Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Larry Gattis Exclusive

COURTNET EXCLUSIVE:: THE LATEST IN THE TARA GRINSTEAD INVESTIGATION WITH LARRY GATTIS, ANITA'S HUSBANDLarry Harriet, CourtNet -- Tuesday, February 7th, 2006Larry Harriet of CourtNet recently did an exclusive phone interview with Larry Gattis, missing beauty queen Tara Grinstead's brother in law. Larry Gattis talks with CourtNet's Larry Harriet about recent allegations of him having an affair with Tara, the latest in the investigation, and how he and his family is getting through this. Below is a rush transcript:LARRY HARRIET, COURTNET: Hey Larry, first of all thankyou so much for doing this interview with me, I really appreciate it. I want to start off by asking you about your polygraph test with the investigators, tell me about what happened.LARRY GATTIS, ANITA'S HUSBAND, TARA GRINSTEAD'S BROTHER IN LAW: There was a lot of things about it that were unethical and very uncomfortable for me, because you know the nature of the questions, and it seemed to me more like a fishing expedition, as opposed to really if I had any involvement in Tara's disappearance.LARRY HARRIET: Right, right the only questions that you failed on the polygraph, allegedly failed, was pertaining to you having an affair with Tara, it had absolutely nothing to do with the investigation, and no proof was suggested that you had anything to do with her disappearance. Which to me, the fact that they would even ask you such a question, when the goal here is that we are trying to find Tara, they should not be trying to dig up any dirt on the family, or victimize the family, and the goal is to find tara and its just completely irrelevant to ask you such questions, when they should be focusing in on the investigation, details surrounding Tara's personality, information about the investigation, and to ask you questions about an alleged affair is just to me, completely irrelevant.LARRY GATTIS: The unethical portion of the polygraph was the fact that they divided issues. A polygraph should ethically be given surrounding one issue, only to clarify a fact, and two issues should not be included in a polygraph. I don't know, I still don't have any indication on how I did on any of the questions, I just know I am no longer a suspect, and I know myself, as far as I'm concerned I pass all the portion, because I know the truth, and they don't.LARRY HARRIET: Right.LARRY GATTIS: Its just some silly machine, it looked liked it was 30 years old, it was not computerized. A lot of the polygraphs are computerized now, and you can get some sort of authentication to the process. I wished I had researched it more. I volunteered in good faith because I just wanted to help, and it seemed like they had a tough time getting by me, and if they are putting extra time investigating me, they need to look at someone else. There is nothing to be gained by them to by looking at me because. We think what I've been going through the last 3 months had more to do with our outspoken nature, and the fact we've been in the press, the fact that we've criticized the GBI, the fact that I've been doing my own investigation along with people that work for me. I've been told to back off.LARRY HARRIET: Right, and you've even launched your own investigation, you even went to Tifton to speak with some of Tara's teachers and that was way before your first interview with the GBI, so you think maybe they got ticked at that and decided that they were gonna do this to you?LARRY GATTIS: Yes, and what made it really obvious is the fact that part of their accusation was the fact that Anita had caught us twice, supposedly a week before she disappeared, and I had been asked about this on numerous, numerous of occasions, and actually probably about it the last time, and they never bothered to ask Anita if she saw that. Anita had actually had a 4 hour interview with an agent, her name was Lea and she had an interview with her for hours and she was never asked, "Did I have an affair," "Did she ever catch us," or anything of that nature. She simply was not asked. We are thinking that they see it, you know when I left the office there, they knew where I was going with this (to the press) and I let them know that. I also let them know that its time for me to let this behavior (of the GBI's) was made public, and I was not going to tolerate it anymore. I told them that as soon as I had the chance, I would go on national TV and expose what they had been doing and agent Turner said "I don't care, I don't listen to that stuff anyway" and so I don't think he really expected me to do that...LARRY HARRIET: You did, you went on Greta VanSustren...LARRY GATTIS: We did, and they (GBI Investigators) have really backed off.LARRY HARRIET: Thats good...LARRY GATTIS: The calls I've had from the GBI since then have been a lot more appropriate.LARRY HARRIET: Right...LARRY HARRIET: Now the polygraph, I mean, did they just want to pressure that element about you having an affair with Tara?LARRY GATTIS: Yes, yesLARRY HARRIET: That was it? I mean that was the WHOLE thing?LARRY GATTIS: The WHOLE thing. That was 90% of the questioning and harassment that day was the supposed affair I had with Tara, and anybody that’s been close to our family, or Tara, or anyone in town knows that’s totally ridiculous, I've don't go to that town very frequently at all. Me and Tara communicated by e-mails a lot and the GBI had all the e-mails that were strictly appropriate, very relative type stuff. So they knew that was ridiculous to start with. It actually got started by, we are not absolutely certain by a rumor from a private investigator that was working with the other side of the family. He has since been terminated. You know, the tragedy