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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

What`s Next for Tiger Woods?; Was Case Mishandled?; Cleveland Killer Pleads Insanity

Aired December 3, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, head-spinning new twists and turns in the escalating Tiger Woods sex scandal. One of Tiger`s alleged mistresses was supposed to spill her guts to the media. Then suddenly, she cancelled her press conference. Sources say Rachel Uchitel was going to admit having an affair with the billion-dollar golfer. This after she publicly denied it.

So what`s up with the sudden change of heart? Why did her famed attorney pull the plug? TMZ claims she talked to Tiger. Did they reach an agreement at the 11th hour?

And what`s the very latest on Tiger and his wife? We`ll analyze his mega-prenup which some claim could be worth up to $300 million.

And a beautiful little girl strangled on the streets of Chicago. Now cops are searching for the killing, and the family is desperately searching for answers. The 12-year-old girl was found murdered, her little body dumped in an alley. Now family members say police did not take her case seriously, a charge that cops deny. Tonight, ISSUES goes one-on-one talking with this little girl`s heartbroken father.

Plus, Anthony Sowell faces justice. The alleged Cleveland Strangler pleads not guilty to all charges by reason of insanity. This monster is accused of killing 11 women and living in the home with the rotting corpses. So does he have a case or is this the perfect example of a cold- blooded killer?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, wild new developments in the Tiger Woods sex scandal. One of his alleged mistresses was set to face the media but at the very last minute, yank, she pulled the plug. Her reason, quote, "unforeseen circumstances."

TMZ now reporting Rachel Uchitel spoke with Tiger just hours before she cancelled the new conference. The timing is very, very, very, very interesting indeed.

So far, she has flatly denied reports of an affair. So what was she planning to say at that news conference? Why did she decide to cancel it? And why did she even hire high-powered attorney Gloria Allred in the first place? Well, Allred`s daughter, CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom has a theory, and she aired it here on last night`s ISSUES.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: My mother is saying "no comment" to everybody in the press, and that includes me.

But I will tell you this: I know my mom. And if the story is just they didn`t have an affair, period, the end, there`s no reason for my mom to be involved. That wouldn`t make any sense. There has got be more to the story. That`s all I can tell you.

I don`t know what it is. But if my mom is taking this on out of the thousands of calls she gets for representation every week, there`s got be more to the story.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You betcha.

Uchitel was the first alleged mistress to surface. Then came this one, Jaimee Grubbs, a waitress and a contestant on the VH-1 reality show "Tool Academy." She released a bombshell yesterday in the form of a voice mail and some naughty text messages she claims came from Tiger.

Now there is new speculation about what Tiger`s wife, Elin, stands to gain if she divorced the billionaire golfer. Some reports say she could walk away with -- are you sitting down -- as much as $300 million.

Also, the pro golfer who introduced Tiger to his wife back in 2001, he`s now weighing in. You will not believe what he has to say about this entire mess.

And I want to hear from you: what do you think? Are we being fair to Tiger or not? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

But first straight out to my fantastic expert panel. Delighted to have with us tonight Danny Bonaduce, radio host on 94.1 WISP in Philadelphia. Most of us know Danny as an actor and reality TV star. Also with us, the one and only Raul Felder, world-renowned divorce attorney and author of "Getting Away with Murder." Plus Mary Jo Eustace, whose husband says -- she says her husband left her for actress Tori Spelling. Courageous of you to talk to us tonight, Mary Jo. Also the author of -- I love this title -- "Divorce Sucks." That`s the title of her book. And we also have celebrity agent Mike Easterman. What a great panel.

We`re going to begin with Mike Walters, assignment manager for TMZ.

Mike, you have been all over this Tiger story. What is the very latest?

MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, the most important thing, and that is that Gloria Allred cancelled that press conference, which I`m really disappointed, No. 1, because I love those.

But No. 2, and what we learned in that is that Rachel was going to admit that she lied for Tiger, that she did have a sexual relationship with him, that she was the plan all along to deny it once it came out in the press.

But really more interesting, and that is the night of the crash, everybody wants to know what happened. We`re told that Rachel was the one who was talking through text message to Tiger, which his wife found. And that`s what started this huge argument. There was the phone broke. There was damage in the house, and that`s what ended up Tiger outside crashed in his car, which is what everyone knows.

The most interesting thing here? Gloria Allred, why she hired Gloria Allred. Look, we were told Tiger and her talked last night. A lot of people, the bells go off that it could be a financial deal. We`re told as last night -- as late as last night it wasn`t financial yet.

