Return to Transcripts main page
PAULA ZAHN NOW
Michael Jackson Trials Begins; BTK Suspect in Custody
Aired February 28, 2005 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thanks for starting off the week with us here.
Tonight, a shock in a Midwestern city struggling to understand how a serial killer could have been the guy next store.
NORMAN WILLIAMS, WICHITA, KANSAS POLICE CHIEF: Bottom line, BTK is arrested. Agents from the KBI, agents from the FBI and members of the Wichita Police Department arrested Dennis Rader.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's impossible. It couldn't be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's 48 hours of just disbelief.
ZAHN (voice-over): Could a killer spend decades hiding in plain sight?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how to tell you how I feel. I'm just flabbergasted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've been church members together for 30 years.
ZAHN: Will the arrest in the BTK killings bring peace to those who have suffered for decades? I'll ask a son who saw the killer strangle his mother.
STEVE RELFORD, SON OF BTK VICTIM: What possessed him to kill my mother?
ZAHN: And as the trial begins over what really went on at Neverland, tonight, we'll think you behind closed doors and the shocking grand jury testimony in the case against Michael Jackson.
ZAHN: Welcome back.
We begin tonight with BTK, all of its very strange twists and turns, Dennis Rader, a 59-year-old municipal worker, church leader, family man, arrested over the weekend, suspected in 10 murders in Wichita, Kansas, in an area over the last 30 years.
Here's the very latest on the case. Rader will appear in court for the first time tomorrow, possibly by way of video hookup from jail. And Wichita Police Chief Norman Williams says Rader so far is cooperating.
So, tonight, people in Wichita wonder whether 30 years of killing, taunting and terror are finally over. And for the families of BTK's victims, the memories come flooding back. On March 17, 1977, a 5-year-old boy in Wichita was home with his mother. There was a knock at the door. The boy answered it and let the BTK killer into his house.
The boy's name was Steve Relford, who spoke with me today in an exclusive interview.
ZAHN: I know this is a painful thing for you to do, but take us back to March 17, 1977 and describe to us what happened to you that day.
RELFORD: My mother was sick. She didn't feel well, so she sent me to the store for some soup. On my way back from the store, this man stopped me, shows me a picture, asked me did I know who it was. I told him, no, sir. He said, are you sure? Look at it again. I told him, no, sir, I didn't know who it was.
So he let me go. I went on to my house and he went to my neighbors. About 10 minutes go by, he comes knocking on my door. Me and my brother raced to the door. I beat my brother. I let the my mom -- I let BTK in my house. He asked where my mother was and where my parents were. My mom's sick in bed. So, immediately, he starts pulling down the blinds, turns off the TV, reaches in his shoulder holster and pulls out a pistol. About that time, my mother steps to the bedroom door.
About that time, the phone rang. I asked, mom, do you want me to answer it? No. Leave it alone, he said. Then I asked mom. She said, no, leave it alone. Do as he says. So I did.
My brother and sister, they start tripping out. He told my mom to put some toys and blankets in the bathroom for us kids. So we did. After that, he took a rope, tied one of the doors shut at the door knob to under the sink, pushed the bed up against the other door, stripped my mother, taped her hands behind her back, plastic bag over her head and rope tied around her neck.
My brother breaks a window. My sister and brother was tripping out. So was I. I told him that I was going to untie the rope from underneath the sink. He told me, if I did, he'd blow my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) head off.
ZAHN: Did he have any idea you were watching him?
ZAHN: And how were you able to see at that point with both bathroom doors tethered to ropes?
RELFORD: There was the bathtub. I stood on it. There was a crack above the door. I peeked over it.
ZAHN: And, at this point, he's already threatened you. Weren't you afraid of making any noises that would draw attention to the fact that you had moved?
RELFORD: My brother and sister was already tripping out, so it didn't matter if I brought noise or not.
ZAHN: So they were screaming? They were yelling?
ZAHN: When this man showed you the picture of a child with a woman, to this day, do you know who was in that picture?
RELFORD: I have that picture. It's me and my mother.
