Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Story of Survival; "Dating Game" Serial Killer Convicted
Aired March 16, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, violent sex offenders found guilty, imprisoned, then released -- only to rape, torture, even kill again. We look at the case of registered sex offender, John Gardner, charged in the February rape/murder of Chelsea King in San Diego and another attack in the same area weeks earlier; also suspected in the killing of young Amber Dubois.
What about one time "Dating Game" contestant Rodney Alcala?
He did time for sexual assaults on an 8-year-old and a teenager. Now he faces execution for raping and butchering a schoolgirl and four other women.
Victims and their families are joining us.
All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
You have all heard the story of 17-year-old honor student Chelsea King -- went for a jog in a San Diego area park and never came home. A 30-year-old registered sex offender named John Gardner has been charged with her murder. Chelsea King's parents, Brent and Kelly King, are returning to this program, joining us tonight. We'll speak to them in a moment.
But first, the man who allegedly killed their daughter has also been charged with the attack of a female jogger just weeks earlier. That jogger, Candice Moncayo, is with us tonight.
I should mention because the case against John Gardner is ongoing, Candice cannot discuss specifics of the attack regarding him. So we can't jeopardize that investigation. Of course, she can say whatever she wishes.
Where were you when you were attacked?
CANDICE MONCAYO, ALLEGEDLY ATTACKED BY SEX-OFFENDER: I was at Lake Hodges. I was going for a run and I had -- I was just about to finish it. I was inside of the house...
L. KING: What time of day?
MONCAYO: In the morning, about 10:30.
L. KING: Do you live in the San Diego area? MONCAYO: I don't. My family does. And I was home for Christmas break.
L. KING: You -- you're a student at Colorado, right?
MONCAYO: Yes, I go to the University of Colorado.
L. KING: You're going to be a teacher, right?
MONCAYO: Yes, hopefully.
L. KING: All right.
So what happened, dear?
MONCAYO: Well, I was coming...
L. KING: It's morning, it's light out.
MONCAYO: It's morning, it's light out.
L. KING: A nice day.
MONCAYO: It was a beautiful day. I was passing people the entire time. And I was coming up to the end of the trail and was in sight of the houses. And I noticed a man who was walking toward me. And he was -- I noticed him because he was not dressed in workout clothes. But it was so close to the houses that I just assumed that he, you know, was a resident going for a walk, because the day was so beautiful.
And he waited until we were next to each other and then tackled me and threw me to the side of the trail. And he...
L. KING: Nobody around?
MONCAYO: Nobody around. No. But the trail had been so populated that, in my mind, I just kept thinking that I only needed to be -- I would fight for a little while, because the trail was so populace.
L. KING: So it was a bright day and a populated trail.
MONCAYO: It was.
L. KING: He's taking a risk, right?
MONCAYO: He was. He was.
L. KING: Did you scream?
MONCAYO: Oh, like crazy -- at the top of my lungs. He actually -- he had told me to shut up when I was screaming. And I told him no.
L. KING: Did he have a weapon?
MONCAYO: He didn't, no.
L. KING: So he -- by force of strength?
MONCAYO: Yes. Yes. He's -- he's -- the man who attacked me was a very large man. He was very large.
L. KING: Did he fully rape you?
MONCAYO: No, he didn't. He didn't rape me at all.
L. KING: What did he do?
MONCAYO: No. He threw me down on to the ground and he pinned me to the ground. And like I said, I was screaming.
And he said, "Shut up."
And I said, "No!"
And he said -- he told me to shut up again.
And I said, "No!"
And then I said, "Well, you're going to have to kill me first," because I thought that he was trying to rape me.
And he said, "That can be arranged."
And there was this small moment of silence. And then there was intervening conversation that I'm not comfortable discussing. And at one point, he picked me up by my shoulders and he started shaking me, the way you're not supposed to shake a child. And I managed to get one hand on the ground, my left hand. And I took my right elbow and I -- I bashed him in the nose.
And he grabbed his face and turned away from me and yelled some things. And I got up and I ran faster than I think I've ever run in my life.
L. KING: Did you come up on someone?
MONCAYO: No, I had to run to a house.
L. KING: And there was someone home at the house?
MONCAYO: There was. Yes.
L. KING: And where...
MONCAYO: They were very kind.
L. KING: Where did the person who attacked you go?
MONCAYO: He -- I looked back over my shoulder once and he had left the trail and was kind of heading over a small hill that was to -- to the left of the trail from the position that I was taking. L. KING: In your mind, was he going to rape you?
