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Nancy Grace

NFL Star Michael Vick Indicted on Federal Dog-Fighting Charges

Aired July 18, 2007 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking news. NFL superstar, multi- millionaire quarterback Michael Vick indicted by a secret federal grand jury. Why? Allegations of hanging, shooting, body slamming, even electrocuting dogs to death as part of a multi-state underground dog- fighting operation. Vick allegedly raking in thousands, much of it at a super-secret estate owned by Vick, Richmond, Virginia. Bets on a single fight up into the tens of thousands of dollars. Tonight, is a record- breaking NFL superstar, a former number one draft pick, losing a $120 million contract over dog fights?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A federal grand jury has now indicted Vick and three other people in connection with a dog-fighting operation. Two felonies against Vick. One of the charges against the Atlanta Falcons quarterback is transporting animals across state lines for the purpose of fighting. The other charge, sponsoring dog fights. Now, the feds say the dog fights happened at a Virginia home the quarterback owned. Vick has denied any involvement in dog fighting.


GRACE: And tonight, toxicology reports released in the case of superstar WWE wrestler, 40-year-old Chris Benoit, the star and his entire family found dead inside their upscale home, the Atlanta suburbs. Headlines tonight: Ten times normal levels of testosterone found in Benoit`s body, enough to turn him into a raging machine, stunning evidence Benoit`s 7-year-old little boy drugged at the time of his death by asphyxiation, Benoit`s wife, Nancy, also drugged.

But tonight, do these new toxicology reports shed light on what happened the night of the crime spree and the role anabolic steroids actually played in the crimes? All the while, doctor-to-the-wrestling- stars Dr. Phil Astin III waiting for the other shoe to drop in an all new federal indictment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We analyzed the urine of Chris Benoit for the presence of steroids, and the only steroid drug that we found was testosterone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was very clear in saying that there were no illegal anabolic steroids found in his body.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The DEA makes it very clear that anabolic steroids and testosterone are the same thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The WWE defended themselves by saying that he had passed the test.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was very arrogant. And I wish they would fund an independent study so find out why so many wrestlers are dying. Care about human life!


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. First, a superstar on the field with a $120 million contract. Is NFL quarterback Michael Vick losing it all over his alleged role in years of vicious and deadly underground dog fights?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The indictment lays out an 18-page case against Vick, dog by dog, fight by fight, often bet by bet. It accuses Vick and three others of transporting dogs for fighting from six states and Virginia in an operation called Bad Newz Kennels.

According to the charges, it all began in the summer of 2001 at Vick`s home in Surry, purposely designed as a stage for dog fighting. In April, investigators confiscated what they said was ample evidence of dog fights. The indictment says that`s where dogs were trained and sometimes killed by hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog`s body. to the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s very clear that over six years, Michael Vick and others were involved in something that any of us would consider brutalizing and dehumanizing, and it was just recreation for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The charges include four witnesses who accused Vick of bankrolling dogs and going to fights in his home and other sites all from the beginning. The indictment says one witness, quote, "was criticized for having yelled Vick`s name in front of the crowd during a fight."


GRACE: A $120 million contract hanging in the balance over deadly dog fights? Let`s go straight out to Sandra Golden with Sportstalk Radio 790 AM, "The Zone." Sandra, explain.

SANDRA GOLDEN, SPORTSTALK RADIO 790 AM, "THE ZONE": Well, the very latest is -- and you`re going to find this quite ironic that on this coming -- a week from Thursday, July the 26th, well, they start training camp for the Atlanta Falcons in Flowery Branch. That begins at 3:00 o`clock. At 3:30, Michael Vick will be in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, being arraigned on these charges. And if you read this indictment, it is hard to stomach.

GRACE: Tell me what exactly is alleged.

GOLDEN: Alleged? How long have you got? It`s 18 pages. I mean, the details stem -- and by the way, Nancy, let me bring this up. A lot of people are saying that the feds are on a witchhunt for Michael Vick. No, they`re not. On April the 24th, they just happened upon this case.

They actually arrested Michael Vick`s cousin -- his name is Davon Boddie -- on a drug charge in Hampton, Virginia. His cousin, Boddie, gives the address of the home as 1950 Moonlight Road. After further investigation, they have a search warrant on this house. They find out Michael Vick owns it. And lo and behold, 66 pit bulls. Among other things they got, well, rape stands for dogs, steroids, syringes, treadmills used for training. And the list goes on and on, Pandora`s box, Nancy, if you will.

