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Gulf States Struggle to Make Comeback
Aired September 26, 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, two devastating hurricanes slamming the Southland in one month, the Gulf states struggle to make a comeback, the aftermath of Rita, the destruction, the death, the testing of law and order all following the heels of Katrina.
And tonight, breaking news in the Natalee Holloway case. The prime suspect, Joran Van Der Sloot, admits outright that he lied about the night the 18-year-old Alabama beauty Natalee Holloway went missing. Well, will the Aruban authorities do anything about it this time?
Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight.
Tonight, breaking news. Prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, judge`s son Joran Van Der Sloot, admits he lied to police about Natalee.
But first tonight, the devastating aftermath of Rita, just four weeks following Hurricane Katrina. Let`s go straight out to Rob Marciano, CNN meteorologist. You know, it`s amazing to me that such mighty hurricanes hit so close to each other, Rob.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: well, that`s certainly been the case in the Gulf of Mexico. That`s where they have seemed to grow the strongest. Although here in southwest Louisiana, you know, they haven`t had a major hurricane strike here in almost 50 years. So some would say that at least here, they`re due. Of course, the residents don`t want to hear that.
I stand in Sulphur, Louisiana, which is very close to where the eye crossed I-10 a few days back, Lake Charles just to our east. And word out of the mayor`s office there is they don`t want residents to return likely until October 3. So, like, a week from now is how long they think it`s going to take, not so much to get power up and running -- that could take weeks -- but they don`t have a sewer system. There`s no water. There`s no electricity. And there`s stuff all over the roads. So it`s just a dangerous place to be.
And that doesn`t even account for what`s going on down in Cameron and Vermilion parishes. We`re just getting down there to look at the pictures because the waters are so slow to recede. But towns like Cameron, like Creole, like Grand Chenier, Holly Beach, Constance Beach likely completely wiped out by the storm surge of Hurricane Rita.
GRACE: Joining us from Sulphur, Louisiana is Rob Marciano, CNN meteorologist. Rob, earlier, you were in Lake Charles, a town you once lived in. What were the conditions there?
MARCIANO: Well, it`s -- you know, you hear it often. It`s somewhat like a war zone without the bullets. What struck me over there, you know, unlike Biloxi, which obviously got that incredible wall of water, Lake Charles did get a storm surge and a lot of the city was flooded and is still flooded, but most of the damage over there is wind damage. And there`s structural damage to buildings. There are pieces of buildings that are strewn across the street. Obviously, power lines and telephone poles crossing streets. And huge, huge oak trees down everywhere. And that may very well take the longest to clean up. There are tree services guys out there, trying to get things cleaned up.
But you know, they haven`t had much in the way of a good wind storm or a hurricane in, you know, almost 50 years, so those trees are pretty fragile. They didn`t have any thinning. So that`s what struck me the most, a tremendous amount of trees down. And it will take probably weeks before that place is anything but livable. Until then, it will be tough living not only in Lake Charles but here in Sulphur, and certainly down near the coast.
GRACE: Here is one of Rita`s victims.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t take when she breaks up!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s like being on the moon. I mean, there`s just nobody. And it`s completely dead and it`s devastating. It`s like a bomb went off. You look everywhere, complete devastation. And if I could tell people, and I know you have to come, but I would not. I would not come. That ain`t my house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Here in the studio with me, psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig. You know, Robi, when you talk to people, they all mark their life by a particular moment.
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Right.
GRACE: Where were you when Kennedy was shot? Were you in the world war? Did you go to Vietnam? Everybody I hear speaks of this hurricane, these two hurricanes, as a defining moment in their life.
LUDWIG: Well, absolutely. When your whole life looks different in one brief moment, it is very traumatic. And when you see somebody mourning and grieving over their lives, that`s exactly normal and that`s exactly what they should be going through. And that is really part of the recovery process and part of a person`s resiliency. Even though it looks like they`re breaking down, that`s appropriate. We define ourselves by the things around us, and so it`s normal to have a devastating reaction when your home and your community doesn`t look the way it normally looks.
GRACE: Well, you know, Robi, a lot of them, there is no home. It doesn`t look differently from the way it looked before, there`s nothing there.
GRACE: Here`s what another victim had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s wonderful seeing people come back. We`ve been here a couple of days, gone to the grocery store. And seeing National Guardsmen with automatic rifles and pistols is kind of heart-breaking. Seeing the port-o-lettes on the corners and the floats aren`t here, you kind of wonder, When does the parade start?