MONCAYO: At the time, that was my first thought.
L. KING: Did you report it right away?
MONCAYO: Absolutely. I called the police from the people's house that I knocked on the door at.
L. KING: And then when you saw what happened to Chelsea King, you had to immediately react to that, right?
MONCAYO: You know, I -- I actually didn't see it. I -- I'm kind of embarrassed because it was on television, but I don't have cable. And so I found out -- I know. So I found out through my family that something had happened.
And, to be honest, my first response was one of great fear and great anxiety and, at the same time, great hope that it -- they were not connected.
L. KING: Why do you think you weren't raped?
MONCAYO: I think I wasn't raped for a couple of reasons. One, because I fought back. Two, because I come from a background that has prepared me in some ways for that kind of a situation. And...
L. KING: How so?
MONCAYO: -- three, the grace of God.
L. KING: A background and how?
MONCAYO: My father is actually a five time world champion kick boxer. And so I've been in martial arts for most of my life.
L. KING: So?
MONCAYO: And while I can't claim that -- that any kind of training was responsible for it...
L. KING: But you got that thing in the nose.
MONCAYO: I did get him in the nose. But -- but more than that, I think that there is an awareness that comes with those kinds of things.
L. KING: The conversation that you won't reveal and we're not going to ask you to even go near it, was, I imagine, crude?
MONCAYO: Yes. And not -- yes. I mean I suppose that would be a good way to put it.
L. KING: Did the -- were the authorities very cooperative?
MONCAYO: They were wonderful. I didn't meet a single police officer who was anything less than kind and helpful and -- and took everything very seriously.
L. KING: What mark has this left on you?
MONCAYO: A deep one. It's something I think I'll be dealing with for the rest of my life. Just the other week, I was running and I had to pass a gentleman on the trails. And he was also -- he was going for a hike. And I -- he had to stop and let me pass. So I had to come close to him. And, you know, I burst into tears and, I think, ruined his run. So I'm ashamed about that a bit. But...
L. KING: I'm amazed you go out running.
MONCAYO: I went out the next day with my...
L. KING: The next day?
MONCAYO: With -- with my -- my sister's boyfriend's pit bull. But -- but the next day. I felt that if I didn't get back on the horse right away, that I never would.
L. KING: Well, if you've got kick box training -- kick boxing training and you -- you're out with a pit bull, I wouldn't go near you.
L. KING: Chelsea King's parents will weigh in on what we just heard, when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENT KING, CHELSEA KING'S FATHER: You never realize that, as a parent, you also sign up for pain. The pain all of us are experiencing today is only measured by the depth of our love we have for Chelsea.
KELLY KING, CHELSEA KING'S MOTHER: Now is the time to harness all the love, the compassion we've been shown through this horrible time and turn it into the driving force of change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
L. KING: We're back with Candice Moncayo.
Also joining us, Chelsea King's parents, Brent and Kelly King, a return visit for them. They're in San Diego.
With them is California assemblyman, Nathan Fletcher, Republican of San Diego. He's working with the King parents to enact legal reforms to protect children from violent sexual predators.
Brent, what did you think of the story you just heard from Candice?
B. KING: By the grace of God, I'm so glad that she was able to fight him her -- fight him off and survive. It's very pain...
L. KING: Do you...
B. KING: -- very painful to listen to, though.
L. KING: What was it like for you, Kelly?
K. KING: Yes, you know, I have to agree with my husband. To hear, you know, what a victim has to go through when they're attacked like this, it's extremely difficult. And even, it's just multiplied a thousand times when it's your own daughter that's been through it, as well.
L. KING: Was your daughter taken in broad daylight too?
K. KING: Yes.
B. KING: Yes.
L. KING: It's -- it's amazing that they can get away with it like this.
Candice, you will testify in a case against the accused?
L. KING: And -- well, the parents can't -- you won't be for -- you -- you won't have to testify in his trial, right, because you're not a witness, right, Brent?
B. KING: That's right.
L. KING: But I would imagine you'll be there?
B. KING: I'll be there every day, Larry.
L. KING: All right. Assemblyman Fletcher, you're working with the parents to enact legal reforms to protect children from violent offenders.
Protect them how?
NATHAN FLETCHER, CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY: Well, I mean, one of the critical responsibilities of government is public safety and it -- it's protection of the most vulnerable and -- and our children. And it's clear in this case that the system failed. You had a -- a known sex offender who a psychological report said he will re-offend, he's a danger to society, he's callous. He violated his parole seven times and yet he was still let out.
