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CNN Larry King Live

FBI Investigating Carradine's Death

Aired June 05, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, breaking David Carradine news -- the FBI's involved and is investigating the star's bizarre death. His family says the "Kill Bill" star couldn't or wouldn't commit suicide. Apparently, he didn't.

Attorney Mark Geragos, the attorney for the actor's brother, Keith Carradine, is here and it's exclusive.

Plus, Peter Falk's family tragedy -- his child takes his stepmother to court just to see her own father. But the beloved star of "Colombo" doesn't even know it. He's suffering from advanced dementia. His daughter is here exposing details from the bitter tug of war that got all of Hollywood talking.

And then the deadly honeymoon -- a newlywed husband finally admits to a role in his wife's drowning. But he'll spend just one year behind bars.

What's wrong with all this?

That's what her outraged family wants to know.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

All right. Let's get right to it.

"Extra's" Jerry Penacoli is here, along with David Carradine's manager, Chuck Binder, and attorney Mark Geragos.

Mark, by the way, represents David's brother, Keith Carradine, who has asked for Mark's help.

And what's this about the FBI?

MARK GERAGOS, ATTORNEY FOR KEITH CARRADINE: Well, because the death took place on a foreign soil, FBI traditionally cannot just jump right in. So the family -- Keith and other family members met with the FBI today, with the idea that they're going to initiate the process that takes place where, here from the U.S. you try to get a hold of what's called the legate, which is the legal liaison in Bangkok. Get them to initiate some kind of an investigation there.

The family and Keith specifically doesn't for a minute think that he was suicidal.

KING: FBI agents can't go over there, though, and conduct... GERAGOS: FBI agents can go there. But there is a process that you have to go through. The family talking with the FBI initiates that process. Then they have to go, they get permission. They deal through the legal channels.

KING: Chuck Binder, you were his manager. You were with us last night. You have spoken to his wife.

What -- what are they saying today?

CHUCK BINDER, DAVID CARRADINE'S MANAGER: That, you know, everybody is really sad and, you know, I think...

KING: Yes, we know that.

But I mean what -- are they further along, any information?

BINDER: Just what Mark kind of told you. You know, I haven't really heard anything from the family, other than that they're looking into it through the FBI and trying to get to the bottom of this.

KING: You know, on gut feeling.

You don't think it's suicide, right?


KING: All right.

If it's not, what?

BINDER: I don't know. I -- you know, I have no idea because I wasn't there. I don't know, you know, all the -- I think with all celebrities, it's like, crazy to me that people are focusing on, like, were his hands tied behind his back, were there footprints on the bed?

To me, the thing is what -- why aren't people focusing on, you know, that here's a guy who went out, mailed 100 films, had a family, was a great guy, really cared about people.

KING: We tried to do that last night.

BINDER: Yes, we did.

KING: But the nature of the beast is the next day is what happened in the room, right?

BINDER: Right.

KING: I mean you understand that from a...

BINDER: Yes. Yes.

KING: ...curious, almost bizarre like curiosity?

BINDER: Yes. I don't know what happened in the room. All I know is, you know, David isn't on the planet anymore.

KING: Since nobody knows, Jerry, how do you report this?

JERRY PENACOLI, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": Well, it's very tough to report. I mean, we

can only go by what the authorities in Thailand are telling us.

KING: And?

PENACOLI: Well, the coroner says the death was abnormal, the death was not natural. And the evidence shows that there were ropes tied around David's neck and around his genitalia and that they were tied together. And that there is a report -- several reports that there were ropes tied around his wrists.

KING: Well, if they were around his wrists in the back, it can't be a suicide, right?

It can't be.

PENACOLI: It can't be a suicide, necessarily. But what I find puzzling is that they're saying that there's no evidence that there was any other person or persons in the room. Well, you can't tie your -- your own wrists together and then have what happened happen. So it's mysterious. And it just keeps getting deeper.

KING: Mark, do you have a read?

GERAGOS: Well, there's things that you ask of a family member -- when did you last talk to him?

Keith has talked to him within the last couple of weeks.

Did he seem like he was depressed?

Not at all. He was very excited. This was, apparently, a short movie stint over there. He was looking forward to getting back here. He just got a car. He's a car nut. Had just been -- being a fellow car nut, I can tell you, you don't go out and buy a car right before you're going to off yourself, generally. He was excited about coming back and had talked to his wife the night before.

So all of those things tend to make every -- anybody, especially the family members, wonder what's going on and they want to get to the bottom of it. They just want to know the truth.

KING: Chuck, in the past, were there ever discussions, talks, whispers about sexual proclivities?

BINDER: No. I mean he was happily married. I just saw him down at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club with his wife. He was there for a charity tournament for a children's hospital. He -- I never saw anything going in this direction. He seemed like he was really happy with his career and happy with his marriage and...

KING: Do you suspect foul play?

BINDER: Yes, I think there had to be foul play. I mean my gut instinct is something definitely happened there.

