The Grace of Wrath

I don't know why Melinda Duckett committed suicide. And I am not remotely willing to go so far as to say that Nancy Grace, the eternally angry and vigilantified cable talk show host, contributed in any way to Duckett's suicide by conducting an "aggressive" interview with the mother (who may or may not have been a suspect in the disappearance of her two-year-old boy, Trenton) the day before she took her own life.

Here is how the Associated Press covered the news: "Two weeks after telling police that her son had been snatched from his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with TV's famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before it was over, Grace was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to know: 'Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?' A day after the taping, Duckett, 21, shot herself to death, deepening the mystery of what happened to the boy."

There are plenty of other perfectly logical reasons why Duckett would have taken her own life including, obviously, the fact that she may have harmed her son and then couldn't live with herself. And, presumably, no one forced her to endure the Wrath of Grace's evangelical scorn during an interview. Perhaps soon we'll have more answers. In the meantime, Grace said on the air the other night: "I do not feel our show is to blame for what happened to Melinda Duckett" and, really, what else could she say?

Grace issued a statement earlier this week just after the suicide occured. It read: "We feel a responsibility to bring attention to this case in the hopes of helping find Trenton Duckett, who remains missing. Our goal in our continuing coverage of Trenton's disappearance is to enlist the public's help in finding him... While Ms. Duckett's death is an extremely sad development, we remain hopeful that Trenton will be found safe, and we will continue to cover the case until it is solved." Not a whole heckuva lot of compassion for Melinda Duckett (only 21, remember) in that statement, right? That's probably why Duckett's family feels that Grace "bashed" her into suicide.

Me? I am in a waiting mode. But if in the end it turns out that Grace did play a role in Duckett's suicide I would not be the most shocked person in the world. In fact, I'm surprised that violence hasn't surrounded her shtick already and more often. The combination of rage, revenge, accusation and innuendo that permeates her show and her television personality is precisely the sort of roiling, viscious, corrosive potion that leads people to think they are heroes when they are about to act as villians. I have often worried for Grace's own personal safety, figuring that it was just as likely that someone who was negatively affected by her show would try to take her out as it was conceivable that someone would in the end decide to allow Grace to become, literally, a femme fatale.

Ask any divorce or family law attorney and they will tell you that the most important thing they do is to ratchet down emotions when family and friends and reputations and lives are at stake. That's why that particular area of the law is almost always the one with the most personal peril for attorneys. But you only need to watch Grace's show once to know that she is racing to embrace and embellish what real-life working lawyers are scrambling to avoid. You just can't rev people up, all the time, and constantly bring more heat than light to a subject, without attracting the worst angels of our nature. It may make for good ratings. It may make a cadre of people decide to follow you like a prophet. It may even get you a book deal and a publicist. But in the end someone is going to get hurt.

Maybe that someone isn't Melinda Duckett, who may or may not have had other reasons for ending her short, already-tragic life. But as sure as I am typing this there will be more trouble for Grace if she continues to play prosecutor without a judge around to reel her in when she has gone too far. Her jury of viewers may dig her act. But that doesn't make it right. Just ask the Duckett family today.

By Andrew Cohen |  September 14, 2006; 8:45 AM ET
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Andrew Cohen is right on about Nancy Grace. At times her arrogance and condescending attitude offend me as a viewer, so I can imagine how a "guest" on her show might feel. But besides her show generating empathy for the guest, it also stirs up some hatred for her as a lawyer. (not that lawyers should be hated - that much ) Her snippy attitude and whiney "southern belle" voice alone is enough to make me change channels. She's just another one of those hosts who make you ask the question, "who listens to these asses' anyway.
Larry Peters Hammond IN

Posted by: Lawrence Peters | September 14, 2006 09:58 AM

Unfortunately, there is a certain segment of society that embraces hostile, negative media personalities because they validate their own view of the world. Nancy Grace plays beautifully to that audience. Why she would bury a very positive aspect of her persona, a true interest in victim's rights, in a morass of vitriole is beyond me.

Posted by: Chandra Greer | September 14, 2006 12:11 PM

I applaud your well-written observations of Nancy Grace's show.

I quit watching Nancy Grace during the Hurr Katrina aftermath. She blatantly harrased a nurse who was trying to report her first hand experience at the nursing home that flooded. She wouldn't even let the poor womean speak and was obnoxiousily putting words in her month and twisting anything the women was able to speak about regarding the terrible/tragic incident.

Once in awhile, when I'm truly bored and there's some 'sensational' story about - I'll turn Nancy Grace on, but soon turn it off in disgust and to some degree in terror. The woman scares me with her railroading, mis-guided righteous and sensationalizing tactics.

In addition, she is so often wrong - with the Groene murders and Jessica Lunsford tragedies she was clearly trying to pin them on the fathers.

Why anyone would appear on her show is a mystery to me. You'll be verbally tarred and feathered and never get your message across.

Posted by: Kat in Tennessee | September 14, 2006 12:16 PM

As someone covering this case here in central Florida, something Melinda Duckett's estranged husband said is relevant to this discussion.
He said he also had many fingers pointed at him during the early stages of the interview. He took a lie detector test, passed it, and is now spearheading the drive to try and find the boy.
What we're all asking here, is how could any mother, with any inkling that her missing child might be found, kill herself, unless she is more culpable than she is letting on?
Leesburg police tell us she was evasive, and would not take a polygraph. I'm not saying Ms. Grace's approach is right or wrong. I am saying without doubt Melinda Duckett was facing the same tough(or tougher)questions from law enforcement.
As the last person to have seen this child, why would she not be anything but completely candid and open, unless she did indeed take some sort of dark secret to the grave?
Why would she not give police absolute answers to help them establish where she and the boy were before she reported him missing? They have roughly 26-28 hours of time before she reported Trenton missing, that they cannot account for the whereabouts of Melinda Duckett or her son. That has been an enormous roadblock in this case. That dig in the construction area south of town this week, police have told me, was based on little more than a hunch. That shows how little information they had to go on.
As I write this, our tv station, wesh-tv, is reporting that there is a new search going on in the Ocala National Forest.
We'll see if time vindicates Ms. Duckett or not.

