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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Aired January 23, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: CNN Films presents The Imposter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICHOLAS BARCLAY: Some more picture. Some more.
This is Carrie's room. Her bed. It's the birthday girl's mattress and everything. She even got TV in her room, ain't she lucky?
That's my sister.
The birthday girl, isn't she beautiful? And here is her brother, Nick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAREY GIBSON, NICHOLAS BARCLAY'S SISTER: The thought of what somebody's have done to him.
It gives you nightmares. It ruined us.
BEVERLY DOLLARHIDE, NICHOLAS' MOTHER: His disappearance never made the news. It wasn't news to them. It was just news to us.
CAREY GIBSON: It came to the point where you know you're not going to find him alive, but you just want to find what happened to him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife and me are here as tourists.
We've found a kid.
About 14, 15 years old.
No ID. No documents on him.
He's very scared.
DOLLARHIDE: They called me at work and I wasn't there and they wrote a message and said someone from Spain has Nicholas. He wants to come home.
CAREY GIBSON: My mom called me and I was at work and she says, "Are you sitting down? You're not going to believe this." BRYAN GIBSON, NICHOLAS' BROTHER-IN-LAW: Of course it was mysterious, it was exciting, and it was worrisome. It was all mixed emotions, you know.
CAREY GIBSON: Ecstatic, bewildered, you know. Spain? It's not like I crossed the country. How did he get there? You want to -- you have like 100,000 questions that you want answered immediately.
DOLLARHIDE: I felt wonderful and excited.
CAREY GIBSON: You want to see him, touch him, you know what I mean? It's -- You wanted all to happen now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife and me are here as tourists.
We've found a kid.
About 14, 15 years old.
No ID. No documents on him. He seems very young. And I thought he was really scared.
We tried to get him some food but he doesn't want it. I think you should come and help him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. We're going to send a patrol car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know how long it's going to take you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 10 minutes.
FREDERIC BOURDIN, THE IMPOSTER: From as long as I remember, I wanted to be someone else. Someone that was acceptable.
The most important thing for me and what I learned very fast was to be convincing.
When the police arrived, I have immediately to put into their mind that they have a kid in front of them not an adult. So it was very important for me to behave like one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Foreign Language].
BOURDIN: They would see me with -- in a big coat, with younger clothes and they would see a kid with a hat which is very low in the eyes. They couldn't see my eyes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Foreign Language].
BOURDIN: I wanted to provoke in them a sense of guilt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Foreign Language].
BOURDIN: Of being adult and to be close to a kid which is dead scared.
When you see a kid that, you know, got nervous reflexes that you can't touch him, you can't approach him and you understand, you understand that something is wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Foreign Language].
BOURDIN: I was -- I'm the one who was telling them I've been sexually abused. I'm a -- they must ask me that (ph), by my attitude, by my way of doing things. They were the one who were thinking about it and that give me power.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's your name? Tell us your name. Where do you live? Do you live with your parents?
BOURDIN: I didn't speak much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: [Foreign Language].
BOURDIN: It's very hard to read a kid that doesn't speak a word some time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: [Foreign Language].
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Foreign Language].
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: [Foreign Language].
BOURDIN: If a cop will know who a kid is and where he comes from, he just can't take -- keep him in the police station. And I knew that eventually they would have to put me into a children's home.
And that's all I wanted.
Nobody ever give a damn about me. And to know that I changed my identity, the reward was eventually to be put in a place where actually they really cared about me. And hell yeah, I mean, I was reborn. I was born again.
Nobody ever gave me a childhood because to give a kid a childhood, you need to love that kid.
I felt like I belong there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Foreign Language].
BOURDIN: They didn't know that I was 23, 23 years old. I was considered like one of them.
DOLLARHIDE: I told him to be home by dinner and gave him $5 to go play basketball and he took off.
BRYAN GIBSON: He called home. I asked him for a ride which was probably -- I don't know he was within a couple of miles from his house and his mother works late and sleeps during the day and his older brother Jason answered the phone. DOLLARHIDE: When I woke up, Jason was there and said that Bryan had called. And wanted a ride home, but Jason didn't want to wake me up. So he told him he had to walk home. And that was the day the last time we heard from him.
CAREY GIBSON: We spend 24 hours crying, sick, worried. Then you get mad and you get scared. And then you try to get empowered, you know, "OK. What can we do? We have to do fliers. We'll do this. We'll," you know, so instead of -- for -- you don't cry, you do something positive and try to work towards I guess the solution of finding him.
DOLLARHIDE: I thought somebody offered him a ride and he got in the car. And I think he would have gotten in a car with someone and he did.
BOURDIN: Unfortunately for me, it was one of those places which is very rare in Spain where actually they can't stand of being kid with no identity card. No proof of who is.
If you don't tell us, if you can't prove us who you are I'm going to have you finger printed and your pictures taken. I couldn't allow that to happen. I had to find a way out of that. So the only thing left there was one, go to prison, two, prove to them that I'm someone.
I said that I was American that I run away and I was willing to contact my family for them but I wanted to do it myself.
I didn't want my family to receive a phone call from the police, or the prosecutor, or the judge in Spain. I wanted to do it myself. And I said we need to be in an office for the night because I live in the States, the States is a, you know, the time is different, it's a -- so, you know, just leave me in the office and tomorrow you will have all you need.
BOURDIN: In this office, nobody could hear me. I knew that I could pass myself for anyone on the phone I could convince anyone of anything.
So I called American police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hands up (ph), Detective Feller (ph).
BOURDIN: The New York police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you tell him for Jack's office.
BOURDIN: Different police stations in the States.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dobey (ph) here, who is this please?
BOURDIN: I told them every time that there was a policeman from Spain called ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jonathan Duran, that we had found a kid. We are sure that he's from the States but we don't know where.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How longer was this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been maybe missing for a few years. And someone has been looking for him.
