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Attorneys for chief suspect Joran Van Der Sloot`s appear to stall for time in the Natalee Holloway investigation on Aruba, as volunteer search teams begin to squabble and one even threatens a lawsuit against another.
Aired August 17, 2005 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight, the pressure builds on the tiny island of Aruba, day 80 and still no sign of missing 18-year-old Natalee Holloway. Lawyers for key witness Joran Van Der Sloot say prosecutors are withholding information, and an Aruban court must decide, should the Kalpoe brothers head back to jail or stay free.
Good evening everybody. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, filling in for Nancy Grace. Thanks for being with us tonight.
Michael Jackson back in the spotlight. The "King of Pop" is looking at yet another set of molestation charges. This time, they go back to 1984. A judge orders Jackson back to court in New Orleans to explain why he was a no-show at his last two hearings and threatens to arrest him. But Jackson, still reportedly in Bahrain, sends his lawyer. The judge then slaps the singer with a $10,000 fine for what Jackson claims was a glitch in the postal system.
But first tonight, day 80 in the search for missing 18-year-old Natalee Holloway. She disappeared on the last night of her senior school trip to Aruba. Today, key suspect Joran Van Der Sloot back in court. His attorneys say prosecutors are just not giving all of their files to the defense. And after testimony from a key witness about the night Natalee vanished, an Aruban court has to decide if the Kalpoe brothers will again join Van Der Sloot behind bars.
Tonight, in Aruba, managing director and editor of "Diario," Jossy Mansur. In West Palm Beach, Florida, from Coast to Coast Canine, Jim Knox. In Houston, Texas, Equusearch director Tim Miller. In Orange, California, defense attorney David Wohl (ph). In Boston, former federal prosecutor Wendy Murphy. And in New York, psychiatry professor Dr. Joseph Deltito.
But first to Birmingham, Alabama and WBMA reporter Anastasiya Bolton. Anastasiya, what`s the very latest on this case?
ANASTASIYA BOLTON, WBMA-TV: Jane, Joran Van Der Sloot and his defense team were in court today. The defense team is accusing the prosecution with not releasing all the files they have in this case, so the judge will now have to rule on that. The decision is expected on Monday.
A clarification on the earlier decision made by the judge. The judge keeps the FBI on this case, he`s continuing to allow access to all the files and to the interrogations. However, the FBI may not interrogate. They can just sit in. But the judge did say that Joran Van Der Sloot can be interrogated. The defense team has been fighting this for a while. But so far, Joran has not been interrogated since Thursday. So almost a week, no interrogations, although we`ve told the investigators tried to question Joran today, they have not been able to do that. We do not know why.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Anastasiya. Thank you for that. And Joran`s attorney actually made a statement at court today. Let`s hear it. I think we`ve got it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO CARLO, JORAN VAN DER SLOOT`S ATTORNEY: What`s happened was, there was an appeal today and00 before the court of appeals (INAUDIBLE) Aruba. We appealed the decision of the judge commissioner, which -- whom denied our request to -- for a relief with respect to the manner in which we were getting documentation from the public prosecutor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Former prosecutor Wendy Murphy, a victory for prosecutors. They get to keep questioning Joran. But they didn`t do it again today because they were in court. The defense keeps them in court all the time. Joran`s got to be there. So are they running out the clock until September 4, when they might have to release him?
MURPHY: Oh, you can bet that`s exactly that they`re doing. I mean, there`s no question that when that date pops up, they`ve either got to have extra evidence on him long enough to keep him or he will walk out the door. And there`s a possibility he`ll stay until the end of September, but the bottom line is, at this point, the game is all about running out the clock, and they know it. So they`ll do anything and everything, and I guarantee we will see appeal after appeal after appeal, Jane, in this case, because if that`s the way they keep prosecutors off Joran`s back, that`s going to help them with their strategy.
I mean, the bottom line is, how many times can he lie? We all know he lied. I don`t think that they`re ever going crack this case. He`s not going to have a "Telltale Heart" moment because I don`t think the kid has a conscience. So he`s not going to suddenly confess. There will be no Perry Mason moment. They`re not going to get so many lies out of him that they`ll be able to prove the case.
But I think one of the benefits of continuing to interrogate him is the pressure mounts, they can continue to manipulate him and into thinking that maybe they`ve got something on him, perhaps from one of the Kalpoes. But frankly, I think the only way they`re going really make any headway in terms of interrogation is if the Kalpoe brothers get rearrested because then you start to squeeze them. They potentially become state`s evidence against Joran because you know damn well they know what happened. And that is the only thing I think that`s really going to put the pressure on Joran enough that he might say something interesting and important.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, absolutely. And you raise a very important question. What about the Kalpoe brothers? Let`s go Jossy Mansur, managing editor and managing director of "Diario." Now, we had heard that investigators were saying, Hey, if they get this gardener`s statement that he saw one of the Kalpoe brothers and Joran Van Der Sloot in a car at 2:30, that might be grounds to rearrest them. Now, that statement, that sworn statement, came in on Monday. It`s Wednesday. What`s happening, Jossy?
