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Judge Orders all but Drew Peterson`s Guns Returned
Aired March 17, 2008 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight in the case of missing 23- year-old mom Stacy Peterson, vanishing upscale Chicago suburbs, husband/cop Drew Peterson the prime suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance, the suspicious dry bathtub drowning of Peterson`s third wife officially ruled homicide.
Headlines tonight: Peterson has a date with Lady Justice before a judge, Will County courthouse, his first court date since wife Stacy disappeared.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew Peterson left an Illinois courtroom today with a judge`s order allowing Peterson to pick up his cars, computers, copies of hard drives. But Peterson`s guns still not back in his possession. While Peterson`s lost his gun permit, attorney Joel Brodsky argued Peterson`s adult son should be able to hold his guns. The judge, though, wants son Steve Peterson in court before agreeing to return any of Drew Peterson`s weapons. First time Peterson in court since being named a suspect in his fourth wife, Stacy`s, disappearance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And tonight: Mommy and Daddy hit the bar for happy hour, but they leave something behind. Oh, what is it? What is it? It`s their 8- year-old daughter, locked in the truck outside for hours. People, nearly 500 registered sex offenders right there in the Palm Bay, Florida area. Defense? They didn`t know what time it was.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Friday night, police say, a customer at Siggy`s (ph) bar noticed while the couple was drinking inside, their 8-year-old daughter was sitting alone in their truck. An anonymous phone call in the wee hours leads Palm Bay police to Siggy`s American Bar, where they find the little girl locked in the car, the engine running, the 8-year-old sitting there for two hours, terrified someone would kidnap her.
The girl reportedly told the officer her father had left her there with the warning, Keep the doors locked and don`t let anyone inside. Tonight, Edward (ph) and Lisa Davis (ph) charged with child neglect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Also tonight, cult leader Charles Manson and the Manson family groupies hit the headlines again over three decades after a murder spree that shocked the nation, including the murder of actress Sharon Tate. Tonight, newly discovered graves -- repeat, newly discovered graves -- in the desert just yards away from the Manson family hideout, California. Tonight, it all comes down to forensics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A group of independent investigators wants to know if the notorious killer Charles Manson had more victims. The Associated Press reports they`re searching a California ranch that Manson and followers used as a hideout. So far, surface testing has revealed evidence of two possible graves. Manson and three followers were convicted of several counts of murder for a killing spree that left seven people dead, including actress Sharon Tate.
CHARLES MANSON: Do I look like I`m guilty about something? Do I look like I have remorse or fear about anything? I stand naked in front of God with anything and everything I`ve ever done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Breaking news. His fourth wife vanishes after his third wife drowns in a dry bathtub, her body covered in bruises, hair matted with blood. Tonight, prime suspect Drew Peterson heads to court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew Peterson gets his stuff back. After months of haggling, the former cop, now suspect in fourth wife, Stacy`s, disappearance, will be able to get most of his property back, Peterson, along with lawyer Joel Brodsky, in court today for the first time since Stacy disappeared, agreeing that if Peterson ever goes to trial, the validity of the evidence can`t be contested. Evidence Peterson gets back includes his GMC Yukon Denali, Pontiac Grand Prix and computers, the notoriously loose-lipped Peterson saying little in court today, sticking to mostly, Yes, your honor.
JOE BRODSKY, DREW PETERSON`S ATTORNEY: He was very pleased that he`s getting his property back. We believe that, you know, the judge did the right thing. The state`s had the property for more than enough time to process it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These firearms were taken into state police possession pursuant to a search warrant that was executed by the court. We don`t feel it`s appropriate at this point to return those weapons to Mr. Peterson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Drew Peterson in court today. As much as you see him on the air, for instance, on the "Today" show, dodging questions by Matt Lauer, calling in to radio shows on a "Date a Drew" game that he was entering, he was amazingly quiet in court, limiting himself to, Yes, your honor.
Joining me right now from "The Chicago Defender, Kathy Chaney. Why was Peterson in court today, Kathy?
KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": Well, he appeared before a judge for the first time since being named a suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance. The judge told him today that he could get his cars, computers and other items seized by authorities four months ago, but the 11 guns out of the question for now.
GRACE: Joining me right now is a special guest, Drew Peterson`s defense attorney, Joel Brodsky, a veteran trial lawyer in the Chicago area. Mr. Brodsky, why is it so important to your client to get all of his guns, his gun collection, back?
