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Nancy Grace

Mothers of Missing and Murdered Children Speak Out

Aired May 12, 2006 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, on the eve of Mother`s Day weekend, there are thousands of moms living a parent`s worse nightmare. Tonight, high- profile moms of missing and murdered children, moms that made the headlines fighting crime one on one, speak out, and they are taking your calls.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That persons out there, and wherever he is, we`re not going to stop. And he needs to know (INAUDIBLE) we`re not going to stop looking for him.


GRACE: Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. Tonight, let me advise you right off the bat, we are waiting for a live press conference out of the Duke University area of North Carolina. It will be at the defense attorney`s office, in regard to the DNA results we have just heard about. We are waiting for the defense attorneys to set up. The moment it starts, we here at Headline News will take you there live.

But right now, it`s Mother`s Day weekend. It`s one of the biggest celebrations across America. But for many mothers, it`s a heartache, a reminder of children lost to violence, and those who spend their days and nights wondering if their child is dead or alive. Tonight, in an exclusive, never-before-held gathering of moms of missing and murdered children, high-profile moms of Natalee Holloway, Molly Bish, Johnia Berry, Wallace Richards, Chuckie Mauk are taking your calls live.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) my buddy, my best friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lay in my bed at night, trying to sleep, wondering if my daughter`s feet (ph) are cold.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many children do we have to take away before we, as Americans, get organized?


GRACE: Tonight: If you`re like me, you love your mother. Tonight, supermoms, moms that have not given up as the days, the weeks, the months, sometimes even the years have passed.

First, I want to go out to Beth Twitty, as you all know by now, the mother of Natalee Holloway, the 18-year-old beauty who went missing on her high school senior trip. It`s coming up on the one-year anniversary of that day. And with us, Beth Twitty. Beth, thank you for being with us.

BETH HOLLOWAY TWITTY, NATALEE`S MOTHER: Thank you, Nancy, for having me here.

GRACE: Beth, do you mind later on taking some calls from some of our viewers that would like to speak to you?

TWITTY: Oh, absolutely not, Nancy.

GRACE: We get so many e-mails and phone calls for you and the other moms joining us tonight. As you head into Mother`s Day weekend, what are your thoughts?

TWITTY: You know, Nancy, when I head into something, as we`re approaching Mother`s Day, I think about all the things that are so much more difficult for me to endure just on a daily basis, Nancy. I mean, I think about -- when I see Natalee`s friends, I think about the things that Natalee has missed in her life, and look at Mother`s Day as something, you know, that -- I think of that as something, of course, for me, and I -- you know, and I cherish those, you know, times that -- when I`m with Natalee and -- but what pains me the most is what I see that Natalee has missed and is missing and will always miss in her life.

And I think that is the most difficult thing that we deal with on a daily basis, as -- you know, I know now that Natalee -- Natalee should almost be a sophomore in college, Nancy, and she was just so robbed of that.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Ed Miller, reporter with "America`s Most Wanted." Ed, what is the latest in the Natalee Holloway case?

ED MILLER, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, the latest is, as you probably know, that we have been following private Equusearch as their -- as they conduct private searches both of the beach and deep-water searches. And the truth of the matter is, there`s really not a whole lot new. You know, they`ve picked up some people. They`ve talked to some people.

You know, the law down there is very different than American law, so people somewhat, they think they hear that they picked up somebody, that means he`s a suspect. They label somebody a suspect who really is not a suspect, they`re just questioning that person.

So the bottom line is, while there has been a whole lot of fuss and fury, nothing really is that new in the case of Natalee Holloway.

I just need to say this very important about Natalee`s mom because she, of all the people that we`ve talked to over the years at "America`s Most Wanted" -- she probably personifies the ultimate crusading mother, somebody who absolutely refuses for walk away quietly. She`s always available to do interviews. She does all the right things.

And I think it`s important that you, Nancy, do this show for Mother`s Day and also congratulate these mothers who crusade, who will not give up on missing and murdered children. It`s so important. Congratulations to you, Nancy, and to Natalee`s mom.

