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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
New Casey Anthony Evidence; Serial Killer Caught?; Philip Markoff`s Secret Life
Aired May 1, 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, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, a whirlwind of new information in the Casey Anthony case. Hundreds of pages of evidence just made public provide stunning insight into the prosecution`s arsenal. But could some facts boomerang on prosecutors? Take the forensic report that says Caylee`s hair tested negative for drugs. I`ll bring you the biggest shockers from the latest evidence.
Then more bad news for suspected Craigslist killer Philip Markoff. Reports emerge that Markoff tried to kill himself again behind bars. Cops say they have now found 16 pairs of women`s underwear hidden under Markoff`s bed. But no other victims have come forward. So where did all those panties come from? I`ll analyze this twisted case.
And L.A.`s most prolific serial killer may have been caught. Cops arrest John Floyd Thomas Jr. who think is the Westside rapist suspected in 30 murders and dozens of sexual assaults, spanning at least two decades. I`ll have the details.
Plus, the clown in Congress. During a House debate on hate crimes, Republican Virginia Foxx ridiculously claims the gruesome murder of gay man Matthew Shephard was not a hate crime. She calls it a hoax. And I`ll tell you why she`s now reeling from the backlash.
ISSUES starts now.
Breaking news tonight as hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages of evidence are released in the case against Casey Anthony. The mountainous documents dumped more than 400 pages, contains detailed lab reports and testimony from key players in the case. But what is most shocking about all this new information released against the 23-year-old mother accused of killing her precious 2-year-old is what is not, I say not included.
As we comb through the pages of FBI lab reports, including drug tests on little Caylee`s hair, we found they left out the one drug that has been linked to Caylee`s mother, chloroform. It was found in Casey`s trunk. It can sometimes be used as a knockout drug. She Googled it, or somebody on her computer did. Why would extensive testing leave out such a key substance?
Plus, fingerprint analysis of the duct tape found on little Caylee`s remains eliminates George, Cindy and brother Lee Anthony. But where are the results for the accused killer, Casey Anthony? As we pour through the convoluted lab reports, we are left wondering, is the prosecution making it as confusing as possible so the defense has to do more work? And what do all the gaps in evidence mean for Casey`s defense? Is reasonable doubt mounting in the public eye? So many issues.
Straight to my fantastic expert panel. Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney, also known as the voice of reason. Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney. Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychologist. Steve Kardian, former criminal investigator. And joining me by phone, the one and only Rozzie Franco, reporter with WFLA 540 AM. Rozzie, what is the very latest?
ROZZIE FRANCO, REPORTER, WFLA 540 AM (on phone): Jane, we`re still sifting through the hundreds of pages that have been released, including a number of interviews. We`re still going through them right now. Now most important, the chloroform. We know searches for the sedative have been found on Casey`s computer and believed to have possibly caused Caylee`s death.
Now however, according to FBI, the FBI`s chemistry unit said they did not test for chloroform because it is a byproduct of decomposition. Therefore, they did not have to test for the chemical.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait, wait, wait. I`ve got to stop you right there. Steve Kardian, former criminal investigator. OK, because the human body exudes or emits chloroform during decomposition, therefore they don`t test for it? Isn`t there a way to distinguish, you would think, between chloroform that`s naturally emitted by a human body and chloroform that was used as a possible knockout drug?
STEVE KARDIAN, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: I don`t think they have that technology available to them, Jane. The body, once it starts to decompose and bacteria gets into that hair, there`s very, very little amount of any substance that may be left in there. And if the chloroform was used that day that the child died, it would probably not be processed through the body and show up in any evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, they found chloroform in the trunk, the very trunk where they found the stench of death. And also, somebody on Casey Anthony`s computer Googled chloroform. We know the chloroform is sometimes used as a knockout drug. And yet they don`t test the hair for chloroform. I don`t get it and I don`t buy the excuse that, well, there`s no need because it`s naturally exuded in decomposition.
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know, Jane, I agree with you. It`s what I`ve said al along. They don`t have a cause of death and they need to blame it on something and something.
Now what`s happening here with the FBI report is very clear. They`re saying they didn`t test for it because they couldn`t. A, there wasn`t enough to test. Or B, they couldn`t break it down enough. It`s not because of the decomposition, because we don`t know what the decomposition in that body, if it was at all, how long it was there.
