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Suicidal Grandfather of Murdered 2-Year-Old Still Hospitalized
Aired January 26, 2009 - 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 desperate search for a beautiful 2-year-old Florida girl, Caylee. Six months of searching culminates when skeletal remains found in a heavily wooded area just 15 houses from the Anthony home confirmed Caylee, manner of death homicide, the little girl`s remains completely skeletonized.
This after a utility meter reader stumbles on a garbage bag containing a tiny human skeleton, including a skull covered in light-colored hair. The killer duct tapes the child`s mouth, then finishes off by placing a child`s heart-shaped sticker over the duct tape, little Caylee`s tiny skeleton double-bagged like she`s trash.
Bombshell. Grandfather George Anthony at a breaking point, still at this hour hospitalized, the grandfather of the slain Florida toddler reported missing after sending repeated text messages he no longer wants to live, that he wants to be with Caylee, Anthony located in a Daytona Beach motel, tracked in real time by cell pings, in his car a five-page suicide letter reiterating he wants to go to little Caylee in heaven, in his motel room, reportedly, sleeping pills and alcohol.
Six long weeks after little Caylee`s remains discovered, still no funeral plans in sight. This while grandfather George Anthony`s problems more serious than first believed, not released after the 72-hour stint, likely in a psych ward for at least another week, if not longer. Tot mom behind bars when told of her father`s illness, her response being kept a secret.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New details emerge in the case of 2-year-old Florida toddler Caylee Anthony. Grandfather George Anthony will not be released from the hospital today after being found early Friday morning in a hotel 65 miles away with a suicide note his car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Anthony is still being treated at the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. He could have been released early this morning because the 72-hour required stay under Florida`s Baker Act expired several hours ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The attorney for the Anthony family says they are still waiting on doctors to confirm a treatment plan, which may reportedly include George being released to a treatment facility closer to the family`s home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George is realizing that there are a lot of people out there that care about him. And he`s optimistic, but he needs care. He needs to get back to a normal life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Also today, the attorney for the Anthonys said in an interview that it`s now time for Caylee to be laid to rest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s something that they desperately need do. They need bury Caylee and get on with their lives, and the first step in that process is her burial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The attorney says the family had agreed to delay Caylee`s burial so the state and defense could prepare for the tot mom`s upcoming murder trial.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t want it rushed, but we`re going into five -- five, six weeks now. And I think there`s been more than adequate time given, and they are ready to bury their granddaughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: And tonight, how much more can superstar John Travolta and his family take? After traveling to their luxury home in the Bahamas, tragedy strikes. Travolta`s young son suffers an unexpected death. The Travoltas still reeling over the boy`s sudden death when a $25 million extortion plot comes to light. That`s right, blackmail. Tonight, the arrests of high- powered Bahamian politicians and even the paramedic that drove the boy to the hospital along with dad John Travolta.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three people have been arrested in connection with an alleged extortion plot against superstar John Travolta, whose 16-year- old son, Jett, died earlier this month in the Bahamas. Senator Pleasant Bridgewater was detained Thursday and charged with conspiracy to extort and was later released after posting bail. One of the men, an EMT who reportedly worked on Jett Travolta, was arraigned today on extortion conspiracy charges.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ambulance drive Tarino Lightbourne (ph) shared Jett`s final moments with the tabloids, including personal details about how John Travolta was crying and praying as he fought to save his son`s life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reports say the initial extortion demand was $25 million, and Travolta`s lawyers set up the extortionist by pretending to negotiate. TMZ reports that authorities have recordings of those conversations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That is absolutely heartbreaking, that when the Travoltas are trying to take their boy, to save his life, to the hospital, there is some idiot in the ambulance recording everything they say, maybe even taking cell phone photos, and now a $25 million extortion plan emerges.
Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight, bombshell. Grandfather George Anthony, rushed to a hospital psych ward after threatening suicide, still not released. Why? As new evidence emerges that could send tot mom Casey Anthony to Florida`s death row.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More developments today in the case of 2-year-old Florida toddler Caylee Anthony. George Anthony, who was found early Friday morning in a motel room with a suicide note in his car, is not expected to be released from the hospital today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It suggested that he wanted to be with Caylee -- you know, leave this earth and go to the next life and be with Caylee, with God.
