Geraldo Rivera Live - Thursday, May 25, 2000

Rivera/Host:Abrams, Pozner et al. -- 5/25/00

Posted by LizzieB on 11:56:17 5/26/2000

Okay, Byron. You twisted my arm. Here it is!

Guest Host: Dan Abrams
Guests: Wendy Murphy, Larry Pozner, Nancy Grace, Bill Moffitt NOTE: There were numerous places where several people (sometimes all four guests and Dan) were talking at once, so it was impossible to capture all that was said. This is one of those shows you really had to watch. There is no way to do justice to all the body language and snide laughter, so I didn't even try. Only the words are included here.

Video clip of Ramsey press conference:

P. RAMSEY: It was nerve-wracking. I mean, I really didn't know what a polygraph test amounted to. And there's been so much hoopla over 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 . . .

End of video clip

ABRAMS: How about that from Patsy Ramsey? But is she telling the truth? According to the results of a privately administered polygraph test released yesterday in the Atlanta news conference, John and Patsy Ramsey did not attempt to deceive when they denied killing their six-year-old daughter, JonBenet. Boulder authorities weren't impressed with the Ramseys' announcement, saying the test changes nothing.

And this morning, the man who questioned the couple defended his examination. Ed Gelb, former president of the American Polygraph Association, says the test he administers is just as valid as the one that would be given by the FBI, which is what Boulder police still want, and the Ramseys won't agree to.

Video clip of Today Show:

GELB: These tests were properly administered by a competent individual, and that person was me. If I run an examination tomorrow for one of the five police agencies I work for, is there something different in my ethics or my ability to conduct that examination, or is there something different because in this case I worked for the defendant, or somebody who is not a defendant, but is trying to defend themselves.

End of video clip

ABRAMS: I don't know, I found this guy to be very persuasive -- Ed Gelb. Good reputation. A guy with nothing to gain by jumping on the band wagon. Wendy Murphy, does this now tell us that the police should come out and say, "All right, we were wrong?"

MURPHY: On the contrary. It's ridiculous.

ABRAMS: It means nothing?

MURPHY: I mean, first of all, not only does it mean nothing, it means we need to keep watching them very carefully.


MURPHY: Because the more they inject themselves into our faces, the harder the law enforcement officials are going to be in terms of following them, and I think they should be following them hard. If they are truly innocent, they should shut up. The fact that they are not shutting up leads me to believe they are worried that come January, when there is a new DA involved, they may well be indicted. And this is all part of their large fašade and bunch of baloney, and it's nonsense.

POZNER: Wait! Where do you find these people, Dan? Does she believe in black helicopters hovering over us?

MURPHY: Come on, Larry.

POZNER: Oh, come on now. This is the biggest crock I've ever heard.

MURPHY: Larry, tell me that polygraphs are reliable.

POZNER: Let me see. Because they say they're innocent, that's sure proof that they're guilty.

MURPHY: Tell me polygraphs are reliable when you do them yourself behind closed doors.

POZNER: No, no, no. There you and I agree. A polygraph is an electronic Ouija board.

MURPHY: Thank you.

POZNER: If they'd have failed, I'd have looked in this camera and said it means nothing. They've passed it. I look in this camera and say it means nothing.

MURPHY: Therefore, the fact that they did this is ridiculous.

POZNER: Only facts count, and if there were facts to convict the Ramseys, they'd have come out in the past three years. They didn't.

MURPHY: That's a different issue. That's a different issue. You're saying they did a bogus test, and we're not supposed to judge them harshly?

POZNER: The whole test is bogus.

ABRAMS: Wait a second. Hang on a second. You guys think it's bogus. But Nancy Grace, it's used all the time in law enforcement.

GRACE: It's used all the time in law enforcement. It's very rarely allowed into evidence, because even the Rules of Evidence think it's unreliable.

ABRAMS: Don't tell me about the Rules of Evidence . . .

GRACE: I'll tell you what I think this means. I think this means that their attorneys crafted a set of quetsions that they probably practiced and it also means they're spending a hell of a lot of money on PR. Why are they doing that about themselves?

