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Nancy Grace

Convicted Cop Killer to Testify to Drew Peterson Grand Jury

Aired February 19, 2008 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, the mystery surrounding a missing 23- year-old mom Stacy Peterson, vanishing from upscale Chicago suburbs, husband/cop Drew Peterson, the prime suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance. The suspicious bathtub drowning of his third wife now reopened. Tonight, new subpoenas served as a secret grand jury meets behind closed doors. Is a convicted killer somehow linked to Drew Peterson? And tonight: Is the family of wife number three set to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Peterson?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once convicted cop killer Anthony Rock has reportedly been ordered to testify in front of the grand jury investigating the death and disappearance of Drew Peterson`s last two wives. Rock met Peterson on opposite sides of the law while Peterson was undercover in a narcotics squad in the `80s. Stacy Peterson, missing since October, husband Drew Peterson convinced she`s run away with another man, but Peterson remains cops` only declared suspect.

DREW PETERSON, SUSPECT: I`m the husband, you know? I`m the husband. You always look at the husband. There`s a lot more I`d like to say to you, but I can`t. I`m a suspect, officially, but I think I was a suspect from the beginning.


GRACE: And tonight: Human remains found in an open field identified as 19-year-old coed Brianna Denison, Reno, Nevada, cause of death strangulation. Denison abducted from off-campus housing, snatched from her own sofa. Tonight, DNA bombshell. Police announce not one, not two or three, now four sex assaults linked to one single assailant.

Tonight, we learn a key piece of evidence discovered in that open field along with the body. What is it, and will it help crack the case? Did a DNA backlog at the crime lab hinder the investigation, with the manhunt in high gear? When does rape escalate to murder? Tonight, as hundreds of tips pour into the police hot line, who murdered 19-year-old coed Brianna Denison?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A new piece of stunning evidence in the Brianna Denison investigation, the 19-year-old coed abducted while sleeping on a friend`s sofa, found strangled in a brush-covered field in south Reno, Nevada. Police find a pair of female G-string underwear at the scene but reveal it`s not Brianna Denison`s, the DNA that of an unknown female. And now police want to know who it belongs to. An aggressive search for the serial rapist and killer. Tonight: Are there more victims?


GRACE: And tonight, we want justice. Three-month-old Cason Merrill (ph) lost his life -- 3 months old -- allegedly due to asphyxiation after co-sleeping in bed with Mom and Dad. Accident? I don`t know. Baby Jenessa (ph), just 24 days old, dead at the hand of the same two parents, same MO. Can you see a pattern? Why no murder one charges filed? Are we waiting for a third baby to suffocate to death?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The parents of a 3-and-a-half-month-old baby boy charged with his death while co-sleeping with him will have to stand trial. Trevor (ph) Merrill and Echo Neilson (ph) are charged with child abuse homicide and reckless endangerment for the August 2006 death of Cason Bradley Merrill. The couple say they went to bed with the baby, woke up and found him dead. But this isn`t the first time this happened. Five years ago, the couple`s baby girl also died while co-sleeping with her parents. This time around, though, prosecutors brought charges against the couple, saying they should have been aware of the dangers of co-sleeping with babies.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. First tonight, new subpoenas as a secret grand jury investigates the disappearance of a former cop`s fourth wife and the highly unusual bathtub drowning of wife number three.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anthony "Bindy" Rock, alleged to have Mob ties, has reportedly been subpoenaed in the Drew Peterson investigation. Reports say police served Rock to testify in the grand jury investigating the death of wife number three, Kathleen Savio, and the disappearance of wife number four, Stacy Peterson.

Rock met Peterson on opposite sides of the law while Peterson was undercover in a narcotics squad. Rock has a long rap sheet, including involvement in the murder of a police officer. Drew Peterson tells "The Chicago Sun-Times" he can`t understand why prosecutors want to question Rock because all Rock knows is, I tried to buy dope from him a couple of times. Peterson`s fourth wife, Stacy, still remains missing. Peterson claims his innocence but still remains the only official suspect.


GRACE: Updates in the case against prime suspect, former cop Drew Peterson. Is he linked somehow to a convicted killer? Out to Mary Frances Bragiel, reporter with WBBM Newsradio 780. Mary Frances, what`s happening?

