Return to Transcripts main page
New Developments in Duke Rape Investigation
Aired June 9, 2006 - 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, breaking developments in the Duke multiple rape investigation. The elite Duke University lacrosse team already under the microscope after rape allegations, but tonight, a potential state`s witness -- the second dancer at the lacrosse team party calls the rape allegations a "crock." Is that a legal term I somehow missed in law school?
And tonight, on the trail of music icon Olivia Newton-John`s longtime love, Patrick McDermott, missing nearly a year, spotted alive by yet another witness at that Mexican resort. New clue? A pink hat!
But first tonight to the Duke rape case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m absolutely innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me today, that Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty are innocent of all the charges that were brought against them. These allegations are lies.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And the plot seems to thicken in new defense filings. The defense outlines why they plan to attack the credibility of the second so- called dancer, stripper that was there at the Duke Lacrosse party the night of the alleged multiple rape. Straight to Kevin Miller with WPTF radio joining us here in our Manhattan studios. Kevin, why would the defense put all these allegations into formal court documents, clearly so the press can read them?
KEVIN MILLER, REPORTER, WPTF RADIO: Well because, Nancy, on the street in Durham, or in North Carolina, wherever, there`s a high degree of skepticism, not only there within the community, but throughout it, everybody is wondering what Mike Nifong has. People are talking about a silver bullet. The bottom line is, I`ve talked to defense sources, I`ve talked to everybody. Nobody knows what he has and it`s starting to get very troubling on why this case is continuing. They seem to answer everything, these recent court documents Nancy pretty much answer all of the allegations and barring anything else, reasonable doubt is there.
GRACE: Well I`m glad you have already decided the outcome of the case, based on all of the defense filings. Why don`t we just all move to Nazi, Germany, where we don`t have a justice system and a jury of one`s peers? What about it, Joe Lawless? Why can you imagine would the defense put these allegations into court documents? It sounds like a little bit of trial by ambush. Does it bring to mind something like, umm, Mark Geragos and Scott Peterson, for one defense theory after the next would be thrown out in court filings for fodder for the press?
JOE LAWLESS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, actually what it reminds me of is the prosecutor in this case, Mike Nifong, who decided to try the case in the press long before these guys ever even had defense lawyers. The pleadings were filed to quash a subpoena that was issued in connection with really an after the fact investigation, and they had to bring on the evidence they had to support the reason they asked the court to quash the subpoena.
GRACE: Okay hold on, wait, wait. Before you start talking like a lawyer, Joe Lawless --
GRACE: What this defense motion is, is complaining about discovery, discovery. Discovery is simple trial 101. In our country, the state has to hand over documents to the defense, and in many jurisdictions, reciprocal, the defense has to hand over the documents to the state.
GRACE: And in this motion for discovery, which comes before trial time, they outlined what they believe the second stripper said. That doesn`t have to be in the motion for discovery. In fact, it`s not even time for discovery. So this is a very transparent attempt to skew the public`s opinion of the second witness.
LAWLESS: I completely disagree with you. I think there`s been a very transparent attempt here by the prosecutor to raise a lynch mob mentality to prevent these kids from getting a fair trial.
GRACE: Kids? Okay I`m sorry, what underaged person are we talking about? Is there a 13-year-old involved? What kid are you talking about?
LAWLESS: No, the individual defendants who`ve been charged with a crime and are standing trial for their life.
GRACE: Oh, the 20, 21, 22 year olds, oh, okay.
LAWLESS: And Nancy the documents that you`re talking about though are a police statement taken by a prosecutor`s investigator of a woman who purportedly was there at the time of the incident who said she knew the time line it couldn`t have happened. Now that`s perfectly legitimate for them to raise since it hasn`t been turned over in the course of discovery, was never mentioned by the prosecutor in the repeated press conferences that he had, to do what you`re now trying to accuse the defense to do, which is assault the jury panel. They`re trying to counterbalance what this prosecutor has done, which has been fan the flames against these defendants before they ever got a fair trial. If it were up to me, both the prosecution and the defense in this case should have been clamped from day one, but once they`re not, once the prosecutor lets that horse out of the barn, the defendants have every right to counterbalance it.
GRACE: That was a beautiful symphony played out by a veteran trial lawyer, Joe Lawless, but you know what I say? Second verse, same as the first. To Kevin Miller with WPTF Radio right here on the set. Joe Lawless has now accused the state of trying the case in the press. Has Nifong been having multiple press releases like the defense?
