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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Will Casey Walk?; Octo-date with Octo-mom; Friends of Philip Markoff Stand by Him; Polo Ponies Given Wrong Medication

Aired April 24, 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, huge developments in the case against suspected Craigslist killer Philip Markoff. Markoff`s friends start a Facebook group in support of him. Despite mounds of incriminating evidence, his fiancee is reportedly moving forward with the wedding plans. I`ll examine why those close to Markoff refuse to believe he could have beaten and executed this beautiful masseuse.

And I`ll analyze famous killers with double lives. How did monsters like Ted Bundy, Scott Peterson, and the BTK serial killer hide their sick secrets from friends and family?

Then fireworks as Casey Anthony`s defense goes on the offense. Jose Baez says the prosecution doesn`t have nearly enough evidence about how and why little Caylee`s remains ended up in the wooded area near the Anthony home.

Meantime, Cindy Anthony claims she canceled on Oprah, not the other way around. Who do you believe? Cindy or Oprah?

Plus, has Octomom found love? Radar Online reports she was asked on a date. And along with plans to get a pet, she now wants to go to grad school. Does Octomom already want to escape her brood of 14?

Also, I`ll have an update on the mysterious deaths of 21 polo ponies in Florida. A pharmacy yesterday admitted to incorrectly mixing the horses` medication. But was there foul play? And what about the thousands of horses executed every year that nobody talks about?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, an avalanche of new evidence coming in, and coming to light in the case against accused Craigslist sicko Philip Markoff. But despite all of it, his loyal fiancee is reportedly still planning to marry the preppy med student turned murder suspect. That is correct. The wedding is still on. What?

Listen to some of the new evidence. Cops now say a gun reportedly hidden in a hollowed-out medical textbook in Markoff`s home can be linked to the murder of beautiful masseuse Julissa Brisman. Markoff`s fingerprints were allegedly found on plastic restraints used to bind at least two victims. The panties of those victims were allegedly found in Markoff`s home.

And there`s this. ABC News reports Markoff had scratches on his body when cops pulled him over on Monday.

With all of this evidence against the clean-cut medical student, who is now reportedly on suicide watch, why are so many sticking up for him? Supporters have even set up this Facebook page. And the wedding plans have not been canceled.

The loyal fiancee`s dad spoke to the media about his daughter`s bizarre predicament and how she`s doing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM MCALLISTER, FATHER OF MARKOFF`S FIANCEE: Not well. She`s still confident in Phil. But other than that, we`re saying a lot of prayers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did she have any idea at all about any of this?

MCALLISTER: Absolutely not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Still, Markoff`s fiancee went so far as to say Markoff has been set up by cops looking to make a bust. Is that an extreme case of blind loyalty?

Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Dr. Judy Kuriansky, noted clinical psychologist and sex expert; Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; Steve Cardian, former criminal investigator; Pat Brown, CEO of the Pat Brown Criminal Profiling Agency; plus, Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, law professor, and author of "And Justice for Some."

Wendy, given the mountain of evidence cops say they have, why are all these people so sure he couldn`t have done it to the point where his fiancee says the cops have set him up?

WENDY MURPHY, LAW PROFESSOR: You know, Jane, the problem I think with his girlfriend is she probably wants desperately to believe in her Prince Charming life. And unfortunately, she`s giving fodder to that myth about blondes not having a whole lot of, you know, gray matter. And that`s a problem.

I hate that myth, but she`s helping us along. Because no matter how much you love someone, at some point you have to be objective about what they did, or what the evidence looks like.

Look, he`s entitled to the presumption of innocence. But even the little bits that we`re hearing suggest there`s at least a reason to, I don`t know, cancel the wedding.

On the other hand, he wouldn`t be the first convicted, or charged but not yet convicted killer to get married behind bars. So, hey, you know, if she wants to show up at the prison and still marry the guy, good luck to her.

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Wendy, oh, my God. This does not have to do with her hair color. Please!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Judy.

KURIANSKY: This has to do with her brain matter, what`s underneath the hair color.

The girl, like so many others, who support someone with a mountain of evidence is in the big "D," denial.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

KURIANSKY: That ends up making you be delusional into thinking the man that I want couldn`t possibly have done this, couldn`t hurt a fly.

But this is the true sense of many of these killers, as you mentioned, Jane. The BTKs, all the Mansons, Ted Bundys of the world. They look fantastic. They talk fantastic. They seem like the perfect man for you. And yet deep down, they`re not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jane, the behavior...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me -- let me go deeper into something that Dr. Judy just mentioned. Meghan McAllister insists her fiance couldn`t hurt a fly. We`ve established that. And what if it turns out she`s wrong? Will she be among those who were fooled, as Dr. Judy mentioned, by clean-cut, respectable-looking guys, hiding dark, demonic sides?

