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Prosecutor Missing: Day 277; What Became of Olivia Newton-John`s Longtime Boyfriend Patrick McDermott?

Aired January 16, 2006 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, he prosecuted some of the toughest cases on the docket.
And then, disappeared into thin air. What has become of felony prosecutor Ray Gricar?

And speak being of missing, the long-time love of music icon Olivia Newton-John is named Patrick McDermott. Well, he made headlines when he went on a group fishing trip off the San Pedro, California, coast and seemingly vanished. And the case disappeared from the spotlight. Well, tonight we resurrect it.

Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace.

I want to thank you for being with us.

Tonight, live to Wisconsin. Major developments in the Angela Drake case. This beautiful 25-year-old girl`s body found two weeks after she was last seen. Tonight, police announce a suspect.

Plus, long-time love of Olivia Newton-John last seen July on a fishing trip. Why? Why has the trail gone cold?

But first tonight, to felony prosecutor Ray Gricar. Gricar disappeared April 2005.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ray, I love you very much and I miss you. I want for you to come home. Please call us. We will wait for as long as we need to.

For everyone else, again, if you have seen Ray, please contact the police, your local police as quickly as you can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want you to know that I will wait for as long as it takes to hear from you. I miss you so much, and I love you, and please call.

To everyone else out there, if you have seen my father, if you could please contact the police.


GRACE: That was Gricar`s long-time girlfriend and his beautiful young daughter begging for help. She wants to find her father.

Now, let`s think about it. Gricar, long-time prosecutor, has been prosecuting for 30 years hard felony cases. Think about this: people that he put behind bars 30 years ago are just now starting to get out.

People, what happened to this felony prosecutor, Ray Gricar?

Let`s go straight out to a staff writer with "The Daily Collegian," Halle Stockton.

Welcome, Halle.

Bring us up to date on the case.


Well, Sunday the 15th marked nine months since Ray Gricar has gone missing. And last week, newly-elected district attorney Michael Madeira, the news chief of police at Bellefonte, Shawn Weaver, and Officer Darrel Zaccagni, who heads the investigation, met for -- to basically go over the timeline of the case and go through, hash out the evidence that has been found.

And I actually spoke with District Attorney Madeira shortly before this, and he told me that he is satisfied with the information that has been explored and that Bellefonte police have explored every rational possibility, every angle, and every lead that`s possible.

And also, in the past few weeks, district attorneys Ted McKnight of Clinton County and Bob Buehner of Montour County in Pennsylvania want -- have decided that they -- and have urged everyone to request that the case be changed or have it changed or (INAUDIBLE) to the state attorney general.

GRACE: So there is talk, Halle -- everybody with us, Halle Stockton, she is a writer with "The Daily Collegian" -- of taking the case away from the local prosecutors and handing it over to the state attorney general`s office. That is a very big smoke signal. What it means is the local prosecutor is at its wit`s end up, against a wall, and they`re handing it off to a higher level to try to get answers in the disappearance of prosecutor Ray Gricar.

His office says Gricar prosecuted cases like homicide, rape, aggravated assault, a lot of high-profile rape cases, by the way, drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and larceny, grand larceny. Remember, a lot of people that got life sentences 25, 30 years ago are just now getting out coincidentally when Gricar goes missing.

Straight out to investigative reporter Pat Lalama.

Pat, I speak for prosecutors and former prosecutors everywhere. We think nothing like this would ever happen, but then when a prosecutor goes missing without a trace, you`ve got to wonder, Pat.

PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Nancy, boy, right on the money. I mean, it`s a frozen trail for cops because, think about it, he gets up in the morning, he calls his girlfriend, he says, you know, I`m taking the day off and I`m going for a ride. That sounds a little strange to me to begin with.

He takes his laptop. He is parked in a dirt parking lot across the street from a mall. It almost sounds like someone said meet me at this particular point.

The cops say the laptop looks like it was thrown over a bridge and the hard drive is not in it. I mean, all these things lead to something very, very sinister.

And the hard part for cops, they say, is that he was a very, very -- you know, not a particularly gregarious person. Sort of stern in attitude, probably didn`t talk a whole lot or wear his heart on his sleeve. So he carried this with him wherever he went.

GRACE: So you are telling me, Pat Lalama, that the hard drive was found separately from the computer? I find that very, very interesting.

I want to go to lead investigator with the Belefonte Police Department, Darrel Zaccagni.

Darrel, thank you for being with us.

