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New Developments in Case of Natalee Holloway

Aired February 4, 2008 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight: It was a case that couldn`t be cracked for three years. Aruban police claimed they couldn`t make a case against judge`s son Joran Van Der Sloot. But tonight, a reporter does what the entire Aruban government couldn`t or wouldn`t do, crack the case of 18- year-old Alabama beauty Natalee Holloway, missing from her high school senior trip to Aruba, 2005. Months of high-tech secret surveillance solves the mystery and it proves what happened the night Natalee Holloway disappeared. Tonight, we have the video. But now, will Aruban courts fumble the case again?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The on-again and off-again investigation into the disappearance of an Alabama teenager in Aruba is on again. Investigators reopen the case because a suspect in the 2005 disappearance offered an account of her death on a secretly made tape. A businessman recorded the conversation with Joran Van Der Sloot with cameras hidden in his car. On the tape aired on Dutch television, Van Der Sloot said he and Holloway had sex on an island beach early in the morning of May 30, 2005, and that she died. He said he called a friend with a boat, who then took her body and dumped it overboard, in his words, "like an old rag."


GRACE: And tonight, breaking news. NFL superstar multimillionaire quarterback Michael Vick, once the former NFL number one draft pick, has nearly $20 million waiting for him in the bank. This after Vick connected to a vicious dog fight scheme stretching the entire Eastern seaboard, much of it at his super-secret compound, Richmond, Virginia. So why -- why -- is Vick still sitting on millions?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Vick`s dog fighting operation has cost him a lot -- his reputation, his career, his freedom. But he hasn`t lost everything. Huge moves for Michael Vick while he sits in jail on dog fighting charges. A federal judge has ruled he can keep nearly $20 million in bonus money he received from the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons wanted the money back, saying Vick used some of it to finance his dog fighting ring. But the judge says that would violate the NFL`s collective bargaining agreement because Vick got the bonuses for years he`d already played.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. Natalee Holloway`s case cracked, no thanks to the Aruban police.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A judge in Aruba has now reopened the case against Dutch student Joran Van Der Sloot in the death of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. There is a new tape that`s surfaced in which Van Der Sloot is heard saying that Holloway`s body was dumped at sea. In fact, he describes her being on the beach and being unresponsive, and said, quote, "I don`t know what happened to that girl. We were on the beach, suddenly, she wasn`t moving anymore. I tried to shake her. I was shaking that (DELETED) I almost wanted to cry. Why does this have to happen to me?"

Now, Van Der Sloot then says he called a friend, who took her body out in a boat and dumped it in the ocean. On the tape, he also says, "I haven`t lost a night`s sleep over this." The tape was part of a sting operation by a Dutch crime show. Van Der Sloot now says that he knew it was a sting and that he was lying to tell the informant what he wanted to hear.


GRACE: Is the case finally cracked? According to this tape-recorded secret surveillance video and audio, the answer is finally yes. Now it`s back on the Aruban government. Will they take this man who, quote says, "I felt nothing. I haven`t lost a night`s sleep" over Natalee`s death and dumping her body in the icy cold ocean. Will he ever face a court of law?

Let`s find out exactly what happened. To CNN senior producer Tracy Sabo. Tracy, explain.

TRACY SABO, CNN PRODUCER: Well, obviously, Nancy, these tapes that have just come out are certainly shocking to both the prosecution, who`s been working on this case for about two to three years, and certainly to Beth Twitty, who was able to witness them herself.

Patrick Van Der Eem is a 34-year-old Dutch national who says that he met Joran at a casino -- he wasn`t his friend prior -- and began this undercover assignment over a process of six months, then got to know Joran, and Joran says for the first time on these tapes that he actually had a hard time talking about it but was telling his story and proceeded to give this story, which...


GRACE: Had a hard time talking about it? Tracy! Tracy! I know you`ve listened as much as I have. Take a listen to this.


JORAN VAN DER SLOOT: I`ll tell you one thing, I`ve never discussed it with anyone. It isn`t easy, either, not even now.

And all of a sudden, Patrick, all the things she did...


VAN DER SLOOT: Yes, a lot.

I almost wanted to cry, Why does this (DELETED) have to happen to me?

He looked and said, yes, she`s not alive anymore. Dead.

PATRICK VAN DER EEM: How did he do that?

VAN DER SLOOT: He was bent over her and looked. This wasn`t good.

VAN DER EEM: Of course. I understand. But she could have been in a coma.

VAN DER SLOOT: That`s possible, too. That`s very possible.

Patrick, I had absolutely no bad feelings about it. I have not lost one night of sleep over it.

