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Justice for Sandra; Octo-mom Outrage` Casey Anthony`s Parents Questioned in Civil Trial; Victim of Subway Assault Speaks Out

Aired April 10, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, cataclysmic confrontation as Cindy Anthony fights back in the Zanny the nanny civil suit against her daughter, Casey.

CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY ANTHONY: I`m giving Mr. Moran what he wants. He wants the frickin` TV show. We`re getting it, you know?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: during her intense grilling, Cindy defiantly refused to answer questions, threatened to walk out, and took out her anger on everyone in the room, even husband George.


CINDY GEORGE: No, I`m not shutting up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Has the alleged rift in their marriage just been exposed?

And the small California community where Sandra Cantu`s life was cruelly extinguished, still reeling from her brutal murder. Even cops on the case are shaken. But now they`re taking heat. Some claim investigators should have brought out search dogs sooner. I`ll speak to one of the critics.

Then the story of a woman viciously raped in a New York subway station. While she screamed for help, two city workers allegedly failed to call 911. Maria brought them into court. But the judge threw out her case. I`ll speak to Maria tonight in an exclusive interview about her fight for justice.

Plus, remember when Nadya Suleman said she wanted to go on her grand reproductive journey alone? Well, California taxpayers may be along for the ride. Octomom, who is unemployed, may go back to getting government money to feed her kids. I`ll have the octo outrage.

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Raw emotion, defiance, barely contained rage in the case against Casey Anthony tonight. Casey`s parents denouncing how they were questioned during depositions yesterday in the civil case against their daughter. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Casey came home, that she changed the version of events that you understood about Sawgrass Apartments...

CINDY ANTHONY: I`m done. I`ve already answered the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me just say this for the record.

CINDY ANTHONY: I`m done. I don`t need to mike anything.


CINDY ANTHONY: I never agreed to have a mike on.


CINDY ANTHONY: I`m not miking up.


CINDY ANTHONY: Anyone who touches me I`m going to file harassment charges, if someone`s touching me. I`m not miking up. I`ll talk loud enough that you -- you have cameras in here.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. And Cindy wasn`t the only one to lose her cool. Her husband, George, barely able to keep his anger in check.


G. ANTHONY: I have not heard my granddaughter`s voice since June 16th of 2008. Do not ask me that again, sir, because I will walk out of here. Do not do that to me again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, I don`t want to cause you any problems (ph).

G. ANTHONY: Yes, you are. Yes, you are.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: George and Cindy grilled for hours by the attorneys for Zenaida Gonzalez, the woman who complained she was falsely linked to little Caylee`s disappearance. The distressed grandparents fought back tooth and nail every single step of the way.

Afterwards tensions so high, George and Cindy even began turning on each other. Look at this.


CINDY ANTHONY: You have to have hope. If you don`t have hope, you don`t have faith.

G. ANTHONY: Listen...

CINDY ANTHONY: I know you don`t have faith.

G. ANTHONY: Shut up.

CINDY ANTHONY: No, I`m not shutting up. Tell me I can`t pray?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: An explosive day for the Anthonys, all caught on tape. But just how will their answers and their behavior affect Casey Anthony`s criminal murder trial?

So many issues. First, my fantastic expert panel: Jonna Spilbor, criminal defense attorney; Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some"; Brenda Wade, clinical psychologist; and Beth Karas, correspondent for TruTV.

Beth, so great to have you here today. Emotions on fire, en fuego, as they say, yesterday. You have covered so many cases. Have you ever seen a deposition as combative as this one?

BETH KARAS, TRUTV: Hello, Jane. No, I have never seen anything like this. And I don`t think a criminal jury is going to see it either, unless George and Cindy Anthony say something different in the criminal trial from what they said in these depositions. They could be used against them.

But I do think that their behavior at the deposition gives us a little insight into how combative they possibly could be at a criminal trial under hostile questioning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, that`s fascinating. It`s almost like a preview of what`s to come when they have to take the stand and be grilled by prosecutors in their daughter`s murder trial.

Brenda Wade, there`s an old saying: the apple doesn`t fall far from the tree. I have tremendous compassion for these people. They have been through hell. But by the same token, they do show a defiant streak.

BRENDA WADE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s not just defiance, Jane. This is a great example of what happens to people when they`re faced with high levels of stress over extended periods of time. Their brains are breaking down. They no longer have the mood regulators in the brain. And the result is we have a combination here of anxiety and depression.