And that`s the crucial key. You can eliminate the other drugs. Doesn`t that tell you something? No Xanax, no marijuana, no oxycontin, no of the regular drugs. All of that was negative.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We could go under the presumption that that body being in that spot for a lengthy period of time in that hot weather, that the decomposition of that hair rendered that test impossible to yield.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well how come -- OK, let me -- we`re getting ahead of ourselves. Let`s just recap the facts and then continue with this analysis.
The FBI crime lab tested so-called hair mass from little Caylee`s head, from the remains, from the skeletal remains. They were looking for trades of anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxers like Xanax and Valium. The tests reportedly came back negative according to these documents that were released.
But with this caveat, "negative results should not be interpreted as proof that the individual is not exposed to the drugs listed." So first of all, doesn`t that caveat --
WEINTRAUB: It`s got to be -- it`s not negative results doesn`t mean that the child wasn`t ever exposed. What is that? You know what that means? It means we don`t have it now, it doesn`t mean that she wasn`t ever exposed. Well, let me tell you something. Stuff stays in your hair for up to six months. So we know that it wasn`t done in the recent immediate past of her death. That`s the only thing that matters. And what we also know is they can`t prove if she was ever exposed to it, like tobacco in her hair, too? Who exposed her?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren Kavinoky, I`m not a scientist, but it doesn`t seem to make sense. Chloroform is a key substance in the case. And we`ve been talking for months that she Googled or somebody on her computer Googled chloroform. And chloroform constantly comes up, it was found in her trunk. That they wouldn`t at least test for it. OK if it came up, you could say, well it could be argued it was produced naturally through decomposition. But maybe it comes up in a quantity that is more than what would be naturally produced, indicating that somehow chloroform was used to knock out the child.
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well Jane, your take on it is exactly what the defense position is going to be. And as the prosecution often argues, where there`s smoke, there`s fire? From a defense perspective, where there`s smoke, there`s mirrors. And they`re going to be bringing out exactly what you`re saying, which is, look, the prosecution didn`t test for it. They should have tested for it. They could have proven exactly what you pointed out, Jane, that it was there in abnormally high amounts.
WEINTRAUB: Unless they couldn`t prove it. And they don`t want that to come out.
KAVINOKY: Of course.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But why not just do the test, Darren? Why not do the test?
KAVINOKY: Well, they should have done the test.
WEINTRAUB: I bet they did do the test.
KAVINOKY: It`s exactly these kinds of failures -- the defense is going to want to shift the focus in this case from Casey Anthony and her activity to the investigative failings of the prosecution and the prosecution team. So this is going to be exactly the kind of distraction that I would want to engage in if I were the defense, part of the defense team.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now another shocking conclusion by the FBI, lab investigators tested the duct tape that was placed allegedly over little Caylee`s mouth for fingerprints. Here`s what they found when they tested for George, Cindy and Lee Anthony`s prints on that crucial duct tape. "The latent print examinations were conducted but no latent prints were detected." But hello! Casey`s prints were not part of that report.
WEINTRAUB: No, no, you know why, Jane?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: She is the accused killer. Why are we left wondering about whether or not her prints are on there? If you are going to do it, why not tell us all the key players, if their prints were on there or not.
WEINTRAUB: Jayne, a latent print is when you leave a fingerprint. So that there is either a latent print or not. What they`re talking about is a comparison for either it matches anybody in the world or not. When they say there`s no latent prints, there is no print to examine. There are no prints on the duct tape. There`s no print of George, Cindy, Casey, or anybody else on this duct tape.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Rozzie Franco, the way we read it and again, I do feel that these documents are compiled in a way to make them absolutely as convoluted and complex as possible, so that the defense has to do a lot of work figuring out what the heck is in these documents. But the way it seemed to read was it mentioned George, Cindy and Lee. It didn`t mention Casey, Rozzie.
FRANCO: That`s right, that`s exactly how we read it as well. Obviously if something comes out later, we`ll know more. But that`s all we have at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So why, Steve Kardian, wouldn`t they have just said no prints at all, no latent prints at all, not mentioning some family members?
KARDIAN: It confuses me as well, Jane. I have no idea why.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve never had a panel that gets speechless.
WEINTRAUB: Jane, their job -- the prosecutor`s job is seek justice, not convictions at all costs. Their job is not to confuse people, it`s to give you the discovery so that the defense can confront the evidence against them, if any.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
WEINTRAUB: And what we`re seeing here, Jane, 300 pages of nothing that should have been delivered three months ago.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m not sure about that. We`re going to sift through more of this evidence in just a moment.
Then, a Republican congresswoman says it`s a hoax to call the brutal murder of guy man Matthew Shepard a hate crime. Her lame explanation as she now back tracks, up next.