CONNIE MASON, LOUISIANA RESIDENT: My little granddaughter (INAUDIBLE) was surprised. And she kept saying, Well, Mama, we can go back in the boat and everything`s going to be fine. And when she got there, it was, like, just a simple how are we going to walk? You know, how are we going to get to school? (INAUDIBLE) here there`s not going to be any school right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: With us now, a special guest, Lieutenant Roberto Torres. He is with the Coast Guard, and he is there in New Orleans. Welcome, sir. Thank you for being with us.
LT. ROBERTO TORRES, COAST GUARD SAFETY OFFICER IN NEW ORLEANS: Oh, thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
GRACE: How many rescues did you make during Rita?
TORRES: During Rita, I had two, actually. I had I think what was labeled as the first rescue for Rita. And then I had another one yesterday. It was two hunters.
GRACE: How about Katrina?
TORRES: Oh, Katrina, honestly, lives saved, I think we did about 130 myself, and overall, air station New Orleans and air group New Orleans had about almost 6,500 -- 6,500. Pretty amazing.
GRACE: You did personally over 100 rescues?
TORRES: Yes, ma`am. It`s pretty -- you know, you have to really step back and think about that because, normally, in a career -- I`ve done it for eight years, I`ve done about maybe 15, 20 direct lives saved. And here, in a matter of days, we did 130. And nowadays, if you -- you know, if you don`t come back with 10 or 30 lives saved, you feel like you`ve done something wrong, almost.
GRACE: You know, it`s amazing to me that you, one person, did over 100 rescues. Tell me about some of the people you rescued.
TORRES: Well, really, both storms were very different. Here in -- for Katrina, we were the first in, and it was just an intense six days, non-stop, 24 hours a day. We had our five aircraft, plus I think a total of nearly 20 Coast Guard helicopters. And then Rita, we had also a large amount of helicopters, but it was a much larger geographical area, and we were having to really look for the survivors a lot more.
GRACE: Now, tell me if I`m wrong, but wasn`t your last Rita save two guys out in the middle of nowhere, hunting alligators?
TORRES: Yes, ma`am. It`s almost funny, and now it`s funny because we were able to save them. They went out the day before, Thursday, and they were supposed to come back Friday, and they ended up getting stuck out there. And they literally rode out the storm in one small boat out in the bayou for -- you know, the storm went over their head. And we were able to find them yesterday, and they were actually in really good shape, but they were quite, you know, shaken up. And they had their dog also. And we were very glad to be able to get them to Homa (ph) airport and witness their reunion with their family and their children. It was quite exciting.
GRACE: So you managed to save two alligator hunters and their dog. Who else did you rescue?
TORRES: Well, the other one for Hurricane Rita was -- again, I think that was the first one. It was a family that was not wanting to evacuate, and we finally insisted with the use of, you know, our crew and our rescue swimmer, and we were trying to at least convince the family to at least let the spouse, the woman, and the child come. And when the lady walked out of the house, to our surprise, she was eight months pregnant.
And meanwhile, you know, we`re hovering overhead with about 65-knot winds, and the aircraft`s buffeting and the water`s breaking over the road and my swimmer`s up to his chest in water. And lo and behold, this lady comes out and she`s eight months pregnant with a 3 or 4-year-old son. It was pretty -- we were so glad to be able to finally convince them to finally get out of there.
GRACE: Thank God Lieutenant Torres was there. Lieutenant, were you one of the rescuers going along in Katrina, getting people off the roofs of their houses?
TORRES: Actually, I was not. Well, that rescue was off of basically the roof -- between the rooftop and the front of their house. All my colleagues at Air Station New Orleans did do that, and they actually flew the next day, which was when the storm directly hit that area, the Abbeville and Lake Charles area. And they actually flew all day and all night, and they had some amazing rescues. And I tell you what, I really admire them because they flew in some really significantly bad weather, and then especially at nighttime in that bad weather. You`ve got to realize that our helicopter`s very light, only weighs 9,000 pounds, and it gets shaken up quite a bit. Some very serious turbulence for the whole crew.
GRACE: There you see a real hero, everybody, if you don`t think there are any left, Lieutenant Roberto Torres, complimenting other people that rescued. Torres made over 100 saves.
Very quickly, back to Rob Marciano, CNN meteorologist. He`s standing by in Sulphur, Louisiana. Hey, Rob, how widespread is the damage there in that spot from Rita?
