurried out of the school building.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF JACK MCCANN, CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, ARKANSAS: Everybody I`ve talked to is pretty apprehensive. There`s no one likes the thought that he`s being released at this point, and they certainly don`t want him back here in Jonesboro or Craighead County.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Now, Johnson was released today because of a loophole that has since been closed. This is what happens when juvenile killers are treated in the juvenile system. It prevented authorities from holding him one day past his 21st birthday.
GRACE: Jailbreak fugitives captured. In breaking news today, George and Jennifer Hyatte captured in an Ohio motel after a massive manhunt.
Very quickly, to Chief Jim Washam with the Kingston Police Department. Sir, first of all, my condolences to you for your fellow law officer slain. When do you think George and Jennifer Hyatte will be extradited back to Roane County?
CHIEF JIM WASHAM, KINGSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Hopefully, as soon as maybe late tomorrow evening. I understand they do have the court hearings tomorrow for extradition, and we`ll know more about that. We`ve been in contact with the PBI and the marshals service that will be conducting that.
GRACE: Do you think these two should get the death penalty?
WASHAM: Yes, I do.
GRACE: You gun down a law enforcement officer, and that`s not just the victim in this case, Wayne Cotten (ph) Morgan, but it`s gunning down our justice system, as well.
Chief, thank you, and please join us again. Very quickly, to Michael wagers, the cab driver who helped bring these two to justice. When you look back on it, how do you feel?
WAGERS: Actually, very relieved that the outcome was what it became, maybe a little embarrassed that this has happened to me because I`m not -- I don`t...
GRACE: You`re a hero in my book! Don`t you be embarrassed for a moment. And speaking of books, do you have a book offer yet? They going to make a movie about Michael Wagers, hero?
WAGERS: I haven`t heard anything about that, and I`m not really -- you know, I don`t know if I would pursue something like that because I really just want to -- the only reason why I`m actually doing...
GRACE: Well, Michael -- Michael, you know what Shakespeare said. Some are born to greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them. All right? Michael Wagers, you`re a hero in my book.
WAGERS: All righty. Well, thank you, ma`am.
GRACE: Thank you, sir.
Quick break, everybody. We`ll all be right back.
THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I`m Thomas Roberts. And this is your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."
We start with what`s taking place with NASA, saying that there is a problem of falling foam that`s going to keep the shuttle fleet on the ground at least until November. A one-pound chunk of foam fell off Discovery`s fuel tank last month, and engineers need more time to fix the problem.
That means the scheduled September mission is going to be postponed. Now, if the modifications aren`t ready by November, the next launch would happen in 2006.
British Airways has canceled all of its flights out of London`s Heathrow Airport. The airline says that some of its ground staff walked off the job in support of striking food service workers. The union went on a strike after a firm that caters meals for the airline fired hundreds of workers.
And some kangaroos in southern Australia got a look at a strange substance today, snow. Look at this. A freak snowstorm took people and animals all by surprise. Students at one school even got to go home early, and the unusual conditions caused chaos on some local roads. But the sleds were broken in, as we see there.
That is the news for now. I`m Thomas Roberts. We take you back for more of NANCY GRACE.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Karen Drake had a cabin on the eighth level of the Brilliance of the Seas cruise ship, one level below newlyweds George and Jennifer Smith.
KAREN DRAKE, PASSENGER ON CRUISE SHIP: 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 ten 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: Welcome back, everybody. In the case of the missing groom, the hunt goes on.
Tonight, joining us in New York, "Current Affair" correspondent Harris Faulkner. Harris, bring me up-to-date.
HARRIS FAULKNER, "A CURRENT AFFAIR" CORRESPONDENT: Well, Nancy, first of all, I made a couple of quick phone calls today, first to the FBI. And I can tell you my spirits were lifted a little bit to know that, yes, the New Haven, Connecticut, office is still leading the charge on this investigation.
And I say "spirits" in a very almost personal way. As journalists, you know, we try to kind of keep ourselves separate, but in something like this, it`s hard to keep your emotions out of it completely. You kind of get invested in this. It`s a mystery. You start to learn more about the families involved in this.
