Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Larry King Live

Missing Mom: Is Stacy Peterson Dead?; Interview With Widow, Daughter of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin

Aired November 05, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, she lost the love of her life a year ago when Steve Irwin was tragically killed.
Did the crocodile hunter know he was going to die?

His widow, Terri Irwin, says he did.

Plus, suspicion, fear and now dread surround the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

What happened to this Illinois mom and policeman's spouse?

Her husband's third wife turned up dead. Stacy's sister believes her sibling has met a similar end.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening.

Stacy Peterson, a 23-year-old mother of two, is reported missing to the Illinois state police last Monday at 4:00 a.m. after she failed to meet her sister on Sunday. Stacy's husband, Drew, is a police sergeant. He said he last spoke with her about 9:00 p.m. Sunday, when she called from her cell phone to say she was leaving him.

Stacy is Drew's fourth wife. His third wife, Kathleen, drowned in a bathtub.

Joining us from Los Angeles, Candace Aikin, Stacy Peterson's aunt, who visited with Stacy last week. Shanda Aikin, who is Stacy Peterson's cousin. Sue Doman -- her sister was and Drew Peterson's third wife, the one who drowned in the bathtub -- the death ruled an accident.

Candace, what's your worst fear?

CANDACE AIKIN, STACY'S AUNT, STACY SAID MARRIAGE TO DREW WAS "MISERABLE": My worst fear is that she's no longer with us.

KING: Did she have any apprehension -- fear of any violence happening to her?

C. AIKIN: Yes. She was afraid she was afraid for her life.

KING: And she expressed that to you?

C. AIKIN: Yes, when I was there in October. She said that she was afraid. And I asked her if she was afraid because I felt afraid.

KING: And was the fear of her husband?

C. AIKIN: Yes.

KING: What led her to be afraid?

C. AIKIN: Because he was following her around 24/7, even inside the house. He was very obsessed and stalking her -- even inside her house.

KING: Hamas.

Shanda, do you share that fear?


KING: What did Stacy ever say to you in that regard?

S. AIKIN: She expressed to me that marriage was difficult. She told me not to get married the last time I hung out with her. I think, yes, there's always been signs of concern.

KING: Did she tell you -- the husband said that she called and said she was leaving him.

S. AIKIN: Did she tell you she was going to leave him?

S. AIKIN: No. No, she hasn't told me or my mother anything like that. Like she expressed that she wanted out. She felt trapped. She didn't say specifically on Sunday that she was leaving. So...

KING: Are you surprised that the husband said that?

S. AIKIN: No, but I don't really know what to believe. Whatever he says, it's just, you know, he could say anything at this point.

KING: Do you know him?

S. AIKIN: Yes, I do.

KING: Are there things you like about him?

S. AIKIN: That's difficult, because he was dating my cousin when she was 17. So it was a little disturbing when I first met him -- when he came into our family.

KING: You mean because she was so young.

S. AIKIN: Yes, of course.

KING: Sue, your sister was Drew Peterson's third wife.

Tell us the circumstances of what happened to her. SUE DOMAN, SISTER WAS DREW PETERSON'S THIRD WIFE, WHO DIED AFTER THEIR DIVORCE: I had gotten a call at 1:30 in the morning from my sister. And she had said to me that my sister was dead.

And the first thing I said to her, did he kill her?

And she said she didn't know. We had gone to the house. We weren't allowed to go to the house that day. We went to the house the next day. We were allowed to go in the house.

Larry, I don't know why this was not investigated. It was ruled an accidental drowning. The next day, everyone was in the house. Drew was in the house. We were in the house. I don't understand accidental drowning. You just don't drown in the bathtub, especially a small whirlpool. You just don't do that.

KING: Well, one would assume if the police investigated, there would be indications -- something in the tub, of a sign of slippage. I mean I assume that they've had other accidents in tubs that they could compare it to.

Why would they just dismiss it out of hand?

DOMAN: I don't know. That's why -- we ask ourselves all the time why -- how could this have gone so fast?

I don't understand this.

Is it because he was a police officer?

I don't understand this. I went in the house the next day. We actually -- my family and I had gone through the house. Her purse, her keys and everything was out, but nothing was touched. Nothing looked at anything.

How could you go in a house and look at someone and say -- that's in a dry bathtub and say, oh, it's an accidental drowning?

KING: Did your sister express to you fear of her husband?

