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Missing Woman Sought, Husband Questioned

Aired December 14, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, the war on women rages on. A mother vanishes in the middle of the night. Cops now questioning the husband for the second time. He says he took his two toddler sons late-night camping in 10-degree weather the very night she disappeared. You`ll hear from those close to the missing mom.

Also tonight, deadly addictions in a fast-food nation. I will talk with the big winner from "The Biggest Loser." New insights into Danny Cahill`s battle with obesity. Was he addicted to food? And how does he plan to keep the weight off?

Plus new twists and turns in the double life of Tiger Woods. An alleged mistress comes clean and says the affair is ruining her life. Could she now lose custody of her son? Tonight, I`ll talk live with Mary Jo Buttafuoco. She was shot in the face because of her husband`s infidelity. So what does she think of the Tiger sex scandal?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a frantic search for a Utah mom who vanished without a trace. Twenty-eight-year-old Susan Powell disappeared a week ago without her purse, without her keys. When police went to her family`s home, they found no signs of forced entry, but they did find two fans drying a big wet spot on the living room floor. What does that mean? Police haven`t said what the stain is.

Susan`s husband says he has no clue what happened to her. The night she disappeared, Josh Powell says he took their two sons, ages 2 and 4, on a late-night camping trip in freezing rain and snow.


JOSH POWELL, MISSING WOMAN`S HUSBAND: We just miss her and we want her back, and -- and I love her and my boys love her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are they doing?

POWELL: They`re doing OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any idea what happened to her?

POWELL: No. Thank you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police now want to interview Josh a second time. Today he hired a high-powered Salt Lake City attorney. So far, relatives are sticking by him.


KIRK GRAVES, HUSBAND`S BROTHER-IN-LAW: A prayer service for Susan, and I had the chance to sit behind Josh through the whole service, and I can tell you that the pain he feels is real. I could feel it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You will hear more from Josh Powell`s interview in a moment.

I want to take your calls on this. What do you think? 1-877-JVM- SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

I want to welcome my fantastic expert panel: Chris McDonough, retired homicide detective; Brian Russell, forensic psychologist; investigative reporter Michelle Sigona; and we`re very delighted to have with us tonight Ed Smart, whose daughter Elizabeth was kidnapped from their Salt Lake City home. Thankfully, she is now safe and sound. And Susan`s father, Chuck Cox.

Mr. Cox, first of all, our hearts go out to you. I know this has got to be unimaginably difficult, to have a missing daughter. Tell us about your daughter and how you learned she was missing.

CHUCK COX, SUSAN POWELL`S FATHER: Well, she`s a fantastic mother, a great daughter, and we talked to her every week and had a great relationship. I first learned of -- she was missing when I got a call at work from her husband`s sister, and she had told me that the children had not been dropped off at the day care, and no one had been heard -- heard from either Josh or Susan, and that they had not reported to work that day. So they were concerned.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And what day was that? Was that Monday?

COX: Yes, that was Monday morning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. And so she was last seen when, exactly?

COX: She was last seen Sunday night at 12:30 by her husband.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, your daughter is a stockbroker. She didn`t show up at work. And then jump to police are kicking down the door because they were concerned that there might be carbon monoxide poisoning. So it was after you got the call, police were alerted, and they went straight to the house. Is that it?

COX: After I was -- after I was alerted, the -- his sister contacted the police, and they went to the house to investigate, because they had knocked on the door and no one was answering. So they got the police, and the police were also concerned. And they broke a window to get into the house, and went into the house and essentially found the -- looked through the house and could not find the family there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but they did find that there was this big wet spot on the floor and a fan drying it. What do you make of that, sir?

COX: I really don`t know. I know that the police and his sister were there when they went in the house, and I -- the police haven`t shared with me any details, but I do know they have done -- they`ve looked at it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sir, your daughter`s keys were in the house, her purse, her cell phone, and what about a car? Does she have her own car, and where is that car?

COX: She doesn`t have her own car. They have a one family car, and that car was missing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And was that the car that your son-in--law was in on the camping trip?

COX: As far as -- well, I would assume so. That`s the only car they have.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now, because it was snowing, we can`t even tell whether there were footprints of her leaving the house, because isn`t there snow in the front yard?

