Date of Show = March 23, 1998; source = Justice Watch Forum
NOTE: the beginning of the show, as well as the last few minutes, had nothing to do with the Ramsey case and have been deleted from this transcript.
KING: Start with Jeffrey Toobin. Are we ever going to get anything in Colorado, Jeffrey? We, being the collective "we" who want something?
TOOBIN: Here's the -- I'll go out on a limb: Absolutely not. This case is over and done. It is a very sad, tragic story, but this is far from the only homicide in America that goes unsolved. But I think unsolved in a legal sense, I think this will be just another one.
KING: Cynthia, it looked like it was a 10-minute "Colombo."
MCFADDEN: Well, you know, this is a case, as you know Larry, they're going are reconvene the grand jury now. Jack and I were just talking about what do they hope to get. If it looks bad for the president of the United States to take the Fifth Amendment, it certainly looks bad for the parents of a murdered child. I believe that the Ramseys are going to have a hard time doing that. I hope that maybe we'll make progress, maybe we don't. I can't imagine the parents of a murdered child standing up and taking the Fifth Amendment.
KING: Jack, is it over?
FORD: I think this case right now is at the stage where the only way there's a break here is if somebody stands up and says: "OK, I am part of it in some fashion. I am ready to make my deal, roll-over and I'll help you on it." You know, the prospects of that, most people will tell you, are pretty slim.
It just -- cases -- good cops will tell you that cases get solved real early on, at least some way down the road you get a break. The guy gets picked up on something else, and he says I am going to cut a deal and tell you about other things I am involved with. If you don't solve these things early you're in a lot of trouble. You need someone to come forward and say: "Let me tell you, I was part of it. Here's what happened." I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.
KING: Dan, what went -- just on information we know -- what went wrong in this investigation?
ABRAMS: I think things went wrong from the beginning, they were sloppy with the crime scene. Probably the relationship they had with the Ramseys, I think that may have been the biggest flaw. If you believe the Ramseys did it, then the biggest problem is that they weren't, sort of, treated not as suspects, but treated as if they could be suspects from the very, very beginning. And as a result, at this point -- I'll tell you, six months ago, I really did think there was going to be an arrest one way or other. At this point I don't think there's a chance.
VAN SUSTEREN: I think someone is covering for someone. Until the person who is doing the covering up suddenly can't live with himself or herself it will not get solved.
KING: You're telling us, Greta, this is a perfect crime?
VAN SUSTEREN: It may be a perfect crime. You would have thought we would have learned from the Simpson case how important it is that we preserve that crime scene, that we have very sophisticated people investigating it and preserving it. That's our best hope of proving scientifically who committed a crime. But if that's not going to happen, someone's got to have a bolt of conscience.
KING: So like in a plane crash where the usual result is pilot error, you are saying, in this case, if Jeffrey is correct and nothing ever happens -- this is police error?
VAN SUSTEREN: Unless of course, as you say, it is a perfect crime scientifically, then of course it is just a horribly evil person committing a horrible crime, and maybe someone helping to cover it up.
COCHRAN: I agree totally. I think the police bugling set them back, I think the dispute between the D.A.'s office and police department didn't help. Barring someone confessing, this case is over. The grand jury is just going to be a convenient tool to look at this.
KING: They're going to have to talk to them right?
COCHRAN: Try to talk to them. Someone mentioned earlier about them taking the Fifth. They have already spoken out, I think they'll probably just say look you have our statement there -- look at our statement. They don't have to talk again at this point. They have not really been concerned about public opinion, because it's tough for parents to take three or four months to talk to the police in the first instance.
KING: Now Jeffrey, when Greta told us about a learning process, is this a learning process? Would you agree that 90 percent of America thinks one or both are involved?
TOOBIN: I would say those are the numbers -- approximately. I haven't seen a poll on it.
KING: That don't mean there's a case, right?
TOOBIN: That's not how we try cases. Also, I think, I don't want to be Boulder Police Department's biggest supporter here but you know, some crimes are simply unsolvable. If people want to cover up their tracks, if people are skilled, if they're determined, it doesn't mean I every single crime that is not solved is the result of police incompetence. There could have been better work, but it may be in the abscess of full cooperation from anyone, this just couldn't be solved.
KING: Have our remaining moments, get thoughts from each of our panelists, the overall picture of the law and television.