Notorious serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy, look at him. He`s not so clean cut there. But he was in many, many other pictures. Victimized at least 40 women. During his crime spree, the charmer continued to date. He even got engaged to a woman who many said had an uncanny resemblance to his victims.

We all know Scott Peterson, now on Death Row. He`s a handsome guy. Convicted of murdering his pregnant wife. And his lover, Amber Frey, was convinced that he was a nice guy, and single, too, until she learned the truth.

And then there was Boy Scout leader and church elder and family man, Dennis Rader. His own wife totally clueless about his double life as the BTK serial killer, which is short for bind, torture and kill. He terrorized Kansas for more than 30 years.

Now, Dr. Brian Russell, or Brian Russell, shouldn`t we, with all of this experience behind us, realize that appearances do not determine whether somebody is a good person or not? And is there a class and race component? Because all the men we`ve just talked about happen to be middle-class white males.

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST/ATTORNEY: Well, it`s like the title of your book, Jane, "Secrets Can Be Murder." I think really what it is, is a combination of two different kinds of intelligence.

First of all, these people often have above-average IQs. That`s what enables them to plan out complex crimes and to avoid getting caught for so long. But they also have something called emotional intelligence. That`s what enables them to prey upon the feelings and emotions of others and to manipulate and deceive them for as long as they do.

Interestingly, the behavior of this fiancee in the Craigslist killer case and also the Anthony parents continuing to vehemently support these defendants, shows, as Dr. Judy said, what a blindfold love can be.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I also think, Dr. Judy, that there could be an element of co-dependency. We`re hearing that this suspect here had a gambling issues. He was gambling more and more. And if you`re co- dependent, you`re addicted to the addict. If he`s a gambling addict, the co-dependent will enable, will cover up, will explain. And that seems to be precisely what she`s doing.

KURIANSKY: That`s brilliant. There is definitely that aspect in this particular case. And that co-dependency, in fact, does mean, as you describe, that there is a desperation to believe in the person. Because if you don`t, then your whole world falls apart.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Pat Brown...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

MURPHY: I was just going to say, look, the one thing that`s so interesting here is the guys we`re talking about are careful about who they select as their partners. So it`s not just that these women are gullible. It`s that they`re being chosen by these guys who need that in their lives to allow them to continue to do this stuff.

You know what it goes to, Jane? I write about this in my book, by the way. We all want to believe that the world is safe and the world is good. And the best way to do that is to believe that we can judge who the scary people are, as opposed to the sick people by looking at them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Pat Brown, I think this is stereotyping. You know, we`ve got this image in our minds of who a criminal is. And unfortunately...

MURPHY: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... that -- that stereotype is often wrong, Pat. And there is, I believe, a racial and class component to that stereotype.

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Wait a minute, Jane. I think everything`s all backwards, in my opinion. First of all, serial killers, serial predators of all races and all sorts of intelligence. They`re not necessarily more intelligent than anybody else. They`re not these brilliant guys. A lot of times they just simply grab women in places where nobody sees it so they get away with it. That`s how they get away with their crimes. They`re just strangers.

Secondly, it`s like a confidence game. They don`t have to be that clever, or that fantastic in their speech pattern. If you look a lot of these serial killers, they try to date other women. And all those other women went, "Ew, the guy creeps me out. I don`t want to be around him."

So like a confidence man, you can`t sell it to everybody. But you can go down the line: "Hey, you want it?" "No." "Hey, you want it?" "No." "Hey, you want it? You want it? OK." That`s the one you go for.

So when this particular case, with Markoff, he found his mark with this girl and with his friends. So he had lots of people around him who probably did not really want to spend time with him. But he found his marks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And let`s remember that he is just accused. He has not been convicted of anything. And he does deserve the presumption of innocence. And that`s why some of his supporters of have set up an "innocent until proven guilty" Web site.

Hang in there, fantastic panel. More analysis in a moment.

Casey Anthony`s attorneys bring out the big guns. I`ll tell you why they say Casey is going to walk.

