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Nancy Grace

Investigators Search Natalee Holloway Disappearance Suspect`s House

Aired April 30, 2007 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: Is there finally a break in the case of missing American girl, 17-year-old Natalee Holloway? The Alabama beauty vanishes off a high school senior trip to Aruba. Experts agree Aruban police bungled the case from the get-go, but tonight, 700 days later, a team of investigators literally digging up the yard of Judge Paul Van Der Sloot, the Aruban judge and father of the chief suspect, Joran Van Der Sloot, Van Der Sloot the last known person to see Natalee alive. Tonight, the case reignited, but why?
And tonight: A local mail person minding his own business looks up just in time to see nothing but teeth breaking through the front door, those teeth attached to a pitbull, the man`s injuries so severe, he`s rushed to the hospital. It turns out the pitbull has a rap sheet, three prior attacks. When does owning a pet become a felony?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the 4-year-old pitbull that attacked a mail carrier and sent him to the hospital Saturday. Nebraska Human Society investigators say the postal worker had approached this house near 44th and Rubbles (ph) when the Pitbull lunged through a screen window.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Came out into the yard, engaged in about a three to four-minute bite of the mail carrier before the owner was able to come out, successfully remove the dog from the mail carrier.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mark Langan (ph) of the Humane Society says the mail carrier has severe wounds on his arms and legs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Broken skin, missing flesh, muscle exposed. We consider it a very, very serious bite situation.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First, is there finally a break in the search for 17- year-old Alabama student Natalee Holloway?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: May 30, 2005, 17-year-old Alabama senior Natalee Holloway heads out with friends on the last night of a school trip in Aruba. Around 1:00 AM, Holloway is seen getting into a vehicle outside a local restaurant. May 31, the teen then fails to show up for a flight back home, her bags found packed inside her hotel room. Days later, and still no sign of Natalee.

Early June, three men claim they dropped Holloway off at her hotel the night she was last seen, but nothing shows up on the hotel security cameras. Over the course of the next several months, various men, including Joran Van Der Sloot and his father, Judge Paul Van Der Sloot, taken into custody by Aruban police. All suspects or persons of interest eventually would be released, and the search would go on for Natalee Holloway. Spring, 2006, new suspects taken into custody, but they, too, end up being released. And there`s still no sign of Natalee.

April 20, 2007, Dutch police forensic investigators show up at the home of Judge Paul Van Der Sloot and his son, onetime prime suspect, Joran. Prosecutors say there are indications that justify a more thorough search and begin a weekend-long dig-up of the Van Der Sloots` yard.


GRACE: That`s right, you heard it. About 700 days after Natalee Holloway goes missing somewhere in Aruba, finally action, literally the front yard of the home of Judge Paul Van Der Sloot being dug up by law enforcement. But why? Why is the case reignited now?

Out to investigative reporter Jane Velez-Mitchell. What can you tell us, Jane?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, Nancy, Natalee Holloway`s family has always claimed right from the start that Aruban police really bungled this investigation by not conducting a more thorough search of the property and the home of Joran Van Der Sloot and his family from the get-go. That initial search of that property was simply inadequate, according to them.

Now, almost two years after Natalee disappeared, a much more thorough search of the Van Der Sloot property is finally being conducted, and in fact, was conducted over this past weekend. A team of about 20 forensic investigators from the Dutch Justice Ministry in the Netherlands actually landed in Aruba about two weeks ago, and they say they have some crucial piece of information that justifies this search. But they won`t say what that piece of information is, so they`re sort of perpetuating the mystery.

What we do know is that they are literally digging. They`re tearing up the Van Der Sloot yard with metal rods, shovels, jackhammers, and then they`re bringing in dogs. So the question is, does that indicate that they feel that there`s evidence in there, even possibly a body? We don`t know. We`re going to have to wait and see.

And of course, in one month, we`ll hit the two-year anniversary of Natalee`s disappearance, and that two-year mark could trigger some aspects of the statute of limitations vis-a-vis Joran being a suspect. So his attorney says this is sort of a `Hail Mary pass and a desperate last-minute maneuver.

GRACE: You are seeing photos right now taken in the last 48 hours of law enforcement digging up the yard of Judge Paul Van Der Sloot, as you all know, Judge Van Der Sloot, the father of the chief suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, Joran Van Der Sloot.

Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For two years now, so many people have been asking, Whatever happened to Natalee Holloway? The Alabama teen disappeared in Aruba, and we still don`t have the answer to just what did happen. But we could finally be getting closer. Maybe. This weekend, Dutch forensic experts searched the home and yard of Joran Van Der Sloot in Aruba. Now, you may remember he was a prime suspect, the last known person to have seen Natalee alive, but he has always denied any involvement in her disappearance.

Now, authorities will not give any details, but prosecutors said they had indications to justify a, quote, "more thorough search" at his home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been searched four times already, and this one being the most extensive of all. They came in with drills and metal rods and shovels and really dug up the yard. It seemed like they took samples of the ground and samples of paint chips and different things. They were all over -- pretty much all over the house and the yard, as well as they took several journals, computers and just different items from the house.


GRACE: Journals, computers, other items taken from the home of Judge Paulus Van Der Sloot, you know, the Aruban judge, the father of the chief suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

Let`s go out to a special guest joining us tonight. Natalee`s father is with us, Dave Holloway. Dave, thank you for being with us. When did you first learn of the case being reignited?

DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE`S FATHER: Well, the Arubans turned over the case to the Dutch back in September or October of last year, and then it`s been totally silent since then. We received a phone call from the FBI, indicating that a property was going to be searched on Friday, but that`s all the details they gave, no indication of who it was going to be or what they were doing. So they knew that it would make the news and just gave us a quick heads-up.

GRACE: With us, Natalee`s father, Dave Holloway. Dave, let`s be realistic. What could they be searching for? And also, Dave, you know the evidence better than anybody. What do you think may have pushed them into this additional search, literally digging up the yard of Judge Paul Van Der Sloot?

HOLLOWAY: Well, if you recall, when the police went to the Van Der Sloots` residence back in May or June of -- when it initially happened, they immediately were limited to the search to Joran`s own apartment. And then this search allowed them to search the entire property.

GRACE: Joining us also tonight, managing director of "Diario" newspaper there in Aruba, Jossy Mansur. Welcome back, Jossy. Long time no hear. Tell me...


GRACE: Tell me about the search of Van Der Sloot`s home.

MANSUR: Well, the people came here, like they just said. They went full force on the property. They are looking for something to back up whatever conclusions they arrived at in Holland, once they reviewed the whole case over the past few months. And they did a thorough job. They took samples. They took some notebooks. They took some journals. They took a computer that later was returned to the house. They`re doing a total job of it. And they did it with a purpose, Nancy.

GRACE: Do you have any idea, Jossy, what is the crucial piece of information or evidence that pushed them to do this brand-new dig of Van Der Sloot`s yard?

MANSUR: I don`t know what it is, but I know one thing for certain. They are trying to prove whether this girl, whether Natalee, was ever in that house or in that yard. I think they`re looking for evidence to prove that point more than anything else.

GRACE: Whether she was ever in the home or in the yard. To Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Two years later, how can they prove that?

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: Well, I tell you, Nancy, I used to be a member of the FBI`s evidence response team. We used to do exactly what these people are doing. They`re from the Netherlands Forensic Institute. They are the equivalent of experts coming from the FBI in Quantico, from the lab there.

They are on a mission. You saw the investigators there with Tyvek suits on, with the large number of equipment, with the little tents set up over there. They`re looking for something specific. How`d they develop that information? That remains to be seen.

But keep in mind, Nancy, Joran Van Der Sloot has been going to school over the past number of months in the Netherlands. Did he talk to someone there? Was there information he might have just dropped some information on somebody, and they`ve decided to be an informant? That remains to be seen, and that`s what I`m interested in finding out.

GRACE: And back to you, Jane Velez-Mitchell. What can you tell me about a book that Joran Van Der Sloot has reportedly published, "De Zaak Natalee Holloway," the case of Natalee Holloway?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, apparently, it`s his way of trying to tell his side of the story. He does have help from an actual writer. The only problem is that it was done in Dutch, and even the press release on the book is in Dutch, so people are having a bit of a problem here in the United States figuring out exactly what`s said in the book, although undoubtedly, it will be his justification that he didn`t lie about hurting Natalee, that all he lied about was leaving her at the beach because he was embarrassed, so that his initial story that he dropped her off at the hotel was a lie, but not because he killed her, he says, but because he was embarrassed that he was a cad and left her in the beach, or at the beach in the middle of the night.