JOSSY MANSUR, MANAGING EDITOR, "DIARIO": I don`t know what`s happening, but the gardener, the witness, did stand by his story. He did confirm in front of the judge, in front of the defense attorneys, in front of the suspects, that he recognized, and he even recognized two of the three suspects that were there. He hasn`t changed his story one bit.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, thank you for that, Jossy. Boy, this is - - it seems like such a game, but of course, we have to tell you, from a legal standpoint, the Van Der Sloots and the Kalpoes continue to maintain their innocence, and they have declined repeated invitations to appear on this show. And those, of course, are standing invitations. Anytime they change their minds, the NANCY GRACE show would be very happy to have them on.
Let`s go to Tim Miller, director of Equusearch. The other big development -- very grisly, very gruesome. And we`re going to show you a photograph that we obtained from a Venezuelan newspaper called "Nuevo Dia (ph)" of -- sad to say, it is a photograph of the skeletal remains of an arm and a hand that washed up on the coast of Venezuela, which is apparently about 20 nautical miles from Aruba.
You have done a lot of searches. This arm is still being tested right now. The results could come in any day. What is your thought on whether or not it could be -- could belong to Natalee?
TIM MILLER, TEXAS EQUUSEARCH DIRECTOR: Well, thanks for having me here tonight. You know, I`ve got mixed emotions on that. Of course, there`s that big question mark out there still, What did happen to Natalee? I know our efforts -- you know, we walked away and felt as though that, you know, we didn`t accomplish any more than we did when we got there. You know, I`m still real concerned about the dump. There`s some things we`re actually working with right now and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but let`s address this arm for one second. I mean, that washed up on the coast of Venezuela. You have done many, many, many searches. Is this just a terrible, gruesome, upsetting distraction, or could it be Natalee`s?
MILLER: Well, I`m saying, you know, the only way we`re going to know is, of course, through DNA testing. You know, from what we understand, the way the waters flow, it`s -- you know, it`s something that couldn`t possibly go there, but you know, people have been wrong before. We had a huge interest in the water in the beginning and spent a lot of time in the water. We did a lot of diving, side-scan sonar equipment and stuff.
And you know, somehow or another, this thing`s going to have to come it a close. Something`s going to have to happen so there can be an arrest. Something`s going to have to happen so this family can get some closure and try to move forward with their life and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. It`s very frustrating, I`m sure, for everyone. And speaking of that, I understand that there is some friction, that you may be preparing to sue the volunteer searchers who replaced you on the island of Aruba. Tell us about that.
MILLER: I certainly wouldn`t say they replaced us, by no means. You know, there was probably some conflicts a month before they went over there because we didn`t feel as though (INAUDIBLE) qualifications that we found in the background checks that we did that, you know, everything was as true as was -- that was said. So you know...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was said? What you upset about? I mean, spell it out for us because I don`t know what you`re talking about.
MILLER: Well, I -- you know, some -- some real negative things were said. Some real damaging things were said.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like what?
MILLER: Just some things that Jim Knox had said. And you know, it`s one of the things right now that our attorneys have, and we`re certainly looking at some things. And you know, we don`t want to take the focus off of Natalee Holloway. I mean, Jim and I -- Jim Knox and I had a long conversation on the phone on Monday. Jim certainly knew I was upset. This was after Paul Reynolds called Jim. Paul let him know I was upset.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s Natalee`s uncle.
MILLER: And anyhow, it was disturbing to -- you know, I remember talking to Beth before we left, and I said, Beth, one day, you`ll be able to look back at this and see that Natalee`s disappearance wasn`t in vain. And with all the resources, all the people that went there, you know, we`re looking at this as something positive for future missing person cases all over the nation, which there`s going to be some. And with all the negative things that were said, many of our people...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was said? I mean, you`re upset about something. You`re thinking of suing. We have Jim Knox standing by, ready to respond, but I`m not sure -- you`re dancing around it. If you`re upset about something, let us know.
MILLER: Well, I mean, these are things I`m advised by our attorney not say to interfere with a possible lawsuit. I mean, this stuff`s on the Internet. It`s -- you know, it`s floated all around. And so anyhow, it sends some real negative messages about a very positive search, and this doesn`t need to go negative. The focus needs to stay on Natalee, period, end.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s bring in Jim Knox. He is sponsoring Coast to Coast Canine Search. What is this all about?
