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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Melissa Huckaby Admits to Prior Missing Child Case

Aired April 21, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, jaw-dropping developments in the rape and murder of Sandra Cantu. Suspected killer Melissa Huckaby confirmed she was involved in a prior missing child case. The Sunday school teacher admits she took a little girl to a park for four hours in January. The 7-year-old child was later reportedly found to have muscle relaxants in her body.

Did Huckaby drug her? She says no, but why didn`t cops do more to investigate this incident?

Then staggering claims in the Haleigh Cummings disappearance. A friend tells investigative journalist Art Harris that Misty Croslin went on a drug spree to escape her abusive relationship with Ron Cummings, something he denies. Not the first time we`ve heard claims of drugs and abuse. So should cops start digging deeper?

And new controversy in the Casey Anthony case. Meter reader Roy Kronk claims Casey`s attorney is harassing him.

Meantime another lawyer joins Casey`s defense team. How many is enough?

Then cops say they`ve nabbed the Craigslist killer, and everyone is stunned that the suspect is a clean-cut med school student. Did Philip Markoff have a secret double life?

Plus a Miss USA melee. When asked about gay marriage, Miss California says we live in a land where we can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. Not exactly true. Everyone agrees the answer cost her the crown, but was it because of her conservative beliefs or her faulty facts?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight: an arrest in the Craigslist killer case. Twenty-two-year-old Philip Markoff, a Boston University medical school student, charged today with robbery, kidnapping and murder. I will have the very latest in moments.

But first, a total shocker in the Sandra Cantu murder investigation. Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby, charged with the brutal kidnapping, rape and murder of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, is on tape admitting her involvement in another missing child case back in January.

A little girl who lived in the very same trailer park as Huckaby and Sandra Cantu was reported missing for four hours on January 17, only to be returned home by none other, allegedly, than Melissa Huckaby. Listen to the little girl`s big sister describe the child`s state when she came home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (via telephone): Her speech was slurred. She could barely walk. She could barely stand. So they took her to the hospital, and the hospital told -- told us that she had muscle relaxants in her system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? But were charges pressed against Huckaby? No. Why? Reports say police dismissed the incident because the child`s mom smelled of alcohol and allegedly had some kind of drug on her.

So did police botch the investigation, failing to catch somebody who went on, allegedly, to rape and kill another child? Melissa Huckaby explained the incident to a CBS reporter on the very day she was arrested in the Sandra Cantu case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELISSA HUCKABY, MURDER SUSPECT: I had taken my daughter and one of her friends to the park, which I had done for the third time that week. The mother was, I guess, at work, and the grandmother had told the little girl that she could go to the park, which she does all the time.

And when the mother came home, she didn`t know where she was. I`d given the mother my phone number, my cell phone number in case anything should happen she could get a hold of me. She claims a lost phone number.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Huckaby claims it was just a walk in the park. The little girl`s family maintains Huckaby never had permission to take the child to the park.

Does Huckaby`s involvement in this alleged four-hour abduction show a pattern of behavior and a motive that the prosecution could use against her?

So many issues tonight. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586- 7297.

But first, my terrific expert panel: Jean Casares, correspondent for the legal network, In Session; Pat Brown, criminal profiler; Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor; Michelle Borba, psychologist; and on the phone, Cheri Matthews, editor for "The Tracy Press," which is breaking so many big stories in this case.

Cheri, what is the very latest?

CHERI MATTHEWS, EDITOR, "THE TRACY PRESS": Well, the latest is that the public defender who is representing Melissa Huckaby said the defense will withdraw its request to exhume the remains of Sandra Cantu.

If you`ll remember the day after Sandra was buried, the defense asked for a second autopsy in order to conduct some independent tests, and today they said that they didn`t need to do that.

So the medical examiner said that the relevant samples were preserved. So at this point, there probably will be no second autopsy. Other than that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow! You know what? Let`s get into that for one second, because that`s big news, Stacey Honowitz. As a prosecutor yourself, what do you make of the fact that the defense suddenly backed off that -- that request?

STACEY HONOWITZ, PROSECUTOR: Well, I had originally thought that the reason they were asking for the second autopsy, Jane, was because, if they can try to prove that no rape occurred and there wasn`t genital trauma, then certainly, that`s the special circumstance that could be off the table for the death penalty.

Now it appears as though they have a closer look at the autopsy report, and maybe it`s more clear that, in fact, was there genital trauma. Any samples that they need to retest were preserved, and so there`s no need now for that second autopsy.

