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Nancy Grace

Police Arrest Suspect in Murder of Georgia Mother of 3

Aired July 28, 2006 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news. Tonight, an arrest. Police say they have cracked the murder of a gorgeous Georgia mom out on a routine bike ride on a highly popular path, the Silver Comet trail. And guess what? The alleged perp had a rap sheet dating back 20 years, including rape. Did this guy sit, perched up in his apartment scoping that trail for up to eight miles as she innocently came riding along? We examine the evidence tonight left behind.
And tonight, to Colorado. A man who seemed like a regular guy may be responsible for up to 49 murders, killing victims he met all over the place -- at malls, at bars, at nightclubs, convenience stores. Is Robert Browne the single most prolific serial killer in U.S. history?

First tonight, murder on the Silver Comet trail.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today at 3:00 PM, an arrest warrant was obtained charging Michael William Ledford, 43, with the murder of Jennifer Ewing.


GRACE: That arrest went down today, arrest on charges of kidnap and murder. We fully expect additional charges to go down when the grand jury meets formally there in Paulding County.

Straight out to Katie Fallon, crime reporter with "The Marietta Daily Journal." Welcome back, Katie. What can you tell us that led to the arrest?

KATIE FALLON, "MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL": Well, Nancy, the DA is not being forthcoming in details on what led to Mr. Ledford`s arrest. When he was initially taken into custody, it was on a probation violation, and they said at the time, he was not a suspect in the murder. But they are not elaborating on the evidence that they have against Mr. Ledford and why they have a good enough case to press charges.

GRACE: Let`s talk about where he lived, Katie. Where did this guy, Ledford, live in relation to the Silver Comet trail?

FALLON: He lived in Hiram, which -- Mrs. Ewing was found between Hiram and Dallas, Georgia, along that trail. And he lives in Hiram. It`s only about 10 miles away, as I understand.

GRACE: Well, you know, Elizabeth, put up that map, if you`ve got it. We have been doing a little bit of investigation, Katie. We`ve got about eight miles away from the scene of where her body was found, maybe the same thing you`re saying. From what I understand, it is possible that this guy, Katie, may have been looking down at the trail -- in other words, scoping out potential victims.

FALLON: Yes. Well, actually, police -- I asked police that today, but they`re not releasing any details on how Mr. Ledford may have come upon Mrs. Ewing, whether it was him, you know, scoping her out, so to speak, or you know, looking at the trail every day and looking for someone who had a routine, like Mrs. Ewing did.

GRACE: I want to go out to senior pastor of Vineville North Baptist Church, Pastor Jerry Dingmore. He has been ministering to the family of Jennifer Ewing -- Jennifer Ewing, a gorgeous mom of three -- just a fine family -- out for a typical ride. Now, as I said last night, this is a world-class cyclist, going 25 miles out, 25 miles back in one round.

Out to the pastor. Pastor, thank you for being with us. How did the family handle the news that Jennifer would have to undergo an autopsy?

JERRY DINGMORE, SENIOR PASTOR, MINISTERED TO EWING FAMILY: Well, they -- they`re just an amazing family. They are, of course, in this time in between where they`re getting some rest from the search and all that was involved in just the news of that day, and this kind of time is kind of a fog time for them. Whenever you have a death, between that time and the memorial service is that fog time, kind of a hard time to go through. And then of course, all these things just continue to add to it.

I talked to her brother today, and he was talking about the whole crime element of it, that generally, you look to that memorial service as kind of a time to kick back, start regaining normal life, but the crime element of this case just kind of drags that on, and that`s a weight.

And what a lot of people don`t know, as well, is Jenni`s mom, who`s an awesome, fantastic woman, she -- last Sunday, she had her brother-in-law die. On Monday, her sister died. And then on Tuesday, she found out, of course, that Jenni was murdered. And so there`s just a lot going on there on so many different levels.

But the family never stops to amaze me. I listen to their children, and they have made comments in public situations, and watching them function on the day they found out that their mother died -- just amazing, amazing that...

