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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Details of Kidnap Suspects Violent Past Revealed
Aired September 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, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, horror, shock and relief. Katie Hall has thought about Phillip Garrido every day since 1976. That`s when Garrido asked her for a ride before handcuffing her and taking her to his storage warehouse, where he raped her for hours. Garrido, Jaycee Dugard`s abductor, was sentenced to half a century but served just ten years. Why was he paroled 40 years early?
And Katie isn`t the only former victim speaking out. We`re getting to the bottom of Phillip Garrido`s ultra violent past.
Then did cops botch Michael Jackson`s homicide case? The Los Angeles D.A.`s office says key evidence may be tainted, and Jackson`s own family members may have taken items from his house. Does this have anything to do with the fact that Jackson`s mansion was not secured as a crime scene? Is that not the craziest thing you`ve ever heard? Who dropped the ball? Will cops ever name a suspect? We`ll debate it.
Plus, has America`s prescription drug abuse turned into an epidemic with no end in sight. DJ AM, the latest celebrity to die from an apparent drug overdose, but it`s not just celebrities like Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. Twenty thousand of us die every year. When will America hit bottom on pill popping? We`ll debate the epidemic. It`s a story you`ll only get on ISSUES.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, inside the violent mind of Jaycee Dugard`s alleged abductor, Phillip Garrido. You will not believe the latest revelations about the man accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee, holding her captive, raping her repeatedly, and forcing her to live a lie for 18 long years.
Jaycee Dugard was not Phillip Garrido`s first victim. In 1976, Katherine Hall offered him a ride at a Lake Tahoe parking lot. Once in her car, Garrido turned on her. He bound and gagged her and drove to a Reno storage locker, where he raped her for eight hours.
A courageous Katherine Hall spoke to Larry King about her ordeal last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATHERINE CALLAWAY HALL, VICTIM OF PHILLIP GARRIDO: I went crashing through over, under the boxes right out into the parking area where the prison was. Completely naked.
LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KIND LIVE": Whoa.
HALL: The policeman could not have come back soon. Out of his sight I thought, oh, my God, he`s going to take me hostage. And he -- he came back to beg me not to turn him in. He said, "Please, please don`t turn me in."
And I stayed out of his reach. I said, :OK, OK. I won`t." And ran back out, half naked.
KING: Turned him in.
HALL: Yes, and turned him in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That woman is a hero! Phillip Garrido was sentenced to half a century for that horrific crime, but he only served ten years. Why on earth was he paroled 40 years early?
Meanwhile, just days before his arrest last week, Phillip Garrido delivered a two-part manifesto to the San Francisco FBI office. Among the ramblings proclaimed he was schizophrenic and had ADD and was no longer the man who could commit that rape. Why didn`t the FBI check Garrido out when he delivered that sicko letter?
But the biggest question remains, why was this convicted kidnapper and rapist out on the streets 40 years before his sentence was up?
Straight out to my outstanding expert panel: David Schwartz, criminal defense attorney and former New York prosecutor; Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist; Michael Cardoza, noted criminal defense attorney; Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; and CNN correspondent Kara Finnstrom.
Kara, you`re in Antioch, California, outside Garrido`s house. Dare we ask, what is the very latest?
KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the big news out here today is that the investigation continues to unfold and to expand, with investigators now looking at whether Garrido may have been involved in other unsolved kidnappings and crimes.
What they have done is they`ve wrapped up their search of the property behind me, Garrido`s home, and also that neighboring property. Garrido actually served as a caretaker for that property for a while. He had complete access to it. So when they brought in their cadaver dogs and did this extensive search over about four days, they searched both properties. We could actually hear chainsaws and power tools from the roads. It was quite a search.
What they did turn up and what they have shared is that they found a bone fragment. Not clear at this point whether that is the bone of a human or an animal. It has been sent off for testing. And their investigation continues tonight.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the big question, one of the many is Jaycee Dugard the only girl Garrido allegedly ever kidnapped? Her case has several striking similarities to the abductions of two other girls: Ilene Misheloff and Michaela Garecht. Eileen was 13 when she was kidnapped. Michaela was 9. Her mom described what went through her mind when she heard Phillip Garrido was caught with a female hostage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON MURCH, MOTHER OF MISSING GIRL: It was absolute elation. My husband told me at 5 a.m. in the morning. He woke me up and told me he heard it about the news. And I leaped up yelling, "Oh, my God." I was, of course joyful for Jaycee herself, but my first thought was, "Please, God, let Michaela be with her."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Gail Saltz, given this sicko`s history, is he capable of other abductions? Is it likely that he committed some other abductions?
