Return to Transcripts main page
ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Van Der Sloot Wanted for Murder
Aired June 2, 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, Joran Van Der Sloot accused of murder again, but this time, it`s not Natalee Holloway. Fast- breaking news in Peru. Cops say a young woman is dead, stabbed repeatedly in a blood-covered hotel room, and Joran was the last person to see her alive. Tonight we`ll go inside the creepy similarities between this case and Natalee Holloway`s.
Plus, head-spinning new twists and turns in the case of a missing Michigan mom. Venus Stewart vanished one week after gaining full custody of her two kids. Now cops say her estranged husband`s alibi is crumbling to pieces. Did he hire an imposter to help cover his tracks? And disturbing new evidence: tarps, gloves, shovels and blood.
Plus, mind-blowing new developments in the "Survivor" murder mystery. That hot-shot reality TV producer is accused of killing his wife. The cops have a warrant, but he`s still comfy-cozy in California. Could a legal loophole keep this accused killer out of jail?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning, breaking news tonight. A massive manhunt rages on. As we speak, this very minute in South America, Joran Van Der Sloot is wanted for murder. Tonight the 22-year-old Dutch playboy who was infamously tied to the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway is on the run. Van Der Sloot is the prime suspect in the brutal killing of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman.
The body of Stephany Flores Ramirez was discovered this morning in a blood-drenched Lima hotel room. That hotel room was registered in Joran Van Der Sloot`s name.
Stephany is the daughter of well-known Peruvian businessman and race car driver, Ricardo Flores. Tonight, he is saying his daughter was repeatedly stabbed, and blood was spattered everywhere. There are published reports that Stephany was also beaten. And her father claims police found evidence in his daughter`s car that she may have been drugged.
Authorities say Van Der Sloot was the last person seen with Stephany. They have images of him on surveillance video with Stephany at a casino in Lima very late on Saturday night. Then a hotel employee spotted the twosome entering Joran`s hotel room at about 5 a.m. Sunday morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GENERAL CESAR GUARDIA, PERUVIAN CRIMINAL POLICE CHIEF (through translator): Joran Andres Petros Van Der Sloot, 21 years of age, is the perpetrator of the homicide of the young woman, Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramirez. We have much incriminating evidence, a deposition with a hotel employee who saw this (UNINTELLIGIBLE) with the victim, entering her room, Room 309, on May 30 at 5 in the morning. After four hours, he left the hotel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And a chilling twist. The shocking murder is believed to have occurred on Sunday, May 30, which is -- are you sitting down? -- to the day, to the day, the five-year anniversary of Natalee Holloway`s disappearance. What do you make of that? Give me a call: 1- 877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. Joining me by phone, Joe Tacopina, the stateside attorney for Joran Van Der Sloot. Also on the phone, Julia Renfro, the editor in chief of "Aruba Today." Also with me, T.J. Ward Jr., private investigator who was in Aruba searching for Natalee Holloway, as well as prosecutor Stacy Honowitz, former criminal investigator John Lucic. And we begin with CNN`s senior Latin American affairs reporter Rafael Romo, who is on top of this story.
Rafael, what is the very latest?
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jane, this is an explosive case in Peru, because today we learned about the disappearance of this girl, and then she was found murdered in a hotel room. And what I can tell you at this point is that, according to her father, she was drugged and she was stabbed multiple times on Sunday morning.
And he is specifically mentioning Joran Van Der Sloot. He`s saying he is the suspect, he is responsible for the death of his daughter. And he is asking for the police help in arresting this suspect.
Now, police are saying that they`re looking for him in cooperation with authorities in several countries, Chile and Argentina. He is believed to have fled, by land, Peru and is now in Chile. Also, the Interpol is helping with this investigation. And so, at this point, there is a manhunt. They`re trying to locate him, but Peruvian officials sound like they have -- like they are very positive that this is the man that they`re looking for, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The victim, Stephany Flores, her father says his daughter met Joran at a casino, and he made some shocking allegations. He mentions, quote, "pills they use to drug people." Listen to this.
(BERGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICARDO FLORES, FATHER (through translator): They left in her car, and they found some wrappings of pills they use to drug people. We will have samples of this man`s skin underneath the nails of my daughter. So, once he is captured, we will be able to show that he is the killer, and he won`t be able to walk away like he did in Aruba.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: T.J. Ward, you`re a private investigator who was in Aruba searching for Natalee Holloway. Weren`t there also theories that Natalee Holloway may have died after being drugged by Joran the night she disappeared? Because he at one point said she was shaking?
