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Conan's Surprise Return; Murder in Paradise?

Aired April 12, 2010 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Conan's back and he's on TBS. O'Brien returns to late night and to cutthroat competition with a deal that took all of TV surprise.

Plus, could a former "Survivor" producer be charged with the murder in the death of his wife?

She disappeared and then died on vacation in Cancun.

And Dog the Bounty Hunter knows a thing or two about justice in Mexico.

And what's his take?

We'll find out.

And then, a 7-year-old boy is sent packing -- alone on a plane back to Russia, after his adoptive mom had enough of him.

Who's to blame here?


Good evening.

Conan O'Brien is back in the late night game, announcing today that he'll have his own show on TBS beginning in November. We should note that TBS is owned by Time Warner, CNN's parent company. So Conan and I are now working for the same people, as is George Lopez, who currently occupies the 11 p.m. time slot. He'll move to midnight. And he's happy to do so to accommodate Conan.

Here to talk about the decision that may surprise many are Bill Carter, national media reporter for "The New York Times. He's in Eugene, Oregon covering the first night of Conan's two month nationwide comedy tour. He'll be with us in a couple of moments.

Lynette Rice is here, senior writer for "Entertainment Weekly."

And Lauren Sanchez returns, correspondent for "Extra."

Here's how Conan O'Brien made the announcement on his Twitter page today. He said: "The good news -- I'll be doing a show on TBS starting in November. The bad news -- I'll be playing Rudy on the all new "Cosby Show." By the way, Bill Cosby will be here tomorrow night.

OK, Lauren, what happened here?


It's a good day to be Conan O'Brien, obviously. And "Extra" has confirmed that Conan inked a deal with TBS that will pay him in excess of $10 million a year. And, by the way, he owns the show, which means he's going to make millions of dollars on the back end, as well.

Now there's three really interesting things about this deal. One, it was fast and furious, which you know, Larry, never happens in Hollywood.

KING: And we have the same agent. I've got to ask him about it.

SANCHEZ: Right. Exactly.

And, two, it was very private, which also never happens in Hollywood. And, three, it never would have happened without the blessing of George Lopez. "Extra" learned that Lopez called Conan personally and said, do this deal, I'm OK with it. Because, as you just said, he currently occupies that 11:00 time slot. But it's a win-win for everyone -- TBS, Conan and George, who has a successful show but now will have the lead-in of Conan.

KING: And TBS in about 95 percent of the homes now anyway, so there's no difference.

Lynette, what do you make of this?

LYNETTE RICE, SENIOR WRITER, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": Well, on paper, it probably doesn't look quite as sexy as saying that, you know, you're working for a broadcast network like Fox. And this deal wouldn't have been made possible had they been able to work a deal with Fox. But Fox had the problem of trying to convince the stations to clear those 11:00 time slots.

But it's still -- it's -- it's cool, because if you look at somebody like John Stewart or Stephen Colbert, they don't have those big tent ratings that a Jay Leno or even a David Letterman have. But they sweep the Emmys every year. They're very cool. Critics like us love them. I mean it -- it definitely is a great job.

KING: And he'll have a lot more leeway on TBS.

RICE: Yes. Yes. They -- they insist that he can do whatever he wants there. He can get as edgy as possible.

KING: Here's what Conan had to say in a statement about the move: "In three months, I've gone from network to television to Twitter to performing live in theaters and now I'm headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly."

In other words, next we'll be a local show in Des Moines. SANCHEZ: You never know. If, you know what, they're going to pay him that much money, I'm sure he'd go. I mean you have to remember, he also got $40 million from NBC when he left and now he's making millions more.

And another thing, this kind of shows what type of guy Conan is. Remember when he left, he said, you know what, I really need to take care of the people that moved from New York to L.A. to do this show. And he made sure they got...

KING: Yes, he did.

SANCHEZ: -- all got great exit deals. And now he's going to -- this show is going to be based in LA. And he has said that he's going to bring a lot of those staff members back with him. So, yes, he's a really good guy. And I think it's a great place for him. He gets to be creative and have a -- you know, it's cable. You get to have a little more fun.

KING: And he has a half hour jump on the Leno/Letterman thing.

How is he going to do?

RICE: I -- I think he'll do well. He'll definitely get that younger demographic that George Lopez already achieves. I mean supposedly...

KING: George Lopez has the best young demographic of all of them.

RICE: Yes. Supposedly, it's like he has an average age of 33, which is remarkable. I don't even think that the broadcast networks necessarily view Conan at 11:00 on TBS as a threat. I mean it's already been established who's the leader in late night. We already know who everybody watches. We know now that they're back to watching Leno and they like David Letterman as their number -- number two and then Kimmel as third.

And despite a huge promotional push that ABC gave for Conan O'Brien, he wasn't able to recapture those Leno ratings. So I don't think they look at him as a threat.

