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Investigation Into Entwistle Murders Continues
Aired February 6, 2006 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Tonight, a 27-year-old mom and her 9-month-old baby girl gunned down and found in their Massachusetts home. While police search for clues, we look for answers. Why is the father and husband still in his native England tonight? Also tonight, a special account of visit to the murder scene.
Plus, live to Nashville, breaking news. The father of a former lawyer charged with killing his wife pleads guilty in a murder plot against the in-laws, and now it looks like Arthur March will help the prosecution try to send his very own son, Perry (ph), down the river.
Good evening, everybody, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in for Nancy Grace. Tonight, breaking news in an intriguing Tennessee case. Arthur March, father of an accused wife killer Perry March, pleads guilty tonight in a murder plot against the in-laws. Now it seems the dad will help investigators in the case against his own son.
But first, the double murder mystery that two continents have demanded answers about, 27-year-old Rachel Entwistle and her 9-month-old baby girl, Lillian, both gunned down in their Massachusetts home. Tonight, father and husband Neil Entwistle raising all sorts of questions as he remains in his native England.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody on this side of the Atlantic is thinking, Well, what is going on? You know, what aren`t we being told? What don`t we know?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s weird to me (INAUDIBLE) wife and (INAUDIBLE) baby, you know (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He then says, I claim the privilege against self- incrimination. You can`t force him to speak, whether it`s in this country or in the United States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was really shocked, and not for a minute did I actually think that he -- he could do something like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s devastating to the entire community. She was on the National Honor Society. She was a peer mediator. She was a peer tutor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This family`s going to be very patient. They`re very strong and strong in their faith and strong in their belief that this case will be ultimately solved and those responsible will be brought to justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go straight to Joe Dwinell, the associate editor of "The Boston Herald," You have been tracking this case from the very start. You were at the murder scene today. What is the very latest?
JOE DWINELL, ASSOC. EDITOR, "BOSTON HERALD": Well, the latest is one forensics expert told me today that when you take a look at the death certificates, where it says at the place of injury, home, that means the mother and child were murdered in their home. That shoots down scenarios where some people thought they might have been moved there. Not so, says this expert.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You also saw the vehicle, and apparently, there was a note in the vehicle. The vehicle I`m talking about is the BMW SUV that Entwistle apparently parked at the airport on his way to England. Tell us about that.
DWINELL: Right. That was the only family vehicle, by the way. And as you said, there was a note in it, handwritten. We traced it backwards to a friend`s house in Connecticut. We went there, and the friend was clearly upset. But the father said that the Entwistles visited them two weeks before the murders and they seemed like a happy family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want to ask you also about the position of the bodies. But first, let`s hear what the DA in this case had to say about that very subject.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA COAKLEY, MIDDLESEX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: They were both in the bed. They were obviously close to each other, if you can imagine the positioning, because the baby was in front of the mother. So again, when they were discovered, they appeared to be in bed in somewhat a natural position. They did not appear victims of violence at that time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Joe, the impression I was getting is that the mother was actually holding the baby, and therefore, the bullet that pierced the baby`s torso also went through the mom. But when we look at the death certificate, we just see, when it comes to the mom, gunshot wound of head with perforation of the brain. We don`t hear anything about that second gunshot wound.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you know about that?
DWINELL: Well, according to the death certificate, she was executed. She was shot in the head. It lists nothing about another bullet hole, another wound at all. Also, the child was shot in the abdomen and died after a few minutes. The mother died immediately.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`d like to go now to Dr. Warner Spitz, who is a noted forensic pathologist, and ask him about this because this is extremely significant, the fact that the death certificates are now saying that they were both killed at the home. There had been some speculation that possibly they were killed somewhere else and brought to the home, and also about the bullet, the fact it only lists one bullet when it comes to the mom. What are your thoughts on all of this?
DR. WARNER SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, you know, the fact that the death certificate lists the home as the place of injury really only means that the death was pronounced at the home. The place of injury is not really pinpointed with that -- with that home being listed on the death certificate. It really, you know -- when you -- the bottom line is that it really doesn`t matter what that says.
SPITZ: That could be...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying the bottom line is that the word "home" doesn`t mean anything...
SPITZ: Well, no. The word...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... because that`s not what we`re hearing.