DR. GAIL SALTZ, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Absolutely. I mean, this is a man with a long violent history who is clearly psychotic, at least at this point. It sounds like he has been for quite some time.
He has been involved with serious drugs for much of his life, and he himself says that these drugs made him very aggressive, which is not unusual. And that these sexually deviant thoughts that he`s had, he`s had for a very long time. They`re intense urges. And that he really felt no remorse about acting them out. So I think it`s all a matter of, did he have opportunity?
But it seems likely that he...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He did have opportunity. And that raises the biggest question of all, Curtis Sliwa. Why was Garrido paroled just ten years into his 50-year sentence for rape, leaving his original victim, Katie Hall, to live in fear and dread all these years, knowing he was somewhere out there. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Have you lived in fear ever since?
KING: How many years ago was that did he get out?
HALL: He got out in `88.
KING: So you`ve been living in fear now?
KING: Twenty-one years.
HILL: And especially the first five years I just -- I just knew he was hunting me. I just had -- I just knew he was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were still working in Tahoe, though, when he approached.
HALL: When he got out. I was at the same place doing the same thing under the same name. So I just decided to leave Tahoe and disappear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Curtis Sliwa, California Department of Corrections. Trying to figure out exactly what led to Garrido`s early parole. There is no reasonable explanation of putting this guy back on the streets, when he told detectives he could only get sexual satisfaction from forcible sex, Curtis.
CURTIS SLIWA, FOUNDER, GUARDIAN ANGELS: Now you could imagine, Jane, that here`s a guy, he`s staring at 50 years in Leavenworth, hard time. And then, all of a sudden, we tell him, "Oh, you can leave after ten years."
And then he`s telling everyone, "No, I have an uncontrolled sex urge to have sex with children." And we keep releasing him out into society. We keep feeding the beast. And he just keeps pushing the envelope more and more.
Neighbors who were aware of his bizarre behavior knew that he was a sexually registered predator. And local law enforcement who visited his compound and never decided to check him out for belly button lint, this an indictment against the neighbors, the system, the police, the parole system, the federal system, and the local state correction system. We had him by the cajones.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Cardoza...
MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have more people in this country in prison than any other country in the entire world.
CARDOZA: Yes, we do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And yet the small percentage of people, like this creep, who is a sexual terrorist, we let him out.
CARDOZA: Yes, OK you want to know why?
CARDOZA: People aren`t going to like this, but here`s why. When I first became a district attorney, district attorneys went into office. And they usually stayed there for their entire career. But now D.A.`s offices have become very political, as have judgeships become very political.
People run against them and say, "Oh, they`re too light on crime." So what D.A.`s do nowadays is, for every crime -- not every crime but almost every crime -- they want state prison. They`ve got the public all riled up. Let`s put everybody in state prison. And that is what`s happening here. We`ve overcrowded our prisons with people that do not belong there. Don`t belong there. And then guys like this are let out because they look at this overpopulated prison system.
Here in California there`s a big deal going on. They`re about to let 3,000 people out, and our legislators came back and said, "Well, we`ll only let 1,500 out." If we`d quit sending people to prison that don`t belong there and stop the people that rabble rouse and say, "Oh, they`re not in prison. We need a tougher D.A. We need a tougher judge."
No, what you need is people with common sense. Jane, know who to put in state prison.
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`ll tell you what else is overcrowded. I`ll tell you what else is overcrowded. The overcrowded part is the sexual -- who`s labeled as a sexual offender.
We have 600,000 sexual offenders in this country, and they cannot possibly all be monitored properly.
CARDOZA: You know what we should do?
SCHWARTZ: The statistics show only about 10 to 15 percent of them are dangerous. We have to stop monitoring the people that have been convicted for statutory rape.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, this is a...
SCHWARTZ: ... an 17-year-old having sex with a 15-year-old.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is an important debate and I agree with everything that was just said.
More on this shocking story in just a bit. We`re going to continue that debate and take your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Is the evidence in the Michael Jackson death probe tainted? We`ll tell you who says the case could be botched and what role his family might have played in that.
Then, Katie Hall, kidnapped and raped by Phillip Garrido. Twenty years later, she is speaking out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALL: I started screaming, "Oh my God, oh my God. It`s him. He`s the one who kidnapped me."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALL: As I came out with the story about my car. Phillip knocked on my window and said, you know, "I can`t seem to get my car to start. It`s cold. Do you think you could give me a ride? You know, which way are you going?" And of course, he was going to go any way -- any which way I was going. And so I did.
KING: Why did you let him in the car?
