Most-Wanted: How Officials Find Fugitives Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, the primary suspect in the murder of fellow Marine Maria Lauterbach, who was pregnant, is believed to be on the run in Mexico. A former FBI agent, a forensic sketch artist and a wilderness tracker discuss how officials track and catch criminals.


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This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

U.S. Marine Corporal Cesar Laurean, the principal suspect in the murder of 20-year-old pregnant Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach is believed to be on the run in Mexico, and the search for him is now well underway. The FBI, U.S. Marshals and local police are coordinating their efforts in an international manhunt.

But just how do they go about finding a fugitive - phone taps, rewards, tip lines? What if you don't have a picture, just witnesses? And what do you do if a skilled hunter or a trained soldier vanishes into the woods? Today, we'll talk with a former FBI agent, a forensic sketch artist and a wilderness tracker.

If you have ever been involved in a manhunt or pick to face off the most wanted list or if you have questions about how all of this works our phone number is 800-989-8255. E-mail us, And you can also join the conversation on our blog that's at

Later in the program, George Packer the author of "The Assassins' Gate" on his new play about the Iraqis who worked for the U.S. in Baghdad, "Betrayed."

But first, tracking a fugitive, and we begin with Clint Van Zandt. He's a former U.S. Army Intelligence Agency and worked at the FBI for 25 years, including time as chief hostage negotiator and as supervisor in the bureau's Behavioral Science Unit. He joins us by phone from Fredericksburg in Virginia.

And Clint, nice to have you back in the program.

Mr. CLINT VAN ZANDT (Former U.S. Army Intelligence Agent): Neal, it's always good to be with you.

CONAN: And of course we're speaking hypothetically, but if you don't know where a suspect is, do you begin with who he is?

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, of course, you know, the question you always have to answer is who? In this particular case, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, they're not concerned necessarily with the crime that he is alleged to have committed, in essence in this case, murder. What the federal authorities are looking for him - for is that federal warrant that was issued for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution that basically says the FBI has reason to believe this individual fled from one state to another or even out of the country to avoid local prosecution. It's the job of the feds, the FBI, the Marshals Service to find him and then get him back into the country then it'll be the job of the local authorities to handle the substantive crime, in this case the murder investigation and prosecution.

CONAN: And because in this case, it is a Marine, there's a lot of information about him on file, including a fingerprint, some pictures and that sort of thing.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, there's fingerprints, pictures, they'll have DNA sources available for him, they'll know his tattoos, they'll know his relatives. Whenever he came into the Marine Corps now realize he's a naturalized U.S. citizen, so he was a Mexican national, came into the United States, was naturalized, came into the Marine Corps, so they will have a complete dossier on his background, who his relatives are which will greatly aid in a hunt for him. We know the FBI knows he's down in Mexico.

They have eyewitness identification, people who saw him on a bus going from the United States into Mexico, in which he engaged in conversations. And even though he used one of his known aliases indicated that he was a Marine, so there's not a question that he did in fact, you know, Mexico, relatives saw him at a liquor store so we know he's been seen down there; the question now is where do we get him and how do we get our hands on him and get him back?

Realize that, of course, the FBI cannot go charge in across the border guns drawn and arrest someone in a foreign country. They have to rely on the aid and the assistance of Mexican authorities to help conduct the investigation as well as to conduct the arrest, get him to the Mexican-U.S. border, shove him across the border and then he's back in U.S. custody.

CONAN: And that could involves some legal processes as well, of course, in terms of, you know, appeals against extradition - that sort of thing but that all remains in the future. Obviously, the FBI would then want to provide Mexican authorities with as much information as they could.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Yeah, and they have to. You know, they've gone to some interesting and unique means, Neal, at this point to find him. Number one in the Unite States, they activated a series of - dozens of electronic bulletin boards on interstates where his picture and background information where shown in areas that they thought he might have fled to. Now, since they believed he's in Mexico, they have the traditional wanted by the FBI wanted flyer or poster containing all of his information, his aliases, his physical description as well as information about a $25,000 cash reward that has all been converted into Spanish and has been circulated in areas that he's believed to be in Mexico. So what the FBI is relying on is a hopefully the good faith of Mexican authorities to help find this guy as well as the $25,000 cash reward.