But first, newly released forensic reports suggest investigators did not test for chloroform. Traces of the chemical were found in mom Casey`s trunk, the car of her trunk, along with an awful smell. Here`s Cindy Anthony describing the stench in the trunk of her car, I should say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY ANTHONY, GRANDMOTHER: The babysitter took a month ago, that my daughter`s been looking for her. There`s something wrong, I found my daughter`s car today and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF KEVIN BEARY, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: It`s a human skill and it looks that of a small child. We don`t know about a plastic bag or anything else. We don`t know. No clothes that we know of now but understand, Dr. G (ph) is here and we can`t talk about the evidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary talking about little Caylee Anthony`s remains found back in December. New evidence just released today about the investigation into finding those remains. An internal memo about Deputy Richard Cain, who failed to properly follow up on a tip about Caylee`s remains back in August, months ago.
Captain Larry Krantz wrote about Cain "you failed to thoroughly investigate the call for service, which ultimately delayed the discovery of the remains of Miss Caylee Anthony."
That is a charged statement that could cost Cain his job. But is it really true? Jayne Weintraub, you`re the criminal defense attorney. Couldn`t the defense argue those remains simply were not back there in August when Deputy Cain went on that call?
WEINTRAUB: Absolutely. But I don`t understand why he`s worried about his job and not worried about getting arrested for making a false statement. It`s not that he didn`t just thoroughly investigate it, he gave false statements. He lied under oath during an official proceeding. That`s perjury, or giving false information of law enforcement. That`s number one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Rozzie Franco, inconsistent statements. Apparently at one point he had said he had checked out the bag and trash fell out. At another point he didn`t acknowledge even checking out the bag.
FRANCO: That`s correct. Deputy Richard Cain said he went out there briefly and came back, didn`t find anything. Another time he was dispatched. There was at one point in the documents where he failed to execute even meeting up with Roy Krunk, who called in this tip.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, you`re the clinical psychologist who is also a very patient man. You`ve been listening to all of this. A lot of it was forensics that we`re talking about. But there`s also psychology here. You know, I would rather be a defense attorney than a prosecutor because I think prosecutors have so much more difficult of a job.
All it takes is one real goof up, like this situation with this deputy to possibly, you know, really shoot the prosecution in the foot. I mean, can`t the defense simply say, hey, a deputy went to this area in August, didn`t find anything, therefore, the body wasn`t there. Therefore, by the time the body was discovered, Casey Anthony was behind bars. And, therefore, she couldn`t have dumped the body there.
DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, but the only thing that you have to think about is that he didn`t want to go out because it was kind of swampy area and he didn`t want to walk and he was afraid of snakes. And They could say, it looked like a skull that I saw floating out there. So all of this put together indicates to me, as a non-attorney, that he didn`t do his job. So I think that the prosecution does have a problem here.
KAVINOKY: And Jane, if I can --
WEINTRAUB: And Krunk went to relieve himself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well thank you for that. Thank you for that, Jayne. OK Darren Kavinoky, voice of reason.
KAVINOKY: Well this goes back to that -- to my earlier comment that is, from a defense perspective, where there`s smoke, there`s mirrors. And this is the exact kind of issue that the defense will try to hang jurors up with. And the real problem for the defense, though, is the way that Casey Anthony acted during that intervening month when Caylee was missing. It`s that conduct unbecoming to a mother. It`s not going to be the forensic stuff that gets to the jury.
WEINTRAUB: And what charge is that in the indictment, Darren? I didn`t read that in the indictment or in our criminal code.
KAVINOKY: But, here`s the point. Here`s the point. And obviously I fulfill the defense function, so hear me well on this. The jurors that ultimately decide the case are human beings who like to make sweeping generalizations, and they`re going to look at that and say, you know what, I wouldn`t act that way. That`s not appropriate.
WEINTRAUB: That doesn`t mean --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Dr. Dale Archer, now apparently the defense could try to use the ugly coping defense and say basically, she was distraught, and grief stricken, therefore, she was exhibiting ugly coping, which is kind of like the Twinkie defense or the psychologically emasculated and a whole bunch of other kooky defenses we`ve heard about over the years.
ARCHER: Well, yes, I think the key there is that basically they`re pointing to the photos of her out there partying. But I think the correct term after looking at those photos would be ugly groping. So I think that ugly coping is not a psychiatric diagnosis. It`s not recognized in psychiatric circles. Any psychiatrist that goes on the stand and tries to describe her behavior that way I think is doing a disserve to the profession. I think that everyone grieves in a different matter, no doubt, so I can`t comment on that.