What can you tell me about this hard drive being removed from Gricar`s computer and found, I think, what, about 100 yards away from the computer itself?

DARREL ZACCAGNI, LEAD INVESTIGATOR, BELLEFONTE, PA POLICE: Yes, ma`am. It was found approximately 100 yards away from -- from the computer. Both of them in the river.

The laptop itself was removed from the riverbed in water. The hard drive was found after the river receded, and it was found about 12 feet into -- off the banks of the river in a dry section of it.

GRACE: And where was his car, Darrel?

ZACCAGNI: The car would have been maybe 50, 100 yards away from the general area where the hard drive was found and another 100 yards away from where the computer itself was found.

GRACE: OK. That doesn`t make any sense at all, because I was thinking, if there had been some kind of a crash or the car was closer to the water, there could be some theory that the computer fell into the water upon impact, but that doesn`t fit with the physical evidence at all.

Take a listen to what police had to say.


DUANE DIXON, BELLEFONTE POLICE DEPT.: On Friday, April 22,we did an extensive search of the Lewisburg River down there with the dive team, came up with a negative result as far as anything coming out of the search.



PATTY FORNICOLA, RAY`S GIRLFRIEND: We appeal to anyone who may have seen Ray or has information about his disappearance. Please contact the police.


GRACE: To Vito Colucci, what do you think about -- he is with Colucci Investigations.

Vito, what do you think? I find this very, very significant.

Everybody, we`re talking about a felony prosecutor, a wizened veteran felony prosecutor.

He has prosecuted the gamut from homicide to rape to cocaine to heroin. Now he has mysteriously gone missing, and the case has gone cold.

What do you think about the location of the computer to the car and the hard drive to the computer?

VITO COLUCCI, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: I believe, like you said before, somebody lured him out to this area, Nancy. But, you know -- you know what I`m concerned about? I would just like to say, the Pennsylvania State Police have to get involved in this.

Now, you have your guest on, the lead -- the lead investigator, and in some of the reports he has said, what can they do that we can`t do here? And, you know, that`s not a really good statement to make. And then when he is asked...

GRACE: But wait a minute. Let`s take a look at it, though, Vito. What can they do that he can`t do?

COLUCCI: Well, you are dealing with a big agency with maybe more training, more experience. When this fellow was asked if they`re going to go back over to previous cases over the last 20 years, his answer is we don`t have the manpower.

Well, guess what? Maybe this Pennsylvania state police has the manpower.

I was attacked several years after making a narcotics arrest by an individual. So you have to go back and figure out who these people are.

If he was lured to this area, if he is murdered, you can`t do it out of -- you`ve got to raise your hand and say we need help here. We need help.

GRACE: You know what? That`s a really good point.

To Bellefonte Police Department lead investigator Darrel Zaccagni, Darrel, why can`t you look back through the cases that he had prosecuted, especially the high-profile murder or rape cases?

ZACCAGNI: Why can`t we?


ZACCAGNI: Well, we can. You know, it would be very time-consuming, but the point is, and everybody seems to be missing it, is we don`t know if this is a homicide. This could very well be a missing person. It could be a suicide.

GRACE: Well, you know, with that approach, I don`t think the case is ever going to be solved. Anybody missing in the world could have walked off and decided to go get a loaf of bread and not come home, but don`t you find this very unusual that his car is there, his hard drive and computer are thrown separately into a river, and he hasn`t been seen since?

ZACCAGNI: Yes. But there`s other circumstances you have to look at.

GRACE: OK. What?

ZACCAGNI: The family history. We`re exploring the possibility of suicide. There`s a history...

GRACE: Woe, woe, woe. You mean his brother committed suicide about 15 years ago? So somehow you think he committed suicide?

ZACCAGNI: Well, there`s a long history of depression in the family. That`s one option that...

GRACE: With him?

ZACCAGNI: ... we are still looking at.

GRACE: Did he have depression?

ZACCAGNI: We have no medical reports that would indicate depression, but...

GRACE: Well -- but then how can you say he could have been depressed if you have no evidence he had depression?

ZACCAGNI: Well, there is some evidence from what his girlfriend told us towards the end before he disappeared. He was a little more depressed in the sense that he wasn`t as active as he had been, he was not feeling well, he was taking longer naps, a little more moody. You know, and I`m by far not an expert in this field.

GRACE: Well, frankly, you could say that about just about any man on the planet Earth.

Very quickly, joining me right now I`m hearing from Dayton, Ohio, a very special guest. This is Ray Gricar`s nephew, Tony Gricar.