GRACE: Wa-wait, wa-wa-wa-wa-wait. Wait a minute. "De Zaak Natalee Holloway," The case of Natalee Holloway. Books are written and translated into multiple languages, so why not this one? Is he making money off this?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have no idea if he`s making money off it or not. Obviously, it`s not hitting the best-seller list anytime soon. I think we all know what his story is, and the story is that he`s a pathological liar who lies all the time. The question is, is he a killer?

GRACE: And back to you, Jossy Mansur with "Diario" magazine. Jossy, do you know anything about this book?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ve read a few comments on it. I know that there were about 102 reactions, 2 were neutral, 100 were against him. I mean, in Holland, it`s not going to get a public that is going to -- that is willing to swallow his lies. And in the book, the freeze (ph) quote in some part of the book that was very interesting, because in the book, Joran says, I know I lied on the bust (ph). Lying has become more of a habit. And I find it easy. It makes things easy for me to lie. So things become easier when he lies.

I mean, I don`t know what this book is all about, but apparently, he doesn`t go deep into whatever happened in the moments, the last moments that Natalee was with him.

GRACE: Sounds like just a way for him to capitalize on Natalee`s disappearance and possibly make some money at the same time.

Take a listen to Joran Van Der Sloot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you have sex with her that night?

JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, LAST TO SEE NATALEE HOLLOWAY ALIVE: That`s -- first of all, that`s none of your business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s just a question.

VAN DER SLOOT: Yes, but it`s absolutely none of your business.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what -- I mean, did anything else happen that night?

VAN DER SLOOT: No. Well, yes. I kissed with her, but neither me, Deepak or Satish ever had sex with her, and no one ever said otherwise.

She was drunk. I had stuff to drink, too. But now that I don`t respect (ph) that the Aruban authorities tried to pin it that it was a rape case. She wanted to go with me. I wanted to go with her. It was totally consensual. I had something to drink and she had something to drink.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think if you can explain to people what really happened, and you were really forthcoming, the more forthcoming you are, the more chance there is of you to get on with your life.

VAN DER SLOOT: One day I will explain exactly what happened. But right now, I don`t -- I don`t feel ready to do that.


GRACE: You know, very interesting -- to Natalee`s father, Dave Holloway, joining us -- that he is not ready to talk about Natalee`s disappearance when her life literally could have hung in the balance. You know, he said this was not about sex, it was not about a rape case, but isn`t it true that he described -- I recall Beth Twitty, Natalee`s mom, telling me that he could describe her underwear, the flowers on her underwear and what her body looked like without clothing.

HOLLOWAY: I think a lot of that information was also included in his original statements. I don`t think this book provides any new information that`s going to further or help the investigation. It`s more of the same stuff he`s been saying all along.

GRACE: So same old, same old.


GRACE: second verse same as the first.

HOLLOWAY: If you`ve watched TV, then you`ve read the book.

GRACE: You know, does it bug you at all, Dave Holloway, that he`s probably making money off this?

HOLLOWAY: You know, I doubt very seriously if the book will sell that well, so...

GRACE: Good point. Excellent point. Excellent point.

Out to the lines. Regina in New York. Hi, Regina.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I love you and your show.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I just wanted to ask you -- his father has a well on the property. No one has ever mentioned whether or not that well was ever searched, and that would have been the first place I would have looked.

GRACE: To Jossy Mansur, joining us from Aruba, the managing director of "Diario." Is that true? Is there a well on the property? And has it been searched?

MANSUR: There is a well. It`s a sewer well. And we saw in some pictures that were taken from -- by the "Diario" reporters that they did stick a long pole with some detecting head on it. They did stick it into the well, yes. And this time, they have.

GRACE: But you know -- back to Mike brooks. This dad is -- he`s a judge. He`s handled multiple criminal cases. The first place police would look would be down a well. So what`s your theory, Mike Brooks?

BROOKS: Well, Nancy, from going back, I recall them looking in a well early on in this case, when we were covering this. And again, we just heard from the reporter from "Diario" that they did stick something, a long pole. And most likely, that would be a long pole with a camera on the end, just to take a look in there to make sure that they`ve covered all their bases.

