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Nancy Grace

Police Cite Promising Leads in Auburn University Student Murder

Aired March 07, 2008 - 20:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight. At yet another college campus, a beautiful 22-year-old president of the UNC Chapel Hill student body, double major biology, poli sci, last seen 1:30 AM doing homework, 5:00 AM, shots fired, 22-year-old Eve Carson found dead in an intersection near campus, multiple gunshot wounds.
Tonight: In an eerie similarity, 400 miles away from UNC Chapel Hill, the mystery surrounding the shooting death of yet another gorgeous young coed, Auburn University. A 911 call leads police off campus to find 18- year-old Lauren Burk lying on the side of the road just before the young girl died -- gunshot wounds. Moments later, a tip comes in. Firefighters race to campus to find Burk`s 2001 Honda Civic engulfed in flames. Tonight, who left 18-year-old coed Lauren Burk to die, then made a bonfire of her car?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two campuses, two college students shot to death. Police have no suspects. Eighteen-year-old Lauren Burk was killed near Auburn`s campus Tuesday, her car set on fire around the same time. Then a day later, Eve Carson`s bullet-riddled body found near University of North Carolina`s campus in Chapel Hill.



911 OPERATOR: Morris County 911. This is Rob.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I think I just heard gunshots outside.

911 OPERATOR: OK. How many shots did you hear?


911 OPERATOR: You heard four?



GRACE: And tonight, breaking developments in the case of 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. A highly unusual exhumation of the body and second autopsy classifies the suspicious dry bathtub drowning of Peterson`s third wife to be a homicide.

Tonight, the first coroner under fire after third wife, Kathleen Savio`s, death deemed accident. And tonight: It`s revealed Stacy Peterson reaches out for help from a divorce lawyer 48 short hours before she vanishes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bombshell in the Drew Peterson investigation. Missing wife Stacy Peterson consulted a divorce attorney twice the week before she disappeared, according to divorce attorney Harry Smith (ph). Smith also represented third wife, Kathleen Savio, just before she was murdered. Smith says he`s been questioned by investigators. Charges also flying about the quality of the coroner`s inquest into the death of Kathleen Savio. Election challenger Charles Lion (ph) says if Stacy Peterson`s found dead, it may have been prevented if the Will County coroner Patrick O`Neil (ph) had conducted a more thorough investigation, the coroner calling those charges nonsense.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Breaking news tonight -- two different university campuses, two beautiful coeds, both dead by gunshot wounds. Is there a deadly connection?


911 OPERATOR: Morris County 911. This is Rob.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I think I just heard gunshots outside.

911 OPERATOR: OK. How many shots did you hear?


911 OPERATOR: You heard four?


911 OPERATOR: OK. Did you see anyone, by chance?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. No. I mean, you know, I was -- I`m laying awake in bed.

911 OPERATOR: We`ve notified the Chapel Hill Police Department and you can have one come by and speak to you, if you like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, well, I`m wasn`t -- I`m not worried about myself. I`m worried about whoever would be involved.

911 OPERATOR: Yes, ma`am. All right. We`ve got another call on it, as well.


911 OPERATOR: Yes, ma`am. OK.


911 OPERATOR: Thank you.


GRACE: Is there a connection between two dead college girls, both killed in the early morning hours, both alone just before the killing, both cars involved, both dead from gunshot wounds, both found on a public roadway?

Let`s go straight out to a guest joining us tonight from CNN affiliate WBMA, Rachel, Rose joining us outside the police station. Rachel, bring us up to date.

RACHEL ROSE, WBMA: Well, Nancy, let me tell you we did have a press conference this afternoon at about 1:30, where, basically, investigators let us know there are no new announcements to be made regarding suspects or future arrests in this case. However, investigators do say they are following several strong and what they called promising leads.

They also did point to a couple new developments in this case. Number one, they wanted to squash a rumor that apparently had been circulating concerning whether or not Lauren Burk had been sexually assaulted. They confirmed tonight she was not, in fact, sexually assaulted.

Another point here they wanted to bring up, they found a gas can in downtown Auburn. The reason this is of significance is because, as you mentioned, the car was found on campus shortly after they responded to her shooting death. Obviously, this was an arson, so they could think that this gas can is linked to that arson, perhaps carrying that accelerant to the crime scene.

