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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Body Appears to Be Missing Girl; Another Stabbing Death in Beach Community
Aired June 8, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a community demanding answers and justice, after the body of a little girl is found in a shallow grave on a river bank. Michigan cops believe it`s little Nevaeh Buchanan.
Meantime, Nevaeh`s mother is generating new controversy by loudly proclaiming her innocence to the local press. Suspicious or the normal reaction of a grieving mother? Also, will the autopsy results provide clues about the monster who committed this heinous crime?
Then, another gruesome murder rocks an upscale Malibu-area beach community. Just days after a pregnant woman and her husband are stabbed to death in their beach house, a woman is stabbed to death in her waterfront home. Are the grisly killings connected?
And justice denied down under. American Dave Watson accused of drowning his bride on their honeymoon in Australia. A puzzling plea deal lands him less than a year behind bars.
U.S. Authorities now vow to make Watson pay when he comes back to the states.
Then, ominous developments in the disappearance of beautiful Tracy Ocasio. Cops release security video showing Tracy leaving the bar with James Hataway minutes before she simply vanished. Meantime, more damning claims emerge about Hataway`s violent temper, including allegations that he`s a skinhead.
Plus mystery, scandal and conspiracy theories surround the death of David Carradine. The star was found naked, bound and hanging in his Thailand hotel room after what some say was a kinky sex game gone wrong. So was it an accidental death, or was foul play involved?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight is a killer still on the loose? Fast- breaking developments in a community crippled my fear after the grisly discovery of a precious little girl`s body on a river bank outside of Detroit. Police believe the child is 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan. And they are hunting for the monster responsible.
The body was found in a shallow grave on the river bank with quick dry cement poured on top of it. A father and son out fishing spent hours sitting on that slab of cement before realizing they were sitting on a murdered child`s makeshift grave.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUY BICKLEY, FOUND CHILD`S REMAINS: That is pure evil. That`s not even mean. That`s not even rotten. That`s not psycho. That`s really pure evil. A little -- kid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we learn that the child`s body is so badly decomposed Nevaeh`s family has to wait for DNA to come back to get a positive ID from the medical examiner. That could take weeks. The body is in such bad shape that the family has not been allowed to see the child to do their own identification.
But despite the horror, Nevaeh`s mom, Jennifer Buchanan, now insists she wants to view those remains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENNIFER BUCHANAN, MOTHER: Yes, I want to see her one more time, yes, no matter what.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jennifer, meantime, has come under harsh criticism for exposing her 5-year-old daughter to two adult male friends who are now both persons of interest in this case. Both men are convicted sex offenders.
Jennifer is also speaking out, telling local media she had nothing to do with her daughter`s disappearance and might know who does. So what really happened on that fateful afternoon little Nevaeh went missing? I will show you the time line.
Plus, those two persons of interest, George Kennedy and Roy Smith have been moved from the local county jail to state prison. What exactly does that mean? What does it signify, given that cops have maintained over the weekend the killer knows the area well and is probably still out there.
Tonight, there`s grueling work under way. There`s evidence collected at the scene that`s being carefully sifted. Just how are investigators going to bring this cretin to justice so little Nevaeh`s neighbors can sleep at night, because right now they ain`t sleeping? They`re scared.
Straight to my expert panel: Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; Mike Gaynor, retired NYPD detective and president of East Coast Detectives; Brian Russell, forensic psychologist and attorney; and Jeff Karoub from the Associated Press, joining us by phone.
Jeff, you have been covering the story from the start. What is the very latest?
JEFF KAROUB, ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, the medical examiner in Wayne County has committed samples for special testing. They say it could be at least two weeks before they see results. It will be hard to know the time of death and cause of death.
Meanwhile, we have the Michigan state police crime lab trying to compare DNA samples taken from the body that was found by the river and trying to compare those samples to Nevaeh Buchanan. So it`s a waiting game in Michigan, even as certain elements move forward.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And the mom says now she wants to see those remains, even though they`re badly decomposed. And she`s also -- appears to have a change of heart on another issue. And I want to get my panel`s reaction to this, because this is just in, and it is a shocker.
This morning, Jennifer Buchanan spoke to a local radio station, Channel 955, Mojo in the morning. And she made a startling revelation about who she thought might be involved with her daughter`s disappearance. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUCHANAN: I`m pretty sure that probably someone associated with George or his girlfriend or a few other -- I don`t know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, that is a change of tune. Curtis Sliwa, you know and I know she had been sort of defending her buddy, possibly boyfriend at one time, George Kennedy, the convicted sex offender who said he was a father figure to this child. A man who is now behind bars on a possible parole violation for even being around this child.
