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Zahra`s Stepmother Indicted for Obstruction

Aired November 1, 2010 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live North Carolina. A 10- year-old little girl snatched from her own bedroom in the dark of night, the little girl, Zahra, completely dependent on two hearing aids, can only walk with a prosthetic leg after losing her left leg to bone cancer, vanishes into thin air, her bedroom empty, prosthetic leg missing, hearing aids left behind.

Last person to see Zahra alive, stepmommy. Did stepmommy confess to writing a phony million-dollar ransom note? We learn stepmommy gets rid of Zahra`s mattress in the 48 hours before she finally reports Zahra gone. A mattress believed to be Zahra`s, containing DNA evidence, uncovered by landfill workers. Is it spattered in the blood of 10-year-old Zahra? Zahra`s little prosthetic leg discovered discarded in overgrown brush off a county back road. K9s, police, backhoes, search teams swarm the Baker home and start the digging, about a half dozen FBI entering the Baker home, covering the windows so we can`t see inside. And that search goes into the night.

Bombshell tonight. As we go to air, a secret grand jury charges stepmommy in Zahra`s disappearance, while at the same time across town, investigators ripping out sheetrock and drywall from Zahra`s bedroom, seizing furniture from the Baker home. Why? Tonight, where is 10-year-old Zahra?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A heart-breaking, horrific story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a homicide investigation.

GRACE: We haven`t found her body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten-year-old Zahra Baker.

GRACE: But she`s dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Presumed murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A homicide investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s no body yet.

GRACE: The child is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They believe they found her prosthetic leg.

GRACE: They knew where to go find that leg.


GRACE: They cordoned off a specific area.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elisa Baker did take authorities through that area on Monday.

GRACE: Then they went in and they found the leg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elisa Baker, the stepmother, used to reside in that area.

GRACE: Now they`re in the home. They`re sifting through very, very carefully.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They appeared to be looking for something small.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sifting through the dirt with rakes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Digging all afternoon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They did gather some evidence, which was removed in a bag.

GRACE: I`m just telling you that`s where the murder happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did they discard her body?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Authorities still want to find Zahra Baker.


GRACE: And tonight, live, Georgia. A gorgeous CPA has her dream wedding. Three weeks later, she`s dead. 4:40 AM, police race to the scene to find 25-year-old Madison McLester dead in her own home, her body riddled with bullets. Hours later, a suspect emerges, located at a public park, completely naked. Who? The new groom! Is he already setting up an insanity defense?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a bizarre case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wife of just three weeks was found dead inside their home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The body of 25-year-old Madison McLester was found on the floor of the couple`s home early Sunday morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A recent bride found murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had been shot several times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After just three weeks of marriage, a man is accused of killing his new wife.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Madison`s husband, Minchillo McLester, walking naked.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Naked in a park nearby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a bizarre case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say the couple had returned home from a Halloween party that night, and authorities are still trying to determine a possible motive.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell tonight. A 10-year-old little girl snatched from her own bedroom in the dark of night. As we go to air, a secret grand jury charges stepmommy in little Zahra`s disappearance, while at the same time across town, investigators ripping out sheetrock and drywall from 10-year- old Zahra`s bedroom, seizing furniture from the Baker home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They found a prosthetic leg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Consistent with the description of Zahra Baker`s left prosthesis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The prosthetic leg discovered last week in a brushy area off a North Carolina road is that of missing girl Zahra Baker.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has reportedly been brought out to a new search area.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A grand jury has indicted Elisa Baker on an obstruction charge for allegedly writing a fake ransom note found the day her stepdaughter, Zahra, went missing.

GRACE: Are we one step closer to finding the body of 10-year-old little Zahra?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot confirm that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re holding a lot of information back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I cannot confirm that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they do now, they try to recover the remains.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is so diabolical!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody actually treated her like she was a doll (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She would make fun of the child for not walking right.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of insanity would allow people to just take her leg?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t even know they had a little girl.

GRACE: Her bedroom empty, prosthetic leg missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where`s the rest of her body?


GRACE: We are taking your calls live. Straight out to John Miller with "The Hickory Daily Record." John, stepmommy charges, secret grand jury -- what happened?

JOHN MILLER, "HICKORY DAILY RECORD" (via telephone): Well, she was indicted today by the Catawba County grand jury. It sits the first Monday of each month. They indicted her for unlawfully and willfully and feloniously deceiving and intending to defraud police in the investigation. And it centers around the ransom note that she admitted to writing two days after she was reportedly missing -- reported missing...

