CNN LARRY KING LIVE
December 20, 2004
Analysis of Murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the horrifying case of a Kansas woman
accused of killing an expectant mom named Bobbie Jo Stinnett and
kidnapping her unborn baby. Joining us from Topeka, a friend of the
accused, Lisa Montgomery, and her husband, Darrel Schultze who saw the
Montgomerys with the stolen baby Lisa claimed was her also. Also in
Topeka the pastor of the Montgomerys' church, the Reverend Mike
Wheatly. From Maryville, Missouri, near Bobbie Jo's hometown, the
lawman who helped crack the shocking case, Nodaway County Sheriff Ben
Espey. In Kansas City, FBI special agent Jeff Lanza and the man who
will be prosecuting the case, U.S. attorney Todd Graves. All that and
more next, on LARRY KING LIVE.
KING: Let's start with Jim Flink in Kansas City, Missouri of
KMBC TV. He's reporting on this story from the start. Give us the
gist of it, Jim.
JIM FLINK, KMBC-TV CORRESPONDENT: Larry, the gist of it is this
-- a woman by the name of Lisa Montgomery meets up with a woman by the
name of Bobbie Jo Stinnett. They have apparently had an online
conversation for a year where they are both members of a rat terrier
breeders club. They have this online conversation. Unbeknownst to
Bobbie Jo Stinnett, they've talked about their pregnancy, they were
both pregnant, they've talked about their pregnancy online. The day
before the murder, a woman gets online and introduces herself as
Darlene Fisher. She says she wants to buy a dog from Bobbie Jo
Stinnett in Skidmore, Missouri. They set up a meeting online. That
person, Darlene Fisher, ends up being Lisa Montgomery. Lisa
Montgomery is accused of showing up at Bobbie Jo Stinnett's place,
murdering her, ripping the baby from the womb, driving two hours back
to Kansas, calling her husband on the telephone and saying she has
given birth to the child that he was expecting her to have. Then he
comes and picks her up. The next day, everything starts to blow up.
We find out Bobbie Jo Stinnett has been murdered in Skidmore,
Missouri, two hours away. Lisa Montgomery has been charged in the
case. It is shocking for two very small towns.
KING: Now clear up something. Was Lisa Montgomery pregnant?
FLINK: Lisa Montgomery was, according to authorities, pregnant.
Apparently had lost that pregnancy somewhere around the sixth month of
the term but apparently had not told anybody. Even her husband was
unaware she was no longer pregnant.
KING: Lisa was the one on the Internet with the victim for the
year but used a different name when she came to the house?
FLINK: Correct. Lisa was a rat terrier breeder as was Bobbie
Jo. They knew each other. They had even attended dog shows together,
according to some witnesses who are now coming forward. At first we
thought these were two strangers who had somehow met over the
Internet. We come to find out now that they knew one another. Then
in order to set this up, allegedly, Lisa Montgomery creates this fake
identity, this Darlene Fisher. Fisher for kids.com to arrange this
meeting. She asked for directions to Bobbie Jo Stinnett's home in
Skidmore. Shows up last Thursday. That is where the crime allegedly
KING: Sheriff Espey, how were you able to arrest or find the
accused so quickly?
SHERIFF BEN ESPEY, HELPED TRACK DOWN ACCUSED WOMAN: Well, I
organized a team of people that are specialized in this with area law
enforcement agencies involved in it. They worked 24 hours around the
clock. They didn't quit and go home. They stayed after this case
until we had information that the baby was still alive and they had
babies in our hands.
KING: The killing occurred in your jurisdiction. Then she moved
it to Kansas, right?
ESPEY: That's correct.
KING: OK, so how -- did she come back to Missouri?
ESPEY: Not to my understanding. Once she left Missouri,
Skidmore, she stayed in Kansas.
KING: Is that where she is now?
ESPEY: She's with the Kansas authorities right now.
KING: Is Missouri going to try to bring her back to Missouri?
ESPEY: That's my understanding. That's what will need to happen
in this case.
KING: Sheriff, what do you make of this?
ESPEY: It's pretty tragic. It's really tragic for the family to
lose a 23-year-old mother. It's just really tragic. The only light
spot in this is the fact that the baby was found alive.
KING: Darrel Schultze and Reverend Mike Wheatly are in Topeka,
Kansas. Darrel is a friend of the family of Lisa Montgomery, the
woman accused. He saw Lisa and her husband with the newborn on
Friday. Reverend Mike Wheatly is pastor of the First Church of God
which is attended by the Montgomery family. Darrel, when you saw Lisa
with the baby, what did you think?