GRACE: Sandra Golden, what is a "rape stand"? Are you saying "rape," R-A-P-E, rape stand?

GOLDEN: That`s correct. From what I understand, the female dog is held in this metal, horrible case, and it looks like something from the barbaric ages, so where the female dog cannot get away.

GRACE: OK, I`m hearing you talk about a rape stand for female dogs. Are these for female dogs that are being too aggressive to breed?

GOLDEN: That`s correct. And you know...

GRACE: So they are basically raped in a stand, and the human, to my understanding, puts the dog`s -- the female dog`s head in some type of a vise.

GOLDEN: That`s right. The head is absolutely in a vise so that the female pit bull can`t bite the male or bite the other people. And they keep it in there for a long period of time, from what I understand. And I know Mike Brooks is with us, and he has seen it up close and personal. It`s horrible.

GRACE: Explain, Mike.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I tell you what, Nancy. You look at this thing, and just like Sandra said, it looks like something from the dark ages. It looks like some kind of torture device. And that`s basically what it is for these dogs, it`s a torture device, because the dog has no defense. They`re there. There`s a human. The humans are linking the dogs up. They put the female dog in this rape stand, with the head so she can`t move, can`t turn around, can`t defend herself. And then they leave her there for a while and hope she`ll calm down. Then they bring the male dog up to mount her for breeding purposes, just to breed fighting dogs.

GRACE: Out to Michelle Sigona with "America`s Most Wanted." It`s my understanding that so far, eight dogs are allegedly -- have allegedly been murdered, through means of hanging, electrocution, body slamming them, shooting them. Explain to me why someone would stand back and hang a dog and watch the dog hang until it`s dead?

MICHELLE SIGONA, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, Nancy, according to this indictment, what Michael Vick and the other three accomplices were doing in this particular investigation were -- they were testing these animals. They put them out there. They test them. They put the dogs together to see how well they`re going to fight. And basically, this is definitely a money-making scheme for anybody that`s involved in this particular hobby, call it what you will. But what happens is...

GRACE: Hobby? Did I hear you say hobby?

SIGONA: Well, that`s what some people...

GRACE: You know what ? Do me a favor. For this one hour, don`t refer to this as a hobby. This is sick.

SIGONA: This is disgusting, absolutely. I`m not disagreeing with you on that. This is definitely not a hobby. It`s a hobby to them, and I just definitely don`t want to use professional and dog -- dog fighting in the same sentence because it`s disgusting. It`s horrific for animals.

And anybody that has a dog that can sit there and read through this 18-page indictment like I did, it does make your stomach turn and it is horrific. And what they do is, they go out and they test these animals, Nancy, and if they don`t test well, then they go and they kill them. They do these things. They electrocute them or they`ll drown them or they`ll bury them alive, do whatever they can.

And also, if these dogs do fight within a ring, and for instance, if one isn`t doing that well and it`s thrown out of the ring or whatever the case may be, that`s another reason for them to kill these animals. And it`s very sad.

GRACE: Out to Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of Humane Society of the United States. Sir, I`m just -- I`m just stunned by what has been revealed in this indictment and the way -- and I know that the video we are showing, dog fights -- they`re vicious. They could kill a human. But dogs don`t start out this way. And the way that these animals have been treated -- I thought that dog fighting was outlawed in every state in the union.

WAYNE PACELLE, CEO, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, it is, Nancy. It`s outlawed in all 50 states. It`s a felony in 48. And in May, the president signed a bill passed almost unanimously by Congress to make it a federal felony, as well. Unfortunately, it remains a widespread underground industry.

When the Humane Society of the United States was formed in the 1950s, dog fighting was a rural activity. It was widespread. But in the last 15 to 20 years, we`ve seen a surge of dog fighting in urban communities, driven in part by hip-hop culture, even these athletes and celebrities who are glamorizing pit bulls and glamorizing dog fighting. It`s an epidemic. We estimate as many as 40,000 people involved in this industry, staging fights in almost every community in the country. There are 10 underground dog-fighting magazines.

And I hope that this awful circumstance with Michael Vick and his cohorts sheds some light on this practice so we, as a nation, can do our level best to eradicate this activity. We all have a role as eyes and ears in communities to report dog-fighting incidents and to bring these folks who exhibit this wanton cruelty to justice.