Remember, George tried to commit suicide. So what we`ve got when people don`t have those mood regulators is lashing out, acting out, aggressive behavior, even toward one another. And that`s the real kicker, when you see that: they`re turning on one another. You know they`ve lost all capacity to control themselves.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I just thought it was very interesting observation that I made, maybe it`s not that interesting, but it was interesting to me, is that this is what she`s known for, Casey Anthony: defiance, not playing by the rules, wanting to do it her own way.

WADE: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They call it terminally unique in 12-step lingo. And I kind of see that a little bit with the parents. So that kind of strikes me as sort of a dysfunctional family.

WADE: Jane, there`s no question that we`re looking at a dysfunctional family. I don`t think any of us can doubt that who has been following this case. But now we`re seeing the dysfunction at another level, because we have stress, anxiety, depression on top of all of it. It makes for a very explosive mix.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, it`s almost like they`re in a war. And in fact, yesterday they were in a verbal war. Cindy verbally attacks Zenaida Gonzalez`s attorney, John Morgan. But he also attacked her. Listen to this one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You knew when you went on TV that night that this woman was not Zenaida Gonzalez and you did not clear her name, did you? Yes or no? If you dare.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then, ma`am, in fact, you published the defamation and you slandered this woman yourself in that publication. Isn`t that true? Yes or no?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s all I have.

CINDY ANTHONY: Nope. You slandered me on TV.


CINDY ANTHONY: And you perjured yourself with this, because she`s not Fernandez. So there you go. You want to fight it?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think Cindy there is referring to the fact that this Zenaida Gonzalez is not Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez, and now they`re saying that the Zanny the nanny who took the child is Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez. But wow. I mean, they`re really going at it.

You know, this woman has lost her granddaughter. Let`s keep that in mind. Her daughter is accused of murder. Wendy Murphy, you used to be a prosecutor. Is this any way to handle a witness? No matter how hostile she is.

WENDY MURPHY, AUTHOR, "AND JUSTICE FOR SOME": Well, yes. You`re allowed to ask those kinds of relevant questions. And she`s just a dope of a witness, if you ask me. Frankly, she`s being dramatic. I think she`s probably been coached to act angry, and I`m sure that`s true of George, too. I mean, that`s my opinion.

There`s no question they went through, you know, with their lawyers, how should we act, how should we not act? And oops, they both decided to get real angry. Perhaps they knew that -- oh, I don`t know -- we`d all be watching and analyzing.

Isn`t it funny how they are so upset to be asked relevant, fair questions about a mystery that they should care about solving. OK? But when then went on, oh, I don`t know, Larry King and every other show they could get their mugs on when the big fake "Caylee`s missing" story was being forced upon the rest of us, isn`t it funny how they were managing to control their emotions? They weren`t upset at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Jonna Spilbor, you`re the defense attorney. We need a little defense here of the Anthonys.

JONNA SPILBOR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Let`s put this in context. This is not the criminal trial. To these parents, this is -- this is a bogus lawsuit filed by a nanny who`s trying to get rich quick. And in so doing, forced them to say something that will work against their daughter. I don`t blame them for being mad.

And there`s no judge in that room. This is lawyers and witnesses, and that`s it. So you can be hostile. And this is not atypical of depositions that I`ve been to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No. This is definitely not a typical deposition. Wait until you hear this next one. This next one could take the cake. George Anthony became combative with attorney Keith Mitnick yesterday. Listen to this one.


G. ANTHONY: I want to understand something. How can you get involved in a criminal case when this is a civil matter? Explain that to me, sir. You keep on fishing for more stuff. Do you want -- is this 15 minutes of fame so important to you?

KEITH MITNICK, ATTORNEY: Sir, I don`t have to explain anything. But I will.

G. ANTHONY: Yes, sir, you have to explain a lot to me.

MITNICK: Actually, I don`t, but I will, just as a courtesy.

G. ANTHONY: Thank you. I would appreciate some courtesy. And I don`t appreciate you giving me the finger as you`re putting...

MITNICK: Oh, come on.

G. ANTHONY: You`ve done it three or four times. I don`t appreciate the motion.

MITNICK: I will continue -- I push my glasses sliding down up on my face. I wouldn`t sit here and shoot a bird at you. I`m sorry. I`ll be careful to use my pinky so there`s no question.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, it`s kind of funny except that it`s all very tragic at the very same time.

Beth Karas, he`s trying to make a point, though, George, that some of these questions, he believes, are irrelevant. Is there any boundary when you`re sitting there and you`re being deposed where you can say, "Hey, that`s just not relevant. I`m not going to answer that"?