ZAHN: So when he showed you the picture of a woman and a child, you knew that was your mom?
RELFORD: No. At that time, no, I did not. My grandparents had a picture just like it, I found out about six or eight years later when I seen that picture. I told my grandparents, that's the picture that that man showed me.
ZAHN: When you saw pictures of Dennis Rader today, was there any doubt in your mind that he is the man you ran into in the neighborhood and then later the man came knocking on your door?
RELFORD: There is no doubt in my mind. Dennis Rader is BTK, as far as I am concerned.
ZAHN: You've lived with the fear that perhaps this crime would never be solved. Is there any sense of relief for you today?
RELFORD: There is, but there's not. And the reason I say that is because he is not convicted.
ZAHN: So, Steve, I know, if you had the chance to talk with the man police think killed your mother, you'd want him to answer a couple of questions. You'd want him to answer, where did you get that picture? What else would you like to know?
RELFORD: What possessed him to kill my mother and these other innocent folks out here? He had no right.
ZAHN: Steve, I know today, as many days have been for you, has been just horrible. And you went back to the home where your mother was murdered for the very first time. Why was that important for you to go back to that home?
RELFORD: I think just to reassure in my mind and repicture Dennis Rader's face.
ZAHN: Were you able to do that?
RELFORD: And I did.
ZAHN: You were able to do that?
ZAHN: How hard was it for you to go back?
RELFORD: It was very difficult, very hard to deal with. But I had to do it for me.
RELFORD: And my mother.
ZAHN: Tell me why.
RELFORD: Satisfy my own curiosity, if I remembered what I thought I remembered. And I did.
ZAHN: How did the brutal murder of your mother, a murder which you witnessed, change you?
RELFORD: Made me rebel against everything I ever believed in, turned me into an alcoholic, a drug addict, tattooed up. I would never have been like this if my mother was still living.
ZAHN: I know one of the tougher things for you has been the fact that you were just a little boy at the time this happened, and there really was nothing you could have done to stop this man from coming into your home, but is that something that you play over and over again in your head?
RELFORD: Yes, I do.
ZAHN: What do you see when you remember that horrible afternoon?
RELFORD: The last appearance of my mother laying face down with a plastic bag over her head, rope tied around her neck, all the fingers in her hands broken, her hands taped behind her back. That's what I remember.
ZAHN: Is there any way you'll ever really have peace in your life?
ZAHN: Steve, I know how difficult this has been for you to relive these very, very dark hours. And we very much appreciate your joining us tonight and wish you a lot of luck as you try to -- with this next chapter of your life.
RELFORD: Thank you.
ZAHN: Heartbreaking to listen to. Many of the suspect's neighbors and acquaintances are shaken as well and still reeling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY VANDUSEN, NEIGHBOR OF DENNIS RADER: My wife was there every night by herself. He saw me leave for work all the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: When we come back, we look at a community's pain and questions.
And a little bit later on, one secret grand jury testimony against Michael Jackson revealed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He opened a can of, like, Diet Coke and poured it into the sink. And he got, I think it was like white whine and he poured it into a can and gave it to me. And he told me, drink it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: For the very first time, the words of Jackson's accuser.
Please stay with us.
ZAHN: A lot of you by now are probably asking the question, how can it be that a serial killer blended right into his community for almost 30 years? If police in Wichita are right and Dennis Rader is BTK, it means the serial killer who terrorized that community for 30 years was literally hiding in plain sight.
And unlike many other serial killers, he was no loner.
ZAHN (voice-over): Across Wichita, on the lips of Dennis Rader's acquaintances and neighbors, the same questions. How did we miss it for all these years?
LINDA DAY, NEIGHBOR OF DENNIS RADER: I didn't think of anyone in Park City being BTK until Friday.