Bob Kealing
Longwood, FL.

Posted by: Bob Kealing, reporter, WESH-TV Orlando | September 14, 2006 12:22 PM

Nancy Grade is a disgrace. Her brand of TV just makes me sick, and I wonder how good her ratings really are? I mean, her negativity grates at my nerves. It is always the same format: Some sensational story Natalie Holloway, The little 6 year old in colorado, etc. She immediately picks the most likely suspect (regardless of the facts) and spends the next 6 weeks trying to pin the blame on them. Her show is boring, irritating, and I can only handle it for short periods (less than 30 sec) before I want to drive down to the studio and start flipping circuit breakers.

Posted by: Paul | September 14, 2006 01:15 PM

That was a really nasty piece of comment by one Bob Kealing. Lots of supposition and not a shred evidence to suggest that the mother had committed any crime, merely that she was mentally disturbed enough to take her own life. Are reporters in the US all like that?

Posted by: Hazhen | September 14, 2006 01:48 PM

Regardless of whether Melinda Duckett did anything to her son or not, Nancy Grace has inserted herself into the case and has eliminated the ability to find any information from Melinda. She has been extremely counterproductive to solving the case.

Nacy Grace chose to be judge and prosecutor, decided who was guilty without all the facts and clearly pushed this young lady over the edge.

Nancy Grace needs to resign her position, or at a minimum acknowledge that her words may have had a part in Melinda's demise. Acting otherwise makes her no better than the criminals she purportedly abhors.

Posted by: Jim Troscinski | September 14, 2006 01:52 PM

Nancy Grace is the voice for the victim. She does grill people on her show. However, those people agree to go on her show knowing that might take place. In the case of Melinda Duckett she was a mother who refused to take a lie detector test and cooperate with the police. Nancy Grace was doing her job for the victim. She was grilling this uncooperative mother of the victim to get answers to help find this little boy. She did not drive this mother to commit suicide. The guilt is what led the mother to take her own life. I applaud Nancy Grace and I hope she will continue to be that voice for the victim.

Posted by: Debbie | September 14, 2006 02:32 PM

I'm not a big fan of Nancy Grace but did happen to catch this particular program and can't believe how it is being misrepresented by the media.

Nancy covered this missing child's story when it first happened. This second show was 12 days into it. Melinda's attitude was defiant, she lied, she finally disconnected altogether and therefore she did not hear Ms. Grace's outraged comments.

Blaming Nancy Grace for the mother's piss poor attitude is pretty lame. Just because she committed suicide doesn't change the fact that the mother had not been cooperating with police and it was her attitude that harmed the chances of recovering a live child.

Posted by: Catherine | September 14, 2006 02:33 PM

After the tragic suicide of the guest (Melinda Duckett) that Ms. Grace berated and attacked, with no solid foundation, evidence or proof, it is worth reminding everyone that Nancy Grace represents what is wrong with the "so called " television journalist in the age of cable.

Media figures like Nancy Grace are more concerned with garnering attention and celebrity than with reasoned discussion or intelligent discourse. Their shrill, overly intense yammering serves no purpose other then to convince the host they are important and lead them to the delusion that they are indispensable.

Ms Grace and CNN should be aware of some things that the rest of the world is coming to realize more and more each day; Ms. Grace is not a journalist but a celebrity hack with little pedigree or credential to justify the media platform she abuses; Ms. Grace is no more qualified than I am to question the motives of people or to judge them; Ms. Grace lacks intelligence or ethics; Ms. Grace and her ilk are becoming more and more irrelevant by the day.

Unfortunately, that growing irrelevance is what makes her so dangerous. In order to garner the attention she pathologically craves, she ends up contributing to the death of a person who never had a chance to prove her innocence.

If only there were some way to legally sanction her for her irresponsible and dangerous behavior. It is clear she doesn't have the capacity or conscious to feel remorse or to hold herself accountable in any way.

Ms Grace calls her show "Seeking Justice." Sure, when the justice suits her need for ratings, celebrity, fame and fortune. Outside of that, she has no concern for justice, honesty or fairness.

CNN should be ashamed for providing the platform from which to she can destroy lives and spew her irrelevant and banal chatter.

Please, in the name of all that is decent, GO AWAY! It is too late for Melinda Duckett, but for the rest of us it truly would be a way to "Seek Justice."

Posted by: Daniel Hough | September 14, 2006 02:38 PM

If you missed watching Nancy Grace interview Elizabeth Smart earlier this year you missed a thing of beauty. Elizabeth Smart clearly agreed to do the interview as long as she didn't have to talk about her abduction. She had moved on and was promoting something positive in her life. But there was Nancy Grace hammering Elizabeth Smart. She kept trying to get her to talk about those events and Elizabeth respectfully rebuffed her and tried to move the interview in a different direction. Elizabeth Smart told her and her producers that she wasn't going to talk about those past events. Well, that's not good enough for Grace. She couldn't help herself. She tried to get the questions in using her back door tactics and I was just sitting there disgusted. To Elizabeth Smart's credit she didn't fall for it, put Grace in her place, and if I remember right was ready to stop the interview. Elizabeth Smart should class and grace and Nancy Grace showed who she really was. Fast forward to the pre-suicide interview......Nothing new with Nancy Grace.

