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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Jaycee Dugard Appears on Magazine, Ready to Testify; Woman Arrested for Cutting in Line at Wal-Mart
Aired October 14, 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, Jaycee Dugard speaks out for the very first time since her hellish nightmare ended. She was allegedly kidnapped, raped and forced to spend 18 long years locked up in a hidden compound. The alleged kidnapper, who fathered Jaycee`s two children, was arrested back in August. Now for the very first time, we have new pictures of Jaycee taken after this nightmare ended. You will not believe what she has to say.
Outrage, controversy and charges of racism ripping through a small Missouri town. A woman could face major jail time, and it all allegedly started because she jumped in line at the cashier? Cops say this woman was belligerent and abusive, but tonight, we`re going to talk to her dad and get his side of the story.
And mothers out there, you`ll wonder who can do this to their own children. A 1-year-old baby found dead, thrown away like a piece of trash. Her twin sister, found barely alive under a mattress. Cops say a woman left three toddlers home alone for more than 12 hours with no electricity and no water. Who would do this to their own kids?
Tonight, we`re going to talk to former sideline superstar, Lisa Guerrero, about her stunning discovery in the Erin Andrews case. That sports reporter was secretly videotaped naked, changing inside her hotel room. But could something like this happen again? Lisa Guerrero and a TV crew went back to the same exact hotel, and you will not believe what they found.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the young woman held captive for 18 long years breaks her silence and the nation is captivated by Jaycee Dugard`s surprise appearance on the cover of "People" magazine. It turns out she is a beautiful brunette young woman, grinning from ear to ear. But the reason Jaycee made "People`s" cover is, of course, no reason to smile.
Back in 1991, when she was just 11 years old, Jaycee was abducted by two complete strangers, snatched and thrown into a car as she made her way to the school bus one morning. Her mother and stepfather desperately pleaded for her return, but it would not come for almost two decades. That`s when a series of bizarre events led cops to registered sex offender, Philip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, seen there. And that`s when the horrific and twisted truth was finally discovered.
Police say Jaycee had been brainwashed and hidden in plain sight, imprisoned in a secret compound of tents, living in squalor. Worse yet, prosecutors say Jaycee was raped and gave birth to two of Philip Garrido`s daughters.
Tonight, as we marvel at the 29-year-old`s cheerful appearance, Jaycee is reportedly ready and willing to testify against the monster who allegedly violated her. We know there`s a hearing scheduled two weeks from now.
The Dugard family spokesperson told NBC`s "Today" that Jaycee is, in fact, ready.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIKA SCHULTE, DUGARD FAMILY SPOKESPERSON: Knowing that the trial is looming and that the prosecution has a job to do, you know, that`s certainly important. And she is well aware, as her attorney has said, she`s well aware that, for that prosecution to move forward, she needs to cooperate, and she`s fully prepared to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Great news, but is she really? Can she really hold up in court, in the media spotlight and in the public?
Tonight`s big issue: is that beautiful smile masking a tangled web of emotions way too complicated for any of us to imagine? What do you think? Give me a call.
Straight out to my awesome expert panel: Lisa Bloom, CNN legal analyst. There she is. Stacy Honowitz, supervisor of the sex crimes unit in the Florida prosecutor`s office; and Michael Silverman, psychologist and neuroscientist in the Department of Psychiatry at New York`s Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
But we start with Henry Lee, reporter with "The San Francisco Chronicle."
Henry, what is the very latest?
HENRY LEE, REPORTER, "SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE": Well, Jane, as you can see, we have Jaycee Dugard featured in the upcoming front page of the "People" magazine. Beautiful brunette woman. This is empowering for her. She is saying, "I have survived. I am here." She wants to give thanks to everyone who has given her and her family support. Unbelievable developments. So she is there giving her story across the nation. Jaycee Dugard is back.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, tonight`s big issue: is the photo of Jaycee grinning on the cover of "People" magazine somehow misleading? Perhaps masking some very pain -- painful feelings underneath? Listen to what one expert told CBS News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SAUL FAERSTEIN: The smile on her face is quite deceptive. It`s a true expression of what she`s feeling right now, but inside, there are a lot of things she needs to work through.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So the Dugard family spokesperson told the magazine Jaycee is not dwelling on the past. She is, quote, "never looking back," end quote.
So does this new photo camouflage pain? And Michael Silverman -- you`re the psychologist -- does Jaycee need to start looking back at the horror she experienced to process it and to ultimately work through it?
