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What`s Truth about Casey`s Jailhouse Confessions?; Woman Charged with Cruelty After 43 Dogs Found in Freezer

Aired April 7, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, seismic fallout from the shocking Casey Anthony jailhouse letters. Sexual assault, incest, plus claims of chloroform? Tonight, massive controversy over allegations that Casey used chloroform to knock out her daughter. Casey`s defense team is now firing back tonight, claiming that was never in the letters. So, was it all made up by a jailhouse snitch?

And hellish animal torture almost too graphic for TV. Cops in Alabama say 43 dogs have been found in a woman`s freezer. That`s just the beginning. We`ll go inside of this horrifying dog abuse.

Also, a 15-year-old girl nearly beaten to death by another teenager. It`s been three weeks since Josie Ratley was viciously punched in the face and stomped on the head. Tonight, good news on ISSUES as this young woman fights for her life.

Plus, new Jon and Kate drama-rama. New reports say Jon wants to sue his ex-wife, and he wants full custody of the kids. He claims Kate`s an absentee mom, too busy "Dancing with the Stars." But maybe Jon should look in the mirror. New reports say he`s broke and spending all his time with his girlfriends. Does anybody care about these kids?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: More unbelievable Casey Anthony shockers. Tonight, the Anthony family slams the sexual abuse rumors. And Casey`s secret late night jailhouse conversations. You will not believe what inmates say the accused child killer whispered through the air vents. The air vents.

Did Casey admit to using chloroform to knock out little Caylee so she could leave the little girl in the car while she went out partying? Tonight, Casey`s defense team is firing back. Jose Baez says Casey never mentioned using chloroform on Caylee in any of the hundreds of pages of handwritten letters between Casey and her jailhouse drug dealer pen pal.

In fact, Baez insists all of the most incriminating allegations that have just surfaced about chloroform, about Zanny the Nanny not existing, about Casey knowing details about little Caylee`s body that only the killer would know, none of that is actually in Casey`s letters. It`s all coming from interviews with two inmates Casey befriended while behind bars.

Tonight the defense says those two are nothing but a couple of, quote, "lying jailhouse snitches looking for a get-out-of-jail-free card." It has been all over the news that traces of chloroform were found in Casey`s car and that somebody searched "chloroform" and "neck breaking" on the Anthony family computer. Could these inmates have made all this up, based on details they heard about the case on TV?

I want to hear from you. Give me a holler: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1- 877-586-7297. Taking your calls now.

Straight out to the fantastic expert panel: criminal defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh; prosecutor Stacey Honowitz; psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer; and we begin with the host of "In Session" on TruTV, Ryan Smyth.

Ryan, what is the very latest?

RYAN SMITH, HOST, "IN SESSION": Well, Jane -- Jane, it`s been an incredible day. You`re talking about many, many documents coming out talking about the family, alleging sexual abuse by both the father, Casey Anthony`s father and her brother. And not only that. Talk about knocking little Caylee out just to go out and do other things, just to get her to sleep.

Now, the key is the chloroform part, Jane. And right now, the issue is did she, is there anything in these letters talking about chloroform? The answer is no. Nothing we`ve read, nothing directly talking about knocking out Caylee, putting her to sleep with chloroform, just about knocking her out, nothing else other than that. So no chloroform.

And the defense is saying, as you said, there is nothing in here that is incriminating so far, but you can bet, Jane, they are going to use this. Prosecutors are going to try to use as much of these letters as they can at trial to try to convict Casey Anthony.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think the confusion is that the batch of letters was released at the very same time that a supplemental report by the sheriff`s was released, and the supplemental report is really where the bombshells are, and those are the bombshells that these women allegedly told detectives when they were talking to them.

Detectives interviewed an inmate named Maya, who says she would talk to Casey through the jail system`s air vents. She told detectives Casey admitted to using drugs to knock Caylee out. She tells police, quote, "Sometimes when Casey wanted to go out, and not let nobody baby-sit her or anything, not leave her with the parents, she`ll go out after Caylee went to sleep, that she`ll sometimes knock her out and make her go the sleep until she got back." Wow. Boy, the syntax on that is enough to knock me out.

Prosecutor Stacey Honowitz, will prosecutors in this case try to put these two women on the stand to repeat these incendiary claims?

STACEY HONOWITZ, SEX CRIMES PROSECUTOR: Well, you have to -- Jane, lots of times prosecutors hear from people that are in the jails that are so-called snitches, that come forward and are hoping at some point to get a reduction in their sentences.

