What Happened the Night Terri Schiavo Collapsed?
This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 30, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Earlier today, Sean spoke with the parents of the late Terri Schiavo (search), Bob and Mary Schindler, and former LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman about the night their daughter collapsed and Mark's new book "Silent Witness: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo's Death."
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Thank you guys for being with us once again. It's good to see you guys. And first of all, you read the book?
MARY SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO'S MOTHER: I did.
HANNITY: And your thoughts?
M. SCHINDLER: My thoughts were I am so excited that somebody is finally investigating what happened to my daughter.
HANNITY: And you want this to go further?
M. SCHINDLER: Absolutely.
BOB SCHINDLER, TERRI SCHIAVO'S FATHER: I just thought it was a long time in coming. And in reading through the book, I think that Mark did an outstanding job of presenting factual evidence.
HANNITY: You start out in the book, and very early on you talk about the conflicting stories and how Michael testified he didn't see Terri the morning — they didn't have a fight.
MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD DETECTIVE: That Saturday morning on the previous day.
HANNITY: That's correct.
And so you go through a series of these issues. And you lay out six possible scenarios of what you think may have happened. Quickly, run through what you think may have happened then.
FUHRMAN: Well, you know, it goes from the least culpable or least damaging...
HANNITY: And that would be...?
FUHRMAN: Well, that she collapsed and Michael panicked, that he tried to render some assistance but he failed. He was embarrassed to say how much he did or how much he didn't do.
It goes, you know, progressively worse. He hears a thud, doesn't respond. They have an argument. He's stubborn, mad, doesn't care, whatever the situation.
It goes on from there that he actually witnesses it or is an argument and actually sees her having difficulty breathing with her heart, that she collapses and he doesn't render assistance.
Or they are in a physical altercation where she is accidentally or intentionally pushed. He falls on her.
There are so many scenarios that can account for the evidence we have. But 15 years later, without Michael ever having to account for that time before 5 and after 5, we have a problem here that it is a hypothesis and the hypothesis has got to be one of the six.
HANNITY: Do you want a grand jury? Do you think there's enough evidence to start a grand jury investigation into the case and into Michael Schiavo?
FUHRMAN: Absolutely. I mean, you have Michael Schiavo that can't seem to get anything right. I mean, you're either the village idiot or you're hiding something.
HANNITY: Then why the law enforcement — you know, and you go back and you were meticulous in every aspect of investigating this case, from the heart attack to the bulimia to the family background to the broken bones to the PVS state. You walk through the entire scenario in this case.
But you start in the beginning — the day she collapses. Walk us through that day and this time line. Walk us through how the police handled through. Walk us through and explain why these questions weren't asked in the beginning?
FUHRMAN: Well, you know, Sean, first thing is, on Saturday — Michael Schiavo, he works nights. Friday night he worked I think about until midnight. He sleeps in until 10 or 10:30.
Terri does the weekly shopping in the morning. When he gets up, he usually sees her. She went to a hair appointment, came back. Michael Schiavo will not commit, but he won't deny he saw her before she went to work. They had an argument.
There's two people that we can verify, Bobby and her friend, absolutely they had an argument that drove her to the point of being in tears.
HANNITY: Isn't this something the police would have been able to determine very early? Isn't this something they would have been able to, you know, ascertain quickly?
FUHRMAN: They asked. They asked, but…
HANNITY: Why didn't they follow up on it?
FUHRMAN: I want you to just imagine this, if we can fast forward at the emergency room, early morning hours of Sunday. Terri is fighting for her life. The police ask Michael a few basic questions: have you had any major arguments. Michael says no major ones.
At this time your wife is fighting for her life and here you're playing word games with the law enforcement officer asking questions about the collapse of your wife.
HANNITY: In all of that time though, why wasn't there somebody in the law enforcement community, because the police were called in earlier that night — and you write about this and that was the report — a 26-year-old girl in seemingly good health just collapsing.
Why wasn't there somebody that said, "Wait a minute; we need to go into this a little further?" Why wasn't there along the way anywhere, a detective or law enforcement officer that said, "We need to look at the inconsistencies here?"
FUHRMAN: Well, there should have been right there. I mean, Officer Brewer, he did have a rookie. It was at the end of their watch. They responded to this call because the fire department said something is unusual here, send a police unit. They asked a couple of questions. They waited for a toxicology to come back and make sure there were no drugs.
They looked at her physically and there was no visible signs of trauma. There was nothing on the CAT scan, so they just assumed there was nothing there and they left never to return.
There was no police investigation. The one follow-up question that should have been made, no major arguments, well, no major ones. What do you mean by that? Could you tell me about the minor ones? Did you have an argument yesterday?
HANNITY: About what her friends were saying?
FUHRMAN: Everything. There was no investigation done whatsoever, even at a later date. If I can come in 15 years later without a badge, search warrant powers or any subpoena power and be, you know, pretty much shunned by the people that you're actually focusing on the investigation, like Michael Schiavo and his attorney, if you can still reach conclusions from what depositions, trials, and statements to the police, even how minimal they were, you can imagine what a detective could have done 15 years ago.
HANNITY: Well, you bring up the detective side, but there's also a media side of this. Conventional wisdom, Bob and Mary, was that your daughter was bulimic. But she had lost her weight, what, about 70 pounds, how many years earlier prior to her collapse?
M. SCHINDLER: When she was 18.
HANNITY: And she was 26 at the time, so it was seven years earlier.
M. SCHINDLER: Right.
HANNITY: She was not bulimic?
M. SCHINDLER: No.
B. SCHINDLER: And we're being vilified for asking what happened to our daughter? We want to know.
HANNITY: You want a grand jury investigation?
B. SCHINDLER: Absolutely. Any parent would want to know what happened to their daughter.
HANNITY: Good to see you both again. Thank you.
M. SCHINDLER: Thank you.
HANNITY: Mark, congratulations on the book.
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