Obviously, there was something in that report that made them say there was no need for us to have a forensic pathologist go in and question what was already done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow! You know, I`m thinking about all of this, and I`m coming back to the other big news.

Cheri Matthews, tell us the very latest on this whole drama now about a four-hour abduction of a child back in January and why it was not investigated, given that the family said that a purple Kia was used to take this child. This woman, Melissa Huckaby, drives a purple Kia and, apparently, she admitted all this. We just heard the audio, to a reporter that she did take the child.

MATTHEWS: Well, all the Tracy police are saying today that they have no probable cause to arrest Melissa Huckaby at the time and, you know, they said that they -- they interviewed her and there was, you know, nothing -- nothing to go on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just don`t understand that.

Pat Brown, criminal profiler, a girl, a child, a 7-year-old, you heard the sister saying she was wobbling, she could barely talk. She was -- she was falling down. The hospital determined she`s got muscle relaxers in her system, A. What would somebody do -- what would their goal be if they give a child muscle relaxers. And I`m almost afraid to ask that question. And, B, why wouldn`t police immediately become suspicious?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: I think first of all, we`re seeing, Jane, an escalation on Huckaby`s part. Because back in 2005 she was saying her husband was involved in child abduction. Then this occurs, and then we have the actual homicide. So we`re seeing an escalation of the fantasy of abducting a child and doing something to a child. So I think that`s the middle spot right there.

But as to why police didn`t do anything, I can sort of understand that, because you know, this had happened yet with murder. What they had in hand at that time was a mother who had her own issues with alcohol and drugs, you know, that confused things. And they didn`t really know where the blame lay.

You`ve got a church woman, a woman who is drinking too much, and they sort of go, you know. They just let it go, because they didn`t have any reason to suspect this kind of horrible thing.

HONOWITZ: You know, I`m sure what happened was when they went out and they interviewed her, if they came out and they interviewed and she said, "I had permission to take this child. The grandmother gave me permission." They probably thought there was no kidnapping. This mother might be on drugs and alcohol and doesn`t remember.

And that`s exactly right. They`ll probably -- they`re going to blame this on, if the child`s not going to tell us where she got any of these drugs from.

JEAN CASARES, CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: Jane?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

CASARES: Here`s what I think is going to be important with all of this that has just come out. We don`t know the toxicology report yet on little Cantu, Sandra Cantu. And once that comes back, we`ve got to see if there`s anything in her system.

Because the importance of this is this could come into the criminal murder trial as a prior bad act. We`ve all heard of that before. You don`t have to have a conviction. You don`t even have to have an arrest. If the situation is so similarly situated to show that there`s absence of mistake or intent or accident. So we`ve got to see if the facts of that relate to this so similarly the prosecutors will be able to bring it in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last night on "LARRY KING"...

BROWN: Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just get to this first.

BROWN: OK.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On "LARRY KING LIVE" Sergeant Tony Sheneman, a spokesman for the Tracy Police Department, was asked why no arrest was made back in January when Huckaby was linked to this case of an allegedly drugged little girl. Listen to his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, TALK SHOW HOST: Was the fact that her mother had been drinking, did that change the position of the police department?

SGT. TONY SHENEMAN, SPOKESMAN, TRACY POLICE DEPARTMENT: That would have had no bearing on any of the police officers` actions. We would be concerned as we were, for the well-being of a child, and the condition of the parents have no -- have no input on that whatsoever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the same show, forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht made serious allegations regarding the police work done on this little 7-year-old`s apparent four-hour abduction in January. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: I`d like to add this, Larry, that the law enforcement agents were guilty of malpractice, because muscular skeletal relaxants in the little girl came from somewhere.

So the fact that the mother had alcohol on her breath did not excuse or immunize her from child abuse, from improper maternal care. And that should have been followed through, whether it was from Melissa Huckaby or whether it was from the mother.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Borba, psychologist, that should have been followed through. What do you do when you give a child drugs? What is your motive? What do you do to this child?

MICHELLE BORBA, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s very similar to what a sexual predator does. They don`t want disclosure. What they want the child to -- they want to take advantage of the child. And then they -- when they let the child go, killing is not the motive. When they let the child go, they want to make sure this child doesn`t tell.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So if they`re all drugged up they can`t tell?

BORBA: Exactly. So it would be very interesting to see if they do any kind of pathology reports on Sandra, if they can figure out if they were also the drug and the same thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh.

And we`ve got to talk with the 7-year-old and try to find out what might have happened to this poor child.