GRACE: Right. To Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, "In Session." Specifically what are the charges?

Everyone just joining us, Zahra`s stepmommy now formally charged by a secret grand jury in connection with the 10-year-old`s disappearance.

Jean, what do we have?

JEAN CASAREZ, "IN SESSION": Nancy, it`s fascinating. It is one felony charge of obstruction of justice, with two factual bases. Number one, constructing and placing a ransom letter, and number two, reporting an abduction of her stepdaughter.

GRACE: OK, Jean Casarez, explain to us how stepmommy is obstructing justice -- in other words, thwarting police and FBI -- by reporting her daughter missing. Any parent in their right mind would report the child missing. I think we all know why, but explain it to me legally why is this stepmommy that you`re seeing in court right now -- why is she charged with obstructing police and FBI by reporting her little girl missing?

CASAREZ: Because they`re saying it`s all a lie, and that`s how you obstruct justice, by lying to law enforcement about a ransom note that you admit you`ve written, and also the reporting of your stepdaughter abducted.

GRACE: To Ellie Jostad, our chief editorial producer. Of course she`s lying. We know she`s lying. Jean Casarez is right about that. But I noticed in this indictment, Ellie, it is bare bones. They only give us a couple of sentences. They don`t lay out their theory. What more do we know about the indictment, Ellie? What more do we know about the charges?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, you`ve got an indictment here that doesn`t even tell us -- and you remember in the Casey Anthony case, every day, we were hearing about people that were being brought before the grand jury. No information like that has leaked out. We don`t know who they`re talking to. We do know that they are focusing on the Bakers` home. That seems to be the place they`re looking right now. And that note found at the home, remember, it was written to the employer of Adam Baker, saying that his daughter had been abducted.

GRACE: Everybody, at the same time the grand jury is handing down these charges against the stepmother in connection with Zahra`s disappearance -- and very important to note neither she nor the biological father have been charged with murder. For those of you just joining us, an indictment has just been handed down against Zahra`s stepmommy in connection with this child`s disappearance.

At the same time across town, as the grand jury is meeting to hand down this indictment, FBI and police ripping down the walls inside the Baker home, taking in with them a chainsaw, axe, wrenches, two types of Halligan bars, power tools, a lump (ph) hammer. There you see it bottom right. It`s like a big mallet. And they proceed to grind away and actually take part of the Baker home out with them for evidence.

Let`s talk about it. Marc Klaas, president and founder of Klaas Kids Foundation, they took the wall out of Zahra`s bedroom. In fact, we learn, Marc Klaas, that on Friday night, as we`re sitting out there trying to figure out what they`re doing, they have actually covered all the windows, darkened them so we can`t see what they`re doing inside. They searched way into the night. They`re back again. Six consecutive days, Marc Klaas.

MARC KLAAS, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: Yes. And I remember Rupa said that she thought that they had turned out all the lights and left that evening. They`re looking for the little girl in the house now. That is the one remaining mystery here. How did they murder her, and where did they put her body? And I think that, ultimately, they`re going to have to really lean on this lady and perhaps cut some kind of a deal with her to perhaps avoid the death penalty just to find out exactly what happened.

GRACE: No! No! No! No!

KLAAS: Otherwise, I think it`s going to be really hard to...

GRACE: Marc, please don`t say that. It`s too soon to throw in the towel and take the death penalty off the table. After what they did to this little girl? Come on. They found her prosthetic leg. Today they confirm it. Of course, we knew it last week, it was her leg. Who else`s leg could it be? They found her little leg. They found a mattress that is believed to be Zahra`s. If that mattress is spattered with blood, there is a murder charge right there, Marc Klaas.

KLAAS: But we don`t have a body. We`ve got mulch piles. We`ve got wood chippers. We`ve got fires. We`ve got dogs hitting positively in both of the family cars. We find little pieces of her life discarded here and there, but we still don`t know where this little girl is. And she really needs to be found so that she can be put to rest finally and have the peace she deserves.

GRACE: We are taking your calls. Out to Carla in North Carolina. Hi, Carla.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Nancy. I love your show, and I want to say thank you for all that you do for the innocent victims out there.