GRACE: Pastor, I`ve been replaying the video of her son speaking publicly, and I just wonder how much of his calmness is actually shock. Crime victims very often, it doesn`t seem real to them that suddenly, you come home and your mom`s not home, and then you find out the body on the bike trail is her. It`s just -- sometimes for the mind, it`s too much to take in. And then to find out on top of it, Pastor, that your mom has to be autopsied -- that`s just a lot for a family to take in.

DINGMORE: It is. You talk about -- you`ve shown that clip several times. And I was there the day that they were talking about they needed to go out and make that statement. And little Jimmy said, I`m going to do this. And there were several that discouraged him, wasn`t sure of the state he was in, obviously. He was determined to go out there and thank the community, and he was determined to speak of his mom.

And what that whole family reminds me of, there`s a proverb out of Scripture that says, This is the way you know if you have an excellent woman, that her children will rise up and call her blessed. And you look at their children, and I believe it`s not just shock. I believe it`s their faith, and especially in Christ, has built them a foundation that, yes, they`re going through some terrible things, but...

GRACE: Pastor, when is her funeral? I understand it`s at the Buckhead Community Church.

DINGMORE: Right. Buckhead Church in Atlanta at 11:00 AM on Monday, is when it is. And if people between that want to give an encouraging word to the family, we have set up an e-mail address, because a lot of people asked us about it. And the e-mail address is jenni -- J-E-N-N-I -- And you can send a -- just an encouraging word, a prayer, whatever you`d like, and we will make sure the family gets this, so your viewers can encourage them, if they`d like to.

GRACE: That`s Pastor, thank you so much. With us is a special guest, Pastor Jerry Dingmore from Vineville North Baptist Church, who has been trying to minister to Jennifer`s family.

I want to go out to the lines. Tonight back with us, our senior producer, Elizabeth. Liz, let`s go out to Laura in Kansas. Hi, Laura.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I just love your show.

GRACE: Thank you. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to know, did he know the family? Was he scoping the family out or...

GRACE: I think I know the answer to that, and that is no. These people did not know each other. But you know what? When you don`t know a horse, look at his track record.

Now, he`s got quite an extensive record that we`re going to go to Katie Fallon on with "The Marietta Daily Journal." But look at his 1991 rape, which is highly similar to this one, Laura in Kansas. And in that case, there was a rape that went down against the woman`s will in a wooded area. And he has...

Well, here with me in the studio is the defense attorney that represented Michael Ledford back in `91. He has since become a prosecutor. He`s a veteran trial lawyer. Let`s go to Gary Jones. Gary, what were the circumstances surrounding the `91 rape?

GARY W. JONES, LEDFORD`S FORMER DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, the best I can remember, it was -- it took place in the woods. They -- they did not know one another. He had made some type of preliminary contact with her. And the testimony came out at trial that they did not know one another and that his sex was consensual.

GRACE: So that was the testimony on his behalf, that it was consensual sex. Clearly, Gary, the jury did not believe that.

But there you see an MO setting itself up -- out to Katie Fallon with "The Marietta Daily Journal" -- where you meet a woman in a wooded area, maybe you met her the day before, maybe spoke to her as she went by the first time, and then, boom, the rape occurred. And he had a bird`s-eye view of this trail, the Silver Comet trail, from his own apartment.

FALLON: It appears so. But again, officials in Paulding County aren`t releasing any information on how he might have become familiar with Mrs. Ewing, although he did definitely live in the area.

GRACE: Or not. He may not have been familiar with her. Tell me what we have learned about Ledford`s criminal history, Katie.

FALLON: We do know that he`s got some past breaking and entering, as well as robbery and armed robbery, and I believe...

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Did I just hear armed robbery?

FALLON: I believe so, yes.

GRACE: OK. What else do we know?

FALLON: I think there was a -- if I recall correctly, a false imprisonment, maybe.

