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CNN Larry King Live

Continued Examination of Elizabeth Smart Case; Daniel Pearl's Parents Speak Out

Aired June 24, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the parents of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl in their first interview since the crime that shocked the world. Judea and Ruth Pearl on coping with the tragic loss of their son and carrying on his legacy.

But first, a major development in day 19 of the desperate search for Elizabeth Smart. An ex-con who worked in her home as a handyman tops the list of potential suspects in her kidnapping. Police say this man, Richard Albert Ricci, could be a big piece of a puzzle.

Family reaction, David Francom, Elizabeth's uncle, and Angela Smart, Elizabeth's aunt.

With insights into Ricci's character, his latest boss, Lee Mitchell; plus prosecutor turned Court TV anchor Nancy Grace, high- profile defense attorney Mark Geragos, world-renowned forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee, and correspondent Kevin Peraino, who is covering the Smart case for "Newsweek." They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin tonight in this week with, again, the mysterious disappearance of Elizabeth Smart. The saga continues. She is gone since June 5. And joining us now from Salt Lake to begin tonight's show is Angela Smart. She's Elizabeth Smart's aunt. She's the sister of Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father. And David Francom, David is Elizabeth Smart's uncle. He's the brother of Lois Smart, Elizabeth's mother.

So we have the father's sister and the mother's brother with us. And what do you make of this Richard Albert Ricci story, David?

DAVID FRANCOM, ELIZABETH SMART'S UNCLE: You know, we are grateful that the police are investigating every aspect of this case, and the approach that we're taking to it is that it is just a piece that they are trying to put together. We don't know where it will lead, if it will lead to anything. And we certainly are still focusing on finding Elizabeth, and we don't want to let up at any time until we have her back with her family.

KING: Angela, Mr. Ricci worked for the family. Do you know him?

ANGELA SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S AUNT: No, I don't know him. I don't. He just worked for Ed.

KING: What did your brother say today to you about him?

SMART: Well, just that he had worked for him for a short amount of time and had helped out as a handyman in the home and outside.

KING: Do you have any idea, David, how he even became a suspect in this, if that's the right term?

FRANCOM: Well, certainly. You know, Ed and Lois have been going back through all of their records, have been racking their brains, as we all have, of who have come in contact with the home, with the family, with the children. They've had numerous workers on their home, and they have of course told the police every single worker, and the police have interrogated and questioned all of the workers.

And it's my understanding that Ricci has not necessarily passed all of the questions, and so that's the reason why they're continuing to question him.

KING: Now, he had broken parole, Angela, for something else and is back in jail. He was on parole since 2000, but was put back in jail on June 14. Do you know what he broke parole for?

SMART: No, I'm sorry, they haven't let us know that. They haven't told us about that.

KING: Is it true, Angela, that he failed a lie detector test?

SMART: You know, we actually do not know that. And I know that there's been reports of that. But we have heard no reports from the police. I don't think they'll give out that information.

KING: David, what is the reaction and the general reaction of your sister?

FRANCOM: Again, we -- she feels that this is something that the police are investigating, but whether or not there's any real connection, we don't know. And it's hard to get too hopeful or too anxious about it until we have more information that really confirms any connection, if there is any connection at all.

KING: And, Angela, your brother, his reaction to this?

SMART: Well, I think that any of us, as we have people come into our home and do odd jobs and work in our homes, I think it makes us all evaluate who's coming into our homes and what their history is. I think all of us would feel that way.

KING: David, computers were removed last week. Were yours taken?

FRANCOM: Larry, you know, I've been instructed by the police that I cannot reveal that type of information. You know, not that it affects me but it may in fact impact the investigation, and I don't want to jeopardize any aspect of that.

KING: I understand. Have lie detectors, to your knowledge, Angela, been given to all members of the family?

SMART: Not to my knowledge, but that is limited knowledge.

KING: Well, have both of you been given lie detectors? Have you been, David?

FRANCOM: I would have to go back to my answer to the other question is I've been instructed that I really cannot answer that type of a question. Sorry about that, but, you know, the police have just said that we really need to not comment on that.

KING: Ricci was an ex-convict. Are you aware, Angela or David, if your brother or sister knew that? And are they the kind being forgiving kind of people who would use an ex-convict on the job?