And then the other normal investigate techniques, as you suggested, they have phone taps and pin registers on all of his relatives in the United States. They're monitoring any credit card any cell phone activities, any electronic signal, any electronic transfer of money, anything that can be digitized; these can all be followed and tracked back to him.

CONAN: We're talking with former FBI agent Clint Van Zandt about how to track a fugitive? How do you conduct a manhunt? 800-989-8255, if you'd like to join us. E-mail is talk@,

And let's get Michael(ph) on the line. Michael is with us from Miami in Florida.

MICHAEL (Caller): Good afternoon. My comment is that given the fact that he was a Marine, wouldn't that present a greater challenge in tracking him down because he's pretty slick at ducking authorities because he's had extensive training in the military?

CONAN: How do we - how would that change things, Clint?

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, he, you know, again, he's a Marine. Realize that he's never been deployed in a combat situation; he's been basically a clerk. Now, everyone knows if you're in a Marine, your basic MOS, you're basically, you're a gunfighter, you're a (unintelligible) and I understand that.

CONAN: Every Marine is a rifleman.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Every Marine is a rifleman. But in this particular case, his rifle has probably been a desktop computer that he's done most of his rifle work on so I wouldn't suggest this guy is necessarily an experienced person in escape and evasion. I think what he's relying on is the ability to do somewhat start to disguise his appearance, grow his hair out, wear sunglasses, do other things, his obvious knowledge of the Spanish language, and to be able to prevail upon friends and relatives in Mexico to help hide him from the U.S. authorities. Now, I think that that $25,000 cash reward may well go a very long way there and he's not the type of guy that - from my knowledge of his background he's necessarily going to be camping in the deserts and cutting cactuses in half to get water out of them to drink.

CONAN: Another aspect though, this is a guy about whom there's a - you don't want to prejudge, of course, but there's a lot of evidence, he may not think he's got an awful lot to lose once authorities close in on it.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, that's always the challenge as an FBI agent for 25 years from when I was out attempting to arrest fugitives, you always had to know that eventually I would become the person standing between the fugitive and what he thought to be freedom, and depending on the value that he put on this freedom that took away from the value of my life, so the investigators, the agents, the authorities always have to realize that.

And as you suggest, this is a crime he's suspected of, there's a ton of evidence to suggest he is involved but for the purposes of the investigation, there is still a lot to be learned. His wife, for example, who's a Marine, she has been cooperating with the authorities, somewhat there is questions concerning what her level of involvement may or may not have been in the crime that he is alleged to have committed, but at this point she's cooperating. She's helping the authorities so there's no need to rush out and arrest her as some people have suggested on television, were I involved in the investigation I would want to keep her talking as long as I can. Once I got him back into the country, then we could figure out who did what to whom.

CONAN: Okay, Michael, thanks very much for the call.

MICHAEL: Okay. Thank you.

CONAN: Bye-bye. Let's go now to Will(ph). Will is with us from Carmel, California.

WILL (Caller): Yeah. I just want to comment that it's not always very easy to recognize a fugitive. I would see SLA Patty Hearst kidnapper member Emily Harris on my post office bulletin board in the Excelsior District of California, in San Francisco, routinely. I walk my dogs about five mornings a week in the McLaren Park and Emily would run by going the other way along the track in her track suit, in her running suit. And I never put the two together. And she didn't look that much different. And I just want to say that, you know, depending on the public is great. But we aren't necessarily going to be very easily able to recognize a fugitive.

CONAN: Okay. Thanks very much, Will.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: You know, Neal, I was involved in the hunt for Patty Hearst. I was in an FBI office in New York. And, of course, the SLA situation took place in California. I spent a better part of the year each week running down leads, alleged lookalikes of Patty Hearst in the New York-Pennsylvania area. None of those turned out to be her, so, you know, I agree with your caller to go through a lot of pieces of coal sometimes before you find the diamond you're looking for.

CONAN: Well, joining us now is Detective Mary Brazas. She's the Bernalillo County Sheriff Department forensic artist in New Mexico and is considered an expert forensic artist by the FBI. She joins us from member station KANW in Albuquerque.

And it's nice to have you today on TALK OF THE NATION.