GRACE: Thanks, Ed, from "America`s Most Wanted."

Again tonight, supermoms that have not given up. Many of us will be celebrating with our mothers and with our children -- there you see them -- this coming Mother`s Day. Tonight, with us from all around the country, Beth Twitty, Natalee Holloway`s mother, Magi Bish, the mother of Molly Bish, Joan Berry, the mother of Johnia Berry, Belinda Richards, the mother of Wallace Richards, and Cathy Miller, the mother of Chuckie Mauk. Many of these cases still unsolved, these moms left wondering what became of their child.

Back to Beth Twitty. Beth, a lot of us hear that nothing new has happened in the case of Natalee Holloway, but there`s always something brewing down there in Aruba. In your mind, what`s the most recent development, Beth?

TWITTY: Well, Nancy, I think the most recent development was the arrest of Geoffrey Van Cromvoirt. And of course, it produced absolutely nothing. And I don`t know if -- you know, why they went into the arrest of the suspect, if -- you know, I just wonder now, was it just part of just acting as if they were having an active investigation, or did they truly have something that warranted it? And you know, it`s just so frustrating. I don`t see anything forthcoming, Nancy. I don`t think we`re getting any information that there are any more arrests coming at all.

GRACE: Do you think there`s been a cover-up, Beth?

TWITTY: Well, I think what we can see is that they have really had just such a botched investigation from the beginning. And whether that was due to incompetence or corruption or cover-up, I mean, we don`t know, Nancy.

GRACE: Beth, as you look back over your many years with Natalee, what is your most fond Mother`s Day recollection?

TWITTY: Oh, Nancy, by far, it was last Mother`s Day. And you know, Natalee always put just a thousand percent into the present that she gave me. I mean, she`s just -- was just amazing at putting together a collection of pictures. And I have that and just will cherish it always. It was just a collection of pictures of she and I together since she was just a very small, little girl. And she`s always done just really unique hand-made gifts that are just so special. And that`s -- that`s just -- of course, that is very painful to know that those days are gone.

GRACE: With us is Beth Twitty, the mother of Natalee Holloway.

Joining us right now is Magi Bish. This is the mother of Molly Bish. Molly got a great job as a lifeguard at a local pond. Magi, do you recall the last day you saw your girl?

MAGI BISH, MOLLY`S MOTHER: Oh, I do. It was a very busy Tuesday morning, and I drove her to work. She had a friend who had been in a very severe car accident, and my husband had called me to tell me, and I was trying to prepare Molly that her friend might, in fact, die. And we had lost some other teenagers that spring. And so that morning, I got into bed with my 16-year-old, and I tried to prepare her for such a loss, which we didn`t know how we sometimes can handle such sadness, and that kids would come to the beach today and probably want to talk about it and need a place to go, and to prepare her for this possibility.

But it gave me the opportunity to lay with her and to tell her how much I loved her and feel that love and that energy that I miss so very much today, and that joyful person that she was and kind and loving.

But I drove her to work, and it was the last time I seen her. She jumped out of the car and told me how much she loved me and said, Goodbye, Mom, I love you, and hopped out of the car. And that was hat the last time I got to see her and talk to my Molly. And it`s nearing our six-year anniversary. We still don`t know who did this to her or why, and we won`t stop until we find this person.

I congratulate all these mothers who stand before you, holding their hearts in their hands, because it takes enormous courage. But what more it is the love that they have for their children that gives them the courage to go forward every single day because behind these scenes, there`s many tears. But we have to stand firm and fight because what they`ve done to our children is horrendous and terrible. And I think all these mothers are brave, and I`m honored to be on this panel with them.

GRACE: With us is Magi Bish. This is Molly Bish`s mom.

Back to Beth Twitty, Natalee Holloway`s mom. Beth, when you hear people like Magi Bish and you take a look at the prospect of six years from now, not having an answer, did you ever in your wildest imagination think you would be in this spot?