Everybody, hang on. More on this jaw-dropping twist in just a moment. Should cops have dug deeper into the reported prior abduction by Huckaby? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297. Tell me what you think.

Then cops arrested the suspected Craigslist killer, dragging him into court. Was a clean-cut med student behind these grisly attacks? I will have an update.

But first, some still speculating Melissa Huckaby did not act alone in the rape and murder of Sandra Cantu. Officially, the Tracy Police Department said it`s confident only one person perpetrated this crime.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHENEMAN: If we had been aware of any person that was actively involved either before, during or after the commission of this crime, we would have been remiss in our duties not taking them into custody. We did not have any indication that anyone else was involved so there were no other arrests made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I heard that it was the lady that actually 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)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why? Great question. A community reeling from the web of lies and deception unraveling since the murder of little Sandra Cantu and the arrest of her alleged murderer and rapist, Sunday school teacher and mother Melissa Huckaby.

Now she`s admitting her involvement in another alleged abduction of a 7-year-old girl back in January, but Huckaby says she got permission to take the girl to the park. The girl`s family says no way and adds the girl came home drugged.

We are taking your calls. Phone lines are lighting up.

Lori in Georgia, your question or thought.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I wanted to know, can Sandra`s mom sue Tracy P.D. now that all of this has come out with the other little girl for dereliction of duty?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jean Casares, great question.

CASARES: There is a great question. You know, there are areas where the government could not be sued, but in it case the family could pursue it, because in fact, she could be alive. But remember, the defense here, Huckaby says she that had consent to take that other little girl.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Vicky, Ohio.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Thanks for taking my call. I love your show.

My concern is about the first girl, the 7-year-old. Didn`t the hospital also have an obligation to call children`s protective services to address drugs in her system and whether she was abducted or not?

Michelle Borba, that is an excellent question, as well.

BORBA: Amen, amen. That`s exactly what should have happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Somebody dropped the ball here. Somebody dropped the ball here.

HONOWITZ: Listen, Jane. I think it`s very easy to look back on something now when something horrific like this happens. But I don`t think we know enough about events. We don`t know if, in fact, children and family services was called. We don`t know if the doctors questioned the mother at the hospital at the time. We don`t know if the doctors questioned the child.

So until someone some of these facts start coming out and unraveling, I think we`re real hard pressed to sit here and kind of speculate as to what went on. The only thing we know is nobody was charged at the time. And as a result, here is, of course, where we sit right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Pat Brown, what do we do now? I mean, we`re looking back on this case with new light because of what this woman is now charged with. Do we go back and have police investigators interview the 7- year-old child to try to determine what happened to her on that day, even though she might have a hard time remembering because she was drugged?

BROWN: That`s true. I mean, anything this child could tell the police would be wonderful, because we`re looking at the fact that, if Huckaby did the same thing to Sandra, we`re seeing a pattern here. And this prior bad act shows a premeditation, that she didn`t just accidentally overdose Sandra -- oops, she got into something and passed out.

Also, it shows that there`s two possibilities. One is she gave her too much drugs and she killed her. The second one is she didn`t give her enough drugs, and the child was still awake when this happened. And then Huckaby had to kill her because she would then rat her out.

So we`re looking at some really serious situations here. And yes, the little girl might have some information.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cheri Matthews, when are we going to get the results of the autopsy back? When are we going to hear what`s in the toxicology reports?

MATTHEWS: That`s a good question. We`re waiting every day. It could be -- it could be any time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stacey, Canada, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I have a question for you and your wonderful panel.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

CALLER: Basically, Huckaby probably using the rape by object as a way to deter police and making them think it was a male perpetrator?

BROWN: No, no. No, no. Jane, I`d like to speak on that one because, no, if Huckaby wanted to pretend this was a sexual homicide and blame it on somebody else, a male perpetrator, she would have put the body where it could have been found, perhaps naked on the side of the road. But she didn`t do that. She put the body in her own suitcase and then hid the suitcase in water. And she intended to get away with it. She never thought it was going to be found and that the sexual assault was going to be found out either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Melissa Huckaby told CBS 13 on the very day she was charged with Sandra Cantu`s kidnapping, rape and murder about her suitcase. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABY: It was thrown out in front of my house, and I called when I noticed it was stolen. I called the Tracy Police Department. They told me in order to make a report, so it was over $200. And they had to go online and make a report, and I did not have access to the Internet.

