Return to Transcripts main page


Video Pedophile Charged in 23 Counts

Aired October 17, 2007 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight. In one of the single most shocking cases of child abuse uncovered, a 3-year-old little girl the victim of a brutal sex assault all caught on homemade videotape, police finally locate the unidentified little girl in Las Vegas. Then an urgent APB -- all points bulletin -- by Nevada police for suspect 37-year-old Chester Stiles, a survivalist typically armed to the hilt. Then, pay dirt. An arrest goes down. All that hard police work pays off. Today, the man who once trained wild animals, tonight in a cage, behind bars himself, in court today, shackled hand and foot, charged, 23 felony counts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man accused of videotaping himself sexually assaulting a young child is back in jail after a brief court appearance. Thirty-seven-year-old Chester Stiles did not enter a plea to the 23 felony charges against him. He kept his head down during the whole proceeding. Those charges include sexual assault of a child and producing child pornography. He will face federal prosecution, as well. During the hearing, he spoke only to confirm he couldn`t afford an attorney and to waive the reading of the charges.


GRACE: Well, he didn`t look that shy in that video.

And tonight, mystery surrounding an Alabama beauty queen gunned down in the shadows of her college campus, the 20-year-old beauty sitting inside her convertible BMW on the cell phone when she`s apparently approached by three unidentified men. Beauty queen Kayla Fanaei found shot in cold blood.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family hope a $23,000 reward will lead to answers about who gunned down 20-year-old Kayla Fanaei, the former beauty queen shot to death inside her own car while talking on a cell phone to a friend, the cold-blooded killing in a parking lot near her downtown Birmingham college campus. That`s where Fanaei, a junior, was majoring in psychology. Although she was in a convertible, police say the doors were locked, the top was up, and so were the windows. And nothing appeared to be missing from her BMW. So just what was the motive in the shooting death of Kayla Fanaei?


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. First, the suspect in one of the most heinous cases of child abuse uncovered, all on a homemade video movie, in court in full shackles.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chester Stiles made his first court appearance here in Las Vegas. It was a very short court appearance, about three minutes in length. Throughout it, Stiles looked down at the ground, not making eye contact with anybody in the room, including the judge. He did answer a few questions, but didn`t look anywhere throughout the room. He was shackled, his hands and his feet.

Prosecutors have added few more charges against Stiles, amending their complaint and giving it to the judge today. He now faces 23 separate felony charges stemming from that videotape that police were given a few weeks ago, which shows, allegedly, Stiles and a 2-and-a-half-year-old girl. Stiles allegedly raped and repeatedly sexually abuses this child on the videotape. He is also facing charges from an incident in 2003 with another girl, but the bulk of these charges have to do with this videotape.


GRACE: Well, he`s hanging his head in court all right, but that`s not how he was when he was with a 2-and-a-half (SIC) little girl, assaulting her, all of this on a homemade video movie. So he just happened to have a tripod with him? He just happened to have a videocam recorder?

I want to go out to Kristin Flowers, news anchor with KXNT AM 840, in court today. So in court today, he was a completely different guy, all mild and meek, right?

KRISTIN FLOWERS, KXNT 840 AM: Absolutely. It was very disturbing to watch.

GRACE: What happened?

FLOWERS: Well, he walked into the courtroom obviously in shackles, head hanging low. He looked at his feet the entire time. His hair was all in his face, looked very disheveled, and basically only spoke when spoken to. And once thing that I thought was very interesting, was surrounded by five guards at all times.

GRACE: You know, I`m just sick. This little girl wasn`t even 3 years old. And in this homemade videotape -- he videoed everything he did, and it was every single sex assault that you can imagine to be inflicted on this little girl. We have her face digitized. Very, very disturbing. Thank God for Nevada PD, who happened to catch this guy after weeks and weeks of intensive search. There he is.

And if you see the picture of him that has been lifted from the videotape, he`s not all looking down and acting all meek and mild and speaking when spoken to. He is downright molesting a 3-year-old little girl!

So to Jon Leiberman, "America`s Most Wanted." We`ve got 23 felony counts. What does it translate to?

JON LEIBERMAN, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, that translates to life in prison, plus, Nancy. This guy isn`t going to see the light of day. Throw on top of all those state charges the federal charges of producing child pornography, he`s looking at another 30 years on those. This guy, like I said, is not going to see the light of day.