MARY FRANCES BRAGIEL, WBBM NEWSRADIO 780: Well, basically, we`re trying to get more information on this Anthony Rock. I`ve talked to a few of my sources who know nothing about this guy. Even a spokesperson for the Chicago Crime Commission that deals with organized crime knows nothing about this guy. Now, Drew Peterson tells me that he dealt with him more than 25 years ago. He sold drugs to Drew Peterson during an undercover narcotics operation, and he was able to -- as part of that, Drew was able to get him arrested and charged and convicted. Drew believes that he`s got a book deal going, which is why the grand jury has subpoenaed him. It`s a book deal about Drew Peterson.

GRACE: OK. Let me get something straight, Mary Frances. With us, Mary Frances Bragiel, and shortly, we`ll be joined by "America`s Most Wanted" Ed Miller, also covering the case. Mary Frances, this guy, Anthony Rock, has quite a history. Now, you`re telling me that Drew Peterson put together a case that got this guy convicted on drugs. Is that the same case that was reversed on appeal?

BRAGIEL: This was -- no. Back in 1970, he was convicted of killing a Joliet detective, but that was overturned. They realized it was friendly fire. Apparently, it was another detective that killed this detective. So then back in `85 is when Drew Peterson was involved with an undercover narcotics operation. Again, he got this Anthony Rock convicted 20 years, and that was overturned on appeal. I do want to mention that...

GRACE: Whoa, wait, wait. What was overturned on appeal?

BRAGIEL: The second, 1985, conviction.

GRACE: The drug conviction?

BRAGIEL: Yes, that`s right.

GRACE: OK. Because it`s my understanding the cop killing conviction stood under the legal theory of felony murder. At that time, Anthony Rock was in the middle of robbing a liquor store, opened fire, one cop accidentally shot another cop, friendly fire. But because he was in the middle of a felony and a death occurred, that equals felony murder.


GRACE: So are you telling me that the drug conviction which Drew Peterson helped gain was reversed? That`s my original question.

BRAGIEL: Yes, that was reversed. Exactly.

GRACE: Interesting. To Ed Miller with "America`s Most Wanted." What do you know, Ed?

ED MILLER, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, first of all, let`s make it crystal clear Rock is a convicted killer.


MILLER: And he was involved in this so-called secret undercover investigation that Drew Peterson got himself into a lot of trouble -- let`s remind people about that. He was actually fired over this because he was doing this unauthorized secret investigation in which drugs were involved, et cetera, et cetera, with this reputed mobster, shall we say. So again, on appeal, Peterson gets reinstated, but there`s always been this dark cloud over his head because of that incident.

So what I believe is going on is police are leaving no stone unturned. They`re going back and looking at every single person that Peterson has some sort of involvement in. And I believe it`s because of his arrogance. In other words, he has angered police to such an extent that they are bending over backwards, looking for clues. And I think that is why they`re going after this guy Rock.

GRACE: Joining us tonight is Drew Peterson`s defense attorney, who`s a veteran trial lawyer in that jurisdiction there in Chicago. Joel Brodsky is joining us. Mr. Brodsky, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Why was your client, Drew Peterson, now the chief suspect in his wife`s believed death -- why was he in a secret investigation, a drug investigation that even his own superiors knew nothing about?

BRODSKY: Well, I know that the appellate -- two appellate court judges, in reinstating Drew to his job, found that he didn`t do anything that serious. But as a narcotics officer back in the `80s, they were kind of loose canons, so to speak. He was independent in running his investigation, they found a little bit too independent. But it did net a very serious criminal, a cop killer, selling large amounts of amphetamines. And he did put him in jail for a while until it was reversed by the appellate court.

GRACE: Why was it reversed? Why was your client`s case that he made reversed?

BRODSKY: That`s a good question. You know, I checked -- I went on line, the Lexis/Nexis case law service, to see if I could find the appellate court opinion reversing the opinion -- reversing the conviction, but it`s an unpublished opinion. So we`ll never know the reason why.

GRACE: Interesting. Now, back to my original question that I didn`t quite hear an answer to, Mr. Brodsky. That would be, why was your client conducting an extensive drug investigation as an undercover narcotics agent dealing with dopers that even his own bosses didn`t know about? Why?

BRODSKY: Well, according to Drew, that was par for the course. They were pretty much independent contractors. They could conduct their investigations as they saw fit.

GRACE: You know, after all my years as a narcotics prosecutor, I`ve never heard of that.

BRODSKY: They were very loosely manned. The metropolitan area narcotics squad was very loosely governed by the multiple jurisdictions that were covered, and the officers could almost, to some extent, start and pursue their own investigations.

GRACE: Really?


GRACE: Is that why they fired him?