MILLER: No, and that`s hurt him within the community. Nancy you`re right. He hasn`t talked. He gave several initial interviews and that`s it. He has not talked to the press and pretty much gone quietly prosecuting this case.
GRACE: So Joe Lawless in face of the actual facts as opposed to your hyperbole you want to reassess and rethink?
LAWLESS: I remember when this case started Nancy, he held a bunch of press conferences, he issued the arrest warrants and that was it.
GRACE: Okay, let`s go to this reporter who`s been on the scene, okay, Kevin?
MILLER: Nancy, we haven`t heard from him in over four weeks. He gave interviews the first week. That`s it.
GRACE: Okay, will this case go the way of the Kobe Bryant case? Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE NIFONG, DA: I want to try this case. And I have evidence heard by 12 citizens of this community. However, the victim has informed us, after much of her own labored deliberation that she does not want to proceed with this trial.
As the district attorney, you do not get to choose what crimes occur or when they occur. You have to deal with the situation as it exists. This is not about an election. This is about doing justice. This is about doing justice for the victim in this case, and this is about doing justice for people who might have the finger pointed at them, when they did not do anything themselves to cause this, and I`m talking about the Duke Lacrosse team here.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Well, there`s no doubt about it. The second stripper that went along with the alleged rape victim has been acting out. There she is in court. There she is shooting a bird. Not a good look for any witness, much less a state`s witness, Doug Burns?
DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: With all kinds of problems, let`s face it, and in my humble opinion and I don`t have a crystal ball, I don`t think you`re going to see a trial in this case. I just don`t see it, Nancy.
GRACE: Well Doug, right now, I don`t see it either. Not necessarily because I have problems with the allegations, because I really do not believe Nifong would go out in public on the forefront and bring this case if it was not a legitimate case.
BURNS: No, and -- yeah.
GRACE: But there`s so many problems, we know these Duke University boosters have money up the ying-yang. They`ve already brought in highly acclaimed lawyer Bob Bennett to manage the situation as if the boosters have a stake in the case.
GRACE: So I could easily see this case disappearing but how would that happen, Doug Burns, exactly?
BURNS: It`s going to happen exactly the way you showed the analogy with Kobe Bryant. They`re going to hold a press conference and they`re going to say "the victim on reconsideration of the matter does not wish to go forward." And although it`s not the victim who dictates whether a case is dropped, that`s going to be the pitch that`s going to be made. However, I want to agree with you, Nancy, that the case should be tried because that`s why we have a trial by jury system. Let everybody come in and say what they have to say and a jury will decide it.
GRACE: Let`s get right back down to the most recent development as of tonight. Back to Kevin Miller, WPTF Radio, Kevin in a nutshell, what has happened with the second stripper`s statement?
MILLER: Well the second stripper`s statement, Nancy, seemed to contradict everything that Mike Nifong has put out there. She said originally the idea that the dancer, victim, whatever you want to call her, was raped was a crock. That was not reported in some of the police investigations when Nifong looked for his DNA dragnet. And so now you have defense attorneys basically saying look this was not disclosed. What does Mike Nifong, if he doesn`t have anything it`s time for this case to go away.
GRACE: Take a listen to what the second dancer had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never saw a rape occur. Everybody knows, I think, it`s hard for me to remember who knows what, you know, because the facts are so simple to me, so elementary. So simple. The timeline, what all of that stuff that`s so confusing to everybody. I was there from the beginning to the end. The only thing I did not see was the rape because I was not in the bathroom at that particular moment. Everything leading up to it, I was there. Everything leaving from it, I was there. And mind you, I believe I was the only sober person in the place. If they`re innocent, they should have nothing to worry about. They should sit back, relax, brush their shoulders off and feel good. They shouldn`t have anything to worry about. If the truth was on their side, why are they supporting it with lies?
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Speaking of feeling good about her future, this is what the second stripper had to say in an email. Hello, people, they`re traceable. "I`ve found myself in the center of one of the biggest stories in the country. I`m worried about letting this opportunity pass me by without making the best of it, and I`m wondering if you had any advice as to how to spin this to my advantage." You know what? "Why shouldn`t I profit from it? I didn`t ask to be in this position. I`d like to feed my daughter." Well, Miss Kim, how about getting a job like the rest of us? That`s a good start to feeding your daughter, instead of trying to bonk lady justice over the top of the head with PR.
