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Nancy Grace

Break in New York Grad Student Murder Mystery?

Aired March 13, 2006 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. A major break in the New York grad student murder mystery. Tonight, police formally name a prime suspect from the very bard where the 24-year-old beauty was last seen alive. Well, just hours ago, Darryl Littlejohn named number one suspect in the brutal assault, torture and murder. Tonight, police make a DNA link to Imette`s body.
And also tonight, a wedding in paradise turns to a murder mystery when the parents of the bride never make it down the aisle, instead they`re found dead in their luxury hotel suite at a Cancun resort.

Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, breaking news in the mystery surrounding a dream wedding in Cancun, Mexico, the bride`s parents found dead in their luxury hotel resort. Tonight, authorities testing strands of hair found on one of the victims, hoping for that one clue to crack this case.

But first tonight, breaking news in the disappearance and death of 24- year-old grad student Imette St. Guillen. Tonight, we confirm reports that blood found on plastic ties used to bid Imette have been matched to Darryl Littlejohn, the bouncer at the bar where Imette was last seen alive. Tonight, Littlejohn, named the prime suspect.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A DNA match to Littlejohn was made.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s great that he was caught.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Littlejohn is the prime suspect in this case.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People like that shouldn`t be running around on the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His indictment will be sought for the murder of Imette St. Guillen.

KEVIN O`DONNELL, LITTLEJOHN`S ATTORNEY: He absolutely maintains his innocence. He feels that he`s a scapegoat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s never displayed any violence, not to me, not in my presence.

O`DONNELL: He`s the easy target. He`s the one with the long criminal history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is evidence that puts the telephone Mr. Littlejohn had in his possession in the immediate vicinity of where the body was located and also a route to that location.


GRACE: Evidence in this case breaking almost quicker than we can report it. Again, repeat, prime suspect named, formally named by police. They say they`ve a DNA match to the bouncer there at the bar.

Straight out to "New York Daily News" reporter Nicole Bode. Nicole, welcome back. Bring us up to date, friend.

NICOLE BODE, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": Thank you, Nancy. The latest is that police commissioner Ray Kelly has announced that he`s going to -- he`s found the blood on the ties that were used to bind Imette St. Guillen. What this does is it gives the police their first solid lead, as up to now, all of their DNA evidence was inclusive. But as a result of this, Kelly has said that it`s within one trillionth -- one out of a trillion chances that this could be the wrong DNA, that Darryl Littlejohn is not the person that they`re seeking. So this is a -- this is going to make it a real iron-clad case for the prosecution.

GRACE: With us, "New York Daily News" reporter Nicole Bode. And I know it sounds fantastical to say that this is a match up to one in one trillion. We`re going to get into the law and the science surrounding DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, in just one moment. But following up on what Nicole just told you, here is the police commissioner.


RAY KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Darryl Littlejohn`s blood was found on plastic ties that were used to bind Imette`s hands behind her back, and a DNA match to Littlejohn was made. As a result of this and other evidence, Littlejohn is the prime suspect in this case and his indictment will be sought for the murder of Imette St. Guillen.

Detectives, as they have throughout this investigation, consulted again today with prosecutors. As a result, the Brooklyn district attorney will impanel a grand jury to seek the indictment. Darryl Littlejohn, who was employed at The Falls bar in lower Manhattan, remains in custody on Rikers Island for violation of parole.


GRACE: Out to Veronika Belenkaya, also a reporter with "The New York Daily News," and she`s actually talked to Littlejohn. Remember when you told me, Veronika, that he called you on a Sunday morning at about 10:50 AM and was upset because police were outside watching him? He should have been upset about those ties he left behind with his blood on them!

VERONIKA BELENKAYA, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": I guess he didn`t know he did that. But yes, he called me at 10:50 in the morning, said, you know, Do you remember me? I`m the bouncer you met the other night, and said that police had been following him on the train, you know, pretending, you know, they were sleeping and whatnot. Once he got home, he said he spotted two police cars sitting in front of his house, even gave me the plate number from one of them, and just said -- he seemed -- you know, said he`d be very happy to talk to them and (INAUDIBLE) and give them his side of the story. He said he`s been questioned before, so why not talk to me?

GRACE: So Veronika, this guy called you at home?