I really, really found my spirits being bolstered by the fact that the FBI is still pushing ahead on all of this. But then I had some questions, like the three persons of interest, as we in the media at "A Current Affair" have termed them, are the three young men who we have reportedly found out were with George Allen Smith, possibly in the last few hours that he was alive, certainly the last known people to be with him.
When will the FBI begin to call them, quote, unquote, "persons of interest," suspects, whatever you have? When will they talk about going after and talking to those guys very openly?
And then my next question had to do with the DNA, Nancy. And we know that blood was found on the ship in three different locations, the bloody overhang that we`ve seen those famous pictures of now, taken, I should say, by a 16-year-old at first and also another woman on the cruise.
You had blood on the railing outside the cabin of the couple, George and Jennifer Smith, and then inside their cabin. Lots of questions there. Are those three bloody areas the blood from one person? And is that one person George Allen smith?
Needing the family`s DNA possibly to help answer those questions. We still haven`t gotten any further in pressing the FBI on whether or not those questions have been answered -- Nancy?
GRACE: Harris, take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s physically impossible for someone to go over that railing without some assistance. On my balcony, they actually came up to chest height, and there`s no way that you can fall over, particularly if you`re drunk. The first thing that gives when you`re drunk are your legs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Harris, who has jurisdiction of the case? He disappeared somewhere between Greece and Turkey on a ship that is registered in the Bahamas and does business out of Florida. So who`s running the show?
FAULKNER: Well, right now the FBI is running the show, coordinating and leading the charge on this. And again, that`s the New Haven, Connecticut, branch. I talked with the spokesperson for the agent in charge of the investigation today, and she told me, you know, that`s been the case since the Turkish authorities, who first had this case, turned it over to the FBI several weeks ago.
And they did so because the family of George Allen Smith had yet to put forth paperwork, formal application, for them to continue on. It was a natural thing, also, for the FBI to have a little bit more ground in this than they would, say, in the case of Natalee Holloway, for example, in Aruba, where this might have been a crime on the high seas, which gives the FBI a little bit more jurisdiction, gives them an actual violation that they can sink their teeth into.
We won`t know exactly how far this will go, in terms of prosecution/jurisdiction, until they name the crime, name a suspect, and go forth. But as far as the investigation is going, we know that FBI agents boarded that ship on July 5th, the very day, later in the afternoon, that George Allen Smith went missing.
And then, Nancy, you know, just last week, agents were back on the ship again. We found that out, and we were able to confirm that with a Royal Caribbean spokesperson. So they`re doing things reportedly like reenacting the crime and talking more with crew members, so on and so forth.
GRACE: Well, here`s the deal, Harris -- Harris Faulkner is with us, joining us from "A Current Affair." She`s been on this case from the beginning.
Right now, until we find out whose blood it actually is, we don`t even know if it was foul play. How many guys say, "Hey, I`m going to get a pack of cigarettes, be right back." Not.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DRAKE: I`m worried definitely that there was some kind of serious foul play. Unless you were playing king of the world, it`s just not possible to fall over. And I just -- there was so much blood.
And the distance from his balcony to that deck was not that great, you know, to generate that kind of injury. So, you know, I`m worried that something terrible happened to him and he was pushed overboard. That`s what I`m worried happened.
CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: I would guarantee that Jennifer knows something, a lot more than she`s saying. You know, she was found at 9:30 on an entirely different deck of the boat. Something happened during that night. She was in the disco; he was in the casino.
We don`t really know. But I think she knows, and I think that -- I`m hoping she`s using that information to help her own investigators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Lauren Howard, what`s your take on the wife`s position now? She says she drank a lot that evening, went back to the stateroom, has no recollection of anything that happened, but the neighbor says -- in fact, they allegedly called Royal Caribbean authorities and said, "There`s too much noise. We can`t go to sleep," because of the all the commotion.
HOWARD: And they heard a woman scream. And they heard a woman scream. You`ve got partying. You`ve got fighting. The neighbor, Cliff Hyman (sic), who, in the room next door, heard a woman scream, heard fighting, heard raised voices.
We`ve got blood. We`ve got fighting. We`ve got screaming. And we`re questioning whether or not there was foul play?