GRACE: Yes, I`ve got a false imprisonment out of Tennessee. And another interesting thing -- Elizabeth, if you could put up what we know of his rap sheet as of tonight -- Ledford now arrested in the murder of Jennifer Ewing, a Georgia mom of three, an avid cyclist, home schooled all three of her children -- 1980, kidnap and robbery with a firearm; `86, attempted burglary, impersonating an officer; `88, breaking and entering.

I`m sure there`s a page two. There you go -- `91, convicted of rape; 2002, false imprisonment.

But wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait, wait wait! We`re missing something. Somewhere in here is an escape. I know what it is. After the `91 rape, he was arrested, he escaped. They got him back and he went to trial. There we go. Thanks, Liz.

Michigan, breaking and entering, `88. There you go. Escapes a Michigan prison. There it is. Within one month from escaping in Michigan, rapes a woman in Georgia, arrested in Georgia, held in custody. That`s how that goes. So here`s a guy very familiar with the criminal justice system.

Out to our forensic pathologist, Dr. Daniel Spitz. Dr. Daniel Spitz, our sources are telling us that there are circumstances suggesting she was, in fact, sexually molested. What would that evidence be? Obviously, if there was sperm. But what else could they be looking at?

DR. DANIEL SPITZ, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, a sexual assault kit involves much more than just true sexual assault specimens. Certainly, you take vaginal samples, oral samples, anal samples, all of that is done to look for actual indicators of sexual assault. But fingernail scrapings and looking for trace evidence in various swabs of various areas of the body, all of that is part of a sexual assault kit.

GRACE: And what about circumstantial evidence surrounding the body, Dr. Spitz? I mean, this woman was found with her bike shorts off her body. Now, think about it, Dr. Spitz. I don`t know if you`re a cyclist or not, but those Spandex shorts, to get those over tennis shoes, that`s hard. You`ve got to take your tennis shoes off, your jogging shoes or your running shoes. You cannot pull those things down off your tennis shoes. Forget about it. So there had to be a struggle over that. And they were found some distance away from her body, Doctor.

SPITZ: Oh, absolutely. This crime is an intimate crime. It`s a beating nature -- there`s a beating nature to this. There`s an altercation that invariably took place. And certainly, the more that she struggled, the more likely that there`s evidence putting his DNA on her body.

GRACE: Such as?

SPITZ: Under the fingernails, on the clothing. There`s hair evidence, which is very likely from his body on her hands or on other areas of her body. So the nature of this crime is very hopeful for very good DNA results.

GRACE: I have no doubt in my mind that Jennifer Ewing put up the fight of her life. Back to Dr. Daniel spitz. Apparently, a mortal fight ensued. When they found Jennifer`s body, she was beaten so badly around the face and head, an ID could not immediately be made. How does that aid in solving the crime?

SPITZ: Well, I`m not sure if it aids in solving the crime, other than it indicates that this was a very intimate nature and puts these two in intimate contact with each other, where the likelihood of DNA transfer is very possible. But you know, this -- the wounds themselves can help you determine the nature of the impacting weapon or the murder weapon. And certainly, there`s going to be blood evidence on his clothing. So maybe that was one of the things that actually cemented this person being a suspect.

GRACE: I would think her first impulse would be to push him back and fight back around his face and head, hopefully, leaving behind his DNA.

And here in the studio -- not that I`m holding him accountable in any way -- defense attorney Gary Jones, who represented this guy, at we think his first rape trial. Does this prey on your mind, Gary? Do you feel guilty at all? This guy has gotten out, and according to police, killed Jennifer.

JONES: I don`t feel guilty for doing my job back in `91. You know, everyone`s entitled to the presumption of innocence. He had that entitlement when he entered the court. I did the best job I could for him. The defense at that time was consensual sex. That`s a little bit different than some of the other rape cases, maybe in this particular case. The jury came back...

GRACE: The woman got bludgeoned to death. I mean, this is not a consensual sex act, Gary.

JONES: No, it`s not. In the case that I had, the lady was not bludgeoned to death. She testified that she was handled roughly. She was not bludgeoned. She was not beaten up.

GRACE: Handled roughly? Wouldn`t you say that`s beaten up? I mean, do you have to beat a woman to smithereens and have her in the ER, emergency room, for there to be forcible rape, Gary?