BELENKAYA: He called my cell phone.

GRACE: So at the time he called your cell phone, were you a little worried you gave it out to a seven-time convicted felon?

BELENKAYA: I -- there was no way for me to know that at the time. At the time, he was just a great witness.

GRACE: You know what? Apparently, the bar didn`t know about it, either, the bar that employed him as a bouncer, where he came in contact with this beautiful, raven-haired 24-year-old grad student. So I guess he got the jump over them, too, Veronika.

Here is more of what the police commissioner had to say.


KELLY: There is evidence, telephone evidence, telephone records, that put the telephone that Mr. Littlejohn had in his possession in the vicinity, the immediate vicinity of where the body was located, and also a route to that location. There are witnesses that put the victim in the company of Mr. Littlejohn when she left the bar that evening.


GRACE: Straight back to Nicole Bode with "The New York Daily News." Nicole, OK we`ve got the commissioner formally naming him the prime suspect. We`ve got an alleged match between blood and the ties used to bind this young girl. Tell me, when will there be formal charges?

BODE: Right now, the police commissioner and the rest of the prosecution have been biding their time. They`re not in a rush, at this point. If they needed to charge him immediately, it would give them less time to collect all the evidence they can possibly get. He`s not a menace to society. He`s not out on the street. He`s in Rikers. He can be held there for up to 90 days just on the parole alone. So they`ve got some time, and they want to make sure that their case is as solid as it can possibly be before...

GRACE: Excuse me!

BODE: ... they can...

GRACE: Hold on, dear! Nicole Bode with me, with "The New York Daily News." He`s not a menace to society because he is at Rikers!

BODE: Exactly.

GRACE: He`s behind bars. But let`s take a little look what the parole board had to say about this guy, that is working at a bar with young ladies like Imette St. Guillen. They said point blank, May 2004, "You have a total of seven felony convictions and violated parole previously. Your violent and out-of-control behavior shows you to be a menace to society. Your continued incarceration remains in the best interest of society."

So to Paul Batista, if that`s true, and the pardon and parole board -- and I`ve got the document right here in my hand -- it cannot be disputed -- what is he doing out, acting as a bouncer, sitting at the door? Isn`t that a little like the wolf, the fox guarding the henhouse? Hello!

PAUL BATISTA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That`s one of many analogies we`ve used down through the years, Nancy. He served his sentence, my dear lady. He was in jail for 10 years for armed robbery, and under New York law, he was entitled to be released six months early.

GRACE: Well, I`ve got some news for you, Paul Batista. If that`s the law, then the law is an ass! And speaking of the law...


GRACE: Yes, I`m quoting. And speaking of the law in New York, don`t anybody worry about this at least seven-time convicted felon getting the death penalty. The last time anybody was put to death in New York, 1963, Eddie Lee Mays (ph) killed a woman, holding up a tavern.

Now, here`s Darryl Littlejohn`s resume -- two armed robberies, one criminal use of firearm, three drug possessions, and one possession of stolen property. Lisa Wayne, what was this guy even doing out on the streets?

LISA WAYNE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it sounds like exactly what they said, Nancy. I mean, he had been paroled, and my understanding is that the bar hired him not under the -- his true name, but that he was using aliases, so that they didn`t know who he actually was, and there was no reason for them to know about this history that he has.

GRACE: Well, you know, Lisa, I don`t know about you, but when I signed up to work at -- for the government -- basically, the federal government, as a prosecutor and the state district attorney`s office -- I had to give a fingerprint. There wasn`t any "if, ands" about it that I was Nancy Grace. And I find this very hard to believe that when you are working with alcohol, tobacco or firearms, you don`t have to give a fingerprint.

WAYNE: I think that`s true. And I think that`s not a requirement that the bar has to fingerprint people who are working in the capacity of a bouncer. I mean, he was at the front door and that`s his job, and he doesn`t have to be fingerprinted. And he gave the alias, and he put one over them, it sounds like.

GRACE: Straight to Phil Rosenbaum. Phil, shouldn`t there be a law against this?

PHIL ROSENBAUM, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: There actually is a law against this, Nancy. New York state forbids bars from hiring anybody who knowingly has a criminal record, a felony conviction, as did Darryl Littlejohn.

