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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Questions Emerge about Melissa Huckaby; Octomom Tries to Trademark Nickname
Aired April 16, 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 we remember Sandra Cantu. Thousands turn out for the public memorial for the beautiful 8- year-old. The tight-knit community torn apart over the rape and murder, allegedly at the hands of a playmate`s mother who taught Sunday school. Today, the community mourned together.
Meantime, new reports that suspected killer and rapist Melissa Huckaby was in a court-ordered mental health program at the very time of the murder. So why was she allowed to continue teaching children? And with Huckaby having had so much contact with children, how could parents in the community separate fact from frightening fiction?
Then, Casey Anthony`s parents respond to the prosecution`s shocking decision to seek the death penalty. I`ll show you George and Cindy`s stunning reaction.
And Nadya Suleman`s surprise reaction to rumors that she wants to trademark the Octomom nickname, a moniker she`s reportedly said she despises. But did somebody beat her to the punch? And is this just another way for her to exploit her kids?
Plus Hulk Hogan tries to spin his way out of the uproar over his outrageous O.J. comment.
HULK HOGAN, FORMER PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: Do the O.J. Simpson thing. I took the high road.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, joking about slitting your wife`s throat is now the high road? Quit while you`re ahead, Hulkster.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heart-wrenching developments tonight in the truly incomprehensible case of murdered 8-year-old Sandra Cantu. More than 3,000 mourners, including United States Senator Barbara Boxer, converged on little Sandra`s hometown of Tracy, California, just hours ago, to pay their final respects to this murdered child. It was a massive crowd, and tears were flowing.
The gym and football field of the local high school where little Sandra would have attended one day, had she lived, packed with sobbing community members, still shocked that this beautiful little child was raped and murdered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE ABERCROMBIE, TRACY CITY COUNCIL MEMBER: I wish I could explain to everyone why evil things happen to innocent people. I didn`t understand it when I was a police officer, and as a father of four children I still don`t understand it.
I would ask you to no longer focus on the why, but on the question how. How do we want to remember Sandra? How do we begin to heal as a community from this tragic event?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you just saw Sandra`s mother there in the audience moments ago. The distraught community still reeling from the shocking arrest of this local woman, Melissa Huckaby, a 28-year-old single mother and Sunday schoolteacher. Huckaby accused of rape, kidnapping, murder. She could face the death penalty if convicted.
Tonight, Huckaby remains on suicide watch after reportedly trying to kill herself just days ago by eating razor blades. She has been on probation for petty theft for over a year now. And tonight we learn that her probation required her to be in a court-ordered mental health program. One of her mental health evaluations could be released next week at her next court appearance. But why was a woman with mental health problems teaching Sunday school?
Meanwhile, cops continue to track down leads about other possible abuse victims. Was Sandra the only one? On the other hand, could the public hysteria sparked by the ghoulish charges against this woman lead to false claims by impressionable children?
So many issues. We`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586- 7297.
But first, my expert panel: Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels.
Thanks for joining us tonight, Curtis.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: My pleasure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychologist; Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Joanna Greenwald, criminal defense attorney; and Bob Moffitt, reporter with KFBK Newstalk 1530.
Bob, what is the very latest?
BOB MOFFITT, REPORTER, KFBK NEWSTALK: Well, the latest in the investigation is that the Tracy Police Department has determined that Melissa Huckaby is the sole suspect in this murder. They say that the physical evidence, the confession and the other evidence that they have attained through search warrants has left them with her as the sole -- as the sole suspect in the case.
One thing to tell you about, there was a report yesterday that Melissa Huckaby may have been involved in some sort of pornography ring. Apparently, that was the accusation of a small child who heard from a friend of a friend, told his mother. That mother told police that she was worried that Huckaby may have had some sort of pornographic images. But the police investigated and found no evidence of that to be true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. That seems to be the rumor mill. And as far as Melissa Huckaby, we`ve got reports that she was dating someone in the mobile home park. We`re going to tell you about that in just a second.
But first, Sandra`s grief-stricken family and friends comforted by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer at the memorial today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I believe that a violent crime against a child is a crime against our own humanity. There can be no explanation. There can be no rationalization. And we need to have an ethic in this country that we will have zero tolerance for crimes against an innocent child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Definitely applaud those powerful words. Stacey Honowitz, as a Florida prosecutor, do you think Sandra`s Law could come out of this case in California? And what should that law do?
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, Jane, I specialize in sex crimes and child abuse. And anytime a case like this comes into the public eye, everybody wants to know why weren`t the neighbors notified that she had a mental health issue? Why wasn`t the Sunday school aware of the fact that she had some issues and she was on probation? And what could be done to prevent it?
