Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with Miko Brando; Major Developments in Killings of Florida Couple
Aired July 16, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, he helped save Michael Jackson's life and he's here. Eyewitness, good friend, Miko Brando takes us back to that horrible day and how he rescued the king of pop from an inferno that could have killed him.
Plus, Joe Jackson the reality show -- is he the father who terrified Michael and his siblings?
A loving dad who tried to do the best for his kids?
Something in between?
Meet the people that followed them around with cameras for months.
And then major developments in the killings of the Florida couple who adopted 13 children. Police have suspects. Now they've got something else. They might have cracked it wide open, this case and answer this question -- motive.
Next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Miko Brando returns tonight, long time friend, employee of Michael Jackson. In fact, Michael was best man at his wedding, godfather to his daughter. He is the son of the late Marlon Brando.
Michael Jackson is dead three weeks ago today. You've been on this show a number of times.
Has it settled in for you?
MIKO BRANDO, MICHAEL JACKSON'S LONGTIME FRIEND: Not really. It still hasn't hit me. I go through spurts where I get emotional when I hear his voice and when I see his -- a photograph of him, it hits me. But I try to move on and...
KING: OK. We're going to show that shocking footage from the 1984 Pepsi commercial shot, during which Michael's hair caught fire. It was obtained and made public by "Us Weekly."
You were there. Tell us what you saw and felt and did as we show this.
(VIDEO CLIP) BRANDO: We were shooting a Pepsi commercial for the upcoming tour, the Victory Tour. And it was at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown L.A. And I was standing stage left. And when he came into my sight, I just saw him. I saw his hair -- it was on fire.
I want out. My instincts were to just run out there, put my hands over his head, put him out. I did it. I think the fire marshals were there. They asked us to move about -- move -- give them some room. They took over. They escorted him off the stage. They walked him off the stage. And then he ended up going to the hospital that night right afterward.
KING: Did you put out the fire?
BRANDO: Yes, I got my hands burned. I had -- yes.
KING: By doing what?
BRANDO: By -- by putting my hair through his hair -- putting my -- putting my hands through his hair.
KING: Was he screaming?
BRANDO: I don't know. There was so much chaos, I don't remember the little details.
KING: Is it hard for you to watch this?
BRANDO: Yes. I'll say. Seeing your friend on fire, that's the worst thing I could imagine.
KING: And the video shows the hair on fire for about 10 seconds before anyone seems to register.
BRANDO: Yes. It was just...
KING: Where was it -- why?
BRANDO: It was just -- I think it was -- it was -- he was -- it was the second -- there were six takes, I think. And...
KING: They had finished five takes, right?
BRANDO: They had finished it. And this was the sixth. And the explosions -- the fireworks were -- went off too soon. So when he started walking down, he didn't come into sight to me until he was spinning around right there. And I came in and the rest is history.
KING: Did your hands get burned?
BRANDO: A little bit. Yes, they did.
KING: How -- did you think -- you weren't thinking anything when you charged him?
BRANDO: No. I just... KING: Other than just charging in, right?
BRANDO: I just -- yes. It was just -- your instinct just says go.
KING: Now, that concert he was rehearsing for included -- why were pyrotechnics involved in this commercial?
BRANDO: It was -- it was -- the pyrotechnics were for the commercial itself, with the brothers, Michael rehearsing -- doing -- doing a Pepsi commercial spot, promoting the Victory Tour concert in '84.
KING: How well did everyone react after the fire was put out?
Did they get him on a stretcher?
BRANDO: Yes. It was professionally done, absolutely. Yes. Like I said, the fire marshals took over. The ambulance was there. He went to the hospital. Everything was done by the book (INAUDIBLE).
KING: Do we know what went wrong?
BRANDO: I think the fire -- the -- the what do you call it -- the explosions went off too soon -- too soon. And he was still on top of the stairs rather than being down at the bottom and then go off.
KING: Was there an investigation?
BRANDO: I think there was, yes.
KING: Was anybody held to be blamed?
BRANDO: I don't remember. I'm sure there was, yes.
KING: All right. The completed the Pepsi commercial began running in February of '84.
Let's watch the completed one.
KING: Now, were there flames used in the completed commercial?
BRANDO: Yes, I think there was.
BRANDO: That's it.
KING: Wow! He sure looked great.
BRANDO: Yes. He was a great performer, a great performer.
KING: And the commercial, I guess, got a lot of attention when it finally played.
BRANDO: It -- more. Yes. It made more attention afterwards than what it was supposed to.
