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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Marc Cohn; Interview with Ryan Hawks; Panel Discusses Natalee Holloway Disappearance
Aired August 24, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Natalee Holloway would have begun her freshman year at the University of Alabama today. But of course she vanished in Aruba almost three months ago. Her father, stepmother and her uncle will tell us how they keep on keeping on.
Plus, a former child actor charged with murder in the disappearance of a retired couple who were allegedly tied to their yacht's anchor and thrown overboard alive. Their son, Ryan Hawks will join us.
But first, Marc Cohn, the Grammy winning singer who survived a gunshot to the head in an attempted carjacking. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Before we begin, we want to let you know that tomorrow night we have an exclusive interview with Lance Armstrong, the seven-time champion of the French Grand Prix (sic), who will be -- the Tour de France -- who will be with us exclusively tomorrow night to discuss the articles in the French newspaper saying that he used illegal drugs. Lance Armstrong tomorrow night.
Marc Cohn begins things. He's in New York. The Grammy winning singer who survived a gunshot to the head in an attempted carjacking.
Now, what happened? You just finished the concert in Denver? Tell us what happened, Mark.
MARC COHN, SINGER: Yeah, that's right. We were about three weeks into the tour. We had another week to go. And we just did a show in Denver at the Botanical Gardens. It was a great night. And we were on the way back to the hotel in the van that we travel in. And seemingly out of nowhere came a guy standing right in front of the van as we were moving forward and holding a gun and pointing it very quickly at the van.
KING: And what happened? Why you? Were you driving?
COHN: I was not driving. Our tour manager was driving. My drummer was in the passenger seat. I was in the second row of the van. And my guitar player, Shane, was behind me.
I can't even tell you exactly how the angle came through the windshield and why I was hit. Once we saw him, I immediately yelled duck. I think I may have been the only one who actually ducked. And as I went down to my right, that's when he shot and that's when I got hit. KING: And you were shot where?
COHN: As it went through the windshield.
KING: Hit where?
COHN: Right here. Went all the way through right at the end of my left eyebrow and the bullet went all the way in. The doctors think it's possible that it actually hit my skull, might be a tiny fracture, but they weren't sure, but the physical damage is unbelievably minimal.
KING: Yeah, like turn a little to your right. Look to the right. Is there any indent in your head?
COHN: Well, you know, it's swollen now. And this has all been sewn up.
KING: But there's no indent like you might expect to see from a crashing thing hitting your head?
COHN: No. No. It's just swollen. I had a black eye, a really black eye. And when this bandage comes off. I've seen it since the stitches came out. It's a big, long, vertical scar, but that's about it.
KING: How much pain were you in?
COHN: Larry, that's sort of the amazing part. I didn't feel a thing. In fact, I didn't even know I was the one who had been shot right away. Shane behind me thought that our driver had been shot. And he was yelling for anyone who was close to him to try and grab the wheel, fearing that the van was now out of control. Because we continued to move, but in kind of a little bit of a haphazard way down this major thoroughfare.
And so even though I had already been shot and didn't know it, I was trying to grab the wheel or my hand on the brake or anything I could to try and get control of the car.
It was only once the car had stopped, that I sort of felt the sensation of blood. I realized I had blood all over me. And that's when I knew I was in trouble.
KING: Did -- was the suspect apprehended?
COHN: The suspect was apprehended, although sort of the chain of crime continued. He got the car. After he shot me, he went to the next car and was able to escape in that vehicle. And I'm not sure how much longer after that it took the police to capture him. I think it was a day or two, maybe more.
KING: How do you know -- you saw the blood, but how do you know you were shot in the head? How do you know it wasn't somebody else's blood since you're feeling no pain and you were conscious. COHN: That's a good question. I mean, I put my hand up to my head. That's when I saw all the blood. And I turned to my friend Shane, and I said I think I've been shot. And I could clearly tell by the look on his face that he saw a wound, although he said it looked OK. It was -- you just know. And at that point, the blood made it clear.
KING: And did they get you right to the hospital?
COHN: Yes. It was very fast. Luckily -- unluckily for the people before us, he had try to do get somebody else's car and there were already police after him, so there was a bunch of emergency...
COHN: Yes, there were sirens and police just a couple blocks away. And somebody ran to get them.
KING: Did you go in your van to the hospital or did an ambulance come?
COHN: An ambulance came.
KING: All right. And what did they do at the hospital immediately?
