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Pennsylvania Accused Mass Murderer Acquited; Authorities Say 18 Bodies Found; Olivia Newton-John Boyfriend: Alive?
Aired June 24, 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, CNN HOST: A possible break in the disappearance of the long-time love of Music Icon Olivia Newton-John. The 48-year-old went missing nearly a year ago after a fishing trip up the California coast.
Now, nobody has been found, but now several witnesses emerged to report seeing him in Mexico with a blonde. But, question -- is there a crime?
And tonight, a jury lets an ex-con walk free after two dead bodies turned up buried in his yard. Now he`s back. Why? The body count has risen to up to 18 people. All the bodies buried on his property.
What was the jury thinking? And is there a recourse?
But first tonight, to Califorina. Is there a dead man walking?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said to me, oh I remember him. He talked about how much he loved my fish tacos and he says and he left his hat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Out to Investigative Reporter Jane Velez-Mitchell. Is he or isn`t he? Is he alive or not? And why should we listen to a bunch of drunk witnesses with tequila at a bar?
JANE VALEZ-MITCHELL, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Very good questions, Nancy. This bizarre mystery began almost a year ago when Olivia Newton- John`s former boyfriend, Patrick McDermott went of went on a fishing trip off the coast of southern California and never came back. Disappeared.
Now, right from the start, there were suspicions that maybe he didn`t go overboard and drown. Maybe he faked his own death because he had mounting debt and child support and alimony problems.
Flash forward -- the last couple of months, a flurry of sightings of him of from Baja, California, in and around the resort town of Cabo San Lucas.
And then the most tantalizing development, the discovery of a visor that he may have left, if in fact it`s him, at a restaurant in Baja Peninsula. It says, Key West. It has a fish, it has some gray hairs.
Now a private investigator from hired Hollywood, hired by the TV show "Extra," has that visor and is going to get it tested for DNA. If that DNA matches up with Patrick McDermott, this is going to be virtually proof positive that he is in fact alive.
GRACE: Well, here is what "Extra" had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN NAZARIAN, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: This could be the smoking gun that breaks this case wide open. That is the only potential evidence that Mr. McDermott is alive and well that even exists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That`s from an exclusive interview with "Extra," and it`s all about this -- a pink advisor.
To Mickey Sherman, I`m sure if this were to ever go to trial on a perceived felony crime, you would attack the eyewitnesses. And that`s a legitimate attack. Explain.
MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I mean, that`s actually the worst form of identification and proof. We have learned that from the Innocence Project.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, wait, wait.
GRACE: I never learned that.
SHERMAN: I have.
GRACE: ... in all of my criminal cases essentially, I would have eyewitnesses, and they held up pretty well in court.
But according to you, it`s the worst type of evidence.
GRACE: OK, go ahead.
SHERMAN: And the many people who sat on death row and have been freed by Barry Shack (ph) and the folks at the Innocence Project...
GRACE: How many, Mickey? How many?
SHERMAN: Too many...
GRACE: No, no, no, no. How many?
SHERMAN: One is too many, 15. I don`t know. What can I tell you. But it`s common knowledge that eyewitness testimony is fallible. It just is. I mean, that is not a great secret in the criminal justice system.
However, if they`ve got the DNA in the hat, that`s something.
To me, the bigger question, Nancy is, who cares? I mean this is a guy who`s on the run for child support. Not that children shouldn`t be supported. But is it really worth the manpower that law enforcement, wherever they`re located, is spending catching this guy.
GRACE: Mickey, Mickey, I know, as a veteran defense attorney, you like to not necessarily stick to the facts at trial. But kind of like make up a novella in your.
Law enforcement is not looking for Patrick McDermott. All right? It`s "Extra." Remember them? That`s where this information is coming from.
SHERMAN: So, if he gets caught, will he be tried on the "People Court" or with "Judge Judy?"
GRACE: Well, if he gets caught, then there has to be a determination as to whether a crime has occurred.
And I want to go straight out to Jeffrey Dinert (ph), a veteran defense attorney as well, out of the Boston Jurisdiction.
Jeffrey, what type of crimes are we looking at or are we looking at any crime on McDermott`s behalf?
JEFFREY DINERT (ph), DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, as Mickey says, certainly there might be some kind of criminal non-support crime here, but disappearing is not a crime. The last time I looked, being involved with Olivia Newton-John and leaving here is not a crime. So, other than criminal non-support or perhaps some fraud involved with evading creditors, there`s really nothing here unless he has somehow affirmatively tried to gain by faking a death. But that doesn`t seem to be the case here.
