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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Abducted Girl Found After Nearly 20 Years; Final Moments of Melanie & Byrd Billings; Jenkins` Double Life?
Aired August 27, 2009 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM MORET, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, shock, relief and a family reunited after nearly two decades. An 11-year-old California girl who vanished without a trace in 1991 has been found. So where was she all this time, and why did she wait so long to contact her family? So many questions. We`re digging deep on this mind boggler.
And raising kids in the spotlight. We`ll talk with one reality TV star mom who knows a thing or two about making headlines. Nene, the legendary house wife and mother extraordinaire, tells us what life is like behind the scenes of a hit reality show. And wait until you hear what she has to say about the Octomom. The interview you`re not going to want to miss.
Then, a shocking development in a Florida couple`s murder. A security tape capturing the final moments of Melanie and Byrd Billings before they were shot to death in their homes, released to the public. The chilling video is grainy. But it`s easy to see Mom and Dad doing their best to protect their kids from harm. Does the tape reveal any new clues? Are cops any closer to solving this senseless murder? We`ll discuss.
Plus, did reality TV star Ryan Jenkins have more than one accomplice in his run from police? "The L.A. Times" says cops are on the hunt for two women who may have helped Jenkins in the days after the swimsuit model`s mutilated body was found. So what kind of role do cops think these women played? And why are they on the run? Do they have something to hide?
ISSUES starts right now.
MORET: Good evening, I`m Jim Moret, attorney and chief correspondent for "Inside Edition," sitting in for Jane tonight.
We lead with a story that is nothing short of shocking and amazing: the return of Jaycee Dugard. Eighteen years ago this beautiful 11-year-old girl was abducted on her way to a bus stop near her South Lake Tahoe, California, home. Jaycee`s step-father watched helplessly as a man and a woman drove up and snatched her. But yesterday afternoon a woman claiming to be Jaycee appeared at a police station, reportedly with her captors, some 200 miles away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED KOLLAR, UNDERSHERIFF, EL DORADO CITY, CALIFORNIA, SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: Dugard was found alive in Antioch, excuse me -- she was found alive in Antioch. Just to remind you just a little bit, she was kidnapped in June of 1991. She was taken off the street in front of her house. As you all know, there was nothing then, nor is there anything now to indicate that this was anything other than a stranger abduction with an 11-year-old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Amazing story. Fast-breaking developments in the case that was cold for almost two decades.
Just hours ago cops raided a home in the same county where Jaycee turned up. They arrested a 58-year-old sex offender and his wife. The man, Phillip Garrido, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, rape, lewd acts with a minor, and sexual penetration. His wife, Nancy, arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and kidnapping. Both of them are in jail, being held on $1 million bail.
There`s a lot to discuss. We`ll be taking your calls.
But first, straight to my panel: Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart. She, too, was abducted and, thankfully, rescued. Darren Kavinoky, criminal defense attorney; Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist; Tom Ruskin, former NYPD investigator and president of CMP Protective and Investigative Group; and Dan Simon, CNN correspondent joining us live from outside that Antioch, California, home raided earlier today.
Dan, bring us up to date. What`s the latest on those two suspects?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, Jim, you`re right. I`m in Antioch, and I can tell you that authorities, including the FBI, are still inside the house going through all the evidence.
We are told that a lot of that evidence in the backyard. That is apparently where the young woman, the victim in this case, had been living, where she was held captive along with her two children.
Just a short time ago, the authorities in El Dorado County announced that the two women, two young children in this case were, in fact, fathered by the suspect.
Every new detail in this case is so chilling. So, Jim, bottom line, we are told that two suspects in custody, Phillip Garrido or Ga-reet-o. Honestly, I`ve heard the pronunciation both ways. And his wife, Nancy Garrido or Ga-reet-o, charged with many things, including kidnapping, conspiracy. Mr. Garrido charged with sex with a minor among many other charges.
Again, authorities still at this house. We can tell you that this all came to light, you know, recently when officers on the campus of UC Cal Berkeley saw Mr. Garrido acting suspiciously. Eventually, his parole agent was brought into play. And this is where it gets really strange.
The suspect in this case, Garrido, coming to that meeting with the parole agent with the victim in this case and her two children. Eventually, it was determined that the three people with him were connected, the victim and the children. So obviously, so strange and still trying to get some more details, Jim.
MORET: Thank you, Dan.