COHN: I guess, you know, they immediately had me hooked up to an IV and all the normal procedures, I guess. The most important thing they wanted to determine was was this a bullet, indeed, and what kind of damage, if any, had it done? So, there were CAT scans and the like taken.
And it was an hour between the time I was taken to the machine to the CAT scan results came back when they said we don't know how it's possible, but it looks like you're going to be just fine.
KING: Where is the bullet?
COHN: The bullet they took out shortly after the CAT scan results came back. It was lodged tissue between the outside of my face and the beginning of my skull. It was just enough room to hold that bullet.
And they took it out, they showed it to me. Obviously, it was an overwhelming and terrifying experience, but I'm lucky to be talking to you.
KING: You never lost consciousness?
COHN: No, I was alert through the whole thing. I was giving out phone numbers. I have a -- one of my brothers is a doctor, and I was telling people to please call him to make sure where I was being taken was a good hospital. It turned out to be an amazing hospital specializing in trauma.
KING: What's the name of it? COHN: Denver -- I don't remember the exact name of it. I'm sorry.
KING: Did they -- they obviously had to anesthetize you to take the bullet out, right?
KING: Before that, as they put you under, did you think you might die?
COHN: Well first of all, believe it or not, even though it went all the way in, it was only local anesthesia, so they didn't even put me under.
COHN: Yes. They didn't put me under. I can't explain that either, but this wasn't neurosurgery. It didn't really penetrate the skull.
KING: Wait a minute, in other words, they give you local anesthesia, they took the bullet up, sewed you up.
COHN: Didn't sew me up right away. That happened a few days later. The wound was actually open for quite a few days, because they were afraid of infection. So, it was treated for a few days. I had to keep changing bandages that were sanitized.
KING: And still no pain?
COHN: Well, no, then the pain started. You know, there was pain as they were taking out the bullet. After that I felt pain. And the days after that, there was definitely pain. But I have to say, compared to what it could have been, and what many other people have gone through in this kind of scenario, it was really minimal.
KING: We'll take a break. When we come back, we'll hear what his wife, who is Elizabeth Vargas, the famed anchor at ABC News, had to say about this, how she heard about it. We'll ask Marc why he thinks he's alive. And how it's changed him.
Marc Cohn also has a Web site where you can contact him direct. And the officials Web site is www.marccohn -- one word M-A-R-C-C-O-H-N -- marccohn.net. We'll be right back with Marc. Don't forget Lance Armstrong tomorrow night. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a copy of Mr. Cohn's CAT scan. I suspect that the bullet actually struck the skull. Not with enough velocity to fracture it, but enough to stop it and keep it in this location. Any more velocity certainly could have fractured the skull and another centimeter or two, would have been into the brain.
This circle here... (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The very, very talented Marc Cohn is with us. By the way, another reminder, Lance Armstrong, along with Bob Costas, by the way -- my man Bob Costas -- will be with us, as well. Lance Armstrong, exclusive, tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE.
Marc Cohn's marriage to Elizabeth Vargas is very well known. The famed -- how long you married?
COHN: Three years. Almost three years.
KING: And Elizabeth went on "20/20," our own affiliate network, of course, to explain how she heard about it. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH VARGAS, WIFE OF MARC COHN: He said I was -- I've been shot. And I was just, like -- I think I just kept saying what. I was like -- I said what? What? And he kept repeating it. And I was, like, where? And he said in the head. And I thought to myself -- the first thing I thought is how can you be talking to me if you've been shot in the head? And he said he was carjacked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: So this -- you called her before they took the bullet out, then, right? Or was it after?
COHN: No, actually, I didn't even get to Elizabeth and she couldn't get to me until it had already been taken out, which was probably a good thing, in retrospect. She got a couple of messages and she heard first that I had been hurt in an accident. I think she assumed initially it was a car accident, but that I was OK. So by the time I spoke to her, I was the one who actually told her that I'd been shot, and that was the first she had heard of it, which is -- I suppose why she sounded so surprised.
KING: What -- first, why are you alive? What did the doctors say? How did you beat this?
COHN: Well, they're not certain. They really weren't certain. They just called me an extremely lucky man over and over and over, through that night. A few things, though, seemed to contribute to it. They think the gun must have been a low-caliber. The velocity was slowed down sufficiently by not only the windshield, but maybe, they think, by another little piece of plastic on the driver's side of the van.