TWITTY: No, Nancy. And I`ll be honest, the first few months into this with Natalee, I couldn`t even put her in the same sentence as Molly Bish. And Magi Bish reached out to me early on in Aruba. She had a friend send me some special items. And I remember it was difficult for me to think of Natalee as being in the same sentence with Molly. And I remember calling Molly`s mother back, and it was very difficult because I just -- I think that we`re in denial early on and we just don`t think that our daughter or son`s fate will end up the same.

You know, you just -- it takes a while to come to that. and it took me a while to realize that, you know, I might be in this for many years, Nancy, and that was not easy for me to come to. And I`m sure it wasn`t easy for Magi Bish to come to, either.

GRACE: Take a listen to this,


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This investigation is about finding the truth. It`s not about me. It`s not about the prosecutor. So even if people get angry, people don`t like us anymore, we just want to do our job. And we understand the family and we sympathize with them, but it is not an easy project.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quite frankly, we want to learn what happened that night, what became of Natalee, and we want to have an opportunity to get some answers.


GRACE: I want to introduce to you a mom, a mom we`ve talked about on our show before but a mom you have never met until tonight.

Tonight, a special Mother`s Day tribute to courageous moms that have not given up on their children`s whereabouts or their cases. The moms of murdered and missing children are speaking out.

I know the calls are lining up in the control room, but let me first introduce to you to Belinda Richards. This is the mother of Wallace Richards. Welcome. Thank you for being with us, Ms. Richards.


GRACE: Your son was in the prime of his life when he went missing, just 23 years old. Listen to this, everybody -- 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, just a strapping young man, headed back to college. He wanted to be a TV cameraman. He dropped a friend off at work -- well, Ed Miller, you tell the story, from "America`s Most Wanted."

E. MILLER: Nancy, you`ve got it. He dropped off a friend at work. He was driving her car. He promised he was a good guy. He said, I`m going to get an oil change for her. So you know, he dropped off the friend at work, and he goes to get the oil change -- or presumably, he does -- and then he ends up missing. And no one can figure out where he is.

And everyone keeps saying, Well, he`s not the kind of guy to go missing. He certainly is not the kind of guy to steal the car. He wouldn`t just take off like that. And yet because the law is the way it is, as you know, Nancy, missing adults really gets very low priority with the police. It certainly is not the same as a missing child.

So that`s exactly what happened. And even though there was a Lojack device on the car -- this is somewhat controversial -- because the friend gave him the keys to the car, they would not activate that Lojack device. So that way, we could have found out where the car is. So they had to wait for a whole week to go by.

GRACE: What a good-looking young guy! How did he decide, Ms. Richards, that he wanted to be a cameraman?

RICHARDS: Well, he was influenced by his girlfriend, Sabrina Ford (ph), who is a journalist, graduated from San Francisco State. And he was kind of not knowing what he wanted to do, and when he saw her success, he decided that TV cameraman was for him. They had this plan that they were going to start a magazine together. He would be the cameraman and she would be the writer.

GRACE: You know, Ms. Richards -- everybody, I want you to meet Belinda Richards, a special mom with us tonight. Her son went missing on the 10th of November, 2005, and every month on the 10th, they have a special event of some sort.

Now the photo and the story of her son, Wallace Richards, is going to be part of a NASCAR race, which, as you know all, gains a huge audience across this country. They are doing anything and everything for people to identify this young man, her boy, her son, Wallace Richards.

We`re going to be back with our mothers you`ve already met and two more mothers, as we head into Mother`s Day weekend. But stay with us as we take a look at a double murder that shocked the country Mother`s Day one year ago. Our producer, Phil Rosenbaum with a Mother`s Day memorial.

