OTR Interviews

Transcript: New Leads in Cruise Ship Case?

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," January 26, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: We can confirm, having spoken with a source close to the investigation, that blood was found in the bathroom of missing honeymooner George Smith's cruise ship cabin and in his bed. There was a fist-size bloodstain on a towel, bloody tissues, both in the cabin bathroom, and what appeared to be two bloody fingerprints on his bed sheets. Turkish police spent several hours in George Smith's cabin the day he disappeared. What else did they learn?

Former FBI agent Gregg McCrary was hired by Royal Caribbean cruise lines, and he has seen the report by Turkish police, and he joins us here live in Washington. Welcome. Nice to see you.

GREGG MCCRARY, FORMER FBI AGENT, HIRED BY CRUISE LINE: Thank you. Good to be here.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let's talk about the Turkish report. How many pages was it?

MCCRARY: A little over two pages.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what was the title on it?

MCCRARY: It's kind of an executive summary. I don't recall, may have been criminal investigation, but I don't want to over-interpret that too much. But I refer to it as sort of an executive summary of what was done at the scene, what they found, items, measurements, where they were, what they seized and what they did, and sort of an overview of what they processed and the potential evidence they gathered and turned over to the FBI.

VAN SUSTEREN: What evidence did they get? What was stated in the report?

MCCRARY: Well, again, the FBI has asked us not to go into that, specifically what evidence the Turks recovered, at least potential evidence. We have to remember we don't know what's evidence and what isn't necessarily — so I can't really can't really get into that. But the process was typical of what you'd expect from a crime scene processing, as far as looking for items, doing fingerprinting, swabbing, looking for biological fluids and taking and preserving samples and doing those sorts of things.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who actually did the testing? And if they collected that stuff, did they turn that stuff over to the FBI, or did they do testing?

MCCRARY: My understanding is that they turned it over to the FBI for the FBI to do the analysis and lab work and testing of it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did they indicated a conclusion in their report whether it was suicide, homicide or accident?

MCCRARY: No, not at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did it indicate how long they were actually inside the room?

MCCRARY: I don't think it did in the report. My understanding — and I could be wrong — they were in there for, oh, around a couple hours, maybe a little more than that, but roughly, a couple hours, as I understand it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did they photograph the cabin? It's not a particularly large cabin, but did they photograph it?

MCCRARY: They took a number of photographs, right.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about diagrams? Did they draw diagrams?

MCCRARY: I'm not sure on that. I don't recall. They took a lot of measurements, so I assume they probably did.

VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of measurements, measuring the size of the room?

MCCRARY: Measuring where items were found, so many centimeters here and there. So it was very precise measurements as to where things were, interrelated to one another.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did they measure the bloodstain on the canopy?

MCCRARY: Well, I can't really talk about the exact things that they did, but they did take measurements and a lot of photographs.

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I suppose the measurement of the canopy would be particularly important for someone like Dr. Henry Lee because photographs — we've all seen the photograph — in fact, we're showing it right now for the viewers — on the canopy. It's hard to tell whether that's, you know, a three-inch, six-inch, fifteen-inch or whatever it is.

MCCRARY: Right. Right. Yes, those are, I think, tourist photos, probably, you're showing. A lot of tourists were taking photographs of that. But I don't know. I haven't seen the crime scene photos that the — or the scene photos that the Turks took, so I don't really don't know, but — if they took measurements or not. But I know they did a lot of measuring, that there were things listed in the report that had specific and precise measurements to them.

VAN SUSTEREN: So we have a frame of reference, how long were you with the FBI?

MCCRARY: A little over 25 years.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. In the 25 years, how many crime scenes or investigations did you do?

MCCRARY: I did just crime work all the time, yes. I was in the behavioral science unit for 10 years, so we were analyzing crime scenes every day, all the time.

VAN SUSTEREN: So in looking at the Turkish report, did you think to yourself, Oh, they should have done this, or — I mean, (INAUDIBLE) any way sort of incomplete, you would have preferred something?

MCCRARY: No, I think it looked pretty thorough to me. Again, I haven't seen the evidence and I haven't seen — they said this was preserved properly, so I assume if they say that, it was. So I just have to take their word for it. But it looked reasonable and responsible in the way you think a scene would be processed.

VAN SUSTEREN: Cruise line people have told us that there was a chair pushed up against the balcony. Any reference to that in the report?

MCCRARY: Well, yes, they had said where things were, and so forth, so they had articulated where things were and where they found, and so forth.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did they talk to the four people who had been in the room, or at least had been with George Smith that night? Was that indicated in the report?

MCCRARY: Not in the report that I saw, but I understand that there was an FBI agent there, and they did do some interviews. I'm not sure exactly who they interviewed. But that wasn't in the report that I saw.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did they actually interview all four? Because, I heard that they interviewed at least one. I wasn't sure if it was all four.

MCCRARY: I don't know. I don't know. The report I saw dealt primarily with the scene.

VAN SUSTEREN: They obviously released the ship.

MCCRARY: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Released it with any sort of contingencies, Don't do this, Do this, anything like that?

MCCRARY: No, not at all. And as a matter of fact, I know that they said it was released, and the cruise line held it for a few hours. And they reconfirmed that it was OK to wash the blood and clean off the canopy before they did it, so they just didn't, you know, hurry right off and do this. They wanted to reconfirm.