And, perhaps, my tour manager Tom Doobie (ph), who was also hurt in this accident, he had glass all over his eyes and face, and had a tough time of it, too. The bullet, they think, may have grazed his chin. They're not sure. Something hit them here. It may have been glass, it may have been a bullet. But all those things combined slowed it down enough so that it didn't penetrate the skull.
KING: Are you singing again?
COHN: Yes, I have sat down at the piano. I've actually written a new song, which is the first new song I've written in months, so this experience may have helped me out a little bit in that department, too. I'm not going to be touring right away. That's going to take some time. But I want to get back out there as soon as I can. I'm also going to get in the studio soon and record my next record.
KING: How soon after did you see Elizabeth?
COHN: She flew to Denver right away. She was on a plane that morning, and I saw her that evening.
KING: Think we might see a song about this?
COHN: Well, the song that I wrote a couple days ago is loosely about fate and random interruption of things. So, yes, I think it's going to impact the way I write, for sure.
KING: What's it done to you? How has it affected you? How'd it change you?
COHN: Well, it's news still. You know, it's two-and-a-half weeks since it happened. There was a great police detective in Denver who told me to expect some sort of post-traumatic stress, that everybody goes through it differently, everybody's duration is different. He said it might last three weeks for you and it might last a year. He suggests that I talk to somebody about it, which I plan on doing.
But so far -- it's a combination of things. I've been a little edgier. I've been a little more scared than I would be in the normal course of a day. You know, that sort of bubble we all walk around in, thinking we're safe and invulnerable has now been shattered, and that's having an impact. Although, I have to say I also feel a lot more gratitude for the little things, as you might think I would. But it's all combined.
KING: Do you watch yourself when you're in a car, do you look out the window more carefully? Are you nervous?
COHN: I live in New York City so I'm, you know, mostly walking or in taxis or whatever. So I've had a couple of experiences where pedestrians got a little to close to the cab and I felt very jumpy. And I don't know how long that's going to last, but so far, it's -- it all feels manageable. I just don't know what the next phase might be.
KING: Do you interact on your Web site with your fans that write in, that click in?
COHN: I don't. There's a great fan site that has been built by the fans and is an amazing site, and that's marccohn.org. And there's a forum there where the fans talk about the things that they want to talk about. Marccohn.net is really a place now just set up for, you know, purchasing of my record and things like that. But I may start doing something like interacting with the fans. Other artists that I know do that, and I think it's a worthwhile thing.
KING: There's no shock in this? Is that why you didn't have pain?
COHN: Yes, I think that was the shock. That was the shock. And that lasted, for me, about two days. Actually, interestingly enough, I was released from the hospital about 12 hours after I was shot. And the following 24 hours or 48 hours, I felt euphoria. I mean, I was tired, but I couldn't get to sleep, and it wasn't out of fear. I just felt an incredible need to stay awake and keep breathing. And the shock, the shock wore off after that and that's when I started to have more of an emotional response to the actual event. Although it still feels largely surreal to me. I still can't quite process it.
KING: The only thing we can say to you is congratulations.
COHN: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
KING: Marc Cohn's official Web site is www.marccohn.net. Thanks, Marc.
COHN: Thank you.
KING: Long life.
COHN: Thanks, you, too.
KING: When we come back, the Natalee Holloway story. She would have entered the University of Alabama on a full scholarship today.
Tomorrow night, Lance Armstrong, along with my man Bob Costas. An exclusive with the famed cyclist who once again has to face charges, this time dealing with a story in a French newspaper that during the early stages of his victories, the first four victories, there was drug usage involved. This will be Armstrong's exclusive television experience, with Bob Costas and yours truly, Larry King, tomorrow night.
We'll be right back.
KING: We're back. Natalee Holloway, now missing 87 days, would have started full scholarship at the University of Alabama today. Joining us in Meridian, Mississippi, is Dave Holloway, Natalee's father. In Meridian is Natalee Holloway's stepmother, Robin. They are together. In Houston, is Paul Reynolds, he is Natalee's uncle and his mom Beth is his sister, Natalee's mom is his sister. And he's the one, by the way, who first contacted Equusearch to help look for Natalee.
In Aruba, is Vinda Desouza. She is the family attorney for the Holloways and the Twittys. In San Francisco is Michael Cardoza the famed defense attorney. And in New York is Tim Green, host of A Current Affair. And "The New York Times" bestselling author, his new book as we said last time he was on, a terrific read "Exact Revenge."
Let's start with Vinda Desouza in Aruba. We understand that a camera crew got into the jail where Joran van der Sloot is being held. What can you tell us, Vinda?