FRANCOM: Lois and Ed are very kind and loving people. I know that they would not put their children in any type of jeopardy whatsoever, and if they had any knowledge or information that this person would jeopardize their children, I know they would not have used him.

KING: Angela, how is your brother doing? Last week, he seemed very emotional, the first time since we've seen him that he was close to tears, he had feeled (ph) really strung out and the like. How is he doing now?

SMART: You know, Ed's doing really well. I think we're all a little worn down, and I think understandably so. But he has great strength, great coverage and great focus on finding Elizabeth, and that -- and the prayers and the love and the concern from everybody really helps buoy him up, and Lois and Edward really feel that support. And that really makes a large, an unbelievable difference in their lives and in their ability to function.

KING: And your sister, David, how is she doing?

FRANCOM: Lois is a very strong woman. And with Ed by her side and with them both very close together, they are holding up amazingly well. I know -- you know, the pain that I feel in my heart as an uncle is only a very small fraction I'm sure of what they must be feeling and going through, and I admire how well they've held up and their constant faith to get Elizabeth back home to them.

KING: And how, Angela, is the little sister doing who had to be witness to all of this?

SMART: You know, Mary Catherine is doing very well. She is holding up well. She's a very strong little girl. I'm amazed with her strength. And I think that it's because of the family support and the support of friends and the love which they've been giving to her that she's been able to hold up so well. And I think, you know, she's just a very courageous little girl. But she misses Elizabeth. She wants her back home.

KING: David, there is a vigil of some sort tonight. What can you tell us about it? FRANCOM: It's a musical vigil, where there will be several people performing music of faith, inspiration and hope, and everybody's invited. It will be held at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. And it's for Elizabeth, but it's also for all of the children who are lost, who have been abducted, who are missing. And our hearts go out to all of the parents and children who are suffering these same types of things.

KING: Angela, will family be there?

SMART: I'm sure they will be. I'm sure we'll all be there.

KING: Does, honestly, David, does your faith increase or decrease as the days go by?

FRANCOM: Well, as each day goes by, certainly it becomes harder, it becomes difficult to think what Elizabeth must be going through or what she's gone through. But to maintain our own piece of mind, our own sanity, we have to hold on to that faith, and we have. We've held on very strong. We fast and pray and hope, and we believe it's in the Lord's hands, and we trust in him.

KING: Angela, you never doubt?

SMART: Well, I think that there's all moments -- all of us have moments that we feel discouraged. But I think we all have that, you know, great faith that God knows all, and that's what keeps us going and keeps us moving forward.

KING: Thank you both very much. Angela Smart and David Francom, aunt and uncle of the missing Elizabeth Smart, have been missing since June 5. There will be a vigil tonight at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.

When we come back, we'll meet Richard Albert Ricci's former employer. And then we'll have our panel. And then we'll meet the mother and father of Daniel Pearl.

By the way, tomorrow night, Dear Abby comes back. Her aunt, Ann Landers, passed away over the weekend, lot to talk about with her and a lot of phone calls as well. So, lots ahead.

We'll be right back. Don't go away.


EDWARD SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S FATHER: We would ask everyone, you know, whether they're going on vacation or whatever they're doing to please keep their eyes and ears open for her, that we still feel confident that it is going to be through the eyes and ears that we find Elizabeth.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We continue now with Lee Mitchell. He's the owner of Mitchell's Nursery and Gifts, the employer of Richard Ricci, who's back in jail, as you know.

In New York is Nancy Grace, anchor of "Trial Heat" on Court TV; a former prosecutor.

In Los Angeles, the famed defense attorney Mark Geragos.

Dr. Henry Lee, the world-famed forensic expert, and author of "Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes."

And in Salt Lake City, Kevin Peraino, correspondent covering the story for "Newsweek."

Let's spend some moments with Lee Mitchell.

You employed Mr. Ricci in what capacity, Lee?

LEE MITCHELL, RICHARD RICCI'S EMPLOYER: We hired him to sell perennials and wait on customers in our garden center.

KING: And you met him through a program that hires ex-convicts?

MITCHELL: No, actually I met him when he was going through a program out at the prison they call a Green Thumbers program, which is where we're teaching inmates to learn the gardening business, how to raise perennials, annuals and different things like that.

And I taught a class out there for about three to four years. This Has been about eight years ago. And that's where I met him.