Posted by: James Maxwell | September 14, 2006 02:43 PM

Nancy Grace degrades CNN's credibility. Her show, attitude, and appearance make me ill. Though I could see how she could drive someone to kill themseleves, I am concerned now that she actually has. I will be watching CNN tonight and trust that they will report on this story. Her reckless comments and behavior are disgusting. She has got to go...

Posted by: Doug | September 14, 2006 02:48 PM

I think, shows like "Nancy Grace" should be be taken off the air before they cause mental and/or physical harm to others.

Posted by: Abhi | September 14, 2006 03:03 PM

I would like to state that I am not a fan of Nancy Grace. I do think that she often goes too far and is too overly emotional. That being said...

I feel that she is in no way to blame for Melinda Duckett's suicide. I read the transcript and Duckett was evasive and defensive the entire time. The father of the boy, Joshua, had no problems answering questions. Melinda could not mention one store that they went (which could be helpful if someone saw Melinda and her son being followed in a store.) Also when Nancy asked her if she took the Polygraph test she could have simply said "no" instead of dodging the question.

Nancy was asking straight forward questions. Melinda Duckett choose to go on Nancy Grace, no one forced her. It does not constitute as baggering. I have no sympathy for Melinda.

Posted by: Michelle | September 14, 2006 03:06 PM

Simply asking the woman WHY she will not tell people where she shopped the day before and WHY she would not take a lie detector test the husband had no trouble taking is no reason to blame nancy for this act. Those who do are just bleeding heart liberals who can't stand that she is a tough conservative that doesn't coddle people and prefers to get to the truth of the matter at hand. I find it sad that so many blame her when all she did was ask the same questions the police were asking her and asking legitimately WHY she would not take a polygraph to clear herself and let the police focus elsewhere. THOSE are the people who should be ashamed of themselves, not Nancy Grace. I applaud Nancy for her diligence in trying to find missing children on her show, which is a HUGE part of her show. If any in here had HALF the integrity she did, this world would be a better place.

Posted by: Jeff Hammond | September 14, 2006 03:28 PM

They should've fired her a long time ago.

Anyone remember her "interview" with Elizabeth Smart?

Posted by: fire nancy already | September 14, 2006 04:01 PM

I'm just waiting for CNN to rename it "The Nancy Shrew Mysteries."

Posted by: David | September 14, 2006 04:31 PM

The lady put her son's child seat up for sale before he disappeared. She bought a shotgun at a pawnshop two days before he disappeared. Any questions to the mother were entirely appropriate. But it is not surprising that readers (and writers) of this liberal rag hate Nancy and let common sense go out the window when commenting on this case.

Open your eyes, folks. When it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, most often it IS a duck.

Posted by: Rich Andrews | September 14, 2006 04:43 PM

Nancy Grace, and plenty like her, including Jerry Rivers, I'm sorry, Geraldo, are nothing more than ambulance chasing journalists. In addition to being an overly aggressive and hostile individual she is also lacking in decency and moral fiber.

She, as well as her peer group, have never apologized when they wronged someone, implied that they were guilty and later found innocent or had motives she deemed suspicious.

I don't need Nacy Grace, Bill O'Rielly, Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Falwell or any other neo-facist media manipulating, rhetoric spewing talking head to form opinions for me. These people could take a lesson in decency and reasonable behavior from Shawn Hannity.

I can't wait until Nancy Grace is humiliated in the same way that she has chosen to behave. It won't be long. Jerry Falwell has. Rish Limbaugh has and soon she will. The holier than thou like her are always ready to take a fall and I hope when she does it is a long, hard, painful fall from her bully pulpit.

Maybe this woman did kill her child but who the hell is Nancy Grace to decide to undermine the efforts of the entire juducial system. It's highly likely we will never know the truth behind this tragedy.

No Nancy Grace didn't pull the trigger but she did set the stage and for that she, and everyone else like her who engages in such conduct, share the blame for what has happed with Ms. Dummont.

By the way I am more right wing than many, if not all found on this post. In my typical right wing fashion I have decided that the media, and she is a member of the media, maybe the poster girl for female talking heads without a shred on decency, should all go live together in their liberal world.

The comments made about her being an advocate of victims is deplorable.

Nancy Grace, and her peers, are advocates of themselves and that is their sole motivation.

If it weren't she would be doing pro-bono work in stead of being a vituperative, hostile ill mannered and arrogant broadcaster who hasn't yet learned the meaning of justice.

Posted by: Patrick McKinless | September 14, 2006 05:21 PM

Yes, she apparently sold her car seat. She ALSO apparently had purchased a new one. Kids grow, seats change - what's the crime here, trying to save some money?

It's true that police ask tough questions, and that Melinda Duckett likely had to answer some in the past. But Grace is not a police officer, and here, she wasn't acting as a prosecutor. Her job HERE was to be an interviewer - and that doesn't need to involve being nasty and abrasive. If anything, she did her job badly - interviewers should coax answers from their subjects, not yell and scream them into silence.

Grace has been wrong, many many times before. I think her heart is in the right place of wanting to find out what happened to missing children. But her blind biases help no one and make her look bullying, cruel and incompetent.

