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NANCY GRACE

Separate Funerals Set for Wrestler Benoit and Family

Aired July 13, 2007 - 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 case of superstar WWE wrestler 40-year-old Chris Benoit and his entire family, found dead in their upscale home, the Atlanta suburbs. Headlines tonight: Funerals for Chris Benoit`s wife, Nancy, and 7-year-old son, Daniel, set in just hours, Daytona Beach, Florida, superstar wrestler Benoit to be buried separately after a private ceremony in Canada.
Tonight, we learn the feds widening the net on doctor-to-the- wrestling-stars Dr. Phil Astin III, hundreds of documents believed to be seized from a secret copy room full of records of the doctor`s deceased patients, including alleged patient WWE wrestler "Johnny Grunge." All the while, a secret grand jury hears additional charges. Does this alleged secret copy room in the doctor`s office hold the key to linking other pro wrestlers, dead or alive, to Dr. Astin?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not only did Dr. Phil Astin treat pro wrestler Chris Benoit, he also apparently provided medical services for Benoit`s wife, Nancy. Drug agents raided Astin`s Carrollton office three times and his home once after the Benoit double murder-suicide. According to the warrant, from the first search on June 27, investigators seized the files for both Chris and Nancy Benoit, as well as five other professional wrestlers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: And tonight, breaking news in the case of a 12-year-old little Tacoma, Washington, girl kidnapped on the 4th of July during fireworks near her own home. Tonight, FBI find the body of 12-year-old Zina Linnik and name a suspect -- listen to this -- a 42-year-old convicted sex offender here in the U.S. on a work permit from Thailand. Tonight: Is he connected to four other missing children in the Tacoma area?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tacoma police chief Don Ramsdell (ph) made the announcement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is with great regret and sorrow that informing our community that we have located the body of Zina Linnik.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A 42-year-old convicted sex offender who drives this gray van provided information on where to find the body.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight.

First: As funeral plans move forward, will the feds link doctor-to- the-wrestling-stars Phil Astin III to even more wrestlers, dead or alive?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drug agents also took from Astin`s office the records of wrestlers Oscar Gutierrez (ph) and Mark Gendrak (ph). Their initials matched those of the two patients listed in the federal indictment of Dr. Astin. The files of wrestlers Robert Howard (ph) and Marcus Bagwell (ph) are also in the hands of federal investigators, who are not yet saying what they seized during the three other raids.

Dr. Astin`s attorney tells channel 2 he`s bracing for the possibility of additional charges against his client.

MANNY ARORA, DR. ASTIN`S ATTORNEY: I`m sure that when the government goes through it, depending on how they review those records, they may, you know, say that some of the other patients were given improper prescriptions. It wouldn`t surprise me at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The memorial service for Nancy Benoit and her 7-year-old son, Daniel, is tomorrow in her childhood home of Daytona Beach. They`re expected to be cremated in Georgia. Chris Benoit`s father says a private memorial service will be held in Canada for the man who murdered his wife and son.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: The family clearly being buried separately, some in Florida, where that memorial service will happen tomorrow, and then in Calgary, all the while, the feds seeking to widen the net on doctor-to- the-wrestling-stars Phil Astin III. A secret copy room may reveal records linked to deceased wrestlers.

Let`s go out to Bryan Alvarez with Figurefouronline. Bryan, what`s the latest? Tell me about widening the net and this copy room full of records on deceased wrestlers.

BRYAN ALVAREZ, FIGUREFOURONLINE.COM: Well, apparently, an unidentified source pointed out the copy room as the place where these documents might be at, and the place was raided. I think 64 boxes or something like that were taken out, and...

GRACE: My record says 68 boxes taken from one copy room.

ALVAREZ: Sixty-eight, yes. And they`re looking for the names of wrestlers and they`re looking for the names of individuals that Dr. Astin treated that are now deceased or that are no longer under his care. And there were some names mentioned at the top of the hour, and I think that there are a number of wrestlers that are going to be listed as being under his care. And I think the key is that a lot of wrestlers go by stage names, and so I think investigators haven`t quite put two and two together with a lot of these names yet. But I would presume in the next couple of weeks, a lot of individuals are going to come out as being under his care.

And I should note that they`re not all going to be WWE wrestlers because a number of them probably worked for TNA (ph), perhaps other wrestling companies around the world and around the country.

GRACE: Tomorrow, the funeral set for Nancy Benoit and her 7-year- old little boy. Bryan Alvarez, there will probably be a congregation of wrestling aficionados, as well as wrestlers themselves, at that funeral. Do you think any feds will attend the funeral?

