Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Suspect Arrested in 7-Year-Old`s Murder
Aired February 11, 2010 - 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, inside a stalker`s sick obsession. Escalating outrage in Orange County. A beautiful woman murdered by an obsessed stalker, just one week after a judge denied her restraining order. Tonight, the horrific details about this stalker`s sick obsession. What the hell was the judge thinking when he refused to grant this woman`s pleas for immediate help?
Plus, a killer on the loose in Miami. We`re tracking him down. New insight into this sexy model Paula Sladewski`s gruesome murder. Tonight, an ISSUES exclusive. We`re on the ground in Miami, meeting with the private investigator hired by the victim`s family. We`re outside the crime scene, from the club where Paula was last seen, to the Dumpster where her body was found on fire. You do not want to miss this.
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A slew of major developments in a horrific case that stunned the nation.
Seven-year-old Somer Thompson was brutally murdered in October. Tonight, four months later, authorities, as we speak, furiously searching a home just one block away from where this little girl was last seen. A law enforcement news conference is expected momentarily. We will bring it to you as it happens.
And, in fact, we`re going to go to right now. It is beginning. Clay County, Florida, Sheriff Rick Beseler and his team speaking.
SHERIFF RICK BESELER, CLAY COUNTY, FLORIDA: Additionally, other residences in Callahan, Florida, and Waterdale County, Mississippi, and a vehicle have been searched in connection with this investigation.
Earlier today, a search warrant was executed at a residence at 1152 Gano Avenue. Investigators from the Clay County Sheriff`s Office, the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted a search for evidence in which a suspect has been arrested and charged with 29 counts of possession of child pornography that occurred in Clay County recently.
That suspect is identified as Jared Harold, 24 years of age, who formerly resided at that residence. We are also naming Harold as a person of interest in connection with the abduction and murder of Somer Thompson.
Harold was arrested today on child pornography charges by federal agents in Meridian, Mississippi. He was arrested without incident, and is being held on a $1 million bond on those charges.
I cannot comment further about how Harold may be connected with the Somer Thompson case, as that would require that I discuss and comment evidence -- on evidence in an ongoing investigation.
Throughout this entire investigation, we have been very careful to protect the integrity of our investigation by not releasing details that could be detrimental to the successful outcome of our investigation or the prosecution of the person responsible for this crime. I appreciate the cooperation of the media in that regard.
Thank you very much.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. As you hear, they now have a person of interest in little Somer Thompson`s tragic death. It`s Jared Herod -- Harold, 24 years of age, and he is being held on $1 million bond. He was arrested today in Meridian, Mississippi. And he`s charged with 29 counts.
Michelle Sigona, as you listen to this news conference, this is extraordinary, just the fact of $1 million bond tells you everything you know -- you need to know about how seriously law enforcement is considering this person of interest.
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (via phone): You`ve got that right, Jane. And I also -- what I`m trying to figure out at this point is, I spoke with one of the neighbors next to this house that was being searched, a woman, Mrs. Cody (ph), and she told me a family had lived there last year, but had moved out. She couldn`t remember exactly if they had moved prior to Somer, when she went missing, or just after that point.
But it appeared to be a husband and wife, their two sons, and possibly a cousin who was living at the home. So I`m going to sort of work on that.
But on the other hand, the fact that this person has been charged with 29 counts of child pornography, that they have tracked him to Mississippi, the fact that Clay County early on in this investigation after Somer was reported missing, they tracked the garbage out 50 miles away, out to that Georgia landfill. They were able to dig through that to find her body.
These investigators are doing an extremely thorough job in this case. They have from day one. They do have a team called Team Somer that was formed early on, U.S. Marshals, FBI agents, investigators from Clay County to be able to track down hundreds and hundreds of leads. More than 1,000 leads in this case in the last four months since this little girl was murdered.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, the child pornography I find absolutely fascinating. And what strikes me, Dr. Dale Archer, clinical psychiatrist, is the fact that this person of interest is 24 years of age. Like perhaps many Americans when I think of a child predator, for some reason I think of an older male.
DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: OK.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: An older male. Dr. Dale Archer, can you hear me? What do you make of the fact that this person of interest who`s been charged with so many counts of child pornography, being held on $1 million bond tonight, is 24 years old?