And certainly, the legislature is going to have to figure out a way to figure out if the public should be notified anytime someone is working with a child, anytime anyone has any contact with the criminal justice system. Because that`s the only way that people are going to know who their next- door neighbors are.
JOANNA GREENWALD, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t agree with that at all.
HONOWITZ: We tried with the...
GREENWALD: Wait a second.
HONOWITZ: It`s not overreaching. I prosecute these cases all of the time.
GREENWALD: You`re not the only one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Joanna Greenwald, you`re a defense attorney. Why do you object to what Stacey Honowitz said?
GREENWALD: Because, one, that`s an invasion of privacy. Someone with mental health issues. If you put a bunch of people in a room, I guarantee you that the majority of people in a room have some form of a mental health issue.
And we don`t know at this time, as far as what her obligation for her probation of mental health investigation that they had going on for her, that she has to comply with, had anything to do with being around children, being around alcohol, being around -- it was petty theft. So you have no idea what that is for.
HONOWITZ: Obviously there was a mental issue, if she was court ordered to do something. Now, if you want to send your child...
GREENWALD: But it was petty theft. It was petty theft.
HONOWITZ: Give me a break.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK, listen, I want to bring Dr. Dale Archer in. He`s a psychiatrist. What I don`t understand is she was teaching Sunday school at a church where her grandfather was the pastor. So my question is, did her grandfather know about her problems, or did she keep it a toxic secret? And that, to me, is the crux. Because she may have hid the fact that she was going to court because of petty theft, and I know that they knew that she had a troubled history. But they may not have known the details.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think the key here is that a judge does not mandate mental health treatment for a minor psychiatric condition. So this had to be a serious psychiatric condition.
And -- no, no, no. You do not -- you do not mandate psychiatric treatment for petty theft. There had to be something underlying that was going on. And in most cases, it`s a psychotic condition. So in this particular case, I would want to know what the diagnosis was. Were they following up? Was she on meds? Was she being treated? And were they ensuring compliance? Because those are all issues that go back to the mental health treatment center.
Now, as for somebody like that in the general population, this is somebody that you would be able to tell had a psychiatric issue. Certainly, I don`t think that most people in any given room would have a psychiatric problem. But this would be a serious problem. I think a psychotic type of condition. And you would be able to tell.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The only thing I can think of is when she was arrested on the petty theft, she began behaving in a manner that gave the court officials reason to believe that she had mental health problems, and they took that step. But I don`t know if that`s how it works.
ARCHER: Yes. But it would have to be a serious diagnosis, Jane, for them to take that step. They would not take that step if she had...
HONOWITZ: There was something in that police report that tipped that judge and that prosecutor off. If you just go into the 7-eleven and you steal a piece of gum and you run out the door and get arrested, you`re not ordered to mental health court.
HONOWITZ: The bottom line is, there was something in that police report that led that judge to say she has psychological issues, and she`s ordered to mental health.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. I`ve got to move on, people. I`ve got so much to cover here.
Melissa Huckaby reportedly had a relationship with this man. Take a look at this. Christian Sinclair. Police say Melissa Huckaby was dating him. He`s been described in court documents as abusive and alcoholic. According to court records in San Joaquin County, Sinclair is a repeat offender of domestic violence laws.
Stranger still, when Sandra first went missing, Sinclair was arrested for allegedly obstructing a police investigation, not cooperating when his home was searched. He was retained and then released. Now, it`s important to stress, this man is not a suspect.
And let`s go back to Bob Moffitt. They`re saying the authorities, they`re not searching for any other suspect. But they acknowledge that she had a relationship with this troubled man -- Bob.
MOFFITT: She did have a relationship with that troubled man. And it was known to her family about her mental issues. And because that mental issue came about as the part of a plea agreement for that petty theft charge. In exchange for her getting into that mental program, when she completed it, her record would be -- would be expunged. That petty theft charge would disappear from her record. That`s why she was in that program.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What needs to happen with every single one of these cases -- and this woman has not been convicted; she hasn`t even pled. We need a psychological autopsy to find out the real underlying why of these horrific crimes, so we don`t keep repeating them.
Everybody, more on this heart-breaking day as we remember Sandra Cantu. Where does the investigation go from here? Are there more abuse victims out there: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. Join the debate.
Then Hulk Hogan tries to clear the air about his outrageous comments on violence and O.J. Simpson. But he only makes matters worse. I will show you his bizarre spin.
