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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Police Name Person of Interest in Yale Murder
Aired September 16, 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, earth-shaking developments in the murder of Annie Le. We now know this beautiful bride- to-be was strangled to death and her body crammed down a cable wire shaft. What kind of monster does this?
Cops questioned a 24-year-old Yale lab technician who police have described as a person of interest. They raided Raymond Clark III`s apartment and then took him into custody after getting samples of his DNA. He`s back out on the streets, but for how long? Who would want to hurt Annie Le and why? We`ll explore.
And a horrifying gang rape that makes me sick to my stomach. A young woman lured away from a party, tied up and brutally raped, allegedly by five men in a dormitory bathroom. Cops say all five of these sickos took turns raping her one by one.
What`s going on, on college campuses? First, a murder, then a gang rape? Are universities the latest battleground in the war on women?
Also, are the walls closing in on Dr. Conrad Murray? TMZ now reporting a Michael Jackson homicide case will be presented to the district attorney in less than a month. As the world wonders will Michael`s doctor be charged, La Toya Jackson offers shocking new reasons why she`s convinced her brother was murdered.
Plus, murder, suicide and reality TV. VH1 pulling the plug on some of their reality shows. The "New York post" claims the network is rethinking their programming since one of their contestants murdered his wife, then killed himself. Isn`t about time we stopped putting unstable people on TV, just so they can have their 15 minutes of fame?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, dramatic developments in the horrifying murder of brilliant and beautiful Yale University grad student and bride- to-be, Annie Le. The stunning news hitting the covers of both the "New York Post" and the "New York Daily News." Twin headlines.
Twenty-four-year-old Raymond Clark III, a technician who worked with Annie at the animal testing lab, was cuffed and taken into custody last night. Cops say he is a, quote, "person of interest" and they wanted his DNA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF JAMES LEWIS, NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, POLICE DEPARTMENT: He is the only person that we have gotten any type of search warrant on at this time.
Well, he has invoked his rights. At some point, he may be willing to answer questions but at this point, he`s invoked his rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Clark was released to his lawyer, a criminal defense attorney whose Web site claims experience with DNA cases at about 3 a.m. this morning. Police say they are keeping tabs on Clark 24 second -- seven but say he is not a suspect. The medical examiner says Annie Le`s cause of death was strangulation in people terms.
Meantime, investigators found tiny drops of blood in the room where Annie Le was apparently strangled to death. The "New York Post" reporting her body was cut up, and then moved to another room and then stuffed in a shaft behind a wall in the basement. Gruesome stuff.
Yesterday, multiple published reports cited a law enforcement source as saying one individual questioned had failed a polygraph test and had defensive wounds on his body that he couldn`t explain away.
As for Raymond Clark, he has a girlfriend, and they reportedly have a wedding date set for December 2011. His girlfriend also works in that same lab, along with other relatives.
The "New York Post" quotes a source close to Clark`s family as saying scratches found on his body are from his cat.
Meantime, so many questions. The most critical: what was the nature of the relationship between the lab tech, Raymond Clark, and the Ph.D. candidate, Annie Le?
And tonight`s big issue: is culture clash an epidemic on America`s campuses? In other words, is there friction between the local residents and the students and does that friction, if it exists, fuel any resentment? I want to know what you think.
But first, straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Robin Bond, criminal defense attorney; David Schwartz, criminal defense attorney and former New York prosecutor; Terry Lyle, psychologist; Mike Gaynor, retired NYPD detective and president of East Coast Detectives; Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst; and Tom Foreman, CNN correspondent on the ground at Yale University.
Tom, what is the very latest?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the latest is they still don`t have an arrest, which of course is the big headline that everybody is waiting for.
Police spent a lot of time out at Raymond Clark`s apartment complex today, talking to people around the neighborhood, looking around to see if anybody knows anything more about him. They were there last night. They took a lot of evidence, and of course, they let him go. And now he`s sort of disappeared. Nobody knows for sure where he is, although the police say they do know.
You raised a good point there, Jane. One of the really pointed questions here is what was the relationship between this man and the victim? Police will really not say anything other than to say that they passed each other in the hallway. They said hello to each other, and that`s about as far as they will go. But we`re hearing a tremendous a rumors about the degree of their involvement. I won`t get into those, because they`re just rumors right now.
But that is the question here: did they have more of a relationship of any nature: friendly, professional, anything else. His girlfriend had something on her Facebook page at one point talking about rumors of some kind of fling at the lab with somebody, which she thoroughly dismissed.
That`s one of the problems here. There are all sorts of rumors flying around. All we really know right now is that this man has given them some DNA. He remains a person of interest, which as you noted, is not a suspect, and this case is still wide open.