KING: But he's up against no one.

SANCHEZ: Well, yes, exactly. But you know what, it's not about...

KING: He's up against local news.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It's not about ratings for cable. It's about, you know, what type of audience you're going to get. And he's going to get that younger audience. You have to remember, Leno has great numbers, but his audience is getting older. And now...

KING: Up by 10 years. SANCHEZ: Yes. And now, Conan has this young audience. I mean he started Twittering and got a massive amount of followers -- young followers. And now they're going to follow him to TBS, which is unbelievable. That's what you want, you want those young viewers.

RICE: Yes, TBS is definitely digging the fact that they've got a couple of 40 year old -- 40 plus men now, like George and now Conan -- entertaining twenty and thirtysomethings. I mean that's a pretty cool thing to brag about.

KING: Does he keep Max Weinberg and the whole crew there, the band and everything?

Do you know?

RICE: I -- yes, I think he's going to keep his whole crew.

SANCHEZ: Well, they've got Jeff Ross, the E.P. (ph)

RICE: Yes.

KING: I saw Jeff last week.

RICE: The key is if they -- if they get Andy Richter, if he comes along, because there's a lot of people that love that man.

SANCHEZ: And there's no word yet. But...

RICE: Yes.

SANCHEZ: And he owns it. He owns the show. I mean it's incredible.

RICE: That's the best.

KING: And it starts when, November?

RICE: November. They'll have the promotional push off the baseball play-offs, which will be a good thing, because if they started in September, they'd have to preempt it. So just start it after baseball.

KING: TBS has...

RICE: The promos start tonight.

SANCHEZ: Yes, TBS is going to spend a lot of money, they said, on promotion. They don't have an exact start date, but they did say it was going to be in November.

KING: OK, Bill Carter has now joined us from Eugene, Oregon. He's there to be around for Conan's opening night.

He opens tonight, right, on his tour, Bill?

BILL CARTER, NATIONAL MEDIA REPORTER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": That's right. This is his first night, Larry, here in sunny Eugene. It just started to rain.

KING: And you're going to -- are you -- how -- how many -- how much time are you going to spend on this tour?

Or are you just doing a one night coverage and back to New York?

CARTER: Well, I'll do this one, I'll probably do L.A. and then I'll probably do New York. But I thought I should come to the first one and see -- see the scene and everything.

KING: All right. You're always in on the know.

Are you surprised by this?

CARTER: I -- I was surprised it happened. I didn't -- I mean there was no glimmer or hint that this was going on. And, frankly, I thought the Fox thing was really the best and only option, it seemed, for -- for Conan to be really competitive. But I think TBS came up with a very aggressive offer. And Fox was not really moving forward with their offer. So it happened really fast.

But it -- it does surprise me, in a way. I didn't think he would jump to cable. I thought that he would want to stay on network and be, you know, one of network players.

KING: Well, now he's part of our family, the Time Warner Group.

How's he going to do, do you think?

CARTER: Larry, I missed that question.

KING: I said he's now part of the Time Warner Group, making him a sister to -- a sister to our setup here at CNN.

CARTER: That's right.

KING: How do you think he's going to do?

CARTER: Well, it's going to be interesting, because instead of competing against, you know, David Letterman, he's now going to be competing, really, against John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who have established themselves as the cable guys in late night. So it's going to be more -- you know, a very young crowd being split up in a -- in a lot of different ways, because that's Conan's audience and that's the audience on Comedy Central. And I think, I -- I expect him to do well. And he probably won't have to worry about, you know, big numbers. I think he'll do a good, young audience. And he'll be very free -- creatively free, I think, to do what he wants to do without a lot of interference from, you know, what -- what he used to have at the network.

KING: We'll be back with Bill Carter, Lynette Rice and Lauren Sanchez right after this.


KING: Back in January, Conan said he wouldn't move "The Tonight Show" back 30 minutes so Jay Leno could start at 11:30.

Here's how George Lopez joked about that at the time.


GEORGE LOPEZ, HOST: Conan O'Brien sent a letter saying he wouldn't move to 12:00 to make room for Jay Leno at 11:35, which I don't understand, because Latinos have no problems being told to come into work a half hour later.




KING: All right. Are you surprised, Lynette Rice, that George Lopez completely agreed with this move to go back a half hour later?

RICE: You know, I -- I'm not surprised. I -- I think having a lead-in like Conan is going to be just incredible for him. I mean, he's had -- he's definitely enjoyed some press, because he's starting this new late night talk show on TBS. But he's not getting the kind of press that the late night stars are getting, you know, that Conan has gotten when he -- he left Fox.

Now, with Conan coming in, there's going to be so much more attention not only on Conan, but what George is doing afterwards. I mean, it's a huge boom for the whole late night lineup.