GRACE: I agree.
HOWARD: I`m missing something.
GRACE: What about her? Where was she?
HOWARD: Well, I would assume -- first of all, you`re on a ship. People are drink -- a lot of people drink more. They`re not getting into cars. They`re not driving. They`re partying. It`s their honeymoon. Evidently, there had been fighting amongst them, other people overheard between the happy couple.
GRACE: But it`s just as possible...
HOWARD: She could have blacked out.
GRACE: ... that her being in there as her being angry at her husband...
HOWARD: Absolutely right, and running off.
GRACE: ... and sleeping on a deck chair or something.
HOWARD: Absolutely right, or just going off to party. And he`s in the room with these three people that they`ve identified, who were partying with him. Maybe the woman whose voice was screaming wasn`t hers.
It is possible that she knows nothing. What is not possible is that this was just an accident in the absence of foul play.
GRACE: Harris Faulkner, what can you tell us about allegations -- that we have not been able to confirm yet -- that George Smith, the 26- year-old groom, was bragging about having a large sum of money, some reports up to $50,000?
FAULKNER: Well, a couple things. First of all, you know, we`ve heard from passengers who went off on a port with them and were with the couple, Jennifer and George...
GRACE: This is a shot of George Smith`s home, everybody. Go ahead, Harris. Sorry.
FAULKNER: And he`s from the area of Cos Cob in Connecticut. That`s where his family owns a liquor store.
But, Nancy, to get back to, you know, the heavy drinking, the partying, the talking about money. Several witnesses, passengers, have told us that George was heard talking about having gotten a large sum of money from the wedding and having had a large sum of money in their cabin. He was seen buying drinks, rounds of drinks, for complete strangers in bars, so on and so forth.
But, you know, one of the things that your other guest said about Clete Hyman, the Redlands, California, deputy police chief, was absolutely dead-on, in terms of what he heard.
The other thing that was key in what he heard that might suggest foul play in all of this -- and, of course, we don`t know. It could have been an accident. But another thing that might suggest foul play is the sounds of something like dragging of furniture through the cabin next door in all wee hours.
He complained to the crew. The crew members, we`re told, at one point went -- knocked on the door trying to get them to be quiet. Mr. Hyman described something sounding like it was being dragged on to the balcony. And then, after the hour of about 4:30 in the morning, something that sounded like a large piece of equipment or furniture hitting concrete.
People have speculated that might have been the sound of George going overboard. We don`t know. But, certainly, if you want to look at avenues that might point to foul play, blood in three places, the loud noises that several people now say that they`ve heard.
GRACE: And very quickly, Harris, before we go to break, these three people of interest, are they the same people that helped George Smith out of the casino to his cabin?
FAULKNER: Well, and a key point here, Nancy, one of those, as we in the media are calling them, "key people of interest," is a young man from southern California, who his parents were telling other people on the ship he was the last person to see George, because he escorted a drunken George Allen Smith to his cabin, tucked him in, and then left him there.
And Joe Episcopo, all three of the alleged people of interest have lawyered up. There are no formal charges, but all three have defense lawyers tonight.
JOE EPISCOPO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, that`s a good idea, don`t you think? If you`re a suspect, you would get an attorney so that you would...
GRACE: A suspect is not a person of interest.
EPISCOPO: Well, come on.
GRACE: They`re just interesting.
EPISCOPO: What are we talking here?
GRACE: They`re just interesting. Police find them intriguing.
EPISCOPO: He`s a suspect. The other two are suspects. They got lawyers. That`s what they`re supposed to do.
GRACE: Very quickly, "Trial Tracking," we`ll all be right back.
Pam Turner, a middle-school physical education teacher charged with having sex with a 13-year-old boy, pleads nolo, no contest today. Turner, slated to spend nine short months behind bars for charges of sexual battery and statutory rape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DALE POTTER, WARREN COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: In count 13 on November the 24th, the day before Thanksgiving, the defendant had intercourse with the victim at her home at Bremington Point (ph) in Center Town (ph). She supplied the victim and another individual with alcohol.