ALVAREZ: I don`t know if the feds will attend the funeral, but I know that a number of wrestlers were on the way down there today. And WWE had a tour of Canada, and of course, Chris Benoit was from Edmonton and they were scheduled to run in Edmonton, and they canceled all of those shows. So all of the WWE wrestlers are off this weekend, so I would expect that a number of individuals will be at the funeral.

GRACE: Question. Bryan, there has been a lot of rumbling that just before the death of Nancy Benoit and her 7-year-old son, she had threatened to leave Benoit, wanting him to be home more. He was touring, I guess, 300 nights a week (SIC), some crazy amount of touring. What do you know about that, if anything?

ALVAREZ: The only thing we know confirmed is the 2003 incident, where she actually filed for everything, and then ended up rescinding it in August. As of prior to the incident going down a couple of weeks ago, they may have talked about this, she may have told friends, but nothing was done officially. And they had a number of problems, but we don`t know for sure if there was anything to the story of her actually wanting a divorce.

GRACE: And Bryan Alvarez is joining us, everyone, Figurefouronline.com. Bryan, where are the toxicology reports? Listen, I`ve handled plenty of homicide cases. You can get a toxicology report back in about three days, max.

ALVAREZ: Well, it`s interesting in the Benoit case because they`re doing a lot of different toxicology reports on him. They`re doing tests for blood alcohol content, steroids, street drugs, a number of different things. They have (INAUDIBLE) that they have gotten some of the toxicology reports back yet, but they don`t want to release every thing until all of the tests are done. And really, there have been toxicology reports for wrestlers that have taken months and months to come back. And I believe the family of Sherry Martell (ph) may have said that they were expecting results back in as long as a year.

GRACE: To Dr. Marty Makary, joining us, professor of public health at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Makary, that is completely bogus. You can get toxicology reports back in a couple of days. It should not take months and months and months. Will steroids show up -- how long do they stay in your system?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS UNV.: Steroids usually stay in the system, Nancy, between 12 to 24 hours. Anabolic steroids are essentially very similar to natural steroids. There`s a good chance they may not be detectable after a certain point. Other things, like growth hormone, essentially, there`s no good test for that, and it`s only illicit substances which stay in the system that really can be detected (INAUDIBLE)

GRACE: Well, Dr. Makary, like some drugs, can steroids, anabolic steroids show up in your hair or nails several weeks later?

MAKARY: Up to two weeks, there can be some detection of steroids, anabolic steroids in hair or skin, but they`re usually -- it`s very hard to detect, and it needs to be a very high dose that shows up in the hair.

GRACE: Now, when you say, Dr. Makary, it can show up 12 to 24 hours later, is that from the time of death? I mean, once the body -- once you`re deceased, does the body stop metabolizing?

MAKARY: That`s from the time that the steroids are taken, so the body breaks these down very quickly. And that`s one of the reasons why athletes are very good at avoiding testing for steroids, and oftentimes, it`s very difficult for professional associations to monitor steroids in their own profession.

GRACE: Out to Marc Mero. Everyone, you know, Mero, former WWE wrestler and friend of Mr. Benoit`s. He will be attending the Benoit funeral tomorrow, a great in the wrestling ring. Marc Mero, how do wrestlers go about avoiding a positive result on those drug tests?

MARC MERO, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: Well, you know, back when I was with WCW, we used to use a little bit of Visine and squirt it into the cup with the urine, and somehow, it would nullify the test. But testing`s gotten a lot better since then. And you know, I think -- you know, I`d really like to see somebody from the WWE explain their testing and how it`s done because I believe if you have a prescription from your doctor, you could pass go and collect your $200.

GRACE: Joining us also tonight, Dave Finlay, also known as "Fit Finlay," another WWE superstar. He`s a champion, as well as being a friend of Benoit`s. Agree or disagree, Dave?

DAVE FINLAY, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: Well, let me tell you first of all, that our screening and out testing is very, very comprehensive. They watch us. Every test we do, it`s watched. It`s very, very strict. It`s probably one of the best screening things out there. There`s no other company has done this, no other wrestling company. WCW tried it, but we have done it -- we tried it, I think, in the late `80s and early `90s. And now in the last year-and-a-half, we`ve got this testing, and guys are being suspended or fired if they`re caught.

And as regard to someone turning up with a script and getting away with whatever they want, that is absolutely not true. Their doctors need to communicate with Dr. Black (ph), and if that is a legitimate cause for a prescription, then they take it from there. But no, it is not a "get out of jail free" ticket. That is absolute garbage.

GRACE: Well, Dave Finlay, how do the drug tests work?