MICHAEL SILVERMAN, PSYCHOLOGIST/NEUROSCIENTIST, MT. SINAI`S SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Right. You know, Jane, it`s a great question. Science doesn`t really quite know what one scientist might say, you know, they should start reassessing the trauma, thinking back, going through all those memories. Some others would suggest, you know what, let`s kind of just...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you suggest? You`re a psychologist. I mean, you`ve treated people. She`s gone through a horror, 18 years, complete insanity. And yet, she`s now out of it. She`s now with her mom in an undisclosed location in Northern California, with the two daughters that she had by her alleged abductor in the course of rape, and they are trying to have a normal life. What...
SILVERMAN: Trying. Trying to have a normal life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... should they do? Let me -- let me say this. One of the revelations in the magazine is that Jaycee and her two daughters are in therapy, a very special kind of therapy. Listen to this. This is amazing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAPLAN, SENIOR EDITOR, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Jaycee and her daughters, as well, they`re doing a lot of horseback riding. Horseback riding, as we know, is sort of a very common form of therapy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Horse therapy is commonly used for all types of trauma. Animals are such wonderful healers, because they give unconditional love without any judgment. So would it also give Jaycee and her daughters, in a way, a chance to bond in a neutral manner that has nothing to do with their shared horror? And I`m going to throw that one out to Lisa Bloom. As a CNN legal analyst, you`ve covered so many really horrific cases. Weigh in on this one.
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think absolutely, Jane. Look, I know that when I have a bad day, I call it puppy therapy. I go home and play with my dogs, and within about five minutes, I feel, like, a lot better.
Now, Jaycee Dugard has gone through a horrible trauma and of course, that beautiful picture of her, I think she looks like a model or an actress. She looks so pretty, but surely that covers up for the pain that`s inside of her that she`s got to feel.
And I think it`s up to her to decide what the best course is. You know, part of what sexual abuse survivors need is to regain control of their own lives. To not just follow what some therapist says or what some doctor says or what some lawyer says, but to take charge of their own lives. And if riding horses helps her, if being with her mom outside the media helps her, if looking forward and not backwards helps her, then I say more power to her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Stacy Honowitz, you`re a Florida prosecutor. You`ve covered many of these cases. Let`s also talk, along with therapy, about isolation. They`re in an undisclosed location in Northern California, rustic. They`re going horseback riding. They`re not interacting with the outside world. At a certain point, though, do they have to, A, deal with the past, talk about it, process it, and ultimately deal with the outside world?
STACY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, sure, Jane, but they don`t have to do any of that right now. They don`t have to do anything but what they want to do.
And quite frankly, it`s absolutely miraculous that she has agreed to talk to "People" magazine and agreed to be on the cover and show her face this early in the investigation with what`s going on.
And so everything has to be done at their own pace. If they choose to be isolated, if they choose to bond, if they choose to do therapy, not to go to therapy, to look back, not to look back, these are all things that are based on what they feel comfortable with.
But the one thing that everybody has to remember is, they choose at this point not to be bogged down by people, by the outside world, only to choose who they would like to speak to and that was "People" magazine.
The fact that she realizes now that cooperation and going to the prosecutor and maybe having to testify in court will empower her, it`s a catharsis, I`m sure at some point, for her to be able to speak about it. But as Lisa said, with sexual abuse victims, they have to make the decision as to what is best for them. Eventually, time will tell what will be healing for them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I looked at that photo, and I say that is a genuinely happy young woman. And I think it`s wonderful for her to be able to show her face and say, "I`m a winner. I came out of this strong. Look how good I look."
There is nothing like imprisonment and then imprisonment ending to give someone a sense of relishing their own freedom. So we have that as very empowering right there.
Obviously, there`s a lot of stuff she`s still got to deal with, but I think it`s wonderful that she`s on the cover of "People." And I think it is a sense of empowerment and sort of taking back the situation, taking back the power.
Sometimes when you hide, you`re a victim. You`re -- you`re in a sense saying, "I`m shame-based. The other side is winning." But when you sit there on the cover of "people" magazine saying, "I look good. I`m smiling. I`m taking back the power. I`m taking back my life," I think that`s all very healthy. Michael Silverman, psychologist?
SILVERMAN: You know what, Jane, though? The thing I`m -- yes, I`m not convinced that, you know, she made that decision herself. Here`s a girl that was, in a sense, controlled for 18 years. How can we expect her to start making decisions for herself so quickly?
BLOOM: She may have to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on.
BLOOM: She might have had to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second. Lisa, go ahead.
BLOOM: Sorry. We`ve all had our picture taken, and they do our hair and makeup, as obviously was done for her, and they set up and they have a nice photographer, and they tell you to smile, and you smile. Doesn`t necessarily mean you`re feeling great that day.