This guy, who fashioned himself as a macho man and a survivalist to his friends, was reduced to a coward on Monday night when police pulled his car over, and he ended up vomiting after admitting who he was. That`s what we`re dealing with here, a downright coward.

GRACE: Oh, I hadn`t heard the vomit detail.

LEIBERMAN: Oh, yes. Yes. Well, this guy crumbled like a cookie, first of all. I mean, the police asked him his Social Security number. He said he couldn`t remember. And then after two more questions from these good officers, these heads-up officers, he admitted, Yes, I`m Stiles. I`m the guy on the videotape. I`m the guy you`re looking for. And in a matter of five minutes, he was in the back of a police car, vomiting.

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. I can`t wait to hear what the defense attorneys have to -- to hear what they`ve got to say. Holly Hughes, a former prosecutor, Atlanta, Carmen St. George, it`s wonderful to have you back, friend.

To John Burris out of the San Francisco jurisdiction, OK, John, hit me. What`s your defense? Your client videotaped -- videotaped! -- an assault on a 2-and-a-half-year-old little girl. It`s bad enough he did it, but he videotaped it. He saved it for posterity.

JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: How do you know it`s him?

GRACE: These two, 20/20 and 20/18, they work pretty well.

BURRIS: Well, that may be, but the question is, first, you got to establish that it`s really him. How do we know? Has he given a statement to the effect that that`s him?

GRACE: Well, when he got arrested, John...


BURRIS: Arrested in and of itself...

GRACE: As I was saying, he said, Oh, yes, I`m the guy you`re looking for. I`m tired of running.

BURRIS: Well, that doesn`t make him guilty.

GRACE: I`m Chester Stiles.

BURRIS: That doesn`t make him guilty of the offense. That just means there`s been an all points bulletin. Now he knows he`s being looked at. That doesn`t make him guilty. It just means that he has now been apprehended.

I`d have to say, first off, look, the crime itself is terrible. We all agree to that. The question is, what is the evidence the government is going to produce now...

GRACE: You know what...

BURRIS: ... that shows he is the person? Where has this tape been all the time? How do we know it`s not doctored? There are a number of questions to be answered around it...


BURRIS: ... of course, you have to look and see how much can the government prove? If they can prove as much as they claim, then you got to look at what kind of plea bargain you can get. I mean, that`s...

GRACE: You know what?


GRACE: You know what you just did for me, John Burriss. I thought when I found out I was having twins that at that moment, I was the happiest girl in the world. But you have just put the icing on the cake because if your defense is, You can`t believe your lying eyes, the defense has a problem.

Carmen, you want to help him out? Is there anything you can add to this?

CARMEN ST. GEORGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, I think that, you know, this is the worst of worst. Sometimes you have to represent the underbelly of society. It`s a horrific crime, and if it goes to trial, there`s a very big chance that you have to tell these jurors that they have to separate themselves from the view that the general public has of what they`ve heard and what they`ve seen.

But I think this illustrates a plea bargaining, Nancy. I think that no matter -- we`re very talented. We can dance. We can bring lions, tigers and bears. And at the end, the jury will know that it`s a circus. I think this is a definite plea bargaining situation.

BURRIS: Absolutely. I agree with that.

GRACE: Well, I got to say this about Burriss and St. George. As much grief as I`m giving them, they`re both veteran trial lawyers that have won a lot of cases. And when you`re between a rock and a hard spot, what are you going to do, lay down and get run over? I mean, you got to try something.

So Holly Hughes, what`s the state`s best evidence, other than that tape? To me, when the police pull me over for a driving infraction, I don`t go, I give up. Take me! Don`t shoot me, and vomit. I think that`s a very unusual reaction to a traffic stop.

HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: It is, Nancy. And he`s actually been vomiting the whole time he`s been in jail. I mean, this hasn`t stopped. He knows he`s caught. They have tons of circumstantial evidence, Nancy. The mother, the friend that introduced the defendant to this child, they all say that they recognize the furniture. They recognize the sheets in that video. So there`s a whole lot of circumstantial evidence to back up.

They recognize the room, down to the furniture. The mother had taken the knobs off the bureau so the little girl wouldn`t put them in her mouth. It is very distinctive. They know exactly what they`re talking about, and they know that he was in that room in that apartment with that little girl. So it`s a done deal.