BRODSKY: It`s his property. You know, in America, you`re entitled to your property unless the police can take it, the authorities can take it, unless it`s contraband or has been used in the commission of a crime. It`s not specifically so much the guns, but it`s his property and the state has no right to take it unless they can prove that it`s either contraband, which obviously it`s not, or it was used in the commission of a crime. It`s going to go, obviously, until we get Drew`s (INAUDIBLE) ID card, his firearm owner`s identification and his gun permit back.
GRACE: Why was that -- why did the attorney general disallow him to get his guns back?
BRODSKY: Well, it was the state police that have jurisdiction over those, and they used the general that he`s not a fit person, he has an assaultive or violent personality. They used that kind of catch-all phrase in order to revoke it. But Drew was a police officer for 32 years and never even fired his gun in the line of duty. He`s had a firearms owner`s ID since he was 17 without incident. I don`t think they really had any good faith basis for doing it.
GRACE: Have police ever been called to his home for a domestic dispute?
BRODSKY: They were called, but the majority of those calls, when he was married to Kathy Savio, were actually initiated by Drew.
GRACE: The majority?
GRACE: How many times did the police have to come to their home?
BRODSKY: Well, there were 18 calls, but only a few of them were for alleged violence.
GRACE: Isn`t one enough? Isn`t one enough to keep him from getting his guns back?
BRODSKY: No. There has to be actually an order of protection that stands after a full evidentiary hearing, and then you can lose your (INAUDIBLE) ID card.
GRACE: Did she always refuse to file charges?
BRODSKY: I think only one time did her calling the police ever result in the issuance of an order of protection, and then that was dropped on the first court date at Kathy`s request.
GRACE: And then she ends up dead. That`s quite a coincidence, isn`t it.
BRODSKY: Well, I don`t think one thing has anything to do with the other.
GRACE: Really. To Dr. Robi Ludwig. What`s the number one cause of death amongst, for instance, pregnant women?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, it`s their partner and...
LUDWIG: Homicide. That`s right. That`s right. And usually it`s the partner that they`re with is responsible.
GRACE: To Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson`s attorney, joining us tonight. Mr. Brodsky, I understand that your client, Drew Peterson, used a special basement entrance and exit from the courthouse?
BRODSKY: Yes, he did.
GRACE: Just like Britney Spears and Nicole Richie, all the superstars that need to protect themselves from the paparazzi?
BRODSKY: Well, it wasn`t anything to do with paparazzi. Drew`s received many death threats over the last months, and the sheriff agreed that, you know, here we had an exact time and date where he was going to be appearing in a specific location and...
GRACE: Death threats?
GRACE: Who intercepted the death threats? Is he discovering evidence again?
BRODSKY: No. These come by -- in the mail. We`ve actually now -- after appearing on your show I think about a month ago, we received a call from the Bolingbrook Police Department, and now we`re forwarding the death threats to them. But they`re anonymous death threats, obviously.
GRACE: Anonymous. Of course they are. Joel, why is it that I had to ask you specifically and pointedly on the air why you aren`t handing these death threats over to police in order to get Drew Peterson to contact police? It`s almost as if the death threats don`t exist.
BRODSKY: Well, we were calling them, but we weren`t getting a response. And after we appeared on your show and you brought up this subject and I explained we weren`t getting a response, we ended up then getting a response from the Bolingbrook police.
GRACE: You know, it seems, according to you and your client, Drew Peterson, that everybody is in a big conspiracy to irritate and hurt Drew Peterson. You say the attorney general won`t let him have his gun license. The police, they keep coming out on these domestic calls. Now there are anonymous death threats. The police won`t follow up. You even claim that his neighbor is stalking him. And in fact, you went to the effort of sending me U.S. code statute 22:61.A as a grounds to prosecute her. Now, did you read this statute, Mr. Brodsky?
BRODSKY: Oh, yes, I did.
GRACE: So you do know that this applies when someone is in another state or in an Indian tribal jurisdiction. How does that apply to his neighbor, may I ask?
BRODSKY: It also has to do when you`re using an interstate computer service, which is an interstate commerce, and then it does apply.
GRACE: This says travels, travels in interstate or foreign commerce or special maritime jurisdiction.
BRODSKY: If you look at the last paragraph, it says whoever uses the mail, any interactive computer service or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce to engage in a course of conduct that causes substantial emotional distress to that person...
