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Police Capture Man Accused of Killing Wife; Survivor Producer`s Wife Found Dead in Mexico

Aired April 8, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a husband allegedly kills his wife and dumps her body in a lake. Then cries crocodile tears for her return. But it`s all caught on tape. You`ll see the incredible and shocking video and hear now hero cops worked furiously on their day off to solve this murder mystery.

And from reality show to real-life nightmare. Mexican police say the producer of the hit show "Survivor" is a suspect in his wife`s death. He`s now in custody in Mexico. Did the superstar producer kill his wife?

Plus, a massive push to end bullying in the wake of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince`s suicide. This sick trend has even coined a new term: bullycide. All six teens accused of tormenting the girl have pleaded "not guilty," and not one bothered to show their face in court. Is there any remorse for his life lost?

Then, Tiger Woods` bizarre new ad. The pro golfer`s first commercial since his sex scandal broke aired last night. It features Tiger alone, staring somberly at the camera while listening to his dead father. Is this completely tasteless exploitation?

ISSUES starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a man caught on tape allegedly dumping his wife`s body, and we`ve got the video to show you. Munawar Toha is charged with murdering his wife. He reported her missing March 24. Police say surveillance cameras were rolling as -- get this -- he drove her car into a Florida lake with his wife`s body inside. But before his web of lies was exposed, he made this phony public plea. Listen.


MUNAWAR TOHA, ACCUSED OF WIFE`S MURDER: Please come back home. We miss you. We love you. Your children miss you. Please come home. She love her kids very well, very much so. That I do know, that fact. She loves her kids. She is a good mother. She is very good mother.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`ve heard of method acting. Well, that was alleged method acting.

Police say this video shows the suspect driving his car to the edge of a lake near his work, his wife`s battered body right next to him with a plastic bag over her head. This is amazing detective work to thank for solving this horrific crime. And we`re going to tell you how a couple of brilliant cops pulled it off.

Straight out to my fantastic panel: Judge David Young, former Florida circuit court judge; psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz; HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks. And I am very pleased to welcome Sergeant Joe McHugh and Chief Duncan Foster from the Coral Springs Police Department.

Sergeant, first of all, I think our whole panel wants to give you and your team a round of applause.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean, well done.


MCHUGH: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What was it about this husband`s story and demeanor that made you so suspicious of him in the first place?

MCHUGH: When he came forward to us and actually requested to do a press conference, we took full advantage of it. Obviously, that`s a good investigative tool we can use.

During the press conference, you can see several times he actually began to weep, almost to the point where he actually wanted to walk away from the podium, but he was able to regain his composure very quickly. And that`s something our detective caught on.

And during the entire press conference, he never once said that he misses her, he loves her, and he wants her back home. All he said was, "The children miss you and want you back home." So our detectives caught in on that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You guys are like psychologists. Here is a play-by- play of the shocking surveillance tape. Now, take a look very carefully. The suspect drives the wife`s car right up to the lake. The husband was very familiar with this lake, because it`s right behind his office. Just imagine: her body was right there next to him the whole time.

Now he gets out of the car and calmly pulls a bicycle out of the trunk. Police say that`s how he got home. He biked home. Then he drove the car right to the water`s edge. Watch as he walks around to the back of the car and then tries to push it in the water. After a couple of unsuccessful tries, there he goes. He gets into the driver`s seat and then he rolls the car right into the water. OK?

So there he is. There he was, pushing it unsuccessfully. There you see him getting into the car, and then he rolls it right into the water.

Officers, let me go to the other officer, your cops were very proactive and creative in cracking this case. Apparently, what I hear is they went out on their day off, took one of their own boats to investigate. How did they figure this out?

CHIEF DUNCAN FOSTER, CORAL SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT: They sure did. They had noticed in one of the suspect`s statements that the suspect had driven around his place of business. And the officers took it upon themselves to use Google map and started looking as to possible areas where a body could be -- could be placed. And they saw a large body of water.

They went out there on their own time, noticed a fence had been knocked down. As they`re out on their boat looking at the scene, they happen to look up and see a video camera and thought, you know, "What are the chances of this actually getting caught on videotape?" Went to the business owner that owned the video and, sure enough, what you just saw was captured on tape.

