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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Police Told Missing Boy`s Father to Leave Step-Mom
Aired July 1, 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): The desperate search for Kyron Horman. We`re now learning that not one, but two 911 calls were made from the family`s home the night Kyron`s dad walked out on his wife. She, Kyron`s step-mom, now, she`s lawyered up. Tonight, I`ll talk to someone who knows her new lawyer.
And shocking developments in the Casey Anthony case. Her legal dream team has lost a major player. Casey`s death penalty lawyer has left the case for financial reasons. Is the defense team running out of cash? And could it cost Casey her life?
Also, fast-breaking news in the war on women. Tonight a major break in the Morgan Harrington case. This beautiful young woman was abducted, raped and murdered. Now, nine months later, cops have linked her case to another rape in the very same area. Could this sketch lead to a monster?
Plus, disturbing sexual allegations target Al Gore. A massage therapist claims the former VP forced himself on her during a late-night massage. She called him a crazed sex poodle. That was four years ago. So why, now, have police reopened the investigation?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight explosive new details in the drama of little Kyron Horman`s disappearance. We have now learned that not one but two 911 calls were made from the home of Kyron`s dad and step-mom last Saturday. Who was calling police for help?
Tonight we`ve also learned Kyron`s step-mom, Terri Horman, has lawyered up, hiring a prominent criminal defense attorney. And we`ve got the e-mails Terri is allegedly writing to a local TV station? Can you believe that?
Is the search for Kyron taking a back seat to all this drama?
Kyron`s step-mom has yet to be named a suspect or even a person of interest, but it seems clear Terri Horman, with the red hair there, is the focus of this investigation. Terri was the last person to see little Kyron at his school, and that was four weeks ago tomorrow.
Tonight, a dramatic plea for cooperation. Kyron`s devastated biological mother thinks her former good friend, Terri, knows something.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON`S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER: We implore Terri Horman to fully cooperate with the investigators to bring Kyron home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That poor woman what she`s going through.
In the last few days Kyron`s father filed for divorce from Terri -- the one in the red right there -- got a restraining order against his wife, Terri, and moved out, taking their baby girl with him. Why? Stunning new reports tonight say cops told him -- that`s right, cops told him, "Take your kid and get away from her as fast as you can."
If the cops did, in fact, tell Kaine Horman to get out they`ve got to know something big.
I`m taking your calls on this one: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586- 7297.
Straight out to my fantastic panel, all experts on this case. But first, let`s go to investigative reporter Michelle Sigona.
Michelle, what is the very latest?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I can confirm two 911 calls, as you mentioned, on Saturday night went in to police, Jane. The first one for 13 minutes involving threats. The second one was for some sort of custody matter. As far as those particular contents of the calls, they`re not being released at this time.
Earlier today, as you mentioned, Kyron`s mom did, in fact, speak out and is begging for Terri Moulton Horman to please come forward and to cooperate with investigators.
In addition, we learned a little bit more about Kyron. Kyron`s family actually answered some reporters` questions behind doors. So we learned a little bit about him. He is allergic to bees, and also he has a strawberry birthmark on his forehead that comes back out -- it`s faded over time but comes back out when he cries or when he gets excited. So those are some pretty key clues on helping to identify and to find someone.
In addition, Terri has 30 days to respond to the restraining order. And once she responds, they have five days after that to set a hearing.
So there`s a lot to go through tonight, a lot to explore. And you`re just getting started.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s listen to Kyron`s biological mom, Desiree Young, once again from just a little while ago. She is not pulling any punches now. She is naming names.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: We implore Terri Horman to fully cooperate with the investigators to bring Kyron home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, she is pointing the finger directly at Terri Horman, who used to be her very good friend. And of course, this is hand in hand with Terri`s husband taking off. And reports are the cops told him to take off and get out of there with their kid. What do you make of it?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAWN ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well -- well you know, Jane, I`m sure that they`re giving Desiree Young a little bit of update on what`s going on with the case, and that says to me that they`re telling her that -- that she is not cooperating fully with police in this matter.
You know, she`s had a second polygraph. She wasn`t happy with that, she told someone. You know, is she cooperating or not? But now she`s lawyered up, so she`s probably not going to say anything now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, you`re the former prosecutor. If they have enough information to warn the dad -- and this is just a published report. If cops have enough information to warn that man right there, "Get away from that woman right there that you just were hugging, and take your child that you had with her and head for the hills," why don`t they have enough to go out and arrest her?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, because they`re two very different things.