COX: Yes, there was snow in the front yard. That was -- they was the reason they broke the window of the house, is because there were no car tracks leaving out from the front of the garage, so there was no sign that the car had left early in the morning or anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So this is a total mystery. Your precious daughter, 28 years old, a successful stockbroker, a wonderful mother of two, a 2- year-old boy and 4-year-old boy, just disappears into thin air. There`s no footprints, and all of her personal belongings that you normally would leave with, like keys -- there`s no -- and they`re all in the house, and there`s no sign of forced entry. Wow.

COX: That`s what I understand.


COX: It is baffling.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, it`s baffling.

Now, we`re also very honored to have with us tonight the gentleman seated next to the missing woman`s father, Ed Smart. He has been helping this missing woman`s family. Ed`s daughter, as we all know, it`s a famous case, Elizabeth, was kidnapped in 2002, also in the same state, Utah, and thankfully found alive and well, about nine months later. Ed has since become a nationally-recognized missing persons` advocate.

What are you advising this family to do at this hour?

ED SMART, MISSING PERSONS` ADVOCATE: You know, I think to stay helpful, the important thing is to keep her face out there so that anyone that might come across her can call in and help. And I think that`s the focus that we`ve got to stay focused on, finding her and not on other -- other issues.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I have to just ask you this, and -- when we asked you to come on, we had no idea this was going to happen, so please forgive me. I want to be sensitive, but I do have to ask you about this news development.

We`ve just learned that this currently missing woman`s husband has actually hired the same prominent Utah defense attorney who represented the woman who has admitted helping kidnap your daughter with an alleged accomplice. This was a shock to us. We had no idea that this development would happen when we asked you to come on, but what are your thoughts about the hiring of this attorney that has helped the woman who has admitted to kidnapping your daughter?

SMART: Well, you know, I think that a lot of families hire attorneys in these situations. You know, polygraph tests and everything else that come up. I mean, you recall a few years ago when the -- an attorney was hired to help the young man whose fiancee was off somewhere else, and he had nothing to do with it.

So I think that just because he`s hired an attorney, and -- defense attorney, I mean, Scott seems to be pretty good. We were grateful that he worked to help, you know, put a deal together for us with Wanda.

But I think just because an attorney`s been hired, that you can`t, you know, try to shift -- well, this guy`s guilty. So I think that you have to -- I`m sure the police are out there doing their best. And I think that that`s what we`ve got to depend on, is getting -- helping everyone that has any information, if anyone has spotted her.

Keeping her face out there is critical. I mean, it was certainly keeping Elizabeth`s face out there that brought her home and helped allow others to recognize her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. It was television, actually, that was instrumental in helping find your daughter. And so happy that your daughter was found alive. It`s great to have a success story like that, and we certainly hope the same will happen in the case of Susan Powell.

Mr. Cox, I know this is very difficult for you, and anything you don`t feel comfortable talking about, just tell me. But is there any way you can describe a little bit about what your daughter`s family was like, in terms of her relationship?

COX: It was -- they were a happy family. When I would visit them about every three to six months, in the course of my travels, I would be through Salt Lake, and Josh was very good with the children, and Susan was great with the children. They were actively teaching them things. They were just a -- a good family together, and focused on their family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So no problems, no marital problems?

COX: Oh, they`d had problems, as I`m sure all married people can relate to, and they`d had issues, but they had worked through the issues, or were working through the issues. And some of the problems were related to financial situations in their life, but they had both -- Josh had recently got a steady employment. And -- and basically it seemed like it was a normal family, actually.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And how are your two grandsons holding up tonight?

COX: I talked with them by phone. I saw them on Saturday, and they appeared to be essentially unaware of the significance of anything and doing just fine, playing with their cousins.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re very glad to hear that. Boy, these two youngsters at the center of this really unfortunate situation. My heart goes out to you, Mr. Cox. We are going to stay on top of this story and try to do everything we can to get your precious daughter back, sir.

COX: Thank you very much.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you.

More on this mysterious and awful case of a missing mom in just a bit. We`re also taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Plus another horrible case: a 15-year-old boy doused in alcohol, set on fire. Disturbing new details in this horrific crime, and it all started now, apparently we`re hearing, because of a video game? Wait until you hear what one suspect`s mom is saying.