T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: We think the drugs that were put in her drink in Carlos and Charlie`s are the same -- probably the same one he`s talking about in this Peru case. He did put drugs in her drink that, from information that we have and witnesses has told us that there was Ecstasy put in her drink, and when they went out to the beach, she went into a seizure, and he called his father.
Unfortunately, this time he`s not going to be able to hide behind his father, and he`s going to be on his own if they bring him back there, in a strange country, that people don`t know who he is and be able to take and hide behind the umbrella.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Tacopina, you are the attorney for Joran Van Der Sloot. People are saying, wow, this is a growing body of evidence that connects him to the murder of this Stephany Flores Ramirez. It was his room. She was brutally murdered in a room registered to him, and then he flees. He takes off and tries to go to another country, and now they`re hunting for him. What do you say as his attorney?
JOE TACOPINA, ATTORNEY FOR VAN DER SLOOT (via phone): Well, listen, obviously, I don`t know enough about the facts to comment on this thing. I don`t think anyone does. You know, I`ve been reading articles as if they were proven facts.
I think if history teaches us anything, in the Joran Van Der Sloot case or cases, if you will, is that you sort of need to really wait and see what`s fact and what`s fiction. There have been so many false reports out there time and again regarding stated evidence and what not. And I think you really have to sort of step back and let this investigation take course.
You know, I don`t know -- I don`t know what happened. I don`t know if he was there or if he wasn`t there, and I`m not going to sit here and say he certainly had nothing to do with this. I don`t know. But I do know that there have been enough false reporting surrounding this kid and his cases that I think you really have to step back and say let`s wait and see how the investigation, you know, progresses.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think I want to go to Stacy Honowitz, Florida prosecutor, to respond to that. Stacy...
STACY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: Listen, I have to agree with Joe on one thing. I mean, certainly, there are always false rumors; there`s always false reports. But I`ll tell you something, Jane, if the facts as alleged are true, in the opening of this show, you just gave an opening statement by the prosecution. Basically, you alleged all the facts, which would add up that he is the primary suspect or the person guilty of this homicide.
But we have to wait and see. There are so many good factors right now that we`re listening to. We`re hearing about he`s the last person with her. There might have been drugs in the car. The room is registered. Someone, an employee in the hotel sees him coming out of the room. The last thing that we have to wait and see is the DNA results. If, in fact, her skin is under -- his skin is under her nails, that`s another factor, another huge point for someone to say this is the perpetrator of the crime.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And because of his past, they have his DNA.
TACOPINA: Jane, Jane, sure. I agree with Stacy. If his -- if his DNA`s under her nails and if there`s a videotape of him killing her, yes, then it`s a pretty good bet to say that he`s guilty.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, you don`t have to have a videotape of somebody killing somebody. That`s -- Joe, with due respect, you`re a great attorney, and I could see why, because you offer great arguments, but you don`t need to have a videotape of somebody killing somebody to prove that they`re the murderer.
TACOPINA: Of course not, but what Stacy was saying is "if" DNA`s under her nails and "if" there`s evidence, yes, all these ifs. If that`s true, and it holds up in court...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why did he run?
TACOPINA: Again, who`s saying he ran? Who is saying he ran?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, where is he? There`s an -- there`s an international dragnet under way as we speak.
TACOPINA: Because he`s not in the locale that he was in two days ago does not mean he was on the run.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
TACOPINA: How do you know he didn`t have a preplanned -- how do you know? I mean, that`s the point. Before we condemn -- and look, I get it and I understand that he has a very short rope. And he should be a prime suspect if all I`ve heard so far is true, but before you go and convict someone, before you...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hear you. I hear you.
All right. Rhonda, Tennessee, your question or thought?
CALLER: Yes, my question is, it`s been like a couple of weeks ago that there were the divers that found the skull. We never heard any more about that. Was that Natalee or what? And if -- even if it wasn`t, we know he did this. I`m sorry. You know? He did this because another woman has ended up dead. If he had been prosecuted to begin with, this young lady would not have had to die.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I agree with you there.
John Lucic, if we can establish a pattern, could they use this case, if they charge him in this murder, to reopen the Aruba case and charge him with that murder?
JOHN LUCIC, FORMER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATOR: Absolutely. And I believe that there -- if you take a look, the facts match this. He targets young girls. He targets transient places where they know. You take a look at a 21-year-old girl who`s staying at a casino, who`s staying at a hotel. She`s not going to, most likely, be traveling with her mom and dad, and even if she`s traveling with a friend, she`s most likely the same age and they can be easily manipulated. There`s no doubt. This guy does not have a stellar past. It`s not only Natalee Holloway. It`s also the fact that he was trafficking women in the sex trade.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll get back to the trafficking in a second. And when we come back, Julia Renfro from Aruba today. She`s covered the entire saga from the very first moment. Stay right where you are. We`re just getting started. What could this mean for the Natalee Holloway case?