You know, the reported 911 calls were about a threat. We don`t know the details, but it`s likely the threat was related to something currently going on in the home. Perhaps, for example, she said with regard to their 18-month-old baby they have together, "If you don`t stand up for me, I`m taking the baby and I`m leaving town, or I`m going to hurt the baby" and so forth. I mean, we don`t know.
But believe me, if police are worried about the safety of the 18- month-old, then they must be, because she`s not allowed to be near her own baby. So their concerns about that baby are important, and they`re different from what they may have about the disappearance of this little boy.
The other thing that`s important is this could be strategically very good for the prosecution, because this is pressure. We already know she`s under huge pressure. She -- you know, whatever the polygraph results were, we now know she`s been separated from her baby. She`s probably devastated. And that`s good, if you`re trying to pressure someone to cooperate, which is important.
BROOKS: And Jane, 911 calls don`t normally last 13 minutes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true.
BROOKS: The first one was at 5:18. The second one, dealing with custody issues, was at 11:30 p.m. and then he`s gone. So I just find it unusual. Thirteen minutes is a long time for a 911 call.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And unfortunately, we`re not hearing those 911 calls. We`d like to, but they`re being sealed because they may reveal something about the investigation, which means, I think, once again, Michelle Sigona, that the husband who took off knows something, something the cops told him. And that`s the big question mark that we don`t know. But obviously, it`s something that leads them to fear her being next to this child.
SIGONA: You`re exactly right, Jane. Something major happened in that household on Saturday evening. Something came out. There was some sort of conversation possibly, some sort of fight, which obviously sparked the first 911 call, which went to the second 911 call. There was probably some sort of lag time in between, a back and forth.
Again just exploring some options here, but that`s just what it appears to be in this type of case.
And emotions are high. You and I both know this, in covering these type of cases from over the years. These types of cases will make or break a family when a child goes missing.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kyron`s stepmother just lawyered up, as they say in the biz, just brought on a big-time criminal defense attorney. His name is Steve Houze. He`s been hired by several high-profile Portland Trail Blazer basketball players on drug possession, dog fighting, and sexual assault charges.
He also managed to keep this particular man you`re about to see, Deniz Aydiner, off Death Row for brutally sexually assaulting and murdering a 21- year-old University of Portland coed. Not only did he escape execution; this guy is now eligible for parole in about 33 years. Well, I don`t think I`m too happy about it, but it is a victory for this particular defense attorney.
Now we`re going to attorney John Henry Hingson III, who works out of Portland and who knows this high-powered Portland attorney Steve Houze.
What do you make, sir, of Terri waiting so long, 27 days since the little boy`s disappearance, to get lawyered up?
JOHN HENRY HINGSON III, ATTORNEY: Better late than never.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s true. Well...
BROOKS: And Jane, this is -- you know, we`ve heard about a divorce. This isn`t a divorce attorney. This is a criminal attorney.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And I`ve got to tell you, I want to go to some of these comments that Terri purportedly made online. This is -- I think of all the shocking things that I`ve heard today, this is the most shocking.
You know, she`s in isolation, but apparently, she`s on the computer, listening to and reading things people are saying about her. According to ABCNews.com, Terri Horman is sending e-mails to the Web site of TV station KATU under assumed names. But the TV station says it has verified that she wrote to them, that she wrote saying, quote, "Unless you know all the details -- the stress, the worry, the pain -- you have nothing to speak of. You are merely making assumptions. You have no facts, details or knowledge to present, so please refrain from your accusations."
So she`s obviously not in denial about what`s happening, Dr. Judy Kuriansky. She`s isolated in her home. Most people have turned on her. What do you make of her, though, in this situation, with a little boy`s life on the line, perhaps, gone for 27 days. Her choice is to get online to defend herself without saying, "Hey, it`s me"?
DR. JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think it`s very highly suspicious, Jane. You would be the first one to always say people are innocent until proven guilty but she`s done a lot of things that point suspicion toward her. Being the last person to have seen the young boy who`s gone missing.