MARCIANO: Well, it goes -- obviously, it goes all the way to the Texas coast. And I suppose what`s striking about the damage here, Nancy, is that we`re about 50 miles inland. I mean, you often think of hurricane damage right along the coast. Typically, we in the media, that`s where we go for -- to look at where the most damage is. With this storm, there`s a lot of marshland, a lot of coastal lakes, so to speak, between here and the coastline, very tough area to get around, obviously, when it`s flooded. So we haven`t been able to get down to the coast.
So what`s striking to me is, you know, the damage and destruction along the I-10 corridor so far inland. And certainly, it`s what you would expect, I suppose, from a category 3 storm. And you know, this storm doesn`t get its due. It was a historic storm, the third strongest storm ever, when it was in the Gulf of Mexico. Then it went -- then it decreased, and we thought it would do that. And you know, it starts to lose a little bit of its glamour.
But trust me, when a major hurricane comes ashore, I don`t care if it was cat 5 or cat 1 beforehand, it`s still a major hurricane when it roars ashore and it does widespread damage. And we`ve seen it here in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.
GRACE: Hey, Rob, are people starting to come back to that neck of the woods?
MARCIANO: They`re trying. You know, actually, I still have friends here, as you would imagine, and I`ve got a buddy of mine who lives about four miles that way, and he`s trying to get back in. He wants to know about the roadblocks. I`m trying to actually sneak away to see if -- to give him a report on his house.
Officially, they`re not letting people back in. Of course, there are people who managed to sneak in or get special permission. And there are some people who rode out the storm. So you do see a few residents out there. But I would say that it`s about 90 percent empty. And it`s important to know that, you know, your home`s not going to change a whole lot between now and when you`re allowed to get back (INAUDIBLE) nothing as far as sewage (INAUDIBLE) and to come back to. And then it`s tough to get around (INAUDIBLE) but if you were affected by the storm and evacuated, you know, just hold tight for a little bit.
GRACE: Our satellite is going in and out on Rob Marciano. He is there in Sulphur, Louisiana.
Let me quickly go to CNN correspondent and anchor Ali Velshi. Ali, thank you for being with us. Ali, today it was very odd, that midday there was a surge in oil prices. Explain.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I`ve been following this very closely. I get in on Saturday morning after the storm, and I already see news reports that the damage has largely been missed, the refineries dodged a bullet. And I`m thinking to myself on Saturday morning that`s kind of impossible to tell. It`s kind of hard to see. And of course, as we sit around, we realize that, yes, there was some damage. It wasn`t terrible, but there was some.
And this morning, I get in and I still see the same reports. Oil prices are down because people think that we didn`t get much damage. Well, through the course of the day, we`re finding out about rigs that have been lost and oil platforms that have been lost, all sorts of things happening. And lo and behold, by the end of the day, oil prices are up, gas prices are up, heating oil prices are up, natural gas prices are up because you know what? This did some damage.
And I`ve been talking for months about the fact that we didn`t have enough capacity for all of these things. So all of a sudden, how is it we went from not having enough to having a whole bunch of refineries damaged and rigs and platforms, and yet oil prices are lower? So oil prices are going back up again. We`ve talked to people who say don`t expect to get your gas prices lower maybe until November or maybe December.
GRACE: But Ali, that was beautiful. But the question was why? Why? The rigs are safe. Everything`s fine. The Gulf Coast oil industry was not wiped out. So why did it go up?
VELSHI: Well, listen, if I understood how to be an oil trader, I`d be making a lot more money doing that than I am now.
VELSHI: Here`s -- there`s one -- there`s one...
GRACE: Yes, then I could finally get you a jacket to go with that vest you wear!
VELSHI: Yes, I could afford the jacket.
You know, there`s two things that are going on. One is that there has been some damage, and we`re still waiting to get a full assessment of that. And in the meantime, nobody wants to lose money by trading oil for too little money. The second issue is that the economy, despite Katrina and despite oil prices, still seems to show some strength. And that means that-
Americans have to be wrested away from their love of oil. Really, honestly. Unless something happens to actually pull you away from your love of oil, we don`t give it up. So the indications for people who trade oil -- and they think a lot further into the economy than most of us consumers do -- is that this economy is strong and we`re not giving up our SUVs and big houses and expensive heating anytime soon.
So if the oil companies know you`re still going to buy the product, they`re not in any particular rush to make sure the price of the product is cheaper. Remember, though, we`ve talked about this before, Nancy. There`s a point, maybe in gasoline, that`s $3 or $3.50 a gallon, where people will start making choices to do things that are more economical.
GRACE: You know, you`re absolutely right. You get to that point and you say Forget it, I`ll walk. Ali, please don`t move. Ali Velshi is with me, CNN correspondent and anchor. We`ll all be right back.
