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Nancy Grace

Kanye West`s Mother Donda Dies After Surgery

Aired November 13, 2007 - 20:00   ET


MIKE BROOKS, GUEST HOST: Breaking news tonight, the unexpected death of the mom of music superstar Kanye West. A plastic surgeon to the stars claims he performed cosmetic procedures on Donda West before she was rushed to the ER unresponsive. And now reports reveal that plastic surgeon connected to several medical malpractice lawsuits, plus DUI convictions and an investigation by the California medical board. But was a previous medical condition to blame for her death, or was it a botched plastic surgery?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What caused the sudden death of Donda West, the mother of rapper Kanye West?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The autopsy was performed. However, the final causes of death have been not determined pending further toxicology.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Jan Adams told that he did, indeed, perform cosmetic procedures on Donda West, a tummy tuck and also a breast reduction. But he said that her death could have been caused by a number of things, including a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or massive vomiting. He said that Donda West consulted with him over a period of four months and that he felt he did nothing wrong.


BROOKS: And tonight: His third wife is dead, his fourth wife missing, and now he`s a suspect. Within the last hours, authorities exhumed the body of Drew Peterson`s third wife. They say evidence suggests someone killed Kathleen Savio and staged it to look like an accident. Will a second autopsy now under way reveal murder? And the family of Stacy Peterson says there`s new information in the search for the young mom.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The process to unearth Kathleen Savio`s body began with a backhoe breaking through the earth at Queen of Heaven cemetery. Once the casket was exposed, a crane hoisted it from its final resting place, then a coroner`s van transported it to the Will County morgue for a second autopsy. Savio was the third wife of Bolingbrook police Sergeant Drew Peterson. In 2004, she was found dead in a waterless bathtub. At the time, her death was ruled an accidental drowning, but now investigators say her death looks suspicious and have reopened the case. They believe that she may have been murdered and someone tried to cover it up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She always told us that -- whether it was a premonition or not, she always said that it would be an accident and to take care of her children. He was going to kill her.


BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. First tonight: Was botched plastic surgery to blame for the death of music superstar Kanye West`s mother?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This morning, we conducted the autopsy on Donda C. West. The autopsy was performed. However, the final causes of death have not been determined pending further toxicology. The death of Dr. West was recorded in the coroner`s office on November 12 as resulting from possible complications from cosmetic surgery. Surgery had been performed on November 9 at a surgical center.

Dr. West was released to her home following the surgery. On November 10, she was found unresponsive after being in respiratory distress. She was taken to Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Marina campus, where efforts to preserve her life were unsuccessful. She was pronounced dead at 8:28 PM.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Jan Adams told celebrity Web site that he performed a tummy tuck and breast reduction on the 58-year-old, but adds she may have died from a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or massive vomiting.


BROOKS: Before we take you to the Donda West story, we have an update on Nancy and the twins. Since having her twins, Nancy is back in the hospital with two clots in her lungs. She`s now recovering and doing well, and so are the twins. Nancy wants to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers. And we hope you`ll be out of the hospital soon, Nancy, so get well quick.

Now tonight: Donda West, 58 years old, the mother of music superstar Kanye West, has what is looked at as a routine plastic surgery procedure, but nothing routine about this. A day later, she`s dead.

I want to go right out to CNN correspondent Kareen Wynter in LA. Kareen, what is the latest? And what did the coroner say today about this case?

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Mike, first off, I spoke with the coroner`s office, and they say a case like this is extremely rare, so it gives you, basically, a glimpse into what perhaps may have gone wrong here. You know, we were looking, Mike, for something a bit more conclusive today in terms of the autopsy results. We didn`t get it today. We`ll actually have to wait six to eight weeks.

But here`s what we know, the coroner`s office saying it`s possible right now that Dr. West died due to complications from cosmetic surgery, this procedure -- they wouldn`t say if it involved a tummy tuck or a breast reduction -- and that right now, they`re waiting on more toxicology reports to come in. They say, Hey, it`s possible that she may have died of a heart attack, maybe allergic reaction to the meds, maybe even, you know, the anesthesia. It`s really unclear right now and that we`re going to have to wait to see.

I asked also, Mike, What about her existing medical condition? How was she before this procedure? And they say there were no red flags and it appeared as though she was in great health.

I also asked -- because there are so many reports out there saying that her post-op care was shabby. They say that she did actually spend some time in the recovery unit or recovery center before being sent home into the hands of a caregiver. And you know, it all went down from there. She was found unresponsive, and unfortunately, later died.