But they`re there for some other reason, too, Nancy. You know, was there information developed ? Was there something found? They`re taking soil samples. They`re using poles. It sounds to me like they`re using also ground-penetrating radar to gather evidence and also to -- to...

GRACE: Explain that, ground-penetrating radar.

BROOKS: What they do, Nancy, go out and you see where they set the tent up. Most likely, what they would do is -- and this is what -- the kind of thing we used to do -- was go ahead and grid off the backyard. And in those areas, do a very, very thorough search of that gridded -- of that area that they`ve mapped off.

And they look for any anomalies under the soil. And this would show anomalies. If they see something there, then they could take a pole or a shovel, or they`ve also brought jackhammers, Nancy, and look at that area further. You know, they`re there for a reason, Nancy, and that`s -- and I`d like to know what information they developed and where they developed the information to bring them to this now. Or are they just making sure they`re crossing all their T`s and dotting all their I`s because of the two-year window that they`re coming up on.

GRACE: Before they throw in the towel.

BROOKS: Exactly.

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. With us, Marc Carlos, Ray Giudice and Dick Atkins. Dick, you`re the international lawyer with us tonight. I think that that two-year limitation has been misconstrued. It`s my understanding, under Aruban law, that if police find something to further their investigation, they`re not bound by a two-year statute on murder.

DICK ATKINS, INTERNATIONAL ATTORNEY: That is correct. That`s my understanding of it. There might be a two-year statute for other associated charges, but not on homicide.

GRACE: And very quickly, to Patty in South Carolina. Hi, Patty.

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

GRACE: Thank you, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was wondering if you thought the controversy with this Natalee Holloway case -- if you thought this new evidence is politically motivated because of the Daniel Smith inquest and the Bahamas moving on that, if there was some sort of competition, so to speak, because both were getting bad names.

GRACE: You know what? To you, Jane Velez-Mitchell. That`s an excellent point. The press that has surrounded the Natalee Holloway case has been incredible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It certainly has. And obviously, it has not been good for Aruba in a lot of ways. There was a call for a boycott. A lot of people have a negative impression of Aruba. And I think that there is some fear that that could carry over when it comes to the Daniel Smith inquest. So there could be some parallels and some commonalities with those two cases, for sure.

GRACE: Very quickly, to tonight`s "Case Alert." Life sentences for five Brits connected to al Qaeda, all guilty of plotting bomb plots across the U.K., the terrorist cell now linked to the 2005 suicide bombings on London`s transport system, killing 52, injuring dozens. The group planned on using 1,300 pounds of explosives to make bombs for targets including a nightclub and a shopping mall.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been nearly two years since the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway. Holloway vanished in the early hours May 30, 2005, on her last day of a high school senior trip on the island, Holloway last seen leaving a popular local hangout with then 17-year-old Joran Van Der Sloot, a judge`s son, and two Surinamese brothers, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. A one-time suspect, Van Der Sloot, after he was caught telling lies to prosecutors about the last time he saw Holloway, ultimately claims he left her alone on a beach after the two were intimate. But he says he had nothing to do with Natalee Holloway`s disappearance.


GRACE: What has reignited the Natalee Holloway investigation? We learned that for the past 48 hours, the yard of Judge Paulus Van Der Sloot has been the site of a dig, a dig not by archaeologists but by federal law enforcement all the way over from another country.

Straight out to the lines. Karen in Michigan. Hi, Karen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Love your show.

GRACE: Thank you. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I just want to know what you think, seeing how Joran`s father is a judge, if he had any influence over this investigation.

GRACE: Oh, Karen, I think he had great, great influence over the investigation, the way it was all conducted. To Dave Holloway, Natalee`s father. Would you agree or disagree?

HOLLOWAY: Oh, very much agree. That`s probably the reason the search warrant -- the initial search warrant was limited just to Joran`s apartment.

GRACE: As I was mentioning -- out to you, Jane Velez-Mitchell -- another country, the Dutch have sent in investigators. What took so long?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that`s a very good question, Nancy. The family...

GRACE: Oh, there`s a shot of Paulus Van Der Sloot. When he was asked questions, he shows his backside and took off running. Go ahead, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, that`s a very infamous scene. I think it`s an excellent question. What did take them so long. Remember, they had jets and they had infrared equipment that were brought over from the Netherlands to do all sorts of searches. Lakes were drained. But the one place they should have gone and just absolutely torn apart, they didn`t do until now, almost two years after she disappeared. That question is why?