ARCHER: Yes, actually, Jane, though, if you look at the demographics, it`s not just the older men that are doing it. This is a lifetime affliction. So this starts in the mid-teen years and then typically escalates. So oftentimes, they don`t get caught until they`re older, because the crimes they commit get worse and worse. So they may start with child porn, and then that leads to actually getting victims, and starting to act out some of their sick fantasies.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want to just bring you up to date on this story, because it`s a complex story. But it`s really very simple. There was a horrific murder of a beautiful young child, Somer. Somer Thompson, 7 years old, walking home from school with her brothers and sisters. She just made the fatal mistake of just running ahead of them. She disappeared from view, and then never seen again. Never made it home.
Her mother begged for her safe return. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIENA THOMPSON, SOMER`S MOTHER: They should know that she`s one of the most loving little girls in the whole wide world. She doesn`t know a stranger. And if somebody has her, please just bring her home. She`s got a twin, and he misses her. And we all miss her. And we just her to come home OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Imagine. Imagine that mom. And she vowed, we`re going to get you. We`re going to find out who did this. After a frantic two-day search and no clues, cops -- they acted on a hunch. They decided to search this Georgia landfill where the trash from Somer`s neighborhood is always dumped.
And that`s where they found the little girl`s body, her tiny little legs and her pink sweat-suit sticking out from beneath piles of garbage.
Now, police still have not revealed how she died, but they say it was, quote, "heinous." Ever since then, her town has been living in fear a violent child predator has been on the loose.
Somer`s mom vowed to get justice. Here she is on NBC`s "Today Show."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMPSON: We`re coming for you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you confident that they`ll be able to -- are you confident they`ll be able to find your daughter`s killer?
THOMPSON: I want to be confident, but I was confident that she was going to come home. And she didn`t. But I know they`re working. And doing it. And I have faith in them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Investigators said they had been waiting on test results from the landfill where little Somer was found.
Now, interestingly enough, a bunch of those test results have just come back, and now we have a person of interest in this little girl`s murder. There it is. That is the person of interest. We just got this photo in moments ago. Jared Harold, 24 years of age. He lived in the home just a short distance, a stone`s throw from where little Somer disappeared. And police have been going through that home, leaving no stone unturned, searching that home.
This man, arrested in Meridian, Mississippi, OK, on numerous counts of child porn. So he`s not even arrested in the same state. He`s in another state, Mississippi, arrested, on numerous counts of child porn. Of and he`s being held on $1 million bond.
Judge Larry Seidlin, what does the $1 million bond tell you?
LARRY SEIDLIN, JUDGE: It tells you that the police think he`s the killer. This is the FBI looking at this case. It`s one of the best police departments in the world. They don`t mess around, the FBI. They dot all their "I`s" and cross all their "T`s."
They put a million-dollar bond on, the signal to the judge, "Hey, we think this is the guy that killed that little girl." And they don`t want to charge him yet with the murder, because speedy trial begins to run. They want to line up all their ducks, the FBI, and that`s what they`re going to do.
I compliment the sheriff`s department for inviting the FBI in to help them with the investigation.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bradford Cohen, we`ve been saying they just got the test results from the landfill where the child`s body was found. Could that have included DNA? Could that have included some garbage with an address on it? It seems more than coincidental that they get the test results back, and the next thing you know they`re going through this house that was so close to where little Somer disappeared and now they have a person of interest.
BRADFORD COHEN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Certainly. I would imagine that included some sort of DNA or some sort of link back to this individual. And that`s why they actually, I`m sure they included that into a probable cause affidavit for a warrant to search this home, which obviously he was not living in anymore. He was living now in Mississippi.
So there was a reason why they searched this home. There had to be some sort of probable cause to get the search warrant. That probable cause came from some of the tests that came back on this -- this young child, and I believe that`s why they searched his home.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Breaking news happening right here tonight on ISSUES in the Somer Thompson case. Is her mother any closer to having justice? We are taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877- 586-7297.
Plus, a newlywed wife killed by an obsessed stalker. Could this horrific death, point-blank range, have been avoided? We will have the horrifying details regarding the stalker`s sick obsession. And a judge who made a decision.