And I just think it's imperative that we do everything possible to change this. This is every parent's worst nightmare. And I think there's an obligation to make sure that the first priority is public safety. And in so many instances, these sexually violent predators that prey on children, I don't believe you can rehabilitate them. And so we've got to have a real conversation about the length of time they serve.
L. KING: Do you have a specific concept in mind?
I mean do you want them to go to jail for life?
What's your -- what do you -- what do you want to do?
FLETCHER: So what we're doing is we're working with Brent and Kelly and with crime victims groups and law enforcement experts to do a full review of all the laws on the books and figure out what do the sentencing guidelines need to be, how do we improve the parole system, how do we do GPS monitoring, how do we take all the laws on the books -- Megan's Laws, Jessica's Law and others -- and really enact real reforms. Because we -- we owe to it the memory of -- of Chelsea King and others to make sure that we do everything possible so that no family has to go through what -- what the King family is going through right now.
L. KING: Very well said.
Candice, do you have some thoughts on what to do about predators?
MONCAYO: You know, I don't because I don't feel like I know enough about the system, at this point, to really offer any kind of an informed opinion.
L. KING: Do you wonder how they get out?
MONCAYO: I do wonder how they get out. Knowing what I've heard about this case, I wonder about it quite a bit. But I would definitely agree that there needs to be some changes that are made.
L. KING: Brent, do you have any thoughts -- specific thoughts as to what to do about -- about sexual predators?
B. KING: You know, right now, we're just trying to educate ourselves. We're doing exactly what Chelsea would ask us to do and that's to -- to learn as much as we possibly can before we position it. And when we position it, it's going to be very strong and very powerful. And we're going to need everybody to help us.
L. KING: Kelly, do you have any thoughts?
K. KING: We're in a position that every parent would never expect they would be in. And we have an incredibly steep learning curve to go through. You know, we're, you know, in the process now of not only trying to grieve and -- and start the healing process, but to become very educated very quickly, so that we can get these changes rolling.
L. KING: Yes.
Well, all three, Brenda and Kelly and Assemblyman Fletcher, will be back, along with Senator Barbara Boxer, in a little while.
Candice, thanks so much for coming. MONCAYO: Thank you.
L. KING: It wasn't easy.
We appreciate it.
A parents' heartbreak -- we're joined by the mother of 14-year- old Amber Dubois, whose body was just found earlier this month after she went missing more than a year ago.
That's when we come back.
L. KING: We're now joined by Carrie McGonigle. Her daughter, 14-year-old Amber Dubois, went missing on her way to school in February of last year. Amber's remains were found earlier this month in Northern San Diego County.
Police say that John Gardner, the same man charged with killing Chelsea King, is a focus in Amber's death investigation.
Also joining us, Robin Sax, the former L.A. sex crimes prosecutor, who's been working with Carrie and is co-founder of Justice Interrupted.
Carrie was on this show on March 3rd.
At that time, you were still holding out hope.
Just a few days later, you got the -- how did you get the news?
CARRIE MCGONIGLE, AMBER DUBOIS' MOTHER: They called me and asked me to come in at about 7:00 p.m. on a -- on Saturday night.
L. KING: Did you know then what it was?
MCGONIGLE: I had a feeling, yes. And Marisa (ph) and I went down there and walked into a room full of strangers. And they -- they told us that they had found Amber that Friday.
L. KING: So even though it was year, was it kind of -- what was the reaction?
MCGONIGLE: Denial at first. You know, it just -- I -- I really didn't say much. I just sat there and listened and just wanted to get out of that room.
L. KING: How are you holding up now?
MCGONIGLE: It's a huge weight lifted off my shoulders now that I -- you know...
L. KING: Closure, they say.
MCGONIGLE: Yes, closure, not all the way but, you know, some closure and...
L. KING: Robin, you told me you met with the district attorney today.
On this case?
ROBIN SAX, FORMER L.A. SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: I did. I did. Carrie and I and Moe and Rebecca went down to the (INAUDIBLE)?
L. KING: Who's Moe and Rebecca?
SAX: Moe and Rebecca -- Moe is Amber's dad and Rebecca is Moe's girlfriend.
L. KING: Right.
SAX: And we joined the huge amount of law enforcement that was there to just kind of get the status of the case. And there really isn't an update at this point.
L. KING: Of course, obviously, none of you are witnesses to it.
SAX: None of us are witnesses. We would have expected by now and would have hoped by now that there would have been some definitive answer of whether or not John Gardner is responsible for the death of Amber.