POZNER: Oh, God.

ABRAMS: I'll tell you why. Because if I'm . . .

GRACE: They just wrote a book and made a million dollars.

ABRAMS: But hypothetically, if I'm them, and I didn't commit this crime, I would want to go out there and somehow convince America that I didn't do it.

GRACE: And take a polygraph that the state offered you. Why have they waited this long? Why won't they take a polygraph the state has offered them? Why wouldn't they cooperate with police? If they're so innocent, why have they stonewalled for years?

ABRAMS: Bill, go ahead.

MOFFITT: You know, this is the only way you can be innocent in America, is to talk to the police. I mean, it's an absurd notion, number one. Our Constitution doesn't require it.

GRACE: Polly Klaas' father did. He took a lie detector test. He wasn't afraid of the police.

MOFFITT: Well, but I'm afraid of the police, okay?

GRACE: I'd like to know, why? Why?

MOFFITT: I haven't done anything, and I'm afraid of the police.

GRACE: Are you willing to take a polygraph?

MOFFITT: I'm afraid of the police. I'm not taking any polygraph. Okay? But then again, I haven't also been subjected to the publicity campaign on the other side of this case that has gone on forever.

GRACE: It's their campaign.

MOFFITT: So, I mean, there's two campaigns. There's a campaign that suggests that they're guilty of something, and there's a campaign to meet that. And I think that people have to defend themselves. They defend themselves any way they can. But to suggest here under these circumstances that this really means anything - this doesn't really mean anything.

ABRAMS: We're going to take a break. We'll continue talking about the Ramseys' polygraph test. What does it mean? Where is the investigation going from here? We're calling this segment, "True Lies?" Back in a moment.


ABRAMS: As you may have already heard, the Ramseys, John and Patsy, passed five lie detector tests from May 6th to May 17th, and now they're going public, saying to the public, to the Boulder authorities, "All right, what else do you want from us?" Their attorney, Lin Wood, has said that he doesn't want them to do a polygraph with the FBI because as he wouldn't allow his client Richard Jewell to take a polygraph from the FBI, he simply doesn't trust them.

Wendy Murphy, is that a legitimate point? Can Lin Wood say, legitimately, "The FBI is going to bring them in there and in essence treat them like criminals. Why should I subject them to that?"

MURPHY: Look, if people have feelings about the FBI and the police, that's fine. If they don't want to take a polygraph in a reliable, objective setting, with a reliable, independent examiner, that's fine. No one's forcing them to do that. But don't then take one with a bought-and-paid-for expert who is doing it under questionable circumstances.

POZNER: Oh, come on. This is horrible. How absurd.

MURPHY: How come this wasn't video-recorded?

ABRAMS: It was. It was video-recorded.

MURPHY: These tests are so extremely easy to beat, especially three years later.

POZNER: The American Polygraph Association's going to call you.

MURPHY: Everybody knows that polygraphs are easy to beat. It's extremely easy three years after the crime. And so, if you don't want to take the FBI's polygraph, that's fine, but don't ask us to swallow a bunch of garbage.

MOFFITT: That's a nice, objective organization, the FBI. That is probably one of the most [unintelligible] organizations in America.

ABRAMS: Wait. Hang on a sec. Does no one on this panel think that this polygraph means anything? Am I the only one who thinks, "Well, I'm not saying it means that they're innocent. I'm saying it means we've got to at least give them some credit here." Does no one agree with me?

POZNER: We should have given them credit three years ago, though, Dan.

MURPHY: It means somebody taught them how to beat the test and to hire the right experts, that's all.

GRACE: It means more than that, Wendy. I think it means, "Methinks thou dost protest too much." They're screaming, "No!" way too much.

POZNER: Oh, stop it. Forget the test. If they don't have enough evidence at this point, having spent millions on crime scene evidence, it's because they're innocent.

MURPHY: Yeah, right.

ABRAMS: Hang on. You guys gotta take turns. Go on, Nancy.