They`ve talked to more than 200 people. They have a tremendous number of pieces of evidence to go through, and the key continues to be the question of DNA. Police say they have a lot of material at the labs being tested and, if a match comes back with any of the people they`re considering as possible suspects in this, they`ll move very quickly to an arrest -- Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There seems to be some kind of mixed message out there, not necessarily from the police. But there are so many reports, as you mentioned, that we certainly cannot confirm, CNN has not confirmed, well, was there some kind of crush going on. And yet, the police very, very intent on saying, "We don`t want to have tunnel vision. This man is not a suspect, and we have a number of people under surveillance."
FOREMAN: yes, absolutely. And they have to do that. That`s the only right thing to do.
The simple truth is, you`re right: all these rumors are flying all over the place. In part, I`ll tell you in my experience, that`s a measure of the degree to which the police are remaining focused and professional and not releasing too much information, so speculation starts boiling. There`s a tremendous amount of it in this case.
We do not know anything, really, about the relationship between these two other than innuendo, people talking about what it might be. And again, I`m talking about a professional relationship, a friendly relationship, anything at all. We just don`t know.
And the police aren`t saying precisely because -- and one of the things we should point out here, because this happened in an animal lab, where animal research is done, the police themselves say there`s a tremendous amount of DNA there from the animals themselves: little bits of fur, bits of blood, bits of saliva, all sorts of things they have to deal with. That`s part of what makes the task of sorting out the DNA very complex.
And I will say the police are making it quite clear that the case they`re building will be built on science principally, the idea of DNA, not so much on innuendo, on people saying, well, he knew or she knew or maybe this happened. That may bolster it, but you can tell what they`re really looking for, the holy grail here, is the DNA link, something that scientifically links this victim to her killer, whomever that killer may be, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Tom, for a very extensive report. You covered all the bases. Appreciate that.
Now I want to go to Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst. The big news also today, we learned that Annie Le was strangled, and I was watching you actually explain that it takes two to five minutes to strangle someone, and of course, it sent a chill through me. Explain.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. If you think about it, Jane, if you kill someone by shooting, it takes a second. You pull a trigger and it`s over. Strangulation is an especially intimate, brutal way to commit a homicide. The killer has to put his hands around the neck of the victim and hold them there while she struggles, kicks, bites, scratches, does anything to fight for her life. And it takes generally two to five minutes, according to forensic scientists, for a person`s airway to be cut off for that period of time. They stop breathing and they lose their life.
So you can imagine in this case, this has to be a crime scene where there is evidence. In fact, we heard today the police chief say that one of the reasons why this person of interest was cuffed when he was brought in is because they wanted to preserve potential fingernail scrapings. That indicates to me that there was that type of a struggle.
I`m sure that poor Annie Le, may God rest her soul, fought for her life and, hopefully, that will give investigators the DNA and physical evidence they need.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But David Schwartz, what I don`t understand, they say they cuffed him because they wanted to get DNA evidence from the fingernails, fingernail scrapings. This happened what, last Tuesday? It`s now Wednesday night. Don`t you think somebody -- I`m not saying he`s a suspect or anything. I`m just saying hypothetically, doesn`t somebody wash their hands over the course of more than a week?
DAVID SCHWARTZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, well, no, Jane, what`s going to happen is they`re going to take a DNA sample from him. And they`re going to se if it matches. If Annie Le has DNA scrapings under her fingernails, and it matches...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I`m saying -- yes, I know they took his DNA.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But they said they cuffed him because they wanted to make sure he didn`t destroy evidence like fingernail scrapings. My...
SCHWARTZ: Yes, well, that...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... the way I interpreted that, they wanted to make sure they got whatever was under his fingernails. It`s been more than a week.
SCHWARTZ: Yes, well, you know what? I don`t understand why they cuffed him, if he went willingly, you know. So they cuffed him. I`m not sure if that was a big deal or not.
But the bottom line is, you know, there will be some built-in defenses here, because you have to remember that Clark worked in that building, worked in that lab. So depending on where they find the DNA, I mean, his DNA is probably all over that building. It`s not like one of these stranger attacks where the -- where the suspect has no business being in the building and then you find their DNA there.
SCHWARTZ: You have to be very careful...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: His DNA could be there because...
SCHWARTZ: I understand that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... they`re testing animals, and they`re dealing with a bloody, unpleasant and controversial subject right there. So maybe they get blood because they`re dealing with the animals. That`s a defense. I`m sure it could come up.
Hang on. We`ll have more on this in just a second.