BOURDIN: So the police say, "Well, you know, we got hundreds of busters of missing persons in a row and we just can't go through each of them. But what we can do for you is to give you the number of the center for missing unexploited children of Arlington, Virginia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Center for Louisiana Exploited Children. Lorraine (ph) speaking, how may I help you?
BOURDIN: We have a kid in the shelter and certainly is American who is about 14 to 15 years old but the problem is we don't know who is, we don't know ...
I describe myself. Every details I gave was details that I know I could handle. I wanted to be vague and not afford to look at many different things. I wanted her to have many possibilities.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me just take a look here.
BOURDIN: I got maybe something. She said maybe, you know, and we got a kid from San Antonio missing since June 13, 1994 his name is Nicholas Barclay. And I said could you send me a fax of what he look like? In my head, I was just a police officer with Nicholas Barclay next to me trying to confirm his identity and like any other policeman would do.
I'd see if it's him. I thought see if it's him.
I look at black and white picture, old picture. Well, been missing for three or four years guarantee one thing. That will be your chance. If there is a chance there will be doubt. If there is doubt then I got a chance.
Something in my head decided I could do it, that I had to try. I took the phone and I told her that this is Nicholas we got him and it's him. It's incredible. It's him.
CAREY GIBSON: My mom called me and she says, "Are you sitting down? You're not going to believe this." And I said, "What mom?" she goes, "The police department just called me and I think they found Nicholas in Linares." So I'm like OK where in Texas is Linares?" because Texas has a lot of small towns. And then she was like, "No. Spain." I'm like, "Spain?"
Oh God, how to explain the emotion? It's like all this different emotions just like from excitement, to bewilderment, to what do we do, what's the next step, how we get him, when do we have to go talk to him?
BOURDIN: I knew that after that they would contact me. They would try to verify, to go, to see it. Is it true is it here is it, you know, care rate (ph) of family and all that.
CAREY GIBSON: Oh, when I first got, you know, got a hold of the shelter. They put me on the phone with Jonathan Duran who said that he worked for the shelter and that he was the one who was talking with Nicholas and had got the information from Nicholas on who he really was.
BOURDIN: When she called. I said that Nicholas was seated next to me. That he was very scared, he was very traumatized and didn't want to talk to no one.
CAREY GIBSON: He sounded very responsible, very concerned.
BOURDIN: He claims that he has been abused, that he's been hurt that certainly he's been adducted.
CAREY GIBSON: I kind of thought he was like a social worker type of person and very reassuring.
BOURDIN: She said, "Is he saying anything? Is he talking about us? Does he remember?
Well, actually I think he forgot about everything, you know. He doesn't remember very much. He remember you but not very much.
CAREY GIBSON: We were told he was held by some kind of like a sex slave kind of ring. And that he had escaped from there and that he was found wandering in the streets.
BOURDIN: She was heartbroken but at the same time she was very happy.
CAREY GIBSON: I wanted to hear his voice.
BOURDIN: No. Absolutely there was no way I was going to talk to her pretending to be Nicholas because I wasn't Nicholas and she was his sister.
So that would have been a risk -- too big of risk for me. But I did say a few words. She said, "Hello, Nicholas. Do you hear me Nicholas?" Nothing. "I love you Nicholas. I want to take you back home with me. I'm going to take you, baby. I'm going to come and get you and maybe you hear."
"I love you."
And something like that you know and I'm very far away. And then she said, "Was it him?" I said, "Yes, he said I love you." And then she started crying on the phone.
CAREY GIBSON: Well, you started crying. You tell him we're going to come get you and bring you home. We'll get there, we're going to bring you home and I love you too.
BOURDIN: I washed her brain.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BOURDIN: I didn't stop because I didn't think of stopping. I didn't watch myself in the mirror and said, "What are you doing. Stop that immediately."
I realized that I've crossed the line. I wasn't pretending no more to have another identity. I stole one.
NANCY FISHER, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I got a phone call. Would you please call a Carey Gibson? Well, I was astounded by what Carey said. So the one of the first things I said to her was when the FBI and the US State Department assist you and get you and your brother back here, I have to interview him immediately.
PHILIP FRENCH, CONSUL GENERAL: When the welfare of a minor is in jeopardy, our reaction has to be very quick, very responsive. We have to put ourselves in the position of the child or the child's parents or guardians.
FISHER: Generally, when a child is missing for years, either the child is dead or the child is not found. And to find that child in another country is extremely rare.
FRENCH: That made it all the more compelling for us to make sure that we did everything right in terms of establishing who he was and getting him back to his family.
FISHER: My main concern was getting him back so that my part could start, the investigation could start, we could find out what had happened to this child.
FRENCH: I sent somebody out there as quickly as possible.
BOURDIN: The next day, I got beyond my control. The Center for Missing Unexploited Children sent me a flyer. It was the picture of Nicholas at the time of his disappearance. And I silhouette what real Nicholas look like, really with colors and everything.
He was very blond, very -- he had blue eyes. He looked nothing like me. Nothing. The only thing I could do was to think if I was going to be the person who I was going to be.
FRENCH: When I spoke with the vice consul and asked him about his interactions with Nicholas Barclay, he recorded at the time that he spoke English, that he was at least at that moment convinced that this was an American.
BOURDIN: When I woke up the next morning, everything was normal.
Then I saw the director of the shelter that said, "Well, you know, you must be happy. Your sister is on the way." So I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Well, your sister, you know, from San Antonio. She's on the plane. She's coming to get you."
CAREY GIBSON: I never left the country. I didn't know we've been waited and tailed.
I knew my mom can't handle the flight. She can't do it. I have to do this. I just got to go get him and get him back here where he's safe.
