The Chandra Levy Breakthrough: Why It Took So Long

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," February 23, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now there is news developing here in Washington in the mysterious 2001 murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy. Believe it or not, it may be solved. An arrest is said to be imminent.

The young intern disappeared May 1, 2001, and the case exploded when it was revealed that Levy had been having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit. The congressman was questioned by police in the case.

More than a year later, on May 22, 2002, a man walking his dog found her skull and bones in Washington's rock creek park.

Now police reportedly are seeking an arrest warrant for an illegal immigrant from El Salvador already behind bars for assaulting two other women in the park where Levy's body was found, or the remains were found, and it was around the time of the murder.

Joining us by phone is Chandra's brother of Adam Levy. Welcome, Adam, and I guess we should start first with how is your family doing?

ADAM LEVY, CHANDRA LEVY'S BROTHER: We are hanging in there, but it is tough, because it has been eight years, and we've been going through this whole recovery process, and then to have this whole thing start over.

What happened back in 2001, still, it is tough, because there is a lot of memories and trauma. It kind of comes back.

VAN SUSTEREN: How did your family find out that the police had now zeroed in on somebody? And it's eight years later, and I will get to that later with my other guests about how they should have zeroed in on this person earlier, but how did you find out that the police had zeroed in on him?

LEVY: I knew he was a suspect. I think it was last year that there were reports that there had somebody who was already a suspect. We did not hear they were going to make an arrest until just a few days ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have they been dealing with your parents and keeping your parents sort of up to date on the investigation over the past eight years, or did your parents get sidelined after a while?

LEVY: At times, I think they might have felt like they were being sidelined. But the case had kind of gone cold. But it is tough, and the investigators and the police, they only have so much resources they can devote to each case.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have a thought or a message to say to Congressman Gary Condit?

LEVY: I can't really talk about Condit, because, I do not know. He should have provided us with more information. I don't know. It's tough because what happens between the congressman and my sister.

If they had not had anything happen between them, this whole story would have just been another case. That's what is sad is that there are so many other people who have loved ones that are murdered, and there cases just go unsolved, and no one really hears about them, because they are just another crime victim. It is just sad how it took this, I mean, the relation of the congressman in this story to really bring the story, the whole situation to light, to life. And it is just a total nightmare.

VAN SUSTEREN: And you are probably so right, Adam, because absent the congressman's involvement with your daughter (sic), it probably would have just been just another unsolved murder with those very limited resources that you were talking about.

But at least we are hopeful that the police this time have the right person and that there will be some justice for your sister Chandra and for your parents, as well.

Adam, thank you for joining us.

LEVY: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Here is what is coming up after the show on "The O'Reilly Factor."

BILL O'REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Greta, as you know, authorities believe an illegal alien, a criminal, killed Chandra Levy. We'll have the latest. And the culture warriors are after Sean Penn, coming up on "The Factor."

VAN SUSTEREN: That is 11:00 p.m. eastern time with Bill.

And up next, we have more on the developing news in the Chandra Levy murder investigation. You will see the crime scene with your own eyes. You go to the crime scene in Rock Creek Park with Dr. Michael Baden and Ted Williams. That's next.

Plus, Paris Hilton's little sister Nicky the victim of an alleged assault. Wait until you hear the details of this one. The lesson of this story--do not mess with Nicky.



VAN SUSTEREN: After almost eight years a breakthrough in a mysterious case--police are reportedly seeking an arrest warrant in the May, 2001 murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy.

On May 22, 2002, a year later, a man walking his dog found Levy's skull and bones in Washington's Rock Creek Park. We went to the crime scene in 2002 right after the police released the crime scene. We went with forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden and former homicide detective Ted Williams.


VAN SUSTEREN: Up there across the roadway is the construction site where the man, apparently, who discovered the skull races up to notify people.

So he came from this direction over here, and we are now going to go down and retrace those steps to where the skeleton -- you can see. I mean, look at this place. It would be impossible to drag a body this way.