It`s important to note that 50 yards either way, this crime would not have been caught on videotape.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank God for videotape.

Mike Brooks, when cops make mistakes, we do hold them accountable on this show.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But when they do something right, we also congratulate them. This was classic, smart detective work. It was creative; it was risk-taking; it was -- it was proactive. It was all sorts of different things, you know, put together to achieve this fantastic result.

BROOKS: You know, Jane, you talk about good old-fashioned police work. Sergeant, chief, congratulations. Your detectives did one hell of a job.

MCHUGH: Thank you. Thank you very much.

BROOKS: But they did it on their own time, Jane. It was Detective Koenig`s boat they took out onto the lake. And they were out looking around, couldn`t even see anything, but they looked up and they noticed a surveillance camera.

And that`s when they said, wait a minute, you know, let`s take a look at this. It was just making sure that they crossed all the "T`s," dotted all the "I`s." You know, Jane, and I`m sure that there`s a lot of evidence that the sergeant and chief can`t tell us about, but it sounds like they`ve got a great case on this guy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue tonight. Were those crocodile tears we saw from the suspect? Let`s listen again as he begs for the return of his wife who was already dead.


TOHA: Please come back home. We miss you. We love you. Your children miss you. Please come back.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It seems every time a guy cries about his missing or dead wife, everybody wonders, did he do it? That`s what happened when Laci Peterson went missing in 2004. We now know her husband, Scott Peterson, murdered her. But for months he looked right into the cameras and told this lie.


SCOTT PETERSON, CONVICTED MURDERER: People accuse me of some involvement. I had nothing to do with her disappearance, but people still accuse me of it. My response is the same to all of them. Thank you for being aware of her missing from our family. Please do what you can to bring her home.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz, what the heck is going on here with these crocodile tears?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: You know, these men probably are really terrified. They`re terrified for their own skin. So, you know, when your motivation is a combination of, you know, if I get caught, I`m going to prison for the rest of my life, that`s pretty upsetting. That -- that could easily make a man cry.

In addition, it`s possible that the children did say something to this man about missing their mother, and though he may have done this crime, he may be able to conjure up some feelings about that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, you know, we hold police accountable when they make mistakes, as I said. But in this case, I`m really thrilled to credit police with a superb job. Just days after this wife was reported missing, detectives blew the case wide open. Listen to this.


DET. SCOTT MYERS, CORAL SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT: While off duty, we were thinking about places where the suspect may have put the car. Officer Koenig thought that maybe behind where he works would be a good place, that big lake. So we went there. We found a hole in the fence. Detective Young saw the surveillance cameras at a nearby business. Yesterday we were able to review those surveillance tapes, and that led to us finding the car.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If only police and parole officers had been that diligent when they checked on Phillip Garrido. Remember him? Despite reports that kids were living in tents in the backyard, officers who responded to that 911 complaint never bothered to go into the backyard to check. Had they, they would have found Jaycee Dugard and her daughters, who were kept there for years upon years.

Judge David Young, what is the lesson here?

JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, FORMER FLORIDA CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE: The lesson is that police officers have a very tough job, and we know they can do their job. I`ve seen so many officers do such incredible, just incredible work here in Miami-Dade County, Florida. And what we saw with this case is just an example of great police work, and my hat is off to the law enforcement. You did a two-thumbs-up job.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I`ve got to say, when law enforcement is passive, reactive, unimaginative, complacent, and I include parole officers in that, then we can have problems, like the Philip Garrido case. But when they`re creative, and they`re imaginative, and they`re proactive, and they even work on their day off, look what can be accomplished. More...

BROOKS: And that`s most of the time, Jane. That`s most of the time.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s why we want to point it out. More on this woman`s brutal murder. We have some other details that are going to shock you in just a moment.

We also have this breaking story, just in to ISSUES. The wife of a high-powered Hollywood TV producer found dead at a swanky resort, and this famous producer is the prime suspect.

But first, a man`s sob story -- and it`s literally a sob story about his missing wife -- just didn`t sit right with cops. Their suspicions led them right to the woman`s body.


MYERS: His body language and his actions were not consistent with a grieving husband that just -- that just lost his wife.




