On The Record with Greta Van Susteren
Fox News Network
Martha Stewart imClone trial
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Beltway sniper attacks (MD, VA, DC)
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October 11, 2002
Interview with Dr. Michael Baden, Larry Kobilinsky, Cina Wong
and John Cayton
Maryland/Washington, D.C./Virginia Beltway sniper attacks.
October 21, 2002
Interview with Mark Fuhrman, Cyril Wecht, Cina Wong and Joe
Update on Maryland/Washington, D.C./Virginia Beltway sniper
Copyright 2002 Financial Times Ltd.
(From Fox News Channel)
Byline: Greta Van Susteren
VAN SUSTEREN: Now we turn to catching the killer. Joining
us from Spokane, Washington, former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman.
A new TV movie based on his book, "Murder in Greenwich,"
comes out next month. In Baltimore, forensic pathologist Dr.
Cyril Wecht. From Virginia Beach, Cina Wong, forensic handwriting
analyst. And from Fort Lauderdale, former FBI agent Joe Delcampo.
Welcome to all of you. Mark, first to you. I'm completely
perplexed by the chief today, chief Moose here in Montgomery
County. Earlier today, he said that he was preparing a response
to the -- presumably, the sniper is the one communicating,
and then later comes out and says could not hear, that the
audio was unclear. Any thoughts? What do you discern from
MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Well, I'm not
giving away anything that isn't pretty obvious to a lot of
people with no law enforcement experience that I've talked
to in the last several hours. Certainly, they thought that
they had something they were going to respond to, but clearly,
they wanted the sniper to contact them again to possibly get
a read, a location on his phone. And that's pretty obvious.
They wanted him to communicate again. They want maybe something,
a longer dialogue, something that's a key, more background
noise, something that they could work on. It's unfortunate,
Greta -- there's one thing I don't like about this. Why do
we even know about this? Why do we know about the message
at the Ponderosa steakhouse? Why do we even know? This is
stuff for a very small nucleus of detectives to work on. The
public can't possibly work on this. Why do we even know?
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I think it is, Mark, is I bet
that that note left behind the Ponderosa, if, indeed -- I
mean, you would -- obviously, you know, we don't know the
contents of the note. But I think somehow the chief was unable
to connect with the person who left the note and probably
had to come out and use the media to accomplish that. So I
think -- you know, it seems almost like the chief was sort
of pushed into having to do that.
FUHRMAN: You know, I kind of disagree. You need a little patience
in this. You know, everything is moving so fast. I think to
slow it down is the best option here. You have the sniper
communicating. You know he's watching the media. And then
you go to the media and actually try to kind of hoodwink him,
you know, first having your cards in this poker game very
close, and then you give it away later, showing everybody
your cards and still trying to make a bet. It just doesn't
work that way. Be quiet. Make one communication when you really
know what you're trying to glean from that press conference.
Too many press conferences. And where is this information
coming from? I mean, some of this information is coming from
the very people on the task force. It's certainly not coming
from the media. The media is being given this information.
And why? I don't understand this.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, let's talk a little bit more
about this letter. Cina, let me go to you. This note, or whatever
it is behind the Ponderosa that was found on Saturday night,
if it were handed to you, what would you do with it?
CINA WONG, HANDWRITING ANALYST: Well, the first thing I would
do is definitely have the ink compared from the note to the
ink on the tarot card to see what type of pen was used. For
instance, when the ink is tested, we need -- we want to see
if there's a consistency between the two. And every pen manufacturer,
what they do is have tracers in the ink. So when you write,
you're able to identify the type of pen and also the year
that the ink was produced, which is very important. VAN SUSTEREN:
What about comparing the handwriting to the tarot card that
was found at that middle school in Maryland? Would that be
something that you could do to identify that the same person
wrote both, if, indeed, that occurred?
WONG: Yes, of course. There are many things you can tell
from the handwriting, to also find if there's consistency
between the note and also the tarot card. When you look at
the handwriting, you look at the usage of space. The pressure
is very important. People can try and change and disguise
their handwriting, but the one thing that won't change is
the pressure -- heavy downstrokes, light upstrokes. And sometimes
it's reversed in certain writers. So that's another important
issue. And also, as I mentioned before on your other show,
to understand the handwriting, to see if it's written from
a U.S. copybook form, the way we were taught to write. Or
if it's not and the structure is different, then what handwriting
examiners would do would be to take non-U.S. copybooks and
look at it and try to determine which country this person
was educated in. VAN SUSTEREN: Joe, to you. DNA, I suppose,
if someone licked an envelope to seal it, and possible fingerprints
on this letter?