And speaking of the second dancer, and I`m putting it euphemistically, we just got in today, here at the set, a full synopsis, a full discussion in detail of her statements. Incidentally she spoke to our producer this week, Rupah, and she states and I want to throw this at Kevin Miller that contrary to her other statements she sat out in the car, waiting on the alleged rape victim, there you go, go ahead and shoot a bird, it`s not like the jury pool is seeing it, waited in the car for a full 20 to 25 minutes. Changed clothes in the car, went back in the house, couldn`t find the alleged rape victim. Came back out and sat in the car and waited for her. So if that is true, this girl has no idea what went on inside that lacrosse house, Kevin Miller?
MILLER: And Nancy, can you imagine her on the stand during cross- examination?
GRACE: What about it, Joe Lawless, what about her on the stand during cross? It`s going to be a bloodletting.
LAWLESS: Well the problem is from the defense perspective she`s going to make two different statements. The case is about reasonable doubt. I think Kevin is correct. I think you just take her through her statements. You don`t have to attack her, ma`am, didn`t you say this? Yes. And then you said that, right? And then you argue to the jury you just don`t know. That`s reasonable doubt and I think that`s what the case comes down to here. There`s no DNA evidence.
GRACE: But to Doug Burns, the reality is, there can be a motion in limine --
GRACE: Which means the prosecutor asks ahead of time to stop illegal inadmissible testimony before it happens.
GRACE: As to any speculation, because if this girl was out in the car.
GRACE: And this girl was not in the bathroom, all she has is speculation. Her calling the rape allegations a crock is simply speculation. None of us know what happened. So that should be excluded before it ever blurts out on the stand.
BURNS: Yeah, her characterization of it as a crock is really not firsthand eyewitness testimony, but the reality is, is that the credibility of a witness one way or the other, not to be a broken record, is a matter for a jury to determine at a trial. I agree with Joe, obviously, you`re going to take her through two inconsistent statements, and that`s going to make it very tough. And also this business of how she tried to profit that kills witnesses in cases like this all the time.
GRACE: Dr. Michael Hunter is with us tonight, forensic pathologist. He`s also a medical examiner. Dr. Hunter, I`m sure you know in your experience about the rape shield law, any prior sex activities, if they exist, on behalf of the rape, the alleged rape victim, are inadmissible in court. She is not to be tried on her reputation, but let`s say she did have sex. Say a week before this incident, which I have reason to believe. That`s not a felony. Last time I checked the law books, but would evidence of that voluntary sexual intercourse still come up in the rape kit? Would there still be sperm a week later?
DR. MICHAEL HUNTER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, MEDICAL EXAMINER: No, one thing about sperm and in a rape kit, you`re going to have a yield that drops off pretty precipitously say at 12 hours to 24 hours. You are not going to expect to see usable DNA from sperm after, say 72 hours. A week out, I don`t see that that`s going to be possible here.
GRACE: I don`t see it either. Dr. Hunter, it`s my understanding after about three days spermatozoa has totally dissolved from a couple of hours two three days they start to disintegrate, fall apart. The head of the sperm, the tail of the sperm falls off and you can actually look at the sperm under a microscope and generally gauge the age of the sperm, if you catch it in time.
HUNTER: Yeah, right, and another thing is that, during this rape kit, they`re going to have microscopic sections. They`re going to have slides that they`re looking for, spermatozoa to see if there is spermatozoa there, so they may have found something and if they can define the morphology of it, that I think blows it out of the water that it would be a week out, it would have to be within that three day time frame.
GRACE: Very quickly, everybody, as we go to break we`ll all be right back. Let`s go to tonight`s "Case Alert" -- its pedal to the metal for two go-go grannies. 75 year old Helen Golay, 73 year old Olga Rutterschmidt, accused in the multimillion-dollar insurance fraud scheme, it`s linked to the deaths of two men. Now authorities believe there may be a third victim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: She did tell me that three boys had raped her.
UNKNOWN: She wasn`t raped in that house by any of these boys.
UNKNOWN: She said she cried all night long.
UNKNOWN: I don`t believe the story. I hope the truth will come out.
UNKNOWN: I know Collin, I know (INAUDIBLE).
UNKNOWN: He`s a very good kid and I`m sure he`s innocent.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: More swirling around the Duke rape controversy. Here in the studio with me, Kevin Miller with WPTF Radio. Ed, what other developments do we have regarding the physical evidence?