As Dan just mentioned, minutes ago, the sheriff in El Dorado County held a news conference about Jaycee`s return. Take a listen to more about this troubling story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KOLLAR: The two minor children turned out to be children of Jaycee and the male suspect, Garrido. They, along with Nancy Garrido, were living together at the residence in Antioch since the original kidnapping. The search of the residence revealed a hidden backyard within a backyard. The hidden back yard had sheds, tents and out buildings where Jaycee and the girls spent most of their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Now, Ed Smart is joining us. He`s Elizabeth Smart`s father.
Ed, I`m sure that there are so many questions so many people have right now. But obviously, the first thing that, as a parent, you feel has got to be relief. Give us some insight into what this family is going through right now.
ED SMART, FATHER OF ABDUCTED GIRL: Well, I think during this long period of time this family has been living through the worst nightmare possible. I mean, to me, it`s one of the worst things that could happen in life.
And to have -- it`s like your life comes to a standstill, stopped and to have them reconnect again together, it`s like the most euphoric feeling that you could ever have. And it`s so wonderful. And I hope and pray that they, you know, just have the time to get together and questions can be answered later on. Law enforcement doesn`t need to find out every detail right now.
MORET: But -- but Ed, this is now, we`re hearing, complicated by the fact that this young girl who was abducted apparently has two children now with her abductor. So that certainly makes this a tremendous nightmare for this family.
SMART: Absolutely. There`s no question there are issues and problems to work through, but I think that the most important thing is that Jaycee knows that, you know, she doesn`t have to live as she has been living in captivity and that she has people that love her and do not judge her.
Nobody knows what kind of a nightmare she has lived through, which, you know, the stranger it gets, the worse it sounds. But -- but having compassion and understanding for her and not trying to judge her, why didn`t you do this or do that? Why didn`t you get away?
You know, I think that those, you know, those things are -- I`ve watched in the past where people have just tried to, you know, place blame, and it revictimizes these people over and over and over again.
And yes, the public may want to know. But you know, the most important thing is that she has the support and the help and the love that she needs to get through this next -- next time. I mean, I can`t imagine what she`s going through with -- with two children and the difficulties of all of the issues there.
But to know that it is over with, that she can move on with her life and do as she chooses, rather than doing as her victimizer has chosen to do with her for these past 18 years, has got to be a huge relief.
MORET: Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist, we heard Ed Smart talking about removing guilt from the equation with respect to the child. But if you`re the stepfather and you witness the abduction, for years this poor man`s been dealing with the guilt that he`s had on not being able to save his daughter. So tell us about the family dynamic now.
JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It`s got to be really tough. I mean, I think he`s been living with guilt. He hadn`t been able to stop it. There was no news on where she was.
Now the amount of relief, but there`s still going to be this sense of guilt for him over time. Because as it comes out what happened, as we learn the details, as he learns more of the details, he`s going to have, you know -- it`s almost survivor`s guilt. He stayed behind and couldn`t help her, and then she went through this horrible thing.
And I think we have to remember she is the victim. Her children are the victims. And fear is a powerful emotion. It keeps you rooted where you are. And we don`t know how much of that played, how fearful she was even to try to get out. The story will unfold. We have to allow her to have that time to do that. And as she does, she can reforge these bonds with people she hasn`t seen in 18 years. It`s going to take that time.
MORET: As I mentioned, Jaycee`s stepfather, Carl Probyn, watched as his then 11-year-old stepdaughter was abducted back in 1991. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARL PROBYN, STEPFATHER OF JAYCEE DUGARD: Watched the car go up the hill, and I saw my daughter making the curve up there. All of the sudden the car darted across the road, cut her off. I saw a door open. I jumped on my bike. I heard a scream. I pedaled and I realized I couldn`t catch them on time. So I came back down and called 911.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Jennifer, just quickly. We`ve got about 20 seconds till the break. But what is it like for somebody to witness this event? You talk about survivor`s guilt. But that`s got to linger and be so intense over the years.
HARTSTEIN: Absolutely. It`s got to -- it just stays with you. And he has to have relived that moment over and over and over again. And the amount of relief he must have now is insurmountable.
MORET: Much more on this incredible story. In a bit we`re going to get to our two guests we haven`t spoken to yet. We`re taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297.
A graphic security tape showing a Florida couple`s final moments. We`ll tell you what was on it.
Then, Jaycee Dugard, she`s been gone for 18 years. Her neighbors, who knew her when she was young, they`re simply amazed by her return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to put an end to everything finally.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was one of those mysteries we always obviously thought the worse, not wanting to. But...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KOLLAR: Children turn out to be children of Jaycee and the male suspect, Garrido. They, along with Nancy Garrido, were living together in the residence of Antioch since the original kidnapping. The search of the residence revealed a hidden backyard within a backyard. The hidden backyard had sheds, tents and outbuildings where Jaycee and the girls spent most of their lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Welcome back. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," filling in for Jane.