GRACE: And how is the neighbor doing that via computer, may I ask?
BRODSKY: Well, we have people that kind of track the postings on this Web site that they have, and they`ve actually threatened...
GRACE: Who is "they"?
BRODSKY: Well, people who post on the site have threatened to poison Drew`s food. They`ve threatened to -- they track his whereabouts. They`ve threatened to...
GRACE: And you can prove the neighbor is one of these people you`re referring to?
BRODSKY: Yes. Absolutely. Roy Taylor (ph), her son, is the one that started one of the worst threats that we went through, where they -- the majority of these threats and...
GRACE: I assume you`re referring to Sharon Bychowski?
BRODSKY: Sharon`s son, Roy. That`s correct.
GRACE: Joining me right now is Stacy Peterson`s best friend and neighbor, Sharon Bychowski. Ms. Bychowski, thank you for being with us. Response?
SHARON BYCHOWSKI, STACY PETERSON`S FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR: Thank you, Nancy. And it`s nice to finally get to meet you. Congratulations on your little ones.
GRACE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
BYCHOWSKI: My response to Joel is I think he`s fishing. He should be looking for Stacy Peterson. No one has ever, ever threatened Drew Peterson. What we have simply said is, Let`s all go out as a group and look for Stacy. And that`s our only intention. We need to bring this girl home. Drew, I leave that to the Illinois State Police. This is my concern. Let`s bring home Stacy Peterson.
GRACE: Miss Bychowski, how do you respond to allegations that you are stalking Drew Peterson?
BYCHOWSKI: You know, if you can read my sign, it says nothing about Drew Peterson. Actually, to my point before, I leave all that up to the state police. I only care about my good friend, who`s been missing since October. And I just want to bring her home.
GRACE: Sharon, tell me about her. I look and I look and I study and study. I want to hear what she was like in life.
BYCHOWSKI: She is a beautiful person. She`s a wonderful mother. And you know, all her objective was, was to have a great family. And somebody made a decision for her to be missing. And we miss her very much and we just want to bring her home. That`s all of our intention.
GRACE: Sharon, when was the last time you actually spoke to her?
BYCHOWSKI: It was the Wednesday before she disappeared. And I brought a pie over to her from Baker Square (ph). And you know, Stacy and I had a very good relationship.
GRACE: Do you have any idea what her children are being told about her disappearance?
BYCHOWSKI: You know, I don`t. And all I know is I see her kids out playing outside. I saw them this weekend. Lacy ran up to me. I got to give her a big hug. I love all those kids. My only concern is to bring their mom home. We just want to bring Stacy home.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Susanne in Michigan. Hi, Susanne.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. How are you?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Congratulations on your beautiful babies.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question about this Peterson stuff is, why has he not been either forced or court ordered to take a polygraph?
GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight, Susan Moss, Alex Sanchez, Jason Oshins, along with probate and will specialist Jeffrey Skatoff. Let`s go out to Susan Moss. What about the lie detector test?
SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, unfortunately, the authorities cannot force somebody to take a lie detector test in any one of the states of the union. But I`ll tell you something, Peterson in court, I call it foreshadowing.
GRACE: What about it, Jason Oshins?
JASON OSHINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Listen, there`s a reason they`re not admissible. You can`t go ahead and have the government agencies or police, you know, go ahead and attack people and force them to prove their innocence. There`s a reason it`s beyond a reasonable doubt. You don`t have the goods, you don`t have the benefit of...
GRACE: But Alex Sanchez...
OSHINS: -- going after him.
GRACE: ... if you were trying to head off a prosecution, Alex -- I`ve had many a defense attorney come to me and say, He`s willing to take a polygraph. You set it up. He`s going to pass it. Put your mind at rest. And we actually do the polygraph. If you`re trying to get your client`s prosecution stopped before it ever starts, isn`t that a good way to do it?
ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, that may be a good way to do it, but we don`t even know whether or not it`s been requested of Mr. Peterson to take a lie detector test. But the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution says a person has a right to remain silent. No one can force him, no body in this world can force this man to go and take a lie detector test against his will. And that is apparently what he`s doing.
GRACE: Also tonight, we learn, Joel Brodsky -- this is Drew Peterson`s defense attorney -- that the will of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, is now -- the handling of her estate -- since her death has now been ruled a homicide officially and a second autopsy following exhumation, I understand that you are fighting any reopening of her estate.
