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Judge Dismisses Holloway Suit
Aired August 11, 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: The family of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, who vanished on her high school senior trip to Aruba, tries to fight back in the U.S. court of law. How did the prime suspect in the honor student`s disappearance -- remember judge`s son Joran Van Der Sloot? -- how did he manage to destroy what could be Holloway`s final shot at justice? And he did it in an American courtroom.
And tonight, a 16-year-old straight-A student, Chanel Petro-Nixon, found dead, thrown away like garbage on a neighborhood street. Weeks have passed, no clues, silent witnesses. Tonight, we continue our search for answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S MOTHER: We really began to get discouraged that -- you know, that this will -- that this will just be forgotten and Aruba will not be accountable for any action that, you know, had taken place on their island. And you know, it`s -- it`s difficult to have that hope that, you know, we will get to the bottom of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, two missing girls on different sides of the world, both American honor students. Why has the one shot at justice for Natalee Holloway been swatted down in a court of law right here on U.S. soil?
Out to Jim Moret, chief correspondent with "Inside Edition." Jim, what happened?
JIM MORET, "INSIDE EDITION": Well, basically Natalee`s family filed a civil lawsuit in New York against Joran Van Der Sloot, the prime suspect in this case, and his father, Paul, claiming that Joran imprisoned and sexually assaulted their daughter, and also that Paul enabled his son`s delinquent behavior.
Basically, what happened is the judge said New York was the wrong place to file this lawsuit. The exact words were, "It`s an inconvenient place to file the lawsuit." Joran, you may recall, said that there was no nexus, there was no connection between New York, Natalee`s disappearance and any of the activities in Aruba. And basically, the judge agreed, saying the case is therefore dismissed.
But there was another action in another court, Nancy, that in Aruba. An Aruba court awarded Paul Van Der Sloot -- that`s Paul`s father, who was at the time a judge in training -- awarded him roughly $30,000, saying that he was detained and arrested without cause. And that obviously is another slap in the face of Natalee`s folks. However, the prosecution in Aruba is going to appeal that decision.
GRACE: OK, let me get this straight, Joran Van Der Sloot says he was arrested -- oh, there`s a nice shot of his father, his backside anyway. I`ve seen that plenty. Joran Van Der Sloot is complaining that there was no cause to arrest him? Explain that again?
MORET: Well, Joran Van Der Sloot is saying that New York -- through his attorney, saying New York was the wrong place to bring this case. All of the activities that were alleged happened in Aruba. Joran is not a U.S. citizen. Natalee did not live in New York. Therefore, it was the wrong place to bring this case.
Natalee`s family brought the case in New York because they said that a number of witnesses lived in and around New York, it was a convenient location to bring this lawsuit. And also, they claim to have another woman who was allegedly assaulted by Joran Van Der Sloot, and she was only going to testify in New York. But basically, the judge didn`t agree with any of those claims.
GRACE: Take a listen to what judge`s son Joran Van Der Sloot had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have sex with her that night?
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, SUSPECT: First of all, that`s none of your business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just a question.
VAN DER SLOOT: Yes, but it`s absolutely none of your business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what -- I mean, did anything else happen that night?
VAN DER SLOOT: No. Well, yes, I kissed with her. But neither me, Deepak or Satish ever had sex with her. And no one ever said otherwise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you leave a girl on a beach?
VAN DER SLOOT: I told her I had to go home, I had school the next day, and I thought maybe she would understand. She told me, no, she wanted me to stay there with her because the next day, she was leaving and she wanted to stay there the whole night. I told her, no, I had to go. I even lifted her up to carry her back to her hotel, and she told me put her down. I left her there. I sat down next to her, talked to her a while. If I`d have that moment back, I would have made sure she got back to her hotel safely. But I can`t change that now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: It`s Trial 101: A court must have jurisdiction. For a case to be tried in a particular courtroom, that court must have jurisdiction over the subject matter, the content of the case. For instance, you don`t file a bankruptcy case in misdemeanor crime court. And you`ve got to have jurisdiction over the person.
So let`s go out to Randy Zellin, defense attorney. Randy, explain to us the judge`s ruling.
