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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Relative Discusses Case of Missing Girl; Investigators Following Leads in Haleigh Cummings Disappearance
Aired February 24, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight perplexing questions piling up in the desperate search for 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings. Cops are seriously investigating the little brother`s tip that a man in black took Haleigh. Sixteen hundred tips, and their best lead may come from a 4- year-old.
And when cops re-interviewed Haleigh`s father, he gave investigators a piece of paper. Did that note contain crucial information?
Plus, another stunning similarity to the Caylee Anthony case, as a psychic weighs in. I`ll tell you what he said, and I`ll be taking your calls.
Then, stunning developments in the Caylee Anthony case as the civil showdown with Zanny the nanny looms. Mom, Casey, has received over $1,000 from strangers since she`s been in jail. Who`s sending her this money and why?
Speaking of money, a Casey Anthony doll on sale on eBay. Who`s profiting from this one? I`ll have the latest development.
And high drama in the Octomom story. Nadia Suleman and her mother get into a heated argument on camera, but was it staged? I thought Octomom wasn`t doing reality TV.
Plus, TMZ reports cops were called to the Suleman home last night after a neighbor ran around waving a shotgun. I`ll have the latest details in the Suleman circus.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a shocking twist in the desperate search for missing Florida girl Haleigh Cummings. There has been an avalanche of almost 2,000 leads, but the best lead police have so far appears to come from Haleigh`s younger brother Junior. Four-year-old Junior claims that a mystery man dressed in black snatched little Haleigh from her bed.
Here`s what Haleigh`s mother, Crystal Sheffield, said on "NANCY GRACE" last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HOST, "NANCY GRACE": I know this sounds crazy, but to the best of your recollection, what were his exact words?
CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, MOTHER OF HALEIGH: He said, "Mommy, I went to find my sissy, and some man in black come in and took her."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But hours ago in a perplexing twist, Jacksonville affiliate WJXT asked Haleigh`s dad, Ronald Cummings, if little Junior had shared this detail with him. Here`s what the dad said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S FATHER: I don`t know nothing about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did he say anything to you?
CUMMINGS: I think that those questions are questions that y`all should discuss with detectives. I`m not here to answer any questions. I`m here to plead for the life of my daughter. I want her to come home. If you have her, please send her home. I don`t care how she gets here, just bring her home. And if you`re watching, baby, I love you. That`s all I have to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Meantime, in light of accusations involving drug use and violence being traded by Haleigh`s family in recent days, Orlando affiliate WFTV is now reporting that Crystal Sheffield and Ron Cummings, Haleigh`s parents, were involved in a bitter custody battle, so the recent accusations of drugs and violence may be well-covered ground for them.
WFTV also reports that three years ago Sheffield took Haleigh and her brother away from her dad, even though he had custody. Ronald Cummings reportedly had to go to court to get them back. He insists Haleigh`s disappearance has nothing to do with the custody dispute.
Also tonight reports that Cummings has a rap sheet, as some would say, a mile long. We have that rap sheet. Is it relevant or not? We`re going to get into that. Our expert panel will weigh in.
So much to talk about and as always, I am taking your calls. But first, with me now is a very special guest, Connie Sheffield, Haleigh Cummings` maternal stepmother.
Thank you so much for joining us tonight. I know this has to be extraordinarily difficult for you and your family. Just so we understand, you were married to Crystal`s father. Crystal is Haleigh`s mother.
There seems to be a growing rift between your side of Haleigh`s family and the father`s side of Haleigh`s family. Why is this rift growing, do you think? And it seems to be betting bitter with every passing hour with all sorts of nasty accusations?
CONNIE SHEFFIELD, STEPMOTHER OF CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD: I think there are concerns for R.J.`s safety. People are tired, angry, hurt, and we don`t have any answers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So when you say R.J., you`re talking about Junior, the little boy?
CONNIE SHEFFIELD: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you have concerns about his safety. Well, that`s a new one. I had not even thought about that. Obviously, we`re all looking for little Haleigh, but the implication is that he might not be in safe hands right now.
CONNIE SHEFFIELD: Not necessarily in reference to whom he`s with, but whoever took Haleigh may target the family again. We don`t know this. So I`m concerned for my son myself. He`s 3, and, you know, when nightfall comes about in this neighborhood, we left. We wouldn`t even stay for the vigils.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. So are you operating on the theory that was originally brought up by Geraldo Rivera on FOX, and he went up to Ron Cummings, the father of the missing child, and said, "Are you a drug informant for the police?" And he said absolutely not.