Later that night, an unusually high number of empty bottles of alcohol was observed in her trash can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Well, he may call it intercourse, but the law calls it statutory rape. Following jail time, Turner will be on supervised probation eight years.
GRACE: A policeman in suburban Atlanta shot dead a few hours ago after a traffic stop turned into a gun battle. The gunman fleeing into a nearly post office, where he was holed up about two hours. The gunman found dead in the post office at the end of the standoff. Authorities yet to release the name of the suspect or the slain officer.
Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
Very quickly, back to the missing groom. I want to go back to Daniel Horowitz. Daniel, this is like one of those cases you put together like a jigsaw puzzle. We call it circumstantial evidence, where all of these various pieces are fitting in.
And at first, you look at the piece and it doesn`t make any sense, like this wife. This doesn`t make any sense, that they were together that night, true, drinking like crazy, reveling, partying. She says she goes back to the cabin and then she has a memory loss, wakes up, husband gone, and she goes to work out.
You know what? It doesn`t make sense, but that does not make her the suspect.
DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right, Nancy, I think she`s completely innocent in this. And I think this case has all of the hallmarks of drugs administered to both the husband and the wife, a rape of the wife in that room with the husband there knocked out...
GRACE: Say what?
HOROWITZ: I think he woke up...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, wait.
HOROWITZ: Oh, yes, Nancy.
HOROWITZ: You slip them roofies or GHB in their drinks, and, look, he...
GRACE: OK. Let me just ask you one thing, Daniel, OK? I admire your very, very vivid imagination. I`m sure it comes in handy in front of juries. But do you have one shred, a scintilla, of evidence to suggest this young bride was raped?
GRACE: What would that be?
HOROWITZ: It`s exactly what you were talking about. How does she end up drunk, supposedly so much so that she wakes...
GRACE: I didn`t ask if you have a question. I said, do you have any evidence?
HOROWITZ: No, unfortunately, they didn`t do a rape test on her. But, Nancy, you don`t wake up...
GRACE: Do you think she might have noticed she had been raped?
HOROWITZ: Not when you`ve been given roofies or GHB. You`ve been knocked out. Unfortunately, you can put people in such a la-la land that these things happen.
It`s really a situation where, why did she wake up on the deck so far away from her boardroom? Maybe because she`s lying and she killed him? I don`t believe it.
GRACE: Or maybe because they had an argument, and she stomped out, and went to a deck chair, and passed out? You know, listen...
GRACE: ... you have a big row on your honey -- OK, let`s go to Joe Episcopo.
Joe, I don`t know how your imagination is, but what`s your take on her story? It`s not really helping.
EPISCOPO: I think she passed out. I don`t think she knows anything that went on. I don`t think she heard anything.
I haven`t seen anything about a woman screaming. That`s not in any of the materials I`ve read. So I think that she doesn`t know what happened. And I`m sure she`s very embarrassed about it, and very upset about it, that this happened maybe right around here, but yet she doesn`t know because she had too much to drink.
GRACE: You know what? That`s a really good point.
Lauren, if everything she says is true -- and I take it to be true...
GRACE: ... can you imagine the survival guilt of your husband on your honeymoon, disappearing like this, obviously foul play, and you were on the deck above on a deck chair or something?
HOWARD: Which is not to say -- I mean, she`ll process that. It`s not to say that she could have prevented it happening.
HOWARD: I mean, really. So she`ll have to come to terms with that.
But obviously, the two of them had been fighting. Other people heard them fighting. She was in the disco. He was in the casino. A good question might be, if, in fact, according to Daniel Horowitz, they were drugged, one would think the motive was money. That $50,000 that he won in the casino or all this cash he had in the room, is it missing? Was that money still found? Do we know that?
GRACE: What about it, Harris? Do we know anything about missing money? Have we seen any of the police reports...
FAULKNER: You know, those are excellent questions.
GRACE: ... or, God forbid, a rape that Horowitz just dreamed up?
FAULKNER: Well, yes, and I haven`t seen any evidence of that, either, Nancy. But I will tell you, separate from all of that, that when the Turkish authorities first questioned Jennifer, they determined right away that they were not going to call her a suspect.