PENACOLI: You know, there's a -- interestingly, I spoke to another one of Chuck's clients today -- a filmmaker, a director named Damian Chapa, who actually shot a film with David Carradine and -- actually two films, right -- and was about to shoot another one called "Mount Kilimanjaro."

But this film called "Bad Cop," he completed, and I think it's coming out in the fall. But Damian, I spoke to him at length today. And he said that he also believes that there was foul play. And he said that no one else knows this but his family -- Carradine's family and friends and people closest to him, but David was very interested in investigating and disclosing secret societies.

So whatever that means...

GERAGOS: Which is absolutely -- well, what that means is connected to martial arts and his interest in martial arts. And so there is a suspicion that if there was some foul play, that that may be the first area where they should look.

KING: And...

PENACOLI: However, on the other side, Larry, and, Chuck, with all due respect, Marina Anderson, who is David's ex-wife, in court papers that were filed in 2003 when they divorced -- and, now, again, ex-wives can be ex-wives. She was quoted in the papers as saying that it was the continuation of abhorrent and deviant sexual behavior that got in the way of the marriage.

KING: David Carradine, as we just mentioned, had a number of movies in the can or in post-production when he died. One of them, as mentioned, "Bad Cop."

"Extra's" Jerry Penacoli obtained some exclusive clips from that film. He's sharing them with us.



CARRADINE: I'm going to get so drunk, I won't even know I'm in a city full of darkness, blood and revenge, murder. And when I wake up, I'm going to go back down into those streets. Now, I might have a headache. I might lose my lunch. But I'll be me, Angel. I'll be me.


KING: A pretty good actor.

We'll be back with more.

Don't go away.



CARRADINE: Hello, kiddo.

UMA THURMAN, ACTRESS: How did you find me?

PENACOLI: I'm a man.


KING: Uma Thurman, David Carradine from "Kill Bill."

Chuck, what do we know about the family's reaction?

How's everybody doing?

BINDER: I think they're all holding together. And, you know, it's a very big family and a close-knit family. And I think that, you know, they're really supportive and they want to get to the bottom of this.

KING: Didn't the sister...

PENACOLI: Actually, David's daughter, Kansas, wrote an e-mail to the closest family and friends and -- and simply requested that people remember David for the brilliant actor that he was until this investigation is over and not to listen to the hearsay and innuendo.

KING: Has the autopsy been done, to your knowledge?

GERAGOS: Yes, it has. But he's not going to be embalmed. They're going to bring him back and they're going to do a second autopsy, probably...

KING: Here?

GERAGOS: Dr. Baden here.

KING: Is he on the way back?

GERAGOS: My belief is, is by Monday.

KING: And why does an autopsy take so long to find final results?

GERAGOS: Oh, you have to talk to the pathologist. But generally, there's a number of tests that they have to do that can take a couple of days or longer. And then they always want to know about the surrounding circumstances. That informs any kind of conclusion that a pathologist makes.

KING: In this kind of case, they can say asphyxiation?

They can know right away, right?

GERAGOS: Yes. They can know certain things but...

KING: But what else could they find?

GERAGOS: ...but then there's ideas of whether or not there's, you know, as we've discussed, whether there's a third party. There's -- you can search for trace evidence of that. You can take a look and see whether or not this is a -- if hands are tied in one way, fashion or another, whether that could have been done or not done by somebody themselves or a third party.

KING: How sophis -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.

PENACOLI: No, I was just going to say, I speculate here. And that is, if foul play is suspected, who's to say that something happened to him, there was -- something bad happened to him by someone else and yet it was made to look like?

KING: Yes, who knows?

PENACOLI: He was -- yes.

KING: Or maybe it was part of the investigating...

GERAGOS: It could have been the investigation. I mean there's all kinds -- I don't want to get into any kind of a conspiracy theory.

KING: How is -- how sophisticated is Thailand?

For example, did the hotels have cameras?

GERAGOS: Well, this...

KING: Were they going, by the way, into a closet?

GERAGOS: This particular hotel didn't have a closet. It apparently had an armoire where he was found by the maid. And his P.A. had been there the previous evening, about 12 hours before. I do not believe that they've got anything that shows in that hallway or...

PENACOLI: Well, no, actually...

GERAGOS: ...inside of the room. They're -- I think they've got something downstairs.

PENACOLI: Not inside the room. They have got something outside.


PENACOLI: And, in fact, the family was expressing concern, and, again, saying that they -- they fear foul play because the hotel would not release the surveillance video right away.

KING: Are the tabloid shows and magazines sending people over there? PENACOLI: Not as far as I know.

KING: "Extra" is not?

PENACOLI: We are not. We are trying to take the high road here until we have more information.

KING: Is Thailand officials cooperating with the family, Chuck?

BINDER: I think so. But I think it's not like the United States over there. I think it's -- you know, it's a different kind of situation. So I don't -- you know, it's not the kind of cooperation you'd get in the United States.

KING: Have you ever have to deal with Thailand?

