A Suspect in the Smart Case?

This partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, June 24, 2002 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House.

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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes.

COLMES: First, our top story, a handyman who worked at the Smart house has been arrested for an alleged parole violation, but Salt Lake police say Richard Ricci is a possible suspect in Elizabeth Smart's disappearance. At this point, he's not officially a suspect. But could he have the answers police have been looking for?

Well, earlier tonight, we spoke to David Francom and Angela Smart, Elizabeth Smart's uncle and aunt.


HANNITY: Let me start with Richard Albert Ricci. Angela, Fox News is now reporting this is a man who worked in your brother's home that was familiar with the home. He's confessed to burglarizing the home, and he has failed a lie-detector test, we're now reporting. What do you know?

ANGELA DUMKE, ELIZABETH SMART'S AUNT: Well, I just know that I'm -- I know that he has worked in the home. I know that he worked there for a couple -- you know, two to three months or some such thing, and I don't know anything about the lie-detector test. I don't know anything about any other evidence. So I can't report on that.

HANNITY: David, the police chief said that "He has risen to the top of our list of people who we're looking at. We have questions about his actions between May 31st and June 8th." In your heart, do you think they're getting closer? Apparently, they feel they are?

DAVID FRANCOM, ELIZABETH SMART'S UNCLE: Yeah. I don't know if Ricci is the person that has committed this crime, and I think that the police certainly have interrogated every single worker that has been into that home, and it is my understanding that there are just questions still that they cannot be answered or have not yet been answered on the part of Ricci. So...

HANNITY: And I agree with that, but there is a couple of things that we can do. We know that Elizabeth's sister, Mary Catherine, heard the voice of the abductor, and there are still rumors out there that she saw his face. She certainly saw that he had hair on the back of his hands, and the police chief today said he generally fits the description.

Angela, I know you were there today. I saw you in the background. Don't we -- shouldn't we quickly get a tape of this man's voice and let Mary Catherine hear that man's voice?

DUMKE: I'm sure the police are doing whatever, we are trying not to get in the middle of the police's investigation. I'm sure that the police are going forward with whatever they find will try to help find out who this abductor is.

FRANCOM: I think the fact that Mary Catherine is a 9-year-old witness, it has to be handled probably quite a bit differently than if she were an adult witness, and whether or not she really could recognize the voice again or whatever, I think that they've got the experts that really can answer that question and are pursuing that.

HANNITY: Yeah. I think most people would like, obviously, it's going to be a step that they follow in this case.

Look, this man's convictions over a 30-year period of time include aggravated robbery, attempted homicide, and prison escape, and he can't account for -- apparently, there are some inconsistencies, or they have some doubts about his alibi that he has given on the night of the abduction of Elizabeth.

So I would think for both of you that gives you some hope.

FRANCOM: Well, it certainly is hopeful that the police are, you know, finding clues and finding things here and there, but I don't know that we've heard anything more where Elizabeth is or that he definitely had something to do with that, and until we hear about that, I think he still is just another question mark, somebody that has to be interrogated further.

COLMES: You don't want to get your hopes up. You don't want to get your hopes up.

FRANCOM: I think that's what we're saying, yeah.

COLMES: David and Angela, it's Alan. Welcome back.

I can understand you don't want to get so wrapped up emotionally that this is coming to closure and then perhaps be disappointed if you find out that this man may have nothing...

DUMKE: Exactly.

COLMES: Did we find out that the person we were talking about last week, Bret Edmunds, it seems, has nothing to do with this? Is that pretty much accepted at this point, Angela?

DUMKE: Well, I don't know if it is that he didn't have anything to do with it. They said that they will never let anybody go, that they will not rule anybody out as a suspect. So I don't know if they've, you know, cleared his name per se.

COLMES: David, do you agree with that?

FRANCOM: Oh, I do, yeah. I don't think that we have enough information to absolutely rule anybody out, you know, especially Edmunds or Ricci or anybody else that they're looking at in particular, and...

COLMES: This Ricci guy...

FRANCOM: ... the police don't just want...