Again, they are following what they`re calling several strong leads, but they are not releasing too much information about where the investigation stands in terms of suspects or future arrests.

GRACE: Out to Gurnal Scott, reporter with WPTF radio, joining Rachel Rose. Gurnal, I don`t get it. I heard about the red gas can last night.

Everybody, we`re talking about the death at Auburn University and the death at UNC, University of North Carolina.

How is a gas can that`s downtown -- how do they know that`s connected to a bonfire of the dead girl`s car on campus? There`s got to be more than just a gas can being found.

GURNAL SCOTT, WPTF RADIO: Well, in the Auburn situation, there probably is more than just the gas can being found. I notice you mentioned the similarities to that and the Chapel Hill case. We don`t see that kind of development happening in the Chapel Hill case. We haven`t heard about any situation. All we know, that the car has been found, it is -- in the Eve Marie Carson case. They are going through it forensically. They are trying to find every bit of evidence they can to try to find whoever committed this crime.

They`ve also -- in the Carson case, they`ve taken her laptop. They`ve subpoenaed phone records. They are trying to track down if there are any activity in credit cards and debit cards that may have been taken from her. That investigation is continuing with the Chapel Hill Police Department. They are trying to investigate every angle of this case.

GRACE: Rachel, I`m not seeing how they`re connecting up the red gas can to the bonfire of the car there on campus.

ROSE: Well, Nancy, basically, investigators are saying they are not going without -- leaving any stone unturned -- excuse me. They want to say that anything that they see that could possibly be linked to the case, anything at all, however minute, they want to investigate it. They`re exploring all options. They are not ruling anything out at this time. So obviously, if they see a gas can on the side of the road -- maybe it`s common, maybe it`s not -- they want to take a look at it, and again, as the other reporter said, investigate it for fingerprints or any DNA links.

GRACE: How away from the torching of the car was the gas can found?

ROSE: You know, Nancy, I`m not quite sure about that. Again, investigators are being pretty tight-lipped, so to speak, about this investigation. They`re being pretty consistent about not releasing very many details. So what they told us is that they found this gas can in a downtown location. They would not specify any moreso than that.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Joining us right now, John in California. Hi, John.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just wondering if they -- like, if they`ve found any surveillance camera footage from the gas stations? They had to get gas from somewhere.

GRACE: Good question. What about it, Rachel?

ROSE: Again, Nancy, I can only tell you what they`re letting us know at this point, and that is that they found this gas can. They are not telling us much more -- many more details about this gas can or maybe where the gas was purchased in the first place.

GRACE: Let`s just think this through for a moment. Let`s go to Jose Medina, investigator with Awareness Protective Consultants, joining us. Jose, to have a gas can -- typically, you do not store a gas can full of gasoline. It`s highly flammable. It`s an explosive. It`s an accelerant. So typically, you go get gas. So in order to douse this car -- and we`re talking about the case in Auburn, Alabama, everybody. We`re dealing with two coed killings, a killing at UNC Chapel Hill of 22-year-old Eve Carson and a killing, a shooting death of Lauren A. Burk, an 18-year-old freshman at Auburn.

So to douse the car with accelerant, somebody had to go get gas, unless they coincidentally were storing it at their home or in their car. So somebody went to a gas station. Who has surveillance video almost always? Gas stations and convenience stores. Am I right, am I wrong, Jose Medina?

JOSE MEDINA, INVESTIGATOR, AWARENESS PROTECTIVE CONSULTANTS: You are correct, Nancy. And for the record, majority of the time, they will have cameras. But the unfortunate thing is, many times the cameras aren`t working where they can grab the recordings. But hopefully, they do have the recordings.

GRACE: You know, you`re right about that, Jose -- Jose Medina joining us, a security expert. Jose, very often, you will find that it`s on a 72, or sometimes even 24-hour rollover, or that -- for instance, in some of the Lane Bryant stores, in the recent Lane Bryant massacre, we learned that some Lane Bryants have a fake camera up there, it`s not even a real camera, according to some of their employees. So typically, with gas stations and quickie marts, they`ve got a camera that`s working, but you`re right, it could be rolling over.

Rachel Rose, reporter with CNN affiliate WBMA joining us there at Auburn, Alabama, outside the police station. I assume that all the local gas stations are offering up their video.