Welcome, sir.

How does it strike you when you hear the lead detective say, oh, well, looking through all the files is going to be way too time-consuming and, hey, it could be a suicide?

TONY GRICAR, RAY GRICAR`S NEPHEW: Yes, obviously it`s a difficult thing to hear, but it`s something we`ve dealt with since day one. We`re not naive enough to think that, you know, with his caseload -- and we`re talking 20,000, 30,000 cases over, you know, his career -- and so it`s -- it`s a proverbial needle in a haystack.

GRACE: Tony, but wait a minute. Wait a minute.


GRACE: I prosecuted felony cases for well over 10 years with a very, very heavy caseload. Long story short, you wouldn`t be interested in a shoplifting when somebody got straight probation and eight hours community service. I`m talking about hard-core cases, such as rapes, serial rape, child molestation, murder, heroin trafficking.

All right. I bet you that this guy, you can look back through his cases and find over 20 years maybe a hundred such high-profile cases.


GRACE: So is that so much to ask?

GRICAR: No. You know, as far as the work, the Bellefonte Police Department, you know, obviously the manpower issue is definitely, I would think, an issue for going through those cases. But then, you know, the other issue is, is that my bigger concern, beyond the high profile, would be the person doing a slow burn over the years.

He was a huge proponent of women`s rights and domestic violence issues.

GRACE: That`s a good point.

GRICAR: And so, you know, it could just as easily be something along those lines. You know, it`s just so hard to speculate because the evidence every time something comes up, it just runs into a complete dead end no matter what the scenario is we`re looking at.

GRACE: Well, what`s really -- what`s really interesting, Veto Colucci, is there have been multiple alleged sightings of Ray Gricar all across the country.

Elizabeth, can you put that map up, please?

What do you make of this, Vito? He has been spotted in Ohio at a mall, at Texas in a restaurant, even in Chicago in the audience of the "Oprah Winfrey Show."

COLUCCI: Yes, we`ve -- several months ago, when I did speak about this case, at that time I had read that he had disappeared back then to go -- I think the Atlanta Braves were a favorite ball team of him, if I remember. He disappeared for a couple of days to go to that.

So he does have a history. We can`t lock in on a certain theory, though. You have to keep open to all angles. You`ve got to throw up your hands and say we need help, this is out of our league, Nancy.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): A search warrant application has police looking into Gricar`s medical history. According to the document, Gricar and his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, says in the past three weeks Gricar has been more fatigued and been taking naps over the lunch hour and after work, that she encouraged him to get an examination to check for possible medical or mental problems.

Meanwhile, the search for Gricar remains centered in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where his car was found outside of an antique mall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And after I looked at a variety of photographs in different forms of dress, it makes me relatively sure that he was here around noon time on Saturday.


GRACE: We`re talking about felony prosecutor Ray Gricar. His case has disappeared off the radar just as mysteriously as he disappeared one afternoon.

This guy has been prosecuting hard-core felonies for 30 years.

The case came to a halt, and even a psychic was brought in to try to solve the disappearance of Ray Gricar.

Joining us, Carla Baron, psychic profiler.

Carla, what`s your opinion on what happened in the case?

CARLA BARON, PSYCHIC PROFILER: Nancy, hi, hello. I have maintained from day one that this was foul play and that Ray Gricar is no longer here.

GRACE: Carla -- Carla Baron with us, everyone, psychic profiler -- based on your knowledge of the case, what do you think has happened?

BARON: I feel that you were exactly correct in saying that this had something to do with his caseload, that he was working on something and inadvertently, whether by accident or by design, he came across some information that this time he should have paid attention to the warning.

GRACE: I`m going to go to psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall, joining us out of L.A., who has been studying the case.

Bethany, how likely is it that this guy just took a walk, decided never to come back? Because if he wanted to disappear, why go to the effort of destroying his computer, disattaching it from the hard drive, throwing it into the river, leaving his beloved -- he loved that car.

Liz, could you show that again, please?

Leaving it behind. He has a girlfriend, a gorgeous daughter...


GRACE: ... wanting him to come home. I just don`t see it.

MARSHALL: I don`t either.

And also, Bethany, suicide-schmuicide.


GRACE: What, he killed himself and hid his own body?

MARSHALL: Look, he did not have the risk factors for suicide. There`s actually research on people who voluntarily go missing, and what we know is they usually make a spur of the moment decision. Sometimes depression is involved, but what you see is that they have -- are having financial difficulties and family strife.