RANDY ZELLIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there are actually three concepts here, Nancy. Justice Kapnick`s decision really spoke to the very specific issue of whether or not New York was the right place for this case to be tried. And what the court looks at -- the court looks at the parties. None of the parties were from New York. The court looks at where this place -- where the incident took place. It took place in Aruba. The court looks at where the witnesses are. The witnesses in this case are going to be in Aruba. They`re going to be in all different places, but not in New York.
So the court says, Wait a second what is New York`s stake in this proceeding? What does New York have to do with this proceeding? And at the end of the day, Justice Kapnick decided that, first of all, this case should be litigated someplace else, like in Aruba. The witnesses would be in Aruba. There`s no reason to burden New York with this litigation. And for the convenience of the parties, the hardship on the defendant, where the witnesses are going to be, and the fact that New York has no stake in this action, Justice Kapnick decided that while justice could be served, it should not be served in New York.
GRACE: I want to go out now to special guest Beth Twitty, now joining us. This is Natalee`s mom. Beth, thank you for being with us. It seems that no matter how hard you struggle for justice in your daughter`s disappearance, you get swatted down every which way you turn, now including an American court. Beth, what did you want to gain in this lawsuit?
TWITTY: Well, Nancy, first, I`d like to say that, you know, it`s not just Natalee and it`s not just Natalee`s last shot at justice. What we have, Nancy, we have millions and millions and millions of Americans who travel internationally every year. And what we are learning from Natalee is that, you know, the challenges that you will face should you find a loved one a victim of a crime in a foreign country. Your United States constitutional rights do not apply in other countries, and it`s been a hard life lesson for us to learn. There is no recourse. We faced jurisdictional issues, extradition every -- every step of the way. And it`s just hard to know the right turns to make. I mean, we`re doing the best that we can to see what can be done for an American citizen who`s a victim of a crime in a foreign country.
GRACE: You know, Beth, I feel so frustrated and kind of defeated for you because there is no doubt in my mind that the answer to what happened to Natalee Holloway lies with those three, Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers. I don`t know what exactly happened, but I know that they know the answer.
TWITTY: Well, we know these are the original three suspects into her disappearance, and we are on the right track to pursue that, you know, but it`s just hard to find the venue. It`s just hard to know -- as I said, you know, there`s just not a handbook on this. And we`re doing the best we can and trying to get to that information and all those documents, the complete dossier. We -- you know, we`ve had the hardest time just getting a handle on the investigation. We`ve tried every angle that we know, Nancy.
GRACE: Why are you so convinced, Beth, that these guys know what happened to your girl?
TWITTY: Well, the facts still remain that those are the last suspects known to be seen with Natalee alive. And everybody knows of their repeated lies that they told the authorities, even their father, Paulus Van Der Sloot. That`s why he was arrested. There was a reason that he was arrested in Natalee`s disappearance. It was not unwarranted whatsoever.
And you know -- and being dismissed in New York, it was on a procedure ruling. Here again, jurisdiction. We have faced that issue since May 30 of 2005. Jurisdiction and extradition have hit us in the face every time.
GRACE: Do you remember when you were with me here in our Manhattan studio, and you told me that in a statement, Joran Van Der Sloot, the judge`s son, could describe the underwear and the body of Natalee Holloway?
TWITTY: Oh, absolutely, Nancy. That`s in one of the statements that he gave to the Aruban officials on the first day that he was arrested.
GRACE: OK, wait! Wa-wa-wait! To Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, defense attorney. So defend Joran Van Der Sloot, you would have me believe that he`s the last one seen with the girl. She`s never seen again. He`s with her by his own admission around 1:00 or 2:00 o`clock in the morning. And he can tell authorities what her underwear looked like. So I`m supposed to believe that these two had consensual sex out on the beach, and then somebody else came along and murdered her? Is that the best you can give me, Lida?
LIDA RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Look, Nancy, I`m not trying to give you that. And that`s not what the issue was in the New York court...
GRACE: I asked you a question! I`m asking you the defense of this guy, Joran Van Der Sloot.
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, so far, the Aruban authorities claim that they have no bases to hold him, that other than him being there and him seeing her, that they have no evidence that he committed this crime. They have no body. They have no evidence that he actually committed this murder. They even say that they have no evidence that she`s even dead, even though out of the other side of their mouth, they say, Well, she`s probably buried somewhere. So there is...