COLMES: We find out he's been in and out of jail since 1973 on the charges that Sean mentioned. He has a long history. This is the fifth, he's got five parole violations, Fox News reported earlier today.

The question that came to me, David, was, you know, before you hire someone to do work in your house, is in and out of the house, has contact with your kids, do you -- you know, do you make sure that that person has a clean record? I wonder how he got a job there in the first place.

FRANCOM: Yeah, I know that Ed received a referral, a recommendation from a contractor, and that's how he came in contact with this person. It's hard to know whether you run a background check on every single person. I do know that Ed felt like he had received a good referral and, you know, he went based on that information.

COLMES: Angela, one thing that's been consistent that police have said all along, that the media has speculated, that it was somebody close to the family in terms of having worked or been in the house. So do you still believe that that's the case, in which case this would fit the profile, I guess, that's being looked at here?

DUMKE: Well, I think that the police have said that that is something that they're looking at, and I feel that it could be anybody. You know, somebody that's definitely gotten acquainted with the family, but I think that it doesn't necessarily the family even necessarily knows them but maybe that the person may

know the family's patterns or something like that.

COLMES: All right. It was also reported today that this is a man who told his parole officer that he was in a substance abuse program, and it turned out he was not in a substance abuse program. So I don't know if that figures into it, but, again, probably not somebody with the best track record in terms of telling the truth here.

This has got to have you thinking, again, about does this match up, does this make sense.

FRANCOM: Sure. Well, there are a lot of questions definitely with these people, whether it's Edmunds or Ricci or, you know, anybody else that the police are investigating, and I understand that's exactly why they are investigating them.

Our hope, our focus is, you know, Elizabeth, to find her. We don't want to get sidetracked. If the police are investigating or questioning certain people, we're still going to stay on focus until Elizabeth is

found, and we don't want to get sidetracked or, you know, get going in a different direction and then find out it was a dead end.


COLMES: More of our interview after the break.

Also coming up, what makes President Bush think his plan can bring peace to the Mideast when every other plan has failed? We'll ask Oliver North?

Lots to come on HANNITY & COLMES.


HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY & COLMES, also coming up tonight, Alan Colmes' mysterious announcement, whatever it's going to be. We're going to -- I don't know what it is.

COLMES: You know what it is. You're the one...

HANNITY: All right. It's coming up.

And also, you're going to meet a man who says he overheard a terror threat for July the 4th in Las Vegas. He's going to be here, tell us his story, and we'll ask him why the FBI does not find him credible. That's straight ahead.

But here's more of our discussion with Angela Smart and David Francom about the detention of former Smart family handyman Richard Ricci.


HANNITY: We understand that Fox is reporting that he has confessed to being responsible for a burglary in the house. There's also a report that Ed had that suspicion that he had stolen from the house at the time, about a year ago, when he was the contractor. What more can you tell us about that?

FRANCOM: I don't know that information. I don't know that -- you know, where that information came from. I can't comment to that.

HANNITY: All right. Angela, same for you? You don't know if Ed suspected...

DUMKE: I don't know that. I didn't know that.

HANNITY: OK. I want to go back, can you answer definitively if Mary Catherine saw the face of the abductor?

FRANCOM: I cannot answer that. We have as a family left the investigation or rather, the interrogation of Mary Catherine to the experts, to the police, you know.

They, obviously, have people who are trained in interrogating children, and we did not in any way want to taint her testimony or suggest to her anything by talking to her. So we haven't asked her. We haven't interrogated her in any way.

HANNITY: Did the police and FBI tell you not to talk to her about it?

FRANCOM: My understanding is yes, that that is something that they did not want us to do, to get involved at all in the investigation, the interrogation, or anything else.

HANNITY: Yeah, because I've got to tell you something. I think we're really onto something here, based on his background, based on everything that's happened, based on some inconsistencies in the story.

I've got to be honest. I think this is the biggest break we've now had in the case, and I want to see this resolved as quickly as possible, and that's why I keep going back to Mary Catherine in the hopes that

they'll show the face, they'll let her hear the voice, and then, once they can start squeezing this guy, you know, "Where is this girl? Where is Elizabeth?" --

Isn't that what you guys would want the FBI to do and the police to do?

