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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Misty Says She Cowered While Haleigh Was Snatched

Aired August 17, 2010 - 19:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, did Misty Croslin finally crack? A horrifying new story emerges in the desperate search for Haleigh Cummings. Misty`s lawyer now says Misty hid under a sheet as Haleigh was violently attacked on the night she vanished, claiming Misty cowered in fear while little Haleigh screamed for help as she was stuffed inside a bag. So who is Misty pointing the finger at this time, and why should we believe her now?

And two young children violently murdered by their own mother, their deaths made to look like a tragic accident. Horrifying new details emerge from South Carolina as a mom admits suffocating her children with her bare hands, stuffing them in a car and pushing them into the river. Tonight we`ll reveal her sickening motive.

Plus the mystery woman at the center of the Kyron Horman search finally breaks her silence. Terri Horman`s best friend speaking out. And she`s defending Kyron`s step-mom. Why is DeDe Spicher so sure Terri had nothing to do with little Kyron`s disappearance? And where was she the day this adorable little boy vanished?

ISSUES starts now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a bombshell in the Haleigh Cummings case. After a year and a half of wondering, could we finally be getting closer to the truth about what happened the night 5-year-old Haleigh vanished?

The precious child was being watched by her father`s teenaged girlfriend, Misty Croslin. At the time, Misty insisted she simply woke up to find the child missing from their trailer home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MISTY CROSLIN, EX-WIFE OF RON CUMMINGS: I got up because I had to use the bathroom but I didn`t make it to the bathroom. I seen the kitchen light on, and I walked in the kitchen and the back door was wide open. I mean, I didn`t notice about Haleigh then until I seen the back door open. And then I go in her room and she`s gone. And that`s all I know. Because 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: News flash, Misty: almost nobody believed that story. Certainly not the cops.

Tonight, as Misty stares at the terrifying prospect of a 240-year prison term for drug trafficking, a new story is emerging. It all came spilling out yesterday outside the courthouse where Misty copped a plea.

Misty`s lawyer now says after Misty was arrested last January, Misty told comes that her Cousin Joe Overstreet barged into the trailer looking for a machine gun that belonged to Haleigh`s dad, Ron. He says Misty told cops that when Cousin Joe couldn`t find the gun, quote, "Haleigh was a substitute," end quote.

Misty`s lawyer claims Misty heard the child screaming as she was attacked for five minutes while Misty cowered under the sheets, clutching the little girl`s 3-year-old brother, Ron Cummings. Misty claims she then heard a van door open and close.

The attorney adds Misty claims to have seen Cousin Joe either covering Haleigh with something or putting the child inside a black bag.

An avalanche of terrifying claims, but cops have not named Joe Overstreet a suspect, and his lawyer says Joe was nowhere near the mobile home, adding Misty is not to be believed.

Now I want to hear from you have about this stunning development. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic panel, beginning with criminal defense attorney Darren Kavinoky.

Darren, what do you make of this bombshell coming from her lawyer?

DARREN KAVINOKY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously, if this information is true, we have a brand-new target in the form of this cousin, this Overstreet.

But I`m just wondering who among this cast of characters is not facing some kind of drug-trafficking charge. Obviously, all of us look at everything that Misty says with an incredibly jaundiced eye. She has every motivation to fabricate, now more than ever, as she might be trying to work off or get some benefit in her own case where her exposure to be sent to prison is huge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And one thing I don`t buy about this story, one of several things, is that somebody wants a machine gun, storms in and says, "Well, I can`t get the machine gun. I`m going to take the child."

KAVINOKY: Yes. Might as well take the kid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll take a child instead.

KAVINOKY: And news flash. Right. And as a parent myself, I can tell you there`s no even exchange there. You know, you can do certain things with a machine gun that a small child isn`t going to help you accomplish. And -- and, I mean, really, that -- that kind of an exchange makes no sense fundamentally. So I think there`s going to be some real problems here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Misty`s grandma, Flo, who joins me tonight here on ISSUES, gave a frightening account of what Misty said to her about what happened the night Haleigh vanished. Listen to this from a while back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FLORA HOLLARS, MISTY`S GRANDMOTHER: I believe the one that Misty told me, that they tied her up in a rope and dropped her in the river. I just don`t know whether they raped her or not. But I sort of believe that they did. I just hope and pray that the child was already dead before she hit that water.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Grandma Flo, welcome back. You have told us that you got calls a while back from Misty and Tommy, who were both in prison -- and they still are -- and they told you over the phone the real story of what happened that night.