But, look, Gloria Allred is a great attorney. There`s a chess game going on. And the fact that they cancelled at the last second, you`ve got to think that something or someone got to their camp and said, "Squash it."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Easterman, celebrity agent, obviously hiring a powerful attorney like Gloria Allred, that gives you leverage. That gives you clout. That is a bargaining chip.

But the question is what -- what`s the bargaining going on? And if this news conference was cancelled for a reason, what did Rachel get in return?

MIKE EASTERMAN, CELEBRITY AGENT: You know, as far as -- I`m following the news, and it`s changing ever so fast to even keep up with at this time. And your panel here I know probably has more insight on the legal side, like Mr. Felder would gain (ph). And it`s amazing to watch.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me go to Raul.

OK, Raul, what was the exchange about? If you cancelled the news conference and if TMZ is right that there was a conversation going on between Tiger and Rachel, what happened?

RAUL FELDMAN, DIVORCE ATTORNEY: OK. Well, you asked what it`s about. My guess is it`s about $100,000 or so. Money changed hands, I would suppose. You remember Michael Jackson, a lot more money changed hands, and that killed the testimony of the young boy. So that`s the only thing I can see. I could be young.

But what else -- what unforeseen circumstance could have happened? That he begged her not to go on the air? That she got religion, that she made a trip to Lourdes? I don`t know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have no, obviously, independent confirmation of any of that. We were not on the phone. We don`t know if there was any deal.

FELDMAN: Yes, me either.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re playing detective. Tiger and Elin, his wife, are reported to be in, quote, "intense counseling." "People" magazine reports the couple holed up in their Florida mansion, scene of the Thanksgiving night SUV debacle.

The Daily Beast is reporting Elin is negotiating -- get this -- an immediate -- an immediate $5 million payout from Tiger. She`s also reported to be renegotiating her prenup, which they established when they married in 2004. It reportedly gives her a $20 million payout but only if they stay married for a decade.

But then we`re hearing that she could also walk away with $300 million if they divorce. Mike Walters, what are you hearing?

WALTERS: Well, look, I mean, at first I would say that a lot of the renegotiating the prenup and some of that stuff doesn`t really make sense to me, at least in what I`ve seen in celebrity case. But I do know that, if they are going through counseling and trying to save the marriage, that`s the best thing.

When asked for the $300 million, what that`s based on is Tiger is worth almost a billion dollars. That`s as of last year`s forms. So look, half or a little bit less than half of his estate could a little bit upwards of about $300,000, I mean, $300 million. So that`s where they`re getting that number.

Look, what I`m hearing is that`s way too forward with what`s going on right now. I guarantee right now there`s no talk about immediate payoffs and how much money I`m going to get. What I`m being told is exactly what you said about counseling. Tiger wants to save his marriage. They are talking about this. He said, "I have sinned. I`m human" and that he`s dealing with it privately. And I think that`s exactly what`s going on.

EASTERMAN: Yes, but Mike -- Mike, does that mean that we are going to see him on Dr. Drew`s sex addiction series next?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Thank you. I get to ask the questions after that one.

Listen, Danny Bonaduce, do you buy it? Do you buy, being a divorced man yourself who has admitted publicly that you cheated on your wife, do you buy that they`re in counseling now, or are they in negotiations for some cold, hard cash?

DANNY BONADUCE, RADIO HOST: Well, they`re definitely in negotiations for cold, hard cash but the thing is, I don`t understand the spectacle. I live in Philadelphia, a stone`s throw away from the Declaration of Independence, which guarantees me and every other American the pursuit of happiness. My pursuit of happiness involves a great deal of sex and money. And everyone involved in this story seems to be getting plenty of both.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re -- are you defending Tiger? Are you...

BONADUCE: Not for the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... go ahead, get married.

BONADUCE: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead, get married, become a billionaire based on your squeaky clean image of being a happily-married man with two gorgeous kids and a gorgeous wife, rake in tens of millions of dollars a year in product endorsements based on that squeaky clean image, but then go ahead and violate it all and have sex willy-nilly? That`s OK because that`s what you feel like doing? Is that what you`re saying, Danny?

BONADUCE: In a word? Yes. That is exactly what I am saying.

EASTERMAN: And look, Danny can -- Danny had some issues. And I respect Danny, the fact that he -- respect. He came out and admitted he was wrong. He moved on, and he put it behind him. He`s brave for that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. You know, Mary Jo Eustace, your husband left you for Tori Spelling. You`re the author of "Divorce Sucks." Help me out here. The guys, the males seem to be clamoring, fighting with each other to defend Tiger Woods.

MARY JO EUSTACE, AUTHOR, "DIVORCE SUCKS": Oh, it`s fantastic, men. Put your hands together. It`s wonderful. Way to go.