We`re talking about the disturbing circumstances surrounding the return of Jaycee Dugard. Police say one of the two suspects in custody fathered two children with her.
Let`s go back out to our guests now. Tom Ruskin, former New York City police detective investigator. Where do you take this investigation next? There`s got to be a thousand questions you have.
TOM RUSKIN, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE DETECTIVE: There`s a thousand questions, but you have to take them in all good time. I mean, part of the investigation will unveil itself by just doing the search warrant of the house, seeing how they lived, and then speaking to neighbors and so on, so forth.
But you know, as far as questioning Jaycee, I would take that nice and slow and easy and ease her into it. And also, you know, let her have time with her family at this point in time.
MORET: Darren Kavinoky, as a defense attorney, look, I can`t imagine two people I would want to defend less than these two. But hey obviously are -- have every right to a defense. What do you do with clients like these?
DARREN KAVINOKY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Oh, man, this is a nightmare. And, you know, personally, as a private defense lawyer, I have the luxury of choosing cases that I take on and cases that I reject. I`d be hard pressed, based on what I know of the case right now, to want to take on a case like this.
But obviously, from a prosecution standpoint, these two kids are prosecution exhibit A and exhibit B. If there`s a DNA connection there, then that`s an extremely difficult hurdle for the defense to get over.
You know, ultimately, if you`re defending a case like this, really what you`re focused on is the integrity of the investigation. Because under our system, it is the prosecution that has the only burden of proof, the burden to prove the defendant`s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
And certainly, as a defense lawyer, no matter how horrific the facts may appear, your obligation, your duty to your client is to test every aspect of that evidence to see if the prosecution can actually meet that burden. If they can`t, the defense is legally entitled to an acquittal.
MORET: Dan Simon, CNN correspondent, you`re at the scene. Paint a picture for us, if you can, of the living conditions.
SIMON: You know, not quite sure about the living conditions. I can tell you that this house, small houses on this block here in Antioch, California. We can tell you that a lot of neighbors here have described Mr. Garrido as somebody who was strange, who talked about, you know, things saying he could, like, control people with his mind, saying that he had some kind of device where he had some kind of mind control. Really -- really kind of whacked-out things like that.
Jim, another interesting tidbit we`ve heard from that news conference, that among that shed in the backyard where the victim lived, along with her two children, the suspect and his wife apparently kept the original vehicle in the backyard, the original vehicle that was used in the kidnapping. There is a tow truck here at the scene that`s going to take that car away. So all these years later, 18 years later, that car is still here. Still in the backyard, Jim.
KAVINOKY: Yes. One more bad fact for the defense, there, Jim. Having that item of evidence around is just one more thing that a defense lawyer wouldn`t want to encounter. And candidly, now that these two -- actually, these two accused perpetrators are lucky they`re in custody. Because with that step-dad still on the scene, he`s -- if I were in his shoes, I may be a murder defendant if I could get at those two.
MORET: Ed Smart, what`s the first question as the father that you would have for your daughter when you see her? Because you -- you want to be sensitive to her new surroundings. I mean, you`re still her parent, but she`s got a new family now and so many things have changed. And this was a case that I`m sure many people have given up hope on.
SMART: I`m sure. From what I`ve heard, you know, the family kept hope. And I think for that reunion to occur and for her to know that, you know, she is still loved and that they didn`t give up hope and that things will work out.
Certainly, they`re going to be difficult but, you know, nothing could be much more difficult than what she`s lived in for the past 18 years. So I think this is an end of a portion of her life and a time to, you know, figure out how she wants to move forward, and that she has the support from loving parents that care about her and want to see her do well.
MORET: Jennifer Hartstein, you`re a psychologist. Look, as a parent, I understand the idea of unconditional love. And clearly, if I saw my child again I would give them that. Is there any sense that you have on whether it`s possible to achieve normalcy again?
HARTSTEIN: It`s going to take a long time. She was in captivity and as a victim longer than she was living at home with her family. So it`s going to take a long time to rebuild for her to really learn how to live a normal, quote/unquote, life. And it`s going to take a lot of effort for everyone around her to let that happen as it happens.
MORET: What`s the first thing -- what`s the first thing you would recommend as this family tries to reconnect?
HARTSTEIN: They need to really find a fabulous therapist in trauma, because this is traumatic for the whole system. So they need to find a support network that`s going to really allow them all to express themselves in a safe way, in a healthy way and in a way that they can all support one another and the process as it happens.
