Survivor's Story

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The show is back in Washington, D.C. tonight. We were in New York City on Friday to interview supermodel Petra Nemcova. Chances are if you don't know who she is, you are a woman... but yes, many women do know who she is, too. She was on the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition in 2003. I am sure you know that is huge in the modeling business. Appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated pretty much guaranteed that she would become a supermodel. More significantly, she is a survivor of last year's deadly Southeast Asia tsunami, but her boyfriend did not survive it. She watched him wash away as she fought for her own life. It was weeks after the tsunami that it was confirmed that her boyfriend had died. She had hoped that he made it and was just lost or in a hospital unable to find her.

Petra has written a new book about the tsunami and the impact on her. You can just imagine what hell she went through and what hell others also went through as this natural disaster struck tens of thousands of unsuspecting people. All proceeds from her book sales go to a charity for the tsunami survivors.

Yes, Petra is gorgeous — unbelievably gorgeous — and very, very charming. You immediately warm to her when you meet her because she is so charming. She is very gracious.

Petra was seriously injured by the tsunami and spent many weeks in a hospital and then recovering, but is now back at work modeling. Besides asking her about the tsunami, her boyfriend and all her charity work, I also asked her if there is any downside to being beautiful. What do you think she answered?

Petra is working with Portero, a leading luxury auction company, to raise funds for the Happy Hearts Fund to benefit those children most affected by the tsunami in Asia last year. Launching on December 5 at the Light of Hope Event and running for 10 days (until Wed., December 14), Portero is hosting the online auction of an exciting and wide-ranging selection of "experience packages" and other donations to benefit the tsunami victims:

I took advantage of being in New York City on Friday to see some people at FOX about the new ideas I have for the blog and the "On the Record" show page. We already put pictures on it and pod cast, but I have some other ideas. I will let you know when I get the OK and we are about to launch my new ideas.

Now for some randomly selected e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Greta, what happened to Laura Ingle? I heard she was in the Dallas bureau, which is not that far from me and I never saw her again after the hurricanes.
I really liked her all the way through the Scott Peterson trial and especially when she came to FOX News. Did she go to another network?
Paulette Lynn
Sanger, TX

ANSWER: She is currently assigned to Geraldo's new show on FOX Broadcast network (not FOX News Channel.) Incidentally, if all goes as currently planned, I am meeting her for dinner this Friday in New York City.

E-mail No. 2

Dear Sir or Madam,
I watch Greta every evening. I have become very disturbed at the sound of a women's voice during Greta's break. The voice is during the bright FOX sign. She is saying "O, God" It is very upsetting. It does not happen on any other program. I know this as the majority of our TV watching is on the FOX News Channel. We start our day with Sheppard Smith at 3 p.m. and end with Greta at 10 p.m. It is only audible on Greta's show and only when the bright light with the FOX sign is on. It is over very quickly. This has been heard by several people. Please check into this and please take it off. We have been meaning to write for sometime. It is so disturbing that we mute when the breaks occur. I would appreciate hearing from you.
By the way, we think Greta is great.
Thank you

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta,
If it wasn't for Bill O. no one would know who you are — except Beth Holloway that is. Is she bribing you?
Doug Gibbons

E-mail No. 4

Hi Greta,
I see you have a pillow behind you on your chair, did you hurt your back? I would hope FOX could afford an ergonomically correct chair for you!

ANSWER: You have good eyes... I did have a pillow behind my back on Friday night, but not because of a bad back (I do have a painful right shoulder however.) On Friday night I was not in my studio with my set (and chair) in Washington, D.C., but in New York City in Bill O'Reilly's studio. Either I used Bill's chair or Geraldo's (there was some tape on the back with Geraldo's name on it.) The problem is this: Bill O'Reilly is about 6'5" and Geraldo is about 6' — I am 5'3" — so we really don't share chair sizes. I used the pillow to make the chair fit me better in it or I would have looked like that shrunken Alice from "Alice in Wonderland." One other thing: Bill likes a freezing cold studio and we can't get it warm fast enough for our show at 10 p.m. so I have a heater under the desk. Likewise I have one under the desk in the D.C. studio since I think the heat goes off in the building early evening and it gets very cold in our studio by 10 p.m. The studio lights cast some heat, but not enough.