DARREL SCHULTZE, FAMILY FRIEND OF WOMAN ACCUSED: My first
reaction to her was, what's this? Where did it come from? I had seen
her the Friday night before at the high school gym at a ball game. It
was parent night, senior night. And she was up there and I asked her,
where did this come from? I had no idea that she was this close to
delivery. And I was astonished that they had a baby.
KING: Reverend, what do you make of it? Do you know her a long
SCHULTZE: No, I haven't known her a long time, no. Just a few
community connections and what have you. I've known Kevin for several
years. They've been together there in Melvern over four years. I've
known her those four years.
KING: Did you know her in the early stages of her pregnancy?
SCHULTZE: Yes. But we heard about her miscarriage a year ago.
You can't keep up with your time line, you forget how long ago it was.
We prayed for her when she had her miscarriage there in the church.
Then we heard at a later time, maybe a month or two, that she was
pregnant again is how we heard it. And expecting. And you sort of
lose your time line. And when she was supposed to have it. And
that's why -- of course, seeing her last -- a week ago Friday at the
ball game and then seeing her a week later that she had a baby, why,
we were just sort of shocked.
KING: Reverend Wheatly, this family prays at your church. What
do you make of this story?
REV. MIKE WHEATLY, FAMILY PASTOR OF WOMAN ACCUSED: Well, after I
saw the baby, I was shocked like most of the community. But I -- I'm
stunned just like the rest of the community is. We're pulling
together, though, to come together and surround the Montgomery family
with love. Because they all go to our church. They've gone there for
years. And we're praying and willing to wrap our loving arms around
the Stinnett family as well, even if we have to do it from long
KING: The Montgomery family consists of her, her husband, and
WHEATLY: Her husband's parents, and then they have seven kids
between the two of them from earlier marriages. Kevin and Lisa do.
KING: Have you spoken, Reverend, with anyone connected with the
WHEATLY: I've been the spokesperson for the family for the last
three and a half days. Yes, I speak to them all.
KING: How are they taking this?
WHEATLY: Well, as you might expect, Kevin -- they were at our
house the Friday morning with the baby. My wife and I held the little
baby. At the time, we thought her name was Abigail. It's since been
changed to Victoria Jo by the rightful relatives. But when she was
there on Friday morning, she was a beautiful baby. And Kevin was
absolutely grinning from ear to ear. He wasn't going to come out of
the clouds for a very long time. His smile wasn't leaving his face
for a month. He was a very proud papa and Lisa was a very tired, what
you would expect to be tired mother who just had delivered.
KING: When they came to arrest her, were you nearby, close by
when she was taken into custody?
WHEATLY: The day they were arrested, I wasn't aware of anything.
Even when they were there that morning. I was not aware of any of
this. As far as I knew, everything was just perfectly normal. The
only question we had in our mind at that time was why she would have a
brand new newborn baby out, showing it off that day. But it was -- it
wasn't until about ten minutes before the evening news that evening
that I knew anything about it. In fact, it was Darrel that called me
and give me a heads-up about it, and asked me if I was in the middle
of it all.
KING: We'll continue with our panel. Your phone calls later.
Other guests joining us. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 36-year-old Montgomery was arrested
Friday and allegedly confessed to the crime. Neighbors in Melvern,
Kansas say Montgomery and her husband were showing off the baby as
their own. After surviving the tragic ordeal, the infant has been
united with her real father. Zeb Stinnett has named his daughter
Victoria Jo in memory of her mother. And says she's truly a little
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Darrel, when she said it was her baby and you only knew
her at six months, wasn't that strange to you?
SCHULTZE: Yes. Like I said, I didn't follow the time line that
close. I just know I'd seen her a week before and she didn't look
pregnant, and here we had a baby. Knowing the family and knowing --
not knowing -- I wasn't aware of the Amber Alert or anything. But
knowing the family, I had no reason to doubt them. That's why it was
such a shock to the community. We feel so bad that this happened.
And knowing the family as we do, it just -- it's just hard to
understand for us.
KING: Sheriff Espey, have you met any of the people involved?
Either victims or assailants?
ESPEY: I've met all the victims, Larry.
KING: You have met all the victims.
ESPEY: Yes, Larry, I have.
KING: OK. And how are they dealing with this, Sheriff?
ESPEY: It's just been extra difficult due to the circumstances
of it. It's just really hard for them.
KING: Do you know the family?
ESPEY: Yes, I do. I know several of them personally.
KING: Jim Flink, have you met any of the family members? Have
you tried to contact them for reports?