ROSE: I`m sorry, Nancy. Could you say that again, please?

GRACE: Are all the local gas stations offering up their video?

ROSE: Again, Nancy, I hate to do this to you, but at this point, I -- I can`t answer that question. Investigators are not releasing information. And you know, a lot of information is really being kept close to the chest here. They say they want to keep this information close because of the family, so...

GRACE: It seems to me that a public appeal would be made to the local gasoline stations to try to get all that video. That gas had to be purchased somewhere.

Out to the lines. Leann in Alabama. Hi, Leann.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Thank you for taking my call.

GRACE: Yes, ma`am. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our local news had talked about a similar girl being murdered and her car burned about five years ago in Auburn. Could that possibly be connected to this one?

GRACE: You know, it`s my understanding, Leann, it was about a year- and-a-half ago. Rachel Rose, tell me about it. And it`s also my understanding it remains unsolved.

ROSE: Yes, still unsolved to this date. And at this time, investigators are not quite linking that case with this case. They`re not linking the case with UNC, as well. I know that, basically, this case is going to be separate from the rest. They`re focusing all of their efforts. We have several federal, local and county agencies, state agencies really diverting most of their attention to this case here.

GRACE: Right.

ROSE: So unfortunately, I think the other case is on the back burner that...

GRACE: Well, interesting...


GRACE: The case is that of murder victim Lori Slasinski (ph), and she also died of a gunshot wound. It remains unsolved. There was a big hoopla surrounding her murder for a few months. Then it went dead. It`s never been solved. And now a year-and-a-half, another shooting, same campus, a young girl dead, unusual similarity, 400 miles away at another campus, UNC, the same thing happens.

Out to Amanda in Oregon. Hi. Amanda.


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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is -- in our area, we have a lot of surveillance cameras on the street lights and on the stop signs. My question is, was there any surveillance that was taken, since one of these occurred in the street?

GRACE: Rachel Rose, in the Auburn area, do you have the surveillance cameras on the street lights or at intersections?

ROSE: You know, Nancy, I do know they have several surveillance cameras here on campus. This is according to the campus public relations person. However, I`m not sure to what extent they are looking at that surveillance video. Again, they`re not giving us much information as to what evidence they do have. They`re being pretty strict with what they`re releasing to us at this moment, so I can...

GRACE: Right. You mentioned that.

ROSE: ... tell you they are looking into the gas can...

GRACE: You mentioned that. I know they`re playing it close to the vest. I know they`re not releasing very much. I`m aware of that. But you do say that there`s surveillance cameras at certain intersections, yes, no, Rachel Rose?

ROSE: There are surveillance cameras that I know of here on campus.


ROSE: That`s what I`ve been able to confirm through the campus spokesperson. As far as what they`re investigating in terms of surveillance cameras on intersections within the city, I am not aware.

GRACE: Out to Gurnal Scott with WPTF radio. He`s joining us from Raleigh, North Carolina, the other shooting death of a young college coed there at UNC. What`s the status of surveillance cameras at stop signs, stoplights, intersections in that jurisdiction?

SCOTT: It`s my understanding, Nancy, that there are surveillance cameras at certain intersections. No, in this Hillcrest neighborhood, in the area, there are some cameras. And police chief Brian Curran (ph) did address that they were looking into seeing what those cameras could actually tell them, if they actually had a view of that area.

We had a reporter go out to that area and take a look in that vicinity. It`s an upscale neighborhood, almost like a private drive, tree- lined area. Whether cameras can tell them precisely what`s going on, the officers have not said. But it is something they are indeed looking at.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Carrie in New Mexico. Hi, Carrie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Thank you so much for taking my call. I love you very much.

GRACE: Thank you for watching and for calling in. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was just wondering if the police have been able to match the caliber of the gun. And if so, could they link these two shootings together?

GRACE: What do we know about it, Gurnal Scott? Do we know the caliber?

SCOTT: We do not know the caliber at this point. As far as I know in this investigation, a gun has not been recovered. So we are still waiting for that. We`re still waiting for more information on any kind of suspects. As of right now, the Chapel Hill police department have no suspects. They are, as we said, trying to get as much as they can forensically from the vehicle, from the crime scene to see if they can link it to someone who may be responsible for this.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Annette in Virginia. Hi, Annette.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I wanted to ask about a link, maybe, between the two girls. Has that been looked at, maybe Facebook, Myspace and a mutual friend?