JIM KNOX, COAST TO COAST CANINE SEARCH: Jane, I was interviewed on another network on Sunday evening, and when I spoke about previous behavior of some searchers that were on the island -- there were three or four different groups of searchers before we came to the island, and we started last week. And there were some things that some of the searchers did that we thought were improper. The question...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like what?
KNOX: Well, there was...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: For two people who are arguing, there`s a lot of polite dancing around the subject going on here.
KNOX: Well, I don`t think we`re arguing. Tim Miller...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, somebody`s thinking of suing you. I`d call that an argument. Sorry. Where I come from, that`s an argument.
KNOX: Well, when it happens, it happens. But Equusearch -- the fact is, I believe that they sent, like, 70 people overall in and out to Aruba to aid in this search. They did a lot of quality work. They did a lot of work that we were -- I mean, we were sick on Monday when we went to the dump, and after all the work they did there at the dump, and after a local citizen, Eduardo Mansur, who spent his own money hiring the backhoes to dig the hole where the witness said that he saw the blond hair and the wading pool being buried at the dump -- two weeks` work, and it took us two days to get a permit to go into the dump and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But is that their fault? Or what does that have to do with the...
KNOX: Oh, that doesn`t have anything to do with Equusearch. Equusearch -- Equusearch did a lot of good work there, a lot of groundwork. Their only problem was, basically, the communication, I think, with the different officials in the police department, according to the police department, not -- not according to me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And did you say anything negative about them? Did you say anything negative about them to anybody?
KNOX: No. I`ve never -- I`ve said anything negative about Equusearch and -- by name or by innuendo.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I want to bring in our professor of psychiatry we have here on the set, Dr. Joseph Deltito, to put this all in perspective. To me, this is starting to sound like a lot of good people who are stressed out because there is no resolution. There are no answers. And they`re working and they`re working, and they`re not seeing results.
JOSEPH DELTITO, PROF. OF PSYCHIATRY: Right. It`s a high-adrenaline situation fueled by many hours, lack of sleep. I think there`s a natural sort of clan-ism, My tribe versus your tribe, people working hard with their groups, their people, very sensitive about any kind of criticism. It`s understandable that in this kind of situation that people get frustrated, tempers flare, whatever.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s the solution, if this drags on day after day? What can these folks do to relieve the stress and keep their eye on the ball, which is finding Natalee?
DELTITO: Well, they may realize -- they may realize at some point that the type of searches that they`re doing have been exhausted and that they need to do something else, or maybe their role is no longer there, that they may have shown that that type of search isn`t going to yield anything and maybe some other type of search, other type of technology or whatever, might reveal where she is. And that`s a hard pill to swallow for people who are going there with all good intention, to come out with a result that maybe they did it but it just didn`t work.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just can`t imagine searching day after day in these horrible...
DELTITO: Oh, it`s terrible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... in the heat, through garbage, the depression of the subject matter. I have a lost compassion for both of these gentlemen and all the people who are searching with them.
DELTITO: Oh, they`re wonderful people that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the dogs. Every -- every creature there...
DELTITO: ... are in the front line there...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... is involved in stress.
DELTITO: ... and they`re going to have their own psychological stresses.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you know, I think you raise a very important point. I want to bring it back to Tim Miller of Equusearch. I mean, this is not a very large island. Is this search becoming futile now? What is left to search?
MILLER: That is a huge island when you`re searching for one small girl. We certainly realized that when -- I know we did everything that we could possibly do. We brought in every resource that we thought could possibly be brought in. And there were a tremendous amount of frustrations, and you know, we walked away feeling like we didn`t accomplish a whole lot, that maybe we let the family down, we let the community down. And we know from our hearts, you know, what it`s like on a search for missing people. And we took it personal.
We took it extremely personal with Tito last night went on and said that Equusearch set the dump on fire four days after we was gone, and about the turtle egg deal and the threatening the judge. We put too much into that thing to absorb all this criticism, and we will not do it. I mean, let`s report the facts as they are when the dump caught on fire. Let`s report the facts about the turtle eggs. And we`re not going to take that criticism and sit back. This is about Natalee. I think everybody deserves a huge applause for what they did over there, and there`s a lot of people that got real hurt feelings about this thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I think you`ve also gotten a lot of praise for both of these organizations, and we certainly extend our praise from this organization to all the folks who are searching for Natalee Holloway.
We will be right back with a lot more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL REYNOLDS, NATALEE`S UNCLE: We want to make special mention of all of the efforts that Texas Equusearch made. You know, those guys spent four weeks on the island. They had 70 people in there. I spent a week myself working with them personally. You know, it`s just a great group of dedicated professionals that have volunteered to leave their homes and their families and their jobs and come down there and put forth this effort. And they, along with the hundreds and almost thousands of others, have been just a great asset to our family and this search.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANSUR: The latter is important to search because there is a witness that came forward that claims that a body was buried there. And everyone wants this body found, if it`s true what he says. He`s been there constantly, the witness. He`s helped in the searches. He`s in the gate (ph) of the place where he saw this. But it has become very deep since the day that he saw it, and it takes a lot of effort and a lot of machinery to get a job done in a quick way, in very few days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, filling in for Nancy Grace.