KING: Some other things, Miko, before you leave us and have a great weekend, we hope.
BRANDO: You, too.
KING: What do you make of all the drug things going on?
BRANDO: Larry, I -- I have no comment. I mean the drug, it's all...
KING: I mean you were with him so much. Are some things obvious now?
BRANDO: Yes, but I'm not...
KING: Was he -- was he addicted?
BRANDO: I -- I couldn't -- I couldn't answer that. I mean -- I mean, seriously.
KING: Did you ever see him in a condition where he was out of it?
BRANDO: No. No. He was always good shape. We were -- we always had fun. We went shopping. We went to Disneyland. There was always a good -- no. Not at all.
KING: Do you know why he had so much plastic surgery?
BRANDO: Because he wanted to. He wanted to do it. He thought he could.
KING: Do you know -- did you think he didn't like the way he looked?
BRANDO: I don't think it's the way he looked.
KING: Hard to believe.
BRANDO: Yes, I mean he was Michael Jackson. He -- he was fine.
KING: What have you heard?
Is the autopsy results coming soon?
What have you heard?
BRANDO: I haven't heard anything about -- about the second autopsy. We're just -- I think they're still waiting for the results.
KING: What have you heard about burial?
BRANDO: That nothing. Nothing yet. I haven't heard a word.
KING: Do you know where the body is?
BRANDO: No, I don't.
KING: Do you expect it to be Forest Lawn?
I mean would that be the betting? BRANDO: That's one of the choices. I Know -- I don't know what the other ones are, But that's one of them.
KING: It won't be at Neverland apparently, right?
BRANDO: That's what they say. Yes.
KING: I guess you think about that commercial scene a lot, don't you?
BRANDO: Yes. Yes. Yes. I mean that was -- that was -- yes, I think about it -- now I'm taking about it more after seeing it all the time on TV.
KING: Did he thank you?
BRANDO: Absolutely. I mean, absolutely -- a big hug and kiss and I said it's mutual.
KING: He ought.
Thank you, Miko.
BRANDO: Thank you very much, Larry.
KING: Be well.
BRANDO: Appreciate it.
BRANDO: You, too.
KING: (INAUDIBLE) home.
BRANDO: See you at the Dodgers.
KING: Want more about Miko's account of the fire?
Go to CNN.com/larryking. We've got his blog exclusive for you there.
Next, the other side of Joe Jackson. We'll meet the reality show producers who got to know Joe and hear what they have to say about him, right after this.
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Dave Drever and Lisa Love.
Dave is co-founder of Xonger Global Entertainment Network and executive producer of "Meet Joe Jackson," an unreleased TV reality show about the Jackson family patriarch.
Lisa Love is director of strategic partnerships for Xonger and executive producer of "Meet Joe Jackson".
What -- what's the show all about and why haven't we seen it, Dave?
DAVID DREVER, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, JACKSON REALITY PROJECT: Well, the -- the show is about Joe. And we wanted to bring balance to what the media has always presented about Joe -- get to know him, who he is. You know, we...
KING: How have you -- how long have you been shooting it?
DREVER: We shot him for about a year. So in 2008, roughly, we shot him, roughly, for about a year.
KING: Lisa, why haven't we seen it?
LISA LOVE, CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, JACKSON REALITY PROJECT: Well, you haven't seen it yet because we didn't, you know, know exactly what we were going to do with this great footage. When we started filming Joe, we found out that there was a lot more to Joe than what people knew. So we weren't sure if we were going to do a 90 minute special or a movie or a reality show or -- or what we were going to do with it.
KING: Is the whole family in the -- in it, Dave?
DREVER: Not the whole family, but Joe and Katherine and the grandkids.
KING: Is Michael in it?
DREVER: Michael's not in it.
KING: Not in it?
KING: Well, now with the death of Michael, what's the impact on all of the work you've done?
LOVE: Well, I think it's very important right now that Joe is being so scrutinized, as he always has been, that people really find out that Joe is a very dedicated, loving father and a wonderful person -- an excellent grandfather. KING: Do you expect, therefore, for us to see it soon?
DREVER: Yes, you'll see it. You'll see it soon.
KING: Do you know why we don't have clips tonight?
DREVER: No. You guys have some stills of -- of Joe.
KING: Oh, I see the stills.
KING: But no clips yet, right?
DREVER: Yes, no clips yet.
KING: Do you think it will be a special rather than a series?
LOVE: You know, at this point, I'm not really sure. Right now, the footage is represented by APA international. And they're handling all of that for us.