JOE DELCAMPO, FORMER FBI AGENT: Possibly, Greta. Certainly,
it seems like this individual is very intelligent, very smart.
He certainly has eluded police up to this time. Potentially,
he might have taken precautions not to lick it but used maybe
a sponge or something, and also not to touch it with his bare
hands. VAN SUSTEREN: Now, how do you actually pick up prints
from paper, Joe?
DELCAMPO: Oh, there's a chemical process that they use in
the lab to fume it, so that the latent prints that you cannot
see with the naked eye are then visible through the process
of fuming it. VAN SUSTEREN: Doctor Wecht, to you. Your thought
about the fact that this, you know, note was left behind?
I mean, I always -- I always engage you to talk beyond your
expertise because you've been in so of these many investigations
that, you know, we deputize you in so many parts of forensic
science. What's your thought?
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Well, first of all,
I agree with Mark Fuhrman completely on the fact that there
is this continuing discourse, just as I thought some days
ago about informing the world that there are going to be military
aircraft hovering about. Was that something to share with
us? If there's a discussion about posse comitatus, let Ashcroft
and Rumsfeld and other people in the Department of Justice
deal with it. With regard to this, I agree. Question document
examination is important. DNA is important. Obviously, maybe
even forensic linguistics to see the nature and the style
of the language. I've got to tell you -- and you know more
than I, and please correct me and stop me immediately if I'm
wrong -- I'm not aware that there has been confirmation that
this note is real. I'm not aware there's been confirmation
that the tarot card is real. By "real," I mean that
it emanated from the sniper. I wonder -- and we should soon
be able to determine if the handwriting is very similar, essentially
identical, between that which was written on this note. This
guy, if, indeed, it is he, is diabolically clever. He's not
so stupid as to continue... VAN SUSTEREN: And let me stop
you right there. Let me stop you right there. We'll get to
all those points. But I just want to say one thing before
we take a quick break. You're right. We've not yet established
that this tarot card and letter are both real. We're going
to come back, and we'll talk about that. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOOSE: The person you called could not hear everything that
you said. The audio was unclear, and we want to get it right.
Call us back so that we can clearly understand. (END VIDEO
VAN SUSTEREN: He's challenged the media. He's fought with
the media. And now, finally, Chief Charles Moose using the
media to communicate with the killer. We're back with former
LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman, forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril
Wecht, forensic handwriting analyst Cina Wong and former FBI
agent Joe Delcampo. Joe, to you. For the most part, many of
the killings and the shootings were focused in the Washington,
D.C., area. In fact, we have a killing in -- one killing in
D.C., three in Virginia, in the area closer to Washington,
five in Maryland. The one on Saturday night -- the shooting
on Saturday night is farther south in Virginia. Is there anything
that you can divine from this? Does this tell you anything
DELCAMPO: Well, certainly, Greta, it would probably be just
a guess, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the individual
lives in the Washington, D.C., area. Potentially, he could
live in an area south of the city, near where the last shooting
took place. He could check into a hotel or something down
there after an act is committed, after a shooting has happened,
and kind of ride it out if there is a vehicle such as a white
van that he is using. VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, what would you be
doing if you were the -- you know, the detective on the street
on this case? Now we have the shooting down, at least, in
southern Virginia. I mean, what would you be doing? I mean,
Joe mentions hotel. You check receipts, right?