GRACE: You know, something that Holly Hughes just said really struck a chord. They had child-proofed the house so the little girl wouldn`t get the knob into her mouth. And I`m doing that right now, trying to figure out what all I need to childproof. And to think they had gone to all that trouble to try to protect the little girl, and then, according to police, this predator comes and does this to her.

Speaking of the mom, a lot of you have been asking questions about her. Take a listen to this.


PHIL MCGRAW, "THE DR. PHIL SHOW": Do you want to see him caught and prosecuted?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That or dead, one or the other.

MCGRAW: That or dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes. I never thought I`d say that about anybody in my life. I`d be more than willing to do it myself.

I just keep beating myself up for it, that I let this happen to her. I just cry at night and blame it on myself. How could I leave my daughter with somebody that I trusted and this still happened? And now it`s just -- I don`t trust anybody now.


GRACE: God, that poor mom. That poor mom. That interview from "The Dr. Phil Show," speaking to the little girl`s mom. When I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago, totally, totally devastated.

Out to the lines. Moses in North Carolina. Hi, Moses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi. How`re you doing?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Chester Stiles vomiting just signifies to me that he`s pretty scared of his future in the penal system.

GRACE: He better be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I`m wondering, why aren`t there stiffer penalties for first and second-time offenders that will actually scare them this way before they even commit these acts?

GRACE: You know, Moses, you brought up something I wanted to bring to yours and all the other viewers` attention. Speaking of repeat offenders, Jon Leiberman -- listen -- and I`m going to get right back to your question, Moses -- were some other charges on another little girl rolled into today`s court hearing?

LEIBERMAN: Yes, that`s a great point, Nancy. Yes, there was a sexual assault, a molestation of a minor from 2003, where the initial warrant in this case -- before they knew it was Chester in the videotape, they knew they wanted him for a sexual assault of a young child from 2003. So yes, those charges are rolled in here. Chester Stiles has actually been a fugitive since 2004.

GRACE: To Kristin Flowers, news anchor at KXNT AM 840. Kristin, I`m hearing Leiberman and he`s absolutely correct. The other incident with the other little girl happened, I believe it was, around December of 2003, right before the beginning of 2004. How in the heck did this guy get out to be roaming around to attack this 3-year-old when they already had him on that?

FLOWERS: I mean, we don`t know all the information on that as of yet, on why he was released, why he was able to roam around and how did this happen a second time. But we do know that they weren`t able to exactly identify that it was Chester Arthur Stiles that sexually assaulted this girl.

GRACE: Yes, before coming down on the police, there could be a million reasons...

FLOWERS: Absolutely.

GRACE: ... why he may have bonded out, why he may not have been charged immediately. They could be putting their case together. and he goes on the run, a million different scenarios.

I want to go out to Holly Hughes. Holly, speaking of repeat offenders, there are -- I`m answering Moses`s question. There are stiffer penalties for repeat offenders, they just didn`t have the goods on him in time to get him on the 6-year-old little girl before he could assault the 3-year-old. That`s my understanding of police (INAUDIBLE)

HUGHES: That`s exactly right, Nancy. What would have to happen is he would have had to have been convicted of that prior offense before we could use it as a recidivist or a repeat offender. He would have had to have been on notice that he had this prior conviction, and if he had, then we could give him stiffer penalties. The law would increase the amount that the judge would have to give him, and it wouldn`t be as discretionary as it typically is. Unfortunately, they couldn`t prove his ID in that particular case.

GRACE: To Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Mike, you know, when you see cases and realize a person is a repeat offender, in all the cases I ever tried, took a plea deal, researched, investigated, there are a couple of types of predators that cannot be rehabilitated. They can`t stop. Child molesters are one of them. When he walked out of that police office back in December 2003, he was going to do it again.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: There`s no doubt in my mind that he was going to do it again, that he`d probably already done it again, Nancy. And that`s why our viewers, as I said last night, need to take a good look at this picture. If you see this guy, if you`ve ever seen this guy around your kids, let the police know so they can put together a timeline of where he`s been this whole time, and maybe build additional cases against him.

I tell you what, Nancy. I don`t think he`ll ever make it out of the penal system because people in jail, they don`t like people who abuse -- they don`t like criminals, predators like this scumbag that abuses old people and little girls.