But first, as the town of Tracy, California, remembers Sandra Cantu today, the community still reeling from this horrific murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once I heard that it was the lady that lived in the same place, the same area, it just made me break down really bad.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to know why. Why did you do that to her?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JANET THIESSEN, TRACY POLICE DEPARTMENT: Sandra Cantu became all of our little girl. A child whose spirit captivated us and brought us together as we searched for her, tirelessly. And relief at the news that an arrest had been made, and then absolute disbelief that it was someone who Sandra knew well, had trust in, and had spent time with often.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Tracy, California, police chief, making an obvious reference to Sandra`s accused killer, Melissa Huckaby, the Sunday schoolteacher and mother of little Sandra`s playmate. A truly shocking outcome for this community.
Straight to the phone lines, which are jammed.
Callie, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Yes. Sunday schoolteacher Melissa Huckaby has still not given investigators any details about how Sandra died. Is it possible Huckaby is being tight-lipped so that she and her lawyer can develop a sympathetic defense?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t know. Bob Moffitt said she hasn`t done that. I`ve heard reports that she`s offered four different explanations.
MOFFITT: Yes, everything we`ve heard is that she`s give the police multiple accounts of what happened. And the way the police department described it, that she appeared that afternoon, that Friday afternoon as cocky and full of herself, and confident, and then by the end of the interview, she had become resigned. And that is when we believe that she - - that she confessed to the crime.
So as far as we know, her confession and the physical evidence have led police to where they are today.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we still don`t know, technically, whether it`s a confession. I mean, I`ve talked to the cops, and they haven`t confirmed that. But we shall see. More will be revealed at the preliminary hearing.
Curtis Sliwa, you`ve been very patient. You are the founder of the Guardian Angels. For decades you have been fighting crime, as many decades as I`ve been reporting on crime, and it doesn`t go away. Horror stories continue. There is an underlying sickness in our society. You look at every neighborhood, there`s registered sex offenders and child pornographers, and what is going on with America?
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGEL: This one really breaks the mold. Throw the playbook out on Melissa Huckaby, 28, single mom with her own child, teaching there, Sunday schoolteacher. This is like a case I`ve never really seen before in over 30 years of covering cases like this.
Now, on the mental health issue, remember, there`s two individual -- two types of individuals. The person who will do harm to themselves, the person who will do harm to others. This mental health report comes out that she was prone to do harm to others, then the community should have known about it. Everyone should have been alerted. Better safe than sorry.
But if it was just that she would do harm to herself, I don`t know how you could say the that the community should have been prone to this.
So the community has got to be vigilant. It`s got to start protecting its kids. It`s got to have a wary eye out for the people that we used to think were mainstream traditional.
Look, when we go fishing for pedophiles, look at all the mainstream guys who walk in through the door who get cold busted, the ministers, the rabbis, the cops, the firefighters, the baker, the butcher. All the kind of people we never before would have thought were the Chester the Molester sleazoids that were a plague to children in our society before.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. I think this idea of stereotyping evil is perhaps the most dangerous mistake that we can make as a society. Evil comes in all sizes, shapes, colors, ages, genders.
And we have to realize it`s really a part of the human condition. And that`s why I have to say we have to get beneath these cases. We don`t know if this woman is guilty, but when the facts are laid out, we have to do a psychological autopsy and understand so that we can prevent.
If this woman was in fact raped as a child -- we don`t know that -- and then she`s acting it out. Dr. Dale Archer, there`s a way to intervene early and say if somebody is a victim of abuse, they don`t have to act it out. They can get help.
ARCHER: Right, absolutely. I think the key comes back to, yes, this absolutely breaks the mold, because it`s a female that`s committed not only apparently a murder, but possibly also abuse, as well.
And the key, though, is that she had a psychiatric condition. And individuals, especially those that are psychotic, are ones that can be prone to this type of behavior.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you mean by psychotic? What do you mean by psychotic?
ARCHER: So early intervention and treatment of this case would have been...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t really know -- we don`t have -- we don`t have that information.
ARCHER: No, no.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think Curtis Sliwa raises a good point. If we start reporting on everybody who has gone to a psychiatrist, my gosh, I`ve been in therapy for years. I don`t necessarily -- I`m not ashamed of it. But I don`t necessarily want everybody in the world to know if I`m working on myself. That`s a big difference from having a mental condition that could be dangerous to others.
ARCHER: No. But Jane, you weren`t mandated by a judge to seek treatment. And that`s the key here. Because only serious psychiatric conditions would a judge mandate psychiatric treatment. That`s why I`m speculating that that`s the condition.