L. KING: This -- this murder.
And the -- the authorities do not know?
SAX: They haven't given us any indication at all. There has been no indication. Not only that, even when Amber died, how that she died, how long, if she suffered, all of the questions that are making it so difficult...
L. KING: Why won't they tell her?
SAX: You know, they're -- they are claiming that, at this point, that it's part of the investigative process. And while I totally appreciate and want a -- and so does the family -- want a perfectly solid investigation to maximize prosecution, there are rights that the victims have in terms of status of the case.
L. KING: What do they tell you?
You -- you have your rights, but you're eventually going learn them?
MCGONIGLE: Yes. Pretty much. I mean we went in there and it was more like just an introduction to the people. That's all we got.
L. KING: So you were a prosecutor. You to understand that.
But why can't they tell her, though?
How would it hamper the investigation to tell her how her daughter died?
SAX: Well, I don't think that it would at this point. I mean I understand there's concern about media leaks or, you know, information that there would only -- the killer would know in terms of an investigation. But there's an amount of dignity and closure that you have to balance. And without even being direct about the evidence, it would be nice to say, you know, we've excluded X number of people or we are only looking at two people.
L. KING: They haven't said anything about the suspect or anything?
L. KING: Is this pretty much standard?
SAX: No, actually. Not only is it not standard from my experience, but I actually got off the phone with Marc Klaas today. I said, "Have you ever seen a situation, in your experience, where an abducted family members have not known anything about the status of the case or the investigation whatsoever?"
And, frankly, it's even really different in terms of how the San Diego D.A.'s office and the police handled Chelsea King's abduction and murder.
L. KING: Do you know how they found Amber?
I mean did they tell you at least...
MCGONIGLE: No. They won't even -- I mean we have -- we have the reward out there. And, you know, if it's someone that deserves the reward...
L. KING: So you don't know how they got a lead or anything?
MCGONIGLE: No. Nothing. They said in time, you'll find out.
L. KING: Where was she found?
MCGONIGLE: She was found just outside of the Pala Indian Reservation on a very remote area (INAUDIBLE)...
L. KING: Was that far away from where she was taken?
MCGONIGLE: Twenty-five miles.
L. KING: Carrie, thank you.
When we know more, we'll have you back.
MCGONIGLE: Thank you.
L. KING: Robin, you'll be with us later.
A one time contestant on the "Dating Game" has just been convicted of five counts of first degree murder. He previously served time for attacking two girls.
We're going to talk to one of his victims, when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury in the above entitled action, determine that the penalty to be imposed upon defendant Rodney James Alcala should be death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
L. KING: One time "Dating Game" contestant, Rodney Alcala, is facing execution for raping and murdering a schoolgirl and four other women. He previously served time for the sexual assaults of an 8- year-old girl and a teenager.
Joining us to talk about his recent conviction is Tali Shapiro. She was kidnapped, brutally beaten and assaulted by Alcala in 1968. She was just eight.
Also here is Robert Samsoe. His 12-year-old sister, Robin, was kidnapped and murdered by Alcala in 1979. Alcala was just convicted for her murder and four others.
I know, Robert, twice before he had convictions overturned, right?
ROBERT SAMSOE, BROTHER OF ALCALA MURDER VICTIM: Yes, we did.
L. KING: Were you beginning to give up hope?
SAMSOE: Well, actually, after the second one, the trial came pretty -- or the first one, the trial came pretty quick. After the second one, we actually went for 20 years of the death sentence being there and then it got overturned.
L. KING: So he will face death now?
SAMSOE: He will die in prison, yes.
L. KING: He will -- not death penalty?
SAMSOE: Well, you know how California is soft on the death penalty.
L. KING: It's going to take a while.
How did your sister die?
SAMSOE: She was kidnapped, raped and tortured. A violent death -- he was -- he took her up to the mountains and did some very bad things. L. KING: Was he caught right away?
SAMSOE: He was under suspicion right away. He was -- he was caught within a month of Robin's disappearance.
L. KING: She was 12?
SAMSOE: She was 12.
L. KING: How -- how long ago?
SAMSOE: This is 31 years now.
L. KING: Tali, how long ago for you?
TALI SHAPIRO, SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY RODNEY ALCALA IN 1968: Forty-two years.
L. KING: Forty-two years?
L. KING: So this guy was like free all this time...
SHAPIRO: No, no.
L. KING: -- or he had served prison time?
SHAPIRO: No, he -- he was out. He did not get caught immediately for what he did to me. He was out for three years on running -- on the run.