BOURDIN: I should have thought of it. I should have thought of the consequences. If you do that, imagine for a second that you're the father of a kid that's been missing for three years and four months and that they find him in Columbia, what could you do? What would be the first thing you would do? I would jump on the plane.
CAREY GIBSON: I didn't sleep for two days before I got on the plane. Fear, but also anticipation. You want to get there, get there, get there, and you want to see him, hold him, smell him, just get there.
BOURDIN: You can't prepare to play a role that person that you don't know. I couldn't be Nicholas Barclay because I didn't know Nicholas Barclay. I didn't even know at that moment if he was left or right- handed. So, that was the problem.
DOLLARHIDE: He thought he was an adult. We called him 13 going on 30, very difficult to discipline him. If you may have this boy (ph) and he was going to do something. Pretty much there was no logic could do.
CAREY GIBSON: He ran away before for a night or two. Mad at mom, I'm leaving. I'll find a new mom, a new home, kiss my kind of bang and he, you know, and he would leave and she would find him down and find out where he is and he'd show up the next day.
He was not, you know, this perfect, nice, sweet, innocent, you know, he's a very street smart, silly boy.
BARCLAY: It's nice to meet you. I am scared.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can hear you're there.
BARCLAY: See, am I beautiful?
DOLLARHIDE: He had beautiful blonde hair. I don't know, like a little pixy.
CAREY GIBSON: He had blonde hair, blue eyes, and a bit of a gap between his teeth when he smiled. You could see it.
CAREY GIBSON: Finally, I'm on the ground. Who am I looking forward? This people look like they should -- they'd be in suits. Oh, damn, you can smoke here? Thank God.
The air smelled different. It was lot less crowded than I thought.
BOURDIN: I did everything I could to give myself a chance. I bought product to color my hair totally blonde.
CAREY GIBSON: The gentleman and the lady approached me because I wasn't sure where to go. And we went straight into a car and started driving. BOURDIN: And the fliers say that Nicholas Barclay had three tattoos. There was a girl inside a shelter that did small tattoos just like that. She was not a pro, she was just a kid. And I asked her to put those tattoos that were n the fliers only.
I took big sunglasses and took a hat and took a scarf and took a lot. I thought that if she couldn't see me, then she wouldn't be able to send out her brother.
CAREY GIBSON: We stopped for a Coca-Cola because I thought it was really cool that Coke there. And it was the anxiety of how long it was taking.
BOURDIN: Minutes before she arrived, I was convinced it's finished that I must going to get arrested and maybe beat up also because they were not going to be happy about it.
CAREY GIBSON: I remember going into like a waiting area. I'm speaking with a couple of people from the home saying that he was in his room. He'd been locked in his room all day. He won't anyone go in there.
BOURDIN: Finally, when I heard someone knocking at the door and say, "Hey Nicholas, your sister is downstairs. She's waiting for you. She's there."
CAREY GIBSON: Went downstairs, an inch like a courtyard, there were some kids playing like ball against the wall. And I looked up for the window and told him. "I'm here. Come here. You know, I want to see you. I want to hold you." And I remember seeing him look out the window.
BOURDIN: I was sure that as soon as the sister was going to see me, she was going to say that, "He's that," you know. That's not Nicholas.
I waited like maybe 10 minutes. I knew I was about to lose everything. I knew that I couldn't wait no more that I couldn't go away, that I couldn't just disappear, so I opened the door and I went down.
CAREY GIBSON: Just a sense of immense relief, just seeing, touching, kissing, holding him.
BOURDIN: The hell, you know.
CAREY GIBSON: He's here. We're here. I have him.
BOURDIN: She didn't even wait a second or two seconds. She jumped on me. She jumped on me. She took me in her arms and she said, "Nicholas, oh, and you are afraid I wouldn't recognize you. I would remember that nose."
CAREY GIBSON: So, I just -- so I remember touching his nose and telling him, "I remember that nose. You're kind of look like Uncle Pat (ph)." BOURDIN: She said that "Don't worry." Like she always say, "Everything is going to be fine. Everything is going to be perfect. I know it's you."
GIBSON: He was just basically told me, he love me and he didn't say a whole lot until all the people left.
BOURDIN: Only God know why would -- she would do something like that. But, I know one thing for sure is there was no other way. She came for me and she wanted me back.
We went to the visit room and she showed me dozens of pictures, pictures, pictures, pictures. You remember this was -- is mom at the house where I'm living in before you went missing. Remember this was when you were playing with Scotty (ph). Remember, this was ...
CAREY GIBSON: And he was like, "Jason, looks the same. Cody (ph) has gone pretty big, huh? Mom, God, mom looks exactly the same, she got put on weight." He wants to know if grandpa was doing." He told me how much he loved grandma and he missed her. Oh, I remember seeing the tattoo, the cross between his, you know, right here on his hand and I just -- just have -- thinking how much he looks like Uncle Pat (ph) and how mom was going to be really surprised how tall he was.
DOLLARHIDE: She said that he looked very different. That he is, you know, grown up and he's very quiet, you know, I have held back.
CAREY GIBSON: He talked with a funny accent that it was always in a whisper, very quiet like he was hiding on something. I mean, oh, look what you have been through. He wasn't the same person. He wasn't the same Nicholas that disappeared four years before. He have been held and tortured and God knows what else. He wasn't that same person.
FRENCH: The judge in Linares wanted to make sure that there was in fact some legal basis for Nicholas claiming to be Carey Gibson's lost brother.
BOURDIN: So, now the problem was that they had the sister and the embassy official that were swearing that I was Nicholas Barclay. And there was the police and the persecutor and the judge were not convinced at all.
FRENCH: The judge insisted on separate interviews and part of the evidence that was in those interviews was a family photo album.
