12/20/2007 (www.cnn.com) Nancy Grace Show
“Guests: Joel Brodsky and Pam Bosco”
PLEASE NOTE: This original official transcript has been (SNIPPED) to include ONLY information discussion on the Stacy Peterson and/or Kathleen Savio case.
Search Continues for Missing West Virginia College Student
Aired December 20, 2007 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIKE BROOKS, GUEST HOST: Tonight, the desperate search for a 21-year- old West Virginia coed who vanishes without a trace, Marshall University student Leah Hickman last seen at the apartment she shares with her older sister. Hickman never makes it to her part-time job at a clothing store. Then she`s never heard from again, her car left behind at an apartment, along with her keys and purse. The only thing missing, her cell phone and a winter coat. What happened to 21-year-old Leah Hickman?
BROOKS: And tonight, after weeks of pulling up debris and abandoned cars from an Illinois canal, the search moves elsewhere for 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, the young mom of two vanishing October 28 in the Chicago suburbs. Former police sergeant and suspect Drew Peterson reportedly hires a private investigator in the search. And will phone records discredit Drew Peterson`s alibi in the death of his third wife, the mysterious bathtub death of wife number three, Kathleen Savio, back under investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The search at an Illinois canal for any sign of 23-year-old Stacy Peterson turns up empty, and now investigators say they will move on. For weeks, divers have been braving freezing temperatures, combing the Chicago sanitary and ship canal. The only thing they were able to pull from the frigid waters, cars and debris. Police will not confirm reports that cell phone pings led them to search that canal or what evidence they have been looking for.
Mom of two Stacy Peterson has been missing since October 28, her former police sergeant husband a suspect in her disappearance. But Drew Peterson has not been charged, and reports reveal Peterson hires a private investigator in the search for his fourth wife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. First tonight: Where is 21-year-old coed Leah Hickman?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Illinois state police say they`re pulling their divers off the search for 23- year-old Stacy Peterson. State police moving on to other areas, after searching a canal for weeks. Their hope, to find evidence in the investigation. Peterson missing since October 28 from the Chicago suburbs. Her two young kids now likely to spend Christmas without their mom.
Drew Peterson remains a suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Stacy Peterson is still missing. Where is she? Let`s go out to the latest with Kathy Chaney, reporter for the "Chicago Defender." Kathy, what`s going on out in Bolling Brook right now?
KATHY CHANEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": Right now the divers are not going to search the canal that they have been searching for a few weeks now. They`re going to search some other water ways, but the canal they have been in is a no go for right now. Nothing fruitful has come up with that. Rick Mimms (ph) has appeared for the Grand Jury for the second time. He appeared today and gave a small account. He said they asked him about the children, how the children`s demeanor was within the last few days or the week before Stacy disappeared. And he`s scheduled to appear again before the Grand Jury in late January.
BROOKS: Is Rick Mimms talking about what he said in the Grand Jury?
CHANEY: Well, he gave a very brief overview that, you know, he was asked about the kids, about the demeanor. He didn`t go into specifics, but he did divulge that she was asked those questions.
BROOKS: I want to go out to the attorneys, Doug Burns, defense attorney and Midwin Charles, defense attorney, both here in New York. Doug, if you`re in a Grand Jury, aren`t you supposed to just keep your mouth shut.
DOUG BURNS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Under federal law, all of the Grand Jurors, the stenographer, everybody in the room must keep Grand Jury secrecy. It`s a felony not to, as you know. But a witness actually can discuss their testimony, with the caveat that I`m a New York lawyer; I would assume that under the Illinois scheme, a witness can discuss it. But I agree with you, Michael, 100 percent they shouldn`t do it.
BROOKS: Midwin, do you agree with Doug? I find it -- if you`re going in, it`s an investigation. That`s why they have a Grand Jury. Keep your yapper shut?
MIDWIN CHARLES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Absolutely, and I always have to put on that defense hat, and what it does is it could have horrible ramifications for the defendant. What this person is doing is absolutely ridiculous.
BROOKS: I have to totally agree with you. Joining us from Chicago, a very, very special guest, Joel Brodsky. He is Drew Peterson`s attorney. Joel, are you with us?
JOEL BRODSKY, DREW PETERSON`S ATTORNEY: Yes, I am.