GERAGOS: I have, on a number of occasions. It's not the easy...

KING: And?

GERAGOS: It's not the easiest jurisdiction to deal with.

KING: It's not a fourth world country?

GERAGOS: No. But it's somewhere between third and fourth.

KING: It is?

GERAGOS: It's not exactly.

KING: Isn't Bangkok cosmopolitan?

GERAGOS: Well, Bangkok -- Bangkok is a sophisticated place in many areas and it's also extremely primitive in other areas. So part of the problem is, is the kind of investigation that you want done in a case like this, if you're the family, is you'd like to have the FBI involved, at least in an assisting role, so that they can kind of oversee what's going on.

KING: Has he finished his shooting?

BINDER: He hadn't finished, but I talked to the producer today. And what they're going to do is they're going to rewrite the script and David will remain in the movie. And they're just going to shorten his screen time.

KING: His role.


KING: Are they going to take -- has anybody taken, Jerry, advantage of this, showing...

PENACOLI: Well, I feel -- and I know you got in this job -- but I feel the Fox, the Fox Network is taking advantage of an episode of a show called "Mental" that's coming up where David Carradine plays a catatonic character. I believe he's struck by lightning.

And Fox has decided, according to "The Washington Post, " to go ahead and run this particular episode. I find that personally a heinous decision. They said oh, well, we're going to put a disclaimer at the end and say, you know, gosh, rest in peace, David Carradine. But I just find it's really taking advantage of a -- a very sad and tragic situation.

KING: What do you make of that, Mark?

I mean...

GERAGOS: Does it surprise you that a network is going to seek ratings?

No. That doesn't surprise me.


GERAGOS: News at 11:00.


KING: Don't shock me on a Friday.

Dr. Drew Pinsky had a professional association with David Carradine. The good doctor joins the panel and takes on the case next.

Back in 60 seconds.



CARRADINE: I have no wish to fight with you.



KING: Our panel is now joined by Dr. Drew Pinsky, the host of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab with Drew Pinsky, author of "The Mirror Effect

How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America."

David Carradine, by the way, was a guest on his radio show, "Love Line," back in February.

So, what's your read on all this, doc?


CELEBRITY NARCISSISM: You know, when I first heard about this, because he was a very gregarious, upbeat guy and anyone that met him was infected by his love of life and people. And I mean that's how you would describe that guy.

so when I first heard about a suicide, it just absolutely did not fit for me. So I don't think for anyone that knew him, the suicide is even a possibility.

And then I started hearing more and more about this mystery and the rumors. And I really do agree the way this panel was going, that it just -- the pieces just don't fit together just yet. The idea with him being something that he was doing alone, that's not the way people do that. It just isn't.

And the fact that it was with somebody else, well, even that, too, has an element of feeling of foul play associated with it. Really, in my experience, this just doesn't fit with what people do, typically.

KING: As we mentioned, David Carradine was a guest on your radio show, "Love Line." At one point, an enthusiastic fan phoned in and asked for advice from the man he thought was a Jedi master.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question was this, you know, and, again, if there's anything you want to add, that would be inspirational, as well -- Jedi -- Jedi -- what's that called -- advice.

So what I'm asking is, all right, newly married. My wife's awesome. Everything's great. But for some, reason, we're making love and it's getting really passionate, just every now and then I start thinking of other people.

Is that normal?

CARRADINE: Um, it's probably relatively normal, but I don't think it's the greatest idea you ever had. And I don't know how to -- how to help you with it, you know, because if you've got those things, then, you know, how do you shut them down?

I know I don't do that. I'm with the one I'm with.


KING: How did he do on that show?

PINSKY: He was great. It's a show where you've got to share lots of personal details and really give advice to young people. And he was completely engaged. The kids loved him and he was forthcoming. And, again, no evidence of anything where you'd predict this kind of outcome.

KING: From what you know, what do you know?

PINSKY: I know what you guys were discuss -- I learned some things listening to you guys about his hands being tied behind him. I had heard that there was something around his neck.

If somebody is alone -- there's sort of two camps that do these kinds of behaviors. One is somebody who becomes sexually addictive and compulsive. And the other, typically, in my world, is an opiate addict that can't get satisfaction by normal means. And they will tie something on their neck and lean into it. They won't tie elsewhere. They certainly won't tie their hands. It's pretty telltale.

That's not what this was, very clearly. It just has no -- none of the -- the earmarks of that kind of behavior.

When other areas are being tied, you think of other people, but then there's nothing characteristic about the way this was found, either. This was something...


PINSKY: So I -- so it remains a mystery to me. But it clearly is not suicide. It clearly is not something, in my opinion, that he was doing by himself.

KING: Mark, is it possible we may not know?

GERAGOS: Well, I don't think if we have an adequate investigation -- I think that's exactly why Keith and the rest of the -- the others in the family were over at the FBI today. They want an investigation. I would think that the people in Bangkok would want to support an investigation and allow the FBI to go over there and assist in the investigation so we can get the answers to the questions.

