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CNN Larry King Live
Interview With Angela Ricci
Aired July 01, 2002 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the desperate search for Elizabeth Smart continues, now 27 days since she was abducted. Ex-con Richard Ricci is a major focus of the police investigation. And joining us for a rare interview, his wife, Angela Ricci, who is standing by her man. Where was he that night, and what about that white Jeep?
And with her, the Riccis' attorney, David Smith. They'll take your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.
The case continues to boggle the minds. Richard Ricci was one of the first people police questioned after Elizabeth's abduction. He's an ex-con, 29-year criminal record. He once worked as a handyman in the Smart home. He was arrested after the abduction on parole violations, is now in a Utah state prison in Draper, Utah. It's about 20 miles south of Salt Lake. Police are not calling him a suspect in the Elizabeth Smart abduction, but clearly, he's the focus of their investigation.
His wife, Angela, is with us. So is his attorney, David Smith. You are -- it's OK to represent both, David? Could there be a time where that's a conflict?
DAVID K. SMITH, RICCI ATTORNEY: There could be a time when that's a conflict. But right now, I think we're OK.
KING: OK. Angela, you've been married how long?
ANGELA RICCI, RICHARD RICCI'S WIFE: Since February 14 of this year, Valentine's Day.
KING: There were stories that you were not married?
RICCI: We're married.
KING: You were married where?
RICCI: We got married in Clark County, Nevada. Mesquite, Nevada is where we actually had our ceremony. But it's through Clark County, Nevada.
KING: Did you know how that story...
RICCI: I have no idea whatsoever. I just -- I got my marriage license dated and there you have it. KING: How long do you know Richard?
RICCI: I've known Richard for about a year and a half.
KING: Did you know about his past record?
RICCI: Yes, I did. Yes.
KING: Was it difficult, then, to get involved?
RICCI: No, because he did his time, and he's a very genuine man, a very wonderful man. And we hit it off really well, and I felt really safe and comfortable with him.
KING: And was he clean for the year and a half or not? I mean, there were no robberies or anything?
RICCI: Right. Yes.
KING: He was living up to his parole, right?
KING: And you have a child by a previous marriage?
RICCI: Not a marriage, but I do have a child.
KING: You have a child, who is how old?
RICCI: He's 11.
KING: And we see the wedding photographs there, so I guess it kind of proves that. And he had a child -- he has -- does he have children?
RICCI: He had a son. And he got hit by a drunk driver and was killed on, I believe it was '85, '86.
KING: When did you first hear about the Smart kidnapping?
RICCI: The early morning of the 5th, we...
KING: They were taken the night before, right? This girl was taken when?
RICCI: Well, I guess between 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning is what the news report said.
KING: The night of the report, morning of the report?
RICCI: Yes. And so we get up every morning about 6:00 and we have coffee and get the paper, and then we turn on the news.
KING: And that's where you heard it?
RICCI: Yes. KING: So you heard it together?
KING: Was any comment made, do you remember?
RICCI: He wasn't sure if it was Mr. Smart's daughter, you know. He said, I wonder if that is because he had worked for him and he's the only Smart that he's known.
KING: But there are other Smarts, as we've...
RICCI: I guess so, yes. But then when he saw Mr. Smart on the TV, he was very heartbroken. He really liked the Smarts, especially Ed. He has a lot of respect for him. And he was just devastated, and I feel he could genuinely feel the pain of losing a child.
KING: And you have stated throughout that he was with you that full night?
KING: All right. How do you react to the statement made by Carma Tolman on this show? Did you watch her last week?
RICCI: I didn't.
KING: All right. She was on this show. She's a neighbor of yours.
KING: And she said that you went around asking people in the neighborhood if they had seen your husband leave that night.
RICCI: No, I didn't. There was no reason for me to do that because he was there.
KING: But where would she have, do you think, invented that from?
RICCI: I don't know. I have no idea. I had spoken with her after the FBI had came by. And we had, you know, discussed what the events that had been going on. And I may have made a comment like, well, I think anybody around here would have noticed if he was gone. But, no, I did not go poll my neighbors. That's not my habit. I don't do that.
KING: Then there were other stories that you take medication that puts you in a deep sleep and he could have gone and you wouldn't have known he was gone?
RICCI: Well, I didn't have any medication at the time in question.
KING: Didn't? RICCI: I did not at the time in question. I got in a severe car accident about 18 months ago. I was given the proper medication to take on an as-needed basis, and I've just been trying to recover from that.
KING: Did he think he'd be a suspect? Did he say to someone...
RICCI: Actually, we discussed that that morning because he is on parole, he did work for Mr. Smart and he bought the vehicle. So, he was...
KING: The white Jeep.
RICCI: The white Jeep, yes. And he was not at all surprised that they would come question him. In fact, he was hoping they would because he wanted to do whatever he could to help.
KING: Did he think he'd be arrested for parole violation?
RICCI: What was the violation, David? What have they said he violated parole? What did he do to violate parole?
SMITH: Drinking alcohol.
KING: Just drinking alcohol?
SMITH: Yes, drinking alcohol. He had a no-alcohol provision in his parole and he was picked up for drinking alcohol.