HALL: I don`t know. It was the worst decision I`ve ever made, I think. It truly was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A very courageous Katherine Hall, telling Larry King that the worst mistake she ever made was letting Phillip Garrido into her car. Garrido went on to kidnap Katherine and rape her for eight hours in a storage unit outside Reno, Nevada. Truly horrifying.
Through quick thinking, she raced out, completely naked, when a cop came by to investigate, and she saved her own life. This creep now facing 29 felony related charges for the 18-year-long abduction of Jaycee Dugard, who is now safe with her biological mom tonight.
Phone lines lighting up. Pat, Pennsylvania, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, thanks for taking my call. I think I should be sitting on your panel. I have so much to say about this case. When these people put him to jail, they should not be allowed out. If they do get out, the judges or whoever lets them out should be responsible for any other thing they do after this. They should be paying for funerals. They should be paying for these people that have to go for medical treatment. This is an outrage. I am so sick of hearing that these offenders keep repeating. And I don`t want to hear any more (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Curtis -- thank you, Pat. Pat, I think you make a good point.
Curtis Sliwa, what I`m hearing from Michael Cardoza is we lock -- we do lock up more people than any other country in the entire world. We`re locking up all these non-dangerous criminals. And yet, the truly dangerous ones seem to get lost in the shuffle. And this is an absolutely perfect example of that.
SLIWA: Yes, you see, you can`t all of a sudden blame it on the fact that we`re locking up lower-level offenders who are not a threat to society. We had -- this man signaled us he was an enemy of society by the vicious rape he committed. He got 50 years. You have to say to yourself, "Wait a second. That had nothing to do with low-level marijuana dealers or users getting locked up."
We gave him release after 10 years. We visited his compound; the sheriff`s deputy was there. He never went into the back yard. They had information. If not for the two cops in Berkeley who said, "What are you doing with these two daughters?"
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Two female cops, I might add.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I do wonder if there`s a sexist element here, Michael Cardoza, because the additional outrage is this guy was released early. And Katherine Hall was never informed of it. She thought he was going to be incarcerated until 2006, and then she believed that he walked into where she was working. And she had to go into hiding.
CARDOZA: No, that`s God awful. I think victims should be warned when people get out of prison, especially people like this.
I`ll tell you, I want to go on record right now. When you get people like Garrido, I personally feel we should have laws that put them in for life. If they want some sort of castration, we may think of letting them out. But barring that, buddy, you attack one of our children, our most previous commodity, you stay in jail forever.
SALTZ: Jane -- Jane?
CARDOZA: But we still get problems -- we still get back -- too many people in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Saltz.
SCHWARTZ: We`ve watered down our resource. We`ve...
SALTZ: To go along with that, I would simply add that people like this, I love to say that everybody`s treatable, of course. But the fact is that people like this really do not respond well to treatment. People who have already said, you know, "I have these sexually intensive, deviant urges. I`m a pedophile." They don`t get better. You know, you`ve got to know that when you`re releasing them, you`re releasing them with the same urges and the same likelihood they`re going to commit a crime.
SCHWARTZ: But here`s a solution to the problem.
SCHWARTZ: Here`s the solution. The solution is you`ve got 600,000 sex offenders. Why are we -- why do we have -- we don`t have the resources to monitor 600,000 people. Why not -- why don`t we have the resources? We should monitor just the top 10 -- 10 to 15 percent who are the most dangerous of our society.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right. No, I mean...
SCHWARTZ: Give all the resources to them, and then let all the low- level offenders -- we`ve watered down.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Some of these guys are 17-year-olds or 19-year-olds who had sex with their 17-year-old girlfriend. I`m not advising that, but you cannot put it in the same category.
SCHWARTZ: That`s what I`m saying, Jane. That`s my whole point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now we`re asking...
SCHWARTZ: We should stop monitoring those people. We should stop completing monitoring those people and gather all our resources for the most dangerous of our society and stay on those people.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I think we -- I think we`ve covered that. Let me get back to Kara Finnstrom, CNN correspondent. Tell us about the bone that they found.
FINNSTROM: Well, they actually found a bone fragment in the area that is right next door to the house, Garrido`s house. This was a property that he had a lot of access to, because he was actually caretaker for it for a while. Not getting much information about it yet, Jane, just that they`re testing it. It`s not clear at this point whether this is an animal bone or a human bone. But obviously, with all the interest in whether he could be related to some other cases, they want to check this out thoroughly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and now we have a possibility that he is involved with the murders of a whole bunch of prostitutes. And there`s this poor 15-year-old girl, Lisa Morrell, whose body was found in 1998. And we`ve got to be thinking about all this and the huge resources that are spent on all of this and the priceless loss of life. And none of this would even be a consideration, Curtis Sliwa, if this guy hadn`t been released early.