MYERS: Mrs. Toha was reported missing by her husband, Munawar. For the past two weeks, approximately two weeks, we`ve been looking for her. Yesterday we recovered her vehicle and her remains inside the vehicle. The vehicle was found in a lake behind where Mr. Toha works.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A Florida man charged with murdering his wife after police discover surveillance video of him allegedly dumping her body into a lake. That evidence, it`s as close to a smoking gun as you could get.

Mike Brooks, however, when I looked at it, I certainly couldn`t identify him. How are they going to connect the dots?

BROOKS: Well, Jane, what you can do with a video like this, and I`m sure the chief and sergeant will agree with me, is you can take that, put it to scale. Take his size -- they know exactly how tall he is -- and compare it to the video and scale it one-to-one and come up. And also, his size of his body.

There`s also other evidence that they`re probably taking a look at. There`s cell-phone evidence, all these kind of things on where the pings were from the time she disappeared to here to all the way to the time of his arrest. And they`ll probably put the whole case together. But that`s one of the ways they can do it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Chief Duncan Foster, what really got me about this case was that he took a bicycle out of the car to drive home, allegedly. Have you been able to find that bicycle? Because I would think that would be incredible evidence for you.

FOSTER: Right now we`re executing a search warrant on the house. And we anticipate that we will find that bicycle. And, like your panel had mentioned, there`s going to be a tremendous amount of forensic evidence in this case, that we`re very positive that it will lead to the successful prosecution of this man for murder.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you have any doubt that -- in other words, I`m looking at it with the lay person`s eyes. I can`t tell that that video -- that grainy video is him. How are you going to connect the dots with that?

FOSTER: Well, we`re going to use that as one of many tools. Video can be very helpful in court. The gentleman had mentioned we have the ability to do some forensic analysis of the video. But it`s not -- we`re not going to simply rely on video. We have to use other evidence that -- more confident that we`re going to find in this case that`s going to help us in court.

BROOKS: And Jane, she died apparently of blunt force trauma, but also a asphyxiation was also another factor in her death. So again, as the chief said, there`s a lot of evidence probably in that car. The bag around her head, compare that to other bags in the house. Cell-phone evidence. And a search warrant. They`re going to glean a lot off of that. I guarantee it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Judge David Young, if he wanted to argue, "Well, she died accidentally and I panicked, and I just decided to dispose of her body because I was scared," there`s a little problem with that. And it`s called a plastic bag over her head, correct?

YOUNG: Yes, it is. And I guess you can argue that I look like Brad Pitt, too. That has about as much credibility. It just -- you know.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Go ahead.

YOUNG: This guy really should have his own reality show in the state prison in the state of Florida. Because the job that he did was an Oscar- winning performance and would have fooled most.

But I`ve got to tell you, once again, the police work that was done in this case and the police work that I`ve seen in many cases is absolutely unbelievable. My hats off to the police force and the sergeant and the chief and all the men and women who wear the uniform up there. You done good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. They really have. The autopsy found that this woman suffered repeated blows to the head from a heavy object and the plastic bag. She may have also been suffocated.

Her husband charged with premeditated murder. And you can see why, I mean, based on this calm, methodical way he allegedly dumped her body. They were married for ten years. They had two young sons in elementary school.

Dr. Gail Saltz, despite this intimate partner violence I see over and over again, I never cease to be shocked that somebody could be sort of living with the enemy.

SALTZ: You know, unfortunately, we -- this is just not as uncommon as we wish it would be. Couples who love each other can grow to hate each other. And it`s just not that unusual, sadly, for particularly men, but increasingly women, to take that hate out on their partner. And to feel that there is no way out, so to speak, because they don`t want to pay alimony, because they don`t want to be accused of abandonment and so on. To think that this is actually a way out of their marriage, insanely enough.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: As we look at this man crying -- Dr. Saltz, you`re the shrink -- is there any kind of -- within the crying for himself a -- a crying of remorse over what he has allegedly done? A crying of, "Oh, my God, I can`t believe that I put myself in this position"?

SALTZ: You know, you can`t know that without speaking with this man and hearing his inner thoughts, and even then he might not be honest with himself or with you, but it`s very possible. And murder suspects -- people who have murdered others do at times, after the murder, regret what they have done, can`t believe that they actually did do that. And now they`re in this situation, and they are frightened and they feel horribly guilty.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Mike Brooks, what really strikes me, though, is sometimes when a person does disappear and the spouse or loved one is not responsible, they don`t cry. So it`s almost counterintuitive. You expect the tears because that`s what we see on the soap operas, but in reality when it really happens, a lot of times the loved one is in shock and does not cry.