BOURDIN: When the judge said, "Listen, the only way for you to prove that it's -- you're really Nicholas, we got pictures here that you've never seen before. I'm going to show you five of it. Number one, OK, number two, OK, number three, OK, and number four, OK, on the five one I made a mistake. But it was too late. She was already convinced I was Nicholas Barclay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who is it going to be?
FRENCH: To that point, I didn't see how I could not document and to see this person (ph). BOURDIN: I would not have been able to do anything if Carey didn't show me those pictures. They took picture of me, there's no ad, there's nothing, which was, you know, they saw my eyes. Under the constitution of the United States, I swear to be a US citizen, and you know, it wasn't real, but I did it.
CAREY GIBSON: We didn't do a whole lot of talking the night before when I'm on the plane. Not uncomfortable, just silent, and it was almost like a peaceful silence. You know, I can hear him breathing and I just felt pretty peaceful.
BOURDIN: I've been thinking about running away even before I met her. All I got to do was to take a taxi cab and go into a train station. Buy myself a ticket out of Spain. I could have done that in a couple of minutes. Nothing was stopping me, nothing. I went down a few times in the hallway. Always wondering if I was doing the right thing, the wrong thing, should I go? Shouldn't I go? Should I go? Shouldn't I go?
When I was born I don't think there was much love. My mother was very, very young at that time when she was -- she was only 17 years old, met older man which was my father from Algeria. My grandfather was a very racist person, and knowing that the man that my mother spent a night with is an Algerian, wanted absolutely my mother to have an abortion, to get rid of me even before I was born.
For him, an Arab should be dealt with a nuclear weapon and a black man is a monkey. Before I was born, definitely I have the wrong identity. I already didn't know -- I was already prepared enough to know who I really was.
A new identity was a real passport -- an American passport. You could go to the US, go to school there, live with that family and just being someone and don't have -- never again to worry about being identified. I saw the opportunity. A woman that would go through so much to get me with her back in a family which got kids, which seem a loving family, it got to be somebody good.
They really want me to be Nicholas but what about the others? Are they going to want me to be Nicholas too?
CAREY GIBSON: I didn't understand why he was so like nervous. You know, what I mean. He was like, you know, constantly moving and faster and watching people, watching me. He was always watching me.
BOURDIN: She was always looking at me.
CAREY GIBSON: I attested to him just being scared. You know, he's going back home. And we don't know what's happened to him, how he's mind is working. That he was just -- and maybe he was afraid that he wouldn't be recognized, or our mom wouldn't love him anymore.
BOURDIN: I'm going to get killed. And I want -- and I said, "Well, maybe the plane better crash." CAREY GIBSON: When I said it was time for us to board, I nudged his neck and I said, "You're ready? You're ready to go home?" "I'm ready to go home." And so, I said, "Let's get out of here and go home." We got on the plane.
DOLLARHIDE: I was really nervous, anticipation, pretty happy. Now, we have made it. It was a family thing that we all went together.
BOURDIN: I didn't want to go out of the plane. I wanted to wait. I wanted to prepare myself.
I didn't have that in the plan. I didn't have any strategy. I knew there was no way out. I could not turn back.
DOLLARHIDE: We had no idea what kind of person we will get with him coming back.
I wanted to run and grab and hold him but he held back. So I walked down and grabbed his hand and hugged him and told him I missed him. He had changed so much. Indeed, it was like mind boggling. And then, I realized, you know, you tell yourself, "Well, he's been through all these tremendous stuff. So he's absolutely going to be different."
CAREY GIBSON: I just remembered my kids and my mom and my husband and Jessica (ph). We were so happy.
DOLLARHIDE: He was like totally covered up. So then, I got scared. I came down and just get through in that stuff despite his appearance.
BRYAN GIBSON: He was very quiet and standoffish.
BOURDIN: I never liked it for people to touch me. And I can change that. So when she put her hands around me, she must have felt that I wasn't enjoying it at all.
I was very cold, very closed. I didn't speak to people. As much as I was happy, I didn't show it. I had a border in front of me. I didn't want to screw up.
BRYAN GIBSON: Of course, it was welcome with open arms and "Let's get you home and to talk about this later (ph) and let's just go home."
FREDERIC BOURDIN, IMPOSTOR: When I woke up in the Texas country, what I saw wasn't exactly what I expected to see.
The States for me was big city, it was big buildings and people everywhere. The first thing when you open your eyes is official. Your name is Nicholas Patrick Barclay, that you were born December 31, 1980, and that every family member is calling me Nicholas and not, Nicholas, but what is your real name? No, Nicholas, OK, we're going to go shopping, Nicholas. They drove me around and, you know, I knew I had to recognize something. So, and I also knew that I couldn't, because I never been there before.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, Kirk, how are you doing?
BOURDIN: We met some people that knew Nicholas before he disappeared. I told them I didn't remember them. There was something, but I didn't remember them. Like, I lost my memory, which is what I told them.
BEVERLY DOLLARHIDE, MOTHER OF NICHOLAS BARCLAY: He was traumatized. That's why he wasn't remembering anything, because of all the things that had happened to him.
BOURDIN: I remember a sign.
I saw Nicholas in the picture doing this with his fingers, his way to say hello. And I did it a few times with them when I was there. That was one of the only things I knew what to do.
I was thinking to myself that Nicholas Barclay could come back at his house any day. That was my first worry. I was really worried about that. I couldn't help it. I said, man, what if he show up? What if he open the door and say hey, I'm back, you know?
CAREY GIBSON, SISTER OF NICHOLAS BARCLAY: We thought the best thing for him was just to have a normal routine, get up, and eat breakfast. You do this, you eat lunch, you eat dinner, you watch movies, just a normal family atmosphere.