GRACE: Well, I`ve got a news flash for the defense bar represented tonight. A grand jury has been meeting, trying to determine if a crime has occurred with Patrick McDermott.
Now, I don`t know if the words "grand jury" mean anything to you two, but typically a grand jury is convened to determine wrongdoing and to hand out possible Indictments.
Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s easy to get lost out there if you really want to get lost. It has enough DNA on it to fill a boat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And to Leslie Snadowsky, investigative reporter. A lot has been made of the fact -- and I`ve got to hand it to you Jeff Dinert (ph) and Mickey Sherman, they are right. When you have witnesses at a bar, eyewitnesses that have been drinking and they identify another drinker at the bar. It`s not necessarily that credible. But what other type of eyewitnesses do we have identifying Patrick McDermott?
LESLIE SNAWDOWSKY, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, I think there are a total of seven. We mentioned Marina Carazana (ph). She`s the owner of Marina`s Cafe, where that -- if this had was left behind.
There`s also a Surf Camp Owner Jamie Dobies (ph). He believes he saw McDermott at Toto Santos. And, Nancy, he just came in asking for information. But an employee of his, Raul Avelez (ph), he actually saw McDermott check into kind of a sleazy $33 a night hotel with this mystery blonde. I mean, and the list goes on.
I mean, so many people saw him, but also they saw him with the same car. There`s this green VW van and everyone identified him as that -- you know, he`s got moppy gray hair. I mean, if it is McDermott, he`s not doing a very good job of staying out of the public eye.
GRACE: Well, you know, you just said something very interesting, Leslie Snadowsky, that there have been an array of eyewitnesses identifying this guy as being alive and on the lam from something.
We know a grand jury is meeting to determine any possible wrongdoing on his part. These witnesses may not gel in court, but the fact that they all have a common theme of seeing him in a green beaten up VW van.
Now, to Jane Velez-Mitchell, are any of these witnesses possibly in collusion?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh I don`t think so. But I think it might be a case where people are hearing about this case and they want to see him. So they are thinking that they see him.
But when you get to six or seven eyewitnesses, that`s pretty significant, especially when they`re not all in bars drinking tequila. One woman was at a supermarket. Then you had this surf camp that Leslie referred to. Some fascinating things here.
I spoke to somebody, who grew up with Patrick McDermott, just yesterday. And he told me that Patrick McDermott, even back in high school, was very athletic, very charming and always very lucky with the ladies. And this friend told me, if he`s out there on the lam, he`s probably got the help of a woman, knowing him. And of course, there was this mystery blonde, possibly Germanic that he`s been seen with. So she may be the mystery woman helping him out.
GRACE: Take a listen to what the Coast Guard had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 www.uscglosangeles.com. Right now it`s being looked at as a missing persons case and nothing else has deviated from that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He gave no one on the boat any reason to recognize him. He did nothing wrong. He didn`t get drunk. He didn`t yell, scream or give anybody a bad time. And this didn`t surface until about 10 days after the incident or supposed incident, whatever it was. Nobody had any reason on the crew to remember him. There was nothing to make him stand out. Most of them didn`t even recognize his pictures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Back to Investigative Reporter Jane Velez-Mitchell. Jane, we know that Patrick McDermott was on a day fishing trip off the coast of California. He came back in, there was only about an hour left in the cruise. He paid up his tab and no one remembers seeing him after that.
Now, there are witnesses that claim they saw him walking off the boat. Why, Jane? Is there speculation he has chosen to fake his own death?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, first of all, he left all his stuff on the boat. He left a bag with his passport and his wallet. Also, about a week later or a couple of weeks later when people finally realized that he was missing because he didn`t show up at a family function, they started looking for him, and they found his car at a landing area near where the boat had docked.
So, he wanted, if he is alive, to make it look like he was missing because he left everything behind. Never called and said, hey, I left my tackle box, I left my passport, I left my wallet. So, either he fell overboard, which some say now appears increasingly unlikely. Or he left it all to make it look like he was dead and took off to avoid those payments.
GRACE: And of course, no body or even clothing, none of his belongings have washed ashore or have been found.
Joining us now, Dock Manager of the 22nd Street Landing Frank Liversedge.
Sir, thank you for being with us. In a nutshell, what happened the day McDermott went missing?
FRANK LIVERSEDGE, DOCK MANAGER: I didn`t find out he was missing until weeks after he was supposedly missing.
GRACE: OK. What happened the day he went missing?
LIVERSEDGE: Well the day that his wife called me up on the telephone and asked me if we knew anything about him, and we knew nothing. And we started checking records. And she gave me his vehicle license plate number, and so forth.