VAN DER SLOOT: (INAUDIBLE) I would have just stayed home that night. I wouldn`t have even gone out. It was Natalee who asked me to go out with her. It was her that asked me to come to the club. It was her that was yelling at me to go dance with her, and I said -- and I want to go drink something with my friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you that irresistible? I mean, is that what...

VAN DER SLOOT: No. I don`t know. That`s not -- that`s absolutely what it`s not about. I don`t know. When her parents showed up at my door with her picture, I didn`t even know who Natalee Holloway was. I didn`t even know her name.


GRACE: Well, any credibility Joran Van Der Sloot ever did have was just shredded with that comment, that he was forced to go out with Natalee. I mean, take a look at her. She`s beautiful.

Let`s go out to the lawyers, Dick Atkins, Ray Giudice, Mark Carlos. Remember, Ray Giudice -- do you believe this suggests there is evidence that has reignited the case, or is this a last-ditch effort?

RAY GIUDICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, Nancy, I think there`s an interesting thread between what Mike said and the book. I think Van Der Sloot wants to talk. He wrote a book. He may be at some college bar or some function, and he`s talking to somebody over there. And the Dutch authorities may have got a whiff of this, or by a tipster. I mean, they spent a lot of money sending 20 specialized agents over there for this search.

GRACE: All the way from Holland with all of this equipment, Ray.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: May 30, 2005, 17-year-old Alabama senior Natalee Holloway heads out with friends on the last night of a school trip in Aruba. Around 1:00 a.m., Holloway is seen getting into a vehicle outside a local restaurant. May 31, the teen then fails to show up for a flight back home. Her bags, found packed inside her hotel room. Days later, and still no sign of Natalee.

Early June, three men claim they dropped Holloway off at her hotel the night she was last seen, but nothing shows up on the hotel security cameras. Over the course of the next several months, various men, including Joran Van Der Sloot and his father, Judge Paul Van Der Sloot, taken into custody by Aruba police. All suspects who are persons of interest eventually would be released and the search would go on for Natalee Holloway.

Spring 2006, new suspects taken into custody, but they, too, end up being released, and there`s still no sign of Natalee.

April 20, 2007, Dutch police, forensic investigators show up at the home of Judge Paul Van Der Sloot and his son, one-time crime suspect, Joran. Prosecutors say there are indications that justify a more thorough search and begin a weekend-long dig-up of the Van Der Sloots` yard.


GRACE: Welcome back. Is there finally a break in the case of missing Alabama student Natalee Holloway? She went missing on her high school senior trip to Aruba. For the last 48 hours, the yard of Judge Paulus Van Der Sloot has been excavated by police and law enforcement, all the way from Holland.

Joining us right now is a very special guest, renowned pathologist, medical examiner, chief medical examiner in Broward County, and author, Dr. Joshua Perper. Dr. Perper, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Dr. Perper, I want to talk to you about what condition Natalee`s body would be in if it were found buried now, two years later?

PERPER: Well, most likely, in the kind of climate of Aruba, it would be skeletonized. Hopefully there might be some soft tissue, which could perhaps provide DNA for DNA fingerprinting and for final identification.

GRACE: Dr. Perper, if a set of dental remains are not found, and there is no soft tissue -- I`m referring to organs or skin -- no soft tissue, then how do you get a DNA match out of bones?

PERPER: Well, there can be general identification characteristics, such as race, age, and gender can be determined from the skeleton remaining. And my opinion is they probably got a tip from an informant that human remains might be in that area, because I don`t think that the testing of the ground for blood or any kind of thing is going to give any kind of results. And most likely, the dogs were brought because they are trained to detect human body.

GRACE: Well, Dr. Perper, back to the bone question. Without DNA, without blood, soft tissue, and no dental records to identify Natalee by, how can they make a positive identification of bones of Natalee Holloway?

PERPER: Well, if they have an x-ray of the head, it`s possible to compare the sinuses of the head with the sinuses of the skull.

GRACE: Really?


GRACE: Did not know that.


GRACE: What do they look for in the sinuses?

PERPER: The sinuses of the head have a special configuration, like the border of a gulf, and therefore they`re quite characteristic for a certain individual.

GRACE: Really? You`re talking up through the nose area and across the front of the face, sinus area, that cavity is unique to each person?