GRACE: Now, wait a minute. I heard you put emphasis on "knowingly." You mean knowingly hire him or know that he`s got a record? Isn`t it their duty to find out?

ROSENBAUM: It`s their duty to not hire him, if they know he has a record. It the law doesn`t say how far they have to go find out if he, indeed, does have a record.

GRACE: OK, straight back out to our reporter, Nicole Bode, with "The New York Daily News." Will there be a grand jury?

BODE: Absolutely. Police Commissioner Kelly said he hopes to have one by he end of the week. So they -- you know, while they may take a day or two to collect extra evidence, they`re certainly moving ahead on this, and he hopes to have the Brooklyn supreme court have a grand jury out on this by the end of the week.

GRACE: Joining us right now, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensic scientist. He`s also connect to this case in the sense he is a professor at John Jay School of Criminal Justice, where Imette was getting her graduate degree. Welcome back, Koby (ph). Thank you for being with us, Doctor.


GRACE: Let`s talk about this DNA match to one in one trillion. It`s staggering. How does it work?

KOBILINSKY: Well, it is staggering. What it says, really -- let me translate it into lay language. What it says is that the genetic profile found in the evidence, meaning the blood on the tie, is the same as the genetic profile of Mr. Darryl Littlejohn. And if you wanted to find another individual with that same genetic profile, you`d have to find more than a trillion people. Clearly, that is the same thing as saying it`s an absolute identification. There`s no question that is his blood.

GRACE: Now, Dr. Kobilinsky, what else can you tell us about the evidence tonight?

KOBILINSKY: Well, there`s still a great deal of evidence that we don`t know a lot about. For example, the DNA under her fingernails. We know that she fought back, she scratched her assailant. There is DNA under her nails. It came back inconclusive, meaning that the DNA is primarily female, probably her own DNA. There may very well be the male DNA there, but that it`s swamped out by so much female DNA. When they do further testing, they may be able to focus on male genes on the Y chromosome, and that could lead to Mr. Littlejohn. If it does not, that would raise the issue of a possible second perpetrator.

GRACE: I want to go now to a veteran prosecutor, joining us often, Wendy Murphy. Wendy, as you know, of course, formal charges coming down against Darryl Littlejohn, at least to the extent he`s been named prime suspect in this case, a grand jury expected. But I`m just thinking about that group there at the bar, at The Falls, who waited over a week to come clean to police and tell them that they heard a muffled scream from Imette, that they saw her leaving with Darryl Littlejohn. What do you make of it?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Oh! Where do you begin? And how many swear words can I say on your program? You know, it`s not just a question of morality, that they should have done the right thing because this is such a gruesome crime. You know, this is a public establishment. They have a responsibility to care for the people that they`re getting drunk!

And more important than anything, Nancy, they lied to police. They didn`t just not tell the truth, they lied, which raises a host of questions. Are they involved somehow? Was somebody there that they`re covering up for? I`ll tell you, one thing`s for sure. Not only were they worried about their bottom line -- because they are going to pay through the nose and then some when the civil lawsuit hits them right between the eyes -- but no matter how much money they pay, they are going to pay extra for the lies, for the fact that they hired him, for the fact that they essentially shipped her out of the door with him.

And so it sounds like the reason they were trying to push police away was because they wanted to save a few bucks on the lawsuit!

GRACE: And isn`t that true -- back to Nicole Bode -- that they actually told her she had to leave the bar, and they basically put her right into contact with Darryl Littlejohn?

BODE: Well, the story has changed so many times. When Danny Dorrian first talked to police, he said that he had no idea, that she left of her own accord, she left alone. Then, suddenly, the story became that she was so drunk that she had to be escorted out of the bar.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait! Nicole -- and I`m not say this is your reporting, but you just reminded me of something. Nicole, I have seen it all over the TV. I`ve read it in the tabloids. It seems to me people are already starting to blame the victim defense, and I`ve had it up to here. I don`t think there`s anybody on this panel tonight -- and if you are, please raise your hand and scream out, I`m perfect. it seems to me already the tide is turning, where everybody`s saying this girl was out at 3:00 o`clock in the morning, this girl had too much to drink. You know what? I don`t like it! That`s whining (ph) insinuating itself into every single report.

OK, go ahead, Nicole.