HONOWITZ: Hasn`t had contact with the criminal justice system. That`s the difference, too. She had contact with the criminal justice system, coupled with a mental issue. People have to be on notice.
GREENWALD: If they`re supposed to be on notice then, and she`s a mother of a 5-year-old, then where was DFS. If she was that bad, where was DFS?
ARCHER: We don`t know if DFS was involved.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Leann in Connecticut, you have a question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Thanks, Jane, for taking my call. My condolences definitely go out to the family. It`s a tragedy for this little girl. But I guess my question is today, how many -- how many Sandras are there going to be? How many Caylee`s are there going to be? How many Danielle Van Dams are there going to be?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you. Curtis Sliwa, do you want to take it?
SLIWA: Well, unfortunately, we have seen many cases in the past that have never received the kind of ongoing attention that these cases have deserved. And it should empower people; it should alert them. They need to mobilize, scrape the barnacles off their back sides and get out in the streets and start looking for the initial signs. Better to speak up than to remain silent and watch more of these cases unfold.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We need more Guardian Angels out there. Thank you, Curtis. And I want to thank my entire excellent panel. More on little Sandra`s murder in a second.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nadya Suleman`s stunned reaction to a report she wants to trademark the name "Octomom."
Plus, Hulk Hogan tries to downplay his O.J. comment. But the spin just makes it worse. I`ll tell you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She can`t stay away from those cameras. Octomom back in the spotlight tonight. Octomom, amid all her denials about doing a reality show and applying for financial aid, has apparently, and quite discreetly, indeed, tried to trademark the very nickname she reportedly claims to detest, Octomom.
Take a look at Nadya Suleman in a way we`ve never seen her before, speechless, when confronted about the trademark issue by Radar Online.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: I know that. How do you know that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you know that? Octomom finally regains her footing and explains why. We`ll have that in a moment.
Meantime, TMZ says the octo-entrepreneur might have to duke it out with a video game company called Super Happy Fun Fun, based in Texas.
Let`s go straight out to Lisa Bloom, anchor of the legal network In Session.
Lisa, it doesn`t get crazier than this. First, about this trademark application. How much money could Nadya make if she gets her mitts on the trademark for Octomom?
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, IN SESSION: Well, this could only mean one thing, Jane. It means that she wants to commercially exploit the word Octomom. Translation, she wants to make some money off this thing, which is what we`ve known all along, either by way of a reality show deal or by trying to sell products that have "Octomom" on it. Who wasn`t want to buy Octomom clothing for children...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I wouldn`t.
BLOOM: I`m joking. I can`t believe she would actually think there would be a market for it. I assume it`s going to be a reality show, called Octomom or something of that nature, and that`s why she`s doing it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen to Octomom explain exactly why she wants to own the nickname she hates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULEMAN: The reason I chose to do that is because I heard that someone else did that in another state. I think it was Texas. And I had no idea why anyone who`s not even associated or knows me would -- would take that name. I was thrust into all of this without my -- without my awareness and without my willingness. And now I feel almost like I have no choice but to do what I can to support the kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So she has no choice.
BLOOM: She has no choice. These children just happened to her. They just fell off a tree in the backyard one day. I love how things just happen to her. Super Happy Fun Fun, by the way, how great is that as the name?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Could they end up splitting it? Super Happy Fun Fun gets the ashtrays and the video game and she gets the diapers and the TV show. Because you know she wants that, even though she says she would never do a TV show named "Octomom."
BLOOM: And by the way, Octomom is not sitting around doing trademark issues. There`s an attorney who advised you that you need to get the name trademarked. I`m sure the attorney is taking care of it. And I`m sure it`s the same attorney who`s working with her agents and publicist, all of the people who are trying to get her a reality show. It does not just come from her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And she`s got disabled kids. She`s got a kid who needs a cleft lip operation. And she`s thinking how to exploit the name "Octomom." It kind of makes me really revolted. Perhaps more than any other episode, this really bugs me.
BLOOM: Well, I think -- I think you`re right, Jane. And look, to be serious for a moment, the real concern is about these children, and making them into characters on a reality show, having cameras in there 24/7 when they`re growing up.
And these are not circus freaks. These are human beings who deserve to have a little privacy, as do the older children, who can slip and fall and have a tantrum and do what kids do without the entire world watching.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you, and I agree 100 percent. I pray for these kids.
BLOOM: Me, too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Lisa.
New developments in the Casey Anthony case. George and Cindy speak out about the death penalty issue. We`ll tell you that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony`s parents respond to the prosecution`s shocking decision to seek the death penalty. I`ll show you George and Cindy`s stunning reaction.