KING: Have they gotten interest?
LOVE: Oh, I'm sure they've definitely gotten interest.
KING: OK, Dave. David the public perception of Joe Jackson is not particularly great.
KING: What -- what don't we know about him?
DREVER: You don't know the -- the Joe that's a jokester. You don't know the Joe that's always laughing. You don't know the Joe that drives a PT Cruiser and you can't keep up with him when you're following him. You don't know that Joe. You know, you've never seen it -- the guy who (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: Easy to be around?
DREVER: Very easy.
KING: Was he cooperate during the filming?
DREVER: Absolutely. One of our best shoots ever.
KING: And he didn't -- not bossy or anything?
DREVER: Never. Never.
KING: What about his relationship with Katherine?
Did you look into that?
LOVE: Yes. I actually had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Joe and Katherine and actually talk to them about, you know, how long they've been married, raising their children. And they're an adorable couple. I mean, they've been together for...
KING: But they don't live together, though, do they or?
LOVE: Well, I wouldn't necessarily say they, you know, they don't live together. I'd say they probably have more than one residence.
KING: But do they -- they don't have great differences?
Are you saying they're a happy couple?
LOVE: I'm saying they're a happy couple. I don't know their personal issues, as I don't know any married couple's personal issues. But what I do know is that they love each other and it's evident. And speaking with them and listening to them talk about the life that they've shared, it's beautiful.
KING: Dave, how much footage do you have?
DREVER: Forty hours.
KING: Forty hours?
What surprised you the most about him?
DREVER: How much he made us laugh as a production company. You know, the guy is always cracking jokes. He remembers things. He's 80 years old and he remembers everything you ever tell him.
KING: As a personal opinion -- that's all it could be, Lisa -- should he be involved in the raising of those grandkids?
LOVE: I believe absolutely so. The Jackson family is a family unit. They're a loving family. They're a family just like any other family. They loved Michael. You heard Joe say that that was the idol of the family. I believe that there's no one that loves Michael Moore than the Jacksons. And I think that his children should be with the Jacksons.
KING: Where did you shoot them, Dave?
Where was the -- where is the footage?
I mean where were you at?
DREVER: Yes, sure. So we shot him at Havenhurst, here in Encino. And then we traveled with him to Spokane, to Indiana and to Chicago.
KING: Anything in Las Vegas? DREVER: Yes.
LOVE: Oh, yes. We shot a lot in Las Vegas. We had a lot of fun out there.
KING: And what, we see him interchanging with family members?
DREVER: Yes and giving advice to his granddaughters, you know, joking with the grandsons, joking with Katherine, laughing about how they fell in love, all that kind of stuff.
KING: And do you expect any -- did any friction occur?
LOVE: No friction occurred. Like I said, they are a typical American family, just like any other American family, where there are you know, tiffs in any family. I'm sure there -- there's tiffs in -- in theirs, also.
KING: I hope we get to see it. I hope you sell it.
LOVE: Oh, you will get to see it. You will get to see it.
KING: Thanks, Lisa.
Good luck with it, Dave.
DREVER: Thanks, Larry.
KING: All right. That's Xonger Productions, right?
And we hope you get to see it soon. We'd love to see it.
Dave Drever, Lisa Love.
An unreleased Michael Jackson song -- you're going to hear it in 60 seconds.
KING: Michael Jackson recorded a lot of music that was not released. Some of it was obtained by TMZ.com. This particular song has not been confirmed by Sony.
Here is "A Place with No Name".
KING: Sir Paul McCartney spoke to David Letterman last night about his relationship with Michael and The Beatles' music catalog, which Michael owned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN," COURTESY WORLDWIDE PANTS INC.) SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY: We made a couple of records together, did a video. And we're very good friends. It actually kind of fell apart a little bit later, because he -- he was talking to me and asking me my business advice. And one of the things I said to him was think about getting into music publishing.
And then -- and he looked at me kind of (INAUDIBLE) showing. And he said, "I'm going to get yours."
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: Oh, yes. MCCARTNEY: So, you know, I kind of thought oh you.
MCCARTNEY: But -- but it turned out to be true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You can you go to our blog at CNN.com/larryking for details about the fire that could have killed Michael. The man who was right there, Miko Brando, has all the scoop. And you won't read it anywhere else.
Now we switch gears. There were major developments in the murders of that Florida couple in a ninja-style assault.
Have authorities really cracked the case wide open?
That is next.
