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Missing in America

Aired July 19, 2001 - 12:30   ET



ANN HORROCKS, GRANDMOTHER OF CRYSTAL HORROCKS: When she had gotten in from Pennsylvania to the port authority in New York, she called her mom. "Hi Mom, I'm in. I just wanted to let you know everything was OK. OK, call me later." And this was something she did every week. And when that bus didn't come in we knew something was wrong.


ROGER COSSACK, CO-HOST: Today on BURDEN OF PROOF: Missing in America, 16-year-old Crystal Horrocks has not been seen since June 22. Her last communications came from New York's Grand Central Station. Plus, the FBI transfers its search for Chandra Levy to a special unit while D.C. police dismiss the results of Congressman Gary Condit's privately-administered polygraph test.


SUSAN LEVY, MOTHER OF CHANDRA LEVY: I want my daughter home and I want her alive. And I want the truth to come out.

CHIEF CHARLES RAMSEY, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: We don't know what happened to Chandra Levy. We've got to explore all possibilities here.

ABBE LOWELL, ATTORNEY FOR CONGRESSMAN CONDIT: Congressman Condit has never been and is not now a suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they're going to be looking for is any evidence of an attempt to clean up the potential scene there.

BILLY MARTIN, ATTORNEY FOR THE LEVY FAMILY: The levy family is extremely upset with Congressman Condit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He withheld information from the police.

LOWELL: Try to see if there's somebody else out there who might have some information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A family's 24-year-old daughter is missing and has not been heard from for two and a half months.


COSSACK: Hello and welcome to BURDEN OF PROOF.

As the D.C. police continue to search for clues about the disappearance of Chandra Levy, the FBI is now taking a more active role in the investigation of the missing intern. A joint D.C. police/FBI task force that investigates major crimes will now take the lead in this missing persons case.

For a fourth day, police are searching Washington area parks for clues about the disappearance of Chandra Levy. And although police have found a few items in the wooded areas, there have been no reasons to believe they are linked to Levy's whereabouts.

Now, yesterday, police rejected the privately-administered polygraph test that Congressman Gary Condit took, stating that the results had no investigative value. So joining us today to discuss this and other issues and the latest in the search for Chandra Levy are: in Indianapolis, polygraph expert and criminal justice professor, Frank Horvath and here in D.C., former FBI special agent Clint Van Zandt.

Let's go right to Indianapolis, to Frank Horvath.

Frank, thank you for joining us. The D.C. police said the polygraph test that was privately administered was of no investigative value to them. Why?

FRANK HORVATH, CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSOR: I have no idea. Police departments, as you know, use polygraph tests on a regular basis. So they're well aware of what polygraph exams can do and how they work and so forth. And unless there is something about this particular exam that I'm not aware of, I see no rational basis for that statement.

COSSACK: All right, well, let's talk a little bit about what some of the problems could be that the District of Columbia police could be facing, that they have told us.

One of the problems they say is, look, the person who gives the test doesn't really know all the information that we know. And therefore, it can't be as complete a test as it would be or as meaningful a test as it would be if we gave it.

HORVATH: It could well be the case that if they have highly specific information that is not known to the public and might be known only to the police and perhaps somebody else who is involved in the offense, that information could indeed be useful in a polygraph examination. It would be a different kind of polygraph examination or a different mode or a different style of testing than what was used here. But I see no reason, right now, to doubt that the examination that was given would have been any different.

What would have changed is perhaps the additional testing on other issues that the police would use as investigative leads -- might have been productive in that sense. But it doesn't necessarily negate the value of this particular exam.

COSSACK: Well, in terms of what the D.C. police are trying to -- or are attempting to get from a polygraph test, it may not negate what one polygraph examiner says the results are. But in terms of the people that are specifically interested in it, doesn't that have a negative problem? I mean if that was the case, then it wouldn't matter who administered these polygraph exams.

HORVATH: Well, in my opinion, it doesn't matter. All else being equal, a police polygraph examiner is as interested in same thing that a private polygraph examiner is and that is seeking the truth. And so the argument that because this was a private examiner and that that somehow diminishes the value of examination is totally wrong.

What is going on here, I think, is that the police seem to me to be suggesting that what they really want out of this is their own investigative interviewing of Mr. Condit that they think might be more productive for investigative leads, not necessarily looking at him as a suspect.

COSSACK: Frank, if two or more polygraph examiners looked at the same graph, would they always come to the same conclusions?