I know the cruise line got concerned because, well, while the bloodstain was still there, a lot of people were leaning over the railing, taking pictures, and they were afraid other people — you know, there might be another accident or something, so...

VAN SUSTEREN: Did the report indicate whether they'd spoken to anybody inside the disco, inside the bar, anybody who might have come in contact with George Smith prior to his disappearance?

MCCRARY: No, the report I saw just dealt with the scene and the processing of the scene itself, didn't deal with anything as far as other investigations or interviews, which I know they did some.

VAN SUSTEREN: The Turkish did that?

MCCRARY: They did some additional interviews, but that wasn't in the report that I...

VAN SUSTEREN: Why wouldn't that be in the report? Because that seems to me would be important. I mean, it's not just the scene, but also who they talked to.

MCCRARY: Right. Well, I'm sure there's more investigative reports than what I saw. What I saw was just the report that dealt with the scene itself.

VAN SUSTEREN: Not in English, I take it.

MCCRARY: Well, it was translated.

VAN SUSTEREN: The one you saw was in English, but original was probably not in English, right?

MCCRARY: Yes. I would assume so, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: And did they say that any indication that they'd be willing, since you work for Royal Caribbean, to talk to you more, the Turkish authorities?

MCCRARY: I don't know. I haven't any indication about that.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Gregg. Thank you very much.

MCCRARY: My pleasure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Joining us live in Spokane is former LAPD homicide detective Mark Fuhrman. Mark, one of the things that I would want to do, you know, right from the get-go, if I were the Turkish people investigative this, is talk to the people who were with George Smith that night, and also make a whole tour of the cruise ship. I take it that you would, as well.

MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: I would. And I think the evidence that you have a source talking about the blood in the bathroom on a towel, possibly blood smudges from a finger on the sheets — we need to place this in a time capsule. And did that happen before they went out drinking that night? Did it happen when they came back with other individuals that didn't stay in their room? Is it about the time of the noise, the moving of the furniture, the banging on the wall, the sound of the drinking games?

We need to, yes, interview the people to see did they establish that he had a nosebleed, that they saw it in the bathroom? Did they see him get a nosebleed? Did he fell, that they were they wrestling, that somebody was hit, struck? They need to capture this and put it in perspective.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, the blood that was on the towel that we've now confirmed in the bathroom, which is the size of a fist, we don't even know when it occurred, whether it was in a time that was in close proximity to the blood on the canopy or whether it's even George Smith's blood. It might perhaps even be his wife's blood. I mean, that's also a difficulty with the investigation, at this point.

FUHRMAN: Well, it is, but let's think of another thing. I certainly hope all of the people involved with George Smith and his wife that night have had — and offered or they have taken blood samples and DNA samples from them. If this is the blood from an individual that could have been in a fight with George Smith, he could have gotten the better end of the deal, George Smith could have got the worse end of the deal. Or it could be George Smith who was so inebriated, he fell, inebriated or high, and then went out to get some air and eventually fell off.

We don't know. We still haven't established homicide or accident. And I think until we put these things in a timeline and we corroborate them through statements from people that were there, that it's hard to say which came first, the blood or the drinking, the dancing, the return to the room. Very difficult.

VAN SUSTEREN: Or we could even have almost a mixture of things. You could have a fight in the room. You get a bloody nose, that the people you fought with left the room. This is all hypothetical. And he goes outside to get some fresh air and then he falls. It's an accident. I mean, you can almost have a combination of different scenarios.

FUHRMAN: Yes, you do. I mean, it can be many things. But we have to remember something, Greta, that if somebody gets a nosebleed — which some people do, and it could be from a lot of different things. But if they get a nosebleed, they first notice it because it drips, and that drip will be evidence. Whether it's on a hard surface or on a carpet, it will drip. If it is a blow to the head, if it is a blow with a hard object, and that is repeatedly, deliberate, there will be blood on the object or the hand, you will get cast-off blood spatter. There will be evidence. Even if they cleaned it up, there'll be evidence of that blood being transferred with a certain amount of velocity around the room, whether left-right, or up and down.

So if Henry Lee was there and he was able to ascertain any of this and refute the statements of the people that have been interviewed, now you're on the path to see somebody trying to conceal some kind of activity that they find there's some kind of culpability in their regard.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, so at least at this point, Mark, the key things that I want to know, if I were investigating this, is one, is that carpeting that the FBI now has, to see whether or not there are any blood drops on it any place. That's the first thing. The second thing is I want to talk to the four who were in the room. And the third thing is I want to see the videotapes, the security, 97 tapes apparently have been turned over to the FBI. There obviously aren't tapes inside the cabin, but you know, they're strategically placed around the ship. That's where I'd focus, at this point.

FUHRMAN: I agree. And coupled with that, I want to know is this blood on the towel and on the Kleenex one and the same? Are they one and the same with George Smith? Who do they belong to? The wife certainly should be giving a voluntary sample. The individuals that came to the room, any of them that had been in that room that day should offer a sample. What type is it? We could start there.

Once you see that, then we could either eliminate this from George Smith or include it. And once it's included, yes, I agree, any blood drops in that room — did they drop? Was there some velocity? Was there some kind of cast-off, some kind of power or force behind the blood? Was there a scuffle? Was there blood smudges? Was there a struggle?

VAN SUSTEREN: Lets see what the FBI has to say about that carpet, and also when they took it and any cleaning that might have done. Mark, thank you.

FUHRMAN: Thank you, Greta.

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