GRACE: A mutual friend? OK. Let`s go out to...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, a Facebook type friend. You know how they get.

GRACE: Right. Right. It`s my understanding -- out to Gurnal Scott with WPTF radio -- that police are looking at their cell phones, their computers, anything that might give them a clue.

SCOTT: That is correct. As we said, the phone records have been subpoenaed. They`re looking at Eve Carson`s laptop to see if there`s any link, Facebook, any kind of social networking site. They aren`t ruling anything out here because Chief Brian Curran said earlier today they cannot rule out the fact that this was a student body president.

GRACE: Right. Right.

SCOTT: She was very popular on campus. In the community, there is the possibility of a stalker crime here. So they cannot rule that out.

GRACE: Out to Michelle Sigona with "America`s Most Wanted." Michelle, what can you tell us?

MICHELLE SIGONA, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Well, about both of these cases together, Nancy, from what investigators have clued in to "America`s Most Wanted" is that it does not appear they`re going to be linked at this point. And you also notice, Nancy, a lot in these press conferences that - - especially involving Lauren Burk, that they are more forthcoming -- less forthcoming information, as opposed to Eve`s case in North Carolina, where investigators seem to think that that is more of a random act of violence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) moving forward with the murder investigation of Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk. We have located a gas can in the downtown area of Auburn. We are sending that to the lab to get it tested to see what was actually in the gas can and to -- for any DNA that might be on the can.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Monday, after UNC Chapel Hill`s campus was rocked by news of Eve Carson`s murder, police turned to the community for help, saying random crimes can be tougher to solve. While there have been no arrests, we are learning more about Carson`s murder. According to a newly released incident report, Eve was shot in the right temple with a handgun. Preliminary autopsy reports also show no evidence of sexual assault. And Carson`s keys and wallet haven`t been found.


GRACE: Two coeds 400 miles away. Is there a deadly connection between their two deaths? To Michelle Sigona with "America`s Most Wanted." You`re suggesting that one appears to be random and one appears to be targeted. Explain your theory.

SIGONA: Well, this is just basically what investigators have come out and said, Nancy, especially on the North Carolina case. Investigators have come out and said, Look, we do feel this is a random act of violence. And we`re not seeing that in Lauren`s case in Alabama.

And also, investigators, especially, as the first reporter had mentioned, they`re keeping information very close to their vest, and they don`t want to be able to tip off anyone or rock the boat, especially if they`re moving in the direction of possibly arresting someone. And I do want to say that they -- and that the investigators have said that, Look, we are not close to issuing a warrant for anyone at this time, but we do have some solid leads, solid information, and we are moving forward in that direction.

GRACE: To Mario in Florida. Hi, Mario.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question? My question is, is that with these presidents of the universities across America, was there any security to the student body president of this university in North Carolina, and is there going to be more security for these presidents, as they`re in such a limelight of...

GRACE: OK. That`s an interesting question. I`ve never heard of security for a student body president. Rachel Rose, was there any security?

ROSE: Well, I can definitely tell you there is some beefed-up security here on campus, as well as around campus. Auburn police have been driving through. You can see them just about every corner. I do know that a lot of the students here say that they feel relatively safe. I know a little bit -- they`re a bit uneasy, obviously, but yes, there`s definitely an increase in security.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here`s what we know right now about the killing of Lauren Burk. Now, police are saying that they are following leads, but so far, they have not named any suspects in the case. The killing has left students across the Auburn campus nervous and scared. Burk was found with a gunshot wound by the side of a road on Tuesday. She later died at a hospital. A campus memorial will be held on Monday.


GRACE: Joining me right now is a special guest, Doris Granum. This is a friend of the Carson family, Eve`s former teacher. Ms. Granum, thank you for being with us.

DORIS GRANUM, CARSON FAMILY FRIEND: Sure. Thank you very for having me.

GRACE: I know that you were just with Eve`s family. How are they?

GRANUM: They`re holding up amazingly well. They are obviously distraught, in shock, and everything you would imagine from a family who`s lost a child. But they are strong people. And they are -- they are being supported by a tremendously large community that care.