No, I mean the whole thing, yes, of course it`s a spectacle and the last week does seem like massive negotiation, as far as his public image and the money and everything like that. But, you know, behind all of it, I mean, is a family, is two kids.

In fact, he is famous, and I actually thought Tiger Woods never had sex, truthfully. He seemed so perfect. I thought -- I thought he had sex twice with his wife to have his beautiful children. But to me he was a studious, wonderful, squeaky clean guy. And the thing is, it`s not just one woman. It`s like he`s a predator.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Ixnay on the edatorprey commentary, OK? We don`t want to go there. We don`t know how deep this goes.

But hang on. Fabulous talkative provocative panel. Don`t go anywhere. We`re going to be back with you in just a moment. We`re all over this Tiger Woods sex scandal. More in just a moment.

And I want to hear from you at home. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Plus, switching gears to a horrific tragedy: a 12-year-old girl strangled on the streets of Chicago. Could her death have been prevented? We will talk to this little child`s heartbroken, devastated father, who is very angry.

But first, why did Rachel Uchitel cancel her press conference? We will investigate.

(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)

RICK REILLY, SPORTS WRITER: He`s the most competitive guy I ever met. If you played ping-pong with him, he`d just keep playing until he wins. If you ski with him, he throws his pole when it falls. If you golf, you see him throwing clubs. He`s got to win at all times. So to come out and say "failure" and "I let my family down," this has got to be killing him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, "USA TODAY": I think it`s an amazing window, Larry, into the psyche of Tiger Woods. That, even as he is, quote unquote, apologizing, you wonder -- and I hope I`m wrong on this -- but you do wonder if, in fact, he feels worse about getting caught than he does about cheating on his wife.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was sports reporter Christine Brennan on "LARRY KING LIVE."

It seems no one is immune to temptation, even the wholesome cast members on "Sesame Street," namely Kermit the Frog. He and his paramour, Miss Piggy, appeared on NBC`s "Today." Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NATALIE MORALES, NBC`S "TODAY SHOW": Excuse us.

AL ROKER, NBC`S "TODAY SHOW": Don`t look that way, because...

FRANK OZ, VOICE OF MISS PIGGY: What just happened?

You were looking that direction. Tell me what happened.

STEVE WHITMIRE, VOICE OF KERMIT THE FROG: Everything is fine. I just like...

MORALES: You are like a prince now.

ROKER: He planted one on her.

WHITMIRE: Do I have to release an official statement? Like I strive -- I strive to be a better amphibian?

OZ: You know what? You know what? The joke`s on you, Natalie, because that`s how I got sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know you`re in trouble when Kermit and Miss Piggy are making fun of you.

Phone lines lighting up. Sonja, Tennessee, question or thought?

CALLER: Hi, I have a question, Jane. I have a question for the lawyers. Where is it written in any law books that he has to pay his mistresses off? Because they were willing participants. It takes two to tango.

And my comment is I think it was great, noble of him to ask the people to forgive him, but first, he needs to seek God`s forgiveness, and He will do the rest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, ma`am. Good question. Raul Felder, noted defense [SIC] attorney.

FELDER: There seems to be two questions there. About his forgiveness, I was unimpressed. I don`t know how the other panelists felt about it. It seems to me he failed P.R. 101. He let the bleeding go on and on. And then he, on the blogosphere, he said that I have all these values and so forth, and I`m sorry I disappointed you. So that`s not a real apology to me.

The second thing is, in the first place that I thought was why did the mistresses get money? They get money because they want to shut them up, I guess. There`s no law that says they get any money. This was an adult relationship.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me jump in, Raul. And divorce attorney is what you are. OK. So let`s leave the alleged mistresses aside. We don`t know that they got any money.

FELDER: No, I don`t know they got any money. But that`s the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about this prenup? I mean, everybody`s fascinated with this prenup. If he`s in an unhappy marriage, and he wants to get out of it and she would not get any money until they`re married for ten years, why doesn`t he just let the marriage end, and wouldn`t she walk away with very little?

FELDER: Well, she`ll walk away with a great deal less, but he`s trying to salvage a very serious situation here. He makes $17 million a year from golf and $100 million a year from endorsements. So these endorsements may evaporate, may go down the tube. And he`s trying to salvage his image and all this stuff. And so he wants to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are you telling me that he would stay in a marriage where he`s not happy, and I say whereas he`s allegedly cheating or has acknowledged that he`s cheating; therefore, he`s not happy. You`re saying he would stay in an unhappy marriage just to continue to make millions of dollars?

FELDER: In a New York minute, Jane. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s sad.

EASTERMAN: My question for Raul -- I have a question for Raul. I thought a prenup cannot be changed. Isn`t that the reason for a prenup to begin with?