HORVATH: The answer to that is no. We know that that does not happen all the time. But it's highly unlikely that that would happen, assuming the examination had been properly carried out, which is my assumption now because I know nothing about the exam other than what I've seen in the media.

COSSACK: Well, what I'm suggesting to you, isn't there a reason, therefore, for the D.C. police to want to have their own test just on nothing more than constant or consistent interpretation?

HORVATH: Well, I think what the D.C. police have -- as I understand it, have now done is what is traditionally done in the field and that's what's called the Quality Control Review. That is they review everything that the testing examiner did and they have access to all the information, all the data, all of the polygraphic data that that examiner accumulated. They should be able to review that data and reach the same conclusion that that examiner did.

Now if they've reviewed the data and they can't make that conclusion and decide that the examiner's decision was justified, then perhaps there's something here that I don't know about.

COSSACK: Now, why should they be able to reach a consistent conclusion when, in fact, we both know or you have indicated to me, that there is a certain amount of subjectivity going -- that's involved in deciphering these results.

HORVATH: Well, one of things that we're interested in doing research in the field is, in fact, looking at this issue. This is an issue that's referred to scientifically as reliability. That means repeatability from one case to the next case. In this case, we're asking the question about the reliability of examiners reading the same data. And the research that's been done so far shows that that's generally very high.

I might point out, that's a different issue than accuracy. Reliability is just consistency of interpretations of the results, which, as I said, is very high. The accuracy of a test, even though reliability is very high, may be somewhat different.

COSSACK: OK, let's take a break. When we come back, let's discuss more on the Chandra Levy case and let's find out about the personality profile examination that investigators would like to -- are working on and whether or not that will have any effect and what help it will have in the investigation. Stay with us.


For the past two weeks, lawyers in San Diego have been seeking the dismissal of almost 400 tickets issued because of red-light traffic cameras. The lawyers are denouncing the cameras as illegal intrusion. Since the camera system was launched three years ago in San Diego, 84,000 tickets have been issued.


COSSACK: We know that Chandra Levy wanted to go into law enforcement and was an avid user of her health club. But what else can be learned about the missing intern?

D.C. police have asked FBI agents to compile a personality profile of Chandra Levy. How might this information aid investigators in their search?

All right, Clint Van Zandt, a profiler for a number of years with the FBI and he's assisted us in putting together profiles in the past.

First of all, how would you go about putting together a profile of Chandra Levy? And I guess, the important question, why does that help?

CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, again, we're -- you've got to realize, Roger, we started out with a cold trail to begin with. From the time we last knew she was on the Internet to the time the police went into her apartment was at least six days. So, we had a cold trail to begin with, trying to find a person.

There is -- there would have been an ongoing profile made of Miss Levy as the case went on. What the FBI may well be doing is formalizing that, put it in writing. But what they're going to be looking at are some of the things you just spoke about -- how security conscious is she? You know, if, in fact, she was a law enforcement explorer scout in high school, if she joined a health club because she didn't want to run on the streets of D.C., if she always carried a cell phone with her, if she wouldn't let her landlord come in to sign papers, had him slide them under the door, that suggests a young woman who is fairly security conscious in her life. She's traveled overseas. She understands those aspects.

So, what the Bureau may be looking at, No. 1, is could she have been the victim of a chance violent crime.


VAN ZANDT: Another aspect you're going to look at is how does she handle challenging emotional situations? Let's say, hypothetically, her disappearance relates to the breakup or her belief of the breakup of some type of an emotional relationship with a significant other. Has she had that happen in the past and if so, did she become depressed, angry, did she disappear for a few days? How has she handled -- it's just like when we're looking to predict violence, you say, well, the best predictor of future violence, of course, is past violence.

In the same way, when we're looking for how this woman might handle emotions, there is still a multitrack investigation. And the authorities have to say, could she still, at this late date, be a victim of herself, is she a victim of a random crime, is she a victim of a serial killer or is there some significant other in her background that might have done her harm.

COSSACK: You know, Gary Condit, obviously -- Congressman Condit is a suspect in this, in quotes, because of the fact of his relationship with her and because apparently or allegedly, he didn't come clean during those first couple of interviews with the police. In putting together a profile, would you broaden out a little bit? In other words, look and see what other -- did she have another social life? Did she have a lot of friends? What kind of social life did she lead? This is -- Washington is a place where an awful lot of young people come, not just for the summer, but spend the year working as aides or interns. And this is a place with a great young, social life. Would you then begin to investigate whether or not this was a woman whose -- well, what kind of a social life she had?