SPITZ: ... "home" means that it is -- that they were pronounced dead at the home. But whether they were killed somewhere else really doesn`t -- this doesn`t answer that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, that doesn`t track with some of what we`re hearing, but we could be wrong about that. Let`s go to noted...
SPITZ: Well, I`ve signed enough death certificates in my time to know that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Doctor, I`m sure you have, and I take your word for it. I just to get prosecutor Linda Fairstein`s take on this because we thought it was quite significant that it said "home."
LINDA FAIRSTEIN, PROSECUTOR: Well, I think it could be, obviously, a matter of semantics, at this point. It`s quite possible the specifics in the certificate -- and Dr. Spitz is a great expert, we`ve worked together before -- that the specifics make it clear, because of other things, that the injury was also in the home. And I think that`s all in the detail about what was, obviously, found at the crime scene investigation, the bed, whether the bed was involved, that the actual murders happened on the bed and the bodies weren`t placed there, whether there`s further information about who was killed first.
But some of this is just the bare-boned facts of the death in the certificate, and it`s all the circumstances that we`re going to hear develop later, some of which may have been leaked to your reporter today.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we want to stress at this juncture that Neil Entwistle, the husband and father, is not a suspect. We repeat, not a suspect. He is merely a person of interest. There are other people that they`re looking at. They`re just starting to investigate this case.
So let me go back to you, Linda. What does it mean when you`re a person of interest, so we can get clarification on that issue?
FAIRSTEIN: Well, we used to call them all suspects, and I think this is a relatively new term of art that allows the investigation to go forward without having pinpointed an individual, and for a lot of legal purposes later. Again, it may just be semantics, but the lawyers for the defense will claim that their individual was a suspect from the beginning. The prosecution, the police are trying to show that they have open minds here, and they are, as the DA has said from the beginning, going to let the evidence lead them to a suspect. So not a huge difference.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And some of his friends say that Neil is really a terrific guy. Let`s hear about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOOTMAN, OLD SCHOOL FRIEND: Straight away, I`ve got to doublecheck that it was the same person that I knew. And obviously, when I saw the pictures and looked at the news and saw that it was, I was really shocked. And not for a minute did I actually think that he -- he could do something like that, from how I knew him at school. And then, obviously, I just started to think about it more and more and just thought that if he hasn`t done it, I really feel for the -- for the guy and his family.
Never saw him in a bad mood, never once during my time at school with him, and never a fall-out with him. And I can`t really say anything bad about him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we have an extended invitation to Neil Entwistle or any members of his family, his friends, anybody who wants to tell his side of the story, who wants to come here and clarify his behavior, we invite him to do so. We want to hear his side of the story. And again, he is not a suspect.
That being said, some of his behavior is at best odd, and at worst, very suspicious. Let`s go to Tom Shamshak, a private investigator and former police chief. What do you make of it all? What do you make of the fact that he left for England around the general time that his wife and baby were found murdered in their home, that he left the car at the airport, and apparently, it was the only family car, we`re learning now, so that essentially leaves the family stranded. And then once there, Massachusetts authorities fly all the way over to England to try to talk to him, and he reportedly doesn`t speak to them. What do you make of this?
TOM SHAMSHAK, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR, FORMER POLICE CHIEF: Well, his behavior certainly is suspicious, from my experience in law enforcement. Law enforcement investigators are certainly looking at him very hard, looking at the timeline.
I`m not surprised that he is not speaking to investigators at this point in time. He`s receiving legal advice, and I suspect that one part of that is that they`re waiting on the results of truth verification tests before they allow him to meet with investigators from Massachusetts.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you mean by "truth verification tests"?
SHAMSHAK: It`s within the realm of possibilities that Neil Entwistle`s attorney has had him sit with a polygraph expert.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But we don`t know that for a fact.
SHAMSHAK: No, we don`t, but I`m just giving you, you know, a possible scenario here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, you know, I`d like to talk to psychologist Jeff Gardere about all the pressures this family could have been under. And we`re talking about generalities because we don`t know. But let`s face it, when they were married they lived in England. At that time, they both had jobs. She was a teacher, he worked for a defense contractor. He`s some sort of computer whiz. Then for, quote, unquote, "domestic reasons," is what he told his boss, he decided to move to the United States and settle in Massachusetts. Then they go and live with her parents for about six months. They have a new baby. They finally move into a new home that`s more than twice the rent of the home they were paying in England. That adds up to a lot of pressure. Is that a pressure-cooker situation?
JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: I think that could be a pressure-cooker situation for anyone who`s in those particular shoes. We`re talking about, as you said, giving up a home in the U.K. From what we know, he loved his home. He loved his family. He loved his mom. And then now to have to pay twice that rent, that`s a lot of pressure also. A new baby. He spent a lot of time with his wife. They were very much in love, from what we know, from what I`ve read.
So all of that kind of pressure you have to look at if, in fact, he is involved -- and we don`t know that, of course -- that that may have thrown him over the edge.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And is there any innocent explanation that you can think of for why he would have raced off to England?
GARDERE: Again, from what I have read, this is an individual who has a very close relationship with his mom. Perhaps he`s in emotional shock. Perhaps he needs to be with her, needs to be with people who he`s familiar with. But it is very odd behavior. You would think someone who`s so in love with his immediate family, with his wife and children -- child, from what, again, we know -- would be there to help and see what can be done.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let`s go to Pat Brown, criminal profiler, because this is a big challenge for authorities. There`s no murder weapon. There`s no forced entry. And then they`ve got all sorts of problems with the crime scene because some friends came over and went through, looking for them. So the crime scene could be contaminated. And then you`ve also got the fact that Neil`s DNA is going to be all over the place, because he`s the husband, in the car and in the bed.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: That`s correct. But I do think -- first of all, with the friends coming over, they didn`t actually go into the bedroom and look at the -- underneath the covers anymore than the police did that showed up later. So no one actually disturbed the actual crime scene, so that`s a plus.
And secondly, there`s still going to be blood evidence, hopefully. There still should be some gunshot residue someplace, hopefully, perhaps in someone`s vehicle. So there`s still possibilities. And on top of that, we have a lot of circumstantial evidence, the behavior, which they can really do a lot with, if it turns out that Neil Entwistle had anything to do with this particular crime.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Ann Bremner, noted defense attorney, good friend of mine, what do you make of all this? He is in England with his family. Apparently, they went away for a couple days, but they`re back in their home. What is he doing now do, do you think?
ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, you know, you and I have been through a long trial together and defense right now is -- what we`re not looking at in this case is simply that he took a flight. And the fact is, we don`t know if he took a flight before or after his wife and child were killed, so we don`t know if he simply has an alibi for the time of the murder or he was fleeing because he was involved. What is he doing now? He`s from a private family. He wants to be with his family in England, and everybody`s looking at him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Anne, the TV was on. The lights were on. That was the only family car. What do you make of that. I mean, why?
BREMNER: Well, and again...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? Why? Why?
BREMNER: Why? Why? You know, the more you explain it, the less I understand, is what you`re going to say, and he`s a person of interest but he is not a suspect. They`ve got to let the evidence basically rule what happens and not rule the evidence in investigating this case. Those are things to look at, sure. That`s for sure, Jane. But the fact is, right now, is he somebody that should be given the benefit of the doubt, the presumption of innocence in the United States, because there`s very little to go on that points directly at home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And you`re right about that. We emphasize that. He is not a suspect. But we`ve got a lot more on that case when we come right back. Stay right there.
Tonight`s "Case Alert" -- investigators release new video images of an unidentified man near the spot where a missing 24-year-old Florida`s woman`s car was abandoned. Flyers have also been distributed with a picture of a man police are a person of interest in Jennifer Kesse`s disappearance. If you have any information about Kesse, please call 1-800- 423-TIPS. There is a $115,000 reward offer.
Also on the docket, newly released documents show DNA found in 13- year-old Sarah Lunde`s Florida mobile home does not -- does not -- match DNA of a registered sex offender, David Onstott. Onstott reportedly confessed to killing Lunde last spring. However, the documents say the DNA of a 16-year-old friend of Sarah Lunde`s brother was found on Lunde`s bed comforter. Police say the friend, who was not charged, was with Lunde`s brother the morning she vanished.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "The Sun" newspaper here in Britain reported that Entwistle called his father-in-law, apparently distraught about the murders and adding that he was confused, didn`t know how he`d even managed to make it to England. There`s no independent confirmation that that took place. In every other respect, Neil Entwistle is maintaining his silence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace.
Who is Neil Entwistle? The charming, well-educated husband and father remains in England tonight, even though police in Massachusetts desperately seek any information he might be able to shed on the murders of his wife and daughter. He`s just not talking right now.