Posted by: KS | September 14, 2006 05:26 PM

my only question is ARE YOU KIDDING ME???as a mother I know that if my child came up missing i would do everything in my power to assist authorities in recovering him. The fact that the mother was being uncooperative alone is absolutely terrible. I think Nancy Grace is just as annoying as the next person, but blaming her for this woman's death? Really. I guess if a women breaks up with a man and he kills himself because he is so sad it must be her fault now. Where are we going with society now when a child is missing and his mother does nothing to help authorities find him............Nancy Grace grills her like all of the authorities(I hope) were already doing and now it is her fault she killed herself. Again......ARE YOU KIDDING ME.............
What about the little boy. What about what happened to him?
this is a very sad example of the priorities of people.
this is the first time i have heard of this poor boys disappearance and it takes everyones outrage at Nancy Grace's Questioning to do it.
Again there is still very little media coverage about what happened to the boy. It is all about how Nancy Grace crossed the line???
Well who crossed the line and took that little boy?
does anyone care
Obviously not the boys mother or she would not have selfishly took her own life. Unless she already knew he wasn't coming back

Posted by: AMANDA BEAM | September 14, 2006 05:31 PM

I am writing in support of Nancy. I am behind her
1000%. I believe she DID NOT do anything at all to
make Melinda Duckett kill herself. Nancy just asked
question that I am sure the police would ask Melinda
too. Melinda had blogs talking aobut death and all. So
I believe Melinda had something to do with trenton's
disappearance and she did not want the father to have
him so she did something to him.Look she was trying to
sell his car seat. What is that telling you. Maybe
gave him away to someone or hiding him somewhere or I
hope not the worse kill him. I hope the little boy is
alive somewhere out there and I hope they find him

So for all those people blaming Nancy for all of this,
they are wrong. I have a question for those people
blaming Nancy Grace, if Melinda had been on LK show
and he would ask question to her and she didn't answer
them like she did on Nancy's show, and then the next
day she killed herself, would they blame him too. NO
they wouldn't. They just have it out for Nancy because
they know she is good at what she does and has alot of
fans out there and they are just so jealous of her.
Well people get over it, Nancy is innocent. If I could
have a chance to talk to Nancy I would tell her to
keep up the good work and I am behind her.

Posted by: Dana | September 14, 2006 05:32 PM

Thank goodness we have a court system to try cases rather than relinquishing that power to knee-jerk nincompoops (did I spell that right?) Nancy is a dis ... grace.

Posted by: Miriam Matzeder | September 14, 2006 05:45 PM

Nancy Grace thinks she is still in the courtroom(wonder why she isn't). She is in love with the sound of her own voice, and does not care who she hurts. Remember the Elizabeth Smart interview? When will CNN start thinking about something besides ratings and start thinking about decency? She never lets a person talk. She is sooo rude. She is the Judge, Prosecutor, and Jury. I think she does a lot of harm to the Police Investigators who are actually being paid to work on the cases. When will she just go away? Soon I hope.

Posted by: Mary Newell | September 14, 2006 05:59 PM

Those of you who have only read the transcript of this need to watch the video. It was disgusting. I am sure I would have stammered and stuttered a LOT if this raving lunatic had "interviewed" me in such a fashion. Later in the interview after Melinda had gone, this WICKED WITCH at one point apparently took offense at something Mark Klaas said and she started to let HIM have it! Mark Klaas, father of murdered Polly Klaas who has dedicated his life to missing and exploited children. Yes this one is a real prize, Nancy Grace. Her actions were not criminal but they certainly were enough that she should be FIRED and I doubt her ratings make her worth keeping anyway. Get rid of her. People like Catherine Crier are 1000X better if you want a good example of what you should look for in a replacement.

Posted by: Doug | September 14, 2006 06:38 PM

Erase the Dis Grace

Posted by: | September 14, 2006 06:49 PM

These episodes of Grace that aired friday 9/8 and this monday's 9/11 show should be up on you tube NOW for everyone to see what's the big deal about this story. If you recorded these 2 episdoes please post the video of the entire episodes ASAP. Thanks.

Posted by: Julius May | September 14, 2006 07:51 PM

These episodes of Grace that aired friday 9/8 and this monday's 9/11 show should be up on you tube NOW for everyone to see what's the big deal about this story. If you recorded these 2 episdoes please post the video of the entire episodes ASAP. Thanks.

Posted by: Julius May | September 14, 2006 07:54 PM

people are generally suicidal because of a loss of self-worth combined with a feeling of hopelessness.

rarely are they suicidal because of the loss of a loved one.

They become despondent, yes, but they also are aware that their loved one would not have wanted them to commit suicide.

I'm just thinking logically about this...

I could be very wrong...

but it seems that the only reason that she would kill herself over her sons' disappearance, would be that she was responsible for it.

But that could mean many things.

Not cooperating with the police in his search, that can only mean one thing. She knows who has the kid and she is protecting them. Basically pulling the 5th on the whole issue.

Then, pulling the trigger to make sure.

Ok maybe 10% says that she lost the kid somewhre and couldn't deal with it.

Posted by: cc | September 14, 2006 07:56 PM

I agree with someone above. If Larry King had asked the exact same questions, which were PERFECTALLY LEGIT QUESTIONS!, not a darn word would be said by his friends in the liberal media.

It is only because Nancy is openly conservative (which I applaud compared to the closet liberals who give us our network nightly NEWS each night) that this is an 'issue' at all. Those who worry more about those three simple, common sense questions should be worrying more about what happened to that little boy and why the mother was not cooperating COMPLETELY and 24/7 with authorities if need be.

SHE is the problem, not Nancy's common sense questions that anyone who knew of the case were asking themselves.

The hate by the liberals is what disgusts me, not those questions that the woman KNEW would be asked if she agreed to do the show.

Posted by: John Anders | September 14, 2006 09:32 PM

Nancy did nothing wrong. Melinda killed herself. Melinda didn't even answer the police questions either. The reason her son is missing is because of Melinda.
So Melinda is the reason she is dead
an not Nancy asking her questions about
where she was.

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Posted by: REFURB - MSK | September 14, 2006 10:44 PM

If it was not for the methods and standards of Nancy Grace's true to your core,stand up for the little hen,we are righteously correct, Book of Ezekial-esque justice with fire and brimstone for all...