PHIL ROSENBAUM, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Nancy, you know, we covered this on your show a year ago. Last Mother`s Day in Zion, Illinois, 8-year- old Laura Hobbs and her 9-year-old friend, Krystal Tobias, vanished. Later, both girls found brutally stabbed to death in a wooded area. Police arrested Laura`s father, Jerry Hobbs, released from prison a month earlier. Prosecutors say Hobbs confessed, saying he was enraged Laura went out to play after being grounded.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) I am broken. I will never heal. I will never have closure, and never again have my daughter by my side. My heart will always have a void, a tremendous loss.

SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON`S MOTHER: I loved my daughter so much. I miss her every minute of every day. I miss seeing her. I miss our talks together. I miss listening to the excitement in her voice when she talks to me about her baby. I miss not being able to share with her anticipation of her approach of delivery date. I miss listening to her talk about her future with her husband and her baby. I miss sharing our thoughts on our lives together. I miss her mile and her laughter and her sense of humor. I miss everything about her!


GRACE: Mothers, mothers of the missing and murdered. First Carlie Brucia`s mother, and then Sharon Rocha, the mother of Laci Peterson.

Tonight, five courageous and beautiful moms as we head into Mother`s Day.

As you know, we are waiting to take you live down to North Carolina, where there is expected a Duke press conference by the defense bar, the defense in this case responding, we believe, to recent DNA results. We`ll take you there as soon as they get seated and miked.

Very quickly -- yes, they`re not ready yet -- to Renee Rockwell. Renee, why this presser, just to put the spin on the DNA?

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, well, obviously, the DA is not going to say anything. But I can tell you, it`s got to be some good news, otherwise they wouldn`t be coming out. The case is being tried in the press, so this is their chance to tell everybody. Obviously, it`s good news for the defense.

GRACE: Let`s go straight out to the lines and back to our moms, as we wait for the presser to start. Let`s go to Sheila in Texas. This is the mother of Lisa Underwood, a pregnant mom that went missing, her body found later. Welcome, Ms. Underwood.


GRACE: Yes, ma`am.

UNDERWOOD: I want to thank you, Nancy, for being one of the first to report that Lisa and Marty were missing.

GRACE: Ms. Underwood, thank you for calling in. We have not forgotten your girl.

Everyone, let`s go live to this presser.

JOE CHESHIRE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: This is Wade Smith, and my name is Joe Cheshire. There are other lawyers back there that I`ll just let identify themselves, if they would like to.




CHESHIRE: The ones that know about this case know that I represent a player who`s one of the captains, named Dave Evans, who also was one of the young men who rented the house at which the party took place that resulted in the false accusations that have been made against Duke lacrosse players.

Today, also, as you know, the state of North Carolina has released -- and I do not know whether you all have seen it. There doesn`t seem to be much in this case that the press doesn`t get a chance to see. But the district attorney`s office has released to us their so-called second DNA report.

The first thing I would like to say about that report is that I think that it is very interesting, interesting to note for the ones of you that care to note these things, that this report was leaked by the district attorney`s office, according to press people who have told me specifically that they leaked it to them, several days ago. We only received this report at 5:00 o`clock. I received it at 5:02 this afternoon by fax. I find it interesting that it was leaked that way and faxed to us in a way that was apparently done so that we would not have the opportunity to respond to it. That`s the first thing.

The second thing is, it makes me sad the way it was leaked and the way it was reported by many people that there was a match in the second DNA test to one of the Duke lacrosse players. Those types of reports that go out all over this nation create a false impression about this particular case and makes it very difficult for these young man to receive a fair trial. And that is one of the reasons that we are speaking out tonight. We feel compelled by the actions of the district attorney`s office to continue to speak out about this case.

Let me also emphasize to you all that none of the lawyers in this room are experts in DNA. So we have now had approximately three hours to review a very complex scientific report. That is not a long time. But we can say to you categorically that this report shows no conclusive match between any genetic material taken on, about, in or from the false accuser and any genetic material of any Duke lacrosse player.

It does show that there was DNA material from multiple different people on one plastic fingernail, and that in that material was some of the same characteristics as the genetic -- some of the Duke lacrosse players, and let me emphasize, none of the Duke lacrosse players that have been indicted. What that says -- and you can talk to your experts on DNA -- is that there is no conclusive match of DNA.