FINLAY: How does it work? Well, I`m not a doctor, but what they do is...

GRACE: No, no, no. I mean, with the wrestler. I mean, how is the wrestler tested? Does he show up at work and there`s a surprise test? I mean, how does it work?

FINLAY: Yes, it`s all surprise. You`ll show up somewhere and it`s testing. Your name`s on a list and you got to go in. They have officials there to come and bring you in, and you`re watched all the way through that testing process. And it is random testing. We just done one last week, funny enough.

GRACE: Out to Bryan Alvarez with Figurefouronline. Explain the drug testing for me.

ALVAREZ: According to the policy that WWE released after they had the meeting explaining that this was going to be done, the policy says that they test your testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. And if you`ve got a 4-to-1 or below, you pass. If you have a 10-to-1, it`s an automatic failure. If you`re between 4-to-1 and 10-to-1, as David Finlay said, they`re going to talk to your doctor. They`re going to make sure that everything is OK. They`re going to make sure that your ratios are this high perhaps because this is what you`re producing naturally.

However, the policy also states that you can use testosterone and such for purposes of injury rehabilitation and purposes of replacement therapy. So if your doctor says that this is why you`ve got these prescriptions, you`re OK.

GRACE: OK, Dave Finlay, you heard that. If your doctor has prescriptions and explains that this is a legitimate purpose, then it`s all OK.

FINLAY: Well, this testing is developing all the time. We`re changing all the time to keep up with what athletes may do or may not do to get away with stuff. It keeps changing. It`s -- it doesn`t -- it`s not -- was not set and it stayed the same, so, you know...

GRACE: Well, you just said...

FINLAY: ... it`s a developing...

GRACE: ... if you have a prescription, that that will not save you. But according to Bryan Alvarez, it will save you.

FINLAY: No, it won`t. And what does he know? He`s never been in the doors of WWE. I`m there every single day. I`m on the road four days a week. I know what the policy is. I went through it, and I have a lot of talent with me that have gone through it. It`s garbage. It`s just pure speculation. There`s a definite strong in-force testing going on. And just because you got the script doesn`t mean you`re going to get away with it. Dr. Black may just turn around and say, That is -- I don`t -- I don`t accept it...

GRACE: Who`s Dr. Black?

FINLAY: ... and that`s it.

GRACE: Who`s Dr. Black?

FINLAY: Dr. Black is the doctor who has set this screening stuff up.

GRACE: OK.

FINLAY: It`s a whole -- he`s the head of it.

GRACE: OK, Bryan Alvarez, explain yourself.

ALVAREZ: I have taken this specifically from the WWE policy, and I talked to Jerry McDivett (ph), who is the WWE attorney, who explained the testosterone replacement therapy part of this.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Martha in Tennessee. Hi, Martha.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. First, I`d like to congratulate you on your blessings and thank you for sharing your joy with us.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We`re talking about the anabolic steroids.

GRACE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t regular steroids also have severe side effects, even though they`re prescribed by doctors?

GRACE: Dr. Makary, explain.

MAKARY: Steroids are often given by doctors in very short courses. If it`s a high dose, it`s a tapering dose and it`s often given for a matter of weeks. People that have organ transplants are on low-dose steroids, inflammatory bowel disease. But yes, there are side effects, an increase in the bad cholesterol, liver tumors, fatigue.

GRACE: What you are seeing right now is Benoit wrestling in the WWE on the USA network. Repeat, his wife and son`s funeral tomorrow in Florida, his funeral and burial separately in Canada.

To Edie in Pennsylvania. Hi, Edie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I`d like to know, the clip they show of Chris Benoit and his wife hugging him during -- and the confetti falling -- it shows two little boys. Did he have more than one child? And if so, why was only one child murdered? And who`s caring for the other children?

GRACE: It`s my understanding, Edie, that he has other children living in Canada, by an earlier wife. Let me find out if that`s correct.

Let`s go out to a special guest joining us out of Daytona Beach, Florida. She is down in Daytona for the funerals tomorrow. You met her the other night. This is the widow of another wrestling superstar known as "Johnny Grunge." That would be Michael Durham. Joining us tonight, Penny Bordeau-Durham. Penny, thank you for being with us again tonight.

PENNY BORDEAU-DURHAM, WIDOW OF WWE WRESTLER "JOHNNY GRUNGE": OK. Thank you.

GRACE: The other children of Benoit`s, didn`t they live up in Canada? Were they from an earlier wife?