BRODSKY: No. They had a report -- they found that he didn`t report enough and frequently enough, and that`s why he was suspended for a period of time without pay. But all the appellate -- two appellate court judges found that he didn`t do anything that serious enough to warrant him being fired. So it wasn`t all that serious.

GRACE: Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI, weigh in.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Nancy, he was part of a task force, similar to I was for six years with the FBI. He was what -- I guess it sounds like he was what you call freelancing. Now, even if you find someone as a result of another case you`re working on and you target this person, you know, you still let your supervisors, whoever it is -- the DEA, someone with Chicago police, whoever was running that task force, they need to know what was going on.

This was an unsanctioned undercover investigation. And there`s no room for freelancing, especially when you`re dealing with drug dealers. I mean, you know, I don`t understand -- you know, he was let go for disobedience and conducting a self-assigned investigation. That sounds like freelancing to me. Is it enough to lose your job over? Absolutely. But he didn`t. Two judges said, You can have it back.

GRACE: You brought up a really interesting theory, Mike Brooks, of a freelance undercover narcotics agent. Never heard of it.

I want to unleash the lawyers. To Ray Giudice. Ray, let`s bring it back to the current investigation. All this happened over 10 years ago.


GRACE: What does this guy, a reputed mobster, dope dealer, convicted cop killer -- what does he know that is so much about Drew Peterson, he can literally write a book?

GIUDICE: Well, I don`t think he knows much. I don`t think there`s any reason why it`s been six months before he`s been brought before the grand jury all of a sudden. He`s not going to be subjected to cross- examination by Mr. Brodsky. I think he probably is concocting some story. And I`ll bet there`s a whole lot of defendants that Mr. Peterson, when he was an officer, put in jail that would love to get a free day in front of the grand jury and some coffee and some doughnuts and come up with some kind of story.

GRACE: Yes, I know how convicted killers just love coming before a grand jury. Don`t agree with any of that. Sue Moss, what`s your opinion?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Oh, you`ve got to be kidding me! Apparently, this guy has enough to say that the prosecutors put him before the grand jury. This guy may come up with who knows, but it really might be interesting. And God willing, it`s the clue that leads to the solving of this mystery.

GRACE: Julia Morrow, how much credibility can a grand jury give a convicted cop killer, Anthony Rock?

JULIA MORROW, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Not much, Nancy. And all this is, is an attempt...

GRACE: Wait a minute!

MORROW: ... to dig up dirt...

GRACE: Julia...

MORROW: ... from every single source to sully his character.

GRACE: Hold on. Hold on.


GRACE: Who do you think he would hang out with? Who was Drew Peterson hanging out with, nuns and priests and virgins? No. He`s hanging out with somebody like Anthony Rock, that knows so much about him he can literally write a book.

MORROW: Yes, but Nancy, first of all, it was undercover. It was only in short spurts. It was 20 years ago. And people can write books out of anything, Nancy, and you know that.

GRACE: Oh, really? Have you ever heard of libel and slander?

MORROW: Yes, the book could be 50 pages, for all we know.

GRACE: You cannot -- no, freedom of speech...

MORROW: Nancy...

GRACE: As I was saying...

MORROW: ... three quarters of the book could be about his life.

GRACE: ... freedom of speech is not unfettered.

MORROW: Right. There could be three chapters...

GRACE: You cannot print...

MORROW: ... about Drew Peterson, and the whole book is about, you know, Anthony Rock`s life and how tragic it all is and how he ended up to be who he is. And you know, a small portion of that book is...

GRACE: Yes. Wrap it up.

MORROW: ... is contributed to Drew Peterson, Nancy.

GRACE: OK. Thank you, Julia.

MORROW: Thank you.

GRACE: As I was trying to say, you cannot print libel or oral slander. There are rules against that. Freedom of speech is not unfettered. For instance, you can`t run into a theater and yell "fire" when it`s not true. So don`t let`s mislead the viewers to think you can just publish anything and there are no repercussions.

MORROW: Nancy, I didn`t say that. Of course there`s repercussions, but if the book`s about him, mostly him and not Drew Peterson, that`s not libel or slander.


GRACE: Giudice, why are you shaking your head up and down...

GIUDICE: Well, Nancy...

GRACE: ... like you`ve read the book?

GIUDICE: Nancy, first of all, there is no book. There`s no protection for libel and slander in front of a grand jury. And if this guy was so important, where has he been for the last six months, hiding under the rock?


GRACE: I don`t know. But I guarantee you Drew Peterson knows.