GRACE: OK. All right.
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Right now, there`s nothing.
GRACE: Lida, I appreciate you giving it the old college try.
Beth Twitty, when you hear these answers, they just go around and around and -- do you just want to just grab somebody?
TWITTY: No, Nancy. You know, the facts speak volumes. And we don`t even have to defend them -- defend it because, you know, the facts are there, by all the suspects` own admissions, by the repeated lies and constant, you know, coercion to cover up. So you know, Nancy, I know that it doesn`t...
GRACE: How do you stay so calm? You know, years and years after being a crime victim, I`m still stunned at the meanness of criminal defendants, how they can do what they do and go on about their lives. And to see the justice system play into it makes them complicit in this!
TWITTY: Well, what I see, Nancy, we know it`s too late for Natalee. We know it`s too late for the family. But Nancy, it`s not to late for millions and millions of other Americans who have that sobering thought when they`re traveling internationally that, you know, we need some type of rights or recourse. I mean, I guess we`re the living proof of, you know, what doesn`t work. But I felt as if we would be remiss in not just trying every angle possible. I mean, it`s a larger picture than just Natalee now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VAN DER SLOOT: I had stuff to drink, too. But now I don`t respect that the Aruban authorities tried to pin it that it was a rape case. She wanted to go with me. I wanted to go with her. It was totally consensual. I had something to drink, and she had something to drink.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think if you can explain to people what really happened and you were really forthcoming, the more forthcoming you are, the more chance there is of you to get on with your life and...
VAN DER SLOOT: I will. One day, I will explain exactly what happened. But right now, I don`t -- I don`t feel ready to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. All of us have suffered pain of one sort, but losing your child, your precious daughter, your honor student on her way to med school -- that`s one pain I`ve never felt. And now to have the court seemingly complicit in no justice? August 3, it was reported that judge Paul Van Der Sloot, the father of the prime suspect in the disappearance in Natalee Holloway`s case, an American Alabama beauty, was awarded nearly $30,000 by an Aruban court for his inconvenience at getting arrested. That`s why we`re showing you his backside tonight!
To Jim Moret. Jim, please explain to me why he gets $30,000 American, and Natalee`s mom can`t even get into a courtroom to find out what happened to her girl.
MORET: You know, it`s inconceivable to me, and I`ll tell you why, because the authorities in Aruba say that the investigation continues and by all accounts, Joran Van Der Sloot, Paul`s son, and the Kalpoe brothers, are still the three main suspects. And Paul was arrested, you may recall, because it was believed or suspected that he was somehow helping his son after the fact.
He was able to successfully argue to an Aruban court that he was detained and arrested without cause, that there was no reason for his arrest, that he was falsely arrested. And as you say, the court awarded him $30,000. Now, the prosecutor in Aruba isn`t just sitting by because they realize that this is ridiculous, as well, and they`re appealing this decision.
But Nancy, I can`t think of any rational reason with an open case, with the man`s son still the prime suspect, why he would be awarded $30,000 for false arrest. I cannot argue any scenario where that would make sense.
GRACE: You know what, Jim? Jim is not just chief correspondent at "Inside Edition," he`s an officer of court, like myself. Both of us lawyers. For a lot of us, the court system is what we hold onto, what we believe in when everything else goes to hell. And when you see the court system, in my mind, mishandling a case -- yes, I understand about jurisdiction. I understand why the New York judge did what he did, Jim. But to give Paulus Van Der Sloot $30,000, and they can`t even give Beth Twitty a straight answer about her girl? It just seems like we`ve gone into Wonderland, and the court system is upside down!
Beth Twitty, what is your reaction to learning that the prime suspect`s father got $30,000 damages? And you know the day after Natalee went missing, where was he? Was he out trying to find Natalee? Was he combing the beach? Was he with the search teams? Oh, no! He was in his backyard, around his nice swimming pool, meeting with a bunch of defense attorneys. Isn`t that right, Beth?
TWITTY: Oh, absolutely. It is correct, Nancy. And you know, we really weren`t surprised that they awarded Paulus this money. We go back and we remember that Paulus Van Der Sloot and Antonio Carlo have been connected since the very beginning and really just kind of running the show. I mean, the defense attorneys seemed to be running the show in Aruba last summer. So it doesn`t surprise us at all that he would prevail again here.