And we`re taking your calls on this: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Plus, a reality TV producer is accused of murdering his wife viciously in Mexico. Cops have a warrant out for his arrest. So, why is this guy still waltzing around Hollywood like he`s getting ready to go to an awards show?
But first, Joran Van Der Sloot, an international manhunt under way. We`re taking your calls on this. Why -- why is he nowhere to be found tonight, despite international efforts to arrest him?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH TWITTY, MOTHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: Totally, totally dragged us all through hell, this Joran Van Der Sloot. It`s just despicable what he`s done. It`s a sad form of the human existence, if you ask me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVE HOLLOWAY, FATHER OF NATALEE HOLLOWAY: I`d be surprised if he told the truth this time. I think his pattern is the same pattern: try and lie and get his way out of it. He`s tried to avoid this justice system for a long time, and you know, I`m afraid it`s going to come back and haunt him some day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A dragnet under way as we speak. A woman has been murdered in Lima, Peru, and police tonight are looking for none other than Joran Van Der Sloot, searching hotels, hostels, border and custom checkpoints. No sightings yet.
Authorities believe Joran Van Der Sloot has fled Peru. They say he has crossed into Chile and could be headed to Argentina. Listen to what the victim`s father had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLORES (through translator): This man has disappeared. His truck was found abandoned in Las Palmas near the Porte Chavez (ph) avenue at the 19th block, and he has fled Peru. He has crossed the border between Peru and Chile on Monday around noon. We don`t know if he`s still in Chile or if he is on his way to Argentina.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joran will be extradited to Peru once he is captured. It`s believed he came from Argentina to Peru a few weeks ago to play in a poker tournament.
We`re delighted to have with us Julia Renfro, editor-in-chief of "Aruba Today."
Julia, people are pointing out immediately the striking parallels, the fact that this is, first of all, the fifth anniversary of Natalee`s disappearance. Natalee met Joran at a casino. This young lady also was seen at a casino with Joran hours before she was murdered.
JULIA RENFRO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "ARUBA TODAY" (via phone): Well, that`s exactly true. The 30th of May was the day that Natalee disappeared five years ago, the same as this young girl, Stephany.
We`ve been in contact with the Peruvian authorities, and they have told us that Joran and the young lady entered the hotel room at around 4:20 in the morning and Joran left around 8:20, 8:30 in the morning, apparently leaving her there. Her body wasn`t discovered until last evening around 10 p.m., which would have been around -- on Tuesday at 10 p.m.
Her body, they`ve already done an early preliminary autopsy, and they are placing her death several days prior to her discovery.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, what are you saying?
RENFRO: What I`m saying is that the timeline could fit as to Joran being the last one to have been with her, but at this time, right now he`s just the main suspect and they would like to speak to him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. You know what? This is a striking parallel, and I have to go to John Lucic, former criminal investigator. Could this be, if he is responsible for this, some kind of ritualistic killing, where he has chosen the anniversary of a previous incident in some kind of a weird, bizarre reenactment?
LUCIC: There`s no doubt about that, Jane. He definitely could have, or it could be just coincidence, also. This guy is a dangerous individual. There`s no doubt about it. This guy`s a predator.
Take a look at everything he`s done. I know you`re going to get into the sex trafficking of women, but this guy is not only not a stellar guy. This guy has just a past that involves preying on women.
And again, right down to this woman possibly being drugged, I can`t wait until the Peruvian people, the police get their hands on this guy.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. And let me tell you something. Just for fun, I Googled "Peruvian prisons" a little while ago, and the first two words that come up are "hellish" and "nightmare." So...
LUCIC: Thank God it`s in Peru and not in the United States.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So he could be in for quite an experience.
Rafael Romo, Natalee Holloway`s mom has always maintained that her daughter was sexually assaulted as well as drugged. Now, we`ve heard the father of this new victim talking about his belief that his daughter was drugged, that they found wrappings in her car which they had taken that implied that she might be drugged. Do we know if this victim was sexually assaulted?
ROMO: Not at this point. The evidence points to her being stabbed multiple times in the hotel room, but there`s no evidence so far of any sort of sexual abuse.