GRACE: A 2-and-a-half-year-old little girl. Caryn Stark, Dr. Caryn Stark, psychologist, it`s bad enough to abuse a little girl like this, a baby, but then to video yourself and set up a tripod and make a home movie of it? What is that?

CARYN STARK, PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s not someone who has a conscience, Nancy. This is somebody who gets off on doing this, who doesn`t think about the fact that it`s a little girl. And he also has an opportunity, once he videotapes it, to keep looking over and over again. And so he gets re-excited, recharged by doing that. And so it makes sense, being the kind of man that he is.

GRACE: Man, Caryn, you know what? I respect you. I don`t know how you counsel or work with people that do something like this. It`s very, very difficult for me to take in.

Everybody, quick break. We are taking your calls live. A man who once trained wild animals for Siegfried and Roy behind bars, in a cage himself tonight, for the alleged molestation of a 2-and-a-half-year-old little girl.

To tonight`s "Case Alert," the search by land and by air covering 10,000 acres for this missing teen. He has severe autism. He`s got the mind of a 3-year-old. He separates from his parents who are out on a Sunday afternoon hike, West Virginia national park. Search and rescue teams find only his hat. He has no food, no water, wearing only a long- sleeved T-shirt, a wind jacket, camp (ph) and hiking boots. Temps dipping into the 30s.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy on the videotape, on the sex tape, was so brazen that he showed his face while he was doing these sick acts to this 2-and-a-half-year-old. Today, Chester Stiles in court, the man we saw in court, was downtrodden. He looked down. He had his hair covering his face. We heard very little from him. All he uttered was that he couldn`t afford an attorney. And then when a public defender was appointed to him, outside the courthouse, the public defender did say that, indeed, Chester Stiles would plead not guilty to these horrendous crimes.


GRACE: All that hard work by Nevada PD pays off. Today Chester Arthur Stiles, age 37, in a court of law after a videotape surfaces of him allegedly molesting a 2-and-a-half-year-old little girl on video!

Out to the lines. Brenda in West Virginia. Hi, Brenda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I was just wondering, what if the toddler recognizes Stiles?

GRACE: What now? I couldn`t hear you. What the what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What if the toddler would recognize Stiles on TV?

GRACE: What if she recognized him...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he was on television?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, if somebody watches it and she would recognize him, do you think it would come back to her, what happened?

GRACE: Oh, good question. To Caryn Stark. You know, I noticed her affect during the video molestation was completely flat. I doubt she is going to be a witness at trial, anyway. But if she were to see him on TV, what effect would that have?

STARK: I would be surprised if that would trigger any kind of a response, Nancy. Usually, it would have to be someone who was a bit older. She was not even 3 years old.


STARK: So it`s a possibility, but farfetched.

GRACE: To Charlotte in California. Hi, Charlotte.

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

GRACE: I`m hanging in there, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good. My question is regarding the gentleman that found the videotape in the dessert.

GRACE: Yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is his status? Is he still detained or...

GRACE: He is still detained, and there may be more charges against him. The police in his jurisdiction are trying to connect him with Stiles right now. Good question.

I`m want to go to Polly Franks, executive director of Franks organization, her daughter assaulted by a neighbor. Ms. Franks, when you first heard about this case, what did it bring back to you?

POLLY FRANKS, FRANKS FOUNDATION, DAUGHTER ASSAULTED BY HER NEIGHBOR: It was a terrible deja vu. I mean, it`s every mother and father`s worst nightmare. It`s devastating.

GRACE: You know, a lot of people have been coming down on the mother, but when I spoke to her, she was adamant she had no idea this was happening.

FRANKS: Yes. And if she knew nothing about his past, then she cannot be blamed. It`s not her fault if she knew nothing about it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chester Stiles made his first court appearance here in Las Vegas. It was a very short court appearance, about three minutes in length. Throughout it, Stiles looked down at the ground, not making eye contact with anybody in the room, including the judge. He did answer a few questions, but didn`t look anywhere throughout the room. He was shackled, his hands and his feet.


GRACE: You know, I guess it`s embarrassing in a courtroom full of adults, but he sure didn`t look embarrassed on that videotape, a homemade videotape of him molesting a 2-and-a-half-year-old little girl. Now, maybe John Burris and Carmen St. George are right, the two defense attorneys on with us tonight. Maybe we can`t believe our lying eyes. Maybe 20/20 and 20/18 have lost their visibility powers. But it sure looks like him in the videotape. I wonder if a jury will agree.

