Are We Getting Any Closer to Justice for Jessica Lunsford?
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 8, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
Video available HERE
BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Factor Follow-up" segment tonight. As you know, we've been looking into the brutal murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford. "The Factor" has learned that Madie Secord, one of the three people who lived with the confessed killer of Jessica, John Couey, has said that she alerted police before Jessica Lunsford disappeared to Couey's whereabouts and said to the police he had violated his probation as a sexual offender.
The Citrus County Sheriff's office had no comment on that, but the situation again points out there are many unanswered questions about this terrible murder case.
Joining us now from Orlando is Pat Campbell, a talk show host on 540WFLA who was following the situation. And from Washington, Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite, who is trying to get the federal authorities involved.
Any luck on that, congresswoman?
REP. GINNY BROWN-WAITE (R), FLORIDA: Actually, Bill, yes. I spoke to Paul Perez last week. And he assured me that there is an ongoing federal investigation into the Jessica Lunsford (search) murder and also the accomplices.
O'REILLY: Yes, we have to compliment Mr. Perez. He wrote us a letter. He said, "We are aggressively pursuing whether any individuals suspected of aiding John Couey and the commission or concealment of this horrific crime maybe violated any federal law."
So Perez didn't have to do that. He didn't have to send us this letter. He did. He's a stand-up guy and it's the only hope, Pat. The feds are the only hope. Florida is not going to do it. They're covering up something here. The paper, as you know, The St. Petersburg Times, covering up for them. How do you see this?
PAT CAMPBELL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, you know, it's interesting you brought up the sheriff's department. It sounds to me like that Sheriff Dawsy's office has been run by Barney Fife. This whole investigation has just been bungled from the get-go.
The newspaper, I want to talk about the newspaper. Because last week, I was on your show Tuesday. And I was critical of The St. Petersburg Times and the fact that, rather than address the real question, which is why won't Brad King prosecute the people who are inside the trailer, they have decided to use their newspaper to attack you personally, take some cheap shots at you and the congresswoman, Ginny Brown-Waite, as well.
Wednesday I go on air in the morning, 6 to 9 a.m., talk about my appearance in your show. Thursday morning, my producer, Alex Decker, gets a call from an irate reporter over at The St. Petersburg Times, demanding a copy, an audio copy, you know, a tape of the program.
And what's emerging here is a clear pattern of intimidation -- attack the messenger. You know, O'Reilly isn't walking goose step with us, so let's attack him personally.
O'REILLY: Well, that paper has historically done that. That paper has -- you know, the Sami Al-Arian stuff is outrageous.
CAMPBELL: The Sami Al-Arian trial down here...
O'REILLY: It's crazy.
CAMPBELL: ... it's a joke. After the first day, the newspaper is already saying that the prosecution has failed to make a connection between Sami and, you know, this terror suspect.
O'REILLY: Yes. We did that last night. But I have to compliment the congresswoman, because the congresswoman was attacked personally by this newspaper.
BROWN-WAITE: And they will continue to do so.
O'REILLY: A lot of politicians, Madam, would have run away from that. You did not. You stood up to that sleazy newspaper and continue to look out for this little girl. And I want everybody in your district and everybody in Florida to know that you, Madam, are what a public servant should be.
BROWN-WAITE: Thank you. You know, I don't buy the story that I think the St. Pete Times is trying to set up, and that is that $20 worth of cocaine could have kept these four people in a drug haze for three days.
O'REILLY: It's ridiculous.
BROWN-WAITE: You know, I've spoken to many defense attorneys, many criminal defense attorneys, and they say $20 worth of cocaine wouldn't have lasted an hour, hour and a half.
O'REILLY: Look, there are so many unanswered questions here.
BROWN-WAITE: I know.
O'REILLY: So much horror involved with burying a little girl alive who was in the trailer for three days with these four people, her killer and three others. That...
CAMPBELL: Pressure needs -- Bill, Bill, pressure needs to be put on Madie Secord, because Madie has told members of the press...
O'REILLY: She knows.
CAMPBELL: She won't commit on air, but she has led people to believe that somebody else inside that trailer helped John Couey.
O'REILLY: Yes, we know.
CAMPBELL: And right reason tells us that that other person was Matthew Dittrich. She knows something. Law enforcement needs to put the pressure on her to start the clock now.
O'REILLY: The feds have got to do it, because...
BROWN-WAITE: Actually, Bill, the state can't do it. They cannot do a misdemeanor, because the time frame has already expired at 75 days.
O'REILLY: And we don't -- but, Congresswoman, to be honest we don't even want the state in.
BROWN-WAITE: I think they would bungle it.
O'REILLY: We think they're so corrupt and inept at this point the feds have got to do it.
Congresswoman, Mr. Campbell, please keep us posted. We appreciate it.
CAMPBELL: Thanks, Bill.