FLINK: Larry, we did try to contact Zeb Stinnett, which is the
father of Victoria Jo. We contacted him, or tried to, about the time
that the story had broken that the baby had survived. He has gone to
Topeka. So we had talked to some other relatives about how they were
Larry, you have to realize, this is the third member of this
family to be murdered in the last four years. Two cousins were
murdered. One in 2000, Wendy Gillenwater (ph) was stomped to death by
her boyfriend. Then Branson Perry (ph) disappeared two years ago.
This is a town of 300 people, and three members of this family
have been brutally murdered in the last four years. So a lot of
people, they're used to having media members come around, for all the
wrong reasons. And it was a very, very difficult situation. Not just
for the town members, the residents, but also for journalists who were
there, and there were a lot of us there.
KING: What can you tell us, Reverend Wheatly, about Lisa
WHEATLY: I can tell you that she was a person who pretty much
was -- a person that would like to talk about herself a lot and her
children. She -- if you wanted to talk about Lisa, she was mighty
happy. But she was also a person who cared a lot about her children.
And my wife and I decided she could have qualified as a pioneer woman,
because she was quite capable of not having all the amenities that we
have today and still surviving and teaching her kids how to do that.
She was just a homebody. She went to work, she went home, took care
of her kids. She was kind of quiet most of the time.
KING: So Reverend, in the continuing saga of the humankind that
boggles us, how do you explain this to yourself?
WHEATLY: You know, I try to -- I stand at the pulpit and I try
to explain things to people every Sunday. And it's difficult, very
difficult for -- for me to explain it to myself. I looked at that
little special baby in my arms and had no idea any of this was
happening at the time. And she's had an effect on all of our lives.
Any of us that have touched her, she's had an effect on us. And we're
very sad for the family that lost this little girl's mother. That was
taken from her. And we're very sad for the Montgomery family, because
they too have lost someone they cared about, especially her children.
KING: Is the town going to do anything, Darrel, for the
SCHULTZE: Yes. We've met in town, several of us. And we've
opened an account at the Linner (ph) State Bank, the branch bank there
in Melvern. And we want to do -- this is what now we feel like we can
do, and we have an account there at the bank open for them. So we're
raising money. And I think Melvern's a very generous, loving town.
And I think that people will come through.
KING: How is Mr. Montgomery handling it, Reverend?
WHEATLY: Kevin is handling it very, very difficult. He can
hardly get a word out. He did finally speak to the press today. But
it was very brief because he was very emotional, when they had the
first court appearance today. For the most part, I've been doing it
for him. And it's been very difficult for him. He's had a tough
KING: How old, Reverend, are the other Montgomery children?
WHEATLY: They're all teenagers. They're all either in upper
junior high or high school. So they're all teenage kids.
KING: How are they dealing with it?
WHEATLY: They're, as you can imagine, especially Lisa's kids,
are having a very tough time with it. They're being uprooted and
they're -- and they miss their mother, and they want their family back
together again. So they are very disturbed by it.
KING: Jeff Flink, where is Lisa right now?
FLINK: Lisa is in federal custody in the state of Kansas at this
hour. And she'll have another court appearance, Larry, on Thursday.
Obviously there's going to be some sort of transfer here between --
because we've gone over state lines, from western Missouri into
central Kansas, eastern central Kansas. And so at some point, she
will be returned to the Western District of Missouri, where U.S.
Attorney Todd Graves will be prosecuting the case. But right now
she's in Kansas custody.
KING: We'll take a break. When we come back, Jeff Lanza, a FBI
special agent, will join us. So will Dr. Lucy Puryear. Later, we'll
have a short interview with Todd Graves. He won't appear with the
others because he's got to prosecute this case. We'll also be
including your phone calls. We'll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN MONTGOMERY, SUSPECT'S HUSBAND: My heart ain't broke just
for me and Lisa and her kids. It's them too. That was a precious
baby. I know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our panel remains. Joining us now in Kansas City,
Missouri, is Jeff Lanza, FBI special agent. And in Houston, Texas is
Dr. Lucy Puryear. She is a psychiatrist and former director of the
Psychiatric Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine. She testified for
the defense in the famous Andrea Yates case, the woman convicted of
capital murder in the drowning deaths of her children.
Now, Jeff Lanza, where does this stand? Is this an FBI matter?
JEFF LANZA, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Yes, it is, Larry. And I'd first
like to take the opportunity to express our condolences to the family
of Bobbie Jo and all the others affected by this tragic crime. It is
an FBI case, because once a kidnap victim is taken across state lines,
it does become the possibility of a federal jurisdiction takes hold.
And that's what happened in this particular case.