KING: Have you hired other ex-convicts?

MITCHELL: We have in the past, yes.

KING: Your impressions of Mr. Ricci?

MITCHELL: My personal impression was that he did a great job for us. He waited on the customers; the customers all liked him; he was very knowledgeable. And he did a very good job for us.

KING: Has his wife contacted you since all of this broke?

MITCHELL: She contacted us the day they picked him up, and said that they would be holding him for 72 hours, which is what she thought at that time, and then he would be back to work. That was the day after they picked him up, actually, because he was due to come to work that day, and he did not show up.

Then we found out they were going to keep him longer due to the fact that there was a parole violation, and so therefore...


KING: Do you know what the violation of parole was? MITCHELL: I'm not at liberty to say, because I am not positive. That's something you would have to get from the police department or the FBI.

KING: If he's cleared in all this, Lee, would you hire him back?

MITCHELL: If he's cleared from it, yes, I would hire him back in the same capacity he was because he was doing an excellent job. And I think -- you know, I have a very good feeling about some people being able to have a second chance. I think they all deserve a second chance.

We have all made mistakes in our life. Some more so than others, but I think we do deserve a second chance.

And maybe I'm wrong; maybe my feeling is wrong. I am not an authority on this. I have not studied it.

But he was very good for us while he was working for us.

KING: Lee, you're a longtime resident of Salt Lake City. Everyone we talked to is either a reporter or a member of the family.

How has this story affected you and the people you know?

MITCHELL: Well it -- an awful lot.

The people that I -- work for me were very upset because they were unaware of these things that happened, and they were unaware of him, which we felt was his duty to tell them, not ours, of what happened, because in the capacity he was working for us he was not handling money, he was not doing anything other than dealing with customers.

So therefore, I feel that, you know, anybody deserves a second chance. If he did it, then he deserves everything they're going to give him, and I agree with that 100 percent.

As I say, we had some of those people down in our program that I would never hire. But we had others that were very good and just because they...

KING: And he's one of those?

MITCHELL: One of those.

KING: Thank you Lee. Lee Mitchell, the owner of Mitchell's Nursery and Gifts in Salt Lake City.

All right Nancy Grace, that's a strong endorsement.

What do you make of this added chapter?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well, I appreciate Mr. Mitchell's generous bent of mind to give people a second chance. But this guy, Larry, has got nearly a 30-year resume of crime. Let me just say this guy is not afraid of committing a felony, OK. He has under his belt aggravated robbery -- that means with a weapon, Larry -- attempted homicide and prison escape, according to the wires that I've read.

He fits nearly every criteria that we have been discussing that would fit the mold for whoever knew their way around this home, had contact with the girl in the past and possibly had motivation to commit this crime.

KING: And Mark Geragos.

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, we've said -- Nancy and I have said from the get-go, I think, in this, the transient didn't make a whole lot of sense, just at first blush, unless there was stuff we didn't know about.

KING: The guy in the hospital...

GERAGOS: The guy in the hospital.

I mean, there was something about that that just didn't ring true.

IN this case, I'm sure what happened is that they fingerprinted the entire house. Clearly this gentleman's fingerprints are in that house. They've run the fingerprints, presumably, through AFIS or some other fingerprint identification system, which has, basically, a listing of all people who have been convicted of crimes.

This guy is going to come out immediately, is going to spit out of the system. He's on parole. It doesn't require anything to get a parole hold. I mean, you can get a parole hold if somebody breathes the wrong way.

So they get a parole hold on him, and then they've got...

KING: You think that's what the violation is?

GERAGOS: Well, I -- who knows what it is, but they've got a hold. They can get a hold on a parolee with very little.

KING: Is he a logical suspect?

GERAGOS: He's a logical suspect in the sense that he's in the house; he knows the location; he knows, apparently, the little girl; he's got a history; and he's got a, what I would consider to be, from the police standpoint, a very easy way for them to do a lot of talking about him.

GRACE: But that's not all, Mark. Mark, that's not all.

He has admitted to committing a burglary of this home in the past, after he had been fired from the home. GERAGOS: Exactly. And I don't have any problem -- and I don't think the police -- I think they would be remiss if they didn't hold this guy, if they didn't put a parole hold on him.