When it comes to Natalee Holloway`s disappearance -- key issue, key issue, the timeline. Let`s get right to it, Elizabeth. Experts have helped us put together this timeline of the night Natalee vanished. 1:00 to 1:30 AM, Natalee leaves Carlos and Charlie`s with the Kalpoe brothers and Van Der Sloot. About a half-hour drive. 1:30 to 2:00 AM, Natalee and the boys arrive at the beach. Then 2:00 AM, Natalee drives with suspects to the lighthouse. I`m told that`s about 5 minutes away, kind of a tourist place where you like to see (ph). 2:00 to 2:30, the Kalpoes say they drop Joran and Natalee on the beach . Then it moves to 2:30, the gardener sees Joran and Deepak at the racquet club in a car. He says they duck and cover. 3:00 AM, Deepak sends an instant message from home. And 3:15, Joran text messages Deepak saying he`s arrived home. And that is a 40- minute walk from the beach area to where Joran lives. In fact, a CNN reporter made that walk on his own to confirm that.
Now, Anastasiya Bolton, you`re currently in Natalee`s hometown, but you have been in Aruba. Think about that timeline. And it is basically, obviously, theoretical. This is based on various witness accounts. But it`s approximately two hours between when they leave Carlos and Charlie`s and sort of the end of the evening. What is the window of opportunity, in your experience, your knowledge of this case, for foul play and then disposal of evidence?
BOLTON: You know, that`s a million-dollar question. So many people want an answer to that. But the island is really small. Obviously, it is a large place, as Jim was saying, to look for a person. But it is a small place. Everything is a small distance. It`s about a 10-minute drive from the lighthouse back to the hotel where Natalee was staying, the Holiday Inn and the Marriott, where Joran says he dropped her off. So he could have potentially walked back home in the 40 minute -- in the 40 minutes that he had.
But there`s plenty of -- I think`s there plenty of window of opportunity, I should say, that somebody can do something and still make it home on time, be that take a cab, walk, drive, whatever. It`s a small place. Everything that Natalee has visited in that last night is very close. Downtown, Carlos and Charlie`s, is just about 20 minutes away from the hotel. Like I said, the lighthouse is close. Everything is relatively close, so he may have had a chance to do something.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, Anastasiya, the big question then, if evidence was disposed of, where in that narrow area was it disposed of? Was it that night or was it the next day? And was it with the help of somebody else?
We`re going to visit that in our next segment. Now to "Trial Tracking." Today, more than 20 years after he first began terrorizing the Wichita area, BTK serial killer Dennis Rader is finally being punished for his crimes. The state is demanding the longest possible sentence for Rader, 175 years behind bars without the possibility of parole. Kansas did not have the death penalty when those crimes were committed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINT SNYDER, MEMBER OF BTK TASK FORCE: He`d say he would sit around with a squeeze ball, and he demonstrated that he would use the squeeze ball, squeezing it to get his hand strength up to where he would be able to strangle someone. He explained the reason for that was because it was extremely difficult to strangle a person, that your hands would become numb, and that sometimes it would take two to three minutes to actually strangle someone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One of the prosecution`s first witnesses at this morning`s sentencing testified that Rader chose his first victims because he was attracted to the family`s 11-year-old girl.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, filling in for Nancy Grace.
We are talking about the window of opportunity for crime and for disposal of evidence in the Natalee Holloway case. Let`s go out to former prosecutor Wendy Murphy. We`ve been talking about the possibility of maybe the disposal of evidence having occurred over a two-day period. In your experience, does that happen? And then would blood evidence be left all over the place as, perhaps, a body is moved?
MURPHY: Well, you know, look, Jane, if she died from strangulation, there wouldn`t be any blood evidence anywhere. But remember, Joran, apparently, early on made mention during one of his lies about Natalee having injured her head because she fell out of the car. I think that suggests that he may have been aware she did have an injury to her head.
Look, I think the timeline is crucial. The fact that he lied about where he was at 2:30 -- 2:30 suggests a consciousness of guilt. He knew he needed an alibi for that moment of time, which may have been the time of her death.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Wendy. Thank you for that. And we`re going, obviously, stay on top of this tragic case.
Up next, the Michael Jackson case. Lots of new developments, and some of them real doozies. Stay with us. We`ve got the latest.