Now I will say that law enforcement was asked about that just earlier this evening on Headline News, and law enforcement said we`re not going get into that one way or another, which I think is a mistake. I think that they need to clarify at this point what`s going on, because there`s so much rumor and speculation at this point.
But ma`am, are you referring to that issue when you say you`re afraid for little Junior and for even your own child?
CONNIE SHEFFIELD: No, just you know, when you`re up here and you have so many people coming up offering their condolences, you don`t know if the person who took Haleigh might be hugging your neck or shaking your hand, if it`s someone locally in this area. So I was concerned for all the children here. There were several kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So there`s a sense of palpable fear.
CONNIE SHEFFIELD: Yes, there is a fear. I fear for my son, all of the children. I told parents, you know, try to keep them close by in a group, because until we know all the answers, that is the fear.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can totally relate to that, and I`ve covered other cases where a child has gone missing, and fear swept through the entire neighborhood. When people don`t have answers, obviously, if they have children their imaginations are going to run wild and they`re going to be afraid.
So you`re saying that people in that community are keeping their children indoors, and you and other parents are keeping close watch on these children because you`re scared?
CONNIE SHEFFIELD: Yes. I noticed several parents picking their children up on golf carts from the bus stop, seeing to it that there was someone there, whether it was a mother or a father, aunt or an uncle, to pick up the children.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What bothers you most about this perplexing case? We -- we are all mystified. How did this child disappear out of a double-wide trailer with two other people asleep? The little boy, Ron Jr., has reportedly said that a man in black -- dressed in black took him away. Have you heard that from his lips, and what are your thoughts on all of this, this mystery?
CONNIE SHEFFIELD: The day it happened he was allowed to walk up to where we were all located, and I think that`s more or less the mind of a child when speaking to find some comfort in where his sister may have gone because the children are afraid themselves.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you saying you don`t believe that a man in black went in there -- in other words, you think that this is a child`s imagination?
CONNIE SHEFFIELD: I would. That`s what I think, because my son himself there again. When we took him home he drew pictures about boats and helicopters. And him and R.J. are closely related in age, so I can see where a child would want to find reasoning to all this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to thank you so much, Connie, and I hope you come back. I hope we get some good news. We all here pray that this little child comes home safely and that all the children in your neighborhood remain absolutely safe. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Thank you.
I want to turn now to my expert panel: Judge Jeanine Pirro, former district attorney and host of "The Judge Jeanine Pirro Show"; David Schwartz, criminal defense attorney; Vinnie Parko, private investigator; Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; and Jennifer Bauer, a reporter with WJXT-TV.
Jennifer, let`s start off with you. What is the very latest?
JENNIFER BAUER, REPORTER, WJXT-TV: Today, Jane, investigators continue to follow up on leads. As you mentioned earlier, now almost 2,000 tips. And when we spoke to detectives earlier today they said those calls are coming in from all over the country. And I really do think it`s because of shows like this one, getting the word out all over the nation that this little 5-year-old is still missing. Two weeks, no new significant leads, and police tell us, though, a lot of leads coming in, but so far they`re not turning into anything.
Also a lot of Haleigh sightings, they said. We`ve gotten a lot of calls. People saying they think they spotted the little girls and detectives have checked out each and every one of those calls, but so far nothing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Judge Jeanine Pirro, you just heard one of the relatives talking about her terror. She`s afraid for her own child. People in that neighborhood are panicked because of this mystery.
Now the authorities, while doing an absolutely astounding job, and they`re all working around the clock, so I certainly never want to be critical of the authorities. I mean, they`re giving this their all. However, that being said, couldn`t they clear up some of the question marks at this point and eliminate certain people as suspects and sort of give us an idea of where this is headed?
For example, we just discussed Geraldo Rivera went down there and asked the dad, "Are you a drug informant for the authorities," because he does have some drug arrests on his rap sheet. We`re going to get to that in a second. No convictions, however.
Now, he said absolutely not, but when a law enforcement official was asked about that, he said, "We`re not going to comment on that one way or another." Why not? If he`s not a drug informant, why now say, "You now what? That`s nonsense. There`s no truth to that," so that people can put their mind at rest. Because the way it stands right now, if people are thinking that that might be true, they might be thinking that some drug cartel or some drug thug is out there snatching kids as a form of revenge or retaliation for him ratting on someone.