The suitcase that I`ve seen, from what I can see on TV, it does not look like my suitcase. The police have not disclosed the information as to whether or not it is my suitcase.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jean Casares, you`ve covered so many of these crimes. What astounds me is how calm she is. She is just hours away from being interviewed by the cops and getting arrested in this horrific case, and yet, it sounds like another day at the office for her.

CASARES: Sure. And Jane, things like that can come into the trial. And if there`s going to be any type of mental defense, what we`ve just heard shows someone that really seems to know exactly what they`re saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Cheri, what`s the feeling there in Tracy? This, of course, this new case raises the possibility, anyway, that she was preying on friends of her daughter and I`m sure many parents are just terrified.

MATTHEWS: Parents are terrified. I think that you could safely say that parents are not letting their kids out of their sight right now. They don`t know quite how to act.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle, they`ve got to sit down and talk to their kids if they were right in the vicinity of this woman or had contact with this woman to see if maybe they had some kind of inappropriate contact.

BORBA: Jane, not only do they have to talk; they have to talk anyway, because every child right now is hearing about this. And they don`t have the little heads to be able to figure out how to make sense of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much. Great panel. Great insights.

The Miss USA pageant becomes a battleground for gay rights. I will tell you why in just a minute.

And Boston cops arrest a suspected Craigslist killer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, thanks to the Miss USA pageant, the ongoing battle over gay marriage. Here`s Miss California`s controversial answer to a question about gay marriage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRIE PREJEAN, MISS USA RUNNER-UP: We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what? In my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that`s how I was raised. And that`s how I think that it should be, between a man and a woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. So it appears we now have a term for heterosexual marriage: opposite marriage. Opposite marriage.

Face it, what really did her in? Was it her belief or was it the fact that she got her facts wrong when she said, "In our land we can choose." Doesn`t everybody know gay marriage is only legal in a small handful of states?

Joining us via Skype, blogger extraordinaire and founder of Perez Hilton.com be the one and only Perez Hilton.

Hi, there, Perez.

PEREZ HILTON, BLOGGER (via telephone): Hello.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We all agree that her answer to your question probably cost her the crown, but the question is why? Was it really her opposition to gay marriage or that she came off to many people like, let`s face it, an airhead?

HILTON: Well, she wasn`t only one of the final five who came off as an airhead, so it was a little more than that. It also had to do with the fact that she answered the question in a very insensitive way that offended a lot of people.

You know, she could have remained true to her biblical truth, as she called it earlier today, but also, shown compassion. She could have said something along the lines of, you know, "My upbringing and my Bible and my religion tells me that marriage is between a man and a woman; however, I think that civilly, amongst the government, everyone is entitled to equal rights." Had she said something like that, I think she would have probably won.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Miss California was on NBC`s "Today Show" and asked whether she`d change her answer if she could. Listen to this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PREJEAN: I did not want to offend anybody, but I think with that question specifically, it`s not about being politically correct. For me, it was being biblically correct.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Perez, you did call her the "B" word. Some criticized you for that. But here`s what I wonder. I wonder how most Americans would react if someone went up to them and said, "My personal opinion is you should not have the right to get married."

I think most people faced with that kind of comment -- "You should not have the right to get married" -- would get ticked off.

HILTON: Definitely, you know? And the thing is she was in a competition, and she prepared for that answer, she said. And unfortunately for her, she lost because she didn`t prepare well enough. If she had prepared for the question she should have thought of better alternatives.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you know, here`s what I don`t understand about this whole pageant thing. We`ve heard other idiotic answers in the past, and people make fun of them.

Why don`t we get rid of the questions? We all know what this pageant is about. It`s about how you look in an evening gown, how you look in a swimsuit. And that`s what it`s really about, so why are we asking these women questions about world peace and about gay marriage anyway? What do you think?

HILTON: It`s not exactly about the questions. It`s about how they answered the questions. For example, Miss North Carolina, beautiful girl. She won. She also had a difficult question. She thought on her feet and answered it well and took a risk, because her question was about using taxpayer money.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, we`ve got to go. Perez, as they start crying, we`ve got to say bye-bye. Thank you.

More claims of drugs and abuse in the Haleigh Cummings case. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: New controversy in the Casey Anthony case. Meter reader Roy Kronk now claims Casey`s attorney is harassing him.

Meantime, yet another lawyer joins Casey`s defense team. How many is enough?

Then cops say they`ve nabbed the Craigslist killer and everyone is stunned that the suspect is a clean-cut med school student. Did Philip Markoff have a secret double life and what does his shocked fiancee have to say?