Out to the lines. Kathy in Oklahoma. Hi, Kathy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. And I want to congratulate you on your babies. They`re absolutely beautiful.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve got a question. If, in fact, she was alive, don`t you think that she would have already contacted the authorities and said, Hey, guys, let`s cut all this off, I am alive, I`m OK, I just left, you know, like that runaway bride? I mean, this just doesn`t make sense. And he and his lawyer are so cocky that I would not put it past them both to be involved in this.

GRACE: You know, Kathy, that is an excellent question. Why wouldn`t she have called in to call off the search for her? Another issue on that same vein, Kathy in Oklahoma -- to you, Joel Brodsky -- this is Drew Peterson`s defense attorney. Mr. Brodsky, whatever happened to all of these leads that you came up with or your client discovered? He`s always discovering evidence. You claim that she`s seen here, she`s seen there, but nothing ever comes of it.

BRODSKY: We`ve not -- nothing has ever borne any fruit, that`s true. We`re still looking. Nothing new has developed lately, neither from the state police or from our private investigators. One thing about her being found or being -- or coming forward -- I`ve asked that the state`s attorney`s office come forward and tell her that there would be no repercussions at all if she came forward, that she wouldn`t be any trouble...

GRACE: You said that last time...

BRODSKY: ... and they`ve refused to do that.

GRACE: ... you were on the show because it makes absolutely no sense...

BRODSKY: Well, there is a felony...

GRACE: ... because there are no charges, no criminal charges...

BRODSKY: Yes, there is a felony...


BRODSKY: There`s a felony disorderly conduct law in Illinois that could easily be applied to this situation.

GRACE: Disorderly conduct? You know what?

BRODSKY: Felony disorderly conduct. It`s a felony, a class four felony punishable by...

GRACE: Under what theory?

BRODSKY: ... three years in the penitentiary.

GRACE: Quickly.

BRODSKY: Yes, causing a false investigation and false reports knowingly. And that`s what she would be doing if she knew an investigation was going on.

GRACE: I thought you said she just ran away with another man? How is that knowingly causing a felony-...

BRODSKY: By knowing that she`s been reported missing and not...

GRACE: You`re talking in circles.

BRODSKY: No, I`m not.


GRACE: I`m going to give you a chance to explain yourself.

But very quickly, to tonight`s "Case Alert." The 911 call in a deadly shooting rampage at upscale Lane Bryant ladies store, six women gunned down. Store manager Rhoda McFarlane (ph) makes a secret call to 911, whispering to hurry. Moments later, McFarlane and five others shot. One victim survived. Tonight, police release a revised sketch of the perp. The manhunt goes on.


911 OPERATOR: 911 emergency.


911 OPERATOR: Where at?


911 OPERATOR: Stay on the line. Stay on the line. Let me get you to Tinley Park. Don`t hang up.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anthony "Bindy"` Rock has reportedly been ordered to testify in front of the grand jury investigating Peterson`s last two wives, the grand jury meeting in secret for months, investigating what happened to Peterson`s wives. Rock met Peterson in the `80s when Peterson was undercover in a narcotics squad and Rock was on the opposite side of the law.


GRACE: Tonight`s new subpoenas being served in the case. Not only that, but is wife number three`s family gearing up for a wrongful death suit against the defendant Peterson? You`re seeing video -- the investigation is still going on.

Out to the lines. Matt in Indiana. Hi, Matt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is simply why do we believe anything from Mr. Peterson or his attorney, being his wife has been missing for this long? And as a man, I mean, I would be, like, you know, There`s got to be something wrong. My wife hasn`t shown up, and wow, something`s wrong. So his level of per se concern is really very concerning.

GRACE: Let`s go out to psychotherapist Lauren Howard. Lauren, the fact that he is calling in to radio shows, making jokes about entering the dating scene, how difficult it is for him to get a date...

LAUREN HOWARD, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: And he`s being told by counsel not to. I mean, he`s being advised to be quiet and he can`t shut up. You want to talk about hubris? You want to talk about arrogance? My sense about this guy is he`s charming, he`s a player, he`s a mover, he`s a shaker. He`s got a lot of secrets about a lot of people, and he`s been able to fly under the radar because of that. And it looks to me like what they`re going to do is try to leak out some of the dirt on him that implicates him in bad behavior.


STEVE DAHL, WJMK-FM RADIO HOST: I don`t want to -- I don`t want to, you know, compromise anybody`s, you know, situation here, so -- I do believe in innocent until proven guilty.

PETERSON: Well, thank you. I wish the rest of the world and this country did.

DAHL: Yes. Well, you have a missing wife. We can`t help ourselves.