Now she`s saying, wow, I think maybe he did have something to do with it.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Wow, she has really flipped the script, because originally, I thought she was going to do the jail time for Kennedy who had violated his parole. That`s how in simpatico she was with this guy.
But I`m telling you. I`m looking at this mother more and more, and I`m beginning to have a very jaundiced look at her, and saying, quick- drying cement? That`s what organized crime does. Somebody planned this out. Somebody had to have that in their car or pick-up truck and then purposely killed this girl if, in fact, this is the victim, and then buried her right near the river front.
This is really looking bad, preplanned and real sick, and I don`t know if the mother`s fingerprints are on this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, at this point she is a grieving mother. Maybe a mother with very bad judgment. But there isn`t any indication that she was involved. But I think this change of heart about her buddy, George Kennedy, is fascinating.
Today cops moved these two persons of interest or in custody from the county jail to state prison. And once again, the two people are George Kennedy, the convicted sex offender and allegedly former boyfriend of Nevaeh`s mom and the other man, Roy Smith. Smith is also a convicted sex offender and a friend of both George Kennedy and the little girl`s mom. Both were taken in on parole violations. However, cops made the shocking claim just last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF TILMAN CRUTCHFIELD, MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: The person, to our knowledge, is still out there in the community. In my opinion, it is a very sick or disturbed person that we`re looking for. A person that is able to abduct and murder an innocent 5-year-old child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Mark Eiglarsh, they say the killer, they believe, is still out there, but George Kennedy and Roy Smith are being shipped off to state prison. Now, why do you think that is? Is it an attempt to put pressure on them? Is it tougher to be in state prison, or is this standard operating procedure for a parole violation?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, it very well might be that they believe that they themselves didn`t have anything to do with it. But take what the mom said. Mom says maybe Kennedy was involved by him, somehow, in forming other people about this child.
You put all that together, it makes me despise the mother even more. I know she`s grieving, but she`s the one who brought Kennedy into their lives. She`s the one who met these folks at the parole office. She`s the one who put them in touch with her child. It gives me more reason to question her judgment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is going on, Brian Russell? You`re the psychologist with this mom. I mean, first, she stands up for this guy and even, in an extraordinarily co-dependent move, says, "I hope that they don`t hold a grudge against me for everything that`s happened."
And now maybe she`s -- the denial is going away, and the reality is the horror. The nightmare is becoming apparent. And she`s thinking, oh, wait a second. Because she used to say, anybody can be an offender. That`s what she said. That`s what came out of her mouth defending George Kennedy.
BRIAN RUSSELL, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes. The whole thing is horrible. First, let me say this is Nevaeh. That is my opinion. But this is Nevaeh. That is my opinion. But this is Nevaeh. As we saw in the Casey Anthony case, when law enforcement is not even feigning any caution to us in the media, you know, that it might be somebody else. But that`s a pretty strong indication this is going to be Nevaeh.
I think that -- I`m not surprised at this point in the story that the mother is out there seeming to look out for herself more than the daughter, talking about how she`s going to found completely innocent of anything.
I don`t know if that`s because she expects at one point to actually be implicated or just because there`s a guilt factor, as you said coming in. And for the fact that she exposed this girl, apparently, to at least two convicted sex offenders, one of whom she met, believe it or not, apparently at the parole office. What a place to meet a stepfather figure to have around your kid. ParoleeHarmony.com. It`s unbelievable.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she herself did time. She did 11 months on home invasion. And her own mother says that`s because she had a drug problem.
And Mike Gaynor, for me, it always comes back to people who have drug problems having kids and then not being able to take care of them properly. But it doesn`t necessarily mean that she`s involved. And we have to be very careful about that. Even these persons of interest, you heard the cops say, they think the person is still out there. These two persons of interest are behind bars.
MIKE GAYNOR, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, I heard him say that, but I don`t necessarily agree with him, although there are probably some people out there that may be involved in the case.
Look, it`s really simple, Jane. One plus one equals two. This woman, derelict in her duties as a mother, allowing her child to be unattended outside the house. Bringing these sex offenders into her house. These are the type of things that create problems. She could have known better, and she didn`t. I think the answer is going to be right in front of us when it`s resolved. You have to decide what`s done with Nevaeh.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, everybody more on the unspeakable murder of this poor helpless child in just a moment. Cops have two persons of interest in custody but say the killer may still be on the loose. Call 1- 877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297 to sound off on this horrific crime.