GRACE: What I don`t understand -- out to Sergeant David Hunt with the Franklin County, Ohio, sheriff`s office. He`s a dog-fighting expert. We keep saying underground, underground, underground. This is right out in the open. Apparently, this NFL superstar actually merchandised his business. It was called Bad Newz -- Bad Newz, I guess dog fighting and dog breeding. And the purses would be up to tens of thousands of dollars on one dog fight. There are magazines about it. Dogs are transported across state lines -- that`s alleged in the indictment -- for the purposes of dog- fighting.

What do you mean underground? It`s right under our noses, sir!

SGT. DAVID HUNT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, OHIO, SHERIFF`S OFFICE: Well, when we say underground, really, you have to realize that it is a criminal activity. It is somewhat out in the open, but because of the clandestine nature of it, we refer to it as an underground operation. Certainly, drug trafficking occurs on street corners, prostitution, and so does dog fighting, obviously. But you also have to realize that you have to know someone within that community to really gain access to it.

GRACE: Well, sir, I agree with you. With me is Sergeant David Hunt with the Franklin County, Ohio, sheriff`s office. He`s an expert in this. This guy apparently even had T-shirts and headbands and paraphernalia printed up, created, that stated the name of his dog-fighting business on it. I mean, that`s pretty brazen, huh?

HUNT: And that`s also pretty typical. Most fighting kennels will have a kennel name. They will create T-shirts, such as you mentioned. But there are also -- it`ll be very genetic. It`ll say Bad Newz Kennels, or whatever kennel name on it, which might be an indicator to law enforcement, but to John Q. Public...

GRACE: Right.

HUNT: ... you just look at it as a possible dog kennel.

GRACE: We wouldn`t know.

HUNT: Right.

GRACE: Good point. Out to Julie in Missouri. Hi, Julie.


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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, with all of the charges, why have they not charged him with killing these animals?

GRACE: You know, that`s an excellent point. Back to Sandra Golden, Sportstalk Radio host, 790 AM, "The Zone." Are those deaths, the eight deaths alleged in the indictment?

GOLDEN: Can you repeat the question, Nancy? I`m sorry.

GRACE: Julie in Missouri wants to know, are the eight deaths of the dogs that we know of -- electrocution, hanging, shooting, body slamming -- are they alleged in the indictment?

GOLDEN: Yes, as a matter of fact, it is. They are mentioned, eight, and they think there are probably more, in fact. And those eight, they say, you know, one was watered down and electrocuted, hanged, one was beaten to the ground, his head slammed to the ground, you name it. There`s been, you know, head -- gunshots straight to the head in front of several witnesses.

And from what I understand, it is reported out of a source in Virginia that there are four different eyewitnesses that they have that are talking about, and they`re giving specifics, Nancy. So somebody`s got to know something.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Jim in Tennessee. Hi, Jim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. Thank you for accepting my call. I love you.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much time is this scumbag looking at?

GRACE: Well, first of all, one thing I don`t understand, Jim in Tennessee, is -- is this not a felony, Michelle Sigona, under federal jurisdiction? Is it a misdemeanor? And under these charges, how much time is he looking at?

SIGONA: Well, here`s what I can tell you, Nancy. Dog fighting is illegal in 50 states. In 48 states, it is considered a felony. Now, the amount of time that Michael Vick is potentially looking at, if he`s charged on the first count that is mentioned, possibly six years and $250,000 fine. If you look at some of the other traveling or some of the other charges that are actually -- consist (ph) with the dog fighting, he could be facing a year or two, and in addition, more than a $100,000 fine, either both of those or not.

GRACE: OK. Now, Michelle, I`ve tried to calculate it up here as I`m sitting here, and my figures are, he`s -- with all of these counts, an eight-page indictment, he`s looking at six years and a $350,000 fine, if it`s all run consecutively. That says to me these are misdemeanors.

And let`s see that map again, Rosie (ph), of where it`s a felony, where it`s a misdemeanor. That says to me that these are misdemeanors stacked one on the other. But I think at the state level that there are felonies -- there are felonies for this.

I want to go out to an old, old friend of mine, sparring buddy, Tim Green. You all know Tim. He was a star with the Atlanta Falcons football team. He is an attorney and author. This is one of his many, many books. And on the back, it just happens to have a quote from Michael Vick. "Tim Green delivers an exciting adventure and a young football hero everyone will root for."

Did you know your buddy was accused of murdering dogs by electrocuting them, dousing them down and letting them be electrocuted?


GRACE: You think you can get that blurb off this book, buddy?

GREEN: No, and I don`t want to until the allegations are proven. And you and I have been through this kind of thing before. Remember the Ray Lewis (ph) trial? We talked about that on Court TV, the two of us, and everyone had Ray Lewis as a murderer. He was called a murderer, and people still call him that to this day, even though...