KING: And do you think Fox wasn't aggressive here?

SANCHEZ: No, I think Fox was being as aggressive as they could be. They were just moving like molasses. And I think what happened is T.B. -- TBS came in and just swiped him up.

I mean, you have to remember, the logistics of Fox bringing Conan in -- was a lot and it was hard, because he would only be on 60 percent because of -- you know, of the entire country because they already had sitcoms that were in that place. So you know how that works. So his ratings probably wouldn't be as successful as they'd like them to be in the beginning.

KING: Bill Carter, isn't all of this inside baseball?

In other words, the family in Des Moines, they don't know what the ratings are, they just know what they like. And frankly, there -- there's no difference today between cable and network, is there?

It's either channel 14 or channel 111.

CARTER: For the most part. I mean, TBS is in 87 percent of homes, which is basically full coverage. And, frankly, more than Conan would have had at Fox to begin with. So you can see that's appealing for him. But you're right, it's true that cable is -- is an equalizer now. And, also, people watch -- especially the young audience -- are watching online. So -- so Conan is going to be accessible, pretty much as accessible as he was on the network.

KING: Are you -- are you betting, Bill, that he will do very well at 11:00?

CARTER: I'm -- you know, I -- I'm sure he's going to do well. You know, it's going to be hard to judge in terms of if we want to look at what he used to do on "The Tonight Show." He won't have as many viewers, I don't think.

But I think he's going to be very free. I think his show will be better. That's what I think will really be better. I think his show is going to be freer and much more like it was the last week, when he just let it go and really performed at a really high level.

I think. You're going to see much more of that from Conan on -- on TBS.

KING: So that he'll be more edgy?

CARTER: I think so. I think he'll -- there's nothing really to hold him back, really, on cable. I think he'll have a much more free and open style than did he. And, you know, "The Tonight Show," he had to try to tailor it to a really mass audience, which he really wasn't getting. He was getting, you know, about two million less than Leno had gotten.

So here he is -- I think he can just say here's my core audience, I'm going to speak to them. I'm going to be as wild and crazy and creative as I can be.

KING: We'll be back with some more moments with Bill Carter, Lynette Rice and Lauren Sanchez.

Bill Cosby tomorrow.

More "Tonight" next.

Don't go away.



KING: An hour with Willie on Friday night. That's going to be fun. Two great songwriters told me the other day he's the best singer alive, Willie Nelson.

Bill Carter, he's at "The New York Times" -- he's with "The New York Times," the national media reporter. He's in Eugene, Oregon because tonight, Conan O'Brien's tour starts. It's titled, "Legally Prohibited from Being on Television Tour." It kicks off tonight, the first time Conan's ever done standup in theaters. Lynette Rice is senior writer with "Entertainment Weekly".

And Lauren Sanchez is correspondent for "Extra".

OK, what about his lead-in, Lauren?

SANCHEZ: Well...

KING: His lead-in is what on TBS?

What does TBS have?

SANCHEZ: "Family Guy." It's the perfect lead-in.

KING: Is that an hour show?

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's the perfect lead-in. It's a half hour. It's a perfect lead-in for Conan O'Brien. I believe it's a half hour. I hope it is. Because it's that younger audience. It's comedy. It's funny. I mean it's a perfect lead-in for him. And then once he gets...

KING: And this has a good audience?

SANCHEZ: Yes, a great -- a huge audience. And another big thing about Conan going to, as he said, basic cable, "Extra" has learned that his budget for the show is going to be the same as it was at NBC. So that's...

KING: Well, Time Warner has a...

SANCHEZ: -- that's pretty good. Yes.


SANCHEZ: That's pretty good for basic cable. Not so bad.

KING: What about where he's going to do the show from, Lynette?

RICE: Well, right now, they're saying he'll -- he'll be in LA, so he'll be able to retain that staff that he had before. The key is where.

I mean, there's a suite opening back at the -- you know, the Universal lot, where he shot his last show.

KING: He could rent from NBC?

RICE: Wouldn't that be nice?

That would be so nice of them.

KING: Because Jay will rent -- Bill Maher rents from CBS.

RICE: Yes. And it's the perfect (INAUDIBLE). I wonder if he'd want to go there to be like bad, you know, juju in there? SANCHEZ: No, I don't think so. I mean, you know, you go...

KING: All right...

SANCHEZ: -- where you go.

KING: Mr. Carter, you are the dean of this group.

Where will he broadcast from?

CARTER: Yes. I would bet not from the NBC studio, but not because he wouldn't like it. I think he would like it. But I think NBC might feel -- and I think that -- I have -- I've already heard that they're not that comfortable with the idea, although, frankly, if no one else rents it, they'd be silly not to rent it to him.

But I -- I would bet he's going to look for space elsewhere. That -- that would be my expectation.