Let`s go out to Joe Dwinell of "The Boston Herald," who`s been tracking this case from the very start. There is so many questions that could provide answers. I don`t know if we have the answers to these details. For example, when did Neil make the reservation for his flight to England? I would think that would be absolutely crucial. And also, did he leave the car in short-term or long-term parking?
DWINELL: He left the car in terminal E. It was then moved by police, so we need to double back on that. Also, the DA said that he left sometime Friday night, Saturday morning. There have been reports that he left Saturday morning at 8:25, and we have not been able to confirm if it was a one-way ticket or not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Gardere, psychologist, you say you see evidence of a crime of passion here. Why?
GARDERE: Well, because this is a situation of where the mom was killed, but also the daughter was killed. And why would the daughter have to be killed in this kind of a crime, unless it was an issue where someone was very emotional or went over the edge because the baby couldn`t identify the killer anyway.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. And Linda Fairstein, prosecutor, it would seem that police have a lot of problems with this case. One, of course, that they went to the home the first time around and did not find the bodies, then on the second trip, they found the bodies, so that`s a delay there. And also, the person of interest has left the country. So the evidence that you might have collected with that person, under the fingernails or clothes, all that is gone now, isn`t it?
FAIRSTEIN: It is gone, but I think there is so much more, Jane, that we haven`t even touched the surface about. I think photographs will tell the story about how the bodies were found. And it would appear, from two searches of the house, that the mother and child were covered by perhaps stacks of bedding that would not have made it obvious.
We haven`t talked yet -- I mean, I disagree with Jeff a bit about passion. I mean, I certainly think rage would explain turning on the wife and killing the baby, as well. We haven`t talked about, as a stressor, the fact of this Internet business that he may have been involved in, and for example, added to the stressors that Jeff did mention, that -- whether or not Rachel discovered something on the computer, on the Internet, if this was a phony business and it was a completely sleazy business, that she confronted him about and he just lost it entirely and realized his whole life was about to go down the drain.
We haven`t talked about the evidence on the computer. I mean, sure, you lose stuff by in the having him there right away. That`s a luxury we rarely, in fact, have with a lot of killers, a lot of the time. But when you talk about computers that were seized from the house -- this is somebody who lived a lot of his life on the computer -- cell phones. I mean, there`s going to be all kinds of records about your question, Jane, about the timing of a reservation, who he was on the phone with before, during and after.
Can`t help but think of the triggers and the stressors in the Scott and Laci Peterson case, when so many talking heads, except for this show, Nancy and this show, were saying, Ridiculous, no body`s ever been found, they`re never going to connect this, this is a fine young man without a criminal history. So many of these domestic cases involve exactly those elements.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Linda, you have raised so many good, good questions that we`re going to try to answer them all, particularly what you said about his Internet business, which is extremely, extremely pertinent, possibly, because there was a porn connection there, and we`re going to get to that in a moment.
To tonight`s "Case Alert." A Massachusetts teenager accused of attacking three men at a gay bar died Sunday after a shootout with police in Arkansas. Following a violent rampage at a gay bar last Wednesday, 18- year-old Jacob Robida shot and killed police officer James Cell (ph), who pulled him over in Arkansas. Robida led police on 20-mile a car chase before he crashed, and then fatally shot his passenger, 33-yearly Jennifer Bailey (ph), with whom he used to live. Police opened fire, shooting Robida twice in the head. He died early Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) but (INAUDIBLE) wife (INAUDIBLE) baby (INAUDIBLE) Where was he? They want to ask him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, the media glare and everything is not easy for anyone at any time, especially (INAUDIBLE) your wife and kids are dead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace.
We`re trying to figure out Neil Entwistle, whose wife and daughter were mysteriously murdered. And part of the puzzle, his Internet businesses, a sideline that had some shady undertones. There was one site that offered male enhancement. There was another site that apparently offered more than $1,000 worth of computer equipment for $50-some. And there was also a porn connection. Joe Dwinell, "Boston Herald," what can you tell us about this porn connection?
DWINELL: Well, he called it "million maker (ph)," and you would go to the site and he was going to teach you how to dive into this business, this multi-billion-dollar business, to set up your own adult pornography site. He had a few examples at the bottom. You open them up, one didn`t work. One did work, and it`s troubling stuff.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tom Shamshak, private investigator, what do you make of the porn connection.