And this phrase you`re using, "lawyering up." From a psychological point of view people have to get a big-time attorney, like you just asked the attorney that question, psychologically, a really big criminal attorney, means you`ve got something to hide. Otherwise, she would not be behaving the way she`s behaving.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Mary in Michigan, hang in there. We`re going to get to your question right on the other side of this quick break.
Everyone, we are just getting started. We are taking your calls: 1- 877-JVM-SAYS.
Plus a shakeup in Casey Anthony`s legal camp. Why one of her attorneys said, "Bye-bye. I don`t want any part of this case anymore. I can`t afford it."
But first, Kyron Horman`s step-mom hires a high-powered lawyer. Is this a sign that she`s innocent, or that she has something to hide? And where is this precious little boy?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He walked by the hallway. I`m like, "Hi, Kyron."
He`s like, "Hi. I`m going to go see this cool one, the electric one."
I`m like, "All right. Bye." And that`s the last time I saw him. He never did make it back to class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: Kyron is still alive. We would like all of you, everyone, to continue to get his face out there, to continue looking for him in your day-to-day activities. We pray each day for Kyron.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And then there were three. That was Kyron`s biological mother. And she was joined by his biological father and stepfather, presenting a united front as Desiree Young prays for her son`s safe return.
It will be four weeks ago tomorrow that little Kyron disappeared from his school. Desiree Young wants to know what Kyron`s step-mom, Terri Horman, knows about that day. She has not been named a suspect or a person of interest but clearly has become the central focus of this investigation.
Mary in Michigan, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Great show. I love it. I`m glad I got through. I have a comment and a question.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
CALLER: First of all, in the video that you show of the press conference, Terri is on the father`s chest, and then she turns around and goes towards Desiree. And when her -- her eyes are constantly down. And when Desiree goes to wipe her chin, although her eyes are down, she looks at her -- she looks sideways, giving them a sidewards glance. That was a look of guilt. She`s got guilt written all over her head.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I think we have to be a little -- I appreciate your call, ma`am. But I do think we have to be a little careful. We can project a lot onto these images and not really know what`s going on in somebody`s mind.
But body language analysis is something that professionals do. And we do notice that she doesn`t seem to be actually crying tears, the way the biological mother next to her is, in fact, weeping and has get a napkin, because her face is completely covered from crying with tears. So it is interesting.
Now, here`s another interesting thing. The relationship between these former BFFs, Kyron`s biological mother and stepmother -- and they`re at that news conference there at the beginning -- share a unique parallel.
They both have a teenage son from a previous marriage. They both married Kaine Horman and, ultimately, will both have divorced him. They both have a second child. Desiree Young, who`s the one with the long hair there on the -- well, on the right, I guess, of your screen, had Kyron. And Terri Horman, who has got the circle around her, had her daughter Kiara.
Now, we`ve got to look once again at these bodybuilding photos of Terri from 2005. You`ve got to look at how much the stepmother has changed in the past five years. It`s extraordinary.
And now we take a look at a recent photo of Desiree with Kyron. This is the biological mother. She`s a very attractive lady and in very good shape. So we have this former bodybuilder who got, apparently, very busy taking care of three kids over the years. One of them belongs to her friend, Desiree, who did not seek to get custody back of Kyron after she returned from being out of the country because of an illness.
So there you have Terri taking up the slack. She doesn`t have a lot of time to go to the gym. And then the fascinating thing to me, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, after Kyron disappears, she says on Facebook, "I`m going to the gym." I`m going to the gym.
KURIANSKY: Wow, that`s another incriminating piece of information.
I must say, though, Jane -- and you know this, too. People go to the gym to get rid of their tension. And that`s the way they work it out emotionally.
On the other hand, you could say that`s not typical behavior of what a mother would do, just like we were talking about with the body language. I would agree as a psychologist even, there`s different kinds of emotions, yes, that people have.
But normally, you would look much more distraught, much more upset. So all the things are very suspicious.
I mean, it`s funny you were talking about Casey Anthony right after discussing this case. There`s a few little things that are going off in my mind about similarities here.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, I want to go back to John Henry Hingson. You know the high-powered defense attorney that this woman has now hired. What does he need to do to get control out of this completely out of control situation?
HINGSON: Well, if anybody can do it, it`s Steve Houze. He`s a veteran, accomplished and a very diplomatic defense attorney.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What does he need to do?