PETERSON: I understand.



GRACE: Welcome back. New developments in the case of Drew Peterson, the chief suspect in his wife`s disappearance. To Dr. Joshua Perper, medical examiner and author, joining us from West Palm Beach, Florida. Dr. Perper, if her body is found at this juncture, what, if anything, can we decipher from it?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Well, we will be able to decide whether there are any injuries to the body, whether we can identify easier the body or we need the DNA fingerprinting. And we can find out whether she was assaulted, raped, what was the cause of death and what was the manner of death, whether she was beaten or stabbed or strangled, or whatever was the particular cause of death.

GRACE: Would there still be any soft tissue left to determine some of those things?

PERPER: Well, considering that they had a pretty difficult and very cold winter, I think that this might help considerably to preserve the soft tissue, especially if she was actually buried.

GRACE: Out to Ed Miller with "America`s Most Wanted." Ed, what do you know about the death of wife number three, the very suspicious drowning in the bathtub death, the dry bathtub, and a possible wrongful death lawsuit against Drew Peterson?

MILLER: Well, first of all, I`m a firm believer that wife number four -- and the reason that wife number four is no longer with us is that she knew something about the questionable death of wife number three. And as far as the lawsuit goes, we know the Savio family is moving toward some sort of lawsuit, some sort of wrongful death lawsuit because of their loved one dying under mysterious circumstances.

GRACE: Ed Miller joining us from "America`s Most Wanted."

Everyone, when we come back, key evidence discovered in an open field where 19-year-old coed Brianna Denison`s body disposed. What is the new evidence, and will it help crack the case? When we come back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As to the attacks, the man grabs them from behind. Using great strength, he holds them with one arm and covers their mouth and nose with the other. One victim was able to scream and scared him off. But the other victim found it impossible to breathe and passed out. She woke up in his vehicle and was sexually assaulted.

Cops now know that the attacker shaves his groin area and police believe that it`s an important clue. The victim only remembers a radio with red and blue lights, a white baby shoe on the floorboard. And when she got out of the unknown vehicle, she had to step down, indicating she was in a truck or large SUV.


GRACE: A big development tonight in the search for the killer of 19- year-old coed Brianna Denison. Let`s go out to "America`s Most Wanted" Ed Miller joining us. That was a reenactment that he engineered in this case that you just observed.

Ed Miller, what`s the news?

ED MILLER, CORRESPONDENT, AMERICA`S MOST WANTED: Well, the big news is that a pair of underwear was found with Brianna`s body, but they are not Brianna`s underwear. So we`re not certain. Is he taunting police? Is he teasing police? We know his DNA. We have the predator`s DNA. We know his DNA is on that underwear. But there is some other woman`s DNA on that underwear as well.

Now could it be another victim that we don`t know about? It could be a stripper, for god`s sake, because remember it`s Reno. It`s a stripper town as well as a college town, so we really don`t know. It is a clue and we`re asking the public`s help.

GRACE: Ed Miller, so you`re telling me another woman`s underwear.

E. MILLER: Yes, ma`am.

GRACE: .with the defendant`s DNA on the underwear was found at the same open field where the body of Brianna Denison was found?

E. MILLER: Yes, ma`am. They are black with some pink hearts on them and with a Pink Panther symbol.

GRACE: OK. Do we have any idea how close they were to the body?

E. MILLER: No, they`re not -- they`re telling us that they`re fairly close. And, again, they believe that he put them there because it`s his DNA on that underwear, on that pair of underwear.

GRACE: Did he -- I`m just wondering did he have them placed on her body? Had he staged the scene? If so, that tells me a lot about him. And I`m wondering, also, if we know that these were not Brianna Denison`s underwear, does that mean Brianna Dennison was closed at the time police found her? Ed?

E. MILLER: No. To answer your question, we believe and sources are telling us that her body was found in the field unclothed and sources are also telling us that she may have been dead right from the very beginning. That, in other words, through his strangulation or asphyxiation, which is his technique, he may have gone a little too far when he grabbed her from the couch. So he may have killed her right then and there and didn`t know it. Or he may have knocked her out and then taken her away.

But regardless of that, police believe that she has been dead for a long time, right from the very beginning.

GRACE: Out to Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI. Mike, another thing we don`t really hear about anymore, remember at the very beginning, police released that there were three blood drops the size of silver dollars on her pillow left behind. Some foul play took place right there in that home from which she was kidnapped.

