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Hostage Stand-Off Ends Peacefully at Clinton NH Campaign Office/Stacy Peterson Said to Have Consulted Clergyman on Fear of Husband
Aired November 30, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, GUEST HOST: Breaking news tonight. A hostage crisis and stand-off at the New Hampshire campaign office of presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton. A man claiming to have a bomb strapped to his chest takes hostages and demands to speak with Clinton, the stand- off lasting hours as law enforcement agencies and the Secret Service go on high alert.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This entire area now has been cordoned off by police. You have state troopers, highway patrol, fire department personnel, bomb squads, as well. A man walked into Hillary -- Senator Clinton`s office at approximately 1:00 PM, opened up his coat and showed what seemed to be some sort of bomb-like device. Whether it`s real or not, we have no idea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was in the business next door, just working like any other normal day, not really paying attention to the outside, doing my job. And my husband called me and asked me what I was doing, so I told him I was working. And he told me that I needed to leave the building immediately, something about a bomb. So I immediately grabbed my jacket and ran out the door. When I got out the door, I seen that there was cops down the street. Both ends of the road were blocked off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight: Where is young mom of two Stacy Peterson, who vanished in the Chicago suburbs? Tantalizing new clues flooding in tonight. Her husband, a former police sergeant, named a suspect. The search for some kind of plastic container after reports that a male relative believes he unwittingly helped Drew Peterson dispose of Stacy`s body all on the very day she goes missing.
And tonight more reports emerge that before she disappeared, Stacy Peterson reached out to a clergyman and made a frantic all to a family member, saying she was in fear of her husband. These reports say Stacy Peterson was apparently so scared and concerned about her kids` safety that she wanted to flee from the Chicago suburbs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are some more shocking revelations this morning in the case of missing Illinois mom Stacy Peterson. There is a new report in "The Chicago Sun-Times" today that she told a clergy member that her husband confessed to killing his third wife and made it look like an accident. Now, a pastor is also coming forward saying that she requested a meeting because Drew Peterson was making her afraid. This was back in August, three months before she vanished. The church said that the pastor made a, quote, "judgment call" in not alerting police.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. First tonight, breaking news, a hostage crisis at the New Hampshire campaign office of presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looking at live images of who we believe is Leeland Eisenberg, wearing a tie, a white shirt and slacks. He`s laying now prostate on the ground. Police have surrounded him. He came out seconds ago with his arms fully extended.
Again, we believe because of reports from Foster`s (ph) "Daily Democrat" (ph) that you are looking at the arrest of Leeland Eisenberg, whom we believe to be the man behind this stand-off that has gone for some five hours and 30 minutes at this point now, police taking him into custody on the pavement of North Main Street in downtown Rochester, right outside of the campaign offices of Hillary Clinton, where he reportedly has held four young people, four young volunteers from the Hillary Clinton campaign, hostage with allegations that he had a bomb and with claims reportedly that he wanted to talk directly to Senator Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: For the very latest, let`s go straight out to CNN correspondent Mary Snow. Mary, what`s the very latest?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jane, Leeland Eisenberg is in police custody tonight. And police are saying that this incident began shortly before 1:00 o`clock this afternoon, that when Eisenberg entered the campaign headquarters of Hillary Clinton, that there were four adults and a baby in that office. A mother and her baby were allowed to leave immediately and called police.
Now, law enforcement is saying that Eisenberg demanded to talk with Senator Clinton, although they would not elaborate what he wanted to talk to her about. But they say that she not brought into the negotiations.
Law enforcement officials did negotiate with Eisenberg over the next several hours, and the three hostages were able to be released over the course of several hours. Overall, it was more than five hours that this standoff took place. In terms of Senator Clinton, law enforcement said that she was in touch with them throughout the entire situation.
Eisenberg is 46 years old. Officials say he was known to police, although they did not elaborate. We did have one state official tell us that he was apparently upset with the mental health care situation in the United States. That explosive that he said that he had on his body, officials say it was really duct tape with road flares that were -- that were on his body -- Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, certainly good news that it all ended peacefully. Mike Brooks, former D.C. police officer who served on the FBI terrorism task force, this appears to be a very troubled man. And apparently, he had a court date set for about 1:00 o`clock, around the time that this incident began. What can you tell us about his troubles?
MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, apparently, he might have been suffering from some kind of, you know, altered mental status at the time. You know, we don`t know exactly what led up to this.
The negotiators there did a good job, did a fantastic job. A New Hampshire State Police negotiator, a 19-year veteran, she is the one who actually talked with him most of the time. And as a negotiator for over 22 years myself, Jane, I can tell you, hats off to everyone. They`re going to go ahead and he will be evaluated. They`ll decide exactly what charges will be brought against him. He most likely will appear in court sometime tomorrow.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go to Dominik Misino, former New York Police Department hostage negotiator. From what we`re learning just coming in, this was an extremely, extremely troubled man who was arrested and came out with the thing wrapped around his belt and eventually went onto the ground. He was going through a divorce, reportedly. He had alcohol troubles. He was supposed to have a court date regarding a domestic violence situation. According to neighbors in his community, a mobile home community, he had an explosive temper. And one neighbor told us he used to see Eisenberg make daily trips to the store for alcohol.
Dominik, is this the classic profile of somebody who does something like this?
DOMINIK MISINO, FORMER NYPD HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: Well, yes. It`s somebody who`s screaming for attention. He saw this as a way to get national attention. He did what he did. He walked in, he took people hostage. He knew he was going to get his immediate coverage. He`s screaming for attention.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Mary Snow, CNN correspondent, all this, starting at the beginning of the primary season -- how do you think this is going to impact the presidential candidates during the primaries? A lot more security, I would probably imagine.
SNOW: Yes, and you know, Jane, these offices are an open door because they want people to come in, and it`s always fresh faces coming in. So certainly, today, we saw other campaign offices in New Hampshire already taking precautions out of abundance of caution.
But you know, in terms of the candidates themselves, particularly in a state like New Hampshire, where the primary is just a little bit more than a month away, the whole thing for these candidates is to be able to shake hands with the public. So this is going to be something that`s going to be on their minds.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And very briefly, Hillary Clinton issued a statement. What were the headlines?
SNOW: Well, Senator Clinton said she`s going to New Hampshire to thank law enforcement and her staff. She said her staff was very courageous. Again, she was not brought into the negotiations today.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you for that, Mary Snow. And once again, we are so happy that that situation ended peacefully, nobody hurt. Kudos to law enforcement. They did a fabulous job.
And now to the case of that missing young mom of two, Stacy Peterson, vanishing in the Chicago suburbs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unnamed police sources have told the major Chicago papers that a relative of Drew Peterson helped him take some sort of container out of Drew Peterson`s home on October 28, the last day that Stacy was seen. Now, the stories go that the container was taken from the second floor of the home and then taken into Drew Peterson`s sport utility vehicle. And later, it`s reported that the relative is said to have uttered words to the effect that, I think I helped Drew dispose of Stacy. Next day, October 29, he then attempts to commit suicide, according to unnamed police sources, and then he goes into a local hospital. And Drew Peterson is said to have visited him there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More mind-boggling twists and turns in the Stacy Peterson case. Religion and money have now entered the picture, believe it or not. Published reports claim a relative of Drew Peterson was paid -- that`s right, paid -- by Drew in return for moving a container. The relative realized it was warm to the touch. That relative allegedly became panicked as he came to the realization, Oh, my gosh, he may have helped move Stacy`s body. He went to a friend, who is now talking to "The Chicago Tribune." And the local clergy claims Stacy`s scared and frantic, worried that her husband might hurt her. But the church official she spoke to reportedly did nothing and told no one.
Let`s go straight out to CNN correspondent Keith Oppenheim, who is in Chicago. Keith, what is the very latest?
KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the noose (ph) is really focused on a guy by the name of Walter Martinek. And Martinek is a neighbor and friend of this relative of Drew Peterson`s that I was talking about in the segment that you just showed. And what Walter Martinek has essentially said, Jane, is that he`s supporting the story of this relative, of having taken this container out of Drew Peterson`s home, and all the other descriptions that followed. So he`s giving that story some credibility.
