Published January 27, 2017
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 22, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight, new documents suggest John Couey had help in kidnapping and murdering of the nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford. "The Factor" has been pressing prosecutor Brad King to go after the three people Couey shared a trailer with for doing nothing to save Jessica.
Now details of his startling confession show Couey told cops that one of his roommates knew he was hiding Jessica in a closet in his room.
Joining us now from Orlando, radio talk show host Pat Campbell. Pat's been following this story from the beginning.
Pat, as you know, there is now talk that the confession of John Couey who allegedly — I mean, I don't know why I have to say that — you know, murdered this Jessica Lunsford could be thrown out, could be thrown out because he didn't have a lawyer present. So what would the strength of the prosecution's case be against this guy?
PAT CAMPBELL, FLORIDA RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, you know, for a long time, John, we were trying to figure out what state attorney Brad King's — what do I want to call it — strategy was in this particular case, why he wouldn't go after and prosecute the people in the trailer.
Unfortunately, due to some bungled police work, thanks to Sheriff Dawsy's office, as you mentioned before, the confession could be thrown out. Then Brad King is going to be put in the unenviable position of relying on the testimony of the occupants of the trailer to convict John Couey. The occupants being his half sister Dorothy Dixon, Madie Secord, his niece, and Matthew Dittrich, one of the other occupants of the trailer.
I mean, you know, what a mess. Think of these four people, you know, up in this tiny little trailer and this girl locked in the — I mean, it's — locked in a closet there. It's unbelievable.
But look, Couey fingers one of the housemates there. And you know, what do you make of it, Pat? I mean, how could you believe anything that John Couey would say?
CAMPBELL: Well, let's face it. He's got some real credibility issues. Here is a known kidnapper, a known rapist, and an admitted as of yet unconvicted killer.
So when it comes to credibility, John Couey doesn't have a whole lot. But you know, from the get-go, we have suspected that he had help.
You take a look at Mr. Couey. He's — at the time of the crime, he was 46-years old. He looks like he's 76, ridden hard, and put away wet. This guy couldn't be more than 140 pounds soaking wet. Yet we're led to believe that he went into the Lunsford house and removed this nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford.
I would assume she was putting up some type of a fight and that he somehow was able to go all the way back to the trailer, sneak up a little ladder into his room, and get into the trailer undetected by the other occupants. It simply defies logic.
We have thought from the get-go that he might have an accomplice.
Now here's what makes Couey's plea deal which, by the way, Brad King has not accepted. They haven't even talked about this with him at this point. But here's what makes it believable. Very early on in the investigation, in fact back in April, Madie Secord, John Couey's niece, was suggesting to some select members of the media that John Couey did not act alone, that in fact, he did have help in the abduction and ultimately the death and disappearance of Jessica Lunsford.
KASICH: All right, now Pat, hold on. So does that then mean in light of the fact that he's now pointing a finger and maybe somebody else is pointing a finger, but the prosecutor may need these three people. Where does that put this? Does that mean the prosecutor will just have to sit on his hands? Or does this put pressure on the prosecutor to go after this other guy?
CAMPBELL: I would hope that Brad King would go after Matt Dittrich. If Matt Dittrich is in any way responsible for the disappearance and death of Jessica Lunsford, I want to see him behind bars, too, for the rest of his life. If that means making a plea agreement with John Couey, John Couey not getting the death penalty but instead getting life in prison, so be it.
We've got two absolute creeps here that I want to see off the street for life.
KASICH: And what's the public reaction down there? You know, I've got to tell you, Pat, we have not done this story in a while. And they put the pictures of Jessica up. And it just makes you sick.
What's the public saying? What kind of pressure did they put on the prosecutor? What's the push to get this darned thing resolved somehow?
CAMPBELL: Well, Brad King had a lot of pressure put on him, public opinion. People were outraged. They couldn't believe that you could, you know, lie for Couey. I mean, when the cops showed up at the trailer and asked if there was anyone else there, they denied that there was. You know, why not go after.
KASICH: And then they helped him to get out of town. I mean, they gave him money to get on a bus and leave town.
CAMPBELL: Well, his.
KASICH: I don't understand how nobody gets held accountable for this, Pat.
CAMPBELL: His niece went out and actually purchased tickets to get him out of town. And that's aiding and abetting a known criminal.
The sad reality is that that window of opportunity for Brad King to actually go after the people in the trailer and prosecute them on charges of obstruction has come and gone. It expired on September 15th.
So the only person really in the trailer at this point that faces any type of, you know, criminal prosecution would be Matt Dittrich if, in fact, he was involved in Jessica's disappearance and death as John Couey claims.
KASICH: Well, all right, Pat. I can promise you this. Bill O'Reilly is going to be on this like a laser beam. He is not going to let this go. He's going to hold everybody accountable down there, including that prosecutor.
Pat, thank you.
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