BODE: No problem. So regardless of what -- you know, what you think about the fact that she was out drinking, she was out drinking. And by the time it came to the end of the night, you know, the bar owner first told police that she went alone. That was exactly the opposite of what happened, and he knew it, because, in fact, he had to specifically request the bouncer to remove her forcibly. And that`s where everything begins. That`s where the conflict begins, is what did he know and when did he know it?

GRACE: And Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist with us tonight, why? Why did the people at the bar not only just hold out, as Wendy Murphy accurately pointed out, but downright lie to police when this girl`s life could have been hanging in the balance?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, they were probably scared. They might have felt guilty. They wanted to save themselves. They were looking after their own reputation, their bar, their finances. So this is very disturbing, to see people behaving that way, but that`s what they see quite often, people taking the path of least resistance. And sometimes, that equates to telling lies and covering up.

GRACE: And very quickly, to Pat Brosnan. Pat is joining us tonight. He`s a former NYPD. Pat, I guess it`s not the first time you`ve seen money win out over the truth.

PAT BROSNAN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE, BROSNAN INVESTIGATIONS: Oh, absolutely not. And in fact, I would speculate that they probably knew that he had a criminal record because if this guy was there for a while, the regulars at the bar would have had conversations with him when they were drinking late at night, and it`s very easy to identify someone who`s been in prison for 12, 13, 14 years, Nancy. And the fact is, they`re covering their own butts on this one.

And they`re going to pay through the nose. There`s little doubt. That`s a hindering prosecution. It satisfies every element of the statute in New York state, period.

GRACE: You know, Pat, before we go to break, you, former NYPD, I`m a former prosecutor -- do you ever just get it up to here? Do you feel like you`re totally saturated with just evil?

BROSNAN: Every time I think I`m saturated and every time I think I`ve hit the threshold in terms of saturation of these gruesome crimes, I see another one like this. And this is a really, really bad one. And it has all the components of a total nightmare scenario going forward, except the DNA identification, which is the kiss of death for him.

GRACE: Right. Right.

Very quickly, to tonight`s "Case Alert." The ex-boyfriend of a missing Georgia woman, Leslie Marva Adams, has been jailed for allegedly stalking Leslie the night she vanished. Billy Joe Cook (ph), 38, turned himself in to Gwinnett County Detention Center, held without bond, two counts aggravated stalking. Adams, a 40-year-old hair stylist, just gorgeous, missing since October 2005. If you have info on this case, call Gwinnett police, 770-513-5300, $25,000 reward for information on Leslie Marva Adams.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just hard to believe. I was standing here and watching them bring out a lot of bags.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t know (INAUDIBLE) just normal, just normal.


GRACE: Welcome back, everybody. The news is breaking as we speak in the case of Imette St. Guillen. The 24-year-old grad student had the world ahead of her, her body found tossed aside a highway, wrapped about the head like a mummy, her hair chopped off, obviously having been sexually assaulted before being murdered.

To Pat Brosnan, former NYPD. Question. What can you tell us about these cell phone calls and how they`re going to try to use them to connect to Littlejohn?

BROSNAN: Extraordinary tool, Nancy, fantastic development in the last few years. These cell phone tower records, as they`re referred to, are going to be instrumental in developing and defining where he traveled, the route he traveled when his phone was powered on. The way it works is, even without making or receiving a call or talking on the phone, when that phone is in your pocket and it`s powered on, it`s seeking every 5 to 7 seconds the next cell phone tower relay station.

And the fact that the police commissioner stated that he had the phone in his possession signifies to me that they have already established, the Brooklyn North homicide detectives, that this phone was in Littlejohn`s pocket, in his possession at the time that they were speaking to him about. And that`s critical, because otherwise, he could state, if he`s not locked into that statement, Hey, I lost the phone, my friend borrowed the phone. That wasn`t my route. So the first step is getting it in his pocket, and the second step is the grid map overlay.

GRACE: Let`s talk about the blood, Pat, his blood -- his blood -- on those ties. Now, does that suggest to you that she fought back and that his blood could be elsewhere?

BROSNAN: Absolutely. First of all, I`m certain, based on the evidence that we know and the fact that she broke no less than four fingernails, that she fought ferociously with her attacker, which to me also demonstrates why there was not DNA in her fingernail beds because it was probably in the long part of her fingernail, which is lost somewhere at the crime scene.