KING: Byrd and Melanie Billings, a couple known for adopting special needs children, were shot to death last week in their home in Beulah, Florida. The brutal crime has sent shock waves through the community.
CNN's Ed Lavandera joins us with the latest, which is what -- Ed, what is the latest?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the investigators here in Pensacola say they're nearing the end of this investigation. But it's been a rather quick developing day, as well.
Authorities say they've discovered key pieces of evidence, including the safe that they say was stolen from the Billings home. They're in the process of going through that to see what was in it, what is missing.
And they've also found, they say, the weapons used in these crimes, which include handguns and long guns. And one of the attorneys -- prosecutors in this case says that they believe they have the murder weapon in this case.
So federal investigators or federal authorities are in the process of going through the tests and the ballistics tests needed -- that need to be done on those weapons now.
KING: What about the eighth suspect, a woman taken into custody yesterday?
What about her?
KING: Did you hear me -- Ed?
LAVANDERA: Actually, Larry, I'm having a really hard time hearing you.
KING: All right. I'm sorry.
We'll try to get it one more time.
The eighth suspect, a woman, taken into custody last night, what do we know about her?
LAVANDERA: Well, we know that she's actually out on bond. She was able to post bond earlier today. It was -- it was a low bond.
But what is interesting about her is that authorities say that she's had a close relationship with the person they believe is the ringleader of this group, that she had been speaking with him in the days and the day of -- leading up to these murders.
And what is interesting is, is that the safe is -- was found on one of her properties here in the Pensacola area. And we also understand that her -- and she was the owner of a red minivan that, according to an arrest report we were able to read today, said that that van was placed near the Billings home leading up to the murders and was used as a getaway vehicle by the suspects who are accused of these murders.
KING: Thanks, Ed.
We'll check back with you again.
Of course, now in Pensacola is Crystal Spencer.
Crystal is the attorney for Ashley Markham, the oldest daughter of murder victims Melanie and Byrd Billings.
Visitation for Byrd and Melanie was this evening.
Tell us what was it like.
CRYSTAL SPENCER, ATTORNEY FOR SLAIN COUPLE'S FAMILY: Well, it was very heartwarming. There was a huge community outpouring. It's a very, very large church and they had it set up to where probably close to 1,000 people could easily be accommodated. There were photos of Bud and Melanie's life and photos of the children and so, so many people who knew them, knew them well -- everything from nurses that had helped with the children through the years.
Some of these adoptions were open adoptions. So, you know, you had family members and extended family members.
It was really amazing. It was a beautiful, beautiful setup.
KING: Why does -- why does Ashley need an attorney?
SPENCER: Well, there are a lot of things you have to take care of, such as guardianships being set up, how you're going to take care of these children. One of the things that they've really needed assistance with has been the intense media interest.
Also, they want to make sure they're not saying anything that would compromise the ultimate prosecution in this case. I have been extremely impressed with the state attorney's office, many of whom are my friends. I raised my hand and took an oath with several of them that I'm working with now.
They're keeping me informed. I understand the process. I'm a former prosecutor from many years ago, but I understand the process. So I'm helping them actually wade through many, many, many difficult waters at this time.
KING: Nine of the children were in the home the night of the shootings.
Do you know, Crystal, if they've been questioned by police?
SPENCER: There are details of this prosecution that we're not able to go into, as it relates to the children. That would be a detail, Larry, that I would fear would compromise both the children and this prosecution.
KING: Concerned about the safety of any of the children?
SPENCER: Certainly. There are -- there are people in this world that -- this is a crime that was unimaginable. You cannot even begin to think that people are capable of doing this. And so you have to be protective of the children.
And this is still an ongoing investigation. While we believe that the major players have been arrested, they're still investigating this case. So until we -- this case goes to prosecution and all questions are answered, I think the children need to remain protected.
KING: Would you...
SPENCER: And, so, again, the details we -- we just don't want to disclose.
KING: I have another question. But we should tell the public, a trust has been established for the Billings' minor children.
And donations can be sent to Crystal Spencer's firm. That firm is Lozier, Thames, Frazier & Spencer, P.A. 24 West Chase Street, Pensacola, Florida, 32502. And we'll put that up on our Web site and can you click in to get it.
One more thing. Most of our viewers only know Byrd and Melanie as the victims of a shocking crime and obviously incredible parents.
What were they like?
SPENCER: They were kind and loving people. From everything that I can tell, they were very involved in the community, very involved with Special Olympics; very involved with West Gate, which is a special needs school in our community; very much involved with, obviously, children of special needs and organizations that supported that.