GEORGE ANTHONY, CAYLEE`S GRANDFATHER: That`s the greatest part of my life with her, watching her on that (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His attorney, Brad Conway, believes to make any progress, the grandfather of a murdered little girl will need to properly say good-bye to Caylee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would give my life right this second to have her be dropped off in front of all of us. I would do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The attorney for the Anthonys says George has a long way to go, but the first step is burying Caylee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In our culture, burying your loved one is -- is one of the biggest steps towards healing, and they have not been able do that. They need to take that step.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In an interview today, the attorney said that although the family had allowed the burial to be delayed for over six weeks, it is now time for Caylee to be put to rest.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Anthonys have not talked to their daughter, Casey, throughout all of this. She remains at the Orange County jail. But she was notified about her father`s condition.
CASEY ANTHONY, CAYLEE`S MOTHER: I need to be looked at as a victim, just as much of a victim as the rest of you. And it hasn`t been portrayed that way and probably won`t be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Out to Kathi Belich with WFTV, joining us from Orlando, Florida. Kathi, George Anthony we all thought would be released at the end of a 72-hour stint. He`s not. Why?
KATHI BELICH, WFTV: That`s right. Well, it could be one of two things. Either the doctors at the Halifax Medical Center do not believe he`s ready to be released at this point, or else he`s decided that he`s not ready to be released at this point. But medical records are private, so we can`t find out which it is.
GRACE: Joining me there at the hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida, our producer, Natisha Lance. Natisha, what can you tell me?
NATISHA LANCE, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: ... George Anthony is still at the Halifax Medical Center here in Daytona. Now, what we`re hearing is that there is a security guard outside of his hospital room. And the reason being is because of the high level of his situation. Now, he -- as Kathi said, we don`t know if it`s voluntarily or involuntarily that he is still here, but according to the doctors, he could be released by the end of the week.
According to his attorney, Brad Conway, who -- Brad Conway, who did some interviews this morning, he said that one of the things that George needs to do is find closure, and that closure would come from Caylee`s burial. Now, Brad Conway also went on to say that that burial -- they could set a date for that burial sometime this week.
GRACE: Natisha, you just mentioned security. And I`m glad you mentioned that because I know you just heard me explain what`s happening with John Travolta, that some -- these people -- I can`t believe that someone would try to take pictures or record the last moments that Travolta was with his son and try to blackmail him!
My point is, there`s no telling who might try to sneak into George Anthony`s room and take a picture of him, overhear what he`s saying through the door. Tell me what you know about the security there at the hospital.
LANCE: Well, I do know, Nancy, they said that there is one security guard who is outside the hospital room. They said that they are working in shifts. They didn`t give meet timeframe as to how long that shift is going to be. But I did walk through the hospital, and security in the hospital itself is pretty tight. You can walk down the hallway, but if you`re trying to go in to see a patient, there is a process. You have to sign in. You have to be notified. You have to be someone who is part of the family. Now, we have heard that Cindy Anthony did come to visit. We also heard that his attorney, Brad Conway, will be coming to visit tomorrow.
GRACE: Out to the lines. We are taking your calls live. To Andrea in Texas. Hi, Andrea.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. It`s so good to finally talk to you.
GRACE: Thank you for calling, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was wondering, if it turns out that Casey Anthony did this and that she disposed of the body, is there any way that, like, Texas Equusearch or some of the other volunteer organizations can file fraud charges on her, since they were out there looking and she knew where the body was?
GRACE: OK, Liz, hold Andrea. Andrea, it`s my belief that under the law, they may be able to file such an action. But here`s the reality. That would be civil -- a civil case. You`ve got criminal law, where you go to jail if you`re held liable, and civil, where you pay money damages. She doesn`t have any money, Andrea, unless -- unless, Nikki Pierce with WDBO, there is a TV or book deal in the works. Then she would have money.
NIKKI PIERCE, WDBO: She would have money. But we cannot confirm or deny that there`s any kind of book deal, any kind of entertainment deal. Jose Baez came out and blasted the media. Certain media here in town was reporting that he did have that type of deal.
GRACE: Oh! Oh, wait a minute! Wait a minute! Because we already know $200,000-plus has changed hands for photos and video of little Caylee. So who`s to say that more money hasn`t changed hands?
Everyone, very quickly, we`ll be right back in just 30 seconds.
GRACE: To Andy Kahan, the director of the Houston mayor`s crime victims` office. Andy, before I even get to the fact that somebody`s now hawking a Caylee doll, can the tot mom make money off money and book deals?
ANDY KAHAN, DIR., CRIME VICTIMS` ASSISTANCE UNIT, HOUSTON MAYOR`S OFFICE: She can, as long as -- until she gets convicted.
GRACE: Did you say she can or can`t?