KING: So, Bill, in -- in television circles, this -- would you call this a major surprise?

CARTER: Yes, I would. And I did write it that way. I -- I feel like, you know, it's very hard these days to keep anything quiet at all. And -- and all we heard was that Fox was still talking to him. And they were. And TBS very quietly came in around the side door.

And -- as I said, I didn't really expect that, because when the possibilities were laid out, it didn't seem that this was where he would wind up. And TBS -- you know, TBS has not had a real hit show of its own before. And now they have a guy who's basically been the signature star of -- of the people under 40, let's say, in late night for the last 10 years. That's a big coup for them, a very big coup.

KING: TBS and TNT, their hits have been basketball and baseball. TBS gets the play-offs.

CARTER: That's right. That's right. And...

KING: By the way...

CARTER: And that will help Conan, too.

KING: Have you...

CARTER: -- because it will give him some exposure.

KING: Have you, Bill, interviewed Phil Kent, who TBS answers to him in the -- in the nomenclature of all this group.

Has Phil given you quotes for the story?

CARTER: I -- I spoke to Steve Koonin, who's the guy who made the deal for -- for TBS, who's the head of Turner Entertainment. And he met with Conan personally. And, of course, he also is the guy who talked to George Lopez and -- and said to George, this is a good idea for you to -- to move back an hour. And George agreed.

KING: So how big is it to you, Lynette?

Is "Entertainment Weekly" going cover with this?

RICE: Absolutely. I mean we hope -- we -- we try to go after the viewers that he tries to appeal to -- a younger demographic. This has been -- you know, we already have somebody up there alongside Bill Carter watching his -- his comedy act tonight. And we'll definitely cover it.

I mean, it's going to be a great story. If anything, it will definitely Dog what the networks are doing. It will steal all the attention away from Leno and Letterman and they'll be so irrelevant (INAUDIBLE)...

KING: And "Extra," of course, will do 33-and-a-half hours.



SANCHEZ: Yes. Exactly. Of course they will.

Are you kidding?

"Extra" will have this...

KING: A picture of his cousin...

SANCHEZ: -- wall to wall coverage of this.

KING: A picture of his cousin watching TBS three years ago.

SANCHEZ: You know what, that's tomorrow. So don't forget to watch on "Extra".

No, but you know what?

George Lopez said, I thought, a great quote. And he said, it's the beginning of a new era in late night comedy.

KING: It is.

SANCHEZ: And maybe it really is. I like that.

KING: Thank you all very much.

Bill Carter, as always.

Lynette Rice.

Lauren, you're going to hang around and talk about the next story a little.

Nightmare in Mexico -- did a former "Survivor" producer have anything to do with his wife's death in Cancun?

Dog the Bounty Hunter will be here, too.

Don't go away.


KING: A TV producer who at one time worked on "Survivor" has been questioned in the death of his wife, who disappeared during their vacation in Cancun.

There you see the couple.

And then she turned up dead.

Bruce Barisford Redman is free. He's pending results from forensic tests. He can't leave Mexico, though.

His wife, Monica's body, was found in a sewer.

"Extra's" Lauren Sanchez remains us with to talk about the case.

And Dog the Bounty Hunter, Duane Chapman, is here, star of A&E's reality series, "Dog the Bounty Hunter." His new book, "Where Mercy is Given" -- "Where Mercy is Shown, Mercy is Given." There you see its cover.

We'll talk to Dog in a couple of moments.

But some quick questions for Lauren.

What's the latest on this?

SANCHEZ: Well, "Extra" has learned -- and this is what they're saying -- is that Bruce Barisford-Redman and his wife went to this posh resort in Mexico to try and repair their relationship. Allegedly, he had cheated on her. They brought their two kids and they were trying to reconcile.

Sources are saying that they were fighting and people saw them arguing -- arguing and that he apparently tried to hit her. And then after that, no one saw her. And then two days later, she was found in a sewer strangled.

And Bruce Barisford-Redman is the prime suspect in this. Of course, he's...

KING: He's no longer with "Survivor?"

SANCHEZ: No. He's no longer with "Survivor." He's an ex- producer of "Survivor." And he was a senior producer "Survivor".

And they're saying that he -- that he is going to be charged with this, that a charge is imminent right now.

KING: They've got to come up with some forensic proof if the... SANCHEZ: That's what they're waiting for right now, is they're waiting for the forensics on this.

KING: And in Mexico, they can hold you without charges?

SANCHEZ: They can hold you without charges. And another thing that we have learned is that he has hired a high profile defense attorney. And that's what you were talking about with Dog, that he had hired an attorney that he is very familiar with.

KING: He's familiar with Mexico?


KING: And there's a lot of crime in Mexico right now.