Now, I also want to go back, if I can, briefly with you and discuss what I said at the initial press conference about the DNA. This one plastic fingernail that was supposed to have been, according to this false accuser, ripped off during this horrific struggle, was taken from a trashcan that was in the bathroom used by two of the players who lived in that particular house. In that bathroom and in that trashcan where those fingernails were placed by the lacrosse players when they cleaned up their bathroom -- and I`ll talk to you about that in a second -- also had in it - - I`m talking about the trashcan -- things such as Q-tips, Kleenex where people blew their nose, toilet paper, and every other possible type of material that carries the people that use the trashcan`s DNA.

So it would be a real story, ladies and gentlemen, if there was no DNA that could not conclusively match but show some genetic strain of one of the lacrosse players who used that bathroom. What a stunner that would be. And that is important for you all to understand.

And it is further important for you to understand this fact about that one plastic fingernail. This woman says, again -- and you will see those fingernails at some point in time -- that they were ripped off of her in this horrific struggle. As I`ve told you, they were picked up by lacrosse players and placed in that trashcan. They were given to the lacrosse -- they were given to the Durham Police Department, physically given to the Durham Police Department, by the same lacrosse players that put them in the trashcan. And they were given to the Durham Police Department after the lacrosse players were told by Duke University that there had been accusations of a rape in that house and that the police may be coming by to talk to them.

And I simply ask you all to try to consider, is that consistent with someone that knowledgeably and knowingly committed a rape, that they would leave fingernails that were ripped off a person in a violent struggle in their trashcan after they`re told there`s an investigation and the police were going to come to their house, and when the police do, they give them the fingernails?

So there is no conclusive match that has been reported in the national and local media that ties any of these young men to this woman who has made these false accusations.

Let me also say what this report shows. It once again shows, as the SBI report showed, that there is absolutely no -- and I emphasize to you -- no scientific or genetic evidence that any rape or assault occurred on this false accuser. Of all of the things taken on her and in her and about her, none of any of the Duke lacrosse players` DNA, or even anything that someone can say is consistent or could be or may be or has one tiny little iota of a genetic marker tied any of these men to this woman`s person, or to anything she was wearing or anything that she had.

And I ask you again to go back and review your own reports of what this woman said happened to her -- anal rape, oral rape, vaginal rape -- and there are no -- no! -- genetic or scientific evidence in this report that ties this woman to any type of behavior like that with these players.

And that leads us to what is really important about this report. And I want you to listen to this part, ladies and gentlemen, because this wasn`t leaked to you by the district attorney`s office, and it may be the reason why this report was given at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon.

Even though the district attorney`s office has previously and earlier said that no semen was collected from this false accuser, we now find from this DNA report that, in fact, they did retrieve male genetic material from a single source, from this false accuser, from vaginal swabs.

Now, let me say that to you again. Even though they said earlier that there was no semen taken from the vaginal swabs of this woman, we now find that they did retrieve male genetic material from a single source, a single male source, from vaginal swabs and that that source has been named in this report, is a person known to the Durham Police Department, but is not any of the Duke lacrosse players.

GRACE: And there you see the presser winding into matters beyond the DNA off the fingernails. Thanks, Liz.

Again, the defense attorneys gathered there at their office discussing a DNA report the district attorney has handed to them far, far, far before trial time. We`ve known all along -- we discussed this last night -- that the tissue under this girl`s fake fingernail was a very weak, weak match to someone, possibly the unindicted third suspect. We will try to get our hands on that report for you to bring you the full story with all of our panel on Monday night.

But right now, as we head into Mother`s Day weekend, with us on a very urgent matter, five courageous moms. We left off speaking with Belinda Richards, the mother of Wallace Richards, a 23-year-old young man who seemingly disappeared into thin air after taking a friend to work.