I would like to know what the parole department does in terms of criteria that they could possibly let this guy out, when his original victim said she absolutely knew for a fact he was going to attack other women if he was let out.
SLIWA: No question. And plus, remember the crime originally committed in Reno, Nevada. He`s living in California. What was the system to oversee it? Who was he answerable to? And most importantly, he went on record saying that he was going to do this again. You would have figured they would have had a bracelet on him, they would have been monitoring.
But the bottom line is, now that it is all said and done, if in fact, he was guilty of any other crimes, in addition to this -- this horrible crime, I think it`s time for "plop-plop, fizz-fizz, oh what a relief it is." San Quentin, gas chamber and take this guy out so we don`t have to ever worry about him getting out again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kara Finnstrom, quick question. Did he have a GPS monitoring device? Yes or no?
FINNSTROM: Yes, I believe he did. But Jane, I want to make a quick clarification, because we have been reporting all day that he was connected possibly, or they were looking to a possible connection with those prostitute murders in the Pittsburgh area.
Just a few moments ago, we did get a press release from Pittsburgh police. They did search the property, and they are saying now that at this point, there is not evidence to support that link.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More on this shocking story in a moment. Coming up, a new twist in Michael Jackson`s homicide case. We`re going to tell you why cops say the case may be botched.
And then we`re going to get back to this case, Phillip Garrido and his horrific alleged crimes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALL: Phillip went up to the door, and he came back in, and he said, "It`s the heat. Am I going to have to tie you up, or are you going to be good?"
And I said, "No, I`ve been good. I`ve been good. Don`t tie me up."
And so he went back out with the receipt, and I sat there for a minute, and I thought, "If there`s a policeman out there, I have to try."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Katherine Hall, a woman who was kidnapped and raped by Phillip Garrido, told Larry King last night that Garrido actually begged her not to turn him in. Garrido was sentenced to half a century in jail for that crime, but he was released after only 10 years in the late `80s.
His victim, Katherine, was told his release date would be closer to 2006. She was never told he was released until a man she suspected was him showed up at her work.
Dr. Gail Saltz, you`re a psychiatrist. You`re also a woman. I`m a woman. Something seems sexist about this entire system, that a woman who has been brutally raped is not informed that the guy who raped her is being let out 40 years early.
SALTZ: Well, it`s like double the trauma. I mean, this woman is clearly never going to get over what had happened to her, the attack in the first place. But this is like repeating the trauma, like compounding it. That she should now have to be afraid, and has been afraid for decades, about where he is and whether she`s going to get attacked again.
In terms of sexism, you know, I think that it`s -- what you would say is, rather than an aggressive move toward women, it`s a complete and utter lack of sensitivity. It`s a complete and utter lack of putting into the system the fact that this woman was vulnerable and that she deserved, and any human does, man or woman, to be informed when her perpetrator is released.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Cardoza, what is the solution? I have heard, and I actually contemplate this as a position to take, that perhaps the decriminalization of lesser drugs would free up the prison system. It certainly would reduce the level of crime, because a lot of crime is committed by people who are jonesing for a drug and there`s a black market. So they`ve got to go steal something or mug somebody to pay for drugs that would probably cost the same price as a pack of cigarettes, if they weren`t illegal.
CARDOZA: I`ve got to agree with you there. And we have things that are crimes that really shouldn`t be crimes. I mean, look at marijuana. Why do we still fool with that? Why don`t we all just face up to it, make it legal or decriminalize it even more than it has been criminalized? Or decriminalized. Keep it there.
But what we have to do is become smarter in our sentencing of people. Earlier in the show, we talked about the sex offenders and targeting the top 10 percent. I couldn`t see that being ore spot on. Let`s get the people that are more -- most dangerous. Let`s target them. Let`s follow them.
I know probation, parole, they`re all overworked, but let`s be smart. Let`s target the right people.
All that being said now, what about Nancy Garrido? What, did she fall off the map here? I mean, she was Garrido`s wife. She was as much complicit in this. She was an enabler. I`ll tell you what: I think she should go to prison forever, too, because of her role in this. Even though...
CARDOZA: ... she didn`t sexually molest, she is equally guilty.
SLIWA: There`s no question. If you remember, it was a man and a woman who snatched up the young 11-year-old girl from that bus stop. And clearly, it was probably the same woman.
And the two children were brought up to make believe that she, in fact, was her mother, that their real mother was actually just an older sister. So this was all a ruse.