Out to Dr. William Morrone, medical examiner, forensic pathologist. He`s an expert in his field.


GRACE: Doctor, this little girl, 2-and-a-half years old, where every imaginable assault that you could think of did happen on video -- will this affect her or have long-term physical damage when she is an adult lady?

MORRONE: Criminal sexual assault will result in ano-genital trauma. She could have problems being competent of stool or bladder functions. And besides just social functions, she could have vaginismus or dysorgasmia or chronic functional pain.

GRACE: Will she be able to have children?

MORRONE: Unknown. Unknown.

GRACE: Everyone, when we come back, who targeted a beauty queen and honors coed? Take a look.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Students at UAB`s campus in shock, when they learn a bright, successful co-ed, 20-year-old former beauty queen Kayla Fanaei, is shot to death near campus. Police say she leaves a party in her convertible BMW and decides to pull over in a parking lot so she could chat with a friend on her cell phone. Fanaei apparently tells a friend a couple of guys approach her car, then some kind of conversation occurs, but the men walk away. But sometime later, the men return. That`s when the friend, still on the line, hears some kind of noise, then loses contact with Fanaei. Police arrive on the scene to find her shot in the head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is where Kayla spent the last few minutes of her life, in her car in the Glen Iris Elementary School parking lot. Police found her dead from a gunshot wound inside the car around 1:00 a.m. And what makes this so hard, according to Kayla`s cousin, is the kind of person Kayla she was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said, you know, if you can`t enjoy life, then there`s no point in living. Always have a smile on your face, and that`s just who she was. She always had a smile on her face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now all Kayla`s family has are these photos, showing her smile, reminding her of the joy she brought to everyone`s life. And that`s why tonight they`re looking for one thing...



GRACE: Justice. This girl is not only beautiful on the outside, she`s beautiful on the inside. She was a volunteer. She worked at her father`s employment. She was an honor student, a beauty queen. She had spent the afternoon helping her legally blind grandmother pay bills and do chores. I mean, you couldn`t even imagine a sweeter girl. Take a look, Kayla Fanaei.

There is a mystery surrounding this beauty queen co-ed`s death. It doesn`t make any sense. Neal Vickers with WERC News Radio, explain to me again the scenario that took this girl`s life.

NEAL VICKERS, REPORTER: As we understand it, she was leaving a soccer -- a party for -- a soccer birthday party...

GRACE: Birthday party.

VICKERS: ... and it was about 1:00 in the morning, wee hours of the morning. She pulled over. She was talking to a friend on the cell phone, apparently went into the Glen Iris Elementary School parking lot, was talking to them. A couple of guys walked up to the car. She mentioned that they frightened her. They went away. And they came back and apparently shot her.

GRACE: And was there any sex assault, Neal?

VICKERS: No, none at all.

GRACE: Was anything stolen? Did she have on her jewelry? Was her pocketbook still there?

VICKERS: No reports of anything stolen. It seemed like it was just a random killing.

GRACE: A random killing, for what? It`s not even a car jacking. They didn`t even take her car.

VICKERS: That`s right.

GRACE: To Jeff Johnson, investigative reporter with BET, what else can you tell me, Jeff?

JEFF JOHNSON, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, BET: I mean, I agree with you. This doesn`t make any sense at all. Her windows were up on the car. The convertible top was closed. There was nothing that was taken. There`s been nothing mentioned about her having any enemies or anybody being after her. It makes no sense at all.

GRACE: Neal, tell me about this location, the Glen Iris Elementary School area. Are you with me, Neal, Neal Vickers?

VICKERS: Yes, ma`am, I`m with you.

GRACE: OK, tell me about the area.

VICKERS: The area is located right across from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, campus in the middle of downtown Birmingham. It`s just part of the downtown area.


Out to Detective Sergeant Scott Praytor. He is a homicide detective with the Birmingham Police Department. He`s giving it 200 percent.

Detective, thank you for being with us. You know what? She left the soccer party. She did not have a date. It`s not as if she had a stalker that we know of. She wasn`t involved in some up-and-down, tormented, heated, tortuous relationship where someone was after her. Where are you headed? What`s your direction, Detective?