And Gricar had a daughter he loved. He had nephews he adored. He was looking forward to retiring with a substantial pension.

He was tied to the future. He and his girlfriend were going to go traveling after they retired and go antiquing. And he had -- he was actually near an antique store when he disappeared, which suggests a tie to the future. So I -- it doesn`t in my mind make sense that he would voluntarily go missing.

Also, the detective mentioned depression, and I do know that his brother committed suicide. There are suicide legacies in families, but the brother was bipolar, so that`s a whole different animal.

GRACE: That`s a good point, Bethany.

MARSHALL: And if Gricar had depression related to a bipolar relative, it would be unipolar depression that would have been going on for a long time.

GRACE: Right.

And very quickly, Renee Rockwell, you know the kind of caseloads that criminal defense and prosecutors have. I just don`t see it driving him to suicide.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, no. And you mentioned looking through his caseload. It`s not just a high-profile case defendant that you have to look at.

You can have somebody that he prosecuted for a domestic violence case which caused this guy to go to jail, lose his job, lose his family, and spin out. And like the detective said, with a slow burn, this guy could have just been waiting -- waiting to kill him.

GRACE: I remember long ago when you told me, Renee, you would rather defend a murderer than handle a divorce case. They`ll take a shot at you while you are at the breakfast table.

Very quickly to tonight`s case alert.

Eighteen-year-old Christopher Michael Pierce missing, Bossier City, Louisiana, May 18, 2003, last seen. He was seen at his job, a local Taco Bell, 11:30 p.m. He had on his little taco uniform.

If you have any information on this young man, please call 318-741- 8683.



FRANK LIVERSEDGE, MARINA MANAGER: To think that a person could have fallen overboard or jumped overboard on purpose, it`s pretty slim. Strange things happen in the ocean. An (INAUDIBLE) could have come up and eat him, or something like this. But, you know, as far as we know, he was on the boat.


GRACE: Long-time love of Olivia Newton-John, music icon, went on a group fishing trip with a bunch of other guys. As they were coming back to port, he paid up, paid for his lunch, never seen again. His car still parked there in the fishing warf parking lot.

What became of Patrick McDermott?

To senior editor of "In Touch Weekly," Tom O`Neil, who`s been on the case since the get-go, Tom, what`s new in the case, and why has this case disappeared off the radar?

TOM O`NEIL, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Well, frankly, Nancy, there`s no body, nothing has happened. It`s the best guess that he probably went overboard.

GRACE: Wait. Did I just hear you say people lost interest because there`s no body?

O`NEIL: Not lost interest.


O`NEIL: I`m sorry. No. There doesn`t seem to be a trail to follow here because...

GRACE: Oh, no body. OK. That`s that. Next.

O`NEIL: No, but on the other hand, this has developed -- this is interesting. It`s very possible he was depressed. Most people now believe this was a suicide.

GRACE: Oh, good lord. Half of Manhattan is depressed, and they`re not committing suicide.

O`NEIL: Well, this guy really had problems, though.

GRACE: Yes, he was dating Olivia Newton-John. Where is the problem?

O`NEIL: Olivia Newton-John`s nephew has recently said that they had split up romantically shortly before this because he had been drinking too much, he was unemployed, he was $30,000 in debt. He was just ordered by a judge to pay $800 a month in alimony and child support.

And he told someone on the boat that night that not only couldn`t he make these payments, but he felt that his 15-year-old son was turning against him.

GRACE: To pat Lalama, where does the case stand now?

LALAMA: It stands absolutely nowhere. There are no leads.

You know, the thing, Nancy, is there`s a little bit of inconsistency in some of this. According to the people who run this charter company, absolutely people saw him get off the boat. Other people say, "I didn`t see him past 1:45 in the morning."

I mean, there`s a lot -- I agree with the previous guest. There`s a lot going on in this man`s life. This is a guy who dropped his union card, a trade union card. He was a film cameraman.

GRACE: If you people had seen my student loan after undergrad in law school...

LALAMA: Right.

GRACE: ... I should have jumped off a cliff a long time.

LALAMA: But Nancy -- Nancy, you`re a different kind of person. You are made of a different kind of character.

GRACE: I`ll take that as a compliment.

LALAMA: There are people who get -- well, it is. And there are people who get overwhelmed.