SOPHIA CHOI, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi there. I`m Sophia Choi with your "Headline Prime Newsbreak."
A Kansas judge will soon decide a sentence for confessed BTK serial killer Dennis Rader. Testimony at a sentencing hearing today graphically described Rader`s detailed confession. Prosecutors are pushing for the strongest possible sentence, a minimum of 175 years.
A U.S. Army intelligence officer says he tried to share information about four of the September 11th hijackers with the FBI one year before the attacks. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer says military lawyers stopped him.
A disturbing report out of London about the shooting of an innocent man police thought was a terrorist. A Brazilian man was shot seven times in the head last month on a London subway car. The British television network ITV says the man was not wearing a heavy coat, nor did he try to run from police, as officials previously claimed.
That`s the news for now. I`m Sophia Choi. Now back to NANCY GRACE.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Got to move to the music. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, filling in for Nancy Grace.
More courtroom drama, more bizarre allegations swirling around Michael Jackson tonight, even as he reportedly remains secluded in the very tiny, very wealthy principality of Bahrain in the Middle East. Today, a court controversy -- a whole world away in Louisiana -- that is where Michael Jackson is being sued by a man who claims the pop star sexually assaulted him way back in 1984, but insists he just recently remembered it.
We have team coverage on this repressed memory case. Tonight, in Los Angeles, Michael Jackson`s attorney, my good friend, Brian Oxman. In New Orleans, Joseph Bartucci junior`s lawyer, Bert Pigg. And, in Los Angeles, Larry Garrison. He is co-authoring books with two Jackson jurors.
But first, to my also very good friend and courtroom buddy from the Jackson trial, "Inside Edition" chief correspondent Jim Moret. Jim, what is the very latest on this suit?
JIM MORET, CORRESPONDENT, "INSIDE EDITION": Hi, Jane. First of all, good to see you on that side of the desk right now.
Just when you thought Michael Jackson`s legal troubles may be over, he was fined today $10,000 by a federal judge in New Orleans for failing to appear at this civil lawsuit which was filed where a man claims that he was sexually assaulted by Michael Jackson during the 1984 World`s Fair.
Now, Jackson`s lawyer, not Tom Mesereau, but a gentleman named Charles Gay, in that case said that Michael Jackson didn`t know about the court appearances because he said he received the summons on June 13th. That`s when the jury in the criminal trial first brought their verdicts in.
The plaintiff, the gentleman you referred to, Joseph Bartucci, Jr., claims that, in 1984, when he was 18 years old, he was lured into a limousine by a Jackson employee, held against his will. And on a trip from New Orleans to Los Angeles, he was sexually assaulted on a number of occasions.
And as you mentioned, this was a repressed memory which apparently Mr. Bartucci now claims he was reminded of the incident when he first saw coverage of the criminal case. So it`s a rather interesting spin. But you have to remember this is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s a very good point to make, civil lawsuit. These are not criminal proceedings.
We have Brian Oxman, a Jackson family attorney, with us. And, Brian, I understand -- and Elizabeth is going to put this up -- we have, and you have brought them to us, a couple of photos of the gloved one and the Gipper, to show us evidence, you say, that Michael Jackson was actually with then-President Ronald Reagan at the time of these alleged incidents.
Tell us about that.
BRIAN OXMAN, JACKSON FAMILY ATTORNEY: Michael Jackson was in the middle of the Victory Tour, which ended on the 27th of May in 1984. And he was concluding that tour and went to visit Ronald Reagan on May 14th and was very close to the president from then on.
In fact, today`s news is that Judge Roberts, who is the Supreme Court nominee, wrote memos to the president saying that he didn`t think that they should tout Michael Jackson too much. But despite Judge Roberts` efforts, Michael Jackson and Ronald Reagan were the best of friends for years, all the way up to the time that the president passed away.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you`re saying that that`s what he was doing at the time of these allegations. Let`s hear from the attorney representing this man who was suing Michael Jackson, Bert Pigg.
What do you say to that, that Michael Jackson was doing something else and, in fact, Brian gave us a whole list of things that he was doing, in fact, allegedly visiting stars like Shirley MacLaine and various people?
BERT PIGG, ATTORNEY FOR BARTUCCI: Well, first of all, I think Brian needs to check his chronology of when the Victory Tour actually took place, because it didn`t start until later on in the summer from when these allegations took place, this activity took place here in New Orleans.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think, you know, the toughest part of this whole thing is the repressed memory angle. Let`s go to defense attorney David Wohl.
What are your thoughts on this whole issue of repressed memory, which is so controversial?
DAVID WOHL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, let me back up a second and talk about these allegations. The allegations themselves, in my view, are strike one. The idea that Michael Jackson -- and put aside what you think about him for a moment -- would take a boy into his limo, drive him from New Orleans to California and back for days, molest nonstop. I think, even for Michael Jackson as a defendant, that seems marginally on the border of ludicrous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Bert, let`s...