I would speculate very strongly and theorize that there`s additional blood on other elements of evidentiary DNA on this case.



O`DONNELL: He`s the easy target. He`s the one with the long criminal history. But he was just working that night. He`s trying to clean up his life, trying to do the right thing. And you know, unfortunately, he`s in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He hasn`t even been charged. He hasn`t been charged with anything yet. And God forbid he is, it`s going to be very difficult for him to get a fair trial in this state, never mine the city.


GRACE: Oh, man, there we go with a change of venue already starting. And here`s the smart look from Darryl Littlejohn. This is a newly obtained photo of Littlejohn sporting glasses.

But you know, Dr. Robi Ludwig, he look can change. According to people in his neighborhood that knew him, he would often wear FBI jackets - - oh, I`m sure they`d be so proud -- police attire, camouflage outfits, right down to handcuffs on his waist. Now, that`s a look.

LUDWIG: Yes, that`s a look. That`s somebody who wants to be in power and authority. And he can`t even get it legitimately. So a person like this very often seeks power and control because they feel so powerless. And when I hear about this crime, it just screams about sexual sadism. And what happens with these kinds of characters is that they seek complete control and that they get arousal from actually killing their murder victim, not only -- not only causing pain and fear, but actually murdering them. So the ultimate in power is having power over whether somebody lives or dies. So this is a very scary person we`re dealing with here, and somebody who has a compulsion to kill.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They gave us all a jolt, kind of an awaking that this could happen to any of us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It kind of, you know, it`s scary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just hope they find whoever did this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is frightening to me. I mean, I know that if I leave a bar alone at night, then, I`d better be really careful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Imette was a very honorable girl, a very focused individual, someone who was full of life and full of energy.


GRACE: And let`s just have a little reality check. The red states are death penalty states, the blue are no death penalty. So Paul Batista, the max this guy, if he is ever proven guilty, tonight he`s just been named the chief suspect in the torture murder of a 24-year-old girl, what will become of him? Even if he gets life behind bars, when will he grid out on the parole grid?

BATISTA: He will never grid out on the parole grid in New York, Nancy. That`s an illusion. He`ll be there forever.

GRACE: Can you be a little more specific, Batista? Nobody is anywhere forever. He will parole out, OK. See this, here is the parole board. Here`s the parole board. I`m going to send this to you and let you chew on this for a little while. It is going to be dry. You might choke on it. Give me that -- the full screen, Rosie. This is the parole board hearing that in 2004 said, and I quote, you`re a seven-time convicted felon. You violated parole previously. Your violent and out of control behavior says you are a menace to society. Your continued incarceration remains in the best interests of society. That was May, all right. 5/2004 and here he is, out working amongst people like Imette.

BATISTA: Nancy, I love --

GRACE: He will get out.

BATISTA: I love that grid but that`s apples and oranges. He had a 10- year sentence, of which he served every month but three. What he will get here, if he`s lucky...


BATISTA: ... is a life sentence, a life sentence means --

GRACE: Speed it up. I got it. I got it. Are you doing that for emphasis? I think you are just searching for an answer. Wendy, I think he is searching for an answer because he`s pro bono -- Paul Batista, always prepared. He read this parole board hearing. He knows this guy, even if he ever gets life for this, he`s going to walk. Wendy Murphy.

MURPHY: You know, Nancy, what you are saying is so important because this doesn`t happen every day that we get to literally critique the system with the most grotesque case probably New York has seen in a long time. The murder rate there has been going down. But, this is the case that we need to talk about in terms of how lenient the sentences there are across the board. Look, it may be the case that he did serve most of his sentence. I think it is pretty clear that he didn`t get a long enough sentence. How many -- seven prior felony convictions and he`s only served about 10 years total. I`d call that a volume discount, if you ask me.

I tell you something else, the thing that most enrages me about this guy and the story that`s being told about women being careful and all this nonsense, he clearly targeted this woman because of her gender. This, in my opinion, is a hate crime of the worst kind. And no one is talking about it as a hate crime against women. Instead, we are saying to women, oh, be very afraid, don`t exercise your constitutional right to go out drinking and have fun, be very afraid, stay home, hide under your covers. How about sending a message to the thugs, you`ll be afraid, you`ll be very afraid because we will hunt you down, we will lock you up. You will never see the light of day again. How`s that for a message and let`s call it a hate crime, starting today and until this case is over so that we understand violence against women is a hate crime.