KING: And that, so, that -- and they can hold him?
KING: Ad infinitum?
SMITH: Well, they can hold him up to 90 days, but it's possible to hold him longer than that, depending on circumstance.
KING: Are you able to visit him?
RICCI: I haven't seem him. I've only seen him once since his arrest.
KING: Why can't you visit him?
RICCI: Well, being -- since he's been transported to Draper, they have -- it's called receiving an orientation. It's called R&O. And until they get out of that, which is about anywhere from four to six weeks, they generally don't have visits, maybe sometimes sooner.
KING: That's standard, David, even if it's a parole violation, where a man's been in prison before?
SMITH: Yes. KING: What do they have to orient him to?
SMITH: One wonders. But that's standard procedure out at the prison. Their regulations are that when you go into R&O, a receiving and orientation, they call it, then you're not allowed any visitors and the telephone is also limited.
KING: How limited?
RICCI: He -- I can't remember what date they took him down to prison, but he just called just this last Sunday, which would have been yesterday, and I missed his call. He did talk to my parents. So I won't be able to talk to him again until this Sunday. So, it's like every -- once a week.
KING: So you've spoken to him since he was taken into custody once? Where was that?
RICCI: Well, I spoke to him quite a few times from the jail, when they -- after they arrested him on the 14th.
KING: Before they moved him to Draper.
RICCI: Yes. And we spoke several times after that.
KING: What is his attitude?
RICCI: His attitude is he wants to do everything he can to help. He's done several things to cooperate voluntarily. You know, gave permission to search the home, the vehicles, the shed. They got the yard. He's given blood. All these things he's done voluntarily.
KING: He made the statement, we read it on this show, that he took a lie detector test. But he didn't say the results of that test. Do you know the results, David?
SMITH: We don't know the results, but so far as we know, he did well.
KING: But how do you -- you mean, they keep that. They don't tell you what he did?
SMITH: No, they don't tell you what that was. But I'd like to emphasize something here. You know, he did submit to the polygraph test voluntarily. In fact, he submitted to blood tests, to DNA samples, giving DNA samples, and 26 hours of questioning. And they even allowed him -- he even allowed them to search his home and his garden and even his vehicle, as you know. And that was all done voluntarily, without a warrant or a subpoena.
KING: Haven't you said he lost the keys to that car once?
RICCI: Yes. Someone stole them around say the 18th, 20th of April.
KING: Was the car ever missing? RICCI: No. The keys are out there.
KING: How do you account for the mileage put on the car?
RICCI: Well, I don't know who drove that car. I don't know who put the miles on it. So...
SMITH: Well, let me just put it this way. You know, Salt -- as you know, Larry, Salt Lake is a very large metropolitan area now. And it goes from the city center down to the southern end of the valley. And it is quite broad and wide. And so, it's not uncommon for a person to put on 50, 60, 80 miles a day in the course of a normal day, either going downtown and back or up to the ski resorts, or even four- wheeling.
So, you know, it's certainly possible for a person in a period of, I understand, about nine days that the car was said to be missing from the shop to put on that kind of mileage.
KING: Did your husband tell you that he stole from the Smarts?
KING: Was he fired by the Smarts?
RICCI: I don't have any recollection.
KING: Was he, David?
SMITH: Well, whether he was or he wasn't, what we can say is no charges have ever been...
KING: The Smarts never filed them.
SMITH: Yes, no charges ever were filed.
KING: They did dismiss him though, right, didn't they or did they?
SMITH: Well, they did. But they did also other workers, is my understanding. There was some concern about some...
KING: As we go to break, and we'll be right back, we'll include some of your phone calls, by the way, here is a statement made today by Elizabeth's grandmother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOROTHA SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S GRANDMOTHER: Our family feels strongly that she is alive. And we so appreciate this search to continue and that you people are still covering this. And we still plead with that person or those people who have Elizabeth to please give her up. Let her walk out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Angela Ricci, the wife of Richard Ricci, who's the focus of police investigation but not a suspect, and the attorney for both Richard and Angela, David Smith.
He is not a suspect, right?
SMITH: He is not a suspect.
KING: Why not? I mean, what's the delineation?
SMITH: I believe the reason is, there's simply not enough forensic evidence to make a tie-in. And that's the reason.
KING: So they have to have a tie-in.
SMITH: I believe...
KING: So would you say he's suspicious to them?
SMITH: Sure, he's suspicious, but they just don't have a tie...
KING: During the days following the abduction, was he gone for any period of time that you would say, where's Richard?
RICCI: No. Absolutely not.
KING: Would you ever conceive of him harming a child?
RICCI: Never. Never.
Especially, as I said before, he had a son that died. And that put a very big hole in his heart. And I just know that he would never put another hole in another human being's heart such as that.
KING: So wouldn't it have even been a kidnapping for ransom?
RICCI: Absolutely not, no.
KING: You could not see him doing?
RICCI: No, no.
KING: And did he say that to you a lot? Because -- did he say, you know, he had a son who was killed?
RICCI: Yes. We've talked about it. We've talked about that a lot. And he's expressed the emptiness in his heart. So I know how strongly he feels about that.