HINGSON: He needs to get control of his client. And if she is sending messages -- e-mail messages to the local television station, she`s got to obey him, obey him, obey him to shut up. When you lawyer up, the lawyer tells you to shut up.
I also want to say this. Just because you hire a so-called high- powered criminal defense lawyer, that doesn`t mean you`re guilty. We get hired all the time to represent people who are factually innocent. So just because somebody hires a very accomplished criminal defense lawyer is not, in and of itself, evidence of guilt.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. If I ever got into any kind of trouble, I would hire the best attorney I could find. Absolutely.
John, California, your question or thought, sir.
CALLER: Yes. How are you doing, Jane?
CALLER: First off, I want to say I think that Terri put a lot of thought into this. This is well thought of beforehand.
And when she went to the gym, she didn`t go there, I don`t think, to get rid of tension. I think she went to go to get rid of the clothes that she was wearing at the science fair. I was wondering if she was wearing those clothes afterwards, you know, after...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting. Thank you, sir.
Michelle Sigona, what do you make of it?
SIGONA: That`s a very good question. And apparently, her and Kaine went to the gym about five days after Kyron went missing. Evidently, it appeared on her Facebook. And also that local station, KATU, was out there and got video of them, as well. And then that`s the particular Web site that she was posting on.
As far as her clothes are concerned, the family has come out to say that they are fully cooperating.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it there. All right. Thank you, fantastic panel.
Coming up, an explosive new lead in the death of beautiful Morgan Harrington. Why cops think her murder is linked to a sexual assault in 2005. Her mom and dad join us on ISSUES.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, a shakeup in Casey Anthony`s defense team.
Andrea Lyon, the so-called Angel of Death Row, has up and quit. Lyon said she had, quote, "no choice," and she has marched off the case because they cannot pay her.
Stepping up to the plate, this fellow, Cheney Mason. He`s a big-time death-penalty-qualified lawyer who`s actually been on the case since March 18. Courtroom observers say Casey seemed to be very relaxed around him.
There are now more than 20,000 pages of evidence and information in this case. Twenty thousand pages. That`s a hot summer read for you. That`s also a lot of catching up to do for a guy who`s still pretty new.
Meanwhile, a late-breaking development. Casey is back in court tomorrow. Of course we`ll cover that here on ISSUES. her team is worried sheriff`s deputies will learn critical secrets about the defense strategy during an evidence inspection later this month.
Wendy Murphy, former prosecutor, Andrea Lyon must have known this was not a well-endowed defense when she came on board. Does her resignation signal, perhaps, she has doubts about the case? And maybe there`s another reason.
MURPHY: You know, I don`t think it`s that she has doubts about the case. Look, she did a year`s worth of work. She got about $24,000. That`s a lot of money for that amount of work.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, it`s not.
MURPHY: And -- no, it is, because I don`t think she spent a tremendous amount of time there. She`s from Illinois. Really the issue was -- the judge said, "I`m not paying your travel expenses."
The court would have granted the defense public funds to pay her but not travel expenses. And guess what, that makes sense. The taxpayers are going to take a huge hit this case anyway. They can get a Florida death penalty lawyer. There`s a lot of death penalty stuff going on in Florida. They don`t need some fancy pants academic from DePaul University. So I think it`s just a pragmatic decision.
But I`ll tell you this much, Jane: What`s going on in this case is what I call the expensification strategy. Which is to say they want to drag it out, force the taxpayers now to start spending gobs of money, falsely in my opinion, claiming Casey`s now broke, because then the public pressure starts to mount, like "stop spending all our money on this case." And sometimes that leads to a discount in the minds of the prosecutor, that they can`t afford this case any longer. And I hate that about our system.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And Casey`s defense team, no stranger to financial drama as well as gossip. Chaney Mason actually spoke out about a rumored book deal on the very day he joined Casey`s team. Check this out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHENEY MASON, ATTORNEY FOR CASEY ANTHONY: There is absolutely no book deal, movie deal, promises, implications, veiled suggestions from any source whatsoever of funding this case by any person, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we know George and Cindy are not going to bankroll the defense. That ain`t going to happen, because in February their home went into foreclosure.
Now, somehow they got, reportedly, 20 grand from a TV network, but that didn`t help them out. And then there`s the 20 ground -- 200,000 -- 200,000...