Because if you force it too fast, it really could force her back into a shell instead of allowing her to start to talk about the things that she encountered and the life that she lived there. And as she lets that out she`s going to rebuild a life for herself as she moves forward with her children.
SMART: And how -- and I leave this open to anyone to jump in. But particularly to Ed. How do you reintroduce these new grandchildren, those children into the family without a sense of judgment or guilt?
SMART: I think for Jaycee, it`s going to be a matter of telling them, "These are -- this is your grandmother and your grandfather. And these are the people that I love, and I`m grateful to be back."
And I think the biggest thing is for them to be able to get away and to enjoy some time together, you know? It`s been so long. I mean, as the therapist said, I mean, thinking that she was 11 years old when she was abducted and now she`s 29. I think that`s a long time to be away and to, you know, try to reconnect and find those bonds that, you know, have been gone for so long.
RUSKIN: Well, and...
MORET: I`ve got to cut you off. We`re out of time. Thank you to my expert panel. Thank you so much.
What happened in the days after Ryan Jenkins` ex-wife was found dead? We will talk about that.
Then Nene is in the house. The "Atlanta Real Housewives" star tells her personal story and sounds off on fellow reality TV star the Octomom.
MORET: Welcome back to ISSUES. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition," filling in tonight for Jane. The Octomom can breathe a little easier tonight. Nadya Suleman will not have Child Protective Services knocking on her door just yet. A California court has stopped an investigation into whether the court should appoint a guardian to manage her babies` finances.
She`s been plastering their photos on TV and Web videos since their birth. Check out this clip from her FOX reality special, "Octomom: The Incredible Unseen Footage."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Total chaos. But let`s face it. This woman was unemployed and living with her mother when she had her children. Showing off her brood may be her only way to support them.
Let`s bring in our guests right now, attorney Jayne Weintraub and Nene Leakes, reality star from "The Real Housewives of Atlanta."
Hi. Nene, you`re a mom, not of 14, but you do have two kids that appear on your show. And I have to say that my 20-year-old daughter and my wife are so jealous I`m talking to you right now. So thanks for joining us.
Where do you draw the line? Sure, where do you draw the line? We know you have kids, but you don`t parade them in front of the camera.
NENE LEAKES, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA": No, I do not parade my kids in front of the camera. They get very limited camera time. So I`m really shocked and surprised that this girl -- wanting to have her kids exploited this way. Because being on a reality show can be very tough on children and yourself.
MORET: In what way? I mean, you`re followed everywhere, aren`t you?
LEAKES: Yes, well, you know, you lose your privacy. People are saying very negative things that are incorrect. And it`s a very difficult thing to be. You`re on camera all the time, so you`re putting yourself out there to be scrutinized and for people to judge you.
MORET: And I`m on team Nene. So just let`s be clear about that.
And Jayne Weintraub, as an attorney, I can clearly understand why -- why people might be interested in making sure that these kids, the Octomom`s kids, are taken care of financially, because she`s making money off of them. Are you surprised that the court isn`t interceding in this case?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No, I`m not. Can you imagine if your neighbor or somebody that just casually needs you files a petition with a court to put a Child Protective Services person in your face, in your home, looking at how you`re being a parent? I mean, we have constitutional thresholds in this country that apply to everybody.
And so the courts made a finding that, based on the petition that was presented, the best interest of the child have not been compromised. As a matter of fact, there wasn`t adequate evidence to even indicate a guardian should be appointed at this time.
So then maybe the court has to look at the motive. What was behind all this? Was it a child star thinking of his own?
MORET: What do you think the motive was? I`m sorry, what do you think the motive was?
MORET: Well, I mean, I was going to suggest, you know, look hat this is about. Gloria Allred was originally going to file or have a movie deal or reality show deal with the Octomom. When that falls through, now she`s backing this person who filed a petition and representing them.
MORET: Although she was -- she was understandably concerned that she worked with a group that had volunteered their time and services to the Octomom to help care for these kids. That`s a lot of kids on your own.
WEINTRAUB: I understand. Jim, you know, as parents the three of us, I mean, we can all disagree or agree to disagree. But there have to be legal standards.
And in this case the court exercised right now its right and said, you haven`t shown me anything, petitioner, why I should interfere or intercede.
MORET: And that`s the last -- that`s the last word we have for right now. Thanks to our panel.
Coming up, surveillance footage of Byrd and Melanie Billings in their final hours was shown to the media today. I will tell you about it. This graphic video, truly gruesome.