So they were extremely kind and loving and generous parents who wanted to help people have -- actually help children have a childhood.
KING: Thank you, Crystal.
We'll be calling on you again.
SPENCER: Thank you.
KING: Crystal Spencer, who is the attorney for Ashley Markham, the oldest daughter of the murder victims.
The sheriff in all of this joins us next with more about maybe the motive.
KING: He's been outstandingly cooperative through all of this.
He's Sheriff David Morgan, the sheriff of Escambia County.
And he comes to us from Pensacola.
What's the status, David, of the -- of the investigation right this minute?
SHERIFF DAVID MORGAN, ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA: Well, we're very confident, Larry, that we have the primary suspect in custody -- primarily I mean those of the seven people that entered that compound where the Billings lived. The violent criminals if you will, are currently incarcerated in the Escambia County Jail.
Of course, our latest suspect has bonded out, Miss. Long Wiggins.
But we feel very confident that during this investigation we managed to identify those that should be incarcerated and separated from decent society. They're currently, again, residing in our jail.
KING: What, sheriff, can you establish here was the motive?
MORGAN: The state's attorneys office and I concur that the motive -- the primary motive of this crime was a home invasion and robbery. I know that sounds very simplistic to many people, but that is really the motive. It was a standard robbery.
I think that they had hoped to gain large amounts of cash from the home. And so that was their basic premise was robbery for entering into the home.
Now we believe that during the conduct of this investigation, because it has not been, of course, terminated yet. It won't be until we find the last person. There are other motives in this case that will come to life.
KING: The children who were in the home at the time, have they been helpful in the investigation?
MORGAN: We're have been -- we have been asked, Larry, not to release that information due to the children's ages and condition. And we don't want to further traumatize them or their family.
KING: OK. The DEA, the Drug Enforcement Agency has become involved in this case.
MORGAN: We've Byrd almost all of the other federal agencies, not just the DEA, but the FBI and the ATF. Primarily what the DEA has done with this investigation is not actively investigate this crime, meaning the killing of the Billings family. We had developed quite a bit of information in the conduct of this investigation that pertained to the current suspects, they're known associates and prior activities and the like. And I had both a legal and ethical obligation to pass this information along to the appropriate investigative federal agency. In this case, that agency is the DEA.
KING: Therefore, rumors that the deceased was somehow involved in drugs are false?
MORGAN: Well, that is absolutely correct, Larry. And, again, we -- we addressed that rumor today and it's come up. Again, I'll restate to this listening audience that the sheriff's office has no knowledge of any investigation into the Billings family involving the DEA at all.
KING: Why would you guess, sheriff, that in a robbery they would brutally murder two people? Why would you guess?
MORGAN: Well, there could be a whole host of reasons in a robbery why individuals end up being murdered. I've used the example of simple street drug buy, although illegal, it should be a basic transaction. I pay for drugs and you transfer the drugs. But if something goes wrong in that illegal transaction, if someone tried to basically, in street jargon, stiff the other, it can devolve into violence very, very quickly. Somebody gets seriously injured or killed.
So unless you were in that home and actually witnessed that incident and the actions of the participants, you know, we're only speculating and speculating why it would have devolved to the level that it did. Sadly, it resulted in the deaths of those two individuals.
KING: How you are able to make arrests so quickly?
MORGAN: We made arrests very quickly and I want to thank the media. Your station, of course, was involved with that. We had a phenomenal outpouring of support from the media. And it just could not have been better. But people say was there luck involved? I tell them, there wasn't any luck involved in solving this case. We just had good hard old fashioned police work, and some cracker jack officers that worked this case.
They took a bite and they hung on. Our first break, of course, we got from the video surveillance tapes or video surveillance system that was not turned off in the Billings compound. When that was put out over the airwaves, with all the media participating, we started getting calls on that van. And once we had identified that van from some of the tips we received, then it was a simple process of running back the registration and current owner.
And then from that point on, the investigation just opened up. So, again, good old fashioned police work, a lot of boots on the ground, a lot of folks out knocking on doors, and one lead led to another. And in a little over 96 hours, the folks at the Escambia County Sheriff's Office had this thing solved.
KING: One other thing, quickly; Miss Wiggins, the suspect who I guess surrendered herself, has she been helpful?
MORGAN: She, again, is working with the state attorney's office at this time. They're continuing, I know, to interview her under the advice of counsel, as I understand. The police report was released today as far as her participation in the crime to date. And so that's the information that I can pass on to you.
