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Oct 27, 2005

Belize City women claim prize on Oprah

Story PictureTwo Belizean women are tonight fifty thousand U.S. dollars richer after American talk show host Oprah Winfrey rewarded them for turning in an accused child molester who fled to Belize. Patricia Waight and Thelma Palacio appeared live on Oprah today to collect their money. Channel Five will be airing the show tonight at eight, but we thought we’d give you a preview of their appearance and their role in the capture of Niles Scott as portrayed to audiences all over the world.

Oprah
?So for the first time, here are those heroic viewers; take a look.?

Thelma Palacio
?He told me his name was James Berry. He was a friend of mine. He just came by and he talked to me when I am outside.?

Oprah, Narrating
Niles Scott was living under the alias James Berry. He rented a room just around the corner from where Thelma Palacio lived with her eleven year old daughter.

Thelma Palacio
?One or two times he came to knock on my door, but I didn?t open my door for him. There?s just something about him that I didn?t trust.?

The very night our show aired the photo of Niles Scott, Thelma?s friend, Patricia Waight, says she felt a chill go through her.

Patricia Waight
?I immediately recognised him. Because of the profile, I was fearing my friend?s life because Mr. Scott is her friend, she has a little girl. So I printed off the picture and showed it to Thelma and she immediately recognized him.?

Thelma Palacio
?It was hard for me to believe because he was nice to me.?

But Thelma and Patricia knew they had to act fast, so they contacted the police.

Patricia Waight
?I wrote down his taxi license plate. The police came for us and we showed him the taxi and Thelma and I showed him where Mr. Scott lives. I was just nervous; I wanted the police to apprehend Mr. Scott.?

Patricia and Thelma told the officers Scott?s daily routine and police waited for him to return home. Hours later, suspected child molester Niles Scott was captured.

Oprah
?So I?m thrilled to present another one hundred thousand dollar reward to the viewers who helped capture fugitive Niles Scott. Please welcome all the way from Belize Thelma Palacio and Patricia Waight…?

?One of the things you said Thelma was that you were surprised because he had been so nice to you.?

Thelma Palacio
?Yes.?

Oprah
?Well I want everybody to know people who are going to molest your children, who have intentions to do you harm often are nice to you. Thank you so much for being so brave. Thank you.

So you both don?t have to travel all the way home carrying so much money and because this is live television and I know that everybody is going to see your face, I did not want to present you the cheques. So they are not carrying the cheques people; anybody watching. I am today going to wire transfers to your bank account fifty thousand dollars, and to your bank account fifty thousand dollars. So when you get home the money will be there.

Thank you very much and we thank you for doing the right thing. Use it well.?

Waight and Palacio are co-workers at the Central Bank of Belize. They were selected by an investigating team sent by Harpo Productions in cooperation with the Belize Police Department. While it is clear from Oprah’s presentation today that taxi driver Cecil Gill and hair-braider Carol Wade will not be receiving any part of the reward money, they deserve no less credit than Waight and Palacio for coming forward with their information and we must big them up. Meanwhile, Oprah will be looking for a whole lot more fugitive sex offenders and it would not be at all surprising if at least a few of them are hiding out right here in Belize. So keep watching Oprah every week night at eight, right here on Channel Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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