KING: What did the FBI say?

GERAGOS: Well, the FBI takes a report. They have to start the process. They've got to go through the State Department. And there's a series of hurdles. But they can be invited over there immediately. And I call on the people in Bangkok to invite them in.

KING: You can't stop the Internet from -- Jerry, from going berserk with this, right?

PENACOLI: No you can't and...

KING: Any rumor, any blog, anything. You can say anything.

PENACOLI: Oh, there's -- there's so much out there right now. But on a positive note, again, just trying to be respectful of the man, because, my God, we just lost him, it's so nice to see that -- because of this Twitter craze, all these celebrities, Rob Thomas and other musicians and actors, just Twittering their condolences and saying, you know, the grasshopper will be missed and just really, really nice -- nice things.

KING: The grasshopper, was that his...

PENACOLI: Well, that was his "Kung Fu." He was referred to as the grasshopper... (CROSSTALK)

GERAGOS: Take the rock from my hand, grass hopper.


GERAGOS: (INAUDIBLE) in our generation, that was a...


PENACOLI: And I was...

BINDER: He was iconic.

PENACOLI: I was interviewing a bunch of people on a red carpet last night for Denzel Washington's new movie and everybody had something just absolutely heartfelt to say about David Carradine.

KING: Twitter that. That's a great movie, "The Taking of Pelham 123." If I give a little endorsement here.

Did you see it?


KING: Whoa, what a film.

We'll be right back.



KING: Why did the series, in reflection, do so well?

CARRADINE: Well, I think...

KING: It was strange.

CARRADINE: Well, it was strange, but, you know, it was very timely. Just the moment the series came out was the same moment that Richard Nixon was shaking hands with Mao Zedong, inviting him into the United Nations. I think everybody wanted to see East meet West at that time.


KING: Good point.

He was on this show about 18 years ago.

Dr. Drew, there's a lot of talk about autoerotic asphyxia.

PINSKY: Right.

KING: What is that? PINSKY: That is where somebody will heighten their sexual experience by really cutting off the blood supply to the brain.

KING: That's a hype, to face death?

PINSKY: Well, no. It's not about facing it. It's literally a biological event. You know, it's seeing the white light at the moment of climax. And that, as such, people have these very intense experiences. And people that have trauma histories, people that are on opiates use that as a way of enhancing their experience.

KING: He wrote in his book that he did drugs, right, Chuck, at one time?


KING: Could he talk about it?

BINDER: He never talked about it to me, but, you know, -- I don't think he had used drugs in years.

PINSKY: It's usually people that are on opiates, not that have used. And I've seen some people that have heavy hallucinogens history sometimes -- like Ecstasy sometimes need this or do things like this in order to experience any arousal.

KING: As a reporter, Jerry, what do you do when rumors float in?

PENACOLI: Well, you know...

KING: I heard this.

PENACOLI: Yes. Well, I mean you -- you really...

KING: What?

PENACOLI: ...can't report rumors. What you have to do, obviously, as you know, is substantiate whatever...

KING: Follow up every one?

PENACOLI: Follow up every single one, try to get to a source and try to compare that source with another source and then move on from there. It's tough, though. This is a tough one.

KING: Mark, what does Keith believe?

GERAGOS: I don't know what he believes. I don't -- I know what he doesn't believe. He does not believe that this was suicide. And he does not believe that there's been a full investigation. And clearly, just judging by the reports that have come out, he's disturbed, as anybody would be, because they appear to conflict. And there's been five or six versions. All you have to do is go online and see what's coming out of there.

And so what he wants and what I think the whole family wants is an investigation that objectively takes a look at the evidence and determines what actually happened.

KING: Do you think we're going to get at it, Drew?

PINSKY: You know, it may end a mystery, right, Mark?


PINSKY: I mean you never know with these things.


PINSKY: I mean I -- the great -- the good news here, everybody loves this man. Whether they knew him personally or just appreciated his work, this is a great person everyone appreciated. And I think that's why they want some closure with it. It's not out of some sort of titillating desire for something, you know, inappropriate or unseemly. They want to put this to rest and not worry that something horrible happened to this man.

KING: Any memorial service planned, Chuck?

BINDER: I think the family's working on that.

GERAGOS: Yes, I think they are, too. But I think that until they take care of business, so to speak, and try -- try to finish with the second autopsy and do it -- try to get the investigation started, I don't think that there's anything that's going on yet.

KING: How big is the story in "Extraville," Jerry?

PENACOLI: Well, I mean, obviously, it's a big story. I mean you have a well-known actor. He's done over 100 films. We all knew him and loved him in "Kill Bill" and in the "Kung Fu" TV series. And, again, because of who he is and also because of the nature of the circumstances, the fact that it is a mystery that is unraveling right before our very eyes, that's what makes it, unfortunately, a good story.

KING: Did he like, Chuck, strange roles?

BINDER: I think he responded to a lot of different types of roles. But I don't know what you mean by strange.