BROOKS: Exactly. And sometimes, you know, the loved one, they`re in shock, and they might have taken a tranquilizer. And the reality hadn`t just hit them yet.

But with this guy, you know, I think it was a little bit of reality that -- that she is dead. That I did it. He may have done it. Of course, always alleged.


BROOKS: And, you know, then the whole thing now, "Oh, my God, I might get caught."


YOUNG: This thing was planned out to the nth degree. To the bag, to the putting the bike in the car, to how he was going to dispose of the body, to how he was going to react after -- after the body was discovered. I mean, the whole thing. Everything.

SALTZ: Jane, if he...

BROOKS: They always think they`re smarter than the police, you know?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Note to criminals. Do not dump a body behind -- in the lake behind your office.

YOUNG: With cameras.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, fantastic panel. With cameras.

A shocking twist in the Phoebe Prince case. A backlash against the bulliers, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shock in Hollywood tonight. A tropical getaway turns deadly. The missing wife of a famous TV producer is found dead in a Mexican sewer.

Bruce Beresford-Redman, his wife Monica, and their two children were at the Ritzy Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun. Here is a picture of the couple from "Extra!" TV. Witnesses told police they saw the couple in a big fight on Sunday, and Monica reportedly went into town the following day.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Monday morning, she went for shopping in Cancun. And she never came back.

They noticed that she didn`t make it to the shopping because they went through her credit cards, and they didn`t see anything. So she did not charge anything.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Mexican officials have named Bruce as a suspect.

Straight out to HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks and CNN producer Alan Duke.

Alan, this is rather shocking. What can you tell us?

ALAN DUKE, CNN PRODUCER: Well, we`ve gotten new information just this afternoon about what happened in the last days of Monica`s life and her relationship with her husband, Bruce.

What we`re told by a family friend who talked to her very recently is that she found -- in her belief she found that her husband was cheating on her. And so she cleaned out the couple`s bank account, went to Hawaii with the kids, then flew to Cancun at his request to attempt a reconciliation with him. And that is where she disappeared, at a resort near Cancun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. That`s pretty heavy-duty information. Bruce Beresford-Redman is a well-known TV producer in Hollywood. He was nominated for three Emmys for the hit reality show "Survivor." He`s also the creator of the popular MTV show, "Pimp My Ride."

Alan, does he have any kind of a reputation at all in Hollywood of volatility?

DUKE: Well, I`ve not picked up on any of that during my research today. And I might note it`s been about five years since he worked on "Survivor." But he`s been involved in creating some very -- other successful shows.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, you`ve been actually at the resort where all this unfolded. What do you know?

BROOKS: Jane, I can tell you, it`s a very large, expansive resort, right on the ocean. And, you know, it`s a beautiful place. There`s a huge, 18-hole, championship golf course. You know, they always try to sell you property when you go to these places.

So I went on the tour and rode all around the resort. And there`s a lot of places where there are not surveillance cameras.

Now, in the main area, there are some cameras around the pools. I mean, there`s a nightclub. It`s kind of divided up into two areas. And where exactly she was found, I don`t know. We`re still trying to find that out. But there`s a lot of places there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Alan Duke, any evidence beyond what you have uncovered plus that they had an argument? In other words, is there anything else?

DUKE: Well, what we -- someone who talked, a family friend, who talked to Bruce yesterday told us that he told her she went out shopping and didn`t come back. And interestingly, this person presented the idea to him that maybe they should contact CNN to help find her, to put out the word and said that he was a little hesitant to do that. Today, we find out he`s under arrest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Well, we are going to have more on this here on ISSUES tomorrow. Thank you both. Maybe you`ll both some back.

Next, inside the hell suffered by victims of bullying. We`ve got a story. Prosecutors say 15-year-old Phoebe Prince was tormented. We`re going to talk to the mother of the victim.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A massive push to end bullying in the wake of 15- year-old Phoebe Prince`s suicide. This sick trend has even coined a new term, bullycide. All six teens accused of tormenting the girl have pleaded "not guilty" and not one bothered to show their face in court. Is there any remorse for this life lost?