BROOKS: Thank you Mr. Brodsky for being with us again. We just heard Rick Mimms.
BRODSKY: Rick Mimms has been shopping various stories to the "National Enquirer" and is trying to sell pictures to various news operations. Rick Mimms is looking at this as a profit making opportunity. That`s probably why he`s throwing little things out after his Grand Jury testimony, to try to get different medias interested in talking to him and paying him money.
But he is simply not credible. Ever since he went to the Enquirer, he lost any credibility. I don`t even know why they`re bothering to call him before the Grand Jury.
BROOKS: He said -- he`s been on this show. He sat right here in this studio with me and said he was a friend of Drew`s. Was he ever a friend of Drew`s?
BRODSKY: No, he wasn`t. He was a kid from the neighborhood -- there`s a great age difference, obviously -- that drew, you know, took under his wing after he came back, I think, from Mississippi, where he had got a slip and fall settlement and lost the money in some investments. Drew was just being a nice guy, trying to help him out. But they were never friends.
BROOKS: There`s been a lot of talk today, Mr. Brodsky, about private investigators being hired by Drew to conduct your own investigation. Has he now hired two private investigators?
BRODSKY: We have two investigators that are starting to follow what I would call electronic media leads. That`s where they`re going to start, with cell phones, text messages through their various abilities that they don`t -- you know, there are tricks of the trade, are trying to follow those leads and see where they go.
They`re also looking at this Cales (ph) -- Kelton Cales, who was a friend of him. He`s in prison right now on sex offender charges. And that was the place where Stacy was supposedly heading, to paint his apartment. And we`re taking a look at seeing who his friends were and where they were during the time that Stacy disappeared. So we`re trying to follow up these leads. Of course, we don`t have the resources the police do. But here are trying.
BROOKS: When you`re dealing with electronic media, a lot of times it takes subpoenas to get those particular records. How are you going about this?
BRODSKY: The private investigators tell me they have their little tricks of the trade to get the information.
BROOKS: All legal, I`m sure.
BRODSKY: I`m sure they are.
BROOKS: I hope they are.
BRODSKY: So do I.
BROOKS: I`m sure you do. What are you reactions on the reports that Peterson came in -- when Kathleen Savio (ph) died, night before that, came in with -- in the middle of the night, dressed in black, took off his clothes, had some women`s clothes, said something to Stacy about the police may be here; what is your reaction to that?
BRODSKY: That -- I think Mark Fuhrman reported that, if I`m not incorrect. And that story`s about as credible as Mark Fuhrman`s sworn testimony. It`s absolutely ridiculous. It has no basis in fact whatsoever. I have no idea where he made that up.
BROOKS: Now, the teenaged sons, have they spoken to the Grand Jury or was there a court mediator that they spoke with?
BRODSKY: It wasn`t a court mediator. They were subpoenaed before the Grand Jury, but in Will County when they`re dealing with minors of that age, instead of taking them before the Grand Jury, they take them to a child advocacy center, and they`re questioned in a little more of a less threatening atmosphere by the state`s attorney. That`s probably the best way to do it when you`re dealing with young children.
BROOKS: But everything they say is still admissible, correct?
BRODSKY: It`s sworn testimony and it counts as before the Grand Jury, absolutely.
BROOKS: That`s what I wanted to make sure; was still sworn testimony, just out of the Grand Jury atmosphere, if you will.
BRODSKY: There`s a transcript and a reporter and all that.
BROOKS: Gotcha. Now, you have said that you want a special prosecutor because of leaks from the Grand Jury. This Rick Mimms is a perfect example. But do you really feel that there have been leaks out of that Grand Jury?
BRODSKY: We know there`s been leaks.
BROOKS: How do you know that for sure?
BRODSKY: Take a look at an example. For example, the cell phone records that they supposedly used to triangulate where Drew was supposedly at a certain time -- you know, the cell phone companies are bound by the -- I think they call it the Electronic Stored Information Act. They cannot divulge it. The only person that got those records were the Grand Jury. And yet they`re out in public.
So obviously they came out -- somehow got out from the Grand Jury. I know it`s not the state`s attorney that`s doing it. But there`s a lot of different police officers -- hundreds, I believe, involved. And to think that one of them may be talking is not improbable. I hope that it`s not, but, you know, I think that`s more likely than not where it`s coming from.