Now, I`d like for you to meet Cathy Miller. This is the mother of Chuckie Mauk, a precious little boy who simply went down the street to a corner store to get a pack of bubblegum.

Liz, do you have a picture of this little angel? Look at him. This occurred in 1987.

To Cathy Miller -- oh, thank you. I heard that. Thank you, Cathy. Thank you very much.

Cathy, as you head into Mother`s Day, what are your thoughts?

CATHY MILLER, MOTHER OF CHUCKIE MAUK: Well, Nancy, it`s hard for me to believe that this is my 20th Mother`s Day without him, when I really didn`t think I`d ever even survive the first. It`s bittersweet. He was 13; this May 29th, he`d be 34. It`s just bittersweet, and I miss him as much as I did the day he left.

GRACE: You are taking a look at this little boy. He loved riding his bike. He was found shot to death by a man, a white male, in a car who pulled up to the 7-Eleven, spoke briefly to Chuckie on his bicycle, and then shot the little boy. When his family arrived, Chuckie still had the bubblegum in his mouth that he had just purchased from the store.

I want to go to Ernie Allen with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. I know many people, Ernie, would consider this to be a cold case but, you know, cold cases have a way of heating up.

ERNIE ALLEN, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN: Nancy, they really do. And we can`t stop until justice is found; we need to reexamine the clues. We have a cold case unit that follows these leads and tries to bring closure for these families and justice for these kids.

GRACE: Let`s go to the lines. With us, Rebecca from Tennessee.

Hi, Rebecca.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I love your show.

GRACE: Thank you, dear. Thank you for watching.

CALLER: My question is for Johnna Berry`s mother.


CALLER: Mrs. Berry, we`re so sorry for your loss, but we`re also sorry for the loss of the chief deputy, Lyon. And I`d like to know your thoughts on how that will affect the investigation?

GRACE: Let`s go to Johnna`s mother, Joan. Ms. Berry?

JOAN BERRY, MOTHER OF JOHNNA BERRY: Yes. Well, it`s truly a tragic - - and I`d like to say our prayers are with Keith Lyon`s wife and his family.

We really haven`t got to talk with the sheriff or anyone there because Keith`s funeral was just this morning, so I am very concerned. Keith was on the case from day one, and I`m really concerned that some of the things that he knew, that maybe no one else knew, he might have taken them to his grave.

So Keith, he was a wonderful person; I trusted him very much; I talked to him almost on a daily basis. So we`re really concerned about this. We have no idea yet.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Ed Miller to tell our viewers -- Ed is with "America`s Most Wanted" -- about Johnna Berry`s case?

E. MILLER: Well, first of all, I should tell you that I did speak with the investigators. Despite the funeral today, the investigators do say that it is a very active case. And, even though they`ve lost one of their own, they`re very concerned with this, and they do believe that they will be able to pick up this case where it was left off, as I said, despite their loss.

And they told me specifically they strongly feel that they have some local leads that will pan out and will solve this. Now, I know that probably it doesn`t sound exactly what the family wants to hear, but they do feel fairly confident about this.

GRACE: Let`s go to the lines, everybody. Let`s go to Gigi in Illinois. Hi, Gigi.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. I watch you all the time.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: And, ladies, I want to tell you, my heart goes out to all of you. My 16-year-old daughter was murdered in July of 2004. She had been stabbed 43 times.

And so, especially Beth, I have watched you, and I have so much respect for you; my prayers are with you.

But my question is: You seem like I do when I`m out in the public. I try to be strong, yet when I`m with my family or at home, it`s an entirely different thing. Does that happen to you?

GRACE: Beth?

TWITTY: Absolutely, it does. And, you know, some days are just so difficult. Some nights are just horrible.

And, you know, and I know you, like me, we never imagined being in these shoes, and we don`t want to be in them, but, you know, we are. And there`s just no way out of them. And I just -- we just survive off the prayers that people provide the family with, and that`s just how we have to keep going with.

GRACE: Tonight, five mothers who are refusing to give up on their children`s cases.