ZAHN: For many, normal might describe this 59-year-old city employee, a degree from Wichita State University in administration of justice, married with two grown children, a religious man, president of his Lutheran Church council. He worked for a home security company in the '70s and '80s, entering homes, drawing diagrams, installing alarms. For more than a decade, he's been a compliance supervisor, driving around in uniform, watching for stray animals, broken-down vehicles, code violations like leaky roofs or left-out garbage cans. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's crazy, absolutely crazy. I mean, he can be nice to your face and then like turn around the next day and be a complete jerk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he was always constantly at our house or sitting across from the house taking pictures in the backyard, snooping around.
PASTOR MICHAEL CLARK, CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH: He was a very pleasant man to be around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the Park City community, mixed feelings about the man accused of calling himself BTK for more than 30 years, whose arrest has been greeted largely with a sigh of relief.
CARLOS MAYANS, WICHITA MAYOR: I think that the community is relieved. I think people are able to sleep much better at night.
ZAHN: Dennis Rader's neighbors are starting to remember things he did, things he said. Now, like Gary Vandusen, some worry about what might have happened.
VANDUSEN: My wife was there every night by herself. He saw me leave for work, you know, all the time. And you just don't know what could happen. It's a real, real scary situation.
ZAHN: Some neighbors found Dennis Rader to be rude, arrogant and even confrontational.
DAY: He was just an ugly, mean person that you didn't want to be around.
ZAHN: Others saw someone who was friendly, efficient and just a normal person.
VANDUSEN: He seemed like the nicest guy in the world to me. I was fooled, like most of the other people were.
ZAHN: Those who know Rader as the president of their church feel even more deceived.
PAUL CARLSTEDT, MEMBER OF RADER'S CONGREGATION: I don't if we'll ever come to terms with this, but we are learning to cope. I -- this is not the Dennis that we as a congregation or myself personally know.
ZAHN: Everyone we spoke with in this community of more than 6,400 is grateful Rader is now off the streets and feels little sympathy for a man who once lived among them.
VANDUSEN: I hope that he gets all that he should have coming to him. My prayers go out to the victims' families. I hope they -- pray they get some closure out of this. But I hope that he -- if he is the one, I hope that he ends up getting put away for life or the death penalty.
ZAHN: Dennis Rader's wife and his two children appear to be as surprised by his arrest as are his friends and neighbors.
CLARK: At the present time, the family is in a bewildered stage, totally, trying to make sense and understand what is happening in their lives right now.
ZAHN: And you might be wondering why we haven't heard anything yet from Dennis Rader's defense attorney. It's because, so far, he doesn't have one.
A still unexplained mystery, the suspect's grown daughter. Coming up next, her role in cracking the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY HATTEBERG, KAKE ANCHOR: She did not go to the police and say, I think my father is BTK. That did not happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAHN: We're going to try to sort out some of the fact from fiction in the hunt for a killer.
The Michael Jackson jury heard opening statements today. Later on in this hour, for the first time, the accuser in his own words.
ZAHN: So, we continue our coverage now in the break in the BTK killer case. After 30 years of fears and terror, Wichita Police now have a suspect in 10 murders. But what actually led them to Dennis Rader?
ZAHN (voice-over): For 25 years, the BTK investigation was cold, until a year ago, when the killer broke his silence.
WILLIAMS: He sent us some information involving a Mrs. Susan Wegerle. We suspected for many years that he may have committed that crime, but when he sent us the correspondence, that verified it.
ZAHN: Over the past 11 months, investigators and news organizations received letters and packages from BTK, including crime scene photos and a victim's driver's license. His most recent mailing, sent to a Wichita TV station, included a victim's necklace and a computer disk.
ROGER CORNISH, KWCH ANCHOR: We are told it was something on that floppy disk that linked them to Rader and allowed them to go ahead and make the arrest last Friday.
ZAHN: A former Wichita Police commander tells CNN the disk had apparently been used before, but not fully erased. And investigators were able to extract the old information from it. Back in the '70s, the killer taunted the city of Wichita with clues in letters and even a 911 call.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will find a homicide at 843 South Pershing.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
ZAHN: Investigators did develop some clues. They concluded he had used a photocopier at Wichita State University, and they connected a poem sent by BTK to a poem in a textbook used there. As it turned out, Dennis Rader graduated from that school in 1979.