Plus, Hulk Hogan lawyers up and tries to spin his way out of the uproar over his outrageous O.J. comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HULK HOGAN, FORMER WRESTLER: With the O.J. Simpson I took the high road.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So joking about slitting your wife`s throat is the high road? Quit while you`re ahead, "Hulkster."
Today, thousands of mourners gathered in Tracy, California, the hometown of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, to pay their final respects to the murdered child; more than 3,000 mourners. Now, there you see on the right, the little child`s mother right there in the glasses.
Many of them weeping, comforted by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and California`s Attorney General, Jerry Brown; all remembering and celebrating beautiful Sandra`s short life while still reeling from her gruesome death.
Meantime, allegations mount against her accused murderer and rapist Melissa Huckaby, a mother herself and a Sunday schoolteacher who remains behind bars on a suicide watch after reportedly downing razor blades in a suicide attempt.
Joining me to discuss the latest: Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Joanna Greenwald, a criminal defense attorney.
Joanna, we know Huckaby was on probation as we`ve discussed, for petty theft.
JOANNA GREENWALD, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She was required by the court to attend mental health counseling. So how could that play out when she goes back to court next Friday to enter a plea to these ghoulish charges against her?
GREENWALD: Well, how I see it playing out is, one, the threat of a violation of probation taking over her head. And so that`s number one. That that could be coming right down the pike; that just hasn`t happened yet, because again, she was on probation.
And so now she`s charged with a serious crime. A serious crime, so serious in fact that if she`s found that she committed this crime, with the rape and in the possibility of kidnapping, she could face the death penalty or a life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. This is a very significant situation.
And going back to the mental health issue that you asked me about, and screening and things like that, is that we don`t know what -- when you have probation, they give you specific things that you need to do. If it was to go to mental health, that might have been just for therapy.
If it was significant enough, DSS, probation and the judge would have, as their duty, would have tipped off DSS because she had a child herself.
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: That`s not true, that`s not true.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying child protection; Child Protective Services. Go ahead, Stacey.
HONOWITZ: First of all Jane, the idea that the threat of a violation of probation is hanging over this woman`s head for a petty theft is so -- it makes no difference. She`s looking at murder and rape charges in this case.
Here`s what`s lining up.
They`re lining up probably a mental health defense. That`s exactly what the lawyers are going to try to do.
GREENWALD: Of course, they are.
HONOWITZ: I wouldn`t be surprised at all if they`re lining up a not guilty by reason of insanity. VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you say yes -- that what I was wondering, you know - - but guess what when she was going through her petty theft case, she had to have a mental competency examination. And she was judged to be competent to stand trial, even though she ended up...
HONOWITZ: But she`s different...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But what I`m saying is, could that be used against her if she tries to plead not guilty by reason of insanity...
HONOWITZ: No, no, no, no -- no.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And say hey, look, you were sane just a few months ago.
HONOWITZ: No, what will happen is, Jane, when you do a not guilty by reason of insanity, they do search all the way back, they`re going to interview family members, they`re going to look at prior court records.
All of those things; were you insane at the time of the defense, not whether you were competent back then. But I`ll tell you what might play a role the idea that she tried to kill herself after the fact, can certainly be looked at well you know what, you did know right from wrong, because maybe you tried to kill yourself because you know what you did was wrong.
GREENWALD: Well maybe she was just scared out of her mind.
HONOWITZ: I`m just saying that now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s kind of funny, because everybody assumes that it means that you`re crazy. But when you really think about it, an attempted suicide does show more likely that you do know right from wrong, not that you`re crazy.
GREENWALD: On that count I don`t agree with that.
HONOWITZ: Especially, and remember that the family members, the family members all along during when she was first arrested were very quick to come onboard and say, listen, we can`t believe this. She`s a wonderful girl, she`s normal.
So they will all be interviewed to see whether or not there was some kind of psychosis or something going on prior to the incident. But again, I`m just thinking that down the pike, this is what the setup is. Especially if she was court ordered into some kind of mental health probation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
GREENWALD: But they`re going to do that immediately, the mental health defense. The sooner you do it, the better, as far as a criminal defense attorney the mental health...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, we`ve got to go, and we`re going to stay on top of this. So Joanna, Stacey, stay right there.
Turning to another tragic story of a murdered young girl, Caylee Anthony. Stunning new twist tonight, as Casey Anthony`s parents George and Cindy open up about the possibility that their daughter could be sentenced to death by lethal injection or even the electric chair.