VINDA DESOUZA, HOLLOWAY-TWITTY FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well in the course of today, a camera crew and a reporter were -- went to the jail to interview the warden, the director of the prison. And he invited them in. They interviewed him. And after the interview, or during the course of the interview, he asked them if they wanted to see the prison from the inside, the cells. From what I understand, he showed them the part of the prison where all the females are held and then he took them to that section where Joran van der Sloot is held. And he took them to his cell and they did film him and they asked him some questions.
And that's what the case was all about, because it's a case about Joran van der Sloot saying he did not give them permission to film him or interview him. And about MSNBC saying that they were permitted to go in and to film. It's a matter of invasion of privacy versus freedom of the press.
KING: And has it been shown?
DESOUZA: No, the judge granted the petition by Joran's attorneys not to show the tape where Joran is depicted on it.
KING: Do you know why the warden let them do that?
DESOUZA: Larry, I don't know why the warden let them do that. My guess, he was being friendly and showing them around. But this is just speculation on my part. I don't know.
KING: Do you have any idea what he said?
DESOUZA: Whom? You're talking about Joran?
DESOUZA: Yes. Well they asked him how he was doing. He said I'm doing fine. They wanted to ask him something about the case. And he responded I'm not going to say anything about the case because my defense attorneys don't want me to talk about the case to the press. And that was all.
KING: Dave Holloway, Natalee Holloway's father in Meridian, Mississippi. What do you make of Joran van der Sloot, his involvement, your daughter, what's your read on all this?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE'S FATHER: Well, you know, from the beginning they had the story that they were going to the Holiday Inn. And as everyone knows, that's not the true story. And then he's changed his story -- I've lost count, 15, 20 times. It's obvious to me that he knows something and it's just up to the police and the investigators to solve this case along with the help of --
KING: Do you think -- Go ahead.
D. HOLLOWAY: You know, along with the help of the local Aruban people or anyone else that may have some tips or leads. I'm certain there's someone out there that knows something. In fact, Larry, we've set up another Website just for confidential, factual information that will come directly to me. Then I'll process that, and send it to Vinda and she'll in turn get it to the prosecutor. And that Website is HelpFindNatalee@Comcast.Net.
KING: And HelpFindNatalee is all one word?
D. HOLLOWAY: All one word.
KING: At Comcast.Net.
D. HOLLOWAY: Right. And that's just for people who know something that may have involved a crime, or they may have seen something or whatever. We're just grasping for some straws now, so to speak, that someone out there in Aruba knows something. And we're hopeful that they'll come forward and give us that clue that will break the leg on the table, so to speak.
KING: Robin, do you believe that Joran is somehow involved with Natalee's disappearance or knows about it?
ROBIN HOLLOWAY, NATALEE's STEPMOTHER: Oh, of course. That disturbs me that he's so worried about his rights being violated. And he obviously had something to do with her disappearance. And, you know, was he concerned about his rights when he did whatever he did to her. To me that's what he needs to be thinking about. There were so many people affected by her disappearance. I mean, Dave, Me, her mom, and her family and just friends just -- I mean, just, does he even care what we're going through? Just, if he could have any type of conscience, just please tell us where she is. And yes, I do think he had something to do with it, definitely.
KING: Paul, what do you believe? Paul Reynolds.
PAUL REYNOLDS, NATALEE'S UNCLE: Well you know, I think that Joran and his father and his defense attorney need to understand there's a lot of incriminating information in the original interrogation records. And that can be used against him. We encourage him to come forward. If there was some sort of accident, like Dave mentioned. The best alternative is for them to come forward and tell the truth and let us know.
KING: And Michael Cardoza, as a defense attorney, how long can they hold him under Aruban law?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well they can hold him for 146 days, which I think is September 4th, but then they can go beyond that, Larry, and hold him for approximately, I think it's another two or three weeks. And then he gets out. But for the defense it's going to be business as usual. They're not going to be talking. And you've got to know, if the prosecution had enough evidence they would have brought this case to court right now.
I'll tell you what's going to happen, I mean, I've got to hand it to the Holloways and the Twittys, this case has been in the press for a long time, it's gotten a lot of notoriety. Because of that they've been able to accomplish a lot. But I've got to think someone in those families is now thinking maybe it's time to turn off all the television lights, put it in the dark and see what comes crawling out. Because that's how a lot of crimes are solved. When everybody sort of goes away, then the truth starts to filter through. I'm telling you, this is going to be solved when Joran gets out of jail and he makes a mistake. That's how it's going to be solved.