L. KING: What do you remember?
You were eight.
SHAPIRO: Walking to school, getting stopped and him offering me a ride to school. Me saying -- you know, I wasn't supposed to talk to strangers. And he said, "Oh, I know your parents."
We were living at the Chateau Marmont at the time because our house had burnt down. So I wasn't going to my regular school. I was going to a different school. And I didn't have my regular school bus. And...
L. KING: You got in the car?
SHAPIRO: I got in the car. I got in the car.
L. KING: Has it faded from memory or do you remember that?
SHAPIRO: I remember that part. I remember him asking me what time school started. And because I walked to school, I was supposed to take the public bus. But because I didn't like to, I walked to school. And the moment he found out that I had an hour to spare, he said he wanted to show me a poster. And that's when I wanted to jump out of the car.
L. KING: Do you remember details of it?
I'm not going to ask you.
SHAPIRO: No. No, because I remember...
L. KING: You shut it off?
SHAPIRO: I remember seeing a poster -- no, because I was hit over the head immediately.
L. KING: Oh.
SHAPIRO: He hit me over the head and he cracked...
L. KING: You were out?
SHAPIRO: Out. Yes. He cracked my head open with a pipe.
L. KING: He raped you at eight years old while you were unconscious?
SHAPIRO: Yes. Yes.
L. KING: Were you -- did you testify against him?
SHAPIRO: Three times.
L. KING: Was it tough to sit in court and see him there?
SHAPIRO: I have no feelings for the man. The first two times, yes. And now, this time, no. I have no feelings for him.
L. KING: What are your feelings toward him, Robert?
SAMSOE: I just want him to die. I'm more mad at the system that -- that allowed him to be free...
L. KING: To get out?
SAMSOE: I mean I basically feel my sister's life was worth a thousand dollars, because he was out on bail for raping a 15-year-old and the bail was $10,000. So his mom put up a thousand dollars to get him out of jail.
L. KING: Do you ever say to yourself, these guys are just sick?
You don't feel any sorrow for them, but there's something the matter.
SAMSOE: I don't feel that it's a sickness that can be cured. It's a sickness like a dog that goes out and bites people. We put it to sleep. That's what we need to do with these people. L. KING: What are your thoughts, Tali?
SHAPIRO: Yes, he needs to be put out. He needs to be put down like a rabid dog. Yes.
L. KING: You would execute him?
SHAPIRO: In -- in a second.
L. KING: Did you ever face him?
SAMSOE: I actually faced him this trial. I got to be the one who spoke during the...
L. KING: The victim's talk?
SAMSOE: Yes. And I actually got to stare him down a little bit.
L. KING: What was that like for you?
SAMSOE: It's been a lot of years. The first time I seen him, I was -- I was just 14. I was intimidated back then. Then, the second trial, I was about 19 -- still a little intimidated over the whole process. Well, now I'm 44 and he doesn't intimidate me for nothing.
L. KING: Did he show any remorse?
SAMSOE: Never once. Not toward me. Not toward my family and the L.A. families.
L. KING: What about toward you?
SHAPIRO: He -- he actually apologized. I didn't -- I honestly didn't hear him. I mean he did speak the words, but I couldn't believe he was actually even speaking to me. So...
L. KING: You didn't buy it?
SHAPIRO: Oh, pahhh.
L. KING: Thank you both.
SAMSOE: Thank you.
L. KING: All right, so what can be done?
What's going to be done to protect our kids?
Senator Barbara Boxer has some thoughts.
She joins us after the break.
L. KING: Joining us now, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, sponsoring the Violence Against Children Act. She is with us in DC. Still with us, Brendan and Kelly King in San Diego, the parents of the late Chelsea King, and also California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, Republican of San Diego. As we mentioned, he is working with Chelsea's parents to enact legal reforms to protect children from violent sexual predators.
Senator Boxer, Governor Schwarzenegger has ordered a review of the way the state has handled the 2000 molestation case against the accused, John Gardner. And again, we must remind, he is the accused. He was released from parole supervision, although he remained a registered sex offender. And parole records say he should have been sent back to prison in 2007 and 2008 for parole violations. What is wrong with the system, senator?
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, it's clearly broken. And I want to compliment the Kings for turning their grief into action and the assemblyman for working with them. We all have to work together. This isn't about party. This is about our kids.
Larry, every year, 200,000 children are victims of crime, 200,000 children every year. It's a national issue. That's why I wrote this bill. And what we say is if there is a crime against a child, our most vulnerable, as the assemblyman said, we have to help. The national government has to help the localities. If they ask for help, we should make forensic help available. We should make investigations help available.