To Nancy in Virginia, hi, Nancy.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy. It`s an honor.

GRACE: Oh, thank you. Thank you for watching.

CALLER: I`d like to ask Beth Twitty a question, if I may.

GRACE: Sure.

CALLER: Beth, I admire your strength, your courage, your faith. How do you do it? Will you be returning to Aruba at the end of this month, in Natalee`s first anniversary of her disappearance? And do you also speak with the Kelsey family (ph), whose daughter was missing this year?

TWITTY: Well, as far as to returning to Aruba, I don`t have any plans to do that at this point. And some of the family friends we`ve talked about is, you know, maybe marking it with just type of renewal with our faith.

I think that -- you know, we don`t want to have something to where it`s -- you know, speaking of a memorial or something of that, but just a renewal of faith and hope. And we`ve talked about that. And...

GRACE: Right.

TWITTY: ... as far as speaking with the other family, no, I have not had a chance to.

GRACE: With us tonight, five courageous mothers, as we head into Mother`s Day weekend.

Please stay with us as we remember Kenneth Hess, just 26, Asheville, North Carolina, killed by a suicide bomber, Iraq. Hess, survived by his wife, a 10-year-old son, sister and parents. For Mother`s Day, Kenneth has his mom. Kathy Blackwell, is with us to honor her son, Kenny, an American hero.

Ms. Blackwell, we are thinking of you this Mother`s Day weekend. Tell us about your son.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... because they have found no evidence of her being dead, anywhere, in all the searches they`ve done. I just feel like she is still alive; I believe she is alive. It`s just a mother`s instinct, just a mother`s feeling. I`m going to have to be shown that she`s dead before I will believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s just a beautiful, caring, thoughtful, kind person, has a lot going for her, has always been someone to reach for the stars and, for the most part, she`s always grabbed hold of them. And this whole thing has just been one hellish nightmare.


GRACE: It`s amazing that now we know the names that goes with these faces. That was Tara Grinstead`s mom and the mother of Jennifer Kesse, both beautiful girls missing.

As we went to break, we were remembering another American hero, a young man, Kenneth Hess, 26, out of North Carolina. Now joining us -- we couldn`t hear before -- his mom, Ms. Blackwell.

What can you tell us about your son as you head into Mother`s Day?

KATHY BLACKWELL, MOTHER OF KENNETH HESS: Oh, my son was wonderful. He was loving and caring, and he would do anything for anyone. He had a good sense of humor. He loved joking, and he could just light up the room when he walked in.

GRACE: You know, Ms. Blackwell, in the picture we`re showing the viewers right now of this American hero, Kenneth Hess, Asheville, North Carolina, that is just pouring out of his smile and his eyes. And, Ms. Blackwell, thank you for being with us.

BLACKWELL: Thank you.

GRACE: Tonight, we are bringing you moms with courage. As many people all over the country celebrate Mother`s Day, these moms are examples of courage under fire.

I want to go psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall. Bethany, how is it that some people like these five moms -- Beth Twitty, Magi Bish, Joan Berry, Belinda Richards, Cathy Miller -- can keep fighting while others seem to fade away?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: Well, I mean, I think these moms have something we call resiliency. They`re really able to move through the process in a very special way, but they have something, which is national support. They know that we care about them.

It is so unnatural to lose a child, to bury a child, to know that the child has been victimized by a predator. But one of the ways to think about grieving is: Grieving is a form of disillusionment. It`s dispossessing yourself of the illusion and the feeling that you will ever be with your loved one again.

And that is such a painful process. And yet these mothers also have to remain hopeful, the ones like Beth Twitty for whom the crime has not yet been solved, they have to be hopeful enough to apply pressure on the investigation, so they have to hold this paradox of hopelessness and grieving, and then hopefulness and pressure, and hold both in their mind. And I think that that`s something -- a very courageous thing that all these mothers have done.

GRACE: Let`s go to Kathy in Alabama. Hi, Kathy.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: I love your show.