JONES: No. You can have rape when the woman is barely touched at all, and you can have rape when the woman is violently assaulted. In this case, she was not violently assaulted, nor was she...

GRACE: In your case.

JONES: ... nor was she barely touched. The defense was, again, consensual sex. The jury didn`t buy it.

GRACE: I still don`t understand why the judge didn`t throw the book at him and give him life, or at least 20, for Pete`s sake. You know this guy was turned down three times, Gary, by the parole board? Three times, the parole board had the good sense not to let this guy walk free, early, Gar? (SIC)

GRACE: Well, the parole board does its job sometimes. In this particular case, obviously, they found some things that they thought determined he should stay in there longer. But ultimately, it rests with the judge to decide how much time someone gets.

GRACE: That`s right. Judge Marion Cummings (ph), in case anybody`s interested.

Quickly, we`ll all be right back. We`re taking your calls. Elizabeth, let`s go to tonight`s "Trial Tracking." A 20-year-old neighbor confesses to the kidnap and murder of a Salt Lake City girl, a 5-year-old, Destiny Norton. Formal charges of aggravated murder and kidnapping against Craig Greggerson (ph), Greggerson accused of smothering 5-year-old Destiny and then sexually assaulting her body after the child was asphyxiated.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Salt Lake County district attorney`s office filed charges of aggravated murder and child kidnapping against Craig Roger Greggerson, first that Destiny Norton, age 5, was intentionally or knowingly killed during the course of being kidnapped, and second, that the homicide was committed incident to Craig Roger Greggerson`s abusing her dead body.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mrs. Ewing was killed by a blunt force injury to the head and chest.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ledford became a suspect on the day Ms. Ewing went missing, when Ledford showed up at the Dallas Police Department bleeding and telling detectives a story about how a prostitute attacked him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She had offered sex to him. And at that point, it had done a turn-about and she had damaged his lower section.


GRACE: Mr. Ledford, I`d like to introduce you to someone. He`s got the street name "Old Sparky." That`s the Georgia electric chair. It`s recently been painted -- repainted white. In Georgia, if you`re convicted of a heinous murder, including a rape or a kidnapping, you could face Old Sparky. Of course, you`ll have your choice of Sparky or the needle, commonly known as lethal injection.

Let`s go straight out to the lines. Amy in Pennsylvania. Welcome, Amy. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I was just wondering, children grieve so differently than adults do, and I just wonder if there`s any kind of professional support to help them out.

GRACE: Good question.


GRACE: Let`s find out about that. Is Reverend Dingmore with us still? Pastor, have they spoken to any professional about this so far?

DINGMORE: They have -- this family is very private in a lot of ways, and I don`t know how much you want to go into that. But I will say that they do have a great support system that`s appropriate for what they`ve experienced.

GRACE: Including you, thank God.

DINGMORE: Including me. And I`m just one of a couple friends within their family that are used in this way. I...

GRACE: Right.

DINGMORE: They have a number of -- this is a large family -- a number of children, as nieces and nephews, very, very tight, very close. And there`s a great support system set in place for all of them.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lawyers on this. To Brian Neary. Brian, something had to give. He went from being a suspect to an arrestee, and I suspect as soon as the Paulding County grand jury meets -- typically meeting twice a week -- there`ll be an indictment on murder and possibly rape and kidnapping. That`s setting him up for a DP -- death penalty. So Brian, what do you think happened between suspect, parole violation and drinking, and arrestee in a capital murder case?

BRIAN NEARY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, good police work helped to figure out, of course, that this could be a person who could very well be a suspect. They would use (ph) the ability because of his parole or probation violation -- he had been drinking -- to bring him in, to speak to him. And probably during the course of those conversations, he said something that was most likely inconsistent with information that they had -- that he had told them, and in some way, shape or form, linked him through words to this crime.

What law enforcement is going to greatly hope for is not only are the words going to link him, but that most likely, that there`s some physical evidence on his body, on her body, in many different ways, that, in fact, through the miracle of science, will end (ph).