KARAS: You certainly can say that. His attorney could have objected. But in a civil deposition, you still have to answer. Later on you go to the judge and the judge will decide if it`s a proper objection, and then excise it from the record. Even if it`s objectionable, you still have to answer it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So even if it`s, let`s say, a question designed to humiliate and embarrass, and you`re doing -- let`s say I had a real estate dispute, and somebody wants to depose me. And they started asking me personal questions of an intimate nature. I have to answer that, even though it`s totally irrelevant?

KARAS: I don`t think anyone would say that you have to. You know, just I refuse to answer. I don`t think in that scenario.

But here you have questions that are related. I mean, the attorneys wanted to find out about the financial means that Casey Anthony had, to even pay for a nanny for a month. They don`t want to answer those questions.

They didn`t want to answer questions about the ladder that George saw missing from the pool, down from the pool. And these are relevant to whether or not Zenaida Gonzalez had that child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent point.

All right, everyone, more on the deposition fireworks in just a moment.

Meantime, cops frantically search for Sandra Cantu`s killer. But some are criticizing their handling of the case. I`ll debate it.

First, Cindy Anthony wasn`t the only one who lost her composure yesterday, as we`ve established. Here another fiery exchange between Cindy and Zanny`s attorney.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s don`t play games.

CINDY ANTHONY: I said Zanny on there. I didn`t say "C" Zenaida. What does "C" stand for? That`s probably her middle name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You knew when you went on TV that night that this woman was not the Zenaida Gonzalez and you did not clear her name, did you? Yes or no?








CINDY ANTHONY: The family involved in this case, this is tearing me up every single day, because I don`t have my granddaughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me direct you so we can talk about...

CINDY ANTHONY: Can we actually get to the reason why we`re here today, is to clear Mr. Morgan`s client`s name, that she`s not Zanny?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cindy Anthony, lashing out at attorney for Zenaida Gonzalez. Both George and Cindy growing more and more furious as they`re asked questions they believe are irrelevant to the civil matter. Back with my fantastic expert panel.

Beth Karas, I want to clarify. Zenaida is alleging defamation of character. What does she need to establish legally to win her case? Because her attorney says they have to find who the real killer is in order to prove that she`s not the one.

KARAS: Well, you know, she`s going to have to prove some sort of damages to collect anything. But they`re saying she`s not the Zenaida Gonzalez. She`s going to have to show that statements were made that were directed at her, that damaged her in some way.

She says she lost her job and suffered other financial damages and that she`s entitled to collect for that.

It is a little confusing now that the family is saying, no, she`s not the Zenaida Gonzalez. But if, in fact, they had the opportunity to correct that earlier in this case, maybe Miss Gonzalez would not have lost her job. But it`s a little confusing whether or not she actually will be able to prove damages.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You want to talk about it getting personal. Cindy and George Anthony said time and time again, as you just mentioned, that this Zanny is not the Zanny, who they insist took Caylee. But listen to this.


CINDY ANTHONY: Casey`s handwritten statement does not describe her. Her birthday is not September 1. She`s not 25 years old. She`s not 5`7". She`s not 140 pounds. She doesn`t have black hair. She doesn`t have perfect teeth. She`s not a 10. I`m sorry, ma`am. You`re cute, but you`re not a 10.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re cute, but you`re not a 10? Wendy Murphy, this is absolutely out of control. I mean, I`m looking at this, and I`m saying...

MURPHY: This is embarrassing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you had a team of Hollywood script writers working for days overnight without sleep, they couldn`t come up with this dialog.

MURPHY: Yes. And frankly, you know, I said it before, I think at least some of this stuff is scripted. Because they knew going in that we would all be watching it and talking about it. So part of this is drama. Part of it is designed to distract us from focusing on the important issue here, Jane, which is that they refuse to answer questions like when you spoke to Casey about the trunk and she refused to open the trunk so that you could look inside, what did that conversation consist of?

"I don`t want to answer that." Well, guess what? They`re not in charge.

KARAS: It`s a defamation lawsuit, though. Wendy, it`s a defamation lawsuit. They don`t have to get into the crux of the criminal case.

MURPHY: It doesn`t matter. It doesn`t matter. Yes, it does.

KARAS: They don`t have to prove that in order to prove defamation. They`re way out of bounds.

MURPHY: They`re entitled.

KARAS: It`s a defamation lawsuit. Absolutely not.

MURPHY: You know what else? I hope that America takes a lesson from what`s going on here. Any person falsely implicated by a suspect, where there`s a mountain of evidence against them, you falsely point the finger at an innocent person, sue anybody you can for defamation, is a great idea.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cindy Anthony revealed a potentially damaging piece of information yesterday about Zanny the nanny. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn`t somebody that, if something had happened to yourself or your husband, that you had a method of reaching out and getting a hold of...