BRODSKY: Yes. They`ve moved to reopen the estate...
GRACE: Who`s "they"?
BRODSKY: The Savio family. They`ve moved to reopen the estate...
GRACE: Well, do you blame them? I mean, her death has been ruled a homicide now.
BRODSKY: Right. The problem that they have is that they moved to open the estate to administer a wrongful death case. However, the statute of limitations ran over two years ago.
GRACE: Oh, really?
GRACE: Well, hold on. To Jeffrey Skatoff, a will and probate specialist joining us out of West Palm Beach, Florida. Jeffrey, what about if fraud is somehow involved or some illegal activity is involved in the death that leads to that will?
JEFFREY SKATOFF, WILL AND PROBATE ATTORNEY: Nancy, as far as reopening the estate goes, Illinois has what`s called the "slayer statute," which means that if you establish that somebody killed the deceased, they can`t inherit from the estate. Under Illinois law, there is no statute of limitations to apply to the "slayer statute" in a probate estate.
GRACE: Joel Brodsky...
SKATOFF: Moreover, if...
GRACE: ... your thoughts?
BRODSKY: But Drew did not inherit from the estate. What they want to do is open up -- reopen the estate to administer what they`re calling a new asset. But that asset doesn`t exist. A lawsuit which -- for which the statute of limitations has run out is not an asset.
GRACE: According to Savio`s family, there were $3 million at stake in Savio`s estate.
BRODSKY: Yes, that was the insurance proceeds, which went to the children, not to Drew.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Carol in California. Hi, Carol.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, first of all, I want to thank you for having the guts to stand up for victims. You`re little but you`re loud, and we love you for it.
GRACE: Thank you, Carol.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re welcome. Another thing is, you know, I haven`t heard anything about that blue container for quite a while. And there were some details linked with that that really seemed important, such as it possibly contained pool chemicals, and the relative or whomever he was who helped Drew to move it seemed to have some pangs of guilt or something. Maybe he ended up in a hospital over that weekend and...
GRACE: Let`s go out to Kathy Chaney with "The Chicago Defender." We did hear a lot about that blue container. What can you tell us about it?
CHANEY: We did hear quite a bit about it, but there`s nothing substantial with that at all.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that he was very controlling (INAUDIBLE) followed her, checked her phone calls, and you know, basically went everywhere she went. I believe Drew lost control. And (INAUDIBLE) and we don`t think Stacy ever left the house that day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRODSKY: Drew is very pleased that he`s getting his property back. We believe that, you know, the judge did the right thing. The state`s had the property for more than enough time to process it. And we believe that, you know, the judge has reviewed the secret testimony of the state, he looked at the affidavits, and still found that there was no compelling reason for the state to retain the property any longer. I think that says something, if you want to try the read between the lines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: For all his talking in the media, including the "Today" show, local radio station, interviews, today Drew Peterson in his first court date was amazingly quiet, limiting himself to, Yes, your honor.
Let`s go back out to the lines. Tommie Jean in Tennessee. Hi, Tommie Jean.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello, Nancy.
GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I would like to congratulate you on your two precious children.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we don`t have a computer, so I didn`t (ph) have a blog. But I have some questions about Drew Peterson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has had four wives, I understand. What happened to the first two? How many children does he have, and what are their ages? Where are they?
GRACE: I know the first two are still living, the third dead in a dry bathtub by drowning, the fourth disappeared.
To Kathy Chaney. What can you tell me about the children, and by which wife are they?
CHANEY: The last two are by Stacy. The previous two, the two teen boys, are by Kathleen Savio. And there`s an older son, I believe, by maybe the first wife. He`s an Oakbrook (ph) police officer.
GRACE: To Pat Brown, criminal profiler and author of "Killing for Sport." Pat, have you noticed that everything going on around him, Drew Peterson thinks it`s all about him, everybody`s out to get him, to irritate him? It`s never about his wife.
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, exactly, Nancy. And one of the things you do when you don`t want people to look at you is you throw everything on everyone else. It`s everyone else`s fault. It`s all about me, and, Hey, you know, I`m innocent, so why can`t you talk about everyone else.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in court and my secretary, Dawn (ph), called and said, Were you aware that Stacy Peterson was missing? And you know, it was obviously an odd feeling, to say the least, and a little ominous in my mind just because of the circumstances and what had happened to Kathleen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These firearms were taken into state police possession pursuant to a search warrant that was executed by the court and -- you know, involving the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, and we feel that, you know, they have potential evidentiary value. And we don`t feel it`s appropriate at this point to return those weapons to Mr. Peterson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Drew Peterson in court today, finally.