She had a van that was involved in this robbery. She had knowledge of some activities after the crime had occurred. And, of course, that's why she was arrested for accessory after the fact. And her bond was, of course, lowered. But, again, she is facing pretty stiff charges, nonetheless.
KING: Thanks, sheriff, as always. Thank you so much.
MORGAN: Thank you, sir.
KING: A very cooperative Sheriff David Morgan, sheriff of Escambia County, Florida. The legal experts tell us how the case might be prosecuted after this. Stick around.
KING: We're back. In this bizarre case, seven men, one of them a 16-year-old, are charged with murder in the killings, and an eighth person faces charges of accessory after the fact of felony murder.
Stacy Honowitz, Florida assistant state attorney, is in Plantation. Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney, is in Ft. Lauderdale.
Stacy, what do we know about the motive?
STACY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: Well, you know, Larry, I think it's just what you were asking the sheriff. I think a lot of people are looking at this case and thinking to themselves, if it was just the motive of simple robbery, why were seven men involved and training Ninja style and planning so hard and long for something like this?
So right now all we do know is the motive is robbery. Of course, the state attorney's office is not going to reveal a lot of factors. I think as this case comes about, and I truly believe that the woman who was charged with accessory is going to talk -- in other words, she'll probably be the flip witness. I think we'll learn more and more about what the motive will be in this case, if there is an additional motive to robbery.
KING: Bradford, would they have one attorney? Would they all be tried together? Would the 16-year-old be tried separately? What's your read?
BRADFORD COHEN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think they're probably all going to be tried together. They're not going to have one attorney, obviously. It is going to turn out to be a conflict. I think what's going to happen is exactly what Stacy said. This realtor is definitely going to be your flip witness. She is working with the state's attorney now.
Depending on what limited information she has, they may start offering some other of the individuals deals, where they're going to start flipping on other people. And you're going to see a race to the podium here. Who's going to get the deal and what kind of deal they're going to make.
You know, there's a lot of things going on in terms of felony murder rule and things of that nature that are going to play a part in the trial.
KING: Stacy, what's your read on this?
HONOWITZ: I think like everybody else, it is a bizarre case. You have two individuals that appear to be the pillars of community, such unbelievably caring, special people to take in children with special needs. We all know how unbelievably kind that is. I think people are wondering to themselves, was there something deep and dark we don't know?
We don't want to blame the victim in this case for anything. As far as we know, it was a robbery. But when you look at it like I said, with seven trained individuals, this other woman who is involved, Ninja style training, so precise and planned, except for the one mistake they made; then people must be saying to themselves, I just think there has to be more.
So like I said, Larry, until somebody starts talking, probably the female in this case, we're really not going to know anything. Maybe bits and pieces will start to come to light.
KING: Bradford, the sheriff kind of dismissed it. Are you suspicious at all about the DEA being involved?
COHEN: Not generally. I mean, we see that in a lot of criminal cases where it's -- if it's a high profile case, they get FBI and DEA involved. I think the sheriff explained it very succinctly, in saying that he thought that he found something in terms of one of the defendants that maybe the DEA should be involved in.
So he kind of explained that away. I don't suspect that this family had anything to do with it. Who knows? You never know. But in terms of what you heard, what we know of this family, I mean they're amazing. They take in 17 kids that had no home, and they're doing it all on their own.
There are things that raise -- you know, raise an eyebrow. There were cameras in every room. But they're saying to keep an eye on the kids. But if you're keeping an eye on the kids, why you would be recording every room in the house? So there are little things that are unusual.
HONOWITZ: Well, I mean I think can you look at that. A lot of these children were severely handicapped, Down Syndrome. I think in something like that, you really do need to keep a close eye. I think that's what they would say.
I think, also, you know, as the backgrounds of these individuals starts to come out, there's going to be tentacles. They're all involved in something somehow to play a role in all of this. And slowly but surely, we'll get to learn some of the backgrounds. I think that's why the DEA is involved and maybe even some other federal agencies. Information is going to start to pour out, you know, at one time.
KING: Will each get a lawyer, Bradford?
COHEN: Yes, absolutely. Each one of them is going to get their own separate lawyer. They're not going to use one lawyer for all. It would be moronic to do that. And if they used one lawyer for all, then if one guy got a deal to flip on his buddy, there would be an instant conflict.
They will all get their own lawyers. Most likely, it looks like they're probably going to get public defenders, and then maybe outside counsel that are appointed by the judge, in terms of a wheel system or something of that nature.
KING: Stacy, is it harder to prosecute a group?
