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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Kyron`s Family Holds News Conference; Cousteau`s Grandson Shares View on Gulf Oil Leak
Aired July 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, escalating drama and intrigue surrounding the disappearance of 7-year-old Kyron Horman. As the desperate search continues, explosive new details emerge about the family of this missing boy. In a shocking move, they 86-ed two newspapers from their press conference, complaining their coverage wasn`t focused on Kyron. What?
Plus, Kyron`s biological mom begs his step-mom, Terri Horman, to cooperate with police. Is Terri holding back details that could end this family`s nightmare? Is Terri lying?
And is BP trying to cover up the oil that`s blackening America`s beaches with sand? You`ll hear my rant on this apocalypse. Plus, special guest Philippe Cousteau is here to talk to me one-on-one about the crisis in the Gulf. The grandson of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau give his take.
Also, after a dramatic river search for little Haleigh Cummings reaches a dead end, Misty`s brother, Tommy, is screaming foul, claiming cops are strong-arming him by forcibly removing him from one jail to another and sticking him into the general population. Tommy`s lawyer is here in an ISSUES exclusive to complain about the cops` latest maneuvers. What`s next? Will we ever know what happened to this little girl, or has the trail gone cold?
ISSUES starts now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight an avalanche of dramatic and bizarre developments in the disappearance of 7-year-old Kyron Horman. The adorable child vanished four weeks ago today. KGW-TV reports that a reliable source tells them Kyron`s step-mom, Terri Horman, is lying to investigators and that her cell phone records show she was not where she said she was on the day that little Kyron vanished.
Plus, why did Kyron`s biological parents 86 two media outlets from the family presser yesterday? Don`t they want all the help they can get to find their precious stepson?
His step-mom, Terri Horman, was the last person known to see him. And now, even though she has not been named a suspect or a person of interest, she remains under a dark cloud of suspicion. What does Terri Horman know? Kyron`s biological mom called her out yesterday in an intense and emotional news conference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON`S BIOLOGICAL MOM: We implore Terri Horman to fully cooperate with the investigators to bring Kyron home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Reports are it was the cops who told Kyron`s dad, Kaine Horman, to move out, leave his wife, Terri, and take their baby girl with him. What do cops know that would inspire them to suggest such a thing?
Here is Terri Horman five years ago in bodybuilding competitions. But that was long before she had three kids to take care of, one of them her stepchild Kyron. How did she go from this to this? Did the pressure of taking care of three children, including her stepson Kyron, prove to be too much for her?
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel, but we begin with investigative reporter Michelle Sigona.
Michelle, what is the very latest?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, I spoke with Lieutenant Lindstrand just a short time ago, and she says they`re continuing to follow up on leads, not only today but throughout the weekend. And so they`re still accepting all of those leads and moving forward.
As far as the family, they did meet yesterday behind closed doors with a select group of reporters. I can tell you that a lot of us were able to send in questions and requests through the police department -- through the sheriff`s office which, in turn, passed it over to the family, and then they decided what they wanted to answer and who they wanted t meet with.
So they decided at this particular time to meet with local reporters from most of the television stations in the area, but they only answered questions about Kyron. We`ve learned a little bit more about -- go ahead, Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, go ahead if you have something about Kyron, because I`m going to talk to a reporter in a second who was at that news conference. So what about Kyron?
SIGONA: We learned a little bit more about Kyron; for instance his favorite foods. He likes sushi and mac and cheese. Also, he has a strawberry colored birthmark that has faded that`s on his forehead but comes back out when he gets excited or when he cries.
Also, Kyron is allergic to bees. And these are very important physical characteristics about someone and about their habits that are good for any missing person case.
In addition, there are some independent search teams that are on the ground in the island where investigators were initially searching. And I spoke to Lieutenant Lindstrand about that, and I also spoke to one of the teams on the ground. But she encourages anyone who wants to conduct any kind of searching to please come through them first.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Kyron`s family laid down a lot of very strange -- that`s how I`d have to put it -- ground rules at yesterday`s news conference. The family hand picked who would be allowed to witness this tearful statement by Kyron`s mom.
(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: Reporter James Pitkin with the "Willamette Week" joins us by phone.
James, you were one of the reporters who got tossed out. This seems like very controlling behavior. What happened and why?
JAMES PITKIN, "WILLAMETTE WEEK" (via phone): The father told me an reporters from "The Oregonian," which is the biggest newspaper in the state. That he wasn`t happy with our coverage. He wanted the story to stay focused on Kyron, and he told us to leave the church.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But that`s so weird, because their whole message of the news conference was, "Terri, tell cops what you know." And the -- I`ve read the coverage of your paper and "The Oregonian." And it`s all focused on Terri and what she may know. So you are on the same page.