GRACE: Thank you, Carla. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I had a quick comment and a quick question.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m originally from the Hickory area. Where Zahra Baker`s house was in Hickory, they`re extremely close to, like, national forest land and two major lakes and a major river. But my question was, I know the police were talking to Zahra`s doctors. Did we ever find out the last time the doctors treated Zahra? And has Zahra`s stepmom or dad ever been treated for any medical problems?

GRACE: Good question. Jean Casarez, what do we know?

CASAREZ: We know that the doctors are in Australia. We don`t know of any doctor she went to in the United States. Whether the parents and stepmother have been treated by doctors, I don`t think we know the answer to that. But investigators believe it appears that that homicide occurred in the home.

GRACE: Breaking news tonight. We have learned that a secret grand jury out of North Carolina has handed down formal charges, an indictment against this woman, Zahra Baker`s stepmother. Why? Why at the same time the grand jury was meeting did the FBI and police go into the Baker home and literally tear down the walls?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many disturbing things about this story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little Zahra Baker.

GRACE: Vanishes into thin air.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cannot confirm that anyone has seen Zahra within the last month.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Possible blood stains.

GRACE: Searching, scouring densely wooded areas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is now being investigated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a homicide investigation.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news in the search for 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Discovered a prosthetic leg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prosthetic leg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police have confirmed a prosthetic leg belongs to missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

ADAM BAKER, ZAHRA`S FATHER: She has a prosthetic leg, which, apparently. they`ve taken with them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rakes and shovels digging around in the back yard.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police have evidence that suggests that Zahra is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No sign of her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ten-year-old girl in North Carolina.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are looking for a body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had nothing to do with this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think happened to Zahra?

BAKER: I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police searching the home again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Homicide investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Adam, can we talk to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zahra -- did she ever do anything, Adam?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) concerned about their own daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elisa, do you have anything to say? Do you miss your stepdaughter?


GRACE: Yes, of course, she`s not going to answer. Why do they always throw those questions at people?

We are taking your calls live. Out to Jessica in Maryland. Hi, Jessica.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love your show. I hope you and your kids had a happy Halloween.

GRACE: We had the greatest Halloween. We went to about four houses. And then we went down the street where this guy blows up inflatables, his whole front yard. And then I gave them a lightning round bath, and then they actually had more fun answering the door after that. And it was the best Halloween I`ve ever had in my whole life. I can say that. I don`t know if they`re going to agree, but that`s what I can say.

What is your question, my love?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I know (ph) is -- I remember the whole Casey Anthony thing. She used to talk behind bars. She used to talk to people and everything else. Is the stepmother or the father saying anything to anybody?

GRACE: You know, that`s a really good question and point because, Jessica in Maryland, catch this. Did you know her husband, Zahra`s biological father, has not been to visit her one time since she`s been behind bars? Not even once. To me, that speaks volumes. Now, I`m going to unleash the lawyers all because of you, Jessica. And they`re going to say, Well, they`re not visiting because they know they`re recorded. BS. If my husband was behind bars, I would go and I would visit him unless I thought he was guilty.

Unleash the lawyers. Joining us out of LA, renowned attorney Gloria Allred, Peter Elikann, defense attorney, author of "Super Predators," defense attorney Randy Kessler out of the Atlanta jurisdiction -- Elikann, Boston, Allred, LA.

First to you, Gloria. Why isn`t hubby visiting the stepmommy?

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIMS` RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, we don`t know. It may be that he doesn`t have a good relationship with her. It may be that...


ALLRED: ... he is involved in some way...

GRACE: Gloria!

ALLRED: ... in a criminal -- of a criminal nature with her.

GRACE: She killed his daughter.

ALLRED: Possibly not. But there`s something strange going on if she`s in custody and he`s not visiting her.

GRACE: Absolutely. Go ahead, Elikann.

PETER ELIKANN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I think that as much as I`d want to visit, if the lawyers instructed me that for some reason, it was going to hurt the case, then I`d have to kind of suppress...

GRACE: Put Elikann up!

ELIKANN: ... I would kind of have to suppress my own feelings and stay out.

GRACE: Put him up!

ELIKANN: Whatever I can do...

GRACE: Elikann! Elikann!

ELIKANN: Whatever I can do to help the case. Yes?

GRACE: You really want me to believe that, right?

ELIKANN: Yes. I think...

GRACE: Can you just say it with a little feeling? This is such BS, even from you! Come on, Kessler, try it. Just throw something else at me, other than, if it helps the case. You want to tell me, Kessler, that you wouldn`t go visit your wife behind bars?