BRYAN GIBSON, UNCLE OF NICHOLAS BARCLAY: Me and him hung out. I would just take him for drives and talk to him and turn up the music and stuff. C. GIBSON: He would hang out with Cody and his friends. And after school, they would go to the park and play. And they would do what teenagers do. He actually kind of started liking a girl in the neighborhood, Amy. And they would hang out and talk on the phone. And he would kind of get blushy red when we talked about her.
BOURDIN: The only person I never met in the Barclays' family was Jason, the brother, the brother of Carey. And, finally, he came to see me. He didn't look at me like Nicholas, and he didn't pretend to look at me like Nicholas. And he said, good luck to me and he left.
C. GIBSON: We didn't even talk about what happened to him over there, because we felt like, when the time was right, he would open up to us.
NANCY FISHER, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I did not receive any telephone calls from the family saying, you know, Nicholas is back. Please come over and talk to us. We need help.
And I felt like it was imperative that he be interviewed quickly. So, I agreed to meet Nicholas at the San Antonio Missing Children's Center to conduct our first interview.
I introduced myself to Nicholas, and told him why I was there and that the purpose of this interview was to get his account of his kidnapping and for his assistance in locating his abductors. The only thing I knew about Nicholas was what I had read on some of the missing posters, not that people can't change in three years. But this person did not appear to be 16. He had a shadow of a beard, a dark beard that I doubt if Nicholas would have had a shadow of a dark beard at the age of 16, since he had blond hair.
He appeared to be quite nervous, and he just seemed very uncomfortable this entire time.
BOURDIN: I told them that I was taken by military overseas, that I was abducted, put in a van and flew over to some places, that I never knew where it was, that we were kept in the room with different kids.
B. GIBSON: They get chloroformed and they wake up, and they're, you know, in a place they don't know where they're at.
DOLLARHIDE: They were subjected by high-ranking military to sexual abuse.
FISHER: "Every night, all of the kids were raped and molested by men. These men were American, Mexican and European."
BOURDIN: They broke my hands, especially my right hand with a baseball bat.
FISHER: They kept burning him and giving him insects to eat.
BOURDIN: We were tortured.
DOLLARHIDE: They broke his fingers.
FISHER: His left foot was broken with a crowbar.
BOURDIN: I was raped.
B. GIBSON: They keep these kids in line by doing military scare tactics.
BOURDIN: We were experimented on.
C. GIBSON: They would put needles in his eyes.
B. GIBSON: Headphones on their head, screaming and yelling different languages.
FISHER: Spanish kept playing over and over, and a voice kept saying, "You are not you."
C. GIBSON: If you spoke English, he was beaten.
B. GIBSON: They moved these kids around in military planes.
BOURDIN: We never saw where we were going.
FISHER: The boy's identities were changed by either changing the hair color, eye color or other ways.
C. GIBSON: They were always in uniform.
FISHER: A solution was put in his eyes.
B. GIBSON: They would sell them for money and for sex.
FISHER: His eye color was changed from blue to brown by the use of a solution.
BOURDIN: The door wasn't checked. And I left by the door. I run in the big hallway. And there was another door. Somehow, I managed to go outside and outside, I ran, I ran, I ran. And hours after that, I discovered that I was in Spain.
FISHER: This was a horrendous interview. And when I left, I was shaken by it, because it had all the horrific emotional side effects that go with listening to such a story.
We knew about this type of activity. A normal person doesn't sit down with a story and make up horrendous -- that's not what you lie about. You don't go into detail about torture and the murdering of children or whatever. None of that seemed normal.
B. GIBSON: He was tortured. He had torture written on him. He had a broken hand that was never medically attended to. He walked with a limp. He had cigarette burns down the back of his head, to the back of his ankles.
FISHER: This person is -- either had been a victim himself or he was a fantastic actor. And I didn't know which of those titles applied to him.
I let them know that I was very sorry about what had happened to them, that we were going to locate the people who had done this and put an end to the trauma that he had been through.
BOURDIN: This was the last border. It's like, I won. The game is over. I had passports. Everybody in the family said I'm Nicholas Barclay. Nobody was investigating me. Nobody was suspicious that I know. Hell, I was happy. I was -- I couldn't believe my luck.
CHARLIE PARKER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: My name is Charlie Parker. I'm a private investigator.
PARKER: I got a call back in November and from a television producer for "Hard Copy," and he said that a boy who had been missing earlier for four years had turned up.
And he wanted me to track him down, so they could get an interview with him. First, I had to find out where his mother lived, found her, and then we drove out to the north of San Antonio to do the interview.
FISHER: I had repeatedly asked him, please do not contact the media. If anything that Nicholas was telling us that was true, if anything of it had any accuracy, if there was any military officer possibly involved, the last thing that we wanted it to be put was on the front page of the newspaper or on television, so that that abductor would know something about our investigation.
ANNOUNCER: This is "Eyewitness News" at 10:00.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He disappeared without a trace three years ago. Tonight, a San Antonio boy is back home. Nicholas Barclay is now 16 years old. He vanished when he was 13. Nicholas says he was kidnapped and taken to Spain.
He says, for three years, he was repeatedly drugged, beaten and raped, all part of a sex slave operation involving dozens of missing children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, Bob, the FBI is not taking this case lightly. The reason? Somehow, a 13-year-old boy from San Antonio ended up in Spain without a passport.
June 19, 1994, Nicholas got into a fight with his family, so he came here to Fort Sam Houston to play basketball. Two young boys approached him. They started talking. The next thing he knew, there was a cloth over his mouth and Nicholas passed out.
He claims his captors changed his appearance to make him unrecognizable. He was no longer allowed to speak English.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did they rape you all every night?
BOURDIN: Me? No. The girls, they -- they didn't rape me every night. Some of them, they liked more. Some of the kids, they liked more. They raped them usually two or three times a week.
