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Interview With Angela Ricci

Aired September 4, 2002 - 21:00   ET


KING: Tonight: exclusive. Her husband was the major focus of the investigation into Elizabeth Smart's abduction.
And then last week, a shocker: Richard Ricci dies in prison from a brain hemorrhage.

Tonight: his widow Angela Ricci in her first nationally televised interview since his heath.

She says being wrongly linked to the Smart case helped kill her husband. We'll take your calls.

And then: Where does the Smart investigation go now? We'll talk with Court TV host and former prosecutor Nancy Grace and renowned defense attorney Mark Geragos.

The void left by an ex-convict, husband and father next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Welcome to another edition of LARRY KING LIVE. mark Geragos and Nancy Grace join us later. Angela Ricci returns to LARRY KING LIVE.

With her is Nancy Pomeroy. Nancy is the Ricci family spokesperson.

What is your role, Nancy, in connection with Angela?

NANCY POMEROY, RICCI FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: Basically I just help her communicate the message that the family wants out, and that is the Richard that they knew and loved.

KING: Did you know him?

POMEROY: No I haven't. I didn't meet him.

KING: So you represent the family. And you know her lawyer, too, who is...

POMEROY: I do. I originally worked for David K. Smith.

KING: So you're sort of hand-holding here, right?

POMEROY: Yes, but also just getting out her message, which -- the Richard that she knew and loved is different from what's being portrayed in the papers, and there's more than one aspect to this man. KING: Angela, first, where were you, how did you learn of Richard's collapsing?

ANGELA RICCI, WIFE OF RICHARD RICCI: They called me from the prison about 9:30, 9:40 p.m.

KING: That was on Tuesday, right?

RICCI: Yes, yes.

KING: And he died Wednesday -- he died Friday night, August 30. He never regained consciousness?

RICCI: Never regained consciousness.

KING: Did you go to the prison?

RICCI: No. They life-flighted him to -- it's Air Med. They took him from the prison to the University of Utah Hospital.

KING: And were you there with him?

RICCI: Yes, once I got the call, I drove directly up there.

KING: Were you with him when he died?

RICCI: Yes, I was.

KING: Was there a decision to, the term is, I guess, pull the plug?

RICCI: Yes. His mother and his sister and his brother and myself consulted with the doctor, after we saw the MRI, realized that Rick was completely brain dead and would never regain consciousness.

KING: Is that tough to do, though? What do you have to do, sign something? How does it work?

RICCI: You don't have to sign anything. At least I don't remember signing anything. Now, it was a rough moment there. But just letting the doctor and the staff know that it's OK to pull the ventilator.

The ventilator was pulled at 7:16 and Rick died at 7:28.

KING: You were at his bedside?


KING: There was no pain involved here, right?


KING: What was the cause of death, finally? What did they say?

RICCI: Well, they had a blood clot in the cerebellum and it put a tremendous amount of pressure on the brain stem.

I do have a letter here from the University of Utah here that states -- pretty much I'll just read the end: "Doctor Schmit (ph) and Scalipurn (ph) have concluded that there is no realistic chance of neurological recovery. His family has been informed of his condition and of the assessment of his prognosis."

KING: There was a time they were saying he had a 50/50 chance, I remember, on the first day. Where did that come from?

RICCI: I think -- that was before even the doctor -- I don't know that the doctors reported that. I don't know if that came from reporters or police hoping. That I don't know.

But when I got to the hospital he was unconscious, never regained consciousness.

KING: Do they know what caused this?

RICCI: Several things could cause this. Rick had been known to have high blood pressure.

KING: That can do it.

RICCI: Yes. He has been on medication before. He wasn't on medication while we were married.

And they said they checked his blood pressure when they did his physical in prison, and didn't show any signs. But I don't know that they checked it more than once.

KING: Were you at the hospital, Nancy?

POMEROY: I was, off and on.

KING: It's tough to be involved in this, isn't it?

POMEROY: It's hard to watch the family go through it because his family is really quite sweet. And his mother is older, and her health isn't as good as it could be. And it's just sad to watch people go through this, regardless of the circumstance.

KING: The funeral is Friday?


KING: Where?

RICCI: It's in Magna.

I've got the obituary here, if I could just read a little bit of that.

KING: Sure. The funeral is this Friday, and it's...

RICCI: Magna, Utah. Richard A. Ricci. Rick was chosen to join his son August 30, 2002, due to complications from a brain hemorrhage. This is from Psalm 62 verse one and two: "Truly my soul waiteth upon God. From him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation. He is my defense. I shall not be greatly moved."