But first, what happened to Susan Powell? Her husband says he took their two young sons camping the night she disappeared. It`s a story that`s raising a lot of questions, and we`re going to try to answer them coming up with a team of experts standing at the ready.


GRAVES: A prayer service for Susan, and I had the chance to sit behind Josh through the whole service, and I can tell you that the pain he feels is real. I could feel it.




MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, KLAAS KIDS FOUNDATION: If she`s not with her children, somebody else is in control of the situation. Given the odd behavior of this man and the fact that there`s no signs of a break-in, and in fact, that her purse and cell phone are still at home, point directly at the husband and absolutely nobody else.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Despite those facts, police say Josh Powell is not a suspect in his wife`s disappearance. She`s been missing for a week now. Josh says he was on a camping trip with their sons on the night she vanished.

Back to my fantastic expert panel.

And Michelle Sigona, give us the rundown of what he says and why some people see inconsistencies in the camping story, specifically.

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, about an hour ago I just spoke with Assistant Police Chief Black. And what he says that -- is that on Sunday, December 6, the whole family was at home. So Susan allegedly goes to bed around 12:30 on the morning of the 7th, and that`s when the father -- or Josh says, "OK, I saw my wife. She went to bed. Everything seemed fine. I took my kids out camping at that point."

He leaves, goes away. Investigators don`t exactly know where the camp site is, because they say that they couldn`t find it, and it was probably somewhere between 100 miles of the residence.

Having said that, Monday morning Josh and Susan do not show up for work; the family panics. The police go into the residence to check welfare. At that point, they realize that the family is not inside. They back out, obtain a search warrant, go back in.

Later on that afternoon, Josh and the kids come back, and then they -- Josh is questioned by police, and he says, "Look, the last time I saw my wife was 12:30 this morning. Everything appeared to be fine." But he didn`t really have an explanation as to where she could have gone or where she went at that particular point.

Having said that, investigators again do not think that Josh is a suspect as of this point, and just because someone maybe has odd behavior and goes out in the middle of the night to go camping with their kids does not, in fact, imply that they are guilty of a crime. And this is one thing that investigators wanted to stress.

They also say that he is not the only person that they want to question in this particular investigation. There are other people that they want to talk to, and they are trying to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this. If he -- was he supposed to be at work on Monday? Because the reports are that neither of them showed up for work on Monday.

SIGONA: That`s correct. That`s correct.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s supposed to be at work on Monday. Why would he go camping in the middle of the night late Sunday night into Monday morning? In other words, if I`ve got to be here anchor this morning, I`m not going to go camping hours before I`m supposed to report to work in a snowstorm in sub-freezing weather. Who wanted to jump in -- Chris?

CHRIS MCDONOUGH, RETIRED HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Yes. I mean, great point. I think, you know, the semantics on this right now and what we`re hearing, it`s pretty interesting.

But what law enforcement`s going to be focusing on, the dynamics that is -- that are taking place, is one, what they call the victim continuum. And what you want to do is you want to ask a couple of questions in relationship to the environment, in relationship to the circumstance. And what I mean by that is you ask three specific questions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who are you asking?

MCDONOUGH: Primarily as an investigator, you`re asking yourself, as a team, as an investigative team. And you`re asking these three questions, and what they are is high, medium or low-risk activities? High, medium, low-risk environment?

In this particular circumstance, we have obviously a low-risk victim situation that`s -- she`s in her house. The next thing, what`s that environment within the house? So the circumstances and the environment line up.


MCDONOUGH: That is a low-risk situation. So that means probably you want to focus within the inner circle. There`s a high probability the suspect had contact with that victim.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We hear from Josh, the husband, now that he has hired a high-profile defense attorney. Here`s what he said Friday, five days after his wife vanished.


POWELL: Any help to try to find her would be appreciated. So we really -- that`s all -- we just -- she`s somewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know there`s quite a huge effort out in the west desert looking for any sign of her. Is that where you were camping?

POWELL: I just have to go get my boys.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Russell, forensic psychologist. You just watched the interview with the husband. Your thoughts?

BRIAN RUSSELL, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, the attorney in me, Jane, says that he`s innocent until proven guilty. The forensic psychologist in me says there are a lot of implausibilities in his story.

Two things to keep in mind: somebody can project genuine emotion, but what`s harder to tell, is that genuine emotion, is that grief? Is that remorse? Is that guilt? What is that?