GRACE: Thank you.

CALLER: I just had a question for any of the mothers.


CALLER: I just wanted to know how their other children are coping with all of this.

GRACE: Good question. What about that, Magi Bish?

BISH: I`d love to answer that. I think siblings don`t get enough attention at all. It`s extremely difficult.

In all of the reading that I`ve done, siblings feel that, even as much as the moms try or the families try to give them attention, they`ve also lost their parents. We`ve changed. We have on a mission. We`re on a mission, trying to find the missing child, or the murdered child, who`s done this. We`re in this constant search.

My children have really -- you know, they suffer differently. My daughter, she has gone to counseling. She has tried yoga and many different things, but it hurts her, because her best friend is gone. I will go before her, I`m sure, but she would have wanted Molly to spend those days with her.

And she`s my -- my granddaughter`s godmother, she`s not watching her grow up. All those fun moments that they would be sharing and laughing, it breaks my heart because I can`t fix it for her.

GRACE: With us is...

BISH: That`s the difficulty. And my son suffers in silence. These children need something, as well. And I know the national center now is trying to address that need, that siblings have a very special place in this whole, crazy, awful, horrific nightmare.

GRACE: With us is Magi Bish, Molly Bish`s mom.

To Belinda Richards, Ms. Richards, your son, 23-year-old Wallace Richards, seemingly vanished into thin air. Are there moments when you still expect him to walk through the door?

RICHARDS: Absolutely. I have dreams where I`m talking to him, and I wake up and he`s not there, and I can`t believe he`s not there. And it is extremely difficult. I...

GRACE: What is he saying to you, in the dreams, when you dream about him?

RICHARDS: When I dream about him, it`s just conversations that we have. Wallace was a child that -- he was an adult, but he lived in our home, and he teased a lot with his father and myself.

And he always was trying to give us advice on -- we`re self-employed. And when you`re self-employed, it`s always about making the next dollar. And he was always trying to give us advice on what we needed to do. And so it would be one of those conversations which would be a back-and-forth, tet-a-tete type of thing.

And one dream, he was fussing at me for being in his room. And I woke up, and I was in my own bed, and he wasn`t there. And I think that was one of the hardest days I had.

GRACE: Oh, oh, Ms. Richards, I am so sorry. And I know, after having been a crime victim, when I`ve had those dreams, they`re so wonderful, and then you wake up and you almost wish it had never happened, even though it made you so happy...


GRACE: ... for that moment.

I want to go now to Cathy Miller, Chuckie Mauk`s mom. As we are heading into yet another year without your boy, tonight what are your thoughts, before we go to break?

C. MILLER: Oh, I was just listening to those other mothers saying about the dreams and everything. I guess, after 20 years, my wish almost would be that I would wake up from this nightmare and I would have my child back. That would be my wish.


GRACE: Tonight, a look at stories of moms whose children have gone missing or murdered.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michelle has the most beautiful smile, the most bubbly personality, and we just are asking anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of Michelle, look for her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s all that`s important, is that he`s OK, and that anything else, you know, no matter what`s going on in his life, if he left because he chose to, that we`ll work through that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I close my eyes at night, all I can see is Terri`s face in front of me, dying, starving to death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lost the light of my life, my buddy, my best friend, most of all, my daughter. I cry for her all hours of the day. I cry for her at night.

I am broken; I will never heal; I will never have closure. I never again have my daughter by my side. My heart will always have a void, a tremendous loss.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty! And that feels really good, because nobody should get away with this. And, in honor of Samantha, in honor of Jessica, and Molly Bish, and Polly Klaas, and Adam Walsh, how many children do we have to take away before we, as Americans, get organized?

We outnumber you so many times over. There is no excuse, and we`re not going to let you get away with this any more.


GRACE: Thank you to all of our wonderful mothers. Thank you for inviting us into your homes.

As we all head into Mother`s Day, happy Mother Day, Mother. I`m Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. Good night, friend.