CINDY ANTHONY: Actually, I had phone numbers for Zanny at different times, and I had addresses at different times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don`t you tell me the phone number?

CINDY ANTHONY: I don`t have it now.


CINDY ANTHONY: I don`t have it now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where would it have been?

CINDY ANTHONY: It would have been in an address book, something that Casey had or I had.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. So when you say you had -- let me just get that straight. You had addresses and phone numbers of Zanny. And Zanny, is -- when you`re saying Zanny, I just want to make sure, Zanny is the person that you`re saying was watching...

CINDY ANTHONY: Casey always gave me a phone number, yes.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Beth Karas, she also claims she handed all this information over to investigators. So if there are these numbers and addresses that were handed to investigators, can prosecutors use that if it turns out there is no connection to Zanny the nanny? Because of course, investigators believe that this person is a total fiction made up by Casey Anthony.

KARAS: Yes. And they indeed have done that. Reports have been released that we have seen where they have not been able to make any connection with phone numbers to any Zenaida Gonzalez, incoming or outbound from Anthony`s phone. At least from Casey`s telephone. I am assuming from George and Cindy`s, as well.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Brenda Wade, you have an entire family sticking to something that, let`s say, most of the free world believes is a total fiction.

And yet, you know, I understand what my research of family dynamics is that there is sort of group think within families. So let`s say, for example, that prosecutors are right, and this Zanny the nanny does not exist. And that Casey made her up. And these numbers are gibberish, or they relate to her friends, or whatever.

How is it possible for a family to maintain a belief system when the entire world around them is saying, this doesn`t make any sense? It`s ridiculous.

WADE: This family is fighting for their life. They`re fighting for their daughter. And at the end of the day, as dysfunctional as we can all see that they are, as stressed out as they are with the lashing out and all of that, Jane, one of the things about this family is they`re sticking together. But that`s one of the rules for dysfunctional families.

Remember the five rules? Don`t talk, don`t trust, don`t feel. Nobody gets in; nobody gets out.

Anyone who`s stressed out can go to my Web site for some help:

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I`ll tell you, after this deposition, I think we`re all stressed out, and we`re all going to go to your Web site for a little counseling.

I want to thank my fabulous panel. Love talking to all of you. Please come back soon.

Turning now to a woman who was brutally raped in a New York subway station and says two city workers didn`t do enough to help. I will speak to the woman about her fight for justice.

Plus, I will have the very latest octo outrage. Nadya Suleman again looking to the government to pay for her child care. Back in a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A case of justice denied for the victim of a brutal sexual assault in a New York City subway station. That`s the focus of tonight`s spotlight. A petite young woman screams for help moments before she`s attacked and raped.

Two transit workers allegedly witnessed this horrifying incident. She says neither called 911 or even yelled stop. While the workers did follow protocol and they notified their supervisors, it took ten full minutes before anyone came to her assistance, she says. By that time, it was too late.

The suspect, he is still at large. Now, to add insult to injury, a judge has ruled the victim`s lawsuit against those two subway employees and New York City Transit Authority cannot -- I repeat, cannot -- go forward.

I am joined now by Maria, for an exclusive national interview. And we`re not using Maria`s last name out of the respect for the privacy of her family. Maria`s attorney, Mark Alpert, is also here.

First of all, Maria, I want to applaud you for your courage for speaking out. By being here and talking about this openly, you are part of the solution to this universal plague that is as old as time, and something we`ve got to stop and evolve beyond.

So I just want to say, my hat`s off to you. I think you`re showing true grit by being here today and talking about this. And I really admire it.

MARIA, RAPE VICTIM: I just want to say thank you so much for the opportunity. It`s really amazing for letting me be here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I hope that in some way, it helps you process, because I understand you`re still going to therapy, and you`ve had flashbacks and suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. And maybe, perhaps, talking about it like this is part of the solution.

With the thug who did this to you still at large, how emotionally devastating was this judge`s decision?

MARIA: It was absolutely heartbreaking. I just didn`t know what to say or think. And I just completely fell apart.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gosh. I have to say that it just kills me that we`re still talking about this in the 21st century. I mean, when is the human species going to evolve beyond this kind of barbarism?

And I think we have to envision a world where this kind of thing doesn`t happen before we can even make that real. We have to envision a world where, we as humans, are peaceful towards each other.