He was born to Dick and Katie Ricci on December 20, 1953. He has a degree in horticulture and worked at Mitchell's Nursery. He enjoyed skiing, gardening, cooking, and especially time spent with Angela and Trevor, and had a passion for playing his guitar.

He had a wonderful sense of humor, and will be missed by his family and close friends, who love him dearly and unconditionally. He will forever live on in our hearts, and he is preceded in death by his little son Ricky.

Friends and family may call 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 6, Pill (ph) Funeral Home, Magna, 8525 West 2700 South, where a memorial tribute will begin at 7:30.

KING: He had been buried already?

RICCI: He's cremated.

KING: Trevor is your son from a previous marriage?

RICCI: Not a previous marriage.

KING: Just a previous relationship?


KING: And he was stepfather to Trevor.


KING: And his son died how?

RICCI: Got hit by a drunk driver, and was basically in the same situation that Rick was in when they...

KING: In a coma?


KING: And his son was how old?


KING: Did you know his son?

RICCI: No. No. This was years ago.

KING: You met him well after...

RICCI: Years ago. KING: There were reports that he was kept in isolation in prison. Was he?

RICCI: He was on the neuro-critical care unit, but he was guarded night and day and he was shackled.

KING: They didn't let him into the general population, right?

POMEROY: Are you talking about the prison, and she's talking about the hospital?

KING: I'm talking about the prison.

RICCI: Oh, the prison. No, he was not in general population. They kept him away from everybody.

KING: Was that fear that he would be harmed?

RICCI: That's what they told me.

KING: He was shackled in the hospital?


KING: He's in a coma, and he's shackled.

RICCI: They didn't undo the shackles until after he died.

KING: You have tissues there, near you, I think, if you need them.

Did they tell you why a man in a coma was in shackles?

RICCI: They really didn't answer too many questions. He was a ward of the state at the time. And I guess they were hoping that he would wake up.

KING: And did they fear flight if he woke up? I mean, I don't mean to laugh.

RICCI: No, that's OK. I don't know. I guess it would be protocol. I don't know.

KING: Do you think this caused him, this whole situation brought this on?

RICCI: Well, we all have stress, of course. Rick was under a great amount of pressure. He was -- they had -- I don't know what the facility is out at the prison as far as protective custody. I don't know that. I do know where he was housed out there, and at the time he was housed next door to death row.

KING: Even though he was in only for violation of parole, right?


KING: He wasn't charged with anything but violation of parole.

RICCI: Exactly. He had a sack breakfast and a sack lunch and a box dinner and not allowed a razor. No phone call, no visit. I haven't heard his voice since July 7.

KING: That's the last time you spoke to him?

He did write to you, did he not?

RICCI: Yes, we wrote all the time.

KING: I want to hear a portion of the letter, and I want Nancy to explain the role of all this, where the Riccis may be going with this.

Later, Mark Geragos and Nancy Grace will join us.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll take phone calls.

Don't go away.



ED SMART, FATHER OF ELIZABETH SMART: I believe he knows a lot more than what he's told us, and I have been -- I, along with so many people, have been praying that his heart would be softened, that he would tell us, you know, just bring an end to this nightmare.


KING: That was the missing Elizabeth Smart's father Ed, talking about the late Mr. Ricci two days before he would die, after he went into the coma. You're going to read to us a letter he sent to you from prison.

RICCI: Can I respond to what I just heard?

KING: Sure.

RICCI: You know, Rick was extremely heartbroken over Elizabeth's disappearance. He did tell them everything that he knew. He gave them everything he had. He just didn't give them what they wanted to hear.

KING: He liked Elizabeth?

RICCI: Well, he liked -- he always talked about...

KING: How extremely heartbroken he was, must have remembered her.

RICCI: Well, heartbroken for the Smart family. The only one he ever really spoke of was Ed. He didn't go on about the girls.

KING: Did he speak of him in nice terms?

RICCI: Yes, yes, he had respect for Ed, thought he was a good businessman and -- you know, and he mentioned that the girls played the harp and he thought that was cool. But as far as spending time with the children...

KING: So he was heartbroken for the situation?

RICCI: Exactly. Exactly.

KING: Before you read from the letter, Nancy, what is Angela attempting to do?

POMEROY: I think she's just attempting to give balance. Because if you read the papers and you go through the media, and I think for the most part they've tried to be balanced in some areas, but all they're getting is his rap sheet. They're getting his rap sheet. They're getting anything wrong that he ever did. And people are coming out in droves saying, well, this is my experience, and this is the way he is. And she's trying to represent the family and say, this is the Richard we knew, and just balance it. So you make up your own mind.