And the second thing is, that 4-year-old child is the key, Jane. Because remember the balloon boy case? It is very hard to get a child to stick to a story. We saw it with the balloon boy case when the child was much older. It`s going to be very hard if that child went somewhere other than where that father said or if something happened there, other than what the father said, to tell investigators...


RUSSELL: It`s very unlikely that kid is going to stick to that story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I get your point.

Coming up, as 15-year-old Michael Brewer recovers after being set on fire by a group of teens, new details coming to light, family members speaking out. Here`s one of the suspect`s mothers on "The Today Show."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m basically here because I just want everybody to understand that there`s two sides to every story, and my children are not monsters that they`ve been painted out to be.




TAMI ALLEN, SUSAN POWELL`S FRIEND: She`s an awesome lady, and so it`s so sad when you don`t know who would have done it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Susan Powell`s friends and family combing their Salt Lake City neighborhood, plastering it with missing person`s flyers. Where is this mother of two and successful stockbroker?

Phone lines lighting up. Ed, West Virginia, your question or thought?

CALLER: Yes, I have a thought. I don`t blame the police for being very suspicious, dragging out two young boys out in a 10-degree night for one thing. I don`t think they`re going to have to look too far from the house. That`s just my opinion, but just a gut feeling. OK?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, well you`ve got the same gut feeling I think a lot of people have. The police maintain that this is a missing person`s case at this point. But the longer Susan is missing, the less likely they are, statistically anyway, to find her alive.

Her best friend actually fears the worst right now.




I`m trying to stay busy and not think about it. But I don`t see how there`s any way she can still be alive.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Sigona, authorities say the husband isn`t a suspect, but in terms of police work, because of the statistical probability that some kind of intimate partner is often involved in a homicide of a female, don`t they have to look at those close to her first and eliminate them?

SIGONA: Oh, of course. I mean, especially if -- you know, since Josh was the last person to, in fact, see his wife, and then was missing on Monday, and then randomly comes back, of course they`re going to question Josh.

Investigators have told me, the assistant police chief just told me that e does want to talk to Josh again. They were hoping that that would happen sooner than later, as a matter of fact.

And also they`re going to look -- you know, very close within her circle. They`re going to go through her family and her friends and her work situation. And you know, prior to a couple of weeks up until the point to where she, you know, she disappeared to make sure that, you know, she didn`t want to disappear or that, you know, or that her husband didn`t have anything to do with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But if she wanted to disappear, wouldn`t she have taken, at least, her cell phone and her keys and her purse?

SIGONA: Absolutely. And again...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Josh Powell says he took his two sons, ages 2 and 4, to Utah`s West Desert. The temperature that night? Between 10 and 25 degrees. It was a snowstorm. Here`s the missing woman`s husband on ABC`s "Good Morning America."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What time did you go camping, would you say?

POWELL: I -- you know, I got out to a pretty late start. A lot of times I just go camping with my boys, you know, not anything big. I just go overnight, and we do s`mores and stuff like that.


RUSSELL: I`m not buying it, Jane.


RUSSELL: I`m not buying it. It does not look genuine to me. And when you get multiple implausibilities in a row. Implausibility No. 1, I just wanted to just go camping with my little kids way late at night.

Implausibility No. 2, I forgot it was a work night, and I got confused. And I didn`t know I had to be at work the next morning or get the car back so my wife could go to work.

Multiple implausibilities. The police might not be calling him a suspect for legal reasons. Certain rights and restrictions take effect when someone is labeled a suspect.

And also, the police may be counseling some of these family members and friends not to go after him too hard yet and really get him to close up, to...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. We have to say very, very specifically, he is not a suspect. Not a suspect. Not even a person of interest. But I wonder about that wet spot on the floor.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

From "Big Loser" to big winner. Next we`re going to talk to Danny Cahill, the winner of NBC`s "Biggest Loser." He lost 239 pounds. How did he do it?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, deadly addiction to the fast food nation. In a moment, I`ll talk with the big winner from this year`s "Biggest Loser." New insights into Danny Cahill`s battle with obesity.

Plus, stunning new twists and turns in the double life of Tiger Woods. An alleged mistress comes clean and says the affair is ruining her life.

In a moment, I will talk live with Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who was shot in the face by her husband`s mistress to get her unique opinion on Tiger`s sex scandal.