But I can comment on the fact that it took her a month to report her child missing. She lied to everybody involved in it. She was non- cooperative. And she was partying long before her child was reported missing and dead. And I think that ugly coping in this case is just pure psycho babble.
KAVINOKY: That`s why jury selection is going to be the most important function of this trial. It`s all going to come down to jury selection so that from the defense perspective, you`re going to find jurors who are going to be so bothered by the inconsistencies of, say, how that body was found, how the remains were found versus this ugly coping argument.
WEINTRAUB: How about the fact that they still don`t have, and never will have, a cause of death? They don`t know how this child died, where this child died, and who killed the child.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that brings us back to Deputy Richard Cain. Had they found the body, assuming the body was there earlier, they might have had a less decomposed body that might have had a whole bunch more information on it.
And that`s why this police alleged incompetence. And I haven`t heard this side of the story so I don`t want to convict the poor guy. But he`s obviously gotten punished and disciplined by his own law enforcement agency. He may be really what does in the entire case.
ARCHER: And I think that you need to have an accidental cause of death, is what the defense is going to argue that. And then they`re going to the ugly coping technique to try to say that it was an accident and she was coping in this manner.
WEINTRAUB: But the defense doesn`t have to do any of these things. It`s the state, the prosecutors are the one that have the burden of proof. This is the United States. Our constitution mandates the burden of proof is on the government to prove the defendant beyond and to the exclusion of reasonable doubt guilty.
KAVINOKY: But to do that, you`re going to have to put her on the stand.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know what? Excellent panel, we`re going to be back in a second for more analysis of all this evidence. We`ve got more still coming in to tell you about.
Cops find more women`s underwear in accused Craigslist killer Philip Markoff`s apartment. New reports emerge he tried to commit suicide again.
And the infamous serial killer known as the Westside rapist may be in custody. Cops say they`ve nabbed the man suspected of killing 30 women over two decades. Gut-wrenching details, up next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx`s outrageous claim that the horrific murder of guy man Matthew Shepard was not a hate crime. She called the portrayal of this crime as an attack based on his homosexuality, a hoax. What? Listen to this shocker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. VIRGINIA FOXX (R), NORTH CAROLINA: That young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn`t because he was gay. The bill was named for him, the hate crimes bill was named for him. But it`s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: News flash, congresswoman. Matthew Shepard was murdered because he was guy. One of the killers admitted luring Matthew into his truck by pretending to be gay. He was tied up, beaten and left for dead on a remote wooden fence.
Foxx`s comments came during a debate as the House passed a bill to expand the definition of hate crime to include violence motivated by sexual orientation. Foxx has since said the word hoax was a poor choice of a word. You think? And she claims she got bad info from a news report. Oh, yeah, blame the media.
Joining me, Michael Musto, entertainment columnist for "The Village Voice." What shocked me the most is that the congresswoman made these remarks right in front of Matthew Shepard`s mother. What is going on in her mind?
MICHAEL MUSTO, ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST, THE VILLAGE VOICE: As if Judy Shepard hasn`t suffered enough. First of all, Jane, Virginia Foxx with two "X`s" sounds like a porn star to me. If she were a drag queen, she`d be Virginia Ham. That`s totally off the beaten track here. Look, whatever her name is, she has bad sourcing, bad choice of words, hoax? And then a terrible apology by saying, if I`ve offended somebody. Yes, you have.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my god. Matthew Shepard`s mother Judy Shepard rejected Representative Foxx`s clarification of the word hoax was a poor choice of a word. Here is what she said on MSNBC`s "Rachel Maddow Show."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDY SHEPARD, MATTHEW SHEPARD`S MOTHER: She`s apologizing for semantics, not for her sentiment or actually what she said, her insensitivity or her ignorance. Anybody who`s done any research into what happened to Matt knows it was a hate crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor articulate woman. I mean, she`s really handled this gracefully. In a weird way, did this callous, dismissive comment by this congresswoman actually highlight the importance of this legislation, and illustrate why it`s necessary?
MUSTO: Absolutely. And his is not to trivialize it, but this is kind of similar to the Miss California USA incident where she made that, I think, dumb remark. And that has kind of spearheaded so much sympathy for the gay and lesbian movement.