DOMAN: Yes, she did. Larry, she told me all the time, "He's going to kill me. It's going to look like an accident, but it wasn't. Take care of my kids." And she was scared. She told everybody. She had -- she was so afraid. But a very -- yet a very strong person. Very determined to fight him, but she couldn't fight him anymore.

KING: Who has those kids now?

DOMAN: Drew has the kids.

KING: So those kids were then living with his next wife?


KING: So there were quite a bit of -- there were a number of kids in that house? DOMAN: Yes. And let me just tell you, Drew does have eight children, not six.

KING: Eight?

DOMAN: Yes. He's got two boys from the second -- a first marriage.

KING: Candace, you haven't given up hope, have you?

C. AIKIN: No. No, Larry, I have not. I'm still holding on. I'm believing that she's still with us. I'm not going to give up hope at all.

KING: Shanda, there's a chance maybe she ran away, isn't there?

Or isn't there?

S. AIKIN: Of course, there's a possibility. I hope she did. But it would be -- it doesn't make sense that she hasn't called anyone. And she would have taken her children. She was a good mother. And she'd be sick if she didn't have her kids. It just -- it doesn't seem right.

KING: Thank you all very much.

When we come back, we'll hear from Stacy in her own words. She e- mailed her friend Steve just days before her disappearance and he'll tell us exactly what she said, when LARRY KING LIVE continues.


KING: Sue Doman remains with us.

We're now joined in Bolingbrook, Illinois by Steve Cesare, who received an e-mail from Stacy. We're going to read a portion of it in a moment.

Mark Geragos, the defense attorney -- the famed defense attorney -- is in Los Angeles.

And Stacey Honowitz, assistant Florida state attorney, joins us from Miami.

Steve, your relationship with Stacy is what?

STEVE CESARE, STACY'S FRIEND WHO RECEIVED E-MAILS FROM HER ABOUT DREW: I used to date her sister Tina about 10 years ago. And I always knew little Stacy as a little girl that came over to play, that type of thing.

KING: So you kept in constant touch over the years?

CESARE: Yes. Especially -- her sister Tina passed away last September and she was very depressed from that. And we kept in touch over the summer through e-mail and phone calls. But it was limited, though.

KING: How old was her sister?

CESARE: Tina was only 30 when she passed away.

KING: A lot of tragedy in this family.

All right, she sent you an e-mail, October 17th at 11:26 in the morning.


KING: I'm going to read a portion of it. We're going to put a portion of it on our screen, too. "I have been arguing quite a bit with my husband. As I mature, with age, I am finding the relationship I am in is controlling, manipulative and somewhat abusive. As I try to help make changes to this, he has become argumentative. Tomorrow is our four year anniversary and I'm not as excited as the years that have passed. I don't know. We'll see what happens. I guess if you -- if you could keep me in your prayers, I could use some wisdom, protection and strength. Thanks a lot."

What did you make of that when you got it?

CESARE: I was very alarmed. I -- I knew they had problems. Her phone calls were limited, so we -- we had to keep distant, you know, over the summer and whatnot. But the part where it says that he was becoming abusive, that concerned me. And I didn't know what to do because, of course, he's involved with the police department. And I figured it would just fall on deaf ears.

KING: Yes.

Stacey, what -- what's your read on this story?

STACEY HONOWITZ, ASSISTANT FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: Well, unfortunately, Larry, we find ourselves sitting in this position over and over again. But these cases where these women going missing and then we hear from family members and other people that there was abuse, that they were frightened, they were scared, they needed protection -- I think when you see something like this, it's a wake up call for everybody that if somebody is in an abusive relationship, there's got to be some type of intervention.

And in this case, because of the death of the third wife, it's my understanding that the district attorney is going to reopen the case to determine whether or not, in fact, it was a homicide or if it was accidental. So that's what happening in the investigation now.

KING: And, Mark, there is also that tendency to prejudge, right?

MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there is. And I thought it was interesting -- the previous guest, it cuts both ways. On one hand, you have the e-mail. On the other hand, you've got the fact that her sister had died and she's been depressed since that happened. So, you know, arguably, that's something that can cut in either direction. KING: So as a defense -- or should he -- should the police officer get an attorney?

GERAGOS: I would be shocked if he already doesn't have one. I mean they -- clearly, there is a focus upon him right now. Whether or not that's justified is a different issue. But this is somebody who is obviously more than just a person of interest and he needs to lawyer up.