Then, Tiger Woods` bizarre new ad: the pro golfer`s first commercial since his sex scandal broke aired last night. It features Tiger alone, staring somberly at the camera while listening to his dead father.

Tonight, a high school freshman is dead after prosecutors say she was tormented so badly she committed suicide. Six of Phoebe Prince`s South Hadley, Massachusetts schoolmates have pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges including statutory rape, harassment and stalking. None of the six showed their faces in court this week. They had their lawyers do the talking.

But are the alleged bullies the only ones responsible?

A close friend of Phoebe`s family claims the school knew about her nightmare long before she hanged herself in January. He made this dramatic claim right here on ISSUES.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t buy it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re saying they`re just flat -- they are flat-out saying they didn`t know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think that they were -- they just looked the other way. They were attempting to cover it up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Meanwhile, a backlash against the alleged bullies has exploded online. Just as Phoebe`s loved ones memorialize her on Facebook, four of the so-called mean girls are now targets themselves of a mysterious cyber vigilante.

More on this chilling development in just a moment.

First, straight out to my amazing expert panel: Judge David Young, former Florida circuit court judge; and we`re very honored to have with us tonight, Sirdeaner Walker.

Her son was tormented at his school and like Phoebe was pushed to the edge. Carl committed suicide a year ago. Look at that handsome young man.

Sirdeaner is now on a mission. We`re going to hear about her amazing work in just a moment.

But I want to start with Jeff Katz, talk show host on Boston Radio Rush 1200. Jeff, talk radio has to be on fire. Who do your listeners blame more -- the alleged bullies or the grown-ups, parents and school officials?

JEFF KATZ, TALK SHOW HOST, BOSTON RADIO RUSH 1200: Well, it`s a great question. I think that we have -- we have a fairly interesting mix.

We have a large number of moms and dads, like myself, in the audience who are outraged that something like this can take place in the school. But I think most of us can remember back to being teenagers, can remember back to teenagers saying and doing awful things, in some cases stupid things.

So I think a lot of our attention is pointed towards staff. And the more that the chairman of the South Hadley school committee talks out, the more you realize, gosh, this is a school system that just seems to be out of control.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And now here`s a shocking twist in Phoebe`s story. And it comes in the form of retaliation against the alleged bullies.

And it`s my big issue tonight. Is there a bully boomerang?

Get this. A mysterious cyber vigilante has targeted four of Phoebe`s tormentors by setting up counterfeit Web sites created under their names.

The sites are easily accessible. You can Google them. The sites include links to newspaper articles about the case, but they also include very nasty stuff, retaliation, all sorts of obscenities.

So are these kids getting a taste of their own medicine? Or does this retaliation only make things worse, Judge David Young?

JUDGE DAVID YOUNG, FORMER FLORIDA CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE: Well, the first thing, Jane, that school system knew what was going on and that school system because of fear of lawyers and a lawsuit failed to act in this case.

You know, I am -- I am outraged by this whole case. I am outraged at the fact that children would bully other children. Where do they learn this behavior from? I tell you where they learn it from. They`re learning it from their parents. They`re learning it from society.

Enough is enough. Bullying has got to stop, and schools have got to step in and say we`re not going to tolerate it anymore because when parents give to their children an education, they don`t expect them to end up suicidal. They expect them to go to college and do great.

And that`s not what happened here. And I just -- my heart just goes out to these parents and the family.


A disturbing new word has now emerged in the wake of two tragic teen deaths. The mother of 11-year-old Carl Walker has coined the term bullycide. It`s a great term. It expresses it to the T.

Carl hanged himself with an extension cord last April in Springfield, a town just ten miles away from where Phoebe lived. This precious 11-year-old boy -- so handsome, look at him -- taunted mercilessly with the phrase "that`s so gay" even though he was 11 years old and he did not express a sexual identity.

We are, again, delighted to talk to that boy`s mother. Sirdeaner, our hearts go out to you. What goes on at home when a kid is being tormented so relentlessly? Did your son keep it from you to protect you or were you aware of it?