We found some stuff had been turned into the office. I opened it up. I went through it. I found his wallet and other papers in there. I did not find a passport. That`s an error. His passport was not in that bag. They found his passport at his house. A lot of other paper and stuff was in the fanny pack that he had...
GRACE: What kind of papers.
LIVERSEDGE: ... along with some fishing tackle.
GRACE: What kind of papers?
LIVERSEDGE: To be absolutely honest with you, I did not go any farther than looking in his wallet.
I went through the -- I asked the lady on the telephone if I could have permission to go through the wallet. I opened it up. There was no folding money in the wallet. His driver`s license was in there. That`s as far as I went.
The police have a complete report. They in here at my desk and went through the whole wallet and itemized everything that was in there. But I didn`t go any farther than just to look at his driver`s license and stuff.
GRACE: With us, the dock manager, Frank Liversedge.
Frank, were you there at the dock the day the boat came back in from the fishing trip?
LIVERSEDGE: I was here the morning, but not in the evening. The boat doesn`t come back in until about 8:00 at night. I was not here at that time.
GRACE: So at that time no one considered him missing. He wasn`t reported missing, so there was no cause for concern?
LIVERSEDGE: Absolutely not. None at all.
GRACE: OK. Frank, I understand that two of your employees had been gagged from talking to the media. Who gagged them?
LIVERSEDGE: The lawyer did.
GRACE: A lawyer gagged them?
LIVERSDEDGE: Yes, we had to hire a lawyer for the boat.
GRACE: OK, wait, wait. Only a court has the ability to gag someone from speaking. So the lawyer simply told them not to speak, correct?
LIVERSEDGE: Right. The same as he`s done to all the crew. That`s the reason everyone`s been talking to me, because I`m the only one they can`t tell to shut up, I guess.
GRACE: Question -- were your employees asked to testify in front of a grand jury?
Robi, do you believe that this is a case of another Wilbanks? A Jennifer Wilbanks?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: It`s slightly different. I mean, Jennifer Wilbanks claimed that she was abducted. She was crying out for help and attention. And basically emotionally felt like she was being abducted.
In this case, we have somebody who has looming debt and responsibilities and is trying to avoid it and appear like he`s moved on to the afterlife, when in fact, it looks like he just has moved on.
GRACE: Ellie, I know a grand jury`s been convened. What are the possible crimes?
ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Right. Well, we were doing a little bit of research. Things that we came up with were possibly fraud. He had an insurance policy worth about $132,000. Possibly felony charges regarding his non-payment of child support. He was involved in a real custody battle with this wife. And, you know, those are some things we are thinking of there.
GRACE: Everyone, quick break. We`ll all be right back.
Let`s go to tonight`s "Case Alert." Michael Jackson, back in court, just one year after his acquittal on child molestation. A lawsuit has been filed against Jackson by a porn exec, turned video producer. He`s claiming Jackson owes millions.
Producer Marc Schaffel alleges Jackson`s got a problem with lavish spending and drugs.
OK, that`s a news flash.
Jackson now counter sues Schaffel. He claims Schaffel stole thousands in proceeds from a charity single.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE (voice-over): It could be the key that unlocks the yearlong mystery of Olivia Newton-John`s missing boyfriend.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This could be the smoking gun that breaks this case wide open.
GRACE (voice-over): A sun visor cap, said to belong to Patrick McDermott, and uncovered by the famed Hollywood Private Eye John Nazarian while on a special investigative assignment for "Extra."
JOHN NAZARIAN, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: That is the only potential evidence that Mr. McDermott is alive and well, even exists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE (on camera): Is Music Icon Olivia Newton-John`s longtime love faking his own death?
Now it`s up to six witnesses that have identified him alive and well living large south of the border.
With me, Dock Manager Frank Liversedge.
We cleared up the question about the grand jury during the break.
Welcome back, Mr. Liversedge.
LIVERSEDGE: Thank you.
GRACE: Now, I know that your employees have not been called to a grand jury, but how about crew members?
LIVERSEDGE: Oh, yes. The last crew member was the cook. He was called to the grand jury last week.
GRACE: About McDermott?
GRACE: What do they want to know?
LIVERSDEDGE: Well, the grand jury has a gag order on him. He`s not allowed to discuss it. I gather from him, though, that it was very insignificant because it didn`t seem to bother him at all anything they asked him. I think they`re just doing a lot of time wasting like they`ve been doing.
GRACE: Grand jury time wasting. Yes, you know what? We should just forget about all those crimes and just let the grand jury go home.
So, OK, you said the cook has been called to the grand jury. Who else?
LIVERSEDGE: I think every one of the crew members. The captain, the deck hand, the second captain and the cook.