KING: I mean like offbeat.


KING: He liked doing...

BINDER: Yes, he liked offbeat.

KING: They compared him last night to Chris Walken.

BINDER: Yes, he... KING: But Walken did more comedy.

BINDER: He -- he liked offbeat characters. But he liked, you know, traditional things like playing, you know, Westerns. He was set to do a Western...

KING: Was that "El Dorado?"

BINDER: Exactly. Yes.


PINSKY: He talked to me about what his very first role on Broadway, where he was like an Aztec prince or something. Did he -- he harkens back to that all the time. And that, for him, was sort of what he wanted to be.

KING: All stemming from his father, right?

I mean John...

PINSKY: I imagine, but he just thought how wonderful it was to sort of be bigger than life and to go out on the stage and to, you know, act and sing, whatever he was doing there on Broadway. That was really what turned him on.

KING: Thank you, guys.

We'll be following it.

Mark is going to remain, dealing with the next case. It was a deadly honeymoon and now the husband cops a plea in the case of his wife, whose drowning was caught in a picture. Speaking of bizarre, that's next.

Stick around.


KING: We're back.

Tina Watson drowned during a honeymoon scuba diving trip to Australia back in 2003. Her husband Gabe was facing trial for murder, a possible life sentence. But against her family's protests, Australian prosecutors have allowed Watson to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. He'll serve only one year of a sentence of four-and-a-half years.

Tina and Gabe were married just 11 days when she died.

Joining us in New York, Dr. Robbie Ludwig, psychotherapist, best- selling author of "'Til Death Do Us Part

Love, Marriage and the Mind of the Killer Spouse;" Jane Velez- Mitchell, host of "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell," seen on HLN, our sister network; and remaining with us here in Los Angeles, Mark Geragos, the noted defense attorney.

Let's show you something; outside the Brisbane court where his former son-in-law was sentenced, Tina's father had this reaction.


TOMMY THOMAS, TINA WATSON'S FATHER: I believe that probably the entire Australian nation, as well as our own country back home, shares in that shock with us over what we've just seen, because it's totally injustice. It's ludicrous what we have seen.

He's allowed to take the easy way out. He pleads guilty to manslaughter. And then laughingly, it looks like, he was the victim as the sentence was being read.


KING: Mark Geragos, this would have been a Geragos plea deal. Man murders his wife, says he did, Geragos gets him to do a year. Before Mark comments, Jane what do you know about this?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST OF HLN'S "ISSUES": It's an absolutely astounding case. They were only married 11 days. They're on the supposedly romantic honeymoon in Australia. They go on a dive. He's an experienced diver. She's a very novice diver. About 42 miles off the Australian coast, he claims they're about 40 feet down when the currents are strong. She gets panicky. And she knocks off his mask and regulator.

He's holding on to her. He says he lets go to fix his mask and regulator. At that point, she starts to sink to the bottom. He tries to get her, but she's sinking too fast. He decides to go for help. The trouble with that is that witnesses say they saw him give her a giant bear hug, and then swim in the opposite direction.

Prosecutors had believed that he actually turned off her oxygen tank, at one point, until she suffocated, and then allowed her to drift to the bottom.

So what's so outrageous to the family is that essentially, in allowing him to accept this manslaughter deal, they're saying, oh, he was a bad dive buddy, which the family is saying that's the understatement of the century. He killed her.

KING: We weren't in court. Mark, what do you -- stretch this a little.


KING: Give us the other side.

GERAGOS: If this case was as strong as Jane says, I don't know what prosecutor would have given it away. So obviously, I'm not looking at the reports. I don't think Jane's looking at the reports. I don't think she's talked to the witnesses. Obviously, there's a problem with this case, because prosecutors generally, in any case that's got any kind of high-profile nature to it, do not give it away.

KING: Two people way under water and nobody there but them.

GERAGOS: Exactly. And you've got somebody who may have a story to tell, and his story may have been this bear hug was not to turn it off, but it was to do something else --

KING: That's why it's manslaughter?

GERAGOS: Exactly right. Manslaughter is a lesser form of -- it's the killing of another, but without malice or forethought.

KING: How does it look to you, Robi?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: What concerns me is this husband asked his wife to increase her accidental insurance policy, so that he would get more money as a sole survivor if anything happened to her. So if that is, in fact, the case, it means that there was some type of forethought. Perhaps this man wanted to kill his wife for a profit. It's just a little bit suspicious, given everything else that we've seen.

Granted, I wasn't there and I wasn't in court. But it strikes me as a little odd. I find it very interesting that this husband is now remarried to somebody else. So I'd like to know a little bit more about that relationship.

KING: In fairness, Mark, suspicion isn't proof.

GERAGOS: Suspicion isn't proof. We're sitting here halfway around the world. We don't know. And we don't know what the facts are. Obviously, the prosecutor does.