SIRDEANER WALKER, BULLYING DROVE SON TO SUICIDE: In the beginning, I was aware of him -- of the fact that he was bullied at school. He did tell me, and then I did go to the administrators of his school and then informed them that Carl was being bullied.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I understand that this tragedy happened as you were getting ready to leave for yet another meeting with school administrators. That has to be a huge frustration for you.

WALKER: The last day of Carl`s life, there was a fight in school. I never was informed that there was a fight that day involving Carl. He told me about the fight.

And my intention that night was to go to a PTO meeting to talk to -- to the director of the school to try to get to the bottom of what happened that night -- that day in school.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I got to say this, Jeff Katz. I think when bullying occurs, the parents need to be brought in to the school immediately and cross-examined about what the heck is going on in their home that they have produced a child that is so sadistic. And I think you`ve got to put it on the parents immediately. That`s my opinion.

KATZ: Well, I think you absolutely have to reach out to the parents. There`s no question about it. I think we also need to be realistic though that we`ve had teenagers that have engaged in stupid behavior, aggressive behavior, behavior that we as adults look back on and think was absolutely ridiculous.

In most cases it hasn`t had these sorts of tragic results. So absolutely, you`ve got to reach out to parents and find out what`s going on and you`ve got to hold the adults accountable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but Jeff -- listen, in the case of Phoebe, there were allegedly six teenagers who conducted a relentless campaign of harassment against her for three months. This wasn`t just one comment. This was throwing drinks at her. This was knocking books allegedly out of her hand. This was going on the Web site and say nasty things about her on Facebook. This was a campaign, according to the DA.

KATZ: Well, I agree with you. There was certainly an organized effort on the part of these folks. The idea of throwing drinks or knocking books out does not sound to me to be totally out of the realm of things that happen with teenagers.

But the attacks that were posted online were absolutely vicious. And what many of us who are 30 or 40-something do not realize is the cyber- world in which so many of our teenagers are now living. This stuff stays on the Web. It`s there forever. And again, put yourself in the mindset of a 15-year-old. This is a huge obstacle to surmount.

So you`ve got to hold those teachers accountable who we know were told. We know the staff was made -- were advised of this. You absolutely have got to reach out to those parents and say what the heck is going on with your kid?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s get back to the case of 11-year-old Carl. What about this expression "that`s so gay". Check this out from Hillary Duff`s Fan Club.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it`s totally gay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You really shouldn`t say that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say that something is "gay" when you mean it`s bad. It`s insulting. What if every time something was bad every said, "Oh, that`s so girl wearing a skirt as a top."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Both Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes have spoken out against using the word "gay" as a weapon. Bullies have now demonized that word. And obviously, Judge David Young, this is homophobia.

JUDGE YOUNG: Oh, it`s clearly homophobia. Where did they learn it, Jane? They learned it from the parents. You know, I equate it to when fathers are involved in a squabble in a little league baseball game. They get into a fight and what happens? Somebody throws a punch against somebody else. This is where the children learn their behavior.

That school system should have brought those children in immediately. They should have acted immediately. They should have called the parents and who probably were going to be a bunch of jackasses anyway and deny that their children could do anything wrong.

But the school should have either suspended them, put them on notice or proactive. They should have been proactive like the police who were in that other case and none of this would have happened.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know you are pushing for legislation, Sirdeaner Walker. It`s very complex, but it`s very thorough. I pray that your laws are enacted. We`re going to stay on top of this story so that your precious son did not die in vain.

I applaud your courage for speaking out and not cowering. We`ve got to stand up to the bullies, ok? Back off bullies.

Stay right where you are.

Coming up: an update on the horrifying rape of a 7-year-old girl in New Jersey; you will not believe who is standing up and defending the suspects.

And Nike releases the very first ad featuring Tiger Woods since the massive sex scandal. You do not want to miss this one.


TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: Parents used to point to me as a role model for their kids. I owe all those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nike is releasing a brand new controversial Tiger Woods ad. We`re going to show it to you in a moment.

But first, "Top of the Block".

A shocking development in the horrific case of a 7-year-old gang rape: the father of the little girl is now defending three of the alleged rapists. The girl`s dad says those suspects actually wanted to help but were held as gunpoint and couldn`t. One of those the dad is defending a 20-year-old Gregory Leary. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

It`s mind-boggling. This poor little girl was allegedly sold as a prostitute by her older sister and then raped by as many as seven men at a party on March 28th. And the dad is defending those accused? This story angers me and it, more than anything else, sickens me.