We should do everything that we can to prosecute the crime. And I'll tell you, after hearing this story -- and this is the last point I'll make at this point -- after hearing this story, I think what I'm going to do is strengthen this bill when it comes to parole. If somebody is -- had all these violations -- this man had seven violations -- that parole has to be tightened. There have to be more restrictions or the person has to go back to prison. So these are the things I'm working on at the national level.
L. KING: Senator, that might be more important than helping out in the investigation. Now, apparently the police do a pretty good job investigating. It's what happens after.
BOXER: Well, Larry, in many cases, they do. But sometimes you'll get a crime in a rural area where there is just not enough forensic help, there is not enough investigatory help. So what we say is if a locality asks for it, they can have it. They don't have to ask for it.
But you're absolutely right. We are worried, in many of these cases where there isn't a problem in getting the help prosecuting folks, why is it that someone like this gets out after a short time, when the psychiatrist warned that this person should not get out? There was a plea bargain there. You got to have strict parole. I'm sorry.
L. KING: I know you're still looking at it, Brent, but what are your immediate thoughts when you learned the fact that this man, who may have killed your daughter -- he is the accused -- got out when he shouldn't have gotten out. B. KING: Complete failure of the system, Larry. Complete and total.
L. KING: Do you think we can correct it, Kelly?
K. KING: I do. I think it's going to take a lot of people who are going to be willing to help make changes, and be very bold about it, and don't take no for an answer until we get this thing fixed.
L. KING: Assemblyman Fletcher, do you plan, let's say, on working with Barbara Boxer on things which local communities, state, and federal can work together on this?
FLETCHER: Absolutely, Larry. This is such an important issue. It's the most important thing we do. And I think we work with everyone. We work with the federal government, the state government, local governments, everybody out there. Parents, anybody who wants to be a part of saying it's just not acceptable. And there is not one more family that should have to go through this.
We've seen this time and time again. How many tragedies does it take to actually put in place steps to do everything possible to protect our children and our families? And it has to change.
L. KING: We'll be back with more right after this.
L. KING: Senator, this may sound crude, but if the psychiatric community's feeling is that sexual predator -- the violent sexual predator cannot be cured, if that's a fact, why let them out?
BOXER: Well, I'm very tough on this, I have to say. I'm looking at the greatest country in the world, America, and I now know, because I've looked at the stats so often, 200,000 crimes against children, violent crimes in one year. If you're 12 to 17, you're twice as likely to be a victim of a violent crime as an adult. We're failing here.
And it's the adults that have to protect the children. I'm looking at the faces of the Kings. And I see in their faces the loss, the pain, the suffering, the emptiness. I'm a mom. I'm a grandma. As far as I'm concerned, throw the book at someone who is doing this against a child. And that's why I wrote the Violence Against Children Act, because I look at this as a national crisis, frankly.
L. KING: Where is the act standing right now?
BOXER: The act has been introduced. We have to have hearings in the Judiciary Committee. We have to get this done. And I'm working hard on it. You know, Joe Biden -- I'm sorry, I was going to say Joe Biden and I wrote the Violence Against Children Act. I was in the House then. He was in the Senate. And -- I'm sorry, the Violence Against Women Act. This is based on the Violence Against Women Act. And that bill got passed, signed into law, and it has really helped us. So we need this follow on. L. KING: Brent, do you wonder why, if they're not curable, if it is a sickness, and they're not curable, why they're let out?
B. KING: They should never be let out. If they're not curable, as society, we need to understand that and not allow them to ever hurt a child again.
L. KING: But Kelly, you must think to yourself, there is no reason. This was not an auto accident. There is no reason my daughter should not be here.
K. KING: I think that just about every minute of every day since this has occurred. There is no reason.
L. KING: Assemblyman Fletcher, if that's true, and it's an if maybe that they're not curable, why are they on the streets?
FLETCHER: You know, Larry, I don't think it's an if. I think it's an absolute certainty that a sexually violent predator that goes after a child is a sick individual, and they can't be cured. They can't be rehabilitated. And they need to be locked up for the rest of their life.
And for the lower level offenses, we've got to have a system that better tracks where they go. We need to have a parole system that works. This is a failure of the entire system. It's not just sentencing. It's not just parole. It's not just GPS monitoring. You know, we have in California a broken system and we have to come in and look at every aspect of it.
L. KING: Some aspects are really kind of weird, Barbara. The California Corrections and Rehab said it's been keeping critical parole documents permanently, but it's been cost-prohibitive to retain them, and sometimes they destroy the records.