You have to remember one thing: what we`re hearing now certainly sounds like extremely relevant and important information that the prosecution would use. The prosecutors have a duty, though, and a responsibility, and they know this, to make sure that there is some credibility to the person they`re putting on.

So, they will grill this person, and they will find out from this person how they got the information, where they got the information, if it`s possible that they could talk through the air vents before they decide whether or not to put on this witness. They make this determination of credibility before they go forward. But if they determine that witness to be credible and not seeking just a reduction, they will try to use this evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s not hearsay?

HONOWITZ: It`s directly coming from Casey`s mouth, so no. It`s not hearsay in Florida. It`s her statement.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Boy, I see a lot of head shaking. Mark.

MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I can`t believe that the prosecution would even consider using this evidence from nothing but rats. Let me tell you something: I`m salivating if I`m the defense lawyer.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t put down rats.

EIGLARSH: Gee, that`s true. Don`t want to do that. Even a rat has its morals.


EIGLARSH: In this particular case, if you don`t recall, six months ago there was someone who claimed that she had this conversation with Casey. She wasn`t even on the same floor as Casey.

Let me explain something to you, if this case hinges upon the testimony of someone in the cell who is claiming, absent any concrete proof in any letter, that somehow Casey, in spite of denying everything to law enforcement officers and to the world, all of a sudden let her guard down and revealed this compelling information...


EIGLARSH: ... to a couple of people looking to get a sentence reduced, please. They`ve got problems if that is what they`re going to do.

HONOWITZ: I can`t believe that you would think, Mark, as a defense attorney that you`ve not heard of snitches taking the stand from the prosecutor. Not every person that comes forward and says an inmate said something is seen to be a snitch looking for a reduction in the sentence. The prosecutor has a duty and a responsibility to investigate this, and if they find this witness to be credible, and she has lied about everything else so far. She`s lied about everything else so far.

EIGLARSH: Of course, she`s a liar, but do you think that the state undermine the solid evidence that they have showing this smell in the car, the 30 days of non reporting by putting on this evidence which cannot be corroborated? It`s just going to be a couple of people claiming that they heard something which she has kept her mouth shut and denied all along.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, guys.

EIGLARSH: It is horrible evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have to bring out the big gavel. Thank you.

EIGLARSH: Well, you bring it out, Jane. You bring it out!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sherry in Virginia, your question?

CALLER: Well, I think it`s really interesting that, after all of this time, that Casey has been incarcerated, that now with the release of these letters, that all of these things that she supposedly has written, and then two other inmates saying that they have talked to her, and that she`s admitted to, you know, chloroforming her daughter and all of this -- I`m just saying it`s an awful coincidence, and why is it all just coming out now?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think it`s a very good point. Now, in her letters Casey makes some disgusting allegations. She sayings her brother Lee sexually abused her for years when she was a younger teenager.


LEE ANTHONY, CASEY`S BROTHER: CMA, I miss you. I love you. CMA, I am so proud of you. I hope you`re proud of me, too.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor guy. Now, he`s got to put up with this. His own sister writing, "I know what it feels like to be physically, emotionally and mentally abused. I also know what it`s like to be sexually abused. I was to blame for my own brother walking into my room at night and feeling my breasts while I slept. This went on for over three years before I finally stood up to Lee and told him if he ever came into my room again I`d kill him. I was 15. I think my dad used to do the same thing to me, but when I was much younger.

She also says that George may have done the same thing, but she can`t be sure.

The attorney for the Anthony family, Brad Conway, released a statement: quote, "The Anthony family denies that there was any improper sexual behavior in their family. Nor was there ever a time when Casey told them of sexually inappropriate conduct by her brother or father."

Stacey Honowitz, could Casey use the abuse excuse to gain pity from a jury? And is that why the defense didn`t fight the release of these letters?

HONOWITZ: Well, certainly, we`re hearing about this now that she was abused. I don`t know if she was abused. She could have been, but it`s certainly no excuse for killing her daughter.

So will she garner sympathy from the jury if this even comes out? No. It doesn`t make a difference. Plenty of people are molested, you know, in their childhood and don`t grow up to kill their children. So...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer...

HONOWITZ: ... is she trying to get pity or the letters coming out now for the public? Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We need -- we need a psychiatrist on this. Is it possible -- do you think that the Anthony family, Cindy, George and Lee, are absolutely devastated, or do you think perhaps they knew that this was going to come out and, well, whatever it takes to save my daughter?

DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think that, A, yes, obviously, they`re absolutely devastated hearing this. And again, everything that Casey Anthony does, you have to suspect. And why is it coming out now? What is her motive?

Everything she does, you have to think there`s a secondary gain involved in it. I just find it very, very suspicious that, all of a sudden, this is coming out in letters that she had to realize were going to be confiscated and read.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, she had to know we`d all be talking about them.

Everyone, stay where you are. We are still trying to wrap our head around these bombshell allegations. And we`re taking your calls: 1-877- JVM-SAYS. Call me.

Plus, 43 dogs found in a freezer, and that`s just the beginning. Horrifying animal abuse discovered in Alabama. But first, we`re going to have much more on these explosive jailhouse letters sent from Casey to her jailhouse pen pals.


GEORGE ANTHONY, FATHER OF CASEY: I got within three feet of my daughter`s car, and the worst odor that you could possibly smell in this world, and I`ve smelled that odor before. It smelled like a decomposing body.




CINDY ANTHONY, MOTHER OF CASEY: I found out my granddaughter has been taken. She has been missing for a month. Her mother finally admitted that she`s been missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Your daughter admitted that the baby is where?

CINDY ANTHONY: The babysitter took her a month ago, and that my daughter`s been looking for her. There`s something wrong. I found my daughter`s car today, and it smells like there`s been a dead body in the damn car.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news. A couple of jailhouse snitches saying Casey Anthony told them that Zanny the Nanny didn`t exist, and that Casey used chloroform to knock little Caylee out while she went out partying.

Phone lines lighting up. Amy, Pennsylvania, your question or thought, ma`am?

CALLER: Well, my thought is, you know, if the inmates, if they have been following the story just like everybody else in the country has, chloroform has been something that has been mentioned so many times, that they`re probably just enhancing stories or fabricating things to get themselves out of jail.

EIGLARSH: Amen. Amen, Amy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Father Eiglarsh, but Ryan Smyth, you`ve pored over some of these documents. The letters are the letters, but what about this supplemental report that goes on and on and on forever? Could it be a case of creative writing by the detectives, as well?

SMITH: Well, that`s one of the thoughts here. One of the thoughts here is one of the detectives talked to Robyn Adams about chloroform was used and, apparently, it wasn`t necessarily evident that Robyn Adams said that chloroform was used, that she might have used other things to knock her out.

But this detective wrote in their summary that chloroform was used to knock her out, and this is a very critical point, if you look at it, at trial. Because at trial, if this detective testifies, the defense will jump all over that to deny their credibility and say no chloroform was used. No one said it outright.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, didn`t she say something about anti-histamines?

SMITH: Exactly, Jane. It`s all about antihistamines and other things that might have done this, but no specific reference to chloroform. That was a detective summarizing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That`s interesting that -- that the summary takes it to the next level. It`s almost, Stacey Honowitz, like the prosecutors just want somebody to say what they in their hearts believe.

HONOWITZ: Jane, Jane. How could you say that? No, I don`t know why. I don`t know why the detectives summarized it the way he did. Like I said earlier, you know, you hear about jailhouse snitches or people that come forward all the time.

The prosecutors will go through this evidence. If they don`t think this person is credible, if they think the detective made it up. If they think the detectives took it to the next level, well, they`re smart enough -- they have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- they`re not going to put these people on the stand. But for now, this is discovery that`s coming forward. It`s ongoing, and it has to be investigated.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey`s jailhouse buddy Maya tells investigators that, when the two would talk, Casey would be livid after heated visits with her mom, Cindy.



CINDY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on sweetheart.

CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody is letting me speak. You want me to talk. Then give me three seconds to say something.

CINDY ANTHONY: OK. Sweetheart.

CASEY ANTHONY: I`m not in control over any of this.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maya says Casey would call Cindy names and told investigators Casey said, quote, "She`ll talk about how her mom never really cared about her that much. All she cared about was Caylee. And she knows what it feels like to miss somebody now and to feel pain and stuff like that," end quote.

Mark Eiglarsh, do you think the Anthony family feels betrayed or, as I said before, are they like, "Well, whatever it takes to get my daughter off and get her some sympathy"?