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

Nike has released its first TV commercial featuring Tiger Woods since the massive sex scandal broke out.

In the Tiger ad, Tiger says absolutely nothing. Well, he couldn`t exactly say their usual tag line, "Just Do It", so Tiger is completely silent. But the ad has everybody else talking. It features a solemn and humble-looking Tiger staring very morosely into the screen while his late father Earl`s voice gives him a talking-to.

Take a look.


EARL WOODS, VOICE OF TIGER WOODS LATE FATHER: Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Sportswriters and commentators have called this ad everything from sleazy, cheesy, tacky, genius, creepy, uncomfortable and strangely moving. That`s my favorite. I think anyone who finds this strangely moving is frankly strange.

For Nike, this was brilliant. I mean, come on. We`re all talking about it. But why did Tiger go along with it? Isn`t it disrespectful to use the memory of a proud daddy to sell sneakers?

Nike says, "We support Tiger and his family as he returns to competitive golf. The ad addresses his time away from the game using the powerful words of his father." They maybe powerful but are they a tad hypocritical?


BARBARA LIPPERT, AD CRITIC: The whole thing with his father is so loaded. Earl, you know, was not a paragon of marital fidelity himself. So when he says to Tiger, what were you thinking? Tiger could say, well, I learned it from you.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: When did Earl say all this and in what context? They took his words and they spliced them together to make a commentary about his son`s cheating, which the dad obviously did not witness because the dad is deceased.

And drama at the Masters, check out the banner on this plane that flew overhead. "Tiger did you mean Bootyism?" Instead of Buddhism and another, we don`t have a photo, but it said, "Sex addict? Yes, right. So am I," end quote.

Ok. Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Advertising executive and CEO of the ad agency DIGO, Mark Dimassimo; clinical psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz; and we can begin with HLN`s sports anchor Rafer Weigel.

Rafer, you`re out there at the scene. What is the very latest?

RAFER WEIGEL, HLN`S SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, the very latest is that Tiger is playing to a very partisan crowd, Jane, which is what we expected when he walked out. He was greeted with a huge cheer when they introduced him. He was greeted with a huge cheer. Now he usually always is, but this time there was more of a purpose behind the cheers.

It was very clear they were trying to communicate to him, "We welcome you back."

And then those planes flew up overhead. And I was surprised. I thought a lot of people would get very upset, but I think most people at least can put this into some perspective. And they chuckled a little bit at it. They thought it was a little bit funny. And at least it wasn`t somebody jumping out of the bushes.

But Tiger has a lot of security following him, Jane; a lot of undercover plain-clothes security moving with him every step of the way, keeping a very close watch on all of the fans following him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And how is he playing?

WEIGEL: He`s playing very well. He usually doesn`t play very well in the first round, but Tiger looks to be in top form.

Golf is a mental game, as you know. And I`ve -- most of us did not expect him to do very well in the very beginning, but he clearly is not being mentally burdened in any way at this point by these -- these allegations and this sex scandal. He is right in the zone and looking to win this thing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Surrounded by his people, the golfers.

So what will Tiger`s next Nike ad look like? Jimmy Kimmel had a fabulous idea. Check this out from ABC`s "Jimmy Kimmel Live".


JIMMY KIMMEL, ABC HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE": There is another commercial premiering tomorrow, another Tiger Woods commercial. This one, featuring the voice of his mother, called Tidal Woods.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tiger, what the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) were you thinking? You stupid, stupid boy. Always using your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) instead of your brain. Didn`t I always tell you not to sleep with (EXPLETIVE DELETED)? You`re (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is pretty darn funny.

Mark, does this ad just open him up for more controversy? I mean, let`s face it. He had just gotten through that news conference, if you can call it that. It`s day one of the Masters. He seemed to perhaps get the worst of it behind him. Why reopen the wound again with this ad?

MARK DIMASSIMO, ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE: Well, I do think this ad was a bold attempt to really to open him up in a sense -- to open him up and to humanize him. You know, the -- the Tiger brand was a problem actually, I think, that`s been building up for years. It`s an adult-child brand.