In this case, Virginia was way out of line. And the Matthew Shepard murder is, Jane, as you know, it`s a modern landmark event in the gay community. Not just the tragic incident itself, but the symbolism that it took on as an example of the hate that`s out there against some gay people and how it can`t go unpunished.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now some people are calling on this congresswoman to resign. I think at the very least she needs to take a vacation, go to Wyoming and visit that fence, where he was tied up, severely beaten and left to languish there, left for dead for 18 hours. Wouldn`t that be a nice trip for her?
MUSTO: Yeah, I think she should pose as a gay man. I think she could pass and walk around a small town like that and see how popular you can be. More likely, I think more likely she should be go to one of the states adopting guy marriage and join in the celebration. I don`t think she should step down. Nor do I think Miss California should step down.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know< we don`t like to tease people, but sometimes they`re just asking for it.
MUSTO: Oh, I love you, Jane, you`re even angrier than I am.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you can dish it out, you`ve got to be able to take it. Michael, thank you.
New evidence released in the Casey Anthony case. My expert panel will analyze Casey`s defense team`s response next.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: L.A.`s most prolific serial killer may have been caught. Cops arrest John Floyd Thomas, Jr. He`s suspected in 30 murders and dozens of sexual assaults spanning at least two decades. I`ll have the scary details.
Then, new reports emerge that accused Craigslist killer Philip Markoff tried to kill himself again behind bars. Also, cops have now found 16 pairs of women`s underwear hidden under Markoff`s bed. I`ll analyze this twisted case.
We continue to comb through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents released in the case against Casey Anthony tonight: FBI lab reports, testimony and witness statements. The list goes on and on as we dig deeper in the evidence against Casey, confusion mounts.
The puzzle of how little Caylee was killed remains seemingly unsolved. Will we have to wait until Casey`s day in court to finally hear some real answers? Plus, some of the evidence just doesn`t seem to add up. Just what is the relevance of the snake found at the site where little Caylee`s remains were discovered?
And meter reader Roy Kronk`s bizarre interest in this case comes into sharper focus. So many ISSUES.
Back to my expert panel: Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney; Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; and Steve Kardian, a former criminal investigator; and joining me by phone, Rozzie Franco, a reporter WFLA 540 AM.
Rozzie, what is the very latest?
ROZZIE FRANCO, WFLA 540 AM REPORTER (via telephone): Well, as we learned before, chloroform was not found in Caylee`s remains. And that`s because we know that the FBI`s chemistry unit did not test for that, because they claim that that was a byproduct of decomposition.
Also, the FBI found -- says that the dirt and debris found in Casey`s trunk could not be definitively matched to the dirt where Caylee`s remains were found nor could the limited amount of debris found on several pairs of shoes taken from the Anthony home, there was no connection, that that could be totally ruled out either.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Jayne Weintraub, what do you do with that as a defense?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You blow it up really big and you have expert witnesses explain it very simply. What it means is, there is no evidence from the scene of where the body was found connected to anything that Casey Anthony, where she was in her home, or anywhere else about her body.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So wait that`s not...
WEINTRAUB: There is no connection.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...that`s not necessarily true. We`re talking dirt here. There are plenty of other connections.
WEINTRAUB: That`s how you`re going to determine...
WEINTRAUB: ...a lot with that dirt. You`re going to determine the time of death and perhaps -- perhaps you`re going to eliminate causes of death.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rozzie Franco, take us back to when after they found little Caylee`s remains, they went back into the Anthonys` home and they came out with tons of stuff. And they -- we had heard reports that they had made links, and there was a nexus between things that they seized at the house and evidence at the crime scene.
FRANCO: Right. And most -- initially, what was most important, that they found, was duct tape that was found around Caylee`s mouth. And what they did was they looked at that duct tape, and pieces that was found in the Anthonys` home. And what they found on -- what also found in the back was a kitchen knife. On that kitchen knife they did find a sticky substance.
However, the new documents reveal that they can`t link that sticky substance to the actual duct tape. But we do know that there was a heart that was found on the duct tape and that there were also those similar hearts that were found in Casey`s room.
WEINTRAUB: Similar, not identical.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Similar, not identical. But I mean...
WEINTRAUB: That`s right.
WEINTRAUB: That`s like black garbage bags they were looking for to match what Roy Kronk was saying. I mean, who doesn`t have those big black garbage bags in their kitchens? Come on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steve Kardian, as I think about this, sometimes it`s like too much evidence is worse than not enough evidence. We are sort of being overwhelmed with all these minutia (ph), and it`s not pointing in terms of a clear, concise direction.
I would almost, if I was a prosecutor, prefer to get rid of all this stuff, and just remain with a couple of key things; the smell of death in the car, the air samples that showed signs of decomposition, the Google searches, the bad behavior.