EIGLARSH: Yes, that, the latter. I mean, throughout this whole thing, in spite of obvious evidence of her involvement in this, they still stay loyal to her for some reason. So I don`t think it`s going to take anything short of a busloads of nuns, a videotape and a confession for them to think maybe she had something to do with it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. I see you have a sign, Mark.

EIGLARSH: I had a sign, because I disagreed with Ms. Honowitz when she stated that somehow prosecutors can discern who is telling the truth and who isn`t before they put them on the stand and offer them a little bit of cheese.

HONOWITZ: I don`t need a sign to make my argument. I know that much. I don`t need signs. I just use my mouth, so I`m not worried about that.


ARCHER: And I want to talk about the letter real quick and about what Casey said. If you analyze these letters, the handwriting is that of a very immature person. And if you read the content, the content is that of a very immature person.

And you put all that together, that`s a very self-centered individual, and that comes back to Casey talking about her mom not being there for her. It`s always somebody else, and it always is coming back to the fact that she is not accepting her current reality and responsibility for where she is now. So, I don`t buy any of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Very quickly, Ryan Smith, do you think Cindy and George will continue to support their daughter by showing up in court, five seconds?

SMITH: I do. I think they will. They`ve been backing her thus far. They`re going to keep going as long as they need to, to get her off.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. You know, it`s a compliment to them, despite all the insults, that they stick with their daughter.

I thought that the handwriting was incredibly neat, by the way. I couldn`t believe how neat it was. It`s a lot neater than mine. Thank you, fantastic panel. Coming up...

ARCHER: There`s no variation to it. It was all flat.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ooh, interesting. All right. Maybe we`ll bring in a handwriting analyst. OK.

Up next, here we are. Josie Ratley showing signs of recovery. We`ve got new major developments on this story. We`re going to talk to the attorney of the teen accused of almost killing her.

Plus 43 dogs found dead inside a woman`s freezer. Was the woman terrorizing animals, or was she just nuts?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, a horrific discovery of over 40 dead dogs wrapped in plastic found in a woman`s freezer last Friday.

Sixty-three-year-old Nanny Johnson is charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty. What cops are still trying to figure out is why. Was she operating a puppy mill or was she mentally ill or both?


CAPT. STANLEY MCNATT, LIMESTONE COUNTY, ALABAMA, SHERIFF`S DEPARTMENT: She could not really explain a reason other than that she thought that -- her words to us was that the devil was involved in killing her animals.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, maybe she`s trying to pretend she`s crazy. Almost 30 dogs were rescued. They are now in the care of a veterinarian.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a sweet little dog right here, but this is one thing, to groom them and you see the hair matted up on the feet, and you see he`s severely emaciated.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Severely emaciated. That means starving.

For more on this gruesome story, let`s go straight out to my very special guest, Carol Davis, West Coast director, Companion Animal Protection Society. Carol, cops say this woman collected lots of dogs and lots of dolls. What does that signal to you?

CAROL DAVIS, WEST COAST DIRECTOR, COMPANION ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY: It signals to me she`s mentally ill. She`s got mental problems, but the difference here between dogs and dolls is that the dolls don`t feel the pain. The dogs, the dogs in the freezer aren`t feeling anything. But those dogs that are dead probably died in agony. And the dogs that were lucky enough to make it out of this place are very fortunate indeed. This was a puppy mill; 90 percent of them were females.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does that indicate to you?

DAVIS: It indicates to me, when you see a lot of females in a breeding operation, that they were used as breeding dogs. This woman was most likely, because none of those animals were spayed, it means that she was selling dogs at one time. Because there were no puppies there, that means that this is a breeding operation that is no longer in operation.

I think this woman might have lost her mind. She certainly neglected these dogs to the point where they are in terrible, terrible condition. This is a -- very sad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Just because she`s got silver hair and looks like a nice little old lady doesn`t mean she`s not a criminal and didn`t do something absolutely awful.

Now, in March of last year, 62 miniature pincher dogs were rescued from a breeding facility -- that`s also called a puppy mill -- in California. You are looking at undercover video from a documentary produced about the horrific conditions in which these dogs were living.

Carol, you were involved in this rescue. You were there. What was it like, and why are these puppy mills so prone to animal cruelty?

DAVIS: Well, when you`ve got a breeding operation, such as this one that you`re looking at here, you`ve got animals that are living in terrible conditions. And the people have them there for one reason only, and that`s to make a buck.