And Jane, two powerful pieces of evidence that police are talking about at this point. They say they have video of both the victim and Joran at the casino and also entering the hotel. And they point to those two very important pieces of evidence to make the connection.
Also, they have the testimony of a tourist who was seen at the same hotel, and at the same time they have the testimony of somebody who works at the hotel who saw them entering the hotel in the morning of last Sunday.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
ROMO: So they say they have a good case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is so absolutely fascinating in a stomach- churning, chilling way. Everyone stay right where you are. Is Joran Van Der Sloot responsible for two horrifying murders?
Plus, a mom vanishes in Michigan. Her estranged husband tells cops he had an alibi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY GRACE, HLN ANCHOR: When you saw this and you heard him refer to her as a bitch and a whore, what was your response?
TWITTY: God, I mean, Nancy, it`s just, when I hear Joran talking about her like that, my gosh, he just -- you know, first you want to come through the TV and I want to kill him, I mean, and peel his skin off his face. He has just totally, totally dragged us all through hell, this Joran Van Der Sloot. It`s just despicable what he`s done. It`s a sad form of a human existence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stunning, breaking news out of Peru. Joran Van Der Sloot, the same guy linked to Natalee Holloway`s disappearance in Aruba five years ago, is now wanted for murder. That`s right: five years to the day after Natalee vanished, a 21-year-old Peruvian woman is found brutally murdered in a hotel room reserved under Joran`s name.
Witnesses saw the two of them together. They were spotted on surveillance tape at a local casino. Now Joran is on the run. Did he murder this cold -- this woman in cold blood?
Kathy in Illinois, your question or thought, ma`am?
CALLER: Yes. What I don`t understand is, if they thought that he was trafficking women, why has he not been followed or, I mean, why is this guy able to just go all over the world wherever he wants to go?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think you`re absolutely right. Let`s bring our viewers up to date, or perhaps, step back in time to that whole incident.
Dutch journalist Peter De Vries caught Joran on tape in Thailand trying to entice young Thai women to come to the Netherlands to become dancers. The claim was he was actually trying to sell them into prostitution for a commission of $13,000 each.
We had it all on ISSUES. Check it out, right here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JORAN VAN DER SLOOT, MURDER SUSPECT: From 5 in the afternoon until 5 in the morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that the law?
VAN DER SLOOT: That`s the law, yes, I know, but it`s not -- you do not dance the whole time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take break. Talk to everybody.
VAN DER SLOOT: You take a break. Talk to the guys, you know, make them feel good. Give them drink.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stacy Honowitz, you`re the prosecutor. Why wasn`t he charged for that?
HONOWITZ: I don`t know what the prosecutors looked at. I don`t know if they just saw that videotape. But for some reason, they did not think that there was enough evidence to move forward on a trafficking of these women case. I mean, it is -- I understand your viewer`s frustration. Everybody feels that way, especially now when he is wanted for this murder. So...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But you know, T.J. Ward, I also think...
HONOWITZ: ... can only tell you that there wasn`t enough.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know. T.J., I agree with you. But T.J. Ward, I also think that it was because he fled. He left Thailand, and Thailand isn`t necessarily the type of place that`s going to hunt around the world for somebody on this kind of charge, correct?
WARD: That`s correct. And hopefully, the Aruban authorities will team up and go back and maybe open up the case against Joran with the Holloway case and trade information out, because there`s a lot of similarities to what he`s being accused of now as to what happened in Aruba. There`s a lot of similarities.
HONOWITZ: Excuse me. The only problem with that -- and believe me, as a prosecutor, there`s nothing I`d like better than for them to reopen it. They can reopen, but it`s not going to make the evidence in that case any more substantial. In other words, just because he`s charged with a crime in Peru, they cannot use that crime...
WARD: But the problem is...
HONOWITZ: They cannot use that crime to bolster any evidence in Aruba. They can reopen. They can investigate. They can look at patterns, but it won`t make the evidence from Aruba any better.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but you know what? If you`re behind bars, you`re behind bars, and it doesn`t really matter what you`re behind bars for. You`re still behind bars.
WARD: His worst enemy`s himself. He talks a lot.
WARD: He -- he talks all the time. He`s going to hang himself.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, you guys. We`re going to be right back right on the other side of the break. And...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joran Van Der Sloot accused of murder. A young Peruvian woman turns up dead, violently murdered, repeatedly stabbed and beaten in a Lima hotel room. The last person to see her alive: Joran Van Der Sloot.
He was arrested twice in connection with Natalee Holloway`s disappearance five years ago, but he was released and never charged.