HONOWITZ: No, I think sometimes it's a lot easier. I really do.
COHEN: That's absolutely right.
HONOWITZ: And in this case -- you know, in this case -- I hate to say the beauty of this case, but in evidentiary terms, you have a surveillance tape. You don't have that very often in a lot of cases. So that's the one saving grace in this.
I think when you have all the guys sitting in a forum, unless they decide somehow not to consolidate these cases and they're tried separately -- if various statements are given pointing the fingers at each other, they must separate the defendants out. Brad knows this. They have to do that.
So in this case, we don't know. It's very early on. But if they're all sitting in the courtroom, and you show that videotape and hear everything else, it's not that difficult.
KING: Bradford, if you were appointed, would you accept the challenge to be one of the defenders?
COHEN: This is a tough one. This is a tough case. I choose my cases on a case by case basis. I need to know more facts about this situation. I need to know more facts about the victims that are involved. As it looks right now, I mean if I was appointed by a judge, I mean that's my duty as a criminal defense attorney. I uphold the Constitution as my duty.
It's a tough one, though. This was -- this is a tough case, especially in terms of the facts.
KING: We'll have you both on again very soon. Stacy Honowitz, Florida assistant state attorney, and Bradford Cohen, criminal defense attorney.
Breaking news from Indonesia; an explosion tore through a luxury hotel Friday in South Jakarta. Witnesses have told local media police sealed off the area around the blast, which occurred at the Ritz Carleton Hotel. We'll have more information for you when we get it. We'll be right back.
KING: Time for tonight's hero of the week. Flavio Canto, a Brazilian Judo star who won the bronze medal at the '04 Olympics in Athens, has transcended sport with service to the community. He created an organization that helps children living in the slums of Rio. We asked him what motivated him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLAVIO CANTO, CNN HERO: I think probably because of my city, the city where I was raised, Rio Di Janeiro. It's a very unique city. Poverty and richness live side by side. It's not like other major cities, where poverty lives far away from the richest neighborhoods. I think that helped me a lot to open my eyes.
And I grew up always thinking I should do something. And then I was 25, about nine years ago. I began teaching Judo in one of the biggest valleys of Latin America. And after a few months, I saw that the kids were improving at school. They were getting better relationship at home with people around. And I realized I had a powerful tool at my hands.
KING: How does the institute work? What does it do in Rio?
CANTO: We use Judo and its principles and its values to work with their empowerment. And then we take them to different programs, educational programs and cultural programs. But the main interest to the project is Judo and its values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Thanks Flavio. A hero in every sense of the world. We salute you.
Next, we remember John F. Kennedy Jr. with the help of his friend and incredible photos on this, incredibly, the tenth anniversary of his death. Stay with us.
KING: Hard to believe, but ten years ago tonight, 38 year old John F. Kennedy Jr. was killed when the single-engine plane he was piloting from New Jersey to Martha's Vineyard crashed into the Atlantic. The crash also claimed the lives of John's wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren.
Sasha Chermayeff will joins us now. She's a close friend of the late JFK. She is going to share some private photos and letters documenting their friendship. That will be in the July 20th edition of "People Magazine." There's a special gallery of images too on People.com.
How did you come to know him, Sasha?
SASHA CHERMAYEFF, JFK JR'S CLOSE FRIEND: We met when we were first students in 11th grade at boarding school.
KING: What was he like growing up?
CHERMAYEFF: Well, when he was young, he was just really very warm, fun, very sweet, affectionate, friendly. So we hit it off fast. We were both new at the same time there, as two new students. We ended up having these overlapping schedules. I went from class to class and there was John and there was John and there was John.
A few months later, we were just close friends and ended up staying that way our lives.
KING: How did this photo thing begin?
CHERMAYEFF: The photo thing began with my friend Martin Cribbs from Six Degrees, who is a very close friend. He met John a few times over the years and knew about all my images of John. He kind of convinced me that this was a great time to pay tribute. They are beautiful photos. People aren't used to seeing John in this way at all. He was never photographed this way, candidly. He felt it would be a great thing for me to do to tribute John this way. He convinced me and I agreed to do it.
KING: Brilliant. JFK Jr. was a guest on this show in September of 1995. He talked about photographs, too, and memories and family. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Things that have always fascinated us, that famous picture, which you must have seen 7 zillion times, the little boy. Do you remember that?
JOHN F. KENNEDY JR., SON OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY: I think you see an image so many times, you sort of begin to believe -- remember the image. But I'm not sure I really do.