GRACE: You know what, Wendy, this is the tip of the iceberg, friend. Let`s see it, Rosie. Let`s take a look at the map where three other young women may be Littlejohn victims. Check it out, Soho, 2006, Forest Hills, 2005, Elmont, 2005, what a coincidence he just got out May 2004, Wendy.

MURPHY: Yes. What a coincidence. Look, I don`t know if he is tied to those crimes and, if he is and this case is not talked about and prosecuted as a hate crime, shame on New York. New York and Massachusetts are two of the only states that actually have gender in their list of specified hate crimes and it`s only been on the books in New York since 2000. If this case isn`t good enough - because let`s remember something, her breasts, her genitals were cut, her long, beautiful female hair cut off and he`s possibly involved in these other attacks on women. If this isn`t a hate crime, New York, what is? What is? When is it going to be a good enough case to prosecute someone for targeting a victim because of her gender?

GRACE: Let`s take a look at the evidence, Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky. It`s trial 101. This is circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence is not direct evidence, such as an eyewitness. This is something that involves reasoning, or deduction. Give me your best shot, Koby.

KOBILINSKY: Well, Nancy, let me tell you, eyewitness testimony has a lot of questions as to its reliability. There is a growing literature on problems, false identifications. Whereas, DNA is literally the gold standard of forensic analysis. In fact, all other types of analysis in forensics are trying to have their standards raised to that level. Now, I think that this is a pretty clear-cut case; it`s his blood. But, I`ll tell you what the defense attorneys are going to say. The defense attorneys are going to explain that the blood on those plastic ties are due to secondary transfer and what that means is that he had contact, he bled on some object and, then, the ties made contact with that object. That`s what --

GRACE: Yes, yes, I can see that argument coming down the pike but Pat Brosnan, former NYPD, won`t that argument depend on the type of bloodstain, if it is a splatter, if it is a smear? I mean, you can look at a bloodstain really with the naked eye.


GRACE: And (INAUDIBLE) if it is a transfer.

BROSNAN: The composition and diameter and splatter area of the blood will definitely be a component. But more importantly, Nancy, is there is exponential evidence all around here relating to the eyewitnesses, the cell phone tower hits, the carpet fibers. The carpet fibers in his residence, in his basement apartment on his rug where he stands were found on a quilt that wrapped her where she was thrown over the railing in Brooklyn north. These are gigantic factors. If you think it was one in a trillion with the evidentiary DNA, it`s got to be one in a quintillion when you couple them together in totality.

GRACE: And of course, we`re waiting to find out if we`re going to get confirmation on those carpet fibers, but speaking of fibers, very quickly back to you, remember Wayne Williams, that was the first -- he was convicted of mass murder in Atlanta, Georgia of young boys throughout the city. Those carpet fibers, that was the first time that that was used, Pat Brosnan, in a murder, prosecution. If those fibers do match up in this case, we`ll see the same thing.

BROSNAN: Well, carpet fibers are - they`re not the gold standard like Koby says but I got to tell you, when the composition, diameter, texture and origin all tie together, it is a very strong case. It is under DNA but it`s right up there.

GRACE: To Veronika Belenkaya, Veronika is the only one of us - she`s with the "New York Daily News" who has actually spoken to tonight`s prime suspect in this torture and murder case. And Veronika, when you talked to him, what was he like? Do you think any more than what he was telling you, obviously he did, but who was this guy?

BELENKAYA: He was a man who stood in the doorway, who was the only employee at the time at this bar -- at this bar willing to speak to me which, you know, you spends the entire night searching for somebody who may have actually seen this girl that night and a week later somebody comes forward and says, yes, I remember her, that sounds great. You know it sounds great to me. I`m getting a great witness here and he seemed like somebody pleasant enough, nice enough, somebody I trusted enough to give my card to with my number on it and somebody I was excited to hear from the next -- two days later. So --

GRACE: You know what, I bet you aren`t the first person this guy has conned, including the bar, including Imette St. Guillen and possibly others.