FELDER: Well, yes. Prenups are alive and well and living in America. Prenups stand up, but that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: They can be renegotiated.

FELDER: Yes, they can be renegotiated. That`s exactly what...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course they can.

EASTERMAN: So the prenups are being rewritten as bad as a good -- a bad movie, I guess?

EUSTACE: But -- but Tiger Woods` wife right now -- If you look at it, everything is negotiable in America. But the truth is, she has so much leverage right now that it is coming down to a business, you know, agreement -- agreement. She...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A marriage isn`t supposed to be a business...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the whole point. We have commoditized everything.

BONADUCE: If I may jump in for just one moment.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just finish my thought. I think that we have commoditized everything in this country, and that is part of our soul sickness in America today. We`ve commoditized marriage. We`ve turned marriages, even having babies, into reality shows. We get endorsements based on the fact that we`re a happily married family man who plays great golf. So when you start making millions off your image, you`ve got to be held accountable.

OK, now we`re hearing from Tiger and Elin`s matchmaker Elin was a nanny for pro-golfer Jesper Parnevik when he introduced her to Tiger in 2001. Jesper had this to say about the Tiger sex scandal. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESPER PARNEVIK, PRO GOLFER: It`s been especially sad about it, because I`m kind of -- feel sorry for Elin since me and my wife are at fault for getting her up with him. And we probably thought he was a better guy than he is, then. And I would probably just have to apologize to her and hope she uses a driver next time than a 3-iron, I would say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Danny Bonaduce, he is not thinking this is a big joke. He`s upset that he even introduced Elin to Tiger.

BONADUCE: Well, you know, it`s funny that he takes it quite so seriously when really, historically speaking, that young lady called up and said first he needs to find God`s forgiveness. Well, God forgives him. Old and New Testament is just chock full of infidelity and adultery.

King David sent Uriah to be killed so he could marry Bathsheba, who he had already had an adulterous relationship. So God`s good with Tiger.

What I think is happening is just a negotiation, that Tiger Woods is worried about his image. He does make more money off endorsements than he does off playing golf. But I think he`s pretty much set.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.

BONADUCE: At this point, I think he should just do whatever he needs to do.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, OK. We`ll be back in two seconds with more opinion on Tiger.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REILLY: If I could hit a ball 350 yards and land it on a pot holder and people reached out to try to touch me, and guys were paying me $100 million just to put their name next to mine, maybe I`d start thinking I am a superstar. Maybe I`d think I am superman and so you start thinking you can get away with anything, but you can`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was sports writer Rick Reilly on "LARRY KING LIVE".

This whole saga has given late-night comedians so much material to work with. Check out Conan O`Brien on "The Tonight Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O`BRIEN, HOST, NBC`S "THE TONIGHT SHOW": One of the women who claims she slept with Tiger Woods says that they never talked about golf during sex. Yes. However, contractually Tiger was obligated to talk about Nike, Gatorade and American Express. He has to. It`s a lot of money.

JAY LENO, HOST, NBC`S "THE JAY LENO SHOW": Well, now the speculation is Tiger could lose some endorsements. But Nike says they`re standing by him. Well, sure. What`s their slogan? "Just do it." Right?

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ABC`S "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": I don`t know. How do you even know who this is making the call? This -- it could be anybody.

TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: Hey, it`s Tiger.

KIMMEL: OK, no. That`s him.

A little hint for the fellows out there. When you leave an incriminating message on your mistress`s voice mail, skip past your name.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And take a look at these headlines. Got to go full screen for this one, guys. "Daily News": "Will Mrs. Woods Stay?" And we`ve got the "New York Post" here. They`ve always got the funniest ones: "I`m a Cheetah."

You know what? I got to ask Danny and then I`m going to ask Mary Jo. Why the cheating? In other words, Danny, you`re admitting you cheated on your wife. Why did you cheat?

BONADUCE: Because it was fun. That`s why we do almost everything.

You ask what does Tiger Woods feel worse about? Cheating on his wife or getting caught cheating on his wife? Let me tell you. He felt worse getting caught. Cheating on your wife is physically fun, or you wouldn`t do it. Getting caught, you get yelled at and you have to write big checks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t get married. That`s what I say, Mary Jo. I mean, OK, you had the opposite situation. You were a woman. Your husband left for another woman, namely a very famous woman. How did that make you feel? The rejection?

EUSTACE: Fantastic. No, I mean, it doesn`t -- my, you know, story is public just like Tiger Woods` wife, but I mean, the fact is, it`s horrible betrayal. I mean, it`s terrible, terrible betrayal.