They`re not -- these dogs aren`t there because these dog owners love them. They`re there because they`re using these dogs to sell them. And there`s a really good way to stop all of this: just stop buying these dogs. Start rescuing dogs instead of buying them, and you`ll put these people out of business, end of story.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Often they claim that they care a lot about the dogs, and they create a whole phony story. This just happened to a friend of mine. Then her dog got sick. She tried to call the breeder; wouldn`t take the call. Is that typical?

DAVIS: Yes, it`s really typical. We`ve got tens of thousands of breeders. We might even have more than that of unlicensed breeders. There`s nothing to stop somebody who`s got several acres of land to have a barn, debark a bunch of dogs, put them in cages, and start breeding them and selling them directly over the Internet. This has got to stop.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much. And debarking means cutting their vocal cords. Carol, see you soon.

A teenage boy accused of beating a 15-year-old girl. We`ll talk to his attorney next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A 15-year-old girl nearly beaten to death by another teen. It has been three weeks since Josie Ratley was viciously punched in the face and stomped in the head. Tonight, good news here on ISSUES as this young woman fights for her life.

Plus, Jon and Kate dramarama: new reports say Jon wants to sue his ex-wife and he wants full custody of the kids. He says that Kate is too busy dancing with the stars. But what about him? Is he ever around?

Finally, a ray of light in a dark story of shocking teen violence; a 15-year-old girl in Florida who was nearly beaten to death at a bus stop is slowly getting better. Josie Ratley has been in a coma since the savage attack three weeks ago.

We are so thrilled here on ISSUES to hear that she is now able to breathe on her own and open her eyes. Yes.


HILDA GOTAY RATLEY, JOSIE RATLEY`S MOTHER: Right now she is able to move her right side a little bit which I was really concerned about that, because there was no movement at all. And, of course, she is moving the left side. And she`s opening her eyes, but she is not actually focused on anything yet, and she does not follow commands yet. But, she`s getting well.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say that a 15-year-old boy viciously beat Josie outside her school. He allegedly kicked her head over and over with his steel-toed boots. Despite the improvement, her mom is still in a cloud of shock and horror.


RATLEY: When I am home, you know what I do? I cry and I stay in bed. That is what I do. And I pray.

I want my baby to come back to me the way she was when she left my home that day.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor woman.

What could push a child to commit such horrific violence? In this case, it may have been the suspect`s traumatic family life. Did he ever get the help he needed to cope?

The boy`s attorney joins me tonight. And we are taking your calls, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

I want to welcome back: psychiatrist Dr. Dale Archer; also bullying survivor Jodee Blanco, author of "Please Stop Laughing at Me"; and Russell Williams, the attorney for the 15-year-old suspect.

We are not identifying the boy, because he is currently a juvenile. Mr. Williams thanks for joining us.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What has your client, the teen suspect, said about this attack?

WILLIAMS: He does not really remember a lot. But he is very remorseful. The second I walk in and the first thing that he says to me is, "How is she doing?"

He doesn`t really have any updates, so he is very -- you know he cries all of the time. And he just really can`t answer the "why" questions.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The 15-year-old suspect`s dad has been arrested, get this, are you sitting down, nearly 50 times in Florida. He bounced in and out of prison for 20 years; everything from drug dealing to weapons charges.

The suspect`s older brother was more like a father to him. That is until last October when this teen found his brother`s body hanging from a tree. Police say just before the attack, Josie sent him a text message referring to his brother`s suicide. And the boy allegedly replied, referring to Josie, "I`m coming over there and I`m going the snap your neck."

After the beating he allegedly sent this text to a friend, "Well, I guess I`m going to prison. I almost killed somebody," end quote.

Russell Williams, you know there`s a lot of people who are very skeptical about remorse after the fact and compassion after the fact. But I do want to ask you, did your young client ever get therapy in the wake of the suicide of his older brother? Was he ever diagnosed with post- traumatic stress disorder over the suicide?

WILLIAMS: No. And that, by the way, happened on his birthday. He was on his way to a birthday and he saw his brother`s car. He saw some paramedics. They approached the area and they saw his brother hanging from a tree right by the car. Two days he grieved and then his mom asked if he was ok, if he wanted to get counseling. The school was willing to help him with counseling and he said, "No, I`m fine."

And as we know now, unfortunately, apparently he wasn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But -- ok, what about the other parent? What about the mom?