And then this case got handed over to the FBI. The FBI has told me personally, the spokesperson for the agent in charge, has said Jennifer has been totally accessible to their agents as they continue to investigate this. So there`s no reason whatsoever at this point to think that she`s anything other than, perhaps, maybe a bad witness, because she can`t remember anything, but we don`t even know that because she hasn`t talked to anybody.
GRACE: I`ve got to ask the ladies on the panel a question. Can anybody on this panel say that you haven`t had a romantic argument and stomped out? Everybody stomps out, for Pete`s sake.
FAULKNER: Everybody does.
GRACE: Everybody stomps out. And it seems to me that that is what happened that night, Harris, because everyone said the couple was having some type of a spat.
I want to go back to the persons of interest, but, first -- Elizabeth, do you have that sound for me? Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DRAKE: I woke 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 bloodstain there, very, very dark in the middle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK. We were just showing you a shot of the inside of the cabin. We`ll get back to that in a moment. We can pull it right back up.
So, Harris, my question was -- we got away from it -- has there been any report of missing money?
FAULKNER: You know, no one has said anything about that. But, you know, I want to talk just briefly, if I can, Nancy, about the bloody overhang. I talked recently with a forensics expert that said something that kind of surprised me.
He said that the thing that we can`t tell from that photo, and I know we all have said, at least based on what witnesses have told us, that there`s a lot of blood. But we have no idea exactly how much -- there could even be more, because that could be like an absorbent, you know, overhang.
It had water on it. It`s on a ship. It could be worse than we`re even thinking about.
GRACE: Harris Faulkner with "A Current Affair" joining us.
Very quickly, to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for this man, Arness James Johnson, wanted in connection with the sex assault of a man he met at a nightclub 2003, Atlanta.
Johnson, 47, 6`1", 200 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. If you have any information on Arness James Johnson, call the FBI, 404-679-9000.
Local news coming up for some of you, but we`ll all be right back. And remember, live coverage of the amusement park murder trial, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV`s "Closing Arguments."
Please stay with us as we remember Private First Class Seferino J. Reyna, just 20 years old, an American hero.
GRACE: We at NANCY GRACE want very much in our own way to help solve unsolved homicides, find missing people. Tonight, take a look at Sah Quanna Epps, just 11 years old. She disappeared from Philadelphia July 18th. Police believe she still may be in the area.
Look at this little girl. If you have any information on Sah Quanna, please call the Philadelphia police, 215-685-3257, or go online to beyondmissing.com. Please help us.
Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace.
Very quickly to "Current Affair`s" Harris Faulkner. In one of the witness statements -- Lauren Howard and I are sitting here reading them -- they say they hear a woman`s voice, a woman`s scream, and that is what wakes them up.
FAULKNER: Right, that`s the next door...
FAULKNER: ... deputy police chief from Redlands, California, Clete Hyman, talking about the fact that he heard first a series of voices that sounded a little bit more jovial. You know, it was still very late.
But as the morning grew on, and you worked your way toward dawn, he also heard a woman`s voice in there, a shriek, a scream. He was positive that he hadn`t heard that voice in the mix of voices before. We don`t really know what that indicates.
You know, Nancy, I know, from watching your show and then being a guest here, that it is your cause to help with missing cases out there.
And I would just say this: While I can`t discuss exactly the details of the person and the family, that we have some correspondence going with a member of the Smith/Hagel family who`s contacted us, just to let us know that they`re watching, they`re watching your show, they`re watching "A Current Affair."
They`re really appreciating our coverage of this. We just have to keep going forward. We somewhat got a little spoiled with, you know, the investigation in Aruba and how much that family, the Holloway-Twitty family, opened up to the media. Everybody`s different, but I can tell you that the family is watching. And they do appreciate the push.
GRACE: Harris Faulkner with "A Current Affair," thank you so much.
And I want to let everybody know that we invited Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to come on, as well as the victim`s family, and they declined.
I want to thank all of my guests tonight. What a panel. But my biggest thank you is to you, tonight and every night, for being with all of us, inviting us into your home.
Coming up, headlines from all around the world. Larry`s on CNN. I`m Nancy Grace, signing off again for tonight. Hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until tomorrow night, good night, friend.