KAHAN: It depends. She has to be convicted and there has to be a court order barring her from profiting. And then the other -- and that`s only way you`re going to stop it.
GRACE: So -- but at this moment, she can make money, is that what you`re saying?
KAHAN: Yes, unless there`s a court order preventing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Several Orange County deputies surrounded the Anthony home immediately. They brought dogs and a helicopter because they were prepared for an all-out search to find George Anthony. Even the lead investigator in charge of the case against Casey Anthony showed up. Cindy Anthony had been in front of the home waiting for George so they could meet their attorney, Brad Conway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, she`s relieved and she`s thankful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: George and Cindy were supposed to meet with Conway at 4:00 o`clock Thursday afternoon. He didn`t show up, so Cindy called the sheriff`s office. Conway told us there`s only one way to explain why George left home Thursday morning and never came back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George isn`t gone. George is here, and he hasn`t left.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would give my life right this second to have her dropped off in front of all of us. I would do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George is realizing that there are a lot of people out there that care about him. And he`s optimistic, but he needs care. He needs to get back to a normal life. That`s something that they desperately need do. They need to bury Caylee and get on with -- with their lives, and the first step in that process is her burial.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Everybody, George Anthony still in the hospital under security. Back to Natisha Lance, our producer, standing by there in Daytona Beach at the hospital. Natisha, what could you learn was in the hotel room?
LANCE: Well, Nancy, according to reports, there were beer bottles, as well as some pills that were taken. Now, it was a two-week supply of pills. We`re hearing that they were sleeping pills, as well as high blood pressure medication.
GRACE: And Natisha, also, I understand the tot mom was told about her father`s condition behind bars. And her reaction is being kept secret?
LANCE: That`s right, Nancy. According to the Orange County jail policy, they can`t reveal her demeanor, what her reaction was. But she was notified, and not too long after that, she received a visit from her attorney, Jose Baez, as well as another one his associates.
GRACE: Joining me right now everyone -- we are taking your calls live, our producer, Natisha Lance, standing by there at the Daytona Beach hospital. To Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, joining us from our Manhattan studios. Dr. Taylor, this was a Baker Act 72-hour deal. Why aren`t they releasing him?
DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, the purpose of a 72-hour hold is to evaluate. And apparently, probably with his own consent, they are keeping him there to evaluate and see how he`s doing and make sure that he`s not a danger to himself or others. So it sounds like it`s very appropriate and pretty good that he`s still in the hospital.
GRACE: Dr. Taylor, I`ve seen it bandied about in various news reports that a funeral will give him closure. As a crime victim, I can tell you right now, a funeral does not give closure. In fact, I don`t think murdered victim`s families get closure. I think that they go on, they learn to function, but that they are never the same as they were before.
TAYLOR: Well, you`re absolutely right. It`s complicated. What a funeral does is start the motions going for some closure to deal with the grief. But there are so many unresolved issues. You still have a court case. You still have anger. You still have resentment. So I agree, it`s a wound that keeps getting bigger and bigger. But the funeral can be important for them to certainly get together as a family and honor little Caylee.
GRACE: Speaking of the wound not being able to heal, back to Andy Kahan. Andy, have you heard about the Caylee Marie Anthony tribute doll that is being sold for $29.99?
KAHAN: You know, just when I think I`ve seen it all, from serial killer action figures to serial killer calendars, and now you`ve got some sleazebucket company that`s trying to use the likeness of a poor murdered girl on a doll, trying to make a profit off. This is about the lowest I`ve seen anybody ever stoop to. And the fact that this company is claiming that they`re going to give, like, a whopping $3 of this $30 doll they`re trying to sell to some reputable organization for victims means that it`s just an afterthought on their part. This is about -- they`re nothing but a bunch of crazed vultures, from my perspective. And I hope the American public doesn`t buy one doll.
GRACE: To the president of Showbiz Promotions, who created the Caylee Anthony tribute doll, Jaime Salcedo, sir, you have just had some very harsh criticism. Why the doll?
JAIME SALCEDO, PRES., SHOWBIZ PROMOTIONS: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on, Nancy. I appreciate that. And yes, I heard that criticism. It`s not something that we did not expect. We actually have been over it several times and we discussed the criticism that would come from this. And for that exact purpose, we did not create the "Caylee Sunshine" doll in the likeness of Caylee Anthony. We thought that that would be way off base in this. And...
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait! Why does it not -- the fact that you gave the little doll blond hair -- how does that somehow remove the sleaze from this whole thing? I mean, Caylee was murdered. Her body was disposed of like trash. And you are making $29.99 off every doll.