Out to the lines. Tracy in Illinois. Hi, Tracy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I have a comment and a question. First, my comment is -- this lawyer of his. I -- you know, it`s great that he`s his lawyer because he`s just as arrogant as Drew Peterson and does nothing for the man, which I`m very thankful for, that he`s arrogant. And my question is, do you know if they`re going to be stepping up the searches again for her, now that our weather here in Illinois is better? Because I`m, like, 40 miles...
GRACE: Excellent question, Tracy. Out to Kathy Chaney with "The Chicago Defender." I understand the search is about to resume.
CHANEY: Yes. Within the next two weeks, it will resume, thanks in large part to $11,000 that was raised at a fund-raiser held for her about two weeks ago.
GRACE: Out to Jane in Canada. Hi, Jane.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. Could you just tell me, please, as Drew Peterson has claimed that he`s innocent in his last wife`s disappearance and the wife before`s death, has his lawyer ever advised him that it would be in his best interests to take a lie detector?
GRACE: Joel Brodsky, I believe you advised him against it.
BRODSKY: That`s correct.
GRACE: Just yes, no.
BRODSKY: I have advised him against it.
GRACE: And Sharon Bychowski, final thought?
BYCHOWSKI: You know, we`re going to keep looking for her until we find her. Everybody knows Stacy`s out there. We want to bring her home.
GRACE: Everybody, when we come back: Mom and Dad hit the bar for happy hour but leave something behind. Oh, it`s their 8-year-old little girl locked in the truck for hours.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They left their daughter locked up in a truck, then they were locked up in jail. It all started when 37-year-old Edward Davis drove to Siggy`s American Bar to meet up with his wife, Lisa, for a night of drinking. Davis told his 8-year-old girl to stay in the car, keep the doors locked, and not let anyone inside. So two hours later, around midnight, the girl was still there. The car, still running.
And a stunning development, it`s revealed at some point that night, the couple managed to get someone to watch their other child. Both children now in the care of relatives while Edward and Lisa Davis face child neglect charges.
GRACE: After a little research, we discovered that there are about 500 registered sex offenders right there in the concentrated area where these two left their 8-year-old little girl locked in the truck while they went inside and drank well past midnight.
Out to Jeff Marshall, the news director with Metro Networks Orlando.
Jeff, what happened?
JEFF MARSHALL, NEWS DIRECTOR, METRO NETWORKS ORLANDO: Well, basically, Lisa Davis was having a drink at Siggy`s bar and her husband, Edward, was trying to get ahold of her. She wouldn`t answer her cell phone. She wouldn`t come to the phone. They couldn`t get ahold of her in any way so he went out looking for her, knew that she liked to have a drink at Siggy`s and loaded up the 8-year-old daughter in the car, drove to the bar. Went into the bar, found his wife sitting there at the bar and rather than taking, you know, having her come out and join the daughter and drive back home, he decided to basically join in on the party.
And the mother came back out to talk to the daughter, said stay here, stay in the truck, everything will be fine. Finally, someone walked by, it was a pretty busy -- it`s a busy bar, lots of people in the parking lot, saw this girl sitting in the truck and called police. And they came, got the 8-year-old out, and the 8-year-old said she was scared and cold. It was raining outside and was afraid that someone would take her or take the truck with her in it.
GRACE: With me is Jeff Marshall from Metro Networks Orlando.
Joining me right now is a very special guest. It is Detective Betsy Gilbert, the special victims unit. She`s a detective with the Palm Bay Police Department.
Detective Gilbert, thank you for being with us.
BETSY GILBERT, SVU DETECTIVE, PALM BAY P.D.: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: I have very carefully read your police report and that must be something, I don`t know that they prepare you for this when you prepare to be a cop, but having to interview an 8-year-old little girl who`s been locked inside the truck while her parents are inside boozing it up, what was the demeanor of the little girl?
GILBERT: Well, you know, Nancy, I don`t have to tell you that she was just as sweet as she could be. She was very afraid. You know, she told me that she didn`t know if someone would try and steal the truck or try and take her. She was also very worried for her parents and what was going to happen to them.