SANCHEZ: A lot of crime, yes. I mean you -- well, you know, we're hearing about all the crime and all the, you know, drugs, you know, that's going on right now. And -- but that's also on -- on the U.S. border between, you know, Mexico. But at Cancun, you know, the crime -- Cancun, Cabo San Lucas...

KING: Cancun is an invented resort.


KING: There was nothing there.

SANCHEZ: Exactly. It's and -- they were at a posh private resort. So there's a lot of questions that still need to be answered in this one.

KING: Is he still back in television working?

SANCHEZ: We don't know that right now. I don't know if he's still in television.

KING: Thanks, Lauren.

We'll tune into "Extra" and find out.


KING: Lauren Sanchez, special correspondent for "Extra."

Joining us now from Honolulu, Duane "Dog" Chapman, as we said, star of his own reality series and author of that new book.

The suspect, if he can be called that, has been conferring with Mexican Attorney Eduardo Amerena.

What do you know, about him, Dog?

DUANE "DOG" CHAPMAN, STAR, "DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER": Well, Eduardo is my attorney for, you know, the case that I had in Mexico. I would say not just because he won my case, but we checked, you know, throughout Mexico the whole country. And he was recommended to be the one of the best and turned out to be one of the best attorneys. You know, he's out of Mexico City.

But I talked to him today. He said that he had, you know, talked with this -- with the defendant, but hasn't actually been retained yet, but is, you know, waiting and to an extensive talk with him yesterday.

So if the guy needs a good lawyer, you know, this is the guy to get from Mexico.

KING: Where is he based, the attorney?

Is he based in Mexico?

CHAPMAN: Yes, sir. He's based out of Mexico City, Larry. He's based right there.

KING: Would you say, Dog, on your law experience -- your long experience in and around the criminal courts and endeavors, that it doesn't look good for the suspect, if he can be called that?

CHAPMAN: Well, one of the main things in Mexico that we don't have here, in America, you have the presumption of innocence before you're found guilty. In Mexico, you're guilty and you have to prove you're innocent. There is no bail for murder, so if he's charged with murder, they'll -- he'll hold him there.

The system goes a lot faster. If you are sentenced and found guilty for murder, there's no death penalty in Mexico and there's not a sentence over 50 years. They believe that's inhumane.

So, but he's got one of the greatest attorneys there. There must be something, because usually, when you go to Mexico, Larry, you -- when you're visiting there, you become a citizen. So they consider that a citizen of Mexico was murdered. The guy would probably be in jail right now unless there's some kind of evidence that they're, you know, really trying to confirm.

So it could go either way. You -- you've got to have a great attorney that knows his surrounding. And he picked the right one.

KING: If you're visiting, you're a citizen?

CHAPMAN: Well, if you're -- when you -- once you cross the border into Mexico, you became -- you become a Mexico citizen, even if you're a visitor. So all the laws are the same as -- to you, as a citizen. So you know which -- which -- too bad we don't do that here.

KING: Yes, the reverse of illegal immigrants.

We'll be back with Duane "Dog" Chapman and more on this puzzling story after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back with Dwayne "Dog" Chapman. His new book is "Where Mercy is Shown, Mercy is Given." I wand to remind you about a blog that Dog wrote for us about adversity and overcoming obstacles. He's quite a guy. Go to to read it.

What would you recommend to the husband here, Dog? What would you say to him?

CHAPMAN: Well, you know, Mexico does a thorough investigation, Larry, right before they charge you. So if he's guilty, you know, he's got a problem, whether you have a good attorney or not. But I would keep my mouth shut and, you know, let my attorney do the talking.

Americans waste millions of dollars in Mexico buying these alleged lawyers that are not lawyers, because the old cliche give the cop the 100 dollar bill does not work that much in Mexico anymore. So you need a professional and someone you can trust your life to. This man that this -- you know, he's a fantastic guy. He's a good lawyer. If the man is innocent, he'll prove it.

KING: How expensive is he, Dog?

CHAPMAN: You know, he's about the same as a good lawyer, you know, in the united states. He's not, you know, extravagant like that. He's not like that. But you're going to pay for the best. But he's not over the line. You know what I mean?

KING: You told us that Mexico, you're guilty until proven innocent. You can't do more than 50 years. There is no capital punishment. What, if anything, do you like about the Mexican system?

CHAPMAN: Well, you know, I like it was thorough. It was fast. You know, a lot -- we get upset about the more than 50 years. There are certain countries that if you get caught stealing, they cut off your hands. And we think, as Americans, oh, my God, that is cruel and unusual punishment. Different countries have different laws.

So I like that Mexico is very quick, very thorough. You know, it's decided by a lot of -- a group of -- a good team of people. It went good in my case. But it didn't good go good until they heard the truth. Then it went good. Because of this lawyer, they got to hear the truth.

So I would rather stand trial for anything, of course, in America. But, you know, next to that, Mexico justice was fair with me.