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When Jennifer didn`t come home for dinner, her family became worried. She had told her son around noon, she was heading out to do errands and ride her bike. Relatives say she rode on the Silver Comet trail four days a week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She never fails to check in or come home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Relatives found her silver mini-van near the trail, off Cooper Lake Road. Jennifer Ewing is a mother of three who has been married for 29 years.


GRACE: Breaking news. Today, Michael Ledford formally arrested in the kidnap and murder of Jennifer Ewing, a mother of three out on her daily bike routine.

Let`s go to the lines, Liz. Let`s go to Mary in California. Hi, Mary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. You`re great. I just love you to death.

GRACE: Bless you. Tell the defense bar that. OK, go ahead. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, what does it take for us to do to put these creeps behind bars before they get a long laundry list of...

GRACE: You know, I don`t know. Mary, you`re dead on. I`ve been talking about Judge Cummings, who gave him about half of what he could have gotten on that first rape.

Tiffany Koenig, will judges ever learn? And why did this guy go from suspect to arrestee, Tiffany?

TIFFANY KOENIG, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, judges make the decisions that they make, and that`s something that we have to deal with. Obviously, they found some type of a probable cause. So he should just quit talking, if he`s talking.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lisa Lowe, she was last seen leaving her boyfriend`s house, headed to a club in Memphis, Tennessee. Rocio Sperry, she was last seen walking toward the Quik Stop on Murray Boulevard and Bijou. Wanda Faye Hudson, she was Mr. Browne`s neighbor, and she was discovered in her home. Katherine Hayes of Cashada, Louisiana, (ph) she was last seen at Uncle Albert`s Chicken Stand.


GRACE: Is it possible that this guy, a seemingly ordinary guy, has held a lot of ordinary jobs, is the single most prolific killer in U.S. history?

Out to Pam Zubeck with the "Colorado Springs Gazette Reporter." What can you tell me about Robert Browne?

PAM ZUBECK, "COLORADO SPRINGS GAZETTE REPORTER": Robert Browne was convicted in 1995 on his guilty plea of killing a 13-year-old girl right outside of Colorado Springs in 1991. That was the end of his spree, if you will, or his self-proclaimed spree. He`s in prison now, but investigators are starting to patch together a past that is pretty frightening, to say the least.

GRACE: Out to Sheriff Terry Maketa, El Paso County sheriff. Sheriff, thank you for being with us. How did he go from being convicted of killing 13-year-old Heather Dawn Church, a babysitter outside Colorado Springs, how did he go from that to now being suspected as the most prolific serial killer in the country?

SHERIFF TERRY MAKETA, EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF: Well, basically, I would say it`s because he began sharing information with our detectives. And I would have to say they deserve some credit. They spent a lot of time with him. This was a very lengthy investigation.

GRACE: Why did he start talking? And when did he start talking, Sheriff?

MAKETA: You know, it started with the exchange of letters originally in 2000, but it really picked up in 2002, and providing information in these letters. And at first, that`s the only way he would communicate.

Eventually, he allowed our detectives to come down to the prison he was serving his sentence in, and he began giving bits and pieces of information, but almost to a point where he was basically making the detectives work for it.

GRACE: But who was he writing the letters to?

MAKETA: He began writing letters to the sheriff`s office and then, more specifically, he began writing letters to the detectives.

GRACE: Now that you`ve been taking a look at it, Sheriff, do you see a similarity between the various victims? This is unheard of. You`re behind bars on one crime. Did he have the death penalty for that crime against Heather Dawn Church, the 13-year-old babysitter?

MAKETA: No, that was part of the original plea agreement when he pled guilty for Heather Dawn Church that the state would not seek the death penalty. So he got life in prison without the possibility of parole.

GRACE: Well, isn`t Colorado a death penalty state, or am I wrong about that?

MAKETA: No, you`re absolutely right. Colorado does have the death penalty.