KING: Sue, do you think something has happened to Stacy?

DOMAN: I believe so. Yes, I do. It's amazing that everything that I hear from the other family -- it just reminds me so much of my sister and what she has gone through. I believe so.

KING: Steve, do you have dire fears here?

CESARE: I don't have a good feeling about it. No, not at all. She wouldn't have left her kids. That's -- that's just not going to happen. If anybody knew where she was, Aunt Candy would know. But, obviously, that's not the case here. I'm hoping for the best.

KING: Yes.

Stacey, what kind of person -- without putting any kind of guilt, pre-guilt on the police officer -- repeats things like this?

HONOWITZ: As far as being abusive?

KING: Yes.

HONOWITZ: Oh, my God, we see it all the time where these guys are -- and sometimes women. I'm not just going to it to the guys. But when there is an abusive relationship, we see it over and over again. And, unfortunately, we find that usually the spouse or the battered individual tends to stay. And here was a girl that was obviously crying out for help.

You heard this last e-mail -- please pray for me. If that doesn't tell you something, well, why at that juncture didn't she get out?

That's what most people say. But we don't know what the circumstances were. We don't know how she felt. He was a police officer -- if she felt she couldn't turn to anybody because they would all side with him. So...

GERAGOS: Well, and at the same time, Stacey...

HONOWITZ: ...we see these -- the history of abusive relationships.

GERAGOS: Right. But at the same time, Stacey, we don't know what's happened -- if anything has happened to her yet. And you hate to...

HONOWITZ: Yes, exactly. We don't. GERAGOS: You hate to, at a certain point, everybody is talking about her in the past tense and everything else.

Who knows?

I mean we've -- we've covered crazier stories than this, with runaway brides and people being kidnapped by messianic figures in the forest in Utah. So, I mean there's crazy stories and sometimes it does not always appear to be what you think it is.

KING: For there to be a case, Mark, does there have to be a body?

GERAGOS: No, there does not. In fact, there -- usually you will see -- and here in L. A., there's been a couple of cases recently -- and across the country there's been other cases. You do not need to have a body. And, generally, that's something that prosecutors want. But, clearly, you can have a prosecution -- and a successful prosecution -- without a body.

KING: Thank you all very much.

When we come back -- and we'll keep you posted as to details as to, hopefully, we find Stacy.

When we come back, she lost the love of her life a year ago when Steve Irwin was tragically killed.

Did the crocodile hunter know he was going to die?

His widow, Terri Irwin, joins us with the answer, next.


TERRI IRWIN, AUTHOR, "STEVE AND ME": Thirty days ago, I wondered if I could step up into Steve's footsteps and meet the challenge. We're a family of three now -- but we're still a family, filling the void, continuing his legacy, catching crocs together.




T. IRWIN: A year ago, today I traveled this same dusty road with my husband, Steve Irwin, on our way to our annual crocodile research trip that had become a part of our lives. This time, I'm on my own -- no Steve beside me. No commander at the helm. No father to follow. A family trying to adjust to a tougher, new world. At the end of this long journey lies a daunting challenge I am determined to deliver -- to catch 30 crocodiles in just 30 days. To lead this whole scientific operation "In Steve's Footsteps".

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Terry Irwin -- a good friend, a former host of this show. May do it again. She was terrific.

T. IRWIN: Thank you.

KING: She's the widow of Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter. She's the author of this new book, "Steve and Me." There you see its cover. She's the mother of Bindi and Robert, as well. And many of the visuals you'll see on tonight's show are from the documentary special "In Steve's Footsteps". You can see it on the wildlife Planet on Sunday, November 11.

He died on September 4th.

Does it seem over a year ago, two years, a year-and-a-half?

My gosh.

T. IRWIN: Yes, it's, in some ways, time has just stopped. And in other ways, it just seems like, you know, we're going 90 miles an hour. And I'm glad to have this special purpose, to have his legacy to continue. It's a lot of work and a lot of effort to keep up with what he started, but...

KING: Was there any question you would not do that, that you might go back to the States?

T. IRWIN: No. Never. No. And, you know, that's the only promise he asked me to make. I mean early on in our marriage, he said, If anything ever happens to me, promise you'll keep Australia Zoo running. And at that time, there was about 10 staff and four acres. And now we're 1,500 acres and 550 team members. And it was an easier promise back then.