Now, another subway worker defended the token clerk. Quote, "He would have been foolish to go out there. He immediately alerted the emergency system. That`s all we`re empowered to do. If it was me, unfortunately, I would have done the exact same thing," end quote.

Mark, there`s a built of irony in here, in that the safety slogan for the subway system is, quote, "If you see something, do something," end quote. So you`re saying there are other things that those two transit workers could have done, like what?

MARK ALPERT, ATTORNEY: Ironic is the perfect word, Jane. Simply saying something out loud so that the perpetrator would have known that he was being seen, that the police had been called. The guy didn`t say anything. He simply pressed an internal button that didn`t make any noise within the station. Going over a public address or sounding an alarm certainly would have been the way to go here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How are you processing all this, Maria, with the suspect still at large?

MARIA: I mean, it`s incredibly difficult. But like you said, you know, the most powerful thing for me to do has been to break my silence, and to encourage other women to come forward as well and break theirs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Again, I applaud you. You`re one of my heroes. And...

MARIA: Oh, thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks. And keep us updated and come back soon.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: Cops still shaken in the California town where Sandra Cantu was brutally murdered. But now they`re taking heat. Some claim they should have brought out search dogs sooner. I`ll speak to one of the critics.

Plus, remember when Nadya Suleman said she wanted to go on her grand reproductive journey alone? Well, California taxpayers may be along for the ride. I`ll have the octo-outrage.

8-year-old Sandra Cantu found brutally murdered. Her remains stuffed into a suitcase and tossed into a pond by a monster still on the loose. Five days later, her family and community try to come to grips with this tragic loss. A public memorial will be held for the adorable second grader next Thursday at 1:00 p.m.

In the meantime, the enormous, and I mean enormous make-shift memorial site dedicated to this precious little child has been taken down at the request of Sandra`s family. They say it`s simply too painful to look at as they wait for any news on the search for Sandra`s killer.

And now, breaking news just in: a potentially significant report that a mystery vehicle was spotted near the irrigation pond. That`s it, right there, where Sandra`s body was found. Just one week after Sandra went missing and just three days before she was discovered there, they saw that car. Ok, that mystery car.

A man says the driver was acting very strangely. And now the FBI looking into it all, as the hunt for the murderer moves forward, some looking backwards, questioning the investigation and whether things could have turned out differently.

Sandra`s family has publicly thanked the cops for their hard work and many of the cops taking this case very personally indeed. Most observers have called the investigation meticulous. Others, however, see areas where the police might have acted differently in the vital hours after Sandra was first reported missing.

Is it reasonable to raise these questions and raise them now if only to prevent future tragedies? We will debate all that.

Let`s go straight to my fantastic expert panel: Thomas Ruskin, former NYPD detective and president of the TNT Protective and Investigative Group; Vinny Parco, private investigator; Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some;" Bob Blasier, criminal defense attorney and DNA expert; and Bob Moffit, a reporter with KFBK Newstalk 1530.

Bob, what`s the very latest, particularly as regards the suspicious vehicle?

BOB MOFFIT, KFBK NEWSTALK 1530, SACRAMENTO, CA (via telephone): Well, Channel 3 Mike Trecell (ph) talked to a 19-year-old Stockton Police Department cadet who lives about a quarter mile from that irrigation pond where Sandra`s body was found. He saw last Friday a tan-colored Silverado parked on the wrong side of the road facing the wrong direction, some of the drivers noticed that he looked suspicion.

Kept observing him, and they kept observing him or just sort of he just looked out of place. And so he`s reported that to the police. And of course, they are taking that, along with the other 1,399 tips that they`ve received. And they`re processing them. And trying to figure out which ones are the ones they should be concentrating on now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well, Vinny Parco, as the private investigator, what do you do with that? A beige Chevrolet Silverado truck parked near the area where this little girl`s body was found.

And remember, when authorities found that site that you`re looking at right there, they didn`t just rush in and grab that suitcase. They searched the entire area, carefully mapping it out without destroying the crime scene and taking out tire tracks and fingerprints. How do they put it all together?

VINNY PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well first of all, did the cadet get the license plate of the vehicle? And I`m sure in that area there must be some video camera, surveillance cameras, so they might have taken...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I don`t think surveillance cameras in this area. This area is so remote Vinny that one of the law enforcement officers who`s worked there 12 years said even he had no idea that this area existed. It`s farmland. I don`t think they have video cameras in farmland.

PARCO: Well.

MOFFIT: It`s about three miles north of town, as a matter of fact.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh yes, ok. All right, well...

PARCO: Maybe adjacent there -- you know you never know. Maybe the 7- eleven three miles away might have...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true.