KING: Why is he angry over being interviewed? Why didn't he just say I don't want to talk? And then, why file a claim not to have it shown?
CARDOZA: You know, that's really the attorneys. What Joran did was tell them, you know, my attorneys told me not to talk. That's the usual patter from a defendant, because that's, in fact, what good defense attorneys do. Don't talk to anybody. In this case, he has talked a little bit, but certainly not to the press. So the lawyers come out, and they are trying to fend off the filming of Joran. They're saying, hey, don't bother him. Don't put that on the air. Let's keep it on a low profile. Let's keep it under the radar right now. They don't have much longer to go and Joran is going to be back in the street.
KING: We'll take a break and we'll ask Tim Green what he thinks of Michael Cardoza and the rest that are under the idea of toning it down, no more appearances, take the action away. Tomorrow night exclusive if you missed it, Lance Armstrong, along with my man Bob Costas, his first exclusive television appearance since recent charges brought in a French newspaper about the incredible cyclist, sportsman of the year and all the rest. Lance Armstrong tomorrow night with Bob Costas, and yours truly, Larry King. And we'll be right back.
KING: Tim green, I know you're host "A Current Affair," but what do you make of Michael Cardoza's idea, lay off this for a while?
GREEN: Well, I have to respectfully disagree. I think that one of the best things to do is what Dave Holloway and his wife Beth Holloway Twitty have done, which is to keep the pressure on, to keep the media attention on. And they've done a textbook case as far as how they've released video of Natalee, how Beth Twitty went into the Internet cafe to confront Deepak Kalpoe, one of the brothers there who saw her -- you know, one of the last people to see her -- all these kind of things to keep this alive in the media, because the longer you keep it alive in the media, the more pressure you put on the authorities, and also the more chance you have of somebody coming forward who remembers something, who saw something, who has a clue. They must get some kind of physical evidence in this case if they're going to convict Joran Van der Sloot.
We already know that he confessed to some of the police, from police reports, inside reports that he admitted that he harmed her, and then changed his story numerous times after that. He's being protected by evidentiary rules. He has a father who is a master of those rules. And I think we need physical evidence in this case to nail him down.
KING: Michael, you're shaking your head no. Why?
CARDOZA: Well, I'll tell you why, because Tim and I disagree with you, because it hasn't worked so far. We've got to give something else a chance. I know -- having prosecuted for a lot of years, I know a lot of people get afraid of the press. They were afraid to come forward.
Remember, it's a small island. If they come forward now with all this press, it could ruin they're lives. It hasn't worked. The way it's going now, I couldn't agree with you more. They need some physical evidence. But it hasn't worked. I think they should try the other.
KING: Let me think what the thinks. Dave, what do you think? Would you think you'd be better off taking the pressure away for a while?
D. HOLLOWAY: Well, that may work. But, you know, I had a lady call me that had her brother come up missing in Aruba about five or six years ago. And he's still missing. So, you know, I don't know about that.
I know at some point in time, it's going to die down. But right now, you know, I spoke with the prosecutor today, and we had a conversation that kind of went like this.
I told her, I Said, Karen, I said, know this is going to die down, it's possibly going to come to a point where you're going to have to file charges or whatever. I'm a patient person. I'm willing to stretch it out two years, if necessary, for you to gather the information to finally file charges. I just don't think we need a quick trial here.
KING: Robin, is it closure now that you're most interested in?
R. HOLLOWAY: Yes. I mean right now, I can't imagine living the rest of our life like this. It's just every day is just like a nightmare you can't wake up from. And we've got to have answers and closure if she's not coming back home to us. We've got to know what happened to her. I mean, we've got to know.
KING: Paul, what do you think about less media attention?
REYNOLDS: You know, the father's advice to his son Joran and the other two, the Kalpoe brothers was get your story straight. And you'll be out in ten days. It hasn't worked. They didn't keep their stories straight. And, you know, the father needs to be brought back in for questioning. The Kalpoe brothers need to be brought in and explore some of the things they learned in those initial interrogation records. It's very damaging. KING: Do you have a scenario as to what you think happened, Paul?
REYNOLDS: I don't know exactly what happened. I know she was with them. There's, you know, we know that they've admitted having her in the car, they've admitted harming her. They've admitted making up lies, creating an alibi as directed by the father. We know they're involved. You know, you could start with kidnapping, and you could go from there. There's definitely charges that need to be filed.