(on camera): We are a nation of addicts, and one of the most crippling addictions is food. But imagine watching your weight balloon up to 430 pounds. What do you do?

Well, for Danny Cahill, there was only one option. Go on NBC`s "The Biggest Loser." Cahill started at 430 pounds, and through intense dieting and exercise, he dropped an astounding 239 pounds.


DANNY CAHILL, "BIGGEST LOSER" WINNER: I feel like I`ve let so many people down, you know. You know, I supposed to call myself.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You did it! Danny, you did it! Congratulations, Danny, you have won.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my God. We`re all watching that, going wow, wow, wow. We are so happy to have the biggest loser with us tonight, Danny Cahill, winner, season eight, along with addiction specialist Dr. Reef Karim.

Well, we`ve got to start with Danny.

Wow, I am super impressed. You know, when I saw you come up on the monitor in the commercial break, I hadn`t seen the after. And I was like, who is this good-looking guy we`ve got on the set? And you are a very handsome man, I have to say. And I`m so happy that you`ve brought out your good looks with this fabulous makeover.

How did you do it?

CAHILL: Thank you. You know, it was hard. It was one of the toughest things I`ve ever done. It was definitely the most painful thing I`ve ever done. You know, I did it completely 100 percent healthy. The biggest -- I just needed "The Biggest Loser" to get me into a situation to where I couldn`t count on excuse anymore.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, because you change your daily eating habits. Did you start eating like fruits and vegetables, and healthy food?

CAHILL: Completely. I mean, everything they supplied for us on the ranch, and they supplied us as much food as we wanted, but it was all healthy, organic, good food. And they helped us with our diet. We ate a lot less than we ate before. Because most of the time, obese people are fooling themselves. They go, I really don`t eat that much. But if you add it up, it`s a lot. And it`s a lot of greasy, fast food things that are just packing on pounds.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you got rid of the greasy, fast food.

CAHILL: Oh, yes. We were definitely not allowed to go through the drive through on "The Biggest Loser" ranch. We went to the refrigerator, and we had to cook all of our own food.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, wow. So you learned a whole new lifestyle, which is what I always say. I mean, I struggle with my weight, too. I mean, it`s been a struggle all my life. And I had not done the diets, because we know they don`t work. I try to eat healthy and do the lifestyle change thing that you`re talking about. And you have been so successful at it.

Danny Cahill saw his weight once again skyrocket as he grew older. He was mortified to break the scale at 430 pounds at his heaviest before he courageously turned his life around. This 40-year-old husband and father of two began "The Biggest Loser" at 430 pounds. Through the show`s intense around-the-clock routine of exercise and healthy eating, Danny is now down to an astounding 191 pounds.

What advice would you give other Americans struggling with obesity who might be watching right now?

CAHILL: You know, first of all, get encouragement that -- I mean, I am proof that it does happen and it can happen. And Rudy, the guy that took second, that I just chased after all year until the end, and I got, he did it working 70 hours a week. So there are no excuses.

You know, what I`ll tell you is it all has to do with what you eat and how many calories you bring into your body and how much you burn. And if you`re overweight and you`re gaining weight, it`s because you`re eating more calories than you`re burning. You`ve got to figure out what you`re putting in your body and you`ve got to lower that to a point where it`s below what you`re burning in your exercise.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re absolutely right. And all these rationalizations and excuses about slow metabolism and big bones, and all that nonsense, let`s get real.

One former "Biggest Loser," Eric Chopin lost 214 pounds only to tell Oprah, I gained back 100 pounds. And he`s not the only one dealing with that. Two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight and one- third are obese. That is scary.

There is a solution. There is a program for food addicts, it`s called "Overeaters Anonymous." It`s a 12-step program at the heart of the recovery program. You take a personal inventory of your eating habits, you admit it when you slip, you realize that you`re powerless over food. You look for a power greater than yourself to offer a solution.

Dr. Reef Karim, why is food addiction perhaps the trickiest even more than alcohol or drugs?

DR. REEF KARIM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: Yes. Disordered eating or binge eating or food addiction is really complicated. It`s complicated because we all need food to eat, to survive. Food is everywhere, and it`s promoted so much to us. I applaud Danny for what he`s done. I think it`s fantastic.