HOLLARS (via phone): Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, you`ve heard this new story, Flo. Right? You heard me outline it in the intro. Do you believe that this story dovetails and goes along with what they told you? Or is it something different?

HOLLARS: No, ma`am. It`s what she told me on the telephone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, tell me again what she told you, and then we can see if it`s the same thing.

HOLLARS: She told me, she says, "Nanny, Joe came in at" -- well, Tommy was there, too, at the time. And she said Joe came in looking for the machine gun that Ron had, because he was going to steal it. And it wasn`t there. And he started swinging his knife and telling everybody that he would kill them if they said anything.

And Misty said that he started towards her with the knife, and she went and grabbed Junior and jumped in the bed and covered up her head, and that she heard Haleigh cry in the living room. And then they was out of there. She also said they tied her up with a yellow rope, and they put the cinderblocks and dropped her in the St. John`s River.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Misty`s attorney says it`s not clear if Misty`s brother Tommy was there during this alleged attack. But you`re saying that Tommy was there and that, in fact, Tommy and Joe went down to the river and dumped the child`s body?

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am. That`s exactly what I`m saying. Because Misty stated that Tommy had went home at one time, but then he came back again. And I`m thinking he came back to help Joe get rid of the body.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Joe Overstreet`s attorney, we have to say, says Joe was nowhere near the mobile home and with another relative when they learned Haleigh was gone. Quote, "I couldn`t know how many times Misty has changed, modified the story." He added, "I don`t believe anything she`s said."

Joe has denied his involvement in Haleigh`s disappearance. He did that way back in April. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE OVERSTREET, MISTY`S COUSIN: I didn`t do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, he`s a man of few words, apparently, but what he said was, "I didn`t do it."

All right. Last week Joe was busted on a drug charge in Tennessee.

HOLLARS: Yes, ma`am.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`m wondering -- I am wondering, and I`ll go this to Levi Page, a blogger, on top of this. Do you think there`s a connection between him being busted on the drugs and now suddenly this story comes up?

LEVI PAGE, BLOGGER: Well, I think that, if there was a connection, that law enforcement would have held him without bond, and instead he was able to bond out.

Again, this is just another one of Misty Croslin`s lies. And I hate to agree with a defense attorney about anything, but I do.

And this is not the first story that Misty Croslin has told. First she didn`t know anything. They came into the house, took the child that she was in the same bed with.

Then it was a black drug dealer that took the child that she put out there. Then it was somebody on Crystal Sheffield`s, Haleigh`s mother`s side of the family. Now it`s Joe Overstreet who did it.

And she said that she was cowering under the covers? Wait a minute. How did she know he put him in a black -- put Haleigh in a black bag if she was in the -- cowering under the covers?

And also, let`s not remember that Tommy Croslin was there, according to Misty. It was two on one, Misty and Tommy versus Joe. So I don`t buy the fact that they were intimidated by Joe Overstreet. Misty is lying.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, and we also invite Joe Overstreet or his attorney or both of them on our show any time to give their side of the story. We want to be fair here.

Louise in Florida, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. Nice to be with you.

There`s something I want to bring up. We need to look at the picture, and everybody that has been involved into the drug trade was Misty, her brother, her mother, her father, her cousin. I hate the fact that Ron Cummings is in jail for this offense. Is there a petition or something that we could do to try to get him out of jail?

PAGE: No.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Well, thank you, Louise.

PAGE: He`s a drug trafficker. He was charged with five counts. He was charged with five counts of drug trafficking while his child was missing. That shows you how much he cared about his child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Reef Karim, you`re a psychiatrist and also very involved in addiction. This story, drugs runs through it. Misty was reportedly on a three-day drug bender leading up to Haleigh`s disappearance. She`s -- and the baby, the missing girl`s father have been caught and Misty`s brother has also very involved in addiction. This story, drugs runs through it.

Misty was reportedly on a three-day drug bender leading up to Haleigh`s disappearance. She`s -- and the baby, the missing girl`s father has been caught and Misty`s brother has been caught in a drug sting. Misty`s mother and father have been arrested for allegedly buying cocaine. I mean, drugs are clearly at the heart of this tragedy.

HOLLARS: Yes.

DR. REEF KARIM, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes. Everybody -- everybody in this story is either doing drugs, selling drugs or distributing drugs. And we all know drugs equal drama. One thing people haven`t talked about that much is some drugs will actually cause psychosis, an acute level of psychosis.