KING: The police wound up saying that they will never be able to get anything unless they find a body or she comes back. And it seems they're out of leads, right?

POMEROY: Well, they're working on other things, but they've put so much focus on Richard, the other things haven't been focused on as much.

RICCI: I think he was heartbroken, the day that they dug up our yard, he was on the phone with me. He was still in jail. And he said, Angela, this is so sad, they're wasting their time. They have the wrong guy, you know.

KING: What did he say in the letter?

RICCI: And so what he said here is -- he says: "I guess the only thing I would like the public to know would be I really don't know anybody who would kidnap a child. I don't have many friends, just family. I had nothing to do with the abduction. I don't know how a child abductor thinks. I just can't believe it."

KING: So you know that your husband had problems in life and he did do some petty stuff.


KING: But never anything like this?

RICCI: Never anything like this, never.

KING: And never an interest in young children?

RICCI: Never. KING: Now, about the mystery of the white Jeep, which I'm going to -- I want to make sure my notes are right, that the repair shop owner maintains that your husband left the Jeep at his shop, took the vehicle May 30, returned it June 8, 500 miles on it. The repair shop owner also maintains that Mr. Ricci took a post hole digger out of the Jeep, removed two seat covers, carried away another bag, met a second man across the street from the repair shop. Ricci steadfastly denied taking the Jeep. Did you discuss this with Richard?

RICCI: Yes, I did discuss with Rick several times. He did not take that Jeep.

KING: So the guy is wrong or lying?

RICCI: He's mistaken. Maybe someone took that Jeep, but it wasn't Rick. There were keys stolen to that Jeep. That Jeep has never had seat covers, ever had seat covers. To my knowledge, I don't know that he spoke with the person that took the Jeep or brought the Jeep back, only that he observed that it was gone and came back. I'm not sure of the full report on that. You know, I know Rick didn't have the Jeep. I know I didn't have the jeep. No one at his work saw the Jeep.

KING: Has any of the police pressured you to change your side of the story, that he was with you that night?

RICCI: They tried to turn me against Rick all the time. He was in bed with me. That's the truth.

KING: And they did try to say that that was not the truth?

RICCI: Yes. They're trying to make me think he's a cat burglar that sneaks out at night. And that's just not the truth.

KING: Did he take a lie detector test?

RICCI: Yes, he did. And no one, not even his attorneys have gotten the results of that test.

KING: So nobody's announced whether he passed it, failed it or anything?

RICCI: No. Well, they printed in the paper that he failed.

KING: But you don't know that for a fact?

RICCI: But I don't know that for a fact.

KING: Did they ask you to take one?

RICCI: I did take one and I passed with flying colors. The FBI told me that.

KING: So when you say he was with you that night -- the FBI told you. And when you say he was with you that night, you are telling the truth. RICCI: Yes. I have been telling the truth from the gate.

KING: Have you talked to the Smarts?

RICCI: I did speak with Ed Smart. He pulled me aside after Rick's first court appearance.

KING: And?

RICCI: And he asked me about the Jeep. And my opinion the whole time has been that I think someone else took that Jeep. The keys were stolen to that Jeep.

KING: So therefore, you think Elizabeth has been harmed?

RICCI: I don't know. I don't even think the Jeep has anything to do with the disappearance, to be honest with you. I just think if it was Rick's Jeep that was gone, it was just weird timing. Now, I did call the mechanic at one time, and this is important to me. I called him one time to talk to him about the mechanical problem. The mechanic went into a different mechanical problem. I said, no, the electronic fuel pump. and he conveyed to me, oh, I have two, three white Jeeps here now.

KING: There were other white Jeeps.

RICCI: Yes. He said, I have two, three white Jeeps here now.

KING: White Jeeps are fairly common, right? in Utah especially.

POMEROY: They are, especially in Utah.

RICCI: And I told the police that as well.

KING: How's your son Trevor taking all of this?

RICCI: He's having a hard time. He loves Rick dearly. He was his bestest dad, that's how he wrote letters to Rick, "to my bestest dad." One thing he said is, you know, now if anything bad happens, they can't blame Rick.

KING: He was that close to him?

RICCI: Yes. They were just -- they were incredible together. He was his bestest dad.

KING: Last time we were here we went over this. You knew about his past record when you married him.

RICCI: Oh, yes, oh yes.

KING: You just fell in love and thought he was OK now?