PARCO: ... video camera, maybe an ATM machine. Nowadays there are so many video cameras there are so many locations, that you have to canvas the whole area to see if anybody saw this car.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, but Thomas Ruskin, do they take the tire tracks that they found around the area where the suitcase was located with the body inside? And do they try to match that up to a beige Chevrolet Silverado truck?

THOMAS RUSKIN, FMR. NYPD DETECTIVE: Not only can they match that up, but they can almost match the year. What they probably did is what any good law enforcement agency would have done, is they mapped out the whole area and they took it specifically grid by grid by grid to look for evidence, any fibers, any other things that could tie one individual or individuals to that crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I mean, do they go through some registry and try to find out who owns a particular car like that and match it?

RUSKIN: Oh for sure.


RUSKIN: Once you tie, let`s say it`s a Dodge Ram...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s actually a beige Chevrolet Silverado truck.

RUSKIN: Ok, beige Silverado truck, once you do that and you determine the year, maybe by the tire tracks, because each year has a different type of tire tracks, you then run the registry right through the California DMV. And you come up with possible suspects in your area. And then you expand out from there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, one of the main issues that has come up during the investigation is the cops first called Sandra`s disappearance a missing person`s case.

Listen to the police department spokesman explain.


SGT. TONY SHENEMAN, TRACY POLICE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: We had no indication of an abduction but we wanted to be as careful as possible.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now Bob Blasier, they say there was no indication of an abduction. Do you think things should have been handled differently? In other words, eventually she`s an 8-year-old child, she`s never left her mobile home park on her own before. She`s too young to be a run-away. At a certain point logic tells you this is probably an abduction?

BOB BLASIER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I would think so. That would be the one thing that you would assume from the very beginning, and that they probably should have brought scent dogs out there at the very beginning. Because that`s where you get the most success from the scent dog is hopefully tracking somebody right after they disappeared.

And now, the police can`t do everything and can`t be everywhere at any time. But so it is important, I think, here where I just don`t think that this is a runaway situation. And I can`t imagine that the police ever really thought it was.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, for the record -- go ahead.

PARCO: Except what I would tell the distinguished attorney is out of 100- some-odd cases I handled as a New York city police officer where a child had walked away from a parent or a child was missing, never, ever was the child kidnapped, abducted or killed.

So, you know, had we launched an amber alert, every single time a kid is taken, it would have been a ridiculous waste of resources. In this case, they absolutely did everything by Hoyle and they did everything that they should have done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you know, to your point, there was actually a case in Arizona where a little girl just yesterday disappeared. She got off -- an 8-year-old girl, same age as poor little Sandra, got off the bus, missing. And her backpack was found. And everybody was alarmed.

Well, guess what, thank God last night at 10:30 she turned up. She rang a neighbor`s door bell. She had apparently been hiding in the bushes. So there`s a perfect example of what we`re talking about here. And again I -- go ahead.

RUSKIN: We`ve been having amber alerts for a number of years now. And many of those have been very successful in finding kids that have just walked away, or have been kidnapped. And I think it`s foolish to say, well let`s not bring out the forces until we really think that they`re a runaway or that they`ve been abducted.

And if there is a scent dog that was available at that particular time, that should have been brought out. And I know it`s a lot of resources and it`s a lot of time, but that`s what you`re supposed to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy, what do you think?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, Jane, this is premature criticism, because we`re going to learn a lot more about this case. We know cops are on the right trail. They keep telling us that they know where this case is going.

So the issue is not, can we say they might have, should have, you know, could have done something differently. Would it have made a difference? I think the answer is no. They are clearly moving in a direction.

They`ve talked to about four guys, the pastor, the church, the underground secret passageway, pornography, child pornography, sharing of information in that area.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I just want to say, there`s no suspect at this time.

MURPHY: I understand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everybody is cooperating...

MURPHY: But my point, but my point...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they`re not focusing on anyone. Because I don`t want any of the people you`ve mentioned to be singled out.

MURPHY: I know, that -- I know that Jane. But what I`m saying is, they are focused and so if it turns out...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But his point was...

MURPHY: But it wouldn`t have made a difference.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, how do you know that?


RUSKIN: You don`t know, you just don`t know that. You just don`t know that. I agree that...

MURPHY: That`s right we don`t know, right now we don`t know if what they could have done would have made a difference.

RUSKIN: I agree, I would also say that what they have done so far -- I`m very impressed with the way they`re handling the case. They`re not talking a lot to the public, which I think is really important that they not keylist (ph) to people as to what`s going on.