But first, Philip Markoff, also accused of robbing a prostitute at gun point. Here`s what that 29-year-old escort said about the encounter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just complied with everything he wanted me to do, and I didn`t -- I didn`t -- resist him in any way. And I think that`s that why.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he put duct tape over your tape -- over your mouth? He did do that with the next case. Or, do you think he got more aggressive?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did that right before he left.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He did it before he left. What -- did he, say anything?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nope. Just walked out the door.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN SALSBERG, PHILIP MARKOFF`S ATTORNEY: Philip Markoff is not guilty of the charges. He has his family support. I have not received any document, or report, or piece of evidence other than what everybody here heard in the courtroom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Markoff`s lawyer maintains his client`s innocence, but what about his fiancee and all of his self-proclaimed supporters on Facebook? They`ve made a Facebook page to support this guy. Why are so many standing by this accused sicko, despite the mounting evidence?

This is a theme, by the way, recently in American society. Take a look at the Bernie Madoff case. The $50 billion scammer, fooled hundreds of some of America`s most intelligent and successful people into believing that he was a trustworthy guy. They bought his act. And it was an act.

Dr. Judy, is often a mask of perfection hiding particularly toxic secrets? In other words, those who feel the need to project perfection, are shame based about their defects. Whereas those who are more honest about their defects are actually probably more well-balanced in a sense.

KURIANSKY: There`s no question about it. All the cases that you`ve just pointed out, Jane, including Madoff, these are people who are classic psychopaths. What does that mean? The handsome Ted Bundys who worked for a judge. And the judge was shocked about what he ended up doing. The Scott Petersons. And in fact, now this young medical student accused.

These psychopaths are very good at hiding who they are. And people who want to be perfectionists themselves look at that perfection, look at that power. And even a medical student, you just don`t expect that to happen. And people want to give over their power to others, as you mentioned in co-dependency. And that`s where we fall down as people. You need to be smarter about it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A woman who says she and Markoff were study buddies. Told "The New York Daily News" Markoff forced himself on her one night, aggressively trying to kiss her, despite her resistance, until a friend pulled him off. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN HOUSTON, COLLEGE FRIEND OF MARKOFF: I never said anything to anyone else, because it was Phil. He was our friend. I just figured, you know, he`d too much to drink. And I didn`t want to say anything, or make a big deal. But that was the only time in college, or ever, that something like that had happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Brian Russell, Markoff reportedly dressed up as a mammogram one Halloween with a sign that said, "free mammograms." Cops say he took the victims` panties as sick souvenirs. What does all this say about his attitude toward women and sexuality?

RUSSELL: Well, clearly, he looks at women as objects that have something he wants and he feels entitled to take it. That gets to the narcissism that`s at the core of these people.

But you hear that girl, the story that she just told, that is an experience of the walk. And that tells much more about the person than these other folks who just sort of saw the talk and the outward presentation that we`ve been talking about.

We hear this time after time in these cases where the friends and acquaintances say, "Oh, he seems so normal. He was so nice to me." And really, that just says more about how little they really knew the person than it says about the person.

KURIANSKY: Her experience is a perfect example of why no woman should ever accept any kind of harassment of that sort. And a sign that that can be what could happen in a more drastic situation. So women need to beware.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. And I think they`re downplaying that.

MURPHY: But come on...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Wendy.

MURPHY: I`m just saying, OK, but it also describes the woman we just heard from, describes behavior that probably covers 80 percent of the men in college at one time or another.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t think so. I don`t think so. I don`t know what college you went to.

MURPHY: I am not saying -- I am not saying it`s acceptable. I`m saying it is common for men on campus when drunk to be sexually aggressive. That`s not a reason to think he might kill a women. Here`s what is.

Other people said he was dark. He used sexist and racist remarks. He thought himself better, and entitled.

And before we start talking about his gambling habits, let`s stay focused on the fact that I don`t care what shows up as evidence, ultimately. This was a sex crime. OK? He focused on women. Women with sexual work, you know. They were in the business of sex.

BROWN: And he took their underpants.

KURIANSKY: I don`t think that makes them an easy mark. Because he advertised.

MURPHY: These were sex crimes. And by the way, I reported today on the Daily Beast that there is actually a DNA test under way. Because they found biological material on the woman`s body. And they may well add a rape charge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We don`t know that. We have to be very careful.

MURPHY: No, I`m just saying. Let`s call this what it is. It is a sex crime. Period. He`s a sex offender.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s your theory. But that`s not what he`s charged with. He`s charged with murder and robbery and kidnapping.

MURPHY: It`s -- it`s...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you`re saying the motive is sexual. And we`ll have to see. I agree with you. I don`t think somebody takes somebody`s panties, allegedly, without there being some sexual component.