KING: What do you think about the media attention, good or bad?
DESOUSA: Well the media attention, indeed, can serve as a motivation for people who might remember or know something to come forward versus letting it die down. But on the other hand, it can scare off people like it happened with the gardener, so -- but I do think the time hasn't come yet for the media attention to die down. It's way too soon.
KING: Michael, possibility we may never know the story.
CARDOZA: I'm really afraid that's what's going to happen here, Larry. And I couldn't agree with them more. I mea, the Kalpoe brothers and Van der Sloots know, or have information about what's happened here. But unless there's some physical evidence, and we can go back to the Peterson case, if Laci's body hadn't washed up, they wouldn't have had a case. They've got to get lucky in this case to solve it.
KING: Tim, how do you explain the continued interest?
GREEN: Well, as I said, I think that Natalee's family has done a great job of bringing her into our lives by releasing video, by showing who she was as this wonderful, beautiful human being and keeping that alive. I think we know what happened. I think that everyone knows that Joran Van der Sloot harmed her. And I think that that will all come out.
We actually spoke to Deepak Kalpoe before Beth Twitty went into the Internet cafe and confronted him, and where he didn't say anything. And Deepak, we asked him how he reacted to do one of Joran's many tales where he spun the tale of -- where we said Deepak raped and killed Natalee. And we asked him how he felt about that. And his response was Joran is desperate, and he's trying to save himself.
And we asked him how close were you to Joran? He said we were brothers, but we're no longer that anymore.
And the other thing that Deepak said, who was, again, one of the last people to see him, and told us that he said he hopes that everything that's been said in this case is revealed, because people inside this case know what's happened. And he hopes if that comes out, he says justice will be served. And he, quite frankly, wasn't afraid. And he thought that he and his brother would be vindicated if the truth were to come out. The other thing that I think about those two brothers is, if they did have something that would be really damning to Joran Van der Sloot, I think they would have come out of it. Because I think when a friend turns on another and Says to another, Deepak raped and murdered her, if you would have had something back on him, you would have used it.
KING: Let's hope we get answers. Let's hope a miracle. We'll be right back -- thank you all very much.
When we come back, Ryan Hawks will join us. A former child actor and his wife have been ordered to stand trial for the murder of Ryan's dad and stepmother. Three other men are also charged. Ryan was last here in March of this year going back. His dad and mom -- stepmother -- owned a yacht called the Well Deserved, they went on a two year cruise by themselves, decided to sell the boat. Well, we'll hear the story right after this.
KING: Ryan Hawks returns. OK. There've been arrests now in this case. But let's go over it for the benefit of viewers who don't know what we're talking about. Your mom and dad -- your mom -- and step mom and dad owned a yacht called the Well Deserved. They went on a long cruise. Right?
RYAN HAWKS, PARENTS MURDERED: That's correct. Yes.
KING: Your father had retired?
KING: Then what?
HAWKS: Basically, retired, went to Mexico to live their dream and live on the water for a couple years. I think being on the water so long really wore them out, because they had a new grandson and they wanted to be part of his life as well as ours.
KING: Is that your son?
HAWKS: No. It's my brother's. Matt Hawk's.
KING: So. They wanted to sell the boat.
HAWKS: They wanted to sell the boat. So basically they put an ad in and it was on the private sector of the magazine, and I think, basically, Skylar and his gang of thugs looked at it from a con point of view. They're in Mexico two years, they live in Newport but they reside in Arizona. They're selling it on the private market. You know, this is how they looked at it, and this is how they took advantage of my parents.
KING: According to the prosecutor -- the last time you were on there was no arrests, right?
HAWKS: There were arrests, but they were just arraigned. Now we now the story. We have --
KING: Because somebody squealed, right?
HAWKS: Pretty much. Yes.
KING: One of the defendants is going to turn state's evidence, is that it?
HAWKS: Absolutely. And it's not just one testimony. It's the fact leading up to all the -- and the evidence leading up to it. It just makes sense. It's falling in puzzle and Newport Beach Police just lays it all out on the table and just did an excellent job of detective work. And when Matt Murphy, deputy district attorney, brings it to trial, it's going to be quite a sight. And I'm just looking forward to putting these guys away.
KING: All right. What do they say happened?
HAWKS: Well, first they --
KING: It's hard to take, right, what they did? Apparently your parents were alive when they went in the water, right?