But first, Somer Thompson, abducted and killed while walking home from school. Have cops finally found her killer? An arrest tonight. A person of interest!
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMPSON: This predator, this sick -- I don`t know what I`m allowed to say. But this sick man, person, what -- he`s not a man, he`s not a person. Was waiting. He had been waiting. And that was the perfect opportunity. There was no one else around. That`s the only thing I can think, and probably told her, "I`m going to take you to your mommy."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BESELER: Investigators from the Clay County Sheriff`s Office, the FBI, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted a search for evidence in which a suspect has been arrested and charged with 29 counts of possession of child pornography that occurred in Clay County recently. That suspect was identified as Jared Harold, 24 years of age. He formerly resided at that residence. We are also naming Harold as a person of interest in connection with the abduction and murder of Somer Thompson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler just a few moments ago. Ground-breaking developments in the search for little Somer`s killer. Police have arrested a 24-year-old man named Jared Harold on 29 counts of child pornography.
Today police are scouring a single-story brick house just about a block away from where little Somer disappeared. It`s the home that this guy lives in. His family lives in. FBI agents digging up the front yard, going into the house to collect evidence.
Phone lines lighting up. Judy, Virginia. Your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Jane, I honestly think that the only way that they`re going to ever put a stop to these animals that are brutalizing and raping and killing these innocent children is to start castrating every single one of them.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, I have to tell you, first of all, I never blame animals. Animals are innocent, helpless creatures. It`s the human beings that are the problem.
Human beings have the capacity to make a decision. OK? They`re not just guided by instinct. They have intellect that should allow them to make decisions. They are supposed to have values. They are supposed to have ethics. They are supposed to be raised to know the difference between right and wrong. You know, we have all these powers, these mental powers, and yet it seems so many, many, many people have descended into sort of this toxicity of evil where their cravings, their sexual cravings outweigh any sense of morality.
Dr. Dale Archer, take a look at this person of interest`s face. What does this face, if you can see it, tell you?
ARCHER: Well, I mean, I think that from looking at him, the important point to make is that the sexual predator out there can look like anybody. And we can`t stereotype them by looks, because they can be a -- looking like an accountant. They can look like a student. They can look like a criminal. Any of the above can carry out these heinous acts. And I think the important message for all of parents out there, and their children, is that you cannot trust anyone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s sad. It`s a really sad world that we live in, where the conclusion we have to reach to be good parents is you can`t trust anyone. It`s sad. But it`s true.
Ryan Duffy, WTLV reporter, you`re on the scene. You were there for the news conference. Put all this information we`re getting into perspective. Connect this person of interest with this house. What do you know?
RYAN DUFFY, REPORTER, WTLV: Well, Jane, I am reading through this report here that Sheriff Rick Beseler did just hand out when he wrapped up his news conference. This was the first time today the sheriff`s office did give any information as to what`s been going on out there in Somer`s neighborhood, all throughout the day with deputies out there, the FBI also out there. And he told us he wouldn`t really be talking to the media unless there were some major developments.
And this is a pretty major development, what he told us, this man arrested at a house on Gano Avenue, that they were searching 29 counts of possession of child pornography. And that man had lived at that house, and was arrested in Meridian, Mississippi.
So that is a pretty significant development here, of course, held on $1 million bond. We`re told that he`s in federal custody right now. And we are out here at the Orange Park substation where this news conference just wrapped up. It was a brief statement...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this question.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: How far is the house they were searching from where little Somer was last seen?
DUFFY: I`m told it is -- just about a block west.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is fascinating to me, John Lucich, because that means that on the day that she went missing, cops were undoubtedly milling about right in front of this house. And yet it took them -- and I think they did great work on this. Don`t get me wrong. But it just shows you how hard it is. It`s always like finding a needle in a haystack.
JOHN LUCICH, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Absolutely, especially when that haystack is going to be a landfill. These cops did an excellent job.
This guy was probably watching her on a daily basis and just waiting for the time when this little girl was alone. She had an argument with her sister. She went running off and then just made that opportunity where this predator pounced on her.