KING: Jane, it seems logical, as a good reporter, have you called the prosecutor?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, no, I think there's a time difference, Larry --

KING: Why not?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- but let me say this --

KING: So what?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I feel the reason they didn't go through with this prosecution is because it would be horrific publicity potentially for Australia. We see what these international crimes do in terms of bad publicity. Look at the Natalee Holloway case in Aruba. They claim they wanted to spare the victim's family the anguish of a trial. But the family says, hey, we wanted a trial and we told them so.

So I don't really believe that they wanted to spare the victim's family.

GERAGOS: How does this resolution -- how does dropping it down to a manslaughter help the publicity for Australia? That doesn't --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because it's a one-day story.

GERAGOS: -- true to me --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Otherwise, it was a trial that would go on and on and on.

LUDWIG: I actually have a question for Mark. Because it was tried in Australia, does that mean it cannot be tried here in the states?

GERAGOS: Well, you know, that's an interesting question. There are -- there are ways, and I've handled cases, where people have been prosecuted overseas. They bring them back here. Then they prosecute them once again. Double jeopardy does not necessarily apply in all cases, depending on who the prosecutor is.

KING: Didn't know that. You learn something new here every night. We'll be right back with more. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Dr. Robi Ludwig, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Mark Geragos. Jane, we've been showing a film of sorts, a grainy film of what happened under water. I don't know who took that. Will you explain this a little for us, what's in that spotlight?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what's amazing, Larry, is that this didn't happen in some isolated area. When they go on these dives, there's a lot of people there. So it's almost like a tourist spot. And you see one of the divers actually posing for a photo, and then in the bottom corner, which you have encircled, there is the victim. There she is lying at the floor of the ocean, presumably either dead or in the process of dying, because they did bring her up and try to resuscitate her. And at that point, they said she was lost.

So there is the woman. Part of the problem is that there were many different stories that this man told to different people, according to prosecutors. He said one thing to police investigator, which was caught on videotape. He said another thing to friends in Alabama. He allegedly said another thing to people on the boat.

KING: Jane --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- inconsistent stories.

KING: The guy in the picture is not the husband?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. That's my understanding. Look, they've got masks on. I can't say for sure who is who. But there had been reports that there was a shot of the husband swimming away with the wife in the background, what you see there. But we don't believe that's the photo. It looks like that's some kind of tourist.

KING: Dr. Ludwig, it boggles my mind. Wouldn't you want to talk to the prosecutor?


KING: Who else to talk to? Why did you give him a year?

LUDWIG: Yes, exactly. I have to say, I saw the news -- this news story this morning, and I was absolutely shocked that this guy would only get, you know, a year, even 11 months. I found it mind- boggling. It seemed like there was so much more to the story.

Again, I was not there. Just everything about this story -- and the fact that the family really feels that their daughter's husband was the killer also speaks volumes, because very often families are initially in denial.

KING: Can't we assume the family spoke to the prosecutor? Mark, what's your guess here? We got to guess, we don't know --

GERAGOS: My guess, immediately, when I see this, number one, the prosecutor allows a plea to a manslaughter, which means they think they've got problems with their case. There's no reason why they just give it away. I love Jane, but it's not because they're worried about tourism in Australia.

They think they've got a problem with the case. They give a manslaughter. Then the judge takes the step of actually only imposing less than the maximum, about 25 percent of the maximum. So obviously the judge is on board with this as well. And what this means is -- and it's my gut feeling from doing this, at least in the states. If this was in the states, this means there was a problem with the case, problems with proof.

KING: Doesn't that concern you, Jane, the prosecutor agrees to it and the judge agrees to it? Doesn't that tell you something --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, rotten plea deals -- I think rotten plea deals happen all the time. I think it is hard to prosecute a case when the crime occurred underwater. It's a complex case. There are all sorts of explanations about why somebody would drift to the bottom. So it's a very intangible situation. It's not like a shooting or a mugging. Something that happens underwater, probably one of the reasons why this man allegedly did what he did.

KING: Dr. Ludwig --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- where he did.

KING: Right. If he confessed, does he fit the profile a killer spouse?

LUDWIG: Well, yes, he certainly does, on many levels. Number one, if he wanted his wife to increase her insurance policy, that means that he was thinking about financial gain. And if he somehow planned it in advance, I mean, that's somebody who has sociopathic tendencies, somebody who does not have a conscience, is missing that part in the brain that says, hey, this is the wrong thing to do.

I wish I knew more about this man's history, because that would certainly fill in some of the blanks and some of the questions that I have about him.

KING: Thank you all very much. I hope we find out more by talking to the guy or --

GERAGOS: Or the prosecutor.

KING: Next, our remarkable question. And the fight over Colombo. Peter Falk, back in 60 seconds.


KING: Before we talk about our remarkable question of the night, want to have some good laughs? On Friday night, June 19th, at the fabulous Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, Wynn's Encore, I'm going to be performing, me. I'm going to do comedy. You'll see the other side of Larry King, an evening with Larry King. My wife Shawn will open the show with her songs. And she is terrific. We'll have audience involvement. It will be a terrific evening. I know you will enjoy it. I will be funny. If you want to make reservations, just on the website, go to

Time for our remarkable question of the night, Linda from Short Hills, New Jersey, e-mailed me this question: "how much suspenders do you have? How did the suspender thing get started?"