DET. SGT. SCOTT PRAYTOR, BIRMINGHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, the first thing you have to remember when you`re working a case like this, you can`t get tunnel vision on one direction. You can`t go with one possible motive. We`re looking at a number of possible motives, one of which is a robbery, a possible car jacking at the time. Even though her car was still on the scene, that is still a likely motive. You know, once the shot was fired, it`s a heavily populated area over there. The person could have been scared off, immediately left the scene.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI, weigh in.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: Well, I`ll tell you what, Nancy. Those are two motives, robbery and car jacking. But, you know, crime in this area apparently had been down. In all of Birmingham, crime had been down.

Right now, I mean, the detective is right, you can`t just have tunnel vision. You have to look at a lot of different motives. Hopefully they were able to glean some kind of forensics maybe from the scene. If one of these perps but their hand on the car, maybe a fingerprint.

But it looks like there, you know, they said her convertible top was up, her windows were up, and you could see glass there on the scene. So, apparently, shot went right through the glass because her doors were locked, Nancy. It`s a true mystery.

But, you know, and I don`t know if there are cameras on this school. That would be one hope, that there would be some surveillance cameras on that school or something in the area where they could put together -- maybe even if it`s just not great photos, try to enhance them, don`t know if there`s any video at all.

GRACE: Well, I can tell you this much, Mike Brooks: If they`re processing the car right now and looking for prints, this isn`t typically the kind of crime you start off with. This isn`t your starter crime, like a shoplifting, or a burglary, or stealing some rims off a car. This is something you graduate to, where you kill a defenseless lady sitting in a car like this. And if so, that means that, if there is a print, it will match up to somebody.

BROOKS: Absolutely, Nancy, and that`s why I mentioned it, because hopefully there will be. Hopefully -- these are recidivists, and they have done these before, committed other crimes, and maybe just graduated, if you will, up to this. But it`s just very, very sad...

GRACE: Question.


GRACE: Mike.

BROOKS: Yes, ma`am?

GRACE: Are juveniles, are their fingerprints, when you`re printed as a juvenile, are they put into AFIS, the nationwide fingerprint bank?

BROOKS: I believe they are. I`m almost sure they are, but there is still the possibility of them being involved in a crime. Now, the other thing is a convertible, Nancy. You know, I have a friend that has a convertible, and I worry about her riding around all the time, especially in Atlanta, with her top down. I tell her all the time, "Put the top up."

This woman has the top up. But still, here if Atlanta and other places, car jackings, they are up on convertibles. People like those convertibles, and they`ll do anything to get this. So that could be one of the motives, but still it`s a true mystery right now, Nancy.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Shannon in New Hampshire, hi, Shannon.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I was actually just calling to see if she had gave any description of these people to her friend while she was on the phone, if she...

GRACE: That`s a good question, Shannon.

CALLER: ... knew...

GRACE: Because Kayla Fanaei is the only eyewitness. What she relayed to her friend on the cell phone that night is really the only eyewitness account we have. To Neal Vickers, what did she say about the guys?

VICKERS: The only thing that she really said about them was that she was frightened by them. I don`t know that she ever gave any description to the person that she was talking to on the telephone. That`s never been revealed.

GRACE: So, Jeff Johnson, she said, to my understanding, like Neal was saying, she`s talking on the phone about something, and she says, "Oh, wait a minute, here come some guys up to my car." Then I think that the guys asked her some innocuous question like, "Why are you parking here? Are you planning to stay here?" Something like that. Then they go away. Then she, a few minutes later, goes, "Those guys are coming back."

JOHNSON: Right. And we know that the guy, her friend on the phone, said that he heard them talking, but he could not hear what they were saying, has not indicated that she was able to give any description of what they looked like or even how many there were. And so, again, it continues the mystery, when the only person that heard any of this interaction wasn`t given any specifics.

GRACE: Joining me right now is a very special guest. Our prayers and our thoughts going out tonight to Robin Fanaei. This is Kayla`s mother.

Robin, thank you for being with us.

ROBIN FANAEI, MOTHER OF MURDERED GIRL: Thank you for having me. Thank you for, you know, getting the word out there. We really, really want to catch this person or want this person to be caught. Thank you.

GRACE: I know you`ve heard this a million times already, but she is absolutely beautiful on the inside and the outside, and that is a very rare thing.

FANAEI: Yes, she was. And she would so hate being called a beauty queen. She was in that one pageant, and she let everybody know that was not for her. That`s not what she wanted anybody to know her as, and she would definitely not want to be remembered.