BROOKS: Well, you know, today what we heard from the medical examiner`s office, that they said, basically, she had some minor medical conditions. Do we know anything at all about that?

WYNTER: We pressed them on that, and for confidentiality reasons, they wouldn`t disclose that. And I said, What about this preexisting medical condition, this Beverly Hills doctor has reportedly said that, you know, Dr. West may have had? Just for viewers, to give them a little backdrop on that, this is a doctor that Dr. West actually sought to have this procedure done. And he said, Well, you`re a good candidate. Because you`re over 40, you need medical clearance, and that that was his concern. Also, this pre-existing medical condition that would make her perhaps more prone to having a heart attack -- we asked the coroner`s office, and they say they weren`t aware of that, and of course, couldn`t comment further.

BROOKS: Now, what do we know about this doctor who performed the procedure? You said that he did perform the procedure and his name is Jan Adams. What do we know about this guy?

MAKARY: Do you have a minute? I don`t know where to start here. On paper, Mike, he looks fantastic, OK, a Harvard grad, graduated with honors. He`s been in practice for about 22 years. He`s very prominent in this community. He`s hosted a number of shows. He`s also appeared on shows such as the Oprah Winfrey.

But then you get to the legal paperwork, which is not so impressive. Not only was he the subject of a medical malpractice suit back in 2001, where he settled to the tune of almost half a million -- $500,000 -- $500 million (ph), rather. The number is so huge, I`m actually stumbling over it here...

BROOKS: Oh, it`s unbelievable!

MAKARY: Almost $500 million. But you get to the DUI convictions from 2003 and 2006. The California medical board is going after him. They want his license either revoked or suspended because they`re looking at this pattern of behavior here and saying, This isn`t in line with someone who should be practicing in any medical community.

Sources tell CNN that right now, there is a proposed settlement, that the California board is actually considering it. And Mike, we should know within a month or so whether or not this is accepted, and again, whether or not there will be any disciplinary action here.

BROOKS: It`s just unbelievable.

MAKARY: He`s in a little bit of hot water.

BROOKS: It`s unbelievable how much this doctor has already paid out.

Right now, I want to go -- joining us here in New York CNN correspondent Lola Ogunnaike. Lola, thanks for being with us. Tell us about -- you know the Wests. You know Kanye and his mother. Tell us a little bit about them and about her.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I have interviewed Kanye several times, and you know, they had such a great relationship. You don`t think mama`s boy and rapper. You don`t hear those two phrases in the same sentence. But not only was he a mama`s boy, he was a proud mama`s boy. He rapped about her in his music. He often referred to her in his lyrics. The two have been on stage together. They co-wrote a book together which was released in May. They just seemed to just have a great, great rapport, and she was his best friend.

BROOKS: Now, weren`t you just recently with Ms. West at an affair?

OGUNNAIKE: I was actually with the two of them at the Video Music Awards.

BROOKS: Really?

OGUNNAIKE: And Ms. West and I were together in the VIP section, and she was just having the best time of her life. You would not look at that woman and think that this is someone who is not going to be around in three months. She was waving her hands in the air. She was bobbing her head to the music. She knew all of her son`s lyrics. She was cool enough to hang out with him and party with him. And you would not have thought that this woman was a 58-year-old at all.

BROOKS: Nothing at all to indicate any medical problems whatsoever?

OGUNNAIKE: When I saw her, she looked to be in tip-top shape. She was having a great time. Her and her girlfriends were there. They were just hanging out and having a blast. I spoke with her about the feud between her son and 50 Cent. I asked her who was going to sell more albums come that Tuesday. And she said, Good Music will win out. Well, her son`s label is called Good Music...

BROOKS: Right.

OGUNNAIKE: ... and her son did actually win out. He sold 957,000 copies of his album in less than a week.

BROOKS: That`s unbelievable. Now, what -- do you know where he is right now? Do we know where Kanye is?

OGUNNAIKE: We don`t know where he is right now, actually. I`m assuming he`s with family and just trying to figure out how to get over the loss of this person who was more than just a mother to him. She was his best friend. She was his business partner. This woman was the CEO of his company. She was the woman who was the head of his foundation. The two of them were -- as close as they were personally, they were close professionally.