Ms. MARY BRAZAS (Forensic Artist, Bernalillo County Sheriff Department, New Mexico): Good morning, sir.

CONAN: And one of the things I know you do is to help people recognize people on the run by developing a composite artist sketches of fugitives of whom there are no pictures.

Ms. BRAZAS: Yes, I can do that. It all depends on what they have as far as witnesses or victims.

CONAN: Mm-hmm.

Ms. BRAZAS: And if they don't have any other leads then, they call me and I assist in making a composite.

CONAN: And this is something that we're led by television shows to think that in every police station across the country. I read, in your case, it's actually fairly rare.

Ms. BRAZAS: What's fairly rare?

CONAN: Your skill.

Ms. BRAZAS: Yeah. It's really - I do work for, of course, the Bernalillo County Sheriff Department, and I have done work for APD(ph), for the federal government here and other agencies around New Mexico.

CONAN: And one of the things that you can do, I know, is there are - what - programs or procedures by which you can take up an old photograph and age it?

Ms. BRAZAS: Yes, sir. I can do that.

CONAN: How does that work?

Ms. BRAZAS: Well, I have a really cool system at work. I have a tablet that's actually a computer and you actually draw on that tablet like you're drawing on a piece of a paper. And if you have a photo of someone, you can scan it into my system and I can age him or change his looks or her looks, you know, taking away hair, adding hair, moustache, you know, making look older or whatever I need to do for that person.

CONAN: And every once in a while, I'm told, when you finish your sketch, the people - the witnesses, they cry.

Ms. BRAZAS: Sometimes, they do. You know, it's - if it's in relation to a homicide. It can get pretty traumatic for them. I had people…

CONAN: As they - suddenly recognize their attacker, yeah.

Ms. BRAZAS: Well, yeah. They see it, and it brings up a lot of emotion. And when you're doing the work, it brings up a lot of emotion and trauma that they remember. And I've had people break down in my office. But it's really rewarding, though.

CONAN: Mary Brazas, stay with us. Also, Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI agent.

If you'd like to join our conversation on how to conduct a manhunt, give us a call, 800-989-8255. E-mail us,

I'm Neal Conan. Stay with us. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

(Soundbite of music)

CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

Catching a criminal takes good police work. Even then, some fugitives can stay hidden for years.

In a few minutes, we'll be joined by a wilderness tracker. Right now, we're talking with Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler; and with Mary Brazas, a forensic sketch artist in New Mexico. And we're taking your questions, too.

If you've ever been involved in a manhunt, or if you got questions about how all this work, 800-989-8255. E-mail, And you can read what other listeners have to say at our blog,

Let's get David(ph) on the line. David, with us from Scottsdale, Arizona.

DAVID (Caller): Hi, Neal. A question and a comment. No offense to Mary, the sketch artist, but I just don't think sketches seem to work. I've been following a few cases in Arizona, the Baseline Killer sketches and the composites that were made for him. And now, that there was a recent one with the Chandler rapist, and he got caught. And the sketches, to me, don't look anything like the supposedly killer, I should say.

CONAN: Well…

DAVID: How heavily do the FBI and law enforcement rely on these sketches when they're looking for someone?

CONAN: Well, let's ask Clint Van Zandt about that.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, I was just thinking of an example of this, Neal. Most are aware of the case of missing and are assumed perhaps kidnapped Madeleine McCann. She is the 4-year-old British girl who disappeared last May while on a holiday with her parents, both…

DAVID: That was my second question, sorry.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: …medical doctors, right, both medical doctors. That case is basically grown cold with the Portuguese police first suspecting a pedophile, then a British expat, then the parents, and now, having gone full circle, back to some unidentified pedophile again.

And just last week, there was a full face sketch like Mary would have done released concerning this individual, concerning at least someone who was seeing hanging around this resort and spending an extraordinary amount of time looking at children and knocking on doors, perhaps, looking for a victim.

Well, this picture has been circulated all over that part of Europe right now with the law enforcement - both private and otherwise - trying to find the picture who is the individual who's portrayed in this picture.