PITKIN: Well, that`s the direction the story took us. Apparently, the family is not happy about that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is so strange.
I`ve got to bring in my dear friend Rita Crosby, journalist. And she has covered so many of these cases. I got to read to you, because this is astounding.
KGW-TV is reporting that reliable sources tell them she`s lying to investigators. She`s not cooperating with investigators -- we`re talking about the stepmother Terri. She`s refusing to answer questions. The lady with the red hair right there. Her answers on polygraph are evasive, and KGW also says cell phone records indicate she was not where she said she was on the day Kyron disappeared. Your thoughts?
RITA CROSBY, JOURNALIST: You know, Jane, I think your last statement, I think, is the most interesting because authorities -- you know; you and I have both covered a lot of these cases through the years. If authorities say she was not in that particular area, they`re going to be able to pinpoint where she was. And that could indeed, maybe if this is, indeed, the suspect -- and they`re not saying it officially -- but if it turns out she`s a suspect, it may give an area of sense.
This just looks so fishy. There`s something very strange. Her behavior, if you look at the pattern of her behavior. And then the other thing, too. Look at her record, too. She has all this reckless abandonment issues. She`s got questions of behavior with prior children. There`s a lot of things in there. It`s clear the authorities are zooming in on here, and it`s also clear that the family knows her, too. And that`s why I think they`re screening, I think, what reporters are coming in and what are coming out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue tonight. Are investigators tightening the psychological noose around Terri Horman, the step-mom? After being briefed by cops, the husband files for divorce, gets a restraining order so Terri is not even allowed to have contact with any of her children. Then this family gathers, noticeably without Terri, and names names, points the finger at her. Let`s hear it once again.
(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, it was the cops who reportedly told Kaine Horman, Kyron`s dad, "Move out." Is this a strategy?
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, it could very well be, Jane. But you know, if it`s a strategy, he could have moved out. But he filed for divorce and filed for a restraining order. He got a restraining order for her. You know?
And now she has a criminal attorney. She doesn`t have a divorce attorney. So if it`s -- if it`s a strategy, I think it`s starting to work.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, I got to...
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hold on, Brooksie. I didn`t like the way Brooksie said criminal attorney. You`d almost think that means that she`s guilty of something.
BROOKS: I`m just pointing out the fact, Counselor, that it is a criminal attorney and not someone that deals in probate court most of the time.
EIGLARSH: I know. But I sense the tone. I sense the tone. And all I`m saying is that, when someone becomes under the microscope, it`s a good idea to get an attorney, even if they`ve done absolutely nothing wrong, because they then can control their time, and they can cooperate when they are available, not necessarily whenever law enforcement comes a-knocking.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you make a good point.
BROOKS: Then he needs to control his client, too, then, Counselor, because she`s been out there on the World Wide Web and under other names. He needs to rein her in then.
EIGLARSH: I don`t disagree with you. I don`t think she should be out there if, in fact, that is her doing it.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me get to all of that. You guys have had a fabulous little debate there.
Terri Horman, Mark`s point, has not been named a suspect or even a person of interest. I`m starting to wonder what that is all about.
Now, she has reportedly lied on at least two different occasions that we know of. Lie No. 1, she told a reporter who came to her door that everything was fine, that her husband had not moved out. Less than an hour later she was served with divorce papers and the restraining order. And we now have learned that Kaine, in fact, had moved out two days earlier.
Lie No. 2, as you just heard Mike Brooks mention, Terri allegedly wrote e-mails under assumed names to a Portland TV station to claim her innocence. Why didn`t she just use her real name? Stacey Kaiser, psychotherapist, what do you make of this pattern?
STACEY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I mean, there`s definitely a pattern. Here`s one of the things that I can tell you. I have dealt with a lot of people who are accused of crimes, both innocent and guilty, as it would turn out. And what I`ve discovered is the people that are innocent, they don`t lie. They`re open. They`re honest. They`re willing to talk to police officers. They want to get their name cleared as quickly as possible. And that`s not what this woman is doing.
EIGLARSH: See, that`s not my experience always.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: James Pitkin, I want to -- I want to get something from you, James Pitkin. Why do you think she has not been named a person of from at this point? You are there on the scene.
PITKIN: Investigators have been extremely tight-lipped throughout this investigation. They will not say why, but they just say that they are not ready to talk anything about suspects or people of interest in this case.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are they still searching that island near the school that they`ve been focused on like a laser beam?
PITKIN: I`ve been told that the dive team at the sheriff`s office continues to be active. They`re going out every day, but it`s not sure where. The major search effort is definitely over, though.
BROOKS: Jane, they may not be calling a person of interest which I don`t like anyway. I call that suspect-like. And they`re not calling her a suspect. But where is the focus of their investigation? It`s on Terri Horman.