JIM MORET, HLN GUEST HOST: A shocking development in a Florida couple`s murder. A security tape capturing the final moments of Melanie and Byrd Billings before they were shot to death released to the public. The chilling video is grainy but it`s easy to see mom and dad doing their best to protect their kids from any danger. Does the tape reveal new clues? Are cops any closer to solving this horrific murder?
Plus, did reality TV star Ryan Jenkins have more than one accomplice in his run from police? The "L.A. Times" says cops are on the hunt for two women who may have helped Jenkins in the days after the swimsuit model`s mutilated body was found. Why are they on the run? Do they have something to hide?
Welcome to the second half of ISSUES. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in tonight for Jane.
A chilling new element in the horrific murder case of Byrd and Melanie Billings: grainy surveillance video shows the couple`s last minutes before they were brutally killed. Byrd throws his hands in the air as an intruder points a gun at his head; Melanie shields one of her children from two men all in black, both holding guns. All of this caught on video by the family`s home security system.
A judge ruled that the media could view this heinous footage along with the photos of the couple`s bodies in their bedroom. But it will not be made public. The only thing released today are these sketches drawn from the video. It`s hard to even make out what they are.
Gruesome crime scene photos show Byrd`s body face down by the foot of the bed shot in the head and legs. His wife, shot in the face, chest and head lying dead at his side. Dozens of bullet holes and a trail of blood throughout the house -- this case just gets worse and worse. The couple was known for adopting special needs children.
Straight now to our panel: clinical psychologist, Jennifer Hartstein; criminal defense attorney Jayne Weintraub; Tom Ruskin, former New York City detective investigator; and Ed Lavandera from our sister network, CNN.
Ed, you`ve viewed all the tapes. Tell us what you saw.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We spent about 2 1/2 hours doing that this morning. We saw essentially this crime unfolds in less than five minutes. There were 16 different camera angles that we were able to witness during those five minutes.
There were only a handful of them that really capture and tell the story of what happened inside the home. Two angles in particular that I`ll talk about.
One from the living room which showed the initial confrontation between the gunmen and Byrd and Melanie Billings but what`s chilling is that in the moments before the gunmen burst into the home, one of the small children, I think about 5 to 7 years old is just wandering around the living room. That child would watch the entire scene unfold before his eyes there.
As the gunmen burst in, which you can`t see initially, Byrd Billings throws his hands up in the air and then two men enter from behind him and shoot him in the leg. He immediately drops.
As all of this is unfolding Melanie Billings reaches and clutches that child. And this is hard to make out but you can tell that they`re holding each other in the bottom portion of the screen.
After a few minutes Byrd and Melanie Billings are escorted out of the frame and into their bedroom. And that`s where they`re shot and killed we`re told by investigators.
MORET: Let`s go to Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist.
You listened to what Ed described. The children saw the whole thing. It`s just horrific and I can understand why the judge wouldn`t want to release all of this to the public.
JENNIFER HARTSTEIN, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. It really just gives you chills to hear it and to know that these children were in the home that one of them, possibly more, kind of heard it, saw it. It`s going to really re-traumatize them to know that it`s out there that they could possibly see it.
It`s really -- there needs to be protection for them as the victims because they lost their parents. They already have special needs. We don`t know to the level to which they understand all of what happened. It`s so important that they`re protecting them and not putting it out for all of the public to see.
I think it`s a fabulous decision in protecting these children who are already suffering through so much trauma.
MORET: It actually reminds me of the O.J. Simpson case. I know that I was among a group of 24 reporters who were allowed to see the autopsy photos. And after seeing them I certainly understood why the judge did not want to release them.
Police did release 911 tapes, however, from the Billings case. And they are also chilling.
In this first call you will hear the Billings adult daughter who doesn`t yet know that her parents have been shot.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I need somebody to go out to my parents` house. I was on the phone with my sister and trying to get in touch with them. She said they were on the bathroom floor and there`s nobody there.
She said they were dead and I don`t know what she`s talking about.
911 OPERATOR: And you said they`re down in the bathroom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that`s what she said. I kept telling her to take her the phone and she said, "I can`t, she`s on the floor, she`s dead." I didn`t know what she`s talking about.
And we have a neighbor and I told her to go over and get the neighbor.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORET: In this next clip you`ll hear a neighbor who called 911 after talking to one of the Billings children. Listen to this.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The mom is dead. I live next door and the daughter came over and said their mother and father have been shot and they`re dead.