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, "THE JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO SHOW": Well, you know, Jane, your question is an excellent one and the bottom line is this: the police have no obligation to tell the public whether or not someone is a confidential informant. I mean, w e had them registered when I was a D.A. You had someone to working with us. The last thing we`re going to do is identify this person as an informant and, you know, to try to quell the fears of the community.
Here`s the bottom line, Jane. You know, now we`re seeing crime up close and personal, and we want to have resolution. We want it all decided, but you know what? If you remember the John Couey case with the young girl who was...
PIRRO: Yes, sure. Jessica Lunsford. She was in the closet after the police had already cleared through that trailer. You know, you can`t say everything is resolved yet. It is a fluid, ongoing situation with no obligation by the police to make us feel better.
And, you know, at the end of day, if he is or is not a drug dealer, someone took that child, whether it -- drugs were a motivation or, you know, for some other reason.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right. It was never that he was a drug dealer. It was the allegation that he might have been a drug informant for the cops.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We got your point. Everyone, stay right there. We`re just getting started right here on ISSUES. Do you think cops making headway in the search for the man in black? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297 and let me know.
But first, here is Haleigh`s dad pleading, pleading for her safe return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUMMINGS: Please bring my daughter home. She`s not yours. It`s not property, you know. It`s not something that you just take and say it`s mine or whatever. This is my daughter. This is blood, and I would like to have my daughter back, please. Please bring my daughter home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERESA NEVIS, HALEIGH`S PATERNAL GRANDMOTHER: I fear for both of my grandchildren. Whoever has Haleigh, I want them to bring her home. We`ve not asked for anything more than to just drop her off somewhere that she can be found and somewhere that she can be brought home to her father. That`s all we`ve ever asked for from them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Haleigh`s paternal grandmother believes somebody abducted Haleigh in the early hours of February 10, and that someone knew that the father, Ronald Cummings, was not at home.
Back with my fantastic panel. The phone lines are lighting up. Lois, Illinois. Question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. I have remembered that they had accused the father of having an argument with someone the night before she was abducted, and I remember his first interview he had a Band-Aid, I believe under his left eye. Was any of that ever explored?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me get into a segue question that relates to that, and that is this rap sheet which we have gone through. It`s long. I mean, I don`t know if you can see it here, but that`s -- it`s quite a hefty little rap sheet.
But I have to say that in this father`s defense, while he`s been arrested for drugs, he has never been convicted on any drug charges. All the drug charges have been dismissed. He`s also had some driving problems, but a lot of people have had driving problems. In Florida, those dismissals are called withhold of adjudication.
David Schwartz, what does that mean, because usually we hear plead guilty or not guilty. Here we`re seeing "withhold of adjudication."
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Basically, Jane, it`s a second chance statute in Florida. You know, if you have a minor criminal record, which in my opinion this is not even a rap sheet. He`s got a very minor criminal record, one misdemeanor conviction. If you have a minor record, the judge can choose to give you this withhold of adjudication, which gives you a second chance. It puts you on probation. If you successfully complete the probation, then there is no convict at all. It`s completely wiped out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Lisa, Texas, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes, I actually have two questions, the first of which being we`ve heard about Misty being 17. Nobody has said how old Ronald Cummings is. I find that very interesting, considering that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think he`s 25, isn`t he? Yes. 25 years old.
CALLER: Really? OK. Well, there you go. I personally have a problem with that. I`d like to know if that`s even legal and how old the mom was when she had the two kids.
Then the other question I had, quickly, was I wonder if the conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor might have been caused by him feeding Misty tobacco because at least in Texas, you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes, and you see them puffing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`ve been studying and pondering this case, ma`am. I`m going to give you a Sherlock Holmes cap. Good thoughts.
I think that it is OK, it`s legal, because she is of age. This is what another lawyer had mentioned. Yell at me if I`m wrong.
But I want to get to two other issues. The man dressed in black. Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist, the child says a man dressed in black took the child. What do you make of it? Is it a child`s imagination, as Connie Sheffield suggested?
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, it could be. Children that age do live if a world of fantasy, imagination, and when something frightening comes into a child`s world, they do try to figure out in their own way, to the limits of their own cognitive capacity, what could have happened. Well, somebody bad took my sister. Somebody bad would be dressed in black.
Now the flipside of that, of course, is we don`t know if he actually saw something. My guess is he was asleep at the time. My guess is this is probably part of his imagination giving him an explanation he can live with.
But Jane, I want to say something about these families at war with each other. They are hurting their own chances of finding Haleigh and working this through, because they`re pitted against each other, which isn`t unusual...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
WADE: ... when there`s been a separation, but they`ve got to remember there`s unity in strength, strength in unity.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. It is.