WOHL: Strike two is the repressed memory. Let me just say something about that. That is considered in most psychological parlances right now as junk science.
Nineteen years, he forgets completely about it. In 2003, suddenly he remembers? You know, it`s a very tough sell for any jury, and it`s going to be a tough sell for this one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Bert, this is your chance to defend your client. A lot of people are saying this is kind of a junkie lawsuit. What you to say?
PIGG: Well, repressed memory syndrome is a recognized cause of action here in Louisiana. There`s case law galore verifying this psychologically. It`s verified by our experts in this case. And the facts will come out at trial. And I`m sure Mr. Bartucci will prevail.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Brian Oxman may want to jump in, but I have to say that part of the problem isn`t just repressed memory, it`s repressed memory of more than 20 years of a long and involved alleged sexual assault.
And let`s bring our head of psychiatry into the picture here. You are an expert on repressed memory. Do you buy this?
JOSEPH DELTITO, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHIATRY: Repressed memory, where it does exist, is usually a bad artifact of poor psychotherapy or were someone has contingencies that would reward him for remembering something. They`re usually false memories. They`re usually implanted.
The nature of severe trauma is that people have trouble forgetting. I never heard of someone who was in Auschwitz, Dachau, whose experience was so bad they couldn`t remember it. The nature of trauma is that you can`t forget it, post-traumatic stress disorder.
At night, you have dreams about it. When you feel the temperature of a certain level, you think you`re in Vietnam again and you re-experience the war. You hear a bottle drop, it`s like a shot going off.
The nature of severe trauma is that you can`t forget things, not that you do forget things. I don`t want to say 100 percent of the cases it never occurs, but the idea of someone who`s 18 years old who had an experience over four days and doesn`t remember that it happened is essentially ludicrous from a modern psychiatric point of view.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Jim Moret, if this lawsuit is accurate, weren`t there some allegations of some really awful stuff, like cutting with a razor blade and things of that nature?
MORET: Well, there are several points that have been made here. One, you`re not talking about alleged repressed memory of somebody who`s very young. You`re talking about somebody who was 18. You`re talking about something happening over a series of days.
And like the doctor just said, you would think, as a lay person, that these would be events that, if they happened to you, you would have a difficult time forgetting and you wouldn`t be able to forget, let alone repress.
And, three, you then have the allegation that, while watching the criminal proceedings in California, suddenly your mind is sparked and you go, "A-ha, I was hurt, as well." These are all problems, I think. That doesn`t mean that this won`t be brought forward in court, but I think it makes it very, very difficult to win this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s weigh in now with Larry Garrison, who`s co- authoring two books, or some books with two Jackson jurors. Do you think - - some say Michael Jackson brings this stuff on himself. He`s kind of a weirdo magnet. He behaves in a bizarre fashion, and therefore weird allegations are made against him.
LARRY GARRISON, CO-AUTHORING BOOKS WITH JACKSON JURORS: Hello?
GARRISON: You`re now coming through.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. All right...
GARRISON: What`s your question?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a valid question for Brian Oxman, because he is Michael Jackson`s attorney. Brian, we`ve discussed this. Michael Jackson has faced more than a thousand lawsuits. You told me that. Does he bring this on himself?
OXMAN: Michael Jackson is one of the most incredible icons throughout the entire world. You can`t go any place where people don`t know about him and can`t recognize him. He`s an incredible phenomena.
The result of that is that he`s attracted a lot of litigation and a lot of lawsuits during his career. And people, well, just as Jimmy Durante used to say, "Everybody wants to get into the act." And when we have the jurors up in Santa Maria wanting to tout a book and sell it to a publisher, they, too, want to get into the act. And it`s the almighty dollar calling them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Jim Moret, you and I were there for the trial. We saw the circus. Is this just an extension of the circus? Has it come back to town?
MORET: You know, when I first heard about two jurors coming forward saying that they changed their minds and that, on reflection, they had second thoughts, you and I were there for four months. And that`s our job. That`s fine.
The fact is that the system should work. And if, in fact, you believe somebody is guilty, you every right to say, "You know what? I`m going vote guilty. I don`t care if it hangs up this jury."
And when I first heard reports that two people were claiming -- now it`s three -- claiming that they have second thoughts, it infuriates me, because there was seven days of deliberations. And you would think that, if those deliberations were legitimate, they had every opportunity to voice their opinions.
It`s difficult to go back and say, "You know what? I don`t feel that he was really innocent. And now, let me try to sell a book." That frustrates me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim, you`re not the only one. It infuriates me, a lot of the other reporters I`ve spoken with, also furious. We all sat there outside the court, our stomachs in knots waiting for this verdict.