The one thing I want to get across to your listeners, Jane, is that every expert that I talked to actually says you can`t cure these guys. These guys are driven beyond their instincts, and there`s no curing them. The only thing you can do is lock them away forever, because if you don`t, this is what`s going to happen time and time again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but I`d be interested, at 24, what kind of a record does he have, if any? We`ll learn more.
Fantastic panel, stay right where you are. We`re going to have so much more on the breaking news coming down as we speak. Have cops finally found Somer`s killer?
Plus an ISSUES exclusive. Inside Paula Sladewski`s murder. We`re going to go with a private eye hired by the family to find a killer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: I want you to know that I will not sleep until this person is found. I hope they get you, and I hope they make you pay. For a long, long time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tonight, a major break in the case, coming down on ISSUES, live as we are reporting it. In fact, right now, we have a reporter going through information that`s been -- written information released by police down there in Florida, and he`s going to update us in a second what he`s finding in that report that`s just released.
But suffice it to say, the law enforcement has arrested 24-year-old named Jared Harold, and he`s being held on 29 counts of child porn. They found him in Mississippi, even though little Somer disappeared in Florida. He supposedly lived in a building right near from where little Somer disappeared. They were going through that building all day. It`s a private home. His bail tonight set at $1 million.
So this is a huge development in the case, a person of interest in the disappearance of precious Somer.
Lynn, Canada, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Oh, hi, Jane. First I want to send my condolences to Diena Thompson, and at the same time, I want to tell her God bless her in her battle.
My comment and question is, I wonder if he is affiliated in the Haleigh Cummings case, or if it`s possible. And my next comment is that I think that it`s wonderful that L.E. went to that dump and found Somer. And I think it`s very unfortunate that the landfill that was checked in the Haleigh case was very vague. It is said that L.E. roped off an area and checked residential garbage that had accumulated one day in that week after she went missing, and I think it`s a tragedy, because if she`s there, so is all the evidence.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I think you raise a lot of good points. And here at ISSUES, all of our staff offers condolences to Somer`s mom, who has suffered so much, and Somer`s twin brother, as well as her 10- year-old sister, all of whom have been beating themselves up, simply because this little child made the deadly mistake of just skipping a little far ahead of them. And never came home.
Michelle Sigona, this terrible crime against Somer happened in Orange Park, Florida. Could there be possibly any connection to the disappearance of Haleigh in Satsuma, Florida?
SIGONA: Well, it appears to be about three hours away, Jane. That`s about the total travel time at this point. And I`m sure that investigators in the Haleigh Cummings` case will probably link up with Clay County to see if there is any way that this person could be involved with her abduction, as well. Of course...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got it. Judge Seidlin, I have to ask you what`s the process there? When a person is identified in one case, do the courts immediately, the prosecutors, start looking at other possible cases it could match up to?
SEIDLIN: They look to see if there`s common threads. I was a legal adviser to the sheriff`s department, and we would advise -- we would train the police to look to see if there`s common elements in both crimes.
But I want to tell the parents of America that there`s no safety in numbers. Meaning, when your child, who is 7, or 9, is with other children of 7 and 9, these predators, these monsters, pick them off.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what? We are extending our segment on this. Stay with us. More to come.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A mother`s prayers have been answered tonight: a major break in the case of the murder of her precious daughter, 7-year-old Somer Thompson, who was walking home with her siblings from school in October. They had a little tiff, she got ahead of them, never seen again. She turns up dead in a garbage landfill. A beautiful child left in a garbage landfill like trash.
Well, tonight authorities have announced a person of interest in the murder of this beautiful, beautiful child. This is the man they have named as that person of interest. He`s 24 years old, his name is Jared Harrell. He lived very near the location where little Somer disappeared. Cops have been going through that house all day, collecting evidence.
He was actually apprehended in Meridien, Mississippi, and is being held on $1 million bond, charged with 29 counts of child porn possession.
Ryan Duffy, WTLV, reporter on the scene tracking this case. Ryan, you have been going through additional information the police, the sheriff`s department gave out. What have you found?