Vinnie Parko, you`ve been listening to all of this. What do you make of this? I mean, this case is a total mystery. It`s baffling everyone.
VINNIE PARKO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, if this kid is telling the truth, if there was a man in black and this man -- Cummings had a fight or an argument the night before. And, in looking at his rap sheet, they are minor crimes, but it`s funny how he`s got no -- no convictions. Either he has a very good attorney or maybe he is cooperating with the police, and maybe this is retaliation for him cooperating.
PIRRO: Jane -- Jane, can I say something here?
PIRRO: I`ve got his rap sheet in front of me. This guy has been arrested at least nine times. He`s 25 years old. I`ve got him on probation three times, and it sounds to me, and I`ve got to tell you, Vinnie, it`s starting to make sense to me. For him to have so many dismissals, ultimately, and a refusal to go into drug programs with arrests for cocaine, as well as for marijuana, tells me he`s cooperating.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, you know what? I wish we could discuss this all night. I think that we have to stick with what the police said. They`re not commenting on it. And he says it`s not true. But food for thought.
Vinnie, David, Jennifer, thank you so much. Judge Jeanine, Brenda, hang tight.
Shocking details emerge in the case of an 11-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting his dad`s pregnant fiance. Was the attack premeditated?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBORAH HOUK, VICTIM`S MOTHER: He knew all about guns. He knew the severity of guns. He knew the danger of a gun. He was -- he should have gone to therapy, come on, and he knows what he did. He killed my daughter (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- my baby`s dead. She`s never coming home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So sad. That was the mother of 26-year-old Kenzie Houk, in total agony over the loss of her pregnant daughter. Tonight, new and disturbing details emerge about what prosecutors say was a premeditated execution-style shooting committed by an 11-year-old boy.
Shocking revelations about the boy, who allegedly took a child-sized 20-gauge hunting gun, a gift from his father, and turned it on the father`s fiance. New evidence: a blanket with a quarter-sized hole, shows he might have tried to hide the gun as he allegedly carried it through the house.
Plus, details emerging that jealousy was a possible motive and that the 11-year-old had threatened to kill Kenzie and her two girls at least once. So much to discuss.
Joining me now, the first person to discuss it with, Judge Jeanine Pirro, former district attorney, judge and host of "The Judge Jeanine Pirro Show."
Judge Jeanine, we have now learned that the boy will be moved to a juvenile facility tomorrow from adult jail. How should the criminal justice system handle this? Because just because he`s moved to the juvenile facility doesn`t mean he`s going to be tried as a juvenile. He`s still facing adult charges, which to me seems insane, given that he is 11 years old.
PIRRO: Well, you know, the laws in many states, Jane, give prosecutors the ability to charge young people -- they call them juvenile offenders -- as adults. But understand what the law in Pennsylvania is. In the juvenile justice system there, there is no murder charge. So that prosecutors, the D.A. in Pennsylvania, would not be able to charge him with any kind of homicide.
So they want to charge him as an adult so that he can be prosecuted for murder. But understand, since he`s a juvenile, they can only keep him until he`s 21. But they have to house him in a place separate from the county -- from the county jail with adults. They have to house him in a juvenile detention center.
So, you know, we can go into this discussion as to whether or not was he adult, was he acting as an adult?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s 11 years old! What 11-year-old acts like an adult?
PIRRO: It`s hard to fathom, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is.
PIRRO: I agree with you. You know what? He had a gun and knew how to use it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: His dad gave him a gun for Christmas. He taught him how to use it.
PIRRO: And he won a turkey shoot on Valentine`s Day, and he wrapped it in a blanket after, you know, the woman`s daughter saw him come down.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me get to this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A theme being pursued by the prosecutor, jealousy. The prosecutor contending the 11-year-old was jealous that his father`s attention was being divided by the girlfriend, her own kids and the baby on the way. Kenzie`s mom thought the same thing. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOUK: Maybe a month and a half ago, it was brought to our attention that he had made a remark that he would kill my daughter. He hated her, and he would kill the two girls. He`d shoot them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Nevertheless, this gun was a functional gun, and it was left in his access. It wasn`t locked up somewhere.
PIRRO: Right. And apparently, it was a gun that is for young people. Don`t ask me about this. But he had not only threatened his victim and her daughters, and luckily the 7-year-old is still alive, and she told police where the spent shell casing was. But in addition to that, he knew how to use it. He was very good with the gun.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He was trained to kill. He was trained to kill turkeys.