911 OPERATOR: She said they`d been shot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
911 OPERATOR: Ok. Hold on, I`m getting...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got to go get the kids. There`s kids in the house.
911 OPERATOR: Where`s she at?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They`re in the bedroom, ma`am. They`re dead. Please come.
911 OPERATOR: Ma`am I`m trying to get somebody there. So you said the mother and father both have been shot?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MORET: Ed Lavandera, let`s go back out to you really quickly. Tell us more. Paint a picture of what these poor children were a witness to.
Ed, did we lose Ed? We`re not hearing Ed?
Let`s go to Jennifer Hartstein, clinical psychologist.
You hear the terror in these voices. You can only imagine, frankly, you don`t even want to imagine what these kids saw. This is a life-long trauma that these kids are going to deal with forever, right?
HARTSTEIN: You know, it is. It`s really going to take some great finesse to work with them on how to process this information because I know one of the children -- I think that was in the bedroom has Down syndrome. There`s reports of what the cognitive level of them is. It`s going to take a lot of work to help them really understand.
They`ll never fully understand because how can you? How to really emotionally deal with this horrible, horrible tragedy in their lives and really be able to move on.
I mean, they`re so little -- 4 to 11. They`re young. It`s so difficult for them to even process. It`s hard for us as adults to process it and we don`t have the same limitations. It`s going to take a lot of work and a lot of support by their extended family. Luckily they still have that.
MORET: Tom Ruskin, you`re a former New York cop. You had to go on crime scenes and see some of these horrific things. This really, though, sounds worse than anything you can imagine, doesn`t it?
TOM RUSKIN, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: This is pretty remarkably horrific. Not only do we see as cops and investigators and detectives the scene, itself, you have to, you know, assemble the evidence that`s eventually going to be used in a successful prosecution.
In this case thank God they had the surveillance video because it put the case together quite quickly for the police to allow them to arrest all the people responsible and know that that van was the crucial portion of this investigation. And now as the media has seen today the tapes will tell the tale -- no pun intended -- of what actually happened in that house and really how the parents protected their children.
MORET: Tom talks about the prosecution. I want to go to Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney. We haven`t gotten to you yet.
As a defense attorney, how do you even represent these folks? You have the tape. The tape has to be the best evidence, don`t you think, in this case?
JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The videotape is so grainy. From a legal standpoint I don`t know that the videotape is admissible if it`s not a death penalty case. Why, it doesn`t identify the individuals as to what somebody is doing or who is doing what. That`s critical. As a defense attorney I would challenge it -- number one.
Number two, it`s not a complete video. It shows the van pulling up, which may identify the van to be the shooter Gonzalez. It doesn`t take you through the murder. It doesn`t show why the murder occurred, how the murder occurred? What were the victims doing?
I`m telling you that the video and the telephone call will be most effective in the case for the prosecution under victim impact. What was the impact as you were discussing with the psychologist? That`s what the prosecutors will use and of course the excited utterances on the 911.
MORET: The problem for Jamie`s defense case is going to be that one or two of these people have slipped on their co-conspirators.
WEINTRAUB: Particularly the minor.
MORET: At that point in time, when they start pointing fingers in the courtroom and saying that guy came with me, that`s my van, that`s his van, they`re going to have a real problem not defending this case.
WEINTRAUB: Jim, I go back to -- this case was -- they were in and out of that house in a couple minutes. I`ve been to a lot of homicide scenes like (INAUDIBLE). I have to tell you they didn`t have to kill them. This is a retaliatory hit for some reason.
MORET: I think you`re right. This is a case, frankly, we`re going to be talking about for a long time.
This is all the time we have right now, though. Thanks to our great panel
Coming up, the stepmother of missing Haleigh Cummings, Misty, allegedly failed a lie detector test more than once. Could she hold the answers to finding that adorable little girl?
Plus, Ryan Jenkins was named the sole suspect in the murder of model Jasmine Fiore. But now cops are reportedly on the hunt for two women who may have helped him. What is that all about?
We want to hear from you. Give us a call at 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586- 7297.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Hi, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, people across America are grappling with addiction. I`m one of them. In my new book, "I Want," I reveal details of my own personal battle with alcoholism and how I finally got sober 14 years ago.
It`s a recovery memoir due out this fall. You can pre-order your copy right now. Just click on cnn.com/jane and look for the pre-order section.
If you know someone with a substance abuse problem or an eating disorder this book will help you cope.
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MORET: Welcome back to ISSUES. I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition" filling in tonight for Jane.
Did Ryan Jenkins, the reality TV star accused of murdering and dismembering his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore, lead a double life? We`ll get into that in just a minute.