PERPER: Yes. The margin have a certain configuration which is unique to each person, that`s correct.

GRACE: Is there a way to get DNA out of skeletonized bones, Dr. Perper?

PERPER: If there is DNA, then the identification is going to be unquestionable, because DNA from the parents can be matched to the DNA of the deceased.

GRACE: But can you get it from skeletonized bones? That`s my question.

PERPER: You can get it from bone marrow, if the bone marrow is not totally dry. If there`s some tissue which contains DNA, and sometimes it might be, it can be done.

GRACE: How long until there is no such bone marrow left within the bones, Doctor?

PERPER: Well, it`s very difficult to predict. You know, in two years, it might well be that the bone marrow is totally dry. Again, it depends on the condition of the soil and the condition of the environment.

GRACE: What about the hair, Doctor?

PERPER: The hair usually stays and can be helpful, although it`s not totally specific.

GRACE: So there`s no chance at this point to get mitochondrial DNA from the hair nucleus, the root of the hair?

PERPER: If there`s tissue, such as bone marrow, or other soft tissue, yes, then it`s a possibility, sure. But at this time, it looks, after two days, they didn`t find anything.

GRACE: Yes. You know what? You`re right.

Back to Jossy Mansur with "Diario." Describe the scene for me there in the judge`s yard. What did everybody see?

MANSUR: What everybody saw was, all this hassle going on, samples being taken, rods being prodded into the earth, getting to the house, getting out of the house, people walking around dressed with this white clothing that we see now in the photo. There was a lot of activity there, too much to be described in detail.

GRACE: Back to Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Mike, explain to me again what this equipment was that they were putting down, the rods, the metal rods they were putting down into the earth?

BROOKS: Well, Nancy, it seems like the rods that they had most likely were some probes, that they found an area might have been of question to them. If they were using a ground-penetrating radar, which we talked about moments ago, they would use these to try to just -- through the first layers of earth -- to see if there was any soil that was moved. It would go through a little bit easier if there had been some soil disturbed.

And if that was the case, then they would go ahead and use the shovels and go a little bit further. They said they also brought jackhammers with them, so they came prepared. And they were there for a purpose. As I said, it seemed to me that they were on a mission, and they had to get information from somewhere to bring them back to that location.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Kathy in Missouri, hi, Kathy.

CALLER: Hi, how are you doing?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

CALLER: I just want you to know, I love your show, and I watch it every night, and I feel for the family of Natalee. I`ve watched it since day hello.

And the question I have is, why wouldn`t they let them search that property in the very beginning? They blocked EquuSearch and everybody else from coming in there to search that property. Why, two years later, all of a sudden it`s OK for them to search that property? Did they have to get a search warrant? Or what did they do this time?

GRACE: To Jossy Mansur with "Diario," I assume they came with a search warrant?

MANSUR: They sure did. And they didn`t have that search warrant as ample as they have it now. In the beginning, it was allowed only for the apartment where Joran lives on the property of his father, but this time they came prepared. They came with sufficient evidence of the whole series of documents that they`ve reviewed. And they were able to show to the judge that it was necessary for this property to be searched, and it was searched totally during those two days there.

GRACE: Are those documents public? Can we find out what the evidence was that allowed the search warrant?

MANSUR: No, we can`t, because that is secret to the investigation for the people in Holland.

GRACE: OK. Out to Wilma in Arkansas. Hi, Wilma.

CALLER: Hi, Nancy, we just love your show.

GRACE: Bless you, sweet lady. What`s your question?

CALLER: My question is, can cadaver dogs sense if someone was buried on the property and had been moved? And if so, are they using them?

GRACE: Good question. Mike Brooks?

BROOKS: There`s a possibility that it could. Hopefully, they were using some very well-trained dogs. Again, dogs are only as good as their trainers. And if they are trained for cadavers, if there had been some soil where she may have been, and they had moved that soil, and there had been a pocket, a possible pocket where there could just be some scent evidence, there`s a possibility they could.

GRACE: Ant to you, Andrea Macari, clinical psychologist, who`s already written a book -- I don`t know if I believe anything that`s in it - - but do you expect Joran Van Der Sloot to ever speak?

