Transcript: Justice for Rebecca?

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," April 13, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: A teenage girl murdered on an island vacation. Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Middleton was visiting Bermuda with her best friend in July of 1996. On July 3, Becky's body was found on a dark, isolated road. She had been raped, tortured and stabbed to death. Police believe they know who killed her. So why has no one served time for her murder?

Joining us live on the phone from Bermuda is Bryan Darby, a reporter with VSU-TV. Bryan has covered Becky's case for more than a decade. Welcome, Bryan. And take me back to July 3. What can you tell me about the night she was murdered?

BRYAN DARBY, VSU-TV BERMUDA: Well, it was probably the most heinous and bloody and frightening episode in the history of Bermuda. I've been a journalist here now, covering the Bermuda scene, for 45 years, and it's the one thing that stands out in my mind as a journalist as being the most horrific, disturbing and worrying thing.

But that, of course, was not the whole story. If the murder itself was frightful, it was the manner in which the case was investigated from that moment on which showed tremendous problems in the Bermuda police force and the ability of this country to pursue justice in the proper way. And that has left a very deep scar. Ten years to this day, we still think about it and we still have memories of it. And indeed, there are groups formed in Bermuda that do nothing else but work on ways of bringing the two men to justice.

VAN SUSTEREN: What problems developed in this investigation for the Bermuda police?

DARBY: Basically, the way that the scene of the crime was carried out by the police was not highly professional. The main ingredient was a DNA testing that was sent to Canada for identification of who exactly had raped the girl. And unfortunately, before that information got back to Bermuda — it did take some time, but it was obviously a very scientific thing.

Before that information got back to Bermuda, the attorney general of the day made decisions and plea bargained with one of the two suspects, and eventually, let him plead guilty to being an accessory to the murder, without seeing the DNA test results. And it turned out too late — after the whole thing had been processed, it turned out that the man, in fact, had been lying throughout, and the DNA gave all the evidence ever needed that he was the man on the scene and the man involved in the rape and murder. And that is where it all fell apart. That decision should never have been so precipitous.

VAN SUSTEREN: What happened with the other man? I understand that one made the plea bargain. What about the other man who was arrested?

DARBY: Well, he was his mate, his colleague, a younger man under his influence. The man who talked his way out of this is a career criminal from Jamaica, living in Bermuda. The young man that was with him, his cohort, was blamed and fingered by his friend, until, of course, it came to court. And then the guy who had first put through as an accessory, and was being required upon to give evidence on behalf of the crown against his friend, refused to give evidence, so it all fell apart.

VAN SUSTEREN: Bryan, thank you.

Joining us from Toronto is Rebecca's father, Dave Middleton.

Dave, you know, words are inadequate for what we say when we interview parents of murdered children, so I'm not even going to begin to try. But perhaps, if you can walk me through this, maybe we can give the viewers a little bit of an idea what your family went through.

July 3, 1996, your daughter's murdered. When did you first learn that there was a problem, that she was at least missing?

DAVE MIDDLETON, REBECCA'S FATHER: Well, I had a call when I was at work from my father-in-law. And he told me I better sit down because he had bad news to tell me. And my father-in-law and I get along really well, and what he told me was that Becky was dead. He said there was no other way to put it. Becky was missing at that point. Actually, Becky was found shortly — well, she died while somebody was with her. And so they basically had the whole story as to what had happened. It's just that, at that point, they didn't have anybody apprehended.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, Becky traveled to Bermuda. She was 16 when she left. She traveled, celebrated her 17th birthday in Bermuda. Had she ever been to Bermuda before?

MIDDLETON: No, she hadn't.

VAN SUSTEREN: And why did she happen to go to Bermuda?

MIDDLETON: Well, one of her friends here in Belville, that would be, Jasmine Meens, she and Becky hung out together, and Jasmine's dad, Rick Meens, lived in Bermuda. And so as was a habit that had happened over a number of years, Jasmine always took a friend with her down to visit her dad in Bermuda. And Jasmine asked Becky if she'd like to go. And so Becky had said, yes, that would be great.

At that time, my wife and I were separated, and so Becky was actually living with her mom at the time. And Becky had he asked her mother if that was OK, and so they made the arrangements, and away she went to Bermuda.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, Bryan Darby, who has been a journalist for 40 years in Bermuda, said that this was a terrible police investigation. I mean, at least, those are my words. What was your experience with the Bermuda police?

MIDDLETON: Well, I guess the first that we met them when we got there — Cindy and I — that's Becky's mom — we had been up for over 24 hours. And we got a flight out of Toronto. And we were not in really good shape to see what was going on. We were just numb, so to speak.

But they seemed to be quite accommodating. Bermudians are a terrifically accommodating people, and so on, and that was great. And we had an interview, and they assured us that there would be — this would be found. And the fact of the matter is, this is a very small island. There's no way on and off without being apprehended. And so they said the whole island was shut down and that they would have this matter solved.

And at that point, we really didn't have too many concerns. Our concern at that point was getting Becky back home.

VAN SUSTEREN: So she was murdered on July 3, 1996. When did you first hear there had been an arrest of the two men?

MIDDLETON: Well, it was about 10 days later, I think, before they'd actually arrested the two of them. And so somewhere around the 14th, 15th of July, I believe, that we got a call from the Bermuda police, saying that they had apprehended them and that it would be just a matter of time before the formal charges were laid.

VAN SUSTEREN: So what happened after that? Because obviously, one pled to an accessory, the other one — his case just simply went away. What happened?