Someone who`s really a good friend of mine.

VAN DER EEM: With a boat.


I spoke to him, and I was, like, Something really happened, something bad.

So we took her to that boat.

VAN DER EEM: Carried her?

VAN DER SLOOT: Yes, the two of us, real (INAUDIBLE)

VAN DER EEM: And no one saw you even then?



GRACE: That is from ABC`s "Good Morning America." And that`s not all. Take a look at some of what he said as we have transcribed. "All of a sudden, what she did was like in a movie. She was shaking. It was awful. I prodded her. There was nothing." He went out to sea and then he threw her out, "like an old rag." Repeat, "like an old rag." He goes on to say, "Patrick, I had absolutely no bad feelings about it. I have not lost one night of sleep over it."

Let`s go on. Let`s go on to the next screen. "I tried to shake her. I was shaking the (DELETED)." He calls the dead girl a (DELETED). "I was shaking the (DELETED). I was, like, What`s wrong with you, man? I was almost crying. Why does this (DELETED) have to happen to me?" And I`m cutting out the curse words. "Why does this (DELETED) have to happen to me?"

I want to go out to CNN correspondent joining us from the Netherlands, Frederik Pleitgen. Frederik, thank you for being with us. How did this whole thing come about?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, what happened is that this investigative journalist, Peter De Vries, started making a documentary about this case, and he got Van Der Eem to befriend Van Der Sloot. And what happened was -- and you can see this in the documentary as it goes on -- is that this is a very, very long process, where in the beginning, they talk about completely random things. And then all of a sudden, Van Der Sloot starts opening up more and more, starts talking about the case and starts talking about his role in all of this.

And one thing that I think has shocked so many people that have been seeing this is the way that he does talk about it, the way that he says that, basically, the Aruban police were stupid, and he was leading them around and he was on top of this thing the whole time, that he knew what he was doing and that he believes they have nothing against him.

So basically, it seems as though one of the reasons he started opening up to Van Der Eem was that he was feeling very, very secure. He said that right now, he`s at a stage where he could go cash in on this because he felt so safe from prosecution, Nancy.

GRACE: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Who could cash in? I want to make sure I heard you correctly, Frederik Pleitgen. Who could cash in?

PLEITGEN: That`s exactly what he said. I mean, those were his exact words in that documentary. He was saying that he had been through all this. He`d been to courts several times, and now it was his turn to exploit the situation, Nancy.

GRACE: Let`s take a look at more of what Joran Van Der Sloot, protected so far by his daddy, the judge there in Aruba -- he`s even left the Aruban island and gone on to college in the Netherlands.

It goes on. "How did you know for sure she was dead? Because you can`t -- you know, people can go into a coma." "Well, I wasn`t positive." He`s not positive she`s dead, but arranges to have her body thrown into the ocean a mile away from shore?

It goes on. It goes on. And let me warn you, it doesn`t get any better. Joran Van Der Sloot, "After the second week, I was quiet. I didn`t tell the police anything." "But until now, you say that you what, they fetched you, the police?" "Well, that`s what happened in the case. After I didn`t make anymore statements, I said it was in my best interests to keep my mouth shut after that."

He goes on to mock the police, his father, the judge, protecting him the entire time. He mocks police in these secretly taped video and audio. "I think that`s it. They came and said, You just had that phone call with Deepak, and I said, yes, they came to get me. It`s not going well here. I`m not allowed to drive here. That`s how it worked. They said Deepak was logged down on the computer that night. I said, OK, it was his brother, Satish. That`s how it went." Patrick, "That`s a laugh." Joran, "They`re such idiots. The police are real idiots."

Let`s unleash the lawyers, the defense lawyers. Joining us tonight, Dick Atkins, international law attorney, Richard Herman, defense attorney, New York, Alex Sanchez, also defense attorney.

So Richard Herman, you know how often we`ve talked about this case and we have speculated, using all of our years of acting as detectives and lawyers in court, criminal lawyers, to determine what happened? We all said not crackable unless he talks. Well, he finally did it. Thoughts?

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: There is no evidence of any crime here, Nancy. Without the body, they cannot prosecute. This is an entertainment television show that unleashed one of their paid guys to try to set him up over a period of time to try to entrap him. He obviously discovered what was going on. He played with this guy. He gave him what he wanted to know. There is no evidence of a crime. He is right. The Aruba prosecutors and the police are idiots. They`ve bungled this case from the beginning, and it`s absolutely pathetic, Nancy.

GRACE: Truth to form. Alex Sanchez, you want to try to take off your defense attorney hat and tell us the truth about the case now?

ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think what these tapes demonstrate is what a truly reprehensible character Mr. Van Der Sloot really is. But I`m not 100 percent clear whether or not the tapes will establish a criminal offense.


SANCHEZ: Because he says -- he`s basically establishing a defense that this girl died during, I don`t know...


SANCHEZ: ... some type of sexual activity.

GRACE: Yes. Yes. Let me...

SANCHEZ: And he may be charged with disposing of a body, and that`s reprehensible in and of itself. But whether or not he committed...

GRACE: Right. Right. Right. Gotcha. Gotcha. Right. I want to go out now to Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and author. Robi, I don`t know about you, but if you suddenly start shaking and fall down dead, I promise you I won`t dispose of your body out in the cold, icy waters of the ocean. I will call 911. Care to explain?

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Yes. Oh, I`m so relieved, by the way. You know he is grossly egocentric and a complete sociopath. He was bragging, basically. And also, I don`t believe a word he said. I don`t know that what he said on tape is actually what happened. I think he was just protecting himself, in all actuality.

GRACE: Protecting himself in describing the death?

LUDWIG: Oh, because he might have been more involved in her death than he`s letting on in this tape, for all we know.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Dick Atkins, international law attorney. Can the prosecutors now build on what they already have, Dick? In addition to this tape, can they use all the old evidence, the inconsistent statements, the timing, everything they`ve dug up so far up until now?

DICK ATKINS, INTERNATIONAL LAW ATTORNEY: They certainly can. First of all, they don`t absolutely have to find the body. They can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt by other evidence, by circumstantial evidence. And they also have the opportunity to question the person who was mentioned as the one who disposed of the body. With his corroboration, it is possible that they can reach at least manslaughter, aside from the disposal of the body. They can put everything together and they can put together a decent case.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Bonnie in North Dakota. Hi, Bonnie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I think you`re wonderful.

GRACE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just have a question...

GRACE: Thank you very much. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The guy that -- I think his name is Patrick, that taped him...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he qualify for the reward?

GRACE: Interesting question. Let`s go out to Art Harris, investigative journalist. Art, what about it? OK, can`t hear Art. Liz, see if you can get Art hooked up.

What about it, Tracy Sabo? What about the reward?

SABO: We`ve not heard anything about the reward except for in the very initial stages. And to be honest, I`m not sure if the reward is still on the table by the family. That was the only entity that had put money out in the beginning.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Olivia in Colorado. Hi, Olivia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. It`s great to have you back.

GRACE: Thank you, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`d like to know if this confession was obtained legally.

GRACE: Well, here`s the deal, Olivia. The Constitution protects us from police, from prosecutors, from the so-called long arm of the state. But the Constitution typically will not, even in Aruba, protect you from blabbing to a journalist. So it was legally obtained.

I know that there are other implications in your question, such as can you audio and videotape someone without their knowledge? Here in America, if you`re on the telephone, you`re governed by a one or two-party consent rule. You can`t just tape someone generally without their knowing it on the phone. That is a wire offense, the telephone being the wire.

Let`s go out to Frederik Pleitgen, CNN correspondent. I assume that in Aruba, if you`re speaking in open or even in a car, you don`t have a presumption of privacy. This is a journalist who is getting the information. I don`t think there`s going to be a legal problem.

PLEITGEN: Well, that`s exactly what legal experts here are telling us, as well. One thing that they are saying is they believe that these tapes, that this video can be used as evidence in court in Aruba and also in the Netherlands. He could be tried either in Aruba or in the Netherlands.

And one thing that a legal analyst told me. He said that Van Der Sloot`s now saying that he was lying to this person also might not count that much, as well, because he says, as a judge, he`d be asking Van Der Sloot, You know what? You`re telling me you were lying to this guy the whole time. How do I know you`re not lying to the judge right now? So certainly, he says, this could be very, very strong evidence if a case -- if, in fact, this case does go to court again, Nancy.

GRACE: Back to Dick Atkins, international law attorney. Dick, the issue is this. When it comes to, was he lying, that`s an issue of credibility. In our country, the jury is the trier of facts. The judge and jury is the sole decision maker, the sole judge of credibility. The only issue is going to be admissibility, Dick.

ATKINS: No, it`s going to be admissible. Everything that`s happened will be admissible. And it appears that -- my understanding of the Aruban and the Dutch law is that this, at worst, would be one-party consent. In some states in the U.S., you need both. In Aruba, you don`t. And therefore, it should be admissible and it`s up to the judge to decide.