But very quickly, Sandra Beth Geisel, former Catholic school teacher - - repeat, former -- pleads guilty today to third degree rape of a 16-year- old student. Geisel, a mother of four, will serve six months behind bars, has to register as a sex offender. Oh, boo-hoo! This is the second time Geisel had an affair with a student. You know what? This is not an affair, this is child molestation. No charges were filed the first time. That student was over 16.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD KINSELLA, ATTORNEY FOR Beth GEISEL: A trial would have been a spectacle for her family. As you can see, you`re all invited to the plea today by the DA`s office saying, This isn`t something you should miss. So a trial would have been a total media spectacle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like, every tree on this street is knocked down. It`s not Katrina, but it`s going to be tough living here for a while. That`s for sure.
The Lord gave us the house, and he`ll give us the strength and the ability to fix it up again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
Can you imagine coming home to that? Entire communities wiped out, nothing left. It`s all leveled.
Joining us now, CNN correspondent and anchor Anderson Cooper. He is joining us from New Orleans. Anderson, welcome, friend. Thank you for being with us.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Nancy. Good to be here.
GRACE: Elizabeth (ph), do you have that video that Anderson shot in Vermilion? Anderson, tell us about you shooting this video in Vermilion.
COOPER: Well, I wish I shot this. This was a young man who came up to us on the street. We were in Abbeville. He had been evacuated by the Coast Guard. All of a sudden, he woke up -- he thought Rita had passed him by, he and his dad living in their home. This a young man back from Iraq after serving 15 months, just bought a pick-up truck, just bought a boat. They`re all gone.
He wakes up 5:00 AM, thinking the storm`s over. The storm surge comes in. As you can see, it is just pouring into his home. And he grabs his videocamera and he just starts taping it and he starts recording it. And he`s cool as a cucumber, probably after being in Iraq for so long. He shoots a hole through the wall of his home with a shotgun, two blasts, swims over highway 82, gets a boat, gets his dad in the boat. And finally, the boat conks out, they run out of fuel. They`re finally rescued by the Coast Guard.
But I mean, it`s amazing to me, Nancy, that, you know, still two, three days after Hurricane, Rita we are still just now getting these stories from people who were the most severely affected. And you know, I talked to General Russel -- Lieutenant General Honore, who`s in charge, the military commander in charge. He`s down in Cameron parish right now. They`re seeing thousands of dead cattle, and there are hundreds of cattle in need right now, who`ve got no food, no clean water that they can drink. He`s trying to figure out what to do with all these cattle, how to save them. In the meantime, just about every building in that parish has been destroyed, Nancy.
GRACE: Anderson, you were telling me in the break about a search and rescue you went on.
COOPER: Yes, in that area, around Abbeville, I went out with some guys from the Louisiana fisheries and wildlife enforcement department, Cajun guys who`ve been in this department 20 years. They say they`ve never seen anything like this. We went out in a boat. They rescued four people who were trapped by the rising flood waters.
We arrived at these people`s homes. They had two horses. The horses were up by the front door because there was -- that was the only piece of land left that they could stand in. They got the four people out. And you know, these are tough, good people who want to go back and want to rebuild as soon as the flood waters go down, you know, but there is so much need.
I`m standing on the street in New Orleans, on a street called Stafford Street, near the 17th Street canal. You look behind me, there`s a car in a tree. It`s sort of surreal. I mean, the only thing you can compare it to is like a movie set. Everyone who comes down here says, like, This doesn`t look real, but it is real. And this is just one street. We picked this street at random. This is what the people of New Orleans have when they come home waiting for them, their cars in trees. You know, there is still some flood water here. It is a mess, Nancy, and it`s going to be a long time before this city`s up off its feet.
GRACE: Elizabeth, see if we can get the cameraman to pan over so we can see the car in the tree that Anderson`s telling us about?
COOPER: Yes, David, if you can zoom in on that car? I mean, there`s a baby stroller still...
GRACE: Oh, Lord!
COOPER: ... in the trunk of that car. Yes, this is in someone`s front yard. This is an enormous tree, a beautiful tree that has fallen down, crushed the house behind it. And you know, every search and rescue team that comes by, they not only search the houses, they go up to these cars and they look inside the cars because a lot of times, people, you know, they saw the flood waters coming and they panicked. They got themselves, they got their children, they put them in the car. And of course, they didn`t get out. So you have to search these vehicles, in addition to searching the homes.