And she looks terrific. And by the way, she probably received a nice payment, which I think she`s entitled to. Why shouldn`t she? Because the magazine is going to make money. Why shouldn`t she?
But just because she looks so nice in that picture, as many of us look nice in pictures, it doesn`t necessarily mean that she`s not hurting on the inside.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Excellent point.
More on Jaycee Dugard`s unbelievable story in just a minute. And we`re taking your calls on this one: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
And coming up, a woman goes to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of things. Hours later, she`s in jail. What happened? And now, why is she facing 15 years behind bars?
But first, how is Jaycee settling into her new life with her real mom, and what does she plan on doing, now that she`s a free woman, free from a hellish life?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TERRY PROBYN, JAYCEE`S MOTHER: Jaycee, I`m your mommy. I love you, and I want you to come home tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROBYN: She`s pretty, young, innocent child, and you may like her, but we love her, too. And it`s time that she comes home to her family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor woman. What hell she`s been through. That was Jaycee`s heartbroken mom back in 1991.
Tonight, in light of the avalanche of revelations about Jaycee`s well- guarded secret life after being rescued two months ago, we have to wonder about how others are coping since the reunion.
You`ve got Jaycee. You`ve got her two daughters. You`ve got her biological mom -- you just saw her there -- a lot happier now that she`s got her daughter back. You`ve got the half-sister, who was a toddler when Jaycee was abducted. And they`re all together, and they`re horseback riding and they`re doing therapy, and let`s hope they heal.
Let`s go to the phones. Anita, Alabama, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Well, I think Jaycee will be able to handle this. If she could raise those kids in the conditions she did, she will be able to face what she needs to and face her captors in court, too.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s absolutely true. She did an amazing job. Let`s talk about the two girls, allegedly fathered by the monster who held Jaycee captive for almost two decades. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TINA DUGARD, JAYCEE`S AUNT: Jaycee is a remarkable young woman who has raised two beautiful daughters. They are clever, articulate, curious girls who have a bright future ahead of them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Angel is 15, and Starlet is 11. Witnesses have said they`re normal; they`re polite, despite their lack of socialization.
Henry Lee, reporter, "San Francisco Chronicle," tell us about some of the quandaries that they`re now contemplating in terms of their names that were given to them by their alleged abductor, about how they`re going to be told about their conception.
LEE: Right, Jane, these are very critical issues. Recall that for 18 years, Jaycee was called Alissa, so keep that in mind.
Also, it goes without saying that her two kids weren`t told until, apparently, fairly recently about the exact circumstances of how they were born and who their parents are. Apparently, they believed that Jaycee was their older sister for awhile.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Silverman, you`re the psychologist. I`m going to hit you with two specific questions. Should these kids change their names, Starlet and Angel, to other names, given that the names were given to them by the man who`s accused of raping their mother?
SILVERMAN: You know, you`re...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Give me an answer. Pick one. Pick one.
SILVERMAN: You`re talking about potentially changing their identity. Right? That`s how they know themselves. I`m not so sure. You know, and who`s going to make that decision? Are you going to offer it to them to say, "Hey, kids, you know, your father was a rapist, and he named you, so why don`t we come up with a new name?" It`s still who they are.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Stacy Honowitz, weigh in.
HONOWITZ: Listen, I don`t think any of us have a right to judge as to how they should handle the rest of their lives. She was captive. She lived a horrific existence for such a long period of time that we, as outsiders, will never, ever know what this person and her family is going through.
So whatever decisions they decide to make, they have to live with, and we have to accept it. So I don`t think there`s any right or wrong answer.
She`s a victim of sexual abuse. These children are of the rapist. And so later on down the line, she makes a decision as to how she`s going to handle it, how she`s going to speak with them, and whether or not they decide to change their identity if they`re not happy with the situation.
BLOOM: I`ll tell you one thing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
BLOOM: One thing that should happen, Jane, is that the paparazzi should stop chasing around these children and trying to take pictures of them. And these little girls...
BLOOM: ... grew up in this horribly traumatic environment. I don`t want to see pictures of them with their faces fuzzed out. I mean, this is terrible.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, wait a second. That`s not the paparazzi.
BLOOM: Paparazzi have a lot of nerve. It`s one thing to go after a celebrity. It`s another thing for anybody to take pictures of children without their parents` consent, and clearly this was without consent.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you, but I think those particular photos are photos of the girls that were taken at a birthday party in the neighborhood before this whole case broke open wide.
And it was used as evidence of where the heck was law enforcement, that these girls were actually going down the block to neighbors` houses, and everybody in the neighborhood seemed to know about them.