SALCEDO: All right, first of all, just because you did mention the $29.99, a portion of the sales are going to charity. Now, I...
GRACE: How much? Who?
SALCEDO: And now...
GRACE: Wa-wa, wa-wa, wa-wa! How much?
SALCEDO: Now, at this point, a big portion of it is going. We don`t know...
GRACE: Well, how much?
SALCEDO: ... because we haven`t sold any at this point.
GRACE: But you know...
SALCEDO: We don`t know.
GRACE: Right now, I`ve got a book that I`m working on. It`s going to come out. And I know that I`m giving exactly how much I`m giving to an organization that searches for missing children. Now, I don`t -- and I haven`t sold a single book, may not sell one. But my question to you is, why don`t you know how much you`re giving?
SALCEDO: Well, because -- understand that we can`t make that decision until we know what all the costs are incurred in it. A portion of the profits...
KAHAN: Oh, come on.
SALCEDO: ... will go. We have no idea what the entire project will cost.
GRACE: OK, who`s the charity? Who`s the charity.
SALCEDO: All right, now, that`s another step that we`re sidestepping on because -- here, simple. We contacted a few of the biggest organizations in the world, and especially in the United States. They don`t want to partner up because it`s -- it`s a policy that they have to follow. They cannot get themselves involved with a case that they`re handling. Apparently, this is a non-profit policy...
GRACE: Who did you contact?
SALCEDO: I cannot even bring up the name of the organization...
SALCEDO: ... but I`ll tell you this -- because they forbid us to. We can`t partner up with them.
GRACE: Whoa, wait. I know you`ve heard of the 1st Amendment freedom of speech thing.
GRACE: So you can state -- nobody`s stopping you from saying, I contacted X, Y and Z...
SALCEDO: Sure. Sure, let me...
GRACE: ... and they do not want to be my partner.
SALCEDO: Sure. Let me tell you that, like I said, the biggest organization in the country that I know of is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That was the first corporation, or organization, that we contacted, so that we could help them. Their answer was real simple. They don`t speak about Caylee Anthony on their Web site. It`s not that it`s good or bad. They can`t do it. They don`t raise funds using the name of any children or any situation that they`re following. So it was difficult for us. That is the organization that we want to give to.
GRACE: Why are you -- why are you doing this?
SALCEDO: Well, you know what? We thought about this several times. And you know, we said no many times because we felt like if we did something in the likeness of...
GRACE: I have some advice. When in doubt -- when in doubt -- say little and do less.
Everyone, we are taking your calls. With me tonight, Jaime Salcedo, who has created the Caylee Anthony Tribute doll.
Very quickly, to tonight`s "Case Alert." The search goes on for a missing 6-year-old boy who vanished into thin air, southwest Florida, Adji Desir last seen January 10 just outside of his home. He was there with his grandmother. He`s got the mind of a 2-year-old. The little boy cannot verbally communicate.
After a massive ground search called off, police say they are relying solely on tips. Little Adji is just three feet tall. He`s 45 pounds, black hair, dark brown, beautiful eyes. If you have info, please, please call Crimestoppers, 800-780-8477.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officers found an unfinished suicide note in his car and possibly another. Local 6 has learned he used words like he wanted to be with Caylee. Chitwood personally escorted him to the hospital, where he was psychiatrically evaluated overnight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that`s the perfect word (ph). It`s a sad story. It`s sad for everybody involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Welcome back. We are taking your calls live. To Sarah in Ohio. Hi, Sarah.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Thank you so much for doing what you`re doing, telling that guy off. And congratulations on your kids and your husband.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you a lot. OK, now, I was wondering, did you think that Caylee`s grandparents put off burying her because maybe they were waiting for Casey to get out of jail? Maybe they were thinking, you know Casey`s going to get out of jail soon and she can bear this burden? I myself have buried a child, and it`s terrible. I know what that is. I know what planning a funeral is. And maybe they were waiting for Casey to get out of jail to plan this. I mean...
GRACE: OK. Leonard Padilla, bounty hunter out of Sacramento, you`ve been with the family. I think that they are very firm in their knowledge that she is not going to get bond.
