Geraldo Rivera Live - Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Geraldo -- 5/24
Posted by jams on May-25-00 at 10:12 PM (EST)

Rivera live, May 24, 2000

Mrs. PATSY RAMSEY (Mother of JonBenet Ramsey): As long as there is a killer at large who has murdered our child, our lives will never go on. I mean, that is just ridiculous.

Mr. JOHN RAMSEY (Father of JonBenet Ramsey): Someone killed this six-year-old child. We know that. And we want them captured. We're not going...

Mrs. RAMSEY: As Mark Beckner where we go next.

Mr. RAMSEY: go on with our lives until that happens.


Is JonBenet's killer really still at large, or was the person or persons responsible for the little beauty queen's death sitting on the podium at that triumphal news conference today in Atlanta? John and Patsy Ramsey tried to put the lingering question to rest once and for all today with a public relations tour de force: the unveiling of polygraph results showing they were not attempting deception when they denied killing their six-year-old daughter. 'The truth is the truth,' Patsy declared, announcing that the lie detector test administered privately by a respected examiner was proof positive that the couple is innocent. But the Ramseys' lawyer also conceded that an earlier polygraph result was inconclusive. And Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner was less than impressed with the Ramseys' revelations.

Chief MARK BECKNER (Boulder Police Department): And I'm no expert, but I've been told by those who are experts that the more often you take polygraphs, the less effective they become. And so any future polygraphs--Who knows?--could be tainted by their decision to go out and--and hire their own polygraph operators in this case.

RIVERA: Hi, everybody. I'm Geraldo Rivera.

Was it a last-ditch, full-scale, sincere attempt by two falsely accused parents to finally prove their innocence, or was it a carefully crafted publicity stunt to once again deflect attention from the possibility that John and/or Patsy Ramsey are guilty of a horrible, hideous crime? Either way, polygraph results are not admissible in court, so legally, today's development makes no difference. But let's face it, ladies and gentlemen, if they had failed that test and we knew about that, we would be pointing the finger of suspicion at them even more profoundly than we have up until now.

There can be no denying that the tests are important tools of law enforcement, and now that the Ramseys have a favorable polygraph report, they are very publicly embracing what Patsy once called a voodoo science. Our Jane Wells has the details.

Mrs. RAMSEY: Basically, our guilt or innocence or whatever was hanging on whatever happened in this room.

JANE WELLS reporting:

Patsy Ramsey called it nerve-racking when she finally took a lie detector this month, more than three years after the murder of her daughter.

Mrs. RAMSEY: I had JonBenet's face in my mind from the moment I went into that room, and I just kept saying, 'This is for you, honey, because we're going to find out who did this.'

WELLS: Ramsey and her husband, John, took the test from an examiner hired by their attorney, but the first test was inconclusive. They then agreed to be retested by a national expert.

Mr. EDWARD GELB (Polygraph Examiner): Question one: 'Did you inflict any of the injuries that caused the death of JonBenet?' Answer: 'No.'

WELLS: Edward Gelb says he questioned the Ramseys separately on five occasions, asking them if they'd killed their daughter or know who did. Each time the answer was the same.

Mr. GELB: Answer: 'No.'

WELLS: And each time his conclusion was the same.

Mr. GELB: John Ramsey was telling the truth when he denied knowing who killed JonBenet.

Patsy Ramsey was telling the truth when she denied knowing who killed JonBenet.

WELLS: Gelb also claims that Patsy Ramsey answered truthfully when she said she did not write the ransom note.

Mr. RAMSEY: You need to realize there's a killer of children that walks among us. It's not Patsy, and it's not I.

WELLS: Author Lawrence Schiller says the test results seem to have given new life to the Ramseys.

Mr. LAWRENCE SCHILLER (Author): I can feel the fiber in them. I can feel the flesh on their skin, the pores. This is them coming out of the closet.

WELLS: Edward Gelb is reportedly the same examiner who gave O.J. Simpson a lie detector test shortly after the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, a test Simpson allegedly failed badly. But there was at least one major difference.

Mr. SCHILLER: You see, the--the Simpson test was given within 48 hours of the act.