GRACE: You know, Anderson, you were mentioning that a lot of these people want to come back. Is that the general consensus, they want -- most of them want to come back to their home?
COOPER: I would say, in Vermilion parish, that is certainly true. I mean, the flood waters are starting to recede in a lot of these areas, and these are people who, you know, have lived in these communities all their lives, often. And so they want to come back. They`re farmers.
In New Orleans, you know, there have been some polls about people who were in the -- who had been sent to Houston, who`d been evacuated, some 40 percent of them -- I think, if I remember the number correctly, might have been up to 50 percent of them...
COOPER: ... say they don`t necessarily want to come back to New Orleans. But I think that`s more in the urban centers. Out in the countryside, you know, flooding is not all that common, and there wasn`t the sort of incompetence and -- you know, of local officials that we have seen, you know, after Hurricane Katrina. You know, I was out with these fisheries guys just a few hours after the storm. So you know, they feel like they have the situation well in hand, Nancy.
GRACE: Anderson -- everybody, I was trying to make Anderson smile in the commercial break. That`s the first time I`ve seen you smile, right there, since Katrina. And...
GRACE: It didn`t work during the commercial break. But thank you for being with us and telling us what you`re seeing, Anderson. Hurry home.
COOPER: Thank you, Nancy. Thanks.
GRACE: Quick break, everybody. Stay with us.
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
I want to go straight back to CNN correspondent Ali Velshi. Our reserve gas is on the Gulf Coast. We can`t get to it, if we wanted to!
VELSHI: We have four points where we store, you know, 750 million gallons -- barrels of crude oil. All four of them are in Texas and Louisiana. Three of them were shut down in anticipation of Hurricane Rita. Only the smallest one was kept open in Louisiana. Of the three that were shut down, one of them`s reopened. Two of them have roads flooded on the way in. At least one of them is damaged.
So President Bush today saying we should conserve energy, and if there`s any problems, they`ll provide it from the strategic petroleum reserve? Well, right now, a big part of the strategic petroleum reserve is off line and unavailable -- Nancy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): There is extensive flooding throughout both states, primarily in the southern part of the states. We have power lines down everywhere, across roadways. There is a tremendous amount of debris in the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fortunately we missed the big bullet, but we got lots of things to do in the city.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The biggest problem, as I pointed out, is that if we have gridlock, we can`t get the fuel back in, and people are going to be stalled and we won`t have access to fuel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. I`m Nancy Grace.
Let`s go straight down to Vermilion Parish, the heart of Cajun Country. Standing by, Rick Sanchez, CNN correspondent.
How extensive is the flooding there?
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s been quite extensive, Nancy, although there is some good news tonight and that is the fact that I`m standing in a place called Erath. You may have heard reports about it in the past. It`s really where some of the most significant flooding was seen here, as you go back toward the Gulf, not far from the Vermilion River that you`ve been hearing so much about as well.
And yesterday, this very place where I`m standing, the water would have been over my waist. At this particular point in time, the water in fact is below my ankles where I have been standing. So it is really quite significant to see the water receding as much as it has, and that`s good, considering many of the meteorologists were saying that the water levels would continue to go up for several days because we were going to get another 25 inches of rain.
Thank goodness Rita decided to not just sit there and hover and spin for so long over the northern part of Louisiana and Texas and finally got out heading toward Arkansas.
GRACE: Rick Sanchez, are the residents beginning to return?
SANCHEZ: Yes, as a matter of fact they are being allowed to return, but they`re under a curfew right now. As soon as it gets dark, they need to be in their houses and most of the big stores, like Wal-Mart for example, closed its doors at 5:00. So they`re letting people get back in here and some of the city officials and some of the police officers are doing rally yeoman`s work, trying to organize and keep everything under control. And at least here in Erath, things have been going quite smoothly.
Residents are frustrated. A lot of them, you know, in this area, what they`re going to come back to are homes that are perfectly fine with one exception, there`s been water inside of them, a whole lot of water. But some of the folks, Nancy, in other parts of Vermilion Parish, as you get down to places like Pecan Island and Forquette Island (ph), when you get all the way down to places like Cameron, those homes got the double brunt of the storm, because they didn`t only get the water. What they also got was the wind, and they got that incredible storm surge.
Nancy, I saw homes that were literally picked up from their foundations and moved several miles to another place, and when we found those homes, they were practically intact except for the fact they had been moved two miles and they were sitting down near a lake. So it`s a tremendous testimony to the power of the surge of this hurricane, and I think that`s what it is going to be remembered for.