BORDEAU-DURHAM: Yes, it is. And you know what? I just -- I`m sick of all the controversy. I just want to make this straight. I really didn`t want to say anything until after the funeral, but Nancy and I spent a lot of time in 2003, and she really did not want a divorce. I mean, they had issues like everybody else, but she really didn`t want a divorce. She just wanted change in the marriage, just like everybody wants change in their marriage, and she didn`t want a divorce. And she loved Chris from the bottom of her heart.

And then, I mean, Chris had a hard time dealing with his other children because he didn`t see them much, and it had nothing to do with Nancy not wanting to see them. It`s just things that they were going through, and you know, different issues that all married couples work through. And so there was no real abuse or anything.

What happened with Chris and Nancy, we will never, ever know the truth. And we`re all trying to fish for answers, and even the closest people -- because I`ve talked to their family -- and they don`t even know. I mean, they can`t even answer the question. They said that Chris -- this is not the Chris that would ever do such a thing. And you know, we will just never know. We can point fingers every which way direction, but you know, I just had to say that. And you know, there are things I know, personal things, but they really, you know, cared about each other.

GRACE: You are seeing shots of Nancy Benoit, along with Penny Bordeau-Durham there at ringside. And you were earlier seeing the shots of Johnny Grunge`s two little boys, now left behind on Grunge`s birthday. It would have been his 41st birthday a couple of days ago. They asked their mom -- well, you tell them, Penny, what they asked you.

BORDEAU-DURHAM: I`m sorry. I`m sorry. I didn`t get the question.

GRACE: On Johnny`s 41st birthday the other day, your little boys made a special request.

BORDEAU-DURHAM: Yes. You know, listen, can I address something? My little boy -- yes, my 5-year-old, Chasey (ph), said -- he said that he wished -- he said, Mommy can we go to heaven so I can, you know, see my daddy for his birthday? But the other thing, as well, is this new picture that we have of Mike up there, Chase (ph) wouldn`t give me the picture, and I tried to take it from him. I said, Don`t wrinkle the picture, baby. And he said, But Mommy, I want to hug my daddy.

GRACE: You know, the other night, you said something very interesting. Take a listen to this, everybody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORDEAU-DURHAM: I`m not going to take it anymore. This is -- this is -- this is my chance to speak out. And you know what? These doctors, they have got to come down. They are no different than the drug dealer. That`s exactly what they are, except they have a license to do it. They`re a suburbanite drug dealer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The frivolousness (ph) of professional wrestling degrades the actual people who are involved in it. These are really human beings, after all, and we really are people with families and with loved ones and with mothers and fathers, but yet we`re treated as almost like circus animals in the professional wrestling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did not die (INAUDIBLE) They made it up. His mom -- they are the ones that threw the thing out there because he OD`d. He did more painkillers than he did steroids. He only did several years of the steroids, and one time he said he was going to kill me, like Nicole Simpson. We were just sitting, having dinner.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Ever since the untimely death of WWE superstar Chris Benoit, along with his wife and 7-year-old, a lot of controversy surrounding the WWE and alleged anabolic steroid misuse. In fact, the ripple has gone so far as Washington, D.C., where congressional hearings may start as soon as September.

I want to go back out to Marc Mero, known as Mero in the ring. You have been a real lightning rod for controversy ever since you spoke out against WWE policies. Response?

MERO: Well, being a lightning rod of controversy is a small price to pay to be in a position to help change so many lives. And I`m not necessarily talking about the WWE roster. I`m talking about all the kids, the youth of America that emulate us professional wrestlers. I`ve gotten so many calls to talk at schools and colleges from coaches and teachers and principals. Those are the people that I want to impact.

But you know, getting back to the WWE, you know, we also want to see changes within our industry. You know, the same people that may not agree with me right now, but in the future, they might say when they -- 20 years from now, when they need a hip replacement or a knee replacement and they have benefits, they have retirement, they have health insurance, they`re going to say to guys like the living legend, Bruno Sammartino (ph) and superstar Billy Graham, and even Marc Mero, Thanks for speaking out when you did, guys.

I don`t hate professional wrestling. I love professional wrestling. It`s provided me with an amazing life, and I think the people in the business...

FINLAY: Can I just say something here? Can I just say something here?

GRACE: Go ahead.

FINLAY: You know, Marc Mero hasn`t been in the ring for over eight years. He is not part of my business. Don`t tell me lies, Marc Mero, that you`re part of this thing, you love this business. No, you don`t.

MERO: Dave, with all due respect...

FINLAY: You`ve got nothing to with this business.

MERO: With all due respect, I wrestled, too.