MURPHY: Yes, 200, right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... paid to Casey`s defense team by a different network, which -- apparently, they`ve spent it all. OK. So she`s now indigent.
So, again, I think you`re right. Make it more and more and more expensive for the taxpayers.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Spend as much as you can. And by the end of it, we`ll have so much evidence we`ll all be so confused, we`ll throw up our hands and say, maybe, "not guilty"?
MURPHY: Well, that`s true, too. But, look, from a purely economic, analytical perspective, the more expensive a case is, the more pressure on the prosecutor to plea bargain. That`s really what I think is going on here. I see it all the time. And it`s really a grotesque manipulation of what justice is supposed to be about.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there.
MURPHY: We shouldn`t be indulging the defense`s efforts.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... Harrington`s...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fast-breaking news in the war on women. Tonight, a major break in the Morgan Harrington case. This beautiful, young woman was abducted and murdered. Now, nine months later, cops have linked her case to another rape in the very same area. Could this sketch lead to a monster?
Plus, disturbing sexual allegations target Al Gore. A massage therapist claims the former VP forced himself on her during a late night massage. She called him a crazed sex poodle. That was four years ago. So why now have police reopened the investigation?
A massive break in the case of murdered Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington: six months after Morgan`s broken, battered skeleton was discovered in a shallow grave on a secluded remote Virginia farm, police finally have a huge lead.
Almost five years earlier, before Morgan disappeared from outside a rock concert, a young woman was walking home alone from a grocery store at night when she was abducted, grabbed from behind, dragged into the woods and sexually assaulted by a mystery attacker. A passerby spotted them and that attacker fled.
Tonight investigators say they now have forensic evidence that links these two cases together. That evidence is reportedly a DNA match. Back in 2005, that brave victim was able to describe her attacker to police. You`re looking at the sketch put together based on her words, ok. That`s the sketch.
Is this the predator who killed Morgan Harrington? Could this dramatic new lead bring justice for the Harringtons? And give Morgan`s parents the answers they desperately, desperately need.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIL HARRINGTON, MORGAN HARRINGTON`S MOTHER: As you see us, our sorrow is etched in our faces, our pain has been carved into our hearts. This has been an unimaginable, horrific journey. And I will tell you, having seen that girl even had some lovely bones. That`s all I want to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: These parents have been through hell and back; the worst nightmare for anyone who has ever had a child. Morgan`s parents, Gil and Dan Harrington join me along with HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks.
First of all to Dr. and Mrs. Harrington, our hearts go out to you. We are just crushed by what you have experienced. We hope somehow to be part somehow of the solution to this epidemic of wanton, senseless violence in our culture.
We are so inspired by your crusade to do something about this horror of violence against women. You both have said from the very beginning you believe this was a local person who may have harmed other women in the area.
So Gil, what went through your mind hearing this dramatic new news about the break in the case involving your daughter?
G. HARRINGTON: It`s hard to say that you were happy about such an obscenity. But, in effect, we were happy that we were one step closer to finding and apprehending this vicious predator and getting him off the streets.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Harrington, you are steeped in psychology. Is there any psychological relief for you, sir, hearing this news? Or does it create a new set of anxiety and questions?
DAN HARRING, MORGAN HARRINGTON`S FATHER: You know, Jane, it`s interesting, when I saw the picture this morning, I recognized that maybe for the first time that I`ve started to feel anger, because prior to this, obviously we know Morgan was murdered. But the -- it was an abstraction. There was no one that you could put a face to.
But today, there`s the concrete picture of this man. And it seems to me that for the first time, anger became way more of a prominent emotion for me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And, Gil, you were nodding your head. What did you want to say?
G. HARRINGTON: It`s personal for him now. This is a daddy who`s looking into the face of someone who snuffed the life of his daughter, the light of his life, finished.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so awful.
I have a big issue tonight, and that is what took so long? If they found DNA on Morgan`s remains way back in October, why did it take so many months to match it to a suspect whose DNA was already in the system? That gives him a chance to attack again.
The woman linked to Morgan`s case, that abduction and sexual assault, happened in Fairfax, Virginia. That`s about 80 miles away from where Morgan vanished from the Metallica concert. She was found about ten miles away from the Metallica concert at a secluded farm.