BROOKS: Right now, I want to go out to -- joining us from Washington, D.C., Dr. Marty Makary, physician and professor of public health at Johns Hopkins. Marty, I got a lot of questions for you, buddy. Let me tell you, we`ve heard a lot about this doctor, and they say that there might have been preexisting medical conditions. There was another surgeon who`s saying now that he advised he would not operate on her because of a condition she had that could lead to a heart attack, and that`s the reason he didn`t want to operate on her. Then she went to this Dr. Adams, and was on and off -- you know, Yes, I`m going to go ahead and get it, No, I`m not going to have the surgery.

You know, what kind of preexisting conditions could lead to a post- operative death like this?

DR. MARTY MAKARY, PHYSICIAN, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.: Well, some sort of irregular heartbeat or propensity to form clots or heart failure. A previous heart attack would be the greatest risk factor. But anybody going for any major operation in the United States should have medical clearance if they`re over the age of 40. And that`s the standard of care.

There`s a lot of flags here. Noticeably absent from the list of potential causes suggested by the surgeon was the suggestion of post- operative bleeding. And the patient was discharged the same day as the operation. Any operation that takes eight hours -- if it`s a heart bypass operation -- and you can do two of those in eight hours -- or popping a zit, that patient should stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring if the procedure took eight hours.

BROOKS: Well, Dr. Makary, is it unusual to you that a procedure -- what we`re hearing is, was a tummy tuck and a breast reduction. Should a procedure like this take eight hours?

MAKARY: Four to five hours, Mike. Eight hours is -- could be the sign of a very good surgeon working slow and meticulously, but it is a flag. You don`t want to be too fast or too slow at any operation.

BROOKS: Well, would it be a sign to you that there were complications during the surgery, or that, basically, he may not have known what he was doing?

MAKARY: Those are both possibilities. It`s hard to speculate. But when problems are encountered in the operating room, oftentimes the operating time is significantly prolonged. And that`s what we know about here.

BROOKS: Very interesting. You know, one other thing I want to ask you, too, Dr. Makary. It says that he is licensed to practice medicine in the state of California, but he apparently isn`t board certified. What does that mean? What does board certification mean?

MAKARY: You know, we don`t do a good job as doctors and surgeons of policing ourselves, quite frankly. Being licensed to practice just means you graduated from medical school, a pretty low bar. And about 99 percent of people that do their training get board certified. It`s just a stamp of approval from a private accrediting organization. And if you don`t get boarded, you still practice anyway. So I don`t know why we have the process.

BROOKS: But does it mean anything being board certified? Does that mean he`s a better surgeon or more up on techniques?

MAKARY: It means he passed an oral and written board examination for which you can buy books to prepare and get over the hump.

BROOKS: Interesting. Joining us now in New York is Ron Schindel. He`s a former NYPD deputy inspector here in New York City. Ron, thanks for joining us. Now, we heard earlier today from the medical examiner spokesperson that there is going to be an investigation, and investigators are going to be talking to this Dr. Adams. What kind of things will they be looking for?

RON SCHINDEL, FORMER NYPD DEPUTY INSPECTOR: Well, what they`re going to be looking for, Mike, of course, are medical records. They want to see just what the doctor knew before the surgery. They want to see also what Ms. West knew before the surgery. And they want to make sure that everything was in order. That`s what the medical records are going to tell them.

BROOKS: Do you think there could be some criminality involved?

SCHINDEL: There always can be some criminality involved. Here you might have some negligence, which is a substantial risk, with a gross deviation from the normal, the normal standard for care here. If they can prove that, if the doctors could prove that, of course, we could have some negligent charges down the line.

BROOKS: Well, let`s uncage the lawyers and talk about what those down the line could be. Joining us here in New York, Carmen St. George, defense attorney, and Kathleen Mullin, defense attorney. First to Carmen. Carmen, you`re an attorney. You want this case?

CARMEN ST. GEORGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Sure, Mike, I`ll take it! First of all, there`s not going to be any criminal charges unless you can show there was a battery. And in California, that would mean that the doctor operated on Ms. West and did some unaccepted procedure on her, something that was unconsented, not agreed upon and completely outside of the scope of what he was intending to do.

BROOKS: Well, I mean what right now -- she died. He`s got a number of medical malpractice suits against him right now.

ST. GEORGE: OK. Mike...

BROOKS: So you know, it`s just a lot of red flags here.

ST. GEORGE: Right. And he has a lot of personal issues, but those are aside from this particular case. The fact that he`s had prior DUIs is of no consequence unless you can show that he was intoxicated or impaired by alcohol at the time of the surgery. In terms of the prior malpractice actions, those are cases and judgments which he will be called upon to speak on. With respect to Ms. West`s case, what will have to be shown is that there was negligence and that that negligence was actually the cause of her death.