RANDY KESSLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: If my lawyer told me not to do it, I would, hopefully, follow my lawyer`s advice. You know, unfortunately, people don`t follow their lawyer`s advice. Sounds like he`s following his lawyer`s advice. You know...

GRACE: I can`t believe you`re saying that...

KESSLER: ... right now...

GRACE: ... with a straight face.


GRACE: Stacy Kaiser, psychotherapist, LA. Come on! The reason they`re not visiting is because she either did it or they did it together.

STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I agree with you 100 percent, Nancy. I believe that he could at least go and say, I love you, I`m here for you. He doesn`t have to get into the case. There`s something fishy about their relationship.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Extremely long timeframe where she went unseen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have said she`s dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really don`t know when she turned up missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re trying to find out where she was murdered, in my mind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They wouldn`t tell us what cadaver dogs found inside.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten-year-old girl Zahra Baker.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Authorities confirm the prosthetic leg they found does belong to 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have new evidence that`s led them back to the family`s home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They started digging.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Big digging with a backhoe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They started digging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re peering down into what looked like a hole.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Men with rakes sifting through this dirt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Digging in the backyard.

911 OPERATOR: She has one -- one leg...

BAKER: One leg, yes, ma`am.

KLAAS: ... leg that`s partially amputated?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A piece of evidence.

911 OPERATOR: Did you say that she was handicapped?

BAKER: Yes, ma`am. She has an above-the-knee amputation.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. Straight back out to Jean Casarez. Jean Casarez, what do we know that was seized from the home? What do we know is going on at the home? I know it`s been six consecutive days they`ve been searching. Now, just when you think there`s nothing left to search, they start disassembling the home...

CASAREZ: That`s right.

GRACE: ... going in with a chainsaw, axe, wrenches, Halligan bars, power tools, mallets, and take the wall down in Zahra`s room.

CASAREZ: Exactly. And that`s noisy stuff, Nancy. And of course, everybody is standing outside, but the noise is coming from the back right area, which is Zahra`s bedroom. Well, what has come out is, first of all, paneling, all right? That`s at the front of the wall. And drywall came out today, huge pieces of drywall, and even furniture. And couple that with the mattress that came out several weeks ago, and a lot of bags of items that we don`t know.

But Nancy, here`s what I was reading. Even more dogs have gone into the home. So when you talk about dogs, you`re talking about cadaver dogs. Are they hitting on the walls and that`s why they`re going into the drywall area?

GRACE: To Washington, D.C. Standing by, Marc Harrold, former officer, APD, attorney and author of "Observations of White Noise." Marc, thank you for being with us. You know, recently, we had that doctoral student at an Ivy League school that was actually hidden in the wall, in the school building. But it seems to me, in this home -- show a shot of it for me, Liz -- that they would have found a body by now, Marc Harrold.

MARC HARROLD, FORMER ATLANTA POLICE OFFICER: Yes, at first I thought they were looking for trace evidence. Then they went in and started ripping it apart. I thought maybe there was sheetrock or sheet walling that they thought was put up after the murder. But yes, it`s not a huge place. You wouldn`t think it would take that long. This search has been going on a while. So if they`re looking for a whole body or large pieces of a body, I think they would have found that. They`re probably looking for some kind of trace evidence, but I`m just not sure.

GRACE: To Dr. Panchali Dhar, doctor of internal medicine, author of "Before the Scalpel," joining us out of New York. Dr. Dhar, thank you for being with us. Doctor, the mattress. They are saying it`s going to take a couple of weeks to get a DNA match back. That`s simply not true. You can get a DNA match in 72 hours.

DR. PANCHALI DHAR, INTERNAL MEDICINE: Yes. It does take a few weeks to get definitive DNA evidence. Let`s hope they find some blood or some body fluid, urine, blood, in the mattress so they can test it.

GRACE: But what good would finding urine be? That wouldn`t prove anything, Dr. Dhar. It would have to be blood.

DHAR: Well, wouldn`t -- I mean, she was attacked in the bed, so she could have urinated on the mattress, and then it was subsequently discarded.




ZAHRA BAKER, MISSING 10-YEAR-OLD: I can actually hear more than without my hearing aid.

KLAAS: -- who have been discarded piece by piece.