There`s a lot of physical evidence here. The suitcase is going to be extremely important. A person who was handling that suitcase...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s a whole other issue.

Look, I want to go to the Tracy Police Department spokesman Tony Sheneman. He appeared on the CBS`s "Early Show" this morning and defended criticism that they should have issued an amber alert as soon as Sandra was reported missing. Listen to this.


SHENEMAN: Requirements for an amber alert state that we have to have some specific identifiable means of transportation to be able to put up on the highway. The description that in an amber alert would have read that we were looking for a young girl that was 4 feet tall, 45 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. And that would have been a lot of people in the state of California.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And once again, Bob Moffit, almost hundreds of thousands of kids go missing every year. But only a tiny handful end up to have actually been abducted. What`s the mood, Bob, in the neighborhood about how this has been handled?

MOFFIT: Jane, you know, they`re really pretty supportive of the police department. They -- and really to be fair, the news media took up in the local area here where maybe an amber alert may have also served that purpose.

This girl`s picture was all over the news media. We had it on our Web site. We had it on -- we did radio reports on it as well describing the little girl, what she was wearing. As far as a local search goes and the media coverage...


MOFFIT: ... that took care of that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And again, we`re only discussing this to try to learn something. We applaud the police department. We know they`re working around the clock so hard. Thank you everyone for your wonderful insights.

A Florida woman at work when she saw a live feed of her own home being robbed. I will show you the really outrageous video.

Plus, octo-mom might be back on the dole, people. She says baby formula too pricey and she may need government help. Don`t miss the next octo- outrage up next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo-mom may be asking the government for a little help, again. I`ll have an update.

First, "Top of the Block" tonight.

Have you ever been bored at work so you take a couple of minutes to watch a video online on your computer? Well, a Florida woman did exactly that on Wednesday. Only, she saw live video of her own home being robbed.

Jeanne Thomas set up a live internet feed of her living room so she could monitor it from work. Maybe she has a pet she wants to see or whatever. While watching the video stream in her office, Thomas instead saw two robbers sneaking through her house.

Now, here you can see them going back and forth, grabbing whatever they can find. Thomas immediately called 911.


JEANNE THOMAS, SET UP LIVE INTERNET FEED OF HOME: Hi, my name is Jeanne Thomas. I`m watching my home on live monitor. And there`s a black man in my house and he`s robbing it.

911 OPERATOR: Where are you calling from?

THOMAS: I`m calling from my office. And I have a live video monitor.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops raced to the home -- and here`s my favorite part -- you could see them storm into the house. Look at this. This is like a movie, guns drawn. They arrested the two robbers. And the two other men allegedly involved in this heist.

Bravo to all involved, except for the robbers. Who says Internet videos are time wasters?

That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."

More controversial, contradictory talk from octo-mom tonight; surprise, surprise. Now mother of 14, Nadya Suleman, claims government money may be in her future. Yes, it could be, to feed her massive brood.

Octo-mom, who is unemployed, has proclaimed very loudly and strongly in the past she doesn`t want public assistance. But at least two of her kids get disability payments. That`s taxpayer money. Now it seems she`s also willing to feed possibly her flock baby formula provided by a government program called Women, Infants and Children or WIC.


NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: WIC is for formula, it`s not a form -- it is a form of government assistance. I`m still debating it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven`t applied for that.

SULEMAN: I have two choices, I either pay $2,000 for formula or I get help for that, when half of the people in the country are getting help anyway.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Half of the people in the country are getting baby formula from the government? Somehow, I don`t think so.

Remember when Suleman said she wanted to go on her grand reproductive journey alone? Well, taxpayers you may be along for the ride whether you like it or not. So buckle up, because this trip may be long, expensive and bumpy.

Octo-mom also dropped this theory as to why the public might be furious about footing her bill.


SULEMAN: Because I`m single and I chose to have this family. I didn`t choose to have eight at the same time. I only wanted one more, nevertheless, I`m now unfortunately in the public eye. People are going to be scrutinizing me more than anyone else.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: News flash, Nadya, you chose to have all these babies. People are not mad at you because you`re single. I`m single. They`re mad because they don`t want to pick up the tab for your self-indulgent decisions.

Joining me, Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist, and Lindsay Powers, staff editor at "Us Weekly" which has the juicy octo-mom story inside their magazine this week.

Lindsay, what is the big octo-news in your story?