I want to bring Mike Brooks in briefly. Why do you think it took 6 months to link this DNA?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That one crime occurred in 2005. And it depends on the quality of the DNA that they had to match it against any DNA that`s already in the database for either the state of Virginia or the CODIS, the FBI database.
So I don`t know exactly which database they got it out of. But, you know, I commend law enforcement for being vigilant, keeping on this case. And they were able to make this match.
Hopefully they`re able to adjust this photo now age-wise and maybe come up with somebody who fits that description in the Charlottesville area.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I commend them for making the link. But I think if we can send people to the moon as they say so often we can come up with a faster database and also solve rape cases more swiftly so that we don`t have predators out there able to attack again.
We talk about the war on women all the time here on ISSUES. Gil, I want to play something you said about the change we as a society must desperately make.
Let`s listen to what you said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
G. HARRINGTON: We need to change the social framework that views women as prey. I mean, that is the shift that needs to be made. I`m not sure how that can be accomplished. But I`m going to try and ponder it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Gil, I couldn`t agree with you more. In fact, when I wrote a book about a lot of cases of violence against women, I said we have created a hunter/prey mentality between men and women in this country. And a lot of it is the media. It`s a lot of, I believe, just a horrific association between masculinity and violence that we need to erase.
What are your thoughts, Gil, on how we can perhaps change culture so that your precious, beautiful daughter did not die in vain?
G. HARRINGTON: You know, it is something that I think you have to start from young ages with children, that you`re training them not to beat up and not to act out. But you would think in 2010 that we would be working on issues of cherishing and upholding each other in relationships rather than can we just stop hurting each other. But unfortunately, that`s where we`re stuck. We have to disallow it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, I think we have to change everything about our culture. We have to change the media. These little boys are trained sometimes from when they`re toddlers with video games to exhibit violence. And often the target in that violence is women. And it`s the same thing on TV shows. It`s the same thing in movies. And it feeds on itself.
And that`s why I say here on ISSUES I don`t want to be part of the pornography of violence. If we`re going to discuss a case like this, talk about solutions.
I think part of the solution also is really devoting resources. We spend billions of dollars on wars that go on for years. But we don`t spend the money to solve rape cases in a swift and efficient manner.
This story reminds me of the horror story involving Anne Pressley. And I think we have a photo of her. A beautiful Arkansas anchorwoman who was viciously raped and murdered. They didn`t have any idea who did it. Somebody broke into her house.
Well, it turns out they found a DNA match from an earlier rape that had been very slow in processing so they hadn`t gotten around to figuring out who that DNA was. But they matched; it was from a suspect 100 miles away. The two cities worked together and they solved the case and they arrested this Curtis Vance for this horrific killing.
Now, at the time, everybody said, Dr. Harrington, if they had just solved that first rape case earlier and processed that DNA more rapidly, that Anne Pressley might have been alive today. And I see a parallel here. And this happens all the time.
What are your thoughts, sir, about how we prioritize what we want to do in our culture?
D. HARRINGTON: Well, I believe you brought up the length of time that it took for the testing to be done. And the concern that we`ve had is exactly what you`ve talked about is that we now have an answer. But there have been months now where we`ve been waiting for these test results and that has been an opportunity for the individual to act out against someone else.
It hasn`t happened probably, but it would be a shame if now we look back and there is some other event that occurred because no one has arrested this man.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it would be a total shame. And I really do hope that all the authorities work together to connect the dots and find the commonalities between these two cases five years apart and solve your daughter`s horrific murder. I hope and pray that that happens. And we`re going to stay on top of this case, I promise you.
And we`re going to make sure that your daughter`s story is not a cold case ever and that everything that can be done to bring this person to justice is done.
Thank you so much, Dr. and Mrs. Harrington.
D. HARRINGTON: Thank you for having us.
MRS. HARRINGTON: We appreciate it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, more horrifying news from the oil spill in the Gulf as the effects of this disaster continue to grow. You won`t believe what the head of BP has been doing while we`ve been dealing with his oil.
Plus, an abuse case against environmentalist and Nobel Prize winner and former Vice President Al Gore has now been reopened. And there are shocking details on this one too.
And we`re taking your calls. 1-877-JVM-SAYS. That`s 1-877-586-7297. We`re talking Al Gore and a sexual scandal.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Al Gore`s sex scandal has been reopened by cops. That`s up next.