ADAM BAKER, FATHER OF MISSING 10-YEAR-OLD GIRL ZAHRA BAKER: It appears they may have taken my daughter.

KLAAS: They discarded her mattress.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: DNA evidence on the mattress is at the lab being tested.

KLAAS: They discarded her prosthetic leg.

CHIEF TOM ATKINS, HICKORY POLICE: Investigators have discovered a prosthetic leg.

KLAAS: And now the question is where did they discard her body.

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, MEDICAL EXAMINER, AUTHOR OF "WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR": It`s very clear that this child has been murdered.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Searching an overgrown area off a county back road.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Digging with backhoes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Search teams back to the family home in Hickory.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Digging with rakes.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: They`re looking for evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sifting through the mulch and the dirt.

GRACE: Hours ticking down.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Looking for something.

ATKINS: We will continue to follow every lead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Police have checked out four properties in the remote area where the family lived.

ATKINS: And every tip we receive --

GRACE: Investigators yank stepmommy out of her private jail cell.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We did see them pull brush and pull things out of that area.

KLAAS: They`re getting closer and closer.

ATKINS: In hopes that we can come to some kind of conclusion to this investigation and bring peace to Zahra.


GRACE: We are taking your calls. Straight out to Rachelle in Alabama. Hi, Rachelle.

RACHELLE, CALLER FROM ALABAMA: Hi, Nancy. I`d like to start by saying I watch a lot of news, and I mean a lot, and you are the only person out there fighting for these kids.

You are the only advocate that these children have. And I`d like to thank you, and you`re primetime, too. And I`d like to thank you for that because you lend a service that nobody else is doing and you do it because of your heart.

GRACE: Rachelle, thank you very much. I`ve got to tell you, just when one case gets solved, there will be a flood of other cases. You just keep --

RACHELLE: It`s always something. I mean your show is always kids. Pitiful children. My questions, though, are, one, has the biological mother even made an appearance? And second, is it possible that the dad could be covering for the stepmother, that she actually committed the crime and he helped to cover it up?

GRACE: You know, Rachelle, it`s my understanding, we have heard zero from the biological mother. She has certainly not shown up, to my understanding, and as far as, is he covering for her, my observation is either he`s covering for her or they did it together, in some way.

And it really doesn`t take as much as you would imagine for someone to become a party to a crime.

Let`s go back to the lawyers. Gloria Allred, Peter Elikan, Randy Kessler.

Gloria Allred, explain party to a crime or co-defendant.

GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM`S RIGHTS ATTORNEY, CHILD ADVOCATE: Well, it may be that if he had any involvement, if that could be proven that he might be charged with conspiracy, that if the facts warrant it. And in addition, it may be that he actually had a role in the crime if the facts support that argument as well.

We don`t know at this point. We don`t know if he had any involvement, for example, in the writing of the ransom note. We don`t know what he knew and when he knew it. But I`m sure the investigators will find out.

GRACE: Well, I know this much -- I know this much, Gloria. I`m going to have you take a listen to his 911 call.

Liz, queue up the section where they`re actually reporting Zahra missing. Not the first one where they just hand it over to police dispatch. Do you understand? Thank you.

Because Gloria Allred, if you walked in and one of your grandchildren were gone and you called 911 with this tone, and were chatting up, you were chatting up the 911 dispatch, I would go ahead and have you involuntary committed because I know you better than that.

Take a listen to this, Gloria, and tell me he knew nothing.

Play it, Liz.


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Catawba County, 911.

A. BAKER: Hey, how are you doing?


A. BAKER: I need police.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Hickory Police, 911, where is your emergency?

A. BAKER: Yes, my daughter is missing.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: I`m sorry? Your daughter is missing?

A. BAKER: My daughter -- yes, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. What`s your address?

A. BAKER: 21 -- 21st Avenue Northwest. The police were out here last night over a fire and a ransom note for my boss` daughter. And I got up a little while ago and it appears that they took my daughter instead of my boss` daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: I`m not familiar with what happened last night. What happened last night?

A. BAKER: OK. Last night, we were woken up. My dog woke me up and I had a fire in the backyard and somebody had poured gas in my company vehicle that I drive for work.

They left a ransom note on the company vehicle to my boss saying they had his daughter and his son was next and his daughter`s fine. His daughter came with him here last night when I called him, and it appears that they may have taken my daughter instead of his daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. Do you know who this was?