GRACE: Yes. Well, I wonder why.

GREEN: Well, he was totally exonerated in a court of law, in a jury. And lookit, all these -- all these activities are horrible. They turn my stomach. I`m...

GRACE: When are you going to compare him to O.J. Simpson? He got off, too.

GREEN: Oh, come on. Nancy, listen...

GRACE: Why don`t you compare him to Michael Jackson?

GREEN: You know what? Lookit, lookit, you know, Michael Vick deserves the same -- the same treatment that every citizen in this country gets, and that is you`re innocent until proven guilty.

GRACE: I agree with that. I never said don`t try the man.

GREEN: OK. Well, right now, everyone is associating Michael Vick with all these terrible things. And if they`re true, then it saddens me because, you know, Michael Vick is a hero in the story. I wrote a children`s book. He was my son`s hero. And you know, the main character in "Football Genius" is modeled after my son, and he looks up to Michael Vick in real life. And so many kids look up to Michael Vick. And it would be horrible if these allegations were true, but...

GRACE: You know what, Tim? Hold on. Wait a minute.

GREEN: But it`s allegations.

GRACE: Let me in.

GREEN: It`s allegations, Nancy.

GRACE: Let me in. Let me in. I got to tell you something.


GRACE: I agree. I agree with you.

GREEN: Thank you.

GRACE: Vick has been an idol to a lot of people. He`s an NFL superstar, the number one draft pick. And that -- you know, hold on.

To the shrink, Dr. Jeff Gardere. That`s the thing I`m having a real problem with. It`s not like he needed the money.


GRACE: I mean, what kind of a kick do you get when you watch a dog hang or you put a female dog in one of these rape stands? Are you OK electrocuting a dog? This guy had all the money, all the women, the beautiful home, the beautiful car. I don`t get it.

GARDERE: Well, that`s point, Nancy. Someone who has all of those things is looking for the next thing that`s going to get him that high, that`s going to excite him. A lot of the things that we experience in life are created, are situations that are, in fact, special effects, so we`re looking for that real excitement.

And there is a subculture to this. And what`s really sad about this, if Vick is guilty of this, all of those kids who look up to him, all of those kids will be disappointed. And I hope they don`t get the wrong message as to what a hero is really about.

GRACE: (INAUDIBLE) the wrong message? If these allegations are true, this guy is partially responsible for cold-blooded mistreatment and murder of innocent dogs, of all things, dogs that can`t defend themselves -- I mean, an NFL star with all this money at his disposal. You know, Jeff, I don`t quite understand it.

Very quickly, everyone, we`ll all be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick and three others are facing federal charges of operating a dog-fighting ring. The investigation began in April, when authorities found 54 pit bulls on property Vick owns in Virginia. The indictment alleges an enterprise that trained pit bulls for death matches in which spectators bet on the outcome.


GRACE: I`ve got in my hand the indictment now filed against NFL star quarterback Michael Vick. A $130 million contract could be down the crapper tonight because of dog fighting, vicious dog fighting.

Out to the lines. Meg in Georgia. Hi, Meg.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I`m honored.

GRACE: Well, thank you for calling, dear. You can tell Renee Rockwell and Mickey Sherman that. They`re on the show tonight, the defense bar. Go ahead. Hit me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great. As a human being and a 20-year Falcons season ticket holder, I`m just sick. And in the indictment, cooperative witnesses are repeatedly mentioned. At what point will their identity be known?

GRACE: Excellent question. Let`s unleash the lawyers -- Renee Rockwell, Mickey Sherman, Penny Douglas. Mickey Sherman, when will we finally learn who these witnesses are?

MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think fairly soon. I think it`ll be leaked out by some -- one side or another. I think probably the media will be able to track them down before anybody else.

And I got to tell you, Nancy, he would have been much better off smuggling in about 100 pounds of heroin and committing domestic violence, and I don`t say that in a flip way. For some reason, people can understand that a lot more and a lot better and a lot more effectively than violence to dogs. This is not going to go well with the public.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Felons, gangbangers, drug pushers, all have been linked to dog fighting, more and more linked to inner-city neighborhoods, many fights happening in broad daylight. Chicago`s public schools, the problem is so extensive, school programs are being developed to try to tell children dog fighting is not OK.


GRACE: You may never have heard of this. I had not until I became a prosecutor. But there is a huge underground ring of vicious to-the-death matches between dogs sponsored in this country. A lot of people didn`t know about it until today, when a multi-count indictment was handed down against an NFL star quarterback, Michael Vick. He stands to loose a $130 million NFL contract.