And now he is on the run in South America as we speak. The victim`s father says she was brutally beaten and stabbed and there was blood everywhere in the hotel room.
Phone lines lighting up. Jane, Florida, your question or thought, ma`am?
JANE, FLORIDA (via telephone): Hi, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi. How are you doing?
JANE: How are you doing, girlfriend?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One Jane to another. What`s your question?
JANE: I just have a comment. Thank you for speaking out for women against men who hate women, and please make sure or try to get one of your fabulous lawyers to get the bitch, keep him wherever he is and send him back to Peru. He should come back there and go to a holiday camp.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. We`ve been discussing how the Peruvian prisons are nowhere that you want to be caught. If you Google Peruvian prisons, the first two words that pop up are nightmarish and hellish.
Julia Renfro, you`re the editor-in-chief of "Aruba Today". What is the reaction in Aruba tonight to this stunning, new development?
JULIA RENFRO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "ARUBA TODAY": Everybody`s completely shocked. The Internet, the radios, the newspapers, which will be headlining tomorrow; everyone`s very, very, very surprised and of course, very concerned about this young lady that has been murdered.
The most important thing that we have to consider here, right now, is that it`s possible he could be involved with both crimes, but to date, we have to wait for the justice system of Peru, just like we had to wait for the justice system of Aruba.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is it a little frustrating in the sense that a lot of people had said, you know, there was conflict over this case, obviously, and it became sort of a battle of wills -- the Natalee Holloway case. And a lot of people in Aruba were like, hey, don`t blame the entire country and leave us alone, basically, stop persecuting us.
RENFRO: Well --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And now it seems like some of the things that Beth Holloway had said were prophetic and they`re coming true and maybe he should have been arrested in Aruba, considering he gave all these different confessions.
RENFRO: You`re absolutely right, but in the same time, there was no evidence. And you yourself know that they could not put anybody behind bars without any kind of evidence. Maybe in this particular case there will be. We have to keep in mind that, apparently, Joran checked out of the hotel on Sunday morning at 8:00, and the young lady wasn`t discovered until 10:00 at night on Tuesday. That`s almost three days.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but it was his hotel room and he was seen going into that room with her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he was seen gambling with her hours earlier.
T.J. Ward, private investigator who was in Aruba searching for Natalee Holloway, how might this impact the Natalee Holloway case? Could it reopen and could we learn about what happened to Natalee, God forbid, I hope that she didn`t suffer the same fate, because this poor girl was viciously beaten and stabbed repeatedly.
T.J. WARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR IN NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S CASE: Well, hopefully, the new administration will take some incentive to take another look at the case in Aruba and bring some closure for the Holloway family. This is a very, very bizarre situation that`s now happened again. And if the government had not covered up this case in Aruba as they did from the beginning with the security guards, then maybe this wouldn`t happen.
Rest assured, he`s got no legs to hand himself on in Peru now and nobody to cover up for him. So, maybe there will be justice served in Peru.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And finally, Stacey -- go ahead.
RENFRO: There`s no evidence of a cover-up, and you and I both know --
STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA PROSECUTOR: That`s what they were alleging, though.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.
HONOWITZ: They were alleging that the father was so high up that there was a cover-up and now the father is deceased, so --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right.
WARD: There was a cover-up with the security guards. They kept the security guard for 14 days. They knew two hours after they took him in custody that they were not involved in the case. The evidence was destroyed in Aruba. They didn`t even take the car into custody that she was seen in until six weeks after the case --
RENFRO: No, T.J., they took the car --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on -- let Julia Renfro --
RENFRO: They took the car the next day.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Julia answer that --
RENFRO: All right. What I`m saying is it wasn`t 14 days. It was nine days, and there was a very suspicious reason why the security guards were arrested. It has nothing to do with color or race. They were arrested because they were in the vicinity and they had reputations.
And second of all --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, also because Joran -- excuse me, but also because Joran lied and said he dropped her off at that hotel.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And those were the security guards.
WARD: Twenty times he changed his story, 20 times. He admitted having sex with her. He admitted --
RENFRO: No, he didn`t.
WARD: He admitted -- he did.
RENFRO: No, he did not.
WARD: He did. He admitted to the police.
RENFRO: He did not.
WARD: Beth Holloway has the reports. I saw those.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Guys, will you all come back tomorrow? Because we are going to stay on top of this case, and tomorrow we may have Joran Van Der Sloot in custody, for all we know.
Please. We`re going to bring you all back to continue this very, very important debate.
And Nancy Grace will have much more on the Joran Van Der Sloot case at the top of the hour right here on HLN.