So if somebody is actively doing drugs or actively withdrawing from certain drugs, they may not be seeing clearly. They could see things, they could hear things that might not be there. There could be all sorts of craziness and drama in the story, specifically because of the drugs.

PAGE: Or they`re just psychopathic liars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. This is really a dysfunctional family. I think they live at Dysfunction Junction. Fantastic panel, don`t go anywhere. Is Misty Croslin finally telling the truth or is this just another lie?

We`re taking more of your calls: 1-877-JVM-SAYS -- JVM-SAYS.

Plus a mother admits to killing her own two children with her bare hands. Tonight, you will learn her horrifying motive.

But first, Misty Croslin`s story, it seems like it changes every week. But tonight, a bombshell. Should we believe her this time?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said your back door was wide open?

CROSLIN: There was a brick -- like a brick on the floor. When I went to sleep it was not like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What, what is the brick?

CROSLIN: It`s on the back door on the stairs like it has a walkway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uh-huh. and there was a brick laying there?

CROSLIN: Yes. It`s still there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROSLIN: When Haleigh is found I will be let out of jail because that`s the only reason they`re keeping me in here. The only reason they set me up and all that stuff. And that`s why my bond is so high. And it`s not right, because me being in jail has nothing to do with Haleigh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a bombshell in the Haleigh Cummings mystery. Explosive details from the mouth of the woman we just heard from, Misty Croslin, via her attorney. He says Misty told cops she was there when her cousin, Joe, busted into the family trailer and snatched Haleigh, putting her inside a black bag.

Misty and Joe`s Grandma Flo said this here on ISSUES back in April.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOLLARS: She started crying and saying, "Nanny, see, I`ve told you all along that Joe had something to do with this. I knew he did. I knew he did." And then she called me on Monday to let me know that Tommy and Joe had wrapped Misty -- I mean had wrapped Haleigh in a yellow rope and tied a brick to it and throwed her off the dock in the St. John`s River.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Joe Overstreet saying through his attorney this is all a big fat lie, and Misty is not to be believed.

Mora, Indiana, your question or thought, ma`am.

CALLER: Hi, Jane. I just have a quick comment. You said earlier that she said she was hiding under a blanket in the bedroom with Junior and that she could hear Haleigh screaming. If she could hear Haleigh screaming, then Junior could hear Haleigh screaming. And why has Junior not said anything about hearing his sister scream?

KAVINOKY: Good point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fascinating question. Drew Petrimoulx, you`re with WDB Radio, joining us on Skype. We`ll get to you in a second.

But Darren Kavinoky, that certainly is an important issue. Could they have interviewed this child? But he`s only 3 years old at the time.

KAVINOKY: Yes. Well, obviously, that presents a real difficulty, although children are interviewed with great regularity, and there`s special techniques to be able to deal with that. Three years old, though, quite young, although this caller does raise an important point. And that is it`s these little details that turn cases.

And the really sad thing in all of this is that the -- when there is finally a prosecution, we`ve had so many story changes. And as Dr. Karim points out, we`ve had so many people that have problems with drugs, and who knows whether there`s psychosis or not. But we certainly have so much of a credibility problem that, ultimately, defense attorneys will have a field day doing the kind of cross-examination on the -- on the minutia that this caller really sees now. I think it`s a good point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now back to Flora Hollars. Grandma Flo is how we know her.

How would Misty know about what happened down by the river if she was cowering under a sheet and only heard the van door slam and drive off? She -- the cops took her down to the river, and you see her right there talking to investigators on that shot. Now, if she was cowering under a sheet, she wouldn`t know what happened down by the river?

HOLLARS: No. I`m sure she was carried down there to be shown.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say that again.

HOLLARS: I`m sure she was carried down there and shown where it was at.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: By who?

HOLLARS: By Tommy and Joe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well...

HOLLARS: Y`all just really don`t know what kind of a child Joe is. Joe didn`t pass his lie detector test, just like none of the rest of them did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you know, he has not been named a suspect. Cops have interviewed him twice, and they elected not to name him a suspect or a person of interest.

So -- and by the way, if he wants to come on and tell his story tomorrow he`s invited along with his attorney.

But what do you make of the fact that people are saying the story doesn`t really completely add up. Like why would he hurt the child because he couldn`t find a machine gun, Grandma Flo?

HOLLARS: Because he was wanting that machine gun.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What?