MILLER: Well, besides the little cut on her knee Nancy and the little cut on her ankle, that`s about it. You look at the descriptions from the nurse in training, basically swelling, a little soreness in her breast, lower abdomen. You just wonder whether or not these are consistent with rape or possibly what happens to women every time of the month.
GRACE: We commonly call that menstruation.
MILLER: I`m glad you said that.
GRACE: We don`t call it our little friend anymore.
MILLER: I never said that.
GRACE: Let me go out to Dr. Michael Hunter. Dr. Hunter, I think I`ve heard it all now. I think I can go ahead and retire. The defense is going to be, she wasn`t really raped. She was about to have her period. I don`t think that the symptoms are the same. Thoughts?
HUNTER: One thing about rape victims is that they oftentimes will have injuries that can help you define that a sexual assault has occurred. But it`s important to remember that you don`t necessarily have to have injury to the genital area or elsewhere for a sexual assault to have occurred. So the physical exam`s important but that`s not going to be the entire picture here.
GRACE: Well, I guess what I`m asking in a nutshell, is whether the symptoms of a multiple rape would be the same as someone about to have a period?
HUNTER: No. I mean, what they`re showing is possible sites of injury, some abrasion. That`s not going to be something that would be consistent with menstruation.
GRACE: Pat Brown, criminal profiler, if they`re going to use the time of the month defense, I think they`ve got a problem.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I don`t, Nancy, because I think the problem that we`re really looking at is a complete lack of evidence of a violent rape. I`ve stood in the room with women who have gone through the whole process, I`ve seen what happens after they`ve been through a rape. I`ve seen the women who have been through, for example, date rapes where they were drunk and completely just lying there passive and yes, there`s less injuries. But when you have a woman fighting off three men raping her, you do not end up with a slight bit of tenderness. That is absolutely ludicrous and a jury is going to see that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve always taken pride in my name. I take pride in my name today and I`ll gladly stand up to anything that comes against me. I`ve never had my character questioned before. Anyone who`s met me knows that this didn`t happen.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: All three defendants insist they are innocent. The defense on the offense tonight in their filings, in the courthouse, totally smearing the second witness, but do they have a point? To Clark Goldband, how common are false rape accusations?
CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE INTERNET REPORTER: Well the FBI has a crime report every year. They have that pegged at around 8 percent Nance, but sexual assault counselors that we`ve spoken to and from all the reports we`ve seen, have that number somewhere down around 2 percent. Reasons that you do report false rape include -- trying to create an alibi, revenge, attention, and money. So those are the four main reasons why someone would create a false rape report.
GRACE: And what was that percentage again?
GOLDBAND: Well it was about 8 percent from the FBI, 2 percent from sexual assault counselors.
GRACE: What about it Dr. Patricia Saunders, Dr. Saunders clinical psychologist, where do you put the number on false rape accusations?
DR. PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It depends on which study you look at, Nancy. If you look at the study that`s online that`s a bunch of defense lawyers who defend people who are accused of rape, they say it`s 40 percent. If you look at the FBI`s statistics --
GRACE: That`s why statistics are not allowed in trial.
SAUNDERS: For a good reason. The FBI`s statistics and the Department of Justice statistics are between 6 and 8 percent.
GRACE: But sexual assault counselors who actually deal with these women place it at 2 percent, correct?
GRACE: I want to go to Tom Shamshack, private investigator. Tom, having a witness give contradictory statements or inconsistent statements is as old as the hills. It comes up in every -- if you have a nun a priest or a virgin on the stand, somewhere in their various statements, you`re going to get a contradiction.
TOM SHAMSHACK, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: True, but the information that the defense has been gathering is unreasonable doubt, more unreasonable doubt, and I`m not sure where this is all going to go.
GRACE: Well, I don`t think that contradictory statements are anything new. It`s just another hurdle the state`s got to deal with. And let me tell you, putting this girl on the stand is going to be explosive on cross- examination, and back to you, Kevin Miller, with WPTF Radio, what`s next?
MILLER: Next hearing Nancy will be June 22nd. We will wonder whether or not the three accused will be there. In addition to that, I again will hear more discovery from the defense team. They`ve been very good at getting their message out. Will Nifong react, I don`t know. He should locally. There`s a lot of skepticism going on. People want this case to go away.
