Published June 06, 2010
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 4, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: "On the Record" is on the ground in South America, covering the latest breaking news in the arrest of Joran van der Sloot. Van der Sloot, accused of brutally murdering a 21-year-old woman in Peru, was arrested yesterday in Chile and sent back to Peru today.
Former LAPD homicide detective Mark Fuhrman joins us from Peru. Mark, what have you learned on the ground in Peru?
MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Greta, we've learned quite a bit. When we started this investigation, from the news, you heard that there was blood, there was a stabbing. But in fact, that is all not true. We learned directly from the medical examiner's office today that the victim was lying on her back, fully clothed, not covered. She had blood coming from the left side of her head, from her ear, and her nose. And there was blunt force trauma to the back of her head and her lower neck, of which the blunt force trauma caused hemorrhaging in the brain and caused death. That is the cause of death.
We also learned that the level of decomposition, the process of putrefaction had started, which now, when you back-date, trying to estimate the time of death, it actually fits within the bracket of time that Joran van der Sloot was with the victim. That's what we know right now, and it's completely different from the initial reporting.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, in terms of the investigation, was any weapon found that caused the blunt force trauma? Was there a sexual assault? And are there fingernail scrapings, like she fought her assailant, where we might find DNA?
FUHRMAN: OK, we'll start with the last first. Fingernail scrapings here is a standard procedure, but those findings, if anything, wouldn't be available yet. The victim -- there was no sign of sexual assault, but they can't rule out sexual relations. She was fully clothed, and there was no indication that there was that attempt to a rape or a sexual assault.
And as far as the weapon, the ME made some interesting speculations. He opined that the kind of box frame to the bed, a European-style bed where the mattress sits on top -- the mattress was askew in the corner. It was away, as if the victim right where she laid below that corner, possibly that corner of that hardwood frame could have been what she collided with on the back of her head. But he opined this, that the force, if it was her that fell or tripped, would not be sufficient to cause the massive damage to her head. She would have to have been driven into that bed frame by some other force, that being another human.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, thank you.
And we have shocking new information about in case tonight. Yesterday we reported bombshell news. Van der Sloot allegedly paid for his trip to South America by extorting money from Natalee Holloway's mother. Prosecutors in Alabama say van der Sloot promised to tell Beth Holloway what really happened to her daughter in exchange for $250,000.
Now, on May 10th, Holloway transferred Van der Sloot $15,000 as a down payment. We have news about how that alleged crime occurred and who was watching. Joining us is Bo Dietl chairman and CEO Bo Dietl and Associates. Bo, what happened on May 10th, who was there and was it recorded?
BO DIETL, CHAIR OF BEAU DIETL AND ASSOCIATES: First of all, he should never have left Aruba after May 10th. He was contacting someone saying that his father died and he wanted to let her know about the whereabouts where he buried Natalee Holloway.
So the mother was contacted. Then the person in between the contact person communicated with them and they made a meeting on May 10th, in Aruba. Upon in meeting, which was videotaped and everything, the FBO got involved.
We were going to go down with a team of guys and we were told not to, the FBI was going to handle it. Wherever it was, he made statements incriminating that he pushed her down, she hit her head, he got his dad, they buried her. He was going to tell her where it was. He wanted a quarter of a million dollars.
So the agreement was give him $25,000 up front, $10,000 cash given to him, and this was all videotaped with all his statements, and $15,000 was wire transferred. This way we have him on wire transfer of money on extortion. You have extortion and wire transfer.
You also had the Aruban government that knew about the FBI being there. So you have them with him making these admissions. Under the law Aruban law at that time after those admissions were made they could have held him on for at least 30 days and then the FBI could have locked him up ought that time.
He then slips out of the surveillance or whatever happened and he goes to South America, and it looks as though he killed this young girl, which is horrible. I've been after this guy since this thing happened, and I'm just horrified this guy killed again.
VAN SUSTEREN: Bo, in terms of the FBI essentially was set up this operation where they videotaped this extortion where Joran van der Sloot was extorting the money, after the extortion, has the FBI given any reason whatsoever when they had the crime on tape why they didn't make an arrest of him?
DIETL: Put it this way, Greta -- if I was involved with that investigation and controlled it, he would have been locked up in a room after he made the extortion and statements. He also took the money, you had the crime committed there. Why give him any more access? We knew he did flight so many times and he disappeared.
I'm just angry. The go between was e-mailed back and forth, and it is horrible, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: You should know, Bo, I spoke recently in the last half hour to the attorney general in Aruba who said that yes, Aruba does extradite to the United States for financial and fraud crimes, that the Aruban government had been contacted six weeks before now to participate in this surveillance.
And that after the May 10th crime went down he was under surveillance and the Aruban government notified the United States that Joran was leaving. We'll have more on this. Bo, thank you.
DIETL: Thank you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: And your legal panel is back. Joining us in San Francisco is former assistant DA Jim Hammer, and here in Washington, criminal defense attorneys Ted Williams and Bernie Grimm. It's nice to see all of you gentleman. I'm sorry it's on such grim news. Speaking of grim, I'll start with you, Bernie. FBI, wow.
BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, this is terrible. It is bizarre because it was five years to the day on this homicide. And it is also bizarre that this was preventable. It seems to me, and Ted knows this as well, when you make videotape cases, the cases they make my clients, whether it is bribery or drugs, they rip the guy in the room right there, they tell them there's a videotape, and they usually can induce a confession.
So they let the guy just get out of country, and then he's in Peru and this poor woman is dead.
VAN SUSTEREN: Jim, this whole crime caught on videotape that the FBI makes themselves and planned for and got it. It is stunning. What could they have possibly been waiting for? What did they need more to make an arrest?
JIM HAMMER, FORMER ASSISTANT D.A.: The FBI didn't need more. If the FBI screwed up I'm going to be the first person to say it is partly their fault that perhaps this young woman is dead.
Having said that, if I had the choice as a prosecutor or investigator in this case, Greta, between making a solid extortion case or perhaps following a bit longer and finally making the homicide case, the murder case against Natalee Holloway, that's the one I choose.
I'm hoping they were trying to get more and more information to finally make the murder case against Natalee Holloway. If they just dropped the ball, then they have dirt on their hands.
VAN SUSTEREN: The whole thing was to get a financial extortion fraud case. Ted?
TED WILLIAMS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I'm outraged. No Jim, they didn't have to make another case in Aruba. They could have arrested him then and tried to squeeze information. They could have brought him back to the states and extradited him. There are ways if you have already represented he could have been expedited. The FBI dropped the ball.
VAN SUSTEREN: When I talked to the attorney general in Aruba, it seemed to me he was doing everything, he was trying to be polite and be courteous to the United States government, but I did not get the sense he was very happy about this. Jim?
HAMMER: An extortion case would be great. They got Al Capone on tax evasion. If that's all you can get, fine. But the real goal here is the Natalee Holloway murder. This case was screwed up so many times all these months and years ago. We've talked about it.
The way to break this case is lie low like they have for a long period of time, get this killer talking, and actually make a murder case.
WILLIAMS: You can get him talking in the United States. I want him talking in Alabama. Bring his butt to Alabama.
HAMMER: He's got to lead to you evidence besides his empty words if you going to make a murder case on this guy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Bernie, I might be more sympathetic Jim's point if the fact is he hasn't talked multiple times. He has talked to us multiple times, and he has told so many stories at this time --
GRIMM: This kid has no credibility. What he said to Fox News, what he said after he was arrested, what he said to his co-conspirators, in this case, every time there is a different story. I was there, I did it. I didn't do it, I'm not involved. He is completely unreliable. With Jim, the jury is out the FBI, but if they dropped the ball --
VAN SUSTEREN: You think the jury is out on the FBI? To me, once they knew he was headed for the airport and hitting the road with cash from Beth Holloway, what did they think at that point? They are going to chase him down in Cambodia someplace for extortion? This was the whole plan.
GRIMM: He used the extortion money to get out of country and then he was gambling with the extortion money.
WILLIAMS: All they had to do was take his damn passport, keep him in the country. He shouldn't have left Aruba. Too many people know who this man is, how he looks.
VAN SUSTEREN: They could have indicted him here in the United States, extradited him, had him in Alabama, stacked the charges him --
HAMMER: How do you think locking him up in Aruba helps to get him to prove a murder case against himself? You need some kind of corroboration. He leads somebody to the site, digs up evidence. and then make a murder case. Without this --
WILLIAMS: He's never been in a jail in the United States. He should have been extradited to Alabama, and I guarantee you he would have started talking down there.
VAN SUSTEREN: And it's way too late when a guy has hit the road again, he's hit the road the last couple of years all over Asia. There was no chance he was going to stick around and lead the police to this dead body. There's no chance.
HAMMER: I don't think a blonde haired Dutchman is going to hideout very long in Peru.
VAN SUSTEREN: He was in Asia, he hid out well.
GRIMM: Not to mention that unlike your standard bad guy, this guy had ability to travel and got around. He was well-financed, he's been all over the place. So I don't know. I think you grab him right there in the room.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is the penalty for wire fraud?
GRIMM: It's 20 years, 10 years respectively. The guidelines are driven by the amount of money. He's looking at probably six years.
VAN SUSTEREN: Here in the United States?
WILLIAMS: Remember, in Aruba he was able to do whatever the hell he wanted, he had people manipulating the system.
VAN SUSTEREN: The Arubans are not happy with him.
WILLIAMS: We're not happy with the chief of police who screwed this place in the beginning.
HAMMER: It is a sad day if the Aruban police can point a finger at the FBI because they have fumbled the case so badly, if the FBI did drop the ball. If they didn't have a plan to get corroboration, then shame on them.
VAN SUSTEREN: Shame on the FBI because they were right there on May 10th with the videotape. Panel, thank you. Welcome back, by the way.
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