BOXER: I look at that as a crime, in and of itself. How can we destroy these records? Do you know a lot of these people go back out and do this? The actual statistics that I heard is at least five percent will go back after they're out. It's horrible. They never should have gotten out. They go out again.
We're losing records of these people? There needs to be a national database of these people. And I've worked with Adam Walsh on that. We need to do better. There needs to be zero tolerance for crimes against children. We are a society that doesn't get it. And we've got to move on this.
L. KING: Brent and Kelly, we can do nothing but offer our deepest condolences, and hope that from her death, good will come. And I want to salute Senator Boxer and Assemblyman Fletcher for the work they're doing. Thank you all very much.
Should sex offenders be treated differently than other criminals? We'll ask a former prosecutor returning, and a defense attorney, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (NEWS BREAK)
L. KING: By the way, Chelsea King's parents are trying to recruit 100,000 Facebook followers. You can go to Facebook.Com/Chelseaslight.
Now back with us is the former LA sex crimes prosecutor Robin Sax. Joining us defense attorney Mark Geragos. Mark has defended sex offenders. Robin has prosecuted them. If they're not curable, should they get out?
SAX: Absolutely not. Not when you're talking about a serial serial sex offender, pedophile, abductor. I'm not talking about an unlawful sex between a 19-year-old and a 16-year-old. This is a different genre, a type of predator that needs to be in jail forever.
L. KING: Mark?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don't know that I disagree with that. I mean the biggest problem -- I've listened to part of the program tonight, and everybody talks about the system is broke. The system -- the big problem is that we're warehousing probably 100,000 more people than we need to warehouse in this state. And, you know, the prison industry is a great -- it's kind of like the Military Industrial Complex. We've got the prison complex here in California.
Consequently, that's why the system is broken. Everybody wants to throw people into the state prison. There is probably 50,000 people that have no business being in state prison, that should be out. And they should concentrate on the people who need to be warehoused.
L. KING: Do you agree with that?
SAX: I agree that we shouldn't be warehousing and dealing with all of the drug offenders and lightweight problems. But what I think the problem with the system here is a systemic problem with the actual individuals within the system.
This isn't a law problem. Actually, the laws in California are actually quite good. If Jessica's Law was actually being used effectively right now, having people actually screened, instead of being screened upon leaving on SVP, through a paper check, which is a huge problem going on right now, we wouldn't have as many criminals out there.
GERAGOS: Precisely the reason they do paper checks is because there is not enough people to cover all the people who shouldn't. We end up covering people who don't need to be supervised.
L. KING: You've defended them, Mark. Are they different from other criminals?
GERAGOS: Well, there is kind of grades, if you will. And Robin I think pointed out one of the points. Somebody who is having -- a 19 or a 20-year-old having sex with a 17-year-old. L. KING: We're not talking about that.
GERAGOS: Except those are people who get caught up. Those are registered sex offenders, or can be.
L. KING: Really.
GERAGOS: Yes, absolutely. They can be.
L. KING: I'm talking about the guy with the eight-year-old.
GERAGOS: If there is somebody with an eight-year-old or somebody with a seven-year-old, a true pedophile, that's something that I think you're going to be very hard pressed to ever find a solution to that. It just seems like there is an enormous capacity and tendency for recidivism.
L. KING: What's the weakness in the parole system?
SAX: The weakness in the system is that there is no individual accountable for the people who work the system. In every other business out there -- if you are a doctor and do shoddy procedures, you will get sued for negligence. If you are a plumber, and you put in a pipe incorrectly, you can get sued for negligence.
But prosecutors, judges, cops, parole officers, DCFS workers, they are not liable for negligence, and so there is no accountability. There's no one that stopping them. The only thing that they get punished by is egg on their face on television shows like this, but no personal liability.
GERAGOS: Something I have been screaming about for years. I can get sued by anybody for anything. You can sue the defense lawyer. You can sue the cops. but you can't see the prosecutor. You can't sue the judge. You can't sue the prison guard. Other than if it's an excessive force situation. There is no accountability.
SAX: Can't sue the cops for negligence. You can only sue them for a tort.
GERAGOS: You can sue them for tort.
L. KING: Tort meaning?
GERAGOS: Tort meaning a -- where there is some kind of a wrong. The bigger -- I will come back to it, the bigger problem is we have way too many people warehoused in the prison system. We should be focused on the people we want to warehouse, not somebody -- we throw people in for 16 months, three, four years in state prison for the stupidest crimes in the state. Somebody has a possession of crack cocaine, a couple of grams of crack cocaine, 16 months. Somebody has got a second offense of petty theft, 16 months in state prison.