KING: You and Steve were on this program several times in June of 2001. And I talked to the two of you about your relationship.



KING: It's almost like you two were fated to (INAUDIBLE).

STEVE IRWIN: Oh, yes. Oh, I sincerely believe that. Yes. Yes. It was complete destine destiny, mate -- we -- and now we've got a daughter who is growing up like Mowgli.

KING: Have you been -- like what?

S. IRWIN: Mowgli, out of "The Jungle Book."

KING: Oh, yes, yes.

S. IRWIN: Mowgli is the little boy that runs around with the wildlife, you know?

KING: Have you have been frightened, Terri?

T. IRWIN: Yes, I think probably an average of once a week I'm afraid for my life or Steve's life, probably on average. But it is exciting because my husband literally saves my life from time to time. And it's never a dull moment.


KING: Did he know he was going to pass on?

T. IRWIN: You know, he had a real strange feeling about his own mortality. He spoke about it quite openly and he would talk to me about what would happen if anything happened to him. And I always dismissed it. But, you know, he felt -- because his mother had passed in an automobile accident -- maybe it would be something like that. He felt it would be sudden and he didn't think he would live a long time.

KING: Due to his occupation?

T. IRWIN: No. Interestingly enough, he didn't really have those concerns about wildlife. He was more concerned about something like a mode of transportation or something coming awry in a distant country. It was never wildlife related.

KING: Because he trusted them so much?

T. IRWIN: He just loved them. He was passionate about wildlife. And a lot of times -- Larry, the wildlife loved him. Sometimes orangutans would come down out of trees to visit with him and lions would check him out. Hippos would charge and then stop. You know, everything seemed to be tuned in with him.

KING: How are the kids?

T. IRWIN: They're doing OK. Yes, Bindi and Robert are traveling with me. Bindi does home school, so she's doing school every day.

KING: She's how old now?

T. IRWIN: She's nine. She's in the fourth grade.

KING: And Robert?

T. IRWIN: He's three. He's going to be starting school -- in Australia, we start in January.

KING: You wept openly about the loss of Steve.

Do the children cry?

T. IRWIN: From time to time. And what I'm learning about grief is that you never know when it's going to hit you. And grief is very broadsiding. I think you can be...

KING: Yes, it takes no prisoners. T. IRWIN: You can be having a perfectly good day and you cry. And I know sometimes people will worry about me or Bindi. And I'll say don't worry, this happens all the time. It's OK. And other days, you know, I'm starting to find moments of joy.

KING: Do you ever say to yourself, I should have told him something or I shouldn't have said this?

T. IRWIN: You know -- you know, that is the nicest thing. I honestly have no regrets. I spent a month with him in the bush right before we lost him. And I have this sense that I was able to say good- bye. We had the best month of our lives together. He spent so much time with the kids. He said weird things. He'd say this is the most beautiful place on the face of the Earth. And I'd look around at the dry creek bed and think, well, it's OK. But he was very introspective. He took time with the children. I had that.

KING: An e-mail from Anita in Marietta, Georgia: "Dear Terry, have there been times during the past year when you or the kids have felt or sensed Steve's presence? Lots of luck to you and Bindi and baby Bob."

Have you ever felt him?

T. IRWIN: Definitely. Absolutely. And I don't think that it's eerie or creepy. And I very much have great faith and I believe that we will be together again one day. And I do feel him, particularly at home at Australia Zoo. And I don't think I'm alone in that because no longer do we have people just coming into the zoo in hopes of seeing Steve, but we still have more people coming into the zoo. I think everyone senses his presence.

KING: The book is "Steve and Me."

Bindi, by the way, stunned a lot of people with the very poised and moving speech that she gave at her dad's memorial.

Let's take a look at a part of that.


BINDI IRWIN: My daddy was my hero. He was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things. But most of all, he was fun. I know that daddy had an important job. He was working to change the world so everyone would love wildlife like he did. I have the best daddy in the world and I will miss him every day.

When I see a crocodile, I will always think of him. And I know that daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all of the wildlife. Daddy made this place his whole life. Now, it's our turn to help daddy.

Thank you.


KING: Huh.

Do you think she almost coped too well?

T. IRWIN: Well...

KING: I mean, my God.