EIGLARSH: They should keep it wide. They need to keep it wide at this point.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. More on the drama surrounding little Kyron`s disappearance in just a bit. An emergency hearing, as well, in the Casey Anthony murder. A judge rules on some very damaging evidence.
But first, not only is Kyron missing; his family is imploding. More on the stunning new reports from KGW-TV that his step-mom has been lying to investigators. What does Terri Horman know?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAINE HORMAN, KYRON`S DAD: He is somewhere, hopefully with someone who is taking care of him, and he`s protected and safe. And that`s -- whether or not that`s what actually happened, I can`t branch predict every other thing that comes to my mind, because I don`t want to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Many find step-mom Terri Horman`s behavior on the day of little Kyron`s disappearance bizarre, to say at least. She was online blogging about her cat and going to the gym. Here`s what one psychoanalyst had to say about it last night on "NANCY GRACE."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST: This is reminiscent of Casey Anthony. Remember, the little girl goes missing. She goes to Target. She buys things for herself. She goes out dancing. She`s on a stripper pole. Mothers who don`t want their children usually try to get rid of the child because they feel the child is standing in the way of the idealized life they want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rita Crosby, is that a fair comparison, do you think?
CROSBY: I think it`s a really interesting comparison. In fact that`s the first thing I thought of, too, when I heard this case. Just the bizarre behavior.
And also, the Internet, too, is another component. As Mike Brooks was talking about in this case, the step-mom was on the Internet. She was on Facebook. We remember those pictures of Casey Anthony all posted all over the place. There`s a sort of typical syndrome sometimes. If, again, if it turns out that Terri is tied to this, if it turns out, I wouldn`t be surprised. Because the behavior is just so weird and so erratic.
And again, it goes back to why is she not telling authorities the truth? If authorities say she`s not consistent, and again, if the cell- phone records put her somewhere else than she said she was, all of this just opens the door. What are you hiding?
EIGLARSH: Doesn`t mean she`s guilty, though.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike, why don`t they name her a person of interest? If all of these reports are valid, why not just take the leap?
BROOKS: Well, there`s a lot of things right now that are circumstantial. But one thing you need to have an arrest is probable cause. Now, if you put everything together some people may say, "Well, I think they have enough probable cause." But right now apparently they don`t.
But there`s a reason they`re doing this. They just haven`t told anyone and they`re holding everything very close to the vest, which as an investigator, a smart thing to do in this case.
KAISER: And another thing...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.
KAISER: I was just going to say, another thing is they know where she is. They obviously have a very close eye on her. The media has a close eye on her. She`s not going anywhere. So if they take the time and they`re able to build the case, then they can move forward if they decide to move in that direction.
EIGLARSH: I have no idea. Jane, I have no idea whether she`s guilty or not, but let me just say this. There have been many people that Mike Brooks knows, that I have defended, that I`ve prosecuted who lie but don`t necessarily have anything to do with the crime for which they`re being attacked on national television. It doesn`t mean that they`re guilty.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I know you`re not referring to Joran Van Der Sloot.
EIGLARSH: No. Or Casey Anthony. Or Casey Anthony, for that matter. But people might be covering up something else. It might be reported that they`re lying, but they`re not really lying. Maybe they did pass a polygraph but cops said they, well, they were just acting a certain way. It doesn`t mean they`re guilty. I have no idea if she is or she isn`t.
EIGLARSH: But let`s not convict her just yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s go back to James Pitkin. He is there. He`s a reporter with "The Willamette Week." He`s on the ground. He`s been watching. This is a rather bizarre set of circumstances that has developed, though, the way this has unfolded, James. Is it not? James?
PITKIN: ... go out to the school where he disappeared. It is one of the most isolated, tiny, rural schools in the area. If I was going to snatch a kid from a school, do a stranger snatching, this is the last place I would pick. I`d pick somewhere in the city. A lot of traffic around. You just disappear into the cityscape. This place is in the middle of nowhere. That`s bizarre.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, if the reports from KGW-TV are true, and Terri is not cooperating with investigators and not answering questions, could it simply be on her lawyer`s advice. Here`s last night`s ISSUES. Check this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HENRY HINGSON III, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Mark Eiglarsh, Terri Horman`s attorney, Stephen Houze, is not going to want her to talk to anyone, but she just hired him. I don`t believe she had a lawyer until a couple of days ago. So that doesn`t explain all her behavior.
EIGLARSH: That`s true. And I`m not necessarily saying that she`s innocent. I`m just saying that there are people who look really guilty sometimes and have other reasons to explain that away.