PIRRO: And you know what? And he hated someone, and he knew to take that weapon. But you know what, Jane? It`s a tough issue.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is.
PIRRO: When I was a D.A., I prosecuted a 13-year-old for murder. It`s a wrenching decision.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to go. Sit tight. We`re just minutes away from this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony`s civil showdown with Zanny the nanny is looming, but stunning developments to report in the murder of her daughter Caylee. Casey has received more than $1,000 from strangers since she`s been in jail. Who is sending her this money and why?
Plus high drama in the octo-mom story, Nadya Suleman and her mom get into a heated argument on camera, but was it staged? Plus the Oprah interview with Suleman`s father aired today. More staged TV drama? I`ll have the latest details in the circus surrounding octo-mom.
"ISSUES" continues now.
Bizarre developments tonight in the Caylee Anthony case. Reports that accused mom Casey Anthony has gotten over $1,000 in donations from stranger all across America to her jailhouse bank account.
Believe it or not, Casey has a strange collection of fans. A 15-year- old Florida boy has donated his savings to help Casey out and apparently she isn`t the only one looking for some cash. Today a seller on EBay posted a Casey Anthony doll draped in American flag.
You will recognize the outfit from pictures of Casey Anthony partying with friends just before little Caylee went missing and we`ve got some late-breaking developments on that doll issue to tell you about in a moment.
Meantime, reports say Roy Kronk, the former meter reader who found little Caylee`s remains recently paid his wife, his ex-wife $5,000 in unpaid child support. Did Kronk use his reward money to make a dent in his debt?
Plus, the Zenaida Gonzalez civil case heating up; George and Cindy Anthony continue to fight their depositions set for this Thursday. Gonzalez looking for punitive damages after Casey linked her name to the child`s disappearance. So much going on this week.
Judge Janine Pirro back with me and also joining us, Cindy Adams the crime examiner for examiner.com and she`s been following this case since the beginning.
Let`s start with Thursday`s planned depositions by Zenaida Gonzalez. Just before we went to air we heard some breaking news that the attorney for George and Cindy filed a motion to prevent them from having to give their depositions on Thursday. But Judge Janine, it`s very late in the game. We`re only two days away, is he taking a risk filing so late?
JANINE PIRRO, "JUDGE JANINE SHOW": Well, I think that any judge is going to look at this and say, number one, my calendar is already arranged for Thursday, but I think it`s the basis of the motion that`s really ludicrous saying that George and Cindy are really not in such great mental health and therefore he wants them to testify only when they have a clear head.
Look, Jane, there are two victims in the Caylee Anthony case, Caylee Anthony and Zenaida Gonzalez. The woman who had her name and reputation trashed and now the Anthonys who were saying the native -- the nanny took our baby don`t want to be questioned about it. Too bad, they need to be questioned.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Cindy Adams, Lee the brother of Casey says I`m going to go to my deposition and I`m going to just -- I`m not fighting it. Because I have nothing to say and I don`t know anything about Zanny the nanny and that`s what I`m going to tell them. So why don`t Cindy and George do the same thing?
CINDY ADAMS, CRIME EXAMINER, EXAMINER.COM: I think their attorney is arguing that they`re psychologically damaged and they`re not ready to talk where Lee I think has been a lot more forthcoming. I think he was with the FBI and I don`t think he has anything to hide. So I think he`s ready to go.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to get to this whole bid about profiting out tragedy. There has been more than one doll related to the Caylee Anthony case. The Caylee Sunshine doll was met with appropriate outrage --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and production stopped. The doll actually saying you are my sunshine, a song Caylee loved. That to me is totally sick and then a Casey -- and that`s the Caylee sunshine doll right there.
Now, take a look at this one. This was the Casey Anthony voodoo doll that actually drew a bidding war on EBay. That`s another sick little manifestation of the bizarreness of this case. And then today, the piece de resistance also on EBay, a Casey Anthony doll wearing an American flag. There she is no doubt inspired by the photos of the real Casey Anthony wearing an American flag to a party over the summer.
Now we`re going to show you the pictures of Caylee partying, but I`m sure you`ve seen it before if you`ve been covering this case. These items apparently just taken down from EBay.
Cindy, what do you know about that doll with the American flag on it being taken down?
ADAMS: Well, when I first reported on this, I got a comment or a message from the seller that asked how she could get publicity for her book. And then I got a lot of outrage from readers and they were commenting on how horrible this doll was and the seller came back and said she was sorry. That it was in poor taste. She took it down, but she still is trying to tout her book.