RYAN DUFFY, WTLV REPORTER: Well, Sheriff Rick Beseler is telling us he is a person of interest, Jared Harrell, 24 years old. And just looking through some of these report here, he`s charged with 29 counts of possession of child pornography, but it gives a little bit more detail on just what apparently the sheriff`s office deputies found on his computer, and it is definitely some rough stuff. But --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Like what? I mean, give us -- characterize it as best you can, without -- totally grossing us out.
DUFFY: Yes, it`s hard -- it is hard to say. But just -- children --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Does it involve little girls? Is it little girls?
DUFFY: Yes. -- young children, yes, girls and apparently boys but little children. It`s kind of hard to describe too much of it. But apparently found on his computer that he had left at a previous residence that it appears maybe a roommate found and then alerted the authorities.
So not sure of the time line and when he --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it -- is it sexual content involving little children in sexual acts? I`m trying to get specific here.
DUFFY: It is. Children in sexual acts without their clothing, various positions and things like that. And it goes into some detail here, and it does seem like an extensive amount of images, and various things on his computer.
And that was turned over to the attorney general`s cyber crimes unit. And apparently that`s what led to this arrest, and citing him as a person of interest now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, John Lucich, criminal investigator, often times in cases like this, the defendant will say, "oh, that was an adult book, it was a gift. I didn`t know that that -- or I didn`t open the file." But when you have 29 counts, I don`t think you can make those arguments, can you?
JOHN LUCICH, CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: No, you can`t. I`ll tell you something, I`ll describe what he probably saw on that computer. Because I have done those investigations when I was with the attorney general`s office. It breaks your heart to see the face of a young girl in a sexual act with a gentleman who is 40 -- an animal -- which is 40-something years old.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s with the animals? Geez.
LUCICH: The look of horror on their face. You do this to a little girl, you`re a piece of garbage, you`re an animal.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re not an animal. I`ve said this all night and I`ll say it again. Animals don`t do this. Ok? It`s human beings who have a right to choose between right and wrong, who supposedly have the intelligent. Ok?
LUCICH: They don`t -- they don`t have it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Then don`t call them animals, call them very stupid, very depraved, very uninvolved --
LUCICH: Sick individuals. That`s what goes on with these guys.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Human beings.
LUCICH: They categorize all their images right down to it, they`re so bent on this that that`s what happens to these little girls and boys. Something has to be done about these guys.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: JP, California, your question or thought.
JP, CALIFORNIA: I have a couple. Firstly, why aren`t we being more proactive by dealing with the 16, 17-year-old, 18-year-old who is already getting into pornography, who is going to head in the direction of Mr. Harrell, and why are we still offering these guys who are already committing these acts against children, why aren`t we offering protections in prison systems, because it just seems like we put them in protective custody --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want to get Judge Seidlin`s reaction to your comment, sir. Judge.
JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN, PRESIDING JUDGE IN ANNA NICOLE SMITH CASE: Well, it`s a balancing act. We have to follow our constitution. We can`t be like Iran. We have to balance the freedom of a person versus when they`re entering into a criminal activity. And we balance it.
We balance it with possessions of guns. We balance it with all the freedoms that we have. And there are times that we sit in our chambers and the judges talk to one another. And I know someone said before, we want to castrate trait that person. Yes, we feel like doing that. But maybe that person down the road on an appeal may be found to be not guilty.
We have to balance all the interests that are out there. And we have to stay level-headed and detached, and try to provide equity to everyone that comes in front of us.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nevertheless, I will say, I think our criminal justice system, with all due respect to you, judge, is broken. It`s broken and it needs a top-to-bottom overhaul. We`re locking up so many nonviolent drug offenders. We`re putting juvies in -- behind bars who are basically suffering from mental illness.
But the real sickos, the predators, they`re roaming. They`re roaming. There`s 100 sex offenders in the neighborhood of little Somer Thompson -- 100 or more. So something is wrong with our culture. And we`ve just got to get to the bottom of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jane, you know, in Florida, though, we do have laws that can keep these individuals behind bars indefinitely, even after their sentence has been completed. We have Jimmy Rice and Jessica Lundford laws that actually lend a hand to keeping the individuals, if they feel they`re still a threat, before they get released from jail, they can be held indefinitely, civilly committed.
So there are laws on the books. It`s just whether or not they`re applying them properly and applying them to the right individuals that they need to be applied to.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We will stay on top of this story, and we are segueing to another very disturbing case.