He also has been quoted by "The Chicago Tribune" as having said that he was paid by Drew Peterson for doing all this or taking this container out and that he became very distraught after that and tried to get rid of the money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, a police source is saying to one of the Chicago papers that authorities -- and this is all something we can`t confirm -- are really hesitant about bringing this individual, the relative who claims, supposedly, that he helped Drew Peterson move the body, to a grand jury because he has a history of mental instability and a history of blackouts and it won`t help the prosecutors in the grand jury.
So I want to bring in the lawyers, Dan Horowitz, San Francisco defense attorney, Sarena Straus, former prosecutor and author of "Bronx DA," and Susan Moss, family law attorney. Do you think they`re making a mistake, or should they bring this relative who tried to commit suicide after realizing that he allegedly, according to published reports, tried to move the body?
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, just when you`re ready to throw in the towel, here comes rumors about a body in a barrel. This case just gets better and better. Eventually, they are going to have to bring this relative in. He`s going to have to come forward. And it`s going to be a real nail biter for all the prosecutors because this guy does have a history of substance and alcohol abuse, does have a history of blackouts. He certainly allegedly attempted to commit suicide only a day after this incident. And he has some credibility, real credibility problems.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I have to say that Drew Peterson`s attorney is dismissing all this, calling it the rumor mill and saying this guy has a history of psychological problems. But a source told another Chicago paper that they believe the reason Drew Peterson picked this guy, Dan Horowitz, is precisely because he has this history and would never be believed.
DAN HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jane, it makes no sense. You know, I went to my gym before I came here for the show. And I got a barbell with 120 pounds of weight on it, and I could maneuver it around. And if it was in a box of some type, you can drag it on a piece of cardboard and you can tilt it. You don`t need to involve anybody in moving a body. And Peterson, if he killed her, knows that for a fact. It`s just a ridiculous story. If he killed her -- and I don`t think there`s evidence of it -- he did not have anybody help him hide that body.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know...
HOROWITZ: You know better.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... we had a doctor on this show yesterday who said that when a body goes into rigor mortis, it actually becomes very heavy and difficult to move. Susan Moss, I have a feeling...
HOROWITZ: No, Jane...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... you want to shoot back on that one.
MOSS: Well, absolutely...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, because -- listen, that`s crazy. Can I just say this? I lifted a barbell. It doesn`t gain weight -- 120 pounds doesn`t become 150 pounds because somebody`s dead. Weight is weight. There`s no such thing as dead weight. You can move it.
SARENA STRAUS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: It`s not that easy to pick up a body from the upstairs of a home, carry it down the stairs, get it into your truck without some kind of assistance. And I think regardless of what this guy`s history is, the prosecution`s going to bring him in. He may not help. He certainly can`t hurt. And he very well might be helpful because there`s also a history that he`s been under treatment and under medication the last few years and has been very stable, has a good reputation in his neighborhood, and may be a very credible witness.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I want to go back to Keith Oppenheim, CNN correspondent. Bring us up to date on the whole cell phone issue because that kind of dovetails with all this, the idea that this man claims that Drew Peterson used him to try to sort of stage a cell phone call from Stacy Peterson on the night she disappeared.
OPPENHEIM: Exactly. As the story goes, according to unnamed police sources again, is that on October 28, the last day that Stacy was seen, the day that this container is taken out of the Peterson home, that two men then after -- during the evening, go to a coffee shop and, that the relative of Drew Peterson is given a cell phone by Drew Peterson and is told not to answer it, and then gets a call later with Stacy Peterson`s ID on the cell phone.
Now, I spoke to Joel Brodsky, who`s the attorney for Drew Peterson, and his claim is that this cell phone call, as opposed to not being answered and just marking the phone, lasted for four minutes. So it was really the attorney`s description that this was a conversation between Drew and his wife Stacy, as opposed to just a call that was not answered.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Ron Schindel, former New York Police Department deputy inspector, the question arises, if you`re trying to make it look like Stacy`s alive on the night she disappears and you tell this guy, Hold the phone, don`t answer it, and then you call it and Stacy`s ID comes up -- does that really make any sense? Why not just take the phone and put it in a parking lot somewhere and call it and have nobody know about it? It doesn`t seem to add up.