HAWKS: Yes, they were drowned alive, and -- well --
KING: They came on like purchasers of the boat, right? Three of them?
HAWKS: Right. Well three of them were on the boat at the time of the murder. It was really five people arrested that were involved. Who actually, there's a lot more, but because of their testimony I'm not at liberty to say.
KING: I understand.
HAWKS: But basically Skylar and this other guy went on the boat and they tried killing them, and they wanted to take my father below the engine room and tried to murder him so that they couldn't hear --
KING: Just to steal the boat?
HAWKS: Just to steal the boat, and also raid their bank account. Because they made them sign under duress. And they realized, my father is of some stature, and they couldn't take him alone. So they hired this thug, supposedly guy out of long beach, gang-related guy, for muscle. And my parents, I know they still didn't feel comfortable doing it, so they had Jennifer Deleon, which is Skylar's wife, come down there nine months pregnant, you know, a six-month baby in hand. And just ease their pain. You know, you say family, your express family to my family, they're all about it. So automatically, that earned their trust.
KING: So they're using a pregnant woman as part of -- to get the trust of your folks.
HAWKS: Not only that. You know, this mother is using her children, which they have no idea, because they're so young, to murder my parents. What kind of mother does something like that?
KING: When we come back, we'll find out what the prosecution is alleged they did. What did they do, how did they kill these people who have never been found, right?
HAWKS: Never been found.
KING: We'll be back with Ryan Hawks. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have learned by (INAUDIBLE) is that the Hawks, Thomas and Jackie Hawks, were very nice people. They were hardworking and they were trying to live out their retirement in peace. And this is a tragedy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What prosecutors -- what authorities are saying in this matter is that during a test run on the Well Deserved, the three defendants used stun guns to overpower the Hawks, allegedly handcuffed and gagged them. Then they allegedly freed their hands so they could sign over power of attorney, and then they were tied to the boat's anchor and thrown overboard alive. And someone is telling them this, right?
HAWKS: Yes, that's correct. Basically the detectives during the preliminary hearing.
KING: Now, so we've got some statements from the attorneys for Skylar Deleon's attorney maintains his innocence as the prosecution's case is based on a proven and admitted liar. The attorney, Jennifer Henderson, Deleon's attorney, says all homicides, there are several layers of the victims, the deceased, the loved ones, et cetera. Jennifer is a victim of Skylar Deleon. Skylar Deleon is shown to have lied and mislead her.
John Kennedy's attorney, another one charged says the case against him hinges on the credibility of a proven liar. What do you make of this? Accusing the accuser.
HAWKS: Well, that's ridiculous. I mean, just imagine -- you know, why would you turn yourself in and say, you know, I'm lying about this story, about me murdering along with these other guys, murdering my parents? So no one's going to free willingly do that. And, you know, this person, I think he just had a change of heart, but it was well needed. Because his words are going to count for a lot more. But not only that, it's all the evidence that's going to lead up to that factual evidence.
KING: Last time you were here, you said the big mistake was making it a private sale and not going through a broker, right? You open yourself. HAWKS: Yes, I did. I feel like if they went through a broker, you know, they would be here today. And they did go through a couple brokers, but they also went through the private sector. So they won't -- played a little on both sides of the fence. But they do these necessary background checks. Their credibility, do they have the money...
KING: Brokers do that.
HAWKS: Yes. So -- and obviously, this guy didn't have the money, doesn't have the credibility. He's a proven liar and so is his wife.
KING: But they used the pregnant woman to build a trust to your parents.
HAWKS: Yes, well, she was in it all along.
KING: And they used her, right?
HAWKS: They used her.
KING: In your opinion.
HAWKS: She used them just as well as they used her. I mean, this is for her financial gain and for her children and for her family.
KING: Now, if they just wanted the boat, they could have gotten away with this, right, by just throwing them overboard and taking boat. Take their name off the boat, who's going to check where the boat is and take the boat to Florida.
HAWKS: They can have. Eventually, they would get caught. I know it. Because there's no reason I would have let go, and certainly my family. But, you know, the idea was, they had the power of attorney. They made my parents sign all over -- all of their assets over to them.
KING: But once they came forward to collect the assets, wouldn't they be under suspicion?
HAWKS: They were. And got them on tape walking in my parents' bank, trying to withdraw all the money.
KING: And when -- what did they say? Did they say the boat and they don't know what happened to your -- I mean, that sounds like stupid, stupidity.