Also tonight: bombshell revelations in the case of a missing Michigan mom. Police say her estranged husband, the main focus of their investigation, has a totally bogus alibi. You won`t believe this. This is so shocking.
Venus Stewart was abducted in front of her parents` Michigan home five weeks ago. Now her husband, Doug Stewart, claimed he was all the way in Newport News, Virginia, a nine-hour drive away, another state. Turns out, police now say that was a lie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. MIKE RISKO, MICHIGAN STATE POLICE: Someone in Virginia claiming to be Doug Stewart was paying bills using, you know, doing business in the Newport News area during the time frame that we know that Doug Stewart was not in Virginia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say Doug was in Michigan the day Venus was kidnapped, in Michigan. Did he arrange for an imposter so he could have an alibi?
The couple was going through a very ugly divorce and Venus won sole custody of their two young daughters just days before she was abducted. She`d filed three protective orders against Doug, most recently in February. She told the court point blank, Doug is going to kill me.
And that`s not all. In Doug`s car police found a Walmart receipt for a shovel, a tarp and gloves -- hmm. They were purchased the day before the kidnapping -- hmm. Police also say they discovered blood in both of Doug`s cars.
So, I have to ask, what are police waiting for? Why haven`t they made an arrest?
Straight out to my amazing expert panel: welcome back investigator John Lucich; also joining me, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig -- there she is; and criminal defense attorney Darren Kavinoky.
But first, investigative reporter Michelle Sigona; Michelle, what is the very latest?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, I spoke with Lieutenant Risko for a long time earlier this morning, Jane. He`s with the Michigan state police. And he says that for a while, they were working to verify Doug Stewart`s alibi because there was, apparently, a man running around Newport News, Virginia, paying bills, going to stores.
They have him on video surveillance at the apartment complex, someone who looks very similar to Doug. He was wearing a hoodie. There was even an instance that this man walked into the law firm that Doug had actually hired. He was wearing a hoodie, sunglasses, said that he was Doug Stewart; he was there to pay a bill.
And the receptionist, you know, verifies that particular alibi and says, oh, yes, he was definitely in here.
But come to find out, at this particular point, they do believe that this is an impersonator. They do need to figure out who this person is. They are working to figure out where Venus Stewart is, because that, of course, is a priority. She does leave behind two small children, her family. Their heart is breaking right now, and they really need to try and track down. They did also serve two search warrants within the last week and a half on Doug Stewart`s family`s house.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Chilling court documents reveal Venus was completely terrified of her husband. She filed three protective orders against him. Venus told the court, "Once Doug loses all control over me he is going to hunt me down and kill me. Now that I don`t have my parents to protect me and if he finds out where I`m at, he is going to kill me. It`s only a matter of time. I am scared to death and every day I live in constant fear."
A week before she vanished, Venus won the custody battle for her kids. A judge ruled the only contact Doug could have with his daughters was over the phone.
Robi Ludwig, could that have been what finally pushed him over the edge, if in fact, he is responsible? And we`re not saying he is.
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Well, you know, it`s also possible that he was a very abusive man who threatened to kill his wife if she ever dared to leave him. This is what we know statistically. Women who fear that their estranged husbands are out to kill them end up usually being killed, unless they are somehow, miraculously protected.
So, these women intuitively know that their estranged husbands mean business, but it could be a multitude of factors. He would have to pay for child support. He didn`t have access to his kids. And his wife was not allowed to leave him -- period, end of story.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: By the way, Douglas Stewart has said he knows nothing about his estranged wife`s disappearance and has declined further comment. If he or his attorney want to appear on this program and tell their side, they are very welcome to do so.
Here is my big issue, who is this mystery imposter? He popped up in Newport News, Virginia, where Doug Stewart lives, the day before Venus was kidnapped in another state, Michigan. This mystery man could end up facing aiding and abetting charges. Police say he was wearing, well, let`s face it, a rather suspicious get-up -- a baseball cap, sunglasses and a hoodie when he made a payment toward Doug`s legal account all the while cops say Doug was over in Michigan where his estranged wife lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RISKO: And he was not in Virginia that time. It was recently learned last week that we also have him now in Michigan the morning that she was -- she disappeared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Darren Kavinoky, weigh in on this one.
DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, first of all, can I clarify? Did you invite me as a defense lawyer or am I just the token "y" chromosome on your panel today? Because I`m feeling a little concerned about that, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t if John Lucich would be happy to hear that.
KAVINOKY: I didn`t hear John yet.