I wanted the media's attention, so that I would make Nicholas even more real, that people would really believe that I'm Nicholas, and they would love me even more for that.
PARKER: They set him up, put a microphone on him and had the cameras on him.
And I moved over behind a booth. It was almost fate. Behind that booth was a picture of the actual Nicholas Barclay. And I could look at that picture and look at him at the same time. And, as I looked at the picture, I noticed that the boy had blue-gray-looking eyes and this man had brown eyes.
It was a moment where the hair stood on the back of your neck, and there was just something wrong about it. Something was wrong. I said, can you get me a picture of his ears? I need to get that. And I had read about Scotland Yard using that method to trace down a man, James Earl Ray, that had killed Martin Luther King. They caught him in Heathrow Airport by identifying his ears. And I knew the ears were a means of identity for -- almost like fingerprints. I put the picture in my pocket and took it.
When I got back to the office, I put the pictures in Adobe Photoshop. They were different ears. And so I knew right away that absolutely he was not Nicholas Barclay.
I thought I had a spy. I thought I had a real honest-to-God spy. Why else would a guy come here and take the place of another person? What would be his reason?
I phoned Nancy Fisher. I said, this guy is a fake. It's not him. I said, the ears don't match.
FISHER: And my comment to him was, you need to be very careful that you don't intrude on a federal investigation.
PARKER: People aren't used to hearing you talk about somebody's ears. And I think she was taken back by that. She didn't know what I was talking about.
FISHER: I thought I didn't have a right to question their statement that this is their family member, because, how could they be wrong? No one would be wrong about something like that.
PARKER: What do they want? I have already got the fact that he doesn't have the same ears.
FISHER: Why would you ever, ever take in a stranger, not just a stranger from this country, but a stranger from another country who speaks with a French accent? This has to be Nicholas Barclay.
BOURDIN: I finally succeed to become a kid again, officially, with a passport, to have a second chance, to be able this time to go to school and to succeed this time.
PARKER: Well, he started back to high school, I really was worried. I didn't know what he was going to do.
This was a case, I mean a real case. This guy was lying about who he said he was. And, here, the family was accepting him. I expected him any day to blow up something at the air base or do something at the Army base.
FISHER: I was pulling teeth trying to determine who would kidnap Nicholas, when and where and under what circumstances.
I had almost no information, because all the information he gave us was very, very general. He couldn't give names. He couldn't give places. He couldn't give times. He couldn't give anything.
The family was told that the reason we were taking Nicholas to Houston was because he had been through trauma, so he deserved to see a forensic expert to deal with the trauma. BRUCE D. PERRY, TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Initially, I thought that this was going to be a forensic interview with the intent of finding out more information about the people who abducted him.
Here was this pale white kid, and I introduced myself. And as he spoke back, immediately, my -- something in me just said, this is not right. There's something wrong here.
BOURDIN: I speak with him for a long time. He asked me to repeat all the stories I had been telling everybody.
PERRY: I didn't see the same physiological change in his body posture, in his pupil size, in his heart rate that I would normally see with someone who is talking about a traumatic experience.
He couldn't speak English without an accent. That told me about the development of his brain and the development of language. You just cannot be raised for the first six, seven years of your life in an English-speaking home, and later on, eight, nine years later, even 10 years later, not be able to speak English without an accent.
But I can guarantee you that this kid was not raised in an English- speaking family. I don't know who he is, but the person who I was interviewing could not have been Nicholas Barclay.
FISHER: OK, their worse scenario that just showed up, and I don't like that.
This investigation did a 90-degree. It just went from one place all the way up to another. I immediately called Carey Gibson, and I said to her, Carey, Dr. Perry has just stated that this person cannot be your brother, for the fact that he cannot be an American. This could be a very dangerous person.
She shrieked or screamed and said, oh, my gosh. I said, don't be at the airport. I will handle it. I will take care of this individual and that she did not have to take him home, back to her home to live with them. And she says OK, OK.
We fly back into San Antonio. There's Carey standing there. What? She acted like we never had that conversation, and she acted excited to see him, asked him how his trip was. I think I just stared for a minute.
And I called the U.S. attorney's office right then and there, and I said, what do I do? And the assistant U.S. attorney said, let him return to her temporarily.
She welcomed this person home, just like he was her brother. I didn't have any clue as to why she behaved in this manner, because, in my conversation with her, I had said, this person is not your brother.
C. GIBSON: I don't think I remember her putting it in those
PARKER: Well, maybe they wanted him so badly to be their son that they said he was their son.
But it was starting to get ridiculous. I couldn't let it go. There was no way in the world I could get it go. I started going into the neighborhood and finding out about the real Nicholas Barclay, interviewing the neighbors, trying to find out what I could about that boy and about that family. And what's going on? Why would Nicholas have left?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The police usually come maybe like twice or three times a month. Either was argument with the kids or with the boyfriend or with the other son.
PARKER: I spoke to everyone. They all said that Nicholas had caused trouble, had come home late at night. We have all had arguments in our family. But it's rare that we call the police, that they're so bad, they have to come. It made me think there was something going on more than meets the eye. Of course it did.
FISHER: I knew that DNA samples would prove that he wasn't Nicholas Barclay.
Mr. Dollarhide, she said, this is my son. I don't have to provide blood samples for you for DNA. And she laid down on the floor, literally laid down on the floor and said, no, you can't pick me up and you can't make me.
DOLLARHIDE: I did not want to go anywhere with the FBI. But I don't remember refusing.
FISHER: I was stunned. I have never had that reaction before.
She wasn't just apathetic. She was hostile.
DOLLARHIDE: To be honest with you, I really have no idea what I was thinking at that time. My main goal in life was not -- not to think.