BROOKS: I`m sorry, go ahead.

ST. GEORGE: Well, I think, Mike, I think, at this point, we don`t have anything more to speak on without knowing about what`s in the medical records. This is a physician who`s been practicing for over 22 years, specializing in treating women of color with respect to their skin care needs. He has been educated in the best university of our country.

BROOKS: Just because he`s educated at Harvard and goes to a Ohio State medical school, that doesn`t make him a good doctor, does it?

ST. GEORGE: Of course not. But you can`t say, based on what we know, that he completely acted negligently. Without knowing more, without knowing what he knew from the patient at the time that she went in to speak to him, what, if anything, she may have withheld or told him, you have no idea as to whether or not he told her to go to an internist and she waived that and she consented to the procedure. So we don`t know anything more without seeing those medical records at this point.

BROOKS: We`re going to talk more about that with Dr. Makary.

But tonight`s "Case Alert." The search for a missing North Carolina man, 24-year-old Kyle Fleischmann last seen at a local uptown Charlotte bar. His last known contacts via cell phone were in the wee hours last Friday. According to family, Fleischmann may have left his coat and credit card at the bar. Fleischmann last seen wearing a black shirt, jeans and black dress shoes. He`s 6 feet, 180 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.

And if you missed Nancy`s latest message about her twins, Lucy Elizabeth and John David, go to You`ll find all the latest news and how Nancy and the twins are doing.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Heartbreaking news for music megastar Kanye West. The Grammy winner, superstar and producer`s mom dies suddenly from complications during cosmetic surgery. According to well-known plastic surgeon Dr. Jan Adams, he performed breast reduction and a tummy tuck on Donda West. Now reports emerge Dr. Adams has a history of malpractice lawsuits and is under investigation by the California medical board.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Thanks for joining us. Fifty-eight-year-old Donda West passes away after plastic surgery. But why did she die?

I want to go right out to the phones. Anika from Ohio. Thanks for joining us.


BROOKS: You have a question, Anika?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do. Prior to Ms. West`s surgery, is it possible that she could have had access to Dr. Adams`s medical malpractice history via the local medical board?

BROOKS: Kareen Wynter, what do you think?

MAKARY: ... question. That`s something that we were pondering all day, just really looking at the credentials, because again here, while Dr. Adams was a member of the California medical board of medicine, he wasn`t a member of the American board. So you don`t have to be to practice medicine here in California. And in terms of the research right now, we`re still trying to find out how much information is available there, not just to patients in California but all over the country, when pursuing physicians for this sort of treatment.

BROOKS: Right now, I want to go out to Dr. Patricia Saunders, Dr. Patricia Saunders, clinical psychologist here in New York. Dr. Saunders, she pondered apparently for four months whether or not -- Yes, I want to get the surgery, No, I don`t. What does this indicate to you? What might have been going on in her head?

PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, two things come to mind, Mike. One is that she did know that this kind of major plastic surgery does have its risks, as it does for any woman over 40, and she was worried about it. The other part might have been hesitation on a, let`s say, more ethical grounds, that she didn`t -- or religious grounds -- that she didn`t want to change her body that God had given her. Whatever it was, she was in conflict about it, and sadly, she didn`t listen to the part that said, Oh, please don`t do this.

BROOKS: Do you think these doctors are to blame, or this doctor is to blame?

SAUNDERS: I don`t think we know enough yet. What is of concern is not so much the malpractice suits, but most plastic surgeons have them -- it`s part of high-risk surgery -- but his DUIs, which speaks to poor judgment. And that might go hand in hand with real malpractice.

BROOKS: You know, we mentioned earlier that there was another doctor that she had seen before, that he wanted her to get a physical from an internist. Let`s listen to what Dr. Andre Aboolian had to say.


DR. ANDRE ABOOLIAN, SURGEON: I met Donda for a consultation initially in June of 2007. She was interested in cosmetic procedures, and we had discussed in order for her to go through with the procedures, which she was a good candidate for, she needed what`s called a medical clearance, which is just about anybody over the age of 40 is required to have. And because of Donda`s age, she was, you know, required to get cardiac clearance to make sure her heart was in good shape to go through for the surgery.