FINLAY: Let me finish. I`m not going to -- yes, I know you did, but you`re not wrestling now. You`re not in the locker room, Marc. You don`t know what`s going on. And let me tell you something. The wrestlers, we all get paid enough money to buy health insurance and retirement funds. Now, if you want to buy a $40,000 watch or a Cadillac and not pay your insurance, that`s your fault.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Broadway and Hollywood were dying like we`re dying, something would be done. Remember, 104 wrestlers in 10 years. You know, baseball players, those guys are doing the juice and doing steroids, they`re just hitting a lot of home runs. We`re dying. Please, something`s got to be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Congressional hearings set down on steroids within the pro wrestling circuit as soon as September.

Out to the lines. Jason in California. Hi, Jason.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. How`re you doing?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is, they reported they had 20 or 40 boxes of steroids stockpiled. Do we know if he`s been selling to any other wrestlers in the ring or outside of the ring?

GRACE: Bryan Alvarez, what do we know? OK, you know what? I`m going to go back to Jason in California when we get back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are now looking at this case and ruling it as a double homicide-suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cops saying that they found the wrestler hanging by a pulley on some exercise equipment in his home gym. They also found bibles placed beside the bodies of his wife and his 7-year- old son.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m hearing mixed rumors from people I know that Chris was fine right up until the day that this happened, and then I`m starting to hear other stories that he was, you know, quite emotional the last few months and maybe something was really troubling him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a real tragedy and totally unexpected. I know Chris, and he`s like a quiet, gentlemanly kind of guy, and we never, ever would have expected any kind of violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to figure out what would cause such a mild-mannered, polite, influential, tremendous person and performer to do such things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: The funerals for Benoit`s wife and little 7-year-old boy tomorrow in Florida. Back out to Jason in California. Explain your question, Jason.

CALLER: Well, my question is, it`s been reported on this show and other shows that he had a stockpile of steroids in the house, like 20 boxes, 40 boxes, whatever it was. Do we know if he had sold the steroids to other wrestlers?

GRACE: Got it. What do we know about that, if anything, Dave Finlay?

DAVE FINLAY, WWE WRESTLER: I don`t know anything about it at all. I knew Chris Benoit quite well. And as everybody has said, he`s respected, well-loved and a total shock that this happened. I just can`t believe it. I never knew Chris to be a drug dealer or anything like that. He was a tremendous human being. A horrific thing that he did. And, you know, my heart and my prayers go out to all the family involved in this, but, I mean, you would never -- if you met Chris Benoit, you would never in your wildest dreams imagine anything like this at all, never, ever.

GRACE: Bryan...

FINLAY: You know, what we do as wrestlers is, you know, this is all pointing back to the WWE. We are wrestling. That`s who we are, but you know what we do? We entertain, and we put smiles on people`s faces, and we`re getting hit over the head because of rogue doctors who are not just trying to give them to wrestlers. There are doctors out there that need to be hammered and need to be put in prison. That`s what`s needs to happen to these guys.

It`s not the wrestlers or whoever else is getting these rogue doctors to give them any sort of medication. From all walks of life, this is happening. It`s not just this business, but this is who we are. We are a big industry that travels the world. We entertain people, and people love us and, unfortunately, one of our guys went wrong. And that has never, ever happened before. Whether you say it was steroids or not...

GRACE: Mr. Finlay, Mr. Finlay...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: ... with all due respect, you`re saying there`s not a problem. Elizabeth, please roll the list of wrestlers dead before their time, almost 100.

FINLAY: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: There`s more than just one person dead. Yes, well, make your point! Make your point!

FINLAY: I`ll tell you my point. You read that list, and those people, a lot of them, died of different causes, not drugs and not steroids. Only five on those lists, five died while under contract with the WWE. One was an accident. One was a suicide, which is Chris Benoit. The other was Owen Hart. There was three, under contract, died of heart attacks. The others were not involved with the WWE and hadn`t been for at least five years before they passed, so don`t tell me. There was people on those lists that Marc Mero has that died in car crashes or leukemia.

GRACE: Mr. Finlay, Mr. Finlay! Mr. Finlay, weren`t all of them pro wrestlers, whether WWE or some other wrestling organization, yes, no?

FINLAY: Yes. But is it only wrestlers that die?

GRACE: You named three people, an accident, a suicide, and one other. Marc Mero, response?

MARC MERO, FORMER PRO WRESTLER: Well, you know, first of all, it`s an industry problem. It`s not just a WWE problem. It`s a professional wrestling problem. And I want to mention something...

GRACE: Wait a minute, I think both of you are coming from a different direction from me. I`m coming from the direction of Nancy Benoit and that little boy. He is dead now, and you can`t tell me that there`s nothing wrong with a home stockpiled with anabolic steroids and painkillers.