GRACE: Back to you, Mickey Sherman, veteran defense attorney. Mickey, I know you are convinced that nobody ever does anything worthy of a criminal charge.
SHERMAN: Not true.
GRACE: But don`t you get a tiny bit nervous -- don`t you get a little bit of a rash or red in the face, a little sweat when your client has a grand jury convened about them?
SHERMAN: Yes, but, you know, as the gentleman says, it doesn`t seem to be a big issue out there.
GRACE: A grand jury only meets for a felony, Mickey.
SHERMAN: Well, but the grand jury, I think, just may be going through the motions because they feel like they have to do anything.
My question is, they interviewed the crew members. Did they speak to the movie star and the skipper? I`m just not sure on that.
You know, I got to tell you, the bottom line is why do we really care this much? I mean, if a man has been murdered, that`s something. But by the same token, if it looks like he`s just romping around -- and I don`t think he`s living large by all accounts. He`s going to nice places, but he`s not exactly on the Trump yacht.
GRACE: Robi Ludwig, why would he choose to disappear? What`s the psychology?
LUDWIG: Well, it could be that he`s afraid. Maybe he did something and he`s trying to avoid people, trying to save his life if he borrowed a lot of money. But maybe he just can`t handle the debt that he incurred and so he`s just escaping and this was his solution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... that a person could have fallen overboard or even jumped overboard on purpose. It`s pretty slim.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody.
In the state of California, it is actually a crime to hold back on child support. It is a crime to fake your own death in order to avoid child support payments.
To Ellie, how much in the hole was this guy?
JOSTAD: Well, he filed for bankruptcy a couple years ago. And he had about $30,000 in debt. His on assets were a Toyota 4Runner that was worth about $5,000. He owed his -- he had a court order in April 2005, demanding that he pay money to his ex-wife. And he also had, you know, debts to like a home repair shop, a bank that loaned him money, all these things sort of piling up.
GRACE: To the T.J. Ward, private investigator, do you think the phone records and e-mails of Olivia Newton-John have been scrutinized by police?
T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, I think they need to look into it, look back. And I think they need to look into a lot of things he did before he left that boat or before he got on the boat. I think it would be real, real important to the fact that he`s probably planned this if he did walk off that boat.
And I believe the grand jury`s probe into this is probably going to be to see if there was any criminal activity, whether somebody hit him over the head and threw him overboard. I think that`s what their play in this, with them.
I don`t think it`s going to extend -- the grand jury`s going to extend if he`s over in Baja Mexico, to what he`s doing trying to conceal his civil identity or civil problems that he has.
But the mere fact that I think they needed to follow up, if there is an investigator on this case to find out what he did before he got on that boat and what his plans were and who he dealt with and who he talked to, that may lead him to where he is -- and where he is right now.
GRACE: Joining us, Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Levy.
Doctor, thank you for being with us. If it`s true, if the reports are true, that there is hair, salt and pepper, gray hair, on the sun visor, how difficult will it be to get a match to McDermott? How is it done?
Dr. BRUCE LEVY, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, it`s going to make for a great TV show, but the reality is, it`s very unlikely that they`re going to find enough genetic material in order to do a DNA match.
LEVY: Most of the DNA is actually in the root of the hair. The hair itself has practically no usable genetic material.
GRACE: Well, what about mitochondrial DNA?
LEVY: You can get some material out of that, but again, it gives you limited information...
GRACE: Well, wait a minute. I thought mitochondrial could get you a match up to one in 400,000 or 500,000.
LEVY: It could if you get enough material, and the critical thing is getting enough material.
GRACE: But I don`t have to have a nucleus, a root, do I?
LEVY: You do not. To do mitochondrial testing, all you need is cellular material that had mitochondria in it.
LEVY: But again, you need sufficient material to do it and it`s not very likely they`re going to get it.
GRACE: Well, even with a couple of strands, they could get a mitochondrial match, maybe. But then they`ve got to have something to compare it to.
Of course, his home was -- he was still living here, so naturally his hair would be there.
Do you think, Dr. Robi Ludwig, that after the Jennifer Wilbanks fiasco that people just don`t care anymore?
LUDWIG: No, I think people are very curious about it. I mean, think about when Elvis died. There were tons of sightings. So people are curious...
GRACE: OK, look, I don`t think the king really fits into this one.
LUDWIG: No, I know. But people are curious about who`s really dead and who`s alive and who`s trying to get away with something they shouldn`t be getting away with.
SOPHIA CHOI, CNN HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hello, I`m Sophia Choi at CNN Center with some of the stories we`re following right now.