More on that in a second, but first mind-blowing developments tonight in the Haleigh Cummings disappearance. Staggering claims as a pal of Misty Croslin, Kristina Prevatt, a.k.a. `Nay Nay` tells investigative journalist Art Harris that Misty went on a drug spree to escape her abusive relationship with Ron Cummings the very weekend before little Haleigh went missing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KRISTINA PREVATT, FRIEND OF MISTY CROSLIN: She went with me for a weekend and she said that he threw her against the mirror and she had her arm was all cut up and stuff because she said she was pregnant. And she was still in need of Xanax and all of that -- you know (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Ron Cummings denies these allegations firing back with this exclusive statement to ISSUES through his lawyer, quote, "The police came into contact with Misty on February 10th and 11th when Haleigh went missing. Obviously, the police would have been aware of the serious lacerations that is alleged that Misty received only a couple of days before February 10th. She was interrogated extensively. The allegations should be presumed false", end quote.

Meantime, `Nay Nay` and another woman were arrested early Monday on drug charges and then bailed out by bounty hunter `Cobra.` You know a team of Hollywood script writers couldn`t come up with this stuff if they were working on no doze around the clock, but is any of this giving cops a lead on what happened to this precious child?

And why so many bizarre developments in this soap opera? Why do they seem to pivot always around allegations of drugs and physical abuse?

Back with me, Stacey Honowitz, Florida prosecutor and Jean Casarez, legal correspondent for the Legal Network "In Session" and joining us is T.J. Hart, program and news director for WSKY 97.3 FM.

T.J., what is the very latest?

T.J. HART, PROGRAM AND NEWS DIRECTOR, WSKY 97.3 FM: Well, the very latest here is indeed `Cobra,` William Stoubs did bail the two ladies out of jail yesterday and he was very pretty nice to them, let`s just put it that way. And it`s also been told by other informants that the reason `Cobra` did this was to perhaps gain their confidence so that they knew something a little further down the line they would -- you know a little bit better talking to him than after having the run-in with police and having to talk with them again as well.

Cobra told me just this afternoon. I just got done meeting with him face-to-face in Satsuma that these girls are, indeed key to the case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, that`s pretty fascinating.

(CROSS TALK)

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well I mean, Jane, I hate to butt in, but let`s think about...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, no, you don`t.

HONOWITZ: I mean, I was going to say, I really don`t hate to do it because they do it all of the time, so I`m sorry. But let`s think about this logically. Cobra, if you remember, is connected somehow to Crystal...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

HONOWITZ: ...through the attorney.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

HONOWITZ: The attorney has been trying desperately, not the attorney, but Crystal is trying to gain custody. Cobra has been instrumental in trying to get her custody because he`s been saying things about Ron Cummings. So when you hear about this new witness and the fact that Cobra bonded these girls out of jail, you really have to, you know, take it with a grain of salt...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

HONOWITZ: ...and you have to start thinking what is this all about?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jean Casarez, I`m actually more concerned about the allegation and again, we want to hear Misty`s side of the story.

Misty, you have an open invitation to come on the show and tell your side of the story.

But I`m more concerned, Jean, about the allegation that she was doing drugs for three days leading up to little Haleigh`s disappearance. She`s a 17-year-old. The child disappeared on her watch. She`s told inconsistent stories to the cops and something is fishy in Denmark.

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": That`s right, because you`re saying the issue still is the abduction of Haleigh. Remember, we have not found Haleigh, so that is one of the major issues here and maybe that`s why law enforcement has continued to interview Misty countless times.

They know all this information, I think Jane, don`t you?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I think they do, but I don`t know if they`re putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I mean, we can`t, so I don`t understand how anybody really -- it`s a convoluted, crazy story.

Kristina Prevatt, a.k.a., `Nay Nay` a friend of Misty Croslin`s also made another shocking about Ron Cummings. Listen to what she shared with journalist Art Harris.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PREVATT: And on Misty`s mom and Misty`s sister saw me and they jumped out of the car and they like said where does she live? I said I don`t know. Tell them that Tony and Ronald and their dad are looking for him and they want to kill him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, boy. For more of this fascinating interview, by the way, go to Artharris.com, "The Bald Truth."

gain, in an exclusive statement to "ISSUES" Ron Cummings denies all these allegations. And we have no independent verification of this woman`s claim. But T.J. Hart, this woman was arrested on Monday for cocaine charges and as you mentioned, the bounty hunter posted her bond.

I mean, what is going on down in this community?

HART: Well, what you`re going to see here...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it a drug hub of some sort?