RICCI: Yes. He's a great man. Rick has a sense of humor that is heart warming. His laughter is uplifting. His kindness and his gentleness is unconditional. He's goofy. He's got a great sense of humor. He's fun-loving.

KING: The terrible thing here is, if we never find Elizabeth, God forbid, he's going be in history as one of the, what?

POMEROY: The most interesting suspect -- potential suspect.

RICCI: Unsolved mystery.

KING: Suspect, but he's going to -- the cloud will be around.

RICCI: Yes. You know what? God knows.

KING: Let me take a break and we'll come back. We'll include your phone calls. Nancy Grace and Mark Geragos will join us as well in a little while. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


SMART: I'm asking and I'm pleading with whoever has her that I would do anything to have her back in my arms. And please realize how much she's missed. She's missed tremendously.




RICCI: ... to visit.

KING: You weren't allowed to see him in jail?

RICCI: No. I saw him one day for 30 minutes. And it was just like, you know, oh, it's so good to see you, and I miss you so much.

KING: May I ask why you couldn't visit him?

RICCI: Well I -- it takes a long time for the paperwork to be processed at the prison. And they took him to the prison, you know, June 24. And so I had been putting in my requests to visit.

KING: But he was only charged with something. He wasn't found guilty of anything.

RICCI: Right. And it doesn't matter...

KING: I thought you can visit people automatically.

RICCI: In jail you can.


RICCI: In prison it's a whole different story.

So him and I never got a chance to sit down and talk.

KING: Before you read this little poem, did he write the poem?


KING: It comes to mind -- I know you brought along a tape of the answering machine, right? I don't think anybody's heard Richard's voice.


KING: So let's, for the first time, hear -- Richard did answering machine, right? So when you called the Ricci house, here's what you heard:

RICHARD RICCI: Hi, you've reached Rick, Angela and Trevor. If you'd like to leave a brief message, do, 'cause we're not here, and we'll get back to you. Thanks, bye.

KING: Got all three in, Trevor, too, right?


KING: Well how did he come to write this poem? Was this from prison, too?

RICCI: Yes, he sent this to me from prison.

"When I met" -- excuse me. "This is from my heart and soul. When I met you I had no idea how much my life was about to be changed. But then, how could I have known? A love like ours happens once in a lifetime. You were a miracle to me, the one I thought existed only in my imagination. And when you came into my life, I realized that what I had always thought was happiness couldn't compare to the joy loving you brought me. You are part of everything I think and do and feel. And with you by my side, I believe that anything is possible.

"Thank you for the miracle of you, Angela. You are, and always will be, the love of my life.

"All my love, Rick."

KING: You seem to be holding up pretty well.

Well, I'm at peace with the decision that myself and his family made. I'm at peace with that. I know that Rick would -- there was no recovery for him.

KING: Do you know if they questioned him every day? Do you know -- did they just stop talking to him? I mean, what did they...

RICCI: I don't know what happened out at the prison. You know, that I don't know.

When he got his new public defenders he was told -- they were told, you know, that they could only speak to Richard with them. And whatever questions went on, I -- I do know that they questioned him for several hours and days without representation. KING: You do know that?

RICCI: Oh, yes, when he was first arrested.

KING: And you mentioned during the break that they promised him he would be able to shave off his beard.

RICCI: Yes, there was a promise made to David Smith...

KING: His lawyer.

RICCI: ... that he would shave before his first court appearance. And where he was housed at the time they don't allow razors. And I -- it didn't look like he showered.

KING: And he had the beard when he died?

RICCI: No. They just barely moved him to give him a razor and to get hot meals.

KING: That had just occurred?

RICCI: Yes. And I would have gotten his first phone call either the day he died or the day after I would have gotten that first phone call.

KING: Death is sorrowful enough. But then to live under a cloud is kind of doubly so. So you have this unusual thing, this unusual case.

You do representation, Nancy.


KING: I mean, this is like, sort of crying out.

POMEROY: It is. It's hard on both sides. And when you look at it, I mean...

KING: The Smarts.

POMEROY: You've got the Smarts who've got a gaping hole where Elizabeth should be. You've got the Riccis, who have just lost a son.

I mean, somebody pick a winner here. There's enough grief to go around. I mean, nobody wins in this.

RICCI: Right.

POMEROY: And the best option is to have Elizabeth found and brought home safe.

RICCI: And that's always been my hope.

KING: And was his hope?

RICCI: Exactly.

KING: How's his family handling it? Do you see his mother?