GRACE: What I think it means, based on their entire PR blitz for the last three years, "Methinks thou dost protest too much." All they do is talk about themselves. It's never about JonBenet. It's always, me, me, me.

ABRAMS: But why should they?

POZNER: Because they're innocent. You've got to watch out for those Americans who plead not guilty. That's a sure trick. You're never going to be happy.

MOFFITT: My God, let's protest our innocence. So therefore we've got to be guilty.

GRACE: Hey look, they beat the rap with Alex Hunter. They need to go away, quit making money off JonBenet's death by writing a book.

POZNER: Well, Steve Thomas investigated it and made money writing about it.

MURPHY: And let's be clear about something. There is a Constitutional right to remain silent. There is no Constitutional right to lie. So there's a difference. They can shut up and we shouldn't judge them, but when they lie, we should judge them.

ABRAMS: Hang on for a second. Why should they shut up? I mean, from my perspective, either way, if they did it or they didn't do it, as their attorney, as their advisor, as their friend, I'm going to tell them to go out there and either convince the American public that they're innocent, if they truly are innocent. Or even if they did it, you know what? Do everything you can at this point to continue to try and prove to people that you did it [sic]. Why shouldn't we encourage them?

MURPHY: First of all, it's bad for them. As a criminal defense attorney would, generally speaking, tell their clients to say nothing . . .

ABRAMS: At this point?

MURPHY: Well, even at this point, because if the new DA comes in in January, everything they're saying now can and will be used against them. They now know it.

ABRAMS: Yeah but, they've been interviewed so many times.

MURPHY: I still think that they are loaded guns. I mean, Patsy Ramsey is always saying very odd things. I think she, potentially, could say something that could hurt her. I think they've already made inconsistent statements. They said on national television, "We will take a polygraph for the police," and then they backed off and said, "We were kidding. We wanted to say that on the Today Show, but now that you're really holding us to it, we're going to do it with our very own paid expert. Thanks very much."

POZNER: Oh, come on.

MURPHY: It's a bunch of nonsense.

GRACE: Their paid experts -- they got that money, Wendy, from that book they wrote and those millions of dollars they made off their daughter.

POZNER: Only the police should have money to run lab tests. Let's not let the American citizen who is accused run their own lab tests. Because that would be corrupt.

MURPHY: That doesn't mean we have to buy the baloney.

POZNER: The only lab we should trust is the FBI lab that's been proven to turn out fraudulent results?

ABRAMS: Bill Moffitt.

MOFFITT: How many people have made money off of this case? My God, this is ridiculous. So they are the only people that shouldn't do it? Is that what you're saying?

MURPHY: That's not the issue.

GRACE: But that doesn't mean it's okay. Just because a lot of people do it doesn't mean it's okay.

MURPHY: It's disgraceful.

GRACE: None of them should do it. Why make money off a dead girl?

MURPHY: You don't exploit your child who was murdered. I'm sorry.

POZNER: Oh, exploit. You know, they have legal bills like everybody else who has to hire a lawyer. What do you expect them to do?

MURPHY: Oh, it's for the legal bills. Oh, I see.

POZNER: They shouldn't hire a lawyer, because hiring a lawyer in America is a sure sign they're guilty.

GRACE: The man is a millionaire. He's not worried about the bills.

ABRAMS: Hang on, everybody. Hang on a second. I want to get back to the issue of this polygraph. Again, there's not a single person on this panel that's going to give them credit? This is the last time. I'm going to go around the horn. Nancy Grace, they get nothing?

GRACE: No credit from me.

ABRAMS: Bill Moffitt?

MOFFITT: I mean it's a polygraph. I don't trust polygraphs.

ABRAMS: All right. Wendy Murphy?

MURPHY: They get extra suspicion from me.

ABRAMS: Larry Pozner?

POZNER: I have no faith in the electronic Ouija board.

ABRAMS: All right. Well, the Ramseys certainly would not be happy with today's panel, but I want to thank you all for joining us on both of these topics. Geraldo will be back in this chair on Monday.