Also taking your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Coming up, La Toya Jackson joined the ladies of "The View" today. We`re going to dissect her theory about how her famous brother, Michael Jackson, died.
Then cops release their only, quote, person of interest. So what now?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because he looked like a psycho.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was a neighbor of Raymond Clark`s, who cops are calling a person of interest in the murder case against Annie Le. Meantime, here`s another neighbor who spoke to CBS News today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRISTINA PICAUT, NEIGHBOR: It skeeves (ph) me to know that I live in an apartment building with a guy who is considered a murderer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Phone lines lighting up. Judy, Michigan, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. I was just curious, there was a five-day span between the time that she was missing and the time that she was found, and they say they found a few specks of blood that could be the perpetrator`s. If this person of interest gave the DNA, that`s fine but if he worked there, he could have pricked his finger working with the animals or working with her. You know, it could happen the day before. That`s no defense -- I mean, that`s no prosecution...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Mike Gaynor, that`s exactly what I said. It`s a very convenient defense, if your job is to work with the animals, and we know there`s blood involved in that business.
MIKE GAYNOR, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Yes, of course. But they`re not going to be finding, if they find animal blood, that will be discounted immediately. They will be looking for his skin and his blood on her and any of her blood that might have been on those clothes that ended up in the ceiling, in case it happened to be his, too.
They`re also going to be looking for both e-mails that connect these people, letters, photographs, any number of things. And all these people that they interviewed, they`re looking for people that can talk about the relationship between these two folks, if they have any.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s talk about...
BLOOM: I disagree, Jane. I disagree about the blood. That`s the same thing Scott Peterson and O.J. Simpson said, you know, "Oh, I just always am bleeding. I`m always scratching."
If his blood is on her body at the crime scene, her lifeless body that was stuffed into a wall, that`s not going to be explained by the fact that he cleans mouse cages in the same lab. I mean, that`s preposterous to me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. We also have...
SCHWARTZ: Lisa, that`s the only way -- that`s the only way that DNA is even relevant in this case, is if it`s found on her body. If the blood is merely found in the laboratory, it becomes less and less relevant.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s -- Robin Bond?
BLOOM: ... dropping blood all over the place.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s not forget that there was clothes found in the ceiling, and those clothes reportedly had blood on it, too.
ROBIN BOND, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. They did, but let`s look at motive and opportunity. Is there a motive here? There could be a romantic interest but there`s also an e-mail trail of this gentleman, Mr. Clark, complaining about the victim`s treatment of animals. He was extremely...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, look, no, no, no.
BOND: There`s opportunity.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me clarify something. I`m not going to have him portrayed as some, oh, you know, crusader. This is a lab technician, a custodian, who was on her case about wearing little -- one of those little things that you put on shoes...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Booties. That`s what he was complaining about. And there were people who said that he was kind of a control freak. This is according to published reports in New York papers. So let`s just -- let`s call it what it is. It was a control freak.
BOND: He could be totally crazy. If it`s a motive to him, he`s totally crazy. But look at the opportunity. He was the one in the building at the time. You have motive, opportunity, and if the DNA puts it all together, then you have circumstantial evidence along with the DNA, and you`ve got your guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Excellent point. Let`s talk about possible culture clash between locals from New Haven like lab technicians, and Ivy League graduate students like Annie Le.
In a news conference held by New Haven Police just hours ago, authorities described the nature of the working relationship between Annie Le and Raymond Clark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEWIS: Well, she`s a -- she`s a Ph.D. candidate so she is doing actual research in the lab. Then they have staff members that are, in essence, support people. They clean the cages. They clean the rooms themselves. They do some types of maintenance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Again, Raymond Clark is not a suspect. Police are calling him a person of interest.
But hypothetically, Terry Lyles, in a situation like this, could there be a culture clash between a lab assistant doing custodial work, a townie, as they say, and a Yalie, a researcher?
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. We see this in peer pressure all the time, regardless of the age. We don`t grow out of peer pressure, you know. We have it at every level, work, school, home.
You know, in the mind of this killer, whoever they find out this killer to be, this was an intimate killing, as Lisa Bloom mentioned earlier. This was a face-to-face strangulation with satisfaction, no doubt, because there`s a lot of ways you can kill someone.
And they`ll find out sooner or later whether it was sexual, whether it was somebody who was just angry at this person. This is obviously something that went down very badly, and this is an intimate killing. They will substantiate sooner or later.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Bloom, you went to Yale.