And by the way, let`s just go over this whole Olivia Newton-John thing, because I`ve got a few questions about that. You know, they haven`t been seen in public together since January. He lives in this area of outside of LA, or in LA, I should say, called Van Nuys. It`s just a working class neighborhood.

She lives in Malibu. He was rarely there. She was rarely at his house.

It just didn`t seem like they had been having much of a relationship, yet -- a relationship, but a year ago he was on Australian television professing his undying love to her. So that`s just a little bit strange to me.

Now, listen to this. When the boat docked, he did not -- no one had asked -- he didn`t ask for his fish to be cleaned, and he didn`t take it with him. It sounds to me like he had some sort of a plan when he got on that boat just to check out, either check out somewhere and, you know, who knows where, or he is dead.

GRACE: Quick break, everyone. We`ll all be right back.

But as you know, we want in our own way to help solve homicides, help find missing people. Take a look at 27-year-old Steven Adams.

He disappeared from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, December 2004. If you have anything info on Steven Adams, call the Carole Sund Carrington Foundation toll free 888-813-8389.


GRACE: Tom O`Neil with "In Touch Weekly" has done a lot of investigation, even about the boat on which McDermott went fishing. What did you learn, Tom?

O`NEIL: Well, there`s a lot of conflicting evidence here, too. This is why an investigation needs to be done, Nancy. There are reports that his passport and his wallet were on the boat. There`s another report that it was in the car. So, you know, what gives here?

GRACE: Take a listen to what the Coast Guard had to say. Can we go back to that?


SCOTT EPPERSON, U.S. COAST GUARD: ... missing persons case. This is not a normal case that I`ve seen that has been handled by the Coast Guard Investigation Service. I know they handle these kinds of things, but this is the first time that one`s gotten this much attention.

FRANK LIVERSEDGE, MARINA MANAGER: At the 30th of June, at 10:00, Patrick McDermott went on the boat Freedom. Freedom went to San Clemente Island. They got to San Clemente about 5:00 in the morning. They fished all day at San Clemente Island. You cannot get on or off the boat at San Clemente Island, because it doesn`t touch shore.


GRACE: To Pat Lalama, investigative reporter, Olivia Newton-John, has she spoken out? And I noticed this is no longer mentioned on her Web site.

LALAMA: Well, she didn`t for a long time. She has recently said a few things, and that`s been very difficult for her. She`s going to do a couple of shows, I believe. And I think it`s going to be sort of an emotional tribute to him.

And she`s trying to move forward. This is a woman who survived breast cancer, divorce, a lot of things in her past. And I think she`s trying to buck up and move on with her life. But, Nancy...

GRACE: Pat, Pat, I`m happy for her...


GRACE: ... moving on, being strong, but what I`m trying to glean are some facts about what has happened to McDermott.

LALAMA: Right. And she has not made any specific statement about what he might have said to her beforehand, anything that happened. But, Nancy, I was just about say one thing. Why did it take 11 days for someone to report him missing, particularly Ms. Newton-John? Because, you know, if this is someone I`m having a relationship with, I care deeply about, you know, one, two days maybe, but we`re going on 11 days, not a single friend, not his wife, not anybody called to say, "Gee, where is he?" That`s very sad on me; 11 days go by and nobody notices you`re gone?

GRACE: I agree. I agree. I find that a huge red flag waving in front of investigators.

To our blogger, Clark Goldband -- and you have been scouring the Web - - what have you learned about the other fishermen on the trip?

CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE INTERNET BLOGGER: Well, Nancy, the people on the Web seem just as confused as all of us. They don`t know why he`s vanished since August. We still don`t have any new information to go on.

Also, one key thing that`s now generating an awful lot of chatter is the fact that she`s taken down any mention, as can you see on the Web site right on the side of the screen -- of Patrick McDermott. She has all kinds of links on her Web site, Nancy, talking about appearances, new albums, a brand-new, you know, line of clothes, yet nothing about Patrick McDermott. People on the Web want to know: Why isn`t she out there using her star status to help find Patrick?

GRACE: Good question.

Clark, from your investigation, did McDermott pay his bill? And the reason I ask is -- the way these group fishing trips went, you go out to a location, you fish all day, they feed you, give you soft drinks. As you approach the shore, as you`re about a mile or two off the shore to come back, you pay up your bill. Then you get off the boat and leave. So did he or did he not pay his bill as they approached the shore?

GOLDBAND: Well, the information that we have, Nancy, is he had two cans of soda and a hot dog and did not pay the bill. There were some theories on the Web floating that he was drinking alcohol, this and that, but the captain of the ship has said, "Alcohol is not allowed on our ship, that does not go on." He only had soft drinks.