GRACE: When we come back, the very latest on pop icon Olivia Newton John`s long time love. He disappeared 11 months ago but is he hiding out in a Mexican resort? And are there legal consequences?
GRACE: Music icon Olivia Newton John`s long-time love Patrick McDermott, he disappeared about 11 months ago after a fishing trip, for a day trip off the California coast, but did he, or did he fake his own death?
Straight out to investigative reporter Pat Lalama, I understand we have a new clue, Pat, something called a pink hat?
PAT LALAMA, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Oh, yes, there`s a couple of new interesting clues. I like to see this as a jigsaw puzzle that`s getting clearer and clearer.
A pink hat. Let`s go back to what we were talking about a few days ago, Nancy, and that was someone who said they saw him in a bar, and that was just one of the other sightings. Well, now, the people who run the bar say, "Well, you know what? Now that we`re looking at this case, we realize that guy that we believe to be Patrick McDermott is the guy who left a pink, kind of outdoorsy hat in the bar."
GRACE: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. A pink, outdoorsy hat? Are you talking about a sunhat?
LALAMA: Well, yes, that`s a much more elegant way of...
GRACE: What was he, dressed as a woman?
LALAMA: I know.
GRACE: That doesn`t even make sense.
LALAMA: It takes a man to wear pink, that`s what I say. It`s all right. But, yes, so he has his hat and he left it there. And now there are unconfirmed, but published reports that yet another woman saw him as recently as Monday. And she saw him in this old beat up, green bus, which is consistent with one of the other witnesses, and none of these witnesses know each other, so it sounds like credible corroboration.
And she saw him because she thought he was cute and wondered if he was with anybody and thought he was either -- she said, "Hmm, I wonder if he`s Asian or Mexican or American. What is he? Because he has such an unusual face, and he`s quite good-looking," a lot of people believe.
And, thirdly, you know, just a few days ago, the authorities seemed like they weren`t going to follow up on any of this, but now they`re saying, "All right, yep, now we`re going to follow up."
GRACE: Yes, Pat Lalama, he`s so good-looking, and he`s the perfect catch for woman who is interested in a man who just faked his own suicide! OK.
LALAMA: Maybe a gigolo, maybe even a gigolo, because he`s been seen with yet another blonde, young blonde, very young blonde.
GRACE: To Tom Shamshak, the reality is, though, let`s get a reality grip here. People all over the country insisted that they saw Laci Peterson in a coffee shop. She was nowhere but at the bottom of the San Francisco Bay.
They swore they saw Elizabeth Smart from California, to Georgia, to North Carolina, when the whole time she was a stone`s throw from her own home. So how much credit do you give these "sightings"?
SHAMSHAK: Well, you have to entertain the possibility that it is him. There`s no forensic evidence; nothing has washed up; we haven`t found a body. In all likelihood, this could be him. I mean, it`s equally -- all of the factors that are present here are equally valid for him committing suicide or running away from his life.
GRACE: To Tom O`Neil, senior editor with "In Touch Weekly," there is a shot of Patrick McDermott, a pretty good shot, actually. Take a good long look at him. Liz, if you could put that back up again.
Tom O`Neil, what do you make of these various sightings, especially the pink hat sighting? Is there hair in the hat, too, Tom?
TOM O`NEIL, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": Yes, there are salt and pepper hairs, no less, which, of course, is consistent with Patrick. Now, federal investigators who have agreed to look into this are showing the hat to family members. It`s possible, of course, that this hair could be lined up with other hair samples from his home. Presumably he has hair brushes he left behind in this house where he was behind in his rent, but three different...
GRACE: Oh, you just had to work that in, didn`t you, Tom, just kick a guy while he`s trying to fake his own death?
O`NEIL: Well, there are certainly financial implications here. But, Nancy, there are now three separate reports of him associated with a green VW camper van. Now, that`s very specific. One of these was at the hotel in Cabo San Lucas about a month ago; the other one is in the report we just heard about on Monday; and the third is in a town up in Pescadero. All of them are mentioning this van. That can`t be a coincidence.
GRACE: I want to go back to Dr. Hunter, Dr. Hunter is with us. Michael Hunter, forensic pathologist and medical examiner.
Dr. Hunter, let`s talk about hair evidence for a moment. Say, in this pink hat -- let`s just say hypothetically there is salt and pepper gray hair. What can we learn from it?
