This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, April 1, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight, new questions arise in the bizarre kidnapping of a Wisconsin college student.
Joining us on the phone is Steve Elbow, the police reporter for "The Madison Capital Times." Welcome, Steve. The language that was used in the press conference about inconsistencies -- have you ever heard the Madison police talk about that in a presser before?
STEVE ELBOW, "MADISON CAPITAL TIMES": They have been burned in a past case, and I think, you know, their circumspection in this case it could possibly be somewhat motivated by a 1997 rape case, in which the victim had reported the case, a month later, police said flat out that they didn't believe her, and she recanted. The next day, she said that -- she withdrew that, and again stuck with her original story, saying she felt pressured by detectives to recant. Well, the case dragged on, and when the state's DNA data base went on -- on line, there was a hit on a bedsheet, a DNA hit on a man that was in prison for armed robbery. He was eventually, just last month, convicted of her rape.
It was a terrible black eye for the department, and it might have something to do with them not wanting to make the same mistake twice.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of this investigation, is the community at all up in arms by the fact that the police do not seem to be providing a lot of information? If there is, indeed -- if she is telling the truth, that there was an armed person who kidnapped her, is the community making demands, talking about -- asking the police, Give us information so we can protect ourselves?
ELBOW: Well, there is concern, but the police are also in a tough spot. They -- and I was told today that they don't have any witnesses except for Audrey, who has seen this alleged kidnapper. Without that, you know, if they don't act on her version of events, absent any other evidence to the contrary, they run the risk of looking like fools, if her version of events turns out to be the right one.
VAN SUSTEREN: If you're a betting man, Steve, are you saying tonight that you think that the police don't believe Audrey, but because of this prior case, where they basically got a black eye from a poor decision they made in an investigation, but that -- you don't think they believe Audrey?
ELBOW: I think -- I think that, as the chief said -- and by the way, he is a new chief and he's an interim chief who's replacing a retiring chief and he just officially takes the title tomorrow. But I'm not going to take it -- anything's possible. Whether or not there was an actual kidnapper remains to be seen.
VAN SUSTEREN: But are the police -- I mean, it seems from what you're saying -- at least, I'm taking away from what you're saying and Jeff Goldblatt's saying is that -- that the focus now is more on Audrey, whether she's telling the truth, and less on whether there's an armed man out there?
ELBOW: That's the talk on the street. And it's also -- there's concern among official circles right now that her story isn't going to hold water in the long run.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Steve, of "The Capital Times." Thank you very much for joining us.
Let's turn now to Eric Cullen, the editor-in-chief of the university newspaper "The Badger Herald." And Eric joins us from Madison, Wisconsin. Welcome, Eric.
ERIC CULLEN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE BADGER HERALD": Hi, Greta. How're you doing?
VAN SUSTEREN: Very well. All right, Eric, what are students saying about this case?
CULLEN: Well, students are very apprehensive right now to travel around at night. That's for sure. But with the events of today, there's been some doubt cast over the situation. And there's just general concern and some search for answers.
VAN SUSTEREN: Has your newspaper -- because I know that you're investigating the case, or reporting it. Has your newspaper looked into Audrey herself, what kind of student she is, what kind of person she is?
CULLEN: Yes. We absolutely have. We have been trying to track down friends on campus, people that know her. I've heard that she's a 4.0 student. She's studying communicative disorders, which is a pretty special -- pretty much a specialty program here at UW. It's a tough program. She's a good student. All reports -- we've talked to some high school teachers, high school coaches, her high school principal, all said she was just an all-star. She was third in her class in high school in Rockford, Minnesota. She seemed to have everything on the ball, so this was pretty shocking.
VAN SUSTEREN: How about -- have you talked to people who live on the same floor at the apartment building on Regent Street? Have you talked to them to see what she's like?
CULLEN: To my knowledge, our reporters have not spoken to individuals that live on her floor.
VAN SUSTEREN: How about any of her...
CULLEN: So we have contact information for her roommate, but...
VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead.
CULLEN: Go ahead, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: You said...
CULLEN: We have contact information for her roommate, but her roommate's not talking to the press.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. What do you mean by "contact information"? You mean you know how to get ahold of her? Is that what you mean?
CULLEN: Exactly. We've spoken with her. She's not commenting.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. What about Audrey's boyfriend? Do you know anything about him?
CULLEN: We know he's a freshman. He's from Rockford, Minnesota. He's a fellow by the name of Ryan Fisher (ph). I spoke with his mother yesterday. He's -- they're obviously all very concerned, but we don't know much about him specifically.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you looked into this earlier incident that allegedly occurred on February 1 involving Audrey? What -- do you know -- can you tell me anything about that?
CULLEN: From what we know, she was found in a shaded area with a wound to the back of the head. She was, I believe, treated and released from the hospital. There were no suspects in the case because she was attacked from behind and no one saw the incident. So we ran a brief story on it when it occurred, but it was not a major incident on campus.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And she wasn't raped or sexually assaulted on February 1, right? No robbery, either?
CULLEN: No, she was not.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Is there -- was there...
CULLEN: No. Nothing was taken from her.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did it ever -- was it ever determined what the weapon was or how she had that injury to the back of the head?
CULLEN: Not to my knowledge, no.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if it was a serious enough injury to keep her in the hospital overnight?
CULLEN: I do not believe that it was.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, Eric -- I mean, from -- I mean, the students must be talking about this. I mean, it seems odd. I mean, I know the University of Wisconsin campus. There's some problems on every big school campus. But this woman has now had two incidents, both, thank God -- she's safe on both of them. She's been injured slightly in both of them. I mean, what's your thought about this?
CULLEN: It's -- this is a safe campus and a safe town, and this is surprising, especially to have these two incidents happen within about eight weeks of each other to one person. That's rare. That just doesn't happen very much in Madison and on this campus. It's shocking. And it surprised us all. And you know, we were happy to see that she was found and in good shape. But there are some questions right now, that's for certain.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Eric. Well, the investigation continues. Thank you, Eric.
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