... we would not be entertained in this take things one step at a time, understand problems first, shades of pale colors,do not jump the gun,we are not always correct even when it seems that we are - world that we live in. Especially during prime time.

Posted by: Oh, to have a Blog | September 14, 2006 11:02 PM

I bet the crew on 60 Minutes never asked a common sense question of a politician that they didn't want to answer, and have never made up their mind before all the facts were in. It never happens in the 'journalism world', does it?

I still can't believe how those questions, no matter how presented, are an issue at all, let alone being blamed as the reason someone killed themselves. It is fun watching the Nancy/Conservative/Bible haters wizz all over themselves on this one. I always love seeing them blatantly expose their double standard.

Please, keep it up. You're just making fools of yourselves, and I always love that...

Posted by: James | September 14, 2006 11:16 PM

Nancy (dis)Grace is ismply reflecting the mood in our American society. Obviuosly, that mood of the so called majority has worn thin. The bullies always want to fight until blood is drawn and then it's another matter. Look at Judge Judy.

These folks are a fraud and playing with lives to attempt to get ratings. What needs to happen is callers breaking her down and for the rest of us to write hate mail to the network and stop watching her show. In essence those that agree she suks...need to attack a civil and legal way of course ((mail to the network, website protest)) in fact I think I'll do the site and post back with the URL 8-)

Posted by: Joel | September 14, 2006 11:20 PM

"we would not be entertained in this take things one step at a time, understand problems first, shades of pale colors,do not jump the gun,we are not always correct even when it seems that we are "

How did she "jump the gun" asking those questions, the same questions the police asked but she refused to answer. How is asking her where she was the day before reporting him missing "jumping the gun"? How is asking her why she refused a lie detector test "jumping the gun"?

These are the exact questions anybody with any common sense had in their head when they learned she had refused to cooperate in those areas. So how is it "jumping the gun" to ask the same questions any person with an ounce of common sense was asking themselves? I must be confused, so someone please help me out with those questions, eh?

Posted by: Thomas Kelly | September 14, 2006 11:23 PM

I've been listening to Nancy Grace carrying on about the Duckett case for three consecutive days. It's highly repetitive. She keeps repeating the same statements and the same pieces of the interview, over and over.

Nancy Grace is on some kind of vendetta, only too typical of MSNBC's and NBC's news coverage recently. The tip-off for me was her harping about the need of parents of children who have disappeared to take polygraph tests. The fact that polygraph tests are as unreliable as they are sleazy and invasive is never mentioned.

I thought that Ms. Duckett handled Nancy Grace's questions very poorly because she is sociopathic, and I also think she killed her son, but that doesn't help the extremly poor quality of Ms. Grace's reporting.

Dora Smith
Austin, TX

Posted by: Dora Smith | September 15, 2006 12:27 AM

Nancy Grace "Jumps the Gun" footnote

Nancy Grace was speaking to the OBVIOUSLY DISTRAUGHT, open wounded, grief stricken mother of a child whom was kidnapped and WHOM WAS NOT A SUSPECT at this point in time. Asking her all of the tough questions that you should ask a person in this situation, DAYS AFTER THE MURDER WAS FRESH, OVER THE PHONE(sarcasm). Then aired the conversation to HER AUDIENCE.

Thanks for getting me started...

Nancy Grace should only realize that her brand of entertainment does have consequences, and while it is fun to have the upper word with people embroidled in tragedy or, whom may even of caused the travesty (although I believe that this was a pure accident in a backroads wooded neighborhood where criminals can easily blend in or escape) Nancy Grace seriously screwed-up protocol.

Thank you Nancy Grace--- your tremendous (sarcasm)roast everybody talk program never solved a murder, abduction,or crime, but you surely ruined this case. You can stop talking about it. You have helped enough.

cases solved on your show:cases interfered:
Nancy:3 years of 00000 --- 1

Posted by: Oh, to have a Blog | September 15, 2006 12:35 AM

I would rather read the "Weekly Globe" magazine about some alien baby than listen to this self-aggrandizing woman bully people who have a "story" to her liking. The tragedy here has been on my mind all day. There are too many "news people" and not enough news, to the point that they're making things UP to be "first" on a story.
I don't watch ANY of it anymore. My view on life is much more positive and hopeful without these "journalists" (it means nothing anymore) hating our country, people in general, and finding ways to "scare" us. We have the BEST living conditions in the WORLD. Do we ever HEAR that? NO! How would America-haters be able to collect their $$ and SAY that?!?
Don't watch the news. Period.

Posted by: Patty | September 15, 2006 01:21 AM

Anybody who doesn't think a mother is a suspect when their child disappears, ESPECIALLY after they refuse to cooperate 110% with Police investigating the crime, is living in fantasyland. Is the sky blue in fantasyland??

Just because the police did not come right out and say she was a suspect does not mean she wasn't. They are careful using that word due to legal issues in the past, so they now say 'person of interest' or hold off on saying suspect until they have more evidence. And prents are ALWAYS the first 'person(s) of interest' when children are missing, and the best way to EXCLUDE them is for them to be honest and forthright and 110% cooperative with police, including taking a lie detector as her husban had no problem doing. Lie detectors are used more for EXCLUDING people of interest than including them, so they do have value to help focus the investigation. If she failed it did not mean she would be guilty, but they would not be able to exclude her. If she passed, they would be able to focus elsewhere.

Bottom line on why she killed herself is obvious. She knew she would lose custody because of her situation, and she did what she did so her husband would not get him. She then realized after the interview that everybody would know she did the crime when they heard the interview and her avoidance of simple questions and requests once again, so she did what many do after they kill someone they loved and they know they will be exposed.

Quack quack!!