KING: The kidnap victim is the baby?
LANZA: The kidnap victim is the baby, that's correct, Larry.
And the young girl was taken across, from Missouri into Kansas. And
once that occurs, we have the possibility of federal jurisdiction,
federal prosecution. And of course, it doesn't mean we wouldn't get
involved anyway. We'll always be involved in a case when a child is
missing. But when a child is taken across state lines, then you have
the additional avenue of prosecution at the federal level.
KING: We'll ask Todd Graves, but will there be a jurisdictional
fight here? Does Kansas want to try her, Missouri want to try her and
LANZA: Yes, actually, the crime took place in the state of
Missouri. And I think -- Todd Graves will probably address this
point. But I think the prosecutors will get together and decide who's
going to prosecute the case. And I think he can address that issue.
I must say, Larry, this is a very interesting case, because when
the baby was taken into Kansas and brought to that home, you have to
understand, when this crime took place, no one -- we didn't have much
to go on. The sheriff's department, the Missouri Highway Patrol, the
FBI. They had a possible person with blonde hair as a suspect. A
possible color of red as the car they were driving. And that's all
they had. So within 23 hours, when you have agents and police
officers show up at a house in Kansas and you think there might be a
baby in there, you don't know if there is a baby, you don't know if
it's the right baby, is the baby alive, is the baby healthy, all those
things start to come true. You know how elated the agents and police
officers were at that point.
KING: And obviously, Sheriff Espey and his crew in gathering,
did a hell of a job.
LANZA: They did a fantastic job. All the law enforcement
agencies worked together. And one of the keys in this case, Larry,
was getting that Amber Alert out. And the sheriff did an excellent
job at pursuing that and being persistent about getting that Amber
Alert out over the system, because that resulted in some key
information that led to the solution in this case, along with some
computer forensics that were done at a crime lab here in Kansas City.
KING: Sheriff, do you care where she's tried?
ESPEY: No, I don't. Just as long as she gets tried.
KING: All right, now, what do you make of this, Dr. Puryear?
You've seen a lot of cases, I'm sure, none like this. What do you
make of it?
DR. LUCY PURYEAR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, it's obviously a heinous
crime. And even for a psychiatrist, it's pretty difficult to imagine
what would cause a woman, a mother, to do something like this.
KING: All right, now, also, you're a doctor, right? As a
psychiatrist, you're an MD?
KING: How would she know what to do? How was she able to cut to
get a live baby, healthy baby, out?
PURYEAR: That was one of the questions I had. Maybe by watching
television and seeing C-sections. The fact, though, is doing a
surgery like that, it's often very difficult not to injure the baby by
cutting into the woman's abdomen. So it's remarkable.
KING: Sheriff Espey, what did the mother die of?
ESPEY: The -- what we got from the autopsy and the medical
examiner, she died of strangulation.
KING: So it wasn't the cutting.
ESPEY: Well, I'm sure that played a big part in it. But what
the ruling is, the cause of death, is going to be strangulation.
KING: Jeff Lanza, there's obviously -- I don't know how law
enforcement deals with this. And I'll ask Todd Graves. There's a
mental problem here, isn't there?
LANZA: Well, Larry, I can't go into the state of mind of the
suspect at this time. That will be -- that will be for a later
proceeding. That's not something I can talk about.
KING: But it is boggling to you, isn't it? As a law enforcement
officer, you can't have seen one like this before.
LANZA: Well, it's a very strange case. There's no doubt about
it. I think this is -- this type of thing, for all the officers that
worked on this case -- I mean, we get our heart strings tugged on from
time to time, but this really yanked on them pretty hard. And even
the most hardened FBI agent and sheriff's department officer that's
been around a long time can't help but feel the effect of this tragic
KING: Jim, how are the communities dealing with it?
FLINK: Larry, I mean, to say -- we use the word "shocking" a lot
in media reports, and to say that these two communities are in a state
of shock is such an understatement. I mean, here you have Skidmore,
this small town of 300 in northwest Missouri. It has seen its share
of crime through the years, and certainly it isn't a stranger to it,
but when you have three members of the same family murdered in four
years, and when you have this young girl whose family lives in this
town, they were dazed on Friday when we were up there. They were
absolutely in a state of shock.
Then you have Melvern, where everyone that we talked with about
Lisa Montgomery said, she's a normal person. She's just like you and
I. We talked to a parishioner by the name of Ruth Silver (ph) at
Reverend Wheatly's church. And she said, she's not a bad person.
Something broke, but she's not a bad person. So people are puzzled.
They're lost. They're confused. All sorts of emotions.