A. BAKER: I don`t know who it was.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: That may have taken her?

A. BAKER: No, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Do you have any idea why they were threatening to take his daughter?

A. BAKER: I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. What`s your name?

A. BAKER: My name is Adam. Baker?

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: So no one has seen your daughter since 2:30 this morning?

A. BAKER: No. Like I said we had all that drama last night and me and my wife went back to bed, and my daughter`s I think coming into puberty so she`s hitting that brooding stage so we only see her when she comes out when she wants something, and that`s about it.


GRACE: Gloria Allred, he`s laughing and joking with the 911 dispatcher. He`s blaming his daughter for going through puberty at age 10 -- doubtful -- and saying she`s broody.

ALLRED: Well, I mean, Nancy, obviously that`s all very suspect, but I`m reluctant to condemn him unless and until he has a trial.

GRACE: OK. Maybe I should rephrase my question. And I`m going to throw it to Marc Klaas, president and founder of KlaasKids Foundation, his daughter Polly was kidnapped and murdered.

Marc, discussing Rachelle in Alabama`s question, did he know or did he take part. When a father discovers his daughter is missing and he calls like that, based on that 911 call, I would say he knew then that she was dead and the stepmother had a hand in it.

KLAAS: I have never heard a 911 call anything like that. There was no urgency in his voice. There was no fear or terror in his voice. It was lackadaisical. It was very much in keeping with sort of the passive nature of this guy, that he is just sort of letting things roll off of him. It sounds very disingenuous at best.

GRACE: Marc Klaas, the girl is dead. We found her prosthetic leg. Disingenuous. You know what? I guess I`m the only one that`s crazy tonight, because when a father calls in and is so laid back and seemingly not worried about his daughter, in fact, turning the tables on a little 10- year-old girl who`s fought bone cancer and is missing a leg, and he`s talking about she`s the broody one and he`s laughing and asking dispatch, hey, how you doing, you know what?

Either he had a hand in it or he knows who did. And he`s covering. So everybody else can say no, no, no, no, you`re wrong, but that`s what it sounds like to me.

Victoria, North Carolina. Hi, Victoria.


GRACE: Well, I`m a little disturbed that everybody apparently can`t see the nose at the end of their face.


VICTORIA: I`m too. On the 911, I wouldn`t be able to say how you doing. I would be going crazy if I knew my daughter was missing.

GRACE: You know what? After I cover this case, I nearly jump out of the car and start running in traffic to get home to the twins --

VICTORIA: Oh my god.

GRACE: -- at night, because just the thought of what happened to this child, and when I hear that father on the phone I just want to grab him.

VICTORIA: It`s sickening because the simple fact, the man had something to do with it. How did this letter get on -- how did the letter even get near his boss man, on his truck or whatever, did they say it was on his truck?

GRACE: It was on -- Victoria, North Carolina, it was on their, the Adams` -- the Bakers` car, Adam Baker`s car, in their driveway, is my understanding, and he -- you can look at a note and recognize your spouse`s writing.

Jean Casarez, refresh our recollection regarding the ransom note. That she has admitted she wrote. His wife wrote it.

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Right. It was on the dashboard in that 911 call, listen to him, he says the craziness, all the craziness from last night. That included the ransom note and the fire.

And Nancy, I`ve got a return of inventory from that car that had the ransom note. Listen to this, Nancy. In the `96 Chevy Tahoe, they took the center console and two swabs and in parentheses, it says possible blood.

Nancy, I have read many inventories. You don`t have to put in parentheses possible blood. You just say you took swabbings but they put, quote, "possible blood."

GRACE: And that`s not all, Jean Casarez. And remember, he`s talking to 911 about all the craziness that they did themselves, the fire in their yard, the phony ransom note. They all created that. And they are telling them that even through all that, they didn`t go check on their daughter?

When our alarm goes off, I immediately go check the twins just to see if it woke them up, to see if they`re OK. The -- all this happened and they never checked on the little girl, Peter Elikan? They never bothered to look in the window, make sure she`s OK? Look in the door, crack it and see if she`s fine?

PETER ELIKAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He may not be the best father. That doesn`t mean he`s guilty of murdering her or having anything to do with it. Everybody has a different reaction to bad news. Some people would be hysterical with (INAUDIBLE). Other people would be cold as ice.

GRACE: Well, Kessler. Kessler.

ELIKAN: I won`t condemn him for the tone of his voice.