I can go on and on with stupid crimes. They are crimes. I understand that. But the idea that we're going to go warehouse somebody for 16 months, two years, four years, when we have serious offenses that need to be treated seriously, I think is why we have such a problem.
L. KING: Do you agree with knowing the predator in your neighborhood?
SAX: I think that's one helpful. I don't think that's going to solve everything. Look at the Dugard case. We all knew him, but nobody seemed to bother and check him out and see what he was doing. We all know Gardner. What about Sowell in Ohio, with the 12 or 11 women in the walls? These are all people that are predators that we know about, and yet they are still committing crimes. That's the problem.
L. KING: We will be back with more. Robin Sax and Mark Geragos. Don't go away.
L. KING: We were talking during the break; there is no way to profile a predator, right?
SAX: There is absolutely no way to profile a predator. That's the scariest part about predators and child molesters, is that you can't say they look a certain way. You can't say they act a certain way all the time. The one thing they have in common is they tend to be very manipulative.
L. KING: Mark, are they all male?
GERAGOS: No, not at all.
L. KING: There are female predators?
GERAGOS: There are female predators. Traditionally, it's more -- they are few and far between. But I have defended women who have been accused of this. Your show has profiled women who -- traditionally in a teacher-student situation. But we have had it in -- we've had it with baby-sitters, with the neighbors and things like that. There is really no way you can say somebody fits this type. You always have the image of the creepy guy who is sitting on the corner and it's not that.
L. KING: When a person violates parole, why isn't he arrested immediately?
SAX: Again, this goes back to what Mark was saying, that there is just not enough of the resources. Frankly, there is not the personal attention and accountability that someone who is actually sitting there, managing and assigned to watch this person.
L. KING: If you are on parole, you report every week?
GERAGOS: It's not necessarily every week. There is different levels of supervision, depending on who you are, what you are, whether or not you're on GPS. Predators, generally they have issues of GPS, the global positioning system. There's people who wear ankle bracelets. There's people who have to check in, that can't live near a school, can't live near to somebody else like that.
The problem comes back to -- you can solve this problem -- everyone wants to talk about more legislation. They want to talk about this or that. That really is not the answer. We've been doing this -- she has been doing this for 15 years. I've been doing this for knocking on the door of 30. The solution is to stop warehousing, you know, 50 percent of who we are, and take the resources and focus on the ones you want to focus on.
L. KING: Is there a parental responsibility in just insisting your children never approach a stranger?
SAX: Well, what we do know is that at least 86 percent or 92 percent of sexual assaults are with someone whom the victim knows.
L. KING: The uncle?
SAX: Exactly. The friends, the uncle, the teacher, someone who has the ability to actually groom and create a relationship. Yes, it's a responsibility for parents to teach safety methods. But parents shouldn't get caught up and worry about the scare tactics of just the abduction situation, but also should look about training kids about dealing with the people we know who could be amongst us.
GERAGOS: That's exactly what the -- if there's a problem with cases like this, it's that people seem to think that this is the rule. It isn't it tends to be more of the exception. The rule, at least in the cases in the criminal justice system, as Robin said, are generally people you know.
L. KING: Limited time. Is there any sexual predator law you would write, that's not on the books, that you would write today?
SAX: What I would write is today is I would utilize what we have. I wouldn't necessarily start writing anything. I would utilize what have. The only thing I would change is hold prosecutors, judges, and cops, and all those other county workers accountable.
L. KING: What would you write?
GERAGOS: I would unwrite the registration. I would make registration solely for who I think it was originally designed for, which are predators. I would not cast the net so wide that all these people who really aren't predators end up having to be registered.
L. KING: That means the authorities can focus.
GERAGOS: Let them focus on the people that are predators, as opposed to someone who is 19 banging away a 16-year-old.
L. KING: Why this occurs, this lady earlier, who began the show tonight, running on beautiful day in San Diego on a running track. A guy can grab her. It boggles the mind.
SAX: It's boggling and it's scary and the one thing that we can look at, the silver lining in a all this, is there is all of this activism here right now. And we should capitalize on that.
L. KING: Thank you both as always, Robin Sax and Mark Geragos.
Don't forget, the one and only Betty White is my guest tomorrow night. She going to host "Saturday Night Live." Betty White tomorrow night. Right now Anderson Cooper and "AC 360."