GRACE: Out to Natasha in Delaware. Hi, Natasha.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I have a comment and a question.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My comment is, is they`re all talking about they don`t have a body. My uncle was murdered. It took 10 years. They never found a body. They still went to trial and there was still a conviction. So my question is, is if they don`t find this body and they have this tape, will they still convict him?

GRACE: Well, that`s going to be up to the fact finder, but I can tell you this much, Natasha. You don`t have to have a body to go forward. I mean, that has been cleared up and discussed a million times. I remember a case in Atlanta where there was nothing but a glass eyeball left. So yes, you can go forward without a body.

Art Harris, weigh in.

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Nancy, what struck me in listening to a translation I had done is that he shows a guilty state of mind. He`s discussing an alibi with his friend on the beach. This friend tells him, you know, Joran, you`re going to have to continue with your normal way of life. Go to school, get up tomorrow, act like nothing happened, and get your story straight. And he said, yes, you know, I`m going to have to call the Kalpoe brothers and make sure that we are in agreement. And that`s what they do, Nancy. So you know, we`re wondering here if state of mind is going to play into this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prosecutors in Aruba say they`re reopening their investigation against Joran Van Der Sloot. A Dutch crime show apparently secretly aired recorded conversations between Van Der Sloot and a, quote, unquote, "friend" who turned out to be an undercover reporter. On the tape, Van Der Sloot admits he was with Holloway on a beach when she got sick and passed out. He said he panicked, and when she didn`t appear to be alive, he called a friend and arranged to have her body dumped in the ocean. Van Der Sloot admits he made the comments but says they were all, quote, "lies." Holloway disappeared in 2005.


GRACE: Is the case of Natalee Holloway finally cracked? No thanks to the Aruban police, apparently a Dutch reporter had secret surveillance on judge`s son Joran Van Der Sloot for months on end. How did it work, Art Harris?

HARRIS: Nancy, this tape that was obtained by this Dutch reporter has Joran Van Der Sloot telling a different story than he told three years ago. And one of the contradictions they`re going to have to resolve is what did the Kalpoe brothers say? They say they were together on the beach. Now Joran is saying he was alone. And my question is, can they turn this into a perjury case and turn the three suspects against each other?

GRACE: To T.J. Ward joining us tonight, private investigator who worked with Natalee`s family. He did what is called a layered voice analysis of Van Der Sloot on tape. T.J., welcome. What did you learn?

T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WORKED WITH HOLLOWAY FAMILY: Hi, Nancy. What we have learned -- and as you`re aware, what got me to Aruba was the layered voice analysis that I brought to the Holloway family, but the Aruban authorities would not allow us to use the equipment there, much less the polygraph. But we did take the recording, and I sent it to our lab in Madison, Wisconsin, with voice analysis technologies. And we were able to make an analysis of this conversation that was obtained in the Netherlands. And in fact, Joran is telling the truth about what he said. He`s trying to be manipulative in the course of the conversation, but what he`s talking about is completely true.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this tape, Van Der Sloot talks about having sex with Holloway on the beach early in the morning on May 30, 2005. But then he says something went horribly wrong. Van Der Sloot says he then dragged Holloway`s body into the woods and called a friend with a boat. Van Der Sloot says he then went home, and the friend dumped Holloway`s body in the ocean.


GRACE: All of this caught on high-tech secret surveillance that lasted for months. Take a listen.


VAN DER SLOOT: Someone who`s really a good friend of mine.

VAN DER EEM: With a boat.


I spoke to him, and I was, like, Something really happened, something bad.

So we took her to that boat.

VAN DER EEM: Carried her?

VAN DER SLOOT: Yes, the two of us, real (INAUDIBLE)

VAN DER EEM: And no one saw you even then?



GRACE: Out to Jossy Mansur. He is the managing director of "Diario" magazine. Jossy, it`s great to talk to you again. He`s joining us from Aruba. Jossy, what is the reaction there in Aruba to this bombshell?

JOSSY MANSUR, MANAGING EDITOR, "DIARIO": Well, people are very excited. They see a possible solution in a relatively short time. They believe in the validity and legitimacy of this tape.

GRACE: You mean they`re actually saying it`s not legitimate?

MANSUR: No, somebody, probably (INAUDIBLE) in the local media, said the tape had to be verified or whatever in some kind of lab. But we know that the tape is legitimate. It was done by a man that has a good reputation in the field.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A judge in Aruba has now reopened the case against Dutch student Joran Van der Sloot in the death of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Dutch crime reporter appears to have caught Van der Sloot on tape claiming the 18-year-old high school student died suddenly while they were making out on a beach in Aruba. "All of a sudden what she did was like in a movie, she was shaking. It was awful," he says, "and I prodded her, there was nothing."