GRACE: Take a listen to what prime suspect Joran Van Der Sloot had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you do now?
VAN DER SLOOT: I would have just stayed home that night. I wouldn`t have even gone out. It was Natalee who asked me to go out with her. It was her that asked me to come to the club. It was her that was yelling at me to go dance with her, and I said -- and I went to go drink something with my friends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you that irresistible? I mean, is that what...
VAN DER SLOOT: No. I don`t know. That`s not -- that`s absolutely not what it`s about. I don`t know. When her parents showed up at my door with her picture, I didn`t even know who Natalee Holloway was. I didn`t even know her name.
She was drunk. I had stuff to drink, too. But now I don`t respect that the Aruban authorities tried to pin it that it was a rape case. She wanted to go with me. I wanted to go with her. It was totally consensual. I had something to drink, and she had something to drink.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if you can explain to people what really happened and you were really forthcoming, the more forthcoming you are, the more chance there is of you to get on with your life.
VAN DER SLOOT: I will. One day I will explain what happened. But right now, I don`t -- I don`t feel ready to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: OK, technical legal term. That is a crock of BS, OK? I want to tell the truth, but just not right now.
We`ll all be right back with some disturbing news that Joran Van Der Sloot is back at it again.
But I want to tell you about tonight`s "Case Alert." The aunt of Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips vanishes without a trace, an 81-year-old lady, Doris Phillips, missing from her own home, Ellis County, Texas, for two weeks. Phillips`s car remains in her driveway. Tonight, no clues. If you can help, please call Ellis County police, 972-825-4901.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE`S FATHER: You just got to go back to the original statements. You know, these kids came up with -- or concocted the story about the Holiday Inn. That was untrue. And then you had lie after lie after lie after lie.
VAN DER SLOOT: I knew her for one night. I feel horrible that I even went out that night without my father knowing. I should have just stayed home and this wouldn`t have happened to me, it would have happened to another person. I just try to look at it that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, maybe even with the wrong people. And I just hope that the truth comes out, that just comes some clarity in this case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But do you understand? I mean, how can a girl just disappear?
VAN DER SLOOT: I don`t know. I think that`s the million-dollar question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Yes, Joran, how could a girl, an American girl, just disappear, and you`re the last one with her, and you admit to authorities you can describe the underwear she was wearing that night and her body, what it looked like without clothes on? So I`m supposed to believe that you had sex with the girl on the beach and you just left her there, and somebody else came along and kidnapped or killed her. OK.
Back to Jim Moret, joining us, chief correspondent with "Inside Edition." Jim, I understand, disturbingly, that Joran Van Der Sloot has learned nothing and is once again up to his old antics on a beachside, yes?
MORET: Well, you`re absolutely right. And to listen to those statements, you`d think that he was the victim in this case. You know, a lot of people thought that he would return to Holland...
GRACE: Yes, how dare he was saying he with the wrong people! Is he saying that Natalee is the wrong kind of person to hang around with, the honor student who wanted to be a doctor to help other people, her?
MORET: Well, that`s exactly what he`s saying.
MORET: He`s saying that she approached him. She pushed him to go out for a drink. She approached him to take her out. It`s really sickening.
But what`s worse, frankly -- you know, when he went back to Holland to go to school, a lot of people thought he would never return. But just a few weeks ago, "Inside Edition" talked to a woman, an American who was traveling to Aruba on vacation, and she saw something that she couldn`t believe. She saw Joran Van Der Sloot on the beach at the hotel where Natalee had stayed, at the Holiday Inn, with his arms around a young blond woman. And a lot of people at the beach were thinking, Could that possibly be him? She whipped out her camera. She took photos. And indeed, it is - - it was Joran Van Der Sloot.
So he went right back to the very scene where all of this horrible, horrible stuff happened, and he`s back there basically flaunting his appearance in Aruba. He knew that...
GRACE: With a young blond American girl, right?