And narrow it down, because if the jury is flooded with all this garbage and that we can`t even figure out, they might just throw up their hands in confusion.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s reasonable doubt.
WEINTRAUB: They`re seeking the death penalty in this case. Do you really want the standard of proof that the prosecutor has to show bad behavior, bad demeanor, and like she didn`t care as opposed to showing whether or not she deliberately, intentionally murdered that child?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All I am saying Darren Kavinoky is when I go...
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ...back to, for example, the original O.J. Simpson murder trial, where one of the big mistakes the prosecutors made was getting so weighed down by the minutia of the forensic evidence, literally going on for days and days, hours and hours, people were falling asleep. And it didn`t work.
KAVINOKY: No. And remember, Jane, the law in Florida is that as evidence is turned over to the defense, it`s made available to the media. That doesn`t mean that the prosecutor is going to use everything that`s now being released to us, it just means that this is the stuff that`s being turned over to the defense.
So your point may be well taken. And that is, when this case ultimately does get to trial, prosecutors may whittle it down, focus just on those big things. Of course, the defense is going to want to get the defense -- or to get the jurors focused on the minutia and those things that don`t add up.
But this doesn`t necessarily mean that that`s where the prosecution`s going to go, as they...
KAVINOKY: ...as the theater of this case unfolds in the trial.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I will say keep it simple, stupid; if that old saying applies here.
KAVINOKY: You talking to me?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Roy Kronk, is a lightning rod when it comes to speculation and mystery surrounding the discovery of little Caylee`s remains. The meter reader was the catalyst for disciplinary action against the officer who responded to his call and allegedly dismissed Kronk`s suspicions about a bag that he saw back in August.
Check out this passage just released, quote, "Deputy Sheriff Cutcher told Mr. Kronk, it was just a trash bag. She described Mr. Kronk as kind of sad, that it was nothing. I think he was expecting it to be something." The Deputy also said something astounding that Kronk said she was close -- oh excuse me, she said she was close, very close.
Now, I think what he was possibly talking about there, Dr. Dale Archer, is that that`s what Casey Anthony said behind bars when she was being interviewed by cops. I feel that she`s ok. I feel that she`s close.
So obviously he was playing amateur detective and doing a better job than the actual detective who failed to find the body there.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Yes. It seems like he was. But then you have to wonder what his interest was in this. And why he was pursuing it to the point that he was where he was making that type of quote.
So I just want to say, I would hate to be a juror on this case, because of everything that`s involved as a non-attorney, I think I would be befuddled. I think that the point you made of there being too much information out there is real. I think it would be very difficult to sort through all that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, check out the gobbledygook about a knife examined by the chemistry unit. This is absolutely amazing. Here`s a quote, "Although the materials are too limited to fully characterize, they remain suitable for a limited comparison examination should suspect sources be located." Huh?
What the heck? Jayne Weintraub, translate please, that sounds like flip- flopping.
WEINTRAUB: What that means is there really isn`t any substance to test. And if you find a defendant that you want to compare something specific to, then give us the defendant`s comparison or latent prints or substance beginning to life and then they will let you know what that is.
ARCHER: Well, why didn`t they say that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Rozzie Franco, bring us up to date on this snake. We couldn`t figure out what is the significance of this snake? They found a snake -- they photographed this snake near the remains. Why is that so important?
FRANCO: Well, this is what initially Orange County Deputy Richard Cain said he did not actually inspect the body -- rather the trash bag that was found there, is because that there was a snake that was in the area, and he did not want to go in that particular area.
And let`s not forget here, we know Roy Kronk went back there three times. And we know that he told several other people, it was found in the discovery documents today, that he was looking for a reward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, so to prove that, apparently they took this diamondback rattlesnake and they poked and prodded and x-rayed and autopsied it. And in the end they concluded it had been run over by a car.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fantastic panel, for your amazing insights. Come back soon.
Cops may have nabbed L.A.`s most notorious serial killer, the Westside rapist. I will have the absolutely stomach-turning details.
Some new reports say suspected Craigslist killer Philip Markoff tried yet again to kill himself behind bars. I will find out how this will affect his defense, next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The man alleged to be the Craigslist killer reportedly tries to commit suicide, again. I`ll have an update.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.
This is a scary story, people.
L.A.`s most prolific serial killer may have been caught. Cops arrested 72- year-old John Floyd Thomas Jr. based on new DNA evidence. They suspect Thomas is the infamous Westside rapist who raped and killed 30 women in the 1970s and `80s.