BROOKS: We`ll delve further into the death of Donda West when we come right back. Just stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donda West died in Los Angeles over the weekend. There is no specific cause of death, but authorities tell us it happened after a procedure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was rushed to Centinela Hospital in Marina Del Ray. She was obviously having complications. They tried to revive her. They were unsuccessful.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Fifty-eight-year-old Donda West dies suddenly after plastic surgery. Was it a botched plastic surgery, or was it a preexisting medical condition?

I want to go right out to defense attorney Kathleen Mullin in New York. Kathleen, thanks for being with us. I want you to tell me, does her family have a case against this doctor?

KATHLEEN MULLIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, Mike, for lawyers, it comes down to a question of causation. And the issues are two. Would Dr. West have died no matter who performed the surgery because of some preexisting condition or because of something she did or didn`t do after she was released? And the second part of the question is, If not, then is there something that the doctor did or didn`t do that is outside of the normally accepted protocol? It`s simply a question of causation, and it needs to be answered before we know whether or not the family has a case.

BROOKS: When we come back: Authorities exhume the body of Drew Peterson`s third wife. What will the autopsy reveal? His fourth wife still missing.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A desperate search continues for a missing mother of two. Stacy Peterson disappeared from her suburban Chicago home more than two weeks ago. Police have called her husband, Drew Peterson, now a suspect. And consider her a possible murder victim. And because this case has gained national attention and the circumstances are quite mysterious and puzzling, police have now reopened the investigation into the death of Drew Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her body is now exhumed. They now call the circumstances surrounding Savio`s 2004 bathtub drowning "suspicious."


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks in for Nancy Grace. Where is Stacy Peterson? Her husband, Drew, has been named a suspect now. In fact, no person of interest, he`s now a full-fledged suspect. Let`s go right out to Chicago with Kathy Chaney, reporter for The Chicago Defender.

Kathy, today the body of Kathleen Savio, the third wife of Drew Peterson, was exhumed today. How did that go?

KATHY CHANEY, THE CHICAGO DEFENDER: Yes. That went well, as much as we`ll know. That happened around 7:30 Chicago time. The Savio family was not allowed by investigators to be there, but they wanted a priest to be there to at least do some type of service before she was exhumed and that happened.

But I`ll tell you that the Savio family was not happy that the media was out there. The news choppers were above And they were kind of ticked off by that.

BROOKS: Yes. And I can understand why they would be. Let`s go right out now to Illinois by phone. Joining us a very special guest, Sue Doman, Kathleen Savio`s sister.

Sue, thanks for being with us, again.


BROOKS: How is your family doing tonight?

DOMAN: We`re not doing very well. This has been so hard for us. But, you know, actually seeing it on TV it really, really got us really, really hard. We told ourselves -- you know, we told our sister we`re bringing you back again, hopefully we`re going to be getting peace and find out what happened to you, but it`s so hard, so hard.

We didn`t, you know, appreciate the media, you know, showing pictures of that. It`s hard enough for us and then we don`t need that. We just didn`t need to see that.

BROOKS: No. And it`s very, very -- you`re reliving her death all over again.

DOMAN: Yes, exactly.

BROOKS: And I tell you, our prayers go out to your family right now.

DOMAN: Thank you, thank you.

BROOKS: When do we expect -- when did they say they expect results of the autopsy after the exhumation?

DOMAN: Well, you know, that`s another thing, Mike. They`re not keeping in contact with us at all. We hear what everyone else hears on TV. We don`t hear -- we don`t get any calls of them saying, OK, we have your sister here, we`re going to do this and we`re going to do that.

We call, we did call today and they said that they were going to be doing it this afternoon as far as the results that would be released to us, but maybe in a few days, but, you know, we don`t know. We don`t know.

BROOKS: Has the family always thought that her death was no accident?

DOMAN: Yes, Mike. We have always thought that. And just with everything going on with Drew and my sister and my sister telling me also all the time that, you know, like everyone has heard before, that it was going to look like an accident and he was going to kill her. Yes.

BROOKS: Well, you know, right now, I want to join -- I`m going to go to Ron Schindel, former NYPD deputy inspector.

Ron, we have talked about the Illinois State Police. The first -- after the coroner`s inquest into Kathleen Savio`s death, there was an investigator from the Illinois State police who testified at this coroner`s inquest he hadn`t been there at the crime scene, he hadn`t been to the autopsy, but he was testifying as to the facts of the case, the evidence and everything else, is that normal?