MORET: He knew that people were taking pictures. That`s right, a young, blond American -- well, we don`t know if she was American. We believe she was American. But he was with a young blond tourist. And he knew that people were buzzing about the fact that he was there, and he seemed that he wasn`t fazed at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A series of pictures you`re going to see now are photos of Joran being served as he walked out of immigration. Now, when the plane arrived, there was about a two-hour delay before he came out. The INS, the Immigration Services, had grabbed him. He must have been on some kind of watch list. Eventually, they released him to come out. As the doors opened, this young man -- I didn`t know who he was -- runs over to him and throws a coat over his head.
And at this time, I went up to, I told him, Look, I`m going to serve you with official court documents, a summons and complaint. This is an official service. Of course, in serving the summons and complaint, you have to put the papers out. If they don`t want to take them -- you touch them -- I ended up putting the papers right into his jacket. At which time, I followed Joran and he threw the papers out, crumpled them up and threw them on the ground. And I continued to follow him, as you can see in these pictures, into a taxicab, which he went and took off.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY WAGSCHAL, "A CURRENT AFFAIR" PRODUCER: How do you leave a girl on the beach?
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, LAST SEEN WITH NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Well, I told her I had to go home. I had school the next day. And I thought maybe she`d understand. She told me, no, she wanted me to stay there with her because the next day she was leaving and she wanted to stay there the whole night.
I told her, no, I had to go. I even lifted her up to carry her back to her hotel, and she told me to put her down. I left her there. I sat down next to her, talked to her a while, and I called Deepak to ask him if he could come pick me up, which Deepak didn`t do, but...
WAGSCHAL: Was she angry?
VAN DER SLOOT: She wasn`t angry. If anything, she was probably more, you know, upset that I was leaving her there. And I don`t know what reaction she had. I don`t know.
At the time, I didn`t feel it was a bad idea. At the time, I really didn`t. It didn`t seem wrong. It didn`t seem -- of course, now I look back at it, and I think (bleep) I`m an (bleep). What did I do? But there`s nothing I can do about it now. If I could have that moment back, I would have made sure she got back to her hotel safely. But I can`t change that now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Right. OK. Prime suspect Joran Van Der Sloot trying to explain his actions the night Alabama honor student Natalee Holloway went missing. Her family has been swatted down again in their search for justice, this time by an American court.
Out to psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall joining us from L.A. Bethany, when you hear, as Jim Moret has just told us, that Joran Van Der Sloot is right back at it again...
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Right.
GRACE: ... the same hotel, the same beach, a young blonde teenage girl, it`s as if nothing happened, as if Natalee`s death and disappearance never happened.
MARSHALL: Three things come to mind. First of all, what it`s like for you, Nancy, working in the criminal justice system, because you`ve seen criminals come in and out, go in and out of the courts and the jails, and they keep repeating the same crimes, right, because they really don`t have a conscious.
In fact, I`ve heard the analogy of Swiss cheese, that these guys, their consciences, it`s like Swiss cheese, it`s full of holes. So when they do something wrong, they don`t feel they`ve done something wrong.
The other thing is, in these interviews, he has a very haughty, arrogant, condescending attitude towards Natalee, as if it`s her fault. There`s really a blaming-the-victim stance. And I think the final thing is these perpetrators always feel persecuted. And here Paulus wants to be paid by the Aruban government because he was falsely imprisoned, and there`s this attitude on the part of this family that they`ve been persecuted, when, in fact, a crime was perpetrated on another poor, innocent victim.
GRACE: You know, Bethany, it`s amazing to me that, with all of the mystery and all the circumstances surrounding Natalee`s disappearance, he and his family act like nothing happened. They`ve never tried to help find Natalee. They`ve never just sat down and talked to Natalee`s parents.
It makes me think, what are they trying to hide? And when we just played that sound of Joran Van Der Sloot going, "I want to tell the truth, I really do, but not right now, maybe later," what a crock of B.S.
MARSHALL: Well, again, they feel persecuted by Natalee and Natalee`s family. They feel as if something has been done to them. And this feeling is so strong and so pervasive, they don`t really care about Natalee or the Holloways. They really just don`t care; it`s that basic.
GRACE: Joining us now by phone, in addition to Beth Twitty who is Natalee`s mom, Dave Holloway, Natalee`s dad. Dave, it`s nice to hear your voice. Thank you for being with us.