BLOOM: I did. I went to Yale Law School. And I can tell you unfortunately, because I love Yale, but there was definitely a town-gown split and culture clash there. You have these elite students coming in from all over the country for four years for college or some other period of time for grad or law school. They get their education, they leave. And then there`s the townspeople who are mostly working class, and they`re going to live in New Haven for most of their lives.
It`s definitely an attitude of friction. It`s a little uncomfortable between town and gown. It`s something that`s always being worked on at Yale and, I think, never ultimately resolved.
SCHWARTZ: I don`t buy it.
BLOOM: You put your finger on something here.
SCHWARTZ: I don`t buy this culture clash thing at all. It`s not a motive for a killing. There are culture clashes in every walk of our society. If you`re a New York City resident, there`s a culture clash all the time. It doesn`t -- it doesn`t give a motive for a killing like this. I`m sorry.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what? You don`t only just have one motive for doing anything. What the shrinks call it is multi-determined. It could be a layering of things.
SCHWARTZ: It could be. It could be.
GAYNOR: Motive is nice, but it`s not going to be the key to this case. The DNA is going to be the key to this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to give Terry Lyle the answer on that one.
LYLE: Well, it could be -- it could be multiple layered. We don`t know that. But it could be very laser focused. This could have been an ideal target for something that went badly, whether it was sexual, whether it was a friendship that went badly, whatever it was. Just before her wedding? I mean, there`s something there, whoever that killer is...
BLOOM: And Jane, notice what the police are being very quiet about. They`re not talking about sexual assault. They`re refusing to answer any questions about whether there was a sexual assault. So I sniff some potential motive there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I have to say, we`re going to get into some details: both 24, this person of interest and the victim, both set to get married. More on this tragic and haunting story in a moment.
And then, a so-called -- four so-called men have been arrested for a gang rape at a college student.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PASTOR DENNIS SMITH, SPOKESMAN FOR BOTH FAMILIES: We want to express our gratitude to the following law enforcement agencies for the professional and compassionate manner in which they are conducting the investigation. The FBI, the Connecticut State Police, the New Haven Police Department, and the Yale Police Department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A pastor speaking out on behalf of the devastated families of Annie Le and her fiance, Jonathan Widawsky. They were supposed to have been married and on their honeymoon as we speak. So many lives destroyed by this.
Lee in Florida, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. I wanted to ask about the pass cards that are used to scan -- to get access to various parts of the building.
CALLER: And there`s no real cameras inside the building, I heard.
CALLER: So couldn`t the killer have used her pass card to get around?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very -- very possible. And what we`re talking about here if we go on camera for a second, Mike Gaynor, is these pass cards which all of us have to get into buildings these days. But it was especially, especially tight security there because they did animal experimentation, which as we all know is highly, highly, highly controversial -- Mike Gaynor.
GAYNOR: Yes. Well, the I.D. cards are going to let you know who was supposed to have been in the building at that time, and the cameras that take a picture of everyone going on or coming out is certainly going to help conclude who was there or not.
Now, we know she didn`t come out, and they know they found her inside. And this is going to be a scientific case, DNA. I wouldn`t be a bit surprised if they find something underneath her fingernails. It seems to me that there was a violent fight that erupted at some point, and the strangulation, of course, caused her death.
But clues were left behind and be sure that the FBI, the New Haven Police Department...
GAYNOR: ... and the state police are right on top of this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get to some clues.
GAYNOR: What surprises me is why they handcuffed this guy when they brought him out of his house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to get to some key clues here. Now, the girlfriend of Raymond Clark reportedly posted startling blog entries on her MySpace page last year.
Quote, "My boyfriend, Ray, has no interest in any of the other girls at the university research center as anything more than friends. This rumor of a fling is probably the most stupid thing I have ever heard. Obviously, the people that are creating these rumors must need to get a hobby," end quote.
Meantime, the "New York Daily News" reports Raymond Clark said Annie Le e-mails that claimed she was lax on lab protocol. Annie`s replies were said to be conciliatory. What can we glean, Robin Bond, former prosecutor, from all of this information?
BOND: Well, what can we glean? Well, we can glean that there was some sort of relationship, some sort of a stressor, between Mr. Clark and the victim, and we don`t exactly know what it was. But I do believe that there was more here than meets the eye, and we will figure this out. Now...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who`s trying to -- who`s going uh, uh?
SCHWARTZ: When you read the e-mails -- when you read the e-mails, Jane, I think you`re going to know what the relationship is all about. E- mails, you know, e-mails can speak volumes as to the relationship between two people. So the fact that you have the e-mails and you got to see the connotation between the e-mails between the two people to understand the relationship.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there. And there are these unconfirmed reports of some sort of crush. We certainly cannot confirm that. But you know, sometimes people reach out with e-mails, not so much the substance of the e-mail being important, but more the fact that they want to reach out to this other individual.