I have about 150 pair, most of them here in Los Angeles, some in New York, some in Washington, where I keep some clothes. And my former wife Sharon, one day after my heart surgery, we're having dinner. She said, why do you keep wearing jackets and sweaters? You've lost some weight. Ever try braces?

I said, well -- she said, try it. I tried it, went on television. Hey, four people liked it. That's all I had to hear. It's been a part of me ever since.

You got a question for me, go to Send it in. If we answer it on the air, I'll give you an autographed copy of my new memoir, "My Remarkable Journey." And you'll have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles and see our show live.

Peter Falk's family tragedy. His wife and daughter are fighting over him in court. His daughter is here with us with her side of the story. It's sad no matter which way you look at it. This exclusive is next.


KING: Sadly, actor Peter Falk is not well, not in command of his faculties. The situation has caused a clash between Falk's daughter and his wife. Catherine Falk has taken her step mom to court just to see her own dad. She's here with us tonight with a sad story.

Why did you have to go to court over this?

CATHERINE FALK, PETER FALK'S DAUGHTER: Because after his hip surgery, I attempted to call him to see him. We had plans to go out for father's day. I couldn't reach him. So the stepmother -- his wife basically just hung up on me. And wouldn't allow me to talk to him.

KING: Why?

FALK: She just hung up on me and said, you know, your father doesn't want to speak to you. I didn't really understand, because up until before his surgery, I had spoken to him. We had plans to go out.

KING: When was this?

FALK: A couple weeks before Father's Day.

KING: Last year?

FALK: I'm not good with dates, 2008.

KING: Last year.

FALK: Last year, Father's Day. It will be a year, a year anniversary.

KING: Did you get along with your -- how long is Peter married to your step mother?

FALK: Too long. I mean, I'm sorry. I don't -- 31 years.

KING: Have you gotten along with her?

FALK: No, never. It's always been a contentious relationship.

KING: And suddenly it turns like this because -- well, how did he handle it when he had his faculties, before Alzheimer's? How did he deal with the fact that his wife and daughter didn't get along?

FALK: Well, she didn't get along with my sister or I. We were never allowed in the house. We had the door slammed in our face. It was just my father would always come to our house, you know, and pick us up. He just wanted to keep the peace.

KING: What did he -- so how did he handle it?

FALK: He handled it by just keeping --

KING: He tiptoed?

FALK: No, but he would just keep it very separate. He was a very private man. I don't think he really wanted -- he just didn't want conflict. KING: So what happened now? You go to court?

FALK: We went to court. We -- well, I feel we won. We prevailed. My reason for going to court was so that the judge would award conservatorship, or rule for a conservatorship. And I knew it would be Shera, or my hope was maybe a court-appointed one, so that there would be supervision of the person, and that I could then, in that framework, get visitation to see my dad.

KING: He wouldn't know you, though, right? Or would he?

FALK: No, but I want to see him.

KING: Were you close through all your life?

FALK: You know, as a child growing up, in my younger years, we were very close. And he was a great dad. Being that my parents were divorced, he kept a very wonderful relationship with my mother, and was involved with my education, was involved in, you know, lots of activities.

KING: You have one sister?

FALK: I have one sister, older, yes.

KING: And he was close with her, too?

FALK: Very close.

KING: Does she see him now?

FALK: Well, it's interesting, since we filed the petition, she's now seen him more times at the house, seven times, and she's only been allowed on the property maybe three times in her whole life. But now since the petition's been filed, she's been in.

KING: Peter Falk is known to the world as Colombo. He was on this program just a few years ago and talked about that famous role. Watch.


PETER FALK, ACTOR: Very early, before we ever had a script or anything, I was attracted to the idea of playing a character that housed within himself two opposing traits. On the one hand, a regular Joe, Joe Six-Pack, the neighbor like everybody else. But, at the same time, the greatest homicide detective in the world. Now, that's a great combination.


KING: What a guy. What an actor. What a lovable guy. Are you a detective?

FALK: No, I was a private investigator. I really enjoyed it.

KING: Were you affected at all by his work?

FALK: I think so. I just always was a curious child and always interested in investigating and watching all the different detective shows. I really enjoyed it, scaling walls. It was fun.

KING: Did you stay close to your biological mom?

FALK: You mean my mother?

KING: Yes.

FALK: Of course, oh, yes, absolutely.

KING: She's still living?

FALK: My mother's living. Oh, she's a little -- she's got a lot of energy.

KING: Did they have any relationship at all? Were they friends?

FALK: My mom and my dad were married for 17 years. They met at Syracuse and they drove over in a VW Bug and had no money. My father hadn't had a career. They remained best friends, very close, growing up.

KING: Catherine's attorney will join us after the break. Stay with us.