It`s never been a man brand. He has always been his father`s son publicly and, you know, he -- even though he -- he did some adult things, I don`t think he was ever really taken seriously as an adult brand.

So what we`re now seeing is the really awkward --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: An adult brand?

DIMASSIMO: Yes, the creepy spectacle of a 34-year-old adolescent. But, you know what? This is what he needs to pass through. So I think it`s smart and I think it`s bold for him to do this. He needs to.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think it would be better if it was a PSA, but to be baring your soul or your dad`s soul or anybody`s soul to sell sneakers, I think that`s commoditizing recovery and I think it`s basically self-sabotage.

Judy, Florida, your question ma`am?

JUDY, FLORIDA (via telephone): Oh yes, I just have a quick comment and it`s that, even though his dad is dead, Tiger still cares about him and he`s still (INAUDIBLE) and there`s a lot to learn from his indiscretions and really in life, you learn the lesson from anything, good or bad.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, he has so many supporters at the Masters and off. In a moment we`re going to analyze that ad and then some.

Stay there.



LIPPERT: The reality is that for Nike, Tiger is like Citibank. He`s too big to fail. They cannot let him go down. They have 16 years in him. He is Nike golf.

If he doesn`t come back, they have huge problems. So they have to do anything to bail him out and prop him up.

This was one way to show that he`s contemplative, that he`s thinking, that he`s a changed man without him having to answer a question or get any sweat on his brow or listen to the pesky press ever again.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tiger Woods` new Nike ad stirring up a huge response. I have tons of comments from my Facebook page.

Terry says, "Well, we all wanted to see him reprimanded. I think the commercial is genius."

Lisa F. says, "This is a desperate attempt to repair his corporate Nike image. Pathetic. Do they think they`re fooling anyone? Shame on Nike.

And Tina P. says "Creepy and tasteless".

You can become a fan on Facebook. Facebook/janevelezmitchellHLN. Give me a holler on Facebook. I love reading your comments.

And we`re going out to Rafer Weigel. How has Tiger`s behavior been on the course today?

WEIGEL: You know Jane -- and that`s a very important point. Tiger Woods said he was going to be a less demonstrative, more controlled, different Tiger Woods. The only judgment -- the only way we have to gauge that is his behavior on the course.

What we`ve seen today, not a changed man at all. Tiger Woods recently had a bad shot. And in disgust took his club and threw it on the ground. This is the same guy, the guy who`s now supposedly a Buddhist and meditating and this is something he said he was not going to do.

And this is not the only time. I`ve seen it throughout the day; him starting to lose his temper at times. I`m really not seeing a different Tiger Woods on the course right now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Gail Saltz, he promised us. He said he was a changed man.

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: But people don`t change overnight. I mean it really takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time to change. And you have to keep wanting to change.

Today he wants to win a golf game to show that, you know, what has happened has not affected his ability to perform athletically. And that`s probably the number one priority. And, you know, you can understand that.

You know, Jane, I think one thing that`s interesting about this ad, by the way, is that this was an attempt to really use Oedipus to get to all of us about the idea that if he could be absolved by his father, then that`s the voice that should count. Like, we should all absolve him if dad can absolve him.

WEIGEL: Not his wife?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue. Profit off problems? The commercial released today is a far cry from what Tiger has done in the past for Nike. Take a look at this from YouTube.




VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mark, I wouldn`t have a problem with his doing the ad involving his dad if it was it was a PSA. But to sell sneakers, I have a problem with that. He`s supposed to be in recovery. He`s in early recovery.

DIMASSIMO: Of course, Nike wants to sell sneakers. That`s what Nike is in the business to do. But I don`t believe that this was a commercial about selling sneakers. I believe it was about the relationship between Nike and Tiger Woods, and Tiger Woods and the audience.


DIMASSIMO: And I think that`s really what they wanted to focus on and they wanted to begin to create an environment in which people could see Tiger through different eyes through his father`s eyes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I guess what I`m saying is, I understand Nike`s interest. I just think that his interest and Tiger`s interest, they`re not the same.

Thank you, fantastic panel.

Horrific abuse of animals at factory farms around the country; we have to put a stop to it. Actress Charlotte Ross who`s been in a slew of TV hits is one of the many fighting for animal rights. She joins us tomorrow here on ISSUES.