Thank you, outstanding panel.
Coming up, TMZ reporting the D.A.`s office is putting the final touches on Jackson`s homicide case. Where do they stand? We`ll try to tell you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A horrific gang rape that makes me sick to my stomach. A young woman lured away from a party, tied up and brutally raped, allegedly by five men in a dormitory bathroom. First a murder, then a gang rape -- are universities the latest battleground in the war on women?
Plus, murder, suicide and reality TV. VH1 pulling the plug on some of their reality shows. The "New York Post" claims the network is rethinking their programming since one of their contestants murdered his wife, then killed himself. Isn`t it about time we stopped putting unstable people on television?
But first, LaToya Jackson is sticking by her theory that her brother was killed. LaToya uses the words "murder" and "homicide" but in the very same breath, she says she doesn`t know if what happened to Michael was deliberate. Huh? Listen to what she said on "The View."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LATOYA JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S SISTER: I felt that it was homicide. He had been murdered, yes, absolutely. Michael continuously told me LaToya, if I die, I`m going to be killed; they`re going to kill me over my catalog, over my publishing. And he was afraid of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does that even make sense? Would the person who killed him get the rights to his music? We`re going to debate that one.
And nearly three months after Jackson`s death, still no charges. That could change soon. TMZ reporting the Jackson homicide investigation is nearly done and Dr. Conrad Murray still the sole focus. The D.A. could get the case in three to four weeks. Three to four weeks? What`s taking so long?
Out to my fabulous expert panel: Mike Gaynor, retired NYPD detective; attorney, Tanya Acker; and Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ. TMZ has been on top of this story from the beginning.
Mike, what is the very latest?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, you said it Jane. I`m glad we can finally put a date on it, and that is three to four weeks. We`re being told that this case will be presented in three to four weeks.
What`s going on right now is there`s medical experts -- about two to three weeks from now -- medical experts that have been given this, obviously a lot of medical information and evidence here in the case. They`re taking a look at it. They`re supposed to give the LAPD back this stuff in two to three weeks, one more week of them to gather up this stuff, deliver it to the district attorney. We could see charges in about three to four weeks; a lot of people asking that.
The other question a lot of people ask is if Dr. Murray, if Dr. Murray is charged, whether they will arrest him. We`re told no, they`ll charge him first if there`s charges. Then he`ll check himself in somewhere in Los Angeles at any LAPD facility. But that`s what we`re hearing and this is what`s coming down. We can finally put a date on it if there`s charges.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I was there the day that Michael Jackson flew in from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara to turn himself in during the infamous trial, the molestation case of which he was ultimately acquitted. It was one of the craziest days of my life.
A video photographer actually died -- collapsed and died at the scene, there was such stress and drama. I`m sure if, and we don`t know, if he turns himself in, it`s going to be one of those dramatic days that you`ve seen so many times, Mike.
WALTER: You`ve got it. I mean, Jane, I remember when you were there, I think I was working for you when that happened. You`re right.
I mean, I think -- I mean, remember with Howard K. Stern and the Anna Nicole Smith case, he went to Whittier (ph) which is outside, really outside L.A. County boundaries, and not a lot of people -- we caught him there but not a lot of people knew he was there. It wasn`t a big media thing like the one you were at.
But you`re right, if there`s a word that he`s been charged and his lawyers are coming in here to help him turn himself in, if we know where it is and all the media, including CNN, everyone will be there. And you`re right, it will be mayhem; big, entire crowd of people with cameras and even fans, maybe even fans.
WALTERS: Yes, absolutely.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, there are so many conspiracy theories surrounding Jackson`s death, I want to talk to you about this, Tanya Acker. LaToya says Michael feared people were after the rights to Jackson`s incredibly valuable music catalog. He owns a chunk of the Sony ATV catalog which in turn owns songs by the Beatles, and Elvis and other legends.
Isn`t that catalog, though, in Jackson`s estate and aren`t the beneficiaries his mom and kids? How could anyone else get rich off of it?
TANYA ACKER, ATTORNEY: You will please forgive me, Jane, if I don`t give great credence to LaToya Jackson`s theories about what happened to her brother. Look, the whole notion that this was all part of some plot to get her brother`s catalog makes no sense. It makes no sense in terms of just exercising common sense and it makes no sense legally.
Like no one who killed Michael Jackson, if this doctor really is responsible for having killed Michael Jackson, then there`s no -- the notion that he somehow would -- this would accelerate someone`s claims to the estate or to the catalog is simply silly and it`s nonsense to even entertain that sort of thing. That just absolutely makes no sense.