HOLLARS: He was wanting that machine gun. He had already stole the pistol, and they had to get it back from him because Ron was fixed to beat him up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Misty was adamant -- OK. I just want to get to this one aspect of the case. Misty was adamant that she was not involved in Haleigh`s disappearance. And you`ve got to listen to this clip from a jailhouse visit with her dad. Listen carefully.

All right. We don`t have it. But I got to tell you, basically what she says is, "They`re not going to put me away for something I didn`t do. I didn`t have anything to do with Haleigh. And if I knew who did, I would tell them. I told them everything I can tell them. So they need to leave me alone."

Now, Darren Kavinoky, suddenly when she`s looking down the Barrel -- and this is my big issue -- is Misty flaunting a bargaining chip there. She faces 240 years in prison. Her sentencing is coming up in October. So is she just -- is this a big strategy to basically get prosecutors to promise that they`ll go easy on her sentencing if she tells them the whole story?

KAVINOKY: Right. Well, it certainly should be part of the strategy. She`s looking at over 200 years in prison, so she better have something. And really, the only thing it sounds like a person in her circumstances would have to offer would be information about this.

But sadly, again, for prosecutors, they`re at a place, I`m imagining, where they`re not going to be able to rely on anything that she says. Her credibility is so very shot through.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Grandma Flo, are you scared for your granddaughter to go to prison for the rest of her life?

HOLLARS: Yes, I am. I`ve also stated that I wish they`d send me down there and lock me in the jail -- in the cell with her for about a week, and I`d get it out of her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Grandma Flo, thank you for joining us.

From one missing child to another, we`re tracking down Kyron Horman next. You won`t believe it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight a stunning confession from a South Carolina mother. Her two young sons were found dead in a submerged car. Now the local sheriff says the mother admits she suffocated the boys before she drove the car into the river. And all of this after a fight with her own mother.

Investigators say 29-year-old Shaquan Duley told them she was overwhelmed with having to raise three children with no job and no money. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF LARRY WILLIAMS, ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA: She truly felt, "If I don`t have these two toddlers, you know, I can be free."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Crews fished the mother`s car out of the river yesterday, her two sons, ages 2 and 18 months, still inside, strapped into their car seats.

How does this happen? How does a mother think this is the answer, this is the way out? Why did these innocent kids have to pay the ultimate price?

Reporter Jody Barr from WIS with the very latest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODY BARR, REPORTER, WIS: Well, Jane, Shaquan Duley, the mother of those two children killed here in Orangeburg County yesterday, will spend her second night here in the Orangeburg County detention center.

The sheriff says that mother took her hand and put it over her two children`s mouths and suffocated them in a hotel room here in Orangeburg. She then put those two children`s bodies into a car, strapped them into a car seat, drove them to a river here. And the sheriff says she let that car roll into that water and let those two children be found later by an Orangeburg County dive team here. The divers pulled those bodies out of that car.

The mother, the sheriff says, confessed to killing those two children last night here after several hours of interrogation with county investigators. The mother faces two counts of murder here tonight. She will face a judge tomorrow here in Orangeburg, her first time in public since her arrest. If convicted in this case, Shaquan Duley will spend the rest of her life in a state prison -- Jane.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, your reaction to the mother`s explanation as to why she committed this unthinkable act?

JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: You know, it`s hard to think of. The fact that she says she wants to be free, free from what? She had her three kids. There`s help for her. She needed to get it.

But you know what, Jane? She fits a demographic. A single mom, overwhelmed, unemployed and with three kids. Seventy percent of kids who die at the hands of their parents are under the age of 5. Clearly, she was a mother who was overwhelmed and desperate and made a horrendous, horrendous decision.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Before driving her car into the river, Shaquan Duley told the sheriff she took the boys to a local motel, where she suffocated them. Listen to the motel manager.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RENUKA PATEL, MANAGER, TRUMP INN: She seemed, like, strange to me, you know. Like very strange to me. She give me the $100 bill, you know. When I tried to give her the money, she just took the money. She didn`t count it, and she just ran off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ramona Milhouse, thank you for joining us by telephone. You live right by the river. Were you initially suspicious of the mother`s original story that this was an accident? And if so, why, Ramona?

RAMONA MILHOUSE, LIVES NEAR EDISTO RIVER: Well, I couldn`t understand that she walked so far before trying to, you know, call somebody on the phone, because there`s three phones right here close to the landing where the call went in.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And of course, they say her clothes weren`t wet, and the boat ramp is off at a 90-degree angle. So that`s not something that you do a sharp right turn like that if you`re having an accident, correct?