But other clues dropped by BTK over the last year may have been false leads, for example, that he was born in 1939 and that he lost his father during World War II. However, DNA evidence may have been given investigators their most important break, although there are conflicting reports on the role it ultimately played.
HATTEBERG: They did obtain the daughter's DNA. And it was from that DNA that they took the family hit. They got a hit when they did the DNA test on the family strain of that. But she did not give up her father. She did not go to police and say, I think my father is BTK. That did not happen.
ZAHN: Investigators have not said whether new testing of old evidence linked Rader to the decades-old crimes. But the head of the BTK task force hinted that modern technology was critical.
DETECTIVE KEN LANDWEHR, BTK TASK FORCE COMMANDER: The detectives, the Wichita Police Department and Sheriff's Department that worked on these cases, who did such a good job that we were able to use evidence before anyone had any inkling of what technology would do, that they did the job so well then that we could do our job now.
ZAHN: Richard Lamunyon was the Wichita Police chief in the 1970s and '80s.
(on camera): Chief, if Dennis Rader ends up being the BTK killer, do you think he wanted to get caught?
RICHARD LAMUNYON, FORMER WICHITA POLICE CHIEF: Yes, I think he did. I think he wanted to tell his story. And I've said that all along, that his sole purpose this last year is to get his story out. Did he have guilt? We all have guilt. Perhaps that's what triggered it. Or something else, perhaps, was going on with him.
But I definitely feel that was the path he was headed. I think we would have identified him under other circumstances. It would taken a lot longer. But, by him coming forward, giving us these clues, they were able to make an apprehension much faster.
ZAHN: Do you have any doubt that Dennis Rader is the BTK killer?
LAMUNYON: Absolutely not.
ZAHN: Again, we need to stress that Rader has not yet responded to the charges, doesn't even have a lawyer yet. His first court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow. He may even appear by videotape from jail.
There will be much more on this story tonight on CNN prime time. At 9:00, Larry King talks with the current Wichita Police chief, as well as Dennis Rader's pastor. And then, at 10:00, a special "NEWSNIGHT WITH AARON BROWN," a full hour on the BTK story, taking you deep inside the case with new details on what led investigators to Dennis Rader and how he was able to live his alleged double life.
Before we take a break, a warning. You're about to hear the most detailed account ever of the molestation case against Michael Jackson, graphic, difficult, dramatized words from the once-secret grand jury transcripts -- when we come back.
ZAHN: So, you may be wondering what really went on behind closed doors at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Well, that is the question that will be answered in the pop star's molestation trial. He arrived for opening statement with thumbs up shortly after this morning.
Here's exactly what happened in court. The district attorney told jurors he will show how Jackson tried to exploit fatherless children. That he molested a 13-year-old boy. And that Jackson gave the boy alcohol and showed him pornography. The king of pop says that's not true, and it never happen, and his lawyers smell an extortion scheme.
Linda Deutsch is a special correspondent for the Associated Press. She's seen it all. She's heard it all. She joins me now from the courthouse in San Maria, California. Did you hear anything surprising today?
LINDA DEUTSCH, AP SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that the whole day was an exercise in extreme drama. I have not seen this kind of drama in a courtroom in a long time. We had two lawyers, two opposing lawyers, both very, very committed, both very aggressive and both telling compelling stories. I think this was the tale of two different trials. One is the trial of Michael Jackson and one is the trial of the accuser's mother.
ZAHN: Well, in terms of how lawyers did, who outlawyered whom?
DEUTSCH: It's hard to tell at this point, Mesereau did not get to finish his argument, because Tom Sneddon spoke for about three hours. It was a very long and drawn out opening. And he gave extreme details on every single allegations, every one of the 28 overt acts that he claims. He told the jury at the end that he had talked for a long time, and said this is a very complicated case. You have to go over and over it.
Tom Sneddon was probably more direct. He started out with a complete attack on the mother of the accuser as a con artist, charlatan and an extortionist. And said she was in it for money. That she programmed her son to make false accusations against Michael Jackson.