Then star David Carradine, found dead, naked, hanging in a Thailand hotel room. Was it an accidental sex game or something even more sinister?
But first, Michigan cops confident the little girl`s body they found encased in cement is that of Nevaeh Buchanan. Here is one reason why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUTCHFIELD: We have recovered a shirt that is similar in nature to that that has been described as what Nevaeh was wearing at the time she was abducted.
(END VIDEO CIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a community continues to live in fear as the killer appears to roam free. And now, little Nevaeh`s mom is going out of her way to insist that she`s not responsible. Some people think that that`s odd. Why would she be making a point of that at this junction.
And we`re back, taking your calls. Phone lines lighting up. John in New Jersey, your question or thought, sir.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. I love you and Nancy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
CALLER: If this guy`s charged with her murder, can the mother be charged, say as an accomplice, for allowing this sex pedophile, you know, to date him? And she`s nothing but a skank. She deserves what she gets, the mother.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, Mark Eiglarsh, I`ll let you take that one.
EIGLARSH: Well, I`m not going to touch the skank remark. But I will address the legality of whether she could be charged. Absolutely not as an accomplice, unless there`s more; unless she did something to assist him in the crime. Simply dating him doesn`t do it.
Child neglect is something being talked about. It`s been my feeling that I don`t think that`s going to do it. I think there needs to be more. But it certainly was horrific judgment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, I`m not a parent myself, but I was kind of taken aback that they didn`t have dental records. One of the reasons they`re going to have to wait a long time before they I.D. the child and get DNA. Because she never had any dental X-rays, and according to public reports, this 5-year-old child had only been to the dentist once in her life.
SLIWA: Oh, yes. And I would doubt that there was any kind of kit ever done on this young girl, which is available, as you know, in every walk-in mall around the country.
But I think also, this woman has become like lens lice. She doesn`t know a camera or a microphone...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lens lice?
SLIWA: ... yes, that she doesn`t want to make love to. I mean, think of it. If you were in mourning for, potentially, your lost child, because you`re thinking the worst, would you be doing so many interviews and making yourself available to so many talk radio show jocks in the morning who are calling you up at ungodly hours? I don`t think so unless she`s trying to spin, spin, spin.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen, the whole thing, is yes, she`s shown bad judgment. But that is sort of across the board with her. It doesn`t necessarily implicate her in any way, except that she had bad judgment as a human being.
SLIWA: You know if the camera`s outside your house and you`re walking in, you`ll answer the question. But she seems to be going out of her way to make herself available. Doesn`t seem like a woman who is in a position where she`s mourning the loss of a child, and yet, every other day it`s a different spin.
RUSSELL: ... put yourself first and has for years.
EIGLARSH: In her slight defense, let me just say this, and only slight offense. She`s not just the grieving mother. We`re attacking her. Rightfully so. We`re attacking her, and so she is feeling defensive. And so she does make herself available to say, hey, layoff. I`m not the worst person in the world. I am innocent. I understand why she`s doing it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and listen, for 30 years, I`ve interviewed people, and I`m always shocked that people in situations of crisis are willing to talk. And of course, I`m happy to do the interviews, because I`m a reporter, and that`s my job.
But I think sometimes it`s a catharsis for them. It`s a way for them to let off steam and feel like they`re doing something, Brian Russell, when really their situation is helpless. There`s nothing they can do. So I find that they feel like by talking to the media, at least they`re doing something.
RUSSELL: It can be. I think in those cases, you tend to see statements more like, "Hey, everybody. Don`t do what I did. Don`t make the mistake I made. You know, don`t let your kids play outside. Go like Curtis said and have your kids, you know, do the DNA missing child kit or whenever."
When you hear the statements more Casey Anthony like, and like this mother be so focused about I didn`t do anything wrong. Don`t look at me. That just says to me that we`re right when we look back at this woman a hundred (ph) days after now and...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That just could be guilt over the fact that she made a bad decision over bringing these men into her life.
Nancy, Ohio, your question or thought.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. Thank you for taking our calls.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thanks for calling.
CALLER: I was wondering, Jennifer Buchanan, they had said, had written a letter to George Kennedy, and they found it in that hotel room or motel room. Have they disclosed what exactly was in that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Do we still have Associated Press reporter -- Associated Press reporter Jeff Karoub?
KAROUB: That`s right. There has been no official disclosure on the contents of that letter. In fact, a lot of what was found in that hotel room hasn`t been officially disclosed either.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Jennifer Buchanan told the "Detroit Free Press" about the afternoon little Nevaeh went missing. Listen closely, because this is fascinating. Jennifer says she and Nevaeh watched "Jon & Kate Plus -- Jon & Kate Plus Eight" on the couch.