is that Tara's gone...LARRY HARRIET: Your right, your right...LARRY GATTIS: ... and I can't let any of this really bother me, there have been rumors all over the place, I don't lose any sleep on those things. I've got more important things to worry about, every free minute, I'm following a lead, and I've been in Ocilla searching every weekend.LARRY HARRIET: Now, your leads, are they pertaining to the 3 suspects in my mind are Marcus Harper, Sean Fletcher, and Anthony Vickers?LARRY GATTIS: The leads have more to do with the possible locations of the body, where she may of been disposed of, that sort of thing. I really can't say if I'm looking on their property or anything or anything of that nature, we have had tips about where she may be. We're working with a number of different physics. That's the sort of thing we're falling up on and hopefully if we find the body we'll get some evidence concerning who did that, I can't really say. I think the GBI is still currently active from the investigation but if they are following up some leads directly related to the suspects, I really can't say. We're looking in some places that haven't really been looked in, we know that chances are she was disposed up by an abductor, possibly within 15 miles of her home, generally within 100 yards of a 2nd main road. You know, there are some stick tics to go by. We have had a lot of help from physics and the thing to that is we have talked to several different ones. They may have different information, but its the common information is that she is 7-10 miles south of her home in Ocilla and there are some areas we've been really concentrating on. Of course, you've got that river down there, and swamps off that river that would be an excellent place to dispose of someone, you have gators, you have turtles, and that would be the most likely thing. We've been studying Ariel photos, and maps, and we've been going to a different location every weekend. We're looking in homes, wells, etc., etc., for evidence.LARRY HARRIET: Right, and your clear. I mean you have that alibi, you are a doctor, and you were on call through the 21st-23rd.LARRY GATTIS: I worked that entire weekend, at the hospital, and your not allowed to get, 15 minutes away from the hospital, it’s a hospital policy. I was in and out all weekend. The time I was not at the hospital, I was with Anita and Gibe (Anita and Larry's son) at home, and I'm sure they've looked into that. If I was going to pick a weekend to do something terrible, I sure wouldn't pick a weekend I was on call.LARRY HARRIET: And your a doctor that...LARRY GATTIS: Specializes in the diseases of the elderly, like 65 +LARRY HARRIET: And you were also Tara's primary physician...LARRY GATTIS: My first training was in family practice, and I'm board certified. I'm qualified to take care of all ages, and to some degree I still do, but I tend to specialize in taking care of the diseases of the elderly. I still maintain a family practice, and keep my boards current, but yes I've taken care of her since she was probably 16 years old.LARRY HARRIET: Do you have an idea on how Marcus Harper, Sean Fletcher, and Anthony Vickers are acting around town? Are they acting weird, any abnormal behavior to your knowledge, what have you seen, have you seen them at all? Have you seen how they are acting in town?continued on the other side...
LARRY GATTIS: No, the only thing, the only information about that would be hearsay, and I haven't heard anything from Anthony or the Fletcher boy. I've just heard some things about what Marcus' been up to, just some second hand information. We've heard he's been exploding bombs...LARRY HARRIET: Well, hes worked with the military...LARRY GATTIS: Yes.LARRY HARRIET: Now, this is important, has Marcus Harper had provided you any support? Has he provided support with the investigation? with searches? anything?LARRY GATTIS: I've tried to meet with Marcus twice and get some information about him as a part of my investigation, and I talked to Nancy, his mother, and I made it very clear at the time that this is just information gathering. I'm just trying to find out more, her (Tara's) habits, places she would go, people she would know, so that I could talk to different people, but, he refused twice to meet with me, so I've not been able to meet with him. To my knowledge, hes not been on any of the searches, nor have we had ANY help from the other suspects (Marcus Harper, Sean Fletcher, and Anthony Vickers). I did talk to Anthony Vickers over the phone for about 30 minutes, that was one night, and the closest I've ever been able to get to him. I've tried to meet him a second time but he refused. So that's kind of where we are at.LARRY HARRIET: You had a conversation, what did you talk about with him, what did he say "Oh gosh, you know, I had absolutely nothing to do with this," or something like "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," but, what did you guy's talk about?LARRY GATTIS: He told me at that time he had a lot of information about Tara. He wanted to meet with Anita and me and maybe try to figure out together maybe what happened to her, where she could be, that sort of thing, that was the just of this, and at the time, it had just happened and the police department was really looking at him hard, and we really didn't know who had done what. I had not really started any investigation at that point in time, but I did talk to him for about 30 minutes, that was the just of his conversation was that he wanted to tell us some things.LARRY HARRIET: And the police have not named him as a suspect?LARRY GATTIS: They haven't named anyone. They'll tell you (Police/GBI) "We haven't ruled anyone in, and we haven't ruled anyone out."LARRY HARRIET: There