Van der Sloot describes calling a friend he says was never questioned by police who had a boat nearby. Van der Sloot says that they carried Natalee Holloway`s body to the boat. He went out to the sea and then he threw her out like a rag, he said.

Van der Sloot is heard on the tape saying neither he nor his friend were certain Natalee Holloway was dead. But he seems to say it didn`t bother him. "I felt fine, I didn`t lose a minute of sleep over it," he says.


GRACE: Well, the case has been handed to Aruban authorities now on a silver platter. No, not by Aruban police or detectives, oh no, no, no no, no, by an independent Dutch reporter who conducted months of secret surveillance on the judge`s son Joran Van der Sloot. During that time, after a lot of late nights smoking big fat doobies and planning a pot farm, Van der Sloot admits to being with Natalee Holloway the night she died on the beach and having her body dumped in the choppy ocean waters.

Out to the lines, let`s go to Sandy in Georgia. Hi, Sandy.

SANDY, FROM GEORGIA: Hi, Nancy. How are you?

GRACE: I`m fine, dear. What`s your question?

SANDY: My question is, since he`s already admitted that he had contact with her on the beach and supposedly she started having convulsions, could they have been caused by him drugging her and possibly that`s why he was afraid to call the law? And if so, could he still be charged for murder?

GRACE: Out to Howard Oliver, who`s joining us tonight, former deputy medical examiner. He`s a forensic pathologist, joining us out of L.A.

Dr. Oliver, thank you for being with us. If Van der Sloot is telling the truth about how Natalee died, and I`m not convinced that he is telling the truth about the mode of her death, I`ve seen a million defendants make up a story when they`re caught on the scene of a murder about how the deceased died. If this is true, what is -- what could be the cause of death? Why would someone start shaking and then just die?

HOWARD OLIVER, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, FMR. DEPUTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Good evening. Well, first of all, it sounds like she had a seizure. It could be epileptic seizure or a seizure from having.

GRACE: Not an epileptic, not an epileptic.

OLIVER: OK. She could have had seizures from using cocaine along with the alcohol. But, you know, under optimum conditions, I couldn`t say she was dead, you know, certainly under these conditions at 2:00 in the morning. It`s dark, they`d both been drinking. You know I pronounced many people dead and under good conditions, it take - it would take me with instrumentation about five minutes to make that determination.

GRACE: Doctor, you said with the cocaine and the alcohol. Now I know there are witnesses that say she drank, but where did you get the little detail about her using cocaine?

OLIVER: On a newspaper article that I read that stated that she had been using cocaine and alcohol.

GRACE: According to Joran Van der Sloot?

OLIVER: No, a newspaper article.

GRACE: No, I mean the newspaper article had to get it from somewhere.

I want to go back out to Art Harris, investigative journalist. Dr. Oliver just told us that under the best circumstances, Art, it takes a period of time to determine if someone is dead or not. Now, what`s the likelihood that she suddenly goes into some kind of fit and just dies? A healthy, young teenager. Never been sick a day in her life suddenly just dies on the beach.

ART HARRIS, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Well, Nancy, it raises questions. What happened at the bar of Carlos `N Charlie`s, and if somebody may have put something in her drink as costumed.

GRACE: Oh, OK. Interesting. So why would she suddenly die an hour or two or three later as opposed to right then when she consumed the pretend cocaine that you`re dreaming up right now? I mean why does she have a delayed reaction of three hours.

HARRIS: I`m not dreaming up this, Nancy.

GRACE: .before she dies?

HARRIS: Nancy, I`m talking about the customary social habits of some of the bars down there where women do report that they have been given date rape drugs and other things and the accumulation in the blood. As you know the prosecutor...

GRACE: I`m sorry, I thought you mentioned cocaine.

HARRIS: No. I saw that account as well.

GRACE: Not Gamma hydroxybutyrate, GHB.

HARRIS: Right.

GRACE: The date rape drug. Yes. Now my question is, back to Howard Oliver, Dr. Oliver, Art has a very good point. If GHB were used, don`t you go into a sleep-like state pretty quickly after you take GHB?

OLIVER: Yes, that`s correct. You do go into it pretty quickly.

GRACE: OK, so that`s out, Art, because if she didn`t go into this state until an hour or two later, after they coincidentally just had sex on the beach, according to Joran Van der Sloot, consensual sex, why would she suddenly pass out then? I mean, the timing doesn`t work. So this whole thing about drugs and alcohol in my mind is something Joran Van der Sloot has fabricated along with much of his other story.