That number could grow as cops reopen cases as far back as the 1950s. The murder victims in all cases under review were older white women most of them lower income widows living alone. The first wave of killings stopped in 1978, when Thomas went to prison for rape. Upon his release in 1983, the attacks started up again.
Joining me now by phone -- Pete Demetriou, field reporter for KFWB News 980. Pete, what is the very latest on this sicko case?
PETE DEMETRIOU, KFWB NEWS 980 (via telephone): The latest is what they`re trying to do is trying to match Mr. Thomas with various other cases. At this particular point, while there are two cases, one in 1976 and 1972 that they`ve linked him definitely with DNA evidence. They also have partial matches on two other killings for the LAPD`s jurisdiction. Three killings in the Inglewood area they are looking at and the L.A. County Sheriff`s Department says there could be two other cases in their jurisdiction they can tie this man to.
It`s a question of just how soon they get the DNA markers to match with the data that is already in the files.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s really horrifying is that this guy reportedly was an insurance claims adjuster. Is it being investigated into whether he committed any of these crimes allegedly while on the job?
DEMETRIOU: Apparently not. His last employment, though, was -- didn`t match (ph) by any time when any unsolved homicide or sexual assaults happened. It happened in the last several years or so.
The vast majority of the cases they`re looking at now are between roughly 1966 and about 1982, or `83 is what we`re talking about here; nothing in the more recent period of time.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, all I can say is, thank God for DNA and DNA technology that keeps advancing. Thank you, Pete. Stay on top of this. We`re going to stay on top of this one.
And that is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Now, to stunning developments in the Craigslist killer case. ABC News reports accused murder Philip Markoff has tried to take his own life again. This time the 23-year-old medical student tried to slit his wrists with a sharpened spoon. This as Markoff`s former fiancee Megan McAllister visited him for the first time since his arrest. The couple had what was described as an emotional conversation. Do you think?
McAllister`s lawyers spoke to "Good Morning, America" yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT HONECKER, MEGAN MCALLISTER`S ATTORNEY: At this point, obviously she continues to support her fiance. Yesterday she visited him with her mother at the jail. And quite frankly, this has been a chain of events that has dramatically affected her life. She`s dealing with it on a day-to-day basis. And she continues to support her fiance at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The attorney went on to say that the scheduled august wedding is currently being completely dismantled. Thank God for small favors.
Also tonight, reports that no other men or women have made accusations against the suspected Craigslist killer. This despite an ad on the Web site itself, asking potential victims to come forward.
Yet, authorities found 60 pairs of plastic handcuffs and 16 pairs of underwear in Markoff`s apartment. Those are ladies` panties we`re talking about.
Cops say two of those panties belong to his victims; but what about the other 14 panties? Could they also belong to other victims?
Straight to my fantastic expert panel: Joe Navarro, former FBI agent and profiler; Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist; and Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some."
Wendy, police say two of the panties belong to the masseuse who was murdered and the escort who was robbed. What is your theory about the other 14 panties found under the bed allegedly that this man you`re looking at here shares with his fiancee?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, first of all, eeww! . Again. But here`s an interesting thing. He clearly is capturing the souvenirs, not just because he`s killed someone, which we`ve heard talk about serial killers always taking...
MURPHY: Allegedly, fine. But it`s not a trophy with regard to the serial killer type mindset. Because we know he hasn`t killed that many people. And we know at least one of the underpants came from...
MURPHY: Allegedly. Ok asterisk -- I mean to say allegedly all the time. But one of the underpants is clearly from a living victim. So given that he allegedly seems to like taking samples of his crimes, it`s fair to say he`s got a lot more victims out there.
But here`s something interesting. Maybe, maybe he doesn`t always find his victims on Craigslist. Maybe because we know he`s had a big, big gambling problem, a huge growing problem since March, it`s been reported.
And we know he frequents certain casinos, we also know -- it`s been said, I heard that certain women have certain kinds of jobs in those casinos. Perhaps he`s just found victims there, and given the nature of the work they do, and the fact that they lived, they don`t want to report what he did to them because, you know, it`s not exactly the kind of thing that they want out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re embarrassed.
MURPHY: They`re embarrassed and they shouldn`t be. Because what he did, you know, is more important than their embarrassment. But I`m just saying, it`s pretty obvious he has more victims.
Thankfully they`re not all dead and they are probably out there not saying anything because they don`t want to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Navarro, former FBI investigator, what is the significance of taking the panties? We can analyze it from a psychological perspective, but also as a criminal profiler. What does it mean?