WELLS: The Ramseys waited more than three years, but their experts say that should not affect the results. Polygraphs are not admissible in criminal cases; they have not been sufficiently proven reliable. Yet for a long time the Boulder police have tried to get the Ramseys to take a lie detector test, but it never happened as both sides grew to hate each other. When the Ramseys finally offered this year to take a test, only if the police or the FBI were not in charge of it, Boulder Chief Mark Beckner said, 'No way.' And he is not impressed with what the Ramsey team is now reporting.

Chief BECKNER: There's nothing that we've seen today that has changed the investigation at this point.

WELLS: Polygraph results may not be admissible in criminal cases, but they are used in civil suits, and the Ramseys are planning on filing several civil lawsuits charging slander and liable. The results of these tests may give them some firepower. But there's one potentially controversial thing about these tests: The Ramseys knew the questions in advance. Edward Gelb says he does that on purpose. He finds that guilty people then start to worry when they know which questions will be incriminating, and the worry shows up in the test results. Geraldo.

RIVERA: Thank you, Jane.

Dan Abrams, NBC's legal ace, joins us. Dan, you were at that press conference today. If they had failed, as I--I said in my little ad-lib at the top of the program, remembering what happened when we found out that Simpson had failed so dismally, allegedly, his test, also allegedly given by Gelb, although never--never confirmed, we all thought--and a--actually, Larry Schiller, one of our guests tonight, reported that--that this is the guy and he did it, and he was testing the waters and he--he screwed it up badly. He's guilty. Now is the shoe on the other foot? Do we go the other way? Is it e--exculpatory? Do we now celebrate--anyway, I'll shut up and answer.

DAN ABRAMS (NBC News): Well, I--I think the answer is that you can't look at a lie detector in a vacuum. They are relevant tools for law enforcement, they're used all the time, but they're not dispositive. So, for example, if someone comes into this saying, 'Well, you know, I think it's more likely than not based on the evidence that John or Patsy Ramsey did this,' they then pass a polygraph, it's got to pose some questions. It's got to say, 'Hmm, maybe I need to re-examine this.'

On the other hand, if you go into it--again, this is an assumption--you go into it assuming that it's more likely than not that they did it, and then they fail, well, that's maybe more convincing to someone. So it depends on where you come into this from. You just can't look at a lie detector one way or the other and say it solves the entire issue.

RIVERA: But you can't pooh-pooh the fact that they took and passed the test.

ABRAMS: Absolutely not. I think this is a relevant factor. I think it is significant. And I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it may force people who have come into this assuming that Patsy and John Ramsey were responsible to rethink those conclusions.

RIVERA: I--I just note a couple of other things. And--and, again, I--I say that th--they score--score one for John and Patsy. But if your guy is doing the examining, and it's Ed Gelb or whomsoever, and he asked this question, 'Did you inflict any of the injuries that caused the death of JonBenet?' in a--in a tone more or less as I just said it, or you have a hostile climate where it's a cop or an FBI agent and he says, 'Did you inflict any of the injuries that caused the death of JonBenet?' or something more like that, I think environment has a lot to do with it.

ABRAMS: W--and--and that's why who the examiner is and what the examiner's reputation is is so important. This is such a subjective science, to a certain degree, that you have to have great faith in who's doing it. And I think that's why Lin Wood, the Ramseys' attorney, went to such great lengths here to find a couple of polygraph examiners who would be unimpeachable, in the sense that we wouldn't be able to sit here and say, 'Well, I don't really trust this guy. I'm sure he was in the Ramsey camp.' I mean, Ed Gelb is a legitimate polygraph examiner who does work for law enforcement organizations.

Again, I would say doesn't--doesn't resolve the issue of whether the Ramseys did it, but unquestionably, I think that people have to say, 'Hm'--they have to look at this and say, 'Well, you gotta give, at the very least, the Ramseys the benefit of the doubt in saying that this polygraph examination is something that needs to be thought about.'

RIVERA: OK, we do give them that. But I--I note for the record, did they say anything--one of the preconditions that the authorities in Boulder had for the official lie detector test was a blood and/or urine test to ensure that they were not doped going into it. Any word of any of those kinds of precautions?

ABRAMS: No drug tests were taken here, and Ed Gelb specifically addressed that issue and said that in this type of test that he did here, this type of lie detector test, it wouldn't be relevant whether there were any sort of drugs. It wouldn't have impacted his--his i--interpretation of the results.

RIVERA: So if the Ramseys sue me--is Jane right that they can admit this lie detector test, and does that mean that I can now ask them to take another one with an examiner of my choice?