And you know, the whole thing about the Tiger Woods or the John Edwards, these powerful men who engage in these, you know, affairs and think that they`re above everything and they`re not going to get caught. It`s a weird psychology, you know, and I don`t understand it. And there`s, I suppose there lots of men out there who don`t cheat and are faithful to their wives.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just say don`t get married if you think that you are going cheat. Just keep it light.

BONADUCE: Well, first of all, I don`t understand...

EUSTACE: But people say -- people say that that`s a natural conduct for men, that they just do it. That`s your argument. Wouldn`t that be your argument, Danny, that essentially, men are programmed to do that?

BONADUCE: No, because that`s actually just too easy. It`s built into our DNA to populate the earth. No.

How about this? I think it`s unpatriotic to be monogamous. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, all right.

BONADUCE: ... had no problem sleeping with Sally Hemmings. Benjamin Franklin, the guy who invented the bifocals, notorious tramp.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you for the history lesson, Danny Bonaduce.

FELDER: Mr. Bill Clinton did.

EUSTACE: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fantastic guests. We`re going to stay on top of this one and come back to you soon.

Now, switching gears to a horrific story. A beautiful young girl murdered on the streets of Chicago. The family claims cops did not take her case seriously. Is there any truth to this? Police say no, but we, next, are going to talk to the heartbroken father.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: A beautiful little girl strangled on the streets of Chicago. Now cops are searching for the killer and the family is desperately searching for answers. They say the cops didn`t take her case seriously, a charge the cops deny. Tonight, ISSUES goes one-on- one talking with this little girl`s heartbroken father.

Plus Anthony Sowell faces justice: the alleged Cleveland strangler pleads not guilty to all charges by reason of insanity. This monster is accused of killing 11 women and living in the home with the rotting corpses. Does he have a case or is this a perfect example of a cold calculated killer?

In tonight`s "Spotlight" segment, profound sadness and outrage in the wake of a horrifying discovery. Beautiful 12-year-old Jahmeshia Conner was found battered, beaten and strangled in an alley way behind a vacant building in Chicago Monday morning. She had been missing for two long weeks but cops say she had been dead no more than one day.

Now Jahmeshia`s devastated family is claiming cops did not take this case seriously enough from the get-go. Jahmeshia`s mom reporter her missing November 16; cops say they started distributing missing posters the following day but did cops go into action the very second she went missing?

Experts say the initial hours are the most crucial. Jahmeshia`s family says they did not react fast enough and they mislabeled the child as a run away. Police say they did not do that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE PETERSON, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: You can`t fault the police for the investigation that they conducted over these last two weeks. It clearly shows over 20 reports that were submitted, fliers that were handed out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, the Chicago Police Department tells issues that they got work, "two minutes after the missing report was filed." I will have more on what cops just told us a statement released moments ago in a second.

Meanwhile a vigil was held Tuesday night in the very same alley way where Jahmeshia`s body was found. One of her little friends spoke out between tears.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I miss you dearly. I hope I see you again. I miss and love you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Heart wrenching. Tonight`s big issue, every second counts. Did authorities move fast enough when it came to launching this investigation? Did they give this child the highest priority?

Tonight an honor to have with me in a prime time exclusive, Kawanis Conner (ph), Jahmeshia`s father along with Pastor Chris Harris from the Bright Star Church of God, as well as Mike Gravlin, Mr. Conner`s attorney; also with us, Bryan Monroe, visiting professor at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

Mr. Connor, our deepest condolences over the loss of your daughter. I can`t even imagine, sir, what you are going through right now and my heart goes out to you.

What is so unbelievably horrifying is that police were saying that your daughter was alive for most of the time that she was missing -- about two weeks. That she was killed at most only a day before her body was found.

What do you feel about that? Do you feel that if the search had been handled differently she might have been found in time? And if so, why do you feel that way?

PASTOR CHRIS HARRIS, BRIGHT STAR CHURCH OF GOD: I will speak on his behalf. First and foremost we need to give him an opportunity to be able to grieve in this horrific time in his life. In July he lost his best friend and then in September he lost his mother and now his child.

The reality is while many times media is chasing a story, we need to take this opportunity to chase some solutions so that other family members that are being affected by this same type of situation we can make sure that we develop him as a leader, unfortunately a lot of times public leaders are developed out of private tragedy.

We are going be celebrating the life of his baby on Tuesday night, on December 8 at 7:00 p.m., given a memorial. And certainly there are so many questions that are unanswered at this time.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have a couple of them that I`d like to get to. The Chicago police department is under fire, however they defend their procedures. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETERSON: You can`t fault the police for the investigation that they conducted over these last two weeks. It clearly shows over 20 reports that were submitted, fliers that were handed out, leaves messages that were created. There is nothing that needs to be changed in the investigative process of the Chicago Police Department.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jahmeshia`s family has questioned whether detectives mistakenly labeled the 12-year-old as a run away and wrongly treated her disappearance as a "Missing Persons" case, police deny that. However a "Chicago Sun Times" investigation found that not all missing persons cases are investigated equally and that race and age often play a big role in the level of urgency.