SHAMSHAK: Well, it`s certainly lurid, and I`m sure that the wife was not aware of his involvement with that activity. She just doesn`t seem to come from that background.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you think that could have sparked, possibly, an argument?
SHAMSHAK: Well, she -- again, well one of your earlier guests intimated that she may have discovered this activity, and he could have, again, recognized the potential loss of his life as it was then and there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And anytime you have a secret that you are withholding from somebody as close as a wife, that is a source of a lot of tension, wouldn`t it be, Jeff? And we`ve only got a couple of seconds.
GARDERE: Yes, absolutely. And if she, in fact, didn`t know about this, then this might be something that might cause rage and might cause some severe issues. Everything was not what it appeared to be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is absolutely for sure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARTHUR MARCH, FATHER OF PERRY MARCH: I`m a big boy. I take care of myself. (INAUDIBLE) that`s all I do. But I don`t go peacefully...
A. MARCH: No, I don`t go like Perry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you go?
A. MARCH: There will be some blood spread somewhere, whether it`s theirs or mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace.
Tonight, breaking news. Accused wife-killer Perry March`s father reaches a plea deal with prosecutors. According to the terms of the agreement discussed in court today, Arthur March reportedly told investigators his son, Perry, killed his own wife with a wrench and he helped his son hide the body.
This is a very convoluted case that began a decade ago with the disappearance of Janet Levine March. But now, after 10 years, the case is at a very critical stage.
Let`s go straight out to WLAC Radio News anchor Brant Douglas on the phone from Nashville, Tennessee. Brant, please give us a brief history of this case and how it takes us all the way to Mexico and then back to the United States.
BRANT DOUGLAS, NEWS ANCHOR, 1510 WLAC: And, Jane, this case has more ins and outs than a three-part mini-series on during sweeps month. But in August on 1996, Nashville attorney Perry March reported that his wife, Janet, was missing. A month later, her car and many of her possessions were discovered in a Nashville apartment complex, but her body has never been found.
Perry March has been a primary suspect for most of the past decade, but he wasn`t formally charged until December of 2004. Back to that a moment.
During the ensuing eight years, March was involved in a series of very bitter custody battles with the parents of Janet March, who are Carolyn and Lawrence Levine. Over time, March was given custody of the children, Samson and Tzipora. And the children lived with Perry for several years, along with his father, Arthur March, in Mexico.
A secret grand jury indicted Perry March on second-degree murder charges in December of 2004, but he didn`t arrive in the U.S. until he was deported from Mexico last August.
Then, on October 28th, the Nashville district attorney revealed that Perry and his father, Arthur, were charged with conspiracy to commit murder of Janet`s parents. Now, according to that indictment, Perry had arranged a hit through a fellow prisoner in the Nashville jail who then revealed the plan to police.
Arthur was deported to Nashville a month ago. That`s where today, in a federal courtroom, where March pleaded guilty to one count of solicitation to commit murder charges.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Brant, that was an excellent recap. But I`m going to go right now to Tom Thurman, because this is a big victory for him today. He`s the Davidson County district attorney, the chief prosecutor in this case.
Tell us, sir -- thank you for joining us -- exactly what happened today that`s really so crucial to this decade-old case.
TOM THURMAN, DAVIDSON COUNTY DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, Arthur March pled guilty today in federal court for solicitation of murder across state lines. He was allowed to plead guilty in federal court because of his cooperation in this case with both state and federal authorities. And we felt that his plea in federal court would allow him, because of his age and his health, to have a facility that would be better suited for him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, we`re going to go to a statement from the attorney for Perry March. We had invited the attorney to be here. He chose, instead, to give us this statement. Quote, "The situation is Perry March is still Arthur March`s son, and Arthur March is still Perry March`s father. They still love each other. Everybody understands what the realities are."
To Anne Bremner, defense attorney, this is absolutely extraordinary. And he goes on to say, "I was hired for the trial, and the case may still come to trial. We don`t know yet. Take it as it comes."
This is extraordinary. This is a father...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... turning against his son.
BREMNER: Yes. I mean, it`s just like -- I remember the Manson saying, "The family that stays together slays together." I mean, what is this? I mean, he was originally involved in helping to bury the body and now nine, almost 10 years later, he`s saying he was involved in the solicitation to kill the in-laws in a case that, frankly, Jane, when I look through everything in this case and the history, you need maps, you need pins, you need pointers, you need epilate (ph), like a big war-planning room, on everything that`s gone on in this case for so long, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on child custody issues, $113 million wrongful death verdict.