GRACE: OK, Sheriff, help me out. I`ve got a feeling you may be on my side. All right, you kill a 13-year-old babysitter, a little girl -- did you see those glasses?

MAKETA: Oh, yes.

GRACE: And you don`t get the death penalty, all right. What happened?

MAKETA: You know, basically, I think the suspect, Robert Browne, knew that he could potentially face the death penalty. And probably, as a strategic move, went ahead and took a plea of life in prison without parole. And the district attorney at the time, they chose not to go with the death penalty.

In retrospect, to some degree, I`m glad they didn`t. I think we had a good case, but we wouldn`t have the information we have today and we wouldn`t have the sense of closure that we have at least brought to two people, that being the husband and daughter of...


GRACE: Yes, that`s a really good point, Sheriff. To Detective Jeff Nohr, El Paso County sheriff`s office -- he`s been handling this case -- Detective, first of all, we`ve got the 13-year-old girl, Heather Dawn Church. He`s convicted of killing her. Then there`s another girl, another teenager -- let me see if I can find -- Rocio Sperry, vanished in 1987. And those remains were not found for many, many years. He got rid of her remains. Now, how did this guy open up to start confessing?

DET. JEFF NOHR, DETECTIVE HANDLING THE CASE: With Mr. Browne, when he started providing information in regards to Rocio Sperry, he only gave bits and pieces of the information, such as a white Grand Am and young Army soldier. He did not know Ms. Sperry`s name. He provided an address of where she had lived and where he was employed. Ms. Sperry would come into his store.

GRACE: Oh, wait a minute, Detective, I`m sorry to interrupt you, but we just put up a -- you`ve got to hear this. I`m sure you`re familiar with it.

This is part of his letter. "Seven sacred virgins, entombed side by side. Those less worthy are scattered wide. The score is you one; the other team" -- me, I guess, him -- "48. If you were to drive to the end of the zone in a white Trans Am, the score could be 9 to 48. That would complete your home and court sphere."

Detective, what kind of a freak are we talking about that would write something like that? Is that the white Trans Am you`re talking about?

NOHR: Actually, it was a Grand Am and he had written Trans Am. Mr. Browne, as far as, you know, writing his stuff, that came in a letter as being poetic, trying to taunt us with that information. That`s in the very beginning stages.

GRACE: Poetic? He thinks he`s poetic?

NOHR: Yes.

GRACE: OK, Detective, correct me if I`m wrong. You know this case like the back of your hand. He killed one lady with an ice pick. He knocked out one lady with ant killer, then finished her off with a screwdriver. He has forgotten a lot of his victims` names. They mean absolutely nothing to him. And he thinks he`s a poet?

NOHR: Well, in his writings, I guess so.

GRACE: Detective, how do you do this? You know, every day after day, you must have been working on this case a really long time.

NOHR: I had been assigned to this case approximately 17 months.

GRACE: Does it ever get to you when you read poetry like this and you realize this guy is talking about innocent people`s bodies and murders?

NOHR: No. What you`re looking at is obtaining the information for the victim and the victim`s families to bring them some closure.

GRACE: OK, I want to get back to the crime at hand. You know, Sheriff Maketa just said something I think is very correct, Detective. He said he`s glad it wasn`t the reverse. And, actually, I think he`s right, because if this guy had already gotten the death penalty for the death of a 13-year-old, we would never have all this information.

And is there anything in the prior deal, Sheriff Maketa, that precludes prosecutors from seeking the death penalty this time?

MAKETA: Actually, there is not. States like Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, they can file charges, and they can pursue the death penalty if their state law allows it. There was no deals offered in the original sentence with Heather Dawn Church, and there was none with this case.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Tiffany Koenig, defense attorney. Tiffany, no statute of limitations on murder. Now this guy has opened up and started writing these poems about his murders that he did in the past to the tune of about 49, Tiffany. Do you think some defense attorney is not doing a back flip over that?

KOENIG: Well, I don`t know if we`d be doing back flips, but certainly he`s not helping himself out by speaking at all. And if that`s -- it`s at least been my experience with serial killers that they just tend to keep talking and they like to have the attention. And it`s not really going to matter to him, because he`s in prison for life as it is.