GRACE: Quickly to Daniel Horowitz. He was just telling us about a curfew. It`s entirely legal, right -- Daniel?
DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Nancy. Under times of emergency, the government has extraordinary powers and the states and their governors and also even local governments, like mayors, can impose in essence Marshal Law, but they only can do it to the degree necessary. But it really never gets litigated. People know it`s necessary.
GRACE: I`m going to take you to San Antonio. Standing by is Michael Gravett. This is a very important story to us. He is missing his mother, Marlene Joyce Smith, and maybe you can help us reunite them.
Sir, where did you last know your mom was for sure?
MICHAEL GRAVETT, SEARCHING FOR MOTHER: At 1:00, 1:30, Thursday, she was put in an EMS ambulance and taken to the airport in mid-county, in Jefferson County.
GRACE: What happened?
GRAVETT: FEMA had taken over the operations to do a medical evacuation of people like her, and they took over it, and we had already setup for her to be evacuated and had gotten permission for her to go to the hospital in Hemphill, near Center, Texas, Hemphill Hospital. But FEMA stepped in and took over, and have not relayed any information to us about where she is at.
I`ve been desperately trying to get the word out by posting my information on Web sites, by calling my senators, by calling news agencies, trying to see if anyone can locate my mother.
She is bedridden with Alzheimer`s and diabetic, on a feeding tube --
GRACE: Oh, Lord.
GRAVETT: -- so I can`t verify that her medical needs are being met, because she can`t -- no one can tell me where she has been taken.
GRACE: Everybody, take a look at Marlene Joyce Smith. She is 73. Her son, Michael Gravett, went to great extremes to have a plan to evacuate her. She was on an ambulance being evacuated when FEMA -- repeat FEMA -- took over the ambulance, commandeered it, and said they would take over.
She hasn`t been seen since. FEMA, where is she? Marlene Joyce Smith, last at Golden Oaks Nursing Home.
Liz, could you show that picture one more time? Here is the number. 210-481-2780. Can I give out your AOL address?
GRAVETT: Yes, please do.
GRACE: It is SGMGravett@AOL.com. We will keep you updated.
GRAVETT: Thank you.
GRACE: This beautiful lady has Alzheimer`s everyone.
I want to quickly go to another story, to Dana Wales and Bobi McBratney. First of all, I want to go to Bobi McBratney.
Bobi, what happened?
BOBI MCBRATNEY, NOLA HOUSING: Hi, Nancy.
I got a call from Dana last Thursday and she was on the side of Highway 59, near Humble, and she had said that there was a boy on the side of the road that she thought was either dead or in the process of, you know, having respiratory failure.
GRACE: What did she do?
MCBRATNEY: I got all of the information and I called 911 here in California and then they dispatched me through to the Humble Police Department.
GRACE: I want to now go to Dana Wales, a volunteer with NOLA Housing.
Dana, what happened?
DANA WALES, NOLA HOUSING: We were traveling on 59 North. We were trying to leave Houston. It was not working apparently. We had a stop, stand still, and we went to pass two white vans, and as we passed the two white vans, there was a boy, I would say around 15 or 16 years old, possibly disabled and laying there.
They were giving him CPR and it was not working at all. You could only see his stomach rise when they breathed into his mouth.
GRACE: So this handicapped kid was out of the van. It`s my understanding these two white vans were trying to evacuate a bunch of handicapped teenagers, right -- Dana?
WALES: It looked like there were several inside the one behind him and the van that he was traveling in.
GRACE: Right. Was anybody stopping to help them?
WALES: I believe a few cars had stopped prior to us, but the people in charge, the caretakers, said that they had called 911 already and they didn`t necessarily need any physical help from us.
GRACE: Did you see any police cars going by, any ambulances?
WALES: They constantly were going in the HOV lane, the carpool lane, and in the southbound lane, all the time when we were stuck in traffic. I did not at that moment see any pass by, but prior -- 10, 15, 20 minutes prior to that, there were some there.
GRACE: Why wouldn`t anybody stop to help?
WALES: I have no idea. They would have been able to reach us. All the vehicles that were evacuating were very good about moving for ambulances and police officers. They never blocked them. So if one had shown up to help this child, we would have moved.
GRACE: Bobi, did you ever find out what happened to the handicapped boy?
WALES: No. From everything we have heard, they cannot locate. Bobi has called. We`ve heard nothing on the news. You`re the first person that has actually picked it up. You`re the only one that seems to care.
GRACE: We`re trying to find out what happened to this boy. We have reason to believe he died there on the side of the road. This was well over 20 hour evacuation route. All of these kids were crammed into two vans, two air condition, trying to save gas.