And they don't have the little short period of time in which to charge him and either take him to arraignment. With a parole hold, they can keep him for a long time...

KING: All right, let me ask -- Dr. Lee, forensically, what do they do with Mr. Ricci?

DR. HENRY LEE, WORLD FAMOUS FORENSIC EXPERT: Well, forensically, of course, very important to tie him, use the linkage series. If we can tie him to the crime scene, or the victim, or tie the victim to him -- that's called the linkage series. Somehow you have to link it.

Now, I agree with Nancy and Mark on he's a good suspect. And profile-wise he fits pretty good, except I don't believe they have his fingerprint in the home. Yet they found his in the house. He probably picked it up a long time ago.

Probably what is through the record checking, through the family, found whoever work in the house, and by the process of elimination.

Very importantly today they search his home and possess his car. If they can find any evidence Elizabeth was in the car, was in the house, and then they have some solid physical evidence.

KING: Let me get a break. We'll come back and start with Kevin Peraino in this go-round.

Don't forget: At the bottom of the hour, we'll meet Judea and Ruth Pearl, the parents of the late Daniel Pearl.

We'll be right back.


CHIEF RICK DINSE, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT: As a result of that additional investigation, we have been looking at Mr. Ricci very close. We believe he is a very important witness in this case.

I want to emphasize he is, at this point in time, not a charged suspect. But he is very interesting. And there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding his actions between May 31 and June 8 of this year.




LOIS SMART, MOTHER OF KIDNAPPED GIRL: Elizabeth, I know you are a strong, strong girl, and that you can endure this. And we have not given up on you, Elizabeth. We're going to find you. We love you, Elizabeth.


KING: Kevin Peraino of "Newsweek" on the scene in Salt Lake City: You learned anything we don't know about Mr. Ricci and his possible involvement?

KEVIN PERAINO, COVERING KIDNAPPING FOR "NEWSWEEK": No. I mean, there's a lot that we still don't know about Mr. Ricci.

But I have, I mean, listening to police talk about the people that they were looking at and the people that they wanted to question, I mean, they never talked very seriously about Bret Michael Edmunds. They said all along he was someone they wanted to talk to.

But I have to say today, at the news conference today, I mean, they had some strong words for -- about the ways that they were looking at Mr. Ricci. I mean, they said he's at the top of their list.

He certainly fits the profile better than someone like Bret Michael Edmunds does.

KING: Nancy, in your research, does he have any history of child molestation?

GRACE: Nothing that I've turned up so far.

But, you know, I see three major crimes, Larry, all of them possibly with a weapon. Aggravated robbery revolves around a weapon, attempted homicide, and a prison escape.

And earlier we heard Dr. Lee say, well, his fingerprints could have been there innocently when he was working in the home. I disagree on one point. And that is: He was limited to a particular area. If his fingerprints turn up on and around that girl's bed and bedroom, now that's a whole different ball game than him having prints in the garage or the kitchen.


KING: Hold it Dr. Lee.

Mark, what about motive?

GERAGOS: Well, as you know, and we've discussed before, that doesn't -- that isn't something they have to prove.

In this case there clearly are people who would say that given somebody who's a product of the prison culture, that this is not a stretch in terms of motivation and what he was doing here, and being a sexual predator...

KING: Why? I mean, prisoners tend to...

GERAGOS: There's a consistent, if you will, thought in criminal justice that prison culture is such that people end up, who are more than one or two times in the joint, so to speak, end up becoming sexual predators

KING: Dr. Lee, you were going to add something to what Nancy said.

LEE: Yes, Nancy, that's a good point. If his fingerprint, in fact, found in Elizabeth's room, he probably long ago already arrested. I doubt that his fingerprint was found in her bedroom.

Of course, today the police chief said he's very interesting, but right at this moment he's still just -- they want to talk to him, did not list him as a suspect.

GERAGOS: Except, you know, they have the luxury in this case of not having to charge him because of the parole hold. I think that the police are going to use that to their advantage, and as well they should.

They don't have to get to a situation where, because he's in custody they've got to charge him within a certainty amount of time.

They can use this time to sweat him out to develop all kind of leads, to try and trip him up, to talk to him five or six times, to get inconsistencies...

GRACE: To explain why he flunked the lie detector test.


GERAGOS: ... detector test. I mean, they've got all...