DR. MICHAEL BADEN, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: I don't think anybody brought here involuntarily, nor was a body carried through this.

TED WILLIAMS, FORMER HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: It is highly unlikely they carried a body up this incline to the area in which the body, the skeletal remains were found.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is obviously the hypothesis stage. If you're investigating this, do you look at this as the murder scene as well as the- -

BADEN: I think the more I see this, this is more where the death occurred, and this is where the body stayed. The body didn't roll from above. It was not dragged up from below.

And it would seem that somebody had to have to come here voluntarily rather than being dragged here.


VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Baden and Ted Williams join us live. Ted, what took them so long? They haven't even yet issued and arrest warrant, but what took them so long?

WILLIAMS: I would have to believe that, to some degree, some shabby police work, Greta. When this investigation initially started, they focused in on Condit right from the start.

At that time, what they did was they corrupted the computer, the surveillance tape of where Chandra Levy lived was screwed up.

The actual crime scene where she was found, if you can remember, they had law enforcement officers actually walking out there in that area looking for Chandra Levy, and they were about 100 feet away.

And one of the sad things is they did not interview one of the witnesses to one of the assaults out there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Baden, the reason why they were 100 feet away is because apparently they did not want to go up that incline because it was rather hard to do. That is really bad, just lousy police work.

BADEN: Difficult for us, but we weren't as healthy as the police were. But, unfortunately they did not let the cadaver dogs go down there, because if the cadaver dogs had gone down there, they would have, in the early part of the decomposition process, found her right away.

And because they waited a year, all of the trace evidence appeared to have been just destroyed, although there is a report--I do not know how accurate it is--that they did find some DNA. It was not on the bones of the suspect. It may have been in the knotted up sweatshirt that was still at the scene.

VAN SUSTEREN: And here is the interesting thing is that she disappeared on May 1, 2001. On May 14 and July 1, two other women were assaulted. That is what this guy is not in prison for doing is assaulting those two women.

He apparently said something. He was given a polygraph test, and when he was asked about Chandra Levy, it did not say that he was lying, it said "inconclusive," right, Ted. So at least the police, we'll give them credit, were on to him at least earlier.

WILLIAMS: They were on to him, but did they do the right things with this guy? Yes, they gave him a polygraph exam. I understand after they gave him one polygraph, they wanted to come back. His lawyer said no, they were not going to give him another one.

But you said something--two women were assaulted out in that part, and it is my understanding that the new team just interviewed one of the women --

VAN SUSTEREN: That was lousy --

WILLIAMS: That's unconscionable.

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, Dr. Baden?

BADEN: Also, when they interviewed this gal, according to "The Washington Post," they showed him a picture of Chandra Levy because she was a missing person from that area. And he said, "Yes. I saw her jogging here," and he admitted to seeing her. He did not say he killed her, but he admitted seeing her.

And then when they gave the polygraph, according to "The Post," the person giving the polygraph did not speak Spanish, so they had to do it through a Spanish interpreter, and that's not the way you do polygraphs.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's a lousy way to do it.

Assuming this guy gets arrested, Ted, assuming that he's guilty, and he'll get his trial and his chance to plead, do you have any sympathy for Gary Condit?

WILLIAMS: Let me make sure I am perfectly clear on this--absolutely not. Gary Condit in the next few days will probably crawl from under the rock from which he came, and he will be on every network saying, "I was out there."

But Gary Condit did not help the authorities initially. He had an affair with this woman. Gary Condit were perhaps still be in office today if he looked his constituents in the eye and said "I had an affair, but I'm going to help the police find this woman."

He did nothing to help find her. He did everything to hinder that investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: And let's not forget driving to Arlington to dump a box from the trash.

Anyway, Dr. Baden, thank you, Ted, thank you. It's always nice to see you gentlemen.

BADEN: Thank you.

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