ZAHN: So how does the prosecution how to rebuff all that, Linda?
DEUTSCH: Well, they're going to do it with evidence. Their are up first with witness. They're first witness is Martin Bashir, the TV newscaster who did the "Living with Michael Jackson" video. And he himself has been a subject of attack already by the defense today. They said that he was out to make a scandalous video about Michael. That he was trying to get rich by destroying Michael Jackson. And they're going to have to answer that.
The prosecution will put on Bashir. They will also put on the entire video, which runs almost two hours and let the jurors see for themselves, what Never land looked like and possibly what was going on there.
ZAHN: Something strikes me, that you and I will be talking for many months to come about this case. Linda, thanks so much for insight. See you later on in the week.
All of this, of course, has come to trial because of what a grand jury heard. And you're going to hear that in a moment. CNN has obtained the secret testimony. It's graphic. It's sexual, so, you might want to send young children out of the room right now. But remember, a grand jury is not a trial, it only hears accusations from prosecutors. It does not hear from the defense, that will happen later on in the trial. The testimony is bizarre. It's also startling.
Jason Carroll begins our series of reports.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The most serious charges against Michael Jackson, sexual abuse. The key witness, his teenage accuser. He told the grand jury it started with a discussion about masturbation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told me he wanted to teach me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alright, tell us what happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we were laying in the bed, and then he started rubbing me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rubbing you how?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: HE put his hand down my pants and started rubbing me. CARROLL: The accuser told the grand jury the incidents took place at Jackson's Neverland Ranch in Santa Maria. He says Jackson invited him and his brother to sleep in the pop star's room. Based on the accusers testimony, the prosecution will say the abuse happened at least twice over several nights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, now did that ever happen to you again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The following night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Did he do it again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The same way he did before?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CARROLL: The boy testified he gave an interview for a British documentary about Jackson's life. Bad publicity followed and Jackson asked him to come to Florida for a press conference. It was on this trip, prosecutors charge, Jackson began giving the 13-year-old boy alcohol. His accusers says, Jackson called it Jesus Juice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told us -- told me if I knew what Jesus Juice was. I told him, "I don't know" what Jesus Juice is. And he then he's like, "Oh wine." He opened a can of like Diet Coke and poured it onto the sink. And he got, I think it was like white wine and poured it into the can and he gave it to me. And he told me "drink it."
CARROLL: According to the boy, Jackson gave him more wine on the pop star's private jet back to California. The boy's younger brother, referred to as James Doe, says that's when he noticed something strange.
ZAHN: Well, Jason Carroll is going to tell us more about the strange developments in just a few minutes. But first, let's get a professional view of what you've heard so far, and how you actually defend against those accusations.
Joining me here, former prosecutor Pam Hayes, who's now a defense attorney. Didn't like prosecuting those bad guys, did you?
PAM HAYES, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Back then I did.
ZAHN: Mickey Sherman is also a defense attorney. Good to see both of you.
Pam, do you believe what we heard in the grand jury testimony. Do you think this kid's telling the truth?
HAYES: I'm not sure. I'm not sure, because his mother has so many instances where she has shaken down people or pretended to shake down people, and you just don't know. When children are young, they're formidable. It's easy to persuade them to say certain things. And then, on the other hand, Michael Jackson has baggage too. And this is not the first kid to say something like that. But I don't know if I believe this completely. I mean, there are a lot of things that are going to come out. I think the jury is going to have a real tough time.
MICKEY SHERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, on this case it sounds very credible. But as you pointed out, this is a grand jury proceeding. Only one side gets up to bat. So, I'd like to see it go through the test of cross-examination. And it's going to be an interesting phenomenon as to how he cross examines him. You can't beat up on a kid -- little kid, who is a victim, no matter which way you look at it from cancer, from his mother or Michael Jackson or all three of them. So, it's going to be a very tenuous cross-examination.