BELENKAYA: Possibly.

GRACE: We are bringing you breaking news in this case as it happens, the case not just about Darryl Littlejohn, now the chief suspect for the state, but about a 24-year-old girl, Imette St. Guillen.

Very quickly, to tonight`s "trial tracking," the jury that convicted Palm Beach millionaire Jim Sullivan for the 1987 murder of his wife, Lita, nearly two decades ago began death penalty deliberations. Today that same jury convicted Sullivan for hiring a hit man disguised as a flower delivery person when the murder went down. Pink roses found strewn at the murder scene.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back from Mexico looking spent and speaking slowly, (INAUDIBLE) Ianiero pleaded for more help from Ottawa in solving his parents` murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice must be done and the road to justice lies in answering the many questions that have been raised. Therefore, we ask the Canadian law enforcement officials to work closely with their Mexican counterparts to find those answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Ianiero`s had been in Mexico for a family wedding. On February 20th, Dominic and Nancy, the mother and father of the e were found dead in their hotel room. So far, Mexican officials say these two women from Thunder Bay, who`d been staying across the hall, are the suspects.


GRACE: Can you imagine, when you think about Cancun, Mexico, when you think of resort, paradise, wedding, it sounds almost too good to be true. This turned into not only a disaster, a tragedy, but a double murder mystery. These parents never made it down the aisle with their little girl. They were found slain at their exclusive resort there in Cancun. To a reporter with the "Toronto Sun," joining us Vivian Song, Vivian, it almost sounds like a horrific screenplay but it is real.

VIVIAN SONG, REPORTER, "TORONTO SUN": Indeed, Nancy. It`s quite horrific, first of all given the very nature of the crime. As you said, the couple were killed at a luxurious five-star beachside resort and their throats were slashed from ear to ear in what Mexican authorities initially described as likely a professional -- the work of a professional.

GRACE: Work of a professional, what do you mean by that, like a hit man?

SONG: Well, they were careful at first but they did say that, just given the -- the depth of the gashes, that the work appeared to be committed by somebody who knew what they were doing. We`ve also been thrown a few loops here by the Mexican attorney general, saying that he -- now he`s been making confusing remarks but he first made the statement that it was likely committed by some -- by somebody in organized crime.

GRACE: Oh, good Lord. Like somebody followed them all the way down from Canada? Wait, wait. Are you telling me, what, because one of them is Italian that the mob did it? BS. That sounds like OJ saying a Colombian drug lord did it. I`m not buying that, Vivian.

SONG: Well, that`s the reason why there`s been so much furor over this whole case. From the very beginning, it`s been characterized by a lot of misinformation, contradictory information. The lead investigator has made statements and then retracted the same statements. So, this whole investigation has just been a whirlwind of questions, really.

GRACE: Tonight, breaking news in this case, the couple never made it down the aisle with their daughter. They were found slain in their room, but a hair has been taken off the body of one of the victims. It has been reported and we`re trying to confirm that it was in one of the hands of the victim, possibly as a result of a fight. You know, I want to go straight back to Pat Brosnan. Why -- these couples are Italian. And immediately the stereotypes begin to fly that someone had followed them all the way down to Canada to kill them at their daughter`s wedding. That is so far- fetched, ridiculous. Why? Why are they trying to cast blame in a different direction?

BROSNAN: More vowels than consonants. I don`t know. It`s extraordinarily astonishing assertion by the authorities lacking from what he understand any direct link or indirect link from the victims to the so- called double female assassins, these hit people out of Canada.

GRACE: That reminds me, that is also far-fetched. Back to Vivian Song with the "Toronto Sun." Viv, first of all they try to blame the mob. All right. They must have gotten a special package, a Cancun special and followed the victims down there. Then they tried to blame two soccer moms, two soccer moms for it.

SONG: We have to be careful here. I just want to clarify that though the attorney general made the statement recently to Associated Press, he then recanted the same statement to me immediately after that story hit the wires. So I just want to be -- just want to be careful.

GRACE: Is that supposed to make me feel better that first they gave an erroneous statement, then they tried to retract it. They tried to get their foot out of their mouth?