Steve Cardian, you`ve been so patient. Everybody`s talking about how smart this guy is. But the fact is, they traced him, cops say, through his IP address. The victim, the woman who was killed, had a friend. As soon as she heard that, she was killed. She went on her e-mail account, found a guy who contacted her, sent that e-mail to cops. They found the IP address which connected allegedly to a computer in his apartment building. And voila, they made the arrest.

STEVE CARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Yes. What he -- what he did was he contributed to his own case. He made all the critical mistakes. He believed he was more intelligent than law enforcement. And he`s lending -- he`s lending evidence against his own guilt.

And if I could add, Jane, too, that it`s my belief that the FBI classifies a serial killer as killing two or more persons with a time period in between. And I suspect highly that he was a serial killer that was caught early on in the game and didn`t have the opportunity to do more damage.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, that`s the kind of thing that I think upsets, and I understand your point, that I think upsets his supporters. And say, look, this guy has just been arrested. He`s been charged. Let`s not turn him into a serial killer. Remember, he does deserve the presumption of innocence. He has not been convicted of anything.

I want to thank my excellent panel.

Moving on to another horror story: 21 polo ponies die in Florida. Authorities believe an incorrect mix of drugs to blame. But who`s crying? Who`s weeping for the tens of thousands of American horses sent to slaughter every single year that nobody seems to know about?

And Octomom, Nadya Suleman, wants to attend grad school. So how is she going to hit the books while burping eight babies, not to mention six other kids and the pet she wants to get?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, 21 polo horses die horrific deaths. Now reports claim these poor animals were given the wrong mix of a generic version of a banned substance.

This story has touched so many hearts. But the reality is that many American horses who serve their riders loyally end up dying horrific deaths. Tens of thousands are transported from the United States to Mexico or Canada, then slaughtered and sold overseas as horse meat.

We`re talking about horses that don`t win a race, or throw a rider, or just don`t look right. Or they got old. That`s how they`re transported, in those containers. The journey to the slaughter house is torturous. They`re stuffed into overcrowded containers, often deprived of food and water. Many dead on arrival.

But there are two bills before Congress to stop all this. So call your Congress person, demand action. If you love horses, on the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, let`s stop the transportation of our supposedly beloved horses for slaughter so people in other countries can eat them.

Joining me is Lisa Land, senior vice president of communications for PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Lisa, lay out the problem for us. And why is it that so many Americans are completely clueless that this is going on?

LISA LAND, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, PETA: Well, you know, the death of horses in this country is not something that`s really publicized very well. More than 100,000 horses are sent to slaughter from the United States, and now transported across country lines into Mexico and Canada, as you said.

It`s important to realize that a minimum of 12,000 of these horses are thoroughbreds, formerly raced thoroughbreds. Experts actually estimate that up to 50,000 to 60,000 of the animals slaughtered can be thoroughbreds. But the reporting is so bad that we don`t know the exact number. And you mentioned...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are you saying? Are you saying that basically the racing industry is over breeding?

LAND: They`re absolutely over breeding. They`re not only -- 50,000 foals are born every year, and they`re not all going to be good racers. So many of them are killed very early on.

A horse is usually raced only until the age of five. Their life span is 30 years. When they`re no longer useful to the racing industry, most of them are sent off to slaughter.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the journey to the slaughter house is tortuous. Stuffed into overcrowded containers. Some are pregnant, born to be slaughtered.

Now, take a look at this. Look at these foals who were born this week, just hours after being rescued. Had their moms not been rescued by animal lovers, these babies would have been born in the truck, on the way to the slaughter house, only to be killed when they arrived.

This is why we need to act right now. This is why I`m urging, as an animal lover, as a horse rescuer, call your Congressperson. Demand action on the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

What is this bill going to achieve if we do get it through Congress, Lisa?

LAND: Well, this bill is an important bill, because currently slaughtering horses in the United States slaughter houses in this country is illegal. But what has happened to replace that is these animals are being shipped across the border.

Sometimes the travel takes up to 24 hours. They`re kept in double- decker buses. They`re overcrowded. They suffer from lacerations and infected wounds. They get broken bones. Many of them are dead upon arrival. But once they`re at the slaughterhouse, in Mexican slaughterhouses, for example, these horses are continually stabbed in their throats and then they`re hung up by one leg...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, gosh. We can`t even show you the video. Go to PETA.org, HumaneSociety.org. Get involved, Americans, to stop this horror.

Lisa, thank you.