RICCI: They live in Nevada. They came up to help me make the decision.

KING: Are they coming to the memorial service?

RICCI: They won't be able to make it...


RICCI: ... soy I'll send them as much -- you know, I'll probably tape the music and stuff and make sure that they get that.

But they love Rick with all their heart. They were a very close family.

And they feel the same way I do, that he was targeted and, you know, that I feel like, you know, I don't know about the mechanic. I just don't know. I know that we all feel the same way, that Rick was targeted and that he was innocent. We believe in his innocence, we know he didn't do anything like this -- ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, people that he waited on at Mitchell's Nursery, I got an e-mail from Colorado from a woman in the hospital; I mean, there are people out there that know that he's innocent.

KING: Who's coming to the memorial service?

RICCI: Anybody...

KING: Whoever wants to, right?


KING: Do you expect a lot of people?

RICCI: Yes, I hope so.

KING: What we're going to do now is take a break. And when we come back we'll take a few phone calls for Angela. Nancy Pomeroy is with her.

And then right after that break, this next break, the one after this, we'll bring on Mark Geragos and Nancy Grace to join us.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Judge Judy tomorrow night.

Don't go away.


LOIS SMART, ELIZABETH SMART'S MOTHER: I just want to tell Elizabeth how much I love her, how much her family loves her. We all love her. We need her back. We're waiting for her to come back. Mary Catherine needs her desperately, wants her back, has little presents for her. And that I know Elizabeth is a strong girl and that she has faith from the time she was very little, 3, calling her favorite doll after her nursery teacher, Sister Pratt (ph).

She is a very strong, wonderful girl, and she'll make it.



KING: For our television viewers, there's a sample of Mr. Ricci's handwriting. Very clear, nice, easy to read style. Let's go to some phone calls for Angela Ricci, the widow of Rick Ricci, the man viewed as a potential suspect in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, nothing ever proved or charged, and Nancy Pomeroy, the Ricci family spokesperson.

Oyster Bay, New York, hello.

CALLER: Good evening. I was wondering if Mrs. Ricci plans to write a book or otherwise financially milk the situation for all it's worth?

RICCI: Gosh, I'm not sure. I may write a book some day but I'm not into this for money.

KING: The caller was implying that you're milking this.

POMEROY: Yes. You're not milking it.

RICCI: I'm not sure if I understood.

KING: You lost a husband. That's kind of weird.

Pittsburgh, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Hi, Angela.


CALLER: I just wanted to ask you if Mr. Ricci was -- if he did board up a hole on the side of your house the morning after the Smart girl was taken? And I also wanted to tell you that you have my deepest sympathy and that I do not believe that he took her.

RICCI: Thank you. Yes, he did board up a hole. All of the cats in the neighborhood go in that hole. And we had a brand new kitty. And he would come out and he would be really gross and stinky. And the police did tear that hole out, tear the steps off of that trailer and thoroughly searched under there and there was nothing.

KING: Minneapolis, hello. CALLER: Yes, Angela, I'd like to ask, did Richard tell you or the police any other names of potential suspects that he thought might have done it?

RICCI: No. He had no idea. He hung around me and my son. We liked to do family things. He wasn't the kind of guy to go out with his buddies fishing or go out to the bars or go out and play cards. He came home. We had dinner. We loved our time together. So, no.

KING: So he never said to you, boy, it could have been this?


KING: Or I could have known -- I know that house and this is a possible thing?

RICCI: No. He had no idea. It's like I said in the letter, he has no idea how a child abductor would think.

KING: Have the police spoken to you since his death?


KING: Not at all?

RICCI: Not at all.

KING: Nor have the smarts?


KING: So nobody in any way connected officially with this has spoken with you?


POMEROY: The Smarts issued their condolences in the press the day it happened.

KING: They did?

POMEROY: They did.

KING: And he's been cremated and the memorial service is Friday?


KING: OK. Weirton, West Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering if she felt like there was any foul play or anything in this?

RICCI: Before he went into surgery, we were very careful to make sure that there were no injuries on the outside of the head, that he didn't fall, that he wasn't hit with any object. This entire thing came from inside of the brain. It came from inside. So that is clear.

KING: So no convict got near him or prison guard.

RICCI: He was alone. He was alone all the time.

KING: And they made that clear to you.