GRACE: Take a look at this, Dr. Patricia Saunders. Robert Browne`s criminal behavior starts off with cruelty to animals, theft, auto theft, burglary, arson, homicide. The cruelty to animals things really sticks out.

You remember Jeff Dahmer, the cannibalistic killer, BTK killer, he was a dog catcher, Avery, that is soon to be tried for the death of a young girl, a photographer that came to his junk yard for AutoFinder, I believe it was. How does cruelty to animals fit in with later serial killers?

DR. PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, there`s something called the McDonald`s triad that shrinks talk about, and it`s one of the best predictors we have of who`s going to turn out to be a psychopath and maybe that rare bird, the serial killer like this one. It`s three things: cruelty to animals; bedwetting; and arson as a child.

GRACE: But what`s the connection? I mean, I can read the stats, but what`s the connection between somebody that`s cruel to animals and then becomes a serial killer?

SAUNDERS: Power and the pleasure in having control, absolute control over a helpless victim. People like this have no conscience. They have no remorse. And very often, sex and violence and aggression are all mixed up for them.

GRACE: Back to you, Gary, veteran trial lawyer, speaking of all these poems that he`s been writing, if the bodies of these victims can`t be found and the poems give enough detail that only the killer would know, how do you get those writings into evidence at trial?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it`s going to be very difficult to get the writings into evidence.

GRACE: Can`t you get them in with a handwriting sample?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s one way. You`ll have to have a forensic handwriting expert at the trial.



GRACE: Breaking news. We have just received information five people shot, one of them fatally, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. One person arrested; five or six have been wounded. According to Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel, one, as I stated, has already died. That`s according to the fire department.

A SWAT team is already searching the federation building looking for any other victims or if there is another shooter inside of the building or a hostage. We don`t know yet. We`re showing you video that we have just obtained from Seattle.

Repeat: Five shot at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. One arrest. Blocks around have been closed off to further the investigation.

Straight out to our panel, to Brian Neary. Brian, a deadly shooting at the Jewish Federation Center? Are we talking about a hate crime?

NEARY: Well, it`s very disturbing, Nancy -- it`s very disturbing that, in fact, it has to do with the Jewish center. Is it simple anti -- it`s not simple, but anti-Semitism? Or is it some reaction to international conflict right now in the Middle East? But it`s very disturbing that someone would feel free to target, you know, a religious group with this kind of violence.

GRACE: To Tiffany Koenig, Tiffany, I agree with Brian. With our political climate and what is happening right now in both Iraq and Lebanon, is this a response to that or just a good, old American hate crime that has now resulted in the brutal death of at least one, five others shot down at the Jewish Federation?

Look at that. The panic that this -- and this is their Sabbath. This is Sabbath for them. They are there worshipping.

KOENIG: Well, and I think it`s -- we shouldn`t be jumping to conclusions that it`s obviously a hate crime, it has anything to do with the Middle East. It could just be a disgruntled person, also. Who knows what the motive is? And I don`t think we can be jumping to the conclusion that it`s automatically a hate crime because it`s done at this Jewish center.

GRACE: So, OK, this is their Sabbath. To go into a synagogue on the Sabbath and open fire, take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect shortly after 4:00 today, at 4:03, 4:04, we began receiving numerous calls on cell phones and land lines regarding gunshots and wounded people at Third and Lenora. Specifically, the Jewish Federation is what it came out as.

Shortly after that, we received a call from a person who identified himself as the person who was shooting. He said he had shot people. One of our communications sergeants got on the line and was able to talk him out, and he is in custody now.


GRACE: Out to Sheriff Terry Maketa. Sheriff, what do you make of that? I know you`re miles and miles away, but you`ve certainly seen situations like this before. Why would the shooter then call in to confess?

MAKETA: Yes, that`s definitely a strange one there. You know, the only thing we can imagine is, you know, he had some motivation, and he was definitely motivated enough to carry it out, and then wanted everyone to know who did it.