But first, the "Top of the Block:" last week investigators announce that Misty Cummings, stepmother of missing Haleigh, quote, "continues to hold important answers in the case" unquote.
This week, the director of Equusearch says she failed some lie director tests. Tim Miller said Misty called him two days after last week announcement asking him to help find Haleigh so she could clear her name.
Following that Equusearch arranged for her to take another lie detector test. According to Miller, Misty failed miserably.
In a statement Misty`s attorney said first of all polygraphs are only as good as the person giving them. If they were meritorious it would be admissible in court. He added Ronald, Misty through his (INAUDIBLE) confirmed that Mr. Miller made the statement, "if you do not take these tests we will not look for Haleigh."
Miller denies he pressured Misty and said she wanted to take the test. The Putnam County Sheriff`s office allegedly subpoenaed the results. They now have them. The department would only say it was not surprised by the report of the results.
All of this, unfortunately, does not get us any closer to finding little Haleigh. We will of course stay on top of this story.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Turning now to a twist in the suicide of Ryan Jenkins, the reality TV star accused of murdering and dismembering his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore. Ryan Jenkins was found dead last weekend after an international manhunt. The couple had a turbulent relationship including the blow out fight the night before Jasmine was murdered.
Today, Jenkins` family and friends are coming to his defense. His aunt claims he was never on the run and a friend of Jenkins told "The Early Show" the cause of their fight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only time I had ever seen them fight was a money situation or the credit card got declined at dinner. You know, kind of makes you feel like something...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Were they fighting about money? Or is this another lame excuse? Plus, Jenkins` former fiancee is speaking out, too. She told "The Today Show" this morning why they broke up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULINA CHMIELECKA, JENKINS` FORMER FIANCEE: We actually ended up on a good note. He wanted to have an open relationship. He was definitely a ladies` man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He wanted to see other people?
CHMIELECKA: Yes, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: Sounds like a great guy.
Meanwhile, authorities scoured Jasmine Fiore`s Mercedes-Benz for evidence that she was killed in that very car.
Plus, in an exclusive "Inside Edition" has last photos taken of Jasmine Fiore alive. She was hanging out with her last husband. Could that have sent Jenkins into a jealous rage that ended in murder?
Straight now to my panel: Tom Ruskin, former NYPD detective investigator and president of CMP Investigative Group; Nene Leakes, star of the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and author, "Never make the Same Mistake Twice;" Dr. Reef Karim, clinical psychiatrist; and Carlos Diaz, correspondent for "Extra."
Carlos, what`s the very latest?
CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": The very latest is of course that we are still looking at two people who are dead in a situation that should have never happened.
When you`re talking about the police wanting to know if he was aided and abetted in California, they are now saying they do not feel that he was aided by anyone in the murder of Jasmine; that he acted alone. They`re still looking into the fact that he may have been aided by not only his half sister but also by his father, possibly supplying a vehicle in Canada once he got across the border.
MORET: So you`re painting a picture basically he committed this murder on his own but then got help when he ran across the border, is that it?
DIAZ: Exactly and it begs the question, what family member would say no to their son or half brother when he`s scared and coming across the border and saying, "I need help?" They`re looking into whether they`re going to charge the half sister or even the father, you know, with aiding and abetting a criminal. But they are saying that in California they believe that he acted alone in the murder of Jasmine Fiore.
MORET: I just want to point out to our viewers the photos that you are looking at that we got at "Inside Edition." They were taken a couple of days before Jasmine was murdered. They show her with her first husband. He had just gotten out of prison.
He was reportedly in prison for cocaine and Ecstasy trafficking. She greeted him. They allegedly spent the night at a hotel in San Diego. And reports are that that`s what might have sent Ryan Jenkins into a jealous rage.
Dr. Reef Karim is a psychiatrist. You can understand perhaps some of the losing it over jealousy but clearly not necessarily to this extent.
DR. REEF KARIM, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes. You know, the best predictor of violence, Jim, is a history of violence. That`s the bottom line.
We have to talk about acute stressors here. What would be a reason that somebody who seemed like they were ok according to other people would just kind of lose it? An acute stressor could be this reality TV, itself; the pressure, the exposure, the lack of control, the not knowing what`s true and what`s not true. Some people get delusional from it.
I think there needs to be a certain level of psychological help in order to be on a show like that and continue on like that.
Additionally, here, we`ve heard of impulsive acts. He got impulsively, you know, married, impulsively in this relationship, impulsively did this and that. Impulsivity is not a good sign, as far as a predictor of accurate health or good health. If you have a history of violence and you`re impulsive, that`s really problematic.