Out to the lines. Mary Kay in Pennsylvania. Hi, Mary Kay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Love your show.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

GRACE: I was wondering what the NFL is actually saying about this, if they`ve made any comment, and if there`s a possibility they`re going to be investigating other players involved in this.

GRACE: Oh, Mary Kay, I nearly fell off my chair, I was laughing so hard when I heard your statement. Sandra, what was the NFL statement? There we go. Hold on. "We`re disappointed Vick has put himself in a position where a grand jury has returned an indictment. We will continue to monitor the developments in this case." We had that, and then we had another statement -- there`s the rest of it. We had another state from the Falcons that basically said, We`re so sorry we`re getting such bad press. Nobody seems to be taking any responsibility.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Rumors about Michael Vick and dogfighting have been circulating for years. Now a U.S. attorney in Virginia says he has the goods. Michael Vick, who has a $130 million contract with the NFL, has been indicted, along with three others, for running the Bad Newz Kennels, a brutal training ground for fighting dogs. Prosecutors say Vick and the others ran Bad Newz Kennel out of property that Vick owned in Smithfield, Virginia. Vick claims he was seldom there, but he`s charged with a felony, staging dogfights in Virginia and participating in fights in other states.


GRACE: Bad news, all right. I wish you could read this multi-count indictment filed against the NFL quarterback Michael Vick. And apparently, early on -- out to you, Renee Rockwell and Mickey Sherman, Penny Douglass - - he apparently said, "Well, you know, I haven`t been there in a long time, and apparently my relatives have taken advantage of my generosity." You know what? He needs to zip it, because he`s in trouble, Renee.

RENEE ROCKWELL, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, it`s time to be quiet, and, Nancy, there`s one word that I can say for this: This is ugly. It doesn`t get any uglier. But time out, because he`s innocent until proven guilty.

GRACE: That`s best you`ve got?

ROCKWELL: But, no, Nancy, what concerns me is, how is this guy going to get up...


GRACE: Every time someone is charged, you trot out "innocent until proven guilty," and you never finish the sentence. The rest of the sentence is "unless and until the state produces evidence to pierce the presumption of innocence."

ROCKWELL: But, Nancy, how is this guy going to get a fair trial?

GRACE: O.J. did. Let`s see, how long did O.J. do on that double murder? Oh, nothing. Yes, he`ll get a fair trial.

ROCKWELL: The only good that`s going to come of this, the only good is that it`s going to put pressure on the nation to get a handle on this, because if he is involved in this, and he`s still unconvicted, we`ve got to start -- and he`s not the only one, Nancy.

GRACE: So I guess you`re trying to make me feel generous toward -- who`s panting?

ROCKWELL: That would be...

GRACE: That would be our special guest. I believe her name is Simba. She is with animal rights attorney Penny Douglass Furr. Before you start talking, is that the same dog -- let me see. Yes, I recognize the teeth, the teeth. That`s the dog that tried to jump through your front door at me when I was bringing you flowers one time.

PENNY DOUGLASS FURR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, that was Laia. This is Simba.

GRACE: OK, all the teeth look alike.

FURR: This is her brother, and this is an example, Nancy, of a dog who was not at all trained to fight. He`s a lover. He loves everybody. He`s loved everybody here tonight at CNN. Everybody`s been over to pet him. But these dogs, when you have a dog of this size and this temperament, they must be trained properly. You can`t put them in the hands of someone that doesn`t train them or just tie them up outside, because it`s a major issue if something happens with one of these dogs.

GRACE: Penny, not only animal rights activist and lawyer, but has represented many, many NFL stars there in Atlanta where she practices law, and they have shared dogs. Now, it`s my understanding that you gave a dog, sold a dog to an NFL player, and then took the dog back because you didn`t like the circumstances under which it was living?

FURR: Well, yes, the NFL player was the co-owner of the dogs. And I went over there, and they didn`t have proper housing for the dog, and I took them both back. And he called my husband and said, "Well, I can`t find my dog." And my husband said, "Well, sorry, I don`t think you`ll ever get it back." She`s got it now, and that`s it, because once you`re not properly taking care of, she takes the dogs back. And these dogs sleep in the bed. They`re well-taken-care-of. And believe me, Nancy, you can walk right up. They`ll love you to death, but you do have to take care of them.

GRACE: Yes, yes, I remember walking right up to the front door. I remember I just saw nothing but teeth coming through that time you were sick. Back out to the lines, Denise in California. Hi, Denise.