RON SCHINDEL, FMR. NYPD DEPUTY INSPECTOR: No, Mike, that is not normal. The investigator should have been much more plugged into the investigation the whole time. All from the beginning, he should have been there at the autopsy and he should have been there at every step during the remainder of the investigation.

BROOKS: Now he is a sergeant with the local police department there, Bolingbrook, Illinois. Now, when he was married to Kathleen Savio, there were 18-odd reports of domestic violence, of the cops coming out to their house a number of times. You know, the police department, do you think that they were kind of sweeping it under the rug because of the thin blue line, because he`s one of the brothers?

SCHINDEL: Well, Mike, I don`t know if they were sweeping it under the rug, but they surely didn`t put their best foot forward. There were so many red flags for Sergeant Peterson all during his career, from the early `80s when he was fired then reinstated, to the 18-some domestic violence calls that went to his house during his third marriage, to the certainly suspect death of his third wife, and now leading up to a suspension that is not even related to the current disappearance of his wife, Stacy.

But all of these things had so many red flags that the Bolingbrook Police Department should have looked at this and they should have looked at him much closer.

BROOKS: Absolutely. I agree with you. I think there needs to be an investigation now into the investigation that the state police performed back after she died, after she was found dead in this dry tub.

Right now I want to go out to the defense attorneys. Carmen St. George and Kathleen Mullin.

Kathleen, what would you be telling Drew Peterson right now?

KATHLEEN MULLIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: To do exactly what he`s doing. Stay in the house, don`t talk to anyone. Don`t talk to the media. You know, Mike, you have said.

BROOKS: But he`s coming out running his mouth all the time.

MULLIN: Well, and don`t we always see that and doesn`t it never work out well for anyone who does that. It never works out well. At the top of the segment you said he has now been named a suspect, which means, you know, Mike, all microscopes are focused on him. They are looking carefully at him.

And the less he speaks, the better off he will be ultimately whether he is charged or not. That`s what I would tell him.

BROOKS: Now, Carmen, he was allegedly, supposedly cooperating with police early on in this investigation. They`ve done two search warrants at his house. He claims that his wife ran off with someone else. Now why not just go ahead and polygraph this guy? A polygraph, I can tell you as a former investigator, it`s a great investigative tool.

CARMEN ST. GEORGE. DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Mike, what does it do to help him if he`s being the target and now the suspect of the investigation to be polygraphed?

BROOKS: If he says early on that he has nothing to do with it, then hey, what does he have to hide?

ST. GEORGE: OK. And guess what, that`s not admissible in court and really all eyes are focused on him. They`ve convicted him in the court of public opinion at this point already so he`s better off just keeping his mouth shut. And, you know, who knows, maybe tomorrow he will be subpoenaed to be testifying at a grand jury with respect to the investigation of the prior accidental death which occurred.

But at this point, unless they grant him complete immunity for that testimony, then he should not be speaking to the police sources or the media sources or anybody other than his attorney with respect to the accusations that he is facing.

BROOKS: I want to go out to clinical psychologist Dr. Patricia Saunders.

Dr. Saunders, you know, he has been exhibiting some very, very strange, strange behavior over the last week. You see him with the bandanna, coming out -- where he should be -- and a lot of people think he should be out helping to look for his wife. What do you think of his behavior?

PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, it is strange, Mike, for sure. But he really follows a profile of someone who is filled with rage. By history, he`s manipulative, he`s into power, the man is a police officer, and control. Perhaps he was enamored of his 17-year-old girlfriend who became pregnant.

She was this sweet, passive little thing who needed to be rescued. And then maybe Stacy grew up and he didn`t like that. This guy has got a bad track record.

BROOKS: It sure looks that way. I want to go out to Dr. Marty Makary, physician and professor of public health at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Makary, now that the body has been exhumed, what kind of shape is this body going to be in?

MARTY MAKARY, PROF. OF PUBLIC HEALTH, JOHNS HOPKINS: Well, essentially the body is going to be dehydrated. Now all autopsies take about one week and they reach one of five conclusions. That is, that the cause of death is unknown, an accident, suicide, homicide or natural causes.

BROOKS: Now, before they said the death was an accidental drowning. And apparently she slipped and fell in the tub and hit her head. Now, when she was found, she still had wet hair. There was no water in the tub, whatsoever, and there was apparently a gash in the back of her head, but there were also other contusions all over her body. Will they be able to show these contusions? Will they still be there or will they be gone?

MAKARY: They should still be there, actually. They have been able to tell causes of death from mummies in ancient Egypt. So certainly there are long-term signs that are permanent in a body after an injury.