BLOOM: OK, but...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And yet, the parole officer would come by and had no idea that Philip Garrido had a daughter or another daughter or had this whole tent city back there, even though you could see it. And that`s why there was such an uproar over this whole thing.
BLOOM: But Jane, what we`re hearing is that the paparazzi are chasing them, and they have to move to a different location and have FBI protection because of the paparazzi. And that`s what I`m talking about. I mean, that is outrageous to me. Everybody should just leave them alone and let them live their lives.
HONOWITZ: The difficulty will be, Lisa, as you know, when the trial approaches, and the hearing approaches, if these kids have to come to court, you know it`s just going to be an absolute circus.
And I think Lisa`s 100 percent right. I mean, really, the privacy that these people need, they`re sexual abuse victims to begin with. We`re not even talking about, you know, a high-profile case. But then you throw in what went on, the high-profile nature of this, you`ve really got to back off.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you. And we`re issuing a warning to all paparazzi: leave these people alone, OK? They`re not starlets; they`re not actresses. They`re victims and survivors.
Everyone, we`ve got to leave it right there for now.
Jaycee Dugard has come a long way, but she obviously has a long way ahead as she recovers from trauma, as she adjusts to her new normal life. You know, we all have issues and demons. As you know, I`ve got my issues and my demons. I`m no exception.
In my new book "iWant," it`s an open book. I tell you all about my battles: addictions, the struggle to become sober. My story could help you or a loved one if you`re dealing and grappling with addiction. My book "iWant" is in book stores now or you can order online: CNN.com/Jane.
Once again, thanks, fantastic panel.
Coming up, a heart wrenching story. Toddlers left to fend for themselves in the most horrific conditions. You will not believe what this mother is accused of doing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Spotlight," police arrest a woman accused of cutting in line at a Wal-Mart. Did the cops overreact?
Heather Ellis has spent nearly three years trying to clear her name and stay out of prison, all because of a simple shopping trip to Wal-Mart. Heather says she was just joining her cousin in line when she was accused of cutting in line, not a crime the last time I checked, but things quickly escalated and police were called to the store.
The police report says Heather was, quote, "very belligerent, angry, hostile and aggressive," and that she became combative and began fighting the officer. They charged her with -- get this -- assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, but Heather claims she cried and pleaded and did not resist.
If she is convicted, she could face 15 years in prison.
Now, here`s my big issue. With all the hideously violent crime going on in this country every day -- and we talk about it every night here on ISSUES -- is this really the type of case law enforcement wants to pursue? At taxpayer expense?
And what about store surveillance video? The prosecutor says he has footage that will help prove Heather was resisting. So where`s the tape? I want to see the tape.
I`m very happy to have Heather`s dad with me today, Reverend Nathaniel Ellis.
Reverend Ellis, welcome.
REV. NATHANIEL ELLIS, HEATHER`S DAD: Hello.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you explain the two very different versions of what happened that day? Your daughter`s and the cops`?
ELLIS: Well, actually, it`s a lie being told. My daughter was sent there to get a few items for my wife. The actual arrest said that she was cursing. She knowingly disturbed the peace of Kay McDaniel (ph), who was the night manager. It was not about an issue of cutting in line.
First of all, my daughter is not known to be a curser. And previously, she had accepted Christ as her savior, and she had been raised in a Christian home and that`s simply not true.
And also, if they would release the tape from Wal-Mart, it would clear up the whole matter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you haven`t seen the tape?
ELLIS: They would not release it. Wal-Mart wouldn`t release it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this happened three years ago.
ELLIS: Yes, sir -- yes, ma`am.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Now, we spoke with a Wal-Mart representative to get the company`s reaction, but they have not provided us with a statement yet.
Please do. We want to hear your side, want to hear all sides of this story. We just want to get to the truth.
Heather`s case, you know, kind of reminds me of Mitrice Richardson, that young woman who is currently missing in Malibu. She was alone at a high-end restaurant, couldn`t pay her bill, wound up arrested. And then they released her in the middle of the night. She disappeared. She hasn`t been seen from since. Another case of a young African-American woman in trouble with cops over something that`s not really a crime.
It`s not like -- neither of these cases, somebody went out and tried to do something wrong like steal. In your daughter`s case, the NAACP has gotten involved. Do you think there`s racism here?
ELLIS: I know there`s racism. It is blatant, overt racism.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. What are you going to do about it? Apparently, you were offered a plea deal, and your daughter decided not to accept it.