FUHRMAN: Well, I think we could probably conclude that the
one thing that this suspect's doing is he's manipulating over
1,000 police officers working this case, and he's doing it
quite effectively. I think he's probably covering as many
bases as they would. I can't criticize what they're doing
because they're probably doing all they can. I think the biggest
criticism is, you're not allowing -- you're probably not allowing
a detective to call the shots. They're probably allowing captains,
chiefs and commissioners to call the shots, which I think
is a mistake. Let the detectives run this investigation because
they do this all the time. And administrators coming in trying
to lead in a way that you don't need leadership here, you
need investigation. And I think the frustration has been expressed
by detectives that it's kind of confusing right now, a lot
of chaos, overlapping investigations and interviews. And I
think you need detective to run this and not an administrator.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where do you see the confusion? Because I thought
there might be a little bit of sort of a disconnect between
Maryland and Virginia today, when Virginia was having a press
conference about the seizure down there, that they're not
calling an arrest, of the two men in the white van, meanwhile,
Chief Moose up here in Maryland was saying, you know, "We're
going to respond." It almost seemed like they weren't
on the same page. They seemed like inconsistent press conferences
for some reason. Where do you see sort of the chaos?
FUHRMAN: Well, you know, you look at this, you've got six
jurisdictions now trying to be overseen by a man that's a
chief in Maryland. It's not going to happen. It's not going
to work. You can't be on scene all the places all the time.
You need to do something, and whether that means let the FBI
coordinate this investigation -- you need to do something.
There's got to be one person calling the shots. There's got
to be one mind. And in my opinion, you've got to stop talking
to the public. They're in fear, yes. You want to reduce their
fear. I agree. But the only way to reduce that fear is to
catch the sniper. By telling the sniper your every move, like
the arrest of these two men in the van today -- you know,
you have to ask the cooperation of the media to not film this,
to not show SWAT officers staked out on a gas station. What
does the sniper know now? Just what we know. They're staking
out a lot of locations in and around where he's already hit
that meet a geographical profile. This is not good information
to put out. You've got to get some cooperation. You've got
to downplay this. You don't do press conferences every two
hours. VAN SUSTEREN: Doctor Wecht, to you. The man who's sitting
in the hospital in Virginia -- tremendous -- I mean, as I
listened to the doctor during press conference talk about
his injuries -- that bullet, that size bullet causes a tremendous
amount of injury, doesn't it. Is it more so than perhaps,
you know -- I mean, is there something special about the .223?
WECHT: Well, no, no, no. There's much more powerful ammunition.
This is quite effective. I showed you the other night the
bullet itself. It's the ammunition used in M-16, the U.S.
Army and NATO forces. With regard to the investigation --
we've talked about this before. We know how this victim was
positioned when he was shot, and the previous victim, we know
how she was positioned when she was shot. You can get the
trajectory by measuring from the sole of the foot up to the
point of entrance, and then the point of exit or, in the case
of the gentleman in the hospital now, where the bullet was
located, and of course, the tissue damage, seeing the trajectory
inside the body. You work then back, and you take that trajectory
and you go back and you keep going back, and you look for
the lair. To my knowledge, I've only read or heard -- correct
me if I'm wrong -- of one lair having been found in the 12
shootings. Those lair have to be ascertained. Those places
have to be vacuumed. They have to be micro-searched. This
man is not coming in on a cloud of smoke. This is not the
guy, you know, from JonBenet Ramsey that came down the chimney
on a cloud and disappeared in similar fashion. This is a human
being... VAN SUSTEREN: And in fact, we're going to... WECHT:
... he is -- he's walking. He's driving. There's got to be
something there. They're going to have to find some forensic
evidence. VAN SUSTEREN: And in fact, we're going to ask the
gentleman when we come back about tire treadmarks and how
that may help in this investigation. We'll be right back.
Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: You can assume on a
variety of levels the White House maintains close contact
with the agencies, particularly on the case of the sniper,
that we are working as -- the federal government, at the president's
direction, has dedicated itself to working with local authorities
so that we can arrest whoever is doing this as quickly as
possible. (END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Even the White House is working to catch the
killer. We're back with former LAPD detective Mark Fuhrman,
forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, forensic handwriting
analyst Cina Wong, and former FBI agent Joe Delcampo. Joe,
I promised before we went to the break we were going to talk
about tread marks. If someone were parked in a vehicle behind
the woods, behind the podiatrist, and drives off, must leave
something behind, right or wrong?
DELCAMPO: Correct. Possibly and hopefully would leave something,
depending on the surface, Greta. If it's a soft surface like
mud or sand or dirt and an impression is left there, we would
be looking at tread dimensions, tread design, and also wear
pattern of the tire. VAN SUSTEREN: Can you -- what do you
do, narrow it down then to type of tire? I mean, I assume
you can't narrow it down to the actual car, right, unless
you have the car and can then do a comparison?