KING: And this, Dr. Puryear, is classic? Right? Every other
person says she's normal.
PURYEAR: Well, it's hard to know, again, what the cause of her
doing something like this. You know, if she really did have a
miscarriage or had a still birth at six months, it's possible she was
depressed or experiencing some other traumatic phenomenon. But it's
also possible that something was going on in her life that she felt
desperate about needing to have a child. And that almost caused her
to do something outside the norm of what most people would consider
feasible. It will be interesting to find out what the story is.
KING: Sure will.
We'll take a break. We'll come back, introduce the whole panel.
I'll spend a few moments with Todd Graves, the U.S. attorney who will
prosecute this case. And then we'll go to your calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police say two threads of information
clinched this case. First, an Amber Alert putting out a call for a
red car. It almost didn't happen. The other, the FBI tracked all
communication on the victim's computer, which led right to the
doorstep of Lisa Montgomery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE."
I'm going to reintroduce the panel. Then we're going to spend
some time with Todd Graves and then go to your calls.
In Topeka, Kansas, Darrel Schultze, friend of the family of Lisa
Montgomery, he's on your left. The woman accused of killing Bobbie Jo
Stinnett and kidnapping her baby. He saw Lisa and her husband with
the stolen newborn on Friday.
Reverend Mike Wheatly, who's become a spokesperson for the
Montgomery family. A pastor of the First Church of God.
In Maryville, Missouri, Sheriff Ben Espey, sheriff of Nodaway
County, Missouri. The killing and kidnapping occurred in his
jurisdiction and he helped lead the team that broke the case.
Jim Flink of KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Missouri, has been reporting
on the story from the start.
Also in Kansas City, Missouri, is Jeff Lanza, the FBI special
In Houston, Texas, Dr. Lucy Puryear, psychiatrist and former
director of the psychiatric clinic at the Baylor College of Medicine.
Joining us in Kansas City, we'll spend moments with him alone,
Todd Graves, U.S. Attorney for the western district of Missouri. He
will prosecute the case.
Is that definite, Todd, that this will be a federal case only?
TODD GRAVES, U.S. ATTORNEY: I'm working in conjunction with
Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney David Baird, and I've also been in
contact with my counterpart in Kansas. And this base has been filed
in the United States District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, and
that's where it will move forward.
KING: It's federal because of the baby being kidnapped?
GRAVES: Yes, it's federal because it goes all the way back to
the early part of the last century, the Lindbergh Law. When there's a
kidnapping and someone dies as a result, there's federal jurisdiction.
And It's something we have some experience with in Kansas City. We
have a state line that divides our city. And so,this isn't the first
case that crosses the state line that we've dealt with.
KING: What are you going to charge her with?
GRAVES: She's charged with a violation of Title 18, United
States Code 1201, which is very simply kidnapping resulting in death.
And that is a charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison
without parole or the possibility of the death penalty in the
KING: Is it your decision whether to ask for the death penalty?
GRAVES: No, that's not my decision alone. That's something --
we have elaborate procedures. It's not something that's taken
lightney (ph) -- lightly. And in the Department of Justice, that is
something that we will be. There's a deliberative process and that
decision will be made. But we have a history of cases like this in
this area. And it's not anything really -- the case certainly is
unusual. But the nature of the charge isn't really anything out of
the ordinary for us.
KING: Does it get as high as the attorney general on a decision
of death or not?
GRAVES: You know, the department speaks with one voice on these
issues. And that's something that does go very high in the
department. But as to the specific procedure, that's not something
that I'm really comfortable sharing.
KING: Are there many death penalty federal cases?
GRAVES: I think there are approximately 30 or a few more than 30
prisoners on death row that have gotten the federal death penalty.
And there are all sort of different crimes that can apply to. Drug
trafficking crimes. Killing of a federal agent. Killing of a federal
witness. There are numerous statutes. We have to have a very
specific statute. We have specific jurisdiction, not general
jurisdiction. And so there are a number of crimes but it has to fit
within one of those categories.
KING: The affidavit says she confessed. Is that correct?
GRAVES: She made a statement. That information is contained in
the affidavit. And I'm not really comfortable as a prosecutor
elaborating on that.
KING: The average person would say, don't you think, Todd, this
person's got to be a little nuts? So, how do you deal with that as a
prosecutor -- mean, obviously, this can't be a normal act.
GRAVES: I'm not sure that any act of violence that results in a
death would be considered a normal act. And that is all information
that calls for speculation, that at this point I couldn't begin to get
into. This defendant has made her first appearance in Kansas City,
Kansas. There are procedural rights. She'll be brought back to
Kansas City, Missouri, where she'll have attorneys appointed. All
those sorts of questions are way down the road for us right now.