And by the way, this guy had a print shop. This guy literally was selling printing to the community.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. Bringing out the gavel. I know. I`d like to talk about it all night.
Michael Jackson death probe, up next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did cops botch Michael Jackson`s homicide case? The Los Angeles D.A.`s office says key evidence may be tainted. And Jackson`s own family members may have taken items from his house.
Does this have anything to do with the fact that Jackson`s mansion was not secured as a crime scene. Is that not the craziest thing you`ve ever heard? Who dropped the ball? Will cops ever name a suspect? We`ll debate.
Plus, as America`s prescription drug abuse turned into an epidemic with no end in sight, DJ AM, the latest celebrity to die from an apparent drug overdose. But it`s not just celebrities like Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. One in five Americans have abused prescription drugs; 20,000 die every year. When will America hit bottom on pill-popping? We`ll debate the epidemic.
It`s a story you`ll only get on ISSUES.
Tonight a bizarre intersection of the Michael Jackson death probe and -- get this -- the O.J. Simpson murder case. That`s right, one of O.J.`s key attorneys, Carl Douglas, is now representing two major players in the Jackson investigation.
Douglas told the L.A. Times his clients could provide useful information to police but the cops don`t want to hear what they have to say. Reports claim the LAPD has done nothing more than conduct very brief informal interviews with Jackson`s chief of staff and the crucial witness who called 911.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A gentleman`s here that needs help and he`s not breathing yet. He`s not breathing and we need to -- we`re trying to pump him but he`s not -- he`s not breathing, sir.
911 OPERATOR: Ok. How old is he?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The mystery caller is Jackson security staffer Alberto Alvarez, seen here in a photo on the Web site of the U.K. Mirror. Alvarez was with Dr. Murray that crucial morning as he said that Michael Jackson was not breathing on the morning of June 25th.
Why don`t cops want to hear more from these guys? This mystifying development coincides with another O.J. Simpson theme -- tainted evidence. Well, enforcement sources told NBC News that prosecutors in the Jackson case are worried about, quote, "sloppy police work" for starters.
Jackson`s mansion was not declared a crime scene. What?
Straight out to my fantastic panel: Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels; Dr Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist; we`re so delighted to have with us Dr. Drew Pinsky, board-certified addiction specialist and author of, "The Mirror Effect: How celebrity narcissism is seducing America;" and we have Michael Cardoza back, noted criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor; and we also have Ken Baker, executive news editor for E!
Ken, you`re all over this huge case. What is the very latest?
KEN BAKER, EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR, E!: well, the very latest is basically what you said which was this new information that perhaps the LAPD basically was very shoddy and sloppy and possibly maybe fatally so for the case of prosecutors with how they treated the crime scene, which by the way, it was a crime scene according to what the findings are thus far.
But at the time when they discovered Michael Jackson`s body, the police arrived, they closed it off so people couldn`t get into the house but they didn`t close it off as a crime scene and they allowed family members to go in and out.
Now it`s raising questions as you said, similar to the O.J. Simpson case. Basically that case fell apart for LA prosecutors, because why? Because they planted enough reasonable doubt in the mind of some jurors that the police work was shoddy. That there was somehow some sort of mishandling of evidence that ultimately led enough -- for at least one juror -- to say, "We don`t buy it. We can`t prosecute this. We can`t say they`re guilty."
So this is really blockbuster information and it just reveals that the LAPD is not perfect. We know that. And this only underscores what a lot of people fear.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and it reminds me of the old saying that became famous during the O.J. Simpson case, garbage in, garbage out where if the evidence tainted, it doesn`t matter what the prosecution presents because garbage in, garbage out.
The L.A. coroner ruled Michael Jackson died of acute Propofol intoxication with a boost from the cocktail of sedatives that were in his system.
According to a search warrant affidavit, Dr. Conrad Murray told cops he gave Jackson a valium tablet at 1:30 a.m.; then started a drip of anti- anxiety meds at 2:00 a.m.; then at 3:00 a.m. a sleep medication; 5:00 a.m. more of the anti-anxiety drugs; 7:30 a.m. more of the sleep aid; finally at 10:40 a.m. an apparently deadly dose of Propofol along with Lidocaine.
But the "L.A. Times" reports that a manslaughter prosecution is not inevitable. Their law enforcement sources cite Jackson`s own widely know drug use and health problems.
Dr. Drew Pinsky, given the litany that we heard of drugs administered to him allegedly by Dr. Conrad Murray, did he cross the line into, A, either criminality or at least bad medicine?
DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Well, I`m certainly no judge of criminality but bad medicine for sure. I mean, the fact that -- I think he was just over his head with this case. Undoubtedly this is something he`d been exposed to before.
The fact that Michael Jackson could tolerate these massive doses of benzodiazepines, I assure you Jane, you`d be asleep for three days if we gave you the first couple of hours of those medications he received. Parenterally (ph) it was IV, it was massive and he was still awake which means he`s been exposed to these medications for a long time.
The reality is you would never give these medicines outside a hospital without intensive nursing monitoring. And then finally, the coup de grace was the Propofol on top of these incredibly problematic doses of benzodiazepine medications which is probably indeed that combination that did him in.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So how much trouble is Dr. Conrad Murray really in? In that really bizarre YouTube public address, he had this to say. Let`s listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CONRAD MURRAY, MICHAEL JACKSON`S PHYSICIAN: (INAUDIBLE) and keep me going. This means the world to me. Please...
I will be fine. I have done all I could do. I told the truth and I have faith the truth will prevail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
Michael Cardoza, the search warrant affidavit until last week raises serious questions about his actions specifically 90 minutes elapsed allegedly between the times Dr. Murray told cops he found Michael Jackson not breathing and until the time 911 was called. During that almost hour and a half, Dr. Murray allegedly made three phone calls. Wouldn`t that alone be enough to nail this physician with some kind of criminal charge?
MICHAEL CARDOZA, FORMER PROSECUTOR: That alone, no. Not that alone at all. We underscore the word allegedly, we don`t know all the facts yet.
The problems I have with this are number one, why do the attorneys let the doctors so much to LAPD? I don`t understand that. It`s the police`s job to prove crimes or at least collect the evidence if there is a crime. Why did they let him fill in some of the blanks for them? Such as those phone calls, if in fact he said that.
Secondly -- and I don`t know the answer to this -- but I have to tell you, O.J., Blake case -- does LAPD have a team like a super-team that just deals with high celebrity cases? When a name like Jackson comes over do they send them out and they know, number one, how to handle the press and to close things down? Or is LAPD just closing their eyes to this?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they should have a team like that since it`s Hollywood and there`s really so many celebrity cases.
I have to get to this next thing. I`m sure you`ve seen by now this bizarre video that purports to show a very alive Michael Jackson, hopping out of the back of a coroner`s van. The van in the video appears to have the same license plate as the one that Jackson`s body was in June 25th. Clearly this is a hoax.
Ken Baker, they`re saying something like, "Oh, they did this to show that it`s easy to make up stories." What the heck is this all about?
BAKER: Basically, members of the German media who wanted to prove a point of how far a hoax could go on the Internet these days and they got it to HLN. We`re talking about it, so they proved some sort of point.
But clearly what happens is any time there is a celebrity crime -- any time there`s a celebrity death, there is always the inevitable conspiracy theories that come up. And this has definitely been raised.
But look, let`s be clear here. Like everyone is saying, the fact that there was some shoddy police work, that there`s some questions around that, that only gives sort of more credence to any sort of conspiracy theories that there could have been something there that we don`t know because simply they didn`t seal the crime scene. We don`t know the facts but we do know that it probably could have been executed a lot better.
And also, just one last point, we`ve learned that only two detectives from the LAPD are dedicated exclusively to this case. Two.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? That`s crazy.
BAKER: This is a very complex case. So I think that that alone, the resources -- they perhaps are in over their heads. The eyes of the world are on this case. Now they`re getting a lot of support from the DEA, the California attorney general`s office and some other agencies.
But at the same time the LAPD has a big case ahead of them. They have a lot of evidence to collect and I`m sure that the district attorney, when they are presented this case, they`re going to fight, kick it back and ask for more evidence because they want to make sure they have it solid.
CARDOZA: They`re gun shy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I could tell you that the LAPD has a slight problem when it comes to celebrity cases, I think we all know that.
Thank you outstanding panel.
Coming up, a reality TV family expecting their 19th child; 19 kids in this day and age? How about adopting? What are these people thinking? We`re going to debate it.
Then prescription drug abuse -- did it claim yet another Hollywood star? We`re going to discuss the epidemic plaguing our nation. And we want to hear from you about prescription drug abuse, your experience, your concern. I`ll talk about my experience. 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi, I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell.
People across America are grappling with addiction and 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 more than 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Addiction in America has a new face: prescription drugs. Michael Jackson and DJ AM are the latest apparent victims of a deadly dose of drugs prescribed by doctors. How can we stop this epidemic? All that in a moment.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight:
A big announcement today from the Duggar family: stars of the TLC show, "18 Kids and Counting." The 18 siblings: Jason, Jennifer, Ginger, the J`s just go on and on. They`re expecting a 19th member to their huge family.