Posted by: Kevin | September 15, 2006 01:24 AM

In my opinion, NG's show thrives on ambushing it's guest. They have the basic background of the case and criminal history of each person along with the answers to the questions they are going to ask. It's a set up from start to finish.

Family members of missing persons are emotionally fragile people regardless if they have anything to do with the disappearance or not.

They are asked to come on the show to help get their missing loved one's picture and information out to the public. The guests are not told that their criminal history and any other possible embarassing personal information about them or other family members will be a topic as well.

They are not forewarned that if they hesitate, stutter, or fail to answer one of her questions to her satisfaction that they'll be subjected to intense scrunity by her tag team of former expert know-it-alls.

They are not forewarned that if they haven't taken or passed a lie detector test or submitted a DNA sample that they will be portrayed as a criminal to the national viewing audience.

It is a set up for an ambush and no unstable 21 year old is a match for a seasoned pro like NG.

No one knows what it's like to be in a suspended state of anxiety and despair when a loved one goes missing until you experience it first hand.

You may think you'd act in a certain way, but the mind is a funny place and you sure don't need the likes of NG up your whazoo with a flashlight for all the world to see.

She has never solved one single case with her show. It's for your entertainment, ratings and her ego at the expense of someone else.

These are real people she plays with and she could care less. That came across clearly Monday night.

Two generations of this family are now lost. How's that for entertainment?

Posted by: Lisa | September 15, 2006 03:18 AM

Today, our society is so consumed with being "politically correct" that tough questions posed upon suspects, witnesses or victims are supressed or "sugar-coated". Personally, I believe that we need more people like Nance Grace to get to the truth and if being tough and blunt is what it takes to get to the truth, then so be it.

Nancy Grace's interview of Ms. Duckett was not inappropriete by any stretch of the imagination. While Mr. Duckett answered all of the tough questions that Nancy Grace posed upon him, Ms. Duckett's refusal to be cooperative with those same questions certainly cast a great deal of suspicion upon her.

If the story is the truth, then there need only be one.

If one of my children turned up missing and Nancy Grace wanted to bring media attention to my case, I would jump at the chance. If I have nothing to hide and am not guilty of anything, then I have nothing to fear from her line of questioning.

Nancy Grace is no more responsible for Ms. Duckett's suicide any more than she is responsible for the disappearance of Trenton! Keep up the fight Nancy!

Posted by: Cindy | September 15, 2006 03:53 AM

The people who posted here alleging the guilt of Ms Duckett are truly frightening. No evidence of any sort, just the kind of "we know she did it" irrational mentality. I can think of a number of reasons why Ms Duckett might not want to answer Nancy Grace questions, and none of them has anything to do with her killing her child. There is a reason why court exists, but it may as well not judging by the mindless and hysterical crowd here. Has reasons and logic disappeared from America?

Posted by: Hazhen | September 15, 2006 08:34 AM

Watching Nancy Grace makes me hope that someone like Scott Peterson gets acquitted ... not because he didn't do it, but so that everyone can see Nancy Grace have a coronary on TV!

Posted by: DC | September 15, 2006 08:55 AM

Do I think that Nancy Grace often goes too far. Absolutely. However, blaming her for the suicide of Ms. Duckett seems a bit extreme. And yes, Hazhen, that is what are courts are for, but also as citizens we each have the right to form an opinion. So, whether we feel Ms. Hazhen played a role in the disappearance of her child or we think she was just a disturbed distraught women who couldn't handle the pressure, is our right. Consider me mindless. Consider me hysterical. Think me illogical and without reason. It is your right to have and express those opinions, and personally I think that's the greatest thing about America.

Posted by: Caliou | September 15, 2006 09:07 AM


Posted by: val | September 15, 2006 09:48 AM

I would hope all reporters in the US frankly and openly discuss key issues in a sad and disturbing case in a free and open forum without fear of being labelled 'nasty' or lacking facts.

Posted by: bob kealing | September 15, 2006 09:52 AM

There are no facts in what you wrote, Mr Bob Kealing. Just suppositions, innuendos, "if it were me, I wouldn't have done this" kind of absurd reasoning. She is not you, get it? There may be reasons why she felt desperate enough to kill herself that has nothing to do with any supposed killing of her child. There is no need for courts in the US apparently, all you need to do is to drive someone to suicide and then say, "she kills herself, therefore she must be guilty" and "isn't the US great that we can do this".

Posted by: Hazhen | September 15, 2006 11:21 AM

Hosts like, Nancy Grace, are all trying to out-do eachother by being more rediculious and over the top then their time slot competitors. But Grace clearly is taking things further then the rest. Nancy Grace cannot use the 'I'm just trying to help solve the case' as an excuse to boost her own ratings. Melinda Ducket may or may not have been hiding something. One thing I do know is this: the police had not charged her with any crime. After botched police investigations effected cases like the Jon Benet Ramsey murder, is it any wonder that some parents do not fully trust the police? I'm not going to say she's guilty of murder just because she hadnt taken a polygraph test yet. I saw Ms. Ducket's interview by Nancy Grace when it aired and I was shocked by how hard Grace was being on a woman who may in fact be a victim. From what I've learned Ms Ducket had recently lost her job, been going thru a bitter custody battle, and then had her child kidnapped. Grace could have asked her the exact same questions but with a little more senistivity, it was really brutal to see a 21 y.o. woman get broken down like that. I wish I could say thats surprising to see Grace treat people badly, but its not a surprise at all. Did anyone seee her actually press young Jessica Smart about the sexual details of her kidnapping? Is there no line Grace will not cross?! She's shown time and time again to be a real phony and a real sensationalist. Grace likes to bring up the fact that her fiance was murdered years ago and that's what led her on a path of crime-fighting. This 'Batman-esque' origin was called into question earlier this year when reports came out that major facts of her boyfriend's murder have been embellished by Grace over the years in an effort to make herself look more compelling. Her BF's family didnt even know that he was engaged, so its even possible that she made that up too! Just google something like: 'nancy grace fiance murder' and you'll find several articles on the subject. Bottom line: CNN needs to take her off the air before someone else gets hurt, she's now offically a menace to the cases she claims to want to solve.