LINDSAY POWERS, STAFF EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": In our story, we say it`s not only that -- it`s not only Nadya that`s looking for money, but it`s also her parents. Her father wants a reality show. And her mom is getting paid interviews. The whole family is out there for cash.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s what I don`t understand. Jennifer, maybe you can explain. Because she has said, no. She once said on camera, "I don`t want a reality show. That would be exploitation of my kids." Then we hear a report that we can`t confirm independently that she`s meeting with producers. Now we hear, no, it`s her dad who was putting out the feelers possibly for a reality show.

Please try to make some sense of this. My head`s going to explode.

JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think we`re all going to explode, Jane. I don`t think any of us can make sense of this. It doesn`t seem to make sense. I mean, eight babies didn`t make sense and the fact that her father was chasing media away from the beginning.

The fact, I think, they`re all strapped for cash. They all are looking at the fact that this is a sensational story. We are a sensational society in lots of ways, so why not maximize and capitalize on it and keep yourselves in the news so you can get some money in any way you can. I think they`re starting to see that they can be greedy and they can make that happen. It`s really hard to explain.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that, my personal theory, and I have no proof of this, is that she can say, I`m not looking to do a reality show and dad`s doing it so she has deniability while dad makes the deal.

It`s the same thing when you say I didn`t pay for an interview, but give then you give them huge amounts of money for some silly little photo that`s not worth that so you can say I didn`t pay for an interview which happens all the time.

Octo-mom claimed in the past, no more tax dollars for her excluding the Medi-Cal payments her two disabled children get. Yet now we hear she may possibly take some form of government assistance to feed her newborns.

POWERS: Right.


SULEMAN: WIC is for formula. It`s not a form -- it is a form of government assistance. I`m still debating it. I haven`t yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You haven`t applied for that.

SULEMAN: It`s either two choices, I either pay $2,000 a month for formula or I get help with that when half the people in the country are getting help anyway. It`s different than food stamps.


SULEMAN: I quit that.

I`m only contemplating it because that`s a lot for formula.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s different than food stamps but it`s pretty much the same thing. It`s government giving you money to feed your kids. What do you know about this, Lindsay?

POWERS: So essentially, by going through this program she`s going to be getting, you know, free juice, free milk, things along those lines. It`s a little bit different than food stamps than what she was on before.

But the thing that makes it so interesting is that Nadya Suleman has made a ton of money. She sold photos. She sold her story. She recently purchased a $564,000 home.

As you remember, she used to work with Angels in Waiting, which provided free care and nursing. She fired them about a month ago.

Angels in waiting said this is a woman who was shopping...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More octo-madness in a second. Hold that thought. We`ll be right back in a second.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: With all the craziness surrounding octo-mom, it sometimes gets lost that these babies face so many challenges. Reports are the eighth octuplet, who was still in the hospital, will need a future operation to repair a cleft lip.

And you know, I have to tell you about a great organization called the Smile Train Foundation. Their mission is doing surgery on kids around the world to repair cleft lips and palates. They do amazing work, helping out millions of poor kids across the world. This operation costs only $250 and takes less than an hour, and it changes the lives of these children forever. Check it out at;

Jennifer, can you imagine what these children are going through? Is all the craziness, do you think, already affecting them, or are the infants too young? Maybe the older kids are feeling something?

HARTSTEIN: I think the older kids have to be feeling something. First of all, they are, you know -- were already clamoring for her time. There were six of them. And now there`s eight babies. And it`s going to take more time for her to address their needs than it is for the older kids.

And then she`s just under the microscope all the time. It`s probably not affecting the infants so much. But it`s definitely going to affect them down the road, and it`s for sure affecting the older kids because their mom cannot give everybody the same amount of attention.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, so much to talk about. Especially concerning the media frenzy surrounding these babies. Mixed reports, as we`ve been saying, conflicting reports about whether or not a reality show is in the works. But it cannot be good for those preemies. Remember, inside octo- mom`s house, when the first two babies came home, we see in this video as she makes her way up the stairs, we notice it. Take a look down there. There`s a mob scene down there of media.

Now, Lindsay Powers, you have that. Obviously, she`s done various deals. Some of them have expired. And then she moves on. But she`s also talking for free a lot. In fact, she even said on one of these interviews, "I`d better stop talking."

POWERS: Well, you know, she has to keep herself in the media to keep the interest there because as soon as she stops doing these controversial things, saying one thing, doing the other thing, people are just going to drop off and not care about her. So she`s keeping herself in the public light.

You know, and we do hear that she may have a reality show coming up. You know, we know her father`s been approaching people. Remember, her father`s the one who does a lot of her deals for her. He`s the one who bought her that $564,000 home.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s all the time. I feel like I`ve already seen her reality show. Thanks to my fabulous panel.

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