Out to Judy in Florida. Hi, Judy.

JUDY, FROM FLORIDA: Hi, thank you for taking my call, Nancy.

GRACE: Yes, ma`am.

JUDY: Has anyone been able to confirm if Natalee Holloway had a history of seizures?

GRACE: Interesting question. Let`s go out to T.J. Ward. You`re connected to the case. You`ve worked with the Holloway family. I`ve never heard a word about Natalee Holloway and I`ve spoken to Beth Twitty many times having any type of illness.

T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR, WORKED WITH HOLLOWAY FAMILY ON CASE: There`s no family history of any seizures or anything but we do know that.


WARD: .she was very intoxicated when she left the Carlos `N Charlie`s.

GRACE: Yes. That much we know. But I think it`s very rare to suddenly die from having too much to drink.

Robi Ludwig, weigh in.

ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST, AUTHOR, "TILL DEATH DO US PART": Well, I also think that Joran is perhaps covering up something. So maybe he.

GRACE: You do?


GRACE: You think so, Robi?

LUDWIG: I do because.

GRACE: You think he`s covering something up?

LUDWIG: I don`t know why I think that. But why else.

GRACE: It took you three years to get to that. But OK.

LUDWIG: But why else -- wouldn`t you call 911? If somebody is, let`s say, dying right in front of you unless you feel like maybe you would be implicated in some way. Then of course, you would call.

GRACE: Robi, I already asked you that.

LUDWIG: Yes, I know. And I`m agreeing with you.


Out to the lines. Carrie in Wisconsin. Hi, Carrie.

CARRIE, FROM WISCONSIN: Hi. My question is, has he been taken back into custody? And if not, is he considered a flight risk?

GRACE: Well, I would consider him a flight risk, but apparently they don`t in Aruba.

Back out to Tracy Sabo, CNN`s senior producer. Tracy, why hasn`t he been rearrested?

TRACY SABO, CNN SR. PRODUCER: That`s a very good question. That is something that obviously the prosecution is trying desperately to accomplish. But the judge ruled just yesterday that he does not - in fact, the new evidence does not meet the threshold for any further pretrial detention. He feels that it hasn`t risen to that level with this new information.

GRACE: Out to Ronnie in Florida. Hi, Ronnie.

RONNIE, FROM FLORIDA: Hi, Nancy, I just absolutely love you.

GRACE: Thank you. Thank you very much. And thank you for calling in. What`s your question, dear?

RONNIE: Well, my question is when they -- when they originally went through all of the phone records of Van der Sloot -- tonight they`re saying that he called a friend of his who had a boat nearby. But that person was never interviewed. So what happened to that.

GRACE: The phone call?


GRACE: He`s saying he called from a pay phone. Is that correct, Frederick Pleitgen? He says he called from a pay phone?

FREDRICK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s absolutely right. That`s one of the things that he appears to be saying in that TV documentary is that he was trying to cover all of this up, calling this friend of his by calling from pay phone from a nearby hotel that was around the corner. He said that his friend did show up only a few moments later, Nancy.

GRACE: Frederick Pleitgen, CNN correspondent, joining us there in the Netherlands. Frederick, my question is what in this long series of taped statements jumps out at you immediately? What do you think is the most serious part of the surveillance?

PLEITGEN: Well, certainly, there were several parts that I found very serious. I mean just him saying that he had been there when she died and then bringing this whole new character into a whole game of things. But I think the thing that has a lot of people here in Holland and probably also in other places very, very up in arms is the fact that he`s saying he believes he`s off the hook that he`s saying he never lost a night of sleep over it.

And especially also saying that now it`s his turn to cash in on all of this, to exploit the situation. That seems very, very cold hearted to a lot of people. And that`s the reaction that you`re getting here in Holland from people, Nancy.

GRACE: Joining us there in the Netherlands, Frederick Pleitgen. Also with us Tracy Sabo, CNN`s senior producer.

We`ll all be right back to case alert. A desperate search underway for missing construction business exec John Glasgow., 45 years old, Little Rock, Arkansas. Last seen by a neighbor heading to work. Glasgow`s Volvo found the very next day, doors unlocked, laptop still inside.

If you have info, call the Conway County Sheriff 501-354-2412.

And tonight APB, all points bulletin for special moms and dads. If you know a parent who`s inspirational to others, get that camcorder, go to, click on "i-Report," enter that person in the "Extraordinary Parent Contest."