ABRAMS: No. I mean, as you know, Geraldo, I mean, the fact that polygraphs are sometimes admissible in civil cases doesn't mean that someone can go privately take a lie detector and it will automatically be admissible. If--if--if the Ramseys were to sue you, I think that there would undoubtedly be a battle over lie detectors. But, for example, if you were to say to them, 'OK, I will admit your lie detector test if you agree to take another lie detector test under my terms, where that one will undoubtedly be admitted into evidence,' I think that there might be some sort of deal there that would be worked out where the polygraphs would be admissible.

RIVERA: All right. Finally, the fact that three years have tolled since the--since the crime, is that a relevant factor?

ABRAMS: Some people say it is. The examiners who were questioned here said it wasn't. They said--for example, one of them gave an example of a case that was 40 or 50 years old where it didn't make a difference. But you talk to some examiners, they say that is relevant; it is an important factor. It just depends on who you talk to.

RIVERA: OK. Dan Abrams, thank you very much.

Gerry Spence, what do you think about this development? Is it meaningful? It's not in a criminal jurisprudential sense, but is it in some cosmic sense?

Mr. GERRY SPENCE (Trial Attorney): Well, I think it is, and I think--I think--I think we're suffering our own problems. I mean, we've sat here for three or four years thinking that these people were guilty. Everything that we heard said they were guilty. There--this--the--the g--the general wisdom of America was that these people are guilty. And so...

RIVERA: It still may be.

Mr. SPENCE: Yes. And so--and so now it's very hard for us to let loose of that idea. I mean, what if they--if they aren't, then we're wrong. If they--if they aren't, the police are wrong. And the police have a very difficult time in ever saying, 'You know, they might not be guilty.' As a matter of fact, once the evil eye of the police gets upon you, and they make their accusations, it doesn't make any difference what you come up with--lie detector tests, the best lie detector test in the world--you may be utterly innocent, and the police are never going to change their mind because it means that they've been wrong.

And so the question that we have to do, and the way we have to be careful here, Geraldo, is that we are not also kind of like that; that we open our minds to the possibility that these people are really innocent and that we have been wrong all along.

RIVERA: Well, I note for the record, ladies and gentlemen, that I believe that this is significant. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when the test was administered, but there is no--there is no denying that this is not a...

Mr. SPENCE: Couple of--couple of other things...

RIVERA: ...a significant point.

Mr. SPENCE: Couple other things...

RIVERA: Well, Gerry, hold them for a second. Let me take a quick break. I just want to note, ladies and gentlemen, we have Larry Schiller on board, the author of "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town," the best book on this subject; Norm Early, the former Denver DA; and Gregg McCrary, our pal, ex-FBI, a real man of integrity and honor and knowledge. And we'll ask Gregg what he thinks of this technological--and Bob Grant. Hey, Bob. Cool. 'The truth is the truth,' Patsy said. Is it? Title, our focus. Back in a flash. Stay tuned.


Mr. LIN WOOD (Attorney for the Ramseys): Interrogation for three full days in June of 1998, and not one word was asked, not one mention was made about a polygraph examination. In fact, from April of 1997, when they were interrogated by former Detective Thomas, until April of 2000, three years later, not one mention, not one request, no discussion from the Boulder police or the Boulder DA about a lie detector or polygraph examination.

Mr. STEVE THOMAS (Former Boulder Detective): (From past RIVERA LIVE) Any reasonable person would deduce that the polygraph question was--was posed. She agreed, and--and I got somewhat of a non-answer from him. But what was remarkable in this case, Dan, was that as I was polygraphing other potential suspects and using an FBI polygrapher to clear other people, somehow the Ramseys seemed immune. And the two individuals in particular in the district attorney's office, who I brought it up with repeatedly, were of the opinion that they didn't "believe" in polygraphs; that they didn't believe that they were a--a reliable or a useful tool. But it was such a contradiction; how could we be polygraphing and clearing some suspects? It worked fine on them, but--but the Ramseys, not.

RIVERA: Larry Schiller, what's the truth?

Mr. SCHILLER: Well, you know, I think there's a lot of motivation to what we've seen today. You know, I don't want to put aside the fact that John Ramsey's trying to rebuild his life for his family, his son. And, you know, if he's out there to find the killer, he will certainly do that, but he has to rebuild his life. And, you know, now John Ramsey has some stature back, he can go looking for that corporate job because he has been somewhat cleared in the court of public opinion via this test. So let's not put aside other motivations.