Is there such a person or not? And if so, did he have anything to do with the little girl's disappearance? Well, at this point, Neal, that's all the authorities have. They've washed(ph) out every other lead they have. This is what they have to run with. And whether, you know, whether the police believe this may be a good or a bad sketch, even though three people have said that's the guy; that's what he looked like. Yet, it still is going that, you know, that test of investigative time whether he is found, whether he matches the sketch and, of course, whether he had anything to do with the little girl's disappearance. But that sketch has given the authorities something to work with that until last week they didn't have.

CONAN: And Mary Brazas, you said, initially, they come to you when they're out of other leads. And I guess your sketch relies a great deal on the information, the quality of information you get from witnesses.

Ms. BRAZAS: Yes, sir. The detective or the case - the lead case agent, they are the ones that decide who should meet with me because of their case. And then we go from there doing the composite.

CONAN: Mm-hmm. And I understand when you do the composite, you don't want to know any of information about the case?

Ms. BRAZAS: No. I can't know any information pertaining to the case because that contains the composite, so I'm going in, you know, just by what the victim or witness is telling me.

CONAN: So the fear is if you knew it was an alleged child molester, for example, you might - it might actually change the way you draw him?

Ms. BRAZAS: Possibly. It's just I cannot know anything about the suspect until I meet with the victim or the witness.

CONAN: And what is your - forgive me for using such a bad analogy - what's your batting average? How often do your sketches come out and you say, hmm, after the guy is caught, looks pretty good?

Ms. BRAZAS: I've been very fortunate. The gentleman in Arizona, that's some - I've heard that quite a few times about people that do not believe this works. But if you talk to the agencies that I have worked with here, they would say, yes, it does work. And it's a tool like the gentleman from the FBI was saying. It is basically a tool and a resource. When you have used up all your other resources, you use this as a resource or as a tool, and then you know, you go from there with investigators.

CONAN: Mary - by the way, David, thanks very much the call.

DAVID: Thank you, Neal.

CONAN: And Mary Brazas, thank you for your time today. We know you're busy.

Ms. BRAZAS: Thank you, sir.

CONAN: Detective Mary Brazas of the Bernalillo County Sheriff Department. She's the forensic artist there in New Mexico and considered an expert forensic artist by the FBI.

And let's see if can get another caller on the line. And let's go to Jane(ph). Jane with us from Florida.

JANE (Caller): Hi.

CONAN: Hi, Jane. You're on the air.

JANE: Hey, hi. How are you?

CONAN: Very well, thank you.

JANE: I work with the United States Marshals Service, and I look for fugitives. That's my job. I've been doing it for about 14 years now. And I consider us the experts in the field. And my concern is when other law enforcement agencies reveal to the press and others means to which we use to try and catch fugitive. And I just - it's all disturbing to wonder why we would make so much of that or talk so openly about some of our methods.

CONAN: Clint Van Zandt, what do you think?

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, the reality is that between television and movies, so much is out there. There are other - as is I assume deputy marshal is on the line, having spent a lot of my career looking at fugitives, too, far, too, I'm sure she liked - I - there's a lot of things you hold back. There's a lot of investigative techniques that's never revealed. And then there are others that unfortunately find their way out into the media and whether that's someone on law enforcement giving it up or whether that's someone in the media having some knowledge of what's going on, that's what we live with.

I mean, we started with looking at license plates and trying to figure out who that would belong to. And we've moved up technologically in a lot of other ways. But it's hard to believe there's a fugitive out there today that hasn't watch some cop show on television that show how we would go about catching a fugitive. They didn't say to himself or herself, okay, I'll never get caught that way. But there's a lot tricks, I'm sure, the deputy has in her bag and that other agencies have too that never get portrayed in the media or on television.

JANE: I would agree with you on that. But you had so much what people take from television thinking that's reality when so much and a lot of the things that are done are very grassroots and just kind of barebones. And I guess I just - you see on the news and you even see police officers whether it'd be upper level or lower level when they are successful in their hunts. They want to, you know (unintelligible)…

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Give up those techniques…

JANE: …tap their chests and say, this is how we did it. We did it because we did x, y and z.

CONAN: On the other hand…

JANE: I understand the emotion behind it. But so many times, it does a real detriment to what we do have on our bag as resources because there are so many things working against us when it comes to whether it'd be phones and legal orders. And there are so many judicial areas where we can't go into even to track and find some of these people.