The hard road is the after care. The hard road is, OK, now I`ve been in a specific setting, an isolated setting where I`ve done the first step of this, which is to lose the weight, to completely change to a healthy lifestyle. Now the second step, which in some ways is just as hard if not harder, is reintegrating into your normal life everything that you do. Your families, your stress, everything, your job, all of it and maintain those same patterns. Because the really important thing to think about here is that obesity is not just what you eat and what you burn off. It`s a mental health issue.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course, you`re stuffing your feelings.

KARIM: Exactly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s just like I used alcohol to stuff my feelings until I got sober, almost 15 years ago.

I want to ask you this question, Danny. I know your wife also jumped in and lost something like 60 pounds.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Your children lost ten pounds. This was a family affair. You`re going to renew your vows with your wife.

How does it change your intimate life to be so thin and look so good now? I mean, do you feel sexier, or are you -- having more fun there?

CAHILL: Completely. I mean, completely. You know, just when I started "The Biggest Loser," I couldn`t even sleep in the bed with my wife. I had to sleep in a chair next to the bed, sitting prompt up with a sleep apnea mask on because I couldn`t breathe and my back would hurt.

Now, I mean, I`m sleeping in the bed with my wife. And, you know, everything is a lot better. And I feel more confident, you know, when I go out in public, I feel great. I feel more confident in myself. And it`s just been a blessing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, they say it`s a vicious cycle for food addicts. They lose the weight, they gain it back. In fact, a study done just last year proves it. It looked at three different low-fat or low-calorie diet programs. After six months, a majority of the people had gained some of the weight back, and researchers say healthy diet is got to be combined with a program.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like -- yes, eat more fruits and vegetables, but also count your calories, get regular exercise. A lifestyle change. That`s really what`s needed.

Do you consider yourself, Danny, at risk for regaining the weight?

CAHILL: Completely, and I`m proof of it. Because when I was -- I was obese, I was overweight and obese growing up until I was 15. And I lost 75 pounds in one summer, and I kept that weight off from my junior year in high school until I graduated college and met my wife. I kept the weight off, but I gained it all back again. So I`m the perfect example. I did it. And this was my second chance, just like the season was called "Second Chances."

And, you know, my daughter said it best. When I was on the computer one night, and my wife was going, you need to get up and get your burning. Go and exercise. And I was like, leave me alone, leave me alone. And my daughter came up and said, dad, they just gave you a second chance, but you`re not going to get a third.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Danny, I got to ask you this. What`s your favorite vegetable?

CAHILL: My favorite vegetable -- I love asparagus. Asparagus.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You like asparagus?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like kale. That`s my favorite vegetable. I love to eat kale.

You know, people think of vegetables are just -- it`s carrots and broccoli and corn and potatoes. There are so many other vegetables out there. And you can have fun with it.

Can`t it be an adventure?

CAHILL: It is. I mean, I love to steam asparagus and I throw a little slice of lemon in it and put a little bit of new salt and steam it in the microwave, and it tastes incredible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Danny, I am so proud of you. Thank you, and come back. We want to monitor your progress.

CAHILL: I will. Just invite me back, I`ll be here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll invite you back real soon.

And Dr. Karim, standby.

Terrifying new details in the brutal burning of a 15-year-old boy. This poor kid doused with alcohol and set on fire. So why does the mom of one suspect say there are two sides to every story.

Plus, an alleged mistress comes clean. Still more twists and turns in the never-ending Tiger Woods scandal. And guess what, we`re going to talk live to Mary Jo Buttafuoco about it. You know, she`s the one who had a husband whose mistress shot her in the face. What does she say about Tiger`s cheating?

I want to hear from you. Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1- 877-586-7297.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Down to some lunch. And guess what? This is a great place to save the planet. We don`t need any of these. I brought my own plate in from home. And it enhances my dining experience, because I`m eating on a real plate. And as for all of this plastic, forget about it. I brought my own fork and knife. Or you can use one of these fellows, OK? A fork and a spoon, commonly known as a sfork. Have fun and save the planet. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, and that`s your "Green Alert."



VELEZ-MITCHELL: In just a moment, we are talking live to the one and only Mary Jo Buttafuoco about infidelity and the Tiger Woods scandal. But first, "Top of the Block" tonight.