RON SCHINDEL, FORMER NYPD DEPUTY INSPECTOR: Well, what the theory is, is that he was exactly trying to mark the phone. And he was saying that the phone was used at that time and that, possibly, that could lead to some alibi or support his alibi for that particular time. It doesn`t really make sense that he would have given the phone to this person, after all the other things that he`s done. It doesn`t seem to make sense at all. Marking the phone, yes, but giving it to this person, no. It doesn`t make any sense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, but crimes don`t make sense, and the perfect criminal is probably the one who doesn`t commit the crime in the first place. We have more on the Peterson case in just a moment.
To tonight`s "Case Alert." A young dad behind bars, accused of leaving his four small children in a freezing car while he enjoys himself at a Tulsa strip club. Police say Cardrico Nash was inside the Tabu topless cabaret for at least an hour while his -- get this -- 3-month-old baby and his 4, 6 and 7-year-olds were all asleep in the car. A witness sees the young kids in the car at 1:00 AM. The temperature`s dropping into he 30s. Nash, who has previous felony convictions, now facing child endangerment charges. All four kids, we`re happy to say, now in the care of protective services.
And also tonight, for all the latest messages from Nancy about those twins, head over to Nancy`s baby blog. It`s all at CNN.com/nancygrace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was confirmed to us that Drew Peterson called in sick on October 28, on the day that Stacy was last seen. And I asked the Bolingbrook Police Department spokesperson whether he thought that all the media pressure outside the Peterson home was a good thing, and he said, yes, that he did. And I said, did he think that Drew Peterson was a suspect, he said, Absolutely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. We are talking about the mystery of what happened to Stacy Peterson. Elizabeth, let`s go to this video that police sources are now telling a Chicago paper is what they call "peacocking" or strutting, strutting like a peacock to indicate that he feels he has gotten away with it all. That`s how this source described Drew Peterson`s behavior when he was lent a camera by the news media and sort of very jauntily went out into his yard and began videotaping in an almost giddy fashion.
We have Steve Carcerano from Bolingbrook, Illinois, who is a friend of Drew Peterson`s, on the phone. What`s your analysis of this video, which you may have seen? He`s very happy and jaunty, almost giddy. Given the tragic circumstances, is that appropriate?
STEVE CARCERANO, FRIEND OF DREW PETERSON`S: You know, I can`t say if it`s -- you know, obviously, the public doesn`t think it`s appropriate. It`s -- that`s the way Drew is. That`s the way Drew always has been. He`s kind of a jokester. Considering the circumstances, this guy has the whole world looking at him as he`s this -- you know, everybody has him convicted already. That`s not the Drew that I know. Drew is a very nice -- very nice guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, you raise an important point. He hasn`t been charged with anything, although he is considered a suspect, and in a court of law, of course, he deserves the presumption of innocence.
Very quickly, Leslie Austin, psychotherapist and body language expert, weigh in.
LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, it is a little bizarre, with all the media attention, that he would do this. It looks defiant. It appears like he`s just saying, You can`t touch me, I can do anything I want. And he`s very jaunty. It is bizarre with his wife missing. Perception is everything, and he`s giving a very bad impression of a very cocky guy, whether he did something or not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Janet in Canada, your question quickly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Is there a possibility that he picked this relative to assist him specifically because of the relative`s mental illness and that would discredit the relative, knowing enough about the legal system knowing that the guy`s just going to be passed off as a crazy person?