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S FATHER: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: You know, I was just on the phone an hour ago with my dad. And he was talking about the show, and what we were going to cover, and about Natalee. And when I hung up with him, I was thinking about what it would be like not to be able to speak to him. And I just wonder, as the days pass by and it seems that even American courts are part of not seeking justice, how you keep going.
HOLLOWAY: I tell you, you`ve got to have a strong faith in God and a close-knit family, Nancy, and the desire not to give up and continue to seek justice for your daughter.
GRACE: Dave, what do you make of Judge Paulus Van Der Sloot getting about $30,000 damages for his inconvenience when they can`t get an answer to Natalee`s disappearance?
HOLLOWAY: You know, sometimes I wonder if a lot of this is driven by their tourism. You know, tourism is down 20 to 25 percent on the island just because of the actions they`ve taken on this case. And the appeal, I sometimes wonder if that was just to counteract a possible decline and further people not wanting to go to the island, so...
GRACE: Well, it has certainly affected me. I would take a Greyhound bus down to Macon, Georgia, before I`d take a first-class ticket to Aruba. No way. Forget about it.
And, Dave, when you hear about Van Der Sloot right back out at the same pool, at the same hotel, on the same beach, romancing another young blonde, who startlingly looks like Natalee, very much like Natalee, it`s just got to leave you floored.
HOLLOWAY: You know, I look at that, and I agree with what Bethany had commented. I think he has some guarantees and some guarantees that he`ll never be brought back.
You know, the judge confirmed that back in September, released him, and he does not have to talk to the police anymore. And that was one reason we filed the lawsuit was to maybe get him back in and get a statement under oath that -- that door has been closed on us.
But I always go back to the original police statements. They took witness statements from all three of these kids the following day Natalee disappeared, and there were some discrepancies in them. And I keep going back to that, because they immediately arrested two innocent security guards, and then, 10 days later, they finally arrested the suspects.
But here`s what they did: They had the opportunity to sanitize the car. They had the opportunity to dispose of any and all evidence. They were coached by Paul Van Der Sloot. And Deepak, I read a statement just yesterday that Deepak indicated that he would have to stand up to 116 days in jail, and if there was no body, there was no case.
They obtained lawyers or were assisted in obtaining lawyers. They secured alibis. And then, for nine or 10 days, they practiced, practiced and practiced their story.
GRACE: Final thought, Beth?
TWITTY: Nancy, Dave is so right. And do you know that the only thing that they were able to find in Deepak`s car was cleaning fluid. So they sanitized the car like just crazy, Nancy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUCITA PETRO-NIXON, SLAIN TEENAGER`S MOTHER: I look at her picture every day, and I have to break down because I feel sad. A sad moment always come about when I see her picture, because it`s not fair. She didn`t do nothing to deserve this, nothing at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: All we have left tonight are these posters of another honor student, a 16-year-old girl, a very quiet girl, home a lot, never missed church, loved going to church with her family, when she went missing on her way to Applebee`s to try to put in for a job.
You know what? Most parents in this country dream of having a girl like Chanel Petro-Nixon. Her life was cut short by an unknown assailant. And several days after her disappearance from her own home, her body was found thrown away in garbage bags like trash. And it is not OK! Silent witnesses, stonewalls, police have no clues tonight.
Straight out to Jon Leiberman with "America`s Most Wanted." Please give me some good news in the search for Chanel.
JON LEIBERMAN, CORRESPONDENT, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, I`ll tell you, Nancy, there is a maniac on the loose, just like you said, a cold-blooded killer. And we don`t have many new leads tonight.
We`re airing the story this weekend in the hopes that somebody will come forward to "America`s Most Wanted," somebody who`s afraid to call the police. I will tell you this: Police are still combing that neighborhood. They`re meticulously going through case files to see if any case, not just in Brooklyn, but all throughout New York and in New Jersey, if any case even matches up a little bit to Chanel`s so they can try to get some leads.
They`re also looking into a theory of maybe this was a gang initiation. Maybe some gang member grabbed her off the street and did this to her as some sort of gang initiation. So there`s still a lot of scenarios, but just not a lot of answers tonight, Nancy.
GRACE: Take a listen to what Senator Andrews had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE SEN. CARL ANDREWS (D), NEW YORK: Someone noticed an unusual amount of garbage, what they thought was garbage, in a trash bag. And when they went to the bag, they found a body. And they contacted the police.