was a glove, a rubber latex glove, found outside of Tara's house, and I worry that he is a member of the police department, and I'm sure that every police car is equipped with gloves in the glove compartment. Have they done anything to your knowledge to trace that glove to the type of glove that the police department buys in bulk, or any type of trace evidence on that glove that would link the...LARRY GATTIS: The last time I asked about that glove was the day that I took the die detector test, and they still say that they haven't gotten any information from the glove yet, thats all they will say. It’s been 3 months, so logic would tell you they've probably got something or nothing from the glove by now, but they won't say anything.LARRY HARRIET: Now, do you know that the police have requisitioned Marcus Harper?LARRY GATTIS: They have questioned him multiple times.LARRY HARRIET: Okay, that's good.LARRY HARRIET: You know, Anita was said before that Marcus Harper would yell obscenities to Tara when she was parked at a red light. Probably, verbally abusive towards her, I don't know if he was physically abusive towards her but, with your relationship with Tara through e-mailing her, talking with her, and seeing her, did she ever confide anything in you about their relationship, about something going wrong with him, anything?LARRY GATTIS: Yes she did, before she went missing we did some e-mails back and forth where she was worried that she was getting a little afraid of him at that time...LARRY HARRIET: Okay...LARRY GATTIS: ... she would say that he said really mean and nasty things to her, obscenities, I'd repeat some of those, but you've probably already heard some...LARRY HARRIET: Yes...LARRY GATTIS: ... shes confided in me, during the summer she became more concerned that something would happen and I e-mailed her back, sometime during the summer, it was before she went missing, and I was worried it would get worse with Marcus and I e-mailed her and warned her about that situation.LARRY HARRIET: Now, Anita has said before, she said on the Greta VanSustren interview that you had a very close relationship with Tara, that you think of her as your own sister. How hard has this been on you?LARRY GATTIS: Its been the hardest thing that I've ever had happen to me in my life, I've never lost anything close to me in my family, so this is kind of like a first experience. I can't say we've lost her, I mean it looks that way, but I've sort of adopted Tara as my sister, she was 14 when I met Anita, and we were always really close. She didn't have a dad, and I have a sister but we don't maintain contact, and thats another story but, Tara was always like a sister to me. She lived with us for a while, had holidays at our house. I went to the beauty pageants she was in. We did music together. We had a lot of common interest. I am a musician and I write songs, and I wrote a couple of songs for her. We went through those and recorded some stuff together. I helped her get ready for her pageants. She'd practice singing; I'd open the church up so she could go in and sing. As a guy, I know it’s unusual but I like to shop, so we went shopping together. So, we had a lot of common interest, but definitely not anything like the GBI suggested...LARRY HARRIET: No, of course not, of course not...LARRY GATTIS: I guess, you know, I told them during the interview, I said "I guess you think all the guys you interview have absolutely no morals whatsoever!" I don't know how they could think the worse about everyone. Yes, Its been tough, I've had bad dreams, I had one last night. You know, everynight you lay down and go to sleep, I run down the entire scenario in my mind. You know, "Have I missed anything?, "Where haven't I looked?," "Is there some clue that I've overlooked, or something that would explain this mysterious turn of events?" It’s an everynight thing to lie down and go through the entire scenario in my head again. During the day, of course, I'm doing a medical practice, and it’s tough to keep that together because we're gone so many days of the month. Anita's my office manager, and she spends more time in Ocilla than she does here, and right now, I spend a lot of time down there to, all my weekends, and many nights. So it’s been tough to keep the practice going like it should have been, you know, I've lost a lot of revenue since this happened. which is not a problem, but its just one of many aspects. The main thing is the stress of not having Tara, wondering where she is, what happened to her, was she hurt, you know, was she tortured. Just basically, what happened to her? I try not to think about some of that stuff.LARRY HARRIET: What kind of person was she?LARRY GATTIS: She was a really outgoing, but the main thing with Tara was that she was really a kind, and generous person. She thought about other people all the time, not about herself. She got up in the morning everday looking for someone to do something for, and her occupation dealt with that, probably the last thing she thought about everynight...LARRY HARRIET: Yes...LARRY GATTIS: I would get these calls, being a medical person, and she would have a friend that was having some sort of emotional or medical problem, she would call me and say "What can I do? How can I help?" and I got those calls a lot.-------------------That completes the interview. I did talk with Larry after the interview offering my support, and some other things, but I don't want to post that here out of respect for him.This interview transcript has been cut from its original format to protect privileged information.Sorry about not posting this earlier. I hope you enjoy the new pictures.Seeking Truth,Larry HarrietCourtNet

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