Abduction Hoax in Wisconsin

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 2, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now for the top story tonight, talk about dishonesty and deceit, that young woman supposedly kidnapped in Madison, Wisconsin apparently fabricated the whole thing, costing the taxpayers millions.  Joining us now from Milwaukee, Jerry Boyle, a criminal defense attorney who once represented Jeffrey Dahmer (search).  And in the studio, Frank Tuerkheimer, who teaches law at the school Audrey Seiler (search) attends, the University of Wisconsin (search).

All right, professor, we'll begin with you.  Now while everybody feels sorry for an emotionally disturbed woman, and she has to be, do have you to prosecute her and send a message that?

FRANK TUERKHEIMER, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN:  Well, do have you to prosecute her?  I don't think so because the maximum penalty to which  she's exposed is nine months in jail.  It's a misdemeanor.  It's not even a felony.

O'REILLY:  Not even a felony.

TUERKHEIMER:  Not even a felony.  And I think if you - you know, maybe the better reaction would be for the legislature to sit back and say maybe we should make this a more serious offense.

O'REILLY:  Well, that's an interesting point, but let's stay on Ms. Seiler.  She causes all kinds of pain to her own family.  She causes the taxpayer to lose millions, as we mentioned.  And you say let her walk?

TUERKHEIMER:  Well, let her walk.  I mean if you put her on trial, it's going to cost money.  I gather that she's going to get an attorney and it may even be someone as eminent as Jerry BOYLE here.  And maybe she'll put on an insanity defense.

O'REILLY:  What do you say, counselor?

JERRY BOYLE, ATTORNEY:  There's no insanity defense here.  I was talking to a very noted psychiatrist, George Palermo.  And I said this young lady has Wunchausen's disease.  That's never, under these specs, going to rise to a level of insanity.  And I don't think for -- legally insanity.  And I don't think for a moment a jury would so find.

I mean, clearly she's disturbed.  She's done an enormous amount of damage.  All of the people that were out there working for her, their hearts are hurting.  And they shouldn't be because they did the right thing.  So I think she will be prosecuted.  And I think that we will learn what her condition was when she goes before the  judge for sentencing as to why this happened.

O'REILLY:  Now why would you say she should be prosecuted?  If she's emotionally disturbed, which I believe she is, and as the professor pointed out it's only nine months that she could get, probably won't get any jail time at all.  The judge will probably give her, you know, home whatever, electronic bracelet or even probation.  Why would you say - why would you think she would be prosecuted?

BOYLE:  Well, I don't like people to be prosecuted.  But half the people I know that are prosecuted are emotionally unstable.  I mean, the man who gets in a fight at a tavern is emotionally unstable.  The fact of the matter is she committed a crime.  And I think that there has to be -- the day of accepting responsibility has to be taken.  If they don't prosecute her, I'm afraid that this thing will never go away.  People want to know why this happened.  I mean, they were sitting glued to the television for...

O'REILLY:  Well, I can tell them why it happened.  And I'l tell them, right, that's the case.  Here's why it happened.  This woman wanted attention.  She went to a store.

BOYLE:  Well, yes.

O'REILLY:  She bought items, duct tape, rope.  She made up the abduction story about the knife and all of that.  She wandered around, perhaps box inticated.  We don't know yet.  And it's a cry for help.  It's a cry for attention.  Is that the way you see it?

BOYLE:  Yes....

O'REILLY:  We'll let (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in here.

TUERKHEIMER:  Yes, that's certainly the last sea, I think that's what happened.  And the - you know, you've got - there's two other today we got to think about in terms of maybe getting some money back to the state of Wisconsin.  That's what parents - I mean her parents have a really strong interest in not having their daughter prosecuted.

O'REILLY:   Well, I don't really care about her parents.  I mean, I...

TUERKHEIMER:  Yes, but where money is.

O'REILLY:  ...care about them in a sense that I'm sorry they went through this.  I do feel sorry for them like that, but what I care about, professor, is society.

Now  if you let this woman walk, and you don't prosecute her, this sends a message to every other unstable nut that they can do the same thing.  What I want is this woman to be made an example of in some way to inhibit this kind of behavior.

TUERKHEIMER:  But if your concern is nuts, I mean these nuts want attention.  And if she's going to have a trial down the road, that's more attention.  And if you think you're going to inhibit nuts by giving her another couple of days in the press and in the limelight, I'm not sure that's going to do work.

O'REILLY:  See, I disagree with you.  And maybe the counselor will agree with me.  I think you can inhibit emotionally disturbed people as you pointed out, people who will get this a bar fight, people who will do crazy things, because if they know they're doing get punished, and they know the pain is going to be inflicted on them, even emotionally disturbed people pull back.  And that's why I think so they should prosecute here.  Counsel?

BOYLE:  Well, first of all, I agree with what Frank said.  Frank's a dear friend.  And it was -- a great prosecutor.  But I don't think a judge is going to put this young lady in jail.  I think what he'd do is put her on probation and have her get some continuing psychiatric care.

O'REILLY:  That would be all right with me.  Yes, that'd be all right with me.

BOYLE:  And that's what I think should happen here.

O'REILLY:  Well, and as far as pleaing, I mean maybe she should plead guilty and save everybody the money.  And if here parents are looney enough to pay for an attorney, I mean, they're insane.  Their worse than she is.  If there were my daughter, I'd say hey, you're on your own.  You want a public defender?  Fine, I'm not paying for you.  I'll pay for your therapy bills.  I'd do that if I were the father.

BOYLE:  There's not going to be a trial.  There would be a plea.  No lawyer would take...

O'REILLY:  as far as pleaing maybe she had plead guilty and save everybody the moynihan and if they are parent are loony enough to pay for an attorney they are insane.  They are worse than she is.  If it were my daughter I would say you on your own.  If you want a public defender that is fine.  I would pay for the therapy bills.

There won't be a trial.  There will be a plea.  No lawyer would take this to trial unless he's looking for some free advertising.

O'REILLY:  Oh, and lawyers never do that, do they, counselor?

BOYLE:  Well, I don't.

O'REILLY:  Well, you don't need it.  You got Jeffrey Dahmer.  All right, gentlemen, thanks very much.  We appreciate - yes, so we all do.

Thanks very much.  We appreciate it.

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