HART: These people are interlaced with sex and drugs. And what you`re finding are a group of people who are associates of either Ron or Misty or in some cases both. And what we`re peeling back the onion of these associations to see where the truth may lie and get to that damn timeline so that we can get something a little bit more consistent here so we know which way to actually go.

We`re finding a lot of prongs and there are a lot of places that police have been going. There are a lot of places that private investigators have been going but these associations and how they interact with their behaviors and with each other, and some of their shared interest have been shedding a lot of light on a lot of different things and hopefully one of these different doors will open up and we will find a child.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And by the way, we have no idea if these two women that we referred to actually had cocaine on them. They also deserve the presumption of innocence, Jean Casarez.

They`ve gotten sucked into this case...

HART: They were charged with bringing in a controlled substance to a detention facility, meaning that that controlled substance fell out of their person or their clothes as they were being introduced into the jail.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well...

HART: That`s what I was told by Lieutenant Johnny Greenwood.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, I`m just saying it`s always allegedly. We don`t know.

And you know again, these people are sort of secondary characters, Jean, in this soap opera that involves a lot of countercharges and charges that everybody is turning on each other and I think the reason they`re turning on each other is that there`s a vacuum of information.

CASAREZ: That`s right. And I think you hit on a very important point. I think through all of this, I think one central issue is the effect of partying and alleged drug use on one`s state of mind and I`m talking about Misty, her remembering, her memory. But I don`t see a motivation to abduct Haleigh through all of this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, neither do I. It`s a mystery.

Now, turning now to our second twin tragedy out of Florida the murder of little Caylee Anthony. Tonight ugly battles and I mean ugly on all fronts.

Meter reader, Roy Kronk, in the crosshairs of Casey Anthony attorney Jose Baez. Baez wants Kronk who ultimately led police to Caylee`s remains to turn over phone records, apparently a whole lot of them because Kronk is claiming harassment and a possible invasion of privacy.

Meantime, George and Cindy Anthony are on a media blitz. We know they`ve committed to Oprah for a show next month. Now word is they`re booked on the CBS "Early Show" tomorrow and Thursday. I wonder what Oprah thinks about that one? Maybe not too pleased.

I also wonder why they refuse to answer questions in the Zenaida Gonzalez deposition, yet they have agreed to be interviewed on national television.

Still with me, my fantastic experts: Stacey Honowitz and Jean Casarez.

You know Stacey, why do you think Roy Kronk is so resistant to turning over his phone records to Jose Baez given that he says all along, "I have nothing to hide. I`m just a meter reader, I have a good gut and I pointed out where the remains were ultimately found."

HONOWITZ: Well, I think, Jane, what he`s objecting to is the fact that Jose Baez is very broad and vague in this what we call "subpoena duces tecum" for a record. That`s what it`s called in Florida in order to get these records.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say that three times fast.

HONOWITZ: I won`t say it three times fast. But I`ve got to tell you something I think that there`s not going to be a problem with him turning over what`s relevant to this case. Any conversations he might have had or if there was any conversation with investigators. But with regard to other conversations, that`s an invasion of privacy.

So I think if Jose Baez limits, limits the subpoena...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it.

HONOWITZ: ...there won`t be a problem.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

CASAREZ: And Jane, I think Roy Kronk wants to give forth his phone records because I think he wants to show that he didn`t talk with the Anthonys, he didn`t talk with their private investigator...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

CASAREZ: ...and didn`t talk with anyone but they believe that it is harassment because there is no timeframe in the motion. So it could be phone records from the moment he was born practically...

HONOWITZ: Right.

CASAREZ: ...and that`s just too broad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen to Roy Kronk at his December 19th news conference for a second.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROY KRONK, DISCOVERED CAYLEE`S REMAINS: Back in August of this year I had previously reported to Crime Line and to the Sheriff`s Communication Center that I had spotted something suspicious; a bag in the same area.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, because police investigated and found nothing after Kronk`s initial calls in the summer, Baez can obviously use his testimony to argue Caylee`s body was planted at the location after Casey was already in jail.

So Casey is -- this is a gift to the defense. So why is the defense giving this guy a hard time, Stacey Honowitz?

HONOWITZ: Well, I don`t really think they`re giving him a hard time. I think that they want to know if there are certain things that are really relevant to this case and certainly -- certain calls that were made if, in fact, these calls were made to the police are going to be relevant to them.

So as Jean pointed out and I`ve previously said, you have to be able to limit certain things. You can`t just say I want your phone records from six years.

You have to be able to have a timeline. And again, I think if he limits it and he breaks it down, Kronk is going to cooperate and participate and turn over whatever he wants.