The Pentagon says 14 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba were transferred home to Saudi Arabia. One was released because he`s no longer an enemy combatant. The rest were transferred after a review. About 450 people, though, remain in the prison.
The mother of the slain six-year-old Jon Bonet Ramsey has died of cancer at 49. Patsy Ramsey and she will be buried in a suburban Atlanta cemetery next to her daughter, who 1996 violent death remains unsolved.
Tennis star Andre Agassi says he is retiring after this year`s U.S. Open. The 36-year-old won eight Grand Slam singles titles and a Career Grand Slam for taking the Australian, French and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon in his 20-year career.
I`m Sophia Choi from the CNN Headline News Room.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you say? What do you think about what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do I think about what? What do you want to know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think about this? I mean, you Are going to trial now? Again, what do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m looking forward to it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hugo Selenski will now stand trial for charges that he kill Wyoming County pharmacist Michael Kurkowski (ph) and this girlfriend, Tammy Bassett.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no way that he could have done this. Hugo is not capable of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to put one around his neck and tighten it up for two inches.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, CNN ANCHOR, NANCY GRACE WEEKENDS: One, is one of these. These are plastic zip ties that are used sometimes to handcuff, by police. They work pretty well, but in this case they allegedly used to strangle, ligature strangulation, to the extent that the victim`s necks had a circumference of about 2 1/2 to 3 inches after strangulation.
Now, one jury let Hugo Selenski walk free on two murders. Why was he suspected? Because the bodies were buried in his yard. Now, is there a body count up to 18? Yeah.
Up to David Weiss, a reporter with "The Times Leader".
Thank you for being with us, David. What is the latest on Hugo Selenski?
DAVID WEISS, REPORTER, "THE TIMES LEADER": He`s now going to the await trial on killing the pharmacist and his girlfriend. There was a preliminary hearing last week. A district judge ruled there was enough evidence. And now he`s going to stand his second trial.
The first trial was just done in March or so. He`s going to get ready to stand trial again coming up.
GRACE: It`s amazing to me, David Weiss, that this guy walked. It`s not every day that you find two dead bodies in your yard. The jury couldn`t add two and two to get four? What happened?
WEISS: Well, what happened was the first -- now in his first trial they didn`t have the actual bodies. They had burned and mutilated bones.
GRACE: Now, wait, wait, David.
I know, I`m a trial lawyer. You`re a journalist. But, don`t you believe when you find a bag of bones that together equal two people, that constitutes a body.
WEISS: The jury didn`t. The jury had a hard time --
GRACE: Oh, no. I`m not asking you about the jury. The jury, obviously didn`t know what they were doing. I`m asking you, you find two bags of bones that equal two people.
WEISS: I listened to the jury. They spoke out volumes afterwards saying that they had a hard time believing the prosecution witnesses. It`s up to them to determine.
GRACE: So, where were the two bodies buried, David?
WEISS: There were two -- well, now from the first trial, there were bones in a bags found alongside the home. The bodies that he is charged with --
GRACE: Found where?
WEISS: The first one, the bones were found in garbage bags found alongside the home. The ones that --
GRACE: His garbage bags?
WEISS: Good question.
GRACE: Well, OK. Let me ask you a few preliminary questions, David Weiss.
WEISS: Go ahead.
GRACE: David is with us from the "Times Leader".
Did anybody live with him?
WEISS: His girlfriend, and his codefendant in the first case, was also staying there at the time.
GRACE: Do we know the identity of the two dead people in the garbage bags next to his home?
GRACE: They weren`t drug dealers?
WEISS: Suspected. If they were in there they were suspected to be the drug dealers in there, but they could not get a positive match from the remains.
GRACE: OK, so we don`t know who they were. Were they men?
WEISS: Believed to be. At trial, the expert indicated that the bones were so mutilated, burned, they couldn`t get much of anything off them. That is why there was such -- they couldn`t tell exactly how many were in there. When they went through the bones -- all they could determine that there was a range of people between three and 10 people in those bones. They couldn`t pinpoint a specific number.
GRACE: Oh, I`m sorry, I thought there were two. So now there`s between three and ten?
WEISS: There were two buried and then the bones.
GRACE: OK, there`s just so many bones, it`s kind of hard to keep count.
David, you said the bones were found in trash bags besides Selenski`s home, correct?
GRACE: Where beside his home?
WEISS: By a -- I believe, if I recall correctly, it was near or on a back porch by a pool area, if I recall correctly.
GRACE: His back porch?
GRACE: OK. To Mickey Sherman, veteran defense attorney, you know, that must have been some great lawyer to get this guy off when you`ve got bags of bones, human bones, in your trash bags, tied up on your back porch, and the jury lets you go?
MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, we see this all the time, Nancy.
GRACE: I never seen it!
SHERMAN: When you dig up --
GRACE: When did you see a bag of bones on the back porch and the jury let`s somebody walk?
SHERMAN: You get a client with eight to 12 bodies buried in his yard, and there is an immediate rush to judgment that he may have done something wrong.
SHERMAN: Where are those jurors when I need them? I`m dying here.
I`ve got to tell you, what helped them here in this case, not in the next 15 probably, is that they have these two red herrings. One is that the victims were suspected drug dealers, so therefore it`s OK if we kill them, or there`s a discount here, which is absurd.
The other thing that helped them is that the witnesses are a bunch of rats. But then again, that`s who you confide in. That`s who you tell you did bad things to.
GRACE: Yes, Mickey, you know it when you`re trying to convict somebody of murder, who do you think are going to be the witnesses? Nuns and priests and virgins? No. They are going to be people just like the defendant.
SHERMAN: Yeah, yeah. But my hero in this whole thing is Judge James Tupper (ph), who when he was arraigning Selenski, after his acquittal, on these new murder charges, said we have to stop meeting like this. Now, I appreciate a judge with a sense of humor during a multiple murder arraignment. That is terrific, I`ve got to tell you.
GRACE: This is escape video, we are showing you. Just to add to his resume of being acquitted on double murder by an astute jury. He managed to escape.
I want to go to John Pike, this is Selenski`s defense attorney.
Mr. Pike, thank you for being with us.
JOHN PIKE, SELENSKI`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you for having me.
GRACE: Did you represent Selenski at the original trial?
PIKE: I was one of his council. a defense trial.
GRACE: Sir, can I ask you something?
GRACE: How did you manage to convince a jury that the two bags of human bones in the back yard had nothing to do with your client?
PIKE: There`s only one primary witness in the first case that identified Mr. Selenski as the alleged shooter. During the course of the trial, it was clearly established through cross-examination he was not a credible witness. In fact, that is what the jury determined, in a subsequent interview, thy did not believe a word that this man said.
GRACE: Mr. Pike, in all due respect to you, because you`re clearly a great trial lawyer. But to heck with the eyewitness with the credibility problem, I mean it is not every -- most of us go out on the porch to get a morning paper, we don`t get a bag full of the bodies of three to 10 people. So, whatever you did, I`m sure Mr. Selenski hopes you do it again.
Joining us also on the phone, is Jacqueline Carroll; she is the first assistant district attorney in Luzerne County.
Ms. Carol, thank you for being with us.
JACQUELINE CARROLL, FIRST ASSIST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY, LUZERNE CO.: My pleasure, Nancy.
GRACE: Ms. Carroll, I am astounded. I am stunned that this first jury let this guy off, Selenski off, when he`s got a bag of human bones in his back porch. What the hey happened?
CARROLL: Nancy, I mean, obviously, it was not a result that we were happy with. We are prosecutors who tried the case, felt very, very confident going into this. But the jury did not feel that the main witness was credible. That`s what it came down to. That was the entire point, but this case coming up is a very, very, very different case. It`s not --
GRACE: Do you guys have the death penalty, Jacqueline?
CARROLL: Excuse me?
GRAVE: Do you guys have the death penalty?
CARROLL: Yes, we do.
GRACE: Are you seeking it?
CARROLL: We don`t have to formally state whether or not we are until arraignment, but I can assure you that we are in this case, absolutely.
GRACE: With me is Jacqueline Carroll, she is the first assistant district attorney at Luzerne County. Jacqueline is with us along with John Pike, Selenski`s defense attorney, and David Weiss, a local reporter with "The Times Leader".
The body count up to, we believe, 18. And coincidentally, they`re all buried in his yard. I guess the jury thought that wasn`t enough evidence.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flex ties wrapped around their necks and pulled so tight, you know, that had to be shown. In this case, we`re putting everything we have into it.
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GRACE: The body count rising to 18, and to top it all off, Hugo Selenski escaped from jail. This is a shot of the escape video after his escape. Yeah, better check that window, yesterday. And he did it with the tried and true method of bed sheets. I wonder how many bed sheets Selenski managed to hoard behind bars to tie together. Didn`t they notice he was doing a little macrame in his cell, to get out and down and escape.
Out to Leslie Snadowski, investigative reporter, what can you tell me about the escape?
LESLIE SNADOWSKI, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, like you were just talking about, it was pretty daring. He wrapped the bed sheets together; he was able to escape. I think he was on the lam for three days before he turned himself in with a smile. I mean the strange thing is there is some sort of cult following. A lot of people think this guy is attractive and even during that first trial --
GRACE: Attractive? Wait a minute, Elizabeth show me a shot of this guy. Go ahead, Leslie.