ELLIS: She decided not to sign, because she was told never admit guilt when you are innocent. We plan to fight it, as we have. The NAACP has been involved. The SCOC and ACLU, and we`re marching on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I got to tell you something, Reverend. We`re not going to let this story go. We know there`s a court case coming up. And we are going to stay on top of it. We`re going to have you back. We`re not going to let this one slip through the cracks, sir. The cracks, is what I meant to say.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Next story makes my blood boil. Kids in diapers abandoned by their mom. You won`t believe it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stomach-churning child abuse: a 1-year-old baby found dead, thrown away like a piece of trash. Her twin sister found barely alive. Cops say their mom left three children home alone, with no electricity and no water. Who could do this to their own children?
Plus, we`re going to talk to former sideline superstar Lisa Guerrero about her stunning discovery in the Erin Andrews case. That sports reporter was secretly videotaped naked, changing inside her hotel room, but could something like this happen again? You won`t believe it.
Tonight, a story that is guaranteed to leave you horrified and heartbroken, especially if you`re a mom yourself: a precious helpless baby was found starved to death and dumped in a trash can behind her family`s home. Inside the house, police discovered her twin sister barely alive under a bed. The 2-year-old brother was starving and bruised with a very dirty diaper.
Where was mom? She had been to another state. Police say 21-year-old Christian Woods left her kids alone at their Florida home for three days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF DAVID MORGAN, ESCAMBIA COUNTY: We found that when she left these children in the home that there was approximately six cups of Jello opened and left in the living room for these children to eat with no water and no juice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It gets worse from there. The home had no electricity as we mentioned, no water. Police say it was totally filthy. Can you even imagine, three toddlers left alone without food or water for three days? Oh, yes, there were a few Jello cups tossed on the floor. They were wearing the same diaper for three days. This really makes me nauseous.
The mom reported 18-month-old Malia missing on Monday, saying she might have been abducted. Look at that precious little girl. Police say her story, the mom`s, just didn`t make any sense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: She then admitted to one child had died and had been deposited in a trash can at the rear of the home and she believed that the other child was still alive. They found the child underneath the bed in the bedroom, still clinging to life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s right. The surviving twin girl, little Michaela (ph) was in such bad shape, police initially thought she was dead; then she fluttered her eyelids and everybody rejoiced, she was alive.
Take a look at this little boy. The girls` 2-year-old brother, Jaterius, also shows signs of neglect and abuse. Look at that beautiful child. The two surviving siblings are now in the hospital recovering from pneumonia and malnutrition. Their mom charged with manslaughter and child abuse.
If these kids were being starved, beaten and neglected, somebody had to have noticed. Why didn`t anybody speak up for these poor kids? Where was the Department of Children and Families?
Back to my expert panel: I`ve got to start with Stacey Honowitz. You`re the prosecutor. The sickest part of this for me is that while police grilled the mom for a dozen hours, her surviving twin daughter, the one she didn`t throw in the trash, the one who was in the house, was fighting for her life under a bed, inside the home; evidently missed by cops during their initial visit.
So it seems likely that this mom knew the clock was ticking on her surviving daughter and yet, she stalled cops allegedly with lies for 12 long hours.
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, if she did what she did to the first kid, what would make you think that all of a sudden she would become this redeeming person and talk about this other child?
This is the most repulsive, disgusting case you can really imagine. And quite frankly, it`s amazing to me that they`re charging her with manslaughter. This is a felony murder case in my book. This is child abuse. You leave your three kids for three days with no electricity, water or food, that`s child abuse. The child died in the commission of a felony. It`s felony murder.
So I`m hoping that they review all of the documents and they upgrade the charges and there`s nothing more to say about this case. It is hideous, it`s disgusting, and you know, it happens all the time. That`s the sad part. People don`t have a license to have a child. DCF goes out all the time to these homes --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You just raised it. Child welfare workers knew about this family. Somebody actually called to report Jaterius, the boy was being neglected. We don`t have any access to the case file, but we do know that a caseworker who went to the house did not ask that the children be removed, and did not see any reason for the courts to get involved.
Lisa Bloom, squalor, roaches, neglect, malnutrition, no electricity, no running water. Why the hell didn`t a child welfare worker say get these kids out of this house of horrors?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No child in America in 2009 should be in a house without electricity and running water. Let`s start with that. When you add to it, you`ve got a 21-year-old single mom with three little toddlers under her care, obviously not capable of handling them. Of course, the children should have been taken away immediately.
These cases are horrendous, as you and Stacey say, absolutely, but I say there has to be something wrong with this mother. I`m sorry, for her to leave her kids for 24 hours, to leave a child dying under the bed, to put a child in the trash can, this does not show an advanced criminal mind.
This shows somebody who has a serious problem. There`s something clearly wrong with this woman. The fact that Child Protective Services came and they didn`t see it, they`ve got blood on their hands, I`m sorry. They do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree with you.