Casey Anthony`s defense goes on the offense. I`ll show you how Jose Baez plans to win.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: Fireworks as Casey Anthony`s defense goes on the offense. Jose Baez pokes holes in the prosecution`s case saying the truth will come out in trial.

Plus, has octo-mom found love? Radar Online reports she was asked on a date. I`ll have the octo details.

Startling revelations tonight in the case against Casey Anthony: Cindy Anthony, Casey`s mom and little Caylee`s grandma, in a war of words with, of all people, the queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey. That`s right.

Cindy`s firing back tonight claiming she canceled on Oprah, not the other way around. Earlier this week, Oprah`s rep said the talk show host canceled the Anthonys after they appeared on the Early Show this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CINDY ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S MOTHER: A lot of people don`t know, I was there, too. I wrote a suicide notes back in end of July and August. No one knows that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You did?

ANTHONY: Yes, I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Big revelations on the Early Show. Was Oprah miffed that she got scooped? Who do you think pulled the plug on the Anthony`s Oprah appearance? Do you believe Cindy or let`s see -- Oprah.

Meanwhile, Jose Baez, the attorney for the accused murderer, Casey Anthony, on the offense. Baez says there are four, count them, four reasons Casey could walk for the alleged murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

One, there is no cause of death; two, no eyewitnesses to the death; three, no link to Caylee`s remains. At least that`s what the defense is claiming. And four, the forensic evidence is, in his opinion, pseudoscience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSE BAEZ, CASEY ANTHONY`S ATTORNEY: It`s not science that`s fully accepted within the scientific community. It`s science that has not been verified. We don`t know what the error rates are. There`s absolutely nothing to gauge this science by. So, therefore, it should not be used.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Is this a preview of Baez`s closing argument? And what will showing his hand on TV cost Jose Baez at the trial? So many ISSUES.

Straight to my expert panel: Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist; Steve Kardian, a former criminal investigator; and Dr. Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; as well as Pat Brown, criminal profiler.

Pat, what do you make of the defense attempts to look at the testing done in this case and simply dismiss it as pseudoscience? Do you think the jury will buy that argument?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I think it`s actually a good way to go at this point. Essentially all he`s trying to do is set up doubt, doubt, doubt and some more doubt. That`s all sometimes you need in a jury case is to have them start questioning the validity of everything and that there couldn`t be some other answer.

As you just heard, Casey Anthony`s attorney, Jose Baez dismissed the forensic test on Casey Anthony`s trunk as pseudo-science saying it shouldn`t even be admit.

There have been many excuses for the infamous smell in Casey`s car. Early on, when cadaver dogs hit on Casey`s white Pontiac, Cindy Anthony claimed there was rotten pizza in the trunk. But the FBI tested the trunk and they stand by their results. A lab conducted odor test on the carpet inside Casey`s car which came back consistent with decomposition.

Steve Kardian, there`s been a lot of argument over whether these tests can prove human decomposition, or it`s just decomposition of some matter. How sophisticated are these tests reportedly done at the body farm in Tennessee?

STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: They`re human decomposition specific, Jane. And they`ll show a reliability factor or deviation factor, plus or minus. They`ll show that with a high degree of probability, that they are in fact correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, Dr. Brian Russell, I remember covering the Michael -- the O.J. Simpson case. Yes, O.J. where I think the prosecution made a huge mistake by getting so complex with the DNA evidence that they presented.

I literally fell asleep a couple of times listening to the DNA evidence. I`m not proud to admit that. But it`s true. It just went on and on and on and it got so complicated, nobody knew what the heck they were talking about. And O.J. walked.

Is there a danger here? They`ve got to present forensic evidence in a way that average people, civilians can understand.

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. You are totally right. This is getting more and more O.J.-like by the day in that we`ve got mostly circumstantial evidence. But we`ve got a mountain of it and it`s strong.

And the difference, though, is that O.J. had a sympathetic jury. She`s not going to have a sympathetic jury. In fact, I don`t think she`s going to get one sympathetic juror, which I think ultimately she`s going to try to plead out.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, you do?

RUSSELL: I do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Her parents say no way.

RUSSELL: I know. But I think when she`s facing --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wouldn`t she have done that already?

RUSSELL: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`ve already said they`re going to seek the death penalty. If she was going to plead out, wouldn`t she have done that already?

RUSSELL: I don`t think so. If I were her attorney, I would recommend that we wait and see what all the prosecution has. Go through the discovery process. Depose everybody. See what all the evidence is.