And Chanel had been missing for two or three days. The family had -- actually about, yes, about two or three days. The family had called the police on Father`s Day when she did not appear where she was supposed to appear. And because of that, they, I think, classified her as a runaway for us and not a missing person.
And then they got some effects from her body. I guess someone -- a bracelet and some other things and showed it to the family to indicate that they might had found their Chanel.
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GRACE: Can you help us tonight? That was Senator Carl Andrews joining in: 1-800-577-TIPS. The reward: $33,000. She went missing June 18 around 6:30 p.m. here in New York. That is still broad daylight.
Joining me right now, Chanel`s parents, Garvin and Lucita Nixon.
Garvin, have you tried on your own to find out if your building had video monitors running?
GARVIN NIXON, SLAIN TEENAGER`S FATHER: Yes, I tried. I asked the super. I asked the landlord. And they told me the camera wasn`t working. I followed up with the detectives, and they said the camera hasn`t been working for a couple of months.
GRACE: You know what? Out to Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, defense attorney, you know what`s a great idea? A great idea is to require buildings over occupancy of x number to have security cameras and to keep them working. I ran up against that stonewall a lot as a prosecutor; I think legislation is an excellent idea.
RODRIGUEZ-TASEFF: Well, you know, this is something that buildings, which are privately owned, can do on their own. And in fact, most buildings -- a lot of expensive buildings have those kinds of technologies.
And you know, the sad thing, Nancy, is, as you say, what ends up happening is that rental buildings get short shrift and landlords don`t maintain these things, as well. But this should be standard practice in private buildings. There`s no need for legislation, Nancy.
GRACE: Well, apparently there is, because they are not doing it. And as a result, crimes are missed, information is lost. And it`s, in this case, become a matter of life and death.
This girl, Bethany Marshall, was found just a few blocks away, which leads me to believe that someone grabbed her within their building. How big is your building? How tall is it?
L. NIXON: Up to the sixth floor.
GRACE: Sixth floor. How many people live in there, hundreds?
L. NIXON: Yes, hundreds, yes.
GRACE: I believe that she was grabbed either in that building or right as she left by someone that possibly did not have a car. Because if they had a car, Bethany, you know they would have disposed of that body miles and miles away, agree or disagree?
MARSHALL: Oh, I agree. I think she was taken by a sexual psychopath, honestly, somebody who likes to inflict cruelty in order to enhance his sexual arousal. These guys look normal on the surface, even though they`re not. They wear what we call the mask of sanity. Sometimes they`re married, and they have kids, and they drive station wagons.
But these guys look normal. They don`t look crazy, but they do rely on cruelty. The fact that she was kept against her will and strangled leads me to believe that there was somebody who grabbed her who took pleasure in inflicting this upon her.
GRACE: And it`s also my understanding, Lucita, that she was not sexually molested.
L. NIXON: Correct.
GRACE: You know, I want to go out to Mike Savallo, retired former NYPD detective, what do they need to be doing right now? I`ve got some ideas, but I want to hear yours.
MIKE SAVALLO, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, they need to actually be going out and doing an interview on everybody inside the building, because the last place that she was seen was inside the building before she left. There`s a very short period of time here. It was only 15 minutes before the parents started realizing that she wasn`t where she was supposed to be and meeting friends. So the investigation has to start at the building itself and interviewing everybody in that building.
GRACE: That`s a really good point, Mike, because almost immediately when she became late, the friend started calling her. She was gone like that. Mike, the parents here on the set have told me that police have called them. They have faith in police, but they`re not telling the family anything that they`re doing.
SAVALLO: Yes. In an investigation like this, a lot of the clues and a lot of the forensic evidence, I guess, would be better off with themselves.
GRACE: Well, I don`t want to know the forensic evidence, Mike. I want to know that they are doing something every day, that they are making calls, they`re going door-to-door. Have they gone door-to-door in your building, Lucita?
L. NIXON: In the beginning, they said they did, yes.
GRACE: Well, what about now?
L. NIXON: I don`t know about now.
GRACE: What about the building next door, and the building next door, Mike?
GRACE: I mean, what, do they just sit back and wait for the answer to fall on their head?
