Colbert's Very Wanted - Manatee Mailbox

  • Aired:  04/05/12
  •  | Views: 9,590

A Valentine's Day manatee mailbox massacre, in Cocoa, FL, is just one violation in a string of serial manatee mailbox mutilations. (7:58)

NOW FORTUNATELY THERE'S MORE BAD NEWS.

BECAUSE CRIME RATES ARE SOARING SOMEWHERE, PROBABLY.

ESPECIALLY GUN VIOLENCE.

IT JUST KEEPS GOING UP NO MATTER HOW MANY GUNS WE BUY.

THAT IS WHY I AM INTRODUCING A NEW SEGMENT THAT PUNISHES CRIMINALS BY TALKING ABOUT THEM ON TV.

TONIGHT ON COLBERT'S VERY WANTED.

>> OH MY GOD.

>> A NEIGHBORHOOD UNDER SIEGE.

>> THAT EXPLOSION ROCKED ME AND MY WIFE, WE WERE LIKE WOW, WHAT IS GOING ON.

>> Stephen: IS THERE A SERIAL CRIMINAL ON THE LOOSE?

THIS IS COLBERT'S VERY WANTED.

THESE ARE MANATEES.

NOBLE, HAUNTING, LETHARGIC.

AS BEAUTIFUL AS THEY ARE ENDANGERED.

BUT YOU MIGHT KNOW THEM BETTER BY THEIR STREET NAME.

MAILBOXES, YES, FROZEN IN PLACE THESE NOVELTY MAILBOXES BRING YEARS OF JOY TO OWNERS AND PASSERSBY ALIKE.

THAT IS UNTIL THINGS GO TERRIBLY WRONG.

WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED JUST WEEKS AGO IN COCOA, FLORIDA.

>> NOTHING BAD HAS EVER HAPPENED IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.

OTHER THAN MY MAILBOX.

>> Reporter: HOMEOWNER DENISE HASTY TOLD US ABOUT HER BOX.

>> I'VE OWNED A MANATEE MAILBOX FOR 20 YEARS.

I DRESS UP MY MANATEE FOR EVERY HOLIDAY.

AND WHEN THERE'S NOT A HOLIDAY, SINCE WE'RE IN FLORIDA, I MAKE HIM OR HER A BOY OR GIRL.

>> BUT WHICH IS IT, A BOY OR A GIRL.

>> THE MAILBOX WENT BOTH WAYS, MALE AND FEMALE.

I DON'T HAVE A MANATEE FETISH.

I JUST LOVED MY MANATEE MAILBOX.

>> Stephen: BUT THAT LOVE CAME TO A SHOCKING END ON THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 14th.

>> THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE.

ABOUT 10:30 P.M., I WAS IN BED ASLEEP.

I HEARD A HUGE EXPLOSION GO OFF.

THE HOUSE SHOOK.

THE WINDOWS SHOOK.

I JUMPED OUT OF BED.

>> Stephen: EMERGENCY WORKERS WERE POISED TO RESPOND.

>> 911, WHAT'S YOUR EMERGENCY?

>> I NEVER CALLED 911.

(LAUGHTER)

>> HELLO?

HELLO?

>> Stephen: NEIGHBOR JOHN ANTHONY RECALLS COMING PERILOUSLY CLOSE TO GOING OUTSIDE.

>> I WAS LIKE WOW, I WANTED TO GO OUT BUT I WAS WATCHING TV AND I DIDN'T GET OFF MY

BUTT AND GO OUT, SO-- .

>> Stephen: THE FOLLOWING MORNING DENISE DISCOVERED THE AWFUL TRUTH.

>> PUT MY ROBE ON.

RAN OUTSIDE, THE DEBRIS WAS ALL OVER THE STREET, ALL OVER THE YARD.

THE ONLY THING WAS LEFT WAS A STUB, THE BOTTOM PORTION OF THE MANATEE.

AND AGAIN, I WAS JUST LIKE OH MY GOD.

>> Stephen: AGAIN, NEIGHBOR JOHN ANTHONY.

>> I WAS COMING HOME FROM WORK AND I DROVE BY AND THE NEXT THING I KNOW, I SEE THE

MANATEE DOESN'T HAVE A HEAD.

AND YOU KNOW, I JUST-- I ACTUALLY HAD TO STOP THE CAR AND BACK UP AND LOOK.

AND THAT'S WHEN I'M LIKE WHAT THE [BLEEP] WHAT THE

[BLEEP], I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

THE MAN A TOO-- MANATEE HEAD WAS BLOWN OFF.

>> Stephen: WHAT THE [BLEEP].

>> MY MANATEE HAD NO KNOWN ENEMIES.

>> Stephen: SO WHAT COULD IS CAUSED THIS BE IN THE MANATEE'S HEAD TO BLOW OFF?

THIS WAS A JOB FOR THE SVU,

SEA COW VICTIM'S UNIT.

>> MY HUNCH IS THAT SOME EXPLOSIVE DEVICE WAS PLACED INTO THE MAIL BECOMES

BLOWING UP THE MANATEE.

>> Stephen: FORENSIC SCIENTIST LARRY.

HE DREW US A PICTURE.