CASAREZ: But Jane, you know also the defense is going to want to try to impeach this ROY Kronk because this is the man that found the remains and he went into an elaborate story of the 11th, 12th and 13th. They are going to want -- and they do want his cell phone pings...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right.

CASAREZ: ...they want to make sure if there are any inconsistencies in the story because they`re going to get him with that on the stand.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well ladies, fascinating analysis. You guys are at the top of your game and we`ll have to see what happens with all of these very traumatic yet bizarre cases.

Stacey, Jean, thank you so much.

Octo-mom Nadya Suleman gives her kids some words of wisdom. I`m not sure she`s the best source for parental advice, people.

And cops charge a clean-cut, 22-year-old medical student with the Craigslist killing. Did gambling debts turn this med school student into Dr. Death?

Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS; that`s 1-877-586-7297. Sound off on this sick case. I want to hear from you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cops arrest the suspected Craigslist killer. I will show you the shocking alleged double life this med school student was living.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

Octo-mom, Nadya Suleman, first she was full of babies and now she`s full of wisdom? Suleman gave, some supposedly sage advice to her kids through RadarOnline, of course, saying she wants them to be married and finished with med school before they have kids. So basically, she`s telling them, take everything she`s done and do the exact opposite.

Here`s what she said about single parenthood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you wouldn`t support them being single parents or...

NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: I can`t say never. I`m not going to say never, but it depends on the situation and the circumstance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whatever. Sounds like she`d prefer they take the married with children path instead of the single parent route that she herself took. Perhaps octo-mom is finally realizing what a circus her life has become. If only she`d come to these revelations without the cameras in her face.

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

Jaw-dropping developments tonight in the arrest of the alleged Craigslist killer; cops call him a predator. But family and friends of the suspect are totally, and I mean totally, stunned.

Police arrested Philip Markoff, a clean-cut, 22-year-old preppy for the robbery, kidnapping and murder of a woman he allegedly met on Craigslist. Markoff is a second-year Boston university medical School student.

He was in court to be formally charged today. He sat there; you can see him there looking stoic and very unemotional as prosecutors accused him of a gruesome crime spree that appeared to target erotic workers. Markoff, who was reported to have gambling debt, did not enter a plea and didn`t say a single word.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER HICKMAN, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY: We know that it is the defendant before you, Philip Markoff who on April 10th 2009, robbed and tied up a woman while she was at the Westin Hotel and that this is the defendant who on April 14th 2009 bashed in the head of Julissa Brisman and shot her three times, close range.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Markoff allegedly tried to rob a pretty, young, masseuse but bashed her in the head and shot her through the heart, allegedly, as she tried desperately to fight back. He`s also accused of binding and robbing an escort days earlier and he`s being investigated for a possible involvement in a third incident involving an exotic dancer.

Prosecutors say a search of Markoff`s home turned up semi-automatic weapons, ammo and plastic restraining ties that are similar to those found at the crime scenes where the women were handcuffed. Prosecutors are convinced they`ve got the right guy, but Markoff`s stunned fiancee believes he was set up and couldn`t hurt a fly.

Straight to my expert panel: Terry Lyles, psychologist; Vinnie Parco, private investigator; and Jessica Fargen, a reporter with the "Boston Herald."

Jessica, what is the very latest?

JESSICA FARGEN, REPORTER, "BOSTON HERALD": Well, authorities are saying tonight that they believe that gambling was at the root of this alleged violent robbery spree. And that police authorities actually said tonight that when Philip Markoff was arrested he was actually with his fiancee in a car, possibly headed to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just to do a little gambling and get in a little gambling before the big arrest. Wow.

We learned from Markoff`s wedding Web site that he is engaged as you just heard from reporter Jessica Fargen. The 22-year-old med school student is apparently set to marry this August a woman he met three years ago while volunteering in the emergency room; her name Megan McAllister.

She told "Good Morning, America" her fiance is set up and is the wrong man. And get this quote -- this is what she says, "Philip is a beautiful person inside and out and could not hurt a fly. A police officer in Boston or many is trying to make big bucks by selling this false story to the TV stations. What else is new?

Philip is an intelligent man who is just trying to live his life. So if you could leave us alone, we would greatly appreciate it. We expect to marry in August and share a wonderful, meaningful life together," end quote.

Hey, Megan. Sorry, the cops can`t just say never mind and leave you two alone. They found a semi-automatic weapon in his home and cops say Internet communications trace back to his apartment.