Casey`s parents reportedly shocked, but not surprised by the state`s stunning about-face. Their response, this is the parents. Quote, "The state`s decision to seek the death penalty will not change the support and love the Anthonys have for Casey. Casey Anthony is entitled to the presumption of innocence. If the state can overcome that presumption, the Anthonys will then begin to deal with the potential sentence."
Translation, they`re going to fight this thing to the bitter end. And they will not believe a death penalty until they see it. Here`s what Casey Anthony`s attorney, Jose Baez, said
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: If they think that this is going to make her plea, they`re sadly mistaken. They`ve been trying to intimidate Casey Anthony from day one. And it didn`t work then; it`s not going to work now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The attorney for Casey`s brother said Lee is probably reeling from shock and horror at the possibility that his sister could -- could -- if convicted, ultimately face the ultimate punishment.
Breaking news just in, WESH TV reporting the for-sale signs has been taken down at the land where Caylee`s remains were found. Was the property sold? Could bounty-hunter Leonard Padilla have bought it since he expressed interest in putting a permanent memorial there?
Well, not if the community has any say in this. Neighbors do not like that idea.
Now, back with Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; and Joanna Greenwald, criminal defense attorney and Stacey Honowitz.
Stacey, you are a Florida state prosecutor. This is a very ghoulish subject. But if convicted, how do they decide if it`s lethal injection or the electric chair?
HONOWITZ: Jane, I don`t really know the answer to that. The only thing I can tell you is Eileen Wournos, as you remember the movie they did, "Monster" ...
HONOWITZ: She was put to death by lethal injection. I don`t even know how many years ago -- that`s the last time that I remember the female down here. So I really don`t know how they make that decision.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Jose Baez just got permission to interrogate the officer who watched Casey Anthony break down after hearing about the discovery of a child`s remains. Casey reportedly had this meltdown before anyone had determined that it was her daughter`s remains.
That came later. Listen to this officer explain.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LT. TAMMY UNSER, POLICE OFFICER: She collapsed into the chair and started to, what appeared to be, hyperventilating. She lost her breath. We told her a couple of times, take some deep breaths. She was -- got real shallow breathing. Her hands started to sweat. She started rubbing them profusely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right Joanna, what do you think defense attorney Jose Baez is going to get out of grilling this officer about his client`s meltdown in jail when the remains were first discovered, but before they were identified?
GREENWALD: Well, he`s like the gift that keeps on giving. You know, you just can`t get rid of Jose Baez, no matter how poor of a criminal defense attorney he is.
The bottom line, though, with this thing is that it matters, but it doesn`t matter. Because if you step outside of it, you just have a woman whose child is missing and if you presume her innocent, you hear that a child`s remains have been found where someone naturally would leap to the conclusion that, that would possibly be their child.
So it`s a horrific situation that any mother, if God forbid their child was missing and they were told remains have been found of a child, they would hope and pray it was not theirs. But it won`t be unusual for them to freak out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Dr. Dale Archer, the problem with that theory is that there were other times previous to that where authorities thought they had found the remains at other locations. And it turned out to be false. But she didn`t freak out.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: You`re exactly right, Jane. And that`s the whole point here is that this had happened before and she was fine. And then when it happens at the spot where she presumably knew the body was, then she freaks out.
So I think it`s fairly significant and telling.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we`re looking on each side of it...
HONOWITZ: Jane, each side will put their own spin on it; that`s what going to happen. If this evidence is admissible in court, if they can get that in then what will happen, the prosecution will put their spin that she`s never freaked out before other than this time, and Jose Baez on the defense team will say it`s a mother grieving over her child.
It`s a matter of what the jury is persuaded by.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want to hear...
GREENWALD: That`s the one thing I agree with Stacey on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh really, ok.
VELEZ-MICHELL: Ok, you both agree on something.
HONOWITZ: You don`t have to agree with at times.
GREENWALD: I try not to, I try not to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, all right listen.
By the way, I don`t necessarily think Jose Baez is such a bad attorney, with all due respect, Joanna. What do you think, Stacey? Because people love to beat up on this guy and I don`t know what it is.
Maybe it`s just that they`re sort of taking their distaste for his client and applying it to him?
HONOWITZ: Well, absolutely. I think when you are probably representing probably the most hated woman in the world, and she probably is right now, you tend to take it out on the lawyer. And I think it`s always very difficult for other lawyers to sit back and second chair something.