T. IRWIN: know, it's something that you have to appreciate about Bindi -- that for her -- it was her decision to write the speech and to speak at the memorial. And I told her that isn't something that I can do. She wanted to do it. And she was so proud that when she sat down, she said, "I didn't read with my finger," because she would always have to read the lines. And she didn't.

KING: But it was so adult.

T. IRWIN: Isn't that amazing?

I kind of felt like it must have been Steve reading over her shoulder, you know, that guardian angel that he is now. And for Bindi to be carrying on with Steve's work is comforting to all of us. It's that familiarity and that consistency.

KING: Terri Irwin is our guest.

The book is "Steve and Me."

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE.

By the way, tomorrow night, Lou Dobbs will be with us, and Robert Redford.

We'll be right back.


T. IRWIN: Family and friends, at the end of the day, all gather around the campfire for memories and reflections of why we are here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the key, driving forces behind this project, of course, is Steve. And he should be sitting here with us.

T. IRWIN: This is what he lived for. This is what he died for. And this is -- this is words continuing.

I would like to feel that instead of keeping his work going, that we are going to make it better.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it's missing half its tail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bindi's years of experience with her dad has made her the perfect assistant.


B. IRWIN: 2100.


B. IRWIN: Got it.

T. IRWIN: Realistically, this croc will probably grow just over 13 feet in length. Of course, this guy gets into so much trouble, maybe next year he will be missing more tail.

Bindi's help is real work. And it's valuable. It frees up someone bigger for wrangling the croc. And she does a great job.


KING: My guest is Terri Irwin. The book is "Steve & Me.

Bindi, by the way, was a guest on this show in January and I asked her about her father. Watch.


KING: Is it hard to look at your dad?

B. IRWIN: Sometimes it is. Sometimes I have good days and bad days. Sometimes it brings back memories and it's really nice. And some days I just cry straight off.

KING: What was special about him as a father?

B. IRWIN: Everything. He was just really nice. He was loving. He was caring. He was just everything that you could want for a dad.

KING: No complaints?

B. IRWIN: No complaints.

KING: What did you get from your father?

B. IRWIN: Me? I got ...

KING: That you're happiest about?

B. IRWIN: I got from my father the best -- the best kind of loving person.

KING: He brought you love?

B. IRWIN: He brought me love. He brought me love.

KING: And that helps you love others, right?

B. IRWIN: Yeah.

KING: Because he loved so many people.

B. IRWIN: He loved so many people, including me, and I'm just very happy about that.


KING: what kind of little boy is Robert, he's three.

T. IRWIN: Yeah, he's the action man. He's so much like Steve. I showed him a picture the other day of Steve when Steve was about four years old. Who do you recognize this is? And without hesitation, Robert said, that is me. And they look alike. They act alike. We were on this last croc mission, of course, without Steve and Robert is wrangling everything.

And you think they don't notice but they are a little sponge. The whole time we catch crocs when Robert was along from the time he was eight months old he has been with us catching crocs. And this year, he said everything Steve said. Get the blind fold. Get me a six mil rope. Have you got me a transmitter. He's hanging onto croc's tail, boots and all, that little boy is. He is just wonderful.

KING: Does he have any fear?

T. IRWIN: He's still got a little trouble with spiders, actually. He often will have to get his sister to save him from a spider.

KING: When did you start writing a book and why?

T. IRWIN: Well, back in February I started writing the book. And I think at the time I wasn't sure if I was ready. And so many people were coming up to me and they would see me in an interview or talking about losing Steve, and they would say, thank you so much. That really helped me with dealing with the grief of losing Steve.

And I thought, hang on a minute. This is just amazing. I thought my world was imploding and other people were suffering along with me. So I felt it was time to write a book to share our lives, to get a good conservation message across and to talk about Steve's legacy and carry it on.

So although it was extremely difficult, I packed my little kit everywhere in the world and cried over my memories. And I'm glad I kept a journal my whole married life.

KING: Was the Steve you knew the Steve we knew?

T. IRWIN: Pretty much. There was some when the camera wasn't rolling that was different Steve. There was an incredibly intelligent Steve, who spent a lot of time publishing, doing research. There was Steve, the family man. There was Steve who was, dare I say, hot in the cot, Steve. He was the love of my life. But what you saw on television was genuinely what he was when he was happy about something.

KING: When he talked about dying, as you said he did talk about dying, did that bother you?