GRACE: You know, it`s amazing to me, detective, that they would leave the girl in the car with me knowing that there are about 500 -- we`ve got a map of this -- registered sex offenders right there in the Palm Bay, Florida area. I understand the weather was horrible. It was very congested and there were a lot of people in the parking lot, yes?
GILBERT: That`s right. The weather was raining and not very nice. The parking lot where Siggy`s bar is at that time of night on the weekend is crowded. There`s a lot of people milling about. And you`re right about the sex offenders. And it really only takes a second for your little girl to be gone forever.
GRACE: Well, as a matter of fact, very high profile cases of little girls being taken just like that, literally right from under their parents` noses.
Do I have to say Samantha Runnion? She was taken from her grandmother`s front yard out there playing with a play mate. There was Danielle van Dam. Danielle was that little girl taken from inside her own home in California while her parents slept. Jessica Lunsford taken from her grandparents` home by a registered sex offender. Carlie Brucia, also taken by a repeat offender as she walked home from a friend`s house on a Sunday afternoon. Polly Klaas, taken from her own home during a sleepover. And of course, Shasta and Dylan Groene, taken from their own home. Their parents there and murdered. The children taken.
Yet these parents, forget about all that, leave their child in a running vehicle while they are inside boozing it up.
What was their defense, Detective Gilbert?
GILBERT: Well, they didn`t really have a defense. It was quite a pathetic situation. Each of them, you know, we`re only talking -- well, I say only. We`re talking about a two-hour time period.
GRACE: Well, I thought they said they didn`t know what time it was?
GILBERT: That`s it. Neither of them could pinpoint the amount of time that they left their little girl locked alone in a running vehicle in a dark parking lot with strangers milling about.
GRACE: As if.
GILBERT: Neither of them could give me a time frame.
GRACE: As if, detective, to say, I didn`t know how long we had been in here is any type of a defense.
I want to go out to the lines. Rob in Kentucky. Hi, Rob.
ROB, KENTUCKY RESIDENT: Hello. Could you please tell me why the couple did not get a babysitter for their daughter?
GRACE: What about it, Detective Gilbert? Any reason they couldn`t have gotten -- they both have jobs.
GILBERT: Well, you know, with the price of gas nowadays, to leave a truck running for two hours, they certainly could have bought and paid for two babysitters.
GRACE: You know, to Dr. Michael Arnall, board certified forensic pathologist, joining us out of Denver, you know, a vehicle, especially a running vehicle, is a cornucopia of danger to a child.
DR. MICHAEL ARNALL, BOARD CERTIFIED FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: That`s right. You know, a kid like this gets get curious, can put the truck in gear, release the emergency brake, may drive into another car, may run somebody over in the parking lot. The kid may get curious, leave the car and at that point, the kid is completely unprotected.
GRACE: You know, that map is terrifying for me as a new mom, of all the sex offenders right there in the area.
What about it, Pat Brown?
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER, AUTHOR OF "KILLING FOR SPORT": Obviously the parents are more concerned about their needs than their daughter`s. More empathy for themselves than her. And let me tell you I think that this girl must have been left many times before and probably been punished for trying to get out of the vehicle so she learned to stay in that vehicle. And they figured she would. And she did.
GRACE: You know, Dr. Robi, for the little girl to actually verbalize to a detective, "I was afraid somebody would take me."
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST, AUTHOR OF "TILL DEATH DO US PART": Oh, god. And my son is 8 years old, so they are taught about stranger danger and I would bet that these parents are alcoholic, very impulsive, and have been grossly neglectful for a very long time and in some ways, this kid is parentified.
GRACE: When you say parentified, what do you mean by that?
LUDWIG: They almost act parent-like. So she was probably not only worried for herself but worried for her parents. I`m sure she`s seen them in a very difficult state at times.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Billie Jean in Michigan. Hi, Billie Jean.
BILLI JEAN, MICHIGAN RESIDENT: Hi, how are you?
GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?
BILLI JEAN: What would the charges be and if they were found guilty, what would the sentence be? Because it seems to me we keep giving these parents chance after chance.
GRACE: Chance after chance after chance.
Out to Jeff Marshall, what`s the possible crime and sentence? What`s the charge?
MARSHALL: Well, they`re both charged with one count each of child neglect. They were booked into the Brevard County jail and they`re now out on $2,000 bond and usually only have to pay about 10 percent of that. So $400 between the two of them and they`re out of jail and you know, as far as a sentence, that would be eventually up to a judge.