And also tonight, the twins John David and Lucy, three months old today. And I want to thank you for all of your prayers. I know God was listening. Here are photos we just put online. I hope you like them.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The on again, off again investigation of the disappearance of an Alabama teenager in Aruba is on again. Investigators reopened the case because a suspect in the 2005 disappearance offered an account of her death on a secretly made tape. A businessman recorded the conversation with Joran Van der Sloot with cameras hidden in his car. On the tape aired on Dutch television, Van der Sloot said he and Holloway had sex on an island beach early in the morning of May 30th, 2005 and that she died. He said he called a friend with a boat who then took her body and dumped it over board, in his words, like an old rag.


GRACE: He goes on to say he hasn`t lost a night`s sleep about the death of Natalee Holloway in the prime of her life. The teenage American beauty on her high school senior trip to Aruba, hours before it was time to leave, she was missing.

Out to the lines, Crystal in Texas. Hi, Crystal.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

CRYSTAL: Well, it`s a comment. If this guy had done nothing wrong, why go to all the trouble, call the friend, getting the girl on the boat? It doesn`t make sense. If he wasn`t afraid of calling the police, if he was afraid of calling the police, why not just leave her there? Why go to the trouble of calling a friend.

GRACE: Right. Why not call 911, first of all? And number two, in the bad alternative, why not leave the body there? Why go through all the trouble, Alex Sanchez, of calling a friend to dispose of the body, walking to a pay phone instead of using the cell phone you have with you, and walking all the way home, even throwing away your shoes so they can`t be found? Why go through all that if you don`t have a guilty conscience?

ALEX SANCHEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think what his attorney is going to say, Nancy, is that he panicked. He`s a young guy. No, he`s not that old and that he found himself in this awful situation and that the only thing he could think of doing was calling a friend and trying to cover his tracks because he couldn`t face the reality of what had occurred.

GRACE: Interesting, Alex. OK. If I`m ever arrested for murder one, I`ll remember to call you.

To Richard Herman, Richard, it goes further than that, though. You can`t say he was shocked and upset and panicked because what he did was very methodical. He wasn`t panicked. He dragged the body into the woods. He called a friend, the friend disposed of the body. He used a pay phone so he couldn`t be detected. He walked home so he wouldn`t be spotted, even throwing away his shoes.

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, just like John Mark Carr in the JonBenet Ramsey case, when these people make these false confessions, they`re not prosecuted.

GRACE: No, no, no.

HERMAN: Here - no, Nancy.

GRACE: No, no, no. This is not like John Mark Carr because this guy Joran Van der Sloot was seen last with a dead girl.

HERMAN: Everybody.

GRACE: Mark Carr was never seen with JonBenet Ramsey.

HERMAN: Everybody on the show tonight including yourself, Nancy, makes my point. Nobody believes what he said.

GRACE: I do.

HERMAN: It`s not believable.

GRACE: I believe he was there with her when she died. I believe he arranged for her body to be disposed of and I think he went to elaborate steps to cover up.

HERMAN: There`s no.

GRACE: The only thing that I question is the whole series of shaking and then just mysteriously stopping breathing. I think that he killed her for whatever reason.

HERMAN: There`s no corroboration at all of a crime here.

GRACE: Really? Other than what he said?

HERMAN: Nothing. Nothing.

GRACE: Other than his confession?

HERMAN: His confession. Nobody believes his confession.

GRACE: Really?

HERMAN: Everybody on the show does not believe what he said.

GRACE: OK, you know what? Let`s go down the list. Robi Ludwig, do you think he was with her when she died? Just yes, no. No explanation needed.

LUDWIG: Yes. No, he was definitely with her.

GRACE: OK. Based on what we`ve heard, T.J., do you believe he was with her when she died?

WARD: Yes, I do. I believe she was with - yes. That`s been our theory all along and I`ve always (INAUDIBLE) him.

GRACE: OK. Art Harris? What about.

HARRIS: I believe he was with her and he talks about stashing her body before they put it on the boat. So it has a ring of truth to me.

GRACE: You know, Art, you poured over these tapes just as I have. What else jumps out at you?

HARRIS: Well, just his arrogance and, you know, his socio-pathology. Robi, might you.

LUDWIG: Absolutely.

HARRIS: That he has no feeling for anyone else but himself. He falls into this predator category of being very selfish and self-centered. And when she died he says, oh, gosh, you know, bad luck for me.


HARRIS: And this is pretty astounding.

GRACE: To Dick Atkins, very quickly, Dick, how can Aruban authorities choose not to go forward in this case? They`ve had their evidence handed to them on a silver platter.