KING: This obviously, in your career, has to be the most
GRAVES: Well, it's certainly is among the most heart rending,
and it is a very unusual case. I was a state prosecutor before
filling this role. And there -- and believe it or not, there are
other unusual cases. But this one definitely kicks you in the gut. I
happen to be from that rural part of northwest Missouri, so I know a
lot of -- I don't know any of the people involved, but I know a lot of
the people that live in that part of our state. And this is the heart
of America. We are at the geographic and population center of the
country. And to have something happen here that gets this kind of
attention, certainly is something that we don't look forward to.
KING: Have you talked to the suspect?
GRAVES: I could -- again, that's one of those things that I
couldn't even begin to talk about at this point.
KING: And where is she right now?
GRAVES: She is housed on the Kansas side, within a stone's throw
of the state line in a county jail facility under contract to the
KING: So, she'll have to -- got to be a court order moving her,
GRAVES: Yes, but it's not like an extradition. We both, federal
court in Kansas is of the same system as federal court in the state of
Missouri. And so there are procedural rights, but it's not a high
KING: Thank you, Todd. Thanks for spending the time with us.
GRAVES: Thank you.
KING: Todd Graves, U.S. Attorney for the western district of
Missouri. He will prosecute.
Our panel remains. We'll go to your phone calls.
Columbus, Ohio, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry King, I'd like to know does anybody know when
the baby will be released?
KING: What's the status of the baby? Jim Flink, do you know?
FLINK: Yes, Larry. The baby was released from the Stormont-Vail
Hospital today in Topeka. And just a few hours ago was heading home
with her father, Zeb Stinnett.
KING: Home to Missouri?
FLINK: Correct. Actually, to a small town not far from
KING: Sheriff Espey, do you know Mr. Stinnett?
ESPEY: Did I know her?
KING: Do you know Mr. Stinnett?
ESPEY: I know who he is, yes. But not personally, I don't know
KING: OK. Noblesville, Indiana, hello.
CALLER: My question is this, what does Lisa Montgomery's husband
have to say about all this? Is he innocent? Is he being charged with
KING: Reverend Wheatly?
WHEATLY: As far as we know, there's no charges that I've heard
of. I do know that he's very upset about it all, of course. Of
course, he thought he had a baby there for a little while. And he was
very happy about it. And now he's not happy at all about any of this.
KING: Jeff Lanza, has anybody indicated to be involved -- other
than the defendant to be involved in this crime?
LANZA: Well, the investigation has resulted in charges being
filed against one person. Beyond that, I can't make any more comment.
KING: Kansas City, Missouri, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry.
I want to first say I appreciate all your programming, dedication
that you offer every each and every night. And also my condolences go
out to Bobbie Jo's family. And Kansas City, Missouri was amazing in
finding this baby. And it was a true blessing. I just wanted to find
out, how does she come upon that Web site, and get to like the dog
how does she know that woman was pregnant?
Like did they communicate so detailed that she would share up all
that information at one time?
Or is it just the woman came upon her Web site and then the
Virginia lady connected all that together at once?
KING: What do e know? What do we know, Jim Flink?
FLINK: Our sources telling us, Larry, that basically, both of
these women were known to communicate on this rat terrier Web site for
a long period of time. We have a picture today of the two women
appearing at the same dog show roughly a year ago. So we have this
belief now from our sources that they did know one another. Whereas
just yesterday, we thought that they may have been strangers. Now,
authorities know a lot that they can't say or won't say at this point.
But they certainly had a relationship where they knew one another,
maybe not well. But they knew of one another.
KING: Darrel, did they ever talk to you about the dogs?
SCHULTZE: No. No. I knew that they raised was -- they raised
-- I think it's rat terrier dogs and stuff. But no. I never talked
to them about that.
KING: Reverend, did they talk to you ever about dogs?
WHEATLY: Most often. Lisa has been to the house several times
and showed us pictures of the dogs on the Internet that were here
daughter -- one daughter is living now. She's done that a couple,
two, three times. And yes, we were aware of her raising the rat
terriers. And other people being involved in the same kind of circle
that she was in.
KING: Dr. Puryear is that -- I'm sorry who's speaking?
FLINK: Jim Flink here. I might point out that it was a woman
who was on the rat terrier Web site in North Carolina who had seen
this exchange between Bobbie Jo Stinnett and this woman Darlene
Fisher. She had seen that they had arranged this meeting. When she
heard about the Amber alert in North Carolina, it is our understanding
she contacted the FBI and said, you might want to go to this Web site.