MILLHOUSE: No. There`s just like one driveway -- the boat ramp is -- I mean, it`s not built up. It`s just cement like on the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`ll finish that...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The mystery woman at the center of the Kyron Horman search finally breaks her silence. Terri Horman`s best friend finally speaking out and she`s defending Kyron`s stepmom. Why is Dede Spicher so sure Terri had nothing to do with little Kyron`s disappearance? And where was she the day this adorable little boy vanished?

A mother apparently overwhelmed with her life and her children confesses to suffocating her two sons and then putting them in a car and driving that car into a South Carolina river all to cover up the crime. The sheriff says she showed no remorse for what she had done.

I`m taking your calls 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

The night before the killings, the mother and the suspect had an argument. The mother of the suspect was tired of what she believed her daughter`s lack of responsibility vis-a-vis her kids were.

Dr. Lucy Puryear, you`re a psychiatrist and we`re going to get to your involvement in the Andrea Yates case in a second. But what do you make of the fact that the inciting incident, the trigger was this woman`s argument with her own mother?

DR. LUCY PURYEAR, PSYCHIATRIST: Well, it`s hard to know -- I don`t know what they were arguing about but clearly --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ll tell you what they were arguing about. They were arguing about the fact that the grandmother said, "Hey, you`re not taking care of your kids." They`re all living with the grandmother. The mom and the three kids are living with the grandmother and as so often happens, the grandmother is probably doing all of the work.

PURYEAR: I assume this was a system, a family system under enormous stress, a grandmother helping raise her grandchildren, an unemployed mother, a mother who was feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of her children, for whatever reason and made a really bad choice.

My guess is this is not atypical, in terms of the -- seeing families under enormous pressure, feeling like they have no recourse. And sometimes horrible things happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, here`s my big issue tonight. Is this a cautionary tale? Is it a warning to young people out there who do not understand the enormous responsibility of having children because certainly this horror story is not the answer?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF LARRY WILLIAMS, ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC: She truly felt if I don`t have these two toddlers, you know, I can be free.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shaquan Duley was 29 years old, unemployed. She had three kids. She was living with her mother, apparently not a pleasant situation. The children`s father is MIA, has not come forward in the wake of this tragedy.

I personally believe, Darren Kavinoky, that if you do not have a game plan for providing for your children for the long haul, you shouldn`t be having them. It may sound harsh, but certainly this nightmare, this horror where two innocents, two beautiful innocent 18 month and 2-year-old boys are killed is not the answer.

DARREN KAVINOKY, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. Well, being a parent involves tasks that are just nondeligable (ph). You can`t just shove those responsibilities off on other people. There`s no quitting that job. It`s yours for a period of time, a long period of time.

And obviously -- and as I`ve shared on this show, Jane, I`m a parent myself. It breaks my heart to hear this story. And obviously, we can all see, while applying some cool reason on this, that there were many options available to her. If she didn`t want the kids, then there are I`m sure plenty of people that will be happy to take those kids on. You could bring them to a hospital. There`s always an option other than this kind of tragedy.

And I think ultimately what this really relates back to is the sense of despair that so many people feel in their lives and the lack of education about best practices, about not having children until you`re prepared to really see that job through. I couldn`t agree with you more there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Culturally are we sending the wrong message about having multiple children? That more is better. We have the octo-mom, we have the Duggars. We`ve got all those reality shows -- "Jon and Kate plus 8".

Let`s check this out from TLC just to get a taste of what we`re being inundated with.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My balloon.

KATE GOSSELIN, "JON AND KATE PLUS 8": We`re going to the decoration store. Hold hands, please. Hannah, hold Leah`s hands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So Dr. Lucy Puryear, you were saying?

DR. JANET TAYLOR, PSYCHIATRIST: Jane, I -- this is Dr. Taylor. I just want to say there`s no question that multiple children add stressors but there are single mothers who love their kids and have the support of her family. The fact she had an argument with her mother and almost to spite her mother took the kids and killed them I think really points to the relationship between she and her mother.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the fact that she just didn`t have a job and she couldn`t support the three kids. I mean somebody -- perhaps the grandmother who`s a senior probably didn`t have a job either and you have a whole group of people who are not being able to survive. The father is MIA. I mean that`s a logistical problem, it`s not just an emotional, doctor.