She was on the college dean list. She worked at the crisis center on the suicide hotline. She helped people do their dissertations at the safety lab at UAB. She was so precious, and she would not want to be remembered as a beauty queen.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 20-year-old was a psychology major at UAB. A family member says she wanted to be a psychologist so she could help as many people as possible. She even volunteered at a crisis center. The early-morning shooting made Kayla the 64th homicide victim this year in Birmingham. Birmingham police are handling the situation. They`re currently looking for a vehicle witnesses say left the area shortly after the shooting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re talking about a four-door dark, small car. Right now, we`re trying to determine if that was a witness, if it might have been somebody involved in it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was always a good Christian girl, never did anything wrong, loved her family more than anything, loved her friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kayla Nicole Fanaei`s cousin wants to stay anonymous because the person who took Kayla`s life has not yet been caught. But she wanted everyone to know why Kayla didn`t deserve to die, especially in such a brutal and violent manner.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re just torn up over it. It`s just unbelievable. I mean, you`re numb, you`re just -- you`re angry, you`re furious, you can`t believe it, you`re in denial. I mean, it`s painful.


GRACE: This young girl, beautiful on the inside and the outside. Tip line, 205-254-1764 or 205-254-7777. There is a $20,000 reward.

Out to the lines, Roletta in Washington, hi, Roletta.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I love your show. Congratulations on your twins.

GRACE: Oh, sweetie, thank you so much. You know what? I`m so blessed. And when I hear a story like this, and I hear the pain in Robin`s voice about losing her little girl, I feel very, very blessed, so thank you. What is your question, dear?

CALLER: Oh, I need to know, was there a videotape camera out to see the murder?

GRACE: Excellent question. It is a school. Detective Praytor with us, Detective Sergeant Scott Praytor, you would think they would have some video cameras around the school, some type of surveillance.

PRAYTOR: Well, Nancy, we`re looking not only at the school, which did not have cameras in the parking lot in that area, but there are a lot of other buildings and residents in the area. We`re checking everywhere from the area where it actually happened to the immediate area sounding it for any kind of video cameras, and we are reviewing tapes where we find those cameras.

GRACE: Detective, was she parked right there? Am I seeing the main road, not too far from her, that might make it easier for surveillance video to be picked up?

PRAYTOR: Yes. The main road is not far from the parking lot. And the parking lot, what you have to understand is she did what she was supposed to do. She pulled off the roadway. She pulled into a well-lit parking lot, where she felt safe, residential community, and was talking on the cell phone with her doors locked and the windows up.

Right now, as in every homicide we work, we have the full backing of the United States marshals, the FBI and the ATF. But our greatest ally in a case like this are the citizens. They have to call in; they have to give us the information.

Now, one thing we want to get out there is there were some people that called our office that wanted to remain anonymous, and we don`t have a problem with that, but they gave us some information that could end up being very valuable in the case. Now, we need to talk to these people again to ask a few follow-up questions. It`s all right if they don`t want to give their name again, but the information that they hold could be very important in this case.

GRACE: To those of you listening tonight, take a look at this beautiful girl, her whole life ahead of her. This is Kayla Fanaei. Her mother, Robin, is with us tonight. A $20,000 reward. 205-254-1764, 205- 254-7777.

Out to the lines, Maryland in Maryland. Hi, Maryland. How are you, dear? What`s your question?

CALLER: I would like to know if it possibly would be orientation gang-related, because my son was shot that same way.

GRACE: Maryland, thank you for calling in and sharing that. God bless him. God bless him, your son.

Neal Vickers, any word on, is this like a possible gang initiation? That was one of my initial questions. There`s no sex assault; there`s no theft; they didn`t take the car. So why go up to someone and just shoot them?

VICKERS: That`s a very good question. And there is the possibility, I would assume, that that is being investigated by the police, because they just a couple of weeks ago, they issued a report saying that there were increased gang violence taking place in this part of Alabama.

GRACE: What about it, detective?

PRAYTOR: Of course, we`re looking in every possible direction, but as far as that angle, there is nothing that leads us to believe it was any kind of gang initiation or any kind of gang activity whatsoever. Of course, I`m not going to go into what evidence we`ve collected so far and statements that we`ve gotten from witnesses, but none of that makes us believe that it was any type of gang activity.