GRACE: Elikan has a point. That just this one thing may just be suspicious but when you add it all together? Come on, are you people blind?

RANDY KESSLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, there are a lot of explanations. Yours is one of them. But you know what? This guy was arrested for bad checks. His wife wrote a bad ransom letter. They needed money. Maybe it was something a lot less than murder. It evolved. But at that time it may not have been murder.

GRACE: I don`t even know what you`re saying. That`s crazy talk.

KESSLER: It may not have been murder.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The search for the missing North Carolina girl.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In the search for Zahra.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Police say they found a prosthetic leg.



GRACE: Proves Zahra is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Police are searching several areas.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: But they have been very tight-lipped about this.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Back to the family home in Hickory.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Where technicians are recovering additional pieces of evidence.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: 25-year-old Madison McLester, a recent bride, just married on October 10th --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Her new husband is caught naked in a nearby park.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: His wife Madison`s body lying on the floor of their Georgia home. She was shot several times. Found on the floor of the couple`s home.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Recent bride found murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The couple had returned home from a Halloween party that night. She had been shot several times. Police are still trying to determine alleged motive.

The body of his newlywed bride was found in their home. Naked man walking in a park Minchillo McLester. His wife of just three weeks --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: His newlywed bride --


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- found dead inside their home.


GRACE: She has her dream wedding. Three weeks later, she`s dead. Her body found around 4:40 a.m. riddled with bullets in her own home.

Eric Jens, news director, WRGA Radio. Eric, what happened?

ERIC JENS, NEWS DIRECTOR, WRGA RADIO: Yes. Thank you, Nancy. Everyone pretty much in shock over this one. It was a Saturday night Halloween party the McLesters went to. They got into an argument on the way back from that party, some say it actually began at the party.

GRACE: Over what?

JENS: Well, that`s what the police are getting the details out of right now. But that argument escalated until the neighbors caught word of it next door and eventually that ended up in gunfire. And that`s when they called the police.

And police a short time later found Minchillo McLester at a park in the neighborhood nearby minus his clothes.

GRACE: Pat Brown, criminal profiler, author of "The Profiler," renowned as a criminal profiler.

Pat, thank you for being with us. Pat, come on. He`s obviously setting up an insanity defense.


GRACE: In a fight, he shot her, then he`s like ruh-oh, and goes to a park and strips down.

BROWN: You got it right -- absolutely. Because here`s what I was wondering before I heard what I just heard. I wondered, did they have that fight at the party, did it escalate, because if it hadn`t been that way, if they maybe had done some horrible drugs, he had schizophrenic problems or something really weird going on, they went home, it was normal, then maybe something crazy happened, maybe we could see him running around naked.

But this guy had a fight, went home with her and a couple of hours later is running around naked? This is absolutely the insanity defense.

Remember that guy Mark, and I forgot his last name. He tried the same thing after he killed his wife. Didn`t work out so well for him. He went away. So I mean this guy should have taken note of his book.

GRACE: But, Pat Brown, what is the thinking? What is the thinking behind something like this? I mean just three weeks into the marriage? They`re still in the honeymoon phase.

BROWN: Well, apparently the honeymoon is over pretty quickly. Obviously this guy`s a severe rage problem. We don`t know what kind of personality disorder he had. We don`t know what she ignored on the way up to the wedding.

GRACE: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Wait, wait, wait. Why does he have to have a personality disorder, Pat Brown? Why? Why can`t he just be plain out mean, straight from the devil?

BROWN: Well, because I just don`t ever believe that anybody can commit a crime like this. He shot her quite a number of times. To get to that level and to have that thought in your head that you`re going to kill your wife over anything leads me to believe he had a personality disorder to begin with.

We just don`t snap like that going from perfectly healthy people to shooting, murdering our spouses, you know, more than -- I mean, he -- how many bullets did he put in the woman?

GRACE: You know, back to the lawyers. Gloria Allred, Peter Elikan, Randy Kessler.

You know, Kessler, when I first started prosecuting felonies, homicides particularly, I would sit in court looking over at the defendant and thinking why, why did you do this. After about five years of asking that, I realized why really doesn`t matter. Because how are you going to crawl in some perv`s head and figure out why.

So in this case, if he was perfectly fine at the party, they got into an argument. He kills her, no sign of any self-defense, she was unarmed, then he strips down and heads to a park? Come on. He`s setting up insanity.