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: No, she`s not going to get bond. Those charges will prevent it. And so far as -- as far as the child being buried, Cindy`s calling all the shots on that particular situation right now. Not even the attorneys are involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
911 DISPATCHER: 911. What is your emergency?
BRAD CONWAY, GEORGE AND CINDY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: George Anthony has been gone since 8:30 this morning and he has taken several bottles of medication from his house as well as some pictures and -- we`re worried that something is -- he`s done something to himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We found him at the Hawaiian Motel Mr. Anthony`s car. Myself and several officers knocked on the door at the room number 6. After several attempts, he asked who it was. We told him it was police. We`re here to check on your well-being. He opened the door. We began to talk to him. We were here to check on your. Your family`s concerned about your well-being and he basically said to me, you know, I need to be left alone. I need to sort through this.
There was no doubt in my mind that he anticipated doing harm to himself. When en route to the hospital, he asked me if I understood how he felt or could understand how he feels. And I said, George, I`ve got to be honest with you, I don`t know how you feel. And he said you know that`s the first time that anybody`s every said that to me.
I said well, it`s the truth. I mean you`re going through something that I don`t think anybody would ever go through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Grandfather George Anthony at a breaking point, admitted to a psychiatric unit, psych evaluation unit, there at Halifax Hospital, Daytona Beach, Florida, after sending multiple text messages he wanted to go be with Caylee and make sure she was safe in heaven in God`s arms.
He was scheduled to be released from the psych ward today after 72 hours. That did not happen.
On another front, the whole usage of chloroform has taken a bizarre twist. Back to Natisha Lance, our producer, standing by the Daytona Beach hospital. What can you tell me about one the tot mom`s former boyfriends?
NATISHA LANCE, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, you`re referring to Ricardo Morales, Nancy. And he had on his MySpace page, it was a picture of a man and a woman and on -- it was stated on there "win her over with chloroform."
Now Jose Baez files a motion saying that he wants all the forensic reports referring to Ricardo Morales` computer and he`s most interested in this picture that says "win her over with chloroform."
Now Ricardo Morales told investigators that he never spoke with Casey Anthony about chloroform. He doesn`t even know if she knew that it was on his MySpace page. But -- and they also did very, very intent investigating of his computer forensics. They also went through there. He apparently had deleted some items from his computer but they said there was nothing on his computer that had any type of incriminating evidence.
GRACE: So, Kathi Belich with WFTV, it`s my understanding the defense may somehow use this to their advantage?
KATHI BELICH, REPORTER, WFTV, COVERING STORY: I think they would like to. I think that they mentioned the fact that the investigators had said there was nothing incriminating on Ricky Morales` computer. The defense does not want to take that for granted and is asking for all of his computer records. And they -- of course, they would be focusing on that chloroform.
Now Ricky Morales told investigators that Casey may have seen that on his computer. He put it on there in early January. They dated January, February, March. March was the first she had apparently done research on chloroform, in making chloroform. So the investigators and prosecutors are drawing that connection. Now the defense wants to look a little deeper at Ricky Morales for that reason.
GRACE: With me, Nikki Pierce from WBDO Radio. Nikki, I`ve got here in my hand the defense motion to compel copies of screen shots and a lot of other information of Ricky Morales` computer. What do we know about Morales?
NIKKI PIERCE, REPORTER, WDBO RADIO: Well, we do know that they split up in -- in April.
PIERCE: But they knew each other for -- for quite some time. We also know that he`s been up to this point very cooperative with the police in the investigation, but if you take a look at that document, you`ll see that Baez specifically mentions that Morales and Casey were still dating when those -- when those searches for chloroform and all of that popped up on the Anthony home computer.
You have to wonder if maybe he`s going to say Ricardo Morales did those searches.
GRACE: To John Lucich former investigator and author of "Cyber Lies," the police have done, we hear, exhaustive searches of his computer. How do you do that?
JOHN LUCICH, INVESTIGATOR, AUTHOR OF "CYBER LIES": Well, you do a keyword searches and you actually take a look at the entire image of the hard drive.
Well, getting back to Baez for a second with the computer searches. He`s asking for one piece of evidence off that entire hard drive. He`s out of his mind. He should be asking for the entire evidence files that make up that.
When a prosecution prepares a case they`re looking at the evidence one way, a defense attorney`s going to look at it the whole other way. There may be so much evidence on there that he could use in this case and he`s not going to have the opportunity if he doesn`t take a look at those evidence image files.
GRACE: When you just say -- when you just said you look at the hard drive, a lot of people don`t know what in the hay you`re talking about. Could you please break it down for us?
LUCICH: Absolutely. What you do is you create a forensic image and that protects the data on the hard drive. And whether it`s -- the unallocated space which means files have been deleted or something has been cached, we can find evidence on that hard drive by doing keyword searches. So whether we do a keyword search for somebody`s e-mail address or something else, we can locate them very quickly.
GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Joining us tonight out of San Francisco, famed defense attorney, John Burris. Also joining us out of New York, veteran trial lawyer, Alex Sanchez.
First to you, Alex Sanchez, do you see this as an avenue for the defense?
ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I do see it. I mean, this chloroform is central to this case. They`re saying that Caylee Anthony, you know, may have downloaded information about chloroform or maybe the child died because of chloroform and now we find out we got a former boyfriend was advertising this peculiar statement on MySpace about chloroform, I think definitely Baez should look into this issue and possibly if he could squeeze it in during the trial, do it.
JOHN BURRIS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I agree with that. And because I think that -- my -- ultimately they`re trying to show that this chloroform was a mechanism used to kill this child. But on the other hand, it may be that the -- the Baez and Casey may have had a relationship where chloroform itself might be news some way.
So I think they wanted to use it in such a way to minimize that it was used, purpose -- exclusively for purpose of trying to maybe do the kid in. So I think that that`s a real point of avenue, searching from the defense. I like that.
GRACE: Oh they`re going to have a field day.
Out to Dr. Michael Bell, Palm Beach County chief medical examiner, bottom line is, if Caylee`s remains are totally skeletonized, will we be able to tell whether her remains had chloroform in them?
DR. MICHAEL BELL, PALM BEACH CO. CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: I don`t think so.
BELL: Because it -- that`s not the usual type of tissue that`s used in detecting chloroform. So I`m -- I just don`t know if they`d be able to do so.
GRACE: This -- so much time has elapsed.
Out to the lines, Phyllis in North Carolina. Hi, Phyllis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Your babies are so beautiful and when I see them, I can see you in them. I want to thank you for covering this so compassionately.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you -- what I would like to know is if you think that knowing that her dad blamed himself, you know, for not being a good father and not being a good grandfather, and knowing that he wanted to kill himself will maybe somehow to make her decide to tell the truth and put an end to the suffering that she`s caused her family?
GRACE: Phyllis, Phyllis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know she`s not suffering.
GRACE: Phyllis, no, I do not think so. I don`t think the suffering of others registers with her.
What about it, Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist?
DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: No, I absolutely agree. You know she`s shown that she has a real detachment from her emotions and there`s no reason to think that, you know, the untimeliness and unfortunate situation where her father would give her anymore empathy or make her care anymore. I mean after all it took a month for her to report the loss of her daughter.
GRACE: Out to the lines, Kathy, Arizona. Hi, Kathy. Do I have Kathy with me? To Cary in Oklahoma. Hi, dear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Thank you, again, like the other caller says. I have appreciated all of your indebtedness and everything.
GRACE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And thank God for another good mom who cares. Your kids are great, they`re beautiful. And I wanted to ask, Nancy, what - - why haven`t we been able to hear a report on Jeff Hopkins? If he had a child that was watched by this Zenaida Gonzalez, the nanny, why hasn`t that been brought in immediately by getting in touch with this man to find out it`s true or not?
GRACE: To Natisha Lance, standing by the Daytona Beach Hospital, what is the truth about Jeff Hopkins? Remember him from the very beginning, the tot mom said she worked with him and that is where she found the nanny that allegedly stole Caylee?
LANCE: Jeff Hopkins did not know a Zenaida Gonzalez. He does not have a son named Zachary. He said that he knew Casey, they never dated. He knew her in passing. They were acquaintances. But it was not the situation that Casey had expressed it to be.
GRACE: Everybody, as we go to break, we are taking your calls live and we want to congratulate a friend of the show and newlywed, Brian Gudensky(ph), Brian and his new bride Nora, exchanged vows last Sunday. And now they`re a happy family of six.
Congratulations, Brian and Nora.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A Bahamian politician, along with two other men, have been arrested for alleged extortion plot against actor John Travolta. The extortion plot was reportedly in the offer of $25 million. And some reports say that authorities have audiotaped the conversations between the extortionist and Travolta`s attorneys.
The EMT who treated Jett, a self-described friend of John Travolta, and a Bahamian politician were all obtained by police for questioning late last week. The politician senator Pleasant Bridgewater and the EMT are both facing extortion conspiracy charges. The other man has not yet been charged.
A private funeral was held for 16-year-old Jett Travolta earlier this month as friends and family gather to remember the teen whose cause of death was listed as seizure.
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GRACE: Out to Tom O`Neil, senior editor with "In Touch Weekly." Tom, what happened? Haven`t they been through enough?