And, Nancy, I would like to add, as far as the reward, the $20,000 reward, just a little while ago, the U.S. marshals did announce that they will be adding to that reward, effective immediately. We do not have a dollar amount yet, but it will be effective immediately, and it will be put up by the United States marshals service.

GRACE: Detective, thank you. With us tonight, Detective Sergeant Scott Praytor, joining us there in Birmingham, Alabama, trying to make sense of something that is totally illogical.

Out to the lines, Sheila in Ohio. Hi, Sheila.

CALLER: Hi. How are you, Nancy?

GRACE: I`m hanging in there, love. What`s your question?

CALLER: I want to say something. You have a beautiful person, inside and out, too. So everybody needs to know that.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

CALLER: You`re very welcome. Anyway, my question is, I would like to know if this girl was in a current relationship or maybe a recent break-up from somebody who was stalking her or possibly something like this?

GRACE: I had asked that question, too. What about it, Jeff Johnson?

JOHNSON: We haven`t heard anything of the sort. I mean, this is a young woman that was investing in her community, in her family, in her future. And so any relationships that she had up to this point in time that have been reported have all been positive ones.

GRACE: That`s my understanding, too, Jeff, not in the middle of some turbulent relationship, no stalkers that we know of, nothing. And you`re right, Sheila, that`s the first place you look. But as of right now, no evidence of that at all.

I want to go back to Kayla`s mom joining us tonight, Robin Fanaei. Robin, when you first heard about this, you thought there had been a car accident. Why?

FANAEI: I was up in Madison where I recently have moved to. That`s close to Huntsville, Alabama. And they had not -- you know, they didn`t tell me how it had happened, and I just assumed a car wreck, you know? You just don`t think that your daughter has been murdered. And I just talked to her when she got to the party, and she was fine, she was in a great mood. And so I just didn`t think anything, and they didn`t tell me, and they just let me believe it was a car accident at first.


GRACE: To Headline Prime`s Glenn Beck, hi, friend.

GLENN BECK, HOST: New York Governor Eliot Spitzer`s job performance rating is lower than ever, not really surprising considering his latest scheme to hand out legal driver`s licenses to illegal immigrants. We`ll have more on this bad idea and the sorry state of law and order in our country in just a bit.

Then, President Bush has taxed the rich more than any president in history. Sound surprising? It`s actually not; it`s actually shocking. We scoop the "Wall Street Journal" on this one.

And mega churches are on the rise. We`ll talk to the pastor of one of the biggest, Joel Osteen, next.

GRACE: The mystery surrounding the shooting death of a young coed. Out to the lawyers, to Holly Hughes, what next?

HOLLY HUGHES, PROSECUTOR: Nancy, they continue to look at those videotapes, they go out there, they canvas every house, everybody who was out there, talk to the kids at the party, see if somebody was watching her at the party, paying too much attention to her. The detective was 100 percent right: The tips in this are coming from the citizens.

GRACE: John?

JOHN BURRIS, FMR. PROSECUTOR, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, I think you`ve got to try, also, to try to see if you can infiltrate some of the local kids around there and guys to make the (INAUDIBLE) unfortunately. Somebody is going to come forward who`s going to get arrested on some case, he`s going to know something about it, and they`re going to cut a deal for them. I think it`s going to happen from an insider that way.

GRACE: You know, Carmen, somebody is going to blab, and I think these two or three guys live there in that neighborhood. Hanging out at an elementary school at 1:00 a.m.?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think so, too, Nancy. And I think the most important thing to keep in mind is media attention and highlighting this for everybody out there. The fact that the ATF and the marshals are helping out is excellent.

GRACE: You are so right, all three of you. And, again, our prayers and our thoughts are with Kayla`s mom, Robin, who`s with us tonight.

Let`s stop and remember Army Private First Class Sammie Phillips, 19, Cecilia, Kentucky, killed, Iraq. Enlisted straight from high school, he`s remembered as an outstanding soldier with unlimited potential. Never met a stranger, leaves behind parents Rachel and Ronald, stepdad, Donny, sister, Cassie, and grieving widow, high school sweetheart Ashley. Sammie Phillips, American hero.

Thank you to our guests, but most of all to you for being with us. And a special happy birthday tonight to Tennessee friend of the show Walt. Happy birthday.

Everyone, see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, our prayers to Kayla`s family, and good night, friend.