SONG: Exactly. That`s exactly it. I mean, as I said, there has been a whole bunch of speculation. Initially, what is interesting is that this murder was initially pinned on the two Thunder Bay women, who are young mothers --

GRACE: Ridiculous.

SONG: Sorry?

GRACE: I`m sorry. I was just exclaiming. Go ahead, Vivian.

SONG: As I said, the murder was initially pinned on these two women because a trail of blood was found in their hotel room which is just down the hall from the victims. Now --

GRACE: Wait a minute, hold on, Vivian. I know you may not be able to see this, but we are showing the viewers the two soccer moms as they have been called, also another stereotype, that the professionals down there in Cancun tried to pin the murder on and, as it turned out, apparently one of the cleaning people, Wendy Murphy, had gotten some blood from the crime scene, it was a very bloody crime scene in these ladies room with a rag with a mop. I don`t know what. So, there you have it with a problem with DNA, Wendy.

MURPHY: Look it, I hate to make superficial judgments about who the likely killers are, but not only do they not seem like professional killers and, oh, by the way let`s not forget that whether you think this was a mob hit or not, it was described as a professional hit, someone who knew how to do it,

GRACE: OJ said that, too, Wendy.

MURPHY: Those two women that we are looking at how have absolutely no background of any sort related to that, I don`t know that they come across as having an idea how to slice a head off. But you know, the interesting thing is, Nancy, and this reminds me of the cruise ship stories that we keep hearing about and George Smith`s in particular. Maybe there`s something about this hotel that we should be asking about in terms of their employees. Apparently four of them have gone missing. Maybe there is something about those employees. Let`s at least talk about the name of the hotel. Why are they protecting them?

GRACE: That makes more sense than the mob following them down from Canada and the two soccer moms.

Very quickly to tonight`s "all points bulletin" -- law enforcement across the country on the lookout for Josephine Sunshine Overaker, wanted for multiple arsons in several western states. Overaker, early 30s, 5`3", 130 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. If you have info, call the FBI at 503- 552-5400. Local news next for some of you, but we`ll all be right back. And remember, live coverage of the death penalty phase in the Jim Sullivan trial, Court TV 3:00 to 5:00 Eastern. Please stay with us as we stop tonight to remember Marine gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry, 28, of Laredo, Texas, killed in Iraq`s Anbar province when a bomb blew up. He volunteered to disarm, an American hero.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had heard this commotion in the hallway. We heard glass break. Somebody was screaming and swearing. And so we came out into the hallway to see what was going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justice must be done. And the road to justice lies in answering the many questions that have been raised. Therefore, we ask the Canadian law enforcement officials to work closely with their Mexican counterparts to find those answers.


GRACE: Thank God they are doing exactly that, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are working on the case, as well, two beautiful people, Canadian parents, their daughter getting married at a luxury resort in Cancun found slain. They never made it down the aisle. Tonight coincidentally veteran defense attorney Lisa Wayne has stayed in this resort. What`s the story?

WAYNE: You know, Nancy, sitting here and it is just chilling listening to you talk about this place, because it is a beautiful resort but it is very open and it`s not very secure. It`s one of these kind of resorts when you, when you drive in, you have to show a pass or your little orange band but otherwise it is very open, it is very airy and it would be very easy for anyone to walk into that place.

GRACE: Don`t tell me when I`m going to drive in because I plan on seeing America first after George Smith and now this, I`m staying at home under my bed, in my slippers. Forget about it. But very, very quickly. A lot of legal problems internationally, right, Lisa?

WAYNE: Yeah, there are. I have to tell you the Mexican police, I mean, they have a reason to want to solve this. I mean, tourism is a huge trade down there and they want it to be a safe place and they want people to come. So they want to solve this and I believe they`re going to do everything they can to do that.

GRACE: Lisa Wayne, veteran defense attorney along with Paul Batista. I want to thank both of you. But I want to thank all of our guests tonight. Our biggest thank you here at the "Nancy Grace Show" tonight and every night is to you for being with us, inviting all of us and our legal stories into your homes. Special note tonight, we honor and remember 31- year-old Watchung, New Jersey police officer Matthew Melchionda, killed Wednesday. His cruiser slammed into a tree while he pursued a suspect. Today, Melchionda was laid to rest. Good night, officer. I`m Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. See you here 8:00 sharp tomorrow night Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.