And then when it came down, we were all really in a tizzy. And it was almost like it was happening to us. And then to hear that the people that we had been anticipating their decision, well, they feel that they were coerced, even though you can`t coerce somebody in that situation, it is frustrating, because we`re all kind of emotionally invested in that.
And we`re going to talk a lot more about that when we come right back. That is a big issue, the jurors in the Jackson case. Stay with us.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell filling in for Nancy Grace.
The jurors in the Michael Jackson case, so many people in a tizzy because some of the jurors now saying, after the verdict, well, they thought Michael Jackson was guilty, but they felt pressured into saying not guilty.
Now, let`s go straight out to Larry Garrison. He is co-authoring books with two of those jurors. Larry, put us in their shoes, because it`s so easy to judge from the outside. But we weren`t sitting in that room. You`ve spent time with these two jurors.
What were they going through? What`s their side of the story?
GARRISON: Well, to start with, you have a third juror that came out this week who is not doing a movie or a book. And she is now collaborating in, as far as what they`re saying they went through happened behind the closed doors.
Ellie is a 79-year-old great grandmother who doesn`t give a hoot about money. And what the American public and the world is about to find out is they`re looking to combine the book possibly right now and give a portion of their profits to Feed the Children.
This is not about making money. This is not about doing a movie. They realized that they were pressured. They realized that they should have stuck to their guns, and they didn`t.
I think both of them are quite -- right now, they`re courageous people. They`re coming out. And they`re jeopardizing their personal life right now, really for nothing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s hear from one of them who spoke out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAY HULTMAN, JUROR IN MICHAEL JACKSON TRIAL: We actually challenged one another in the deliberation room. I mean, it wasn`t -- I don`t want to give the impression that this was a really slam-dunk deal where you just go in to a room and 12 people agree. I don`t think 12 people can agree on anything except that the sun might come up tomorrow morning. And beyond that, you got to talk about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So they say they felt pressured to agree.
Dr. Joseph, you can`t be pressured. Nobody can say you have to vote this way. That`s the whole reason you have jurors and juries. But can they feel that way, peer pressure? What`s the psychological pressure for them inside that room?
DELTITO: Sure. The dynamic in that room is that some people are more dominant, some people are more submissive. The nature of these negotiated sort of decisions is, "Today, I`m thinking a little bit more guilty, a little less guilty."
Someone may, at a certain moment, coalesce everyone so they all come to a certain agreement at that moment. But a half-hour later, they doubt it. It seems that what they`re talking about to me is the normal process that goes on in any of these kind of emotional juries.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And former prosecutor Wendy Murphy, a lot of us said afterwards, you know, maybe they went back to their neighbors and their neighbor, who had been watching all the coverage, were very upset with their decisions. So then they start backpedaling and saying, "You know, I really didn`t want to vote that way. I was forced to."
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, Jane, you and I were out at the trial together. And I don`t believe for a minute that they did any of this because they felt like their neighbors didn`t like them.
I think that -- on the one hand, they`re calling it pressure. I would call it a lot of bullying, and they were lied to, I mean, literally being told in the jury room that they`re going to be bounced out of the jury if they don`t agree.
Being lied to about what the state of the law is. I mean, one of these juror said that they were told, if they had even 1 percent of doubt that that was enough, they had to acquit. That`s absolutely false.
Really, what I think is wonderful about what these jurors are doing is they`re exposing what`s really embarrassing and outrageous about our system of justice, which is that you can end with an outrageously wrong verdict of acquittal, based on nothing more than the celebrity status of the defendant.
And what I think is outrageous is that the jury was not instructed, for example, that, no matter how much dislike the kid`s mother, they were not to let that have any affect on their judgment of the child`s credibility. And that one juror who said, "I don`t know, what kind of mother would let her child go into Michael Jackson`s bed?"
I don`t care if the mother laid that kid out naked on the bed and said to Michael Jackson, "Have at him." That is not an excuse. It`s not a justification. It`s no defense at all.
And the fact that a juror was stupid enough to go into the deliberation room and say to herself, "Oh, I think I`ll find him not guilty because I would never that be kind of mother," we need reform in our legal system that commands dumb jurors to get their heads out of their butts and use a little bit of common sense. These books from these jurors may well help us in that regard.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And let`s hear from one of the jurors, Ellie Cook.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELEANOR COOK, JUROR ON JACKSON SEX TRIAL: There were a couple of things that I wanted -- I can`t even remember them now, to be honest with you, without my notes and paper here in front of me. But there was a couple of things that I thought that he was guilty of, but we couldn`t prove it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim Moret, we all watched that particular juror in court. And she has reportedly said that she was winking. And we did kind of see a little bit of a wink. But we didn`t know who she was winking at.