This mom, ok, she was a mother of three by the age of 21. We don`t know whether the father or fathers of these children is in the picture. She`s a single mom. So obviously, she`s in over her head. Three kids in a home that`s certainly not fit to house human beings, not fit to live in.
HONOWITZ: Guess what, Florida law -- you know, I deal with these cases all the time. Florida law says guess what, a dirty house doesn`t mean anything. You can`t be charged because you have a dirty home, and this is what happened. This is the result of cases that we get in every single day, where parents have disgusting houses.
But the law down here says unless the child looks like they`re going to die, you cannot charge the mother. And we run into these problems all the time. The law needs to be changed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Silverman, psychologist, how do we stop kids from having kids? Younger and younger girls becoming moms, their kids suffering because of it; this is our big issue tonight.
I mean, this didn`t have to happen. Something has really gotten sick about our culture that this is happening more and more, over and over, and why are these kids being encouraged to have kids?
MICHAEL SILVERMAN, PSYCHOLOGIST: See, you`re bringing up a couple really good points. The first is as a clinician, it is very hard to make a decision of whether you should remove a child from their parent. That`s a brutal decision that any clinician in that sort of situation has to make.
The second is, we`re not -- and Lisa made a very good point -- there`s something wrong with the mother.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You think?
SILVERMAN: And from my experience, this is indicative of a post- partum depression that has gone on far too long, undiagnosed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, please.
BLOOM: And Jane...
HONOWITZ: Can I tell you something?
SILVERMAN: How do you save...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Hold on. Let Stacey talk.
HONOWITZ: You know how many times I see these cases, these women come in -- it has nothing to do with post-partum. These are young girls that have kids that don`t have a higher education, that aren`t taught how to raise a child who think that screwing around in high school is great. Who aren`t taught by...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. One at a time.
Lisa Bloom, go ahead.
BLOOM: We had a state in this country that briefly actually offered a solution and that was Nebraska. Remember they had a law briefly where anybody could drop off a child at the local police station or hospital, no questions asked, and it turns out people were bringing teenagers in. It was supposed to be for infants but there was a loophole. People were bringing in nine kids because they just couldn`t handle them.
I think every state needs to have a safeguard. If you have kids, and you can`t handle them, and you`re on the verge of what happened here with Christian Woods. Bring them to the police station, bring them to the hospital; no questions asked, because the safety and protection of children should be number one.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, let me just say this. On this show, ISSUES, we try to come up with solutions. We try to stay in the solution.
These stories, they`re depressing to cover day after day, and if we don`t come up with solutions, I get clinically depressed.
We have to look at what is the answer here because this is not an isolated incident. This kind of thing is happening all over the place.
Public education in America was supposed to be the great equalizer. It was supposed to give everybody the chance to make it in America, even though there is poverty. We shouldn`t have to deal with such an intense lack of education that this is the kind of solution that a troubled woman comes up with.
But it`s not working. Our school system is not giving young girls and young men -- because obviously it takes two to produce a child -- the kind of information that they need to avoid a, having three kids when you have no business having three kids, when she doesn`t have a job and she`s obviously not equipped to take care of kids.
Stacey Honowitz, you have the final word.
HONOWITZ: Listen, I say it all the time. When I go out I lecture at schools, I ask them are you taught about sex, about possibly having a child, what you`re going to do, how you`re going to raise this child, and they all have the same answer. No one talks to them. This is what they know, this is what they are used to and quite frankly, having sex and screwing around in high school is kind of cool, and they`re not taught, they`re not educated. That`s what we need to do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, there was such a controversy over the last eight years about sex education. That was such a bugaboo that people were afraid to do any kind of sex education.
HONOWITZ: Come and look at my cases. Look at all the neglect cases I have sitting in my office because these girls don`t know how to care for children.
They get involved, they have kids at 14 and 15, it`s a vicious cycle. They neglect the kid and the kid comes up in the foster -- it`s a terrible, disgraceful system and something needs to be changed.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll tell you something.
You know, teaching kids history, we need to take history class and we need to put something in there in place, and that is how to be a decent human being. Because if you don`t know how to be a decent human being, doesn`t matter if you know about European history or about logarithms.
Thank you panel.
Up next, Michael Jackson`s kids, are they prepared for the spotlight? We`ll tell you what Michael Jackson`s mom is saying about all of this, a stunning new development.