AUSTIN: Unquestionably, especially if you`re a police officer, you know how the mental health system works and the police work, absolutely, you`d pick somebody who could be immediately targeted as unreliable or unstable or has a background. Absolutely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this has happened in a lot of cases. Remember the Robert Blake case, when there were the so-called stunt men who said that Robert Blake had tried to hire them? They had so many problems that the jury didn`t believe their stories and really just discounted what they had to say, even though their testimony was shocking, absolutely shocking!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigation may be shifting towards the Lockport (ph) area. "The Sun-Times" says police and the FBI are now focusing on the Calsag (ph) canal near the Will County town of Lockport. Suspicious cell phone calls, among other things, are said to be the primary reason investigators believe the body of Stacy Peterson may be somewhere here under the murky waters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, in tonight for Nancy Grace. We are trying to connect the dots between the mysterious disappearance of Drew Peterson`s wife number four, Stacy Peterson, and the mysterious death of wife number three, Kathleen Savio, in a bathtub, where she appeared to have drowned, at first glance.
Steve Carcerano, you are a friend of Drew Peterson`s. You found Kathleen Savio`s body. Tell us about that day.
CARCERANO: That night I, was coming home from work. It was about 9:00, 9:30, and I was coming down the street. And Drew was accosting (ph) me on the street. He actually stopped me and said, I need you to go to the house in the next 10 to 15 minutes. I have a locksmith coming over there. Mary, her friend, he contacted to go over there.
He said he he`d been trying to drop off the kids for the past day-and- a-half and she hasn`t been responding. So I pulled up in the driveway, and I went nest door to get Mary, and then we proceeded over to the house. And the locksmith and Drew were there.
The locksmith opened up the door. Mary and I went up the stairs. Drew stayed downstairs by the door. And Mary`s husband and son went into the (INAUDIBLE) to see if the car was there. We went up the stairs and went into the bedroom. Mary veered off to the right and went to the bed because the covers were kind of puffed up, ruffled over, and I went into the closet ...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Get us to the body.
CARCERANO: And then I went into the bathroom, and that`s when I noticed a balloon-type object in the tub.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to an associated press report, officers responded to Drew Peterson`s home 18 times on domestic disturbance calls while he was married to his third wife Kathleen Savio but he was never arrested. A department inquiry apparently found no indication that officers did anything wrong or violated procedure.
Savio was found dead in 2004 under mysterious circumstances. But since Stacy Peterson`s disappearance investigators have reexamined Savio`s death and exhumed her body and say they now believe it was a homicide made to look like an accident.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in tonight for Nancy Grace. We`re talking about the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and trying to see if there`s a linkage to the death of wife number three, Kathleen Savio. We are very happy to have with us tonight Nick Savio from Chicago, who`s Kathleen Savio, the dead woman`s brother.
Thank you, sir, for joining us. I know this must be a lot of emotional turmoil for you now that this issue is back in the news. You were just hearing from Drew Peterson`s friend Steve Carcerano about how he discovered your sister`s body in the bathtub. That was back in 2004. It was initial ruled an accident. The body has been exhumed. New autopsies. A famous forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, has concluded it was murder. Why do you think that the police the first time around didn`t come to the same conclusion?
NICK SAVIO, BROTHER OF KATHLEEN SAVIO: I want to say, maybe because he`s a cop. Maybe they kind of covered up for him. I know he`s got a lot of friends in the department, just to make our family go through all this again is really rough. We just wish it could have been done right the first time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are reports that Kathleen Savio had expressed to the family that she was afraid while she was still say alive that her husband Drew Peterson might kill her and make it look like an accident. Did you hear that personally?
What do you know about that?
SAVIO: I heard that from my sister Suzy Goman (ph). She was really close to Katie. He has told this to my sister, the second wife and the fourth wife. There`s just too many coincidences.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let me go back to Steve Carcerano, friend of Drew Peterson`s. Why doesn`t he take a lie detector test? Apparently his attorney has said he wasn`t asked to take one, but now there is a challenge from Peterson family spokeswoman Pam Bosco urging him to take a lie detector test.
CARCERANO: I can`t answer that question. That`s up to Joel Brodsky and the counsel that`s behind him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why so faithful to Drew Peterson in light of this new autopsy report by Dr. Michael Baden after the body was exhumed of Kathleen Savio that says, hey, it was murder.