KESSLER: You`re making a perfect case. And so did Pat Brown. You know why would somebody do something like that? They must be crazy. That`s the starting point, walking around naked is just another thing.

And you know when you shoot your wife, you don`t start thinking well, let`s see, how can I get out of this. If you`re crazy enough to shoot your wife that many times in the back, you`re crazy enough to walk around town naked. And you might just end up getting off by mental insanity defense.

GRACE: But Gloria Allred, crazy in a street sense like hey, you`re crazy, and crazy in the legal sense are two very different things. Explain.

ALLRED: Well, exactly, Nancy. And by the way, there`s an alternative explanation, too. What if there was blood on his clothing and he decided to discard all of the clothing. What if that were the case? That`s another possible explanation.

GRACE: OK, Elikan. Let`s hear it.

ELIKAN: Yes. I think that the walking around naked alone doesn`t get me to the insanity defense. I`m going to have to show something more. I`m going to have to show that he was -- there`s mental health issues, you know, in all other areas of his life.

If I can`t do that, the naked romp in the park is not an insanity defense by itself. And I will not --

GRACE: To Stacy Kaiser, psychotherapist joining us out of L.A., what about it, Stacy?

STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I mean, I do think there`s a very good chance that it is an insanity situation.

Here`s what I think. I think she may have been flirting at the party. It may have been jealousy because I`ve seen men do it. I`ve seen them lose it because their newlywed wife seems to be interested in another man.

GRACE: And of course being interested in another man could be simply standing there having a conversation for all I know?

KAISER: Absolutely. Especially if you`re dealing with a rageful man. We don`t know what his history is. We don`t know if there`s domestic violence. There`s a lot of things that we need to yet find out.

GRACE: You know, Marc Harrold, former cop, APD, you`re familiar with that area of town. Describe it.

MARC HARROLD, FORMER POLICE OFFICER, ATLANTA PD: Well, it`s the West End -- it`s near the West End Park. It`s on Oak Street down there near Interstate 20. It`s been regentrified to some degree. It`s a pretty nice area on the outskirts of that area. It`s pretty nice.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What do you mean regentrified? You mean a bunch of rich people move in?

HARROLD: Well, in some cases, people invested in it and fix it up a little bit. It looks better than it used to.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A Georgia man Minchillo McLester.




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: 25-year-old Madison McLester.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: His wife Madison`s body lying on the floor of their Georgia home.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Her new husband is caught naked in a nearby park.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It is a bizarre case.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Wandering the streets of Atlanta naked?




UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A Georgia man, Minchillo McLester.



UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A recent bride found murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: 25-year-old Madison McLester. His wife Madison`s body lying on the floor of their Georgia home.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Her new husband is caught naked in a nearby park.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It is a bizarre case.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Wandering the streets of Atlanta naked?


GRACE: We are taking your calls. To Lori in Illinois. Hi, Lori.

LORI: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

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

LORI: I just want to know, do they know if they had a very long engagement? Or was just like --

GRACE: You know what? I was just thinking that when I said they were still in the honeymoon phase.

Eric Jens, had they lived together or known each other a long time?

JENS: That`s information that has not been disclosed. We`re expecting to learn those kind of details in the coming days. We do know she was a 2007 graduate from Georgia State University and had recently begun working as an accountant at Georgia Pacific.

GRACE: OK. Gloria Allred, what`s he looking at? Of course, murder one.

ALLRED: Well, yes.

GRACE: But what else?

ALLRED: Yes, potentially. We don`t know exactly what the facts are, but I can say this, that obviously his role in this is suspect. And we don`t know why he was naked.

GRACE: Tip line 404-577-8477. 577-TIPS.

Let`s stop and remember Army Private 1st Class LaVena Johnson, just 19, Florissant, Missouri, killed Iraq. Awarded Iraq Campaign medal, 82nd Airborne Special Citation, Army Good Conduct medal.

Also honored at Virginia`s Memorial Wall of Dead Hero Soldiers. Loved traveling, activism, charity work including PETA, feeding the homeless, raising funds for cancer research.

Dreamed of college, being a movie and music producer. Leaves behind parents Dr. John and Linda Johnson, three brothers, one sister.

Lavena Johnson, American hero.

Thanks to our guests but especially to you. And a special good night from Oklahoma friend, "Death on the D-List" contest winner Jacey and her mom Vicky. Jacey`s choice to play Haley Dean? Sandra Bullock.

You`re the winner.

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