GRACE: When we get back, cult leader Charles Manson and the Manson family groupies hit the headlines again. Over three decades after a murder spree that shocked the country, bomb shell. Newly discovered graves out in the desert just yards from the Manson family hideout.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Death Valley. It`s like something out of central casting. Charles Manson and family moved in and hid out there. See, that was almost 40 years ago. And there have been reports of bodies buried there. They have been circulating ever since. There is new evidence to suggest that these weren`t just false reports or rumors. Forensic investigators have been pouring over the parched ground of this so-called barker ranch. They say they have found two likely clandestine grave sites and a third site that bears further examination.
CHARLES MANSON, CONVICTED FOR MURDERING ACTRESS SHARON TATE: You think I can survive all the things you`ve put on me as a society and everybody in this country, practically everybody in the world has tried to kill me every way they could and I`m still here. Now what do -- what does that tell you? Do I look like -- I`m guilty about something? Do I look like I have remorse or fear about anything? I stand naked in front of God with anything and everything I`ve ever done."
GRACE: Thank God, at least he is still behind bars. And every time one of these Manson family members comes up for parole, did they forget to mention these other graves that have just been detected yards away from the Manson family hideout there in California?
Let`s go out to Laura Kertner, staff writer with the "Mammoth Times." Thank you for being with us. What is happening?
LAURA KERTNER, STAFF WRITER, MAMMOTH TIMES: Well, Sergeant Paul Dostie and his dog Buster have been out to the Barker ranch several times and have found a few clandestine graves out there.
GRACE: You know it`s an incredible story. And joining us right now is Sergeant Paul Dostie. He searched the Manson ranch with a cadaver dog.
Sergeant, thank you for being with us. What led you to this location?
SGT. PAUL DOSTIE, SEARCHED MANSON RANCH WITH CADAVER DOG: Well, they had done a dig in 1998. I became interested in the case and started doing a lot of research, and one thing led to another. And there is actually quite a bit of information, including witnesses contact that people were indeed killed out there. And so I got this little black fur ball about four and a half years ago and decided to train him not only to be a cadaver dog, but a historic grave detection dog which is a different scent than cadaver sent.
GRACE: Well, tell me, sergeant, what happened when you took him out there?
DOSTIE: I went out with another group of handlers that specialize in grave detection in February of 2007, and my dog hit on one location, another dog hit on another location. We double-blind searched -- well, the handlers and dogs all the two locations and all the dogs verified each other that time. Subsequently my dog found three other locations.
GRACE: What was your response? I mean this is just an exercise for you and suddenly, your dog starts hitting on would-be graves.
DOSTIE: I think we`re all pretty much in shock, because we thought it would be a great adventure, but really, what turned it around for me was getting my partner in this endeavor, Debra Tate. And when you deal with the murder victim`s family, there`s -- it really brings it home.
GRACE: Speaking of Debra Tate, she is joining us right now.
Miss Tate, thank you for being with us. What is your response to these most recent developments, even more dead bodies there near Manson`s ranch? Decades later?
DEBRA TATE, SISTER OF MURDERED ACTRESS SHARON TATE: Well, if the possibilities seemed remarkably real at this moment in time, all the scientific evidence is there to suggest that we do indeed have human remains and now it`s just a matter of extracting the bodies and doing further forensic research.
GRACE: To Sheriff Bill Lutze, he`s joining us. He`s the Inyo County sheriff. This is his jurisdiction.
Sheriff, what do you make of it all?
SHERIFF BILL LUTZE, INYO COUNTY, CALIF: Well, it is interesting, Nancy. As Paul said earlier in the fall of `98 we had information that two boys and a girl had been buried out there. And we did a dig at that time and found nothing. The most recent discoveries with the dogs, you know, we`re sifting through the reports and looking at those at this point in time and trying to make sense out of the whole thing.
GRACE: Now, you know, sheriff, over the years, there have been several indicators that there are more murder victims than what we know of.
LUTZE: Yes, and a lot of the publications that were written, as I`m sure you`re aware of, they do allude to other homicides, upwards of 35 in one particular publication. So there`s really an unknown going on with this.