And then it turns out she says she winked at Katherine Jackson and that they had some kind of communication and they were wearing the same color outfits. What runs through you, having sat in that hot courtroom for four months, when you hear that stuff?
MORET: You know, first of all, I did not notice any communication between Eleanor Cook and Katherine Jackson. I did see her smile and nod a couple of times. It could have been toward Katherine Jackson, I don`t know.
It`s so frustrating, though. And I have to tell you something. I`ve talked to Larry Garrison in the green room. We happened to be at the same studio. He seems very respectful, very honorable, and he seems to believe what he`s saying. And I support his ability to represent these people.
But as a lawyer and as a reporter, I`m so frustrated that -- you know what? If you make a bad decision, live with it, fine. Maybe the prosecution didn`t prove its case. You and I sat in that courtroom and there were differences of opinion. Was it proven or not?
Live with it. That`s all I say.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. And, wow, it just puts the whole experience that you and I both went through in a different perspective to hear them, after the fact, change their minds. Wow.
To tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for Wilfred Cotaya, Jr., wanted in connection with the kidnap of a woman in New Orleans back in 1981. He was arrested in the case, but fled after being released on bond.
Cotaya, 45, about 5`7", 145 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. He`s considered armed and dangerous. If you any information on this fellow, please call the FBI at 504-816-3000.
Local news next for some of you, but we will be right back. And remember, live coverage of BTK, that sentencing tomorrow, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern on Court TV`s "Closing Arguments."
Please stay with us as we remember this American hero, Sergeant First Class Robert Derenda, 42. He is an American hero.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Welcome back. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell filling in for Nancy Grace. And we at NANCY GRACE want very much to help in our way solve unsolved homicides and find missing people.
Tonight, take a look at Arielle Nicole Dorminey. Seventeen years old, she was last seen in Crisp County, Georgia, on the evening of August 3rd. The next morning, her parents found a letter saying she`d run away with Amber Goodman, also shown in the picture next to Ariel. Amber has since also been reported as a runaway.
Both girls are from near Nancy`s hometown of Macon, Georgia. Police believe they`re headed towards L.A. in a white Ford Taurus with Alabama plates, number ALB-860 or ALB-7939. Now, if you have any information at all on these two young women, please contact the Crisp County Sheriff`s Office at 229-276-2690. There is a $5,000 reward. Please, please help us find these two girls.
All right, back to the Jackson case. Let`s go straight to Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman.
What is next for Michael Jackson? He is in Bahrain. How long can he stay there, given all the legal issues he faces back in the United States?
OXMAN: Michael is recovering in Bahrain. This entire process with the criminal case in Santa Maria was very trying on him. And the commotion still seems to continue.
And what you have to remember, Jane, is 14 times that jury said not guilty. Michael Jackson was not there when these accusers said he did these deeds. He was not only not guilty, he was innocent. And, remember, whenever you hear anyone say it`s not about a money, you can rest assured, it`s about the money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Wendy Murphy, now he has another problem. Is this sort of instant karma, this repressed memory case? Is this the kind of thing that happens when you`re always in the news?
MURPHY: Look, you know, who knows what the truth is in this case? But if anyone thinks that the allegations are just too ludicrous because the guy is 18 and repressed memory, repressed memory is a very real thing. I don`t know if this guy`s telling the truth, but I`ll tell you this: Nothing is beyond Michael Jackson`s capacity, in terms of molestation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, nothing is beyond this case in Michael Jackson`s story, always a wild turn of developments.
Thank you, all. I would like to thank all the guests on the show tonight for their insights.
And thanks to all of you at home for keeping track of these important cases right along with us. Coming up, headlines from around the world. "Larry King" on CNN. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell filling in for Nancy Grace. I hope to see you here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern.
Until then, have a great night.
ERICA HILL, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I`m Erica hill.
MIKE GALANOS, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: And I`m Mike Galanos. "PRIME NEWS TONIGHT" coming you way in just a couple of minutes, and we`ll have more on new graphic testimony that emerged today in the sentencing hearing for BTK killer Dennis Rader. Officials have warned family members of the victims that many of the details might be too hard to bear. And for some, it was. We`ll have more from the courtroom.
HILL: And you knew this one had to be in California. Talk about a dangerous scene in a neighborhood there, the driver hitting speeds of around 60 miles an hour. The police in hot pursuit. How it all went down, that`s coming up.
GALANOS: And controversy in Florida over a traveling exhibit displaying cadavers and body parts. Organizers say the exhibit is meant to teach people about what`s under the skin. State officials won`t approve the display, but will that be enough to shut it down?
Those stories and much more, coming right up.
HILL: "PRIME NEWS TONIGHT" heads your way, next.