Critics claim when it comes to urban Chicago teens, cops are too quick to label missing children as runaways and then that label diminishes the urgency of the situation because it is interpreted as a voluntary situation.

So let me go to the attorney, Mike Gravlin, do you feel that that`s what happened here or not?

MIKE GRAVLIN, ATTORNEY FOR CONNER FAMILY: I think very potentially that is what happened here. This child was missing for 13 days, at least, before she was found. If she was from another background, perhaps if she had more money, I think there would have been a lot more scrutiny and a lot more attention earlier on in this action.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We just got moments ago a response from the Chicago PD and they say, literally two minutes after the missing persons report was filed by the family, it was entered into our "Missing Persons" database -- that was the evening of November 16. And they say an hour after the info was entered into our database it was entered into the NCIC database, that`s the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the database that feeds the Center for the Missing and Exploited Children.

I want to go back to Mr. Kawanis Connor (ph). I know this is very difficult for you sir but we are trying to make sure that your precious child did not die in vain by learning something very important from this.

From what I read, your family is saying that they asked the police to canvass the neighborhood and question registered sex offenders in the area. You are claiming that they said no, basically we need probably cause which is not necessarily the case because we cover here on ISSUES every day when a child goes missing, they visit all the registered sex offenders. What did they not do, Mr. Connor?

KAWANIS CONNER, JAHMESHIA`S FATHER: Actually, I don`t know. I just want to thank everybody for what they did do. As far as the police and the people that was helping me out. I really, as far as trying to get myself together and over this and make sure I bury my baby and make sure I can help somebody else (INAUDIBLE).

That`s not even my focus. I am thinking no negative; I`m thinking to thank everybody for what they did do. As a lot of people out here have done a lot and I just want to make sure I put my baby away and go for another day.

HARRIS: There will be more details we will be able to share at the press conference that we will be having at her memorial service on Tuesday. At this time we are looking for information, we are looking for more leads. We want to be able to speak educated. We want to make sure that we are informed in the things we are saying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bryan Monroe, the family has been quoted in numerous articles as complaining about the police response. What do you make of all of this?

BRYAN MONROE, MEDILL SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM: Well, you know, first of all, I send my prayers to Mr. Conner and his family but it is sad the reaction that appears to have happened in this from the officials.

If this case would have happened out in the suburbs, for instance, a few miles from here was where Laci Peterson case was. There would have been dogs and searches and helicopters, press conferences, amber alerts. Where was the amber alert in this case?

We have to treat these cases -- I have a daughter about her age. And if something like this happened, I would want the police and all the officials out there canvassing the neighbors, checking on all potential leads and really taking this seriously.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what I`d want? I would want search dogs immediately. Every time we cover one of these cases and they bring in the search dogs a couple of days later. I`m like why didn`t they bring them 5 minutes after this happened? Rush in the search dogs because that`s the best lead you can get if you can get a scent on the person to track where they went.

You know Congressman Bobby Rush from Illinois spoke out about Jahmeshia`s tragic case at Tuesday night`s vigil in her memory. Let`s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BOBBY RUSH (d), ILLINOIS: I am confused and I am also disturbed. The entire city should have been alerted that there was a 12-year-old girl missing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case is on the radar of the national media and Congress. We are also very pleased to have with us tonight, Denise Conner (ph), Jahmeshia Conner`s aunt; the aunt of this poor murdered child. Thank you, Denise, for joining us.

Is there a message? If you could send one message, if there was something that we could learn from this unspeakable tragedy what would you like to say about it?

DENISE CONNER, JAHMESHIA`S AUNT: We just have to take our children more seriously. You know? We have to watch everything and we have to watch everyone basically.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I am getting a disconnect here because Kawanis Conner, the father of this poor child, I know that you are being so gracious and so kind and so courageous right now to even speak and you are thanking everybody for everything they did. But you are quoted or your family is quoted in a stack of news articles as saying you are upset with the police response. Can you solve it for me? I`m a little confused.

HARRIS: Well, again, I`ll speak on his behalf. The reality is, you have two sides of the family

And unfortunately when you have a divided home or a separated parents the reality is the power of perception many times ends up in the hands of the ones who are right there with the child.