SNADOWSKI: Well, supposedly a lot of people in the courthouse and people who were watching the trial --
GRACE: Oh, they say there are no single guys left.
SNADOWSKI: You know, he has -- he actually had a busy social life. I mean doing his research and looking at his rap sheet, I mean, he fathered three children out of wedlock. In high school he was voted most likely to be in detention. He did a lot of bad things, I mean, Drunk driving, burglary, motorcycle theft, and of course, now, these murders. He wasn`t charged with -- he was charged with murder, but he wasn`t convicted in the last two. And all those bodies buried in his yard. I mean, maybe he will be found guilty now. I mean there are just so many things --
GRACE: We can only hope, Leslie. Let`s just hope they don`t reseat the same 12 they had last time. And P.S., I hope you`re listening, that last jury that let this guy walk.
To David Weiss, with "The Times Leader", what else can you tell me about the escape?
WEISS: I believe, the escape, he used somewhere around 10 or 12 bed sheets, if you were wondering that. There`s also another inmate who attempted to escape with him. He didn`t quite make it so well, he claims to have been pushed. There is also word that he fell. He fell on to a lower roof and is now paralyzed. Then, Selenski, took off for three days before he turning himself in.
GRACE: The escape video, Elizabeth, if you could show the viewers that. That is what David Weiss is talking about.
David, what about all that barbed wire? How did he get over that?
WIESS: At the time, he threw a mattress down, through the window as well, to get over that. And right out onto the street from there.
GRACE: So, he threw a mattress out?
WIESS: Correct. To cover up the barbed wire.
GRACE: Then jumped over the barbed wire?
GRACE: And nobody saw any of this? Oh, there are the bed sheets. Good shot, Liz.
WIESS: Correct, no one saw.
GRACE: How could he hoard -- you know, I`m going to throw this to the district attorney. I`m sure that she is busting a gasket. With me, Jacqueline Carroll, with the Luzerne County D.A.`s office, she is the first assistant.
How in the heck did this guy hoard bed sheets, tie them up, throw them over, throw out a mattress, for Pete`s sake? And nobody saw him?
CARROLL: Right, well, Nancy, that`s exactly what our questions are. But after that happened --
GRACE: Maybe you need to convene a grand jury on the jail warden.
CARROLL: After that happened, our prison system, they went in and took a look and made some changes. So hopefully nothing like that could ever happen again. But of course, hindsight is 20/20.
CARROLL: As it is with everything else. But this is the kind of individual that we`re dealing with here. And the escape right now, I can`t say much on that because it is up on appeal. So I need to be very careful about that.
GRACE: OK. I`m going to come right back to you on these plastic ties.
CARROLL: Sure, OK.
GRACE: These plastic ties. Let me just do this for you, are typically used as a handcuff.
GRACE: And all you do is put it through and pull, and then you can`t pull it open.
CARROLL: Right. Nancy, once you pull those, that`s it. The only way to get those loosened is cut them. The thing that has us just -- which is so horrible in this case. When the bodies were found in the dirt, they weren`t covered with blankets or anything else, they were just lying in the dirt. But these flex ties, which were still around their necks were sticking out of ground. Again, the circumference, the diameter, was two and a half inches on the female, and 3 inches on Michael. So Tammy and Michael died gruesome, gruesome deaths here.
GRACE: Were these flex ties in the first two bodies that were found on the back porch?
CARROLL: No, those other bodies were burned and they were chopped up and just -- you know.
GRACE: Oh, I see. And that`s where you get abuse of a corpse, from the burning and the chopping?
CARROLL: Right. But these can --
GRACE: Well, if it makes you feel any better, Jacqueline Carroll, Clark Goldband, this isn`t the first guy to escape from a penitentiary or a jail, right?
CLARK GOLDBAND, NANCY GRACE, INTERNET REPORTER: Certainly not, Nancy. And you keep saying climbed out the window, climbed out the window. What does that sound like? Ted Bundy. He escaped twice. The first time, Nance, climbs out the window at a law library when he says, wait a second, no one`s looking. He just went out the window, escaped for 10 days.
The second time, climbs up through the ceiling, he`s 30 pounds slimmer than the first time. Climbs through the roof all the way down into a janitor`s closet, walks out of the prison, no questions asked.
It doesn`t stop there, though, Nance. Ronald McIntosh, he escapes from jail. OK, that`s not the story. The story is he comes back in a stolen helicopter, flies it down to the prison. Listen to this, takes his girlfriend who is also next door at a different prison on the chopper with him. They fly out and they want to get married. Guess where the cops find them?