Tonight, infuriating new details in the murder of a young newly wed just days before Alissa Blanton`s stalker killed her. She warned an Orlando judge that this guy who was harassing her owned several guns and that she was terrified. She recounted 18 months of torment and begged -- begged for a protective order. But the judge denied her request.
Then this past Monday, the 61-year-old stalker, Roger Troy, shot Alissa in the head outside her office, and then he killed himself. Alyssa`s husband desperately tried to revive her. Listen to his heartbreaking 911 call.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baby, I love you. I love you baby.
We have a restraining order against this guy. Oh my God.
Where the hell is the ambulance? Her pupils are dilated. God.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before she was murdered on February 1st, Alissa had a 72-page emergency petition, begging for a protective order from the man who ultimately killed her. She included copies of Troy`s truly sinister e- mails and letters to her and her new husband.
So who in their right mind would deny her the protection she desperately needed? Meet Judge Dean Moxley, there he is, seen on the Florida Bar Web site. Despite the 72 pages of evidence, this judge claimed he need more proof that Troy was really a stalker. Our affiliate, WFTV, reports this judge has a history of being soft on criminals.
Ironically, with all of the outrage over his decision, Judge Moxley is now getting a little bit of a taste of what it`s like to be stalked. News crews have been stalking him everywhere. Judge Moxley has refused our repeated request for comment.
All right, we`re going to get to the bottom of this with our fantastic panel. Drew Petrimoulx, reporter, WDVO. What is the very latest?
DREW PETRIMOULX, REPORTER, WDVO: Well, you said it right there. This judge, John Moxley is definitely receiving some heat from the community here. What he did is he did not grant an emergency injunction about a week before this murder happened.
But you also have to ask yourself, is a piece of paper going to protect her from a madman with a gun who is willing to the shoot her and himself? Still the parents, the dad -- I heard from him today, where he said that he wanted to know more about why more wasn`t done to protect her.
As you know, and I`m sure some of the lawyers can attest to this, that it`s a sticky situation when you have a girl complaining about this. I mean, he didn`t make any direct threats of violence, but on the other hand, he was harassing her, following her around and sending harassing e- mails. So it`s a terrible situation, obviously.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what? I think it`s absolutely absurd. He didn`t make any threats of violence. We went through the 72 pages, and oh, my gosh.
Carol Wick, CEO harbor house. He had driven past her house. He thought the color of it was ugly. He left a letter on her lawn. He tracked her down and blocked her car and came up and put his arms on the window ledge. He called her a tramp and a whore. I mean, of course he was threatening her. And he has guns.
CAROL WICK, CEO, HARBOR HOUSE: He did a lot of things that any reasonable person would have perceived as a threat. Blocking her in her parking lot and her car, anyone who received an e-mail from someone who lived an hour away telling you what you had worn to work that day and at another office would perceive that as a threat from a stalker.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is -- you know, this judge really screwed up. Carol we`ve got only a few seconds. But tell us how the judge screwed up, for those at home who don`t know.
WICK: Well, judges take things sometimes very, very literally. And the statute does say threat. But threat does not have to mean that the person used the word, "I`m going to kill you." It needs to be the threat that a reasonable person would assume in that situation, and certainly she met the criteria for the injunction. We just need to make sure that judges are trained properly so that they know what the --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, listen, he`s an old guy. He has had years of training. Is she scared? And he`s got 72 pages of a petition? Then it`s a stalker. What`s wrong with people?
Fantastic guests. Thank you so much.
Misty Croslin, fires back. New prison tapes show a meaner side of Misty. What`s with the new tune?
Plus, tracking down a killer: ISSUES exclusively goes with the private eye hired by Paula Sladewski`s family to find her killer.
Tonight, an ISSUES exclusive: meet the private eye hot on the trail of Playboy model Paula Sladewski`s killer and what our crews found at Club Space where she was last seen alive. That`s next. But first, "Top of the Block".
Misty Croslin, speaking out, saying, "Stop -- stop asking me all those questions about Haleigh Cummings." She is doing some more talking from jail, this time to her mom. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISTY CROSLIN, HALEIGH CUMMINGS` STEPMOTHER: It`s ok though because I will prove to the world that I didn`t have nothing to do with it.