GRACE: Ms. Granum, what would you want people to know about Eve?

GRANUM: The world has lost a potentially -- someone who was going to be making changes across the world. She was already started. And she had -- she had already begun to do things she saw that needed to be done, and she went after it.

GRACE: Why did she want to be a doctor?

GRANUM: I think that`s part of her intelligence, that that was probably something that would keep her excited about life and yet something that would be of service to other people.




UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: There`s been three shots. Sound like a young woman.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. Repeat the address to make sure that I have it correct.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: I actually couldn`t tell if it was on the circle or behind the circle on Marilyn Lane.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: OK. And you said you heard gunshots?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: How long ago did this happen?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: And you said you heard a female scream?

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: Three times, yes.


GRACE: Police keeping much of the investigation close to the vest. But we do know two coeds dead by gunshot wounds 400 miles apart, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Auburn University.

Before we take you to the Drew Peterson case, two things. Number one, Auburn is planning a press conference tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Possibly we`ll be learning more facts about that.

And also regarding the young girl we mentioned earlier, a possible similar killing, it`s the case of Lori Slesinski. She went missing back in 2006. She has never been recovered. Her car was found torched just like the other car.

Quickly out to the lines, Dee in Ohio. Hi, Dee.

DEE, FROM OHIO: Hi, Nancy. Congratulations on your new little family.

GRACE: Thank you.

DEE: My question is, I know that there`s still speculation if these two murders are linked. But I`m wondering if profiling will be done and, if so, do they think that the perpetrator could be a female because these two young women were so beautiful, maybe a jealousy or some kind of issue in that regard?

GRACE: You know, statistically, that would be very, very unlikely.

What about it? To Dr. Lillian Glass, psychologist and author, what do you make of that, a female predator?

LILLIAN GLASS, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR OF "I KNOW WHAT YOU`RE THINKING": Well, Nancy, anything is possible, as you know. But what also could be possible is it could be some disgruntled individual who was rebuffed by one of these beautiful women. You know, anything is possible here in this circumstance.

GRACE: You know what? You`re absolutely right. Maybe we will learn more tomorrow morning at that Auburn news conference, 10:00 a.m.

Everyone, updates in the Drew Peterson case. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stacy`s good friend and neighbor says she`s not surprised to learn that Stacy contacted a divorce attorney just two days before the 23-year-old vanished without a trace. Harry Smith says he spoke with Stacy twice on the telephone. She was looking for information about filing a divorce. Now, Smith is the same divorce attorney who represented Kathleen Savio, the third wife of Stacy`s husband, ex-Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson.

Drew, meanwhile, has been labeled a suspect in Stacy`s disappearance which prompted authorities to reopen Kathleen Savio`s case. Last month authorities declared her death, ruled an accident in 2004, was actually a homicide. Drew has repeatedly denied any involvement in either case.

As for Sharon (INAUDIBLE), she says everything is moving on track for justice for both Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson.


GRACE: We can only hope justice for both of these ladies, both gone in very unusual circumstance. Tonight the coroner who led the investigation in wife number three`s highly unusual dry bathtub drowning. Remember that first autopsy? The result was accident even though Kathleen Savio was covered head to toe in bruises, a laceration to the back top part of the head, her hair matted in blood, how`s that an accident? And she died of drowning in a dry bathtub? You should see the autopsy. I`ve got it right here and then it`s absolutely incredible that a coroner led a jury to a finding of accident.

All right. He is under fire tonight and he is speaking out. And also we learned that wife number three, Kathleen Savio -- excuse me, wife number four, Stacy Peterson goes to a divorce lawyer, reaching out for help, just days before she suddenly vanishes into thin air.

To Kathy Cheney with the "Chicago Defender," what is the latest in the case? Any movement?

KATHY CHENEY, REPORTER, CHICAGO DEFENDER: Any movement as far as Stacy Peterson`s case?


CHENEY: Really no movement other than the Kathleen Savio`s divorce attorney coming out saying that Stacy contacted him two days before she disappeared. She contacted him twice, talking about she wanted to end the marriage but he wouldn`t divulge further any more details of that conversation but he did say that she didn`t appear to be overly emotional or anything.

