Love, Lies, Murder?

Surprising Arrest In Disappearance Of Janet March


After a year in Mexico, there was no question for Sammy March, then age nine, and his sister Tzipi, six at the time, that this was their home with their dad, Perry and their new mom, Carmen.

But 1,500 miles away, the Levines desperately wanted to see their grandchildren.

Since the Levines' action against him for the wrongful death of their daughter, Perry had refused to let them have contact with the children. So in May 2000, the Levines showed up at their son-in-law's front door, armed with legal papers from the United States, granting them visitation and demanding to see their grandchildren.

Perry refused to let the Levines visit Sammy and Tzipi, and the grandparents went back to Nashville.

But then a month later came a day Perry says he'll never forget. It was just after 9 a.m., and Sammy and Tzipi were just starting their school day.

Perry was in his office. "Four Mexicans walk in. One of them with a badge and a uniform says he's from Immigration and I'm to come with him immediately," he recalls. "They grabbed me under the arms and put me in a headlock, lifted me by my ears, lifted me off my feet and shoved me through my conference room doors. And all I get is 'Your paperwork is not in order, you're coming with us.' I get down the stairs and there's an unmarked old white van in the parking lot. The door opens and they throw me in. These guys grab me in the car, hold me down, and the van takes off."

At that very moment, a convoy of cars was approaching the entrance to Sammy and Tzipi's school. Inside the cars were a local lawyer, a Mexican judge, several Mexican policemen, and the Levines.

This time, the Levines got Mexican authorities to help them execute their court-ordered visitation. And Perry was in no position to try and stop them.

What did he think was going on?

"I think my kids are being grabbed. Which is exactly what was occurring," says Perry.

But word of what was happening at the school immediately got to Arthur March.

"This was the second time they came to kidnap my grandchildren!" he says. Arthur March raced to the school and says he told Larry Levine "to get his ass out of there and leave my kids alone."

Larry Levine claims Arthur March threatened him, allegedly telling him that neither he or his wife would get out of Mexico alive.

Asked if he ever pulled a gun on the Levines or anyone working for them, Arthur March responds with shrugs and a smile.

Back in the speeding van, Perry realized his armed captors were taking him to the airport. He decided to take a gamble: he dropped the name of the immigration official he suspected his captors were working for.

"The chief of the van got out and got on a cell phone. Three minutes of conversation, he gets back into the van, turns around to me and says 'It's a terrible mistake, I'm sorry, your paperwork is in order,'" Perry recalls.

When he was finally released, Perry sped off toward the school. "I was so angry I probably could have killed someone at that time," he says.

He was too late. After a chaotic hour of arguments and threats, school administrators handed Sammy and Tzipi over to the Mexican judge, who in turn handed them over to the Levines.

"When they brought the kids down and they saw us, they just came running. I just kind of knelt down, and we hugged them, and they were happy to see us, and we were overjoyed to see them," remembers Carolyn Levine.

By the time Perry reached the school, the Levines and his children were gone.

But just behind the Levines, in hot pursuit, was Arthur March. "Maybe I wasn't thinking rationally, but those are my grandkids!" he says.

"We were very scared. We were very scared…of this man," says Carolyn Levine. "I believed that he would try and kill us. Absolutely," Larry Levine adds.

Eventually the Levines lost Arthur March, and headed for an airport.

Within 24 hours, Sammy and Tzipi were back in Nashville.

"They are kidnappers! It was all a big orchestration," says Perry.

But Larry Levine denies they are kidnappers. "Absolutely not."