I think she needs to keep her mouth shut. She needs to stop sending things out there and just be.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, Stacey Kaiser, my theory about this is that this is an enmeshed situation. These two couples are very, very enmeshed. The biological mother got sick. Terri helped her out with little Kyron, ended up marrying Kyron`s dad. And so I think there`s a lot of co- dependency issues, a lot of enabling, a lot of lack of boundaries. What say you, Stacey Kaiser, psychotherapist?
KAISER: I agree with you 100 percent. And what we see when there`s enmeshment and no boundaries and sort of this blurred line of who is doing what role in a family, we see some people getting angry and acting out.
Now, most people don`t go and take a child or do anything to them. But it certainly is possible, if somebody has the right psychological makeup, which is meaning that she has psychological problems. And if she does, she may have done something.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, it`s a tough position for her to be in again. We want to stress that she is not a suspect or a person of interest. But clearly, she is the focus of the investigation. And imagine what she feels like right now, sitting there with the entire nation`s laser beam focused on her.
Thank you, fantastic panel.
Coming up, the latest on the search for Haleigh Cummings. Are cops trying to find the precious child or what?
Next, find out how to turn your outrage over the Gulf disaster into action.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the calamity in the Gulf getting more disastrous with every passing minute. And now making matters worse, CNN reports that the amount of toxic dispersant chemicals being used to dilute the oil could be at dangerous levels.
And then just yesterday, the U.S. Coast Guard banned the media and the public from entering a 65-foot so-called safety zone around the exploded oil rig and their clean-up efforts. So what does this mean for anybody trying to help those suffering animals, for example?
Philippe Cousteau is an environmentalist, the CEO of Earth Echo International. Philippe`s famous grandfather was environmental icon Jacques Cousteau.
Philippe, it`s an honor to have you here on ISSUES. How can those of us who feel helpless in the face of this apocalypse help to turn things around?
PHILIPPE COUSTEAU, CEO, EARTH ECHO INTERNATIONAL: Well, you know, I think it`s critical for all of us to remember on this Fourth of July weekend that this is a national tragedy for every American and that all of us, you know, fundamentally need to keep caring about this issue and keep supporting the various organizations that are down in the Gulf, the various nonprofits and research institutions that are doing all the science around this -- this spill that`s so critical at this point, to establish a baseline understanding, so we can keep the authorities and the agencies involved, keep their feet to the fire over the coming months and years.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m very suspicious about the so-called safety zone. The other day we heard right here on ISSUES that they were setting turtles on fire, because they were getting trapped inside the containment booms during the controlled burns. Now suddenly we hear, oh, you can`t even go near those booms to see whether there`s any animals trapped inside. I`m doubtful about this so-called safety zone around the clean-up efforts.
COUSTEAU: Well, you know, the safety response to this spill has been spotty at best. I`ve been down to the Gulf about six or seven times, both diving beneath the surface and seeing the spill in the water column, to spending a lot of time in the communities and the environment along the coast.
And I can tell you that, for example, a month ago when I was in Grand Isle, Louisiana, they had a very large orange boom about 100 feet away from the beach and were preventing anyone from approaching the beach.
And yet, then I would drive to Alabama the next day, and people were, you know, interacting with tar balls, walking along the beach. Kids were walking around when there were clean-up crews literally there at the same time, cleaning up the oil. So I`m skeptical about this, as well.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And the government had told BP cut back on those dispersants, the chemical dispersants. And guess what? We have learned now that they`ve barely cut back at all.
COUSTEAU: Well, you know, there`s definitely a case of giving the keys to the kingdom to the fox in the henhouse, so to speak. And I`m very concerned, as we all are, about how much power that BP influence has over this clean-up effort.
However, I know the government and EPA are very concerned about this. And I certainly hope that they are able to bring this dispersant issue under control, because we have applied an unprecedented amount of these dispersants. I saw the effects in the water column when I was diving there. And I think that it`s a very worrying issue. We haven`t done the science.
And this is part of a bigger symptom. We`ve underinvested in our oceans for decades. We haven`t conducted the science. We don`t have the knowledge. And we`re kind of flying blind right now.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I agree. I think this is perhaps the worst natural disaster in American history, right up there with the Dust Bowl. I am so glad you are there, down there going to the scene to keep an eye on these people. I don`t trust any of them as far as I can throw a giant oil tanker.
Thank you very much, Philippe. Please come back to ISSUES soon.
COUSTEAU: Always delighted. Will do.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Explosive new accusations in the Haleigh Cummings case. Are detectives strong-arming Tommy Croslin into talking? His lawyer is next.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: After a dramatic river search for little Haleigh Cummings reaches a dead-end Misty`s brother Tommy is screaming foul claiming cops are strong-arming him by forcibly removing him from one jail to another and sticking him into the general population. Tommy`s lawyer is here in an ISSUES exclusive to complain about the cops` latest maneuvers.