I also believe that polygraphs are an investigative tool. They do not give you the truth. They're used by law enforcement to intimidate people, and sometimes they're used to clear people. But, you know, here we have a situation--and as--and I don't agree with Detective Thomas on all issues, but, yes, just like DNA was used to clear some people in this case, but not others, the polygraph was used to clear some people, but not others.

And I--and I think we--we have a big question here. The Ramseys are out there in the court of public opinion. They've got to rebuild their lives. They've got to get on with their lives as they look for the killer. And if Patsy Ramsey is the person who was involved in the death--and I'm not saying she is--she can believe that somebody else did it. She can be the atypical killer, believing she's totally innocent, taking the test, passing it. Because it is an atypical crime to her, she just doesn't accept the fact.

RIVERA: Let me go to the Adams County district attorney, Bob Grant, who, of course, is--has been on Alex Hunter's team there in Boulder, the special team helping out the Boulder DA. What say you, Bob?

Mr. BOB GRANT (Adams County District Attorney): Geraldo, first of all, good evening.


Mr. GRANT: It's good to see you again.

RIVERA: You, too, man.

Mr. GRANT: The polygraph results, in the press conference today, mean literally nothing to me. I place no significance on them at all. To call a polygraph a lie detector is a gross misnomer. Polygraphs measure certain responses of the body, breathing and heartbeat and sweat, but they don't say truth or lie. It is a valid investigative technique. It--it falls into the category of an interrogation technique. It can be used validly for two things: One, if you believe them--if you're a suspect and you believe that the polygraph can, in fact, say truth or lie, and you agree to take one, that tells you something; two, if you have been lying to the police, and the polygraph examiner comes up and says, 'Hey, you lied,' and you believe it's--is a valid test, and you then say, 'OK, I lied. Here's the truth,' it's valid for that--a post-test interview. Otherwise, there's a reason it's not admissible in court: It's unreliable.

RIVERA: Gregg McCrary, what would you advise Mark Beckner right now and the Boulder PD?

Mr. GREGG McCRARY (Retired FBI Special Agent): They're interested in--excuse me--in having the FBI apparently conduct the polygraph exams, as they had--as you just heard Steve Thomas mention earlier--apparently earlier, with other s--other suspects. That's fine. I--I really don't have a problem with that.

It--I think what we have to keep in mind, and--and some people have touched on it, is that polygraph is simply an investigative tool, and it has to be put in the context of all the other facts and all the other evidence that we have. And to the degree that it supports the--the totality of the circumstances and evidence, it could be reliable; to the degree it's--it's outside of that, it may not be.

I've had it, in many cases, go both ways; some have been correct, some have--I've had a case where parents were polygraphed in the abduction of their child--the alleged abduction. They flunked when, in fact, they had nothing to do with it. They--they--they showed deception. And we got that straightened out. And then I've had another case where a woman actually killed her two-year-old and allegedly passed a polygraph exam, showing no deception when she denied it. So you can't look at the polygraph in a vacuum by itself. It really means very, very little. It has to be looked in the context of all of the evidence.

Mr. SPENCE: Yes, yes, yes.

RIVERA: Norm Early, does a child killer prowl the streets of Boulder?

Mr. NORM EARLY (Former Denver District Attorney): I--I think that's very difficult to say that one does, Geraldo. I--I want to go to the issue of--of public opinion. I think public opinion on this case has been galvanized to the extent that what happened today is not going to move the needle one way or the other that much. Those who believe that they did it are going to continue to believe they did it and are going to say that--that the--the polygraph test was not administered by the FBI; that it was administered by people of their choice. They're still trying to control the es--investigation. Those who believe in their innocence are going to use it as fodder to feed that.

But I--what I find particularly interesting here is that the FBI is as interested in anyone in this country in finding out who the true killer of this young girl is. And Gerry Spence said that--that once the police say, 'It's you,' then it's going to be you. That's not the case. That didn't happen in the Ol--Olympic bombing case with Richard Jewell. Richard Jewell had the same lawyer that the Ramseys have. The FBI polygraphed Richard Jewell. The FBI polygraph said Richard Jewell is not the guy. This is after everybody in the country is thinking Richard Jewell was the guy, and based upon that, the case was dismissed. And the--and--and Lin Wood then sued everybody in the country.