DR. PURYEAR: There was a case in Houston in the past year where a mother actually murdered her three children and killed herself because of economic distress. She didn`t have a place to live. She didn`t have adequate provisions. And again, I`m not saying that that is an excuse for what happened to these two children. There`s no excuse for a mother taking the lives of her children.

But people get under enormous pressure. And in times of stress, sometimes all of us act in ways -- this is not an appropriate way -- but make decisions that we wouldn`t make otherwise. And my guess is --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All I`m saying is that there`s a solution here that our culture really needs to focus on. And that is family planning. And that`s become a dirty word. I don`t know when this phrase became a dirty phrase that nobody wants to talk about.

But family planning, teaching it in schools, teaching it everywhere would be a wonderful thing to give people a realistic look at what childhood -- child-bearing involves and what raising children involves. And we do not talk about family planning in this country at all anymore. When is the last time anybody on this panel heard the phrase family planning in a public discussion?

(CROSS TALKING)

DR. TAYLOR: I agree we need to talk about family planning. But on the other hand, there are people who plan their families and end up being single mothers. We need to support single mothers and recognize the stress that they`re under. Not to make an excuse for what she did but single mothers are under tremendous duress.

KAVINOKY: Clearly in this era where this is a bad economy and things at a low point in terms of a national culture we`ve seen more and more of these despair killings.

But Jane, I have to applaud this conversation. It`s like that old saying where if you don`t know where you`re going, any road will get you there. And sadly, in the context of people`s families and their long-term planning, I see it over and over again where people don`t make that plan. They don`t even stop and ask themselves the questions, where am I going, what do I want out of life.

On a fundamental level I think that`s something that needs to start happening earlier rather than later. We can`t wait until these people are already adults and out in the world. This is a conversation that needs to happen among young people. Start planning now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Maybe these precious children, who sacrificed their lives, if we open up this dialogue, will not have died in vain in the sense that they will have been a catalyst for looking at this issue of the responsibility that comes with having children.

Yvonne, Tennessee, your question or thought.

YVONNE, TENNESSEE (via telephone): Yes. If the mother knew she wasn`t taking care of the kids right and she couldn`t take care of them, why didn`t she call DCS or, you know, report this to somebody instead of just letting the kids go off with the mother, you know, knowing the mother wasn`t doing a good job of it?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Dr. Lucy Puryear, this is a very good point. There are a whole bunch of options and there is help out there. We all know you can drop a child off at a hospital. These are drop zones -- I believe it`s national. I know it`s in New York and California. There are --

DR. PURYEAR: The Baby Moses Law.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are systems. Beg your pardon?

DR. PURYEAR: It`s called the Baby Moses Law, at least in Texas where you can take a child to a fire station or a hospital and leave the child without getting in trouble for doing that. And it is an option.

I think in -- again, when you`re feeling despair and you`re feeling whatever this woman was feeling at the time after the argument with her, maybe hopeless. Sometimes it`s hard to see down the road what your options are.

I`d also like to add that being a mom -- not just a single mom but being a mom is stressful. And I treat lots of women with postpartum depression and postpartum illnesses. One of the things I try and get for these mothers is help, even for women who have financial resources it`s hard taking care of children.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I got to ask another question because I know you handled the Andrea Yates case. You were a defense expert psychiatric witness. She was ultimately found not guilty by reason of insanity after drowning her five children. But she was able to prove through her attorneys that she heard voices and that she thought she was doing the right thing.

The fact this mother in this other case, this new case covered it up, does that preclude her from having a realistic chance at the insanity defense?

DR. PURYEAR: Well, I -- the insanity defense I don`t think will apply here, although, again, I`ve not spoken to this woman and can`t make an informed decision --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: She covered it up. She admitted that she made it look like an accident, which would imply that she knows right from wrong.

DR. PURYEAR: Right. So there may be some other story under there. But, again, she doesn`t appear, from what I`ve seen, to be psychotic meaning hearing voices or having unusual thoughts.

She may have been depressed. And again, I don`t know that. Most depressed mothers don`t harm their children. But the insanity defense in this case is probably not applicable.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you so much, fantastic panel, for taking part in an important debate. It`s a sensitive subject, but I think it`s one that we owe it to these two children to discuss.

Tonight we`re tracking down Kyron Horman. Terri Horman`s best friend breaks her silence. Why is she so very certain Terri Horman had nothing to do with little Kyron`s disappearance? We`re taking your calls on this. 1- 877-JVM-SAYS.