CONAN: Well, Jane, I hope we haven't revealed anything detrimental to you. And we wish you the best of luck. Thank you very much for the call.

JANE: Thank you.

CONAN: Okay. Bye-bye. Here's an e-mail question that we have from Slick(ph). Can bounty hunters chase into other countries? Clint?

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, they can, of course. Dog the Bounty Hunter, found out when he got down in Mexico to grab some wine. He got himself in trouble and thrown into jail also. So whether Dog the Bounty Hunter, is trying to go from Hawaii to Mexico and look for this individual, I think, there can be illegal bounty hunters who are down there. But most countries like Mexico and others frown on us especially some other international coming into their country, and as your last caller suggested inserting(ph) themselves into an investigation. So I think there are lessons to be learned for bounty hunters to leave it to the professionals, especially when you get into an international environment.

CONAN: Joining us now is Tom Brown Jr., a wilderness tracker, founder of the Tracker School. He's worked with law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and internationally on cases involving abducted children, lost hikers and fugitives. And he joins us now by phone from his home in Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

Nice to have you on the line.

Mr. TOM BROWN JR. (Founder, Tracker School; Author, "Case Files of the Tracker," "The Science and Art of Tracking"): Thank you.

CONAN: Can you describe the process of tracking a fugitive? Is it trying to follow a trail through the woods?

Mr. BROWN: Well, basically, my environment is a lot different than you'd find in typical law enforcement. As you've said, when the fugitive or lost person hits the bush, he's going to leave footprints. And that is what I do as me and my teams; we follow footprints in the woods. And footprints to us with a lot of what I called dirt time become like a fingerprint. No two people walk the same way. So part of our job in the beginning is to isolate and identify key points on a footprint that would indicate this is our target. This is our objective, and thus, enable us to eliminate everything else and stay on that track.

CONAN: And you must hate the rain?

Mr. BROWN: Pardon?

CONAN: You must hate the rain?

Mr. BROWN: Yes.

CONAN: And so as you're going about this search, clearly, you and others like you are experts, but every once in a while, you get a fugitive who knows his way around the woods as well.

Mr. BROWN: Well, you know that's subject to interpretation. You know, my school also deals in primitive wilderness survival. And I hear all these people thumping their chest of how good a survivalist they are. And for instance, the case in point is Eric Rudolph. Where did they find him? Feeding out of a garbage can. And there is very few…

CONAN: But after a number of years on the run.

Mr. BROWN: Yeah, well, yeah, he wasn't on the run the entire time, either. He was stealing from farmlands and stuff like that. I mean, a pure wilderness survivalist is very difficult to find. There's very few of them out there. Eventually, they're going to have to make contact with civilization one way or the other.

CONAN: And in the Rudolph case, there was at least suspicion that he had help from some of the people in the area.

Mr. BROWN: Oh, yeah. Definitely, there's evidence of that - that he definitely had help stealing from grain factories, stuff like that, garbage cans, whatever. That is not a survivalist. That's nothing more than a homeless person that lives in the bush, as far as I'm concerned.

CONAN: So if somebody goes out into the woods and tries to get lost, you're suggesting it isn't all that hard to find them?

Mr. BROWN: No. No, not at all. The only time it becomes difficult is when there's too many searchers just doing what's called a visual search. I mean, a lot of the times, you do not have any other choice. But they should always let a trained tracker in first - whether it's a FBI tracker, local law enforcement, search and rescue, something like that - before the tracks become thoroughly obliterated.

CONAN: Who is the most difficult of the people you've searched for to find?

Mr. BROWN: Basically, number one, is somebody who knows their way around in the woods and has had some kind of military training especially dealing with escape, evasion, counter-tracking and things like that. That makes a tracker's job more difficult. So what has to happen is you have to jump track or cut track, take in an educated guess the direction of travel and then go a mile or two up on that direction of travel and try to cut back and pick up the tracks to get through the places where he's tried to erase or obliterate his tracks or confuse the tracker.

CONAN: Tom Brown, thanks very much for your time.

Mr. BROWN: You're very welcome.

CONAN: Tom Brown Jr., a wilderness tracker and founder of the Tracker School. And he's worked with law enforcement agencies on cases involving, well, abducted children and fugitives - well, with us from Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

We're talking about how to conduct a manhunt. And you're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

And let's get another caller on the line. This is John(ph). John with us from Santa Cruz in California.