RIVERA: Take a break. 'The truth, the truth,' she says. Do we believe her?


Mrs. RAMSEY: I really wish we would stop playing games, and I wish they would open their eyes and their minds and their hearts and know that we did not kill our daughter and that a killer walks the streets of this country. And we need to be looking for that person.

Mr. RAMSEY: We have, as Lin said, not one ounce of trust in the Boulder police, and that's sad. I wish that we did. We gave them our trust when this horrible thing happened, and they lost it by their actions that took place in the beginning and that continue even through today. That is a difficult predicament. We want the killer of our daughter found.

RIVERA: So, Gerry, what do you think? You had a couple of points we didn't have a chance to have you make earlier in the program. Why don't you make them now?

Mr. SPENCE: Well, you know, first of all, the fact that law enforcement gets focused on somebody, it is very difficult to get them unfocused on it. And if--if--if it--if that weren't true, Geraldo, we wouldn't hear all of these people saying, 'Well, these are just investigative tools. I mean, they're unreliable. These are inv--you know, they don't mean anything.' Yet, these are the tools that they use every day. They use them in the courts. They use them to get to--to--to show judges that--that people aren't entitled to parole, or they use them to show judges that people should be let--let out on bond. They use them for everything they want to use them for, except that when...

Mr. EARLY: Never.

Mr. SPENCE: ...the opposite result comes, and they don't want to change their focus.

Mr. McCRARY: That's not true.

Mr. SPENCE: Then it's just an investigative tool.

RIVERA: Go ahead, Gregg.

Mr. McCRARY: N--no, that's not true. The cases I just mentioned--for example, had a case where a--parents were accused--or--or they flunked the polygraph exam dealing--dealing with the abduction of their child. We didn't go with that. That was an FBI case. We went and proved that those people, in fact, didn't have anything to do with the abduction. So that's just simply wrong.

Mr. SPENCE: Well, I think--I agree--I--I agree with...

Mr. EARLY: And I--and as a--and I'd like...

Mr. SPENCE: I agree with you that--you know, that when I make these big, broad statements like I do...

RIVERA: I was going to say that I--I...

Mr. SPENCE: ...that there's always--that there's always an exception to them, and I--and two of them have been pointed out this evening. I'm talking about the general proposition that I see at work at the Boulder police, and I th--and I think everybody would have to agree with that.

Mr. McCRARY: I don't...

RIVERA: But, Norm, would you suggest and advocate an FBI-administered test now?

Mr. EARLY: I--I think that the Ramseys knew how to put this issue to rest, and they knew they could put it to rest by going to the FBI, by--by having a urinalysis or blood test administered before they took the polygraph test. And let the FBI do it. They didn't do it. Why not?

RIVERA: Why not?

Mr. SPENCE: I wouldn't trust the FBI either.

RIVERA: Right back.


Mr. GELB: Patsy Ramsey. 'Did you write the ransom note that was found in your house?' Answer: 'No.'

Question two: 'Regarding the ransom note, did you write it?' Answer: 'No.'

Question three: 'Is that your handwriting on the ransom note found in your house?' Answer: 'No.'

Conclusion, based on the numerical scoring of the examinations in this series, Patsy Ramsey was telling the truth.

Mrs. RAMSEY: It was--it was nerve-racking. I mean, you--I didn't--I really didn't know what a polygraph test amounted to. And there had been so much hoopla over it, it--you know, basically our guilt or innocence or whatever was hanging on whatever happened in this room, you know. So that's pretty heavy. What was I thinking? I had JonBenet's face in my mind from the moment I went into that room, and I just kept saying, 'This is for you, honey, because we're going to find out who did this, and whatever I have to do, I will do.'

RIVERA: Is that what you meant, Larry Schiller, when you said you saw the fibers, the essence of this woman like you haven't before?

Mr. SCHILLER: Yeah. You know, I--I felt her breathing. I felt her, really, skin alive. It impressed me very much. She had a little humor, wit. She'd dealt w--in irony. I'd never had seen any of it. It's almost like coming out of the closet. And I think her attorneys now are doing a--a great job for her, quite different than we saw in Denver, Colorado, and quite different than the way she was handled when they were promoting their book. I mean, they were scared on that promotion tour. You could see them, you know, slide off of questions, deal with things in a very shady way, never really giving you the full truth. But here, I think they're out front.