Mom and Dad Duggar announced the good news on the "Today Show" this morning. But is it really good news?
Another super-sized family getting even bigger? Plus, just a few months ago, the oldest Duggar announced he and his wife were expecting?
These are resource hogs that are the epitome of self-indulgence and irresponsibility in a world where millions of kids are orphans and are dying of malnutrition. They`re doing all of this in front of the cameras - - let`s hope the viewing public sees this show for what it is. A cautionary tale of what not to do much like the lesson we learned from those other reality show casualties, Jon and Kate Gosselin.
That is tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Celebrity DJ, Adam Goldstein, a.k.a. DJ AM found dead in his Soho apartment. The "L.A. Times" reporting he died just one day after he vowed to head back to rehab. His body was allegedly surrounded by crack cocaine and prescription pill bottles.
TMZ reporting the deejay likely died from a lethal mix of crack cocaine and benzodiazepines. Benzos include Xanax and other anti-anxiety medications -- that`s right -- drugs that were prescribed to the deejay after he survived a devastating plane crash.
Not only could these meds have triggered a relapse of the former addict, they could be what killed him. Sound familiar? Michael, Heath, Anna Nicole -- all victims to deadly prescription drug cocktails.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not responding to anything. He`s not responding to CPR or anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She`s not breathing and she`s not responsive. She`s actually Anna Nicole Smith...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lethal combination of 6 different painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping medications...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So chilling, there should be a wake up call to America; written on a pad by a doctor does not equal safe. 20,000 Americans die from prescription drug overdoses every year.
Last year prescription drugs replaced heroin and cocaine as the leading cause of deadly overdoses. This is not just happening in Hollywood people, it`s happening right now as we speak in homes across the America.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: delighted to have back Dr. Drew Pinsky, noted addiction specialist and star of VH1`s "Celebrity Rehab;" Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; and Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical psychiatrist.
I have to start with you Dr. Drew. This is day one of National Recovery Month, isn`t this a great time for America to say, "Hey, we have an epidemic on our hands and we need to do something about it?"
PINSKY: You have that absolutely right, Jane.
The fact is -- and really we`ve been aware of it in the teenage population for quite some time. That`s where a lot of the attention was sort of directed.
2,500 12 to 17-year-olds will abuse prescription pain medication for the first time today and everyday. And many of them don`t believe these are addictive drugs. That`s one issue.
And you`ve raised obviously the issue of over-prescribing. There`s even a more subtle issue to which my friend DJ AM succumbed which is a lack of appreciation of how addictive drugs, even properly prescribed, can trigger addiction. This is something people cannot seem to get their head around.
AM did not die of a benzodiazepine overdose; this is very difficult to do that. He died after going out furiously, after having been on benzodiazepines for an extended period of time, controlled, properly prescribed but not understanding that that creates momentum of addiction, distorted thoughts and always, always, always -- and I`m telling you I`ve seen this so many times -- it ends in a severe relapse.
And now my friend`s gone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I mean, this is such a tragedy because we`d all looked at him as a great example of recovery.
PINSKY: He was. He absolutely was. But then he -- listen, he went through many stresses in his life while in recovery. Had he not had the biology of his disease, the reward system tickled by the ongoing use of substances that activate the addiction -- had that chemistry not been activated, he would still be alive today. I`m absolutely convinced of that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it would have been better for him to take a bus to his gigs than to take an anti-anxiety pill in order to get on a plane because that`s what reignited, in the long run, the addiction.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Celebrities are showing us that mixing prescription pills, the pills you may have in your home right now could be just as deadly as shooting up.
Heath Ledger`s shocking death blamed on a mixture of 6 types of painkillers and sedatives. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had lethal levels of an anesthetic in his system -- a drug only supposed to be used in hospitals. Anna Nicole Smith`s boyfriend and doctors charged with pumping the model full of methadone, antidepressants, sleeping pills, Xanax.
Lisa Bloom, you cover so many of these cases, are doctors the new drug dealers?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think they are, in many cases. But it`s not just the doctors. People expect when they go to a doctor that they`re going to get pills.
And I`m here to say that we don`t need all of this stuff. When I personally go to a doctor, the first thing I say to them is, "I don`t want a prescription. I want a non-pharmaceutical way to solve my problem."
And I usually get a great look of relief from the doctor when I say that because they feel that they have to prescribe this stuff to us. And guess what, even when I`ve had surgery, I`ve said, "I don`t want pain medication. Please give me some other suggestions for dealing with pain." And I`ve gotten them and they`ve been very helpful; breathing exercises and so forth.