KING: How has he been treated at the grand jury? RICCI: They were OK. They just basically asked the same questions that I've had in investigation, and that's that. I can't really discuss what happened in the room. They were OK.
KING: And you're not allowed in that room, right?
KING: Now, the mechanic on the car claimed somebody identifying herself at you called to say her husband would be picking up the Jeep.
Was that you?
RICCI: No, it wasn't.
And just real quickly...
KING: What do you make of it?
RICCI: Well, any time that I've ever called -- either Richard or I have ever called the shop regarding mechanical work on that vehicle, we are not that formal with the mechanic to call and say, this is Mr. or Mrs. Ricci.
If I were to call that place, he would only know me, myself, as white Jeep, electronic fuel pump. You know, I've experienced this when I've called there before.
So, you know, it wasn't me, and I don't have a clue as to where that came from.
KING: Do you see this as a case, David, of wrong place, wrong time? Just a set of circumstances are pointing to -- like it's a "Law and Order" chapter until they find the other twist?
SMITH: Exactly. That's where I believe it's at.
KING: Because if it was him -- if, God forbid, from your standpoint it was him -- she's dead, isn't she?
SMITH: I believe that would have to be the case. I can't imagine that he would be sitting there in jail for the last, what, 15, 16 days and, you know, where would she be? Who would be taking care of her?
KING: Unless there was a collaboration.
SMITH: Unless there was collaboration. I just don't see that as the case.
KING: Do you think they're looking at other things?
SMITH: Yes, I do.
KING: You have faith that the police and the FBI are not just focusing on your client? SMITH: Well, I think that's evident by the things that have happened in just the last day or two, for example.
SMITH: Well, for example, we've heard that they are looking at taking blood samples or perhaps fingerprints from several neighbors in the Federal Heights area, as well as in the trailer park area where Mr. Ricci lived.
KING: What do you make of the hat and the machete story?
RICCI: We know about the machete part. That was in my father's shed.
Quickly, I was speaking with Richard from jail.
You know, first it was a baseball hat, and then it came out later on that it was a golf-type hat. And I was explaining that to Richard. I don't think he had -- he wasn't watching television until at the time.
When I explained it to him, I said a golfer's hat. And he said, well, that wouldn't cover my bald head very well.
And I said, no, not a visor cap, but a golfer's cap, like my dad would wear. He has one at -- I said, dad has one hanging at his house.
The next day the FBI came and took that hat from my father's home. Rick didn't even know what kind of hat I was talking about.
KING: Your father's not a suspect, is he?
KING: All right, let me get some calls here.
Aiken, South Carolina, hello.
CALLER: Hi, I have a question for Mrs. Ricci.
CALLER: OK. According to reports, you said your husband was in bed sleeping all night. But if you were sleeping yourself, how do you know he was in bed all night?
RICCI: OK, he falls asleep about 10:30 or 11:00 every night. And this is an every night thing. We're pretty scheduled that way. I don't sleep as well as he does, and I fall asleep between 1:00 and 2:00.
If he does get up to go to the restroom, I feel him get up, I feel him get back. I don't recall him getting up that evening, and we wake up at 6:00 every morning. So, you know, that's the best I can do there. He was in bed with me
KING: So you're saying if he got up, he'd got up, he'd have gone up, had to get up, leave the house, go out, abduct a child, harm the child, bury a child and come back home.
And you're saying that there's no way that figures?
RICCI: You've got to do the math.
SMITH: Yes, look at the timeline on this, because if he had done that -- if she went to bed at 1:30, say. Give her about 30 minutes to get to sleep. Then that means he leaves about 2:00. Even there you're conflicting with the timeframe.
KING: The timeframe.
SMITH: And, you know, it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to go from Kearns, where they live, to the Federal Heights area, even if there's little traffic.
So if you're going to cut an hour off of travel time, that only gives you about two-and-a-half hours. That's very difficult.
KING: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Hello.
CALLER: Yes. I'd like to say to Ms. Ricci, you seem like a very sweet and caring young lady.
And my question to you is: I was wandering if you -- did you meet Mr. Ricci while he was still in prison? And were you aware of his long rap sheet before you married him?
RICCI: No, I did not meet him while he was in prison, I met him through my brother.
And, yes, he was very honest with me as to why he was in prison, the things he's done in his past. And he, you know, relayed to me that he would just like to have a normal, happy, family life with me and my son.
KING: Did you have concerns?
RICCI: No, I didn't.
RICCI: Because he's an honest person. And I feel like he didn't leave anything out. You know, anything I asked him, he was willfully (sic), you know, to answer.
He just isn't one to not tell you. If anybody asked him: What did you do? What were you in for? He would tell them.
KING: He did have some violence in his past though, did he not?
RICCI: With a police officer.
KING: Yes, and what was that about? Did he tell you?
RICCI: I didn't really get the whole story. You know, I got just, you know, the main part. And it was that the cop said, stop or I'll shoot. The cop shot.
And that was that, so...
KING: Has he been forthcoming with you about all this?
SMITH: Oh, yes, yes; very forthcoming.