GRACE: OK, so he didn`t pay his bill. That means, Clark, he could have disappeared before they were two or three miles from shore on the return.

GOLDBAND: Right. But the people on the Web want to know: Why has no one seen anything? You can`t just vanish.

GRACE: Yes. And how many people, Tom O`Neil, do you know were on the fishing trip? I think about 20?

O`NEIL: Yes, between 20 and 30 people, right.

By the way, let`s get back to why Olivia Newton has not spoken up about this. She has said -- look, she said, The reason I`m staying close- lipped about this is there`s a 15-year-old boy out there. This is Patrick`s son.

Now, if Olivia and Patrick had split up a month or two before this disappearance, how awkward it`d be for that poor kid to be seeing this woman on national TV acting like the begrieved widow when there was no relationship between his father and her anymore, so I think that`s probably why she`s staying so quiet.

GRACE: Well, you know, according to McDermott, there was still a relationship.

You know, to Anne Bremner, what disturbs me is it seems as if everyone is acting like he never even existed. The trail is cold. It`s never in the headlines.


GRACE: It`s off her Web site. It`s like it was a blip on the screen.

BREMNER: It`s true. It`s like he`s a non-person. But, you know, Nancy, I tend to think that there`s my side and the wrong side, and I`m listening to everybody. And I`m thinking he could have just vanished. Here is someone that`s broke.

GRACE: Well, we know he vanished, but how?


BREMNER: Well, just overboard. Some things in life are very simple. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, it`s a duck. He had no money. He`s broke. He`s spent no money since. There`s no trace of him. He did have debts. He had issues. But he may have simply vanished. It`s a tragedy, and that`s all it is.

GRACE: You know, Renee Rockwell, do you remember all those days I would have a can of tuna for lunch, so broke as a county prosecutor? Why does everyone seem to think just because you`re broke you`re going to commit suicide?

ROCKWELL: Nancy, he may not have committed suicide. My greatest concern is that, in 11 days, it`s too late for the Coast Guard to go out and look for a body. I mean, 11 hours later might have been too much. But it`s certainly a situation where he`s obviously a very conspicuous-looking person. He`s not been spotted.

GRACE: I think he`s handsome.

ROCKWELL: He`s very handsome, and he`s the kind of guy that anybody in the world would say, "Oh, there`s Olivia`s boyfriend." I don`t think he`s anywhere to be found.

GRACE: You know what? Contrary to popular belief about women, there are a lot of women that would line up to go out with this guy.

Show a shot of this guy, Elizabeth. He`s articulate. He`s well- spoken. He`s handsome. He`s very suave. So the fact that he didn`t have any money, I just don`t see that as a cause for suicide.

But let`s go to the professionals, psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall. What about this theory, Bethany? He was in financial trouble. He was having problems at home with his son. What about him faking his own death?

MARSHALL: That seems highly unlikely. Look, he had the four major risk factors for suicide. A recent loss, if Olivia Newton-John broke up with him, and he thought he was going to be separated from his son. Alcoholism is a leading risk factor. Depression is. And a feeling of being trapped and as if there is no way out. He could have also been very angry at the women in his life and turned that rage against himself in the form of a suicidal gesture. Not uncommon.


EPPERSON: If the public or anybody has any information on this case or has seen Patrick McDermott at all, please call 310-732-7344. Or you can go to our Web site at Right now, it`s being looked at as a missing persons case. And nothing else has deviated from that.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This affidavit from the Dane County district attorney, filed by the Fitchburg Police Department, spells out the investigation into the disappearance of Angela Drake. The affidavit confirms what surveillance video from the Dry Bean Saloon already indicated: Angela Drake left the bar with Michael Desalvo early morning December 9th.


GRACE: We are now taking you to Oregon, Wisconsin, and the latest on a missing girl, Angela Drake. I want to go straight to Jim Winter, editor with "The Oregon Observer." Jim, what can you tell us about the investigation into Angela Drake?

JIM WINTER, EDITOR, "OREGON OBSERVER": There hasn`t been any new information in over a week, Nancy. December 29th, the last thing that happened was Fitchburg Detective Mike Bartosch requested a search warrant for Desalvo`s duplex. He took some pillows, a mattress, a hair clip and a wash cloth to be checked for DNA, blood, tissue, hair or other possible biological evidence. That`s the latest.