GRACE: You know, interesting. Let`s unleash the lawyers, Anne Bremner, at the Seattle jurisdiction, high-profile lawyer, and Greg McKeithen, defense attorney in the Atlanta jurisdiction.

To Anne Bremner, I`ve tried in the past when I had the murder of a wife, I tried to get in before the jury the that fact she has gone to a divorce attorney and divulged to him how she had been beaten, had been mistreated and feared for her life. I couldn`t get it in. I could not get it in because the closest of kin in my old jurisdiction had to allow the attorney-client privilege to be broken. And the closest of kin was the husband on trial for murder.


GRACE: Of course he wasn`t going to allow that.

BREMNER: Yes. Fun how that worked out, huh?


BREMNER: Which is -- great as a lawyer and D.A. as you were and are, I mean, you couldn`t get it in, the fact is, you can`t get that in into evidence and it`s also hearsay. So interesting this lawyer`s coming out right now. I`ve kind of been wondering about that, too, in terms of his revelation.

GRACE: And Greg McKeithen, the way I even found out about it is her best friend told me this is what she said to the lawyer, this is what the plan was for the divorce. Is there any way, Greg, that you can think of -- you tried both -- cases on both sides of the fence, prosecution and defense -- that this could actually come in before trial?

GREG MCKEITHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I can`t think of any way, Nancy. Remember, a defendant always has a right to confront his accusers. There`s that fundamental principle called the sixth amendment. That would violate that principle. I know of no exception that would allow that type of evidence to come in.

GRACE: Well, I mean -- well, hold -- pause. You`ve got the -- dying declaration, you got other ways that words of the dead can come in. But attorney-client privilege.


GRACE: .is basically insurmountable.

Out to Michelle Sigona, what more do we know tonight about Kathleen Savio and especially with the coroner under fire about naming her death accidental?

MICHELLE SIGONA, CORRESPONDENT, AMERICA`S MOST WANTED: Yes. And this, again, Nancy, as you mentioned this is the coroner that, you know, oversaw the first inquest into Kathleen Savio`s death. And he`s basically defending his actions and basically, you know, saying that he followed things by the book.

Also, in addition, subpoenas were issued for Drew Peterson`s two middle- aged sons, the two teenagers. And you know, this grand jury, they meet once a week, Nancy, usually on Thursdays. Sometimes they skip one here and there. But they were -- the children were supposed to appear in front of the grand jury today, but they did not make it this week. Maybe next week.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Patty in South Carolina. Hi, Patty.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

PATTY: Well, first I`d like to thank you for being such an advocate for victims all over the country.

GRACE: Thank you. Thank you, Patty.

PATTY: And I would also like to ask you about the retirement of law enforcement in South Carolina whenever there is a divorce going on or pending, the spouse receives half of the retirement money for life. And I was wondering since both of these women were wanting to get away from Drew Peterson and divorce him, and he had a $3 million policy on Kathleen Savio, well, it kind of sounds like there`s a great motive not to give up that retirement money.

GRACE: What do you know about it, Michelle Sigona?

SIGONA: Well, what we have learned was that Drew Peterson is, in fact, receiving a portion of his retirement money at this time.

GRACE: You know, I want to go back to this coroner`s report. I notice that the only police officer he called -- I`m going to throw this to Michael Alvarez, spokesperson for the Will County coroner -- well, the officer he called had not even been to the crime scene. Is that true?

MICHAEL ALVAREZ, SPOKESPERON, WILL COUNTY CORONER: Well, Nancy, what I can tell you is that the Will County Coroner`s Office in 2004 followed the policies and procedures laid forth in performing an inquest jury. And the policies and procedures laid forth stipulate the coroner`s office contact the reporting and investigating police body, in this instance it was the Illinois state police, and send them a letter, contact them and ask them who this letter is to be sent to. And in this case it was to be sent to Special Investigator Hardy.

The coroner`s office has no ability to decide who`s going to be sent to this inquest. We have no way of knowing.

GRACE: OK. So, bottom line, yes, no? Did the officer that testified go to the crime scene? Simple.

ALVAREZ: No, they -- no, they didn`t, Nancy.

GRACE: OK. That`s all I`m asking.


GRACE: We`ll be right back with Michael Alvarez.