KING: So he has told you about the shooting, and there's nothing where you can look up a record and say, my client did not tell me the truth?
SMITH: No, he's been very forthcoming about that.
KING: Elizabeth's sister, the young lady, described the abductor as someone with a golf-style hat, soft-spoken, and dark hair on the back of the hands.
Does that fit Richard?
RICCI: No. He has no hair on his hands.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more phone calls for Angela Ricci and her attorney David Smith.
Later our panel will join us.
This is LARRY KING LIVE. Tomorrow night Ed McMahon looks back on the life and times of Johnny Carson.
And on Thursday night, July Fourth, Nell Connally, the only person still living from the car that drove JFK on November 22, 1963.
Don't go away.
KING: Before we get back to the calls, another thing on the odometer. A mechanic insists that Ricci took it May 30, returned it June 8, with about 500 to 1,000 more miles on the odometer. He said there's no doubt it was Ricci. He says Ricci removed two Indian-style seat covers and a posthole digger. Do you know what that is?
RICCI: A posthole digger? No, I don't.
KING: Do you know what all this is about? Did you talk to Richard? RICCI: No. He has no idea what it's about. And there were never...
KING: In other words, he doesn't know about changing seat covers?
RICCI: No. He's never had seat covers in his Jeep.
KING: What does he say to you, David, about this 500 to 1,000 miles?
SMITH: Well, as I've indicated earlier...
KING: I know it's a big place.
SMITH: ... it's a big place. But really what we've talked about confidentially, I'm really not at liberty to get into at this moment. I'd love to do that at some time. And maybe in the appropriate circumstance and setting, I'll do that.
KING: Does he have a genuine fear of being charged?
SMITH: Well, he doesn't know, of course. But I don't sense a great fear.
KING: Did he express that to you?
RICCI: No. I don't sense a great fear of that either. I think his biggest fear is the fact that maybe they are focusing on him a lot, and maybe they're not, you know -- I'm sure they're following their leads. But with them having such a focus on Richard, I think his fear and heartbreak is maybe they won't find actually who did it.
KING: And to your knowledge, he is fully cooperating?
SMITH: To my knowledge, he's fully cooperating.
KING: Andy Thurber, the neighbor, says that Richard Ricci told him a few hours after the kidnapping that he would be questioned. Well, he told that to you too...
RICCI: Exactly. Right.
KING: He also said that he was acting -- your husband was acting really strange and drinking the morning after the abduction. Thurber, who spent part of the day following the abduction with Ricci, said he was acting really different.
RICCI: It's not his habit to drink early, for one thing. He wasn't nervous when I was at home. He was -- we had a very normal morning, other than the devastation of a child being taken. And him and Andy are not that close.
KING: So he's not that close to him?
RICCI: No. KING: He didn't act in any way strange that morning?
RICCI: Absolutely not.
KING: Santa Cruz, California. Hello.
CALLER: Hi. First, I want to the say that I don't think your husband is guilty on this. And I just wanted to know if you have met the Smart parents and if you think that they are guilty?
KING: You think guilty or involved, you mean?
RICCI: I have not met the Smart family. And I absolutely hate to speculate. That's been a very big problem in this entire case is there's been way too much speculation. So, my heart dearly goes out to the Smart family. I have not met them and I just really pray that all the good things do come out of this.
SMITH: Let me just say, if I can add on to this, that he's -- I think there's a great swell of support for the Smart family. And I don't think there are many people in the Salt Lake valley, at least, and probably nationwide who don't feel this support and encouragement for them. We certainly hope, from our standpoint, that the child can be found and that the matter can be set to rest.
KING: White City, Missouri. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. I love your show.
KING: Thank you.
CALLER: I want to some Ms. Ricci, why do you think the police are focusing so closely at your husband? And also, if you found out he was any way involved, will you still stand by him?
RICCI: I believe that the reason that they do see him as suspect is, No. 1, he does have a record and he is on parole. No. 2, he did work in the Smart home. And, No. 3, he bought a vehicle from Mr. Smart. I truly, in my heart, my mind and my soul, I know that Richard did not have anything to do with this. And I will stand by him. I don't see a sense to go down the road as if he did it because I don't believe he did.
KING: How does your young son, 11 years old -- he's here tonight with you -- how does he feel about his stepfather?
RICCI: He loves Rick. He loves him very much. They get along wonderfully well.
KING: Is he a cooperative client?
SMITH: Mr. Ricci?
SMITH: Yes, yes, he is very cooperative. KING: Is this a man, then, as you think, caught in the circumstances?
SMITH: I think he is caught in the circumstances, unfortunate. It's one of those things, but I'm hopeful that we can end this matter soon.
KING: He's had a history -- OK, he's had, obviously, a bad history. And he's had a history of burglary. Did it ever enter your mind that maybe this was a burglary that went awry?
RICCI: No. No. You know, people want to speculate that maybe he was in the home and burglarizing, and she woke up, you know, if they want to speculate that. He is not that impulsive to do something, that he would never harm a child. And being -- having the criminal background, you know, if, and I must stress if that was the case, he'd much rather have the burglary rap than the other one.