So I have a feeling it was all based on trying to sell her book, getting publicity for her book.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: God, people are coming out of the woodwork in this case and other high profile cases and it just sends a chill down my spine.
Now, just who is sending Casey Anthony money? One 15-year-old in Florida says he donated $25 out of sympathy for George Anthony. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW MILLER, DONATED TO CASEY ANTHONY: Because he really identified with Caylee by doing something that Caylee would want that would make him feel better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, Judge Janine, what would you tell this youngster along with the other people sending Casey money in jail so she can buy snacks and beauty products?
PIRRO: You know that they have flawed reasoning, Jane, to think that it`s going to help Caylee by giving the grandfather some solace by giving the alleged murderer money is just bizarre, but in this world there`s nothing that surprises me anymore.
And there will be people who will want to give money to Casey, but at the end of day, I think that justice will be served and people will see her for what she truly is.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let`s see. We`ve got a long way to go before the trial happens. It`s going to like in a year. Judge Janine and Cindy, thank you so much.
PIRRO: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, turning to the continuing drama in the Casey Anthony case it can only be rivaled by one person. You guessed it, octo- mom. Today the never-ending circus reached new heights as both of Nadya Suleman`s parents were speaking out again.
Octo-grandpa, Ed Doud, on "Oprah" today and she asked him very pointedly about his daughter`s responsibility or lack thereof.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, "OPRAH WINFREY SHOW" HOST: Do you think the doctor was irresponsible?
ED DOUD, GRANDFATHER OF OCTUPLEST: Absolutely irresponsible exactly.
WINFREY: And do you think your daughter was irresponsible?
DOUD: Irresponsible, too.
WINFREY: You think your daughter was irresponsible?
DOUD: Yes, ma`am. She listened to him. She had seen this doctor.
WINFREY: Let me ask you this.
WINFREY: It`s a very pointed question, you can answer or not. Do you think your daughter is mentally stable?
DOUD: That`s a very good question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sure is. Joining in on the chorus of criticism is Nadya`s own mother Angela Suleman. Nadya squared off with her in an interview from radaronline.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, OCTO-MOM: I will never understand your inflexibility and your inability to --
ANGELA SULEMAN, GRANDMOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: Inflexibility.
N. SULEMAN: Yes, to be able to accept and let go. Learn to let go.
A. SULEMAN: Yes, but if I could totally let go, these are my grandchildren, I would, but you know, it`s very difficult now you have eight more.
N. SULEMAN: No, no excuse me, not now, learn to let go of what I chose to do. You didn`t accept it, move forward.
A. SULEMAN: Something was happening there because, you know, in the first place you should have considered your other six children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ai, ai, ai. And believe it or not, the drama doesn`t end there. TMZ reports cops were called to octo-mom`s house last night after reports of a ma brandishing a gun was outside. So much to talk about tonight. I`m going to be taking your calls.
But first, let`s go straight out to my panel: Mike Walters, with TMZ.com and Mary Margaret, senior news editor at Radar online, plus the much-needed Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist.
Let`s start with Mike Walters. Of course, drama seems to follow octo- mom everywhere she goes. What can you tell us about the cops coming to her house last night?
MIKE WALTERS, TMZ.COM: Yes, Jane, this was a gun, this was a shot gun. A couple of doors down from octo-mom, a neighbor came out carrying a shotgun and went from his car to the trunk -- I mean, from his house to the trunk of the car.
Now, we`re told by the cops that he wasn`t threatening, he wasn`t pointing it, but he definitely is frustrated with the cameras and the media activity on the street. You know, we talked to a couple of their neighbors and apparently it`s trashed everywhere, there`s corn on the cobs chewed and like thrown all over the place and this isn`t just paparazzi, it`s news cameras and big sat trucks and even the school bus trying to get into the street to pick up the kids for school can`t get in and out and apparently the cops have to -- yes, usher the bus in and out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Nadya Suleman gets a whole lot of attention especially when she`s out in public. You`ve got to take a look at this video again from TMZ.com that shows the strong reaction to Nadya when she`s out and about. Listen closely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the one that`s spending all our money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, wait! Come over here and tell us what you think.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our tax money that`s using it. Sorry!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think about that, Nadya?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get a job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brenda Wade, they`re yelling at her, get a job.
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: You know, she did say when the kids were born God will provide and of course, the right answer isn`t God will provide, it`s I`m going to have to work really hard to provide.