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KAINE HORMAN, KYRON HORMAN`S FATHER: He`s still out there. He`s still out there. We just need to find him. And just the love we have for him and how much we miss him and how much we`re just trying to do everything we can to find him.

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DESIREE YOUNG, KYRON HORMAN`S MOTHER: I feel guilty because I wasn`t here to protect him. And that`s our job is to protect our son, and I feel like I failed in that.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight fast breaking developments in the drama surrounding the search for 7-year-old Kyron Horman. Terri Horman`s best friend, the so-called mystery woman, Dede Spicher, breaks her silence to "People" magazine and says she doesn`t believe Terri had anything to do with little Kyron`s disappearance. How does she know?

Kyron vanished from a school on Terri Horman`s watch June 4th. Terri has never been named a suspect but she is certainly in the spotlight. Kyron`s parents believe she is involved.

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YOUNG: I fully believe she`s involved.

HORMAN: I think to what capacity is what the investigation is trying to figure out.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Enter best friend Dede Spicher. She moved in with Terri reportedly after Terri`s husband Kaine moved out. Witnesses claim Dede mysteriously disappeared -- the same day Kyron vanished -- for almost two hours. She told people that she has told investigators everything she knows over and over again but that she didn`t tell them what they wanted to hear.

So what does that mean? Did Dede Spicher purposely with hold information or has she told cops everything she knows. You be the judge, I`m taking your calls on this. 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my fantastic panel but we begin with investigative report Michelle Sigona. Michelle, what is the very latest?

MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: I spoke just a short time ago, Jane, with investigators from the Multnomah County Sheriff`s Office. And they say as of today they`re still following up with leads. There`s nothing new.

The grand jury is still meeting. They are still interviewing people in the area. Also elaborating a little bit more on that "People" magazine article, Dede also spoke out to say that she and Terri met in 2002 at the gym and that for 11 days after Kyron went missing, Dede did stay at the home with Terri. And if she had any reason to believe that one of her dearest friends could be capable of foul play that she would not be standing by her friend`s side at this particular time. So that`s what`s new on the case today.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dede Spicher`s interview with "People" magazine certainly flies in the face of Kyron`s parents who maintain Terri Horman is involved and probably had help. Here`s what they said on "NANCY GRACE".

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YOUNG: Yes, I know she`s involved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think she would have done this alone?

YOUNG: I don`t believe so, because honestly, she didn`t take out a contract on her husband alone. So I think that she would probably need help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: In defending Terri Horman, Darren Kavinoky, is Dede Spicher also defending herself perhaps?

KAVINOKY: Well, on some level, sure. No one likes to think that somebody that they have been friends with and shared meals and workouts and whatever else is a murderer. But in these kinds of cases -- and I`ve seen it over and over and over again -- it`s really hard to have accomplices that can keep their mouth shut.

Two kinds of secrets in this world, Jane: those that are too good to keep and those that are not good enough to keep. And the truth always has a way of floating up to the surface in these kinds of scenarios.

And obviously Terri has already been convicted in the court of public opinion or so it would seem. I just hope that this narrow focus on her doesn`t side track authorities from looking at the full array of possibilities if there could in fact be somebody else that actually did commit this crime.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. Yes, neither of these women have been named suspects or persons of interest and they`re always welcome on our show. We reach out to them every time to try to get their side of the story. We do want to be fair.

I have to read you this. This is from the local CBS station. This is another bombshell. A woman who spoke with Terri the day that Kyron disappeared -- she ran into her the same day between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. -- this casual friend ran into the stepmother Terri Horman at a Fred Meyer department store which is one of these supermarkets she said she went to.

She said it was a bizarre encounter because during the conversation Terri -- you`re looking at her there, the red head -- was very, very talkative and insisted on pulling out a photo that she had just taken of little Kyron at the science fair at the school. You know, showing her this picture.

And the woman said -- you know, that`s the picture she insisted on showing the woman -- and the woman is like, I don`t know her that well, why is she whipping out this picture and showing me this photo?

Bruce McCain, this was before little Kyron was even known to be missing. There was -- there was no missing alert at this time. What do you make of that encounter at the supermarket?

BRUCE MCCAIN, FORMER CAPT, MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: Well, Jane, just like the photograph of the little frog exhibit, this does appear to be Terri Horman`s very carefully designed plan to establish that she was there, she left Kyron at the school and that he was in fact there.