The mother of a boy accused of setting another teenage boy on fire says, quote, "There are two sides to every story," end quote. "The South Florida Sun Sentinel" now says young Michael Brewer was attacked by as many as nine teens in October. That`s a lot more than originally reported. So far, only three boys have been charged. Just this morning, Brewer went through another painful skin graft as the mother of one of the suspect`s appeared on NBC`s "Today Show."

Denver Jarvis`s mom says her kids are not monsters, even though her 15-year-old has been charged with attempted murder and her 13-year-old witnessed the boy being set on fire.


SHERRY JARVIS, SONS IMPLICATED IN ATTACK: I agree that there should be punishment, but my opinion, and it`s not just because it`s my son, but my opinion is that this is a child, and to throw -- just throw him away, I don`t see how that helps. I mean, you know, maybe rehabilitate or something. I -- I don`t see throwing a 15-year-old away for up to 30 years possibly that that helps.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jarvis has a point. Violence devastates everyone involved. The victims and the suspects. But certainly the one person who needs our compassion the most is the young burn victim lying in a hospital bed still crying out for water to douse the flames. That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block."

Explosive new details in the Tiger Woods sex scandal. Has Elin Woods, Mrs. Tiger Woods, finally had it? The laundry list of Tiger`s alleged mistresses is a very long one and keeps on growing. Now more women are speaking out. Cori Rist says Tiger wined her, dined her and put her up in expensive hotels all across the world. She tells NBC`s "Today" show she feels terrible about the pain she has caused Tiger`s wife.


CORI RIST, ALLEGEDLY HAD AFFAIR WITH TIGER WOODS: I can`t imagine the pain that she`s feeling right now from all this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you think about that, though, when you started this relationship?

RIST: I did not. I was being selfish. I thought like what is in this for me, and you know, I was caught up in it, you know. And he has a way to make you believe that he`s a very honest and good man. And I`m not saying that he is not a good man, I don`t think he is an honest man, but I didn`t think about her at that time. I just believed what he was telling me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So is Elin leaving Tiger? She`s been spotted without her sparkling gold and diamond wedding ring. Tiger`s announced he`s taking a break from golf. Is he working on his marriage? Or might he run into alleged mistress number one, Rachel Uchitel, reportedly flew to Palm Beach which just happened to be where Tiger is reportedly camping out on his yacht.

But it`s apparently just a coincidence. TMZ says Rachel is visiting family, and hasn`t had any contact with Tiger by land, by air or by sea. Tiger`s wife and two kids aren`t the only victims in this mess.

Tonight, we`re going to explore what happens when cheating gets out of control.

Joining me tonight, a very special guest, Mary Jo Buttafuoco. She survived her cheating husband`s teenage mistress shooting her in the face. We`re going to talk to Mary Jo in just a moment.

Also joining us, Psychiatrist, Dr. Reef Karim.

But first, Mike Walters from TMZ, which has been all over this story.

Dare we ask, what is the very latest?

MIKE WALTERS, TMZ: Well, Jane, the very latest is the photo of Tiger`s wife, Elin, coming out, pumping some gas with no ring on. And the question is whether or not she`ll stay. And the reality is, at this point I`m told from a lot of sources around this situation that she doesn`t want to, at this point, take the kids away from Tiger.

Remember, although everybody`s down and out, obviously it`s hard for Elin, Tiger`s not playing golf. You know, he`s having to deal with all the stuff that he did in the last couple of years that are going to hurt him and his family. But remember, the victims here at this point are the children. One of them being 10 months old. A baby. Right now, at least for this moment, I`m being told she`s not going to go anywhere, at least take the kids away.

Now, I am told that right now it`s really not a possibility with their marriage, but we`ll see what happens with that whole thing. And I think it`s a point when you go out without your wedding ring on, you know, when you know there`s paparazzi and people around, you make that choice, and I think it was choice that she made to show publicly, look, this -- as of right now, this is coming off.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You remember this scandal. Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the head by her husband`s teenage lover, Amy Fisher. She was the Long Island Lolita. She went to prison, Amy, that is, for seven years. Mary Jo`s started sleeping with Amy when she was just 16 years old. Amy actually showed up on Mary Jo`s doorstep to tell her about the affair and then shot her right in the face.

There is Amy Fisher.