KING: Do you believe an American is at a disadvantage in Mexico?

CHAPMAN: Well, I believe, you know, of course, as in America, whoever your spokesman or your attorney is is how the case is going to go. You know, whether it's Mexico, like I said, or America -- so I think he's in good hands with -- you know, he attorneyed up very well. If he's got a lawyer that's not very good, like we first had, went in there -- you know, it was terrible. We almost went to prison. So with the lawyer, just as in America, he's got a good shot at it.

KING: Do we have to assume that because he hired Mr. Amarina (ph) that he is in deep trouble?

CHAPMAN: Well, you know, a murder charge is deep trouble in any country. So -- you immediately, you know, think I need the best. So, yeah, he's in deep trouble, brother, sir. You know, murder one in Mexico, that's a problem.

KING: Good seeing you, Dog. Thanks for being with us.

CHAPMAN: Thank you for having me, good seeing you. Thank you, sir.

KING: Dwayne "Dog" Chapman. New book, "Where Mercy is Shown, Mercy is Given." Monica's friends are shocked by this death and they have some interesting thoughts about her husband next.


KING: Mariza Alyrio is a close friend of Monica Beresford-Redman and also knew Bruce. And Jane Guimaraes knew Monica for 20 years. All right, what is your reaction, Mariza?

MARIZA ALYRIO, FRIEND OF MONICA BERESFORD-REDMAN: Oh, Mr. King, this reaction, it's overwhelming to me. It is insane to think that this has happened to our friend. And I just -- it's a reaction that I can't describe.

KING: How long did you know her?

ALYRIO: I know her for 20 years.

KING: You've been friends all that time?


KING: So you know Bruce, too.

ALYRIO: Yes. We were very close friends. Bruce came to my house. I came to their house. And every time we have a birthday, he was there.

KING: What do you make of this, that he's a person of interest?

ALYRIO: It is total disbelief that --

KING: You can't believe he would have done this?

ALYRIO: Well, on the morning that's coming out of the news. But I -- you know, if he did this -- you know, if he's innocent, he will help.


KING: Did she tell you of any troubles in the marriage?

GUIMARAES: Well, we actually spoke about three weeks ago. I met her in Target. And we were talking about a lot for a little bit. And I asked her how is things going? Not good, you know. But we kind of going by.

KING: Did they go on that trip to somehow help the marriage?

GUIMARAES: Yes. That's what we understand. That's what we understand.

KING: Did they fight a lot?

GUIMARAES: I know they had some difference between them, like every marriage couple have. But we don't know, you know, how severe was the fight. But, yeah, they had arguments.

KING: What are those star pins you're wearing?

GUIMARAES: Well, this star pin is to symbolize -- to clarify the symbol what Monica was. She was a star. Not just in the Brazilian community, but on the -- because (INAUDIBLE) is a diversity of community. And the diversity of the community is mourning. And their hearts right now are bleeding right now for this tragedy over our friends.

KING: Have you talked to Bruce?

GUIMARAES: I haven't talked to Bruce. I -- you know, Bruce, he was -- lately, he wasn't there a lot for her. He seems to be a little bit more off of Zubumba (ph), because maybe, you know, he was having differences. But, you know, even if he was, we just want him to come forward.

KING: Did she tell you of any difficulties?

ALYRIO: Well, when I call her -- well, November, her mom was here. She threw a party. She loves to throw parties for -- she flew her mom here for her birthday, and she flew her dad here for their birthday.

KING: They live in Brazil?

ALYRIO: They live in Brazil, in Rio. The last time that she flew her parents here was her mom's birthday, which is October 31st. It's Halloween. I invited her for my party, because it's my birthday November 3rd. And then she couldn't come. But, you know, she -- well, always there for us.

KING: What can you tell us about her, Jane? What was she like?

GUIMARAES: Well, Monica was a very, very lovable person. She's -- I mean, if you want to describe Monica, Monica was -- Monica was a very down to Earth person. You couldn't find anybody more outgoing than Monica. She's -- if you come to her restaurant, Zubumba, and, you know, you just walk in and then you see the beautiful tall girl behind the bar over there -- you couldn't even tell Monica was the owner of the place. You come in, she's very warm. She is a very loving person.

KING: Where is the restaurant?

GUIMARAES: It's on Venice Boulevard on the West Side.

KING: How many children does she have?

ALYRIO: She has two children, a five and half year old little girl and a two-year-old little boy.

KING: And we understand they're with the grandparents, the fraternal grandparents?

ALYRIO: Yes. His parents has -- is holding the temporary custody right now. But we're going to fight.

KING: Are you going to plan a funeral, a memorial service of any kind?

ALYRIO: At this point, Larry, we need to have the -- our first priority right now is to have her here. We are fighting.

KING: They want to keep her there?

ALYRIO: We don't want to keep her there.