CARCERANO: Not to take anything away from Dr. Baden, obviously he`s probably the top forensic pathologist in this country, but he had that decision going in after reading the first autopsy report. If we listen to what Joel Brodsky said that night. He talked to Cyril Wecht who read that same autopsy report from the first one and said he would have called it an accidental drowning. So .
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And right. 2 We have so many callers, we`re going to get to them in one moment. But just to follow the thread of this thought, let`s go to Howard Oliver, Los Angeles former deputy medical examiner and forensic pathologist, doctor, you looked at the first autopsy, the one they originally decided was an accident. What did you see?
HOWARD OLIVER, FORMER DEPUTY M.E. FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, from what I saw of the autopsy report, I would probably rule it as an accident also.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? Why? Why?
OLIVER: There was no objective evidence to the contrary. Dr. Baden, as you know is an eminent pathologist, so I would imagine that his second autopsy might have brought about some facts that we weren`t aware of with the written autopsy the first time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, you`re saying that there was no evidence in your opinion, after looking at the initial autopsy from 2004, that this was anything but an accident, given the fact that this is a healthy woman and, you know, healthy people don`t just mysteriously drown in their bathtub for no reason.
OLIVER: That`s true, but she also had an injury to her head. If something incapacitates you, for instance drugs or if you were unconscious .
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or a hammer. You just said it, an injury to her head.
OLIVER: If she had fallen and hit her head prior to falling into the bathtub, she would have drowned if she was unconscious. An adult would have to be unconscious to drown in the bathtub.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have actually slipped in the bathtub a couple of times, I have never gotten a gash in my head and passed out and drowned. I mean, I want to go to Anthony Laatz, who is a family friend of the Stacy Peterson family. What is your reaction to all of this? Because for some people, it would be very obvious that there`s a lot of evidence here, but he has his defenders and he has not been charged with anything. Hello? Anthony?
ANTHONY LAATZ, FRIEND OF STACY PETERSON FAMILY: Are you talking about the Savio case?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`m kind of talking about both of them. They`re kind of blended together a little bit. But, yeah, let`s start with the Savio case.
LAATZ: I don`t have a personal reaction to that one since I wasn`t a friend of the at the time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, then let`s go to the Peterson case. What`s your reaction to all this? You were a friend of Stacy Peterson`s family?
LAATZ: Yes. What question are you wanting me to answer?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m trying to get a sense of, we hear a vociferous defense of Dree Peterson from his buddy, Steve Carcerano. And you`re the buddy of the Stacy Peterson family so we are wondering how if you`ve been listening in, your reaction to this defense basically saying this guy`s being crucified in the media, that he`s innocent, that he`s a nice guy, that he did nothing wrong, even though his fourth wife has disappeared and his third wife mysteriously died in a bathtub.
LAATZ: They`re defending him because they`re his friend.
He`s putting himself in front of the media, using the media as his playground and that`s why he`s getting so much criticism.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is a very good point, we have been discussing that. Let`s go to the phone lines, so many people are obsessed with this case and weighing in. Berta from South Carolina, what`s your question?
CALLER: Good evening, Jane. Since Mr. Peterson was on the police force for 29 years and his behavior in the last four weeks, do they get evaluated every so often? Do they have a .
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, I think you`re asking do police officers get evaluated? I think we should go to Ron Schindel, former New York Police Department deputy inspector, he was on the force for 29 years. Do they have periodic psychological evaluations?
RON SCHINDEL, FORMER NYPD DEPUTY INSPECTOR: No, Jane, they don`t. They do a preliminary psychological investigation when people enter the force and then some departments do throughout, but I don`t know exactly what`s going on out at Bolingbrook.
But there are so many twists and turns in this case that I would think that somewhere along the line there should have been some psychological evaluation of Sergeant Peterson there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Leslie Austin, psychotherapist. You certainly agree. But I also want to ask you about your point regarding the cell phone, because we talked about why would he leave the cell phone with a friend to establish an alibi. What is your theory?