KAVINOKY: Ok, apologies, John.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
KAVINOKY: So -- so, look, first of all, this guy showing up in what I like to call the uni-bomber outfit with the baseball cap and sunglasses and the hoodie.
KAVINOKY: That part certainly does look suspicious. And if this turns out to be a provably false alibi, that could really spell trouble for Mr. Stewart if he -- if he said that, look, my alibi is I was in Virginia at the time and I was actually in this attorney`s office paying bills.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much. Next, hot shot reality TV producer accused of killing his wife. You won`t believe the new developments.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are following breaking news in the Joran Van Der Sloot manhunt. The young man arrested in Natalee Holloway`s 2005 disappearance is now the prime suspect in another girl`s murder. 21-year- old Stephany Flores Ramirez killed at a Peru hotel Sunday, exactly five years, exactly five years after Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba.
Stephany`s dad says she was stabbed to death and beaten. She and Joran were spotted together repeatedly over the weekend, but before cops could question Van Der Sloot about her death, he`d already taken a bus to Chile. Nancy Grace will have the latest in just a couple of minutes.
Meantime, another crazy story: bizarre developments tonight in the murder of a reality TV producer`s wife at a ritzy Cancun resort. Not only have Mexican police ordered the arrest of her husband, former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, but now there is a restraining order out against Bruce`s father. What the heck is that about?
Plus, the process of extraditing Bruce from L.A. back to Mexico to face justice has hit a very bizarre snag. Mexican authorities say they first have to search all of Mexico to make sure Bruce is not in their country before they send an extradition request to the United States. Really?
Hello, Mexico, guess what? We can tell you exactly where he is. He is back home in California. You see him right there, walking around the streets of Los Angeles? You can`t miss him. He`s the guy with all the TV cameras following him wherever he goes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you think killed your wife, Bruce?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about your new show being picked up CW?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that`s exciting.
BRUCE BERESFORD-REDMAN, FORMER "SURVIVOR" PRODUCER: No comment guys, sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police called Bruce Beresford-Redman the sole suspect in the murder of his wife, Monica. She was found dead, beaten, strangled in a sewer near their Cancun hotel room nearly two months ago.
And we have new information about another TV pilot Bruce was working on before his wife`s grisly murder. So I`m also taking your calls on this one. 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to my fantastic panel: former criminal prosecutor John Lucich; criminal defense attorney, Darren Kavinoky. We begin with TMZ assignment manager, Mike Walters.
Mike, TMZ broke the story about the father having a restraining order against him. What is that all about?
MIKE WALTERS, ASSIGNMENT MANAGER, TMZ: Well, today, the manager of the restaurant where Monica worked and owned actually filed a restraining order because this father, David, actually went into the restaurant over the weekend and basically, she feels, threatened them.
Really interesting stuff in her declaration, though. She also talks about Bruce and his father allegedly taking money out of their joint account, putting it into Bruce`s name only, paying off some of David`s debts. And she`s sort of starting to set up a situation as if they kind of knew what might happen.
Now also, I`ve got to say real quick, Jane, we actually just got an e-mail Bruce had sent to all of his friends about that extradition. He wants everyone he knows to send a letter to them, to him and his attorney so they can help secure bail. Remember, he`s going to have to go through all these hearings in the federal courts here so that they could get him in Mexico.
He wants to help get out of jail while this happens so he can be with his children. So it`s really interesting stuff going on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re kidding me. You`re -- you`re saying to me right now that Bruce wants all his -- all his powerful TV friends in Los Angeles to write letters to the judge saying don`t send him back to Mexico where he`s accused of killing his wife.
No, let him stay in Los Angeles and hang out and, you know, go to the hot clubs on Robertson? I mean, Darren Kavinoky --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- the arrogance blows my mind.
KAVINOKY: Well, and it`s -- it`s very interesting, because in extradition proceedings, typically, the primary issue is one of identity. Do we have the right person to be sending back? And in this particular case, it seems like that`s something that`s not going to be a hotly contested point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m talking about these letters. I mean, ok, he`s going to get his fancy-dancy Hollywood friends, maybe the ones he worked on "Survivor" to write letters to the judge saying don`t send him back to Mexico.
KAVINOKY: I`ll say this, though, the likelihood that those letters would sway a federal judge, very, very slim.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you never know. I mean, a lot of times, these letters work wonders. Take a look at Michael Douglas` letters about his son who ended up serving half the recommended sentence on drug charges. We know justice is not blind. It absolutely makes me crazy.
Ok, I`m going to move on.