At about 6:30 p.m., Nevaeh told her mom she was going upstairs to play at a friend`s house. About 20 minutes later, the mom says the neighbor`s child came by and said, "Hey, Nevaeh is playing on her scooter on the street," kind of tattle-taling. That`s when Jennifer, the mom, says she got frantic and began searching around the apartment complex.
Now, the mom is saying all this happened around 6:30 p.m., but the mother of Nevaeh`s little friend who lives up one flight stairs says little Nevaeh was up there playing up much earlier and Jennifer, the mom, picked her up from their apartment at about 3:30 p.m. to go shopping.
Now Mark Eiglarsh, it`s possible Nevaeh said she was going upstairs to play with a friend again twice in the same day and then just went outside instead. Does it all boil down to police getting confirmation from the child that said she saw her on the street and ran in and tattle-taled to Nevaeh`s mom?
EIGLARSH: Listen, all we need, Jane, is one screw-up by the mom. I think they can break her. Assuming she`s done anything wrong -- again we don`t` know. But if there is some inconsistency there, you continue. She`s not lawyered up. God bless them. I don`t know why she hasn`t. I always tell clients I don`t care how innocent you are. Get me on board. But you get her down there, you find an inconsistency, and then get her to crack.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to stay on top of this. Thank you excellent panel.
For more on this story, do not miss, "NANCY GRACE" tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern. She will have an exclusive prime-time interview with Nevaeh`s distraught mother.
And next on ISSUES, an upscale beach community terrorized by a string of killing. I`ll find out if the deadly stabbings are connected.
And shocking new video showing Tracy Ocasio leaving the bar.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the spotlight tonight, a third brutal murder rocks an upscale California beach community. A woman stabbed repeatedly, dying in her waterfront home. This comes just two weeks after a pregnant woman and her husband brutally stabbed to death in their beach house just nine miles away with no suspect and no apparent leads in either case.
That entire stretch of coastland in Southern California gripped with fear. Locals see clear similarities in the two cases, and cops say they could be right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. JACK RICHARDS, VENTURA POLICE DEPARTMENT: The big question is, was it here -- is it related to the Faria homicides? Right now we have no direct link. But that door is still wide open.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The viciousness of these killings leads some to only one question: is there a deranged killer, a psycho on the loose along one of the most glamorous coastlines in the entire world?
Joining me now, Angie Crouch, investigative reporter.
Angie, you`re in Southern California, tracking cases. I understand you`ve dug up some new information. What have you got for us?
ANGIE CROUCH, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: That`s right, Jane. We did an extensive public record search to see whether we could find any links between the two cases. And I found a fascinating development.
As you said, the first murder victims, turns out that they own a home and dock their boat just a few hundred yards away from the home of the second victim, Wendy Di Rodio. Now, we checked with the family of the Husteds, and they say that the Husteds had not visited that boat since December, but we know that police did a search warrant there and searched the boat shortly after their murders.
Now, Ventura Police and Ventura Sheriff`s Department got together over the weekend to compare notes about these two cases to see whether or not they can find any similarities, to see if it could be the same killer. But at this point they say they have no reason to believe that these victims knew each other.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. So there may be a link there in that marina.
With no suspects, cops are not willing to say if these three murders are targeted or random. Brock Husted`s brother has this theory, though.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HUSTED, BROTHER OF VICTIM: My guts tell me that I leave it open. I look at one aspect of it, and I said, you know, it`s random. Somebody at the beach house, lights on. There`s, you know, plenty of people walking through there, transients and what not, and then I look at the other aspect that it could be targeted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, these murderers share some commonality. Vicious, multiple stabbings. Friends and family say all three victims were happy, no enemies. And of course, both beach-front murders just nine miles apart within the span of two weeks. In one case we know the killer in the first case wore a motorcycle helmet, which obscured his face. What else do we now, Angie?
CROUCH: Police really aren`t saying much about the suspect in the second case. We know that both victims were inside locked bedrooms. At the time, all three victims were inside locked bedrooms at the times of the murders. And there were other people inside the homes when they were killed.
Now I talked to Scott Husted today. He says he`s bothered by the fact that Ventura police found Wendy Ri Dio`s [SIC] body at about 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon but didn`t release this story to the public until the following day. And when they did, they originally released the information that this could be a possible suicide, which they later changed to a homicide.
But Scott Husted wants to know what kind of games are police playing, and why didn`t they release that information to the public? There`s been a lot (ph) in Ventura.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Angie, a suicide with a stabbing? I mean, give me a break.