VAN ZANDT: Well, one of the things, I know, that's been reported by the media is that when she was in undergraduate school, she had an ongoing relationship with a police officer who was 10 years her senior. So that suggests a woman who likes a man who's in a position of authority, control, power. If, in fact, that was someone she dated as undergraduate, is there a history of dating other men who were older, but who are authority figures, power figures, has she looked for people like that?

You know, it's so easy to focus in on the congressman, say how obvious can that be? And the challenge, Roger, is that if Miss Levy is ground zero and we've got the congressman here, it's like a bungee card attached to the two. He will attempt to go away and all of a sudden he keeps springing back again. And the authorities, because of his lack of candor in this particular situation, say who best knows Miss Levy, her emotional situation?

We know that she made eight phone calls to him the last day we know she was in her apartment. If she was that concerned to get in touch with him, why would she of own volition, leave her bedroom and leave her cell phone in her bedroom? COSSACK: All right, we only have a few seconds left in this segment. I want to ask you -- it's been reported that the FBI is going to be the lead in this case and they're putting it in what they call their elite cold case unit.


COSSACK: Quickly tell us about what the unit is and what they do?

VAN ZANDT: A cold case squad is a group of men and women who can see the forest for the trees. They are going to come back and revisit everything. They're not going to take anything for granted. Oh, that interview's been done. We don't care. We're going to do everything all over again from square one, a brand new look, a brand new set of eyes and hands that are going to look at this. That's not saying anything against the past investigators. It's saying let's take a brand-new look.

COSSACK: All right, let's take a break. More than 2,000 people are reported missing every day in the United States, when we come back, the family of a missing 16-year-old girl speaks out.


Q: A state in Australia is creating a few law protecting animals filmed for television and movies after what happened during the filming of the show Survivor?

A: A cast member was filmed killing a wild pig with a knife. Breaking the newly proposed law could mean penalties of one year in jail as well as fines of over $11,000 U.S.



COSSACK: On June 22, 16-year-old Crystal Horrocks vanished somewhere in transit from her school in Pennsylvania to her home in Connecticut. Crystal had made the trip back home via New York's Grand Central Station dozens of times and had become very familiar with the journey. What happened to this 5 foot seven inch young girl with highlighted hair and braces while she was on her way home from school?

Joining us to talk about the disappearance of Crystal Horrocks from her -- from New York, her mother, Bobbi Horrocks and her grandmother, Ann Horrocks. And also joining us from New York, Frank Barnaba, president and founder of the Paul and Lisa Program.

Let me go right to you, Ann. When was the last you saw Crystal and what was the last you heard of her -- heard from her?

A. HORROCKS: We saw her on Wednesday, June 20. We had taken her back to school for her last trip. The 22, she was on her last trip back from school to home. And as always, she called her mom from Penn Central and everything was fine. She had gotten in OK. Somehow, she missed her transfer and she walked to Grand Central Station. Again, she called her mom and spoke to my husband, who she calls Dad. And she spoke to her Dad and my daughter and told them that she was going to take the train from Grand Central to Connecticut.

Bobbi has a nickname for Crystal. And it's Chicky. She said, "Chicky, get your buns back to Port Authority and get the next bus. You'll get home quicker." It was like, "OK, Mom, love you, see you in a little bit, can't wait to get home." And that's the last time we've all heard from her.

COSSACK: Bobbi, tell us about Crystal. Tell us about your daughter. Describe the kind of person that she is.

BOBBI HORROCKS, MOTHER OF CRYSTAL HORROCKS: Oh, she's got a heart of gold. She'll give anybody the shirt off her back. She's dynamite. I can't say -- everything about her is good. She's a very special person.

COSSACK: Describe her for our viewers.

B. HORROCKS: She's happy. She's always happy in everything she does. She thinks the world of anything and -- I don't know. It's really hard to...

COSSACK: OK, well, let me just say this -- we know that she's five foot seven and she has braces and some highlighted hair. Is there any other feature that we might -- that might help viewers identify her or see her?

B. HORROCKS: Well, she's approximately 150 pounds. She's medium built. Her hair comes to -- about down to her shoulder. I don't know. I look at her every day. It's...

COSSACK: I know, all you see is a pretty daughter, I bet.

Let me go to Frank Barnaba.

Frank, with your organization, tell us about what your organization is doing? How it is attempting to find these kind of lost children?