KING: Did he remember Elizabeth?
RICCI: He didn't talk a lot about the children. He did remember them playing harps, and he just really liked the family. You know, he talked about the Smart family. He didn't talk about individual people in the Smart family. You know, I had heard him mention Ed, he called him Ed, and that he had a great respect for him, but he didn't talk about the family on an individual basis.
KING: He was, though, hurt that morning?
RICCI: Oh, yes. He felt very much pain for the Smart family.
KING: How are you involved, David? I mean, have you worked for the Smarts before -- have you worked, rather, for the Riccis before?
SMITH: I represent Mrs. Ricci on an unrelated civil matter, but have not worked for Mr. Ricci before.
KING: So she retained you for her husband?
KING: OK. Do you do criminal law?
SMITH: I do some criminal law, but I do also civil law.
KING: All right. If this got to be a criminal matter, would you bring someone in?
SMITH: Very definitely.
KING: A definite someone with a long history of criminal...
SMITH: Yes, that's correct.
KING: Because that's real -- a specialty?
KING: How are you paying for all this? How are you living?
RICCI: How am I living?
KING: Yes. Do you work?
RICCI: I do work. I work part-time, and I actually haven't been to work for about two weeks. Between the stress and the FBI and the media, it's been a very hard time for me. I'm just a single mom trying to make it. So, it's really stressful right now.
KING: How do you keep your income going?
RICCI: Well, my son does get Social Security income for a disability. But, right now, that's all I have. So -- besides lots of prayers and hope and faith.
KING: Must be tough living though.
RICCI: It is. It is right now very tough.
KING: We'll take a break. We're going to hold Angela Ricci and David Smith over another short segment, and then we'll meet our panel. We'll take some more phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
Ed McMahon discusses Johnny Carson tomorrow night with some hysterical tapes. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S FATHER: It's almost 30 days. It's just really hard to think of what she's been going through. And I am just praying that we'll see her back soon. I'm hoping that whoever it is that's still holding her will let her go. I miss her terribly, and her mother misses her very, very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back for a few more moments with Angela Ricci and David Smith, and then we'll meet our panel.
Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Hello.
CALLER: Hello there.
CALLER: It's been reported that Mr. Ricci was caught digging something early in the morning, and then when someone confronted him, he began to rant about this girl being missing.
What's the explanation for that, or is that true? RICCI: I didn't -- I don't quite understand about the ranting, but our porch faces our neighbor's back steps, and they were quite full of weeds. And Rick loves to work in the yard, and he weed-eated and cleaned up a lot of stuff in the yard that day. There's also a hole on the side of those steps where all the cats go in.
We just got a brand new kitty, and he always comes out -- it's real dirty and stinky. So we had talked about getting that mess cleaned up and then just circumstances, as we spoke of earlier ...
KING: Well that is a classic example of the circumstances ...
RICCI: Yes ...
RICCI: ... he boarded up the hole.
KING: What is he digging? And it looks like he's digging.
SMITH: He was weeding and, I guess, digging around where the weeds were, and I guess that...
SMITH: ... somehow got construed to mean that he was digging something up.
RICCI: ... and boarded up the hole so the cats couldn't go in.
KING: Have the authorities dug that part up?
KING: They have.
RICCI: They've dug everything up.
KING: What have they done to your house?
RICCI: They dug up all my tomato plants and my salsa garden.
KING: Looking for a body?
RICCI: I guess. I don't know. They were looking for -- I could only, you know, imagine.
SMITH: They brought in the dogs...
RICCI: They brought in the dogs. They ripped the stairs off of the neighbor's porch where he was digging and stuff like that. So...
KING: Searched the house completely...
RICCI: Oh yes, they searched the house several times, and the shed. KING: You mentioned his attitude is good.
SMITH: Amazingly good, I think, given the circumstance, I mean, he feels the pressure, certainly. But I think he's quite good.
KING: You missed the call on Sunday. What did your parents say he said?
RICCI: That he's hanging in there, and for all of us to hang in there; and that he loves us all and misses us, and that we'll get through it. We'll...
SMITH: I might say this is -- this is really a rare love affair. These -- of course they're newlyweds...
RICCI: We're newlyweds.
SMITH: ... they're newlyweds, but they really do express love for one another, something that's fairly rare these days -- great thing.
KING: You are very strong for him.
RICCI: Thank you.
KING: Now what is the law on this with regard to -- suppose they charged him. Can she testify?
SMITH: Well she has an immunity...
KING: As wife.
SMITH: Can express spousal immunity, sure.
KING: But if she testifies for him, can they then cross-examine her?
SMITH: Yes, of course.
KING: So if she testifies that he was home all night -- she's his excuse.
SMITH: Sure she...
KING: Does that waive spousal immunity?
SMITH: It probably would because she'd -- they could at least cross-examine her as to what she testifies to. So...
KING: Was the grand jury experience harrowing?
RICCI: It was a little hectic. But, you know, after sitting there all day from 9:00 to whenever they're through with you -- and they have several people going in. So it was a hectic day, but it was OK. I'm glad it's over.
KING: Was the prosecutor fair?