HUNTER: Well, you know, there are two types of analysis that can be done on hair. First is you can compare the hair shaft found in the hat with known standards from the possible victim. The best you can get from that is say it`s possibly him; it`s consistent; it`s inconsistent; or you can completely rule that person out.
The second way is much better. If the hair actually has pulp on it, where the hair attaches to the skin, there may be cellular material there that you can do DNA analysis on, and that would be fantastic, if that type of material was present.
GRACE: And actually, Dr. Hunter, that is a fairly recent development in DNA science, to get the nucleus or the root -- as Dr. Hunter calls it, the pulp of the hair -- where it attaches to the head. From that, you can actually get a DNA match. You can also sometimes get mitochondrial DNA out of hair, which relates back to the mom, Dr. Hunter, again, correct.
But to Joe Lawless, I don`t know. Is it a crime to walk off into the sunset and never be seen again? I mean, is this guy facing any real charges?
LAWLESS: The only criminal charge that`s out there, Nancy, that I`m aware of is the possibility -- and it`s only a possibility -- that he could have been held in criminal contempt for failing to pay child support, but even that hadn`t been entered as an order yet and it was pretty far in advance.
It`s not a crime to just run from your debts. People can sue you. They can look for you, but it`s not a criminal offense.
The question in my mind is, if this guy is trying to really disappear, you would think with his face all over the television he`d have changed his hair color, he`d change his appearance.
And the other question I have is: If he is out there, how is he supporting himself? What`s he doing to pay for his bar bill, for example? You don`t just leave and not have some way to live, and that`s just not been found yet.
GRACE: To Chuck Michel, he is the attorney for the captains of the Freedom fishing vessel, when exactly, Chuck, was the last time anyone can positively identify seeing Patrick McDermott on the fishing trip that day?
CHUCK MICHEL, ATTORNEY FOR CAPTAINS OF FISHING VESSEL: Well, let me get to that one second, and let me first say that, on behalf of the captains and crew of the Freedom, our hopes and prayers go out to Mr. McDermott`s friends and family. We hope he turns up alive and well and these recent reports of him being sighted pan out.
The last time he was on the boat was Thursday, June 30th, of last year. And as far as my clients know, you know, that`s the last time he was seen.
GRACE: Right, I know he was on the boat that day. I mean, when? Had he paid for his lunch? Was he one mile in, three miles in? Was he out on a dingy fishing for a shark? I mean, where was he?
MICHEL: Well, the problem is that you have 20, or 30, or actually up to 60 passengers on these boats going out every day of the week, so the crew doesn`t necessarily remember individual passengers.
All we know is that he got on the boat, signed onto the boat, paid to get on the boat, and then, at about three miles outside the harbor, they stopped to settle up galley tabs, you know, people who have hotdogs and cokes or whatever. He had about a five-dollar galley tab, and the galley sheet indicates that it was paid.
But they don`t check I.D. or anything when you pay. You know, it`s just a galley chef who`s taking the money and checking off they don`t owe money anymore, so that`s really the only clue we have.
GRACE: But, Doug Burns, if he didn`t pay the tab himself for his soda and his sandwich, that takes us into Conspiracy Land, that somebody else paid his tab for him so he could fake his own death. Not happening.
BURNS: Yes, the areas here -- first of all, there was $132,000 insurance policy, where his son was the beneficiary. We don`t know anything about whether or not some kind of claim either was or may be in the process of being pursued. Also, there are federal and state laws, as Joe referred to, making it a crime to evade child support. And he could be prosecuted for that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK LIVERSEDGE, DOCK MASTER: To think that a person could have fallen overboard or even jumped overboard on purpose, it`s pretty slim.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That`s Frank Liversedge, the dock master, speaking right after Patrick McDermott seemingly went missing. As you know, McDermott, Olivia Newton John, the pop icon`s, long time love.
Out to Pat Lalama, investigative reporter, in a nutshell, what down the day he allegedly went missing?
LALAMA: OK. It`s a late-night fishing trip. Now, this will be out of Long Beach, just south of Los Angeles. You get on the boat late at night; you do your fishing; you take a nap; you have your hotdog; you come back early in the morning.
Now, there`s a lot of inconsistency about just what happened when the boat finally came back to dock. What I`m told and what witnesses on the boat have said -- and there`s one in particular I`m surprised we haven`t heard more about him from the Coast Guard -- he says he had a long conversation in the wee hours of the morning with Patrick McDermott, but then there was inconsistency about whether he actually got off the boat or didn`t.