ZAHN: But it strikes me that the defense is going to have a much easier time beating up on the victim's -- alleged victim's mother. This is a woman who's been accused of shaking down celebrities. Who went to Jay Leno apparently trying to get money.
SHERMAN: This is going to batting practice. It's going to be literally batting practice.
ZAHN: To take care of her kids medical expense.
HAYES: Yes. And from what I understand, basically, the child was covered by his father's health insurance, so it was really no reason for her to be asking for money for medical expenses. So...
SHERMAN: And when she did raise money, what did she do with it? She got breast augmentations. I mean, that -- that's what apparently came out today. Then it turned out, while she was being falsely imprisoned, she had $3,300 worth of shopping expenses.
ZAHN: Well, we're going to come back to how the mother fits into all this a little bit later on, and more grand jury testimony. Pam, Mickey, please stay with us.
And in just a minute, we're going to hear more at what is at heart of the molestation case, graphic disturbing exerts from the grand jury transcripts.
ZAHN: We continue now with Michael Jackson's accuser, a boy who is now 15 years old, giving the grand jury more details about a night he said that he spent at Neverland, Michael Jackson's estate.
Again, keep in mind, you might not want your children in the room while you're listening to this testimony. Again, the testimony heard by a grand jury with no defense lawyers there to rebut the accusations, which Jackson denies.
Once again, Jason Carroll.
CARROLL (voice-over): Jackson's accuser told the grand jury he clearly remembers two incidents of abuse when he was awake and thought there could have been more, but alcohol allegedly given to him by Jackson blurred his memory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It feels like if I'm trying to remember back to kindergarten. It feels kind of dreamlike.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, did you ever talk to Mr. Jackson about those -- those occasions where he masturbated you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
CARROLL: Prosecutors used the accuser's younger brother to bolster this part of the story. James Doe, as he's referred to by prosecutors, told grand jurors he saw Jackson sexually abuse his brother on two occasions while his brother slept.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael was out of his covers -- out of the covers and my brother was sleeping. And I saw Michael with his hands in his pants while he was touching my brother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't hear you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was touching my brother.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you see what Michael was doing while he was touching your brother?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was masturbating.
CARROLL: The younger brother alleges Jackson tried to touch him too, just once.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He put his hand...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On your right thigh?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How close to your crotch?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About a couple inches, but he wasn't touching it.
CARROLL: As for alcohol, James Doe told grand jurors Jackson gave him a Diet Coke can filled with "Jesus juice," the pop star's nickname for alcohol.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When was the first time you had an alcoholic beverage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I took a drink, one drink on the plane. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You took a drink on a plane?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
CARROLL: James Doe told grand jurors he felt Jackson's behavior was wrong but kept his feelings to himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I don't know why I didn't tell nobody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looking back on it now, do you regret not having said something?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I should have told my sister. Should have told somebody.
ZAHN: And I'm back now with defense attorneys Pamela Hayes and Mickey Sherman. We should make it clear, of course, those voices are a dramatization of the actual grand jury testimony.
Do you think the accuser's little brother helps the prosecution all that much, Mickey?
SHERMAN: It certainly helps. I mean, it's no question of plus. How much of a plus is going to be measured by the cross-examination by Tom Mesereau and also by the cross-examination of everyone that that young man spoke to before he's ever testified.
Did he hear that same story from a counselor? Did he hear it from his mother, from a therapist? Did the police tell him? Did Tom Sneddon's people speak to him about it? That's going to be the test the -- of whether or not this testimony hangs up.
ZAHN: But the true test for the prosecution will come when we finally hear if the judge will allow some of the testimony from the '93 trial.
HAYES: That is the horror of horror. That is the challenge for the defense to keep that testimony out, because it is so highly prejudicial. I don't think it's probative, but it's prejudicial, and it could really influence a jury against Michael Jackson.
ZAHN: How prejudicial is it?
SHERMAN: It's a double-edged sword. Because don't forget, these people signed off for big dollars, $20 million or something like that. And that's going to come in front of a jury, as well.
ZAHN: Right. If there really was a case, why did you settle for 20 million bucks?