RICCI: I believe so. He basically just went over questions that we've already been over...
KING: He was not accusatory?
RICCI: No, not at all. Not at all.
KING: Have the authorities treated your husband well, to your knowledge?
RICCI: To my knowledge.
KING: Why do you smile?
RICCI: I just...
KING: You don't think so?
RICCI: I just -- I've had -- kind of had it with the authorities.
KING: Why, because you want to see him?
RICCI: Well no, I just -- they've just put me through a lot too. Just -- they've all been very nice. You know, they've all been very nice, but we've just been through a lot.
I just -- I don't know how good authorities treat someone in his position.
KING: How has she been treated, in your opinion?
SMITH: Well, I think they've tried to do their best. But, of course, you know when they want to find information out, they have various techniques that they use, and sometimes that can be a little harrowing for somebody.
KING: The one puzzlement here regarding your husband is motive.
KING: Right? Nothing in his past would indicate this?
SMITH: Yes. You know, it's one thing to have some kind of a past, but when you have no past relative to abduction or kidnapping or pedophilia, whatever that is, then you know, that's quite a giant step to take. Motive is a big issue here.
KING: You have any theory of your own?
RICCI: As far as... KING: The whole case.
RICCI: I don't have any idea. I just know that someone at his age -- and he's almost 50, wouldn't change his way that he's -- you know, his past experience with the law, they don't shift like that. They just don't.
KING: You think there's any chance she's alive?
RICCI: I sure hope so. I sure pray so. I really do. I really do. I hope she's listened to her family and all the concerns of the community, and that we all would just really love for her to come home.
KING: Thank you, Angie.
RICCI: Thank you.
KING: Thank you David.
SMITH: Thank you Larry.
KING: Angela Ricci, the wife of Richard Ricci, the focus of police investigation, and David Smith, the attorney for Richard and Angela.
When we come back, Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, Dr. Henry Lee and Kevin Peraino will discuss what we all have just heard.
You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: By the way, we repeated it often over these past weeks, but the number, if you have information, is 1-800-932-0190. And you can Internet it at www.elizabethsmart.com.
We welcome our panel: Nancy Grace, the anchor for "Trial Heat" on court TV, former prosecutor. She joins us in New York.
Here in Los Angeles, defense attorney Mark Geragos.
In New Haven is Dr. Henry Lee, the world-famed forensic expert, chief ameritas, Scientific Services, former commissioner of Public Safety, State of Connecticut, author of "Cracking Cases: The Science of Solving Crimes."
And in Salt Lake, Kevin Peraino covering the Smart story for "Newsweek." Read his piece this morning.
All right Nancy, what do you make of what we have just heard and where this case is?
NANCY GRACE, COURT TV: Well I believe the defense attorney you had on tonight for Mr. Ricci is doing an excellent job. I find it very interesting what he had to say. I feel that a certain degree of deception is going on. Larry, as you recall on Friday night, you had Ricci's defense attorney on.
At that time, you asked him about the 1,000 miles on that odometer on the white jeep. At that time he told you on national television that he was very satisfied, those were his words, with Ricci's explanation as to how those miles got on the car. We are hearing from Mrs. Ricci, or we heard earlier, that the car was not taken by her or her husband.
So right there, I see a major inconsistency and tonight Mrs. Ricci said something, I thoroughly agree with. She pointed out her husband is almost 50 and is not changing his ways now. We know that he has gunned down a cop in order to steal. He's burglared (sic) the Smart home before. So the Elizabeth Smart incident is not that much of a leap of logic.
KING: All right, Mark?
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well I don't know. I mean, everything that you just heard out of Nancy you...
KING: Is speculation...
GERAGOS: Is speculation, of course and I don't think that that leads you to any closer to solving this case. Nancy, I understand that he's got a record. Clearly that's why they violated his parole. The -- clearly, he's got either an explanation for the 1,000 miles or the gentleman at the mechanic shop is wrong...
GRACE: But Mark, to change his story to lie about it is another issue.
GERAGOS: Well but we don't -- we don't know if that's the case. What you're...
GRACE: They told us he didn't...
GERAGOS: ... doing is you're saying that the story...
GRACE: ... take the car. Now they say...
GERAGOS: You're telling...
GRACE: ... they've got an explanation.
GERAGOS: You're saying his representative has changed his story. We don't know what he's told the police. He's talked to him for 26 hours. We don't know what the police have got. We just have to wait and see. I mean at this point I don't know that you've got all that much in order to build a case...
KING: Mark, if she's right, the timeframe doesn't work. If he went to sleep with her that night and she went to bed at 1:30 and he was asleep...
GERAGOS: The timeframe does not work for him to be the person in the house.
GERAGOS: What it does not eliminate, obviously and what the police may be looking at, and it sounds like what the police may be looking at is whether or not he's involved in connection with somebody else. It was reported also on Friday there were warrants that were issued for other people at trailer park and that there's investigation going on with other people at the trailer park. If he was involved, but was not the person in the house, that may be what the police are looking at, and maybe they're just following up what other leads they have.
KING: All right, Dr. Lee, do they need forensics now?