This is still a tragedy and look, I think a lot of people are still trying to get their heads around his death. His family is still trying to do it. But to do it in a way where you advance these really absurd theories about what happened to him and why really does nothing to bring any closure to this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I want to talk about this timeline, Mike Gaynor, why it`s taking so long. We`ve got a little timeline here that shows us, my gosh, it was way back July 22nd, a month after Jackson`s death, police raided Dr. Murray`s office storage unit in Houston. And then six days later they finally showed up to raid his home in Las Vegas, totally ruining the element of surprise. Then there were numerous other raids, the Beverly Hills pharmacy where Jackson had racked up huge bills. With all these raids, why are they still waiting to file charges?
MIKE GAYNOR, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, Mike.
GAYNOR: Did you want me to answer that?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Mike, go ahead.
GAYNOR: They don`t know for sure who they`re going to lock up besides looking to lock up the good doctor. They`re looking at these pharmacists as well who he was prescription shopping with. We all know that Michael Jackson was addicted to drugs, had at least a touch of paranoia, some people might say the same about LaToya, I don`t know.
Whether or not someone was trying to kill him doesn`t sound very likely. He contributed much to his own death. If the doctor is charged with anything, it`s not going to be a homicide in as much as an intentional murder. It`s going to be more like he screwed up in his medical abilities.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, that`s your prediction and if and when something changes, we`re going to play that prediction on the air. All right.
Thank you so much.
Now, this next story is really gut-wrenching. We`re gong to turn to a horrific crime against a female college student in just the last week. First, Annie Le`s tragic murder at Yale, now this: a young woman gang raped inside a bathroom at Hofstra University.
It turns my stomach. Police say the 18-year-old victim was at a nightclub on a Long Island campus Saturday, dancing with one of the suspects, Rondell Bedward (ph). He is also a student at Hofstra.
Cops say he grabbed her cell phone and walked out of the club. She went after him, which was allegedly all part of a sick plan. Police say he lured her to a dorm where a second man was waiting and then the two forced her into the men`s bathroom.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DETECTIVE LT. JOHN ALLEN, NASSAU COUNTY, SPECIAL VICTIMS SQUAD: They bound her and they repeatedly entered the stall one at a time, trying to engage in different sexual activities.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say three other men then came into the room and the victim begged them for help but she didn`t know they were allegedly in on it. Police say they all took turns raping her.
The victim called campus police and four of the five suspects were arrested; the fifth still on the loose.
What is going on at our universities? Is the war on women now being waged on America`s campuses? It seems so.
I want to welcome back Tanya Acker and Mike Gaynor and on the phone, Mona Rivera, reporter for 1010 WINS (ph) in New York. Mona, what is the very latest?
MONA RIVERA, REPORTER, 1010 WINS: Well, today, there was the continuing hunt for the fifth suspect in this Hofstra rape. So far, police have not announced that they have rounded up this guy. I was told that they do know who this person is because these men had to actually sign into the dorm so they have the ID. They just have not nailed down the fifth suspect.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, some students at Hofstra are complaining they found out about this rape from the news or on Facebook, not from the university.
Listen to this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It says it reported the crime on an internal home page. Here is my question for you, Tanya Acker. Are students supposed to be staring at that page for hours on end waiting for these alerts? We know how students are. They`re not always going to be checking that particular area. Hofstra officials say they only send text and e-mails when there`s an imminent threat. Am I missing something?
ACKER: Jane --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s a suspect still on the loose. That`s an imminent threat.
ACKER: We were both students. I have been a woman in a university. The notion that while you are at the same time trying to study and do your work and that you have to constantly check the university Web site for alerts as to whether or not there`s a sexual predator on the loose simply makes no sense to me whatsoever. This is -- we simply can`t burden female university students with trying to protect themselves by being on the lookout by having to check the university Web site to see if someone`s on the loose.
That`s absurd. It`s crazy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, I`m getting lots of e-mails from people who were thrilled that we are shining a light on the war on women. I want to read one of them that I got last night from a female police officer.
She writes, "You go, girl. I was compelled to write to you after you brought up the subject of women as crime victims on tonight`s show. Part of why I became a police officer is because I wanted to protect those who sometimes cannot protect themselves.
Every time another report of a woman murdered is covered, I think back to one specific case in my career. I was the first officer to respond to a hotel room. The scene in that hotel room is one I pray I, or my fellow officers, do not ever have to see again."