SHERMAN: They got a big pay day. And the thing that I find interesting is what's happening in between? How come in 1993 to 2004 there's been no other victims? People who commit this crime don't do it once or twice. They do it a lot. So I think the fact that there's one person who got a big pay day and now this person, I think that speaks volumes.
ZAHN: I was listening to Jeffrey Toobin, our senior legal correspondent, saying that it was his impression today that the defense absolutely creamed the prosecution opening statements. Just a brief think (ph) on that before we move on.
HAYES: I think that the defendant's statement was more organized. You have to know the right things to say, when to say it, and it has to be organized.
ZAHN: Is that a nice way to say the prosecution's strategy was a mess?
HAYES: No, it just wasn't organized.
SHERMAN: It's like it's the New York marathon. And today, he had a really good -- looked very good on the Verrazano Bridge. It's a long way to go. I've been in a trial where Jeffrey Toobin said I was doing great. It ain't over till it's over.
ZAHN: And which trial would he have been talking about, Mickey?
SHERMAN: And old case, I think.
ZAHN: No, I think the Michael Skakel trial, right?
SHERMAN: Right. It's a long way to go. Today is just a very, very long distance from the end.
ZAHN: It's a good thing to be (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Mickey, Pam, once again, please standby. We've got more to come.
Now that we've heard from Jackson's accuser, we're going to hear what the defense considers the weakest point in the case against him. We'll be right back.
ZAHN: And the countdown is on: just 10 minutes till the top of the hour when Larry King will be joining us. But he's going to give us a sneak preview now of what's on his show tonight.
Hi, Larry. Did you have a good weekend?
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": I sure did. I went to that "Vanity Fair" party last night. It was something.
ZAHN: And you're still awake right now?
KING: Yes. Latest I've stayed up in years.
ZAHN: It was supposed to have been fun.
KING: It was a -- it was a great party. Anyway, we're going to stay on top of this BTK story. We'll meet the police chief of Wichita. We'll also talk with his pastor, the suspect's pastor, one of the suspect's friends, two of the suspect's alleged victims, relatives of the victims. And the -- later on in the show, we'll concentrate more on that missing child in Florida. Not a good day in news, but a good day in that someone has been, supposedly the correct person has been caught, Paula.
ZAHN: Yes, that's what the police think. They think they've got the right guy. We have yet to hear from his defense attorney, of course, because he doesn't have one yet.
Larry, thanks. See you at the top of the hour.
We now are going to move on to more Michael Jackson information. Once again, we warn you that some of that grand jury testimony is graphic, not suitable for children.
This time we hear from the mother of the then 13-year-old boy, who accused Jackson of molesting him. Jackson's attorneys have denied all of these charges. They say he's a victim of extortion.
Here's Jason Carroll..
CARROLL (voice-over): Even during the grand jury proceeding, the prosecution acknowledged what could be the weakest witness in their case, the accuser's mother, referred to as Jane Doe.
Point one, defense accusations she's out to make a buck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps the biggest and most vicious accusation is the one that you have made this all up?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that you did it for purposes of getting money? A shakedown?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It's a shook up. They shook me up. My children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you demanded money from Michael Jackson?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing, nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want money from Michael Jackson?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nope, never. I don't want the devil's money.
CARROLL: Point two, what she knew about allegations of abuse and when.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From whom did you learn about the allegations of molestation?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you suspecting up until that point?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.
CARROLL: She says early clues came when her son, referred to as John Doe, started acting strangely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I saw John's behavior, crying in the restroom, BB gun in my leg, angry, violent, running away.
CARROLL: She also testified her other son mentioned an incident involving Jackson simulating sex with a mannequin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In Michael Jackson's home?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And at this point I said, "Forgive, forget, forgive, forget, forget." I figured OK, let the boys tell, tell maybe the attorneys, tell somebody else rather than me.