CALLER: Hi, thank you for taking my call.

GRACE: Yes, dear. What`s your question?

CALLER: I wonder if the IRS is going to come look at him if he`s made all this money.

GRACE: Ooh, you`re sneaky, Denise in California, because if a jury lets you go, the IRS will get you.

Out to Sandra Golden, let`s follow up on that. You know, he`s making $130 million with the NFL. How much did he make off this dog blood sport?

SANDRA GOLDEN, SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST: I don`t think we will ever know, but what I`m just amazed at, Nancy, is cited in this indictment is cases of Fall of 2003, the purse for each dog was $1,500. He`s making multimillion dollars. That was the purse on one other occasion they said. They cited that he went to the car and grabbed a backpack filled with $23,000 in cash. There are various amounts of money, but the bigger point is, this isn`t huge amounts of money for a Michael Vick.

GRACE: No, it`s really not. And back to Michelle Sigona with "America`s Most Wanted," in a lot of these matches, it would be a match to the death, the dogs would have to fight, be forced to fight until one killed the other. If one didn`t kill the other, they would publicly execute the loser.

MICHELLE SIGONA, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED" CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is true, Nancy. This is what they do, not just -- you know, not just named in this indictment, but in many of these dogfighting cases. They will go out, if these dogs aren`t fighting to their best ability or being the best dogfighters that they can, they will sadly execute these poor animals, you know, in whatever fashion, whatever way they can, without even -- and, also, I do want to mention that I have spoken to people that say that a lot of times in these dogfights, these dogs would be given gun powder or forms of different kinds of poisons to make their stomach upset, to make them, you know, just more vicious in the ring and to make them attack, you know, at the other animal, even worse. Sometimes even cocaine will be rubbed around their gums just to give them more energy and to make them, you know, more vicious. It`s just horrific.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, former D.C. cop, former fed with the FBI, what is it, hundreds of people just gathered around a ring, and they watch the dogs until it dies? And it`s also my understanding that there are occasions where dogs such as golden retrievers are actually used as bait.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: Yes, they are, Nancy. You know, 26 years in Washington, D.C., I`ve seen it for myself. We were serving a search warrant one time, because usually where you have dogfighting, you have drug dealing. And we were serving a search warrant, an arrest warrant on a drug dealer in Washington, D.C. We were with a SWAT team. We were coming down the alley. We knew that there could be possibly two pit bulls on the scene, so we took animal control with us.

As we came around the corner, and we were approaching, I scanned the backyard with my sub-gun, my submachine gun, and I had a flashlight on the end. As I did, there was a dead golden retriever over in the corner of the yard that has been used as bait by the pit bulls. Again, you know, it`s the animals who lived -- and I don`t even call them animals, Nancy, because that gives the animals a bad name. But I`m telling you, it made me want to puke, because they were using those dogs as bait.

But, yes, they gather around this facility in Smithfield, Virginia. That was one of the things they used there. They were all the war in the back. They had kennels. They would actually have the dogfights there at that facility or they would take them to other states. You look at all the states, Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Alabama, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina. You know, here in Georgia, there`s legislation right now in the statehouse here in Georgia, Nancy, to toughen up the dogfighting laws, because they`re fairly lax. It`s against the law to dogfight, but it`s not against the law to go watch the dogfight. I don`t understand this. Georgia needs to get off their butt and get some legislation that has some teeth. At least these federal laws now, Nancy, have some teeth where they didn`t before.

GRACE: Well, you know, they`re apparently all misdemeanors. Now, the home state of Virginia may very well seek a felony charge against him. They`ve got their very own investigation going.

I want to go back out to Tim Green, former Atlanta Falcons star. He is also an attorney. He is an author of many, many books. He`s also a friend of Michael Vick, charged in this case. Yes, I heard it from Renee. I heard it, "innocent until proven guilty." I agree with that. But when I know that there are four government witnesses -- and you know there`s going to be a money trail. You can`t have a dogfight with hundreds of people watching and no witnesses. I mean, it looks bad for him right now, but I want to find out who, what is Michael Vick? What`s he all about? Where did he come from?

TIM GREEN, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER: Well, I did a short biography in a book for Scholastic a couple years ago, another children`s book, and I was able to talk with Michael about his background. And he grew up in Newport News. And this is a kid who would go to sleep at night to the sounds of gunshots. This is a young man whose Uncle Joe wouldn`t allow him to play on the streets because of the gangs and the drug dealers. And this is a young man who went to the Boys and Girls Club at the age of 8 and found that he could throw a football and had a dream that he`d be in the NFL, make the kind of money he`s making now, and buy a home for his mom and his grandmother, and get them out of the place where he grew up.