GRACE: Las Vegas?
GOLDBAND: Shopping for wedding rings 10 days later. And the last but not least, certainly, Nance, we have Frank Morris. He was made famous by Clint Eastwood in "Escape From Alcatraz".
GRACE: These booking photos are stunning. And I`m shocked that Leslie Snadowski actually thinks that this guy is attractive, but to each her own.
Out to Dr. Bruce Levy, medical examiner. How is it that we match up all of these bones to create a body? And how could the medical examiner not know how many dead people there are? We keep hearing between three to 10?
DR. BRUCE LEVY, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, you are probably dealing with a situation where you have remains all mixed up. We heard references earlier to maybe three or 10 different people in bags, all mixed together, mixed up and broken up bones. It is going to be a lot of work, for not just pathologists but also anthropologists.
GRACE: How many bones are in the human body?
LEVY: There are hundreds, several hundred bones in every human body.
GRACE: Are you talking 200 or 900?
LEVY: Oh, you are talking it`s, I believe 700 something.
GRACE: OK, that makes a little more sense. But it just seems to me when you find ten right femurs, your leg, you know that there are ten dead people. Forget about all the -- the let`s just say unimportant bones. We have a problem with how many dead bodies that there actually are, it is rumored to be up to 18.
What about it, Jacqueline, how many bodies do you think are out in his yard?
CARROLL: Oh, God only know, Nancy. We did everything we could.
GRACE: Good, Lord! Another thing, Jacqueline, it`s not like all these people were dope dealers. One was a local pharmacist. Didn`t anybody in that town -- how many people are in the town, Ellie?
CARROLL: Nancy if I can say --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: About 41,000
GRACE: Out of 41,000, wouldn`t they notice people are dropping like flies?
CARROLL: Well, here`s the thing, these are the only two complete bodies that we found. For some reason, he kept these bodies intact, and buried them 30 feet from his bedroom window actually. So that`s these two bodies.
Those other bodies, we`re still investigating, we`re still trying to make an identification.
GRACE: So there could be more.
CARROLL: But I just want to make one thing really, really clear. It`s not as if this was a Robinhood, out there killing drug dealers, because you know, he thought it was the right thing to do. In this case in particular, he saw a person who was a source of cash. He wanted that cash. He killed him. What he did was, he robbed drug dealers to better -- to get the money for himself. He`s no hero.
GRACE: Quickly to Phil Rosenbaum, what`s the verdict?
PHIL ROSEMBAUM, NANCY GRACE, PRODUCER: Nancy, this week we asked viewers if they think Olivia Newton-John`s missing boyfriend is alive and well and hiding out in Mexico? The response an overwhelming yes.
You can check out question of the day, everyday, at CNN.com/nancygrace.>
GRACE: Thanks for being with us tonight on NANCY GRACE WEEKENDS.
Let`s take a look at the stories, and more important, the people who touched all of our lives.
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Judge Eileen Gallagher throws a rape of a nine-year-old girl, out of court. Why? Because the prosecutor was out late to court. Cleveland Judge Eileen Gallagher, you are in contempt.
This is a court of law where there are rules. And rules are necessary for organized society and the court has an obligation to make sure the due process of law is followed.
GRACE: To seek justice, Judge.
Crime, so bad in the Big Easy that the state has called in the National Guard to keep the peace.
Anderson Cooper with us tonight.
The one on one interview with Angelina Jolie, not about her Hollywood lifestyle --
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I love the way you say her name, too. Angelina Jolie.
GRACE: I majored in French.
Why the interview? Please tell me that it`s not about Shiloh herself, the baby.
COOPER: No, it wasn`t. It`s really about the 50 million refugees around the world, and displaced people.
GRACE: A shootout at a Tallahassee prison now claims that the life of a federal agent is shot by prisoners, allegedly shot after he tells prison guards they are suspected of corruption in a drugs for sex scheme.
Breaking news out of Miami, believe it or not, federal officials now saying seven arrested in a connection with the early stages of a plot to attack Chicago`s Sears Tower and other buildings in the U.S. The alleged terrorists are mainly Americans.
Army Sergeant Randall Lamberson, just 36, killed in Iraq. Lamberson, from Springfield, Missouri, met his wife at age 12. He leaves behind two children, 13 and 10, and a grieving widow. He wanted to grow up to be a firefighter or a cop. Sergeant Randall Lamberson, American hero.
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GRACE: Thank you to all of our guests tonight, but always our biggest thank you to you for being with us and inviting us into your home. Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. See you right here tomorrow 8:00 sharp, Eastern. Until then, good night.