WILLIAMS: The mom is -- she`s a loving -- a loving mother. His stepfather is a super nice guy. They are very protective over him, and they even let the brother -- because he was going through a divorce at the time -- move back into the house. And you are right. He is -- was a de facto father to him because his real father was never around.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just don`t understand why this kid didn`t get therapy, why the parental units didn`t insist that since he saw his older brother hanging from a tree on his birthday that he did not get intensive therapy. A kid is not going to get over that on his own.

WILLIAMS: I believe that education would really lend people to be credited -- have somebody go into therapy to understand the process a little bit better. I don`t think that the parents -- and I`m not saying this in any condescending way -- were that educated. They believed that the boy was ok.

He`s smart, was running straight A`s. He was taking Japanese as a language. So he was brilliant, and they didn`t see what was coming. Whereas maybe a more educated family may have seen it coming and have more options open to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, do you buy it?

DR. DALE ARCHER, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, I think that whenever you look at teen violence, you have to look at the big picture and there are four things that go into it.

Number one, the culture of violence that permeates our world --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true.

DR. ARCHER: -- number two, the school system; number three, the parents and the family; and finally, the child, himself.

So I think in this particular case, the brother was a father figure to him. That was his stability. And the dad was in jail as you said almost 50 times.

So when that stability is ripped away from you in a violent act, self-induced act such as suicide, the trauma is just unestimable, so there is not a doubt in my mind that this boy was grieving inside and no one was there to recognize it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Jodee Blanco, this is all after the fact. Where was this young man`s remorse and compassion when he was allegedly stomping on this girl`s head seven times with the steel-toed boots? Now she needs to go into therapy to have part of her skull replaced, Jodee.

JODEE BLANCO, BULLYING SURVIVOR: I think the problem is -- and again, it always comes back to the same question, where are the adults? Number one, this -- I feel bad for all of the kids involved here. Compassion isn`t taught in the home, it is not reinforced in the schools and I think that our kids are suffering from something I call empathy deficit disorder a lack of empathy.

And where was the school and the counselors? If they knew this kid was in such dire straits, where were the counselors insisting to the parents, you need to get this child help?

Rage not something that is always hidden. Typically on a daily basis, if there is a child that is teeming with rage, someone has to see something, a friend at school, a classmate, did anyone not see anything? Because now we have a suffering girl who is an innocent victim, and in this case, the perpetrator was a victim of circumstances, too, though I don`t excuse his actions at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have seen how devastated Josie`s mom is, and for good reason. Listen to what she said about the suspect and his family.


RATLEY: I would have liked to have them -- to tell Josie that they are sorry, you know, and the boy to say that he was sorry also, you know. That what he has done was awful -- awful. You know, I mean -- I don`t know what is going to come out of this, and I don`t know how to feel as far as they go. Or he goes.

But I don`t know, I think -- they need God. That is all I can say. They need the Lord.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Russell Williams, does your client, the teenage suspect accused of this head stomping want to apologize to the victim Josie and her mom?

WILLIAMS: Well, I really can`t answer that question because as you know, he has the right to remain silent and anything that he would say can be used against him. The family has spoken to me at length about wanting to reach out to the parents, to the mom, and I said, no.

I had -- yesterday in court I actually did extend my sympathies to the attorney Mr. Friedman and wanted to speak to him and let him know that the family is praying for Josie as well as is my client.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know that attorney, Mr. Friedman, has said it has to be more than just locking up another kid and throwing away the key. And that`s one of the reasons we`re talking about this is that we need a bigger solution.

I personally have recommended group therapy in public school, and it is starting to seem a little less crazy, Russell Williams, than it did when I first suggested it.

WILLIAMS: I think that`s a great idea. I think in today`s culture -- and I have two boys -- so I mean I think in the culture today with the way things are going, the Internet, texting. I think that the teachers need to have training. I think counselors need to be more aware. Parents need to be more aware. I think everybody needs to be more aware of what is going on out there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fantastic panel.

Our thoughts are with this poor girl. We hope she makes a complete recovery.

Coming up, more good news on ISSUES: a kidnapping caught on tape. Now the police have made an arrest. We will have all the details for you.

Plus, is Kate Gosselin a worse dancer or a mother? Coming up: why Jon Gosselin is calling his ex an absentee mom. We are taking your calls on this one, 1-877-JVM-SAYS. Should Jon get custody, because she`s off "Dancing with the Stars"? 1-877-586-7297.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Is he a good father?


KING: Why the pause?