And so again, he doesn`t not have all of the details at this time and what we`re trying to do is give him an opportunity to grieve over his baby. And in time when we find out more answers when we get more information, then we`ll be able to give some more direct answers. Thanks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you Pastor, thank you Mr. Conner, thank you Denise Conner the aunt. We pray they find the person responsible for this horror. Thank you for sharing your painful story.

HARRIS: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to switch gears now. We have been talking about them all week. They may have crashed the party at the White House but the Salahi`s want no part of another government function. This time they were actually invited. The couple is a no-show at the Homeland Security hearing today. What is next for these two?

Plus, Anthony Sowell pleads not guilty by reason of insanity. This monster is accused of killing 11 women and keeping the rotting corpses inside his home. So how is this going to play out in court? We will examine in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Coming up, the so-called Cleveland strangler, Anthony Sowell, in court today pleading not guilty by reason of insanity to all charges against him. This guy allegedly killed 11 women and lived in his house with the rotting corpses. So does he possibly have a case? That`s next.

First, "Top of the Block."

This would seem there is one invite the quote, "D.C. Party crashing couple" is not interested in accepting. Tareq and Michaele Salahi were asked to appear before House Homeland Security Committee but they were no shows. Well, now the House Committee Chairman is asking to staff to prepare subpoenas.

The Salahi`s have been accused of attending the White House state dinner without being on the guest list but they fervently insist they did not crash the party. Now, if they continue to rebuff the committees request they could be found in contempt of court. We will keep our GPS tracking this dubious duo.

That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."

The accused Cleveland serial killer pleads not guilty by reason of insanity. Anthony Sowell is charged with 11 counts of murder, he also faces kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and rape charges just to name a few. Sowell appeared at today`s arraignment via satellite from prison.

Listen to this bone chilling clip from Cleveland.com. It`s the first time -- the very first time we`re hearing this alleged monster speak.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now sir, you have the right to be personally present in this courtroom for this procedure. Do you wish to be brought over to the courtroom for this procedure, sir?

ANTHONY SOWELL, ACCUSED OF 11 MURDERS: No, your honor, I am fine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok, Mr. Sowell have you received a copy of your indictment?

SOWELL: Yes, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And have you read it?

SOWELL: Yes, your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to waive the 24 hour notice and reading and enter a not guilty plea today sir?

SOWELL: Yes, yes your honor.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I understand that after consulting with your attorney on the other case that you are indicating a desire to enter plea of not guilty by reason of insanity? Is that correct, sir?

SOWELL: Yes, your honor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Sowell is eerily calm and collected. The assistant prosecutor says quote, "Quite frankly, he`s a psychopath." This case has shaken even hardened prosecutors to the core. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD BOMBIK, ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR IN SOWELL CASE: There has never been anything quite like it. Not even remotely close. I mean, I have been here a long time and I`ve done with a lot, dealt with a lot of atrocities. But there is nothing quite like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sowell was also charged with a mass murder specification. That means multiple people were killed in a similar fashion. Almost all of Sowell`s victims were strangled. The prosecutor says, "There is nothing to indicate Sowell had a mental illness." He says, "There was a distinct pattern in what he did; a method to his madness." But why on earth use the word madness if you`re going to argue that this man is not crazy. I do not get that.

Sowell allegedly lured women to this house of horrors. It sounds like a gory movie. Cops say the registered sex offender lived surrounded by the rotting bodies of his victims. Ten dead bodies were found in the home. A skull found in a bucket in the basement. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The big question, will Sowell`s insanity plea hold up in court? Again, the prosecutor calls Sowell a psychopath but in the same breath argues he was sane when committing the murders. How is that possible?

We`re going to hammer it out with the lawyers. Straight out to my truly fantastic expert panel: joining me tonight, psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer; prosecutor Stacey Honowitz; Ohio Councilman Zachary Reed. And we are so honored to have joining us by phone tonight Donnita Carmichael; her mother is one of Sowell`s allege victims.

Donnita thank you for joining us; I know this has to be very, very difficult.

DONNITA CARMICHAEL, DAUGHTER OF MURDER VICTIM (via telephone): Yes, it is. It hasn`t been easy, that`s for sure.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is your reaction to the news that the man accused of killing your mother is trying to say that he should not be held criminally responsible arguing that he is insane?

CARMICHAEL: It`s a coward`s move and my family and myself, we expected him to plead that route because he knows he has no way out. He has been found out; the evidence is piling up just like he piled the bodies up in his home. And now it`s time for him to be held responsible. So he is trying to take the cowardly way out which is to plead the insanity.