JOE NAVARRO, FORMER FBI INVESTIGATOR: Well, it means several things. And I myself worked several cases where we had individuals who actually take these items as memory enhancers. And not just to remind them of the event, but in many -- I mean, I`ve had them where they`ve taken shoes, hair, and panties, and they actually relive these events. By harboring these items, they smell them, they play with them, they touch them and so forth.
Something that`s speaking to me in this case is, if all the allegations are true is, there`s a certain compulsiveness, obsessive-compulsiveness to this individual. We certainly see that with gamblers. But this inordinate collection of plastic handcuffs, the sort of methodology that he uses speaks to me that here`s an individual who plans well, organizes well, is compulsive.
And I think what we`re going to find, even though there`s absence of evidence now, that doesn`t mean that there isn`t other victims out there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And if other victims are out there, please come forward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Because you need to. It`s really important.
The attorney for Markoff`s fiancee had this to say about the accused Craigslist killer. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HONECKER: That`s not the person that she knew and loved. That`s not the person that her family took into their -- took into their family as the person who was going to marry their daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, I`m fascinated by the fact that the attorney for the fiancee keeps emphasizing over and over again, "This is not the same person."
It is the same person. It is just that the person had a double life.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Exactly right. And how many times do we hear that, "Oh, they could never do that. They`re the perfect boyfriend. They`re perfect in every way, shape and form." He is the same person. She just didn`t know about it. Obviously if she knew about it, she wouldn`t have been engaged to him in the first place.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But I mean, you look at this evidence; 16 pair of women`s panties, the 60 pairs of plastic flex cuffs. And then all the other evidence, the fingerprints, the IP address. She can`t process that information?
ARCHER: Well, I mean, I think that she is starting to process it. But there`s still -- there is the shock factor there.
But I think that Joe made a good point. This to me is a gambling addict who initially found a way to make easy money. And as he started doing it, addictions have obsessive-compulsive traits going throughout. So it became a compulsion along with the addiction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we are going to get deeper into an analysis of this character in moments. Stay right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re back talking about the alleged secret life of accused Craigslist killer Philip Markoff.
Here`s what one of his alleged victims told "48 Hours."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRISH LEFFLER, STRIPPER CLAIMS MARKOFF ROBBED HER: We went into the room and as soon as I had closed the door, I turn around and he was standing just inside the door. When I turned around and looked at him, that`s when he pulled out the gun.
I was a little nervous. Like, I immediately started shaking. My heart started beating really fast. He just told me to lie down. And told me, "If you just be quiet, no harm is going to come to you."
As soon as he tied me up, he stepped back in front of me and pulled out some black leather gloves and put the black leather gloves on. Then he asked me where my money was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, reports are this woman identified her attacker as being Philip Markoff. Is she the key witness for the prosecution?
MURPHY: Well, yes. But I mean, we`ve also read about DNA and fingerprints. So she`s in court and she gives a human voice to this tragic story but I don`t think they necessarily need her especially not to prove the murder case.
But I want to say one thing, Jane. There are probably other victims out there. Maybe they didn`t meet him on Craigslist.
I want them to know. I`m from Massachusetts. I know the D.A. who is handling this case. He has made it very clear, he does not want any of the women involved to get in trouble for anything.
There will be no prosecution for prostitution. Your Johns aren`t going to get in trouble. Your pimps aren`t going to get in trouble. Please, just call. Tell what you know because this is a very dangerous man and everyone deserves to be protected from violence, even prostitutes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you. When Philip Markoff was first arrested his fiancee gave this statement. "Philip is a beautiful person inside and out and could not hurt a fly."
A police officer in Boston is trying to make big bucks by selling this false story to TV stations. What else is new?
Now Dr. Dale Archer, apparently the denial is wearing off. The wedding is off. She is not wearing her engagement ring but she still says to her attorney that she loves this guy.
ARCHER: Well, you have the stages of grief. There`s shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. And she`s going through all of that.
I can promise you within a few more weeks, she`s going to accept that this is who this guy is and she`s going to have to move on. So that -- it is understandable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe, a couple of seconds. Do you think this is the tip of the iceberg? That`s what the suspect himself reportedly said.
NAVARRO: It usually is. I`m glad he is off the streets and I hope and we will find more victims. Maybe more subtle, but it is good that this happened to take him off the street.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank my fantastic panel. What a crazy case; so much dysfunction out there. Thank you Joe, Dale, Wendy.
Got a question or comment about the show or an issue of your own? Click on cnn.com/Jane. Send me an e-mail.
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