BROOKS: Sue, where does the family go from here? You say that the law enforcement has not been telling you anything, why not?

DOMAN: I don`t know. I don`t know.

BROOKS: Have they come to you all and asked you about the relationship between Drew Peterson and Kathleen when they were married at all?

DOMAN: No, they have not. Nothing.

BROOKS: They have not -- they haven`t asked you a thing?

DOMAN: Nothing.

BROOKS: Well, as a former investigator, I can tell you, I would be asking you all about the relationship and trying to find out more into that, but thank you for joining us.

DOMAN: Thank you, Mike.

BROOKS: When we come back, CNN anchor and bestselling author Lou Dobbs joins us live. His new book "Independence Day" takes a look at the critical issues of the upcoming 2008 election and Lou Dobbs is taking your calls.

And tonight, head to Nancy`s baby blog for the latest on her twin babies, Lucy Elizabeth and John David. Photos, video, and even messages from Nancy. It is all at


BROOKS: Authorities exhume the body of Drew Peterson`s third wife. What will the autopsy reveal and where is his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanishing in the Chicago suburb? More when we come back and we`re taking your calls live at 1-877-NANCY01.



LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": These jackasses have now tried to supplant that with free market or free trade.

And good job New York Times, Good lord, it`s enough to make your stomach turn over.

This secretary of the treasury is a frightening, frightening man.

Let me say something to the Mattel CEO. If your division, Fisher Price, wants to argue over lead content with Consumers Union and other consumer activist groups, you`re a fool, sir. Because this is about the safety of our children.

And this idiot -- and I have to apologize, Professor, but I think you`re a complete idiot.

The man is a fraud. This administration is a fraud.

Well, let me give the governor a description that he might consider for himself. How about spoiled, rich kid brat who is treating New York residents as if he thinks they`re his rich father`s tenants instead of citizens? I wonder what the governor would think of that. And the governor, by the way, I want to repeat here, Bill, we have invited Governor Spitzer to come on this broadcast and discuss and debate this issue. The man doesn`t have the backbone.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks in for Nancy Grace. CNN anchor and bestselling author Lou Dobbs joins us live with his new book "Independence Day." While tackling border security, education, and national security issues, Dobbs also focuses on the challenges and critical issues of the upcoming 2008 election, most notably a two-party system Dobbs believes is no longer working to represent the American people. Joining us is Lou Dobbs, he is host of CNN`s "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT," one of the highest-rated shows on CNN. And right now he`s out in Seattle on his "Independence Day" book tour.

BROOKS: Lou, thanks for being with us.

DOBBS: Great to be with you, Mike. Great to see you.

BROOKS: Good to see you. Well, this is your fourth book. First one "War on the Middle Class," "Exporting America," "Space: The Next Business Frontier," and now "Independence Day." Why this book and why this book right now?

DOBBS: Well, obviously for 2008 we have got some critical choices to make. The country is a critical juncture. And, as you know, Mike, I think and the large number of Americans believe that the Republican and Democratic parties have become simply opposite wings of the same bird. And it`s the American people getting the bird. It`s time to push back against them.

It`s time for Americans to take back their country because, right now, we`re being treated as nothing more than chattel. We`re not considered citizens by these two political parties, our elected officials. We`re considered units of labor, we`re considered consumers, but never citizens.

And they, and corporate America that dominates the political system, they look at this, not as a nation, but as a marketplace, an economy. And it`s time to say enough is enough.

BROOKS: Now, you say that 2008 election is one of the most important elections anywhere. Why do you say that? What makes you feel that way?

DOBBS: Well, the reason is we reported last week that our national debt has risen to $9 trillion. Our trade debt has risen to $6 trillion and rising faster. We`re at war in Iraq, a war that has now lasted longer than World War II. And, yet, we have not had a nationally articulated vision of success and never should we mention the word victory.

Our general staff has failed our brilliant young men and women in uniform. They haven`t been held accountable by civilian leadership whether they be Donald Rumsfeld or the commander-in-chief, George Bush. And he hasn`t been held accountable for the failure to succeed in Iraq.

Public schools, which is -- our public schools are the great equalizer in this society of ours. And public schools are failing an entire generation of Americans, Mike. We`ve got, we`ve got it take back this government. We`ve got to take back government at every level. And we`ve got to succeed and prevail for the good of our children and the next generation of Americans.