TOM O`NEIL, SENIOR EDITOR, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: I know, Nancy, what makes this all the more tragic and horrible is that if these allegations are true, it involves a betrayal of trust between medical and government authorities whose job it is to protect these people from this kind of thing.
GRACE: OK, to you, Marc Malkin, senior columnist with "E! Online." Marc, what exactly are the allegations as to what happened?
MARC MALKIN, SENIOR COLUMNIST, E! ONLINE: Basically the allegations are that someone was trying to get $25 million from John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston for -- if they gave them the money, they would hold back a certain document that would that embarrass them. The document had something do with Jett`s death.
GRACE: And what do you think that was?
MALKIN: You know, that is a good question. No one knows.
GRACE: Wasn`t it a cell phone photo?
MALKIN: I`m sorry?
GRACE: Was it a cell phone photo?
MALKIN: No, the police are saying it is not a photo. The police say they do have the documents in their possession but it is not a photo.
GRACE: OK, run through that one more time, Marc. What do you believe the extortion plan involved?
MALKIN: It involved some sort of document that apparently was going to embarrass the Travoltas and it had something to do with Jett`s death. Police are saying they`re not getting details on what this piece of paper is.
GRACE: OK, Tom O`Neil, who has been arrested?
O`NEIL: Well, first the paramedic who arrived first at the scene when Jett collapsed in the bathroom on January 2nd and he drove the ambulance back to the hospital. This is this Tarino Lightbourne. He is accused of actually hatching this thing, of contacting the Travolta camp demanding $25 million initially, and then negotiating some other sum in between that he would settle for.
GRACE: $25 million. And who are the three people under suspicion? Who are they?
O`NEIL: Well, this is the medical guy. There is also Pleasant Bridgewater. All of these people have names that sounds like they come from a Nathanial Hawthorne novel. Pleasant Bridgewater was charged also with abatement and conspiracy to extort. She is a former Bahamian senator. She resigned on Saturday. She is one of the three people accused of being on this recording, conspiring with Travolta`s attorneys.
The third person has not been charged. This is Obie Wilchcombe. This is the former minister of tourism, who is a self-profess friend of the Travolta`s family. He`s also a member of parliament. He claims that he was simply tipped off by the -- by Pleasant Bridgewater that something, quote/unquote, "untowards" was happening and that he was contacted because he knew the Travoltas and that they were going to straighten this out.
GRACE: So you`ve got a senator, Pleasant Bridgewater, a Bahamian politician, and there is the photo of Pleasant Bridgewater. That`s from MackeyMedia.com. You`ve got Tarino Lightbourne, the actual paramedic that drove Jett`s ambulance, and then you`ve got Obie Wilchcombe, who has been detained and released, who was a self-professed friend of John Travolta`s.
O`NEIL: Correct. And Obie Wilchcombe says, quote/unquote, "I did a noble thing." He claims that he is not involved in this at all and that, of course, at this point he`s not been charged either. He has been released pending further investigation.
By the way, Pleasant Bridgewater says that all of these allegations are, quote/unquote, "innocent" -- that the accusations against it were actually innocent actions perversely twisted.
GRACE: OK, so now they`re blaming everybody else. Not unusual.
We are taking your calls live. Let`s go out to the lawyers. John Burris, Alex Sanchez.
John Burris, right now the details of the extortion plot have not been made public. Why?
BURRIS: Well, I think that it must be that they want to make sure that the individuals do not have a chance to obstruct justice and cover the evidence up in some way, either by tipping off their friends or et cetera. I think they`re still under the very early stage of making sure that the case is airtight before they release what the actual concept and evidence that they have concerning the extortion plot. So I think they`ve just been very cautious and it`s probably a good thing at this stage.
GRACE: Well, and another thing, Alex Sanchez, if they repeated whatever it is that`s part of the extortion plot, wouldn`t that be essentially disseminating the document they plan to reveal? It would it be affecting the extortion plot.
SANCHEZ: Yes, I mean, if they -- if they gave some type of a document, either Travolta or someone else, they planted some pretty hard evidence that is ultimately going to be used against them. So I would be very interested in seeing exactly what that document was.
GRACE: And let me ask you, guys. Do you really have any faith in the Bahamian government`s prosecution? I mean, did you see what happened during the Anna Nicole Smith proceedings down there? It was -- it was a horrible -- well, you know what, and in Florida as well. So we can`t throw too many stones at the Bahamas.
But what about it, John Burris, do you trust their government to follow-through with this?