LISA CROSLIN, MISTY CROSLIN`S MOTHER: Exactly.
M. CROSLIN: And when I get out of jail, everybody can kiss my (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and I`m going to get on TV and I`m going to tell them all to (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
L. CROSLIN: That`s right. I don`t blame you at all. I mean they need to give you a nationwide apology.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guess what, honey, you`re already on TV. And does she look about 9 or what? Misty told her mom, "They`re not going to put me away for something I did not do." Misty, last person to see little Haleigh Cummings alive more than a year ago; cops are not convinced that Misty has said everything she knows about Haleigh.
Misty`s in jail on drug charges and told her mom she is ok with spending 20 years behind bars. She is not scared of it. Why not? Misty, be careful. You might the get your wish.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block".
Also tonight: an exclusive look at the investigation into gorgeous Playboy model Paula Sladewski`s horrific murder. Does a local homeless man hold the key to solving her vicious killing?
ISSUES got a tour from David Wasser, who has been hired by the victim`s sister and brother to find Paula`s killer. David gave us a tour of the downtown Miami neighborhood where Paula was last seen.
She left Club Space at about 7:20 in the morning and turned up dead. Her body set on fire in a dumpster 14 hours later.
Here are some haunting images, grainy surveillance video. You`re going to see it in a second of Paula leaving the club on Sunday morning, January 3rd. One person who was not with her? Her boy friend, Kevin Klym; he had been tossed out by bouncers 20 minutes earlier.
He explained why on NBC last Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN KLYM, PAULA SLADEWSKI`S BOYFRIEND: There were several gentlemen approaching her on the dance floor, and it was -- it got to be 7:00 in the morning, and it was time to go. And I kind of took her by the waist and escorted her out of the club -- doing the boyfriend shuffle, so to speak -- and she said, wait, I don`t want to go. And the bouncers were on me immediately, within five seconds, and were taking me outside of the club. We had no words. There was no argument.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ISSUES has reached out to Club Space numerous times, only to hear crickets. But tonight, the owners go on camera to defend their establishment.
Meantime, the private eye trying to track down the alleged killer pictured in this ominous police sketch spoke exclusively to ISSUES about why Paula might have stood out in the crowd. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID WASSER, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR HIRED BY PAULA SLADEWSKI`S FAMILY: This woman came out of this club. She was wearing a sexy dress, an aqua dress with a silver cross on the back. She is a ten. She is a Playboy model; she`s a girl that has long, blonde hair, a big chest, beautiful legs. Everybody else is wearing jackets and coats and it`s a cold night in Miami. I have to believe that every eye on the street was on her when she came out of that club.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And tonight, a possible bombshell from a homeless man who claims he has seen the guy in that sketch many times.
What do you think? Give me a call on this case. The number, 1- 877-JVM-SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297.
Now straight out to my awesome panel: Judge Larry Seidlin who presided over the Anna Nicole Smith body custody case in Florida and author of a forthcoming book, "The Murder of Anna Nicole Smith"; and David Wasser, private investigator hired by Paula`s siblings who toured the perimeter of Club Space with our producer and crew.
We`ll talk to you in a second.
And on the phone, Paula`s sister, Kelly Farris. Kelly, thank you so much for joining us. We want to stay on top of this case, Kelly, and we want to make sure we break it. We don`t want to let it go into the cold case file, by any means.
So David, I want to start with you. Thanks for the tour. Aside from what cops are telling you, what have you turned up through your investigative work?
WASSER: Well, first of all, it wasn`t 20 minutes when Kevin came out of the club before Paula. It was four minutes. So want to get that fact straight.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s what we got from cops, so --
WASSER: Ok. Look at the videotape, because the videotape doesn`t lie. And that`s straight truth.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let me just explain, this is surveillance -- the grainy surveillance footage of Paula. You see there, she is highlighted leaving the club. And so we were told by authorities that she was escorted out about 20 minutes after her boyfriend, Kevin Klym was escorted out after they supposedly had an argument, according to cops.