These stories we cover are not anti-law enforcement. That cop was talking about a brutal torture and murder of a woman that has haunted her entire life. You know, these crimes, Mike Gaynor, are not just hurting the women. Those families of those suspects are likely completely destroyed, even the officers who cover them are traumatized.
GAYNOR: Yes. It`s true. These are horrible things that happen. Go ahead, I`m getting some feedback.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, okay. Tanya Acker, talk to me.
ACKER: One of the things that really concerns me and again, I also want to congratulate you, Jane, for shining a light on this issue, but you know, I just feel like it`s not getting any better.
I mean, we have been hearing about women being assaulted, attacked, harassed, raped, on university campuses since way before I was in college. I`m not embarrassed to say that that wasn`t a long time ago. There are institutional things --
GAYNOR: Schools are generally easy pickings, unfortunately.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have to leave it right there. But we`re going to stay on top of this war on women.
And we`re going to talk about Jon Gosselin next. You won`t believe this one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: (AUDIO GAP) become dangerous from drug addiction, to people dying? Are overzealous producers responsible? We will debate it.
First, tonight`s "Top of the Block."
This is a real shocker. A sympathetic shout out to reality TV star Kate Gosselin from one of Jon Gosselin`s alleged ex-girlfriends.
Former tabloid reporter Kate Major tells our very own "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" A.J. Hammer that not only was she romantically involved with Jon - - a claim he adamantly denies -- but Kate Major feels sorry for Kate Gosselin and her kids.
It doesn`t stop there.
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A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Obviously, it sounds like from your vantage point, anyway, a relationship developed fast and furious. Did you love him?
KATE MAJOR, DATED JON GOSSELIN: No. No. I think I was in lust with him but no, I did not love him.
HAMMER: Do you hate him now?
MAJOR: I despise him.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Despise. You know, that kind of sounds familiar. Oh, yes, I remember where. Jon said he despises his ex-wife -- soon to be ex. He also said he loves his new 22-year-old girlfriend more than he ever loved his wife, Kate.
What is going on here? There`s a lot of haters in the Gosselins` reality. We have seen famous couples go through nasty divorces but this one takes the cake. Clearly, somebody needs to intervene so that Jon and both Kates sort out their problems offline. Eight beautiful kids are being directly impacted by all of this.
Note to Gosselins and company, stop all the trash talk and clean up your act. For A.J.`s scandalous full interview with Kate Major, that`s the ex-girlfriend but he says it`s not an ex-girlfriend, tune in to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" at 11:00 Eastern time.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
Drugs, alcohol, violence; we are taking you inside the dangerous world of reality TV. Ryan Jenkins starred in two VH1 reality shows before allegedly brutally murdering his wife.
Model Jasmine Fiore was found stuffed inside a suitcase. This is really gross. Her fingers cut off, her teeth ripped out. She was so mutilated cops had to identify her by her breast implants.
The whole nation watched in horror as this real life drama unfolded. Ryan Jenkins went on the lam and it all ended in a very seedy motel room, where he hanged himself.
VH1`s "Megan Wants a Millionaire and "I Love Money 3" immediately yanked from the air; but the bigger issue, how was this psycho monster cast on a dating show? In this chilling VH1 clip, Jenkins seems quite normal.
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RYAN JENKINS, REALITY TV CONTESTANT: Time with Megan alone was enough to let her get in touch with my deeper side and redeem myself for, you know, some of the silly things I said.
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VELEZ-MITCHELL: It was only later that we learned the horrors this man was capable of. Jenkins also had a record for assault that VH1 missed. Has reality TV finally gone too far and crossed some invisible line?
The "New York post" reports the gruesome murder-suicide has VH1 furiously trying to distance themselves from this image.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Slap me (BLEEP).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You (BLEEP) you put your (BLEEP) hands on me? Did you see that? Spit in my (BLEEP) face?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
My opinion, they need to stop fueling drama with alcohol, you think, and maybe unstable cast members?
Straight out to my expert panel: Terry Lyles, psychologist -- we need you so badly; Kim Serafin, senior editor, "In Touch Weekly" -- we need you too; Tanya Acker attorney who also appeared as a mentor on VH1`s Charm School so we need you too; and Stuart Brazell, casting director and you apparently actually cast Ryan Jenkins.
But I want to stress, it`s very important to say you were not responsible for doing the background check on him, where some of his previous record fell between the cracks. You`re deep in the reality TV world, Stuart. What impact has this horrific murder-suicide involving a reality TV star by the name of Ryan Jenkins -- looking at him right now -- what`s it had on the industry?