I think the polygraphs have given them new energy for themselves. Forget what it's doing for the public, it's giving them a new lease on life. And now they can go out and deal with it. And, of course, it's, you know, possibly admissible in their civil lawsuits. It's helpful if he's looking for a corporate job. People look on him now slightly different. People might invest in his ideas; he's an entrepreneur. It's given them a--you know, a life.

And, you know, this is a story of a novelist--a novelist's dream. You can take this character of Patsy Ramsey, a real woman, and play it every way you want. I mean, is she, you know, the killer, or was she involved in the--in the death of her daughter? And does she know it? And if she doesn't know it, people like Gerry Spence and other, you know, criminal attorneys probably have dealt with a lot of atypical killers. And I'm not saying she is. I'm not saying she is that type. But, you know, I'd like to hear from Mr. Spence. Can a certain type of killer, who has no memory of the act, actually slide around these investigative tools that are used by police and law enforcement?

Unidentified Panelist: Well, of course.

Mr. SPENCE: Well, if you're asking me, you're asking somebody that's not an expert on lie detector tests. I'm not a lie detector test expert.

Mr. SCHILLER: Right.

Mr. SPENCE: I just know that--that these tests are subjective and that--and--and I agree that--that if--well, let me try to explain how they work, even though I'm not an expert.

Mr. SCHILLER: Right.

Mr. SPENCE: We--we are--we are a--a--a specie that tries to survive, and we have guilt complexes. When we are little kids, we lie. And when we grow up, we lie. And we all lie. And even today all of us lie one way or another. And when we lie, we're--we feel guilty. And that guilty feelings--those guilty feelings causes us to respond. Our heart starts to beat. We get galvanic response. And it's all supposed to be able to be seen on a--on a chart. But if you are...

RIVERA: Yeah, but--but--but what--what--Gerry, I just have to interrupt you.

Mr. SPENCE: But if--let me just finish it. If--let...

RIVERA: What--if this thing--I know this for a fact, that the CIA--and they cited the CIA polygraph examiner, the expert who set up the system--I know that when they were asking the question of sexual preference, they'd ask, 'Are you homosexual?' A lot of gay--a lot of straight men fail the test because they got so uptight about, 'My God, am I really gay? Am I really straight?' And some gay men who are so confident in their sexuality could answer with impunity and pass the test. I think it is very subjective.

Mr. SPENCE: Well, the problem...

Mr. GRANT: That's the point. It measures anxiety, not truth. It measures anxiety.

Mr. McCRARY: Right.

Mr. SPENCE: That's right.

RIVERA: But th--on that point, Bob Grant, what Larry Schiller's really talking about is the demeanor of the witness.

Mr. GRANT: Sure.

RIVERA: And today those witnesses had a more confident demeanor than they have henceforth.

Mr. GRANT: Well, no question.

RIVERA: I mean up until now.

Mr. GRANT: No question.

Mr. SCHILLER: I mean, Gregg McCra--I'd like to ask Mr. McCrary: I mean, have you dealt with a typical criminals, atypical crimes that have...

Mr. GRANT: Ah, there's no such thing.

Mr. SCHILLER: ...been able to slide around these things?

Mr. McCRARY: Well, as I said, we've had--I've seen--seen polygraphs go both ways, Larry, with false positives and false negatives, whereas...

Mr. SCHILLER: But that's different of a--I'm asking about an atypical criminal, somebody who has no memory at all of the act, that they've cast it off before the act was even completed because it's so repugnant to their own persona and personality.

RIVERA: Oh, well, I saw that movie.

Mr. SCHILLER: That's--that's hard for me to say, Larry. There's a number of variables that go in. And one thing I do agree with Gerry Spence on is that this--this thing is very subjective, and a lot of it comes down to the skill of the person administering the exam. It's the examiner that--that really can...

RIVERA: But--but on that point, Gregg, if you are hiring a guy--I'm not putting down Gelb's professionalism or anyone else's. It's human nature, isn't it? You have one attitude for someone who's your client...

Mr. McCRARY: Sure.

Mr. SCHILLER: No, I--I--no.

RIVERA: ...and another attitude to someone who is your target.

Mr. SCHILLER: No, not somebody like Gelb. I mean, I--I have to disagree with you, Geraldo.

RIVERA: But I just think it's--well, how would you know, Larry?