And now you hear the private investigator for the family saying it`s four minutes. And they`re also -- you`re also hearing Kevin saying there was no argument. So there is a lot of discrepancy here. But continue on, David.
WASSER: Ok. Go ahead with the question again.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, what have you found? What have you dug up about what may have happened to her? Up about what may have happened to her?
WASSER: As we were filming out in front of the club, different homeless people and people that work around there have come up to us. And some of them are afraid to talk to the police. And they ended up speaking with us.
And so we took the information that they gave us and we`ve turned it over to the police. In fact, when I was being interviewed by Joe Carter of your station, a homeless man came up and told us quite a bit of information and we had to turn that information forward.
We do not want to step on the police toes in this investigations. So we are sort of a conduit. If people come to us and give us information, we will pass it along.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I do find in previous cases that I have covered that homeless people are sometimes the witnesses that see it all, because unlike the rest of us, who are going hither and yon, they sit in the street and they linger and they observe. They don`t have anything else to do.
So they`ve actually solved quite a few cases because they`re sitting out there at odd hours of the day and night watching people go by.
Stay right where you are. More on Paula Sladewski`s horrific murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WASSER: The street comes alive at nighttime. They could sell seats right there in that area across the street to watch the freak show that`s going on out here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: During our Miami shoot outside Club Space, private eye David Wasser was approached by a local man who said he was homeless. He claimed he had seen this guy -- the guy in the police sketch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That dude on that picture right there, I spoke to this man at least 15 different occasions on the back of this alley. He`s Hispanic. He speaks Spanish fluently.
WASSER: And where did you first see him?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First time I ever met him, I met him at the back of the alley right her behind Club Space, coming out of the club.
WASSER: Ok. And did you ever see her?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I met her when she was sit on the curb on the back of Space because her and her boyfriend got into an argument.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kelly Farris, Paula`s sister, Lieutenant Neal Cuevas (ph) from the North Miami police department said he couldn`t comment on this homeless man. They don`t know anything about him. He told ISSUES that the information is probably something that the private eye hired by you is following.
Do you hold credence in this homeless person or do you think it`s sort of bizarre that this guy comes up while we`re shooting when police who have done extensive interviews in the area say they`ve never talked to him.
Kelly, are you there?
All right, Judge Larry Seidlin, I`m going to throw that one to you.
SEIDLIN: Here`s what happens. When I was an adjunct professor for the police, 80 percent of the time, there`s a relationship between the victim and the one who`s committing the crime. Here there may be a random act.
It`s tough for the police department to put it together, to find who is the culprit, who is the one who committed this crime. It`s going to be very tough when there`s random acts. It`s tough to bring the victim and the --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you think the homeless guy is credible Judge Seidlin? Yes or no?
SEIDLIN: He might be looking for a cup of soup. I`d have to interview this homeless guy. You have to look him over and hear what he has to say.
At this point, just the fact that he`s homeless doesn`t mean he`s not credible, but the police obviously are going to interview him and see what they come up with. I`m not sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right we want to get to Kelly. She`s back in a second.
But let me say this, I`ve got to say this, the owner of Club Space tells Miami`s WSVN that he does not understand why the sketch didn`t come from information given to police by the doorman, the club doorman who actually watched Paula leave.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS PUIG, OWNER, CLUB SPACE: The man in the sketch, we didn`t identify that sketch. Someone put together that sketch for the police. And if it wasn`t one of my employees, who supposedly were the last ones to see Paula in this block, it had to be somebody outside of this block and later on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kelly Farris, you say you got an e-mail from the owner of Club Space saying he`d match the $15,000 reward. Where does that -- all that stand tonight?
KELLY FARRIS, SISTER OF PAULA SLADEWSKI: I`m not sure. He e-mailed me that yesterday. I mailed him back thanking him and giving him the information on how to get it to Crime Stoppers but I haven`t heard anything back from him yet.
But you know, I tend to think -- I don`t know what time the police went out and did their interviews. Did they go out on a Sunday morning when everybody is coming out of the club? And when these homeless people are around? I don`t know that.
So maybe there is some truth in what this homeless man said because the police could have interviewed them when the club wasn`t open. I don`t know. They`re not telling me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are going to stay on top of this story, find your sister`s killer. You`re watching ISSUES.