BROOKS: I can guarantee you, I`m sure it`s not coming from any of the FBI investigators, because they`re always, as I was -- working investigations, they`re always under the threat of polygraph.
BRODSKY: No, I doubt it would be any FBI agent either. But, like I said, there`s hundreds of other Illinois state police and other local, you know, police agencies involved, and all you need is one guy to start talking out of hundreds, and there`s your leek.
BROOKS: And, as you said, it just snowballs and snowballs and snowballs.
BROOKS: More on the Lacy Peterson investigation when we come back. But first, check out the latest message from Nancy about the twins. Coming soon, video of the twins will make its debut on the Baby Blog. That`s all at CNN.com/NancyGrace. Remember to mark your calendars, Nancy`s back January 7, 8:00 p.m. sharp Eastern. Be sure to join us right here on Headline News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There may be no resolution. This thing may become what they call either a cold case or a -- I mean as far as Kathy Savio, it already was a closed case. You know, they have reopened it, and if they don`t come to any other conclusion, then it just continues as a closed case. As far as Stacy goes, we hope that she shows herself alive at some point in time. And if not, we`ll continue searching and I`m sure everybody else will too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Stacy Peterson is still missing as we move closer to Christmas and the holiday season. It makes it harder on her family to deal with her missing, with the kids. We`re going to talk all about that. First I want to go right out to Bolling Brook, Illinois. Joining us is a very special guest, Pam Bosko, Stacy Peterson family friend and spokesperson for the family.
Pam, thank you again for being with us.
PAM BOSKO, PETERSON FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: Thank you.
BROOKS: So what is the latest in the search that you know of?
BOSKO: The Illinois State Police are conducted now water way searches in other areas. They were initially focusing on the canal. They have cleared that one up and now they are going to other areas that were pointed out to them in leads and tips that came in. So that`s what they`re doing.
BROOKS: Now, did they tell you why -- did they tell you at all why they`re now abandoning the canal and looking in other water ways?
BOSKO: They always have other tips and leads coming in, other areas that they had to investigate along the way. Because they first clearing out the canal, which was, of course, one of the primary interests, they had to clear one before you can move the resources to another location. That`s what they were doing. It`s just procedure.
BROOKS: Right now, I think they`re trying to take advantage of some sonar equipment, some high resolution sonar equipment that came from the Minneapolis area from one of the counties outside there, when they had the bridge collapse. They`re trying to utilize that while they still can and before the water totally freezes over.
BROOKS: What is your reaction to Drew Peterson hiring two private investigators?
BOSKO: I would fist like to know from Mr. Brodsky if they are any relation to Drew, if they`re friends of Drew, and if they are, in fact, working with the Illinois state police and do the police know who they are?
BROOKS: Mr. Brodsky, that`s a great question.
BRODSKY: I can tell you, there`s certainly no relation to Drew. That`s certain. They`re just professional licensed investigators. And this is their professional and that`s what we have retained them to do.
BROOKS: And they are licensed investigators?
BROOKS: Now I want to go back out to Pam Bosko, Stacy Peterson`s family friend and spokesperson. Have you spoken with anyone, with Drew or any of his friends about possibly seeing the children during Christmas time?
BOSKO: We were told initially, even at Thanksgiving, that he said no to us having the children or doing anything with the children. So we expect probably the same thing.
BROOKS: I want to go out to Dr. Bethany Marshall, psychoanalyst and author of "Deal Breakers, When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away." It`s the Christmas season. We`ve heard Drew Peterson was on a radio show recently talking about trying to make the best of Christmas without her around and the kids. What do you makes of is that, Bethany?
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: I`m extremely concerned about what Pam said just now, that these children are going to be cut off from their extended family at Christmas time, when they just lost their mom? He said that he was hanging out with the kids all the time, he`s having a Santa coming over; he talks about himself like he`s a great dad. But then he says that the kids are oblivious to the loss of their mom.
Oblivious? It sounds like the person who`s oblivious is Drew Peterson. What these kids need is a father who`s attuned and hooks them up with the larger family. What he should be observing in the kids are temper tantrums, clinging, whining, distancing behavior, behavior problems in the little ones, and probably the older ones are either blaming themselves or frantically looking for their money mother to come home; and they need their dad to make meaning out of what`s happening right now.