Mr. SCHILLER: Well, you know, I've dealt with a lot of professionals. Look, Henry Lee was...

RIVERA: You don't think that the Boulder-FBI combo would have administered this test differently?

Mr. SCHILLER: No, no. Let me--let me give you an example. Let me give you an example. Henry Lee was hired by the Simpson defense, but I know for a fact, from information inside those defense meetings, that he stood up to them and said, 'Believe in the science. Look at this.' He did not--just because he was hired by the Simpson defense, he didn't lean over backwards.

RIVERA: Well, his testimony was certainly damning.

Mr. SCHILLER: Henry Lee's not that type of...

RIVERA: And I--I...

Mr. SCHILLER: No, his tensi--testimony was very carefully shaped and used by a very fine attorney, Barry Scheck, because Scheck believed that the harm the police did to society was a greater harm potentially than what Simpson may have done to society.

Mr. GRANT: That, of course, was DNA.

RIVERA: Thank God we have photos of the Bruno Magli shoes surfacing some months...

Mr. GRANT: That, of course, was DNA and not--and not polygraph evidence.

Mr. SCHILLER: Which is like a fingerprint, right.

Mr. GRANT: Well, the fact of the matter is polygraph can be beaten. It has a greater likelihood of doing false positives and false negatives than it has of doing a standard test.

RIVERA: I--let me do something here. But let me--let me...

Mr. GRANT: You can learn responses.

RIVERA: Before I lose these guys, I'd better introduce them formally to you. I--I--I--we do things backwards on this program.

In Santa Barbara, we welcome, of course, the trial attorney, the best-selling author Gerry Spence, his latest, a wonderful book. I--I--it's a sweet, sweet book: "A Boy's Summer." I recommend it.

Down the coast in Los Angeles, the investigative journalist and producer Lawrence Schiller, the author of "Perfect Murder, Perfect Town." Again, it is justly praised for its analysis of the JonBenet murder.

In Denver, not too far from the scene of the crime, our pal Norm Early, the former crime-busting Denver DA, now president of the National Organization for Victim Assistance.

Bob Grant currently serves as district attorney of Adams County, Colorado. It neighbors Boulder. He's on the DA, as I said, Alex Hunter--or--Alex Hunter's still on the job, right, Bob?

Mr. GRANT: You bet.

RIVERA: Until when? When's...

Mr. GRANT: Until January of next year.

RIVERA: Next year, OK. Well, it's their special prosecution task force. Are you still meeting on this case?

Mr. GRANT: On occasion.

RIVERA: OK. And in Washington, another old friend, a really reliable, solid-as-a-rock guy, Gregg McCrary, one of the country's top experts on violent crime in general; child killers in particular. He's a retired special agent for the FBI, director of Behavior Criminology International. That is a consulting company dealing with violent crime.

Gerry Spence, I think I interrupted you yet again.

Mr. SPENCE: Well, I can't remember what I...

RIVERA: But I love you. You know that.

Mr. SPENCE: I can't re--I--I think--I think what I was going to say is that--that because the polygraph registers our sense of guilt or anxiety that arises as a result of guilt--guilt for having lied; the little child feels guilty when he lies, and we feel guilty when we lie. Well, because that's the way it works, if you don't have any sense of guilt, if you are a psychopath or a--a person has no guilty feelings...

RIVERA: Right.

Mr. SPENCE: ...then you may, in fact, be able to pass the lie detector test just fine. On the other hand, as you suggested, if--if you're a--a big macho man and you don't have--and--and you--but inside you're not really sure about your masculinity, and somebody asks you if you're gay, you might just pop that thing right out.

RIVERA: Norm Early, what do you make...

Mr. EARLY: It doesn't measure guilt.

RIVERA: ...of the fact that they took apparently a test previously, and the results were inconclusive?

Mr. EARLY: Yes, I think that that's important. And we don't know how many other polygraph tests they took, quite frankly, and what those results were. They chose to let the public know about the results of this test because these results were in their favor. The--the issue here is if they really want to resolve this thing and get the Boulder police pointed in another direction, they knew how to do it. This is about image. This is not about solving the murder.

Mr. SPENCE: Yeah, but, listen, you can't--my dear friend, you--if you--if you were charged with a crime...

Mr. SCHILLER: They're not.

Mr. SPENCE: w--you wouldn't trust the FBI...

Mr. EARLY: They're not charged with a crime.