A case where there was no body, no apparent motive, no evidence for nine years. And all of a sudden, it`s breaking father against son. It`s extraordinary, but it may be a house of cards if Perry`s family is lucky, Perry March`s family, or lawyers lucky in that defense.
But what a case. Even more interesting than Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban out there in Nashville.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, for sure. And I want to go back to Tom Thurman, the prosecutor in this case, because just to reemphasize, this poor lady`s body was never found, but there`s been a lot of speculation, because there was some video of Arthur apparently taking a trip with some prosecutors or some investigators in Kentucky.
What can you tell us about that, because there was speculation, "Oh, my gosh, maybe they`re being led to the scene where the body is"?
THURMAN: Well, I can`t really comment a lot on that, Jane, because we`re still in the investigation, attempting to recover any remains, so I can`t really discuss that much. Obviously, it will affect the murder trial, and we`re still...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re saying we`re in the process of recovering the remains, sir. Are you kind of saying that you do know where the remains are? Because that would be a big breaking news piece of information right now here on the show.
THURMAN: Well, no, I`m not saying we have the remains. I`m saying we`re in the process of investigating and attempting to recover the remains.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does he know where the body is, Arthur? Is he going to tell you? Has he led you there?
THURMAN: Well, again, I can`t comment. The only thing I can comment on is what was stated in federal court today, which Arthur March has admitted that he did dispose of the body and he is cooperating with authorities. Other than that, I can`t disclose any other information.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I understand, sir. It`s a very sensitive case, and we totally respect your position.
But let`s go to attorney Fletcher Long. He is the attorney for Arthur March. Your client is a senior citizen. He is now facing the prospect of having to really turn against his son. What does this mean for this elderly man?
FLETCHER LONG, ATTORNEY FOR ARTHUR MARCH: Well, of course, we are hopeful that Perry March will plead and perhaps Arthur March`s testimony will not be very quintessential. He is under a lot of stress. He loves his son but, in the federal system, the reality is that he had an opportunity to help himself and he is trying to do so.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So just so I understand this correctly, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. This was the attempt, allegedly, to arrange some sort of wiping out of the Levines, which are the parents, the father-in-law of Perry March.
And nothing happened with that because that was really some sort of alleged scheme that involved conversations between your client and somebody who was in prison who was wearing a wire, is that your understanding?
LONG: Well, actually, he pled guilty to solicitation to violate the interstate murder-for-hire statute under 18 USC Section 373. That has a range, at his offense level and criminal category, of 151 to 188 months.
In the event that he continues to substantially assist the government`s investigation, as we anticipate he will, the government will make a 5K1.1 motion to reduce him within the range to agreed-upon sentence of 18 months.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, thank you, sir.
And very quickly to Jeff Gardere, psychologist. This is such a tragedy. It`s two families that have been at war over death, over child custody issues.
GARDERE: Yes, yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And it seems like everybody`s going to be taken down.
GARDERE: Well, I really feel for the children, because they are in the middle of this. Here, they are staying with their maternal grandparents. The maternal grandparents may -- you know, it looks like someone was trying to kill them, as we have found out now.
But the bottom line is: What do these children do? Who do they believe? Where are they going to put their trust in the future? That`s going to be a very, very big issue for them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, you`re talking about children who experienced losing their mother...
GARDERE: Loss of their mom.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... never having closure as to what happened to her. Now it turns out that you have their grandfather turning against their father...
GARDERE: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... to accuse him of committing the murder. And then the grandfather says he helped dispose of the body?
GARDERE: Well, when you talk about family dysfunction, this is the quintessential family dysfunction. These kids are going to need a lot of help. But we see that a lot of people are going to need some therapy on this one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is dysfunction junction squared.
GARDERE: I know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, honestly this case is so complicated and it was so hard for me to get my mind around it because it seems almost, as the reporter said at the very start, that if you put this in a made-for-TV movie, nobody would believe it. It`s just that out there.