FRANK BARNABA, PAUL AND LISA PROGRAM, INC.: Well, we've been in business since 1980. This one particular case is very, very touching. I grew up with Harvey Horrocks. And I had lost contact with the Horrocks family probably in the last 15 years. And when I got call that his granddaughter was missing, I was stunned.

What we do is that mainly, we get calls from parents from all over the United States. And most of the kids that are missing, that we work with, are right here out of New York City. And over the last 20 years, we built a tremendous report with vice in New York because most of the time, the kids are recruited by pimps and very quickly within a very short time. So, it's critical if you find them within the first two or three weeks.

Case in point, last summer, we were extremely busy and some kids got abducted in Manhattan here, that were actually on trips and there was only a matter of a few weeks that they were in California or in Vegas. So it's imperative that you try to find them immediately before the people move them out.

COSSACK: And what are you doing to try and find Crystal?

BARNABA: Well, what we've done is we've more or less gotten a hold of every officer that we know in police, in New York. And they've been very, very kind in helping with her. They are -- most of the squad cars have copies -- and the police, as a matter of fact, made up the posters for us, which is really great. We've got some special officers over at vice, Jimmy Held (ph)y, Kevin Manyon (ph), Detective Cruz, that have made it a priority to look for her.

We've also looked in the Queens area for her and the Brooklyn area. And we have our own staff that is out on the street looking for her constantly. I have a strong feeling that she's still here in Manhattan, though.

COSSACK: Bobbi, what was -- there was a discussion. She was going to take the train back to Connecticut and you said no, go on over and get that port authority bus, you'll get home sooner. What would have been the distance that she would have had to travel?

B. HORROCKS: Well, from -- well, when I talked to her the first -- she called me as soon as she got to port authority.


B. HORROCKS: We probably talked three or four times. She got to port authority, which is -- and Penn Station, which are, from what I understand -- I was there once but I don't really know it that well -- which are really close.

COSSACK: Very, very close to each other.

B. HORROCKS: I understand they are in the same building. OK and she called me from there and she said that somebody told her that -- to go to Grand Central -- the train tickets there were cheaper. So, she went there and she called me. And she says, "Ma, you know, I can't wait to see you, I love you. I'm going to take the train because it's faster and sooner I'll be able to see you."

COSSACK: And that was...


COSSACK: I'm sorry, go ahead.

B. HORROCKS: I -- so I told her -- I says, you know, "all right, Chicky." I said, "you know what, get back to the bus station. I want you to get on the bus, the way you were supposed to come home." How far it is -- at this point, I don't know how far it is from Grand Central back to port authority. I believe it's six or seven blocks.

At 1:00 on Friday, though, that's the last I spoke with her. COSSACK: Ann...

B. HORROCKS: She was supposed to go back to the bus station.

COSSACK: I'm sorry. Ann, what has the family been doing to assist in the search for your granddaughter?

A. HORROCKS: Crystal lives with us, my husband and I. And Bobbi has moved in recently. My daughter is up here from Florida, Charlene. She is our oldest daughter. Our son has not been able to participate only because he has a soon-to-be 8-year-old son, that we're trying to shield him from this. He thinks his favorite cousin is still in school.

Until Crystal is found and she's home -- and I know she will be -- we have too many people out there praying for her. Until we know she's safe and she's home, we're avoiding saying anything to Hunter. But my brother and his family and all the family has been 100 percent supportive. I couldn't ask for more -- as has the police department.

The radio stations and the television stations have given us fabulous coverage. I feel fortunate to have Frank from Paul and Lisa, as a very, very dear friend. We wouldn't have been able to get the coverage that we're getting had it not been for them.

And with your permission, I'd like to say something, because -- Crystal, if you're out there and you can hear me, sweetheart, Mom and Dad and I love you with all our hearts, from the bottom of our souls. We want you home.

If you are in a safe environment, please call home. If somebody that is listening to this program sees Crystal, please don't put her in danger. If you see that she is in a situation that she's not safe, please get a hold of the local New York Police Department. They are the ones that know the story and can keep her safe.

COSSACK: All right, just -- all right, to Ann Horrocks, Bobbi Horrocks and Frank Barnaba, if there's anything I hope for, I hope that -- along with everything else, but I hope that your child, Crystal does get returned soon.

I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today. Thanks to our guests. Thank you for watching. Join us again tomorrow for another edition of BURDEN OF PROOF. We'll see you then.



4:30pm ET, 4/16

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