Then I would sit down with her and say, "Ok, here`s what I estimate the chances are of you going to the lethal injection chamber, you spending the rest of your life in prison or you getting off." Ultimately she`s got to decide what kind of risk she`s willing to take versus coming up with yet another story about what really happened to this poor little girl.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The war of words between Oprah Winfrey and Cindy Anthony escalated today. Oprah Winfrey`s rep said earlier this week they canceled the Anthonys because of their appearance on other media outlets.

However, Cindy Anthony fired back, sending this text to a reporter at Click Orlando. "By the way, I canceled on Oprah because of integrity."

Now, Jennifer Hartstein, I definitely need a shrink on this one. Is this another example of Cindy Anthony trying to control the situation, and never -- it`s like she has a problem just sort of admitting that something didn`t go her way.

JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. I think, she`s got to always have the upper hand. It`s a way to stay in control. And the fact is, that who cancels on Oprah? Let`s be honest. It`s Oprah. Who`s canceling on Oprah? Oprah or "The Early Show," I don`t know. Not to knock "The Early Show," but Oprah is a different league. So, you`ll wonder.

BROWN: Cindy loves the attention.

HARTSTEIN: Absolutely.

BROWN: She is so narcissistic. There`s no way she`s going to give up a chance to be on the biggest show that at least people will say, "Have you ever been on Oprah?". She`s going to go on and she`s not going to turn that down.

HARTSTEIN: There`s no doubt. There`s no doubt.

RUSSELL: The only reason she might cancel, though, is that she found out on "The Early Show" that she`s getting asked questions that she does not want to answer. And she might not want to be for a whole hour with Oprah having to dodge, dodge, dodge.

HARTSTEIN: But it`s my understanding it actually was canceled before she appeared on "The Early Show"

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

HARTSTEIN: So she wouldn`t have known that yet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, she would know that. I think she`s got to know that she`s going to get hit with some hard questions.

Cindy Anthony is just a bundle of contradictions. She made some startling revelations on "The Early Show" this morning. Listen to her response when asked do you regret calling 911.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY: I don`t regret anything I did. How can I? I don`t know how I would react any differently. You know, I know after I made the first 911 call, Casey thanked me in the car. Because she said I did something that she couldn`t do was to go to the police.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen for the contradictions here. Cindy just claimed Casey thanked her for calling the police. Put that aside. Now, Cindy also claimed Casey didn`t call cops for an entire month because she feared for the lives of everyone in her family.

Listen to this clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Casey, why she didn`t report Caylee missing?

ANTHONY: Yes. She was afraid. I mean, that`s the answer, she was afraid.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was she afraid of?

ANTHONY: You know, I can`t answer that right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She told you she feared for, what, her life, Caylee`s life, both?

ANTHONY: She feared for all of our lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Dr. Brian Russell, this makes no sense. Total contradiction; one moment she`s saying that her daughter thanked her for calling the cops. It was something she couldn`t do. The next moment she`s saying, wait a second, the reason that her daughter didn`t call the cops for an entire month while her daughter was missing, presumed kidnapped, according to the story, was that she was afraid for the lives of everyone in the Anthony family. Which is it?

RUSSELL: Yes. You know, fine. They`ve decided obviously that they`re going to support their daughter to the bitter end. Ok, fine. I get that. Love is a blindfold.

What I don`t get is repeating the -- I mean, nobody who`s afraid for their daughter`s life or for their own life or family`s life is out partying during that time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Absolutely.

BROWN: Jane, I want to point out something about personalities. People forget, sometimes when we see somebody after a horrible crime happens, we say, they`re responding to what happened. They don`t look at the possibility that this was the person before the crime happened. Cindy`s response is who she is.

She may already have been a manipulative, probably narcissistic, person who has a problem with lying and is supporting people who she shouldn`t be supporting before this happened. So she`s just carrying this on after the crime occurred.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. George Anthony was asked a serious question about his daughter, Casey, on "The Early Show" early Thursday morning. Listen to this one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of young lady did she grow up to be, George?

GEORGE ANTHONY, CASEY ANTHONY`S FATHER: Very sensitive. Very caring. The kind of daughter that any father is proud of. I`m proud of my daughter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, look, he is proud of his daughter, Casey? This is a young woman, we see her partying right there; troubled at best. She partied all the time. She lied to her dad about having a job, which she didn`t have. Is this just another example of the Anthony family`s complete and utter denial of reality, Jennifer?

HARTSTEIN: You know it must be. It doesn`t seem to -- nothing goes together. The emotions don`t fit with the situation. The words don`t fit with the situation. Nothing gels for me. There`s just this like absolute detachment.