What`s next? Will we ever know what happened to this little girl or has the trail gone cold?
Jaw-dropping new developments in the spine-chilling case that shook the nation. Tommy Croslin is yanked out of protective custody and thrown into the general inmate population. Are cops trying to put the squeeze on him to get answers about 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings? Haleigh, of course, vanished into thin air in the dead of night from her Florida trailer home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISTY CROSLIN, DISCOVERED HALEIGH MISSING: I got up because I had to go to the bathroom but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I see the kitchen light on and I walk to the kitchen and the back door was wide open. I didn`t notice about Haleigh until I see the back door open. She`s gone.
That`s all I know is when I woke up -- when I went to sleep, she was there. And then when I woke up she was gone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s absolutely no sign of this precious child for more than a year. And then the case suddenly explodes. Cops begin furiously dragging the muddy waters of the St. John`s River pulling up you can see it there a large blue ice cooler along with cinder blocks and rope announcing they are no longer looking for a living child, saying Haleigh was murder.
Cops paraded Misty Croslin, of course, she`s the teenager who was baby-sitting little Haleigh on the night she disappeared, around the search site. There she is, in between the two investigators. They`re grilling her on the banks of the river about Haleigh.
They also brought Misty`s brother Tommy Croslin down to the river. We thought for sure, within days, we`d have a solution -- a resolution, closure, maybe Haleigh`s tiny body, something. Then it all came to a screeching halt, a dead-end. No body, no charges, no answers. Just more questions.
And tonight breaking news: Tommy Croslin, that`s Misty`s brother, who is being held in jail on drug charges, as is Misty, making some stunning claims. Tommy says detectives are strong-arming him into talking. Are investigators threatening to charge Tommy with Haleigh`s murder if he doesn`t talk?
That`s what his attorney is saying. He joins us tonight on ISSUES.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel. But I want to begin with Jim Werter, Tommy`s attorney, in an ISSUES exclusive.
Jim, why are you and your client upset? What is it that you believe cops are threatening you with?
JAMES WERTER, TOMMY CROSLIN`S ATTORNEY: Well, the problem was last week he was transported back to Putnam County from St. John`s County I had no idea he was transported. Then a couple of days after he got there he`s pulled out of his cell for two hours and supposedly just to be interviewed regarding the Haleigh Cummings case which he`s not charged with but right away he asked for my presence.
He wanted his attorney present. They refused to grant that. They kept on questioning him. They made a number of threats to him, various threats that you`ve seen in the motion, but yet he was not allowed to consult with me.
Now, some people said that was an interview but when you`re held at custody and forcibly interrogated that`s not an interview and you have a right to your Fifth Amendment rights.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, you`re the HLN law enforcement analyst. It does sound pretty odd if somebody says I want my attorney here while I`m being grilled but they don`t provide the attorney
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they should. I mean personally I don`t have any sympathy for the guy, I mean he`s locked up for drugs. But if he did ask for his attorney to be present, his attorney should be present.
Is he allowed any phone calls at all, Jim or has he tried to contact you or they`re not letting him do that either?
WERTER: Well, no. Initially there were some problems. I`m not sure if it was purposeful or not but now he has free access to me from the phone which is good because Putnam County is about an hour`s drive from me. So we have regular access now on the phone.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jim, you have joined us before here on ISSUES and you said Tommy knows what happened to little Haleigh.
Let`s listen to what you had to say here on ISSUES.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In other words, Tommy knows something but you`re saying he`s not responsible but he knows what happened?
WERTER: Again, I will say -- well, I will go with that, yes. I`m quite comfortable in you saying that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. So we`re saying Tommy knows what happened but he`s not responsible?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Do you believe, Jim, that cops are threatening to charge your client, Tommy Croslin with Haleigh`s murder?
WERTER: Well, you know, the people that interrogated him was Putnam County Sheriff`s office that day last week. One of the lead investigators was actually Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who has been aiding Putnam County. They never uttered those kind of threats. This came out of someplace else.
Now, Tommy has been voluntarily up until --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What came out of someplace else?
WERTER: This threat -- this threat of felony murder.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re hearing that you`re concerned that your client is going to be charged with murder.
WERTER: No, I`m not really. I`m not concerned because he`s not guilty of felony murder. He`s done nothing that would warrant that kind of claim. It`s a threat. It`s a threatening tactic.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what`s the whole point of this strong-arm tactics by -- yes, it`s a threatening tactic. What are they trying to get? If he knows what happened and he went down to the river and told them what he knows, then why are they threatening him?
WERTER: We covered this before about where the body might have been since it was dumped into that part of the river. And I don`t really want to go over that because it is kind of gruesome. But the fact of the matter is, there`s problems with this case as to charging the person that should be charged. They`re thinking there`s something more. Or there`s inconsistencies between -- minor inconsistencies between Tommy`s story and Misty`s story.