Ladies, thank you for being with us.
Very quickly, the Seventh Annual National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, commemorated Sunday. Vigils and services held across this country to honor murder victims and their families who suffer every day. No moment is unmarred by the hole left in their hearts.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As survivors, we have a life sentence, because our loved one is gone forever.
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GRACE: Welcome back everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. Thank you for being with us.
Apparently a complete about face by crime suspects in the Natalee Holloway disappearance, Joran Van Der Sloot, the judge`s son.
Take a listen to this.
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JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, SUSPECT: She had a lot to drink and at Carlos and Charlie`s she grabbed my hand and took me with her, for me to take jelly shots off of her, and afterwards she asked me to buy a shot for her, buy her something to drink, which I did, and that`s all I saw that she drank. I didn`t see her drink anything else, but from earlier, when I was with her friends at the Excelsior Casino, at the Holiday Inn, the whole group was already drinking, from 5:00 in the afternoon, and I didn`t really see her at that moment. I didn`t even really notice her at that moment, but I guess they came here to have a good time, to celebrate their graduation, also, and they might have all gone a little too far. I don`t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean, jelly shots, you mean off of her body?
VAN DER SLOOT: Yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does that work, can you tell me?
VAN DER SLOOT: I don`t know. I never did it myself before. She grabbed my hand and took me with her and asked me if I wanted to take jelly shots off her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But how does it work, I don`t understand.
VAN DER SLOOT: She climbed on the bar, she laid down on the bar, and she called over the bartender by name, and he got a jelly shot for her and I took a jelly shot off her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t understand. Is it on her belly? Is it on her --
VAN DER SLOOT: On her belly, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On her belly button?
VAN DER SLOOT: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then what do you do?
VAN DER SLOOT: Then you basically lick it off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK, maybe I`m getting a disconnect, but how did she get from the bar to disappeared? You know, he kind of left that part out.
That was our first look at Joran Van Der Sloot since his release from prison. He was a suspect and many believe is a suspect in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway.
He spoke to Jerry Wexler (ph), a reporter with "Current Affair." And joining us right now is Harris Faulkner, with "Current Affair."
Harris, what can you tell me?
HARRIS FAULKNER, "CURRENT AFFAIR": Well, Nancy, first of all, it`s good to be talking with you this evening.
I can tell you that Joran Van Der Sloot got worn down by us. We have been after him, to talk with him, really, since the very week on the island that Natalee Holloway disappeared. I went to his home as early as June 2, so to reach the new family home and his new college campus, in Holland, with our producer, Jerry Ratchel (ph), was just a whole lot of work and a whole lot of wrangling. He knew it.
At one point in the interview, which, by the way, goes more than 30 minutes, he puts his backpack on the ground and says you know what, there is no need for me to run, let me just talk.
Some of the things that happened during that interview, and you know, because you`re an attorney, you know, you`ve been around the block, Nancy, one of the things that happened during this interview is a glimpse of what investigators must have been seeing all along in this case. Do you know that this kid on camera contradicts himself several times about some really important stuff --
GRACE: Let me go to Dave --
FAULKNER: -- like did you have sex with Natalee or did you not have sex with Natalee.
GRACE: Did he answer?
FAULKNER: The first answer we get, it`s none of your business. Second answer we get, I did not have sex with her. The other two guys, Satish and Kalpoe, suspects, also did not have sex with her. Third answer, it`s none of your business.
GRACE: I`m going to go to Natalee`s father. Dave Holloway is with us.
Dave, what is your reaction to Joran Van Der Sloot`s additional statement, basically saying outright that he lied to police?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, FATHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Well, apparently he has lied a number of times and, you know, when you lie, it`s really hard to remember what you lied about, so it is apparent that, you know, he`s lying again.
So what good was the statement? I don`t know. I read through it myself. There was one question, what do you have to say to the American people. And he said, I don`t have anything to say to the American people, you know, which tells me that he`s all in it for himself and trying to cover up for the Deepak and Kalpoe brothers.
GRACE: Well, you know, from what I read of it, he seems to be blaming Natalee, like it was her fault that she had too much to drink and then somehow went missing, with him.
HOLLOWAY: Well, I`ve read about criminal pasts and this type stuff, and part of the process is to belittle your victim, demean their reputation and all that kind of stuff, so that doesn`t surprise me. You know, Deepak and Satish did the exact same thing.