GRACE: Back to Debra Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate. Sharon Tate, near the time of her delivery of a child at the time she was murdered by the Manson family. Charles Manson leading the pack. Debra Tate, take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANSON: One of the reasons I don`t want out is because I am very mad and I don`t know whether I can control myself. Now you see it? So rather than go out and kill a whole bunch of people, I`ll just kick back and try to let it get out of my brain and let it calm down. Maybe we can get some peace going with this. I`m so mad, you wouldn`t believe how mad I am.
All right. I walk this line. Your society`s over there. I did my 20 years in this penitentiary and earned my brotherhood, my heart, my head, my hands and my feet and my dream out there and the world where I walk on deep ground and God is my father in the sky and the earth is my mother. And I am in harmony with all things.
GRACE: Harmony. There are two more grave sites.
Out to Debra Tate. This guy ever gets out, I`m going to lie on the front of the courthouse on the steps with a protest sign. You go every time there is a hearing for parole, correct?
TATE: Every single time, yes.
GRACE: Do you recall when it all went down, Miss Tate?
TATE: Oh, absolutely, like it was yesterday.
GRACE: What happened in your life when Sharon`s life was taken?
TATE: Well, Sharon was a wonderful person and extremely kind and basically, my major support factor, emotional support and developmental rapport at that time, and when she was taken, my world ended at that point in time.
GRACE: And in such a brutal, brutal manner, just before the birth of her child.
Very quickly, to Dr. Michael Arnall. Doctor, why is it that the desert conditions would somehow affect the discovery of a body, a grave, near the Manson family compound?
ARNALL: That area in Death Valley is very dry. That dehydration is going to dry out the body and preserve it, maybe mummify it. Also, if the bodies were buried, they are protected from predation. So you may find these bodies as well preserved as you might find a mummy coming out of the deserts of Egypt.
GRACE: To the lawyers, Susan Moss, Alex Sanchez, Jason Oshins.
Alex Sanchez, no statute of limitations on murder. And while California for awhile had a moratorium on the death penalty, this was no death penalty, it`s back in place now, Alex.
ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, but that doesn`t make a difference. You know, they could the find the body, they could evidence, they could even link it to Manson. If they prosecuted him, the most he can get is life, period.
GRACE: Agree or disagree, Jason?
JASON OSHINS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, he`s right, that`s the law. You know, as the law was back at that time that the murders occurred, that`s what he would be prosecuted under. And the death penalty was overturned. He can only face life in prison.
GRACE: Everyone, tonight as we go to break, a very special happy birthday to Georgia friends of the show, Ann and Steve. Happy birthday, guys.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was raised to be a decent human being. I`ve turned into a monster and I have spent these years going back to a decent human being and I just don`t know what else to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: New graves discovered near the Manson family compound after the Manson family held a nation in fear following mass murder.
I want to go back out to Sheriff Bill Lutze. What next? Sheriff, are you with me?
LUTZE: Yes. Are you there?
GRACE: Yes. What next in the investigation?
LUTZE: What we`re doing now, we just got the reports from the research scientists and from the anthropologist and we`re reading them now. We just got them last Thursday and Friday. We`re reviewing what they have to say. And they are law enforcement sensitive so I can`t go into what they say.
LUTZE: But we are looking at those and there may be some other tests that we want to run.
GRACE: To Bonnie in New York. Hi, Bonnie.
BONNIE, NEW YORK RESIDENT: Hi, Nancy.
GRACE: What`s your question, dear?
BONNIE: I`ve always wondered who is Barker and who actually owns that ranch?
GRACE: Debra Tate, who is Barker and who owns the ranch?
TATE: I believe at one point in time, Barker was the original landowner. However, at this point in time, the ranch is part of the parks and recreation program in the state of California.
GRACE: You know it`s amazing, Debra, in the few second we have left, that these people come up for parole every year and none of them ever mention the other bodies.
TATE: That is extremely interesting in my mind, it definitely would pose a question as to how rehabilitated these people are.
GRACE: Joining me tonight is Sharon Tate`s sister, Debra.
Let`s stop and remember Chief Petty Officer Nathan Hardy, 29, Durham, New Hampshire, killed, Iraq on a fourth tour. Fulfilled his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL, awarded the bronze star, two Navy Marine Corps achievement medals, devoted to friends, family. Loved soccer, lacrosse. Leaves parents, Steven and Donna, brother Ben. Pre-deceased by brother Josh.
Nathan Hardy, American hero.
Thank you to our guests but most of all to you for being with us. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp, Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.