MERO: Absolutely.

GRACE: You can`t tell me it`s not wrong for Johnny Grunge to be getting hundreds of pills, hundreds of pills, 70 pills a day from a doctor.

FINLAY: That`s not what I`m saying.

GRACE: It`s prevalent in wrestling, and it`s not OK. People are dying!

FINLAY: No, it`s not. No, it is not, and we`re not advocating what Chris Benoit had done, and no one else on this planet will, and that is wrong to suggest that. It was wrong, totally wrong, and...

MERO: Nancy, I`d like to say...

FINLAY: Go ahead.

MERO: You know, I`m an advocate for change, and the list of wrestlers that I`ve wrestled is 25. Where would you find anybody my age that knows 25 people that died unless you`re fighting the war in Iraq?

GRACE: Let`s address Mr. Finlay`s point, because it`s legitimate. When you say 25 dead, dead of what?

MERO: Well, I mean, when you look at my list, let`s talk about it. Eddie Guerrero, what did he die from?

GRACE: I don`t know. Tell me.

FINLAY: Heart attack.

MERO: Heart attack. From what? From doing steroids. Am I right or wrong, Dave?

FINLAY: You don`t have any proof of that at all. We don`t know.

MERO: Do you have proof that he didn`t die from that?

FINLAY: Marc, if you go down your list, you know that all of those people did not die of steroid abuse. You know it. So don`t...

(CROSSTALK)

FINLAY: That`s what you`re portraying...

GRACE: Gentlemen...

FINLAY: ... to this country that everybody in wrestling is on drugs.

GRACE: Go down the list, Mero, uninterrupted.

MERO: Davey Boy Smith, died of what? I believe it was a drug overdose.

GRACE: Keep going, please, if you can go through the list.

MERO: Owen Hart fell from the ceiling. Curt Henning died of cocaine intoxication. Road Warrior Hawk, what did he die from, Dave, do you know? Anyways, Big Boss Man, Hercules Hernandez, Jumping Joey Maggs, Earthquake, Chris Benoit, Mike Awesome, Bam Bam Bigelow, Chris Candido...

FINLAY: Mike Awesome didn`t die of -- Mike Awesome...

MERO: He hung himself, I believe. I believe it was a suicide.

GRACE: Wait, wait, wait. I want to go back to Finlay. Mr. Finlay, I`m not saying that this is the fault of the WWE. Any dope head, any pot head, any drug addict out on the street, they make that decision to take drugs. But when people are pressured to stay in the game, to look buff, to look fit, to be on a poster, that`s the only way they can keep competing, there`s something wrong with the system.

FINLAY: I don`t agree with that. I don`t agree with that at all.

MERO: Dave, you mentioned...

FINLAY: Hold on a minute, hold on. I`ve been in this business 33 years, 33. I have never, ever in my life used a drug. I have never taken painkillers for five years. And when I say painkillers, I mean ibuprofen or Advil. I have a clean life. I have that choice. That`s how I treat my kids. They are clean. They`re brought up in church. And I`m telling you that it`s a personal choice, and that`s exactly what we`re saying.

No one isn`t forced. You can go -- if you`re under contract with the WWE, you can ask for time off. There`s no pressure to stay there. If you`re injured, we will take care of you. And you know that. And if you haven`t been in the doors of the WWE in the last two years, you know nothing. You were there eight or seven, ten years ago, whatever it was, Marc. It`s a different animal now than it was. Twenty years ago, it was...

GRACE: OK, let him respond. Go ahead, Mero.

MERO: Number one, you are one of the most respected guys in the locker room and a guy that I`ve wrestled against. But you said I haven`t been in the wrestling industry with the WWE in over eight years, and I agree with that. But my question to you is, what has really changed? We`re still seeing more and more wrestlers linked to these doctors, wrestlers are still doing anabolic steroids and illegal drugs. When`s it going to end? We need to have congressional hearings.

GRACE: OK, guys, stop one moment. I want to bring it back to what`s happening right now. I want to go out to Penny Bordeau-Durham. She`s in Florida for the funeral of Nancy Benoit and a little 7-year-old boy.

You lived through it, Penny. Explain what the deal really is when these wrestlers get home. And I`m not talking about you, Mr. Finlay. Go ahead, Penny.

PENNY BORDEAU-DURHAM, WIDOW OF JOHNNY GRUNGE: Well, I totally agree with Dave in the sense that people make a choice in taking it or not to take it. But from my -- where I`m coming from is that it`s very prevalent and that the access is there. And they can get them, and they can take them at any given time of the day or night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: Funeral set for WWE superstar Chris Benoit and his family starting tomorrow, with wife and child, just 7 years old.