KING: All right. We're going to take a break, and when we come back, defense attorney Mark Geragos and Nancy Grace, the former prosecutor and anchor for "TRIAL HEAT" will join us. Angela Ricci will remain, as will Nancy Pomeroy. We'll take some more calls later as well. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow, September 5, will mark the three-month anniversary of the disappearance of Elizabeth Smart. Joining us now here in New York is Nancy Grace, anchor for "TRIAL HEAT" on Court TV, and former prosecutor; and in Los Angeles, defense attorney Mark Geragos.

Nancy, I know in the past I think you have been suspicious of Mr. Ricci. Has that changed?

NANCY GRACE, COURT TV ANCHOR: Well, no. It has not changed. And of course tonight my heart goes out to Mrs. Ricci because I know she's going through much pain. And this has been brought on her at this point.

KING: She didn't do anything?

GRACE: No fault of her own. But there have just been so many unanswered questions. And I have been there having lost someone I love very, very much, suddenly. But I still have so many lingering questions. And I have -- more than my sympathy is a desire for the truth in the Elizabeth Smart case.

KING: And if Mr. Ricci knew anything, we're never going to learn that.

GRACE: I'm not so sure about that. You know, love is a crazy thing. You see what you want to see. You want to believe very much in the person you love. But there may have been thins that Mr. Ricci knew, things Mr. Ricci said that later, as things calm down and the dust settles, that Mrs. Ricci may be able to decipher.

KING: I see. In other words, you think there may have been -- not necessarily that he did it, but that he may have known about it. That she may think of things?

GRACE: Yes. Yes.

KING: Do you ever think about that, Angela?




KING: You don't say to yourself, did he say something one morning? did he look...

RICCI: No. He was in bed with me, we woke up together and he was not unaccounted for that entire week.

KING: He was in bed with her, and she passed the lie detector.

GRACE: Well, this is my question, one of my many questions.

I'm still hung up, Angela, on Neth Moul, the auto repair shop man. I know you've heard that name before. And he has no skin in the game. He has nothing to win or lose. And he says he spoke to Mr. Ricci, that he knew Mr. Ricci, that Mr. Ricci came back covered in mud, the car covered in mud, and that he met with another person from across the street and drove away.

That person, whoever it is, is still very much alive and with us.

RICCI: He did say that. Neth Moul did say that he was almost positive that, he says that that it was Rick that brought the Jeep back, that the person that brought the Jeep back didn't know they were being watched.

So he did not speak to the person that brought that Jeep back, he observed. And that's just...

GRACE: I'm just going on what...

KING: I don't want to leave Mark out.

Mark, what's your read on the death of Mr. Ricci and its affect on this whole matter?

GERAGOS: You know, it's a tragedy. I think Nancy Pomeroy put it best in a lot of ways.

It's a tragedy on a number of levels. For one, you've got a situation where you've got Angela there, who has forever no way of clearing his name, if you will, once and for all. I mean, it's just a virtually impossible thing. It's always going to be hanging out there.

KING: Unless Elizabeth is found or...

GERAGOS: Well, even if Elizabeth is -- right, even if Elizabeth is found, Larry, there's always going to be some kind of speculation out there: Did he have something to do with it? Was he in conspiracy with someone?

And there's really no way to kind of clear yourself on that. On the other hand, form the Smart's standpoint, the Smart's are wondering, well, if these charges were taken to trial, isn't there something we could have found out? Isn't there a way that they could have pursued this and seen what kind of evidence could have been developed?

And, you know, one of the things, as Nancy brings up with the person at the auto body shop, you know, one of the great things about a trial is you get to put somebody on a witness stand and you get to cross-examine them. And you get to see -- test their testimony.

And you're never going to be able to do that in this trial. And without that, you're forever kind of getting a one-sided view.

KING: Nancy Pomeroy, you're the adviser. This is a lose/lose.

POMEROY: It is. I don't think anybody wins in this.

KING: I've heard of win/win, this is lose/lose, right?

POMEROY: Yes, this is lose/lose all the way around. All the way around.

I don't see how anyone's going to come out of this. Even if Elizabeth comes back, they've lost several months of her life and she's never going to get her husband back.

KING: Well, of course, if Elizabeth is alive and comes back alive, that would clear up...

POMEROY: That would help clear up...

KING: If something happened to her and they catch someone, that could clear him.

Barring those two occurrences, he's going to...

GERAGOS: Hey Larry, remember what will happen. If they find someone, that person's defense is going to be, it wasn't me, it was Rick Ricci. And that's going to be -- that's what that person's going to be screaming to the rooftops. So, you know, that's part of the problem with this.

You know, there's so much pressure, when somebody gets accused of a crime to begin with, when you have the kind of geometric problem here, with the media attention and the horrific nature of this crime and the abduction, that pressure has got to be just enormous.