KING: But Mexico might?

ALYRIO: Yes. But we want to have the family to have a -- totally control of her body to do a precisely examination --

KING: Autopsy.

ALYRIO: And then to make sure that they've done their job to bring the justice. Their family needs and deserves that.

KING: We thank you very much. As this goes on, we'll call on you again.

ALYRIO: Thank you, Mr. King.

GUIMARAES: Thank you.

KING: Thank you both.

The furor over an adopted child returned to his homeland by an American mother who calls him psychotic or psychopathic. That's next.


(NEWS BREAK) KING: All right, Anderson just went over this incredible case, the American woman returning her seven-year-old adoptive son back to Russia. With us, Mark Geragos, the noted defense attorney. He's here in L.A. In Miami, Stacey Honowitz, the Florida assistant state attorney, and also here in L.A., Dr. Charles Sophy, psychiatrist, medical director of the L.A. County Department of children and Family Services, and author of this new book, "Side By Side, the Revolutionary Mother-Daughter Program for Conflict-Free Communication."

Mark, what do you make of this?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Is this book for mother-daughter conflict free resolution, that's impossible. I have never heard of such a thing.


GERAGOS: I will. I will read the book.

KING: Mothers and daughters have conflicts?

GERAGOS: Yes, mothers and daughters have conflicts. I never knew. The story is incredible. I don't understand why the sheriff thinks he doesn't have some basis to do something. I know coming from the defense lawyer, that sounds like blasphemy.

KING: I spoke to her lawyer, the mother's lawyer, today. They're waiting to hear. I asked what they're going to be charged with and she had no idea. What would the charge be?

GERAGOS: Some kind of a neglect charge. I don't know the specific code section there. But certainly you can file charges on somebody who leaves their seven-year-old in a car while they run into the store and that's -- I defended those cases.

KING: Stacey, would you file charges with what you know of this case?

STACY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Yeah, I mean, I don't have all the inside scoop on it. Certainly I agree with Mark. It's hard to believe that some kind of charges couldn't come down the pike. Look at the kind of precedent you are setting if you don't file charges. Anybody who is not happy with a child or finds themselves in the same situation, goes ahead, puts a seven-year-old to fly internationally, has somebody go and pick them up, and we say that's OK?

It just doesn't seem reasonable. I'm waiting to see if the investigation continues that maybe charges will come down later on.

KING: Dr. Sophy, now here is the behavior alleged by members of the Hanson family they attribute to this boy, the mother and the grandmother: hitting, screaming, spitting, threatening to kill people, setting fires. What kind of emotional problems does he have and what's the mother to do? SOPHY: You know, Larry, we deal with this all the time, as a child psychiatrist, as the medical director of L.A. We have a lot of children who have a lot of issues, either because of attachment, bonding, whatever. We have resources to deal with these kind of issues, psychiatric hospitals. We have emergency psychiatric teams who will even come into your home.

So there are resources. If there are no resources, there are emergency rooms. Hospitals have emergency rooms.

KING: There's no excuse for her putting him on a plane?

SOPHY: There really is none. You are abandoning that child. The child safety issues are at huge stakes here. I think the bottom line is she should have thought. I'm sure she was distraught. I'm sure she felt there was nothing else to do. But there's always something to do

KING: You're a defense attorney. What if you had to defend her?

GERAGOS: If I had to defend her, I would obviously explore her state of mind. This is somebody who has got -- as the doctor says, is distraught. I can't imagine anybody in a right state of mind putting a seven-year-old on a plane after you have adopted and gone through all of that rigorous process to get to that point, and then you just return them like they are day old bacon that went bad.

It is an awful situation. Obviously, this is somebody -- you know, I don't know about the kid, but obviously, the mother is disturbed.

SOPHY: I mean, where's the agency to support this woman through all of this?

KING Doctor, is there such a thing as, remember the name of the old movie, "Its Bad Seed?"


KING: There are bad kids?

SOPHY: Yes, there are bad seeds. But there are treatments out there to contain it. There are institutions then, as you go through the system, to reach that level of care and that need. There's medication. There are places to go. There are tools to use.

GERAGOS: Yeah, used to be -- Henry James had that expression, give me a kid until he is seven -- he said until he is seven, and I will determine his outlook for life. But, at the same point, you can't do that with a kid. All kids have issues.

KING: Stacey?

HONOWITZ: I think the bottom line is nobody is disagreeing with the fact that she had issues with this child and this child obviously was a problem for her. So it's not the idea that there are issues stemming from the adoption. It is the manner in which she chose to resolve it. And I think that is what everybody is looking at. How could you possibly have done what you did?

And I think she is a nurse. I think she has an educated background. It is kind of hard to believe that someone would do something like this

KING: Something must have, Stacey, snapped in her, right?