BROOKS: Lou, I have to agree with you on the public schools failing. But first, let`s going out to the phones. We have got a caller. We`ve got Linda from South Dakota. Linda, do you have a question for Lou?

CALLER: Yes, I do. As far as I know right now, seven states have given illegal aliens driver`s licenses. How do we know that they have not or will not vote in our elections?

DOBBS: That`s a very good question and it is precisely the issue. In point of fact, we don`t know. And that is one of the great concerns we have associated with the idea of giving driver`s licenses. It`s one of the reasons that there are great objections from government officials -- federal government officials.

The idea that we would permit anyone in this country to perpetrate massive voter fraud, and we`re talking about in the state of New York somewhere between half a million and a million potential voter fraud cases, it`s ridiculous because you`re on the honor system.

In our reporting we found out through our investigation, New York State doesn`t even go back to check to see who is properly registered to vote and whether or not, indeed, they are citizens when they check off a simple box. It`s an honor system.

We`re putting on an honor system a group of people who have violated our borders, who have crossed the borders illegally, who have already, in nearly every case, committed document fraud, and in many cases are actually committing identity theft in order to be in this country.

BROOKS: Lou, you know, I come from a law enforcement background and I`ve been on your show many times and we have talked about a lot of issues dealing with national security.

DOBBS: Sure.

BROOKS: You know, right now I think the Border Patrol, probably one of the best trained, most under-paid police forces in this country. You know, they`re there to protect the borders. We talk about our southern border, but what about our northern border? We see terrorists coming through Canada all the time.

DOBBS: Right. And we know that there are overstays of visas in the September 11th terrorists. Every aspect of our immigration system is broken. And the fact of the matter is when I talk about border and port security, I am talking about both borders, I`m talking about all of our ports.

We are still, Mike, as you know -- more than six years after September 11th this idiotic administration still is permitting 95 percent of the cargo to come into this country un-inspected.

BROOKS: Well, Lou, you know, I go down to the federal law enforcement training center. They have a brand-new facility down there to deal just with Customs. But you know what, when it comes to terrorism, I`ve said before and I say again, it`s not a matter of if, it`s a matter of when.

DOBBS: Unfortunately, you`re right.


BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks in for Nancy Grace. Joining us live from Seattle on his "Independence Day" book tour, best-selling author and CNN host, Lou Dobbs.

Lou, thanks again for being with us.

DOBBS: Well, it is great see you, Mike, always.

BROOKS: You cited in your book that the USA, with less than 5 percent of the population, consumes two-thirds of the world`s illegal drugs. How come we haven`t heard anything about this?

DOBBS: Well, it`s inconvenient to authorities who want to put commerce ahead of national security and public safety and the welfare of the American people. We talk about the fact that borders aren`t secured more than six years after September 11th.

And the southern border, in that instance, Mike, many people don`t realize that the principal source for methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin and marijuana, for all four drugs, the major source is the state of Mexico, crossing that southern border in nearly every instance.

And that is one of the reason why there is a great vested interest in this country and in Mexico to keep that border open and not to support our Border Patrol and not to support border security. It`s that straightforward.

BROOKS: Let`s go out to the phone again, you have some more callers. Susie from North Dakota, thanks for joining us. You have a question.

CALLER: I sure do. Hi, Lou.


CALLER: My question for you is, I am a 25-year-old young woman. I work my butt off. I`ve been wondering if there is anywhere in this country I can get a job that can pay the bills short of moving to China and basically if there is any candidate who cares?

DOBBS: I think there are a couple of candidates who may care, but the reality is, you`re right. Wages have been stagnant in this country and we`ve got to take the country back so young people like you can make a life and a living that we can all be proud of.

BROOKS: Well, Lou, thanks for being with us. I wish we had more time because I wanted to ask you if you had any political aspirations but I`m sure we`ll hear if you do.

DOBBS: Mike, thank you very much.

BROOKS: Thank you, Lou.

Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Specialist Matthew Emerson, just 20 years old from Grandview, Washington, killed in Iraq. He liked football, fishing, golf, soccer and video games with a strong work ethic, a big heart and a loyal friend, he loved family, God, country and the 49ers. He leaves behind grieving parents L.J, Ginger, brother Joe and sister Christine. Matthew Emerson, an American hero.

Thank you to all our guests, and for you for being at home with us tonight, go to Nancy`s baby blog,, until then, thank you for joining us. See you tomorrow 8:00 p.m. sharp. Until then, stay safe.