>> AT THIS POINT WE WOULD NEED AN EXPLOSIVES OR BALLISTICS EXPERT WHO CAN

PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EVENT.

>> Stephen: WHAT WE HAVE IN FRONT OF US IS A 20-YEAR-OLD MANATEE OF INDETERMINATE

GENDER THAT HAS BEEN BLOWN APART BY A SMALL EXPLOSIVE DEVICE.

>> Stephen: BALLISTICS EXPERT PETER DIZIC.

HE DISCOVERED THE SHOCKING ANSWER.

>> IT WAS A SMALL BOMB THAT DID THIS.

>> Stephen: A BOMB.

WHO WOULD DO SUCH A THING?

>> IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE PERSON WITHOUT DID THIS WANTS TO DEMONSTRATE THAT I

HAVE TREMENDOUS POWER.

>> Stephen: DR. STEVEN REICH,

FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST.

HE TAKES US INTO THE MIND OF THE MANATEE MUTE LATER.

>> THEY WANT TO DEMONSTRATE TO AN INADAMANT OBJECT I HAVE POWER.

I MUCH POTENT.

I AM BIG.

I AM STRONG.

>> Stephen: HIS CHILLING INSIGHTS LEFT US WITH A SINGLE QUESTION.

WERE WE DEALING WITH A SERIAL CRIMINAL?

>> I COULDN'T AND I WOULDN'T SAY THAT.

>> Stephen: BUT I COULD.

I KNEW WHAT I HAD TO DO.

HEAD TO THE ARCHIVES AND PULL THE COLD CASE FILES.

>> YOU WANT EVERY REQUEST SINCE WHEN?

>> Stephen: I WANT THEM ALL.

MANATEE LIVES ARE AT STAKE.

I DIDN'T CARE HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE.

I HAD TO FIND A PATTERN.

AND FINALLY, HERE IT WAS.

2001, A CASE IN FORT MYERS,

FLORIDA, WITH OUR SICKO ALL OVER IT.

DORIS THE MANATEE'S SKIRT WAS PULLED DOWN.

BUT THAT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING.

THE MUTE LATER WAS GETTING BOLDER, DEVELOPING A TASTE FOR MANATEE MAYHEM.

AND SURE ENOUGH, TEN MONTHS LATER HE STRUCK HERE IN PEACEFUL CRYSTAL RIVER,

FLORIDA.

>> THIS IS MR. MANATEE.

>> Stephen: HE IS THE ONE ON THE LEFT.

JOANNE IS ON THE RIGHT.

>> THE MANATEE IS PART OF OUR FAMILY, I GUESS, BECAUSE HE'S ALWAYS HERE.

>> Stephen: AN HE'S ALWAYS DRESSED IN COSTUMES TO MATCH THE SEASONS.

SO IMAGINE HER HORROR WHEN A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS 2001,

MR. MANATEE WAS VIOLATED.

>> WHEN I WENT OUT THE DOOR,

I AM GOING TO GET THE PAPER AND ALL OF A SUDDEN IT HITS YOU, SANTA SUIT IS BEGUN.

>> Stephen: GONE,

MR. MANATEE WAS STRIPPED.

NAKED.

JOANNE LATER RECEIVED THE CRUMBLED SANTA SUIT, ALONG WITH HIS HANDWRITTEN NOTE,

EXACTLY THE KIND OF CLUE THAT COULD BREAK THIS CASE WIDE OPEN.

>> IT READS, "TO THE HECKMANS FROM THE GRINCH"

>> Stephen: HANDWRITING ANALYST ROGER RUBIN.

AT FIRST HE THOUGHT THE NOTE WAS A DEADEND.

>> IT IS SO STYLIZED AND SO ARTIFICIAL THAT IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE

THE NATURE OF THE PERSON WHO WROTE IT.

>> Stephen: DAMMIT, ROGER,

GIVE ME SOMETHING TO WORK WITH.

>> THE MANATEE MUTE LATE CERTIFICATE A HIGHLY TRAINED,

VERY INTELLIGENT PERSON AS WELL.

AND CLEARLY WITH CRIMINAL INTENT.

>> Stephen: FINALLY, A SOLID PROFILE.

I COULD FEEL THE MUTE LATER OUT THERE, TAUNTING US.

>> IT WORRIES ME THAT THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE THAT'S CAPABLE OF DOING SUCH A

SERIOUS THING TO A MAILBOX.

>> Stephen: YES, BUT WE WERE CLOSING IN ON HIM, RIGHT?

>> NO, NOT NECESSARILY.

I THINK THIS IS ACTUALLY VERY, VERY HARD PERSON TO QUOTE CATCH.

>> Stephen: .

>> I DON'T THINK WILL YOU BE ABLE TO CATCH THIS PERSON.

>> BUT UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, I THINK MANATEES ARE GOING TO BE IN GREAT DANGER.

>> Stephen: SO LOCK YOUR DOORS, AMERICA, BECAUSE NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE, AS

LONG AS IT'S MID SOUTH COASTAL FLORIDA AND YOU HAVE A MANATEE MAILBOX, THE MUTE

LATER COULD STRIKE AT ANY TIME.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

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