GRACE: A lot has been made over him paying his tab for his lunch. That was only about one mile out.
To Clark Goldband, who exactly could he be running from, if he, in fact, faked his death and is living the high life in Mexico?
GOLDBAND: Well, Nancy, we scoured papers all over the world. And "The Herald Sun" in Australia has his child payment at $1,000 per month. Now, it doesn`t sound like much, but we`ll show you why it could be very high in just a second.
He was married to Yvette Nipar for about a year. And they had a son; he`s now 15 years old. Filed for bankruptcy in March of 2000.
We can see the next screen. We see he was making around $125,000 in 1996, Nancy. That plummets down to less than $15,000 in 1997. Now, for the past eight years, he`s owed child support of about $1,000 a month.
And now you see what he had when he filed for his bankruptcy, Nancy, not very much, about a $6,000 car and $397 in cash.
GRACE: Let me go to Tom Shamshak, private investigator. Just how does one go about faking your own death? How do you do it? Did he have it all lined up before the fishing trip, if, in fact, it happened?
SHAMSHAK: Well, it would appear that he had some type of a plan. Who takes their passport to an overnight fishing trip?
SHAMSHAK: And he brought his credit cards. He left everything there. He did catch fish; the fish weren`t gutted for him. He just walked away.
GRACE: You know, that`s a very important fact, actually, Tom, because his neighbors lived around him, said that he was a devout fisherman and he would always come home with the fish and share with all of the neighbors, always, every fishing trip. So while it may seem like an insignificant detail, it is a subtle but important detail.
To Pat Brown, Pat, criminal profiler, what do you think about this? Based on the new reports, could he still be alive, and why?
BROWN: Well, I do think so, because, you know, he had so many problems in his life, and this is a precursor to people wanting to do something to solve those problems.
Suicide doesn`t make sense in this particular instance, because there`s other ways to commit suicide, rather than go out with a pile of people on a boat and then try to jump in the water while they`re all watching you. It doesn`t make a lot of sense.
Plus, the fact you`re not going to give somebody some money to pay your bar bill when you`re planning to commit suicide. Like, you`re really worried over the five-dollar bar bill when you want to jump in the drink? I mean, this is ridiculous.
I do believe he walked away. He had too much pressure in his life, and he just thought -- and many people do this -- "I just want to start a new life and forget about what happened in the past."
GRACE: And to clinical psychologist Dr. Patricia Saunders, how common is that, somebody goes out for a pack of cigs and never come back?
SAUNDERS: It`s not all that common, Nancy, but I think there`s another factor here psychologically, that people will disappear sometimes because they unconsciously want to be found. This is a guy who played second-fiddle to a superstar for eight years. His life was falling apart. And maybe it would be an ego gratification for him to have -- think of people worrying about him and having his face plastered all over the media.
GRACE: To Clark Goldband, there are a lot of famous Mexican hideouts.
GOLDBAND: And they all go there, Nancy, but they`re all found. Let`s take a look at a few of them. Perry March, we know him well, just found guilty for trying to kill his in-laws. A trial is upcoming in August.
GRACE: You left out the dead wife, but go ahead.
GOLDBAND: Well, that`s coming in August, and I`m sure we`ll have that for you right here on NANCY GRACE! Christian Longo, we know him. Well, found guilty, tried to kill his family. They found him in Mexico. Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir, oh, didn`t like how the trial was going. He left.
GRACE: He got his prescriptions mixed up and gave a lot of ladies the date rape drug. Go ahead.
GOLDBAND: It never happened to me with my medication, but let`s move on.
GRACE: And he was found by the dog, remember? Andrew Luster was thrown down in a parking lot in Mexico and dragged back to the justice? Go ahead.
GOLDBAND: It`s kind of embarrassing. Gary Lasher, Playa del Carmen. Genero Durante (ph) is an accused serial child molester. I mean, they all go to Mexico, Nancy. But let`s go...
GOLDBAND: ... on and on. He had a bribery scandal, hid there for six months. You know what, Nancy? The time limit seems to be about six months in all of these cases, so you can run, but you can`t hide forever.
GRACE: And back out to Joe Lawless. If we really want to find this guy, if anybody`s really interested in finding him, how do we do it?