But the fact of the matter is now I`ve been through POW training, I`ve been a cop, I`ve studied these things as well. When you force someone to say something odds are, just like in Gitmo, you`re not going to get an accurate story.
But he`s been volunteering up until a couple of months ago. Until everything just came to a halt. He went to FDLE. I took him to FDLE.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Still don`t understand exactly what you`re saying. I was under the impression that you were afraid that they were threatening to do something else to your client?
WERTER: No, I`m not afraid. I`m upset that they used these tactics in violation of his Fifth Amendment rights.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What`s their point? What do they want?
WERTER: They don`t know what they want. They don`t know what to believe or what to trust, you know. So what can I tell you?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what. Rita Cosby, can you make heads or tails out of what`s going on here?
RITA COSBY, AUTHOR, "QUIET HERO": I mean, it sounds to me that cops are hearing a lot of inconsistencies. And even Tommy`s attorney just said that -- he described them as minor inconsistencies but cops maybe don`t see it as minor inconsistencies.
Either way they see something that`s not jiving. It sounds like with maybe something he said, something Misty said and clearly they`re trying to put some pressure on him to get information.
I understand the attorney`s point. If indeed they`re using these tactics and doing these extreme measures, that`s not appropriate. You still have to act appropriately and I understand his point if that`s true.
COSBY: On the other hand, they`re clearly seeing something that doesn`t jive here and they`re going wait a minute, what`s wrong? Why is he not maybe telling the full story? What`s not matching?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a game of telephone. That`s what it is. And I`ll tell you it all started with Tommy and Misty`s grandmother, ok. She was the one who said Tommy and Misty told her what happened the night Haleigh went missing on the phone.
Let`s listen to grandma because that`s where it all started.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLORA HOLLARS, MISTY CROSLIN`S GRANDMOTHER: She said Joe Overstreet and Tommy wrapped the rope around Haleigh and carried her to the dock at the St. John`s River and put a block around the other end of the rope and throwed (SIC) her in the river.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, the grandmother you just heard from is a very flamboyant character who said she was told certain things by Tommy and Misty. And of course there`s going to be inconsistencies because it`s like a game of telephone with a senior citizen basically trying to interpret to police what her grandkids told her from behind bars.
BROOKS: You know, what`s to believe from Flora Hollars, Jane? We`ve had her on the show. Then all of a sudden we don`t hear a word from her. Is what she was saying totally wrong? Was she making this up just to get her 15 minutes of fame or more? Who knows? Who knows what to believe in this case? This cast of characters is just incredible
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And whatever happened, Jim, to the cousin, Cousin Joe, who Misty and Tommy pointed the finger at and he`s in another state and he has said he has nothing to do with it and then his cousins are trying to take him down. Whatever happened to all that?
WERTER: He`s still sitting up there in Tennessee skinny and happy, just hanging out there. He knows this is mired.
And I need to ask Mike. Isn`t it your professional opinion as a law enforcement officer that different perspectives how people see different scenes and events vary?
BROOKS: Oh, they do. And that`s the whole thing about eyewitness testimony. Is it credible, is it not?
WERTER: Exactly. Exactly.
BROOKS: So, you know, there`s a lot of questions in this case, Jim. Hopefully we`ll get to the bottom of them one day.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or we could be dealing with everybody is a pathological liar in this entire family, and that is why we can`t figure out what`s up and what`s down and where little Haleigh is.
Thank you, fantastic panel.
Coming up, Casey Anthony shockers: speaking of pathological liars, a judge rules on some of the damning evidence in an emergency hearing on Casey. And Casey`s attorney slams the jail for releasing personal information about the young lady you`re looking at right there. It is the most high profile inmate they`ve ever had.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People come on the door and say, "Casey, where`s Caylee, where`s Caylee," just messing with her and she will just smile. It didn`t bother her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Anthony is back in court that`s next.
But first tonight`s "Top of the Block".
The horror show that is the Gulf oil spill has become a surreal tragedy of the absurd. The other day right here on ISSUES a fisherman told us he`s outraged because his friends have witnessed, eyeballed BP burning endangered turtles alive in their so-called controlled burns refusing to let his friends, who wanted to save the creatures through the oil containment booms.
As a result environmental groups have now filed a lawsuit demanding BP stop setting these turtles on fire.
So what does the Coast Guard do now? Now they`re restricting public and media access to the oil spill clean-up operations. The Coast Guard is creating a quote/unquote "safety zone" of 65 feet.
Will that allow the powers that be to safely burn turtles alive and commit other atrocities against nature without having to deal with those pesky witnesses who might be outraged because they have a conscience and morals?