BURRIS: Well, I have no reason not to trust them and they actually moved pretty quickly on this here. And so John Travolta`s a pretty famous guy so there`ll be a lot of attention on this. I think that, given what I have seen so far, it seems like you can trust what they`re trying to do. If they didn`t want to -- by not disclosing it up front like they had, it seems to me they wanted to be careful.
BURRIS: . in their efforts. So I would trust them right.
SANCHEZ: If the government of the Bahamas is anything like the government of Aruba, I think we`re in trouble.
SANCHEZ: As far as this case.
GRACE: Yes, a lot of trouble. To Dr. Janet Taylor, MD and psychiatrist, Dr. Taylor, who would take advantage, or try to take advantage, of parents who just lost their son?
TAYLOR: You know it`s a case where greed just overrides common sense. I mean just intentionally try to take information, it`s unethical from the medical technician`s point of view and then hopefully if the senators are involved, I mean people elected to public service are supposed to look out for your constituent`s best interest and not get caught up in greed and corruption.
GRACE: To Dr. Michael Bell, Dr. Bell is Palm Beach County medical examiner. Dr. Bell, reports indicated that Jett Travolta had been taking an anti-seizure drug called Depakote.
GRACE: But had stopped taking it. What is it?
BELL: Depakote, is also called -- and also contains Valproic Acid. It`s used to control seizures. And obviously, if you`re not taking the medication, the seizures may return.
GRACE: You know, I want to go back to Andy Kahn with the Houston Victims Unit. Andy, I know you`ve heard about this extortion plot. What do you think about these people trying to take advantage of the Travoltas who have just lost their boy unexpectedly? And one of these guys is the ambulance driver there. And this -- moment when the boy is either just dead or dying, and Travolta is allegedly trying to talk him back to life.
ANDY KAHAN, DIR. OF HOUSTON MAYOR`S VICTIM`S CRIME OFFICE, MONITORS MURDERABILIA SALES: What a bunch of parasites. This is about as low level bottom, river dwelling, catfish people that prey upon family members who just lost a loved one, and particularly a -- young child like that, and to try to use whatever leverage they can on his celebrity status simply to make profit of.
I -- you know, I really hope they throw the book at him. I feel so, so, so, so sorry for the Travolta family, to lose someone and now have people close to them.
GRACE: And -- Andy, one of them is actually a Bahamian senator.
KAHAN: That`s -- that`s even more repulsive. When you find high- level, high-ranking people. Unreal.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Travolta knew his son was a special child. And he nurtured the relationship. He gave him love, demonstrated publicly at all times. And you saw the pain.
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GRACE: One of these coops, allegedly a senator there in the Bahamas.
To Dana in Connecticut. Hi, Dana.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
GRACE: Hi, what`s your question, dear?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I wanted to know if you could tell me what the legal definition of extortion is, what it entails for somebody to be arrested for extortion.
GRACE: OK. Alex Sanchez, John Burris, in a nutshell, Alex.
SANCHEZ: Extortion is when you try to extract something or some behavior from someone by threats. That`s extortion.
GRACE: John Burris, commonly known as blackmail.
BURRIS: Blackmail. It was clearly blackmail. Somebody has something they want to get from else that the other people want to keep private.
BURRIS: And you want -- they want to get money from you.
GRACE: Evil, evil to do this to the Travoltas at this time in their life.
Back to Andy Kahan. Andy, can you believe -- you`ve got the ambulance driver that you trust, and then you`ve got a senator, a Bahamian senator, allegedly trying to scam Travolta for $25 million over the death of a son.
KAHAN: You know, you can`t even let the Travoltas grieve in peace for the loss of their loved one. And now they`ve got to find out that people close to them and a high-ranking official is trying to extort money. It`s just like being gutted all over again.
GRACE: So, you know, Andy, after you heard about the Caylee look- alike doll, do you ever just go home and feel the wind knocked out of your sails? You see this all day.
KAHAN: Take a look at my forehead and you can see why I have no hair. It`s just-- every day, it just seems like there`s something more and more bizarre that happens. And it just never ceases to amaze me, human behavior.
GRACE: Everybody, let`s stop. I want to remember Marine Corporate Adam McKiski, 21, Cherry Valley, Illinois, killed Iraq on a second tour. Fulfilled his dream of serving the Marines like his grandfathers.
Lost his life days after second wedding anniversary. Loved snowboarding, fast cars, hiking with this dogs, water skiing. Leaves behind his parents Hal and Mary, sister Emily, widow and high school sweetheart, Jamie.
Adam McKiski, American hero.
Thanks to our guests but especially to you for being with us. I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then good night, friend.