GARDERE: It`s an absolutely amazing story. But when we look at Arthur March, why is it that he may be turning against his son, Perry? It could be that he`s trying to save his own skin or it could be, at the age of 75 and being as ill as he is, maybe he knows he`s going to meet his maker, and that certainly can play some tricks on someone`s mind, or actually it`s about him coming to fruition with his conscience.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the good news is, finally, some sense of approaching closure for the Levines, the parents of Janet, who disappeared 10 years ago. We`ll have more on that. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY MARCH, ACCUSED OF WIFE`S MURDER: I am stating to you that it is my contention that Judge Buddy Adams Green (ph) doesn`t have jurisdiction to make a decision about how I tie my shoelaces, let alone take my children away from me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
A. MARCH: The guy was never hear. So that`s entrapment, to use the FBI to try to entrap me. I don`t know what Perry did with this guy. I don`t know anything about him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in tonight for Nancy Grace.
A father essentially turns against his son. But the good news is it may finally solve the mystery of what happened to Janet March those many years ago, a decade ago. Before we ask any more questions, let`s listen to what Perry March himself said many years ago about this case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
P. MARCH: I want them to find my wife. I don`t care what it takes and what they have to do to find Janet.
I walk around with my head straight up. I didn`t do anything wrong. Look for Janet and stop looking at Perry. It`s a fiasco. It`s more untruths, speculation, hearsay piled on top of the other. I don`t even want to comment on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pat Brown, criminal profiler, that was Perry March way back when. And tonight, he has a different tune because his own dad is turning against him. What do you make of this really stunning development in this case with this elderly father now saying, "Hey, I`m going to take the stand if I have to and say what really happened"?
BROWN: Well, I would say, Jane, that the apple didn`t fall far from that tree. I think that Arthur March is probably very similar to his son, selfish, arrogant and in it for himself. He`ll turn on anybody and he`ll turn on his own son because he doesn`t want to pay the penalty.
He had no problem helping cover up the murder. He had no problems flaunting a murder. So this is not a guy I have a lot of sympathy for, nor do I have any sympathy for the son he`s covering up for.
So I think what you`ve got is a duo. There`s nothing tragic about this duo. The tragedy is for the family on the other side, the Levines, their daughter, the innocent children. They, unfortunately, got stuck being connected with these two, who are just simply dangerous criminals. And we shouldn`t have a bit of sympathy for the father or the son. I hope they go down.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prosecutor Tom Thurman, there are a whole bunch of cases coming up. Can you give us a time line of what Perry March faces? And I believe I heard the attorney for the elderly father saying that they were hoping that Perry would do some sort of plea deal, presumably so that the father wouldn`t have to go into court and testify against his son.
THURMAN: Mr. March actually has three charges pending for trial right now. He has a theft charge which is scheduled in March, a conspiracy to commit murder. Solicitation of two counts of first-degree murder is scheduled in June. And then the second-degree murder and disposing of the corpse and the destruction of evidence trial is scheduled in August.
Right now, we`re ready to go to trial obviously at any time. There could be plea negotiations in these type of cases. You never know. But right now, we`re ready to go to trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And if the father reneges on his commitment, then what?
THURMAN: Well, he still has state charges pending, which will not be disposed of until he honors his agreement to cooperate with authorities. And obviously, his federal case can be set aside, his plea could be set aside, since it`s based on his cooperation, also.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brant Douglas, you`ve been covering this case extensively. One of the things that I found so extraordinary is that apparently -- and correct me if I`m wrong -- he`s also charged, Perry March, with trying to steal or actually stealing from the in-laws that he was later accused of trying to kill because he actually worked in the law firm where his father-in-law was a partner?
DOUGLAS: That is absolutely correct. Perry March was working for Lawrence Levine in a law firm here in Nashville for quite some time. And then he`s charged with stealing from them.
And also, Perry March, the reason he was deported from Mexico back in August, the deportation by Mexican authorities took place as the U.S. officials here in Nashville were trying to produce extradition papers. He was kicked out of Mexico basically for extorting money out of people living in the Guadalajara suburb where he was living with his father. So this guy has been known now for -- accused of extorting money from people in two different countries.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Ellie, I understood that you had told me that he had pulled some sort of stunt down in Mexico...
ELLIE JOSTAD, PRODUCER: Right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... where he said to somebody...
JOSTAD: Right, right. Well, at a bail hearing earlier last year, an associate of his from Mexico said that, in an argument, Perry March said, "You better watch out," or something to that effect, or "I`ll kill you like I killed my wife."
Anne Bremner, do people get a false sense of security when they go, for example, to Mexico? And they feel like, oh, I`m out of the way now. I can sort of lay back, and I could tell everybody whatever I want to and I`m not going to have any consequences.