T. IRWIN: Yeah. I would glaze it over. And he would say to me, what are you going to do with the zoo if anything happens to me? And I would be very flip and try to cope with it with humor. And I would say, honey, you have ever heard of Graceland? And that was my coping mechanism to try to get him to change subjects.

I said you're going to be a grumpy old man swinging through the trees. And when this happened, you know, I could look back on it and say somehow Steve must have known. And yet the accident was so unpredictable and bizarre. How could he have known?

KING: And sudden, right?

T. IRWIN: Very.

KING: They said he probably had no pain.

T. IRWIN: Probably not. Yeah. Probably not.

KING: And what was that fish that killed him?

T. IRWIN: It was a ray.

KING: Stingray?

T. IRWIN: Yeah. It was a bull ray. And it was probably a 300 pound ray. It was so massive, it would have covered your bathroom floor. It was giant. And Steve was in about four feet of water swimming over it. It probably reacted as if a shark was coming in on it, is the only thing I could figure. And yet I want to encourage people, you don't have to fear rays. This is such a fluke of an accident. The last time it happened in Australia was in the 1940s. So it had not happened for 60 years.

KING: When he was a guest on this show in 2001 and he talked about the possibility of dying young. Watch.


KING: Did you ever worry, the danger you both live.

T. IRWIN: Yeah, we worry.

KING: I'm just saying, you never can tell.

S. IRWIN: Mate, I don't have a more bid fear of death or dying. I really don't. The only thing I'm really concerned about is that Bindi ... KING: Your daughter?

S. IRWIN: Yeah, she wouldn't have a daddy and that kind of worries me a little. I try hard.


KING: We will be back with more of Terri Irwin when we return. We will go behind closed doors and ask why she finds it so hard to part with Steve's most personal things. Don't go away.





T. IRWIN: Robert's play time resolves around wrangling crocodiles. He's got one rope on the thrashing beast but there's confusion. Is he Robert the rope man, or part of the jump team?


T. IRWIN: Yes, he's gone for both. That's our boy. Two jobs at once. He's got to be an Irwin all right.


KING: Adorable little boy.

T. IRWIN: He is very cute. He's an action boy.

KING: Do you keep all of Steve's stuff? You don't give away anything?

T. IRWIN: I do. I've got it all. In fact what nobody knows, is I've finally has someone as an archivist to put everything probably together. And not just Steve's thing but all of the wonderful things that people sent me after losing Steve. So putting together a building but at home, I have not put anything away. His khakis are still in the closet. His sarong is still on the bed ...

KING: Because? Trying to keep him alive or ...

T. IRWIN: It just doesn't feel right to put it away with. And I don't have to have his clothes to have that sense. I mean, at the zoo he's all around. I have his films running and his pictures up.

KING: His shoes are there and his underwear?

T. IRWIN: Yeah. And it just feels kind of comforting. His toothbrush is still in the toothbrush holder. I just left it and it feels right. And I've learned that as long as it's not self- destructive, it's not nuts to do that. If you put it all away or you keep it all out, it's OK. So ...

KING: An e-mail question from Linda in Austin, Texas - "Did Steve have spiritual beliefs of god and eternal life? He was so enthusiastic about the beauty of nature, did he see a divine order and a purpose there?"

T. IRWIN: I think it's very difficult to spend a great deal of time exploring and learning about wilderness and wildlife and not believe that. I had this discussion with a scientist friend who said Albert Einstein believed life was energy and you could change its form, but you could not extinguish it.

So even Albert Einstein, from a purely scientific point, believed that life went on. Certainly, I know Steve did. In fact when he lost his mother, he would fluctuate between being angry at God and believing there was no God. And I would say, you can't have it both ways. But he had these great emotional feelings. And I know in my heart that we will be together again one day.

KING: What is so lovable about crocodiles?

T. IRWIN: Oh, I will tell what you what.

KING: What?

T. IRWIN: Crocodiles are amazing. Do you know the male crocodile, he goes through this thing. I'll give you the scientific term. Every year during mating season he goes through what is called foreplay. Now, let me tell what you this means.

KING: I have heard about that.

T. IRWIN: It means he's nice to the female, sometimes for hours, before mating. He rubs up and down her body. He blows bubbles under her. And then when she raises her neck in a submissive posture, mating takes place. Get this, if she's not in the mood and she says no ...

KING: She has a headache.

T. IRWIN: He has to go away. Isn't that amazing? This huge, gnarly beast that looks like a dinosaur is very loving and submissive and polite to his girl.