LEE: The lie detector really...

GERAGOS: ... disposal that they normally would not have because they don't have to get him charged and into a courtroom as quickly.

KING: Doctor?

LEE: What we call it polygraph, what an examiner call a lie detector test, it will not detect a lie. It's a psychological reaction to certain questions.

The most important question here: Where's Elizabeth? We have to find her. That's the most important thing.

And to link the case together, have to base on physical evidence.

KING: Kevin, are the police more pessimistic as the days go by about the chance of recovering her alive?

PERAINO: Yes, privately they are. Although, you know, they have had some breaks in the last couple of days. I mean, they, of course, have known about this guy for a long time. They interviewed him the day after the kidnapping for the first time. And -- but, you know, now when you hear them talk publicly about it this weekend, and they caught Edmunds, I mean, there are small bursts of optimism.

GERAGOS: Yes, but the only way that they could be optimistic about her if they believe that he's involved, is if there's somebody else involved with him, because he's been in custody now for going on a while.

So unless there's somebody else involved...

KING: You mean this could be a...

GERAGOS: Yes. If there's somebody else involved, that gives you some hope for optimism that she can be brought back.

KING: Nancy, are you pessimistic about her?

GRACE: Larry, you know, part of me wants it to be him so we'll find out, and part of me doesn't want it to be him because of what Mark Geragos just said.

If it's him and he's holding out, that means he doesn't want the police to find the body, else he would tell them where she was. So I'm torn.

GERAGOS: And if it's -- yes, and if it's him and he's acting alone, the fact that he's in custody, and God knows where she might be, and if he has something to do with it, her chances of survival dim by the minute.

KING: Dr. Lee, are you -- do you have any cause for optimism?

LEE: Well, of course, police being searched surrounding area thoroughly, used the dog, used volunteers, so far they did not recover any body. That's the good sign.

But I agree with Mark and Nancy. If this is the person, the longer they're holding him, and the longer the chance for Elizabeth to survive is diminished.

KING: Kevin, what's the feeling among the press on the scene?

PERAINO: Well, I mean, the press is still here. I mean, there are just about as many reporters here today as there were the first day. And so obviously, you know, there was this, you know, this -- a little bit of excitement Friday when they caught, you know, Bret Michael Edmunds.

I think the press sort of goes up and down with the news the same way the family does and everybody else in Salt Lake.

KING: And we're certainly staying atop the story.

We thank Nancy Grace and Mark Geragos, Dr. Henry Lee and Kevin Peraino. When we come back, in their first television appearance since the tragic assassination of their son, Judea and Ruth Pearl, the parents of the late Daniel Pearl of the "Wall Street Journal" will join us.

Don't go away.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.

We now welcome to this program Judea and Ruth Pearl, the parents of the late "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl, who was killed, as you know, in Pakistan. They are also the grandparents of Adam D. Pearl, now 4 weeks old, the son of Danny and his wife, Mariane.

Judea is president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Ruth is secretary and financial officer. And Judea is a teacher in computer sciences at UCLA. And Ruth, a retired teacher.

They're here in cooperation with the publication of a new book, "At Home in the World." It's a hardcover collection of Danny's work for "The Wall Street Journal." There you see its cover.

Let's start in some other areas.

Judea, your feelings as you look at the Smarts, the parents of Elizabeth, missing now. What must they be going through?

J. PEARL: I know very well what they are going through. It was a little different in our case because the case was prolonged for so long. It was repeated. It's still occurring; it hasn't finished. We're still getting rumors from Pakistan. We're still getting problems with various videos.

So, it's going on, and we don't get a chance to...

KING: It doesn't go away.

J. PEARL: Doesn't go away.

KING: But you know the feeling of a child gone.

J. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Ruth, what was it like for you?

R. PEARL: I think any mother can imagine that. It's not difficult to imagine your child -- uncertainty about their fate.

KING: And there was high hopes at one time, right, that he would be released?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: That was turned into a terrible thing to have happened to you, right? The hopes raised up, and then down. How did you deal with that emotionally?

R. PEARL: It is still difficult for me to really talk about. Four times we were told he is dead. And so we went through incredible ups and downs in emotions.

At one point, our daughters were ready to go to Germany to meet him, it looked so promising.

KING: Promising, I remember.