And that`s the kind of person that, you know, until he`s proven to have committed these terrible acts that everyone`s associating with him -- I mean, almost every one of your guests, except Renee, has already got him convicted of those crimes. And think about the Duke lacrosse team, Nancy. You know as well as I do that prosecutors get overzealous, especially when big-time athletes are involved.

GRACE: I have to agree with you. And I want to tell you something else, Tim: I don`t want these allegations to be true.

GREEN: I don`t, either.

GRACE: Because I`m familiar with people, many people, that come from nothing and make something of themselves like Vick did. I want him to be the idol that you`re talking about.

GREEN: So let`s let him be our hero, Nancy, until...

GRACE: Well, I didn`t say I wanted to go that far.

GREEN: ... until it`s proven that he isn`t.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wrestler Chris Benoit`s body, of course, had been found at the house. We`re now learning had elevated levels of testosterone after he killed his wife, his son and himself. Like many wrestlers, he was using steroids, but it doesn`t show necessarily that steroids were being used for what you may think. And does it explain his killing spree? Pro wrestling, a lot of talk about whether or not they`re now going to crack down on chemicals and other substances used in the pro wrestling culture.


GRACE: Fifty-nine times the normal amount of testosterone found in Chris Benoit`s body. Out to Bryan Alvarez with Figure Four Online, what`s the latest?

BRYAN ALVAREZ, FIGUREFOURONLINE.COM: Well, the latest is, as you mentioned, his testosterone levels were through the roof. WWE has spent the last day trying to claim that testosterone and anabolic steroids are two completely different things, which they`re not. And as you mentioned, 59 times the normal ratio for a human being? The Olympic threshold is four to one. WWE says a failure is 10 to 1. He was at 59 to 1, and apparently they`re trying to argue that this is no big deal, life can move on in WWE, and there`s nothing to talk about here.

GRACE: And you know what? The sad part is it probably will. And I just wonder how many more wrestlers` bodies we`re going to have to report on until something is finally done.

Out to Dr. William R. Morrone, medical examiner, forensic pathologist, a toxicology expert, explain to me, the WWE, now that the tests -- first of all, the answer was, "Oh, oh, no, there`s not going to be steroids in his system." Everybody was all mad that it was even suggested. Well, now he`s got 59 times the normal amount of testosterone in this guy`s system, and they`re saying, "But testosterone is not an anabolic steroid." Explain to me, Doctor.

DR. WILLIAM MORRONE, MEDICAL EXAMINER: What they`re doing is trying to create a perception and use a loophole that, because testosterone is a natural hormone in a man`s body, that it`s not wrong. But the truth is, testosterone is the prototypical anabolic androgenic steroid. The fact that it`s "natural" doesn`t make it not a steroid. A non-anabolic steroid would be like prednisone you give to somebody with arthritis or hydrocortisone you give to somebody with hemorrhoids. That`s a steroid. It`s an anabolic steroid.

GRACE: Out to special guest joining us, Lance "Storm" Evers. He`s a former WWE wrestling superstar, a friend of Chris Benoit`s. Storm, thank you for being with us. It`s a pleasure to have you on the show. Question: Now that the toxicology results are out, do you believe that steroids played a role in these crimes?

LANCE "STORM" EVERS, FORMER WWE WRESTLER: I certainly don`t think `roid rage was a factor. I think -- and no one will be able to prove it one way or the other -- I think quite probably the steroids in his system, testosterone in his system, probably had some effect on his mental state. Whether it was a contributing factor more so than Xanax or marital stress or work stress, I don`t think anyone will know.

GRACE: Fifty-nine times the normal level, 59, 5-9?

EVERS: I`m not trying to justify his testosterone use or his levels. He was obviously on a lot of testosterone and, you know -- but knowing what actually caused him to do what he did, we`ll never know. I think it obviously did play on his mental state to a certain extent, because you can`t alter your body chemistry that much and not have it affect you.

GRACE: Lance "Storm" Evers with us, former WWE wrestling superstar, Lance, my question is, when you just stated you don`t think this was a result of `roid rage, why is that?

EVERS: I think just the timeframe, and I think Daniel`s toxicology with the Xanax in his system leads more to believe that there was premeditation involved in Daniel`s death. So, you know, there may have been some degree of `roid rage or aggression involved in Nancy`s killing, perhaps, but I think the entire weekend being too spread out, and the probable sedation of Daniel, I don`t see `roid rage being the sole cause of this, I don`t.