BROOKS: I want to go out to Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson`s attorney. Mr. Brodsky, you heard what she said. Are there any plans at all to let Stacy`s family see the kids at all during Christmas?
BRODSKY: You know, that`s not my cup of tea to get involved in the family dynamics. I understand that there`s a long history, a dynamic history between Stacy`s family and Drew and even Stacy. But, I mean, that`s strictly up to Drew. He`s the father. I know that his two older boys, the 13 and the 14-year-old, are doing absolutely great. The freshman in high school was the number one in his class. He plays in the senior jazz band, the trumpet.
They`re all doing very well, very good kids. And Drew is a good father.
BROOKS: But the pressure`s still got to be tough on those kids, though, Mr. Brodsky.
BRODSKY: I assume so. But it`s a sad situation that they`re going to have to go through this Christmas, and he`s going to do the best he can. I know they`re going to be with Drew`s family for some time and they`re going to try to spend Christmas as quietly as possible.
BROOKS: Have you seen the young kids yourself?
BRODSKY: The two little ones?
BRODSKY: Yes, once.
BROOKS: How are they? Tell me about them.
BRODSKY: They`re happy. They play. The little Lacy loves to -- she made a little tea party. They`re doing -- they`re happy and they`re well adjusted and they`re doing good. But --
BROOKS: It`s still got to be tough during the Christmas time, even for the kids.
BRODSKY: I`m sure it is.
BROOKS: I want to get back to talking about the case again. Now evidence, you have asked for the evidence, the cars and his 11 guns to be returned. The court said no, you`re not getting it.
BRODSKY: Not until -- the court said we`re not getting it now. But he did continue it until January 25th to review it again. In other words, sending a message to the state that there`s going to be a limit. We`re going to give you enough time to do what you need to do, but it`s not going to be indefinite, and when you come back on the 25th, if you want more time, you got to have a reason.
BROOKS: I want to go out to defense attorneys Doug Burns and Midwin Charles, joining us here in New York. These alleged leaks coming out of the Grand Jury. Midwin, could it taint the jury pool?
CHARLES: It can. The jury pool comes from the public and these are people who are listening to what this guy is saying and can be forming opinions that could be detrimental to the defendant. So, of course, it`s going to harm the jury pool.
BROOKS: Doug, if and when this ever goes to trial, do you think -- again, he`s not charged. I just want to remind our viewers, he`s not charged; he`s not indicted. But if it does go to trial, can he get a fair trial in that venue?
BURNS: We got to clear something up; everybody often gives the opinion how can you find someone who hasn`t heard about the case and participated in taking in information about it. That`s not the legal test. The test is not withstanding the fact that you watched shows, read newspapers, you can put that out of your mind and be fair. That`s the test. So we`ll see what happens.
BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. With the holidays almost here, Stacy Peterson is still missing from her home in Bolling Brook, Illinois. I want to go right back out, joining us by phone from Bolling Brook is Pam Bosko, Stacy Peterson`s family friend and spokesperson. Pam, you had something you wanted to add?
BOSKO: Yes, actually, I wanted to go back to the original statement that Brodsky said about a sexual offender on the family side. I find it ironic that he feels he has the right to cast that stone, since it seems his client has the taste for sweet 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds, since that`s what the age that Stacy was when Drew Peterson met her and started dating her.
BROOKS: Mr. Brodsky, your response.
BRODSKY: That`s different from a sexual assault that Mr. Cales was convicted of. There`s a difference between a consensual relationship and aggravated criminal sexual assault.
BOSKO: A 16-year-old is consensual at 46?
BRODSKY: By law, yes it is.
BRODSKY: If you have a problem with that, you need to talk to the state legislature.
BOSKO: I never knew 16 was the law in Illinois. That should be looked into, because I don`t believe it was 16.
BROOKS: OK, Pam, thank you. But I know 16 is the age of consent in Illinois. I want to go right out to the phones. Amanda from Oregon, quickly you have a question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, did Stacy Peterson ever call 911 for domestic abuse.
BROOKS: That`s a good question. Doug Burns, do you recall if she ever called 9/11 for domestic abuse?
BURNS: I really do not, Michael. I apologize.
Thank you to all of our guests. Thank you at home for being was. Remember to visit Nancy`s Baby Blog at CNN.com/NancyGrace. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Until then, stay safe.