The people at "The Wall Street Journal" were wonderful, too, aren't they?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Judea, is there anything you would say to Mr. And Mrs. Smart?

J. PEARL: I wouldn't like to say, because our case is final, and they have hope. I really would like them to keep on hoping.

KING: Did you have hope right till the end?

J. PEARL: Till the very end.

KING: How did you learn that Daniel was dead?

J. PEARL: The FBI people came in.

KING: Came to the house?

J. PEARL: Came to the house. They looked more serious than usual that day.

J. PEARL: You sensed it?

J. PEARL: I sensed it. Also, they brought a doctor with them.

KING: Oh, a psychiatrist?

J. PEARL: No, it's, I think, a medical doctor.

KING: Ruth, did you sense it?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Did they handle it well?

J. PEARL: Yes, well, yes, yes. And Ruth asked first: Is it bad? They said yes. Is he dead? Yes. That was that.

R. PEARL: She had tears in her eyes.

KING: Did you talk to Mariane soon after that, Ruth?

R. PEARL: I called to find out if she was informed, and they said that they are on their way to let her know.

KING: And then did you talk to her soon after?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Have you seen your grandson yet?

J. PEARL: Not yet. Not yet. But we will see him soon.

KING: Will she come here, or are you going to go there?

R. PEARL: We didn't decide yet if she's going to come soon enough or if we're going to go.

KING: Were you surprised at the way the public embraced your son?

J. PEARL: No, I'm not surprised.

KING: I mean, we all had such a feeling.

J. PEARL: Yes. There were two factors here. One, he was an unique individual. And second, the circumstances under which he died were sort of a magnifying glass to amplify Danny and his character. You put the two factors together, and I'm not surprised the public is so moved by it.

KING: You realized, Ruth, that in his profession, he took chances, right?

R. PEARL: Yes, but the chances statistically were not that high. Journalists are not murdered every day. It's a profession that's normally -- is left alone, because of what happened -- for instance, in Lebanon, when they took hostages, journalists...

KING: They don't kill them.

R. PEARL: They don't kill them. But also journalists didn't go there for many years, and that was bad for the country.

KING: This foundation that you both chair will do what?

J. PEARL: Basically, the foundation will prolong and perpetuate Danny's legacy. It came about in three phases. The first phase, the mind refuses to cope with the finality of death. So you immediately want to continue life. The ancient Egyptians built pyramids; we build foundations.

The second phase is when the mind refuses to accept the senselessness of it. Danny contributed so much to the world; he brought so much joy and understanding. And the immediate reaction is: we ought to continue his work, to make it last -- something good must come out of it.

The third phase is of sort of a gift. We would like the many people who associated with Danny to feel proud of him. And we would like to make sure that they will be able to say: "He is one of us" . To be proud of what they are doing.

KING: Build a memorial of some kind?

R. PEARL: It's happening. We're getting offers of all kinds of memorials.

KING: Let me take a break. This book is just out -- "At Home in the World." Later, Ruth is going to read something from it.

As we go to break, we're going to show you a scene of the wedding of Mariane and Daniel. And the person playing the violin is Daniel -- watch.



MARIANE PEARL, WIDOW OF DANIEL PEARL: He came to visit me in Paris. And I came one morning and I made a big omelet -- sundried tomato omelet. And I fell in love.

KING: And how long after that were you married?

M. PEARL: About a few months. Yes, we got married as soon as we met -- you know, we were made.

KING: Married life was like what, do you think?

M. PEARL: It was great. You know, Danny's, like, this kind of character that has a lot of imagination, and he likes to be, like, silly. And so, at the same time, we laughed a lot. We had, like, a friendship.


KING: The book, "At Home in the World," this collection of stories by Daniel in "The Wall Street Journal," most of them came from the well-known middle column on the front page. The book is just published, the legacy formed by the Daniel Pearl Foundation. All proceeds from the book will go to that foundation, the profits donated so that the trust will benefit Danny's wife and their baby son, Adam. They've already raised some $150,000; they've had many, many -- Bill Clinton's an honorary board member. The L.A. Press Club has established a Daniel Pearl Award.

Before we talk a little about the book, what do you make of these outlets, some of them, showing the slaying?