Out to John Burris, defense attorney out of San Francisco. If you were handling this case against Dr. Astin III, what would you do? Now, literally witnesses from the dead are going to come forward, according to sources.

JOHN BURRIS, FMR. PROSECUTOR, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I don`t know if witnesses from the dead will be coming forward, but I think that you have to look at the medical records, see what`s in them. I don`t think those records are going to demonstrate in any way that he is guilty of some crime.

GRACE: Oh, really?

BURRIS: That doesn`t mean the U.S. attorney -- I don`t think so.

GRACE: Have you seen this indictment, where he gives 770 pills in one day to a wrestler?

BURRIS: I see the indictment, I do, but that`s not proof of illegal conduct, per se, on its face. And I think he has to...

GRACE: OK, you know what? When I get charged with a felony, I`m hiring you, if I can afford it. Doug Burns, agree or disagree?

DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The test, quite simply, is whether or not the pills are discharged for a legitimate medical purpose.

GRACE: Seven hundred pills, are you crazy?

BURNS: No, but I`m just saying, the point is, if it`s in the usual course of professional practice -- this is the test -- I agree with you. This indictment is 3,650 pills, by the way.

GRACE: Yes, I`m talking about one count, 700-plus pills in one day. And you`re saying that`s OK if it`s in the normal course of business?

BURNS: I did not.

GRACE: Of who? A dope pusher?

BURNS: That`s not what I said. What I said is that the way it`s tested in court is whether or not the behavior is in the legitimate course of practice. And...

GRACE: That`s sounds like just what I just said.

BURNS: You have to litigate it in court to see what happens.

GRACE: OK, John Burris, is that the test that they`re going to use? You know, in all of the drug prosecutions I ever did, I never used that test.

BURRIS: Well, I think there`s a -- this is a doctor, right? So the question is, what is his practice, what is his standard, and what was the basis for the distribution? It may be legitimate basis for individuals. It may not be that it was all to one person.

GRACE: It is to one person! I`m looking at it in the indictment! It`s right here!

BURRIS: OK, so he obviously has given a lot of drugs out, but at the same time, I think the defense has to be that, look, there was a legitimate medical reason for it. It didn`t mean it had to be done and used all today; it might have been for a period of time.

GRACE: Oh, I get it, like when the dope addict goes to -- like when you go to the door and get a dozen eggs you`re not going to cook them all that morning? Yes, I`ve heard that in closing argument before.

BURRIS: And because you get medication doesn`t mean it has to all be done in one day. It could be used for a year or six months or whatever period of time.

GRACE: Well-put, both Doug Burns and John Burris. You`re giving it all you`ve got.

To you, Trenny Stovall, the little 7-year-old boy has track marks in his arms. What is that?

TRENNY STOVALL, CHILD CUSTODY ADVOCATE: I can`t even tell what that is. It`s my understanding that he had a form of autism. And I don`t know of any type of medication from...

GRACE: That`s been ruled out. It`s now been revealed that apparently there is no illness.

STOVALL: Well, in that case, there`s no reason that he should have any type of track marks in his arms except if someone was giving him something. It`s my understanding he might have been taking some type of growth hormone, which further leads to abuse and neglect by the parents.

We take children from parents every day for using drugs. And if he had any type of excessive amounts of drugs in his home, that would have been reason for me as an advocate for children to seek the removal of those children from that home. And as it goes to providing a lot of medication for somebody to use over a period of years, that`s why prescriptions are usually given and required to be refilled. That`s what that`s for. Unless he was going to Siberia, there`s no reason anyone should have been prescribed 700 pills.

GRACE: To Donald Schweitzer, former detective in the Santa Ana P.D., how do you go about proving this case? If it`s true the feds have gotten all of these documents from a secret coffee room, including dead wrestlers that were treated by Astin, how do you prove that?

DONALD SCHWEITZER, FORMER DETECTIVE: Very difficult when a doctor is a defendant, he`s always going to claim doctor-client privilege. He`s going to hide behind the fact that he`s got these medical records that are protected. And doctors are given a lot of latitude in society. People don`t want to think that they`re criminals and dope dealers. So it`s not an easy task. But I think that we should be happy that these guys are finally being prosecuted for doing this type of thing. It`s long overdue.

GRACE: And to you, Dr. Lillian Glass, psychologist and author, we`ve got the hearings in baseball about steroids. There have been hearings in practically every other major league sport. Why do 100 people have to die before we look at the wrestling industry?