KING: The things you learn here.

T. IRWIN: Yeah.

KING: Terri Irwin is the guest. The book is "Steve & Me." Anderson Cooper is off tonight. John King sits in. He will host AC 360. John right here in New York. What's up?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Fascinating conversation. Quite a courageous woman. We will keep watching.

On 360 tonight we're going take a look at the chaotic and dangerous situation in Pakistan. Tonight, a state of emergency. Thousands of lawyers and journalists under arrest. Pakistan's president is not backing down. If you don't think this affects you, think again.

Also tonight, Oprah Winfrey speaks publicly for the first time about the sex abuse scandal involving her all-girl school in South Africa. Her emotional speech and her promise to keep the children safe, tonight on 360. Larry?

KING: John King. You will see him at the top of the hour. 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. Steve left an incredible legacy. We'll learn how Terri is continuing his work in the animal world when we come back.


T. IRWIN: Our first large capture. And by the size of him, we're up for a challenge. But without Steve, there's an undercurrent of apprehension. I'm about to work my way into a role that used to be filled by the best croc catcher on the face of the planet. And Steve's dad Bob is guiding the team every step of the way.

Sheer weight of numbers puts the crocodile's power in check.

Now it's people power. We have got him secured. Oh, look at the size of his feet. Have a go at that.



KING: We're back with Terri Irwin, who has stepped into Steve's shoes. In many ways you led your first croc hunting expedition. What was that like?

T. IRWIN: Daunting. Very much daunting. I think there were a lot of mixed emotion. A lot of apprehension with the team, what it was all going to be about. And I was so proud of them. We have got a team of about 15 people that do the job that Steve did all on his own in the 1980s. As the team went in, we caught 30 crocodiles in 30 days, we affixed transmitters under the skin this time, and this data that we are going to collect will tell us everything we have never known about crocs. Where they go in the wet, how deep they dive. Everything.

KING: Croc is not an alligator, right?

T. IRWIN: No, a crocodile. This is crocadilus perosis (ph). The saltwater crocodile grows to be the largest reptile on the face of the earth. Much bigger than alligators, much more deadly. They target animals our size. Whereas alligator generally target smaller animals, key deer, raccoons, water birds, that sort of thing. So makes the saltwater croc something that needs to be managed because they can prey on people.

KING: Where does the alligator live? T. IRWIN: Alligators are in china and the United States around Florida, Texas, that Gulf region and down into Central Mexico.

KING: Crocodiles?

T. IRWIN: Crocodiles are found throughout the South Pacific, Indonesia, through to India, Australia. This is the salt water croc. We have 22 species of crocodilian in the world, 16 of which are endangered.

KING: Would they get along, the croc and the alligator?

T. IRWIN: You know, that's a good question. I don't think so. There are American alligators that - I'm sorry, American crocs that share turf with alligators but the saltwater crocs are I think just a little too narky.

KING: And Steve loved them, right?

T. IRWIN: Desperately, desperately. He was an apex predator man. Whether it was tigers, sharks or crocodile, top of the food chain, that's what he was so passionate about. Because everything below that animal on the food chain is dependent upon it. They are like the apex of the police order. They keep everything in check. They prey on smaller animals and they are very integral.

KING: Did he ever talk much about stingrays?

T. IRWIN: You know, we never focused on stingrays. That's like talking about pancakes. It's not a huge topic of conversation. They are beautiful. They look like angels in the sea. We have swum with them a lot. We have been back since the accident to the Great Barrier Reef. My kids swim with them. We really don't have fear of them. But it wasn't a big topic.

KING: When Bindi was on LARRY KING LIVE back in January, I asked her about being in show business and performing. And here's what she said.


KING: You like getting on stage?

B. IRWIN: Oh, yes, very much fun.

KING: What do you like about it?

B. IRWIN: I just like the feeling of all of the people actually cheering for me and saying, Bindi, Bindi. And I also like that I can -- I just feel like I have a place there. It feels really good.

KING: You're at home on the stage?

B. IRWIN: Yes, I am.

KING: Have you ever been nervous? B. IRWIN: Been nervous? No, not really. Sometimes I get butterflies before I get up onstage.

KING: That's a good thing.

B. IRWIN: Yes, it is. The day you don't get butterflies when you go up on stage is the day you should quit.


KING: What do you think she's going to be?