HONOWITZ: Yeah. I mean, I think Mark's right. Everybody is right. She was distraught. I see a lot of cases where parents are distraught. It is not a mitigator -- it could be a mitigator, but it is not an excuse for the behavior. I think in this care, like I said earlier, I don't know how you are going to have this all over the news and you're not going to say something has to be done.

It is definitely either child abuse or it's some form of neglect. Anybody on the street would tell you the act was neglectful what she did

KING: Because the child flew out of Dulles Airport in Virginia -- an airport I know pretty well -- abandonment charges, if any, have to be filed in Virginia. That is what we are told. And State Department officials are not aware of any federal laws being broken.

GERAGOS: I guarantee you, there is a county prosecutor over there somewhere who can find at least five sections that they could charge and I wouldn't be surprised, given the publicity, if that is going to be done. I'm not calling for a prosecution. I'm just saying this whole thing is so inane and insane, to just put a little boy who is seven years old on a plane, because he is spitting and biting you and -- you know, he may you can the little devil child, but at the same time, you just don't put a kid on a plane and ship him back.

SOPHY: Absolutely. Remember this child has been traumatized. He has lived most of his life in an orphanage, to begin with, has probably bonding issues, attachment issues. You bring him to another culture, another language. Then you make it to a point where it can't work for him, and then you send him back.

KING: Were there other children?

SOPHY: In the home? From what I understand, there may be other children in the home. I don't know if they were siblings of that child.

KING: Russia and adoptions next. Don't go away.


KING: The pressures of being married to America's doctor, Dr. Oz -- his wife, Lisa Oz, has written a blog commentary just for us. Go to to read it. All right, Mark, what do they do now in Russia with this?

GERAGOS: The only suspicion I have is either they try to place him or put him back in the orphanage from which he came, which is awful. We were saying it's a break. I've had a case where a five- year-old here in L.A., my client's son, was kicking or spitting at school, and your department came and took him away and put a 72-hour hold on him. I mean, there are agencies and protocols for doing this.

KING: Do it all the time, right? What is the success ratio of adoptions of foreigners?

SOPHY: Well, we don't oversee them. That is the problem. We do county public adoptions. So we do about 2,000 a year. And our fail rate is less than one percent because we support them afterwards.

KING: If this had happened here, would your department have been involved in this case?

SOPHY: Yeah, it is abandonment. We would have been called in to protect the child and make him safe.

KING: Stacey, have you had abandonment cases?

HONOWITZ: Yes, nothing to this extent, of course. This is just so unbelievable. But, yeah, there are cases where there is abandonment, where a parent has just left a child, left the child somewhere. And mostly we file a lot of neglect charges. That is why I said early on, I think for them not to do something in this case, you are setting a horrible precedent for people. It's just -- for people to look at and say, well if she doesn't have charges filed against her for putting a child on plane, you are going to file charges against me for leaving my child in a car, as Mark said earlier? It just doesn't make sense.

KING: Will this affect Russian adoptions, do you think, Mark?

GERAGOS: I would imagine that people would think twice. I mean, you hear horror stories. I Have heard horror stories about Russia. You have heard them about China. But I think most people -- I think this is the exception to the rule. I just can't imagine that this is -- that this goes on more frequently. Otherwise, you'd have an adoption channel with horror stories wall-to-wall for some reality show.

SOPHY: The bottom line is children being adopted are going to have issues. The extent of them needs to be examined before you make that commitment.

KING: Let's try to fathom, why would a mother, with this situation, not take the child to a Tennessee center like yours? There must be some in Tennessee.

SOPHY: She is not thinking clearly. She is broken down, something.

KING: Must have been a regular --

SOPHY: I treat that a lot. But the bottom line is there should be an adult who can step to in to keep that child safe. GERAGOS: How does this kid get on the plane?

KING: What happens on the plane? Stacey, does the flight attendant look at this kid with the sign on him and say --

SOPHY: Go back.


HONOWITZ: That's the interesting thing I don't understand. The sheriff said -- you said earlier in the show that the sheriff didn't have enough information -- or Anderson said --

KING: So far, yeah.

HONOWITZ: Why didn't you interview the people on the plane, the flight attendants, to find out how did he get on? Who took him off? Who picked him up at the airport? It is my understanding she paid somebody 200 dollars to pick him up in Russia and take him wherever he had to go. How did that information come about? All these things need to be investigated in order to file the charges.

GERAGOS: Plus, apparently, he wasn't so misbehaved that he got kicked off the airplane.

SOPHY: Right.

GERAGOS: Nowadays, if you lean back into Mitt Romney, they take you off the plane. This kid apparently can travel for ten hours.

KING: Thank you all. We have obviously not heard the last of this. We shall delve into it more. Thanks to all of our guests. Dr. Sophy's book is "Side By Side".

Bill Cosby is here tomorrow night. Now it's Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?