KING: But probably memories of your father are not great.
KENNEDY: They're great, but they're not plentiful.
KING: Or of your uncle Robert, right?
KENNEDY: They're more vivid of him.
KING: You were how old when he died?
KENNEDY: I was eight.
KING: So that's a vivid memory to you.
KENNEDY: Fairly. He was a very vivid character. He was quite a forceful presence.
KING: Was he involved in raising you, too?
KENNEDY: At times. I mean, raising many of us, all of us, really in our family. Teddy and Bobby really -- I mean, one of the things they really took great interest in was the family and the cousins and making kind of a sense of community, especially in the summer-time. So, you know, I saw a good bit of Bobby.
KING: That still exists, that togetherness in the Kennedys?
KING: It doesn't go away, right?
KENNEDY: No, it's one of the great, lucky things about being in my family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Sasha, you had dinner with John in Manhattan a little -- about a week before his death. You remember he said what he thought about his future. What did he say?
CHERMAYEFF: He said a lot of different things that night. One of the things that really stuck with me was he had turned to me and we had spent a lot of -- I spent Memorial Day Weekend with him that year. I spent July fourth, my family, all of us together. We'd been together for days and days with the kids. I think it was just we had such a great time.
He turned to me and said, I really want to have a child. And I never -- I just never forgot that, of course, because that was the last time I would see him, and it planted that memory in me that he must have -- he would have been such a great father. He would have been such a lovely father.
CHERMAYEFF: Nice to hear stories on this thing.
KING: We'll be back with more of Sasha Chermayeff. Her pictures will be in the July 20th edition of "People" and a special gallery of images on People.com. Well worth your attention. Back with more after this.
KING: We're back. More breaking news from Indonesia. AP now reporting a second bombing, this at a Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. Earlier, we told you about an explosion that tore through another hotel, the Ritz-Carleton. Police have sealed off the area around the blast which occurred at the Ritz-Carleton. The facade of that hotel has been completely blown off.
Four people called foreigners in the AP story are reported dead. Anderson Cooper will have more in three minutes on "AC 360."
We're with Sasha Chermayeff. Her pictures will be in the July 20th issue of "People." Was John a fatalist? Did he ever talk about dying?
CHERMAYEFF: No, not really. He really enjoyed life. He was very, very spirited. No, I wouldn't say that he was a fatalist.
KING: I asked him about his future and politics back in '95. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The obvious, your own interest in politics. You write about it, raised in a family that lives off it, and on it and through it and with it. What about you?
KENNEDY: Well, obviously, as I said, I grew up in a family where we were saturated with politics. And I have -- I've lost count, five or so relatives in politics now. I like not being in politics. I like the proximity to it that a magazine like this affords me.
But I'm clearly fascinated. I think it gives you a view on large issues of the day that few other professions do. How can you not be thrilled by it?
KING: Thrilled enough to someday want to run?
KENNEDY: Well, you know, I mean --
KENNEDY: I get asked that. When you -- a public career is a lot to bite off. You better be ready for it, have your life set up for it, and be prepared to do it for the long haul. That's -- the nature of the thing is that you stay in it, whether it's seniority in the House or the Senate. I mean, I had some other interests and other sort of things that I was eager to do.
And, you know, the old definition of politics was that you bring it at the end of your life when you really have something to sort of offer. Maybe that's a good thing for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Sasha, you think he'd have gone into it?
CHERMAYEFF: I think it would have been something he would have had to consider over and over again and probably, you know -- who knows, right? We can't guess what John would have done. I would have supported anything he would have done. He would have been great at whatever.
KING: Did you -- did he enjoy your pictures?
CHERMAYEFF: Yes, sure. You can see in some of them he's holding my children. He's smiling. He really enjoyed his time with my family, and we with him. I don't think he minded.
He never posed for people publicly. He never did a photo shoot. It was just paparazzi or his photographs when he posed for George, when he was doing publicity. I think there was a sort of tender spot, because he could really be himself. You can see in some of my pictures he's so comfortable. You see the joy. You see the love in his expressions. They're very emotional. They have a lot of content in them, to see his character.
KING: Can you believe it's ten years? CHERMAYEFF: No. It's really whizzed by. It was just a terrible event. Here we are, ten years later, so fast it seems.
KING: Thank you, Sasha, thanks for joining us.
CHERMAYEFF: You're so welcome.
KING: Sasha Chermayeff. Look for those photos in "People." Time now for Anderson Cooper. More breaking news and lots of things happening on "AC 360." Anderson?