BREMNER: Well, apparently, if he said, "I`m going to kill you like I killed my wife," then he was really relaxed down there in Mexico. But he`s gotten away with this, if he did it, Jane, for almost a decade.
And keep in mind they`ve had to do a whole lot of investigating just to get his father to come in and point his finger at his son. But I want to say one thing on this, as a defense lawyer: When you have a finger pointing away from yourself, the rest of your fingers are pointing back at yourself. So I think we have to look at that with his father, too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Linda Fairstein, a lot of people wonder, when they hear a case that`s lingered for 10 years, why so long -- why didn`t they catch him sooner or why didn`t they prosecute him sooner? But there are usually good reasons, especially in this case. What are the good reasons?
FAIRSTEIN: They vary obviously in cases. In this, you start with the fact that there was never a body found. So there`s no forensic information available for that to tell you how she died, under what circumstances, and what became of her.
They got a late start in the investigation because March convinced his own in-laws not even to report her missing, if I`m not mistaken, for three months.
The bad news, the great news for prosecutors, the bad for defense, when you involve a co-conspirator, somebody to help you with the body, move the body, is people talk. There`s always that extra person who`s likely to talk.
And the more suspects involved in the case, the more likely that somebody is likely to talk. As Anne just said, I mean, it`s not only the distance of Mexico but time and distance make it harder and harder and harder to do.
So there was presumably no crime scene investigation for more than three weeks, no body to investigate with. All of these factors, until the snitch, the jailhouse co-cellmate began to either record or report these conversations that also will play a very critical role in the prosecution.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Linda, you`re absolutely right. We have this "CSI" effect where we want everything to be solved within an hour and everything just sort of wrapped up, and it just didn`t work that way. Thanks so much.
Quickly to tonight`s "All-Points Bulletin." Law enforcement across the country on the look-out for David Cauthen. He`s wanted in connection with the 2004 South Carolina stabbing death of his girlfriend, 36-year-old Brenda Steen.
Cauthen, 41, 5`9", 165 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes. If you have any info on David Cauthen, call the Lancaster County South Carolina sheriff. And here`s the number for you: 803-313-2105.
Local news next for some of you. We will be right back. And remember, live coverage of a now 16-year-old New Mexico young man on trial for the shooting death of his family, 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern, Court TV.
Stay with us as we remember First Lieutenant Garrison Avery, just 23 years old, an American hero.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in for Nancy Grace. We here at NANCY GRACE want very much to help, in our own way, solve unsolved homicides, find missing people.
Tonight, take a look at 74-year-old George Lister. He left his East Moline, Illinois, home October 15, 2005. His body found three weeks later. His wife of 54 years is still looking for answers to his murder. If you have any information on George Lister, please call the Carole Sund Carrington Foundation, toll-free, at 1-888-813-8389. Please help us.
And the question we are wondering about now: Will Perry March just sit tight and go to trial or will he now do some sort of plea deal now that his own dad has decided to essentially turn against him? Defense attorney Anne Bremner, try to put yourself in his mind right now.
BREMNER: Well, I think what he`s going to try and do is wait it out. And the fact -- what if his dad -- his dad is 78. What if his dad doesn`t make it to the trials, which are three trials next summer?
And, in fact, he`s gotten away with it for so long, if, indeed, he did it, there`s all kinds of things that can happen in this house of cards. The prosecution`s tried to get other people to come in and flip and give testimony, not just the father. So he`s the only one who will be testifying against him, and it`s only talk.
So Perry, I think, right now thinks he can outsmart this, and maybe he can.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jeff Gardere, we only have a few seconds. This is a vindication for the Levines. I mean, they have fought so long and so hard for justice.
GARDERE: Yes, yes. Absolutely. I`m sure there is some sort of satisfaction for them now that the truth is coming out and people may be going down on this, finally, those who are responsible. But they`re not going to have complete resolution of this until they find Janet`s remains, and hopefully that information will come out soon.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It feels like we`re close.
GARDERE: Very close.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think you`re absolutely right. It sort of gives us all hope that ultimately justice will prevail, even if it`s a long, long road. Hang in there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There will be a turn around the bend.
GARDERE: That`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much.
We`d like to thank all our guests tonight for their insight, and thank you at home for helping us track these very important cases. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell sitting in for Nancy Grace. We hope to see you right here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, have a great night.