CROUCH: Yes, it really didn`t make any sense, because they didn`t find the knife inside the bedroom. So obviously, that was a theory that was not going to fly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to have to leave it right there. I know you`ve got a lot more information. Come back real soon, Angie. Thank you.
The American accused of drowning his wife on their honeymoon in Australia gets a slap on the wrist. But authorities here plan to bring down the hammer when he gets back to America.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ominous developments and shocking new video tape in the disappearance of beautiful Tracy Ocasio. More damning claims emerge about the person of interest James Hataway, including allegations that he`s a Skinhead.
Plus, mystery, scandal and conspiracy theory surround the death of David Carradine. The star was found naked, bound and hanging in his Thailand hotel room after what some say was kinky sex game gone wrong. So was that an accidental death or was fouled play involved?
Outrage around the world tonight over the incredibly light sentence handed down to an American man who was originally accused of murdering his new bride of 11 days while scuba diving with her on their Australian honeymoon.
Her family says he got away with murder. The Australian government handed first accused Gabe Watson of actually turning off his wife`s oxygen supply and then swimming away as she sank; but prosecutors accepted a plea of manslaughter. So Watson will -- get this -- serve just one year for the death of his bride, Tina. In fact, with time served I think it`s something like 11 months. Tina`s family thinks Gabe`s punishment is a slap in their face, they are absolutely livid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMMY THOMAS, TINA WATSON`S FATHER: I believe that probably the entire Australian nation as well as our own country back home shares in the shock with us over what we`ve just seen. Because its total injustice, it`s ludicrous what we have seen.
He is allowed to take the easy way out. He pleads guilty to manslaughter and then laughingly, it looks like he was the victim as the sentence was being read.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Australian prosecutors enraged Tina`s family even more by suggesting Gabe Watson was just a bad diving buddy. A bad diving buddy? That is the understatement of the century. That`s kind of like saying hurricane Katrina was a light drizzle.
Another diver captured this eerie image of Tina`s body floating lifelessly on the seabed, its right there in the corner on the circle, that is her either dead or dying. They say Gabe was after her life insurance policy.
Now, Alabama`s Attorney General hinting he could prosecute Gabe when he returns to his native Alabama after serving his life sentence in Australia. But wait a second, isn`t that double jeopardy? Sounds like it to me.
First to my expert panel: Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney; and by phone Matt Murphy, morning show host for 1070 WAPI in Birmingham Alabama.
Matt, what is the very latest?
MATT MURPHY, 1070 WAPI, BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA: Well I do know this. I don`t know as much about the law as the other two guests, Jane, but I know this. Alabama is outraged about the verdict. They feel like the Australians had a very weak reasoning behind allowing Gabe Watson to plead the way that he pleaded and because of that reasoning which they said that somehow they wanted to save the family from this. And the family has said all along they want to see him come to trial, they want to see him take the stand and explain what happened underneath that ocean, on the Great Barrier Reef.
Because of those things, people in Alabama don`t like him and the attorney general there reflecting that opinion in Alabama by saying when he comes back to this state, if he calms back to this state, then perhaps there are some charges that we can bring him under.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Darren Kavinoky though, as much as I really empathize with the family, isn`t that double jeopardy?
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, it really offends basic notions of justice and fair play and the idea that somebody would face charges for a given set of facts.
And then, well, just because we don`t like the way it turned out, now we`re going to make him face charges again for the same set of facts. The real problem that they`ll have in Alabama, and I can understand and appreciate their outrage for the result but there doesn`t appear to be any crime that was committed...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, hold on. What are you talking about?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, he is right, Jane, he is right, he`s right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What are you talking about?
EIGLARSH: He`s right, Jane.
KAVINOKY: Let me finish...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you see the body there at the bottom of the ocean?
EIGLARSH: No, no Jane, Jane.
KAVINOKY: But wait a second that was in Australia. They live in Alabama.
EIGLARSH: In Alabama...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on, I got to get out my gavel.
EIGLARSH: Jane, Jane let him...
KAVINOKY: There was no crime in Alabama. Even if he was preparing when he was in Alabama, that would merge into the completed crime which happened in Australia.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, Mark -- let Mark talk, let Mark talk.
EIGLARSH: He is absolutely, 100 percent correct. I believe, however, this was a miscarriage of justice and I would love for him to pay more than one year of his life.
However, no crime took place in Alabama. Even rookie prosecutors know, you must prove two things: ID, hey, he`s the one who committed the crime, but number two, that the crime took place in the jurisdiction in which you are attempting to prosecute him.