We`re not in his shoes. We can look and say, maybe that`s not something I would have done. Or I would have done this. But we don`t know what he`s dealing with. We only know what his experience is. And I`m certain, I`m certain he will bring more people onboard who are death qualified now. Because he needs to, he needs to bring on onboard.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And how many more people can they bring on? They`ve already got a dream team that makes the O.J. Simpson...
HONOWITZ: Well, they don`t have a dream team...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... and look like a tea party.
HONOWITZ: ... of death qualified.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, if they add more people onto this team...
GREENWALD: They`ve already on there Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think they will need a stadium to have meetings, defense meetings.
All right, thank you so much for your incredible insights, all of you.
GREENWALD: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police in Boston frantically searching for a Craigslist killer. A man targeting escorts who advertise online. I will have the terrifying details of the story.
Then Hulk Hogan tries to explain his outrageous O.J. Simpson comments, but only digs himself in deeper. Can the "Hulkster" ever repair his image after joking about killing his wife? 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Give me a holler sound off; 1-877-586-7297.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hulk Hogan tries to clarify his shocking O.J. comments that have created a firestorm. I will show you why the former wrestler is still on the ropes.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
Boston police in a furious hunt for a man the tabloids are calling the "Craigslist killer;" that`s right, the "Craigslist killer." Investigators have received a lot of tips about a monster targeting escorts and masseuses who advertise on -- where else -- Craigslist.
The man allegedly arranges a hotel room rendezvous before committing the crime. In the latest attack a masseuse, found shot to death Tuesday in her Boston, Marriott hotel room. Police believe the very same man bound and robbed a hooker at gun point Friday in her Westin hotel room.
And the same man may also be linked to a January robbery of a prostitute in a Sheraton hotel room. Authorities released surveillance photos. You`re looking at them right now showing the suspect in a black jacket, dark pants and glued to his mobile device.
Cops working with Craigslist to identify the alleged killer. If anyone has any clues as to this sicko`s identity, please, immediately contact the Boston cops.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Outrage at a boiling point after Hulk Hogan`s insane comments that he could have gone O.J. and cut everyone`s throats.
Father of murder victim Ron Goldman lashes out saying, Hogan should be ashamed of himself. Meantime, Hogan furiously fires back telling TMZ he was quoted "out of context."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOGAN: I`ve spent three days with a writer from "Rolling Stone" talking about being positive and happy and walking in the spirit of Christ. And then he asked me why are you flipped out? Well, I didn`t jump off the Empire State building, I didn`t slash my wife`s off throat, I didn`t to the O.J. Simpson thing; I took the high road.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? Not slashing your wife`s throat is taking the high road? The spark to this firestorm came on Hogan`s stunning "Rolling Stone" interview talking about his estranged wife, quote, "I could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J.," he said. Hogan`s attorney has said that Hulk never condones the O.J. situation, but in the very same TMZ interview dropped this joking reference, this is a joke about O.J. Simpson`s slow speed white bronco car chase.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID HOUSTON, HULK HOGAN`S ATTORNEY: Of course and we don`t to make sure everybody understands no, because we do not own a white bronco.
HOGAN: Oh, you didn`t just say that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because you don`t own a white bronco?
HOGAN: Oh, my God.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is that supposed to be funny? It`s not. How callous and clueless do you have to be to say something like that when you`re trying to dig yourself out of a hole?
Hogan`s clarification doesn`t change a thing. And his lawyer`s joke is just sick.
Joining me: Lisa Bloom, anchor at the legal network "In Session;" and we`re delighted to have HLN`s very own Brooke Anderson co-host of "Showbiz Tonight" as well as Mike Walters, managing editor of TMZ.
Mike, you`ve got the scoop. So let`s start with you. Tell us about this TMZ scoop with Hogan and his lawyer, and the mystery blonde in between.
MIKE WALTERS, TMZ MANAGING EDITOR: Well, the mystery blonde, first of all, is not his daughter, it`s his girlfriend. I`ll start with that. Second, this story basically, like you said, it was controversial. The "Rolling Stone" article came out there was a full quote in it and it says this stuff about O.J. and him taking the high road and not, quote, unquote, "killing his wife" basically.
We caught up to Hulk Hogan and his attorney and basically you`re right, I mean, he doesn`t even go back. He`s trying to dig himself out and it`s like, Hulk just say, "I didn`t mean to say that, it`s now what I said."
Instead, him and his attorney joke about it, condone what he said. And said well, it`s a three-day interview, and this happens which they are right. But you`ve got to just say, "I shouldn`t have said that. I don`t know what I was thinking," and get beyond it.