GRACE: To Courtney Anderson, defense attorney. Courtney, I know it is hard for you to take off that defense attorney hat, but you know, will this guy ever break down and tell us what happened to Natalee? You know good and well the three of them did not have sex with her and then leave her alone out on the beach and, what, then somebody else can and kidnapped or killed her? That doesn`t make any sense.
COURTNEY ANDERSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, your first question is, is he ever going to break down and tell the truth, and honestly I think we can see -- typically, if somebody has committed a crime, over time they do eventually get caught. They do eventually have so many contradictions and leave some trail behind or some evidence where they do get caught, and I think if there is some solace for her parents, it should be that the people who have done wrong will be caught at some point.
GRACE: And to you, Daniel Horowitz, this latest statement. Do you think Aruban officials will do anything about the fact, he admits he lied to police?
HOROWITZ: You know, Nancy, you called it. You were the first person on national television to say they`re lying, or words to that effect, when they fingered those security guards who did nothing wrong. At that time, they should have been arrested and charged with the crime of impeding an investigation. They should be locked up right now for that crime alone.
So I don`t think the Aruban officials ever intended to go hard after these guys. It looks bad for them, and now they`re happy. They just want us to go away. But, Dave, don`t let it go away. I know, Nancy, you won`t.
GRACE: And, Dave, do you think -- the fact that this guy has admitted he lied to police about your girl, will that make any impact on the Aruban government? Will they do anything about it?
HOLLOWAY: I don`t know. I went down there about 10 days ago and spent five days talking to my attorney, the prosecutor and the police, and the police were genuine in the fact that they were continuing the investigation and wanted to get to the bottom of it. So I have renewed hope that things have died down a little bit, and they were hopeful that they could come up with something.
GRACE: Stay with us, Mr. Holloway. We`ll all be right back, everyone, but very quickly, to tonight`s all points bulletin. FBI and law enforcement across the country on the lookout for this man, Juan Carlos Martinez, wanted in connection with the `99 murder of 37-year-old Marlon Strain (ph) in Alabama. Martinez, 26, 5`6", 135 pounds, black hair, brown eyes.
If you have any information on Martinez, call the FBI, 205-326-6166.
Local news next for some of you, but we`ll all be right back. And remember, live coverage of a road rage murder case, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.
Please stay with us as we remember Specialist Scott P. McLaughlin, 29, an American hero.
GRACE: Natalee Holloway disappeared seemingly into thin air, but three young men admit they were with her late into the evening the night she disappeared off her high school senior trip.
We are not forgetting Natalee Holloway.
Dr. Robi, it just seems to me that here you see Joran Van Der Sloot attacking Natalee Holloway`s reputation. Even in her death, that she`s somehow the bad girl because she had some shots.
LUDWIG: Right. He`s saying she`s bad, so don`t feel so badly for her that she is missing, and I`m a good guy, I was just going along with the flow. She was partying all night. And, of course, that`s not the way it works, but you can see how his mind is working. I`m good, she`s bad. There is a split, good/bad. I`m deserving of freedom. And perhaps that`s why he lied. He felt whatever happened --
GRACE: Well, right there he`s lying, Dave Holloway, telling me on national TV he`s never had a shot or whatever, a Jello shot, he`s talking about. He was at that bar all the time and at casinos until 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning. Jello shot my foot! This guy probably lived off Jello shots.
HOLLOWAY: He did. In fact, I understand he was in a bar the next weekend, right after, doing the same things, according to a private source that indicated so.
GRACE: Well, what was upsetting to me was that he seemed to, in the accounts I read of his statements, attack not only Americans but Natalee`s mother for caring and raising a stink about her child`s disappearance. I mean, he seemed to point out and lash at everybody except himself -- Dave.
HOLLOWAY: That`s true. I read the statement, and he indicated that he didn`t want to give a statement to the American people nor did he want to talk about any of the investigation. When they got close to asking him some of the key questions, he put up a wall and said he didn`t want to talk about it and gave kind of the same answers that his father gave. You know, we`re still in an investigation, we can`t talk about it. As soon as the investigation is over with, I`ll say something.
So, you know, what is he hiding? We`re going to get to the bottom of it.
GRACE: You`re so right. With someone who refuses to talk, refuses to give explanation, their story changes every time they open their mouth, but I don`t think Aruban authorities will do a thing about it.
I want to thank all of my guests, but my biggest thank you is to you for being with all of us and inviting us into your home.
Coming up, headlines around the world, LARRY on CNN. Nancy Grace, singing off for tonight. See you here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp, Eastern. Until then, goodnight, friend.