Posted by: Ken | September 15, 2006 03:42 PM

I'm no fan of Nancy Grace, but honest, why weep for this Duckett woman. Her lame responses on a timeline and other evidence in the case suggest that, regardless of Nancy's grilling, Duckett the baby killer did everyone a great service by putting a bullet in her head.

Posted by: paul parsons | September 15, 2006 03:46 PM

I watched Nancy Grace the entire week, and she asked Joshua Duckett the same exact questions that she asked Melinda Duckett. She was very evasive, and she wouldn't answer any of Nancy's question. She wouldn't even tell what stores that she supposedly shopped with baby Trenton. She would not answer Nancy's question about taking a polygraph. Nancy didn't put the gun to this girl's head. Melinda took the cowards way out and blew her brains out. If she had mental issues, why go on a show if she knew that it would upset her? If my child was gone, I would step in line to take a polygraph.
All you idiots want to blame Nancy Grace. You are just a bunch of troublemakers. I bet she has her guests sign waivers before they appear. She is not legally responsible for this girl's death. The police would have asked her the same questions that Nancy did. Get a life.

Posted by: Katie | September 15, 2006 04:53 PM

I am very sorry to have to hear about this story, but lets face it. If my child were missing, I would be on every television, and radio station that would have me, trying ti get my child found. Melinda sounded both mentally and emotionally "not there". Mothers are strong species. We get a sudden rush of adrenaline when we are faced with any situation that would cause harm to our children. Just a fact folks. To point the finger at anyone in this case, except the mother is rediculous. Lets be realistic. Melinda could have helped a lot more than she did, in both assisting the police, and getting the word out via the media about her child. I pray that this child is found alive and okay. If it does not turn out that way, I am willing to bet that the details of the real story point directly back to the mother. Sad but probably true. If the child is found alive, lets remember that he is going to spend the rest of his life probably in all kinds of therapy due to the mental and emotional abuse he most likley suffered at the hand of his unstable mother.
Don't you remember the old "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"? We are not made of glass.
Well.... maybe she was.

Posted by: Michelle Farrar | September 15, 2006 05:21 PM

Since when does Nancy Grace get to convict citizens and suspects on her talk show? In this great country, we present facts to a judge and jury and they decide guilt or innocence. Apparently, Ms. Grace slept through her ethics courses in law school. This woman used to be a prosecutor for the State of Georgia? Each conviction that she won should be reexamined and possibly overturned when appropriate.

Posted by: Lori | September 15, 2006 05:22 PM

Lori... How is asking simple, common sense questions the police also asked her "convicting her". Can one of you bleeding heart liberal Nancy/Bible haters answer that simple question for me? Please? Do you even CARE a bit about the kid, or only bashing Nancy and her views/common sense questions?

Remove your hate and look at this objectively and you SHOULD feel stu[pid for drawing that correlation you just tried to draw.

Here's a quarter... buy a clue. PLEASE!

Posted by: John Ford | September 15, 2006 09:17 PM

Here's a clue John Ford. Since this incident, no family member of a missing person will be encouraged to go on her show unless they are pure as the driven snow.

I've personally witnessed her reducing three different missing person family members to tears or utter humiliation.

These families are in such an emotional state that you can't comprehend it unless you've experienced yourself.

They are upset over their loved one being missing and fear the worse. Days are dragging by and there are no answers so the spotlight starts to shift towards the family. It's extremely stressful no matter how great your family is.

Most people are nervous when facing a camera that has a national audience, but they suck it up and do it anyway for the sake of their missing loved one.

They have absolutely no reference point for the experience they have suddenly landed in and shows like NG's coax them in further by saying they are there to help.

These family members aren't forewarned about anything NG has up her sleeve. They don't know that she about to slap them in their face with embarassing details about their life in front of a national audience.

Until their loved one went missing, most have never ever heard of NG much less about her tactics.

NG's show is nothing but a set up for an ambush should the guest hesitate on any part of a question.

These people aren't prepared for that and usually haven't had much sleep and sure didn't know that they would be treated like a criminal.

She enjoys making them squirm to show her audience how superior and smart she is at outsmarting someone that didn't hardly make it out of high school, hadn't had any sleep, and worried about bills.

If a family member did in fact have something to do with the person being missing you sure don't want to rock their boat. You could make them snap and kill themself...and good luck finding the missing person or they could snap and kill someone else. You don't play with fire.

NG has gone on for so long without being called on the carpet for her tactics that she finally succeeded it breaking an unstable 21 year old young woman.

The fact of the matter is that no one has the right to interrogate people except the police and the so called suspect has a right to counsel.

NG can ask all the questions she wants, but once they've answered...move it along. We all get it when someone evades answering a question. She doesn't need to throw a fit and call in her tag team of experts to humiliate them further.

NG doesn't know the mental make up of the people she attacks on national tv and she doesn't care.

This isn't her first victim and I'll be damned if I sit by and watch her do it to another one.

You may not care that this young woman is dead, but I do. She may have had something to do with her son's disappearance, but that is for law enforcement and our courts to decide...not NG.

And for the record...I'm a Republican.

Posted by: Lisa | September 16, 2006 01:50 AM

Somebody please explain this.. a mother supposedly taking her son to a shooting range the day he was abducted, with a "rifle" and then getting "lost" and ending up at a mall she won't describe to anybody?? Huh?