ANDREA MACARI, INSTRUCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY: Well, I think he might speak. We know that suspects love to run at the mouth, but he`s going to do it in a controlled way, where he`s going to have the final say about what comes out. Nancy, everybody thinks that this case is so unique, but the reality is, there`s 200,000 Americans each year that are victims of crime when traveling abroad. Be safe.

GRACE: Very quickly, to tonight`s "Case Alert." A cowardly punk pummels a 101-year-old grandmother, all to wrestle away just $33 from her pocketbook, and it`s all caught on video. Take a look. Rikers Island Prison officials place 44-year-old Jack Rhodes in isolation, away from GP, the general prison population, for his own safety. The super spunky senior used a walker on her way to church, when Rhodes repeatedly, allegedly, punched her in the face. Rhodes also linked to another mugging of an 84- year-old lady the very same night.


ROSE MORAT, 101-YEAR-OLD WHO WAS ROBBED: I got a little angry, you know? And I said, "Oh, that so-and-so, I hope you get caught."





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The baby and dogs may have started off playing. Then, things got rough. Michael Young (ph) rushed his son to the emergency room, but the boy died. The baby`s father told investigators he wanted to leave the pit bulls Outside but didn`t have enough time to build a post or fence before dark, so he brought the dogs in for the night.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the pit bull Bossier City police say bit off four of a 1-month-old baby`s toes early Sunday morning. It happened at this home, while police say parents Mary and Christopher Hansche were asleep, the child in a car seat right next to them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the 4-year-old pit bull that attacked a mail carrier and sent him to the hospital Saturday. Nebraska Humane Society investigators say the postal worker had approached this house near 44th and Rubbles (ph) when the pit bull lunged through a screen window.


GRACE: How many attacks on people will it take before legislation is enacted regarding pit bulls? Let`s go out to Tom Stanton, news director with news radio 1110 KFAB. What happened?

TOM STANTON, NEWS DIRECTOR, NEWS RADIO 1110 KFAB: Well, Nancy, good evening. This was a case that happened Saturday afternoon. A mail carrier in Omaha was on his routine route. He went up to a house and, as he was delivering the mail, he was greeted at the front door by a pit bull.

These mailmen are trained to put their foot up against the door to keep dogs from charging out of the house. In this particular case, though, the pit bull jumped through the screen on the door and began attacking the mailman on the front porch. He was trying to fend off the pit bull with his mail bag, but it was ripped out of his hand.

The carrier struggled with the dog for what we believe is about three minutes before the owner could come out and pull the pit bull off of the mail carrier. He did suffer some serious bite wounds to his right leg and also both of his hands, as he was trying to fight with the dog. The good news, though, he was released that night from the hospital, and he`s preparing to go back to work.

GRACE: Long story short, how long was the attack?

STANTON: The attack was about three minutes.

GRACE: We`ve been told three to four minutes. Let`s time it, Dave. Time it. Hit it right now, how long four minutes would take, when this guy, a full-grown male, looks up and sees nothing but teeth attached to a pit bull coming through the door. The guy actually had, I think, some pepper spray or some type of spray on him. But he couldn`t even get it. It was knocked off by the pit bull. Four minutes, attacking a grown man down in the yard, clamped onto his body, severed muscles, skin torn. What a story!

Out to Mark Langan, vice president of field operations, Nebraska Humane Society. It`s our understanding this is not the first, not the second, but reportedly the third attack by the same pit bull. What do you have to say, Mark?

MARK LANGAN, VP FIELD OPS, NEBRASKA HUMANE SOCIETY: Nancy, back in January of 2005, we were notified that the same dog did do a minor bite on a mail carrier. At that time, the dog wasn`t seized because the bite wasn`t severe in nature. And then we were told last Saturday, after this very vicious attack, that the dog had allegedly bitten a landlord, but that was not reported to us. So the only bite that we`re sure of happened back in January of 2005.

GRACE: Well, you know, Marc Carlos, defense attorney, strike three, you`re out. This guy`s getting the doggie death penalty. And I don`t know how a Rottweiler -- excuse me, a pit bull bite can`t be serious. But when does owning a pet turn into a felony, Marc Carlos?

MARC CARLOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It`s when you know you have a dangerous dog, when you`re put on notice that that dog could potentially cause injury, that`s when it becomes a criminal problem, because what the law says is that, if you know this could do damage, and you do anything to protect society, and keep it from going out and injuring somebody, then it becomes a crime.