LESLIE AUSTIN, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: One theory is cell phones could be tracked with GPS technology. The cell phone companies can do that in criminal cases. If you want to make it look real and you`re a policeman, give it to somebody who may move around with it. That way both parties on the phone are moving, it looks like a real phone call. It`s just more realistic.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go to Roy Taylor. He is the search coordinator operating out of Bolingbrook, Illinois. Apparently tomorrow morning, Roy, is a big day, you are going to be meeting at 9:00 in the morning for a search that involves not one, but two missing women in the area. Tell us about that.
ROY TAYLOR, COORDINATOR FOR STAY PETERSON SEARCH: Well, as you know, we`re trying to get out and get these last searches done before the weather breaks because, here in Chicago, our winters come real early. So we`re just trying to do the best we can to get out there and cover these last few area before we feel that we`re not going to be able to be out there on foot.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But apparently there`s two women, there`s Stacy Peterson who is missing, and there is also this other mom from a nearby town, Lisa Stevic. And it`s an eerily similar case.
Perhaps we can go to Keith Oppenheim to tell us about the eerie similarities between these two cases?
KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s really true, Jane. Lisa Stevic was last seen seven months ago and in the case of Stacy, she was last seen one month ago. But there`s a lot of things that were much closer, they`re both married with two children, their husbands are both being under investigation, Lisa`s husband Craig is being called a person of interest in that missing person`s case while in the case of Stacy Peterson, her husband is being called a suspect.
There are, as I understand, only two detectives still working on the Lisa Stevic case, but there are 64 detectives now from the Illinois State Police who are working hot on the trail of the Stacy Peterson case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I guess the areas, geographically are so overlapping that it makes sense for searchers to go out and search for both missing women. And what is it about women and violence perpetrated against them?
There is a crisis in this country and we have to look at it. To tonight`s case alert. Four people in custody in the shooting death of NFL superstar Sean Taylor, the Washington Redskins safety gunned on early Monday during a home invasion in Miami. The four individuals are all from the Ft. Myers area and they have been inside Taylor`s home at some point in the ha past. Taylor, his girlfriend and their baby girl were asleep when intruders forced their way into the home and opened fire on Taylor. A funeral service is set for Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DREW PETERSON, MURDER SUSPECT: I`m glad the FBI is involved, because they can expand the horizons of the investigation and not just focus on this area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think should be done?
PETERSON: What should be done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
PETERSON: The media shouldn`t be on my property. You`re on my property. You`re trespassing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A relative of yours is saying he helped carry a container out of the home on October 28.
PETERSON: I have no idea what anybody is talking about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warm to the touch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He says he believes that he helped your dispose of your wife`s body. Can you at least respond to that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not at all?
PETERSON: No response. Talk to my lawyer. I`ve got nothing to say about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No truth to it whatsoever?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell in for Nancy Grace trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Stacy Peterson. Let`s bring in all of the lawyers. Susan Moss, Dan Horowitz, Serena Straus who analyzed this one, the "Joliet Herald News" reporting Stacy Peterson spoke to a clergyman two months before she disappeared and told this unidentified man of the cloth that she feared bodily harm from her husband.
And according to these reports which we cannot independently confirm, this clergyman made a judgment call on his own to not say anything about it and not consult with members of his church about what to do. So he did nothing.
Did he fail morally? In other words does she have moral obligation to protect secrets or prevent crimes? Let`s start with you Dan Horowitz.
DAN HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: His obligation to protect secrets is greater than any other obligation. There has to be some place that`s sacred and that`s in the confessional or at least in the religious context.
But I say that legally, his decision not to go forward because I guess he believed he had that choice supports the defense. He judged this woman who he knew very, very well, he judged that she really was not in such great danger that he would break the privacy to protect her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But she`s missing, he was wrong.
HOROWITZ: No, she left, maybe, maybe she left. That`s ridiculous. Look, you`re judging that she`s dead. Maybe she left because she thought she was in danger or didn`t like him. We don`t know.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think she`s in the Caribbean right now with $25,000 and a bikini? Susan Moss, take it away.
HOROWITZ: You want to convict him now on the air?