S. IRWIN: Gee, what do you think? I think she's going to be ...

KING: Showbiz.

S. IRWIN: Absolutely. She's going to be working in front of the camera or on a stage because that's her passion. And she doesn't see herself as working toward being famous. She sees herself as being a teacher. She will say, if I can teach through television and help other people understand wildlife, that's what her goal is, to be a wildlife warrior.

But I tell you, the singing and dancing thing was not genetic. It did not come from Steve or me. I don't know where she got that.

KING: But he would be awful proud of her.

S. IRWIN: Desperately proud. He couldn't watch her perform without crying. He was such a big softy. And every time she would get up to sing or dance, he would be so moved to tears.

KING: Next, we will ask what Terri has learned about Steve she never knew before now that she stepped into his shoes as a conservationist. And she will also tell you a little thing the Dalai Lama told her. Don't go away.



KING: November 15 will be Steve Irwin Day worldwide. Bindi has got a line of clothing coming out. They're like an industry.

We have an e-mail question from Jennifer in Edmonton, Alberta. "How are you able to keep balance in your life with raising your children and managing the Australia Zoo?"

T. IRWIN: It's easy, mate. I live in Birwa (ph), Queensland, population 4,000. Steve was very clever. He said no matter how successful he became, his home would always be Australia. It's a beautiful, gentler, slower life. And we have plenty of opportunity. We just got another 23,000 acres of conservation property called the Steve Irwin Wildlife Preserve in the Capeyork Peninsula (ph) and that's where I will be spending some of my time.

KING: Tell us what the Dalai Lama told you about death.

T. IRWIN: He came to the Australia Zoo in June. And I was so excited to speak to His Holiness. He said something we all really know. But when he mentioned in life, everything is going to happen to us. We can't change it. I couldn't have changed what happened to Steve. And yet what I can control is how I react to it. I can have peace in my heart. I can accept things. I can love people and I can do my best. Or I can fall in a heap. It's my choice.

KING: It's not the event. It's how you react to the event?

T. IRWIN: That's right.

KING: Would you read the last paragraph of your book. It's very interesting.

T. IRWIN: Sure. "What does the future hold for the Irwin family? Each and every day is filled with incredible triumphs and moments of terrible grief. And in between life goes on. We are determined to continue to honor and appreciate Steve's wonderful spirit. It lives on with all of us. Steve lived every day of his life doing what he loved, and he always said he would die defending wildlife. I reckon Bindi, Robert and I will all do the same. God bless you, Steve-o. I love you, mate."

KING: Is there still grief?

T. IRWIN: Oh, yeah, every day. But there's also joy and I see it with my kids. There's a great picture. I don't know if we can do this. This wasn't planned. There's this great picture, check this out, camera people scramble, check this out.

KING: We got it.

T. IRWIN: That's joy.

KING: That's Robert.

T. IRWIN: That's Robert. We tried so hard for a boy, Larry. Oh, my word, I went on a boy baby diet. Steve kept his nether regions cool.

KING: What?

T. IRWIN: You know, if you are an athlete or you run a bit hot, you usually have girls. But if you keep your -- if you wear an onion bag instead of underpants, you may just have a boy.

KING: It worked?

T. IRWIN: It worked. And you're supposed to also get busy every time you ovulate. I had Steve convinced I ovulated 20 times a month. It was fabulous.

KING: Thank you very much, Terri.

T. IRWIN: God bless you, Larry. Thank you.

KING: God bless you. The book is "Steve & Me" by Terri Irwin. Before we go I want to call your attention to another book about another unique man who died far too soon. It's titled "Peter Jennings, a Reporter's Life." There you see its cover. A very special biography. A collection of memories from Peter's friends and family, journalistic coworkers and competitors and some of the people he covered in the course of a remarkable career.

All author proceeds from this book go to the Peter Jennings Foundation. "Peter Jennings, a Reporter's Life." Full of surprises, full of smarts, full of spirit, just like the man named in the title and it was always a great pleasure to have him on this program.

If you haven't been to our Web site lately, check out - Larry Kling? I don't know my own. I've been talking here, you've got me all farblugined (ph). You can download our current podcast, Mindfreak Criss Angel.

We've even got guest commentaries by wildlife activist Bo Derek. And tomorrow night's guest Robert Redford. It's all

And now without further ado, I'll pronounce his name correctly. John King and AC 360. John?