Mary Jo is the author of a fabulous new book, "Getting it through my Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know." She joins us tonight.

Mary Jo, you have been through this wringer ten fold. What do you think Elin Woods, Tiger`s wife, is going through right now -- emotionally, psychologically, in terms of anger, rage, paranoia, give us the low down.

MARY JO BUTTAFUOCO, AUTHOR, "GETTING IT THROUGH MY THICK SKULL": Yes, yes and yes. I feel terrible for her. She has these young children, and this whole mess, the fact that Tiger`s been cheating on her with eight, nine, ten women, does she know about this? Has she known about it? It`s terrible for her. I feel terrible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know you feel terrible, but I`m asking you what is she going through? Is she feeling trapped the way you felt trapped because you had young children?

BUTTAFUOCO: Oh, I think she`s totally betrayed. I think she feels anger, definite anger. Obviously. She went after him with a golf club. I think that tells you right then and there what was going on. And the sadness, a betrayal, you can`t believe it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, this is the thing that scares me, is that your experience with infidelity showed that infidelity can turn violent. And we had this car accident that nobody can quite figure out, that seemed to have involved golf clubs and a broken window.

How quickly can it turn violent? Infidelity?

BUTTAFUOCO: Well, it depends on the person. I think that Elin -- in my opinion that night, I see this as a scenario that she found out, she had it up to her eyeballs, she started chasing him around. He took off in the car. And because he was distracted, he hit the fire hydrant and the pole.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang in there, Mary Jo. We`ll be right back with your analysis.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, it`s Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and may be calling you.

If you can, please take your name off that and what do you call it -- just have it as a number on the voicemail. Just have it as your telephone number. That`s it. OK? You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. Alright. Bye.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Huge, quickly -- posted on

My big issue tonight -- the snowball effect. Tiger`s affairs aren`t just affecting wife Elin and their two kids. Listen to what one of Tiger`s alleged mistresses had to say about her young son on the NBC`s "Today Show."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE HOST: What is your son hearing?

CORI RIST, ALLEGED MISTRESS OF TIGER WOODS: He was told horrible things. I`m sorry. You know, he has to face a lot of -- he`s suffered a lot of consequences from this. And I`ve had to explain to him the mistakes that I`ve made. So it has been very tough. You know, and my family as well. I don`t think anybody wants to see their daughter or granddaughter in this situation.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She also claims Tiger told her his marriage to Elin was on the rocks and he just had to keep up a public image because his wife was pregnant.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco, does any of this ring a bell?

BUTTAFUOCO: I got to tell you, Jane. All of these boobs ought to be put on a boat and sent off to Bora Bora. Every one of them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And they`re crying and crying. Do you have any sympathy for them, Mary Jo?

BUTTAFUOCO: No. None whatsoever for him, for them, the girls. I mean, come on. You know, sometimes it`s time to grow up and take responsibility for what you do. And now they`re all crying, oh, my kids are going to. Of course. What do you think when you do stuff like this. Of course, there`s going to be consequences to these actions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Janet, North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am?

JANET, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): Jane, I`m so glad that Elin decided to go out today and pump gas. I`m sure that`s not something she usually does. But I`m glad that she showed the paparazzi, who`s all over her, that she is not wearing that ring no matter how big it is. She probably pawned it, I wish.

But the other thing I wanted to say was that I`m glad also that she showed -- I don`t like violence, but I`m glad she went after him with the golf club.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Doctor Reef Karim, first of all, they call it the house on a finger. That`s how expensive these rings are. Is she taking back the power?

KARIM: Yes. She`s been betrayed. She is seeing -- the wound is opening up with every single woman that comes out. And especially, and Mary Jo, I`m right on with you, every single time one of these women comes on in a reactionary measure, because now they just got busted, and they say their whole victimization stance, it just reopens that wound.

So, from her perspective in order to deal with this, she has got to be really strong right now. And in order to do that, she has got to exert her own power. She has got to say, look, I`m not going to talk to you, I`m going to take my ring off, I need time to collect, I`ve just been majorly betrayed and I got to do something about it.

And from Tiger`s perspective, we still don`t know what this is. Is this sex addiction? Is this his addiction to validation because of his childhood?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we have to leave it with that fabulous question. We`ll be back. Remember, click on and order your copy of my new book. You`re watching "Issues."