GRACE: To Patricia Saunders, clinical psychologist, what do you make of it? Everyone, repeat, breaking news out of Seattle. At least five shot at the Greater Seattle Jewish Federation. One we know of has passed away. And then the shooter calls the police and says he`s the shooter, Patricia.

SAUNDERS: I think that Brian`s right, that this is a hate crime and has been inflamed by the nightmare going on in the Middle East. I think this person wants to make a statement and wants the notoriety. Perhaps he considers himself a martyr.

GRACE: But, Dr. Saunders, especially at this time, at this moment, this is the holiest moment of the Jewish week. This is the Sabbath, on Friday night. And to go into a packed synagogue and open fire, I mean, for all we know right now -- and we don`t have the report. We only know five shot. There are women, children, elderly right in the middle of the service?

SAUNDERS: I think it`s a terrorist act, Nancy. I don`t think this is just an ordinary crime.

GRACE: Back to our attorneys, Brian Neary. Of course, 911 calls clearly admissible into evidence when that time comes.

NEARY: Sure, Nancy. And the fact that he made that 911 call is probably some that he wants to make that political statement. I`m just afraid that he didn`t just pick the Sabbath accidentally. He knew there would be the heaviest concentration of those of the Jewish faith there that night. And if he`s going to make a statement, well, this would be the opportunity for its greatest impact.

GRACE: Again, this is at the Jewish center at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle. It was not inside the synagogue.

This is a live picture around the Jewish center. It has been blocked off for blocks all around to find out if there were additional shooters, to find out whatever evidence they can. Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect shortly after 4:00 today, at 4:03, 4:04, we began receiving numerous calls on cell phones and land lines regarding gunshots and wounded people at Third and Lenora. Specifically, the Jewish Federation is what it came out as.

Shortly after that, we received a call from a person who identified himself as the person who was shooting. He said he had shot people. One of our communications sergeants got on the line and was able to talk him out, and he is in custody now.


GRACE: He is in custody. You`re seeing live pictures from outside the Jewish center. I`ve now learned that one woman shot in the abdomen, another woman in the arm. The SWAT team is searching the building even now.

You are seeing live pictures of a shooting that has just gone down on the Jewish Sabbath in Seattle. Stay with us.


GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched all of our lives.


GRACE: Tonight, just released details that could crack the case of a Texas beauty. A local realtor found dead inside a model home. Did Sarah Anne Walker unwittingly reach out to her own killer on upscale dating sites? And was it a random murder or a targeted crime of passion?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From a kid, you know, even to today, she always made me smile. She wanted nothing but the best for everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find the defendant Andrea Pia Yates not guilty by reason of insanity.

GRACE: Not guilty? Why? What will her new life be in a Texas mental facility? What about her then-husband and his brand new wife? Everybody has moved on, except those five children.

Breaking news. Police bear down on a person of interest in the murder of a gorgeous Georgia mom out on her routine bike ride on a highly popular bike path called the Silver Comet Trail. And guess what, the POI, person of interest, has several prior convictions, including rape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that he was convicted in 1991, served 10 years. Again, it was in the same county which the crime was committed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You call her a world-class bike rider. She`s a world-class lady out of a world-class family.

GRACE: We tried to help find a 5-year-old little girl in Salt Lake, Destiny Norton. She was found in the basement of a neighbor`s home just down the street. Guess what? The neighbor has a rap sheet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We thank the FBI and the police. The simple fact of the matter is, they`re the ones who brought my baby home to me.


GRACE: Tonight, we remember Army First Sergeant Bobby Mendez, 38, killed, Iraq. From Brooklyn, New York. Mendez, third tour of duty, leaves behind a grieving widow, three children, 7, 12, 13. Bobby Mendez, American hero.

Thank you to all our guests, and a special good night from the New York control room. Elizabeth, welcome back, dear. Everybody, thank you for being with us tonight.

And remember, GLENN BECK tonight, every night, 7:00, 9:00, 12:00 a.m. Nancy Grace signing off tonight. See you here tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.