CARROLL: Point three, a previous lawsuit involving allegations of abuse. Jane Doe sued JCPenney in 2000 for a shoplifting incident involving her son, Jackson's accuser. Her suit alleged she was sexually abused by the store's security guard.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That lawsuit was ultimately settled?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I told the civil attorneys all I wanted was an apology.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a judgment, wasn't there?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The judgment was over $100,000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you coach anybody to participate in that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
CARROLL: The mother's testimony is key to the prosecution's case. Is she an innocent parent blinded by the King of Pop's stardom, or an opportunist who used her own children to shake down an eccentric celebrity?
ZAHN: Once again, I'm back with defense attorneys Pamela Hayes and Mickey Sherman. Mickey said earlier on that the defense is just going to take batting practice on this woman, but the prosecution is going to try to buttress her. How are they going to do that?
HAYES: Well, they're going to have to try to use her testimony and connect it with things that other people have said. If you would, put it together like a puzzle. Because she has some really serious baggage, and they should have anticipated this. And we're all aware of the JCPenney action. Now...
ZAHN: For people that aren't, she filed a case against JCPenney...
ZAHN: ... saying her son had been -- he had been arrested for shoplifting.
HAYES: Falsely accused.
ZAHN: Falsely accused of shoplifting. And then she said she was fondled.
HAYES: Yes, but not only that time. There's four other instances.
SHERMAN: You've also got a paralegal who's now come out and is going to be on the -- on the defense witness list that says that she lied in that case under oath. This is one of her lawyer's aides, paralegal is going to be testifying that in that suit she lied under oath.
That's one thing to coach the child...
HAYES: That's a problem, though, Mickey. It's a conflict of interest.
SHERMAN: It's a conflict -- it's whether or not it's a protected privilege, attorney/client privilege. But I mean, I know about it because I've been watching TV here.
ZAHN: All right. Well, let me ask you this: if the accusation this is all about money and extorting money, then why did she go the criminal route with this case? Why wouldn't she have tried to settle out of court?
SHERMAN: She can still sue. You can still sue until the kid's like 18.
ZAHN: So that doesn't mean anything to me, the fact that she pursued this criminal case.
HAYES: Right. This is the easy way to go. If she can get a judgment on this criminal case, she just throws the judgment on a piece of paper. Bang, all they do is sue for damages.
SHERMAN: Plus now she can get a movie deal or a book deal or something like that. It's more these days then the lawsuits.
ZAHN: Both of you guys are defense attorneys, so you're dumping all over this woman. Is there anything you've heard her say... HAYES: I've been a prosecutor, Paula. Look, as a prosecutor, I've got to worry about somebody like this. You're not just prosecuting this guy because I want to get him. It's because he's a bad person. He's hurt children. He doesn't need to be in society.
ZAHN: But would you use her?
SHERMAN: You've got to use her.
HAYES: I don't know.
ZAHN: You said you have to use her, Mickey.
HAYES: I would have thought about bringing this case, first of all. She didn't initiate bringing this case. This case came by way of another lawyer who had something to do with the '93 case.
SHERMAN: And also, Tom Sneddon being on a mission from God. What I would do is, if I'm the prosecutor -- and I was a prosecutor for four years. I'd put her on and I would expose all her warts.
And then my argument to the jury would be, you know something? This kid can't catch a break. Not only was he abused by Michael Jackson, his mother is not the nicest person in the world.
ZAHN: But how does it help the kid's case, then? And how does that not -- stop the argument that the kid was being coached by his mother?
SHERMAN: Well, it might generate sympathy and empathy for the kid, because the jury is going to say, this kid is a victim of cancer. We don't know if Michael Jackson did something. Maybe he did. But look, even his mother is not exactly kind in this case.
HAYES: They're not going to convict, you know, an idol just because somebody is a victim of cancer. They're going to have to prove that he did it to that kid this time. And that's the problem.
ZAHN: And we're going to be sitting here for months debating this.
Mickey Sherman, Pamela Hayes, good to see both of you. Thank you for both of your perspectives.
We'll be right back.
ZAHN: That wraps it up for all of us. Thanks for joining us tonight. See you tomorrow night.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com