J. PEARL: They're mistaken. It's a mistake. First, they would encourage more abduction and more murders, because they play into the hands of the terrorists. And second, we are killing, we are degrading our heroes, and that is a mistake. These are the two points that I made in the opinion section... KING: So you try not to think about the way he died.

J. PEARL: That's right. I am satisfied with the transcript that I received, and I know that he died proudly, and I feel his messages.

KING: You do feel that?

J. PEARL: Yes.

KING: What do you feel about the people who killed him?

R. PEARL: I try not to expend too much emotion on that. They're a different species.

KING: Different species?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Not human.

R. PEARL: I can't comprehend them, and I try not to go in that direction.

KING: Are you strongly seeking vengeance?

R. PEARL: No, I'm seeking justice.

KING: Do you think the Pakistani government will get them?

R. PEARL: I hope so.

KING: Do you think they will?

J. PEARL: I hope. I cannot predict what will happen. Things seem to be going OK, and I hope justice will be served.

KING: You were born in Baghdad, right?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Many Jews in Baghdad?

R. PEARL: When I was there, it was 25 percent of the population.

KING: Really?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: How did you two meet?

R. PEARL: In college.

J. PEARL: In college.

KING: What school?

J. PEARL: Technion, in Haifa

KING: You were an Israeli, right?

J. PEARL: Yes. I was born in Tel Aviv.

KING: And what do you make of what's going on there?

J. PEARL: I'm optimistic.

KING: You are?

J. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Did you like the Bush speech today?

J. PEARL: I do, because I was worried it was going to get worse.

KING: This collection -- Daniel was an unusual kind of reporter, was he not, Ruth? He was not your typical who, what, where, when, why. He looked for different kinds of things.

R. PEARL: Definitely. He was very creative.

KING: Whose idea was to put this together in a book?

R. PEARL: Actually, my brother -- as soon as my son was abducted, my brother had the idea that we should publicize his writings, to show what kind of reporter he is. And "The Wall Street Journal" did put about six articles right away. Then when we realized that Danny was murdered, we requested that they should come up with a book.

But the truth of the matter, I don't think it was an original idea, I think other people thought about it. But I did talk to the deputy managing editor -- foreign editor -- Barney Calame, about it right away.

KING: She said the word what kind of person he was. What kind of person was he?

J. PEARL: For me, he's characterized by three elements: truth, compassion, and creativity. Truth -- he never lied.

KING: Never lied?

J. PEARL: He doesn't know how to lie. Either he's scared of being caught lying, or he feels very comfortable with truth.

And compassion you can see from the book. He treats everybody with respect, no matter what walk of life or what background. He is actually interested in people. That's compassion.

KING: Ruth, do you think he was killed because he was Jewish?

R. PEARL: It's very difficult at this point to make a judgment. It's a speculation. Evidently, they played it up once he was abducted. Clearly, they played it up. And they made him, you know...

KING: And it was the last thing they talked about, wasn't it?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: Did we learn that from the transcript?

J. PEARL: From the transcript, yes. But we have to remember that the transcript was put together. It was taken in three different periods and they were put together, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: We'll be back with some more moments with Judea and Ruth Pearl, and Ruth will read something special for us right after this.


TAMARA PEARL, DANIEL PEARL'S SISTER: I'll miss his humor. I'll miss his encouraging words. I'll miss his easygoing way that reminds me to, you know, not to take some things so seriously. And I'll miss and I'll always admire how much he just loved life, and his optimism.




MICHELLE PEARL, DANIEL PEARL'S SISTER: ... miss him asking me for advice and giving me advice and making me laugh, and calling me all the time to ask me to move to India or wherever it is he's living.

And most of all, I'm going to miss that he won't be at my wedding.


KING: When is she getting married?

R. PEARL: We don't know yet.

KING: The -- you -- instead of the columns from the book everyone is going to read -- this book should be in every home -- you have an e-mail from Danny?

R. PEARL: Yes. But it was a story (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Go ahead.

R. PEARL: There was a story about Tehran's hostages. It was a movie that they made about the hostages. But it wasn't the American hostages; it was the Iranian hostages. It was made in 1996. And in that movie, the bus happened to be where the helicopters were there for to rescue the hostages, and they were detained for about three hours. And the whole movie is about that.

KING: The detaining. R. PEARL: The detaining of the Iranians. And Danny wrote the story, but I read it, and I saw that Barbara Carton was the byline that wrote in...