But first "Top of the Block" tonight.
As the oil apocalypse spreads Black Death further into the Gulf Coast I`m beginning to think the letters BP stand for bipolar. There are two sides to these slick and oily oil executives. One day they show up at the White House hat in hand apologizing to President Obama and the American people. The very next day they`re downplaying the disaster while wining and dining on their luxurious yachts.
That`s right. Yes, there`s now reports claiming that BP chairman, Henric Svanberg -- Carl Henric Svanberg, right there was cruising around the globe on his yacht while millions of gallons of oil were spewing into the Gulf ruining an entire way of life.
So he goes on a purported romantic escapade on his 77-foot pleasure craft even as he claims, quote, "BP cares about the small people." Yes, that`s exactly what he said.
Hey, Svanberg, here`s an idea. Ok, why don`t you take your 77- foot yacht and shove it down the gushing pipe hole. Maybe that will stop the leak. Or how about sailing into the Gulf and you and your crew cleaning up some of that oil you spilled.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block". You jerk.
Turning now to the bizarre and kinky sexual assault allegations against Al Gore, police are reopening their investigation into claims the former vice president groped a massage therapist back in 2006. Molly Haggerty says Gore made unwanted sexual contact with her inside a swanky hotel suite in Portland, Oregon.
The 54-year-old woman even told the "National Enquirer" she stashed away a pair of stained black pants that may contain DNA evidence. Anyone else having a flashback to Monica Lewinsky`s infamous stained dress? Haggerty reported the alleged incident to police but later canceled three interviews with cops. Cops closed the case because of insufficient evidence.
Then three years later in 2009 Haggerty suddenly contacts police again and gives an extensive series of interviews. Here is an excerpt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOLLY HAGGERT, CLAIMS SEXUAL ASSAULT BY AL GORE: I had the fear that rape would be inevitable if I could not get out of the room. Yet I could see no way to immediately leave without it also being a risk to my safety.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Police say they uncovered, quote, "procedural issues" with her 2009 investigation and that`s why they`ve reopened the case.
Now, Al Gore`s spokeswoman released this statement. Quote, "Further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore. The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading and inaccurate story generated by tabloids. Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He stands by that denial." End quote.
Out to my fantastic panel: Wendy and Judy are also back with me and joining me Politico reporter Patrick Gavin, and former radio talk show host and Democratic strategist Nancy Skinner. And Nancy, what do you think about this woman`s credibility? I mean, when I heard she had been shopping the story around for a million bucks I did a double take.
NANCY SKINNER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes Jane, everyone says that he said she said, I think her problem is when she said it and how much she wanted to say it. When you look at the facts on this story, you know, she -- she -- first of all, that night she actually charged the hotel for three hours and didn`t report it to anybody.
It was -- it wasn`t until months later she got a lawyer and wanted a civil litigation. She didn`t even want criminal charges. She wanted damages. Then she dropped it for three years. So I`m the first one to say, women, you can`t say it didn`t happen if you don`t have it on tape.
But, look, there are so many holes in this story, Jane, that I think it just completely falls apart. And the only reason the police really are reopening it is because it`s so high profile and they feel like they got to do that, get the details out there so they can shut the case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Haggerty told cops Gore flipped her on to her back and threw himself on top of her. Here is more of her police interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAGGERTY: And then he wrapped me in an inescapable embrace as I turned around giving me this come hither look deep into my eyes and caressed my back and buttocks and breasts. He grabbed my right hand hard, shoved it down under the sheet and said to me, "there", in a very sharp loud angry sounding tone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Patrick Gavin, a D.C. bureau reporter for Politico. Obviously, we don`t have any idea whether this is true or not. It`s a he said/she said behind closed doors but this has got to be incredibly embarrassing nevertheless for Al Gore. Does this connect to the break-up of Al and Tipper in early June?
PATRICK GAVIN, REPORTER, POLITICO: Well, it certainly gives the accuser a great news peg, which might -- which might explain why first this happened in 2006, re-examined in 2009 and then now in 2010 she`s bringing it up. I mean, that`s the best way because after the split, everybody wants to know how did this marriage which we all thought was amazing end up? And so this is perhaps the opportunity to do that.
And I think that you know, looking at the case, it is interesting that the Portland police reopened it but I agree with my colleague that I think they`re reopening it to re-shut it.