MORET: Nene Leakes, you`re on the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and Dr. Reef Karim makes a great point.
You`re on a reality show. The cameras are around you. Everything`s great. The cameras stop rolling.
Give us a sense of -- your life must be crazy with cameras around you all the time. Can you understand the stress Ryan Jenkins might have been going through?
NENE LEAKES, "REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA": No, I can`t. I cannot understand the stress he may have been going through. What I do know is being on a reality show can be very stressful. There`s no book, there`s no guide that tells you how to act when you get thrown into this celebrity.
There`s no way that I can relate to this guy. This guy, obviously, already had issues before getting on the reality show. He probably should have had some type of psychological testing of some sort because I cannot relate to this at all.
MORET: I mean, your point is a good one. The fact is that there have been lots of shows and this is the first time this has ever happened. So clearly something was wrong with this guy, not with the shows themselves, right?
LEAKES: Right, sure. Now, some people do thrive off the drama, and they love the spotlight. But I can`t see him loving the spotlight so much so that he would take the life of his ex-wife. He had issues prior to being on a reality show.
MORET: Ok. Everybody, stay right where you are. We`re going to continue with this discussion. We`ll have more on this horrific murder right after the break.
You`re watching ISSUES.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT HASMAN, FIORE FAMILY FRIEND: Ryan Jenkins is an animal. What he has done to Jasmine is unspeakable. It`s just not right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORET: That was Jasmine Fiore`s former boyfriend talking about Ryan Jenkins.
Now in an exclusive, photos obtained of Jasmine with a different ex. These pictures show Jasmine with Michael Cardosi (ph) her first husband. She met up with him after his release from prison for trafficking in Ecstasy and cocaine.
Plus, we`re told they spent the night at a hotel in San Diego. Remember, this is just days before her death. Police, by the way, have cleared that first husband of any involvement.
Tom Ruskin, forget reality TV. It sounds like jealousy, the oldest thing in the book, is really what`s going on here, doesn`t it?
RUSKIN: It sounds that way. Police never really may know because the two people who -- the victim and the person who committed the crime are now dead.
What I do fault is the production company for not doing a proper background check. Since my days of police work, our firm is one of the firms that do background checks and we do, do them for reality shows. And somehow this reality show was flawed in their background checks because you wouldn`t think -- I don`t believe Jasmine would have been with him if he had had a background check and he hadn`t been on that reality show.
MORET: Nene, did you have to have a background check to get on "Real Housewives of Atlanta?"
LEAKES: We certainly did have to fill out paperwork about our history. Whether or not they checked it out, I have no idea. But we definitely had some sort of background check. But I don`t know what it was, but yes.
MORET: I guess though, the down side for you is that everybody knows so many aspects of your life now. That`s got to be uncomfortable.
LEAKES: You know, it`s not so bad. The worst part about it is losing your privacy. You know, everybody is digging and prying and saying things that are not true. That`s probably the worst part about it.
Other than that -- but I`m obviously a very strong-minded person -- so I can handle all of the gossip and talking that`s going on. I`m enjoying myself.
MORET: Dr. Reef Karim, Tom Ruskin makes a great point. We`re never really going to know what happened because the victim and the alleged perpetrator, both killed, both dead.
How do you put the pieces together on this and really get something out that`s valuable for people to learn?
KARIM: Yes, a couple learning points here. The first is that we`re looking at either -- obviously he had impaired mental health functions, there`s no doubt. Whether it was sociopathy and it was just this is a guy that has no remorse that had this in him that nobody knew because he was just kind of hiding it himself or he had really bad mental health impairment that was just undiscovered. We don`t know at this point.
What we do know -- and to make that point on the production company is that, you know, there are people that internalize everything. They don`t externalize. If someone externalizes, you can see it. You can see the anger; you can see the sadness.
But if it`s internal, you don`t know. And even neuropsychological testing that`s done in my practice, in my field and in reality TV on most shows may not uncover that. So this is a long-lasting problem that hopefully we`re never going to see this kind of trauma again. But this is a big problem in regards to reality TV.
MORET: Thank you to all of my guests. I`m sorry that we`ve run out of time.
If you had 24 hours to live, would you finally forgive the one that hurt you the most? Could you recognize what you`re truly grateful for? These are just a couple of the answers I look for in my new book, "The Last Day of My Life," coming out November 1, available now for pre-order on amazon.com.
I`m Jim Moret from "Inside Edition." See you tomorrow.