C. GIBSON: We didn't need to prove who he was. We knew who he was.
FISHER: I no longer saw them as a grieving, victimized family. I saw them as a very questionable family. There would be no reason for them to accept a stranger into their lives, unless there was something to hide. That would be the only reason. Something was being hidden, and I didn't know what that was.
BOURDIN: When Beverly refused to give her a blood sample, I started to become suspicious. They knew that I wasn't Nicholas. Whatever I was telling them, they didn't believe a word of it. But they were good at not showing it. I mean, who wouldn't see it?
I remember in Spain, Carey did everything for me. When I didn't know something, she told me. You forgot everything, but you're going to remember it now and that this was -- this was mom at the place we're living in with. Do you remember that? Oh, this was Chantel? Remember Chantel? That's your niece, my daughter. Do you remember that? Do you remember that? Do you remember that? Over and over and over again.
She wanted to put it in my head. She wanted to put it in my head, so I would never forget. She just could not say, it's not Nicholas. Did she believe it or not? If you ask me, I would say, no, not for a second did she believe I was her brother.
She decided I was going to be her brother. It's like I woke up in a place where the lie is even bigger than what I did. You know, it's -- they pretended as much as I did, and even more.
PARKER: I kept thinking about the kid, Nicholas Barclay. At the time of his disappearance, he was living with Beverly on the house at Swallow Street. And his brother, Jason, was also living there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jason, Nick's older brother, when he -- when he moved into their house, that house changed. Before he got there, Nick and his mom seemed pretty close to me. She loved him to death. I mean, she loved him. You could tell. He was the light of her life.
This guy moved in. He was a bum, a drug addict, and he only cared about himself. And when he got in that house, it just made things that much more worse. In fact, I think it even pushed his mom into doing drugs herself when he moved into the house. That house just became a volatile situation altogether.
PARKER: I discovered from the police files a couple of months after the disappearance that Jason had called the police and said that his brother had tried to break into the house. We see that kind of thing all the time. People are constantly doing stuff like that to make people think that person's alive. I started putting two and two together and I thought, something happened inside that house to that boy.
BOURDIN: I didn't need to be Columbo to put all the pieces together. They killed him. Some of them did it, some of them knew of it, some of them choose to ignore it. I wasn't worried about Nicholas coming back no more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Neither Nicholas Barclay or his mother were cooperating, so we were going to have to have a search warrant executed in order to obtain those blood samples.
BOURDIN: I couldn't pretend no more I could be Nicholas and act like Nicholas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I took two or three other agents with me to go pick him up.
BOURDIN: So inside me, I started getting, you know, more and more aggressive. Weird. I couldn't go on. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got the fingerprints and we got the palm prints. Within a few weeks, we would be sending them out to Interpol, to the embassies to see if any of these fingerprints matched anything that they had on record.
BOURDIN: I was trying to find a way out. Not only a way out of San Antonio, Texas, but a way out of my mind.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nicholas was becoming much more agitated and angry, and I really felt like he was going to run away. And if he ran away, we might have a very hard time locating him.
PARKER: I started tailing him. I started following him. I started sitting up on Beverly's place where she lived and writing down license numbers of all the cars that came to see her.
BOURDIN: So I took a razor blade and I stuck my face.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything was snowballing and snowballing and snowballing.
BOURDIN: I showed them, showed them that I was under a great deal of pressure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On March 3 of 1998, the Legat in Madrid, Spain, called me and he said, "We've just identified him."
I said, "You're kidding."
BOURDIN: I knew that everything was going down, and it was just a matter of weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "What I'm going to do right now is fax to you the records that I have."
PARKER: He agreed to meet with me. We ordered hot cakes, and we started to eat. And he said -- I said, "You really made your mother angry."
He said, "She's not my mother and you know it."
And I thought, "Well, I'll be damned."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And so I stood over the fax machine waiting for, of course, them to come in, because I was screaming and jumping up and down.
PARKER: I actually said, "Well, I'll be damned. You're going to finally tell me who you are."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was doing a dance, and everybody was high fiving. It was just like, we finally know who this person is.
PARKER: My heart was beating fast. Just like it is now thinking about it. And I said, "Who are you?"
He said, "I'm Frederic Bourdin, and I'm wanted by Interpol."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fingerprint cards told me that he was not 16; he was 23. That he was not American; he was French. That he was not Nicholas Barclay; he was Frederic Bourdin.
PARKER: We grow up in America thinking Interpol is kind of the god of the cops, you follow me? That's the highest step you can get in Copland. And so I thought, if he's wanted by Interpol, what has he done? There's no limit to what he's done. So he began to tell me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Frederic Bourdin, his delinquent activities and modus operandi.
GRAPHIC: Background includes a similar pattern of false identities. Passes himself off as a juvenile. Social services allow him access to shelters for youth. Frederick Beard, Benjamin Dianason, Spain, September 1993.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jimmy Peter, Luxembourg, 1992.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hurny Wright, 16-year-old runaway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thomas Wilson, Brussels, '95.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marco Fernandez Fernandez.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alex Ross, Milan, 1993.
GRAPHIC: False national origins.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Benjamin Kent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I could hardly eat. I could hardly swallow my food.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robin Morins. Arnaud Orions.
Shadjan Raskovic, Marc Selopin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He always wore glasses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michelangelo Martini.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thomas Wilson.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peter Sampson. James Martin. Jonathan Dorren.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's possible he needed psychiatric help.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Settle in tonight, because we are about to share with you a story so bizarre it's hard to believe it's true. This is the tale of a master impostor, who managed to lie his way into the United States and prey upon the most vulnerable of people.