Alabama has got nothing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the insurance money?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok, go ahead Matt.
MURPHY: Jane, if the man lied in Alabama after the fact. If he told prosecutors a lie in the state of Alabama, then at the very least, they can bring him back and charge him with perjury under oath. And that is what the family wants to see at the very least the charge of perjury and to carry that case forward and to get this guy in an American court.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, well what about that?
EIGLARSH: That`s possible, that`s a separate crime if it did take place in Alabama. That is something that -- again, I don`t know about any sworn statement he gave under oath, but if he did that`s a possibility.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen I think it`s...
KAVINOKY: But it really smacks of a retaliatory -- it really smacks of a retaliatory to a prosecution. The only reason that they would be bringing such a case is because of their outrage over the way it turned out overseas.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, the Queensland...
KAVINOKY: And that offends basic notions.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren, the Queensland Attorney General is considering appealing the sentence which to me is cuckoo for cocoa puffs. I mean, it seems like the powers that be in Australia can`t get their act straight and now somebody else in government is saying they didn`t like this plea deal either.
EIGLARSH: Look Jane, let me explain what happened.
KAVINOKY: Yes, go ahead, Mark.
EIGLARSH: But what I think happened here and it`s happened to me as a prosecutor, they had a proof problem. They believed that they couldn`t prove the ultimate charge and they figured let`s get something better than nothing. The problem is they failed to include the victim`s family in on their discussions. Shocked and outraged should not be something flowing from the victim`s family`s lips. They should have known what they were doing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, here is the problem, guys. It is hard to prove a crime that occurs under water. You`d have to get the entire jury certified for diving just to view the crime scene.
All right, thank you.
And now to breaking news in the case of missing Florida woman Tracy Ocasio: James Hataway the last person to see the beautiful 27-year-old jewelry designer has just been charged -- this is new stuff coming in -- with aggravated battery and other counts for his allege assault of another woman who also left a Florida bar with him last year.
Listen to that other woman describe her terrifying attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He came up behind me, he starting slamming my head down the side walk, I started screaming and then he took his hands and took both fingers in front of my mouth and tried to snap my neck again. And I`m screaming completely. He told to me, he`s going to kill me. And two people walked outside, thank God, and saved my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Horrifying, so why wasn`t this guy arrested a long time ago. Meantime, surveillance footage has just been released of Tracy Ocasio who is now missing, leaving a bar with Hataway almost two weeks ago. There it is. James Hataway`s former roommate is not at all surprised that he is a person of interest in her disappearance.
The former roommate tells reporters, Hataway was a Skinhead with a terrible temper and that he was known for making comments like, "I can make people disappear." Tracy`s parents are outraged by this disturbing back story as they desperately wait for a word on what happened to their precious missing daughter.
Back to my fantastic panel: still with me, Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and Curtis Sliwa, founder of the "Guardian Angels."
Curtis, this man is now reportedly being investigated in six cases including the disappearance of a male buddy and several assaults on women. Somebody dropped the ball here.
CURTIS SLIWA, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Well, it`s clear that this guy`s method of operation was particularly with the young ladies at gym mills after he`d be bending his elbow all night was to yoke them and then choke almost the living daylights out of them. And you`ve got to believe the law enforcement was informed in some of these locals and then all of a sudden he would do the bird. And he would sort to do a hop, skip and a jump and then yoke another woman and he choke another woman and he get away with it.
And actually that`s just emboldens him and empowers him. And now we find out he`s a Skinhead, we got to check out this guy`s resume. He`s probably left Progresso bread crumbs all over the place about what a degenerate and socially cretin with chromosome damage he`s been.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we managed to track down James Hataway`s MySpace page before it got deleted on which he posted numerous photos of -- who else -- himself. Also on the site, Hataway wrote, "To know me is to owe me an apology."
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. I would like to say that again. "To know me is to be owed an apology." That`s it. He wrote that apparently several times including once on May 29th -- two days after Tracy Ocasio went missing. He also has a number of very insensitive posts, to say the very least, about women.
There`s a pile of laundry with a remark that reads something to the effect of "Women, what else are they good for"?
So what kind of psychological profile is emerging, Mark Eiglarsh, about this alleged Skinhead/sexist?
EIGLARSH: Well, there`s no doubt that he`s a bad fellow. I mean, he`s the Houdini of the Skinhead world. He brags about making people disappear. My heart`s not bleeding for him. At the same time, I`m not quick to point my finger at law enforcement.