KING: Wrong byline?

R. PEARL: Wrong byline. I didn't know at the time. I was thinking, there must be another reporter in Iran.

And then the next day I got this e-mail. And the part that deals with that says: "By the way, I had a story on yesterday's front page. It was somebody else's name in the byline. How is that for a screw- up? Everybody was profusely apologetic, and hopefully, I can cash in on their embarrassment later on when I need something.

"I thought it was pretty funny, except for two things: Poor Barbara Carton's mother picking up the paper and thinking her daughter had flown off to Iran without telling her. And the guy who edited the story is the same guy I was competing with for the London job.

"It was completely innocent mistake, but he must feel terrible."

KING: That's a sample of lots of things about Daniel.

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: His humility, his humor, his looking at -- with -- you could have looked at that a lot of ways. You could have been angry -- you know, a front-page story credited to the wrong person. And to take that approach tells me a lot about him.

J. PEARL: He was very generous with his colleagues, regarding credit. Very generous.

KING: How do you deal, Ruth, with something that's against nature: It's been asked before, as all of us who are parents can't even imagine it. How do you deal with the loss of a child? I don't care how old Daniel was, he was a child to you.

R. PEARL: Yes. I lost a brother, by the way, too.

KING: You did.

R. PEARL: And that's difficult, too, so I feel for my daughters.

KING: A younger brother?

R. PEARL: No, he was older. I was 15. It was in Israel, and he was killed in Israel.

KING: In the war?

R. PEARL: Yes, after the war, in a border clash.

So the pain is very difficult to cope with. And Judea and I always wonder how come we are alive? It's difficult to understand. KING: Guilt?

R. PEARL: No, no guilt whatsoever.

KING: Why us, and why are we alive?

R. PEARL: No, no, none of that.

One thing in our family, which we are very grateful for, there was no guilt. There was nothing left unsaid. We loved -- our love was so strong and was expressed so freely.

A week before his kidnapping, I happened to send an e-mail because I had some medical problem, and there was some kind of danger of me dying. And my daughter asked me what would I want to say on my death bed. And I said, Nothing. I know I love you all very much, and I know you love me. So I know Danny didn't worry about us saying that we love each other. We have no guilt.

KING: So when you say why are we alive, it's just that...

J. PEARL: I say it's a surprise. I'm surprised at the resilience of human biology. But Ruth had a good explanation for that.

KING: Go ahead. I would ask myself how would I live?

J. PEARL: Love.

R. PEARL: We have so many strong memories from Danny. Our love was so strong. That nourishes us. We keep on remembering Danny. We...

KING: And that keeps you going?

J. PEARL: That keeps us going. He fills our lives. I talk to him; he consults me. That show?, he says, NO!. LARRY KING? OK. And I take his advice.

Sometimes I ask him, Danny, take over, and he conducts my actions. So he's essentially not dead -- he's everywhere.

KING: This is a good method of coping, isn't it?

R. PEARL: Yes.

KING: But it's also real. It's not just a psychologist saying this is a good idea, is this?

R. PEARL: No, this is our own feelings. This is how we -- whenever we can't cope with it, we go to that -- to the memories. We remind each other of Danny.

He was an amazing child and an amazing person. And we are so grateful that the rest of the world is recognizing him. And, also, it's a gift to the world; so many are writing to us: "we are going to raise our kids like Danny, we are going to live our lives to the fullest, the way Danny lived it."

KING: I'll tell you another blessing you have: Adam. This is a blessed child. He will learn about his father and his wonderful mother and his great grandparents.

J. PEARL: Thank you.


KING: Been an honor meeting you. My privilege.

The book is "At Home in the World." It's a hardcover collection of Danny's work for "The Wall Street Journal." It is now out; it should be in your home.

And we thank Josef -- Judea and Ruth Pearl for being our special guests.

We'll come back in a little while and tell about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE: Dear Abby returns. She was with us last week for one segment. But with Connie Chung's piece tonight on the man that she turned in, the potential child molester, the fact that her aunt, Ann Landers, died over the weekend, we thought it worthwhile to bring her back.

Dear Abby tomorrow night.

Next is NEWSNIGHT. Aaron Brown is on vacation, and who sits in, but Anderson Cooper.

Anderson, the ball game is in your park.