MIDDLETON: Well, actually, that's when I started getting suspicious that things were, you know, not the way I would have expected them to go. And there was always, like, one little hook after another that was getting delayed and delayed. And then one afternoon — it was quite some time after that — because it was always, like, Well, they were waiting for the DNA to come back. They were investigating other areas of this crime. And there was all sorts of things that they should have been looking into, so that was not hard to imagine, that they were doing those things.

But this DNA hadn't come back, hadn't come back. And then all of a sudden, I got a phone call, and it was from an inspector by the name of Vic Richman (ph), whom I knew from having met him down there. And he said that they'd already taken through magistrate court, and the one had pled guilty to an accessory after the fact. Now, that struck me as very odd. I didn't quite get it. But he said what that had done was assured that the other chap who would be charged with the first degree murder would be found guilty because, you know, they had an eyewitness that was going to testify against him.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So before the DNA results got back, there was this plea, is that right?

MIDDLETON: That's correct, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, did the DNA results — do you know what they ultimately showed?

MIDDLETON: Yes. DNA come back for Mundy only, and nothing for Smith (ph). And Mundy was the one that said he'd seen Smith do it, the killing.

VAN SUSTEREN: And Mundy's the one who got the accessory after the fact plea.

MIDDLETON: Right. Mundy pled guilty. Well, Mundy's story was that it was consensual sex. And so the police and the attorney general's office accepted that as being the case.

VAN SUSTEREN: How much time did Mundy get for accessory after the fact, do you know, Dave?

MIDDLETON: Five years.

VAN SUSTEREN: And do you know if he has now served that five years, is out?

MIDDLETON: Well, I know that he was also being held on charges for armed robbery at the time, and he got an additional 16 years for that. So with the 5 and 16, he's in for 21, and he's still there.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the other man we don't know about. Or at least, the charges were dropped against him.

Dave, again, you know, I can only say that we're all sorry about this happening to your family. And thank you for coming here today.

MIDDLETON: Oh, thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Coming up: Becky was visiting family and friends in Bermuda when she was murdered. Next, we're going to hear about her final days from someone who was with her.


VAN SUSTEREN: Becky Middleton was staying in Bermuda with her friend, Jasmine Meens, and Jasmine Meens's family when she was murdered and dumped at the side of the road. Joining us live from Bermuda by phone is Jasmine's father, Rick Meens. Welcome, Rick.

RICK MEENS, MIDDLETON FAMILY FRIEND: Welcome. Thank you for having us.

VAN SUSTEREN: Rick, I'm going back to July 3. Your daughter and Rebecca Middleton are having a wonderful night out that certainly turning tragic. What do you know about that night? Where were they?

MEENS: Well, let me just start off by saying, you know, we had the boys come over to the house so we could approve of these young men. They were nice young men (INAUDIBLE) sergeant in the police force. So you know, we felt this was a pretty safe evening for them. They were going to go to a heritage (ph) nights in St. George's and — which is a thing that they put on, the government puts on for the tourists, enjoy that and then go up to (INAUDIBLE) listen to some music, and then I was expecting a phone call at 1:00 o'clock to come and pick them up.

Unfortunately, that's not what transpired. They ended up in a hotel, which was obviously the reason why I never got a phone call, because of them drinking. And they called a cab three times. The cab wouldn't come. A couple of young men came along on a bike. And one young man came along, they spoke to him, and then two other gentleman came along, and one was Mundy and one was Smith. Jasmine got on the bike with the one young man, and Becky got on between the other two and drove away.

VAN SUSTEREN: Where was your daughter when the murder occurred?

MEENS: Jasmine was actually waiting down the hill from our house, waiting for Becky to come on the second bike.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So that we're clear, the boys that you met and they had gone off with, those are not the two who were ultimately charged, but then the charges were dropped, at least against the one. Those weren't the ones involved in the murder, just so we're clear, right?

MEENS: That's correct. They weren't involved in the murder, no.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So who was it that Rebecca Middleton was riding with?

MEENS: She was riding between Justice (ph) Smith and Kirk Mundy.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. How did you learn that there was a problem? What was the first tip-off you had?

MEENS: Well, listen, we're in a country that, you know, certainly, I always felt was a very safe country. Now, obviously, these girls were always told that you don't get on a bike or in a car with somebody you don't know. So certainly, the intention was — I mean, they knew that they weren't supposed to do that. We certainly understand that the reason why they got on the bike to take those rides is because the taxi didn't come, and secondly, because they knew they were in a heap of trouble when they got home for drinking.

Now, should these boys have brought her home? Absolutely. That's the right thing to do. But being the type of criminals they are, they elected to take this child down a dark road and rape, beat, murder, sodomize and kill her and then put her in the middle of the road for a car to run over.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, just so we get the (INAUDIBLE) your daughter and Rebecca, they actually waited two hours for this taxi, kept calling the dispatcher, and the cab never showed up, right?

MEENS: Actually, I think it was more like a half an hour.


MEENS: And I do recall — you know, the night that it happened, Becky — or Jasmine came up to the house and said that she had been waiting down the hill for Becky. So you know, I immediately got Jasmine, and we went looking for her. And I do recall pulling over around Coley (ph) Island, which is about a mile from the scene, to allow a taxi to go by. And so, you know, Jasmine and I were out for about two hours looking for Becky. And she unfortunately had been murdered, which I didn't know.

VAN SUSTEREN: Rick, thank you.

MEENS: Thank you.

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