DICK ATKINS, INTERNATIONAL ATTORNEY: It`s very difficult for them not to go through with it now. They have the whole world, especially U.S. looking at them. They have all the tourists coming from the U.S. They have what appears to be a confession. I think they`re going to go ahead with it. I think that they want to see what other corroboration they can get. And then they`ll go full speed ahead in Aruba. And I think it will make a very interesting case.

GRACE: Let`s switch gears.

NFL superstar Michael Vick is sitting on $20 million when he gets out of jail for being part of a vicious dog fighting scheme. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Vick will get to keep more than $16 million in bonus money. Ruling handed down today by a federal judge. His former team, the Atlanta Falcons, claim they deserve the money back after Vick used the proceeds to finance illegal activities. So as Michael Vick sits in a Leavenworth, Kansas jail, the $16 million is still safe and sound.


GRACE: To Mike Bell, with Sports Radio`s 790, "The Zone." Mike Bell, how is it that he`s managing to hold on to nearly $20 million?

MIKE BELL, RADIO HOST, SPORTS RADIO 790 "THE ZONE": Well, the NFL`s collective bargaining agreement, which is a contract between the owners and the players stipulates if he was on the roster back in June, he is due his bonus money. The Falcons are saying he took the money and used it in criminal activity. They didn`t have that morals clause language in his contract, so they can`t touch the money.

GRACE: So the issue was, I think I`m understanding this, a signing bonus versus what?

BELL: Well, there`s a roster bonus, a signing bonus. Basically it means that they can`t touch the money. Once he was on the Falcons` roster, an 80-man roster June 1st, he`s part of the team. The signing bonus money is untouchable. All equal $16 million and change goes to Mike Vick. The Falcons are only going to get $3 million and change back.

GRACE: OK. To Daphna Machminovitch with PETA`s Fight Against Cruelty to Animals. Weigh in, Daphna.

DAPHNA MACHMINOVITCH, PETA, VICE PRESIDENT OF CRUELTY & INVESTIGATIONS: Hi, Nancy, thanks for having me. Certainly this is time for Michael Vick to show that he cares about these animals and spend some of that reward money to help find suspected dog fighters who are on the run, to help care for dog fighting victims at shelters that are cleaning up the mess, and to help run a public service announcement campaign to advise dog fighters that if they fight their dogs, they`re going to lose everything they`ve had just like he did.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NFL won`t be getting millions in bonus money back from Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick. A federal judge in Minneapolis today ruled Vick can keep nearly $20 million paid in bonuses from 2004 to 2007. The league wanted the money back after Michael Vick pleaded guilty to federal dog fighting charges. The judge says Vick already performed for those years.


GRACE: Michael Vick will have about $20 mil in his checking account when he gets out of jail. Why?

I want to go out to the lines. We`re taking your calls live, as usual. To Debbie in Canada. Hi, Debbie.

DEBBIE, FROM CANADA: Oh hi, Nancy, thanks for taking my call.

GRACE: Yes, ma`am.

DEBBIE: I love your show and I love you.

GRACE: Thank you.

DEBBIE: I would just like to know if the NFL has made their decision on whether or not he will be banned from playing.

GRACE: Excellent question.

Mike Bell, with Sports Radio 790 "The Zone," what about it?

BELL: Yes, whenever he gets back or he gets out of jail, Nancy, it`s still up to the commissioner Roger Goodell who has a code of conduct in place. So it`s really up to the commissioner. He might sit for one full season, could be two seasons once he finally gets out of jail.

GRACE: To Leeann in Connecticut. Hi, Leeann.


GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

LEANN: Well, first I was wondering if you knew how -- just how beloved you are to your audience and how much we love you and missed you when you were gone.

GRACE: Thank you.

LEANN: And oh, you sweetheart. My question is this, I know Vick is in prison on federal charges.


LEANN: Whatever happened with the state charges that were going to be brought against him?

GRACE: Mike Bell, where does that stand?

BELL: The prosecutor, Poindexter is his name, in Virginia kind of dragged his feet in the first place. The feds got involved. They go to court in spring, I believe, in April, two counts, in Virginia.

GRACE: April 2. The trial is scheduled in Virginia against -- for the dog fighting charges, Leeann. You`re absolutely right, Mike Bell.

Everybody, let`s stop for a moment and remember Army Staff Sergeant Carletta Davis, 34, Anchorage, Alaska, killed in Iraq. A flight medic, wanted to be a physician`s assistant, on a third tour in Iraq. Survived by husband Thomas, three sons, Treyton, Tyrique and Theodore. Her mom Lavada Napier.

Carletta Davis, American hero.

Thank you to our guests but especially you for you for being with us. And a special get well to one of super stars, floor manager Dave Weber. We really miss you. Please hurry back.

Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friends.