Dr. HENRY LEE, FORENSIC EXPERT: Yes definitely they need some forensic evidence. So far it looks like they don't have anything, solid evidence to link to him. Now, of course, this 500 miles to 1,000 miles (UNINTELLIGIBLE) her give a very wide range -- 500 to 1,000. That's quite a big, wide range and, of course, they say have a record. And I will check the record, look at the handwriting, who signed the car and what it shows.
This case going to be really difficult, if Mr. Ricci is not the suspect and they have to go back to the drawing board, looks like they are doing that, because they're collecting the neighbors fingerprint now. They must be found some latent print in the house and cannot link to anybody. So they tried to the process of elimination to see whether or not can eliminate those prints.
KING: Kevin Peraino in Salt Lake City for "Newsweek," are they going in other directions now?
KEVIN PERAINO, "NEWSWEEK": Well, they say they're looking still at few other people, four, five other people.
But I have to say, I talked to one law enforcement source today who said, look he's -- Ricci is still at the top of our list of the people that we're looking at. He also said that he talked a little about the fingerprints that they're collecting from neighbors, and I got the sense it wasn't so much to -- because they had some kind of suspicion about the neighbors as much as it was to sort out what fingerprints are in the house, what should be there, what's normally there and what would be unusual.
KING: There are things, though, aren't there, Kevin, in Mr. Ricci's favor? What did he do with the body?
KING: What was the motive?
PERAINO: Right, there are and police have said, also, all along that they don't have any hard evidence at this point linking him to the crime. And I also -- you know I asked today is he likely to be charged any time soon? And they said listen, don't hold your breath.
KING: Let me get a call in. Los Angeles, hello.
CALLER: Hi. This is for Nancy Grace.
CALLER: I would like to ask her, I just kind of sense something from his wife that she might be in a little denial about certain things, and I'm wondering if you're feeling that with me, Nancy? I don't know. I just thought I'd address it to you.
GRACE: Well I've got to be blunt with you. I like Mrs. Ricci, and I think she's trying to do the right thing, but I agree with you. You know, when you love someone, you don't want to see what could be right under your nose, and no matter what anybody tells you, you're not going to have any of it. And I'm very, very disturbed that last week they said this car was not taken off the lot.
But then, whoops, here comes an eyewitness that places him taking the car and bringing it back, covered in mud, 1,000 miles on the odometer. Now there's a new story. You know, when the story keeps changing to me, if you have to lie, you're in trouble.
KING: But do they need, Nancy, another step? They haven't charged him. They don't even call him a suspect. What you say, let's say, is true, why don't they take the next step or do they need more? As a prosecutor...
GRACE: I'll tell you why...
KING: ... would you tell them we need more?
GRACE: I'll tell you why and I'm not buying that line that he did well on his polygraph test. If they know he did well, why can't they say he passed? He didn't pass. That's why.
KING: All right so as a prosecutor...
GRACE: They need more. They need forensics.
KING: ... you would tell -- what do they need?
GRACE: They've got to have forensics. He can flunk polygraphs all day long. They're not coming in to court. They've got to have forensics, just like Dr. Lee said -- got to have it.
KING: And Mark, if they don't get it, does he -- got to be released?
GERAGOS: Well they've got the ability to hold on to him for quite a while...
KING: Ninety days. GERAGOS: ... because there's a parole violation. They can hold on to him for a lot longer than 90 days. They can violate his parole. He's made certain admissions already that constitute a crime. They can charge him with new crimes. I mean there's -- he's got a host of problems. He's not going anywhere any time soon. So they've got the luxury, as I've said before, of investigating this until the cows come home.
KING: David Smith said if he were charged he would bring in a criminal lawyer. Is that a good idea?
GERAGOS: Well he's -- the court is going to -- if he is charged, and it sounds like from everything that David said that he doesn't have...
GERAGOS: The family does -- well he doesn't have criminal experience, the family doesn't have the finances. He would get appointed either a public defender or he would have some kind of indigent defense counsel that would be appointed for him.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, Dr. Henry Lee and Kevin Peraino. Don't go away.
KING: Before we take another call, Dr. Lee, what about the investigators looking for a mystery man? A man the auto mechanic said he saw with Ricci on June 8.
LEE: Yes, I'd say a very important aspect of it. They should check out gas station videotape or anything can link Ricci to this individual.
Early days we solve cases by motive, means and opportunities. Here if Angela, the wife testimony is correct, given to the grand jury, then he really doesn't have the opportunity and the means. He work in the house before, and also steal some item from the house -- definitely he has the ability.
And the motive here is unclear. Today, besides motive, means opportunity, will look at the physical evidence.
Just now Nancy point out something very interesting that I did not know, said Jeep covered with mud. If, in fact, covered with mud they should check the weather conditions that weekend, if it's raining or not. If not raining, the mud has to come somewhere, and run a soil analysis and plant material because now we -- in the country we solve quite a few cases in Arizona. A homicide was solved by plant material in Connecticut. We also solve a case with pollen particles.
That's something they should look really...
KING: Does that take a lot of time, Dr. Lee?
LEE: Need somebody have experience and a detail examination.
