Watching Wilma

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Tuesday I am sure you can imagine our day today — with Hurricane Wilma (search) getting ready to do great damage and perhaps kill, we are scrambling to figure out how to cover the storm and from where. We balance danger against wanting to get you as a viewer close to the storm as possible and as reasonable. We much prefer showing you the news — so you can decide — to telling you the news. If we position ourselves correctly, we can simply let the camera tell you what is happening. Wilma, like all hurricanes, has an unpredictable wrath and path so that much of our planning must be guessing. She has been downgraded now to a category 4 but that can change quickly and a category 4 can be devastating (as can a category 3, 2 and 1!) So throughout the day if you are wondering what we are doing, we are watching Wilma, talking to weather experts and planning. My guess is that the plans will change 50 times today as Wilma makes up her own mind about what she wants to do.

Tonight, in addition to covering Wilma, we will have the Attorney General of the United States, Alberto Gonzales (search), as a guest. I am looking forward to interviewing him because I have not seen any interviews of him. I am sure he has been interviewed but I have missed them so this will be fun for me.

We will also likely check back in on the murder case involving the wife of attorney Daniel Horowitz (search). The day is young, so I am not sure how much we will do on this murder investigation, but I anticipate doing something. But, of course, in this business plans change quickly as you know.

Incidentally, to answer many of your questions, there really is not much of a career as a legal analyst, although I get many resumes from lawyers telling me that they want to switch careers and become a legal analyst. The term legal analyst appears to be simply a television creation. You don't go to law school to become a legal analyst. You go to law school to become a lawyer and some lawyers are sometimes asked to provide legal commentary on TV as guests. We, in television, call them legal analysts when they come on TV and analyze the law.

No one gets rich being a legal analyst. As far as I know, very, very few — if any — are ever paid for their appearances on TV. Certainly those who periodically pop up on cable news are not getting paid. I think Dan Horowitz falls in that category. From time to time lawyers are hired for a particular big trial to give commentary, but this is not common. Since so many lawyers are willing to volunteer to be guests, networks have no need to pay. To earn a living as a lawyer on TV, you need to be a full-time employee with that network.

Dan Horowitz provided legal commentary about Scott Peterson (search) and Michael Jackson (search) for television shows — not ours. I think — but am not positive — he did it as a volunteer and thus made no money doing so. So if he has lots of money, it is from his practice of law and not television. I suppose he could have family money, but I have not heard that he does. I admit I was curious how he was able to spend so much time away from his practice to hang around the Peterson and Jackson trials. Most lawyers cannot get away from an active practice to watch another trial.

The investigation into the murder of Horowitz's wife continues. At this point you should be suspicious of everyone — the husband, the neighbors, people with whom they did business, other family members, strangers, etc. A good investigator is always suspicious and never fixated on a target until he or she gets actual proof.

Here are some of your e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Hello Greta,
My 10-year-old daughter, Alexis, and I watched your show last night (Tuesday, 10/18/05). You kept saying that because Pamela Vitale was in a T-shirt and underwear, it meant she might know her attacker.
We realize you live in New York, but us Californians often don't lock our front doors, even the rich. So our thought was that Pamela may have thought her husband came back for something when she heard the door open and shut. She went out to greet him, still in her night clothes (in California you can wear a T-shirt and underwear in late October, due to the great weather). But she didn't find her husband, instead she came upon her murderer.
Kind regards,
Nara and Alexis Caligiuri

E-mail No. 2

Okay, I take it all back! I'll stop accusing Horowitz of killing his wife Pamela. He's already going through a lot with her loss and to automatically suspect him is unfair. I'm getting jaded because I keep seeing these guys skate — when the woman they were "with" is now dead. But Horowitz should remain innocent until PROVEN guilty.
Sorry for his loss,
Dallas, TX

E-mail No. 3

Hi Greta,
Perhaps Daniel can shed some light onto Pamela's clothing habits. Was the way she was dressed normal for her (i.e. she usually walks around the home wearing underwear and T-shirt)? I tend to dress like that when I sleep in on the weekends and take my shower later in the day. I heard no mention of her wearing a bra, or I would wonder if she was in the process of getting dressed/undressed? Being up on that hill, maybe she thought she was pretty safe and secure and did not lock the door.
Either way, whoever murdered her must have had a lot of anger in them to beat her to death. I wonder if her husband had lost any criminal defense cases lately where perhaps the defendant was angry with the outcome of the case, and if in jail, had someone murder her, or if not in jail, did it him/herself? Many questions in this case.
Would you be able to provide an update on the missing model from Columbus, OH? I have not heard anything lately.

ANSWER: I regret to report the young woman's body was found. It was found during the Katrina coverage.

E-mail No. 4

I want to send my condolences to Daniel Horowitz. I watch your program every night and I have seen Daniel on your program. So I hope in time things will get better for him. He seems like a very nice man.
I hope he continues in his law profession.
Eleanor Flores

ANSWER: Eleanor, I sat next to Dan on occasion in the courtroom but he never was on our show. We have a regular panel. Yes, terrible that his wife was murdered.

E-mail No. 5

I just heard Daniel Horowitz describe on Nancy Grace's special that he had "trained" his dogs to be nice. This from a man who reportedly carried a gun for his protection, if the idea of training a dog to resist protecting its Master isn't ludicrous enough (if not impossible). Yesterday he said he looked down at his wife's face and that it was beautiful. After being bludgeoned to death? It seems clear that he should follow the advice he'd give any of his clients — shut up!
Michael Estes

E-mail No. 6

Dear Ms. Van Susteren,
Pamela Vitale was bludgeoned to death wearing only panties and a T-shirt. There was blood on her "camper" door. (Not much of a barrier.) Suggesting, if it’s her blood, she was trying to deny entry to the perpetrator. (Perhaps she cracked the door to tell him to leave or ascertain who was requesting entry. Trusting to a chain lock?)
If not, the perp injured himself breaking in the door. Certainly, she had no intent, given her apparel, to allow a man (the force required indicates a man) unknown to her — intimately — into her temporary home. (Even if she'd been having an extramarital affair, the evidence seems she wanted out. Or, she may have been angry with her husband and seeking to deny him entry.) Plenty of other suspects considering her husband’s, atty. D. Horowitz, clientele. Additionally, J. Lynch, the man against whom her husband had sought a restraining order for being violent when using meth and/or drinking. (If the bloods not hers and Lynch isn’t a suspect, he must not match.)
Jeffrey S. Maffei

E-mail No. 7

Danny Rolling showered after killing. It's really not that unusual for killers to stick around for showers and even snacks.

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