"Authorities are searching Ocala National Forest, where police said Trenton's mother brought him the day he was abducted. She had a rifle with her, and intended to go to a target shooting range, but got lost and went to a shopping mall instead, she told authorities.

Kubic said friends and family also question whether Duckett took her own life. She described Duckett as "such a little girl . . . only 4 foot 7 inches and all of 80 pounds."

"It would be nearly impossible for her to kill herself" with a shotgun. "

Wake up, Nancy/Bible haters!! She killed herself because of GUILT and her knowing she was now exposed, not because of SIMPLE COMMON SENSE QUESTIONS from Nancy that we ALL wanted to know the answers to. And isn't a reporter's job to ask the questions their audience (and in this case, the police also) wants the answers to?


Posted by: Hank Williams | September 16, 2006 12:31 PM

Are we talking about Nancy A. Grace from Mercer? The monogram NAG just about sums it up...

Posted by: MARCO | September 16, 2006 01:11 PM

I think it is way passed time to turn off Nancy Grace. I going to do my part an no longer watch her show. I am a conservative and that has nothing to do with Ms. Grace's behavior.

Posted by: Thel | September 16, 2006 07:25 PM

Nancy Grace is to TV investigation what Jerry Springer is to marital counseling. She has the idea that because she used to be a prosecutor, that her fiance (20 years ago) was murdered, and that she has been a host on Court TV she has the right to act as judge, jury, and possibly executioner. In the end, if we find this young lady had nothing to do with the disappearance of her little boy, Ms. Grace should be arrested for manslaughter. She, with malace, caused the death of another human being by ridiculing and terrorizing her on national television. I will never watch her show again, not that I was a faithful viewer anyway. And, CNN should fire her immediately. My prayers to this young lady's family and to that beautiful little boy. God protect him.

Posted by: Charles Cook | September 16, 2006 10:12 PM

Has anyone besides Nancy Grace ruled Mekinda's death a suicide? I havn't heard a police report on the ruling.

Posted by: CLINTON H. ADDISON | September 16, 2006 10:45 PM

I really admire Former FBI profiler turned commentator Clint Van Zant: following is what he had to say in the Freelance Star on 9/15 regarding the NG issue.
He said "there are lines that should not be crossed on television news and talk shows to get ratings."

There's little doubt in Van Zandt's mind that an aggressive Nancy Grace interview pushed Melinda Duckett--the 21-year-old mother of a Leesburg, Fla. 2-year-old named Trenton Duckett who vanished two weeks ago--into taking her own life.

"Duckett killed herself Monday after being badgered for details by CNN's Grace during the taping of an interview.

In that interview, Grace was pounding her desk and angrily saying to Duckett: "Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?"

Grace's producers aired the interview with a line on the bottom of the screen saying Melinda Duckett's body had just been found at the child's grandparents' house.

Wednesday night on "Scarborough Country," Van Zandt lit into Grace for what he called a "Perry Mason-type performance."

He told the "Scarborough Country" audience that "police have now lost their best witness in the disappearance."

"This was a ratings interrogation," Van Zandt said on the program.

"As an investigator, I would know this woman is fragile--that if she had anything to do with her child's disappearance, she could be suicidal. Nancy Grace isn't an investigator. She's not an interrogator. That's the job of police. Nancy inserted herself in an active criminal investigation."

"The mother," he continued, "should have been "treated with kid gloves, not hit over the head with a phone book."

"On her show Wednesday night, Grace said, "I do not feel that our show is to blame for what happened to Melinda Duckett," and added that "the truth is not always nice sometimes it's harsh."

Yesterday, Van Zandt told The Free Lance-Star, "When they make it a circus just for ratings and take a fragile human being like that--whether she killed her own child or not-- and rake her over the coals, that's unconscionable."

Posted by: Another Southerner | September 17, 2006 01:10 PM

I am the owner of the #1 Nancy Grace fan club.

People blaming Nancy Grace for the death of Melinda Duckett are just softies! Nancy is tough. She asks the tough questions. IT isn't Nancy's fault that Melinda killed herself. What ever happened to personal responsibility! You liberals drive me nuts!

Posted by: Levi | September 23, 2006 04:06 PM

Mr. or Ms. Hazhen,

Why don't you spew your anti-US, anti-journalistic venom elsewhere? These are fair questions and my original posting did include facts. You're just too busy with your holier-than-thou attacks. Isn't it nice to be in a country where this type of dissent is encouraged?

Posted by: Bob Kealing | September 24, 2006 12:54 PM

This is truly a sad case. When I first heard about it, I was extremely appalled by how insensitve the media has become. Nancy Grace is the most insensitive person in the whole world. She should really get checked mentally. She is not really helping, but rather hurting people. This should not be allowed. The Nancy Grace show needs to be taken off the air. Nancy Grace needs to learn a thing or two about tact, especially when dealing with people who are experiencing in overwhelming amount of emotions. Nancy Grace does not have a clue what it is like to be a mother who just lost her child. If she did, she wouldn't have badgered Melinda Duckett in the manner that she did. This show should be a lesson to all the media out there who are doing more than just informing people about the news and events that are happening in and around the world. But what really ticks me off is that they chose to the air show the day after she committed suicide. Laws needs to be put in place for Human Rights. This is wrong. People who do not have ethics should be held liable in the court of law. It makes me sick to think that people that are like Nancy Grace are as insensitve as they are. And then to even press the issue, like beating a dead horse, after she is dead, is even more disturbing. Every question and every detail needs to be outlined, before people go through interviews. I am really ashamed of CNN. I used to think of CNN as a respectable newstation. I do not think so anymore.

Posted by: josieb1b2 | September 25, 2006 03:20 AM

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