But Jane, her squaring off on her mother and telling her mother you have to accept and let go when in fact her mother is one of the main caretakers and supporters of her children.
She is burdening her mother. She`s burdening taxpayers. She`s burdening a lot of people. This woman is not living in the real world. And she`s living in a fantasy world where the children at the end of day, are the ones who`re going to lose out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I wonder if octo-grandma isn`t a little co- dependent and needs to take care of that issue.
Ok, everybody, stay right there. What do you think of these very weird developments surrounding octo-mom? 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Let me know.
Take a listen to the rap spoofing of octo-mom. Not quite as good as Christian Bale`s remake, it`s pretty funny.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More from the circus surrounding octo-mom Nada Suleman, but first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
This is just a case of horrific, pure evil. The trial against this monster, accused pedophile Chester Stiles, began this week with gut- wrenching testimony from an 11-year-old girl alleged to be one of his victims.
Stiles allegedly videotaped himself in 2003 having sex with a different girl who was just -- I just almost can`t say this, two years old. 2 years old. The case sparked a national man hunt in 2007 after images from that tape were made public to help cops identify Stiles and the toddler.
The girl from the tape is now 8 years old, safe and healthy. Thankfully, thankfully she has no memory of this sexual assault. She may not be required to testify. Stiles faces 22 counts of sexual assault and lewdness with a minor.
If convicted he could and should spend the rest of his life behind bars; sicko. That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Returning now to our conversation on octo-mom and Nadya Suleman, the mother of 14 with no shortage of critics and now you can count her two parents among them. And of course, I`m taking your calls. First back with my fantastic panel and the phone lines lighting up.
Bridget, California, your question or thought, ma`am.
BRIDGET, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Jane.
BRIDGET: I just want to say I love your show. I love Nancy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We love her, too.
BRIDGET: And I think Adult Protective Services need to go ahead and intervene. The parents, their needs are not being met. They`re worn out. They look broken down, and it`s just not right and she`s being very, very selfish; very selfish.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you 100 percent. Thank you for that call.
Mary Margaret, you`re the senior news editor with radar online. Thanks for your patience. Believe it or not, there are so many things happening with octo-mom, it`s a three-ring circus indeed.
You actually, your news organization spent some time with octo-mom and the mother and we`re going to hear a clip in a moment, but set it up. What was your impression of the dynamic between these two because I have to say, watching what you guys videotaped, I get a sense of this young woman acting out some kind of psycho drama, childhood trauma resentment with her mother. And the kids are almost pawns in this sort of sick dynamic between mother and daughter.
MARY MARGARET, SENIOR NEWS EDITOR, RADAR ONLINE: Right, -- no, Jane, you`re definitely right. We knew going into it there was going to be a high level of drama. Obviously these two women have been at odds for a very long time. We were pleasantly surprised that once we got them to sit down, all of those issues came to a fore.
One thing that was great about having Angela on camera was that she was the voice of all that scrutiny out there that was on the minds of the American public. One thing that you mentioned earlier was, how is she going to pay for these children. And that`s something that Nadya responded finally in a video we posted to today. She kind of lives in this fantasy world where she`s going to write a book and she`s going to have a $40,000 a year counseling salary that`s going to feed 14 children.
It`s not going to happen, but at the same time this is -- what we found was her underpinning and her thought process going forward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. She has some kind of -- I don`t know if there`s a psychological phrase for it, Brenda Wade, but she has this kind of syndrome where anything she thinks in her head she makes it sound realistic. Like, if I thought it therefore it can happen.
BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Exactly.
Right. Well, for sure she`s narcissistic, Jane, and there`s a very immature personality; very immature quality to her. Even watching her with the child that she`s kissing over and over and over and over, it`s just not appropriate behavior.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. There`s something wrong here.
Octo grandma had more to say about her daughter and mother of 14 kids. Take a look and a listen at more of this contentious interview from radaronline.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF NADYA SULEMAN: I feel sorry for them.
NADYA SULEMAN, OCTUPLETS` MOM: Because they`re healthy and thriving and crying?
A. SULEMAN: No, because there are so many and how are you going to be able to provide for them? 14, think about it, Nadya; 14.
N. SULEMAN: I have to let go of my need to control everything and I have to accept the help that`s been offered.
A. SULEMAN: I hope you`ll get help. I really hope so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is so rich.
Brenda Wade, I have to go back to you as the psychologist. What occurs to me is that grandma is a little co-dependent on her daughter and therefore the daughter feels that she has sort of the freedom to do anything that pops into her mind because guess who`s going to -- who is the safety net that no matter what happens is going to come in and rescue her?