GRACE: Jim, something is very disturbing to me about the location of her body.


GRACE: It`s my understanding Angela Drake, just a gorgeous 25-year- old girl, now, Angela was found dead.


GRACE: But under a bridge. And they can`t determine whether she was asphyxiated or froze to death?

WINTER: They are -- they have determined that she likely died of asphyxiation, but they have not been able to determine yet whether her body was -- whether she was dead when she was placed in the culvert or whether she was alive and froze to death.

GRACE: OK, you know what? Let me start at the beginning.


GRACE: Start me off, Jim, where she was last seen. Tell me about her background and the location in which she was found.

WINTER: Sure. First, where she was last seen, as you`ve already said, surveillance footage found -- saw her leaving the Dry Bean Saloon with Michael Desalvo around 1:30...

GRACE: Desalvo?

WINTER: Desalvo.

GRACE: That`s an unfortunate name.


GRACE: You know, the Boston strangler, Anthony Desalvo. I can only assume there`s no relation.

WINTER: Absolutely not. They left the Dry Bean Saloon and went to another bar in Fitchburg. And they were not served there because of their intoxicated state. And they went back to Mr. Desalvo`s home, a duplex in Fitchburg.

And the next morning -- roommates of Mr. Desalvo saw Angela on his bed, lying on her back with her eyes closed. Apparently, she was passed out from too much alcohol. And the next -- they went to bed. The next morning, Mr. Desalvo came out of his bedroom alone. Some roommates asked him what had happened to Angela, and he said something to the effect of, "I`ve taken her where she needed to go. Everything`s OK."

GRACE: I`m going to go straight to Jenny Drake. This is Angela`s sister. Jenny, thank you for being with us. Tell us about Angela.

JENNY DRAKE, ANGELA DRAKE`S SISTER: Angela, she was a great sister. I couldn`t have asked for a better sister. She was always full of life, always had a smile on her face that was very contagious. Just a ray of sunshine on a dark, gloomy day. She was an amazing girl.

GRACE: I understand Angela was an LPN, licensed practical nurse, and dealt with handicapped children?

DRAKE: Yep. She had worked with just recently Marco, who is a 2- year-old boy with cerebral palsy. And she just improved his quality of life tremendously and touched the life of his family members and many others.

GRACE: Now, isn`t that little boy the Disney World kid?

DRAKE: Yep. They had won a trip through the Make a Wish Foundation. They were supposed to leave, I believe, this past Friday. And Angie was chosen out of a whole group of nurses to go with them on the trip.


DRAKE: She is just -- I mean, she made such a difference in Marco`s world and...

GRACE: How old is he?

DRAKE: Two years old.

GRACE: Two years old.

You are taking a look at Angela Drake, just 25 years old, dedicated to helping handicapped children, in fact, chosen to go along on Make a Wish Foundation trip with a young boy with cerebral palsy to Disney World. She shined like a star.

Jenny, do you recall the moment you learned she was missing?

DRAKE: Yes. I was actually at a friend`s Christmas party. And my father had called me and told me about it. I was worried. I mean, of course, my sister is missing, but didn`t really think much of it that she was out having fun, doing her thing. She`d be back the next day or whatnot.

GRACE: To Jim Winter, editor with "The Oregon Observer," Jim, what evidence, if any, is there against Desalvo at this juncture? He`s not charged, as of right now, correct?

WINTER: Not formally, no. He`s being charged on separate charges unrelated to Angela Drake.

GRACE: What charges?

WINTER: He has a bench warrant from Dane County for possession of narcotics, OxyContin, in September and failure to appear for a court appearance regarding that, and also a probation violation warrant from the state of Minnesota.

GRACE: OK, wait a minute. Anne Bremner, you know what that means? Police have brought him in on other charges unrelated. And while he`s behind bars, they`re going to question him.

BREMNER: That`s exactly right, Nancy. And the problem they have right now is, when you have the theory that the last person that is with the deceased is the one that did it, you know, take a look at the Lindbergh kidnapping. The last person with the baby were the parents. You know, when you look at the Charles Manson case with LaBianca, the last person with Sharon Tate was Abigail Folger. It just doesn`t work.

They don`t have any evidence right now against him. And the fact is, Nancy, like you said so well, she may have frozen to death. And the first thing you have to prove in a homicide...

GRACE: Well, what about the evidence of asphyxiation?

BREMNER: ... is a homicide.

GRACE: What about the evidence of asphyxiation?