DR. LILLIAN GLASS, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it`s just so unfortunate. And what people really need to see is that these drugs cause abhorrent behavior. They cause you to have anxiety, violence. It is so dangerous for your psyche and could result in, unfortunately, what happened.

GRACE: I want to go back out very quickly to Marc Mero. Marc, the funerals tomorrow, who do you expect to be there?

MERO: Well, I mean, I`m sure there`s going to be a lot of people from the WWE, which I really respect that they go to the funeral. And I really don`t know. I know I`m going. But I want to say one more thing about what Fin said earlier, David Finlay.

GRACE: Yes, very quickly.

MERO: OK, Chris Benoit, there`s a certain personal choice involved with this, but Chris Benoit said in a WWE-published magazine in 2003, Chris...

GRACE: OK, Mr. Mero, I`m going to have to cut you off. I`ll have to speak to you after the funeral, because we have breaking news we`ve got to go to right now.

I want to go to "America`s Most Wanted" Michelle Sigona. The body of little Zina has been found. What happened?

MICHELLE SIGONA, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED" CORRESPONDENT: Yes, unfortunately, Nancy, that is the case at this point. And what investigators have said is that that man that they`ve had in custody, Mr. Adhahn, who is in their custody right now, is a person of interest. He, in fact, did give authorities the information that led them to little Zina`s body.

He has not been charged at this time, but he is being held because he`s not registered as a sex offender. And as you remember, Nancy, you`ve been covering this case all week long, back in 1990, he was actually convicted of incest with his half-sister. So this is what we know a little bit about this man, and he should have gone in front of an immigration judge at that time. But, unfortunately, he slipped through the cracks. He`s not slipping through the cracks right now.

GRACE: You know what? Michelle, I know you`re putting it delicately. Michelle Sigona has been on the story from the very beginning. Slipping through the cracks is complete B.S.

SIGONA: Absolutely.

GRACE: Erin Runnion is with us. Her daughter, Samantha, kidnapped in a very similar manner, in the front yard. The grandma was there watching over her. In this case, the father was just inside the home.

Slipped through the cracks, Erin Runnion. The guy is here on a work permit from Thailand. He rapes his 16-year-old sister. He gets six months, and now Zina is dead, Erin. Hold on, I`m missing Erin. Get her back for me, Liz.

Michelle Sigona, I don`t understand their whole theory -- not yours -- that he slipped through the cracks.

SIGONA: Absolutely. And I grilled them all day long today. I called ICE. I asked for specific answers. Why, in 1990, did this man not go before a judge? Why was he not deported? And what they told me is that, no matter what person illegally commits a crime, they still have a right, unfortunately, to go in front of a judge before they are deported.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, I took my steroids before this show, so I`m ready to fight you today. That doctor did nothing wrong, Nancy.

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Is the child in eminent danger? They both failed. Nobody`s even going to be charged here, Nancy, nobody.

GRACE: Once again, Richard Herman fabricating the law.

So what do you do with the pusher, the pusher that pushes it on him, that writes prescriptions for 770 pills in one day to one person? Here is Grunge taking 70 pills a day. This is Johnny Grunge`s widow. After all that, all the fame, all the years, all the steroids, all the painkillers, what did he leave you with?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Broke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, Nancy, have the power to help him bring all the senators and congressmen and every mayor in every little small town in Florida and make the first real stand.

GRACE: Why now? Why today? Why tonight is Craig Stebic suddenly named an official person of interest? Reminds me a lot of Marc Klaas, the father of Polly Klaas, the little girl who went missing from her own home. He says, "Polygraph me, question me, search my home, search my body, search my car. Do anything so you can go find the real suspect." But not in this case.

Are you trying, in some weird...

ANNE BREMNER, TRIAL ATTORNEY: I`m trying.

GRACE: ... contortion of defense law, tell me that telling police what you saw the last day you saw your mom is somehow equal to not being able to drink and smoke in America?

BREMNER: No, Nancy, I was trying to get my point out, which is this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Let`s stop to remember Army Sergeant Chris Davis, 35, Lubbock, Texas, killed, Iraq. On a fourth tour, dreamed of enlisting since childhood. Loved restoring old cars, riding his blue motorcycle and neighborhood parties. He loved making his family laugh, including grieving parents, eight siblings, 27 nieces and nephews, a widow, three children, ages 13, 11 and 9. Chris Davis, American hero.

Thanks to our guests and especially to you for being with us. A special good night from the New York control room. And a special good bye to Liz, the voice in my ear every night, the backbone of our show. She heads off to Hawaii with her family for a vacation. Walk slow and hurry back, hula girl, and bring us one thing back from Hawaii: you.

Everybody, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.

END

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