The only thing that could possibly make this go into another level is if this DNA evidence that she claims she has is true. She is now claiming hotel surveillance. And that is not incriminating.
There is sort of the outcry witness, the person that she called after this took place in 2006. That`s meaningful but that`s also not going to seal the case. Unless this DNA yields something I have a hard time believing that the Portland police now that they`ve reopened it are going to find anything more.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here`s my big issue. Is this ironic? I mean, it`s sort of a bizarre twist of fate for Al Gore. He struggled to distance himself from Bill Clinton`s sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky. Some even say Lewinsky-Gate is one of the reasons Gore, he didn`t campaign with Clinton therefore, he lost the 2000 election.
And also there`s this whole hypocrisy issue because Al Gore`s put himself on a high moral pedestal so he could be open to a charge of hypocrisy. Any thoughts on that, Dr. Judy Kuriansky?
KURIANSKY: Yes, I have a lot of thoughts on that, Jane. And you`re the one who talks about the war on women. So, let`s not just criticize this woman that she`s looking for money now.
Here is the point about this. When you are massaging a man, especially in the abdominal area --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And with that we`re going to wait until the other side the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- pleading for release of his second chakra there, "there`s so much tension being held". This was yet another euphemism for sexual activity he was requesting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Second Chakra. Al and wife Tipper announced they were separating recently after 40 years of marriage. There were also tabloid reports that Al had had an affair with Laurie David. She produced the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth". She was married to Larry David, creator of Seinfeld.
So Patrick Gavin, Politico, do these separation/affair rumors -- and again I have no confirmation of any of this. These are rumors. But do they give this assault claims a just touch of credibility?
GAVIN: I don`t think they give credibility in the eyes of the Portland police but they certainly keep the story going on in the media and by people in America either who are fans or aren`t fans. Let`s be honest. The second that Tipper and Al broke up everybody wanted to wonder why. And these stories are sort of filling Americans` curiosity about the topic.
I don`t think it has any role in the actual legal situation Al Gore may or may not be facing here but in the eye of the public this just makes the story all the more juicier and it`s going to keep going.
KURIANSKY: I would like to say something in defense of the woman. First of all, there have been some reports that Al Gore wanted massages every night.
Second of all, when we talk about the fact that she`s calling him a sex-crazed poodle and people think that`s weird of her, that`s a way to decompress the situation when the man is having an erection from a massage. Then her giving him chocolate even makes sense to distract from the sexuality.
Third of all, it takes a long time sometimes for women even in her age in her 50s to get to the point of making a statement that she`s been abused especially when she`s there late at night and she`s massaging him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Hold on one second.
KURIANSKY: The second chakra by the way is a conscious place that stimulates sexuality and that can lead to an erection very quickly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I have to say this. I`ll bring Wendy Murphy in. I happen to have a good friend who is a licensed massage therapist. Even before this case broke out, we had talked about it`s an issue with men crossing a line when they`re getting massages. It`s a common problem that female licensed massage therapists face. That is true. I know that for a fact.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why didn`t she stop the massage? She`s a professional.
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: -- sex acts when they go there. Here`s the thing that`s very important about this case.
I actually believe her and I wrote a piece at women`s E! News. I hope people will check it out. Lots of reasons to believe her including the extensive detail in a 70-plus page description of everything that happened. He shared specific information of music in his iPod and all kinds of weird very personal stuff. She`s credible.
But here`s the problem. There`s talk of money.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Nancy Skinner you have the last word.
NANCY SKINNER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: One, she`s a professional. 2 1/2 hours, six attempts. And she didn`t -- there`s an open door. She didn`t walk out the door.
Two, she didn`t even write the statement. Her lawyer did. She edited it. The tribune shot down the thing and she wants a million dollars to tell her --
MURPHY: He hasn`t denied it -- DNA.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But it`s inconclusive. She already did the test.
MURPHY: No. We don`t know the results. We don`t know the results. But if there`s DNA in the pants, Al Gore is done as a respected political leader, as a respected leader of global warming. He is in deep trouble.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He has denied it. He said it`s unequivocally not true --
MURPHY: He hasn`t denied it. His spokesperson denied it. He hasn`t said a word. That`s another reason people believe her.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you get the last word as usual, Wendy Murphy.
You`re watching ISSUES.