SAM DONALDSON, JOURNALIST: He's the only person in U.S. history ever to have assumed the identity of a missing child. Fooled even the lost boy's mother. It's hard to imagine how he could have gotten away with it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We knew it was going to be, you know, heart wrenching, but we never thought it wouldn't be him. Why would you even think that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first feeling was complete sadness, because it wasn't Nicholas. Which took us back to square one. Where is Nicholas? That was the first one.
Second emotion was, how could I be so (EXPLETIVE DELETED) stupid? I mean, seriously.
BOURDIN: I contacted the SAPD, the San Antonio Police Department, and told them -- decided to tell them that, hey, they killed him.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Based upon Frederic Bourdin's allegations, a homicide investigation was opened and the allegation was against the family members as being -- participating in the disappearance of the child.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was relayed to us while Frederic was in jail that he said that my mom confessed to him that her and Jason killed Nicholas and hid the body.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because they accused me first. It totally freaked me out, because I -- I have been crazy but never violent.
PARKER: This is the street the kid lived on when he went missing. Here's the house right there. I think the boy's buried here. I want to talk to Darrell inside. He's agreed to let me dig and see if Nicholas Barclay is here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Beverly knew that this individual was not her son, then she had to have some type of ulterior motive, and it had to be something very scary for her to accept a stranger into her household posing as her own son.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I agreed to take a lie detector test.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She passed the polygraph, and I said to the polygraph examiner, "I don't understand this. I don't understand it at all. Will you give it to her again?"
So he gave it to her again, and she passed the polygraph.
I said, "No, there's something wrong."
The third time he gave it to her, she flunked every question, I mean, like big time. He said the machine practically jumped off the table. Her answers appeared to be false on everything. And that's when he turned to her and he said, "Mrs. Donahei (ph), it appears that you know where your son is. It appears that you know what happened to him, and some other questions." That's when she became very aggravated, very agitated and she jumped up and ran out and was screaming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lied about being -- stealing. That's why I failed. I didn't lie about anything to do with Nicholas. It was the other questions.
PARKER: Darrell, Charlie Parker. How are you doing? It's nice in here. So this is the house, huh?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The polygraph led us to believe that she did have some information that she could provide that she refused to, and we felt like Jason had information.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Jason did something to Nicholas, I didn't know about it. And I can't imagine Jason ever doing that. It's just not in his makeup. I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know my brother or my mother did not kill Nicholas. Accidently, on purpose, whatever Frederic said, it never happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we first got my dog, he was always digging in the back corner over there with the tree is, and one day I was mowing and saw pieces of plastic, kind of like a tarp kind of material...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... sticking out of the ground. I tried to pull it up to get it out, and it just kept ripping on me, stuff on the ground. So I never paid any attention to it and never gave it any thought until last night when we were speaking on the phone.
PARKER: And the bush has been there a while.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had initially tried to get ahold of Jason prior to Frederic's arrest and couldn't. And then, when I finally did get ahold of him, I asked him about the disappearance of his brother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just seemed totally apathetic about the disappearance of his younger brother. Extremely apathetic and didn't care that he'd been returned. But when he did see him, no, that wasn't his brother, but he didn't seem interested enough or excited enough to tell his mother and sister, "That's not my brother." No, no, they just wanted to believe.
PARKER: It's a good spot. Say he dumps him here first, and then he looks up -- yes. This is good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was very hostile, refused to help in any way. And then he later left the drug rehabilitation center and was found having died from a drug overdose. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that Jason became a perfect scapegoat because he's not here. He died. So he can't be questioned or anything. I mean, he can't -- he can't even defend himself.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of like a nightmare. All this stuff is coming at you, and none of it's true. But nobody believes you. You know, are they thinking you have something to do with it? And it's like, getting in trouble for something you didn't do. Kids say, "I didn't do it," and you're going, "Yes, right." But I didn't do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do feel like the family knows the whereabouts of Nicholas Barclay. I think Beverly Donahei (ph) and Jason knew at one time what happened to Nicholas Barclay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Show me one piece of evidence, show me one thing that will lock anybody in our family up over this, just one shred of actual proof.
PARKER: Back here, let's go back here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The biggest, funniest one to me, hilarious, is that we went and picked up a complete stranger to hide the fact that we killed Nicholas or someone in my family killed Nicholas when, through four years that Nicholas was disappeared, we were the only ones looking for him. Why would we go pick up a stranger to hide something that didn't need to be hidden?
Just another one of his lies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even from behind bars, he continued to lie to families of other missing children. From this phone in his cell, Bourdin made hundreds of collect calls, claiming to have information about lost children. He even said he could help solve the highly publicized case of Sabrina Eisenberg, an infant who was taken from her home in Tampa, Florida, last year.
CONNIE CHUNG, JOURNALIST: You get on this phone and you're calling all over the world?
CHUNG: What are you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's a habitual liar, and it blows my mind that anybody can take anything that is said out of his mouth as truth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This kid comes and says he's Nicholas and says, "These people that took care of me killed him." How do you come up with that conclusion?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He put us through enough already, and then for him to do this while he's in jail for what he's done and to cause more pain to our family? Him.
GRAPHIC: The homicide investigation into the disappearance of Nicholas Barclay was closed due to a lack of evidence.
Frederic Bourdin was convicted of perjury and fraudulently obtaining a passport. He was sentenced to six years in prison.
BOURDIN: I didn't give a damn what other people were thinking. Or what they were feeling. I cared about myself, just about myself. And that's it.
GRAPHIC: Bourdin was deported to France in October 2003.
Three months later he attempted to steal the identity of missing 14- year-old Leo Balley (ph).
He now lives in France. He has a wife and three children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger traveling through a world of woe. Ain't no sickness, toil or danger in that bright land to which I go I'm going there to see my father said he'd meet me when I come. I'm only going over Jordan. I'm only going over home.
GRAPHIC: Nicholas Barclay is still listed as a missing person.