Terry Lyles, is this classic denial?

TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: You know what it is? It`s true characters revealed under pressure. You put people under pressure and you see what`s really inside. If you squeeze an orange you get orange juice every time.

I don`t know this person and people around him are shocked, but listen, this is not the first time people have been shocked over the motives of someone that was revealed later with this gambling debt put him under pressure.

And secondly his fiancee, if this is true, she needs counseling with him seriously if she doesn`t see this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Philip Markoff`s attorney says his client is, of course, not guilty and mostly everybody who knew him said they were completely shocked by the arrest and this was not the Philip Markoff they knew.

Listen to his college neighbors explain that on "Good Morning, America."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN UVA, NEIGHBOR OF PHILIP MARKOFF: I can`t even put it into words the disbelief I`m feeling right now. This is a great guy. I met him a few times and saw him in the hall every day. Always said, "Hey, how are you doing, John? What`s going on?"

It`s just a total disconnect from what we were hearing in the news.

KYM DIRENZO, NEIGHBOR OF PHILIP MARKOFF: I mean he was just a genuine guy. Like he -- an everyday college kid you would see like everything`s hi, how are you. You know, asking how your day was, and you know, concerned about you.

I would never believe that this would be something he would do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Vinnie Parco, reports are that he had gambling debts and he may have used robbery as a way to pay back those debts.

VINNIE PARCO, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Well, you know, when someone`s a degenerate gambler, which I assume he is from what I`ve heard, you`ll do desperate things to get money.

These people are very easy victims. These are people in the erotic industry. And they post listings on Craigslist. And he`s a predator. He`s preying on these women.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Allegedly.

PARCO: Allegedly. And he knows that if he gets away with the robbery they probably won`t even report it because of the nature of their business. Except that one woman that he actually killed because she probably fought back.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Allegedly.

PARCO: Allegedly, of course.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to talk about how high technology - - how technology solved this case. At least police say so. More on the Craigslist killer in a moment. The suspect showing no emotion as he was charged today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIEL CONLEY, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY: This was a brutal, vicious crime; savage. And it shows that Philip Markoff is a man who`s willing to take advantage of women, to hurt them, to beat them, to rob them. He probably thought he was going to get away with it. He thought he was too smart for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: 22-year-old preppie, Philip Markoff officially charged today in connection with the Craigslist crime spree.

Everybody who knew the medical student completely stunned and shocked. They can`t believe it. By this arrest; especially his own fiancee, who claims he was set up.

We`re back discussing the latest on the case. Phone lines lighting up.

Sharon in Florida, your question or thought, ma`am.

SHARON, FLORIDA (via telephone): Yes. Watching this Philip Markoff reminds me of watching Ted Bundy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. You know, Terry Lyles, she said it fantastic. It`s another handsome, cool preppie guy, clean cut. Why do we always have this stereotype in our mind that criminals look a certain way? Criminals can be clean cut.

LYLES: Absolutely. I think looks can be deceiving, as you mentioned. And what you see is not always what you get. And I think this is a very scary thing, where if you`re hooking up with someone or you have questions about someone you need to ask questions and find out some about them, more so than just with their friends.

It`s more so than just what a person looks like. It`s the character that`s inside that`s revealed under pressure. And this has been seen once again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re always relying on these stereotypes of what criminals should look like based on Hollywood. And the idea that somebody who`s clean cut and blond and a medical student can`t commit a crime. And I`m not saying he`s guilty. But we should get away from those stereotypes. Those are very dangerous, and they`re very unfair.

Tracy in Kansas, your question or thought.

TRACY, KANSAS (via telephone): Hello, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey.

TRACY: Thank you for taking my call.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks for calling.

TRACY: I`m just wondering, watching him he seems so stoic and detached. I`m wondering if he doesn`t have maybe some schizophrenia or some mental problems.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Vinnie Parco, I think what`s fascinating about this is the potential of a double life, that he has this sort of dark secret. Maybe it`s not a secret to everyone. But the gambling. And also I don`t think it`s an accident. I think it`s very significant that he targeted erotic workers.

PARCO: Well, I think that`s his second life. I think he had an ulterior motive. I don`t think his fiancee is aware of what kind of person she was willing to marry. She said that the police set him up.

How could you set up somebody whose cell phones shows calls to the girl? They traced the IP address to his computer. They have forensic evidence that they found in the house with a legitimate, valid search warrant.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there, Vinnie. But great work by the cops. Great work by the panel.

I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, and you`re watching ISSUES on HLN.

END

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