MIKE BROOKS, FMR. DC POLICE DETECTIVE, SERVED ON FBI TERRORISM TASK FORCE: That`s what it sounds like, Nancy. And you would get some kind of -- get some kind of sputum with blood maybe from someone putting their hand over her head. Maybe it was him. We don`t know if it was -- we don`t know whose DNA that was on that pillow.

The another thing, too, Nancy, remember from the very beginning we heard that before she had gone to the casino, she had been at Squaw Valley at Squat 72, Summer/Winter Action Tours. Now you know, somebody -- everybody has a camera. Everybody has a little video cameras now. And the promoters -- I hope the police are going back right now, Nancy, taking a look at all the video that was shot at this to possibly link her with maybe anyone who might even fit this composite that we`re seeing. Someone who might possibly fit this description.

It`s -- they need to take a look at all those kind of things and run out all those leads to make sure that there -- she didn`t have any contact even before she got to that casino.

GRACE: Well, another issue very quickly, Mike Brooks, with underwear like these, they`re black with a Pink Panther and pink hearts on them, you could determine what manufacturer made them, where they were sold in the area. This is actually a very big clue.

BROOKS: It is, Nancy. And on a label, on every little label -- and I see there is a label on this particular pair, they usually see what you call an RM number and you can trace the RM number back to the manufacturer and then go back to the manufacturer and find out who distributed this and where they were sold.

GRACE: To Jaclyn O`Malley, crime reporter, the "Reno Gazette Journal." Jaclyn, what more can you tell us? Jaclyn, are you with me? Jaclyn O`Malley?

JACLYN O`MALLEY, CRIME REPORTER, RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL: Yes. Nancy, basically, the whole community is on a manhunt trying to find this person. Police are adamant that he probably lives here. You probably know -- somebody knows who this person is. They want you to please take a look at the significant males in your life or guys who may be acting weird and you just get a bad vibe about them.

They`re currently running down all sorts of tips, leads. The tip line has just been flooded with calls. They`ve had to have extra officers come help them to field all the calls. It`s just a big, big effort by everyone to find justice for Bri.

GRACE: Out to the line, Sheeba in Illinois. Hi, Sheeba.

SHEEBA, FROM ILLINOIS: Hi, Nancy dear. My question is, I know that a lot of rights have not been reported because of fear and embarrassment. These women that I`m sure have been raped by him that haven`t reported it, is there any way that the community can get these women to go to the law enforcement and say, he raped me?

GRACE: Ed Miller, what is the community doing to try to get other women to come forward? We already know of one.

E. MILLER: Right. And, you know, I`m so glad you asked that question because we need to stay with the evidence. We know he is linked to three cases by DNA evidence. And DNA, as you well know, does not lie. So that`s why we want to stick with the DNA cases. Other women have stepped forward with similar circumstances but not linked by DNA. And America`s dirty little secret is that there are lots of sexual predators that hang around college towns. So there could be somebody else.

GRACE: Absolutely, Ed Miller.

To Dr. Joshua Perper, medical examiner and author of "When to Call the Doctor," Dr. Perper, now that investigators have Brianna`s body, what forensic clues are they going to be able to get from her body?

DR. JOSHUA PERPER, MEDICAL EXAMINER, AUTHOR "WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTORS": Well, basically, they are going to find out whether she was raped, which most likely they`re going to be able to document it, to see how violent was the rape. As a matter of fact, the perpetrator was already identified, but they will take also samples of seminal fluids possibly from various sexual area, from the mouth, the anus and the vagina. And link it to the perpetrator, which is basically already identified by prior seminal fluids testing.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Victoria in Ohio. Hi, Victoria.

VICTORIA, FROM OHIO: Hi, Nancy. I was wondering, he came in the house and took her off the couch. Where were the other girls in the house? Were they in the same.

GRACE: The other girls -- there had apparently been quite a bit of drinking that night, Victoria. They had gone to sleep, they have shut their bedroom doors and locked them, leaving her out on a sofa in front of a glass door. That`s where they were. They said they heard nothing the whole night.

To Kathy in Michigan. Hi, Kathy.

KATHY, FROM MICHIGAN: Hi, Nancy. This is Kathy. Many more blessings to you.

GRACE: Thank you.

KATHY: But my question is, athletes commonly shave their pubic hair in areas. And given the steroid situation that`s going on in the United States, has anyone addressed that particular issue? Because a young girl might look behind her and see a man and not be afraid of him from behind if he`s young. Are they going that route?

GRACE: To Lauren Howard, what do you make of this?