WADE: Right and mom`s going to clean up the mess and the thing that is so ironic is that in the video she`s saying to her mother you have to let go of controlling when at the same time she`s saying to her mother and by the way, I am counting on you to make it all work. And the mom`s going, but you have 14 children.
Now, Jane, I also have to say I am saddened by the public attacks on her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I know you are.
WADE: out in public. That`s not going to help anybody.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in. If octo-grandma had not done so much with the first six kids, do you think she would have felt the freedom to go and have eight more? Just a quick question.
WADE: Darn good question, Jane. Darn good question. And I think the answer to the question is that her mom certainly has been co dependent. She`s probably motivated by wanting to protect and nurture her grandchildren.
What grandmother wouldn`t be, but she has gone far enough that Nadya thinks it doesn`t matter what I do, mom will pick up the pieces. So she doesn`t have to grow up.
And maybe mom needs to visit Al Anon.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, there`s a program for that. There`s a program for co-dependent behavior where essentially, and I`m just giving my definition of it is when you`re addicted to the person with the problem. They become your drug because they`re so exciting. You have to give it to octo-mom. She is exciting.
WADE: But her mom looks exhausted.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s not fun being co-dependent.
Mike Walters, what about a deal? We`ve heard so much. Obviously, this woman is very confident that something will work out. We keep hearing there might be a deal somewhere or maybe she made a lot of little deals around Hollywood as is often the case.
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, I mean, let`s first say that octo-grandma is losing her house on March 5th. It goes on the auction block for sale where they all live. So first of all, it`s been reported that octo-mom has already taken money -- I mean octo-grandma has taken money for an interview.
Get beyond that, octo-mom also sold her pictures through an agency of her kids. She has a website where she`s collecting visa deposits. So hopefully, for their sake, the kids, octo-mom will take this money and pay for their care. Let`s all hope that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have so much more. We`re back in a minute with more octo-mom drama. Hang in there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re back taking your calls and discussing all of the latest in the octo-mom case including the growing rift between Nadya Suleman and her parents.
Let`s go back to Mary Margaret, senior news editor, radar online; quite a scoop that you managed to get octo-mom and octo-grandma to sit down in front of cameras and argue.
MARY MARGARET: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How did you accomplish that? The entire world was focused on Nadya and everything was about Nadya. And then we kind of stepped back and thought there`s more drama here. Where did this woman come from and what is the story behind her family?
And we approached her mother and her mother thankfully was welcome to kind of talk about the allegations of Nadya`s childhood and the dysfunction behind that. And one thing I would like on mention, TMZ, you know, brought up the fact that the interview might have been paid for and one thing is there was no money exchange. Radar online doesn`t pay for interviews, but at the same time I`m sure Nadya`s book`s going do well and the family will profit handsomely for this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you didn`t exchange any money in any way, shape or form. I just want to clear that up because there is always speculation that various people can say we didn`t pay them, but they paid somebody else that paid them at the end.
MARY MARGARET: No, to set the record straight, radar online, we`re a news organization and we don`t pay for interviews. We did give a location for the interview which was that house that everyone was speculating whether or not Nadya was going to buy it, but that`s pretty much the extent of it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
Paula in Florida. Your question or thought, ma`am?
PAULA, FLORIDA: I actually have three. One is if the man that talked to you last night turns out to be the eight babies` dads can the state of California go after him for the child support.
The second one since she`s an Angelina Jolie look alike, why didn`t she go to a celebrity look alike thing and make money doing that to support her family.
And the third one is I love your show, and I love your outspokenness, and that`s it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is so sweet of you. Thank you, Paula. That`s very nice to hear.
I think I`m going to throw that out to Brenda Wade, psychologist in terms of the whole Angelina Jolie thing. I mean, look, Angelina Jolie is one of the most beautiful women in the world, we all know that. And Nadya Suleman, I`m not saying she`s unattractive, but she`s no Angelina Jolie, let`s face it; even if she`s trying to look like her.
WADE: Well, she`s obsessed with Angelina Jolie. I understand that she`s written letters for some period of time to Miss Jolie. She`s had surgery so she looks more like Angelina Jolie.
All of this says again, she`s not living in the real world. She`s living in a fantasy world. I do hope she`s going to get, first of all, good psychotherapy. Her mom`s going go to Al Anon and she needs some parenting classes. She`s got 14 kids.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re done. That`s it. We`re out of time. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. You`re watching "ISSUES."