STUART, BRAZELL, CASTING DIRECTOR: You know, I will say that the fans of these VH1 shows, when it`s kind of been coming out that VH1 is going to stray away from this programming, go for, you know, more celebrity-based shows, they love these shows. There`s a reason why VH1 has had success with these shows. There`s a fan base, that`s what they crave. They love this kind of outrageous behavior these shows offer.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But they`re going to change now with this murder- suicide.
BRAZELL: You know, I will say this. The top five shows on VH1, they all did have the word "Love" in them but you also have a show like "Tough Love." I think VH1 is going to start to steer more towards shows that show a progression improvement that`s the betterment of the contestants versus just, you know, these crazy types of people dating one another.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Critics complain VH1 seems to seek out mentally unhinged people to provide drama. I`m not saying Danny Bonaduce is unhinged but watch this trailer and you decide for yourself.
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DANNY BONADUCE, FORMER CHILD STAR: Without Gretchen, I`m a 30-second sound bite. Danny Bonaduce, ex child star. Danny Bonaduce, obsessive personality.
BONADUCE: I take enough pills to get full.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is Danny Bonaduce?
BONADUCE: I`m not real clear Danny Bonaduce has to be unsound, broken, screwed up, happy, overboard, (INAUDIBLE) barely famous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Right, we are going to analyze Mr. Bonaduce and the rest of the gang, everyone stay right where you are, we are diving deep into the dysfunction of reality television right after the break. Stay right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Critics complain VH1`s struck gold when they figure out treacherous formula, alcohol plus wild cast members equals ratings. Do they see these people booze, you can decide for yourself. Look at this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh my God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh stop...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not going to (BLEEP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes you`re (BLEEP) I won`t...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kim Serafin, senior editor "In Touch Weekly." It looks like alcohol abuse to me and it seems to be encouraged it by the people who are producing this stuff. Is that my imagination?
KIM SERAFIN, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH WEEKLY": No, that is definitely true, the alcohol definitely flows freely. And yes people do tune in to see these contestants acts kind of crazy. But they will also tune in for B, C, D list celebrities, because as you just showed that Danny Bonaduce clip celebrities act a little crazy as well.
Plus, you have with celebrities the advertisers will maybe to flock a little bit more -- it`s a little more advertiser friendly. Also, "In Touch Weekly" the entertainment shows will cover some of these shows maybe a little bit more, when they do have a celebrity attached even if it is a B, C, or D list celebrity.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, despite their extremely trashy nature these shows as we have been saying are ratings gold. VH1`s prime time average audience this year is 760,000; that is a lot, people.
ACKER: Jane, Jane their ratings gold, but by the same token the network decides what it`s going to put on. Someone and -- you know I don`t blame the executives. They think that people watch these shows so they are like, let`s put more of them on air.
But by the same token people watch what is there. And I think that we`ve got to be very careful about what`s happening in this cultural moment.
TERRY LYLES, PSYCHOLOGIST: I disagree.
ACKER: We have seen in this same week, if a Member of Congress heckle the president, we`ve seen rap stars go on and snatch an award from a 17- year-old girl and then we`ve also seen a really well-respected athlete throw a tantrum on the national stage.
ACKER: We are creating a culture where this type of bad behavior is indulged and I think...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Terry Lyles...
LYLES: Come on, Jane I disagree with parts of that, because you know what, people watch this. You just mentioned the ratings are off the chart -- they are off the chart because viewers love this stuff.
As sick as it is, as weird as it is, they found an audience that producers were doing their job. We`re catering to people`s needs, that`s what they want to see, believe it or not, that`s what happens.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I...
ACKER: What if we televise public executions?
LYLES: You know what? Wait a while, wait a while.
SERAFIN: People like to watch "American idol." So I mean, there is an appetite for other shows as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, you mentioned -- you mentioned the flip-out at the U.S. Open. Well, remember John McEnroe?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Back in the old days, he used to flip out all the time. So wasn`t that uncivility too? That`s how he made his name. I went to the U.S. Open and I watched two players who were extremely polite and I fell asleep.
LYLES: Jane, the difference with John McEnroe in this case is that -- that was part of his game, he used that for intimidation. Today some of these people are just leaking and just going nuts. So John was kind of an anomaly in his game. You see it all across the board now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I love John McEnroe don`t get me wrong. But come on.
BRAZELL: They`re put into roles and archetypes. It`s reality...
SERAFIN: ...but these situations are created and people are put in because they want them to be combustible. Because it make to get to be and no one is watching to see if Fred Michaels falls in love. They`re watching to see the crazy efforts of the girl ...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to wrap it there, thank you fantastic feisty panel.
Remember to click on CNN.com/Jane and pre-order your copy of my new book "I Want". You are watching ISSUES on HLN.