The FBI then very quickly was able to track this Darlene Fisher's
domain name back to Reston, Virginia, and then track it down to
Melvern, Kansas, where it was registered to Lisa Montgomery, the
Darlene Fisher name was.
KING: Jeff, does Jim have it right?
LANZA: We ought to put him on the FBI payroll. I think he's got
a lot of information that's very valuable to this investigation. I'm
not going to comment on the specifics of the case. But as you can
tell, Jim's been doing his homework.
KING: Boy, has he. We'll be back with more and more of your
phone calls. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRI HOWARD: I believe that he probably doesn't know what he's
feeling right now considering I don't know how somebody could be so
happy to have that happen but be so sad at the same time to have such
a tragic thing happen. But I do feel that he will have a piece of
Bobbie with him for the rest of his life and I'm so very glad that
they got his daughter back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Vancouver, British Columbia, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Larry, we love your show in Vancouver.
KING: I can't hear you, are you there? Go ahead.
CALLER: My question is for the reverend. OK, I've never killed
anybody in my life. According to many Christian people that I know,
I'm going to go to hell because I don't go to church and consider
myself a Christian. Now, here was a church-going woman who was
probably considered in the community a good Christian. Is she going
to go to hell for murdering and kidnapping a woman?
WHEATLY: If she doesn't repent of this crime. If she actually
did this crime. It's still alleged now. If she doesn't repent of it,
yes she's going to go to hell.
KING: Pictou Landing, Nova Scotia, hello.
CALLER: I want to say merry Christmas to you and all. I want to
send condolences to the families. My question is, I'm a ranger. The
question I'm asking is, did this lady have any medical background?
Does anybody know? And whether the baby was born -- or during -- was
the baby born before?
KING: What do we know? What's the condition of the baby?
LANZA: I've heard the baby's been released from the hospital.
So I assume the condition is pretty good at this point.
KING: Sheriff, do you know if the suspect had any training at
ESPEY: No, I don't know if she did or not.
KING: Dr. Puryear, what would you guess?
PURYEAR: Probably not. To perform a surgery like that, there's
not -- as I said before, it's difficult to not hurt the baby if you
don't have experience. But it's not a difficult procedure.
KING: Nor is it surprising the baby is healthy, then?
PURYEAR: No, at eight months, about 36 weeks of gestation, she's
very close to being full term. And it's not at all surprising that
the baby's doing well.
KING: Ohio, hello.
CALLER: My question is for anybody on the panel, especially the
doctor. Four years ago, not far from where I live, a similar incident
happened with a little baby Oscar. And it was noted, it was learned
that the woman that committed this crime learned how to perform this
or to remove the baby from the computer, to do the C-section off the
computer. And so what I was wondering, if anybody's going to check
her computer to find out if that's where she got her source of
KING: You think so, Dr. Puryear?
PURYEAR: Possibly. But you can watch a television show on
almost a daily basis on cable and actually see a C-section performed.
There's really only a couple of layers to go through in the abdomen.
The uterus is very close to the abdominal wall and the baby's right
KING: Billerica, Massachusetts, hello.
CALLER: Hi, how are you doing. I'm calling to question -- to
see if there's a death penalty in Missouri. And if there is, will
they be seeking that? I mean, if anybody -- I mean, any
circumstances, this would probably constitute the death penalty.
KING: The U.S. attorney was on, Jeff, and that decision hasn't
been made. That's made by higher authorities than the attorney
LANZA: I think that's what he indicated, that's correct.
KING: Does Missouri have the death penalty, Sheriff?
ESPEY: Yes, it does.
KING: Does Kansas? Kansas, there's a trial going -- isn't there
a court case involving Kansas and the death penalty?
FLINK: There is, Larry, right now. It's going on right now.
KING: So Kansas is not executing -- but this is going to be
federally tried, right, Jeff?
LANZA: That's what the prosecutors at this point have agreed
upon, for a federal trial in this particular case, yes.
KING: We'll take a break and be back with more moments on this
astounding story. Right after this.
KING: Before we take our next call, Reverend Wheatly I
understand has seen the baby. What can you tell us?
WHEATLY: Actually, sir, I thought the baby was in excellent
shape. Before she went to the hospital, I had the privilege of
holding her for about 15 minutes, my wife for about 45. And she
looked beautiful. She had a little mark on her cheek. It looked like
she might have gouged herself, could have passed it off as that
easily. And she had a little bruise on her hand. But other than
that, she was absolutely beautiful. It was hard to believe she was
even a newborn.