We know that one TV network picked up one of Bruce`s shows a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it`s an "only in Hollywood" kind of development. He gets the show; he sells a show after he`s accused of murder. It`s a reality show that follows engaged couples who are trying to lose weight for their weddings.
And now TMZ is reporting that Bruce was in talks for nearly two years to produce another show on professional wrestling. He approached a woman named Stacy Carter, also known as "Miss Kitty", from the World Wrestling Entertainment, about two years ago.
And Stacy, a.k.a., Miss Kitty, joins us now by phone. Hey, Stacy, thanks for getting on the call.
STACY CARTER, FORMER MISS KITTY KAT FORM THE WWF: Hi, thanks for having me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, you`ve been talking to Bruce regularly for some time. Tell us about his demeanor during those conversations and when did they stop?
STACY CARTER, FORMER MISS KITTY KAT FROM WWE (via telephone): They actually stopped around January. I have been talking to Bruce for a couple of years. They did approach me about doing a reality show about my life, of me getting out of the wrestling business several years ago and I moved down to Florida and opened up my own real estate company, became a broker.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did he sound fishy at any point?
CARTER: No, no.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to get more on your conversations with the suspect right after the break. You won`t believe this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, incomprehensible horror: the illegal slaughter of whales. For more than three decades, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been fighting the illegal slaughter of these gentle giants, saving them from death at the hands of whalers all around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHAD HALSTEAD, "WHALE WARS": I`m willing to die to save the whales. If I wasn`t, I wouldn`t be on this ship. That`s just part of the job that we`re down here to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The war against whaling escalates when the show "Whale Wars" returns to Animal Planet this Friday. It is a hit. Joining me now Captain Chuck Swift, star of "Whale Wars".
Thank you for joining us.
I got to ask you about the devastation in the Gulf. Isn`t it ironic? You`re fighting to save whales on the other side of the world and right here at home they`re potentially being just wiped out by this monstrous oil spill.
CAPT. CHUCK SWIFT, "WHALE WARS": It is ironic Jane. And I`m concerned about the economic impact right now, but I`m also concerned about the economic impact in the long run. Think about all the estuaries that are going to be hit when the oil starts rolling on shore and all the places where the fish and the shrimp breed. I mean this is a long term problem that we need to really start thinking about now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to wake up and hit bottom on our addiction to oil. Captain Paul Watson, one of my heroes. I love this man. He`s part of the crew featured on whale wars, a pioneer when it comes to protecting our natural environment.
Here`s why he founded Sea Shepherd. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. PAUL WATSON, FOUNDER, "SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY: I set up the organization to intervene and uphold international conservation and regulations when governments refuse to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Captain Swift, now that the show, which is a hit, is in season three, what do you hope to accomplish? What is your strategy to save the whales?
CAPT SWIFT: Our strategy to save the whales is two-fold. First we go down and we interrupt with the killing in the killing fields. We`re getting in their way, we`re shutting them down, we`re going to sink them financially.
The second part of that, to be really effective, we have to create public change. We have to make people feel the pain of the whales and try to motivate them to take some kind of action, whatever that means for them.
So "Whale Wars" gives us a forum to engage people, engage their consciousness and hopefully change their minds and let people see how our crews made of all individuals from all over the world and who all have a stake in this somehow, we`re trying to make the public understand that they can make a difference.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And I think the public`s attitude is changing toward all these issues. And I think this oil spill is going to be a big factor in that.
Isn`t it true, Capt. Swift, when people seeing it happening in their own backyard with their own eyes, they have a different visceral reaction to the destruction of wildlife?
CAPT. SWIFT: That`s absolutely true. And that`s -- if we`re going to try to find a silver lining in a disgusting and abhorrent situation like the Gulf oil spill, it makes the situation for the world`s environment and specifically the oceans very tangible. People can look at this, they can see the animals dying and it becomes visceral for them. And again, hopefully this will lead to some substantial change.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I hope so. I hope that America starts realizing that ultimately all of these issues are consumer issues and that, if we want to free ourselves from oil, we, each of us as individuals, have to make that step. And throw away the plastic, which is oil based. People forget all plastic is oil based.
CAPT. SWIFT: Absolutely; all plastic, all fuel, all of this things, a lot of paints. We need to start voting with our dollars. We need to start thinking about how everything that we do, every minute of every day and all of our consumption habits, how these affect the environment around us, most are oil-based.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ve got to leave it right there. Love you guys. You`re my heroes.
Tomorrow, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be here on ISSUES to talk about the spill in the GULF.
You are watching ISSUES on HLN