And instead, like on our video, he just sort of kind of like mumbles it. And then they use another joke which is unbelievable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it`s really unbelievable. Hogan`s attorney said if you read the whole "Rolling Stone" article it proves that Hogan never condoned the O.J. situation. And he referred to it as part of a larger conversation to exemplify degrees of emotional turmoil in his life; blah, blah, blah, whatever.
But a larger context doesn`t change the callous nature of these words. Here`s a quote, "I could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J." he said; then adding this gruesome detail, "Cutting everybody`s throat."
In case like O.J. isn`t specific enough. Hogan explains his motivations quote, "You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can`t go to anymore. You`re driving through downtown Clearwater and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade, and you know that a 19-year- old boy is sleeping in your bed with your wife. I totally understand O.J. I get it."
Brooke Anderson, even in politically incorrect Hollywood, this is really making, you know, the likes of Stuttering John blush.
BROOKE ANDERSON, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Yes, it`s completely deplorable, completely reprehensible. There`s no excuse, Jane. And how insensitive are these comments to the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson who are still dealing with the death of their loved ones.
They will never, never be able to heal completely from that.
And here`s my question. Why isn`t he saying I`m sorry? To me, ha is very, very revealing. And you said it, Jane, that just proves how callous he is with these comments and with these jokes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, Lisa Bloom, his wife is taking these comments serious...
LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR OF "IN SESSION": Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... essentially saying that he`s got violent, scary mood swings that have been my nightmare for too many years and that she`s in an undisclosed location right now to protect herself.
BLOOM: You know what, she`s smart and she`s not overdoing it.
Look at what he says my wife, my car, my house. Guess what? It`s not his wife anymore. It`s not his house anymore. It`s not his car anymore. Why, because they are getting divorced. Why? Allegedly because he`s having an affair with a girlfriend who is the same age and looks just like his daughter.
No wonder his wife is getting rid of him and no wonder she is scared. He`s got the abuser mentality when he uses those words that sound like control to the rest of us.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and we`re going to go back and revisit the mystery blond in the middle of those two guys, because you`re right. It`s total hypocrisy.
Stay right there, more on the "Hulkster" scandal in a moment. Here is his attorney defending his comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOUSTON: Page six, included one sentence of a multi-page interview and all that was said was by example how he didn`t behave like O.J. and page six...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOGAN: I spent three days with the writer from "Rolling Stone" talking about being positive and happy and walking in the spirit of Christ and the he ask me why are you flipped out. And I said I didn`t jump off the Empire State building and I didn`t buy a white bronco and didn`t do the O.J. Simpson thing, I took the high road.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hulk Hogan suggest one reason that he issued this insane "I understand O.J." outburst was a jealous rage about his estrange wife`s 19-year-old boyfriend, but look at this TMZ video. We see Hogan with his attorney and a young mystery blond hanging off Hogan`s arm.
TMZ confirming this is Hogan`s girlfriend. Now, TMZ also caught Linda Hogan`s teen boyfriend -- what is it with this family -- on tape at the opening of the Palm Place last year. There he is.
Hogan enraged that this young man is dating his wife and driving his car and living in his home, but they`re both doing the same exact thing. They`re both dating younger people. This is total hypocrisy.
All right, the phone lines are lighting up. Lisa in New Jersey, your question or thought?
LISA IN NEW JERSEY: Yes, I just have a comment. Like I said these celebs can go ahead and say whatever they want and think they get away with it. He could try this dangerous way be blue in the face, but you know what he said it. Hadn`t the Goldman family been through enough pain?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh yes, and you know Lisa, I totally agree with this caller. Is that he has a track record, Hulk Hogan, of insensitivity towards others. His son got in a car accident that left a young man brain damaged and he was caught on tape making insensitive comments about that guy.
BLOOM: Well, let`s face it, he`s obviously not the sharpest tool in the box, ok? And this is a guy who when he tries to deny something he repeats the same thing and then laughs about it.
So I mean, he obviously did mean it. He said it again. He thinks it`s funny and I think his wife should be afraid because he`s got that control mentality that he`s exhibiting.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Brooke Anderson, how is this going to affect him? I don`t understand why this guy is a star in the first place. I think he should take his little head wrap and crawl under a rock and disappear. But how is it going to affect his future?
ANDERSON: You know. It could have a negative impact Jane, because there is backlash and there is outrage surrounding these deplorable, despicable comments and people just do not understand why he would even go there and make light of violence.
It`s just talking about a marriage in trouble. It just does not make sense and if he and his attorney think that their comments are in some way able to help them in terms of damage control, it`s the wrong approach clearly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and I know TMZ is going to stay on top of this story and catch him saying another inane thing very soon.