Detective Bo Dietl on the Chandra Levy investigation
Bo Dietl is chairman and CEO of Bo Dietl & Associates, an investigative and security firm he founded in 1985. He served in the New York City police department as an officer and homicide detective from 1969 until 1985 when he retired. The 1998 film "One Tough Cop" starring Stephen Baldwin was the story of his life. His latest high profile jobs include working for Sean "Puffy" Combs' defense team.
CNN: Welcome to CNN.com Bo Dietl. Thank you for joining us today.
CNN: The Levy family is asking Congressman Condit to take a polygraph test. Should he take such a test to dispel all the speculation going on?
DIETL: Well, I really believe that if he has nothing to hide, he should take the test. A lot of people don't really understand about a polygraph. A lot of times, what comes out is inconclusive. Inconclusive means that they cannot determine whether the person is lying or telling the truth. Also, the polygraph cannot be entered as any kind of evidence in any type of criminal or civil case.
The only benefit that would be received would be if, in fact, he passed the polygraph. With this, and I believe, with a press conference announcing if he passes it, along with some admission to the fact that he had an extra-marital affair with the young intern, I believe could do a lot for his credibility.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Bo, about what percent of the time would you say the polygraph results are inconclusive?
DIETL: I believe the polygraph test has a very lot to do with who is administering the test. The professionalism of the person administering the test has a great variable on that question. What you get a lot of the times is this inconclusive finding, which is telling you nothing. But, the polygraph is a great tool to use for elimination of possible suspects, and also could support, if the findings are in your favor, the fact that you had nothing to do with the crime, or disappearance.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Why is Congressman Condit the only "lover" who is being asked publicly to admit his affair with her? Isn't it unfair to single him out and put suspicion on him when there may be other "affairs" that could have gone bad for Chandra?
DIETL: Well, like I stated on CNN earlier today, I believe if the Congressman has no involvement with the disappearance of Miss Levy, that the Levy family is very lucky that in fact there was an affair going on. Let me explain. A person over 17 years of age who is missing really would not spark off too much of a police investigation. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of missing people a year that are not investigated by the police.
The only time the police open up an active investigation for people over 17 years of age would be when the person has a mental problem, or some other emotional reported problems. So, by Chandra being involved with the Congressman, it brought much more attention and police activity to the investigation.
CHAT AUDIENCE: What would be the first thing Richard Dietl would do to further Chandra's investigation?
DIETL: What I would do is try to interview all the former admitted girlfriends of the Congressman, to ascertain his sexual involvement. Furthermore, I believe the Congressman's wife is a very important interview to take into consideration that she only supposedly visited the Congressman twice a year in Washington, and in fact, she was present at the time of Miss Levy's disappearance.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Are you speculating involvement of some sort by Mrs. Condit?
DIETL: No. What I am stating with Mrs. Condit is that we have to eliminate each person. We know she exists, so let's eliminate her from being involved at all. As you eliminate potential suspects, then another suspect, if there's even wrongdoing here, can surface.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Is the Levy family investigating this case?
DIETL: I don't have direct knowledge, but I believe they have hired private investigators to investigate this case.
CHAT AUDIENCE: When will the DC police call it a criminal investigation?
DIETL: The only time that the DC police will make this into a criminal investigation is when some evidence is discovered of some criminal nature, or some other evidence of circumstances of harm or other evidence were found.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Bo: has the media done more harm than good in the reporting of this?
DIETL: I believe the media to be most useful in the reporting of the disappearance of Miss Levy, whereas her picture is noticeably everywhere in the news, and on posters, and this can jar possibly someone's memory of seeing her at some time.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Bo, what's your impression of the DC chief and how he's handling the media?
DIETL: I believe there is a lot of pressure on the DC Chief and police department on this case, and the fact that it is so visible, it definitely causes a strain on the police department to find a conclusion.
CHAT AUDIENCE: What credence do you put in the suicide theory? Were the investigators too quick to discount the possibility that she committed suicide?
DIETL: I believe the suicide theory should be eliminated, for the fact that if you commit suicide, how do you dispose of your own body? Someone will find it, and that's very understandable.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Mr Dietl, is the Levy family focusing too much on Condit ?
DIETL: I believe at this point, until he's eliminated, that this is as good a direction to start with as any other.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Why does the Levy family have the right to ask Condit to take a polygraph test if the police haven't asked him to?
DIETL: The police have a right to request a polygraph from the Congressman. At this point, their investigative techniques might not oblige to that focus. What I'm saying is for the Congressman to clear up, if he has no involvement, take the polygraph. If he comes out clear, it will definitely be a very much more positive view for all concerned.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Are we really interested in the Levy girl or are we interested only in Mr. Condit?
DIETL: I believe that the public is very concerned with Chandra Levy. The fact that she had an affair with a Congressman is only, again, highlighting her disappearance.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Bo, with Chandra Levy missing for so long, and apparently no strong leads to point to her whereabouts, what can be done, by both the police and by a private investigator, to try to locate her?
DIETL: Again, every witness that has been interviewed, or should be interviewed... continue to interview neighbors... she supposedly bought some items in a convenience store the day of the disappearance, the last time she was seen. Just conduct an investigation. Usually an investigation is broken by good old-fashioned police investigation and interrogation, trying to contradict statements that have already been made.
Then you focus, when someone isn't telling the truth, on that person. Also, I heard that Congressman Condit was going to allow police forensics into his apartment and car. I believe this can be an area that could discover some new evidence. Again, what the police are doing with cadaver dogs searching for remains, is another avenue, if in fact Miss Levy is dead.
CHAT AUDIENCE: Wouldn't requesting a polygraph without the presence of any crime be considered potentially prejudicial by the police, upon review of the courts using the constitution?
DIETL: I believe, not in the sense if it's agreed to by the Congressman to eliminate him in the disappearance of Miss Levy. I believe the specific questions should be asked in reference to him having knowledge or being involved in the disappearance of Miss Levy.
CNN: Do you have any final thoughts for us today?
DIETL: My final thoughts are: I just don't believe people just disappear. I believe also that there was no history of Miss Levy being treated for any depression or mental disabilities. I believe there's a very good possibility that the Congressman is not involved in her disappearance, but just a very bad coincidence that he was having an affair with her. There could be a possible serial rapist or murderer that could be involved, and every avenue has to be followed up.
CNN: Thank you for joining us today
DIETL: Thank you!
Bo Dietl joined CNN.com from New York. CNN provided a typist for him. The above is an edited transcript of the interview on Monday, July 09, 2001.
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