FRANCOM: Well, certainly, we -- we certainly want resolution to this, and...

DUMKE: Quick.

FRANCOM: Yeah. Definitely quick, and I -- I as well as the rest of the family members have complete confidence that the police are moving in the correct direction at the correct speed and that we cannot second guess them, and whether they've actually done it or not, they may very well have.

HANNITY: Yeah. Angela, let me -- let ask you a couple of things that relates to the lie-detector test involved in this whole scenario. Fox is reporting this guy failed. There's been no reports about Tom, your brother, or Ed that were taken. Don't you think it's fair at some point that they come out and start releasing this information, the police?

DUMKE: I understand it, the police cannot do that. That's why they're saying that the fellow has failed the lie-detector test, I just don't believe the police have said that, and so --

I guess I just kind of stand back and say, well, they haven't been able to say if they have passed or failed anything, and so I can't imagine that the police have come out with that. So that's kind of where I stand on it.

COLMES: David, you know, Marc Klaas, Polly's father, has been on this program a couple of times, said he wanted to bring in a particular profiler, Jeanne Boylan, who profiled the Unabomber and a number of other people, including the abductor of his child, and that he did not meet with a favorable reception.

Was there a sense on your part whether this would be a good idea to bring in this particular profiler who might be able to help?

FRANCOM: We have had so many people call up and offer their services and offer their advice and tips and clues, and we have turned every single one of those over to the police and to the law enforcement, and we want them to handle every aspect of it.

We don't want to go down a different avenue that may, in fact, negatively impact what the police are doing. We have confidence that they're doing what they need to be doing, and so, you know, whether

somebody offers their services or not, we appreciate that, but we are turning it over to the police and let them make that decision.

COLMES: He was saying that he said that he wanted to do it, but the family, indeed, got in the way. It was the family who did not want this particular profiler to be involved.

FRANCOM: My understanding is that we have no knowledge of who would be the best profiler or not, and that's why we are asking the police to use their experience and their understanding as to who would be the best one in this case and who they should use.

DUMKE: We want someone that will work with the police and that they have a good relationship. I think it's very important. We don't want to meddle in this investigation and ruin something, that we need to be sure that we need to follow their protocol and how they want things done.

COLMES: Angela, how is the family holding up? Each day has got to be tougher than the day before.

DUMKE: It is. The longer it goes, the harder it is. However, we're holding up well. We kind of support one another and try to help one another and appear together to kind of buoy one another up and keep things going.

COLMES: What's it been like being on the media? I mean, here you are. You're a family. You never had this kind of public attention. What it's like suddenly being thrust into the national spotlight like this, David, and having to do shows like this?

FRANCOM: Well, we certainly haven't sought it, and it's not something that we want to have happened to our family, certainly, under these circumstances, but we appreciate the way the media has been able to get the message out around the country, around the world that everybody needs to be looking.

Everybody needs to have their eyes and ears open, to try to find Elizabeth, to see if a neighbor if, you know, anything is unusual, any circumstances, and it's not just Elizabeth. Our hearts and eyes and minds have been open to so many other parents and children who have these same circumstances and problems, and we hope that everybody around the country can continue to look and search and find all of these children.

DUMKE: We...


DUMKE: Sorry.

HANNITY: Go ahead.

DUMKE: We all need a heightened awareness. We all need a heightened awareness.

HANNITY: Well, that's why we want you back, and we keep the story out there, and we wish you both well, and, hopefully, this is the break that we've been looking for, and, hopefully, she'll be coming home soon.


HANNITY: If you have any information about Elizabeth Smart, please call toll-free 800-932-0190.

And coming up next, the FBI says that the man who prompted a July 4th warning for Las Vegas didn't pass a lie-detector test. So can we now relax for the holiday? We're going to ask the man behind the warning. That's all straight ahead.

And also later on, Oliver North is here. The president and his plan. Will it end the violence between Israelis and Palestinians once and for all?

And also, Alan Colmes has an announcement. That's coming up tonight on HANNITY & COLMES.


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