GRACE: Interesting, interesting. Back to Dr. William Morrone, Dr. Morrone, `roid rage -- I mean, the other night we had on the widow of Johnny Grunge, Mrs. Durham, and she said that he was in a rage for several hours where he, you know, threatened violence to her. So why do people think, and are they correct, that `roid rage comes quickly and is over? Why could this not have been steroid rage?

MORRONE: Steroid rage in the case of `roid rage as documented is usually a lot faster, and it`s more volatile. But what you have -- the people who say there`s no such thing as `roid rage are trying to use a lot of this data to get that across. What are you going to do? There`s an argument that goes both ways.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Crystal in Indiana, hi, Crystal.


GRACE: What`s your question, deer?

CALLER: Yes, I have a question. I want to know what the difference is between testosterone and anabolic steroids.

GRACE: OK, Dr. Morrone, you told us that it is a steroid, but what is the difference?

MORRONE: An anabolic steroid, specifically the term is anabolic androgenic. It causes virilization, masculinization, and growth of muscles.

GRACE: Out to the lines, to Rachel in Tennessee. Hi, Rachel.

CALLER: Hello, Nancy, how are you doing?

GRACE: I`m good, dear.

CALLER: My question is, is there any way to be able to say that the test that the WWE is doing is efficient enough or, I mean, is there more testing that needs to be done? Is there some kind of way to get more chemicals checked in the testing? I mean, where are we going with these tests?

GRACE: Good question. What about it, Bryan?

ALVAREZ: The obvious problem is this loophole involving testosterone that is being prescribed to these guys. The World Anti-Doping Agency, the NFL -- I mean, Dr. Black in 1995 when asked about testosterone, they specifically asked, would an NFL player be able to take testosterone? And he said no. And the World Anti-Doping Agency said there would almost never be a case where you could have a testosterone level that high and compete.

GRACE: Out to Renee, Mickey and Penny. To you, Renee, now that we have seen the toxicologist reports, do you think this doctor to the wrestling stars is in for even more charges?

ROCKWELL: Nancy, I`ve always thought that there was going to be more coming down the pike for him.

GRACE: Mickey?

MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think he`s got problems, but I have to agree with (INAUDIBLE) the doctor from Penn State, as the last speaker said, the steroid rage is not consistent with meticulous planning, and that`s what happened here. This was a deeply disturbed individual and not the product of steroids.

GRACE: Where do you think he got all that testosterone, Mickey?

SHERMAN: Well, it`s a long way to go to prove that, I`ve got to tell you.


GRACE: Wrestling superstar Chris Benoit found with 59 times the amount normally of testosterone in a body. Out to Jeff Gardere, the little boy also had a large amount of Xanax in his system. Do children ever get prescribed Xanax?

JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: No, they don`t, and there are other ways to treat them homeopathically if they have those kinds of emotional issues. So it is quite clear that Benoit was trying to have some mercy on this child before murdering him.

GRACE: I want to go back out to Lance "Storm" Evers, former WWE wrestling star. You know, long story short, the WWE has released his April urine test but refused to release any before that. I wonder why.

EVERS: I think the wrestling industry, unfortunately, is a secretive industry by nature, just dating back to our carnival roots when we were trying to convince people that this was a legitimate sport. So I think the industry probably out of habit just keeps their cards as tight to their chest as they can, and they want to distance themselves from this as much as they can, and you can`t really blame them for that. I think there`s a drug issue in sports, and there`s a tragedy that happened at the Benoit family that aren`t really as tightly related as people want to believe, make it believe.

GRACE: Right.

EVERS: But there is a drug issue in sports, and there`s a tragedy here that people are trying to tie together, and everyone`s trying to backpedal as quickly as they can.

GRACE: I want to thank two of our special guests, Lance "Storm" Evers and Bryan Alvarez. Let`s stop to remember Army Specialist James Lee Adair, just 23, Carthage, Texas, killed, Iraq, on a first tour. He loved the military, his hometown and football. He`s remembered for strength and bravery, leaving behind parents, Jimmy, Lisa, sister, Amanda, widow, his new bride, Chelsea, pregnant with a baby girl he named Savory. James Adair, American hero.

Thanks to our guests. And tonight, a special good night to friend of the show, Renee`s little nephew, Ryan. Hello, sweetheart.

See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern, and until then, good night, friend.