And then a special insider report on the "War on Women". Are hotels no longer safe for us women? I want to hear from you on this extremely sensitive and eye-opening matter. You won`t believe the story we`re about to tell you. 1-877-JVM-SAYS; 1-877-586-7297.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In her new book, "I Want" Jane Velez-Mitchell tells the true story of how she battled addiction and now lives a simpler, honest life.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But now I want to hear from you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Send your e-mail or iReport to Jane and tell her about your story. You could win an autographed copy of her new book and get a chance to meet her in New York.
Go to cnn.com/jane for details. Pick up your copy of "I Want" today at book sellers everywhere. Don`t forget to catch Jane every night at 7:00 Eastern on HLN News and Views.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s meet today`s winner, iReporter Denise E. from Flint, Michigan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENISE E., IREPORTER: My drug of choice was alcohol and cocaine. And for 25 years, I did not live in a normal human beings` world. I lived in a world of madness and self-destruction.
I have been clean and sober for almost three years now and very proud of my achievements in that three years. I see things in a whole new light and Jane, I would like to say that you inspire me with your story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Denise, you inspire me right back and for sharing your courageous story, you will be getting an autographed copy of my new book, "I Want." You will also get a chance to win a trip to New York City and visit me right here on the set of ISSUES. we`re going to show you a good time.
Are hotels no longer safe? A shocking eye-opening report, no woman can afford to miss.
But first, "Top of the Block" tonight; you won`t believe this one.
Head-spinning reports -- and I mean head-spinning -- involving Michael Jackson`s three beautiful kids. According to "US Weekly" Prince, Paris and Blanket will appear in a reality TV show. Is it possible?
CNN reached out to A&E and lo and behold, they said the claim was entirely possible. But wait. Michael`s mom Katherine told TMZ quote, "it will not happen."
However, "US Weekly" standing by its reports; they even have a source that allegedly says Katherine is going along with things and Aunt Janet, you know Ms. Janet if you`re nasty, 100 percent behind the move reportedly.
The only person putting a foot down, big sister Rebbie, The normal one. She reportedly said Michael would spin in his grave if his kids were to end up on a reality TV show.
I couldn`t agree more. Remember how he kept them hidden with the masks? And the veils? Let`s just hope the rest of the Jackson clan wakes up to the reality of reality TV. Don`t do it, Jacksons. That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."
A living nightmare: that`s how ESPN reporter Erin Andrews describes being stalked and secretly videotaped. You remember this story. A peeping tom hunted her down at hotels where she thought she was safe.
Could what happened to Erin Andrews happen again to other women? The really disturbing answer is yes, it can.
The L.A. Times reports authorities believe Erin`s alleged stalker called 14 different Milwaukee hotels to figure out where Erin was staying while she covered one baseball game. Then he tracked her down at a Marriott, where he was granted his request for a room right next door to Erin`s. That`s when he allegedly altered the peephole and recorded Erin naked in her room.
Michael David Barrett on house arrest right now; he`s the accused. But what`s stopping another man from stalking another victim at a hotel?
We`ve got a shocking update for you. Lisa Guerrero, beautiful, stunning, female sports caster, checks in alone to a hotel, the very same hotel where Erin was secretly taped. A man checks in later that day and tells the clerk he wants to book the room right next door to the famous sideline reporter. And he`s told sure, I`ll give you a room nearby, allegedly, and no questions are reportedly asked.
Now, this was a sting. The man and the woman both undercover reporters from "Inside Edition."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM MORET, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, INSIDE EDITION: This is my room, so where is it? It`s just a few feet down the hall from Lisa Guerrero`s room, and they never even called her to let her know someone wanted to be near her.
Were you surprised when I knocked on your door and you realized how close they put me?
LISA GUERRERO, SPORTS CASTER: Jim, it was surprising but it was also disturbing to think that somebody could walk into a hotel, get a key, not only on my floor but virtually 20 feet away from my front door.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is unbelievable. Of course, we want to hear the hotel`s side of the story. They`re welcome to give us their side at any time.
But my question tonight, did this hotel learn nothing from the Erin Andrews` scandal? Why would they allegedly give a strange man information about which room any woman is staying in? Something worse than any peeping tom could do, really.
The star of this sting, sportscaster and "Inside Edition" special correspondent, the one and only Lisa Guerrero joins me right now.
Lisa, first of all, I think this is a very ingenious story. I could see you and Jim Moret, my good buddy, plotting away to pull this one off. Give us a sense of how this whole thing went down.
GUERRERO: Well, it started a week ago. We actually called seven different hotels from across the country and asked all seven hotels if they could register me in over the phone. A few minutes later, Jim Moret calls and he said, "I`m going to stay at this hotel and I want to know if Lisa Guerrero is registered there, and if so, I would like the room next to hers."