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Absolutely not. Absolutely not and it also reported that she told him that Drew might have made some confessions about his third wife. And that makes a lot of sense. Remember that autopsy showed that she had seven independent bruises. So what happened was, allegedly, this woman went in the tub, hit herself around seven different times including a huge gash and then was somehow able to pull the plug, because as we all know she died with wet hair in a bathtub with no water. This makes no sense.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. What about motive? Is the possibility as you said, Susan, the papers are saying that she told the clergyman, a clergyman and two other friends that her husband had revealed to her that he had killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio, would that be a motive to get rid of her since she knew the truth?
MOSS: It`s not only a motive but there`s also the same modus operandi with these two women. Apparently there are accidents or somehow unexplained disappearances. One we know is a death and one I think soon we`ll find a body and also know it`s a death.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Serena, jump in.
SERENA STRAUS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: There`s also a motive in this that she had indicated to him that she was going to leave him and told her family that she was going to leave him and wanted a divorce so he had lots of motive and it`s a similar motive to the motive he had with his ex-wife.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yeah. And there was also another possible motive. This guy Scott Riseto (ph) came forward and said that she was exchanging racy e- mails with Stacy Peterson, sometimes very sexy e-mails, that they meant nothing but they eventually met at a Denny`s and that he claims Drew Peterson showed up and was extremely agitated so perhaps the most classic motive of all when it comes to crime is jealousy.
But again, Scott Peterson -- Drew Peterson, can`t make that mistake. Drew Peterson not charged with anything at this point, we have to remember that. Tonight, let`s take a look at some CNN Heroes.
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S. RAMAKRISHAN, RUNS REHABILITATION CENTER FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: We want to empower the challenged persons so that they should know the opportunities available to them.
I am S. Ramakrishan. I am helping the physically alleged persons in India. God has given me an opportunity to think about the needy people so I`m thankful to God in that way. Otherwise I might not have thought about all those things.
The home for the disabled children started with three kids. And now we have 60 children in the home. And more than 80 students have gone out after getting rehabilitation. And some of them are studying at colleges. Some of them are working in our institution. Whenever we see people with disability, we try to motivate them and we try to get them a job opportunity.
We doing or services. We are doing our duty, that`s all. All our heroes of the world.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a look back on the stories and the people making the rest of the headlines this week.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Three former suspects in the Natalee Holloway case back behind bars.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investigators found discrepancies after reanalyzing the time and locations of emails, text messages and phone calls among the three suspects the night Natalee Holloway disappeared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have enough evidence to prove it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even without a body?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even without a body.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a few weeks ago that I held up this little chute and asked who is Baby Grace.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now two-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers is dead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Riley loved Elmo and I had gotten this just couple weeks ago in anticipating Christmas and maybe seeing her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: NFL superstar Sean Taylor gunned down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Taylor and his girlfriend were in the bedroom when they heard the noises. Someone broke in, fired two shots, one of them hitting him the femoral artery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A flurry of major new developments in the case of Stacy Peterson who simply vanished into thin air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are looking for this infamous blue barrel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police are looking at surveillance video from a supermarket after Drew Peterson claims he received a letter from someone about a possible Stacy sighting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There is a letter and it is a humdinger.
Woo, somebody is not taking their medication.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it was written by Pinto, myself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Have you been letter writing, Lisa Pinto?
LISA PINTO, PROSECUTOR: I write once in a while, I have choice things to say to defense lawyers but I usually say it to their face.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a week. Tonight let`s stop to remember Army Sergeant First Class Randy Johnson. Just 34, Washington, DC, killed in Iraq on a third tour, dedicated to country and his fellow soldiers. He also served in Bosnia and Afghanistan. A math wiz, he loved karate movies and traveling around the world. He leaves behind dad Randy, nine siblings, grieving widow Claudia, and two sons, Devin and Aaron. Randy Johnson, an American hero.
We want to thank all of our guests tonight for their insight, thanks to you at home for tracking these important cases with us and remember to visit Nancy`s baby blog at cnn.com/nancygrace. We`ll see you tomorrow night at 8:00 sharp right here and until then make sure it`s a terrific and make sure it is a safe evening.