And imagine for a second if he was innocent. If he was innocent, it's a horrible tragedy. It's an unbelievable, unspeakable tragedy.

RICCI: I do know the jeep is a mystery. I don't feel like it's the key.

KING: Because he was with you.

RICCI: That's all I can say. I don't want to -- you know, I'm not...

KING: I mean, if he was with you, he couldn't be there.

RICCI: Yes. And I don't want to be argumentative, I'm just letting you know the way that I have looked at the whole thing.

And I don't feel like a victim of a convict. And I don't feel like a blinded person in love.

Rick and I are soul mates. And we thought alike. We finished each other's sentences. We -- I mean, we didn't -- so I can just say that I know my husband is innocent. I know he had nothing to do with Elizabeth Smart's disappearance.

KING: Fort Myers, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Angela.


CALLER: Angela, I want to say I'm really sorry for what you're going through.

And my question is: I know a lot of focus has been placed on the Jeep. I was wondering if the police have found any evidence in the Jeep, like hair or fingerprints? Anything like that linking Elizabeth Smart to being inside the Jeep?

RICCI: To my knowledge they have -- to my knowledge they have no forensic evidence in the Jeep, but they don't tell me what they have.

KING: They don't tell the Smarts either, apparently, Nancy.

RICCI: And Henry Lee is coming in, so...

KING: Is he coming?


KING: And he's been on this show frequently.

Why don't they talk more?

GRACE: Well, I imagine they don't talk more because they still have an ongoing investigation and they don't want whatever they do know to be leaked.

But what's interesting is, I once had a judge, an 84-year-old judge, that told the jury this: he said, "It's your duty to try to make all witnesses speak the truth."

They don't have to be lying; they can have inconsistent stories. Mrs. Ricci may be, very possibly, telling the absolute truth. So may Neth Moul. The key is still with Mr. Ricci.

KING: But if she was with him the whole night, and that's the truth...

GRACE: But that night was not the night the car was returned.

RICCI: But it was never unaccounted for. That's kind of what I'm saying is that during that week that this Jeep was supposedly gone, he was never unaccounted for. No one at his work saw him in the Jeep.

KING: This, Mark, is an eternal cloud.

GERAGOS: Yes. Like I say, I don't care -- everybody wishes and prays for Elizabeth return, and safe return. Obviously as days go by, you -- it's hard to keep up some kind of optimism about that.

But even if they come up with another viable suspect. Even if they come up with forensic evidence that ties it to another viable suspect, that other suspect, just by virtue of kind of the cloud of suspicion hanging ovary Richard Ricci's head is always going to kind of drag him into the defense.


KING: Nancy Pomeroy, what if she's never found?

POMEROY: That would just be heartbreaking all the way around if she's never found, I mean, because...

KING: This dilemma will continue.

POMEROY: Right. I mean, it's hard enough for this family because they've lost Richard, but having a 14-year-old that's missing, I can't think of anything that's more of a hell for a parent.

GRACE: Well, for the Smarts, they'll never have an answer. They think Richard had the answer. And for Richard, he'll have a cloud over his grave from now on.

KING: We'll be back with some more moments. We'll pick up with Angela and some more phone calls right after this.


KING: Leesville, Louisiana, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Ms. Ricci?


CALLER: Are you going to still try to fight for your husband's defense?

RICCI: I will. I will always stand by my husband's side and I will always fight for him as much as they will allow me to be involved.

KING: Can, Nancy, can his lawyer, Mr. Smith, speak out about anything Mr. Ricci may have said to him now that Mr. Ricci has passed on?

GRACE: Well, the attorney/client privilege goes beyond the grave. In some instances it can be waived by the next of kin, which would be Mrs. Ricci.

KING: Would you waive it?

RICCI: Well...

KING: I mean, would you say to Mr. Smith...

RICCI: ... he's got a public defender now. It's not Mr. Smith. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and I haven't discussed that with...

KING: Would you be inclined to?

RICCI: I do know that he has said over and over that he had nothing to do with Elizabeth Smart's disappearance.

KING: But she can waive it, Mark Geragos?

GERAGOS: Well, in certain situations, yes. The lawyer at a certain point, though, has to make some decisions as well. But I think as a practical matter, what would happen is since he's maintained or protested his innocence all along, I don't think that the waiver would generate much of any interest whatsoever, other than the fact that he maintained his innocence just like Angela's saying.

KING: Oklahoma City, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.


CALLER: Hi, Nancy.