Generally, while there are some Barney pipes and lazy cops out there, generally they want to take bad guys off the street. And when they have enough probable cause to do so, they typically do it.
EIGLARSH: I`m not sure they sat around and waited until they had the evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well Curtis, the problem with that theory, is that it was about a year ago that that woman for whom he is now being charged in that case, said that she was coming home from a bar and he attacked her. And I guess cops said well, we can`t find him.
He had only moved to the neighboring county.
SLIWA: Yes, but...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He hadn`t moved to Australia.
SLIWA: But Jane, that`s the problem you see in Florida. Consistently you got these little fiefdoms -- these little police departments. They don`t share information. They all have a sheriff and a deputy sheriff and maybe four or five personnel and they really need like a task force. They need super agencies because you have Florida adrift with all kinds of criminals who`s committing the crimes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, you sure do. All right Curtis...
EIGLARSH: I don`t think we know, we don`t really know what happened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
We got to leave it right there. Curtis, Mark, thank you for the excellent insight as always.
Investigators on the Haleigh Cummings disappearance make a stunning admission so now somebody close to the family wants "Cobra" the bounty hunter back on the search.
Plus star, David Carradine found dead, bound and naked in a Thailand hotel room. Some say, it was an accidental sex-game death. But those close to him suspect foul play even conspiracy theory. Should the FBI get involved? Call 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297, sound off.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: David Carradine found dead in Thailand. Was it an accidental death? The result of a sex game gone wrong or was somebody else involved?
First tonight`s "Top of the Block."
After weeks of silence, big time news in the Haleigh Cummings disappearance; the adorable 5-year-old has been missing almost four months. But the Putnam County sheriff`s office insists it is not a cold case. And in a troubling admission, the cops stated that not all of the evidence has been analyzed yet. What? Maybe that`s why they still don`t have a single suspect.
That could also be why those close to the family are taking matters into their own hands. Bounty hunter, "Cobra," claims somebody close to Haleigh requested more cadaver dog searches just to make sure the cops didn`t missed anything.
Cobra`s additional searches are set for this week. Here on ISSUES, we will watch closely for any leads and stay on top of this story.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Tonight, more shocking revelations about the alleged kinky sex death of legendary actor David Carradine: his naked body was found hanging in a hotel room in Thailand last week. Carradine`s family is outraged -- they are livid at the Thai media for publishing scandalous images of the actor still hanging naked from the noose with his hands bound over his head and his genitals tied in a rope knot. Yes that photo was actually published on the front page of a Thai tabloid newspaper.
And it gets worse. Now we are hearing that a grisly autopsy photo of the actor`s naked body lying on the metal table at the morgue post autopsy was printed by another paper. This is very, very sick stuff.
At first, Thai police suspected suicide. Now they say his death appears to be an accident; the result of a dangerous sex game. But the big question was, was he playing this game alone?
And then there is the conspiracy theory.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JERRY PENACOLI, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": David was very interested in investigating and disclosing secret societies.
MARK GERAGOS, ATTORNEY FOR DAVID CARRADINE`S BROTHER: What that means is connected to martial arts and his interest in martial arts. And so there is a suspicion that if there was some foul play, that that may be the first area where they should look.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh really? But others think that theory is a just a way for Carradine`s friends to deflect what is -- let`s face it -- a very embarrassing situation for the actor. So did a deadly game of auto-erotica kill the "Kill Bill" actor?
Straight to my fantastic panel: Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist and associate professor of psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital; Brent Turvey, a forensic scientist who joins me by phone; and Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ.
Mike, dare we ask, what is the very latest?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, Jane, I can tell you the photo unfortunately did hit the Thai press and is now making its way around the Internet. I have seen an unmarked photograph -- we originally thought that there were some stockings on him. But basically that was the magazine covering up part of the body that was nude.
We showed the photo to some people here and some experts about some of the knots. He was, in fact, bound by this hands, you can see two ropes coming down in the front, going around his neck and then in the front of his body towards his genitals. When you look at that -- and from people who practice bondage -- we were told this is a normal action for someone practicing autoerotic asphyxiation. Whether or not that`s what happened, we`re told from a lot of people connected to him including (Inaudible), suicide just isn`t an option in this case because of the kind of guy he was. And at least what they`re saying is that`s not possible for him.
But this is a very dangerous act if you do practice it, if that is in fact what it is. That is what we are seeing here at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. David Carradine is survived by his fifth wife, Annie. Two of his ex-wives have gone on the record about the actor`s reputed penchant for kinky and dangerous sex practices.