SAVALLO: No, they have to go -- they should be knocking on everybody`s door right now. They should have a whole task force of people. This is not just a missing person anymore; this has turned into a crime.
And they need to go out to everybody in the neighborhood, everybody in the area. You`re talking about a very short period of time, and I agree with you when you said before that it started in the building. She had to be abducted right outside the building or inside the building itself.
GRACE: And, you know, Jon Leiberman don`t get me wrong: Our men and women in blue are our finest. I`m on their side. But more than that, I`m on Chanel`s side, and I want to know what happened. What can they do now? What are they doing now?
LEIBERMAN: Well, let me tell you, Nancy, they`re spending a lot in overtime. They are. They`re re-canvassing the whole neighborhood. They`re looking at -- they`re re-questioning, and looking at cell phone records, and doing all that.
Let me be frank, though: I don`t think this is a case that police are going to be able to solve unless they get that one phone call, that one person who says, "I saw this, I saw that." Whether they saw Chanel when she was still alive or they saw something happen to Chanel or they saw the body dumped, somebody knows something, and that`s what`s going to crack this case, because literally the police have done almost everything that I think they can do.
GRACE: To Garvin Petro-Nixon, if you could speak out to the public tonight, what would you say?
G. NIXON: I`m just asking for their help, because it could be somebody else, it could be your kid, and we all need to realize that this is a teenager that died. And, you know, we do need that help to get that closure.
GRACE: Lucita, how do you get through every day, every night?
L. NIXON: It`s hard. To me it`s even getting harder now. It`s been over a month that I haven`t seen my daughter, will never see her again. And I think it`s getting harder on me, physically, mentally. It`s getting worse.
GRACE: Will you help us? There is a $33,000 reward to find Chanel Petro-Nixon`s killer. Tip line: 800-577-TIPS.
Lucita, how do you get through every day and every night?
L. NIXON: Through prayers, prayers from my family, my co-workers. I just need that support, because I need all the strength that I could go through each and every hour. My daughter is constantly on my mind. I just want to -- I want closure, to find out what happened to her and, most important, who did this to her.
GRACE: Rosie, can you zoom in on Lucita? She carries this around her neck every day of her girl. And I want to ask the public one more time: Can you please help us find out what happened to this little honor student, Chanel Petro-Nixon? A $33,000 reward.
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GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched all of our lives.
GRACE: Tonight, over 10 years later, O.J. Simpson back in the headlines. Hours of just-released video on the man many say cheated Lady Justice in the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown and friend, Ron Goldman.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You ever sniff coke?
O.J. SIMPSON, ACQUITTED OF MURDER: In my life?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
SIMPSON: I refuse to answer that question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: O.J.`s new lowest low. He`s at a bus stop.
SIMPSON: Then when they catch people doing it, they don`t do nothing. (INAUDIBLE)
GRACE: Thirty-five-year-old John Parsons makes a daring escape from behind jailhouse walls, flaunting threw jail rooftops with nothing but a homemade rope. This is a guy wanted for a cop-killing, and this is not his first brush with the law, correct, Kelly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s correct. He does have a record.
GRACE: Major security breech. The royal family wiretapped in Great Britain. Why? For a tabloid payoff.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody`s walking around with the Bluetooth earpiece in your ear. And, Nancy, I`ve got to tell you, it is more prevalent than you think. It`s not very difficult at all to hack into somebody`s Bluetooth device.
GRACE: The highly popular Tennessee preacher gunned down inside the church parsonage. The alleged shooter: the preacher`s wife. And tonight, she is set to walk out of jail free. You heard me right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve heard her actually say that she`s sorry for what did happen, but she never actually said that she was sorry that she done it.
GRACE: "I`m sorry, I love ya."
GRACE: Tonight, we remember Army Private First Class Caleb Lufkin, 24, Knoxville, Illinois. Already a volunteer with the local fire department, he dreamed of becoming a professional firefighter. Lufkin loved, loved, loved the banjo. He leaves behind loving parents, step- parents, and two teenage brothers. Caleb Lufkin, American hero.
Thank you to all of our guests, especially Natalee`s parents and Chanel`s parents. But our biggest thank you, to you for being with us, inviting us into your home. A special good night from our New York control room.
Good night, everybody, Rosie.
I`m Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.