LAUREN HOWARD, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: What the caller is saying is possibly true. I mean, yes, many athletes do shave themselves. It`s easy when we`re look at this story, though, to see this kind of image of a man who has control issues. We sort of imagine him to be kind of meek and disempowered and he`s wielding his power. He is taunting. He is saying find me. You know, he`s not all that comfortable with -- you know, we`re getting sort of this sense of that.

GRACE: Very quickly, I want to go to Jennifer Bushman. Jennifer, how is the family this evening?

JENNIFER BUSHMAN, BRIANNA DENISON FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: You know, I think that they`re coping remarkably well under the circumstances. Bridgette is feeling a little bit better today. And we`re hard at work actually on a beautiful celebration that will be here in Reno at the Reno Sparks Convention Center Saturday night at 7:00 that will celebrate Bri`s life.

GRACE: Jennifer, I know she had an especially close bond with her mother and had hopes of becoming a child psychologist. In particular, how is her mom doing this evening?

BUSHMAN: Like I said, it`s extremely difficult. This is a woman who hasn`t gone 24 hours without being in touch with her daughter. Brighton, her brother, wrote a beautiful song. His music is of great comfort to him. And he and Ashley, his cousin, who is also close to Bridgette are kind of all holed up together. When they need one another, they kind of lay in her bed and they really are giving one another strength. There`s a lot of family there so it`s helpful.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The parents of a 3 1/2-month-old baby boy charged with his death while co-sleeping with him will have to stand trial. Trevor Merrill and Echo Nielsen are charged with child abuse homicide and reckless endangerment for the August 2006 death of Cason Bradley Merrill.


GRACE: Now, two babies dead as a result from an allegedly positional asphyxiation. Babies co-bedding, sleeping with their parents.

Out to Jim Kirkwood with KTKK Radio. What happened? Now a second baby dead?

JIM KIRKWOOD, REPORTER, KTKK RADIO: Exactly, Nancy. And around here, people are just in shock. The one family is pretty significant in Utah LDS history. And I`m sure that`s part of why nothing was done the first time.

GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa. They`re significant in the LDS history. You`re talking about the Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons?


GRACE: They`re significant in what way?

KIRKWOOD: One of the leading families are founding families.

GRACE: Really? And so now we`ve got two dead babies?


GRACE: To Dr. Joshua Perper, medical examiner. Dr. Perper, the family, the mom and dad, says that they were co-sleeping with the baby, had the baby in the bed with him. And I`m telling you from my own experience they told me 500 times at the hospital when Lucy and John David came home, do not co-bed with the babies, do not let them sleep together, as much as you want to. It`s a leading risk for SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. No matter how much I want to, I remember what they told me at the hospital, Dr. Perper. And I don`t do it.

So how can you tell, Dr. Perper, if a child dies from positional asphyxiation, getting on its stomach and his face goes down in the mattress, and some other type of smothering?

PERPER: Well, unfortunately, we still see parents who -- mothers who sleep with their babies and especially when they are big. But even when they are not big, they can smother the child. What I never saw, and it`s very rarely, is to see it happening -- happen twice because.

GRACE: But how can you tell, Dr. Perper, from looking at the body, whether the child died in this manner or whether it was intentionally smothered? How can you tell?

PERPER: Well, you cannot tell, but usually if there is child abuse physically, you see injuries. And in a very, very young baby, you can smother them very easily.

GRACE: To Lohra Miller, the elected district attorney for Salt Lake County, thank you for being with us. What is third degree homicide?

LOHRA MILLER, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SALT LAKE CO., UTAH: Well, the defendants in this case -- first off let me point out that they are charged with a crime and under our constitution are presumed innocent until they`re proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

GRACE: Yes, we`re all familiar with that.

L. MILLER: Yes, I just wanted to make sure that we knew that.

GRACE: Yes, we`ve got five lawyers on the panel tonight.

L. MILLER: Well, just to make sure.

GRACE: We`ve all graduated from law school like you, and all of us are veteran trial lawyers. So what is third degree homicide?

L. MILLER: Well, they`ve been charged with child abuse homicide which is alleging that they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly or even with criminal negligence caused the death of the child. So the theory in this case is that they knew or ought to have known that sleeping with the child presented an unreasonable risk of death to the child and chose to sleep with the child anyway.

GRACE: What is the maximum penalty with that charge?

L. MILLER: Well, this is a third degree felony under Utah law. And we have an indeterminate sentencing here which means that they could be sentenced to prison from -- anywhere from zero to five years in prison.

GRACE: So the maximum they could get for the death of this baby is five years?