But quickly, APB, all points bulletin on special moms and dads. If you know a parent who is an inspiration, get your camcorder, go to Click on i-Report and enter that parent in the extraordinary parent contest.

And tonight, photos of Lucy and John David. Here they are watching legal analysis with the ladies of "The View." John David also a "View" aficionado with his Uncle Macky(ph).

Here is Lucy in her first boa. She seems very at home in that boa and ready for the catwalk.

Aunt Jan(ph), the official baby photographer, and who knew, the twins into NASCAR. Both in their NASCAR outfits. John David supporting Jeff Gordon of the 24. Lucy rooting for Stewart all the way, number 20.

I`m posting these on the Web tonight. I hope you like them.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stacy`s good friend and neighbor says she`s not surprised to learn that Stacy contacted a divorce attorney just two days before the 23-year-old vanished without a trace. Harry Smith says he spoke with Stacy twice on the telephone. She was looking for information about filing a divorce. Now, Smith is the same divorce attorney who represented Kathleen Savio, the third wife of Stacy`s husband, ex-Bolingbrook cop, Drew Peterson.

Drew, meanwhile, has been labeled a suspect in Stacy`s disappearance which prompted authorities to reopen Kathleen Savio`s case. Last month authorities declared her death, ruled an accident in 2004, as actually a homicide. Drew has repeatedly denied any involvement in either case.

As for Sharon (INAUDIBLE), she says everything is moving on track for justice for both Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson.


GRACE: Amazingly, it seems as if police are making more strides in a nearly four-year-old case to the date, almost, March 1, 2004, Kathleen Savio found dead in a dry bathtub, cause of death, drowning.

Joining us tonight, special guest Dr. Randall Moss, medical physician and author of "Live Longer and Love Life." Highly ironic title when we`re talking about Kathleen Savio.

Doctor, the body is now four years old. What can we really realistically learn from an exhumation?

DR. A. RANDALL MOSS, MEDICAL PHYSICIAN, AUTHOR OF "LIVE LONGER AND LOVE LIFE": The original autopsy would have given us basic information. With the second autopsy you simply augment or add that information. A pathologist would certainly be able to glean information from the body and be able to present that to the authorities.

GRACE: Also, even if Stacy`s body were preserved, it`s now been months. True, cold weather outside. What condition would you expect it to be in, Dr. Randall Moss?

MOSS: The body would be somewhat decomposed. If it were in a very cold area, perhaps not so much as when you store a body in a morgue where you always try to store it in a cool area.

GRACE: I want to go back out to the lawyers, Anne Bremer, Greg McKeithen, back to the coroner trying to defend himself after naming the first death of Kathleen Savio accidental.

Now, Anne Bremer, it`s not as if he just did it on his own. Coroners have juries but the coroner is responsible for putting up the witnesses in front of that jury, right?

BREMNER: That`s why it`s called a coroner`s inquest, Nancy. And it`s actually medieval that it sat around all this time and it -- basically you conduct it as the coroner and give -- ask the jury to make factual findings, who, what, when, where, how. And -- but you know, one thing that struck me in this is that, if you look at what`s happening now, is this driven by suspicion about Drew Peterson, et cetera? And you know, was this guy really as wrong as we`re saying he is?

GRACE: Well, I don`t know what you mean by that. Can you be more specific and quickly?

BREMNER: Well, yes, I mean, simply that, you know, at the time he didn`t have to go to the scene, he didn`t go to the scene, but he reached the findings that he did. But are -- is there - are we somehow tainting our view of whether he`s right or wrong by what we know about Drew Peterson now?

GRACE: Well, have you actually read the autopsy report, Anne?

BREMNER: I have.

GRACE: Have you looked at it, each page?


GRACE: And did you observe multiple bruises all across the body, specifically a blow to the back top part of the head, the hair matted in blood, and she`s found in a dry bathtub drowned?

BREMNER: You know what, Nancy? The fact is the findings were made by those jurors. That`s what.

GRACE: Yes, I`m just asking you, did you read that and are you suggesting that was an accident?

BREMNER: No. But here`s the thing, Nancy, that her hair was wet. There was evidence of drowning in terms of her lungs and everything else.

GRACE: Right.

BREMNER: The fact of what the finding was is what it was at the time. The question is how does it stand up today or can it be basically overturned today by somebody else.