If you`re as fed up with this monstrosity as I am, you have to tune in to ISSUES this coming Monday.
My special investigation "Jane`s Fight for Animal Rights" focuses on the apocalypse in the Gulf and what you can do to save these innocent animals. That`s this coming Monday 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 4:00 p.m. Pacific. Please watch. The animals need your help.
That`s tonight`s "Top of the Block".
Accused child killer Casey Anthony back in court: Casey`s legal dream team calls an emergency hearing and battles for a chance to powwow around the damning physical evidence in this case. Casey`s defense wants to bring in high powered experts to pore over every shred of evidence.
They say they`re at a disadvantage since they were not there when the evidence was collected and the defense needs to see it so they can work on a plan to prove Casey`s innocence in the murder of her precious 2-year- old daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY ANTHONY, ACCUSED OF KILLING DAUGHTER: Can someone let me - - come on.
CINDY ANTHONY: Casey, hold on, sweetheart. Settle down, baby.
CASEY ANTHONY: Nobody`s letting me speak. You want me to talk then give me three seconds to say something.
CINDY ANTHONY: Ok, sweetheart.
CASEY ANTHONY: I`m not in control over any of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That is for sure. The defense wants to inspect items from the site where little Caylee`s remains were found. We`re talking about duct tape, bags, that heart-shaped sticker we talked about so often. And Casey`s defense team wants to look at everything in private.
Now, her defense attorney Jose Baez promised the judge, "we will maintain the integrity of the evidence". He asked for a court-appointed mediator of sorts to baby-sit. Well, the judge shot that down. He said no way. He said the defense does have the right to look at the evidence but a rep from the sheriff`s department will be there. In other words cops will be watching them.
Plus, it`s the very first time we are seeing Casey since she fell down and hurt herself and couldn`t appear at some hearings. She looked calm, cool and collected and it`s -- yes, it`s kind of hiding behind a long curtain of hair today. Always a different look, a little curl there in the hair.
Straight out to my fantastic expert panel: Emmy-winning journalist Rita Cosby; HLN law enforcement analyst Mike Brooks; psychotherapist Stacey Kaiser; and criminal defense attorney, Mark Eiglarsh.
Mark, should they be able to view the defense view their evidence; the evidence that the cops have collected in private so they can go over with their experts how they want to handle it?
MARK EIGLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think so. But I think the judge is on solid legal footing if he allows a law enforcement officer to be present. The rule here in Florida that governs Discovery 3.220 allows the defense to copy and inspect all evidence that the state has.
So they have a right, they have an obligation to look at everything. It doesn`t mean she`s going to walk free but they must do their job and they`d like to do it without having law enforcement breathing down their neck.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it seems, Rita Cosby, that they would like to have a little powwow over the evidence and kind of go over with their expert witnesses hey, how are you going to handle this? Hey, how are you going to handle this? So that they`re all on the same page.
But is that how it`s supposed to work? Aren`t expert witnesses supposed to be truthful and just tell an objective truth and not powwow with defense attorneys?
COSBY: I mean, of course they`re supposed to be independent. But what they`re clearly trying to do is get a look at all the evidence and be able to touch it and be able to see it and do all these things. I`m not surprised that the judge ruled the way they did.
COSBY: Obviously, look, the defense team should get this information but also there should be somebody else overseeing it because you don`t want the evidence to get contaminated.
The other thing that`s interesting too, Jane, if you look at the witnesses, these expert witnesses that they`re going for, the new list that we`ve been hearing about, they are experts on dust, trees, also dirt.
So they`re clearly going for sort of this timeline of when the body was found, where was Casey at the time, where you know, Caylee`s body was found "x" place. Could she have been there? They`re going to try to look at forensics; this is going to be a very big forensic case clearly.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It sure is.
And my big issue tonight, giant strategy session? We`re learning about the experts that Casey`s defense team is bringing on board. As you just heard Rita mentioned, most of them specialize in insects and plants.
It sounds boring, but it`s super important. They`re going to be there to analyze the time of death and even more important when little Caylee`s body was placed at the crime scene you`re looking at right now. How long was she in those woods?
Prosecutors insist that she was put there shortly after she was murdered, which they estimate shortly after she disappeared in June of 2008. But the defense is really riding their entire case on the theory that she was put in those woods after Casey was already behind bars.
Now, Mike Brooks, of course there is this whole side drama of who went to that area to search --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- and who did and who did not see anything. We`ve got the meter reader. We`ve got a cast of characters who were searching for little Caylee and who was in that vicinity.
BROOKS: Well, one of the issues today from the defense Jane, was you know there -- Mr. Baez was saying, well, we didn`t get a chance to come to the scene to search while you were there and that`s why we have to have our four experts there on July 13th and 14th.