We don`t need all of this stuff. We are enriching the pharmaceutical companies. A generation ago, people did not take nearly as many pills as we take now.
DR. GAIL SALTZ, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: That`s true.
BLOOM: It`s time for all of us to just say no to the doctors and to tell them we don`t need. We don`t want it. Give us a non-pharmaceutical way to solve our problems and you`re going to be met with happiness from the doctor.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
SALTZ: I would say "hear, hear" to that in the sense -- I`m a psychiatrist and I certainly can prescribed but most of my patients I treat with psychotherapy.
Many of these celebrities are struggling with depression. They`re struggling with anxiety but they don`t want to take the long road. They want the quick fix. They want the "give me something so I can feel better in an hour." And they`re not willing to do the work as many people are not willing to do the work.
So for instance a fear of flying could be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy in like 10 sessions. You don`t have to take anti- anxiety pill. There are other ways to treat many of these new problems that a lot of these people suffer and why they accrue so many different medications that they`re taking and then abusing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I go to the hospital and I see people walking around with these bags and they`re filled with pills. And they give them to doctors and the doctors give them away.
Everyone stay right there.
More on all of this in a moment.
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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said this footage is worth money.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH, MODEL: Why? What footage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This thing you`re looking into.
SMITH: It`s a camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A clearly drugged out Anna Nicole Smith before her tragic OD. I want to talk a little bit about my book, "I Want." I talk about my addiction to alcohol. I wasn`t a pill addict but I did pop a few.
Here`s a quote from the book, "I was never hooked on them but had on a few cases popped a Valium recreationally with a glass of wine. Bad idea, although so commonplace that the joke was, if someone at a stadium in LA asked if anyone had a valium, everyone in the stands could immediately produce one.
But just because a lot of people were doing it doesn`t make it right. Again, as soon as I gave up drinking, the desire for valium completely disappeared."
You can read more about my experiences in my book, "I Want." It has tons of insight about my struggle to get sober.
Dr. Drew, full disclosure, I didn`t get those valium from a doctor. I friend gave them to me. That`s how it works.
PINSKY: That`s a common way, particularly how young people do it. That`s how it goes. That`s just what`s out there.
Here`s the real problem, there is no threshold to the understanding of the potential harm of these medications. My dad was a family practitioner. When I grew up he was always raising the idea that medications are bad and dangerous. You use them when you have.
And we need to get that message out loud and clear. The medicines we have today are miraculous. They are spectacularly effective. Thank goodness we have these substances. Only because there`s a dark side to this, we have to become less dependent on them and seek them less.
Lisa`s absolutely right.
BLOOM: Hear, hear.
PINSKY: Absolutely right, Lisa. I am so relieved when patients don`t want to take a medication. And they will fight you. Antibiotics -- we`re going end up with bacterial resistance to all antibiotics soon.
BLOOM: And here`s the other important point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Most antibiotics in this country affect the animals, let`s not forget that, Lisa Bloom.
BLOOM: But look, not every problem is a disease. If you`re bored or you`re tired or you`re awake, like Michael Jackson. That`s not a disease requiring a pill. There are so many other ways to deal with things if we would just open our minds to them rather than going for a pill every time. It`s destroying us.
I just think this is such a critical issue Jane. I applaud you for covering it today.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I applaud you for weighing in.
Cherry, Ohio, your question or thought ma`am.
CHERRY, OHIO: I just wanted to call and tell you thank you so much for all you do on your show. I love you to death. And I love you Dr. Drew. You contribute to a lot of helping me through my struggle with addiction.
I`ve been on (INAUDIBLE) for the last two years. I have a question for you. A lot of these people are sick and we get a snowball ahead. Kidney stones, I had bad back, I had a lot of issues. I got hooked on these pills, never told what was going to happen to me. And before you knew it, there was a snowball effect; became immune to them, ended up -- now I`m going through the (INAUDIBLE).
My question is what do you think about this? Is there a safe way to get off pills?
PINSKY: Let me answer you quickly. It`s actually a complex. I`m going to just answer it two-fold. One is the predominant patient I`m admitting to hospitals today is a poly-opioid addictive chronic pain patient who comes in with 20 out of ten on a scale of ten pain. We take him off opiates. Two weeks later they say it`s a 4 maximum. The opioids cause the pain. You must get off the opiates.
(INAUDIBLE) is old replacement therapy. It is a safe way to get off opiates. I`m not a fan of sustained replacement therapy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re sadly out of time. Thank you for your wisdom.
You`re watching ISSUES on HLN.