JOHN (Caller): Hi. Nice to talk to you. I want to say I really enjoyed listening to your show.

CONAN: Thank you.

JOHN: So I just wanted to say that as part of the artist sketch, it's pretty effective in my case. I was arrested due to a very good likeness of an artist sketch. I mean, it was pretty ridiculous. And when I got taken into the investigators' - when I finally got arrested and was taken into the investigators' room, he had almost full body size of my face posted right in front of his desk. And I could just imagine him walking in, walking up and, you know, thinking about my - and I'm - and what - eventually, what happened was, a person that I had gone to school with was at a pizza store that I had robbed, and he recognized me and was able to contact authorities and…

CONAN: So in your case…

JOHN: …changed my life.

CONAN: In your case, it all worked. And how long did you end up doing in time?

JOHN: I did two years in prison and I was able to get a sentence modification to achievement center. And I couldn't really believe that had I gone through my parole and never done the treatment, you know, I think that, you know, I just want to shout out that people can change. You know, I had a bad history. And my arrest is part of, you know, being able to get back into society in the right way. So some people can make it. And…

CONAN: Okay.

JOHN: Whenever - well, I just wanted to say that the artist's sketches work. My wife's friend came over as soon as she saw in the paper. It was posted in the paper. And my wife's friend came over and said, this is your husband. And she said, no way.

CONAN: And it was. Well…

JOHN: And it was.

CONAN: John, thanks very much for the call. And continue - good luck to you.

JOHN: Okay. Thank you. Bye.

CONAN: All right. Bye-bye.

JOHN: Bye-bye.

CONAN: Let's see. We got one last caller in. David(ph). David with us from Sonoma in California.

DAVID (Caller): Yes. Hello.

CONAN: Go ahead. You're on the air.

DAVID: Yeah, thanks. What I'm wondering is, you know, this is a high-profile (unintelligible) case, and what I'm wondering is how much money and manpower goes into a case like this, possibly, at the expense of lots of other unsolved cases and murders of, you know, dangerous people out there?

CONAN: Sure. Clint Van Zandt, any insight into that?

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, of course, we know the $25,000 reward has been put up. But in the case of Mexico, every year, we have a thousand plus fugitives that are, in actuality, located in Mexico. They're brought back to the U.S. border - turned over again.

I mean, I appreciate what your caller is saying that even though this is a potential murder case, there are a lot of high-profile perhaps terrorism cases. You know, your stalker or your tracker, Neal, that made me think that the British have developed software along the lines of what your tracker has said how different people walk differently. They lean one side or the other. The British have developed a software package that they can take the image of a terrorist, figure out how he walks his gait which way and then compare that with other people they see on the street so they - instead of identifying by someone's face, now, they're trying to identify by the way they walk. So there is a lot of technology out there other than $25,000 on the barrel head being employed.

CONAN: And just getting back to David's point, though. If in a case, certainly, like the one you worked on in the SLA case and Patty Hearst - such a huge-profile case, does the FBI then steal resources from other investigations to focus on something that's become such a big deal?

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Well, the answer is I think you do. And I mean, those resources are finite. You only have so many men and women to dedicate. Now, the FBI has probably got half of the resources dedicated to terrorism today. And fugitive investigation is not necessarily high on the list. But it's always interesting how this, you know, the media can drive a case. Him, being a Marine, she was pregnant - all of these emotions that are involved in the case, these decisions are not made in a vacuum. They're made and - if you can attach certain resources to a fugitive and if you really do a full court press, might should be able to get that person off the street faster than if you didn't. Someone is making the decision in the case of this Marine that those resources would help bring him to justice. Or otherwise, he might remain a fugitive. And as a fugitive, perhaps, commit other violent acts. So that's how the decisions are made.

CONAN: David, thanks very much for the call.

DAVID: I hear the music. Thank you.

CONAN: Thank you. And Clint Van Zandt, thank you so much for your time.

Mr. VAN ZANDT: Thank you, Neal.

CONAN: Clint Van Zandt. He joined us by phone from Fredericksburg, Virginia, former FBI agent.

Coming up next, George Packer's new play "Betrayed."

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