LAWLESS: Well, what you`d have to do, first of all, you got to track down all of the leads, obviously. You then have to start looking at his associates, who he knows, who`s been in touch with him.
Even Jack Bauer on "24," when he disappeared for a year, had help. You can`t do this alone, particularly when you walk away from all of the financial means of support. If they`re seriously looking for him, they`re sitting on people who he knows, family members, friends, maybe even Olivia Newton John.
GRACE: OK, Joe, I appreciate the analogy, but this is real life. To those of you who have not seen "24," the TV show, Doug Burns, you were talking about federal crime possibilities. What are they that could be facing McDermott?
BURNS: If you owe over a certain threshold -- I believe it`s $5,000 of child support -- and it involves more than one state or more than one jurisdiction, the Justice Department has actually become fairly serious about prosecuting those cases. So that`s one.
The other one, obviously, is that, if this is done with a specific intent to defraud or avoid creditors, I disagree with Joe a little bit on that. We don`t have debtors prison, but, by the same token, if you take a fraudulent act, i.e., claiming that you`re dead, I think that could amount to a fraud prosecution.
GRACE: But the reality is: He hasn`t claimed anything. He just disappeared. But if it`s in an effort to escape legitimate child support or alimony charges, he`s got a problem.
Do we still have Chuck Michel with us, Elizabeth? He is the attorney for the Captains of the Freedom fishing vessel. Now, here is a tell-tale clue. Has anybody sued the fishing vessel for negligence? I`m not saying they were negligent, but has anybody been sued?
MICHEL: No. They have not been.
GRACE: Well, believe you me, if anybody really thought this guy was dead, there would be lawsuits out the ying-yang against the vessel, but not a single court filing. I find that very indicative.
Tom O`Neil, final thought?
O`NEIL: ... find Patrick finally through this green VW camper-van. He is hanging out in very small towns, like Todas Santos and Pescadero, very tiny towns about 60 miles north of Cabo San Lucas. The authorities now know what to look for. If they get a plate number on that van, we`ve got a lead.
GRACE: And to all of our viewers all across the world, our international viewers here on Headline News, including Mexico, here`s the tip line: 310-732-7344. Is the answer in the hat?
GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched our lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, breaking news, Lubbock, Texas. After two long years, a break in the disappearance of a Texas teenager, Joanna Rogers. Could a man already behind bars on another murder be the real killer?
How has this whole horrible ordeal affected you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s torn our hearts apart, but it`s brought us closer together.
GRACE: Alert to Wal-Mart cashiers: A guy comes in, 3:00 a.m., buys a giant suitcase and rubber gloves? Red flag!
On the run no more, 35-year-old convicted sex offender Jerry "Buck" Inman behind bars tonight in the brutal sex assault, kidnap and strangling death of 20-year-old Clemson coed Tiffany Souers. Murder weapon: Tiffany`s own bikini swim top.
An arrest has been made. What was your initial reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, initially it was relief, followed by a lot of anger. Seeing his face and putting it all together just brought forth what might have happened that night, and definitely relief in finding him so we don`t have to wonder anymore.
MARK UNGER, ACCUSED OF MURDERING WIFE: My whole world exploded. We all miss my wife terribly, but this is about being reunited as best we can, me and my kids. It`s all we can focus on right now.
GRACE: Well, there`s a little other information we need to focus on, Mr. Unger, like: Who killed your wife?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joining us now, Headline News and Court TV`s Nancy Grace. We have a sex offender expert who says those can -- there are some that can be rehabilitated.
GRACE: Maybe if Tiffany Souers was his daughter he wouldn`t be so smug and complacent. There are so many ways to fight back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Tonight, we here at Headline News remember Marine Lance Corporal Brian N. Taylor, just 20 years old, Milford, Ohio, killed, Iraq. Taylor yearned for a chance to make his mark. His teachers remember how excited he was about becoming a Marine. He is survived by his parents. Brian Taylor, tonight an American hero.
Thank you to all of our guests. Our biggest thank you is to you, for being with us, inviting us into your homes.
A special good night from friends of the show here on the set, Jim and Michelle, joining us from Warner Robins, Georgia. Thank you for being with us here in Manhattan. And a special good night from our control room. Good night, everybody. Good night, Elizabeth, Jennifer.
Thank you for being with us again tonight. I`m Nancy Grace signing off for this week. I`ll see you right here Monday night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.