You`re absolutely right. There was a six-hour gap from the time that she showed that lady the photograph at Fred Meyer to the time that Kyron was reported missing. So once again, she seems to be going out of her way to prove to anybody and everybody that she was at a Fred Meyer store at a certain time and that she dropped off Kyron at the school.

Of course what happened to Kyron after that photograph was taken is still left to be decided.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nick, New York, your question or thought.

NICK, NEWYORK (via telephone): Hello, Jane. It`s such an honor to speak to you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.

NICK: Ok. Jane, I`m so outraged with the lack of regard for this beautiful missing little boy who has been missing for over two months. I have to ask this question. Is it possible that Terri Horman is tampering with witnesses by telling them to lawyer up and clam up?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, are you referring to -- and I have to go back to Bruce McCain on this. A bunch of her friends have testified now before the grand jury reportedly. The people at her gym where they reportedly allegedly said that she was complaining about her husband months before Kyron disappeared saying that her husband wanted to get rid of her biological son. Bruce?

MCCAIN: Well, Jane, they have all testified except one and that of course is Dede who does have a lawyer. I know we`re going to get into this but Dede is sending mixed signals here. Originally she was saying, hey I`m parting company with Terri. I`ve got nothing to do with her. I`m going come clean. And now she seems to be --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YOUNG: Unfortunately I`m kind of at that point where I`m so angry I don`t even have words. I just really want her to do the right thing.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: My big issue tonight: how can Dede Spicher be sure that Terri is not involved in Kyron disappearance? And why is she talking to "People" magazine? She, reportedly, hasn`t even talked to a grand jury yet. And up until now reporters had not been able to get her to talk to them.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know if Terri is hiding something? Were you with her on June 4th?

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure any one would hope their friend wasn`t capable of something so awful but how can she really know?

Darren Kavinoky, what do you make of the fact that she`s actually so convinced that her friend, who reportedly failed two polygraphs, has nothing to do with this child`s disappearance?

KAVINOKY: Yes, well it`s either an incredible loyalty. Could be a co-conspirator, or it may be the simple explanation that it would reflect so poorly on her that she would be so close with somebody who was as you describe her a murderer or who may be a murder. The jury is still out on that one. That she -- it would be so horrible to contemplate that someone would be that poor in their own judgment about who to be friends with and that may really be the genesis of those kinds of remarks.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It could be a touch of co-dependency and that`s when you are addicted to someone else`s drama and you feel like you`re helping them but in fact you`re actually just enabling their bad behavior.

Remember, according to Kyron`s dad, this woman -- the red head there - - six months before the child disappeared had allegedly according to what he claims cops told him, tried to hire a hitman to have him killed. Again, that`s just an accusation.

(CROSS TALKING)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Stephen, Iowa, your thoughts Stephen?

STEPHEN, IOWA (via telephone): Yes. I was wondering if people think the child was still alive and if Terri has something to do with it why doesn`t she just make the child reappear and come back and so the spotlight would be removed from her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Michelle Sigona, what do you know about that?

SIGONA: Well, here`s the thing. I mean Terri has maintained her innocence to be able to say that she did not have anything to do with this particular disappearance. We can only hope. Especially with the Jaycee Dugard case and the Elizabeth Smart then the Shawn Hornbeck that Kyron is alive and well somewhere because we don`t have evidence to prove otherwise. That is the notion that we will keep moving forward with in this particular case.

As far as Terri goes, maybe she doesn`t have any information; she`s not a person of interest. She`s not been called official suspect by investigators. These are just a lot of odd events that have played out in the media against her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dede Spicher was working near Kyron`s house on the day he disappeared. Her boss says Spicher could not be located between 11:15 in the morning and 1:00 p.m. Spicher is now telling "People" magazine she did not leave the property of the 38-acre nursery she was prepping for a garden show.

What do you make of it, Bruce McCain?

MCCAIN: Again, Jane, this is sending different signals because this is the only witness that so far has lawyered up other than Terri, of course, and here she is originally, remember she was saying, wait a minute, I got nothing to do with Terri Horman. And now she`s become part of the Terri Horman fan club.

The real key here, of course, is whether or not Dede Spicher is going to tell that same story to a grand jury under oath but yet her lawyer is having to negotiate with the district attorney just to get her into the room.

Somebody that doesn`t have anything to hide, that`s a strange way to show it.

(CROSS TALKING)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We got to leave it there but Kyron`s dad is putting all steam -- full steam ahead to divorce this woman. Thank you.

You`re watching ISSUES.

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