HAWKS: These people are stupid. I mean, I can't tell you just how ignorant they are. They're just small time crooks. Just, it's all for greed. That's exactly...
KING: Then it's all alleged. There's going to be a trial, of course. HAWKS: Absolutely, absolutely. But I mean, that's exactly what they did. They walked into this bank, claimed they took over my parents' power of attorney, because my parents went to Mexico to retire. And they're taking care of their financial affairs here in the states.
KING: Did you question that when it happened?
HAWKS: Absolutely. That's the most ridiculous (INAUDIBLE). If it's one thing I know, it's my father, his actions and his reactions. And when they told me this story, it just -- it threw me off my rocker. I didn't even know how to adjust myself, because I just know them all too well. And that's not how it happened. And obviously, it didn't.
KING: Close to your dad?
HAWKS: Absolutely. And my stepmother, very much.
KING: How about your mother? How is she taking all of this?
HAWKS: She's doing good. The whole family's doing really -- they're doing OK. It is so difficult. I feel so bad for the O'Neills (ph) back in Ohio.
KING: Who are they?
HAWKS: They're Jackie's parents.
KING: Oh. Your stepmother's parents.
HAWKS: Yes. And they are just -- they are just beside themselves. And I feel so bad for them, because they're so far away. There's not too much they can do because of the distance. And all they hear is through the news. And I keep in contact with them pretty much every other day, and so does Newport Beach Police, and, among other people, the district attorney, to keep them at ease and install that confidence that things are going where they need to go. It's already happened. Now justice needs to be served.
KING: We'll be right back with some more moments with Ryan Hawks and may take a caller or two right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAWKS: I always associate them, you know, with their boat, and seeing "Well Deserved" and not seeing them, it's just -- it's two things that went along. And it just doesn't make sense now.
KING: Don't forget, Lance Armstrong, along with Bob Costas, tomorrow night. This is exclusive with Lance Armstong.
Ryan Hawks. Let's take a call for Ryan. El Monte, California, hello. Hello? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello.
KING: Yes, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Mr. King, Mr. Hawk, good evening.
KING: What's the question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I followed this story in the "Los Angeles Times," and it seems to me that these people were, I mean, cunning, diabolical. They planned this out and they planned this out for a while. So it seems to me this is a first-degree murder and it's deserving of a, you know, capital punishment. You mentioned earlier in the interview that you wanted to see them, you know, put away. But would you also support a capital punishment?
KING: Would you support that
HAWKS: Yes, absolutely. As in the death penalty. I'm seeking for it.
KING: What has the prosecutor said?
HAWKS: Well, you know, I just have faith in them that they know what they're doing, and which they do. So the ultimate decision is really up to them and how they're...
KING: But sometimes they ask for input from the victims' families.
HAWKS: They do. They do.
KING: Have they asked for yours?
HAWKS: Yes, they have.
HAWKS: I'm -- we're supportive. For the people who murdered my parents on the boat.
KING: By the way, we also heard from the attorney for Myron Gardner, who said that Mr. Gardner has entered not guilty plea and denies any involvement. The only person not commenting is Alonso Machain's attorney, and he's the one that's apparently going to turn, right? He will testify against the assailants.
HAWKS: That's correct.
KING: How you holding up?
HAWKS: I'm doing OK. The preliminary hearing was a little rough. I felt really bad for my family, because I knew about 95 percent of the details walking in there, but they didn't know as much. It hurts me just to see my family hurt, more than anything. And this is a definite obstacle I don't know how we're going get over, but we will. We're strong, we're confident and...
KING: But you have to keep thinking about their final moments, and that's got to be the worst.
HAWKS: You know, just when they're telling how my mom cried and, you know, taking down her last breath of water before she hit her head when that anchor dropped. And how my dad fought back with and kicked Skylar right in the groin area back when he was blindcuffed and handcuffed -- blindfolded and handcuffed. It just -- the tension will ever be in my shoulders for these people and the ache is always in my stomach for what they've done. And I will always live with that. It's a burden.
KING: You're a good man, Ryan. Best of luck to you. Thanks for coming.
HAWKS: Thank you.
KING: Ryan Hawks. Man's inhumanity to man.
Tomorrow night, Lance Armstrong joins us, along with my man Bob Costas. This is an exclusive. Mr. Armstrong, the winner of seven straight Tour de Frances, has been, again, attacked in a French newspaper that said during the first four of those victories, he had used illegal drugs. Lance Armstrong, exclusive with Bob Costas, tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE.
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