P. FALK: Whatever it is, it sure was most unusual. The reason I say that is because, you know, when my wife and I try to remember what happened yesterday or the day before, well, we don't agree on anything. And you two, you not only agree, you use almost the exact same words to tell about it. Good night.



KING: Did he have only one of those coats?

FALK: I know one is hanging in the museum.

KING: Sure.

FALK: I'm sure he had several.

KING: Peter's wife, Shera Falk, declined to be on our show, saying that her concerns are to continue to care for her husband. She is happy the judge vindicated her and dedicated care for her husband by continuing the conservatorship. Joining us now is Troy Martin, the attorney for Catherine Falk, who is with us again, stepmother declined to appear. Now, Catherine says she prevailed in court. Did she, Troy?

TROY MARTIN, CATHERINE FALK'S ATTORNEY: Yes, she did. The goal when we filed this petition was strictly to allow Catherine to see her father. We had two concerns, actually. The first was, because Catherine had been excluded from what was happening with Peter's care -- we had no idea what kind of care he was getting and what kind of condition he was in. So it was important to get the conservatorship established, so that we could figure out exactly if he was getting the right care, and what his condition was.

The other significant part about this is you would think that it would be obvious that a child should have the right to visit their parent.

KING: Why not? What's the question?

MARTIN: Well, the question is there's nothing really in the law that protects that right or allows a person to enforce that. Catherine had to go to this great extreme of filing a conservatorship petition and have a long, drawn-out legal process in order to just see her father.

KING: But because they were estranged, isn't that what led to this?

MARTIN: Well, no.


MARTIN: Well, there was a time when Catherine was estranged from her father.

FALK: A couple years.

MARTIN: For a couple of years, that led to a lawsuit that was filed in the early '90s. That relationship had been patched up for many years. In 1996, they had reconciled. And Catherine had been in frequent contact with her father.

KING: The key, then, is where are we now?

MARTIN: OK. Well, where are we now, the court has -- and we're very grateful that the court has not only vindicated and establish that Catherine not only did have a relationship with her father, but also allowed that relationship to continue by guaranteeing that she will be able to see her father.

FALK: And my children, too.

MARTIN: And her children will be able to see and meet their grandfather.

KING: The children were not allowed to see him either? How old are they?

FALK: I have a seven-year-old and a nine-year-old.

KING: Now they can. They can go there tomorrow.

FALK: Well, no.

MARTIN: No, there are actually parameters that were set, because you have two people's interests. You have the interests of Mr. Falk, as well, and the condition that he's in. It was the judge's determination that limited visitation should be allowed. And Catherine will be allowed to see him every other month. We're not happy with that, but we are satisfied that she will be able to see him for half an hour at a time, supervised.

FALK: It's still not enough.

MARTIN: And importantly also, Shera will not be allowed to be involved in those visits as well.

FALK: Which is a good thing.

MARTIN: Which will allow Catherine to have an unedited or interrupted meeting with her dad.

KING: But if he doesn't know her, what does it mean -- for him, what does it mean?

MARTIN: For him, it probably doesn't mean --

KING: It's for Catherine.

FALK: For me. And for my children.

KING: For her children.

MARTIN: For him, it doesn't mean much. There was testimony during the course of the trial that the emotions that are involved in the meeting can be important. And if it's a good and loving meeting, that can last with him --

FALK: Playing music, showing him pictures.

MARTIN: That can last.

FALK: It's meaningful.

MARTIN: That can last for a few hours. But mostly it's for -- what child does not want to be with their parents when they're in that circumstance?

KING: Are the laws adequate? Would you change them?

MARTIN: I would make some sort of streamlined approach where a child can petition the court, but not this whole blown-out procedure that we had to go through with the conservatorship. I've been contacted by people across the country who are experiencing a similar problem. And basically, I just spoke with a lady yesterday in Buffalo, New York, who is taking a page out of our playbook. And she is seeking to get a guardianship established over her parent, solely through this same reason, so that she can see her mother.

KING: Except for the Alzheimer's, Catherine, how is his health?

FALK: He looks really good. I don't know. He has a strong heart. My dad has a really strong heart. But again, with Alzheimer's, everything kind of shuts down.

KING: Wasn't he found walking down the street one day, not knowing where he was?

FALK: You would think that he would have been supervised more closely, but he wasn't. He was wandering about, losing his car, disoriented. Sad.

KING: What a sad way to go.

FALK: Very sad.

KING: The long good-bye.

FALK: His father died that way, too.

KING: Of the same disease?

FALK: My grandfather, correct. Yes.

KING: Of course, the only thing we have is our memory, right? Without our memory -- Good luck to you, Catherine. Thanks for coming on. Thanks, Troy. Thanks for clearing it up. Catherine Falk, the daughter of Peter Falk, and Troy Martin, her attorney. We can only hope that all of this gets resolved. Family squabbles like this, who's the real victim? I'll tell you who's the victim, the grandchildren.

Time now for "Anderson Cooper 360."