KING: Waukesha, Wisconsin, hello.
CALLER: Yes, I have a question for Dr. Henry Lee.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: What type of follicles are they looking for or would they be looking for in Ricci's jeep if he is implicated in this?
LEE: Well basically, if we can find fingerprint, that's the best thing. If not, look for hair follicles, fibers or something from the home of the victim's home, because the screen was cut.
Do we have any metal material, paint chips or anything we can link? If we can link Elizabeth to his Jeep, then you'll have a case.
KING: Las Vegas, hello.
CALLER: Hi. This question is for anyone on the panel. With Mr. Ricci aside, things just don't add up to me. Could this be an inside job or a staged kidnapping?
KING: Kevin Peraino, you want to respond to that? You're on the scene. Is that a possibility?
PERAINO: Sure. Well, here's what we know. We know police were looking closely at the family that second week, and so far they've said they've found nothing to implicate the family in any way. Certainly none of the family members matched the description of the kidnapper.
The other thing that sort of seemed to point in that way, that second week, was this report that the screen was cut from the inside. Now, the sources that I've talked to have said we can't tell how the screen was cut at this point. And they said part of the suspicions that among some people that it was cut from the inside was the fact this window was so tall and thin. So it would have been, they said, difficult for somebody to squeeze in through it. But we just don't know about that screen at this point.
KING: Is that still open Mark...
GERAGOS: They've got -- if they're good investigators, and so far I think they probably -- all indications are they are, they haven't eliminated any possibility and they can't. They've got to go wherever the evidence is and wherever the evidence takes them.
I don't know for a second -- I don't know -- based upon what Kevin's sources are telling him, doesn't make much sense to me. I think that they can determine extremely quickly whether or not it's cut from the inside or cut from the outside. I've had cases where they've been able to determine that just on the basis of a microscopic examination of the screen. So that would surprise me if they couldn't tell that at all.
KING: Nancy, with all the attention and everything, could this case go dry? I mean that she ain't found and nothing's ever happened.
GRACE: That is my biggest fear in this case. You know why? Because there will never be any peace for the Smart family. And I'm not speaking as just a former prosecutor. I'm speaking as a victim of violent crime. At least I had peace in the end, and that's something I want for the Smart family.
Back to what Mark Geragos just said. He is absolutely right. They know whether that screen was cut on the inside or the outside. You put it under a microscope, you can tell...
GERAGOS: And you can just tell.
GRACE: ... and what I find unusual is they haven't told us. They've been asked plenty of times. Mark, you and I asked them ourselves.
GERAGOS: Well and you know the interesting thing, at least me, most recently is, that they're now talking or looking at other people. You know, Larry had asked last week when we talked, was there anything hopeful recently?
To my mind, that is the only thing that I've heard hopeful recently. If they're looking at other people in that trailer park, if they think that there's more than one person involved...
GRACE: Well yes...
GERAGOS: ... that at least suggests that they maybe think that there's a botched kidnapping, even though they're looking...
GRACE: With Ricci.
GERAGOS: ... at a ransom or something else. Well...
GRACE: With Ricci.
GERAGOS: ... that's why they're in the trailer park obviously. They're in the trailer park because they suspect something.
KING: And that tells you maybe she's alive.
GERAGOS: That tells you at least when you're asking and you're putting out that question out there, is there anything hopeful. The fact that they're looking at other people that are connected is a hopeful sign.
KING: Anything that make you hopeful, Dr. Lee?
LEE: Yes, so far because they searched so thoroughly, they did not find a body. So that's something really helpful. And, again, I agree with Nancy, Mark, and the screen has to look carefully. Of course, it's not that easy say just put under the microscope, I can find it.
GERAGOS: I was simplifying it for you, doctor. I know that you never...
KING: Make his job...
GERAGOS: Right, I didn't want to make you look -- your job too easy, but...
GERAGOS: ... if you had a dime for every expert I've ever had and came onto the stand and testified, he could tell in a heartbeat whether that screen was cut from the inside or outside. It's a very -- I should say...
GERAGOS: ... it happens in courtrooms across the...
LEE: need some experience -- need some experience to look at it.
KING: Kevin, it does get curiouser and curiouser, does it not?
PERAINO: Yes, it sure does. With, you know, with every -- with every week that passes, it seems like there's...
PERAINO: ... some kind of new development.
KING: Well we're staying on top of it. Thank you all very much. We thank the wife and the attorney earlier and we thank Nancy Grace, Mark Geragos, Dr. Henry Lee and Kevin Peraino for joining us now.
The numbers again with any information, 1-800-932-0190, 1-800- 932-0190 or www.elizabethsmart.com.
We'll tell you about tomorrow night right after these words.
KING: Tomorrow night, an hour with Ed McMahon looking at the life and times of Johnny Carson. Nelly Connolly will be with us on Thursday night, July Fourth.
That's tomorrow night, Ed McMahon looking at Johnny Carson.
Right now let's go to New York. Anderson Cooper's still sitting in for the vacationing Aaron Brown. Anderson's got lots on the plate with "NEWSNIGHT" tonight, including that crash story -- Anderson.
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