GOSSELIN: His decisions right now are not ones that I would necessarily make, but down deep in his heart, I know that he is.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: They may not have a TV show anymore, but Jon and Kate still have plenty of drama. That`s next.

But first "Top of the Block" tonight.

A horrifying kidnapping attempt caught on tape. Yesterday, we showed you the sicko suspect posing as an electrician. He barged into a house and savagely beat a woman with a hammer. Luckily, that poor housekeeper survived.

Well, tonight, excellent news. Cops in McAllen, Texas, have made an arrest, a 19-year-old man has been charged in the attack. His motive is still unknown.

There is a war on women in this country and now more than ever, we have to be on alert. Lock your doors, ladies. Use your peepholes and don`t be overly trusting. Don`t become a victim.

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

Tonight, Jon and Kate Gosselin thrust their eight kids back into the media glare. Thanks, mommy and daddy.

Just hours ago in Pennsylvania, a former TLC reality star Jon Gosselin sued the current reality TV star Kate for primary -- primary custody of their kids.

Jon`s attorneys say Kate`s a quote, "Absentee mom" because of her out-of-state gig in L.A. on ABC`s "Dancing with the Stars". Not for nothing, that gig reportedly pays more than $200,000 to the celebrity dancers for the season.

Team Jon also asking a judge to review the current child support order; as it stands now, Jon pays Kate $20,000 a month.

So is Jon making a play for a cut of cake DWTS earnings, DWTS, "Dancing with the Stars" earnings? What about her salary from TLC? Remember "Kate Plus Eight" starts this fall. He`s not in it. And she is also about to start shelling (ph) a new book.

What is the motive here? Call me with your theory; 1-877-JVM- SAYS, that`s 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fabulous panel: Vikki Ziegler, a family law attorney; and Dr. Dale Archer, a clinical psychiatrist -- we need you for this one Dr. Dale; and Bonnie Fuller, president and editor of the daily must-read Web site,

All right, Vikki, Jon`s lawyer say Kate`s farming out her parental duties to three nannies and at the same time keeping him from coming in and being more of a dad. What do you make of it?

VIKKI ZIEGLER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: I -- I mean, I see dollar signs all over the screen right now. I think at this point, this is what it`s about -- it`s about visitation perhaps and maybe she`s being a little difficult while she`s away.

But to change custody -- three and a half months ago they both consented -- they agreed with an arbitrator that decided that she`s going to be parent of primary residence.

What`s changed, her little stint on "Dancing with the Stars"? If you read the reviews, Jane, she`s probably going to be off of the show in a week or two. So do they really have an argument?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, listen Kate says her "Dancing" gig is part-time and I say to that baloney, soy -- soy vegan baloney. She`s recently said that her dance partner travels back and forth with her so she can practice at home and be near the kids, but come on.

Every week she`s got to get on the plane and schlep from Pennsylvania to L.A., that`s about a five hour flight. And then there`s the return trip, those hours add up. And then when she`s in L.A. she has hours and hours of grueling rehearsals.

Take a look at this video from Monday`s episode on ABC, it shows Kate and her coach getting physical in preparation for her Paso Doble dance. On show night, Kate has to go through costuming and hair, come on, that`s all time-consuming.

Here is my big issue, is the Gosselin scenario now eight minus Jon plus Kate. Bonnie, isn`t "Dancing with the Stars" an all consuming commitment?

BONNIE FULLER, PRESIDENT, HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: Listen, we`ve been keeping very close track on this situation. I can tell you that Kate is a working mom that she has done everything to be there as much as possible for her kids. I mean, we hear that she doesn`t leave until Saturday night, she shoots on Sunday, and then she often red-eyes back on Tuesday after the taping so she can be home for those kids first thing in the morning.

She looks exhausted, that`s why she`s dancing so badly. In the meantime, we documented that Jon was -- had disappeared for 28 days in a row, and just was not with the kids at all, that happened over the last month. He`s only recently reappeared after he broke up with his latest girlfriend, and Mr. Gosselin, his primary residence is in New York City.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Do you think he`s doing it for the money, Bonnie? I mean, is this an attempt to get leverage? She`s coming out with a new show in the fall, "Kate plus 8" and he`s not included. He wants --

FULLER: Oh, I absolutely think that it`s for the money. He has no visible means of income right now. He thought he was going to get all kinds of new gigs, nothing has materialized. Meanwhile, he is so jealous because she`s dancing in front -- in front of 23 million people every week.