GRACE: OK. Thank you.

Greg, Greg, quickly, in so many jurisdictions now we use medical examiners versus inquests. Why?

MCKEITHEN: The medical examiner, I would say, is one who can be qualified as an expert. He`s a medical doctor, and certainly would be in a position to render a professional opinion based on the evidence.

GRACE: To Michael Alvarez, a spokesperson for the Will County coroner, I understand there`s a change in the law now. Briefly what is it?

ALVAREZ: Nancy, that`s a most important thing here. In 2004, you`re.

GRACE: Well, I don`t think it`s the most important thing. The most important thing is Kathleen Savio was murdered. And it was deemed an accident.

ALVAREZ: As it pertains to the coroner`s office involvement in this it`s the most important thing. The law changed in 2007, January 1st of that year.

GRACE: Just tell me the change.

ALVAREZ: The coroner was able to, from that point, January 1st of 2007, determine the cause and the manner of death. In 2004 the coroner`s office was only allowed to determine the cause of death and the cause of death alone which I want to state was the same in Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Baden, and Dr. Blum`s all death by drowning. So the first autopsy was validated by the following two. That`s the most.

GRACE: Well, Michael Alvarez.


GRACE: I`m very grateful for that change in law and you -- you`re correct. It`s extremely important.

Michael Alvarez, spokesperson for the Will County Coroner.

Let`s pause for CNN heroes.


TODD BARBER, DEFENDING THE PLANET: Reefs are dying. Human activity around the world is impacting what`s happening under water. If we don`t do something to save our coral reefs we will lose them all and the impact will be devastating for humanity.

In 1988 I was on a trip with my father, and we went to the Cayman Islands and we`re looking at a coral reef that I had been taking pictures of since I was a baby, and the reef was gone. My heart sank and I had a strong passion to try to change that. And my father and I sat down one night and came up with the idea of how to fix it.

My name is Todd Barber and I make reef balls used to help restore reefs around the world. Reef balls serve as the base habitat for a natural reef to grow upon. They were designed so that you can plant corals on them. My goal was to mimic nature, not dictate nature. Reef balls are made with a special cement that last over 500 years. They`re affordable, inexpensive and they`re environmentally friendly.

I call this hatching a reef ball. To me, personally, satisfaction comes from diving on a reef ball and seeing that the environment has been rehabilitated and that the reef is actually there and that our grand kids will be able to see the same thing.



GRACE: What a week in America`s courtrooms. Take a look at the stories and, more important, the people who touched our lives.




UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: And is he breathing?


UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: Where`s he bleeding from.

UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: He`s bloody all over.

UNIDENTIFIED 911 DISPATCHER: He`s bloody all over?


GRACE: An incredible story, a family wiped out over what? A teenage break up and confiscated cell phone? Incredible.

Forty thousand people at risk to cut costs by re-using these? How much can one of these cost? 50 cents? 25 cents? People looking at the prospect of developing AIDS and the HIV virus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C.

A beautiful Auburn coed now dead, her car set on fire. About 20 minutes later someone went to a great extent to destroy evidence.

ELIZABETH WHITE, REPORTER, WTVM: Police responded to this very spot where I am standing. That is where they found Lauren`s black 2001 Honda Civic engulfed in flames.

GRACE: Shockwaves across the UNC Chapel Hill campus. 22-year-old student body president Eve Carson found dead in an intersection just one mile from campus. Multiple gunshot wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surveillance video shows the woman in the black shirt starts up the pressure hose and goes right for the little girl, grabbing her as she tries to run away. Investigators believe the mom used the pressure hose as punishment.

GRACE: How do these people have children? You`ve got to have a license to sell a hot dog on the street. But to have children?


GRACE: Let`s stop to remember Marine Lance Corporal James Gluff, 20, Tunnel Hill, Georgia, killed, Iraq. Wanting to enlist since age 6. Gave his life saving other Marines. Awarded the National Defense Service medal and Global War on Terrorism medal. Leaves behind parents James and Jorean, one sister, two brothers, widow, Hope, and 1-year-old baby boy.

James Gluff, American hero.

Thanks to our guests but especially to you for inviting us into your home and a special good night tonight from the New York control room.

Good night, Brett, Liz, Rosie, Stacy.

Everybody I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp, Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.