But from everything I have learned knowing this about this gentleman, crazy? No. Nowhere near it. Coward? Yes, definitely. So we are just going to have to wait and see and make sure that the justice system gives us justice because we haven`t had any thus far.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well, in a sad commentary on this already sick case, cops are still searching for more victims. Yesterday cadaver dogs scoured the property where Sowell lived before he went to prison. They did not find any bodies but police believe more victims attacked by Anthony Sowell are out there. Some may have survived but could be afraid to talk. Police are hoping more women will come forward like this victim. Listen for a moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TANJA DOSS, ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED BY SOWELL: He was still choking me. He (EXPLETIVE DELETED) choking me. And he was like (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you could be another (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in the street, dead. And nobody give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about you.

And I started crying. I was like why do you got to act like that, Tony? He said, "Oh, you think I`m playing? (EXPLETIVE DELETED) take your clothes off."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Donnita, police are trying to link Sowell to unsolved cases, at least four of them from the `80s. Do you think he`s responsible for more crimes?

CARMICHAEL (via telephone): Yes, ma`am. Like I said in the first interview that I did right before my mother was identified and I believe at that time it was six bodies that had been pulled from his home, I said it then, I didn`t think it was just going to be those six bodies, I`m saying it now. I don`t believe it`s just going to be the 11 bodies.

I believe that he is definitely going to be found out that he`s guilty for what went on in Cleveland right before he went to jail some 20 years ago.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Everyone, stay right where you are. We`re going to have more on this horrific case right after the break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could smell this smell coming down the street. We used to think that it was coming from out of ...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLADYS WADE, VICTIM OF ANTHONY SOWELL: He kept twisting my neck; twisting it, twisting it, twisting it. And I was gouging his face at the same time. I was -- trying to take his eyeballs out. It was like the devil, you know? Eyes glowing. You can tell he was demonic or something. You could just see the demons in him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was an alleged victim of accused Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell.

Stacey Honowitz, how is it possible that the prosecutor says, he`s sane and yet he`s a psychopath?

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Well, listen Jane, I think it`s a matter of semantics in the words that he`s used. Certainly it is the prosecutor`s job to show that he was sane at the time because quite frankly the only thing they have left is this not guilty by reason insanity plea. So you just can`t walk up into court and say I was crazy and I acted crazy. There a definite test.

Did you suffer from some kind of disease or defect that you weren`t able to appreciate the criminality of what you were doing and you couldn`t conform your conduct under the law. So there`s a very high standard to show. So because the prosecutor came out and said, listen, we know he was sane but he was a psychopath. I really think it`s a matter of semantics because somebody that does something like that you might just out there in the vernacular says he acts like a psychopath. It doesn`t mean that he meets the test of insanity under the law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale archer, you`d almost say anybody who would do this, sit in a house with rotting corpses has to be crazy, what about that argument?

DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think that what you do when you do a sanity eval on a person like this is there are two parts. One, do the interview and that can be very difficult. Because of course if he is found guilty and not insane he`s looking at the death penalty. On the other hand, an insanity plea that is held up he`s looking at a psychiatric hospital; huge incentive on his part to try to fool the treating psychiatrist that`s doing the evaluation.

But we look at past history here. This guy was in the Marines from 19 to 26 years of age. He got seven good conduct letters. He got out and he got a job. He was convicted of rape in `89. He served 15 years in the penitentiary. Nowhere during any of that time was there any psychiatric history, at all.

When I look at that, when I go in to evaluate this guy, my suspicion is through the roof that he`s manipulating and game the system to try to avoid facing the death penalty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Councilman Zachary Reed. Now all this money and attention is going to be spent on prosecuting this monster, alleged monster. Where was all the money and attention and time when these women were missing.

ZACHARY REED, COUNCILMAN: That`s the question. Where was all this money? Where was all this time? Where was all of the eyes on this particular heinous crime? Probably the worst crime in the history of the city of Cleveland besides the Kingsbury murders and one of the worst crimes in the history of America, period.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Stacy, it seems like our criminal justice system is just backwards. We spend all the money punishing but not preventing or even finding.

HONOWITZ: I mean, we`ve discussed that so many times on the show. When you talk about these cases and you hear about these horrific crimes that have taken place and we`ve searched for years and we didn`t come across 11 bodies until years later, you`re right, it sounds horrible.

But you know the criminal justice system does the best that it can, Jane. There are millions of cases out there. There are millions of investigators and police officers and prosecutors that are trying to do the right thing and unfortunately in some cases it just doesn`t happen that way.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ten seconds, Dr. Dale archer, do you think he`ll be found not guilty by reason of insanity? Yes or no.

ARCHER: Absolutely not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, so he`s going away and facing the death penalty. That`s your prediction.

Thank you, fabulous panel, for joining me tonight.

You are watching ISSUES on HLN.

END