But, Jane, if you recall we`ve been following this from the beginning. And I think, Mark, you`ll agree with me. After they were done and they pulled all that vegetation out of the woods, it was right out there in the road and they said, "Hey, it`s your scene, come on." And the defense never showed up.
EIGLARSH: Well, they didn`t have their experts yet, Mike. I mean, Jose Baez --
BROOKS: Oh please.
EIGLARSH: I mean, Jose Baez doesn`t have plans from the leads, from anything. He needs his experts to sit with him now.
BROOKS: Come out there with your video cameras and do what you want.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: One at a time.
BROOKS: He had enough -- he had enough time to find some experts there in Florida to come over and at least inspect the vegetation.
BROOKS: So there, cry me a river, Mr. Baez -- that`s what they`re --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I`m going give Mark the last word.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last word.
EIGLARSH: Ok. I thoroughly disagree with Mike. The defense needs time to get their experts in order --
BROOKS: They do. I have to agree with you on that.
EIGLARSH: -- and now they need to physically look at those specific items.
BROOKS: I agree with you on that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there.
Up next, Rita Cosby and her fabulous new book; it`s an amazing story. You have got to stick around for Rita`s story of her dad.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: In the "Spotlight" tonight, we`re about to celebrate our freedom and independence. Fourth of July is coming up, people. It`s a fitting time to honor the heroes of World War II. One hero who never told his own daughter about his courageous acts, she went on to become a three- time Emmy-award winning journalist.
Rita Cosby has interviewed newsmakers, presidents and prime ministers but perhaps her most important interview was with her own dad. "Quiet Hero", that is the title of Rita`s new incredibly powerful, touching book.
Rita, your dad lived in the Polish ghetto in World War II terrorized by the Nazis. He was one of the few in all of World War II to stand up to Hitler. What an incredible act of courage that could have gotten him killed. How did you find out about your dad`s heroism?
COSBY: You know Jane, this has been the most amazing story and the most personal story i`ll ever tell in my life. And I actually stumbled upon it about a year and a half ago.
I was looking -- I tell everybody to go through their suitcases and see what they have in like attics or basements. And what happened was I stumbled upon a suitcase after my mother passed away and in the suitcase I found an old, rusty POW tag emblazoned with the words Stalag 4B. And then I found a red and white polish arm band, blood and torn. And then I found a card with code names on it. And then finally Jane, I saw the card of an ex-POW named Ryszard Kossobudzki.
And when I saw this, I thought oh, my gosh, this is my father who has been estranged from us because he left the family when I was a teenager. I said, you know what, I need to reach out to this man because clearly he went through something so harrowing Jane and so heroic. And his story is so incredible and just so inspiring for me as a daughter.
As you pointed out, he could have left. He`s actually not Jewish so he could have left. And instead, he said at the age of 15, "I am staying and fighting for my country and fighting for freedom." And can you imagine it at the age of 15 to have that kind of moral fortitude and moral compass is just so inspiring as a daughter.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Rita, why do you think he did not tell you about this sooner?
COSBY: You know what`s funny? I think he`s part of this greatest generation. And I think there`s something and I picked the title "Quiet Hero" of the book, Jane, because I wanted it to honor all families. Because my father, if you asked him today, even after everything he went through, he would say I`m not the hero. Somebody else was the hero. My comrades were the hero.
And I think that`s indicative of just that incredible humility. And then also, my father went through painful times, very difficult times. He was fighting on the front lines, Jane, and then I also found out he escaped through sewers and the sewers were about 100 yards from his house.
And then the most amazing story of all, Jane, and I get choked up when I think about it, my father was taken into captivity after fighting the Nazis for 5 1/2 years he`s taken to a POW camp and at 90 pounds and 6 feet tall, my father escapes with other prisoners of war.
And there he is, he`s in the woods; it`s two and a half day, you know, they`re skeletons -- walking skeletons. And then a plane comes by; they think it`s a German plane and they dive for the ditches. And it turns out to be an American plane. And it dropped out a chocolate bar with a note wrapped around it with a red ribbon. And the note said, "Welcome, you have 15 miles to walk. Lines are clear during the day. You have 15 miles and you`re free."
So my father here he was 90 pounds jumping up and down and he was free and saved by American troops. And that`s why I wanted this book "Quiet Hero" not just to be a great testament to my dad but to all the U.S. troops out there and I can think of no better cause to help them on the Fourth of July.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Got to leave it right there. I`m so proud of you.
COSBY: Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wonderful, wonderful accomplishment. Thank you.
COSBY: Thank you Jane.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Don`t miss a very special ISSUES, Monday. Let`s help those innocent animals drowning in oil in the Gulf.