All seven hotels said they would give him the room next to me, without calling me, without checking with me, do I indeed know this person. So when we showed up in Nashville on Friday, we went to two different hotels. We went to a Marriott and we went to a Sheraton in Nashville. Both hotels not only confirmed that I was a guest but both hotels gave him a room near mine.
So we were very, very surprised to hear that not only was my privacy invaded but my security was threatened.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, a sick -- a clerk at one of the hotels allegedly asked, Jim Moret, does she know you and he said essentially yes. And that was it. Tell us about that.
GUERRERO: That was it. That was it. You know, she knew that she shouldn`t be giving presumably a strange man a room next to mine, but instead of calling me in my room and saying, "Lisa Guerrero, do you know this person, should he be checking in next to you?" She even said you know, "I shouldn`t be doing this in light of what`s just gone on." Presumably she was talking about the Erin Andrews situation, but she let him check in 20 feet away from my front door anyway.
VELEX-MITCHELL: Fascinating stuff. Lisa Guerrero, way to go.
And I find it fascinating that the clerk was a she because I was thinking he.
We`re going to have more on this after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN ANDREWS, SPORTSCASTER: My name is Erin. My last name is Andrews. I`m all over the news right now.
911 OPERATOR: I`m not familiar. I don`t follow the news.
ANDREWS: I`m the girl that was videotaped without her knowing without clothes on in the hotel.
ANDREWS: And I got two (BLEEP) sitting outside my house. I don`t believe these jerks are knocking on my door touching (BLEEP).
They know I`m here because I have a car out front. So they know I`m inside. I did nothing wrong and I`m being treated like (BLEEP) Britney Spears and it sucks, I`m sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that was a 911 call made by ESPN star Erin Andrews complaining about being stalked by the paparazzi after this trauma.
Here on ISSUES, we talk a lot about the "War on Women" and this is really part of all of it. The mentality, when this happened, a lot of people were not horrified that somebody had stalked Erin Andrews.
It sparked a media firestorm because oh, the victim was popular and pretty and blond and some people even hinted that oh, maybe she released it herself, these videotapes of her naked as a publicity stunt.
Erin Andrews told Oprah she worried the video would end her career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREWS: I kept screaming I`m done. My career is over. I`m done. Get it off, get it off the Internet, get it off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is a shame when a woman who is smart, successful and beautiful has to worry when she checks into a hotel that some sicko is following her.
And let`s go to Francoise on the phone. Weigh in on this one, will you? Francoise?
FRANCOISE, RHODE ISLAND (via telephone): Yes, hi.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi how are you?
FRANCOISE: Well, how are you?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s your thought or question, ma`am?
FRANCOISE: Well, I was calling about the hotel show. So first of all, I work in the hotel and I don`t know which hotel is that one, but the policy of the hotels that I work in and all around Rhode Island is that when somebody checked in a hotel, even if they tell (INAUDIBLE), we are not allowed to give out any information about the people that...
BLOOM: Thank you.
FRANCOISE: ...where they stay.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lisa Bloom, here`s the thing. And I think that`s a great point.
Obviously, for the average person who goes in -- and you and I have had that experience and I`m sure, you go into a hotel, you try and reach a friend, they won`t tell you where your friend is. You can`t get them.
But if somebody`s an operator, a guy who comes in and plays the clerk and makes up a story, that`s when they can sometimes get the information.
BLOOM: Look, this is an outrageous story, hats off to "Inside Edition" and Lisa and Jim Moret for doing this. This is very important. This is the same hotel where this incident happened to poor Erin Andrews, are you kidding me?
And look, all of we women who are on the air have these creeps and stalkers who follow us around and you`re in a hotel. You don`t have the normal security that you have it at home. I don`t have my big barking dogs. You don`t have the comfort that you have at home.
And you`re counting on the hotel to provide you with a decent level of security. At a minimum, don`t tell any guy who walks in that I`m staying here, don`t put him in a room next to me. I mean, is that`s so much to ask.
I say to Erin Andrews and her attorney, look, you should use this as exhibit A in your civil lawsuit against this hotel that compromised Erin Andrews security because this is outrageous me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Lisa Guerrero, it really does. It`s another area of our life, our culture where we can`t feel safe as women.
GUERRERO: That`s right and the bigger problem is, this isn`t about famous women or TV personalities. This is about a working woman who works for a living that travels a lot, that`s checking into a hotel that supposedly doesn`t know a man in the lobby and the man in the lobby can go to a front desk and check into a room next to her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we have to leave it right there.
GUERRERO: It`s not about being famous.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fabulous women, let`s fight back. You are watching ISSUES on HLN.