You`re kind of hearing the words. But I`m not seeing any emotion. If the emotion gets taken away, they`re just words and words and words. So where`s the connection. It just feels so forced and not real.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it`s not denial.

BROWN: You have to remember, these are the two people that raised Casey. This is a household, this girl grew up in. For her to grow up to the age she did, doing the things she did, there had to already be these behaviors on the part of the family.

So it`s not like they just -- everything was perfect and they were just -- and they`re in denial now. This is a continuation. The apple does not fall far from that tree, now does it?

RUSSELL: Which is why I`ve said there`s a guilt component maybe to why they are supporting her to the bitter end.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Because they kind of -- but are they that self- aware?

BROWN: I don`t think so. I don`t think so.

(CROSS TALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you fantastic panel; excellent insights.

Legal fireworks, Melissa Huckaby`s defense butt heads with the prosecution. I`ll have an update.

And it`s spring time. Love is in the air, that can only be the explanation for why octo-mom was asked out on a date. We`re going to tell you all about it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Octo-mom now wants to go to grad school? Has she already had enough of her 14 kids? I will find out.

But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

A fierce legal battle under way in the Melissa Huckaby murder case; Huckaby`s defense butting heads with the prosecution over forensic evidence that could determine if Huckaby faces the death penalty or not.

Huckaby`s attorneys are attacking the credibility of the pathologist who determined that she raped 8-year-old Sandra Cantu prior to killing her. The special circumstance of rape would qualify Huckaby for the death penalty if convicted.

The defense claims the chief medical examiner in prior homicide cases have made opinions biased towards the prosecution. So their argument is the rape charges are based on one person`s word. I hate to break it to them, but that one person just happens to be a seasoned pathologist.

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

Amazing new developments tonight in the never-ending drama of octo-mom Nadya Suleman. Could octo-mom soon add an octo-dad to her enormous brood? Suleman tells Radar Online that she was hit on while picking up groceries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NADYA SULEMAN, MOTHER OF OCTUPLETS: I got asked out today at a grocery store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Really?

SULEMAN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What happened?

SULEMAN: He was really, really good looking and very nice. But why would someone ask a person out that they know has, I don`t know, 14 kids. I thought that was funny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did he say to you?

SULEMAN: I don`t know. He was really nice. He was really positive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you consider going on a date with him?

SULEMAN: Probably not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ha, ha, ha. Is octo-mom finally making a good decision for once? She admits to not making good decisions in the past. Including, and this is a very serious issue, a major choice she made during the pregnancy of a child, who was born autistic.

Now Nadya blames herself for his severe autism. I will give you the very, very strange details on that one.

Plus, octo-mom gives her first live interview this morning. You won`t believe what sort of plans she has for herself this fall. I smell another bad decision, courtesy of octo-mom.

Let`s get straight to my fantastic panel: Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some;" Lisa Bloom, an anchor at the legal network "In Session" and Judy Kuriansky, Dr. Judy, clinical psychologist.

All right, Dr. Judy, so much dysfunction, it`s hard to know where to begin. But let`s start with the fun stuff, her dating. What kind of guy asks a mother of 14 out on a date in a grocery store no less?

DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Any kind of guy, Jane, who wants publicity. That`s the name of the game as she rolls into a potential show which likely will happen.

But you know for everybody, the law of proximity works here. And that is, that means if guys want to pick a woman up, the closer you are to the situation where somebody is comfortable, in a grocery store like just happened, waiting on a line at a bank, or mailing something, when you`re in a comfortable situation, it is easiest to pick up someone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa bloom, I want to say this. I don`t know if I buy this is all some kind of spontaneous encounter in a grocery store, because it seems like she has an agenda with everything she does. Remember, that she was pondering a reality show based on looking for love?

LISA BLOOM, ANCHOR, "IN SESSION": That`s right. Very good Jane. You are on a roll today, girl. You are cracking me up over here.

Look, men hit on women in grocery stores every day. That`s pretty normal behavior. But I have to say, the octo-mom, a woman with 14 kids and this long and glorious history of lying and dysfunction? This just proves to me I do not understand men at all.

KURIANSKY: I understand them very well. And in this case, there are plenty of men who would go for that. And they will be lining up. It has nothing to do with the kids at all but his own publicity.

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Maybe he doesn`t know who she is. That`s possible.

KURIANSKY: That`s impossible -- everybody knows who she is. That`s impossible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, maybe somebody who wants to pick her up is the kind of person who hasn`t picked up a paper or looked at TV in a long time and doesn`t know who she -- it`s always possible. I don`t buy all of it. I don`t think it`s just a spontaneous encounter.