And here in California, those cases get prosecuted. They`re very difficult to prosecute, because, once again, it`s a question of what the owner knows and what the owner did or didn`t do to protect them.

GRACE: Well, you know, to me, though -- out to you, Ray Giudice -- it`s just like keeping explosives or a pet python or a pet rattlesnake in your home. Do you have to blow up the whole block to know that it`s dangerous? It`s called strict liability under the law. You have a pit bull; you`re liable. Why do we have to have the one bite rule?

GIUDICE: Well, increasingly, Nancy, more jurisdictions, especially cities, are creating specific statutes targeting certain animals, pit bulls primarily. They`re requiring people to license them, carry liability insurance, in case there`s damages, have a certain age bracket, meaning 19- or 21-year-old adults and above, that can handle the dogs, that they always have to be always leashed and muzzled.

So there`s two different strikes here. One is a specific targeted legislation, and one is -- that was just referred to -- as sort of the one bite rule. By the second bite, you know it`s a dangerous dog.

GRACE: Elizabeth, let`s put up for the viewers how many jurisdictions actually have laws regarding pit bulls. Out to Kate John, president of Pit Bull Rescue in San Diego. Kate John, what do you have to say about it?

KATE JOHN, PRESIDENT, PIT BULL RESCUE, SAN DIEGO: What are you asking exactly?

GRACE: Well, here`s a...

JOHN: About, what, the attack?

GRACE: Yes, here`s a dog that allegedly has attacked on three separate occasions. What should be done?

JOHN: That dog has already attacked twice, and it`s not a pit bull thing. It`s a dog thing. It`s the fact that a dog has attacked a human being twice. That dog should not be owned by somebody who cannot control a dog.

GRACE: Out to Mike Brooks, former fed. Mike, here`s the deal. Obviously there`s a problem with pit bulls and with Rottweilers. They attack. I don`t know if they`re trained to attack, if it`s genetic within them that they attack. What can we do about it?

BROOKS: I`ll tell you, Nancy, yes, OK, pit bulls and Rottweilers, but there`s other dogs, too, that are involved. We`ve seen that there are going to be 4.7 million, that stat you just had up there a minute ago -- they`re not all pit bulls and Rottweilers. You know, what about...


GRACE: What do you think the last time you saw like a...

BROOKS: What about the breeders and the owners? You`ve got a bad dog. You go back to there, I guarantee you, you`re going to find a bad owner.

GRACE: Hold on. Wait, wait. Wait a minute. What are you saying? We`re at four minutes. This is how long this dog had a grown man in a clamp, tearing the skin and the muscles from his bones, rushed to the hospital.

BROOKS: Nancy, look, I`m a dog guy, and I can tell you, I know a friend that has two of them. They`re like babies.

GRACE: I don`t think I asked you.

BROOKS: Because it`s as good as the owners.

GRACE: I don`t recall you getting that question, Mike Brooks, but thanks.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the 4-year-old pit bull that attacked a mail carrier and sent him to the hospital Saturday. Nebraska Humane Society investigators say the postal worker had approached this house near 44th and Rubbles (ph) when the pit bull lunged through a screen window.


GRACE: Gosh, he looks so sweet lying there on that rug. Well, all the grown man saw was teeth coming through the door at him, and then he was down on the ground for the next four minutes, getting the meat shredded off his arms and legs.

Out to Andrea in Texas. Hi, Andrea.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CALLER: Well, as a dog owner, I would like to know this: If any animal has been guilty of an attack unprovoked on a human, why are they being given a second chance?

GRACE: Good question. What about it? To you, Ray Giudice, why allow -- this is probably his third offense.

GIUDICE: Well, in this case it`s pretty clear that there`s not going to be another shot, but it`s how the statutes are written. The statutes are written as that the first offense puts the owner on notice, and it`s the second offense that generally kicks up to, here in Georgia, a felony.

GRACE: Let`s stop to remember, everyone, Army Private First Class John Borbonus, just 19, Boise, Idaho, killed Iraq. Enlisting straight from high school, trained for Special Forces as an Army Ranger, a member of the USA ski and snowboard team. He loved traveling, hunting, fishing. Wrote home just one day before his death, saying, "I`m counting the day until I come home." He leaves behind a grieving family, mother, Maggie. John Borbonus, American hero.

Thank you to our guests, but especially to you. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.