DELCAMPO: Exactly. You have the questioned tire tread there
that you would first photograph. You would look at the design
of the tread. And then, potentially, depending on what the
design is, be able to identify the manufacturer, and, also,
potentially, the type of car it's on. Say, if it's a new car,
new car come out tires. Those tires are by the manufacturers
put on those vehicles, and, if it is a newer vehicle, you
could, potentially, if it's an SUV, identify whether or not
it was a certain tire on a certain vehicle. Passenger vehicle,
if it's a new vehicle, certain tire. VAN SUSTEREN: And I assume
you could do the same sort of analysis for a bicycle tire,
if the bicycle were the mode of escape, right?
DELCAMPO: I don't know as far as bicycle tires what the FBI
labs or state labs would have in the way of documentation
or any kind of a library of tire tread marks. VAN SUSTEREN:
But at least they'd know it was a bicycle. Cina... DELCAMPO:
Yes. VAN SUSTEREN: ... back to you. Forensic linguistics,
Cina, when you -- when you actually study the way something
is written, it -- what does that tell you, the linguistics?
WONG: Usage of word and how the person uses those words and
in what combination that they use those words is very important.
It helps identify the person. I would like to make a point.
It's interesting that you bring up tire tread marks and bicycle
marks because, as they leave indentations in the dirt or in
the ground, as does handwriting in paper. So, for instance,
we have the note. Perhaps maybe there was a blank sheet of
paper on top that the sniper had written maybe places that
he was going to hit and where he was going to do his snipings.
And, if they do an indentation test on the note, they might
possibly find writing. There could be clues like that. You
never know. And that examination, I'm sure, will definitely
be done. VAN SUSTEREN: Dr. Wecht, what would be the big break
for the police tonight, I mean, besides actually finding the
killer? I mean, is there any big clue that you're sort of
hoping for that's going to expose itself?
WECHT: I don't know if there's going to be one gigantic clue
that is going to break this case open. It's going to be an
amalgamation, a correlation of the things that you've talked
about here, if you can get some kind of a tire imprint, we
know the kind of ammunition, we know this guy is a pretty
good shooter, and so on. You go around. You check here and
there, the gun clubs and the sporting clubs and the gun shops
and so on. "Who uses this kind of ammunition?" "Know
anybody who has this kind of vehicle?" "Any kind
of" - - and that's the way you put it together, piece
by piece, unless something very dramatic happens. And, after
12 shootings, inasmuch as he has not made a real horrible
mistake, I doubt that he's going to do so now. I doubt he's
going to lick an envelope and leave his own DNA. I doubt he's
going to hang on the telephone and have the call traced. This
is one -- one smart psychotic individual, and he's not going
to make that kind of mistake, and that's why it's going to
be a piece-by- piece, block-by-block, tortuous, painstaking,
and hope to get some kind of path that narrows the focus down
at least categorically. VAN SUSTEREN: Mark, do you feel the
same way as Dr. Wecht, that this is almost the impossible?
FUHRMAN: I do. He's very calculated. Nineteen days, 12 shootings.
They're no closer to catching him today than they were then
because he's not in custody. I mean, maybe they're working
on a great clue, maybe a great lead, maybe this message. The
thing that's disturbing to me, Greta, and the most disturbing
thing is I only see administrators giving press conferences.
I don't know who the lead detectives on this task force are.
Are there four or five, six, seven, eight, 10 detectives that
are the lead detectives that go to every scene, that make
And I'd ask one question that I think will tell all in this
task force. Who made the decision to go public with knowing
they had the message and asking the sniper to communicate?
And then, who made the decision to go back and ask for him
to communicate once again?
I believe it's not detectives. Detectives aren't making it.
And when you take the control out of the very people that
do this every day, then you're on the way to selfdestructing
your own task force. VAN SUSTEREN: And, of course, it makes
it extremely difficult for the detectives to get up and work
every day. An awful lot of hard work on everybody involved.
Thank you all very much, as always. FUHRMAN: Thank you. WECHT:
Thank you. VAN SUSTEREN: Up next, reporting from the Beltway,
getting the story out of cagey cops, and dodging the sniper's
shots. They bring you the latest and put themselves at risk.
Two reporters take you behind the headlines when ON THE RECORD
continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
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