FLINK: If I could interject something real quickly here, we
talked to an OB-GYN today about the dangers of delivering this baby.
And that doctor told us that if you didn't have any regard for the
mother, the actual procedure of performing a C-section is relatively,
in his terms, a relatively easy procedure to perform. It is in
maintaining and assuring that the mother and the child both survive
that procedure, therein lies the difficulty in this procedure. But
if, as the doctor said, if you don't care about the life of the
mother, delivering the baby, he said, would be possible for a lot of
KING: Doctor, could the mother have been dead before the
PURYEAR: Sure. Actually, it's not all that uncommon for, let's
say, a mother who's been in a car accident to die, and they're able to
get the mother to the hospital in 10 to 15 minutes and deliver a live
baby. So the baby can survive for a while, even after the mother's
died or passed away.
KING: So the charge of strangulation, she might have strangled
her and then delivered?
KING: To Santa Monica, California, hello.
CALLER: Hello. My question is, has anyone checked Lisa
Montgomery's other children to find out that they too were not taken?
KING: Can we go back that far? Darrel, do we know?
SCHULTZE: No, we don't. No. But we do know the father. And
there's no reason to speculate that.
KING: Junction City, Kansas, hello.
CALLER: Yes, Larry. Thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: First of all, my condolences to the Spinnett family. I
would like to ask the reverend the question about, did Lisa Montgomery
show any signs or any significant signs of depression to you? Did she
ever talk to you, did you ever see if she was going through a
depression? I mean, I know I have some depression in my family, and I
know I saw these symptoms very early on, and I tried to help as best I
can. I mean, some people do show. That's my question.
WHEATLY: Actually, that's what makes this whole thing so
difficult is that she had everybody pretty snowed. I mean, as far as
we know, everything was just absolutely normal about Lisa. And she
was just doing her working and going home, and back and forth. And
there wasn't any sign at all of any difference in her.
But then you have to remember too, we didn't see her all the time
either. So, I mean, the last time I saw her was in October when she
came by the house and appeared to be pregnant. So that was the only
time I'd seen her since -- before the day she came with the baby.
KING: Darrel, did you like her?
SCHULTZE: Yes, she was a pleasant person. When she talked about
things -- like I said, she raised -- they raised goats. And she
talked about how they could take the wool from them and weave
different things. And the kids learned to do that. They learned how
to spin the yarn and stuff. So yes, she was a pleasant person.
KING: Dr. Puryear, you wanted to say something?
PURYEAR: I'd like to make a comment about her appearing normal.
It's sort of like in the Andrea Yates case, where people who saw her
said, you know, she seemed to be fine. It's possible to appear to
others to be normal and still be quite mentally ill and have all sorts
of crazy thoughts. I don't know specifically about Ms. Montgomery,
because I've not examined her, but it is possible for potentially her
to be mentally ill and no one would know it.
KING: Halifax, Nova Scotia, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thank you for taking my call.
CALLER: Happy holidays to you.
KING: Thank you. Same to you.
CALLER: I have a question for the doctor.
CALLER: My question is, is that could this accused lady possibly
PURYEAR: That's -- probably not. People with schizophrenia
usually have odd ways of speaking, odd thoughts, odd behaviors. You
know, if she is severely ill, it's more likely that she's having odd
beliefs. And I'll give an example. Something like, I didn't have a
miscarriage, someone took my baby from me, and I have to go get -- you
know, have to go retrieve it. Again, I'm not saying that's what she's
thinking, but it would be an illness something like that, where she
could appear to be normal but have unusual thoughts.
KING: Thank you all very much. And hopefully in the days and
months ahead, we'll learn a lot more. And we appreciate everyone on
the panel for participating in this program tonight.
I'll be back in a couple of minutes to tell you about tomorrow
night. Don't go away.
KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, a major program on the
death penalty. And a special show Sunday night. We'll talk -- and he
doesn't do any interviews -- with the president of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Gordon Hinckley, the prophet of the
Mormons, will be our special guest on a special Sunday night edition
of LARRY KING LIVE.
Speaking of special, you know, it's weird to have a show every
night and call it special, but that's what we do around here with
"NEWSNIGHT." When we talk about "NEWSNIGHT," we say it's special.
And that's the reason it's special, Aaron Brown. So what's special
tonight, Mr. B?
AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": We're going to talk about drugs,
again, the legal ones and the troubles they cause. I'm not going to
see you for a while. Have a good holiday and safe travels.
KING: You too, my man. Be well.
BROWN: I'll talk to you soon. Thank you.