ZIEGLER: And I think he wants attention.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`ve got to get through this, because it is so funny.

When it comes to the kids the Jon and Kate drama, well, it`s that serious. But when it comes to Kate`s new career as a ballroom dancer, all bets are off, people. Check out Jimmy Fallon on NBC.


JIMMY FALLON, NBC: I was attacked by the paparazzi again this morning. And I`m pretty upset about it. I mean, I think my feelings can best be expressed in the form of dance.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Dale Archer, is it good for the kids to see their mom become such an object of scorn and ridicule really?

DR. DALE ARCHER, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST: Well, Jane, we know two definitive things from this whole mess. Number one, Kate, you cannot dance. And number two, Kate, you`re clearly a better parent than Jon is. So I think --


ARCHER: -- that`s the only thing we can say definitively in this whole --

ZIEGLER: And Jane --


ZIEGLER: Jane, I am sure Jon Gosselin is sitting at home watching Kate whether she is a good or bad dancer saying, "Why I am paying $20,000 a month for child support when she is making a hell of a lot more money than I am." And child support and visitation and custody is always reviewable, but Jon has the burden. He has the burden to prove.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He said he voted for her, by the way. Back in a moment with more.



LARRY KING, CNN HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Is he a good father?


KING: Why the pause?

GOSSELIN: His decisions right now are not ones that I would necessarily make. But down deep in his heart I know that he is.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But this just in from TMZ. Kate Gosselin`s lawyer now saying, "Jon`s attempt to get custody is pathetic, that the legal documents he filed are incoherent, and do I think his motivation is the children`s best interests? Squarely, no."

It is getting ugly. Didn`t it get ugly a while ago, though, really?

Lanita, North Carolina, your question or thought, ma`am.

LANITA, NORTH CAROLINA: Yes, my thought is of course Jon -- Jon is no saint. But Kate wins no mother of the year award either. It seems like to me that both of them are misguided, they need to get off the television, raise those eight children, which I understand they wanted two, he wanted more, so now she has eight.

I know she has to support them. But to me I just wish that she would just go away, go out of the spotlight. I`m tired of listening to her. I`m tired of hearing about it.

And really, if that`s called dancing, the viewer -- I mean the person a while ago was right, she`ll be home in a couple of weeks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Lanita, thank you for that. And you`re kind of dovetailing what Jon is saying. We got -- CNN -- an exclusive statement from Jon Gosselin`s attorney. And he says, quote, "Part of the package that promotes that image is her children," end quote. In other words, that she`s just in it for the showbiz. And whether or not she`s spending time with them, quote, "She`s not doing the job."

So Bonnie, this is getting so darn ugly. And this has got to impact the kids.

BONNIE FULLER, PRESIDENT HOLLYWOODLIFE.COM: Well, you know, Jane, I have to point out that Jon -- there`s good reason that Kate doesn`t want Jon spending more time with the kids. When he had them on his own for some of his periods, he actually had an affair with the babysitter and was having sex in the hot tub, and then the babysitter sold the whole story to a magazine.

So she has got legitimate concerns about his ability to care for them. And if he really did want custody, or to see his children more, because we have a source at that says that`s what this is really about, he just wants to se the kids more. How about talking to your ex and coming to some kind of an arrangement? You don`t just go and file for custody.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But Vikki Ziegler, I`ve always been of the opinion water finds its own level. It`s usually not just there`s one bad guy and one saint.

ZIEGLER: Oh, yes absolutely. I mean I think there`s probably underlying issues going on, on both sides. But instead -- and I think Bonnie makes a good point -- this is about trying to communicate for your children. You`re going to be parents the rest of your lives. They`re divorced.

Why do we have to bring it in front of the media, in front of the world? I think it`s a poor display, and I think it sets a bad example for their children. If he really wants more time, go for it.

DR. ARCHER: But you bring --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dr. Dale, you have the last word.

DR. ACHER: Yes, you bring it before the media when you are a fame addict. These two are addicted to fame. They`re addicted to the camera. That`s what they do. So it`s inappropriate. It`s bad for the kids. And they need to stop it. But I don`t see it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I just hope they put a little aside for the shrink bills these kids are going to need when they grow up because of the mom and dad.

ZIEGLER: And the lawyers.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, fabulous panel for joining me tonight.

FULLER: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to stay on top of all of our stories. You are watching ISSUES on HLN.