Nadya dropped a stunner of a serious nature in her interview with Radar Online about her autistic child, Aiden. Listen to this

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SULEMAN: It affects me so much because, I cry sometimes because I blame myself, like any mother even though it doesn`t sound rational. I blame myself really, because I feel like I caused it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How?

SULEMAN: I think I exacerbated it. I think he would have been on the spectrum. But I think I -- during pregnancy, I drank coffee, and I blame myself because I think that made it worse.

I was medicating myself for ADHD, which I was never diagnosed for but it helps me focus and calm down. So then I drank in excess. I believe it made it worse. He would have maybe even much more higher functioning had I not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is really, really sad, Wendy Murphy. This child has autism. How much of her guilt is irrational? How much could she really be responsible for his condition?

MURPHY: You know, I`m not an autism expert, but guess what, neither is she. Somebody call Jenny McCarthy who has done so much work on autism, she can stop everything she`s been doing around vaccines, because, ooh, I guess it`s coffee.

And you know how she got to this analysis? She read a study that said meth use can cause autism. And she decided caffeine is kind of like meth, therefore I must have caused it.

Are you kidding me? In case we ever wondered whether she was really dumb, I think we know now. And by the way, isn`t this interesting that this mother feels so guilty about the harm she caused this child...

KURIANSKY: But that`s how every...

MURPHY: Didn`t she have any thoughts like that before she became pregnant with eight more kids?

KURIANSKY: A lot of mothers feel guilty about their children when they have a particular problem. That doesn`t mean that she deserves it. There is a very difficult time in figuring out what causes autism. And in fact there has been a study in England showing that a lot of caffeine can lead to delusions. So she may be picking up on that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That definitely -- she`d better cut out the caffeine for sure.

MURPHY: Among other things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on octo-mom`s chance encounter with love in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Self-proclaimed non-celebrity octo-mom Nadya Suleman may soon be a student again. Lisa Bloom, what do you make of Suleman telling "Good Morning America" she wants to go back to grad school this fall?

BLOOM: You know, it`s so sad how her life has been so mismanaged. And a lot of moms go back to school, and that`s fine. But she brought eight babies into a world, number one, where she has a severely autistic child who needs a lot of her attention. She`s got two other disabled kids. Her life is in a shambles. She`s unemployed.

And now she`s decided she`s going to go back to school. She doesn`t seem to be bonding with the kids except when she`s on camera by all accounts. And I really worry for the kids. She can make any choices she wants about her life, but she should be focusing on those kids that she chose to bring into this world.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Wendy Murphy, the fact is, though, that the hospital released all the kids to her. There have been demands for investigations, get the Child Protective Services involved and nada. It doesn`t seem like anybody is intervening and saying this situation is out of control.

MURPHY: Yes. Unfortunately, our laws require that children really be hurt before we take them away. I`m not sure it`s always the right way. It`s certainly not respectful enough for kids. They are clearly at risk. And it`s terrible.

The more she says the more it`s clear she`s got problems and is therefore - - just because of her mental issues not necessarily capable.

I do have some advice for her, though. Are you ready? I think she should date but she should date eight guys, not one. She should make sure they all do diapers. And there will be no sex, absolutely no sex. She should...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? No sex?

MURPHY: And no pets. Knock out the stuff about the pets.

KURIANSKY: Protection would be helpful.

MURPHY: No sex. No, she`s going to knock out the sex.

KURIANSKY: That would be ridiculous and not healthy.

MURPHY: No time for sex.

KURIANSKY: What? She needs to make time for sex. That`s ridiculous.

MURPHY: Dr. Judy, I have five kids. My Christmas decorations are still up. Ok? We need to give this woman time to have with the children. No sex, nothing.

KURIANSKY: If you had good sex -- I want to add to the advice, and that is she could go on the Internet even at Harvard and take some courses. And being a psychologist, she wants to go to school to learn about psychology. So she can`t matriculate. That would be absolutely irresponsible with all the kids.

But if she went and learned a little about psychology, maybe she would understand a little bit more about her dynamics...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a little too late for her to learn about psychology, though, Dr. Judy. I mean, she`s already made all these momentous decisions and unfortunately some little kids are going to have to pay the price.

BLOOM: The operative part is going, getting out of the house. That`s what she really wants.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly.

Thank you, fabulous panel. Remember, if you don`t get through on the phone you can always give me your comments by going to cnn.com/jane. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell and you`re watching ISSUES.

END

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