TMZ, you`re the one quoting his third, Gail Jensen, quote "he liked to be tied up and he could tie himself up. He spent days planning a different feature. He would go to the hardware store and buy the stuff," end quote.
Now Jensen said it was never sexual. I don`t get that. It seems like, Dr. Gail Saltz, it is sexual. How is bondage not sexual?
GAIL SALTZ, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Yes, basically never. The thing is it may have seemed to her not sexual because he may not have done it with her or performed a sex act with her around the bondage. But basically bondage is a kind of perversion. And the question is really, you said he spends a lot of time. It can be quite consuming. It can be all consuming.
And the point is, we treat a perversion when it becomes so all consuming that you`re really able to have normal relationships because this is all you want to do. That can happen with a perversion or with fetish of which bondage is one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s funny that you should mention that because in the smokinggun.com it is revealed that the contents of a sworn divorce document declaration was filed by his fourth wife, Marina. And she alleges in that document that Carradine engaged in quote, "deviant sexual behavior." So there`s a theme here.
Brent Turvey, you are the expert on this kind of auto-erotica. The big question is was he alone or did he have to have help to tie himself up in that manner?
BRENT TURVEY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST (via telephone): Well, you wouldn`t have to have help to tie yourself up in that manner. And specifically speaking with an auto-erotic asphyxia or sexual asphyxia, the three most important things are going to be history, history and history. You have to look into the background. You have to look at prior sexual activity and behavior.
I agree with the doctor that, of course, from the wife`s perspective or prior sexual partners` perspective, they may not have been involved in the sexual component of it, so for them it`s not sexual.
But there is -- I wouldn`t use the word "perversion," that sort of implies immorality here. I would say there`s a more clinical way of approaching it where there`s a masochistic element to this than a sexual component. That`s where I would go with it.
SALTZ: Well, let me just say perversion actually is a clinical term, which unfortunately to the lay public has a very negative conversation, but it`s a real clinical term which simply means that your sexual fixation is on some other act that is out of the norm or some other object.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I get your drift there. This is definitely out of the norm. More analysis of this really disturbing death in a moment.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The "Big Tease:" cops seriously hunting for the sicko who killed a small child they believe to be 5-year-old Nevaeh Buchanan. Tomorrow, I will speak with the little girl`s father to find out how he is coping with this nightmare. That`s at 7:00 p.m. on ISSUES.
But for now more on the scandalous and quite mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of actor, David Carradine. The 72-year-old legend`s naked body found in a Thai hotel room closet, hanging by the neck, all tied up. It`s not a pretty picture and it`s really a tragedy for this fabulous acting family.
Brenda, Canada; your question or thought.
BRENDA, CANADA (via telephone): I just had a comment. It`s not only in bad taste that these people have leaked these photos. But also his past wives are trashing him at this point in time? I think that is just -- it leaves me speechless that anyone can do that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think that`s an interesting observation. Mike Walters, one of the things we cited was from an old court document so that person is not actually trashing today, but what about the other ones?
WALTERS: Yes. We spoke to one of his ex-wives. And actually, it wasn`t about trashing. It was to explain that one of the things going around, which we`re just talking about, was this could be a sexual act. Now I know the difference with bondage and whether or not it`s a sexual act.
Let me tell you what she said, which we didn`t publish. That is that she would come home and he would have tied himself up, not doing any sort of sexual act. He actually would wear like a bathing suit and just liked to be tied, like a bondage-tied, tied for hours and then let himself going and they would go amongst their lives. Whether it`s normal or not, she said, he would have never committed suicide and she thinks they should look further into who might be there with him because he never actually committed a lot of sexual acts with the rope and the hanging.
That`s what she said.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this, we have news here. David Carradine`s family has hired famed medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden to perform a second autopsy on the actor`s body. And according to the report, Dr. Baden says Carradine family attorney, Mark Geragos, asked him to help. What do you make of this, Dr. Gail Saltz, given the history that we`re hearing about?
SALTZ: I think, first of all, let me say, partners are often very hurt and disturbed when a partner has a perversion, and they kind of don`t know what to do. And they also take it as a personal rejection even though that`s not what is intended. They feel their own humiliation. So partners, you know, arriving from the past, is it a good thing? No, it`s not good for the current family; it`s not good for the person resurrecting it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brent Turvey, we have 15 seconds. Is this an addiction?
TURVEY: I can`t speak to that. What I can say is there`s a number of possibilities we have to look into and eliminate, including a third party. So I would withhold judgment until we get all the facts just yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you fabulous panel.
You are watching ISSUES on HLN.