On Friday night, Associate Press reporter Holbrook Mohr was on our show to discuss the capital trial of Earnest Hargon. He was on trial for murder of three family members in Mississippi. If you recall, or if you saw Friday's show you know that we took "On the Record" on the road to Mississippi when the three family members were first reported missing, but their bodies not yet discovered. On Saturday the jury decided the murder case of Earnest Hargon and here is Holbrook's article about it:

Associated Press Writer

YAZOO CITY, Miss. (AP) — Jennifer Hargon McBride knows executing the cousin who killed her brother and his family won't ease her pain, but she wants a jury to sentence Earnest Lee Hargon to death on Monday anyway.

Earnest Lee Hargon was convicted Saturday in the Valentine's Day 2004 murders of Michael Hargon, Michael's wife, Rebecca, and the couple's 4-year-old son, James Patrick.

"It's the worse thing I've ever seen in my life," McBride said after the verdict. "If this doesn't warrant the death penalty, I don't know what does."

A Yazoo County jury of nine women and three men took less than two hours on Saturday to convict Earnest Lee Hargon of the crimes.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Monday to decide whether Earnest Lee Hargon is sentenced to life in prison without hope of parole or the death penalty.

The jury heard about two and a half hours of testimony Sunday in the penalty phase for the two capital murder charges. They are expected to hear closing arguments Monday.

A series of family members testified Sunday about the effect the Feb. 14, 2004, killings had on their family.

Will Alexander of Vaughn, said his cousin Earnest Lee Hargon deserves the death penalty.

"There is a difference between self-defense and cold-blooded murder, especially of a four-year-old child who did not know what life was or any wrong there's no excuse for it," Alexander said.

"I would hate to see anyone go to death," Alexander said. He looked straight at Earnest Lee Hargon across the courtroom. "And I pray for you every night. I really do. And I hope you make peace with God."

Earnest Lee Hargon nodded and wiped his eyes.

Rebecca Hargon's mother, Linda Hirtz of Poplar Bluff, Mo., said he should live, but be punished severely. Another cousin said she visited him in prison because no other family member had extended any love to him.

Circuit Judge Jannie Lewis is expected to sentence Hargon to life in prison on the murder charge for the killing of Michael Hargon. Jurors must decide his fate on the two capital murder charges.

The jury has heard testimony that Earnest Lee Hargon shot Michael Hargon in the head before shooting Rebecca Hargon in the arm and beating and strangling her and the child.

Blood and spent bullet casings were found at the family's Vaughan community home on Feb. 14, 2004, but the family had disappeared. Their bodies were found about three weeks later buried in a shallow grave in the woods nearly 100 miles southeast of Vaughan.

Hargon was convicted of one count of murder and two counts of capital murder. He did not testify in the trial.

Friends of Earnest Lee Hargon testified that if his life was spared, he could help others in prison. Robert Douglas Peterson of Canton brought clothes for Hargon to wear at trial and spoke on his behalf.

"He treated me like I was his son," Peterson said. If he gets life in prison, "There's things he can do to help a lot of people," Peterson said.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Jannie Lewis reduced from capital murder to murder the charge involving the death of Michael Hargon. She ruled prosecutors didn't prove another felony had occurred as required by law to support a capital murder charge. A conviction of murder carries a maximum life sentence.

However, Lewis left unchanged the capital murder counts in the deaths of Rebecca Hargon and her son. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty on those counts.

Michael Hargon's sister, McBride, said she wished her mother, Diane Hargon, who died of cancer on Nov. 10, could have been there for the trial.

Just days before her death, Diane Hargon declined an interview with The Associated Press, saying cancer treatments were taking a toll and she was determined to save her strength for the trial.

"God has a weird way of working sometimes," McBride said after Saturday's verdict. "But we're strong enough to get through it."

District Attorney James Powell said in closing arguments before the guilty verdict that the murders were brutal.

"He cannot be allowed to get away with what he's done," he said.

Defense attorney Wesley Evans countered that prosecutors ignored other possible suspects, including a gang which may have had a grudge against Michael Hargon for testifying against one of its members.

The jury was selected from Marshall County due to publicity and brought to Yazoo County for the trial.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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