BREMNER: Well, right now, these are equal conclusions.

GRACE: Pretend that didn`t happen. OK. I guess we`re not going to talk about the strangling.

OK. Renee Rockwell, I guess you`re going along with Anne Bremner that the last person seen with the victim, that doesn`t mean anything to you, right?

ROCKWELL: Well, Nancy, here`s a guy that left the bar with this young lady, but he`s going to have a huge problem with the fact that, in his SUV in a plastic bag, is her underwear, her pants, and her boots. That`s not good.

He needs to shut up. He needs to quit talking to the police, just talking as a defense attorney. He`s in jail right now with a $50,000 cash bond, but that`s not why he`s in jail, not because of a drug charge. They want to question him.

GRACE: Jim Winter, what is, if any, the physical evidence you were telling me about? Jim, are you with me?

WINTER: You just mentioned the bag of clothes found in Michael Desalvo`s truck. There was also blood found on Mr. Desalvo`s mattress with DNA that matched Angela Drake.

GRACE: All right. So much for the theory that there`s not any hard evidence, but it`s going to take more than that to prove the case.

Very quickly to Bethany Marshall, I don`t find it wrong or incorrect, inappropriate at all to take a hard look at the last person known to be with a missing or murdered victim.

MARSHALL: No. It`s important to look at it, because people often murder people they have met, they know, and they have some kind of a relationship with or attachment to, because strong emotions come about in the context of attachments.

But what I think is more important here is that, if all these allegations are true, he could be what we call a sexual psychopath, meaning that he is a man who experiences low emotional arousal, so he uses extreme aggression to jump-start his sexuality. And men who do this make up about 1 percent of the population. It`s a serious problem.

GRACE: To tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." Law enforcement across the country on the lookout for Hermenegildo Catalan, wanted in connection with the 2000 Dallas murder of 20-year-old Asvaldo Torres (ph).

Catalan, 31, 5`8", 180 pounds, black hair, brown eyes. If you have info on Hermenegildo Catalan, please call Dallas Police, 214-671-3691. Local news next for some of you, but we`ll all be right back. And, remember, live coverage of a 14-year-old New Mexico boy on trial for the shooting death of his family on a ranch owned by ABC newsman Sam Donaldson, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.

Please stay with us, everyone, as we pause to remember tonight Army Sergeant Johnny Peralez, 25, an American hero.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This affidavit from the Dane County district attorney filed by the Fitchburg Police Department, spells out the investigation into the disappearance of Angela Drake.

The affidavit confirms what surveillance video from the Dry Bean Saloon already indicated: Angela Drake left the bar with Michael Desalvo early morning December 9th.


GRACE: We`re talking about the case of Angela Drake, 25 years old, went missing. Her body found under a local bridge. Cause of death, either asphyxiation or freezing.

Whoever left her there left her there at temperatures of 12 degrees knowing that she would freeze. And I have in my hand here a probable cause affidavit for a search. On this is attached a statement, part of a statement made by the man last seen with her.

And I want to throw this to you, Renee Rockwell. What this guy says, Desalvo, when asked by a roommate what happened to the girl that was there the night before, quote, "She was a bad lay. Forget about her." Case closed.

ROCKWELL: Oh, goodness.


Well, Nancy, the affidavit, of course, does not state a motive or a certain cause of death. That`s not needed in a homicide investigation. He`s obviously admitted that he had sex with her. So if we find her body, and if he...


GRACE: Oh, yes. He told police he blacked out, he doesn`t really remember.

ROCKWELL: Well, now, but he told one roommate that he did have sex, another roommate that he didn`t, and now he doesn`t remember.

GRACE: Renee, the very first murder I ever prosecuted was an asphyxiation of about a 22-year-old woman. And that defendant said he blacked out, too. Well, he`s still behind bars. You got any advice for this guy?

ROCKWELL: Again, Nancy, he needs to be quiet because he`s painting himself in a corner. I think that the physical evidence enough to keep him in jail and charged formally, though.

GRACE: And, of course, Angela Drake had devoted her career and life to helping handicapped children.

ROCKWELL: And a religion teacher.

GRACE: Yes. On her way to Disney World with a child suffering from cerebral palsy.

Thank you to all of my guests, especially to Jenny Drake, Angela Drake`s sister, joining us tonight.

But our biggest thank you tonight and every night is to you for being with us, inviting us and all of our legal stories into your home.

Coming up, headlines from all around the world. I`m Nancy Grace, signing off again for tonight. See you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.


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