Mr. SPENCE: ...or a--or any--or a--or--or...

Mr. EARLY: Richard Jewell tu--trusts the FBI...

Mr. SPENCE: Wait. No, no.

Mr. EARLY: ...and--and he was--and he's Lin Wood's client, just like they are.

Mr. SPENCE: No, I'm talking about--I'm talking about...

Mr. EARLY: He trusted the FBI...

Mr. SPENCE: Oh, come on.

Mr. EARLY: ...and they came back with the truth.

Mr. SPENCE: If you were charged with a crime...

Mr. SCHILLER: Yes, but--yeah. Yes.

Mr. SPENCE: ...or were afraid--or--or were being suspect...

Mr. SCHILLER: Right.

Mr. SPENCE: ...suspected of a crime, you wouldn't take a test by the FBI.

Mr. EARLY: No, what I would do is keep my mouth shut, like--like--like...

Mr. SPENCE: All right.

Mr. EARLY: ...most of their lawyers have advised them to do. Unless, in fact, they're going to get here and try to help solve this case...

Mr. SCHILLER: Yeah, but...

Mr. EARLY: ...they'd be quiet about it.

Mr. McCRARY: Let me make a point, too.

Mr. SCHILLER: But, Norm, the FBI--the FBI did say that somebody inside the house that night, who resided there, you know, was involved in the death. So, you know, th--that's already telling everybody where the FBI's analysis is. So...

Mr. McCRARY: Yeah, I--I'd like to make a...

Mr. EARLY: The FBI was all over the Richard Jewell case. They were the prime movers in the Richard Jewell case. You have an Olympic bombing case where the FBI is the--is the investigating agency, and they are the ones who eventually said he is not the person. Lin Wood's client was not the person in that case. Why was it good enough for J--Richard Jewell and not good enough for the Ramseys?

Mr. SPENCE: Now--now what you--what--g--I guess...

RIVERA: I--Gregg McCrary, I have a--a more...

Mr. SPENCE: I--I...

RIVERA: ...specific objective-type question. One of the questions asked of the authorities, shortly after the horrific murder of the six-year-old around Christmas three years ago, was, 'Does a--a maniac still roam the streets of Boulder?' And the authorities--I--I forget who specifically answered the question, but w...

Mr. SCHILLER: The mayor.

RIVERA: OK--was very specific--thank you, Larry--very specific and said, 'Absolutely not. No, you have nothing to fear.'

Mr. SPENCE: How does he know?

RIVERA: To the best of your knowledge...

Mr. SCHILLER: Right.

RIVERA: ...have there been crimes with this same MO around y--I don't even care what geographic area you--you lay out--since the death of JonBenet?

Mr. McCRARY: No, no. And the FBI has tracked that. I know the Boulder police have tracked it. They've looked for similar crimes. They've gone out and done investigations. Bob Grant might be able to shed more specific light on that, but my understanding is absolutely not.

Mr. SCHILLER: And--and there's been no crimes before or after that dealt in a strangulation in this manner. I mean, this was a horrible strangulation. I've seen the photographs...

Mr. McCRARY: Yeah.

Mr. SCHILLER: ...and I can tell you this is nothing, you know, very pretty. The blow to the head, you know, started--or may have been involved in some of the violence, but this child was brutally strangled with a garotte.

RIVERA: OK, my final...


RIVERA: My final question on this segment, and then we're going to go to this Linda Tripp--basically, I--I don't know if you'd call it vindication, but they're dropping the charges against Linda Tripp, as I mentioned at the top of the program.

I want to ask Bob--Bob Grant for--you know, to the extent that you know, Bob, how many people have been interviewed by and cleared by the authorities investigating the JonBenet murder?

Mr. GRANT: Well, the interviews number in the thousands--in the thousands, Geraldo. In terms of clearance, that's not an investigator's role. We don't go out and shouldn't go out and announce who is cleared, until we announce who in fact is charged.


Mr. SPENCE: So I--I wouldn't--I wouldn't venture that.

RIVERA: OK. I want to thank Larry Schiller. I want to thank Bob for coming. Gregg, nice seeing you again.

Mr. SCHILLER: Thank you.

RIVERA: I'm going to ask Gerry and Norm to stick around. We're going to be joined in an instant by one of our favorites, Ann Coulter, on this whole Linda Tripp business. No Trial For Tripp. Stay tuned.