L. MILLER: That`s correct.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Kathy in Indiana. Baby number two dead. Question?

KATHY, FROM INDIANA: Yes, hi, Nancy. I was just wondering, what are we going to do to make these laws stiffer? I have an article here in our paper, a lady, 22 years old, has left her child in a car in 12-degree weather. The car was running and the radio was playing. But she was getting a pedicure. The baby did not have a coat on and the mother states that she had too much extensive credit card bills and the father didn`t help her.

GRACE: You know what? That is a crying shame, just like the current case.

Let`s unleash the lawyers. Sue moss, Ray Giudice, Julia Morrow.

To Sue Moss, you know, in my mind, I understand where Lohra Miller is coming from. She is a very experienced lawyer, she`s the elected DA in that jurisdiction. But, Sue Moss, as Dr. Perper has just told us, you can`t look at a body and tell if the child was smothered intentionally or it died from positional asphyxiation, putting its face down by accident in the bed.

This is baby number two dead, Sue Moss. Why is a baby`s life worth five years behind bars and an adult`s life is worth the death penalty or life behind bars, Sue?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY AND CHILD ADVOCATE: Absolutely. When your first child is dead from sleeping in your bed, for number two, use a crib instead. It seems to make perfect common sense. Something is not right in this case. Either that or they`re guilty of stupid.

GRACE: Ray Giudice?

RAY GIUDICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think Dr. Perper is a defense witness. You can`t tell the difference whether it`s intentional smothering or positional asphyxiation, which is what SIDS is. We`re not prosecuting SIDS parents. You can prevent kids.

GRACE: No, SIDS is when a child just suddenly stops breathing, it`s not smothered.

GIUDICE: Because it rolls over on its stomach in the crib.

GRACE: And just stops breathing. It`s not smothered.

GIUDICE: And it happens in a crib. But Dr. Perper`s told you they can`t tell the difference medically. So as you know as a lawyer, Nancy.

GRACE: No, no, no. You can`t tell the difference between an intentional smothering.


GRACE: .and a positional asphyxiation and it`s not SIDS.

GIUDICE: If you can`t show intent, how are you going to get past a directed verdict on a homicide case, Nancy?

GRACE: Well, I think, Julia, in answer to Ray`s observation -- he is a remarkist tonight -- Julia, I think the answer is they already knew the first child died in the same manner.

JULIA MORROW, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, and Nancy, that`s an excellent point but let me just say this. Number one, let`s not forget that there was evidence here that this baby had meningitis and the cause of death is actually undetermined.

GRACE: No. Actually.

MORROW: It`s undetermined, Nancy.

GRACE: The cause of death is positional asphyxiation.

MORROW: It`s undetermined.

GRACE: And it was also determined meningitis was not the cause of death.

MORROW: It could be positional asphyxiation. Well, Nancy, that`s not what I read in the latest report.

GRACE: Well, I advise you re-read it.


GRACE: We in NANCY GRACE on the hunt for parents who inspire. Now tonight`s extraordinary parent.


LAMBEER BAZE, WIFE OF STEWART BAZE: Every time we pray, for better or worse, daytime or nighttime, it`s always make the days go by faster so that I can come home safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stewart Baze has been a proud military man for nearly 20 years. He joined the armed forces after high school and served in the first Gulf War. But when Baze`s wife Lambeer(ph) gave birth to quadruplets in 1988, sacrifice took on a whole new meaning for the Black Hawk pilot.

BAZE: Even though he`s in the military, that`s a hard lifestyle for us. As far as the separation, he`s remained such a very huge part of our children`s life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stationed in Iraq since May, Baze knows he is fighting the war for four very special civilians, Stephanie, Shelby, Bradley and Preston.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Although the children are proud of dad, his absence is difficult.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you, daddy. I want you to come home (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the children know Baze is fighting the war for the country and for them.

BAZE: It doesn`t matter. He can be a thousand miles away. But our children really feel deep in their hearts that he`s right here with them.


GRACE: Let`s stop and remember Army Sergeant Derrick Banks, just 24, Newport News, Virginia, killed, Iraq. A Virginia National Guardsman on a second tour with a generous spirit, always wearing a smile, a star player in high school, loved basketball, football and e-mailing home. Leaves behind grieving mom Renee, widow Sheena and 2-year-old son Derek Jr.

Derek banks, American hero.

Thanks to our guests but especially to you for inviting all of us into your home. And tonight a special happy 81st birthday to Ohio friend of the show Peggy Dean. Happy birthday, Miss Peggy.

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