CALLER: Angela...


CALLER: ... did you take -- hi. Did you take any medication the night you're vouching for Richard when Elizabeth disappeared?

RICCI: No, I did not have any medication that night.

KING: Did someone say that? Has that been said?


POMEROY: Repeatedly.

KING: Little River, South Carolina. hello.

CALLER: Hello. Mrs. Ricci, my heart goes out to you and your loss.

RICCI: Thank you.

CALLER: Forgive me for the indelicate question, whose decision was it to go with cremation? And also was there an autopsy done?

RICCI: Yes, there was an autopsy done, an extensive autopsy. And Richard wanted to be cremated. That was his choice.

KING: And to Calgary, Canada, hello.

CALLER: Yes. Angela, I -- God bless you.

RICCI: Thank you.

CALLER: And I would like to know if you have any faith left in the justice system there? And I'd also like to say to Nancy, you can sure tell she's a prosecutor.

GRACE: Thank you, I think.

RICCI: Do I have any faith in the system here? One thing I have learned through this whole experience is whether you're innocent or guilty, or telling the truth or not telling the truth, my suggestion is to always, no matter what the situation, always have representation, always.

GERAGOS: I'll second that.

KING: And Nancy would, too. I don't think you want people questioned when they're not represented.

GRACE: Right, right, the issue's never...

RICCI: That's the biggest lesson I have learned through this experience.

KING: What are you going to do with your life, Angela?

RICCI: What am I going to do with my life? I'm going to take care of...

KING: You've got an 11-year-old boy.

RICCI: ... my little boy. I'm going to take care of my little boy, get back to work. One day at a time.

KING: Wright City, Missouri, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Angela, my heart goes out to you and what you're going through.

RICCI: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is, do you feel like you've been caught in the middle as far as the Smarts are concerned? And have they expressed this to you in any way?

RICCI: As far as the Smarts are concerned?


RICCI: No, I don't feel like I have been caught in the middle. I'm proud to be Richard Ricci's wife. I love him. And I don't think they've put me in the middle. They're doing what they have to do to get their daughter back. And like Nancy Pomeroy said, it's a lose/lose situation. I pray for the fact that they do get closure and I hope it's a happy, happy ending.

KING: And Ed Smart liked your husband. He's always said that to me. What do you hope to have happen?

POMEROY: I would love to see her go to college. I would love to see her, when all this is clear, to have her go to school, have a better life and be an even greater example to her son. Because this is a dubious celebrity that she's got. But she's got a lot of talent. And you can tell she's well spoken. I'd love to see that go forward.

KING: You're not kidding. Bristow, Oklahoma, hello.

CALLER: Yes. I was wondering if any of your panel could tell me if the Smarts were still suspects?

KING: Do you know that, Nancy? The police don't tell us.

GRACE: Well, of course they were never publicly named a suspect ever. But I think that after all the polygraphs, looking at their computers, cracking their alibis, I think that the Smarts were actually ruled out. And you know, you're asking what everyone hopes for in the end of the story. I hope for the truth regardless of the fallout, regardless of who was hurt...

RICCI: I second that.

GRACE: ... the truth.

KING: Some people have asked if you regret not having a child with Richard.

RICCI: I would have loved to have had a child with Richard.

KING: Mark, where do you think this is going to go?

GERAGOS: I think just like some other stories we've seen. We'll get an answer to this. It probably will take more months. Hopefully it will turn out well. Although as I said before, I think you tend to have to be realistic and lose a little optimism as days go by. The fact of the matter is that Angela's shown, I think, some incredible courage. And I met her when she was out here in L.A. She's a tremendous person. My hat's off to her. I admire the fact that she stands by her man in the face of an incredible onslaught of criticism. It's something you don't see a whole lot of in this day and age. Most people cut and run whenever somebody's accused. And few people understand what it's like to be at the eye of a hurricane when everybody is accusing you and everybody is calling you names and everybody is assuming your guilt. That's an awful lot of pressure. And she's been right there. And she's handled it admirably. And she deserves, I think, a lot of people's credit and admiration.

KING: Thank you all very much.

RICCI: Thank you.

KING: Angela Ricci, her spokesperson, Nancy Pomeroy. Nancy Grace of "Trial Heat" and Court TV and CNN and soon to (UNINTELLIGIBLE), we're going to do a show with Nancy one night and ask her about an upcoming thing she might be doing with NBC. And Mark Geragos in Los Angeles. I'll be back in a moment to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, Judge Judy, and she's going to talk about lots of things including some aspects of her personal life.




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